Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Feeling chatty?

Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween! Welcome Marie Beau and her Wolf!

Welcome! Hope you’re all ready to enjoy a Spookalicious weekend. I thought, what better way to celebrate this time of year than to invite over a romance author who writes about shapeshifters. Therefore, I’d like to introduce you to Marie Beau. She’ll be chatting about her latest release, Wolf! After you enjoy learning a bit more about Wolf! Marie encourages you to come join the fun on a Shifters Blog Tour where you’ve the opportunity to win multiple shifter stories!

Wolf!

Lyssa Merrick has no intention of ever being involved with a wolf, but when Wolfe Reardon seeks her wildlife services she realizes choosing a mate is not always a conscious decision.

SKY: Thanks for visiting and sharing, Marie!

MARIE: Hey Sky, thanks for having me.

SKY: First off, Happy Halloween! I’m so completely thrilled to feature you here right now. I love werewolf stories and having read Wolf! I must say, this is a top-shelf keeper. Tell me, what inspired you to write such a story?

MARIE: I have always loved shifters. It fascinates me, and also lets me attribute thoughts to the actions that animals take sometimes. Kind of like if you have a pet, seeing the little balloon thoughts over their head when they look at you funny.

SKY:  Lyssa Merrick is a no-nonsense kind of woman. Share her with us. What would she want us to know if she were sitting in on this interview? Does she have any secrets? If so, share!


MARIE:  Lyssa has spent her life running away from who she really is, and although she’s happy with her business life, it’s a lonely existence. A bad scene with a member of her father’s pack when she was young is what set her on this path and she stubbornly refuses to change that. Luckily for her, Wolfe can see right through her. Let me show you what I mean.

Where is he? Lyssa shook her head, shoved the appointment pad under the counter, and stormed into the back room. Two weeks…it had been two weeks, and he hadn’t called or come by. The girl that covered the desk when she was out on treks would have mentioned if he called. Was he even coming back? Why did he take her clothes? Not that she cared if she never got them back, they were nothing special, well, other than the quick release snaps, but she had plenty more like them. But the necklace—that was a hand-me-down, not an heirloom, not worth anything to anyone else, but she wanted it back.

Maybe he found some other quarry more enticing than herself, someone else to lead him on his trek into the Adirondacks. More power to him. Let him take his business elsewhere. I’m busy enough. He can go with whoever he wants to.

She crumpled the paper with his name on it and held it over the trash can as she had so many times throughout the week. Her fist wouldn’t open, her fingers clutching the paper. She closed her eyes and licked her lips at the memory of his scent. She smoothed out the paper again on the counter and stared at his name. Wolfe, with an “e”…from a long line of wolves no doubt, and definitely an alpha.

No one else had ever stirred her like this.


SKY: I’m already half in love with hero, Wolfe Reardon. I know I won’t be the only one. Let’s let him join us for a second too. After all, Lyssa’s here! So what does he want us to know about him? Adding to the curiosity-kills-the-cat pot…what doesn’t he want us to know? Would he change a thing about himself or his circumstances? If so, what?

MARIE:  LOL Wolfe will speak for himself – like everything else, he has to be in charge.

WOLFE:  With a lift of an eyebrow and a roll of his eyes he dismisses Marie’s comment. That’s right. I have people, a whole pack who rely on me, and I take my responsibilities very seriously. I’ve made my mistakes and let people into the pack that I shouldn’t have. But they were the ones with the regrets when all was said and done. Protecting my own will always take priority over anything else.

A throaty growl started deep inside. The hair thickened on his arms and chest. Much more of this and he wouldn’t be responsible for his actions. He pulled his head back slightly. Lyssa’s hand slipped around his neck, the prick of her claws holding him still. Her kneading reminded him of a mother wolf carrying a cub. Her tongue slipped inside his mouth. He wrapped his tongue around hers, tasting, sampling. The mewl from her throat had him instantly hard.

SKY: Wolf! Is a great read and thanks for sharing, Marie. While I have you, could you share a little bit about yourself as a writer? What sort of stories can we expect from you in the future?

MARIE: You can definitely expect the sequel to Wolf! Wolfe’s sister, Shaunna, is already chomping at the bit to get her story out there. And man, is she a handful. Just ask Slade who spends half his time keeping her in line!

Other than that, I have too many irons in the fire to get into them all, but I write everything from the sweetest to the hottest romances. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing a lot more from me.

SKY: Oh, I can't wait to read the sequel! Thanks so much for visiting, Marie (and Wolfe). It’s been a pleasure.

MARIE: Thanks for having us. It’s been a pleasure being here.

Eager to read this story? Purchase Wolf! now through Whispers Publishing. Click here.

Learn more about this author. Visit Marie at her Blogspot.


As I mentioned earlier, Marie is part of a Shifter Blog Tour. Please NOTE: I am not part of this tour, simply promoting it. Also, please keep in mind that while I will be running this post over the weekend the tour only runs Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. Be sure to visit Marie's BLOG first on the tour then travel on if you like. You'll see below, I also listed the other participating blogs.

http://masteranthonystevens.com/

http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/

http://quackersandtease.blogspot.com

http://mariposacruz.blogspot.com/

www.aeryntraxx.blogspot.com

http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com/apps/blog/

http://catherinebybee.blogspot.com/

www.maryalicepritchard.com/blog

http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com/

http://simoneeden.blogspot.com/

Wishing everyone a very Happy Halloween. Be sure to pop back in Monday morning as my A-musing the World Blog Event continues!

Cheers

~Sky

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A-musing the World. Love is where it's at! Multiple winners. Comment for a chance to win!

Welcome to my A-musing the World Blog Event. This week I'm beyond thrilled. Why you ask? Well, I get to share with you not only the Muse of Love, Erato, but a very dear friend of mine. The author in the Song of the Muses Anthology who wrote Erato's tale, Erato's Tears, Reece Herring. Without doubt, Reece falls into the 'best friend' catagory for me. We first met years ago and I must tell you...she's pure talent. Am I saying that because I adore her so? Heck no! She's good at what she does. Curious what I mean? Well, now's your chance to learn more.

In my opinion, Erato is the muse I consider the most important in Greek Mythology. In fact, Erato all but saved Melpomene in Highland Muse years ago and I'm curious what she's been up to since. Before I continue, there is a contest involved. Two winners will be drawn, one wins an Ecopy of Erato's Tears, the other, a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. What do you have to do for a chance to win? Leave a comment telling us why you think the Muse of Love is so important. (NOTE: You don't have to travel anywere to find the answer. This comment should be your own opinion)

All right then...I think it's time for you to get to know Reece better. Hang on tight, here we go!

Erato’s Tears

A powerful love is cut tragically short. Beyond Hades domain their destiny burns eternally bright. Two lost souls search through time to discover their hidden passion.

In Delphi, Mathias, an outcast Spartan finds a reason at last to abandon his wanderlust in the vulnerable Ambrosia. With the unseen aid of Erato, he tries desperately to conquer her hatred of warriors and bring peace to his unsettled soul. A tenuous hold on love develops, but will their untried bond endure? Can the Muse of Love overcome the destructive power of one god's revenge, and right the wrongs of history? Only ERATO'S TEARS will determine.

SKY: Thanks so much for joining me this week!


REECE: Thank you for having me : ) So happy to be here!

SKY:  Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you have a genre preference? What have you published thus far?

REECE: Well I really only started writing with the aim for publication three and a half years ago, but I dabbled a bit here and there for several years before that. I love fantasy and always have and who doesn’t get lost in a good love story? I know I do. I’ve had three stories published through The Wild Rose Press. Soar into Ecstasy, Erato’s Tears and Virtual Cat-astrophe. All were equally satisfying to have accepted.

SKY: When you first knew you were going to be part of The Song of the Muses Anthology, what was your first thought?

REECE: I was thrilled, but also a touch worried having never written on a deadline before. I was determined to meet it though, and having that deadline definitely kept me focused.

SKY: I so remember! Ugh, deadline time! Did you find yourself researching Greek Mythology quite a bit while writing your story or were you already a guru in this genre?

REECE: I’ve known a lot about Greek Mythology since my teens but I still had a lot of research to do since I needed a lot specifics about the Muses and the region my story was set in. As well as many other details regarding garb, jewelry, money and even law.

SKY: Let’s chat about your muse. What drew you to her? As she was literally your inspiration, share a little about how you formed an entire story around her?

REECE: I thought who better to use in a love story than the Muse of Love herself. Once I knew what part I wanted her to play in the story, it just came together. Erato is not the heroine in my story, she is a matchmaker and unknowing tool of Apollo in his revenge scheme.

SKY: Hero time! Introduce us. What does he look like? Where’s he from? Why was he lucky enough to hook up with one of the nine muses of inspiration?

REECE: Well as I said previously, my muse isn’t the heroine so she doesn’t get to hook up with my hero : ) But my hero is a wandering Spartan named Mathias. As for his description, I believe my heroine Ambrosia sums it up nicely… He is physically appealing in a primal athletic way. Well muscled and tall, the match for any adversary. Long golden-brown hair sweeping back in gentle waves from an exquisitely sculpted face. Hard icy-blue eyes under a furrowed brow that pierced your soul and could make even a hardened warrior quell.


SKY:  Oh yeah, Ambrosia certainly sums him up well! Just to mix it up, make you think─if you could’ve chosen one other muse to write about in this anthology, which one would it have been? Why?

REECE: I really don’t think I would have chosen any other muse, but Calliope might have been interesting to try. Poetry always lends itself to romance by my estimation, so I could see being able to mold a story with her in mind.

SKY: Thanks for visiting and sharing!

REECE: Thank you so much for having me Sky!!

Here's a little something from Erato's Tears....

Mathias was certain his ears must have heard wrong. Did she truly just insult him? After he, mere minutes ago, saved her life, not to mention virtue?

"Forgive my bluntness, but you, my dear, would have shared your father's fate after you had been repeatedly used by those men. If you've a complaint against my methods, you should remember that. And had you not been foolhardy enough to put yourself between us, it may not have been necessary to end his life."

"How dare you place blame on me! I would rather be dead than the cause of bloodshed. You are as despicable as they are. Violence is your way of life."

"Violence is part of life. A babe is brought forth through the labor of violence. We are birthed in violence, you cannot hide from it. Speak to me not of the righteousness of peace, when 'twas violence that kept your virtue and your life safe."

"What safety do you speak of? I am now alone without my father and susceptible to other men of your kind." Her eyes flared with anger and grief.

"Do not compare me to those filthy, soul-less bastards who have no honor. I will not discuss this anymore. You are alive and I will escort you back to the city." Steel underlined his words.

"You can save your valiant efforts, for I will make my way home on my own. I do not wish to burden you further." She went to the cart and with difficulty set it upright, then grasped her father's arms to pull him onto it. Her father was a small man but dead weight was hard to move and her slender frame had difficulty moving him. She struggled through wracking sobs to pull him aboard the cart.

A pang of sympathy for the stubborn female moved him. Mathias glanced at Dymas for direction but the Grecian only shrugged in sympathetic confusion. Mathias brushed her aside, ignoring her exclamation of outrage and tearful refusal of help. He picked the body up with ease and placed him in the cart. He grabbed the handles and began pulling it towards the road.

"Stop. Leave be. I will continue on my own," she cried, tugging on his arms; her berry-stained fingers dug into his skin to free the cart from his clutches.

"Wrong. I will not leave a helpless woman to cart her dead father back to town where murderers lurk about. What honor would I have were I to accede to your wishes?"

"I have no care at all for your honor but I find your presence loathsome. Now, I appreciate the thought behind your actions but please just leave." She turned her face from him.

What they're saying out there...
 
"Reece Herring’s “Erato’s Tears” in Song of the Muses series is notable for its thorough use of imagery, and near-poetic descriptions. At times, readers will find themselves visualizing the finest of Greco-Roman artistry; indeed you will feel that you have slipped into life in one of the paintings. The fantasy and fantastical quality throughout never get in the way of a simply super romantic tale" ~Long and Short Reviews

"This compelling and beautifully crafted story by Reece Herring captured my attention quickly and held it all the way through. At only 109 pages, you’d think some part of storytelling would have to be sacrificed, but that was not the case. A complete and vividly described world was built, characters you felt you knew and cared about came to life and a plot you couldn’t predict unfolded flawlessly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost interest in a book because I knew exactly what was going to happen next. Ms. Herring gave me an unexpected treat. An afternoon of indispensable fantasy, complete with ancient Gods and Goddesses, plus Erato the Muse of Love herself, come to life. Erato must have inspired Ms. Herring since she told this story so perfectly."  ~Multi-published author, Ashlyn Chase

Can't wait to read Erato's Tears? Click here to purchase now!

Let's see what Reece has been up to since Erato's Tears. Here's a little about one of her latest releases Virtual Cat-astrophe and Soar Into Ecstasy.

Virtual Cat-astrophe

When Carrie Easterman finds the man of her dreams on an internet playground, she puts aside her low self-esteem, lets her hair down, and connects with Lorne on a level beyond the physical. But after two months of smooth sailing, the moment she's dreaded arrives. He wants to meet in real life.

Anxiety cripples her courage, and with a heavy heart, Carrie refuses. However, the fates won’t let her off the hook that easily. With the power of lightening and her clumsy cat acting as catalysts, Carrie finds herself and Lorne sucked into cyberspace wading in strong currents of virtual confusion.

Forced together by destiny, will Lorne be able to overcome Carries insecurities? And even if he succeeds, will their chance at lasting love be snatched away forever, marshaled by the relentless assault of the cyber world?

Purchase Virtual Cat-Astrophe here!

Soar Into Ecstasy

Beautiful and headstrong priestess, Rheasan, is honor bound to fulfill the virgin sacrifice her temple offers to their Goddess. That sacrifice and her honor are placed in serious jeopardy when Elisaph, a glorious winged man, falls into her life. Despite conflicting obligations to enemy Goddesses, their mutual attraction is undeniable. Yet their fiery passion seems destined to remain unquenched as Rheasan and Elisaph struggle with their growing love for one another and their obligation to their individual Goddesses. The jealous Goddess, Euphrosyn decides to test Elisaph's loyalty by putting Rheasan in harms way. Elisaph must then decide what is paramount; his newfound love of Rheasan or his love for his Goddess. His life and her future hang in the balance.

Purchase Soar Into Ecstasy here!

Don't forget, two winners will be drawn, one wins an Ecopy of Erato's Tears, the other, a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. What do you have to do for a chance to win? Leave a comment telling us why you think the Muse of Love is so important! Contest closes Friday, October 29th, 12 PM EST.

Glitter Greek Goddess Pictures, Images and Photos

Cheers all!
~Sky

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SOS Aloha. Proud to be an American.


Hi everyone! Thanks for popping in. This weekend it’s my pleasure to introduce Kim Adams from SOS Aloha Blogspot. Kim is a military spouse who lives in beautiful, sunny Hawaii. Kim is such a compassionate and kind person, I simply had to share her with you. In fact, she’s in the ‘W’ for writers formation above in a  picture taken by Cathy Maxwell at RomCon. Whoa, check out that ship behind them! Makes me pretty darn proud to be American! All right, it's time for you to meet this fantastic lady and hear how generous she is...
SKY: Welcome Kim, so nice to have you visit!

KIM: Aloha, Sky! Although I enjoy living in Paradise, sometimes I experience island fever. It’s great to get out and interact with other romance readers, even via the Internet!

SKY: Your blog is fantastic. I see it covers topics such as romance reading, military families, international travel and Hawaiian culture. Tell us, what inspired you to start such an informative blog?

KIM: I volunteer with Kathryn Falk’s military charity, SOS America Inc. Kathryn is the CEO and founder of Romantic Times’ Bookreview Magazine. SOS hosts a Military Mixer during the RT’s annual Booklovers’ Convention. But I wanted to bridge the gap between each convention. I stated a newsletter sent by email. Encouraged by readers to take the next step, I created a blog. Thus, SOS Aloha was born. The “Aloha” catches readers eyes and many are curious about Hawaii.

I now blog daily because so many authors, like yourself, want to support military families.

But I want to emphasize that SOS Aloha is open to all readers. I like to think of it as a cross promotion by exposing romance readers to military issues and miiltary readers to romance books. The international travel and Hawaiian culture are added bonuses!

SKY: My husband served eight years in the military, my father four, (and the list goes on) so I'm pretty proud of our guys (and gals!) who have served and still do. As you're a military spouse, a huge thank you to you and yours for serving our country. Is there anything you’d like to share in that regard? Perhaps where donations in any form might be made to help our countrymen overseas?

KIM: SOS America has several projects, including Operation Holiday Card. We are asking romance readers to request one name of a deployed service member and send them a holiday card. To join Operation Holiday Card, contact Kelley at at Columbussos@gmail.com

I’ll publicize other opportunities in the New Year.

SKY: That sounds super. Thanks Kim! I know you graciously feature authors at your blog. Do you have an email address where authors might be able to contact you to be featured? Or do you typically contact them?

KIM: I am always open for authors to contact me at sos.america@yahoo.com.

When I first started, I contacted the authors whose books I received from RT, RWA, and more recently RomCon. I asked them for bookmarks to accompany the books I would give away to SOS readers. Then I contacted author for “themed” blogs, such as authors who write Scottish Historicals to spotlight them on St. Andrew’s Day.

I also connected with several publicists and their clients.

But I am always open to spotlighting authors interstested in publicity, whether or not they have a military connection. I enjoy meeting authors new to me – I always seem to find a connection with them!

SKY: The floor is yours, Kim. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

rescue 42 Pictures, Images and Photos

KIM: I would like to say “Mahalo Nui” to you, Sky, and the countless number of authors who generously donate to SOS. The books, bookmarks, and other bling brightens the days of the military readers dealing with heavy issues such as deployment, unemployment, and relocation.

SKY: Thanks so much for popping over. It was wonderful having you visit!

KIM: I extend an invitation to you and your readers to come visit us in Hawaii! Should you find yourself booking a Hawaiian vacation, I’d be happy to offer travel advice!

SKY: Ooooh, I've never been to Hawaii and would love to visit. You can bet if I do, I'll be contacting you!

Have a few minutes to spare? Want to learn more about Kim's superb blogspot, SOS Aloha? Then click here to head on over.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Be sure to peek in Monday morning as my A-musing the World Blog Event continues. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~Sky

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A-musing the World. Astronomy time! Multiple winners. Comment for a chance to win!

Welcome to my A-musing the World Blog Event. This week it’s my pleasure to welcome Masha Holl to chat about her contribution to The Song of the Muses Anthology titled, The Brightest Heaven. Her muse? None other than Urania, the Muse of Astronomy. As always, there's a contest. The question this week is...Urania despairs what? Click HERE to find the answer. (Hint: Answer may be found in the About Me section!). Return to this blog and leave the answer in a comment by Saturday, October 23 6 AM, EST for a chance to win. What up for grabs? Two winners will be drawn. One wins a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Café, the other an Ecopy of The Brightest Heaven! Time to get to know Urania and Masha a bit better…

The Brightest Heaven

Urania, Muse of Astronomy and the Sciences has lost faith in human creativity. This modern age seems rich in gadgets but not in true inspiration. Then she meets Daniel, a bright spirit whose fertile mind fulfills her need to mentor... But his very genius threatens the balance between universes and the great powers of Olympus issue an ultimatum: Urania must stop Daniel's experiments, or else... And the gods of Olympus know how to execute their threats.

SKY: Thanks so much for joining me this week!

MASHA: Thank you for inviting me! And accept my apologies for being late.

SKY: Oh, no worries. Just glad you could make it! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you have a genre preference? What have you published thus far?

MASHA: The better question is, when have I not been writing? Or, when have I started writing something I was willing to show off?

I used to make up stories all the time, sagas that continued from one day to the next when I played with dolls (my Barbies were Amazons), and then more sagas to entertain me while I walked to and from school. Then one day I decided that if I could keep them straight in my head, I might be able to keep them straight on paper.

I didn't know it would be so hard. I had to learn English and move to the US before I took myself seriously.

I don't think I ever conceived of a “normal” story. There's always been some element of magic or other-worldliness, whether the green-alien type or the revenant type. Although I have and do (and will continue) to read in just about every genre, I make up stories that are sci-fi or fantasy. The closest to normal I've come to is a historical saga project set in the 13th century.

Now I've found a home for my stories at The Wild Rose Press.

SKY: When you first knew you were going to be part of The Song of the Muses Anthology, what was your first thought?

MASHA: OMG it's happening! OMG OMG it's a deadline. OMG OMG OMG it's a SHORT deadline!!!

SKY: LOL, I think I had a similar response! Did you find yourself researching Greek Mythology quite a bit while writing your story or were you already a guru in this genre?

MASHA: You may think you know the answer, and if you expect me to say I was already a guru, then I faked it really well!

Truth is, I did know quite a bit about Classical mythology. After all, I do have an academic background in folklore, and knowing myths is kind of a requirement. But to write about Urania's family and to picture her interacting with her siblings, half-sibs and semi-cousins (and assorted odd relations), I wanted to get the bloodlines straight. So I did do a lot of research.


SKY: Let’s chat about your muse. What drew you to her? As she was literally your inspiration, share a little about how you formed an entire story around her?

MASHA: I think it went like this: Greek! Mythology! OMG, someone has to do the research right! Urania! Science! Yay! Sci-fi romance! I want Iwant I want.

It wasn't very coherent, as you can tell, and the basic plot idea came to me the next morning in the shower. You could say that I was visited by the Muse. It was just too perfect: all my favorite themes in one place!

SKY: Time to crawl inside your muse’s head romance style. I’d love to read an excerpt from your story that revolves around her interacting with your hero. Pull us in─lead out with three words you feel could be a mini title for this glimpse inside your tale!

MASHA: Making love like a man...

“How long have you been working on it?”

“You know. Since the day Zoe called you.”

She shook her head. “No. I mean straight.” Ourania stepped close to Daniel. “Without sleep.”

“Oh.” He let himself sink back on the kitchen chair. “Oh.” Exhaustion suddenly carved deep lines in his face and painted dark circles under his eyes. He looked at her with a guilty expression. “And you?”

She swept her fingertips along his jawline. He shouldn't care about her. He wouldn't, if he knew what she was sworn to do.

“I slept more than you, I think.” She moved even closer, into his heat, and framed his face between her hands. “You need rest. You can't afford mistakes now.”

Covering her hands with his, he stared into her eyes. “I wouldn't be able to sleep.”

Urania let herself lean into him. Their lips touched, uncertain, tentative, and then he grabbed her head and brought her tight against him.

His tongue traced the seam of her mouth, awakening sensations in a storm of bliss only Dionysus' wine had been able to unleash. With a small whimper, she surrendered and fell into his arms.

“Not here. My room,” he managed to say, and stood, pulling her up, leading her up the stairs, while his hands roamed everywhere, peeling off her human garments and caressing her mortal shell... and oh, she suddenly understood why so many gods had taken mortal guise!

SKY: Oooh, great excerpt! Hero time. Introduce us. What does he look like? Where’s he from? Why was he lucky enough to hook up with one of the nine muses of inspiration?

MASHA:

I present Daniel as Urania sees him first:

The man ran as if pursued by the Vengeances. Sweat plastered his shirt to a body worthy of the art of ancient sculptors. His stride was smooth and even, enough to make Artemis the Huntress herself proud.

And then:

The man tightened his hands into claws and thrust them at the sea, repeating his parting motion with a new energy. Brought them back to his center and rolled them out, pushing out with a hiss. Searching. Searching for something with his whole being.

The shimmering lights around him grew brighter, pressing into the visible range, fanning in the ethereal sphere over the entire spectrum.

Breakthrough. He’d touched whatever he was reaching for.

Urania meets him apparently by chance and recognizes the creative energy in him that calls for her nurturing. Daniel is a physicist, a genius, and a widowed father. His daughter promises to be as bright as he is.

Here's how Urania introduces herself into his world:

A curriculum vitae slipped out of the stack. A colorful paper clip attached a photograph to it. Daniel picked up the printout, curious, and froze.

A young woman stared at him. Moon-silver hair framed a pixie-like face with brilliant, sapphire-blue eyes. She smiled as if the whole world belonged to her, comfortable in...

A photo? In an applicant file?

He blinked, and realized he was looking at an ordinary résumé. But the dazzling afterimage of the pretty woman remained imprinted on his retina.

“How about her?” he said, and stared at the name. Ania Apollodorou. He tried it out loud. “Ania Apollodorou.” Odd that he couldn't bring to mind her talk when the memory of her striking features kept him staring at her file.

SKY: Just to mix it up, make you think─if you could’ve chosen one other muse to write about in this anthology, which one would it have been? Why?

MASHA: That's a hard question. Any of the other arts would probably take me into a different genre, since I don't do time-travel. Urania and science seemed like such a perfect fit... Maybe Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry. But what the story would be? I have no idea! After all, Urania is the one who picked me!

SKY: Thanks for visiting and sharing!

MASHA: Thank you again for having me.

Watch a Book Trailer for The Brightest Heaven




Review:

“The Brightest Heaven” is beautifully written and entirely unpredictable. Dialogue is snappy and believable. Modern life interweaves with mythological characters as if perfectly naturally; as if indeed, space and time wove them together. ~Long and Short Reviews

Purchase The Brightest Heaven now! Click here.

Sky here. As I do every week, I like to encourage my muse sisters to share what they’ve been up to since the anthology. So here’s a bit about another one of Masha Holl’s releases…

The Joining

Erik has no memories that go back more than five years. And no one knows how he's lost them. No memories, no prejudices, and an empathic ability. It makes him the perfect diplomat for the Space Guild.

Then how can he remember the woman he saved from an explosion in space? She may hold the key to his locked past, or be the key to his future.

Short Excerpt:

Erik shifted uncomfortably in the pilot's seat. His instincts told him his passenger was an ally, but complete lack of empathic clues unnerved him. Why would his talent fail him now, when the situation had turned sour in a single moment?

Shakuntala merely watched the forward screen with the serenity of a meditation master.

His gaze slid down her body.

He looked away hastily. In five years of remembered life, not one woman had caught his interest, as if his libido had vanished with his memories, buried in a past no one had been able to uncover.

But not now.

Even when he didn't look at her, he was acutely aware of her lithe form, her graceful movements, her quiet intensity, and her femininity.

Especially her femininity.

He could feel it, as if it pressed against his skin. He could smell it, like a heady perfume disrupting his thinking. It made focusing on his instruments difficult, when he could be watching her, when he could be inching closer...

Proximity sensors erupted in blasphemous cacophony.

EARTH SHIP ON FAST APPROACH.

At Erik's side, Shakuntala leaned closer to the console, frowning at the readouts.

"Still a million kilometers or so away. They must have a base on the second..." He grunted when the schematics appeared on a monitor.

CLASS A FULLY ARMED SHIP.

Large and armed. Not a freighter. Not a liner.

"Warship."

CONFIRM.

Purchase The Joining now! Click here.

Visit Masha at her Website. Though you're invited to visit Masha's website now, it is undergoing a makeover and she'd love for you to check back often to see the new look coming soon!

Masha also offers web services. Click HERE to learn more about her company, Otter Creations (Creator of Masha's website and trailer).

A little more about the author…

Masha Holl was raised on magic tales, Russian literature, Mozart, Verdi, and French cuisine. Today, she writes romantic science fiction and fantasy—that's spaceships, alien universes, and very close encounters—to the sounds of Metal Rock. Romance brought her to America, and here she stayed, so expect love and happy endings in her stories.

She studied language and literature first in Paris (France, that is), and then at the University of Wisconsin, where she was awarded a Master's degree. She has taught Russian and French language and culture both to bored and to excited college students, and she is always eager to share her love of the writing craft with whoever will listen to her speeches. And don't even get her started on myths and folklore.

Her novella The Brightest Heaven, and her short story The Joining, are available from The Wild Rose Press. You can find excerpts on her website at MashaHoll.com.

Masha Holl also offers online workshops and web design, and other web services for writers through her company Otter Creations. Look her up on the web at MashaHoll.com.

Don’t forget to enter the contest! The question this week…Urania despairs what? Click HERE to find the answer. (Hint: Answer may be found in the About Me section!). Return to this blog and leave the answer in a comment by Saturday, October 23 6 AM, EST for a chance to win. What up for grabs? Two winners will be drawn. One wins a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Café, the other an Ecopy of The Brightest Heaven! Winners will be announced Monday morning.

Thanks for popping in!

~Sky

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Muse Event Returns Soon

Greetings! So sorry for the delay. My A-musing the World Blog Event will continue shortly. Please check back soon.

Cheers
~Sky

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Call Me Kate: Meeting Molly Maguires by Molly Roe

Good morning! I hope you're enjoying your weekend so far. As many of you know, I write about Ireland quite a bit and adore history. So when Tribute Books asked me if I'd be interested in reading a young adult book titled Call Me Kate: Meeting Molly Maguires, by Molly Roe for review, I gladly said yes.

Call Me Kate: Meeting Molly Maguires

Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend. Under the guise of Dominick, a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed. Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene. A series of tragedies challenge Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can she balance her sense of justice with the law? Call Me Kate is suitable for readers from eleven to adult. The story is dramatic and adventuresome, yet expressive of daily life in the patches of the hard coal region during the Civil War era. This novel will appeal to readers of the Dear America series, as well as more mature readers who will enjoy the story's rich context and drama.

Read an Excerpt. Click here.

My thoughts on this book...

"From the opening line in Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires, I was drawn in. Enrooted instantaneously in the life of Katie McCafferty, an Irish American girl who struggles to help support her family in a Pennsylvania coal mining town between 1860 and 1862, I couldn’t put this book down.

Without doubt, I learned quite a bit of history as I struggled through day to day life with Katie. Incredibly poor, immigrants and citizens alike struggled to make a living. The mining conditions were contemptuous. Colliery owners consistently neglected safety precautions. When accidents occurred─and they often did─many men were injured or killed leaving families without a breadwinner. In addition, every man faced the Civil War draft. Many northerners opposed the war, especially the Irish. Why be forced to fight for a country that was prejudice against them? From the embers of unrest caused by the draft and the mining death toll, a fiery uprising called Molly Maguires formed. This secret Irish organization would make its mark on history.

Be prepared to follow Katie through turbulent times. Her aggressive spirit and courageous attitude burst forth as the story unravels and she takes life-endangering risks to protect a friend within the rebellion. I must say, author Molly Roe pens a well-written and engaging tale. I highly recommend this story to those who want to learn more about Irish-American history!"

~Author Sky Purington

Watch a book trailer...



Eager to read Call Me Kate? Perhaps buy it for your daughter, niece, granddaughter or another young adult in your life? Click here to purchase!

A bit about the author...

Molly Roe is the pen name of Mary Garrity Slaby, a veteran language arts & reading teacher at Lake-Lehman Junior Senior High School. Mary holds a Ph.D. in education from Temple University, and Pennsylvania teaching certification in six areas. She has pursued the hobby of genealogy for the past decade. Mary was born in Philadelphia, raised in Schuylkill County, and currently lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania with her husband, John. They are parents of two grown children, Melissa and John Garrett, cover illustrator of Call Me Kate. Digging into the past has given Mary newfound respect for her ancestors and a better understanding of history. Call Me Kate is the first in the author’s trilogy of historical novels loosely based on the lives of the strong women who preceded her.

Follow Molly Roe on Facebook or at her Blog.

Learn more about Molly's publisher, Tribute Books at their Website, Facebook or Twitter.

I'd like to thank Tribute Books for providing me the opportunity to read Call Me Kate. It was well worth my time. And to Molly Roe, well done and congratulations on writing such an entertaining and educational story.

Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to pop back in tomorrow as my A-musing the World Blog Event continues!

~Sky

Saturday, October 16, 2010

R.G. Porter's, Destiny's Light. Winners have been drawn!

Another super fun week has come and gone! Once again, a huge thank you to R.G. Porter for joining us to talk about Destiny's Light, tale three in The Song of the Muses Anthology. The winners of this week's contest have been drawn. Vickyvak, you won a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. Yadkny, you won an Ecopy of Destiny's Light. Congratulations to you both! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect your prize.

Have a fabulous weekend all and be sure to join me on Monday morning as my A-musing the World Blog Event continues!

~Sky

Monday, October 11, 2010

A-musing the World. It's all about the music! Multiple winners. Comment for a chance to win!

Welcome to my A-musing the World Blog Event. Each week I’ll be inviting one of the nine muses of inspiration from The Song of the Muses Anthology to this blog. This week it’s my pleasure to welcome Eutrepe, Muse of Music. Eutrepe’s tale is told in R.G. Porter’s (formerly Robyn Wren’s) Destiny’s Light. As always, there’s a contest being held. Two winners will be drawn. One will win a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Café. The other a download of Destiny’s Light. How do you enter for a chance to win? Simple. Click HERE and find out what Eutrepe’s general interests are (found on the left hand side.) Pop back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment. All right, let’s learn a little more about this fabulous muse and the talented author who wrote her story

Destiny's Light

A wish to go back would unlock more than she expected…

For as long as she could remember the Muses had always been sent to help inspire mankind. How she longed to go back again but man had lost his faith. Sure she will never return to earth Euterpe is surprised the night Zeus summons her for a final task in the mortal world. It was a quest she was ready for, until the interference of a God and her memory is lost.

Loner and musician, Ceris is stuck at an impasse with a song he needs to complete but cannot. Sure he will never move on he ventures out into the night in hopes of some kind of inspiration. Never did he expect it would come in the form of a woman who was about to be run down by a car in the dead of night.

In order to unlock the song that fills his soul they must unlock Euterpe’s past before it’s too late….

But first they must beat back the darkness and unleash their love.

SKY: Thanks so much for joining me this week!

R.G.: Always! It's been much too long since we hung out.

SKY: Agreed! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing? Do you have a genre preference? What have you published thus far?

R.G.: Ah, where to start. Well I've lived in a few different states but I am now currently living in Texas. (This place is WAY too hot.) I love all things supernatural, spooky, and unusual which tends to come out in my writing... often! I've been writing off and on most of my life, but decided back in 2005 to really try and put together a story worthy of being published. It was a long road and I've learned so much since I began but I wouldn't change a thing. I tend to lean towards fantasy and paranormal although there is a nice little horror plot line working its way through my muse now and again, so we shall see.

Currently I have six books published in e-book format with most going to print at some point. I have another one that will be released later this year and a new series I just finished first draft on. (whew) Many other ideas are still brewing but I've told them to take a number and wait their turn.

SKY: Sounds like you’re keeping busy. That’s super! When you first knew you were going to be part of The Song of the Muses Anthology, what was your first thought?

R.G.: Holy crap can I write that short of a book. :) After the initial shock I was beyond excited to be able to join a great group of ladies and awesome writers.

SKY: Did you find yourself researching Greek Mythology quite a bit while writing your story or were you already a guru in this genre?

R.G.: I've always been fascinated by many different myths and legends but the Greek history has always been one of my favorites. I studied as much as I could find and tweeked some here and there.

SKY: Let’s chat about your muse. What drew you to her? As she was literally your inspiration, share a little about how you formed an entire story around her?

R.G.: I love music, always have. I cannot write without listening to something to fit the mood, so picking her was natural. She sung in my head and wove the storyline with each note so delicately that the plot grew on its own. She wanted to be seen again but she had no idea what would really happen till it did.

SKY: Time to crawl inside your muse’s head romance style. I’d love to read an excerpt from your story that revolves around her interacting with your hero. Pull us in─lead out with three words you feel could be a mini title for this glimpse inside your tale!

R.G.: She could feel his eyes stare at her. There was no malice in his voice; if anything, she felt soothed to hear him speak. Her eyelids began to flutter open, the warm glow of light harsh against the darkness she'd been confined in. She squinted to allow her eyes to adjust to the light, her head still pounding. "Where ... where am I?" Her throat felt rough as she spoke, parched, as if she'd not had something to drink in days.

Her vision slowly focused to find a man watching her with concern. "You are at my home. Do you recall what happened last night?" Last night? Kaylena searched her memory once more. All she could remember were lights coming toward her and the same voice calling out to her. Then pain and darkness had replaced them both.

Kaylena attempted to sit up but found her body didn't want to cooperate. "I don't remember much. There were lights coming toward me and I called out, but they didn't answer. I heard your voice but that is all." Pain rushed through her leg when she attempted to move it. "What is wrong with me?" Fear pulsed through her veins.

The man's hand reached out and brushed back the hair from her face. His touch sent instant warmth through her body. "You were hit by a car last night. That is why your leg hurts." His arm moved behind her neck. "Here, try and sit up. I'll help you." Kaylena closed her eyes to both shield against the sting in her leg and revel in the feel of his touch.

Sharp pain raced through her body as she sat up. "It hurts." She hated to sound weak but it was almost too much. "I'm sorry. I'll be fine."

SKY: Great excerpt! Hero time! Introduce us. What does he look like? Where’s he from? Why was he lucky enough to hook up with one of the nine muses of inspiration?

R.G. Ah Ceris. He's a musician through and through. He is a handsome man but with a very mysterious way about him. He's quiet yet kind, his soul an old one.

“I’ll be okay. Now we must stay quiet. I don’t want to grab that thing’s attention or any Harpies that may still be in the area.” His head bowed to lean on the top of hers. “Be still, Kaylena, and rest. I have no idea how much further we will need to travel. We will need all our energy.”

“Fine, I’ll rest if I can. Don’t leave me, Ceris.” The soft plea humbled his soul. She was so innocent in her actions. How could Zeus allow such a travesty to happen to his daughter? If he thought he could get away with it, he would tell the god off himself.

“I’ll not leave your side, Kaylena. Now rest and I’ll wake you when we can move.” Ceris watched as the man’s body shook a few more times before his screams faded into gurgles. The Furies had ripped the man’s soul apart after forcing him to watch and feel all the fear and pain he’d inflicted on the innocents. He couldn’t even imagine what the man had gone through but better him than them.

Ceris had turned his body a fraction to accommodate Kaylena’s sleeping form, when the cloak that covered them lifted. The moment he turned his head, his gaze came face to face with the locked stare of the same creature he’d just watched tear the stranger’s soul apart. “Mortal…you do not belong here. How have you come to be in Hades?” The creature had known of their presence the entire time but hadn’t bothered to acknowledge them till now. Its bloody gaze moved along his body and to that of Kaylena’s sleeping form. “What’s this? A muse in the realm of the undead?”

“Shh, please do not wake her. If you must harm someone, harm me, but let her be.”

“Silly mortal, for what purpose would I harm a muse? My purpose is to punish souls who harm those who cannot defend themselves. I have no reason to harm you or her.”

Ceris sighed with relief.

The Furies’s gaze shifted back to him. “I ask again. What purpose do you have here? You are not dead, not a soul searching for eternal rest, so what brought you to this realm?”

“That’s a bit tricky. I’m here to help her regain her memory. Hades stripped it from her and I have but a day to help her regain it or she will be lost forever.”

“And?”

“Well, the one major hitch is that I can’t tell her of her past and who she is. She must remember on her own.”

The Furies leaned back its head; an eerie laughter erupted from its lips. “This must be either Zeus’s or Hades’ game. They are more sadistic than any Furies could hope to be.” For the first time, Ceris found a creature he couldn’t help but agree with. The Furies may be brutal when it enacted its vengeance but it was not stupid. “Listen to me, Mortal. Continue West till you come to a large mountain. Head up it till you see an opening. It will not be easy to see but you will not miss it. Enter the cave and it will bring you to where you need to be.”

SKY: Another excellent excerpt! Just to mix it up, make you think─if you could’ve chosen one other muse to write about in this anthology, which one would it have been? Why?

R.G.: Wow, hmm, I would guess I might have chosen Thalia. I could just envision a comedy being done by her by her own actions by being clumsy or something of the sort.

Please provide up to three short reviews with link to full review (if avail) about your muse story:

“The relationship between Ceris and Euterpe blossoms as they spend more time together. Ceris is a kind and gentle man who gladly steps in to protect and care for the mysterious woman who appeared out of nowhere. As we spend more time with them and get to know our couple, we know they will find happiness at the same time we wonder what will happen once Euterpe’s mission is complete.

I enjoyed this latest adventure of the Song of the Muses, Destiny’s Light, and look forward to visiting with Euterpe’s sisters and their family of powerful gods and goddesses.”

By : The D2K Paranormal Junkies

“Finding the self’ is a theme here, in both an obvious way, but also in a rather subtle way. The parallels give this story a depth that at first is quite unexpected. Wren has an incredible ability to bring characters, set in what seems a very alien landscape, (not only in a historic time, but in some ways divine) but to absolutely successfully bring those characters to life. The setting is important, and even at times, rather evocative, but it never intrudes on the important human interactions. The loves here could be the loves of any time.”

By Long and Short reviews

This story sound too fabulous to wait? Want to purchase now? Click here.

While I have R.G. Porter here I thought it’d be super if she talked a little about another one of her titles. So here goes…

Shades of Night

Her siren’s song leads to a deadly conspiracy.

A vampire trained to hunt those who have rejected vampiric law, Krystoff finds he is knee deep in a conspiracy to not only overthrow the Council of Elders but humankind itself. As the answers to his burning questions go unanswered, he wanders into a smoke filled club where he hears the purest voice ever and meets a piercing gaze that tugs at his soul.

Half human, half Fae, fearful of vampires, Alexandra knows how to dodge those who walk the shadows. That is until she is drawn to the stage and fulfills her need to sing out a song of loneliness that levels Krystoff’s attention on her. He is a vampire she should run from but cannot escape.

Fate has brought them together for a purpose—save the world from being plunged into an endless darkness…

Short Excerpt:

It was feeding time and humans were the only thing on the menu. Krystoff's acute vision took in the deep crimson that covered the gray cracked sidewalk, the smell of blood thick on the air. He stopped to inhale. "You can't hide," he said mockingly, his words echoing off the cold concrete. He knew he was close - the signs of their victims’ struggles were still fresh. “I know you’re here,” he said as he felt his body tense in response to the coming battle. His enemy was becoming reckless, leaving bodies littered in the wake of their feeding frenzies. Either that or they no longer cared, he thought coldly to himself, though he hoped it wasn’t the latter of the two.

He moved through the darkness of the alleyway while rain swept across the ground in waves, as if Mother Nature herself cried out in anguish at the scene below. Soaked from the downpour he moved through the shadows, the sounds of broken glass echoing from the distance as he followed the trail through the darkness, his only light coming from the arced flashes of lightning from above.

Rounding the corner with caution, his eyes coming to rest on the prone body of their last victim, the pooling blood mixing with the rain water created a faint steam that rose from his body like a soul grasping for the light.

“Uhhh…”

A guttural moan reached his ears, his acute senses picking up every sound. He moved in silence around the corner. The decay of an old building, its bricks of mortar crumbling in the wake of the storm, reminded him that the mortal world was not infinite. The shadows began to grow around him, his eyes darting into the shadows. The man’s eyes were vacant as his lifeblood pulsed out. The gash on his neck fresh, it was a clear indication something had been interrupted.

His deep voice carried on the stormy night’s air. “Come out, come out wherever you are.” He didn’t have time to play games. He’d lived too many years and fought more battles to want to waste time when the end result was the same. All too often he’d been sent to track down the others - their blatant disregard for the Council’s rules was an instant death sentence.

A growl from behind was his only warning as the whiz of knife flew past his head. Thank God for fast reflexes, he mused as he arched his body to the left. “You are growing reckless in your old age, friend. Leaving your meal half alive and missing your target as well.” One thing he’d learned over the years, taunting always worked. Tonight was no exception.

“A stirring story, driven by machinations by both the fae and the vampire worlds. With werewolves and darker dimensions drawn in for added texture, Shades of Night wraps the reader in glittering darkness from the first word. The relationship between Krystoff and Alexandra was, at times, underdeveloped. However, their passion and comedy keep this story moving to a sizzling ending.”

By Virginia

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

Purchase Shades of Night. Click here.

Visit R.G. Porter at her Website.

Follow R.G. on FacebookMyspace or @AuthorRGPorter (Twitter).

Thanks again for joining us this week. Remember, two winners will be drawn. One will win a $5 gift certificate to Digi Books Cafe. The other, an Ecopy of Destiny's Light. How to win? Click HERE and find out what Eutrepe's general interests are (found on the left hand side). Pop back to this blog and leave the answer in a comment.

Let's take one last look at Destiny's Light in this video...


Contest winners for Breast Cancer Awareness contest and A-musing the World contest

I'd like to thank everyone who stopped in to share their thoughts on Breast Cancer Awareness this past weekend. It's so important that we come together and help educate others. The winner of this weekend's prize is Lilly Gayle. Congratulations! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com.

Also, thank you to everyone who popped in last week as my A-musing the World Blog Event featured Muse Melpomene (AKA-me). The winner of that contest is Andrea I. Congratulations! Please contact me at Skypurington@live.com to collect you prize.

Enjoy your week all!

~Sky

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Blog Jog. Calling all you Thirty-Somethings!


Breast Cancer Awareness Blog Jog

Hello all. This weekend I’m taking a break from my A-musing the World Blog Event. Frankly, the topic I’ll be covering is not amusing at all.

For the past 2-3 years, I've participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness scavenger hunt. Things were busy for those of us involved in this mega undertaking, so we're doing a scaled back version. Join me, Anna Kathryn Lanier and Skhye Moncrief for a weekend Blog Jog to help bring about breast cancer awareness. I'll be giving away a Live Simply Pink Travel Mug and Free Spirit Pink Ribbon T-shirt to one lucky commenter. Anna at Chatting with Anna Kathryn and Skhye at Skhye's Ramblings will be giving away prizes as well so be sure to visit their blogs and comment for a chance to win. Each of us will draw names ONLY from those who have commented on our own blogs, so if you want to be eligible for all the prizes, comment on each blog.

As many regulars to this blog know, I am an avid supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness and October belongs to us. Who are we? WE are survivors of breast cancer, WE are family members of those whom have had breast cancer, WE are simply supporters of making YOU more aware of this silent killer of so very many women…breast cancer.

My nana died from breast cancer, my aunt died from breast cancer, my mom is a breast cancer survivor. It has touched my life. Has it yours? Sorry to be so blunt but to my mind it is a very blunt topic. A topic not talked about enough.

This year I went straight to The Pink Ribbon Shop and searched through their Cancer Survivor stories. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for until it stared me in the face. Leitha. A woman a year older than me. I want to share her story with you. Why? Simply because she’s a year older than me and I think women in their thirties tend to think themselves untouchable to this disease. After all, aren't we all told not to get a mammogram until we're forty? Well, Leitha proves that's a myth. So for all you thirty something females out there, pay attention! I copy and pasted her story and made comments throughout. You won’t be able to miss them.

The Pink Ribbon Shop

Breast Cancer Survivor

Leitha

My name is Leitha and I was 36 when I found a knot in my breast. It was huge, and the doctors kept asking me "how could you have not found this earlier?" I'm sure I had noticed it earlier but dismissed it as a swollen fibrous cyst because every breast exam I ever had I asked about lump and bumps in my breast and was told it was normal because I had fibrous cyst that would swell before my cycle. I also had a mammogram in 1997 that showed nothing, and to top off all of this, I had no history of cancer of any kind on my Mom's side, and two cancers on my Dad's side, lymphoma and my grandmother had lung cancer. Both were or had been heavy smokers and my Dad was not an "exercise & eat right" kind of man.

(SKY HERE: Always pay close attention to your father’s side of the family. No matter the form of cancer, it tends to be the leading source of Breast Cancer especially)

I found my lump while getting into the shower. I moved my left arm in a way that caused it to hurt. I mentioned it to my Mom, who mentioned to my sister, who mentioned it to everybody she ever met in her life. As you can imagine my sister came back to me full of information she had gathered. One of the tidbits she learned was "if it hurts, it's not cancer." I put off having it checked out for about a month or so, and then when I did go to the clinic the nurse practitioner assured me it felt like a cyst, but she scheduled a mammogram anyway. March 13, 2004, a month later, I'm sitting in a waiting room believing I will go in, have the pics taken, have a cyst drained and go home.

(SKY HERE: I’ve been told the same thing, “if it hurts, it’s not cancer.” Guess we can scrap that myth.)

I was called, and as the tech and I walked she mentioned how young I was, asked about my family & medical history. My answers led her to assume (as everyone had) we would probably find a cyst. So for 20 minutes I was twisted and contorted, smushed and flattened, then told to get dressed and wait for the results.

(SKY HERE: Wait until you hear directly from your doctor. The nurse told my mom everything looked good. It wasn’t. (No offense to nurses- they’re simply God’s angels))

The tech came in, followed by a doctor. This was about the time my heart jumped into my throat and started beating faster. The tech looked shaken as the doctor asked about my family & my medical history, then said "we need you to be here at 7:30 in the morning for a biopsy." I mustered up the strength to say "okay", and he left the room.

"Is this just a precautionary biopsy or does he really think I have cancer?" I asked. "Prepare yourself for the worst news and hope for the best." she answered. I asked if the mammograms are often wrong and isn't it likely it's not cancer. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "honey, it doesn't look good."

I got into the car, turned on the radio and the song "Something More" by Kristy Starling came on. The words were like a cool breeze that penetrated my whole body. I drove around Galveston, couldn't tell you for how long. I finally got a motel room instead of driving four hours round trip to be back at the hospital by 7:30. I called my Mom, and of course she was dumbfounded as I was. I called my son, but got the answering machine (17-year-olds and their busy schedules). I went out, picked up something to eat and a bottle of wine. Me, myself and I had a pity party that night, the first of many.

(SKY HERE: This is exactly what happens. You go into a state where everything seems...surreal ? You tend to focus on the small things you normally wouldn’t such as a song on the radio, who you should call…you’re just going through the motions)

The next day I got the core biopsy, went home and continued having pity parties until Friday when I was due back at the hospital for the results. The upcoming Friday, March 19, 2004 my son took the day off from school to go with me. They gave me a suite number, so I had to ask the information booth where it was. As we rounded the last quarter, we both stopped at sight of a bid sign that said "Radiation Oncology" and then looked at each other. I said "You know this isn't going to be the news we had hoped for, don't you?" He shook his head yes, put his arms around me, kissed the top of my head (he's taller than me), took my hand in his as we walked through the doors. We ended up having to sit in the waiting room for quite a time, enough time for reality to sink in.

(SKY HERE: Oncology is the word you don’t want to hear. Regrettably, it’s a word that becomes familiar. I’m sometimes shocked when people don’t know what it means.)

My son is a carbon copy of me in looks, personality and a twisted sense of humor. Were reading magazines, cutting up & laughing. People are looking at us like we're crazy, but that doesn't stop us. We were finally put into a room, where the goofy-ness continued until finally, a team of four doctors walked into the room. A hush fell on the room as Dr. Hatch sat at the desk I was sitting beside. She looked at me, as her eyes filled with tears she said "I don't have good news for you. You have cancer". I looked at my son sitting across the room who was looking at me as if he couldn't move. Dr. Hatch asked if we needed a minute or two. I said no, we had pretty much expected this when they directed us to radiation oncology. My next question was "so what do we have to do". She explained the procedures to me and set a date to get started. Surgery to remove the cancer & cancerous lymph nodes, a second surgery because they didn't get it all (dirty margins), 12 weekly doses of taxol, 3 months of FAC and 6 weeks of radiation.

Weeks before I had my mammogram I found out that Bill, a friend from my childhood was working as the largest Christian radio station in the country (which happened to be in Houston). I emailed him a friendly note and by the time he was able to reply, I was knee deep in the process of getting me cancer free. Not only did I have the love and support of my Mom & Son, I was blessed with Bill who fell head over heals in love with me in spite of my cancer. They all pitched in and help me, doctored me, cleaned up after me (yuck, I know) but never a complaint. They've all driven me many times to and from appointments, a four hour round trip during the highest gas prices ever.

One thing I learned is, cancer had to be harder on those who love me than it was on me. I watched the looks on their faces every time I had a surgery (which was awful), every chemo treatment (which was worse), and radiation that had one square foot of my left side so raw I cried in pain almost constantly, and I'm not a crier. Actually, I am smiling, laughing and positive most of the time. I'm often asked "how can you be so happy all the time with all you've been through?" My answer is, I have a family who cares about, the most wonderful son, a man (Bill) who loves and adores me, and a God who has me in his healing hands. I've got more reasons to be happy than to be upset. A positive attitude goes a long way.

January 2005 was my last radiation treatment, was growing some hair, happy and in love and waiting to get a new baseline and be called cancer free. Life was looking up, I was gaining strength and looking forward to a beautiful spring. Less than months pass before my appointment with my chemo oncologist. He sets up a gyn appointment for me, A week later I get a call from the gyn doctor. I get light headed and sick to my stomach when she tells me "you have cancer again, we need you to come in tomorrow". "Okay" I say, still in disbelief. I call Bill and say "I've got to go to the hospital tomorrow, I've got cancer again". He was silent for a few second, probably trying to decided if I said what it sounded like I said. I told him it's cervical cancer and that was all I really knew.

It's been another year of fighting another cancer and I'm still in a lot of pain. Between Mar 2005 and Oct 2005, I literally almost died due to complications from the treatments. God didn't take me out of this world so I'm guessing he's still got work for me to do. The radiation on my lower abdomen, they think may be causing the tremendous pain I'm having in my back. I've had a CT scan & MRI in the last three weeks and am having another bone scan. We're praying it's not more cancer. All prayers are welcomed.

If you have cancer, keep your spirits up. I know that sounds cliché, but really, don't stop laughing, don't stop living, you can win this fight. Remember, and remind your family & friends that every day is a gift from God.

Bill, the love of my life bought me a wall plaque that reads:

WHAT CANCER CAN'T DO

It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit


Sky here. Yes, I teared up when I read this. How could I not? Though I’ve not lived it, I am so very sympathetic. And though Leitha said it was harder on her family members, I cannot in a million years fathom what it must have been like for her to not only have lived through cancer but watch her family watch her go through it as well. Bit of a double whammy. My guess is she would’ve given anything to keep them from seeing any of it. My guess is that she fought cancer FOR her family.

That’s what we do.

In the end no matter who you are, if you’ve fought cancer, you know what it is to truly love. To truly become selfless. To truly appreciate every little moment you have with loved ones. To know that life is fleeting and grabbing every tiny moment means a little something more than it used to.

I hope this blog post caught your attention. I hope it makes a difference. Please, even if you're in your thirties, consider getting a mammogram now. What harm could it do?

Don't forget, for a chance to win a breast cancer awareness travel mug and T-shirt at this blog be sure to comment. For a chance to win more great prizes on this weekend's Blog Jog be sure to visit Anna Kathryn Lanier's Blog where you can comment to win a Cherry Blossoms Shower Gel and Lotion from Bath and Body Works, pink roses bath confetti, pink-toned beaded bracelet, a Harvey Lewis limited edition Pink Ribbon enameled ornament accented with Swarovski crystals, a copy of "98 Things a Woman Should Do in Her Lifetime" and an e-book copy of Anna's short story "The Perfect Gift." Think Pink package and Skhye Moncrief's Blog. where you'll find even more great prizes. Contest for my blog's giveaway ends Monday, October 11th, 6 AM EST.

My best to you all and be sure to spread the word about this Blog Jog. It could change someone's life.

~Sky

Some quick extras...

I'm a huge Doctor Oz fan so I decided to take his Breast Cancer Awareness Quiz. Holy heck, I totally failed!!! Ugh. I got a 30%. Hanging head over here. BUT, certainly learned something...well, quite a few things. Want a crack at it? Only takes a few minutes. Click HERE.

As a fan of both Ellen D. and Christina Applegate (a breast cancer survivor at 36) I thought I'd provide this video. Aye, Ellen is so funny. But, truth told, humor is more essential than you'd think to all of this. Laughing produces positive, healing endorphins. So, if you've a few minutes to spare, check out this informative interview about a woman whose mother died from breast cancer. When Christina found out she had not only cancer but the breast cancer gene, she took radical action and had a double mastectomy. For those who don't know the terminology, Christina has had both of her breasts removed.



Hope y'all have a fabulous weekend. All winners, both for this contest and my last A-musing the World Blog Event contest will be announced Monday morn.

~Sky