Oh boy…gotta love it when you mess up!!

  

Okay, so this is a special day to me for more than one reason. But I was trying to make it special for all of you too! Noble Courage was supposed to be set to go on sale today for #free but when I checked it out this morning, my promo did not save for whatever reason!

So my mistake is your gain! I reset the promo to go for TWO days instead of one and will begin tomorrow 6/1. However, the rest of the series is currently .99 so grab those today! Then download Noble Courage tomorrow for nothing. Cheapest vacation you will take all year!

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Happy Birthday, Lyndsay Tiller!

I’ve been going on about all this birthday business for a couple of weeks. I wanted you to grow to love Lyndsay Tiller as much as I do. Because she is a fictional character, I can’t give her a gift so I will give one to all of you instead!

As promised, Noble Courage is #free today in honor of my heroine’s mother. I hope you are all in a reading kind of mood because the rest of the series is only .99 a copy! Now’s the time to grab your copies! 

I have contemplated a passage that introduces you to this woman of strength and sacrifice. Here’s the one I chose from Noble Courage:

[Lyndsay] was collecting the laundry when she spied her daughter running, soaked to the bone. A sigh escaped her and she hefted the tub into the house where she deftly found a blanket and set it to warm by the fire. She turned when she heard the door open, hands on her hips, lips pursed, and beheld Aspen shaking like the day she was born. Her daughter’s lips were blue and she clutched a ball of fabric to her chest as if it was keeping her warm. A smile touched Lyndsay’s lips and she could not hold back the bubble of laughter that burst forth before she knew what came over her.

“I don’t know what happened to ya, but ya look a sight, girl!” she laughed.

“I f-fell in the s-stream on a-accident. I am s-sorry,” she managed between clacking teeth.

“Well, better get ya out of that dress ‘fore ya catch yer death. Come on, strip!”

Aspen did as she was bid and sat her gift on the table near the fire, letting the laces of her dress fall from her slim frame to the rushes on the floor. Her mother wrapped her in the warm blanket and had her sit for a cup of hot tea.

After I had written Noble Courage, I had a lot of questions concerning Vatric and Lyndsay. They wanted to hear their “story” and to figure out why they were the way they were. So in response to their questions, I wrote the first five stories of Tales of Elgolan. These stories were just extra reading to gain more insight on these characters. I love the days of Vatric and Lyndsay’s courtship. They have a sweet history that is sprinkled with heartache, as that period in time was harsh and unforgiving. It’s the glimmers of love that bring hope to people. 

Love one another, forgive unconditionally, and live peacefully.

If you love the books, please feel free to leave me your thoughts on Amazon! It’s like giving me a giant hug! 🙂

Routine? What Routine?

  

Okay. So I’m a part of a 15 day blogging challenge. This will be very good for me because I struggle to post often on my blog. Mainly because life demands so much from me, a condition that will change one day. 

I was challenged to answer this question: What is your daily success plan?

Gulp. Really? There is such a thing? Lol! I scratched my head over it for a few minutes before coming to the conclusion that when I had some semblance of a plan, I failed miserably and it took me the better part of s year to recover. See, I’m the type of person that works hard for what I want but I end up going in too many directions. I just love doing different things. When I put myself on a schedule, when I get behind I feel disappointed in myself and that leads to “I can’t do this” kind of stuff. I need to get over it. I WILL get over it!

As of today, my success plan looks like this:

5:15am: alarm goes off to get ready for work M-Th. Friday and Saturday I forget the alarm and allow my body to rest. Sunday is the day of rest.

5:30am: shower for work and scrub the sleep from my eyes. I do use a facial cleanser with peppermint in it to wake me up!!

6:15am: grab a piece of fruit and any leftovers from dinner for lunch. I gather my vitamins for the day.

6:25am: I race out the door for work, muttering a prayer that traffic cooperates for my 30 minute commute. 

6:30am: I start reciting my affirmations for the duration of my commute, expressing gratitude at ever stop light along the way.

7:00am-12:30pm: I work hard for the chiropractor I assist for and give love and support to them. They love our clinic!

12:30-1:45pm: I break for lunch and spend some time alone where I surf my social media.

1:45pm-5 or 6:00pm: I finish my workday and head home.

5 or 6:00pm-6 or 7:00pm: again, I recite affirmations and express gratitude. But sometimes, I talk through the next scenes of my books. The characters just speak to me. 

7:00pm-8:00pm: I get dinner prepared for my family and served.

8:00pm: I finally get to sit down and do what I want! This is usually where I work on behind the scenes work like bookmarks, book signings, emails, and publishing. 

9:00pm: I do a quick ab workout and yoga. Love my yoga.

10:00pm: I get in a meditation that helps my mind relax and open to new possibilities.

10:30: I set my clothes out for work and slip into bed where I put on another meditation that helps me sleep well. I offer a prayer before I press play. 

And then the next day starts all over. You can see that I struggle to find any time to fulfill my dreams. But I do find the time. It’s just a little slower than I’d like. 

On my days off, I’m generally flooded with a “to-do” list of projects, school work, and grocery store shopping that includes the making of a menu. I feel like I blink and they are over. I miss the traveling we used to do and I miss the freedom I used to have working part time. But the day is coming where it won’t be just a dream any longer. That thought alone is what motivates me to get up each day.

My daily success plan is a little inverted. But it’s what works for me. My one post on Mondays is my attempt and staying present and active in the blogging community. I’m thankful Jeriann challenged me to focus on that one task each week. For the most part, I can handle it. Lol! So for these 15 days, I will be using my lunch hour to post and perhaps I will find that little gold nugget of inspiration to continue on in the same fashion. 

If you made it this far in my rambling post, congrats! I appreciate you reading! I always do. I do think my series is far more interesting than my daily routine so click over to my Noble Courage page and link up to book one!

Trivia Time! We’re Having a Party!!

  

It’s been a little while since I’ve divulged any cool trivia about my writing. I thought this little ditty fit great!

My mom’s birthday, as you know from last week’s post, is coming up on the 31st of May. Yes, my books will be on sale that day. But something you may not know is that Lyndsay’s birthday shares that of my mother.

See, when I created Lyndsay, I patterned her after my mom. She was sweet and strong but beaten down by life, illness and loved ones that couldn’t understand how she felt inside.

There was a time when my mom was my best friend. She helped me through every pregnancy, every birth, and every adjustment to life with children. And as I sit back and think about it, a rift between us began to form when she moved away. I mean like across the state kind of moving. We could talk on the phone, but it wasn’t the same. I learned to live life without her.

I suppose there was some jealousy in me that she found a guy that treated her well and that she was head over heels with this sweetheart of hers. I was a single mother of four sons dating one loser after another. I worked late hours and saw little of my children. I grew lonesome and regrets shredded my soul. My mom was not there to pick up the pieces and show me how to repair my life.

My mom, bless her, started to struggle. So much, that I grew agitated that I couldn’t help her. After years of coaxing, we finally moved her back nearby. Just as Aspen felt she had saved her mother, so did I. I had a lot of anger inside at those who had hurt her so badly and left her damaged.

The moral of this story? Even though I wrote Noble Courage a long time before most of this happened, my mom’s journey has been eerily similar to Lyndsay’s. I created a mother for Aspen inspired by the mother I love so much. One who is strong but submissive, loving yet hardened. Sometimes I look at her and those pretty blue eyes scream at me that she is so tired and worn out. Both mothers are people to celebrate as we approach May 31st!

If you read Noble Courage and want to hear more about Lyndsay’s life, read The Tales of Elgolan. It will only be available in one book for a short time longer! In this book, you are entertained by the back story to Aspen’s parents in five short stories, each connected with the next. Get it on Kindle today and get ready for the big sale on the rest of The Aspen Series on May 31st!!

Honoring Those Who Gave us Everything…Then and Now #MFRWAuthor

This was in my feed this morning and it stirred much emotion in me. I cannot find the words to express my gratitude for those who protect my freedom. Sad as war is, I’ve come to realize that it is a brutal part of human nature and the struggle for power. It is the innocent casualties that are the real tragedy of these times.

I have written of wars but I have also written of times of peace. Yet, my fictional militia is always at the walls, ready to protect those within. So are our military personnel. My grandfather, my step-son, my brother-in-law…these men have served their country…have served me. And all of them were changed by it. Please don’t forget their sacrifice.

Mona Karel Author

When I contemplated talking about Memorial Day, my mind went several different directions (no surprise there) I thought about my uncle Dick who died in Korea…I once read a letter he wrote home explaining why he believed he needed to be there. I thought about the young sailors I met while living in Japan. When they were in port I’d meet them at the roller skating rink in Yokosuka, or visit them in the hospitals…at least those lucky enough to come back. I thought about wars extending back through time. Then as now, young people fought against each other to fulfill the wishes of others. Always, The Charge of the Light Brigade plays through my head. A tragic loss of brave young men, following misunderstood orders potentially tainted by personal animosity. The truth of historical events does not always live up to the stories we’ve been told.

Tennyson eulogized those…

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From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower: A Mother’s Love

  

Having just spent Mother’s Day with my sons, I felt the need to express the joys of motherhood and reflect on the sacrifices made by mothers all the time. I hope you enjoy this little piece of Aspen’s. When you finish, tell your mother you love her.

A mother’s love is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.
~ Aspen Darktower


“I take pause as I watch my little ones play at my feet. Our quarters are close here in Foxglove, so we see the children often. My heart fills with joy each moment I spend with them and it makes me wonder…Did my own mother feel this same sense of happiness as she watched me play?

There were so many things I never got to tell my mother and so few things we ever spoke about.

As my sons talk to each other in a language all their own, my mind wanders to the day my mother passed away. She finally appeared to have found peace despite the fact that her life was taken from her. Still, it was heartbreaking to say goodbye. It was unbearable to return her body to the earth.

There are days that I miss her smile. There was comfort there. There was love. I would give anything to sit with her again and have her brush my hair. I want to wrap her in my arms and offer her the safety within that circle. I wish I could kiss her cheek and feel the warmth of life.

I thought I’d have my whole life to share my love with her. I thought she would enjoy her grandsons. I never thought she would go so soon.

For my mother so loved me that she shielded me from the world. She could not shield me from my Da, so she protected me from everyone else. She loved me enough to insist that I better myself- that I learned from every experience, for she knew of my destiny. I can still hear her haunting words in my mind as I was whisked away from her so young, “Make me proud.”

I threw down upon my mother my feelings of hatred and anger. I lashed out at her with a forked tongue. Every drop of hurt in every tear I cried was wrongfully directed at my mother and Da. I was selfish; she was selfless.

I look at my little boys and I know if I had to endure that much hatred from them, I would be utterly destroyed. It is this realization that floods my soul with unimaginable guilt and plagues me with regret. Once that loved one is gone, there is no reconciliation. There is only the guilt.

And so I find myself in a position of motherhood. The love I feel for my children is overwhelmingly powerful and grows stronger each day. I marvel at my sweet creations and celebrate all that my mother did for me…and continues to do for me, even from the grave. A mother’s love knows no bounds, yet it binds a woman with a power no one else will ever experience. That is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.”

In light of the love between a mother and child, I will be having a sale on my books to celebrate my own mother’s birthday! Mark your calendar for May 31st! Noble Courage will be free and the rest of the series will be a steal at .99 each on Kindle! Happy birthday, mom!

 

My sister left, my mom middle, me right