Tales from the 4th Grade: 75 Short Stories

November 27, 2020
Congratulations to Megan Fluhart and Doug Fluhart on the release of your new book: Tales from the 4th Grade: 75 Short Stories!

This book lets you step into the imagination of a fourth-grader…

The stories within this book were written and illustrated by Megan Fluhart when she was in fourth grade. Then 17 years later, her dad, Doug Fluhart, edited and compiled them into this book.

The resulting collection of short stories and illustrations is a fantastical window into the mind of a kid. Often hilarious, always wildly imaginative, this book will delight kids of all ages (and parents too!) with the creativity of one fourth-grader’s storytelling.

Find your copy of Tales from the 4th Grade on Amazon for just $14.99 and leave a review!

Interested in becoming a published author? We’ve developed a five-step plan that will guide you through the process. For a limited time, download a free copy of The Self-Publishing Handbook here.

The Sound of a Writer’s Voice by Santiago

November 24, 2020

Santiago’s latest book, The Sound of a Writer’s Voice: Both a Window and a Mirror is available for purchase!

Each piece of writing we consume as readers is, in some form or another, an expression of a writer’s voice, a glimpse into his psyche, mindset, and ideals. Through the lens of his words he grants us permission to view the world briefly through his eyes. 

The pieces contained within these pages are a truer representation of the author than you will find in most books. A compilation of thirty years of work, recorded by hand in a writing journal, Santiago’s reflections are presented here raw and unedited, flowing in an intimate stream of consciousness from his heart to the page.

These entries are a chronological accumulation of mostly independent unities throughout the course of one life—personal observations, insights, commentary, reflections, and brief narratives. They voice our common struggle to find meaning and value in the great mystery that is life and the universe as we exist within it, both of which are full of wonder and violence and beauty on a scale that is hard to fathom.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated by the author to the following charitable organizations: 
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (founded in 1977 by David Sheldrick)
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (initiated as Karisoke in 1969)
Rainforest Trust (officially incorporated on Dec. 8, 1988)

Find your copy of The Sound of a Writer’s Voice by Santiago on Amazon today!

Interested in becoming a published author? We’ve developed a five-step plan that will guide you through the process. For a limited time, download a free copy of The Self-Publishing Handbook here.

Co-Author Spotlight – Dumpster Doll: The Early Years

January 24, 2020

Dumpster Doll: The Early Years is a co-authored memoir by Michelle Mays and Michelle Moone that details the life of Mays, who was born into an abusive family in the Midwest. As Mays and her siblings cling to survival, the balance of family ties is weighed against alcoholism, drug abuse, abandonment, and despair. Hope dawns in the form of foster care, only to be deferred by multiple placements and a system not equipped to support the children it’s meant to protect.

Michelle Mays’ inspiration to write Dumpster Doll: The Early Years originated in high school when her AP Literature teacher, Mr. Seward, told her to stay after class one day and asked if the essay assignment she had turned in was her life’s story. She said yes, and Mr. Steward told her, “You have to write a book and tell your stories. These can help people.”

She heard similar encouragement from Dr. Kline, her college psychology professor. Dr. Kline even offered to help Michelle write her story, and they often met over lunch and dinner to workshop one chapter at a time. During one of the workshop sessions, Dr. Kline brought up the term ‘dumpster doll’ during the chapter “Nelly.”

“I drove home that night and could not get that term out of my head,” Michelle said. “That night forward, ‘Dumpster Doll’ has been the title. My life has been forever molded by wonderful mentors such as [Mr. Seward and Dr. Kline].”

The modern iteration of the book didn’t begin until Michelle Moone went through a difficult layoff. By then, the Michelles were already best friends and would often call each other just to talk.

Michelle Mays was driving back from an upsetting visit with her family, and she decided to call “her bestie” Michelle Moone to lighten the mood. “[Moone] has wonderful advice and is very wise,” said Mays.

During the call, Moone said “you know Michelle since I have known you, I have wanted to write your story. Can I take a stab at it?”

Mays liked the idea and said yes, thinking it was a great way to distract her friend from the recent layoff and an excuse for them to hang out.

“I honestly thought we would have a few girls’ nights and some bottles of wine and [the plan to write the book] would fizzle. But she is such a beautiful writer and made the act of rehashing these horrible facts a lot less painful than I anticipated. I never would have done this by myself. Sometimes we would be so engrossed in a story that it would be 5:30 am before we looked at a clock.”

Mays has always been open about telling small, isolated pieces of her story to help others feel better, but it was difficult for her to tell her full, uncensored experiences.

“It was honestly like letting go of a weight I have been holding for over 40 years. We would sit, and I would reveal one story at a time, and then Moone would type. She would then read what she wrote to me, and I would close my eyes while she was reading. I always said, ‘if I can’t picture it, then it’s not detailed enough.’ We re-wrote so many stories together—over and over—to add more emotion and substance because I wanted the reader to feel like they were there.’”

Moone said that if Mays cried at what was written, then they knew they had gotten it right.

They took several breaks from writing Dumpster Doll, such as when Mays starred in a musical, performed DJ gigs, and went through a death in the family. They kept going though, and largely in part due to both of them working together.

One of the biggest barriers Mays faced when trying to tell her story in the past was the judgment or pity written on other people’s faces.

Michelle Mays

“I hate the pity look. If someone gives me that look, I think to myself, ‘why do you think I need pity? I am stronger than you will ever be able to comprehend.’”

Mays recommends writing your own story with a trusted friend, especially if you’re struggling to get it down on the page.

“I wrote the preface all by myself and dehydrated my body crying so much,” said Mays. “Michelle Moone is my best friend and has a degree in psychology, so I felt comfortable revealing things that I could not admit to anyone else.”

They finalized Dumpster Doll in the cabin where Mays would go as a child with the Lariscys, and she did it with her chosen family, her best friend.

Like Mr. Seward suggested many years ago, Mays wanted Dumpster Doll to be “a story for those who need hope when this world seems like too much to handle.” She hopes anyone who’s gone through similar atrocities finds strength from reading her stories, and she wants them to know that they’re not alone.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Mays wants bullies, parents with addictions, and sexual predators to also read her book. “I hope it heals their hearts and helps them see life in a different light,” she said. “Maybe if people see how bad it can get, they will think twice before making those mistakes at the expense of a child’s innocence.”

The positive feedback the Michelles have received for Dumpster Doll has been amazing, and word of the book has spread at a shocking speed.

“It is everything that I had hoped would happen,” said Mays. “My husband told me I am not allowed to read the reviews in public anymore because I keep crying, and he doesn’t want people to get the impression we are fighting.”

They’ve been contacted by multiple organizations since the book has gone on sale. Mays was in the early stages of creating a foundation to support foster children who age out of the system when a Vice President of a company in Columbus, Ohio approached her and offered to help her start the organization.

This new foundation will provide transitional support to aging foster children, whose numbers can range around 20,000. Many of them become addicted to drugs, homeless, or commit suicide.

“Having been there myself, I can relate [to their] mentality and [overwhelming] lack of self-esteem once the system drops them due to age,” Mays said.

An employee of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) also reached out to them after reading Dumpster Doll, saying how impactful the book was and that they (the CASA member) would take it to their superior to add to the national recommended reading list.

CASA is a giant organization that spans the entire country and helps out foster children, so the Michelles were ecstatic to hear that Dumpster Doll would be nominated for the reading list. Mays exclaimed, “That is exactly what I shared my story for!”

Another piece of exciting news for the Michelles was when Dumpster Doll attracted the attention of the NY Times Bestselling Author, Caroline Leavitt. Leavitt interviewed Jacob Marquez, the creator of a large book club named The Reading Corner, for her blog. When Leavitt asked, “What book is on your radar that people might not know?” Jacob answered Dumpster Doll, and Leavitt included a picture of the book on her site.  

The most recent bit of news came from Mays’ cousin Ben, who does sound and production work for gospel singers and has been nominated fifteen times for a Grammy. Ben offered to produce an audiobook version of Dumpster Doll in his studio with Mays as the narrator. The recording is scheduled to begin in March.

A sequel to Dumpster Doll is in the works, which will focus on the period of Mays’ life when she was aged out of the foster system and faced homelessness. So far, the Michelles have finished half of the second book, but haven’t decided on a title yet.

They hope their story is picked up for a TV series, which would “spread the word faster and farther.”

“I had a recurring dream (like watching a movie) of this part of my life every night until we were finished with my early years,” said Mays. Now the recurring dream is of my teenage years. I’m hoping once I finish the adult years, all the demons will be put to rest.”

Dumpster Doll is a phenomenal story that deserves to be heard and should be shared in order to help others who are going through similar circumstances. We’re proud to publish Dumpster Doll, and don’t be afraid to share your story.


Do you have a story that needs to be heard? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

Chasing the Dream by Norman Walters — Worldwide Release

January 1, 2020

We’re happy to announce that Chasing the Dream: Ten Years in the Upper Amazon by Norman Walters is now available at retailers worldwide.

Grab a copy at a major retailer or request it from your favorite bookstore!

Chasing the Dream is the second installment of Norman’s travels through the Peruvian Upper Amazon. After reaching Iquitos, one of the world’s largest cities not accessible by roads, he traveled 110 miles farther up the Amazon River by boat and into the untamed wilds of the jungle.

These are his experiences during the ten years he spent in the jungle, where a single mistake could be deadly. Norman’s stories reflect the universal experiences of blending cultures, following your dreams, and facing brutal hardships–along with the joy of overcoming them.

Norman Walters is the co-founder of Yacumama Lodge in Iquitos, a city that straddles the fine line between uncontrolled jungle and civilization. He built this eco-tourism lodge for other adventure-seekers like him in the hopes that others can share the experience of living in the jungle.

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review on Goodreads when you’re finished.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

Hadley the Lunar Rover – Worldwide Release

December 20, 2019

Calling all aspiring astronauts: Hadley the Lunar Rover by Demetri Capetanopoulos is now available at retailers worldwide!

Grab a copy at a major retailer or request it from your favorite bookstore!

Hadley the Lunar Rover is a charming picture book that follows Hadley, a NASA moon-buggy left behind when the astronauts returned to Earth. Hadley and the other robots on the moon begin to feel lonely, but Hadley doesn’t lose hope of seeing their human friends once again.

Hadley the Lunar Rover is the perfect book for anyone who loves space and dreams of exploring the cosmos one day.

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review at your favorite retailer.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

 

Dumpster Doll: The Early Years – Worldwide Release

December 19, 2019

We’re pleased to announce that Dumpster Doll: The Early Years by Michelle Mays and Michelle Moone is now available at retailers worldwide.

Find a copy at any major retailer as a paperback, hardback, or e-book, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

Michelle Mays was born into an abusive family in the Midwest. As she and her siblings cling to survival, the balance of family ties is weighed against alcoholism, drug abuse, abandonment, and despair. Hope dawns in the form of foster care, only to be deferred by multiple placements and a system not equipped to support the children it’s meant to protect.

Through powerful vignettes of a life disjointed, Mays’s story is a journey of hope that is echoed in the experiences of thousands of children in the court and foster care systems today.

“Dumpster Doll gives you a chance to open your eyes and glimpse what children in the system go through and how they got there. You may be uncomfortable, and I hope that you are. It is my sincere hope that Dumpster Doll provokes you to do something in your own community to help children.”

            –Crystal Morgan, founder of Fostering Love

Dumpster Doll is brave not because it is unique, but because it unflinchingly shines a light on family turmoil, flaws in judicial systems, and ultimately, the grit and tenacity that thousands of children exhibit each day just to make it through.

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review on Goodreads and your favorite retailer.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

 

The Curious Case of the Mummy’s Mommy – Worldwide Release

December 9, 2019

We’re happy to announce the second installation of Oswald St. Benedict’s A Boy Detective Story series, The Curious Case of the Mummy’s Mommy,  is now available at retailers worldwide.

Grab a copy at a major retailer or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

Oswald’s story continues in The Curious Case of the Mummy’s Mommy as he travels around the globe with his father and solves mysteries alongside his younger sister, LilyBaby. This time, their adventures take them to Egypt where there’s rumored to be a living mummy.

Join Oswald and LilyBaby as they solve a four-thousand-year-old mystery.

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review on Goodreads and your favorite retailer.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts. Submit them here.

 

Sparkle the Runaway Snowflake – Worldwide Release

December 5, 2019

We’re proud to announce Bette Millat’s picture book, Sparkle the Runaway Snowflake, is now available at retailers worldwide.

Grab a copy at a major retailer or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

Little Sparkle is the youngest snowflake in a big family, but her parents are too busy to play with her, and her siblings want to go and hang out with their friends instead.

The North Wind decides to help her by blowing her far across the land so she can find friends to play with, but the North Wind blows her too far from home!

The Great North Star told Little Sparkle to look for her in the sky if Sparkle ever needs help, but Little Sparkle’s home seems so far away…

Sparkle the Runaway Snowflake is a delightful tale about the value of family with captivating illustrations drawn by the author herself.

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review at your favorite retailer.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

Gingerbread Smash – Worldwide Release

November 25, 2019

Happy release day to Vicki Roach! Her newest book, Gingerbread Smash! Two Mischievous Boys Learn the True Meaning of Christmas, is available just in time for the holiday season! This is Vicki’s third published children’s book with Proving Press, and we can’t wait to see her next project.

Find a copy at any major retailer as a paperback, hardback, or e-book, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

Two brothers, tempted by their sweet tooth, wait until their mother goes to bed to eat the gingerbread house she made. After tearing the gingerbread to pieces, they receive a lesson about the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to be forgiven.

Grab your copy of Gingerbread Smash! today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review when you’re finished.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.

Seeking Balance by John McGory – Worldwide Release

November 11, 2019

We’re happy to announce the worldwide release for Seeking Balance: The Ultimate Guide to English-Speaking Excellence for the Shy, Foreign or Frustrated by John McGory.

Grab a copy at a major retailer or request it from your favorite bookstore!

Seeking Balance is the ultimate guide to English-speaking excellence.

Does your spoken English do the job, or does it fail you in key moments? Seeking Balance gives readers an easy-to-use roadmap on how to achieve English-speaking excellence anytime and anywhere in the world.

Two billion people speak English, making it the world’s most popular language. John McGory, the International award-winning teacher, says today’s global spoken-English explosion creates one undeniable fact: “Whether you live in Boston, Beijing, or Brussels, better English creates bigger opportunities in business, education, and life.”

Grab your copy of the book today, and don’t forget to support independent literature by leaving a review on Goodreads and your favorite retailer.


Do you have a book that deserves to be published? We’re always seeking excellent manuscripts.  Learn more here.