The Inheritance by Rhonda Blackhurst– Book Review

Rhonda:

Thank you to Teresa at Home and Spirit for her review of my book. If you haven’t visited her blog, please do so. It’s time well spent. Her posts have touched my life on many occasions.

Originally posted on Home And Spirit:

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The joy of reading is a privilege of which I am always grateful for.  A good book has the power to enrich our lives, sometimes even teach us or cause us to reflect.  This morning, after just finishing the book, The Inheritance by fellow WordPress blogger, Rhonda Blackhurst, I find myself reflecting some more on all the teachable gems which glittered throughout the pages of the book.

The story begins with a tragedy. A mature couple, married for 36 years and still deeply in love lose their lives in a car accident leaving behind three adult children (and two grandchildren).  At the time of the reading of the will, the adult children are shocked to learn of the terms and conditions of their substantial inheritance which their parents had put in place.  They are also stunned to realize how well their parents knew them, so much so that even their…

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Cover Reveal – Shear Madness

Today’s post is the cover reveal for my upcoming novel, Shear Madness. I had so much fun with this cover, and working with the designer was an amazing process! The book is expected to be available in July. :)

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Melanie Hogan is anything but your average beauty salon owner. She’s created a life for herself that’s an exact contradiction to that of her wanderlust, absentee mother who bailed on her when Melanie was four years old. She has gone above and beyond to make sure her life is stable, predictable, and…boring. While deciding to add some spontaneity to her life, she learns an important lesson: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And she does.

 Velma Johnson, the town busy body, keels over in Melanie’s stylist chair just as she’s about to reveal a secret to Melanie. As details emerge around Velma’s death, Melanie enlists the help of her best friends and business partners, Claire Davis and Jack Dancy, to find the killer. Could it be one of the three girls who work side by side with Melanie at the salon, all of whom were present when Velma died? Or one of their clients that were present as well? Or what about Buford Woods, the client who threatened to have the last laugh when Melanie refused to date him and who suspiciously shows up outside the salon right after Velma died?

 It’s a race against time as Melanie finds herself prey to a stalker intent on ruining her life, and one who’s behavior is escalating. As Melanie sets out to solve the puzzle that has become her life, someone is dead set against letting her discover the truth, much less live to tell about it. And as she discovers the truth, she finds a missing piece to an unfinished puzzle from her past.

The Gift of Hope

Birthday Post

This year, as I turn the big “5-0″ on June 11th, I look back and see how incredibly blessed I’ve been during my life. I would like to pass on that blessing to the kids of St. Jude children’s Research Hospital, to give them the gift of hope to live the life I’ve been, and continue to be, so fortunate to live.

I’m doing something different for my birthday this year by dedicating it to the kids of St. Jude. I’ve been a donor to St. Jude for over ten years, so it’s safe to say it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I know it’s nearly a month early, but that just means there’s more time to celebrate! :)

Help me out by giving them a gift this year for my birthday— the gift of another birthday. You can give help by going to this page.

St Jude

Why St. Jude?

Since opening in 1962, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

That’s right: the best care in the world, for free, because of people like us. Now that’s something worth celebrating.

Let’s get this party started. :)

Thank you and God Bless.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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There won’t be any biking today as I traditionally do on Mother’s Day, as the ground is coated with about 5″ of white fluff and the trees are several feet shorter under the weight of the snow. It looks like we went from spring back to winter here in Colorado. But it’s beautiful, I’ll give it that.

To all the mothers, step-mothers, grandmother’s in the role of mother, women who have found their role as mother in any other way, conventional or not, and to all the men who have had to play dual roles, one of mother:

Here’s wishing you an amazing, beautiful day to celebrate the little ones–or not so little–that you nourish, love, guide, teach, and “mother.”

And thank you to my boys, Benjamin and Alex, who have made me the most grateful, blessed, and happy mama I could ever hope to be. My life has been beyond beautiful–and never boring :) –because of those two amazing boys who have turned into amazing men. I couldn’t be more proud!

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” ― Rudyard Kipling

The Glass Half Full

We’ve been getting so much rain here in Colorado this May that I’m beginning to wonder if we should bypass the umbrellas that are well stocked in the entryway of the stores or go straight for the sporting goods section to fetch some life jackets. I’m pretty sure we’ve passed up Seattle at this point. In fact, this evening we’re expected to get a significant amount of snow, so my husband and I are planning to set the alarm a couple of times throughout the night to go outside and save the newly planted flowers and newly leafed trees by brushing off the heaviness of the snow. Definitely not a typical spring here on the Colorado Plains. And to add a little more variety, we were a little too close to a tornado on Thursday evening.

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Probably not too smart to be standing out there watching, but I was with a bunch of friends as we all stood in awe of Mother Nature’s power ooohing and aaahhing as if watching a fireworks display. (I try to justify it by thinking we could have all held hands and our collective weight might have kept us on the ground. Okay, I’m reaching there…)

So where am I going with the whole “A Glass Half Full” concept? I’ve heard the phrase so many times over the years, as well as used it. But every once in a while I have an “aha! moment” and it really means something.

One of the few things in life we truly have control over is how we think about something. Whether we view it as a positive or a negative. And what we allow into our mind is usually what comes out in our thoughts and actions. Surrounding ourselves with positive people, positive influences, and positive media leads to positive thoughts, and…well, it all leads to a more positive, successful life. Some examples:

As tiresome as all this rain has been, not to mention that it’s expected to last all weekend, it gives me the opportunity to stay tucked cozily inside and get some good writing time in. I often complain that I’m so busy (more on that in a moment) there’s just not enough time to write like I want to. Well, here’s my chance. I can use those moments to do something I love (aka write) and have something positive to show for it, or I can let that time fritter away while I wish for something that’s not, and look back with regret.

I can complain about how busy I am in life and that “there’s just not enough hours in a day,” or I can be grateful for all of the opportunities given to me and all the experiences I’m privy to. I can worry about what time I’ll actually be able fall into bed at night or grateful that I have a warm, soft bed to fall into. This particularly hit home this morning as I was coming home from the recreation center and I saw a woman living under the steps of a church that closed several years ago. She had nothing but a sheet of black plastic to keep the cold rain out. Wow! Am I blessed!

This morning as we headed to the city’s recreation center to work out in a warm and dry facility since swimming has never been my strong suit (don’t get me wrong, running in the rain is one of the most refreshing and exhilarating activities, but dodging puddles and river overflow is a danger I’m not fond of), I said something to the effect of, “It would sure be nice to be able to run outside again,” complete with a tad of self-pity. Okay, maybe more than just a tad. My husband, the consummate optimist, replied–carefully–“but isn’t it nice that we have someplace we can still go and work out?”

Ghandi

I’ve complained about my job in the past and about the negativity that breeds there. Since I’ve chosen to be more positive, to change the people I interact with, and to be the change I wish to see there, I enjoy my job so much more and am, therefore, more successful and effective. I have a job I love to do (helping victims of crime) and am suddenly finding more spiritual, kind co-workers. They were there before, I was just too stuck in the muck of what I didn’t like in the office to see them.

And tonight when the snow begins to fall? I can appreciate the beauty and purity of the white flakes and be ever so grateful that it will gone within a few hours. :)

So now, while the rain is beating on the roof of the house, the droplets creating artistic rivers down the window pane before me, and my cup of hot coffee by my side, I’ve got some time to enjoy working on my revisions so I can get my book off to the editor.

Today, you have a choice how you view your world around you. Whether you look at the glass as half full or…well, don’t even make the opposite an option.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties” – Harry Truman

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Home From Camp

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Whew! Just made it! And I’m going back for more in July. Anyone care to join me? The more in our virtual cabin the more support we have for one another and the more fun it is. :)

Until then, I’ll be working on finishing up the editing and revisions of my WIP and begin the editing and revisions on my second WIP, while relaxing at an imaginative beach–and my imagination can be quite vivid–with a good book and revel in the fact that despite cutting it close, I persevered, didn’t give up, and finished what I set out to do.

Have a beautiful weekend.

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Denim Day

Denim day

I feel compelled to take a moment out of my time spent at Camp (NaNoWriMo) to give a shout out about something that’s near and dear to my heart.

The fourth Wednesday of April marks Denim Day. What is Denim Day you ask? It’s a day people across the nation are encouraged to wear jeans to bring awareness to rape and sexual assault.

The history of Denim Day began in Rome when in 1992 a 45-year-old driving instructor raped an 18-year-old girl after he picked her up for her first driving lesson. He told her that if she told anyone he would kill her. Thankfully, she told her parents which resulted in charges being pressed against the man.

He was convicted and sentenced, but when he appealed to the Italian Supreme Court, the conviction was overturned in 1998. Are you ready to hear why?

Because she wore tight jeans.

The Supreme Court ruled that, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing the jeans…it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”  The Supreme Court stated in its decision, “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.” The Italian Supreme Court has since overturned their findings and the denim defense to rape is no longer used.

In the last several years, Denim Day has been organized as an international symbol of protest against misguided attitudes about rape and sexual assault. As of this writing, there are 5,027,843 registered participants according to the Denim Day website. Maybe you want to make it 5,027,844?

Consider wearing jeans with me on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, to raise awareness and educate others on rape and sexual assault.

I know I, for one, will be proudly sporting jeans on Wednesday. Join me?

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