Recently Read & Enjoyed.

The books on my reading list lately have been a joy. They were interesting stories with captivating characters. My only complaint with some of them was an over abundance of detail. There were several with a few too many characters. Aside from that it’s been a memorable week of time spent with strong stories. There were more but I just want to share these three.

This was my favorite. An amazing woman with an equally amazing life. It was not easy but she rose to the challenge every time.

This is a book I would like to read again.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide (The Women of Rock Creek Book 3)

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the “Great War” and the “Great Influenza” knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

*****************

This next one was not an easy read for me. It wasn’t, but it was life changing on a deep level. It took me a long time to find the courage to read it and when I finally did I was glad. It was a story of deep despair but it didn’t end that way.

A Place Called Morning 

A Place Called Morning

“Another incisive look at family life and secrets.” – Library Journal.

Mae Demaray retreats from life after her young grandson dies accidentally while under her care. What was once a quiet life in an old clapboard house on a quiet Minneapolis street, rich with the hues of security and love, is now shattered. But a decades-old family secret, based on an unlikely friendship over the years, brings redemption and restoration once it is revealed.

********************

 

One more.

This last story was special too. Life hasn’t been as dramatic for me as it was for these two characters but I can relate to listening to the still small voice. An amazing experience. I think Lorana Hoopes has done an excellent job in developing this complex story.

The Still Small Voice: Christian Speculative Fiction (Are You Listening Book 1)

The Still Small Voice

Would you give up everything to follow God?

Jordan Wright’s life was thrown upside down when she ended up pregnant in college. After giving up her son for adoption, she sought to find meaning in her life. As she gave her life to God, she began to receive visions and words to tell others. But can she trust God enough to take on the hardest mission of her life?

Kat Jameson had been a lukewarm Christian for years, but when her best friend died, her world was thrown into turmoil. Dreams haunt her evenings and a strange light began appearing around people. Kat believed she was going crazy until she met someone with a special message for her. Will she let go and finally let God use her?

*******************

There is more to share next time.

Happy Reading

Free today Oct 3, 2019

Only one today. Pretty skinny after the last two days but, hey, we have time to read only so many, right?

Free, courtesy of BookBub’s Thursday email

Refuge at Pine Lake

“When God burns down your house, you know it’s time to move.”  What a great opening line. It had me hooked. 🙂

The characters are single, writer’s, dealing with grief, reservations at a B & B, on the beach.

It’s like walking into someone’s house saying … hey, this house is just like ________, except for ______ , and _____, and _____, …. oh, and ______ .  It’s the same –  only different.  That’s the way of this story, at first it sounds familiar  but you get into it, and then it’s not.

I’ve read the first fifty pages and I’m having trouble putting it down. Another day of good intentions down the drain.

Hope you are having a reading day as good as mine! lol

Something I Am Not

This time it’s different. I’ve written other posts, lamenting what could have been great writing were it not watered down with obligatory but unnecessary sex scenes. This book is the exception… the sex scenes are not here to titillate the reader. They are an integral part of the story… unfortunately.

There wouldn’t be a story without the raw honesty in Something I Am Not. Sex plays a huge role of the life of the protagonist, and many of the other characters crossing paths with him. It’s heart breaking and difficult to read in places, but I’ve given it five stars.  This is an important and timely story. It will grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning, not letting go until the last page.

It has impacted my life, shining a light on some things I would not have thought to consider. Triggering the surfacing of a long buried memory of my own abuse. I think that was the goal of the author when she birthed the idea. Hoping  hurting and abused  readers would see themselves in the life of another and, find hope. The author has done a masterful job of presenting a difficult subject with sensitivity.

Something I am Not

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something I am Not – Cher Gatto … Billy was three when his mother sent him to live with his manipulative and abusive father. At least that’s the story. He has never seen evidence of his mother and he has no memories of her.  At seventeen he is trying desperately to survive long enough to graduate and move on.

The abuse hasn’t only been at the hands of his father. Piles of unbearable shame have been heaped on his head at the hands of his father’s girlfriend. It seems everyday a new source of abuse appears in his life. It is never ending.

The faithful mentoring of his high school football coach is his only safe place. Billy is a football star and he’s hoping a college scholarship will be his ticket out. At least that was his dream until another little brother showed up one day. How can he think about leaving a defenseless little boy alone to suffer what he has at the hands of his father and his friends?

Part of his father’s business is staging professional boxing matches. Billy has been trained to fight but doesn’t and has never manage a win over his father. Now, he has been backed into a corner and is going to have to fight to the death, to save himself and his little brother. The fight will probably  mean his own death but he is willing if it means his brother will be spared a life of abuse.


Now,  for a change of pace. A few stories in a lighter vein. Well, some of them are lighter than others … but they are all good.

Help Me Hold MeFull Heart Ranch Series – Help Me, Hold Me book 5 – Barbara Gee

Sticks and Stones  The Barn Church Series – Sticks and Stones book 2 – Shellie Arnold

Second Chance Love  Second Chance Love – Pamela S. Meyers

 

Facade  Façade – Pepper Basham

 

The Edge of Mercy  The Edge of Mercy – Heidi Chiavaroli


This was a great bunch of books, it was difficult to pick just one to feature.

Happy Reading!

The Presence

It’s always a special moment for me when a story speaks into my life with something appropriate for the place I’m at. Unexpectedly, this book has done just that, more than once. It feels like validation.

The Presence would have caught my interest even if I was at a different point in life. Having it relate to where I am now is a bonus. Davis Bunn always provides a good read.

The Presence  The Presence – T Davis Bunn ….. The downside to helping his young friend get elected was his own loss for re-election. It seems his sense of integrity was a contributing factor in his defeat.

T.J. Case, lawyer and politician, has always been an honest man. That’s why billionaire entrepreneur Jeremy Hughes hired TJ to represent his company many years before and has never regretted a day of it.

Their relationship is not just business. They have also become close friends over the years. So close that Jeremy can tell when something is bothering TJ. That’s why he knew something had happened while he was out fishing the quiet lake on Jeremy’s large yacht.

TJ wouldn’t talk about it on the drive home and his wife, Catherine, would only say that it wasn’t her story to tell.

He’d loved God all of his life and had never had an experience like this one.  It was still hard to wrap his head around what happened, even after a few intense days to think and pray. It seemed impossible to talk about, to anyone – including his wife, because it sounded so unbelievable.

With his usual cup of coffee, TJ had gone up on deck – like he did every morning – to read and pray in the quiet of the dawn. The morning started out like any other but then something changed.  It was a new quiet that seemed sacred, one that pulsed with meaning.

When it was gone, TJ  was left questioning what had just taken place. Was it a dream, a hallucination? Was it real?

He did know one thing. He was supposed to go to Washington DC.

How could that possibly happen? You don’t just decide to go to the capitol without invitation. And besides, what was he supposed to do when he got there?

Over the next few days both Jeremy and Catherine wrestled with this new idea that would turn both of their lives upside down if TJ went through with it.

Jeremy announced he needed a few days away to think but he didn’t give any clues as to how he was thinking.

Catherine was struggling with moving away from  everything familiar and going to who knows what; when her daughter took sick and grandma was needed. It felt like a blessed reprieve, giving her more time to embrace a decision she knew she’d make.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, newly elected Congressman John Silverwood was having lunch with two senior Senators and feeling very pleased about it. He was not yet acquainted with political workings and didn’t think to question motives.

The Senators had come with an agenda. For some reason, unclear to John, TJ’s presence was needed in Washington. Filling a position with an outsider was rarely done. The three of them  would have  to get their heads together and come up with an assignment that could be given without raising a great deal of suspicion.

John was then  tasked with persuading TJ it would be in his best interest to come and  accept Education Advisor to the President. He was hoping TJ would feel honored and view this insider opportunity as a favor given. One he would feel obligated to pay back,  somewhere in the future.

The cab arrived at an address that was a surprise to TJ. Hopefully Jeremy, who was obviously waiting for him, would have an explanation for this fancy house.  The thing is – Jeremy knew that Washington would eat him up and spit him out unless TJ had someone in his corner watching his back. That was the reason for the house, and like it or not, Jeremy planned to fill every other need as well…. butler, driver, whatever. TJ was  hoping that, when she got here, Catherine could talk some sense into Jeremy. He hasn’t figured out, yet, that the  two of them are working together on this.

With no idea about what he would be doing, or with whom, TJ could only trust that if God was behind all of this, his presence would be near, and he’d let him know what to do when the time came.

His wildest dreams couldn’t have predicted the way things would go. God moves in mysterious ways….. because he knows the truth about what is in the hearts of men.


Like TJ, I’ve been saying yes to God for decades. Lately, it’s like he has a task in mind for me but hasn’t let me in on the details yet.

It’s scary saying yes when I do know what it’s all about, never-mind when I don’t. Even when I know ahead of time, it’s always something bigger than I could accomplish on my own. This time will be no exception.

God tends to be gentle with me, especially when he’s asking for something outside my comfort zone. He always waits for me to say yes and then he works on answering my fears, bringing me to the place where I am happy to do whatever it is. Everything he’s ever asked of me has turned out to be a blessing, even when it’s been hard. We have a good track record together.

Writing has not been on my radar, nor has the thought of coming-out-in-the-open in such a public way as this.

I’ve been highly resistant to the idea of writing. Especially a book.

I’m beginning to rethink my position on this. I’m finding myself coming around and being okay with working to produce something that could be used, maybe. It all just quietly happened with the beginnings of my newest blog.  Just like the needle you expected would hurt and felt surprise when it didn’t.

I’m left thinking…. wow, smooth move. I didn’t see that coming, God. He just smiles.

The second blog is already started at letterstomamierose.bloga safe place to talk about PTSD, and other things we wrestle with” The focus will be sharing my journey with abuse and PTSD. This isn’t about me needing a place to talk. It’s about hurting people needing a safe place to land. Most of us hurt in silence and loneliness. Healing comes when we discover community.

The idea of starting a community is not new to me. It has been in the works for over a decade, it seems now is the time. Some of my support community will be with me in this venture. We’re better together.

I’m also working on the courage to start a third blog “God, Creator of the Universe, Loves Me” It will be about my journey with God. He has been with me my whole life, including the darkest years – the first 12. I know I’m supposed to share about this and have to keep my Yes promise.

I think I’m meant to talk about him this way because God wants a chance to say I Love You to others as well. If you think he is saying it to you, and you want to know if he is….. ask him. He will talk to you.

This third blog is in the works and hopefully it will go live soon. I think this post will be  the first post over there. It seems appropriate somehow.

In the meantime ….. may you hear some things you need to hear too.

Happy reading!

 

Flowers in The Snow, and more

This is going to be another, very basic, catch up list.

Distracted by a great number of compelling reads, there was not much writing going on this summer, and the lineup of finished books is growing longer.

The books on this list were well worth reading and I wish there was time to enlarge on them all, as enticement.

There is no time though, there are more almost ready to be added. What can I say, I’m addicted.

One book I would recommend is Flowers in The Snow. It follows, in a way, after The Book of Negroes.

I mentioned The Book of Negroes several posts ago and noticed very little traffic on it. I wasn’t sure whether readers were distressed to see something, seemingly, politically incorrect, or if there were other reasons.

Several weeks ago, at our writers group, it was my turn to present a reading for critique. I revised the post a little, for clarification, and mentioned that the Book of Negroes was  the record book of black loyalists taking advantage of an opportunity for relocation. Relocation sponsored and paid for by the British Commonwealth. There are two versions of the record book: the British version kept in Kew London, the American version kept in Washington DC.

The response to my reading was positive and several said they felt inspired to read the book as well.

One of the books in this new list has a character, a literature professor, teaching her students to notice how much can be learned by reading books thoughtfully.

That’s why I don’t shy away from tough subjects. There is much to be learned from them.

Learning is always a good thing.

Some of the books in this list are more thought provoking than others but there is still something to be gained from all of them.

I’m hoping you will feel inspired.


Flowers in the Snow The Edenville Series – Flowers in the Snow book 1 – Danielle Stewart

 

Finding Faith  Love’s Compass – Finding Faith book 4 – Melanie D. Snitker

The Face of the Earth  The Face of the Earth – Deborah Raney

 

Nearly  Nearly – Deborah Raney

 

Glamorous Illusions  Grand Tour Series – Glamorous Illusions –  Lisa T. Bergren

Where the Hurt is  Where The Hurt Is – Chris Kelsey

Tides of Deception  Lantern Beach Series – Tides of Deception book 1 – Christy Barritt

If You Believed in love   If You Believed in Love – Staci Stallings

Sorrowful Road  Detective Allan Stanton – Sorrowful Road book 3 – Alex MacLean

IntroductionsIntroductions to four spunky female sleuths – Christy Barritt

Squeaky Clean Mysteries – Hazardous Duty book 1

A Holly Anna Paladin Mystery – Random Acts of Murder book 1

The Sierra Files – Pounced book 1 (spin off of Squeaky Clean series)

The Worst Detective Ever – Ready to Fumble book 1

New Year's Revolution   New Year’s Revolutions – Chautona Havig

The Nostradamus Equation Sam Reilly –  The Nostradamus Equation book 6 – Christopher Cartwright

In Honor Bound   The Chastelayne Trilogy – In Honor Bound book 1 – DeAnna Julie Dodson

Happy, and inspired, Reading!

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!

 

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!

 

Featuring Staci Stallings…Part 1

Out of curiosity, after downloading yet another Staci Stallings book, I searched my downloads to see how many other Stallings books are in my Kindle collection. There have been nineteen since 2012, and only three have been mentioned in this blog. It’s time to change all that.

As an encouragement to writers out there, Staci’s website tells the story of beating the odds while breaking the rules of formula writing. She was also a pioneer in self publishing, before self publishing was even a thing.

Formula writing includes external conflict, Staci’s writing uses internal conflict. That makes her writing a blessing to many because as readers we can relate to characters facing many of the same hurdles we do.

So, without further ado, here is the list, or at least part 1 of the list.

More Than This  A Novel – More Than This …… Jake likes the anonymity of the dark corner of the coffee shop, a quiet place to sit with his laptop writing the novel that will have his name in lights. At least he’s hoping it will.

Liz and Mia make a game out of examining customers, trying to guess who they are and what they are about. They think the mysterious Jake could be clandestine CIA or something equally exotic. In an attempt to find clues about him Liz makes excuses to refill his coffee cup, succeeding only in breaking his concentration.

A Work in Progress Faith series The Faith Series – A Work in Progress book 1 … Rebecca has never been one of the beautiful people, instead she finds herself forever doing the alone thing, watching the beautiful people enjoying relationships, wondering how they do it.

Eric is drifting through college, not really settled on anything, looking at relationships as something to give him credibility with the world in general. Rebecca notices him after a disastrous meeting involving spilled hot chocolate, he’s cute, quirky, and interested in her roommate.

 

To Serve and Protect The Courage Series – To Protect & Serve book 1 …. Jeff endures much good natured  teasing from his friends over his inability to strike up a conversation with a pretty woman. Reluctantly, he joins a celebratory night out on the town after graduation at the fire academy.

Lisa is buried under piles of work in her ad agency and does her best to avoid the  awkward situation that will be her sister’s bachelorette party. Things are even worse when the girls move over to join the firemen’s table.

 

Eternity friendship series The Friendship Series – Eternity book 1…. Aaron has given up on life and girls since the love of his life left him for someone else. He’s stuck in a job he hates and the only bright spot at work is Harmony, a friend who has always been there for him. Unfortunately for Harmony, she loves Aaron but doesn’t expect he will ever feel the same way about her.

Aaron has a new roommate, Drew, a talented landscape artist who would like to start his own company and Aaron can see he would be great at it.  Drew has met someone special and is on a hot date. I have a feeling I know who that someone will be, and Aaron won’t be happy.

 

Deep in the Heart  A Novel – Deep in the Heart…… Maggie has successfully applied for a nanny position she desperately needs. What she doesn’t know – the strict house rules have been responsible for the short tenure of the all previous nannies, and there are bets she won’t last either. In the meantime, the children are starved for simple connection   and there is something about her that causes them to cling to her.

One other thing she doesn’t know – the handsome hired hand, who does funny things to her heart…. he’s actually part of the family… and he’s engaged.

 

Cowboy - Harmony series The Harmony Series – Cowboy book 1 ….. Beth is struggling to make a life for her little daughter, stuck in a diner trying to make ends meet, flooded with grief after the death of her husband.

Ashton’s life has been destroyed by the death of his best friend and biggest fan. Tempted to end it all on a rain soaked road, he stops at a diner for a cup of coffee. What he doesn’t expect, as he sits in his misery, is a perceptive waitress wanting nothing from him but the unburdening of his broken heart. She remembers the pain of running to escape and wanting it all to end.

Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love….

Walk to Beautiful

Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way    Mr Jimmy Wayne with Ken Abraham

This is the powerful story of a little boy who lives with unimaginable neglect, abuse and hardship and is rescued as a teenager by an elderly couple who knew the transforming power of love.

It is also the story of how, as adults, we don’t have to be held back by the trauma of our childhood. Even with the lack of a positive influence and role models, we can have a healthy, purposeful life.

Jimmy Wayne grew up to become successful in a music career, singing and song writing – there are videos to show the truth of it. Three songs, now in videos on You Tube, are mentioned many times in the book. I would download them here for you but haven’t figured out how…yet. I hope you will check them out. Sarah Smile is one of his first covers, then two songs written by Jimmy,  I Love You This Much, and Stay Gone.

His successful career was not enough for him. He remembered the homeless and foster kids in his life, and he wanted to do something to make a difference, in the lives of kids like them. He set out to do a cross country walk to bring attention to the cause not expecting a double benefit – on a personal level – it was a healing journey.

His successful walk is the example he sets for us, to open our eyes to the hardships, and the possibilities in these kids. His efforts are responsible for a major change in foster care rules in his home state, and they shine a spotlight on areas still needing to be addressed. He is hoping to inspire all of us to step up and do something.

I’m glad I read this book, his story and his music touched my heart. That was his goal, and it worked. May I always see the possibilities.

 

 

I don’t feel like writing….

I don’t feel like writing… and the reason for this is not good. A blogger I follow is going through a rough patch and it is his pain that started mine. Empathy. I sense pain in others and take it on as my own. I don’t mean to, I know it’s not healthy – taking another’s pain as your own – but sometimes intentions aren’t enough to stop empathy.

This blogger is a young man and I am neither young, nor a man. He writes in a general way giving very little detail about his personal life, yet there is something in his writing that leaves the impression of much more below the surface.

I am drawn to reading his posts but I am an introvert, and there is the age/gender thing, so I am trying to stay hidden. Not an easy thing to do as his audience is still small.  Regular visitors stand out rather dramatically. With view stats he would see activity from my country only, but with likes and comments he would see my identity. So, I keep likes to a minimum, and avoid making comments. Eventually his curiosity about this person reading all of his posts has him trying to coax me out into the open. I steadfastly refuse to rise to the bait, until he shares a post revealing some of his pain. The encourager in me can’t help but respond, and I think this is where the trouble begins. But I could be wrong. It could have little to do with my response and much to do with the aftermath of his revealing some of his personal pain.

The trouble with wounded introverts, in my experience, is they over examine every interaction and then flog themselves mercilessly.  I can see signs of flogging going on. There is the unusually long silence and then today’s post indicating deep pain, with the probability of no more blogging. That would be a shame, on so many levels. I expressed this in a comment. I hope he hears and is encouraged to keep in touch.

I have been focused on what I imagine to be his pain paying little attention to my own pain based behaviors. Recognizing the resulting depression in me is the reason for this blog post …. forcing myself back into community, avoiding the tendency for withdrawal.

There is something therapeutic about the attempt to express thoughts and feelings in a way that makes sense. It helps defend against depression. And, community feed back  from posting is a bonus.

I hope my blogger friend will stay in community and keep writing. I know he will discover others who have travelled roads similar to his and will cheer him on, and he will discover growth in positive new insights about himself.

It’s working for me tonight, I would like to see it work for him too

And the pressure is off, hiding is over, no more avoiding comments and likes. Nice.