Category: Finding Hope by Shannon Symonds

Safe House by Shannon Symonds ~ Chapter 1 & 2

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Hello from the beach!

Welcome to the first free video reading of Safe House, published by Cedar Fort Publishers. I thought it would be fun to read my first book to you while sharing the beauty of the Pacific coast or the settings for Safe House, Finding Hope, and my upcoming novels. I made this video down the street from my home.

I will add a few chapters to my Tuesday and Thursday newsletters.  I promise not to spam you!

After I read the chapters, I will tell you a little about what inspired them. Feel free to end the video before the chat. I know how busy life can be!

Safe House Chapter 1 & 2 by Shannon Symonds

Special thanks to Cedar Fort Publishers–Safe House can be purchased at Cedar Fort & Amazon.
Safe House-Paperback Edition

National Domestic Violence Hotline Phone Number

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Weather the Storm~ Pandemic Blessings shared by Readers

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In 2017, a beloved friend and I created a series of photos you can copy, print or share from this link.  Special thanks to Haley Miller of Captures photography.

This photo, “Sometimes He answers prayers with a storm,” has been on my mind lately.

We are in a storm. Within the storm, our world and lives are changing.

I chose these words because this has been my experience. After publishing a few poems and having five children, my entire life changed in a day. It was the storm of storms. At the time I could not imagine the end from the beginning. All I knew was the list of things I was losing in a day. I lost a marriage, a new home, a father for my children, income, everything in a one day life-altering storm of events.

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, all I could do was hang on while the world spun around us.

When the storm began, I sat on the side of the road in a VW Van with my babies and turned it all over to my Heaven Father.

When the storm was over, I found myself living by the sea near my childhood home, just as I had always wanted. I had the love of my life and he had adopted my children. We had a sixth child who survived a life threatening illness, All was well (messy and chaotic but happy). We were safe in a place that became a haven for us and for our extended family. My prayers were answered.

God’s plans for me are always better than my own. But Sometimes while he was rearranging my life to make space for more blessings, the unknown was challenging. It took all of my faith for me to wait patiently, like a child waiting for Christmas morning. Patience is a virtue on my “To Do” list.

Two things bring me peace when storms are raging. 

Faith: 
We may not always understand why we have the challenges we do or why some prayers seem to go unanswered, but the scriptures tell us:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
New Testament, Romans 8:28

#HearHim
We can pray and to ask the Lord for comfort and to help us understand what is happening to us or for help with decision. He is waiting to talk to us, even if it is just a feeling, a thought, or warmth in our heart. (Learn how to Hear Him here)

We are not alone in the storm. Hang on. I believe you can find your personal growth and happy ending even if the middle is messy.

Last week I asked how you were doing and what was on your Pandemic Blessing Card. Here are some of the beautiful things you shared with me.

Wessel shared: 
“I firmly believe God has a purpose for all of us and equip us with talents and resources throughout our lives we need to fulfil that purpose. I’m not saying that in vain because I was born with a born defect that means I am bound to a wheelchair for life. It would be easy to blame whatever but why would I survive for nearly 50 years if doctors bluntly told my mom there was no medical way for me to survive past 48 hours. So whenever circumstances threaten to overwhelm me (as it does with all humans) I try and remember that I have an undisclosed purpose.”

Kathy said:

“…I have spent the last 4 months in a rehab facility following a really bad fall.  With this quarantine I have not been able to see my family and I truly miss the hugs from my son…I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for even midst this horrible time. I had forgotten. But not now. Thank you!

  • My leg will heal.
  • I will walk normally again.
  • I will give my son the biggest and best hug ever.
  • I have made many new friends.
  • I have been able to read as much as I like.
  • I have been shown once more that God always opens a window when he closes a door.
  • I realize that others are so much worse off than I am.
  • And so much more.
  • My faith has been restored.”

Kim said: 
“Some of us were able to travel to see friends who have a lodge away from internet and WiFi and cell service. We ate good food, went hiking and enjoyed nature.”

I would love to hear how you find faith or if it is a struggle. I would also love to hear ways you, #HearHim during our storm.

LINK TO CHRISTIAN FICTION

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Our Pandemic Bingo Card & Blessing Card~Free Read by Kierstin Marquet

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Hello from the beach!
I hope you and everyone you care about is well. I’ve finished the first two books in my new series. Book three is underway. We are still sheltering in due to Covid-19. Books (writing and reading) are our only form of escape.

I am excited to share Kierstin Marquet’s book, Shattered Lives. Read on, get your free copy, and meet an author I am learning to love.

LINK TO FREE COPY

On January 1st, 2020, I chose one goal. I was going to go into this year with fearless faith and hope.

You might be laughing right now. My extended  (huge) family has laughed about winning Pandemic Bingo. So far we have experienced:

  • Job loss
  • Major illness diagnosed in our immediate family
  • Earthquake
  • A kidney patient in complete quarantine
  • A tree falling on two vehicles and the roof
  • The great chicken massacre of 2020
  • Business closed
  • Protests and riots about issues we really care about and impacting people we love
  • Murder hornets in the neighborhood
  • Homeschool chaos
  • First responders still at work in health care and law enforcement
  • Sewing hundreds of masks for first responders and family
  • Babies born during a pandemic
  • All travel canceled
  • Feeling like we are personally supporting Costco by hoarding food, Lysol, and toilet paper
  • Cutting–no–butchering our own hair
  • But so far, we are well and grateful to God for that blessing. All the experiences on our Pandemic Bingo cards have
  • only brought us closer together. We met each fresh challenge on our knees.

When my future was as clear as mud, time, and time again, I went forward with fearless faith. Either I should be careful for what I pray for–or grateful the Lord inspired and prepared me.

On those big days—those life-altering moments–I recited a scripture my sister taught me after she learned she was dying of cancer.

I am guessing you have your own bingo card. But, do you have a blessings card? Through it all, we have experienced so many blessings.

  • Financial miracles allowing me to write a new series of books
  • Staying close to family than ever before through video chat
  • Watching my adult children support each other because our family is all we have
  • Home church with extended family
  • After praying for years, we received direct answers and blessings
  • Feeling closer to God and grateful for the good things
  • Daily tender mercies from Heaven

I would love to hear how you are doing. I read every comment.

🙂 Shannon

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

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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

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May-jor May Mayhem! Over 30 FREE Reads for Pandemic May

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I am giving away copies of FINDING HOPE as part of a book promo for BookFunnel in May.

This promo only allows clean and wholesome reads. I have not reviewed the many other bestsellers!

Just bringing you some Mayhem in May! Enjoy!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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

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