Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mastitis During Pregnancy

EDIT: Last update added on Nov 23, 2015

I don't normally put personal things on my author blog, but because so many people have never heard of what I've been going through, and because others missed my posts on Facebook and wanted a better place to read about everything, I really felt I needed a more permanent place to put this information. I hope by posting these things, I'll help someone somewhere who is experiencing mastitis while pregnant know what to do and what not to do.

By the way, my case is an extreme, severe case. Most people will NOT go through what I've experienced! But if you do, please know you're not alone.

I put up regular updates on Facebook and I'm going to be copying and pasting those updates here (while removing the unimportant parts of those updates), with dates included and some partial entries from my journal to fill in the blanks. I'll be running this post like it's "live," meaning I'll add updates as they happen in the future. (And I'm hoping not to have too many more, now that things are finally winding down.)

The Beginning
I first noticed painful lumps in my right breast around the end of June 2015. (I was just over five months pregnant at this point.) I did a bunch of online researching, and found that they were most likely blocked ducts. I didn't worry too much about them, since I'd had a couple earlier in the pregnancy that had worked themselves out.

However, over the course of two weeks, they didn't go away and actually got much more painful. My next regular pregnancy checkup with my OBGYN was scheduled for July 13, so I decided to wait until then to get the ducts checked out.

By Friday, July 10, I was in so much pain, I couldn't handle not doing something. I read online that lavender (essential oil) would help clear up mastitis and blocked ducts, so I mixed several drops of that with a tablespoon of coconut oil and started applying it throughout the day. It seemed to help with the pain, but I began oozing green pus from my nipple. I also massaged and tried hot showers and compresses and many other things.

Friday evening, going off of what I'd read online, I expressed some of the infection (pus). By Saturday morning, the entire right half of my breast was bright red, incredibly painful, and hot to the touch. The infection had spread across triple the original space. So, my mom took me to an urgent care (my husband was at work).

The doctor explained why what I'd done hadn't helped and had actually made the problem much worse. (And more on that in my first Facebook post below.) She put me on amoxicillin and told me to have my regular OBGYN check up on it the following Monday, at my already-scheduled OBGYN appointment. I went to that appointment and the doctor told me the antibiotics wouldn't clear things up for at least a week.

Facebook post, Wednesday, July 15, 2015
(Four days later)
So, I've been experiencing something the past week that has been absolutely horrendous and incredibly painful. The only reason I haven't said anything about it here is because it's personal. But I decided to speak up because others who experience this might do things badly like I did. :-)
Here's what I've learned:

1. It's possible to get mastitis while pregnant (milk production begins at the conception of the baby)
2. It's a billion times more painful and horrible than getting it at other times (I had it both while nursing and weaning. Trust me - this is much, much worse)
3. Things that work and relieve while nursing (and weaning) only increase the infection (or cause other problems) while pregnant
4. There's not a lot of solid information available for women who get mastitis while pregnant

I'm on antibiotics, after everything I tried on my own didn't work. (And both doctors I've seen explained to me why nothing else helped, then explained why those things made the issue much worse.)

The gist of their explanations:
While nursing, everything you do to clear up mastitis (including natural remedies, any sort of touching, etc) encourages milk flow. This is BAD while pregnant, since the milk doesn't have anywhere to go.

When you aren't nursing, everything you do to clear up mastitis (including natural remedies) tells milk production to stop. If done while pregnant, this causes issues for the pregnancy and leads to not being able to produce milk when the baby is born. (Many home remedies are natural sources of estrogen. Too much estrogen is dangerous for mom and baby. Over-the-counter products are just as bad/dangerous.)

Lastly, trying to stop milk production not only causes issues when the baby is born, but methods have to be continued the entire duration of the pregnancy, which again, causes other issues.

Both doctors said the same thing: I'll most likely get mastitis again before the baby is born. And both doctors warned me that the infection and pain will take more than a week to clear up, especially because it's such a severe case.

Anyway. Live and learn. If you don't see me out and about a lot right now, this is why.
(End of Facebook post)

I took Tylenol - the maximum dose recommended - and that helped a GREAT deal. Which, of course, surprised me, since Tylenol hasn't ever helped my pain before. :-)

The next few days were absolutely miserable. I couldn't use my arm at all and couldn't bend over, move around a lot, or do anything that increased my heart rate.

On Wednesday, July 15, I called the nurse at my OBGYN office because some of the hard/red spots were bruising. I wasn't sure if this was normal or not. She said that it does happen sometimes, and that if the hard spots didn't start softening in the next day or so, I'd need to go in and get checked out because the antibiotics probably weren't working.

By the next day, the redness and pain started clearing up. This was a huge relief. But I started leaking pus again. As I wrote in my journal, "I'M SO TIRED OF DEALING WITH THIS!!!" :-) Sadly, the road ahead of me would be a very long and painful one. :-(

On Friday, July 17, I talked to a nurse again. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for the next Tuesday, as things seemed to be clearing up and we wanted to be sure. But on Saturday evening, the pain came back as strong as it had been before and a new red, painful spot appeared.

Facebook Post, Sunday, July 19 at 9:33pm
(The next day)
Heading to the ER for the mastitis, as the pain has come back really badly and the infection is spreading. Please keep me in your prayers. :-(
(End of Facebook post)

That Sunday was probably the most painful the mastitis infection itself ever got. I should have gone to the ER Saturday, but didn't want to make a big deal out of it. Sigh.

Facebook Post, Monday, July 20 at 3:01am
(Sunday evening/Monday morning)
Back from the ER now. They think I had two infections - one that amoxicillin worked against and another one that amoxicillin is ineffective against. Switched my antibiotics to clindamycin. It *should* clear things up in the next 48 to 72 hours. However, I'm developing an abscess. If the infection doesn't clear by Tuesday/Wednesday, I get to have surgery to drain it. Really, really, really praying that won't need to happen! I was hoping my knee surgeries would be the last surgeries I'd ever have. :-(

Thanks for your prayers! I really felt them tonight. And many thanks to my friends and family who have been checking in with me regularly during the last two weeks. This has been such a struggle and trying time - it helps knowing I have people to turn to. Makes the trial a lot less lonely.
(End of Facebook Post)

At the ER, they ultrasounded the infection. Women with mastitis, hold on tight, if this ever has to happen to you! I can't even begin to say how painful that was. But it was necessary.

Now, a break to mention three things I learned from my breast specialist/surgeon since this whole thing has started:

First: When there's pus in the breast, an abscess has already developed. Pus isn't a normal occurrence with mastitis - you can be infected and have red, swollen tissue, without pus actually being present.

Second: While at the ER, I should have insisted on them doing cultures of the pus. Why? Because they would have found out exactly what sort of antibiotic I needed to be on, thereby preventing a month of three different types of antibiotics.

Third: According to a mastitis study mentioned on Wikipedia (I HIGHLY recommend reading that entire mastitis article! It was very helpful), antibiotics only clear up 15% of mastitis cases. Actual nursing clears up the rest of the cases. Where nursing isn't possible, incision and drainage is almost always required. So, if you're in my boat (mastitis during pregnancy) just know now that it's going to happen and it really will make things better in the end.

In fact, at that first appointment with the doctor to verify you really do have mastitis, I would a) insist on cultures (expressed through the nipple, if possible) being done immediately (it takes seven days for some of the test results to come back), and b) schedule an appointment with a breast specialist who will most likely tell you that incision and drainage is the best course of action. I totally agree! Rather than being scared of it happening like I was, embrace it, because healing will come soon after.

Facebook Post, Wednesday, July 22
(Two days later)
I had a follow-up appointment today for my Sunday ER visit. The physical examination showed that my abscess hadn't gone anywhere and that I'd need further work. They sent me to the hospital for another ultrasound and the request that the infection be drained.

The hospital radiologists did that ultrasound (ouch) and compared between Sunday's and today's. And... no change whatsoever. The antibiotics aren't working. Again. The infection hasn't spread, but it hasn't gone down at all either, even with the stronger antibiotics.

We decided to go through with the draining (needle aspiration), but there wasn't a big pocket of pus, only tons and tons of small ones. They were only able to get a tiny sample out with a needle, which they're now sending to the lab to figure out what kind of bacteria it is and to hopefully find antibiotics that will work against it. Mastitis nearly always responds to amoxicillin and when it doesn't, it responds to the next stuff they put me on. I'm just really "lucky" to be in the totally random infection group.

(Note from present-day Andrea: because nursing clears up mastitis, and because amoxicillin is almost always the first antibiotic prescribed, most doctors believe this particular antibiotic is the one that works the best. Yes, it does, in that 15% of cases where antibiotics actually work. But it doesn't work nearly as often as health professionals believe. Simply nursing, which isn't possible while pregnant (unless you have a child currently nursing) is what clears things up the most.)

They then manually drained the pus by putting a hole in the tissue above it and squeezing it all out. The numbing didn't work because I'm too swollen and infected.

I am really praying I never have to experience that again. I can't even say how horrible and painful it was. I can barely move anymore, and the entire area is on fire. Clothing is excruciating to wear. This is the most painful it's been since the infection started.

Because of Pioneer Day (Utah holiday), we won't find out until Monday what antibiotics will even work. I'm needing to continue using the ones I've got to prevent farther spreading of the infection, since things haven't gotten worse while on it. (Thank goodness.)

I'm incredibly exhausted now, physically and emotionally. Really hoping for answers... and really, really, really hoping and praying not to experience this ever again. I've had two doctors agree that because I have mastitis while pregnant, it's almost guaranteed I'll get it again before the baby is born, since there are still three months to go. Just can't handle thinking about that right now.

Me and myself have agreed that it's someone else's turn. Any volunteers? This past year has thrown a lot of really, really weird and horrible (and expensive) physical trials at me. I'd like to take a break now. :-)
(End of Facebook post)

The next several days were horrible. I was incredibly close to breaking down at every moment. Though I don't cry easily (even while pregnant), crying happened frequently. I was at my tolerance threshold from the pain and exhaustion. During this time, my mother-in-law came to stay with us and help out. Such a blessing! However, the infection got worse (again) and was exceptionally painful. Not only that, but the old flu symptoms came back really strongly. So not fun!

Facebook Post, Monday, July 27
(Five days later)
Update on my situation: I had a follow-up appointment at my regular doctor office today to get results from the lab. The first set of cultures came back negative. The second set won't be finished until seven days after the sample was taken, so I won't know what sort of bacteria I have until Thursday, at my next appointment.

The infection got really, really bad over the weekend again. It ended up breaking through the old needle hole made five days earlier and drained itself. Yeah, that was painful... but I did feel marginally better after, with the pain from the pressure lessened. The needle hole closed off and the infection is building up again, but I'm really hoping things will start looking up soon. I've had mastitis for over three weeks! It's been horribly awful and an experience I'm hoping not to repeat.

I absolutely love the doctors who are working on this with me. After talking it over, we've decided to try a third antibiotic, a strong, broad-spectrum one (keflex), with thoughts that it may change again this Thursday when we get more test results back. If this antibiotic doesn't work, I'll be going in for surgery to be more "aggressive" with the deeper infections. (The surface ones are the ones that were drained this week.)

Also, if the rest of the cultures come back inconclusive, my doctors office has an infectious disease specialist who will be taking on my case. Yayness. :-) (He can't take it on until the test results come back, in case you're wondering.)

Even though I'm still sick and am in tons of pain and those flu-like symptoms aren't completely gone, I'm feeling a lot more positive about the situation. First, I've got awesome doctors working on this with me. Second, we have a good plan of action (and no holidays or weekends to get in the way). Third, my husband and I bought a car today and actually have reliable transportation again. HALLELUJAH.

Many, many, many thanks to my wonderful mom and my super amazing mother-in-law! My mom spent several hours with me at the hospital last week, even though she'd recently had knee surgery. And my mother-in-law has been with us for nearly a week now, helping with our two-year-old and letting us use her van to get around. I LOVE these women. :-)

So, even though this has been the experience from Hell (pardon the language, but there's no nice way of putting what I've been through these past weeks), things are going to be okay, and we've been blessed throughout it. I know we may not be through everything yet, and there will probably be a few more hurdles to jump, but I will overcome this! And hopefully not get it again before the baby is born... though my doctors say the chances are very, very high that will happen. :-(

As of today, I'm officially in the third trimester. Yay. :-)
(End of Facebook post)

The infection filled again, and again got incredibly painful. I ended up sterilizing a needle and worrying at the old needle hole, encouraging it to open and drain again. It did, and I stood in the shower, nearly passing out from the pain and dizziness, letting it drain with the water. Most difficult shower I've ever taken, hands down (including the first showers after an emergency c-section and major reconstructive knee surgery on both knees).

The next Facebook post was written after a very long day and while I was on the way to the hospital for emergency surgery.

Facebook Post, Thursday, July 30 at 4:12pm
(Three days later)
More updates... Had my next appointment today. No changes from the last two appointments. I'm going in for surgery in a little less than an hour and will be staying at the hospital possibly for 24 hours. Keep me in your prayers and wish me luck! And thanks sooo much for your prayers thus far! I've really felt them.

And now I'm hoping there's an end in sight to this experience.
(End of Facebook post)

Facebook Post, Friday, July 31 at 9:38pm
(Following day)
Update on my situation: The specialist who operated on me last night gave me the choice of having the procedure done in her office with local numbing or to do it under anesthesia at the hospital. Because of how things had gone last time I'd been "numbed" and drained, I chose surgery at the hospital. (Yeah... a two-inch incision when a simple needle nearly killed me? Not a hard decision to make, especially when local numbing doesn't work against infected tissue.)

After surgery, my doctor said it was a good thing we'd done it at the hospital, since there had been "complications," and I would have ended up there anyway.

Apparently, the infection was really, really deep, and she had to dig very far to remove it all. I bled a TON (was still bleeding when I woke up - they had to keep stuffing gauze under the ace bandage). Doc said there was no way they could have numbed me enough, and the pain alone would have killed me.

Also, if we'd done the procedure in her office, I would have required blood transfusions and an ambulance ride to the nearest ER (which isn't covered by our insurance). Much more traumatizing, horrible, and expensive than a scheduled surgery. (So grateful I followed my gut, even if half of my brain said I was wimping out!)

Waking up was a joy. Because I'm pregnant, they operated without pain killers. They were in a big hurry to get the infection out and didn't want to hurt the baby (and I appreciate that). But I was at about a fifty billion out of ten on the pain scale. It took an hour and a half to get it to "manageable" levels, with medications safe for baby and me.

Had the wounds redressed today at my doctor's office, where they pulled ten inches of iodine-soaked gauze tape out of the incision. (Ouch.) Then yes, stuffed that much more back in. Good times.

I'm home and will be having a nurse come in once a day for the next while to change my dressing until I can tolerate the pain enough to do it on my own. It still hurts a great deal, but it's a different kind of pain from the infection-induced type of before. This, I can handle, because it finally means recovery.

It'll take 3-4 weeks before the incision heals and I don't have to put gauze in it anymore. During that time, I'm supposed to take it easy (no heavy lifting, no exercise, etc.). I've already missed four weeks of church, due to this bout of mastitis. Never thought I'd miss for any reason other than my recovering knees combined with pregnancy! But with all the rest I'm getting, my knees are actually doing fantastically. It's the little things, people.

Oh, and the second set of cultures came back negative, which means I haven't had bacteria in my system for well over a week. Basically, my body was attacking the pus it was creating to combat non-existent bacteria. Go team.

The baby is a trooper - he's still kicking away inside me, happy as can be. :-) I had a non-stress test completed today, and he's perfectly fine. So happy about that!

And now I can say that I've experienced four straight weeks of mastitis while pregnant, which has resulted in three hospital stays, seven doctor appointments (and counting), one urgent care visit, several painful infection drainings, surgery, and what's looking to be a HUGE medical bill. :-)

If anyone is searching for good professional care for this sort of thing in Utah, email me and I'll give you referrals! I can't even begin to say how grateful I am that I've had access to such fantastic care.

And again, thanks to all of you for your prayers and kind words during this time. It has meant so much to me.
(End of Facebook post)

The next day, I posted on Facebook that the nurse was on her way and I didn't know what to expect. I asked a few questions, basically worried about how it would go. Welllll.... yeah. It didn't go great, as you'll read below:

Facebook Post, Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 10:59pm
(Following day)
I've had an incredibly long, grueling, horrible, upsetting day, and I'm so exhausted and really need to get to bed. But I know family and friends need to know that I'm okay, and I'm too tired to text the details. So, here's my update:

I can now say that I've ridden in an ambulance. That definitely wasn't on my to-do list for today, not to mention EVER.

The nurse came to change my gauze and repack the wound. As soon as she started pulling the top layers of gauze off, I began gushing blood. In only a couple of minutes, I soaked three bath towels. She called 911. The paramedics, who work just around the corner (so, so many prayers of thanks being given for that!), showed up right away. By this point, I was incredibly lightheaded, dizzy, and nauseated. I can't believe how quickly I went from feeling fine to almost passing out over and over again. They got me set up on oxygen and an IV, then took me to the hospital with my husband following behind.

I almost started bawling several times on the way there, praying so hard that things would be okay. I don't cry easily, even when pregnant. But I've really passed my threshold for tolerance. I just can't handle anymore.

Here's what had happened: a little artery, unknowingly exposed, had really just had it, and when the gauze barely bumped it, started spurting. The doctor put in eight stitches (without me being numbed, mind you - he was in too much a hurry to get the bleeding stopped) and my surgeon from Thursday came and added her own stitches.

It stopped bleeding right before my surgeon got there, thank goodness.

In all, I lost two liters of blood. I'm home now and yet again, really wishing this trial were over. The blessing I got at the hospital said it was. I'm holding to that!

It'll take a few days to recover from the loss of blood. They gave me 3 liters of saline, and if the bleeding hadn't stopped when it did, they would have given me blood transfusions.

I feel so bad for the nurse. She's coming again tomorrow, and when she called the hospital to check up on me, she told the ER nurse that she's completely paranoid it's going to happen again. I don't blame her!

So, to recap. Now I can say that I've experienced four straight weeks of mastitis while pregnant, which has resulted in FOUR hospital stays, seven doctor appointments (and counting), one urgent care visit, several painful infection drainings, emergency surgery, an ambulance ride, two visits to the ER, and what's looking to be an even BIGGER medical bill. I'm really trying not to think about how on earth we're going to get caught up, financially!

If you've ever felt like gifting any of my eBooks to someone else or buying one or two for yourself, now would be the best time ever:

Please continue keeping us in your prayers. :-(
(End of Facebook post)

Facebook Post, Sunday, Aug 2
(Next day)
I'm happy to announce that I just had my dressing changed and it went perfectly fine. I only bled a little. So much better compared to the 2 liters lost yesterday! My nurse, husband, and I were all very relieved. (Exceptionally relieved.)

I'm super lethargic and sluggish, and haven't been able to do much. Been lying down a lot, trying to catch up, physically. The baby is doing well - he's such a trooper. He's happily kicking away, thank goodness.

Again, thanks so much for your prayers!
(End of Facebook post)

Facebook Post, Tuesday, August 4
(Two days later)
Just got back from a follow-up appointment with my specialist. She's very pleased with how well things are healing. She said we'll only need to have the wound packed for another two or so weeks, instead of the four she'd originally thought! :-) She also said that as the infection clears up, the pain that occurs when we pack the incision will also go away. Not only that, but she doesn't think I'll get mastitis again before the baby comes. Oh, heavens. Hallelujah. I love hearing good news.

Due to what happened on Saturday, she opted to leave the stitches from surgery in for another week.

In the meantime, I'm still very dizzy and weak from blood loss and feel like I've got a really bad bout of the flu, but I'm in good spirits. So grateful for talented and inspired doctors and friends and family, many of whom included us in their fasts on Sunday. Much thanks for that!
(End of Facebook post)

Facebook Post, Thursday, August 6
(Two days later)
Yesterday (Wednesday) was really, really difficult. I was severely nauseated nearly the whole day and very dizzy/lightheaded. Sigh. Things are just going to take a while to resolve themselves. I wish I could say, "Hey! I'm all better!" but it takes time to recover... especially since I'm pregnant and not getting much sleep while all of this is happening.

On the bright side, my mom came and hung out with me all day and my friend Leah visited, as did my sister-in-law. Yay for not being bored! :-) :-) :-) And thanks so much for coming, ladies. :-)
(End of Facebook post)

Facebook Post, Friday, August 7
(Next day)
Well, the nurse never showed up yesterday and didn't return my calls... (I'm hoping she didn't have her own emergency) so my exceptionally amazing and brave husband got to unpack and repack the incision with gauze. I'm sooooooo grateful I'm married to a guy who isn't squeamish and handles blood regularly! He did a fantastic job. :-) :-) I love him. :-)

I still go back and forth between groggy, dizzy, nauseated, and lightheaded. I'm sure if I weren't pregnant, my recovery from blood loss would go faster. Yesterday was a really good day, but last night, I had an "episode" of nausea and dizziness. Maybe because we did "too much." (Went outside for the first time in weeks for something other than hospital visits and doctor appointments. We walked to the mailbox, which is about 1,000 feet away. :-) )

I am, however, off of all medications now, minus the prenatal vitamin. After a month of antibiotics and a week of narcotics, THAT'S something to celebrate! Yayness. :-) :-)

I'm also getting back in the saddle again where writing is concerned. Reclaim, the last book in my Katon University series, is now up for pre-order. I'm super excited about this because now, when I have my huge promotion right before the baby comes, I won't have to worry about anything - the entire shindig will be in place and I'll be able to sit back and relax. (Ha ha. With a new baby. Relax. That's funny. :-) Hey - it's a different kind of stress from book stress. :-) )
(End of Facebook post)

That was my last update on Facebook, put up yesterday. I'm really hoping not to add to it with more bad news! I really believe and feel that things are getting better now.

I've discovered that Tylenol works for infection-related pain, but not for the pain related to the incision. The incision, by the way, is about an inch long, half an inch wide, and an inch deep, with stitches on either side (one set from the surgery itself and the other set from the artery that bled). It's super gruesome looking, but I'm grateful to have it because it represents healing and freedom from pain. Of course, it in and of itself is painful... but the pain is much less than what the infection pain brought. (This is stabbing pain and it happens at random times throughout the day, making my muscles in my arm and chest clench. Good times.)

Please, if you have any questions and especially if you are suffering through something similar, feel free to email me or comment below. My breast specialist says that mastitis while pregnant is a fluke - it happens so rarely that half of the medical field has never heard of it. I found that to be true with the doctors and nurses I've seen and worked with the past month.

Also, the artery-spurting thing is incredibly rare. My breast specialist says in twenty years of doing this, she'd only ever had two cases of this happen - me and one other woman. It just doesn't happen often. Thank goodness! As I said to fellow writers, I would never, ever wish what has happened to me on my meanest reviewer. :-)

But I am grateful that I've been able to help other people - especially to educate women (not make them paranoid, of course), so that they know what to do if this ever happens to them.

One last thanks to friends and family for their prayers and kind thoughts as I've struggled through this ordeal! Looking back, I really can't believe I survived half the things I did. The pain was so intense and horrible! But I'm sure it's made me a stronger person. I hope so, anyway. :-)

Facebook Post, Tuesday, August 11
Saw my specialist today. She removed the stitches (except one that was too deep). That was the first time it's ever hurt me to have stitches taken out! She had to cut some skin to get to the ones that were put in when I bled so much.

She gave me a bit of disheartening news. :-( Because of how deep the infection went and where the bulk of it was (right where most of the ducts are located), I may not be able to nurse on that side ever again. She worries that the ducts were too damaged from everything that has happened. :-(

We're both praying that the next two and a half months will be long enough for things to heal up so I can nurse on both sides. I'm strongly opposed to using commercial formula even just to supplement one-sided nursing (some of you will understand immediately why, and others will think I'm silly - oh, well :-) ), and I'll use that as an absolute last resort. I know there are TONS of options out there for women in my situation. Thank goodness for that. But I'm still praying that everything will heal! (Of course. :-) )

Also, I had my three-hour glucose test today to see if I have gestational diabetes. My first glucose test came back high. Wouldn't it just be the icing on the cake of this wonderful and exciting pregnancy to get that? Ha. :-)

I have more and more energy each day. Most of the time, I only get sore or dizzy if I'm moving too much, bending over, or taking car rides. :-)

My doctor put through an order for another week of at-home nurse help, as there's still about three quarters of an inch to pack with gauze. I really like the nurse who has been coming lately. She's a wealth of experience and compassion, and I'm grateful I've been able to get to know her!

Facebook Post, Tuesday, August 18
Just got back from my most recent checkup with the specialist who did my surgery. Now that enough time has passed and my body has had a chance to heal, the scare of another artery opening up is pretty much gone and she said I no longer require the help of a nurse. I'm sooo very excited about this! It was really hard not knowing what time the nurses were coming. Some days, they weren't here until 9:00pm and then the next day, they'd come at 9:00am. Even though I'm not exactly going anywhere these days, it was still a bit frustrating.

So, instead of having a nurse pack the wound, my doctor said my husband is fine to do it until the incision heals up. (She was surprised he was okay with taking over. So grateful for my awesome hubby. :-)) She said it will probably be another four or five days before the incision heals enough for us to let it close. This means there's a chance I'll be at church this Sunday!!!!!! Fingers crossed it works out!!! :-) :-)

The incision has been hurting almost constantly the last couple of days, even when I'm not moving. Not sure why, but my doctor said the infection isn't coming back, so at least I don't need to worry about that. Car rides, walking, and having my heart rate elevated still cause a lot of pain, as does using that arm for lifting or reaching. My mom has been coming to help every day while my husband has been at work, and that's been a HUGE lifesaver. She's super awesome. :-)

The incision itself is healing very well. There's only about a half inch hole left that is a little under a half inch deep. It only requires about an inch of gauze, where in the beginning, the hole was big enough to need up to ten inches.
I'm guessing that once the incision is fully closed over and more healed, the pain will go away. Probably in another week or two. There are still hard lumps where the infection first started, but my doctor said it just takes time for the body to clear those things up. They don't hurt anymore, and that's an awesome blessing.

Anyway. :-) I'm pretty happy with today's visit. :-) And I'm excited because the third book in the Katon University series comes out this week and the fourth (and last) book is up for pre-order. And I've also started working on my next series. :-) Having my brains come back has been a huge blessing, especially now that I'm in the "painful" part of pregnancy, where moving isn't fun. :-) Less than ten weeks to go!
(End of Post)

Facebook Post, Friday, August 21
No more packing the incision! My husband was only able to get a tiny bit of gauze into it last night. :-) :-) I'll still have to cover it with gauze and an ace bandage for a few more days - until it closes up and heals over completely - but I'm so super happy about this. My life is going to get back to normal! (For a handful of weeks, anyway. :-) And then the baby comes and a new normal will have to be established. :-))
(End of Post)

Facebook Post, Sunday, August 23
Well, yeah. Trying not to freak out (and yes, this is an update on the mastitis situation). Pus came out of the incision on Friday for the first time (only blood has come out since the surgery) and there's a new red spot over the area where the infection first started. I don't know if this means the infection is coming back, but I'm worried it is and really praying it isn't.

Going to keep an eye on things and see what happens. There isn't any associated pain, but that area hasn't had pain for over a month, even while it was infected. I'm hoping my nerves weren't permanently damaged. :-(

My husband is wondering if this means more of the old infection is trying to come to the surface and break through. The red spot is about an inch and a half away from the incision, so if it tries to go that way, it's got a long way to travel. The incision is nearly closed over now.

So ready for medical drama to be over. (Like I wasn't two months ago...)
(End of Post)

Facebook Post, Monday, August 24
Update: Lumps started hurting yesterday and I had a bunch of pus leak during the night and again off and on today. The redness has spread - not by a lot, thank goodness, but it's still concerning. I've got an appointment with my specialist tomorrow. She's going to try to reopen the incision. If she can't, and we suspect it won't work (due to the fact that the incision has been closed since Wednesday), it's surgery for me again this week.
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Facebook Post, Saturday, August 29
Update: There isn't a whole lot to update on. My appointment on Tuesday went well. Doc decided (with my consent, of course) to monitor my condition during the rest of the week and see where I'm at for my next appointment (set for Tuesday). So, every day, I've been calling in to let them know how things are looking. I haven't posted about it because the changes have been minuscule. The red spot got a little worse, but is faded today while the lumps are harder and hurt more. On the other hand, pus isn't leaking any longer and the incision looks good still. (Yay for that. :-) ) So, good/bad ratios seem to be pretty even.

What frustrates me is that it's so slow moving and the fact that I don't know which way it's going--getting better or getting worse. I'm tired of drama, so am not in any hurry to press my doctor for answers, especially when I'm not dying and she'll probably have me wait until Tuesday, anyway. Which is what I would do if I were in her shoes. :-)

Curse mastitis while pregnant! Things would be so less complicated if I weren't in this situation. :-)

In the meantime, I'm back to nearly full-functioning. I still have pain in car rides and am having to be careful with the clothes I wear (anything tight or layered makes things worse), but I'm writing books again and playing with my two-year-old and that's much better than how I was a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks again for your prayers. I really do believe that things would have gone so, so much worse if it weren't for the people who have been praying for me over the past two months.
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Facebook Post, Tuesday, September 1
Just finished with my next specialist appointment. She has no idea what's going on with me - she said it's baffling and doesn't follow what typically happens in cases like mine. (Hey - since when have I followed typical? ;-) )

She said that she's not entirely sure it's mastitis anymore - the lumps are too hard, and it's not moving as fast as mastitis usually goes, as it's only gotten a little worse in the week since I saw her. She said it could be a slow-moving infection, which isn't life-threatening (thank goodness), or it could be fat necrosis.

If it's fat necrosis, it will need time to work its way out of my system. If it's a slow-moving infection, it will need time before we know what to do. Either way, it *is* progressing (the lumps are harder and more painful, the red has come back and covers a bigger area) and should reach a pinnacle soon, then calm down. (Or continue to get worse, which would lead to surgery again, if it's an infection.)

The more I read up on fat necrosis, the more I'm inclined to believe that's what's going on. Fat necrosis sometimes occurs after severe damage or injury to the breast tissue. It causes hard lumps that are red and sometimes painful. And it takes time for it to clear itself up - for the inflammation to leave.

Anyway. We left things open ended. I'll be updating her regularly and she'll be checking up on me a few times a week. If it continues to get worse, and ends up being fat necrosis, I'll have an ultrasound plus needle aspiration (which is sometimes required, if the necrosis doesn't go away on its own). If it gets worse and ends up being an infection, then I'll have surgery.

And if it gets better, then I'll be done with doctors FOREVER.

Until the baby is born, anyway.

Oh, and all those appointments leading up to his birth.

And all the appointments after. :-)
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Facebook Post, Friday, September 18, 2015
An update on my situation, as I haven't posted one in a while: I'm still seeing my specialist on a regular basis. We've ruled out fat necrosis. She's positive I still have an infection, it's just a very slow-moving one (and therefore, non life-threatening, thank goodness). We decided to try another batch of antibiotics (augmentin, and just for three days this time) to see if they would speed up the process. They didn't. However, the infection below the red spot, which is now purple, looks like it's going to break through the skin fairly soon.

She told me to avoid puncturing it or trying to drain it myself... because she knows I'm likely to do that, given the fact that I've done it before. :-)

So, as a recap for those who weren't around when I was updating regularly: I'm pregnant and I've got mastitis (milk duct infection). Because I'm pregnant, regular methods (and even the non-regular ones) don't work to clear up the infection and actually greatly increase the problems associated with mastitis.

If you'd like to read the entire story, including what has been done and all the exciting drama that we've gone through, go here:…/mastitis-during-pr…

In other news, the baby is coming in about a month. I'm at peace with the situation. And fairly emotionless about the fact that I've had mastitis for three months now. :-) I'm no longer in agony, so that's a huge blessing. :-) The pain is low-grade and only acute when I accidentally bump myself or wear the wrong bra. (GASP. I just said "bra" on Facebook!!!! :-) )

Anyway. There's your update.
(End of Facebook Post)

Facebook Post, Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Another update on my situation: the infection made its way to the surface, and my doctor had me sterilize a needle and go to work on it. Lots of pus came out, the area is super tender now, and we're hoping it's on the way (finally) to clearing up.

In other news, my husband made some really awesome cream cheese brownies. We're feasting on those right now with vanilla ice cream. Super yummy. :-)

Facebook Post, Tuesday, October 6, 2015
A couple things. I only have one more doctor appointment before the baby comes. Yay! My doctor today told me that I am the most uncomplicated complicated pregnancy they've ever had. Apparently, the doctors talk about my case regularly. So glad I'm not in a constant state of emergency anymore. I've had several pockets of infection come to the surface now, and things seem to be moving along nicely.

Next thing - something that makes us laugh. Our two-year-old, when she's upset with us, has taken to exclaiming, "You need to go back to school!"

Funny, because it's a legitimate argument. Ha ha. :-) We don't know where she picked it up. :-)
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Facebook Post, Thursday, October 29, 2015
I'm having to pump on the side that had mastitis during my pregnancy - milk is collecting into a lump and not draining when my baby nurses. The lump has gotten big enough where he can't latch on anymore, so I may end up pumping for the rest of the time and nursing on the other side. I do have an appointment with my specialist on Tuesday, just to check out the lump and make sure it's not getting infected. In the meantime, she's wanting to see if pumping will empty it.

But I'm really glad milk actually comes out. That's huge, after all the damage! My doctor was really happy to hear it too.
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Facebook Post on Monday, October 12, 2015
An update on the mastitis: It's been hurting lately - the dull, stabbing pain. I'm really hoping nothing more comes to the surface, so that when the baby comes in a week, I won't have open wounds and will be able to pump the excess infection away. It's only dead stuff that's still there, but it's really irritating my body and I know my body is still trying to fight it.
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Facebook Post, Thursday, November 5, 2015
I haven't updated on the mastitis situation for a while... not because it's ended, but because we've been under incredible amounts of stress where feeding our baby has been concerned. We've encountered nearly every problem under the sun, many of them related to the mastitis I had while pregnant, but a lot of them also due to problems the baby himself has had. My emotions are pretty messed up at this point and I haven't been able to put things into writing until now.

Long story short: I don't produce enough milk on the one side to keep my baby fed. :-( After two weeks of an incredibly fussy and upset baby, we finally realized that he was starving. Wish babies could talk. :-( So heartbreaking. :-( During the past two and a half weeks, and in an attempt to resolve the issues we were coming across, I met with three lactation consultants, a midwife, worked with several la leche league leaders, had two appointments with our pediatrician, and even worked with a doula. Nothing helped. My milk supply didn't step up, even while I was both pumping AND nursing around the clock for five days straight, while taking a TON of herbs. Not only that, but the baby's own issues didn't end.

We went to a hospital in SLC a couple days ago for one of the nursing consultations and had him weighed before and after nursing to see what was going on. After all the work I was putting in to increase my milk supply, none of it had helped. My right side—the side that was infected—only produces a teaspoon of milk, and the left side only about an ounce. No change in over a week. :-( My baby needs three ounces each feeding. No wonder he was starving. :-(

This has been absolutely devastating to me, and talking to friends who've been there, I know I'm not alone in the negative emotions that come from wanting, but being unable, to give my baby the best. I'm still pumping every two hours and bottle feeding him that, along with goats' milk. (Through other awful experiences, we found that formula wreaks havoc on his little system.) I struggled with producing enough milk for my little girl while completely healthy, so this isn't totally surprising to me. But it is severely disappointing.

(Oh, and yes, I'm still having old infection come to the surface on the side that had mastitis.)

Some of you will understand why I'm so disappointed, and others will think I'm just being silly. :-) Regardless, I hope you all know how much we appreciate your help, support, and prayers during the past several months. I really hoped there would be a happy ending to that horrible mastitis experience. Perhaps the happy ending is me being able to help other women who are going through what I've been through.

And I know that any heartache I experience now will help me be more compassionate when my children experience heartache later. I'm grateful for that—my mom has been such a big help and a great source of strength while I've dealt with all of this.
(End Facebook Post)

Facebook Post, Monday, November 9, 2015
Guess who has mastitis again?

I swear, if this ends up being "my thing" until the end of my life, I'm going to throw one heck of a fit, and *SOMEONE* is going to hear about it.

(Andrea shakes her fist at the heavens... while warning friends and family to stay away in case lightning strikes.)

Sigh. They've got me on antibiotics again, a kind I couldn't take while pregnant. The mastitis is on the other side of the surgery incision, and regardless of what I do, I haven't been able to work it out. I don't think those ducts lead anywhere, and my specialist agrees. So, I'm trying to dry up one side while still pumping/nursing on the other. Anyone have success at doing this and want to offer advice?
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Facebook Post, Monday, November 16, 2015
Update for all ya'lls.

And the mastitis rages on... I'm in the process of drying things up. Since I wasn't producing very much milk in the first place, it's not been very painful. The reason I didn't dry up earlier is because the lumps of infection were actually going away while I was pumping/nursing. Until about a week ago, and then they started getting bigger again, and fast.

Over the weekend, I found a fourth red and angry lump in a new place - closer to my arm. I also discovered that my c-section incision was infected. This pretty much freaked us out - the mastitis spreading and an infection in a different place? No bueno. I got on antibiotics (Dicloxacillin) and have been watching things. As has always been the case, the mastitis has gotten worse and the antibiotics haven't done a thing. (Except for where the c-section incision is concerned - it's actually healing. Yay!) I have an appointment in the morning with my breast specialist and really have no idea what to expect, other than her saying "let's watch this and see what happens." Again, my case is extremely weird, odd, and different, and NO ONE has ever seen something like it.

How to fix things when no one knows what's wrong?

My baby is doing well, other than awful congestion from a nasty cold. We're having to hold him while he sleeps at night, just to help him breathe. The poor little guy.

It's weird how everything has worked out. My baby had severe latching problems (partly due to a high palate) and couldn't nurse. After only three and a half weeks, we realized I needed to stop producing milk. At that point, he'd been on a bottle for a little over a week, so there weren't any huge adjustments to be made. So, him unable to nurse and me unable to produce milk. It's like the Lord knew ahead of time when matching him with this pregnancy. ;-) :-)

Oh! My mom wonders if I may have celiac disease, which is why I've been getting infected so easily. (Unhealthy intestines leading to body not taking in the right amount of nutrients leading to body not being healthy leading to getting infections easily.) I had my blood drawn today to test for it and we will know in a couple of days.

I can't help but be nervous/worried for future pregnancies. How will I know if things have healed up? If it's okay to try to nurse again? Once the milk really started coming in this time around, I began having issues. I want to know if I've healed... but I don't want to repeat the problems I've had. And I'm really nervous to get mastitis while I'm pregnant again. We already know I've got hormone problems (which is why I have to have c-sections - there are a TON of issues going on), and once I started producing milk with my little girl, it never fully stopped. Two years after she was weaned, when I got pregnant with my baby, I was still producing about a teaspoon a day, which probably led to my getting mastitis.

So, yeah. Afraid. Nervous. Not sure what the future holds. This is life, though. And part of learning to trust and have faith. We know that we're supposed to have at least one more baby - we both feel it very strongly. After we've done our part - getting me healed up and physically ready - we'll need to put our trust in the Lord that things will work out for us to finish our family.

This has been a really hard year for me physically. Those awful, horrible knee surgeries (four months of no walking and intense pain), followed by six months of really severe morning sickness, followed by four months of mastitis...

Life is entertaining, huh?

In the meantime, I'm working on a set of non-fiction books for authors - teaching how to get newsletter subscribers and reviews, along with finding beta readers, editors, and cover designers. It's been a nice outlet. :-)
(End of Post)

Facebook Post, Tuesday, November 17, 2015
My appointment with the specialist today went okay. She wants to see what happens with the mastitis spots once my milk is fully dried up. I have to check in with her on Thursday with any and all updates. In the meantime, she's having me massage the lumps. Tried that tonight. Exceptionally painful, and only resulted in one of them getting bigger and another one bruising. The biggest of the lumps is rock hard and about the size of a golf ball. They're all still growing, since I'm still producing milk.

I'm going to keep taking the antibiotics, to prevent the spread of infection.

My specialist also checked the c-section incision and said it's doing really well now (yay for good news!) and to continue having my husband clean it with saline and apply neosporin after letting it air dry for an hour or so.

An interesting thing (and I hope this isn't TMI): when my letdown happens, the milk in the infected side doesn't stay inside me. It immediately starts leaking at a fast rate, while the other side only leaks a little. It's like the bad side doesn't know how to hold milk anymore. With everything it's been through, I'm not really surprised, merely fascinated.

Anyway. So, wait for milk to dry up and see if the lumps take care of themselves. The body is amazing - I'm really hoping that everything will resolve itself soon. As before the baby was born, the infections I have now are slow moving. Thank goodness for that. Tender mercies, people, tender mercies.
(End of Post)

Facebook Post, Sunday, November 22, 2015
Update on my situation...

The biggest area of infection has doubled in size (and pain). I'm at the point where I can't use my arm much anymore again, and bending over or shifting my weight in any way is agonizing. It's been this way for a couple of days now. I'm back on narcotics again. My milk is almost dried up now, thank goodness.

Yesterday afternoon, the pain from the biggest lump got so awful that I ended up sterilizing a needle and going at it myself. Took four or five stabs (OUCH) to create a channel for the pus to come out. It's been draining steadily ever since. Which is good - that stuff has to go somewhere, and since we already know those ducts are too damaged to lead things out the natural way, it was going to come to the surface on its own anyway.

Unlike last time when I took on draining the infection myself, there isn't much relief in pain. Most likely because of the vast quantity of infection that still needs to come out. There are tons of lumps that need to work themselves out.

A couple hours ago, I opened up another spot that was ready to drain. That time, it didn't hurt, thank goodness.

My body is forever changed from this. It's depressing. In the three locations where I've had pus rise to the surface and exit, there are now brown pits in the tissue. I've now got five places where infection is draining or has drained. I hope I'll eventually heal and those dark spots and pits will go away.

Ironically, the two-inch long incision from surgery is completely healthy looking and nearly invisible. The man-made exit for infection looks better than the body-made ones. Sigh.

When I sent my update to my doctor on Thursday and she prescribed more antibiotics and again said, "let's wait and see what happens," I got SUPER frustrated and upset. I started calling around, trying to find someone who could help in a way that didn't involve MORE ANTIBIOTICS. (Read the Wikipedia article on mastitis. Antibiotics only clear up mastitis in 15% of cases. Nursing clears it up the rest of the time. So wish none of this had happened so I could actually nurse. :-( )

I called infectious disease specialists and general practitioners and of course my obgyn. My obgyn and nurses were very helpful (all six of the doctors and all of the nurses know me by name now. Yeah. That's the sort of fame I didn't ever ask for). They gave me numbers to call and even called several places for me.

The answers we got from EVERYONE, including the office that has the best infectious diseases specialists in the state, was this: "Talk to your obgyn. We don't work with mastitis. We wouldn't even know where to begin."

I told them all that my case is different, that I HAVE been working with my obgyn, that I've had mastitis for four months. Their responses were still the same, that they wouldn't know where to start.

And I'd still need to go to my breast specialist for any and all surgeries, since she's the one everyone refers to when it comes to breast problems. (And she is FANTASTIC with surgeries and reconstruction, etc.)


I got a priesthood blessing Friday night. I was promised that my body would work the infection out on its own. I felt a lot of peace when I heard those words, and the impression I got was that I'm being too impatient.

Yeah? Me, impatient? Maybe the HORRIBLE, forever-reoccurring pain has something to do with it. :-)

Anyway. I'm feeling more positive this morning. Wishing I could have gone to church, but even if I were healed, I still have a newborn that shouldn't be around lots of people (especially with how sick he's been)... so I'd still be at home. :-)

I'm praying for patience to deal with everything until it's all gone. And I'm praying for healing... not just for the infection to leave... but for the underlying issues to go away. To get back to normal as much as possible. To have a LIFE again, for Pete's sake.
(End of Post)

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 2015 Author Promotion!

I've released a new book, making this a great time for another author promotion! All the books being promoted are clean, and I'm positive you'll find something to love. :-)

Sale ends SATURDAY, May 16, 2015

First, a word about my new release. I'm super excited about it because it's the project my illustrator, James E. Curwen, and I worked on together with a local elementary school. We gave the kids creative control over nearly every aspect of the process - they gave feedback on characters, the writing, the illustrations, and they picked the names of the characters, their personalities, and physical attributes. I'm super excited about this book and am very happy with how it turned out. :-)

Bezza's Book of Enchantments

My newest release and first book in the Ranch City Academy series, complete with awesome illustrations by James E. Curwen!

Author: Andrea Pearson
Original price: $2.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available on: Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords

Carter's life changes when an old man entrusts him with a book of magical spells. Ridge, his best friend, wants to try one of the spells—the power to bring people back to life—but Carter isn't comfortable with the idea. He finally consents when Ridge suggests they resurrect an obscure composer they've been studying in school. But will the spell work, and if it does, will the boys agree never to do it again?

The Key of Kilenya

An Amazon bestselling eBook for three years! First book in a completed six-book series. I've never had a young reader (3rd grade and older) dislike this book or the series. Note that the second book in the series is available free for a few days on Kindle.

Author: Andrea Pearson
Original price: $3.99
Sale price: FREE
Available on: Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords

We all have a choice—but we can’t choose the consequences.

Jacob Clark is chased down a path that takes him to another world—a world where he is a wanted young man. The Lorkon want to control him and the special powers he possesses. The people of the new world want him to save them from the destruction of the Lorkon. All Jacob wants is to go home, but even that choice has consequences. If he waits too long to decide, the new world and the one he came from will be destroyed.

As Jacob looks for people he can trust, he finds himself in the center of a fight for freedom—both for himself and the people he’s come to know. And when he meets a pretty girl named Aloren, everything he understands about his role on Eklaron is challenged.

Jacob has no idea where the path he chooses will take him, but once the choice has been made—bring on the consequences.

Samara, A Kilenya Romance

One of my best selling eBooks ever, this novella was SO much fun to write! I'm excited to be able to offer it for free for this promotion. It involves characters you'll come across in the Kilenya Series (the book above).

Author: Andrea Pearson
Original price: $1.99
Sale price: FREE!
Available on Kindle

When Samara Oldroyd takes a break from her somewhat insane family to browse a music store, she meets the funniest, most attractive and awesome guy ever. A phone call interrupts their conversation, and she has to leave before she can find out anything about him—what his name is, where he's from, and why his smile is so familiar.

Her wishes that they'll run into each other again come true, but not how she expects. When Samara’s older sister finally lets the family meet her new boyfriend, Samara is shocked to see it's the guy from the music store!

Awkward and hilarious situations are plentiful as Samara tries—in vain—to undo the crush she's formed. Inspired by the film Dan in Real Life, this novella will tickle you pink.

And now some books from other authors! :-)

Just My Luck

Author: Jaclyn Weist
Regular price: $0.99
Sale price: FREE
Available from Kindle

Adam Crenshaw is tired of living in his little sister’s shadow. She wins everything, and he gets the leftovers. Big brothers are supposed to be the role models, right?

Then one day, all that changes. Louie is a leprechaun who offers him all the luck he could possibly want—for a price. The offer is tempting, but Adam refuses to work with him. To teach him a lesson, Louie steals all of
his luck, and Adam’s life is turned upside down. He now has a choice between giving in to the leprechaun’s demands, or losing everything that matters to him.

Stolen Luck

Author: Jaclyn Weist
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from Kindle

Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren't enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right.

What Louie didn't count on was Megan's friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they're by her side to pick her back up again.

When Megan learns about Louie's ultimate plan for her family, it's a race against time to stop him before he takes away everything she cares about.

Horstberg Saga Books 1-3

Author: Elizabeth D. Michaels (aka Anita Stansfield)
Regular price: $9.99
Sale price: $2.99
Available on Kindle and iTunes

Contains volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Horstberg Saga - save $15 compared to price of single titles!

Behind the Mask (Volume 1 of the Horstberg Saga)

When You’re Hiding For Your Life, What Do You Live For?

Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction.

Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope.

The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers.

Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.

PLEASE NOTE: Volumes Four and Five, The Tainted Crown and Through Castle Windows, are now available for purchase and conclude the Horstberg Saga.

Silent Cries

Author: Anastasia Alexander
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from Kindle and iTunes

Charlene believes she’s an ordinary housewife and mother with ordinary challenges. Gradually, she comes to realize her marriage isn't healthy and that her husband’s treatment isn't normal. Relying only on her own courage and the help of a few friends, she struggles to free herself and her children from a relationship that has turned their lives into a living nightmare.

Charlene soon discovers that altering her relationship is only half the battle and finding what she really needs takes just as much courage as recognizing the problem in the first place. Trusting again—and making love work—may be the biggest challenge of all.

The Making of a Queen

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from Kindle and iTunes

On a rainy Parisian evening, memories plague Ariana de Cotte. Memories of her beloved twin brother, her estranged parents, and the loneliness and anger that consume her. She is nineteen, it’s her wedding night, and her life seems beyond hope or repair.

Thus begins the story of an extraordinary young woman who, as her life spirals downward, struggles to find meaning and hope in the face of unimaginable suffering. Her bitter refusal to listen to the LDS missionaries only increases her pain, as does blaming God who has allowed her so much heartache. Until one dark night, when her life hits rock-bottom and the Spirit begins its whisperings to her heart.

As you come to know Ariana, you will weep for her tragedy, smile at her small triumphs, rejoice as she embraces a faith that will sustain her, and feel the love of a good man who helps her find the power to change her life forever. Rachel Ann Nunes has created a powerful and moving novel with characters so real that you will let them into your heart and find yourself re-living this exceptional story again and again.

“The last few chapters of this book contain some of the most powerful images of forgiveness and redemption that I’ve seen in any Christian novel. Though the religion of the characters is LDS, this novel should be read by everyone who craves to understand and feel the Savior’s touch in their own lives. Well done!” - Daniel Schroeder, Boston

To Love and to Promise

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Regular price: $3.99
Sale price: $0.99
Available from Kindle and iTunes

When Brionney Fields marries handsome and charming Derek Roathe, she feels like her life is a fairy tale come true. And when baby Savannah comes along, she's sure of it. Then, with a horrifying discovery, the dream is shattered and her fairy tale begins to unravel. Trying to pick up the bits and pieces of her life, she wonders if she'll ever be able to take a chance at love again.

The answer finally comes, but is Brionney ready for it? Can she set aside a world of pain for the hope of true love? She's heard all the promises before, but they've been empty and tainted by lies. Why should she believe them now?

In this compelling and emotional story of love, betrayal, and soul-wrenching challenges, bestselling author Rachel Ann Nunes creates memorable characters and dramatic moments that will live in the reader's mind and heart long after the book is closed. Join Brionney as she learns that the road to true love and happiness is never easy . . . but in the end it's worth every prayer, every tear, and every leap of faith along the way.

This Time Forever

Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Regular price: $6.99
Sale price: FREE
Available from Kindle and iTunes

Tender story of heartbreak, healing, and faith (Mickelle Book 1, Rebekka Book 1)

Mickelle Hansen never realized marriage could be so challenging. Her husband's epilepsy has caused him to become cynical and verbally abusive, but with love in her heart and strength from her Heavenly Father, Mickelle is determined to make her marriage work. Then the worst happens. Can she ever pick up the shattered pieces of her life?

Meanwhile, Rebekka Massoni arrives in America to work for handsome widower Damon Wolfe, leaving all her hopes and dreams back in her beloved France. She has loved and idolized Marc Perrault since she was five years old, but he can offer only her friendship in return.

Can Rebekka forget Marc and learn to love another man? Both Damon and Samuel Bjornenburg, successful CEO of Corban International, hope to win a place in her heart, but Damon's daughter doesn't like Rebekka, and Samuel doesn't share her faith. To make matters worse, Rebekka's heart is still breaking over Marc. Suddenly she must make the most important decision of her entire life. Will it be the right one?

Join Mickelle and Rebekka as they search for love and self-discovery. This tender story of heartbreak, healing, and faith is one you will not soon forget.

And that's all for this time! Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Huge Author Promotion!

Welcome to our March Author Promotion! To celebrate the release of four new books through my friend's publishing company, Trifecta, they're putting *everything* on sale and have asked several authors to join them in celebrating! Please scroll down through the entire post so you don't miss anything! Here are the four new books that will be released on March 31st through Trifecta's website:

Captain Schnozzlebeard and the Singing Clam of Minnie Skewel Island 
by Rebecca Blevins

Fire Gate (Shinehah Saga #1) 
Crystal Gate (Shinehah Saga #2)
by Pendragon Inman

Nemesis: Knight (the Chess Quest series #2)
by Michael D. Young

Now to the books that are on sale! 

Midian has lived in Gevkan Castle for almost all of her twenty-five years, growing up alongside Princess Arien. Though timid, she's content in her life and comfortable with the people who surround her. It's not until she meets Kelson, best friend of Prince Dmitri, that she realizes how deep her shyness runs. Kelson is outgoing and wildly flirtatious, pushing Midian away when all he wants is to draw her closer.
Midian's life is put in danger when she's kidnapped by the neighboring king who thinks she's the princess and wants to leverage her life for power and money.

Will Kelson be able to stop the king fast enough, proving his affections for Midian, or will the king's scheming keep them forever separated? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!


When ten-year-old Andy moves from California to his new house in Colorado, the last thing he expects is to meet a ghost named Annie.

Annie has been living in that house for eighty years. Will Annie spook Andy away? Or will the two find out that sometimes, the best of friends might not be who you first expected?

The Andy & Annie series by author Jenni James and illustrator BC Sterrett is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Junie B. Jones with a paranormal twist. Your young reader will love getting to know these characters and going with them on amazing adventures!

You can purchase A Ghost Story for Kindle here and print here. Special event price: .99!

Andy and Annie are back at it again. This time, they’ve decided to conquer the bullies who like to tease Andy for wearing green shirts. 

Annie uses her magical ghostly powers for good in this funny early reader story. She decides it’s time the school learns that wearing green isn’t mean—it’s cool! Join Annie and Andy on an adventure that will change even the toughest of hearts, and maybe even make the principal happy, too. 

You can purchase Greeny Meany for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

When nerdy eighth-grader Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a paladin, a white knight in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history, and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.
Rich’s grandmother leaves him one thing before disappearing for good—a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life-or-death contest against his nemesis, a dark knight in training. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead. 

You can purchase Paladin: Pawn for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Dancing is Cami's escape from her dark home life. It's the only thing that gives her hope - until she meets Adam Black. A talented dancer in his own right, he asks Cami to be his partner, and she gains strength and confidence as he unlocks whole new possibilities for her.

When Cami's abusive mother overdoses and her already-broken family falls to pieces around her, dancing with Adam helps Cami pull through. But he has secrets of his own, and someone wants him found at any price. Cami gets dragged into a web of danger and deceit. Now she must make a choice between familiar darkness and uncertain light.
You can purchase Dancing with Black for Kindle here.   Special event price: .99!

Mattie’s smart and she’s in line for a college scholarship, but she’s not exactly the most popular person in school. When the hot and hunky guys at the women’s convention bread booth give out free samples to all the cutest, trendiest girls in the room, they overlook her. It’s just proof that she’s not worth their attention—she’s not a free bread girl.

What she really wants is to date Travis Banks, her high school’s soccer king. But he just can’t see past her clumsiness and frizzy hair to the real Mattie underneath, and sometimes, she can’t either. What’s it going to take for Mattie to find the free bread girl within? 
You can purchase Free Bread Girl for Kindle. Special event price: .99!
Does true love really prevail?

All Lilly Price has ever known is living in the shadow of her widely successful foster family. But when a twist of fate deals Lilly the hand of Harrison Crawford, the most popular guy in Bloomfield, NM, everything flips upside down.

Sean Benally is a hard worker, he’s funny, he’s generous, and he’s kind.  He’s also the most amazing guy Lilly has ever known. And she's totally fallen in love with him. But he’s her foster brother...

Now she must choose between the unavailable love of her life—or the guy who promises to be available forever.

You can purchase Mansfield Ranch for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

A black dragon hovered outside of Newtimber. Sianna rubbed her eyes, but the dragon was still there, clutching a round object that looked like a spotted egg. And then the egg fell, hitting the ground like an atomic bomb, sending out waves of a slow-moving fog that distorted everything it touched.

The citizens of Newtimber change. Griffins. Vampires. Zombies. Creatures from the myths of every culture come to life through the people. Even Sianna changes, her skin becoming stone hard, and she gains the ability to travel from the human realm into the dimension of the fae to battle the evil bent on taking over the world.

One person to heal a family, a town, and save the world. It seems an impossible task, but with the help of her new friends, it could happen. Right?

You can purchase Newtimber: Fractured for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid. Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone. 

But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage. 

As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares. 
You can purchase Endless for Kindle here. Special event price: $3.99 - going to .99 on the 31st!

Jenny’s had it with her life. Six siblings in an overstuffed house are enough to drive anyone crazy, and sometimes she dreams of escaping to some fantasy world. When she suddenly wakes up to find herself being kissed by a strange—but very handsome—prince, Jenny knows her life just got a lot more exciting. Now stuck in a medieval land of castles and royalty, when Jenny learns that the queen has agreed to marry her off to the prince, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a quest to find out who dragged her to this time while trying to keep from falling in love with either of the boys vying for her attention.

Princess Genevieve has only known life under her mother’s rule. She wants to do more than go to battle or deal with suitors. She wakes to find herself in a new world filled with gadgets, electricity, and moving carriages. She finally has the freedom to be who she wants to be with a family who cares deeply for her and a boy worth any sacrifice. It’s more than everything she always wanted. 

As Jenny and Genevieve settle into their new lives, they face an unknown evil which threatens everything they care about and makes them face tough questions—like who they are and what they really want their lives to become.

You can now purchase The Princess and the Prom Queen for Kindle here and print here. Special event price: $2.99 - going to .99 on the 31st!

 It’s only been a year since her divorce, so why would Jane Adamson do something as stupid as attempt to date again? Wasn’t her marriage scarring enough? The answer was simple—her kids. They worried about her and wanted to see her happy again. 

She needed to be happy . She needed to learn to trust again and feel pretty again and human again. 

As a mom of five, it was too easy to hide herself away and focus just on her kids. Who needs men, anyway? 

Join Jane in part one of a six-part journey of self-discovery, conquering the past, understanding love, and most importantly … healing, as she finds the woman she once was.

You can purchase Drowning for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!


Love Notes#1. Elahna Nezario gave up her musical dreams to help run the Queen of Hearts, her mother’s chocolate shop, after her sister’s sudden death. After an unfortunate run-in with Elahna’s childhood crush, owner of the Dolce Theater, not only do her dreams surge back to life, but so does her heart.
You can purchase Hearts in Harmony for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

Love Notes #2. Meredith Aaron lost all hope for love after a car accident put her in a wheelchair. Who would want her, broken as she is? After her brother tells her to save a dance for him at his wedding, she decides to somehow learn how to dance on the only legs she has left—her wheels.
You can purchase Waltzing on Wheels for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

Love Notes#3. Camille Clark spends her time bringing light to the memorable moments of Dolce—playing her harp at weddings, anniversaries, and even funerals. She can’t help but wonder if someone will ever play for her. Will the dark secrets of her past come to Dolce and ruin her future? Or will she find her soul mate and finally walk down that aisle?
You can purchase Healing a Broken Harp for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #1. Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends all her time helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Logan Reese is easily the most irritating man on the planet, and for some reason, he's made annoying Laurie his mission in life. Will true love ever come Laurie's way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after while she sits on the sidelines?
You can purchase And Something Blue for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #2. Cynical Morgan learned at an early age that life is just plain hard. She's decided that no one could possibly fall in love with her - all the good guys want perfect girls, and with her messed-up family, she's anything but perfect. But then along comes the guy who falls head-over-heels in love with her just as she is and helps her find the bright side of life - and a second chance for perfection.
You can purchase For Love or Money for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #3. Even though Cara has lost her childhood weight and is now composing her own music, she can't see her own beauty and she has no confidence in her talent. A bumpy relationship with her mother certainly hasn't helped. Only the right guy can help her see inside herself to the amazing person who has always been there, and to mend her frayed family ties in the face of her greatest sorrow.
You can purchase Five Golden Rings for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #4. Quinn spends all her time managing D'Angelo's Bakery - so much time, in fact, that she rarely does anything else. When things get tough for the bakery's owner and she's needed more than ever, dreams of romance and a family of her own fly out the window - but then along comes someone who shows her just how sweet life can be.
You can purchase Just Desserts for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #5. Regan spends her days working in a bookstore and her nights reading. She goes on grand romantic adventures in her head . . . but not in real life. That all changes when someone sweeps her off her feet and carries her up a mountain.
You can purchase Between the Lines for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Big dreams take strength and determination.

Cami Lockhart’s dream is on the verge of becoming a reality. Lockhart Sanctuary, a refuge for abused and confiscated cats, is what Cami has worked for her entire life. But a dream that big requires a daily commitment. Cami yearns for someone to share the dream with, and knows everyone in town thinks Alex is the perfect man for the job. There’s one problem. She wants fireworks with every kiss, not just friendship with a hint of something more.

Sometimes what you wish for is closer than you think.

Alex Reynolds shares Cami’s passion for the sanctuary, and as the head ranchhand, spends every day helping her dream come true. He longs to tell Cami she’s held his heart since childhood, but losing a lifetime of friendship is a big risk to take. Being by Cami’s side at the sanctuary is better than letting go, but Alex knows someday he’ll want more.

Risk losing everything or fight for the dreams to come true.

The sanctuary is put in jeopardy when ignored threats take a deadly turn. Cami and Alex must each choose to stand and fight, or lose everything they dream of.  Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

A Secret to Save Them All . . . 

It was whispered years ago that when a pirate cursed a Philippine village with langbuan, or flying undead, a boy received a secret that would protect him from certain death. But even armed with a secret, can anyone survive the undead for long? 

Seventeen-year-old Antonio Pulido has never known a time when the langbuan didn’t roam the streets every Ghost Moon Night, killing anyone in their path. He works hard to protect his family and the girl he loves from the deadly attacks, but he wants them stopped once and for all. Can Antonio uncover the decades-old secret and will it help him defeat the langbuan? Or will Ghost Moon Night come again and take someone he truly cares about? It falls on Antonio to save his village, but time is running out. The next Ghost Moon Night is nearly here and Antonio knows this is his last chance to destroy the undead and end their reign of terror -- or die trying. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted. 

Besides, it didn't really mean anything. After all, it was only a kiss. 

But things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. Then other girls and other boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down. 

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking about how the simplest things mean so much. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Parkview Manor has a secret, and eighteen-year-old Cynthia is curious!

When Cynthia Holt takes a job at a former sanitarium, now operating as an assisted living center, she instantly discovers something more is occurring than simply providing the elderly with housing and care. Something very strange is going on behind the locked door of Room 913!
After she is warned to stay away from the room and to not discuss it or the occupant with her co-workers, she is even more intrigued - and suspicious! Letting her curious nature guide her, she immediately begins asking questions. When she finds that Room 913 has been closed off; locked and sealed for many years, her curiosity turns to concern. Though rumors abound, no one seems inclined to talk about it.
Not giving up so easily, Cynthia persists in her pursuit until she finds out the truth - or does she? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Twelve-year-old BFFs are matchmaking geniuses. They schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. Then Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom's journals, making life totally awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals.

Ginnie is counting on Tillie's help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie's not sure the ghost of Ginnie's mom will make a good addition to their new family tree.  When a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her BFF and having her questions answered. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!
In The Darkest Hours of Addiction, A Light Shines 

When one LDS woman's husband flies off to Mexico to meet another woman, she sells his stuff and starts a new life. To support her three children, she guts part of her home to start a preschool and rents out another two rooms. 

Her life is soon filled with new friends and activities, but the new friends bring problems of their own. Is hope and healing possible as they strengthen one another and rely on the Lord? And will romance blossom again for Jessica? 

Intercession is a story of love and friendship loaded with drama, inspiration, romance, and the tenacity of three young women who find their strength in the Lord. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes.

Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name.  But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers.  Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made.  Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clichés that have been holding them back?  By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner-strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as ‘happily ever after’. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Bracken is a typical teenage boy, more interested in the angles of the girl’s exposed back teasing him from the seat ahead of him than in anything the geometry teacher could present. His life is filled with school, video games, and thoughts of girls, not necessarily in that order. Life just flows along uneventfully and unacknowledged, like the electricity that courses through the power lines — until PF (Power Failure) Day. On PF Day, the sun strikes Bracken’s world with an unseen surge of electromagnetic fury, which cripples power stations and burns transformers to crispy nuggets of regret. 
No one in Bracken’s world had ever thought about how much they depended on electrical power, but now, without it, they are plunged into survival mode. Bracken soon realizes how lucky he is to live on a farm in the Midwest. What seemed like a dull and backwards life before is now the greatest chance for survival in what seems like a powerless world. Food, water, and heat are readily available, although hard work is required to make use of them. Bracken and his family must learn to survive like their ancestors, who settled their land. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

When eight parade floats explode during the annual Fourth of July celebrations, Agent Chris Harmer must find who planted the bombs before the terrorists strike again. His troubles aren't isolated to terrorism. Chris falls in love with the FBI's feisty psychiatrist, Alexis Osborne. She won't commit to someone who doesn't share her religious values, and Chris has no desire to convert. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $0.99!

At forty years of age, I was impoverished and severely addicted to tobacco cigarettes. I could not even afford a decent birthday gift for my dear friend Cathy I had met online years earlier. In this book, I tell the story of how my friend turned my makeshift present for her into a gift of life for me. I tell how I overcame my addiction gradually. I share tips, photos, and more! If you have ever said, "I wish I could quit smoking," or "I wish I could cut back," I hope you will read this book. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Professor Miri Keeler's life is perfect, and she knows just the sort of man she wants to share it with.  When she meets a genie who's willing to grant her a favor, she uses her wish to get the attention of her crush, poet Jamison Arbor.  But has the genie's magic missed its target? Miri suddenly has the attention of both Jamison and Alex, an attractive maintenance man.  How will she know which is the right match for her, or what's real and what's magic? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

At twelve-years of age, Maddy Richards has everything she needs in life – good friends, a loving mother, and a home she loves. When her mother announces that she's getting married, Maddy's seemingly perfect world is rocked to the core, but when she discovers that not only that her mother is getting married and she'll have a new dad, but there's another, even more world rocking change planned, Maddy, thinking there's no way out of her predicament, forges a plan that she's sure will put a stop to at least one of these sudden changes in her life. 

With her best friend Hannah in tow, Maddy embarks on a journey, hoping that will prompt her mother and new husband-to-be to change their minds, but a horrific storm is about to complicate matters further. What looked like a solution suddenly becomes more of a problem. 

Maddy will have to gather her resolve and determine if she's ready to trust God, regardless of what is happening, and let life unfold as it should, even if that means her life will never be the same again. 

Book One of The Madeleine Richards Series, "Rebellion in Riversleigh", a Tween Christian fiction book, is a must read for girls aged ten to thirteen, who are looking for a heart-warming story, full of adventure, personal struggle, and Christian values.  Purchase here. Special promotional price: FREE!

Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human.

An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own? Purchase here. Special promotional price: $2.99!

Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed—or cursed—with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.

Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not just Abby’s life at stake. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Three magical romances in one collection 
Pete & Tink: Pete Pancerella loves two things in life: Video games and Spongy Cremes. He's happy, content, and he's also a geek. All that is about to change when his mother wishes upon a star and Tink answers the call. But will it take more than a five-and-a-half inch faery to whip this manga-loving goofball into shape? 
Loving Marigold 
Young Marigold Yarrow has a secret. She’s also in love with Jack Mahoney. In the middle of her ninth grade year, Jack's family up and moves to Port Fare, New York, leaving the small town of Sugar Maple, West Virginia - and Marigold - far behind. 
Nine years later Jack and Marigold meet again. They join forces to weed out the shady Abbott boys. The unscrupulous brothers are illegally selling moonshine near her home on Sugar Maple Ridge. And they'll do anything to get Marigold to leave the ridge. Anything. But this time it could be magic that tears Jack and Marigold apart. 
Angel in a Black Fedora Ciel Björk died a tragic death...but she got over it.Now she works as an undercover angel, answering people’s prayers. 
Chloe is obsessed with achieving perfection to please her unpleaseable father. Chloe’s BFF Austin Powers will do anything to support her in achieving her goal, including helping her win the heart of Bridger Reed. 
Ciel is sent to the sleepy little town of Port Fare, New York to help turn Chloe’s dreams into reality. Ciel soon learns that things are not as simple as they seem as secrets are revealed. 
Angel in a Black Fedora is the newest book by best selling author Sherry Gammon. A funny and touching tale of life and its challenges. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $1.99!

Whitney Award Finalist for 2014 General Fiction
Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law's hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly's own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family--or herself--from falling apart.

Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman's faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland's realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman's struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Alissia Roswell had worked hard to overcome her past, and she took immense pride in her independence. Just when she thought she was truly satisfied with her life, she wakes up to find herself in another reality. As she searches for answers, her body begins to change in mysterious ways, and for the first time in her life, she is forced to rely upon others. As everything spins out of her control and danger lurks around every corner, her heart begins to betray her, and her mind haunts her with memories of her past. 

Join Alissia on her perilous quest full of adventure, magic, and romance as she travels the challenging road of finding one self, maybe even love along the way. Purchase here. Special promotional price: FREE!

There’s no way I’m taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of our friends is over, I’m resigning as VP. Really.
Except people say the fire was no accident.
(I say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When I read the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, I know what it means. To get to the truth I have to come out from under my paisley comforter.
But, seriously, what stage of grief says I have to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe I’m the one who’s broken. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $3.99!
Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family. 
Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding. 

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Enslaved when invaders take over Alasia, ten-year-old Anya discovers ways to spy on the enemy and slip information to the resistance. But then Anya uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family and is confronted by a stranger who seems to know her secrets. Holding her life in his hands, he claims to have proof that her father was involved in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

2014 Whitney Award Finalist in Romance
After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

She had never been loved before. He thought he would never love again.

Zeke never imagined he wouldn’t marry the pretty girl from his village. It was as good as done—until she fell in love with someone else during the war. Captain Helaman’s estate in the city is the perfect refuge, far from pitying eyes and nosy village women. But though time has healed his battle wounds, it hasn’t bound up his broken heart.

Abandoned and alone in the world, Eliza asked Uncle Helaman to take her in. She has everything she could want at her new home on the grand estate—everything but the attention of Helaman’s handsome guard. When Helaman sends her on a journey with the brooding Ezekiel, she’s determined to find out what makes him so sad, but in her search for the girl who broke Zeke’s heart, Eliza has to find a way to guard her own. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Starting at a new high school is hard, especially as a senior. At age 17, Derek moves with his family from North Carolina to Utah. Derek learns about the unwritten laws of dating in Utah, and that his mom and dad have a history at his new school—a history that threatens his future. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.
At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.
Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Sixteen-year-old Macy is not your average teenager--she's a member of the Chosen, an elite group of gifted and magically talented children responsible for protecting humans from the monsters of the Hidden race. But when the Shard of the Ninth Chosen arrives at her Watcher's door with the deadly Shadow Wraiths in hot pursuit, her world is shaken. The Ninth is to lead the Final Battle against the evil forces of the Dark. And when that Ninth turns out to be Tolen Parks, a clueless seventeen-year-old who  has no idea he's anything other than a freak, she figures the world is a gonner. The two of them are swept down a dangerous path that tests everything that Macy is . . . and brings out everything that Tolen can be. Amidst monsters and Radia Warriors, the pair must discover who they really are and face the heart of darkness in order to find victory . . . and their destinies. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Though Angela Donovan is out of work and needs money for rent, she yearns for her eight-year-old daughter to have a carefree holiday. The last thing she wants is the pressure of her daughter expecting a miracle. But when they pick out a Christmas tree at a cozy Massachusetts tree farm that’s exactly what happens when they learn the trees might be miracle trees. 

Mark Shafer is soon to be the new keeper of the Christmas trees when he inherits the family farm. He’d like to run it with a family of his own, but his girlfriend wants nothing to do with farm life. He makes plans to sell so he can propose to his girlfriend and pursue a career in music. Then he meets an unforgettable customer and her daughter, and an anonymous gift compels them to learn the truth about the trees. 

With a buyer willing to pay top dollar for the land, Mark has the fate of the trees in his hand. Will he be able to see what and who is most important? And will Angela give the miracle of love a chance? Purchase here. Special promotional price: $2.99!

Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life and boyfriend back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!
Readers will be delighted with nine sweet, contemporary romance novelettes in Sweet & Sassy: Hidden Identities. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again.

THE BEST OF ME by Paige Timothy, SECOND-HAND HEARTS by Jo Noelle, FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHOICE by Lindzee Armstrong, HACKED by Stephanie Connelley Worlton, TO LOVE AND PROTECT by Ruth Roberts, CLOSING TIME by Candice N. Toone, SINK OR SWIM by Laura D. Bastian, WRITE AND WRONG by Kaye P. Clark, UNDERCOVER LOVER by James C. Duckett. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $2.99!

What happened in Vegas should stay there, not follow Amanda home, newly wedded to the man who broke her heart.

After celebrating college graduation with her friends in Las Vegas, Amanda St. Claire wakes up with a terrible hangover and a ring on her finger. Her day gets worse when she finds out she's married to rich playboy Blake Worthington—the guy she has loathed the past four years. Amanda convinces Blake to legally terminate the marriage and they both return home like nothing ever happened. That is, until Blake shows up on her doorstep and Amanda has to come clean with her family.

Together for better or worse while the legalities are cleared, Amanda reluctantly plays along, but then the unthinkable happens---she finds herself falling in love with Blake.

Can they overcome the past? Or will it end their future before it even starts? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Brynn Sawyer is a successful project manager in Houston. When her best friend from high school convinces Brynn to attend their ten-year reunion, Brynn hopes she’ll have the chance to reconnect with Troy Richards, the guy who stole her heart back in middle school.

Craig Dawson, an attorney in San Diego, is in a relationship that’s going nowhere and wonders why he can’t seem to commit. When he sees Brynn at their reunion, he thinks he might finally understand why. The only problem—she’s still infatuated with Troy what’s-his-name.

Will Brynn find the love she seeks with Troy, or will she realize the best kind of love has always been right in front of her? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Alexa Fulbright doesn’t expect the man she’s been trying to forget for the past 7 years to show up on assignment from the FBI…and she really doesn’t expect him to kiss her. 

Sam Dubois doesn’t want to be on this assignment, even though he requested it. He doesn’t want to see Alexa and he definitely doesn’t want to put away the thug she calls her boyfriend…but most things in life aren’t fair when it comes to her. 

After Sam shows Alexa proof that her boyfriend is a drug dealer with connections to the Columbian cartel, she refuses to believe it. Until a gun is pointed at her head and ‘said boyfriend’ puts a bullet in Sam’s shoulder. 

Now Sam has to get her out of dodge and Alexa has to make a choice—face the past or live a lie that could destroy her and everyone she’s ever loved. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

For the last six years, Siri has sought a way to fulfill a vow made during the last hours of her beloved mother's life. Faced with an unwanted betrothal, she knows any chance to honor her mother's request is dwindling. 

Risking her life to escape the arranged marriage, she unwittingly triggers an ancient elven curse. Death and destruction will begin with the rise of the next full moon. The only recourse is restoring an ancient talisman to the elves. But pleas to return it go unanswered.

Siri's journey plunges her into a land of mystical creatures, some terrifying, some fascinating. As she begins to lose her heart to one very handsome Master Archer, his valley spirals toward irreversible ruin. Siri begins to wonder if she holds the key and how one lowly human could ever make a difference in a strange land of myth and magic. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Stranded 225 million kilometers from home on Mars Station, cousins Jake O’Brien and Lorina Murphy are drawn into a fledgling effort to help the hundreds of abandoned street children who call the station home. Jake becomes a medical apprentice in an outreach clinic, while Lorina volunteers at a juvenile shelter. They soon discover that their efforts may be in vain because something much more serious than poverty plagues Mars Station.

Also stranded on Mars Station, ship’s captain Danae Shepherd faces the difficult task of hiring replacement crew after an alien virus claims the lives of four in her employ, including her husband. She stumbles upon the same problem that has Jake and Lorina stumped: why are homeless children disappearing without a trace? Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!
Twenty-one-year-old Emma Matthews lost the song in her heart the same night she lost her dad. With an unfulfilled promise and an ultimatum shadowing her junior year of college, maybe it’s better that way. You can’t hurt if you can’t feel. 

But when the reflection she sees in musician Riley Preston’s eyes borders dangerously close to the one she’s spent the last five years searching for, Emma discovers her walls can’t guard her heart from its fiercest desire. Terrified of what she’s experiencing, and even more afraid of what she might lose, Emma grapples for the courage to hold on to one dream without abandoning the promise of another. 

Contemporary New Adult Romance novel Eyes Unveiled lets you relive those heartfelt moments when you don’t know how you’d survive a day without your best friend, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you’re supposed to do with your life, and when falling in love changes everything. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $3.99!

When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. 

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. But Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic. 

Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped. Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck. Purchase here. Special promotional price: $0.99!

Young cavalryman Carl Owen returns from the Civil War to find the family farm destroyed, his favorite brother dead, food scarce, and his father determined to leave the Shenandoah Valley to build a cattle empire in Colorado Territory. Crossing the continent, Carl falls in love with his brother's fiancée while set to wed another girl, but he might lose everything if the murderous thug Berto Acosta has his way. Carl battles a band of outlaws, a prairie fire, blizzards, a trackless waterless desert, and his own brother—all for the hand of feisty Ellen Bates. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!


Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling. 

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart. 

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth. 

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren't enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right. 

What Louie didn't count on was Megan's friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they're by her side to pick her back up again. 

When Megan learns about Louie's ultimate plan for her family, it's a race against time to stop him before he destroys everything she cares about. Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

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