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The “Secret” is Out! (But Why is it Free?)

Dear Readers,

I had intended to release The Secrets We Keep after a month or so of promotion, but after uploading the book on Smashwords, I just couldn’t allow it to sit there and not be read by someone other than Mindy (my amazing friend and editor who deserves endless accolades) and me. After all, some of you have been waiting 1,765 days since the release of NBTAM to get the second installment. (Yes, I am finding more and more uses for that date calculator. See previous post.)

When asked why I am offering the book for free, I have a few answers for that query:

  1. I write as a hobby, not a profession. Many authors quit their jobs to become writers. I am so taken by their stories. I offer the story of Bethany Turner and her books. Read her story, her books, and support someone who wants to turn writing into a sustainable career.
  2. Free entices more people. We will try anything for free. That is why so many people eat seaweed when Costco has it for a sample on Saturday afternoon.
  3. Consider it a gift to all my loyal NBTAM readers. After all, you waited a long time to find out what happens next in the life of the Seven Cs. I’m certain many of you suffered insomnia over it, right?
  4. 3. I would prefer a book review over any payment. Really, this is very important. Books climb out of the pit of obscurity when people review them. Please go to Smashwords and iBooks to give reviews. These retailers have the ebook up on their sites already. Also, you can review the book on Goodreads. Review the book by selecting the number of stars it deserves. That is all. 🙂
  5. Books need promotion to sell. I do not want to spend my time promoting a book: I want to spend my time writing the third one. Plus, if I used a pie chart as an illustration, you would see that only a small sliver of my life is devoted to writing. I’m a full-time homeschooling mom who serves as a director at Classical Conversations. That’s my job. (See #1 for more on that!)

Okay, that is all. I am going to work on book #3. I have made a promise to write a little every day, so I can continue delivering books to all of you.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Happy reading!


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952 Days

It has been 952 days or “roughly” 82,252,800 seconds since I posted on this blog. I’d like to say I have a reason for this long hiatus from the blogosphere, but over the last 2 years, 7 months, and 9 days, I have just been…

(a) busy

(b) lazy

(c) uninspired

(d) all of the above

Yes, you should choose (d), but I am no longer (b) or (c) since I have been exceedingly (a) as I get ready to release my second book. So…that’s why I’m back on the blog: I’m starting to promote The Secrets We Keep



By the way, if you are interested in finding the duration between two dates, use this Date to Date Calculator. It’s much faster than using your brain. Sadly, I had that eureka moment after I used mental math to figure out the answer. 

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A Christmas Story

[This article first appeared here.]

I placed the gifts in the trunk, strapped two wiggly children into their car seats, and set the egg nog and muffins on the front seat, and as I rolled down the driveway, I hit play on the CD player. Bing Crosby’s low voice crooned:

When I’m feeling blue, when I’m feeling low,
I start to think about the happiest man I know.
Now he doesn’t mind the snow, he doesn’t mind the rain,
But all December you will hear him at your window pane,
Singing again and again and again and again and again:

The music filled the cabin as we weaved through the empty streets of our subdivision and out onto the abandoned roads.  The Kentucky sky, hovering low, threatened rain.  As we joined the light highway traffic, the clouds spat the first drops. Split, splat. The intermittent raindrops reached a crescendo, drumming louder as we exited the highway and veered toward the airport. Ker-plunk, ker-plunk.  Then the car pulled under an overhang of the terminal, and the music boomed from the speakers again:

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

The kids and I scanned the crowd, eager to spot our favorite pilot. “There he is!” one yelled. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” screeched the other.

Daddy strolled toward us, without any bags, and opened the door. He moved breakfast to his lap and smiled into the backseat. “Merry Christmas.” Then, with a softer, sadder voice, he looked at me. “I only have an hour.”

The car entered the rain again and circled the airport. My husband reached over and found his favorite Christmas song:

Let me tell you a tale that is often told
In the great Celestial Hall
All about an angel only four years old
The littlest angel of all.

Then we found shelter from the rain in a multi-leveled parking garage. There, on Christmas morning in 2006, our family shared Christmas together.

In my 39 years, I have forgotten many Christmases, like the ones by a tree in a warm cozy home, but as for my family, we will never forget the one we shared in the parking garage of the Cincinnati airport.

Merry Christmas—wherever you are, I hope it’s happy!

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Poet: Grace Miller

I have one more poetry post…

Grace Miller lives in Kentucky and is in the 8th grade. She enjoys writing and has her own blog:


He intended love forever,
that it never hinder,
many people have changed these days,
and that love now seems to fade,
hiding in the souls of those,
who may never know what love really holds,
the beauty, the grace, the happiness, the laughs,
what many people seem to lack,
they run around with sorrow in their heads,
like little puppets strung to a thread,
for what love truly holds,
I can not explain,
you’ll have to get into it
to know what you’ve gained.

My thanks to everyone who commented on the blog this month. Darlene and Marianne won autographed copies of Nothing but Trouble after Midnight. Congratulations to both of you! 🙂

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Poet: Tyler Frost

Tyler Frost is a theater arts and English literature major at Marquette University. He enjoys old things, movies, and good conversation and hopes to be a professional actor someday. Tyler doesn’t write very often, but he likes to let feelings out through it and enjoys being creative. He hopes you enjoy the rough draft of his poem.


“To Mom”

I do not understand why you are lost
In this world of fruits and much abundance
Your soul and body are bitten with frost
You should complete your circle’s circumference
You were not there during most of my time
Which is somewhat understandable though
Sometimes you look like you are full of grime
One of your mistakes, I was loved and grew
It is hard to get out of the bad ways
Once we know it, it’s our way of being
You should think about it by the ocean bay
Look out and compare space you are seeing
You’ll see much room which means you can still be
Anything that’s good, just climb up the tree.

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Favorite Poem: “Love’s Philosophy”

“Love’s Philosophy”

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In another’s being mingle–
Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;–
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Thank you for following my posts for National Poetry Month. 🙂

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Poet: Elle Veady

I’ll save you the trouble of the google search because you won’t find Elle Veady anywhere on the Internet. When asked to post her poem, she said, “This would be my pen name if I ever decide to be an author someday.”

“Free Fall Journey”

Stared down by the past
haunted with images
of what I used to be
The reflection of a cold heart
riddled by grief and pain
No more shall it taunt me
as the ledge draws near
If only I could shatter
the laughter
But still I stand
motionless with fear

Unbreakable it seems
this glass that’s holding me
back from falling free
and experiencing
a new journey, a new means
the mocking jeers and sneers
seem to say that I can’t do it
I won’t succeed
I must choose to move, to forget
or to stand alone
faced with regret

With a final glance back
I bow my head
Called to press on
I sprint towards the ledge
Breaking through
to find myself

And I’m free falling
Not looking back to where my feet
had been planted
I’ve taken flight,
falling towards the open arms
of my God
He will catch me
He will guide me
He will gently love me,
stand beside me
as I’ve come upon this free fall journey
we call life

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