Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Yin Yang of 2013

It may take 365 days to usher the calendar pages along, but I only need the minutes that hang in the balance between this year and next to consider the things that defined 2013 for me.

It was a year of givers and takers, movers and shakers. Of first tries and second chances. Of good news, bad news and no news. There were smiles of honesty and smirks of deceit. There were goodbyes and good-to-meet-yous, healthy gains and growing pains.

2013 was the year of The Word. Sentences were strung, dismantled and re-strung time and again. The Muse was mostly gracious, though ever unpredictable.

Change became the new constant. Novelty and nostalgia made for strange bedfellows.

There were resolutions kept and those quickly dismissed. Food, fun and games juxtaposed with exercise, work and more work.

I saw some dreams become wishes and wishes turn into success stories. I saw silent requests become prayers and prayers turn into urgent pleas.

Love dressed itself up and down to suit the seasons - tempted and tested, yet never absent.

2013 was more or less, more and less. It was every bit positive and negative. Hot and cold. Dark and light. Black and white.

I wish it all the best as it hurries off to that great Yin Yang in the sky.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Time to Rewind - The Christmas March

There's a place in my mind I visit every year right about now. It's a pine-scented, crisp white scene. Music is always playing and somebody is always laughing. It's warm. Cozy. And a girl is there. She's already too old to believe in jolly men in red and flying reindeer. However, she's still young enough to savor a secret anticipation for what Christmas will bring her. A doll that feels just like a real baby. This girl has always had a thing for dolls and she knows that soon enough the dolls will end. The scene will change. But, the girl in my mind thinks that these changes are light years away. And in some respects they are. She is still on good terms with Time. They're friendly. She's growing into the years, and the years into her. Kindly. Gently. She collects sweet holiday memories and tucks them beside the other moments of her life she prefers to recall at will. This girl is already beyond the impatient whims of little children who wish away the days with their frantic pleas to hurry things along. Yet she does wonder why Time sometimes moves so slowly.

Before long this girl has amassed an impressive collection. Scenes that now include real babies who feel like dolls. Aromas of holiday feasts shared with the family type. The lightness of being when lightness is a gift in and of itself.
Time still respects her space, though it hints at a certain surliness. At the inevitability that it will bear down sooner rather than later. There's no way to heed the warning except to try and slow the pace, stamp the scenes with brightly-colored ink that won't fade. Is there such a thing?

These days the girl is known as a woman. She hasn't the luxury of pretending away Time. She's grown too learned of its willful ways. She's watched many scenes come and go - too many to ignore what they've meant on a larger scale. How each precious one has attached itself to a moment that Time has taken along with it in a sudden heated rush. She wonders what the big hurry is all about.

Today I lit a candle. Pine-scented. I closed my eyes and hit rewind. I found that young girl in my mind again. If only for a few minutes, we reminisced. Handmade tree-toppers and popsicle ornaments. Snowball fights and hot chocolate chasers. Wishes and wonders.
I shrugged off the years around my shoulders and danced with the memories. Quickly, before the music stopped playing.

It'll all be here and gone in a flash. Christmas and it's goodness. Take from it what you'll want to keep for later. Time maintains a steady march forward. Tuck your scenes away for safe keeping. Experience and enjoy the splendor.

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and blessed holiday season.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cover Reveal/Blog Tour - THE TEARINGS

I'm so pleased to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book by V.C. Repetto and brought to you by Evernight Teen! Here's the 4-1-1:

From the moment the black vans appear to take the sick away, Maya knows there is something wrong. A high school sophomore, she seems to be the only one to question the sudden disappearances at school and the masks everyone is forced to wear to keep from catching the new disease spreading through the entire United States. Even when word of the new “healing centers” reaches the public, no one dares to ask what is happening.

But when Maya catches the disease, the one they call The Tearings, and is taken to one of these centers along with her mother, the truth becomes all too clear. She is separated from her family and forced to work, becoming one of the more fortunate ones who is not sent to the testing wings. Bullied by the guards to the point of death, she meets David Summers, the enigmatic young Captain who appears to loathe his position of power in the camp and who seems as drawn to Maya as she is to him.

When Maya suddenly becomes the disease’s only survivor, she must put her trust on David to find a way to escape the camp and get the truth, and the cure coursing through her veins, out to the world

Sounds SO good! I can't wait to read it. I hope you'll add this one to your TBR list. We wish V.C. all the best of literary success!

Purchase here:

Check out the trailer:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop

This year I've had the pleasure of getting to know some fantastic authors and their equally fantastic books. And now thanks to this cool giveaway hop, you'll get to know them, too! We are celebrating our favorite reads of the year and I've chosen to highlight two books, both brought to you by the impressive and dynamic Immortal Ink Publishing. The first title is THE FOREVER GIRL by Rebecca Hamilton. http://www.immortalinkpublishing.com/books.php?id=3 and the second is AFTER THE FEAR by Rosanne Rivers. http://www.immortalinkpublishing.com/books.php?id=16  Both of these books were bestsellers this year and The FOREVER GIRL had just been optioned for film! Now you can see for yourself what the readers and reviewers have been raving over. We are giving away a copy of EACH amazing novel right here! Enter below (read more) for your chance to win.

Don't forget to hop over to the other blogs participating in this awesome event. http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/2013/10/sign-ups-now-open-best-of-2013-giveaway.html

Have fun, y'all. And remember to be good because you-know-who is watching...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pizza, Puppies & Wishes

She said her name was Allyson, but that I should call her Ally. I knew right then she was a mighty little thing. Especially precocious, eight years old, dressed in a plaid jumper and matching headband, woolen socks pulled taut at her knees. Blonde hair, still baby fine, slipped casually over her shoulders. Her father instructed her to be seated in a chair in our office's reception area and she started for it - pausing just long enough to peruse our reading material. I pointed out the most recent Highlights magazine to which she replied,

"No, thank you," and then selected the latest edition of People, instead.

"Are you getting excited about Santa?" I asked.

Ally dipped her chin and squared one cross brow in my direction. "I'm eight. That stuff is for little kids."

"Ahh - I see. Well, then I suppose that's that," I said.

She paid me a patient smile exposing a quarter of a front tooth dropping from her gum at a razor-sharp angle. Her father's cell phone rang and he stepped out into the hallway to take it.

"You know," I began, "Santa Claus isn't so much a person as he is a feeling."

The child looked up from the open pages in her lap. I went on,

"Like a wish coming true or your favorite memory playing in your mind. Something that makes you warm on the inside. Like puppy-dog kisses."

"Like pizza?" she asked.

"Sure - I guess. If pizza makes you super-duper happy."

I watched her silently weighing it out. Was pizza really as special as a wish coming true?

At that moment her father came back into the room. "That was Mommy," he said, folding into the chair beside hers. "And guess what? The doctor told her that she will definitely be home with us in time for Christmas."

Every bit of the light around her filled Ally's eyes. "Goody, Daddy! I'm so glad!" The magazine slid off her lap to the floor and her father lowered to retrieve it, a grin spread wide along his jaw.

I looked over once more before I headed for my office. Ally's gaze met mine. Without a word she admitted that the pizza had been trumped. We shared a smile.

"Merry Christmas, Ally."

"You too," she said. And just like that Santa Claus had come and gone.