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:  Kathy.mckinsey@gmail.com

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: https://bit.ly/2C1iES0

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. 


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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Two Sides Of Hurt...

Marksburg Castle, Rhine River
Photo by Mary Vee
Last week, a friend of mine mourned on the anniversary her brother took his life.

He was in pain. Physical pain. Emotional pain. And chose to solve the problem. 

He was young. A teen. So much yet for him to live. So much to look forward to.

But he didn't see it.
Or Feel It.
What he felt was pain.

If only he truly understood how much his family loved him. How much they would sacrifice to help him...if they had only known his thoughts, the moment before the decision.

A very different story happened this weekend, A weight lifter heard a crash outside his gym as.he turned off the lights for the night. He opened the door. Two cars had collided near his business. One man lay trapped against a signpost and under the weight of his car. Four people pushed, endeavoring to lift the vehicle and free the man, but the SUV weighed too much. 

The weight lifter rushed to the scene wanting to help. He reached through the broken back window and lifted the SUV. Maybe three feet, he didn't know. The others shouted, "You can stop. We can pull him out now." 

The vehicle weighed 4,000 lbs. 

Later the weight lifter went to the hospital to see how the man was doing. Nurses stopped him in the hall and said, the man would not have survived had he not lifted the vehicle. The injured man, currently in critical condition, wept and thanked the weight lifter. 

Two men wept.

A life saved.  (Link to weight lifter article: USA today-man-trapped-after-accident)

If you are hurting, please call out. Let someone help you. 

Dare to Live.

You are worthy and so very important.

More than you know.

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

I invite you to click on the link below and read this story. 
And know...you have worth to more people than you may know.
Especially to the One who created you.


Available here: Click Here!
Ebook only $0.99

Friday, February 8, 2019

As Long As The Gas Stations Remain Open...

Photo by Mary Vee

The power is out. Day three.

I am thankful for the fleet of electrical power workers who are out in the wind and ice storm that is attacking our area. 

On our backwoods American road, trees are down, a power line fell and ignited the road, and the power is out in our community. Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the day. At this time we are experiencing a whiteout (when cloud and snow on the ground meet and prevent visibility).

Repair men and women are braving the elements to restore our power along with the power for thousands of others in the north. 

Fleets of electric repair vehicles park at fire stations where crews change shifts and hopefully get something warm to drink.

Photo b Mary Vee

Perhaps the task wouldn't be as difficult if once the repair was finished, the restored area could be checked off the list. But ice ladened trees or their heavy branches continue to fall on power lines. It's like a whack-a-mole game that doesn't seem to end.

The workers must feel frustrated. 

And yet, when I called to report five downed trees on our dirt road to the west, and more downed trees to our east, making our road impassable except for obscure dirt roads, the dispatcher asked questions, repeated information, and clearly addressed the issue. No complaining. No grousing. 

These people are heroes.

As for us, we have a small generator keeping the furnace going. As long as the gas stations remain open we're good. We saw huge generators delivered to a facility for the elderly. 

So I am also thankful for generators.

As Long As The Gas Stations Remain Open!

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


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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Chicago Fire vs Polar Vortex

Photo by Mary Vee
A cornfield by summer, snow and wind playground in winter

Like many folk in the northern parts of the United States, I have stayed inside and watched white swirling winds drop the temperatures far below 0 today. 

Yesterday was freezing, but today is, well, a good day to be inside. I plan to have a warm, hearty meal for my hubby who is working in the Emergency Room. Kudos to all the emergency services who are on standby for us. Don't forget the homeless. The shelters are crowded. I am going with a group on Sunday to spend the afternoon and evening at a rescue mission, talking, keeping them company, being their friend.

The one issue that amazed me with this polar vortex is an odd problem in Chicago.

The train rails are so cold they are malfunctioning. CNN and ABC posted an article about this situation. The link is below.

The sub 0 temperatures cause the metal rails to contract and separate. The separation pulls at the bolts holding the rails together. Many have popped out of place. The only way to repair the tracks is to heat them. Workers pour kerosene on the metal and light it. The fires cause the rails to expand enabling the crews to reinstall the bolts and in some cases replace broken ones. 

So, I learned a new application to a principle I already knew. Kudos to Chicago Rail Workers.

If you live in the north, stay home if possilble. Stay warm.

Link to News Article click here

This post has been brought to you by: WarmWords


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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Coming Soon - Space Ads - Obstacles to Stargazers?

Wouldn't you love to see a space ad blocking these stars?
Photo courtesy: Pixabay.com
I visited Russia years ago. I came home with many observations. One of the biggest observation was the lack of billboards along the highways. To qualify, there were billboards encouraging the people to work, but I did not see ad billboards for products like we have in America.

Not that long ago in America, neon signs could not be placed near expressways and busy highways because they'd distract drivers. It was thought by those who had the policy that accidents would increase.

Today, I see neon signs, busy neon signs with flashing lights and colors near expressways and busy highways all designed to grab my attention. Against a black sky, they do more than get my attention, the stark light contrast hurts my eyes. I don't read those signs. I don't know who does. 

A simply lit roadside ad, especially one that calls my attention to a product I want, gets my attention much faster.

An article on NBC.com in their MACH section, (space, science, technology, and environment news) announced Russia's plans to put ads in space. (Link to article below)

The company's name is StartRocket and the plan is to post the first space ad in 2021. The ads will appear to hang in the air. Think of the ads pulled by small planes over a stadium, except these signs will hang in a low-Earth orbit of 280 miles and can be seen all over the globe.

Like the neon signs we see along the highway, the space ads will only be seen at night. Yeah. What better way to make a stargazing night exciting. Okay, that was sarcasm. I couldn't help myself.

I was interested in how they plan to hang these signs. Aren't you?

Engineers will link tiny satellites equipped with reflective sails about 30 feet in diameter. The number will be based on the size of the ad. These sails reflect sunlight and form words that can be seen from the ground. The color will then be depended upon the reflected light, like the moon. The NBC article has a photo of this. The link is below.

The article states the U.S. outlawed this type of advertising in 1993. Russian based StartRocket has no such ban in place and therefore feels they have the right to impose upon the world. (yeah...my sarcasm let the last 12 words fly)

For more information, here is the link to the article: NBC Huge Ads in Space

I am beyond not in favor of this concept for so many reasons:

*The signs will prohibit stargazing with physical obstruction and light noise
*Nature is an escape. 
*The atmosphere already has space junk. Why put more there?
*There is no universal language. Why does the entire world have to read this sign devoted to one people group?

When we are silent, we lose the right to stop a wrong.

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


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