Designing The Sphere Chronicles By LaDonna Cole

Oh the beauty!

Blue Harvest Creative

Our latest design is for BHC Author LaDonna Cole. The Sphere Chronicles is book 2.5 in The Holding Kate series—a YA action, adventure, fantasy romance series that has something for everyone. The Sphere Chronicles is a novella-length book comprised of ten short stories featuring characters from the series.

The Sphere Chronicles is now available in trade softcover and eBook on both Amazon US and Amazon UK.

To purchase on Amazon click HERE:

Blurb:

In the Sphere…anything can happen.

Explore the early years of some of your favorite characters. Take the lost zombie jump. Get to know the descendants of the two century jumpers. Travel to exotic locations to fight sharks, surf waves, and visit a haunted Italian Villa. This collection of short stories is the perfect fix for Holding Kate Series fans.

Experience the Heartwork Village friends as you’ve never seen them before.

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Print and eBook Front Cover Design

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Full Print Wrap Design

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Title…

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RELEASE DAY: The Sphere Chronicles

Yay! It’s here. The next installment of The Holding Kate Series; The Sphere Chronicles! The bridge book 2.5 to get you ready for The Source, Book III in the Holding Kate Series.

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Isn’t she gorgeous? This collection of short stories is the perfect fix for Heartwork Village and Ampeliagia fans alike. Hop a sphere to Galapagos, Italy, and Hawaii, for harrowing adventures with sharks, playful encounters on beaches, and star-gazing romance. Take a sphere to the past to encounter the early years of some of your favorite Holding Kate characters. Take a jump through the veil to Jewel City thousands of years after Corey and the chartreuse team founded it. Meet their descendants and fight with the Cheleuthi warriors. Romance, ghosts, beach bumming, dragon slayers, unrequited love, and a kiss to spark a fire to your Kindle, this book brings Spheres right to your imagination. (Oh and zombies. Did I forget to mention the zombies?)

Something for everyone.

Click to purchase.

“I read a story a day. The stories are just right with a cup of coffee in the mornings.”

“I’m crushing on Staid.”

“I was right there under the stars with them.”

“Makes me want The Source to hurry up and get here.”

 

 

The Sphere Chronicles: Jump a Sphere into Imgagination

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The Sphere Chronicles

In the sphere…anything can happen.

Explore the early years of some of your favorite characters. Take the lost zombie jump. Get to know the descendants of the two century jumpers. Travel to exotic locations to fight sharks, surf waves, and visit a haunted Italian Villa. This collection of short stories is the perfect fix for Holding Kate Series fans.

Heartwork Village friends as you’ve never seen them.

 

Jump a sphere into imagination on March 10, 2015

Excerpts

“Trouble just seems to find me. I don’t go looking for it. It just sniffs me down and before I know it—BAM! Detention, right between the eyes. Too many of those and “hit the road Jack,” expelled. Well, on this fine November morning, trouble’s nose just happened to be on the face of the kid two rows over and three seats up in homeroom. He singled me out from the moment Ms. Plummer stammered, “C-class. This is Donald Dungeon…”

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“Macy took Dirk’s hand and led him along the corridor, stepping gingerly around dead bodies.”

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“I pressed the razor against the scar on my thigh. A line of red beads rose to the surface, shiny and glistening against the white skin. Fascinated, I watched them grow and then merge, forming a long trickle as gravity forced the scarlet line between the ridges of my scars to race toward the ground.”

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“Bodies staggered toward them, moaning and gurgling, dripping black ooze from multiple wounds. Limping and struggling, bones protruding from flesh-peeled fingers, they groped toward the group of teens.”

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“I must tell you.” The eerie voice reverberated in the darkness. “I must… I must tell…must tell you.” Echoes overlapped and gnarled together like roots of an ancient elm. Some sounding as distant screams, others as whispers of breath on the ear.”

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“Quite possibly the most perfect first kiss ever, with the surf at their backs and the stars swimming above, their blood pumped in rhythm with the energy of the night.”

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“The evil dragon, Dracosphynx, bellowed in rage, rattling the teeth of the strike force. His red hide glistened, covered in shimmering iridescent scales to his chest. Toothy spikes lined his back and tail, and his muscles rippled in exertion.”

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Staid pushed up from his stool and stood, emptied his tankard and said, “There is nothing greater than love, Bard.” He set his cup down and poked Manifus in the chest. “You should know this.”

 

Read these stories and more in The Sphere Chronicles on March 10th.

Grief and Loss: Part 1 Breathe

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/35916758@N04/6281003099/">milkandblue</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>Loss. It has a way of ripping us apart inside. Whether the loss is a loved one, a family unit, a sense of wellbeing, or a way of life, loss changes the landscape of our future. It leaves us in a foreign and unfriendly land, fighting our way back to any semblance of normalcy, all the while wrapping us in a wet blanket sinking to the bottom of the ocean in this foreign and inhospitable place.

It is an unfair foe. Not only does it leave you feeling misplaced and alone, but it strikes from the shadows. It hides beneath the surface and attacks suddenly at the most unpredictable times. If ignored, grief can lead to depression and even physical illness. It just sits in the shadows, poisoning you.

It’s time to do something about it. Take control of your life. Kill the poisonous and insidious creature lurking in your soul. Together we can find our way back to wholeness.

The stages of grief are not set in stone. No matter where this blog finds you in your grieving process it can help put some order back into your life. If you find yourself in depression but don’t know why, try to identify the moment of loss that pushed you over the edge. Was it a thought that wouldn’t leave you? A phrase spoken hastily by a loved one, that echoed in your mind until it changed your own perceptions? What point was something precious ripped away from you?


Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/116226176@N07/13945272669/">Sarah Lynn Fine Art Photography</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

Emotive Educational Activity 1 Breathe

“Your daddy passed away last night.”

“No!”

It is the first thought after bad news. “No! It just can’t be.” Even after reality sets in, you will find yourself saying “It just doesn’t seem real.” That is your psyche trying to protect you from a dump of reality. It doles out the pain of loss in increments of reality, then steps back intermittently. Giving you time to process the vacuum, it releases small increments of oxygen, called denial.

Loss is unfathomable.

Today, give yourself permission to breathe. Dance with denial for a few moments, it’s okay. It is a great protector at this point in the process.

 

Speak: I give myself permission to breathe.

 

Write: Put into words. What would this moment look like if I had not had this loss? What would I be doing right now, if the loss never happened?  (Example: If dad were alive today, we would have coffee at Starbucks and talk about his last fishing trip.)

Connect with a professional mental health provider in your area. They will help you walk through the process of recovery. Let me know if you need help finding someone.

Can you recall a moment in your life when a loss stole your breath? What did you do about it?

LaDonna Cole RN BS CART, writes wild adventurous stories that pierce the heart with their themes aimed toward grief recovery. Find her published works and contact here.

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Face Lift

A teen girl takes a wrong turn after her parents divorce and finds herself in a recovery center that uses quantum jumps as grief recovery.

Twelve weeks of fun focus sessions where kids and teens play their way through the stages of grief recovery.

A middle school foster kid connects with a family who walk with him through recovery from loss.

Sammy has a secret and he carries it with him through every moment of his life.

What do you get when you mix a monkey and an elephant? You get an elephonkey. Children learn about blended families.


 

FACE LIFT

It doesn’t matter what I write, the theme of grief recovery comes through loud and clear, so this blog is getting a face lift. We are going to concentrate on the stages of grief and how to write a better story for  ourselves and our loved ones.  We’ll take excerpts from stories and curriculum to start a conversation. We’ll discuss the stages of grief, symptoms to be aware of, and how they affect different age groups. We’ll even hear Excerpts from the Experts.

Grief is temporary. It is a state that fills the vacuum left by loss. It passes. Joy never dies. It is the state of your immortal soul. This blog provides windows of escape, stories of passage, portals from temporary grief-stained moments to the immortal staying well of Joy.

Welcome to Immortal Portals.

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/16899432@N05/3403132849/">thechannelc</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

 


 

Stages of Grief

1. Anger and Denial: I clump these two together because they are waltzing partners. About the time you realize you are well entrenched in one, the other takes the lead and spins you around in 3/4 time.

2. Bargaining:This stage takes a different face depending on your age and circumstance. We will explore all the ways that children, teens, and adults bargain their way through loss.

3. Despair: The crash, the burn, the lowest of lows. Don’t let this one destroy you. It is actually significant. It tells you that you are just about done. You’ve stopped blaming and playing games. You are ready to heal.

4. Acceptance: You are ready to step through the portal into your natural state of being; Joyful.

5. Staying Well: I add this one as the fifth stage of grief because it takes awhile before the portal you’ve stepped through stops trying to suck you back to the side of sadness. It is important to anchor yourself firmly through active staying-well activities.


 

Taking Back My Immortality

So today, I leave you with an Emotive Educational Activity. This is something you can do for yourself. No matter where you are in your recovery from loss, this EEA will help you.

Get a pen and paper. Think of the last time you felt real cheek-burning-soul-swelling-sparkle-bubbly JOY. Write down the experience. Describe the feels it gave you. Where were you? What was happening? Write down as much detail as you can. Conjure up the feelings, relive the moment.

When you get to the peak of that feeling, send out into the universe the thought “I’m taking back my immortal joy.”

Try to repeat this activity every day for as many joyful memories as you can evoke. Don’t forget the last step. At the peak of your remembering, speak, think, grab a hold of “I’m taking back my immortal joy.” Call it to you.

Until next time, friends.

Immortal Joy

 

Miraculous Monday: Little Green Blessings

Little Green Blessings

I always wanted a Christmas wedding.  I had fantasized as a young girl of bridesmaids in red velvet trimmed in white fur and snow covered Christmas trees lining the cathedral aisle.   When the man of my dreams proposed in October, I knew a large formal wedding could not be planned in a couple of months and I wasn’t going to wait another year.  We had a life to get on with.  So we decided on a Spring Break wedding, landing on St. Patrick’s Day. A red color scheme was abandoned for emerald green and gold lame’.

The wedding was glorious.  Satiny emerald dresses reflected candlelight and brass lanterns adorned the sanctuary.  I was wed to my best friend in a fairy tale setting complete with carriage ride to the reception. Jewel toned emerald colors and delicate white flowers surrounded our nuptials.

 

***

Bailey had Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, so we went shopping. We stopped into one of my favorite stores and my son walked past a sale table and screeched to a halt. Sitting on the fifty-percent-off-after-Christmas-sale table was a nutcracker. Not just any nutcracker, mind you. This was a baseball player in a kelly green and white pin stripe uniform.

My son in all of his 8 year old wisdom exclaimed, “Momma! This would be perfect for me. I collect nutcrackers, my room is green, and baseball is my favorite sport!”

Green Nutcracker

I checked the price tag. Though it was 50% off, it still would use up all of his money. I told him he could afford it, but it would take everything. He stood in front of that sale table for eons, trying to decide whether or not to give it all up for that nutcracker. Finally, with eyes downcast and wrinkled brow, he decided he couldn’t let go of all the money and we left the store without the nutcracker. I assured him it was always better to wait if you weren’t certain about a purchase.

For weeks, he talked about the nutcracker-that-got-away. I couldn’t believe he was so attached to the idea of a baseball player nutcracker. Months later as I tucked him into bed, his chubby face was crestfallen, pinched eyebrows and pouty lips broke my heart.

“What’s wrong, Bailey?”

“I was just thinking about that nutcracker.”

After all this time, it still weighed heavily on his mind? I was sure he would have forgotten about it by now.

“I made the wrong decision. I should have bought it.” His lip quivered and a tear slid down his rosy cheek.

My heart fractured as I gazed into his glistening eyes. “Well,” I asked, “are you gonna be able to stop thinking about it and get some rest?”

“Probably not.” His voice cracked.

My heart wrenched right out of my chest and shattered on the floor to see him so miserable.  “Well, do you want me to get you something to sleep with?”

“Okay.” He swallowed back tears in a forlorn voice.

I walked to my closet and pulled out a hidden gift, unwrapped the tissue and held it behind my back. I took it to him and said, “Will this do?”

I revealed the Little Green Baseball Nutcracker that I had returned to purchase for his birthday. His face lit like a bonfire, joy exploded onto his features. He reached for the nutcracker, then swerved around it and grabbed me in a bear hug and sobbed into my hair.

“Thank you, Momma.” His little voice broke, his tender eyes weeping tears of joy.

We hugged and cried as he stroked with reverent awe, the little green blessing. Finally, he settled down, we wiped our tears with gulps and shudders and laughter of relief and wandered into the land of dreams.

 

***

It sat on the side walk in front of the antique shop, tiny and green and just the right size for the three year old walking along, hand in hand with me.

Little Green Rocking Chair“Mommy! Look!” She tugged on my arm and pointed at the perfectly sized rocking chair. Slipping her fingers out of mine, she ran to the chair and backed into it, bottom first.  A bright smile dawned on her face.

“Come on, sweetie. Let’s go inside.” I had one thing on my mind, finding a chest of drawers for the nursery before the baby came. I pressed my fist into my back and waddled into the store

Dayla pouted out her bottom lip and scowled, but obeyed and followed me into the musty smelling shop.  A longing glance at the perfect green rocking chair, still moving back and forth, carried her through the door.

I found the dresser and negotiated a price, arranged for it to be delivered and called Dayla from the front window. “Time to go, baby.  What are you looking at?”

“My rocking chair, mommy. It fits me just right, did you see?”

“It does? Show me.”  I grinned at my precious daughter as she dragged me out to the side walk. Frustrated with my pace, Dayla ran ahead and hugged her chair, then planted her bum in the seat.

“See, Mommy? It’s juuuust right.” She rubbed her chubby fingers along the arm rests and kicked the rocker into high tilt, face beaming with satisfaction.

I watched sheer joy dawn across her face.  This child was not one to ask for every little thing.  She rarely got attached to objects. I waved to the store clerk, struck a bargain and loaded the tiny green rocker into the van.

Dayla was ecstatic.

“Oh Mommy! Thank you thank you thank you! Oh Mommy, it is perfect! Oh my! Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Dayla kept the words of gratitude rolling all the way home in a chorus of jubilant repetition in her Shirley Temple voice.

My eyes welled with tears to hear such deep and heartfelt appreciation pour out of a three year old. “Dear Lord,” I thought, “Let my heart be so full of thanks when you send blessings my way.”  I glanced into the rearview mirror to see Dayla wagging her head emphatically, fist wrapped possessively around the little green rocking chair.

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

***Green Yard

I was never really fond of the color green, red or blue was more to my liking, until these little green blessings started infiltrating my life.  Green has become one of my favorite colors.

I cannot see the color green without thinking about the good things in my life.  Emeralds and satin, pinstriped baseball nutcrackers and little green rocking chairs have become symbols of love and family for me.

The marriage is dissolved, the feisty daughter is grown and going to college, the cherub boy drives away from me every day into his own adventures and I am left with a thankful heart.  Thankful, because I know that little green blessings aren’t just in my past, but surround me, uplift me, and call to me from a hopeful future.

Green Herb GardenA sprig of mint struggles up through dried and yellowed ancestors to wave at me from my garden; a little green blessing buds for my tea cup.  A postcard from a foreign land displays green and lush hills and whispers heartening words from a kindred spirit; good news breaks open a smile.  A children’s book featuring leprechaun’s beckons to me from a book shelf; I tuck it in my arms, a gift for a future grandbaby.

I will always look for these emerald drops and it won’t be hard to find them.  They crop up everywhere as gifts to brighten my journey.

“Oh thank you, Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you, for little green blessings.”