Goodreads 34 Seconds Signed Copy Giveaway

Goodreads hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of 34 Seconds. The link to enter is below.

You can sign up from August 19th – September 19th.

I’m excited to be a part of Goodreads. They are my favorite place to go when I need ideas for great books to read. If you are not on Goodreads, be sure to check them out as well. You can track your reading progress, mark books you’d like to read so they are easy to find when you need a good book to read, and discover new books.

This giveaway is only open to US residents.

Nikki and Will fell in love a lifetime ago in Deltaville, Virginia. Now living in Colorado with her family, Nikki is invited to attend Will’s wedding back in Virginia where she finds her past staring her in the face. Will never wanted a wife, and he broke Nikki’s heart long ago. Nikki knew what she wanted: a strong, happy marriage and children, a future. She found those things when she married Chris, and she and Will managed to grow their friendship after heartbreak. A year after the wedding, Nikki is faced with her painful past again. She soon discovers she must find the strength to help Will on his own personal journey. In thirty-four seconds, she sees him slip from her life forever. Watching Will cross over to his fate, her past collides with her present, and Nikki learns she’s never been in control of her own destiny. Her own journey back to her family in Colorado becomes one of self-discovery. With the help of Will’s voice to carry her across the country, Nikki must decide how she will move forward.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

34 Seconds by Stella Samuel

34 Seconds

by Stella Samuel

Giveaway ends September 19, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Virginia is for Lovers

Nikki Ford thought she’d fall in love, but never in the town where she spent her childhood. But she did. Virginia is for lovers, after all. In 34 Seconds, she watched that love disappear. Even though she said good-bye years before, those seconds begin the toughest journey in her life: the journey of finding herself.

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Virginia is also for crabs. And shrimp. And hushpuppies! I’m afraid if I write that one more time, my mouth will begin to water. Someone must deliver hushpuppies to me soon. Please.

Many people in Deltaville make their living on the water. Fishing, crabbing, and boat tours are just a few things they do to keep their Deltaville lifestyle going.

Deltaville

I’ve wanted to share some photos of the area before my book is released, but I haven’t taken the time to collect many. Instead, please check out this gorgeous town from a community website. Enjoy your virtual tour!

Hospice…the caring journey

It’s a tough one to talk about, Hospice Care. We don’t seem to want to make those plans or even think those thoughts while we are busy living. Once we’re in a place in our lives where we need to be thinking about our own care, someone may have already set up care for us.

Hospice comes at the end of our lives. Hopefully we are surrounded by family, friends, people we love. Hopefully those people have arranged all the things that matter to us, like our comforts. Hopefully our favorite pets are near, maybe even bedside, grieving themselves. Maybe someone knows of our favorite pillow and had placed its softness next to our skin. Hopefully the warmth of that favorite item will provide us comfort. Maybe the grieving pet can provide us strength. And maybe the family and friends nearby can assure us they will live on, will not only survive, but will also find a new calling in their lives. Maybe their sorrow for losing a person they love so much could guide them to places with a new sense of vigor and vitality they couldn’t muster while living in grief and sorrow.

There are so many emotions we feel when we lose a loved one. There is also support. Not only within our friends and family, and not only for the sick, not only for the grieving, but for all involved. Hospice. Hospice, in my experience, offers a caring path to death.

Hospice care dates back to medieval times. Just imagine for a moment. War. Destruction. The Roman Empire is falling. Illness is spreading. Warriors are fighting to keep their leaders’ visions alive. As years pass, kings cannot care for their people, fresh waters are in high demand and low supply, food diminishes rapidly. The death rate rises. Quickly. As we’ve seen in wars throughout history, special people step up and hold the hands of the dying on a battlefield. Special people step up and hold the hands of the loved ones while someone in their life is dying. So for ages, we’ve had special people all around us that will not only see us to another place as we pass over, but they will also care for the ones we love while we hang over the ‘in-between’ and after we are gone. Today, we have organized programs for hospice care. When we know the path our loved one will be taking, their care switches from a curative care to a palliative care. This involves pain management for the patients, gentle care giving, talking to the patient, loving them, and caring for their families. Hospice care is medical care. Unlike other medical care given, hospice is focused on the journey ahead, the lives left behind, and the crossing to come. Many hospice care givers will share their experiences with the survivors in a great pain staking effort to relate in a moment of time we feel as if no one could ever possibly fill our shoes. Hospice will control a patient’s pain with medications, but they will also help the survivors deal with their own pain offering coping mechanisms, hugs, and gentle logic. This kind of care still takes that special person. The one that can help a patient on a journey from which they won’t return. The special person is the same caregiver that will for a year or more check on the physical and mental health of survivors as well as offer families resources for help if they need it.

I’ve been talking about hospice a lot lately, and you will see a glimpse of some of these special people in my upcoming book, 34 Seconds.

Today is a good day to say thank you to those amazing people that work Hospice, that volunteer, and that give time for this stage in life and in death. It’s rarely a process we can tackle alone, and terminal illness is rarely a quick event. These are the special people that always have a hug, an ear, and story to share to remind us we are not alone. These are the people that should know just how special they are. For hundreds of years, these special people have put themselves in situations, willingly, where they might have to close a set of eyes that no longer see, hug a family member, and then go home and live a life filled with….well living.

New Book is coming soon

Summer maybe…

Much of my new book is set in a little town called Deltaville, VA. If you’ve never been to Deltaville, put it on your bucket list. It’s a must see. If you can’t get there, enjoy some of the beautiful pictures I’ll be sharing over the next few months.

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With only one road in and out of Deltaville, few just happen upon the little town unless that are under duress in the water.

Legend tells a story of Captain John Smith coming across Deltaville’s point in 1608. While exploring its beaches and coastal waters, John Smith was stung by a stingray. He told his crew to dig a grave as he thought he’d die right there on that point. He didn’t, of course, but he did leave a name for the point, Stingray Point.

Residents of Deltaville still say the little ‘town’ is a fishing village. People travel from miles for the seafood caught in the area waters. Folks living there will say they are lucky to be in the most beautiful village around.

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Though my book only takes place in Deltaville, and I’ve taken many liberties with the village by creating roads and places that are indeed fictional, many from Deltaville will know where my mind was while writing.

Larry Chowning, however, has put together a book on the real Deltaville. Larry was a name we all knew growing up. He was at events, writing and taking photos for the paper based in Urbanna. Check out his book on Amazon.