The ‘Wake Up in the Morning with a Smile’ Virus

Happiness and goals: these are gifts we give ourselves.


It’s been four years now and I’m still smitten with the happiness virus. Mine is fed by giving in to my love of writing. Such happiness is not to be cured but should be spread. Fortunate is she who has found her love and followed it. My advice to others: if you have something—a talent or maybe just a strong desire—that causes you to awaken with a grin, embrace it, cultivate it, and share it. It might be good for others, too.
Writing is my happiness. Sharing is my privilege. As of December 2012, I have composed four and a half novels (and published two of them), penned numerous novellas, spent a week in and about Greensboro, North Carolina for the sole purpose of research (it’s the home zone of most of my stories), purchased and/or downloaded dozens of research books, and cut and pasted countless rows into my Excel database of storylines for THE FAIRIES SAGA. I compulsively jot random plots, quotes, and themes into notebooks or tap them onto my smartphone, saving them for (possible) inclusion in future works. Writing is still my happiness.

November 12, 2012, after my return from Greensboro, NC

Goals are gifts we give ourselves and my next one is to travel to Australia in January 2014. Part of FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, the fifth in my series, transpires in January 1788 with the arrival of The First Fleet, the ships laden with prisoners transported from England to Australia. I want to endure the climate at the same time of year as did those hardy men and women, touch and smell the exotic flora, tread those historic sites, investigate the museums, and barefoot those seashores. It’s also a great time and place for research since I’ll be leaving Alaska in the icy gloom of winter to spend a couple of weeks in sunny, summertime Sydney.
Give yourself a gift, a small goal, not one of monetary gain, but of seeking happiness. Singing, sewing, serving others: do what truly makes you happy. A song written for the church choir, a cap crocheted for a new baby, a book of poems for your mother, mowing the lawn for the old couple next door. These are simple gifts; gifts to yourself, and also for others.
Happiness is ours to create, culture, and ultimately, to share.

I left room for my mega novel FAIRIES DOWN UNDER, still in process.

NOTE: I originally wrote this blog almost nine years ago. I think it still applies today. Well, except my ‘fifth’ novel is still not written. I skipped past that one for now, but I DID go to Australia for the research! There are thirteen in THE FAIRIES SAGA series now, and I’m at forty novels written and/or published. Do I still love to write? Absolutely!


Doctors in Love 2: Download to your KU Library or buy today for 99cents on a Countdown Deal!

How To Eat ~ 3 Simple Rules by @Donna_Fasano #HealthyLiving

How To EatI don’t know about you, but I love food. There aren’t very many food items that I won’t eat. Over the course of my life, I’ve been skinny and I’ve been chunky. I’m happy to say that, right now, I’m at a weight that is healthy for me. Here are the three simple rules I used to get there.

Eat Mindfully

Three times each day we have the opportunity to truly practice who we are and what we believe. All of us should ask ourselves a few questions about what we’re eating. Are whole foods healthier for me than processed foods? Am I bothered by what the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers is doing to our planet? Am I concerned with GMOs? Do I want to contribute to my local economy? You could probably think of many more profound questions to ponder… and I invite you to suggest them in the comment section.

Eat Just Enough

My beloved father has passed away. But when eating out, his favorite places to go were “all you can eat” buffets. He was obese and suffered with Type 2 Diabetes. I inherited my love of food from my dad and I’ve come to realize that I am often compelled to eat for reasons other than hunger. I try really hard not to do that, although I have to admit that I fail every once in a while.

As I get older, I find that I am eating less. My metabolism has slowed down, so I don’t need as many calories. I feel better when I eat smaller meals; I suffer fewer bouts of heartburn and bloating. I’m not telling you to go hungry. I’m only suggesting that you eat just enough to feel satisfied and then stop.

Eat Mostly Plants

It’s a fact: eating meat contributes to heart disease, cancer, and a shortened life span. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that animals used for food are treated with abject cruelty. Many years ago, in the time of the hunter/gatherer, there was a deep sense of gratitude, even reverence, offered to any animal that gave its life to the hunter; the sacrifice of the animal was recognized and appreciated. We’ve completely lost sight of that concept. Today, we do the slaughtering in hiding, and the practice is horrendous. A tiny bit of research will show you it’s true. Everyone who eats meat should take the time to really think about how that steak, that bacon, that fried chicken came to be on their plate.

Am I telling you to become vegetarian? Absolutely not. I eat meat. I just don’t eat it very often. And when I do, I do it mindfully.

Reverse Heart Disease

Did you know that a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease? It’s true! Other great reasons to eat mostly plants:

  • Most veggies have only 10 to 50 calories per cup, while 1 cup of cooked ground beef contains 340 calories with 44% saturated fat.
  • Eating plants is better for the environment. It takes 15 pounds of grain to raise 1 pound of beef, and 5 pounds of grain to raise 1 pound of chicken. Animal products are the highest producers of greenhouse gases. It takes 460 gallons of water to produce one quarter-pound hamburger. Wow!
  • It’s cheaper. The average “fast food” meal for a family of 4 costs an average of $24. Well, you can cook a whole pot of lentil soup and serve a fresh salad with a loaf of crusty, fresh-baked bread, and the meal will cost right around $10 for that same family of 4.

I guess what I’m trying to do is get you to think before you eat. I am still a firm believer in the old adage “all things in moderation.” I still have a sweet tooth, and I work hard to get in my 10,000 steps per day, but if we practice more conscious living, all of us will be the better for it.

How do you feel about my 3 simple rules for how to eat? Are there any rules you would add?

We are coming up on Labor Day Weekend

What exactly does that mean?

Per Wikipedia: Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September in any given year to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.

I know a lot of people look at this as the end of summer, the last bit of fun before kids get back to school and we are suddenly inundated with the upcoming holidays. (Can I tell you that a local store already has Thanksgiving decorations up? Really? Come on!)

We have a strong workforce in America, and I attribute a lot of that to how hard our military works to fight for our freedom. With what is happening currently, I have many military friends dealing with grief, pain, confusion, and a whole lot of anger. My heart breaks for them, but I won’t get into the reasons why–not now.

What I did want to share with you, is that I have a series dedicated to our military, past, present, and future. While the series does have a subplot of romance, it mainly focuses on the issues that our military service members struggle with after the war is over. The series is intense and emotional, and sometimes just downright heartbreaking–but it’s the truth because it’s realistic military fiction.

I have had many military service members, along with military family members read the books and reach out to me to say thank you, and they sincerely appreciate what I am trying to do with my series. Educate those who don’t understand, PTSD, Suicide ideation, TBI’s, depression, and so many other things.

So this Labor Day weekend, when you are kicked back and enjoying the fun, pick up a book that will show you how hard our military works, and how much they need our help.

The Rise Again Warrior Series

Mission: Believe, Book 1

**Mission: Believe, Bronze Star Winner, Readers Favorite Awards, Realistic Military Fiction 2020**
What can one disabled man do for military veterans who suffer from physical pain, mental anguish, social unacceptance, and disturbing thoughts of suicide?

Staff Sgt. Shane Logan is fortunate to have come from a privileged family, and after losing both of his legs in the war, he now has the best prosthetics that money can buy. While Shane is trying to move forward with life, he struggles with memories of his traumatic service and the way people react to him and his disability.

Dr. Lauren Falcone works tirelessly to assist veterans in dealing with the trauma and pain of their deployments and service. Her unique virtual approach to therapy keeps her busy, and the assistance she provides to service members as they recover mentally helps to resolve her own anxieties.

When Shane meets Lauren at a fundraiser for his father’s organization, he wonders if there might be a chance for him to get his dream off the ground and maybe have a normal life. If anyone can look past his flaws and see the man he is inside, it’s Lauren.

Shane and Lauren are drawn to each other by their hope to make life easier for veterans, both physically and emotionally. Their goal is to build Shane’s dream organization, Rise Again Warrior. An organization that will assist veterans to integrate more easily into society and receive state-of-the-art technology and therapy.

Now, if they can only have faith in themselves, learn to deal with their own demons, and believe in each other, they might find a way to bring this dream to fruition.

Mission: Accept, Book 2

Mission: Accept, Gold Star Winner, Readers Favorite Awards, Military Fiction Genre 2021

Dana Donahue might be Shane Logan’s cousin, but she’s nothing like him—she’s quite the opposite of him. Her thoughts focus on what money and people can do for her. She never approved of Shane joining the military and knows little about the world he has lived in for most of his life. All that will change when she has to ask him for a job after her father cuts her off.

Derek Stall lives on the streets by choice—not circumstance. Memories of what he did under order sometimes haunt him, other times give him the strength to move through one more day until he can finish the mission he started.

A chance meeting between Dana and Derek will lead to an unlikely friendship that might just save his life, but the drastic differences between them could be the dividing wedge that keeps them apart. When Derek feels he has to leave Rise Again Warrior to complete his mission, he begins to realize that he could be leaving behind more than just a few friends. Could he be leaving behind the possibility of a healthy future before he finally accepts his past?

Mission: Repair

(Currently ON SALE until the 4th!)

Technical Sergeant Brady Vanover had a solid career in the United States Air Force, along with a loving wife, and two young children. Everything was his for the taking, but after a non-life-threatening injury on deployment, Brady is for the first time unsure of his future.

Brady continues to struggle with his pain, fight the system, and figure out where his life will go now. With anger issues growing and his need to self-medicate with alcohol and pain medication, Brady finds himself teetering on the edge of losing himself and his family.

With the help of the Rise Again Warrior organization, Brady will have to work hard to repair what he has damaged, both mentally and physically.

NOTE: Mission: Repair takes an in-depth look at PTSD, depression, addiction, and suicide. This story may be difficult for someone how has dealt with such things.

Mission: Courage, Book 4

(Coming November 30th)

After ten years in the Army, Gianna Roberts is detached and unsure what to do with herself. As a single mom, the stress of being home and raising children she barely knows weighs heavily on her heart. Before long, she finds herself on a dangerous road of self-destruction.


When Gianna Roberts arrives at Rise Again Warrior, she clashes with Nate Hardy upon arrival, but these two find that they have more in common than they initially thought. With a fragile relationship growing, Nate will help Gianna find her courage to be the mother that she needs to be and leave behind the guilt and pain from her past.

To find out more about the Rise Again Warrior series visit my website, www.stacyeaton.com or follow my Rise Again Warrior page on Facebook.

Indiana Jones in Petra

I visited Petra almost ten years ago as part of a cruise that took us from Italy all the way to Singapore, sailing the Mediterranean, crossing the Suez Canal, and continuing through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The blockbuster film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade was partly filmed in the ancient city of Petra, a place unknown to much of the world before 1989. Indiana Jones was reviewed as “One of the best action-adventure films of all time,” and “One of the all-time greats. Harrison Ford is perfection-plus as Indiana Jones, so iconic a character that the AFI cited him as the second greatest movie hero of all time.”

“Archeology has never been so cool.”

Located between rugged desert canyons and mountains– in what is now the southwestern corner of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan– Petra was once a thriving trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries. In the early 1800s, a European traveler disguised himself in Bedouin costume and infiltrated the mysterious site. In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Bab Al Siq’ is Arabic for gateway to the ‘siq’. Here we discovered squared monuments, the massive Djinn blocks, and the Obelisk Tomb, carved in the 1st century AD. Above the tomb are four pyramids as well as a niche with a statue in bas-relief that is a symbolic representation of the five people buried there. An inscription indicated that the tomb was used for Abdomanchos and his family, probably in 40- 70 AD.

The Siq, the main road that leads to the city, is a rock canal that measures 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest was carved by the Nabataeans.

The siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade; the Treasury, or Al Khazna (in Arabic). It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters, and comprises three chambers. The most recent excavation has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury. 

Almost three decades ago, George Lucas decided to use the monumental Treasury, the centerpiece of Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, as the exterior of The Temple of the Sun in his movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Cast and crew had to travel all the way to Jordan for just one day of shooting, because that’s all it took to make those scenes work.

The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh’s treasure. Although the original function is still a mystery, The Treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC. However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty.

While the filmmakers were allowed to have free access to the main entrance chamber, access is prohibited to most mortal visitors. The good news is that the most spectacular part of the location is its exterior – as well as the path you need to take to get there in the first place.

The 1.2 kilometer-long walk through a cleft called The Siq is the only way to access the Treasury and come back to the entrance.

Carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra was “lost” to the Western world for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately with the pandemic going on for almost two years, I have stopped traveling. Instead I write non-stop and have finished writing a series of eight romance novels, LOVE PLANS. The five first books are on pre-order, and SAILING AWAY PLANS will be released tomorrow.

Love Plans Series:

Sailing Away Plans: The successful surgeon quits work to start a new life in the Caribbean, on his new boat and in a new clinic, but love strikes at the wrong time. [RELEASE DAY 9/2]

Dating Plans: Attraction sizzles between a divorced surgeon and a psychologist with a challenging daughter. Things get more difficult when the teenager’s father returns.

Rescue Plans: Arianna fought hard to escape the slums and become a flight nurse. Captain Lopez taught her to conquer fear. Can he help her forget the scum from the past and win her trust?

Wedding Plans: Will the doctor make the right decision between an angry fiancée and a medical emergency?

Baby Plans: They meet at the artificial insemination clinic. Zach is doing research for an article. Audrey is secretly getting a baby. But artificial insemination works in many ways…