Teaser Tuesday #IARTG

Published August 25, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

11039514_10153108166348959_639178523_o (2)He walked into the nursery and sat down in the rocking chair. “Come on sweet girl, calm down,” he said softly as he rocked her. “You got to drink this, baby.”

Olivia walked in, sat down in the floor, and leaned her back against the wall. “She started throwing up at about ten. She went every half hour. She’s never been this sick,” she explained.

“It’s probably just a virus. She’ll feel like a million bucks tomorrow. She’s just caught something,” he said serenely as Amelia finally took the sippy cup.

Her breaths evened out as her tiny hands gripped the cup. “That’s my girl,” he whispered.

“You are so good with her. Thank you so much for doing this,” Olivia said quietly.

“No problem. Happy to do it.” His eyes drifted over to her. “You look like hell. I got this. Go to sleep.”

“She called you ‘Daddy,’” she said as their eyes met.

“First time she’s done that.”

“You’re the only man who’s been a consistent part of her life besides my dad and my brother.”

“Does it bother you that she called me ‘daddy’?”

Olivia smiled. “No.”

Smiling back at her, he wondered if the tide was turning. “You can’t go to work tomorrow. I’ll call Wallace tomorrow. Seriously, go get some rest.”

“Thank you Danny,” she said as she stood and walked to him. Leaning down, she kissed his forehead. “You can lay down with me when you’re done.”

“You sure?” he asked, still being careful to stay quiet.

“I’m sure,” she said.

After getting the liquid down Amelia and staying awake for an extra hour to make sure she kept it down, he gently placed her in her crib. Feeling her forehead, he could tell her fever broke.

Soundlessly, he made his way into Olivia’s bedroom. He didn’t want to wake her. She slept so peacefully. He decided not to share her bed. Not only did he want to avoid disturbing her, but he didn’t want to tempt himself. The rejection following would be too painful to endure. So, he walked out of the room and headed for the sofa.

The next morning, Danny woke up at eight and called Wallace. He explained what happened with Amelia. Wallace was understanding, as always, and wished Olivia and Amelia wellness. Tired himself, Danny walked back to the couch and fell asleep.

mother-and-baby-indoors-hugging-and-smilingWhen he woke, he heard the two sweetest things in the world: the sound of Amelia’s laughter and Olivia’s voice. Then he heard Olivia’s cell phone ring. Listening to her end of the conversation, he could tell she was talking about the case.

“Amy, what do you mean? Okay. So you have surveillance tapes? I can get a warrant. I will. Thank you so much.”

He threw the comforter off and sat up, running his fingers through his hair. Drowsiness didn’t shake off easily as he stood to his feet. Walking into Amelia’s room, he saw Olivia in the floor playing with her. When Amelia saw Danny standing in the doorway, she smiled. “Daddy play?” she asked.

“Whatcha playin’, Monkey Girl?”

“Puzzles,” she answered.

He walked in and sat down on the floor. “You feel better this morning, Angel?” he asked as he put his hand to her forehead.

“I better,” she answered focusing on the puzzle.

“What about you, Mommy? You get some rest?” Danny asked looking at Olivia’s beautiful face.

“Yes. A hot shower did wonders, too. Thank you again for coming over.”

“Was that Amy from the archive?” Danny asked.

“Yes. I’ll tell you about it later,” Olivia answered.

“You girls had breakfast?” he asked.

“I eat,” Amelia answered.

“We both ate. She was able to keep things down. I made her some toast. I didn’t want to overload her stomach.”

“Well, I am starving. Do you mind if I make myself something?”

“I can make something for you. It’s the least I can do,” Olivia said as she stood to her feet. “You can stay in here and play with her.”

The smell of sausage drifted through the air as Danny played with Amelia. However, his hunger got the best of him and he picked her up and carried her into the kitchen. The sizzling sound was music to his ears.

“I eat,” Amelia said.

“She’s hungry. That’s a good sign,” Danny said.

“You want some more toast, baby?” Olivia asked.

“Eat,” she answered.

Olivia walked over and grabbed bread to make some more toast.

Teaser Tuesday #IARTG

Published August 18, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

Haunted CastleLauren neared the scene and saw something out of the corner of her eye. Walking in the distance, Lauren saw a slender, dark haired woman. She could see the woman had been badly beaten and she nodded to acknowledge the spirit’s presence.

As Lauren walked she fought off the spirits own experience. She wanted to see the scene first.

The coffin held the quiet body of the young woman. Just as Lauren observed, Madeline had been beaten, but her face showed no signs of damage; clean and spotless just like the others.

Lauren knelt reverently looking at Madeline’s body. Then she stood. Casually, she walked away from the others and listened, looking around waiting for the woman to reappear. Suddenly, she felt as if she were running through the forest and then felt her hair ripping out from the roots. A necklace was snatched off of her neck. Lauren felt fear and suffering and agony. She saw the darkness of the forest and felt the trees scraping against her bare skin. She saw the moon shining brightly through the trees.

She heard Nick’s voice. “Doc, you alright?”

“Nick, I’m fine. I’m just trying to digest all of this. And for God’s sake, please don’t call me ‘Doc.’” Turning to him, she saw the confusion in his eyes. She knew her methods were strange to him.

“What do you want to do here, Doc?” he continued.buried_alive_by_tothfrantisek-d7trp96

She wondered how many times she needed to tell him to call her by her name, instead of the stupid nickname he concocted, but obviously he wasn’t listening. So, she gave up on the request altogether. “Have them take her to the ME.”

Lauren’s body and mind felt tired after the intense vision. Each time the victims allowed her to feel things, it took nearly all of her energy.

Devil Inside

Published August 16, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

“Every single one of us has a devil inside,” so aptly put by the musical group U2. This statement rings true, however. Every one of us has a demon deep within us, bringing us down, skewing our vision. My demon’s name is anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder. First let me explain to you the difference.

Anorexia, according to Wikipedia, is this:

“an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and food restriction.[2] Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are underweight.[2][3] If asked they usually deny they have a problem with low weight.[4] Often they weigh themselves frequently, eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some will exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is this, according to Wikipedia:

“is a mental disorder via obsessive preoccupation with a perceived defect in one’s own appearance, viewed as so severe as to warrant exceptional measures to hide or fix it.[1] In BDD’s delusional variant, the flaw is imagined.[2] If the flaw is actual, its importance is severely exaggerated.[2] Distinguished from anorexia nervosa, BDD is categorized in the obsessive–compulsive spectrum.”

Late 80's. I went on my diet in 1992

Late 80’s. I went on my diet in 1992

I am talking about this because I often find relief when I bring it to light. It is something I have hidden most of my life, as is often true with people who struggle with these two taboo issues. I first realized that I was anorexic when I started a diet plan at age 15. I went to a managed weight loss clinic because being a size 10 was just out of the question. I wanted to lose weight so badly and was so tired of being made fun of, that I would do anything to change the way I looked; even starve. That’s precisely what I did. My meals consisted of little to no breakfast, barely any lunch, and a small supper. And I walked everyday. No one seemed to see an issue with this. So, I reached my goal. I teetered between a size 6 and a size 4. The lowest weight I ever reached was 116 lbs. The highest weight I ever allowed myself to get to was 120 lbs. I continued this from 1992 until 1996.

Ignore the big hair. I was a size 6 in this photograph. This dress had to be taken in from a size 9.

Ignore the big hair. I was a size 6 in this photograph. This dress had to be taken in from a size 9.

In 1996, I was back in a size 9 and I was totally upset with myself. So, I began starving again. I never did see a size 6 again. I maintained between and 8 and 9 and thought that was just terrible. I did abuse laxatives. I ate barely enough to keep myself alive. I craved sweets and would punish myself if I ate a cheeseburger. When I looked in the mirror I saw someone who was completely and utterly unacceptable. That is where the BDD comes in. My vision of myself became so tainted by having anorexia and being so small for so long, that I didn’t know what I was supposed to look like, but I was sure it wasn’t the image looking back at me.

I started graying when I was 19. Now I realize it was from malnutrition. My body was trying to scream at me and I didn’t want to listen. By the time I graduated from college in 1998, I was in an 11/12. I was very disappointed with myself, but I was getting married and it was time to quit worrying about such things. I needed to get a job and contribute to my marriage. Guess what happened? When I started eating like a normal person, I blew right up. When I got pregnant with my son I was wearing a size 18. And each day I looked in the mirror, I wanted to vomit. I hated the way I looked and more so, the way I felt.

1997. I was a size 11/12

1997. I was a size 11/12

Because I starved in my younger years, I ended up with gestational diabetes and guess who never got rid of it? You guessed it. My doctor told me that because I decided to destroy my body by not feeding it, my metabolism was a mess. I was lucky my thyroid hadn’t turned on me; that’s what he told me. Then, in the same breath, he handed me Adipex. Little did he know I had been addicted to it as a teenager and into my early college years. I sure wasn’t going to tell him either. I was trying to stay up at night with a new baby, clean the house, take care of bills, and do everything else I, as Wonder Woman, was supposed to do. I think the lowest I got down during that bout was maybe into a size 16.

I stayed at a size 16/18 for quite some time. I got divorced and my one hope had been that the divorce would throw me into such a depression that I wouldn’t want to eat. Although I wasn’t starving myself, the BDD was wearing the crown. I hated looked in the mirror. I hated each and everything about myself. My thighs were too chunky. My arms were too flabby. My cheeks were too round. And I was back in the dating world competing and I felt that physically, I had nothing to offer. I had friends that were tiny and every time we went to the bars, the men just flocked around them. I was an afterthought; the fat girl who no one wanted. Talk about utter darkness.

2006. The year I met my current husband.

2006. The year I met my current husband.

I met my current husband in 2006. I was a size 16 still. He seemed to like me anyway. I didn’t presume to understand why. I was a big blob in my mind. My diabetes was entirely out of control and I didn’t even care. I wanted to die. I was sick of looking at myself and seeing the sickening being I’d become. But, I had a son to raise. So, each time I would get ready in the morning, I remembered that he was the focal point of my life and I needed to stay in the game for him.

In 2009 I started researching lap band and gastric bypass. I wanted to do something so badly, but it seemed like my body was resistant to losing weight. In my mind, I had tried everything and nothing worked. I watched as my friends got surgery and dropped hundreds of pounds and there I was gaining and gaining. By March of 2009 I had almost hit 300 lbs. My hope was that with the diabetes and the obesity, my surgery would be paid for by insurance. WRONG! I have needed to cough upward of $20,000 to have anything done. It felt like it was just hopeless.

march 2010I was sitting in the doctor’s office for a check up or something and my doctor told me that there was a managed weight loss clinic next door. She told me that they had seen a lot of success, especially with diabetics. Some had even managed to get off of their medication or even insulin. So, I walked next door and checked it out.

They told me that I would be eating 500 calories a day. WHAT???? I said, “Can you even survive on that?” I already knew the answer because I had. The cost of the program was something I could afford, too. I was preparing to go on another cruise and told the receptionist I would contact the clinic when I returned.

I did just that. I went in for a consultation. I was put on a strict plan and put on Adipex again. This time I spoke up and told them about my past and my issues with anorexia. They said that the Adipex would only be in my plan for 12 weeks and they would monitor me each week at weigh-in. They told me if I started having any issues to contact the crisis line. Regarding the anorexia, they said that the diet plan would be healthy so I would be getting proper nourishment. The BDD was a deeper problem and they didn’t exactly address that mostly because I didn’t even realize that I truly had it. I knew there was something wrong with me, but I didn’t know it had a name.

October 2010. I was still going to the clinic and losing weight. This dress is a 13/14.

October 2010. I was still going to the clinic and losing weight. This dress is a 13/14.

Anyway, I started losing… fast. Each week I would lost between 3 to 5 lbs. I reached my goal weight of 150 lbs. by December of 2010. I was in a comfortable size 10. And guess what? That wasn’t good enough in my mind. It was true I had followed the plan, taking about 850 calories a day. Yes, the foods were healthy and my diabetes numbers were freakin’ awesome. My A1C was lower than it ever had been. This weight loss plan had basically helped push the “reset” button inside my body. My struggles with flu and illness were down to nothing. My immune system had strengthen significantly. However, the urge to be thinner came banging at the door. The knocks were pretty loud, too. The bad part was that the entire time I was losing weight, I didn’t exercise at all. It was all calorie counting and protein intake. I was in grad school. I didn’t have time to exercise! So, the anorexic habits started kicking back in again.

My BDD was under control. When I looked in the mirror I saw exactly what I liked. Thin. Trim. Sexy. Then the anxiety kicked in when I no longer needed to go to the clinic. I ate that trusty 850 calories and worried myself to death that I’d gain my weight back. I kept two pieces of clothing from my “fat” days as a reminder to myself that I did not want to go back down that path again. Here’s a crazy confession: I would lay in bed in the mornings, flat on my back. If I was able to feel my pelvic bones and ribs, then it reassured me that I wasn’t getting fat.

summer 2012

Summer 2012. These jeans are actually size 11/12 juniors. This was the very first Victoria’s Secret shirt I ever owned. I thought I was fat.

I got married to my husband in 2012. I was 160 lbs. I gained 10 of what I lost. My clothing still fit well. My 10’s were a little snug, but then I often kicked my anorexia into high gear and lost those pesky 5 pounds. I still didn’t exercise. I didn’t have time. Full time job. Raising my son. Roller coaster issues in my marriage. Who the hell had time to exercise? Not me!

I took another job. When I did a health thing for the company, I weighed in at 175. THE HORROR! My 10’s no longer fit as well. I was in 11/12’s. And this made me unhappy! WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME! I had a mental disorder. That’s what was wrong. I last wore an 11/12 in college. Still, I beat myself up. This was when the BDD began to wrap its chains around me even tighter. Mentally, I kicked myself black and blue. I even said things about myself being fat, something I swore I wouldn’t do after losing my weight.

2014 rolled around and I lost my job. Guess what the first thing out of my mouth was (besides, how am I going to pay the bills)? “I can’t get fat.” In my mind, my job loss was going to cause me to eat more because I would be home more. I went to the doctor the week after I lost my job and still weighed 175 lbs. I still fit into my clothing. My 12’s still fit. Do you know why? Because I was stressed out, I couldn’t eat. ANOREXIA brought on by stress. When I did eat, it went right through me. I couldn’t keep any weight on. I didn’t gain any, but I didn’t lose any either.

November 2014. Size large in shirts, size 13/14 in pants.

November 2014. Size large in shirts, size 13/14 in pants.

Fall 2014 I finally had a pretty active job. I was wearing 13’s from Wal-Mart. I still fit into my medium and large shirts for the most part. I could still where my Vic’s Secret underwear and bras. My 12’s are snug, but it depended on the way they were cut. I didn’t weigh myself. I was too busy and too worried about keeping a job.

My husband and I split for a bit during that time and I ended up getting back into the 11/12’s comfortably. Depression solved the problem of snug clothing for a short period of time. I was having to compete again, too. The dating world was a jungle and in order to remain int he game, I had to stay thin and attractive. I was dating someone who had BDD worse than me. I didn’t think that was possible. He showed me what vanity really looked like and made me feel utterly inadequate with myself. My jeans were so loose on me by the time October arrived that I actually felt pretty good. However, the price I was paying was letting my anorexia and BDD take control of how I lived, something it had always done.

November 2014, my husband and I got back together and got married. In the wedding pic you see here, I thought I was too heavy.

April 2015, size 15 juniors. These are the jeans I bought when I first started losing my weight in 2010. They still fit. But, that wasn't good enough for me.

April 2015, size 15 juniors. These are the jeans I bought when I first started losing my weight in 2010. They still fit. But, that wasn’t good enough for me.

My husband and I took a few days to go to Tennessee. I had him snap a shot of me on the porch of the cabin. Although he told me I looked great, in my mind, I still wasn’t good enough. I still didn’t want to put on clothing because I just knew they would be too tight or wouldn’t fit. Nightmare. A living nightmare.

When I weighed in at the doctor’s office on April 17th, I was 188 lbs. I was still in my 13/14’s (15 juniors). My doctor said, “What is wrong that you think you haven’t done a good job? You were 300 lbs., honey. You should be proud of yourself!” I wasn’t. I was angry and disappointed and wanted to cry. I had gained 30 lbs in 5 years! Let that sink in… I was upset because I had put on a total of 30 lbs. in a 5 year span. See where BDD and anorexia turn your mind into a demonic playground?

In May I got mad after someone insinuated I was pregnant. They asked my

June 2015. Same dress as the cruise in Fall, 2010.

June 2015. Same dress as the cruise in Fall, 2010.

son if I was going to have another baby. Getting angry is usually what snaps me into high gear. So, when the comment was made, it not only impacted my self-esteem but it also triggered my disorders to a heightened response. I thought, “Pregnant? PREGNANT? I look better now than I did when I got pregnant!!!” Then I thought, “How dare you!” Then I thought, “Maybe I do look bad.” So, I grabbed those reigns and started losing weight again.

I dropped 10 lbs. before we set sail for our honeymoon. However, because of the heat and water weight from my menstrual cycle, you couldn’t even tell I had lost the weight when I put the same dress on that I wore in 2010 for a cruise. Talk about mad! When I look at that photo of me, I want to throw up. Do you know what I see? Fat arms. Wide waist. Again, I see through the lens of my disorder. You couldn’t convince me that I looked good in that picture.

When I went to the doctor a week or so ago, I was 187. When I weigh myself at home I am between 182 and 183. The fact is I cannot maintain a weight less than that. I can’t continue starving. I can’t keep up 850 calories. It just isn’t biologically and chemically possible. So, I started a fitness routine. I am walking 4+ miles a day, 5 days a week. I have been doing this for 3 weeks. I haven’t change my eating habits. In fact, I found myself eating a little more. However, that came to a screeching halt yesterday when I went to try on clothing. I am in XL shirts! WHAT??? How? I’ll tell you how. When they did a lumpectomy on my breast, it left scar tissue. Now I have one breast that’s bigger and I had to get bras to compensate for it.

Also, as I get older, I notice that I am carrying most of my weight in the top half of my body. This is typical for individuals with diabetes and heart related illnesses. Although I have no known heart related problems, my paternal side does.

summer 2015

July 2015

Here’s the reality of this situation. Every time I look at myself, I find fault. I beat myself up on a daily basis. People have no idea what it is like to see yourself this way. I look in the mirror and see gray roots, lines, sagging jaws, flabby arms, a dimpled butt, and a gut from having a baby. I see failure. I see dropping the ball from losing all of that weight. I have to make myself eat. I have to literally set out each day to eat what I should just to stay alive. Talk about facing your demons every day.

You would think that after this many years, I would get the monster under control. That I would hush the hate inside myself. Nope. That’s why these are disorders. They impact your daily life and you must have therapy to deal with these sorts of things. These two conditions take away from you.

The mainstream media doesn’t help either. I am always trying to live up to this expectation of what’s acceptable. I feel like I fight a losing battle. Each day, this is something I wake up with. Now that I am exercising on a regular basis I don’t feel as bad, but I feel like I have failed in my quest to preserve my weight loss. However, as my husband tells me, “You are average size.” In fact, he is right.

Did you know that the clothing being shipped to the U.S. is cut based on Asian women? Asian women are naturally smaller than Western ladies. That is why you used to buy a size 6 and now you buy a size 9. Don’t believe me? Do your research.

Bradenton Beach, June 2015

Bradenton Beach, June 2015

Another fact: beauty fades, but the qualities of your personality and your soul are timeless. I have an 8 1/2 x 11 paper hanging in my closet and on my fridge that have daily goals to live by and one of those is “I will do my best.” That’s all I can do as a person with these problems. I have to realize that I will never be a size 6 again and that it wasn’t even healthy being that small. I also have to realize that, based on my height, build, and nutritional needs, I can’t maintain a weight of 150. I CAN maintain a weight of 175 to 185 and if someone thinks I’m fat or getting ready to have a baby, I don’t know what to tell them. However, just know that if you ever say those words to me, I will likely be in jail for punching you in the face.

I’m telling you all of this to show you that everyone has a dark side. Everyone has something that they struggle with. Each of us has our hands bound behind our back by something, whether it is addiction or a mental disorder or a health problem or all of the above. The only way to live with these devils is to have supportive people around you and to know that you are loved for not what you look like, but the person you truly are.

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday #IARTG

Published August 11, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

Abstract backgroundRichard had been a part of Robin’s life since the age of two. Shortly after she was born her biological father died of cancer. Once her mother met Richard, they quickly fell in love. Wedding bells followed.

Robin loved Richard and trusted him fully. He was the only father she had ever known. She admired him for taking on two children that didn’t even belong to him. She knew he had substantial character to do something like that.

He walked in with a smile, carrying a casserole dish. His white hair glistened and his rosy cheeks always made Robin smile.

With arms outstretched she took the casserole dish from Richard and put it on the counter. She turned back to him and embraced him. “Hey there daddy,” she said.

“Ladybug,” he said with a smile. “You look good; healthy and smiling. Just the way I like to see you.”

“Where’s mom?” she asked curiously.

“She’s coming with Maria and Fred. They had to stop by the grocery for a few more things.” He looked around and shrugged. “So where’s this feller you can’t stop talkin’ about?”adult-woman-hugging-her-father

“He’s outside with Corbin.”

“Oh Lord. You didn’t leave him out there with him, did you?” he joked.

Robin smiled and looped her arm through Richard’s as they walked onto the patio. Corbin and Matt’s laughter echoed as they stood by the grill.

“At least they’re bonding,” Robin murmured.

Richard turned to her and smiled.

“Sure seems like it.”

If you want to be a guest blogger…

Published August 10, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

Simply click the page for article submission and shoot an email to me. I am looking for subjects that are family friendly. If it makes you think, great! I want subject matter that is positive, personal, and that touches hearts. If you want to talk about your work or your books or your life or your world, that is beautiful!

Have a great Monday!

Guest Post: Joanne Guidoccio

Published August 10, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

Revisiting the Dream

During my ASeasonforKillingBlondes_w9101_750 (2)high school years, I dabbled in poetry while dreams of a writing career dangled before me. But I gave in to my practical Italian side and pursued degrees in mathematics and education. While teaching was a good career fit, in my heart of hearts, I knew that I would write a novel at some point in my life. All I needed was more time and more energy.

Be careful what you wish for…

Five months before my fiftieth birthday, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and forced to take a leave of absence. With all my energies focused on healing, I searched for light and breezy novels that would distract me. I was grateful for the bags of books dropped off by well-meaning friends but couldn’t get into any of the storylines. I found the philosophical books too intense and the comedic books unsatisfying.

Instead, I gravitated toward cozies, those delightful murder mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little sex, violence, or coarse language. I was familiar with Agatha Christie’s novels and pleasantly surprised to discover more authors in the genre, among them Susan Wittig Albert, MC Beaton, Mary Jane Maffini, and Denise Swanson. I read voraciously, often finishing a cozy in one sitting.

Toward the end of chemo treatments, I decided to experiment with the genre and considered the following scenario: What if a woman won a major lottery, returned to her hometown, and then found herself embroiled in a murder investigation involving four blondes? Could she prove her innocence and solve this case before it was too late?

I fleshed out the premise and completed the first draft of A Season for Killing Blondes during my sixteen month “sabbatical.” I considered querying but realized the manuscript needed more work and more attention. Reluctantly, I set the cozy aside and focused on the last leg of my teaching career.

Three years later, I retired from teaching and revisited my writing dream. At first, I wrote nonfiction and watched with delight as my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines, and online. Buoyed by this success, I decided to revamp A Season for Killing Blondes. I added another sub-plot and several more characters. While shopping it around, I wrote Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about an overweight and middle-aged ex-mermaid.

I was thrilled when Senior Editor Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract for Between Land and Sea. I put aside the cozy and focused on promotion.

In August 2014, I heard from Johanna Melaragno of The Wild Rose Press. On Friday, June 12, A Season for Killing Blondes was officially released. It is the first book in the Gilda Greco Mystery series. Based in Northern Ontario, these books feature a fifty-something Italian woman, her relatives, deserving and undeserving me, and food. Several storylines are percolating for Books 2 and 3 of the series—Too Many Women in the Room and A Different Kind of Reunion.

Blurb
Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) – http://is.gd/t0g1KZ

Amazon (United States) – http://is.gd/jADjPp

Amazon (United Kingdom) – http://is.gd/8mknFJ

Amazon (Australia) – http://is.gd/r843iX

Kobo – http://is.gd/BpO9gY

Bio
In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth Guidoccio 001and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Website: http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

Regarding WIP Wednesdays & Dreams Coming True

Published August 9, 2015 by Tracee Ford, Author

Happy Sunday folks! I am posting to make a brief announcement. Readers seem to like Work in Progress Wednesdays, but I have decided to narrow it down to once a month. The next post will come out in September. The third Wednesday of each month will feature a new character from either a published novel or a novel in progress.

I must tell you something though…

The reason I am spacing these out is because I finally landed my dream job and I will need time to fulfill my new responsibilities. I have been searching for four long years to get a college teaching job. Well, it happened on August 1st and it happened in the most unplanned, extraordinary way.

On Thursday night, July 31st, I got a message on Facebook from my best friend. He moved back up to this neck of the woods on July 30th. He checked in to let me know he’d made it safely. I knew he was putting his application in at the college we’d both received our undergrad degrees from.

Jayme Ronan has always wanted to teach college and is currently working on his doctorate. He told me that the secretary of English/Humanities told him to drop off his application as soon as he got into town. He did so on the 31st and was hired on the spot. He told me that they needed people and recommended that I call the department. I was hesitant given my experiences in the workforce. Honestly, I lacked the confidence to even reach out, but I couldn’t get the possibility out of my mind.

The next morning, still thinking about all of it, I called the secretary and left a message not anticipating that I would ever hear back from her. In fact, I didn’t really care either way. I went on with my daily routine; did my 3 mile walk/run, came back home, and got cleaned up. My phone rang at around 11 a.m. It was the secretary and she immediately patched me through to the professor in charge of hiring. I was asked if I could come down that day for an interview. I thought, “What?” I agreed to go to the interview.

As I spoke to the two interviewers, I brought up my books occasionally because, quite honestly, I thought, “I’m an author. If you can’t accept that, then I don’t need to be here.” Post April 2014, anytime I interviewed for a job, I tried to hide the fact that I write books. Being an author had drummed up so much controversy in my previous political job that I felt it was best not to share that about myself. This time, I didn’t care. My feeling was the employer would either accept it or not. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to change who I was to suit anyone’s private agenda.

One of the administrators knew who I was just from a review that one of her students had written about one of my books. She even commented about how excited the student was to finally meet me during the Spring Author Expo at the local library. So, it occurred to me that despite the fact that I was an author, these women were open to talking to me and quite interested in my work as a writer. In fact, I realized that these women, the one professor in particular, invited me to come down for an interview BECAUSE of my books.

I was hired on the spot. When I walked out of the interview my best friend was standing talking to the secretary. The smile on his face was priceless. It is a feeling I will never forget. I think I had wings on my feet because I know I was walking on air.

I was sent to HR to fill out my paperwork. In the elevator, Jayme and I hugged each other and I don’t think you could have chiseled the smiles from our faces. I was still in shock. Both of us were. We remarked that we simply couldn’t believe it was finally happening and better yet, that we would be experiencing this together; best friends since the second grade and now we were back together again.

Time and time again we had talked about teaching college and dreamed about being able to do so together. Finally, here we were embracing our dreams hand in hand. It was more than either of us could have hoped for. In fact, I couldn’t totally wrap my head around it. I kept thinking it wasn’t going to work out, but when I got the call to come and get my text books, I knew it was a done deal.

Although there has been some switching around, I finally have my class assignment. I will be teaching an argumentative composition class in the fall. I also learned that my son’s principal is also teaching at the college. So, not only is my best friend in on the deal, but the administrator of my son’s school is, too. It is almost too hard to believe. All three of us will be making this first year journey together.

isDon’t doubt that when things fall into place, they fall fast. Sometimes it takes a great deal of patience and time leading up to that point, but when the time is right it feels like things happen in a matter of seconds. All of the tears I’ve cried. All of the nights I have been awake wondering how things would turn out. All of the heartbreak I went through in 2014. I could go on and on, but the sun finally started shining and it has been getting progressively brighter. Who would have thought that I would be where I am right now? Certainly not me. The fact that I’m and author and have published three books helped get me the job. I also have to give credit to the Higher Power that guides my life. I took a shot and listened to that guiding voice before I made the phone call. Even though that familiar whisper said, “You’ve got this,” I couldn’t quite believe it. It was my own doubt that held me back, but I was held back for a reason. This was the reason. This job was the reason.

Always be proud of who you are and, most of all, your accomplishments. Don’t hide them in the shadows. There’s a difference between being boastful and proud. Take time to thank your guiding force and give credit where it’s due. That DREAM BIG concept really does work. Dare to do it and will might be surprised what will happen.

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