Cover Reveal!

Coming March 21st, 2020! 

Abby’s Redemption

Book 2 of 2 in the Whispering Pines Mysteries.

Last summer Abigail Sinclair narrowly escaped her abusive ex-husband, who was bent on revenge. Finally, victim turned survivor, she is free from a life of watching over her shoulder at every turn. Abby focuses on running Whispering Pines Resort in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains and learns to trust again while growing a relationship with new love, Gabe Coleman. She’s living her dream until she finds the body of a woman who endured the same horrors that she once did. The demons of Abby’s past reel her back into the nightmare she thought she’d put to bed.

Juan Robles, Homicide Detective with the Blue Mist Mountain Police Department, familiar with Abby’s history and with a history of his own, is driven to find the killer while protecting Abby. But how does one protect someone who, at every turn, is more driven to find the killer than even he is, exposing herself to danger?

Abby’s intense desire to help a fellow domestic violence victim propels her forward, entangling her in a web of deception, lies, and terror. Can Abby solve the murder and find justice for the dead woman before Detective Robles is forced into solving her own murder?

 

National Heart Health Awareness Month

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February is National Heart Health Awareness Month. Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States? That’s the bad news.

The good news is, there are things you can do to change that for yourself. Among those things are eating healthy, getting adequate physical exercise, and getting enough zzzz’s.

I have found that healthy foods do not have to taste less appealing than junk food. In fact, exactly the opposite. And making healthy food doesn’t have to be as inconvenient or time-consuming as you may think. Again, exactly the opposite. The closer you can get to eating food as it comes from nature, without all of the additives–and, yes, without the sugar–the better. Simple = healthier.

Heart

Physical exercise, too, can be easy. When are you supposed to fit one more thing into your day, you may ask? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get in a few extra steps by parking further away from where you’re going instead of circling for a closer spot. Walk for your 15 minute break instead of scrolling social media. Keep a set of weights by your desk and get in some curls when you have a couple of minutes to spare–or even if you’re on the phone. It only takes one hand to hold the phone. Zero if you’re using a headset. Instead of sending Fido outside, standing by the door and watching to be sure he does his “thing,” take him for a walk around the block. It won’t take any additional time and you’ll both be happier and healthier.

As for sleep–as an adult I used to dream of getting sent to my room for a timeout so I could nap without feeling guilty! Now I’ve dumped the guilt and take that nap if I need it and get to bed at a reasonable hour. And I’m all the more productive for it.

So turn off your computer–yes, stop reading this blog now–and get in some steps. While you’re at it, have a snack–a healthy one–and, heck, maybe just 30 minutes of rest. You’ll be happy you did. And your heart will thank you.

_You Have a Big Heart. Take Care of It!

 

My One Word

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It’s that time again. Time for My One Word.

My One Word is a movement where you prayerfully choose one word to help narrow your focus for self-improvement. I don’t know about you, but a long list of resolutions is daunting. And quickly broken! Focusing on just one word and creatively applying that word, impacts your life in all areas.

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In the past I’ve found soothing stones with my word printed on them, jewelry, posters, and anything else that happens to fall into my path with my word.

Word Bracelet

This year my word is Peace. The past year I’ve discovered that Peace can be mine, regardless of my surroundings or my circumstances. All it takes is mindful practice. More often than not, it’s turbulence from within, caused by undisciplined thoughts and actions, that robs me of peace. This year, to make the most of my word, changing my life in the direction I’m striving to go:

  • I’ve been diving deep into prayer and meditation (and already seeing results!).
  • Written great quotes about peace in my planner and my journal.
  •  Typed–and laminated–four Bible verses to commit to memory, among them:
    • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
    • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
  • I’ve signed up for an online Bible Study through FaithGateway. It’s based off the book Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose by Rebekah Lyons. It starts on January 20th and I’ve got my book and workbook all set and ready to go. 🙂
  • I’ve purchased the book Finding Peace by Charles Stanley and have been savoring each chapter I read.

And as the year progresses, I will take advantage of each life circumstance, both difficult and joyful, to practice peace. Because afterall, practice makes perfect, right?

Let’s talk:  If you participate in the My One Word movement, what is your word for the year. If you haven’t but are interested, it’s not too late. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you’re not interested, what is the one word you would choose if you did participate?

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. -St. Francis de Sales

Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. -Dalai Lama

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. -John F. Kennedy

 

Lessons Learned in 2019

Thank you 2019 Hello 2020

2019 was a challenging year in many aspects, but the lessons learned make everything a gift. Top lessons learned in 2019:

  • Insecurity, lack of confidence, anger, resentment, and impatience are by-products of fear. Fear robs us of any kind of peace and contentment.
  • Others’ behaviors and criticisms can only affect us if we let them. Others’ opinions of us, or about what we do, are unimportant and fleeting.
  • What we don’t like in others is often what we don’t like in ourselves.
  • Each of us is enough, just as we are. We don’t need a good “review” or validation from anyone else to prove that. There is no need to compare or compete with anyone else. We are who we are. And each of us is enough.
  • Not to take a single second for granted. Each moment is a gift and wishing for the next one robs us from what is right now.
  • No matter how busy life gets, there is always time for what is important to us. It’s all about prioritizing.
  • Spending quality time with family & friends is one of the most healing, energizing, and healthy ways to spend your time, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
  • Perseverance builds strength & character. Walking through the tough times, instead of running from them, yields worthwhile results.
  • The biggest lessons and greatest peace come from the hardest trials.
  • Taking a time-out is healthy and okay.
  • Completing what needs to be done, even though we don’t want to, making the best of it anyway, is fulfilling and rewarding.
  • It is possible to balance family, a day job, a writing career, and live a Christian life. All it takes is mindfulness of how time is spent.
  • We can either focus on the problem or the blessings. Choose blessings.
  • Perseverance and mindfulness are beneficial in all areas of life.
  • Focusing on self too much creates dissatisfaction and discomfort.
  • Silence truly is golden. Talking too much in a conversation or thinking about your response when listening to someone else, robs both people. It’s okay not to talk unless you have something valuable to add. Talking just to “fill a gap” is usually harmful.
  • Fear doesn’t change the process or the outcome. It does, however, hurt productivity and the way we perform.
  • Gossip is toxic to the person being talked about, to the person doing the talking, and person talked to.
  • Pressing “pause” to fully nurture relationships that are important is one of the greatest blessings.
  • Not taking things personally makes life a whole lot more enjoyable!
  • We can’t change anyone else’s behaviors nor should we try. Others’ behaviors are not about you and me, and that realization is freeing!

Have you learned anything in 2019 that you will bring with you into 2020? Please share.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ―C. S. Lewis

 

Happy New Year!

New Years

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.      -Edith Lovejoy Pierce 

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws but for potential. -Ellen Goodman 

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! Cherish your time spent with family and friends!

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The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.  -Thomas S. Monson

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.  -Andy Rooney