Thursday, May 30, 2024

Be a Part of Your Community

I stood in the foyer of the church one Sunday collecting donations for Ukraine one day. Everyone who donated was offered a prayer square or a sunflower. I was very cold because the door was open, but I was very happy with all the donations received from our parishioners. Our parish's prayer shawl ministry crocheted all the giveaway items. 

I've always been a joiner. I like being a member of a group. When I was a teacher, I belonged to the NJEA. As a romance writer, I have been a longtime member of a few writing groups.  I am a member of an art society plus I attend a painting workshop every week. But I am also a cradle Catholic and I have been actively involved in my Church forever. 

I was in the folk group when I was younger. Later, hubby and I ran the Pre-Cana team in our parish. We hosted Renew groups in our home. I started a prayer shawl ministry in our parish. It's been a busy life, but it's great to know the people in our community, to be a part of it, and to help out in some way when we can. 

There are reasons many people have left religious institutions. However, it is not because they no longer believe in the religion's teachings. "But sizable numbers also leave because they believe religion has become too politicized."

Unfortunately, this is true. There are member of our parish that do not have the same opinions I do. However, we can ignore that fact when we are working on other goals. But to leave the Church doesn't help anyone. 

There was this statement in the article, "The disconnection from our neighbors, the fostering of distrust and the lack of belonging further imperil our society."

We need each other. We need to work together. Be a part of your community. You'll find the benefits are worth it. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Guest Post: SHELTER IN THE NIGHT by Loree Peery

My guest today is Christian author LoRee Peery. She wrote fiction for many years before her first novella was published in 2010. She thrills at the writing process when ideas, words, or character voices resonate in her mind. Jotting notes in the middle of the night or trailing toothpaste across the floor on her way to pen and paper, gets her pulse pumping. She often notices character quirks and conversation while she’s out and about, and is invigorated when she spends time outside. She believes the desire to write should never be ignored and is so glad she kept returning to the blank page. She feels blessed to live under God's redeeming grace, and to experience Nebraska's sense of place.

Her latest release is SHELTER IN THE NIGHT, the first in a series of worship through verse. It's available from Pelican Book Group.

Loree asks, "Do you ever awaken in the middle of the night, beset by thoughts of the worries of the day? Do you ever awaken with the feeling that God wants you to pray for someone or some thing? Do you pray, flounder in your prayer or immediately fall back to sleep?

Through the verses of Shelter in the Night, volume 1 in the Worship through Verse devotionals, the author pours out sorrows and joys much like the Old Testament psalmists. Whether you need shelter or reassurance, this collection can bring peace, hope and solace.



Psalm 30:5

…Weeping may stay for the night,

but rejoicing comes in the morning.


Night Song


The sky may be black

But my heart is white


With the light of Your presence

You are my hiding place


The song of cicadas hums life

Clouds break for the moon and stars


Providing cover like wide spread wings

You shelter my heart from fear


I call, You promise to listen

Mellow peace floods my soul


My joy is new in the morning

You took the night watch.

The second in the series is Looking Beyond Self .    

God has asked us to lay our worries at His feet so that His grace and compassion can get us through troubles. Reflection during the midst of pain is often cleansing, giving us a different perspective in our walk with Jesus.

In Looking Beyond Self, join the author as she pours out her worries, sorts through her feelings, reflects on worldly things, and through verse, worships the strong, stalwart Presence Who brings peace in troubling times.


Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends

all understanding, will guard your hearts

and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Joy Unfettered


Much about God is a mystery

How can Jesus live within?


I thank God for working in me

That good work that continues


Good news of great joy has come

In a Babe to be glorified always


Jesus, a Name above all names

Believe and be right with God


Joy is serving in the Spirit

Unexplained peace is the result


His undeserved gifts are blessings

Blessing brings freedom of joy


Joy is belonging to Jesus

Glory to God for my freedom.



Meeting the Lord through modern-day psalms prompts heart gratitude and worship through verse.


On June 28th Finding Peace and Strength, which is volume 4, will be released.   Where else to turn when strength is gone and peace is fleeting, but God’s Word?



You can find Loree's website at  

Thursday, May 16, 2024

New Bookmarks!

I don't have a release date yet for Love's Gift, but I have bookmarks! I ordered a bunch of them. They are better than business cards in my opinion. The URL for my website is on the back. In case anyone is really interested in finding out more about my books, they can easily find information at my website. When I sell books at book signing events, I usually give the customer a bookmark along with the book. I have to order another bunch of bookmarks for The Keeper's Secret, which will also be released in the near future. 

Of all the marketing things I must do to get the word out about my books, putting together bookmarks is my favorite. I go to Canva to design the bookmark and then upload them to Vistaprint. I've been using Vistaprint for a long, long time. So even though there are plenty of other printing companies out there, I plan to stick with Vistaprint.

Do you like to use author's bookmarks? Should an author sign the bookmark? What do you think?


Thursday, May 09, 2024

Worst Book Signing Ever

A Beautiful Book Signing at a Library

I have gone to many book signings in the hope of selling some books. In the photo above, at a library, I was treated royally by the librarian. But nobody showed up. ๐Ÿ˜•

I have discovered that there are good days and bad days to hold a book signing. The day before Mother's Day is a bad one to sell and autograph romance books, at least that has been my experience. Many years ago, I was scheduled--along with three other authors--to do a book signing at a bookstore in northern New Jersey. When I arrived, the store did not have any of my books. I had some in the car, which I put on the table, but it didn't matter. I did not sell a single book.

Of the three other authors that were supposed to be there, two showed up. They sold a total of three books.

Not many people were in the store. It was a glorious day outside. If I had been at home, I would have done some gardening. I suspect that is what many people were doing. Others were probably enjoying family time with their children and grandchildren, which is a wonderful thing to do on Mother’s Day. Or go out to eat. ๐Ÿ˜

As unprofitable as that book signing was in northern NJ, I believe the worst book signing for me was in a small bookstore in a local town where the road outside the store was being repaved the night of the book signing. It would have been better for the owner of the bookstore to reschedule the event, but she didn’t. There is a municipal parking lot in the back, but for those who like to park on the street, it would have been impossible. The noise of the repaving was constant and loud. The smell of hot asphalt permeated the air. Not many people came into the store. However, even that night, I sold some books. So, it wasn’t a total loss.

Still, I just haven't had many good experiences with book signing events, which makes me hesitant to sign up for them. 

Make me feel good. Tell me your worst booksigning experience.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

When I Was Young and Single

     Summer is coming. When I think of summer, I think of traveling. When I was young and single, I traveled quite a bit. One of the best trips I went on was a summer study course through Trenton State Collcge, which is now the College of New Jersey. It was eight weeks long, with one week in Paris, six weeks in Florence, and one week in Germany. I took two courses and got six credits, which went toward my Masters degree.

     At that time, I took photos with my little Kodak Instamatic camera. As you can see, any cellphone nowadays takes much better pictures. Technology has made great strides since that time. 


     The cost of the trip was a little over $1000, which was a lot in those days. Especially when you consider that my salary as a teacher was about $8000 a year. But I was still living at home with my parents and I was quite thrifty, so I was able to save enough money for the trip. The cost of the trip did not include any beverages. 

    Healthy and strong, I climbed to the top of Montmartre and the Duomo. I walked everywhere. 

        I spent so much time in Florence, I didn’t feel like a tourist after a while. Learning about history and art while looking at the work of the artists who created stunning masterpieces made an impression on me that I never would have gotten from a book.  

     My high school French was not very useful and I did not learn Italian. Fortunately, there were other people in the study group who knew how to speak those languages. 

     Rome was the only city where my usual sense of direction was confounded. But I put my feet in the Trevi fountain, saw the Pieta, and the Roman Forum. 

    I liked Florence better. It wasn’t that big. I’ve never been a fan of big cities. Even cities like New York City, which isn’t far from where I live. Although, at least in Manhattan the streets go either north and south or east and west. That makes it easier. 


     That’s me at the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was very strange to walk up to the top. Since it leans so much, sometimes the stairs weren’t really going up. ๐Ÿคจ

    I was very fortunate to have such adventures and see other countries. I thought of setting book in Florence. I started one but never finished it. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to it. 

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