El Problema de Jugar a ser Cupido by Tamara Philip in ALL Spanish Editions

Cupid 1 CVR Spanish

El Problema de Jugar a ser Cupido

Libro 1 de la serie Cupido

by Tamara Philip

Ya está disponible en todas las ediciones españolas!

Now Available in All Spanish Editions!

 

Una Nochevieja, la tímida cantante December Brown, le manda borracha un mensaje de texto su colega y presentador de un programa de entrevistas, Trace Randall sobre su enamoramiento de hace tiempo por el distante actor, Tom Elmswood. Pensando que los dos famosos harían una bonita pareja, imprudentemente decide jugar a ser un casamentero…delante de un público en vivo. ¿Conectarán con el amor estos dos corazones solitarios o la flecha de cupido ha errado el tiro?


REVIEWS (English Edition)

Despite having placed the book down due to being busy, as soon as I picked it up again, I had no problem being wrapped back up into the story. The characters are able to be connected with and each have their own quirks that give them life. The tone of the book is so casual that it feels as if you’re right in the thicket of the story’s environment. Additionally, the tone complements the characters very well as it emphasizes the thoughts of each of them that makes their situations feel real. Anytime a book can make me use my imagination to paint the picture, it’s doing a darn good job….  Kelsey

Who doesn’t like a gritty love story. The romance plays out to be true to imagination with a real flare for an intimate setting and flawless character portrayals, the character ‘Trace’, being my favorite. The authors writing style sucks you in to the pages and I found I couldn’t put it down.

I was actually late for an appointment yesterday as I was so engrossed reading this book on the train that I missed my stop lol. I hope Tamara brings a lot more romance to our lives, and I will definitely be watching out for more books to come by this talented new author….  Pennie Mae Cartawick,  Author of the Sherlock Holmes book series

 Cupid 1 CVR Spanish ereader

El Problema de Jugar a ser Cupido  Links

 

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 Also Available through:

3M, Baker and Taylor, Follet,  Overdrive, Gardners, Chegg, StreetLib,  and Google Play   

 

Cupid Vid CVR clip

 

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(English Edition)

 

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El Problema de Jugar a ser Cupido FREE Preview

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 Carm

Translator Spanish Editions

Carmen Cayuela Riquel

Tengo 26 años, soy de Sevilla (España). He estudiado Grado en Estudios Ingleses y también he hecho el Máster de Traducción e Interculturalidad. Me apasiona traducir y espero poder dedicarme a ello en un futuro. Entre mis aficiones se encuentra sobre todo la lectura, el cine y las series americanas. También me encanta mucho viajar y conocer mundo.

I´m 26 years old, I´m from Seville (Spain). I´ve studied Grado en Estudios Ingleses and a Máster de Traducción e Intercullturalidad. I love translating and I hope, in a future, to work as a translator. My hobbies are, above all, books, cinema and the American series. I also love travelling and to know the world.

 Tamara 2 mini poster 2a

A Taste of… Tamara Philip

Four Free Chapters of Book 1 and Book 2

The Trouble with Playing Cupid and The Trouble with Romance

 Tamara pic with frame 1

Tamara Philip

 

NOMINATED for

Outstanding Debut Author in Interracial Romance 2015

Angie Award pic

After spending most of her life in New York City, Tamara Philip decided to let love lead her on an international adventure, where she’s met many amazing people and ate entirely too much. Tamara and her English-born Husband, Chris, now split their time between the United Kingdom and Trinidad and Tobago.

Writing has been her secret passion since childhood. Quirky female leads are her trademark.

On any given day you can find Tamara telling people what to do, dodging adulthood, and working hard on her next novel.

 

logo banner Tamara 2 no edge

Where to find Tamara Philip online

Website: TamaraPhilipWrites.wordpress.com
Twitter: @MsTamaraPhilip
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TamaraPhilipwrites

 

 

Book Promo: Celebrating a Summer of Writing, Reading, and the Business of Being a Writer!

Celebrate Summer with Chelle Cordero

LBW Promo Summer CVR2016

Multipublished author Chelle Cordero is

Celebrating a Summer

of Writing, Reading, and the Business of Being a Writer!

 

Chelle Cordero and Vanilla Heart Publishing present 60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write – previously published as Living, Breathing, Writing, Volumes 1 and 2. This combined collection gives both the aspiring writer and the accomplished writer two complete months of lessons about the craft of writing and being a writer, from time management to social networking, organizing queries to publication, the business of being a writer, and more. Includes more than 100 brain-starting exercises, business activities, and prompts to help you get those words on paper, and create your successful writing career. These short lessons and activities have been previously published as part of the acclaimed Amazon Kindle blog Living, Breathing, Writing available by subscription for Kindle owners, and consistently in the Top 100. Make the writing life the life for you! These hints, tips, essays, lessons, and activities for new and established writers cover such subjects as Querying, Marketing, Grammar, Dialogue, Blogging, Finances for Writers, Expanding Your Readership, and more!

Chelle Cordero’s experience as both a multipublished novelist and long-term freelance journalist, in addition to her successful Kindle Blog, Living, Breathing, Writing, will give you information and ideas… activities to spark your imagination, ‘up’ your writing game, develop your skills, and guide you through the business of writing and being a writer…

 

2016 sUMMER cvr CLIP

Video Sneak Peek!

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LBW Promo Summer CVR2016

FREE PREVIEW

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http://books.noisetrade.com/chellecordero/celebrate-summer-with-chelle 

Author Photo Chelle

Photo: Mark Engelman

Author Chelle Cordero

 

Chelle Cordero writes stories of Passion and Suspense. Vanilla Heart Publishing has published ten Cordero novels: Bartlett’s Rule; His Lucky Charm; Within the Law;Courage of the Heart; Final Sin; Hostage Heart; A Chaunce of Riches; Common Bond, Tangled Hearts;Hyphema; and Karma Visited. She is currently working on her next novel and promises another action packed adventure and heartwarming love story. Chelle has been writing both fiction and non-fiction for the bulk of her adult life and has been with Vanilla Heart Publishing since early 2008.

Her books have earned many plaudits which includes: Bartlett’s Rule was named one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top Ten Reads for 2009; Final Sin was an Honorable Mention in the Fiction Category of the 2010 NY Book Festival and a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee.; Hyphema won the Dec 9, 2011 Friday Book Cover Vote on the Shades of Love website; A Chaunce of Riches was Winner of D. Renee Bagby’s readers’ choice for The Best Overall First Chapter, April 2010; and Hostage Heart, Final Sin and A Chaunce of Riches had top ten finishes in the 2009 Preditors’ and Readers’ poll.  Chelle was also featured in “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” published by The Author’s Show in 2010. She earned multiple awards in the 2014 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll, includingTop 10 Non-fiction Article for her Can We Talk?(an article inspired by the late Joan Rivers), Top 10 Promotional Site for her long-running and very popular site The Potpourri Parlor featuring book promos, interviews, profiles & more, and Top 10 Writers’ Workshop for Living, Breathing, Writing (an Amazon Kindle blog all about writing & being a writer).

 

Chelle Cordero maintains an author’s blog at http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/ a promotional blog at https://ccepotourri.wordpress.com/, and offers a weekly writing workshop for Kindle Blog subscribers athttp://bit.ly/pILcG. Her website http://chellecordero.com/offers information on all of her books and her appearances. Bloggers and the media are welcome to visit Chelle’s media room at http://chellecordero.com/media/ with downloadable photos and other information.

 

Be sure to LIKE Chelle’s FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChelleCordero and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChelleCordero.

You can email Chelle at ChelleCordero(at)gmail.com.

Chelle lives in the northeast with her husband, Mark, and family. They have two offspring, Jenni (& Jason) and Marc (& Trish). They also live with three mischievous and spoiled pussycats, one of whom has taken up permanent residence on Chelle’s desk. Chelle is a full-time freelance journalist for multiple publications; her articles appear regularly throughout North America and she writes a monthly column on NYS Emergency Medical Services issues.

 

60+ Days to Live, Breathe, & Write

Available from Amazon in Print

Cover Reveal – HeartWorks – Eight Stories of Love, Passion, and Romance!

*reblogged from VHP Book Tours

2016 VDay CVR 1 sm

from Vanilla Heart Publishing Authors

Charmaine Gordon

Paul Zunckel

Chelle Cordero

Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Lauren Shiro

Tamara Philip

Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard

Angela Kay Austin

 

Heart 1 graphic

Gleason’s Greetings

by Charmaine Gordon

Liz Gleason brings laughter and joy into the neighborhood when she opens a card shop. Designing her own humorous greeting cards, business booms and romance blossoms. Is it all too soon when a TV producer shows interest in Liz and her shop?

Heart 1 graphic

Ń Boer maak ń Plan

by Paul Zunckel

Piet van Zyl finds himself like a fish out of water on meeting the lovely Peggy. The man that will stand down a charging buffalo…the man who is never without a quick chirp…the man, who has an answer for everything has finally met his match…now he is out of his depth, for cupid was around and his arrow hit the burly South African dead center.

Heart 1 graphic

Always, One More Time

by Chelle Cordero

Disowned by her parents because of an interracial love affair, Callie Sanders is left alone to raise her son after his father, Jimmy Bernerd, dies fighting in a war on the other side of the world. Desperate to give her son a family she goes to the Bernerd household — what she finds is a second chance at love, acceptance, and family.

Heart 1 graphic

The Fourteenth Floorboard

by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Valentine’s Day uncovers a new world hidden in her home that no one, including Gabriela, can understand.  Not even scratching her own arm helps Gabriela understand that this place is real, and part of the reason is that she uncovers a secret bigger than life itself.  Her family tries to convince her to never go to this place again, but Gabriela soon learns for herself, the price associated with getting her there, and that some things are better left unknown.

Heart 1 graphic

Love, Upside Down

by Lauren Shiro

Chantal is sure of two things: her general contracting business, and her love for her old flame, Desiree. A serious car accident changes everything, causing her to stop working; and she meets someone new in Grace, a friend of a friend who becomes her care giver. This accident turns her world upside down, even her love.

Heart 1 graphic

Feeding Romance

by Tamara Philip

Excerpts from Tamara’s award-winning debut novel, The Trouble with Playing Cupid  along with the recipes for delicious meals the lovers feed each other along the way, including December’s Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes, Tom’s Creamy Pasta Primavera for Two, and Cupid’s Hot Chocolate (guaranteed to inspire love and adoration from all who drink it).

Heart 1 graphic

Heart of Night

A Nightlife Short Story

by Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard

 

Lady Jannessa Guillory was the daughter of an ambassador, and therefore it was her duty to marry to her station, and to help her father. Yet, the night called to her in such a way she couldn’t deny it. And when a voice found her in the dark, she knew she couldn’t stop her own passions.

 

Heart 1 graphic

Sweets for Your Sweet

by Angela Kay Austin

 

Excerpts from Angela’s Sweet Victory, along with the recipes for a few of the sweet treats Victoria makes after her move back home to Memphis – and too near to Chad. Includes Sweet Victory itself: a delightful chocolate no-bake treasure of coconut and pecans, and Victoria’s favorite comfort food – baked macaroni and cheese.

 

Now Available!

2016 VDay CVR 1 sm

 

Book Promo: Till the End of Time by Sylvia Anthony

Till the End of Time: A Story of Persistence,
Love Failure and Success in a Woman’s Life

Rediscover Why We Celebrate The Season:
We’re Meant To Keep On Giving Till The End Of Time

Life has not always been easy for Sylvia Anthony, but if you met her you would see a vibrant, remarkable woman who today, at age 86, stands as a pillar of inspiration that life does not end in retirement – but finding new meaning in life is what gives us life! Sylvia overcame insurmountable adversity in order to help others and is living proof that life can be lived victoriously at any age. As founder and president of Sylvia’s Haven, a shelter for women and children near Boston, Sylvia has helped transform over 1086 lives in the past 28 years. While there is never enough money (she has loaned her own money to the shelter many times and has not received pay for the past four years), Sylvia wouldn’t change what she does for the world and calls it her “magnificent obsession!”

Sylvia’s memoir Till the End of Time is now in its third edition (eFluential Publishing), a compelling biography, seasoned with wisdom from a vast array of real-life experiences, that portrays a rich emotional and personal journey of transformation from an abused child to senior citizen. It is an extraordinary true story of abuse, love, sorrow and triumph – and is a story that will forever change your life.

Sylvia’s book tells of a child, beaten by her father and unwanted by her mother, whose saving grace was the love of her grandparents, uncles and cousins. At age five, when several of her beloved relatives moved to California, she was more lost and alone than ever before. As a teenager, still suffering beatings by her father, Sylvia experiences her first young love; Tony. Readers share a poignant story of a marriage that produces three children, but ends in divorce due to cruelty, leaving Sylvia to raise her children alone. Tony later becomes a disabled veteran through tuberculosis, and Sylvia goes on to cope with life and its hardships.

Sylvia’s second marriage to Rick brought them both closer to God and lead to the founding of her shelter, Sylvia’s Haven. In fact, just six months before Rick died of cancer, he completed   the details, with the help of a lawyer who worked pro-bono, to get the shelter started. It was incorporated on January 25 and Rick died March 30. 1987.

The title, Till the End of Time, represents the favorite love song of Sylvia and Tony, her first love, so it makes perfect sense that the remainder of the book is devoted to many of the remarkable stories of how Sylvia cared for her “girls” and she did so with the help of Tony, who re-entered her life to help with the shelter until his death at age 71 – proving that their love truly did last Till the End of Time.

Sylvia believes that in spite of the bad experiences she endured, God gave her the courage to continue on. Although she was made to believe as a child she could do nothing, she went on to marry, raise three children and at 57 begin her service of sheltering homeless women and children. At age 86, still a force to contend with, she never backs away from a new challenge.

She has been featured on the 700 Club, and received a commendation from President George Bush in 2002. She is the recipient of the Arthur L. Whitaker Award, the National Alliance to End Homelessness Recognition Award, Ambassador for Peace Award, the Governor of Massachusetts Recognition Award,  named the Hometown Hero by WBZ-TV in Boston, and recognized as Woman of the Year 2012/2013 by the National Association of Professional Women.

Sylvia’s Haven is a nonprofit housing facility near Boston providing shelter, guidance and emotional support for homeless women and their children. The women can be referred to schools, counselors and work advisers in the area for help with developing their own earning skills so they may live independent lives. Sylvia is also the author of Sylvia’s Haven, published in 2008 by AuthorHouse. For more information, please visit: www.sylviashaven.org

Available from Amazon.com
Buy from the author’s website, www.sylviashaven.org and she will inscribe the book before shipping
Till the End of Time
eFluential Publishing
ISBN-9 781517 477851

###

Sylvia’s Pastor wrote in her book: “Sylvia is a woman of faith, courage, tenacity and love. Her story shows that no matter a person’s background, age or season in life, when we make ourselves available to God, He is able to accomplish great things through us. Through Sylvia we learn of God’s great provision and how a simple ‘yes’ to God can turn into hope for 1,077 women and children.”

Sylvia Anthony believes “the golden years” are a time to gear up and get busy, not relax and take it easy. She has faced many hardships in her 86 years, but they have made her stronger and more determined.

Book Review: Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm

Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm

by Robert Wintner

Brainstorm narrates a cerebral aneurysm in the immediate family and the onslaught of trauma, non-communication and overwhelming legality. Brainstorm follows a conscientious couple seeking participation in the process, to no avail.

Writing from experience, Wintner combines decades on the high seas and below the surface with a literary style honed to efficiency. “Sometimes events in our lives bear striking similarities, like banking into a curve at eighty, or kissing my wife minutes before brain surgery,” says Wintner.  “I wonder if I’m over my head, hope I’m not, and proceed as if I can get through this.”

Robert Wintner is Snorkel Bob, Hawaii’s largest reef outfitter, and has written fifteen books, including Pulitzer-nominated In Sweet Magnolia Time and two movie-optioned novels, The Modern Outlaws and Whirlaway.

About the Author:

Robert Wintner’s fiction tends to be led by characters seeking reason in nature. Two of his novels were optioned for movie production in Los Angeles (The Modern Outlaws and Whirlaway).Whirlaway was a Maui County hot book listing for 15 years. One recent novel In a Sweet Magnolia Time (Permanent Press, 2007), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and a recent story collection–Wintner’s Reserve–was a Book ‘n a Beach Chair of the Month Main Selection. Wintner is a focused reef recovery against the saltwater aquarium trade.

For more information, see:  www.robertwintner.com.

Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and Cerebral Aneurysm
By Robert Wintner
Yucca Publishing
ISBN-10: 1631580205
ISBN-13: 978-1-63158208
Available at Amazon.com

JointForcesJournal.com: “This touching, humorous memoir is the true story of a late ’60s grand tour of Europe—a life-defining parable… an incredible time of self-discovery, of love, and of finding oneself.”

Amazon Customer Review

This is not your typical medical book – instead this is the book for all of us who have felt terrified and guilty when the one we love is suddenly terribly sick. This is the Heart of Darkness that is inside all of us, waiting to be released because emotions are just too hard to contain. This is a story of hope, reconciliation with modern medicine and – above all – of love.

Book Promo: Two New Books by Robert Wintner

Robert Wintner has two new memoirs reflecting common values and lingering influence. 

His novels and reef photography books are widely reviewed, and he is also Hawaii’s largest reef outfitter.    

1969 & Then Some is a Grand Tour of a Golden Age: Motorcycles, Romance gave Vision to the Meaning of War

Brainstorm is a Memoir of Cerebral Aneurysm—and a Crash Course in Coping with Non-communication in today’s Medical Complex  

Robert Wintner’s new memoirs are 1969 and Then Some: A Memoir of Romance, Motorcycles, and Lingering Flashbacks of the Golden Age and Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and Cerebral Aneurysm (Yucca Publishing).

1969 and Then Some is a Grand Tour for youth who became decision makers of today. Wintner puts perspective on a dynamic era, as the decades unfold with lingering influence—and continuing romance, motorcycles and the values that define us.

Brainstorm narrates a cerebral aneurysm in the immediate family and the onslaught of trauma, non-communication and overwhelming legality. Brainstorm follows a conscientious couple seeking participation in the process, to no avail.

Writing from experience, Wintner combines decades on the high seas and below the surface with a literary style honed to efficiency. “Sometimes events in our lives bear striking similarities, like banking into a curve at eighty, or kissing my wife minutes before brain surgery,” says Wintner.  “I wonder if I’m over my head, hope I’m not, and proceed as if I can get through this.”

Robert Wintner is Snorkel Bob, Hawaii’s largest reef outfitter, and has written fifteen books, including Pulitzer-nominated In Sweet Magnolia Time and two movie-optioned novels, The Modern Outlaws and Whirlaway.

For more information, see:  www.robertwintner.com.

1969 and Then Some: A Memoir of Romance, Motorcycles, and Lingering Flashbacks of the Golden Age
By Robert Wintner
Yucca Publishing
ISBN-10: 1631580191
ISBN-13: 978-1-631580192

Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and Cerebral Aneurysm
By Robert Wintner
Yucca Publishing
ISBN-10: 1631580205
ISBN-13: 978-1-63158208

Available at Amazon.com

About the Author:

Robert Wintner’s fiction tends to be led by characters seeking reason in nature. Two of his novels were optioned for movie production in Los Angeles (The Modern Outlaws and Whirlaway).Whirlaway was a Maui County hot book listing for 15 years. One recent novel In a Sweet Magnolia Time (Permanent Press, 2007), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and a recent story collection–Wintner’s Reserve–was a Book ‘n a Beach Chair of the Month Main Selection. Wintner is a focused reef recovery against the saltwater aquarium trade.

Recent titles include the novel, Flame Angels, 2 memoirs, 1969 and Then Some + Brainstorm, and a 4th reef photography book with a compelling political narrative, Reef Libre, An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism & the Last, Best Reefs in the World.

Book Promo: Finding Zoe: A Deaf Woman’s Story of Identity, Love, and Adoption

How Adoption’s Veil Of Secrecy
Is Being Lifted

New Normal Is Open Adoptions, Where Birth Parents
And Adoptive Parents Meet And Keep In Touch

Sometimes an adopted child grows up wondering about his or her birth parents and family history.

But that’s not the case with open adoptions, where the adoptive parents and their adopted child maintain an ongoing relationship with either one or both of the child’s birth parents.

Such situations, once uncommon, have become the norm for infant adoptions, helping to lift the veil of secrecy that left many adopted children unsure of their origins.

Brandi Rarus, who adopted her daughter, Zoe, as an infant in 2004, says she knew almost right away that she wanted to keep the lines of communication open with the birth parents.

“I could see how much Zoe’s birth mother, Jess Urban, loved her and decided that she could always be part of her life,” says Rarus, co-author with Gail Harris of the book “Finding Zoe: A Deaf Woman’s Story of Identity, Love and Adoption” (www.brandirarus.com).

Zoe’s was both an open adoption and a special-needs adoption, another cause Rarus is passionate about. Zoe is deaf. So is Rarus, who lost her hearing at age 6 after contracting spinal meningitis, and Rarus’ husband, Tim, who was deaf at birth.

“Zoe’s adoption into a deaf family that uses American Sign Language was so important because she was given exposure to language that she may have been denied otherwise by a family that did not know sign language,” Rarus says.

Originally, another couple adopted Zoe. But as the hearing problem Zoe had at birth grew worse, the couple realized they could not provide Zoe the home she needed, setting the stage for the Rarus family to enter the picture.

“After meeting Brandi and Tim, I just knew in my heart they were the right parents for my daughter,” says Jess Urban, who became pregnant with Zoe when she was an unwed 17-year-old.

Decades ago, nearly all adoptions were closed, with no contact between birth and adoptive parents. That has changed. Here are a few facts about open adoption:

•  The statistics. Only about 5 percent of infant adoptions in the U.S. take place without some sort of ongoing relationship between birth parents and adoptive families, according to a 2012 study by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. About 55 percent are fully open, with ongoing contact that includes the child, and 40 percent are “mediated,” where pictures and letters are exchanged, but there is no direct contact.

•  The advantages.  Proponents say open adoptions give children a deeper understanding of who they are and where they came from; an explanation about why they were placed for adoption; and the opportunity to have a relationship with the birth family. The child also will have no need to search for or wonder about the birth parents.

•  The prevalence. Adoptions, open or otherwise, are common enough that the majority of Americans have a personal connection to them in some way. Another Donaldson Adoption Institute survey once revealed that 60 percent of Americans either know someone who is adopted, have adopted a child themselves or have put a child up for adoption.

“I realize that having an open adoption of this kind may not be right for other adoptive families, but it is right for ours,” Rarus says. “When I see Zoe embracing who she is and where she came from in such a beautiful way, I see my own self in her and know even more that she is truly my daughter.”

Zoe even attended her birth mother’s wedding when she was 8, serving as a junior bridesmaid. She has visited with her birth father, BJ Briggs, who to this day has photos of Zoe on his refrigerator.

Briggs, who was 22 when Jess Urban became pregnant, had been reluctant to place his daughter up for adoption. He wanted to be involved in raising her. He acknowledges he was upset when the adoption center mailed him photos of Zoe and her new family and he realized the first adoption didn’t work out and a new set of parents he knew nothing about had adopted his daughter.

Like Urban, Briggs came to accept that Brandi and Tim Rarus and their three biological sons were the perfect family for Zoe, and allowing her to be adopted had been the right decision.

“Zoe helped me to realize that if you’re going to make a decision, then make it,” Briggs says. “And if it comes from inside of you, and you feel that it’s right, it’s going to be pretty darn close to being right.”

At just a few months old, Zoe was gradually losing her hearing. Her adoptive parents loved her—yet agonized—feeling they couldn’t handle raising a Deaf child. Would Zoe go back into the welfare system and spend her childhood hoping to find parents willing to adopt her? Or, would she be the long-sought answer to a mother’s prayers?

About Brandi Rarus

Brandi Rarus (www.brandirarus.com) is co-author with Gail Harris of the book “Finding Zoe: A Deaf Woman’s Story of Identity, Love and Adoption.” Rarus, who lost her hearing at age 6, has traveled the country speaking out for deaf children and building awareness of what it means to be deaf. She was Miss Deaf America in 1988. She and her husband live in Austin, Texas, with their three sons and adopted daughter.

Understanding Human Behavior by Studying Animals

What Can Animals Teach Us
About Kindness And Empathy?

Studies Of Our Non-Human Friends May Show
How Genes Inspire Our Better Tendencies

While humans are capable of acts of cruelty, greed and deception, they also possess plenty of positive characteristics such as kindness, compassion, friendliness and empathy.

But why? Are those better angels of our nature something nurtured in us by our parents, or do we arrive on the planet genetically predisposed for them?

It’s something scientists have puzzled over, and many of them may be finding answers not with human research but by concentrating on animals.

“The idea that we could learn about kindness or compassion by studying animals might seem strange,” says Peter Schattner, a scientist and author of the book “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human” (www.peterschattner.com). 

“But since similar genes are often found in animals and people, what we learn from animals may well be relevant to understanding human behavior as well.”
Dogs are especially good species to study to learn about kindness, devotion and other pro-social traits because they have been genetically bred to display those traits, Schattner says.

“Look at it this way,” he says. “Dogs are the result of an extended genetic ‘experiment’ carried out by humans to artificially select the very personality traits that we value in them.”

Another reason geneticists like to study dogs is that, as species go, they are relatively young.

“Most scientists estimate people began breeding wolves for gentleness and tameness 15,000 to 30,000 years ago,” Schattner says. “Compare that to humans. We are believed to have diverged from chimpanzees, our closest living evolutionary relatives, about 4 million to 9 million years ago.”

The time span is important because fewer DNA changes between dogs and wolves have had time to develop. That makes it easier – though not necessarily simple – to track genetic changes to determine what genes affect behaviors, Schattner says.

Dogs aren’t the only animals scientists study that could help unlock clues about human traits and their genetic origins, Schattner says. Other examples include:

•  Mice and friendliness. Scientists studying the biological origins of Williams Beuren syndrome are making progress with mice. The syndrome is a medical condition that has several traits, but one of the most striking is that people with this syndrome are unusually friendly, even toward strangers. Scientists can engineer mice to have a similar chromosomal makeup as people with Williams Beuren syndrome. One result of this research so far is that, at least in mice, the friendliness associated with the syndrome appears to be linked to a single gene.

•  Siberian silver foxes, gentleness and friendliness. Research on Siberian silver foxes began in what was then the Soviet Union in the 1950s in an area where local farmers raised the foxes for their fur. A Soviet geneticist began trying to breed a tamer fox that was easier for the farmers to handle. He did this by mating the tamest males with the tamest females. Within four generations – and a silver fox generation is only about three to four years – the animals were showing signs of domestication. Over time, the researchers showed that gentleness and friendliness were genetic. “One result of all this is the foxes became so tame and adorable that allowing them to be killed for fur became difficult for the scientists,” Schattner says. “They began selling them as pets.”

•  Rats and empathy. Perhaps one of the more surprising experiments involved rats. University of Chicago researchers placed two rats in a large cage. One rat was free to wander, but the other was trapped in a smaller cage within the cage. The trapped rat would cry out in alarm and, remarkably, the free rat would try to open the other rat’s cage, which was no easy task. Even with no reward, three-fourths of the free rats in the experiment chose to open the trapped rat’s cage. “The results of these experiments were disturbing to people who believe that only we humans are capable of empathy and compassion,” Schattner says. Some scientists were still skeptical, saying the rats’ may have been pro-social, but didn’t necessarily demonstrate empathy or compassion.

About Peter Schattner

Peter Schattner (www.peterschattner.com) is a scientist, educator and writer with 30 years of research experience in molecular biology, genetics, biomedical instrumentation and physics. He is a recipient of the Technical Innovation Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Schattner received his doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg and has held research and teaching positions at the University of California, California State University and Stanford Research Institute. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and reviews, as well as the textbook “Genomes, Browsers and Databases.” His latest book, “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human,” is his first book for non-scientists.

Meet Award-Winning Author Wendy S. Marcus

Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. A nurse by trade, Wendy holds a master’s of science in health care administration, a degree that does her absolutely no good, as she now spends her days, nights, and weekends mucking around in her characters’ lives, creating conflict, emotion, and, of course, a happily ever after. Wendy lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog, Buddy, and blogging, emailing, tweeting, and Facebooking with her online friends.

Her Loveswept Contemporary Romance, Loving You Is Easy, is having a 99 cent promotion this week!

 

She’s a survivor of the front lines of politics. He’s a wounded soldier returning home from the battlefield. Can they place their trust in the power of love?

Nobody plays the role of perfect politician’s daughter better than quiet, respectable math teacher Brooke Ellstein. But she won’t be caught swimming with the sharks again, not after the son of a wealthy donor sinks his teeth into her and gets away with it. Still, political connections have their perks, such as heading up the governor’s “Support Our Troops” pen-pal initiative–and getting first dibs on the smoking-hot sergeant whose picture shakes her right down to her goody-two-shoes.

When corresponding with sweet, classy Brooke, Shane Develen instinctively hides his commando tattoos and blue-collar roots–and he can tell that she’s hiding something, too. But Shane knows he’s gained her trust when Brooke gives him a blisteringly sexy photo. Then he’s injured in an ambush and a fellow soldier posts the snapshot online. Overnight, Brooke’s reputation turns to ashes. Even though he’s totally wrong for her, Shane shows up on Brooke’s doorstep, determined to set things right–and discovers that right or wrong has nothing on the chemistry they share.

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VHP’s Lauren Shiro Needs YOUR Votes!

 Reader’s Choice Awards!

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Lauren new pic 2013

Author Lauren Shiro

In celebration of her one year wedding anniversary and recent political changes that legalize her marriage, author Lauren E. Harvey (L. E. Harvey) and Vanilla Heart Publishing announced the re-releases of her current books and all new releases with her (legal) married name, Lauren Shiro.

Lauren Shiro was published nationally for the first time at age fourteen. Since then, her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and even textbooks.

In 2006, she began writing fiction and she hasn’t stopped yet. From her set of intertwined short stories in Loving Her, to the powerhouse duo of Imperfect and Impeccable, Lauren has written stories that are sure to touch your heart. Lauren continues to write stories of love without boundaries.

When she’s not writing, Lauren works as a licensed veterinary technician. In her spare time, she enjoys everything from wood working to roller derby. She resides in Rochester, New York with her wife and their menagerie of furry and feathered friends.