Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Do you have severe allergies? People who are allergic to nuts, pets, bees (just to name a few, but there are many allergens out there) are at risk for anaphylaxis. If you are writing about a character with severe allergies and they don't have their epi pen with them, they could land in the hospital.


ANAPHYLAXIS is a sudden, severe allergic reaction that involves the entire body.

Symptoms develop rapidly, often within seconds or minutes. They may include the following:

~Difficulty breathing
~Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
~Slurred speech
~Rapid or weak pulse
~Blueness of the skin (cyanosis), including the lips or nail beds
~Fainting, light-headedness, dizziness
~Hives and generalized itching
~Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
~Nausea, vomiting
~Abdominal pain or cramping
~Skin redness
~Nasal congestion


Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition requiring immediate professional medical attention. Call 911 immediately!!!! Assessment of the ABC's (airway, breathing, and circulation from Basic Life Support) should be done in all suspected anaphylactic reactions.

CPR should be initiated if needed. People with known severe allergic reactions may carry an Epi-Pen or other allergy kit. (See picture I posted above.) Be prepared to assist with the shot if necessary. This is an emergency and no time to be squeamish. A person's life will depend on that shot! Just think of the emotions a character who has never experienced this situation will be going through!

Emergency interventions by paramedics or physicians may include placing a tube through the nose or mouth into the airway (endotracheal intubation) or emergency surgery to place a tube directly into the trachea (tracheostomy or cricothyrotomy).

Epinephrine should be given by injection without delay. Epi will open the airways and raise the blood pressure.

Once in the ER, you can expect the ER Team to treat shock by use of intravenous fluids and medications that support the actions of the heart and circulatory system.

Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl); and corticosteroids, such as prednisone or decadron may be given to further reduce symptoms (after lifesaving measures and epinephrine are administered).

Prevention is the best defense. Avoid those allergens that could literally be the death of you!

Good Luck with your writing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Recognize these signs:

~Regularly walking, eating or working in a rushed way.
~Regularly thinking and worrying about the past or future.
~Frequent tension in the body (esp. neck, face, shoulders, back and chest, and stomach) which often goes unnoticed until one slows down, breaths deep and carefully surveys the body.
~Feeling of the "weight of the world" on your shoulders.
~Emotionally "on edge."
~Regular tiredness during the day.
~Significant need for outside stimulation to feel good (coffee, sweeteners, food, sex, TV, alcohol, money, accomplishments, etc.)

Try to incorporate these stress reduction tips into your life to try and achieve some inner peace:

Add something beautiful to your life on a daily basis (e.g., flowers).

Do some enjoyable activities whenever possible.

Walk, work, and eat at a relaxed pace.

Take a short break after meals to relax.

If possible, go outside at least once per day and notice the simple things such as the weather, scenery, etc.

During the day, whenever you remember, notice and tension in your body (jaw, neck, diaphram, shoulders, etc.). Breath deeply and gently stretch and relax any tense areas.

If you notice your mind racing or worrying about the past or future, take a minute to breath deeply and gently focus on something in the moment such as your breath, scenery, birds.

Take breaks during the workday to relax.

Wear comfortable and loose clothing when possible. Take off your shoes when you can.

Avoid holding in feelings day after day, but instead, find a safe place to feel, express and embrace them.

Tips found at and they invite you to print off stress relief strategies as a daily reminder.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I returned from Sacramento today and that is why this blog is being posted late. I have spent the last several days with my mother who has metestatic breast cancer. Although she "looks" better than I expected, the last several days have been filled with nostalgia, emotion, regret over misunderstandings and lost time.


My older sister has been diagnosed with diabetes within the last year. Her physical condition had deteriorated to such a shocking degree that at one point, her hair had fallen out and she'd lost a severe amount of weight before she was diagnosed. Her physician started her on medication for diabetes, instructed her to take her blood sugars and how to regulate her diet.

After learning all of this over dinner one night, I was very shocked. She spoke very matter of fact about the entire thing. She asked me a few questions. Told me she was having trouble with her vision and that she had pains in her feet and legs. As a nurse, that sent up the red flag in my brain. She is newly diagnosed, but has vision trouble and diabetic neuropathy already? Her chances of going blind from this disease is a very distinct possibility. And are her leg pains from the narrowing and hardening of the vasculature in her lower extremities, or strictly nerve pain? Difficult for me to tell from just looking at her, but again very distinct possibilities.

I asked her what meds she was taking and her response to me was, "Oh, I quit taking my medication. I gained my weight back and I feel better. I'm cured."

She'd fallen into a trap I've seen before. Because she felt better (as a result of the treatment and management of her diabetes) she'd been lulled into a false sense of security. Obviously, I couldn't reach across the dinner table and grab her by the shoulders to shake sense into her. I wanted to shout "WHAT???? ARE YOU INSANE????"

Without freaking out right then and there, I very calmly said to her, "There is no cure for diabetes. You can regulate your diabetes with diet, exercise and medication but once you have it, you have it. You are gambling with your life."

And here is why she is. When you abrubptly stop taking insulin or oral diabetic medication, sugar stays in your bloodstream instead of going into the cells of your body where it is used to nourish your cells. She is putting herself at risk for going into DKA~Diabetic Ketoacidosis or, HHNC~Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic coma (which will overlap with DKA) but characterized with blood sugars usually over 1000 (I think. I'd have to look that one up again)

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a state of absolute or relative insulin deficiency aggravated by hyperglycemia (high blood sugars), dehydration, and acidosis. The most common causes are underlying infection, disruption of insulin treatment, and new onset of diabetes (because people who are newly diagnosed aren't on medication and their blood sugars are wildly out of control). DKA is typically characterized by hyperglycemia over 300 mg/dL (I've had patients admitted with blood sugars in the 900 to 1100 range before), low bicarbonate level (<15 mEq/L), and acidosis (pH <7.30).

Classic symptoms of hyperglycemia (A fancy term for high blood sugars)

Polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (drinking large amounts of fluids and still feeling really really thirsty)
Nocturia (frequent urination at night)

Other symptoms include:

Generalized weakness
Decreased perspiration
Anorexia or increased appetite

Symptoms of associated infections and conditions:

Chest pain
Abdominal pain
Shortness of breath

Physical General signs:

Ill appearance
Dry skin
Labored respirations
Dry mucous membranes
Decreased skin turgor
Decreased reflexes

Vital signs:

Tachycardia (A very fast heart rate)
Hypotension (A very low blood Pressure)
Tachypnea (fast respirations)
Fever, if infection is present

Specific signs:

Ketotic breath (fruity, with acetone smell)
Abdominal tenderness

Treatment of DKA:
You'll be placed in an ICU and we will administer IV fluids at an extremely fast rate for fluid rescusitation. We'll check frequent labs and start you on an insulin drip. Potassium replacement will be important, too.

This is a very dangerous situation and people can die from DKA.

So please!! Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because you start to feel better. You are feeling better because of the medication and treatment your doctor has prescribed for you, not because you are "cured". You are gambling with your life!

And as always, I'll end my post with a reminder to shoot on over to and check out her upcoming auction for diabetes research which starts on May first!!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Isn't that a great photo? I loved it the minute I came across it! What kind of music are they listening to, do you suppose?

Music does help to aleviate stress. One of the first sings noted when we hear a tune we like is an increase in deep breathing. Your body will increase the amount of the production serotonin. In simple terms, Serotonin is a chemical that helps maintain a "happy feeling". It also seems responsible for keeping our moods under control by helping with sleep, calming anxiety, and relieving depression.

It has been proven that playing music in the background while we are working, has been found to reduce the stress.

Music was found to reduce heart rates and to promote higher body temperature - an indication of the onset of relaxation. Combining music with relaxation therapy was more effective than doing relaxation therapy alone.

At work, Music Therapy plays a key role in the well-being of our patients. There is a department set up entirely for this purpose. The therapist play instruments and sing to patients in the hospital. Not only is it a nice change for our patients, but length of stays are decreased because people are healing faster!

So, the next time you are stressed, play your favorite tunes, chill, and be happy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


The Doctor's Deception
Kathleen Grieve
Champagne Rosebud
180 Pages Spicy
Print/Ebook _Release Date 06/25/08
Print ISBN:1-60154-287-9


Heart Surgeon Stone Lassiter has successfully transplanted beating hearts. It's his own that is causing him the most agony. With a death bed promise to his fiancée, he’s driven to open a transplant center in her hometown, and arrives at Deerborne County General Hospital . Single minded in his focus, he inadvertently alienates the nursing staff he needs to make his dream a success. He sets his stethoscope on intensive care nurse, Faith Daniels, to improve his image.
Nurse of the Year, Faith Daniels has passed every nursing exam, but when faced with the task of the MCAT, she has severe test anxiety. Burned by her ex-husband, who used her while she put him through law school, she has become focused on passing that darn exam, and achieving her own dream to become a doctor in her own right.
Will the white lie Stone tells Faith jeopardize the love they find?


Because my current WIP involves firemen, I received this in an email from one of my critique partners and thought I'd share.

I just wanted to tell you that I am moving to Houston and when I get there, I am setting my house on fire!!!

Yep . a REALLY big fire so all of them will need to respond!!!! :)

I may even move to Houston! LOL.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Recently on AMC, they showed one of Don Knott's classics, "How To Frame A Figg". What a great comedic movie. If you haven't seen this one, I highly recommend it. My husband and I laughed and laughed.

What other movies haven't you seen in a while that you can think of that made you laugh? What a great way to relieve stress and worry! So, grab a soda, some chocolate, and make popcorn. Place you favorite comedy inside your DVD player and spend an hour or two laughing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Got your attention? Since I'd been put in the hot seat, I thought I needed some back-up! Very early yesterday morning I was tagged by fellow Wild Rose Press author, Sarita Leone at From the Heart This is my first tag, so here goes! Thanks Sarita for thinking of me!

Here are the rules:
The rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random facts about me. Hmm. Sarita was right. This is harder than it looks.

1) I'm addicted to Starbucks. So much so, that my husband scolded me for charging $92 worth of the scrumptious lattes in a two week period. Sheesh! A woman needs her caffiene when she works the nightshift. LOL.

2) I love anything chocolate. Until recently I hadn't realized just how much my heroine in THE DOCTOR'S DECEPTION nurse Faith Daniels shared my obsession.

3) My mother is dying of breast cancer. She was diagnosed in the summer of 2007 and by September, the disease had spread to her bones. I received a call from my sister recently and the news was not good. The cancer has now spread to her lungs and liver. I'm flying home this week to spend some time with her before she dies. :(

4) I have the item I'm going to bid on during Brenda Novak's Online Diabetic Auction lined up. So, no one bid on--nope, not going to share what the "it" is. I want it for myself. Kind of selfish of me, I know. But if I get my prize, I'll let everyone in on what I win. LOL!

5) My 15 year old daughter is the same weight now that I was when I became pregnant with her. Gosh! Where's Jillian Michaels when you need her? On second thought, I'm not into that kind of pain! *g*

6) Now that we're settled in the area we'd moved to last September, I'm in the painful process of house hunting and buying a new house. If only my husband and I could agree on a few issues, we'd be rockin' already!

The six people I tag are:

jj Keller
*lizzie Starr
Cheryl St. John
Julie A. Carda
Dee Ann Williamson
Jane Richardson

Can't wait to see what everyone's random self-facts are!

Monday, April 21, 2008


If you were a diabetic, would you be able to not eat sweets? OMG, I think I would die if I couldn't eat chocolate. So what do you do if you aren't allowed?

There are a lot of sugar-free alternatives out there. Chocolate and other sweets made with sweetners like splenda offer diabetics great choices when they are hit with cravings for sweets. Google diabetics and sweets and you will come up with alternatives for that sweet indulgence!

But remember, moderation is the key to glucose control--even though these sweets are sugar-free!

Remember the countdown to May 1, 2008 is winding down! Go to and get ready to bid on some fantastic items. Get what your little heart desires while helping out a great cause!


Friday, April 18, 2008


Continuing with my series on shock, let's take a look at the poor guy above. He could be in the ICU for any reason, but let's pretend he was admitted to the hospital because of an infection. If he's on the ventilator (breathing machine) and has that many IV's and monitoring equipment, he could be in SEPTIC SHOCK.

Sepsis (simply put) is an infection that has moved into the bloodstream. Say for example, you stepped on a piece of glass that may have had staph on it. The area on your foot became red, painful, maybe even swollen. You treat it yourself, thinking you can handle the situation. Maybe add some neosporin to the cut and place a bandaid on it. But the staph bug (and if you've read the news lately, you'll know that there are different types of staph infections and they can be real stinkers) is too strong for your immune system.

Pretty soon, you experience fever, chills, malaise. You've probably forgotten about your foot. Now you think you've gotten the flu. You take some tylenol, drink fluids....sleep. Then the worst happens and you aren't even aware because you've lost consciousness. Someone has found you and you're now in the hospital. Heck, you could even be in my ICU~which would be a lucky thing because we are doing a lot to improve your chances of survival.

But what happened? You'd only stepped on a piece of glass. Well, let's look at this clinically. And this information can be used when writing your characters who've been stabbed with knives that may not be entirely clean, or whatever spin your imagination wants to put on it. The process the body goes through is the same. The treatment is the same.

Sepsis is defined as: a serious illness when an infection overwhelms the body, leading to low blood pressure, blood flow, and multi-system organ failure--meaning your lungs, kidneys, and brain will not function properly.

Signs of Septic Shock are similar to hypovolemia, but here is the list:

~Cool, pale extremities
~High or very low temperature, chills
~Low blood pressure, especially when standing
~Low urine output (due to kidney failure)
~Rapid heart rate
~Restlessness, agitation, lethargy, or confusion
~Shortness of breath

Treatment of Septic Shock:

~Drugs to treat low blood pressure, infection, or blood clotting (Drugs we use to support blood pressure are Levophed and Vasopressin and these are infused at continuous rates through and IV. Antibiotics depends on the bug that put you in this condition, but we start broad spectrum ones such as Vancomycin, Meropenem, Zosyn, and there is one other one that escapes me at the moment.
~Fluids by an IV (A LOT OF FLUIDS!! It is not unusual for us to run IV's at a rate of 200ml per hour)
~Surgery (Surgery may be necessary to remove the area of infection)
~Support for any poorly functioning organs (continuous renal filtration for the kidneys and ventilator support for oxygenation are two of the most common)

Diagnosis is key to survival. From ER to admit to ICU, some research says you need to receive your first antibiotics with one hour of arrival and some says within six hours. For more on the most current treatment, google "SURVIVING SEPSIS CAMPAIGN"

Now, when your character gets really, really, really sick. You have a little more information to add a touch of realism.

Good Luck!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Meet The April 2008 Most Beautiful Man

I was surfing the net and came across April 2008 Most Beautiful Man, Chris Poydenis. Thought I'd share! For past winners, copy and paste this link in your browser

I promise, you won't be disappointed! After the stressful week I've had at work...It was a definite pick me up! *g*

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The last couple of weeks at work have been emotionally draining. I've had a few tough cases that have brought me to tears. It seems like people get sicker a lot faster. My heart aches for them and their families....

I needed a little pick me up and stopped by Nurstoons. Here's another~

Tuesday, April 15, 2008




CJ Lyons gave a presentation (which I missed because I'd had a prior commitment) at the DR Conference on Trauma in the ER. I believe it dealt with how to make your manuscripts realistic when your characters are injured. It was the really great stuff that only ER/ICU/Trauma nurses and doctors can really get into. I believe she had great pictures and accurate details.

This got me to thinking. When I'm doing a critique and there are inaccurate details regarding injuries that come up, I'm compelled to set the author straight. You want your work to be as accurate as possible. This adds realism and ups the stakes for your reader. You want them to lean forward as they are reading and think "OH, NO!" Providing realistic details can do that.

So, this begins my series on SHOCK. There are several kinds of shock~cardiogenic, hypovolemic, septic, and anaphylactic.

I'm going to save cardiogenic for later. My character from THE DOCTOR'S DECEPTION, Dr. Stone Lassiter will have a lot to say about that. Being a Cardiovascular surgeon, he is the expert!

Let's start with hypovolemic shock. When your character suffers blunt trauma, is shot or stabbed they will bleed. Of course, it all depends on the severity of the injury, but hypovolemia is a direct result of intravascular volume depletion. Here are the signs and symptoms he/she will experience:

~Rapid pulse
Pulse may be weak (thready)
~Rapid breathing
~Anxiety or agitation
~Cool, clammy skin
~Pale skin color (pallor)
~Sweating, moist skin
~Decreased or no urine output
~Low blood pressure

So, now what do you do? Well, that will depend on what genre you write. If it is a contemporary, call 911! Immediate help is the best chance of survival. You'll want to keep your character comfortable and warm (to avoid hypothermia).
Have him/her lie flat with the feet lifted up about 12 inches to increase circulation. However, if the person has a head, neck, back, or leg injury, leave him or her in the position in which they were found unless doing so poses other immediate danger. Do not give fluids by mouth--especially if they have injury to the gut/abdomen! If you must move your character, try to keep him or her flat, with the head down and feet lifted up. Any change in position will affect your character's blood pressure. And he probably doesn't have much to start with. Stabilize the head and neck before moving a person with a suspected spinal injury. This is classic C-Spine immobilization.

Once your character arrives in the ER, things are going to move fast. Lab is drawn, X-rays are taken, IV's are started and opened wide open. Blood transfusions will be given. Once he is somewhat stabilized, he will probably be whisked off to surgery to fix the area of injury.

If you have questions or aren't sure about something, it is always best to ask an expert. You want the details of your book to be accurate! If you don't know anyone, you can always email me. I've been a nurse for 13 years~9 of those working ICU/CVICU/Trauma. If I don't know the answer, I work with some great intensivists who will!

Good Luck!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Today I have a special treat for everyone. I'd like to introduce Jane Richardson, a fellow Wild Rose Press Author who has something to share. Take it away, Jane!

A few years ago I became friends with a girl when I worked in the theatre. She had Type 1 diabetes, and over the course of our first few weeks together, she told me a little about it. Specifically, she told me about her first symptoms that led to a friend of hers recommending she visit her doctor right away.

I’m glad I listened carefully to what she said. It never occurred to me that several years down the line, I’d be seeing exactly the same symptoms in my son.

The first signs that something was going awry with Alexander were the emotional ones. He’d fly off the handle at the slightest little thing. We couldn’t understand why. Was it something we were doing wrong as parents? Was there some kind of bullying happening at school? We spoke to his teachers, who were already seeing his tempers vary to extremes. My little boy was on the edge of being branded a ‘difficult’ child’ in school. Then we came to the summer break, and with it, still the temper tantrums, often followed often by exhaustion. Summer went on, and then over the course of the final few weeks, other symptoms started to appear – the raging thirst, and the need to drink what seemed like gallons of water, followed by endless visits to the loo. We went to a movie – he visited the loo immediately before, during, and right after the show. Major alarm bells started to ring, as I remembered my friend’s symptoms. I made notes. Over the course of three days, my son drank an average of three litres of water a day and visited the loo thirty-three times. Armed with this information, we visited the doctor the next day. His words were, “You know what it is already, don’t you, Mum?”

Yes, I did. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

His life - our lives – changed in that moment. I’d heard my friend’s story, but I didn’t really understand what diabetes was all about. Now I do! Put simply, as I’m not a medical person, it occurs when your body stops producing its own insulin, which is the hormone that regulates the your energy levels. Diabetes isn’t ‘caused by eating too much sugar,’ as I’ve heard people say, but the body’s blood sugar levels have to be regularly checked, which might be where the confusion arises. In order to do this, my son (and others like him) pricks his finger with a machine containing a sterile lancet, and he applies a drop of blood to a test strip attached to a meter that translates the information into figures. We use those figures to determine if he’s within the optimal blood glucose range, and also to establish what insulin he needs to take. This is balanced and calculated along with the food he eats at every meal or every snack. By doing this, we hope to prevent major, harmful drops or gains in his energy levels – the ‘hypos’ and ‘hypers’ you might have heard about.

I’ve mentioned insulin a couple of times. Alexander injects himself with insulin four times a day. Yes, I said he injects himself! He began to do his own injections about nine moths after diagnosis. Up till then, I’d done it, or his father had. Giving your own child an injection is not easy; neither is watching them inject themselves. But if it didn’t happen...well. You can’t think about the consequences of that too much. You just get on and do it. I should add – insulin is not a cure for diabetes. At this time of writing, there is no cure for diabetes, and it can have far-reaching and potentially harmful consequences, including damage to the eyes, heart and kidneys.

You’d think that by maintaining a routine of testing, eating and exercising well, and keeping up the insulin injections, everything would be perfect. That’s not always the case. Sadly, and frustratingly, diabetes isn’t always easy to control.

My son is a very bright boy. He loves theory and reasoning, and can understand most things that can be explained and proved. He knows how his body works, and he knows what he has to do to stay well. If he asks a question, we can usually find the answer somewhere. But there are two questions we can’t answer for him – why this has happened to him, and how things might change for him in the future. Right now, all the signs point to the fact that my son will not outgrow diabetes. It’s a life-long condition, and may involves all kinds of complications further down the line.

But this could change, and research is happening all the time to find a cure. Even in the few years Alexander has been diagnosed, things are moving along. I can’t take the diabetes away and have it instead of him, though like most parents in this position, I’d do that in a heartbeat. But what I can do is help the organisations working towards a cure.

That’s why I’m going to double and donate every penny I raise from the sale of my contemporary love story ‘A Different Kind of Honesty,’ to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. If you buy the book, not only will you get a jolly good read out of it - - but you’ll be helping raise funds for diabetes research. You can read the blurb and an excerpt at The Wild Rose Press website, here. (BUY LINK It’s currently available as an e-book, and the print format will be available in October. There’s another excerpt at my website, too.

I’d also like to add my support to Brenda Novak’s wonderful on-line auction for diabetes research! I’ll be donating a book and a basket of organic aromatherapy products to that, and she has some stunning goodies to bid for! Please do take a look.

So that’s it. If you’d like to know more about me, please visit my website. I’m also running a contest to celebrate the release of my book, all the details are at the site. And if you want to drop me a line, please do. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you so much, Kathleen, for giving me a little space to tell people ‘why I’m giving it away.’
strength...intelligence...passion...stories worth telling.
'A Different Kind of Honesty' NOW AVAILABLE from The Wild Rose Press
Join my mailing list -
Preview The Book:

Thanks Jane for sharing your personal story. Anyone interested in doing more can also stop by Benda Novak's Online Auction at her website

Friday, April 11, 2008


I constantly eat at night because working makes me hungry! LOL. But if there is food available, we are like a bunch of vultures. We descend and make quick work of anything that is left. No joke. Once we ordered pizza and all ten boxes were gone--empty--within the hour! I saw this quiz and couldn't resist. And, it is probably one of my favorite all time foods-EVER! Just need to add a little chocolate....

What's Your Midnight Snack?
Nothing says grounded and laid back like your face. Yeah, that's right. You're a total couch potato, but you see nothing wrong with it. You'd rather just sit back and kick it with your closest friends than out trying to be something that you're not. People can always depend on you to tell the truth and be that person that they can count on.

Take the quiz!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Every one I know is getting sick. About two weeks ago, I was sick. It seems the cold/flu season is still hanging on. Hand washing is your best defense against the spread of germs. In order for handwashing to be effective, you must vigorously rub your hands together at least 15 seconds.

Here are some fun facts I found while looking on the internet for this post:

1)Up to half of all men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands after they use the bathroom. (EWWWW!)

2)Right handed people tend to wash their left hand more thoroughly than their right, and visa versa. (I didn't know that one. Did you?)

3)We have between 2 and 10 million bacteria between our finger tip and elbow. (Interesting.)

4)Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands. (Now I have to tease my daughter more about her "sweaty palms" LOL)

5)The number of germs on your fingertips doubles after you use the toilet. (Ahem. Are you paying attention to this one people who are guilty of #1?)

6)Germs can stay alive on hands for up to three hours.

7)Millions of germs hide under watches, bracelets, and rings.

(information gathered by the Southeastern District Health Department)

Here's a little nursing humor I couldn't resist~especially since I write romance.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The 2008 Desert Rose Conference, was over the weekend. Everyone did a spectacular job, especially Susan and Tina, our conference coordinators. This was my first conference experience and I am glad I made the choice to attend a smaller, more intimate conference first. From what I heard from others conference veterans, this conference had everything that Nationals had, and a whole lot more.

Hmmm. Well, lets see. There is so much to tell. I checked in Carly Phillips while working the registration table! WOW! Talk about In AWE! Love her books.

I sat at the same dinner table as Sherrilyn Kenyon, our keynote speaker. What a dynamic story she had to tell. It moved me and brought me to tears. Also had her sign my book and had my picture taken with her.

My editor and agent appointment went great! I had a request for my manuscript, Dating 911 and she was interested in the sequel Dating Impossible. Keep your fingers crossed that they accept them!

The workshops were taped and available for sale for $10 each from the Desert Rose Website. I recommend listening to Keynote: Dare, Dream, Do by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Talk about inspirational. The hurdles she went through to make her dream of writing come true is absolutely amazing.

Got High Concept by Lori Wilde. I bought this one because I’d missed it, but heard it was fantastic!

Keynote~Luncheon speaker by Carly Phillips. She also had an amazing story to tell.

Rejection Proof Your Query by Agent Jessica Faust.

Brenda Joyce spoke on self-promotion~Branding yourself and your product. That was an eye opener. Unfortunately that one wasn’t taped, but I took great notes.

There were many others, but those are the highlights. I learned more about networking and promotion, too. Which is AWESOME because I am getting ready to launch my book~THE DOCTOR'S DECEPTION, a future release from The Wild Rose Press.

Another highlight was meeting Brenda Novak. What a dynamic lady. I’ve been working with her on her online auction for diabetes. I won a prize from the raffle drawing~Tea and Champagne for 4 at the Phoencian here in town. Since I’m too busy and wouldn’t know what to do with myself, I donated it to Brenda’s auction. Go to www.brendanovakcom. There are a lot of auction items available to help aspiring writers. Critiques from agents and editors, a mentoring program, and a lot lot more.

Well, that is all for now. The next DR conference is in 2010! I highly recommend everyone go. I’m saving up for next year’s RT in Orlando in 2009.


Monday, April 7, 2008


I had the opportunity to meet Brenda Novak over the weekend at the 2008 Desert Dreams Conference. What a dynamic woman. She has done a fabulous job putting together her auction to help raise money for diabetes research. If you are an aspiring author, she has a lot of packages up for bid that will get your manuscript right in front of an editor or agents eyes. And the turn around time for your critique is 24 hours up to two weeks! Well worth your time to stop by her website and check out who has donated their precious time to her worthy cause. And if you want to go on a trip to somewhere fabulous, or bid on something fun like an i-pod, she has those items, too. The link to her website is listed at the bottom of this post. I know what I'm going to bid you?

Now, to business~Take a look at the ordinary people pictured above. Anyone can be affected by the post below.

While researching articles for Diabetes Monday, I came across this fact: 13,000 new cases of Type 1 diabetes are detected each year.

13,000? WHOA! That number is staggering!

Now let's spin this fact to place this into perspective.

This means:

~13,000 people who will require insulin shots to survive.

~13,000 people who need to re-think their daily meal choices.

~13,000 people who will need to regiment how they exercise (because exercise lowers blood sugar)

That is just in their daily lives. Let's take this a step further, placing a medical spin on it.

This means:

~13,000 more people at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

~13,000 more people at risk for kidney failure and possible hemodialysis.

~13,000 more people at risk for peripheral vascular disease which could lead to amputations of their toes, feet, or legs.

In ten years this will be 130,000 people who have diabetes.

**The only cure for diabetes is a pancreas transplant. These are rarely done and if they are, the person has to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life.

I hope this stresses the importance of raising $$ for diabetes research. Please help!

Go to and learn what fabulous prizes are up for bid on her auction. The auction starts May 1st and ends May 31st.

Friday, April 4, 2008


For April, I thought I'd try something a little different. I've posted some pics I hope will inspire you to write a little something about what catches your eye about a man's behind. Here are a couple of questions to get you started. What makes you look twice? Soft or firm?

There is no word count. The best entry will win a $25 gift card for Barnes & Noble! Winner will be announced May first.

Good Luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


The other night I was at work and spoke with the daughter of one of my patients. She expressed frustration over trying to keep family and her dad's friends informed of his progress.

The proverbial light bulb lit up in my brain and I had an idea that I suggested to her that I thought I'd share. I told her, "Why not use a blog?"

As I thought about it more, I knew this could be a useful tool for many of our patient's family members to use and here's why:

1)Think of how therapeutic it will be for her. She'll be able to write about daily events, expressing the emotions she's been experiencing. To say this family has been on an emotional roller coaster would not even cover the stress that they are under.

2)This will be a great way for her to keep track of information. Often times, when our loved ones struggle on the brink of death, the shock and turmoil they are going through doesn't allow them to process key pieces of information the health care team gives them about how a patient is progressing. The different procedures, treatments, terminology often will overload an already overwhelmed family.

Writing down this information at the time, and then posting it to a blog, will help them remember it later. When they are ready, they'll be able to go over the information in greater detail and may even have questions.

3)Having a referral site to send people to will decrease the amount of phone calls. You're already stressed and overwhelmed. Saying and thinking about the same things over and over can drain your energy, making it difficult to keep a positive attitude.

4)Friends and Family can leave comments on your posts. Get well wishes and other supportive words can be empowering. Channel that energy and hope. Share it with the patient. Not only will it lift your spirits, but you could lift the spirits of the person who needs it most.

God Bless,

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


A dear friend of mine's new book is burning up the pages! Take a look! And the yummy Italian on the FABULOUS cover is just the beginning!

Bella Signorina
Available from: The Wild Rose Press
Price: $1.50
Genre: Contemporary Sweet/Sensual
Publisher/BUY: The Wild Rose Press

Based in part on the music of Patrizio Buanne
In one of Rome’s trendiest caffè’s, Bianca Marino comes to dance, and escape the loneliness that haunts her world. For many weeks she's been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone. Bianca is not anxious to fall in love, and yet… Something about the enigmatic Stefano Esposito has captivated her heart, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change…

Read a new excerpt:

Stefano kept a close eye on the pretty dancer, looking over his shoulder often while he walked to the small caffè. She was lovely, and he’d seen her many times, always enchanted by her presence, but never inclined to find out if the outward beauty was all there was. If she was another vain and brainless girl, he didn’t want his illusion shattered. The romanticism of the thought made him smile. He wasn’t as jaded as he pretended if he was still protecting his heart with illusions.

Less than fifteen minutes after he’d left, he rejoined her and handed her a steaming cup of espresso.

“This place feels so different at night,” Bianca murmured, her gaze scanning the area. In a matter of hours, thousands of people would begin their daily movements, passing over the steps, not noticing anything but the need to be wherever they were headed. “There’s peace here now.”

“Is that why you dance, to find peace?”

She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. “The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”

The answer surprised him, simple words with complex meaning. Her voice, soft and introspective, was layered with subtle emotion. “All passion matters, mia bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”

“Or burns it out of us.”

He turned on the steps and faced her. Then he touched her chin and gently turned her head until their gazes met. “Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”

“People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.

Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift worth having, signorina. Men live and die for love.” He had searched long enough in his own lifetime to find the passion he’d seen between his parents to know how true that was, and he had refused to accept anything less for himself. When he gave his heart to love, it would be without reserve or doubt.

“Who are you, signore?”

He was startled again, twice in less than five minutes. “Would you like to walk?”

She laughed in the growing darkness.
Stefano felt the sound ripple the length of his spine, as though cool, flawless satin had glided over him.

“Where are we to go, Stefano?”

“I think you’ll like the place,” he observed, a hint of irony texturing the subtle undertone of his voice.

She eyed him for a few timeless moments, then nodded and rose.

He smiled when she offered her hand, and he curled his fingers around hers in a loose, but firm, grip, aware of the soft strength in her grasp, as well as the satiny feel of her skin.

“So, is there a wife hidden somewhere?”

He laughed. “No. What about you? A husband who will come looking for me before dawn?”

“Before dawn?” She laughed. “You seem to assume I’ll still be here by then?”

He grinned. “I think you might be,” he admitted. “But, you haven’t answered my question.”

“The only thing greater than your charm is your arrogance, Stefano.”

“Maybe,” he conceded with an unconcerned shrug.

She shook her head, amused, and sipped her coffee. “How does a man with so much passion not have the woman of his dreams in his arms every night?”

“I could ask you the same question,” he pointed out. “Why are you alone?” Her laughter washed over him again.
She stopped walking to look up at him. “No one I’ve met has inspired the things I need to feel.”

“What do you need?”

“To be respected for who I am, what makes me unique.” She tilted her head to one side and held his level gaze. “I need to be given all the things I’m expected to provide, and that seems to be quite beyond many men.” She paused, before adding in a quiet, earnest tone, “Real men, those who understand the value of a smart woman, also see her beauty is in her wisdom, and her spirit.”

“And her ability to be all things without effort, because she is all things naturally,” he concluded, genuinely pleased at the startled flicker of surprise his words lit in her eyes. “We’re here,” he announced, indicating the building they’d reached.

She looked up, and her smile was radiant in the soft glow of the nearby streetlight. “La Galleria d'arte di Idillio,” she murmured. “I love this place.”

“It’s mine.” His voice expressed his pleasure and pride at her appreciation, and he dug out the key that would unlock the doors to the small gallery.


There was enough real shock in her voice to make him stop as he held the door open. “Why does that surprise you so much?” When she’d entered the gallery, he locked the doors and turned on the lights.

“I’ve come here a number of times, and I’ve never seen you,” she replied.

“I’ve never seen you,” he noted. “Except at the caffè.”

With a turn of her head, she gazed around the entry. “I’ve always felt this place was a tribute to love, and romance.”

“It is. My father began the collection for my mother.”

“Your father was a romantic?”

“My father was a gentleman, in the truest sense of that word,” Stefano said, his heart filled with the familiar sense of loneliness and pride combined. “He lived la dolce vita,” he smiled, “with the passion of a man who loved all life had to offer, good and bad.”

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