Cierra Rantoul


The thing about biographies, and memoirs is that you're the only one who really knows what your life is like, or what it was like. People may think they can walk in your shoes, or that they wear the same size, but in reality ... no one really does. Or can. My story ... my life ... isn't that different from someone else's who was in the same situations. Just different names and places. I grew up a military brat, packing and moving every few years. I also grew up in a dysfunctional family, which for the most part, still is. Maybe because of military life, maybe because of how my parents grew up ... who knows really how far back you can trace these things? Especially since most of the time no one realizes that there is any dysfunction until someone is finally aware enough to step out of the box and look at things from the outside.

I was that person in my family. I was that person who even when I could identify the problem, still found myself in an abusive marriage for 11 years because of how sneaky and devious emotional abuse can be. It's not a bruise you can see in the mirror or cover up with makeup. It's those little digs and jabs, those hints and threats that when you hear them the first few times, they don't sound that bad. But when you hear them day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year ... they sink in. They become more than skin deep. They pierce your heart and your soul until you no longer know what is true.

When I first published this book in print form, there were people who left comments that cut just as deep as those digs and jabs did years later. People who said I should have done this, or done that, or been this, or been that. People - one even a veterinarian - who accused me of not spending enough money to save the life of my dying pug.

I was crushed and in an instant, I was right back to being that insecure woman nine years into an emotionally, verbally, psychologically, sexually, and physically abusive marriage who didn't know what was true anymore. I took the book out of print, took it off-line, and questioned who I was and what I had lived.

But no more because those people who wrote those words didn't walk in my shoes. They didn't know. They weren't there ... and they were wrong about me.

To that vet who felt I should have spent more money ... I hope that any of your patients that saw what you said changed vets, because it should never be about how much money you can spend ... it should be about what is best for the animal. I spent nearly $3,000 trying to make my pug comfortable, knowing that there was nothing I or anyone else could do to "save" her. My commitment was to her, not to my vet's profit line, and the vet that I had was in full agreement. We were working towards quality, not quantity, and the day I made the decision to let my pug rest, it was made knowing that it was my pug's choice, not mine. Because I respect life. All life.

Smashwords Interview

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped me reach a wider audience than I originally did when I self-published my books. Going this route puts the cost of marketing on the author, and that doesn't come cheap if you want to really reach a big audience. Being able to market my books with a coupon on social media, or offer a % of the book to preview for free helps me get more 'clicks.' Even if those clicks don't buy, the books are seen and hopefully shared.
Describe your desk
It is an old wooden desk that I found for $20 at a yard sale. The desk has stains and cuts on it that tell how bored the original child who sat at it was when they were doing homework. It is cluttered with notes and ideas on little pieces of paper stuffed here and there. My mousepad has a picture of Trooper on it, and I have a tall sofa table lamp that I found at a yard sale for $0.50. Some of those scraps of paper are ideas for refinishing the lamp, and putting a DIY lampshade on it. Another has an idea for sanding down the desktop and drawers, and painting them with a fabric lace stencil, or maybe even using leaves and flowers. I have a Day-Timer book with notes and appointments open on top of my printer, and two notebooks for random thoughts.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


My Best Friends Have Hairy Legs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,560. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Marriage, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Marriage
“My Best Friends have Hairy Legs” is the story of how my dog, Trooper, and I overcame abuse and bad marriages; and how we learned to trust again.

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