What 10 things do you most enjoy?
I carefully plan, plot and schedule to add one or more of these activities into my week.
As a life-long equine addict, I have to say horses hold a special place in my life. They heal injured souls, they help children with special needs and war vets with PTSD, they empower, they instill confidence, teach responsibility, and they enchant, especially Mustangs who warrant our reverence as hardy, smart survivors.
Many Mustangs don’t have the luxury of a daily bucket of feed or flake of hay, or a pond of water to drink from, shelter in a storm or strong federal protections from human predatory practices. A Google search will reveal the names of the culprits in government, past Presidents and a legislator from Montana. An article on the subject appeared in The Washington Post: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/benchconference/2006/10/they_reallly_do_shoot_horses_d.html, Shame on the government officials, past and present, who ignore this atrocious injustice and instead adopt the blind eye approach! Horses and mules play an important role in our armed forces as they have throughout our history, Special Forces teams now learn to navigate and fight in difficult terrain in Afghanistan and other third world countries with their help.
Reading will always be a favorite activity for me. Reading greatly reduces stress and sharpens my writing skills. My September blog-“The Bedazzling Benefits of the Bountiful Book” details the various ways people can enrich their lives with books, both fiction and non-fiction.
A newly added activity to my Favorites List—once a week dog training classes with my Great Pyrenees, Scotty. Contrary to popular thought about the breed, Scotty excels in obedience and will soon graduate with a Good Citizenship certification. When we complete more classes, Scotty will be certified as a Therapet dog and will be able to offer a loving glance, a wagging tail and a silky snuggle to seniors in nursing homes.
Wanderlust tops the chart both on my FL and my bucket list. Travel enlightens, educates and entertains. I don’t want to wait until I retire to travel because planes are transportation, not flying hospitals. I’ve seen many people postpone family vacations or trips, hoping for a more optimal time, and actually, never going. Travel ranks high on our priority list as a family because we know we will not pass this way again, and we may not be well enough to board a plane or sit comfortably in a car for long stretches of time.
Travel, often times, ties to social events like book signings, book award ceremonies and book festivals. I enjoy meeting new people, and learning from them. I consider it a privilege to introduce them to my hybrid novels. My father says, “You can learn something from anybody.” Over the years, the truth of that statement resonates with me time and time again.
Sometimes, fund-raising events require travel, and we’ll happily make the effort and time for worthy causes whether a fundraiser car show to support our local library or Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.
My family and I like to find a car show wherever we may venture because we have a shared passion for cars. When I was a young girl, I played with the Hot Wheels speedway, a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad, daily. In later years, any movie featuring fast cars and stunts became a must-see.
Fast forward to today, we own a Mustang GT loaded with $20,000 with of racing equipment. No, we didn’t have the money to pour into aftermarket equipment, but the previous owner did. It was a thrill to find out that we didn’t have to pay extra for the: cold air kit, Flowmaster headers, supercharger and racing tires. The car rockets away with just a touch; so, I had to add a special pulley system to protect the hood because accidental, not really, quick acceleration dimpled it. The experts at the shop told me that if I added anything else to the engine, it wouldn’t be street legal. Heeding their advice, I resisted the urge to install adapt it for nitrous oxide, opting for Carroll Shelby’s signature on the interior dash instead.
When I take the Stang to car shows, magic happens: people-fathers and sons, seniors and young men-pose for pictures in front of it, people offer to buy and one man asked me to marry him, LOL. I especially love to drive through neighborhoods in parade formation post show, and watch kids wave, smile and point at the Mustang. At one show, a spectator made the mistake of leaning against the parked Stang while he talked to a group of guys. My fury hit a new high when he flicked his cigarette ashes onto the just detailed shiny black beast. I knew just what to do. Since his back was turned to me, I settled into the car, I approaching the driver’s side door from behind the scoop, climbed into the car, settled in, careful not to shut the door, and started it. With a request for a response, it growled my commentary with the force of 450 horse power, scared the wide-eyed smoker who dropped his cigarette into the grass, while he stumbled away from the car. Yes, I adore the black Mustang with the California interior, the mighty engine and the gold racing stripes.
Food-I’m a foodie with a special fondness for chocolate chip cookies. I eat 4 a day always dipping them into a cup of 30 calorie almond milk. Yum, yum… I recommend tasty kinnikinnick’s gluten free, diary free, nut free chocolate chip cookies. The low fat, sugar and calorie counts complement my effort to keep my daily sugar intake low. I believe Dr. Oz’s assertion that sugar acts as a sweet tooth trigger.
Last but not least, writing infuses joy, a sense of accomplishment, creativity and intellectual challenge to a day. Writing symbolizes a fortified bridge to happiness in future years when physical pursuits will be out of reach. Writing books that readers find enjoyable and useful provides a way to give back, to help others with life lessons learned. As Jodi Piccoult succinctly said, “...Fiction is the backdoor to truth.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Beautiful Evil Winter
Author: Kelly K. Lavender
Published: November 6th, 2014 (2nd edition)
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Recommended Age: 18+
Beautiful Evil Winter, a Russian Action Thriller, earns a list of accolades including an Eric Hoffer Award for “…writing of significant merit” and a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award. The novel takes place in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving, gunslinging days of the frontier west. When mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia, they hope to secure their son’s safe passage back to the US. An innocent encounter with the Mafia de-rails their plans. Suddenly, they become a target of the iron-fisted Mafioso that wields total control of Russian adoptions. What can make matters worse? An inexperienced untrained adoption coordinator who must complete the legal process and insure a safe return to the US. How much hardship can a couple endure when faced with do or die events? When hope fails and suffering prevails, what’s left?
Awards and Honors
- The Eric Hoffer Awards – Commercial Fiction - Honorable Mention. The Hoffer Awards spotlight “…writing of significant merit.”
- The National Indie Excellence Awards - The New Fiction Finalist
- Dan Poytner’s Global EBook Awards-Bronze Medalist Suspense
- Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards-Triple Genre Finalist- Suspense, Thriller and Romance Sizzle
- Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards-Honorable Mention Suspense
Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contestants include New York Times Best-Selling Authors and celebrities, comedian Jim Carey won an award this year.
About the Author:
My fascination with fiction began in middle school when I entered a book-reading contest and won. As an ardent fan of the resonating narrative and the cliffhanger, I decided to dedicate myself to becoming a skilled writer. When college professors spotlighted my writing in the classroom, it anchored my interest in becoming a novelist. I continued to pursue my education at UCLA, via the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, where my writing earned praise from an award-winning author. Of equal and enduring importance, in my life, is a passion for horses. As an avid, lifelong equestrian and horse owner,I now live on a ranch with my family,which we share with a menagerie of four-legged friends. Beautiful Evil Winter is my debut novel.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- Winner’s choice of an Amazon or Barnes and Noble $50 Gift Card.
Giveaway is International.
a Rafflecopter giveaway