Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Book Worth Howling Over

The Alphas: Prequel to Howl of the Wolf, Heirs to the Throne Trilogy
By Diane Rapp

As a prequel to her sci-fi trilogy, this book shines. Anyone loving animals, especially dogs and wolves, will be drawn into this fascinating story.  Carra, whose beloved German Shepherd was stolen, cannot believe the mystery, evil and suspense going on in the dog breeding society. She discovers horrifying things that at first seem impossible, when she discovers that she is the heir to the fortune of her friend and dog breeder, Frieda, who is found murdered. This begins a journey to faraway places and one adventure after another as her and a select group of friends try to protect the lives and sanctity of the animals.

The dogs and wolves in this story are not normal, thanks to a science group who discover telepathy among some canines, wolves, and some people. Carra is one of those people. Author Diane Rapp writes a fast-paced novel with wonderfully developed characters, both human and canine.  Readers will be especially drawn to this book, beginning with the beautiful picture of the animals on her cover. It’s a fast easy read that is difficult to put down.

As a special treat, she ends her prequel with a sample of the first of the series; Howl of the Wolves, Heirs to the Throne Trilogy. It's a tantalizing piece which sent me directly to Amazon to purchase it. How could I not?

Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

Saturday, July 25, 2015

One Women's Battle for Survival

Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope by Kathryn Chastain Treat

This is a story of a 44-year-old woman whose life is turned into a nightmare, as she reenters the workplace, only to find that she has an extreme allergic reaction to the mold in the building. Author Kathryn Chastain Treat narrates her day by day excruciating experiences as multiple allergens turn her into a prisoner locked in her own little world. Her immune system is unable to fight the barrage of everyday allergens that continue to mount, attempting to destroy her life for an entire decade.

This is a book I could not put down, having suffered similar symptoms, but nowhere near the level of this brave woman, who needed to wear a mask on her face in public, and throw away her clothes, worn only once. At its worst, she had to live in a specially detoxified building, separate from her own home and her devoted husband.

I happened to meet Kathryn briefly online while reading and replying to a Rave Review Book Club interview. Months later she passed on to a place free from the nightmare in which she had lived. Reading her book, knowing she had made such progress overcoming her allergies, is often difficult. As a talented writer, Kathryn brings the reader into her life story and takes them along on her incredible, almost unbelievable story. She shares her tears, hopes, fears and strength, making this outstanding book a true testament to overcoming and defeating the ordinary things that were deadly toxic to her.

This book and its author had a profound and lasting impact upon my own life and is a recommended read for everyone on so many levels. Kathryn Treat may have had the most horrifying experiences throughout her battle but in spite of it, she lived and loved to the fullest until she reached the point where she was no longer, “Allergic to Life.”

Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

RAVE WAVES Radio Blog Interview

Bring on the Spotlight with Guest Host John W. Howell and MICKI PELUSO By Rave Reviews Book Club July 23, 2015 - 12:00:00 PM EDT
30 Minutes Call in to speak with the host:
646  929 0091

About Noelle:

Noelle was a shy little girl until she turned six yrs old and became the 'mouse that roared'--her siblings gave her a wide berth. As a preteen and teenager, she changed again, this time into a wacky, hilariously funny girl.She could walk into a room and say nothing and make us laugh. She was the only one who could shake the dark moods from her father and calm her brothers and sisters down. She never did chores. She talked about doing them, promised to do them, but managed to entertain her siblings while they did her work. When her and her sister, Kelly bought clothes with their babysitting money, Noelle put every outfit on top of the other for a bike ride. When Kelly said she was crazy not to save them for something special, Noelle said that a bike ride was special enough. She was a beautiful combination of Lucille Ball humor and Carol Burnett. Her teachers adored her. It was evident that all who knew her loved her. She lived in the moment almost as if she sensed there might not be many of them. I wrote the book so that others, the drunk drivers and their victims might know that irresponsibility took away one of God's brightest stars. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Announcement regarding . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang
Countdown for $. 99 sale for Kindle. I'm happy and excited to announce to all my friends and followers who have not yet had the pleasure of reading my book . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang that the book will be available for $.99  on Amazon Kindle July 8th through July15th PDT. 
Those preferring the print version can find it reduced on Amazon for $13.36.
This is the story of two teenagers in love. Micki’s dysfunctional mother convinces the two of them to elope to Elkton, Maryland and marry in a double ceremony with a man her mother barely knows. This begins the story of Micki and Butch, who go on to have six children and an outrageous life, filled with animals both tame and feral, and wild escapades including a cross-country trip to Nevada in which everything that can go wrong does.
Returning to their home town in Pennsylvania, they buy 100-year-old farmhouse complete with rats, bats and wasps as well as their own ghosts. Life is wonderful for this family filled with laughter, filled with love. On a sunny summer day in late August, their 14-year-old daughter, Noelle, the child whose wacky sense of humor and love, wove the fabric of the family together, was killed by a drunk driver. That day the laughter died.
Micki promises her dying Noelle that she will make sure that the world knows who and what she was by writing a celebration of her life rather than a eulogy of her death. The result of this promise is . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang, a story of love, loss and survival, with the humor of ”Cheaper by the Dozen,” and the heart of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
For those of you who choose to read this story, please let me know what you thought of it and if you can leave a short review. You can use the links below to order from Kindle and use the fan facebook page to watch the video of the characters you will be meeting in this book.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My book, . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang will be on sale for $.99 on kindle from July 8th, 6AM Pacific time through July15th Noon Pacific time. Those of you who have my book may want to go to this event below for hundred's more great books on this site, all for 99 cents each on July 8th.

For all you readers and authors: thought you might be interested. 

Sign up for the EarlyBirdDrawing by clicking on "Going"bymidnight 6/7...big prize for the winner.
Here's the event link: http://www.sunshinebookshow.com/SBS-Celebration.html

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

While Nero Fiddled . . .

As we celebrate this Fourth of July let us contemplate on what we can do to help keep this great, cherished Nation from going the ways of other great Empires. Let us join together as one people, free of bias, greed and corruption as we work to bring back and maintain the beauty and purity of this great land of the free---'America the Beautiful.' 

While Nero Fiddled . . .

The Roman Empire between 100 and 200 AD encompassed Northern Scotland and reached out as far as Asia. It was one of four classified Empires; including Han China, Mauryan, India and Parthian Persia. The Roman Empire stands out due to its ability to unify and cause major changes in language and the development of lands conquered. It is said that the United States of America is second in this endeavor. So why did the Roman Empire Fall? The glory that was Rome fell by 284 AD due in part by what is taking down our country today — greed, corruption and apathy.

As we watch our own great nation, once the shining star of the free world grow ever weaker, inundated with internal and external problems, one wonders if we are following the footsteps of the once mighty Empire whose arrogance and refusal to see or care blinded them to their own demise. Our country became the United States of America in 1776 with the words of our Constitution written in the blood of those who fought and died for it. That would be about 240 years ago.

We face many of the Roman Empire’s problems and more, which includes loss of respect from other nations, mockery from our enemies, little or no aid from countries that we spend billions upon, as well as major financial, medical, and environmental problems on our front. Scandals in government have scorched the integrity of our political philosophies. We have backed down from stamping out terrorism when it first raised its ugly tentacles in the 1970's; beatable than, not so easily now. Our economy, dependent upon two-income families, has affected the lives of this present generation of children, along with the ever progressive computer technology which is both advantage and bane. We have been forewarned and educated in problems needing immediate solutions. As a Super Power we still ‘talk the talk’ but fail to ‘walk the walk.’ Chicken Little is scurrying about, crying out, ‘The Sky is Falling.’ We don’t bother to glance up.

Can we be so foolish as not to see what's happening to our once great nation? The greed, corruption, and apathy are snowballing into a massive avalanche that may well bury the country we once knew. Cartoonist Walt Kelly paraphrased Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous quotation, ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours.’ On the second Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Walt Kelly’s first ‘Pogo’ cartoon graced the cover of a magazine. His words were relating to environmental issues but aptly fit all the problems of our times. “We have met the enemy and they are us.’

Saturday, June 27, 2015

View From a Hospital Room

Personality traits differ significantly among hospital patients, Physicians and caretakers, which can include: sympathy/aloofness, empathy/impatience, caring/apathy, patience and intolerance. Mistakes and miracles occur almost on an equal basis; patients, who should live, die and those who should have died live. Hospitals are buzzing hives of contradictions.
My bed is one of four in a well-lit room with large windows displaying the dull gray tones of a broad flat roof from the floor below. It’s a Cardiac Care Center (CCU), so all of us are hooked up to monitors, which I find comforting. This is not my first time here, yet I note changes since my last visit. Maybe my “rate our performance” opinion letters were actually read.
The nurses are exceptionally pleasant, insisting that we ring the buzzer if we need them — that is not usually the case. The Personal Care Attendants (PCA) are surprisingly young with as many men as women. They smile, ask about our lives, our comfort and show genuine warmth and caring.” Ryan,” a very young handsome man works tirelessly as a nurse’s assistant. His wide smile can’t help but make patients smile back — a beatific smile. He offers to help bathe us, but I pass. He’s about the age of my grandsons and I really can’t handle that, preferring the female PCAs who are no less enthusiastic in doing their jobs. Ryan will soon graduate as a nurse.
Another PCA, working years to support his family, decides it’s time to make a career move into nursing. He’s a no-nonsense guy in his late 30’s, and while he doesn’t radiate joy in his work, his caring is deeply sincere and conscientious. One young man, looking like a teenage football player, sits patiently feeding pureed food to a demented old woman for a solid hour, until her tray is empty. He never sighs with impatience or abruptness, but handles her as a mother would tend her young child. The woman, who can only live in the moment, won’t remember this selfless act but can, in the now, as it unfolds. I think to myself that this young man is a true angel.
Judith, once a high–income professional, upon retiring, grew bored and chose to give herself to others in the lowly occupation of hospital cleanliness maintenance. A beautiful woman, she literally races from room to room, scrubbing, mopping, and disinfecting, all the while singing cheerful songs. Her face beams with happiness while disbursing gems of wisdom and optimism to all of us. I give her a signed copy of my book and she treasures it like gold. I feel my own discomfort receding just being in her presence.
One of my roommates is discharged late at night and I am annoyed when a maintenance man comes in, turning on all the bright lights, to clean and prepare the bed for an incoming patient. Then as I watch him diligently scrub every section of the last patient’s area, humming while he works, I realized that he likes his job and we talk as he works.
Once while speaking to one of my nurses, she tells me how she lost her husband and then her home and possessions during Super Storm Sandy the year before. We were discussing my book, which I always keep on my nightstand. I ask her how she could be so happy and smiling all the time.” Life is full of losses,” she says.” I’ve learned to accept that and move forward with my life.” Her attitude inspires me to rethink my own attitudes toward loss, pain and suffering.
Hospitals are far from perfect. The downside for me is a botched simple pacemaker battery change, which leads to five more surgeries and six months in and out of the hospital. A boy scout with a manual could have done a better job. Statistics report that approximately 400,000 deaths occur each year in hospitals, due to Doctor/nurse error or negligence, and three of every 25 patients contact a potentially, deadly infections. I hold the dubious honor of contracting both a UTI (urinary tract infection) and a VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterititus) intestinal infection. It is a humiliating experience as the “Swab Team” burst into my room in Haz-med uniforms, whisking me off to isolation. I did not have the infection but colonized it, being contagious only to a small percentage of patients with a gene defect.
There are also times when I have to tell a new and experienced nurse that he needs more practice putting in IV needles. Another time, one has to be reminded to use gloves before touching me. One day after getting no sleep from the pain, I take a late morning nap. My new roommate is suddenly surrounded by doctors as her monitors bleep and flash in alarm. The nurses assumed she is sleeping when in fact she stopped breathing and nearly dies. Since her heart rate is monitored that should not have happened. Mere coincidence causes her doctor to be visiting at that exact moment. Her life is saved.
There is much more to tell but to sum it up, while hospitality has improved dramatically, there is still much to be done for the protection of patients from errors in hospital-contracted diseases. Don’t even ask about hospital food. Being on a cardiac, salt free diet, I have the kitchen manager bought to me to discuss the salt content of his meals, which is far above my allowance; and still have to have my meals made and brought in from home. One food server tells me that no matter what I mark on my menu, all patients get the same thing. I believe him. There’s a possibility I might not be allowed back to this institution. My last opinion poll on hospital overall performance might ensure that. And that’s okay with me.