Posted in promotion, Reading

Reading Rocks in Rockford!

 

 

Photo credit: demandaj via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! This Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00 I’ll be in downtown Rockford with other amazing authors! Come on down and meet authors and get some incredible books!

b569f-the2bsuper2bspies2band2bthe2bcat2blady2bkiller2b500x750

In a small town in Michigan, fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman and what’s worse? One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death.

Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own investigation. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the investigation. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.

Or die trying…

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This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750

Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the in-vestigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. But as she and her band, Starlight, gear up for a competition, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her complicated personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

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Posted in Entertainment, Parenting, Uncategorized

My Thoughts on the Movie Spotlight

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve just sent my WIP off to my beta reader and I’m crossing my fingers that she likes it. 🙂

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I went to see the movie Spotlight with my mother. I wanted to see how the Catholic Church had been exposed for the abuse they had allowed to happen.

Spotlight

The movie was well done. I liked the characters and the way they instilled humor while discussing a very dark issue. The plot development seemed realistic and I feel that it was as close to the real life events as we’re going to get.
The truth of the movie sickened me. It enraged me to think about the priests who perpetrated the crimes and all the church did was move them to another parish, or put them into some kind of rehabilitation program. When they moved, they continued their abuse and the church did nothing for the victims.

 

This is the part that upsets me the most. How could they ignore the victims? I mean here they are supposedly teaching us about morality and they not only allow this type of abuse, they cover it up.

 

This tells me that we must be our children’s guardian at all times. If this type of abuse can happen in a church, it can happen anywhere.

 

Here are the warning signs of abuse:

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people. Outburst of anger.
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts. Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy. Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person
Image courtesy of Allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

I found this list on this site, and for more information click here:

http://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/warning_signs.htm

This movie opened my eyes to how vulnerable our children are. These abusers seek out professions that put them in contact with kids. They’re not just priests, they’re Teachers, Child Psychologists, and Childcare Directors. Thankfully we do have some checks in place. I know my local school conducts background checks on all their employees, most schools do, but that doesn’t mean we should be lax about picking up the warning signs.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I’d love to read your thoughts! Please leave a comment!

 

Posted in Reading, reviews, Uncategorized

My Thoughts on “Untwine”

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about a book that I finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It’s titled, “Untwine” by Edwidge Danticat. The cover and blurb are below.

“A haunting and mesmerizing story about sisterhood, family, love and loss by literary luminary Edwidge Danticat.

Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be, even as their family seems to be unraveling. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone’s world forever.

Giselle wakes up in the hospital, injured and unable to speak or move. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her — her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle, her twin — have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to lead her to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a spiral of longing and regret?

Untwine is a spellbinding tale, lyrical and filled with love, mystery, humor, and heartbreak. Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, family, the horrors of loss, and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.”

 

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this story. “Untwine” is the story of a tragedy that pulls a family, that originally was falling apart, back together.  It was so well written and you could just feel the sadness of Giselle whenever she thought about her sister.

It’s the story about loss and love. How life goes on even when you don’t want it too. It explains the pain of surviving a tragic accident along with the pain of losing someone you love. No one can prepare another for this experience, but this story has an authenticity to it that many who’ve lost a family member will be able to identify with.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What have you read recently that has made an impression on you? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in promotion

“Lark Singer” is here!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today is release day for “Lark Singer!” The second book in the Starlight Chronicles! Here’s an excerpt just for you!

Continue Lark’s journey toward a bright future while she finds answers to questions of her past.

LarkSinger 500x750Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

Chapter One

THE GUYS ARE impatiently waiting for me. Bean’s foot jiggles so fast; it appears as if a current of electricity runs through him. We have to be down at Pearl’s by seven.
We’re all geeked about playing on stage, I can tell. Performing at Pearl’s gives us the face time we need for when it’s really going to count. The real event — the competition — is only a few weeks away. I pick up my pace, we have three hours to jam and grab some food before we go on stage.
“Come on, Chickie,” he says, gesturing with his sticks as he settles into position behind his drums.
Rushing forward, I plug in my amp. As I crank out a few chords to warm up, that old energy buzzes through my veins. After a couple of licks, I’m ready and my nimble fingers tingle. I’m wired. I love playing in front of a live audience. “Which one are we jamming on?” I look over at Bean and wait for his answer.
His brow creases as he tries to decide. “This one here.” He holds up the lead sheet and waves it impatiently in the air.
I squint to see it. It’s the one we titled “Secrets.” Pointing to the lead sheet sitting on Stevie’s stand, I get into position. I had taken a few minutes and titled Stevie’s lead sheets for him the other day.
He nods. “Thanks.”
Bean slams his sticks together and counts out. “One… two… three.”
We’re off, filling the garage with musical energy. My body’s rigid, as if every muscle’s flexed and ready for action. Screaming chords fill the air, as my nimble fingers crank on my Gibson. I feel like I’m a live electrical wire, popping and snapping with unrestrained energy.
When we’re done with that song, no one speaks. Instead, Bean holds up another lead sheet and then we’re off again. Tonight’s performance is going to be epic. I can tell just by how we’re coming together. I grin in spite of my intense concentration; my confidence is growing by leaps
and bounds. We are so ready for this competition that I can feel it all the way down to my bones.
After the second song, I hold up my hand and say, “Our sound smokes. But don’t you think we should play some of the music we’re going to be performing tonight?”
Bean snorts. “Yeah. Probably.”
We take a few minutes and discuss some of the songs we want to play. We usually crank out tunes that were big hits in the seventies and eighties, a lot of Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Rolling Stones. They’re more mellow than what we’ve been playing, but they’re still good melodies and the crowd at Pearl’s digs that classical sound. Playing this type of music broadens our musicianship, but there’s nothing like cranking out our own songs. After choosing a few of the harder tunes we immediately start jamming.
We’ve chosen “Hotel California” by the Eagles. It’s a dark tune about moving to California and I love the melody. My guitar howls out the chords and I feel that quiver inside as I sing the lyrics. After cranking out three more Eagles’ songs, we change it up for a few Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones songs. They’re great dance tunes and we know we’ll get people out on the floor with these.
After the last melody, we take a break. The garage seems to hum with the absence of our music. As if it was vibrating at a rapid rate and is slowly winding down because the music stopped. We all take swigs from the water bottles Bean brought out earlier and then sit in the folding chairs by the wall.
“What time is it?” Stevie asks, screwing the cap back on his water bottle.
“Time to get going,” Bean answers after a quick glance at his watch. “My brother should be here any minute to help me get my drum set down to Pearl’s.”
“Cool. I guess I’ll ride down with Francine.” I grimace as I say this and Bean exchanges a look with Stevie.
“I’ve got my parents’ Toyota for the night. You could ride with me,” Stevie offers with grin and a shrug.
“Awesome.” I smile at him as my heart swells with gratitude for my band mates. The truce between Francine and me has been extended, mainly because I’ve been
avoiding her and there hasn’t been an opportunity to wage another war. So I welcome any opportunity to keep the avoidance plan going.
A horn sounds off in front of the house. Moving to the garage door opener, I press the button. The Brown Turd sits in the driveway, rumbling and vibrating.
“There’s my ride,” Bean says. “Can I get some help?”
No one talks as we all gather around Bean’s drum set and help him disassemble it. It takes us about fifteen minutes to get everything in the car, but when we’re done, Bean’s satisfied with our work. He gives me a wink and says, “I’ll see you down there, Chickie.” Shifting his focus to Stevie, he says, “Later, dude.” They exchange a quick knuckle bump, and then Bean jumps in the car.
As they pull out of the driveway, Stevie gives me a nudge. “Come on. Let’s get going.”
I follow him back to the garage, where we grab our equipment and stow it in the backseat of his parents’ green sedan. Then we hustle inside and grab our coats. On my way out the door, I glance at my watch and realize we’ll just have enough time to eat before we play. Since we don’t charge for our performance, the owner of Pearl’s gives us our meal on the house. We’re okay with that because we need the face time and the food at Pearl’s is epically awesome.
After we climb into the car, Stevie starts it and pulls away from the curb. “What’re you going to get?” he asks after adjusting his mirror.
I tilt my head and think about it before I answer. “Probably a wet burrito.” I smile and face him. “How about you?”
“That does sound pretty good. I’ll probably get one of those too.”
We share a giddy laugh and then zoom down the road. I love Friday nights at Pearl’s, the relaxed atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. The owner of the bar, whose actual name is Marge, always welcomes us with a smile. Her grandmother, the original owner, was Pearl.
Marge is a rotund woman with big boobs and an even bigger heart. When I was a young girl, I’d been afraid of her. Afraid that I’d get lost in that big pillowy chest and suffocate.
I snicker every time I think about that now and chalk it up to irrational fears of childhood.
As we pull into the parking lot behind the bar, I turn to Stevie and say. “Hey, did Bean tell you we have a name for the band?”
Stevie shakes his head as he puts the car in park and shuts it off. “Nope. What is it?”
“Starlight.”
Stevie grins and fiddles with his glasses. He repeats the name a couple of times, then turns to me, and says, “I like it.”
I let out a squeal of delight. “I do too.”
Stevie laughs because I’m not the type of girl that squeals. I’m much more levelheaded, but I can’t help it. We have our songs picked out and we have a name for the band. And the fact that we’re getting face time tonight is just frosting on the cake.

  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lark-Singer-Starlight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00QPD8GQQ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lark-singer-lisa-orchard/1120868410?ean=2940149846207

Posted in Personal

Chemotherapy Update

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about my third and fourth rounds of chemo.

The third one hit me pretty hard and that’s why there wasn’t a blog post on it. 🙂 I was still recovering. The side effects were more severe. Although I was expecting that it wasn’t fun to go through. In fact, I ended up getting another prescription for anti-nausea medication. There’s three different ones that are available and I have all three. The third medication seemed to do the trick. It dissolves under my tongue and it feels like the relief was within minutes.

The fourth treatment is supposed to be the worst, but I feel a little more prepared for this one and I’m hoping I’ve got a better handle on the side effects this time around.

I’m halfway done! I only have four more treatments left and then chemo is over and it’s my understanding that the second half is easier than the first half. At least that’s what my friend from Gilda’s club told me. I hope I have the same experience that she did. Time will tell I guess.

I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today!

One more thing! The first book in the Starlight Chronicles is available! Check out “Gideon Lee” if you’re looking for a great new YA series!

 

 

GideonLee 500x750Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

 

 

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Gideon-Lee-Starlight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00OPDQC4Q

 

 

Posted in Health, Personal, Teen

Dreams are important to Our Mental Health

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to talk about focusing on your dreams. In my opinion, dreams are important to your mental health.

Why, because our goals and aspirations are what get us out of bed in the morning. Your goals can be small or big, but if you have a huge goal, you might want to break it up into a bunch of smaller goals to make it more manageable.

Achieving our dreams provides us that motivation we need to keep doing those small mundane tasks that are boring. However, if we have our goal in sight, we can grit our teeth and get through them.

This is an important part of the process, because every dream has those moments of perfecting our technique. For example, let us say you want to be a professional basketball player. Well, in order to do that you have to be good at making baskets. So what are you going to do? You’re going to perfect your shot. And not just one shot either, you’re going to perfect your jump shot, your layup, your hook, and your free throw shot, just to name a few.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the basket, just shooting the ball. If you have your goal in sight, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. You’ll grit your teeth and get through it because it’s important to achieving your goal. You’ll look forward to it.

In addition, the thing you’ll have to remember is, even professional athletes still spend a lot of time practicing their plays and perfecting their shots even after they’ve reached professional status. Because once your there, you have to keep your edge.

Another thing about goals is this, when you’re going through a particular trying time in your life, for example, like me having to do chemo. I have to for my health. However, I’m able to focus on my writing, not as much as I did before, but enough that I feel I’m moving forward with it. So staying focused on my goals is actually helping me get through this period. It helps me to make sure I’m doing what the doctor says because I want to write. I don’t want to spend my time dealing with the side effects.

So if I manage my side effects, I get to work on my next book, or on editing the ones that are coming out soon. My writing goals help me to manage my side effects so that I can work on them. And that’s good for my mental health too. I won’t be slipping into a depression because my side effects have gotten the best of me.

So there you have it. Goals are important for our mental health.

On a side note, I’ve received some awesome news! My next book “Gideon Lee” will be releasing soon! Yay!

It’s the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and once I receive my galleys, it will be set up for preorder. So crossing my fingers that all goes well and I can tell you the release date very soon!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you’d like to leave a comment on why goals are important to you, please do. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Personal

Quotes that Inspire Me!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today I’d like to share a few of my favorite inspirational quotes with you. They help me get through the tough times and I thought if you were having a tough time today they might help you out as well.

Tomorrow I’m scheduled for surgery so I’ve been spending a lot of time with the family because I don’t know how long my recovery time will be. I’m hoping it’s not long, but we’ll see. 🙂

Also if you could send a few prayers/positive vibes/healing vibes my way, I’d really appreciate it! Every little bit helps! Thanks so much!

Okay without further ado, here are the quotes that bring me inspiration or relieve my anxiety, hopefully they will do the same for you! 🙂

 

This one is my all time fave!

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This one helps me keep things in perspective!

Photo: Even old dogs can (should) learn new tricks...

This one is excellent for those moments when you just don’t feel good enough. 🙂

Photo: My wish for you all <3<br /><br /><br /><br />
May your dreams be bigger than your fears and your heart lead you towards your destiny.<br /><br /><br /><br />
<3 Kate Spencer,~ Twelve Lessons Author ~ The life changing combination of fantastic fiction and Law of Attraction.<br /><br /><br /><br />
"An insightful masterpiece." Best Chic Lit.<br /><br /><br /><br />
Download to your kindle or get the free kindle app for your ipad / tablet / smartphone or laptop ~ Also in paperback.</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>Perfect Holiday Book!</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>Amazon Best Seller in Personal Transformation and Visionary Fiction ~ Could you be the next person that thinks this book is "life changing"?

This one is good when you’re feeling anxious. It reminds me to always move toward my goals. 🙂

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And this one always makes me smile!

Thanks for stopping by today and checking out some of the quotes that give me inspiration or just make me feel better. I hope they do the same for you! 🙂