Monday, June 24, 2013

When Things Tilt Sideways

The winner of my ARC of Every Day After is . . .

Please email your mailing address to barbarawatson94(at)gmail(dot)com.

Now, something much more sobering . . .

I blinked . . . and in that tiny amount of time, things tilted sideways for my family. A summer Friday afternoon, just over a week ago, sunny and perfect outside. But when my husband's cell phone rang, the news over the line brought deep, dark clouds. And then a storm blew through. And now we're caught in the doldrums of waiting.

My dearly-loved, young (age 67), and healthy mother-in-law suffered a Grade 4 rupture of a brain aneurysm. She endured an eight-hour surgery to drain her brain and clip the aneurysm. And then came the critical hours after the surgery. And days and days of doctors and nurses observing for something called vasospasms (small blockages that could cause strokes). Blood pressure too high. Blood pressure too low. Intercranial pressure too high. And on and on and on . . .

Throughout the ten days since her ruptured aneurysm, my mother-in-law has not "woken up." She may have brain damage. But we don't know how much. She may have areas of paralysis. But we don't know to what extent. She may still die.

My family hurts. But we serve a giant and loving God who carries us when we can't move on our own, celebrates with us when great things happen, and never told us life would be perfect, easy or fair. And we serve Him when things go well, and we serve Him when things tilt sideways.

It will be some time before I blog again. Our family figures out one day at a time--sometimes one hour at a time. We've set up a CaringBridge site for my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law and I are journaling there in order to keep family and friends up to date.

In the meantime, much love to each of you,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Every Day After (with ARC giveaway!)

Every Day After, the debut of Laura Golden, releases on June 11th! To celebrate this special and beautiful story, I'd like to pass along my ARC to one of you. It's that good. I'll be purchasing a hardcover, you know--what I do with books I adore. Details on the giveaway are at the end of this post.

The premise: In Bittersweet, Alabama, times are tough, but to Lizzie Hawkins, her times are the toughest. When her daddy lost his job due to the Depression, he deserted the family, and now Lizzie's mama has lost all hope. It's up to Lizzie to keep things from falling completely apart, but she hasn't even turned twelve yet. The bank is after her house, there's a new and very mean girl in town, and Lizzie's best friend Ben is slipping away. Lizzie's not sure she can hold it all together . . .

What I loved: The change and growth in Lizzie. She's taking care of way more than any almost twelve-year-old should be, and she makes mistakes, but she learns from those mistakes. Which is a pretty huge thing for anyone of any age. And although this story is set in the 1930's, readers of today will (almost) forget they're reading about the past because Laura Golden has written something so relevant to the here and now.

To enter the giveaway for my ARC, simply comment on this post by Sunday, June 23, 2013, by 8pm CDT and have a United States mailing address. Winner announced on Monday, June 24th.

Find other great middle grade reads in the links on 

Happy middle grade reading! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Kindness Project

The winner of The Devil's Backbone is . . .

Hooray! Email your mailing address to barbarawatson94(at)gmail(dot)com. 

And please stop by The Kindness Project. I keep it real and ask myself a tough question. Here's the link: The Kindness Project.

Hope to see you there,