Friday, May 13, 2016

'The Cold Room' is now available in book form!!

My book, 'The Cold Room', is now available in physical form on Amazon! YAY!! We did a little alteration of the cover, giving credit to our very talented Bella who took the picture and included my maiden name which is HaĊĦek. My father's people came from the old country of Czechoslovakia and were gypsies, and for those who have read the book, you now understand who I might be :) For those who still might read it, you are in for a treat!  ;) Having my book made the old fashioned way makes me most happy because I'm an old soul and I love books - heck I hoard them. Even though I have a Kindle, I still buy real books and visit book stores and go hunting for that perfect bookmark. Truthfully, I hardly ever use my Kindle because I still love feeling the weight of a book in my hands, and smelling the pages. I love turning the paper as you finish a page & nothing is better than closing a good book after it's over and hugging it tight in your arms. So for you old souls out there, I hope you hold my book tight and I hope you read and reread it over and over and over.  And if you're ever in the area, I'll sign it for free if you wish. 
 Thanks so much for all the love and support I've already received! My heart is so full! Please buy, please read, please spread the word and please post reviews on Amazon & on Goodreads! Thank you soooo much! You guys are soooo awesome!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Book Launch Day! Today has really come!

What a beautiful day already! I can't believe this day has truly come. My heart is so full. I'm trying to control my tears but they are such happy ones I will let them fall today.

Today is my birthday & the day I have dreamed about for so many years. It's the day my very 1st book is out for the world to read. I have mixed feelings about this as it's been my baby for so long and my characters have never left me. It's hard to let them be go for others to know and judge. Constructing this book has been such a haunting experience. Friends & family & those who are just starting to know me, please know, this book is my heart and holds so much of me in it. So many pieces of my life are tucked into the Balancovat history.

Please know this book is not perfect. Mike (my husband) and a few dear friends were my editors. We looked into a professional one but we were unable to come up with the funds. I feel my own editors did an amazing job and I couldn't be more pleased.

I'm so thankful for those readers who where with me from the very beginning. It was a rough start but they stuck by my side because they knew there was a story in there somewhere. I needed them more than they will ever understand.

I couldn't have done this without the love I felt from hundreds of miles away. My parents are such amazing people and the hardest working couple I have ever known. Never once did a phone call not include something about my writing and my books. They kept my dream alive and pushed and encouraged me along. When I was a young girl they gave me the experience of living on a farm which is the setting of my book. They let me explore and make up my own stories and run and fly and live. They never once stepped on my dreams. They are such perfect examples for me to follow. I love them so much! 
I couldn't have done this with without the love and support of my children. They prayed hard for this book to happen. They acted out the story in plays, they made paper dolls of my characters, drew endless pictures and some even used their own birthday wishes on my dream. The days I'd get discouraged, they would slip notes under my door telling me to never give up and they believed in me. They carried me through the hardest times. They've been my loudest cheerleaders and carefully carried my heart when it was broken.
Lastly I want to thank my husband. (I'm crying so hard as I type this). Without him this book truly wouldn't have happened. He was hard on me but it was because he believed in me and he wasn't going to let me throw this dream away. He knew I needed it and he knew I had a story to tell. So many arguments were a result of my stubbornness and he telling me I was doing it wrong. This conversations is embedded in our minds as it happened all the time and still does to this day. Mike: "You just can't say it that way, it's not correct!" Me: "but that's how I see it in my mind!" I'm starting to believe everything he tells me. He's always right. I adore him. No one else would have ever gone through this with me. Like my parents, he lets me fly. never once has he tried to clip my wings. I never really knew myself until I married him. I love you, Mike!  
I hope you all will enjoy my book. Wren is such a dear girl to me. Her life is my life in many ways. Knowing her is knowing me. I hope you will take a chance on her. I hope she brings you adventures and headaches and frustrations but mostly I hope she keeps you cheering for her. I hope you fall in love with her. Thank you for all your love and support! It means the world to me! Below is the link to my book. I hope you will enjoy it! (the selected images are not mine).

Saturday, September 26, 2015


19 years ago today, I became the person I dreamed about all my life. I couldn't wait and it was Emma who made that happen. 3 was the magic number. 

Emma has been such a joy, a light, an amazing child full of life and determination. Ever since she was little she has been independent, and always doing things her own way. She's smart, talented, and beautiful. I still see her running around the house with pink bunny and her gaga's (pacifiers). She used to carry them everywhere. She believed in fairies, dreamed of being Cinderella, and pink was her favorite color. Her hair was thin and always a wispy mess, her cheeks were chubby and rosy, and she loved the PBS show Arthur. 

When she got a little older, she learned how to read at a young age and before we knew it, she was devouring the American Girl books. We bought her one doll (Samantha, her favorite), but that wasn't enough. Samantha needed friends so Emma worked hard to earn money and every year she had enough to buy another American Girl doll. 

Emma has always been such a hard worker, and one who makes goals and doesn't stray away from her mission to achieve. In high school, a talent awakened and she went with it. She tried out for community plays and always got the parts. Her talent grew even more when she preformed in her high school. 

In high school her eyes were opened to the injustice around her and she extended her hand to the outcast, the lonely and the abused. She is loved by so many. It was here she realized she could make a difference in the world. 

Now she's all grown up and working 2 jobs, plus she gets up at 5am to take some of her younger siblings to an early morning church class before school each day, then takes them on to school. She comes home showers for her jobs and then doesn't get home until after 10pm. She does this every weekday with never a complaint. This January, she leaves on a plane for college in Idaho. There she will begin her new journey and it will be there where she learns how she can make an impact in this world. I know she will. 

I can't even let myself think about the day we send her off. How I'll miss her cheerful chatter, our night visits about her day, and her little surprises she likes to give because she's thinking of us. Do I worry about Emma?, sure I worry because that's what mom's do, but it's nice having a peace in my heart that she's going to be just fine. What an amazing woman Emma has become. This next chapter in her life will surely rock the world as she spreads her wings. 

I love you, Emma! I'm proud of you! Happy Birthday my little Gert the Squirt! You make my heart sing!


Friday, June 19, 2015

The Dark Intruder of the Night

Last night I was woken by a tiny squeaky noise and the flapping of wings above my head. I reached over to wake my husband but he was gone. I quickly flipped on the light and, to my fright, something came swooping down at me. I made my escape to the bathroom where I cracked the door and watched the little creature circle my bedroom. I stressed about what to do for I knew I couldn't leave it the master of my chamber. Finally resolved, I climbed my through the messy adjoining bedrooms and down the back stairway and through the library, where our ghost resides. Mr. Ghost is an old man who smokes cigars and doesn't like visitors in the late hours. I somehow escaped his snare and the chill that follows you if you enter his room. I found my husband in the next room sound asleep in the game room with his prized toy glowing in the background. The X-Files music fit the mood. "Mike!" I whispered, and upon my voice he jumped up. I told him of my resent endeavor, which he replied, "only you, Carrie, only you. Now where is that worthless cat you love so much?"

I found Poppy outside eating a frog. She growled when I snatched her up and she continued to do the same as I ran her upstairs where I cracked open the door to make sure the coast was clear. Mike was know where to be found and I whispered out to him. "Turn out the light," he said. We crawled into bed and I pulled the covers tight to my chin. "I assure you I saw what I saw." I told him. Within seconds he too heard the noise and we both froze as Poppy made her decent on the creature. "No!" I cried, "you can't let her eat it!" I flipped on the light against Mike's instruction and Poppy darted from out of a corner and retreated to the other side of the room. "Worthless cat," Mike mumbled. We found the little intruder behind a nightstand all founded up and tucked in so tight. We wondered what to do next and if it might have rabies and if it's teeth were sharp. As Mike grabbed a legal pad to smash it, I grabbed a bucket (which happened to have skulls on it) to catch it. The next few minutes would have won us a slot on America's Funnies Videos but we caught the devil under the bucket and we used the legal pad to slide under it. "Can we keep it?" I begged. In my mind I remembered the most adorable vintage bird cage I had in the shed. It being a tiny square thing with turquoise details. I always pictured a little finch in it but the monster under the bucket was ten times better. I didn't have to hear Mike to know the look on his face told me, "Absolutely not!" We ran the thing downstairs and opened the outside door and released the monster into the night. We didn't even see it take off in flight as the night was so dark and rainy. When Mike and I went back to bed, I whispered to my husband, "thank you Dr. Van Helsing," which he replied, "You are very welcome, Lucy."      

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Year of Getting Back in Shape

Rarely, did I have a moment to myself. With my husband away at law school, and me at home being mother and father to seven children, you can only imagine what life was like at times. I won't go into details; just know time for me just wasn't happening. (This picture is of me at my largest).

This time last year, Mike started doing an online fitness program and when he suggested I start doing it too, I was offended. How dare he suggest I add one more something to my plate that was already overflowing with responsibilities. The last thing I wanted to do was exercise, even though I didn't like the way looked. I hated looking in the mirror. My petite frame of 5' was no longer so dainty. Still, the thought of exercising was exhausting. 

I'm the kind of person who is a bit reserved when it comes to a new task because once I put my mind to something, I don't usually stop. I tend to turn into a machine until it's finished. So when I'm truly on board with something, I'm doing it 100%. 

I will never forget the day I started. I opened up the link Mike had sent me months ago to the free online fitness program called Hasfit. There I listened and followed my personal trainer, Coach Kozak, as he got me started on this journey. For the first 30 days, I faithfully did as I was told, hoping to see an improvement and though I felt better and stronger, I lost no weight or inches. After that 30 days, I felt discouraged, yet I moved on to the Warrior 90 day workout plan and for 90 days I got my butt kicked but I hung in there and I faithfully worked hard. This is when I started to see the first pounds drop and the inches leave. For 120 days I had been working faithfully giving it my all.

When the weather started to warm up, I wanted to take to nature at times so I also took up jogging. I had been a runner in college and did 5k's for fun but after I got married and started a family, I stopped. Running was hard now, because I hate it. It's all mental for me. The entire time I would ask myself why I was doing this horrible torture, yet, I kept running. I started with a mile and then worked up to 2 then 5. I reluctantly agreed to race in a 5k with some lady friends and to my surprise, I did very well. This gave me a new motivation, to keep doing Hasfit and keep running. Soon my clothes were literally falling off of me. My size large tops just hung, and my size 10 jeans fell right off my hips. I couldn't believe I was fitting into size 6 dresses again! 

Now, nearly, a year ago from when I started, I weigh 105lbs because I've lost 40lbs! And wear a size 2 in jeans. Those dresses I bought while in the middle of this journey don't even fit anymore. That size 6 is too big. I now wear a 2 or extra small. 

People ask me how I did it, which is the reason for this blog entry. They ask what pill I took, what did I eliminate from my diet, heck, did I stop eating completely. Folks, this is the honest truth, I didn't take a pill or eliminate anything. I love sugar and I love bread and meat and creamy sauces. I love food. But I did teach myself that it's okay to not finish everything on my plate and to stop eating when your body tells you it's satisfied. Sure you want more of that pie or that other taco would be so tasty but your body doesn't need it. I cut my portions in half. I still ate what I normally did but not as much. I slowed down and I listened to my body. I never thought I would be satisfied with a 1/2 cup of ice cream but sometimes, that 1/2 cup is even too much. Sometimes all I need is a spoonful. And yes, I exercised.

It feels good to be healthy again. It feels good to have done something for me. I like to go shopping again. I love to pull on a size 2 in jeans and zip and button them with ease and for me to question if they are truly size 2's only to see they are! This was the best thing for me to do for myself. Being in my 40's was once depressing but not anymore. I like who I am. I liked finding myself again. 

Was this a hard journey? I'm not going to lie, you bet it was hard work. It should be and it still is. It took a year of dedication but it's been worth it. Next year will come, whether we are healthy or not. You might as well do it healthy and feel amazing in the end. 

Now on to that 10k! Who wants to do it with me!    

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Year of Goals and Dreams

 Has it been nearly a year since my last post? WOW! Hopefully with the new year on it's way, I will do much better and keep you readers up to date on the goings on in my neck of the woods. First, I wanted to send out a 'Thank You' to those who messaged me asking why I had stopped my blog. Some of you, I had never met and didn't know you followed. You will never understand my excitement to know I had folks out there reading my words. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me and get me motivated again. 

I have to believe my lack of motivation for my blog came when I decided to leave my literary agent. Sadly, she didn't deliver as I had hoped. Apparently, there was more who had the same concerns as I and the way this agent handled her business. She lost many of her clients when the renewal of contracts came back around.  Since the great exit, books have been published without her and new agents have been found! I'm so proud so many of my literary friends didn't let this experience hold them back. They are getting the recognition they deserve and their stories are being read.

For me, I almost gave it all up. I was devastated, and I couldn't imagine starting all over again. Thankfully a publishing house heard about me and a dear lady asked for a sample. I sent her a piece of my YA book and she was hooked, but that's all I can say for now. It's not a guarantee and I have some work to do. I have hope this might be my year. So, I continue on with the plan my stories will meet the masses and they will touch hearts and fans will keep turning those pages.

 Thank you to all who root and cheer me along. It has been a journey, and one that isn't finished yet. 

To all of you new authors out there, let me give you a tiny bit of advice from someone who learned it the hard way, please...PLEASE, I beg you, do your homework when you search for an agent. I know how excited you are when you get one who finally says 'yes' but that yes can turn disastrous if in the wrong hands. Look at their website and search to see what books they have sold, if any. Talk to others before you get too excited. If something doesn't feel right, it might not be. There are some awesome literary agents out there who will move you on the right paths to publication and then there are some who will sit on your hard work and do nothing and tell you lies. You deserve to know what they are doing for you and they should be honest.

Thank you friends for visiting me again! Now on to those edits! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Nothing like Vintage Valentines!

My heart will always be with the retro Valentines! They were the cutest! Today's Valentines don't carry the personality they once did.

One of my favorite times of the year was the Valentine exchange in grade school. I had so much fun decorating my box and getting it just perfect.

I loved getting the list of names of my classmates who I would give a special little card too. I couldn't wait to see the collection I would get in my box too! It was always a mishmash of fun and colorful designs that made my brain pop with excitement. I wish I still had every single one. Sadly I'm sure my mom did a bedroom clean out and they'd get tossed away because I would never throw them away.

Thankfully we have eBay and yard sales and flea markets. It's been fun collecting pieces of my past again. Here are tiny few from my collection that I remember as a little girl.

I hope you all have a beautiful Valentines Day