Wild Children is here!

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The big day is here! Wild Children, my newest fiction release, is now up and available for purchase in print and on Kindle.

The novel is set in a dystopian world where reproduction is strictly controlled and transgressions punished. Those who are born without a permit grow up on the fringes of society and are cast out into the wild abandoned lands at the age of twelve.

A boy is born despite a law that states he has no right to live. His mother loves him, though he puts her entire family in danger. Circumstances force her to give up her son, but nothing can tear the love out of a mother’s heart.

The book should appear to lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction, pioneer life, and survival in the wild.

Also, my publisher is still looking to give away a few review copies (print+digital in the US, digital only in the rest of the world), so drop me a line through the contact form or in the comments if you are interested.

Dairy goats: breeding, kidding and milking

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Read my latest Mother Earth News post on dairy goats, focusing on breeding, kidding and milking:

“Most dairy goat breeds have a clearly defined breeding season and will go into heat during the fall and early winter, generally from August to December-January. Gestation period lasts around 20 weeks, so kids will be born in late winter and early spring. If you have several goats, you can schedule breeding so that, for example, some of your does are bred in August-September and some in December-January. This way the milk production of your herd will be a lot more consistent and you’ll have milk practically year-round.”

Also, Dana (better known as Mama Zed) made my day with her awesome review of my book, Your Own Hands:

“Your Own Hands – Self-Reliant Projects for Independent Living” would be what I consider to be an absolute fantastic book for new homesteaders. The book covers a wide range of topics rather than written to cover one topic in great depth. These topics include gardening, home building and maintenance and even “artisan crafts” such as soap making!

And now I had better roll up my sleeves and jump right back into the midst of Pesach cleaning. Happy spring, everyone!

Wild Children now available for pre-order!

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I’m very excited to announce that my upcoming novel, Wild Children (to be released under my pen name, Hannah Ross) is now available for pre-order in both print and Kindle formats. Official release date is April 28-th.

It has been quite a journey with this book. I was pregnant with Israel when I first began writing it, and now he’s two years old! I’ve also completed the first rough draft of the sequel and began outlining the third book, so there’s plenty to look forward to.

From the description:

In a post-war world, where reproduction is strictly controlled and transgressions severely punished, they are society’s rejects. Unwanted and unloved, they are raised in an orphanage until age twelve, then taken beyond the Boundary and left to fend for themselves, to survive or perish.

One child was different, though he didn’t know it. He was wanted, he was loved, and he was hidden for three months. But reason prevailed. A third child meant a lifetime of concealment, a lifetime of fear and loneliness, and discovery would mean social and financial ruin for his parents and siblings, so one rainy night, his mother did what she must. As her heart broke, she walked up the path to the orphanage and surrendered him.

Wild Children is a story of abandonment and survival, of hope and determination, and of a love that refused to die.

Payhip Protest Book Sale

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For a reason I cannot quite understand, Amazon has removed genuine, legitimate and helpful customer reviews from one of my books and refused to provide any real explanation to this. I know they are tightening their review policy to prevent paid and fake reviews, but I believe authors like me, who never use any paid promotion whatsoever and cherish every genuine review they get, don’t deserve such injustice.

Given this circumstance, I’d like to encourage anyone who might want to buy my books to do so directly via Payhip (unless, of course, you prefer a paper copy, in which case Amazon remains the only option). I am currently running a 50% discount on all the books in my Payhip store. Coupon code is 6318WQ1TAM and it will be valid until the end of the month.

Thank you, and you are very welcome to share this on your social media and/or blog.

PS: To those who have been asking me about my next planned book, The Basic Guide to Backyard Livestock, it will take quite a bit of time yet, but I’m having a lot of fun working on it.

The things you will never regret

In our previous home, we had a separate room for a home office. Such privacy is very convenient, but it is also the pitfall of the computer junkie (which, I admit, I am). I could tuck children into naps or, at a period of time when I didn’t have any children young enough to need naps, I could let them watch a movie – while I got into the office to check my emails, etc.
The problem is, the “etc” only too easily turns into watching silly YouTube videos, participating in draining online discussions, making frivolous Google searches (“why does the top point of my left ear sometimes itch?”), and keeping up with the social media. The power of the click is just too alluring.
Of course, there are also the good things – reading excellent helpful articles, writing letters to friends, taking care of personal projects, working on my books. However, the good things are even more dangerous, in the way of justifying an extravagant amount of time spent on them. If you watch a video of a cat playing the piano, you’ll feel guilty for wasting your time after five minutes. But knitting how-to videos are okay, right?

Unfortunately, I became feeling entitled to that office time, alone behind closed doors. It was my time; I needed it. So when naps were broken, or squabbles interrupted movie time, I became unreasonably frustrated. I don’t have an exact estimate of how many hours were spent on lawful pursuits, and how many on mindless web browsing, but there is no doubt a large chunk of my time could have been better employed.

In this house, I have one computer in the living room for everybody’s use, faulty internet connection and a little one that really isn’t a very good sleeper. And I’m happier than ever; this change has been the best thing that could have happened to me. It taught me to prioritize; on a good day, I might have half an hour after lunch for answering emails, browsing ads, etc, and if I’m not too tired there’s an hour or two at night when I can write, read, research information or watch a movie in peace and quiet.

The thing is, when I look back on times enjoyably spent with my children – whether reading together, or taking nature walks, doing crafts, playing games, even just watching a movie together – I can’t think of one hour I would rather have spent doing something else. Even if a baby is colicky or teething, it means a night of precious snuggling with someone who needs me, just then, more than anything. I might be very tired, but I have no regrets.

But when I remember my “me” time, my feelings are not so unequivocal. There are many pages I wish unread or unwritten, many videos unwatched, many games unplayed, many conversations unspoken. Not because these things were bad in themselves, but because they took away from the truly important things I should have been doing.

You will probably never regret spending time with your children. The same cannot be said of other things, be it personal projects, volunteering, hobbies or social commitments. I keep that in mind every day, and it makes all the difference.

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Speaking on another matter, I’m very excited to tell that my upcoming novel, Wild Children, is now on Kindle Scout – which is essentially an Amazon-based contest the winners of which get their book signed up and promoted by Amazon. You can read the book description and first chapter and, if you feel it deserves to be supported , nominate it on its Kindle Scout Page.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

I would like to thank the several readers who sent me a link to the book of Dr. Weston Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You can read the book – which I highly recommend – online if you follow the link. This was the first time I heard of Dr. Price’s research, and I must say his findings are striking, not to mention highly convincing. The facts speak for themselves.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Price, he was a researcher in the 1930’s who traveled all over the world and collected data on how the contact with modern civilization and modern food impacted the primitive cultures who were exposed to it for the first time. That unique point of time made the research possible – finding truly primitive communities would be a lot more difficult today.

Dr. Price was a dentist and originally his research focused on the condition of teeth, but it soon becomes very clear that teeth problems are just the tip of the iceberg when we come to deal with trouble brought on by the de-vitalized nutrition of modern age.

Even though Dr. Price’s research was conducted such a long time ago and science has marched a long way since, I believe his findings are still and probably even more relevant today. When I think of why his conclusions weren’t widely publicized and the entire approach to nutrition wasn’t revolutionized, the only reason I can come up with is that it would be so inconvenient to many people. Dr. Price offers no easy solutions, but clearly states that it takes a great strength of character to give up the food that is bad for us.

This strength of character is something that the establishment thinks we lack. They view us as a complacent herd. When I was a student, our professors clearly told us that most people don’t have the willpower to change their lives and improve their health. Therefore, we were to focus on the easy, temporary solutions, not the truly effective ones.

Furthermore, the food industry clearly doesn’t want us to put too much thought into what we eat. It’s far too easy for them to toss a handful of artificial vitamins and minerals into junk food like sugared cereal, and market it as health food. It is especially maddening to think that many of the junkiest foods out there are directed towards children and parents of young children – and many parents don’t hesitate to give their children highly sweetened and processed foods, thinking they are healthy because some synthetic vitamins were thrown in.

Nurturing Hands: The Holistic Health Pocketbook

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I am happy to announce that my natural health book, Nurturing Hands, has been revised, expanded, newly edited, generally revamped and re-released as Nurturing Hands: The Holistic Health Pocketbook. It is now available both in print, in a neat compact pocket size (134 pages, 4.99$) and in a digital version both on Kindle (2.99$) and Payhip (2$). It includes sections on nutrition, natural birth, breastfeeding, and health-promoting kitchen tips.

Working on this book was tremendously satisfying, like weaving together threads that have been loose for a long time. I hope readers find it both educational and enjoyable.

I am offering up to 3 review copies to my blog readers – if you are interested, just drop me a line through the contact form or in the comments.