Friday, June 01, 2007

Suz Brockmann GuestBlog: Celebrate Pride!


There are m
oments in life when we're invited to be part of something important, yet not quite sure what earned us the honor. In the case of today's GuestBlog, the honor has nothing to do with an excerpt from Suz Brockmann's upcoming novel, and everything to do with an extraordinary woman sharing with us a moment in the life of her family, and by extension, the lives of millions of families in America. Please offer a loud, proud Bella buongiorno to the incomparable Suz...

Today, Ju
ne 1st, is the kickoff to Boston's ten-day Pride celebration.

Pride is always a blast here in Boston. There are block parties, celebrations, and of course the Pride parade through Copley Square to the Boston Common. I'm marching this year -- I'll be wearing my "I'm a PFLAG Mom" T-shirt.

I have much to be proud of this year. August will see the r
elease of my 44th book, "Force of Nature," (the very first excerpt is here -- an exclusive!) followed closely by number 45 -- October's super-sized holiday novella, "All Through the Night." I'm on the verge of having published as many books as years that I've lived!

And speaking of age-related milestones, as of this year, I've now been a mother (my most proud accomplishment) for a full half of my life!

I love Pride, because it's a time to stand tall and to take stock of all the good things that surround me. It's so easy to focus on problems and failures, don't you agree? Today, in honor of Pride, be proud! Go wild -- what are you proud of, who are you proud of? Share some good news with us here on the blog...

Happy Pride to you and yours!
Proud to be a romance writer and tell stories of hope and love,

Suz Brockmann

*** Visit Suz at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com! ***
Encore! Thanks, Suz, for sharing your fun family portraits of you, your husband, Ed, and son, Jace!
Encore due! Don't forget to check out Romance: B(u)y the Book, to read the first excerpt published anywhere from Suzanne's August 14 release, "Force of Nature!"
Encore tre! Find info about PFLAG at www.PFLAG.org and Human Rights Campaign at www.HRC.org.

48 comments:

Stacy~ said...

OMG, I'm thrilled I didn't miss this! Thanx Michelle for posting it early! Have I told you lately that I love you LOL - you ARE the Queen Bella in name & spirit *g*

Suz, I love the cute hairstyle - looks fabulous on you. And great pictures with your hubby and son. I love how close your family is. I CANNOT wait for FON - I am, well, not your #1 fan, because that didn't turn out to well for some people, but a huge, life-long fan who will read anything you write. I was lucky enough to meet you when you were here in the Chicago area a few years back and it's one of my favorite booksigning experiences. I love how you don't shy away from the difficult and painful stuff; that just makes your writing more real, more emotional, and the stories stick with me a long time because of it. (Gushing over...for now).

Yes, Pride is very important, and we should focus on that more - easier said than done. I got an orchid letter at work this week for just doing my job, and I was a bit embarrassed, but at the same time I was proud to receive it. Made my whole day. And I take pride in a previous job I had - processing life insurance claims. I loved that job, and though it was emotional and sad a lot of times, I also knew, deep in my heart, I was easing someone's pain just a little, and that was my most satisfying experience. I felt full, important, needed. Nothing made me more proud of myself.

Oh, and I'm proud to be a romance reader and I love the happy endings because we just don't see that enough in RL.

Well, I'm off to celebrate the weekend with Lori Foster & company. I am going to miss you guys, and I hope y'all have fun today! It's the weekend !!!!!! (Oh and there's an itty bitty contest at my place, if you're interested).

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and Suz! Very exciting day, and a fun one, too.

Thanks, Suz, for writing this for us, and giving us a peek at the book. I know you've got a big day planned, but it's very cool that you chose us to start your "cyber tour" for FON. :)

I know I've been goin on about FON, but after you've read the excerpt you may be able to see why. See, I only began reading the Troubleshooters, like, a year or so ago, so I only stumbled across that particular story line recently.

And I'm amazed that we've all got our particular Tshooters we love, and the one's we can't wait to see get their HEAs.

I'm lookin forward to hangin here today to talk about Pride and FON, your Suz Brockmann addictions -- Stacy -- and whatever else this convo gets goin.

Again, welcome Suz, welcome new Bellas, old friends, and everyone who drops by or in today!

It's a good day to delurk, too, btw.

Hey, that's a great thing to be proud of, being a lurker who de-lurks!

Michele said...

GOOD MORNING, SUZANNE!!!!
And welcome! I'm estatic that you're here.
(you have no idea how much)

Congrats on marching - you mentioned PFLAG in one of your books. I can't remember the name, shame on me, but I've read EVERYTHING ... but I digress.

What/who am I proud of?
I'm proud of ... being a mom. And I'm proud of my eldest son. He has ADHD,epilepsy and asthma. His lack of ability to "stick to it" for anything has been a challenge and a worry for me. Next week, I'll be a proud mom because he's taking part in the beginners Band concert - he stuck it out learning and playing the trumpet for the entire school year! (an absolute first)

So, that's a very big moment, filled with pride for him. He did it.
Right now, that is the most prevelent thought about pride that I have.

Now, can I gush about you?
I'm a new convert to your Navy SEALS books. And I know that You know the person who got me hooked.
She recommended Prince Joe back in April vacation this year when I went to visit her. She's a RBL. (she got me hooked on that too.
:-)
Since then, I've developed an obsession in reading everything on Team 10 and Team 16. I'm all caught up now.
And loved every moment of heart stopping action and romantic sighs.
Her name?
Merry C.
She's a sweatheart, a generous lady and the reason I now count myself amongst your legion of fans.

I also look forward to Jules' HEA, of which this new excerpt sounds like it might be. **hope-hope-hope**

Have a wonderful and memorable time on the walk.
Thanks for stopping by this Awesome blog and sharing your news and thoughts.
HUGS!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Wow, Michele! You have lots to be proud of. When our kids have special needs and issues, even the smallest accomplishments are HUGE to us as parents. But sticking to the trumpet for an entire year? That's so so major. He's not even my son, and my heart's bursting with happiness!

Doesn't music and the practice of it have an awesome affect on the lives of children? You can be really proud of yourself, too, for encouraging your son, because I do know it takes a lot of frustration before you get to even a small accomplishment. You go!

Nina said...

SUZ! Great promo pic! Big, Big fan from way back. Traded emails with you long ago about growing up on a Navy base. Can't wait to read the excerpts!!

I'm proud of being a woman - how we support each other - how we can look to the crux of life and realize that our kids, our family is the most important thing and that all the other "stuff" is extraneous.

I just love the fact that you are unapologetic and strong in your committment to your son and that you've always told him to be proud of himself and his accomplishments. One of my best friends in high school was gay and at that time (1977)and being from a military family, it was very difficult for him to come to terms with who he was - he finally came out of the closet after two failed marriages. He passed away in 1985 and I still miss his sarcastic wit.

I have a cousin that is gay and my husband has two cousins that are gay. We all have family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. that are gay. So I am so glad that you are telling Jule's story - so looking forward to his HEA with Robin.

Still waiting for you to hit the Cleveland area on one of your book tours!

MathCogIdiocy said...

While I was reading this, with no intention of posting, the local news station reran the clip of the NH Govenor signing NH's new civil union law! So for today, I'll be proud of living in NH and hoping that one of these days Jules and my housemate will both find their HEAs.

And not to forget - I love your books. Keep on writing.

Michele said...

Thanks, Michelle!
You're right. It does give him a sense of accomplishment. It helps with my SIL's want him to play for them over the phone. He gets a kick out of that.
Plus, amazingly enough, the sound of a trumpet is ...relaxing?
Even when he would hit the notes wrong and sound like a duck, it sounded good.
The trumpet can have such a smooth sound and he picked the instrument of choice all by himself without any parental input.

Music provides positives on unexpected levels.

Um, Michelle and the other Bellas,maybe you can help?

... I know that girls get flowers at the end of accomplishments - recitals, concerts and the like. WHAT should a boy get?
Flowers too?
He's my first born. He's also the only boy in the family on both sides that has done something like this, so I have no precedent to follow.

I'd love some suggestions, but by no means want to detract from today's blog message from Suzanne.

Portia Da Costa said...

Wow! As this excerpt was my first exposure to Suzanne's writing, I have to say it wasn't quite what I expected... but boy, is it good!!! So immediate, so real, so natural... I don't know the characters' back history, but I could already sense it just from that short piece. Makes me want to check out some earlier titles in the series too, asap, in order to get the big picture.

What am I proud of? Well, myself, sort of, in a way... I've got through some stuff in life that at one time I never thought I would have been able to cope with. I think we all do that at some stage, don't we? And we should all be proud of ourselves for coming through the other side of traumas and troubles.

I'm also proud to be a writer and a part of a community of writers all over the world. I've met some wonderful people online, who I'm proud and honoured to call my friends... even though I've never met them in 'real' terms and it's possible I never will.

My good news... I dunno... The sun's shining today... It was my birthday yesterday, and there are gorgeous scented lilies in the house, brought for me by himself... I've got lots of chocolate in the fridge... that's all good news to me! :)

Michele said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Portia Da Costa!!!!
:-)

clare said...

Not sure what I can say without appearing like a mad-stalker-fan!

Suz, I love your books; the way your characters develop and continue to appear in future storylines and the fact you don't shy away from bringing in very real topics. Making the reader think as well as managing to serve up a great romance.

I've got a number of favourite characters but really looking forward to more Jules.

Also thankyou for sharing glimpses of your family. Your intro to Hot Target about your son was incredibly moving. The love was so clear.

Please promise to write loads more books? ;)

MaryKate said...

Hi Suz! Welcome back to RBtB! I thrilled that you're here!

First, let me say, the new author photo is gorgeous! I wish I could get my hair to look that cute.

Second, as someone who works in an industry that has almost as many gay men as women (I'm a meeting planner), I love that you've emerged as such a strong and decisive voice in the fight for equality. I continue to be mystified by some of the morays in this country that say that a biological imperative is "against God." It makes me nuts!

It is a tribute to your skill as a writer that I care more about Jules' HEA than Ric's. OK, that's not to say that I'm not sure Ric's story will be fantastic, but I've been dying for Jules to get his HEA since we first met him. He's so secure in himself. And I love it when he teases Max. It makes me chuckle.

Suz, I wonder, do you watch the ABC show BROTHERS & SISTERS? It's the story of a large family, but one of their sons is gay. The coolest thing to me about the story is that they don't portray Kevin as "light in the loafers," or stereotypical in any way. He's a successful lawyer. He struggles to have intimate relationships with his boyfriends. But he is portrayed as a healthy, normal gay man. Which, jeez, you just about never see on TV. Even if the show didn't have Rob Lowe in it, I'd love it just for the portrayal of Kevin. It's a terrific show.

Tell us what's going on with Jace right now. Is he working? And if so, what's he doing? I know he's an extremely talented actor.

Oh, and mornin' Bellas!

Kelly F. said...

LOVED the excerpt. I am not doing to well with the waiting till August for the book though. Honestly your books are like a drug. And I tend to get a little cranky when I haven't read a new one in a while. LMAO!

I was wondering if there were any updates on the SEAL you were helping to get bone marrow for a while back??

Kelly F. said...

PS: Marykate, I LOVE that show Brothers and Sisters too. And I agree they do a great job with Keveins character. It is one of the first believable portrayals I have seen in a long time.

Oh, and I am proud of my Aunt. At the age of 39 she lost her husband 2 years ago (my uncle) to Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, she is raising their 6 year old daughter alone. I just pray that someday soon a Prince Charming comes into her life. She really needs some happiness. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Suz,

I am so looking forward to FON. Even though we had a really long and snowy Winter (it snowed just last week...sigh) here in CO and I could really use an equally long Summer, I still find myself wishing it were August already. And that is saying alot because unfortunately, August is the end of Summer here (yes, I have seen it snow in early September).

Any word on the re-release of the next TD&D book?

Diana (Who will hit the "mom-for-half-my-life" milestone this year, too. Wow!! I didn't realize that until you mentioned it...lol.)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Welcome new friends! And some we're happy to see back (we missed youz).

Yes, yes, Jules rocks, doesn't he? He'd totally be the gay friend I always crushed on but couldn't have. Begs the "why is it all the good ones are [married, gay, straight, etc.] question, I guess.

Now, here's what I've been thinking about today's blog. I've read MathC's praise of NH's new law, and nina's praising her gay friends, and I think the neat thing about today is, we're here to say: we appreciate novels about love, we appreciate Suz Brockmann telling us a story about men who are trying to be true to their hearts and themselves, and we want to celebrate people we know and love who struggle bravely to do that in real life every day.

Playground Monitor said...

I'll have to admit that the only book of yours I've read is "Prince Joe" and I loved it. Then I donated it to a friend who lost her book collection to Hurricane Ivan and PJ was one of her all-time faves. I was happy to let her have it on her shelf again. Looks like I need to check into FON.

I live in the Bible Belt where attitudes toward homosexuality aren't pretty. But I stand firm in my support of gays and lesbians because it ISN'T a lifestyle choice; it's the way you are born. And we don't hate people because they have blue eyes or dimples or cause they're gay. Now if we could just convince the rest of the world about that... :sigh: You should get Mom of the Year for your unwavering support of your son and the gay and lesbian community. I have a nephew who is gay and my brother-in-law has cut off all communication with him. It's so sad. I couldn't even invite him to a family wedding because my BIL doesn't even know his address or phone number.

What am I proud of? My older son and his wife. When they married year before last, they brought home a little souvenir from the honeymoon that they didn't intend to. She turns a year old a week from today and she's the light of my life. The kids have stepped up to the challenge of parenthood and are terrific parents.

I'm proud of #2 son too. He graduated from college last year intending to go straight into grad school. That fell through and he's worked in a dead-end pizza joint job but he's kept his eyes on the prize and -- keep your fingers crossed -- will enter grad school in the fall. He attended college on a track scholarship and was conference champ in the mile three years running. He wants to be a college-level track coach and will be a great one.

I'm proud of my 80-year-old mom who was widowed at age 43 and raised my sister and me alone. She had a wonderful career in newspaper advertising and retired as head of the department. She was recently sidelined by emergency surgery but is recuperating well and will soon be back to her active self. She's my hero.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Marilyn

Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

Loved the excerpt! Thanks for sharing it...only...how am I going to wait until release day?

Suz, your pictures are lovely.

Lis said...

Suz, thanks for sharing the excerpt. Can hardly wait for August! I've read all your books, and love the way you've developed not only the main characters, but secondary ones as well. Each one develops right before our eyes, and wether they get their own book or not, we KNOW them by the end of the story.
I'm proud of my son. He's 14 but has wanted to be a firefighter all his life. Even after experiencing 9-11 at the ripe old age of 10, his committment only got stronger. He knew a couple firefighters who died that day, and one who did not only because he took the day off. Now my son is a fire dept explorer, truly on his way to achieving his dream of helping others.

Michele said...

Wow, Lis! That's inspiring.
Hugs to your son!
And I wish him the best in his pursuit to a very worthy goal.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back, Suz!!
I've read "Defiant Hero" and am working my way through your back list and loving every minute of it.
Thanks for the excerpt. It was fantastic.

Besides being proud of my girlies who are three of the most beautiful little girls every born (says the completely biased mother), I would say I'm proud to be a Bella. This is the most wonderful community to be a part of and the Bellas are so warm and welcoming. If there's a day or two where I can't visit, I'm not fit to be around. I feel honored be part of a group the says what they feel and is ever positive. There is no other place like it and I'm proud to call it home. :o)
{{BIG HUGS}}

amy*skf said...

Suz, so happy you're here today--I'm proud of so many things.

I'm mainly proud of my children who seem to take different rouptes than others. My daughter became a mom at 20 and now with an 18 month old, I can truly say she is one of the best mothers I have ever seen. My oldest son has ADD and dyslexia--last year when he was on track for graduation all kinds of stuff happened, he could have just chucked the whole thing, but instead he stuck it out him an at home tutor and graduated on time.

I'm proud of my youngest just for being a genuinely nice kid.

I love seeing just how much the Bellas all have in common while still having completely different lives.

I'm proud of my husband for always trying to maintain a positive attitude, no matter what. And there have been a lot of "whats."

I'm proud that we have authors who visit us here who understand what love one another truly means.

I'm prooud of NH.

Hugs back at you Julie

I do go on.

LizeeS said...

Hi Suz,
Welcome and thanks for the excerpt. I am looking forward to becoming a fan of your work - after high recommendations I've had your books on my TBR pile - now they've definitely moved up the list!

Like so many of you Bellas, I'm proud of my kids - my daughter the brand-new vet (who followed that dream all the way from age ten!) and my son, who has the sweetest spirit of any guy (other than his dad) I've ever known -- plus he plays lead guitar in a cool garage rock band!

I'm also very proud to claim my Christian faith and feel blessed to have been shown that living like a Christian doesn't mean being obsessed with fundamental rules. I'm looking for "my" market - for a WIP where the message is inspiring, the heroine is Christian (and not a wimpy one), the hero actually uses the F-word, there's sex, and one of the characters is gay!

Here's to pride - thanks, Suz, for bringing up the topic!

flip said...

I am proud that I live honest and open about who I am. Everyone should be able to live their honestly.

flip said...

I am proud that I live honest and open about who I am. Everyone should be able to live their honestly.

Kate Pearce said...

I love all your books! (excuse me fan girl moment)

I'm proud of all my kids but particularly of my 15 yr old son Kit who has cerebral palsy. Despite being told he'd barely walk, he does, he walks miles.
He's driving me completely nuts at the moment asserting his independence and insisting he doesn't need us any more but inside I'm kind of proud of that too :)

Sigrun said...

Hi, guys. It's so great to see you. I just found the invitation from Michelle and since I've been longing to get in touch with you (Ed did you get my e-mail about a week or more ago?) this is a wonderful opportunity.

Jace, I wish you all the success in life. It might be hard going in many ways but it will be worth more for that. I often think of you and say a prayer. I think your parents have taught you to be strong and I know God is watching over you.

I'm so glad to get a glimpse into FON. I was on the site and couldn't really find out anything about it. I'm all giddy because of that e-mail that I just happened to read. I should have read the excerpt first before diving into the blog but... Hey, I guess I'm just too excited. Will go there now.

To the Bellas who don't know many of Suz's books yet, I must admit I haven't read all of them yet either but that's because I had to pack them up when I moved and haven't been able to unpack them yet. I fell in love with "Prince Joe". It was just the sort of title to really catch my fancy and if I love the first book I read by an author, very little will stop me from getting them all. Suz's are the only ones that I buy in hardcover, can't afford the rest. But you'll never regret reading all her awesome books. I was lucky to get in on the ground floor of both of her long series. Thanks, Suz and Ed, for everything.

And just in case nobody has made a note of it, Ed writes legal thrillers under his own name, Ed Gaffney. There are three out.

Sigrun said...

Aaaw! Way too short but definitely better than nothing. Can't wait to read the whole book.

Counting: 9 weeks from now?

You guys have made my day. Thanks to all three of you and to Michelle.

P.S. A new hairdo, Suz! I hardly recognized you. The last picture convinced me that it was really you.

carol said...

Hi all,

Thanks for the great excerpt! Can't wait to read the rest of it. Jason is so lucky to have loving and supportive parents.

I'm really proud of my mom and aunt for making it through their breast cancer treatment.

Julie in Ohio said...

I'm proud of my hubby who fixed my dryer all by himself. He's a handy man to have around. :o)

Suz Brockmann said...

Hey, gang!

Thanks for joining me here today! I just got back from downtown Boston and signed right online so I could stop in and say hi!

Thanks for all the comments about the new haircut -- after all these years I finally decide to try to feature the wispy hair! LOL!

Stacy -- nice to see you here! Say hi to Lori Foster for me!

Michele -- cool news about your son's trumpet playing! (And I know Merry C. quite well -- she's the go-to woman for my out of print backlist books!) As for a good flower substitute (although flowers are okay for boys, too) we used to give my son a gift certificate on opening night of a show. (Skittles were popular, too!)

Nina -- I've wanted to come to Cleveland for quite some time -- can't seem to find a bookstore there willing to host a signing!!!!

mathcogidiocy -- Got a love a state who has the slogan "Live free or die!" Thanks for posting that terrific news!

Portia -- nice to meet you! Jules is one of my favorite characters -- he first appeared in THE DEFIANT HERO -- the second book in the Troubleshooters series, and has played a relatively large part in just about every book since then. (Except for FLASHPOINT.) (And happy birthday!!!)

Clare -- thanks for your kind words! I do promise to write many, many more books.

MaryKate -- I haven't watched BROTHERS & SISTERS -- I have the need (anal rentative much??? ggg) to watch a show from the first episode, so I'll look for it when it comes out on DVD (A much better way to watch TV, IMO. Glomming it four episodes at a time...) Jason is doing really well -- he's currently in rehearsal for an equity show right here in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a group called the Reagle Players -- doing SINGING IN THE RAIN. He's in the dance ensemble. The last show he did involved spending three months in Juneau Alaska, so he's very glad to be rehearsing literally across the street from our house. LOL!!! It's nice, too, to have him visiting for most of the summer!

Okay -- I'm going to post this before it gets too long, and post again with more answers to questions!!!

-- Suz

Julie in Ohio said...

I'm proud of Bella Mary Kate who decided that this was going to be her year. She's being assertive and sticking herself out there to get what she wants. Way to go, MK!!


I'm proud of our Michelle for going through so many changes and taking it all in stride. You are the Queen B!

Suz Brockmann said...

Hey, KellyF -- Justin, the SEAL in need of a bone marrow transplant found a match last September, has had the transfer and is doing really WELL!!!! Thank you so much for asking!

Diana -- no word on the next TDD release, although my old Bantam Loveswepts are being reissued in force this year. FORBIDDEN will be out at the end of September, and there's also a 2-in-1 with STAND IN GROOM and TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE that will be available through online bookstores like BN.com (Feel free to write to Harlequin/Silhouette to request more TDD reissues. They listen to readers more than they listen to writers!!! LOL!

Marilyn -- congrats on becoming a grandmother!!! How exciting! And your mom sounds awesome.

Eve -- I feel your pain! I'm waiting for the next book in JR Ward's Brotherhood series. Yikes! Great stuff, that...

Lis -- isn't it amazing that a child could know so exactly what he wants to do with his life? My son was the same about his love of acting. From age 8, that was all he's ever wanted. Impressive...

Julie in Ohio -- I agree -- this is a great community!

amy*skf -- Congrats on YOUR grandchild!!! What a wonderful gift!

Lizees -- Nice to meet you!

Flip -- We all SHOULD be able to live honestly -- too many people don't/can't. It's changing, though.

Kate P. -- Your son Kit sounds inspiring. Isn't it amazing -- all the important lessons our children teach us?

Sigrun -- nice to see you here, my Canadian friend! (Thanks for the commercial re: Ed's legal thrillers! LOL!)

Hey, Carol -- you should be proud of yourself, too. Cancer survival requires BIG support from family and friends! Hugs to you!

-- Suz

Suz Brockmann said...

Thanks, Michelle B. -- for letting me guest blog and for hosting the official first excerpt from FORCE OF NATURE!

I'll drop by again later tonight!

You rock,
Suz

Sigrun said...

I guess I missed what we were to comment about.

I guess you could say that I'm proud of myself for taking a less rigid stand on some issues. I'm what you could call a "fundamentalist" Christian, too. However I, like everybody else, have my faults and who's to say which "sin" is worse than another. Gossip can be as injurious as killing someone. And I've realized that we are truly all God's creation. I too have family members who are gay and I don't love them any less than the others.

I'm also very proud of my cousin and my niece who have had children "out of wedlock" and kept them. My cousin's daughter is now a vet in Germany where a lot of my family still lives. My niece here was 15 when she became pregnant and now has a 5 year-old boy who has a few problems but in general is a happy and secure child. He still sees his dad from time to time.

I'm really proud of my niece who did not let herself be swayed into giving up her child. My brother, when he finally found out that she was pregnant said immediately, "I hope she's giving the child up for adoption." I was flabbergasted. Yes, my sister and brother-in-law had discussed that with her but she wanted to keep the child. I know I would have never been really at peace if someone had forced me to give up a child (I never had any). I know one friend who grieved for years and her life was miserable because she was forced to give up her child.

Seth is now a happy part of our family. If I sent you a picture of our family reunion, Suz, you could see him there.

Yes, love for others can be so liberating for yourself. That is one of the things I've learned.

MaryKate said...

Aww, Jules, thanks so much for saying how proud you are of me. This hasn't been a good diet week for me, so I appreciate the positive reinforcement. But overall, I'm very proud of having lost 40 pounds this year.

I'm proud of my sister, who suffers from a voice disorder. She'd spent about three years living with absolutely no voice, and whispering to communicate. One day she hit the wall, and went to see yet another vocal specialist who recommended Botox injections. Her voice is back! It's like an answer to a prayer. She gets an injection about every 12 weeks, and her voice sounds like it did before she contracted spasmodic dysphonia. She put her life on hold for years, quit her job and practically became a hermit and now, she's back out there. She's back to nursing (she's the greatest postpartum care nurse in the whole world), and more than that, she's back in life. It makes me so incredibly proud, and selfishly happy because now I can talk to her on the phone. The first time I did that after her first injection, I sobbed. Anyway, I'm SO proud of her.

Also, I'm proud of Michelle. She started small, and is about to hit the big time. She's reaping the benefit of good karma, which is all she puts out there. It makes me incredibly proud to be a Bella, and to have the honor of calling her my friend.

tetewa said...

I'm proud of my brother who recently opened his own insurance company in New Mexico. I'm also proud of my neice who I visited this week at Michigan State University who will be graduating next year.

Michele said...

Thanks for the Gift Certificate Advice, Suzanne. You've helped solve my dilemma.

You're not only a great problem solver for Teams 10 & 16, but in real life too!

Hugs and best of luck on getting the #1 spot on all the lists with Force of Nature!!

Anonymous said...

lizees, I hope we can both find that church. I'm so tired of the fun-damn-mentalists acting as the spokespersons for Christianity. Their hateful spew doesn't represent any kind of Christianity that I know.

I have wondered lately if Brother Falwell was at all surprised to wake up amidst smoke and flames instead of harps and angels. He did more to damage the faith than anyone in this century.

Sonia

azteclady said...

*waving from rainy Florida* Hello, Suz!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for that wonderful glimpse into Jules and Robin in FON--I can't wait!!!

Recently I introduced the man I love to your books, and he gobbled all but Into the Storm in just a few weeks (he has this thing about not buying hardcovers, but I got him a copy since then, so he's all caught up now). Both of us are HUGE fans of Jules (though he says Robin is not good enough--yet?--for Jules. Me? I remember Marylou... *grin*)

So, a deeply felt thank you for giving us such well crafted characters, and so many hours of joy, along with nudging us to think about values and beliefs that we often don't question or examine enough. Thank you.

I am proud of my children, who have both grown into interesting, grounded, rational, and open individuals--the kind of people I like as friends!

Also, like Portia (happy belated birthday!), I'm proud of myself for not giving up when the going has gotten rough. Ups and downs, I'm still here, still kicking, still fighting.

amy*skf said...

Oh Marykate how wonderful for your sister and for you. Don't ever think you're being selfishly happy--just because something makes you happy (and not just for someone else) doesn't make it selfish.

The more I read of everyone's answers the more I thought of to be proud of. Bad sentence--good thought.

I'm proud of Michelle too, the fact that she always keeps things nice--I guess we do that as well--but she always keeps us up. When I think of when she started RBtheBook and then the blog--and how the whole thing just keeps building and building. I feel like a proud Mama--"Look at my little girl!"

I'm proud of my Mom too--she'll be 85 this year and she's a public speaker and writer. In fact she's giving a talk at my library tomorrow! So proud.

Azteclady, what a great thing. You and your husband can talk about Suz Brockmann books together.

LizeeS said...

Sigrun - I believe that any time a Christian learns to be a little less rigid and a little more understanding - it's a blessing! More power to you and your wonderful diverse family!

Sonia - I agree totally that Mr. Falwell will certainly have some 'splainin' to do at the pearly gates. But I don't wish flames and pitchforks for him - just that his will be one of the "every knee" that bends. It is sad that his version of dogmatic Christianity is what the world sees. It's really a liberating, comforting faith that can be awfully fun - or we wouldn't be here on this site! Here's to like-mindedness!

catslady said...

Wow 45 books - I have some catching up to do!!

I'm very proud of my two daughters. One just recently graduated from PSU and just got engaged. My youngest has a few more years of schooling and has accomplished a lot in the art field. And both have worked throughout it all.

ev said...

Fianlly, I am home for the night. We had DH's 50th college reunion tonight. I love the fact that I wasn't even born when he graduated!! We had a great time, and I made a lot of (older) new friends tonight. I love that!!

I so can not wait for this book. I can't read the excerpt because it will just have me jonesing for the rest of the story.

ev said...

Michele- Having a daughter (now 22) who is ADHD and dyslexic with severe ED, I can fully understand your joy at your son's accomplishment. My proudest moment was when she graduated high school, then community college. Now she is trying for her Bachelor's.

It's a struggle, but if he wants it bad enough, he will find ways to do what he wants to in life.We still have rough spots, even now.

Music is probably one of the best things for kids with ADD or ADHD. Most of them tend to be right brainers anyway. Soothing the savage beast maybe???

Encouragement, not force, is the key that I found to work the best.

Sigrun said...

lizees, thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. I guess we all grow up with certain prejudices which really means certain preconceived ideas from our parents and other family members and from the milieu in which we grew up in. It's as we grow up and move away from our narrow, isolated areas that we learn to appreciate other world views and ideas without condemning things that are foreign to us. No matter where or who we are, we are all human beings who want to have our basic needs met. Yet there are so many people in the world who have so much less than we, who go hungry and die from starvation and disease. Those are the ones we must learn to embrace and love enough to do something for them. Most of us have what we *need* or even more than we need; the rest are just *wants*. There are billions of people who need food, health care, housing to survive. The rest seems petty in comparison. But we must definitely make sure that no hate crimes against any one creeps in be it gay people, Muslims, blacks or whoever the present bogeymen are. Even they are not all alike.

Sounds preachy. Sorry but I've been reading quite a number of books about the condition of our world and discovered some horrifying things that I was unaware of before. Only through giving food, education and health care with love can we begin to make a difference.

If you want to find a Christian who is more concerned about what is going on in the world and less about what is going on in the narrow confines of "churches" try to find a book called "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis who is also involved with Sojourners. It's easy to google them. It's one of the books I've been reading and he's not a preachy guy--at least not most of the time--but he is definitely against fundamentalism and is friends with the religious leaders of Jews, Muslims, all kinds of Christian movements, and is getting ideas from all religious leaders to see how to combat hunger and disease and bring peace to the world.

Just to get an idea, look at the Sojourners website.

clare said...

Can't believe no one asked about Sophie and Decker!
...though personally my vote is for David Melkaff.

Julie in Ohio said...

Happy Sunday, Bellas!!!!

Hope your weekend is going great.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

morning, Bellas, new friends! I really missed out on a great discussion late Fri and yesterday. I actually had blogger problems Fri night and just gave up in frustration! I know you know how that is.

Then, yesterday was kinda just a family day, then we visited with friends who are moving out of state in a couple weeks. Dave went to hs and undergrad with the husband, and they ran into each other out of the blue just after we moved here. The wife was like a breath of fresh air, and soon became one of my best friends. She's totally irreverant, liberal as hell, an awesome mom, and, best of all, loves my other friends. We just decided to pretend they're not really moving, and will see them next spring at a college reunion.

I really need to thank all of you who've been saying such nice things about the blog, and being supportive of what's been happening for me. I've almost felt like saying I'm proud of what I've done and am doing, but being a nice Italian Catholic girl, as you know, no good could possibly come of that.

I will say that I'm proud to have stumbled upon something that's given me a chance to be some kind of conduit for hooking folks up who want to talk to each other about romance and other important stuff in our lives.

I'm off to write a quickie post now: cool week coming up here!