Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday July 10th

You can find links to all of the excerpts from other wonderful Six Sentence authors HERE!

Scene SETUP: Meet Grey. He's Vic's best friend, and he's just walked in on a very wrinkled Vic, after his visit from Gato and the sumo. Grey has just figured out the super of the building had to be the one to open his mouth about Vic's whereabouts. Vic is listening to Grey storm down the hall. (Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

He heard shouting and splintering wood as Grey’s voice boomed down the hall, the sentences broken up with the sound of frying pan against skull. “…ever say a word again…” Bong “…saw your legs off while ya watch…” Bong “Are those…burritos?”

One more thunk preceded the clang of Grey’s weapon dropping to the floor, and seconds later, he reappeared in Vic’s apartment with a burrito in each hand. He held one out to Vic.

“Grey, you shouldn’t get inv-“

“Shut up and eat your burrito.”

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday June 26th

You can find links to all of the excerpts from other wonderful Six Sentence authors HERE!

Scene: Vic just woke up to a giant ass coming at him, pinning him to his chair. Paulo is the huge sumo-wanna be sitting on him, but he is being addressed by the drug lord Gato, who has a "favor" he needs from Vic.(Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

“What favor you ask? The favor of not telling your enemies where I found ya, ese, I figure—ya owe me for that, and I’m thinkin’ ya don’t wanna be telling me no about now.”

Gato’s grin practically slithered across his face. “Ain’t that right, Paulo?”

Paulo looked over a mountainous shoulder at him. “I had eight cheeseburgers and three orders of chili cheese fries.”

Vic struggled harder.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

I missed last week! I missed you guys. lol The new Six Sentence site is awesome. You can find links to all of the excerpts from other wonderful authors HERE!

Scene: Vic just woke up to a giant ass coming at him, pinning him to his chair.(Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

“Ge’…off!” he choked.

The more he fought the guy squishing him, the more pressure the gorilla applied. Vic turned his head to the side—to avoid being smothered in back fat—and came face-to-face with a sneaky piece of shit he’d hoped to never see again.

Gato’s smug smile could only be described as oil-slick, proud of himself for tracking Vic down. There weren’t many people living who knew what The Rattlesnake looked—and in Gato’s case smelled—like, and when Vic got his hands on the bastard, there'd be one less.

“How’s it goin’, ese?” Gato asked, making a great show of dusting off the sleeves of his Armani suit. Vic had one just like it—if he survived this reunion he’d burn it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Final May Awareness Project Winners.

Hi everyone!

May was a whirlwind month. I barely had time to breathe it seemed, so I apologize if I've been a little anti-social. I hope you'll all understand. And I'll be back to normal soon.

First I want to say thank you so much to the donating authors, the authors who did write-ups from their personal experience, and those of you who took the time to visit. Truly...from the heart...Thanks to you.

In the next few weeks, I'll be sending out T-shirts and print books and ebooks where they belong. If you haven't received any notification by Jun 15th, please send me an email at authorallurevansanz at gmail.

I've learned that Memorial weekend is a bad time to try to promote a blog and bring about Awareness, so because of the low-to-no responses, I'm mixing up the prizes a bit.

Breast Cancer Awareness Giveaway winners:

Historical Author Evangeline Collins Print Book Seven Nights to Forever - Darcy

Lindsay Klug’s EBook The Life and Times of Delila - Debbie

Romance and Erotic Romance Author Margie Church (Your choice of her Noble Romance releases) - Fiona

ALS and Bone Marrow Donation Awareness Mix Giveaways:

Erotic Romance Author Sarah Balance EBook copy of Run to You - Sutton Fox

Indie Author Kally Sten eBook Fangs and Lullabies - Darcy

Allure Van Sanz T-shirt - Chelle Cordero

Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook Trading Up or The Grass is Always Greener (Your choice) - Helen

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bone Marrow Donors

I'm a sympathetic crier. That doesn't mean I'm not a tough person. I'm a fighter, a survivor, but most of all, I'm a humanitarian. Ever since I was little, I couldn't hear a story and not feel affected by it. I'd laugh or cry as if the story were mine and I could swear I felt every giddy moment--and likewise--every heartbreak.

I think it's a good thing. It makes me charitable. Every time I get a dollar, I wonder how I can make half of it work for someone other than myself. There are so many good causes out there...organizations and people that make a difference in the world.

The sheer numbers of people and conditions that need our help is daunting. There's no way we can help them all. We'd go broke.

But for some things you don't need money. Some things only cost time. One thing...comes to my mind.

Bone Marrow.

Foolishly, I always thought that I would never donate bone marrow. "I've heard it hurts, and I hurt enough every day, thank you very much. Besides, there are millions of people who donate and they can find the donors they need in their family and friends."

I'm not ashamed to admit I was a jerk a few years ago--only because I've seen the error of my ignorance and worked hard at educating others.

Registering for Bone Marrow Donation is as simple as a swab in the mouth, and the donation experience if you are a match for someone, isn't what you think either. Check out the myths HERE.

What bothers me, is that barely anyone is registered. Only a few million people...and usually only because someone they know and love is in need. But we need to change that my friends!! Go in for a check-up. Ask your doctor to give you a swab for bone marrow registration. Why?

Imagine your mother, your father, your sibling or worse...your child--is dying, and all they need is to find someone who is a donor match. It could come from anyone out there! And all the donor would have to do is feel some discomfort for an hour or so to save your child's ENTIRE LIFE!! Imagine how frustrating it would be to know that person was walking around out there as your child draws their last breath and there's nothing you can do. You've done everything--you've tapped into every friend and friend of a friend you can, but none of them matched.

I can be rather abrasive on this, I know. But let me take a different spin.

Imagine you're a regular guy or gal, who reads something about bone marrow donation that made you think.. "Hey, why not?" and you get your cheek swabbed and find out you're a match. You've gone from regular guy/gal to life-saving hero. You've given someone a chance at longevity that no one else could.

Imagine how amazing it would feel to be the giver of life.

Talk with your doctor. Learn How To Register


Allure Van Sanz T-shirt

Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook Trading Up

Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook The Grass is Always Greener

Sunday, May 29, 2011

ALS - Lou Gehrig’s And Giveaway Updates

What is ALS? It's a tragic disease that once you learn about it, you'll want to do more to help those who suffer from it. Here to give her experience and bring about awareness, is Lyra Totten-Naylor. Thank you for sharing your story.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a mouthful for anyone, especially those who have it. Three and a half years after learning about it, I still can’t say it. In conversations, having noted a number of confused faces even when using the initials ALS, I quickly add the words that draw recognition, “Lou Gehrig’s.”

My father-in-law, Dave, was a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan who hated the NY Yankees with a passion. Being diagnosed with a disease best associated with the Yankee’s Iron Horse was just one of the many indignities he handled with optimism and grace.

Dave received his diagnosis of ALS in September 2007 at the age of 65. This is ten years beyond the average age of diagnosis, although some people are diagnosed as early as their twenties. Having retired from the University of Cincinnati just the month before, Dave dreamed of taking an extended holiday in France, and playing catch with his four grandchildren. ALS stole those dreams.

Doctors and researchers don’t know precisely what causes ALS. There is small genetic component, but the overwhelming majority of cases are “sporadic,” meaning they can affect anyone, anywhere. The national ALS Association helps raise funds to find out why ALS occurs and what can be done to ease the symptoms or at least slow the progress of this always fatal disease.

No-one gets better. My father in law approached each day as his last “good day,” knowing each day his condition grew worse. Each day, his body grew weaker. Each day, the neurons that normally transmit the message to move from the brain to the muscles died. Each day brought a lessening of the ability to control movement until the muscles atrophied. This occurs not just in the large muscles groups of the legs, arms and back, but also the smaller, critical ones that control speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing.

Because ALS does not weaken the brain, the patient is painfully aware of becoming a prisoner in his or her body. Each time we visited (we lived several states apart) he could participate less, disappearing to his room to watch travel videos as the rest of us ate a meal. It was hard knowing my daughter helped him with card games not just because she liked spending time with Grandpa, but also that he could no longer play the physical aspect of games without help. But that sorrow was nothing compared to the sadness in his face once he could no longer return her hugs. Many ALS patents understandably grow depressed. I won’t forget carefully listening as Dave told me life lost its joy once he could no longer eat.

Less than a year has passed since my father-in-law’s death and it’s still hard that a man so full of vigor just months before his diagnosis is now gone from our lives.
I am grateful for the work done by the ALSA at both the national and local levels. Local ALS chapters provide day-to-day support those families living with ALS. Until a cure is found, they provide vital assistance to those most directly affected by ALS. Let’s hope that day comes soon. ALS is a terrible way to die.

Donation link ALSA

Lyra Totten-Naylor


Erotic Romance Author Sarah Balance EBook copy of Run to You

Indie Author Kally Sten eBook Fangs and Lullabies

Indie Author Dana Taylor eBook Devil Moon

Giveaways for Breast Cancer, ALS and Bone Marrow Donation will be announced June 2nd due to the holiday.

Thanks for your patience.
Allure Van Sanz

Six Sentence Sunday

Meet Victor Ramsus Graves. Recently released from prison, Vic is waiting for his buddy to bring him his guns at a safe house: (Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Sighing, Vic flipped through the four channels he received--only one of which had less snow than the Himalays--and settled on a foggy channel, listening to the news.

His body jerked, and he was aware only that he’d fallen asleep, awakening alert with a nagging feeling like he’d left his guns in the car.

But he didn’t have his guns right now—Grey did—and he didn’t have a car either.

As his blurry gaze slowly focused, his weary brain struggled to comprehend what he was seeing: A giant ass coming straight for him.

“Oh Shi--Unghh!”

He hammered his fists against the outer thighs of the sumo-wanna-be holding him pinned to his chair. Weren’t wrestlers supposed to let go when someone tapped out?

Head back to headquarters, where other awesome authors await:
Six Sentence Sunday Blog

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is a topic that can frighten and inspire at the same time. With me today to talk about this disease is Lindsay Klug! Thank you for talking with us today, Lindsay.

If you look to your left or right at any given moment in a public place, chances are you’ll find someone who’s been affected by breast cancer.

And affected by doesn’t necessarily mean fought or currently fighting it. My mother-in-law and grandmother are both survivors, and their lives are an inspiration to me every day. But they were not the only ones affected by the disease.

We must also consider the families. Oftentimes, children are forced to sit by as their mothers (or fathers) battle through breast cancer. They watch as their beloved parent gradually loses their hair to the therapy, or is forced to undergo an invasive procedure. They are helpless to ease the painful aftereffects of chemotherapy, when a person is left so weakened they can barely lift their heads to drink.
Breast cancer is a disease often overlooked or taken lightly until it hits one we love or ourselves. It is a non-discriminating disease, affecting both men and women. And it can be fatal.

The best prevention is self exams. This concept is ground into us from our teens, and yet most women (and men) don’t think to do self exams but maybe twice a year, if that.

Think of it this way: Looking both ways before you cross a street can save your life. If you’re willing to take three seconds to do that every time you have to walk somewhere, why not take ten minutes a month to be the first step in preventative health care?

Save the ta-ta’s, folks.

Thanks, Lindsay! Sound advice.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation <~~~~Donation Link

Historical Author Evangeline Collins Print Book Seven Nights to Forever

Lindsay Klug’s EBook The Life and Times of Delila

Romance and Erotic Romance Author Margie Church (Your choice of her Noble Romance releases)

Depression Awareness Giveaway Winners:

Allure Van Sanz T-shirt - Margie Church

Allure Van Sanz Ebook (Your choice of any Noble book)- Leanne & Brita

Erotic author J.S. Wayne's copy of Angels Would Fall - Renee

Erotic author J.S. Wayne's copy of Angel of the Morning - Helen

Friday, May 27, 2011

To Write Love...a Blog about Depression (CC Winners)

Anyone who sees me on a normal day will recognize this bracelet dangling from my wrist. Other days, you'll probably see me sporting a "To Write Love On Her Arms" tee-shirt. I'm a huge fan of the organization and all they do for people who suffer from depression and families/friends of suicide victims and survivors (including families and friends) of suicide attempts. I can't tell you what they mean to me. And I also can't tell you how I suffer. The words don't always come out the way I want them to, and I fear talking about the dark days--as if even mentioning what I go through might send me back into the pitch. So who better than J.S. Wayne to stand with me and bring about awareness with his experience and gift with words. If you've never met him, never read a word he's is my most sincere honor to introduce you to J.S. Wayne.

I would like to believe that I am unique. In many ways, I am. I can take a great deal of pride in knowing that I have done things and been places that most people have never done, been, or seen. I’ve had a rich and full life so far, and I hope that it continues to be so.

But in one way, I am not unique at all.

I am one of nearly forty-two million Americans, or 16.5% of the total population, who suffers from depression.

We’ve all seen the commercials featuring the (mostly women) sitting on her couch looking sad while the world passes her by. “Depression hurts,” is the tagline for these commercials. And there’s a very good reason for that.

But before we get into the whys and wherefores, we first have to set a working definition of depression. So:

The DSM-IV, the gold standard in diagnosing mental illness among the psychological/psychiatric community for decades, defines depression as a complex of symptoms stemming from a biochemical imbalance in the brain that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s inability to function normally in a job, relationship, or other social or private matters and lasts more than two weeks. The symptoms include insomnia or needing excessive amounts of sleep, depressed mood during most of the day, loss of interest in activities that normally the person enjoys, significant weight loss or gain (equal to or more than 5% of the person’s normal body weight in a one-month period), apparent inability to move or think quickly as observed by others, fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day, feelings of worthlessness or excessive or irrational guilt (“I’m sorry I was ever born, look at all the trouble I’ve caused”), diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent or obsessive thoughts of death, suicide, or a specific plan or attempt to commit suicide.

To be considered depressed, one must exhibit at least five out of the nine traits listed above; and this is only for ONE type of depression (major depressive episode); the DSM-IV lists out NINE specific kinds of depression or depressive disorder. At least one of the five traits exhibited must be either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.

At one point or another, I have exhibited Every. Last. One.

Frightening, isn’t it?

Depression is not just in a person’s mind; according to the National Institute for Mental Health, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people ages 15-24. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression; but men are THREE TIMES more likely to attempt or commit suicide as women.

People experiencing depression will often know they are acting irrationally or “out of character,” but can’t seem to figure out why. They may be lethargic or capable of running for days on end on an amount of sleep that a healthy person would find wholly inadequate. Depression is often linked to physical complaints such as joint or back pain that are untraceable and undetectable upon physical examination. So, yes, when the commercials say that depression hurts, they mean to be taken very literally, in a wide variety of senses.

Depression hurts the sufferer; it also hurts the people who care about and rely on the sufferer. Billions of dollars are lost in worker productivity and medical expenses each year as a direct result of depression. It tears families and lives apart. People lose their jobs, their houses, and even, tragically, their lives because of depression every year, in mind-boggling numbers.

If you just read the symptom list I gave above and said, “Hey, that sounds like me,” and you’re still reading this, you need to be on the phone or the web, getting in touch with your family. A friend. Your doctor. Your priest (or equivalent religious figure or aid). Anyone you love or trust enough to be honest about what you’re feeling, and why. And then you need to get help.

Some people find that medication works well. Some people alter their habits and lifestyle in a healthy way with remarkable results. Active meditation is the best way for some, while others find classical treatment from a qualified therapist works. Whatever YOUR best way is, find it. Don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t let yourself become another tragic statistic.

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

But it may save your job, your marriage, or even your life.

Weighed against that, isn’t it worth it? It won’t be comfortable; it won’t be easy. I’m not going to tell you it is.

But I swear on everything I hold sacred that it is worth it. And it’s not your fault. It’s not a failing or a weakness. It’s not something you see coming, or that you can say will never happen to you. But there is help. There is hope. And there are a hell of a lot of people out there who’ve been there and understand.

You’re talking to one of them now.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of the symptoms I listed above, do your homework. Ask questions. Listen to the answers. And call or visit any of these resources. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate.

You may save a life.

Still need more convincing? Stop over to J.S. Wayne's Blog and read Melissa's Secret. Everyone should read this story! It can really open your eyes.

1-800-273-8255 is the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline in the US. Check your directory for the appropriate number for your locale. Make this your first call, especially if you have ANY reason to believe that you or the person you’re concerned about may be thinking about suicide.

Online Resources:

American Foundation for Suicide PreventionDepression and Suicide Resources and Information

To Write Love On Her Arms (clickable picture link)Resources and Assistance for Sufferers of Drug Abuse, Depression, Suicide Attempts, and Their Families

Allure Van Sanz T-shirt
Allure Van Sanz Ebook (Your choice of any Noble book)
Erotic author J.S. Wayne's copy of Angels Would Fall
Erotic author J.S. Wayne's copy of Angel of the Morning

Colon Cancer Awareness Giveaway Winners:
AVS Book - Mona Risk
Patti Shenberger Print Book - Wendy S. Marcus
Avril Ashton's Ebook - Neecy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trip Around the World Winners

I'd like to thank everyone for coming to the Trip Around the World Blog Hop, and especially those who visited my blog. LOL

Look for Party Til Your Heels Come Off Blog Hop coming in June for more chances to win a bunch of stuff! I'll be throwing a Luau and giving away more freebies.

I hope to see you then.

In the meantime, the three vacation package giveaway winners for this blog hop are:

Lisa Kumar


And for those who weren't chosen, I hope you consider coming back to this blog. In addition to the Blog Hops, I just love running giveaways!

Be Well and Live the Dream

Allure Van Sanz

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colon Cancer Awareness and Red Cross Winners

You don't have to be an erotic author to talk about the bum. In fact, if we all did a little more talking and a lot less blushing, we could save many more lives. Here to tell us all about her experience is an advocate and colon cancer survivor. Welcome my buddy, Patti Shenberger.

Welcome, I’m the Priestess of Poop. Bet that got your attention now didn’t it? I actually called myself that for a brief period of time when I was diagnosed with colon cancer back in the fall of 2006. Wasn’t exactly one of the better times in my life, let me tell you.

You see I’d just gotten a raise that was literally double my previous salary, had a new job I loved, sold two romance novels and three short stories and life was looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Then…wait for it…you guessed it, my streak of good luck came crashing down around me in leaps and bounds.

I knew something wasn’t right with my body but put it off to stress (the new job), fatigue (burning both ends of the candle with my writing), and not eating properly (no good excuse for that one). But after seeing something that didn’t look right in the porcelain goddess and making a quick call to my family doctor, my worse nightmare quickly became a reality. Had my first colonoscopy two days after my 46th b-day. Woke up to find the doctor, nurse and hubby all staring at me and received the news there was a tumor. Yup, the first tremors of my world coming unglued kicked in. Three weeks later, I took a leave of absence from the job, notified my editor and publisher that I would do everything possible to get my edits done for them and retreated from life for a while for surgery and chemo.

Now if you can imagine this (and gals I know you can) my first day of chemo started off with a bang. I literally got my period, had to quit caffeine (Pepsi is my drink of choice) and had my first treatment of chemo. I have to admit there wasn’t a suckier day on the face of this planet for me!!! (LOL) And that would be a false statement because as chemo progressed, the days did suck worse to the point of my mind going to the dark side and I couldn’t find a bright light at the end of the tunnel till about 1/3 of the way through my treatment.

Those of you that know me know I’m a fighter. I’ve never met a challenge I couldn’t nip in the bud until cancer. I’m also a Type A personality (just call me anal to a fault – literally (G). So I was bound and determined cancer would not win. And since I’m writing this you know that it didn’t beat me, I beat it!

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer. It is also the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. If caught earlier, it’s also the most treatable. I was floored when my doctor told me the tumor was probably in my body close to ten years! Can you imagine that? I had no clue. This year alone colorectal cancer is expected to claim the life of 49,830 deaths. But, more than a million people are survivors of this deadly disease as well.

While I don’t physically participate in the Relay for Life that is held in my community each year, I can say that I donate a nice chunk of change to the cause during the auction portion. For me June 4 at Friendship Park in Lake Orion is my Relay for Life survival day. I’ll reconnect with the doctors who treated me, the nurses who knew when I needed a shoulder to cry on or another bowl of soup (where I had my treatment had free lunch days a lot), and I’ll walk the survivors lap around the park, share lunch with family and friends, and more importantly know that I have made it through another year.

So on that happy note; I’ll leave you all for today. Thank you for stopping by and thanks for sharing my story with me. And remember, the Priestess of Poop says “Don’t forget your own colonoscopy.” Think of it this way, you get to lose a lot of water weight with the prep and get a great nap during the procedure. Best part – you know you’ve taken care of your body by scheduling the appt.

My love to all, Patti

* Statistics from The American Cancer Society –

Thank you so much for coming by and telling your inspiring story.

Colon Cancer Alliance <~~~Donation Link


Author Allure Van Sanz Noble Ebook, your choice

Author Patti Shenberger giving away a print copy of The Laird’s Lady

Erotic author Avril Ashton’s EBook Secret Cravings

Red Cross Winners: (Please emails if you did not leave your email or you don't hear from me in the next few days T-shirt and Print winners will need to email their addresses for the prize. If shipping winners are outside of U.S. their prizes can be swapped for ebooks. Thank you!)

Allure Van Sanz T-Shirt - Therese G.

Erotic Author Em Woods Print Book Saddle Up N Ride - Helen

Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook copy of The Grass is Always Greener - Marilyn B.

Erotic Author Megan Hussey EBook copy of Love Revisited: Judith and Prince Valentin - Madelina

Allure Ebook of your choice: Everyone else who commented on the Red Cross thread!! Please Email me with your choice of book from the ones listed on this blog in the sidebar.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Relief for Joplin and All Over

I've changed the regularly scheduled Awareness for today to add in the American Red Cross. I'm pretty sure the authors won't mind at all.

In case you're a lot like me and barely listen to the news--a tornado hit a few different spots in the midwest yesterday, one spot--Joplin--was decimated. So far, there are 89 people dead and many more missing.

I urge everyone who comes to the blog today to donate to the relief effort there. Please send this blog out, help me draw awareness to the need of the families, and in return, I'm offering all the people who visit and comment a free book today and tomorrow only.


Giveaways: (Winners will be announced on Wednesday.)

Paranormal Romance and Erotic Romance Author Allure Van Sanz (Any book you choose.)
Allure Van Sanz T-Shirts
Erotic Author Em Woods Print Book Saddle Up N Ride
Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook copy of The Grass is Always Greener
Erotic Author Megan Hussey EBook copy of Love Revisited: Judith and Prince Valentin

Winners from these Giveaways

NYSVARA Winners:

one (1) .pdf ebook of Hyphema - Sun Singer

one (1) .pdf ebook of Final Sin - Em Woods

It Gets Better Giveaway Winners:

Erotic M/M author Em Woods EBook - Eyre

Erotic M/M author Stephani Hecht EBook - AKell

M/M Regency era Author Ava March eBook His Client - David L

Domestic Violence Giveaway Winners:

Erotic Author Megan Hussey eBook Angel on Fire - Debbie Laurie

Erotic Romance Author Nichelle Gregory is giving away a free ecopy of Hearts & Diamonds - Dawne P

Erotic Romance Author Em Petrova is giving away a free ecopy of a book in her Immortal Series titled Runes and Trefoi - Talina Perkins

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday Lovin'

Shyin Long, aka Ice, is discussing her newest target over the phone with her wingman Clyps: (Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

“He always waited three weeks after the third murder. It’s time. He’ll be coming back to Third, trust me.”

She didn’t.

“‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son’…”

H--wha? “Did I just blink and you found Christ?”

Head back to headquarters, where other awesome authors await:
Six Sentence Sunday Blog

Meet Vic of Murder Creek for Sample Sunday

Meet Vic from Murder Creek, a 0.99 full-length novel on sale now at Amazon (click picture link) and Barnes and Noble.

The downtown cityscape of Murder Creek looked the same from his window as it did behind bars. Messy. And the smell was no more pleasant.

Victor Ramsus Graves peered through the dingy glass at the park across the street and sighed. Everything in this town could be described like the swings in the distance; used and abandoned, fodder for the archeologists of the future to dig up.

This town needed a nuclear-holocaust to clean the streets. But without that option, they’d have to settle for him.

Surveying his lost territory, he ground his teeth.

The dregs of Neuhaven ended up here, the city’s cesspit, where the suburb circle dumped their human trash. Drug dealers, pimps, organized criminals, and freelance hitmen lived in the nicer blocks of Murder Creek. The poor souls they preyed on, collected in the heart of hell, huddled in run down Victorian homes only a shadow of their finer days.

Survival saw two or three families packed together, hacking out an existence in three bedroom one bath houses still using knob-and-tube electricity.

Local industries kept a few decent people in Neuhaven, but in the Murder Creek center, crime was a way of life. No matter how good you were born, sooner or later you’d turn. Everyone broke and bent the law to suit their needs, whether the culprits were Christian mamas sheltering their ‘gone-wrong’ wanted children, or grocers who didn’t bother to ask where the cheap fruit came from.

The corruption-saturated inner city never seemed to get out from underneath the pall. Even the smog blocked all but the most energetic of the sun’s rays, covering most mornings in shades of gray. And if a tourist had an irrational itch to visit, they’d probably return to their picket-fenced half acres in Middle-class-ville addicted to anti-depressants.

If they returned at all. Murder Creek had the ability to swallow people whole.
And he should know. He’d been waiting a long time in the bowels of the beast to be shit out.

Vic turned from the window and scanned his single room studio apartment as if something to help ease his boredom had magically appeared while his back was turned.
Nope, still jack to do and shit to look at.

The place wasn’t much. In fact, it wasn’t nothin’. A small television stood on top of a milk crate in the living room, perched in front of an old seventies buffet chair with metal legs and maroon vinyl stapled to the cushions. In the corner, a mattress sat lonely on the floor with a couple of old sheets thrown on it along with a crocheted afghan his buddy Grey’s grandma made for him as a ‘getting out of jail’ present.

The apartment wasn’t exactly what he’d call furnished, but he didn’t exactly get much notice to pick out curtains and wallpaper. He could barely wrap his head around the fact he’d been released at all.

One day he was sifting through a nudie magazine, plotting a way to survive the gas chamber, and the next, he received a pardon and a kick in the ass to the street.
Luckily, before anyone could hurl a bullet or a fireball at his head, Grey hustled him this hole to lay low. Here, no one asked questions, and the landlord didn’t care how much blood was on the money as long as it came in on time. What more could he ask for?

Walking to the fridge, Vic already knew there wouldn’t be much to see: A couple of ketchup packets and a six pack Grey left behind. Bleh. Never mind.

He fished an old fast food cup out of the sink, filled it with water, and carried it over to his chair. He sat down and flipped through the four channels he received, only one of which had less snow than the Himalayas.

Sighing, he flipped to another foggy channel and listened to the news.
His body jerked, and he was aware only that he’d fallen asleep and awoke alert with a nagging feeling, like he’d left his guns in the car.

But he didn’t have his guns right now—Grey did—and he didn’t have a car either.
As his blurry gaze slowly focused, his weary brain struggled to comprehend what he was seeing—a giant ass coming straight for him.

“Oh Shi--Unghh!”

He hammered his fists against the outer thighs of the sumo-wanna-be holding him pinned to his chair. Weren’t wrestlers supposed to let go when someone tapped out?

“Ge’…off!” he choked. The man just chuckled.

The more he fought him, the more pressure the gorilla applied. Vic turned his head to the side—to avoid being smothered in back fat—and came face to face with a sneaky piece-of-shit he’d hoped to never see again.

Gato’s smug smile could only be described as oil-slick, proud of himself for tracking Vic down. There weren’t many people living who knew what The Rattlesnake looked—and in Gato’s case smelled—like, and when Vic got his hands on the bastard, there would be one less.

“How’s it goin’, ese?” Gato asked, making a great show of dusting off the sleeves of his Armani suit. Vic had one just like it—if he survived this reunion he’d burn it. “I was worried someone was gonna hose you before I had the chance to collect on that favor ya owe me, eh?”

Vic sucked in a breath but couldn’t respond.

“What favor you ask? The favor of not telling your enemies where I found ya, ese. I figure—ya owe me for that and I’m thinkin’ ya don’t wanna be telling me no about now.” Gato’s grin practically slithered across his face. “Ain’t that right, Paulo?”
Paulo looked over a mountainous shoulder at him. “I had eight cheeseburgers and three orders of chili cheese fries.”

Vic struggled harder.

“Right then.” Gato squatted, resting his forearms on his bended knees. He enjoyed his bullying a little too much for Vic’s tastes. “You see I have this problem: This wart on m’culo that needs a bit of learnin’. And she’s good. Almost better than you, Man. Definitely harder to track,” Gato thumbed his nose as if gloating over his ability to sniff Vic out despite his precautionary measures.

“You might still be better on the kill than her, but you been locked up for a couple years and she’s been takin’ your shift, so t’speak. I thought I’d get her t’work for me yanno? Word on the street is that she guns for The Agency, so ya know she’s whacked. And whacked is what I needed t’get the job done.”

Vic nodded absently, trying to absorb what Gato babbled on about but his chest was pushing through his spine and he couldn’t keep his eyes open.

“Yo, Paulo, ease up a little, we’re having a conversation here!”

A continent drifted and the pressure changed, allowing Vic to draw a life saving breath.

Gato punched him in the arm. “Pay attention, Man. So look, this whore…her name’s Ice. I contracted her to steal some stones and now she ain’t givin’ ‘em up. That’s why she needs to be taught a lesson, ese. No one crosses Gato. No one!” Gato stood and paced like a lost schitzo. “But everyone I’ve sent to collect hasn’t come back. Ricky, Cuervo…my best wolves, man. Dead and torched! She gotta die, ese, and die hard. I already put a little bit of love on the streets for her tonight, yeah? Something temptin’ she ain’t likely to pass up. All you gotta do is the smearin’.”

Vic blinked to clear his vision, catching what he could of the conversation through the pain haze.

“But, don’t off the bitch before you get m’goods! Shit’s hardcore and I wan’em back. You do this for me, and I won’t tell every hired freak out there where to find your ass, yeah? I’ll keep all of my Lobos from contractin’ to track you down for the hit squads and, because I can be a generous man, I’ll pay ya good.” Gato surveyed the empty apartment then scoffed. “Looks like y’could use some green. Are we understandin’ each other?”

“Right. Stones…dead bitch.” Vic choked out.

“Ya disappoint me, and I unleash the hounds, yeah? C’mon Paulo.”

Once Paulo lifted his huge derriere off him, Vic rolled from the chair onto his hands and knees, gasping for breath. A loud squeak, like air seeping from a defective tire, brought Vic’s gaze to Paulo as he deflated from sumo-size to runt-of-the-liter. Clothes that once fit him snug, now hung off the Hawaiian’s scrawny frame.

Dark eyes twinkling, he gave Vic a two finger salute. “Welcome home, Vic.” Paulo chuckled.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Turning Away from Domestic Violence

Today I'm highlighting two Domestic Violence Shelters/Organizations in attempt to bring awareness to just how prevalent domestic violence really is. Did you know, according to my ob/gyn, 40% of women have been subjected to domestic violence? I don't have any statistics on men, as they don't often report it out of fear of being considered "unmanly". But I wanted to recognize that DV DOES happen against men, too.

However, DV is so common with women that, in the delivery room, doctors try to give pregnant women 20 minutes without their significant other in the room while they ask certain questions so the women aren't pressured by their SO and can seek help if help is needed. This is a great policy to have...but unfortunately, out of the women who are abused, very few come forward or seek help. Those who do are usually in fear of the lives of their children (not so much themselves). Horrifying isn't it?

Allow me to introduce you to Megan Hussey.

"Making a Difference for Abused Women."

I remember her warmth, her humor and her intellect. I remember her beauty and her strength. And I remember the day she was murdered.

One of my earliest memories in life involves the death of a beloved cousin of mine, who was senselessly murdered at the age of 31 by a stalker.

My cousin Ivetta was a mother, career woman, political activist and a true and gentle soul. She brought so much joy to my family and we miss her every day—and it is to her I dedicate my lifelong efforts to stop violence against women.

No, I’m not among those brave people who run domestic violence shelters—but I do write news articles to generate funds and attention for these very same agencies. And in small ways, many of my romance stories address these issues. In my stories Mauve Christmas and Behold the Beauty, my heroines rescue and seek help for women in abusive households. In my Nuit series (Angel on Fire and Under Cover of the Night) and in Wild Sirens, ladies leave their emotionally and in some cases physically abusive mates for more sensitive, loving men. And in Noelle’s Nocturne, a woman saves her male partner from an act of violence and intimidation.

Sure, I do what I can; but to me the true heroines and heroes are those on the front lines of this battle, serving and protecting its victims and survivors each and every day.

I urge everyone to join this fight by supporting a domestic violence and sexual assault center in their area, just as I support Sunrise of Pasco Inc., my Make a Difference beneficiary. For my cousin and millions like her. For all of us.

Thank you for your story Megan.
Sunrise of Pasco Inc Donation Link

Megan's cousin is just one of many tragedies every minute. Which is why I asked my next visitor to shed a bit of light on what one of these shelters does for the women and children they protect.

Please Welcome, Ruth Seitelman and her charity Shelter Our Sisters.

Shelter Our Sisters.

Shelter Our Sisters (SOS) is the only private, non-profit agency dedicated to sheltering Bergen County's women and children who are victimized by domestic violence. Shelter Our Sisters provides a comprehensive umbrella of support services to help women and their dependents attain safety, build a strong foundation for healing, gain self-reliance and stop the cycle of violence. We provide a 24 hour hot line, emergency shelter program and transitional housing program helping women and their children get back into the main stream.

We have a children's program designed to stabilize a child’s environment and to counteract the effects of abuse by addressing the anxiety, depression, anger, aggression, self-esteem problems, and impaired social skill development that result from exposure to violence in the home. Together with Project Self-Sufficiency and our Follow-Up programs, women are empowered with the tools they need to manage themselves and their family.

Shelter Our Sisters is founded on the vision and belief that every person has the right to be safe, empowered, and free from violence and the fear of violence. Central to this belief, Shelter Our Sisters seeks to eliminate domestic violence. Additionally, the agency aims to reduce related social problems, such as child abuse, sexual assault, substance abuse, sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression.

Shelter Our Sisters’ mission is to assist women and children who are victims of domestic violence, including emotional, economic, sexual and physical abuse. The agency provides emergency and transitional housing, emotional support, and a diversified continuum of services focused on safety, empowerment, and self-sufficiency. Through community partnerships, Shelter Our Sisters raises awareness, provides services, and educates community members about domestic violence.

Shelter Our Sisters <~~~~ Donation Link!

Ruth would love to give away a nice tea cup and saucer to anyone who'd like to jump over to her blog and leave a comment mentioning SOS. Ruth's Blog

Other Giveaways:

Erotic Author Megan Hussey eBook Angel on Fire.
Erotic Romance Author Nichelle Gregory is giving away a free ecopy of Hearts & Diamonds
Erotic Romance Author Em Petrova is giving away a free ecopy of a book in her Immortal Series titled Runes and Trefoi

All winners from Thursday's blog to today's blog will be announced on Monday's blog. Thank you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It Gets Better!

I'm not going to bog my blog down with a huge introduction. I'll only say that one of my most favorite people and her son, are incredible for sharing their story to spread awareness for a cause that has touched my heart and made me laugh and cry...and want to smack ignorant people around. So without further yammering from me--Stephani Hecht sharing her wonderfully strong son Cody's story.

I was both honored and humbled when asked to blog on this day. Not only is The Trevor Project a wonderful and much needed organization, but I have a personal connection because I am the mother of a gay son.

Before I go on, let me preface this by saying I have his permission to share this story with the blog world. Coming out can be a difficult and very personal time in an individual’s life. But, if Cody is anything, he’s brave and he’s always willing to put himself out there and take risks in order to help others.

Looking back, I now realize I always knew Cody was gay. Not because of anything he did or said, but because a mother just always has a way of knowing these kinds of things. The truth became even clearer last summer when he was getting his senior pictures taken.

The photographer was an older man and while he was really sweet, he had no ability to read body language. Cody was having trouble loosening up for the pictures, so the gentleman kept urging Cody to “think of some cute girls” to make him smile. While I’m certain the man didn’t mean any harm, the look on Cody’s face whenever he said it, nearly broke my heart.

I wanted nothing more than to reach out and give Cody a great big hug. To tell him that’s it’s okay. That I understood him. That I would always love him no matter what. There was just one problem, Cody hadn’t come out to me yet. So I had to hold back and hope that he would soon fell comfortable enough to confide in me.

That happened a mere two weeks later. The rest of the family went to bed, while Cody and I sat up and talked. Our discussion went on until the early hours of the next morning. In the meantime, we looked at various websites, PFLAG and The Trevor Project were just a few. It was four in the morning when Cody finally turned to me.

“Do I need to say it?” he asked, his voice wavering just a bit.

“I already know, but if you want to practice on me, that’s okay,” I replied.

He took a deep breath and said, “Mom, I’m gay.”

I gave him a hug, told him I’m so damn proud of him and we’ve been so much closer ever since. Over the course of the next few months, Cody came out to all of our family. Everyone took it in stride and there was no hate thrown his way. Even better, I’ve never seen Cody more relaxed and comfortable in his skin.

I only wish coming out was that easy for all kids. All too often, however, the exact opposite happens. Teens are bullied, harassed and thrown out of their homes, all for being gay. One of the local GLBT youth centers, Affirmations, even has a shower and clothes donation room set aside to aid those kids who have no home. The Ruth Ellis Center is another Detroit organized dedicated to helping out GLBT homeless youth.

As for Cody, this has been a great year for him. Not only is he happy, but he founded the first ever Gay, Straight, Alliance at his high school. While he’s had some slurs thrown his way, on the whole, he’s really well liked at school. He also has a strong core of friends who’ve supported him all along this journey.

Many people have told me that Cody is so lucky to have such an accepting mother. I would like to argue that I’m the one who is lucky. My son is smart, sweet and most of all he’s brave as hell. I couldn’t ask for a better kid.

Now, a little bit about the It Gets Better Project. This year, in response to the rash of gay kids committing suicide, Dan Savage started a YouTube campaign. He uploaded a message on YouTube, directed at GLBT youth. In it he told the kids that, not only did he understand what they’re going through, but he urged the kids to hold on because things DO GET BETTER! The project took off like crazy and soon thousands of “It Gets Better” messages were uploaded to YouTube. I decided to share, both the Google Chrome commercial that highlighted the project, plus my favorite “It Gets Better” message. It was compiled by some employees from Pixar. Both videos are moving and always manage to bring a tear to my eyes.

-Stephani Hecht

It Gets Better-Google Chrome commercial

Pixar employees-It Gets Better

Donation Links:
The Trevor Project-
PFLAG National-
PFLAD Detroit-
The Ruth Ellis Center-
It Gets Better Project-
Mathew Shepard Foundation-
Human Rights Campaign-
All Out-

Allure Van Sanz T-shirt
Erotic M/M author Em Woods EBook.
Erotic M/M author Stephani Hecht EBook
M/M Regency era Author Ava March eBook His Client

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We love NY!

While doing awareness for human conditions, I received an email from a very nice woman who had a very special request. She wanted to draw attention to The New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association. Even though it isn't awareness in support of a disease, these people put their life on the line for others. How can I say no to that? I can definitely make room during May Awareness for people who save lives without a paycheck incentive! So allow me to introduce you to one of many great people, putting themselves out there--Chelle Cordero. She's going to tell you all a bit about her organization, and for listening, she's offering up some books! See? Told you she was great. Thanks for visiting, Chelle.

There are more than one-million-six-hundred-forty-five-thousand calls for emergency medical assistance every year in New York State; a substantial portion of NYS certified emergency health providers are volunteer. Their training is equal to career EMS professionals, but their volunteer status helps keep tax bases lower. (*career/paid responders often ride many more hours weekly than their volunteer counterparts and are often necessary in high call volume areas)

The New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association is a statewide not for profit, 501(c)(3) membership organization, active since 1939. The NYSVARA’s mission is to promote and assist the interests of the state’s community volunteer and nonprofit EMS/First Responder/First Aid sector. The association continues to keep pace with the challenges facing EMS, First Response and Rescue today. Members include: independent volunteer ambulance companies, fire district and fire related ambulance services, college and school based services, first response medical squads, rescue squads and teams, tax based ambulance and rescue companies, combination services (volunteer/career) and organizations wishing to support the spirit of community/volunteer EMS/Medical first response service as well as individual CFRs, EMTs, AEMTs, rescue workers, instructors, specialists, nurses and firefighters affiliated with these services.

NYSVARA is an information conduit with an EMS video library, samples of Standard Operating Procedures and other administrative paperwork. The organization is a frontrunner of advocacy for EMS-related legislative issues and services. They monitor bills introduced in the legislature, propose legislation and comment on regulations affecting volunteer and nonprofit emergency services.
NYSVARA also encourages education and sponsors a yearly statewide conference (Pulse Check) offering Continuing Medical Education credits, EMS products and supplies, and drill competitions. Pulse Check also provides an opportunity for recognition and camaraderie among EMS responders. Youth participation is encouraged. Learn more at

National EMS Week 2011 is May 15 thru May 21. Please help support the organizations that support the people who are there when you need them most.

Contact and/or send donations to:
New York State Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Assoication, Inc.
PO Box 254
East Schodack, NY 12063
Or email at: Sponsors(at)NYSVARA(dot)org


one (1) .pdf ebook of Hyphema
one (1) .pdf ebook of Final Sin

Everyone is welcome to download a FREE .pdf ebook Nature's Gifts 2011

Autoimmune Winners:

Romance and Erotic Romance Author Allure Van Sanz EBook (Your choice of Noble Books)- CJ Archer

Indie Author Dana Taylor giving away a copy of her EBook Devil Moon - Liz

Author Elaine Cantrell giving away an EBook copy of A New Dream - Helen

Monday, May 16, 2011

Autoimmune Diseases (Autism &Fibro Winners)

I was at the foot doctor, getting a shot in my heel for a swollen foot that wouldn't calm itself. While there, my doctor noticed a rash on my face that surrounded my eyes and nose. "I'm not trying to alarm you," he said, "but I would really like to test you for Lupus."

Not trying to alarm me?? I went home straight away and did some research and I FREAKED. Reading the list of symptoms on WebMD, I was certain, within seconds, my foot doctor was correct. I had Lupus.

Luckily, I found out later, after many, many tests, I have Fibromyalgia and that it mirrors the symptoms of Lupus, even down to the rash I can get on my face. I still have to go through tests every year to make sure I'm not developing one of SEVERAL autoimmune diseases. (I'll include the daunting list shortly.)

A wonderful woman I know has Lupus. She's lost parts of herself, most recently ALL of her teeth are gone. She's in her early twenties.

I haven't spoken to her in a while, having moved away, but she's constantly in my thoughts, and I ask after her whenever I talk to my MIL. She's the reason I added this cause to May Awareness. At least, the biggest part.

I also know a young man with Vitiligo, which means his skin loses pigmentation. Blotches of white takes over his beautiful bronze flesh, turns his hair white one patch at a time and makes him look older than he is. At this stage, he's slowly watching it develop, not knowing how to stop it.

Before you blow this condition off as no big deal, think about the emotional ramifications of your face turning colors...and what people will think when they see your face, your arms, your legs, and even your privates all blotched. Can you honestly say you wouldn't be startled to see a visual discoloration in a private area you weren't about on someone's face? Could you look passed the multiple colors or would you wonder what they had and if you could catch it? You'd be normal to do so, but it's those thoughts that haunt those with this condition.

Autoimmune diseases are everywhere. Chances are you or someone you love will discover you have one of these conditions at some point. Don't believe me? Check out this list provided by American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

List of Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Acute necrotizing hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis
Addison's disease
Allergic asthma
Allergic rhinitis
Alopecia areata
Ankylosing spondylitis
Anti-GBM/Anti-TBM nephritis
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
Autoimmune angioedema
Autoimmune aplastic anemia
Autoimmune dysautonomia
Autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune hyperlipidemia
Autoimmune immunodeficiency
Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED)
Autoimmune myocarditis
Autoimmune pancreatitis
Autoimmune retinopathy
Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ATP)
Autoimmune thyroid disease
Autoimmune urticaria
Axonal & neuronal neuropathies
Balo disease
Behcet’s disease
Bullous pemphigoid
Castleman disease
Celiac disease
Chagas disease
Chronic fatigue syndrome**
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
Chronic recurrent multifocal ostomyelitis (CRMO)
Churg-Strauss syndrome
Cicatricial pemphigoid/benign mucosal pemphigoid
Crohn’s disease
Cogans syndrome
Cold agglutinin disease
Congenital heart block
Coxsackie myocarditis
CREST disease
Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia
Demyelinating neuropathies
Dermatitis herpetiformis
Devic's disease (neuromyelitis optica)
Discoid lupus
Dressler’s syndrome
Eosinophilic fasciitis
Erythema nodosum
Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
Evans syndrome
Fibrosing alveolitis
Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis)
Goodpasture’s syndrome
Graves' disease
Guillain-Barre syndrome
Hashimoto's encephalitis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hemolytic anemia
Henoch-Schonlein purpura
Herpes gestationis
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
IgA nephropathy
IgG4-related sclerosing disease
Immunoregulatory lipoproteins
Inclusion body myositis
Insulin-dependent diabetes (type1)
Interstitial cystitis
Juvenile arthritis
Juvenile diabetes
Kawasaki syndrome
Lambert-Eaton syndrome
Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
Lichen planus
Lichen sclerosus
Ligneous conjunctivitis
Linear IgA disease (LAD)
Lupus (SLE)
Lyme disease, chronic
Meniere’s disease
Microscopic polyangiitis
Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)
Mooren’s ulcer
Mucha-Habermann disease
Multiple sclerosis
Myasthenia gravis
Neuromyelitis optica (Devic's)
Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
Optic neuritis
Palindromic rheumatism
PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus)
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
Parry Romberg syndrome
Parsonnage-Turner syndrome
Pars planitis (peripheral uveitis)
Peripheral neuropathy
Perivenous encephalomyelitis
Pernicious anemia
POEMS syndrome
Polyarteritis nodosa
Type I, II, & III autoimmune polyglandular syndromes
Polymyalgia rheumatica
Postmyocardial infarction syndrome
Postpericardiotomy syndrome
Progesterone dermatitis
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary sclerosing cholangitis
Psoriatic arthritis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Pyoderma gangrenosum
Pure red cell aplasia
Raynauds phenomenon
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Reiter’s syndrome
Relapsing polychondritis
Restless legs syndrome
Retroperitoneal fibrosis
Rheumatic fever
Rheumatoid arthritis
Schmidt syndrome
Sjogren's syndrome
Sperm & testicular autoimmunity
Stiff person syndrome
Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE)
Susac's syndrome
Sympathetic ophthalmia
Takayasu’s arteritis
Temporal arteritis/Giant cell arteritis
Thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
Transverse myelitis
Ulcerative colitis
Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD)
Vesiculobullous dermatosis
Wegener’s granulomatosis
**NOTE Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are listed, not because they are autoimmune, but because many persons who suffer from them have associated autoimmune disease(s)

Can you believe that massive list? It should scare you a little. But what I really hope it does, is move you into making a donation. ::smiles:: In a perfect world, no one would have to experience any of these conditions...maybe we can help make that a reality. ::hugs::

Thank you so much for coming today, and please consider donating to:

AARDA American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. <~~~DONATION LINK

Today's Giveaways:

Romance and Erotic Romance Author Allure Van Sanz EBook (Your choice)
Indie Author Dana Taylor giving away a copy of her EBook Devil Moon
Author Elaine Cantrell giving away an EBook copy of A New Dream


Allure Van Sanz EBook (your choice of Noble Romance book)or T-shirt (Winner's choice) - Molli

Allure Van Sanz EBook (your choice of Noble Romance book) - Susan

Allure Van Sanz T-shirt - Bonnie F.

Erotic Author KevaD eBook Sunday Awakening - Dena Celeste


Romance Author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy’s Paranormal Romance Love Tattoo - Patti Shenberger

Author Rachel Firasek is giving away a signed print copy of Piper’s Fury - Kat Jameson

Quilting Genius Helen from Cute and Cuddly Quilts is giving away a free small quilt (pictured) - Suzie Quint

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trip Around The World Mega Blog Hop: Ticket to Paradise

Welcome to Tonto National Park! I'll be your guide, Allure Van Sanz. Come follow me on a journey of self-exploration inspired by the natural beauty of this incredible destination.

For New Years, my man took me to the perfect spot. Or I should say, the most perfect spot for me to start a new year.

The first book I ever wrote for publication was titled From the Ruins. The story is about a fictitious me and a fictitious version of my man, far away at some ruins in search of an injured snake. The ruins possess the pair and turns their "friendship" into a hot relationship filled with erotic exploration. I remember how excited I was when I got the contract for this book. A whole new world opened up for me--only, I'd forgotten all about it until I stared up at the ruins in Tonto. There...way...way up at the top of this mountain (or maybe just a really big hill) was the remains of a long dead civilization, like in my book. I *had* to make the climb and see it.

The view was fantastic, the breathtaking beauty making me all the more determined to get my fat-butt up to the top and look out over what I'd seen on the way.

Once I was at the top, wheezing and vowing to exercise more, I had this incredible moment of wonder. There I stood, in front of the ruins, becoming possessed by the history seeping into my skin.

I couldn't stop touching the rocks. Wherever it seemed logical for someone to rest their hand or lean against the stone, I did it, looking to put my own timeless spiritual mark on the place. I really love places like Tonto. Full of nature, history, and breathtaking views. I plan to go back now that it isn't winter, and climb a few of the lesser known trails to get to some of the lesser tourist-y parts. I'll let you know how it goes.

GIVEAWAY: This week, I'll be giving away vacation packages! A book to read on the plane (one of your choosing from my Noble Romance novels) and a T-shirt to wear!

All you have to do is tell me where you spent your favorite vacation, and where you'd like to go most. Two answers to qualify. I'd love to have you follow my blog and friend me on Facebook, but you don't need to do that to win. It should would be great though. LOL I always need new people to babble to and chat with. Facebook Me!

Thank you for allowing me to show you around Tonto.

Next Blog on the tour is: Sherry Gloag

If you came to my blog and you're wondering where to start the hop/tour, and what it is, please visit Kristine Cheney.

Or follow these:

1) HAVE FUN!!!


3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, May 16, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, May 23, at Midnight (Arizona Time)




Six Sentence Sunday

Shyin Long, aka Ice, is discussing her newest target over the phone with her wingman Clyps: (Taken from the 0.99 novel Murder Creek available at Amazon and B&N)

“This ‘Serial’ was imported from New England where he killed six girls in six major cities, probably to throw off the locals which, in the Creek, he doesn’t have to worry about as much.”

“What’s the pattern? How do you know it’s the same guy?”

“The streets are the pattern.”

“Uh huh--” This made sense, she was sure of it, she just needed Clyps to get to the Scooby Doo reveal. “Skip to the part that has me snorting icicles.”

Head back to headquarters, where other awesome authors await:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Autism and Fibro Winners

Before you go skimming past the story Rachel and her sister have shared with us today, I want to share with you an article that may make you pay more attention to this condition: Rise in Autism

Now I'll turn over the blog post to Rachel Firasek, author of one of today's giveaways! Look at that great cover! Take it away, Rachel.

I remember a two-year-old toddler running around my legs. Screaming or laughing, either way we loved him. I remember holding him tight and rocking him to sleep when no one else could. My nephew was a bright and healthy boy that we never saw enough.
My brother is military and his wife and sons are the world to him. I’ll never forget the day they both tried to convince me that something wasn’t quite “right” with that sweet child. As he aged, they would visit and he became more agitated. His moods more disturbed and his speech non-existent, they began to have him tested for behavioral disorders.
I remember thinking, “No. He just needs some discipline in his life”—not necessarily corporal just consistent—but each parent has their own way of dealing with things. It’s taken me many years of maturity to see more than my side of things.
The funny thing about learning and maturing is that although my brother, his wife, and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on parenting, I always feel that those boys know that they are loved when in my home. Regardless of when my nephew is having problems, which he doesn’t have too many “melt downs” when he’s at my home, I fight the urge to snatch him up and shake a finger in his face because I do realize that his parents are trained in dealing with his needs.
Now that he’s older and the effects of his disorder are more pronounced, I’m finding that it’s time for a new way of thinking. I’m sad that I didn’t offer more support to my brother and his wife when they needed it most, but I hope that they’ve always known that I’ve always loved my nephews.
It’s very difficult standing on the outside looking in. You don’t see the day-to-day hardships—the tantrums, the “melt-downs”, the sleep disorders, or any of the other problems that crop up with this disorder. It seems that each time they visit, the rules change. For every road they cross, a new broken-bridge pops up. I asked my sister-in-law to spare a few words about this disorder and to give us the other side of the story. The inside looking out and here is what she shared with me.

“When you have a child with autism, the entire family system is affected. The family dynamics change— in good ways and in bad. Things once so simple, like a quick trip to the grocery store for milk, can become a nightmare. Many times, families start to feel very isolated and alone. Friends aren't sure how to deal with things and aren't sure how to help and often stay away. Even going to family members for holidays can be difficult when well meaning, but ill-informed members show little compassion and understanding.

What the entire family needs is for family members and friends to educate themselves. Education is key because it takes away the fear that so many feel because they simply do not understand our kiddos. There are so many misconceptions out there about our kids! What looks like misbehavior, might be the only way our child can communicate, or they may be telling us that something in their environment is causing them discomfort. Our Kiddos really aren't that different from any other kids. They are loving and need the same things all kids need. What you can do is reach out to your friends and family members because what they need more than anything is support, unconditional love, and understanding.”

Inspired and challenged by my own son's diagnosis of autism, I return to school receiving my masters in psychology. In wanting to understand my son's behavior, I was lead to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis where I am currently fulfilling the requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I work one on one with a range of children on the autism spectrum providing in home ABA therapy.---Jenifer Stone

While digging through I found this fact that struck tears in my eyes for our race, “Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.” I don’t know about you, but when I see a number that size, I’m instantly struck with shock. It’s only a matter of time, and breeding, before someone close to you will have to suffer through this disorder or watch their child suffer. We have to get involved and as my sister-in-law stated, “Get Educated.” I’m very happy I’ve been given this opportunity to help with such a worthwhile cause and, hopefully, I’ve helped you understand both sides of the story.

Today's charity spotlight:
Autism Research Institute <~~~~Donation LINK


Romance Author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy’s Paranormal Romance Love Tattoo
Author Rachel Firasek is giving away a signed print copy of Piper’s Fury.
Quilting Genius Helen from Cute and Cuddly Quilts is giving away a free small quilt

Fibromyalgia Winners: (After Blogger mess up, I'm still missing some posts. I'm going to delay the announcement for a few days and allow people to continue to post there.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Diabetes Winners

I've mentioned before, and I'll say it again. I have Fibromyalgia. I wrote often in a blog of mine about Fibro and the ways to combat it and improve every day living. I do really well, but I won't lie, every day is a struggle to keep up my good pain days. I have pain every day. The trick is in managing pain. I have a chemical sensitivity that keeps me from taking pain medication, so I've had to take some drastic measures. I have to push through pain every day to workout. But working out keeps me feeling energized. It's how I'm able to write, clean, and basically get out of bed every morning, but it's a constant battle against not only pain, but lack of ambition, tiredness, and a constant urge to give up. My brain is telling me I hurt too much to do anything and I have to argue with it. LOL

Some of the crazier symptoms of Fibromyalgia (Like random pain for no reason isn't crazy enough):

-small or non-existent "moons" on the fingernails while thumbnails have dramatic crescents.
-delayed reactions to pain. The first time I knew something wasn't right was when I pulled my heavy carry-on baggage out of the overhead compartment, and my arm felt like it was going to fall off two days later.
-short term memory impairment. In the past, my family used to think I was joking when I'd go into the kitchen for something and stand their for five minutes, unable to remember what brought me in there. This happens to everyone sometimes. It happens to me about 20 times per day.
-skin sensitivity. When I shave my legs, it feels like I'm shaving off a layer of skin. Sometimes I can't wear anything to bed and I can't have the covers on parts of my body. If there is a crumb in my bed, I feel it like it's a rock. Fibro Mates and I call this the "Princess and the Pea" syndrome.

"No Way! Constant pain and weird symptoms? You must be making it up. You must be bored, or looking for attention...etc." People, for years, have made fun of the diagnosis of Fibro and though the stigma is lessening, it's still there. My current Neuro is sure that I have a birth defect that's as of yet been discovered. But I feel doctors who aren't ready to accept what's in front of them, are really missing the mark.

Allow me to introduce you to another sufferer. Virginia Kentner, wife of author David Kentner. She was kind enough to do a quick write-up of HER experience with Fibro.

"Fibromyalgia…I was diagnosed with this disease in 2002 after many tests to rule out other diseases. I originally went to the doctor because I was not able to pick up a cup of coffee without severe pain in my left arm. I went thru a lot of tests before it was correctly diagnosed. When I went to the rheumatologist, he knew within ten minutes of examining me, including touching my pressure points that it was indeed fibro. I am not sure when I first got it but I know that I suffered with a lot of pain throughout my middle age.

Being diagnosed was the easy part, now what to do about the disease. The doctor put me on Celebrex and that seemed to help for about 2 years. Then the pain kept getting worse and when I would go to the Doctor he just kept telling me there was nothing more that he could do for me, so depression set in for about a year.

Along with fibro I then started having back problems (herniated disc) and sciatica. I went to another doctor to get my disc taken care of which involved injections to fight pain, but with such intense pain he finally prescribed a fentynal pain patch, which not only helped my back, but also helped with my fribro. There are mornings that I have a very hard time getting going, and sometimes when I get up from sitting I have to make sure my legs are as ready to go as I am. If I miss my pain medications I cannot function, as the pain is so intense that all I can think about is the pain until I get some kind of relief. Other factors that will send me into a fibro attack is stress, activities and weather (I cannot handle any cold…weather, wind, air conditioning, ice packs) those factors make me want to stay on the couch all day and do nothing at all except sleep to escape the pain.

I believe that it is inherited since my Mother (never diagnosed with Fibro) had many of the same symptoms and several of my sisters and brothers show the same complications (I am the youngest of twelve), some have been diagnosed and others just never went to doctor to be technically diagnosed.

Another major side effect of fibro is called fibro fog, which affects my memory and concentration. I know at my age that it gets harder to remember names, dates, places, etc but the fibro fog makes it more intense.

Another major side effect is sense of feeling, sometimes it hurts to just have someone hug me or to let my pets sit on my lap, and holding a baby has to be limited since it feels like you have held them (your arms just ache) for an hour and it’s only been fifteen minutes.

Another side effect is the clothes that you can wear, nothing over the head cuz it hurts too much to put on, no blue jean material because it makes your legs ache twice as much, layers of warm, soft clothing (I wear insulated underwear seven months out of twelve), nothing too tight that will make you ache more.

Another side effect is that it has basically changed your whole life and taken over all aspects of what you used to be."

Thank you Virginia, for sharing your story with us today.

If you'd like to help lessen the pain of millions of women, please consider donating to:

American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association <~~~~Donation link!

Allure Van Sanz EBook (your choice of Noble Books)
Allure Van Sanz T-shirt,
Erotic Author KevaD eBook Sunday Awakening

Winners of Giveaway for Diabetes: (Please email me at

Allure Van Sanz EBook (Your choice of Noble Books) - Sarah J McNeal
Author Lisa Beth Darling’s EBook Dream Weaver - Debbie Laurie
Author Fiona McGier’s print copy of Secret Love - Lori McPhetridge

Congratulations. And thank you for your continued support.

All my best,