A Week in My Life & 30 Plus Plus Free Mystery Thrillers!

 

LINK to FREE Kindle Reads!

Someone once said life is like a rollercoaster. Well if 2020 is a ride, do you want off yet? Summer is here and 2020 goes on. Vacations are canceled. The relatives aren’t visiting because the thought of hundreds of miles of germy rest stops is horrifying. And yet, I see some beautiful things happening among the challenges.

I have decided it is better to ride and have the lessons, the light, and the tender mercies that happen while on the wild ride of life. I am in until the end. Buckle up!

Eight-year-old Elliott said a wise thing after months  of sheltering at home. “Nana, I miss our adventures like kayaking, bike riding, hiking, and the lake.”

And so I decided the Nana adventures must continue! 

During May I completed almost all but the last 3 chapters of the second book in my new series. But, I also made time for life with the family. Here are a few of the adventures we had last week.

I tried to help my daughter move playground equipment after they closed their private school for the summer. It didn’t go as well as planned. Nope-we didn’t drive this baby down the highway. Nana got scared.


Here is a photo of another leisurely walk with Elliott. It goes something like this.
Me: Stay close and don’t wade above your knees. Do you have your mask?
Elliott: Okay. (Mask on)
Me: Elliott wait! Elliott come back! Must run faster…. (Best workout ever!)

A limit of clams in 20 minutes. We dig them in the dark sand on low tides. Another great workout followed by an hour of cleaning clams. Delicious!

Hanging with my granddaughter at my girl’s little farm. This is great fun. Her mom and dad have salted the creek with fancy rocks. We found them over and over again. On rare 90 degree days on the coast, the creek feels wonderful.

My summer project list includes staining the deck. So far my husband has replaced the rotten boards while I write books.

We decided to refinish my favorite wicker reading chair. We had a little difficulty transporting it. Here it is spread all over the old highway.

If all you see are tiny pieces of wicker, then you see what was left. There was one leg and scrap. Pretty sure I am done moving anything for the summer. 😉 I guess you can’t be good at everything. Right? So-scratch cooking and moving from my talent list.

Last week I wrote to you and let you know I wouldn’t be doing any promos with suggestive titles or erotic content. The struggle is real! I still don’t like one cover in this week’s books. As an author, I seek out promos that are limited to clean reads. The authors are on their honor. I don’t have time to read all the books in our groups. Please let me know if you find anything questionable

In my last newsletter, I let you know my values around clean and wholesome books and invited you to unsubscribe if I offended you. You must be an amazing group of people. Only two people unsubscribed.

I received the following letter from a reader and loved it so much, I wanted to share it with you.

“Good for you, standing with our God. I have seen promos with suggestive titles and pictures, I get out fast. God Bless You.”  Reader -E

I would love to hear how your summer adventures are going!

Hope All Things

Sleepless? Let these Kindle Mystery/Thrillers keep you up ALL NIGHT!

These great authors put together a list of clean books to keep you up all night for the duration of the pandemic! Read on!

LINK: Sleepless with these Mystery/Thrillers!

To fill pandemic days, I priced my last novel, Finding Hope, Kindle version for 0.99 cents until 6/1/2020.

Kindle Mystery/Thrillers on sale! And Kindle Unlimited.

Free Reads! Thrilling Page Turners for you! & Beach Update

LINK: FREE THRILLING PAGE TURNERS!

My last novel, Finding Hope, is free (kindle version or Kindle Unlimited) on this list of page turners. Click away and get your free pandemic reads. If you like Mystery Thrillers- these are for you!

I also thought it would be fun to share some of the things we are experiencing in this unique time. Today, I started a, “Little did I know list.” I reached out to readers, and I am getting fun responses. Here are a few of mine. What are yours?

Little did I know that Elliott would be homeschooling at our house. OR, that Homeschool is a compound word. Here is a sample of today’s homework (also a compound word), by Maddy, my (not so thrilled) granddaughter:

She is OVER Homeschool, as is the family. If you can’t read her writing, she says, “I sleep, I eat, I dress in black, I do nothing.” Poor little thing!

Little did I know I would hold my newest grandchild for a few moments, before they would shelter at home to keep her safe.

And little did I know that I would LOVE the Storymakers conference for authors and writers because it was virtual. I loved taking classes on my deck. But most of all, I love that i get to take every class as often as I want, when I want. I especially love being able to hit pause and take notes. Here is hoping it makes me a better author who knows important things like homeschool is a compound word!

Little did I know I would be able to write a book in April and well on my way to finishing another book in May for a cozy mystery series.

Stay tuned! Cozy mysteries on the way…. Book one with the editor.

Celebrating Single Mothers~on Mother’s Day! Free or 0.99c Book Link

Celebrate Mother's Day with a book or...several!
These bestselling authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of clean and utterly sweet romances featuring single mom heroines. These books are available for 99c or free for a limited time, so hurry and download your favorites!

Read more

Cedar Fort Publisher’s Podcast! ~ Shannon Symonds

Listen to Valerie Loveless interview me about both of my books, Safe House & Finding Hope, on Cedar Fort's Behind the Scenes Podcast!

Read more

#Hear Him in a Pandemic

Before Covid-19

When I was twelve, I prayed for a bicycle. My father, a spiritual man, told me I shouldn’t bother God with it. That I should solve my own problems. I was pretty sure he was wrong, so I just kept praying and saving my meager earnings. Sure enough, a brand new bike showed up. To my young heart, it was a miracle.

I reasoned God blessed me with a bicycle because I was a good girl, at least that is what my father told me. We were both wrong. Later, while we were tossed about by the winds of life, we learned the truth.

We learned to see the Lord, while life’s challenges raged like storms all around us. We learned ways to Hear him, in the gentle whisperings of the spirit and see Him in the large and small miracles that came in answer to sincere prayers. We felt Him in our hearts and searched for him in the scriptures.

We both gained a firm belief in the Lord’s love for all of us. He meets us where we are, and during his lifetime blessed many people who the world labeled as unworthy, like the woman caught in adultery or the woman at the well.

Bad things happen to good people. We will all experience storms or trials in our lifetime.

The Lord may not remove the storm, but He will not leave us alone in it. He wants us to know Him, to learn to hear Him, so when the wild winds blow we can find Him and the shelter He offers us.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this life is to see the signs of the Lord in the storm. The tender mercies Psalms 145:9 talks about when it says, “The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”

Many years ago, I began a daily list of things I am grateful for. It became my greatest anti-anxiety medicine. When I couldn’t sleep, I would quiet my worries by listing all the blessings I experienced that day.

Immediately, my perspective on life was permanently and profoundly altered. I found daily reasons to rejoice. I learned to see Him.

But, you may ask, how can we rejoice in this place, at this time?

In this place ~ Covid-19

We are in quarantine. It is late, but the house is not quiet or tidy. My daughter, her husband, and my eight-year-old grandson moved home six weeks ago. My grandson is roller skating throughout the first floor instead of brushing his teeth for bed, my adult daughter and her husband are upstairs calling him. Two televisions are competing for attention.

My kitchen is cluttered with a project. We are in the middle of a pandemic and because a loved one asked; we are sewing face masks. We have sewn well over a hundred and more are lined up waiting to be finished. I have work to do before I sleep.

And yet, I am filled with joy as I count the tender mercies of the Lord, the answered prayers, and little miracles that surround us. Everything is as it should be (Something I never thought I would say in a pandemic). But first it had to fall completely apart.

 

At the first of the year, it seemed our lives unraveled around us. And yet, in hindsight, we can see how the trials led us to miracles. Things that at first seemed like bad news have been revealed as blessings. Prayers that had gone unanswered for months, were answered in a week. Everything in our lives changed to prepare us for the storm already raging just out of sight.

We felt confused while our lives were unexpectedly rearranged, but at peace all at the same time. Looking back, the pattern of the Lord answering every prayer is clear. He provided for all of our needs before we ever heard the world “virus.” And he spoke to peace to our hearts.

We are like you. Some of us are working, some are not. We scrambled for toilet paper. We have family members with seriously compromised immune systems, and we are afraid to go out the door without a full hazmat suit.

But on the first Sunday of home church, the historic Sunday when church was cancelled worldwide, we counted our blessings and we knew we had felt the hand of God in our lives.

The kids moving home had changed from a trial to a blessing. We relished the ability to be together, support each other, and combine our food storage. My new job temporarily went away with the virus, giving me time to prepare and enjoy the birth of my son’s baby. And just over the horizon, unknown on that Sunday, was something wonderful, already in the works. The quiet days of a simpler life in quarantine allowed us to appreciate each other on a deeper level.

Friends and family members have expressed experiencing similar blessings, or tender mercies, during some of the darkest days in world history.

That first Sunday, we marveled at the ways Heavenly Father takes care of his children and knows them all by name, even though they number more than the sands of all the seas. We recognized His hand in larger things, while He still showered us with tender mercies. Even when we wondered if he would ever answer our prayers, He already was.

Tomorrow will come

We may not all survive. The storm may continue on. But while the winds blow, we will be on our knees, seeking Him, listening for Him, and trusting the plan He has for us, knowing he is mindful of us. He will answer your prayers. Be patient. We are part of His eternal family. We Hear Him promising to come again.

#HearHim

“And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him…” (1 Kings 19: 11–13)

My gift to you, while we wait for tomorrow to come. The lowest price Amazon will allow.

Finding Hope

Because I wish I could do more for you

During these difficult days authors like me wonder what we can do for you. Because I wish I could do more, I’ve priced my latest release, Finding Hope, for  0.99 cents on Kindle (The lowest amount Amazon allows).

Let me know how you are. It matters.

John 14:27.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Link to more free books for days like these from Cedar Fort-through Book Funnel: https://mailchi.mp/60e151a229fa/shannon-symonds-author-newsletter-625851

Going Viral doesn’t mean what I thought it meant…

Today the World Health Organization declared the “novel” Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. This is one novel I hope you never have to read.

When we originally heard about it, we noticed that the shelves were empty of toilet paper and had a wonderful chuckle. Then our family welcomed a new baby. Suddenly, germs seemed a bit more serious. One of us has CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease, and others in our tight-knit family have weaknesses that make us worry.

We realized the problems surrounding the virus were bigger than we thought when my daughter went to a big box store to buy toilet paper. Ironically, after 3 stores she ended up snatching one of the last cases off a pallet in a Walmart and in a game of chicken with another shopper.

We all cope in our own way. My kids cope with humor. I don’t know who created this meme, but it’s priceless. I hope the creator doesn’t mind sharing.

For the first time in my memory, on a recent workday, I went to a big box store to get some things for the new baby. Our small town Costco was packed, on a day it should have been empty. Carts were full of toilet paper, water, and interestingly, televisions.

At first I smiled, then I noticed the people pushing the carts were the same age as my parents, who are ordering their groceries delivered for the first time in their life. And I wondered, would we lose one of these family faces? Even one would be too many. The drinking water is safe and our bathrooms are stocked, but still we seem to all be nervous. It has become a small world, indeed.

And so we have cancelled the world. Meetings are online, school is online, stadiums are empty, and so are my friends restaurants. We are all going to be impacted, either through our health, finances, or loss of loved ones. It is a forced slow down and as you can see, everyone who can has stocked up.

My hope is that you get more time at home around the dinner table, more time with good books, and more time to write and collect your thoughts. I also hope that you look around and realize that time with loved ones is priceless, that person matters, and cherish each other just a little bit more. And most of all, I pray you and your loved one’s stay well.

“I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.” Moroni 8:3

Stay tuned for the first few chapters of my next book. We will be sitting by the fire, walking by the ocean alone, and writing a book about a small beach town, Grace’s daughter, her hilarious friend, and the kids and families of Oceanside High.

Writing to you from here, behind closed doors, with pasta, lots and lots of pasta.

Answers in the Storm

Have you ever wearied the Lord in prayer and wondered when he would answer your prayer, or if he would answer? Have those answers come in unexpected ways? I know I have. I have wanted more time for family and writing. I think I have my answer and it will mean more time to write.

I love to write stories about characters that have deep needs, face insurmountable odds, are tried during the storms of life, face destruction, and still find their happy ending. I write about unexpected heroes and heroines, who after the storm is over, realize the hand of God was at work the entire time. And the events they thought would annihilate them were actually the best thing that ever happened to them.

Why do I love to write stories about people who face impossible odds? Because that is the ongoing story in my life, and I would bet a few of you have been caught in the rain before. But I believe in miracles and I believe in happy endings, so here we go! New job and more writing.

Today, I found one more survivor. This afternoon, the sun was out, and I worked in the garden. I weeded and pulled out the plants that hadn’t made it through the wild coastal winter months. We have had snow, fierce winds, and record rainfalls. I opened the gate to put my tools away in the backyard and look what I found. While everything else turned brown and withered, this beautiful little plant flowered through the dark winter months on the north side of the house. It blossomed against all odds, just like the heroines of my stories.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak on Hope in church, while I was praying and working on making more space for family and writing. It was a great opportunity to explore one of my favorite words-hope.

More on hope later-for now, here is one of my favorite quotes: