Shelley's Blog

Many years ago while I served as the Creative Director for an animal sanctuary - Center for Animal Protection & Education (CAPE), I wrote a children's book titled Arnie Catches a Cold. This week the book has been released as an audiobook!

Arnie Catches a Cold is based on a true story about a small but mighty rooster named Arnie who lived at the sanctuary. When he became very sick he was whisked away from his coop and all of his barnyard friends to recover inside the caretaker's house. While he is gone the animals mourn his absence. Meanwhile, Arnie is being treated to a wonderland of delicious foods and warm beds. But despite all the creature comforts bestowed upon him, all he wants is to return to his 'kingdom' where his friends live. Children will relate to Arnie feeling sick, but longing for his friends and playing outside. All profits made from the sale of this audiobook will benefit CAPE.

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I recently wrote an article with this title for Medium. What my sister and I endured during those horrible months when a criminal on the other side of the planet had her in his grasp, is something I hope to warn other's at risk. If you or a loved one is searching for love online, please educate yourselves so that you can recognize a scammer should he appear on your screen. Some of these scammers are highly sophisticated. The guy who latched onto my sister was, as I described him, "...must have earned a Ph.D. in Scammer Sciences."

Yet the vast majority of criminals who think they can dupe you are pretty transparent in their amateur attempts. Their use of the English language is clumsy; their profession of love comes way too fast; they are always in a foreign land due to business or some other critical reason; a crisis occurs where they desperately need your financial help; they always have an excuse as to why they cannot share a video call with you.

We hope our words of advice and our personal experience dealing with a romance scam criminal will help others avoid the same fate.

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Patsy Roach has called our book Her King the Con: How An Online Love Affair Led to Near Disaster, "the Bible" where romance scams are concerned. When Patsy launched her new podcast Online Dating with Patsy, my sister Linda and I jumped at the chance to be her guests! Patsy describes her podcasts as "the hilarious, true and sometimes scary stories of online romance scammers." Patsy's personality Is showcased by her wonderful laugh, honest, salt-of-the-earth observations and her pink hair! Linda and I enjoyed every minute of our talk with Patsy and we are so grateful to her for all her support in getting our book into the hands of people who are at risk of becoming romance scam victims. Please tune in!