Interview with Valerie Rind, author of Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads

Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Valerie Rind to the blog. She’s here to answer some of our questions and to share about her book, Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads. If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find a buy link below and pick up a copy or two.


IBP – Tell us about your new release.


Valerie – It’s anecdotes about the bad things that can happen when we mix our money with our personal relationships. One reviewer described it as “slow-motion, train-wreck, schadenfreude voyeurism.” I also offer preventative tips to avoid these types of financial calamities and deal with the aftermath.


IBP – Have you always wanted to be a writer?


Valerie – I never wanted to be a writer. I simply had a message to deliver: You’re not the only one who screwed up your finances like I did. Publishing a book was a way to try to stop readers from making similar mistakes.


IBP – State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.

Valerie – I spent my college years jumping out of airplanes as co-President of Skydiving Club.


IBP – Do you have a day job?

Valerie - My business card says I’m a senior attorney at a software company. It’s a day career that requires a lot of writing, although technology contracts have a different style from personal finance stories. Wanna see one of my indemnification clauses? I didn’t think so.


IBP – What is your favorite story in your book?

Valerie - Without a doubt, it’s the tale of the deadbeat mom who abused and abandoned the child she had conceived during a drunken one-night stand. Years later, her biological father steps up and the end is incredibly upbeat. The update for the sequel I’m writing is even more encouraging.


IBP -Did you know the title before you started writing?

Valerie -At first I wanted to use Sexually Transmitted Debt in the title, but I was warned that people might not want to carry around a book with it emblazoned on the cover. Maybe I should have called it Fifty Stories of Personal Finance. No shame there.


IBP – How did you come up with your premise for your book?

Valerie - I knew I couldn’t be the only idiot on the planet who suffered financial loss at the hands of someone I trusted. Initially I ran Craigslist ads to find people who’d be wiling to share their personal stories. I classified nine categories of problems, including loaning money, co-signing, not keeping a will up to date, abusing helpless elderly folks, and other nightmares.

Every day I’m more convinced that almost everyone has had one of these unfortunate experiences, or knows someone who did (even if that victim hasn’t admitted it).


IBP – What books are currently on your nightstand?


Valerie – When She Makes More by Fanoosh Torabi. I met her at FinCon, the money and media conference where she gave a keynote speech.

Dirk Daring, a young adult novel by the bestselling, award-winning author Helaine Becker (who was my college roommate).


IBP – Where is your work available?


On Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle
Also on the iBookstore and Barnes & Noble for NOOK


IBP – How many more books can we expect in this series?

Valerie – My plan was to write a book, check it off my “life list,” and move on. Maybe learn how to play guitar.

But once it was published, new stories started flooding my inbox. The sequel is well underway and includes updates on the original stories plus new train-wreck tales. Maybe I’ll write a third one, or Hollywood will seek the movie rights. Who’ll play me, that’s what I’d like to know.


IBP – If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you want for company?

Valerie – I don’t care, so long as they can catch fish, build a fire, find drinking water, and get us off the damn island before I need a manicure.


IBP – How can readers stay in touch?




Facebook: Valerie Rind

Twitter: @ValerieRind

Google Plus: +ValerieRind



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Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads includes riveting, true stories of real people who, like me, faced financial hardships thanks to someone else’s wrongdoing.

Meet characters like the “Singing” Co-Signers, Credit “Cads,” and Sugar Babies. Hear from victims infected with Sexually Transmitted Debt® and Empty Accountitis. Get common-sense tips to prevent financial calamities and deal with the aftermath.

Dozens of anecdotes from ordinary people will keep you spellbound, while also giving you hope for recovery if you’ve had your assets kicked by friends or family members. 

Sexually Transmitted Debt® is a registered trademark of VSJ Enterprises, LLC.

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads is available from:

Amazon Kindle  |  Amazon Paperback  |  B&N


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VRind headshot FULL SIZEAuthor bio 

During a hiatus from a career as a corporate attorney, Valerie Rind worked for a housing authority, where she created its pilot personal finance program for 300 low-income individuals. Under a pseudonym, she was a founding volunteer moderator for the myFico community forum. She writes about personal finance at and contributes to other media outlets.

Her resume is a checkerboard with gigs like sailing on Caribbean yachts and negotiating megabucks contracts for a Fortune 200 technology company.

Ms. Rind has a BA in Russian Language & Literature from Duke University and received an LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Sydney. Yes, in Australia. She currently lives in  Washington, DC.

Valerie can be found:

Blog   |   Twitter   |    Google   |   Facebook 

*   *   *

Few people other than close friends and family knew that I suffered a financial disaster after loaning money to my husband’s startup business. Plus, I uncovered a shocking secret he kept for a decade.

I felt stupid, ashamed, and embarrassed.

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads includes riveting, true stories of real people who, like me, faced financial hardships thanks to someone else’s wrongdoing.

·      Did you co-sign a car loan for an underemployed boyfriend who left you with lousy credit?

·      Did you discover after the wedding that your fiancée hid piles of debt?

·      Does your sister take advantage of your elderly parent?

·      Will you inherit nothing if your second husband fails to update his will?

·      Did your partner waste your household savings on gambling or drugs?

Meet characters like the “Singing” Co-Signers, Credit “Cads,” and Sugar Babies. Hear from victims infected with Sexually Transmitted Debt® and Empty Accountitis. Get common-sense tips to prevent financial calamities and deal with the aftermath.

Dozens of anecdotes from ordinary people will keep you spellbound, while also giving you hope for recovery if you’ve had your assets kicked by friends or family members.

Sexually Transmitted Debt® is a registered trademark of VSJ Enterprises, LLC.

Interview with Stephanie J. Teer, author of I…am…Cheetah

Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Stephanie J. Teer to the blog! She’s here to answer some of our questions and to share about her book, I…Am…Cheetah ~ The Gift. ~ If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find a buy link below and pick up a copy or two!

IBP – Tell us about your new release

 Stephanie – I…AM…CHEETAH ~The Gift~ is the first book in the Wild Animal Kids Club Series for young elementary kids. It’s a fictional chapter book filled with friendship, humor, a bit of a magic and of course some pretty amazing wild animals. My intent for the series was to help children learn more about wild and endangered animals, while learning more about themselves. In general, I want my kid readers to walk away with one thought; “When you believe…Anything is possible!”


IBP - Have you always wanted to be a writer?


Stephanie – I can’t ever remember not having some type of story or character reciting dialogue in my head. Even at a young age, I was always creating some type of fictional character in a magical setting either for a school assignment or in my own personal journals.

For some people, the ‘writing’ bug hits them later in life when they feel the need to express their message or their voice to the world. And for others, like myself, it’s a longing or a yearning that’s been with us from day one. It’s almost as if we’re compelled to write down, what I call, the downloads in our head.

My good friend calls it the ‘Choiceless Choice’ and that’s how I’ve always felt about writing. It’s just lately that I’ve actually embraced the writer within and given myself permission to actually harness my imagination into something that I could share with the world.


IBP – What started you on your journey as an author?


Stephanie – I think that most authors’ journeys begin with courage. I know mine did. There’s really nothing that makes my heart sing more than weaving some magical tale with unforgettable characters. But sharing that with the world…well, that was a whole different story. I had to learn to believe in my own creative talents and realize that regardless of the millions of stories out there, there would never be one exactly like mine. I know that because we’re all unique and only we can share what comes from our heart. I can without a doubt say that the premise of this particular book comes from my love of my son. That, and his absolute adoration and respect for the cheetah.



IBP – Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?


Stephanie – Don’t give up. Don’t let doubt invade your dreams to becoming a published author. I’ve wanted to write for most of my life, but I spent too much time worrying about what other people thought. I realize that searching for validation from the outside world just makes the writing journey a constant struggle.

As writers, we write for a reason. What that reason is…is really up to you. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of your intentions or need to publish. All that matters is what you think and believe. Trust your own intuition.

Practice and educate yourself on your craft. Understand and learn about your genre. Most importantly, treat your draft as a gift, not something that is substandard work. Sure, it’s not pretty or dressed up. That’s what editors and proofreaders are for. I believe that the draft opens the gates to your imagination and when it really comes right down to it, to the message your heart is conveying to the world.

In this particular book, I…AM…CHEETAH ~The Gift~, I want to help younger children understand the importance of wildlife conservation. But mostly, this series is geared toward helping children understand that anything is possible if they just believe in themselves. As authors, we need to believe in our own message, and in our yearning to share that message with the world. Embrace that dream of becoming a published writer and hang on tight. Don’t let it go until you get there.


IBP – What is the best part of writing for you?


Stephanie – When I write, I have a general idea of a theme, some important scenes and maybe some dialogue that’s been rattling around in my head. Starting out, I’m already pretty excited to start with the process. But honestly, the best part of writing for me is when my characters take off on their own and go to places that I had ever never dreamed of.

It’s as if they’re allowing me to just observe and record everything. The feeling is euphoric and there are times when my fingers can barely keep up on the keyboard. I call it my ‘Writer’s Download’, because I literally feel the words, phrases, dialogue just being downloaded into my brain. It’s pretty fun and I think it’s why I always keep coming back to write again. It’s a journey or better yet, a fun adventure into the magic of my personal imagination. It’s a point in the writing process where the worry and the doubt just took a hike and my soul can truly express the essence of me.


IBP – Did you know the title before you started writing?


Stephanie – For this book, the original title was just THE GIFT. It was a perfect for the message that I was trying to convey to children, and to add to that, this book was actually written as a gift for my son. But there was also something nagging at me that it wasn’t enough.

I remember struggling with the concept of just owning the fact that I was writer and one day it finally dawned on me. Here I am trying to write a book to help children not only to learn about endangered animals, but also to learn to believe in themselves. But how in the world was I going to accomplish that without believing in myself. I was my own contradiction.

That was when I decided to stop all the whining. I decided to stop blaming circumstances in the past that had kept me from pursuing a writing career when I was younger. I looked in the mirror and told myself that “I…AM…A…WRITER!” and just as soon as I changed my own personal perspective, the next words out of my mouth, were “I…AM…CHEETAH!” Once readers read the book, you’ll understand how appropriate this title is for children to believe that anything was possible. It was one of the most thrilling “aha” moments in my life. I still get tingles just thinking about it.


IBP – What inspired you to write this book?


Stephanie - My inspiration for The Wild Animal Kids Club series came from a child. A child who Authorsamplepicforauthorcentralcouldn’t form a complete sentence until he was almost five. Without getting into details, this child…my child, had a severe speech delay, along with a myriad of other special need issues at the time.

I remember watching mothers at the park with their preschoolers having full blown conversations about which swing was the best or why their teddy bear just had to wait on the bench until it was ‘his’ turn.  I was in awe as my heart cried out for my child who only could form just a couple words and grunts to make his needs known.

Fast forward a few years with psychologists, teachers and therapists from all around the country and eventually my sweet child began to form 3-5 word sentences. You would have thought my child had won an Olympic medal as far as we were concerned. But when a child can actually form the words to say “I Love You, Mommy!”, something you’ve waited for years to hear, all you can feel and see is GOLD!

As parents we are always searching for those things that our children are interested in, and look for creative ways to get our kids excited about learning. For my child, it was Planet Earth!  My son, at a very young age, was already used to drawing his ‘requests’ due to his speech delay. But when my child watched all the episodes of Planet Earth, it was as if he’d found HOME.  He drew wildebeest after wildebeest, all getting munched on by those ferocious Nile crocodiles!  My husband was actually worried at first, but we let my son pour his imagination and creativity into every single drawing.

But then everything changed when he saw the cheetah!  And as I’ve been told, “You don’t choose an animal…the animal chooses you!” And I can’t even begin to explain how ‘the cheetah’ chose my son.  For years, he was consumed with the cheetah, types of cheetahs, history of cheetahs, the habitats of cheetahs…you get point!

We’ve read just about every non-fiction book on cheetahs you can find and although that was all good and fine, I wanted my child to experience the joy of a fictional story with his beloved cheetah! Next to my husband, books are my best friends!  I looked everywhere for books that portrayed his cheetah in the manner that he wanted and we always came up short.  So I decided to write my own book for my son as a gift.

As I wrote the book, my son and I were introduced to the world of animal conservation. We’ve met some of the most inspirational men and women who have committed their lives to making a difference for all types of endangered species.  We knew that our books needed to join those efforts. A portion of the proceeds of our books are donated to different animal conservation groups around the world.

It’s my hope that this series will begin to create a thread of understanding and caring for our endangered species.  As I create my wildlife characters and give them personalities that children can fall in love with, I hope they will remember these special creatures and keep them in their hearts. Maybe one day, they too will find a way to make a difference. Until then, we will continue to promote “The Wild Animal Kids Club Series – Saving Endangered Animals…One book at a time!”


IBP – Do you have an all time favorite book?


Stephanie - In regards to children’s books, yes I do. Old Yeller. I can still remember sitting at my small wooden desk as Mrs. Downey, our teacher, read a chapter every day to us at school. I can even remember hearing her voice strain as she tried to read through that daunting passage where we all lost our beloved Yeller. It made such an impact on me. That words…no a story, could hurt so much. We all wanted him to come back alive in some magical way and it just never happened. Our teacher read books to us during the entire school year, but those books are just a distant and foggy memory compared to Old Yeller.


IBP – Where can readers find your books?


Stephanie – Currently, I’m on Amazon, both in print and ebook. I also sell in a few small independent bookstores. As I branch out to other distribution channels, I will keep my readers updated through our website page at and on our Facebook page – Wild Animal Kids.


IBP – Morning person or night owl?


Stephanie -  Definitely a night owl. I’ve tried countless time to discipline myself to an early morning ritual. Just not happening. There’s a beautiful, almost eerie sense of solitude at night and I love it. Where that comes from, I have no clue, but it works for me.

I co-teach a class for beginning writers and one thing I stress is to follow your natural clock. Find your own personal rhythm and do what works best for you, regardless of what you think you should do.


IBP – What is in the works for you next?


Stephanie – Currently, I’m in the process of writing book 2 of the Wild Animal Kids Club Series, I…AM…WOLF. As I mentioned before, each of the books not only introduces a new endangered animal, but a theme of empowerment is woven into each story with our characters. In this book, my message is to help children understand that we are all different, unique and special. It’s when we spend time in judgment or comparing ourselves to others, that we lose our personal power. It’s when we forget about our own personal beauty for who we really are. Wish me Luck! J

*   *   *

Cheetah_KindleCoverIt’s Friday at Safari Park. It’s Park Day! It doesn’t get much better than that. At least until the park bully shows up. She thinks all animal lovers are just a bunch of geeks and nerds, but five kids don’t agree. Together, they decide to create THE WILD ANIMAL KIDS CLUB to learn about endangered animals. But wait! This club is special. This club has a secret and no one can ever…ever find out what they are hiding. But you can!


Come join The Wild Animal Kids as they discover a magical secret that will teach them about endangered animals in a way they could have never dreamed of. It’s a secret powered by their imagination and the belief that anything is possible. But will the Wild Animal Kids stand up for what they believe in? Will they finally find the courage to stand up to the park bully?


Only…if they believe!

Only…if they can find the magic within themselves!

Park Day just got a little more interesting!


Do your kids love animals? If they do, they are in for a treat. I…AM…CHEETAH! ~The Gift~ is the first book in THE WILD ANIMAL KIDS CLUB series. It’s a series filled with friendship, humor, challenges, a bit of fantasy, and of course, the beauty of some our planet’s most endangered wild creatures. It’s a wonderful chapter book for ages 8-11 and a great story to share with younger readers.


Buy A Book – Save A Cheetah! A portion of the net proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa on behalf of The Wild Animal Kids Club Series.


The Wild Animal Kids Club Series

Saving Endangered Animals…one book at a time!

I…Am…Cheetah can be found on Amazon

Paperback   *   Kindle

*   *   *


Park Day

Fridays were magical for nine-year-old Gabby Rose Cedillo. Why? Because it was park day, of course. Actually, it was a ‘Long Beach Kids’ park day. And as far as she was concerned, it was the best day of the week.

Every Friday, kids could hang out with friends, play sports, and even sign up for some fun park classes. There was ‘Art in the Park’ with Ms. Tammy, ‘Kids Knit’ with Ms. Billie, ‘Science Maniacs’ with Mr. Jasper, and a bunch more.

Gabby wiggled around in her seat as her mom drove past the ocean on Pacific Coast Highway. She turned to talk to her eleven-year-old brother, Nathan, but he was plugged in listening to music on his cell phone. Nathan only came to the park to practice basketball with his surfing buddies.

“Whatcha listening to?” Gabby asked.

No answer. Nathan just hummed softly and kept tapping the basketball.

Gabby frowned. Those are some pretty good earphones, she thought. She gently poked him.

Nothing. Then Gabby got a better idea. She reached up and yanked on a few strands of his dark brown hair.


Yep, that got his attention.

“Gabbs, what was that for?” Nathan pulled out his earphones.

“It was the only way to get your attention,” Gabby said, grinning. “I think you were daydreaming that you were a rock and roll star again.”

“What? I…I don’t do that,” Nathan stammered.

“Ya-huh,” Gabby nodded. “I’ve seen you in your room listening to music and playing your guitar with your eyes closed.”

Nathan sighed. “You’re supposed to knock before you come in, you know.”

Gabby smiled sweetly. “I did knock, but somebody was too busy rocking out.” Gabby closed her eyes and pretended to sing into an invisible microphone.

“Ha…ha. You think you’re so cute,” Nathan said. “I think somebody is about to get tickled.”

Nathan dropped his basketball and attacked his sister with tickles.

Gabby shrieked and screamed with laughter.

“Excuse Me!” A voice from the backseat shouted.

Nathan stopped tickling his little sister and looked back at his ten-year-old brother, David. David ran his hand through his wavy, light brown hair like he always did when he was annoyed.

“Oh, you were so quiet. I almost forgot you existed.” Nathan grinned.

“Very funny.” David wasn’t amused. He held up his mom’s tablet. “I’m trying to watch my favorite show, if you two don’t mind.”

Gabby twisted around in her seat. “What are you watching?”

Predators on the Hunt,” David replied.

“Which predator is on the hunt this week?” asked Nathan. “My favorite is the gray wolf.”

“Mine’s the Sumatran tiger,” Gabby added.

All three kids were crazy excited about wild animals. From tiny insects to humongous elephants, they loved them all. The Cedillo family came from a long line of wildlife veterinarians. Respect for every living creature was simply a way of life for Gabby and her brothers.

“This week it’s the cheetah,” David said.

Gabby’s eye’s lit up. “I really like the cheetahs!”

David grinned. Gabby might like them, but no one loved cheetahs as much as he did. “I was just getting to the part where the vultures swoop in to steal the gazelle from the cheetah,” he said.

David turned the tablet toward them.

Nathan frowned. “Why doesn’t the cheetah just attack the vultures? They’re just birds.”

David rolled his eyes. “How can you be a Cedillo and not know this stuff? Cheetahs are passive animals. The only reason they attack prey is for food. They don’t fight other animals.”

“Yep. He’s right,” Gabby agreed. “And vultures are huge. When they steal food, they do it in a big pack.”

David shook his head. “No! A group of vultures eating is called a wake. Trust me. They are definitely not called a pack.”

“Well…that’s a dumb name. Of course they’re awake,” Gabby said. “How could they eat if they were asleep? Duh!”

David just rolled his eyes. He gave up.

“Kids, we’re here,” their mom called back. She parked in front of the tall wooden sign at Safari Park.

At twenty feet high, the grand entrance looked like it belonged in a zoo, not just a local park. An artist who had traveled all over Africa had carefully carved the wild animals into the enormous sign.

As soon as the van stopped, Nathan jumped out. “Mom, I’ll be at the basketball courts. Later, gators!”

Gabby giggled. “After while, crocodile!”

“Ya know, that sounds really dumb,” David said.


David nodded. “Uh, yeah it does. Trust me, no one says that anymore. It’s like…ancient.”

Gabby frowned. “Dad still says it and he’s not…ancient.

“Are you sure about that?”

“David, sweetheart,” his mom called out as she closed her door. “Did you just call your dad old?”

David pointed to himself. “Who me? No way!” Technically he’d said ancient…not old.

Gabby unzipped her backpack and took out a plush zebra that her nana had just sent from Kenya, Africa. Her grandparents traveled all over the world rescuing endangered animals. They had just left Kenya and were on their way to a country called Namibia.

Gabby had brought the new zebra to show to her five-year-old reading buddy, Lucy. She was a cute kid and loved zebras as much as Gabby did.

David grabbed his backpack and headed toward the park. “Mom, I’m gonna go find Dorian.”

“Remember,” his mom said, “no scaring the girls with any bugs or frogs today.”

David chuckled as he walked off. “C’mon, Mom. Do I look like the sort of kid that would freak out the girls in the dorky knitting club?”

“I mean it, David!”

But David didn’t hear her. He’d sprinted off to find his best friend, Dorian.

Gabby slipped her backpack on and pulled her light brown curls free from the straps. She looked around for her best friend, Cassidy. “Mom, do you see Cass?”

“Oh, I just remembered,” her mom said. “Cassidy got the stomach flu. Her mom texted me this morning.”

Gabby’s shoulders drooped. No Cassidy?

“I’ll be by the hippo tables if you need me,” her mom said. “And watch out for puddles, sweetie. It rained quite a bit yesterday.”

“Okay, Mom.” Gabby sighed and walked off. Park days just weren’t the same without her best friend. Cassidy just always had a way of making park days a bit more…magical.

But today, things would definitely not be the same.

Today would not be so magical.

Today, a bully would change Gabby’s life forever.

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