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Why Do We Love Pirates?

We all love stories and movies about pirates. From Peter Pan to Pirates of the Caribbean.  Children and adults alike love stories of pirates sailing the high seas, burying treasure, seeking adventure wherever it might be hiding, and launching themselves into thrilling battles.  Pirates are often depicted as these rogues of the sea who are impossibly good-looking, eccentric, brilliant, resourceful, bold not to say reckless; the kind of elixir that could make anyone kinda irresistible.

How did pirates, who often committed horrendous acts of savagery become such loveable and idealized characters in the public mind? While pretty much nobody wants to be hanged or marooned, many of us sympathize with the desire to break free of our everyday routines and go off on an adventure, acquiring riches beyond our wildest dream in the process.

There is no doubt that pirate tales capture our imagination- Pirates movies such as the Pirates of the Caribbean have struck a chord with audiences all over the world. It is not hard to see why because the movie blends incredible action with humor and genuine emotional moments by a cast of unforgettable (and morally questionable) characters. Chief among them, of course, is the eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow.

I invite you through this article to step outside the studios of Hollywood and head straight to the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean where we will be sailing through the high seas to meet up with some real-life pirates that became legends.

The 17th-18th Century the Golden Age of piracy

Christopher Columbus discovered America at the end of the 16th century and kickstarted an era of exploration; the discovery of the New World made him and his king famous but also very rich – the land was full of treasure gold, silver, and precious metals. The Spanish sailed West to look for treasures, whilst the Portuguese (not wanting to walk on the Spaniards’ turf) sailed East towards India, which was another one of those land full of spices and riches beyond imagination. Large Spanish and Portuguese ships called galleons began to sail back to Europe loaded with their precious cargo. The journey back home was fraught with danger. The high seas were the favorite playground of a sea of thieves.  

What is the difference between a privateer, a corsair, and a buccaneer? Corsairs were pirates who operated in the Mediterranean Sea. Buccaneers lived in the Caribbean and the Pacific Coast of Central America. The name is derived from the French boucan a grill for smoking meat and was first applied to French wild game hunters living in West Hispaniola in the early 17th century. At first, they lived as hunters but later the governors of the Caribbean Islands paid them to attack Spanish treasure ships. Although raids started with official backing the buccaneers gradually became out of control attacking any ship, they thought carried valuable cargo whether it belongs to an enemy country or not. Eventually, the Buccaneers became pirates. Privateers were privately owned ships armed with guns operating in times of war. The Admiralty issued them with Letters of Marque that allowed them to capture merchant vessels without being charged with piracy. All goods and treasures were seized, and a cut was given to the government.

A Letter of Marque was a formal letter of authority allowing private owners of ships to capture enemy merchant ships on behalf of their government. If you were stealing in the name of your government your activities were viewed as heroic and noble but if you were stealing for your own personal account, you were labeled a pirate, a thief, and a vagabond and your punishment (if caught) would be death by hanging.

Corsairs, buccaneers, and privateers found themselves without a job in 1713 when a peace treaty was signed between several nations. The choice for them was (1) work as a sailor on a merchant ship, (2) work for your government or King on a navy ship, or (3) become a pirate.  Many chose Option 3 – piracy. Life as a pirate was short, brutal, and spectacular.

Meet Olivier Levasseur, nicknamed, La Buse, the most prolific pirate of all time

Olivier Levasseur, nicknamed La Buse (The Buzzard) made a name for himself as one of the most prolific pirates of all time. He was born in Calais (France) in 1695 and was hanged for piracy in 1730 on Réunion Island (where I live) – A grave with his name on can be found in the Cimetière Marin de St Paul.  La Buse is a historical figure and a legend. His life was just like a Hollywood movie, except that it was not pretend, it was the real deal. The mystery and intrigue he generated have not dissipated and he had been the focus of an astounding treasure hunt that began almost 300 years ago.

Levasseur was born into a wealthy family and practiced as an architect before becoming restless and hitting the ocean. He started off as a privateer or corsair for the French Crown in the Caribbean but soon he cut ties with his king and turned towards piracy.  After the Peace Treaty, the colonial powers – not wanting to waste their military resources – decided that it was a good time to start a new war – The War on Pirates. The Caribbean was becoming too hot and too full of pirate hunters. La Buse thought that it was time to find a new playground and made his way to the Indian Ocean, where he met with a notorious English pirate named John Taylor. Levasseur met Taylor on Ile Sainte-Marie in Madagascar, an impregnable hideout for pirates. They decided to join forces.

Together they wreaked mayhem on their respective ships navigating the islands off the coast of Africa in search of adventure and loot to steal. On 16 April 1721, in one of the biggest pay-days of the history of piracy, La Buse and Taylor highjacked The Nossa Senhora Do Cabo or the Virgin of The Cape a Portuguese flagship that was mourned in Saint-Denis Harbour on Ile Bourbon (now Réunion). The ship was loaded with gold, jewelry, artworks, and other priceless artifacts.

On board was the Count of Ericeira ViceRoy of Portuguese India and in its hold was 10 years of accumulated treasures, gold, diamonds, jewelry, spices fine clothes, fine woods, and more. After heavy fighting, La Buse & Taylor seized the ship with its spectacular loot that was estimated at more than $1.5 billion maybe more! The Virgin of the Cape was renamed The Victorieux, Levasseur’s powerful new ship.

After taking over the treasure, the pirates quickly fled to their headquarters in Madagascar with the British navy in hot pursuit but to no avail. On that day, Levasseur and Taylor made history, they acquired the biggest loot of all time. The booty was divided between the crew. Each pirate got 42 diamonds and 5000 gold guineas. There were extra shares for the officers. Levasseur kept the rest.

Pirates become famous when they battle and loot, but they become legends when the time comes to bury their treasure. Levasseur buried his treasure in several temporary spots helped by a small crew before moving it to its final spot. The crew who helped bury the treasure in its final spot were the unlucky ones, they knew too much and were executed. No one except La Buse knew the location of the treasure. This treasure is said to be the holy grail of the whole history of piracy. It has never been found. The biggest treasure hunt of all time started 300 years ago and is still ongoing.

La Buse was a rich man. He decided to retire in Madagascar. The King of France offered him clemency if he returns the treasure. He refused. He laid low and enjoyed his retirement for 9 peaceful years until he run out of luck. On a fateful day in 1730, he was caught, sent to Ile Bourbon for a trial, and then sentenced to be hanged for his act of piracy. At his public hanging, he addressed the onlookers gathered around the gallows and said “Find my treasure the one who may understand it.” and threw a cryptogram into the crowd.

The Cryptogram is made of 17 lines of symbols. The British Museum tested the document and concluded that it was a genuine parchment from the 18th century. Levasseur was an intellectual, a Greek and Latin scholar who was versed in masonic symbology. Many scholars, historians, linguists, and treasure hunters tried to decode the cryptogram throwing everything they had at it Greek, Latin, Hebrew, astrology, astronomy and mythology. To no avail. To this day, no one has succeeded in decoding the secret message and it is assumed that the treasure is still buried somewhere on Réunion Island.

For any wannabe treasure hunters out there, be aware that there is no such thing in France as “Finders Keepers Law” that is in effect in England. Any treasure you find will have to be handed out to the authorities. So, chances are, La Buse’s Treasure may well stay buried another 300 years because who on earth will have the time, dedication, and resources to go on a treasure hunt to give it all back to your government if you get lucky?!

Why do we love pirates?

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates have been idealized and romanticized more than any other profession thanks to authors and movie makers. Popular literature has idealized and romanticized these figures hovering on the edge of the law.  A pirate fits as easily into a hero’s shoes or as a villain, though they often shift from one to another over the course of their story; enemies can become allies; friends can become foes. They are unpredictable and loveable.

One of the authors who helped pirates slipped into popular legends is Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) who published in 1724 a General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates under the pseudonym Captain Charles Johnson. The book was an enormous success and this paved the way for pirates’ stories to become viral.

Another reason why we love pirates despite their ruthless and savage attitude is because they abide by a code of conduct that reads like a script from a utopian movie where everyone has equal say on all matters, a free society with no elected leaders, and where the distribution of labor and profits were made equally.

Life as a pirate was short, brutal, spectacular, and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Not the type of lifestyle that you would want to replicate, but entertaining nonetheless. We love pirates because Pirate Style never goes out of fashion (raise your hand anyone who likes dressing up as a pirate), and they know a thing or two about hiding valuables, whilst creating a 300-year-old mystery that has still not been solved. To be continued…

Anyone would like to have a go at this?!

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon, or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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The Women Warriors In The Ancient Kingdom of Dahomey

The Holywood Movie “The Woman King” shone a bright light on the Agodjies an all-female military regiment of the Ancient Kingdom of Dahomey. In this epic historical drama, African women take center stage in the most magnificient manner. Were the Agodjies female heroes or angels of deaths? To find out more about those phenomenl women, I invite you to read my article published today on History of Yesterday.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Cecil Chubb: The Man Who Bought Stonehenge For His Wife

Buying one of the seven world wonders as a gift. Imagine being married to a man who uses his fortune to buy you a unique and expensive gift (that you didn’t really want) only to gift it to the public shortly afterward. You can read this fascinating story on history of Yesterday.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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History of Twitter: The Bird That Influences World Events and Where Big Money is Made or Lost

The most famous bird in the world tweets all day and all night long from every corner of the world. Love it or hate it, the world will continue to tweet. The history of Twitter is fascinating from podcasting to social networking, to political influencer to BIG money playground. Elon Musk’s takover of Twitter was yesterday’s news. There is a lot of buzz at the moment in the twittersphere regarding the collapse of FTX. Find out all about this in my latest article published today on History of Yesterday.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Nostradamus – The Most Famous Physician, Astrologer, and Prophet in History

Imagine being so famous that your name is spoken around the world centuries after your death with a fan club that has been following your work since the 16th century. Would you like to know what your future holds? Read “The Prophecies” by Nostradamus and learn how to decode quatrains. If you don’t have time to read the whole book or decode cryptic verses you can read my article instead published on History of Yesterday.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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The Toxic Lady Who Made Everyone Around Her Sick

Imagine being so toxic that you make everyone around you sick. Gloria Ramirez: A real-life medical mystery is solved by a team of chemists from a nucler weapons lab.

[Warning: Hazardous chemicals present in this article. Read with caution].

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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The Truth About The Federal Reserve

A government Agency or a banking cartel? The Fed is one of the most secretive organizations in the United States. It has been said that Congress is more aware of what the CIA does than what the Fed does. What does the Federal Reserve do? Would you like to know why inflation is so high?! All is revealed in my article “The Truth About the Federal Reserve” published today on History of yesterday.

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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History of Yesterday – Uncovering More Mysteries About Our History

My latest article is out – The Mystery Behind the Screaming Mummies of Guanajuato

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BREAKING NEWS

I joined the team of History of Yesterday and will be publishing articles on their platform on a regular basis on forgotten history. My first article has just been published. I invite you to read it over there!

History of Yesterday – The Truth About Rosa Parks

If you wish to support my work you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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Self-Help Uncategorized

Are There Any Heroes Left?

On the 11th of November, the world commemorates Armistice Day and honors the brave men and women who have died in the line of duty since the First World War. The armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed in November 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The armistice brought an end to four years of fighting; on this day the world pays homage to our fallen heroes, but today I am asking myself are there any heroes left?

World War I & World War II cost the lives of millions of men and women who fought bravely to combat tyranny. Heroes are admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or their noble qualities. Heroes may be exhausted, but they persevere. They may be fearful, but they face danger courageously; still, they do not quail in the face of countless obstacles and danger. Heroes are undeterred by profoundly insurmountable difficulties and most of all they don’t allow themselves to be intimidated by dangerously potent antagonists and destructive forces that cross their paths.

History is full of admirable heroes who fought against tyranny but in the modern era are there any heroes left?

Are there any heroes left? Photo by Creative art via freepik.com

No one battlefield look alike, they come in all shapes and form. We have a tendency to portray battlefields with imagery of soldiers being stuck in trenches firing at each other or imagery of civilians having to hunker down the basement whilst bombs are being dropped from the sky; some battlefields are not so obvious to spot, but they are there, nonetheless. Whether you realize it or not life is a battlefield you are living in a world where psychological warfare, information warfare, financial warfare, spiritual warfare is common occurrence.

The American Revolution was all about overthrowing what the Americans considered to be a tyrannous British Government. In 1787, in Philadelphia George Washington, James Madison, George Mason, William Paterson, and some others sat down to draft the Constitution of the United States to give to the American people the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Recognizing that tyranny could come from a single powerful ruler or from “mob rule” the founders wrote into the Constitution mechanisms to prevent tyranny and promote the rule of law. They separated the powers of government into three equal branches of government: The executive (the President), the legislative (Congress), and the judicial (the Supreme Court). Each branch can check the other to prevent corruption or tyranny.

Fast forward to the second World War, Winston Churchill fully deserves his place in history, he was a phenomenal leader who famously called upon his people to stand up and fight against tyranny and what he had to offer to those who would join him in this fight was nothing but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Despite this blunt and dire warning, many young brave men signed up to fight for their country and against tyranny, knowing full well that they may never return to their families. True heroes.

“You ask, what is our policy? I will say: it is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all our strength that God can give us, to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalog of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory-victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival. Laws just or unjust may govern men’s actions. Tyrannies may restrain or regulate their words. The machinery of propaganda may pack their minds with falsehood and deny them truth for many generations of time. But the soul of man thus held in trance or frozen in a long night can be awakened by a spark coming from god knows where and, in a moment, the whole structure of lies and oppression is on trial for its life.”

Winston Churchill

Fast forward to today, where have all the heroes gone? It is very difficult to recognize a George Washington or a Winston Churchill in politics today. Politicians these days look like bad actors in a B-movie. They are misleading their audience who came to the movie theater to watch a good adventure movie full of heroes doing good deeds for the people, but instead, the audience is left puzzled by what they are seeing on screen because what they are watching instead is a schmuck-clown show.

If you lived in a tyranny, would you know it? And if you did, are there any heroes left to fight against this foe?

Are there any heroes left? Photo by Creative art via freepik.com

Yuri Bezmenov (1939-1993) is a name that few people seem familiar with today. He was a soviet informant and KGB operative who defected to the United States in the early 70s. In 1984, he was interviewed by G. Edward Griffin (Author of The Creature from Jekyll Island). He said during this interview that deception was his job, and he explained what the 4 stages of ideological subversion are.

I will let Yuri Bezmenov take over the rest of this article.

Most of the American politicians, media, and educational systems think that they are living during peacetime. False. The United States is in a state of war, undeclared war. It is a total war against the basic value principles and foundation of American society. The ultimate aim of the Marxist ideology was to deconstruct American values, destabilize their economy and provoke crises in order to Sovietize the free world. The highest art of warfare is not to fight at all, but to subvert anything of value in the country of your enemy, until such a time that the perception of reality of your enemy is screwed up to such an extent that he does not perceive you as an enemy.

Ideological subversion is a process that is legitimate and open, it has nothing to do with espionage. In the USSR, only 15% of the time, money, and manpower are spent on espionage, the other 85% is spent on a slow process called ideological subversion. This process will change the perception of reality of every American and despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.

It is a great brainwashing process that goes very slow and is divided into 4 steps:

1. First stage – demoralization. During this stage young people are influenced to question the integrity of their country’s morals and values; this is done through media propaganda and academia. Perception takes center stage and facts become meaningless. It takes 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why so many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy. In other words, Marxist ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least 3 generations of American students.

Those people are contaminated and programmed to react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove to them that white is white and black is black. Demoralization is important because it robs the targeted population of its ability to process valid information. Even when demoralization targets are showered with authentic proof of contrary positions, they simply refuse to believe it.

Another powerful tool in the demoralization arsenal is guilt. Targeted audiences are pushed through media propaganda to feel guilty about their society and national history. For those people the process of demoralization is complete. To rid society of these people, you need another 15 to 20 years to educate a new generation in the art of patriotism, rationality, and critical thinking.

2.Second stage – destabilization. In this stage, the fundamentals of the targeted population’s economy, political system, and culture would be attacked, while the demoralized population could not mount much of a defense. Demoralized people lose faith in their nation, history, and ideals. They argue against individual liberty, sovereign rights even the rule of law. In essence, a demoralized population becomes willing to believe the worst criticism of its own society while learning to see defenders of that society as their enemies.

3.Third stage – Crisis. Once a society has been destabilized, the time is ripe to create a crisis. A crisis has the obvious benefit of panicking destabilized people into abandoning their legal protections and constitutional rights. Those who control the organs of public communication have the power to emphasize and exaggerate the danger of the crisis to create more fear and panic among the population. A crisis is essential for terrorizing the middle class into accepting a political agenda that is hostile to its interest, which leads to the 4th stage of subversion: the offer to make the pain and fear go away by accepting a political and tyrannical agenda.

4.Fourth State – Normalization. After a crisis, which caused a violent change of the power structure and the economy, you have what is cynically called a period of normalization which can last indefinitely.

If you live in a tyranny; would you know it? And if you did, are there any heroes left to fight against it? It is not a good idea to expect a white knight (disguised as a government official) to come on his white horse to save you. Save yourself. I believe that there is a new breed of heroes that are emerging. They are difficult to spot because they don’t wear a cape and a mask, they don’t jump from building to building, they don’t ride a white horse; they are hiding in plain sight, amongst us hidden by their familiarity, they are hiding in you and me. Today’s heroes are you and me and anybody who has the courage to stand up when the demoralized people are kneeling in submission.

And this, my dear friend, is Your Quest.

Personal Note

DDI Chat – Personal Growth – One-to-one Chat with Joanne Reed

In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication.  DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice.  DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category.  Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com

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About the Book

10 Minute Mindset – Part 1 of my Podcast Interview

I was a special guest of Mario Porreca who is the host and founder of 10 Minute Mindset Podcast. Mario reached out to me because he believes that I have a story ( through my book) that the world needs to hear. 

Mario asked me to tell him what led me to write my book. He was very interested in the fact that I talk a lot about history, philosophy and economics in the book and wanted me to tell him more about why these are important when we go on our own journey of self-discovery on our own Quest.

10 Minute Mindset with Mario Porreca – Episode 1 – “This is your Quest”

You can listen to the podcast by going on Mario’s website or by playing the file below (interview starts at 5:52):

https://authorjoannereed.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/10_minute_mindset_423_05.16.2019_final.mp3
10 Minute Mindset with Mario Porreca – Episode 1 – “This is your Quest


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Book Review from London – The Most Interesting Self Help Book I Came Across

This Is Your Quest is a self-help book, I despise the phrase because it describes pop-psych, hippy nonsense, espousing spiritual mantras and upper colonic irrigation. If those are your tools for leading a kinder, simpler life, then so be it. However, if you want to read a book, you need something a bit more cerebral. This Is Your Quest is nothing like any other self-help book you will come across. It is an enlightening delight that defies the genre, well-written, insightful and ever so sincere. The approach is individual, the words have depth and the message is uplifting and thoughtful”.

“The book itself is a journey, and Reed excels at holding the hand of her guest readers. There is a gentle voice to the message. In between each chapter, she includes letters to the readers, recapping what’s has been learned and continually encouraging growth”.

“There is a surprising amount of depth in the presentation. I learnt a lot while reading it. I am not a major history nerd, but history was what hooked me. I think it is a really interesting way to break down happiness and comment on the idea of our worth and potential quests”.


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.