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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why I've Sponsored a Child for the Last Three Years (And Why I Will Continue)

All my life, growing up, I wanted to be able to sponsor a child. Back in 2010, I was finally financially able to do it. I chose to go through the organization Children International. They even let you pick the age/gender/location of the child you sponsor. I chose a 5-year-old boy from Zambia (a country in Africa).

This first child ended up going missing (they didn't give me details, only that this happens sometimes in such a fragile economy). I only sponsored him for a few months. But then they gave me another child in replacement, who is the child I'm sponsoring now. He's also around the same age, and he's from Zambia. His father is deceased, so his mom has to support him and his siblings on something like $30 a month. I chip in some of my money every month so that the child has a chance to go to school and be get some extra medical care.

The program encourages contact between the people who donate and their sponsored children. Some people don't do this, but I really enjoy it. I've written a several letters to my kid and his mother. His mom has been very sweet to correspond with me, as she knows a little English. So far, my child's been too young to write me, but he does color pictures like this one!




One thing I like about Children International is they send reports on any special gift donations (additional to the set monthly donation). In other words, they let you know what exactly your special Christmas/Birthday/Etc. gift bought for your child.




Also something that's really cool is the newsletters about the region your sponsored child lives. This program really does a lot to take you into the lives of the children you sponsor. I've learned a lot about Zambia just via the little pamphlets and updates they send me. I'd really love to go there someday and meet my kid and his mother and experience life in his world.




So why do I send my money to a complete stranger halfway across the globe? Because I can. Because if I were in that child's position (or his mother's), I would hope some kind person who had enough money would spare a little to better my quality of life. I believe we should treat others as we wish to be treated. This is just a small way in which I can live that philosophy. 

Plus, when we switch to the mind-frame of Giving, it has this uncanny ability to lift our own spirits in the process.

Here's the link again to Children International if you want to check it out and think about sponsoring a child, too. 

*****

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Latest Author Interview

Please check out my newest author interview over at Unikorna's gorgeous and always fascinating blog, Why I Wake Up Every Day. I talk about the things that inspire my writing, why I chose a Fallen angel for the hero of The Divided trilogy, and my advice to writers who may be working too hard. Click -->here<--!

Monday, May 13, 2013

SONG OF THE DIVIDED Release Date Update!

I've narrowed it down, folk, and the final book in the trilogy will be available on Kindle June 1! (Paperback version will follow a bit later in the month.) Just 3 weeks left to go!



Hope you all have a great week!

*****

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Fun Facts about BLADE OF THE DIVIDED

The response to my Five Fun Facts about 'Wings of the Divided' post was so good that I'm doing one for its sequel.



So here are five behind-the-scenes tidbits about BLADE for you to put in your trivia bank:


1) When I wrote one of the scenes in this book, it was Valentine's Day, and the sky was filled with clouds. I looked out my window, and all at once, it started snowing. I immediately became inspired and added snow to an otherwise snow-less part.

2) I got to pay homage to a number of different book/movie genres in BLADE with my various planets. For instance, Belac displays my love for Westerns, Eletin for Medieval Fantasies, and Seguai for gritty Sci-Fi.

3) The planet Belac is my brother Caleb's name spelled backwards.

4) My characters Mannie and Lonnie are loosely based on my Aunt Annie and Uncle Ronnie. I've always adored their very playful, long and successful marriage. Mannie and Annie both make an absolutely delicious chocolate pie.

5) Two of my angel characters in WINGS OF THE DIVIDED were originally supposed to die. One of my beta readers got so angry that I was planning to kill one of them that she insisted I keep him around for Book 2. I'm glad I did because he's ended up being a reader favorite (and honestly, I like him quite a bit, too). Another character I actually did kill off (much to readers' delight because he's one of those villains you love to hate)...but I enjoyed writing him so much that I brought him back for BLADE. He, ironically, ends up playing such an important role in Book 3 that I can't imagine the trilogy without him. Another success of the subconscious mind!

***

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Best Moment Blog Award!

Wow, I am honored to have so many fellow bloggers thinking of me when it comes time to pass on these fun awards! I got another one today from super sweet and friendly writer S.K. Anthony. This one is The Best Moment Blog Award!




This particular award doesn't have any Q&A attached; it's simply an opportunity to be honored and to show some gratitude in a little acceptance speech! So here goes my speech:

Whether this is your first time or your 50th time to visit my blog, I want you to know I truly value YOU, readers! In this day and age, time is precious, and there's so much Internet content out there that it's hard to decide what you want to click on and what you don't. Well, you have chosen to click on this blog of mine, and I am so grateful for it. I'm thrilled to be able to connect with you via my posts, which vary from personal thoughts to pictures to publication promos. (Speaking of, an extra special thanks to those of you who have taken the time to buy and read my fiction!) YOU ARE ALL SO APPRECIATED! :)

Now. Onto passing the award to the next recipients! I'm giving it to three bloggers who are coming to my mind. These bloggers are also encouraged to post the picture of the award and write or do a vlog of their acceptance speech. Here you go!


JLuis Licea

Alton Bock

Terry Reid


*****

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What Would Look Good in Here?

Hey, check out my nifty new cabinet that I got from the Scarborough Renaissance Festival this past weekend!








I was wondering...what do you all think would look good inside of it? It's in the entryway of the house, right to the left as you come in. I have a few ideas, but I thought I'd pick your brains.

Oh, and if you like the craftsmanship, you should check out the artist's Etsy page -->here<--.

As some of you have heard me say before, I don't mind paying a little extra $ to support artists and their original works. These people put their whole heart into it their creations. And it shows. Plus this particular artist (Mark Cooper) was really spiritual and groovy, and I thought he was really cool. ;)

That's all for now in the Decorating Saga! Stay tuned for more news on The Divided Book 3, coming in less than a month!

*****

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

"This Light Between Us"



 "This Light Between Us"
Armin van Buuren Lyrics: 

Can you see this light between us
Keeps me breathing through the storm
My head above the crowd 
Can you see this light between us
So come a little bit closer now
Its in our eyes
 You and me, we're just believers
Believing what we hold
But sometimes we fall to pieces
In the dusk
 So we should dance like this forever
We're safer on the ground
When a million lights surround you
And you're moving to the sound
 Don't waste another moment
It's waiting for you now
So dive in this new beginning
Let the glowing show you how
 I will take, this light between us
Keeps me breathing through the storm
My head above the crowd 
Can you see this light between us
So come a little bit closer now
Its in our eyes
 We'll take a ride out side together
The streets are lined with gold
Where the good become the wanted not the soul
 Don't waste another moment
I'm waiting for you now
So dive in this new beginning
And let the color show you how
 I will take, this light between us
Keeps me breathing through the storm
My head above the crowd
 Can you see this light between us
So come a little bit closer now
Its in our eyes Its in our eyes
 So dive in this new beginning
And let the color show you how
 I will take, this light between us
Keeps me breathing through the storm
My head above the crowd
 Can you see this light between us
So come a little bit closer now
Its in our eyes
Its in our eyes
Its in our eyes

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Some Musical Childhood Inspiration: The Moody Blues

When I was a little girl, just old enough to sit up, my dad used to put me in front of his stereo system. He had vinyl records then instead of CDs or an ipod. The stereo was a huge set-up with speakers the size of columns (and fuzzy to touch) on both sides of the record player.

So he'd put me in front of this magical music box and put his massive headphones on my little head. The band I distinctly remember discovering at that ripe young age of about two was The Moody Blues. It was like going into another world.

I've always been curious, would I have liked The Moody Blues even if Dad hadn't given me this special, inspiring gift? Or would I have fallen under their spell no matter what point in my life I discovered them? I might never know. But here is a little taste of what came streaming through the headphones and into the budding creative mind of the little girl me... (By the way, I still love this band, and their music still takes me to other worlds and far off times.) Enjoy!





And there's plenty more were that came from. If you like them, just ask me, and I'll suggest some more of their masterpieces. Have a great day, readers ;)

*****

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