Carpe Diem

It’s been a tumultuous week. It began with the horrendous bombing at the Boston marathon, an explosion in Texas that devastated a community, followed by the senseless killing of an MIT police officer and the latest today, a 6.6 earthquake in China in an area still trying to recover from another earthquake a few years back.

Some people say the end of the world is near. They say that mankind has been “naughty” and like Sodom and Gomorrah, life as we know it will be struck down. It’s been intimated that we angered a supreme power and we must now pay the consequences.

I say that these events, heartbreaking  certainly, and overwhelming to families who have lost loved ones, have also allowed human beings to show their resiliency and strength in the face of unremarkable obstacles and threats. In times of calamity, mankind has always found a way to unite with fellow man.

The world sent messages of support, prayers, hopes and good thoughts to the city of Boston. Die-hard Yankee fans cheered for the Red Sox just because. Just hours after an explosion shattered the community of West, Texas, cars and trucks were lined up on the highways bringing supplies and offers of help. And back to Massachusetts, where cheers were loud and boisterous and emotional when the surviving Boston bomber was apprehended. South China was hit with an earthquake and once again folks huddled around television sets hoping for anything positive.

People care. It is the acts of heroism, compassion, selflessness and demonstrations of strength and calm that fill me with hope every day.

No one is ever sure of what will happen tomorrow or even if there WILL be a tomorrow. This makes it so important to live each day as if it were your last – never miss a chance to tell your loved ones how you feel, experience life and not just walk through it, and truly appreciate all of the good things around you  and the people in your life.

There are no guarantees and in a way that’s a good thing – why else would we force ourselves to live each day to its fullest and savor each delight that comes our way?

Laugh often, revel in the sounds all around you, enjoy the beauty of nature, and always give shelter and compassion to people in need. We can all be there for each other and sometimes even when you might ask for help, it does more than just make you feel better, it makes another person less frustrated and feel necessary.

When we do face adversity, intolerance, cowardice and terrorists, and hate – know that these are thankfully fewer than the good people around us and certainly not as vital to our communities as we are. Don’t live in fear, don’t stop living, don’t stop believing in yourself and in the good of people overall.

Be there. Live. Rejoice.

Taking an ambulance ride & Final Sin

Have you ever been a patient in an ambulance? How did it make you feel? Did you wonder about the people who were caring for you, what their training was, how much they cared about your well being? I’d love to hear your comments below.

I have the memory of being a patient twice in the past, once after a relatively minor car accident and once for a severe asthma attack. The asthma attack was especially scary because the treatment en-route was vital, it was definitely more than just a transport.

I also have the terrific perspective of being one of those trained individuals giving care to patients on the way to hospital. I’ve been a volunteer EMT with my local ambulance corps since 1986. Sometimes the care provided is simple compassion and transport… sometimes we work hard to save a life. I’ve delivered babies – and I’ve done CPR trying to restart a heart. Both successful CPR and holding a newborn in your arms can give you a really heady feeling.

My entire family is in emergency services, both volunteer and career. That’s why, when I wanted to write a mystery suspense, it seemed natural to make my characters emergency service professionals. Going by my own experiences, where else do you get to see so much of life?

I encourage each of you to consider volunteering with your local ambulance squad; the rewards of being able to do something to help, to give some people the only chance they may have, and to know that you have provided (at the minimum) comfort and reassurance is never-ending. There are many ways to be a vital part of your community, give your ambulance corps a chance – it is definitely worth it.

About Final Sin:

Deputy Sheriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full…

investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a

vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie

Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both

of them in danger…

Download a FREE Final Sin “discussion starter package” complete with free bookmarks – it’s perfect for a book club or library discussion group.

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Alpha, Beta or Gamma – My Heroes

I recently read these definitions on an online message board –

The “Alpha Male” a.k.a. “Dukes of Slut”, tends to be dominant, aggressive and in control.

A “Beta Male” is generally the “boy next door” and is more submissive to his female partner. Maybe more in touch with his “feminine side”?

And finally, the “Gamma Male” is an Alpha with a dark side.

I was curious where each of my story heroes might fit in. Please feel free to chime in at any time (or atleast to leave a comment below). I like to think that my characters are “real” so they are really multi-faceted; I will try to label by the most predominant traits.

Lon Bartlett (Bartlett’s Rule): Alpha. But is Lon an Alpha because he believes that is what society (& his publisher) expects? When Lon meets Paige, his bed-hopping seems to come to a screeching halt. But then Lon claimed that it was all media-hype to begin with. He is tender and definitely passionate with Paige and caters to her needs and comfort level. His chosen career is a writer.

Brandon Price (Forgotten): Beta. He tends to be reclusive and a bit shy in his personal life. Caitlyn draws him out socially. But in business he is an agressive go-getter and is able to handle himself well. He was born into wealth but is determined to pay his own way. His chosen career is an Information Technology Specialist.

Tom Hughes (Within the Law): Gamma. He’s an authority figure and doesn’t let you forget it. And he’s got a temper that gets him into trouble. Tom also has a wild side and in his own words, he hasn’t always done the right thing. He is a very physical man at work, around the house and in bed. He is not threatened by Alli’s independence. His chosen career is a New York State Trooper.

Now my real-life personal hero, my hubby, he’s a little bit of all three (but that’s another story).


Nikki Leigh features Bartlett’s Rule

Nikki Leigh is an award winning fiction and non fiction author. She hosts the sensational “Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours” and is the author of “Book Promo 101

Thanks Nikki!

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My Hero – Lon Bartlett of Bartlett’s Rule

A while back I had received questions about Lon, the hero of Bartlett’s Rule (I know Paige just adores him!). Here is the basic gist of that interview:

Does his name mean anything special?
I always look up names (usually under baby names) for their meanings. In this case “Lon” means “ready to do battle”; the name Lon also reminds me of a Lion (without the “I” of course!). The Bartlett surname appears many times throughout history (politicians, publishers, racecar drivers, sports figures, philosophers and writers) and is also used for a collection of quotations. Besides, the title Bartlett’s Rule just seems to roll off of the tongue comfortably.

What does Lon look like:
I picture Lon as a big (maybe about 6 foot to 6’2”) man and yet graceful. More to do with image and less to do with vanity, I picture him working out and keeping trim and fit. Because of his public image, he probably has his hair professionally styled and his clothing personally tailored. All in all, he is very comfortable “in his own skin”. He definitely is the type of man who would attract stares from most women.

Who does he love?
Lon loves women generally. His romantic love interest is Paige Andrews. In the beginning he believes his love for Paige stems more from a need to protect her but then he comes to realize that he admires her strength and appreciates how she makes him feel. He also has a very deep and friendly love for his publicist, Shell, who once was a romantic liaison and now is simply his best friend.

Does Paige return his love?
Paige loves him even though her love and need for him scares her. He is so opposite of the type of man she thought she should be involved with. She definitely worries about his reputation and whether he would hurt her or not.

What is some of Lon’s “history” before the story begins?
While his family is only mentioned in the story, it is obvious that his closeness with his parents and the way he was raised is a big reason for the self-confidence he has. He’s chosen to live in the very urban and bustling New York City. He is an award winning writer with a reputation as a womanizer.

What does he want out of life?
He wants Paige in his life. Lon also wants something more than the shallow relationships that have helped to promote his image.

Does Lon have any great “revelations” about himself during the story?
Lon learns that he is capable of doing anything necessary to protect the ones he loves.

Will there be any more stories about Lon?
No, Lon and Paige go off to live happily ever after; there is no need to feature him in another story. BUT… he may appear as a character in someone else’s story at some point. Some of the characters that appeared in the story may take on more of a life of their own. Who knows? Maybe I will see an opportunity for Shell, Jorge, JeanMarie, Cindy or Denny to begin a romance???