Piercings and Babes

It’s not what you think.

My soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter just asked me if she could get her belly button pierced when she gets older. I never would have imagined that my response to this question would not only be shock, but a resounding NO. This reaction did make me feel like a hypocrite. I have sixteen total piercings and three tattoos. Of course, she only knows about the piercings in my ears and nose, but still. Part of what made me feel hypocritical is that she said she wanted the piercing because one of her teachers has a jewel in her belly button. I actually caught myself thinking, “What is the world coming to that teachers inspire kids to pierce themselves?”

Then I looked in the mirror.

Still, my answer is not for a very, very long time. I want her body to fully grow before she starts poking holes in it.

Truly a first world problem in the 21st century.

Free Book Promotion for Labor Day

What better way to spend Labor day than taking some ME time and getting lost in a great book? “The Source – A Mountain State Vampire Novel” will be *FREE* on Kindle on September 2nd & 3rd – so remember the date to get your digital copy!

Also, up until September 2nd, 100% of royalties on the Kindle and print version (ISBN 1478276592) will be donated to the Beckett-Foltz family to help with 8-year-old Megan’s fight against leukemia.

Fang on!

Children, Illness, Rage and Strength

Any time a child is sick, it’s really hard to deal with it in any type of rational way. I say that because, at least for me, my reaction tends to be completely irrational.

My 8-year-old niece has AML leukemia. She was first diagnosed right before she turned 6 years old. She was in the hospital for approximately 6 months for chemotherapy and finally won the fight – or so we thought – by going into remission.

For those of you who don’t know about AML leukemia, it’s one of the worst, most aggressive forms of leukemia there is. Learning that she had it will be a day that I will never forget. I remember standing outside the hospital conference room as the doctors met with my sister, her husband and my mom to tell them the news. My sister and mom started crying and mom just looked at me through the window and nodded, confirming that our worst fears were true.

I braced myself against the wall and started sobbing, almost collapsing onto the hallway floor. I was completely in shock and couldn’t understand why a child would have to fight cancer. Even after hearing everything the doctors had to say, there is just no logical way to understand WHY it happens. My reaction is always completely emotional with such things. My husband asks me why I cry and the only explanation I can give is that there is so much pain and fear that it leaks out from my eyes.

After she went into remission, it was like our prayers had been answered. This little girl could finally get back to a normal life. For 21 months, every doctor visit was a reason to celebrate. I was so excited to have my sister and her kids visit 2 weeks ago because I knew that Megan would be thrilled to be so close to Forks, WA – the setting of the Twilight series, her favorite movies. Wanting to make it special for her, I arranged a Twilight tour with Team Forks so she could see all of the places that were described in the books. Without my sister knowing, I mentioned to the tour guide – Randy – that Megan was in 21 months of remission from AML leukemia. I hadn’t planned on telling him, but was moved to do so after he told us the story of his sister losing her battle with cancer. Randy did everything he could think of to pay special attention to Megan and make sure she had a wonderful experience that she wouldn’t soon forget, including gently teasing her about her crush on Jacob Black.

A day or so after my sister and her kids returned home to Ohio, Megan had another check-up with the doctor and her blood tests indicated that the leukemia had come back. Three days later, more tests confirmed that yes, the same cancer was back. Thankfully it hadn’t mutated or gone to her brain, but it has returned which means 6 more months in the hospital after 21 months of “normal.”

I have reacted even more emotionally this time. I couldn’t understand why it happened the first time and even more angry that it’s happening again. She’s only 8 years old and when the two rounds of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant are complete, she will have spent a approximately ONE year in the hospital. Only 8 years old.

I know that life’s not fair. As an adult, I accept that. But this situation seems downright cruel to me. I have to admit that I struggle every day with this uncontrollable rage that keeps building inside of me. Rage that it’s happening again, that I’m so far away and that I don’t know what to tell my 3-year-old daughter when she asks what’s wrong.

For any person of ANY faith, times like this really challenge you to believe in anything. What I do believe in is Megan – she beat this once, and she’s going to do it again. I dare anyone to try to say that they’re stronger than her, unless you too have been through what she has…being only 8 years old.

“The Source” – the Print Edition

Prefer a print edition? You can order it NOW from CreateSpace’s eStore for $8.99. The print version will be available on Amazon.com in a few days – I’ll be sure to let you know when it goes live.

Once the print edition is on Amazon.com, I will be offering a free promotion on the Kindle edition. Remember, up until the free promotion, 100% of royalties from all editions are being donated to the Beckett-Foltz family to help with Megan’s fight against leukemia.

Fang on!


4.7 Stars on Amazon.com for “The Source!”

A 4-star review for “The Source:”

“After a slow start with a protagonist who has personal, self-image issues, the story took on a life of its own about the fourth or fifth chapter. After that, I was enchanted. Had difficulty setting it aside. It was a splendid read! The climax came with the discovery of a common, but unusual solution to the subject under investigation. A secondary thread running throughout the story–the protagonist’s romantic interest in two conflicting characters–opened the door for more stories in what I hope will become a popular series. A good story…which should hold the attention of anyone interested in this genre (which, incidentally, I wasn’t)! This is J. B. Stilwell’s first novel, and she proved she has what it takes to sustain the reader’s interest. I recommend it.”