Saturday, August 29, 2015
An Unexpected Gift is the final book in The Friends of Scrapbook, Etc trilogy. In this book I break a few of the rules when it comes to inspirational romance. I think readers will enjoy the difference.
Kimberly is a college student and works part-time at the craft shop, Scrapbook, Etc. The story covers the holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Here's a little teaser:
Kimberly knows things will get rough when she sees the blue sign on the pregnancy test. She and Jack had been careful—most of the time. When he learns the news, Jack becomes distant and she might be forced to face parenthood alone.
When Grams offers her a place to stay, Kimberly soon becomes more concerned about the old woman's eccentricities than her own studies. Grams collects stray dogs, talks about seeing an angel, and might be losing her senses. Kimberly doesn't realize a quirky old woman can teach her about love and parenthood.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Today I wanted to focus on the second book in our series, Red, White and True. This story focuses on the relationship between the owner of Scrapbook, Etc. and her fiance, Sammy.
When he was in Afghanistan, Sammy Walker dreamed of life back home. After returning to Millwood, he sees that life is gone, forever. Sammy is disabled, struggling with PTSD, and there is no escaping his guilt.
Karla once promised to be his wife but Sammy can't hold her to that vow. He would never know if she loves or pities him.
Karla's devotion is strong. Though she finds his mixed messages exasperating, she isn't ready to give up on him.
How can Karla help Sammy when he keeps pushing her away? Can she love the new Sammy as much as the old one?
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The last of my trilogy was published as an eBook about 6 months ago. My publisher recently contacted me with the news that my books are now available in paperback. They can be ordered through Amazon.
Friends of Scrapbook, Etc. is a trilogy that centers around craft shop called Scrapbook, Etc. The shop is in a small town outside of Memphis, TN.
For the next few posts I am going to leave blurbs about each book.
The first book, A New Season:
School teacher, Wendy Sims', peaceful life with her son is interrupted by a troublesome dream and feeling of foreboding. She senses major changes are coming. To add to her anxiety, motorcycle officer, Jerrod Hill, appears at every turn. The last thing she wants in her life is another man who lives—or dies—taking risks.
Her worst fears come true when Wendy's son disappears on the way to summer camp. Now she might have to trust Jerrod to help find her missing boy. How can they manage when the only clue comes from an eccentric child who claims he's seen a U.F.O.?
Follow the link (cut and paste) to the Amazon site to see the trilogy:
Friday, August 14, 2015
I have a wonderful announcement. My trilogy, Friends of Scrapbook, Etc., is now available through Amazon.com. Here is the link:
If you have read the eBook versions, please post a review. The trilogy might make a good Christmas gift for your bookworm friends. Shop now, before the rush.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
I often carried my lunch to work when I was a school teacher. I hated being a slave to whatever might be offered in the cafeteria. Occasionally, when in a hurry, I would pack dinner left-overs in my lunch bag and head out the door.
One day, as the students settled in their desks for home room, I went through my morning ritual. I took the lunch out of my book bag. This time I had hastily packed the left-overs in a plastic grocery sack. I took the reusable containers and set them in my desk and began to shred the bag with my scissors and throw the pieces in the trash.
I noticed the students, who had been chattering while settling into their morning routine, were now quiet. I soon realized all eyes were on me.
"What's up?" I asked.
"You," one of the girls replied. "We were watching to see what you would do with that plastic bag."
A few weeks before, I taught a social studies unit on human effects on the environment. We discussed things we could do as individuals to be good stewards of the environment. I showed them photographs I'd collected of animal victims of trash that hadn't been properly disposed of. I suggested that if a student couldn't recycle rings from packages of aluminum cans, they should carefully cut each ring, so an animal couldn't become trapped. I suggested the same with plastic grocery sacks, especially the handles.
When the students saw me bring a plastic bag from home, they quietly watched to see if I would throw it in the trash, immediately making me a hypocrite in their eyes.
"You really practiced what you preached," the student said. "You're all right."
It was a simple statement, but something that was profound. I like to think that I fade into the woodwork like a wallflower, but I am watched more often than I suspect.
We all are.
Let's try to practice what we preach.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
One of the first Bible verses I learned as a child was, "... it is more blessed to give than to receive," Acts 20:35. I wasn't sure I knew what the word "blessed" meant, just that it was a good thing. I didn't know how how it could be better to give away things than to get them. I liked presents, a lot.
Still, I learned to share what I had; toys, snack, my bedroom. In a large family, sharing is a way of life. I didn't find much of a blessing in it at all.
When I became an adult, the idea of generosity changed. As I developed political views, I was distressed by the idea of poverty and inequality in the world. Shouldn't governments distribute wealth more equally?
The New Testament doesn't focus on governments or politics so much as in the individuals' response to his fellow citizens. We should show kindness and love to others.
--So if we pay our taxes, vote for the right person, and become politically active, have we done our duty?
I am reminded of one of my favorite Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol. Ebeneezer Scrooge is asked to donate money to help the needy. He responds that he has payed his taxes and they provide services to care for the poor. That should be enough.
It isn't. Governments are wasteful, full of bureaucracies, and are at best inefficient at getting a job done. Individuals in their own communities can do a much better job.
--But from a Biblical perspective, that isn't even the issue. Something happens to an individual when he shows generosity on a personal basis. That one-on-one contact between the giver and receiver makes something happen. Just as Scrooge was changed by learning about the needs in his community and becoming a part of the solution, we too, are changed.
Our generosity doesn't have to be great. Most of us are people with modest means. We can make a difference by sharing change so someone may purchase a burger at a fast food restaurant. It might be important to help another at the check-out line at Kroger. We might donate time by mowing the lawn of someone who can't do it himself. Ways to show kindness are limitless.
I am fortunate enough to be active at a church that is involved with several programs in our community. Some are based around annual occasions, the beginning of the school year and holidays. Others have been disaster relief efforts or volunteering with service organizations. I feel different after participating in these event. Seeing a teenager tear up after receiving his first birthday cake, changes both people involved.
I didn't understand as a child, but as an adult I do realize that it is more blessed to give than to receive.