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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Don't Wait...

I struggled for a long time about sharing this story, but I believe some good may come of it. Imagine yourself with a nursing baby in your arms. You are young, healthy, vibrant, and feel no different than you did in highschool. You spend your days raising babies, working, loving, and living! You schedule your yearly exam but this year it's with a new caregiver because yours has moved away. You have a babysitter come to take care of the children and you head off for what you expect to be a quick exam.

The same smiling faces greet you at the clinic, and the new caregiver is incredibly sweet and knowledgeable. A few moments into the meeting, she explains she has carefully reviewed your records and you are past due for a colonoscopy. Just the sound of that procedure sends you to a dark place. You recall too clearly being a tween and learning your father had colon cancer. You were always under the impression you had until 50 before you needed screening.

"Well, I can't force you to have it done, but you really should."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Why don't you schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology and they can better advise you?"

"I suppose - that can't hurt, but I don't really want to go down this road. I have no symptoms."

The rest of the appointment went as you'd expect. You get home and laugh about the ridiculous idea with your husband. You push off the Gastro appointment as long as possible because you are sure your new caregiver has mis-information and you are indeed too young for anything like a colonoscopy. In fact, someone recently commented how you look like you are only 20-something.

The Gastroenterology department agrees with the OB/GYN and next thing you know you are scheduling a colonoscopy. Your head is spinning. You are suddenly 12 years old listening to your parents explain chemo, radiation, DNR orders, and eventually funeral plans. You are in a VERY ugly place. You try to cancel the appointment but your husband won't let you. Your neighbor won't let you.

The day of the procedure you can't even think. Be real - you haven't been able to concentrate for weeks. God is good though - he gives you a nurse who is also a friend and fellow farmer. She puts your mind at ease and the last thing you remember before the procedure is her promise she will be with you the entire time.

The procedure wasn't the scary part. The results are what terrifies you and yet - there's a part of you who is convinced they will find nothing and you'll laugh because you were right, you're too young for this type of medical concern.



Had you canceled that test, had you refused that test, had you waited...the outcome would have been very different.



The nurses and physician kept commenting about how happy they were you came in when you did. You, with your symptom free youthful life had not one, but TWO polyps removed from your colon. The second one was over 1cm and had stalks growing off of it. Let that sink in...


They took them out and you went home to hug your children, milk your cows, and resume your lifestyle. Knowledge is power. Now you know - you have to go often and have more colonoscopies - but you caught it early, because a stranger cared enough to read your chart and educate you about the current recommendations based on your family history.

I'm sharing this story, not because I'm anything or anyone special - but because there are more people just like me out there - they are waiting, doubting, unaware this common type of cancer can be prevented by early detection. They don't want to talk about their colon. They heard the preparation for a colonoscopy is uncomfortable.

Well - let me tell you this:
Don't wait! Whatever your excuse is - don't wait! The preparation isn't fun by any means, but it's not as bad as the flu, and life is too precious - YOU are too precious to wait.

May your paths be filled with an abundance of lemons, sugar, sunshine, and moments that remind you how precious each breath is!


Special thank you to Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin - specifically Kay Vogel, Jennifer Weier, Jeremy Anclam, and Doreen Krause.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tara Forst gives "Welcome to Maravilla" 5 Stars!

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for including this blog and our young reviewer in this book blog tour.

Please contact WOW!  today to reserve your copy and participate in this tour. If you've never participated in a tour, feel free to inquire and you will receive a copy of this book to read and review for yourself! (crystal@wow-womenonwriting .   com )


The tiny hamlet of Maravilla, New Mexico is not immune to modern-day problems. But the citizens of Maravilla have their own special problems, as well:

A developer wants to build a Christian-themed amusement park next to Maravilla’s historic church.

The county line runs right through the town, splitting it in two.

And the government is threatening to close their post office!

Into this muddle steps Jake Epstein, a young writer from the big city. Jake is seeking peace and quiet to finish his current project: a science fiction story in which adventuress Tai-Keiko must deliver the secret formula for Zeton-9—with the evil Krossarians in hot pursuit.

But then reality and science fiction converge—and Tai-Keiko finds herself in present-day Maravilla, face to face with a gobsmacked Jake.

Join Jake on this comic run along the dusty roads of Maravilla, and find out who won the fight between Father Ignatius and the heathen pig farmer. How a basketball game changed the fate of the town. And was that white flash in the sky a UFO?

Print Length: 195 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Beeline Press (June 19, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1645400646
ISBN-13: 978-1645400646

Welcome to Maravilla is now available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

***** 5 STAR REVIEW  *****
by Tara Forst
I found Welcome to Maravilla to be a very fun and fast read. While I’m not usually a fan of science fiction, the blend between that and realism that R. Douglas Clark demonstrated in this book makes it for everyone!

I absolutely love the characters Clark has created. Each and every one was unique, quirky and lovable (in their own special way). I think this was the part of the story I loved the most. Sometimes for me characters are just blank faces with a name attached, but in this story I felt like I could actually picture Archie’s haggard appearance, I could see Tai-Keiko’s unique/alien traits transforming before my eyes. I could even smell Paloma’s perfume and hear flirtatious laugh as she spoke with Aurelio VI (I’m a sucker for romances).

While this book has many different events happening at the same time (Jake writing his book, the town trying to save the post office, the father trying to save the church, Tai-Keiko traveling through space (plus a ton of other things going on), I still found it very easy to keep up with all of the happenings and enjoyed each “separate” story until they all reached their apex near the end of the story. Truly, that pattern of jumping back and forth really kept me engrossed in the book so much so , that I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.

Truly this book would be for anyone of any age and any genre preference. It has something for everyone, and I personally can’t wait to read Clark’s next book!

About Today's Guest Reviewer, Tara Forst:

Tara Forst lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their young son. Tara owns her own business: Worn Forever - dedicated to helping mamas with babywearing and attachment parenting.

About R. Douglas Clark
R. Douglas Clark was born in Vermont, grew up in Colorado, attended college in Chicago, and received a Master's degree in music from Brown University. Seeing no future for himself in academia, he spent a year in the Oregon woods, living in a primitive cabin, writing music reviews and cultural commentary for magazines and newspapers. Next stop, Eugene, Oregon where he spent 20 damp years as a bootstrap businessman, father and musician. On a vacation trip, he and his wife, Shelley, fell in love with sunny northern New Mexico and subsequently moved there. After four years running Boys and Girls Clubs in Chimayó and Abiquiú--and another four, running a U-pick raspberry farm--he retired to write fiction full time.

Find R. Douglas online:

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Carmen Otto Reviews "Made to be Broken" by Hugh Fritz and Gives it 5 Stars!

Flarence knows that Genies are supposed to help their masters by granting wishes, but he’s never been comfortable taking orders. To him, pummeling bad guys with magically enhanced weaponry feels like a much better way to use his powers.

Darren is a gangster who wants to leave his reckless life behind so he can focus on providing for his family. Unfortunately, there are people in the neighborhood who won’t let him move on.

Soleil is a humble man who tries to lead a passive lifestyle. In times of peace or times of war, he can be found cleaning his cafe or singing along with rock-’n’-roll tunes while tending to his houseplants.

Darren, Soleil, and Flarence will have to work together and step outside their comfort zones when a rogue Genie and a hot-headed police officer threaten the lives of their loved ones. Flarence will be challenged to work with a criminal, Soleil will be forced to leave his sanctuary and act to help his friends, and Darren will face the possibility that being a gentle and caring family man may not be an option for him.

Print Length: 264  Pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Golden Word Books
ISBN-10: 1948749432
ISBN-13: 978-1948749435

Made to be Broken is now available to purchase on, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

About the Author
Hugh Fritz is a fan of monsters, mad scientists, sorcerers, and anything that involves being with incredible powers beating each other senseless. After years of writing research papers, he decided it was time to give reality a rest and let his imagination run wild. This is his first book, and it has been an illuminating experience making the transition from reader to author.

He was born in Chicago where he spent most of his life until moving to the Southwest in 2015. He finds inspiration bouncing ideas off other novelists in a critique group, but hours of television and finding the right songs to put him in the writing mood play an important role as well. He has no plans to end the Genies' adventures here, so be on the lookout for more magical mischief in the next book of the Mystic Rampage series.

Find Hugh Fritz online:



Author's Website:

***** 5 STAR REVIEW *****
Review by Carmen Jeanne Otto

Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz was a great read and kept me engaged throughout. My favorite part was when Darren and Claire had to fight off the “Student’s” puppet and when Soleil uncovered the truth about who the “Student” was. (Leaving out the details as not to spoil the story for everyone else.)

I would recommend this book for anyone older than 10 because it was an interesting adventure and the topics as well as the writing style would be appropriate for middle school students and beyond. I would also read this book again because I enjoyed it. It’s good to know this is only book #1 of the Mystic Rampage Series! Anyone who has an interest in adventure, genies, the supernatural, and relationships in general would enjoy this book.

My rating for Made to be Broken is 5 stars since it contains a lot of adventure and I loved the friendships/relationships throughout the story.

I’m impressed by Hugh Fritz and may have referred to him as a genius. I was worried at the beginning on how this story was going to play out. The plot twists kept me engaged and once I got to the end everything made perfect sense. I love a book that surprises you – and this one sure did that! I am glad I read this book and hope book #2 in the series will be available soon.

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for including my review in this book blog tour.

--- Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

November 7th (today) @ Bring on Lemons with Carmen Otto
Middle Schooler Carmen Otto raves about the first book in the Mystic Rampage Series – she encourages everyone to read Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz! Find out more today at Bring on Lemons.

November 8th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz – find out what you’re missing and learn about the first book in the Mystic Rampage series – if you love sci-fi you’ll love this book!

November 9th @ World of My Imagination
Learn more about Hugh Fritz and his new book Made to be Broken as he shares a few thoughts in an interesting interview with Nicole Pyles at World of My Imagination.

November 15th @ Anjanette Speaks
Anjanette Potter interviews Hugh Fritz as well as reviewing his book Made to be Broken – find out more about the first book of the Mystic Rampage series – now available!

November 18th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s Book Spotlight at Breakeven Books is Made to be Broken (first book in the Mystic Rampage Series) by Hugh Fritz – don’t miss this great opportunity to add this exciting new novel to your collection!

November 19th @ To Write or Not To Write
Sreevarsha reviews Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz and delights readers at To Write or Not To Write with her thoughts about this fast-paced novel – it’s the first book in the Mystic Rampage Series – don’t miss this!

November 20th @ A StoryBook World
Don’t miss today’s publicity post at A Storybook World as readers at Dierdra’s blog are introduced to the first book in the Mystic Rampage Series – you’ll want to run out and get your own copy of Hugh Fritz’s Made to be Broken!

November 21st @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews
Lisa Haselton interviews Hugh Fritz about the first novel in the Mystic Rampage series, Made to be Broken. Readers will delight in learning more about this science fiction story with intriguing plot and multiple plot twists!

November 22nd @ Look to the Western Sky
Visit Margo's blog today where you can catch today's author spotlight and learn more about Hugh Fritz and his fabulous book Made to be Broken.

November 26th @ Selling Books
Don’t miss today’s author interview with Hugh Fritz as Cathy Stucker finds out more about his latest release Made to be Broken – the first book in the Mystic Rampage series.

November 27th @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina shares his thoughts after reading Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz – don’t miss this review!

December 2nd @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsinite Tara Forst shares her thoughts after reading the first book in the Mystic Rampage Series – find out more in her book review of Made to be Broken by Hugh Fritz.

December 4th @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina interviews Hugh Fritz about Made to be Broken - the first book of the Mystic Rampage series.

About Today's Guest Reviewer, Carmen Otto:

Carmen is a 12 year old from a small Wisconsin town where she lives with her family. Carmen spends her days in school and evenings on her family's dairy farm where she milks cows alongside her father and grandfather. She enjoys swim team, reading books, and playing with her many siblings. When Carmen grows up, she plans to become a large animal veterinarian where she can help farmers with their cattle but also work with horses. Carmen's family recently added 2 horses to the many animals on their farm and she loves spending time caring for Princess and Paige!