To be honored soon, first female jockey to win…

1969 was a very exciting and pivotal year in many areas, not just horse racing. That’s the year I was born, so… πŸ˜‰

Feb 8, 1969 was the day Diane Crump rode in her first race, the first for any female. It was hard enough to ride along side several angry jockeys out to get her, but before the race, she had to get to the paddock, bobbing and weaving through the crowd with a police escort, as so many fans were angry about her riding in a pari-mutuel race.

A week later, I was born. πŸ˜‰ (omg, am I almost 50??)

Another week later, Barbara Jo Rubin won her first race and was the first female jockey to win a pari-mutuel race. I wish I could have seen that!

February 1969 was definitely an exciting month.

With many more firsts in her future, Barbara Jo enjoyed a time as not only a successful female jockey, but a successful jockey.

It is jockeys like Barbara Jo Rubin and Diane Crump who inspire my writing. I even mentioned Diane Crump in “Chivalry” in the prologue and then again at the end in a short “women in horse racing” history lesson. Of course, I also mention Barbara Jo, as well as several others.

Want to read more about Barbara Jo? Click below.

Enjoy!

http://www.theracingbiz.com/2019/01/29/barbara-jo-rubin-to-be-honored-at-charles-town/

Get your “Don’t punish…” magnet today and show your support

Show your support for your friends and family in pain by sporting this magnet on your car. I predict one day in the future we will have our rights back and will be treated humanely, and at that point, you can just take off the magnet. No bumper sticker residue! πŸ™‚

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https://www.zazzle.com/dont_punish_people_in_pain_magnet-160880740015972482

Asking for a favor…

Friends, please help me with How (not) to Grieve. Reviews sell the book, so if you have bought the book (or if you would buy it) or have read it on Kindle Unlimited, could I please trouble you for a review? If you’re not good at writing reviews, I can help you with it if you want, without writing it, of course. Possible customers who read reviews are looking for something in the story that will evoke emotion: happy, sad, exciting, whatever. They’re also looking for the “verified purchase” symbol, so if you haven’t bought the book, it doesn’t do any good to write the review, though I would appreciate the effort. The Kindle version is only $3 (less than a cup of coffee) and you can read it on your computer, phone, tablet, or Kindle. It’s “free” with a Kindle Unlimited membership. Remember to scroll all the way to the end before closing the book so the author gets credit for every page. Thank you so much for supporting me!

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Reviews, anyone?

Wanted: Reviewers for “How (not) to Grieve,” book four in my Backstretch series. Each book is mainly set on or around horse racing tracks, and is about the people who live and work on the backstretch. I’ve always wanted to be someone strong enough and physically able enough to work with race horses, but I could never do it with my health issues. Instead, the next best thing is to write about life at a race track.

If you or someone you know works at a race track and might be interested in reading my books, even if only to see if the writer got it right, head over to Amazon. By the same token, if you love horses and/or historical fiction, you might like this book. AND it’s got a paranormal twist to it. Better yet: it’s only $2.99! Three bucks. You spend more than that on a cup of coffee, and for me to work years on something and only charge three dollars is crazy! πŸ˜‰

“Grieve” and the other books in the series are all available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback.

See the next blog post for more info.

How (not) to Grieve

Available now on Amazon!

How (not) to Grieve

How (not) to Grieve

Available now on Amazon!

“How (not) to Grieve,” book four in my Backstretch series, has been published as of August 6, 2018. It is available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

Please, don’t forget to leave a review once you’ve read it or any of my books. As always, I am eternally grateful. πŸ™‚

Book 1: Chivalry

Book 2: Wounds into Wisdom

Book 3: Turn of the Tide

Book 4: How (not) to Grieve

Book 5: Clear Blue Sky (available in 2019)

Mental Health Day

We all need mental health days. Some need more than others. For some, it’s become so bad that they cannot work. Depression, Bipolar, Mania, Schizophrenia, etc… Whatever the issue is, there is some form of help for it from doctors and on the internet. If you’re not in a good place, move from there. Keep trying. And keep reading.

My books deal with several mental health issues. Candy and Rachel, in books 1-3, each have life altering events happen to them, and as a result, they wind up with Depression (Candy) and PTSD (Rachel).Β  In Wounds into Wisdom, Candy’s depression may not be obvious to readers, especially at first. She can be silly and mischievous at times, but later, when she finds herself stuck in an abusive relationship, you can really see it. After all, she grew up neglected and mistreated, so, to her, that’s what she’s comfortable with, it’s what she’s used to. In the next book, Turn of the Tide, Candy is dealing with the after-effects of Demitri’s abuse, and it’s extremely hard on her. Her mind is telling her she’s not worth it or she doesn’t deserve to be happy. It takes her a long time to realize that she does deserve to be with someone good, but even then, in the end of the book, she is still not cured. True Depression (not sadness) can’t be prayed away, yoga-d away, wished away, or anything. What Candy needs is medication and support from family and friends.

Speaking from experience, I went way too long without medication and wish I had given in and mentioned it to my doctor sooner. That’s all it took – mentioning it. Our conversation was very short, maybe a few questions long, and I had a prescription for Wellbutrin XL in my hand. She said we’d try different things because different meds work for different people. I was lucky, though, because Wellbutrin XL worked very well for me. I still take it every day, thirteen years later. If I don’t take it (such as when I’m in the hospital after a surgery and they don’t give me my regular meds) I can definitely tell a difference. By day three I’m in that crying-for-no-reason mode that I hate so much. Then I ask for the pill and I’m fine. Depression cannot usually be fixed without medication since the brain chemistry is out of whack.

What else helps? Journaling, writing, Facebook groups, other online groups.

I also write books where the characters deal with issues that I’ve been through. The issues are always worse in the books; I don’t want anybody to think I’m claiming to haveΒ  been kidnapped or in a physically abusive relationship. Fortunately, I’ve been able to stop those things from happening before they happen. I write fiction, so, you know…entertainment.

Back to discussing journaling, in Chivalry, Rachel has severe PTSD from her kidnapping, and Erick and her psychologist try to help her by having her write down her story. She’ll read it aloud again and again, maybe write out the whole thing again, read it again, etc, to desensitize her. The more she looks at/faces that story, the less severe it gets each time. I did some research on PTSD while writing Chivalry, and I read that this technique was used on war vets after the Vietnam War and wars after that. It has been a useful technique since then, and is still used today. Just today, I read someone’s post proclaiming their success due to journaling and reading their story, repeatedly. It does take time, but it does work.

Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to know everything about PTSD or Depression, though I have experienced them myself, and I do know that the above techniques and tools mentioned are not the only tools to use. I’m not a doctor, I just play one on…er…I write about them. Do your own research, get a doctor, do what they say to do, and if it doesn’t work, try something else. You just keep trying, like Rachel tells Candy, and like Dory says:

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