Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z: Z and Writerly Wednesday (Including free stuff)

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

hang, Lili. I'm always inspired by someone who would put the welfare of others before themselves. In May, 2012, this woman risked her life by shoving her students out of the way of an oncoming bus, but in the process, she couldn't save herself. Her legs ended up under the wheels of the bus.

Zhang Lili was already greatly loved by students and staff alike at the school where she taught, but on this occasion she showed her true character. The accident resulted in losing both her legs and being in a coma for a time. After several months of rehabilitation, she was able to go home, and now faces life without use of those limbs.

We talk about being willing to give our lives for others, but would you be willing to give your legs? I don't think those thoughts flashed through her mind when Lili saw those kids in danger's way. She simply acted, and revealed her true character.

I would hope, in a similar circumstance, I'd be just as quick to act, and just as selfless. I can't imagine how this woman faces each day and challenge, but I imagine she never looks down and wishes she hadn't acted.



Are you ready to meet a new author and enter to win an awesome book? 

Last week, the lovely Ashley Nixon shared CUTLASS with us, along with two truths and one lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win her awesome new book.

Ashley's game:

1. Ashley memorized all the lines to The Two Towers after watching the movie for about 30 days straight.
2. She has a really weird scar on her neck that looks like she was stabbed by a fork...or bitten by a vampire.
3. When she was little, she had an imaginary friend monster named Petie.

And the lie is: 

#3. Ashley's FRIEND had the imaginary monster affectionately named Petie. 

This one was tricky and in fact, only 3 people guessed it right. Way to guess Jennifer Chandler, Liz Blocker and Chrys Fey! And the winner is:
...DRUM ROLL...

Chrys Fey!

Congrats Chrys! And to the rest of you, YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN VIA RAFFLECOPTER!!!

And now to today's defying feature:

The residents of Impervious are the remnant—survivors of the War of Annihilation. And though the city is chockfull of pleasures to tantalize and entertain, a beast lurks in its corners haunting the residents with its presence. The Beast—a mysterious and terminal illness--has killed off most of Generations One, Two and Three. And as Gen-Four prepares to take the stage a provocative, yet questionable, new method to avoid an untimely death becomes a cultural rage.

But Fran is counter-cultural. And living off the grid in true rebel fashion, her life is far from opulent. Scurrying through dark tunnels, searching for hot meals and ditching the holographic security team encompass most of her day. However, she views it as a healthy trade-off. Unaccountability means The Council can’t steal her sliver of hope--a belief that she’ll see The Epoch arrive before the beast can pull her into its fetid embrace.

After losing her mother and then her Rebel mentor, however, she grasps painfully onto the splintered sliver, until a new hope is born. First through Pete. And then through a miraculous discovery.

But the question still haunts her… Can she outrun The Beast?
Pick up your copy HERE.
Let me introduce you to the amazing author: 

Heather Letto—mom of two strapping young men and the wife of a brilliant computer programmer—is a follower of Christ and worker in the kingdom. She’s active in her home church, The Chapel, a non-denominational, multi-site Christ centered church which spans several counties in the Chicago suburban area, and has a long history of freelance writing projects beginning in the early 1990’s. Her first published articles appeared when she worked as a Stringer for the Daily Herald, a daily newspaper covering the Chicago-suburban area. Since then, she’s penned articles for The Fit Christian, WHOAwoman Magazine, Devotion Magazine as well as Tween Girls and God. As well she writes curriculum for the Swagga4Christ ministry.

When asked her favorite cheese, she responded: Burnt. I'll pick off (and snack on) freshly burnt cheese from just about any clean surface. :D

Yes! I was given the opportunity to review this wonderful book, and you can read my thoughts HERE.


Heather gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for a chance to win a signed ARC of IMPERVIOUSYou have until Tuesday, May 6, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on May 7.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. Heather has abnormally large feet and is afraid to get pedicures because women will laugh at her in their native tongue.
2. As a preschooler, she was the self-appointed guard of their front yard. She yelled at the mailman to, "Get off my property!" He told on her. A lot. She got spanked. A lot.
3. Her cat's name is Charlie... 'cuz he bit her finger.

Which is the lie? Have you ever seen an act of true valor? Do you have any scars you live with as the result of a good decision? What would you be willing to sacrifice for another person?

182 comments:

  1. Definitely food for thought. What a true hero!

    Lovely covers, all three!

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  2. Now that what I call a hero, someone who acts in the moment, spontaneously, without thought of self. I hope one day she gets a pair of artificial legs.

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  3. I often think about what would happen in that type of situation and every time I would give my own life, for that of a child. Great post!

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  4. Miles is my favorite character, so thank you for the interview! I've missed him :/

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    1. Hee hee hee. I can't get enough Miles time either. He's such a great guy.

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  5. Thank you for introducing - or reintroducing - me to such wonderful heroes through your A-Z posts!

    Happy Z Day!

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    1. Thank you for playing along, Madeline. It's been a blast.

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  6. Thank you so much for introducing us to Zhang Lili's story. It doesn't get much more inspiring than that. What a truly selfless act.

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  7. I'd never heard of this lady before. I do like to think I would react the same way if I saw children in danger but I guess we never know unless it actually happens. You've presented such an inspiring group of people this month!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. It's been a great year, hasn't it?

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  8. Hey Crystal
    Thankfully I've never been in a situation to witness a selfless act. Zhang was truly selfless. We think we've had a hard time with the A-Z Challenge, it must be terrible for those who have to face the challenge of getting through each day without legs or other impediments.
    I've had another op to replace the parts the lobotomy removed -LOL
    Let's party, and celebrate being survivors.

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    1. Yeah! I'll bring the cheese, you bring the popcorn. =) (If your brain is recovered enough to remember...)

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  9. I honestly don't know what I would do in that kind of situation. I'd like to think I'd react but what if I stood frozen? She's truly an inspiration.

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  10. What a great theme you came up with for the A to Z. Reading your posts I have met many heroes, many I would not have known about if not for you. I will go back and read the posts I missed. A very important and inspiring choice, thank you Crystal. And I too would have no idea what to do in her situation. I once saved a life, but it was under much more quiet circumstances.

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    1. You saved a life? That's amazing. I dreamed that I resuscitated someone, but that's as close as I've come. (Unless you can count stopping your own child from choking.)

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  11. What a beautiful story, Crystal! I'm sure you are right, she never thinks, "I wish I hadn't acted." Thanks for sharing it.

    As for the lie, I'm going with 3.

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    1. Kai! Been a while since I've seen your smiley face. Glad you're still kicking!

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  12. What an inspiration! I wonder how many of us would have done the same thing.

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  13. Decisions! 1 or 3?! I pick number 1. She doesn't look like she has big feet;-D
    What a true hero! Unbelievable story.
    Heather's book looks fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! (and a double thanks for thinking I don't have big feet!)

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  14. Lie #2!

    That was very heroic. I'm sure it was well worth the sacrifice of her legs to save lives. I can't even imagine being in that situation.

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    1. I know! A split second decision and everything changes.

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  15. Last day of A to Z!! We made it!

    What a wonderful inspirational story. Zhang Lili is an amazing example of selfless love and bravery in the face of danger. Thank you for sharing her story and the stories of all your heroes throughout the month!

    Loved the interview with Miles! So cool!

    As for the lie, I'm going with #3. Happy Z day!!

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    1. Yay! *tossing cheese confetti* We're alive!

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  16. Thanks for sharing Zhang's story with us. She is truly a hero. I hope, given a similar situation, I'd react as she did.

    On behalf of BookFish Books thanks for sharing Heather's debut release and for reviewing for us. Sending you much virtual cheese as thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. It's a joy to have Heather.

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  17. Zhang's story is truly inspirational!
    You've showcased a range of wonderful heroes/heroines throughout the challenge Crystal!
    Congrats on reaching the finish line!!
    Now go and indulge yourself on some cheese!

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    1. Same to you, Michelle, and I do believe I will have some cheese. Thank you.

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  18. That's quite a story of heroism and fast thinking. I'm not sure I would have been able to do react as Lili did.

    Thanks for mentioning the new books. Here's to getting through the A to Z!

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  19. That teacher is a hero! What a great story. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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  20. That teacher IS a hero. What's more, I would bet that most teachers would do the exact same thing. I'm not diminishing what she did at ALL - just celebrating all teachers, and their devotion to their kids.

    Love that interview!! And congratulations, Heather!!

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    1. I agree. There are so many wonderful teachers out there.

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  21. That's so sad she lost her legs! What a an act though! She's a great person.

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  22. Congratulations on finishing the A to Z, Crystal!

    What a moving story of heroism. Selflessness like that exhibited by Lili Zhang can't help but inspire.

    VR Barkowski

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  23. wow i cannot imagine that kind of sacrifice--may God bless her----i think the lie is the preschool one #2--great job crystal :)

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! So great to see you out and about. =)

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  24. I've loved reading about all your heroes through this challenge! <3

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    1. Thanks, Kyra. It's been a good one, eh?

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  25. Beautiful hero tribute. I'm with you. I hope I would be able to make such a sacrifice if I was ever in that situation.
    I'm going to vote for #3 as the lie. I really hope #1 is the truth.
    Congrats on finishing A to Z--what an accomplishment!

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    1. LOL. I love that--your motives behind the guess.

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  26. That teacher is a true hero. Since I'm an animal-lover, I've heard a lot of stories about pets sacrificing like that for their humans, like dogs who pulled their owners away from a train or subway, a dog who took several bullets to save her human from an abusive boyfriend, and a pet pig on a leash who swam into the ocean to save her little human with Down's Syndrome from drowning. The most recent animal hero story I've heard is of a pony who's being treated for severe burns and infection, after standing in a barn fire to shield her 2-week-old foal from the flames.

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    1. Wow. It's amazing isn't it? We all need that instinct to protect ingrained.

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  27. Congratulations on finishing the Challenge! I've really enjoyed your heroes theme. Today's is the perfect end to the month. A true selfless human being. :)

    I'm going to guess the lie is #1. Only because I've never had a pedi since I feel the same way!

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  28. I think we all have that protective instinct with children. I'd like to believe it's so biological, most of us would act similarly in the same situation.

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  29. What a selfless act. Some people are just simply amazing. This was such a good theme Crystal and it was inspiring to read about such marvellous people everyday. You did an awesome job and it's been a pleasure to follow your A-Z on real life heroes. Knock out, kiddo xx

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  30. Hi Crystal! Thanks so much for hosting IMPERVIOUS today! And, speaking on behalf of Fran, she's humbled to be included in the mix of such heroism! (Now to go find me some burnt cheese to nosh!) :-)

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    1. It was an honor to have you and your wonderful book.

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  31. Hi Crystal - bought .. thankyou! If it's raining cheese I must be able to stop and have some supper ... but reading about Zhang Lili - amazing woman - it does put life in perspective doesn't it ... I certainly hope she can live happily and comfortable now, despite the accident - and is remembered ..

    Cheers and thanks for all the A-Z support .. see you soon - Hilary

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    1. Yay! Please do stop and have some supper. =)

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  32. That is an amazing display of character. I imagine your right she never has any regrets for what she did, though the outcome could not have been anticipated, I'm sure.

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  33. An amazing women. When I read stories like this, I wonder what I'd do in such a situation. I'd like to think I would do exactly what Lili did.
    Congrats on completing the challenge, Crystal! Yay, we're done. Also, it's been great meeting you, and Im looking forward reading your blog post AZs.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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    1. Yay! I've enjoyed "hanging" with you, Silvia.

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  34. Zhang Lili is amazing for risking her life to save her students. I hope that I would do the same thing if I was ever in a situation like that.

    I still can't believe I won. I never win anything and I just won two things in two days. Maybe my luck is turning around. :D

    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I've enjoyed reading about all of these heroes.

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    1. It's been an awesome challenge, eh? I loved your series as well.

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  35. Another tribute to selflessness and courage. I'm glad I stopped in here for A to Z. I'll be dropping by periodically to see what else goes on around here(just a fair warning). :)

    The Immarcescible Word

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad. (No warning needed.)

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  36. I would hope I'd do the same, but that was a tremendous sacrifice on her part.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge!

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    1. Same to you, Alex. (Pst, I want my cloning machine back.)

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  37. I was a teacher, and it's so gratifying to see her behavior. It demonstrates what's inside (I won't say all, because I sure worked with some...other types of people) MOST teachers' hearts. Love for those who trust her to take care of them.
    Congrats on the finishing!!!!! Now that it's over, I'll be able to visit my favorite cheese fan more often. Sure was fun doing the #azchat with you!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. Yay! I've missed your normal visits, Tina.

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  38. The options for Heather totally cracked me up! I'm going with #1, if only because it made me giggle the most :)

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    1. .... my life is just one big giggle! :-D

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  39. I think a person can never know how they'll react in a situation like that unless it happens. I hope that I'd be brave enough to do something I thought would help save someone else.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the challenge. \o/

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. Same to you, Patricia! It was pretty iffy there for a little bit, eh?

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  40. I can answer at least one of those questions with a yes! Got Moonless yesterday! I like your interviews with your characters. Very enlightening! Here's a toast to finishing the A to Z!

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    1. Yay! *raising a glass of apple cider* To us!

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  41. Veterans show me their valor every day. I adore each and every one of them for keeping me a free person here on Earth. I have enjoyed coming over and reading and intend on still doing so. Thank you for the visits to my blog too :)

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    1. I'm so glad I met you, KT. High five to the biker babe!

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  42. What a fabulous post to end your A-Z on. Lili Zhang is truly a hero for her brave, dangerous, and selfless act. Just imagine the lives she saved, the children who'll go on to do great things because she gave them the chance. Thanks so much for this post and for your entire series on heroes! :)

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    1. Thanks for your awesome creeptasticness during the challenge, Lexa. Loved reading about your haunted places.

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  43. Wow, what an amazing woman. I can't imagine surviving that trauma ...

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  44. How inspiring and brave.
    Glad to see you made it through the challenge, as did I. Panting, but I'm here. :-) See you soon.
    Best,
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  45. What an amazing woman!

    As for the truth or lie, I'm going to guess #1 is the lie, because #2 is just too cute to not be true.

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  46. What a beautiful hero to end the challenge on. Someone who was selfless when the time came to act. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I loved meeting all of your heros, especially the one your mother and husband showed us.

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    1. *blushes* That was an amazing day to be sure.

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  47. Zhang's story is inspiring...definitely a hero. I hope she does well in life.
    Congrats on finishing the A-Z!! Also purchased your Moonless...really sounds good and my kind of book. Appreciated the offer!
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  48. That's such an inspiring story; like you, I hope I would act in the same way if I were in that situation.
    Congrats on making it through the challenge!

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  49. Whaatta super awesome treat and inspiring post on the lady who sacrificed for her students. Congrats for the challenge. You are a champ:)

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    1. You're a champ too. Here's to being champs together. =)

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  50. What a way to finish, great work, I always thought of such scenarios and whether I will sacrifice my own safety for people I care about, but the truth is one can't really know until it happens, I just hope I'll be as brave as her. Congrats and Thank you.

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    1. I know what you mean. We all hope we'd act in a similar circumstance.

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  51. I have my copy, but life's been too crazy to get to it yet! looking forward to meeting Miles! :

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  52. Congratulations on making it all way through the A to Z challenge. You didn't just survive it, you thrived in it!

    I really hope Lili never looks down and regrets what she did, but even if she did, now and then, I sure wouldn't judge her for it :)

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    1. Thrived... Wait, are you insinuating I'm still alive? *shifty eyes* ;)

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  53. The A-to-Z April Challenge was fun. Congratulations for completing your Z post, that is what I aimed for and I too did it. I feel so good

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  54. What a wonderful hero to end the challenge with! I'm sure you're right that someone who acted so quickly and selflessly doesn't regret her actions.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the A to Z challenge!
    Jocelyn

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    1. I hope she doesn't. My goodness, that would be a life-long struggle, eh?

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  55. Wow, this is an amazing but sad story. People have lost their lives because of an act of heroism, and left a family without a parent. But it's one of those things you don't think of at the time. You just act.

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  56. Zhang Lili sounds amazing. I'm so glad you shared her story. She is so courageous.

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  57. What a story.

    I'll guess the lie is #1.

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  58. Oi. I'd like to think I'd be able to make a sacrifice to save others' lives, but I honestly don't know if I'd do something in that moment or just freeze. >_< That is amazing what she did, though.

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    1. I know. I wonder what I'd do too, but I think I'd act. I hope I'd act.

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  59. I did not know Zhang's story. What a brave woman and she obviously showed her caring spirit. A true hero!

    I am thinking #2 is the lie- but boy, it is hard. Love the cover! :)
    ~Jess

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  60. I am happy that I found you and enjoyed your 'hero's' stories very much

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    1. Thanks, Paula. I'm glad you found me too! (And that I found stop.)

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  61. What a perfect Z and end to the A-Z challenge. So very inspiring and positive. I can't imagine living without my legs! But I'm sure you're right, I doubt she ever looks down and wishes she hadn't.
    Congratulations on a very lovely and inspiring A-Z. I look forward to coming back and reading the ones I missed! :)

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    1. Yay! And maybe you'll want a copy of the book when it comes out. *gasp* (Did I just type that out loud?)

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  62. Happy "Z" day. I'm completely blown away by all your hero posts. Such worthy folks and you did your research. Thank you for sharing them.

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    1. Thanks, Kari. It was a blast to share them.

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  63. loved the end post! love your post and still trying to get them all caught up.
    thank you for sharing, and for stopping by for supporting me

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    1. So glad you enjoyed them. I'm sorry I found you so late in the challenge, but I've had a wonderful time checking out your posts!

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  64. Wow, that is true sacrifice in the face of danger. What an amazing woman.

    As for witnessing anything like that: I suspect it wasn't really dangerous for him, but I remember when I was small, my sister managed to fall into a pond at a garden party and the owner of the house just jumped in straight away to save her - never even thought about it, just did it. I've never forgotten that.

    Great end to the AtoZ, thank you for your lovely posts and for visiting my blog too. Congrats on making it all the way to the end :).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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    1. That's so awesome. I had a lady do that when my daughter was floundering in a pool. I was blown away.

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  65. Congratulations! WE DID IT! :)

    Thanks for stopping by at mine during the challenge xx

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  66. Wow! A true hero

    Great job with the challenge

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  67. I can't really say what I'd do in such a situation - I know what I THINK I'd do, but you know how sometimes you can't physically make yourself move? like you just freeze and can't think? I might end up being like that in such a situation. I saw a guy nearly get hit by a car the other day after work - he fell into the road nearly in front of the car - and all I had time to do was clap a hand over my mouth in shock.

    Anyway, I think this lady is amazing, and I think you're right - she didn't stop to think, she just acted.

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    1. Yikes! That's freaky, Trisha. I like to hope I'd act too.

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  68. Irrevocably in love with that cover D: I want to stare at it for hours! And the story sounds amaze! Gonna guess #1 is the lie just coz ;)

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  69. What an amazing wrap up to an amazing Challenge theme! Congrats on finishing and thank you for sharing this woman's story with us. What a hero indeed!

    Jen

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    1. Thank you for reading. I appreciate so much having you along./

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  70. What an amazing woman! Congrats on finishing the challenge!

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  71. Congrats on getting to the letter Z. It was fun challenge this year.

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  72. Congrats on completing the A to Z challenge! Despite what has been a tremendous month (what with the challenge and all), I love how you sound as energetic and enthusiastic as you always do on your blog. You have such a wonderful perspective on life as evidenced in the challenge theme you chose. :) Now go take a restful nap/weekend/week/month! LOL you deserve it!

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    1. Oh my goodness, you're not kidding! It's been a blast interacting.

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  73. She sounds like quite a hero, great post:)

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  74. Congratulations on finishing your A to Z challenge :)

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  75. We made it to the end of the challenge! Lili is a real selfless and inspiring hero, a great choice for Z. I was looking at the URL... raining-cheese-on-introvertsor-to-z-z? Where's the raining cheese?

    I say the lie is #2.

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    1. Yeah, you came too late for the cheese. Sorry! ;)

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  76. Lily is a true hero. I'd like to think I would act heroically in that kind of situation but in reality, I'd probably freeze. I'm braver when I have time to consider a situation and talk myself in to it. Still, I doubt I'd be brave enough to sacrifice my legs.

    Congratulations on completing the A-Z.

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    1. I know. If you stopped to think about it, there's no way you'd act.

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  77. I think you're right, until something happens, I guess none of us know how we would truly react; but we can be hopeful that we would be as brave and unselfish as to think of someone else before ourselves. I've truly enjoyed another year of a-z with you, youir theme..........awesome
    Sandy at Traveling Suitcase.....where the a-z continues

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    1. Aw, thanks Sandy. It's been a blast, hasn't it?

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  78. Another incredible story. she definitely fits my definition of hero, as well.

    Crystal, I'm so glad we got to connect via A to Z. I think you're a good writer and a wonderful person. Thanks for visiting me, and congratulations on completing the A to Z!

    I'll be back to visit again. :-)

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    1. *blushes* Aw. Thanks, Teresa. It's been so wonderful getting to know you as well. Here's to new blogging buddies!

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  79. Wow, how incredibly selfless. She definitely sounds like an amazing woman!

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  80. Compared to Lily, my life has been a cake walk. There are so many amazing people, so glad you reminded us. The bad people make for better news, but there is still good in this world.

    I like burnt cheese too. Well, not totally burnt, but that wee bit that seeps out and becomes a bit dark? Delicious.

    I'm going to guess the big feet, but only because I hope no one is laughing at her...how mean!

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    1. Mmm...burnt cheese... Getting hungry...

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  81. Hmm, now that would be a challenge... to outrun a holographic security team like in Letto's novel.

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  82. Zhang Lili was truly heroic and I hope that what she did is never forgotten by those she saved or those who love them.

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  83. Very inspiring story. I like to think I would do the same. I think I will go for number one being a lie.

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  84. I think #3 is the lie.

    Great books and authors featured here.

    Wonderful and touching Z post. Lili is a true hero who did a selfless and amazing thing saving those children.

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  85. Hi Crystal, Congrats for completing A-Z Challenge 2014, love your stories as always!
    Many thanks for sharing about Zhang Lili - A beautiful heroine she is.
    My son's Godmother was once an active, cheerful and highly capable young lady until a bus accident made her wheel-chair bound. Although restrained in physical activities, she is still cheerful and will always be a role model of fortitude for Ren and I.

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    1. I love that! People who have an amazing attitude despite physical challenges always inspire me. Thank you for sharing her!

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  86. Wow now that's one major selfless act.

    I have no idea about what the lie could be. :-D

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    1. LOL. We did a good job making it hard, eh?

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  87. What an AMAZING and selfless woman....There are true heroes around us all the time, and this woman is surely at the top!

    Congrats on such and usual and fascinating theme. AND YAY for finishing!!!!!

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    1. Wahoo!! Time to break out the cheese, eh?

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  88. I hope I could be just as brave.
    Even if it's the not-true one, I like the name Petie :-)

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  89. Inspiring story. Selfless woman.

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  90. I've met some amazing, courageous, everyday people. On the screen, heroes wear a costume; in real life they have a big heart.
    Nice to meet yu thru A to Z

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    1. Too true. I wish we could see the invisible hero badges people wear.

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Hit me with your cheese!