Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Breaking the Silence

It seems when you stop writing, it's hard to get back on the proverbial horse.  Inspiration can flicker only to be snuffed out by apathy. Apathy, lethargy, depression.  You think you are on a certain path in life and in a moment it can be altered.  

That moment, in my life, was the death of my mother last year.  It was sudden, it was unexpected and it was all over in the space of 24 hours.  I held her hand as her life slipped away and one by one the machines that had been monitoring her were shut off.  Walking away was the hardest thing I ever had to do.  I had never felt death this close before and can only say I had been lucky.

This past year, I've tried putting on a brave face. I tried to keep blogging but I finally gave up the effort in March since my heart just wasn't in it.  Our daughter finally got her diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in November of 2013 and while I'm grateful we finally started to get funding and help for her, I wish my mother had been there. 

Grief affects us all in strange ways.  I never expected to feel such grief and to bear it for so long.  Even a year later, I can be reduced to tears by a simple memory.  

The plan wasn't for my mom to die young, the plan was that once my kids were older, I would be the one going to visit her, taking her for tea and shopping. She was going to be an old granny and I her aging daughter hanging out together.  Playing with the gran-babies.  She was really always my very best friend, my confidant, my support and like too often, I've only just realized how very very important she had been to me and what a lovely role she played in my life.  

I miss her every day!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Journey to Rainbow Island - Book Review and Giveaway

Journey to Rainbow Island written by Christie Hsiao

Journey to Rainbow Island is about an 11-year-old girl named Yu-ning who thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end.  That is until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island’s Sacred Crystals have been stolen.  Yu-ning has been chosen to embark upon the dangerous journey to the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture the seven sacred stones.

I love to read so when I am asked to read and review a book, I am quick to say yes even if it may be a little “young” for me.  This book is written for grade levels 2 through 7 but, as often is the case, proves just as entertaining for the grownups as it is for the children.

Having said that it did take me a little bit to get into the book.  While Christie Hsiao’s descriptions of the island and the children who lived there are beautiful, I did find myself tripping over the names of various people, places and creatures at first.  Words like Obsidigon and Metratron do not exactly roll off the tongue easily.  Still the story engaged me and it’s simple message of love and courage was carried throughout it.

I appreciated that the main character of the story was actually a young girl.  Girls today need to see that it is possible for them to lead and be leaders.  While Yu-ning certainly was young and often scared, she was able to find her courage and do what was right. 

While the premise of the book certainly sounds like it might be a dark one what with crystals and dark corners of the world etc, this book is not dark. Although some situations Yu-ning finds herself in can be dangerous, it is not overly graphic or violent.  There is one scene in the book which refers to the slaughter of animals by a woodsman which may upset younger children who are perhaps unaware of such things.  As well, if you object to sorcerers or wizards then this book is not for you or your child. 

I think overall Christie Hsiao’s vision to create positive, uplifting entertainment has been achieved in this story. I also feel that young readers aged 10 and up would appreciate this story the most. 

For more information on Journey to Rainbow Island and Christie Hsiao, you can check out her website at http://journeytorainbowisland.com/site/.

Available for sale now through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  

Would you like to win a copy of Journey to Rainbow Island?  


1.     Mandatory Entry – share what you’re currently reading

Extra Entries

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Enter to Win Journey to Rainbow Island http://tinyurl.com/ma2o2q6 #bookreview @zeemaid @j2rainbowisland

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Contest ends April 3rd and is open worldwide.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Writing through the Chaos.

Today's guest post comes from Killarney Sheffield.

Writing through the Chaos.

Hello, my name is Killarney Sheffield and in addition to being the mom of five crazy kids between the ages of 12 and 18 years I am also an award winning multi-published romance author, a horse trainer and rancher’s wife. How do I manage it all? I’m nuts. No seriously, it requires patience, great juggling skills and a family willing to pitch in when the going gets rough and I’m lucky enough to have such a family. My office is the living room, un-orthodox I know, but I found my own office to be more distracting than the chaos of everyday life. Why? Well, I’d rather be right there to answer, ‘Mom, where’s the toilet paper?’ rather than down the hall, kids screaming over the blaring TV and pounding on the door. Is it hard to write a romance novel with all the kids roaring through, arguing, banging dishes and flipping TV channels? You bet it is! Sometimes, ‘can you give mommy a minute’ turns into an hour and sometimes it turns into ‘for the love of God, go play outside for an hour please!’ Would I trade it all for a brilliant novel career? Yes, some days to be perfectly truthful, but in the long run? No way. One day the novels in me will all be written but my kids will still be there, hopefully with kids of their own.

I was at one of my daughter’s volleyball games one day and a fellow mom leaned over and asked if I was ‘that romance writer everyone in town was talking about’ (we live in a small farming community). When I said yes she giggled and glanced at my hubby. “Are you’re books all about him?” she asked. I nearly fell off the bench laughing. A ranch and five kids doesn’t leave much time or desire for romance. Maybe that’s why I pen them. To me romance is hubby actually throwing a load of laundry into the wash machine rather than on the floor beside it. Would I trade my life for one of my heroine’s ones in my books? Yes, to be perfectly truthful some days I would, but let’s face it, life is not a romance novel. I am content writing about every woman’s dream hero because I know in life there is no knight in shining armour. What is there? A fantastic dad who may not be perfect but he’s mine and he loves me no matter if my hairs a mess and I’ve forgotten what make up is.

I guess for me writing amid the chaos of a ranch and five kids is my little patch of heaven.

If you’d like to find out more about me and my books: http://www.killarneysheffieldromanceauthor.com

Follow me on Twitter at: @authorkillarney

My can be found on Amazon and anywhere books are sold online as well as coming to a store near you summer 2014. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Little Boys

Having had two girls first and then the "surprise" arrival of our son, we didn't really know what we were getting into with this whole "boy" thing.  You'd think my husband would have clued me in but other than being a "man" which means he communicates nothing that he's not specifically asked about, there's the "selective amnesia" thing. He only remembers being good. Yeah, right.

I love my son and am thankful that God chose to bless us with this addition to our family.  I love that I get to experience the joys of parenting both girls and a boy.  Some days though, I'm ready to trade him in for another girl.


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