Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why not the simple things?

I've been off work the past couple of days, mostly because it happened to be my 3rd anniversary on the 27th. My hubby and me always try to take some time off just for ourselves, whether we go off somewhere romantic or not. Of course we try to do something fun, but economics lately doesn't help. Still we do things we enjoy, like barbecuing or fishing. Or just watching movies together. The point is spending quality time, right?

Anyway, I also got a little time in to catch up on reading, in books or seeing what's on the Internet. I'm a big fan of looking at stuff about celebrities. They live such an alternative lifestyle than from most average Americans like me. I came across a little blog the other day about the type of theme birthday parties they throw for their children. I believe Suri, Tom Cruise's & Katie Holmes' young daughter, just celebrated turning 2 years old and OMG! Her birthday party cost over $10,000! I could not believe what I read! And it seems to be the thing for these popular celebrities to do, just throw out huge sums of money for the kids and mostly for their posh friends!

Then this morning, on the CBS morning show, they were talking about how certain types of cell phones come with baby rattle sound effects, soothing music and sound effects, and can even be used to teach your child to spell, etc. You just give them the cell phone to play with and it would entertain them for hours! see info on gadgets here.

Well, I dunno about these trends. I think if you hand over a high tech gadget like that to a child, it doesn't teach them the value of respecting mommy's property. I have an older cell phone that doesn't do much, but even I still have problems relinquishing it to my teenager to use once in a while, because it cost me to get it in the first place and to pay for that service every month. When my daughter has lost a phone in the past, I give her a huge lecture about keeping up with her things. That's its not cheap to fork over $50 in order for her to get a replacement phone. So why do these parents think it's neat to let baby handle their cell phones like its a toy? Just to play with the sound effects to lull them to keep occupied? I think there's something wrong with this concept, somehow. Granted, maybe for a few minutes, like you're at the grocery store and trying to check out, might you hand over the phone to keep the child amused for a moment or two, but still you must teach that child to value your things.

And what about those huge parties? I am all for having them with a theme, because they can be very cute and memorable, but I don't think a party should be over $10,000. Nor do I think they should go over $100. I believe birthday parties, for a young child, should be personal, with immediate family & friends gathering to celebrate. When a child enters schools and has new friends enter their lives, then the birthday party can be for them too. Let them play in the yard, play pin the tail on the donkey, take them to swim park if its summer time, or a game zone at the mall if they are a bit older. Serve cake, punch, finger foods, and give a little gift bag with simple things like toy figurines, puzzles, crayons, or candy. I was flabbergasted to read that the little goodie bags the celebrities were winging out there had Ipods in them along with other expensive novelties, mostly for the adults who came to the party. They had customized cakes, real ponies to ride, actresses hired to portray Disney characters, etc. Wow! No wonder the cost of these parties added up, especially if they were throwing it for the adults as well.

I could never do that, but of course, I'm not a celebrity. Still I wonder what it teaches these kids in the long run, if they do this same thing every year. Wouldn't they grow up expecting a blow out from now on? I think there is still something magical about an intimate gathering of family and friends. The conversations are heart warming as they might reminsce about the day one was born, or some cute little thing done as a child. Isn't it the value of family and love that really counts and not the need to go over the top just to impress other people? What do you think? Shouldn't all this be about the simple things in life?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally! I have succeeded publishing my sequel, Falling For Her Heart, through There were some editing processes I could not figure out how to correct. By the final proof, I decided that my readers would be forgiving of these tiny inperfections that are hardly noticeable and do not detract from the reading pleasure. I'll post a link to Amazon. They are still updating the book info so there is no book thumbnail of my cover yet, but you can order the book.

If you want a signed copy of this by me, please email:

Falling for Her Heart covers the reunion of Jimmy and Tara, who were unwittingly separated in their teens. Now successful adults what happens when two different lives collide and they discover that desire still lingers, even after all the years? Even more miraculous is that Jimmy is a father-one of three men to claim that status to Tara’s special brood- and he never had a clue! Even with her secret out, Tara feels conflicted whether to let Jimmy back into her life, when there are other men who want her too. She’s too busy to think, with an upcoming concert debut and a family wedding to attend, yet the septuplets know the truth and want to know their true father better, even if bringing together two households puts their parents in danger from old lovers scorned. With the help of the Cross Family and Jimmy’s roommates, they embark on a journey of self-discovery whether true love can overcome obstacles and unite them all as one family.

ISBN 1440473986


"Ladies, excuse the interruption, but I came to grab a couple of soft drinks.”

Michael opened up the refrigerator, took out two cans, and then before departing, he stopped by the table to offer Anna a kiss on the forehead. Michael whistled as he went down the hallway, obviously a man quite in love. Tara sat down again, wishing for someone like him.

“In spite of these crazy fears, I do need romance and companionship again. It’s times like these when I miss Danny so much. I miss that sort of tight intimacy that we shared."

Now tears sprung to her eyes and fell down her face. She looked at Anna with a far away look in her eyes. Anna nodded compassionately, now understanding her worries.

“Oh, Tara, you’ll find your match made in heaven. Maybe it will be with Jimmy.”

"Really? Well, Jimmy and I were once so much in love, but we faced so many obstacles. I sometimes wonder what has transpired with his life. Is he over me? Is he happily married? If so, then what would be the point?"

Anna squirmed and she patted Tara’s arm.

"Actually, Tara, this may sound coincidental, but I happen to know him. Not extremely well, but just enough to help fill in the gaps."

“Why didn't you say something sooner?" Tara gasped and leaned forward to listen.

"It struck me like a bolt of lightening when you revealed his name!” Anna admitted, “We worked together before I went to England, on a few productions. So, I can understand the source of your attraction. Underneath that cool persona is a very devoted person.”

“What else, Anna? Tell me, please. Is there more?”

“Jimmy is the gentleman I mentioned earlier today, from the Spoonts Foundation, the one dating that obnoxious woman. I don’t know the full extent of their relationship, but I could speak to his secretary, Brenda Lambert, for information. She’s a good acquaintance and would share discreet information if asked properly."

"Does Jimmy seem in love?" Tara suddenly felt out of sorts for being too curious, even if she had always been cursed by such a need to know everything. Anna studied her face, looking for clues to the question and Tara wanted to be honest, "I need to be prepared for what to expect."

"I'm not sure, Tara. Jimmy is a composed soul, especially when that woman demands a lot of his attention. If I were he, she’d be sitting on the side of a curb. With what’s come to light, you must see him, somehow. After today's discussion, those kids will be ever so determined to meet the man and he will not be prepared. Things can get complicated if that woman is around.”

"Yes. You are right. However, the preparations for the concerts should distract them for awhile."

"That is wishful thinking, my dear. Once they get an idea in their heads, they finish the deed quickly! After all, they persuaded you and Ross to come across the ocean, remember?" Anna retorted and shrugged her shoulders, "They are destined for mischief and adventure. In just this short time being under my own roof, even I can see that!"

Tara sighed and felt overwhelmed. How could she speak to Jimmy without putting the man into a tizzy? Even worse, how could she prevent any strife with Ross? She had to stick to her guns or Ross would never find true happiness, in spite of their fairy tale world on stage. No point in wasting any more time hitting him with the God awful truth of her feelings. Again. For the fourth time of their lives.

Copyright © 2009 by Christine Hill

Friday, May 1, 2009

Author on the Rise: Kimberly Garrow

CaféMom is one of those unique social websites that I have found to be an outlet for my writing muse. Through it, I have experienced the joy of meeting new friends, active women who come from all walks of life, who share a common bond of being involved in their interests, work, family, church, or children. The best part is when one stumbles upon someone's profile, you get real glimpses about them, the person behind their profile names. One such profile had a terrific mommy blog blossoming in abundance of great wit and story-telling. And she had comments about them. Tons of them! Ok, I might be exaggerating, but she was getting through to people.

It belonged to Kimberly Garrow, a wife and stay-at-home mom with six beautiful kids, ranging from 3 to 13. She once was a teacher before the children came along, which I think somewhat prepared her for the onslaught of chaos active children can bring. Through them, she also found an outlet to relieve the common stress of each day, her writing. I'm so thankful that she is shares so much with her readers. I akin her writing style similar to the likes of Erma Bombeck. It has depth, wit and a sense of now. Her stories draw you into her world right along beside her and you can't help but nod along to everything she writes about from home. We've all have been there, done this/done that and feel like she's our sister sharing her heart.

So I'm most happy to present our impromptu interview on my blog. If you haven't picked up her newest book, "A Mother's Journey: Through Laughter and Tears", then click on the picture sidebar right now to get your copy. Soon you'll be smiling and nodding right along too.

CH: Kim, welcome. I am most thrilled every time to read along to a new post on CafeMom. The stories are funny and fascinating. I know that everything has its beginnings and I am sure your journal did too. Can you share how this came about for you?

KG: Well, I suppose I could tell you about the voices in my head that kept demanding to be heard, but...Seriously, I am a writer, through and through. I see each day as a page in my book of life. My children fill me with such inspiration (and a desperate need for therapy on most days!) that I feel compelled to let these stories out. Sharing my journal page is therapeutic not only for me, but it is also a way for moms out there to realize they are not alone; both with "feel good" mothering moments and those other times we would rather wipe clean away from our caregiver resumes. I originally was writing my journal simply for preserving my own Mommy memories, but now I feel kind of like the poster child for mothers everywhere. I love to hear how my stories have made my audience laugh, smile or touched someone's heart. I am constantly amazed at the life that my journal page has taken all on its own-thousands have flocked to my pages! Gosh, if each of these moms bought my book I might truly be able to send my children to college someday...

CH: What prompted you to finally publish your stories and how has that experience been for you?

KG: It was Mommy peer-pressure that was the central driving force behind publishing "A Mother's Journey: Through Laughter and Tears". At this particular season in life I was completely filled with my world as a Mommy; my children my true inspiration. You see, each day there were mothering moments that I preserved in my heart-still are. Unfortunately, as time goes by those memories fade or can be all together forgotten as newer memories are formed. I had discovered though, that my own remembrances of motherhood had been triggered by tales from fellow moms and vise versa. Motherhood was universal because we have all had similar parenting moments; the first discovery that you are carrying a new life, the anticipation of being a mom, those sleep-deprived days as a new mother, the countless times we question if what we are doing is right. The entire journey of raising and molding our children into the future adults they will become. The overwhelming pride and love we feel when our name is called out-MOM! We as moms have all been there-done that! I hoped through my writings that I could be a catalyst to my audience-the water priming the well to all those moments lost or simply placed on a shelf somewhere in time. I wanted my readers to be encouraged, even on those days when they felt like a failure as a parent. I wanted them to be able to laugh at life's little "tragedies" and cry at those precious moments that we all hold in our hearts as moms. Most of all, I wanted my audience to rejoice and remember what a special gift we have received through the blessing of our children. The entire experience of "giving birth" to my book has been amazing; it truly was a labor of love!

CH: Marketing a book is hard work. Fortunately for you, the readers of CafeMom can spread news about your book easily, as you constantly post new topics. What other avenues are you seeking to market your book?

KG: I also am a humorist, inspirational writer for magazines and newsletters, as well as do speaking engagements for mothers' (women's) groups. I have done book signings, radio and media interviews, too. My favorite venue for marketing is simply being with a group of women, whether live or across a computer screen, who get a sense of "me"; audiences who I have made laugh and smile because of my words. Then they naturally seek out my book because I have touched their heart (and got them addicted to the crazy antics surrounding my Mommy world; filled with chaos and love!)

CH: Now that you have published your first book, do you think there will be a sequel in the future?

KG: Most definitely there is a sequel in the making! My children bless me with so much material to write about that I will never run out of ideas. Now if I could only increase the number of hours in my day I would be all set. Stay tuned...

CH: Are there authors or other mentors who have inspired your work?

KG: Ironically, I have often been compared to a modern day Erma Bombeck. I am completely honored that anyone would put me into a league with her. She was an amazing writer who brilliantly captured the humor in everyday life as a mother and at the same time was very poignant. One of my favorite quotes by her: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." Words that I totally embrace...

CH: With such a busy schedule, do you ever have opportunity for "Just Me" time? What other interests do you have?

KG: Writing in not only my livelihood, but a passion that brings me great joy. In my free time (though those moments can be far in between times) I write, and read a wide assortment of books; once in a while I sneak a bath or some chocolate, praying no one finds me. I also enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, playing the piano, singing, watching movies...did I mention chocolate? I am highly involved in my church and MOPS (mothers of preschoolers); mothers are definitely my ministry. I also collect unicorns and carousels.

CH: You write with such pride about your children. If there was any one thing (or several) that your writing can do for them or for your entire family, what would it be?

KG: I hope that my writing can be a living legacy for my family; a written heritage that some day they can proudly share with their own children one day. I pray they would look back at my writing with a sweet smile or a laugh as they relive the moments that I chose to colorfully portray on paper, realizing I wasn't simply sharing embarrassing moments, but instead displaying a gift of my love to them. And if I make a lot of money off my writing ventures that would be a bonus; I could send the kids to college some day and a big screen TV would be nice...

CH: Your husband seems to be your strength as well as your supportive partner of your endeavors? Do you think he has any advice or funny tidbits to share with Dads out there?

KG: I'm sure he would say, "There are absolutely no cobwebs covering my wife's imagination...our house is another story, however!" My husband must be applauded for simply putting up with sometimes less than savory conditions of the home front and no matter how engaging a chapter his wife created on any given day, you just can't eat it! Bless his heart for his patience and understanding about how important my writing is to me. I commend any other husband out there who is willing to give his wife the same freedom to pursue her passion.

CH: Any last advice for mommies or new writers?

KG: To all you Mommy Writers; do you realize the powerful tools you hold in your hands-paper and pen? You have the ability to inform, inspire, lift spirits, and bring about laughter and tears. Your words could literally change the life of a person or perhaps even the lives of many. Writing is a gift. My advice to you is write and make a positive difference in this world. What are you waiting for? Don't hold back your inspiration, don't live with regrets. If you believe in yourself others will soon follow. Make sure to make "you" a priority. I know it is not easy to balance the life of a mother with a writer's world, but if you want something badly enough you manage to find a way. If you are interested, I am the owner of a writing community for moms called "Mommies with the Write Stuff". It is a wonderful group for resources and encouragement for mothers who write-check it out!

(See link on sidebar)

Kim, thanks so much for answering these few questions. You are a super busy lady with such an awesome family. May God keep you and your family under his wing for decades and decades. Keep on writing as I always look forward to read what's happened next in your wonderful world of Garrow. If you'd like to catch a glimpse of Kim's blog, please click on the link on the sidebar.