Saturday, December 9, 2017

What's happening?

Happy Belated December, everyone!

I thought I'd pop by and give an update as to what's happening in my neck-of-the-woods. Actually, I just looked outside the window at our wooded creek and...it's snowing! Yep, our first snowfall of the season :). You can bet I'll be having hot cocoa today.

Flashback to a snow we had Jan 2016. Still wondering how much we'll get this year!
On the writing front, I disappeared into my writing cave over the past week or two because I had line edits to finish up on book 5 in my From Kenya, With Love series. It's titled THE TWIN TEST and this one is Pippa's story (in fact I just saw the blurb go up on Amazon!). The edits got turned at the end of the week. Whew! You don't want to know just how sleep deprived I was this week. Kind of scary. Doesn't it always seem like, when we're super busy or on a deadline or something else major is going on, crazy things happen. I was drowning in edits (and coffee) and within the same few days one of my dogs dislocated her hip (the one pictured above), the other got to a histiocytoma that had appeared on her leg, one of my cats started peeing outside the box and had to get screened for urinary tract crystals and diabetes (he's almost 20lbs), my smallest duck got trampled (or something...not sure...the geese do pick on her) and had to spend the night in my tub (I really thought she wasn't going to make it but she sprang to life by morning and is fine) and my middle kid had a college application due and needed help. And those were just some of the things that were going on. Let me tell you, sitting here now and watching the snow fall outside is so nice and relaxing! Snow always makes things look like a fresh start lol.

And in the spirit of holiday giving, I wanted to make sure (in case you missed all the social media announcements) that you all know about the huge giveaway the December release Heartwarming authors are hosting. That's Catherine Lanigan, Beth Carpenter, Liz Flaherty and myself. Pop by this POST at the Heartwarming blog to check out the prize package and entry details. Only a week left!


In the meantime, it's SIT DOWN SATURDAY on the Heartwarming blog today and I'm up! I think it's a fun post and I hope you do too. I'm pointing out the 'elephant in the room'...the fact that EVERY SERENGETI SUNRISE is the only December Heartwarming without a holiday cover lol...and why the story actually began with a holiday romance. Those of you who've read the series, might know what I'm talking about. In any case, here's the link for today's post: http://heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com/2017/12/sit-down-saturday-with-rula-sinara.html

Hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays to all! Wishing you peace and love.

Rula

Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Tour Grand Finale for Every Serengeti Sunrise!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Every Serengeti Sunrise
By Rula Sinara

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy this book (and series)! I’m currently working on book 6 and you can find out more about all of my books and sign up for my newsletter at www.RulaSinara.com. In fact, you can also find links to A Heartwarming Thanksgiving, a Harlequin Heartwarming collection of short Thanksgiving romances, including mine, The Sweetheart Tree, which is also connected to my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series.

Wishing you all Peace & Love this holiday season and always,

– Rula

Colorimetry - Excerpt

Kamau left the screen door creaking to a close behind him and Haki caught a glimpse of his younger brother, Huru, sketching in the family room. At fifteen, an age when most kids wallowed in hormones and angst, Huru was as mellow as they came. Maybe he channeled it all into his artwork—there was no doubt he had a gift—but sometimes Haki had to wonder if names carried enough power to define a person, or if it was the emotional state of the mother at the time of naming and rearing the child that made all the difference. Huru had always had a carefree way about him. Free, just as his name meant in Swahili, or perhaps how their mother felt at his birth: married, happy and loved, unlike how she’d been when Haki was conceived in an act of violence. Haki meant justice. And there had never been a time when he didn’t find himself wanting it. Wanting those who caused pain and harm to be held accountable, wanting to be sure he’d always be the kind of honorable man Kamau was…and not like the criminal whose blood he shared.

Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! - Is Love Always Enough

Those of you who have read books in my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series know that the series includes anti-poaching/anti-ivory themes. Every Serengeti Sunrise takes that conflict to a new level with the hero and heroine finding themselves on opposite sides of a humanitarian vs animal rights case in Kenya. Both Haki, a wildlife vet, and Maddie, a lawyer, have valid, compassionate grounds on which to fight for their causes...


"Every Serengeti Sunrise by Rula Sinara will make you smile, chuckle and – yes – shed a few tears. The characters become your friends, and the Serengeti setting feels like home. For those of us who will probably never venture across the world for the breathtaking experience of life among the giraffes and elephants and lions, we can live vicariously through Haki and Maddie and Pippa while we’re immersed in the pages of their story. Along the way, we also get a taste of important human rights and animal rights issues, as well as a reminder to be the person we were created to be – not someone living solely to meet everyone else’s expectations. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging story in every way!"


“Do whatever you need to do. If it’s too much work, just cut my pant loop,” Maddie said.

He slipped his fingertips barely below the waistline of her pants and pressed his palm against her, so that the belt loop and jagged end of the piece of wood were against the back of his left hand. With his right, he broke off the shard in one quick move.

“All done. I’ve got you. Let go of the ladder.” He held her by the waist, set her feet on the ground, then immediately let go and took several steps back.

Kimber Li's Cowboy & Fairytale Book Reviews - Universal Truths: 5 Heartwarming Facts About Kenya & the Masai

One of the things I love about writing a multicultural series set in an exotic, off-the-grid locale is that it has given me the opportunity to show love and family values are universal. For many, world-wide travel, exploration and simply experiencing life outside the bubbles in which we live is only possible through books…and more often than not, it happens through a romance novel. So, with Every Serengeti Sunrise, book 4 of my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series due out in December, I thought I’d share some heartwarming facts you’ll discover in the series.


"Overall the book has some very heart felt emotions and can be an emotional roller coaster as we read the story of Maddi, Haki, and Pippa. Three childhood friends. . . . This was the hardest part of the book for me. I don't do triangles well. Other than that I enjoyed the read. "

Backing Books - Review

"It is not everyday that a novel set in Kenya pops up in my review feed. Most American authors stick to the US of A, or else some of the more "romantic" countries of Europe. So it was a joy to find something that was a little more unique. And since I had read an anthropological study in college that dealt with Kenya and the tribal laibons, I was excited to see where the author took this story. . . . To begin with, Sinara did a great job of depicting Kenyan culture. . . . I think that if I had read the rest of the series beforehand, that I would have enjoyed the romance in this one much more. "


Keep your enemies closer. That was essentially manipulation. The word had such a negative connotation, but what if it harmed none? Mosi got what he wanted by tapping into a human’s emotions with one harmless look. Nature was full of lessons, wasn’t it? And Jack was right. Spending time with Maddie meant having the chance to sway her. He needed to find the old Maddie, the girl who’d once dreamed of visiting Kenya and going on safari, and had had that dream come true in spades…then abandoned it. He needed to find the Maddie who used to love tagging along with the keepers and begging them to let her bottle-feed the baby elephants. He needed to save her from that high-achieving, put-together, lawyerly facade.

Wishful Endings - Review

"EVERY SERENGETI SUNRISE is a story of protection, compassion, loss, and love. Set mostly in the Kenya Savannah among a battle between people and wildlife and the families who have invested time to save and protect, comes the story of three close friends who are trying to find their path to love. At moments it's deeply heartbreaking, some moments are full of family and laughter, while others are endearing sweet. Those who enjoy heartwarming stories and who have enjoyed this series so far will find much to love here."


"Every Serengeti Sunrise, a clean romance in Harlequin’s Heartwarming line, will certainly appeal to romance fans, but this story is so much more. I’m not naturally drawn to Kenya as a setting and love triangles don’t really appeal, but I wanted to read this story because the author had been recommended – and I was blown away. Rich characterization, breathtaking setting, and poignant storyline all combined into a compelling, epic read that captured me emotionally from page one and never let go. The writing of Rula Sinara is impressive and I love her gentle warmth and humor."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

They passed the thorny gateway and came to a clearing lined with small huts.

“You were here recently? Because of the same incident I’m investigating? Why didn’t you say so? No wonder you weren’t checking any maps.”

“Makes me a good guide, doesn’t it?”

She was trying to establish a boundary between the two of them. He could feel the wall going up.

I Am A Reader - The Love Triangle

Have you ever been in a situation where you were dating or even engaged to someone you’d been with for so long that family and friends had come to expect you to get married? Perhaps you or your love interest had also fallen under the comforting spell of routine…and maybe you truly cared for them…and had mistaken it for true love...

Becky on Books - Review

"This is only my second read from it, but I am loving this series! The unique setting and wealth of well-developed characters in the From Kenya, with Love series make these books so much fun to read–and Maddie and Haki’s story is not an exception. . . . you’ve got one heck of a heart-wrenching story. There were times when I thought that a HEA would be impossible, but Ms. Sinara brought everyone through to a satisfying–though a little teary–conclusion."

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Every Serengeti Sunrise
(From Kenya, With Love #4)
Rula Sinara
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
December 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Elephants, Africa’s wild savannah and three best friends…

When attorney Maddie Corallis returns to Kenya to fight a humanitarian vs animal rights case, the last thing she expects is for her childhood friend, wildlife veterinarian Haki Odaba, to be the very man she’s up against. Loyal and protective, Haki would never turn his back on the elephants he’s devoted to saving, any more than Maddie could abandon the native tribes she’s come to protect. An impossible battle…but nothing compared to the fight they face when old feelings surface and the soul-deep connection they’ve always shared threatens the worst kind of betrayal...that of their dearest friend Pippa. The one Haki is expected to marry.

Denying their feelings is torture, but giving in is not an option. Not with the suffering it would cause. Besides, Maddie left Kenya once and she’ll be leaving again soon. An ocean, a case and a friend between them. Maybe love can’t always find a way…or can it?


Other Books in the Series


About the Author


National and USA Today Bestselling author Rula Sinara lives in rural Virginia with her family and crazy but endearing pets. She loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard, planting trees, raising backyard chickens and drinking more coffee than she'll ever admit to. Rula's writing has earned her a National Readers Choice Award and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, among other honors. You can discover more about Rula at her blog A Writer’s Rush, on Twitter, on Facebook as RulaSinaraAuthor or on her website www.RulaSinara.com, where you can also sign up for her newsletter.


Tour Giveaway


Prize Pack #1: (one winner, U.S. residents only)
- A set of three, 15X15 in cotton canvas ‘From Kenya, With Love’ tote bags
- A handmade wooden ‘Believe’ star ornament
- A set of 3 plush wild animal TY Teeny Tys (great stocking stuffers!)
- An autographed copy of A Heartwarming Christmas Craft & Cookbook
- An autographed copy of After the Silence
- An autographed copy of Through the Storm
- Every Serengeti Sunrise bookmark

Prize Pack #2: (one winner, open to U.S. and International residents)
Amazon Kindle (gifted) copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence (Winner may substitute a different backlist book by Rula Sinara, if one of the above titles is already owned. No other substitutions apply.)

Ends November 29th

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Tour Launch & Giveaway for Every Serengeti Sunrise



Hey everyone! My book tour for Every Serengeti Sunrise launched today over at Prism Book Tours! It runs today through Nov 25th and involves a giveaway package (see below for details and Rafflecopter entry). I also have multiple tour stops scheduled with never before seen excerpts, blog posts and reviews. You can see the full schedule at Prism Tours HERE. Links will go live on the days posts are scheduled. I hope to see you during the tour!

Oh, and this past Wed, Nov 8th, I saw Every Serengeti Sunrise hit the top 100 on Amazon's fiction with animals category again! This time it was the mass market paperback version and I caught it at #84. I didn't have time to keep track, so that's the only rank I saw. It made my day!


Here's a look at the giveaway prize packs. For more details, book background etc...head over to Prism Book Tours!

Also, don't forget the huge Starry Nights & Romance Facebook Party coming November 29th! Lot's of giveaways (that can count as early holiday shopping too) involved!


Prize Pack #1: (one winner, U.S. residents only)

A set of three, 15X15 in cotton canvas ‘From Kenya, With Love’ tote bags
A handmade wooden ‘Believe’ star ornament
A set of 3 plush wild animal TY Teeny Tys (great stocking stuffers!)
An autographed copy of A Heartwarming Christmas Craft & Cookbook
An autographed copy of After the Silence
An autographed copy of Through the Storm
Every Serengeti Sunrise bookmark

Prize Pack #2: (one winner, open to U.S. and International residents)

Amazon Kindle (gifted) copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence (Winner may substitute a different backlist book by Rula Sinara, if one of the above titles is already owned. No other substitutions apply.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 6, 2017

No more patio poop!


Cloudy November day in Rula's yard
Those of you who have followed my chicken keeping journey know that the one thing that has driven me nuts has been chicken poop on the patio. I'm a bit of a neat freak and the poop was driving me insane. And then I went and got ducks and geese and droppings reached astronomical levels. I couldn't take it anymore.

Over the past few years, I've tried many things, including motion detector sprayers, which of course couldn't tell the difference between a hen and a human. This got very annoying so, when the mechanism froze over that winter and cracked, I didn't bother replacing it. I've tried everything from fake owls to whirligigs and ribbons. None of them worked. I also tried temporary, ugly, plastic mesh fencing and bird netting to protect my patio flower beds. The ugliness kind of defeated the point of saving my beautiful flowers from hungry chickens. Plus, the chickens always managed to find a loose spot to squeeze under or over. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Last year, I planted comfrey under our fruit trees and down by the creek beyond the chicken coop. Comfrey is great for them and all livestock are supposed to love it. They snacked and made their way right back onto our slab of comfy concrete. I figured they were smart chickens and knew that food and scraps came through the patio door (big mistake on my part), so I began trekking around the house the long way to take them scraps. They snacked and came right back up to the patio door. In fact, whenever the sun came close to setting, instead of heading to their coop, they came up to the door, parked their fluffy butts and waited for their escort. Yes, I've been nicknamed Mother Clucker around here. Sigh. Apparently, my chickens are easier to train than my dogs.

Did I mention that my dogs have very robust, healthy vocal cords? They have the kind of bark that rattles bones and shatters eardrums. Barks they loved to use right when I would be cooking and carrying a glass jar of tomato sauce or a cup of hot tea. You get the picture. My chickens (and the geese and ducks too) seemed to get a kick out of it. Oh they loved standing at the glass patio door, taunting the dogs and knowing full well those giant beasts couldn't get through the glass. I told you...smart birds. I, however, feared the day my dogs would shatter the glass, along with my eardrums. And once the flock got locked up for the night, I would have to wash off the area around the door (or entire patio) to keep the dogs from walking through the poop and tracking it around. Very gross. The dogs, however, loved it. They seemed to enjoy eating all those droppings (lovely lumps of probiotics, to them) as much as any other type of chicken nugget. Especially frozen in the winter. Chicken poopsicles. Yum.

But this selfish, mean Mother Clucker has ended all their fun.

Last week, we finally invested in a nice patio fence. It's the more affordable aluminum, iron-look-alike and has gates on both sides, including one to my herb garden. I chose the style with spears at the top because I didn't want to give the chickens a nice landing surface. So far, they haven't tried to fly up or over. Right now, things look a bit plain, but we plan to landscape with some shrubs, flowers and crape myrtles on both sides of the fence to create a softer look and nice outdoor room space.

Part of the fenced area. The self-closing gate is propped open for the dogs after the flock is put to bed. 

Look who can't get in.
Needless to say, my chickens, ducks, geese and dogs aren't happy with me. I don't care. Call it tough love kiddos.

You all have no idea how relieved I am. The day this fence was put in last week was like an early Christmas for me! I can't wait to plant around it come spring.

In the meantime, don't forget that I, along with many of the other Harlequin Heartwarming authors, have early holiday giveaways for all of you! Not chicken fences, but tons of other cool stuff ;).

I'm on tour with Prism Book Tours next week, starting Monday the 13th through the 25th! Yes, following the tour and commenting on posts will get you entered in a giveaway. I'll post details and the schedule soon.


Nov 7th, I have a fun post up at the Heartwarming blog with Catherine Lanigan.

Nov 10th is the last day to enter my Every Serengeti Sunrise Goodreads Giveaway (this book won't be included in any other giveaways so enter while you can).

Nov 29th is the huge Starry Nights & Romance Facebook release party, featuring all of the Oct/Nov/Dec Heartwarming authors and two special guests. Check out the link for discussions at the bottom (if signed in) for sneak peeks at some of the giveaways in store (including mine): HERE!


Dec 2nd the four Heartwarming December authors will launch yet another giveaway on the Heartwarming blog, so stay tuned for those details!

Dec 5th Every Serengeti Sunrise and the other Dec HW books officially release in print format, though I believe ebook format is available on the 1st!

There's more to come in December, but I'll leave it at this for now.

I have much to do, but I think I'll steal a few moments to enjoy a hot cup of tea on my clean patio.

Peace,

Rula

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween, everyone! I conjured up a little poem to get your day brewing :). Here it goes:

Something witchy this way comes,
by hats and brooms and bubbling cauldrons.

Spirits in the mist and bats are seen,
a haunting sign it's Halloween.

Potions are conjured as black cats stare.
A cackle is heard.
Beware! Beware!

(by Rula as your Halloween treat ;)

Have a sweet and safe haunting & trick or treating!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Halloween Memories & Decor



Happy October! I was over at the Heartwarming Authors blog yesterday with Catherine Lanigan blogging about spooky Halloween memories and sharing some pics of our Halloween decor this year. Mine includes a real black cat :). The comments on the post were really fun and interesting too. Pop on over and check out the comments and photos HERE!

We also announced our upcoming Facebook party that's going to be loaded with chances to win fabulous prizes. You can get details on which authors will be there and sign up to come HERE.


Hope to see you both places!

Rula :)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Flock & Flowers Backyard Update

Sunflower in Rula's garden wrapped in Cardinal Climber
Happy Fall! This is my favorite season and I thought I'd post some of the garden and flock photo updates. This year's chicken flock additions are doing great, as are my ducks and geese. In fact, we've been getting a very small duck egg every few days. I'm not sure who is laying, but I suspect it's my Khaki Campbell female, Amber, who is the smallest (dainty young lady) of my ducks. As for my Brown Chinese Geese, you'll recall that their size and behavior as goslings had me almost certain that I had a male and two females. Well, now the middle sized one (as a baby), Galadriel, has caught up in size to the one I'm sure is a male, Gandalf, and her behavior has changed. Her knob is much bigger than Tauriel's too. Now I'm thinking I might have two males. I'm not sure, but we'll see. I may have to get more females, although my Pekin duck female, Spirit, has a total crush on Galadriel. Yes, romance in the flock. :) Scroll through the pics below! I included a few flower pics that I'd posted on Facebook, for those who don't FB. Sorry about spacing between pics in this post. Blogger wasn't cooperating.

Some of Rula's flock
Rula's geese...Tauriel on the left, Galadriel in the middle and Gandalf to the right



Rula's Brown Chinese Geese
Rula's geese: Tauriel (I'm sure a female), Galadriel (sure was a female when younger, now I think she's a male based on new behaviors, knob and 'she's' so loud), and Gandalf (was the largest gosling, always on guard and I'm pretty sure is a male)
Rula's sunflowers
The Cardinal Climber that wraps around Rula's sunflowers. The hummingbirds LOVE it!


Rula's butterfly garden

 And some may have seen my harvest last month on FB...

Asian pears and apples from Rula's trees.

A cool frog on Rula's window, backlit by an outdoor light at night.

Budding zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden

Zinnia in Rula's garden. I love that name. I might need to call my next hen 'Zinnia'.
 And a recent sunset...

September Sunset at Rula's
I also have a little public service announcement regarding cats. You may not have a lot of feral or stray cats around your place, but I'm surrounded by farms with barns. Recently, a mommy cat and her two kittens, plus a cat I think was dad, took up residence in our garage. The only problem is that we already have a TNR'd feral calico living there and she wasn't too happy about this. The new kitties were strays (very friendly), as opposed to feral. TNR refers to 'Trap, Neuter, Release'. We have a program in our county where you can trap feral cats, have them neutered/spayed and vaccinated, then re-released in the same place they were trapped. They get to live out their live this way, while also controlling the population (litter prevention). This also keeps them out of kill shelters. Since 'mine' were strays, I took them in to check for microchipping (they weren't) and they were put up for adoption. Mama has already been adopted! I would have kept them myself, but I already have 3 indoor cats and one outdoor. Please look into TNR in your area, especially if you don't have 'no kill' shelters. And if you want a pet, adopt!

On another note, for those who don't see my announcements on FB or Twitter regarding giveaways, I also try and post them under 'news' on my website. Currently, I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on for After the Silence (Sept 22 - Oct 9). Details HERE.

Oh, and before I get back to writing, I have my next title to share! This is for book #6 in the 'From Kenya, With Love' series..the one after Every Serengeti Sunrise. No cover yet, but the title is...The Twin Test. Something tells me there might be twins on the cover, but we'll see ;). Cover or not, it's already up for pre-order (release date May 1, 2018)!

The next time I post, we'll be enjoying October...my favorite month. See you then!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amazon Top 100 Bestseller List - Every Serengeti Sunrise

The title of this post says it all and I had to share! Yesterday, my upcoming release, Every Serengeti Sunrise, hit the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller list for Literature & Fiction with Animals, rising to #33 on a list filled with famous bestsellers (seriously...here's the link to the list: http://amzn.to/2wJS3rj). I'm not comparing my book...just saying that I'm blown away and both humbled and honored...and extremely grateful to my loyal readers who pre-ordered the book and spread word of the series to others. I'm truly, truly grateful and hope you'll love this next story.


I just slipped off the list today, but I've included screenshots of my rank below because...well, you know...when crazy stuff like that happens to you, you take photos as souvenirs because lists fluctuate. My moment of fame was relatively brief, but I'll take it! It lasted longer than I expected! Of course, if you haven't purchased a Kindle copy yet but plan to, if you do so now, it might pop me right back onto the list :). Of course, you don't have to, but if you do, thank you in advance.


A bit of backstory on my day yesterday...I was under a deadline to turn in the full manuscript for the book that comes after Every Serengeti Sunrise, so I had been averaging no more than 3 hours of sleep a night. Sunday night, I only got 2 hours and then woke up to being #99 on the list. One up from the bottom but I didn't care. The adrenaline had me going before I made it to the coffee maker! You don't want to know how much coffee I've had this week. The number of cups alone would give you heartburn.

Then, after telling my fellow Harlequin Heartwarming authors (because those gals are an incredibly supportive sisterhood), they took it upon themselves to spread the news to their readers! I'm telling you, these authors are truly 'heartwarming' and generous. The next thing I knew the book was at #63...then #41...then it hit #33! If it got any higher, I missed it. But here are a few screen shots to celebrate :).

At #33:



When it was at #63:

And let me tell you, I was a mess (I'm a scary sight in those last days of a deadline). But when friends celebrate with you and cheer you on, it's energizing. And when your book loving kids get super excited because they see one of their favorite dinosaur books on the same list (my 13 yo kept pointing it out lol), you laugh and dance and give him a hug. And then when your high schooler doesn't drive home right after school and you're about to get upset but he pulls the cutest elephant figurine out from behind his back because he went to the store to buy you a celebratory gift (and you all know my books include elephants and anti-poaching themes)...you cry and give hugs.


My kids are keepers ;).

My cats are too. I had to get back to finishing my deadline book, so one of my cats, Nimbus, picked his favorite place in my office to cheer me on. Okay, he cheered cat-style. As in his dreams while napping. But at least he likes sleeping next to my books and trophy. My loyal cat fan ;).


I did turn in my book yesterday and know I'll get revisions soon. In the meantime, I caught up on sleep last night and need to clean/restock the fridge and change the kitty litter. Ah, the glamorous life of a writer :).

I hope tomorrow kicks off a wonderful September for you. And for those of you in south Texas and Louisiana, I've been keeping track of Hurricane Harvey's devastation and am sending you prayers. I used to live in Texas, including in Houston, and have a lot of friends there and some of my friends have family there. Prayers and hugs to you all.