It's been a challenge this year to get this fourth book of my Cottonwood Series and PG's Redemption Tales series written. It's oh so close now. Here's the cover.
We are in the editing stage and will be proofing during the next couple of days. Our goal is to have it available by the weekend in digital format. I'll post a notice here, on my Facebook Author page and send out an email to those who have provided me with their email address.
I know this book is out much later than we had hoped. Writing takes time as does editing and proofing. That is not counting what life throws at you and your family. Pastor George has had an exceptionally difficult year.
I'd like to take this moment to thank you for your patience as we worked to write Nell Shaw's and Timothy Dillon's story. It's our hope you will enjoy it and see God's hand in the writing and how the characters deal with what life throws at them. No one is perfect and these two are no exception.
Also, I've been remiss. I have not thanked any of you who have been gracious enough to post a review on any of my books. Please accept my apologies and know that each one, positive or not is very much appreciated.
There's always a, I won't say let down because it's not, when I finish writing a book. The creative work is done. Now the work, work starts. The people who help with the editing and proofing, and who I help in return deserve more thanks than I can ever give. As independent authors themselves, or the most part, many cannot afford to pay for professional editing and proofreading. Revenue from sales is simply not that great. We do our best to find and correct errors but some always slip through. In our rush to finish and release Redeeming Love the number of beta readers is fewer than normal.
One of the joys of our digital age is the ability to correct mistakes in the ebook formats as well as the Print On Demand files. I always welcome identification of errors by readers. For this reason I've developed a new page on my site. Errata Form gives my readers a quick and easy place to let me know about any errors they might find.
I thank you in advance if you choose to contact me with typos you might find. In the future I plan to give a small thank you gift of a devotion or short story only offered to those who fill out the form. With my focus on writing full length novels I'm putting the reward on hold. I hope you understand the delay.
Well, it's time to get back to Redeeming Love so we can release the Kindle and other digital formats by the weekend. Again, thank you for reading my books and if you've reviewed one or more THANK YOU EVEN MORE.
As you probably know, I went to Miami the weekend before Thanksgiving to receive my award from Readers' Favorite. Healing Love was awarded the Silver Medal in the Christian Historical Fiction category. The Miami Book Fair was going on at the same time. It made for a fun weekend.
As you probably know, I went to Miami the weekend before Thanksgiving to receive my award from Readers' Favorite. Healing Love was awarded the Silver Medal in the Christian Historical Fiction category. The Miami Book Fair was going on at the same time. It made for a fun weekend.
There were many other authors in attendance and it was quite fun meeting them all. I've come back with lots of contact information as well as some books they were giving away. I gave away copies of mine as well.
One of the highlights was the restaurant right next door to the hotel; Catch of the Day. It is a seafood restaurant with both indoor and outside seating. I ate every meal there except for breakfast on Friday. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes seafood. Wonderful.
Here is another of the winning authors. Remember the TV show ER? Well that's Eric LaSalle. He was so very gracious in standing there for I don't know how long and allowing us to get our picture taken with him.
So there's my 3 seconds of fame.
Now it's back to the keyboard and getting Redeeming Love ready for release. We are hoping it will happen in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
From the sun and warmth of Miami then back home for two days and off for the 9 hour drive to the freezing north. We went to my sister's for the holiday. She lives in Duluth, MN. I'd rather it was Miami.
I know you've all been waiting a long time for Redeeming Love to be released. My co-author, George McVey, PG, has been ill off and on this year and unable to work with me on it. I hope you understand my patience with his health and not pressuring him. He also needed to finish the third novel in his Redemption Tales Series, Redeeming Grace.
It has been released and is available on Amazon in Kindle and Smashwords for other digital formats. It will soon be released in print also.
For those of you who are anxiously awaiting Redeeming Love I've decided to post the first two chapters.
National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNo is going on this month. The goal is 50,000 words during November. My project this year is Seeing The Life. It's a fictional story surrounding the life of Jesus.
Dassa, daughter of the innkeeper, as the novel begins is sent to fetch the midwife because the young very pregnant woman in the stable is in labor. Here is a rough draft of the first chapter.
"Dassa, Dassa," Miriam called as she entered the backdoor of the inn which lead to the kitchen and general work room.
Dassa looked up from her chore of chopping leeks for stew. "Yes, Mother?"
"I need you to go fetch Midwife Tabitha. The couple your father put in the stable... the woman is in labor. She's in the early stages, but I think you should leave now before it gets any later. Too many strangers in Bethlehem to delay."
"Yes, Mother." Dassa scooped up the chopped leeks and tossed them into the stew pot. She dipped her hands in water for a rinse and went to grab her cloak hanging by the door.
"Take your father's. The darker color and will conceal you better. Keep to the shadows. Go straight to her house and back. The darkness conceals those who seek to do evil."
With a nod, Dassa covered her face with her veil, drew her father's black cloak around her and slipped into the night. She hurried down the narrow alley to the not much wider street. A dog sniffing through a pile of rotting garbage growled at her as she passed as far from him as the meager roadway would allow.
Dassa scanned both directions. She did not want to be seen by Romans or any others out at night. She pulled her eyebrows together in confused thought. Something wasn't right. Not seeing anyone she turned down the street rushing past the buildings which housed both businesses and homes. Few lights glowed in the windows and on rooftops.
The evening had progressed into night. The inn, during this busy time, stayed active long after the rest of Bethlehem slept. Those who had come to town for the census register seemed to stay up eating and drinking until the last watches before dawn. Then they complained if the noises of a busy day interrupted their sleep.
Dassa didn't think highly of most of the travelers. They were a loud, demanding group as a whole. Sometimes one or two would be polite but... Dassa just tried to avoid them as much as possible. This posed challenges as some slept in the inn's main room. It was a small inn. Deep within the city, they had a reputation of good food, decent wine, adequate beds, and a fair price. They had become a regular spot in the routes for a goodly number of traveling merchants. Not having a courtyard and only a tiny stable tended to keep the Roman's away.
By now Dassa had walked several blocks from the inn. Nervously she slipped into a dark doorway. Something was different. She tried to figure out what. The brightness of the night. It was more luminesce than it should be. The glow quivered, almost like the flame of an oil lamp. No, that wasn't quiet right. She didn't have the proper word. She gazed at the wall across from her. There seemed to be a light which shone separately from the moonlight. She tilted her head back seeing neither the moon nor whatever created this strange glimmer.
She moved out of the doorway, hurrying faster. The unusual illumination was making her not only nervous but also afraid. She wanted to get to the midwife's house and back home as fast as possible.
Dassa stepped out of the narrow street into the town square. She walked quickly. As she passed the well Dassa looked up. More of the sky was visible. She stopped and stared.
The moon, nearly full, shone brightly. This was not what held her attention. A star, brighter than any other, pulsed with a luminosity Dassa had never experienced before. The light caused the strange shifting of shadows which seemed as if they were being chased away by the starlight.
A dog's bark and hobnailed shoes sounding on the cobbled street brought her focus back to her errand. Dassa ran across the square into the shadows on the other side. If a soldier found her she would never be home again. She paused, listening. The clank of the soldiers' boots faded. With a silent release of the breath she'd been holding, Dassa left the sheltering darkness and slipped around the corner. Only two more streets to cross.
Arriving at the midwife's house Dassa pressed herself into the doorway. The position of the door let the moonlight and the strange starlight illuminate where she stood. Dassa felt as if the moon and star's glow outlined her against the wood. She knocked quietly, afraid the sound might carry and alert the guards, hoping someone in the house would hear.
"Who comes in the night?" A male voice called.
"Dassa Bat Eli, we have need of Midwife Tabitha. A guest is in labor."
The door opened and the man's hand reached out grabbed her arm, pulling Dassa inside.
"What was your father thinking sending you out on this errand? He should have come." Tabitha's husband, David, frowned at her.
"He could not. We are full to over flowing. The couple having the baby are in the stable. It was the only place with some privacy."
Tabitha came from the back room with a bundle containing what she needed. "Stop scolding the girl, David. She just did as she was told." Tabitha patted Dassa on the cheek, a loving grin on her face. "Praise Yahweh for getting you here safely. David, come, escort us to the inn, please."
"Why is it that babies always choose the middle of the night to be born?" David grumbled as he wrapped his wife in her cloak and grabbed his own.
Dassa and Tabitha entered the stable behind the inn. David had gone to the main building saying he would let Miriam and Eli know she was safely home. The journey back had gone faster since they didn't have to keep to the shadows because David was with them. They still kept to the lesser traveled streets and alleys not wanting to meet the Romans. Both the midwife and her husband had commented on the strangeness of the light from the sky. The star, brighter than before, chased more of the shadows away.
"Joseph," Dassa whispered from the dark entry way. "I've brought the Midwife Tabitha."
"Praise Yahweh. Will you help my wife? She is young and we are both scared." Joseph's fear was palpable.
"Peace Joseph. I'll do what I can. Yahweh is the one who brings forth the miracle," Tabitha said approaching the young woman lying on clean straw in an empty stall. "I'm Midwife Tabitha. Your husband is very nervous. He didn't tell me your name." She shot Joseph an amused glance. He smiled sheepishly.
"I'm Mary." Just as she said the words a contraction rippled down her body causing the mother to be to stiffen in pain.
Tabitha counted until the contraction ended. Kneeling beside Mary, she asked questions. Some the girl answered, others brought confused looks to the faces of the young couple. "Dassa, please get me some water. I have most of what else I need."
"Yes ma'am." Dassa left the stable again noticing the starlight shining brighter still. It seemed to pulse like the beat of a heart. Hurrying to the kitchen, she gathered several water bags. Her mother came from the front room and kissed her cheek.
"How is the mother?" Miriam asked.
"Scared. So is her husband. I'm to bring water."
"You stay near Tabitha. She may need you to get things that are normally in the house. The stable isn't where I'd want to give birth, but it's the best we could offer."
"Yes ma'am. Mother, have you seen the star that's shining so brightly?" Dassa put the straps of the bags over her shoulders and picked up a large bowl.
"Earlier. Is it still shining?" Miriam stirred the kettle and ladled out the stew into bowls.
"Even brighter. If you can spare a moment come and look." Dassa held the door open as she and her mother stepped outside. Miriam's mouth dropped open. The moon appeared pale in comparison.
"Oh my, I've never seen anything like it." The women stared up at the sky as the single star banished all others.
"I must get back to Tabitha," Dassa said leaving her mother wide eyed with wonder.
As she entered the stable Tabitha and Joseph stood near the doorway talking quietly. Tabitha kept looking at Mary resting in the straw.
"It's not possible, I tell you. I've never encountered this in all my years as a midwife."
"It is so. The angel said she would bear a child as a virgin and so she is." Joseph's face was serene and calm.
"But how?" Tabitha asked.
"By the power of the Most High and the Holy Spirit. An angel came to Mary and told her. When I found out about her pregnancy I was going to divorce Mary but the angel assured me to marry her."
Dassa stood quietly listening. The words of the prophet Isaiah spoke in her mind: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Her betrothed, Micah, had read them to her just last week. Immanuel, God with us. Was this the sign? Was the prophecy being fulfilled? Here in their stable? How could that be possible? The Messiah was to be a king. He was to free their people. Kings weren't born in cattle stalls.
"Dassa, Dassa." Tabitha's stern call brought her back to the present. Her questions would have to wait until Micah came. "Bring me the water and then go get your mother. Hurry, there's no time to lose."
As she approached the stall where Tabitha now stood waiting she slipped the bags off her shoulders. Dassa looked at Mary's sweat drenched face. She held onto Joseph's hand as another contraction pressed down. Dassa handed the bowl and bags to Tabitha and ran back to the kitchen.
"Mother, Mother, Tabitha needs you, come quickly," Dassa said as she found her setting more bowls of stew before hungry men and women in the front room of the inn.
Dassa saw her mother's lips move in prayer as she threaded her way through the crowd. "Is something wrong?"
"I'm not sure." Dassa kept silent until they had left the house. "Tabitha and Joseph, Mary's husband, were talking when I came in. They were saying something about Mary being a virgin."
"Impossible," Miriam scoffed.
"It is in Isaiah; Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
In silence they entered the stable. Tabitha signaled them to come near.
"You must check this girl, Miriam. See if you find the same as I."
"So what Dassa heard you say is true?" Miriam's jaw dropped in shock.
"You examine her. Dassa you pay attention. I want you to check her too. Are there any women in the inn who could also be a witness? We must hurry, it will tear soon."
Dassa watched as her mother checked the girl. Mary's embarrassment was evident. She turned her face into Joseph's hand which she gripped.
Miriam sat back on her heals. "And a virgin shall conceive... I'll go get Abigail, she and Micah arrived a short while ago to help." Quickly rising, she nearly ran from the stable.
"Dassa, now I want you to check." Tabitha instructed as to how to the proceed and what she should feel for. Dassa went red with embarrassment. She looked at Tabitha who nodded.
Slowly Dassa knelt between Mary's knees and did as Tabitha had said. She found the bit of tissue proclaiming Mary's virginity. Dassa pulled her hand away and stared at the pregnant young woman. She would be about the same age as Dassa. God with us. This woman was giving birth to the Son of God right now, in their stable.
Video seems to have taken over the internet. Youtube, Quicktime, Flash, movie, book and TV trailers. It seems as if every site I go to anymore and just about every Google search has some content that is video.
It's not that I don't like watching videos. I've watched a number of video tutorials on the net.
Sometimes I watch them several times or parts of them several times. I watch TV and sometimes go to the movies. The theater is a long ways from my house, a least an hour, so we don't go much. The last movie was the new Star Trek one. I went with my brother since Hubby doesn't do Sci-Fi. He's more of a 1950's Western, John Wayne type of movie. Oh... he does WWII movies too. Most of the movies he watches have guns making lots of noise. He watches at night when I've gone to bed. Thank goodness for earplugs.
Where was I? Oh yes... internet video. I've created video before. To do it well takes a lot of time. Not necessarily the shooting but rather the editing. I created two book trailers to promote Giving Love and Lord's Love. I posted them on YouTube and they are on this site somewhere. I determined they are more work than they're worth so didn't continue making them for subsequent novel releases .
I commend those who make video for use on the net. That said, I'd rather just read the information presented in most videos. I don't just sit well. Never have except for the first Christmas break in college. We'd had finals then home for the holidays. I was sitting in a chair in the living room when my mother came in asking if I was all right. I was fine, just so exhausted from four finals in a couple of days. Anyway, I'm usually doing something even when watching TV. Needlework, playing games on my computer or iPad. I even take things to do in the car if we are going more than about 45 min.
When I'm on the net I'm looking for information as quickly as possible. Going to a site and having what I need in the form of a 10 minute video when I could read it in a couple of minutes sends me back to Google faster than you can spit.
If the video is demonstrating something I'm wanting to do or needs the visual movement for clarity that's fine. But not having the information in print so I can read it quickly and refer back to it if needed simply irks me. I know others love the videos. That's fine, but for me... I'd rather just read it.
Independently publishing authors have trouble getting their works noticed. Many wonderfully talented authors have books available which can't be found in brick and mortar stores and are difficult to find on Amazon, bn.com, iBookstore, etc. The traditionally published titles can be pre-ordered and have reviews posted by the time they are released. Indie authors don't have these privileges. So when I was asked to read and review Fields of the Fatherless by Elaine Marie Cooper so when the book was released it would have enough reviews to get it noticed I said yes.
This novel very well demonstrated how those in the middle of a war zone feel as they watch their loved ones head out to battle and the struggle with vengeful thought for the enemy. Ms Cooper used actual tales from people who lived through the battle of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts in April 1775 a few days after Paul Rivere's ride.
I was impressed with her single point of view in the daughter, Betsy. She went through the gamete of emotions very realistically in my opinion. So as not to spoil your enjoyment I won't outline the events which occur.
This book would be appropriate reading for strong readers from junior high age up even to any age adult.
I received an advance copy of this novel from the author for an honest review.
The book is available in Kindle and print on Amazon.
If you do decide to read it, please keep the challenge for indie authors getting noticed in mind and post a review for Elaine. Thanks
If you find this topic objectionable simply don’t read it. My goal is not to offend but to help, especially, young women to see their worth not in the size of their breasts.
It seems to me that our culture is in love with large breasts, real or fake. Many women and even more tragically, young women want breast enhancements. As someone who has been naturally “blessed” I thought I’d give a few reasons not to follow the crowd heading to the plastic surgeon.
1. I’ve had surgery and it hurts. Not a boob job but several others. No doubt about it, surgery causes pain. Yes, it’s temporary, but I wouldn’t choose to undergo the knife unless I had to. Especially multiple times.
2. Bra strap dents. Even if they are perky they will need support. Gravity is universal and will pull on the girls whether they are fake or not. The heavier they are the more the bra straps will pull on your shoulders. These become permanent after a while.
3. They get in the way. If you golf or shoot handguns the girls get in the way. I’ve done both and yes you will have to make adjustments in your swing and how you hold your weapon.
4. Boobs over brains. I know the goal, stated or not, is to be more attractive to the opposite sex, but men will spend more time fantasizing about your breasts than listening to you or taking you seriously.
In my younger, thinner days I had men not look at my face during a conversation. It’s demeaning. The seventies were all about getting women respected for their capabilities rather than their bodies. How about we focus on what we can do rather than what a body looks like?
4. They get in the way. If you golf or shoot handguns the girls get in the way. I’ve done both and yes you will have to make adjustments in your swing and how you hold your weapon.
5. Gravity wins in the end. Sorry to tell you this, but as we age the skin elasticity becomes like an overstretched rubber band. No, it doesn’t break but it won’t go back to the short, tight size it was when it was new. Muscles lose their tone too. Yes, your boobs will sag. Sorry, youth is not eternal. Accept it and move on, or save your money for another surgery.
6. Because you will have more. Nothing lasts forever so they will need to be replaced. Within five years nearly 25% of women have gone under the knife again for various reasons. The older the implants get the greater the risk of rupture.
7. The satellite dish look. We go to the Caribbean in the winter and have seen topless as well as bikini covered implants. Believe me you can tell who has implants whether they are large or not. The shape is different. They tend to look like inverted satellite dishes pointing to the stars when the woman lies down. Not at all natural.
8. The shelf which shows stains. I think I’m a fairly neat eater. My shirts tell a different tale. I get spots along the upper chest area of shirts. I dress modestly so if you show a lot of cleavage it might not effect you as much.
9. Don’t forget they will be heavier. There’s an old saying: A pint’s a pound the world around. Implants are measured by volume in cc’s. A 350 cc implant will add about 12 oz of weight to each breast. A 500 cc will add a pound. Remember, you’ll be carrying that around on your front with the added strain on your back, shoulders and neck.
10. None of what I’ve written has addressed the risks of breast augmentation. Here is a very good article from Glamour Magazine. http://www.antell-md.com/newyorkplasticsurgeon/media/Glamour_complete_web.pdf
11. Take a moment to consider how you are seen by your Heavenly Father. He cares not about how you look. Even Jesus was not known for his good looks. God cares about you because you are. He doesn’t look at the skin, bone and marrow, but the person of character who is following him. In my view that is more important and lasting.
Do you see the broken pixels on the right of my screen. They are from my foot coming down on my computer when it was on the floor under a quilt. Not a smart thing to do. As you read this my MacBook Air is probably not at my house but rather in the process of being repaired.
As you know I live in the stix. In order to walk into an Apple Store I have to drive four hours to downtown Chicago. Any time I need parts replacement or computer repair I have to contact Apple Support. They have this really neat thing where you can chat online or have them call you. So after I stepped on my computer I had them call.
They called Monday at about 3:45 and he set up for the repair. Fed Ex will drop off a box Tuesday, most likely, or Wednesday. If I'm here when the Fed Ex guy comes I can pack the laptop in the box and he'll take it away. It will be back to me very likely on Thursday if the box comes on Tuesday. I have actually gotten a computer back within one day if Fed Ex gets here early enough.
I don't normally endorse products or companies. Every company has its issues and poor service at times. I have just never had a bad experience with Apple. My first computer was an Apple IIc back in about 1985. I've been a loyal customer ever since.
So I'm not going to have my computer for a couple of days. It was my fault for stepping on it. I'm just glad Apple has such a great customer service and support.
How come no one believes me? They chuckle and tell me I’m not. I, however, choose to have faith in the fact that I am. “What?” you ask. I have joined the lofty circles of the Biker Babe.
“Cool,” you say. “How’d you get to be that?”
This past March my hubby purchased a Harley Davidson trike. He’s been riding all over the countryside with his buddies and having a wonderful time. I get to have the house to myself and not cook supper. So it’s great for both of us.
The problem comes when I tell people I’m a Biker Babe. I have a helmet and have ridden with him a few of times. We still need to get the suspension adjusted so I don’t end up at the chiropractor after each ride.
When I say I’m a Biker Babe they laugh and say I’m a Biker Mama. I contend I’m not. I’m a Biker Babe. If my hubby who is nearly 61, over weight and a grandfather can be a Biker the same as a svelte 21 year old there is no reason I can’t be a Biker Babe.
Seems to me we, once again, have a double standard set for women where men only have one. No matter the age, physique or generations of descendants a man is a Biker. Therefore, in my humble opinion, the wife or girlfriend can be a Biker Babe. It shouldn’t matter that I’m 59, overweight and a grandmother.
Women of the world unite. We have a noble cause to bring forth. Let us set aside another of the double standards which have held us back for generations. NO more will we be silent. NO more will be settle for second best. NO more discrimination.
No more Biker Mama.
Biker Babes Forever!!!
The age old dilemma of what happens to the sock that disappears in the drier has been solved. At least at my house. Well, maybe not solved, but I now have a purpose for single ones that collect in a pile or drawer or basket.
I have a granddaughter who will turn three in November. Her mother recently asked me to make some clothing for the two American Girl dolls she passed on to her daughter. Being a sewer (that's a person who sews not a stinky pipe in the ground), it is right up my alley. Being cheap, I searched the internet for free patterns.
There are some but the same ones turn up on different sites all over the net. Not a problem, but I’d like to see a larger variety. I’m not spending $10 for a pattern to make doll clothes out of scraps of fabric and old clothes.
During my wandering doll pattern sites I came across a couple of tutorials on re-purposing clothing you no longer where to create doll clothes. AH HA!! The solution to all those single socks found in my drier.
You take the single sock and do a little stitching and voila, you have a pair of socks for Maggie or Emily. So cute and so easy.
I also have socks still in pairs that the heel is getting a hole in. Instead of throwing them away I’ll make socks for the dolls. It takes less than 5 minutes a pair.
I wear the heavy slipper socks around the house during the winter. Several pairs have the bottoms wearing through. The tops are long enough that I can make tights from them.
The tutorial instilled the idea, but the method used was awkward so I devised my own. If you are interested in the technique simply click the link below. It's a 2 page pdf file.
Being able to use that single sock or worn out pair is my little bit of revenge on the black hole the lost sock is sucked into. Take that you sucker. I’ve defeated you at last.