Introducing Iris Blobel and her New Release!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m sharing with you my good friend Iris’s new release, “Fresh Beginnings.” Check it out, this series is a great way to relieve stress and escape the pressures of life for a while! 🙂

 

 

 

~~  Fresh Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

 

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2kyJsm9

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2hWGjMh

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2xsEtF2iBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2z7TPk5

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2g4b5C6

 

♥♦♥  BLURB ♥♦♥

 

Jared Fraser, a landscape business owner in Hobart, Australia, sets out for a holiday to the USA to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome. Looking forward to his first holiday overseas, he’s excited as he prepares himself for the journey. But little could’ve prepared him for crossing paths with a beautiful hitchhiker.

 

Will he be able to put his past aside and grab onto happiness?

 

Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesn’t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on vacation.

 

But she will have to say goodbye again? And not only to Jared.

 

 

♥♦♥  EXCERPT ♥♦♥

 

Ivy enjoyed being with Jared. During their drive towards the Grand Canyon he told her of his home and described as much of Tasmania as possible.

“I always imagined Australia to be hot with white beaches and beautiful water.”

“That’s up in the north in Queensland,” he explained. “We have spectacular beaches as well. Tasmania is a small island in the very south. The last step before the Antarctica, so to speak.”

“That sounds cold!”

He laughed. “It clearly isn’t Queensland.” Settling his gaze on her, he continued, “But it has beautiful beaches as well. And a wonderful marine life. And the mountains. We have some stunning mountains in Tassie.”

“Tassie?”

“Tasmania.”

“It sounds beautiful.”

He agreed. “Yes, it is. One of the best places on earth.”

Once they arrived at the National Park, they found a parking spot and walked towards the edge of the Canyon. She touched his arm to get his attention. Not that she needed to. His attentive nature drew her to him, and she couldn’t get enough of listening to him.

“I feel bad that you pay for everything,” she said in a low voice.

Jared waved his hand. “Nah. It’s only money and luckily the Australian dollar is—”

“Whether you can or can’t afford it, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like it.”

He stopped and turned towards her, causing heat inside her body. Her breath caught but she kept walking, yet, it took him only a few steps to catch up with her and, by way of placing his hand on her shoulder, to stop her.

“Wanna tell me why?”

Avoiding his stare, she lifted her shoulder in a casual shrug.

“A shrug is not really an answer, ya know that, right?”

Yes, she knew that. How could she tell him that she’d left Dylan because he’d spent all the money she’d worked so hard for? She didn’t want to be in the same situation, as in spending someone else’s hard-earned money. But deep inside she didn’t want to hurt Jared, either. She was enjoying her time with him so much, she wasn’t ready for it to end because of some silly pride.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a little squirrel in the bushes and despite some guilt inside, it was a perfect distraction.

“Look!” she said louder than she’d intended. “A squirrel.”

With great relief, she noticed how her devious plan had worked. Jared quickly grabbed his camera and kneeled down to get the best shot possible of this little creature.

Kneeling next to him, she asked, “Don’t you have squirrels?”

Still trying to get that perfect photo of the little creature, he whispered, “Nope.”

 

 

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

 

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

 

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

 

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

 

Social Media Links:

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** Website ** Blog ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads ** Amazon Author Page **

 

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What’s in Your Water?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after writing a new beginning for my latest WIP. It’s made the story stronger which makes me happy. 🙂

Now to finish it. I’m hoping it won’t take me too much longer. I like this story just like my last one.

Well. Enough about that. We had an interesting week this week. Our community has learned our water supply may be in danger due to the fact a company I shall not name used the surrounding area as a dump for the chemicals they used in tanning the leather used in their shoes.

Photo credit: dantelecan via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

The middle school my sons attend is near one of the dumpsites and this company has started providing bottled water for the school until the results of the water tests come in.

A few days later we learned there were other dump sites within the community. So we’re all worried about our water now.

Photo via VisualHunt

This is just another example of corporate greed and further evidence that supports a theory I have. We are going to end up killing ourselves if we don’t stop this kind of behavior.

Look at the Flint water crisis. According to sources they still don’t have viable drinking water. At least this company is taking responsibility and trying to correct the problem, but many companies don’t they deny…deny…deny until the evidence is overwhelming.

I know it’s cheaper for corporations to cut corners and work around some of our environmental restrictions, but if it’s bad for our environment, it’s bad for us. Those restrictions are there for a reason.

Photo credit: Images George Rex via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I also know that countries like China and Japan don’t have the restrictions we do. They aren’t as concerned about the environment as we are, but they should be. This is the reason they can produce products less expensively than we can.

Photo via Visualhunt

We need to set up a global environmental protection agency. Set up a protocol we can all live with. I know corruption will still go on, but maybe it’ll be a little bit better if everyone’s playing by the same rules.

We need to make sure we leave a planet our future generations can survive on. I’m worried about the mess we’re leaving behind for our kids. I want to make the world a better place for them, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Do you have any ideas on how to make the world a better place? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , | 38 Comments

Reading: It’s Cheaper than Therapy

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the future of reading in our society. According to this article, reading is on the decline. Washington Post Article

Like the article states, we readers have many distractions pulling us away from our beloved books. There’s the internet, movies, and video games. Now, I’m not big on video games. In fact, the only time my boys want to challenge me to a game is when they need an ego boost because I suck at video games. However, I can attest to the fact there are more things demanding my attention so I don’t read as much as I’d like to.

Photo via VisualHunt

I’m sure you’ve heard many educators claim that reading teaches empathy, and with reading on the decline so is our ability to empathize with our peers. This is evident in the arguments I see on social media. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it just seems like we have less tolerance for people who are different than us.

 

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Not only is reading linked with empathy but there are other benefits we need to pay attention to as well.

For example, reading is an incredible stress reliever. Did you know by picking up a book and reading for just six minutes you can reduce your stress level by sixty eight percent?  I don’t know about you, but I’m teaching this to my kids. Exercise and reading are better ways of handling stress than drinking alcohol or taking drugs, wouldn’t you agree?

As a parent, we need to teach our littles how to cope with everyday stress and one of the cheapest ways is to pick up a book and read. It sure beats the alternatives and is less expensive than therapy.

There are still more benefits to reading for pleasure. Like running is exercise for the body, reading is exercise for the mind. It improves focus, improves memory, and analytical skills. To read more about this check out this post: The Benefits of Reading

I don’t know about you, but I feel we can’t let this decline continue. If we do we’ll be seeing our young people resorting to other stress relievers that aren’t as beneficial.  We don’t want that to happen. You realize there’s an opioid epidemic happening don’t you?  I don’t want one of my kids to end up as part of that statistic, do you?

So teach them healthy coping mechanisms like reading for pleasure and exercising. They’ll be happier and healthier because of it.

Photo via Visualhunt

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Health, Reading | Tagged , , , , , | 60 Comments

You Need to be Your Own Advocate

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a harrowing week of being at the hospital with my son who developed appendicitis over the weekend. My poor little guy was in so much pain. Sob. When we figured out he might have appendicitis, we immediately got him into the doctor who then made arrangements for him to go to the emergency room.

Photo credit: AJC1 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

We got our son into the hospital and we hoped he’d have surgery that night. Nope. He wasn’t considered an emergency case because his appendix hadn’t burst. According to the ultrasound, it was just inflamed. So they gave him pain medication and anti-nausea medication for the night. He was scheduled for surgery the next morning, but he was pushed back to noon because an emergency case had come in. When he finally went into surgery it was one thirty, and guess what, during our wait his appendix burst. The surgery took longer than expected and so has his recovery. We were in the hospital two days longer than we had planned.

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

The reason I’m telling you this is because you must be your own advocate when you seek medical attention. I wish we hadn’t blindly followed the doctor’s advice and allowed him to push our son’s surgery back. I wish we had said we feel this is a real emergency and we want this taken care of now.

Another example I’d like to share with you is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The surgeon who performed my mastectomy originally recommended a lumpectomy because they had only found one spot.

Photo credit: KOMUnews via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

I told him I wanted an MRI done to make sure there weren’t any other cancerous spots. I wanted this to be a one and done kind of thing. I didn’t want to have to go through anything like this again.  His response was, “We don’t do MRI’s on people your age.”

I told him I didn’t care. I wanted to make sure there weren’t any other spots and he needed to order an MRI. He did and there were five other cancerous spots. Now if I had just listened to him, I’d be going back for more surgery and the cancer would’ve most likely spread through my body. My life would’ve been cut dramatically short.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything the medical community has done for me. After all, they’ve extended my life and I get to see my kids grow up. But they’re not always right and some doctors have a tendency to cut corners whether it’s at the behest of insurance companies or for other reasons I’m not sure. So the moral of this story is: You need to be your own advocate for your health. Ask questions and push the issue when you need medical attention. Get second and third opinions. It could literally save your life.

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any medical experiences you’d like to share? Please do. I love to hear from you!

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Why We Write

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy couple of weeks. I attended a writer’s conference last weekend and this week I had an author night at one of our local bookstores. I’m also putting some finishing touches on my latest WIP and I’ve got another one going strong. So it’s a busy time for me.

During the writing conference we were asked to answer the question: why we write?

 

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There’s a different answer for each and every author. Some do it out of love for the written word. Others do it because they feel they have something important to say. Still others do it just to silent the voices in their heads. Whatever the reason, you must keep writing. We need books now more than ever.

I learned while at this conference that 40% of public schools no longer have a librarian. Isn’t this sad?  It’s just one more responsibility heaped upon our already over-extended and stressed out teachers to instill a love of reading for their students.

 

 

Photo credit: Super Furry Librarian via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

But how can they do that if there aren’t new and exciting books? That’s where we, the storytellers come in. We need to write as many quality stories as we can. We need to entice our readers to fall in love with our books so they’ll want to keep reading. This is incredibly important. Why?

Because right now ninety one million people are functionally illiterate in the United States alone. That means they can’t read, write, or use numbers sufficiently well to get along in society.  Every year at least a million functionally illiterate students graduate from America’s high schools. This is an epidemic.

We need to turn this around. It is up to us the authors to do this. The teachers can’t do it by themselves. I know what some of you may be thinking. Ninety one million people? So what? It’s their problem not mine.

Well. You’re wrong. It is your problem because you may have to deal with someone who’s illiterate in your life. Maybe at work. Maybe as a customer or client. They’re going to be difficult to work with if they can’t understand basic concepts because they can’t read.

What if one of those illiterate people somehow manages to find a position of power in our country. Do you really want him/her to make decisions for you?

 

I sure don’t.

Our government needs to stop buying weapons and invest in our educational system right now. Our adversaries won’t have to go to war and take us over with physical force. They’ll wait and let us destroy ourselves then come in and take over when we’re reeling from our own destruction.

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So writers keep writing. You’re needed now more than ever.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to turn this situation around? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Hey There!

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m off today at a Writing Conference in Grand Rapids. So there won’t be a post today. I got tied up at work and wasn’t able to get one written. That means I’ll be back next week for our regular programming.~

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

 

 

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Why I love the Writing Community

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m worried about the Floridians as Hurricane Irma makes her way toward them.  I hope they all make it to safety, and for the friends and family who’ve decided to stay or can’t make it out, my prayers and thoughts are with you.

Photo via Visualhunt

It’s during these scary events that we see our true natures coming out. People forget about their prejudices and the barriers come down. Everyone helps everyone else no matter race, political affiliation, or religious bent. It would be so nice if we could do that all the time, wouldn’t it?

Sigh. That’s one of the things I love about the writing community. I’ve met so many awesome people who’re willing to lend a hand. I’ve participated in this contest where successful authors offer to be a mentor to writers who are on the path to publication. It’s an incredible event. If you’re an aspiring author I’d recommend getting involved. The contest is called Pitch Wars.

 

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To learn more about it. Stop on over to Brenda Drake’s blog. She’s the one who developed this growing event. There were more than three thousand entries this year. Here’s the link: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/

 

The thing about this contest is there are groups of authors that have formed and they’re supporting each other by offering critique partners, beta readers, and just general reinforcement to the potential mentees. Everyone wants each other to win. It’s amazing to see all the encouragement.

If you’re an aspiring author, I’d also recommend establishing a presence on Twitter. I’ve found there are many literary agents who hang out there, and it’s a great way to make a connection. Who knows, maybe you’ll get an agent that way. Stranger things have happened.

Photo via Visual Hunt

There are also chats on Twitter. All you need to do is follow the hashtags #askagent, #querytip, and #ontheporch and you’ll find professionals in the industry to ask questions and get advice from. I’ve met other aspiring authors, editors, and agents this way. Twitter is an awesome avenue for making connections.

 

There’s another hashtag that I’ve found extremely helpful and that’s #MSWL.

Agents use this hashtag to tweet their manuscript wishlist. We’ve never been so in touch with the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. In my opinion, this is the best time to be a writer. There are so many opportunities to make connections. So it’s important to hone your craft, you never know when opportunity will knock on your door.

How about you? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with the writing community? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments