Thursday, May 18, 2017

The YA Summer Scavenger Hunt will be happening soon

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt and I'm participating. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes! Mark your calendars now!

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES. All you have to do is visit all the author's sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE (link will be posted soon). There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they're offering while you're on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (participating authors)

  1. Cindy Ray Hale
  2. Katherine Bogle
  3. Melle Amade
  4. David Kudler
  5. A.M. Yates
  6. Alethea Kontis
  7. Stevie Rae Causey
  8. Katlyn Duncan
  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer
  10. Meredith Rose
  11. N.M. Howell
  12. Lara Ann
  13. K.M. Robinson
  14. J.A. Culican
  15. Heather Karn
  16. Rob L. Slater
  17. Dylan Keefer
  18. Sarah K. Wilson
  19. L.J. Higgins
  20. Gina Marie Long
  21. Em Kazmierski
  22. Travis Hall
  23. Heather Young-Nichols
  24. Anna Santos
  25. J.L. Weil
  26. Jo Schneider
  27. Rebecca Fernfield
  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem
  29. Martine Lewis
  30. Tara Benham
  31. Stacy Claflin
  32. Beth Hammond
  33. Erica Monroe Cope
  34. Nicole Zoltack
  35. Char Webster
  36. Sabrina Ramoth
  37. T.J. Muir
  38. Raquel Lyon
  39. Beth Rodgers
  40. S.L. Beaumont
  41. Eva Pohler
  42. Melanie McFarlane
  43. Cheryllynn Dyess
  44. Audrey Rich
  45. Amanda Zieba
  46. Sandie Will
  47. Elle Scott
  48. Angie Grigaliunas
  49. Ashley Maker
  50. Mandy Peterson
  51. Audrey Grey
  52. Elisa Dane
  53. Amy McNulty
  54. Melinda Cordell
  55. Monica Leonelle
  56. Claire Luana
  57. Frost Kay
  58. Preeti C. Sharma
  59. Bentz Deyo
  60. April Wood
  61. Lena Mae Hill
  62. Angel Leya
  63. Wendi Wilson
  64. Wendy Knight
  65. Chogan Swan
  66. Tamara Hart Heiner
  67. Norma Hinkens
  68. Patti Larsen
  69. Megan Crewe
  70. Jamie Thornton
  71. Jessie Renée
  72. T.A. Maclagan
  73. Lydia Sherrer
  74. Phyllis Moore
  75. P.D. Workman
  76. J.A. Armitage
  77. K.N. Lee
  78. Angela Fristoe
  79. Rhonda Sermon
  80. G.K. DeRosa
  81. Erin Richards
  82. Ali Winters
  83. Larissa C. Hardesty
  84. Kristine Tate
  85. Debra Kristi
  86. Bella Rose
  87. Cortney Pearson
  88. Jeff Kohanek
  89. Kristal Shaff
  90. Rachel Morgan
  91. Emma Right
  92. C.L. Cannon
  93. Joanne Macgregor
  94. Lindsey Loucks
  95. Farah Kuck
  96. Erin Hayes
  97. Jesikah Sundin
  98. Dorothy Dreyer
  99. Danielle Annett
  100. C.J. Ethington
  101. L.C. Hibbett
  102. Madeline Dyer
  103. Katie John
  104. Nicole Schubert
  105. Rachel Medhurst
  106. Tee G Ayer
  107. May Freighter
  108. Heather Dyer
  109. Jen Minkman
  110. J.L. Gillham
  111. Karen Tomlinson
  112. Kate Haye
  113. Tom Shutt
  114. Martina Billings
  115. Jo Ho
  116. Brian King
  117. Inna Hardison
  118. Rachel Bateman
  119. Sally Henson
  120. J.L. Hendricks
  121. A.L. Knorr
  122. T.M. Franklin
  123. Konstanz Silverbow
  124. felisha Antonette
  125. Jake Devlin
  126. S.F. Benson
  127. Laurie Treacy
  128. Emily Martha Sorensen
  129. Leia Stone
  130. T. Rae Mitchell
  131. J. Keller Ford
  132. Kat Stiles
  133. Jessica Hawke
  134. Elyse Reyes
  135. Sophie Davis
  136. Bianca Scardoni
  137. Jenetta Penner
  138. David R. Bernstein
  139. Olivia Wildenstein
  140. Derek Murphy
For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.

TIMELINE

Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

After the Pink: A Mother's Day Remembrance #MothersDay2017 #MothersDay #HappyMothersDay

I wrote this essay for a contest and would like to dedicate it to all of the Moms out there. Each one of us has our own unique journeys to share. Here is the beginning of mine. Happy Mother's Day!

After being married for half a decade, my husband and I decided to make our duo a trio. I figured something as monumental as getting pregnant wouldn’t happen easily. Within months my stomach turned queasy. I became more emotional. Something had changed. I purchased a pregnancy test. Ten minutes later, I checked the stick. A pink line greeted me.

Whoa. There was a little being growing inside me? I ran the gamut of emotions.

Happiness. A baby?!

Shock. OMG, what now?

Panic. When do I see the doctor?

Despair. Am I mother material?

Regret. No wine for how many months?

Worryworryworryworry. Grouped together with doubt and unknown fears, worry became the worst. One question remained: what happens after the pink?

The list of concerns grew. Health. Money. Space. Time. The weight of responsibilities became overbearing. When I told my husband, he smiled. His calm was the opposite to everything I became: a walking, breathing sponge of “motherhood.”

I subscribed to every baby and parenting magazine.

Sat through hours of birthing shows.

Listened to ‘helpful’ hints from family, friends, coworkers, and the occasional passersby.

I took lists of questions on my OB-GYN appointments. I interviewed pediatricians.

I did whatever I could to quell the voices of worry.

After the pink, the real fun begins.

My belly expanded. Morning sickness lasted all day. Had I made the right decision?
One morning I awoke to a fluttering sensation inside me. A kick. Or a punch? From that monumental motion, hearing the heartbeat at pre-natal check-ups, viewing the alien-like being during the ultrasound, and every subsequent hiccup afterwards—one fact remained steadfast. My body, my life were no longer my own.

After the pink, our little one becomes my everything.

I carried something my husband and I had created. This life was not only a reflection of our love and commitment; this child bonded us together even more. We were now a family. 

We’d eased into the next journey of life: parenthood. Besides the rollercoaster ride of emotions and hormones, my mind fought to remain collected. The moment I recognized that pink line, a fierceness sprouted inside me. It remained quiet until needed.

After the pink, things don’t always go according to plan.

Despite having a birthing plan—natural labor inside a birthing cottage—my actual labor took a detour. Complications arose. The doctor suspected the umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s neck. I had an emergency C-section. That memorable moment of giving birth I’d seen in countless shows and heard about from many didn’t become my reality. As I counted back from one hundred, I worried if I’d awaken to a living baby. My fierceness whispered one word: trust.

As I came out of the anesthesia during recovery, my husband wheeled over a bassinet. Beaming, he introduced a wrapped-up bundle. Our daughter.

The first few months of raising a baby became a tug of war of survival. Existing on two to three hours of sleep due to feedings on demand, understanding the needs of pink-faced mini me had its moments. I doubted myself continuously.

Had my milk provided enough nutrition, or did I need to supplement?

Is that a rash?

Why is her poop that color?

Is her cry different?

Does she have enough clothes on?

Worrying aside, I placed my daughter’s needs before everything. She became the most pressing force in my life. My fierceness remained at the ready.

Babies go through stages. Rolling. Learning to eat. Crawling. Walking. There were accidents. Trips to quick care facilities when ear infections announced themselves at four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. X-rays when a cold turned to pneumonia. Bouts of mysterious vomiting and diarrhea.

Through it all, my husband and I endured. How could we not when our girl showed us her gummy smile? When her tiny fingers gripped ours? Something cracked inside my chest when I heard her first words. Could one person be so happy?

When I married the love of my life, I thought that magical day could never be matched. That milestone merely prepared me for motherhood. I never realized how selfish I was. As kids the world is a place to wander, as teens it revolves around our whims, and as adults what’s important exists inside our circle.

Not anymore.

After the pink, I change.


My identity, my person, my role, and my job became centered around another being. Life would never be the same. My fierceness and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My three kids in 2017

Note: From the picture I added to this post, it is obvious that I enjoyed being a mother so much, I did it three times. Each pregnancy was different, but the end result was the same: creating a new, unique and incredible new life. Now my oldest just graduated college last weekend, my other daughter is finishing up her freshman year, and my youngest entered the wonderful teen years two months ago. After the pink, the memories only begin.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Enter the Spring Into Cash $250 #Giveaway

Spring Into Cash $250 Giveaway 
 Spring is here!! 
To celebrate spring's return, an awesome group of bloggers, authors and publishers has joined together to bring you one fabulous prize!! 
 Enter for your chance to win $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com gift code!! 

 Thanks to these sponsors for helping make this giveaway possible.   

Sponsor List 
I Am A Reader 
Kim Cresswell -Author of Suspense and Thrillers 
S.T. Bende 
Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE 
Kimber Leigh Wheaton 
Krysten Lindsay Hager author 
Lori's Reading Corner 
Helen Smith 
Heather Gray, Author 
Happily Ever Chapter 
Caroline Clemmons 
Jamie Brook Thompson, Author of Clean Romance 
Glistering: B's Blog 
Author Deb Atwood 
Sweet & Sassy Books 
Author Laurie Treacy 
Author Ednah Walters 
Pauline Creeden, Author 
Author Ali Winters 
D.S. Venetta 
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love 
Geybie's Book Blog 
D.E. Haggerty, author 
B. Kristin McMichael 
Dawn Malone, Author 
Inger Iversen  

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 4/15/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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