Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thankful Author 2016- Isabella Norse

Today would have been my daddy’s ninety-first birthday. But, he passed away on February 16, 2016. I know, you’re probably thinking that this is an odd beginning to a post on thankfulness. A year ago, I would have agreed with you.

You see, for many years, my husband and I cared for both of my elderly parents and my mother-in-law. Six years ago, we moved my parents from their home in the small town where I grew up, into a rental house right across the street from us. Four months later, we had to move my mother-in-law into an assisted living facility.

Initially, our folks were still relatively independent but, as the years passed, they required more and more assistance. Initially, we took care of the little things like the occasional doctor’s appointments and buying my mother-in-law’s groceries. (We never did figure out how she went through two tubes of toothpaste every two weeks. I guess some mysteries just weren’t meant to be solved.) However, the daily grind of caregiving is… wearing.

On the rare occasions that we tried to get out of town for a day or two, we dreaded telling everyone. As soon as we announced that we were going to be gone, someone was sure to get sick or wind up in the hospital. I can’t tell you how many times we lost our deposit on a vacation because we had to cancel at the last minute.

 I wish I could say that I handled my years of caregiving with panache and aplomb but, I didn’t. If I had to give myself a grade, it would probably be a B-. While I rarely lost my cool in front of our folks, behind the scenes was a different story. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has heard me wail, “When do we get our own life? We raised our kids and now we’re raising our parents. When do we get some time for us?” The change that I didn’t think would ever happen somehow managed to come about both gradually and suddenly.

The changes with my mother-in-law were gradual. A year and a half ago, after several falls, she needed to go to a nursing home for rehab; once that was complete, she needed to move to a facility specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. My brother-in-law and his wife offered to take over as the first line of defense for her so she moved to a facility in their town. They will never know how grateful I am to them for taking on that responsibility.

My father’s decline was sudden. As of daddy’s ninetieth birthday, he was still driving and functioning as my mother’s primary caregiver. But, it was obvious that he was slowing down and I wasn’t sure how much longer he would be able to continue. It wasn’t long. A fall at the end of November marked the beginning of a deterioration in daddy’s health.  By mid-January, daddy had stopped eating and drinking and was admitted to the hospital. From the hospital, he too went to a nursing home for rehab. On February fifteenth, daddy was diagnosed with pneumonia; he died the next day.

So, what exactly am I thankful for? I’m thankful that I had my daddy for as many years as I did. I’m thankful that when his time came, he didn’t linger, and he didn’t suffer. I’m thankful that I got to spend time with daddy a couple of hours before his death. I’m even thankful for all of the time that I spent as a caregiver – it helped me become a more patient person. Most importantly, I’m thankful that I was able to be there for my parents when they needed me most; it made a difference in their lives and I’m a better person for it.

Happy birthday, Daddy. I love you - and I miss you.

Dial V for Vampire
A Kudzu Korners Novel
Isabella Norse

A paranormal romance from Fire Star Press
Release date 23 August 16


Maggie Robinson is a full-time server, part-time blogger, and 24/7 skeptic. Her love life? Non-existent. Why bother? Her parents' divorce is proof that "happily ever after" is a fairy tale. To make matters worse, she has no idea that her tongue-in-cheek blog, Life with Zombie, has placed her at the top of the werewolves' Most Wanted list.
Noah Townsend is a vampire with a broken heart. It has been two years since his wife's death and he is still recovering. Instead of dealing with his grief, he has thrown himself into his duties as the head of a security firm that specializes in protecting paranormal beings and hiding their existence from humans.
Worlds collide when Noah saves Maggie from a werewolf attack. Can Maggie overcome her skepticism and Noah his grief in time to realize that they were made for each other? Or will the ripples started by Maggie's blog grow into a tsunami that will tear them – and Kudzu Korners - apart?


Something was following Maggie. She paused in the murky light at the base of the flickering street lamp, eyes searching the darkness behind her.
     “Hello?” She thought she saw the glint of a pair of golden eyes, but they disappeared almost immediately. As if, perhaps, the owner of the eyes closed them. Definitely not human—too close to the ground.
     “You know, I probably should’ve taken my fear of the dark and the lack of lights into consideration before changing to night shift.” She spoke out loud, needing the comfort of a voice. Her subconscious scanned through its database of secondary fears and whipped out... Chihuahuas?
     “Really, brain? That’s the best you can come up with?” Stepping to the edge of the light, she stared into the night, wishing someone could beam her straight into her apartment, still a few blocks away. “The wild Chihuahua packs are in Arizona. I’m pretty sure they haven’t spread to the Deep South. Yet.”
     Inspiration struck, and Maggie fumbled in her over-sized purse. “Ah-ha!” she crowed as she pulled out her key chain—along with a small blizzard of tissues and gum wrappers. She thumbed the small LED flashlight dangling from the ring. Nothing. She tried again. Nada. “Well that’s a fine how-do-you do. If a girl can’t depend on a flashlight with five-year-old batteries in her time of need, what can she count on? I guess I’ll just have to get by on my looks and my wits.”
     There. Surely, that was the sound of claws on concrete. She whirled to scour the darkness again, half expecting to find a gang of small, scruffy curs advancing on her with malice in their hearts. The darkness peered back at her, all innocence. “See? This is why Mama told you not to watch so many scary movies. Your imagination runs away and conjures up all kinds of problems where there are none.” She stomped her foot in frustration. “Why does everything shut down at night? Why is there no one willing to assist a damsel in distress?”

Buy Link:

Fun Facts about Dial V for Vampire:

The author loves the character (and architectural details) of the old, small towns dotting the South. Kudzu Korners is her homage to those towns.

The story (and series) was inspired by a rescue cat named Zombie.

About the Author:

Isabella Norse scored major "cool mom" points by playing the same video games as her sons and their friends. In these virtual worlds she slayed demons and destroyed machines bent on galactic extermination while simultaneously wooing cocky assassins and sexy aliens. She fell in love with the make-believe worlds and rich characters that inhabited them and now writes her own tales of love, romance, and adventure.

Still a gamer – and still cool – Isabella lives in Georgia with her husband and a herd of rescue cats.

Amazon Author Page:
Website and blog:

Contact Info:


  1. I love your thankful post. Sometimes life throws us things and it is how we respond that shows our true worth. You are shining bright. Your book sounds great too.

    1. Thank you, Maggie! I love your name, BTW. Not only is Maggie the name of the heroine in Dial V for Vampire, but it was my grandmother's name as well.

  2. Beautiful post, Isabella. Sounds like you deserve much better than a B-. :)

    1. Thank you. Most days I felt like I deserved lower than a B-, LOL!

  3. Wonderful post. You are to be commended for caring for the elderly. Best of luck with sales and promotion for "Dial V for Vampire."

  4. Isabella, Bless you for the loving care you gave your folks and for your clarity of vision now in seeing the gift it gave back to you. Not many of us are capable of that! So glad you came through with your creativity intact. And the book looks great!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I didn't write much for several months due to everything that was going on but I'm slowly getting back into a routine. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. A beautiful tribute to your father, Isabella. My own mother was a caregiver for my grandparents and her own parents for almost 35 years. I believe caregivers are angels here on earth. It's an extremely demanding position--one I see myself stepping into one day. I only pray I'm strong enough. Thanks for sharing. Your book looks wonderful!

    1. Thank you, Mary. I'm a firm believer that God gives us the strength to handle the situations that He allows us to be placed in. (The fact that I survived the last few years with my sanity intact is proof, LOL!)

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  6. Love your post! Thank you for sharing!