Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance

Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance
Escape to a romantic period where love endured, grew, and flourished despite a Civil War.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Ragdoll Christmas

I'm thrilled to be a part of the fabulous showcase of twenty-five talented authors for the Grace-Filled Christmas Blog Tour. I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers, Facebook friends, and family. As we remember the reason for the season, may God bless you and yours with a heart-warming, safe holiday season. Jesus is the reason for all seasons.

A Ragdoll Christmas and Other Short Stories hold precious Christmas memories, though all are not so happy. "The Little Pink Washing Machine" brings back days of happily walking to town with my father, and I treasure those precious memories. It is an excerpt from a work-in-progress, and "Growing up on Fairytales," is a prequel to that same work. Once completed, you'll find other Christmas stories included as well as stories of growing up in a small town. The book itself is not a book of only Christmas stories, but a book young adults will enjoy that tells the story of a gutsy girl who lost her father at four years old on Christmas Day in Southern small-town America. Autobiographical, nonfiction Christmas stories.

As we celebrate Christmas this year, let's remember the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, and understand that while some are happy and celebrating, others may be going through a Ragdoll Christmas. I've had my share, but I'm thankful to God for the precious memories and the lessons learned about life through all the joy, heartache, pain, and sadness. God has His plans, and good comes shining through even in dark situations, though we may not always see it as we're in the midst of the storm. Sometimes, it may be years later, after the storm clouds have dissolved, before we realize our rainbow of blessings.

No, I'm not having a fancy fiber-optic Christmas this year. You'll understand when you read the story about that one. I'm having a simple Christmas at home. I pray all of my readers have a blessed Christmas season with many rainbow blessings to come and that you enjoy my writing. Thank you for taking a chance on it and supporting my work as an author. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A Cozy Fireside Christmas

A Cozy Fireside Christmas

I remember a cozy Christmas spent in a Holden cabin in the woods with a roaring fire, hot chocolate, and a rocking chair by the fireside. A cedar tree decorated the picture window. The lights on the tree flickered and glowed with the flickering firelight. Christmas music filled the air, and I listened in peaceful solitude as I rocked by the fire.

My son Rodney was about twelve and those were the days, the days of enjoying my son and shopping for his Christmas gifts. We lived in the woodlands of Holden, Louisiana, and he wanted a tent for Christmas that year. He got his tent among other gifts. Reflecting back, I can still see him camped out on the hillside behind our cabin in the woods, the cabin I used to call my Walden. For, I always said, if a man could have his own cabin in the woods, his own Walden, why couldn’t a woman? As Henry David Thoreau had his Walden, I, too, had mine.

Christmas was kept simple, but simple was good enough for us. Enjoying the simple things in life can bring the greatest pleasures. Life is about learning how to enjoy the simple things and taking advantage of them. When I look back on days gone by, sometimes I wish I could go back to the past instead of back to the future for just one day and relive some of those days. I would know to enjoy them while I had them the second time around, wouldn’t I?

Now, Christmas decorations are no longer so simple. We no longer go into the woods and chop down a cedar tree. This year, I have the newest style going, a fiber optic Christmas tree. A simple star no longer adorns the top. A fiber optic angel has taken the place of the star. My son is now grown and gone with kids of his own. They live in another state, so I don’t get to see them for Christmas. My yard is the best decorated it has ever been, but my baby boy is not here to share it.

Simple is better. A fancy decorated yard is empty without children to share it. If I could trade it all for the simple times, I would do it in a blink. Appreciate the simple things in life, because they are the best, the things that money can’t buy, the things that you can’t get back once they are gone.

Some of the best years of my life were when my son was about twelve, but I didn’t know it then. Why are we always in such a hurry for everything? I spent my days in a hurry to obtain my education, in a hurry to do everything. In life’s hustle and bustle, in my haste, I forgot to take the time to enjoy the simple things while I had them. I was in such a hurry to live life that I really didn’t live life. I let life live me.

Don’t let life live you, or it will pass you by. Live life and enjoy it to its fullest. Enjoy each day and take each day one day at a time, being thankful for the day you have.

While I will never be able to go back and see my twelve year old son camped in a tent on the hillside, perhaps I will see my grandsons’ faces lighted with joy as they someday receive a tent from grandma for Christmas. Perhaps, it is meant for grandparents to get to relive the days of rearing their children through their grandchildren, a chance to do better and appreciate it more the second time around.

Now, there is one thing that could still make this fancy fiber-optic Christmas special, if only my grandchildren could see my fancy decorated yard. Somehow sharing it with them from another state, with only pictures, is just not the same as being able to see shining eyes and glowing faces. Though my youngest son is now a grown man, being able to share it with him would make it special again. Decorations and presents don’t make Christmas special. People do.

Christmas today is a yard of blow-ups: Santa, Snowman, Grinch, Reindeer, Santa and Reindeer, but no real live children and grandchildren to share it. Somehow, blow-ups are just not as warm and welcoming as warm hugs from loving family. Yes, I’d trade all this fancy fiber-optic, blow-up Christmas for a simple, traditional family-filled Christmas in a flying reindeer, if I could. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I say, a thousand words coming from family and friends are worth a thousand pictures.

So, as I try my best to be positive and enjoy my blow-up, fiber-optic Christmas, empty of family, those of you who have your children and grandchildren with you, just know you have the best Christmas of all. You don’t need fancy decorations. You need the gifts that money can’t buy! Those are the best gifts in the world!

I won’t be rocking by the fireside with a cozy fireside Christmas this year. I won’t have a twelve year old son to watch, as he rips open a tent with shining eyes and a glowing face. Instead, I will have Florida sunshine in the Sunshine state and a fancy blow-up, fiber-optic Christmas, but make no mistake, as I enjoy my fancy fiber-optic Christmas, I am thankful, and I do appreciate it, thankful for all those simple, traditional family memories that time and fancy decorations can’t replace. I am thankful that I can still enjoy Christmas and the holiday season and sending my loved ones, who live in another state, Christmas cards.

Enjoy your times together while you have them and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer; for, they are the most precious and valuable gifts on this earth, and they are true gifts from God.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Interview about Sunrise on Alligator Lake

We are blog hopping our way through some new reads. For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop, it's like a treasure hunt to find new authors and books. Once you find something on one blog you hop on over to the next one to discover more treasure, a wealth of new and exciting books. Some are still being written, some are just being released. Either way, for fiction lovers, it’s a treasure. I’d like to thank  Brenda K. Hendricks for tagging me to participate.

In this particular hop I answer 10 questions, and you get to learn about my current WIP (work in progress), my new Christmas book of short stories, Ragdoll Christmas and other Short Stories, which releases Wednesday, December 5.

I am tagging the following five authors to continue the blog hop: Naomi Musch, Rita Garcia, Regina Andrews, Nike Chillemi, and June Foster.
What is the working title of your book? Sunrise on Alligator Lake

Where did the idea come from for the book? My husband and I go fishing on the lake which has gorgeous sunrises, and I was inspired to write a romance novel using it as the setting.

What genre does your book fall under?
Southern Christian Inspirational Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

John Dye with Roma Downey or Meg Ryan with Tom Hanks.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A divorced woman escapes an abusive husband to live a life of peace and contentment in a trailer park on Alligator Lake and learns to enjoy the sunrises in her life until her world spirals out of control when she comes face-to-face with her past.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have books published by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. out of California, but this one is going to be a novella, and I plan to self-publish it.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It's still in the works, but I plan to finish it within a four to six month time span since it's a novella. Ragdoll Christmas will be released Wednesday and available at Amazon for the Kindle.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Eva Marie Everson has a Cedar Key Series, and the first novel, Chasing Sunsets, is about a divorced woman who seeks a new beginning. My debut novel, Last Resort, is about a woman who escapes an abusive boyfriend.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Domestic abuse rears its ugly head far too much in society. I have been inspired to write a story of how God uses bad for good, one to show victims they can have a new, fresh beginning just like a fresh new sunrise on Alligator Lake. God and the sunrise on Alligator Lake inspired me to write this novella because of the glorious view that seemed fresh, like a renewal, or new beginning.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It's set on a real lake in St. Cloud, Florida, and I have pictures to post on a blog taken on the lake. The heroine has been through the wringer and come out on the other side to rainbow blessings.