2016 – A year in review

I haven’t blogged in a long time. I’ve had such a busy year that I’ve let things like my blog slide.

All in all, this year has been a good one. I’ve been lucky this year and hopefully haven’t taken it for granted.

There have been plenty of bumps and a pretty steep learning curve in my life this year. It’s been a year of utter acceptance and I’ve come closer to letting the past go then ever before. I’ve been making peace with the things I can’t do anything about and reminding myself that in the grand scheme of life, I’m good.

While there are still some things that weigh heavily on my mind, each day presents a chance to improve where I can. To let go of what I can and to take pleasure when I can.

I’ve discovered a greater satisfaction and appreciation for those who love me for me. I’ve also tried to ignore the things that those close to me “expect” from me.

In 18 months my youngest will graduate and start college. It’s a bit scary stepping out of the mom roll  on an hourly basis. I’m thinking of it as the second half of my life and a sense of freedom after 20 yrs of raising my awesome, wonderful kids.

I love being a mom but sometimes you feel tied down- which is normal.

The lessons for me in 2016 –

I don’t worry about things that I can’t change about myself or other people.

I don’t have to stop feeling what I feel about people and things. My feelings are mine and mine alone and NO ONE can make me feel guilty, sorry, or tell me what I should or need to think.

I learned what GASLIGHTING is and how a few of the people I know have used it toward me.

I’ve also learned how to thwart their attempts to make me CRAZY, make me doubt myself etc…

In the end when others do that to a woman, they do so in order to make them feel better about their own choices in life.

I’ve never been responsible for another’s decisions whether they want to accept that or not.

I’ve seen the old adage that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side and I would be lying if that didn’t make me just a tiny bit happy.

I’m still striving to accept things on face value and not look for some hidden meaning or agenda.

I like myself more and more everyday. Staying positive has a lot to do with choice. I think I’ve left the pity train and only hop on board once in a while.

I’ve been much better at having empathy and sympathy for others who live with regret or who Karma has demanded repayment for their bullshit. She certainly gave it to me for a few years and I don’t envy anyone who is getting her retribution.

I love the fact that I don’t want normal in my world. I don’t want to live a Norman Rockwell kind of life. I’ve seen and know too many people who are faking their way through life because they feel stuck. So I embrace my inner geek, rock chick & everything else that is unique about me.

I fight depression, anxiety & self-worth issues with tools I’ve picked up through friends, family and therapy.

I know that depression led me to be unhealthy, overweight, unfulfilled, always in pain, not taking care of me. I no longer to seek someone’s approval about how I look, what I believe and what I love.

What I look forward to in 2017-

A flurry of re-releases of my books that I’m getting the rights back to as of January 1rst.

Breaking through the writer’s block that has haunted me since 2012.

Continuing to build my business. This has been a tough one, the previous owner left out a whole load of shit concerning how many customers were chased off, who were treated badly and were unappreciated. But the store is slowly gaining a lot of ground and several other book stores around me have closed. The key has been to make it a place people love to come, feel appreciated for their business and make it as friendly and warm as possible.

Waking up and going to bed with an optimistic view of life.

I’ve lost a few friends, one unexpectedly and it was a stark reminder of how short life is and I refuse to live in ways that make me unhappy. I no longer think in terms of things will get better in five or ten years from now. I may not be here then so I do what I love today.

I’m still not sorry for the things and people I love and never will be but I also won’t be taken for granted, taken for advantage of or used to boost someone’s self-esteem. Nor do I look to anyone else to feel those things about myself.

I’ve been others worst nightmare, regret and a reminder of all they don’t have but I’ve also been lucky enough to be someone’s lifeline, friend, mother, daughter & sister.

I’m still learning to think before I speak which has been hard.

I’m still way too impulsive in every aspect of my world and am working on not giving in to those impulses. But when I can’t fight it I usually give in. I guess this is something I will always struggle with but everyday I do my best to rise above.

Spending more time with those I love and respect and those who love me and respect me. Friendship should always be a 2 way street.

I hope to take joy from the things and people around me. I also hope to bring happiness to those same people.

I want to live each day with passion and purpose.

I want to take more walks in the sun. Laugh with friends. Be a shoulder to cry on to those who need it. I want to give to others as much as I can. Not because of how it will look to others but because I really enjoy giving to those who don’t have anything to give back or need help. I’ll never be rich and I don’t care.

Continuing to forgive & forget. I want to always keep in mind that I don’t know the struggles of others even if they’ve made unwise choices. I want to be much less judgemental and understand that people have to learn life lessons all on their own.

I don’t want to make people feel bad. I don’t want to put others down or be filled with anger and hate.

I want to continue to be nice, kind and hopefully understanding. I want my F&F to know and feel my love and appreciation for their place in my life. Whether we talk daily or once a year.

I want to give more hugs and kisses. I want to be there for those who have no one else to talk to. I want to be braver, more confident and try new things.

I hope to bask in the glow of the small things that make me smile. I want to spend Sundays in bed, reading, writing , making love, laughing and talking with the man I adore.

I want more weekend jaunts to explore Michigan, which after speaking to my friends from Florida to Cali, is still the best place to live.

I want to look on the world with hope. I want everyone to find that one person who sets them on fire and loves them without conditions.

I look forward to the coming year and all the surprises that are in store. All the wonders yet to be seen and experience all the raw passion there is to life. I don’t want to leave things unsaid to those I love.

2017 is another opportunity to live life to the fullest. To be happier. To learn things as they come.

I hope 2016 was good to you. That each of you had what you truly deserve in life. That you find the happiness and passion for life. That you don’t live with a glass is half empty or accept the least of…in life.

Wishing you a wonderful, and happy holiday and an even more exciting new year.





30 days

I’m turning off facebook for 30 days. No posts, no likes and no memes. I’m not reading updates, status’ , anything. I’m burnt out. Political posts, bitchiness, downers, and crazy reminders of the past have reached a point where I have to check out for a time.

It hasn’t been 1 thing but a pile of things that keep mounting and I need it to go away for a while.

Reading, writing, the store, my friends and the kiddies are on the agenda for the next 30 days. I’ll still go online. Gotta check the email and have to do research but other than that I need to clear some shit out of my head.

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a nurse (I tell her everything) about a couple of things that I’m unable to get past and haven’t been able to think upon them differently.

She told me that I probably won’t ever because I’m not wired that way. Once in a while something becomes so ingrained in you that it will live permanently in your heart, mind or soul. Accepting it instead of fighting it will be better for my psyche and take the pressure off of me to try to think differently.

It was a difficult thing to hear but it’s true. Why fight it? Just go with it and it will either resolve itself in time (like I really need it to continue for the rest of my life….UGH! ) or it will always be a part of who I am.

That’s it. There is no magic pill to take the less than happy things out of your life. 30 days that’s what I’m taking to step back and work on the things I can, things I love and enjoy.

I admit that FB is very addicting but it can also be a huge source for misunderstanding, hurt feelings etc….and that takes away from all the wonderful things I experience daily. I’ll be blogging again but now I want to talk about the struggles of writing when you’ve been empty of words for 3 yrs running.

Wish me luck!!!!!


Older and Wiser????

My birthday will arrive in 3 days. This birthday is a special one for me. I’ve settled in to the store. I’m in good health and I pretty much enjoy life everyday.

I’m lucky. Not in what I have in life but how I feel about my life. Don’t get me wrong there are still days when something happens and I shake my head and say WTF?

Thankfully those days are much less often then they have been in the last 10 yrs of my life.

I live by some pretty simple things. I’ve said them before but it never hurts to repeat them, if only for my satisfaction.

1.I’m doing what I love.

The store has been a life saver and I’m happy to be able to go into that building almost daily. It doesn’t feel like work. I’m in a place that is my happy zone. Right in the middle of books . Each day if a gift when I get to go in.

I grow bored pretty fast but on most days that boredom is kept at bay as long as I keep busy.

2. I do what makes me happy. It’s a rare thing when I allow myself to do anything I don’t want to do. PERIOD! Yeah I may do things that aren’t in my top ten favorite BUT I refuse to do anything that I really don’t want to. It’s caused issues with family and friends but at this point in my life I don’t give a damn. My health and satisfaction in life are up to me. As such, I don’t like to waste my time. So I do say no – a lot.

If I don’t want to go to an event – I don’t. It’s pretty simple especially when F&F understood I mean it. It’s not personal, it’s just a way to ensure I’m not going to get bent out of shape over things.

3. I don’t put my happiness in the hands of others. It’s not fair to me or them. If I’m responsible for my own feelings  then I can;t blame the nearest person to me.

4.The above goes hand in hand with the notion that you can’t control another person. No One really can in the broad sense. It takes a lot of practice to allow other people to do what they do whether you agree or not. In the end we only have to answer for how we behave, how we think and the words we speak.

5.I no longer apologize, rue, or obsess over the past. This is not them, it’s now.I can’t take back word and deeds I’ve been a part of. I start each day a new.Each decision I make is one that I know I can live with.  Denying universal truths never got me anywhere and only led me to feel really shitty about myself and who I was.

My writing is getting a little better with every passing time. My hope is that every time I  find a tiny amount of inspiration I come across and use it to write as much as I can.

At this point ans with every following birthday, I understand I have more years behind then I do ahead of me and I don’t intend to waste any of them my not living the rest of my life the way that makes me content.

I don’t ever want to wake up in ten or twenty yrs and think that I’ve wasted a lot of time waiting for my world to get better. Nothing ever happens by waiting for another day. With that in mind I try and make sure that any and everything I do is something I can live with.

My mom will be getting shoulder surgery in m birthday. I’ll work in the morning and go see her when I’m off.

I’m grateful and thankful that I am where I should be today, in this moment and learning to clear your mind, following doctors orders and trying to think in a better way as given me hope that the latter part of my life won’t be filled with the regret but instead will br filled with love, kindness and compassion.

Another Genius Gone Too Soon.

Goddamn, that was the first thing that came out of my mouth upon hearing Prince has Died.

My generation has been losing some our the most talented Icons in music. This year Bowie and now Prince. Both way too young and it’s a bummer.

He was eccentric & unique and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. He played an insane amount of instruments. He was simply a genius.

I remembering going to see Purple Rain when I was 14. The crowd was electric and it was such a buzz. I used to watch American Band Stand and remember his very first performance on that show. He wore a gold outfit and sang Controversy.

57 freaking years old. Not too much older than myself and my friends. It is sad, sad, sad and should be a big reminder of how short life can really be. You never know when you’ll take your last breath.

If you spend your time chasing after material things and less time on doing things that bring you happiness , you’ll miss out on so much.

I’ll say it again Dammit, dammit, dammit. Losing these pillars of music is hard to hear, only because we assume that with all of their wealth, and fame they are somehow more protected from the Grim Reaper.

No one is. When something like this happens, especially over the last few years, it serves as a reminder to enjoy as many moments as I can. To continue to follow my heart. To do my best not to hurt others. To be grateful for every breath I draw. I know that love is worth more than diamonds, more than an address or bank account. Loving yourself enough, not to allow others tell you who you are, or let them control you.

I wake up everyday determined to be happy, to not judge others and to be kind.

Loving and being loved without any conditions. These are the things that are important to my happiness. I think everyone should find theirs. Be passionate, don’t apologize for who you are, embrace your weirdness, try to look for the good in people even when it’s the hardest thing you may  do.

R.I.P Prince – You lived life to the fullest to the very end.

Exotic Eye Candy

Black hair, bronze bodies, strong jaws and perfect lips. These are a few of my favorite things. Enjoy these beautiful, perfect men.

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Newsletter for Booksigning at My Store

      Paperbacks n’ Things

Store Hours

Tuesday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday & Monday 12:00p.m.-4p.m.

8027 Wayne Rd., Westland, MI 48185 (Phone & Fax) 734-522-8018

E-Mail: kelliradtke@att.net

1 Year Anniversary Celebration
Kelli’s Corner

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I purchased the store. I’m thankful every single day that I’ve been given this opportunity. I want to say THANK YOU – to all returning customers and all of our new customers.

Book Club

The 3rd Saturday of the month is when our book club meets.

6:00 p.m.

At the store. It’s a blast!

Store Policy

For every book you bring in, you can purchase a used paperback at 70% off cover price.

Most used Trade-sized books are $3.50 unless otherwise marked.

Used books with a price don’t receive any additional % off.

New books are up to 205 percent off.

If you’re looking for something and we don’t have it, we can order a new copy at up to 20% off.

Up to 25% off when you pre-pay.



Come celebrate during the month of April.

During April we will be having a lot of fun things going on during the month.

Special sales every week. Weekly basket and gift certificate drawings for anyone who spends $10.00 or more!

Ending the month, we are having a Book Signing with Best-selling Authors :

S.E. Smith

And local Best Sellers,

K.S Adkins & H.A.Fortman.


Join us on April 30th from 1-4 p.m.

Come meet these fantastic authors and have sit down and chat. We will have plenty of copies of their books.



S.E. Smith is a New York Times & USA Today best-selling offer of futuristic romances. Her stories are rich and romantic thrill rides. Strong alpha males meet their match with her feisty heroines.

She can be found at –


Detroit’s own

K.S Adkins.

K.S is the author of the Detroit After Dark Series.

These romances are dark and gritty. Set in Detroit they feature Heroines’ who are tough and seeking justice on their terms. They don’t need a men to exact their revenge but for the right man, the protective wall around their heart can be pierced.

H.A Fortman

H.A. Fortman is a local author as well. She writes romantic thrillers set on earth as well as the stars.

Imagine if the Zodiac Killer wasn’t from Earth!

H. A mixes action with romance. Strong heroines and equally strong men fill the pages of her

UGS Constellation Series



Join us on April 30th.



Wishing you all a wonderful Easter,




Merlene &


Back to books

I’ve made the mistake of over sharing. Talking about really personal issues and feelings. Most of the time I really don’t think about how it will appear to people reading my blog, but since my goal over the last few years is to be positive, it goes against that when I write about things that annoy me, make me angry etc…

I’m taking a break from issuing my personal edicts about things in my life- with the exception of my writing, books, music and my store. I’ve seen way too many people getting vilified for their opinions.

It’s a bit confusing that so many are strong in what they say and then are pissed when  those who disagree can turn into tit for tat ugliness online. Free speech comes with the possibility of catching hell. It’s hypocritical to wave the banner of free speech and when you’re confronted with opposition you cry that rights are being infringed upon. Some don’t repsect opposite opinons and it’s foolish to try and change how others feel- also a little arrogant.

I will stand with anyone in their right to speak their mind, unfortunately the fallout is messy and ugly and a lot of times brings out the worst in us. The internet is a cruel mistress and I’d rather believe in the good of people than in the worst.

I’ll be focusing on the things I love, the people who make life happy, and the music that fills me with story ideas.


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