If you like Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, you will love Esther and her best friend Sophie in book one of the By The Sea Cozy Mystery series.
Oceanside High students Esther and Sophie prefer life between the covers of their favorite books, but they open an entirely new adventure and begin an exciting new chapter when the Stuart twins, Parker and Paisley, move from Great Britain to an old mansion in Esther and Sophie’s small beach town. The girls score invitations to a celebrity author’s book-launch party at the twins’ mansion, but after the selfies are snapped, someone goes missing, and everyone is a suspect.
Used to hiding behind her glasses and cardigans, Esther has secrets that only her cat and Sophie know. But when someone’s life is at stake, what will Esther risk to solve the mystery and save her friends?
TAGLINE: Best friends from a small beach town leave the library to race against time when a student’s selfie looks like the last one they’ll ever take.
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!
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!
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.
“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.
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.
I don't know about your family, but kids all around me are getting out for Christmas Break. Parents everywhere are looking forward to baking cookies, sledding, package wrapping, and fun....right up until the kids have been home for days and you run out of things to do.
I am pleased to share this Thursday's author and all of her fun ideas for things to do with your kids, just in time for families everywhere to be snowed in. And trust me, Nina is an expert. She has eight children and still finds time to write children's books.Nina Harris, Author of a children's book called The Ten Leopards, not only has an adorable book, but she has a fun website!
Every Thursday, I feature authors who are committed to writing clean fiction, like Calie Schmidt, the author of, The Drummer Boy, published by Cedar Fort.
I asked Calie why she was committed to writing only clean or inspiring books. She said:"My kids are the reason I am committed to write clean, inspirational books. I want there to be more content in the world that parents do not have to worry about. Also, I want my kids to understand...
Molly has authored two colorful children's books for the littlest members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Guess Who's in the Book of Mormon and Guess Who's the Latter Day Prophet. I asked Molly why she is committed to writing clean and inspiring books. She said:
"Books have played a huge role in my life. I have laughed, cried, learned and explored through their pages. Because of this, my dream has always been to contribute my writing to the world of books. I believe in looking for light in many different areas and know that good, clean books can bless our lives in so many ways!
When you use your dollars to purchase books, movies, or any other form of entertainment you influence the world. Do you check your social media to see how many friends liked your friend night out silly selfie or social media posts? Well, guess what? So does big business, entertainment, and authors. Our purchases of clean and inspirational work coupled with well told stories and inspirational books can create change.
Every Thursday, I like to feature authors like Aspen Hadley, who chooses light and is committed to create clean or inspirational books. Aspen is the author of two romantic comedies. She recently released, Blind Dates, Bridesmaids, and Other Disasters. She released, Simply Starstruck, in 2018. Both books have 5-star reviews on Amazon. I asked Aspen why she is committed to writing clean fiction. She said:
"I want to write books that make people happy and that give readers a fun break from life. I'm committed to writing clean, uplifting novels that I can share with