12 Life Lessons I Learned in 2017

If you haven’t learned some of these yet…just keep living – you will. 😉

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  • Growth is painful, uncomfortable, and frustrating. It reveals the raw and aching part of us and demands our masks to fall so that we may accept who we truly are and what truly is. This is unpleasant and frightening but necessary because, without this kind of mental and physical suffering, we cannot grow.

  • Deceit lies, and lack of proper communication can destroy any relationship. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known a person, how many secrets you’ve shared, how many deep conversations you’ve engaged in or how many tears you’ve shed, deception is a rotten fruit that contaminates weak foundations. No matter how embarrassing or silly, be upfront with the people you say that you love.

  • There is, sadly, a thing as being too nice. Energy is precious and we cannot risk being vulnerable to the first smile or positive comment that is thrown in our direction. Not in this…

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“All the Money in the World” by John Pearson

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“All the Money in the World: previously published as Painfully Rich”

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Release Date:  December 1, 2011
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Inspired by the most infamous incident involving the Getty family – now a major film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer

Oil tycoon J. Paul Getty created the greatest fortune in America – and came close to destroying his own family in the process. Of his four sons who reached manhood, only one survived relatively unscathed. One killed himself, one became a drug-addicted recluse and the third had to bear the stigma all his life of being disinherited in childhood.

The unhappiness continued into the next generation, with the name Getty, as one journalist put it, ‘becoming synonymous for family dysfunction’. Getty’s once favourite grandson John Paul Getty III was kidnapped by the Italian mafia who cut off his ear to raise a ransom and, after a lifetime of drink and drugs, became a paraplegic. His granddaughter Aileen has AIDS. And the Getty family itself has been torn apart by litigation over their poisoned inheritance.

But did the disaster have to happen? John Pearson, who has specialized in biographies of families as varied as the Churchills, the British Royal Family, the Devonshires and the Krays, sets out to find the answer. The result, first published in 1995, is a fascinating saga of an extraordinary dynasty.

He traces much of the trouble to the bizarre character of the avaricious, sex-obsessed billionaire, J. Paul Getty himself – and demonstrates how much of his behaviour has been repeated in succeeding generations. He describes the famous kidnapping of his grandson in graphic detail, revealing how the old man’s attitude added considerably to the boy’s sufferings. And he shows how the family has coped with the latest modern scourges: drugs and AIDS.

For Painfully Rich is not a hopeless story. While some of the family have been damaged by the Getty legacy, others have saved themselves from disaster, most notably the cricket-loving philanthropist, J. Paul Getty Jr. Pearson’s moving story of his recovery from drugs and deep personal tragedy shows that there is hope for future generations of this stricken family – and demonstrates that money can be used to buy survival and even happiness.

How It All Began

A good PI story? I’m in! 😉👍

Phyllis Entis

Today’s release of the new cover for The Green Pearl Caper represents a milestone in the coming-of-age of the Damien Dickens Mysteries series.

First published in the spring of 2015, The Green Pearl Caper has garnered numerous 4-star and 5-star reviews on Amazon, goodreads and other book retailer sites, and earned Library Journal’s SELF-e Selection award.

I have been asked, from time to time, how Damien Dickens and his world came into being.

I could say that he was the result of long, careful planning, but that would be a lie.

I could say that the entire plot came to me in a dream, but that, too, would be a lie.

In fact, the genesis of The Green Pearl Caper and the entire Damien Dickens series took place during a drop-in writing workshop in La Jolla, California.

The premise of the hour-long workshop, Pen to Paper, was simple. The moderator…

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I’ll Get You My Pretty! NOT – Guest Post, by Julia Flynn #kindness

Didi Oviatt -Author

I’d like to welcome Julia Flynn to the blog today! I’ve had some very impact-full submissions for guest posts since I opened my doors, and it’s so EXCITING! I couldn’t pass up on this amazing message on kindness by Julia, and I’m thrilled to share it with you all today!

I intend on posting one guest post a week(ish) so please feel free to keep the Submissions a-comin’. 

Julia, it’s a pleasure to have you here today! Your message on kindness is so important and it’s possibly the most creative way to portray it that I’ve ever come across. Keep spreading inspiration and kindness, you’re great at it!


I’ll Get You My Pretty! NOT.

Grim, that is how the Kindness Challenge’s self-compassion week felt! Self-love week was joyous while unloved and unseen parts bathed themselves in self-love, enjoying the warmth and healing. But self-compassion the sacred act of suffering with the suffering parts…

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Fibromyalgia and Somatic Pain

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It’s estimated that around 100 million Americans deal with some form of chronic pain. As you can imagine, doctors spend a lot of time trying to find ways to treat that pain. That’s why they’ve created a system that allows them to categorize pain.

Basically, there are three major categories of pain: nociceptive, neuropathic, and idiopathic. But there are also many sub-categories, including one that will be especially interesting to people with fibromyalgia, somatic pain.

So, what is somatic pain? Why is it relevant to fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat it?

What Is Somatic Pain?

Somatic pain is classified under the broader category of nociceptive pain. Nociceptive pain is caused by small receptors in the skin and the tissue underneath called nociceptors. When the nociceptors are injured, like when you cut yourself, they send electrical signals along the nerves to the brain.

The brain then interprets these signals as pain and sends signals back down the nerves to the area where the nociceptors are located. That’s why when you cut your arm it hurts where the skin was injured, even though the pain really starts in the brain.

Somatic pain also triggers these nociceptors, but the term “somatic pain” specifically refers to pain that comes from the soft tissues of the body like the skin, connective tissues, and muscles.

And there are two different types of somatic pain: superficial and deep. Superficial somatic pain is pain that comes from the skin and mucous membranes. Any injury to this tissue like a cut, burn, or infection leads to somatic pain.

Deep somatic pain occurs in the tissue underneath the skin like the joints, bones, or tendons. If you pull a muscle in your leg, you’re experiencing deep somatic pain. The same applies to conditions like arthritis, which leads to swelling of the connective tissue of the joints.

Superficial pain is usually more like a sharp stabbing or burning sensation, whereas deep pain seems to be more like a throbbing or aching pain.

Obviously, it’s a very broad category. And there a number of conditions that can lead to somatic pain.

While the pain of fibromyalgia is classified as idiopathic pain, people who suffer from fibromyalgia are also more likely to develop a number of these conditions.

Somatic Pain And Fibromyalgia

Having fibromyalgia raises your risk of developing a wide number of conditions. Some of the most common ones are autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune conditions include things like arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s syndrome. These conditions are caused when the immune system begins to attack the tissue, leading to inflammation. In arthritis, the connective tissue of the joints, or the synovium, begins to swell.

When you have lupus, the immune system attacks tissue all over the body, including the skin. People with lupus sometimes develop large rashes on the skin. These rashes are very sensitive to light, and exposure to UV rays can cause somatic pain.

And Sjogren’s syndrome attacks the mucous membranes. As a result, they swell and the membranes lose their ability to produce moisture. This can lead to significant pain as the membranes are gradually damaged.

Luckily, there are things you can do to treat the pain.

What Can You Do To Treat It?

What sort of treatment you need obviously depends on what the condition is that’s causing it. The most common forms of pain management are simple, over-the-counter painkillers. These work by blocking the enzymes that produce inflammation, which makes them great for treating autoimmune disorders.

They’re’ also great for minor injuries along with some basic first aid. For deep pain, icing the affected area is often helpful for reducing the amount of pain you feel.

For more serious pain, doctors often prescribe physical therapy or opioid pain relievers. Opioids are one of the most effective tools we have for treating severe pain. But they also carry some serious risks. Opioid overdose deaths are a major concern in many countries. The CDC estimates that around 91 Americans die every day from opioids.

And they carry a serious risk of physical dependency, where your body needs the medication to function. That’s not to say that opioids can’t be useful for managing pain. But it’s extremely important to take them responsibly and always follow a doctors recommendation.

If you’re experiencing pain, it’s always best to see a doctor. They should be able to give you a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your physician.

“Framed – A Black Swann Investigation” by Wayne Kerr #Excerpt #Giveaway

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Framed Excerpt

Okanagan Bliss

A police cruiser sat outside the house as I pulled into the garage. All kinds of thoughts entered my mind, none of them pleasant. Had my investigation ruffled some feathers? I quickly made my way inside, not bothering to remove my helmet. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard laughter coming from the kitchen. From the doorway, I spotted Mom and Hannah sitting at the table, sipping tall pink concoctions. On the counter, beyond them, stood the blender, a bottle of Bacardi, a cutting board and the remnants of chopped fruit.

I stepped into the room.

“Hi, honey,” Mom said. “Look who stopped by to see you.”

Hannah waved, and though she was still in her uniform, the open collar without tie and hat made her seem much more casual.

“Hi, Hannah,” I said, removing my helmet and shaking out my hair. “I hope you haven’t been waiting too long.”

“My shift ended at eight and I came right over. I wish I’d gotten here sooner,” Hannah laughed. “Your mom is a hoot.”

Another tall glass magically appeared on the table before I had managed to sit down. The nectar of the gods slid across my tongue. The look on my face caused giggles from my tablemates.

“Good isn’t it?” Hannah’s question was an understatement.

“What is this?” I asked after a larger sample.

Mom raised her glass. “I call my little concoction ‘Okanagan Bliss’. I throw peaches, plums, pears, ice, and rum into the blender and this marvelous mixture is the result.”

“To bliss,” Hannah said, then we clinked our glasses together.

“I can use some bliss right now,” I said, after swallowing another mouthful. Then while we polished off our Okanagan Bliss and another blender full after that, I told them about my frustrating afternoon. My serial killer theory had turned out to be a lot less fruitful than our drinks.

“Don’t be so certain,” Hannah said. From next to her chair, she retrieved a leather satchel and pulled out a one-inch-thick ream of paper. “I ran a nation-wide missing persons search this afternoon.”

“There are that many missing people in Canada?” Mom asked, her voice filled with alarm.

“Oh, heavens no,” Hannah responded.

Mom patted her chest and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness, you had me worried.”

Having been in law enforcement for all those years I knew what was coming. I reached over and took Mom’s hand.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Hannah informed her. “For our purposes, I didn’t include missing children, older folks or men.”

“Oh my,” Mom said. “I had no idea.”

“Most people don’t,” Hannah told her, then turned to me and slid the stack my way. “These are the women between eighteen and forty who are missing and/or presumed dead.”

“How many are there?” I asked, giving Mom’s hand a final squeeze before thumbing through the missing women.

“Over the past ten years, 182 women have gone missing and are, as of yet, unaccounted for,” Hannah informed us.

“That’s awful.” A look of horror swept across Mom’s face. “Those poor women.”

“I assure you that some of these women are alive and well,” I told Mom, hoping to make her feel better.

“Some of them are hiding,” Hannah piped in.

“Hiding?” Mom asked.

“Escaping abusive relationships,” I told her. “A few are hiding from the law, to avoid prosecution.”

“Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” Mom said.

“But most are likely dead,” Hannah said.

“Hannah!” I said, indicating with my eyes to tone things down, for Mom’s sake.

“Many of them are possibly,” Hannah hesitated trying to find the right wording, “in heaven by now.”

“Really?” I laughed.

“I tried,” Hannah giggled. I laughed, she laughed and even Mom joined in. Guilt over the subject matter sobered us quickly, though.

“To the ones that got away,” Mom said, raising her glass. “Stay safe ladies, wherever you are.”

“Hear, hear,” Hannah and I added. We drained our glasses.

Title: Framed – A Black Swann Investigation

Author: Wayne Kerr

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder…

A cop has very few friends in prison.  After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test, and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose.

Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her hometown of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective?

The real murderer does. He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!

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~ Author Bio ~

Wayne KerrCanadian author, Wayne Kerr, was born and raised in the small town of Biggar, Saskatchewan (New York is big, but this is Biggar).  He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, thirty-nine years ago and has lived happily ever since.  They resided in the United States for the past twenty years, but recently returned to Canada and now call the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia home.  The writer honed his story-telling skills while keeping his five younger siblings and later his daughter entertained during long cold winters.  When not reading or writing thrillers, Wayne is probably hiking, biking or playing tennis.

For more information on the author and his books please visit: waynekerrnovels.com or follow him on Twitter: @waynekerrnovels


website: waynekerrnovels.com

twitter: @waynkerrnovels

Amazon: https://goo.gl/qQonNw

~ R A F F L E C O P T E R ~

Enter to win one of FIVE paperback copies of Framed: A Black Swann Investigation!


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“The Best Punctuation Book, Period” by June Casagrande

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“The Best Punctuation Book, Period: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson

Genre: Etymology/Grammar/Reference

Release Date:  April 15, 2014

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This all-in-one reference is a quick and easy way for book, magazine, online, academic, and business writers to look up sticky punctuation questions for all styles including AP (Associated Press), MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago Manual of Style.

Punctuate with Confidence—No Matter the Style

Confused about punctuation? There’s a reason. Everywhere you turn, publications seem to follow different rules on everything from possessive apostrophes to hyphens to serial commas. Then there are all the gray areas of punctuation—situations the rule books gloss over or never mention at all. At last, help has arrived.

This complete reference guide from grammar columnist June Casagrande covers the basic rules of punctuation plus the finer points not addressed anywhere else, offering clear answers to perplexing questions about semicolons, quotation marks, periods, apostrophes, and more. Better yet, this is the only guide that uses handy icons to show how punctuation rules differ for book, news, academic, and science styles—so you can boldly switch between essays, online newsletters, reports, fiction, and magazine and news articles.

This handbook also features rulings from an expert “Punctuation Panel” so you can see how working pros approach sticky situations. And the second half of the book features an alphabetical master list of commonly punctuated terms worth its weight in gold, combining rulings from the major style guides and showing exactly where they differ. With The Best Punctuation Book, Period, you’ll be able to handle any punctuation predicament in a flash—and with aplomb.


June Casagrande is author of the weekly syndicated “A Word, Please” grammar column that runs in newspapers in Southern California, Florida, and Texas. She runs the GrammarUnderground.com grammar tips website. She has worked for the Los Angeles Times’ community news division as a reporter, features writer, copy editor, and city editor. She currently copy edits Special Sections of the Los Angeles Times and teaches copy editing online for UC San Diego Extension.

“Star Wars™ Character Encyclopedia” by Pablo Hidalgo

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“Star Wars™ Character Encyclopedia

Genre: Film/Reference

Release Date: April 7, 2017

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A New York Times bestseller and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award winner, this updated and expanded encyclopedia explores more than 200 characters from the complete Star Wars™ saga.

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded, the definitive guide to the people, aliens, and Droids™ of the Star Wars galaxy, is back, bigger and better than ever before, and packed with new Star Wars characters.

Want to know how tall Darth Vader is? Or where the ferocious Nexu comes from? Look no further than the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded. With profiles of heroes, villains, and everyone in between, this handy guide is full of fun facts and intriguing information guaranteed to enthrall fans for hours on end.

© & TM 2016 LUCASFILM LTD. Used Under Authorization.


An expert on a variety of genre obsessions, from classic animation to shape-shifting robots, Pablo Hidalgo started writing about fantastic subject matters professionally in 1995 as a freelance author for roleplaying games.

In 2000, he changed careers from a visual effects concept artist and digital compositor in Canada to a full-time Star Wars authority at Lucasfilm Ltd., working with their marketing department. Since then, he has overseen the development of websites, co-authored several books and developed a number of online comic books and strips.

He lives in San Francisco.