The Guru Says excerpt

If you’re a true Guru, nobody needs know about it. You just are. The essence of pure truth flows through you like the blood in your veins. People will come to you seeking truth, but their ears will be closed if you don’t tell them what they want to hear. The truth is a diamond. It reflects the light, but only clearly when there are no shadows cast upon it. Those who want to know must consult you. Once. Twice. Thrice.


–Louie writing in her notebook on Guru-ness


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz. The Bully

I am a Guru excerpt

One day, Louie woke up and she knew something about her had changed. It was like she could see her self in an inside mirror. But she didn’t see her reflection. Instead, she felt it. There was no outer sight with her eyes. Her eyes were turned inward.

I am a Guru, Louie realized. And she knew it was true.



(c) 2015, S.A. Kravetz. The Bully

The Angels of Coincidence excerpt

Yes! Angels are everywhere. Some times the air is thick with benevolent spirits reaching out to help you. You just have to learn to tell the difference between  what’s ordinary and what’s coincidence. Angels hang out in coincidence.


–Transcript of Louie’s Angel reading for a girl in trouble


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz. The Bully

How to Tell An Angel excerpt

Over time, especially the darkest times, Louie learned how to tell when an Angel was around her. It was a matter of reading The Signs. She learned they were different for each Angel, each time they came.

Here’s how it began. Once, after a time-out and a bitter scolding from her mother for dripping bath water on the floor, Louie ran out the back door and into the yard. She sat down beside the incinerator. It was made of brick and, when she sat down, it was taller than she was. It was a good hiding place. Louie thought it would serve her mother right, if she thought Louie ran away. So Louie sat there, silently, leaning against the sooty brick, waiting for her mother to call out her name.

But she didn’t. Louie waited and waited for her mother to call. Finally, Louie  guessed her mother knew she wouldn’t go far. She never did. Louie felt sad she wasn’t missed. And then something caught her eye. A flash of bright red streaked into a tree in a yard, right across the alley. In a minute, as Louie watched, a red bird, with a black mask, hopped out of the tree and onto a branch. The bird flapped its wings. Once, twice, three times. And then it flew away – a red streak like a faint red crayon mark on a page in her coloring book.

Louie didn’t wonder about it until later. Instead, she wondered if her mother was going to come look for her. After a while, Louie grew bored, so she got up and went back inside her house. She felt sheepish. Her mother was mopping the bathroom floor. When she came into the kitchen,  she said, “It’s about time you came in. I made bologna sandwiches for lunch.”

Nothing more was said about the wet bathroom floor or Louie’s remorse for slopping bath water on it. Her mother acted as if she’d never yelled at Louie or made her feel bad by putting her in time-out and screaming at her.

Her mother’s discipline went like that. She would flare up at Louie, like fire roaring in a fire place, and burn hot for a while, and then she’d smolder, finally going onto something else. Her mother probably forgot about the bath water, or Louie’s untidy bedspread or Louie’s finger print marks on the refrigerator door. But Louie didn’t forget. Each thing she did wrong and each mistake she made that angered her mother was another dent in her mind.

When Louie went to the Bookmobile the next day, the librarian showed her a Guide book on birds. It had many colored pictures. Louie paged through and saw a Cardinal – just like the bird she’d seen in the backyard. But Cardinals didn’t live in Colorado, the librarian said. She must have been mistaken.

That night, in bed, Louie thought about the Cardinal and wondered how and why she saw it. She decided the Cardinal came to let her know she wasn’t alone in the world. That as bad as things always were for her, there was something beyond – something special — like a hand holding out to her, saying, “This Cardinal is for you – you only. This means things will get better one day.”

There was no one to tell about the Cardinal or any of the other Angel Signs that came to Louie over time. But the Cardinal was the first.


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz, The Bully

The Compassion Gene excerpt

Bullies are missing the compassion gene. They are defective in the way that people who mix up their “b”s and “v”s are defective. When Louie was little, she mixed up those letters and said “I lub you.” The bullies in her life did not have enough compassion to answer back, “I love you, too.”  Everybody missed out.


note to self: add this somewhere in first book timeline


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz. The Bully

Never Give Up speech excerpt

Notes from Louie’s speech: “It’s not so much what life throws at you; it’s how you respond. I chose froze, which I don’t recommend. Life goes on around you, and, there you are, just an eye in the peephole of a kaleidoscope. Better to find ways to fight back. Look for the Angels disguised as people who are nearby and can help you.  Or sharpen the extra-senses you developed to defend yourself.  Angels and ESP will come in handy when you escape from one bully or any others on your path. And you can escape. And will.”

Never Give Up.



(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz, The Bully

Self-Inflicted excerpt

Some bullies think they won’t ever get caught, but they always do. Because, in the end, they’ll be all alone with no one left to hurt. That’s gonna be the worst pain. And, it’s self-inflicted.


—Louie explaining to a traumatized co-worker how to cope with abuse.


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz, The Bully

the lone danger excerpt

About a year after Peddle passed onto the great beyond, and Louie resigned herself to never having a sibling or a pet, she discovered books. She could fall into a book like someone falling into a lake or a river – headfirst into a story, submerged until she wasn’t Louie any more, but an observer, a third person, a watcher who watched and knew what was happening, page by page. Sometimes Louie figured out, early on,  how the book would end, but that didn’t stop her from reading it. Mostly the words were more satisfying to her than the story they told.

Louie couldn’t remember the exact timing, but she’d been to the Bookmobile, and it was probably early afternoon.  It was an ordinary Summer day. She was walking down her block, book in hand, when Johnny Andrews biked over from across the street. Johnny was going in 7th grade, and she was only going into second, but her parents were friends with his parents, so she knew him a little.  Sometimes their families ate together at the neighborhood barbecues. Usually, Johnny couldn’t sit still, so he took off on his bike before supper was over. Louie didn’t think they’d ever said more than to say “Hi.”

Hey, you wanna see something neat, Louie?” She was surprised Johnny remembered her name, but flattered he did. “I sent away for this Lone Ranger set, with my cereal box tops and I got something keen I bet you’d like to see.”

Really? What?”  Louie wasn’t a big fan of The Lone Ranger; she liked Hopalong Cassidy better, but she wondered what Johnny got in the mail. She always wanted to send away for a twinkly Rice Krispies ring or a Hopalong pin you could wear on your sweater.

Follow me,” Johnny said, riding his bike slowly towards the vacant house two doors down from Rexie and Lexie’s house. “And I’ll show youYou gotta see this in the backyard.”

Louie was curious, so she followed him, past her house, past Lexie and Rexie’s house and into the backyard of a house where no one lived.  The yard was hemmed in by a rusting chain link fence. It wasn’t much of a backyard. The grass was brown and broken, patches of thirsty dirt showed through where lawn should have been. Johnny hopped off his bike and opened the fence gate. “Follow me,” he said. “You’re gonna like this.”

She followed, wondering if he had a cap gun or a Lone Ranger mask or something that needed to be outdoors in order to work.

Lookie here,”  Johnny said, as they got to the fence in the very back of the yard.  He pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his pocket. “Aren’t these something? I bet nobody else has these! I’ll show you how they work.”

He dangled the handcuffs in front of her. She was thinking, I don’t think they’re that great, but I’m not a boy and I don’t like the Lone Ranger all that much. Maybe, she thought, Johnny could do magic tricks with them.

You gotta sit down here,” Johnny said, motioning for her to sit on the dead grass next to the fence. She sat down and he opened one of the handcuffs. “Put your hand in here,” he said. “I promise it will be fun.”

Louie put her hand inside the open cuff, wanting to see the trick; watching as he took her other hand and placed a cuff around it, too. Then she watched him lock the cuffs.  But it wasn’t fun. She could barely move her hands inside the cuffs. Something did not feel right. This didn’t feel like magic.

Louie knew it and Johnny knew it, but then he pushed her down on her back, on the stiff grass that poked her back like little knives. He looked around to see if anyone was nearby. “Don’t you squeal,” he said, in a rough voice, as he straddled her body. And then, while she struggled to get her hands free from the cuffs, he grabbed her waistband and yanked her pants down.

Louie remembered some of it. His grubby fingers poking her, moving around and around inside her, as if looking for something. She couldn’t scream; he had one hand over her mouth and his face was right above her face; she could feel his breath, and smell it too. It smelled like Lucky Strikes.

Louie just sort of floated away. Out from under him. She could look down on the two of them; Louie on the ground, struggling, him on top of her, holding her down.  For some reason, like a watcher reading a book, she was more curious than afraid. More observer than participant. And, then, they both heard a car door slam, and then another, from nearby at Rexie and Lexie’s house. Johnny quickly got off her, unlocked the handcuffs, stood, picked up his bike and rode away in a blur. He left the gate open and Louie with her pants still down around her ankles. She felt the hardness of the ground again. Her wrists were sore, but she pulled up her underwear and wriggled into her pants.  She sat up slowly, keeping her back against the fence. She couldn’t feel the the metal chains or the sticks of grass poking her anymore. More than anything, she just felt cold.

She heard a bird sing. She sat there for a while, wondering what to do next, besides try to stop shivering.  She didn’t think he’d come back. After a little while she noticed her private part hurt where he’d jabbed her and her wrists were sore, but she wasn’t more hurt than that. She could get home allright, she knew. But she was afraid to tell her parents what happened.

They would be so mad she didn’t come straight home from the Bookmobile, but went wandering off without permission. Likely they didn’t yet wonder where she was. They probably thought she was still dawdling inside the Bookmobile, which she often did. But everything happened so quickly, she couldn’t tell how long she’d been at the Bookmobile or in the abandoned back yard.   Louie looked around for the book she had checked out and found it, luckily, caught inside a thick bramble of weeds.

When Louie wrote about it later, she noted the many ironies of that day: how cold she felt despite the heat; how the only magic was the neighbor’s car pulling into the driveway when it did; how the yard’s grass was dead, but the weeds were flourishing.

It was as if they thrived on neglect.


(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz. The Bully

The Bully’s Mask excerpt

Tear the mask off a bully and s/he has no place to hide. Bullies need a secret to fuel their fire. But unmasked, a bully’s fire is naked, growing smaller and smaller until the wind blows it out. Speak up. Find the Right people to tell. Stop taking the punishment. A bully’s secret wish is that you’ll be too afraid to rip off the mask. But rip away. This is how you get your self back.

Louie’s – epiphany from the introduction to the third book in her trilogy



(c) 2015. S.A. Kravetz. The Bully