Monday, April 22, 2013

Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel

Hello Bookworms,

     April is national Child Abuse Awareness Month and in honor of that I would like to bring to you all a review about a book that brings awareness to child abuse. The book is called Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel.

     Ursula Sunshine Assaid is five years old (her father gave her the middle name Sunshine because he wanted her initials to be U.S.A.). She lives with her mother, Susan Assaid, and her mother’s boyfriend, Don McDougall, in Florida. Ursula’s father lives in California. Ursula wants to tell everyone a story. It is about the last week of her life.

                What happens when a child misses several days of school and when she finally comes back the signs are all there but no one notices? Or when there are other adults present from time to time in the home but no one says anything? Or when neighbors see the signs that something is wrong but rather than call someone they simply shake their heads and turn the other way? Ursula’s story is a real life example of what can happen when the warning signs of child abuse are ignored.

     Readers, I challenge you to read this book. It may not be very easy because this book gives the details everything that Don McDougall and Susan Assaid did to Ursula that last week before she finally died as a result of the abuse. That being said, it is a short book and you could easily read it in stages or all at once, whichever way is easiest for you. This book is an amazing look at what can happen in abusive homes, why it happens, and what can happen when people do not report child abuse when they see evidence of it.

    There is a particularly helpful chapter at the end of this book written by a professional about the signs that a child is being abused. If you are someone who works with children in any capacity, I encourage you to get a copy of this book, if for no other reason than to read that one chapter, and share it with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, so as to be aware of the signs.

     After reading the book, I encourage everyone to take a look at the child abuse laws in your area. They are usually easily accessible online. If you are in the U.S., you can go to  and find lots of great information on recognizing and reporting child abuse.

                The adults in Ursula’s life failed her. Let’s do our best to make everyone aware of child abuse and its signs and make sure that tragedies like this happen to as few children as possible.


Links to buy Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard:
**Death by Child Abuse and No One Heard is no longer in print. There are used copies and eBook copies available on



For those of you who may want to know if Ursula’s case was resolved before you begin the book, Yes, Susan Assaid and Don McDougall were both convicted of their crimes and sent to jail. Don, who did most of the abuse, was denied appeal. Later, when it came close to the time that Don was scheduled to be released from jail, a radio host got a copy of the book and read it over the air. Inmates who heard the story murdered Don before he was released back into society.

Until next time and with happier subjects to come,
                                     Lizzie <3

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

See Lizzie Read 5 Minute High 5 With Author Michael K. Reynolds!

Hello Bookworms!,
       Today I have a special treat for you all!! Recently, I posted an interview about Flight of the earls by Michal K. Reynolds! Now I am proud to bring you an interview with Mr. Reynolds himself! Its See Lizzie Read's 5 Minute High 5 with Author Michael K. Reynolds! Enjoy!
Michael K Reynolds, Author/Speaker

1.       I read that you have a B.A. in Creative Writing, but it had been many years since you had written any fiction. What made you decide to return to it?

I had written three books by the time I was 21, with two of them being fiction. My fourth novel I began in college, but got no further than a title and some initial research. That title was Flight of the Earls. Once graduating I got a job as a journalist and then got swept into the marketing industry where I became a copywriter and started my own agency. Twenty years had gone by without me writing a sentence of fiction when, on a whim, I pitched the idea for Flight of the Earls at a writers conference. Two publishers requested to see the manuscript just on the concept alone…and that’s what returned me to my first love of fiction.

2.       You’ve been involved with both non-fiction and fiction projects. With non-fiction the facts are decided for you, whereas with fiction you get to decide the facts. Is it more satisfying to receive a good response to your non-fiction or fiction projects?

The response you crave most is that people were inspired by your writing, and that can be accomplished with both disciplines. I’ve authored non-fiction for decades and I enjoy it because it’s writing with the skin of the grape peeled back—very direct and effective. However; it’s a unique and revelatory joy to hear your readers converse in a positive way about the characters and plots of your novels because all of this comes from the raw clay of your imagination.

3.       Flight of the Earls is set around a time period that I have not often seen (The Irish Potato Famine) especially from the point of view of the Irish. What led you to use this time period and this point of view?


The Great Potato Famine is the single most important (and tragic) event in Irish history, so that’s what drew me to that era. However; as I began to research and draw storylines for my next two novels in the series it was like an archeologist pulling amazing discoveries from the ground. This time span from 1845-1865 is truly a transformational period in American history and is overflowing with human drama and scintillating plots.

4.       You’ve said in another interview that without having had experience living with four women in your house (your wife and three daughters) you would not have been able to work on the strong female lead, Clare Hanley, like you've been able to today. Do we as the readers see any parts of those women in Clare Hanley’s character?

That’s an interesting question! When I first shared the initial chapters of Flight of the Earls with a critique group early on in the process, the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. However; many of the women complained that I made Clare “too perfect.” I had to go back and “scuff her up” in the subsequent drafts. What I realized was I had originally written Clare as what I saw in my daughters, and most Dads think their girls are perfect. Once I shifted out of that mentality, I was able to create a Clare that was much more well-rounded and believable. But definitely, I think very highly of my wife and daughters and I’m sure Clare represents some of the best of each of them.

  1. It is obvious that your first fiction novel, Flight of the Earls, is getting great response and that people are excitingly anticipating the other two books (In Golden Splendor, July 15th, 2013 and Songs of the Shenandoah, January 1st, 2014) in the series. After the Heirs of Ireland trilogy finishes, are we going to get to see more fiction projects from you in the future?

Yes. I’ve been blessed with some great interest in my writing pursuits following the Heirs of Ireland Series, and my agent and I are sorting through those. Although it’s too early to discuss specifics, God willing, it is safe to say there will be more of my novels coming to a bookshelf near you.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this look into Mr. Reynolds and his work! If you'd like to buy your own copy of Flight of the Earls, Click here:

In Golden Splendor, the second book in the Heirs of Ireland Triloghy is available for pre-order now! If you'd like to pre-order your copy now, Click here!:

And remember to keep an eye out for Songs of the Shenandoah, out January 1st, 2014!

You can become one of Michael K. Reynolds author insiders! You'll recieve e-mail updates about books, opportunities for prizes and more! Want to become one of Michael K Reynolds Author Insiders? Click Here!:

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Author Michael K Reynolds

More posts coming soon! ;)

Until Next Time!,
                    Lizzie <3