Rogue Wave

Last post ended with this comment:  Speaking of addictions: that reminds me….. of a idea which I will save to talk about in the next post……… This subject that has been on my mind, often, since that post, and as it won’t seem to go away, I’ll share what I was thinking that day….

I heard an interesting commentary on addictions the other day. It was in regard  to things that – in and of themselves – are not bad for you. Things like work, sports, reading….  activities that, if taken too far, can cause us to neglect obligations, and the significant people in our lives.

The speaker was describing a way to enjoy an activity while encouraging it to shrink back to healthy levels.  The gist of her thought was this – We need to expand our happiness base.  Adding to the number of  activities we enjoy will do this, and the hold any one activity has on us will be lessened.

This commentary belongs to award winning lyricist, Gloria Gaither, and she was giving it in response to a question from Mark Lowry on Monday’s With Mark,   (Mark Lowry’s live video interviews on You Tube.) (Mark is funny, real, and wise beyond his years. Check him out, you might like him). The addict Gloria was speaking about is workaholic Bill Gaither, who agreed – he is an addict. He also agreed that expanding his happiness base has made a big difference in it’s hold on him. Interestingly enough, reading has become one of his new favorite activities. We are cheering you on, Bill!

After hearing this interview, I’ve been taking an honest look at the activities in my own life. It seems I bounce back and forth between four or five different things (sometimes all in one day). Maybe that’s a good sign my happiness base has broadened…. at least a little. There is this compulsion though, in the back of my mind, always looking for openings to snatch a few diversionary moments,  doesn’t matter how big or small they are. I think my happiness base expansion still needs some work.

Addictions and stress levels are never as simple as all that but even now, several weeks later, I can still see the value in the point Gloria was making. I have been making an effort to vary the way I spend time and it has been making a difference. It is getting easier to make myself get up and get going when I need to.


This time the book is …. fantasy.

Deep sea adventure, intrigue, death threats, bombings, rogue killer waves, green men ….  really….. a good book for the addictive reader

 

Rogue Wave   Rogue Wave – Christopher Cartwright

A killer wave that can sink massive ships without leaving evidence of what it is, or where it came from.

A mystery solver dragged into a sinister plot for reasons that are unclear. Someone notices and now his life, and that of his crew, is in danger.

His business associates have fallen for the promise of a payout in the millions, but with his  personal wealth and laser focus on new inventions – the lure of money has no effect on him. He votes to reject the lucrative deal, he can see what this takeover is really all about  – a threat to life as we know it.

His rejection of this deal is a threat to life as he knows it.

In the meantime, his father’s shipping business has been taking a hit with mega tankers disappearing and he wants his son to figure out what’s going on.

Are any of these things related?  Are they all related?

He has a talented crew, with sophisticated equipment, ready to take on the challenge. He’s not confident they will live through the experience so he makes plans.

He decides their best hope is to disappear while they investigate discretely. That’s when the fun begins.


I love a good book, don’t you? 🙂

Happy reading, everyone

 

 

Sometimes I lie

They tell us that we all lie…. and the one we lie to most often, is ourselves.

I agree with this idea whole heartedly. Keeping honesty in mind, I think I’ve been doing a good job at self honesty. About the way I live life. I’m convinced of it. I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m not the same person I was.

But….

Life has been feeling unsettled lately and I’m perplexed about the reason. I’ve been more introspective than usual, thinking about the last few months, of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve seen. Trying to figure out what I need to learn from it all. Wondering what is coming next, on the road of life.

They say if you want to know the truth, pay attention to actions rather than words.

Up until recently, I thought my words and actions lined up pretty well. Now I’m beginning to doubt that’s true.

A change in scenery can expose things we would never see in the everyday routine of life.

Travelling about the country for several months was just such a change. Frequenting unfamiliar public places, daily interaction with strangers, even spending unusual amounts of time with family and friends.

I thought the desire and willingness to make the trip was a sign I’ve finally been able to step outside of the old ways and move on. In some regards it’s true, I have moved on. But, an honest look, at the level of control over all possible interactions, tells me it’s not entirely true. I’m kidding myself if I think I’ve lowered the protective walls enough to let people in. The truth is, on this trip, I went to unusual lengths to keep people out.

Facing this truth, I’m not sure what I can do to change anything, but honesty is a good place to start.  The thought processes have been shaken up and now I’m looking at things from a different perspective.


Help in unexpected places….

I was listening to a podcast, the other day, about How to Stop the Pain. James Richards was saying that brokenness is complex and if we focus on trying to fix ourselves, it is likely, on some levels, that we will make things worse. Like unravelling tangled yarn. Complex.

Instead of focusing on fixing, he uses the sowing analogy. Sow the seeds of what you need and it will gradually become part of your life.

I need to sow openness. I have been thinking in this direction a lot lately –  that I need  to make more of an effort to nod, speak, smile. It’s a good place to start and the podcast was validation of that thought.

It’s amazing how, when I’m trying to figure things out, I stumble upon a book, a podcast, or a conversation, that speaks to the very subject I’m wrestling with.


Speaking of books….

Anne Perry is a name that quickly comes to mind when asked about favorite authors.

I was introduced to her a decade or so ago and read many of her books. More recently, a book suggestion showed up in my news feed, for a volume containing the first three books in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. I was delighted to find I hadn’t read any of them. I have now….. and the last one will soon be finished.

This three volume set is a good place to get started.

The murder mysteries take place in London, in the days of horses, buggies, and high society. The blending of upper and lower class adds dimension and intrigue.

Thomas Pitt vol one

Happy Reading!!

 

the Book of Negroes

This book is a solid 5 stars, in my estimation.

 

The Book of Negroes

This is a story written to capture your interest. I was surprised at the unexpected way it captured mine, given the difficult subject matter.

To be honest, it took me over two years to find the courage to read this book. I purchased  it only because it kept showing up as a must-read everywhere I turned. I decided to give it a chance but then couldn’t bring myself to read it as quickly as I normally would.

Reluctance to pick it up as the next-read meant it was buried deeper and deeper with each new downloaded book. Out of sight where it couldn’t make me feel guilty for passing it by, again. I did feel guilty, paying for a book and then not reading it, but mostly I felt guilty for not having the courage to read it.

I was avoiding it because, I know by experience, stories like this are hard to read.

Once I decided to take the plunge it didn’t take long to realize, Lawrence Hill has a gift for telling a story of horrific circumstances in a way that compels you to keep reading. There was no melodrama or righteous indignation. Just an honest, engaging, telling of the facts.

This is a fictional depiction of a 50 year slice of history, and the body of research to back it up is impressive. Also impressive is the size of the team working with him to make it happen.

I think there are many reasons why it’s important to read stories such as this. As you read, I know you will discover some of the reasons for yourself. We all come from a perspective and understanding of life, colored by the circumstances in our own little corner of the world. The messages we take away from reading a book like this will be influenced by the lives we each live. I find it’s that way with most books really, they speak to us where we are at any given time.

There are several important lessons I’ve learned while reading books such as this.  The first is this – cruelty has visited all people groups at some point in history and no people group is exempt from giving or receiving cruelty. We all have reason to weep for our ancestors as we discover cruelty endured, we have reason to rejoice with them for kindnesses received. And sometimes we have reason to be ashamed as we discover their treatment of others.

The second thing I’ve learned is that no people group is all good or all bad. For each cruel person, there are many more that are loving and kind. The cruel ones seem to get more notice, probably because they are often able to make life miserable for the masses. It makes me sad to see the way we humans treat each other. It also makes me sad to realize there is “nothing new under the sun”, cruelty and greed is an age old problem.

I can tell a book has been good for me when I am left saying……. I had no idea.

I had no idea that Black Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia Canada in 1783-1784, never mind that they came in such large numbers. It was a surprise to learn they were there because Britain promised rewards for loyalty to their war effort in the US. It was also a surprise to learn that a decade later a large number would accept similar promises of a good life if they would return to West Africa and take up the challenge to establish a colony in Sierra Leone.

I had no idea that thousands of former slaves had the same opportunity, over the years, to return to West Africa to settle, or to help settle, a number of countries like – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and Ghana.

The Book of Negroes is the story of a beautiful eleven year old girl captured as a slave, learning to survive in spite of catastrophic circumstances, becoming a strong, intelligent, and productive woman, loved by everyone she encounters.

I liked this book for the historical education it gave me, but mostly…….. I liked it for the honest way it brought to life a heart wrenching story.

 

 

 

 

Chasing Charlie

Chasing CharlieNow and then we meet a book with huge impact…. this was one of those books for me, and I know I am not alone in that.

Vince Glaser is buried in work, as lead investigator on his tightly knit FBI team. His personal life is tough. A messy divorce followed by the tragic death of his ex wife and he is a single father struggling to make life work for his six year old son.

Angela Hawkins, head strong and capable, has been Vince’s partner and best friend on the job. He owes her his life after being shot during a suspect encounter. He would have died if not for her quick action.

In the three years since his divorce and harrowing experience with death, their friendship has deepened and could possibly turn into love, but neither one of them has been willing to go down that road.

Lately, Vince has been experiencing severe abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss,   troubling enough to seek medical help. The diagnosis – Pancreatic carcinoma. Six to eight months. Devastating news. What about Charlie? He has suffered so many losses in his young life, how can Vince leave him like this? How can he tell him his father is dying.

How can he tell his team and the rest of his family he is dying, and there is so little time left.

This was a compelling story I could not put down.

Vince is determined to do whatever it takes to have more time with his son. Quitting his job, chemo therapy, whatever it takes.

His team is devastated and determined to do whatever they can to support him in his fight to live a little longer, for Charlie.

Angela is there for him, like she has always been, but it creates a tension between them. Latent feelings of attraction are fanned into flame with new circumstances. It’s impossible to spend this much time and care this deeply without thinking about wanting more.

Vince is determined he can’t ask someone to start a relationship with him under these circumstances. Angela is determined she wants to be there for him no matter how much time is left. There is no communication, on this subject, happening between them but the mindset is still affecting the ease of their friendship, and in Angela’s case – her relationships at work.

This is so well written that it was impossible not to be drawn into their lives. When they cried, I cried along with them. All of their lives have been forever changed living through this experience. My life has been impacted by living it with them.

Highly recommended. I hope you will read it too.

An insightful look into the world of love and cancer.

Wilma Derksen – writer, communicator

I want to share another awesome writer with you.

We were privileged to have a local celebrity, Wilma Derksen, as speaker at two of the writer’s events I attended this spring. Hearing Wilma was a first for me, and I was impressed. She is wise, has a sweet spirit, and relates well to her audience. I can see why she is popular and in demand.

Wilma’s writing career started with a tragic event in her life, the disappearance  and murder of her young teenage daughter, Candace. The purpose of the first book was to help her make sense of the tragedy, and to assess it’s effect on her family. Publishing and making it publically available brought help and healing to many of those facing similar circumstances. It was also found to be a good resource for those working with victims of serious crime.

The first book was Have You Seen Candace. It was followed by three others, all dealing with other aspects of the coping process. Wilma is tenacious and forgiving, willing to share her secrets with us – and did, in these books. The Way of Letting Go, Confronting the Horror, and Unsettled Weather.

Have you seen Candace   The opportunities as a result of these books have been amazing. She’s had invitations to speak in unexpected places. Her books have been used as educational and training resource material. She’s been given many, and varied, teaching opportunites. There have even been awards.

I’ve had the privilege of reading two of her books, so far, but will list the rest of them for you anyway.

The Way of Letting Go   The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness

Confronting the Horror   Confronting the Horror: The Aftermath of Violence ….. The Victim’s Journey Through the 15 Elements of Serious Crime

Unsettled Weather  Unsettled Weather: How Do I Forgive . …. a group study on forgiveness using a story telling method

 

The next two are the ones I’ve read, and will probably read again. Unlike the first books, these two are novels. Story seemed to be a good way to share some of the wisdom she’s  gained walking through this life of hers. In case you are wondering, these books are not biographical. I know, it feels like they are.

Path of the Heart  Ava Series – Path of the Heart book 1 …..  is the beautiful story of a neglected little girl who loves and feels loved, by her grandmother, a wise woman sought out by many in the community. They come by way of a special path through the forest, knowing she can help them because she has seen an angel.

Echo of the Soul  Ava Series – Echo of the Soul book 2 ….. there is oppression in the community. An overbearing man, and his wife, have moved in and taken over. The man, secretly a liar and a cheat, has bullied people into following his dictates. The path has never seen this much traffic, so many coming to see the wise woman who has seen an angel. She has had many answers for them in the past, they are convinced she will have an answer for this too.

These last two books are already available on Amazon. It’s hoped the rest can be made available soon; as well as the new book that’s about to be released.

I hope these books will inspire and encourage you in your journey.

Happy reading, for a brighter tomorrow.

Staci Stallings Part 3

This is the final list of Staci Stallings books in my three-part series of posts highlighting her work. Twenty books (in five years) is an impressive list of downloads, in my estimation.  Part of the reason for so many is her regular willingness to offer books free or at reduced prices….. my kind of books.

I’m pretty sure her books will show up again in my future reading lists and this won’t be the last time we see her name mentioned here.

Staci is prolific, writing in several different styles and genres. Both her writing, and her stories, have a depth that compels us to keep on reading. This makes it possible to read many books from the same author without feeling like it is getting old. I hope you will introduce some of her books to your reading list, if you haven’t already.

I liked all of these books but the one I enjoyed most in this lineup was Dance With Me

Dance With Me    Dance With Me ….. Kaci’s dreams are shattered with an injury that won’t allow her to continue the rigorous life as prima ballerina. It’s been three years and she has no hope of ever dancing again…..until she discovers a small dance studio and begins to see a glimmer of possibility.

Josh has hated dance ever since he was bullied because of it years ago. He is in financial straits though, and his mother has decided the only way he will get anything more is to work for it, in the dance studio.

Kaci and Josh must work together and it does not go well.  He suspects Kaci is either a snob, or she is hiding the true level of her qualifications. They are often at odds because they approach dance from different directions. Can they make this work? Is it even worth the struggle?

Mirror Mirror   The Grace Series – Mirror Mirror book 1 …… an epic novel. Sage is living the perfect California privileged life of glitz and glamour, until she is suddenly shipped off to spend the summer with her biological dad’s family. She is about to discover that life is not as perfect as she thought it was.

Luke has lived the life of a slacker. His main talent seems to be to showing up when people need help, and right now Jaycee needs his help. Her forgotten step sister is coming for the summer and Jaycee is panicking. Luke is trying to be there for her but it’s tough. Sage is not turning out to be as horrible as he was led to believe. He’s finding it a challenge not to fall for her.

When I'm Weak  The Grace Series – When I’m Weak book 2 ….. Jaycee is part of the television industry demanding perfection within tight deadlines. Perfection is what she does best.  She is trying to juggle the challenge of keeping things on track while working with a building contractor new to the world of television.  A handsome building contractor.

Tragedy at home throws her a curve ball. Will she have to choose between family and her job? A job that includes the man who is becoming important to her?

A Love like This  The Grace Series – A Love Like This book 3 …… Rachael, a single mom with two small children, has survived many tragedies in her lifetime but the destruction of her home in a hurricane may be the one that is too much. A solution  presents itself with the arrival of a television construction crew wanting to repair her house.

Caleb’s place is behind the camera, not in front of it as point man for the reconstruction project. His boss wants Caleb to step in as host this time because other obligations won’t allow him to be available for this segment. This is the big break Caleb has been hoping for but it’s complicated by his attraction to Rachael. He would have to leave when the job is complete if he wants to seize further opportunity in front of the camera.

A Moment like This   The Grace Series – A Moment Like This book 4 prequel to book 5 …. This book is the bridge between the first three books and the final one. The characters from the first three are gathered together again and a new couple is added to the mix. Loose ends have been tied up and the stage has been set for book 5.

Raising Attabury The Grace Series – Raising Attabury book 5 an epic novel ….. Eric and Dani have worked hard to build the successful dream life for themselves. It seems like it should be enough but it still feels like there’s something missing. Dani wants to purchase and renovate a big old house. As things move along with the renovation they find it may not even be worth salvaging after all. Will their marriage survive the rocky places this project takes them?

 

A Little Piece of Heaven  The Faith Series – A Little Piece of Heaven book 2 …… Jeremy thinks he has it all when, unexpectedly, everything comes crashing down and even his friends are gone.

Emily has her life all laid out and a relationship with Jeremy does not fit in with the plan. This is a college age romance. Can they overcome the obstacles and find a little piece of heaven together?

White Knight  The Courage Series – White Knight book 2 …… Eve has lost the love of her life, a devastating blow that she can’t seem to move past. Her friends keep trying to set her up with guys, sad to see her alone. They are wanting to help her move on with life but it never goes over well.

A.J. finds himself in the same boat, his best friend keeps arranging disastrous blind dates for him in spite of his objections. He notices Eve’s predicament and she has his sympathy.

For Real   The Courage Series – For Real book 3 ….. Blaine has a secret and so far he has been able to keep that way…. secret.

Things begin to fall apart when an old friend comes back into his life and starts to ask hard questions. Soon, Melody begins to find that the Blaine she thought she knew is not the real Blaine.

the Easy Way Out The Friendship Series – The Easy Way Out book 2 ….. Drew is trying to pick up the pieces of his life after the perfect girl left him to marry his best friend and business partner.

It seems Charity is never able to measure up and she resents her perfect older sister for always making her look like second best. While she notices Drew – as he goes about his work – and feels sad for him, she isn’t interested in her sister’s cast offs. Still, there seems to be an attraction there. Is it worth exploring?

Thanks for reading!

 

Books to address the tough subjects

 

I wasn’t sure…. in the first few pages…. if I could read this book, but I persevered and was glad I did. Really glad. I would like to recommend it to you, too.

Coming Home Again tells the story of rape, and it’s devastating aftermath, in a way that we can bear to hear the worst and still keep reading. I had to check to be sure it was fiction because it is presented in a way that feels very real. (The best stories have you doubting they are fiction.)

As mentioned, at first I didn’t think I could read this book. I was about to delete it unread but remembered there must have been a good reason why I downloaded it in the first place. So I kept reading, and I’m glad I did. I find books like this one are a positive part of my healing journey. It seems they show up at just the right time with an answer to the current question plaguing my mind. I love how that works.

T.I. Lowe gives statistics that tell us millions of Americans have been victims of rape and attempted rape. A third of them have suicidal thoughts, and more than ten percent of them have attempted it.

I think it’s important for all of us to read this kind of story because it helps to give us an understanding we may not already have. If we can understand the reason behind behaviours, the ones we probably even find offensive, it can be life changing, for everyone. Knowing more, we may even recognize abuse while there is still time to intervene. That could be life saving.

For the victim. it’s important to know they are not alone in this experience. Secrecy is a big part of the abuser’s tactic and it’s easy to believe no one else knows or cares.

I like the writing technique in this book. Details of the story are passed out in  manageable bites. And in some of the more graphic places, she gives you a  clear choice – to read or not to read.

This story gives us hope…  there is life after abuse, we don’t have to be broken forever.

 

Coming Home Again A Coming Home Again Novel – Coming Home Again book 1 – T.I. Lowe…….  young teenage sisters fall prey to the wishes of a handsome, charming college age young man their mother introduces to their home. She charges him  with oversight of her family while her husband works and she is off pursuing her self-indulgent lifestyle.

Savannah is distressed at the inappropriate ways this man interacts with the girls and  she goes to great lengths to avoid him. Mostly it works.

Her father notices her disappearing act and is distressed by this behaviour. He tries to put an end to it  but doesn’t think to ask any of the right questions about why it’s happening in the first place.

Her mom seems to be oblivious to everything, in her self absorption, and does nothing.

Then comes the horrendous weekend that changes their lives forever. Mom must have finally noticed something amiss, because on her return from vacation  she  sends  the young man away.

It’s too little too late, the damage is already done.

At the first opportunity, the girls pack up and leave, hoping to escape the demons haunting them.  After all this time away, it still feels impossible to go back to the place of unbearable memories, even to bury the loving father they haven’t seen in years.

Will they survive this reunion? Savannah has serious doubts.

This is actually a pretty upbeat book considering the nature of the subject matter. Kudos to the author for the way she handled it.


I have read several more books that touch on difficult subjects but I think I will keep them for another post.

Wishing you the very best in your journey.

 

Some things need to be talked about

I am convinced there are some things that need to be talked about. There could be a number of reasons for this. Maybe someone shares a similar experience and needs encouragement. Maybe  someone feels lumped in with the abusers and needs reassurance. Maybe someone has the false impression that all abused women hate men and need to know that’s not true. Or, maybe it’s just to help me figure out some things. It could be for any number of reasons that haven’t even occurred to me yet. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty confident there will be some good come out of a discussion.

This post is a continuation of some things I have shared recently, regarding men and my trust issues. Men have been both a blessing and a curse in my life. In spite of the good, I’m still left with trust issues that creep up on me in a way that makes no sense sometimes. Although, maybe it would make sense if I could uncover the old memories triggering these reactions and deal with them somehow.

Today was one of those days. My niece has the sweetest young husband and I met him for the first time. They stayed over night with me as they are travelling back to Western Canada, they were easy to have around. We found lots of interesting things to talk about, it was a great visit. In the morning though, when it was time for them to leave, it was awkward. I wanted to hug them both good bye but I just couldn’t bring myself to initiate a hug with him. I cannot explain to you why that was, there was just something holding me back.

I am still beating myself up over it.

He could have hugged me and I would have responded, but he didn’t know that.

This is an ongoing issue with me, it happens all the time with my son-in-law, whom I love dearly. I want to hug him like I do the rest of the family, but I just can’t. He could hug me but I sense he has some of the same trust issues I do. It seems we end up hugging with a look.

So, getting back to the initial thinking behind this new post.

There is a question I have been asking myself for the last couple of weeks – how can I have empathy and distrust all at the same time? It seems like it should one or the other. Black or white.

For a short while, I was worried there was something emotionally wrong with  me, and that was distressing because I didn’t want it to be true. The concern over this idea was quickly relieved when someone shared a video on Facebook about a five year old brother comforting his little sister. In a flash, it struck a deep cord with me. I realize I learned to love at a very early age, even while I was learning to distrust.

I am the oldest of three with two brothers. There are five years between the oldest and the youngest and there has always been a strong bond between us.  Until now I have never really questioned why that is. I can see that I need to start asking more questions.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, living with my grandparents, I was asked to babysit, briefly, for several families with young babies. These were people I had never met. At the time I wondered why they would consider me, but it didn’t occur to me to question why I felt like I could do the job. Now it occurs to me to ask the question.

Why did I feel confident I could comfort a crying baby or change a dirty diaper? Why did  Grandma have enough confidence to allow me to take the job? There were no babies in our life with her, any experience I had with them would have come from another time.

At this point, looking back on our family dynamics, I can see my mother pressing me into service with my youngest brother. I’m sure Grandma would have been aware of this fact. I have no memory of any of it, but then, I don’t remember a lot of things. It turned out I did indeed know how. I still do.

me and Jax may 2017 WPG

My youngest brother’s great grandson Jax. We’ve just met for the first time (a year ago). His mother took this picture.

There’s more….

Lately, I have been having conversations with my older brother about our life in the early years. He remembers some things I don’t (my mind has buried all of the painful parts) and hearing what he had to say tells me – life was even worse than I imagined. Among other things, he said Dad was not a nice man.

He told me a number of things about those days but there was one story that shook me.

It was about Dad driving on the railroad tracks running behind our property, he was playing chicken with oncoming trains. I had heard these stories for years  and used to laugh, thinking it was something my crazy risk taking father would do. What I didn’t  realize at the time – my brother was with him, scared out of his mind. That’s one of the reasons why Dad did it, it was his perverse way of trying to force this kid to grow some courage. It finally stopped  when my 10 year old brother made up his mind he wasn’t going to let his fear show anymore. I’m horrified Dad would do that to a kid.

We also talked about another time I do remember. It was Dad beating my brother with a piece of hose, in front of all of us. A tool was missing from his work shop and he was convinced it was my brother’s  fault. I can still remember the distress of watching this happen. I could never understand why Mom did nothing to stop it.

One thing I’ve learned, by first hand experience, boys suffer from abuse as deeply as girls. That is the genesis of my soft heart for men, surviving life alongside my brothers, recognizing the pain in their life.

My oldest brother is the reason I’ve left denial behind and have taken ownership of the abusive early years in my life. He adamantly insisted that I must, even if the memories were shadowy and I couldn’t remember the actual events. He wanted to know why I thought I would be the favoured one, to escape abuse.

All three of us have blocked painful memories, but deep inside, we will never forget.

Our story does have a happy ending in spite of the terrible years. All three of us have grown into well adjusted, productive, loving people. We’ve left behind the bitterness and rage. A miracle, really.

One thing I’ve loved about this process of discovery – the heavy load of old baggage seems to grow lighter with each breakthrough experience.

 

 

The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde

I have been thinking a lot, this week, about the good men in my life. I’ve never thought like this before, not really. It seems like the after-effects of the bad men in my life have completely taken over; you can tell this because I’ve mentioned them to you more than once with nary a word about any of the good guys.

I’ve never before thought to question how I knew from an early age that not all men  were bad. Now, I realize there has to be experience behind the knowledge, it doesn’t just happen.

There are very few childhood memories left to give me clues, however, I do have adult memories of Mom’s stories. She talked often about leaving us with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Donald. Uncle Donald was Grandpa’s brother. He was kind, smiled a lot, and cared about kids. I have teenage memories of him and can see how the little me would have loved being with him.  Grandpa was reserved and didn’t smile a lot but I felt safe with him too. I could let down my guard, and did, when we lived with him as young teens.

There were two separate camps in my early life. The good guys, and the bad guys. Now. as I take the time to think about it, I realize how blessed I was. Not everyone has the privilege of experiencing the good with the bad.

Since then, there have been other good guys in my life, too,  and I treasure them all.


I am going to leave you with just one book this time.

James L Rubart is a favorite author and I hope to do a feature on him soon. There are a number of his books in my kindle collection and I need to tell you about them sometime.

He has a unique style of writing but is not alone in it as there are several others sharing a similar style. Frank Peretti is one of them. There is always a bit of fantasy in his stories.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

the man he never was  The Man He Never Was  – James L Rubart….. Toren Daniels wakes up one day and feels like a different person. And has no idea why.

He was a professional football player with a raging temper that finally got him kicked out of the league. Without the usual outlet, his family bore the brunt of his temper tantrums and they were about to kick him out too.

Toren disappeared one day, was gone so long everyone thought he was dead, and his family moved on with a feeling of relief. They were not happy to see him on the doorstep eight months later.

Now, he has two things to figure out:

  • Where was he for eight months and what has been done to him?
  • How does he convince his family he has changed, so he can get them back?

A story well worth the time.

Happy reading!

I hope you have some good people in your life too.

 

 

Staci Stallings Part 2

This will be Staci Stallings books in my-Kindle-collection part two, but first……. I have pressure building up from a major frustration and need to vent before I explode.

Please, please, please,  rewrite as many times as it takes before you publish.

Do you know how disappointing it is to read a book that could be great if it wasn’t so full of typos, mistakes, murky paragraphs, and conversations in need of tweaking?

Rewrites would help expose many of these problem areas, even if grammar is not your strong suit.

Read your book out loud, you would be amazed at how many things will pop out at you, begging for a fix.

Ask someone to edit your book. Make sure it’s someone proficient in the craft. A well intentioned friend won’t help you succeed unless they really are good at the job.

In this micro-wave world of instant gratification, don’t be in such a hurry to publish. I’ve heard some of the most widely read authors say they rewrite more than a dozen times. And, when they think they are ready to publish they put it in a drawer for three months to a year (if possible) so they can read it again with fresh eyes, to do a final rewrite.

If you want your books to be widely read, follow their example and do the rewrites.

If you want to publish many books in a year, start filling up the drawers.

OK, I feel better now. I truly hope you will take this to heart and do whatever it takes to be the best you can be.


Now on to Staci Stallings, and some good examples of fine writing.

And the Greatest of These is Love A Novel – And the Greatest of These is Love …….. Gabi had no idea the community centre was in this much financial trouble, and she is determined to find a way to keep things going. These kids have no where else to go.

Andrew has been working on the biggest breaking story of his career, and now that it is published – he is not happy about his editor demanding he take a day away from it, to do a piece on the financially strapped community center located in a slum area. When he walks in and discovers he has found the beautiful girl from the baseball field, the one invading his dreams, everything changes.

 

The Long Way Home A Novel – The Long Way Home …..  Jaxton is more than a little upset his parents have ordered him to abandon his high powered clients and visit the ailing grandfather he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. The whole idea of this visit is distasteful.

Ami is surprised to find a stranger in her yard, especially one who looks as out of place as this lost city boy. She’d handled his condescending tone just fine until it dawned on her, he was Clarence’s absentee grandson. Now, she sees red as she thinks about Clarence and his family’s neglect after his recent heart attack. Jaxton is seeing red himself, at her attitude, who does she think she is, treating him like this?

Coming Undone  A Novel – Coming Undone …… Ben is revelling in the single life; few responsibilities, weekly card games with his buddies, parties on the weekends. He is totally unprepared for the call asking him to step up and be next-of-kin, the one making the  hard decisions.

Kathryn struggles with singleness, hyper aware of the years slipping by, with little hope  of ever meeting Mr. Right. Fortunately for her, she finds fulfillment in her hospice role, helping families navigate the distress of final days. Ben, faced with his father’s imminent death, looks completely undone and desperately in need of help.

Lucky Harmony series The Harmony Series – Lucky book 2 …. One terrible moment and everything Danae believes to be true is exposed as a lie, and she’s left in a puddle of grief, with no way of getting home from the wedding.

Kalin, trying to rebuild his life after the devastation of bad choices, has taken a job with a band playing the wedding. From his place on the stage, he couldn’t help but notice the beautiful bridesmaid as she flitted about taking care of details, or the groomsman she  was obviously with.  The last thing he expected to find, as he left to go home, her, crying  alone, huddled against the side of a car in a muddy parking lot.

Happy reading!