It is with a heavy heart that I must announce an end to my contract with Desert Breeze Publishing. The staff at Desert Breeze is the best and I learned a great deal from this company, but it is time to move on. After a brief period, my trilogy will soon be available again, but in a different form. I may be publishing the books independently. I am not sure.
If you have been putting off purchasing my trilogy, A New Season, Red, White &True, or An Unexpected Gift, you have until the end of the month. After that, it will no longer be available on Amazon or other book shops.
As soon as my books are again available, I will let you know
Friday, January 13, 2017
Friday, November 25, 2016
Saturday is Small Business Saturday in the U.S. As an author, I am considered a small business. Yes, writing is the creative process. Branding and publishing is the business end. Let me try my hand.
Friends of Scrapbook, Etc. is a trilogy about a small town craft store, Scrapbook, Etc. and the people that frequent the shop. Below is preview about each of the three books.
A New Season:
Karla and Karen opened their craft shop, Scrapbook, Etc., to give Millwood an artistic outlet. When Wendy's son disappears on the way to summer camp, she and motorcycle cop, Jerrod Hill, search the
mountains for the teen. Their best clue comes from child who claims to have
seen a UFO.
Red, White, & True:
Sammy thought surviving the battlefields of
would be his greatest challenge, but returning home provided new struggles. He
is disabled, struggles with PTSD, and must convince Karla he isn't the same man
she promised to marry, that she will be better off without him.
An Unexpected Gift:
Kimberly knew things would get rough when she saw the blue sign on her pregnancy test. She and Jack had been so careful—most of the time. When he learns the news, Jack acted distant. She might be forced to face parenthood alone.
When Grams offers to help, Kimberly soon becomes more concerned about her grandmother's eccentricities than her own college studies. Grams collects stray dogs and talks about seeing an angel. Perhaps she is losing her senses. Kimberly doesn't realize a quirky old woman can teach her about love and parenthood.
For further information you can visit my web site: http://chanceencounterstlm.wixsite.com/toni-lamparter-mabry
Saturday, March 12, 2016
It has been a busy few months. We have had family adjustments and illness, but life goes on. That is what I want to blog about today.
I have a job where I have to be happy all the time or at least sound happy, no matter how I feel. This pressure hit me hard about a month ago when I got some bad news. While at work, I receive a text letting me know my son would have to go through surgery. You see, no matter how old her child becomes, a mother always worries.
My son underwent this same surgery about 10 years before and did not do well. To hear that he would undergo it again was crushing. He and his new wife would have to cancel their honeymoon trip, too. I was so sad for them and worried, too.
But life had to go on and I had to answer phones at work and sound cheery. Then I got a call from a hateful customer who yelled at me because our product couldn't fit his time line. I continued to talk calmly and professionally. He continued to be rude as if his rage could change the laws of physics and make the product assemble itself faster. I was worried about my son and he wanted to bully me into making the impossible happen.
When I hung up the phone, I took a minute to wipe away the tears before answering the next call. That hateful man taught me a great lesson.
You see, we interact with people everyday, They have lives we don't know about, lives full of complications. It is easy to speak roughly to others--because of our own hardships. Kindness is a better option. It isn't that hard; a smile, a gentle phrase, just showing good manners.
I don't want to be the bully on the phone. I hope to choose kindness.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
It hits me right after New Years, every single year. I drive home from work. The days are so short that it is still dark. As I pull into my subdivision, it is dark. All the Christmas lights are off. The cheery lights are gone. The drive is bleak and I am sad.
I know. It is common to feel depression during winter months. Even though the days are getting longer, it doesn't seem to be enough.
The Christmas lights amuse me, but now the are gone. Like all humans, I long for light.
I am thankful the days are getting longer.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
I was listening to one of my favorite local ministers on TV this morning. The service ended with a few Christmas carols. It caused me to think. For some reason I didn't hear many carols on Christmas 2015. Oh, sure, there was the church musical and a local radio station playing 24 hours of music, but I didn't hear music in the neighborhood as I have in the past. Maybe the difference is because, for the first time in over 25 years, I didn't spend Christmas in a classroom.
Maybe, I didn't notice the singing because many close to me are going through hardships.
I've been through my own share of hardships and have had a string of about 7 difficult years in a row, hopping from one job to the next. I've also had my share of medical issues. It definitely strengthened my faith.
2015 brought many positive changes. I started the year in such severe pain that, for awhile, it affected my ability to work. Even after I was able to work, my home was in disarray because housework was out of the question. Bills were piling up, too.
Now, things have improved. The house is slowly returning to normal and I have a new, full time job with benefits. My book trilogy, Friends of Scrapbook, Etc. had gone from an eBook trilogy to paperback. Now, that was unexpected.
There was also a wedding in the mix. My son, Adam, married his sweetheart, Ariel. The downstairs is renovated into their own apartment and my household is full of energy.
As for 2016? I am facing it with more confidence than I have had in awhile and am claiming Jeremiah 29:11 as my verse for this year.
I am happy.
I wish good fortune on those around me that are going through their own struggles. May God bless us all with a Happy New Year.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
As a child I saw Christmas as magic, visions of sugarplums--or candy canes--and celebrations. Back in those days, school parties were common. We exchanged gifts, decorated trees, and some years Santa visited the classroom. It was a glorious time.
I also belonged to various clubs. In Girl Scouts we made Christmas gifts, went caroling, and had parties. In some clubs we went caroling in nursing homes, had hot chocolate, and more parties.
Then there was pageant at church. There was the beauty of the white lights and the nativity scene, dressing like an angel and singing "Glory to God in the highest."
As I enter my teens and twenties. Christmas seemed to be about nostalgia, feeling a little lonely and wishing I could be a child again, reliving the magic. Christmas seemed stressful. Commitments were complicated.
Then I became a mother. My child was 3 months old on his first Christmas. I held him in my arms and wondered what his future held. What did God have planned for my child? I held my son and thought about all those Christmas carols, silent night, mother and child. The feelings and emotions of Christmas were more real than I had ever before imagined.
Christmas was no longer about parties, or pageants, or dolls in mangers. It is about flesh and blood, God stepping down in the form of a human child.
I think about that first Christmas with my son, that Christmas when i really began to understand, every time I hear this song Mary, Did You Know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I had some errands to run last Saturday and scheduled them after the local Christmas parade. I remembered the old days, when going to a Christmas parade was a real event. I loved seeing the streets decorated and children were so excited to see Santa.
This year was different. The decorations along the street were minimal, but even stores and shops didn't appear interested in decorating for the holiday. In fact, the only decorations I saw on Navy Road were in front of a florist shop, the YMCA, and the string of lights around the outside of a tavern.
When I was little, I remember the excitement of walking into a restaurant or store at Christmas and seeing a beautifully decorated tree or holiday display. It makes me sad that future grandchildren will have a lot less to be excited about.
Do I think there is a war on Christmas or that the holiday will someday cease? Of course it won't. There is always a war on all that is spiritual and holy, but those who believe will still celebrate, perhaps in a more private, more meaningful manner.
We can learn lessons from the way the Jews celebrate Hanukkah among family and friends.
Others will still shop and exchange gifts.