Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

That's My Girl!

In preparation for my daughter moving to New York City I had signed up on to get notices of jobs. Using the keywords "television" and "broadcast," every day at least 50 new positions would find its way into my mailbox. Not every position was suitable for her, but there were enough that I thought she could at least apply to. I was excited for her, yet worried how the big city would treat her.

It's not the same as it was when I was her age, and having never "grown up" there like I did, I feared for her safety. She's never ridden the subway alone, and that was something she would definitely have to do, and who knows what time of day or night that would be? Although I do have friends and family throughout the city, it's not the same as having mom there as her safety net. I knew I would be spending more time in Brooklyn, but realized I couldn't be there every single day. I prayed for guidance and strength to help me through this exciting, yet worrisome, time.

In the meantime, I had also included Roanoke in the job search criteria on In over 21 days, only one job popped up and it was in Montgomery County. And then something miraculous happened. On a cold Sunday morning my husband brought back bagels and the Roanoke Times. I scoured the Help Wanted ads as I always do, and I saw one from a local television station looking for a Production Technician. Reading the job responsibilities I felt confident she could handle it, and when I realized it was the very station she had interned at, and loved, my heart skipped a beat. I circled the ad and as soon as my daughter woke up, I showed it to her.

"This is the job I did. I'm applying for this." And she immediately did before heading out to work. I asked her, "What about New York?" "This is exactly what I want to do, and the only station in Roanoke I would want to work for. I'd take it in a heartbeat." I thought applying was a good idea as she could then say at least say she tried. My husband never wanted her to go to New York City alone  said, "This would be great. She'd stay in Roanoke." I kept repeating the mantra, "if it's meant to be, it'll be" all day.

A couple of hours later the phone rang. It was the very person she interned under almost two years ago. He said he was happy to see her application. He remembered her as "she was the best intern we've ever had" and wanted to set up an interview. When my husband informed me of this, I about burst. She was still at work and I know she doesn't carry her phone with her when on the clock, so had to wait until she got home to share the good news. I did text her a brief message and told her to come home right away after work. She called as soon as she got off the clock and I told her the good news. The gentleman had said he would be available until 11:00pm that evening, or she could call him the next morning. When she arrived at 10:30pm she called, and they set up a meeting.

Although I was bursting inside, I tried to keep myself grounded. And even though she felt the meeting went very well, she was up against two other older candidates who had bachelor degrees. My daughter had the Mass Communications education in high school and intern experience so she was already familiar with the station's set-up. She also has a good work ethic, a current job where she was made "employee of the month" after 5 months, a soon-to-be-completed associates degree in social sciences (VWCC does not have a Mass Communications or Journalism one) obtained in one year, and various educational honor awards. I prayed they would give her a shot. We would know one way or another within three days. I told her "if it's meant to be, it'll be."

When the call came in I held my breath and waited to see her reaction. Thumbs up or down??? She turned and gave me the thumbs up sign, "Oh thank you, thank you so much. Awesome." Could this really be? Had she pulled it off? After she hung up, she said, "I got it!" We hugged and jumped up and down. "That was the verbal offer. I just have to pass the background check and drug test and then I'll get a written offer." I cried tears of joy. I don't think I have ever done that in my life. Most of my tears throughout life have been sorrowful.

Well, the written offer came the other day and she accepted it! She starts in less than two weeks. They are willing to work around her school schedule until she graduates in early May. As part of the position, she will be directing the weekend newscasts. Yes, at 19, she will be directing newscasts! And I know she will do a superb job and become a valuable asset to the station.

This is like one of those local girl makes good stories. Not only because she went through Roanoke County school system via Burton's Mass Communications program, completed an internship required, and then had that station hire her, but because of her personal situation. If you know us personally, or read my book, you know what I'm talking about. With all the hardships she's had to endure, she never let that stop her from achieving her goal. She never used them as a crutch. She just worked harder and gave up a social life to reach her goal sooner. When life threw a hurdle, she jumped it. To say I'm proud, and ecstatic, would be an understatement.

Once again, I know I made the best move ever moving to Roanoke from Brooklyn. My one and only regret is that my father isn't alive to experience her success. I know he's looking down on her, and she even said, "I wish Grandpa was here, but I swear I could hear his voice saying, 'That's my girl!'" I can hear it too...

Photo: I thought it looked kind of cool.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Man vs Woman in the Doctor's Office

I'm really starting to think doctors care more about men than they do women. I suspect this is the case based upon the experiences my husband and I have dealing with the medical profession.

As soon as my husband turned 50 our doctor insisted he get a colonoscopy. He did, had a couple of polyps removed, and was told he wouldn't need another one for five years. Since I'm two years older than my husband, am approaching 54, and my grandmother had colon cancer, I wondered why I had never been told to get one. The last time I went to my doctor I figured he would tell me it's my time. Nope. Nothing. I even asked him if I should get one. He just shrugged his shoulders and that was that. No colonoscopy at this time.

When my husband complains about pain, our doctor performs various tests to determine what the problem is. If he can't fix it, he will send him to someone else for "rehab" and that doctor gives him printed pages of exercises to perform. When I complain, especially about feeling wiped out all the time, my doctor immediately assumes it's fibromyalgia and prescribes pills.

When my husband's liver numbers come back, our doctor freaks out, and schedules more intensive blood tests. He tells him he has to stop drinking and wants to have him take a sonogram. My husband cuts down on his drinking but refuses the test. My rheumy has my liver tested every 12 weeks due to the MTX pills. Most people who are on these pills have blood work every 6 weeks, but my rheumy thinks that's not necessary. Over the last year I have watched my liver deteriorate after every test. My rheumy doesn't seem too concerned, although he did bring me down from 6 pills to 5 weekly, so I bring the results to our family doctor and ask him what he thinks. My numbers are twice as bad as my husband's, and four times what "normal" should be. Although he doesn't think this is the cause, he takes me off my cholesterol medicine. By the way, he's always on my husband's case for his cholesterol numbers which are half as bad as mine. He never mentions taking more in-depth liver tests, and when I ask about a liver sonogram, he just shrugs his shoulders. No sonogram at this time.

When my husband goes for his check-ups he gets the full monte. The doctor puts fear in him telling him how important it is for him to keep his blood pressure down, and come see him every 6 weeks. "You don't want to have a stroke." I have to ask the doctor to listen to my heart, my lungs and feel under my neck to see if there's anything wrong. I ask him if he thinks I look yellow. I pull down the bottom of my eyes and ask if I'm too anemic since the MTX destroys my red blood cells as well. I've never had a lung x-ray which is recommended when someone is on MTX. I mention the pains I sometimes feel going down the left side of my body up to my head. Why do my extremities sometimes go numb? Shrugs. I'm always told everything sounds fine. Come back in 6 months.

I never receive a notice from my gynecologist telling me I'm due for a pap smear. If I don't remember, I miss it, like I did last year. I only remember that I forgot because my ovary has decided, after a year, to make an encore performance. Last time that happened, my gyno thought it was a last fling, but told me if it happened again I should get a hysterectomy. That's a little drastic, isn't it? I'm in no hurry to go back. I'll wait to see how long this fling lasts and then make an appointment.

I actually got pissed at my husband this morning after he told me the doctor wanted him to get a liver sonogram based on his numbers from the last visit. The doctor made him promise that if today's numbers come back the same or worse he will get one. If that's the case I plan to go with my husband on his next visit and take my numbers with me and ask him, "WTF?"

So my question to you dear lady readers is...Does your doctor treat you differently than your husband? Do they take you seriously? Do doctors really care more about men than women,?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Good Night's Sleep!

Last night was the first night I slept straight through in forever! I honestly cannot remember the last time that has happened. My husband says I usually wake myself up from snoring, or, he wakes me up because I'm grinding my teeth so bad that the sound wakes him up. Nothing says I love you like CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK whispered in some one's ear.

When I went to the dentist last month, I complained about the pain that I'd been experiencing starting from the bottom of my jaw all the way up to the top of the right side of my head. They took xrays and didn't see anything that might cause it. It's not a tumor! The dentist tapped on my teeth and there was no pain. He then squeezed the inside of my cheek and poked some bones and when I said "Ouch!" he thought it was because of my teeth grinding. He suggested I dose up on some Ibuprofen to get the swelling down, but when the best dental hygeniest in the Roanoke Valley saw it interacted with the Methrotrexate, they recommended I ask my rheumy for something else. In the meantime I should use warm compresses on the swollen area. He also thought I should get a mouth guard, but through the dentist office it's very expensive, and I feared I wouldn't use it. My rheumy did prescribe something, and after I picked it up I did a search on it and found it too interacted with the MTX and was bad for my liver which is already dying, so I chose not to take it. Thanks rheumy. Meanwhile the compresses were working, and I made a concerted effort to stop gritting my teeth during the day. I never realized my jaw was always tense, but I guess that's to be expected with a type A personality.

Some days were better than others, but after the previous couple of days the pain became intense again. Now it just so happened that I had some very intense dreams those nights. In the first one I was being chased by undesirables. I have that dream a lot, but in this one I also found a picture frame with a picture of my cousin JP in it. JP passed away last year and I miss him terribly. He looked so young in it and I was crying so hard in the dream I woke myself up. The following night I had another dream with him in it. In this dream he was speaking to me, but I can't remember anything he said. Again, I woke myself up crying. Along with the tears came the pain in my jaw to head.

I had made a comment on Facebook and one of my friends suggested I try an over-the-counter mouthguard. She recommended one by Dentek so I went to Walgreen's yesterday and found it for $20.

 It was easy to mold. I had to boil it for one minute and then place it in the tray it came with. After dipping it into room temperature water, I inserted the tray into my mouth and bit down for two minutes to make an impression of my upper teeth. When I went to bed I put it in my mouth but was afraid it would feel funny.

Luckily it is not bulky and seems to fit fine. I guess it didn't disturb me too much because I fell asleep with it in my mouth. And then something magical happened. I slept straight through the night! My husband said I didn't snore last night, and in fact I was so quiet he put his hand on my back to make sure I was alive. Although the inside of my mouth is still a little swollen I don't have the pain radiating up to my head. I figure it will take a couple of days for the inflammation to subside. But if this $20 fix works I think my life will be markedly improved. I have my fingers crossed.

Thank you Anita!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Big Thanks!

A big thanks to all the folks who downloaded The Valentine's Day Curse. Although the numbers weren't through the roof -- short stories are a hard sell, especially if none of the big sites pick it up -- I was happy with the results, if only to get a 5-star rating on Goodreads, a couple of Authorgraph requests, and to finally break through Italy! Yes, after a year, at least two people in Italy have my words on their kindle.

My hope as always is that readers will have enjoyed the short story so much that they will search out my other book, Fractured Facade, and give that a go. The other hope is that those who read The Valentine's Day Curse will leave a review on Amazon like this last one written by Jan Taylor --

"The only thing wrong was the story ended too soon. I loved it. I'm a "hard sale" on 1st person POV, but DeRosa carried it off perfectly. I had fun "traveling" with the heroine, and she was a good heroine. Loved how DeRosa used the curse in the story. Was impressed and moved by her style and talent. This was an easy 5 star ranking."

I really hate the promotion part of being an independent author, and I'm glad my short story will soon be out of Amazon's Select program. No more begging people to download my book for free! Soon it will join Fractured Facade and be available on other sites. Even though I don't get a lot of sales through Smashwords, people can go there and download a larger portion of the book for free than Amazon offers to see if it's something they're interested in. If so, they can then order through Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, Amazon, or even get the paperback. Do not buy the paperback on B&N's site where it's showing for $34.68! It's only $14.99 on Amazon and even I wouldn't pay $34.68 for it! I don't know why it's there, or who's selling it since I did not opt for the extended distribution on Createspace. Still waiting for it to show back up on iTunes.

Meanwhile, I am continuing my research for the next book. As you can guess by now, I'm not one of those authors who bang out a book a month. I could bang out a short story a month, but I am choosing to listen to my inner voice and focus on the one in my head that's shouting to be written. What genre will it be? I have no idea where it will find a home as it will be contemporary, historical, and paranormal. Perhaps this one will appeal to more folks than my previous two. Too bad I'm not a romance or Christian novel writer. That's where the bucks are!

Clearly, I am not writing for the money and masses, but I am sure my works will wind up in the hands of those that are meant to read them. So without further adieu...upwards and onwards!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cupid is Stupid!

Cupid is stupid! Ha! Now that I've gotten your attention...

Yes, it's true. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. And then I wrote The Valentine's Day Curse -- A short story. Guess what? Still not a fan of the day! I feel like I should be shown love every single day of the year, not just on some Hallmark holiday which gives restaurants, florists, and chocolatiers excuses to raise their prices and lower their standards. Does the amount of money spent by my sweetheart really show how much I mean to him? I should hope not. And what if you don't have a sweetheart? Why should you feel crappy today? You don't need no stinking man/woman to buy you a cheesy gift. Go buy yourself something today. I'm sure you really need a 4 1/2 foot teddy bear!

So..for ALL you guys and girls it is my pleasure to offer for FREE to you The Valentine's Day Curse. Just click here and you'll be brought to Amazon. Don't have a Kindle? Don't need one...on the same page you'll see Amazon offers free apps for other reading devices.

But hurry, the offer is only good on 2/14 and 2/15 and then it goes back up to the whopping 99 cent price!

One more thing...Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy 21st Birthday Son!

My little boy turns 21 today. And you know what that means...I'm freaking old! I chose to have kids when I was in my thirties after I had sowed my wild oats, after I had traveled, after I had done pretty much everything I wanted to do. I waited because I never wanted to feel like I "missed out." I waited because I wasn't ready to become a mother until then. I waited because I wanted to be the best mother I could be. I don't know if I achieved that status, but I can say my son has turned out to be the best son a mother could ask for. To say I am proud of the young adult he's become would be an understatement.

In an era where drugs, drinking, tattoos, piercings, and irresponsibility are the new norm, my son has chosen to not partake in any of those lifestyles. He has held the same job for three years and has been promoted as far as he could be without becoming a full time employee. It's not his choice that he isn't full time. He took longer to graduate than I had hoped, but he made it work for him and will have two degrees when he finishes in in business and one in social sciences. He'll be the first to tell you that if it wasn't for me he probably wouldn't have those degrees...not because of the cost and my pushing him to get a degree, but because my son has a tendency to shut off his alarm and go back to bed! He does love his sleep. He plans to parlay the degrees into a full time position, preferably with the company he's with, but if not, at another local one. Unlike the girl, he has no desire to leave Roanoke. He likes the laid-back, less stress environment of this small town rather than the hustle bustle of the big city. And that's fine with me. In a town where it's hard to find workers to show up regularly, never mind competent to hold their job, he is an asset to any company.

I guess you could say he's a nerd. And I use that term in the most complimentary sense. Unlike others who think of turning 21 as the night they could get hammered, my son has no desire to even drink. When I went to Spencer Gifts to see if I could find him a "gag" one, there was absolutely nothing that would reflect his personality. A beer pong set? Ha, he wouldn't now what to do with it. Shot glasses with curse words on it? Not his style. What do you get a 21 year old who pretty much buys whatever he wants with his own money? I guess I could pay for his dental bill. Yes, he's been cursed with my mouth.

But he's been blessed too. He has a quick wit, is intelligent, respectful, and is a kind soul. I'll never forget when he was in elementary school and he freed a bunny that was held captive in a net fence while the other children threw rocks at it. He has never been a follower. He's always been a quiet leader. His friends look to him for advice. He's the one they call when they're stuck somewhere. He's the one who is the commander of scores of troops who are part of his team on some international internet game. He's the one who treats his younger sister with respect, and as a friend, not as a bothersome nuisance like some brothers feel towards their younger siblings. He's the one who has never called in sick to work, or suffered from a hangover. He's the one whose fellow workers say he's "going places."

I agree with them, but to me, he's the one who will always be my little boy that used to play with Thomas the Tank Engines, put all 50 states together in a puzzle reciting their names with a pacifier in his mouth, and stood in front of the television watching CMT while singing and dancing to "Blue Moon" by Chris Isaak.

Happy 21st birthday son...the best advice I can impart to you is keep on the track you're riding and you will go somewhere, as long as you don't sleep through it. And pssst...I still hear you singing in your room when you're wearing headphones, only now it's Ozzy. Thank you for  hating rap and hip-hop music as much as I do. Your preference for rock makes me know I did something right. Love you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Research Deadline

For the last two months I've been immersed in books, DVDs, audio cassettes, and historical maps conducting research for an upcoming book I want to write. I've become so fascinated with learning about colored people living in Virginia around the Civil War period that I think I've started to use "research" as an excuse to just continue to read, read, & read some more. Although there's plenty of info on slavery, I'm pretty surprised at the lack of information about freedmen.

Right now I have about a dozen more books to get through and have filled up a couple of legal pads with notes and ideas. I'm one of those writers who begin their stories in long-hand and continue until I realize that my hand can no longer keep up with the thoughts coming out of my mind, or, I realize I am writing so fast my handwriting has become totally illegible. My family thinks it's unreadable as it is, so when I start to have a problem figuring out what I wrote, I know it's time to hit the keyboard.

You see that pad, yeah, the white one, filled to the brim, crinkled with curled edges, and purple-stained?

Some of my best thoughts are on there, but thanks to Bella leaping onto my lap from across the couch, knocking my glass of wine all over, some words have faded into nothingness. I wonder if that's her way of telling me, "Enough with the scribbling, ma! Pay attention to me!!!"

When I get in this mode I sort of forget about everyone, except for the characters I'm creating. But Bella's right. At some point I have to say enough is enough. No more research. I'm just not there yet. I still have to visit a couple of museums and speak to some locals, but if I don't set a deadline this "research" will go on forever.  I'm thinking one more month at the most...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy 102 Grandma!

Today is my Grandma's 102nd birthday. I know she will never see this, but I felt it was important to acknowledge it. I had written a more detailed post on her 100th birthday so all I have to add today is Happy Birthday Grandma! I hope today and the rest of your days treat you well. Love you!