Friday, October 20, 2017

Three Sisters/Two Generations/Countless Lifetimes

When I was small, I wished for a little sister. I had two brothers and a family dog, and I felt left out. I felt like I had lost someone in my life, and was sad that they were not here with me. I used to tell my parents I wanted a sister.

"The boys have each other, you two have each other, and all I have is the dog!" I would complain. (Sorry for all you dog lovers out there, but she was not my dog, she was there when I arrived. For the record, she was the best dog I've ever known.)

Very lucky for me, my parents did decide to have another child. By luck or by fate, they had a girl. They gave me my sister.

I was thrilled to find out on the day she was born that she was a girl. I remember it well, because I was actually sick that day with a stomach flu. I had to go to school anyway, as my parents didn't know what else to do with me! My mom had to go to the hospital!

My teacher knew the circumstances, and these were the days where there was less protocol, and more common sense. She let me rest whenever I needed, and told me I only had to do the work if I felt I could. I made it through the day and went off to the babysitter's house.
I was sleeping when my dad called to tell me I had a baby sister. He knew I would be so excited. I remember hearing the one sided phone conversation, but my sleep kept me from reacting. Until my babysitter patted my shoulder and said, "Deedee. You have a baby sister."

I smiled, feeling so excited that she was finally here, and went back to sleep.

To any outsider watching my reaction, they probably would have thought I didn't care much at all. Inside, I was elated. I loved her already, and we hadn't even met. She was the sister I always wanted.

I thought I was complete. Our family of 6 felt perfect. Two boys, two girls, and two parents. Of course, it wasn't always smooth and cheery. We had our times of arguing, and strife. But I always felt that my baby sister was here for me (even when she did what she wanted to do, instead of what I wanted her to do).

As I became an adult, I came to realize that she wasn't here for me exactly, of course, but we definitely were put here together on purpose. We have a connection much deeper than this life, for certain.

I thought the two of us were it, forever. No matter who else we ended up with, or where life might take us, we would always be a pair.

I was wrong.

Another thing I knew at a very young age, was that I wanted to have children some day. I knew this at the core of my soul, and I knew it would happen some day. My young adult self thought I had control over when it happened, and I guess to some degree, that's true. But when I think back on it with what I know now, I really didn't have a say in it at all.

I feel that what happens is agreed on ahead of time, and we stumble through this realm into the path we were meant to have (be it good, bad or ugly).

What I didn't realize is that perhaps I was still waiting for someone to arrive. Perhaps our sister pair was not quite the complete picture I thought it was.

My first pregnancy was ultra planned. I kept track of everything, as best as a Virgo can, and thought everything was perfect.
Do you think you're having a boy or a girl? Everyone loved to ask me that question.
How should I know? I've never been pregnant before, and I don't know what they feel like at all! Be it a girl or boy, I didn't care.

We went to my first ultrasound eager and excited. Soon to be grandparents joined us. The technician asked me several times if we wanted to know the sex. Yes! Who wants to wait any longer? (Several people, come to find out, like to wait until the baby is born. I couldn't wait another second.) As she was asking me if I was sure, I saw it all on screen. I looked at a picture of inside my belly to see inside my baby's belly, and saw... ovaries. There they were plain as day.
"Say it. Say it. It's a girl." I said in my head over and over. Apparently this woman wanted to be really sure I was sure. Then she told us we were having a girl, and that she looked good and everything was in its right place and right time.
Every day from that time on was joyous.
When she was born, I woke up to every day feeling like Christmas for me. What will today bring? What will she do? What will she look like? What will I be able to show her? Every day for her first year held this bliss. (Aside from a lack of sleep, and trying to get myself back to work, and also building our own house all at that time.)

The parenting role happens so quickly, so tightly, so finite, I hardly noticed it being a role. Taking care of our children just became part of my life every day.
I became so-and-so's mom quickly, and it felt nice.
The years sometimes feel like they roll by like film in an old projector. It's quick, and there is a lot to see, with a definite story, not sure if you like it all or not, but then, next thing you know, 20 years have gone by. Yes, 20.

Conversations with my children have gone from me teaching and giving advice to them, to us discussing life and giving each other advice. It's freaking fabulous.

My daughter tells me I'm her best friend. When she first started telling me that, I thought, "How cute. She'll find someone she likes better some day. This won't last long."

She's 20, and she still tells me that. After many years of this, it dawned on me that she too is my best friend. When did that happen? Oh yeah, when life rolled by on the projector.
What do you know? I have two women in my life that are my best friends!

I had no idea that I'd been waiting for another sister to come into my life, and here she was! I feel so tied to these ladies, words cannot do justice to the bond I feel. There is definitely some past lives shared together here. There is a lot of love, caring, compassion. Even though we may have different titles here in this life, to me, we are always the three sisters.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Poetry Day! ~ Springing

Soft fuzz forms on the tips of blooms to come.
They plump with anticipation.
Birds soar the sky for the first time in months.
Pointing their way to their Northern destinations.

The white landscape turns to caramel under the closer heat.
Hills transform into mounds of sugary sweetness.

Sweet water runs from the maples
Sharing their golden splendor with us.

Seeds itch.
Ground softens.
Bodies transform.
Sun shines.
We are springing.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I Don't Care If a Gay Club Got Shot Up

Like the title says, I don't care that a gay club got shot up.

What?! How could I say that?!

Because it's horrific regardless of the sexual preference of the people in the club.

I don't care if the shooter had "issues" for years before this.

I'm sick of hearing about how these ultra violent psychopaths had "issues".

But did ANYONE do ANYTHING about them???


We wait until something tragic, horrible, unimaginable happens. Then we look at the killer's life with sadness and anger in our hearts.

We criticize everything about that person's life. We wonder, "Why didn't someone know before this?" Or, "Why didn't someone help this person, or put this person away before they went crazy?"

I don't care about gun control.

It's completely politically incorrect to say that, and I don't care. I'm sick of political agendas being attached to human tragedies and having those tragedies exploited for political gain.

Killing people is a tragic thing. Mass killings under any religion, terrorist group, radical beliefs, political views, or any other reason you can think of is wrong. Killing is horrible. To take a life away from this earth before it was ready is not anyone's business to do.

What about killing for a cause? Aren't there wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of people in the name of freedom, or power, or promises?

Yes, and they're wrong. All killing is wrong. It's unfortunate that we, as a human race seem to drive ourselves to it time and time again. It is the extreme we go to to prove a point. A point that we lose sight of when the killing starts.

Then it simply becomes kill or be killed. Protect yourselves and your loved ones, or surrender your weapons to a government so they will "protect" you. (Not really a fan of that last.)

So, where does this leave us as the human race? What are we doing here? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Peace and love, and peace and love. We preach it, but do we practice it?

Do we love each other every single day?

Do we love the psychopaths before they commit mass murder?

Do we love the radical terrorists after they suicide bomb?

Do we love the "crazy" neighbor down the street.

Do we teach our children to love the misfit in the classroom, on the playground, on the bus? Do we love the misfit?

Because we need to. We need to love all of them as much as we love ourselves and our loved ones.

Maybe therein lies the problem...

Do we love ourselves???

If we did, I'm pretty sure we couldn't take another life, no matter the sex, race, religion, sexual preference of another.

When we start to teach our children to love themselves and to treat others as they would want to be treated (oh, is my Catholic showing? #sorrynotsorry), perhaps then we can spread the love to those who are in true need.

I do care that there was so much senseless violence over the weekend, and continues every single day in every part of the world. I pray for peace and love every day, and strength to help others in need.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Brain to Books Sister Team Blog Tour: The First by A. Claire Everward

Today I get to post twice! Such an amazing time celebrating books, books, books!
So, to go along with our two-for-one, let's meet a duo who together have published a terrific looking novel! Not only that, but they are sisters to boot!
I am so excited to be one of the first to see the cover, and hear all about it! So it is such a thrill to be able to present it to you!

Let's meet these terrific gals!

With one sister a debuting author and the other a debuting publisher, how can it go wrong?

A. Claire Everward
Kate Anne Everward

“Forever Looking Forward”. That’s their motto. And that was what they were thinking when they decided to drop everything and just do it.

Once upon a time a sister told her sister that her imagination is going wild, that she has so much to say and stories chasing through her head (don’t worry, no voices) and that escaping into that endless world of imagination makes everything (well almost everything…) tolerable. So the sister sighed indulgently and told her sister, you want to write, write. We’ll publish. People love to read.

Anna Claire Everward is now an author with already two book series on their way. And her sister? Kate Anne Everward became her publisher and PR agent. That’s how Author & Sister was born.

Ready for the book yet?

Let's see what it's all about!

The First
A debut novel by A. Claire Everward

Find Her.
Is the ancient directive that has once again reawakened in the hearts of those who hide.
Kill Her!
Is the frantic command of those who fear their rise.
Aelia returns from a vacation that did not go quite as she expected, to a life she does not quite feel at home in but that is, at least, hers. Or so she thinks. Within days of returning she is targeted by a hit man and she has no idea why.
But then neither does he. All Kyle Rhys knows is that to protect humanity, this woman must die. At least, he thinks, killing her will be easy. After all, the organization that has raised him has prepared him for her death his entire life.
So why can’t he kill her?

What? Whaaaat? Need to know more?!

Is this cover gorgeous, or what?

Let's meet this fabulous new author!!

A. Claire Everward takes the world far too seriously. Passionate and sensitive to her surroundings, she takes it all to heart, sometimes too much so. but it makes her fight for what she believes in. She is direct, although she tries not to be, at least not always. Like every artist she has her quirks, some understand them and some don’t. She prefers to keep to herself and spend time with her characters, and for her escaping into writing is always the best refuge. She would say it maintains her sanity but her sister Kate says that sanity does tend to be overrated.

Claire spent years away from home getting an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering and a graduate degree from the same faculty, with a risk management specialty. During that time she lived in the university, surrounded by forested hills and too much silence, and so to keep away the boredom she also took on an MBA, and now she feels ridiculously over-educated.

She tried to work in her field, she really did, and even put her education to good use in the finance field for a while. But eventually her love for writing took over, and she decided to leave it all and move to the world of her imagination. Her characters had a lot to do with that—they had lived in her mind, waiting patiently for her to be ready, for too long, they felt, and so they finally decided enough is enough and took over. And Claire didn’t put up that much of a resistance. She has always loved to read, but writing, that’s a whole new world she soon knew she could never give up.

She lives with her two cats, a brown tabby named Mary Boleyn who is much smarter than her and who likes to take over her laptop exactly when she wants to write, otherwise she starts throwing all kinds of stuff off the desk, and a black cat named Henry VIII who loves to jump on top of the kitchen cabinets and scream at the ceiling. Especially at five in the morning.

Nowadays, when she’s not rudely peeping into the lives of her characters, or having in-depth conversations with them, which she does tend to do quite often, Claire actually manages to do some writing. The First is only the first of her novels. With a sequel on its way and a whole new series to follow, Claire is turning her dream to be an author, a reality.

The second half of this incredible duo!

After ten years working as a PR expert specializing in crisis and reputation management, voicing other people’s thoughts and needs and making sure they got what they want, Kate knew it’s time for a change. She’d always been a dreamer, a bookworm who escaped to her imagination when things got tough, and when her sister, another bookworm (they got it from their bookworm mother) came to her and told her she wanted to be a writer, and already had stories and books to show her, Kate decided to help her dream come true.

And so from crisis manager she became a book publisher/marketer/literary PR agent. Her career had taught her how to fight for what she believes in, and she was tenacious to begin with, and now she’s using it all. While her sister writes, Kate is learning everything she can about the traditional and self-publishing world, and is talking to anyone, anywhere out there. She and her sister Claire have now created Author & Sister, so they can publish Claire’s books and tell the world their story.

Kate lives with her laptop (Yogi) and her 10 kg gorgeous red-haired cat who never sleeps. At least not when she wants him to. She is now starting to voice her thoughts, dreams and truths in her and her sister’s blog and is even considering writing a story of her own.

Want to stalk? Here's where to go!

Twitter and Instagram @authorandsister

While you're in the mood to stalk, I can't say goodbye without a self plug.  ;)
Feel free to check out my website for Sigrun, the Bandamann Saga!

Have a wonderful weekend, and have fun at the book fair!

Brain 2 Books Cyber Convention: Fantasy Blog Tour Spring 2016

Welcome, friends to the marvelously wonderful Fantasy Blog Tour! Today we're going to see really terrific authors who know how to bring the fantastic to life!

While you're here, get a good look at these books! You can click the links to take you to the purchase page.

Let's get started!

The Rogue King
by Aldrea Alien

[Sci-fi, High/Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy]

Outside is dangerous.

Such is the warning Koral has heard for twelve years. Born a product of genetic manipulation, he knows little else of the world beyond the steel walls of his home.

When fate gives him the choice between certain death and the unknown, there's no question in what he must choose. But he's about to find out the sands he must brave are full of more than mere monsters.

Providing the desert doesn't kill him first.

This is a world ruled by instinct, where innocence is drowned in blood. Here, men are offered up to the great Serpent God,

Lorric, only to emerge as the most feared killers on the planet: The Rogues.

With the god's sights set on turning Koral into a legend, he must sacrifice himself to survive and be reborn as... The Rogue King.

Along Came a Wolf
Book I of the Yellow Hoods
by Adam Dreece
[Sci-fi, High/Epic Fantasy, YA]

"...intriguing contraptions, appealing characters, snide villains, humor, and an exciting story." Kirkus Reviews 

On a world where rhymes and fairy-tales are real, a secret society's influence is crumbling. The Tub, led for decades by a butcher, a baker, and a candle stick maker, is no longer able to protect its allies like master inventor, Nikolas Klaus.

Rumors of a revolutionary invention has a rival secret society hunting for its plans. When an agent arrives on the doorstep of the long-thought dead Klaus, his granddaughter Tee, and her best friends, Elly and Richy, get caught in the fray. Will Klaus' secrets cost them all dearly?

"Dreece has crafted a tale with elements to delight the child in all of us, and intrigue the most creative adult mind.” J.K. Norry, Author of Fall of the Walker King

"Adventure, hijinks and bravery in the very best traditions of the Famous Five and the books of Roald Dahl.” Dylan Hearn, Author of Second Chance.

by Marco Marek
[High Epic Fantasy, YA, Thriller]

In the castle of city of Lubena, Mary and Martina found a portal to another dimension called Hyperearth. This will be the beginning of various adventures of this two teenager girls, fighting the evil Sathon but also make new friendship and curious discovers.

The Crown of Stones
Magic Price
by C.L. Schneider
[High/Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy]

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.

Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.

A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.

With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones trilogy.

Ruined City
by A.F. Stewart
[Sci-fi, Epic Fantasy]

In the Northern Pass stands the city of Elowen, the glittering guardian between the Empire of Aloquis and the Kingdoms of Immra. It exists proud and prosperous, never dreaming its dark past was coming to call...

On a bright winter’s day a stranger arrives in Elowen, bearing a secret. From this man a dark blight of ruin descends over the great city and henceforth the day becomes known as Winter’s Bane.

The day the world changed for the people of Elowen.

The day their existence turned into a recurring nightmare.Read of the aftermath of revenge through the eyes of a shopkeeper, a child, ghosts, a blacksmith, a guardsman, an innkeeper, and even a King.

by Joshua Robertson & JC Boyd
[Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy]

Drast, cunning but reckless, is on the hunt for admiration. Tyran, calculating but tactless, is in search of affection. Bound by a friendship thicker than blood, the two brothers have been hardened by their father’s ambitions. Drast and Tyran are forced to set aside their own hopes and dreams during their struggle to fulfill their father’s desire for immortality. The two will face skin-switchers and dragons, ultimately leading to a final clash with Wolos, God of the Dead.

Asena Blessed
by Tracy M. Joyce

At the whims of Gods and Men…

Isaura has emerged from the spirit realm forever altered. No longer a pariah, she embraces the future offered in Altaica, but learns that her survival has come at a price. Her transformation is the perfect weapon for Elena to use against her.

The mysterious Asena and The Lady vie for Isaura. Caught between two ancient powers, Isaura must try to make her own path.

Master spy Vikram launches a counterinsurgency against Ratilal and Faros, weaving innocents into the plot to bring him down. Ratilal prepares to wage war against Karan and Baldev. Desperately, he seeks clandestine means to wreak revenge on them in the very heart of their territory, with devastating results.

With enemies nearing, Isaura must learn to master her powers. Aid arrives from the most unlikely source—one who knows no rules and respects no one.

Having run from one war she will not run from another…

The battle is joined.

~Coming Soon

The Amber Isle
Book of Never #1
by Ashley Capes
[Sci-fi, Fantasy]

Roguish Never is on a quest to lift a curse on his blood and to learn his true name; but upon joining a group of treasure-hunters he soon finds himself unearthing world-altering secrets that have long lain dormant within the mysterious Amber Isle.

First in a series of epic fantasy novellas to be released in March 2016.

Smoke and Rain
Reforged #1
by V.S. Holmes
[Sci-fi, Epic Fantasy]

I expected a hero to save us all. Turns out, I was thinking of the wrong part of the story. In the beginning, we aren't saved. The world is broken. There are only pieces and grief. Depending on the story, the fruit of grief is vengeance or justice or hardened resolve.

The pieces must be gathered and flames kindled before I'm reforged. I don't know what shape I will take. Those pieces might become a hero...or a monster.

A mad king’s genocide destroyed Alea's home and left her sanity in tatters. The struggle between the gods and their creators fills the world with war. Caught in the crossfire of a conflict she knows little about, Alea only wants a quiet life. Trouble is, the darkness roiling in her mind may be the one thing that could end the bloodshed.

A storm brews within her, and not even the gods will be safe when it breaks upon the world.

Blood Moon Rising
by Riley Amos Westbrook et. al.
[Horror, Sci-fi, Fantasy]

What horror awaits when the Blood Moon Rises? What monsters lurk in the dark? A collection of twelve horror, sci-fi and fantasy tales from the authors taking part in Blood Moon Rising 2.

By S.K. Gregory (Editor), Michael Noe (Author), Riley Amos Westbrook, (Author) M.L. Sparrow (Author), Sharon Higa, (Author) Kat Gracey (Author), David Wind (Author), Ash Hartwell, (Author) Michelle Garza, (Author) Melissa Larson, (Author) Toneye Eyenot (Author), C.L. Hernandez, (Author) Donald Armfield (Author)

The Last Ranger of Sarn
Chronicles of the Huntress: Book One
by Ed Ireland
[Fantasy, Epic Fantasy]

Locked within the fabled Castian city of Tiran sits the Vault of Sarnallus and the Gems of Creation. Powerful orbs that can bring life or total annihilation. The King of Castia has trusted his military under the command of General Salaris Woodward to stop the advance of the undead army that comes for the treasure.
At the front of this unimaginable horror is The Black Prince, Romero Harram. After killing his father the Prince turns his eyes to the rest of his lands, Bardynn. General Merrin Jaslin, now considered a rebel leads the remaining loyal Knights of the Crescent Moon to the Pass of Sarn.
While he sits south of the pass, General Woodward sits north. With her is the Castian Militia led by Vespias Firstlight. She has been called the Hali'Khal by the Junin people...the daughter of the land who will save their people by her noble deeds. As she does this she will also save her own people from genocide.
But the prophecy calls for a terrible price to be paid before she can fulfill it. She must lose her heart. All that she was, all she is and all she can ever be must be lost.
Is the price too high? Can she overcome the heartache to bring hope to the Castian people? In this tale of power and passions, love, lust and survival can Vespias pay the toll to save her world? Ride into battle along with her and see...

Dolor and Shadow Tales of the Drui
by Angela B. Chrysler
[Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi Fantasy]

As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father's war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But nothing is as it seems, and the gods are relentless.

A twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune into possession of power he does not understand. From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.

Of course, I can't post a blog about books without mentioning my own!
Please visit my website to find out about Sigrun, the Bandamann Saga!

Wow! These are some of the most fantastic stories I've ever heard! I hope you found some you like, love, can't get enough of!

Remember to check out all the places to party here at the convention!

Ready to move on? Head over to Josh's blog!