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Release Week!

It’s release week for book #3 in my Silver Creek series ~ ALL ABOUT YOU

Venetta, Dianne- All About You (final)

Financier Katharine Wainwright is tasked with saving the charity ranch founded by her mother. Facing bankruptcy, the ranch for terminally ill children is a refuge, the one place they can redefine themselves outside of their illness and discover their true power. Canyon Laredo has dedicated his life to the cause. When accused his contribution to salvage the operation is less than adequate, he takes it personally and pushes back.

Frank Dillard currently runs the ranch. A close friend of the Wainwright family, he is central to Katharine’s success. But when crisis strikes, loyalties are divided, forcing Katharine and Canyon to work together toward a common goal: save Wainwright Ranch.

When the unthinkable happens, Katharine is faced with the challenge of her life. Can she survive the ultimate betrayal and restore the sanctuary her mother built? Or will it become nothing more than a memory…

Official release day is Wednesday – check My Books page for purchase details. **Excited** But as every author knows, there is no rest when working on a series and I’m diligently at work on book #4 ~ ONLY WITH YOU ~ an adventure that will take readers high above the mountains of Colorado as a heli-skiing trip goes terribly wrong, leaving it up to two of Silver Creek’s finest to try and save the day. Stay-tuned!

 

 

A game of chance

Last week, I met a woman named Nakia. Or actually, first I met her son, an adorable and well-behaved boy of four named Jahking.

I was sitting in a shaded corner on a coffee shop terrace with my laptop when he showed me his toy truck. His mother was on the phone, but she kept a close eye on him as she paced back and forth, back and forth, talking. It didn’t take me long to hear her conversation was not pleasant. She was working her way down a list of emergency shelters she’d gotten from a local police station, trying to find a bed for herself and her son.

homeless-and-pregnant21She wasn’t having much success, and the more shelters she called, the more frantic she became. Finally, when she burst into tears, I invited her to sit down.

While Jahking wolfed down a box of doughnut holes, Nakia shared her story. She’d lost her job, was evicted from her apartment, lost pretty much everything except what she could cart away in a couple of Hefty bags. A recent transport to Atlanta, she didn’t have local family or a support system to fall back on, and her savings didn’t last long. She and Jahking were literally on the streets as of noon that day.

How hard could it be? I thought. Atlanta is a big city, with an extensive support system for the needy. Together we called the rest of the shelters on her list.

As it turns out, finding a bed in this town is like winning the lottery, and here’s why ::

On any given night in Atlanta, there are some 10,000 homeless people — and more than 40 percent of those are women and children — and a shortage of 1,700 beds.

Nakia’s “problem” was that she wasn’t beaten, mentally ill, or a substance abuser, (and the fact I even have to type those words is preposterous), so she didn’t qualify for most of the emergency shelters we spoke to. Other shelters, shelters with long-term programs to help mothers like Nakia regain self-sufficiency, had long waiting lists and extensive application procedures. Every single emergency shelter we spoke to was full and operated on a first-come, first-serve basis, which meant finding a bed is a game of chance. What if Nakia hiked all the way down there and was turned away? Then what?

I wish this story had a happy ending. I wish I could tell you Nakia and Jahking found a bed, a job, a program that fed and clothed and sheltered them until they got back on their feet. What they “found” is a ticket back home, to family and circumstances she thought she’d escaped years ago.

And what I found is a new cause.

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks

I turned to my computer this afternoon to write my post and had a light-bulb moment. I’m sitting on my comfy couch with my Mac on my lap.  My lab Jack is tightly stuck to my left leg, his ear lapping over the keyboard.  The heater’s on. It’s 70 degrees inside the house. I have my favorite horses-running-wild blanky covering my legs. It’s raining cats and dogs outside and I’m watching the drops pinging off the table out on the deck. I just finished eating pretzel rods and cottage cheese and am sipping a Coke.

What the heck? This picture of homey bliss is just so discrepant with what’s going on east of California. A friend sent me an e-mail with 54 pictures of what Frankenstorm Sandy just did to the East Coast. People are still without power. They’re freezing inside their homes. Food is probably scarce and, if not, it’s probably not bubbly hot because their stoves don’t work. They’ve lost homes, cars, pets, perhaps friends or relatives.

This makes me ever so grateful for many things. I’m happy I live on the coast of California where weather is really in truly never a big problem. It’s 60 degrees outside and rain has never been torrential – ever. Our electricity never goes out. Our gas always comes on. It’s never freezing cold. The winds are boringly mild.

Many, many people on the East Coast aren’t going to have their normal Thanksgiving dinners. Two weeks from now they’ll be able to give thanks for their lives, of course, but maybe little else.

So, what can I do to help? As a person lucky enough to live in the United States I have an especially keen sense of neighborliness, having grown up in small cities. I don’t have a particular charity in mind. Perhaps the Red Cross is the best place to send a donation?

I’m thankful for everything I have and thankful I can give something to others. Anyone have a suggestion for the best charity to send money to help those on the East Coast?

THANK YOU.

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