The Inclusive Child


A few months ago, when the riots were going on in Baltimore, I took this picture.


I snapped it quickly and didn’t make a big deal out of it, because honestly, it shouldn’t be. Yet every time I come across it in my phone I smile. My daughter has friends of every color. She knows and adores adults regardless of how they identify or who they love.

We talked to her about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and how before the Civil Rights movement, our neighbors wouldn’t have been able to get married. Or how the other two girls in this picture wouldn’t have been able to play with her or go to the same school.

“That’s just… dumb.” She sputtered.

Then we talked about how two of our favorite women are finally able to get married in a few months, when they couldn’t before.

“What does it matter?” she asked. “They’re awesome.”

She sees me watching the news and asks about the presidential race.

“You mean before him, there weren’t any people with brown skin to be president? And there’s never been a girl president??” she scoffs.

I can’t speak for the younger one yet, we’re still working on what the word ‘no’ means. But with this one… I think we might’ve done something right.

Happy Book Eve!

Happy Book Eve!

I’m mid-edit on one book and plotting another, but I just wanted to pop in and wish a happy book-eve to my fellow author, Dannika Dark!

As you’ve probably noticed, I normally sign up to review a copy or be a host for her blog tour. Given my schedule lately, the only reason I haven’t is because I couldn’t give Two Minutes the time and attention it deserves. That being said, I highly encourage you to pick up anything Dannika writes.

You won’t be disappointed.

Click here to order Two Minutes by Dannika Dark.

Click here to check out her webpage and discover quite possibly my favorite author ever.

$h!t My Girls Say – #10

$h!t My Girls Say – #10

$h!t My Girls Say are sporadic posts where I include things that Monkey, and eventually Penguin, say that is just… well… you’ll see. They can be funny, sweet, and just plain wrong, but regardless, I love the little mouths they come from. 

We tried to introduce Monkey to Star Wars last night. About a half an hour in, she got bored and started goofing off, so we put her to bed, saying to each other that she wasn’t ready. 

As heard from outside her room:

Monkey: *wailing* But I am ready! I am!

Husband: calm murmur in regards to it being bedtime. 

Monkey: *still wailing* I’m not a Padowan! Don’t call me that! I don’t wanna be a Padowan! I wanna be a Jedi!!

The drama is strong with this one. 

David Litwack Stops By


It’s finally here! Children of Darkness – Book One in The Seekers Series is available NOW. Check it out on FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. GET YOUR COPY

“A must-read page turner.” Kirkus Review

About the Book:

The Children of Darkness - CoverThe Children of Darkness

The Children of Darkness is about a society devoid of technology, the result of an overreaction to a distant past where progress had overtaken humanity and led to social collapse. The solution—an enforced return to a simpler time. But Children is also a coming of age story, a tale of three friends and their loyalty to each other as they struggle to confront a world gone awry. Each searches for the courage to fight the limits imposed by their leaders, along the way discovering their unique talents and purpose in life.

“If the whole world falls into a Dark Age, which it could plausibly do, who could bring us out of it? According to David Litwack in The Children of Darkness, the only answer is us, now, somehow reaching into the future.” – Kaben Nanlohy for On Starships And Dragonwings

Publication Date: June 22, 2015 from Evolved Publishing
Purchase Link:

Speculative Literary Fiction

Someone recently asked me why I use the term “speculative literary fiction” to describe the genre of my novels. While both terms are used frequently on their own, they are not often paired together.

Speculative fiction is a term coined by Margaret Atwood in an effort to avoid the hard-core sci-fi label (she said she needed a category that meant sci-fi without Martians). It has been used to describe a number of sub genres—space opera, techno-thrillers, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, even fantasy—basically anything that is not “real world.” The key to speculative fiction is the what-if aspect. What if the world as we know it was different in one or more ways? While this what-if, alternate history/alternate world approach can be used to explore future technology or just spin a good yarn, it also enables an author to focus on some theme by altering an aspect of the world as we know it.

Literary fiction is usually understood to mean quality writing, deeper characters and an exploration of universal themes.

So why combine the two? The primary purpose of declaring a genre is to set the expectation of the prospective reader.

Using the term speculative fiction by itself can misrepresent a book. Readers might expect Star Wars or the Zombie Apocalypse, or an emphasis on some hypothetical technology such as faster than light spaceships or time travel. Literary fiction tends to imply real world, such as The Help or The Secret Life of Bees.

Many great books have speculative premises, but are literary in nature. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a good example, or the works of Usrula LeGuin. Even a novel like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road might fit. While it’s certainly post-apocalyptic–we find out little about the cataclysm that brought about the current state–the author dwells on the relationship between the man and the boy, and the power of love. Another example might be Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. While the what-if of this world is the use of cloning to grow organs, it’s told from the viewpoint of the clones, and shows much more about relationships and the human condition than about technology.

I use speculative literary fiction as a term to distinguish alternate history or alternate worlds, where the emphasis is not on whiz-bang technology, aliens, space travel or the like, but more on deeper characters and universal themes, brought to the fore by the unique difference in the imagined society or world.

Get Your Copy of The Children of Darkness Now!

About the Author:

David Front PageThe urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

After publishing two award winning novels, Along the Watchtower and The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, he’s hard at work on the dystopian trilogy, The Seekers.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

Facebook: David Litwack – Author
Twitter: @DavidLitwack


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More Reviews!

“Litwack’s storytelling painted a world of both light and darkness–and the truth that would mix the two.” Fiction Fervor

The Children of Darkness is a dystopian novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” C.P. Bialois

“This is a satisfying exploration of three teens’ journey into the unknown, and the struggles faced by all who seek true emancipation – both for themselves, and for the people they love.” Suzy Wilson

“Litwack’s writing is fresh, and Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas come to life in your imagination as you frantically flip (or click) the pages of this book.” Anna Tan

“…many profound themes, lovely characterizations and relationships” R. Campbell

“I was enthralled and intrigued by the authors creation of this society… David Litwack has an enjoyable and captivating writing style.” Jill Marie

“…a perfect story for young adult readers, but its underlying theme and character development will keep any adult engaged.” Kathleen Sullivan

$h!t My Girls Say – #8

$h!t My Girls Say – #8

$h!t My Girls Say are sporadic posts where I include things that Monkey, and eventually Penguin, say that is just… well… you’ll see. They can be funny, sweet, and just plain wrong, but regardless, I love the little mouths they come from.
Monkey, in regards to raccoon and their rotund figure:

“They should just be called rat balloons.”

Ta-da! Hellooo Denny

I am so happy to host another one of Dannika Dark’s cover reveals! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Two Minutes, and Denver. Rawr. 

Two Minutes
(The Seven Series, #6)
by Dannika Dark

After years of living abroad, Maizy returns home to the only family she’s ever known—a
pack of wolves. When she confronts her childhood watchdog to see where they stand, his 
resentment leaves her uncertain about where she really belongs.

Behind Denver’s charming smile is a tragic past—one that’s made his wolf savage and 
unpredictable. Only Maizy has been able to tame that darkness, and when they’re reunited after many years apart, he no longer sees a child he once protected. She’s captivating and intelligent—a woman with the world at her fingertips and two suitors offering more than he ever could.
Torn between two worlds, Maizy must choose how her fairy tale ends. Tragedy, murder, passion, and imprisonment all collide with a heart-stopping twist.
Destiny will find you.
Release Date:
August 18, 2015
Available for pre-order at 
The Seven Series
About the Author
This is the segment where you learn a little more about who I am, so here’s what I can tell you:  I drink copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to my laptop while writing. These are two healthy habits I have no intention of breaking. I’m a transplant living in the south, but I was born in the 70’s to a military dad who moved us around the world.
When I’m not writing (which is all the time), I’m hunting down Indie music, watching movies, reading, eating Tex-Mex, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the Internet. I have a relaxed, easy-going personality and don’t like drama. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I’m not sure which).
Throughout my life, I’ve had insomnia. Counting sheep never worked and eventually I would imagine those sheep were the sole source of food after an apocalyptic battle where only thousands survived. I made up stories in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I got so wrapped up in my “head stories” that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down – creating short stories, and then I discovered my love for poetry.
It’s almost embarrassing how many spiral notebooks and stacks of paper I have of poetry and lyrics.
Another passion: digital art. I design all my book covers, marketing, and series art. I’m a very visual person and pursued photography as an avid hobby for many years.
I am not a YA author (I feel like I have to state this only because I’ve had a few people ask), but I think it’s wonderful there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.
I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do: giving my characters a pulse through writing full time. I focus on adult urban fantasy romance, but I don’t like labels and I enjoy blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability.
But it’s what I love to do.
You can stalk, I mean find Dannika here: 
Presented By

Adventures in Mommying


So all this just happened to me, and the events are so Keystone Cop-esque, I found myself needing to record them for posterity.

Fed the Penguin lunch. After the important stuff, she receives a handful of baby puffs and a sippy cup with some apple juice. She has yet to master the sippy cup, but its better than giving her a bottle, as it will inevitably end up spout down between her and the side of her highchair. At least the sippy cups will hold their contents upside down.

Or so they would have you believe…

skepticalAs she allows me the privilege of feeding myself, I look over and notice her shirt is soaked with juice. “Really?” I say and removed the cup from her now sticky clutches. “You couldn’t get it to drip out, so you spit it out?”

In response, I am berated in the language of her people; the words are unintelligible, but the meaning is clear. She has been wrongly accused.

innocent“Mm-hmm,” I reply and hold the sippy cup for her to have another drink. It then precedes to leak onto her already wet shirt.

You have never seen a baby so triumphant as the Penguin watching me attempt to figure out the blasted contraption. I’m pretty sure she smirked at me, but pretended it was just the face she makes while eating puffs.

Fast forward: the sippy cup has been replaced with a tested, non-leaking version. I have finished my lunch. The puffs are gone.

“Alright, let’s go get you cleaned up… you little monster.” I mutter the last part under my breath, knowing that the Penguin will surely make me pay for my insolence if she hears me. As it turns out, Penguin possesses the gift of prophecy.

“Aw man! Gross!” I yell, for when I pick her up from her seat, her diaper is soaked, leaking apple juice like a sieve. (These sippy cups clearly hold more than they claim, storing up extra juice in a separate dimension or some other witchery. The quart I beheld dripping from my baby’s bum was not the half a sippy cup she allegedly drank.) Also, the puffs, or rather the unfortunate ones that were discarded after failing to find the Valhalla of Penguin’s mouth, had met an unfortunate end. Where as normally, I would brush them off onto the floor to be scooped up by Zoe the Destroyer, aka our pug, they were now mush. Soaked in a gallon of juice, their tiny puff souls doomed to suffer in purgatory until I could clean out the highchair.

ewI spirit the Penguin away, attempting to both keep her from dripping on the floor and myself on the journey between the kitchen and her room upstairs. Time will tell in how successful I was.

Once upstairs, I reach for a diaper, intending to change her and wipe her down with a baby wipe, as she still has another meal between now and bed time. My hand finds nothing and I groan. We are out of diapers… except for the ones downstairs.

Realizing the trip is inevitable, I look around frantically for a place to put Penguin and her sopping bum. “Bathtub!” I exclaim triumphantly, knowing I am surely the smartest mommy ever.Post-23319-Lion-King-Timon-NOPE-gif-Imgur-VRc9

It turns out, her older sister, Monkey, did not fully drain the bathtub the night before. It still holds two inches of cold, used bathwater.

cursesSearching around and finding no alternative, I leave her on the floor on her tummy, praying that she will miraculous remain in the downward facing dog yoga position she arranged herself upon making contact with the carpet. Running downstairs, I snag a diaper from the diaper bag, because its closer than our main stash, then pop back up.

“You know what? Let’s just give you a bath,” I tell Penguin, who is thankfully still on her tummy. Clutching her around the waist, I tuck her under my arm and go to open the drain. Nothing happens. Eventually, I hear a small trickle.

disappointed yoda

With a heavy sigh, because of course it’s clogged, I place the Penguin on the bathmat and go to gather up what I’ll need to bather her downstairs. Until I realize I can’t carry it all and her in one trip.

“A bag!” I yell, “My kingdom for a bag!”

gimme-gimme-gifAfter some searching, I’m able to find a tote that will work in the Monkey’s room. Dumping the contents, I discover one of the Penguin’s pacifiers. Because we need more help in losing them.

Now packed up, I return triumphantly to the bathroom. Penguin is right where she started, entertained by the sight of her Mommy darting to and fro. I pick her up, shoulder the tote, and as I turn… the tub is empty.


At this point, I can only shake my head. I run Penguin a bath while putting back everything I’d packed. The moment that little apple juice treated hiney touches the water, Penguin begins to splash. Not dainty, tiny baby splashes. Great kerplunks whose only purpose is to see if you can get water to drip from the ceiling.

I remove my glasses with a sobering thought: “There’s no way you make it outta this dry, Reese.”


Drying Penguin off after the entire ordeal, I realized there was only one thing to do.


Because trying to get your baby’s hair to stand up like Einstein and uploading baby pictures of her to the internet is as close as you’re ever going to get to revenge.

Now, here I sit. Typing away while a Penguin in need of a nap berates me for doing something not related directly to her. Her hair is dry and falls into place perfectly, curling at the ends and negating my one action of defiance, and all I can think of now is, “I have to get out of this shirt. It smells like apple juice.”

If you enjoyed this glimpse into my Mommyhood, or want to read more about the triumphs and tribulations of being a mother, check out Mommy Diarist, available at Amazon, B&N, and your favorite retailer.

$h!t My Girls Say – #6

$h!t My Girls Say – #6

$h!t My Girls Say are sporadic posts where I include things that Monkey, and eventually Penguin, say that is just… well… you’ll see. They can be funny, sweet, and just plain wrong, but regardless, I love the little mouths they come from.

Monkey: “You used to be so sweet and kind. What happened?”

Me: *pause to consider answer* “I became a mother.”

$h!t My Girls Say – #5

$h!t My Girls Say – #5

$h!t My Girls Say are sporadic posts where I include things that Monkey, and eventually Penguin, say that is just… well… you’ll see. They can be funny, sweet, and just plain wrong, but regardless, I love the little mouths they come from.

(Discussing with her sister how they will move out on their own someday.)

Monkey: “You’ll get your freedom… when you’re old.”