Take My Hip, Please!

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Guest Blogger Bill Holland’s Sharing of His Hip Replacement Journey

My friend and colleague Bill Holland, author, entrepreneur and consultant, is very soon having a hip replacement surgery. Bill came up with the excellent idea of doing a daily blog just before and after his surgery to deal with his feelings and to help others contemplating similar complicated procedures. They are life changing and certainly anxiety provoking. I have read the first few of his posts and think they are excellent and will share them here. So, here is Bill’s first post, and in the words of Bill:

 TAKE MY HIP—PLEASE!

A decision on replacing the left side of my ass
#hipreplacement

DAY ONE

Any one old enough to remember the Hinny Youngman line, “Now take my wife—please,” shouldn’t be considering hip replacement surgery. But here I am, a 74-year-old diabetic about ready to have it done.

The other day my wife of nearly 50 years asked if I were scared? I immediately transposed the question to one of asking about my general state of “nervousness.” Do men, let alone fathers and grandfathers, really get scared? It happens to me all the time, but it is not something I often admit to. So if you don’t mind….

Scared and nervous aren’t quite the right words. Let’s call it a mild form of “anxiety.” There, that’s better. My man hood is intact, and I am no more of a phony than I was before.

The truth is that I am more afraid than I would like others to know. That’s why when I had my right hip replaced about 10 years ago, I opted for an epidural rather than more general anesthesia. I still remember the doctors asking, “Did you feel that?”

The idea of losing blood (I lost a lot of it during that surgery) and responding to questions half-awake no longer appeals. So this time, it’s the full Monte.

It is now T-minus-7 days. From now until then many thoughts and emotions will go through my mind. My thought is to share them with you, mainly because it helps me. But a side benefit might be that you may decide to get a new hip or knee in the near future. It will be helpful to know that you are not alone in the emotions encountered. You might also learn how to be of more comfort to others as they are forced to make similar decisions.

The actual decision to replace the other side of my ass happened quite some time ago. But now is a good time to share. It seems as if everyone I speak to either has had a joint replacement; thinking of doing it or knows someone who has already. Exactly how does that work? How does one decide to go under the knife?

Here is how it happens (and it is as universal a truth as I have found): Nearly all patients want the surgeon to make the decision for them. And doctors steadfastly refuse. Here is how the conversation goes:

Patient: “Say, Doc, is this something you think I should do? And if so, when is the best time to have it done?”

Surgeon: “You will tell me. I won’t have to tell you.”

Every medical professional has the same answer. The pain the patient feels eventually overcomes the anxiety and inconvenience of the surgery. The first time around, it happened to me while on a cruise to Alaska with my immediate family and father-in-law. When we returned, I called the doctors office and left a message about my willingness to move forward with surgery—immediately!

This time, I got out in front of the pain and made the decision about a month before I had to use a walking cane to get around.

That’s all for DAY ONE: More emotions, struggles and decisions coming DAY TWO and beyond.

Be sure to learn more about Bill on his website www.collegetocareercatalyst.com and on his author page here at www.danielwetta.com/

Bill Holland and books at 25percent

 

Book Review: The Obsession

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The Obsession by Dawn Brotherton

When you begin Dawn Brotherton’s first novel, The Obsession, in the Jackie Austin mystery series, there is a refreshing and interesting main character who leads you into the increasingly complicated labyrinth of plot twists and surprises that you expect in a good mystery novel: Jackie is a 23-year-old missilier in the Air Force at Whiteman Air Force Base Missouri in the early 1990s.

A what? 

She might have a job description that we would all like to read. As a missilier, she goes underground for days at a time and is trained to launch ten Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missiles should that become necessary. In the novel, we learn that Jackie was the first female missilier. Author Dawn Brotherton can write about this authentically. Retired as a colonel in the United States Air Force, the author did Jackie’s job!

Written in third person limited point of view, the novel begins with a grisly murder in the first chapter. The second chapter then introduces us to Jackie, who is young, competent and handy. She buys an ivy-covered fixer-upper house in Warrensburg, Missouri, near the airbase. Because her job requires her to be away from home two or three days at a time, there is perfect opportunity for a stalker to do weird things inside her home while she is away. As the plot develops, the reader learns more and more about serial killings that are occurring in the area. The hope, of course, is that Jackie’s stalker is not the killer.

Brotherton builds suspense in perfect pitch with the development of the characters as the story progresses. As with any excellent mystery, clues are there to point possible culpability to several characters, all of whom are close to Jackie Austin. The pace is fast, the characters interesting, the main character has flaws but is good and likeable, and the reader early on empathizes with Jackie. You don’t want to see her get hurt, even though she seems like a woman who can take care of herself and others. On top of this, there are love attractions. Could one be with the stalker or killer?

This debut mystery novel reads as if written by a very experienced writer. Brotherton also writes in the young adult genre. She knows her craft, and, more importantly, she is a born story teller. Not that star ratings matter that much, but I was trying to decide between four and five stars to go with this review. Suddenly, I realized that the author had achieved with me something that few writers do: I couldn’t stop reading the book. I did it in a day and a half while also tending to my busy life. That made my decision easy – five stars!

Seriously, this novel is great competition for any binge watching on Netflix and has the added benefit of exercising your mind. On top of that, the background story to the main character as a missilier is something informative and unusual. Read this book and treat yourself to a fun and suspenseful story. It’s a good mystery. See if you can figure out who and how!

The Obsession by Dawn Brotherton, Blue Dragon Publishing, Copyright 2010, 2016

In print and e-book. On Amazon: 

Click here for Amazon purchase information

 

Sport’s First Review

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Help Sport by Joining her Launch Team!

Sport's head 12 percent 3000 dpiThe first review of Sport’s Alien Fantasy is on Amazon! I am sharing this because I want people to know that on Amazon, only a few sentences and the rating in stars can sum up the reader’s opinion of the book. Leaving a “review” on Amazon need not be intimidating at all. The first review gave four stars and said, “An Amazing Ride – Sport travelled through life as if she was there and somewhere else at the same time. Her travels remind that we are all on multiple yet simultaneous paths, putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that we will reach our destiny and that our time on Earth has been useful. We are all here for a higher purpose. Sport teaches us to remember.” 

Daniel tree cropped at1200 dpi and 15%In my first post about our novel a few days ago, I explained this about our Launch Team: “Author M. J. Scott and I are currently soliciting a small number of people to be on a launch team prior to a major publicity campaign in the first half of June. Our goal is to have honest reviews of the book on the novel’s Amazon purchase page when the official launch begins. Please consider doing this. The novel is unusual and special, in my opinion, and I think is best described as being in the magical realism genre. At 50,000 words, it is relatively short. We are requesting that you join our team now by purchasing the book from Amazon, reading it, and rating it on the Amazon site prior to June 5, 2017. The e-book is less expensive at $3.99. The print edition is beautiful and sells for $9.95. The reason we are asking for purchase is that Amazon then shows the rating as coming from an Amazon certified purchase, which lends credibility to the rating.

Let us know if you think that Sport makes an impact on your world view. Here is the link:  Click here to visit Sport’s page on Amazon!

To Leave a Review: Simply click the little number of reviews in blue by the stars on the Amazon Sport’s Alien Fantasy page, and this takes you to the customer reviews section. There you can see the “Write a Customer Review” button. Click it, and the box comes up where you can write a couple of sentences and choose number of stars out of five. It’s that simple!

P.S.: This book is free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

The story behind the writing of Sport’s Alien Fantasy is almost as interesting as the novel itself. Here is the link to the blog post done a few days ago that explains this: 

What Ever Happened to Sport?

MJ Scott in New Town at 10 percentI am a co-author and, therefore, am biased toward the opinion that this is a very different novel with ultimately a triumphant message of inspiration. Co-author M. J. Scott agrees! Please be one of the early readers on our team to help launch Sport in the way in which she dreams of returning home in space!

 

What Ever Happened to Sport?

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Daniel tree cropped at1200 dpi and 15%As things turned out, M. J. Scott and I ended up co-authoring the novel, Sport’s Alien Fantasy. I came aboard late: The novel was first written by M. J. Scott (Marilyn) in rough draft form in 1986, shortly after the horrifying explosion of the Challenger spacecraft in which the astronauts on board perished, including beloved school teacher, Christa McAuliffe. Marilyn had written it fast, in about a week, and then it sat nearly 30 years put away in a binder! Marilyn let me take a look at it last year. As editor and publisher of some of her books, I was curious to see it. Immediately, I recognized the extraordinary story within the draft novel’s pages. Scott and Wetta then agreed to corroborate on a re-writing to submit to Amazon’s Kindle Scout campaign. There, the novel garnered nearly a thousand nominations for publication and spent time on the “Hot and Trending” list.

MJ Scott in New Town at 10 percentMarilyn  and I believe that this story of a school teacher who must endure the ordeal of a grueling road trip in 1986 in order to determine if her memories of an alien childhood are real or crazy is set to make everyone question themselves when they make judgements about others. Inspired by the life of teacher Christa McAuliffe, Sport takes Christa with her to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello during the Easter break of the students and teachers. It is the beginning of a journey into the unexpected, and it holds a mirror to the faces of people in rural Virginia in the time when our current orientation to a global community was just beginning.

So, a good part of the story takes place in the 1980s, when today’s digital and international connectivity began to make its impact on man’s daily life on earth. The authors believe that the global connections and disconnections prevalent among human relationships today can be understood in the symbolism of the Challenger explosion. In the novel, Sport compels the reader to feel the sadness that fearful unwillingness to help others can inflict upon those in dire need, but she also thrills us with the joy of self-realization.

Sport finds a new beginning and a new ending. She lives to be, perhaps, the extra-terrestrial being who can teach us what we need to know to master living and loving one another on our stressed planet.

Author M. J. Scott and I are currently soliciting a small number of people to be on a “launch team” prior to a major publicity campaign in the first half of June. Our goal is to have honest reviews of the book on the novel’s Amazon purchase page when the official launch begins. Please consider doing this. The novel is unusual and special, in my opinion, and I think is best described as being in the “magical realism” genre. At 50,000 words, it is relatively short. We are requesting that you join our team now by purchasing the book from Amazon, reading it, and rating it on the Amazon site prior to June 5, 2017. The e-book is less expensive at $3.99. The print edition is beautiful and sells for $9.95. The reason we are asking for purchase is that Amazon then shows the rating as coming from an “Amazon certified purchase,” which lends credibility to the rating.
Let us know if you think that Sport makes an impact on your world view. Here is the link: Click here to visit Sport’s page on Amazon!

P.S.: This book is free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

Guest Blog: Catching Love!

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M. J. Scott (USA)

I have had the pleasure of publishing two of M. J. Scott’s books, Power Steering and Power Steering 2, which serve as great vehicles for her selfless words of encouragement and enrichment to all her readers. Marilyn is a great believer in positivity and the healing power of love. Although she is a Christian, her works approach God in a universal way so that believers of all faiths can relate to the successes she reveals from trust in higher power.  “Catching Love” is her Easter blog, decidedly Christian, a true celebration of risen spirit. I am pleased to distribute it this Holy Week of 2017.

CATCHING LOVE

 When emotions curl up around your mind and heart, it’s time to find the welcoming message and share it! This can’t wait until there’s time and money locked into a concrete set of plans. This is an elusive feeling that can’t be contained by ribbons or kept on a branch.

Reach for its essence – wordless feelings placed on this earth parcel by God through His Son to radiate His wealth of giving Love.

More than a feeling, it is a mysterious element meant to bring humanity the freedom of inner expression. Think of a bearing of light-like candles waiting for a match to illuminate. What is provided? The greatest giving that transcends our understanding of the hope that was presented at the manger of life-filled purpose. The Child of the Heavenly Father grew into the creative source of Light and Love, brought as a gift from Above. Words only pour forth from the unseen revealing of a desire to place Love on the Altar of Faith. The great altar became a cross that was crooked and bent, but living tall now in the springtime blossoming of the dogwood tree. The Easter Resurrection can only be described through the heart rending moments of crucifixion, in yielding life hidden in a tomb, and through the great rock of silence broken on Easter Morning!

Lo, the rising of the Master of the Universe!

Christ, who spread his teachings, is the Light of Love that will never be doused when flames of rage fill the unheeding hearts. His understanding reaches out to those who as yet are unprotected; namely, the ones who cannot recognize and accept His Love.

Catching Love is gentle like the notes of music that have been composed by the artists as their gifts too. These meld into a creative blend of love that melts the hardened hearts in the warmth of discovering how life is really intended.

Easter is God’s renewable gift to the world to grow His Garden of Believers. These find nourishment in their willingness to open arms and accept that God’s spring opens them to the very heart of life.

In the current events of history, it appears that the saddest tomb is the darkened one holding those still unwilling to receive the Light of Love.

For all, the greatest Easter is within reach! The Love extended provides the most wonderful happiness of life.

Scribed through service, Marilyn J. Asprey (Author M. J. Scott, USA)

Member, St. Stephen Lutheran Church. Williamsburg, Virginia

Power Steering 2 Cover at 17 percent

Over 600 Nominations!

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Just 16 Days to Go!

Is Sport an alien or crazy? Click “Nominate Me” when you visit the link and help M. J. Scott win a 5-year contract with Amazon thru Kindle Scout! A fun and inspirational novel! If published, you receive a free early copy. Have a say in what gets published! Let’s go to Kindle Scout! Click the banner below, and remember to click “Nominate Me!”

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Is Sport Alien or Crazy? On a Mission or Escape?

Sport has memories of multiple births. She remembers flights through space and vistas of vibrant silo cities in colorful, faraway lands. People she invents in imagination come alive. Her parents and educators think she’s crazy. Her 1986 road trip is disastrous, and Sport, the cheerful school teacher, is refused help again and again. People gossip that she ages too slowly. Her admirers have questions to which Sport has no answers. But a child savant helps her understand her destiny in Sport’s Alien Fantasy!

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO ADD FUN AND COMPASSION IN THE WORLD! Enjoy the excerpt of Sport’s Alien Fantasy on Kindle Scout, receive your free e-book if Amazon publishes it, and make a difference in publishing! Click the link and enjoy Kindle Scout!

CLICK THE KINDLE SCOUT LINK FOR SPORT’S ALIEN FANTASY!

Help the Alien Get Published!

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Is she alien or angel? On a mission or escape?Proxima_liftoff from esa.int at 20 percent

Sport has memories of multiple births. She remembers flights through space and vistas of vibrant silo cities in colorful, faraway lands. People she invents in imagination come alive. Her parents and educators think she’s crazy. Her 1986 road trip is disastrous, and Sport, the cheerful school teacher, is refused help again and again. People gossip that she ages too slowly. Her admirers have questions to which Sport has no answers. But a child savant helps her understand her destiny.

M. J. Scott’s First Novel Accepted on Kindle Scout Online!

MJ Scott in New Town at 10 percentHelp Marilyn (M. J. Scott) get an Amazon publishing contract! Amazon accepted Marilyn’s new book, Sport’s Alien Fantasy, into the 30-day Kindle Scout campaign where readers help Amazon decide which novels to publish! Sport’s Alien Fantasy will be up on the Kindle Scout site 30 days to receive votes (nominations). You can go online and see the book cover, description of the novel and an excerpt of several pages. Beginning March 10 and for 30 days, if Marilyn’s book receives enough nominations, the Amazon editors will examine it to decide if they think it should be published. If so, the author receives a small advance and a five-year publishing contract with Amazon! If it is published, the readers who recommend it receive free early editions of this novel of magical realism.

Here is the link to see the book on Kindle Scout: Click Here to See Sport’s Alien Fantasy on Kindle Scout!

Sport’s Alien Fantasy will interest readers who like strong female lead characters and who enjoy the genres of literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy and magical realism. The novel is also suitable for young adults, especially because it deals with Sport’s childhood as well as her future life as an educator helping special children.

Once you are viewing Sport’s Alien Fantasy, I am positive that you will agree it is worth your nomination. It is certainly worthy of publication and support from Amazon to help its sales! Take a look at it, enjoy the excerpt and hit the “Nominate Me” button!

You know what else? You will have lots of fun looking at the potential new books and authors on Kindle Scout. You will have your say in which books get published! Amazon makes it fun. Readers have opportunities to earn points, share their recommendations and receive recognition for helping authors by appearing on the “Leader Board when their authors get published.” If you participate, you help bring deserving books to the marketplace.

Borealis wea01001 at 33 percentYou do need an Amazon account in order to qualify to vote. If you ever have bought anything from Amazon, including e-books on your Kindle, then you already have an Amazon account. If you need one, all you do is supply your e-mail address (which becomes your User ID), and you make your own password. You are not asked for a credit card number or any other information. To set up the account, simply click this link: https://www.amazon.com/       and click the “Sign In” button in the upper right part of the screen. Click “Create New Account,” provide your email address and make up a password. That’s it, and you’re in!

Visit M. J. Scott’s webpage to learn more about this vibrant and productive author and her four other published books!