Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #30

Welcome to the LAST DAY of 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. A winner will be drawn randomly tonight at 11:59 PM EST. Today let's hear from author Charmaine Pauls and what she's thankful for :


Living in a Foreign Country

I am thankful for my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my cats, my health, and my job, but seeing that we’re facing another international move, I’d like to single out my home. I am thankful for my adoptive country, Chile, that gave me a warm welcome, a beautiful home, and precious memories.

Atacama Desert
It has been six years since the day we first set foot in Santiago. We moved here for my husband’s job. Besides for South Africa, where I’ve been born, I’ve also lived in France with my husband and children before moving to Chile. The logistics and physical effort involved in moving house and pets across oceans are hard enough as it is. On top of that there are the daunting tasks (all done in a new language you don’t yet speak or understand) of finding a new house, school, doctors, dentists, hairdresser, internet, cable and cell phone service providers, opening new bank accounts, changing addresses, applying for residency, getting to know new products (and figuring out the labels!), find out where to do grocery shopping, making new friends, and most of all, taking action so you don’t become isolated.  

Hardships aside, pulling up your roots and settling on a different part of the globe, far removed from everything that’s known and familiar, far away from family, brings with it invaluable gifts, for which I am thankful.

v  It brought our family really close, since we only have each other to rely upon in the beginning, each time we make a new start.
v  It taught us to be adaptable.
v  It exposed us to different mindsets, cultures and religions, broadening our life perspectives.
v  The experience brought plenty of new adventures.
v  We got to explore a new continent, traveling across this amazingly beautiful country of over 3000 km long, and to all its bordering countries.
v  We learned to dance the salsa, and to drink Pisco Sour.
v  We adapted to the Latin American concept of time and do like the Chilenos do – eating long, jovial dinners that start late.
v  We fell in love with the local cuisine and enjoyed Chile’s affordable, world-class wine.
v  We made new friends who became our family abroad.
v  We mastered a new language.

Patagonia
The biggest gifts Chile gave me, are the nature, new friends, and Spanish. My family and I will take a piece of this Latin American country with us to our new home, wherever that may be. I give thanks to Chile and its people, and to the unknown. May we never stop expanding our boundaries.

Bailo el Cueca para siempre.

The Cueca is the national Chilean dance. It depicts the beauty of courtship. The man will take his time to lead the lady onto the dance floor, during which he compliments her and convinces her that he is worthy of winning a dance with her. In the dance they circle each other, much like the rooster and the hen. After a boastful display by the rooster, the hen always ends up as the conqueror, with the rooster on his knees (or in the Cueca dance, on one knee).




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Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a masters degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published 5 novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and work with animal rescue organizations. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.




The Astronomer
Loving someone madly, obsessively, to the point of addiction can be heaven … or hell.

The year is 2165. A new blood group has evolved, and biological pairing, called mating, has replaced the old-world marriage ritual. When a stranger saves astronomer Dr. Fraya Riber from drowning, her body goes into a strange state of arousal. Bound to be paired with another, Fraya frantically searches for the answers to the phenomenon that soon becomes an unwelcome addiction. Nothing has prepared her for this painful dependence, and nothing will prepare her for the cure, or the identity of her enigmatic savior.

Can physical passion craft a bond that will last a lifetime?

Buy Links
To be provided shortly (when the pre-sales link goes live).

Find Charmaine here


Follow me on Facebook
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http://bit.ly/Charmaine-Pauls-Amazon

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http://bit.ly/Charmaine-Pauls-Goodreads

Follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CharmainePauls


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #29

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author SC Dane and what she's thankful for :

FOUR RUBBER TIRES AND A GARMIN

Why am I grateful to Michelin and a black box linked to the stars? Road trekking, my friend. I’m a nomad, voyaging from one job to the next to pay my way across the U.S. Three years ago I bought a camper-van and a GPS, loaded my dog on board, and started traveling. How can a forty-five year old woman be grateful for financial insecurity, potential danger, and missed exits?

Freedom. The exhilaration which comes from devouring ribbons upon ribbons of open road. Where the road less traveled isn’t a metaphor, but a bumpy rock-strewn mountain pass. Trekking has had its challenges. But that was the point. I’ve uncovered truths about myself, tapped into strengths I thought I lacked.

But most important, I’ve discovered a common thread woven from one coast to the next: Goodness still reigns supreme in the hearts of the people. If I’d stayed in my safe corner of Maine, I would have never learned (in spite of the evening news’ messages to the contrary) that no matter where or how people live, they are still kind, generous, and nobly heroic in their struggles to eke out an existence.

So, during this holiday season of reflection, I’m grateful for my four rubbers tires and my Garmin GPS. Without them, I wouldn’t have seen this great country. Or the greatness within those who populate it.


~S.C. Dane

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S.C. Dane, born of this earth, has survived upon it fully aware she'll leave it. She delights in her life, knowing the seasons provide, and time is elastic. Currently, she’s on an American version of a walkabout, traveling where her heart and the odd job takes her.




Contact link: http://paranormalromancebyscdane.wordpress.com/
                        https://www.facebook.com/authorscdane




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Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #28

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Tony Acree and what he's thankful for :

Mom

The thing I am most thankful for is my mother. On May 23rd of this year, my mother passed away from acute leukemia. The disease hit her quickly and from diagnosis to her death was four days.

My mother raised her children to be independent, strong willed and loving. She taught us there are two ways you can face adversity: throw in the towel and ask, “why me?” or push forward and say, “I can”.

The last day of her life, she continued to show all of us how to live our lives better. Knowing she was going to die, she made several phone calls, checking on friends and family, sharing a laugh and letting each of us know, we were going to be alright.

My mother’s faith in an afterlife was unquestioned, her love of family, unequaled, and the joy she shared unsurpassed. I owe all that I am to my mother. This will be the first Thanksgiving without her. But when we all gather for dinner at my aunt’s, we will be giving thanks for having my mom in our lives.

I love my mother. I give thanks for all the memories which keep her with me, every day. 

****
Amazon best selling author, Tony Acree,likes putting characters in situations they think they will never survive, and find out if they're right. He lives near Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, twin daughters, two female dogs, a female cat, and says the way the goldfish looks at him, he's sure she's female, too. 

Hydra Publications
Owner





Author of the bestselling novel The Hand of God and The Watchers


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #27



Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Amber Skye Forbes to tell you about some things she's thankful for :

Strength
            This year has been difficult for me. I have gone through several mental health crises that have made it difficult for me to be thankful about anything. I was hospitalized in October after a traumatic event and being in a mixed episode for bipolar disorder. It was a 24-hour suicide watch. Yet, these things have strengthened me, and that is what I am grateful for. I am grateful for the strength I have gained this year through everything that has happened to me.
            Many of us do not think we are strong. Many of us do not think we are strong enough. As someone with PTSD, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, I fall prey to thinking this copious amounts of time. I am a survivor of these things that have happened to me this year. I am a survivor because of my strength, my willingness to fight through the pain and still go after what I want. I have become more compassionate and understanding. I was already these things, but continuously building strength without letting the world harden you magnifies these qualities of mine each time I have nothing left but strength I have to grasp on to. After all, when there is nothing left, strength is all you can grab to survive. It may be merely surviving, but strength will soon help you live.
            As a marketer for Southern Siding, this job constantly reminds me that I am strong because it is a goal-oriented job. My job seems so simple on the surface, but it is unlike retail or working in food service. It’s a job that requires fight and determination. It’s a job that requires you to read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends & Influence People. It’s a job that empowers me, it’s a job that reminds me what I have in life, and it’s a job that pushes me toward the future.
            You would think writing would do this for me—and to a certain extent it does. However, my passion for ballet, another love of my life, does instill confidence in me, because, for me, ballet is MUCH harder than writing. I know I am a good writer. I don’t need to be told that. Of course I can always improve. That’s what I strive to do with each story I write. I want each book I write to be better than the last. Yet, with ballet, you continually learn new things, you continually learn new exercises. When you grasp these things, when you can get an exercise that was so difficult at first, you are filled with a sense of pride, confidence, and strength. My job as a marketer does the same for me. Writing is so subjective. Some will hate your work. Others won’t. But ballet and my job are objective.

            Thus, I am grateful for my strength pushing me through life. 

****
Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who goes through life creating words with the tips of her toes. She dances ballet and writes for teens. As both a dancer and writer, she has gained enough confidence to go out into the world and instill this confidence in others. She loves her job as a marketer for Southern Siding and has high expectations for her future in this company. She lives in Augusta, GA, where she attends an online college to make her life more flexible. Besides writing, dancing, reading, and working, she loves her fiance, fashion, make-up, video games, her family, cat, and compassion. 

Website: AmberSkyeForbes
Facebook Page: AmberSkyeForbes
Twitter: AmberSkyeForbes





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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #26

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :



Food & Memories

My mom and I loved cooking together for the holidays. One of our favorite discoveries were these double layer pumpkin and chocolate pies. So light and fluffy--the perfect dessert after we'd stuffed ourselves with turkey and fixings. When I married and moved away, my mom cut the recipes for the pies out of a magazine and taped them to her handwritten recipe page so I could have them  for Thanksgiving dinner with my hubby. Even now, 11 years after she passed away, I still have this page, and as you can see from the pic below, have used it faithfully every Thanksgiving since then. Tonight, I'll once again be making these pies, only in my mother-in-law's kitchen instead of my mom's. Along with that, I'll be making my mom's famous cranberry salad, a true family favorite. My kids will be helping me, and while we pop open cans, stir, measure, and mix, we'll talk about my mama and some of the great memories we shared together as I grew up.

Who are you remembering this holiday season? What special foods/recipes make you think of that special person?


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #25

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

Travel

Though I've never left the States, I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to travel to a bunch of cool places within the USA. Most of those places are thanks to my husband, who occasionally travels for business, and the kids and I occasionally get to tag along. This year, we've had some great trips, like St. Louis for spring break:

At the top of the St. Louis Arch--great view!
In July, hubby and I got to sneak away to the Smoky Mountains & Gatlinburg, where we took a hike through the beautiful forest on my birthday:


In August, we made our annual trek to Dayton, OH for the Trans Am Nationals. Took 1st place in our class with our 30th Anniversary Trans Am. Again :)


And we visited the famous haunted bookstore in Tipp City, which has appeared on several TV shows. 
My daughter's face is representative of how bored the kids were in there.
I don't understand my kids sometimes... books AND ghosts--what's not to love? :)
Our latest trip was to Atlanta for fall break, where we visited Coca-Cola World, The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, and the kids proclaimed favorite restaurant in Atlanta: Burger Fi.
Trying sodas from around the world at the tasting lab in Coca-Cola World.
Wherever our travels take us, I'm thankful that I can share these adventures with the ones I love most in the world.



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Monday, November 24, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #23 & 24!

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

Teachers

I took a day off from the giveaway yesterday, but today, I'm devoting TWO days to my heroes--teachers. They are amazing, devoted, hard-working people who do not get enough recognition. Here's a great video that shows how teachers really deserve to be treated! Thanks to teacher and fellow author, Matt Posner for sharing:



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Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #22

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author JT Adeline and what she's thankful for :

JT Adeline/ author of A Day as Dark as Night/ First in the Dark As Night Trilogy

What is the one thing I am most thankful for this year?

I found this very difficult to answer. The several different versions before this one would prove that. Of course, I am thankful for the obvious reasons; family, friends, having a job. But how do I narrow it down to one thing without sounding big headed and selfish?

This is how.

I have wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I have been writing down ideas and stories since I was in grade school. It took just one meeting, and sitting next to one very important person, to make my dream a reality. None of this would have happened if my sister Debbie hadn’t shown me the way. My journey started with a newspaper clipping.

My sister lives in Wyoming MN. Like anywhere, a small community newspaper is delivered to her home. Inside was a notice of an author meeting, Northern Lights, at the local library. She cut it out and mailed it to me. On the day the meeting was held, I like to say I crashed the meeting. Crashing it sounds so much more exciting and so not me! But in reality, I walked in and was invited to stay. As luck would have it, I ended up sitting next to an editor of Mélange/Fire and Ice. And before I knew what was happening, I was on my way to be being a published author.

So, what is the ONE most important thing I am thankful for this past year? I am absolutely, positively, thankful that my big sister Debbie gave me the kick in my pants I obviously needed. Thank you Deb, for sending me on my way to become the author I have always wanted to be, and giving me one of the most amazing rides I have ever been on!


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JT Adeline is the youngest of six kids, and two very supportive parents who have always encouraged imagination and creativity. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband of 26 years, her two sons, a stubborn cat and a large American Bulldog.







A Day as Dark as Night is her first published work and can be purchased at; Amazon.com, LuLu.com, and FireandIce.com.

JT Adeline can be reached at the following:
www.facebook.com/JTAdeline



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Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness & Big Giveaway #21

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Christoper Carrolli and what he's thankful for :

Everything            

What am I most thankful for this year? It’s a question that I, like everyone else, usually takes for granted. Mainly, I’m thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones. The recent holidays have been hard with the loss of my mother in 2011, but I’m thankful that my family manages every year to celebrate the holidays the way she always had. It becomes a tribute to her. I’m thankful to know that some semblance of our departed ones lives on. I’m also thankful for my faith in Christ.

            And of course, I’m thankful to be a published author with Melange Books. I’m extremely grateful to work with a publisher who devotes so much time and energy not only to my books, but to all Melange authors—thanks again, Nancy. And yes, I’m thankful to be working alongside a great group of authors. I would also like to extend my thanks to my readers who have stuck with me through these first four books. You all know who you are. Thanks to all of you, keep reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

****


Christopher Carrolli is a 2006 graduate of University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and an English Writing major, and also the winner of the Ida B. Welles Prize in Journalism. The Skinwalker’s Tale is Christopher Carrolli’s fourth novel and fourth installment in The Paranormal Investigator series from Melange Books. He is anticipating a fifth release in 2015.



Contact links:



The Skinwalker's Tale

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/christophercarrolli/index.html



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #20

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Ian S. Bott and what he's thankful for :

A touch of the wild
I grew up on a small island, 25 square miles (yes, that's square miles, not miles square) population 60,000+. Unless you looked straight out to sea, every view was dominated by roads and buildings, with little patches of green in between. The most wildlife I ever saw was seagulls and the occasional rabbit.

Even trips to mainland England brought little in the way of wilderness. Most of the country is manicured farmland, with picturesque villages every few miles. Even in the relative wilds of Derbyshire or the Lake District, you would be hard pressed to find yourself much more than spitting distance from an English country pub. A blessing in many ways, but also a commentary on a land tamed by many hundreds of years of civilization.

Since moving to Canada, I repeatedly give thanks for the open spaces around me.

From my own deck at home, I have seen raccoons, deer, and eagles soaring overhead, as well as the (to me) exotic woodpeckers and hummingbirds. Further afield, I've seen whales, bears, otters and seals. Ten minutes' drive from my home takes me to a choice of parks with miles of woodland trails where signs of humanity are few and far between. An hour's drive would take me into true wilderness. And this is life in a provincial capital city.
These are riches I never dreamed of in my old and overcrowded life. I hope I never come to take them for granted.

Bio
Ian Bott is a science fiction writer who successfully evaded the writing bug until it bit him, late in life, by means of a sneak stealth attack. As a software developer he rebelled against mind-deadening software specifications and resolved to write technical documents fit for ordinary human consumption. From there, it was a small step to speculative fiction.
He lives in beautiful British Columbia with his wife, two children, and a steadily expanding menagerie of pets.



Ghosts of Innocence
Master assassin Shayla Carver has killed many times. That's what assassins do, nothing to lose sleep over, but this mission is different.

She's never killed a whole planet before.




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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #19

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

My Readers

I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have such a great group of readers! For all those who read my books AND my blog:



I'll keep doing what I do and hope to bring you lots of new books and blog events in 2015!



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #18

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...


Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

Staying Healthy

Today's message of thanks is pretty simple. Not only did I lose 25 pounds since January (added back a couple more for winter padding LOL), but I've remained relatively steady when it comes to fighting depression. Oh sure, there are still bad days now and then, but when I stay on track with my medication and keep the stress levels down, it's better. That means I get more work done with less griping, and I can keep up with my busy family. To see where I've come from since my diagnosis, here's an article I wrote about it back in January:
The Lie

"I'm fine." 

Those two words comprise the world's most common lie. Especially for someone with depression.

Someone like me. 

Over the last decade or so, I've mastered the happy face. It comes in handy when you're a mom of three, expected to volunteer for class parties and fundraising events. Handier still when you must join your husband at company functions. No one wants to mingle with a woman who's slumped over and crying in the corner. 

Mom with my new baby girl
December 2001
What I didn't realize after having my first child is that I probably had post-partum depression. I wish I hadseen the signs and sought help back then, but I thought all the stress and tears were just a result of sleep deprivation and worrying about my firstborn. If I'd have sought help early on, I might have been better able to handle my mom's diagnosis of terminal lung cancer that same year and her death a mere 10 months later.

I was a wreck when she died. A young first-time mother suddenly without her mother there for support and guidance. Yet over the course of the next decade, I toughed it out, had two more kids and started a writing career. 

By that time, I had gotten incredibly good at answering "Hi, how are you?" with "I'm fine" when in fact, I was anything but fine inside. The worst thing was, I became a total Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. It told myself it's just temporary. You can pull yourself out of it. I managed to keep my family going, write two books, blog and attend book signings while hiding behind that fake smile and that lie: "I'm fine."

The inner dialogue grew more ugly over time. You're just being lazy, lying there in bed trying to avoid your responsibilities. You could get up and be normal if you wanted to. But you don't want to, do you? You know how pathetic and worthless you are, so why bother? Nobody wants you around anyway.

Depression put on a great act, but like all charades, the act was eventually identified about a year and a half ago. At the urging of my husband and my own realization that lying in bed half the day crying for no good reason is NOT normal, I sought help. Despite my fears that my doctor would just laugh at me and say it was normal for a mom of my age to feel like this, she totally understood and wrote me a low-dose depression medication. She also recommended a counselor. 

Scared as I was to commit to any sort of chemical intervention or to spill my troubles on a therapist's couch, I took her advice. Within a month of taking the medication, I felt surprisingly better. I was able to think clearly for the first time in a long time. I was able to start setting goals again and work toward completing them without the infernal self-hatred telling me I couldn't succeed at anything. 

And to spite it all, I finished a book that had been buried under depression for too long. That third book in my Tallenmere series, Hearts in Exile, was published this June. I've written two children's books that are with an agent who's working hard to find a publisher for them. I won NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words on another novel I'd barely started a couple years ago. That one, a historical romance, will be finished this coming year, and if I play my cards right, I'll finish the fourth Tallenmere series book too. Besides the writing, I'll be starting a job as an editor atFirst Page Last Page and will probably be a class mentor again in the free six- week online writing course, F2K (at Writers Village University)


The road isn't smooth just yet. I've had to work with my doctor to find the right medication and dosage for me. I still have to be careful to not bite off more than I can chew. Learning my depression triggers, like taking on too many responsibilities at once, is very important in preventing the setbacks.

I'm thankful to Amy for inviting me to share my experience here. It feels good to open up about it among people who understand. I hope our stories will inspire others who are dealing with mental illnesses to seek help and know that they are not alone. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we just need a little help in getting there.


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