Author Guest Post
Is that so? Did my writer’s imagination run wild and create an unfair judgement of the mothers (and fathers) who are involved in such pageants? Did I go overboard when assuming that this circus is a haven for pedophiles?
Surely many of you have occasionally watched an episode of “Toddlers & Tiaras”. All you need to do is picture in your mind the costumes, the poses, the make-up and hair styles of those little girls. Are they age-appropriate? No way. They are presented as mini seductresses, tiny little toy things, and we all don’t need much imagination to understand what will go on in the twisted minds of some adults when they “look at that those pretty little things”.
In my psychological thriller I explore the mind-set of a mother who uses her daughter to fulfill her own dreams, and the long term effects this exploitation has on the young girl as she grows up. It is a difficult subject, and many readers have told me that there were passages that were quite shocking to read in a novel as “I am pulling no punches” but I felt that they were necessary to expose the clandestine and dark side of child pageants. I have avoided excessively graphic descriptions, but the end-result is certainly not a cute, little princess story. Again, I’m told by many readers that it is an intense read, one they couldn’t put down.
Hopefully, once they finished the last page, they not only had a thrilling read-ride, but will in future look at the “Toddler & Tiaras” and related TV shows with a very different perspective.
By Helga Zeiner, author of Birthdays of a Princess
About The Author
She spent the next 15 years in exotic places like India, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, where she worked her way up into excellent managerial positions in large international companies. To achieve this she had to further her education and enrolled at night classes at the 'Chinese University of Hong Kong' for her Diploma in Management Studies.
Love eluded her for many years. She was nearly 40 when she finally met her dream man and settled in Canada, where she now lives, neatly tucked away in the wilderness.
She has previously written several suspense novels which have been published in Germany. Her first novel written and published in English is Section 132. A thrilling fact-based page-turner about a young girl forced into a polygamous marriage that has received countless 5-star reviews. Birthdays of a Princess is her second novel and was published in May 2013.
Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours
Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner
Publisher: POW WOW Books, Canada
Publication Date: May 9, 2013
Format: eBook - 290 pages / Kindle - 507 KB
Genre: Psychological Thriller
BUY THE BOOK: Birthdays of a Princess
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
Her little girl has always been her princess. In fact, she was so lovely, Melissa entered her toddler into child beauty pageants, making her a star from an early age. But her dreams and hopes are shattered one October morning, when Melissa watches a breaking news story on television. A young girl has been filmed by bystanders, committing a brutal assault in broad daylight in a downtown Vancouver Starbucks…and it looks like the girl is her daughter.
From this moment on, a story unfolds, so shocking, that it will hold you captive and you will find yourself reading faster and faster into the night.
In Birthdays of a Princess, Helga Zeiner has captured the inner thoughts of an abused teen with amazing sensitivity. From my own experiences in 25 years of Forensic Psychiatry both in private practice and at Youth Forensic Services the psychopathology of the characters is accurate and realistic.
~ Dr. Paul Janke Forensic Psychiatrist, M.D., F.R.C.P., Vancouver, BC
My Book Review:
Birthdays of a Princess is a fascinating yet very disturbing story of the traumatic manipulation and exploitation of a child. Author Helga Zeiner weaves an intense and gut wrenching psychological thriller that follows the traumatic and dysfunctional life of fifteen year old Tiara Brown.
Written in alternating chapters in the first person narrative by Tiara aka Princess Tia, and the third person narrative by the police detectives and Tiara's mother Melissa, Tiara's horrific story of exploitation and sexual abuse unfolds from infancy through her early teenage years as she endured the Texas child beauty pageant circuit and later child pornography at the hands of her neglectful mother and manipulative aunt. Tiara commits a heinous stabbing attack upon an innocent woman at a Vancouver Starbucks. Through the help of Psychologist Dr. Stanley Eaton, Tiara goes on a journey of healing by documenting her traumatic and emotional life story in a journal by each birthday year. Through her journal entries, long repressed childhood memories surfaces and the truth about her childhood filled with unspeakable exploitation and pedophilia/pornography is revealed.
Birthdays of a Princess is a riveting but emotionally intense and difficult story to digest. The author captivates the reader's attention from the beginning of the story, and takes them on a chilling roller coaster ride filled with tension and surprising twists and turns. This painful and shocking story documents the horrific and vivid accounts of unspeakable trauma that Tiara suffered throughout her childhood, you can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions for this teenage stabbing suspect, she is ultimately the real victim. Author Helga Zeiner has written a compelling and powerful story that provides much food for thought in regard to child beauty pageants and child pornography, and its potential for perpetrating the harmful manipulation and exploitation of innocent young children.
Birthdays of a Princess is a heart wrenching and realistic story of child exploitation that will resonate with you long after the last word has been read.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner
Contest Dates: July 22-29, 2013
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