Empty Arms: For the Seemingly Barren Woman

Months ago, the dynamic and resourceful “Ezzy” – Esbeth Callendar-Braithwaite reached out to me saying, “I will like to self-publish my book, how do i go about doing it?”

Her book Empty Arms: for the Seemingly Barren Woman, a real life account of the life -straddling thought process of a Caribbean woman and her husband who wished to adopt a baby and comes away with seemingly ’empty arms’ was a bold topic. After reading the book i realized that this request wasn’t just about publishing, Ezzy opened her soul as she wrote, which in no doubt helped her to heal, and now she wanted other women to know that they were not alone.

This book of faith, this labour of love, whatever you called it, was more than just words.

Self publishing is a complicated, crazy yet fulfilling road so i outlined everything and still she wasn’t deterred, so i jumped in. If she wanted to do it, then it would get done.

Initially, i worked on formatting and cover design, Esbeth already had a pretty good idea of what she wanted, from the type of image on the cover down to the fonts and colors so it was really about just listening to her vision and delivering it. By the end of the following month she had artwork in hand. It took a few more months for her to get everything lined up and soon enough she was emailing me asking me to send artwork to printers.

The book is already on kindle and is now part of Caribbean Book’s catalog – Check it out!Empty Arms

I congratulate Ezzy for her dedication, and look forward to seeing the book in print very soon.

Marsha

“I will decide, who i will become.”

www.caribbeanbooks.org and www.marshagomes.com

 

 

 

 

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Jordan (Fire On Montserrat series)

I recently completed a foreword for Jordan, the second book in the exciting Fire On Montserrat series. You can find the book here http://www.caribbeanbooks.org/books/jordan/

Jordan

Foreword:

“Books that tell Caribbean stories, are important because we see ourselves, our surroundings and our culture forever in print. As the Founder of Caribbean Books Foundation it is my honor to support authors like Catherine Dorsette as she carries that cultural flag in print and film.

In Fire on Montserrat the author weaved a story of young lovers, Kayla and Derek torn apart by a horrible natural disaster, and the unknowing loss of the family they were meant to start. Years later they meet again but their love is still strong which helps them to rekindle the fire quickly. This story was laid against the beauty of the island and delicious food but does not come with its own challenges as Kayla faces a jealously that nearly takes her life and Derek has to change his priorities and attitude not to lose the woman he loves, just when they have found out about their long lost son Jordan.

This new release focuses on Jordan and his true journey to manhood as Kayla and Derek’s saga continues. It is complicated, frustrating and trying at times as Jordan tries to reconcile his present reality of having a strong willed adopted mother and his past, where his biological parents want to be a part of his life.

Jordan’s biggest obstacle is the fact that his adopted mother is a loose canon and the ‘arch nemesis’ of his birth mother. Yes, ‘arch nemesis!’ Velda is a villain of villains who plots and destroys yet expects forgiveness and loyalty compulsively. Velda will test your sanity as you wonder how she survives with all the lies. You’ll be flabbergasted, and annoyed and wish for her demise but she is playing by different rules, with new characters who become allies in her madness.

You’ll feel excited, sad and afraid with Jordan as he has a hard choice to make but I believe that he will find his way before it is too late, as love enters his life just in time in the form of sweet Dr. Cass. I am sure this renewed sense of purpose and confidence will lead Jordan to find peace and success.

I look forward to the continuation of Kayla and Derek’s love story, Jordan’s journey to peace, and may I say the end of Velda’s reign (yes I do hope for this), in the grand finale of this trilogy.

I thank Catherine Dorsette for her courage to undertake such a great work in both print and film. She is indeed an ambassador for Montserrat and her dedication should be rewarded with your support. It is not easy to publish and pursue your craft but it is a much needed work, as the Caribbean becomes self aware and proud of what it is and what it has to offer.

I welcome you to read the series and follow the author for all updates.”

 

 

Home Home (A book review)

My first thought after reading this book is that nothing is better than a cute boy, the cutest boy you ever saw to produce serotonin to combat depression. It’s so simple it should be patented.

Home Home is a quick read, that addresses so many important issues. The most important is that it brings depression to the fore through the eyes of a teenager. It’s a glimpse into a world most of us do not know about and the sensory descriptions are excellent.

This book was equally wonderful and frustrating for me to read at times.

The book looks at homosexuality through the foreign lesbian aunt who is in a permanent relationship and takes on the care of her niece. It looks at migration as the book is set in Canada, Trinidad is portrayed as a backyard minded small island as opposed to the first country beliefs of Canada, for which I cringed, but I had to remind myself that it was from a bias teenage perspective. The book looks at parenting, bad parenting from a mother who never understands, but who understands enough to give up her role in difficult times despite her prejudices. I felt sad for the mother and daughter who were destined to never reconnect. The only two people in the book whom parenting seemed to come naturally to, are the ones who had no children. I read almost in horror the onset of a relationship for a boy whose mother has already influenced his dating preferences. The book takes a look at what depression does to families, friendships and relationship and it’s a vicious cycle.

Our protagonist lives in a reality one day at a time, that’s either too blissful or too sad. The chaos of the book poignantly depicts the affect of depression on a mind and lends itself to be placed among the few meaningful books on the subject matter.

Home Home

I received this book through Caribbean Books Foundation R2R initiative.

2017 Finalist Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature
When a depressed Trinidadian Teenager gets sent to Canada, she is helped to recover by her lesbian aunt, a gorgeous looking boy, and her best friend back home. Home, Home brilliantly describes the pain of mental illness and how loving families can come in unexpected shapes and sizes.
Publisher: Papillote Press

Do you have a great novel, creative non-fiction, or graphic novel for youth ages 12 to 18?

The CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature 2019 submissions is now open.

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is now accepting submissions for consideration to the 2019 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. You can be the next winner.

 

Duck in the Red Boots an Aunty Marsha Book

Unlike other little ducklings, Duck is quite particular about staying clean. His determination to do just that lands him in quite a pickle every day nevertheless he stands firm for what he believes. This story is a cute reminder that children are people too. They have their own character which when nurtured produces confidence.

www.marshagomes.com

Duck did not like getting his feet dirty at all, at all, at all.

He loved to swim with the other ducklings, but he did not like walking out of the water through the mud. Duck loved flying high in the sky above the trees, but he did not like landing on the dirty ground.

Somehow no matter how hard Duck tried, his feet got dirty every day.One day Duck noticed his feet never touched the ground once he was swimming. So he decided to swim all day long and never come out. Duck swam and swam and swam. He swam up and down the pond. He did the backstroke. He paddled, and he splashed his friends with his wings. The other ducklings rested but not Duck.

I am not going to get my feet dirty today! he quacked

Duck 1The hours passed. One by one the other duckling went home until Duck was all alone in the pond. The water got colder and colder and colder. Duck felt wet and tired. His bill shivered. The feathers stood on his head stood up. As the sky grew dark, he felt lonely and afraid.

“I better fly home,” Duck encouraged himself. “Mom and Dad will be worried about me.”

But his wings were too wet and too cold to fly. Finally, Duck gave in. He took a deep breath and marched right out of the pond, through the icky sticky mud. Squish, Squish, Squish, Slop, Slop, Slop. The mud stuck to his feet. It tingled all over his webbed-toes. Slop, Squish, Slop, Squish, Squoosh, Slop, Squoosh, Slop, Squoosh, Squoosh!

Duck mumbled and grumbled all the way home where his mother gave him a warm bath, and his father made his favorite water grass tea.

The next day, Duck decided he would fly with his friends instead. As Duck flew, he noticed his feet did not get dirty while he was up in the sky.

So guess what? Duck decided to fly and fly and fly and never come down. He flew up and down. He flew high and low. He flew in circles and turned somersaults too. Swoosh, Swoosh, Swoosh! Duck’s wings felt so light in the air. The other ducklings stopped for a rest, but not Duck. He did not want to land on the dirty ground. So he flew, and he flew, and he flew. Duck’s wings got very, very, very tired. They moved more and more slowly, but Duck kept on flying. Then something happened! Duck dropped right out of the sky!

SPLAT!

Into icky, sticky, gooey, wooey mud! Duck got up slowly. His feet were very muddy. His wings were very muddy. His head was very muddy. Duck’s whole body was very, very, very muddy!

Duck was horrified. Once gain Duck mumbled and grumbled all the way home. Duck’s father scrubbed his feathers clean and his mother made his favorite water grass tea. Duck went to his room and vowed to never go outside again.

Day by day Duck’s friends tried to get him to play outside since no one wanted to stay indoors all day when outside was nice and sunny. So Duck was left to play all alone. Soon it was Duck’s birthday. His parents invited all his friends for a party in their backyard. They hoped Duck would go out and play.

On the morning of Duck’s birthday, it rained and rained and rained. Duck looked through his bedroom window sadly. It was so muddy outside. Duck’s birthday party was ruined so he went back to bed.

Later Duck’s grandparents arrived with a special gift.

“Little Duck, why are you still in bed?” grandma quacked as she sat to comfort him.

“Why so sad on your birthday?” quacked grandpa.

Duck 2

Duck just moaned and rolled over in his bed.

“Maybe opening a present will make you feel better,” grandpa suggested. Grandpa pulled a giant yellow box from behind his back and handed it to Duck.

Duck loved presents. He could not resist opening it. Guess what it was? The most beautiful pair of red boots ever!

Duck put them on and ran outside.

Duck flew and he landed. Plop! No more dusty feet. Duck went swimming and his new boots went too. Glop, Glop, Glop, Squish, Squeak, Squirk! The boots sang as he ran out of the water. No more muddy feet! No more icky toes!

“Wow, now you look like the happiest Duck in the world!” called grandpa.

Later that day when everyone came to the party, Duck marched up and down in his new red boots. He was very happy. From that day on, Duck was known as the Duck in the Red Boots.

Duck 3

Caribbean Books

CBF.33072When I was a little girl I read about far away princess and Christmas in snow. I read about riding horses to school and picking blue berries in the wood. In my books children sang pleasant little rhymes about edelweiss and wore boots made of fur.

I often longed to read about bathing in the rain; about being afraid of the tied up crabs on market day or even feeding your goats before school. The immense and spectacular joy of the mango season is something every child should know about and I was sure Caribbean beaches were just as magical as snow.

My name is Marsha Gomes-Mckie and I am an author and the founder of Caribbean Books Foundation, an online platform that connects the Caribbean and it’s Diaspora through literature. Over the last two years I’ve built a catalog of Caribbean books both traditionally published and self published in all genres. During this time I have been pleasantly surprised to find out that these amazing books do exist.

These books are in souvenir shops, they are in craft fairs, and they are in community book shops.  Hard working authors aren’t waiting to be found anymore they have been taking their books to the community. The problem is they don’t have the distribution power to reach you and me, the way the American and English titles do.

Caribbean Books Foundation will like to change that. I will like to work with Caribbean publishers and authors to distribute fiction titles easily throughout the Caribbean by launching a Caribbean Book Club. This Book Club will distribute a wide range of titles to schools, bookstores and libraries: our own distribution by us for us.

Keep following us on Facebook at Caribbean Books Foundation for updates and our soon to be launched Newsletter on our website www.caribbeanbooks.org.

Feel free to reach out to support our efforts.

Facebook 

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Marsha Mckie – mgomesmckie@gmail.com

Out of Mind

Today, like many times before i was asked a question. What do you think about a certain person? Instead of not commenting or commenting i simply replied, i don’t think about that person. 

Simple, truthful yet powerful to me.

I am not sure what the other person got out of it but i felt liberated and satisfied that in that moment i calmly put a person that i may have grumbled about in the past where they belonged – out of mind. 

So many bad situations are fueled in life by us thinking about it too much. So today, I ask you to take the time to clear your mind and give things that love you a priority.

Things like writing!

Have you written lately? Let’s build that muscle in 2018. 

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Book Review: The Protectors’ Pledge: Secrets of Oscuros

Another great review.

The Protectors’ Pledge: Secrets of Oscuros by Danielle Y.C. McClean is the 2016 third place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

JV is an adventurous eleven-year-old boy on vacation from school. He lives with his grandmother who is the quintessential Caribbean granny; she loves to feed everyone who comes to her house. She is also the ‘medicine woman’ in their village.

JV has plans of exploring the forest for the vacation, he is very excited, but his grandmother and other villagers discourage him from doing so because of their suspicions and beliefs that the forest is the home of mythical/folklore creatures.

JV defies his grandmother and goes further into the forest that she has instructed him to. On his first visit, he goes with two friends, but they leave separately, and JV sees a strange woman in a river that makes him curious about who or what she was. He suspects that…

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Book Review: Girlcott by Florenz Webbe Maxwell

#CaribbeanBookReview #BurtAward

Girlcott by Florenz Webbe Maxwell is the 2016 second place winner of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

Fifteen year old Desma could not be more excited about her upcoming sweet sixteen birthday plans. She has also recently won a very prestigious scholarship that would give her the opportunity to become an Actuary.  Everyone is happy for her and her life is seemingly perfect until a boycott threatens to disrupt, even cancel her birthday lime at the local cinema.

A group named the Progressive Group has initiated opposition to segregation in Bermuda. At first, Desma is very annoyed at the disruption until several unsavoury incidents happen to her and her family. She changes her view and decides to do something about it.

This is another deserving book from the Burt Awards. This book can be of interest to children in primary and secondary schools. It shows the growth in Desma’s mindset when she…

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WIN a free membership: SCBWI Caribbean South

The Caribbean South chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is giving away two free annual memberships.

All you have to do is submit an unpublished children’s manuscript from any of the islands listed below that speaks about your island’s folklore or draw your very own ‘Tanti Merle’ from Paul Keens Douglas “Tanti at the Oval.”

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is a professional information and networking society of over 19,000 authors, agents, editors and illustrators world wide. Based in Los Angeles, the SCBWI is the largest of its kind and has chapters in 200 regions. Our membership package is an invaluable tool for aspiring and professional writers and artists. It includes indispensable ‘how to’ articles and a directory of publishers in the field. One of the best things about SCBWI membership is the networking opportunity it presents to gain fruitful contacts the world over.

The Caribbean South chapter was launched in Trinidad in September 2005 and serves the following islands Anguilla, Saint Maarten, St Barbs, Saba, Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Tortuga and Trinidad and Tobago (and everything in-between)

The competition is open to non-members and members alike, and all work submitted remain the property of the author or illustrator.

The deadline to submit is November 1, 2017. 

SCBWI-2017-Competition

For further information and membership details visit http://www.scbwi.org.

 

Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Regional Advisor , Caribbean South

info@marshagomes.com

 

Book of the Day resumes in 2017

book-of-the-day

Caribbean Books Foundation’s Book of the Day promotional book feature resumes in 2017. It will run from the 1st January to 30 November 2017. 

Books from the online catalog are chosen randomly and by genre to fill this feature and are usually set a month in advance.

Authors who join the online catalog at http://www.caribbeanbooks.org are also welcomed to request a date to be featured if the date correspondence with a book launch or book giveaway.

Caribbean Books Foundation is an international platform that connects the Caribbean Community and its Diaspora through its literature.