Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Chances to Win!

Goodreads is hosting a giveaway for a copy of my book Lilac Hill!  You can enter July 29th through August 29, 2013. 
I will also be hosting a giveaway on my Facebook Author page for anyone who shares the link to the Goodreads contest on their Facebook page.  
Two chances to win!   Good luck and happy reading! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Quick Summer Read

This summer has been incredibly busy.  I haven’t had much time to write, read or do much of anything I want.  Don’t get me wrong, I am having a blast enjoying my children and family, but if you are a writer or reader, you will understand when I say, I miss books!
I was lucky enough to stumble onto a short story the other day, which I was highly excited about.  I thought it was manageable and I could get a quick fix if nothing else; and hey it only took my three or four days to find the time to look at it.  So last night I got my opportunity.  I’d met my publishing deadline, and though I still have other projects waiting, several books to dive into, and a pile of laundry, I thought, tonight is the night for “The Collector” by Terri Wallace.
I am so glad I did!  This was a fantastic and enjoyable read.  My only criticism is that it was too short.  I would love to have read this as a full length script, rather than a short story.  That being said, I was highly impressed with Wallace’s ability to draw you into the characters so rapidly.  Her use of language and tone swiftly stirred emotion; painting a sometimes disturbing world.
The personalities were easy to connect with, both good and bad, and you really got a taste for how the main character, Junie, absorbed the world around her.  There were several hair raising moments, which I personally love, as well as tearful winces.  The story line is thick with honesty, depth, and a mysterious rhythm you can’t help but crave.
Book Excerpt:
“It took me a while to learn the power of secrets.  Not havin’ secrets yourself, of course, but knowin’ someone else’s.  It’s like carvin’ out a piece of their soul and carryin’ it around with you.  You can either choose to keep it safe, or you can tear it to pieces and scatter it to the winds – your choice.”   ~Junie
“The Collector” by Terri Wallace, is available as an eBook, on Amazon for only $0.99.  It is well worth your time.  I positively recommend it, and highly encourage the author to write more! 

Amazon Book Blurb:
When ten year old Junie Rae Campbell wakes up in the parking lot of a seedy motel, and her mother is found dead inside, she has no choice but to go with the social worker who comes to collect her and take her to the tiny, sunbaked Oklahoma town of Crankston’s Landing to live with Granny Enid. But when lies and lechery threaten Junie and the people she has latched onto, secrets are exposed, untapped abilities reemerge…and a weapon for vengeance is born.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them."

Life is wonderful, but I was thinking how tuff it can be for young people.  I often wonder how we as parents can make life easier for our children.  Not ready made easy; more along the lines of preparedness.  That magnificent thing we all need, yet often lack the skill set for, without experience.
Some of you are thinking finance classes, self-defense training, etc., and yes those are all very important, but again not exactly what I had in mind.  We can give our children everything, teach them how to do anything, but what do we ingrain in them?  Do we force them into situations at an early age, which challenge their coping skills?  Is it cruel to send a teenager to a movie theater on their own, just once, so they learn to enjoy their own company and not see being alone as a social defect?  Do we ever honestly say, ‘no honey that wasn’t your best art work/tumble/singing’, just so they know every little thing they do isn’t perfection?
I’m certainly not suggesting we berate our children, or isolate them to the point of cruelty.  I’m just considering the extent of our coddling.  I want my children to be full of confidence, I think we all do, but I also want them to be self-sufficient.  I want them to know they are capable of working harder, being alone, and being different.   There is beauty in self-reliance, in comprehending that every “No” we get isn’t the end all of our hopes and dreams. 
People are excessively different from one another.   Diversity is another exquisite gift our world offers.  It is unrealistic to think everyone will “get it”.  We certainly don’t all agree.  So if my little Picasso finger paints a brown rainbow, I call it art, but their expectation shouldn’t be that everyone sees the value of their imagination.  If a critic came a long and called it less than appealing, my child should possess the grace and confidence to understand it as an opinion and nothing more. 
There shouldn’t be fear involved in putting ourselves out there, yet it is lurking in our minds every day.  When we should be impervious to ridicule, or comment, it often cripples us instead.  Why?  Because we weren’t equipped with “It’s okay.”  It’s okay to be on my own!  It’s okay if you don’t understand or appreciate what I do!  I don’t do it for you!
Moms and Dads are the first tool any child has.  Some kids come into the world without a fighting chance, but those who are lucky enough to have parents who care and take the time to worry about things like this, have all the tools they need to be a successful person.  It’s not bad parenting to walk away, sometimes, when they struggle…to let them figure things out on their own.
Forrest Gump: “What’s my destiny, Mama?”
Mrs. Gump: “You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself.”

If we don’t prepare our kids for what life is really like, or teach them to think for themselves, we haven’t saved them from anything.  We’ve just made the inevitable unmanageable, more intense and filled their minds with doubt.  I want all our children to walk with dignity, assurance, faith, conviction and independence.
“That’s all I have to say about that.” ~Forrest Gump