The Queen's Proclamation

April 2006

News, updates, & pronouncements from Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Something to think about....

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,
there's a truth in your heart that says you'll never leave me,
 and the touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall.


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the power of the human touch. What an awesome, powerful thing the human touch is. Below, I've included some links that are informative and eye-opening on this subject.

Touch is so important that an infant deprived of affectionate touch will literally perish from a syndrome called "failure to thrive." Babies can thrive without sight, without smell, even without hearing. But they cannot thrive without being touched.

At the beginning of the last century, the mortality rate among children under two years of age who living in orphanages in Europe and in North America was almost 100 percent. These children were being well taken care of physically. They had all the food and health care they needed. Yet they died in the hundreds.

Their physical needs were being taken care of―but no one was allowed to touch them. At that time, it was thought that cuddling infants would spread infections and make children morally weak. (

But the touching shouldn't stop with babies and children. Adults need to touch and be touched, also.

Married women under extreme stress who reach out and hold their husbands' hands feel immediate relief, neuroscientists have found, in what they say is the first study of how human touch affects the neural response to threats.

The soothing effect of the touch could be seen in scans of areas deep in the brain that are involved in registering emotional and physical alarm.

The women received significantly more relief from their husbands' touch than from a stranger's, and those in particularly close marriages were most deeply comforted by their husbands' hands, the study found.

The findings help explain one of the longest-standing puzzles in social science: why married men and women are healthier on average than their peers. Husbands and wives who are close tend to limit each other's excesses like drinking and smoking but not enough to account for their better health compared with singles, researchers say.


And the need to be touched never stops.

Touching and being touched is a basic human need. Those of us who are relatively healthy and independent―and therefore able to give and ask for affection―have likely never experienced "skin hunger" and can't imagine what it feels like.

Hunger. That's what it feels like. A craving for human contact―an aching need to be touched by a compassionate human being, be it a hug, warm hand on an arm, or gentle back massage.

So basic a human need is touch that neither children nor adults can live without it. Children who live in abusive homes and who are deprived of touch have been known to wither and die. The need for touch is real, and persists throughout our lives. Indeed, as we approach old age, touching and being touched takes on added importance; it compensates for the decline in other sensory perceptions, and helps us stay connected
with our environment. (

So, let us not forget to touch the ones we love. The world will be a happier place!

 A Word From Pat

First, let me apologize for the QP being a few days late. I worked Thursday and Friday at the office where I fill in when someone is out, and friend Kathy's husband had foot surgery, so I worked for her. Therefore, I got behind on my writing "stuff."

We've had a good March. I enjoyed the fund-raising event at the Hume-Fogg school. We had a decent turnout. I haven't heard how much money was raised for scholarships for young writers, but hopefully a lot.

I don't like doctors. I don't like dentists. But I'd found a dentist that I really, really liked. So, you can imagine my chagrin on Thursday morning when I went in to have my teeth cleaned and found out that my dentist was no longer there! My first thought was, '"yep, and the new folks will be doing all they can to grow their business."

Well, I won't go into detail, but I'm surprised that you're not receiving this newsletter from my jail cell. Let me just say that by the time the new dentist got finished probing, pushing and looking for cavities, and said he found two, I was ready to reach down and grab me a handful of equalization! He was lucky that he was sitting behind my head with his legs clamped tightly together!

I just got an email that a new article about me and my books has gone live at: And author Lonnie Cruse is posting an interview with me on her blog at


I'm looking forward to keeping my grand kids one day this week. Playtime!

Everyone have a fun April. Get in that garden and get those hands dirty!



Visit Pat's Place at | Write me at


Links About The Queen & Her Books

Pat's Place website | The Queen's Blog | About Pat Ballard | Dangerous Curves Ahead | The Best Man | Abigail's Revenge | Wanted: One Groom | Nobody's Perfect | His Brother's Child | A Worthy Heir | Pearlsong Press blog posts about Pat

Weighty Matters

For anyone who has considered weight loss surgery (WLS, also known as bariatric surgery), who may be considering it, or who knows someone who is, please read the excerpt below that I'm sharing with you, with the permission of Peggy Elam, my publisher. Peggy is also a clinical & consulting psychologist.

Medical doctors are really pushing weight loss surgery now. They can't find any "good" diet pills like phen-fen to push, so they've turned to "stomach amputation."

Peggy sent the following note to an email list for scientists, professionals and activists who promote Health At Every Size:

The following is excerpted―with permission―from a March 7, 2006 email to me from a grad school classmate. We both earned Ph.D.s and became licensed as clinical psychologists, but lost touch over the years. She contacted me after finding one of my websites online and seeing my emphasis on size acceptance and Health At Every Size.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BEGIN EXCERPT>>>>>>>>>>>

My own mother just died from complications from Bariatric surgery at the age of 70. She struggled with her weight all her life, and as Bariatric surgery is all the rage down in Florida where she lived―she was able to find an unscrupulous surgeon who would chop her up, and ultimately kill her, even though she was too old and with too many health problems (diabetes) to be considered an appropriate candidate for this horrible surgery.

I could not talk her out of it―there was too much brainwashing going on from the media, and the money hungry doctors and bariatric surgery clinics springing up down there. She only had a gastric banding surgery―much less drastic than the other things they are doing today―but the complications began immediately―with her staples and sutures bursting, stomach fluids leaking everywhere, rampant infections developing, etc.

She fought like a trooper for more than 6 months, in critical care most of the time― one horrible complication and infection after another, including pneumonia, stomach wounds that would not heal, medication induced delirium, horrible pressure sores from poor medical care that resulted in amputations of part of her foot. She was unable to take a drop of liquid or food during this entire time, and since she had to be maintained on hi-calorie central line feeding, she did not lose an ounce of weight. Eventually, she developed sepsis―a general poisoning throughout her body, and kidney failure. Her lungs were trashed from all the infections, yet she still wanted to fight, so we kept her on a ventilator for several weeks. Her heart began to fail. She was in pain and suffering for every moment of that six month period. Finally she gave up―and with the family all around her, we took her off the ventilator and helped her die in November of this [past] year.

Unfortunately, Florida passed legislation last year making it impossible for us to sue the physician responsible for killing her, who essentially abandoned her once she developed the serious complications, and who ultimately traumatized for life every member of my family, especially her young grandchildren. The new malpractice laws in Florida are such that unless there is a surviving minor child, or spouse, you have absolutely no legal recourse. It wouldn't have mattered if the doctor had done the surgery drunk and blindfolded (which we wonder about as it took him twice the usual time to do the simple banding procedure! and he fought us tooth and nail when we attempted to get copies of the records)―if you don't have a minor child or husband in Florida―look out―you just don't count―it doesn't matter what the doctors do to you. This has been the hardest thing for all of us, as she made us promise that we would sue the bastard who killed her. Never before have I seen such prolonged pain and suffering, and I've seen a lot.

So, I suppose you now know how I feel about this horrifying new trend of butchering people who do not conform to the unrealistic notions of our society of physical perfection. You go girl― fight this horrifying new way of dealing with the problem of "fat people" in America!

My sisters and I are just now starting to surface from the depths of grief and depression that this experience caused us, and hopefully we will find some way of dealing constructively with what happened to my mom―even though we can't "sue the bastard." Let me know if you have any ideas about how we could help warn others about the dangers of this surgery. I'm going to go back to your website to get the links you mentioned there in a minute.

> >>>>>>>>>>>>END EXCERPT>>>>>>>>>>>>


Pat's newest book, Abigail's Revenge, is featured on the Beautiful Portal website:
and has been reviewed by AmaZe eMag:

 A new article on Pat has been posted at:
And a review of Abigail's Revenge is scheduled to go up there on April 24th.

Look for an interview with Pat on Lonnie Cruse's blog at

Calendar of Events

Pat will be a guest on the Health At Every Size show with Dr. Peggy Elam on WRFN Radio Free Nashville the fourth Monday of every month. The show is streamed live over the Internet 10-11 a.m. CST Mondays. Listen to the live broadcast stream over the Internet at For more on the show, check out the show blog at You can also listen to an edited recording of the March 27 show at

Pat will spend the next few months promoting Abigail's Revenge. She's in the process of setting up booksignings with local Borders Bookstores, and others.

You can still hear the taped radio shows from Size Matters with Veronica, WCRS Radio, on Pat's website.

Show #1 discusses Pat's romance novels

Show #2 discusses women of size and their sexuality

And check out the photos from the Nov. 6, 2004 Mississippi Authors Festival that are online at The Queen's Proclamation blog and The Pearlsong Letter blog. (Click on the Mississippi Authors Festival link under the "Photo Albums" heading in the lefthand column of either blog to view the photos. While you're visiting, post a comment on the


Books Existing and Upcoming

Abigail's Revenge, my fifth novel, is published! My publisher, Peggy Elam, pulled a few rabbits out of the hat and the book debuted at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville last October. In fact, it was delivered to the booth on Friday after the festival had started. That is where I saw my first copy... hot off the press!

It's a Romantic Suspense, and is different than any other novel I've written. It's also a good bit longer.

Abigail Avery was falsely convicted of the murder of her father and sent to prison when she was only eighteen years old. The supposedly good citizens of Leaky Springs, Mississippi were silent as an innocent young woman was orphaned, accused, swiftly tried and locked away. Her only clue in the travesty of justice is that a bunch of crooked "good ole boys"—headed by the judge who presided at her trial—keep pestering her to sell the family farm.

Now, a decade later, Abigail's out of prison and heading back to Leaky Springs. It won't be a pleasant homecoming. She's out for revenge on the people who stole ten years of her life. Especially the judge.

Karen Sparks, owner of (and an avid reader), says of Abigail's Revenge, "Injustice, romance and suspense with page-turning flair! This is Ballard's greatest work. Her fragile, yet beautifully big heroine is pushed to the edge with family tragedy, but she's determined to fight back and avenge the injustice that cost her ten years of her life. Ballard has created a rich romantic-suspense that you cannot put down until it's finished."

Click here to go to the Pearlsong Press website page for Abigail's Revenge. They're offering an advance sales special of free shipping within the U.S. for copies sold through their online store.

I'm continuing to work on my first nonfiction book, The 10 Commandments of Self-Love, a motivational book on accepting ourselves as we are instead of obsessing over trying to look like some unrealistic actress or image we see in a magazine.

Meanwhile, my short story collection Dangerous Curves Ahead is available through Pearlsong Press ( After its May 2004 publication, Dangerous Curves Ahead received a glowing review from Cindi Appel on the Fearless Books review website. Appel wrote:

Ballard doesn’t pull punches. She shows her heroines exhibiting ample will and tenacity to tell off those who would shame them into becoming something they aren’t just to blend in with society's narrow-minded notions of beauty.

To read the entire review, go to You can also read an excerpt from Dangerous Curves Ahead's title story, Dangerous Curves, by clicking on the title link in this sentence.

Pearlsong Press has also re-released my existing books, Wanted: One Groom, Nobody’s Perfect, His Brother’s Child and A Worthy Heir.

The Pearlsong Press edition of Nobody's Perfect was called "a charming, witty love story with a twist" in the July 2004 Small Press Bookwatch section of Midwest Book Review. Read the whole review at, or an excerpt at

I’m extremely happy that my books are now available in both print and eBook format. (The eBook edition of Abigail's Revenge  has not yet been published, however.) Please visit Pearlsong Press and check out all the options that are available.

Ask your local  library to stock Pat's books, allowing many others to enjoy them
while spreading the size acceptance message.


Book Contest

Register to win a free copy of the Pat Ballard book of your choice at Top 100 Women Sites:

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