Sunday, September 24, 2017

Guest Post: How Tempe Has Changed by Author Marilyn Meredith

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer—another a ghost.

How Tempe Has Changed
by Marilyn Meredith

When the series began Tempe Crabtree knew little about her Indian heritage. She didn’t grow up on the reservation and all she knew about being a Native American came from stories her grandmother told her. These stories play an important part in a couple of the mysteries.

When she went to high school she was made fun of for being an Indian by some of the other students, and shunned by the Indian kids who lived on the reservation.

Her friend, Nick Two John, is the one who gradually teaches her about what it means to be an Indian and some of the Bear Creek Indian legends. Many of these legends are also a basis for plots. Her feelings about her heritage and all it means change throughout the series.

As time goes on, she has reached out more and more to Indian mysticism and spirituality to help her solve the mysteries that confront her, despite her pastor husband’s objections.

What hasn’t changed is her willingness to risk her life to help others. Her strength has remained consistent throughout.

While writing this, I realize that I probably should have had her appearance change a bit—but hopefully the reader will use his or her own imagination to see Tempe with natural changes as she’s aged. To be honest, I see her in my mind’s eyes as the more mature woman that she is today.

What is your opinion about how much a series character should change?

Marilyn

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website: http://mundania.com
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle:




Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area. Webpage:  http://fictionforyou.com Blog:  http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be here:

My Journey as an Author


Friday, September 22, 2017

A Christian Mom's Thoughts on The Star Movie 2017



I was browsing through the October issue of CBA Christian Market online magazine and saw this cute animated movie announcement for The Star: The Story of the First Christmas. I was about to promote it on my website, but then I looked at the above trailer and now feel very mixed about it: think Shrek landed in Biblical times and you get what I'm talking about.

While I know other Biblical events have been portrayed in a lighter way (Prince of Egypt), the birth of our Savior should be treated with greater reverence than that. Silly camels, birds shaking their booties, Mary offering to give the donkey a belly rub, etc. feel out of place to me.

Maybe I'm taking this too seriously. If this portrayal of the first Christmas brings more people into the Church, who am I too complain? It's just that a Christian's journey is a big commitment. It's a conscious choice. It's not a joke. While there is much joy, faith doesn't take away your hardships. It doesn't always even make them easier to handle--it should if you're able to have 100% faith, but that's not always the case. Faith is a journey of growth. It's slowly learning to give up control of your life to God and knowing that He will bring you through your trials just as much as He brings you blessings. If we draw people in with this half way approach, will they have the strength to stick with it when the times are tough?

Is it wise to trivialize faith? Is it fair to trivialize it? And again, am I'm making too big a deal out of this? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guest Post from Education.com: Math Facts Game



Math Facts Game

Practice makes perfect – especially when it comes to memorizing math facts. But does your child balk at flashcards, making multiplication practice a struggle? If so, consider playing this fun math facts game to help your child review the math problems that tend to trip him up. Especially enjoyable for kinesthetic learners or musically inclined children, the game combines music with movement and allows children to move around as they practice. Although the game is perfect for practicing the multiplication tables, it can be used for any math concept that children should be able to do in their heads rather than through writing.



What You Need:
Paper
Markers
Tape
CD or MP3 player

What You Do:
1. Make a list of math problems that your child is having difficulty with.

2. Write the answer to each of the math problems on its own piece of paper with a thick marker. Each number should fill up the paper and be dark enough for your child to see easily from several feet away.

3. Tape the numbers at random on a driveway, bare floor, or patio.

4. Turn on the music and let your child dance around on top of the numbers. After a few seconds, pause the music and call out a math problem, such as “Three times eight!”

5. Your child should then jump as quickly as possible onto the number that is the correct answer to the problem you called out.

6. You can keep on calling out math problems while repeating the previous steps. If your child has a friend over you can change the game into more of a competition, in which children race to see which one can jump on the correct number first.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Spotlight: Reflections: A Journey to God







Title:
REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD

Author: Gary & Susan Eby

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Pages: 268

Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry


Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read
this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes
& Noble


Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally
abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up? What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good
people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant
by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my
life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:






Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"



Susan
studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates,  Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.  

Their current book is Reflections: AJourney to God.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Friday, September 8, 2017

Back to School and Back to Workouts



I can't stay I love working out, but I will say that it's obvious when I don't. Energy levels get zapped, my belly feels fully, and I plan old feel yucky.

Now that the girls are back to school it's time for me to get back in shape. Signed up for a workout FB group and pulled out my weights, resistance bands, and mat. The Lil' Diva has a punching bag now, so I can use that. I also ride my bike for a bit. It has been very busy, so doubtful I'll get in a daily workout; but if I manage four days a week I will be happy.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Book Review: Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar

Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar might just be the most powerful collection you'll ever read. Journaling her way through abuse and eventual healing, Lavendar holds back nothing: pain, anger, hate, sadness, acceptance, revelation, peace, healing...

Meant to encourage and inspire other victims of abuse, this captivating collection of Christian poetry and prose will make you cry, will make you think, and will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. You will want to hold onto this one and read it again.


Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Written Dreams Publishing (April 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998167398
ISBN-13: 978-0998167398

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, Indiebound

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website at: www.diamantelavendar.com.

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guest Blogger: Jason Reid, Author of Dinner Conversations



“You are going to LAUGH! You are going to then wonder if these conversations actually happened. You are going to wonder what kind of guy would actually say these things to his family.”

The answer is simple—yes, these conversations did actually happen. They occurred over a period of roughly 5 years, mainly at my dinner table. I took them verbatim and posted them on Facebook so that all my friends could get a good laugh.

I must be honest with you, some of you will are going to laugh and say things like “…that sounds like something I would say or want to say” others are going to think that I am a horrible parent. I am ok with either thought process.

What I hope is that after laughing, scratching your head and wondering what is wrong with Jay Reid, you realize that you need to create more of your own Dinner Conversations.

Please join me @ www.Facebook.com/DinnerConversations to read more and post your own.”


GUEST POST

When was the last time you had an actual conversation with your family around the dinner table, without the distraction of the television or any other form of technology?

In today’s technology-driven world finding time to stop and enjoy real, in-person conversations with our loved ones is becoming less of a priority and more of an inconvenient task. Like any family, our individual schedules keep us constantly on the go, passing each other as we run in and out of the front door. I travel a couple of nights out of every week, my wife and 4 kids have busy lives and their own individual obligations—it is easy to find ourselves disconnected from each other. Starting to sound a little familiar?

Dinner Conversations is a book that contains my personal collection of conversations that happened roughly over a five-year period, mainly between my kids, wife, and I around our dinner table. I know what you’re thinking and before you start glancing towards the top corner for the “x”—let’s get personal for a minute, shall we…

My name is Jason, I have four children, a wonderful wife of 24 years, a successful career and have absolutely NO filter. Every family has that one person who says exactly what pops into their head, always without hesitation and in my family that ONE person is yours truly. I use my own personal “trial and error” approach to parenting, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I’m turning 50 this year and like most guys my age--I figure things out the old fashion way. I don’t read manuals. Typically, I find myself trying unusual ways of putting things together, taking different paths and swearing more frequently no that I have teenagers, which I find clears the head and helps a great deal with the thought process.

Two of the most important pieces of my unique parenting style are:

If I am home, we are all sitting down to a family dinner (except on date nights that is just for my wife and I).
Dinner should be fun, we should all laugh and not be afraid to speak our minds.

In Short, the collection of conversations and hysterical moments a family has and laughs about privately, I have put together for you to laugh, enjoy and possibly even find some of the unique conversations relatable. I invite you to take a break from the serious page turners and chapters that seem to go on for weeks, because you are in the constant process of finding where you left off. Take a break from raising your own kids and just have a good laugh at how I raised mine. The only thing bigger than my college tuition bills will likely be the therapy bills that I will be paying for down the road, so feel free to go ahead and pick up a few copies of the book to share the laughs with your own friends and family : ) profits from this book will be applied to one of the following:
-Family Therapy Jar
-College tuition bills (Did I mention I had FOUR kids?)
-The 18+ years of alcohol consumption my wife and I will surely need to get them all graduated and still maintain some degree of sanity.

If you’re still here and have made it this far, I hope that you enjoy reading Dinner Conversations and the raw glimpse of our family’s most hysterical conversations and moments over the years.

Grab a seat, a drink and as always enjoy the conversations.

All the Best,
Jason Reid

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @DinnerConversations for new conversations, family updates and to also share your own dinner conversations with us!


Jason Reid is an entrepreneur by trade and a dad by passion. He currently lives in Murrieta, California with his wonderful wife and amazing four children. Over the years he has written numerous business books, a novel, and children’s The Protector Bug book series.