Tag Archive | novels

Children, Animals, Kryptonite and Antibiotics

Since my last blog, I’ve received quite a few comments and questions as to whether or not I am alright. It seems that my normally friendly, sensitive nature took a vacation and my blunt, less than kind comments really concerned a few people. So I’ve taken the past week to really reflect on what is going on.

I have always been an animal lover. Anyone who knew my in my childhood can attest to that and my current friends also are aware of my passion. It’s one of the reasons we have so many critters on our little ranch. Since I’ve had my own two, beautiful little girls, I’ve become aware of the wrongs done to children and in turn, become very passionate to their rights. Children and animals have no rights, are often treated as objects and with social media bringing it to the front, it’s hard for me to ignore it. So my blood boils and I become physically sick when I see abuse, blatant or otherwise. What fired me up that day was a person who was trying to argue as to why they had allowed the abuse to continue. For over four years! I don’t care if you felt sad, lost, waiting for God to make that decision. You were the adult, this soul depended on you to protect and take care of it. By allowing the abuse to continue, you allowed that soul to suffer. It honestly broke my heart and I publicly lashed out. My bad.

Along with this dangerous combination is the fact I have been very, very sick for the past two months. The amount of prescribed medication is mind-blowing and my days are scheduled around when I have to take pills. This is not an excuse, it’s a fact, but I do need to hold myself accountable for how it reacts with my body. As my family has told me, I am a crabby person on this medicine. This is noted and I will not forget.

I have been struggling with what is proper, how to get back to the kindness, how to fight for those who have no voices. I have heard that everyone has an opinion so you just need to keep yours to yourself because your children are watching and will model yours. Well, guess what. I don’t want my children to keep quiet. They were born to be heard, just as I was. I want them to stand up to injustices and abuse. I want them to say, “Oh, heck no! You cannot do that to me! It is not acceptable!” I want them to know that sometimes you have to make a stand. But I do agree that there are respectful ways to do it. Calling other people stupid is probably not a good way to do it. So while I will not apologize for feeling pain and hurt for a soul who was lost to something as horrid as abuse, I will promise to try to take a breath, go for a walk and think out my blog before I post it. I will try.
Have a blessed weekend and remember; Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

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Changes Coming Soon…

I’ve been sitting back and reading, listening, watching. Society on the whole is failing, miserably. We are quick to judge, quick to condemn and quick to jump in with a lynch mob without getting facts, (real facts, not what someone has twisted and posted on social media) and it’s been disturbing. I’ve had to take some time to do some soul searching because I was finding myself being brought down. My Miss Susie Sunshine personality was fading behind the clouds and I was starting to behave along with the masses. This was not acceptable to me because honestly, I know I’m better than that.

So here’s to a new chapter in at least my life. We are getting ready to move to a new city, my girls will be going to a new school, I have new books ready to be published and released to the world, we are beginning to travel to other countries, life is good. Why? Because of all of these things happening? Partly. They were brought into my life because I created this good, I asked for it, accepted them into my life then let it go (as Elsa would sing) I knew God had it. Yes, God. No, not religion. I’m am not a religious person by ANY means. I’m spiritual, I believe in God, believe in Jesus and believe that there are many angels and souls who guide and protect us. I do NOT believe that because someone is not a specific religion that they are going to hell, not going with God, not saved. But these are MY beliefs and I won’t push them on anyone. I respect everyone’s beliefs just as much as I expect them to respect my beliefs. But again, I won’t go farther into this. I’m not a preacher of God, I’m just here to learn lessons, enjoy life and be the best version of myself that I can be.

I’m not going to post everyday because well, heck, you’d be bored within a week. Plus, we all have lives, right? I’m hoping that this year will bring you as many blessings as it will me. It’s the year of the horse! All is well! So as I fix up my house to sell, I’ll share pictures, ideas, thoughts and frustrations because as we all know, you are NOT alone!

Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Juggling ADHD Balls

Wow, it’s been a while folks and for that I am sorry but as I look back on my posts I can see the defining path of self destruction that I was laying before me. Here I am, at a cross-road that can either ruin me or make my life more fulfilling and more successful. It’s this reason that I am taking a moment, taking a breath and looking around.

As you know, 2012 was all about my writing. I won the Master Koda Extreme Author Makeover Contest in January. In April, my metaphysical romance, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon and I released another novel, Love’s Everlasting Song. Things were going great, I was writing and things were smooth for a few months. Then my youngest daughter got sick and I had some run in with people who took advantage of me professionally. The combination was too much and I decided to take a sabbatical from work. No writing, no publishing, no reviewing. I was done. Or so I thought.

I should know, being ADHD, that my mind is in constant motion. It’s one of the reasons there are many nights I get very little sleep and my ideas appear endless. It was during one of these restless nights that I realized we didn’t have a tack store in our town. For non-horsey people, it’s a place to buy saddles, bridles, items for you and your horse. Our community is still very old west; in fact the day we moved here, there was a gentleman who rode his horse into City Market, tied it to the lamp post and went grocery shopping, I am not lying. So to not have a place to buy these necessities was just crazy so I decided to approach the hubby about opening a store. To my extreme surprise, he agreed! I quickly threw together a business plan and with the help of a wonderful local banker, found the perfect company and applied for a small business loan. Within a couple of weeks, we were approved, secured our store location, came up with a name, secured the proper license and was in the process of remodeling the store for our May 1st opening.

Now as if that wasn’t enough chaos in such a short period of time, we started having people walk into our store with bags of boots asking if we were going to do boot repair. No, we replied, we didn’t know how and hadn’t even thought of it. After the 46th person walked through our yet-to-be-open doors requesting boot repair, we realized we had better start looking into it. By chance, (man does God/the Universe really look out for you if you let Him) a gentleman called about my gelding for sale. He came out and began talking about our store. He asked if we were going to do boot repair and I explained we were considering it but had never gone to school for it. He laughed, told me he was a retired cobbler and though he had taken some courses in cobbler schooling in Oklahoma, it’s basically a self taught art, and a dying one at that. He told me that if we were serious, he would teach us how to do boot and leather repair!

Needless to say, we were thrilled and after inquiry, found out this man has an amazing reputation as a boot repairman. We were learning under one of the best. After pricing the equipment, we decided that we would make a six month plan. We would open the tack store May 1st, and then if it did well enough, we would buy the boot repair equipment, remodel the store and start doing boot repair in November. Well let me tell you, I should know better than to make plans. Today is July 25th. We bought our boot repair equipment last week and this past Sunday and Monday remodeled our store. We have already been learning the boot repair process, (I did a pretty good job on some heels if I do say so myself) and will be “officially” be taking work August 1st. Though that hasn’t stopped the numerous people who have already dropped things off at our store stating they are fine with waiting.

My point to my ramblings is that you never know where life is going to take you and the saying “Be careful what you wish for” is oh-so-very true. I will never give up on my writing; it’s in my blood and in my soul. But I now have a new business, a growing new career and a new respect for business owners. I’m also happy to report; I have a healthy daughter again!

Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey my friends

Crying Over Cut Broccoli

As most of my friends and fans know, my life has been a whirlwind of changes and challenges this past year. Between moving, leaving my job over health issues, becoming a bestselling author and trying to keep up with my family, I have been a little overwhelmed. No one wondered or thought it strange when my Miss Suzie Sunshine personality became cloudy and dark. We all chalked it up to stress and too much on my plate. I went in for a physical in March because the exhaustion and irritability were becoming more prominent but after a complete exam and blood work. That was when they found the lump in my breast and a mass in my uterus.

I went to a specialist in Denver for my breast and my family and I cried in relief when the tests came back negative for breast cancer. The biopsy from the mass in my uterus also came back negative and it was believed that I was just under a lot of stress and pressure. Everyone said that the explanation made sense, everyone but me. I just didn’t buy it. I wasn’t stressed or under pressure. I’ve been there. Being a service manager at a large automotive dealership, working 16-18 hours a day, dealing with people who are angry that their car broke down or how much it costs to fix it, that’s stress and under pressure. I was playing on 35 acres, planting my garden, playing with my horses and children, being a wife and mother. I was in heaven! It slapped me up along side of the head that something major was wrong when twice I behaved in a way I never had before. The first, I yelled at my beautiful daughters just because they were playing in the mud, making mud pies and castles. Normally I would be out there joining them but this day I hollered because of how dirty they were. I’ll never forget their shocked and pained faces; it breaks my heart every time. The second occurrence was when I was in my garden cutting broccoli to steam for supper and I began crying, apologizing to the broccoli for killing it! How insane is that??? I knew then that I had to get help.

I found a specialist who deals with female hormones in Steamboat and made an appointment to see her. After describing my symptoms she asked if we could do a physical and also an ultrasound of my uterus. I thought that was a little unusual but agreed. We went into another room and she turned the monitor around so that I could see what she could. In vibrant blue and red colors, I looked like I was pregnant with forty little alien babies! I had so many polyps, masses and disease that my body basically thought I was pregnant and was pumping so many hormones into my body that it was completely messing me up. It was recommended that I have a hysterectomy as soon as possible, leaving my ovaries for natural, and normal hormone production. Feeling so relieved that I wasn’t going insane and that there was a reason for my actions, I quickly agreed.

I am now almost four weeks post surgery and yes, sometimes I still cry but it is because of the joy and happiness that I feel over feeling me again! The biopsies that came back on my uterus were all benign which is a reason for joy but also my inner joy and happiness is back. My girls tell me all of the time that they are glad that their fun mommy is back and I laugh so much more. My husband is thrilled that he has his loving wife back and the irrational, hormonal one is gone. And I feel fantastic! I have more energy, don’t sleep as much and also excited that I will be able to get back on my work out routine and not have it disrupted a week out of every month.

I am writing this article because I want to encourage any woman who has noticed a change in personality or stress or just feels off to go get checked out. And if the first doc says there is nothing wrong, get a second opinion! That’s what I did and I’m so glad I listened to myself and my body. And don’t be embarrassed to ask the questions, regardless of what you find out. I asked all of the “embarrassing” questions, like would I still enjoy sex? Could I still have an orgasm? Would it hurt or feel different? Would this cause any problems with my bladder? If you don’t know of anyone who has gone through a hysterectomy or aren’t comfortable talking to them, HysterSisters is an amazing support system that allows members to be completely anonymous. If you’re still uncomfortable with that feel free to email me. I’m not a doctor, have no medical experience but I do have experience as a woman, both hormonally insane and sane! My email is raeannehadley@hotmail.com. Granted, I still cry. I cry at the blessed life that I have, the beautiful and amazing family that I have but I don’t cry over cut broccoli anymore.

Life’s meant to be fun; enjoy the journey!

When book reviewers go too far…

As published writers we all put our work out to stranger’s eyes to be read, critiqued, loved or rejected. It’s the gamble that we take and we understand and accept that. It used to be that you’re work was reviewed by a professional and was posted for the world to see, good or bad. You read where you could improve, how your next piece of work could be better or you celebrated that the reviewer enjoyed your work. In this modern and advancing world, we have Indie authors, such as myself, and now have self-proclaimed Indie reviewers. As authors we have to learn, grow, improve or we will not survive in the eBooks world but what about the reviewers? Don’t they have a responsibility to other readers and other writers to learn how to critique, how to review?

Mechanics of Murder was my very first book, written over 8 years ago when I was filled with a passion yet very little knowledge. Most of my fans know the background of Mechanics and the emotions behind my story to finish it for my ailing father. It is not a grammatically perfect book, filled with errors of a novice writer who wanted her father to get better. I will never be ashamed of my book, will never regret putting it out there and have prepared myself for the negative reviews on my punctuation and my grammar. I’m really okay with that. After all, it’s how we grow and learn and my work has done the same. With Love; Now & Forever became a best-selling book this year and I’m SO very proud of this book but it wouldn’t be half the book it is if I hadn’t learned how to write properly. Thank you, Mechanics. But in a recent 1 star review, my evaluator tore apart my characters and how they acted/reacted in a story stating that it was unbelievable. They claimed that because my character was 30 years old, she wouldn’t get butterflies or tongue-tied when her love interest came into a room. This is the first time I have truly found a review deeply insulting and I walked away for a day but couldn’t let it go. So here is my question of the responsibility reviews should have.

All of my work stems from my own life experiences, as I’m finding is true with other fictional writers. It makes sense; this is the only life I’ve lived as far as I can remember so I have to draw on my own emotions and reactions to explain through my characters. My story Mechanics is loosely based on my life and the relationship part is the base of my relationship with my husband. I blushed when I saw him looking at me, I got butterflies in my stomach when he came near and my tongue was often tied when we talked. I was 32 years old. We will now be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year (yes, I’m 42 now) and I still get butterflies when I see him, I can’t keep my eyes off of him when we are in a room, he can still make me blush and often still literally sweeps me off of my feet. We are each others’ best friend and lovers. So when someone tells me that my characters wouldn’t act that way, it insults me because Steve and I do act that way and that is what I have to draw on for my characters. A part of me feels some pity for that person, that they either never had or no longer have that kind of relationship with a partner. But then my frustration kicks back in.

I welcome the reviews and critiques for my grammar, my formatting, and my layout. Without them I couldn’t continue to grow as an author, I wouldn’t be driven to learn to perfect my work which I know will never happen because I’m a human being, I’m not designed to be perfect. I welcome those who wish my plot was stronger or took a different direction, it drives me to come up with something that hasn’t been done (tough order for sure) but if you’re going to judge my work for all of the world to see, don’t tell me how I (or my character) would or would not react in a situation. We are all very different, individualistic people who make this world so interesting and exciting and we handle things distinctively. Keep your comments professional and limited to your knowledge of the written language and not something as unique as a person’s nature. Oh, one other little thing, if you want to be a reviewer and commentate on another’s work, make sure your own spelling is correct.

Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Just a Mom. Yeah, right!

Mid-life crisis, financial changes, moving, career change, death. These are all things that have a huge impact on our lives including how we interact with other people. We all react differently, handle things differently and others looking in may not like or understand how you handle your situation. The most important thing that you need to remember is you need to deal with it. What makes you feel the most comfortable, most secure, what makes the most sense is more important than someone else’s opinion. Having said that, you also need to remember that if there are children in our lives, they are sensitive to what you are going through and their feelings/thoughts are important too.

For the past two weeks I have been dealing with all of the above. I’m not one (anymore) who blurts out everything of what I am going through or the struggle that I am dealing with. Instead I’ve learned that if I sit back and watch what is unfolding, to gather as much information as possible, to find a peace no matter how awful a situation may be, nine times out of ten the decision I make will tend to be the best outcome. So I have retreated into the comforting arms of my house, privacy, animals and family. I put aside my writing, my blogs, my marketing and promoting my books even though I was right in the middle of promoting my paranormal romance, Shadows. I needed to make time and breathe. I’m coming out of this struggle, (I wish I could say unscathed but then what would be the point of going through the struggle in the first place?) and I’m finding a new balance in my life. I’ve allowed myself to be just a woman, just a mom, just a wife, as if there is such a thing as “just” for us. Allowing myself this time, I’ve seen how much I have missed and that I need to once again adjust my life. My daughters, who are the most important people in my life, are struggling and needing their mother. My 5 year-old had the most horrific nightmare the other night that her entire body was shaking and she was physically nauseous. It took 2 hours to calm her down and even then, she was wrapped around my arm in a death grip before she allowed herself to fall asleep again. Tonight she was so scared that even tucked into my bed with the light on and the dogs in the room, she would not fall asleep unless she was touching me. I know that she is picking up on my struggle, my emotions and my inner disease which brings me back to my struggle on how to deal with things.

We ALL go through struggles, successes, failures, changes, life lessons. We all wonder if we are on the right path or sometimes ask, ‘how the heck did I get on this road?’ We all deal with them differently, see them in a varied light but in the end the decision needs to be our own. The thought that I present is that perhaps, if you see a friend, family member, co-worker struggling with a life issue, maybe hold your tongue, your opinion and simply ask what you can do for them. Maybe it’s watching the kids for a couple hours so they can take a breather, a casserole that just needs popped into the oven, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage. The more we are able to fill their bucket, the easier it may be for them to fill their child’s bucket and with a drought going on in this world right now, we all need to lean on each other. Life is meant to be fun, even with the ruts, enjoy the journey.

Stress, we all have it

We all have stress. It’s as common and as natural as breathing. Don’t get misunderstand me, I didn’t mean that it wasn’t uncomfortable and at times, down right painful but so is childbirth yet it’s still a part of our lives. Stress is nothing new, though it’s been given a proper name just in the past 100 years. The types of stress we have dealt with have changed over the decades, most of us not having to worry about hunting for our food to survive or skinning enough animals to keep us warm during the freezing winter nights. The stresses we deal with have evolved and changed, adapting to our ever altering lives. We will never be without it yet can we learn how to properly deal with it or allow it to rule, possibly ruin our lives?

I am a very optimistic, very open, very loving person. Though I didn’t used to be. In my twenties, I was a very self-centered, very selfish and driven person. Everything I did or participated in was for my benefit, one way or another. My stresses back then were how fast, how far I could climb up the career ladder and having the best toys, the best vehicles, the best horses, the best of everything. I hit a brick wall when after receiving a prestigious award, was told by the owner of the dealership I worked at, off to the side of course, that I would never become the manager because I was a woman. My stress then morphed into what am I going to do with my career now, when I have invested so many years in this industry, only to find the ceiling for my advancement was lower than it was for my male counterparts.

Fast forward to my thirties. I took a hiatus from my career and accepted a temporary job at my sister’s company to get perspective. I moved my father out of his retirement apartment and in with me. I began searching for peace and stress free enjoyment. I met Steve. Those who know him know that he is completely opposite of me. I am very type A personality, a go getter, a planner, excessively controlling. He is laid back, everything always works out, it will still be there when I finally decide to deal with it, what’s the hurry, type personality. To coin the phrase, he was my ying to my yang. He taught me how to relax, to take joy in the world around me, the people around me and if you were quiet long enough you could see things change and grow, to blossom into beautiful things. It was because of him that I began to believe that I might be a good mom.

Flash forward one more time. Here I am in my forties with two beautiful girls, still married to my Steve, building a new career. I still have a drive to climb the career ladder and I still have stresses, just read a couple of negative reviews that I have received recently, but I have learned to surround myself with beautiful and calming friends. I know I am going to run into those who judge and criticize because as we ALL know we can’t please everyone but I’m learning how to defuse this new stress, how to turn my head and focus on something else that is blooming and changing. In this world of negativity, I choose to post only positive reviews. If I can’t “fill someone’s bucket”, as my 8 year-old would say, then I choose not to say anything at all. There are professional reviewers out there that know how to correct and properly review an author’s book without being insulting and crass. They know how stressful being a professional writer is and to their own credit, act professionally too.

As we start heading into our summer months look at the stresses you have, see which ones you can set aside, which ones you have to address, which ones you can just let go. See if there is someone who’s bucket you can fill. Not only are you creating a joyous feeling that helps counteract stress for someone else but it’s been proven that it can eliminate or ease the tension in your own life. We all have stresses and will until the end of our days but it’s how we handle it that matters. Go fill someone’s bucket. Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!