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Indivisible

“One nation, under God, indivisible…”  It is a part our great country’s oath, a respect of our flag and freedom that has stood the test of time for so many years, something that means so much to so many, our veterans and the freedom that they’ve fought for.  It speaks of a people united, undivided, so what has happened?  How did the standards of this country get so sorely compromised and neglected?

As a people, all who were created equally, we have divided ourselves by religion, political party and race, destroying ourselves and the ethics that our great country has been built on.  We have forced unnecessary laws because of our lack of respect for one another’s opinions, but those opinions shouldn’t have enough power to tear us apart as a nation.  We can still respect one another without agreeing with one another.  How can we complain about the instability of our country when it is us who has caused it?  We have hardened our hearts rather than loving, taken instead of giving and hated instead of understanding.  When did we become a people who steals from the broken, looting from the rubble of a place ravaged by tragedy?  How did we become a people killing our own, as if God isn’t watching?

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a crisis, like 9/11 or the floods in Houston, to remind us that we are one, and we need to help one another regardless of race, religion, political party or beliefs.  I wouldn’t want to be someone lying on the street, needing the blood or breath of another to survive, only to be denied because I am not like them.  We are equal.  We are all equal.  On 9/11, none of it mattered.  People were helping people and that was all that mattered.  On that day, we were truly united, as one, indivisible the way that it should be, so let us all remember and learn from that.  Let’s restore our hearts with the unconditional compassion that was given during such a tragic time.  No one was left behind because of his race or religion.  He was rescued, saved by another because he was human.  “One nation, under God, indivisible…”

 

The Scars Left Behind

There are many courageous men and women in this great country of ours who so selflessly devote their lives for our freedom, sacrificing their families and risking their lives for the sake of others, even the unappreciative.  For most of our soldiers, each day is lived on a prayer while they fight a battle that neither side truly wins amidst the death that war inflicts.  I often wonder what compels them to so readily volunteer for such agony, but I realize that it’s for the greater good, or so the veterans in my own family say.  Whatever each’s reason is, I thank him or her tremendously for it.

For so many of these soldiers, the scars of war cut much deeper than combat.  The massacres that they have witnessed, debilitating fear and unwavering strength and courage that they are forced to maintain have left wounds that are far more than just physical.  The war has followed them home as they struggle to cope with guilt, flashbacks and nightmares, always in defense mode and unable to trust even those closest to them.  Some must relearn life with prosthetics, wheelchairs  or even worse.  Their minds have been reprogrammed and they are different people than when they left.  Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very real and the real battle of war.  Though there is help for those who suffer, so much more needs to be done to prevent the depression and suicide that seems to go hand in hand with it.  Our veterans are crying out for help, their lives forever altered, and it’s the least that we can do to give back.

My novel, Bleeding Panther, is a testament to PTSD as told from a Marine’s wife, the story of how the devoted Adam Koehley returned from war a mentally wounded man and the effects that it had on his family.  It is a raw and uncensored glimpse into just one example of what our soldiers live with every single day.  God bless them all.

Socially Yours

Today I reached 600 followers on Twitter, just a drop in the bucket for many of you who have reached hundreds, even thousands of followers but, for me, still a huge accomplishment since I’m not one to reach out for them.  I have never met the majority of them but have, somehow, captured their interest to follow me and my small, insignificant tweets about my novels, my day or simply random quotes from other authors, and I enjoy following them, as well.  I don’t miss a day without checking in with my Twitter friends.

On Linked In, I have managed to connect with more than 2,300 truly incredible people who I also follow regularly.  Many of them are literary agents, other authors and even film and movie producers.  Some are already living my dream and I find myself eager to scroll through each day’s photos, memes and updates from them to follow their goals, hurdles and adventures.  I am inspired by them, the experiences they’ve had, the exotic places they’ve been, their successes in life and they manage to get me through the days that I just want to give up on my dream of being a full-time writer/author.  They show me that it is all still possible with faith and hard work.

Even Facebook and Instagram keep my curiosity and interest with the photos, memes and updates about the lives of my social media friends.  Even when life gets busy and we don’t seem to have the time to keep in touch with one another, we know that we can all just sign in and see how each’s lives are progressing.

Social media has become a great tool for socializing and networking, and it seems to lend us the bravery that we might not normally have to put our lives so nakedly out there to others, expressing our feelings and opinions, telling jokes and encouraging our connections.  It allows us to reconnect with those we haven’t seen since high school, hear how another’s week has been while learning about their triumphs and failures, their joy and their sadness.  It allows us the courage to speak to people that we might, otherwise, not talk to face to face and this is why we all love it so much.  For me, it has granted a platform for advertising my passion of writing, my novels.  It lends me a way of sort of “tooting my own horn” which, in daily conversations would seem like endless bragging.  A large part of being an author is selling oneself, but it is uncomfortable for someone like me to do that without feeling like I’m fluffing my ego.  That is never how I want to come across so how do I sell myself, my books, without doing that?  This is why social media is such a wonderful thing.  I’m old enough to remember not having the internet so I am eager to see what the future of social media will become.

 

 

Chocolate Fest & Book Faire

I am a participating author in this year’s Chocolate Fest and Book Faire in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  Come join in the weekend of festivities, including chocolate martinis and chocolate and wine pairing on Friday night, then the chocolate walk and book signings on Saturday.  I will be in front of the Shenandoah Hotel on North Queen from 10 to 4 and I look forward to seeing you all.  Happy reading!

 

Mother Condemned

As with Bleeding PantherMother Condemned will soon be available on ebook!  It can be found on Amazon, ibook and other online outlets.

Though I have always been a fan of printed books for the touch and smell of them (and probably the old school value, too), I do realize that the digital age calls for a convenient and less expensive way to read so, for that reason, I have acquiesced to your requests for ebook versions of my stories.

I hope that you will all enjoy them and, as always, happy reading!

Bleeding Panther

I am excited to announce that, finally, Bleeding Panther is coming out as an ebook!  Though I have always preferred my novels to be the old school printed versions, I do recognize that our society of readers, in majority, are leaning toward the convenience of ebooks, so this is something that I have wanted to do for some time now.

I hope you all enjoy and, as always, happy reading!

Merry Christmas

Here I sit, on Christmas Eve, counting my many blessings.  I have my husband and our children, our parents and friends, our home, good jobs, our health and my passion for writing.  I probably don’t deserve any of it, but I’m so grateful to have had another wonderful year of love and laughter.  It hasn’t always been this way.

Tonight, as I write this by the light of my gold-trimmed Christmas tree and my pug snoring in her bed next to me, I think about those who can’t be with their loved ones, like the men and women in our military who are stationed overseas, or those who may have been disowned by their families. I think of those who are homeless or fighting addictions and those who are ill or otherwise lost.  I pray for those who need it, like the 18 year old boy that my son played baseball with who, home visiting from college for the holidays, was in a horrible car wreck and fighting for his life, and I pray for my friend who will spend her Christmas in the hospital where her mother has spent the last couple of weeks.  It all makes me even more appreciative of my blessings.

As we near the end of 2016, I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the upcoming new year.  May you be as blessed as I am, and may you have love and laughter in all of your days.

 

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my blog.  What would a blog be without first thanking my visitors, readers and fellow writers.  A huge and sincere thanks goes out to all of you.  I appreciate your support.

As a “starving artist”, as I’ve heard people like myself commonly referred to, every single reader and reviewer is an enormous asset.  So often, writers, singers, painters and other artists pour countless hours of soul-bearing, excruciating effort into what we do, only to face a mound of rejection letters and emails.  At times, it’s difficult to understand why we keep pursuing our talent, and the self-doubt overrides so much of the creativity, but it’s the passion that truly drives us, the passion of producing what we love, what keeps us dreaming and, well, breathing.  It’s that one person who compliments our work and tells us how much enjoyment we’ve given them through it.  It’s the person who is anxious to see more of what we do, and it’s the person who is as proud of us as we are, who appreciates not only the words, but the long hours, the editing and re-reading, the self-criticism and the pain of experiencing what our characters must go through for entertainment purposes.

My goal as a writer is to offer you an escape from your bustling life full of schedules, work, chores and stress, taking you someplace else as you read, meeting other people and even feeling what you might not want to.  I want you to remember my stories long after you’ve read them and feel that they have impacted you and, if I can do that, I’ve become a successful author.