Another Father’s Day has come around, and with it there will be family gatherings, now that the pandemic is almost behind us, and men will be unwrapping the ties and socks and smiling broadly as if it’s the first time they received one. Steaks will be grilling, drinks will be pouring, and laughter will be roaring. And that’s the way it should be.

After all, where would we be without fathers? We wouldn’t exist, right? So, let’s show our fathers some real love. Let that man know how much he means to you. When I watch paternity shows on TV and I see young men and women cry because they grew up without a father, my heart breaks for them.

But for many boys and girls who would have grown up fatherless, some loving and caring men stepped in and adopted those children so they wouldn’t have to grow up not knowing the love of a father. I always think of my adoptive cousin who has nothing but praise for my aunt and her husband who adopted her. My cousin says she received all the love and support as any biological child would.

In In the Promised Land, book 3 of my Egypt trilogy, Detective David Bowen and his wife Cicely adopted Marva the protagonist and her sister June, orphans, after Marva had been involved in a serious accident. The excerpt below is part of a scene where Marva reflects on what David had done for her and June.

Marva’s gaze returned to the picture of David in his khaki uniform, shirt bedecked with medals. The cap partly concealed his eyes, but the neatly-trimmed mustache, firm, chiseled mouth and cleft chin testified to his good looks.

What a history they had together. She could almost hear him saying, “Now, Sister, how many poor girls did you send trembling to the corner today?”

She would always laugh and say, “They’re not afraid of me as I was of you.” Then they would laugh together.

But it was true. There was a time when the sound of his voice sent shivers down her spine, as she wondered how long it would be before he threw the noose around her neck and hauled her off to jail. When she finally confessed to the murder of her father in her suicide note, David had been instrumental in having her committed to Corpus Christi instead of being sent to prison. And later, he and Cicely had adopted June and unofficially adopted her. And now he was in the hospital. How badly he’d been hurt they would have to wait until the morning to find out.

Marva stared at his picture again. They don’t come any better than David Bowen. I love you, Dad.

Book 3

To learn more about Marva and June and how they came to be adopted into a family, why not get the Egypt series now at the discounted price of $5.97?

You may be wondering what the headline above has to do with books and writing—which is the focus of this website. Actually, it has a lot to do with one of my books, In the Wilderness, book 2 of the Egypt trilogy.

But before I tell you the connection between In the Wilderness and PTSD, let me explain a little about what PTSD is. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
“is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what’s happening, and you may feel very afraid. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.”

The report goes on to say that “PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.” If you have read Coming Out of Egypt, the first book in the series, you would know that Marva, the protagonist, and her sister June both experienced sexual abuse. The psychological effects of this abuse carried over into the characters’ lives in the second book, however Marva’s were more intense. When you read the book you will see why.

Without giving away too much of the story, I will tell you that Marva exhibited some of the related problems mentioned in the VA article: anger, depression, traumatic brain injury, suicide, avoidance, mistrust, and a lot more.

As a therapist who worked in behavioral health, I observed first hand the symptoms of PTSD in some of my patients. I can tell you that my heart went out to them, and with the rest of the team, I did my best to help them return to living a normal life — one without fear and mistrust and all the other symptoms they were experiencing. Many of them left the hospital feeling much better.

If you or someone you know suffers from PTSD, I’m here to tell you there is hope. There are many treatment options available; all you have to do is to recognize you need help, then speak to your doctor who will refer you to the right place. Surround yourself with people who are supportive. They may not always understand what you are going through, but that’s okay. Talking to others about your experience and reading books like In the Wilderness will also help.

Bear in mind that In the Wilderness is not a treatment book. It is fiction that is based on the life of the main character who suffered from PTSD; therefore, all of the content is not the mirror image of what PTSD is. I have layered scenes of romance, family matters, and the healing journey of faith against the backdrop of an exotic Caribbean setting for your information, entertainment, and inspiration.

If you would like to get a copy of this book, I encourage you to get it now while it is at the low discount price of 99c.

 

Women’s Fiction

Date Published: September 16, 2020

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing



Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…


***Free ebook of No More Secrets – thru June 10th***




Excerpt

Tupperware in all the pastel shades. Head-to-toe clothing and accessories in the same hues. Who does that? Bellastrega shook her head at the avalanche of plastic that accompanied Velia Russo into the kitchen. She was already on her third trip back from the car, puffing and panting as she placed her food gifts on the kitchen table. Bellastrega could feel her jaw clenching at the thought of all those white devils—heavy sauces and creams and pounds of sugar—contaminating the kitchen.

Velia held one finger. “One more trip,” and then she was gone.

Bellastrega turned her attention back to the hearty vegetable stew that had been simmering on the stove. She sighed contentedly as she breathed in the aroma of the rosemary and Italian seasonings. Angelica’s favorite. As she glanced at the appetizing array of vegetables, she mentally calculated how long it would take to finish cooking. Everything was on schedule, and dinner would be on the table at six o’clock. Why had Velia decided to arrive three hours early?

From the start, Bellastrega had her misgivings about this all-girls weekend. She had listened while Angelica lovingly described each niece and shared her concerns regarding their unhappy lives. At first, Bellastrega had humored her, not realizing Angelica was intending to help her nieces get back on track. Her duty as aunt, she had explained.

Bellastrega had formed her own judgments regarding the three younger women. Usually right on target, Bellastrega had been surprised when this particular incarnation of Velia Russo arrived, laden with her food gifts. From Angelica’s descriptions, Bellastrega had expected a younger version of her mother, Rosetta, a heavy-set hausfrau and gossip, not this glamour-puss who could pass for a younger Martha Stewart. But first impressions could be deceiving.

Help. I need your help.” The whiny voice interrupted Bellastrega’s thoughts. Sighing, she lowered the heat and made her way to the living room.

Bellastrega resisted the urge to laugh as she took in the comical sight before her. To save herself another trip, Velia had decided to lug in a large Pullman using her left hand, carry a pastry box in her right hand, and use her teeth to hold on to her purse.

All this for a weekend get-together? What would she have packed for a longer trip? Bellastrega forced a smile as she took the pastry box from Velia.


About the Author

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and launched a second act as a writer. Her articles and book reviews have been published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne writes paranormal romances, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.


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***Free ebook of No More Secrets – thru June 10th***

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Today I am happy to announce that Love, lies, and Grace is coming to a blog near you via RABT Tours. I hope you enjoy this look into my newest novel and would share the news with your friends.

 


Christian Women’s Fiction

Date Published: 5/24/2021



Grace’s life is one most women will envy. She is married to a wealthy banker who is loving and passionate and showers her with expensive gifts, but there is only one catch: they live in different states. However, Grace’s faith in God, her two friends with whom she shares her home, and her pet Papillon fill the void while she and her husband are apart.

Grace’s friends, Pat and Milli, each has a heavy secret which they eventually reveal to Grace. Pat’s husband is dying in a nursing home, when she initially told Grace he was dead, and Milli, the health buff, who is trying to hide the fact that she has been diagnosed with cancer, is eventually forced to disclose it.

Without being judgmental, Grace cancels a vacation her husband had planned for her birthday in order to help her friends. Once the crises are over, she travels to New York to visit her husband and discovers that another woman is pregnant with his baby. As if this is not devastating enough, the woman makes a request that can change Grace’s life forever.

Reminiscent of the Golden Girls TV series, this provocative tale `shows how strangers can become friends, and friends can, literally, become family.


About the Author

Angela is the author of Love, Lies, and Grace; the Egypt series consisting of three books, and Women For All Seasons, a Christian non-fiction book. Angela’s work has also appeared in Chicken Soup For the Soul: Reboot Your Life, A Cup of Comfort For Mothers and Guidepost magazine.

Angela has a background in occupational therapy and also writes for online health publications. Angela is married, with four children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Angela loves reading, writing, travel to historical spots and cooking up award-winning dishes for her family.


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RABT Book Tours & PR

As you settle yourself in your favorite deck chair with your plate loaded with your favorite dishes, I hope you would take some time to consider the men and women who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. And while you are at it, send up a prayer for those who are currently serving at home and abroad in order to maintain our freedom.

And you know what else I would like you to do? Read my latest novel Love, Lies, and Grace, which was released one week ago. It’s a thought-provoking read even if I say so myself. But I’m not the only one, because after reading my introduction, one lady asked the following questions:

I have read the first three chapters of Love, Lies and Grace and I’m curious as to read the complete story and learn what will happen, why Pat has such a say in Grace’s life and what Grace decides to do as after all it is Grace and Brian’s house. Why is Brian now spending all his time in New York and not coming home to spend time with Grace. Is he leading a double life? Why does Pat play devils advocate whenever Grace makes a decision that changes their life together? What part does Millicent play in their lives?

I was really happy to receive this feedback because it showed that 1) the story garnered enough interest to prompt this person to ask these questions, and 2) her questions alerted me to check if there were any plot holes or anything that did not make sense.

After careful consideration, here’s how I responded:
Thank you so much for responding and for your very thoughtful questions. At least somebody did read the intro. So, to answer your first question, why Pat has such a say in Grace’s life and what Grace decides to do as after all it is Grace and Brian’s house.
This is the whole point of the story: how much influence our friends have on the things we do. I can tell you that friends influence us a lot. I know they have influenced me, but like Grace, I usually stick to my decision. When you read the book you will see what Grace did. I deliberately made Pat to be a domineering character but she has a heart as soft as butter. She’s like one of those ice-cream cones with a hard crust on the outside and creamy chocolate on the inside, as you will see later on. Grace knows that so she doesn’t let Pat bother her.
Why is Brian now spending all his time in New York and not coming home to spend time with Grace. Is he leading a double life?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Don’t tell anyone, but my husband and I lived that way for some years. We had what is called a long-distance relationship (LDR). I can tell you it was quite a challenge, but thank God, we’re together again. I learned valuable lessons from that experience and that’s what I want to pass on to my female readers.

By the way, after I finished writing the book, I researched articles on LDR and discovered that it’s not an uncommon arrangement. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to read the book to see why Brian lives in New York.

So, there you have it. I haven’t heard back from that reader since, but I hope I will soon. As for you, when you read Love, Lies, and Grace as I hope you will, please drop me a line with any questions/comments you may have. I would love to hear from you. Also, if you leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, that will help not just me but other readers when choosing their books.

Ever since I placed Love, Lies, and Grace on preorder with Amazon, I’ve been counting down the days to its release, and now it’s almost here. I feel butterflies in my tummy, not much different from when a mother-to-be gets that first contraction.

So, yes, I’m nervous, but also excited and proud at being able to produce another book after releasing the last one —In the Promised Land — three years ago.

Love, Lies, and Grace is unlike any of my previous books. For one, it is set in the United States — Georgia, mainly — while my other novels, the Egypt series, were set in Trinidad where I was born. Therefore, a lot of things had to be different. Dialog, behavior patterns, culture etc. were all different, but not difficult to manage, since I’ve lived here for decades.

However, I enjoyed the process —writing has always been and I hope will continue to be a joy to me — and this was made easier with the help of Sharpies my critique group, who was able to assist with things like semantics, behaviors and setting, to name a few.

Love, Lies, and Grace asks the question, “Can this long-distance marriage survive?” As I mentioned in my newsletter today, I only recently researched the topic of long-distance marriage. I should have done it before, but since I was in a long-distance marriage at one time, I assumed I knew all there was to know.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of articles written on the subject. I was also encouraged to see them mention some of the same challenges Grace and Brian experienced and some of the same tips they used for a healthy marriage.

So, if you are married, contemplating marriage or know someone who is, you must read this book. Even if you are just a friend, I mean a good friend, you need to read this book. 

Please share this post with your friends and invite them to visit the link on Monday. And if you do purchase a copy of the book, please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads so other readers can be guided in making their choice.

In Mysteries of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel, raised in a Jewish home in New Jersey but now a follower of Yeshua, pulls back the curtain to show how the Old and New Testament connect from Genesis to Revelation, with many connections in Scripture hidden in plain sight.

Known for his emphatic declaration “but there’s more!” he guides readers from the story of creation through Revelation to see the passion and purpose of the Messiah, the Torah, and several of the patriarchs and prophets.

What fascinated me most about the book, and I daresay will fascinate many readers, is the way Rabbi Sobel carefully dissects the alphanumeric structure of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph Bet) to show that the whole Bible points to the Messiah.

If you are a Christian who desires to get a deeper understanding of the word of God and enrich your relationship with Him, you should read Mysteries of the Messiah. If you are not a believer but are curious to know why Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith, you must read this book.

Let Rabbi Sobel show you how he, a Jewish boy, growing up in a Jewish home, felt the call of God on his life at the age of eighteen and went on to receive Yeshua as his Lord and Savior; then let him give you a high definition view of the Bible as you never saw it before. You will never look at it the same way again.

To purchase go to:
 https://www.amazon.com/Mysteries-Messiah-Unveiling-Connections-Genesis/dp/0785240055

To enter the giveaway go to:
https://www.blessedfreebies.com/mysteries-of-the-messiah-giveaway.html

I’m pleased to feature this New York bestseller by Sarah Jakes Roberts in which she discusses the life-lessons she learned and the insights she gained from the story of Eve. As you know from the book of Genesis, Eve is the first woman God created. When He gave her to Adam (the first man) their life was meant to be perfect, but instead Eve sinned and she caused her husband to sin and we have all been suffering as a result.

In her book Woman Evolve, Sarah shows us that we all mess up at times, but with God’s help, you can become the woman He created you to be. With scriptural lessons and Sarah as your guide, you discover and work through

  • past issues and questions that haunt you,
  • seeing yourself as God sees you and trusting Him with who you really are,
  • how to come out of darkness and pursue a real relationship with God,
  • why it’s important to truly care for yourself,
  • setting in motion the beautiful seed that God planted in you, and
  • running to become who you were meant to be!

Your fears and insecurities may have changed how you viewed God, others, and yourself, but in Woman Evolve, you can breakthrough and use past mistakes to revolutionize your life. Like Eve, you don’t have to live your future defined by your past.

You can enter to win this giveaway by clicking this link: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/woman-evolve-giveaway.html

To purchase:
 https://www.thomasnelson.com/p/woman-evolve/

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As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, I want to pay special tribute to those mothers who did not birth a child, but raised children and made them into who they are today. These special mothers are aunts, step-mothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers, and any woman who played a part in your upbringing.

These women chose to take care of you, love you, and make you their own. And so, I believe, they deserve special praise. I have an adoptive cousin who was raised by my aunt, and all she has is love and gratitude for my aunt and her husband who adopted her when she was a baby. I know of other people who have similar stories.

This is why I’ve included In the Wilderness, book 2 of my Egypt trilogy, in this book funnel Mother’s Day promo that is running all month long. In In the Wilderness, the two main characters, Marva and June, are adopted by Cicely, Marva’s former teacher, and her husband David.

Here’s a short excerpt to give you an idea of the relationship that exists between the characters:

That afternoon I hear Dad running up the stairs. I can usually tell from a person’s steps what kind of mood he is in. I think he is excited. He goes into his bedroom where Mom is, then someone knocks on my door. I get up and open it. They are both beaming at me.

“Where’s June?” Dad asks.

“She hasn’t come home yet. What’s going on?”

For answer, Dad waves some papers before my face. “June’s adoption came through.”

I step closer and take the papers from him. It says Order of Adoption and I see David and Cicely Bowen and June’s name and I don’t bother to read anymore. “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad. We don’t have to go to court?”

Dad grins. “Nah. The judge knows me, most of the people in court know me. It was just a matter of having it entered in the records and signing the papers.”

We hug and kiss each other and I think I see Mom dab at her eyes. Mine are watery too. We are a family. Even though I am not formally adopted, it feels wonderful to have parents.

June does a little dance when she hears the news. That night we go out to dinner at Soong’s restaurant to celebrate. Miss Lucy and Miss Marilyn stay in and babysit the children. Later, as we prepare for bed, June says, “This adoption doesn’t change anything. I’ve thought of Mom as my mother for a long time.”

I get in beside her. “Me too.”

I think she is sleeping, but then I hear her say, “Sister?”

“Mmm?”

“You know when you were in the coma, I tried to remember a verse of scripture and couldn’t. Then Rev. Harris came and he quoted this verse. All things work together for good to them that love the Lord. Since then it has become my favorite Bible verse.”

I turn to her. “Why?”

“Because I see everything is really working out for the best.”

I ponder over what she said. “It’s true. Even my accident was for the best, I think. I learned to love and appreciate life, and God, so much more.”

“And you developed a new talent.”

You can read In the Wilderness for free on Kindle Unlimited, or you can also download it through this book funnel promo.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Would you like to receive more posts like this in your inbox, then sign up on the form below.

 

Women’s Fiction

Date Published: April 20, 2021

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing



Two women on the run!

After agreeing to enter the New Life Assisted-Living Community outside of Boston, Agatha “Aggie” Robard talks her devoted, serious granddaughter, Blythe, into driving her to Florida, stopping to see old college friends along the way. She particularly needs to speak to Donovan Bailey, the man she’d thought she would marry right after graduating from college. By asking Blythe to go with her, Aggie is hoping to prove to her that life should be about having fun too. Their road trip is a great idea for both of them as long as Aggie’s son and his wife, Blythe’s difficult stepmother, don’t find out.

While the rest of the family is away on vacation, Aggie and Blythe set off on their secret adventure. All goes well until Aggie falls while dancing on the beach with Donovan, breaking a bone in her leg. Then Blythe’s father is seriously injured in an automobile accident. Blythe and Logan Pierce, Donovan’s young assistant, do their best to step in for them at The Robard Company working together, fighting the attraction they feel for one another.

The road trip brings about happy memories, surprises, and love as Aggie and Blythe meet others and discover new possibilities for everything they’ve ever wanted.



About the Author

Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.

While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.

A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.


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