A new book will soon be out. Here’s the blurb and a teaser from “Only a Shadow”.
Trouble rears its head once again in Blue Cove and dashes straight into Jessie’s store in the person of a battered young woman fleeing her abusive spouse. Jessie finds herself pulled into another case as a body is discovered in the church dumpster, and the dead woman’s ghost takes up a vigil in Jessie’s place of business.
Is the dead woman connected to the frightened and battered girl who took refuge in the store? Matt and Jessie’s search for the killer leads them to their victim’s family, members of a strange religious group that lives off the grid outside of town. Add to the mix a crypt in the woods on a foggy night, Jessie’s abduction, a couple of angry and abusive husbands, and the resident ghost, and they will have their hands full solving this crime.
Will Matt and Jessie’s love for each other keep them grounded until justice can be served?
“Her eyes focused on a small structure in the midst of the trees. Its outline emerged through the spooky mist as she ran closer. What she saw stopped her in her tracks. Sinister in appearance, gothic in nature, its small spires and gargoyles stood watch and seemed to be staring at her. Creepy, and the fog didn’t help. The gate creaked as she opened it to go inside. The building was smaller than it looked from a distance. Was it a small chapel? It didn’t feel like any church she had ever been in. Maybe it was someone’s tomb. She shivered. A strange odor met her when she opened the door. Incense, perhaps. The light from her headlamp told an eerie story as it danced on the walls. It settled on a strange stone slab in the center of the aisle, which had something smeared all over it. Oh, this was worse than she had thought. She slumped to the floor. She had stumbled into something awful and didn’t want to be trapped here.”
A new contract is signed on another book. A blurb is finished along with the infamous tag line. In every book that I write there is a subject tucked in it somewhere, which is near and dear to my heart. From human trafficking to domestic violence, life constantly dishes up some hard stuff for people to overcome. Because of it there are limitless storylines with everyday people who are the real heroes and heroines.
I’ve often wondered with all the pain, sickness, and suffering that humanity experiences why we are not kinder and more humane in our treatment of one other. The old saying “Do unto others” is something we should consider all the time. You can’t live long on this earth without the need for someone’s compassion in your own life. It seems to me we should go out of our way to make it easier on one another to survive and not harder.
I’m grateful for the many kindnesses shown me. I realize the pull and tug to blame the other for my lot in life is great, but as my mom used to tell me life is what you make it. I do have choices and those choices have consequences which I must take responsibility for. My life is not perfect, but its mine. I’ve made a choice to be kind because I know how kindness has impacted me. I have chosen to reduce my faith to its simplest form…Love God, and love my neighbor as myself. There is so much freedom in living this out. I like to smile at strangers, listen to someone tell me how their life is going, and let go of the wrongs that have been done to me. I find it freeing to enjoy music, dance as way of joyous expression, and glean from the younger generations. The millennials have got a lot of things right. I don’t always get it right, but I keep trying. I’m in competition with myself to be the best version of me I can be.
Life is a veritable smorgasbord with all kinds of things to choose from. Some are life giving and others not so much. Some I choose and others I just get. I may not always be able to control what I face, but I can control my reaction to it.
I believe that love wins, character counts, and kindness makes a difference in the world. I don’t believe that the ends justify the means. The way you reach the end is just as important as the results. Fear may speak the loudest, but peace rules the day. Leaders may rise on the wave of hate and bigotry, but love has the ultimate power to resist.
I’m not naïve many terrible things have happened because of hate and bigotry, but amazing stories of love shine a light through the troubles of our darkest hours in history. People rise to the occasion when their backs are against the wall. I remember the day I first visited the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial) in Israel. The pictures of the death and destruction of a people simply because of who they were moved me to tears more than once. The stories that emerged of the gentiles who risked all to save some was equally powerful. The Jewish people are almost always first on the scene in disasters, they stand with those being persecuted, they promote life through the arts, because they know what it is to be murdered for simply being who they are.
It is easy to be lulled to sleep in life believing that everything will stay the same. Having fought for something once means you’ll never have to fight again. As long as there is an other you can blame you’ll never have to take the heat yourself. But life has a way of teaching us change is constant and the one sure thing in life. Every generation we’ll have to fight for the things they hold dear because there is always someone who wants to take it away. Eventually, everyone will become the other in the us against them game, and we can easily be swayed by the words of the next leader peddling another brand of hate in a new package.
For me I’ve chosen to love. Trying to figure out who is deserving and who is not is too great of a burden. Some might say I’m not worthy. I’ve decided to go with the tested and true words of one of this world’s greatest leaders. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I can remember playing hide and seek as a kid with boundless energy. I loved the part when the counting was done and I could yell out ‘ready or not here I come’. Ah, life was so simple then. My parents did the worrying, and I did all the playing. Somewhere between those young years and early teens I got in a big hurry to grow up. What was I thinking? Freedom! The chance to do what I wanted. No one to tell me what to do. Again, I ask what was I thinking?
“Nothing is ever free” my dad used to say, especially when he thought one of us kids were about to ask for money. There’s a hidden cost somewhere. With it came the lecture of the value of work, and the pleasure of a job well done. I loved when he told me ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. I knew he had to be wrong because work didn’t seem to make him happy. He counted down the years until he could retire.
My brilliant idea was, he must have chosen the wrong career. I responded by daydreaming and making a plan for my great life. And plan I did. Waiting, I did a lot of that too. Those were some of the slowest years I can remember. Most of those plans never materialized anyway. Life happened instead. You know what I’m talking about, friends, my first kiss, first love, first child and so on. All great moments in time and memories.
My dad was right. Everything cost something. With freedom comes lots responsibilities, ownership of my own mistakes, and of course, people who still tell me what to do. Only now with each passing year I get to do it all in an older body. The years no longer crawl by, but are rapidly speeding by so quickly that ten years ago seems like yesterday. I hear each new year calling out ‘ready or not here I come’ and I’m grateful to be found and to see it come.
What life has taught me is to live in each moment. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone and if you blink you can miss it altogether. Love now, write now, simply put enjoy now. Life can be rough at times, but it can also be amazing. 2017 has rolled in and I stayed up to watch it. No I didn’t party, but I read a good book and waited patiently to cheer its coming with my husband. Happy 2017 may it be a kind year to you and those you love.