Saturday, November 17, 2018

"You Can't Force Love" Book Except Tour Begins


📚 Pump Up Your Book Presents You Can’t Force Love Book Excerpt Tour #Fiction #VBT @MarieDrake72


 BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Friday, November 16 – Book Excerpt #1

PUYB Virtual Book Club

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Monday, November 19 Book Excerpt #2

Nuttin’ But Books

Tuesday, November 20 Book Excerpt #3

The Literary Nook

Wednesday, November 21 Excerpt #4

The Writer’s Life

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Monday, November 26 Excerpt #5

StoreyBook Reviews

Tuesday, November 27 Excerpt #6

Write and Take Flight

Wednesday, November 28 Excerpt #7

Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Thursday, November 29 Excerpt #8

Book Bloggin’ Princess

Friday, November 30 Excerpt #9

The Avid Reader

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Monday, December 3 Excerpt #10

A Title Wave

Tuesday, December 4 Excerpt #11

I’m Shelf-ish

Thursday, December 6 Excerpt #12

My Bookish Pleasures

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Monday, December 10 Excerpt #13

Lori’s Reading Corner

Wednesday, December 12 Excerpt #14

Blogging Authors

Friday, December 14 Excerpt #15

As the Page Turns

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Announcing "You Can't Force Love" 30 day Preorder Blitz


Pump Up Your Book Presents You Can’t Force Love Pre-Order Blitz @MarieDrake72 #Fiction #Blitz

You Can't Force Love banner


PRE-ORDER BLITZ SCHEDULE

Monday, November 5

PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, November 6

Sharing Links and Wisdom

Wednesday, November 7

The Literary Nook

Thursday, November 8

My Bookish Pleasures

Friday, November 9

Mythical Books

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Monday, November 12

The Avid Reader

Tuesday, November 13

Deal Sharing Aunt

Wednesday, November 14

Bound 2 Escape

Thursday, November 15

As the Page Turns

Friday, November 16

Write and Take Flight

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Monday, November 19

I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, November 20

Laura’s Interests

Wednesday, November 21

A Title Wave

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Monday, November 26

The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, November 27

C.A. Milson’s Author Blog

Wednesday, November 28

Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Thursday, November 29

Nuttin’ But Books

Friday, November 30

What The Cat Read


Monday, August 6, 2018

When Fear Becomes Fire


For Forty-five Days, He Was My Little Man

Two children delivered to our door; she was one, and he was seven. His ruffled sun-blonde hair, huge smile, and immediate connection inspired hope. Her strawberry hair, wide blue eyes, and shy smile had my heart from the get-go. Dad was over twenty years Mom's senior and an alcoholic who was often in jail or rehabilitation facilities. Mom had an IQ slightly higher than the seven-year-old. The situation at home required their removal. He suffered from attachment disorder and several other problems for which he was prescribed medication and counseling. She was only a baby and still being evaluated. 

After being placed in our care, we learned they would have a sibling. Mom was pregnant again. We cared for the children the nine months of Mom's pregnancy; the caseworkers told us that when the baby was born, he or she would immediately be removed and placed in our care. The department of social services felt it was in the best interest of the children to pursue termination of parental rights. The topic of adoption was broached with my husband and me. One of the reasons we'd entered the world of foster care was the possibility of adopting a child. We both had two boys from our first marriages, but due to my own health problems, having another child was a danger to my life and possibly the baby's life as well. 

Mom gave birth to a boy. Boy 2 was delivered to us straight from the hospital. Tiny squalling bundle of love, his features strongly resembled his siblings, and he was adorable. We'd turned my office into a nursery. We bought a ton of baby clothes, blankets, pacifiers, bottles, diapers, and wipes. Assembled a crib, bassinet, changing table,  baby swing, portable crib, stroller - you know - the endless list of things that people who are expecting babies buy. The first few weeks, I kept the bassinet next to my bed, because it had been a while since I'd had to get up for the middle of the night feedings. I was a little anxious, to be honest with you. My youngest was eleven-years-old at the time. It turned out boy 2 was colicky and needed near constant attention. We had to switch his formula three times, and it didn't seem to help. I was awake all night long. He'd usually only sleep if I sat up and held him with his head on my shoulder. Sometimes, sitting him in his swing and letting it rock gently would help him sleep for an hour or two. I was exhausted by the second week. My husband started taking Friday night or Saturday night shifts to try to help me get some rest, but Little Man wanted me. I'd lay there and listen to him cry and cry. When my husband couldn't get him to stop, I'd go and pick him up and settle him down. I had my four children, plus baby's siblings and one other child in care at the time who needed me during the day. I wouldn't have given up baby, though; my heart strings were bound to that boy as if I'd given birth to him. 

By week number three, we'd received the bad news. There would be a hearing because Mom and Dad were fighting the removal of the baby and wanted him returned home. The department of social services contacted us and told us that they would battle against this happening. We continued to pray they would not return the baby to a situation that his older siblings couldn't face. How did it make any sense? Why would they send him home? It wouldn't happen. It couldn't happen. We continued to love this child, and our children bonded with him, all the children in the house bonded with him. They all enjoyed holding him, helping to feed him and bathe him, push him in his stroller. They all loved him. 

The hearing came and went, and we received a phone call from the caseworker. It happened. Of all the idiotic decisions that a judge had ever made, this particular judge ordered the baby returned to his parents. The basis for her decision? The well-thought-out, logical reason for her judgment? "Just because the first two children were abused doesn't mean the third one will be abused." Can you wrap your mind around this? But don't worry, they set 'safeguards' in place. Mom and Dad were mandated to parenting and anger management classes. They would begin visits with the baby for the next three weeks until finally the baby would be returned home permanently after they met their requirements.

Baby went to Mom and Dad two afternoons a week for visits. Two afternoons tore from my soul every week welcoming baby home with strip checks and examining every inch of him for problems. The day came closer and closer, the day they'd take him permanently. I cried every night as he fussed and cried. What would they do when he couldn't sleep at night? Would they know how to comfort him? Would they simply leave him crying? Would it make them angry? What would it do to him when he cried, and I wasn't there - when it wasn't me who picked him up and rubbed my cheek against his and stroked his back while I rocked him? It was killing me slowly. I couldn't sleep even if he did. I just wanted to hold him. 

Then the day arrived, 45 days after I first held him. I fed him, bathed him, and dressed him. I'd gotten him up early that morning. He fell asleep in my arms, and I breathed in the smell of his hair, stared at his face for hours to memorize how peaceful he looked. The doorbell rang, and I buckled him into his car seat. All my children were in school, and my husband was at work. Younger kids in care were all at appointments. I had purposely scheduled the pick up during that time. The transport worker was an incredibly nice woman who'd we'd worked with for a long time. She and I couldn't make eye contact. I held out the car seat; she took hold of the handle, and simply rested her hand on my shoulder for a moment. I watched her buckle baby into the backseat of her car, and she drove away. I slumped onto the landing in my garage and wailed. My heart would never recover. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Aging Gracefully?

So, several years ago, I had a sledding accident and messed up my neck. When I say sledding, something awesome comes to mind - like a snowmobile. I am sooo not that cool. I am talking about a sled of the blow-up inner tube variety. We had ten children sledding, our children, our foster children, and a friend of one of my sons. The teenagers who were there before us had built a ramp for their snowboards. My son and his friend were on a giant double tube; they went first, and they hit that ramp. The tube flew out from under them as they sailed through the air, and I was totally freaking out because their bodies twisted and flipped like rag dolls. My son, who was much bigger than his friend, landed on top of his friend who was face down in the snow. I ran down the hill as my husband picked them up and brushed them off. I wanted to check for broken bones, but the boys wanted to go again. Uh, no. No more ramp! We moved over on the top of the hill.
My older kids helped the younger ones back up the hill after my husband caught them at the bottom, and I held the youngests' sleds until it was their turn to go down the hill. I decided that it would be easier if I sat on one, and held the other two. My footing slipped, and down the hill I went. I quickly released the other sleds and tried to hold on for dear life, but I was awkwardly seated and the sled spun around backwards so I couldn't even see where I was going. Yay! The little kids thought it was great. Mom was going down the hill. Not good. That ramp I mentioned previously - I hit it. Not the thrilling jump in the air the boys experienced. I hit it going backwards. My head stuck into the pile of snow, and it went in so far that it removed the sunglasses right off my face. The kids were stunned. My husband rushed over to see if I was okay. Truth was I couldn't even get up. I couldn't move my neck. But I laughed. I had my husband dig my sunglasses out of the snowbank and put them back on me so the kids wouldn't see me cry. I didn't want to alarm them. Besides, it was kind of funny, my body sticking out of that ramp, and my head was inside. If it wasn't for the fact that I couldn't turn my head for three months afterward, it would have been funnier. Still, I have limited range of motion to the left side. Sometimes when I move my shoulder the bones in my neck pop. If only I were as flexible as those boys who survived the ramp.
I have broken parts of my left ankle and foot three different occasions, and I have to wear a brace sometimes. That is a "funny" story for another day. Yesterday, I aggravated that ankle while exercising and have to wear my brace.  Plus, I am wearing an elbow brace because I have 'writer's elbow' - more commonly known as tennis elbow. So, this morning I wake up with the neck pain. Neck, ankle and elbow this week. I am really not that old, but when seen in public, I look like I may have been in an auto accident. LOL. I try to eat well, and exercise. I don't smoke, and I drink alcohol in moderation. But, I am having a hard time looking and feeling my best. All these aches and pains - it does not feel like I am aging gracefully.