Monday Author Meetup: Ashley Kath-Bilskey


I’m honored to have award-winning author Ashley Kath-Bilsky as my guest today. Welcome, Ashley.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Lyn. And thank you also to everyone for stopping by today.

Ashley Kath-Bilsky cropped

About the author:

Best-selling, award-winning author, Ashley Kath-Bilsky writes Historical Romance with Mystery, Suspense and/or Paranormal elements, as well as Historical Gothic Young Adult fiction. Woven like a delicate thread into the fabric of every Ashley Kath-Bilsky book are unforgettable characters, compelling, suspenseful plots, as well as a timeless, passionate romance and enduring love story that you’ll always remember.

Her debut Regency period Historical Romance, THE SENSE OF HONOR, received numerous honors, including The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and was a Holt Medallion recipient. Additionally, the novel was voted as one of the “1001 Best Books Ever Written” by readers of Romantic Times Book Reviews.

Please tell us how you began writing.

I loved to play make-believe as a child, and wrote little stories, skits, and poems. But the first serious piece of creative writing I did was while a student at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. The 3-act dramatic play was initially performed at the school then later staged at Actors Studio West under the direction of Lorraine Hull, Ph.D. I really loved the creative freedom of writing as opposed to acting, and felt I had – at long last — found the right career path for me.

An actress and a writer, cool! I understand you’re self-published. What made you choose this route?

Yes, I just self-published my first book, a time travel romance titled Whisper in the Wind. Although I have been traditionally published in the past, I welcomed the opportunity to enter the ring of Indy Publishing. There is still a lot to learn, but so far the experience has been wonderful. Again, it’s the creative freedom aspect, along with control of the product and being the ‘captain of my own ship’ that I felt would take me on a new and exciting adventure as an author.

We’re always learning, I guess. Speaking of which, how and where do you research for your books?

I love history and write historical fiction, so over the years I’ve accumulated a personal library of research books for different time periods, some quite old. I love doing research, and can often get sidetracked when I find something new and intriguing. Very often I also do location research for settings of my books. It really helps to create an accurate visual for the reader and also inspire new plot angles. I had a wonderful research trip a few years ago to England and Scotland that helped me tremendously as an author. And I hope to go back again in 2014, this time including Ireland as a research destination.

Research is fun for me too. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

I think how much I have been influenced by my life experiences and the writers whose work I love and grew up reading. We’ve all heard how people we know, even for a brief time, can influence our way of thinking. Life experiences teach us important lessons as well, from perseverance to compassion, empathy, and the importance of hope. Whether we realize it or not, illness, traumatic injuries, painful childhood experiences or hard knocks in life can help us become a stronger person. I also believe the books and authors who introduced me to a love of literature – especially gothic historical and mysteries – influence me as a writer. Essentially, just as an actor uses their life experience to help get into a character or understand a difficult role, for an author, everything we experience that helped to create our individuality somehow finds a way into our writing style and voice. Perhaps that is the secret key to discovering your own writer’s voice.

Very insightful answer! Does your significant other and/or family support your writing career?

Definitely. I have been so blessed to have my husband’s love, support and understanding, as well as that of our three sons. Extended family members have also been wonderful, too. It helps so much.

If money was no object, what extravagant thing would you do or buy? No object, eh? Well, I would love to have a second home in Scotland – the highlands somewhere. Nothing fancy, just a special cottage with a wee garden where I can connect with nature, my ancestry, and let my imagination take flight to write some wonderful stories.

LOL! I’ll join you there. Do you prefer writing and reading books in a series, or “stand alone” books?

I prefer ‘stand alone’ books, but books that are linked to one another. I think the ‘series’ label can be confusing. For some a series is a continuing story and for others it could be a series of books based on different members of the same family. My ‘Windswept Texas Romances” are linked books, not a continuing series that must be read in sequence. I think it was Johanna Lindsey’s Malory family series that hooked me on the ‘linked’ novels. I love to introduce members of a family or interesting secondary characters, then make one of them the focus of the next book. As a reader, I also wonder what happened to the characters I love in the future, so to have them involved in the next book on some level is fun.

I love “linked” books too. Do you have a favorite quote? Please share it.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Wonderful quote from a great author! Please tell us about your newest book.

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WHISPER IN THE WIND, a sensual Historical Time Travel set in the American West, is now available in print and digital format, and made its debut on Amazon’s Top 100 Best-Selling Time Travel Romance list. The book is a stand-alone novel, but the first ‘Windswept Texas Romance’, a series of linked historical paranormal romances set in Texas.

 

When MOLLY MAGEE is swept back in time, she finds herself in the Old West with gunslingers, high stakes gamblers, Victorian ideology toward women, and a Pinkerton detective named JORDAN BLAKE. As she tries to understand what happened to her and find a way home, danger seems to follow her at every turn. Survival is a daily challenge, but it’s a hundred times worse when–to avoid answering questions from the persistent and seductive Pinkerton–she fakes amnesia. She soon realizes the biggest threat of all is the one Jordan Blake poses to her heart
JORDAN BLAKE has lost everyone he’s ever loved. As a Pinkerton detective and former Texas Ranger, Jordan has become a cynic about people and justice, and is ready to walk away from a life that has lost its meaning. He never knew that a prayer whispered in the wind would bring him an angel of mercy, and a love he’d never hoped to find.
From the open splendor of 1885 Texas to dark decadence and murder in New Orleans, Molly and Jordan learn that when fate takes a hand, finding the love of your life is just a matter of…Time.

Buy Links:

Amazon (Available in both Print and Kindle format)

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Kath-Bilsky/e/B008E2ABA0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/whisper-in-the-wind/id641913498?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo:

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/Whisper-in-the-Wind/pli36ayvFUGqhNQJUNBOEg

Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whisper-in-the-wind-ashley-kath-bilsky/1115275881?ean=2940044502086

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308768

For more information about Ashley and her work, please visit:

www.ashleykathbilsky.com

https://twitter.com/AKathBilsky

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashley-Kath-Bilsky/302554710513

Monday Author Meetup: Geri Foster


Please help me welcome author Geri Foster, whose action-packed books match her vivacious, unstoppable personality. That’s a big plus since Geri is also president of the Yellow Rose RWA chapter, to which I belong.

Author photo

About the author:

As long as she can remember, Geri Foster has been a lover of reading and the written words. In the seventh grade she wore out two library cards and had read every book in her age area of the library. After raising a family and saying good-bye to the corporate world, she tried her hand at writing.

Action, intrigue, danger and sultry romance drew her like a magnet. That’s why she has no choice but to write action-romance suspense. While she reads every genre under the sun, she’s always been drawn to guns, bombs and fighting men. Secrecy and suspense move her to write edgy stories about daring and honorable heroes who manage against all odds to end up with their one true love.

Welcome, Geri. I’ve looked forward to having you on Monday Author Meetup.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Lyn. It’s a pleasure to be here. I love your books!

Thanks! That’s nice to hear. Now, I happen to know you write fulltime, but what’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hours a day do you write?

The best time for me to write is after my morning coffee. I’d never be silly enough to try to write before the caffeine kicks in. I must have that first cup of java. LOL! I also prefer to write after an hour at the gym, but it doesn’t always happen that way. The time of day or night doesn’t matter to me. I can write as little as two pages a day or up to a hundred. I might spend an hour on a story each day, then sit down and write eighteen hours without stopping. I tend to write in spurts. Once the story gets going for me, I’m off to the races, and there is no way I can stop.

Gasp! A hundred pages in one day? That’s amazing. Can you write amid noisy distractions, or do you need absolute quiet?

I honestly think I could write in the middle of a tornado. Nothing distracts me. Just ask my grandchildren. They know when I’m at the computer I’m not really here in my office. My youngest wanted a drink and after coming to me, she went to Grandpa and said, can I have a drink of water, Grandma is off in storyland.

LOL! I’ve been known to get lost in storyland too. You’re Indie published, right? How did you choose that route?

I like being an Indie author because I write very fast, and I don’t think a house could allot enough slots for me. That would mean I’d have to work for two houses and that’s a big commitment. I love writing, and I do it every day, but I love writing what I love to write. I’m not held to any schedule but the one in my head. It’s very rewarding to be your own boss.

So true. How do you unwind and relax when not writing?

This is going to sound strange, but writing is relaxing to me in a weird kind of way nobody but me can understand. Out of this office is drama, bills to pay, kids, grandchildren, neighbors, chapter business, and all sorts of things. In here, at this computer, it’s just me and my stories and we’re very happy together. If you ask me what’s the one thing I’d like to do in the world, other than love my friends and family, I’d say writing. It makes my heart happy and brings a smile to my face.

It’s the same for me. So, what advice would you give beginning writers?

Of course, the answer is to write. Everyone says that, they’ve been saying it forever, and it’s the truth. You must have a writing routine and write every day, even when you don’t want to, the words won’t come, and your brain is mush. But also, find the bliss in writing. Find that magical element that keeps calling to you. Write with you heart. Put every single thing you have in the book you’re writing right now. Don’t hold back. When I leave my computer at night and go to bed, I’m thankful I spent hours feeding my soul with the joy of doing what I love.

Great advice and expressively put! Will you tell us what projects you’re working on now?

Of course. I’ve just finished the fourth book in the Falcon Series, about a group of men who work for a private security company that reports to the President of the United States, and the DOD only.

My next project is two short sexy novellas about one night stands. They will be very vanilla erotic romances that are probably more humorous than sexy.

If time permits, I hope to write two time-travels, another Falcon book and two dark paranormal. I hope to have all this done by the end of February 2014.

Hey! A girl can dream, right?

Big dreams, but I have no doubt you’ll meet your goals. Do you have a favorite quote? Please share it.

I have two:

“Believe you can and you’re half way there.”

“Good things happen to those who go for it!”

Inspiring! And, speaking of sexy, how about these book covers? Those are some scrumptious heroes!

Out of the Dark         Out of the Shadows

Grinning! Glad you like them. Thank you again for having me, Lyn.

My pleasure, Geri! Now here’s a blurb for Out of the Shadows:

Falcon Securities Agent Brody Hawke sees the world from a tilted angle. His best friend, A.J., who saved Brody’s life is captured and diplomats are getting nowhere in his rescue. Brody takes over even though he knows his impetuous actions will ruin his career. He is not willing to abandon his friend to torture in a Mexican jungle hacienda. What’s Brody’s plan—kidnap a CIA agent and use her as bait.

CIA agent Kate Stone is fighting for her job and sanity after a failed attack in Iraq. She knows the truth is out there somewhere, but can’t prove it. Her life is torn apart when Brody kidnaps her. When she and Brody reach A.J., they learn the situation is more serious and far-reaching than they’d imagined. Brody, Kate and Falcon Securities must rescue A.J. and stop the assassination of the President of the United States.

Can Brody and Kate find true love in the mist of all the chaos? And can Brody accept what Kate revels about his past so he can finally reach out for a love of his own?

Find Geri’s books on her Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/ldxzt7g

Visit her on these sites:

www.facebook.com/gerifoster1

www.gerifoster.com

www.twitter.com/gerifoster

Three Rave Reviews for Darlin’ Irish


New cover 2013 redoI recently submitted Darlin’ Irish, Book one in my Texas Devlins series, to Readers’ Favorite for review. Three of their reviewers gave it their endorsement. I’d like to share these brief excerpts with you. I’d love for you to tweet and share them. Thanks!

5 Stars: Lyn Horner . . . has done her research and uses such a steady but subtle hand in using it. The story itself is also written so well that you do not feel overwhelmed by any of the actions the characters take. . . . I have a deep love for all things Irish and all things historical. This book wedged them together in a perfect way.   ~~ Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

4 Stars: “Darlin’ Irish” is undoubtedly a fascinating adult romance . . . . The paranormal element works successfully. . . . the characters are very realistic and [you will] find yourself relating to their lives . . . The writing is so addicting that you will never want to be disturbed. ~~ Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

5 Stars: All I could think of after I finished the book was that it should be made into a movie. . . . Lyn Horner is undeniably a great writer; her writing style was amazing and effortless, resulting in a well-written tale. I was able to immerse myself in the story and it was an enjoyable western adventure. . . . I will definitely continue to read the author’s other works. ~~ Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite

 

Find Darlin’ Irish and all of my books on my Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/author/lyn.horner.award-winning.books

The Texas Devlins series is also available on Barnes & Noble. Link to Darlin’ Irish:

http://tinyurl.com/kujsmls

Monday Author Meetup: Carra Copelin


I’m so pleased to introduce new author and my dear friend, Carra Copelin.

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About the author:

Carra Copelin writes contemporary and historical romances but, unlike so many other authors, she didn’t write from childhood or read long into the night beneath the covers with a flashlight. She found romance novels and authors like Linda Lael Miller, Barbara Bretton and Suzanne Brockman as an adult. After reading about a million, she discovered numerous people residing in her head, all looking for a way onto the printed page.

A member of Romance Writers of America and Yellow Rose Romance Writers, Carra is a regular contributor to a new team blog, Smart Girls Read Romance, as well as to the acclaimed Sweethearts of the West blog.

Carra and her husband live in North Central Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, where she enjoys her family and playing with her grandchildren. In addition to writing and researching with her fabulous critique partners, she enjoys her Bridge group, crocheting and tracking down relatives through genealogy investigation. Find Carra on her website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Wattpad. Hint: she loves to hear from readers at http://carracopelin.com .

Hi Carra. I so glad you found time to visit me.

Lyn, thank you for having me today. I love being here with you and your readers. I’m excited to share some things about me and my writing.

Terrific! First, please tell us how you began writing.

Well, as mentioned above, I had all these people running around in my head, each one screaming to be heard. There were days I questioned my decision to attempt writing a book, but then, once I started this journey, there was no going back.

Yup, it’s a path of no return. I know you use a pen name. Do you mind explaining how you chose it?

Not at all. I do write under a pen name. Several family members and close friends have known through the years that I write. A couple of years ago, though, when I decided to publish a blog, place posts on Facebook, and start a Twitter account for my writing career, I couldn’t bring myself to use my real name. Somehow I imagined finger pointing if I never published.

Finding another name wasn’t easy. My DH made a couple of suggestions, but I picked an obvious one for me. Carr was my maiden name, I added an A from my first name. Cope was a sure thing and my middle name is Lynn. So, Carra Copelin was born one late, late night in front of the computer screen.

I think you chose very well. Carra is such a romantic name! Are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

Yes, I’m self-published, and this wasn’t an easy decision to make. I wanted the prestige and security that comes with traditional publishing. There is also a validation that you’re a real bonafide author when you have a publishing house behind you and your work. Nowadays, though, the security may or may not be as it once was, also the houses used to do all the promotion needed for a book, which, due to the state of things, is much less now.

I decided to self-publish to have control of my book. Period. I can develop my story as I want, have the content/length as it needs to be for the story, choose my own title, cover and character names. Plus the real kicker—the royalties are better than with a traditional publisher.

That they are. How about your writing process – are  you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

After what seemed like a hundred years and trying every other author’s way to get the story on the page, I finally realized I’m a pantser. Yes, little ol’ ADD me. I have too many years wasted trying to make myself adhere to a strict plotting regimen. I’m envious of my friends who see their whole story, write it out in a full outline and just have to add dialogue. (Do you recognize yourself, yet? )

I realized while listening to a guest speaker last year at a chapter meeting, that by golly, I’m a card carrying pantser. I sit down at the computer, close my eyes, visualize the scene I want to write, add characters, and watch the action happen much like a movie or TV show. Once I get it typed in, I edit the stuffin’ out of it before I send it to my critique partners. (Cue lead-in to next question. )

LOL! Yes, I recognize myself. I’m definitely a plotter. We all have our way of writing. So you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

I sure do. If not for my critique partners, I would still be spinning my wheels and rewriting the same pitiful offerings. I know this for that’s what I did for nearly ten years. I was lucky to have found a wonderful group of writers who are caring and nurturing, while at the same time demand progress toward the finished product. The key is belonging to a group that’s right for your writing needs. If you don’t have this, you’ll just tread water.

Currently, I have one beta reader. After the critiquers have picked, hammered and edited, I send the book to my little reader before it flies over to my editor. I’m amazed at what she finds that we missed.

It’s the same for me. What project(s) are you working on now?

I currently have three projects. First is the second book in the Texas Code Series, CODE OF CONSCIENCE, which takes place in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. It involves cartels, undercover agents, and romance. Next are two historical romance novellas chronicling the Benning and McTiernan clans after they come from Ireland to Texas in 1875. Those titles are, KATIE AND THE IRISH TEXAN, and MATELYN AND THE TEXAS RANGER.

Great titles! Can’t wait to read them. What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write. Every day. Surround yourself with other writers by joining a local writing chapter and critique group. This may sound cliché, but it is KEY.

Originally, I joined RWA and my local chapter, found a good supportive critique group for several years. We broke up when two of our members moved away, then life happened and, due to my job’s demands, I stopped writing. I didn’t write consistently for eleven years.

One day, fairly suddenly, I found myself retired. Good things began to happen. I joined my local chapter, Yellow Rose RWA, found a new supportive and nurturing critique group and the rest, as they say, is history.

One last question: Would you tell us about your debut book?

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Absolutely! CODE OF HONOR is book one in my Texas Code Series.

Blurb:

Graeme McAlister has returned home to Texas to discover why his foster brother overdosed on morphine and crashed the company jet. The idea makes no sense, but the NTSB and coroner’s reports both confirm suicide. Graeme’s determined to unearth the truth and return to Washington, D.C. but, when he sees his brother’s widow, will he be able to handle the biggest revelation of all?

A widow at the age of twenty-eight, Maggie Benning, resolves to establish a successful and independent life for herself and her five-year-old son, Andy. Her initial goal is getting back her RN job at the hospital ER where she was accused of stealing the drugs that killed her husband ten months ago. She’s reconstructing her shattered life when Graeme McAlister comes back to McTiernan, Texas and stirs up old memories and feelings she thought long buried. Can she overcome past hurt and loss of trust to accept the possibility of a new love in her life?

Excerpt:

Maggie took her place behind the scarred, antique oak bar. She tied a worn bleached-white apron over her jeans, gathered the empty glasses and bottles and swiped a bar towel over the sticky remnants of beer and mixed drinks spilled earlier in the afternoon.

She looked across the bar, through layers of swirled smoke, to the handful of customers sitting at tables surrounding the dance floor. Businessmen and good old boys exchanged stories from their day while enjoying the frigid indoor temperature, band members set up their equipment, and a few cowboys played pool off to the far right.

Two men sat at a table in a shadowed back corner, their heads angled close in deep conversation. It was too dark to see their faces, but they appeared almost angry at times, each taking his turn stabbing the tabletop with an index finger to make his point. Maggie wondered what their story was. Were they discussing a major transaction, ranchers making a deal or enemies settling a score?

Before her imagination could run any other direction, Harry walked up with a stack of clean towels. He placed them on a shelf behind the bar then stood between her and her curiosity, effectively blocking her view.

* * *

Jaw clenched and tense as a bull rider waiting for the gate to spring open, Graeme stared at the drink in his hand as his older brother took verbal swings at his character.

“Now that you’re back, do you have the balls to stay, or are you going to turn tail and disappear again?” With that final sarcastic shot, he finally shut-up.

Graeme pushed upright in his chair to loosen the kinks from his back and shoulders. Every muscle screamed a protest at being bunched in a knot.

Elliott’s words stung like the slap of Andrew’s hand the first time Graeme had openly defied an order. He supposed, in all fairness, his brother had a right to ask the question. Whether one was born a Benning or raised as one, family meant everything. And, while he hadn’t had a choice on whether to go or stay, he hadn’t been available when the family had needed him.

While Graeme didn’t have an answer yet, he damn sure had a few questions of his own for Dallas County’s Assistant District Attorney.

Graeme took a swig from his longneck as Elliott mirrored his actions. They were, he thought, like two grade school opponents sizing each other up on the playground at recess. Graeme swiped at the condensation on the beer bottle while deciding where to begin.

“So Wyatt never contacted you, at any time, before the crash? You had no idea he was in trouble?”

“No. Not a clue.” Elliott shifted in his chair, repositioned his beer. His foster brother made it apparent that he was unaccustomed to being questioned. Either that or there was something else he wasn’t saying.

“What?”

“Nothing . . .” Elliott swiped at a water puddle under the bottle. “It’s nothing.”

“Look, if we’re going to get to the bottom of this, we have to level with one another. What were you going to say?”

“You know Wyatt. He was never like the rest of us. He didn’t act out, never bucked the system. He always kept things bottled up.”

“Yeah, that goody two-shoes act used to piss me off. We could never wheedle anything out of him.” Graeme shook his head and grinned.

“Well, it was the same thing this time, except…”

“Elliott,” Graeme ground out his brother’s name, huffed out a sigh in exasperation. “Stop dragging this out. What?”

“Maggie came to the office about a month prior to the accident. She asked me for the name of a good divorce attorney.”

That news ripped through Graeme like a shot. After digesting it for a minute, he asked, “Did you give her one?”

“Yeah, I did.”

Graeme leaned toward the table, rested his forearms against the edge. “Did she go? Did she file?”

“No.” Elliott picked up his bottle, drained its contents then answered sadly, “Whether or not she intended to, I don’t know, because the next time I saw her, Wyatt was dead. Soon after the funeral, she moved in with that ditzy friend of hers like she didn’t want anything to do with the family.”

“Is that when you decided to charge her with theft of the morphine Wyatt likely overdosed with? When she was alone and vulnerable?”

Elliott scowled. “D.A. Harrison was relatively new in his job and still trying to impress the good people of Dallas County.”

Snorting in disgust, Graeme ground out, “And he did it at Maggie’s expense.”

“Yeah, but not without cause. The drugs disappeared from the hospital’s inventory and the investigators narrowed the time down to Maggie’s shift.”

“What did she have to say about that?”

“She denied stealing the drugs, of course.”

“You don’t really think she did, do you?”

“I don’t want to, but . . . hell, I don’t know,” Elliott said with a sigh. “You knew her better when we were growing up. Do you think she’s capable?”

Graeme pushed his chair away from the table. “I think I should talk to Maggie to get her side of the story.”

Elliott leaned back in his own chair, sported a grin, and glanced past him. “Somehow I don’t think you’ll have to go far.”

Graeme swiveled around to see Maggie standing behind the bar. While he tried to decide whether to go up to her now or wait until tomorrow, Maggie looked out across the room and made eye contact.

CODE OF HONOR, Texas Code Series, Book One can be found for Kindle and print on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/muln4r9

Visit Carra on these sites:

Website: http://carracopelin.com

Blog: http://carra-copelin.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CarraCopelin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/CarraCopelin

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/mfynmj2

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/carrcope/boards/

Governor Christie Proclaims CMTA Awareness Month


CMTA Homepage

Some of you know I have a genetic disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. I’ve traced it through six generations in my father’s family counting myself and my daughter. It has nothing to do with teeth! The name comes from three physician/scientists who first diagnosed the disease in the late 1800s. Two were Frenchmen and one Brit, Dr. Tooth. Here is a brief description of CMT from Wikipedia.clip_image001

“Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMT), also known as Charcot–Marie–Tooth neuropathy, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) and peroneal muscular atrophy (PMA) — is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of inherited disorders of the peripheral nervous system characterized by progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation across various parts of the body. Currently incurable, this disease is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders affecting approximately 1 in 2,500 people [1][2] equating to approximately 23,000 people in the United Kingdom and 125,000 people in the USA.

Symptoms of CMT usually begin in late childhood or early adulthood. Some people do not experience symptoms until their early thirties or forties. Usually, the initial symptom is foot drop early in the course of the disease. This can also cause claw toe, where the toes are always curled. Wasting of muscle tissue of the lower parts of the legs may give rise to a “stork leg” or “inverted bottle” appearance. Weakness in the hands and forearms occurs in many people later in life as the disease progresses.”

There are many other possible symptoms of CMT. Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcot%E2%80%93Marie%E2%80%93Tooth_disease

The CMT Association, to which I belong, sent out this announcement today.

 

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GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SIGNS NJ AWARENESS PROCLAMATION – WE NEED EVERYONE’S HELP RIGHT NOW!

 

As you may or may not be aware, last week Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) signed a state proclamation for the CMTA proclaiming September to be CMT Awareness Month in NJ. Bethany Meloche (our director of social media) has already posted messages and links on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and this now appears prominently on the main page of the CMTA website.
Governor Christie is easily the most recognizable politician who has taken this step, and it is incredibly important for our organization to barrage him and his office with thanks. If you are on Facebook or Twitter please write about this now (and encourage your friends to share it).

If you’re on FB, start to “follow” Chris Christie first, then when you type in the message you will be able to get him “tagged” in it (so that his office will receive notifications). If you are on twitter, mention him in your tweet (his handle is @GovChristie).

MOST IMPORTANTLY – we need to barrage his office with Thank-You emails. The way to do this is:

  1. Go to Governor Christie’s website at: www.state.nj.us/governor/.
  2. Click on “CONTACT US.”
  3. In the drop-down menu, click on “Requesting Proclamations/Special Letter,” then click “continue.”
  4. Fill in the information. Under affiliations, write “Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association,” then type in your relationship.
  5. Write a VERY personal message!

In your message, spare no expense in terms of how personal a cause this is for you. Tell his office where you live, how many generations of CMT are in your family, and how it has affected your life. Most importantly, THANK HIM FOR TAKING A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN SPREADING AWARENESS!
In addition, PLEASE ASK YOUR FRIENDS/CONTACTS to go through this email process as well. Imagine the power of the message if we can get 1000s of emails into his office. We will shortly begin to have correspondence with SAGFs about the importance of this exercise, encouraging them to get the members of their groups to do this (which can be done in 5 minutes)!!
Please participate in this ASAP and share with everyone and anyone who knows how CMT affects you and your families.


To give you an idea about how personal the message should be – here is what Chairman of the Board Herb Beron sent to Governor Christie through his website:

Governor Christie,
I cannot thank you enough for your recent signing of the state proclamation of CMT Awareness Month. My 13-year old daughter Julia is affected by this disease (although it is typically inherited, there was no family history). She has already endured surgeries on both of her feet, wears daytime orthotics and nighttime braces, and has both hearing & vision loss. Yet, she has an incredibly positive outlook on life. Last year, she spoke in DC at the President’s Council on Fitness, Heath & Nutrition on behalf of CMT patients around the world, and has written blogs about her leg braces. In short, she is my hero.
On behalf of not only my family, but CMT patients/families all over the country – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking a leadership role in spreading awareness about this disease.
Bless your family and my warmest regards,
Herb Beron
Chairman of the Board
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association
Julia’s Dad

CMTA Homepage

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association PO Box 105 Glenolden, PA 19036
1-800.606.2682  •  610.499.9264  •  fax: 610.499.9267  •  http://www.cmtausa.org/

Is Blogging Dead?


Merry Farmer issues a thought provoking question. What do you think?

Merry Farmer

Far and away, one of the best benefits of attending writer’s conferences is the fact that everyone is buzzing about the latest trends and up-and-coming developments in the writing world. It was at a writer’s conference that I heard the first stirrings of what would become the Indie Revolution, it’s where I heard about the indispensability of social media as a writing tool, and it’s where I met the friends who keep me on top of the changes in the industry as it happens.

So imagine my surprise at the Romance Writers of America nationals in Atlanta last month when I heard—multiple times—that blogging is dead.

Wait, blogging is dead? What’s that all about? Aren’t writers encouraged to have a blog as an essential part of their online platform? Haven’t they been telling us for the past few years that everything should point back to our blog? Am I not…

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