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. 🙂

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).  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 have  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:



We have a winner!

Congratulations to winner, Cecilia Rodriguez for winning the huge tote bag full of goodies!! As soon as she returns my email, I’ll send it out to her. If she does not respond within 3 days, I’ll select another winner. But I’m sure she wouldn’t want to pass this up! Talk about an awesome prize!


If you’re a business owner, author, artist, whatever, and you’d like to participate in another giveaway sometime, drop me a note and I’ll let you know when we do this again. The participants in the giveaway experienced an increase in Facebook page likes and group member increases. You’ll have a choice as to what you’d like people to do to earn their entry: like your Facebook page, join your group, visit your website (maybe have them find something and say where they found it, or use another way to prove they visited), tweet something, post a photo on Instagram, whatever you want. Drop me a note at and I’ll save your name for the next giveaway. I use Rafflecopter for giveaways at this point.

Most Awesome Giveaway ever!

I call it the Stress Reducing Plethora of Stuffs! I wish I could win this, but it’s all for you! 🙂

This is a HUGE (huge) giveaway with tons of very nice prizes! First class stuff here! Check this out:

Prizes: LuLaRoe leggings (your choice!), beautiful and large Thirty One tote, lots and lots of samples from Avon (Bug So Soft wipes and anti-itch spray, two face creams) and doTerra (Lavender oil, protecting shampoo and conditioner, Wellness oil, On Guard oil, Deep Blue muscle rub, more), two autogaphed novels: Turn of the Tide by Kristie Higgins and Sarah’s Song by Vicky Whedbee, two warm and soft crocheted hats (one replica of hat worn by the Olympic’s snowboarding team, one slouch hat), a cute coloring book for adult stress reduction or for kids, four tantalizing Scentsy circles, two yummy smelling soaps and bath bomb powder from Purple Lily Studios. Everything you’d need (and more) for reducing stress!



All you have to do is click here and follow the directions for your entries. That’s right, plural! You can earn more than one entry!

Contest begins 5/22/18 at midnight, 12:00 EST and ends in exactly one week, on 5/29/18 at midnight 12:00 EST.

Contest run by Rafflecopter. Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter from all eligible entries. If you’re asked to like a page or join a group, your entry will be verified by checking for your name in the group’s members or list of likes. If you’re asked to view a website, please browse around. This giveaway was made possible by the small business owners represented in the prize pack. They will greatly appreciate your patronage.

Have a small business?

Join my giant giveaway!!


I know so many of us are in small businesses to make a few bucks on the side. Traditionally, it’s been hard and expensive to advertise these businesses and there is a lot of competition. So, I’ve come up with a great way to advertise your business. We join forces and hold a giant giveaway! To enter, contestants must sign up for whatever you choose: Like a Facebook page, join a Facebook group, follow you on Twitter, Instagram, sign up for an email list, whatever. Each of us will have one option for the contestants to choose, and they’ll get one entry for each of us. Make it easy and quick for them. The winner will be chosen at random on May 30, 2018 at midnight EDT via Rafflecopter.

Directions: (Once you give me your email address, I’ll send you a copy of this.)

1. Sign up! Everything on the form is essential for me to have so we can keep in touch. The first fifteen (15) people to sign up get the spots. If I have many more, I’ll hold another contest shortly after this one. It’s first come, first served, so please don’t yell at me if you’re #16. I hope to do more of these if all goes well. Also, I’m going to add all the dates to Google calendar. If you use that or iCal, you can add my promo calendar, and it’ll put all the dates onto your calendar. See below for links.

2. Decide what to send. I’ll be putting the prizes together in a box and sending it to the winner. Keep in mind, I’ll also have to fit all of our items in one promo photo. Suggestion: No bigger than 6″x6″, and preferably lightweight. No lead anvils, please. 😉

3. You’ll have three weeks from now to get the prize in case you have to order or make it. Mail the prize and business card or flier to: (address will be in your email) by Thursday, May 17, 2018. I should receive prizes by Monday, May 21. If you don’t let me know you’ve sent it, or I haven’t received the prize, you won’t be included. Make sure to keep in touch with me. If you could, please toss a dollar bill into your box when you send it, to help with postage. I figure it’ll be around $15 for me to send the prize box, so if everybody pitches in $1, that should cover it.

4. Deadline for signup: Thursday, May 17, 2018. At that point, I’ll wait for everything to arrive, photograph the goods for the promo, then send you a few photos. I will also give you a link to the contest page on Rafflecopter.

5. Promotion begins! On and after Tuesday, May 22, post about the giveaway on your personal and business Facebook page, in Twitter, on your blog, wherever you want. Go crazy!

6. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter at midnight on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. I’ll notify the winner and get their address. If they don’t respond in 3 days, I’ll choose someone else.

Click here to join. You’ll have all of this sent to you in the welcome email once you sign up.