Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – She Passed By – Karen Ingalls


Welcome to the third and last post in the series of posts from Karen Ingalls’s archives. In this post Karen pays tribute to an elderly friend who passed away after a gracious life well-lived.

She Passed By – Karen Ingalls.

The more one lives, the easier it is to die.

A very special lady made her passage in the wee hours this morning. She took her last breath peacefully though physically alone, she was surrounded by angels and heavenly loved ones. She lived life to its fullest; her life was complete.

I did not know this fine lady very well though I met her for the first time about 20 years ago. She was gracious and kind to me, welcoming me into her life with a smile and pleasant word though the circumstances were difficult for both of us.

I saw her at family functions; had brief but loving conversations; and a smile never left her face nor mine. She was genuinely interested in learning about me.

If you could choose to come back for a period of time, what length would you choose? One year, ten years, a hundred years?

I knew her best through her daughter and grandchildren…she was a wonderful role model to them and they are each examples of her love and spirit.

Over the years her independence declined from independent living, to assisted, and then to a nursing home. When family came to visit she would say, “Please pray for me that I might die in my sleep.” With each morning she questioned why she was still here on earth. The answer often was, “Because God still needs you here.”

The more complete our life is, there is less anger or fear of death.

I believe she had these last weeks and months to teach us:

  • That there not be fear in dying.
  • That we each have a role to make the passage of the dying smooth and easy.
  • That love and forgiveness are the major lessons in life for each of us to learn.
  • And that dying is the natural part of living.

At 3:00 in the morning, my husband awoke with strong thoughts and memories of this gracious lady who had touched his life so deeply. This was just one hour after she died. He said, “Ardelle passed by.”

A young man dying of leukemia said, “I don’t think people are afraid of death. What they are afraid of is the incompleteness of life.”

This is a celebration and tribute to Ardelle and other people I knew who have passed on and passed by. Each of them have left their footprint on me. I have learned from them and hopefully when I pass on those left behind will feel my footprint.

So a little bit like in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” the bells are ringing…Ardelle earned her angel wings on earth.

If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do this, I will live forever.

My thanks to Ann Landers, Lisl Marburg Goodman, Linda Deutsch, Bill Newcott, and the family of Ardelle Bryntesen.

©Karen Ingalls.

My thanks to Karen for sharing this story of a woman who lived a wonderful life and clearly left behind wonderful memories of her life for those that she met.

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

The most recent review for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a long-time ovarian cancer survivor, I found this book, which I purchased from the author, to be well-written, an excellent guide to help others cope with the cancer roller coaster ride, and a heartfelt personal story. I highly recommend it to all those who have been touched by cancer. Marcia Mabee

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

I am now looking for festive posts for December from your Christamas’s Past… Please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

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Smorgasbord Post from Your Archives – Who Packs Your Parachute by Karen Ingalls.


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Time for the next post from the archives of author Karen Ingalls. We all need someone who has our back, is by our side and who has our best interests at heart and can be relied on at any time.

Who Packs Your Parachute by Karen Ingalls.

I have never parachuted from a plane…nor do I want to. Sky jumping or diving is not on my bucket list. However, there is a deep message from the question,

“Who packs your parachute?”

Did you know that there is an exact and precise way to store the parachute? One step done incorrectly could mean the parachute will not open or will do incorrectly. This is a life or death matter. So who or what brings a sense of safety or peace into your life? Who or what protects you? Who or what do you rely on? There was a time in my life when I was a teenager, I relied on my dad for safety and protection. Though I did not live with him I knew he was only a phone call away.

And, one day at 17 years old I made the phone call and he got a traffic ticket when speeding to get to me. During my junior year of high school while living with my dad, two people began to pack my parachute. One was a classmate named Judie, who introduced me to God by inviting me to the youth group at her church. She was always with me talking about God and listening to my fears. I chose to be baptized one year later.

The second person was Arleigh Castle, a neighbor and my role model. I adopted her as my “aunt” which she still is today at the age of 92. She listened to me and carefully advised me helping me to pack my parachute correctly. God has never left my side nor have I left His. I completely put my trust in Him as He guides who I choose to be a part of my life.

Whose advice will I listen to? Who can I confide in? Who do I trust? If I keep God as the Master Packer of my parachute, then those helping Him will guarantee that my parachute will open and I will land on earth safely.

Here is a true story that you might have heard or read before. But it is a powerful one and well worth hearing/reading again.

Captain J. Charlie Plumb is a former prisoner of war and a sought after achievement speaker. His presentations deal with the importance of inner strength to overcome challenges. Charlie Plumb discusses how people can become imprisoned by fear of failure, blaming others and self-pity. Charlie Plumb is the author of two books, I’m No Hero and The Last Domino. Book Charles Plumb at Speakers.com.

Just as in my journey with cancer, I have trusted Dr. Matthew Boente and Dr. Robert Holloway to “pack my parachute” with the best medical care. Their nurses and staff have been phenomenal. My newer journey as an author has been guided by some very remarkable people: Amy Quale, Dara Beevas, Jay Monroe, Ruth Fisher, and those at Beaver’s Pond Press. All of them have put encouragement, support, and help in my parachute. I have landed on both feet safely with the publication of three books.

Image: Pinterest

©Karen Ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing this story of her own discovery of the importance of having a parachute packer who always has your best interests at heart. And for sharing the story of Captain Charles Plumb.

Connect to Karen via her blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

 

The most recent review for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

As a long-time ovarian cancer survivor, I found this book, which I purchased from the author, to be well-written, an excellent guide to help others cope with the cancer roller coaster ride, and a heartfelt personal story. I highly recommend it to all those who have been touched by cancer. Marcia Mabee

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here and I will feature your books and most recent review in the post. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

Thank you for stopping by today and we would love to hear your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A Smile and A Hello by Karen Ingalls


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

And it is a warm welcome to author Karen Ingalls who will be sharing posts from her archives for the next few weeks.

A Smile and A Hello by Karen Ingalls.

In the past I have written about gratitude and chains, which leads me to share this beautiful true story. I hope you will be inspired, learn something, and it will change your life (and perhaps another person’s life) for the better.

One Sunday morning Robert was patiently waiting for his wife to join him near the entrance to their church. As he stood there and looked around, he saw a man standing nearby who appeared to have just come from the nearby woods. Robert walked up to the man with a smile on his face and said, “Hello.”

The man shifted his position and looked around before saying hello to Randy.

“My name is Robert. Would you like to come in with me for a cup of coffee?”

The man stepped back a little and shook his head as he whispered, “No, thank you.”

“Well, I would love to have you come in and join me. I am waiting for my wife who is over there talking to those people.” Robert pointed towards his wife, Danielle a few yards away.

“The coffee is free and you just might like it. It will warm you up on this chilly morning.”

The man again shook his head, turned, and walked back into the woods.

The next Sunday, Robert saw the same man standing near the entrance to the woods. He went up to him, extended his hand and said, “Hey, man. It is good to see you again.”

The man smiled a little and shook Robert’s hand and said, “My name is Mike.”

That morning Mike did go into the church and had a cup of coffee. The following week he sat in the church next to Robert and his wife.

Over the next weeks and months, Mike shared how he became homeless, that he was from England but had lived in the U.S. for several years, was well educated, and still had contact with his mother in England.

Mike was very thin and Robert and Danielle were concerned for his health. They took him into their home, fed and clothed him, and found medical care for him. They set him up with whatever financial and community support programs available to him.

There was another parishioner at the same church, Phil whose wife had passed away six months prior to Robert and Mike meeting. Phil and his wife had been long time members of the church. He was quite lonely and felt overwhelmed living in such a big house for one person. When he met Mike at church a kinship developed and soon Mike was living in one of the spare bedrooms in Phil’s house.

When I heard this story, I could not help but recall the previous two blogs: gratitude and chains. We each probably have so much to be grateful for: our homes, food, clothing, health, etc. And it is my hope that we can break the chains that are holding us back.

Thanks to Robert, Danielle, and Phil the chains that kept Mike homeless were broken.

AND IT ALL STARTED WITH A SMILE AND A HELLO!! WE EACH CAN DO THIS…WE JUST MIGHT HELP A PERSON IN NEED

©Karen Ingalls 2016

My thanks to Karen for reminding us that sometimes a smile can make all the difference in the world to someone else, and can be life changing.

About Karen Ingalls

I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com and http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com). The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards. The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.

Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized how little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 22, 2017 Harmony Kent rated it it was amazing

Outshine is an Oavarian Cancer survivor’s memoir full of inspiration and hope. The author shares her journey from diagnosis to cure and the part her strong faith played in that process. This book would prove useful for those suffering from cancer as well as their caregivers and significant others. One line I love is, ‘… attitude, acceptance, and determination are important factors in healing the body, mind, and spirit.’ The writer learnt many life lessons along the way and shares these unashamedly for the reader’s benefit. At the end of the book, the author includes helpful questions, signs and symptoms, and a list of resources. Well written and honest, this is a book that can find a place on any shelf.

Read all the reviews and and buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI/

 ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen

Blog: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/
Website: http://www.outshineovariancancer.com
Website: http://www.kareningallsbooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls
LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-ingalls

Thank you for dropping in today and Karen would love to hear your feedback on this story.

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

N.B. The slots for November are already filling up. If you have Christmas stories, posts on food, relationships, humour etc then please let me have them soon. Even if it is only one that is fine. You can always share other posts later.

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Top to Toe -Female Reproductive System- OUTSHINING OVARIAN CANCER by Karen Ingalls


Smorgasbord Health 2017

This was first published last year but it is a message that is important and should be repeated regularly. My thanks to Karen for sharing her story and also the symptoms all women should be aware of.

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the reproductive system. Karen is an ovarian cancer survivor and therefore supremely qualified to write this article.. The post carries an important message about understanding how our bodies work and how we should be on the alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary.

OUTSHINING OVARIAN CANCER  by Karen Ingalls.

photo-on-2-14-16-at-139-pm-crop-u6133I am a retired registered nurse and had very limited education about gynecological diseases and cancers. From working in hospice I only knew that ovarian cancer is the deadliest one of all gynecologic cancers. My journey and initial diagnosis with ovarian cancer is not an unusual one.

I had gained a few pounds and developed a protruding stomach, both of which were unusual for me since I had always bordered on being underweight. When my weight continued to increase, I began an aggressive exercise and weight-loss program. I never considered these changes to be anything more than normal postmenopausal aging.

I saw my gynecologist for my routine PAP smear, which only determines the presence of cancer cells in the cervix. She could not get the speculum into my vagina and when she palpated my abdomen she felt a mass. I was rushed to get a CT scan, which revealed a very large tumor in my left lower abdomen. Two days later I had an appointment with a gynecologic-oncology surgeon for an evaluation.

A week later I had a hysterectomy by the gynecologic-oncology surgeon from which I learned the tumor was malignant. It is critically important that such a specialist in this field of oncology perform the surgery. They are experts and know what to look for and how to safely remove any tumors.

My surgery involved removing the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, omentum, ten lymph glands for microscopic investigation, and ten inches of my colon where the tumor had grown into. I am blessed that there were no cancer cells in my lymph glands or other organs. Two weeks later I was then started on chemotherapy for six rounds.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are subtle and common to many women so they are often ignored or attributed to something more benign. Most physicians do not consider the possibility of the presenting symptoms to be related to ovarian cancer. Often the woman is sent from one specialist to another, which I call the “Gilda Radner Syndrome.” With each passing day the cancer is growing and putting the woman at greater risk of being at a more terminal stage.

These are the most common symptoms:

*Abdominal bloating
*Pain in abdomen
*Low back pain
*Frequency of urination
*Changes in bowel habits
*Increased indigestion or change in appetite.
*Pain with intercourse
*Fatigue
*Unusual vaginal discharges
*Menstrual irregularities

If a woman experiences any of these symptoms for two weeks, it is recommended that she see her gynecologist and insist on an abdominal ultrasound and a CA125. The only laboratory-screening test currently available is a CA125 blood test, which unfortunately has a high incidence of false positives. We women need to be our own advocates and demand these inexpensive tests.

If the ultrasound and possibly a CT, MRI, or PET scans reveal a tumor, then in my opinion the woman must see a gynecologic oncologist. Typically the woman undergoes a debulking surgery, which is a complete hysterectomy and removal of any lymph nodes or any suspicious surrounding tissue or organs. The only way to accurately determine if cancer is present is through specimen testing of the tissue.

The risk factors are:

*Family or self-history of breast, colon, ovarian, or prostate cancers
*Eastern Jewish heritage (Ashkenazi)
*History of infertility drugs
*Never been pregnant
*BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 positive mutation
*Older than 60

I was staged at IIC and given a 50% chance of surviving 5 years. I had no family history of ovarian cancer and only one relative who had had breast cancer. I did not fit the typical criteria, and the BRCA1 and BRCA2 markers were negative for mutation. So the question, “Why did I get ovarian cancer?” remains unanswered and it is actually not an important one any longer.

The word cancer creates fear in everyone either mildly or extremely. Yet so often the things we fear are never as great as the fear itself. As a young person I had learned from my grandmother and adopted aunt that attitude, acceptance, and determination are the keys to facing a fear and to healing the body, mind, and spirit. Those women were, and still are today, w strong role models for me. They taught me about living a healthy lifestyle, which included a belief in God, exercise, good nutrition, positive thinking, healthy touch and meditation. These lifestyle choices had helped me face childhood abuse, divorce, alcoholic parents, and untimely deaths, and now they have helped me live with cancer.

I prefer to use the word challenge instead of problem, test, or trial. I like the word challenge because I envision positivity, learning, growing, and putting my best efforts forward. I did not think about being cured of the cancer, but more about how I can live my life with dignity, and what I am to learn from this new role as a woman with cancer. A family friend, Dr. LaJune Foster once said, “Look about for each bright ray of sunshine: cherish them, for in the days ahead they will light your path.” I deeply believe in this way of living.

I wrote about my journey with ovarian cancer to educate, support, and inspire women and their families. It is my own unique experience, but there are some common emotions, events, and experiences that all cancer survivors share. Like many others traveling this road, I have experienced valleys and mountaintops, darkness and rays of sunshine. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I have learned a lot about myself and met some incredibly courageous women.

The challenge of ovarian cancer was an opportunity for me to become a better person. My life is far richer and has the greater mission, which is to spread the word about this lesser known disease. I truly see each moment as a gift that is not to be taken for granted, but lived to its fullest with love. An important lesson I learned with the challenge of ovarian cancer is that the beauty of the soul, the real me, and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation. It outshines any negative experience.

  51gerumf7fl-_uy250_Buy the book: www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir

Karen Ingalls is the author of the award-winning book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir; a volunteer with the Women & Girls’ Cancer Alliance of Florida Hospital and Women for Hospice; a public speaker; and an advocate for ovarian cancer awareness. Once a week she posts a blog about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. She resides in Central Florida with her husband. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH.

51q05nsoi7l-_uy250_51uoh3ytil-_uy250_

She is the author of two novels: Novy’s Son and the award winning, Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Buy the books

www.amazon.com/Novys-Son

www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress

Connect with Karen on her websites and social media.

www.outshineovariancancer.com
www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/KarenIngalls1
www.facebook.com/pages/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir
www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls/1473379352893458?sk=timeline
www.goodreads.com/kareningalls
www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-ingalls/37/509/ba8
www.kareningallsbooks.com
http://www.kareningalls.blogspot.com

My thanks to Karen for her detailed and inspirational post and it would be great if you could share the message on your own networks.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Karen Ingalls and Paul Cude


Welcome to the spot where you can showcase your latest review on Amazon, Goodreads or on a review blog. Karen Ingalls has received a five star review by Angela Kay on Lit World Interviews for her book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.

The memoir won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the the category of women’s health. It was a top three finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.

The purpose of the book is to provide information about this too often deadly disease, and offer hope and inspiration to women and their families.

All proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.

About the book

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage IIC ovarian cancer, she realized ho little she knew about what is called “the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, she redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that “the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

Review by Angela Kay for Lit World Interviews: https://litworldinterviews.com/2017/05/23/outshine-an-ovarian-cancer-memoir-bookreview-kingallsauthor/

I found this story incredibly informative and inspiring. There is little greater fear than hearing you have cancer—no matter whether you have a long family history of those that battled the disease or if it’s completely taking you by surprise. Most, if not all, of us, knows someone that has or had cancer. We usually watch from the outside looking in at how the person fighting for their life chooses to deal. Karen Ingalls gives us her firsthand, raw experience with one of the leading causes of death: ovarian cancer.

It’s a short book and I finished it in one sitting, finding myself wishing there was more. I couldn’t set it down and I’m amazed at how uplifting people can be when dealing with cancer. For me, this book isn’t just about fighting cancer or even teaching others about the seriousness of the issue. It’s about how she not only relied on her family and friends for comfort, but she relied on Jesus Christ’s unconditional love and grace. As I read through Karen’s story, I could see how her faith in the Holy Spirit grew stronger. Sure, she had her ups and downs, but she’s human. Still, she leaned on her faith, rather than crying out “Why me, Lord?”

At the end of the book, she listed signs to look for in ovarian cancer (formerly known as “the silent killer.”) and question suggestions for the patient and their families. I highly recommend reading Outlook: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. It’s a quick, easy read, tightly and well written. Although I found myself fighting back tears, there were places where I giggled at the humor.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Read some of the over 50 reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Outshine-Ovarian-Cancer-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B00KI1HGZI

Also by Karen Ingalls

Read all the reviews, find out more about Karen Ingalls and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen Ingalls: www.kareningallsbooks.com

My next review is for Paul Cude whose first book Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past. If you love dragons and FREE books then you are in luck as you can download the Kindle version for Amazon and Epub from Smashwords
About the book

Ever been addicted? Most people have at some point, but it was different for these three. They’d become addicted to their respective sports: hockey, lacrosse and rugby. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, apart from the fact they’re DRAGONS, living in the present day, in a world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

Three young dragons, a master mantra maker, and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, become caught up in an evil plot by a sinister newcomer to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?

Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?
In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon team sports, you’ll learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile!  You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.

The latest review for the book. 

Whatever flaws we might identify or frustrations we might feel are trivial in comparison to a reader’s pure joy in losing himself/herself in a narrative. When all the elements come together: an intriguing plot, thoughtful, profound themes, complex, troubling, characters, and language that make us shudder for its honesty, clarity, and confidence; we gratefully set all analysis aside and give ourselves up to the sheer magic of a great book. And for me, Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is such a book.

The story had every element a good story should have. An exciting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well illustrated scenes that really make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book.

The book synopsis says it all; “Ever been addicted? Most people have at some point, but it was different for these three. They’d become addicted to their respective sports: hockey, lacrosse and rugby. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, apart from the fact they’re DRAGONS, living in the present day, in a world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

Three young dragons, a master mantra maker, and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, become caught up in an evil plot by a sinister newcomer to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?

Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon team sports, you’ll learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile!…”

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens next, you’ll just have to turn the pages yourself to find out!

This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The story flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional skill when it comes to storytelling. There are attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a spellbinding journey!

It’s one of those stories that come along once in awhile that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader!

I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Paul Cude in the future. I would definitely recommend this book. Five stars from me.

Read all the reviews and download the book for FREE: https://www.amazon.com/Bentwhistle-Dragon-Threat-Past-Paul-ebook/dp/B00PDZ2R2G

Download for FREE in Epub on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035

Also by Paul Cude

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Cude/e/B007339206

Read more reviews and follow Paul on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5368048.Paul_Cude

Connect to Paul Cude via his website: http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/

Thank you for dropping by and if you have a recent review for your book that you would like to share drop me a line to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Open House – Award Winning author Karen Ingalls.


smorgasbord open house twoMy guest today is Karen Ingalls, the author of two novels and an award winning non-fiction book. Her journey as a writer began as a child, writing poems and short stories which were Karen’s way of dealing with various life changing events. She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and supports other authors in the club in posts on her blogs.

Karen’s non-fiction book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, won first place at the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards in the the category of women’s health. It was a top three finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award of 2012 in the two categories of health and self-help.

The purpose of the book is to provide information about this too often deadly disease, and offer hope and inspiration to women and their families. Karen is a retired RN and has a master’s degree in human development. She faced the challenge of ovarian cancer with the same tools when she dealt with abuse, alcoholic parents, divorce, and untimely deaths. All proceeds from the book go to ovarian cancer research

Her first novel, Novy’s Son, The Selfish Genius, is about Murray Clark, who sought love and acceptance from his father, who had been raised as the bastard child of the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After reading Iron John by Robert Bly, Karen recognized what was missing in her father’s life.

Davida is Karen’s second novel. It is about the love affair between her great-grandfather Augustus Saint-Gaudens and her great-grandmother Davida Johnson Clark. Very little is known about Davida except her role as a model for many of the sculptor’s famous works.

Karen Ingalls is a Californian by birth, a Minnesotan in her heart, and a contented Florida retiree. She loves gardening, golfing, and reading, but her real passion is writing.

Let’s take a more detailed look at Karen’s books and reviews.

About Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

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When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage II Ovarian Cancer, she realized how little she knew about what was once called ”the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, Ingalls redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that ”the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation.”
Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir is a story of survival, and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

Some of the many positive reviews for the book.

More Than a Story, This Is a Journey By Bethany Turner on September 14, 2015

From the very beginning, it is clear that Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir will do more than tell a story. It will take us on a journey.

We seem to shy away from talking about Ovarian Cancer. As a two-time Ovarian Cancer survivor myself, I know just how true that can be. It’s called the silent killer, but it’s as if somewhere along the line that came to mean we should stay silent. Thankfully, Karen Ingalls did not stay silent. In this beautiful, touching memoir, she shares with us her reality. And as she does, we realize that we stay silent because silence is easy. What the author has done is not easy, but it makes a difference, and I for one am extremely grateful that she shared her journey with us.

Very positive By Future Boy on November 6, 2014

Very positive story. I like the author’s frame of mind and her very useful tips for avoiding, confronting, and surviving cancer, whatever form it might take.

She also writes in an easy-to-follow, conversational style that never makes for dull reading. The inclusion of uplifting quotes and the frequent, but not overwhelming, mentions of her spiritual faith are touching.

Thank you for your service to the millions of us who do not have cancer, and for those of us who may get cancer someday.

The novels by Karen Ingalls.

Novy’s Son, The Selfish Genius – a biographical novel

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From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.

As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love?

Would Murray’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?

One of the reviews for the book

An unflinching look inside the head of a flawed man By James B on February 8, 2016

The thing that struck me the most about this biographical novel was the way the author, Karen Ingalls, was able to reflect social changes surrounding the main character, Murray.

Ingalls does a great job of putting us into the life of a boy growing up in 1920s California. And from the morals and parenting styles of that era, she adds a new light to universal coming-of-age dramas. Puberty, the opposite sex, and sibling rivalry. This first part of the book reminded me of the brothers’ story in East of Eden, right down to one brother going off to war and even some shockers involving paternity.

As Murray reaches adulthood, we see that he is a very capricious (and somewhat frustrating) protagonist. He can’t seem to stay focused on anything for very long, and that includes wives, mistresses, jobs, entrepreneurial ventures—even his own children are neglected. He’s always envisioning slights or plots against him, and his default reaction to these perceived injustices is to storm away from the problem and ignore it. Still, if you like flawed characters who represent the tumultuous and indulgent decades of the 60s and 70s, you may be very intrigued by Murray. Think Mad Men’s Don Draper.

And it’s interesting to see Murray’s lifestyle come full circle as he reaches his nineties and find himself more and more dependent on healthcare workers and his semi-estranged family.

About Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

51UoH+3YtiL._UY250_Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though married he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark and their love affair lasted more than twenty-five years. This fictionalized account will introduce the reader to some of the great art, historical facts, and the moral values of that era.

The author is the great-granddaughter from this union and her purpose in writing the book is to bring recognition to Davida and remove any negative stigma to her. Her grandfather suffered his whole life from being labeled a bastard while growing up and this story is intended to remove that label.

How can a love affair last for such a long period of time? What affect did it have on his career? How did his wife and son cope with their being a second family?

This is a compelling and beautiful love story that has needed to be told.

One of the reviews for the book.

Read and Heed By Book Maven on June 21, 2016

Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a fictional memoir (not my usual genre) based on conjecture of true history. The characters are believable and well-defined, making poor decisions that result in both joy and grief, as is the case too often in real life. The main character maintains a good attitude, but her lot in life saddened me.

The history is well-researched making it easy to feel the way life moved and changed from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. I had to go look up Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ actual works which are amazing. The writing is well-edited; the pace is relaxed, and it is written in third person (which I prefer). It is geared for adult readers due to a couple of explicit scenes.

BUY KAREN INGALLS BOOKS: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

The blogger
Karen has a weekly blog on relationships, health, facing life’s challenges, and spirituality. A second weekly blog for authors and avid readers.

There is no doubt that excessive sugar is not healthy for humans as there is an increased risk of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers. However, sugar has also been associated with the accelerated growth of cancer cells. Karen provides a details and informed post on sugars in general and the my ths surrounding it and cancer.

http://outshineovariancancer.blogspot.ie/2016/06/to-have-sugar-or-not.html

Karen’s second blog is a showcase for authors and you will find some excellent interviews including this with Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko.

http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/2016/06/spotlight-author-joy-nwosu-lo-bamijoko.html

Now I have great pleasure in welcoming Karen this morning and handing over to her to answer the questions she has chosen about her family history, favourite leisure pastimes, choice of actor to play her lead character and which guests she would like to entertain for dinner.

photo on 2-14-16 at 139 pm-crop-u6133

Where were you born and can you tell us something about the history of your place of birth or any interesting historical fact?

I was born in San Diego, California in the hospital that my great aunt Helen started. She was a nurse who had a vision for good and fair nursing care in a hospital. She started her dream in a boarding house on Park Blvd; then expanded to another building on Date Street; and finally completing her dream with her own hospital named Quintard Hospital.

It was a 50 bed hospital with an emergency room, small surgical suite, and a penthouse on the top floor where she and her husband lived. My dad, grandfather and uncle with the aid of some other workers built the hospital brick by brick. My sister and I were both born there, which is a wonderful thing to claim in our heritage. Unfortunately the hospital was torn down around 1962 unable to compete with the new health care programs and hospitals being built in surrounding areas.

Which is your favorite leisure pastime?

I love to play golf. I wish I were better but I love the challenge to my athleticism, sense of reading greens, and understanding the mechanics of the swing and stance. I would love to get a hole-in-one which I know is just plain lucky, but it would be a great accomplishment for someone like me who has been playing golf for 40 years. One of the best things about playing golf is being with friends and nature. Whether it is cold, windy, and cloudy I would rather be outside with nature. On courses I have seen deer in Minnesota, hawks in Arizona, and eagles, hawks, and many alligators in Florida. One time my ball landed about ten feet from a very large alligator who was enjoying the warm afternoon sun. I left my ball where is was and dropped another one further away. I was not interested in being his lunch!

If you are an author and one of your books was selected to be made into a film; who would you like to play your main character and why?

My most recent book titled Davida is based on the true story of the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model, Davida. He was America’s premier sculptor from 1880 to 1925.

I am not as familiar with today’s young actresses. I think Emily Blunt might be a possibility with her simple beauty. If Ingrid Bergman were alive, she would be the perfect actress. Davida was considered by Saint-Gaudens as the epitome of beauty…the ethereal woman. It was not just her physical beauty, but her mental and spiritual beauty. She was kind, gentle, sweet, and naturally beautiful. It would take a very gifted actress to capture her essence.

Which four famous guests would you ask to a dinner party and why?

gandhi

The first person who came to mind was Mahatma Gandhi. I admire his strength of faith, his ability to lead, and his the principals by which he lived. What a better place each of our lives would be in if we adopted at least one of his gifts.

mother theresa

Mother Teresa would also be at my dinner party for the same reasons as Gandhi.

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James Michener’s gift of retelling history in a biographically fictionalized way was most interesting and I read every one of his books. I do not know but I do believe he was a spiritual man which Gandhi and Mother Teresa were.

51Jeir2TMeL._SX392_BO1,204,203,200_My final guest would be Augustus Saint-Gaudens who had the beautiful gift to express his spirituality through sculpture. In his personal life I believe he sought that peace and contentment which I believe the other guests had.

The round table sitting would be in clock-wise: Gandhi, Saint-Gaudens, Mother Teresa, James Michener, and then me. The round table would be simply set with delicious vegetarian dishes. I would start the conversation by asking them each to describe their vision of God and how He did or did not influence their lives. They each made incredible contributions to the world and I believe we all have some great lessons to learn from them just as they do from each other.

All the above books are available from https://www.amazon.com

My projects for this year:
My number one project is to promote my newest novel, Davida which was just published in March 2016. I just started a new blog site (www.kareningalls.blogspot.com) for writers and avid readers. My purpose is to help other authors and to bring awareness about old and new books to the reading audience. I like doing interviews because a personality comes forth. He or she is not “just an author,” but a human being with hopes, dreams, and frailties like all of us.

My goal is to get a minimum of 100 followers for the new blog site, and increase the followers of my first blog site (www.outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com). At this site I blog about health/wellness, relationships, and spirituality. Here again I invite guest bloggers including authors and writers.

My goal for 2016 is to do at least one presentation each month about one or all of my books. Aside from those my goal is to do a gynecologic cancer presentation at least once a month and write monthly articles for blogs, websites, and journals.

Sally, thank you again for the opportunity to share a little about myself with you. If you need any clarification or more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Connect with Karen on her blogs and social media.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY
Goodreads: http://goodreads.comKareningalls
Website onehttp://www.outshineovariancancer.com (one website)
Website Two:  http://www.kareningallsbooks.com (second website)
Blog:  http://outshineovariancancer.blogspot.com
Blog:  http://kareningalls.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KIngallsAuthor
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcingalls
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Ingalls/1473379352893458
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-ingalls

My thanks to Karen for sharing her work, family history and passions with us. As always would be delighted to receive your comments and if you could share on your own networks that would be great.