December 31, 2015

For the Love of Suzanne by Kristi Hudecek Ashwill

Recently widowed from her abusive husband, Beau, Suzanne found herself magically transported to New Mexico in the yer 1860. She met an Indian agent, Cody Black Fox, who helped her out of her burning car.

As she got lost in the wrong place at the wrong time, Suzanne found herself falling in love with Cody who was falling just as much in love with her. Though Cody wanted to keep her for himself, he knew the right thing to do was to help her go back to where she came from, wherever that was. So, with a gang of Chiricahua warriors after them, Cody led Suzanne all the way to Arizona where, he thought, she would better be off.

Ultimately, this is a story of mutual selfless love; the kind of love that gives without taking any and that which does without expecting anything in return. This is a love story that makes a reader wish the same for herself.

However, there were several scenes that are too gruesome and gory for my taste. I believe though that those were the ways of the time and the author simply and successfully brought them out in her novel.

Congratulations Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill (@khudecek) for a wonderful book! Good luck!

Click HERE to view For the Love of Suzanne in my bookshelf at Online Book Club.

November 18, 2015

Didn't Know Twitter Can Be So Much Fun

I know that sounds so old news ,but I was born in the mid 70's, so cut me some slack.

Though I put up my twitter account about a couple of years ago I was never active. I only had 5 followers (I don't have anything to say to anybody anyway), and I only follow the news, the weather report and the department of education (plus those who follow me). Then Online Book Club happened and I suddenly felt the need to connect with other people. Since I decided to be a book reviewer, I started to follow authors, book promoters, fellow reviewers and former co-bloggers. Now, my once boring account is filled with colorful book covers, funny and sometimes satirical quotes and interesting facts. I just realized that there are so many things to see  on twitter and not just some acquaintances who post their last visit to Starbucks. 

Before, I just open my account like every 3 months, now, I open it 3 times a day to check out what's going on around the world. Naive? Ignorant? Jologs? Whatever. I'm having fun and that's all I have to say about that.. (to borrow from Forrest Gump)

By the way, you may follow me at @kimmyschemy06.

November 13, 2015

Been Busy Lately

Yes. I've been.

First, I finally learned to crochet bolero jackets and I've been having so much fun trying out new designs. Second, I also started making crocheted coin purses, which, in case you want to know, I post on my Facebook page Kim's Crochet and Bead Purses. You may want to check it out.

Finally, as I mentioned in my last post, I am now on and having a grand time reading new books by independent writers. In fact, I've already written 2 book reviews: Ivory Wild by Lady Elizabeth Tullos and The Gray Lady of Long Branch: If Walls Could Talk by Maura Satchell. You may want to take some time to look at it. If you want to read more book reviews, visit

Life is so much fun when you're doing something you're passionate about. 

October 31, 2015

I'm On Online Book Club

I've always been a bookworm, and a proud one. I started with The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and White Fang by Jack London. Then I got obsessed with Sweet Valley High Series, which unfortunately I wasn't able to read all. In college I got fascinated with suspense and mystery and started hounding the book stores for Sidney Sheldon, horror and went after Stephen King, but still clung to the classics and read Jane Austen, George Elliot, Louisa May Alcott, LM montgomery, Charles Dickens and others. By then, reading wasn't just a hobby or 'something else' to do. It became a need, a way of life, something I do because it's part of who and what I am. 

Late in college I joined a writing contest in my university and bagged the third place for short story category, not bad for a first timer (not counting of course the very short stories I fiddled with in high school). Then, several years ago, I put up a blog (which later on became five) and for a time featured original stories, both fiction and non-fiction. I even earned a little money writing paid posts for advertisers. It was fun but eventually came to end. I closed down all of my five blogs and put up a new one where I transferred some of my treasured stories. This is that blog, which I update every once in a while.

Recently, I discovered a site where I can get books for free in exchange for honest reviews, the The site is amazing, simply a haven for book lovers. It is a place where you can join forums about books you read or those you wish to read in the future. For a bookworm like myself, it is a treasure trove, a pot of gold, an infinite stream of reading materials, a dreamland where you would like to go and stay in forever but only if you have passion for reading and a knack for writing. 

It is a place for authors who like their works to be reviewed and promoted, where their masterpieces will be treated with respect and be evaluated fairly. This is where aspiring writers will be given a chance to show what they got. Needless to say I want to be a part of all this. 

It may be slow, too slow in fact, of me to realize it but this is what I like to do, to read to my heart's content and write about what I read. Now that I am a book reviewer at I am looking forward to an enjoyable reading experience. 

So, visit the site and be as thrilled as I am. See you there!

September 15, 2015

Been Resting

I know it has been quite a while since I posted an entry. All I can say is that I have been resting. It has been a few months since the discovery and removal of my 'lump' and it took longer (than other people say is usual) for my surgical wound to heal that I panicked and began to feel scared 'again'. The doctor had my blood sugar tested to find out whether I am diabetic, but luckily, it turned out normal so there is no other reason why my healing process was slow than just exactly that, it is slow.

After several weeks, 4 bottles of Betadine,  an entire tube of antibiotic and lots and lots of gauze, it finally closed and dried up. there are times, though, that it feels painful but the doctor says it's normal and that I should expect it to feel that way, probably, for as long as I live. 

For now, I'm happy to be alive and strong. Hopefully, I will be back to my regular posting very soon.

July 24, 2015

Biggest Scare in 40 Years

I felt the lump in my breast on May 31. It was 1:00 in the morning. My initial reaction was 'Oh no! It can't be..' Denial, right? So, I shrugged it off and hoped that it would go away. 

Well, it didn't.

That night, I felt for it again. Uh-oh! still there! I realized then that I had to take this... thing seriously. But still, I hoped it would go away. The following night, IT WAS STILL THERE.

I began to feel scared. What if it's cancer? What if I'm dying pretty soon? What if... Oh my God! Oh my God! 

The truth is I'm open to the idea of dying. I know that anybody can die anytime of the day or night. Now, PAIN.. that's another story. To say I don't like pain is an understatement. I hate pain. My tolerance for pain is very low. What is painful to other people is very very painful to me.

So, as I lay on my bed contemplating the idea, I started to cry. Really cry. Not my usual eyes-watering or tears-slowly-rolling-down-my cheeks cry. I wept. But not because of the idea of pain or of dying, but because of the idea that I may be leaving my children sooner than I would want to. It tore my heart apart to think that my kids might witness my pain and suffering. 

I love my kids dearly. I would do everything to spare them of such agony. I wouldn't want to break their hearts from seeing me suffer and, ultimately, die, if I would, indeed, die anytime soon. 

That's when I decided that if I go down, it wont be without a fight. If there is any way I could survive this ordeal, in case there will be an ordeal, I'll do it.  

But the thing is.. I'm not a fighter. I never want to fight anyone or anything. I don't think I have it in me. Submitting has always been an easier option for me than arguing or pushing or nagging. I'm not a warrior. I'm just an ordinary woman who laughs, cries, pees, poos, farts and watches tv series. But for the sake of my kids, I will do the first and basic of steps, I WILL HAVE THIS LUMP CHECKED. 

After procrastinating for a few hours, I finally packed the courage to go to the doctor's clinic. The doctor is actually a pediatrician who has checked on my children through the years that we became personal acquaintances and though we are not, technically, friends, we are friendly. So, when she asked why I was there, I said  'I have.. ahhh.. I think.. I felt a lump in my left breast' in my most casual tone. 

The doctor asked me to unstrap my bra and felt for the lump herself. The grim expression on my doctor's usually friendly and smiling face after a series of presses all over my left and right breasts confirmed my fear. She felt it too. 

She told me to sit down and said she felt a lump and that she would write a referral for me to her colleague, a surgeon, in East Avenue Medical Center. She asked me if I have any relative who has or had cancer. I nearly denied that my father died of cancer 11 years ago, and that two of his sisters died of cancer, too. But I was perfectly aware that it wouldn't do me any good, so I told her the truth. She handed me the referral and said not to waste time which  for me meant.. the odds were against me.

When the doctor finally called for me in his clinic the following day, I was already what they call.. a bag of nerves. I gave him the referral and he went to work right away. He felt for the lump my doctor-friend mentioned in the referral and asked me to sit down. He confirmed that a lump was indeed there and that the next thing to be done was to have it biopsied to find out whether it was benign or malignant. He explained that I could choose between needle biopsy and excision biopsy. The former means inserting a needle into the lump and get a sample while the latter means cutting a small opening on my left breast to remove the lump to be taken to a pathologist. After learning the advantages and disadvantages of both, I chose excision biopsy and since I already had some money with me, I asked the doctor if I can have the surgery right then and he was okay with that. Then, as an afterthought, I asked him what is next if my lump turns out to be malignant. He said I could choose between removal of a quarter of my left breast and removal of my entire left breast. Pros and cons? Leaving three quarters of my left breast means there is still a chance that a new lump might grow. Okay. The entire left breast then, if in case.  

The moment I felt the first slash of the scalpel on my skin I suddenly remembered that I forgot to mention to the doctor one important thing, I am hypertensive. So, I struggled so hard to keep myself calm because the moment I panic my blood pressure would surely shoot up and I might die of stroke without finding out whether I have cancer or not. I started to sing in my head, then thought of my newest crochet project, a green and gold bed sheet for my eldest daughter, then I started to think of another project, an amigurumi of Baymax, then a bolero for my other daughter, a hooded jacket for myself. When the surgery was finished, I already had about a dozen crochet projects lined up.   

The doctor showed me my lump which is the size (and the color) of a grape. A big one. The big oval one with big bitter seed. Then he also asked me if I have a relative who has or had cancer, so I told him about all three of them. Then he asked me how they are now. I answered him in my most hopeless tone that they are all dead. And yes, of cancer.

Probably trying to make me feel better and hopeful, he said that I'm still young and that I look strong enough and that I will definitely respond well to treatment... JUST in case my lump is malignant. Then he wrote on the endorsement letter to be attached to the jar, where my lump was put, a note that says 't/c breast CA' which I interpreted as 'to be considered for breast cancer'. Nice.

I gave my jar to the Pathology Department and was told that the result will be available after 7-10 days. Then I walked out of the hospital.

I cried all the way home. And the entire night. And the next three days. On the fourth day I started to feel better. The fifth day I began to feel brave and bold and considered some cancer treatments (just in case). The sixth day I felt like my normal self, happy and loud. The seventh day I was back to day one, jittery and nervous. I called the Pathology Department first to find out if my result was already available. It was.

I went back to the hospital with my eldest daughter (to catch me in case I get to faint). I reached for the envelope with trembling hands. I made sure I was comfortable on the chair when I opened it. There were so many words on it which described my lump. I read them all for the sake of reading and finally came to the part that says 'There is no evidence of malignancy seen in the specimen evaluated'.

I felt my chest expand. I was happy. No, I was more than happy. I was blissful.   

I waited for my doctor and gave him my result. He congratulated me but said he was not comfortable with the result. He said it was up to me but it would make him feel better if I get a second opinion. Well, it seems like he was so convinced that my lump would turn out malignant and he was having a hard time accepting that it wasn't. 

So, my bubble was burst and I went home with a seed of doubt in my heart. I reread my result but instead of happiness and assurance, I felt fear.. AGAIN.

I went back to the hospital and did what my doctor told me to do. I waited for another week and got the result 'No malignancy is evident'. That night after thanking the Lord for the hundredth time, I finally slept soundly.  

*For two weeks, the longest two weeks of my life so far, I pray to the Lord every single day and night. This was what I asked of him: 'Please, don't let me die yet. And if I really will die pretty soon, give me the courage to face it and accept it. Take care of my kids and help them deal with it' I would never know whether the Lord answered my prayer or it simply went the way it should be. One thing I'm sure of, though, is that GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME.