Thursday, July 29, 2021

{BOOK TEASER} THE LORD BLACKWOOD REGENCY ROMANCE SERIES by Arabella Sheraton @arabellsheraton @pumpupyourbook

Author: Arabella Sheraton
Publisher: Bublish
Pages: 90
Genre: Regency Romance

In this romantic traditional Regency novella, Patience Cherwell is resigned to a life of spinsterhood. Therefore, when her young friend, the lovely Lorna Hartley, comes to stay for a London season, she decides the eligible, charming Lord Blackwood is the perfect match for Lorna. Granted, Lord Blackwood, at forty, is much older than the vivacious 20-year-old Lorna, but Patience is determined to help her young friend make a good match. So why isn’t she happy when his lordship and Lorna seem to like each other’s company? The problem is that Patience is already madly in love with his lordship! An unexpected invitation arrives for Lorna and Patience to attend Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball. This is the perfect moment for him to propose to Lorna. Mysteriously, a corsage arrives from an anonymous admirer. Who is it for? And what will be the outcome for the wearer at Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball? Patience and Lord Blackwood’s enchanting story continues in The Lady’s Revenge.

Author: Arabella Sheraton
Publisher: Bublish
Pages: 186
Genre: Regency Romance

IThis engaging traditional Regency romance is the sequel to Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball. Miss Letitia DeVere decides that revenge is a dish best eaten cold when she returns to London after a two-year absence to find her former admirer Lord Charles Blackwood on the verge of proposing to Miss Patience Cherwell. Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball proved to be the turning point in his fledgling romance with Patience. Letitia is not the kind of woman who gives up easily, as Patience and Charles soon find out. She stops at nothing to achieve her aims. However, Letitia has a dark past, with secrets that threaten to return and destroy her newfound social success. When Charles proves less malleable than in the past, Letitia resorts to subterfuge, seduction, blackmail, and even violence to force him to propose. Will he see through her tricks and remain true to Patience, or will Letitia’s seductive wiles lure him back?

The Lord Blackwood Regency Romance Series is available at: 
You can also watch the book teaser at :

Monday, July 19, 2021



When Serial Killers Terrorize a California Beach Community, One Woman Stands in Their Way…

By Jennifer Chase

Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 235
Genre: Crime Thriller


Emily Stone doesn’t have a badge. But that hasn’t stopped her from tracking down some of the West’s most dangerous child-killers. Armed with a digital camera, laptop computer and her trusty Beretta, Stone uses her innate gift for detective work to identify the perps — and then anonymously e-mail the evidence to the cops.

Now, the hunt for two brazen serial killers on the loose right in her own coastal California town threatens to expose Stone’s identity — unraveling her carefully constructed cover and jeopardizing her life’s work. But when she gets too close to the action, this razor-sharp hunter becomes the hunted. Cooperating with the handsome local police detective could be the only hope for stopping the rampage directed at unsuspecting young women — and saving herself. Can they piece together the clues in time? Compulsion mixes CSI-style investigation with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot and a dose of romance for a keeps-you-guessing, fast-paced and savvy thriller, right up until the shocking finale.


“Jennifer Chase’s Compulsion is an all-time great fiction suspense thriller. Jennifer takes her knowledge of forensic science and criminology to new levels of understanding and entertainment. This is one edge-of-your-seat who-dun-it that will keep you enthralled from the first page to the last.” —Sandra E. Graham, BookPleasures, author of Amos Jakey and Nicolina

“…The new novel Compulsion by Jennifer Chase is a captivating thriller that will keep you guessing until the last page is read. The careful character development results in real, three-dimensional men and women, even if some of them are almost unimaginably horrifying. The plot, with its slowly revealed layers, is one that engages the readers immediately and takes them on quite an adventure…” – Amazon Reader

“…It is really a fantastic book… It is a fresh and fun read. I really had trouble putting it down…” – Amazon Reader

“This truly is a top-notch mystery – thriller of a read. One that has thought out characters, defined so well that you feel as if you are part of their lives, and a storyline that is mysterious, and chilling, yet delivers a personal touch that brings realism to the mix. CSI fans will love this book, as will any mystery/thriller fan, for it is definitely one that delivers.” – Amazon Reader

“Pot boiler will keep the pages turning… If you enjoy crime fiction with a local [California] flavor, you might wish to try this debut novel. Hang on; this one also has a wild ending with some major eye-popping developments that will take you by surprise.” – Amazon Reader

Arizona, Wednesday 0900 hours

The man strolls down the gravel driveway to his makeshift torture trap disguised as a late model Chevy Suburban. It is in fact a hideous, retrofitted, rolling snare designed specifically for the secure confinement of the innocent. He has already stalked and captured several children between the ages four and ten; they had been simply taken from their safe homes and familiar yards. They are never to be seen alive again. Their only mistake was their innocence and inexperience of the inexplicable evil that relentlessly wanders the neighborhoods across the nation, sporting a simple psychological mask of normalcy.  

Dressed in khaki shorts, cheap superstore sneakers and a loose fitting blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt, the clean shaven, dark-haired man in his late-thirties looks almost like any other man who might have had a decent day job and perhaps even a family of his own. He doesn’t have a single care in the world. He feels a sense of peace and even a deep relaxation; he’s both tired and re-energized. 

This particular man has a desire: a dark secret of an unfulfilled need to prey upon the innocent, snatch them from their secure lives, torture them, murder them, and then leave their tiny remains isolated away from civilization. This driving compulsion will never be satisfied, and the hideous crimes will never be fully solved. The police will never find the little victims’ remains, and families will never receive closure for their unimaginable loss.

Only one promise will prevail, the crimes will continue, remain unsolved and with time eventually be forgotten by the general public. The continuous fantasy re-enactment will never stop as long as the killer is left alive. Death poses the only logical solution to stop this tormenting cycle of death.

The man opens the creaky back doors of the Suburban and takes out two white five gallon buckets setting them down on the trash littered street. The back of the vehicle is cluttered with miscellaneous tools and paint supplies that a painting contractor would most likely use. Upon closer inspection, deeper inside the cargo area, there are handcuffs and shackles fixed to stationary hooks reminiscent of medieval torture chambers. The windows are coated with a thin opaque vinyl that ensures complete privacy.  

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today BestSelling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.




Dead Game (Book Two)

Dark Mind (Book Three)

Dead Burn (Book Four)

Dark Pursuit (Book Five)

Dead Cold (Book Six)

More Books by Jennifer Chase…

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

🏰 Interview Featuring Suzanne Ford Narrator of BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS by Susan C. Riford #interview


I have a fantastic lady here today to tell us all about the new YA historical, Black Rocks and Rainbows: The True Story of Henry Opukahaia, The Hawaiian Boy Who Changed History. What's really unique about this book is that it is authored by Susan C. Riford, mother of creator/narrator Suzanne Ford. Since her mother cannot be with us today, Suzanne is going to fill us out about this magnificent audiobook which is available at Amazon (buying link below).

First, find out more about Susan and her mother's book...

Suzanne Ford is an actress and writer working in film, television, and theatre. She has performed in more than 100 stage productions in New York and Los Angeles, on tour and in regional theatres around the country. Her many film credits include the Duplass Brothers’ recent hit Manson Family VacationYou, Me and Dupree and The Apparition, and she has appeared on such television shows as Grace and Frankie, Grey’s Anatomy,Criminal MindsIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Friends. She has been an advertising copywriter, has written a biography of Mel Gibson, screenplays, and cookbooks, and has ghostwritten memoirs. She and her husband live in the Hollywood Hills.



Author: Susan C. Riford
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: YA / Historical


The journey of a lifetime told in the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS begins with a ship: “An enormous canoe, with great white wings like a magnificent bird.” This is the merchant schooner Triumph from New England, anchored offshore by what is now known as the Big Island of Hawaii, and in 1807, the sight of it captivates a young Hawaiian boy’s imagination and spirit of adventure. Fifteen-year-old Hiapo Opukahaia, orphaned as the result of a war between two rival island chiefs, has been contemplating his future. He dives into the sea and swims to the ship, where he is invited to stay for dinner. When the captain asks if he would like to go to America, he nods Yes.

The audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS, an historical novel for young adults, edited and narrated by actress Suzanne Ford, was written by her late mother, Susan C. Riford.  The audiobook chronicles the gripping story of Hiapo – renamed “Henry” by his fellow crewmen – whose literal and figurative journey leads to the greatest adventure of all: a hunger for knowledge which ultimately changes Hawaii forever. The title refers to the lava rocks and beautiful rainbows of the Big Island, the vision of which Henry carries with him for the rest of his life.

Working as a cabin boy, Henry does encounter true-life adventures – pirates, storms – during the ship’s year-long voyage, via the Seal Islands and China, back to its home port of New Haven, Connecticut. He also learns to read and write English, unlocking his quest for further knowledge; upon arriving in New Haven, Henry realizes he desperately wants to keep learning, but has no idea how.

Weeping one day on the steps of Yale College, he is found by a kind student, a relative of the school’s president. Taken under the president’s wing, Henry becames a scholar. He wants to translate written works from English into Hawaiian, but at the time, there is no such written Hawaiian language. So he begins to apply the principles in an American spelling book – devised by Noah Webster, of dictionary fame – to the sounds of his native tongue. In doing so, he creates the alphabet-spelling-grammar system that is the basis for the Hawaiian written language in use to this day.

Sadly, Henry dies of typhus fever in 1818 at the age of 26. He is buried in Cornwall, Connecticut, until 1993, when he makes one final journey: a group of Hawaiian residents has successfully crusaded for the return of his remains to the Big Island for permanent burial. Hiapo Opukahaia has come home.

Suzanne Ford was inspired to create the audiobook BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS originally written by her late mother, Susan Riford, a prolific author of children’s books and plays and founder of what is now known as the Rev Theatre Company in Auburn, New York. Her mother became fascinated with Henry’s story when she moved to Maui. “The novel was her final work before she died,” Ford says. “I took on the unfinished manuscript, wrote the last chapter, had a few copies printed and recorded the audiobook. The story is such a fascinating and compelling adventure, fun to listen to for anyone, but especially for young adults.”

Ford is working on an updated, illustrated book version of BLACK ROCKS AND RAINBOWS. “It’s noteworthy that there has never been a full-length historical novel about Opukahaia, who is such a major figure in Hawaiian history and whose story carries a timeless message about the importance of education,” she observes. “Especially in this era of the dawning of deeper recognition of indigenous peoples and their heritage, this as yet unfamiliar but universal coming-of-age story is resonant and relevant to youth of any culture.”


“This adventure story is riveting from start to finish and the action keeps coming. The ending, though sad because it’s a true story, was very uplifting and inspiring. A very satisfying audiobook experience.”


Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

And here:


Amazon →


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  Can you tell us how you got the idea to write your book?

The author of Black Rocks and Rainbows: The True Adventures of Henry Opukahaia, the Hawaiian Boy Who Changed History was Susan C. Riford, my mother. Her fascination with the amazing tale of the young Hawaiian boy Henry Opukahaia began when she and my Dad moved to Maui, Hawaii in the late 1980s. The novel was her final work before she died in Maui in 1997, but not until she had participated in the event that brought the story full circle: the successful crusade in 1993 to bring Henry’s remains home to Hawaii from his grave in Cornwall, Connecticut where he had died in 1818, and reinter him at Kahikolo Cemetery on the Big Island of Hawaii, near the spot where he was born.

After my mother’s death I found the unfinished manuscript, read it and was thrilled. I wrote the last chapter based on her extensive notes, had a few copies printed and, because I am an actor and love narrating books, recorded the audio book.

Your readers might be interested in the trailer for the audiobook, which is found here.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Since the book is historical fiction, I think it belongs in BOTH categories - fiction and nonfiction. The main character of Henry Opukahaia is unique, and fascinating, because he was a real person. He's a young native boy in early 1800s Hawaii, a beautiful but very cruel and dangerous place, who goes through a horrific ordeal—first losing his parents in a tribal war, then being adopted and groomed as a warrior by a great King, then, in a twist of fate, becoming the apprentice to a kahuna nui, or head priest, all on what is now known as the Big Island.

Can you give us an excerpt?

Now the story (remember, it's all true!) really gets interesting. Here's an excerpt detailing what happens next:

Opukahaia decided to take the path along the cliff overlooking the ocean. He liked to watch the brilliant colors of the late afternoon sky dance in the dark water below. But as he came out of the forest and onto the bluff, he suddenly stopped stock still and stared, frozen in amazement.


Out in the bay below him drifted an enormous canoe. It had great white wings like a magnificent bird. As he watched, the boy saw tiny figures of men scurrying around on it. Some of them climbed up the tall poles that held the wings. Where had they come from? Were these the strange men with light skin his uncle had described?


Opukahaia was overwhelmed with curiosity. He wished the canoe would come closer to shore so he could see it better. Soon it would be dark, and tomorrow it might be gone.


Quickly, he unfastened his kahuna cape and laid it on the ground. He would swim out to the big canoe and see it for himself! Then he could tell his uncle and the other priests about these men who had come to their island. He scrambled halfway down the rocky cliff and dove off into the water below.



Opukahaia swam swiftly toward the ship. The distance was greater than it had seemed from the cliff, but his strong, even stroke finally brought him to the side of the vessel. It rose high above him and was longer than ten war canoes. He swam back and forth along the length of it, looking for a handhold - some way to climb up the side - but could find nothing.


Then he heard a man’s voice and the sound of feet running. A head appeared over the edge of the boat above him. It was a light-faced man and he called down to him, but the words were strange to the boy’s ears. Opukahaia raised one arm from the water and waved. The light-faced man ducked out of sight and then returned.


A dark, friendly face appeared beside him and called to the boy in his own language, the language of Hawaii!


“Do you want to come aboard? Here. Take hold of this and climb up.”


The two men threw a rope ladder over the side, holding it fast between them. Opukahaia reached with both hands and pulled himself up to gain a toe-hold. When he had climbed to the top, two pairs of strong hands pulled him over the edge and onto the floor of the boat, where he sat, sprawled and wet, looking up at them. He decided to grin.


The dark-skinned man returned his smile and gave him a hand up.

“I am Makani Nakolo,” he said, “and I am from these islands. The others call me Mak. I have sailed for two years with this ship. What is your name, boy, and where is your home?”


“My name is Opukahaia - and I live with my uncle, who is Kilopano, the kahuna nui of this island.” He gestured toward the cliff.


The man’s eyes widened as he relayed this information in the strange language of the other man. Then he turned back to the boy.


“You must come with me, Opukahaia, to see the chief of this canoe, which is        called the Triumph. He is a good man. His name is Captain Britnall.”

After THAT the story really gets exciting. Henry's adventures on the Triumph include a skirmish with Chinese pirates, a run-in with the notorious captain of a slave ship, and a nearly disastrous hurricane. Also, and most important, he gets the chance to study English and history from an educated young man on board, which delights him.

When the ship comes home to America, Henry is desperate to continue learning. He's found weeping on the steps of Yale College by a kind student who leads him to the school’s President. Taken under his wing, Henry becomes a scholar, and eventually invents the written Hawaiian language as it is used today.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

I'm not a professional writer, but as an actor, I do tell stories. I think I would remind my younger self that the most important aspect of storytelling (as Stephen King says) is character. A good story is told from a person's distinctive point of view, and to be effective, that person should be believable, sympathetic, surprising and appealing. All of these qualities belong to Henry Opukahaia, and that's why I think he's a wonderful hero.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

That I'm not really a writer? But seriously, as a longtime actor I think I have a good grasp of dialogue and I do enjoy writing it. Because often as an actor you're called upon to improvise on a set, that has been great practice for creating compelling dialogue, when it's needed, for the written page. There's joy in writing stream-of-consciousness dialogue and then, of course, revising it later as needed. The world of the book, or play or screenplay, comes alive with its dialogue. My mother, because she was also a playwright, was a whiz at dialogue. I think there's a lot of value in that.

Do you hear from your readers (in my case, listeners)?  What do they say?

Because it's just come out, I've had limited communication with listeners at this point, but I did hear from my grandson, who pronounced the audiobook "awesome." That from him is very high praise indeed.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Hastening to reiterate that I'm not a full time writer, I must admit I've never received truly tough criticism. Or maybe I've just forgotten it. I remember mostly the good comments, which may be a survival technique. (I know it is in show business!) Once on an essay I wrote in sophomore year of high school, I actually got this comment from my English teacher: "This is like poetry." That was very encouraging, and I've never forgotten it. I think we can all agree that sometimes positive comments are even more valuable than negative ones.

What has been your best accomplishment?

I can say without hesitation that having a family I love is my number one accomplishment (as far as I can claim credit for it) and that after that is my acting career, which, as you know if you know about show business, is pretty competitive. I'm glad I have been able to produce as much work that I'm proud of as I have as an actor, and I look forward to doing more.

Do you Google yourself?

Not really. No time! I do check on IMDb once in a while to see what my ranking is.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A ton! But not books - mostly screenplays and short stories.

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

Simple: I would make health care free to everyone, and make it a law to attend live theatre at least once a month.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

I so hope you enjoy listening to Black Rocks and Rainbows: The True Adventures of Henry Opukahaia, the Hawaiian Boy Who Changed History and that you—whether you are a young person or just young at heart—can relate to the message that if you have the courage to follow your destiny, to do what you love and pursue it with your whole being, miracles can happen.

Note: All proceeds from the audiobook and all other future formats are donated to the Susan C. Riford Children’s Arts Education Fund (501c3)


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

🏰Blog Tour! Lyssa Strata: A Comedy for the Frustrated by Martti Nelson


Packed with callbacks to the Greek myth on which it’s based, this book will make for a satisfying read for any woman who’s mad at hell at the patriarchy and isn’t going to take it anymore, but also wants a laugh a minute along the way…

By Martti Nelson

Author: Martti Nelson
Publisher: Humorist Books
Pages: 205
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Commercial Fiction / Humorous Fiction


She’s mad as hell, and she’s not gonna give it up anymore.

Librarian Lyssa Strata has long begged the Town Council of Athena, Massachusetts, to repeal its disgusting old misogynist and racist laws. But the Council, an all-male entity for 400 years, has blown her off as a redheaded spinster—who, according to a 1673 law, should legally be run out of town at the end of a musket upon a poor fiscal year. So Lyssa seeks to invade the male bastion as the first woman ever on the Council. The men in charge treat her candidacy as a hilarious joke, which does not impress the female townsfolk.

The women are damn tired of being second-class citizens. For example, it’s illegal for them to use a toaster, as the manipulation of buttons is thought to impede brainwaves and cause menstruation. They decide to wield the only power left to them: Lyssa leads them on a sex strike as a revolt against inequality. The fellas are enthusiastic supporters! LOL no, they protest and issue death threats. Yet, when the national news shows up to cover the contentious election, everyone finally starts to listen to the ladies.

In retaliation against the motley crew of sex-strikers, the Council enacts the antique laws they assured Lyssa were merely charming historical trivia. She is accused of witchcraft and thrown in the stocks! Now this bookish dork, once content to hide in the stacks and distribute quiet feminism via checkout, is burning down her torture device and sending the evils of the past to the dustbin. When you want something done, do it yourself.

Or don’t do it—they’re on a sex strike, after all.


“If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like if Terry Pratchett wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, this is the book for you.” —Jenny Trout, USA Today and Internationally Bestselling Author

“Funny and rage-inducing is a tough balance but Martti Nelson has written a book that is equal parts laugh riot and just plain riot. I want be Lyssa Strata’s best friend!” —Jen Mann, New York Times Bestselling Author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

“There’s a lot to be frustrated about: the pink tax, politics, old white guys. Nelson deftly satirizes local politics and the patriarchy in Lyssa Strata. The ladies of Athena, Massachusetts may cherish a secret, but I don’t—read this book.” —Brooke Knisley, Your Local Redheaded Succubus. Oh, and Also Writer.

“Nelson’s deliciously laugh-out-loud spin on an ancient Greek tale shreds modern-day sexism with OG feminism.” —Marta Acosta, award-winning author of the Casa Dracula series

“Fans of Parks and Recreation, rejoice—there’s a new Leslie Knope to be found in Martti Nelson’s Lyssa Strata. Packed with callbacks to the Greek myth on which it’s based, this book will make for a satisfying read for any woman who’s mad at hell at the patriarchy and isn’t going to take it anymore, but also wants a laugh a minute along the way.” —Lana Schwartz, author of Build Your Own Romantic Comedy: Pick Your Plot, Meet Your Man, and Direct Your Happily Ever After

“A wickedly clever, sly take on the Greek classic that will have you rolling in the aisles of your own home as hard as the ancient Greeks rolled in the …aisles? Of their…. Ancient theaters??? Whatever, I didn’t read the original Aristophanes and neither did you. Save yourself the trouble and read this hilarious reimagination of it instead.” —Emily Flake, Saint Nell’s Proprietrix & Cartoonist, New Yorker

“Martti Nelson has created a character in Lyssa the librarian who anyone could love, admire and relate to—one who has had enough of the BS and does something about it. This novel will make you feel alive, or at least awake.”

—Jessica Delfino, author of Amazon #1 bestseller Dumb Jokes For Smart Folks

Lyssa Strata pushed up her glasses and prepared to say the words “birth control” to the entirely male Athena, Massachusetts Town Council, the average age of which was 80. It would’ve been higher if not for her stepfather, Councilman Daniel Park, who, at 42, brought the average from “nursing home” up to “Viagraville.” The last time most of these men needed birth control, it had come in the form of a chastity belt.

“People—er, gentlemen—of the Town Council,” Lyssa began. “We’ve heard you promise for decades that you’ll eliminate Athena’s centuries-old, degrading laws pertaining to women, yet nothing changes. The statute outlawing birth cont—”

“Young woman!” wheezed Councilman Thomas Pickle, aged 89.

She waited for more.

Pickle coughed up something so alarming, Lyssa feared he’d be the second Council member to die on the bench this year. But he merely sucked on his dentures and glared at her wateringly. At least she’d grabbed his mummified attention. Most of the time, glances swept right past her to settle on something flashier, like an empty sidewalk.

“As I was saying…” Lyssa swallowed a sigh. “Statute 4-1 from 1829 outlaws birth control, marital aids, and red panti—er, underthings—”

“Except for pirates!” This from Councilman Thomas Mayweather, aged 91.

Lyssa forced a smile. “Yes. Pirates are allowed to wear red knickers, but I am not. You’re probably afraid my flat butt will become too powerful if clad in scarlet.” She snorted a laugh.


Ohhh-kay. Nothing like referencing one’s own backside on the official record. She should have given some pirate facts instead. Taken as a whole, they possessed more rights than she did in Athena.

“We can’t see your posterior in that dress,” said Mayweather. “But I enjoy its modesty.”

Lyssa spread the skirt of her reproduction Puritan dress circa 1657. She figured she’d get more attention in the getup after many failed pleadings before the Council regarding birth control laws, witch laws, and laws against dancing; maybe she should’ve dressed as a character from Footloose

“Er, thank you. To continue…just for saying these things aloud today, it’s legal for you to throw me in the stocks, as if I were some miscreant bawd. Not to mention the laundry list of other horrible rules prohibiting women’s freedom.”

“They’re not enforced, Missy,” began Councilman John Warren, aged 92. “Now you seem well behaved…flat-chested, but it’s nice to see a female dressed properly for once.”

Lyssa’s neck hairs felt her mother stand behind her without so much as turning her head.

Moms said in a cool voice, “John Warren, you may address my daughter as Ms. Strata.”

“I’ve got it, Moms.” Lyssa flashed a smile her way. She didn’t need her mommy to help. Lyssa was a confident, bold woman who could take on the world single-handedly!

Ha ha, no, she sagged while swallowing the nausea in her throat. Lyssa detested public speaking almost as much as having to enforce late fees at the library. She was much more of a “love > war” kind of person. Or at least a “hiding with books > anything else” one.

“My chest has nothing to do with my objection to these laws, Mr. Warren. Although,” Lyssa groaned, “a woman with under a C-cup technically enjoys fewer voting rights in Athena.”

“Hear! Hear!” said John Warren.

Lyssa’s jaw set to one side…although he could have been remarking upon his deafness.

Misty, Lyssa’s co-librarian and best friend, hurried to the podium. “Misty Meadows, my lords, with something to add—”

Pickle perked, his breath rattling to and fro.

“No, I am not Misty Meadows the porn star. I merely wanted to say that big-titted ladies also object to these laws. Especially the vibrator one, because come on!”

The thread of Lyssa’s carefully crafted speech went straight down the toilet. This always happened—she could never effect change because no one took her seriously. She spluttered for a moment, and then fell back onto facts. Facts were beautiful friends who never cared about the size of her boobs. “Shall I name some other things prohibited for women in Athena?”



Martti Nelson is the author of comedy novels Lyssa Strata and Attack of the Rom-Com, which is due out later in 2021, as well as some love letters to Totino’s in honor of their fine Party Pizzas. She’s been featured on such luminous sites as Weekly Humorist, The Belladonna, Robot Butt, Daily Drunk Magazine, and Slackjaw. In addition to writing brilliant stuff that is often referred to as “stop mentioning menstruation so much,” Martti enjoys yard work with power tools that make her feel important. Martti creates funny books because she believes that humor can inspire joy, bring people together, and save the world, even in times of darkness. This bio has gotten a tad deep, so she will end on another joke.


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