Guest Post: Giftapalooza

The following is a guest post from my dear friend, Romance Author T.E. Ridener. Several years ago, she created a holiday charity called: Giftapalooza. I think that it’s a fantastic idea, and I have contributed to it from the start. I’ve donated copies of  of my novels (The Watchmage of Old New York, and Song of Simon), and also copies of Valerie’s Anthology, because I know that this is a charity that she’d love.

Not only does it help families in need, but the connection to authors gives added incentive for my fellow writers to contribute. In short: people give presents to the charity for children in need. Authors then donate books to those contributors. It gives some exposure to the author, and reward to the contributor for their good need. Most of all, it makes sure that these children have a happy holiday.

Take it away, T.E.

Though Christmas is still a while away, I wanted to ask for a moment of your time to talk to you about a cause that’s near and dear to my heart: Giftapalooza.

Giftapalooza is an online charity event I started in 2013. The only goal I had at that time was to help families in need provide a decent Christmas for their kids. Most, if not all of you reading this post, have been in that situation before. You know, the one where bills are piling up and you can’t seem to stretch your paycheck as far as you need to. I, too, have known the hardships of poverty, sickness, emergencies in the family, and unexpected financial changes.

When I created Giftapalooza, the only thing I wanted was to make a difference for families in need. I was thinking about the single mothers and fathers working two jobs just to put food on the table; the family who unexpectedly lost someone important in their lives and now scramble to pay for the funeral; the dad who just lost his job because the company couldn’t afford to keep him on. No matter the circumstances behind the reason for needing help, this is exactly why Giftapalooza exists.


I am aware there are tons of charities out there with this specific goal in mind, but what makes Giftapalooza unique is the fact it is for indie families in need, and the Santas are also from the indie community. Authors, bloggers, and readers come together during the months of November and December to make some serious Christmas magic happen.

In 2015, we gave $4,203 worth of gifts to 43 families. It is my sincere hope we can double that number this year, but we can’t do it without your help. Even if you only purchase one gift for a child in need, you’ve already made a world of difference. For more information on how you can donate a thank-you gift, join the event, or get assistance, you can visit our website. We are so excited to get this year started and to help as many families as we can. Hope to see you there!


The Joy of Writing (With Bob Ross)

Hey all,

Here’s a new article for my “Writing Class” series. I’ve referenced Bob Ross in some of my live classes before, but after rewatching the series, I finally wrote something more thorough down. Hope you enjoy.


I wanted to paint like Bob Ross. I used to watch his show, The Joy of Painting, every day after school. He fascinated me, and there was nothing more relaxing after a hard day at school than listeni…

Source: The Joy of Writing (With Bob Ross)

Pokemon Go For Charity

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become mildly obsessed with Pokemon Go. It’s my new Geocaching. I’m walking for at least two hours every day now, and usually covering 5K. The thing is, I feel like it’s time that I can spend doing something more worthwhile to the community. I think that I’ve found it.

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Pokemon Go vs Geocaching

Like the rest of the universe, I’m obsessed with Pokemon Go. This should not be a surprise to anyone that knows me. What not everyone knows is that I am (or used to be) a geocacher. Most of you don’t know what geocaching is, and that’s okay. But there might not be Pokemon Go without it.

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Pokemon Go: Hunters in Harmony

Since Thursday, I’ve been playing Pokemon Go to the point where very little writing is getting done. It’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and great exercise. But more than that, it’s bringing people together.

Everytime I go out hunting, I see tons of other people doing the same, people that I’d never interact with in my life. Now we’re chatting, giving each other advice, and just chatting. Again, PEOPLE I’D NEVER INTERACT WITH. I suddenly know the people in my neighborhood and in the parks I go to. It’s amazing. Pokemon Go is bringing people together. No arguments about religion or politics. If anything, a little mild trash talk about taking over gyms.

I think that Pokemon Go might be the secret to harmony and good will. All ages, all races, all religions: we all play.

It makes me happy.

Don’t forget to pick up my 2nd novel, The Watchmage of Old New York. If you like history, fantasy, mystery, or weirdness, it’s the book for you. No pokemon in it, but lots of magic and faerie races.

The Watchmage Is Coming

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

The Dead Rabbits Riot

It case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been working on the day few days. The anniversary is July 4th and 5th, so I thought it’d be a good time to finish this article. Enjoy

Independence Day in New York City is a time for high spirits, popping off the fire plug (at least during my childhood), and fireworks. But In 1857, the holiday turned bloody in one of the largest r…

Source: The Dead Rabbits Riot

Why I’ve been gone

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I’ve been having some pretty serious heart issues that have kept me off the computer. I’m ok for now, but i’ll need more tests.

On the bright side, the 99 cent sale went well. I’m glad. The extra money will help pay for these bills.