Welcome to the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be taking part in the “Watch RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Write” Showcase Tour. Thank you for joining me. I’d like to introduce Karen Ingalls.

JUST ONE MORE

The bright neon lights of Las Vegas did nothing to improve Jack’s self-loathing. He walked the Vegas strip with head hung down and his shoulders slumped, ignoring the people rushing past him. He was desperate as he fingered the five coins in his pocket, knowing they were the last of his money

The hot, bright sun did nothing to lift Jack’s spirits. “What am I going to do? Where should I go?” His questions went unanswered. He did not know how long he had been walking, but he soon realized how hungry he was. He stopped at the intersection looking in all directions, not knowing where he was and not caring. The crosswalk signal changed, and the crowd of laughing and drunk people, pushed him out into the street. Jack looked down as he stepped onto the curb and saw a wallet. He picked it up and looked around. The people that had once surrounded him had dispersed in different directions moving far away from him.

Jack slipped the wallet into his coat pocket and walked into the nearest casino and entered the men’s room. He went into the first open stall and with shaking hands he opened the wallet revealing a large amount of one hundred-dollar bills. “This can’t be. I must return the wallet.” He searched further and found a driver’s license for a Stephen Richardson from New York City. There were credit cards plus a family photo of a man, woman, and two young girls. “I suppose this is his family.”

“I will get hold of Mr. Richardson and tell him I found his wallet.” Jack put the wallet back in his coat and left the stall. He stood in front of the mirror looking at the unshaven face and unkempt hair. He washed his face and ran his fingers through his hair. He pulled his tie up and tucked in his shirt. “Well, I look a little better. Maybe I could use one of these bills, get a shave and haircut and have enough left over for dinner and a room for the night.” Jack reasoned that Mr. Richardson will never miss one hundred dollars out of the thousands in the wallet.

The lights of the casino were less intrusive, and the noise lifted his spirits a little. Jack walked past the slot machines and gaming tables out into a hallway. He walked past clothing stores and gift shops until he came upon a barber shop. The shave with the hot fragrant towels followed by a shampoo and haircut were what Jack’s weathered appearance needed. He hardly recognized the face in the mirror looking back at him.

“Perhaps a new shirt, slacks, and jacket would not be too expensive.” Jack reasoned that he would pay Mr. Richardson back every penny once he gets back on his feet.

The memory of his gambling habits which caused the loss of his marriage, job, and friends had faded. “I will never become that person again. I will change for the better.”

The new clothes and filling steak dinner with all the trimmings, relaxed Jack, and he confidently made his way back through the casino. The slot machines were well occupied and occasionally Jack heard the screams from a winner while the lights and sirens of the winning machine blared. “I would rather play poker than throw my money down the one-armed bandit.” He stopped at a Texas Hold ‘Em table where there was one vacant seat. “A few hands won’t hurt anything. I can play with Mr. Richardson’s money and pay him back with my winnings.”

The free drinks, the smoke, the cocktail waitresses and the sound of the cards being shuffled were magic to his ears. With each hand dealt, Jack became more determined to win the big one. He eyed each of the players trying to read their body language. On the fourth deal he opened his hand to reveal two queens. The flop showed a queen, seven, and a five. Jack made a modest bet. The dealer placed another card up which was a ten. Jack called the bet made by a player across from him. They placed the final card up revealing a seven, which gave Jack a good hand of two pairs. He raised the bet from another player and watched as other players either folded or called.

“I must have a winning hand because no one is aggressively betting,” he reasoned. “I’m all in,” he announced as he pushed all $500.00 of his chips into the middle. Players folded one after another except for the man sitting across from him. Jack tried to remain calm and put his shaking hands in his lap. The noise in the casino seemed to become louder and perspiration ran down his face.

“I’ll call.” The man turned his cards over to reveal two sevens.

“That can’t be. I had you beat.” Jack felt weak and nauseous. “Hold my place. I’ll be back.” He knelt in front of the commode and vomited up his lunch. At the sink he washed his face, straightened his tie and took another $500.00 out of the wallet. At this point he did not care and had convinced himself it was his money. “I found it. Finders, keepers.”

The evening turned to long hours. There were no windows or clocks in the casino, so Jack had no awareness of the hours slipping by in the same way the money was slipping away.

Jack’s luck and poker skills did not change. He won a few small hands, but he never recouped what he lost. He took his last $100.00 bill out of the wallet. “All I need is one good hand. Just one more.”

The big winning hand never came. Jack threw the empty wallet into a trashcan and walked out into the bright, sunny and hot day. He could not adjust his eyes to the brightness as he staggered down the street. “What am I going to do? Where should I go?”

Jack did not have one more game to play. He was found on a park bench late that night, alone, penniless, and without any life force in his body, still dressed in the new clothes.

***

Thank you for supporting Karen Ingalls along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! If you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit her Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of her writing, along with her contact and social media links.

You might also check out her books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and I hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Click the link below to learn more about this author:

Karen Ingalls https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-karen-ingalls-2/

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Welcome to the WATCH #RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RRBCWRW

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be taking part in the “Watch RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Write” Showcase Tour. Thank you for joining me. If you have enjoyed this author’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

You might also want to check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Today’s special guest:

Bernard Foong: “STOP WORRYING”

Stop Worrying
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom

Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London, England
I was delighted to see Uncle James after several months of absence. The evening before my mother’s arrival in London, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my English guardian. He had kindly invited Andy and me to sup with him at one of London’s oldest English establishments – Simpson’s-in-the-Strand.
“What is worrying you, boy?” Uncle James pressed. “You know you can ask or tell me anything. I promised your mother that I’ll do my best to assist you, while you are in my care.”
Touched by his kindheartedness, I muttered, “I know my mother is in London to whisk me away from Andy. She’d gotten wind that I am having a homosexual affair with a boy. Is that true?”
My guardian gave a hearty laugh. “That is indeed true, and it was I, who told her about Andy. Most importantly she is here to see her darling son and to meet his mannerly beau.”
“If she intends to get to know Andy Why is she bolting me, with her female entourage to Europe for two weeks?” I questioned.
“She misses her son and wants to spend time with you,” my guardian answered on my mother’s behalf.
“Knowing my relatives, they’re likely to convince her that my homosexuality is a sin,” I countered.
James acknowledged. “Although that is true, you should evince to them that you have come into your own and you have the right to love whom you choose. Young, positive actions will always speak louder than words.
“Your mother is a worldly and a well-traveled woman. She understands you more than anybody else, besides Andy.”
“It’s hard not to worry,” I opined.
Andy, who had thus far remained quiet, expressed, “My dearest, the answer lies in your beliefs in the negative and the positive about worrying. On the negative side, you may believe that your worrying is going to spiral out of control, which will drive you crazy, and may damage your health.
“On the flip-side, you may believe that your worrying will help you to avoid bad things; like preparing you for the worst and then coming up with solutions. In my opinion, your worrying shows you’re a caring and conscientious person.”
Uncle James denoted, “Andy is in part correct. Negative beliefs or worrying about worrying add to your anxiety.
“But, positive beliefs about worrying can at times be damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. To stop worrying, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem and not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.”
He paused before he rejoined, “Young, you can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.
“Let me cite you an example: daily, I have tough decisions to make as the CFO of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and it is not easy to be productive if I allow worries and anxiety to dominate my thoughts….”
My Valet asked before my uncle could finish. “What techniques do you use to rectify that, sir?”
James responded smilingly, “It doesn’t work to tell myself to stop worrying; at least not for long even if I can distract myself for a moment. I can’t banish those anxious thoughts for good. Trying to do that often makes these thoughts stronger and more persistent.
“Thought stopping often backfires because it forces me to pay extra attention to that very thought I want to avoid, thereby making it seem even more important. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing I can do to control worry. This is where the strategy of postponement of worrying comes in. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of the anxious thought, I give myself permission to have it, but I put off dwelling on it until later.”
He took a breather before he resumed, “Postponing worrying is effective because it breaks the habit of dwelling on worries when I’ve other more pressing matters to attend to, yet there’s no struggle to suppress the thought or judge it. I simply save it for later. As I develop the ability to postpone my anxious thoughts, I realize that I have control over them.”
Andy inquired curiously, “How do you stop thoughts of worry from reemergence by deferment?”
The CFO answered, “There are three steps I take to accomplish this goal.
“First, I create a ‘worry period.’ I choose a set time and place for worrying. For me, it is from 6:00 to 6:30 PM so that it is early enough for me to not be anxious before dinner and bedtime. During my worry period, I allow myself to worry about whatever is on my mind, while the rest of the day, is a worry-free zone.
“If an anxious thought comes into my head during the day, I make a brief note of it and then continue about my day. I remind myself that I will have time to think about it later. Therefore, there isn’t any need to worry about it for now.
“Lastly, I go over my worry list during the appointed worry period. If the thoughts I had written continue to bother me, I allow myself to worry about them. But only for the time I’ve set aside for my worry period. If those worry thoughts don’t seem important anymore, I cut short my worry period to enjoy the rest of my evening.”
My Valet exclaimed, “What a brilliant way to deal with worry and anxiety.”
James gave an acceding nod and added, “You see, worrisome thoughts and problem-solving are two very different things. Problem-solving involves evaluating a situation, before coming up with concrete steps to deal with it, and before putting the desired plan into action.
“Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time I spend dwelling on the worst-case scenarios, I am no more prepared to deal with them should the actual event happen.”
I queried, “How then, do you distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries?”
“Young, It is much easier than you think. If a worry pops into my head, I start by asking myself if the problem is something I can actually solve. I ask myself these questions:
Is the problem something I am currently facing, or an imaginary what-if? If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is my concern realistic? Can I do something about the problem to prepare for it, or is it out of my control?”
He sipped his wine and continued, “Productive, solvable worries are those I can take action on right away. For example: if I’m worried about my bills, I could call my creditors to see about flexible payment options.
“Now, unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. Like: What if I get cancer someday? Or what if my kid gets into an accident?
“If the worry is solvable, I start brainstorming by making a list of all the possible solutions I can think of. What I try not to do, is get hung up on finding the perfect solution. I focus on the things I can change, rather than dwell on the circumstances or realities beyond my control. After I’ve evaluated my options, I draw out a plan of action. Once I have a plan, I can start to do something about the problem. This way I feel less worried.”
My lover questioned, “How do you deal with unsolvable worries or a worry I cannot solve?”
“Andy, you’re not a chronic worrier, but if you are, it is vital for you to tune into your emotions. In the majority of cases, worrying helps a person avoid unpleasant emotions. Worrying keeps one in one’s head – like thinking about how to solve problems rather than allowing him or herself to feel the underlying emotions. Yet, one cannot worry one’s emotions away. While a person is worrying, his/her feelings are temporarily suppressed. As soon as the worrying stops, the feelings bounce back. Then, the person start worrying about his/her feelings, like: ‘What’s wrong with me? I should not feel this way!’” James paused when our waiter fill our wine glasses.
When he departed, my uncle resumed, “It may appear alarming to embrace one’s emotions because of a person’s negative belief system. For example, I may believe that I should always be rational and be in control and that my feelings should make sense. Or I shouldn’t feel certain emotions, such as fear or anger.
“The truth is that emotions, like life, are complex. They don’t always make sense and are not always pleasant. But as long as I can accept my feelings as part of being human, I will be able to experience them without being overwhelmed, and I can learn how to use these emotions to my advantage.”
I remarked, “Uncle, it is difficult to accept uncertainties when I don’t know the outcome.”
“That is indeed true. The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and worry. Chronic worriers cannot stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with a hundred percent certainty what is going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future holds, to prevent unpleasant surprises, and to control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.
“By thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. My dear boy, if you want to stop worrying, start by tackling your need for certainty and immediate answers,” my surrogate dad counseled.
“Worrying is usually focused on the future, on what might happen and what you’ll do about it. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries and redirect your focus back to the present. This strategy is based on observation and release, in contrast to the previous techniques I mentioned; that of challenging your anxious thoughts or postponing them to a worry period. Merging these two strategies together will help you to identify the roots of the problems and will assist you to be in touch with your emotions.
“By not ignoring, resisting, or controlling them, and through acknowledgment and observation of the anxious thoughts and feelings, one then views the worrisome thoughts without immediate reactions or judgments, from an outsider’s perspective.”
“My dear fellas, let go of your worries. When you don’t control your anxious thoughts, they will pass; like clouds moving across the sky. Stay focus on the present, pay attention to your ever-changing emotions, and always bring your attention back to the present,” my surrogate dad reassured as our English roasts arrived for us to dig in.

https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-bernard-foong-rrbc-rwisa/

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Welcome to the WATCH #RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RRBCWRW

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be taking part in the “Watch RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Write” Showcase Tour. Thank you for joining me. If you have enjoyed this author’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

You might also want to check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Today’s special guest:

Rhani D’Chae: “THE WEEK MY FATHER DIED”

THE WEEK MY FATHER DIED

I was at work when my mother called to tell me that dad had been rushed to the hospital the night before, suffering from excruciating pain in his abdomen.

Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer about fifteen years earlier and it had spread to other parts of his body, but he had been doing fairly well so there was no reason to anticipate something like this.

Mom told me that dad had spent quite a bit of time at the hospital while they ran numerous tests to discover the cause of his pain. Long story short, his kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done. He was sent home with a hospice nurse, so that he could be with his family in comfortable surroundings when the end came.

We rented a hospital bed and put it next to the front window so that he could see outside into the yard. We kept instrumental hymns playing on the stereo and moved mom’s chair closer to the bed so that she could be nearer to him.

And that’s when things started to get a little crazy.

James, my seeing eye son, was living with mom and dad at the time, and my sister, who I was living with at the time, drove out with me every day. Gail, my other sister, also came out daily, as did her husband, her four children and their collection of young ones.

Gail’s grandkids were all under ten and did not really understand the severity of the situation. They knew that Papa was going home to see Jesus, but that was about as far as it went. Gail’s family had never lived close to mom and dad, so their kids only saw my parents three or four times a year. None of them had a close relationship with dad, so the thought of losing him did not rate overly high on their radar.

For five days, the kids ran through the house, slamming the doors and yelling to each other. Even when they were sent outside, the noise was loud enough to be heard everywhere in the house. Their respective parents would occasionally tell them to tone it down, but they were kids and that’s what kids do.

At one point, one of my nephews-in-law decided to commemorate the occasion by putting it on film. He videotaped everyone going to my father’s side and saying goodbye. Maybe it was the stress of the situation, but I didn’t like what he was doing. My father’s death was not a photo-op, and I resented anything that made it seem that way.

I remember being called into the living room and told to say something to dad. I had already spoken to him several times, telling him that I loved him and assuring him that mom would be taken care of. Having my niece’s husband dictate to me where to stand and how long to talk so that he could get it on film, was infuriating.

As six families moved through the house each day, my mother spent most of her time sitting with dad, reading the Bible to him and making the most of the time that remained. She loved having her family close, but as the days passed, I could see that the noise and constant disruption was getting to her. I did speak to my nieces individually on several occasions, asking if they could please keep the kids quiet, at least in the house. They always said they would, and I know that they meant it at the time, but it never happened. The noise, the chasing from room to room, and the constant interruptions into my parents’ private space, continued. I could see that it was upsetting my mother, and I finally decided to put my foot down.

I took my mom and Gail into the bedroom and asked mom what she wanted or needed. She thought about it for a long moment and then said, very simply, that she wanted to answer the phone. Either Gail or one of her daughters had been taking the phone calls and making a list of the callers. Mom wanted to speak to those people, most of them from her church, and was upset that she was not being allowed to do so. And she wanted the volume around her to be turned down to a much less disruptive level.

Gail said that she would take care of it, and she did. Within hours, her grandkids had been taken by their fathers to another location. I didn’t know where they went, and I didn’t much care. They were gone, the house was quiet, and that was all that mattered to me.
Later in the day, James, my other sister Sharon and I,
took mom to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Dad was fairly unresponsive by then, so she felt that it was okay to take a little break.

We were gone for about an hour, and by the time we got back, everyone else was back as well. But at least mom had a few hours of uninterrupted time with dad, and I’m so grateful that the girls understood and were willing to do what was needed to give her that.

My father passed that night, surrounded by family and carried home on the sound of our voices singing his favorite hymns. Standing in a semi-circle around the bed, we held hands as we sang, while my brother-in-law, a minister, laid his hands on my father’s head and prayed him home.

As cancer deaths go, my father’s was fairly quick. He had been fully functional up until the night he went to the emergency room, enjoying his life without much discomfort. He avoided the long hospital stays and horrific pain that are so often a part of that kind of death. My aunt Gloria died of lung cancer when I was eighteen or so. I went to see her in the hospital, and I remember a shrunken figure in the bed, hooked up to monitors and numerous IV lines. Her time of dying took several long and torturous weeks, and I will always be thankful that my father was spared a similar end. I would have hated to have my last memory of this strong and vital man, be that of a wasted shadow of the man that he had always been.

I thank the Lord that it didn’t go that way.

https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-rhani-dchae/

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“Magic and miracles are sometimes interchangeable” — Long Stories Short.

LONG STORIES SHORT is on sale through October 8th. This collection of ten captivating short stories of drama, suspense and paranormal will entertain, surprise, and maybe even turn skeptics into true believers in the magic and mystery of the universe.

Here’s an excerpt from “One Step at a Time.”

“The figure who seemed to materialize from the edge of the forest, moved warily from the thick vegetation to the edge of the field staying in the shadows. The creature paused, surveyed the area, and then loped toward the cabin. Eli’s eyesight was not what it once was, but he didn’t think he was watching a bear.”

Sale Ad-Oct

https://amzn.to/2y1tOEp

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It’s a Blog Hop! Today is the last of thirteen days of featured authors and I have two.

Welcome to the #RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Each featured author is a member of Rave Review Book Club and they have penned and published some great reads. I’ll be featuring a different author every day, from September 18th through September 30th. Pick up a copy of one of the authors’ books, and don’t forget to leave a review! You can also visit the “HOPS” main page at: https://bit.ly/2OzXHlo
As an added bonus, for every comment you leave on the main page during this tour,your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour.
Today’s first featured author is: Michael Hicks Thompson, author of THE RECTOR – https://www.amazon.com/dp/098452827X

Book Blurb: Thompson’s engaging, high-energy Christian murder mystery is narrated by Martha McRae, a woman living in a small Mississippi town who seeks to solve the mystery of the sudden death of pastor David Baddour. Throughout the novel, readers are introduced to the cast of characters who inhabit the small Delta town in the 1950s. The book gleefully mixes all the elements of a small-town murder mystery—gossip, foul play, backstabbing—and, as more is revealed about Pastor Baddour and the other townspeople, more mysteries, hypocrisies, and dangers add to the intrigue. Thompson’s tale looks intimately at what it means to function in a community—how a population can reveal and obscure the truth. The Rector works as a suspenseful murder mystery, Thompson also incorporates a spiritual and religious undertone to the story. This Christian Murder Mystery successfully intertwines faith in its plot twists with surprising results.

This small-town tale, set in the 1950s, delves into religion, spirituality, and murder; and is exceedingly clever and cunning. The small community of Solo, Mississippi, is rocked after the murder of a prominent religious figure. Law officials consider the case closed, much to the dismay of widow Martha McRae. She questions how the young rector could die so unexpectedly. After sharing her suspicion with her bible study leader, Betty Crain, a chain of events is set off in the small southern community. Gossip soon abounds with murmurings of foul play, murder, and loss of faith. In the case of whodunit, Martha soon finds that asking questions has put her own life in peril, as she comes face to face with evil.

Twitter: @mhthompsonsr

The second featured author is: : Victoria Saccenti, author of DESTINY’S PLAN – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010361G4O/


Book Blurb: One empty bus seat. Two aching hearts. A future written by Fate…When Raquelita Muro’s overbearing mother rips her and her little sister away from their beloved Papa, one tiny, rebellious corner of Raquelita’s heart is grateful that the bus is crowded, and the only seat left is out of Mama’s sight. Next to a handsome young man.

Matthew Buchanan’s beautiful traveling companion is more than something pretty to look at before he ships out for Viet Nam. Deep in her sad, whisky-colored eyes he glimpses a new dream to replace the ones he’s leaving behind. It breaks his heart to leave Raquelita in her tyrannical mother’s hands, but she gifts him with a token of love and a tender promise to exchange letters in secret.

But their first, shy “hello” has reached the ears of Fate. Fate is in the mood to see how far it can push two lonely hearts—to the brink of temptation, desperation, and despair—before they break. Perhaps beyond any hope of healing…

Twitter: @VictoriaSAuthor

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It’s a Blog Hop! Today is Day 7 of thirteen days of featured authors.

Welcome to the #RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! Each featured author is a member of Rave Review Book Club and they have penned and published some great reads. I’ll be featuring a different author every day, from September 18th through September 30th. Pick up a copy of one of the authors’ books, and don’t forget to leave a review! You can also visit the “HOPS” main page at: https://bit.ly/2OzXHlo

As an added bonus, for every comment you leave on the main page during this tour,your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour.

Today’s featured author is: Karen Ingalls, author of OUTSHINE: AN OVARIAN CANCER MEMOIR – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KI1HGZI/


Book Blurb:

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized ho little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality. In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

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