I have been married for 40 years to the wonderful man that God sent to me. He has spoiled me and put up with me when no one else could have. I have three children, two wonderful sons, one beautiful daughter, four grandsons, one grandaughter, and one soon-to-arrive grandaughter. I am now retired from teaching high-ability students in grades kindergarten through sixth and also served eight years as an elected member of the school board. I play the bassoon, clarinet, and the oboe and have performed in various symphony orchestras, concert bands, operas, community bands, and churches. I am currently working on a children's book and a Christian suspense novel.
OK, the vacation is over now and it is time to get back to work. Did I say vacation? Well, it was not really a vacation in the sense of how we normally think when we hear the word vacation. I have been on an entirely unwelcome but compulsory leave from posting on my blog for several weeks now.
What a year this has been thus far. First, there were the two severe sinus infections that kept me physically drained for weeks. Immediately following the recovery from the sinus infections came the whooping cough - that was no fun either and served to further deplete my physical reserves. It seemed that I had no sooner recovered from the whooping cough than I developed a chronic illness with some exceptionally unusual and debilitating symptoms. This time the doctors thought it was cancer. Several tests and many dollars later it was determined that, praise God, I didn't have cancer but instead had an acute bacterial infection that had completely invaded my body.
I was still on the mend from that particular bout of illness when my mother-in-law unexpectedly passed away, necessitating yet more time away from the computer.
I had determined that, just as soon as school was dismissed for summer break, my days would be spent seated at the computer in an effort to get caught up on the book reviews that I have committed to and am so very far behind on posting. (I apologize to the writers who are patiently waiting for me to post the reviews of their new releases). Fortunately, as one long-suffering individual put it, there is no firm deadline and it is never too late for a review to be posted. Perhaps there will be an added bonus for my not being able to post the reviews when I had intended to by prolonging the time frame in which the books are highlighted in the public's eyes.
The first few days after school was dismissed were occupied with traveling out of state to family graduation ceremonies and also the annual birthday gathering for the birthdays of both of my sons and myself, all of which take place within less than a week. Graduations were over, birthdays were in the past and, finally, I was ready to devote my time to writing book reviews.
What I didn't anticipate was waking up in the middle of the night in agony, suffering from a phantom pain that was indescribable in its ferocity. A trip to the podiatrist confirmed what I had suspected; I had developed my first, and I hope my last, case of gout. According to my doctor, it was not your ordinary gout either but, instead, a "classic" case that was unique enough to warrant taking pictures to share at a podiatrists' convention. Just what I always wanted - to have pictures of my foot shown on the screen at a medical convention. Had I but known, I could have at least gotten a pedicure beforehand. This case was so brutal that I spent nearly five days flat on my back in bed, foot elevated, fighting the pain, and unable to do anything but fret about the book reviews.
Now, at long last, I am physically on the mend and ready to tackle the stack of books awaiting my attention. I am fervently praying for no further maladies to attack me, my mind to be quick, and for my fingers to fly on the keyboard.
To begin what I hope will be a steady stream of book reviews and/or giveaways, I am offering a giveaway for a book for which I have already posted both a blog tour book review and an author interview. In order to be eligible for this giveaway, you must meet two requirements. First, you MUST be a follower of this blog and must say so in your comment. Second, you must refer to either the blog book tour or the author interview and comment on something that you read in one of the posts. Hint: both the author interview and the TitleTrakk blog tour post can be found in the sidebar at the right under the March posts in the Blog Archive.
The book that I am offering for giveaway is Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington. This is an excellent book that you are sure to enjoy. Please leave a comment which includes your email address in spam-proof format (username[at]provider[dot]com). If there is no email address, your entry will be discarded since I must have some way to contact you in the event that you are the winner. If you do not follow the directions for the contest, your entry will be invalid. The contest will be open to United States entries only and will conclude on July 16th.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must tell you that any books that are reviewed by me on this blog are either purchased by me or provided to me by either the author or the publisher. I am under no obligation to write a positive review and opinions expressed are my true and honest sentiments. I receive no compensation, whether monetary or otherwise, for any reviews written by me or for any other content on this blog.
Giveaways are either provided by the author or publisher or are my own personal property. I am not responsible for the content or for any comments made by the author or publisher. Giveaways are void where prohibited and, for now, are limited to the United States only. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of valid entries. At the conclusion of every contest, a random winner is drawn and will be notified, providing they have met the giveaway stipulations. If the winner does not respond within one week, a second drawing will be held.