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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

Giveaway ends October 20, 2017.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sleeping the Sleep of Little Angels



My wife and I bought a loveseat for our bedroom a few months ago. We can use it when we watch TV as it’s very comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s too small to sleep on for those days I find myself in the doghouse.

However, one individual in our house doesn’t have the problem with the loveseat length that I do. My 10-year old thinks the length is perfect for him.

It used to be that our 10-year old would come to our room in the middle of the night during thunderstorms, lugging his blanket along with a pillow and a sheet, and sack out on the floor. However, with the love seat, he now skips the floor and goes straight to the comfy cushions.

Every night.

I try to get him to sleep in his own room. I tuck him in and hug him good night, telling him that he needs to spend the night in his own bed. Every night he promises to stay there.

Then, some time in the middle of the night, my wife and I will be awakened by the grinding of teeth. We look over at the couch and there our son is, sleeping away. Either my wife or I will then get up and nudge the little guy so that he stops grinding his teeth.  We could try to get him to go back to his own bed, but at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, both my wife and I are too tired to push the issue.

My wife says he’ll grow out of it eventually. I know he will. At some point, sleeping in the same room as your parents loses meaning for a kid. I hope that day comes soon.

But when it does, I know I’ll miss it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Losing Sleep




Two Thursdays ago, with a knee injury that gave me no respite, I finally headed to see a local orthopedist to have it looked at. The diagnosis was that I would need a cortisone shot. I was told the shot would make my knee tender and that I would need to ice it over the weekend.

I wasn’t looking forward to being sidelined and spending much of the weekend on the couch, but I found a pleasant surprise when I got home. I had received a copy of Keli Gwyn’s A Bride Opens Shopin El Dorado, California. A blurb from the book is below.

Widow Elenora Watkins heads to California with her nine-year-old daughter, Tildy, eager to become a partner in a mercantile. When the mulish owner withdraws his offer because she’s a woman, she opens her own shop. She’s determined to prove herself capable of running a successful business without the help of anyone—including her controlling father, her seemingly distant heavenly Father, and one Miles Rutledge.

Widower Miles Rutledge is not about to get involved with another willful woman like his late wife, especially when she’s his competition. But the beautiful Elenora may be too hard to resist. When another man appears out to claim Elenora’s heart, Miles searches for a way to win her back. . .while putting her out of business.

Meanwhile, Maude Rutledge, Miles’s meddling mother, longs to see her son make a good match. And Tildy is just as bent on gaining a loving papa.

The battle of wills begins, but can anyone win when the competition is more than they bargained for?
I like to say the book held my attention, but that would be understating it. I love the short quick scenes in the book, as the action moves back and forth, keeping me turning the page. I tried to keep reading that first night, but sleep eventually won sometime around 1:00 a.m. When I woke up briefly at 4:00 a.m., I grabbed the book and devoured two more chapters before going back to bed.
I eventually finished the book early Saturday morning, waking up early to read the last few chapters just so I could go back to bed.

My wife would tell you that I don’t sleep much. Still, for this book, I lost quite a bit of the little sleep I get. I can’t think of any higher praise than that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Of Good Hugs and Bad Knees




My 10-year old loves a good hug.

When he gives someone a hug, he wraps them up and doesn’t let go, hanging on those people until he has to be separated from them. With me, it has added oomph.  When he hugs me, he treats me as if I have the football and he’s on defense. He gets a running start and slams into me, as if he’s trying to take me to the ground. It’s a struggle to keep standing sometimes. I admit, though, that it’s fun.

However, a few weeks ago, I twisted my knee and have been hobbling ever since.  Given the pain, I was convinced I knew what it was, a partial tear of a ligament in my left knee. That may be an odd self-diagnosis, but I did tear a ligament in my knee twenty years ago. I remember the way the pain felt back then. The pain I have now feels the same. Twenty years ago, I rehabbed my knee by wearing a brace and getting a lot of physical therapy. After trying and failing to rehab it on my own, I finally went to see a doctor. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis, believing that I aggravated whatever I did twenty years ago. He referred me to a specialist and I made an appointment. Now all I can do is limp and wait.

My 10-year old though, didn’t realize the pain I was in until a few days ago. Getting a good running start with his football tackle hug one morning before I went to work, he smashed into me. I reacted to steady myself, applying major torque to my knee, and making a bad problem worse. He saw the pain on my face and wondered what happened. He felt sad. I explained that it wasn’t his fault and told him not to worry but asked that he take it easy on me for a while. He has since cut back on the tackles, but he still tries to hug me every morning. He hangs on a little, and then lets go.

With any luck, the damage to my knee is minor. Maybe I just need to stay off it for a while and use a brace. I have been putting ice packs on it a lot to deal with the pain, but I know ice alone won’t do the trick. Whatever the fix, I hope it’s quick.

Because my 10-year old is growing up.

And as he gets older, he may not want to hug me at all for a while.