Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stand Out in the Crowd


The water lay calm as the sun dropped lower in the sky. Even in winter, there are footprints on the beach. It draws many who seek a moment of peace, calm, and reflection. For me, it is the perfect spot to consider the end of one year and the beginning of another. The vast empty future waits for memories to be left behind, like those footprints in the sand.

I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do have plans for 2017.  First, I intend to do all I can to stay well. Then, I hope to finish another book and get it published. I also intend to reissue my four Christian contemporary books originally published by Awe-Struck. I will continue to advertise, beg for reviews, and work toward selling more books, which is the most difficult of all my plans for the future. 

I had spent some time yesterday in the company of some fellow parishioners who did not know me. Ours is a large parish and since there are several Masses offered, those who consistently attend one Mass rarely meet those who regularly go to another. As I sat at a table with these almost strangers, I handed out my postcards and told them about my books. 

I explained that my books are not in the local Barnes & Noble, but they are online. 

Those folks proceeded to give me all kinds of advice on how I should ramp up my writing career. The most interesting piece of advice they offered was for me to get on the New York Times bestseller list. Sigh. 

That would indeed be very helpful.

Later in the evening, Daughter #2 and I chatted about the "herd" instinct of most people. Everyone wants to do exactly what everyone else is doing. Everyone wants to read the books on the bestseller list, but few are willing to sample a relatively unknown author. Everyone wants to see the hottest Broadway show, but there are many local shows offered for much smaller fees with unknown actors. 

Many people spend their vacations at the hottest resorts, too. 

It seems few are willing to be daring. Few are willing trust their own tastes when it comes to entertainment. 

For those of you who haven't made any plans for 2017, I say be bold. Read books your friends haven't read. See shows your friends haven't seen. Visit places your friends haven't visited. 

Then tell your friends about your new experience. Stand out in the crowd. Life is an adventure. Make it your own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Only $0.99 Each!


Click on the Amazon links below! 




The books are also available at Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Dollhouse


The year I turned eight, I wanted a dollhouse for Christmas. In those days, dollhouses were made of painted pieces of sheet metal with hard plastic furniture. Still, the houses were grand two story affairs, not at all like the converted bungalow where I lived. 

On Christmas Eve, I went to bed hoping Santa wouldn't forget my dearest wish. Sometime during the night, I awoke to hear my father fussing as my mother assisted him in putting something together. I lay very quiet in my bed and realized my parents were following directions to put a dollhouse together. Until then, I assumed Santa Claus brought everything fully assembled. 

As I continued to listen to Mom and Dad hastily placing everything  under the tree, I came to the conclusion that there was no Santa Claus. I wasn't sad or terribly disappointed. It all seemed very logical, but the special joyous magic of Christmas vanished. In it's place was the knowledge that Mom and Dad--despite all their hardships--fashioned a miracle for their children, created out of love.

I grew up a lot that Christmas and though I didn't believe in Santa Claus anymore--I still believed in miracles--but most of all in the power of love.  

May the miracle of love surround you this Christmas and bring you a bright New Year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Love Always Hopes


NOW AVAILABLE! My third book of the year has been released.  HOPING FOR JOY, part of the "LOVE IS" series based on 1 Corinthians 13, is set in New Jersey in one of the small seaside towns with an amusement park. The heroine is frustrated because her fiancĂ© keeps putting off their wedding and she doubts his love. 

The hero has a valid reason for his inability to commit to a date. He is trying to save his sister's life and assist his ailing father in raising his sister's daughter. In other words, the hero has a ton of trouble, which only gets worse. His sister dies and while his faith in God was lackadaisical at best, he becomes firmly committed to the belief that there is no God. 

I know many people who go through terrible trials in life and come to the same conclusion. On the other hand, there are those--like myself--who cling to their faith despite the slings and arrows of fate. Faith is believing even though there is no proof. Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NAB)

I cannot prove that God exists. Yet, I persist in my belief--even though I have lived through scary times--and if you read this blog on a regular basis you know about some of those. (Not all, but some.)

Everyone suffers through disappointments, failures, and loss. It is the human condition. There are those who tell me I am fortunate to have faith because it buoys me up through my difficulties. 

Yes, faith helps, but while it is a gift I still have to work at it. I must pray, go to church, read the Bible, and help others. Otherwise, my faith will falter. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NAB)

HOPING FOR JOY is based on the truth that the foundation of hope is faith. If I didn't have faith, I wouldn't have hope. 

Read HOPING FOR JOY and let me know what you think. Find it at Amazon!

Friday, December 09, 2016

The Reviews Are In For THE COWBOY'S MIRACLE!


                ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
The reviews are rolling in for THE COWBOY'S MIRACLE! Listed below are a few snippets from the Amazon reviews.           

"Who doesn't want to read about a rugged, God-fearing cowboy who comes for the damsel in distress!" 

"This is a fast read and a delightful one. Don't miss it."

"...the twists and turns of The Cowboy’s Miracle took me through the mad, sad, and glad standard for a super-duper book. And this one has it all!"

"The characters were complex and endearing...I thoroughly enjoyed this story! It’s one that I plan on reading over and over."

"The adventures of a cowboy with a past and a woman in need of saving is always a win."

"Love, suspense, and alpacas. A great Christmas read."

Warm up your holidays with a great adventure right now at http://a.co/eXPxVh8


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Sing Old Songs


In The Cowboy's Miracle, Seth finds a battered, old guitar in the guesthouse and strums chords while singing classic western tunes. Mentioned in the book are songs like "Goodnight Ladies," "A Man Without a Woman," "Buffalo Gals,"and "Oh My Darling Clementine." Those songs are cultural gems--a link to our country's past history. Music chronicles historical eras in a very succinct manner. It is another way to bring past times into focus and make them easy to remember.

As a retired teacher, I worry the future of musical education. Often, the arts are the first thing to go when cuts are made in education. I always included music as part of my curriculum when I taught--especially in a closed classroom situation. My own daughters took piano lessons for years, but in addition our home is packed with music of all types.  

As a family, we often sit around the fire and sing old songs. Once, my younger sister questioned this habit. 

"You're singing the same songs you sang forty years ago," she said. 

I informed her that the old songs are the best songs. They've stood the test of time, but there's more to it. Those songs are references to our national cultural heritage. We must not allow them to fade into dust. 

Teach your children well. Sing old songs.