Lurking in the Shadows Juniper Grove Book Blitz

Lurking in the Shadows release day! Doing my part to help launch this wonderful anthology!

peachysinsights

Welcome to my little part of the release day events for Lurking in the Shadows. Just after the synopsis of the book you will find my review. After you’ve finished here, go check out other bloggers pages to see what they have to say.

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Isn’t this a hauntingly eerie cover, perfect for the stories between the covers.

Lurking-in-the-Shadows-SMTitle:  Lurking in the Shadows

Edited by:  Jaidis Shaw

Published:  June 28th, 2016

Publisher:  CHBB Publishing

Genre:  Short Story, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Embrace the darkness.

Murderous entities, haunted houses, screaming banshees, and sympathetic necromancers are just a few of the chilling things you’ll encounter in this anthology. Follow our authors into the shadows … if you dare.

Stories featured in this anthology include the following:

“Release” by E.M. Fitch

“On Two Lane Roads” by Shelly Schulz

“Too Young to Kill” by Lily Luchesi

“An Empty Building” by…

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I have always been the ultimate Daddy’s girl. My dad was the apple of my eye and the center of my universe. I loved to play tricks on him, tell him jokes, tell him his muscles were “wet noodles” (I thought that was good.) He loved to call me “Jug Ears’ and things like that. We had a funny little relationship. But, it wasn’t always easy.

My dad and I were so much alike. I understood him and he understood me, for the most part. Where ever he was, that’s where I wanted to be. While I was not afraid of my dad, I had a healthy respect for where the lines were drawn. I knew when his gray eyes went steely blue that I had gone over that line and until I became a teenager, I reeled in my disrespect.

My dad didn’t have an easy life after coming back from WWII. He was a Yeoman 1st class in the Navy. I have always been proud of that. But, the reality was that his job was to toe tag his friends/colleagues who gave their lives for our freedom. Because he had seen too much in the war, he came home a very different man than the one who went to war. By today’s standards, he came back with PTSD. But, back in the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s, PTSD had not been founded. So, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was in the hospital and had to take meds and shock treatments the rest of his life. Mental illness had such a stigma attached to it, we could not tell anyone lest he lose his business. Because of his illness, he had an inferiority complex, never thinking he was good enough. But, I always thought he was the best. His illness did not scare me. He didn’t drive me away, nothing like that. It drew me closer and I understood on some level.

Our life was not all gloom and doom. We had fun, went on fantastic trips across the United States and Canada. He made our lives full and educational and fun. He had his dad’s ’48 Ford  and he loved to tinker with it from time to time. He let me hand him the tools he needed and I thought I was working on it with him. He made me feel important and  I knew he loved my sisters and I so much.

No, life was not perfect for him, but I hope it was as good for him as it was for us. Because of him and my mother’s hard work, my sisters and I never wanted for anything. They gave us all they had and more.

My dad was simply the best dad he could be and I thank him and miss him every day. Happy Father’s day, Daddy. I love you.

Gettin’ With the Times

My husband and I are generally the last people in the world to get in  on the new product bandwagon. We were some of the last folks to get a microwave oven, for heaven’s  sake. He didn’t want one at all. I did. Eventually, I won, but it took a long time to convince him.

Well, sir, when cable TV came out, we got it, but, it turned out to be way too expensive for our small budget. What with three kids at the house, two of which were under 5, well, there was just no extra money for cable. At that time, we didn’t have to have a digital converter to watch regular broadcast tv, so, we were set with that. I didn’t mind, really, because all my soaps were on ABC and we got that with no  problem. And of course, the night-time line up was pretty good for those days.

My employer told me about Refer-a-Friend program from AT&T and Direct TV. I was able to get a pretty decent deal on internet and TV. So, I set up the installation. I must admit, I was pretty excited about getting cable. For me, however, the downfall of having cable TV is there are so many shows to watch , so many channels to check out.  I kinda get lost in all of it. I mean, I find a show I like, one that we like and the next week, we can’t remember what station it was on or what it was called. Consequently, we never get to watch it again! It’s hell getting old.

Now that we’ve had cable for almost three weeks, I have fallen in love with HGTV. All the Tiny Home shows, the Fixer Uppers, House Hunters, all of it, we just love to watch. Of course, I love the vet shows on Animal Planet and the bevy of movies we can watch-it’s limitless! Now, something I really love is the “On Demand” feature. Oh my goodness! There is such a huge choice of shows you can watch whenever you want to. And then, I am , of course, able to watch General Hospital when I get home from work or whenever I like because I record it! I’m in TV Heaven! I feel like  a kid in a candy shop.

It’s always fun to have something new to explore and we are having a ball with cable TV. I know- it’s about time, right?

 

When I am not writing books, I am a caregiver for elderly folks. I have always loved the elderly. It started with my grandmother, really. I was sure she was among the wisest of all the people I knew. Today, I think most elderly folks are pretty dadgum wise. They’ve lived a long time and have had time to make mistakes and make amends. So, my love of elderly folks continues.

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I have been working with two ladies, one in the mornings and one in the afternoons. Today started my  weeks’ vacation from caregiving with the first lady and also marked my last day with the other lady. She will be going to a care facility nearby.

It is always  a difficult decision to make – putting your loved one in a nursing facility. It is probably one of the hardest decisions one can make. So many feelings are attached to it. Among those feelings, often-times, there is a sense of betrayal. It is important to know we are not betraying our mother or father, aunt, uncle or cousin. It is equally important to note this new phase of life can be positive.

I worked, for a time, in a nursing facility and while there were residents who resisted being in the facility , there were the more social ones who liked getting together with friends their age to play games, exercise, go on field trips, paint or what have you.  There is an adjustment period, as with everything else in life. It is our job to make our elderly folks feel just as important in a facility as well as at home. Just because they have moved, doesn’t mean they should be left with no visits. I have seen many residents who had no visitors. The main thing is to make sure they are not forgotten.

Most folks I know who have placed their relatives in care facilities continue to visit and are active with their relatives. This eases the transition in every way.

So, I am praying for my little lady. I know her family will continue to embrace her and help her transition to be a smooth one. It  was my honor to be able to care for her during this time.

Yards and Yards of Yarn

My friend, Grandmapeachy wrote on the ever growing fabriholism and I thought I’d follow suit. I had fabriholism at one time and still would, had I not found yarn. Yards and yards and miles of yarn!

First, I decided I wanted to learn how to sew. I made the dress I wore to my son’s wedding. But, because I’d had some health issues (I’d had five grand mal seizures in one weekend and lost some brain capabilities), I was rendered unable to reason how patterns went together and how to put them together. Suddenly, I could only do small sewing tasks. I had amassed a stash any novice would be proud of . Yards and yards of material, lace, buttons, zippers. Fat quarters, strips of fabric, leftover fabric- I was in a fool’s paradise! It was Grandmapeachy’s fabriholism at its finest. And then…

Crochet came along! Crochet! Oh my gosh! I learned single, double, triple crochet. I learned how to make granny squares, chains, and clusters among other things. I was introduced to the world of yarn. Sock yarn, chunky, blanket and fancy yarn. Yarn I didn’t even know how to crochet with! Am I a great crocheter? No. But, I can make a blanket, and I have made some other things. They are not perfect, but I don’t care. That’s what makes them extraordinary. What in the world, though, was I to do with all that yarn? I had totes and boxes, an art desk that was full of yarn. And then the thought struck me- I have a pegboard in my bedroom! Of course! I could take down all the mixed media I had collected from my artistic days and  box them up to give to my sister. I bought more pegs for the board  and hung my yarn on it. I was ecstatic! I still have yarn strewn from here to there while working on my projects.

I can truly say that I feel much better after reading my friends’ post. I realize I am not the only one afflicted with this hopeless condition. …or is it hopeful?

And Time Stood Still

I am very excited because my new book, And Time Stood Still will be coming out in June or early July. I cannot wait! It is the sequel to The Conservative Congregant . The Conservative Congregant is about a lady who is a stuffy Christian, never wanting to change or come out of her comfort zone. She  actually takes the plunge into the unknown- the homeless community. She attends a church for the unhoused and makes a meal for them. It chronicles the changes that take place within her as she steps from her stuffy world into a new and unchartered territory. Because she, for whatever reason, takes that leap, once the meal has taken place, a huge blessing is awaiting her.

And Time Stood Still  is part of the rest of the story. There will be one more book (so far) and maybe one after that. I believe that the sequel is interesting and a bit surprising.

I have had so much fun writing these two books and I can’t wait until they are out together. I have to finish the edits and then I’ll have it read over one more time to fix anything that may have been missed and then it will be yours!

So, be looking for And Time Stood Still to come out soon!

Retirement Volunteering, Helping the Indie Author Community

I wanted to give my readers a chance to check out Grandma Peachy’s blog and make them aware of this indie author blog tour. Good stuff!

peachysinsights

Grandma Peachy profile 1Many people find that upon retirement they need something to do and end up doing volunteer work to occupy their time. I am not a joiner and seldom participate in any kind of social event in my community. Staying at home is the most wonderful thing in the world to me. In my lifetime I’ve spent so many days away from home for long extended periods of time. Not anymore, the hermit life is more my style. Of course when home is a multi-generational household with grandparents, parents and grandkids, well it isn’t a typical hermit-like life. Still, I wanted something to do and with my resident author daughter going the route of self publishing as an indie author I found the indie author community. These authors need all the support they can get because self publishing is slow at garnering a large following of readers. So many readers in the…

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We have a dog who can climb the fence. Seriously, a chain link fence! So, last night, my husband and I began working on a new fence for her. As we worked, sharing the drill and putting these little clamp thingies to connect the fencing, I found myself occasionally getting frustrated with my husband’s directions. Sometimes, he just was not clear enough for me to understand what he wanted me to do.

As I stood holding the fencing close enough for him to put those little clamps on them, I began thinking it is kinda like dealing with God. I can only speak for myself, but you know, there are times that God wants to tell me something or lead me to something and I get frustrated because I can’t understand what He is telling me. Sometimes, He just doesn’t seem clear enough to me. Does that ever happen to you? I want to put a trumpet up to my ear and say, “Eh? What’dya say?”

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So, while  my husband was giving  me instructions, I decided I’d just be still and try to listen harder to what he was trying to explain to me. To my surprise, I didn’t get mad, huff and puff at his direction or stomp off and say, “You do it, I have no idea what you are talking about.” I did, however, tell him I had no idea what he was saying, so could he explain it to me in a way I could understand. (Mind you, I’m not too handy with tools and building things and such as that). And he did. When I was able to understand, I was able to follow his direction.

And so it is with God. Instead of huffing and puffing, shaking a fist at Him, yelling all the while, I think I’ll try to just be still. I think I’ll try calmly telling Him I don’t understand what He wants me to do and could He tell me in a way that I would have no problem knowing exactly what He means. It helps to calm in any situation to avoid “brain junk.” You know  “brain junk”. It’s the stuff that jumbles up your thinking. So, next time I hear God knocking, I’ll calm my mind and let Him do the talking. I’ll  just sit and do the listening. In that way, I know I’ll be able to follow His direction.

Books, Dance and Weddings

These past few weekends have been really busy ones for me. Last weekend, I was attending Authorfest up in Denison, Texas. It was so much fun and was a two day event. Friday, there was dinner and readings from the participating authors and Saturday, there were book signings , Bark and Paws events and even a parade. After the main event Saturday, there were more readings from the authors.

When I got home from church, Sunday, my kids came over, along with my grand daughter. This is an every week occurrence that we love. It gives us time to catch up with what is going on in our kids’ lives and time to play with Miss Doodle. She loves to play school and of course, being the kid, she has to be the teacher. She is quite strict and we get sent to time out if our participation is less than stellar. At any rate, there is a lot of giggling, eating, laughing and loving all meshed together in these little visits.

This weekend, Saturday boasted Doodle’s first dance recital. Her little class danced ballet to “A Spoonful of Sugar” of Mary Poppins fame. All were cute, but , I have to tell you , being the doting  nana, our little Doodle was the best and the cutest! When I was dancing in recitals, we danced and went home, glowing because we had made our mommies and daddies proud, but these kids, well, they get flowers for their performances . So, the glow is only secondary to the big people flowers they get for dancing their little hearts out.

Sunday, my husband, Stephen and I drove up to Pottsboro, Texas to Camp All Saints, the camp we perform “labor of love” weekends (getting ready for the children who come to the camp during the summer) with our Church for the unhoused. Only, this week, we went for Jason and Tricia’s wedding. What a beautiful couple they made. Tricia in her yellow dress and wedgie shoes and Jason in his nice pants and suit coat. Their vows, tender and loving made me think back to my own wedding day. Talk about glowing- Tricia was the most beautiful bride. Jason is a lucky man to have her and she is a lucky woman to have Jason.

And the world keeps on turning.

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