Thursday, April 18, 2019

Virtual Travel

Photo by Mary Vee
Caesarea on the Mediterranean, Israel
Once upon a time, in a land far away...

Readers of my newsletter travel to interesting places with me. Virtual travel style. No need to pack. No visas or passports needed. 

We take trips four times a year to interesting places. This month, in honor of the Easter season, we visited a few places in Israel. We saw the aqua ducts built by Herod two thousand years ago. The slope is only one degree, perfect to keep a continuous flow for the nine-mile structure. There is more! In the newsletter.

Every month, I send the new readers to our group a virtual trip newsletter to welcome them. Like the other trips, I take the photos and provide links to videos whisking you right there from the comfort of your home.

We have gone cliff climbing, hiking, white-water rafting, zip lining, sailed on a pirate ship over the 23 letters sent out so far.

Want to join us?

You are invited.

Here is the link to sign up:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We Stumbled Upon This In An Old Section Of Town

Photo by Mary Vee

Look what my family discovered!
A bookstore for rare books across the alley from...
Photo by Mary Vee

A bookstore for used books.

Field Trip!!

No need to ask if we bought books. The paper bag ripped from the page turning contents only moments after we stepped outside the bookstore for used books!

Creaky floors. 
Comfy, worn chairs.
Lower level loaded with shelves and more books. (Be sure to duck, low clearance.)

We barely scratched the surface during this visit. This is a definite repeat.

So when did you last visit a bookstore of any kind?

Would you like to hear the sounds? Here is a very short video. CLICK TO WATCH

Speaking of books, I have news.

My latest book is now available!!

The day the king of Aerlis heroically dies and his lovely queen is viciously carried off to the dark north, dragons invade the land. Crops and homes near the border burn to the ground. Prince Gilbert must give up what he wants most to save his father’s kingdom and himself. Far away lies the answer. Something unseen. To save the kingdom he must go on a quest to bring the unseen back. A quest filled with danger. There seems an easier solution in the vast north. One that offers great wealth and power. Time is short. One choice will save his kingdom. The other will silence him and his people—forever.

This story would make a great Easter gift for the fantasy reader you know. Written with the young adult in spirit reader age, 8-99, in mind. 

If you buy a copy, snap a photo of you and the book or ebook and send it to my email. I will post it here in appreciation.


The best way to show an author you like the book is to write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. The more reviews, the more these companies help tell others about the book.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: LoveToReadInABookstore

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Nature is Waking. Time for A Quest

The sky may have been gray, but the temperatures were a delicious Spring 57 with no chill in the slight breeze.

Photo by Mary Vee
Look what will be here soon!! Green. Lots of green!
Sleeping Bear Dune scenic drive, Traverse City

I opened the windows and cleansed the winter closed-up smell.

THEN Yes, I went for a walk and soaked in the scents, marveled at the buds on the trees, the grass green after a refreshing snow melt, spring flowers poking through the earth's surface.

And, at this moment anyway, no bugs. 


Nature is waking.

Easter is on its way. 

The days are longer. We should take a walk together. That's what I will plan for next week's post.

In the meantime, I want to share with you

And am so excited to tell you

About the release of my new book,
Fire and Thorn, a Fantasy.
 It a perfect gift for Easter. What better gift to give than a book?

Geared for the young adult audience, but also a great read for adults.  Knights, Dragons, Castles, and best of all, a quest. A clash between good and evil.

SO...TAKE A MOMENT AND CLICK THE LINK BELOW. I am especially looking for reviews from readers. This helps others know about the book. Did you know Amazon and other companies show the books that have more reviews first to shoppers?

This post has been brought to you by the one word: ILoveQuestsInSpring

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The New Once Upon A Time Story

Once upon a time....

Most stories with this beginning take place in a setting from long, long ago. 




Secret passages.


Today's rules of writing prevents authors from using this fabulous opener. This doesn't mean these stories can't be written, they just can't start with those words.

And so I would like you to meet my new fantasy novel very much about a once upon a time but without the opening words.

Fire and Thorn is scheduled to release sometime between April 4 and 10. Perfect for an Easter gift especially for young adult readers. Available in paperback and ebook.

Here is what the story is about:

The day the king of Aerlis heroically dies and his lovely queen is viciously carried off to the dark north, dragons invade the land. Crops and homes near the border burn to the ground. Prince, Gilbert must give up what he wants most to save his father’s kingdom and himself. 

The Keeper of the Kingdom advises Gilbert to go into the north country where he will find the answers he seeks, great wealth, and power. But the north is infested with dragons.

Gilbert’s wise uncle instructs him to go to the Valley of Sharon and bring back what can only be seen by the bright and morning star. This quest alone will save the kingdom. The journey requires sacrifice and is filled with great danger, the same perils that recently killed his father.

Time is short. One choice will save his kingdom. The other will silence him and his people—forever.

Watch for a special notice next week.

Would you be willing to help tell others about this book? Take a screenshot of this post or copy the link and send it to others. Endorsers have raved about this story.  I am looking for a team of people who will help share the news on social media and to local friends.  Please email me if you are willing:

This post has been brought to you by the one word: FireAndThorn

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Shout-Out For Friends, With Kathy McKinsey

Great news comes in packages. Last week I shared one friend's new suspense book release. Scroll down if you missed this fabulous post.

This week, my good friend, Kathy McKinsey announces her new book, All My Tears. I have read these stories and have been so touched by the five women's lives portrayed in this book. Stories of hope, forgiveness, and more.

Kathy belongs to the same ACFW critique group 201 as my last guest and me. I'm so excited to share this second release from our group!

Kathy writes heart-warming women's fiction. She has seen the rough side of life. From these experiences she pens stories destined to help readers who either walk similar paths or know someone who has. 

Kathy has a heart for sharing God's love for us in her stories. She asked to share her thoughts with you:

ALL MY TEARS, releasing April 2, is a collection of five novellas about women fighting battles within themselves. Fear; addiction; regret; anger at God and other people; anger at ourselves; inability to accept forgiveness; loneliness; depression. 

All of us have faced some of these, or other enemies, inside ourselves. The main characters in my book are people like any of us, fighting these villains in ordinary daily life.

What I hope to show through these real-life battles is the true hope and grace we can find to be healed from God.

Meet women whom I pray you will like and who may remind you of yourself or people you know. Share their stories with their friends and families, through struggle and joy, fun and stress, falling and getting up again.

The stories in my book are not autobiographical. However, I have dealt with depression for years. I know what it means to not believe God can forgive me. I have faced the struggles to keep a marriage and a family going strong. And I know how God’s grace can fight, and win, these battles.

Psalm 56:8: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

Five women search for God’s hope through sorrow and deep troubles.

Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. 

*Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. 
*Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. 
*Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. 
*Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. 
*Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.

See how God gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love.

Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.

She’s been married to Murray for 31 years, and they have five adult children.

She’s had two careers before writing—being a stay-at-home-Mom and working as a rehabilitation teacher of the blind.

Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dogs.

Contact Kathy at:

You can also subscribe to her weekly blog: Kathy's Blog

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: KudosKathy!

In other news...

My book, Daring to Live is a finalist in the huge writing contest: the Selahs. Winners will be announced this May.

Available on Amazon: Book Link

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Shout-Out For Friends, With Dave Arp

I connected with a gifted critique group through the American Christian Fiction Writers Association years ago. I credit them with teaching me the bulk of what I know about writing. Accuracy. Clarity. Compelling. Interesting. Stories.

Dave Arp is one of those amazing author/critique members in my group. He writes mystery suspense. His specialty is telling believable stories. He does this by taking pieces from his life experiences and weaving them into fast-paced, page-turning, riveting suspense stories.  

Dave's work has been recognized by Agent Terry Burns and Pelican Book Group. The result is his new release: ORB

Just so you know, Dave did not ask me to do this post to promote his new book. I offered because as a reader, I felt ORB was that good!

Without further ado, let me introduce Dave Arp.

David has spent the past 35 years in the oil industry, drilling wells offshore and onshore, from Texas to Asia to the Middle East. 

His thirst for storytelling began on a rig in the Saudi desert with the availability of email when he began penning short stories about his experiences and passing them along to friends at home in the states. 

He has two fiction manuscripts completed and is working on a third. He recently signed with Hartline Literary Agency and agent Terry Burns to represent his first mystery novel titled Orb.

Orb pits former Marine and Iraqi war veteran, Wes Hansen, against an elusive foe. When Billionaire oilman Cole Blackwell hires him to hunt down the man who assaulted his daughter, Wes has a name, Meshach, and one witness, a dog Wes believes the man used as a prop to walk the streets of Lubbock, Texas, at night, unquestioned. Wes is a PI, not a ghostbuster, but to put a face to Meshach, find him and put him away he’ll have to be both. Before the week is done, Wes and his team will be lucky to survive meeting the Man from Fire.



Heart-pulsing. Breathe. This is the reader's experience through the pages of ORB

Arp's creative story genius drops readers into the fast-pace plight of Wes Hansen, a trained Marine-now veteran, hired to find a ruthless criminal. The treacherous cat and mouse chase tests every shred of military training and discipline drilled into him.

Arp brings this story to life drawing from his own varied life experiences. There will be no questions what is seen, heard, or felt...the reader becomes Wes in these pages. Running. Hunting. Determined to find and survive. Suspense.

Great books like this are not read once. Oh, no. I've already read it twice, and highly recommend it for you.

You can buy the paperback cheaper at Pelican Book Group:

Me and Jake is a tale of love and love lost. Anthony is a thinker and his twin brother, Floyd, is practical, but neither ever dreamed of what’s in store for them. Two chance-events in a week is a coincidence; twenty is the work of an unseen hand. His. Anthony said he felt like something was going to happen to change their lives. Little did he know how prophetic the statement would be and how soon it would come to pass. What seems like a series of coincidences are anything but, and what’s more amazing, Anthony’s coon dog, Jake, might not be a dog at all.

Book Link for Me andJake

It was the mother of all bad days.
The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya.
While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle. 
Caught between a terrorist and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives.
Never assume things can’t get worse.

Book Link for Against All Odds

CONNECT with Author et al Dave Arp: 



In other news...

My book, Daring to Live is a finalist in the huge writing contest: the Selahs. Winners will be announced in May.

Available on Amazon: Book Link

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What To Do When Life's Storms Throw Us Off Course

There are times when storms throw us off course. 

I joined the gang of fallen hikers. 

Not in the woods, or on the backroads. It happened 1/3 mile from home. The paved road portion. Where the black ice hides. Black ice forms when snow mostly melts followed by a freeze. Often snow will fall after the freeze, hiding the thin layer of very slippery ice.


Naturally, I did the wrong thing by bracing for impact with my arm. My hands stretched out and took the force, breaking the distal radial bone. Smashed would be a better word. The surgeon was impressed. He put in plates and screws forming the letter "T" on the Xray.

Look for a character in a future story of mine with a broken arm. I know now how to paint it realistically. :)

When these storms come, though, I have found it very helpful to think of what is true, what is honest, what is just, what is pure, what is lovely, what is of good report, those things that have virtue and praise.

Then I remember those who also have needs and pray for them. 

With all of this, my mind no longer dwells on me and my issues.

The pain is tolerable. 

And the sun comes up in the morning.

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: ThinkOnTheseThings

I invite you to click on the link below and read this story. 


Available here: Click Here!
Ebook only $0.99