But maybe you're thinking, "what about me?" and you're birthday isn't in April, maybe it's in November or May (like mine), well for you guys....
The GRAND prizes for the ENTIRE hop is:
1. A Kindle Touch
2. A $60 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble giftcard
Please make sure to leave a comment that INCLUDES your email address to be entered into the drawing for the GRAND prize, no email address, no chance! So leave it!
For me, my prizes, hmm, let's see, a $10 giftcard to Amazon for any one that leaves a comment and, only if you want to, if you can prove that you've purchased & read Bella Notte (or one of my other works) by telling some random factoid that you liked about the story, then you'll be entered into the drawing to have your name as a character in Bella Tristezza, the third installment of the series! (I usually take character influences from the actual person too!) I know it's completely sneaky of me, but hey, you know you wanna read my books and be able to be put into the story, literally! ;0) Look at how convenient those buy links are just in case you didn't already have a copy and REALLY wanted to be entered!
So this is my celebration of my Mom! Happy birthday, Maman. You are missed, but I remember what you always told me, to have a good cry and go on with my life. You aren't forgotten and I tell your grandbabies about you daily.
She moved to the good ol' USA when she was 7. She spoke no English. Can you even imagine what the heck that was like? There was LOTS of teasing and name calling... sometimes kids can be just cruel.
She grew up an Army Brat. At the age of 16 (I think, it has been a long time since I heard the story and now I can't just call her and ask, the things we take for granted) she married a man that gave her a case of Bazooka joe bubble gum for her wedding present. He was rich and she felt like she had been lied to (don't even ask, I'm not even sure) and the marriage was annulled. I'm thankful for it, but still... really, Mom, just because he was rich and he down played it until after you were married?! LOL...
She did lots of things... but eventually fell in love with Tony. Who wouldn't? He's like Indiana Jones, only real... they had my sister, Jennifer. The year was 1979.
Wouldn't you like a happy ending for my mom at this point? Too bad, you're not going to get it. Life happens. She ends up with two little monsters and no real man counterpart. But all things happen for a reason, right? Years pass. She has MANY different jobs. She is after all a very talented woman, and who wouldn't want such a looker around them. ;0)
When I was 9 my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, because so fair her life has just been peachy right? It turns out that is not curable. The doctors give her six weeks to live after her surgery. She goes through chemo. She comes to my elementary school graduation in a size 0 dress that's falling off of her. But she's still alive. I go to junior high, she's bald from the therapy... kids can be cruel (people really need to remember to teach their kids not to judge others). She is my brave mom through it all. She helps to raise my nephew once he's born in 1998. He's the joy of her life. I go to high school. She's still alive...
In 2002 my big sister comments suicide. My mom was devastated.
I go to college. She's still alive and one of the most inspirational women I know. But inspiration doesn't keep illness from getting worse. By the time I graduate with my BA in 2007, she's a survivor but she isn't doing well. I move myself, and partner back home while I'm pregnant with my son to help take care of her. She has her good days and her bad. She stays awake for two days while I'm in the hospital during the birth of my son.
In 2008 my son gets diagnosed with neuroblastomia, she's went to every appointment with me... sat through every test... and spread the word like wild fire. She believed that if you told enough people something that it had the power to send enough good thoughts into the world to make it better.
Life is pretty good. I go back to school to get my Masters ...
The summer of 2010 hits. Life turns upside down. She gets a headache that won't go away... after two weeks I finally convinced her to call her doctor. He sends her to the ER. After hours of waiting, she ends up being admitted. This is the beginning of the end.
This just get worse. And worse... and worse.. The entire time she has a good attitude while she can. She lost her vision out of the blue, but she managed to smile and "watch" her court shows. She was gone long before her body was ready to let her go. Still not sure what the actual cause was... but I think that it was just time for her to move on to the next place... ya know? I mean life gave her LOTS of lemons and she made the sweetest lemonade!