Wednesday, October 15, 2014

For Cassidy

Life is fragile. 

A newborn baby's innocence. The trickling of clean water in a stream. Woodland animals caring for their young. We all know this, and yet we live our days filled to the brim with no time to step back and contemplate that truth. That beauty. We all do it. It's life. It's the world we live in. Or is it? 

For one of my close neighboring towns that question has come full circle. It has reached its tentacles, crossing my community's borders as well. This article is one I wish I didn't need to write.

On Saturday evening, people gathered at a farm about an hour from my home to enjoy pumpkins, corn mazes, and haunted hayrides. The farm is well known for ringing in the Halloween season with flair, so it attracts many and a lot of those are teenagers. It's a tradition unique to the fall season. No one would ever equate such innocent family fun with tragedy. But that's what happened. An amazing girl lost her life, when the Jeep hauling the trailer for the haunted hayride lost control and crashed. Her boyfriend was severely injured also, and many others suffered injuries as well.

Cassidy (in colorful headband) with
her CMU (Central Maine United)
premier soccer team.
Cassidy is a teammate on my daughter's premier soccer team. (I simply can't write was, because she's still here through words like this and the hearts of so many.) Along with other girls from surrounding towns, they've played soccer together for years, sharing victories and defeats and the all-important sleepovers. We consider her family our friends, spending weekend tournaments with the team or gatherings at their home. Her smile and soft wit will be missed beyond the words I could ever write here. A bright soul taken before her time. At the top of her high school class, she had more potential than most. Her community and neighboring communities are devastated. 

Her life touched many, from her high school soccer team, the premier soccer team, elementary school classmates at a Catholic school, older classmates, friends, and her beloved family. For the most part, when someone passes people share positives from their life. Sometimes you wonder if the person was really that good. In Cassidy's case, it is all true. Her infectious smile and laugh lit up a room and made you feel better. The gentleness in her face welcomed you. She possessed a humbleness that only comes from Grace beyond any of us, and she shared it willingly. Knowing her affirms there is goodness in this world.  

She gained that goodness from an incredible mother, father, and younger brother. They are some of the most genuine people I have ever known. Her mother has taken my family photos for years, always taking such care over my four children. As I write this all I can think is This can't be happening. 

It was early Sunday morning when I received the text of the accident. Initially, shock was felt - a dull, numb sensation of disbelief. But as that wears off and reality sets in, the gravity of loss plummets to a full arsenal of emotions. Making sense of this is the first reaction. It's what we do in our human skin. But pursuing that is a losing battle. As a close friend shared with my daughter, "This will never get better. It will only get different." 

People are coming together through candlelight vigils and posting the above imagine in support and honor of Cass. Some are organizing fundraisers to aid her family with expenses, but also for the family of her boyfriend, who is in a Boston hospital with sever injuries. Cassidy's teammates from all her teams are honoring her from wearing blue ribbons and their jerseys to painting blue hearts with her number on their faces. Our boy's soccer team wrapped a single stripe of blue tape on their arms to honor her during yesterday's game. This will be a long road of grief and questioning for many. I ask for your positive thoughts and prayers for the family. 

We attended a vigil for her last night outside her Catholic elementary school. As tough as it was it was as beautiful. The tears, the laughs, the memories, and the heartfelt longing for her needed to be shared. Former teachers, friends, teammates, and even people who didn't know her attended. A gentlemen approached my husband and asked if we knew her. He revealed that he did not know her or the family, but just had to attend in support. His heart was genuine and heavy. 

After, Cassidy's CMU soccer team gathered at a coach's house. They talked, tried to eat a little ice cream, and cried. Eventually, laughter sprung up as they embraced cherished memories they'd shared with Cass. They questioned why. Before they left, the coach had them sign a special table. The last signature was for Cassidy ~ a big heart with her CMU #4 filling it up.

The outpouring of compassion testifies of Cassidy's wholesome influence in this world, and that we have the same responsibility to affect others in affirming ways. The manner in which she lived each day has made a difference. Her inspiration will inspire positive effects in many. Her life threaded numerous lives, and last night she brought us together. Though she is not physically here any longer to spread her light, others have vowed to do that for her. You and I need to do the same.

There's nothing I can do for her parents but offer a shoulder to help shelf their grief. It's not enough, but it's all I have. It's all any of us has at a time like this. But we can also take a moment to respect life in its frailness, cherish what we still have, and never lose sight of a beautiful life that added such hope to the world ~ Cassidy's legacy. 
 photo Sheri2.png

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sneak Peek Into My Story Release For Next Month!


A few of you know that one of my short story babies will be released into the world on November 10th. It was never a story I intended to write. It came about last December through a few frustrating days of finishing up my middle grade novel. I was approached and asked if I'd be interested in writing some sort of YA steampunk story. The timing couldn't have been better, seeing how I needed a break before diving into revising my MG novel.

Although I'd become intrigued by the whole steampunk arena, I knew nothing about writing it. So I began reading and researching steampunk worlds. Instantly fascinated, with only a few weeks to hammer out and finalize a story, I went blindly into writing it, absolutely no sense of urgency. If I got it done, I got it done. If not, oh well. I gave something new a try. 

I really should use that mentality in my writing more often, because the moment I began writing TIME SPUN SOULS I couldn't stop. But that story will be for the book's official release. Today is for showing off the cover and feeding you crumbs of interest. 

Gear up for GEARS OF BRASS! 

A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device.  

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning.  

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path. 

GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills.  It will be available for purchase on November 10, 2014.  Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings.  Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets. 

Meet the authors:
Jordan Elizabeth writes young adult fantasy for Curiosity Quills, including ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW which was published in October and the upcoming TREASURE DARKLY; she’s represented by the Belcastro Agency.

J. Million is the author of Last of the Giants and can always be found reading or writing.

Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is a professional storyteller and author of several books including, Medieval Tales That Kids Can Read and Tell, Breadline Blue, Legends Lore and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York, and Dancing at the Crossroads: Stories and Activities for At-Risk Youth Programming.

SA Larsen is represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary and is the author of published short stories, community-interest stories, and magazine articles focused on children. 

Grant Eagar is an Engineer who would take the tales he told his children at bed time, and transform them into fantasy stories. 

Clare Weze is the author of The House of Ash (forthcoming) and the co-author and editor of Cloudscapes over the Lune.

Eliza Tilton: gamer, writer and lover of dark chocolate; author of the YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Heather Talty's stories have been featured in Enchanted Conversation, as well as her own fractured fairy tale site, Mythopoetical (

W.K. Pomeroy is a third generation writer who has published more than 70 short stories/articles/poems across many genres and styles, which now includes Steampunk.

Christine Baker is the author of Lana's End, The Guild of Dagda, and many more. 

Natalia Darcy: a bookilicious reader, tea drinker and Zumba aficionado who enjoys playing cards against humanity and washing her hair with ice cold water. 

You can get your steampunk fix before GEARS OF BRASS is released in November.  To ENTER for your chance to win a copy of GEARS OF BRASS, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  The drawing for the winner will be held on October 27th.  AND thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!

Do you read steampunk? What's your favorite steampunk story?

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 photo Sheri2.png

Monday, October 6, 2014

Enter For Some Early Christmas Shopping!

It’s time for the next $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader!

I've participated in this sort of giveaway twice before. It's a great break from my regular blogging, plus it gives all of you an opportunity to possibly stalk up on an early Christmas present for someone special or even yourself. You don't have to spend any money. All you have to do is enter. Easy-peasy...

There are 2 great prizes being offered up, both valued at $229.
Win a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only), or Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash of a $229 value (International)!

  229 giveaway  
The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below.
The 2nd is available only to those share this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter. (The price of this Kindle recently dropped to $199. The winner will still receive a prize valued at $229.)

Go HERE for all the participating bloggers/authors who paid to help sponsor this giveaway.

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only), $229 Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 10/27/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Before you enter, please tell me what you'll be up to this week. I'd love to know!

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 photo Sheri2.png


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