Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Signing Party & Winners Announced

I was so excited to have so many come during such an extremely busy time of year. It meant so much to me.

I thought about what I wanted to say for over a week, but something happens when you're standing in front of all those people. The words that sound so eloquent in your head when you're thinking about what you'll say, sound very different coming from your mouth.

(Picture of me and my beautiful cover model, Madison Robinson)

I started off by telling them the obvious. The title of my book is very fitting, because butterflies are waging a war in my stomach. I'm going to do a brief recap from my notes, but understand, I was a good public speaker... in the aspect ONLY that I didn't read from my notes. I looked around at the audience (not really making eye contact with anyone :)

My first memory of writing is in the 3rd grade. A simple poem about kites.
I first fell in love with reading in my early twenties. But, I didn't always read the best material. But I would get addicted to the story and as soon as I was finished I was at the store or the library looking for the next book in the series.

Until, my mom gave me her historical fiction collection written by Christian authors. I liked these a whole lot better than those other not so good reads.

I figured out it's just as easy to get hooked on things of Christ. And I figured out I felt a whole lot better about myself too. Then I was introduced to Karen Kingsbury, and then the Left Behind Series. If y'all are readers... and haven't tried these. What are you waiting for? Though be warned ... there will be no laundry done until book is read.

Everyone asks me what my story's about? It's not about me ... though there are some tidbits of my life scattered throughout. There has to be. After all, I have to write about what I know. I do not write non-fiction. I admire those that do. Because I read a lot of non-fiction. I write inspirational romance sprinkled with suspense.

(Picture of me & my beautiful friend, Angie Scott)

Typically, from what I've been told my stories suit women of all ages and even a few men. My father-in-law, who couldn't be with us tonight, is waiting to have triple bypass surgery. Thank you for all your prayers. He's one of my biggest fans. He's read all of my books (unedited, I might add... and that's ugly) but he's always asking when I'll have another one for him to read. The first thing he said to me last night when I walked in his room ... "Ann (My mother-in-law) sold her copy of your book to the nurse." So I took her another one. My sister-in-law sent me a text to bring a few more, because she sold that one too. 
As I was leaving, he said good luck at your book signing. He wanted to be here. They all did. But we're all together in spirit. And I know he's in God's hands and he's going to feel so much better after the surgery.

I'm stepping out of my box and telling people that I've published a book ... Their first question...What's it about? I freeze up, ya'll. Like a block of ice. I go completely brain dead. Why is it so hard to tell someone what my book's about?

A haunted past intertwines with the present as a woman searches for the truth that will finally set her free.

How did I come up with my setting? The year Rocky and I got married, I went on a trip with our choir to Lancaster County, PA, and fell in love with the Amish lifestyle ... little did I know that only a few years later I would be writing about them.
Broken Butterfly isn't an Amish story, but you'll get a good dose of the Amish culture and I love my Amish characters.

My reasons for writing are very simple.
I love to read a good novel and hate when I get to the end and it's over. I wanted to try to create my own made up story. I wanted to make that feeling last.
(Picture of me, my son, Tyler, and his fiance, my cover model, Madison:)

But the bigger reason.... I have a heart for the younger generation of women. I have certainly had my share of struggles. There's enough trash out there. The world needs more Hope, Faith, and Love. And I hope God will use my stories to empower someone to overcome their own struggles in life.

This is probably the biggest connection I have with the book and its meaning, because without Christ I wouldn't be standing up here before you today.

I dedicated the memory of this book to my cousin who lost her life at the young age of 40 years old. The bond between Angie and her daughter, Malory, was precious ... and I took her daughter's name and made it the name of my main character.

Now, on a lighter note, All of you can help me first, by reading my book, then if you like it, tell your friends, word of mouth is the best way to sell it. A review on Amazon would be so appreciated!! It doesn't have to be a drawn out. I just want your honest opinion!! Short and sweet is great with me!! I'm also on Goodreads. :) Thank you all so very much for the support you've given me. I'm overflowing in the love, y'all!!! :)

With all the excitement I forgot to do my drawing before everyone left. But, better late than never, right?
And the winners are...

Dorothy Tant 
Eva Clark

Both of these ladies win a free copy of Broken Butterfly :)

 And I couldn't end without telling you, my very special night happened to be on my husband's birthday!! Happy Birthday, Rocky

Thanks for dropping by.
Merry Christmas to you all!!

Cindy :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Family Traditions

As I sit here with only the twinkling lights of my tree and silence ... okay, except for Mailee has suddenly decided she should warn me about something going on outside somewhere?!?!

Now Sadie's barking.

At least it was peaceful for a minute.

This time of the year is so busy with shopping, and play practice, and deadlines, and we can't exclude our usual daily chores. Add to that ... selling stuff for school and then delivering those items.

To be honest, this was a minor set back to me with everything else I have going on this particular year, and as it turns out, THIS became a huge blessing.

It all started when my youngest son brought home this sheet and said, "Mama, you can't do it. I have to sell them."
Of course, I can only smile. A very proud smile. Homeschooling Zachary for 7 years has not made my son unsociable as some may believe ... it has enabled him to socialize just as well with adults as with his peers.

The only problem with him being in complete control ... He kept forgetting about that paper and because it wasn't out in the open ... So did I.

He pulled it out the day before it was due. So, I did what any good mother would do. I made him a list of family members to call and left him with my phone.

After calling everyone on the list and when a few didn't answer, he reverted to to a few friends from my contact list ;/ ... He sold 27 flowers.

My Aunt Joy wanted to make a donation, but then decided, why don't you instead get the flowers and have your mama give them to those she believes could use a Christmas blessing this year.

And that's exactly what I did.

We visited. Sometimes we had to leave a note ... Sometimes I had Zach and Brooke with me ... Sometimes I only had Brooke ... Other times I only had Zach ... But every time ...  we received the blessing. These will always be remembered as the most precious moments of my Christmas season this year.

It will definitely be a new tradition for our family. Thank you, Aunt Joy.

What's your favorite family tradition? Thank you for stopping by, Cindy :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

One of my favorite places

A few years ago, our family headed north to Cooperstown, NY, for my youngest son to play ball at Cooperstown's Dream Park. But on the way, we decided to stop by one of my favorite places on earth. Amish Country.

We stayed in a bed and breakfast in a small town called Paradise.;) 

It's so beautiful. The land seems to stretch on forever. The traffic is crazy. But, I love this place.

This admiration all started the year Rocky and I got married. I went on a trip with our church choir to Lancaster County, PA, and spent a few days. I fell in love with the place, the people, and that led to me reading more about them.

My camera was brand new at the time, so I was just learning to use it and I'm now disappointed I don't have better pictures. 

We had dinner at the Good and Plenty restaurant, and my husband was really thirsty. So, he took his glass and drank half of his tea.
It was very lemony and he didn't like it. And I'm laughing out loud at the memory.

These two cuties below, stretched out on the Amish quilts, are inhaling all the fresh, farm scents seeping through the open windows. ~Insert smile~

We didn't stay long enough. I need at least a few days to see everything I'd love to see and really experience the fullness of being there, of being among the Amish. But, chocolate makes everything better!

The whole trip was an awesome experience, and I'm so glad we were able to go. Even my baby girl had a good time. There was a lot of shopping and baseball sisters.

What kind of parent would I be if I didn't show off my son playing the game? Well, I'm a very proud mama, and I can't help it! :)

A friend and I are planning to take our girls, hopefully next year, for a few days to tour, watch a live show, and hopefully meet some of the friendly people. It will be an awesome field trip.
I can't wait to go back. What's one of your favorite places to visit?

I'm so glad you stopped by, Cindy :)

Monday, November 24, 2014


There are so many things to be thankful for and I wanted to share with you a few of the things on my list this year.

1~Hugs and kisses from my babies
2~Soft puppy fur beneath my fingers
3~A movie with a really good story that brings me to tears
4~God's Holy Word and the way it blesses every part of my life
5~Sprays of pink across the sky, late in the afternoon
6~A beautiful book cover that I can't wait for y'all to see :)
7~The gentle touch of love when my husband takes my hand
8~Peppermint ... anything with peppermint. I love that stuff!
9~Rainy days, especially when I don't have anything planned
10~My hot cup of coffee every morning
11~The strength of both my sons
12~The girlyness of my daughter
13~The freedom to worship my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
14~That God has a plan for me ...
15~My huge family who I love too pieces and can't wait to see some of them on Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you for stopping by to see me. I'm not going to make excuses for my absence. I'm just going to try really hard, NOT to let that happen again!!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!!

Cindy :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Let me tell you a little about my man.

He is strong.

He is good.

He is the love of my life.

What does that have to do with hallucinations? Nothing. Well, not exactly.
We just celebrated our anniversary and I wanted to say it.:)

Little did he know, 16 years ago, when he married me, what he was getting into. I know I'm not the only one who experiences this, but still ... I'm sure it must be scary.

I wake him up often with a deafening scream.

I see things. And I believe that it's real. With all my heart.

Until I wake up. Then I feel like an idiot.

I've done this for as long as I can remember. My poor mama. I'm sure I scared the daylights out of her too.

I see things falling, or huge spiders crawling on the ceiling. Once a man was coming through my window and I kicked at him ... I literally FELT my legs pushing against him.

It didn't take long before Rocky started telling me to lay down and go back to sleep.

Sometimes I get mad, because he doesn't believe me, until I realize I'm asleep. Sometimes he doesn't even remember it. It's a good thing it doesn't scare him. If he was the one screaming in the middle of the night ... I promise you, I would never go back to sleep.

My doctor prescribed a muscle relaxer to put my neck to sleep that would possibly help with the migraines. I only took it at bedtime. My night terrors, nightmares, dreams ... whatever you want to call them changed.

What I saw were demon type, black, ghostly like figures. The images would sometimes move really fast. The movie "Bridge to Terabithia" has an image of the boy's dad in the woods, and this is a very close likeness of what I was seeing. If you haven't seen it, do. It's a great movie. But have a box of tissues.

I almost thought I had a handle on it, at first. I would start seeing them before I fell asleep. I even once or twice reached out to touch the image. My hand went right through it, of course. I told myself, this isn't real.

It happened every night.

Then, one night, there were three of these demon like creatures on my bed and they were after me. I woke up on the floor, Rocky's arms wrapped around me.

According to him, I screamed longer and louder than I ever had. He grabbed me, but I didn't see him. I only saw them. I jerked away from him while slinging my hands all at the same time. He let me go and I threw myself off the bed. It scared him because I didn't recognize him when he tried to wake me up.

My hallucinations always came in doubles ... I ALWAYS saw the same thing twice on this medicine. It was hours before either of us were brave enough to close our eyes. But before we did, I promised him I would never take the medicine again. Because a very real thought occurred to me ... What if I got stuck in a hallucination? I never wanted to experience that again.

They stopped, at least those particular visions, once I discontinued the medicine. I don't know if I'll ever be free from my night tremors ... but nothing these days are quite as bad :)

Have you experienced anything similar? I'd love to hear your story.

Thanks for stopping by,

Cindy :)

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/huffstutterrobertl/4693753524/">roberthuffstutter</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Is anyone out there?

Is anyone out there? I've wondered this from the beginning. There has to be someone who knows the solution. And there's nothing else I can do but continue to search.

You see, I'm a writer. And that's the only reason I'm here.

One of the hardest parts of chronic migraines is being unable to read or write. I was in the habit of  reading and writing everyday. But the writing, editing, and critiquing all came to a dead stop.

Months went by and things weren't any better. I would watch people moving normally, doing things I'd always done, and knew I could no longer do any of them. I found myself slipping into depression.

Why was this happening? What's happening? I asked myself over and over. Through it all, I kept pushing forward. I still home schooled, cooked, cleaned, attended church, put on children's drama programs, spent countless weekends on the ball field, and put on a smile. Only my closest family and friends knew about my headaches. 

No matter how bad I felt, I couldn't lie in bed while life went on all around me. Sometimes I wondered if I would feel better if I did take a break. I mean, a real break. But I never did, unless I just couldn't function because of the dizziness.

I have also lost some vision in my left eye. It's ironic since the headache is primarily on the left side of my head. Ophthalmologist found nothing wrong. Neurologist wasn't concerned. But should I be?

Either way, I had to do something different.

When a friend of my husbands, whose wife has had migraines for over 20 years went to this doctor and figured out the reason why, he treated her and she walked away after a couple of visits and has had no headaches since.

Don't you know I made me an appointment for as soon as possible. 

It still took me over a month to get in. But I believed with all my heart ... this doctor was going to help me.

The appointment couldn't get here fast enough. But finally, the day came and Rocky and I were on our way to get some answers ... to get some relief.

Relief hasn't found it's way into my life yet. But, that's all right, because I will find it eventually. I will!! Like the season is changing, so will mine. And no matter what happens, I'm going to enjoy this time I've been given.

There's a reason why this is happening. God is going to use this for good. I told a friend this week, maybe he's preparing me for what it'll feel like to be old.

Maybe, my life is in reverse and I'll feel really good when I'm old. :)

Have a wonderful day,

Cindy :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chronic Migraines with a dose of Positive Thinking

Thinking positive when you're in pain ... let's just be honest here ... is hard.

I'm going to do like promised and tell you my story in order. I returned to the doctor for my follow up and he gave me my diagnosis after checking me throughly.

Chronic Migraine

The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as more than fifteen headache days per month over a three month period of which more than eight are migrainous, in the absence of medication over use.

The definition just in case you were wondering.

So, my doctor prescribed my first preventative. Depakote. It didn't seem to do anything, not that I could tell except it caused weight gain. I was not happy about that. Since it wasn't working, the doctor switched me to Topamax, which I've heard works for a lot of people. I'll come back to this medication in a minute. :)

Along with the preventative, I also used, as needed, maxalt or imitrex. You have to take these last two at onset for it to work. Once in a while it might've worked, but most of the time it didn't. It was stressful, because if I didn't take it at just the right time, I would be in pain for however many days the migraine decided to hang around.

Now, let's get back to the Topamax. I started out on 25mg. Doctor gradually raised dosage until I topped out at 200mg. It causes memory loss. Hahaha. But it's really not funny. If I forget to mention some things, that's why.

It also, in me, caused some really weird sensations. My chest tightened occasionally. It was a suffocating feeling. And a scary one too. The sensation didn't go away completely, but wasn't always dominate.

But the biggest thing Topimax did for me was, first of all, I lost all the weight I gained, plus a little more. For 10 days out of the month, every month, I felt no pain. The other 20 days, I had different kinds of headaches ... the worst two are listed below:
1. The lightheaded headache--I couldn't stand up without the blood rushing to my head and feeling I would pass out.
2. The stinging headache--This is the worst kind. It gave me the feeling of having poison in my blood. I felt like I had a 105 temperature, but I didn't. During these headaches, I would tell my husband, "I'm moving in slow motion." I would see 90 year old people out in public and think, they feel better than I do. By far, the worst headache. On occasion, I was in so much pain, I was sure I was dying.

On a positive note, I always believed I was going to get past this and feel better. Something had to work. Didn't it?

Next week, I'll share other things I've tried, but today I wanted to share with you what my doctor tried for the first time last week.

I received Botox injections. It will take 2 weeks before I notice any difference. I'll share more about this when I get to this part of the story. But, I'll be sure to let you know as soon as I can tell it's working.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'd love to hear from you.

Take care,

Cindy :)

photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/zionfiction/7484820084/">r.nial.bradshaw</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Hidden Pain

I haven't posted in a while. I don't like blogging. I never have. I rather live in my imaginary world of fiction, where my characters come to life in my head. And yeah, they really do. :)

I've always been told... write about something that can help others. Something that will benefit them.

That's what readers want right?

Well, that explains why I don't blog. What do I have to say that will help others? Nothing that I can think of.

So, I thought why not explain why I haven't been posting. And maybe even take it a step further and possibly get some help for myself while at the same time helping someone else.

Here goes ...

Three years ago, this month, I began a journey that I never imagined and never believed would happen to me. Before you jump to the wrong conclusions, I don't have an incurable disease, praise the Lord. I am, however, enduring something that has made me realize how wonderful I felt before this all started.

Please forgive me for not revealing what I'm talking about yet. I'd love to tell you my story in the order of how it happened to me.

I hope you'll join me as I share some of the things I've tried and if you have experience or any ideas or if you're also seeking help, you'll share in the comments and maybe together we can find a solution and take our lives back.

I'll be here Tuesday to continue with Part 2. Hope to see you then.


Hidden Pain-Part 2

I'm so glad you came back.

I've been on this journey alone for much too long.

My first symptom started three years ago; a tingling sensation on the left side of my head. I would run my fingers through my hair, thinking maybe a bug was crawling on my scalp. It was that feeling of when your hand falls asleep and then slowly comes back to life. It wasn't really a pain, at least not yet.

That lasted for several months.

By February, I was in the doctor's office. Something was wrong. The tingling sensation remained, but there was an undeniable ache to accompany it. I didn't want to take any chances, I mean, this is my head we're talking about. What if something was really wrong?

The doctor recommended a Cat Scan. It came back normal.

Yes! That's wonderful news. But what about the pain?

The doctor started me on my first prescription. Just something a little bit stronger than an over-the-counter Tylenol.

Okay, maybe that will help. But unfortunately, it didn't. It was as if I was taking nothing at all.

Things went from bad to worse.

Tomorrow is an important day for me, because my doctor is trying something new. And I'm believing this is going to work when nothing else has. Join me in praying that this could be my miracle.

Join me, next week, for more of my story. And if you have experienced any of the same symptoms I'm describing, please leave a comment. I have yet to find anyone who has the same symptoms as me. I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day,


Friday, March 28, 2014

18 more days ...

Being a finalist in a writing contest is probably not important to anyone who isn't in that contest, but it is very important to me. Today. Yesterday. And everyday from the time I found out I made the top 30.

Now, that I've advanced to the top 10, it's even crazier. Why? Because, I've never been here before.

I'm so excited that God has gotten me this far. I'm so thankful that He decided that writing would be a part of my life, and that He has given me the sensitivity to feel things very deeply (I hope I express that in my writing), and that He, no matter how this ends, will be my strength to continue on and not be discouraged!! :)

I must say thank you to a very sweet writing friend for telling me about the contest and encouraging me to enter. This friend joined me on a journey of critiquing Broken Butterfly chapter by chapter from beginning to end. So have others and I'm so thankful for each and every one of the friendships I've made. I will cherish them always.

Even if I never see the cover (that I've already imagined in my head for over a year) on a bookshelf, it was worth all the sweat and tears I've poured into this story.

Thanks for stopping by and for letting me rattle on about this little piece of my life right at this moment!