Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Birthday Cake, Two Hearts, One Day

Another birthday poem.
This one about cake and heaven and being connected in the best of ways.
Sometimes the best gifts are the unexpected ones.

Two Hearts, One Day

Baking the cake
We will share
Has come to mean more to me
Than flour and eggs
(Though I do love the way vanilla wakes up my kitchen,
The way velvety batter falls into
Reliable and waiting cake pans
Like liquid ribbon.)
It means more to me than mixing and frosting.
This is the cake I will share with my
Not-so-baby girl, born on my birthday.
Reminding me there are no coincidences
In heaven or on earth. That we are connected
Through time and space.
That we share memories and hearts full of love
For the gift of life,
For the best and permanent birthday gift heaven can give.

Previous Birthday Posts

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Repost: 19 Things I know on my Birthday

Anne Lamott recently posted in advance of her birthday "every single thing" she knew. 
I haven't lived as long as she has, and I'm sure I don't know as much as she does. But in keeping with my previous years of posting poems on my birthday, I thought I'd mix it up and write down some things I know. In no particular order. . . 

1. When I find myself outside at night, I look up, count a few stars, and let myself feel wonderfully small.

2. I believe in the magic of hugs. 

3. Happiness can come quietly, but it can come.

4. I'm not sure if friendship means more to me than anyone else, I just know that I've been blessed with caring friends that have made all the difference in my life. 

5. I haven't given up expecting the best possible outcome. For life, for everything. 

6. Neither the young or old stay that way for very long. I've learned (the hard way) to slow down and spend time with both in my life.

7. (Mini-rant) People need to stop buying murder--in movies, in TV, in books, in video games, and on and on. In some literature, we can learn from it. In most entertainment, we become desensitized to it. And I think we are beyond desensitized. The national appetite is growing unchecked, unbridled, and what will it take to fill it? What will it take to stop it? Can't we remember our humanity that we are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters? 

8. I start making progress when I pray for the ability to forgive as much as I pray to be forgiven.

9. Every now and then I get the sense that marriage is even more grand and sacred than I can imagine. 

10. (Mini-rant #2) What's the deal with stilettos? Just say no.

11. The soul is healed by being with children. (Okay Dostoevsky said this, not me, but I believe it.) Let me add here there may be curve on this one. As in: first child in your arms=healing, then all the hectic years=who knows what is happening to your heart, then the last child comes along and likes to give hugs and play "I spy"=healing again.  

12. Social media: well I use it, so I can't exactly bash it but I am still a fan of eye contact, hand holding, and hugs, see #2. 

13. Prayer and scriptures. They work.

14. Writing is thinking and thinking is living. So Writing=Living.

15. Kindness is the unassuming quality that changes lives and hearts in the economy of a smile, a soft answer, an unexpected visitor, a withheld "I told you so." 

16. Read. Read for pleasure, for learning, for research, for adventure, for curiosity. But seriously, read. 

17. Most of the people that have been examples to me--created in me a desire to do and be better--weren't trying for that at all. 

18. Life is holding on and letting go, happiness is knowing when the right time is for each. 

19. When all else fails, take a walk or take a bath or take a trip, as the situation allows. 

Previous Birthday Poem Posts

Friday, December 25, 2015

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas ... Another Giveaway

This is Day Twelve in the 12 Giveaways of Christmas Blog Tour!
Hope you have a very merry Christmas!
Marianne Sciucco Guest Post

Fill Your New Kindle! The 12 Days of  Giveaways
Did you ask Santa for a new Kindle by any chance? If you’ve been a good reader this year you probably got it, and I bet you can’t wait to fill it with an assortment of great new books. If you’re like me that device will soon be bursting at the seams with a treasure trove of titles guaranteed to keep you entertained to infinity and beyond. Seriously, that ereader can hold more books than you can read in a year, in my case a lifetime! I often say I hope I live long enough to make it through my TBR list.

To get you started on building that digital library I invite you to join me and 23 more authors in The 12 Days of Giveaways, an opportunity for you to meet some up and coming new authors, discover great new reads, and win fantastic prizes including ebooks, paperbacks. On each of the twelve days two authors hosted a giveaway on their blogs.  

Today is my special day and I’m offering a free Kindle copy of my novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story to anyone who joins my mailing list. Blue Hydrangeas is the sad but beautiful story of a pair of retired Cape Cod innkeepers struggling with Alzheimer’s. Find out why one reader said “I read it twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything,” and another said “The drama reaches out and grabs you.”  I’m pretty sure you’ll love the ending. Sign up here to receive your free book.

Starting tomorrowDecember 26 – my short story Collection will be FREE for two days so you can add that to your collection too. Story: A young girl and her family accompany their housepainter father on a trip to collect his wages from a slow-paying customer, and encounter surprising consequences.

To find out what the other authors are offering, curl up on the couch in a fluffy blanket, grab that Kindle and a cup of hot cocoa, and check in with them to see what’s happening:

I'm part of the Romance/Mystery group. To visit the authors in the Fantasy group, check the link in the brackets.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas ... Another Giveaway

This is Day Eleven in the 12 Giveaways of Christmas Blog Tour. 
Frances Hoelsema Guest Post

Title is: My Christmas Gift to You!
 For those of you not familiar with who I am or my work, I am Frances Hoelsema. I am a wife and work-at-home/homeschooling mom of two boys that has a passion for writing. A few years ago, after I had gotten a kindle and started reading all kinds of different books, I had the bright idea to write my own novel. This wasn't the first time I got an itch to write something, it was just the first time I did something about it.
My favorite type of book to read is romance, the kind that has a happy ending and makes you feel good about love. And that's exactly what my debut novel, Growing Up Neighbors, does.

Here's a blurb: Little Deborah Harrington stared across the street the day the Michaels family moved in. Who was this family? Would she even like them? Nicholas Michaels hated the fact he had to move away from everything and everyone in his life, but his feelings change when he meets the Harringtons. Deborah and Nicholas become the best of friends, and as the children grow up, their friendship deepens. But then tragedy strikes. Will this cause them to part ways? Or will it perhaps make them realize they may have stronger feelings for one another before it's too late?
Growing Up Neighbors will embark you on a journey through various life experiences; the final destination is discovering love.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, and anyone who knows me knows I love to give. So my gift to you this Christmas is a chance to win an autographed paperback copy of Growing Up Neighbors. To enter the contest, please visit this link:


I'm part of the Romance/Mystery group. To visit the authors in the Fantasy group, check the link in the brackets.

Angela Carling -]

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On The Tenth Day of Christmas ... Another Giveaway

This is Day Ten in the 12 Giveaways of Christmas Blog Tour. 
Valerie Ipson Guest Post


Author Valerie Ipson Offers YA Readers
an Emotional Journey With a Bit of Mystery
in Her Debut Novel, IDEAL HIGH
Available in print and Kindle on Amazon


From back cover:
There’s no way I’m taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of our friends is over, I’m resigning as VP. Really.
Except people say the fire was no accident. (I say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When I read the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, I know what it means. To get to the truth I have to come out from under my paisley comforter.
But, seriously, what stage of grief says I have to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe I’m the one who’s broken.

I'm part of the Romance/Mystery group. To visit the authors in the Fantasy group, check the link in the brackets.
Cassie Sheils -]

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

On The Ninth Day of Christmas ... Another Giveaway

This is Day Nine in the 12 Giveaways of Christmas Blog Tour.
Anna del C. Dye Guest Post

On the 9th Day of Christmas an author gave to me . . .
Once Upon Two Kingdoms, a medieval Young Adult Romance.

Hi, I am Anna del C. Dye and I was born in the extreme South along some famous beaches. I grew up with four other siblings, being placed in the middle.

I moved to the USA to marry my husband Rodney and we have resided in Utah since then. My husband, a native of Idaho, met me in my hometown. We fell in love and I came to Utah on Christmas Eve to be married two weeks later. We are the parents of three princes and a princess.

Early on in my life I showed an affinity for sewing and took classes that rewarded me with the opportunities of doing costuming for the cast of five musicals, and for Utah’s own Fantasy Con, which I enjoyed immensely. I am fluent in both English and Spanish. I live in Taylorsville, Utah.

Some of my writing recognitions:
I received the Editor’s Choice Award from the International Library of Poetry and had my article entitled A New American Mother published by Desert Saints Magazine. My short story entitled Amerine—Fairy Princess was won at Oquirrh chapter contest and was published by Kalkion Magazine. (Now it is published as an e-book, entitled Emerine’s Nightmare.) Other articles about family and relationship have been published frequently in the MOMS CLUBĂ’ of Salt Lake Valley-West. I have published 7 books in my Elf series. Our love story was published by Deseret book in the anthology entitled Angels Round About by July C. Olsen. Another of my articles was included in the book Mother’s Message in a Bottle, edited by Tyler Hayden and published by Ninbus Publishing. The first book of my new series, A Royal Romance, was published in Feb 2015 with the title “Once Upon Two Kingdoms.” 

Back Cover Blurb:
Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human.
An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own?

Link to giveaway:

I'm part of the Romance/Mystery group. To visit the authors in the Fantasy group, check the link in the brackets.
[Peggy Urry -]

Monday, December 21, 2015

On the Eighth Day of Christmas ... Another Giveaway

This is Day Eight in the 12 Giveaways of Christmas Blog Tour. 
Stacy Monson guest post

You can visit Stacy's website here or Facebook Page here
And enter her giveaway here

Visit her blog - I had trouble with the pictures so be sure to check out her site!!

I'm privileged to be part of the 12 Days of Giveaways this Christmas season - a collective of 24 authors writing in a variety of genres, all from a strong faith foundation. Today, the 8th day, it's my turn to take to the podium for the Romance/Mystery group and offer a giveaway (woo hoooo!!). But first – some musings about Christmas.

There's so much focus during the Christmas season on gift-giving. We may agonize over just the right gift to give, or quickly snap up something that we think the recipient might like. We buy wrapping paper by the yards, bows and ribbon, boxes and bags to prepare the gifts we finally decide on. The cost, between the gift itself, the wrapping, and perhaps the shipping, can be astronomical.

While we're busily shopping, perhaps we should pause to consider the cost of Christmas itself. Not the cost of the trappings of the celebration but of the gift that started it all.

The baby in the manger was wrapped in strips of cloth, not expensive foil paper. The night was filled with the songs of the angels, not the latest musical group. The meal would have been simple bread and wine carried miles in their belongings, not a special meal served on delicate china in a warm home with family gathered round.

The financial cost of that first Christmas was minimal but its impact was priceless. The Christ child didn't come to give us material wealth, prestige or worldly acclaim. He came to give us something far more precious - His life. He was born for us so He could die for us. No gift on earth has had that price tag affixed to it. We certainly could never afford it.

But while it cost Him everything, He offers it to us for free. We cannot pay for it, earn it, or repay it. We do not deserve it. But it is the gift He picked out specifically for us, wrapped in glory, offered with love. It's the original gift that keeps on giving. We can unwrap it day after day after day, and it will never run out, never expire, never be taken away. So while you're shopping for that one perfect gift, remember that it's already yours for the keeping and the sharing. In this case, one size truly fits all.

Merry Christmas. Christ is born!
If you'd like to be entered to win an autographed set of books 1 and 2 of the Chain of Lakes Series, leave a comment below and share one of your favorite things about the Christmas season? (Don't make it some lofty "religious" answer - I really want to know what you enjoy!)

Shattered Image: Kiera Simmons’ career as a high-profile fashion model ends abruptly when a failed relationship nearly lands her in jail. Now she forges a quiet life helping teens understand their eternal value in a world saturated with the distorted messages of society.
Peter Theisen is on the fast track to everything the celebrity life promises, with each step of his meteoric rise in the music world orchestrated by his ambitious manager.
Their sweet, unexpected romance is threatened by her past and his future, a life-changing diagnosis, and financial devastation. As they struggle to find their way back to each other, and to the One who matters most, the allure of wealth and fame may jeopardize everything.

Dance of Grace:  In one tragic moment, dancer Vanessa Jordan lost her family, her career, and her future. She blames God for destroying everything that mattered.
Kurt Wagner, an ex-con with a second chance at life and faith, aches to shed his past and see his dream of helping teens become reality.
The former dancer and the ex-con form an unlikely alliance to build River House, a safe haven for kids on the street. But when Kurt’s past threatens his dreams and his life, Vanessa becomes a target as well. It will take a stubborn love, the grace of God, and one courageous teen to keep the River House dream alive.

I'm part of the Romance/Mystery group. To visit the authors in the Fantasy group, check the link in the brackets.


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