I have learned I am most effective as an advocate - for children, for animals, for the underdog.
Each of the books, it turns out, focuses on one social issue that I am passionate about.
This was not intentional, but after I recognized it after the first three books (two of those are still in production), I began to focus on pointing out some things that I see as, shall we say, problematic.
If these stories help others to take action on the issues brought up in the stories, I will consider my work successful, no matter how many books sell.
Stitches (Jen Conrad)
Jen deals with widowhood, financial dependence, societal pressures, and domestic violence. If any readers can identify with her life and her problems, I recommend a visit to any hospice organization - they are angels and have many resources to help navigate the roads of grief and forming a new life after loss. Anyone who has lost a loved one can rely on the angels at any hospice to help navigate the sensitive and emotional journey of death and dying.
Pages (Jade Robinson)
Jade deals with self-identity. She literally has to recreate her authentic self after a bumpy adolescence. She was put into the foster system at a young age and never even knew her birth name. Jade is caught up in the legal system (well, she's trying to avoid it, actually) and needs to reconcile her past life with her new, current one while avoiding the law. She did what she had to do to survive. Now she ponders old age and the challenges her mentors face. This came about naturally as I am dealing with patient advocacy issues for our seniors.
Canvas (Renee Murphy)
Renee's story centers on the foster system. After her stint as mayor of San Diego, she is persuaded to take in a foster child, an angry fifteen-year-old male, and is forced to fight against a court system that gives more rights to the biological parents (who abused him in the first place) than the children.
Voices for Children is an incredible organization I am proud to be affiliated with. I am a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for the children in the system. I am assigned a child (or siblings) and work within the court system to ensure everything is done for these kids in their best interest. The system is not perfect, but an organization like this one goes a long way to help getting these kids what they need.
(Books four, five, and six are still in the developmental stage. Keep checking back for updates!)