Archive for January 6th, 2018

“The Bad Daughter: A Novel” by Joy Fielding #PreOrder


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The Bad Daughter: A Novel

by Joy Fielding

There was no shortage of words she could use to describe her father, almost none of them complimentary. Serves you damn right, she thought.

A voicemail from her estranged sister, Melanie, sends Robin’s heart racing and her mind spiraling into a full-blown panic attack. Melanie’s message is dire: Their father, his second wife, and his twelve-year-old stepdaughter have been shot—likely in a home invasion—and lie in the hospital in critical condition.

It’s been more than five years since Robin turned her back on her father when he married her best friend. Five years since she said goodbye to her hometown of Red Bluff, California, and became a therapist. More than two years since Robin and Melanie have spoken. Yet even with all that distance and time and acrimony, the past is always with Robin.

Now she must return to the family she left behind. As she attempts to mend fences while her father clings to life, Robin begins to wonder if there is more to the tragedy than a botched burglary attempt. It seems that everyone—Robin’s mercurial sister, her less-than-communicative nephew, her absent brother, and even Tara, her father’s wife—has something to hide. And someone may have put them all in grave danger.


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“The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2)” by Dean Koontz


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The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2)

by Dean Koontz

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.”

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Jane Hawk’s story continues in The Crooked Staircase.

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Fibromyalgia and Achalasia


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Achalasia is a rare disease. So rare in fact, that you may never have heard of it. But for people who suffer from the condition, it’s very real and often extremely painful. And it actually has a fair amount of relevance for people with fibromyalgia.

That’s because people with fibromyalgia often deal with persistent heartburn. And achalasia can mimic many of the symptoms of that condition. So it’s possible that if you have fibromyalgia and you’re dealing with frequent chest pains, you may actually have achalasia. And learning to recognize the signs can help prevent misdiagnoses and help you get effective treatment.

So, what is Achalasia? Why is it a concern for people with fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat it?

What Is Achalasia?

Achalasia is a condition where the muscles in the lower esophagus lose the ability to relax and contract. That ability of the esophagus to relax and contract is important in the process of digestion. When you swallow food, the esophagus expands to allow it to pass into the stomach. When you have achalasia, this normal process stops functioning correctly. And food can essentially get stuck in the esophagus. Obviously, this is often quite painful.

We don’t fully understand what causes the condition, but it probably has something to do with damage to the nerves that control the muscles in the esophagus.

The condition leads to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. There’s the obvious difficulty swallowing food or liquids. And when food gets trapped in the esophagus, your body may naturally regurgitate it. If this regurgitation occurs when you are lying down, the food may actually travel into the lungs, which can be dangerous.

And achalasia can also lead to sharp chest pains with no clear cause. This pain is a little different from heartburn, but people with the condition can have heartburn as well. That fact can sometimes make it difficult to diagnose the condition.

Achalasia is quite rare, but heartburn is very common. So, if you’re experiencing pain in the chest, a doctor will likely assume that you’re suffering from acid reflux. Luckily, there are a few tests that can determine if you have Achalasia. The doctor can take X-rays of the esophagus to look for contractions, or use an endoscopy tube to visually examine the esophagus.

People with fibromyalgia also have a higher risk of heartburn, which means that you may experience symptoms similar to achalasia.

Achalasia And Fibromyalgia

Having fibromyalgia makes you more likely to develop heartburn. The most likely explanation for this link is that having fibromyalgia makes it difficult to exercise. A condition that causes chronic fatigue and constant pain obviously makes getting regular cardio a challenge.

As a result, people with fibromyalgia often struggle with obesity. Those extra pounds put pressure on the stomach and esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux. Acid reflux causes chronic chest pain, which can sometimes be quite sharp. And these symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from achalasia.

If you’re experiencing chest pain, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. It may even be a symptom of a more serious condition like heart problems.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Your treatment will depend on which condition you have. If you have achalasia, there are a few options. Your doctor may perform a procedure where a balloon is inserted into the esophagus and inflated, forcing it to open. This procedure may need to be repeated several times if the condition reoccurs.

In addition, the doctor can inject muscle relaxants directly into the esophagus. This procedure may also need to be repeated regularly for best results.

There are also more permanent surgical procedures. The most common procedure is called a Heller myotomy and involves cutting away a portion of the esophagus, expanding the space for food to pass through. But this procedure can increase your risk of developing acid reflux. So, it may need to be combined with a procedure where a portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus, tightening the muscles to prevent reflux.

If you’re just suffering from acid reflux, your best bet is to lose weight. Losing just a few pounds can significantly improve your symptoms. But there are also a number of effective medications that reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best treatment program for you.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your physician.

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Random and Useless Trivia


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“Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand.

And “lollipop” is the longest word typed with your right hand.  (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn’t you?)

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.? (Are you doubting this?)

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.  (Now, you KNOW you’re going to try this out for accuracy, right?)

The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).   (Yep, I knew you were going to “do” this one.)

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. (You’re not doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” (Yes, admit it, you are going to say, a e i o u)

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.   (All you typists are going to test this out!)

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (Some days that’s about what my memory span is.)

A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years.  (I know some people that could do this too!)

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. (I know some people like that also)

Babies are born without kneecaps.  They don’t appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that.)

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

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Crafting the very short story #amwriting

Need to work on those short story skills? Step right this way! 😉

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

During the month of January I will be exploring the many aspects of the craft of writing short, salable works. I periodically discuss the importance writing to build stock for submissions to magazines, anthologies, or contests. However, many authors have difficulty keeping a story short, and there is an art to it.

Some authors are naturally skilled at this, so if you are one of those lucky people, this may be of no interest to you, but thank you for stopping by!

So, now we get down to business. First up is the short story, works that are 2,000 to around 7,000 words in length.

First, decide what length you want to write to—if you have no specific contest in mind, 2000 to 4000 is a good all purpose length that will fit into most submission guidelines. For those of you who have trouble writing short works for contests and anthologies…

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