This Incredible Wooden Book Is a Series of Puzzles That Have to Be Solved to Continue Reading — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Originally posted on ALK3R: Merging two of the ultimate pastimes books and puzzles the Codex Silenda has to be physically solved in order to read it. And no, these aren’t simple word games and math problems, but rather deviously complicated mechanical puzzles crafted from laser-cut wood that are embedded within each part of this…

via This Incredible Wooden Book Is a Series of Puzzles That Have to Be Solved to Continue Reading — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Brave Women

After thousands of years and all the progress of the world, women are still the most discriminated group. This sadness my heart, because most of the bravest people I know are women, and much of their bravery goes unseen. brave-choices-make-brave-women-670-640x640

Photo by:

In current events, this past week, I watched the twitter feeds about a woman asking not to work with a man who allegedly raped her. (see #FreeKesha) A judge ruled she must continue to work with this man.
This is a fresh example of discrimination of our world and the bravery of women. I don’t doubt there will be women who see this happening to Kesha and lose hope, regarding their own situations.
How do we change a world that abuses women, kills them, pays them less because of their sex, judges their work quality of work base solely on their sex, calls them name because of their physical appearance, are sold as slaves, are cat called because they are a women, are idolized for their physical bodies and disrespected at the same time, and so much more.

Why is the world still like this when it should have changed by now?
Maybe it’s because women have more power than they realize, but women are part of the problem because they’ve let all the horrors committed against us convince us we don’t have any value or we are worthless. Thus many women feel they have no power. A lie that comes in so many forms, taking roots in the heart of many women as children or young adults.
For myself, I was abused as a kid and I believed I was broken because of it. It took years for me to over come that lie. What happened to me shouldn’t happen to any child, but sadly there are over six million reports of child abuses a year. I myself can think of four people I know personally who were abused as children and it was never reported. No wonder we live in a broken world.

Step 1: Convince a girl she’s worthless (any lie will do)
Step 2: She believes she’s powerless
Step 3: She lives her life as a wounded woman never to fulfill her true potential
Step 4: Repeat
Somewhere between Step 2 and Step 3 is where women usually have numerous choices to cast away that lie and believe the truth.


Photo by Inspiringhearts 365

My favorite line in the film LABYRINTH is at the end when SARAH shouts to the GOBBLIN KING the truth.


Yet so many women are living their lives giving things power over them like comparing themselves to other or chase the next beauty treatment, or you name it. It’s time to set yourself free.

In my novel, THE LAST ORDER, the main character LANA CREW carries a sword, but that’s not what makes her brave. Her bravery comes from rising up against the injustice in her world and fighting for the people who can’t fight for themselves. She’s certainly a brave fictional personality.
Another brave fictional character that comes to mind is ANNA from FROZEN. Anna doesn’t carry a literal sword, but she has her own weapon, love for her sister ELSA.frozen-princess-anna-saving-queen-elsa-main.gif
Fictional characters are great because many of us can identify with them, and watch them overcome their world and win their battles, but even better are real brave women.
The first ones that come to mind are Mother Teresa, Margret Thatcher, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. These are just a few.



Then all these unknown women come to mind. The bravery of a mother who cares for her handicap child into their adulthood, sacrificing her personal needs for theirs. The abused woman that leaves the abuser to start a new life. The slave who escapes, risking their very life for freedom. The mother who decides to balance a career and her family despite judgments of those around her. The mother who doesn’t choose a career. Countless women who’ve share their stories of overcoming abuse. It’s not what you do it’s the bravery that it takes to overcome and sometimes the smallest choice takes the most bravery.

By no means does this blog even really start to address what is happening with women, but I hope it’s a start to a bigger conversation. Women need to join together. One of our worst problems is division.

Now, it’s time to start being brave! Here’s the challenge. I like you to tell the world about the brave women in your life. It can be a fictional person or a real person. They can be anonymous or well know. There are no rules. If you believe that they are brave shout it to the world.

Use #realbravewomen or #fictionalbravewomen


Where Gatekeepers can begin…

A while back, I wrote a blog called Be the Gatekeepers. This time I wanted to share where gatekeepers (readers) can start looking of indie books or self published books among the masses.

It’s overwhelming, all the authors out their with talent and the skills to create books that are up to par with traditionally published novels. Teams of creative minds working together to help each other. If you think I’m wrong, you haven’t even looked or tried to search. You’ve just developed a biased idea and should read the previous blog I wrote Be the Gatekeepers.

Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of sub par books, but those are easy to spot.

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A funny meme, but sadly people do this. People, not authors who have invested in their work. These books are easy to weed out. Still not convinced. Here are a few tips.

  1. Covers are usually amateur with a few exceptions.
    1. This tumbler site gives a few nice examples or not so nice. *winks*
  2. Proofreading or editing is non-existent
    1. If a person didn’t invest in their cover they most likely didn’t invest in their copy.
  3.  They didn’t have a book tour or reviews by bloggers during their book launch. Again lack of this is a red flag that someone hasn’t invested in their work or isn’t taking their career seriously. Although don’t judge just one this. Look from some type of advertising even small stuff.

It’s not indie authors that cause the problems. It’s when people publish work without investing in themselves. So if the book doesn’t look like it’s been invested in, skip it and keep searching for one that does.

Now for the fun part. Where can you find indie books that have been invested in? An indie book that could possibly sit right beside your favorite book in the book store if said book were discovered. A book you’ve never heard of, but you would love. A book that makes you feel and takes you on a ride. One you’re so happy you searched a bit to find it a gem just for you.

How to find indie books that could become your new favorite novel!

  1. Twitter: Indie authors used twitter and they engage with their readers. Their books haven’t been discovered by the masses so you can talk to your favorite author pretty easy. They have more time to engage with their fans.
    1. Tips for finding indie books on twitter that will make you realize there are more books in this world waiting to be found than you ever dreamed.
      1. hashtags
        1. #indiebooksbeseen – Search the hashtag and follow the movement. These authors have joined together to help each other. They’ve all invested in their work. you’re going to have to do some digging because the group covers all genres. Try #ya or #na or #horror or whatever you like to weed out stories you many not read.
        2. #bookboost – Retweets indie authors and remember anyone can use it so you may have to weed out authors who haven’t invested in their work.
        3. #indiepub is another one. If you search #indie and #books you will find lots of accounts supporting indie authors. This maybe harder because you could have to weed through too many books. Try to add tags in the genre you want.
        4. #amwriting – Lots of published authors use this hashtag to talk about books they are working on.
  2. 2. Booklife 
    1. Book life is a division of Publishers Weekly. Many indie authors have paid to be part of this program and even featured in publisher’s weekly and at book fairs. The sad part is it’s still hard for them to get noticed or picked up.
    2. You can find THE LAST ORDER on Booklife.
  3. Vetted Book Reviews
    1. Are the reviews good or bad? It doesn’t matter, for the most part. I’ve read books I loved that people hated. But, I guess if it has all bad reviews that would be a red flag. Not even best-selling authors escape bad reviews or trolls. Just watch for red flags and read a sample. Most books have at least a chapter up for free or for preview.
    2. Check out the book and see how new is it and go from there by reviews. Reviews are very hard to get. If I had reviews from 10 percent of people who’ve bought a copy of THE LAST ORDER I would be well over my review goals for the first year. Few review doesn’t always mean bad. Indie books struggle to be seen and getting reviews is part of the struggle.
    3. Goodreads is also a good place to see reviews or ratings. You can also search for indie titles within list. Click here for an example
  4. Book Bloggers or Blog Tours
    1. Some Bloggers are seeking out indie books to help you the reader find more books that you will love. Check this blogger.
  5. YA Author Rendezvous-A great place for Young Adult reads. This group has joined together to invest in their own work and each others.

This should get you started, but before I go I want to leave you with some of my favorite indie reads or missed gems this past year and TBR reads I haven’t gotten to.


Check out more about his Industry Darling. This one has flown under the radar and it seems people ether love it or hate it. It’s worth the wild ride. It’s an entreating emotional read.





Not exactly an indie book, but smaller presses can be considered indie. I would have to say Hemlock Veils hasn’t gotten the recognition it desires. Check out this romantic novel and decide for your self.




These are the Moments is on my TBR list. Add it to yours.





Honestly, I planned on listing many more books, but it takes me longer than most to do a blog post because of my dyslexia. Follow me on twitter and feel free to ask for recommendations by tweeting. That would be another great why to find more books that may become your next favorite.



2016 The Year of Open Doors

Doors open and close. Sometimes we open and close them and sometimes others do the opening and closing.


Where are you at the beginning of this new year? Are you waiting on a door to open? Are you standing at a door unsure of what do to do? Or have too many doors been slammed in your face and you’ve been questioning if a door will ever open?

If you feel all the doors around you have been slammed in your face remember…


There are doors of wisdom all around you. Places to learn more about your craft. People willing to mentor, and encourage you. Many creative people give up too easily. Don’t be one of them.

It’s 2016 a Year of Open Doors, if you want them.

You must keep moving forward…


Not all doors are helpful. Many forget this important key. Before opening new doors, close doors that are slowing you down you.


Keep fighting for what you love. Don’t let you passion or joy be stolen because others haven’t taken notice yet.

Your efforts will not go unseen. The creative minds that preserver leave marks in this world. Show your best self to the world. There are people on the other side of doors, looking to vet you. They want to let you though.

This year open your own doors and people will notice.

What door are you opening today?

What door are you closing?



The Last Order Kindle Countdown Deal


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So, you’ve been putting off snatching up THE LAST ORDER, don’t wait any longer now’s your chance to get it for your Kindle reader or Kindle phone app for 99 cents. Special price ends on April 22nd, 2015! Sales starts at 11 AM EST

24 reviews on amazon with a 4.6 star average




Here’s the latest review!  See more on Amazon
on April 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Last Order is a medieval story which stars Lana Crewe, a young woman who sets upon a mission to unite her order and restore the queen to the throne. The story features a group of brave women and follows them on their mission as they seek to unite their kingdom and overthrow an evil lord. Along the way Lana must solve a puzzle left behind by her father to discover the identity of the true queen.There are some nice plot twists as well good character interaction. I would recommend this book for all levels of YA readers as well as adults. I gave it 5 stars and I’m sure you will too.



Trying new things: Book Marketing?


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I’ve spent way more time than I should searching out ways to market The Last Order.

Today a found a site called Bublish. Turns out you can make cool bubbles about your book. You pick an excerpt and add some insight and they make a cool page an link for you to share.  You can test drive the site for 30 days for free. No giving them any money or credit card information. I figured it was worth a try.

Here is my first bubble check it out and let me know what you think. Follow me on Bublish. Let’s see what I can come up with this month.

If you want to give Bublish a try click here.

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Win a signed copy of The Last Order!


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There are 5 signed copies of THE LAST ORDER up for grabs. The contest ends this Sunday March 22nd which happens to be my birthday.

Just click the link to enter: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

THE LAST ORDER – A Medieval Tale of Hope and Mystery for Teens


Angela Caldwell’s debut novel, THE LAST ORDER, is an action-packed story with a passionate, strong female lead.

In THE LAST ORDER, fiercely driven seventeen-year-old Lana Crewe forms a secret order of women knights to fulfill her father’s final request: find the queen who was thought to be dead and return her to the throne.

Lana is living in a village ruled by fear. With their king and queen both thought to be dead, strife and division have taken hold amongst the people. In a ruthless attack by an Order called Talons, Lana’s father is fatally stabbed. But before he dies, he tells Lana that the queen still lives and imparts a directive to save the statue of Saint Peter. Now it is up to Lana to unravel the mystery of Saint Peter and bring an end to all of the war by finding the queen.

Action-packed and enthralling, THE LAST ORDER takes upper teenage angst and turns it on its head.

“The story lives up to its thrilling premise.”  

Reader’s Favorite, 5 star review

Available now at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and other fine book stores.




Ten Favorite Screen Characters


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Many thanks to Chess Desalls for tagging me in this super fun and quick blog hop. Now I must name my ten most favorite characters from movies or TV, then tag a few authors to do the same. Warning. I don’t do favorites. I love them all. I will list the first 10 characters that come to mind.

Dr who- All the doctors…The post is over now right?

Pysch – Sean

Sarah, The Labyrinth


Katniss, The Hunger Games

Sherlock Holmes- BBC

Sherlock Holmes-Films

Jack Sparrow- Pirates of the Caribbean


Elizabeth- Pride and Prejudice

Queen Mary- Reign

Scooby Doo…LMBO

Tag, you’re it! (There’s no obligation to post, but I’m sure we’d all love to hear about your top ten.)

I didn’t tag anyone, but If you’re reading this and you want to do a post let me know. I will list the first 10 bloggers who respond and link there post here.

Top 5 surprising things I learned my first month as an indie author!


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An author friend mentioned that last week’s Top Ten List was a bit depressing, I think it was the gif of Dr. Who in the rain, so for all of you who wanted a more cheery list this post is for you.

5) Bloggers are awesome! Most book bloggers are approachable and they are looking for more books. I recommend checking out what a blogger likes to see if your book is a fit before contacting them. They just might be willing to read and review your book.

4) People will stalk you in a good way. They want to find out about you as an author and person. What’s your favorite film…

3) Local bookstores and business are willing to work with local authors if they have done their part. The Last Order is currently in 2 local area stores with more in the works. Finding my book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble last night was exciting.

2) Audiobooks! The Last Order should be available as an audiobook by the end of May. As a dyslexic author it is super exciting for me to be able to expand my audience in this way.

1) The number one surprising thing is… I still don’t have a maid or a cook. Author moms totally get this. ROTFL



The Top Ten Things I learned my first month as an indie author


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  1. The pre-orders option is great, but Amazon counts the sale right then in their rankings and not the day of the release. This is a bummer. My pre-order sales showing all on the same day would have boosted my book higher on their best sellers lists.

  1. People don’t write reviews. If every person who pre-ordered only reviewed The Last Order I would be well over my first month’s goal of twenty reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. So if you haven’t left a review. Please leave a brief sentence or two.



  1. Blog tours don’t sell books. Blog tours get your name out and help with exposure, but don’t expect to sell many books if any from a blog tour.

  1. Social Media is exhausting. Keeping up with groups I’m in, chatting with others, keeping people informed about The Last Order, retweeting others *passes out* Even I can’t be this energetic all the time.

  1. Don’t just sell e-books. To make your money back so you can publish more books you need to order paperback copies and sell them. Start with family and friends then move to other venues. (blog post coming soon)


  1. I still don’t know what works for marketing. I’m trying out a press release this week. I’m a little late, but I will tell you how it goes. A press release is one of many ways I am still attempting to get the word out about The Last Order.


  1. Giveaways don’t sell books. I still loved making the bracelets and bracers and I plan on doing more contests for fun and exposure.
Handcrafted Leather Bracers

Handcrafted Leather Bracers

  1. Pirates are real. Yesterday, The Last Order was discovered by a friend on a website for free. After talking to a few other authors it saddened my heart to learn these sites were so numerous is was daunting to some.

  1. It takes more than one month for people to even know you have a book out. Yesterday a follower asked me if I wrote books.

  1. Family and Friends will always be there. Books and other projects will come and go, but supportive family and friends are priceless.



So, if you like medieval things, female knights, fast-passed reads or know someone who does check out The Last Order!