New Book Trailer for “The Release – Escape From Torment”

I’m playing around with some video editing software. Put together this trailer for my latest book “The Release – Escape From Torment”.

“The Release – Escape From Torment” tells the story of a young woman under a generational curse. Women in her family have been severely abused for as long as anyone can remember. Now a Chicago gang wants her silenced. Can she escape the curse that has been passed down to her, a curse she has suffered from her entire life?

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Domestic Violence, Heros, Fiction and Real Life

I finally finished my latest project “The Release – Escape From Torment.” (On Amazon, Paperback and Kindle) I have to say that completing it is a bittersweet moment. On the one hand it’s good to be finished with it and have it published, but on the other hand, I had grown to love the book. Taking the main character, Carrie, from giving up hope and resigning herself to dying to having the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ gave me a sense of fulfillment you don’t often have when writing. (I created a video trailer for the book here)

The book itself seemed to have taken a life of its own. I’ve read the final book a couple of times even after all the edits, and I find that I’m amazed that it was me that wrote those words. I still find myself tearing up in several places. It truely is some of my best work.

Before the final book went to press I had Denise Moore, Board Secretary of the Van Buren Domestic Violence Coalition read a prerelease copy of the book. Here’s what she wrote about it:

“This story is captivating from beginning to end. The author presents a realistic case of a woman trying to escape the man that abused her, something we see happen all too often. At one point I was so caught up in the story I had tears in my eyes for Carrie, and a few times I had to remind myself that this was fiction! The story goes on to show us how big our God is and how big His mercy and grace are.
I can hardly recommend this book enough.”

That is quite the recommendation and one I’m most proud of.

Domestic violence is one of those things that are difficult for people like me to think about. Writing about a victim of domestic abuse forced me to think about things I’d rather not. The pain, the grief, the loss. And as an example, why do women stay in an abusive relationship? There are many answers to that question, one of which is that they have nowhere else to go. When I spoke with Denise Moore, I discovered that there are no shelters in my county for abused women to go. In the book, I wrote that there was, but the truth is there isn’t. So where is a woman to go? Denise told me that their vision is to create a place that can shelter women and their children right here in the city where I live. But all that takes more resources than is available at the moment. So women and children suffer. It’s a hard thing to think about, but it’s also something that must be addressed.

In the book, I introduce a character named Chi (pronounced Chai, as in the tea). Chi has a lot of secrets that are hinted at, but one thing for certain is that he’s a stone cold killer trained by the military. He struggles to reconcile that fact with his Christian beliefs. He resists carrying a weapon even though he is specifically requested to by local police. There’s a dark history with Chi that I never fully explain in the book. In the end, he his approached by a representative of a secret government agency. Having recently been married, Chi rejects the attempts to recruit him, but the appeal to his patriotism and the fact that his actions will ultimately save lives is a powerful incentive. In the end, I leave the reader hanging a bit as to what he’s going to do.

I came to love the character, Chi. I wrote a lot of myself into him. When I needed to understand what Chi would do under certain circumstances, I asked myself what I would do. I know that under physical attacks I would do exactly what he did. Perhaps not as badly as he did but still, it would not be pretty. But what about pulling a trigger? I don’t know if I could do that or not. I’m just not ‘that guy.’

Now I have to decide if I’m going to take Chi further. Does a secretive government agency recruit him? Do I take him on adventures that are thrust upon him? Or do I simply let the character go and never tell the rest of his story? I’m still thinking that through. Hopefully, I’ll have some feedback from readers. What would you like me to do with Chi?

Ralph Nelson Willett
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The Summer Tourist Christian Romance Video

I can’t help it. I’m proud of this video I put together. I touches me somehow. But then, I’m a pretty emotional guy.

You can buy the book here on Amazon.

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A Very Successful Book Signing – Thank You So Much

Yesterday, December 17th, 2016, I was at a book signing event for my new book “The Summer Tourist“. It was held in South Haven Michigan at The Living Room Cafe, 520 Phoenix St.

I was able to sell almost all of my book inventory and raised over $400 for We Care I.N.C. of South Haven, a local charity sponsored by several churches in the area.

Thanks goes out to everyone that supported the both me and We Care. I can’t express my gratitude enough. Have a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ralph Nelson Willett

~~~~

If you’d like to be notified of my next event, please visit my Facebook page: Ralph Nelson Willett on Facebook

Ralph Nelson Willett at his book signing for The Summer Tourist.

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The Summer Tourist Is Now Available On Amazon

The Summer Tourist has been released on Amazon. It’s currently available in paperback and Kindle formats. The audio book should release sometime in January of 2017. I’m pretty happy with how it’s been received so for and have had some very nice reviews.

The Summer Tourist

The Summer Tourist

Tina reflected on how she had been used by the man she loved. The crushing weight of his deception overwhelmed her anger leaving only her pain. She raised her head toward Chicago and whispered, “I am not your summer diversion.” In a final act of letting him go, she held the bracelet over the water, turned her hand slowly and let it fall away. Could she love again? Would a man who loved her once love her again?

The Summer Tourist is now available here from Amazon.

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Real People, Real Authors, Real Pain, Real Love

I’m working on my next book. I’m through the first draft. I have to admit it’s been painful. Not because of the writing process but because of the subject it deals with – domestic abuse. When you’re writing something you actually have to spend some time thinking about it. I don’t like thinking about abuse in any way, shape or form. I don’t happen to live in that world so I’m isolated from it and it’s easy not to think about it. But as a writer, you have no choice.
My heart feels your pain
When you’re a writer you can’t help but put yourself in the place of your characters. You may even come to view them as friends or even your own children. Seeing them in pain is hurts you. Even though you know your story is fictional, you feel the pain just as deeply as your characters feel. Just as when I wrote my first book, The Rose Stone, where I felt the pain of a daughter dealing with addiction and suicidal thoughts, I’m now feeling the pain of an abused woman. What I find most sad it that I know that my ‘Fiction’ is a very real fact of many women’s lives.

One of the things that nearly frightens me is the question of how do I know what I know about domestic abuse. I’m 56 years old. I’ve been around for a while but I’ve never been involved in the lives of domestic abuse victims. How can I then write about these things and have people tell me “you just wrote my life”? I have to ask myself where did I learn about this? My honest answer is: I don’t know. Tucked somewhere in repressed regions of my mind I’ve not know of what it is but also how it happens. Because I’m a writer/story teller I can see things happen in vivid detail as if I stood and watched it happen. What is it in me that allows me to do that? I don’t like it. It hurts too badly.

When I write about these things, abuse, addiction, etc., I often find myself in tears. I feel the pain my character is going through. Then I want to run out and “fix” it. Sure, I can fix it in the story but the problem is, I know for many many people the hurt is too real. Have you ever felt like that? Where you see someone in pain and you want to do everything you can to “fix it”? But I already know I can’t fix it. That isn’t within my skill set.

However, I’ve come to realize that I can help. My skill are in telling a story. Through my stories perhaps I can raise awareness so that maybe it will be better for someone. When I wrote “The Rose Stone” Celebrate Recovery played a big part in the story. I now have a special place in my heart not only for the group and what it does, but also for the individual people in it. My own eyes have been opened if only because I had to think about things as I wrote the book. I talked to people and asked questions. I became aware. But I’ve found that isn’t just me that my stories touch. Many more people have become aware of Celebrate Recovery simply because I told a story. Making people aware of what can help with their struggles or someone they love is, in a way, a way to “fix it”. My prayer is that even though I don’t like thinking about some things, that God will make some good will come of it. Could I ask for more?

I’m still working on the book about abuse. It’s title will be “The Release”. I expect it to be available sometime in the summer of 2017. The Rose Stone is expected to be release the first week in January however (!) the audiobook is already available. You can listen to it here: The Rose Stone

Ralph Nelson Willett
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You Can Share Your Amazon Prime Benefits

Here’s something I didn’t know: You can share you Amazon Prime benefits with another member of you family.

Alright, here’s the benefits you can share (Copied directly from Amazon’s website):
The following Prime benefits can be shared in an Amazon Household:

  • Fast & FREE Prime Shipping benefits
  • Access to Prime Video (streaming only)
  • Early access to Amazon Lightning Deals
  • Prime Photos online storage
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  • 20% off diaper and 15% off Baby Registry discounts
  • Fresh shipping benefits (for Prime Fresh members only)
  • You can invite any family member or “partner” which means you can invite your boyfriend or girlfriend. Now you can share the cost of membership. To me, just having the video streaming makes Prime worth it but tack on top of that the free two-day shipping and it makes it a no brainer.

    Here’s how you invite another member of your family to share your Amazon Prime:
    Go to your account
    Click on Your Prime Membership
    Scroll to bottom and click “Share your Prime benefits”
    Click on “Manage my household”
    From there you can invite a family member to share your benefits.

    I think Amazon Prime is awesome. With being able to share it with one of my family members makes it even more awesomer (if that’s a word).

    Here’s the link to check out Prime:
    Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

    Try Amazon

    OK, full disclosure here, I’m an Amazon affiliate so if you click any of the links above I may benefit from it, but it’s still a really cool thing.

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    “Brianna” Is Now Available On Amazon

    Wow. Things are moving fast.
    The eBook version of Brianna went live last night on Amazon and B&N.
    I am so excited!!! I’ve already seen sales of it.

    Here’s my affiliate link to the book on Amazon.
    Please do me a favor and add a review to it. Reviews are extremely important even if they’re bad reviews. (I’m sure you like it, though)

    Thank you.
    Ralph
    Also, please be sure to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/northernovation

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    Finally! Our Audiobook “Brianna” is Released

    It took longer than I expected but our latest book “Brianna” is finally released and online, available for download.

    We’re giving it away for free.

    Here’s a snippet:
    [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/281807364″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

    “Brianna” is about a woman that has lost faith in God and how God provides her signs to show her that he still cares for her.

    Due to the tragic loss of her daughters, Brianna’s faith has been destroyed. She is angry with God. Why would God do this to her? Is she being punished for some unknown offense?

    Follow the story to see how God demonstrates his love for her in unusual ways.

    You can download the MP3 version of “Brianna” by Ralph Nelson Willett, at
    NorthernOvationMedia.com/brianna

    Please be sure to let us know what you think. As an author I love to discuss my own work. 😉

    Ralph
    Brianna by Ralph Nelson Willett

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    Can Writing a Book Save Your Life?

    by Ralph Nelson Willett

    The title of this posting might seem a bit far fetched but I can tell you that I’m convinced that one book I wrote actually saved my life.

    The book is “The Rose Stone”. You can hear the audio book version here.
    The story of how I believe that writing “The Rose Stone” saved my life involves a faith healer, Marvel Universe Live, Celebrate Recovery and a change in doctors.

    If you want the short version so you can move along, here it is:
    Because I wrote the book I discovered that I’m a food addict.
    That’s it. Thanks for stopping by. You can move along now.

    Here’s the long version:
    I was almost 300 pounds. I never felt that big but I was starting to have problems breathing when I simply tried to tie my shoes. My wife noticed that I was beginning to have trouble walking up stairs and my knees and feet hurt quite a bit.

    Very early in 2015 I decided to try and take some action. All that weight couldn’t be good for my heart so I began to investigate bariatric surgery. This freaked my wife out. First of all, through her own investigation, she found that the divorce rate among couples where one member had the surgery jumps substantially. Secondly, there are some very severe health risks to the surgery.

    I decided that the risk were worth it to extend my life. My wife and I finally came to an agreement that if I wasn’t able to drop any weight by the fall of that year that I would actively seek the surgery.

    ~ The Faith Healer ~
    Now jump forward to June 14, 2015. Here’s a little bit of setup so you’ll understand this part. In July of 2014 we moved to a new city to help take care of my elderly mother. This was the town I grew up in and moved away from 35 years earlier. My wife and I actively began seeking out a new church. I thought the church we would attend would be the same one I grew up in, the same one my mother attended at the time. That church turned out to be a bad fit for us, (That’s another story) so we started looking for a new church.

    The Church we found was a “mobile” church. That means they set up and tear down everything every Sunday. They meet in the local High School auditorium. We checked out the church and loved it.

    The church itself was only three years old when we started attending. This church breaks down into sub-groups called ‘life groups’ where groups of people get together each week for “Fellowship and Bible Study”. (There’s more to it than just that but you get the idea.) Prior to us joining one of these groups a faith healer from Uganda met with them. One of the men in the group wore an eye patch because one of his eyes pointed off in another direction. The faith healer prayed for him and his vision was corrected. He never wore the eye patch again.

    This was part of the “legend” that we stepped into when we started attending the life group. I heard the story many times and I got to know the man involved. I never had a reason to doubt the story.

    So, now that I’ve explained the setup for this story I’ll tell the rest of it. The faith healer travels all over the world. In June of 2015 the faith healer came back around to our little town. A ‘healing’ service was to be held that Sunday night in the Cafe down town. My wife wanted to go so I agreed to go with her.

    At this healing service, the faith healer prayed for the feet of one of my friends. My friend had damaged his feet so badly that he couldn’t walk without a walker. The Friday before this, his wife posted on Facebook pictures of his feet. The skin on the top of both feet was completely missing. Yes, I wrote that correctly, the skin was completely missing. After the faith healer prayed for him he was walking around without his walker like nothing happened. I knew this guy. He wasn’t faking it.

    At this point I talked myself into having the faith healer pray for me. Oddly enough I was standing right in front of him trying to get his attention. It wasn’t until someone else intervened that I was finally able to tell him what I wanted him to pray for. I wanted him to pray for my weight. He did.

    The next day, Monday, my friend’s wife posted new pictures of his feet. They were almost completely healed. The difference between what I saw on Friday and what I saw on Monday was incredible, hard to believe. I posted on Facebook that “Normally I’m a skeptic about this type of thing but I was there and I saw it”.

    The faith healer saw my comment on the post and contacted me. He said, “I get to talk ‘healing groupies’ all the time but I rarely get to talk to skeptics.” He asked me to come and talk to him. I agreed.

    We met the next afternoon and talked. I explained that I am a skeptic of faith healing. We talked for a while and then he prayed over my weight again. He then said, “The next time I see you, I am convinced that I will see a much smaller man.”

    And then…
    Nothing happened. I remained at almost 300 pounds and might have even gained some.

    Enter the Super Heroes
    At that time my son traveled around the country with the largest arena show in the country, Marvel Universe Live. He was one of the guys that made the super heroes fly around the arena. Because he worked for the show I could get free tickets. He was in Chicago, not too far from us, so we decided to invite our minister and his family to come along with us to see the show. They did. We got a backstage tour. It’s a fabulous show. If you get a chance, go see it. That was September 11th, my birthday.

    At some point, I don’t know when, I gave two of my first audio books that I wrote to our new minister. Looking back on those stories now, I can see how poor the quality of the recordings were. The stories were interesting and even cute but lets say I’ve learned a whole lot since then. In spite of this he liked the stories.

    On the way back home from Chicago my minister and I were talking. I had the following week off work as a vacation. My minister asked what plans I had for that week. I didn’t have any other than hanging out around the house. He said “why don’t you write another story?” I balked. I explained that it wasn’t that easy to just write another story. I had tried several times since writing the ones I gave him and failed, going down in smoking ruin. He just encouraged me to give it another try.

    The following Monday my wife and I went to the state park beach on Lake Michigan. She likes to sift through the stones trying to find little pieces of beach glass. I usually just sit in a chair, listen to an audio book and smoke a cigar while she does that. This time I decide to walk the beach for a bit.

    As I was walking the beach I saw a small reddish stone in the sand. I reached down to pick it up and (I swear this is true) by the time I stood up I had the entire “Rose Stone” story in my head. I spent my vacation week hammering out the first draft.

    As part of writing the book I had to understand a few things. One of those things was alcohol addiction. My brother is a struggling alcoholic. When I told him what I was doing he told me what it was like to be an alcoholic. Much of what he told me made it into the book.

    I also happened to know the leader of the local chapter of Celebrate Recovery. It’s another 12 step program like AA. By accident I met him at the Living Room Cafe and we sat and talked for a while. The cafe is where Celebrate Recovery meets. He told me he would see people pacing the sidewalk across the street trying to decide if they were going to come into a Celebrate Recovery meeting or not. That made the book.

    The New Doctor
    In September we received a letter from our doctor that she was leaving town and I need to find someone new. So we set up an appointment with a new doctor. Someone we actually knew from church. We met with her in early October.

    Remember my promise to my wife that I would hold off on getting bariatric surgery? It was now time to start looking for the best place have it done. My weight hadn’t changed at all. When we met with or new doctor I told her that was what I was going to do. She said, “Hold off for a bit. There’s a new drug out there that has shown some good results with weight loss.” She suggested that I do my own research on the drug and then meet with her again in a month let her know if I wanted to try it.

    I did the research and the drug looked promising. It’s a combination of two drugs, an anti-depressant and a drug that narcotic addicts use to reduce the cravings. I met with my new doctor at the end of November and she put me on the drug.

    The drug had immediate effects. The weight started peeling off. What it does for me is reduce the cravings I had for food. To me it’s a miracle drug.

    Back to The Rose Stone Book
    By the end of November I had hammered out my final draft of “The Rose Stone”. I wanted it reviewed by the head of Celebrate Recovery so I gave him a copy. Since it deals with addiction I thought he would have some insight into the story.

    And….
    Nothing happened.

    By the end of December I was still loosing weight. I reminded the head of Celebrate Recovery that I still wanted him to read it. A couple of weeks later he sent me an email:

    Ralph,

    I found myself strangely procrastinating reading your manuscript. So today I decided to take it to work with me… I couldn’t peel my eyes away from it. I found myself thrown into the life of Rosie, hearing and even feeling her pain and struggle with despair. You have an amazing talent. I had to force back tears(only because I’m at the shop). I hope you consider putting this to print, simply because I’d use it for training and ministry in C.R..
    Thank you for the honor and privilege to read this book.

    You are blessed and highly favored,

    Marc

    The next time I saw him we talked about it again. He said, “for someone who doesn’t have the problem you nailed it.”

    I responded, “Alcohol isn’t my problem, food is.”

    It was that statement, that confession that finally put it all together for me. I am a food addict. That’s a socially acceptable addiction but I’m still an addict. I do many of the same thing any addict would do – except I do it with food. I would find myself eating when I wasn’t hungry. I would discover I just ate something and couldn’t remember making the decision to. I could have a single drink with no problem but I couldn’t have a single slice of pizza; I had to have the whole pizza. It took putting me on the same medication that narcotic addicts use to help them with their addiction to help me with mine.

    Now that I understand what my problem is. I was in denial for a very long time but now I can learn to deal with it. As I write this I now down 65 pounds. If you need a visual for what that means, take a look in your refrigerator. See that one pound tub of butter? Stack 65 of those together and that’s how much weight I lost. – And I’m still losing. My total goal that I’ve set for myself is 85 pounds.

    I’m still learning to deal with my addiction. I’m learning my triggers and what to stay away from. (Oddly, Tobasco Sauce is a trigger for me.)

    So concluding, I credit writing “The Rose Stone” for saving my life. If I never would have wrote it I would have never come to the understanding that I am an addict. I got my miracle from the faith healer. I can see how God brought so many pieces together to finally give me the answer that I had been praying for. I am now a “much smaller man.”

    That’s the long story. Thank you for sticking with it through the end.

    Ralph

    [Update September 21, 2015]
    I have made the entire Rose Stone story available on this site. It can be heard here –The Rose Stone

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