Cover Reveal – Shear Madness

Today’s post is the cover reveal for my upcoming novel, Shear Madness. I had so much fun with this cover, and working with the designer was an amazing process! The book is expected to be¬†available in July. ūüôā

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Melanie Hogan is anything but your average beauty salon owner. She’s created a life for herself that’s an exact contradiction to that of her wanderlust, absentee mother who bailed on her when Melanie was four years old. She has gone above and beyond to make sure her life is stable, predictable, and…boring. While deciding to add some spontaneity to her life, she learns an important lesson: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And she does.

 Velma Johnson, the town busy body, keels over in Melanie’s stylist chair just as she’s about to reveal a secret to Melanie. As details emerge around Velma’s death, Melanie enlists the help of her best friends and business partners, Claire Davis and Jack Dancy, to find the killer. Could it be one of the three girls who work side by side with Melanie at the salon, all of whom were present when Velma died? Or one of their clients that were present as well? Or what about Buford Woods, the client who threatened to have the last laugh when Melanie refused to date him and who suspiciously shows up outside the salon right after Velma died?

 It’s a race against time as Melanie finds herself prey to a stalker intent on ruining her life, and one who’s behavior is escalating. As Melanie sets out to solve the puzzle that has become her life, someone is dead set against letting her discover the truth, much less live to tell about it. And as she discovers the truth, she finds a missing piece to an unfinished puzzle from her past.

Healing Words

Today, July 8th, marks eight days of celebrating life, and each day hereafter, yet another.

A year ago, I posted a blog entry on life circumstances that have made July a very difficult month to get through. I had mentioned how each year I would find myself holding my breath just waiting for July to end, giving birth to August, and I never quite released that breath I was holding until 12:01 a.m. when August was fully born.

This past year has reaped so many blessings and stitched¬†so many¬†miracles through my silky web, that I feel like my soul has been given new birth. Not once have I measured the minutes in the day by the pain I’ve endured, by the “almost’s” that nearly happened, nor have I x’d out each day before it ended, eagerly waiting to ‘x’ out the next–and the next.

Pen

I’ve traced the beginning of the real healing to writing. Writing has released repressed emotions, thoughts, and ideas that have led to newness and wholeness, and a brand new life.

Writing brings light when the day begins dark; when sadness strikes, it brings a glimmer a joy; it brings clarity out of confusion, and draws gratitude out of the simplest things; when isolated and alone it brings company through blogging friends and make-believe characters.

Writing pen to paper – or fingertips to keyboard – has facilitated healing and freedom from the traps the enemy has tried to catch me in. And what a blessing that is!

“It‚Äôs ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious.” ‚Äď Diane Ackerman, author and poet

This month, as I’ve mentioned in my post last Friday, my son was married, which brought joy to¬†soothe a lifetime of pain. Chalk up another July bonus.

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The happy – and gorgeous – couple.

This is one happy and proud mama!

This is one happy and proud mama!

And now, my friends, it’s back off to Camp, another July bonus,¬†where I’ll be mixing fun with healing in one neat little package. Well, okay–I guess it could turn into one sticky little package if I get carried away with the marshmallows and s’mores. And what is camping without that? ūüôā

Back off to the wilderness.

Back off to the wilderness.

All truly is grace.

New Month, New Life

July 3rd Fireworks

July 3rd Fireworks (Photo credit: zappowbang)

July is just around the corner, a month that used to be a childhood favorite with 4th of July celebrations of parades lined with colorful floats and marching high school bands, the oohs and ahs while watching amazing firework displays explode and cascade into the brightest colors high in the ink sky, baseball games, watermelon, family fun…everything that is summer.¬†¬†¬† The past several years, however, ¬†have made me a bit apprehensive as it nears.

Experiences will do that.  Alter the way one sees things.  Kind of the same way an opinion forms around a name because of someone you once knew with that name.

Or the way I can get squeamish in a hospital because of something that is reminiscent of an unpleasant memory.

Too many painful  events began happening each July several years ago, and I realized the approach of the last couple found me holding my breath in fear.

Wishing an entire month quickly away.¬† Waiting…waiting…until the last day arrived and I could breathe a little bit¬†easier.¬† Walk a little bit lighter.

This year it occurred to me, whether it was a God moment or spiritual experience is up for interpretation.  Either one is God speaking to me through life experiences.  Using what He knows will get my undivided attention.

That deeply embedded fear is nothing but lack of faith in a God who can orchestrate all aspects from those too small to see to those that can seem larger than life itself.

Rather than wait for the bad to happen, allowing fear and anxiety to entwine its tentacles into every area of my life,  I can give thanks for what I have, placing my focus on good and God.

A Good God.  All powerful God.

If something happens that is unpleasant, I can know and be secure in the knowledge that God can, and will, take me through it if I allow Him.  I can be grateful for the opportunity to practice leaning on Him.  An opportunity to practice perseverance.

When good things happen, which He makes sure does for His children, free of self-involved fear, I can be fully present to be aware of and enjoy it, rather than miss it while in the throes of wishing the month away.

And what an amazing opportunity to get some good quality writing done.  When emotions are raw, whether joy or pain, is when the most poignant writing is created.  The most memorable stories.  Words that flow from a heart that is beating and feeling the pulse of life.

Pen and Paper       This July I will honor the memory, feel the pain, but also celebrate the life of a lost step-child, while hugging my other step-daughter and my sons a little bit closer.

I will likely remember the near-death accident involving my child, but I will celebrate the fact that he is still with me. Whole and healthy.  Because of a loving God who rescued him, knowing his mom had a whole lot of love to lavish on him.

Rather than feel pain at the sight of a dragonfly, a symbol so important to a lost loved one, I can look at it as a sign from a loving God that my loved one is still around me.  Free.

I will strive to help victims of crime, giving them empathy and compassion as only one who has experienced it can.  And I will celebrate the fact that I am a blessed survivor.  Because of a loving God who cares about me so much He saved me from what could have been.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly (Photo credit: Tom Soper Photography)

I will remember a lost family pet, loved as no other pet ever was, and be grateful we found such a wonderful shelter dog to rescue and love.

This July, rather than wait for it to close, the curtains down, I will truly live, love, and experience every moment, every day as a new story to be told and lived.

Grace to You.