Kick off Bullying Awareness Month with Clean Teen Publishing- Guest Post by Cindy Saunders

Clean Teen Publishing Wants to END BULLYING!

All of us at Clean Teen Publishing and Crimson Tree Publishing are committed to doing our part to raise awareness about bullying. We want it to stop NOW! We are going to be hosting guest posts from our authors and team members about bullying. We hope you will stop back and show your support in the fight against bullying. 
Don’t forget that we have a huge month long contest going on at our blog. Make sure you enter and please share with your friends, blogs, pages and followers. You can enter the giveaway by clicking the picture below. (Don’t forget to read this awesome kick off post from author Cindy Saunders of Double Star first.)

Guest Post by Author:

Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is the underlying theme in Double Star so while the characters individually have their own strengths, together they are stronger than they ever imagined. Bullying is an issue I addressed in the novel because as my own kids got older, my eyes were open to how prevalent it is. It’s truly a shame that more and more of our youth are becoming victims which also means more and more of our kids are becoming the aggressors. I had to cut 30 pages from the beginning of Double Star where Ally witnesses one of her class mates getting bullied and, while she did not take part, she did nothing to stop it either. But there’s a scene in Liam’s world where she faced with the same situation and because she’s surrounded by friends who share her convictions, who do the right thing, she’s no longer hesitant about stepping into an ugly situation. She has realized that if she’s not going to take a stand, why bother to be on her feet at all. If the book can motivate just one reader to do the right thing then I will have achieved what I set out to do. 

 “Would you gentlemen care for another pint?” Norma asked on her way back to the kitchen. “Your food should be out in a minute.” 
Liam and Corm shook their heads, but Oisin, Ian, and Shane nodded. 
“I take it there’s no legal drinking age here,” Ally said to no one in particular.
“What do you mean by legal?” Ian asked.
“I mean, where I’m from, you’re not allowed to drink until you’re twenty-one.”
“Twenty-one?” Oisin cried.
“There are a lot of rules meant to protect us… from ourselves, I guess.” 
“But twenty-one seems a bit much, no?” Oisin said. “I mean, it is not as if someone his age could get a drink.” He pointed to a boy bussing a table.
His back was to them, so Ally couldn’t tell how old he was, but he looked too young to be working. She was about to add there were also rules about child labor in her world, but bit her tongue.
Norma put plates in front of her, Liam, and Corm. “I will be right back,” she said. 
Ally looked back at the boy. He was placing dirty dishes into a wooden bucket. When he finished, he lifted it with his right hand and straddled it on his hip. The maneuver looked awkward, but she didn’t know why. When he turned and shuffled toward them, the answer was clear. He had only one arm.
He couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven and was struggling with the weight of the dishes, but his arm wasn’t the only disfigurement. The entire left side of his face was covered with scars. 
“Get out of the way, Adam,” Norma said roughly, as he limped past. He backed against the wall and she placed the remaining dinners on the table. “Can I get you anything else?” she asked, and smiled warmly at Corm.
Corm shook his head in disgust. “No, thank you.” 
Shane looked up from his plate. “What do you suppose happened to him?” 
“Looks like he was in a fire,” Oisin replied. “Poor kid.” 
“He is too young to be working, especially in a place like this,” Liam said.
The front door slammed and laughter drifted their way. Three boys walked in and something in their swagger caused Ally to inwardly groan. Punks. 
The restaurant was almost empty now, and half a dozen tables needed to be cleared. “So where are we going to stay tonight?” Shane asked. 
“I have a suggestion,” Oisin said. “We could camp outside of town. It is—” He put his nose into the air. 
“What is it?” Corm asked.
“I smell trouble,” Oisin answered in a low voice.
Ally glanced at the bartender, who eyed the newcomers with a look of annoyance. “Marcus, please, sit at a table that is clean,” he said when the boys were about to sit at one still covered with dirty dishes.
“Bernard, is that any way to talk to your best customers?” the boy, Marcus, said loudly. He laughed and looked at his two friends.
“I am simply stating a fact. Sit wherever you like,” Bernard replied. 
Adam hurried to the front of the restaurant, bucket in hand. He filled it and began to walk toward the kitchen. The three boys looked at each other and grinned. She knew that look, had seen it before, and put her fork down. Please, let me be wrong. 
Adam moved past the trio, and Ally watched in horror as Marcus put his foot directly in his path. Adam tripped, fell to the floor, and the sound of smashing dishes filled the air.
Ally leaped to her feet and rushed to Adam’s side. She glared at Marcus. “What are you? An asshole? What’s the matter with you?” Adam was trying hard not to cry as he got to his knees and began to pick up the broken pieces. “Let me help you with that,” she said. 
Marcus squatted beside her, his face inches from her own. “What if I am? What are you going to do about it, bitch?” 
“Marcus,” one of his friends said in a low but urgent tone. Marcus got to his feet and took a step back. 
Ally turned around. Standing behind her were Liam and the others.
“That is not the proper way to address a lady,” Liam said, his hands clenched into fists at his side. “Never mind the way you treated this boy. You have a choice. First, and this is not a choice, you will apologize to both of them for your rude behavior. Second, and this is where you do have a decision to make, you can take your leave or deal with me.” 
One of the boys looked at Shane. “Let us go, Marcus. The food here is only fit for animals anyway.” 
Marcus hesitated and gritted his teeth. “Shayeen trash,” he finally said. “You think you are better than the rest of us. Well, you are wrong. I am sorry,” he said to Adam and looked at Ally. “You, too.” He pushed his friends out of the way, marched through the restaurant, and out the front door.
“Are you all right?” Ally asked Adam. She expected to see the boy she’d seen earlier, the one who was on the verge of tears, but instead he was beaming. 
“Yeah, I’m okay.” His black hair reached his shoulders. The left side of his face was definitely worse than the right. But his brown eyes were full of life.
Liam helped her to her feet. “You are going to keep me busy, are you not?” 
“Well, what would you’ve done?”
“I was actually about to do the same but could not move quickly enough. It is one of your many qualities that I admire.” 
One of her many qualities? Please. “I guess you bring out the best in me,” she said. “Besides, it’s always good to pay it forward.” 
“Pay it what?”
Pay It Forward. It was a movie where…” She saw the confused look on his face. “Argh, a story where the pictures move. Never mind. The idea is, if you do something good for someone, they in turn will do something good for someone else, and so on and so on.” 
“But what if something bad is done to someone?” Liam asked. “Does that ‘pay it forward’ as well?”
She’d never thought of it like that, and remembered Adam’s eyes. They still had a shine in them. “I hope not.” 


Double Star by Cindy Saunders
(YA- Paranormal Fantasy- Available Now)
She fell into his world, unaware of the key she carried and the doors it opened; a world where darkness waited to be set free … The wait is over
 Do You Believe?

When Cepheus, a dark god, forces seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth off an isolated overlook, she has no idea she’s falling into his world, or that the necklace she’s wearing is actually a key – one with the power to ignite the next world war. But she’s carried beyond his reach and into the one place where he’s powerless … the forest of Gilgamesh.
Ally’s never been Miss Popularity, but her outsider status takes on new meaning when she’s rescued by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. After seeing them shape-shift into their freaky humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into a few truths: magic really does exist and, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. Feelings between her and Liam begin to grow along with the realization that, in this world, she’s stronger, better … until she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider-boy Cepheus sends to retrieve her.  But Ally’s not going down without a fight, not after learning the horrible truth about the passageways.
The survival of both worlds depends on it.

About Cindy Saunders:

CINDY SAUNDERS was born in Lowell, MA. She moved to RI almost twenty-five years ago and now considers the Ocean State her home. She graduated from Bryant College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. When she’s not reading, writing, spending time with her two teenage children (how did that happen?) or working, Cindy tracks down one of her favorite local bands and enjoys a glass of wine. She completed her first novel, Double Star, a YA fantasy, in October 2012 and is currently working on the second book in the series.
Double Star is her first novel.