Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vanished Awesomeness...

What are your feelings on the elderly? 

Image courtesy of Ishai Parasol
I met a gentleman this last week at the grocery store who had to be in his seventies. He was alone and purchasing a quick meal. I got the sense he didn't have anyone to go home to. His sunken cheeks were a testament to his ill heath and his clothing bagged over him, but when he spoke there was a dignity in his words. 

I was reminded of my World War II veteran grandfather. Here was a man who had lived and worked his days to help build society. He was probably a husband and father at some point, but for whatever reason in this last season of his life, he was alone. My heart broke a little for him.

I've heard an attitude expressed by some, a fear of this older generation. That kills me. I grew up at the feet of my grandparents, listening to their stories and benefiting from their love and wisdom. Those who've experienced a full life have so much to give. Why would anyone deprive themselves of that? Do we just get so busy we forget? And what can we do to slow down and benefit from these wonderful individuals?

Well, enough with deeper thoughts. It's time for a game.

Writerly Wednesdays here are for readers and writers. Get to know authors, test your human lie detector skills, and WIN books. 

Last week, Cathrina Constantine shared her BRAND NEW BOOK COVER along with two truths and one lie about herself. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing to win TALLAS in eBook! --It releases Feb 1, so mark your calendars!

Cathrina's game:

1. Cathrina danced on a Vegas stage.
2. A horse fell on top of her when she was 16.
3. When an icy snowball hit her mouth, she needed 3 stitches.

And the lie is: 

#3. This actually happened to her daughter. She did actually have a horse fall on her while performing a jump. Luckily she only broke her shoulder bone. OUCH! 

Way to guess those of you who got it right! You are officially human lie detectors. And the winner is:


Loni Townsend!

Congrats, Loni!

Today I'm super excited. I've been bloggies with Misha Gericke for YEARS, and I adore her. SO, when I heard about her debut novel, I jumped for joy, and then I read it. And loved it. The blurb:

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess. 

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Pick up your copy HERE.

And now, let me introduce you to the wonderful author: 

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has been creating stories since she was a young child and is now creating better ones to get published. 

She now lives on a farm in the Western Cape, South Africa, featuring a two-hundred year house, awesome scenery, horses, cows, sheep, dogs and her five muses (also known as cats). 

Misha gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Can you figure out the lie? Those who do will go into my magic hat for a chance to win an eBook of The Vanished Knight. Eek! How cool is that? You have until Tuesday, January 28, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on January 29.


1. Misha and her mom own about 8000 paperback books.
2. She wanted to learn how to fence and speak French after reading The Three Musketeers. She learned both, although her French is rusty.
3. Her first ever published piece of writing was a poem she wrote in Eleventh Grade

Remember to join my SUPER FUN blogfest. Details HERE. Oh, and heads up! I'm hosting a Valentines giveaway with this blogfest. If you'd like to participate by offering up a book or swag, shoot me an email before by January 29th. crystal AT crystal-collier DOT com

Okay, what is the lie? And what are your feelings about the elderly? Did you grow up with grandparents in your life? 


  1. No one should be alone and without some family or friends in the end.
    Wow, I'd say number three is the lie.

  2. Hello Crystal! Happy New Year :)
    I love old people. We are old people waiting to happen. Bodies full of wisdom. My Grandad was the best man in my life growing up.

  3. Old people are treasures that should be respected and nurtured, never left to fend for themselves at journey's end. I can only think that those who are afraid of old people are shallow and selfish and will eventually be more alone than those they pushed aside.

  4. Older people have many stories to tell, and they can be very interesting. Grandparents are usually better than parents, having more time to 'talk' to the children. Many children miss out now because they don't live in the same neighbourhood.
    I chat to people older than myself every opportunity I can get.

  5. So sad about the man you met. I'm guessing #3 is the lie.

  6. I was very young when my last grandparent passed away so don't remember them much. I'm envious of my friends who still have theirs.
    I'm glad that my children will be able to know their grandparents, and hopefully learn something from them.

  7. I'm not afraid of the elderly - but I do often assume they're sad and lonely, and I've recently begun to think I might be wrong. I hope so.

    I think the lie is #3!

  8. In the Japanese culture, the elderly are revered and are the most respected members of society. We can learn a lot from thew way they view their elderly...

  9. I think of my great aunts all of the time--they were such strong women, and looked really good way into their 80s. And, switching gears, I LOVE the cover of Misha's novel, and I need to read it!

  10. I'm guessing 3 is the lie.

    I think we need to take more time to listen to the older generation. They have so much wisdom to share!

  11. Thank for featuring my book! And for the awesome review you left. :-)

    I agree that it's sad that the same generation who basically saved the world as we know it are being abandoned left, right and center. It's also just sad to think how much history and wisdom is lost because there's no one to listen to them.

  12. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine. I was blessed to grow up around a large number of older people and so learned their immense value not only to me, but to society. But because as a society we've gone so nuclear, so independent and self-sufficient we have lost touch with the extended family, the aunts, uncles and all the greats which I think isolates people. Kids grow up not knowing "how" to related to older people, being, as you said, afraid of them.

    I've always liked the analogy of old trees. The older, the more gnarled, the more scarred a tree it, the more we tend to love it. We appreciate its beauty and its having survived for generations. Why is it we can't look on our elder population in the same way? Why is it that the young don't seem to get it, they too will be old one day.

    I'm going with #1 as the lie. Congratulations, Misha!

  13. Hi, Crystal,

    Yes, my grandparents were an enormous part of my life until the died by the time I was eleven. So sad. I still have very vivid memories of my grandmother cooking in her kitchen making THE MOST DELICIOUS homemade raviolis, pizzas, and even her own version of pigs in a blanket.

    Gramps would come over every Sunday morning around 7am when EVERYONE in my house was asleep except me. I'd greet him at the door and he smiled a toothless smile, handing me a huge package of THE MOST INCREDIBLE home made cream donuts, crumb cakes, and jelly donuts straight from the bakery.... Yes, this was BEFORE DUNKIN DOUGHNUTS and all those other fast food places. A REAL BAKERY. I can fast them now!

    I love older people because they have LIVED... amazing lives. They have experienced so much our American History. WW!!, Korea, the depression, etc. Life lessons we can ALL learn from.

    It saddens me too, to see them alone... many have families that don't want them. I know of a few cases and it breaks my heart. People can be so cruel and selfish. My mom took care of her parents, loved them, cherished them until they had passed. I did the same. Both of mine died of sicknesses that took them away from me way to soon.

    I sometimes envision myself, like that man you had described. I have no family to speak of really and although friends are WONDERFUL, they are busy with their own lives.

    I just hope, for his sake, that he has some friends who visit him on occasion.

    Whoa, I didn't mean to get so worked up about this subject. I guess it hits home.

    CONGRATS to Misha! She is such a wonderful blogger and friend to us all...

    Her lie, hmmmm. I think the 8000 books is a bit over the top, even for obsessive writers. I love books, adore them, and my shelves and closets are exploding from them, but I don't have anywhere near that many. Five hundred max...

  14. I love elderly people even when they're grumpy. People are having babies at an older age and their grandparents are passing before the little ones can really hang on. Congrats to Misha, I guess the #2 is the lie.

  15. One of my regrets was not seriously interviewing my dear mum-in-law and recording some of her life experiences before she passed away. Our elderly hold our true history and we're letting it slip away.

  16. I grew up in the same house as my grandmother-three generations under one roof. That made for some-interesting-times. As I've said many times over at my blog. Little old ladies are my Kryptonite. I cannot say no to them. :)

    Misha, the book sounds so fun! Congratulations on its release!

  17. We live in a "me"-centric culture, right now. Fewer kids, more adults that don't want kids at all, and no time for "old" people. There is a chance the millennials will change that, though.

  18. I love the elderly folks. For the most part, they are all so much fun to be around.

  19. I'm guessing #3 for both!
    I always think of that Brothers Grimm story (I think it was him) about the family that shoved their grandfather in a corner with a broken bowl at meal times, until the day their son said he expected to do the same to his parents when they got old. From that day on, the parents were much more courteous to the grandfather, and invited him to eat at the table, and listened to his stories.

  20. I think number 3 is the lie.

    About the elderly, I never got the chance to really spend time with, and appreciate my grandparents. My maternal ones and my paternal grandmother passed away when I was very little and I missed out on getting to know my grandfather just out of carelessness. I was young, too busy doing God knows what, and well, by the time I got smarter, he was gone. If I had to do it again, I would spend more time with him, learn more about gardening from him (I inherited his passion for it, I guess).

    I hadn't given my motivations too much analysis, but my regret about my grandfather might be one of the reasons I moved back home to take care of my mother, who's now poorly. I do know I wanted to enjoy her company while we're both still able to do so.

    So yes, my heart breaks for old people who are being neglected by their families, for whatever reason.

    But I'm also forced to admit that some people are very unpleasant when they are still young and healthy ( even to their relations) and that the reason they are alone in their old age is possibly because they pushed away all the people who could have loved them. And I find it sad that in their old age, their people haven't been able to find a way to forgive each other and mend the relationship before the old person passes away.

  21. My grandparents were very involved in my sisters' and my lives. They are all gone now, as is my Mom, and I miss them all. A lot. I often see the elderly - in various stages of health and energy - while out, and wonder what their stories are, what their lives are/were like. I pray they get the care and respect they deserve. I also think that someday that'll be me, with lots of experience under my belt.

  22. I love your deep thoughts Crystal, I learned a lot from listening to my grandmother over the years... we all want a little attention, especially when we are older and feel alone... Great thoughts:)

  23. I think Misha's lie is #1.
    And guess what? She's guesting at my blog this week!

  24. I completely agree with your thoughts. It saddens me we live in a society that stashes their elderly away and forgets about them instead of reveres them.

    Misha's book is fantastic! I think the lie is #3. (I don't need to win the book as I already have it! :) )

  25. Lovel, caring thoughts on the elderly. I wish I could still spend time with my grandparents but they are all gone now.

    Misha's books sounds awesome. I'm going to guess #2. :)

  26. I was partially raised by my grandparents, so I got to hear all the stories about when they were younger (as well as what my father and aunt got up to as kids). Can't say we'd ever be doing half the stuff they did, at least not without getting into trouble, but it sounded like so much fun.

    And I'm going to guess #3.

  27. My paternal grandparents both died far too young, they were both in their fifties. My maternal grandmother and I were extremely close, along with my mom and my daughter. It's because we were close in age - my grandma, my mom and I were all teenage moms. My darling grandmother died in 2011 at the age of 77, and we had the closest relationship we possibly could, so I don't regret anything. I'm very lucky to have had her. My daughter, too...not many people can say they had their great-grandmother living next door to them for the first 18 years of their life. We were blessed.

  28. I personally love to talk to the elderly. They often want someone to talk to and they have a lot to share. Wise words! I worked at an assisted living facility as a waitress in the dining room for a few years- it was awesome. The stories I heard! :)

    Congrats to the winner!

    This week I am guessing #1. Though it is possible...

    The Vanished Lie looks and sounds fabulous. Best of luck to Misha!

  29. One set of grandparents died pretty young. The other lived 2 hrs away, so we saw them rarely. However, it was my great-grandmother who taught me to knit.

    I'm guessing #1 (with the thought that the number is actually higher...).

  30. I grew up across the street from my grandparents and we've always been close. I still call them several times a week just to chat. I can't imagine anyone being afraid or anything of the older generations--that's just sad!

    Okay, hmm, I'm guessing #3 :)

  31. It's funny how you've said 70s is elderly :-) My parents are in their 70s, and I don't consider them elderly at all. Maybe it's because they take such good care of themselves. But I agree, the elderly are filled with wonderful stories of a time many of us never knew. As far as the lie: #2.

  32. I grew up really close to my grandparents, and feel sad about the growing disrespect for the older generation. They've given so much-- and still have so much to give.

  33. I too grew up treasuring my grand mothers and listening to their stories of the past with awe and respect. The thing I struggle most with my elderly and ailing father right now is that he won't talk about past (or much of anything). It breaks my heart.

  34. Woot! I won!!

    I just lost my grandfather in November this past year. I've never experience fear of the older generation (unless you count my grandmother terrifying me with her lead-foot driving). I've always been in awe of my grandparents and hope that someday my future grandchildren will look back at my life with the same love and amazement.

  35. I am going to go with the Three Musketeers thing as a lie.

    As for the elderly, it is sad how we treat them. There is very little respect. I once stood in line behind an elderly gentleman who was taking a bit of time to use the new credit card swiper and the guy behind me got all ignorant about it and kept making comments. One day, if we are one of the lucky ones, we will all be old and our eyes will fail and our fingers won't be as agile.

  36. I suspect for that one elderly gentleman, the problem is found in the fact that even though he's a father, his kids aren't around. My parents and in-laws are getting up there in age and their children have scattered across the country. I think with each generation, families are getting more and more spread out. At one time people were born and died in the same town, rarely leaving. Now people think nothing of taking a job across the country from their is kind of sad. It's as if people have forgotten the importance of family.

  37. I think #1 is a lie.

    I didn't grow up around too many elderly people, but I came to appreciate them when I was older. They have so much to tell us and teach us.

  38. I love to listen to people tell me stories of their lives, and the elderly have so much to share. Every person has a fascinating story. People are quite biased against the elderly, and I think it's sad. I have to see a retina specialist, which means a couple hours stuck in a variety of small waiting rooms (there are several steps everyone has to go through before they see the doctor) with mostly elderly folks (the primary reason to be there is macular degeneration). I talked to a guy one time who, while serving in the navy, had met Teddy Roosevelt. We talked for probably about half an hour. He was such an interesting guy. I think people could get a lot out of listening to older folks. But I've also seen so many people roll their eyes and complain about how much grandma talks about the past, or things of that nature. :( They're missing out on so much.

    That's my long-winded opinion. ;)

    The Warrior Muse

  39. I really don't understand this whole "fear of the older generation" thing. I agree, the elderly have so much to offer! My grandma doesn't even live in the same state as me, but I still managed to learn things from her...

  40. The Vanished Knight- that is a truly beautiful cover.

    The elderly-One of my good friends had to put her mother in a care facility- not because she was losing her mind or anything- more because she was in a wheel chair and couldn't do things alone anymore- anyway- one of the first things my friend did was make a huge collage photo for them to hang in her mothers room- showing all the different things this great woman had been in her life. She told me it was to remind those people who take care of her that she's still human and not just a job and gives them something to talk to her about.

    I think it was a lovely thing to do.
    anyway I'll stop rambling now.

  41. The Vanished Knight is on my TBR and TBB list for February - I'm looking forward to it! The lie is #3.

    I think the elderly deserve our respect, care, and encouragement. My maternal grandparents lived across the street from me when I was little little, and my grandma Pear lived with us after she had a stroke. She was a wonderful part of my life, like a second mom and a grandma all rolled into one.
    Currently, my parents live next door, and my in-laws live about 40 minutes away. We try to visit often - easy with my parents and usually daily, and not too hard with my in-laws but usually every six to eight weeks, and then phone calls. They are all an integral part of our lives.
    I know a lady who "adopts" elderly people as "grandparents" for her kids since her own parents have passed away, and I just think that's awesome and something we could all do. :)

  42. Pearl, not Pear . . .oh, the typos get me.

  43. My grandparents were never close by when they were living, though I always loved going to visit them. I've always had respect for older people and enjoy listening to what they have to say even though they sometimes repeat themselves--but don't we all? I'm getting closer to that age so I hope younger folks respect me when I'm older.

    Tossing It Out

  44. When I was young we spent most every Sunday afternoon either with my father's parents or my mother's parents. They were wonderful and I have fond memories and a lot of photos of them. I've been close to some of my grandchildren, but seldom see the ones that live in California. I think part of the problem is that many families are so scattered today. It's sad they won't have the memories.

  45. I have a thing about lonely middle-aged or older men in my books, I always have them :) I am forunate enough to still have all four of my grandparents alive. When I was young Sunday dinners at Grandma was a weekly tradition. I miss those days.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

  46. You sound like a nice person. And yes, the elderly have lived a lot, so their experiences denote wisdom!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  47. yay! congrats to misha! I have no clue which is the truth and which is the last one? christy

  48. We can learn so much from the elderly. It makes me sad to see some of them forgotten.

    I'm going to guess that number 1 is the lie. :)

  49. I did grow up with grandparents in my life and I'm a better person for it. I will say that I do believe society is afraid of the elderly. People are afraid because they know it will be them someday, so they like to pretend it doesn't exist. Also, people are pulling into themselves more, they're working harder, hiding behind 'social media' and not making friends and creating lasting relationships. Also people are having less children, which means there are less people to share the burden and joy of taking care of aging family members. Maybe some of the fear of the elderly is also a fear of ending up responsible for all of it. I don't know, just a thought.

    I'm going to guess number one is the lie. It may be a trick of the wording, but that's what I'm going with.

  50. I definitely think the elderly are undervalued in our society. They are treasures.

    Congrats to Misha!!

    Dangit! I'm already signed up for a Hop Feb 10, and I've vowed to have better hop management. But I'd be happy to offer an eBook copy of my NA romance, Three Daves for the giveaway. I'll e-mail you right now.

  51. You are so right about the elderly. I think sometimes they can be easy to overlook in this very fast-paced world, but any time I slow down and listen to one, I come away with real wisdom.

  52. The elderly are like a lost generation. I see it all the time. They are ignored or dismissed as useless. Past their sell by date. So sad, because they have decades of life experience and wisdom to offer.

    Congratulations to Misha! I'm guessing the lie is number one.

  53. I like talking to people who are many years older than I am. I often learn a lot.

  54. Misha's lie is #1? It would be awesome to own that many books though.

  55. I was a social worker in a nursing home in Florida. It broke my heart daily to see how the elderly are often treated. We will all be there one day.

  56. I have to love the older generation, a lot of them are my friends! As to the lie, I'll take the 8000 paperbacks.

  57. I know some wonderful elderly people who go to my gym. These random strangers have bonded together and now they're falling into various serious illnesses they are helping each other and taking hospital visits in turn. A whole group of people who would have been alone otherwise.

    I'll guess #1 is Misha's lie.


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