Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Belated Mother's Day

So I completely spaced the holiday when it came to thinking about my own mother. Ours was a difficult relationship and my childhood was rarely pleasant, but I still admire her as a woman who worked hard, tried to do her best and commanded respect. There were never any fuzzy moments when I felt truly loved and accepted, but I always had clothes to wear and a roof over my head. I could never go to her with the problems that really mattered or seek shelter in the strength of her arms when I was frightened or needed help, but she made sure there was food on the table even if I had to cook it myself and she sometimes typed my school reports. (I never felt the need to take a typing and that has been a hindrance my entire life, especially since I have spent so much of it writing as a way to cope with things I didn't understand.)

From her I learned how to survive, rely on myself and never risk more than I could stand to lose. While those may not seem like endearing characteristics they have suited me. I've been alone most of my life since I never learned how to really connect or trust others. My marriage lasted 22 years but there was never any intimacy, and I was constantly afraid of saying or doing something that would meet with disapproval. I tried to break the chain of abuse that had been a part of my life since I was five by walking away, but it was done too late and in the wrong way. I often feel like I hurt my children more than I helped them, but like my mother, I was just trying to do my best.

That said, writing about families and intimate relationships in the Indecision's Flame series has been very hard for me. I know all about abuse, illness, denial, conflict, abandonment, lack of warmth and threats, but I don't know much about how happy families interact. One of the few things I remember about my parent's interacting was the day my father became angry enough to rip the dress from my mother's shoulders because she kept insisting on wearing something that was worn out when she had better things in her closet. So much for the mind wanting to protect the sanity of an individual!

But I still believe in Mother's Day and honor all of the  tremendous women I have known over the years who have overcome great odds, tried to serve others, and have given everything they have for the ones they love. No life is perfect, but it can always be improved on. I hope that my mother, who has been gone for almost 20 years now, will know that I love her and am really trying to understand how difficult her life must have been. I often see her refection when I look in the mirror. Whether we like it or not, we are part of the people who gave us life and will see them again someday. I'm hoping for a glorious reunion.


        Happy Belated Mother's Day

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

May Flowers? I woke up to snow.

Exciting news and the perfect way to begin a rather chilly May. It's something I would never have tried on my own since cover design is a skill I'm still trying to learn, but with the help of a wonderful friend the first three books in the Indecision’s Flame series have been packaged as a trilogy. That means great reading for a great price. Until May 26, you can get all three books in digital format for $.99 at https://amzn.to/2PfLun2 After that, they will go to their regular price of $5.99. And don’t forget that the last book in series - Destiny - will be out later this month. It’s twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very end. Here's a sneak peak: 

Beth’s arrival at the ancestral home effectively ruins what Brylee and Jake hope will be the beginning of many happy Christmas days, but the much-anticipated holiday turns to complete ruin when Raymond Tucker interferes in a most galling way. It’s a battle against family feelings of betrayal, sinister alliances and catastrophic news as NJ returns to the outback armed with a plan that has the potential of upsetting the very balance of nature. Ongoing confrontations and unmitigated pressure force LeAnn to rethink what is right for her and her children, and Brylee wrestles with feelings of self-doubt and a very uncertain future while trying to keep the family together. Will Jake’s final decision bring her the closure and peace she so much desires, or will it turn to ashes everything they have been trying to build? 

All books are available in both digital and print format at https://amzn.to/2BXNSdv  Stay warm and happy reading. 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Easter Day

I just couldn't let this glorious Easter Sunday go by without expressing my love to my Savior who paid the price for my sins, weaknesses and sorrows and provided a way for me to live again. At church, a talk was given relating the final week of his life. How he raised his dear friend Lazarus from the dead, had boughs strewn in his path as he entered Jerusalem, cleared the temple of the animals and money changers, had the last supper with his disciples and gave them the sacrament. He knew he was going to die and who would betray him; yet he had nothing but love and forgiveness in his heart. He prayed in the garden for all of mankind and was betrayed with a kiss. He stood before his accusers and never condemned anyone or tried to defend the false charges. He willingly hung on the cross when he had the power to save himself, and he suffered the finally agony of death. He lay in the tomb of a friend and three days later rose from the dead just as he had promised his disciples he would. 

His life was one of majesty, love and dedication, and I truly want to emulate as much of it as I possibly can by forgiving my neighbors, accepting challenges and disappointments without ridicule and complaint, and serving and loving as he did. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My heart is simply filled with love because I have accepted him as my Savior and know I will see him, and all of my family, again. What beautiful promise that is! More glorious than anything this world has to offer.

I think these few words express it best: JESUS IS A GOD OF MIRACLES BECAUSE HE RESCUED YOU AND ME.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

April Showers

Can't say that I've enjoyed the coolness of this spring day and all the rain after 70 plus degrees and plenty of sun yesterday, but it has given me time to do laundry and more editing and refining of the first book of my new series that will be launched in mid-summer, if all goes according to plans. I don't know why I'm so excited since book Destiny - Book 7 of the Indecision's Flame series won't be released until next month, but I'm a person who always likes to look ahead and can't stand to remain in one place for long. I suppose that's why I've moved so often the past few years. Like the children of today - I GET BORED EASILY.

Right after my divorce I bought a small, new home in the town where I taught school. That was challenging but fun, although I was receiving a lot of opposition. People in my community didn't like the idea that I had found it necessary to leave my husband of 22 years, but my doctor told me that my body was shutting down, and I would be dead in six months if I didn't make a drastic change.  Eighteen months later, I got a different job at the high school I went to and even managed to compile both print and video histories with my students of the institution. After 7 years, I sold that home, moved to another part of Idaho and bought a different house. I stayed they for 10 years and then retired.

That was my chance to do something really different and fun. I bought an acre and a quarter of ground on a private pond next to my sister in Missouri and proceeded to build my dream house. Little did I know that just a few months after I moved in that my daughter-in-law would be diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma Lymphoma and my son would need me in Utah. So I sold my beautiful home there and moved into a house I had never seen in the middle of a subdivision where the houses are so close it gives me claustrophobia. But my daughter-in-law is doing great now, and I've been able to spend tons of time with my granddaughter.

I guess any place can be home, and I've met wonderful people and made a great many friends. I only know that I'm getting antsy after three and a half years and would love to be in the country again. Don't know if that's in my future, but sometimes we simply have to make do with what we have and be grateful for the blessings of family, health, faith, money to survive on and enough passion to do something useful. That's where I sit right now, just counting my blessings as the rain continues to fall. Spring flowers are already blooming, and in a few weeks I'll be complaining about all the heat. What's life like where you're at?

Here's the main setting for the first book in my new series. Hope you'll feel like checking it out.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Is spring really on the way?

So here I am sitting in my most comfortable chair in the middle of the morning with a lamp on behind my head since it's too dark outside to read or work on my computer otherwise. I love these quiet days at home after I've finished my housework and taken care of other things that need to be done. It's soul enriching to spend time alone contemplating life and what I can do to make the world a better a place. I know each person on earth has a vital role to play, even if his or her circle of acquaintances and friends is small. There's always someone close by who needs a word of cheer, help with a difficult task or something as easy to give as a smile. 

I'm an introvert and really struggle with social situations since my tongue often gets tied when I try to say something, and I mostly question if anything I have to say will be of interest to someone else. My life is simple. Most people would say it's boring since I don't have to be shopping, going out with family or friends or traveling to be happy. I take great pleasure in the common, everyday things.  I love the smell of fresh bread baking, touching a flower I've helped to grow, folding clean laundry and looking at the stars in the sky. But I also recognize that I need to help others see these beauties as well. So I've challenged myself this year to step out of my comfort zone and do at least one kind deed for someone else each day. It can be as simple as responding to a Facebook post or as uncomfortable as inviting a neighbor I barely know out to lunch. 

I haven't missed a day yet. That's not to say I haven't come close to crawling into bed at night before realizing that I still need to make good on my promise to myself. What I do may not mean much to anyone else in the larger scheme of things, but it means something to me because I've forced myself to go from a place of comfort into the unknown. Sometimes I get feedback, but mostly it's just knowing that I'm doing something that is hard for me. I used to think extroverts were so much better than me because they always seemed to be having so much fun with so little effort, but my perspective is starting to change. While I will always feel somewhat intimidated around others, I'm beginning to see that being different is okay. True happiness comes from accepting who we are and trying to become better. Perhaps there might even be someone else who wishes they were more like me.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A Blustery March

Hope this finds everyone well. I've been fighting a bug for the past month but am very glad I got a flu shot. We've had some pretty erratic weather this winter but then so has most everyone else in the country. I've tried to spend my time wisely and not let the long, dark days upset me too much by revising the first five books in the Indecision's Flame series. It's taken awhile, but I feel much better about marketing something where I've found every error that I possibly could.

This past eight months haven't been easy trying to learn a new trade. I love writing but never considered all the work it would take to get my books Indie Published. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's doing all the work yourself. I've had great friend to help me, but the learning curve has been steep. Thank goodness he volunteered to do the covers. That's something I have yet to learn, and quite frankly, even thinking about it scares me. But since I have a new series mostly written, I can't drag my feet forever. 

As a way to celebrate my accomplishment, I'm offering a free PDF copy of the first book to anyone who might like to read it, and maybe get a few review in return. I'm learning that's a critical step in the process, but it's not easy asking people to take the time to do it. In case you don't know what the book is about, here's a preview of what you'll find it book 1.

Brylee Hawkins returns to her birthland, the Australian outback, to confront her father whom she believes was responsible for her mother’s death. Now face to face with him after years apart, she discovers that the painful truth she has clung to was not the reality of what really happened. As the truth unfolds, Brylee must face the new family that has filled her father’s life, the lies and the betrayals she must relive, and the incredibly handsome ranch hand that tempts her into compromising her values. Will she find her way through this labyrinth, or succumb to his charms, losing herself in the process. Set in the rugged Australian outback, Indecision’s Flame is a rich tapestry of love and lessons that must be read to fully appreciate.

Happy reading, whatever genre you like.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Something Little

I'd like to say something awe-inspiring and unforgettable, but that's not likely to happen. So I'll settle for writing something that will hopefully make a little sense. There's been lot of unrest, uncertainty and sorrow around me lately. People I care about have lost loved ones, seen their children diagnosed with debilitating illnesses and conditions that can never be reversed, and been hurt in ways that defy description. Yet, through unimaginable odds, I've seen the power of the human spirit as it attempts to make sense of the unthinkable and still move forward with compassion for others and a sense of purpose in knowing that this life isn't all there is. I've watched them make unbelievable sacrifices for the common good, take stands when they just wanted to give in and give up, and look for the silver lining when there appeared to be nothing but darkness and despair looming ahead. 

I've mostly watched from the sidelines not knowing what to say or do that might help. Some journeys in life must be taken alone, but that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention and taking notes because we're all going to be tested to our  limits. Whether we survive or not is up to us. So I guess all I really can say is that hope does spring eternal if our hearts are open to it. But it's still not easy to make it through most any day alone right now. There are obstacles everywhere that can throw us. Something as simple as having my trash bag fall apart and having to clean up a mess can set me off, but it doesn't have to be that way. I could learn to laugh more, love more and be more sensitive to the needs of others. I can look at unpleasant experiences as stepping stones instead of a stumbling blocks. And I can learn to sit back and simply breath when something challenging comes. I might not be able to change the world, but I can certainly make my little corner of it a much better place.