#BookBirthday “In the Best Interest of the Child” by Felicia Denise

Book Birthday_Best Int

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Best Interest 9

In the Best Interest of the Child is

number 2

years old!

Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes Best Interest 9another faceless, under-served child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.

NOTE: This book is intended for mature readers – 18+.

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What Readers are saying…

“Each page left you wanting to read more to find out what would happen next.” -Kotrish W., Amazon review

“I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction or contemporary fiction.” -Kathy G., Amazon review

“I can’t wait to read the next installment, and I highly recommend this book to everyone.” -A.C.M., Amazon review

Best Int 5 Stars

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EXCERPT

Olivia was far from an innocent.

She’d had her share of relationships… if you wanted to call them that. To her, they’d always been ‘friends with benefits’ situations, purely sexual. Starting out as casual meetings once or twice a week, she’d undoubtedly begin to hear words like ‘exclusive’ and ‘permanent’ creep into after-sex pillow talk, and she knew it was time to move on. Most of the men took it in stride—a couple became angry and accused her of using them. To which she would state the obvious. They had used each other. She had asked nothing more of them. The only exception was Kenny—Kenneth Lane Connors.

Olivia tried to break things off with him after he told her he was tired of meeting in hotels and wanted her to come to his home, but he would not be deterred. Olivia never felt threatened by Kenny, but he came pretty close to crossing the line from persistent suitor to stalker. She’d find him: standing next to her car when she left her office; sitting on the front stoop when she got home at night; standing in her favorite coffee shop, holding a cup of her special dark roast blend. Olivia finally acquiesced, more from the ennui of the situation, and agreed to trial dating.

She didn’t last two weeks.

At the end of their first week as a couple, Kenny surprised Olivia with tickets to sunny Miami, for a getaway weekend. She was genuinely touched, until Kenny mentioned that while they were there, the two of them would stop in and see Vonnetta and Kenneth, Sr.—his parents. Olivia not only flatly refused to even go to Florida she grabbed her bag, told him to never call her again, and stormed out.

While a few times Olivia felt as though she was being watched, she never saw Kenny again. And she was okay with it. There was no remorse, or heartache due to missing him. What she did have was even more resolve to not allow any man get close, her new unspoken rule was no man got more than three dates, period. No exceptions.

And then along comes Bruce Bellamy.

She had seen Bruce a total of three times, and each time, he’d left her speechless, flustered… and smiling.

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Best Interest_Lunch Date

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Book Birthday banner

To celebrate its book birthday, In the Best Interest of the Child is

99¢

on ALL platforms September 30th and October 1st!

Amazonhttp://bit.ly/BestInt

All other retailersbooks2read.com/BestInterest

Add to Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/BestIntGR

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Writer Wednesday | “Family Matters”

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Even though loss shaped Olivia Chandler’s life, she never learned how to deal with it. Thrust into the foster care system as a child, little Livvie Chandler was told to ‘just forget’ and ‘be good.’ And for twenty-eight years, that’s what she did.

In this short snippet, Olivia finds out Willis Benson is terminally ill. The executor of her father’s will has been protector, mentor and surrogate father to the closed-off attorney.

Olivia moved on after her father’s death and her mother was sent away, but this could be the loss that sends her spiraling out of control.

 

via Writer Wednesday | “Family Matters”

“In the Best Interest of the Child” by Felicia Denise

Best Interest cover

In the Best Interest of the Child

by Felicia Denise

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Psychological/Child Abuse/Romance

2.99 at time of posting!

Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, ten-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, under-served child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.

NOTE: This book is intended for 18+ only due to language, sexual activity and scenes of child abuse and near-rape. Those with emotional triggers should reconsider purchasing this book.

REVISED August 2017.

Amazon KU

Grab Book 1 before Book 2 Releases!

Last day to get this one for #FREE through Amazon!


ITBIOTC Front Cover

Book Title: In the Best Interest of the Child
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Psychological
Release Date: September 30, 2016

Amazon US http://bit.ly/BestInt

Amazon UK http://bit.ly/BestIntUK

Amazon CA http://bit.ly/BestIntCA

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/BestIntAU

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Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, underserved child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.



MANY thanks to ALL who have downloaded a copy of In the Best Interest of the Child!

 

Rankings


Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.

Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, in summer 2017.

Links

Author Website – https://feliciadenise.com

Blog (Nesie’s Place) – https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Felicia-Denise/e/B01M03R54B/

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/authorfeliciadenise

Bookbub Author Page – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/felicia-denise

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/FeliciaDenise

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/MsFelicia

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/fle_d/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/fdreevers/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/110467680823101573705

Monthly Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/cklOKL

 

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National Foster Care Day

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I love posting about some of the quirky National Days – from grilled cheese sandwiches to kazoos, they speak to the chaos in my mind. (Don’t overthink that!)

However, today’s national day, as well as the entire month of May, is for a cause I’ve supported since my late teens.

Dedicated to the all the children in the U.S. foster care system, National Foster Care Day on the first Tuesday in May encourages everyone to wear blue and raise their voices to show their support for foster youth everywhere.

I am not a foster child or foster parent, but through classmates, neighbors, church members, and co-workers, I feel as if I’ve always been connected to the system.  I’ve helped celebrate the successes, and attended funerals of those who felt there was no other way out.

Family and friends were not surprised when the foster care system was a focal point in my debut novel, In the Best Interest of the Child. Protagonist Olivia Chandler is a successful child advocate attorney who has a high success rate in winning cases for minor children. Olivia stumbles though when assigned a case by the court which mirrors her own childhood… when she was in foster care. Investigating the case forces Olivia to deal with trauma she’s avoided acknowledging… for almost thirty years.

The book is a work of fiction, but the situations are very real.

On the average, a child is placed into foster care every two minutes in the United States. The poor life choices and bad decisions of adults create dangerous and unhealthy environments children must be removed from. But placing a child into a “safe” foster home doesn’t solve the problem, and could actually create more or compound a child’s traumatic stress which is never adequately addressed.

Whenever legislators seek leaner budgets, services for children are usually first on the chopping block. Cuts are made to foster care on the federal level. When dollars are received by states, cuts are made to fit their budgets…then on to counties and cities… see where this is going?

Foster care children receive minimal health care benefits through Medicaid – a program that comes under fire… and suffers budget cuts regularly. Children with chronic and life-threatening conditions could wait weeks or months for treatment unless advocates intervene. A foster care child in need of psychiatric or even counseling services is put on a waiting list… and forgotten.

We must do better. We must stop allowing children in foster care to be treated like second-class citizens. We must stop blaming children for being in foster care. When Charles Loring Brace founded The Children’s Aid Society in the mid-19th century, he believed that there was a better way to change the futures of the 30,000 children living in the streets and alleys of New York City.

The focus is now nationwide and dealing with nearly half a million children, but the mission is still the same. However, children are not the future, they are the present. What we do for them today impacts their future… and ours.

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*Text bolded for emphasis by blogger.

Kicking off Foster Care Month, National Foster Care Day provides a platform to help repair a system that is plagued with shortages nationwide. Many enter care with little to no belongings and have suffered the effects of abuse, poverty, neglect or even the death of their loved ones. There is a nationwide shortage of foster parents and stipends that don’t cover the essentials of a growing child.

With over 400,000 children in the foster care system at any given time, and a new child placed into care every 2 minutes, the need for support services, essential items and foster parents is high. Foster children have an uphill battle with startling statistics to overcome and need the support of our communities across the country. National Foster Care Day shines a light on these children and points us all in the direction of solutions.

Statistics

  • 250,00 children enter foster care each year
  • Only 50% of youth in foster care graduate high school
  • Foster children suffer PTSD at more than twice the rate of US war veterans
  • 1 in 5 foster children experience homelessness within 1 year of aging out of care
  • At ages 17 & 18, one-third of young women in foster care are pregnant or parenting
  • More than 70% of inmates incarcerated were at one point in the foster care system
  • Stipends don’t cover the essentials of a growing child

How to Help

  • Volunteer to become a Court appointed special advocate (CASA) –  CASAs receive specialized training and represent the best interests of abused and neglected children.
  • Become a Foster Parent – Nationwide, there is a shortage of licensed foster homes.
  • Adopt a Foster Child – In the U.S., more than 100,000 children wait a family to call home.
  • Volunteer through non-profits like Project Blue, Ticket to Dream Foundation and many others that provide mentoring to foster children, require staffing assistance for events and many other opportunities!
  • Share this page – Increasing awareness and interest in the solutions will help foster children heal and grow to their full potential.

HOW TO OBSERVE

On National Foster Care Day, find out more about how you can make a difference by visiting www.tickettodream.org. Show your support for foster youth by wearing blue and post a picture on social media by using #FosterCareBlue.

Data from NationalDayCalendar.com and posted here for sharing purposes only.

“In The Best Interest of the Child” by Felicia Denise #Excerpt9 #DebutNovel #ComingSoon

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We’re just over a week away from PUBLICATION DAY! I’m nervous but excited! This book has been a looonnng time in the making, and as hard as it is to walk away from, I’m about to do just that. Okay, maybe not this very second…but soon!

Enjoy this small glimpse of Olivia Chandler and Bruce Bellamy navigating their way to friendship…and more.

Add In The Best Interest of the Child to your Goodreads TBR!

 

*Unedited and subject to revisions.

Having arrived fifteen minutes early, Olivia took a few minutes to visit the ladies’ room to check her hair and makeup, and wash her hands. She was glad no one else was around because every time she glanced at her reflection in the mirror, she couldn’t stop herself from grinning. “Get a hold of yourself, Olivia Louise! It’s just lunch with a man. You’ve done this more times than you can count.” Exhaling slowly, Olivia hung her head. Yes, lunch with a man who seems to like me. Lunch with a man that I actually like even though I just met him. Olivia groaned and leaned against the sink. She should never have agreed to this. Bruce seemed like a decent man. He didn’t need to be getting involved in the dark pit that was her life. But even if she walked out the restaurant right now, Bruce would not disappear. Courtney and Marissa were his family, and he was very much involved in Rena’s life. The silly grin returned to her face. Honestly, she didn’t want him to disappear. They may never do more than have lunch, but Olivia wanted it badly. She wanted to be normal and have a life without her past hanging over her like the Sword of Damocles. Steadying herself with a couple of deep breaths, Olivia decided to stop hiding in the ladies’ room and talking to herself like a crazy person. She grabbed her handbag and went in search of her lunch date.

Approaching the hostess stand, Olivia gave her Bruce’s name.

“Yes, Ma’am. He’s already here.” Laughing, Olivia shook her head slowly.

“That man. Of course he is.” The hostess smiled but looked confused, not understanding the joke. Olivia waved her hand. “It’s nothing. Lead the way.”

Olivia tried to spot Bruce as they approached the main dining room, but was caught off guard when the young hostess turned right and proceeded down a short hallway. No stranger to the Black Dragon, Olivia knew there were formal banquet rooms in the opposite direction, but she’d never been down this hallway. The hostess stopped in front of a small elevator. “I never realized the restaurant had an elevator. I thought it was a single story building.” Connie nodded.

“You’re right, it is.”

“Then where does this lead? You have a basement?” Covering her mouth to hide her giggles, Connie nodded.

“We do, but trust me, you do not want to go down there. This elevator goes up to the mezzanine.” The elevator doors opened as she finished speaking, and both women stepped inside.

“Well, I didn’t know you had one of those either!”

“Not many people do. The owners don’t advertise it much. It’s usually for special guests or customers who request a more…intimate setting.” Olivia’s eyes quickly widened. Connie gave her a knowing grin.

Intimate setting? She had no more time to process the moment. The doors opened. Connie took a step outside the elevator and motioned to the left.

“Your date is right over there.”

“Date? But this isn’t a da-…” Connie quickly stepped back into the elevator, leaving Olivia with a wink as the doors closed.

“What am I going to do with this man?” Olivia again thought chuckling to herself. She only had to take three steps before she spotted Bruce. Olivia froze as her eyes widened and mouth gaped open.

Rising from the table, Bruce walked towards her. Olivia still had not moved, too shocked at his appearance. Gone were the weather-beaten jeans and worn Henley shirt. The thick heavy work boots? Gone too. The Bruce Bellamy standing before her was elegantly attired in a charcoal grey, two-piece Brooks Brothers suit and grey Sardegna Loafers. And he’d had his hair cut. He leaned in and kissed her cheek.

“Good to see you again, Olivia.” He glanced at his watch. “And right on time. Why am I not surprised?” Olivia still stared at him, wide-eyed. Bruce frowned. “Olivia? Is something wrong?” Taking a deep breath, she finally found her voice.

“Who are you? And what’s all”, she motioned up and down his body, “…this?” His big boyish grin returned as he took her hand and led her to their table.

“I’m a successful businessman having lunch with a gorgeous, successful attorney in one of the city’s finer restaurants. I couldn’t very well show up in jeans and boots, could I?”

“Well, no…but-“

“And besides, I had to show you I could dress myself and behave appropriately in public.” Olivia threw her hands up, laughing.

“There you are, Bruce! How nice to see you again!” Filling their wine glasses, Bruce stopped mid-pour to keep from spilling it the laughter hit him so hard. Laughing along with him, Olivia visibly relaxed and placed her hand on his arm.
“And just so we’re clear, Mr. Bellamy, I like you in jeans and work boots too.” The smile he gave Olivia nearly took her breath away. Suddenly self-conscious, Olivia placed her hands in her lap. Bruce didn’t miss the gesture, but continued pouring the wine while changing the subject.

“Would you like to look at the menu, or do you already know what you want?

“No menu needed! I definitely know what I’m having!” He chuckled as he handed her a glass of wine, then signaled for the waiter.

“I had a feeling.” Olivia smirked.

“Think you have me figured out already, Bellamy?”

“Not even close, beautiful one. But I do look forward to the adventure.” She grinned at the compliment and the comment.

“Oooo! I’m an adventure!” Bruce couldn’t help but stare at her face. The way her eyes sparkled, the genuineness of her smile. She was the same woman he met in his cousin’s driveway, but there was no sign of the sadness he saw in her eyes that day. Bruce had long ago made peace with his own issues of abandonment, but Olivia was the first woman to actually make him want to risk his heart again. Bruce was getting lost in Olivia Chandler, and he had no problem with that.

*********

Get ready to 1-click on September 17th!!