Monday, November 23, 2015

The choice to step outside yourself

When life gets heavy and the weight on your shoulders crushes your joy or motivation it may be time to step outside your problems and assist someone with theirs.  Helping others when things in your life are troubling brings a broader perspective to your troubles and perhaps a smile to someone's face who didn't feel the desire to do so earlier. Everyone has struggles they are facing and sometimes when you embrace someone else's struggle yours aren't so overwhelming. Stepping outside yourself not only invigorates you, lifts your spirit but also the person who's hand you chose to grasp.

I follow Armand Rosamilia on Twitter and through his Twitter and Facebook accounts I've learned about his creative mission to support our service men and women, Authors Supporting Our Military Troops. Armand collects donations of indie authors' paperback books (no e-readers please) and spreads the love throughout the troops. Having family currently serving and family members who have served I thought this would be a wonderful way to show gratitude to the men and women who so graciously and courageously sacrifice their time, expertise and sometimes surrender their lives for our freedom. If my books can provide a moment of escape or a thoughtful exploration of life then the smile is on my face, my storytelling successful. A thumbs up, a great review, a smile on someone's face or an email expressing a shift in someone's paradigms is as rewarding to me as teaching my little five-year-olds how to read. My goal is to get the books out by Wednesday before the holiday rush!

Armand describes his mission best, so I'm pasting the link. Please if you have a minute, and you're an author, whether it be traditional or self-published please click the link and read about Armand's mission. If you're an aspiring writer, maybe this may give you an extra boost of motivation and inspiration to finish that last chapter or maybe start that ambitious endeavor of writing; you know that little whisper in your head that turns into the roar you're always ignoring. Maybe now is your time. You never know who your writing can help. So get your write on! And then send it to Armand!

Armand Rosamilia's Authors Supporting Our Military Troops

You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Choosing to stay postive over the weekend!

This blog post is a little difficult to write considering the insanity that occurred over the weekend in Paris, but my family and I are choosing to remain positive. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people and families in Paris as we celebrated the good news that my niece was safe and sound in London, and I had my very first book signing! Even though we celebrated two beautiful rays of sunshine, we were very aware and mindful of the tragedy, injustice, and inhumanity that swept the world. Good will always prevail, and our prayers are high!

We chose to embrace the positive and in so doing I would love to share the details of the book signing.

My husband and I traveled a little over an hour to get to Harleysville. Lovely drive on a bright, crisp, November afternoon. Stephanie Steinly did a wonderful job organizing and hosting the event, and I couldn't be more grateful! Stef made the event relaxed, fun and informative. Hopefully, I'll be invited back, and I can take a ton more pictures with Stef! I'm sorry about that! My friends and family attended as well as other people who stopped by thanks to Stef getting the word out! My heart was, and still is, full of love, gratitude, and appreciation to everyone who came out to support me as well as the friends and family who couldn't attend Saturday but were there in spirit! Michael, you were just the sweetest stopping by after work! It was lovely to meet you!

My nerves hummed with uncertainty as anticipation of the unknown rolled through my veins, but the excitement was immense as I set up shop in Stef's bookstore with a beautifully draped fall themed table just for me! Thank you, Stef! I had books, reviews, posters and, of course, my cookies! I'm going to try a little harder with the raffle prize for the next signing! Maybe if the next signing is a little closer to home, it might work out better. I haven't given up hope for donating to Delaware Valley's Children's Charity! If anyone knows about any independent bookstores in suburban Philadelphia that I missed, please leave me a post!

I had the lovely opportunity to meet fellow author George DeFrehn who wrote Is Anybody There? Memoir of a "functional alcoholic" George was a wealth of information both professionally and personally. What an extraordinary man! If you're looking for inspiration and education, pick up George's book! I certainly hope our paths cross again. Supremely delightful!

My expectations for excitement and nervousness were gigantic but the information I acquired speaking to both George and Stef? Priceless! Both personable, intelligent and knowledgeable about writing, self-publishing and marketing, Stef and George were a gift above rubies! I honestly felt like a little kid on Christmas morning receiving all my favorite presents!

I can't express enough gratitude for the new readers I had the opportunity to meet thanks to Stef! Thank you so much to everyone who attended the book signing on a chilly Saturday in November with the world raging. I hope that a little book talk and some cookies were able to distract you from the devastation across the ocean. The gratitude I have for the opportunity to visit Stef's bookstore is deep and the gratitude I hold for the new people I met is something I'll cherish always. I look forward to the next one, and hopefully there will be more to come with your continued support as my readership grows and news about my books grows as well. I have you to thank for that!

God bless!

Here it is! My dream come true!
Thank you for being a part of it!
Martha! My love for you is deep!

George! A true inspiration! Can't wait to meet him again!

My mom who taught me the lesson and value of hard work!

My sister who would travel just about anywhere to support me!

My husband who's support made my dream come true! I couldn't have asked for a truer, kinder friend! I love you!

Kathy who told me never to quit! I'm just as proud of her as she is of me! Mwah! I love her!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The choice to cultivate gratitude when life isn't rainbows and butterflies

Gratitude is easy when you ace your term paper, meet your deadline and everyone in the house is healthy and happy. It's easy to be thankful when the sun is shining, and life is rainbows and butterflies. But what do you do when it isn't? What do you do when the gray clouds threaten, and the storm hits? Are you grateful for the rain and tell yourself we wouldn't be able to survive without it? Do you decide to splash in the puddles? Or hide under the covers?

Life's challenges are lessons in the silver lining of those gray clouds. How boring would life be if every day beamed bursting sunshine and beguiling blue skies? What strength of character would develop? One that believes life is good only when the sky is blue.

I learn my best lessons during the worst storms. It's during the storm when your muscles are straining; your brain is screaming, and all you want to do is stay under the covers when you need to dig deep and cultivate gratitude. Capture the gray cloud, sift through it and uncover the gratitude of the struggle to reach the silver lining. Be thankful for the fight. It's the struggle that made you who and what you are. Never giving up during the fierce storm, being thankful for the painful lessons and pushing through the darkness of the cloud to grab that silver lining makes life beautiful even when the cocoons yield moths instead of butterflies and the sky is a stingy, stubborn two-year-old refusing to share its beautiful brilliance.

Tell me when your struggle was the hardest. How did you stay grateful?

Monday, November 2, 2015


Happy Monday Everyone! I hope if you celebrated Halloween you had a blast! I know I did! Delighting in the newest family member, my niece's first baby girl, who was the sweetest baby chick I ever did see was a little slice of heaven!

Now...onto a new week!

To start my week CHOICES is featured in Masquerade Crew's November's Cover Wars which will run until the end of December! I'm honored and tickled pink CHOICES is a contestant with many other beautiful covers! LOTS of covers, 113 to be exact, to choose from! So please spread the word and vote for CHOICES!

Thank you for your support! I am grateful for each and every review for Choices and Forgiveness as well as each and every vote for CHOICES if you choose to vote!

I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my family and friends and the people I've met through my self-publishing journey. There have been bumps in the road, hurdles to clear, mistakes and times I've wanted to quit. But the sweetest victory is the amazing group of readers, authors and bloggers I've met who inspire and propel me forward.


If you'd like to vote, here's the link