Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Number One Fan

For all of my life, I lived in the presence of the greatest daddy. I know, it's a little pathetic for a 40 year old woman to call her father "Daddy", but I've got a reason for that which I'll get to in a moment.
My father grew up the 4th child, 2nd son in a family of 6 children. He worked hard. He signed up to join the Army. (The picture above is of my dad just after he had completed basic training.) He fought in Vietnam. He saw things, experienced things, and did things no human should have to do, but he did them without question. He came home from the war with a few issues. He was spit on and called names, but he soldiered on. He met and married the most beautiful woman in the mom. He worked the family farm and eventually took over. Two kids, Mom and Dad had to call their family complete. Life got in the way and things fell apart. Dad went a little (to use his word) crazy. Mom and Dad divorced. Dad fell apart. He ended up being diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I watched as he struggled with it for 20 years. He fought every day to keep the demons at bay. He's not my hero because he was a POW. He's not my hero because he served in a war. He's my hero because my daddy fought to live every day of his life. I stood by him and walked through fire with him. I took the phone calls from the VA when he was locked up the 2nd time and he thought he was losing his mind. I cried, pleaded, and begged as he called me to say goodbye. He meant to take his own life. Let me tell you a 911 call from Pennsylvania to San Francisco to Palo Alto VA can save a life in a matter of mere minutes.
He fought for his benefits and began medication to help him deal with his demons. He still had his moments of depression, but they weren't as bad as they used to be. He had his doctor and family to lean on. He bought a house, a new truck, and he began to come alive again. Every week, he would call me just to see how I was doing. Yeah, I'm a bit of a daddy's girl:) When I began to dream of writing a book, he cheered me on. When I called to let him know I'd signed my first contract, he couldn't stop laughing. I could hear his smile through the phone lines. Did he ever read my book? Nah, but he intended to buy 100 copies when it went to print. He was going to hand them out to everybody for holiday gifts:)
Last Friday, he called to wish me a Happy Birthday. As soon as I said hello, he began to sing in his Elvis voice and I could only laugh. We talked for 2 hours that morning and we laughed over silly things. He asked if I had a suitable picture of him since he figured he needed to be the cover model for Book 2 when it came out. I laughed and said, "No, I'd like people to actually buy the book." I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. We hung up with these words: "In case this all ends tomorrow, girl, I want you to know what an honor it is to be  your father. I'm proud of you and everything you are accomplishing. I love  you!" I told him I loved him too and hung up the phone, tears bright in my eyes. Little did I know...
Yesterday, my daddy's oldest brother called me to let me know my daddy had passed away. My heart is broken into a million tiny pieces. I will pick up and go on, but for now, I need to grieve. This is the man who believed in me before I even existed. The man who struggled and fought to keep from breaking my heart. The man who loved me no matter what, who had my back when the chips were down, who never said no.  The man to whom I raise a glass of the finest whiskey and salute him for what he taught me... as long as you fight until your last breath, you are living.
I love you, Daddy, and I miss you more than I ever imagined! (Oh and look, Dad, I remembered to make this a blogpost. He read my blog every day so he could see what I had to say. It irritated him to no end if I forgot to make it a blogpost:))
My dad used to sing this to me when I was little and I wanted to share this with you: (As far as I know, he was just happy I was healthy. He didn't care if I was a boy or girl.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Bookshelf

I managed to finish classes and spend a few days simply catching up on my reading. I had so many books begging me to dive within their  pages.
I finished Kerrelyn Sparks' Sexiest Vampire Alive and came to one conclusion...I must pick up the entire set of these. I read Eat, Prey, Love a while back and really enjoyed it. *sigh* Adding to the list of books I need to buy... This is Book 11 in Kerrelyn's Love at Stake series.
Then, I picked up Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston. If you love shifters, I encourage you to pick up this series. They are funny, sarcastic, and full of fun. I laugh out loud every time I read these books. The women are tough, kick-ass ladies who love their hard-headed men. I simply cannot get enough of these books.
After that where else can I turn? Well, to one of my FAVE authors, of course. I picked up Nora Roberts' The Last Boyfriend. I laughed. I cried. I sighed heavily...more than once. I absolutely fell in love with Beckett Montgomery in The Next Always. When it came time to read Owen's story, I couldn't get enough and I'm afraid it will be the same when it comes time for The Perfect Hope to be released in November.

Today, my copy of The Desperate Housewives of Olympus by Saranna DeWylde arrived. As I return to my writer's cave to work on Book 3 in The Cedar River series, I'm preparing to read this one. Saranna is going to be my guest here at the end of August. She is booking her blog tour for her upcoming release and I'm so excited to have her visit.
Before I sign off, I want to give you all a little soon as I have my release date for Book 2, I've got a HUGE giveaway planned. Want a hint? A is for______.
Also, don't forget: Comment on any of my posts between now and the end of the month to be entered to win the 18k gold plate kitty necklace I have to giveaway. Plus if you visit Coffee Time Romance and The Romance Studio, there are prizes galore available to you there...including a Gemma K. Murray coffee mug and copies of Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart.

Big hugs and blessings from my home to yours!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's's just another day at my house. The canine kids, much as I love them, are missing the opposable thumbs needed to make me those neat Mother's Day cards/gifts most moms get. Breakfast consisted of Diesel and I sharing a package of Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts and orange juice. (Which is fine by me!) My darling hubby does usually grill out so I'll give him credit for making me a Mother's Day dinner. (Love you, babe.)
My mom lives in Canada so having her over to spend the day...well, it's just not going to happen. My grandma passed away almost 12 years ago so I happen to know she won't be joining us (physically) for dinner. However, I know they're both with me in spirit. I can feel their love.

Today, also, would have been my grandpa's 78 birthday. I used to make him a cherry pie every year.

This is me and my poppa back in 1973 (according to the picture). He used to give me "rides" on the footrest of his recliner. I'd hold onto his feet so I wouldn't fall. (wipes a tear) I miss him. He was the one member of my family who never looked at me like I was crazy, if I said something off the wall. He'd smile and nod. He was the one person (besides my husband) who completely "got" me. He once told me I could be anything I wanted. Neither of us imagined I'd be here...a published author! Happy Birthday, Poppa!! *blowing kisses*
So, I'm going to keep this post short for today. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there! Whether your children are human or animal, they're your kids and you're their mom. Enjoy your day wrapped up in the arms (or paws, fins, etc.) of your loved ones. Hold them tight.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Movie and a Roll of Paper Towels

Last night, I took a break from Life. I grabbed a bucket of popcorn, a bag of cheese curds, and snuggled on the sofa with the hubby. I hadn't watched a movie in ages and we had one from Netflix that had been taunting me since its arrival. I had to give in and watch it.
We Bought a Zoo is an incredible movie. A friend of mine said she went to the theater to see it and I needed to be sure to have some tissues. "Some" tissues. Hell, I needed a roll of Bounty by the time the movie was over, but it was fantastic!
Let me say, I don't watch a lot of movies. Between school and writing, I don't have a lot of time to simply be in the moment. (Sounds horrible, doesn't it?) This one spoke to my heart from the time it was released in theaters and it is one I have been anticipating for a LONG time. I am happy to say I was not disappointed. I laughed and cried and watched this family mend.
With school wrapping up for the summer, I'm going to have a little more free time on my hands. Tell me, what movies have you watched lately that you would highly recommend? Talk to me, darlings:)
*Side note* Don't forget I'm giving away an 18k gold-plated sterling silver necklace. I've fixed the website so you can leave a comment (or you can drop me a line, if you'd prefer).
Plus, I'm Coffee Time Romance's Coffee Write author for May. All you have to do is a) sign up in the forums (add Gemma K. Murray to the referral box for quicker acceptance), then, b) write a line or a paragraph to the story I've begun. Let's see where this ride ends up, shall we?
I'm off to enjoy a rainy day filled with writing:) Book 2 isn't coming together quite like I thought. Damn timelines!!!