Monday, November 23, 2015


Three years ago today, I was in Celebration, FL. Unfortunately, our reason for being there was not in keeping with the name of the town. We were in Celebration Hospital with my mom who had suffered a stroke the day before Thanksgiving and hadn't regained consciousness. I had ridden from Decatur, AL to Celebration with my sister -- I specify ridden as this was still within my six-month driving restriction following the seizures i had had in September of that year. Shortly after we arrived, the day after Thanksgiving that year - joining my dad, brother, and sister-in-law, and had been instructed to say our goodbyes, the nurse informed us she was gone. I looked at the clock at that moment: 7:12 a.m. Sticks in the memory quite clearly since my birthday is July 12th.

And such began the process of adjusting to a new "normal" -- living life without my mom. There have been so many times where after cooking something new I've wanted to call and tell her about it, something I often did "before," and it hits me all over again. And then this past May was rough during Jacob's 8th grade graduation, knowing she wouldn't be there for the milestones. Mother's Day since has been bittersweet in that it's been nice celebrating being a mother, but hard not having mine. And Thanksgiving has become rather melancholy. I have many things to be thankful for, and I am, but it's hard with the details of her passing around the holiday.

For some reason, it’s hitting me extra hard this year. In some ways, it feels longer than three years that she’s been gone… in some ways, it feels like it was much more recent. But time marches on and all I can do is try to carry on in a way to make her proud and honor her memory. One such way is continuing to raise money and awareness for the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society, a disease she was diagnosed with before I was born. One that I watched her struggle with all through my life and one that, while not the cause of her death, definitely took a huge toll on her body. I love you, Mom. I miss you.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Goals

Hello and Happy November, Dear Readers! If you're like me, you're probably not quite sure how we're already in November, but might as well make the best of it! For those in the writing world, you're likely already familiar with NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, 30 days of writing, with a 1,667 word count goal, which gives you 50,000 words written at the end of the month. For those not familiar, that's a very basic rundown, but you can learn much more at the site. I was going to say how many years I've participated, but checking my stats on the site, it doesn't have all the years... This is at least my sixth year. I've yet to "win." I've yet to even come close, but for me, as it should be, it's less about "winning" and more about getting words on the page.

So, writing daily, or at least getting 50K words written by the end of the month is my first November goal. My second goal is to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. I've been struggling with weight loss for a while now. And I've really seen that the main component for making a difference with that is exercise. So, in theory, as long as I keep my daily calorie intake reasonable for the day and I up my exercise, I should kickstart my weight loss. So, wish me luck!  I'm going to put up "counters" for both my daily word count and the amount of time I've exercised here on my blog to find as many ways as possible to keep myself accountable this month!  Hope Day One of November is going well for you so far!

[UPDATE: Well, I'd like to put up a counter for daily exercise, but so far I'm striking out on finding a good widget/counter/whatever to do so. Anybody know of the easiest way to do that? I have my NaNoWriMo word count tracker over to the left on the sidebar, but I can't seem to figure out a good "counter" for my daily exercise. I'm thinking a small calendar that allows me to update how many minutes I exercised that day... Anyone know something like that I could use? Would love your input! Will keep searching otherwise]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell REVIEW and GIVEAWAY!

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to my tour stop for The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell!  The tour runs August 18 - September 1 with reviews, interviews, guest posts, excerpts and giveaways.  The Banished Craft is a fantasy novel and is written for adults but is appropriate for mature young adult readers.   This is the first book of the Shkode series and releases on September 1, 2015.

 About the Book:
The Banished Craft is a genre-bending fantasy saga that follows the adventures of Cor, a woman caught in a dying world that does not accept her, and Atesh, a dragon scientist who's been asked to violate his own ethics or put the lives of his family at risk. Follow their trials as they deal with a shattered world, mired in political upheaval, while they try to rediscover a lost magic. The Banished Craft begins the Shkode trilogy: a quirky and modern take on dragons and wizards, exploring themes of identity, prejudice, violence, compassion, and the ways we are all connected.


"A wonderfully delightful and deeply imaginative tale of struggle and the quest for knowledge, set in a well-developed and complex high fantasy setting."

--G. S. Jennsen, author of Science-Fiction saga Aurora Rhapsody

"I love Bell's sensitive and insightful exploration of compassion, connection, and relationships. The Banished Craft provides layers of thought-provoking ideas as well as good old-fashioned escapism."

--Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, bestselling author of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge

Website | Facebook | Twitter @edebellauthor | Pinterest | Instagram |  Wattpad

Bell will be releasing her first Wattpad story on 1 Sept to coincide with the release of The Banished Craft.

$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends Sept. 9th
Prizing is provided by the publisher and hosts are not responsible in any way.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review:

4 out of 5 stars

This was a really fun and interesting book. I'm very glad I got a chance to read it. It's a story that's split between two worlds: one where there are humans and one where there are dragons. Even though it goes back and forth, it doesn't feel disjointed. There is great character development and it is a very well-written book. The only downside for me is that it started off a little slow. If I had been reading it for pleasure, I don't know that I would have kept with it. But since I was reading it to review, I did keep with it and I'm glad. (I've had a couple books like that and on the one hand, it almost makes me rethink my "the book has to immediately hook me or I move on" policy, but on the other hand -- there are just so many books I want to read that if I'm not hooked, it's hard to keep with it!) If it weren't for taking a while to get into the story, it'd probably be a 4.5. I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series!

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nightscape Press

As an avid reader, running a publishing company is a dream come true -- mostly!  There are downsides in having to send out rejections and trying to make sure the amazing books you are publishing get attention with the plethora of other amazing books being released, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I have met so many amazing people since we started this company and I am truly proud of every book we have put out -- and really excited about the ones that are on the horizon!  I would love it if you'd check out our current titles and let me know what you think of them!