Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What are Your Gifts?


I personally believe that each and every one of us has some kind of gift/strength/talent to use in this lifetime - some innate ability we're born with. 

Think of the extremes - the person who can play a piano but never took a lesson in their lifetime, the long distance runner that never trained, but no one can beat, the untrained football player who can throw a perfect pass. There are so many examples of unexplained abilities that it seems obvious to me that each of us has our own special gift.

Now, I'll grant you, not all gifts are as spectacular as the ones I named. Some people are wonderful with children - yes, I consider that a gift. If it's something not everyone can do well, then it's an innate gift. Others are equally as gifted in working with the elderly - something not everyone has patience for.

Many of us have multiple gifts - all at varying levels. I personally am gifted musically, as well as with words. I play the guitar and sing and I love to entertain. I may never be famous beyond my own small community, but I enjoy sharing the gifts that I have.

Recently, while visiting my mother who suffers from dementia, I brought my guitar along and played some of the old songs I grew up with, songs I knew she loved. The smile that bloomed on her face was priceless as she sang along with me and my daughter, even remembering some of the words. What precious joy I received in sharing my gifts!

I have a dream to someday own a Christian coffee house and share my love of music and books. I managed to put this dream into words in my story A Piece of Heaven that was released on May 31st. 

Trina Wembly dreamt of owning a Christian coffee house for years –a Godly place where people could enjoy a good meal, and entertainment that was pleasing to God. A Piece of Heaven is that dream, and Trina the star entertainer.

Jared Larou, the construction foreman who helps design and build the coffee house, is a wounded soul with a soft heart, a soft heart that Trina is drawn to.

Trina knows God is the only one who can heal Jared’s wounded soul. Does she have the faith and patience to wait on God’s will – if it is God’s will?

Buy link:

I was born and raised in New England and although I've seen much of the country, this is the area I will always call home. I love the change of seasons and the beauty each one brings. There is no place quite like it.

I've been married over 20 years and we have one teenage daughter who will be going to college next year. 

I am an active member in my church,  a member of the choir (along with my daughter), and I write not just stories, but  music as well. Perhaps some of that will be published someday, too.

Monday, October 28, 2013


By Carol Howell

I love Chinese Food.  I especially enjoy sushi rolls.   Fortune cookies, on the other hand, are disgusting.  Most of the time, the fortune inside of them says something that isn' a fortune at all.  For example, it might say “You have character”.  That is NOT a fortune.  If it said, “You have character that will lead to great success,” THAT would be a fortune.

Recently, my fortune said, “You will soon be receiving some good written advice.”  I have high hopes that written advice will look something like this.  “Dear Mrs. Howell, we are pleased to announce you have won a gazillion dollars in the ‘Win A Bunch’ sweepstakes.”  Yes, oh yes!  That would be some “good written advice”.  In the meantime, I have decided to use that fortune and this blog to bring you, my reader, some good written advice.

I recently watched the movie “1,000 Words”, with Eddie Murphy.  He portrays a character who, among other things, visits his mother with dementia.  She thinks he is her husband, and he continues to insist he is Jack, her son.  This, of course, does not settle well with her, confuses her, and causes the visit to be less than what Jack had hoped it would be.
When visiting with someone who is not living in the here and now, allow them to set the tone and character of the conversation.  If they believe you to be someone other than who you are, go with the moment.  Dust off your acting skills, smile, and be whomever they seem to think you resemble.  The process may not seem like fun, at first, but watching your loved one smile, liven up, and have a few moments of happiness is really what your visit should be about, anyway.

Eddie Murphy’s character, Jack, had some education ahead of him before he figured out this technique.  You, on the other hand, have just been the beneficiary of the fortune from my recent Chinese food experience.  Please put this “good written advice” to work. 
 Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Music Therapy Coach.  Her book - If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? - is available for e-readers at and .  Her latest book, LET'S TALK DEMENTIA - A Caregiver's Guide is a help for those peripherally affected by dementia, written with her characteristic humor. Contact her at or read more at   

Friday, October 25, 2013

The iCar

         I saw that Apple made an iCar. That sounded awesome! They make cool stuff for young and clever people. Wouldn't an iCar keep me young and cool? I ran to the Apple dealership to get the first one, for bragging rights. Tyler the salesman (young and cool) showed videos of really awesome people driving snappy stainless steel cars. He gave me the virtual tour. Sign me up! Tyler the salesman worked up the deal on his phone gadget. Then he asked, "Would you like some Opps with it?"
          "Right. Options." I liked the price. "No, that's okay."
          "Suit yourself." He spoke into his nifty headset and told me the car would soon appear beyond the side door. I trotted to the door and steeled my resolve not to press my nose against the glass. Soon a forklift appeared with a car body on a pallet. The operator glanced around, then opened the door. "You Kevin Parsons?"
          "Yes sir."
          "I got your car."
          "What?" I ran and found the salesman. Explained the dilemma.
          "You just bought the operating system. The drive train. We added the steering wheel, doors and windows for free." Did the Apple guy just say it had windows? Amazing. But I wanted an entire car. Tyler agreed and we returned to the Opps Department. "Would you like wheels?" 
          Dur! "Yes."
          "Seats? Seat belts? Glove compartment? Door locks? Gauges?" Yesyesyesyesyesyes and yes. Finally, I had my car. I started it up. It took around five minutes to start, as it needed to load all the Opps. I drove to the road and signaled for a lef- wait a minute. No turn signal! I returned to the sales guy and we added turn signals. Oh, and would I like headlights and tail lights? Yes and yes.
          I started the car again. This time it took quite a bit longer. Drove away. The engine died. An error code appeared on the windshield: 'Defragification of parabolic parameters at torque delivery system necessary.' I called the salesman, who referred me to a forum of others suffering a similar malady. Three hours later I rolled again. Halfway home I drove through a cloudburst. No windshield wipers. I returned to the salesman and asked for another Opp. Wipers.
          "There's a really cool one. Two guys designed it in their garage. They swipe to the music from the radio. You got the radio Opp, right?" Four hours later I drove away and as the rain fell, I activated my radio Opp. Ozzy Osborne sang 'Crazy Train.' The wipers swept across the glass in a frenzied fashion. I hoped they wouldn't break. Soon James Taylor sang 'You've Got a Friend' and they almost stopped. I noticed the turn signals doing the same and they wouldn't stop. But being an expert now, I knew what to do. I pulled to the side of the road and shut off the car. Waited a minute. Started it again. The turn signals stopped and the wipers kept time to Celine Dion, 'I Drove All Night.' Awesome.

Kevin has written numerous books and anthologies and blogs twice a week on, posts on Author Culture ( and is a contributing writer to Choices eMagazine.

Kevin has owned numerous businesses in the construction, motorcycle, and real estate industries, in Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona. He currently enjoys life at 9,000 feet in Brian Head, Utah with his patient wife Sherri. His favorite tools are a sledgehammer and axe.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When I was a kid, one of my chores was to throw the trash every evening. It was a menial task that required little effort for sure, but one that generated a great deal of fear in my young heart if I found myself heading out the back door in the dark.

I had no fear of the dark. It was the monster that lived behind the fence just the other side of where the outdoor trash cans stood that made my knees wobble with trepidation.

My fear was so strong that it drove me to make the journey down the back steps, along the length of the sidewalk, and across the driveway in twelve long strides. I would lift the trash can lid, deposit the small parcel of trash, and replace the lid in one smooth movement, all in the ominous dark shadow of that solid wood fence. Bounding another twelve strides landed me safely back inside the warmth and light of the kitchen.

I didn't know what the monster looked like or what it would do to me if it caught me, but I learned to complete my goal in the space of seventeen seconds. I tried to minimize my fear by rationalizing that he might simply take a small bite out of an arm. Maybe he would swallow me whole and decide I didn’t taste so good, so he would spit me from his stomach like the whale did to Jonah.

When I got way older, like maybe six or so, I decided to face the monster. One moonlit night, I summoned all the courage I could and, heart beating against my chest so hard I could barely breathe, advanced one step at a time toward the big wood fence. Eyes wide with fear, I grasped the corner post and peeked my head around the tall planks of wood.

What awaited me was a bed of lush green grass bathed in silver moonlight with a few leaves strewn about that had drifted down from a nearby maple tree. Nothing threatening or scary lurked behind that fence.

Today, decades later, I look back on the fences I have encountered and the monsters that have skulked behind them. 

Right now, my fence is my husband’s medical condition and the monster is the long-range effect that looms in the future. Like that monster from years ago that held me paralyzed with fear, I’ve discovered that facing the monster frees me from its grip.

Research, resources, and reliance on those who have known the same monster make him a much less formidable beast.

What monster lurks behind the fence in your back yard?

Patti Shene is currently on hiatus from writing while helping her husband face a serious medical condition. Once in a while, she still manages to get a few words out of her head and onto the computer screen.  Patti enjoyed a thirty year career as an RN in the psychiatric nursing field. Although fascinated with all the modern technology used to improve her husband’s condition, she has retired fromher medical career. Her passion now is to influence people in some positive manner with the power of words. She is published in two anthologies, Love is a Verb Devotional  and Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters: Real Life Stories ofSupernatural Events, as well as some local publications. A former editor with Written World Communications, she dreams of having her own editing service some day. Find Patti at her website.

Monday, October 21, 2013



How many of you read Nancy Drew of Trixie Beldon. I did! I did! (my hand waving wildly) I couldn't get enough of them. One year when I was a young teenager I went to visit my brother and his wife where he was stationed at Myrtle Beach, S.C. While he was at work on the base there wasn't much to do (they only had one car, you know, newlyweds) so there was a little store right up the road. They had Trixie Beldon books. I know I read at least three or four during the week I stayed with them.

You're not going to believe this. Well maybe you will, but I'm going to give you evidence by posting pictures. I went to a mall in Alabama and they had a Books-A-Million. I was just going up and down looking at books when lo and behold there was the whole set of Nancy Drew books. I had to have one! On a whim I asked them if they had any Trixie Beldon books and they had two left. Now they only have one:)

Why I started writing cozies. First,as an adult cozies have always been my favorite genre. One of my favorite writer's was Anne George. She lived in Birmingham, Ala. She didn't start writing until she retired from being a school teacher. She wrote eight books before she died from heart failure. I knew I wanted to write like her.
I finished my manuscript for "Death in Dahlonega" after years of working on it. I had family to take care of while I was writing. I then discovered American Christian Fiction Writers and Margaret Daley. I learned about Christian Fiction and decided I wanted "Death in Dahlonega" to be Christian Fiction. I rewrote my manuscript - didn't have to change too much. There were a few *&^ words from the crusty editor, Harv, that had to come out. So that's what I did. "Death in Dahlonega" is not a young adult book, but cozies remind me of Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. My Trixie is named after Trixie Beldon. I want to write a few passages from Nancy Drew's "The Secret of theOld Clock" and see if it brings back any memories for you.

As Nancy drove into the camp, a group of girls gathered around her car. Helen came running out of a cabin to greet her chum.
"Girls, it's Nancy Drew!" she exclaimed joyfully and made introductions. Nancy did not know any of the campers, but in no time they made her feel warmly welcomed.
"Nancy," said Helen, "park your car back of the dining hall, then come have lunch."
"That sounds wonderful." Nancy laughed. "I'm nearly starved!"
First, she was escorted to the main building where she met Aunt Martha, the camp director, and registered.
"May she stay with me?" Helen asked.
"Certainly, dear. And I hope you have a splendid time, Nancy."
"I'm sure I shall, Aunt Martha."
As the two girls walked off Nancy told Helen about selling the charity-dance tickets and gave her the money paid by Mr. Topham.
"He surely was generous!" Helen, commented feeling he did it more for soical prestige than sympathy for the cause."
Nancy scarcely had time to deposit her suitcase under her cot and freshen up after the long ride when lunch was announced by the ringing of the bell. Campers hurried from all directions to the dining hall. The food was plain but appetizing and Nancy ate with zest.
The meal over, she was rushed from one activity to another. The girls insisted that she join them for a hike. Then came a cooling dip in the lake. Nancy enjoyed herself immensely, but the Crowley mystery was never far from her mind.

I'd love to hear from you and let me know if this triggered some memories and if so what were they?




Deborah has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, since 2001, for the historical magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published during this time. Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson. She has also had a showing of her photographs at Floyd Medical Center Art Gallery as well as winning several awards. Her debut cozy mystery "Death in Dahlonega", a winner in the ACFW Category Five Writer's Contest, is now available. She is a current member of the Georgia Writers Association, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Deborah has been nominated for Georgia Author of the Year 2012. She has an established blog, Butterfly Journey, where she reviews Christian Fiction. You can also catch her at
Sleuths and Suspects, where she reviews mysteries. She also contributes to the Cozy Mystery Magazine every other Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Are You Ready to Go Incognito?


I've made the transition.

It wasn't easy because I really enjoy attention.

But somewhere mid-life, I had to adjust.

You know what I'm talking about, don't you? The disappearing act that comes over us in middle age.

Initially, there was a creeping invisibility exaggerated by the presence of my super-model beautiful daughter.

I noticed that when we were in public together, I became virtually invisible. I promise you, I could have committed crimes in her presence and bystanders would have said, "Well, there may have been another person with her -  some older lady - but we just noticed the tall, leggy brunette with the amazing eyes."

Back then, my ego took an understandable hit.

A boy in a drive-thru window once caught sight of Hannah in my passenger seat and crushed her iced coffee- splattering it all over me. Then, he apologized profusely to her as he tossed me a single napkin.

Another time, a waiter refilled her water glass so often you'd have thought we were dining on the Sahara while my glass stood empty throughout our meal. (Invisible people don't require refills.)

At the checkout counter at the drugstore, a clerk focused entirely on her throughout the transaction, where she stood beside me, as I handed over my purchases and my cash. When he failed to hand me my bag, I cleared my throat. He looked at me, startled, as though I was rudely interrupting. He apparently hadn't noticed my presence until that moment.

A woman could be crushed by such assaults on her self-esteem.

But, before long, I saw the freedom in it. I decided it could be an advantage. Because, while every day, I look more and more like someone you might discount, write off, or ignore

inside, I am still the bright, capable, skilled person I always have been - only now with years of confidence and experience.

I learned that I like being underestimated.

It worked for me when I started karate at age 40. I may not have had the agility and speed of some of my younger classmates but you couldn't beat me for mental strategy and knowing how to maximize my assets.

At 44, getting ready to test for my black belt, I had to spar a much younger woman and heard her giggling to a friend that this would be "cake." I decided to use that in my favor. As we bowed, I asked her to please take it easy on me since my skills would obviously be inferior to hers.

She never even saw my first kick coming.

I won the round and the match - I believe, before she even entered the ring - all because she'd underestimated me.

I liked that. I wanted more.

That's when I realized invisibility could be repurposed into incognito - and that's fun.

Plus, it's only fair. After decades of suffering under other people's expectations, surprising people with lower expectations is a thrill ride!

Now in my fifties, the more I look my age, the more I revel in the freedom this earns me. The freedom to be unexpected. The freedom to surprise. The freedom to catch others off guard. The freedom to become "a character."

One of the teens with whom I work recently said to me, "Sometimes I feel sad that other teens look at you and just see an older lady and they miss out on how cool you are. But then I feel special that you let me in on your secret."

Oh yeah, I make it work for me.

How about you? Are you ready to go incognito? Don't fade away - just go undercover and rediscover fun.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians continually late for dinner. She authors the blog, Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island . Lori’s seeking a publisher for her speculative Celtic adventure, The Overcomers. Back in the dark ages, Lori earned degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies and more recently, a black belt in karate. She’s a wife, mom, crisis counselor, and part-time dragon slayer.

Monday, October 14, 2013

True Colors

Like the Israelites in the Bible, we long for security – Nirvana, Shangri-la, the Promised Land. We pray for world peace and share the Irish blessing. You know, the one that goes ­– May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields…

Although we say we desire tranquility, we immerse ourselves in movies that keep us on the edge of our couch cushions. We stay up late reading just one more chapter in a suspense novel. And we glory in the real-life stories of heroic heart-stopping adventure found in books like Endurance, Unbroken and Chariots of Fire.

Years ago, a friend said to me, “I admit it. I’m addicted to drama!” Every time we talked, she had an astonishing new tale to tell. Her life was chaotic, but despite her whining, that’s the way she liked it.

What gives? Are we all bipolar? What is it we really want in life?

The truth is, without drama and trauma and challenges that stretch our courage and endurance, life would be a ho-hum bore. Like a heart monitor that straight-lines, indicating loss of life and vitality, the same-ol’, same-ol’, day-in and day-out routine without peaks and valleys, setbacks and surprises, would make for a walking death.

Humans cross oceans, run marathons, swim channels, ride bulls and jump out of airplanes for the thrill of conquest, the sense of accomplishment, the rush of adrenalin and endorphins, and most of all, to ward off boredom. From the Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement, here’s what two inmates had to say about their uneventful days and nights. “Boredom is a major enemy. …Slowly it tears you down, mentally and physically.” “Time descends in your cell like the lid of a coffin in which you lie and watch it as it slowly closes over you.” ( )

Even though we chafe at adversity, at least something is happening in our lives, something we can respond to and conquer. James 1:2 in the Message Bible says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.”

Laurence Gonzales writes in Deep Survival that “Ultimately, it is the struggle that keeps one alive. What seems a paradox is simply the act of living: Never stop struggling. Life itself is a paradox, gathering order out of the chaos of matter and energy. When the struggle ceases, we die.”

Does life feel like an uphill battle? Never stop struggling. Are you discouraged? Never stop struggling. Are you suffering? Never stop struggling. Have you hit impasse in a relationship? Never stop struggling. Buckle down and gather order out of chaos.

Paul Stutzman, the author of Hiking Through–One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail, writes in the epilogue: “When I started this hike, I never imagined how difficult it would be. Had I known, I would never have attempted it. The trail is much like our lives. We never know what difficulties we’ll encounter on this earthly pilgrimage. What we are assured of, however, is a finish line.”

The longer I live, the more I’m aware of life’s brevity and uncertainties—and the challenge to fight the good fight, as the Apostle Paul termed it. In Hebrews 12:1, he wrote, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” We may not hike a 2,176-mile trail, like Mr. Stutzman, but like him, we can find peace through prevailing…all the way to the finish line.


Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and a mentor for aspiring authors and as a coach for women transitioning from prison to life on “the outside.” Winds of Freedom is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Wyoming.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Geezer Memories and Glory Words

Geezer memories and glory words
By Ed VanDeMark

I knew five of my great grandparents and three of my grandparents. My great grandparents were born at some point before the Civil War. My grandparents were born prior to the Spanish American War. 

I knew five of my great grandparents and three of my grandparents. My great grandparents were born at some point before the Civil War. My grandparents were born prior to the Spanish American War.  

My parents were born in the years immediately preceding World War I and I was born five months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

My oldest son was born during the Vietname War and our other two kids came around just as that war was concluding. Five of my nine grandchildren were born in the years and months leading up to the events of 9/11. 

This span of six generations saw the freeing of slaves, the coming of the light bulb, the invention of the automobile and the Wright brothers first flight. Penicillin, women's right to vote, the part line telephone, Lindberg's nonstop flight across the Atlantic, the atomic bomb and the Salk vaccine also came to us in this span of years.

The radio, the television, the computer and the introduction of aerosol cans were unknown at the beginning of this period in our history. Space travel and satellites, the landing of men on the moon, the civil rights movement, the assassination of three presidents, the great depression, the birth of Rock and Roll, the internet, the resignation of a president, the abortion of millions of babies and the election of a man of color to that same presidency all new in these same years. The rudiments of who we are as Americans came with these momentous events and many others.

The Christian Bible speaks of the increase of knowledge such as it has never been and says it's one sign of the end of the age. Just as there are many more signs of our increase in knowledge there are also many other signs that signal the Rapture of the Saints and the Tribulation of those left behind.
Two thousand and more years ago this same Christian Bible described the indescribable.

 The imagination of men could not have recorded our reality aside from the revealing inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Yet I heard with my ears three generations of relatives explain life as it was when they were young and I've seen with my eyes changes that no one dreamed of on the day I was born. There is indeed an unbelievable increase in knowledge and it was foretold before it was imagined by men.

I don't know when the Rapture will occur or when the Tribulation will commence but I'm looking up. I for one have a great desire to be caught away and no desire to endure those seven worse years of human history. I can't be assured that I'll live until that date and time when believers suddenly depart for eternal life with the God who foretold these events. Yet I choose to be prepared with my spiritual bags packed.

If this is all there was to this story there would be no reason for me to write it. I don't need to put it in print for my own sake. There are people I love and others I would love if I knew them who aren't ready for this cataclysmic event. This article is a love note to you and all whose baggage has yet to be dealt with. Please pack your bags with a love for Jesus, a trust in his promises and a prayer of confession to our Holy God with a request for the forgiveness of your sins. I want you to be caught up in the twinkling of the eye and join me on that train ride to glory land.

The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians was the foundation of my salvation. These rapturous words were the ones that built my desire for a life in Christ Jesus. It was on the day I claimed them as my own that I packed my bags and began my preparation for my journey to life eternal.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


by Linda Robinson

At five-o-dark-thirty on Saturday morning, I sat at the breakfast bar with my leaded coffee, put my head in my hands, and moaned. “If God had meant humans to get up this early, he’d have made daylight come sooner.”

My hubby laughed. “Well? Whose bright idea was this?”

“The birds aren’t the only ones still asleep. I expect the yard cats aren’t even up.” A few minutes later, I looked outside. “Maybe the cats are up and I just can’t see them until my eyes focus better. More coffee, please.”

But this was a special once-a-year kind of day. In one hour, I had to be checked in to participate. Months prior, I had reserved a booth at our city’s annual arts and crafts festival—to promote my books, as I had done the previous two years.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it had recently turned into a “shaky deal.” Two days prior, Tropical storm Karen had been predicted by one weather model to come directly across southeastern Alabama on the day of the event, packing possible hurricane force winds, perhaps tornadoes, and would at least drench us with many inches of rain.

I share my booth with another local author, and she and I decided not to participate when we heard the news on Thursday. In my wild imagination, I could visualize our canopy lifting up, up, and away. All of our books would gully-wash into the gulf.
But on Friday, the model changed its mind. It would be cloudy on Saturday, but the rains wouldn’t arrive until Sunday morning.” Great news! We’d go, and it would be a nice “shady” deal. All we’d have to worry about was a little too much wind.

Wrong again! While parts of our country got snowed in, Karen fizzled out to a depression in the gulf. Before the day was over, our temperature peaked at almost ninety degrees. Not a cloud appeared in the sky for most of the morning, and we coveted even a gust of air. A few clouds and breezes finally arrived just before we closed down mid-afternoon—hot, exhausted, and slightly sunburned.

Even so, it was a good day. We sold books and had a great time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones. Did I mention the food? I shouldn’t write about corn dogs and funnel cakes, or mention the scents of "blooming onions" frying and various types of barbeque cooking on the grills.
I’ll just tell you every cloudless day has a silver lining. We munched on pina colada-flavored Italian ice, which was available in the booth next to ours—the coolest memory of our day.
Linda Robinson is the author of two novels: Rails of Freedom, released December, 2012, and When Love Abounds, released in December, 2010. Her Christian/Fiction/Family novels depict the people, lifestyles, and music of the 1940's, 50's and 60's in the deep south, with an underlying message of "that little word that makes the world go 'round -- love." Linda resides in Alabama with her husband and spoiled Maltese dog, Joy. She is a member of her local Writers' Forum, ACFW, and many others and can be found on FaceBook, Twitter, and her website. She belongs to a writer's critique group and has recently finished her third manuscript, in addition to writing fiction and non-fiction short stories for magazines, newpapers, and contests. Find out more about Linda by visiting her web site at:

Monday, October 7, 2013


 By Katheryn Bain

Working on my latest release Beautiful Imperfection, I thought that, as a woman, I’d know what it felt like if my doctor ever diagnosed me with breast cancer. Then I started my research and realized I didn’t know anything.

There are over two million living survivors of breast cancer in the world today. And with early detection and treatment, your doctor can almost guarantee survival. Yet people still seem to come up with excuses why they don’t get a mammogram.

1. Breast cancer doesn't run in my family. 85% of detection occurs in women whose family has no history of breast cancer.

2. It’s too expensive. Mammograms are now covered by all health insurance. And if you don’t have insurance, in October, most imaging businesses cut their cost in half for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

3. I’m a man.  Men can get breast cancer also. In fact, one out of one thousand men develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

4. I’m so busy, I don’t have enough time. Approximately forty thousand women die of breast cancer each year. The life expectancy of someone who develops breast cancer but doesn't get treated is 6-8 months. Still don't think you have time?

5. I hate getting squished. It’s uncomfortable. How many of us would live with five minutes of discomfort for a million dollars. Why then is the five minutes of getting a mammogram not worth the price of your life?

6. I’m too young to get breast cancer. While the average age for most people who suffer from breast cancer is 61, approximately 2% of those diagnosed are between the ages of 20 and 34.

You’re encouraged to get a mammogram every year once you hit age 40 where the percentage of those with breast cancer hits 9.6%. However, if cancer runs in your family, you are twice as likely to develop it, so have your doctor check you out sooner. It's worth it to catch it early.

In fact, your life could depend on it.

 Kathryn J. Bain began writing more than twelve years ago. Her fifth book, Beautiful Imperfection, will be available September 29, 2013. She is the former President of Florida Sisters in Crime and is currently the Public Relations Director for Ancient City Romance Authors. To survive and pay bills, she has been a paralegal for over twenty years and works for an attorney who specializes in elder law. She has two daughters and a dog named Gretchen. Her first grandchild, Hope was born in May, 2013. Kathryn grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In 1981, she moved to Boise, but it apparently wasn't far enough south, because two years later she headed to Jacksonville, Florida and has lived in the sunshine ever since.

Friday, October 4, 2013



Caroline, thank you for your response to my heartfelt attempt to express how much we love and try to protect our children and grandchildren. Edith

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


In a cold, dank cathedral, somewhere in Northern Ireland, I knelt beside my daughter and prayed.

My focus was drawn to the large stained glass window just over my right shoulder. “For this child I have prayed.” The words were so forceful that I went to have a closer look as our tour group was leaving.

The window was given in memory of someone, as most windows are. It was made of brilliant red, green, blue, and yellow bits of glass. A child stood in the foreground.

This message struck home for me as I had so often prayed for the child who was with me. At twenty-three she had reached a crossroads in her life. Should she go to medical school? Would she be accepted? How about the young men she was dating? Was one of them Mr. Right?

I look out the window of our home church and see the graves of children. Some are adorned with small stone lambs or angels. I imagine the heartbreak as two distraught parents laid their little one to rest.

In the mountains of East Tennessee there are graves—really no more than large rocks—outside of the kitchen windows of old farm houses. The mountaineers call these ‘kitchen babies.’ Tiny children, many who died before they could be named, were buried here so that their mother could look out and pray for them as she worked.

I saw a painting of an Ancient Egyptian couple lying prostrate over the elaborate sarcophagus of their child.

What about Mary, as she watched the brutal crucifixion of her first born? How her heart must have broken.

“For this child I have prayed.” The marriage service in my Episcopal prayer book has a prayer that asks for ‘the gift and heritage of children.’

Our children are our future. They embody our past. Our prayers to a good God who loves them more than we can ring out across the world—in cathedrals, through kitchen windows, in simple graveyards of centuries past.

By Edith Edwards

Edith Edwards lives and writes on the banks of the beautiful Lockwood Folly River in southeastern North Carolina. This scenery can be found in her books and articles. She and her husband Don have two grown daughters and four grandchildren--all great people. Edith has just retired after 29 years as a teacher and speech therapist. She has written two books of fiction and coauthored a book of short stories. She belongs to the Writers Bloc--a dedicated group of writers at Holden Beach.