Monday, February 29, 2016

MONDAY MUSINGS

Here's the latest update on my father. He posted this on his Facebook page this week.


Cancer Update

Good news:
1. Cancer on the lungs is completely gone.
2. Possible cancer on the liver is still inconclusive. They're going to do an MRI to get a better look.
3. While the tumor on the pancreas did not shrink (still 3.3 cm), it did not grow which means the chemo was effective, at least to that extent. They have to shrink the pancreatic tumor before it can be excised (surgery).
4. We will see the doc, after the MRI. We will start some other type of chemo that may be more effective at shrinking the tumor that's wrapped around my pancreas.

While I'm not excited about taking more chemo infusions, I think that this is good news, overall and am grateful for it.

Thanks to the many of you who have taken the time to lift up prayers on our behalf. I know that God continues to hear our prayers and answers them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!



I saw the below image on Facebook this week and, for obvious reasons, it spoke to me. I love The Princess Bride. And now I will always look at Inigo's quest so differently.

                     
Cancer is a horrible thing. Here's my Dad in Sept. of 2014: (with his great grandson)

Here's my Dad in July of 2015: (with my mom)


(With me behind my mom and dad)


Here's my Dad in November of 2015: (with my daughter)



Here's my Dad in February 2016: 



It doesn't even look like him.

I told my Dad he is a hero for the way he's fighting for his life.
He doesn't think he is.
But, I know differently.



Friday, February 26, 2016

FRIDAY FAVORITES


Friday Favorites include my favorite images on reading or writing!
(taken from Facebook)
 Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Invisible Girl who Loves Cookies!

I liked her answer entitled:


Image courtesy of [lekkyjustdoit] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

YOUR LOVE IS MY GREATEST PRIZE

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "TITLE THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Finding love"


My favorite answer wins a $5.00 dollar Amazon gift card.
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 22, 2016

MONDAY MUSINGS

Yay! Chasing Fireflies is off to the ebook formatter!



Over the past few weeks, I've been telling you interesting China facts that I incorporated into my novel.
However, I couldn't include everything my daughter told me about her China trip. Some things just didn't fit into the parameters of the novel.

Like a movie entitled Secret.

When my daughter arrived home from China, she was really, really excited for us to watch this movie she had seen and purchased while there.


I have to admit, I wasn't very excited about watching it. But, I kept trying to be enthusiastic for my daughter's sake.

Finally, one evening my daughter very excitedly told us we were all going to sit down and watch this Chinese movie she kept going on and on about.



We all agreed and prepared ourselves to be bored out of our minds.
I think we really didn't know what to expect.

Boy, were we surprised!


I had no idea that I would LOVE it! Everyone else felt the same. We were GLUED!

The piano playing was nothing short of AMAZING!


When my daughter went to China in 2007, this was the BIG movie in China. It was as popular as Titanic was in America.


It takes a few minutes for me to get used to watching a movie with subtitles. But, once I'm into it, I forget I'm reading and become absorbed.

I highly recommend this movie. You need to watch it! It is an AMAZING movie. The ending has a twist you will NEVER  expect! And it's a sweet romance!

Enjoy!


Friday, February 19, 2016

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Friday Favorites include my favorite images on reading or writing!
(taken from Facebook)
 Enjoy!



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Rita!

I liked her answer entitled:

Image courtesy of [Iamnee] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MY HEART IS SET ON YOU

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!





Image courtesy of [lekkyjustdoit] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "TITLE THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "You've won my love"


My favorite answer wins a $5.00 dollar Amazon gift card.
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 15, 2016

MONDAY MUSINGS

The final edits for CHASING FIREFLIES are now complete and it will soon be off to the ebook formatter.

It's such a good feeling when I can finally call a book DONE!


Image courtesy of [iosphere] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

CHASING FIREFLIES is about a young lady who goes to China to teach English for four months.
It is based off of my daughter's true experiences when she spent a semester in China teaching English.

Keep in mind, China is the setting. The book is, of course, a ROMANCE!

In the book, I mention how odd the Popsicles are.

One day the children were given Popsicles as a treat and my daughter said they were downright creepy. They didn't melt, they just became softer and softer and almost rubber-like. They almost bounced on the stick as the children moved. They almost looked as though they could jump off and walk away.
I don't know what they were made of. Maybe lots of gelatin???

At first they look quite normal and harmless . . .






They show no sign of melting.



Then you notice that they bend on the stick . . .


And then you wonder, what is wrong with that Popsicle?


At any rate, the pictures don't capture it well enough. Suffice it to say, my daughter said they were CREEPY.

Several people have asked me if my daughter is on the cover of CHASING FIREFLIES.
It does look like her and she did have black hair when she went to China. (Now she's a blond!)
But, no, it is not her.
I LOVE that it looks like her though!







Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 12, 2016

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Friday Favorites include my favorite images on reading or writing!
(taken from Facebook)
 Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

EYES OF LIGHT--FREE!

The novel, EYES OF LIGHT, by Charissa Stastny is available for FREE for a few days.
Grab your copy now!


This is a novel that is filled with intrigue, suspense and romance. It will grab you and not let you go until you turn the last page. But that's okay, the ride continues in this spellbinding trilogy. You'll be on the edge of your seat and loving every minute of Suvi's story.



A cast of three very different heroes come together in this suspenseful trilogy. Austan Sandoval is the master of disguise and deception. James Hinton is a clean-cut missionary out to save the world. Suvi Goldstein seems like she has it all, yet secrets bind her to misery. After swindling millions from a Central American drug cartel, Austan stumbles upon the location of the daughter of an Israeli Mossad assassin and determines to recruit her to his team. Meanwhile, James serves as a missionary in Guatemala and sacrifices all to help others. When Suvi Goldstein tries to escape her past, she’s torn between violent men in one world and a kind, forgiving man in another as she battles darkness to discover the light within herself so she can love again.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: Sherry!

I liked her answer entitled:




Image courtesy of [debspoons] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WHERE HAS MY LOVE GONE?

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!




Image courtesy of [Iamnee] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "TITLE THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Our love breaks the mold"


My favorite answer wins a $5.00 dollar Amazon gift card.
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 8, 2016

MONDAY MUSINGS

CHASING FIREFLIES is back from the editor . . . so now you know what I'll be doing this week.

Editing, editing, editing.


However, the edits are not extensive and it won't take me terribly long to complete them. After I edit, I will complete a few final read-throughs of the book before sending it to the ebook formatter, so it does take time for me to declare: IT IS DONE.
Up to that critical moment, I know I can make changes. Once I send it off for formatting, I don't want to make any more changes.
At some point, I just have to say the book is finished and I can't tell you how hard that is sometimes!

My daughter is my editor. She worked for two years as a copy editor and now she teaches Freshman English. She's a grammar nazi and I love having her as my editor. She does a great job.

CHASING FIREFLIES takes place in China and it is based off of my daughter's experiences while she spent a semester there teaching English. Yes, the same daughter that is my editor.
Hence, as she read the book, she was also reading it for accuracy to make sure I got all my China facts correct.

There were a few things she suggested I add and, as usual, I found these little tidbits fascinating.

The book takes place during the Fall semester. During this time the Chinese celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival. They hang red lanterns everywhere.


Below is one of the pictures she took.



In Chinese culture, a huge full moon represents completeness. They associate the meaning of the full moon with reuniting family members together. It is one of the biggest holidays in China, even bigger than Christmas in America.

My daughter said the red lanterns hanging everywhere were beautiful.

Traditionally, Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated while eating moon cakes. 


In the middle is a hard boiled egg yolk.


They don't appeal to me, but my daughter said she LOVED them. The other teachers in her group didn't care for them, so when they were offered in the cafeteria they always gave them to her. She said she had a stock pile of them in her apartment.


Another little tidbit she told me I should work into the novel is that the Chinese consider wasting food to be very rude.

They were each given a tupperware container by their Chinese Native Coordinators, (the Chinese teachers assigned to help them throughout their stay,) to use whenever they ate at the cafeteria at the school she worked at. If they did not want to finish their food, they were told to put the leftovers in the tupperware container and take it back to their room. Once in their room, they were allowed to throw it away. They just had to do it in private where no one was watching. (She said she had Hello Kitty tupperware!)



Before they left for China, they went through training to help them prepare to live in another culture. They were told that they were absolutely not allowed to talk about or teach about Christian religion to the Chinese people. It is forbidden by the government.


There are actually "plants" who are assigned to walk up to them and say, "Hey, can you teach me about being a Christian?" To which they were told they must say, "I'm sorry, I can't talk about that." My daughter said they had a guy approach them in McDonald's. (Yes, they have McDonald's. But it ain't like an American McDonald's. Oh no! Read the book to learn more!!) You can tell if it's a plant because if a Chinese citizen really wanted to seriously ask about being a Christian, they would do so privately and secretly. Not loudly and in public.

At any rate, I could go on and on, but if I did, you would have no reason to read the book! I have loved incorporating all of her interesting stories into my novel.

In the end, the book is a love story. But the setting and the interesting little facts about Chinese culture made it fascinating to write. I could research all day and never learn about the things my daughter has told me. I'm so glad she let me share her experiences. I feel like she gave me the inside scoop and it lends an authentic and unique view of China as seen through an American's eyes.

More posts like this are on their way! I have so many fascinating things to share with you!

Okay, back to work for me. Time to give CHASING FIREFLIES its final polish!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 5, 2016

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Friday Favorites include my favorite images on reading or writing!
(taken from Facebook)
 Enjoy!

I thought this was a pretty clever example.



              

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WITH WINNER

Congratulations to the last WORDLESS WEDNESDAY 
winner: BN!

I liked her answer entitled:



Image courtesy of [hyena reality] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

TUGGING ON MY HEART STRINGS

To view, go here.

Wordless Wednesday is actually filled with words--the words, thoughts, and feelings that pictures or images evoke within each of us without uttering a single word!


Image courtesy of [debspoons] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What WORD/WORDS does this picture evoke within you?

Or, in other words, "TITLE THIS IMAGE."

I'll start: "Waiting on love"


My favorite answer wins a $5.00 dollar Amazon gift card.
Don't forget to leave your email or I will be unable to name you as winner!
You may leave multiple answers to increase your chances of winning.

Contest is closed by Thursday at midnight and the winner will be contacted. Winner will be announced the following Wordless Wednesday.

Open only to those who can legally enter. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be emailed. If email is incorrect, a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is sponsored by Taylor Dean Books. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 1, 2016

MONDAY MUSINGS



RELEASING TODAY!

The next installment in the Power of the Matchmaker series!


Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She's learned 
to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother's bed and breakfast. She's also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.
But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.
As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.

What people are saying:

Loved it! A great escape and like always a lovely story that drew me in and wouldn't let go until the very end. Highly recommend! —Kathy, Goodreads.com

A very quick and beautiful read that made me want to move here and live among the locals. —Maureen, Goodreads.com

NOW AVAILABLE AT:


GRAB YOUR COPY!

Read the Matchmaker's Story in the prequel novella.


Image courtesy of [podpad] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net