Best friends (Nepal)

Sonam, Me and Sangmo taking a break at the dental clinic at their school in Boudha, Nepal
Sonam, Me and Sangmo taking a break at the dental clinic at their school in Boudha, Nepal

Today I’m typing in my daughter’s apartment in Boulder, CO. Wonder is the feeling that feeds my soul. Childlike wonder. The kind I only truly experience when I’ve lost myself in another world. When the ordinary fades away. Beauty sometimes makes this possible. Natural beauty inspires but what I’d like to share with you today is a story about the beauty of courage and strength against all odds. These are the gifts that Sonam (left) and Sangmo (right) gave to me.

Sangmo and Sonam are best friends. I met the girls when I volunteered as a relief worker in Boudha, Nepal last May. The clinic for Global Dental Relief was set up at their school, Shree Mangal Dvip. Sonam and Sangmo are students at the school and volunteered their time to help at the clinic. Sangmo, Sonam and I worked closely together organizing over 1000 kids for dental work, at times playing with the kids, at times comforting them, giving fluoride treatments, holding their hands, laughing, playing string games, teaching them how to brush their teeth, handing out toothbrushes and stickers. As I watched and worked with Sangmo I appreciated her work ethic, her sense of humor and maturity. I thought she was sixteen years old. It was near the end of the week that I discovered she was only thirteen.

To the beats of drums and chants of a nearby puja, I entered the newly set up clinic at the Shrew Mangal Dvip school along with all the other Dental Global Relief volunteers from all over the world. Shirley, the principal, dropped in to say hello and told us that the children at her boarding school are “yakland” kids–children who live at an elevation of 10,000 feet or above. She said that many of the children walked up to a week in order to take a day-long drive to attend the school. As the journey was long and dangerous, it would be years before the children would see their families again, those lucky enough to still have families. Sangmo is one of these lucky children. Many of her classmates were orphaned as a result of the ten-year civil war that ended in 2006. The principal blushed as she shared that she’d love to get an email from Richard Gere because she admired his charity work so much. Shirley has a beautiful spirit. During our orientation, Shirley said that the children were experts at Buddha’s main teaching—turning problems into happiness.

One day, while I worked with Sangmo I asked if she stayed in touch with her family by writing them letters. She said that she did but that her mother and father couldn’t read or write. So, when they receive her letter they take a one-day hike to another village where someone there would read her letter to them. Then, her parents would take another one-day hike to another village to find someone to write a reply.

This struck me deeply. Sangmo and Sonam have very little materialistically. But they are among the happiest most polite, hard working teenagers I’ve ever met. Their light comes from within. And as children and teenagers often do, they taught me more about life and love than I could have ever taught them. They truly inspired me by rekindling a light that had died inside of me.

Wouldn’t it be fun for Shirley to get an inspiring note from Richard Gere? If you know him or know someone who knows him, or can help in any way, it would be my joy to help give back to her in this very small way. Here’s the address to send a note to Shirley: himalayanchildren@ If you like, you can “like” the school on Facebook here to find out more about the kids and the school.

Call Me Crazy by Quinn Loftis Release Day Blitz!

Y’all remember Quinn from the Bucket List giveaway right? She wants to see two of the seven wonders of the world. Isn’t that cool? And so are her books! Call Me Crazy just released, enjoy the teaser & be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post! Beat the heat this weekend and curl up with Call Me Crazy 🙂

Call Me Crazy Cover


“I’m looking out from inside the chaos. It must be a one-way mirror because no one seems to be able to see back inside to where I am. The looks on their faces, the judgment in their eyes, tells me everything I need to know. The most frustrating part about the whole messed up situation is that even though I’m the one that they stare at in shock, I am just as shocked as they are. I know no more than they do of why I lose control. What they don’t know is that I am more scared of myself than they could ever be.” ~ Tally Baker

After a devastating turn of events, seventeen year old Tally Baker is admitted to Mercy Psychiatric Facility where she is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She has come to a place where she honestly believes that her life is over. Her mind tells her that she will never smile or laugh again, that she will never be normal again. It is in this unlikely place that she meets two people, different in every way, yet both critical to helping her realize that she has so much more living to do.

Candy, a cantankerous sixty year old Mercy Psychiatric patient, is hell bent on driving everyone as crazy as she is. Candy shows Tally that, regardless of her diagnosis, the ability to push on and live her life to the fullest is her choice and hers alone. In the midst of Tally’s oftentimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching, escapades with Candy, a new patient is admitted to Mercy—a Native American woman named Lolotea. Along with this new patient comes a daily visitor, her son, Trey Swift. At first glance, it is obvious to Tally that he is incredibly handsome and unbelievably caring. But what she learns through her second glance, and many thereafter, is that there is much more to Trey than he ever lets on. It is during these daily visits that Trey and Tally build a friendship far deeper than either of them truly realize. With Trey, Tally feels for the first time since being admitted that someone is looking at her as a person and not as a disease. Trey begins to make it clear that he wants more than friendship, but she knows that she can never give him more. How can she, when she won’t even give him the truth?  Tally doesn’t tell Trey that she is a patient at Mercy, and she doesn’t ever plan to. Her plans go up in flames when she finds out that Trey is a new student at her school, the school where her brokenness was found out in the floor of the girl’s bathroom in a pool of her own blood.


“Crap Candy,” I growl at my snickering companion as I rub my side and glare at her. “What was that for?”

“A better question would be why were you hunkered down under the table drooling over Kemosabe?”

I frown at her. “That’s tacky don’t you think?”

“I’m sixty years old and crazy; I can do tacky if I want,” she snorts at me.

I can’t really argue with her there. Like pregnant women, old, crazy ladies pretty much get a free pass on crassness and eccentricity.

“So come on,” she pats the chair that I had so quickly vacated, “tell Candy all about it.”

I roll my eyes. “He just took me off guard, that’s all,” I lie smoothly.

Candy isn’t buying it. “He was hot, just admit it. Hot and he got you bothered.”

I cringe. “Candy, you calling a guy young enough to be your grandson hot is just not right.”

“Psht,” she flips her hand at me. “I’m old, not blind or dead. Besides, I didn’t say I wanted to jump his exotic bones.”

I groan as I bang my head against the table. “Where do you learn these terms? I mean it’s not normal for someone your age to blurt out crap like that.”

“Did you just use the term normal in a sentence describing me?” She raises her brow surprisingly at me.

I laugh. “Good point.”

Candy is a great character and looks like Tally will have her hands full trying to keep up!

Now, here’s the giveaway! This giveaway is for everyone! Click here to enter!


Quinn lives in beautiful NW Arkansas with her husband, son, Doberman and cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.






Moon Killers (Shadow series #3) Cover Reveal this Saturday!

I’m very excited about Moon Killers, the third book in the Shadow Series, coming out in May. Along with the cover reveal this Saturday at Indie Author Giveaway Month there will be a synopsis posted and on Sunday I’m hosting the first teaser from the book here on the Indie-licious Teaser Hop. So, before you go to your Oscar Parties, hop around with us and read some fantastic teasers this Sunday 🙂 It’s all so exciting that I need to calm down somehow. I’m really into comfort food lately. And since I usually talk about food on Tasty Thursday’s I thought I’d share Roxie’s latest obsession in Moon Killers : Mac & Cheese. I mean who doesn’t like mac & cheese, right? But it’s no regular mac & chesse. Her tastes are starting to trend toward the exotic. Click here for the recipe I’m making tonight that is one of Roxie’s favorites. Hope to see you here this weekend!


Featured Release: Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish | With death starts a new beginning….

With Death Starts a New Beginning…

What would you do if you where faced with the enormous task of awaking the dead to save your life and those around you?

Wolf Spell


M.R. Polish


    Esmerelda ~ Wimpy witch my ass, all of the week’s frustrations I had pent up, churned inside me. I’d show him. The sprout grew about an inch and blossoms formed into tiny leaves, letting me know I’d made a connection with it.

He used his hands to beckon me. “Come on, I have all night for you to make me whine.”

I ignored him and focused on growing the ivy. It was no longer a sprout, but a full–grown wild plant with wide leaves covering the ground.

“Hey, wait a minute Es, what are you doing.” His voice hinted at uncertainty with a small hesitation. He looked over to where I concentrated.

“Nothing.” I turned back around to face him.

“Whatever you’re thinking in that pretty little head, don’t”

I held my arms up in front of me, boxing style, waiting for him to make a move. I’d be danged if he got me in another headlock.

We walked around each other in a tight circle. He held a smirk that made me think he was amused by all of this. The morning sun shone on his already bronzed skin, showing his many days in the sun. For one short moment, I forgot I should be fighting. We circled one more time, and he reached out his arm, trying to get me off balance, but I was ready and moved out of the way before his hand made contact.

He backed up again making space between us. “Es, I mean it, don’t you even dare think about it.”

It was too late. He could beg all he wanted, but I wouldn’t change my mind. The bush sprang to full life as I used its energy to create my spell with it. My mind locked on my target, and I grinned.

After a deep breath, the spell came to life in my hands. All the energy sizzled as if I held a thousand ants in the palm of my hand. An orb illuminated, growing in power, cupped in my hands. Tiny sparkles of energy floated out around the orb.

Lunging forward, I threw the orb as fast as I could. It spiraled as if it went a hundred miles per hour, smashing into Jarak’s chest, covering him in a raw poison ivy spell. If he wasn’t a Guardian, my spell would’ve hurt him, soaking into his skin and making him sick. As it was, the only part of the poison ivy that would affect him was the sore itchiness.

He looked up at the sky, and threw his arms in the air as if wondering ‘why him’, then exhaled loudly before turning away. He never said one more thing to me as he entered the house, letting me stand there with a smug look of victory on my face.

Lesson over.   



Jarak ~  I winced as I grazed my fingertips over the wound in my forehead. I never saw what hit me, but whatever it was, left a nasty gash. I groaned. None of that mattered now. She was gone.

Guilt consumed me. I hadn’t protected her. I pulled my hand away staring at the sticky red liquid that covered my fingers from the blood that still seeped from the wound.

I leaned back against the wall of Es’s room. I hated that I couldn’t control my emotions for her better. With her gone, I hated myself even more. I didn’t protect her, and it killed me.



Ian ~ Every time I saw her, my heart still raced. I couldn’t let her or anyone I knew about how I’d dreamed of her, even before meeting her. It killed me every time I saw her with my brother, but she was probably better off with him anyway. I shook my head trying to clear my thoughts. My dreams made me feel as if I would find love, but now I just think the universe teased me. Things I saw in them couldn’t possibly happen now that she was with Jarak. My heart ached for me to touch her as I once had in my dreams.

I looked away. It was too painful. I opened my cell phone and pretended to dial Jarak’s number. There was no way I would tell him that I found her. Not yet. I wanted some time alone with her before I had to give her back to him.


~Blurb ~ 


With a death starts a new beginning…


Eighteen-year-old Esmerelda thinks she’s just a normal girl, but all of that changes the day of her mom’s funeral, when a warlock, intent on using her special powers, kidnaps her. Powers she didn’t know existed. Thrown in the middle of a magical battle, Es struggles to learn her magic while fleeing both vampires and warlocks, at the same time, hunting for the witches that can help defeat her adversary. The only problem is that they are dead.


Thankfully, she has the help of Jarak—her Guardian—who quickly captures her heart, but she wonders if she can win his? Just when she thinks Jarak is the one for her, Ian appears with daggers drawn to save Es from a vampire attack. Ian is cocky and rude, but there is something magnetic about him—something that attracts her to him. With her heart torn between two men, she faces the foes that are out for her blood.

Can Es do the unthinkable and awaken them from their graves before time runs out?


Available now!

All Ebooks only $2.99!


Amazon Kindle 

Amazon Paperback

Barnes and Noble Nook



It is also listed on Goodreads!


You can find M.R. Polish here:




Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) Excerpt & Giveaways!

I’m thrilled that today’s tour stop is at Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books ! Be sure to check out her awesome blog. Two days away from Shadow Slayer’s book trailer reveal day! EEEEPPP! #jumpsupanddown Wanna see where the tour will be tomorrow? Click here for the tour schedule 🙂

Here’s an excerpt from Shadow Slayer — at the end of the excerpt are the giveaways for today & our winner from yesterday!

(Drew and Roxie are on stage at practice for try outs for the school play, The Tempest)

“Very good, we’ll start with you, sir, the strapping young lad who looks like a TV commercial. I’d like you to read Prospero and I’d like you, my dear”— he points at me—“to read Ariel.”


“She’s an airy spirit,” he says. It’s really weird the teacher hasn’t told anyone his name.

“Cool,” Drew says.

“Yes, it would be if you weren’t lying to her all the time.” The teacher looks right at me.

And it’s too horrible to even think about. Drew lying to me. But, we’d only just met. He has to just be talking about the play. What could someone I don’t even know possibly have lied to me about?

Drew’s wide-eyed look makes the cold fingers of creepiness crawl over my body again. Continue reading Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) Excerpt & Giveaways!

Meet the characters from Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2)


Chloe Moretz as Roxie from the Shadow Series (photo credit

What’s the scariest thing that’s happened to you?

“Well you’d think I’d say the Shadow Apocalypse, but what felt just as epic as that battle was when I thought all my friends from middle school had abandoned me freshman year.” – Roxie

What makes you mad?

“Well, my birthday is on Halloween, and I guess you’d think I’d freaking love Halloween. But I’m not into it. At least, I wasn’t into it before I turned thirteen. The way I saw it, Halloween ripped off my birthday. It’s not like I have this special day all for myself like everybody else. Still, I epically look forward to getting all the candy every year. But this year, Halloween was the same night as opening night of the school play and I was so excited to be on stage with my boyfriend Continue reading Meet the characters from Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2)

Even death can’t break a father & son’s bond….Dead Heat the latest by Lisa Nowak

I’m really excited for Lisa’s latest. I saw her cover and SQUEEEEED! Lisa and I are a part of The Pacific Northwest YA Authors group and met last year at Wordstock in Portland, OR. I’ve already got my copy of Dead Heat. Hurry up and get yours!

A man who longs for a son and a boy who can’t escape his father’s violence. Even death can’t break their bond.

Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.

When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side-if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.


Dead Heat blew me away. It’s a gritty ghost story interwoven with all-too-real subject matter that will make you cry for Alex, ache for Cole, and thank God for Jade. I was invested in these characters’ lives and you will be too.”

~ Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of the Zellie Wells trilogy

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are.

Forbidden Territory Blog Tour stops here! Love & Terror in the bush!

I am thrilled to host Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson on The Forbidden Territory blog tour today! If you love romance and adventure this is a great read for you:) On with the REVIEW! [But first can I just say how cool the cover is? Yeah. Really creepy, huh? Way to rock it ladies!]

4.5/5 stars!

Lexy and Mica are sick of their town and old boyfriend drama. They decide four days in the bush Geocaching is the perfect cure for their boredom especially since the plan includes the two hotties they’re seriously crushing on––Tom, an exchange student from Oxford, England and Eli, Lexy’s brother. The backpacking/camping trip of their dreams gets steamy almost immediately when love and terror bring the couples together in ways they never imagined. Lexy and Mica will discover a courage they never knew they had and that Tom and Eli are hotter than they dreamed. Love and terror––the perfect combination for a summer read. Set in the bush of New Zealand, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this part of the world and love stories that take place in settings that are unique for YA fiction. At least the YA fiction I read.

I have to say that I struggled with Tom’s character and didn’t really get him at times, but I totally dug the relationship between Lexy and Mica. I’m a sucker for gal-pal stories and this delivers. I love how Lexy and Mica’s relationship grows. Apart from Lexy & Mica and Mica & Eli I felt the other relationships weren’t developed as fully. I look forward to learning more about them in the next books. I felt that the terror in the bush was dialed back a bit too much for my tastes. Fortuitous events seemed to get the characters out of trouble more than their abilities or character development. Call me crazy, but I would have liked to see them suffer a little more. But, that’s just me. And, well, I know people who’ve been kidnapped, so…there’s that.

I love Lexy & Mica and can’t wait for their next adventure. Pearl and Howson do a fabulous job of taking the reader to a beautiful part of the world. Nail-biting at times, you will enjoy this story of adventure and romance.