Every loss is felt distinctly. Each person we lose in our lives affects us differently. Every grief is experienced in a unique way. To compare and judge one person’s pain against another’s is unfair. That being said, losing my husband has been by far the most difficult loss I’ve ever experienced. Am still experiencing on a daily basis. And from everything I’ve learned over these past months, will likely continue to experience for the rest of my life.
My husband was there for me through nearly all the losses I’ve suffered. Through the years he has comforted me when I lost my father, we’ve been there for each other through the losses of uncles and aunts and cousins and more, together we mourned the passing of three grandmothers and a grandfather, and I was there for him when his brother died.
We have encountered many changes – the loss of…
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God has this! Don’t let it those who block you or treat you badly get to you. Don’t even post about it on social media. Be the bigger person, and just let it go. They will be judged by One who is most high in the end. That is how I look at life, and these situations. That person(s) isn’t/aren’t worth it. God is all over this! It can hurt but give yourself to God. Let Him take care of what you have no control over, for He is in control.
After a severe storm in 1993 the tops of a number of structures were exposed at Camas Bostadh (Bosta Beach) on the Isle of Great Bernera in the Outer Hebrides. Excavation of the site in 1996 proved that these structures dated from the Iron Age to Norse times… [click to read more]
If you believe it will happen!
Each person is unique, and has fought their own battles. Give the battle up to God, don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t worth it, because you ARE worth it! Don’t wait until you’re in your fifties (like me) to realize this!
Let your better person shine forth glorifying God!
Time ~ If you path today doesn’t feel right to you, there is always time to change it, and forage a new path!
In publishing rules are just guidelines. We give you these guidelines to help you (believe it or not). We’re not trying to make your life harder; we are trying to show you how to succeed. These guidelines are what you should generally follow, but there are times you can break the rules.
A great skill for a writer to have is to know which you can bend and adapt, and which needs must be met. Read on…
4 RULES YOU CAN BREAK
- Anything that is contradicted by multiple people at top levels – Have your go-to sources (Writer’s Digest, ME!, KidLit411, Debutante Ball, Writers in the Storm, Pub Crawl Blog, Query Shark, Jane Friedman, Girl Friday Productions, Susan Spann etc) and trust those who have years of industry experience at the top levels–we all agree on the important things. However, there will be things we don’t agree on. Therefore, trust your…
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Today I’m happy to present Madeline Duffy and her “Angel Quest” book series. I’ve attached my review at the end of this feature.
Hello Madeline, and welcome to my blog. Please tell my readers, how did you come to writing?
Hi Mary. Well we started with a non-fiction book about an NDE that a friend had and we felt the story needed to be told. From there, my co-author Shane and I felt a need to write about the supernatural world of God.
How did you come up with your stories?
We both have had many supernatural experiences and used this as our basis for our fiction books. We also brought in many experiences that other Christians have experienced as well. Although it is a fiction book, many of the experiences have really happened.
Is there a message in your novels you would like your readers to grasp?
Yes, that the supernatural world of God is invisible to us most of the time, but often we get glimpses into it. God is real and still at work in our lives.
You have created great characters. Which one is your favorite?
Most people love Granny Rose, but I sympathize with Lily and her struggles. I never had a granny like Granny Rose, so she is a wishful character. Someone I wish I had in my life.
How much of your books are realistic? Are the experiences based on someone you know or events in your life?
Many of the events are very real and some have happened to either Shane or me. Others are created from accounts of others. Our intention was to make it as real as possible with an element of the supernatural.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Lily could easily be Halle Berry. Granny Rose might be Betty White. JJ could be Matt Damon. And Rory could be Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii 5-0)
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
I did experience some similar things that Lily lived through, so yes.
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
Yes, many of the subplots kind of created themselves as we went along. I always had a faint picture of the main plot, but it took twists and turns also, along the way.
What is your main reason for writing?
Well, we believe in some things that we would like to share with other people. God has blessed us with some glimpses into the supernatural and we would like others to look for it also. It is glorious and a wonderful experience.
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
I found editing to be challenging and never completely done. I have also found reviews challenging with all the different doctrines within the Christian community. Some don’t believe in supernatural experiences and condemned the plot, even though it is fiction. I was taken by surprise by this. Angels don’t seem like a controversial subject, but I suppose actually seeing one, is.
Please share a little of your current work in progress or ideas for your next novel?
I have started a supernatural account that happened before Genesis. It has been very hard to write and presently on a back burner as I think it through.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
I marketed a lot at first without many results. I have since let up on marketing and just have let it run its own course. Occasionally I will market, but not often. I have turned it over to God’s will.
What do you do when you don’t write?
I am normally sitting in either a lot of background noise, or total silence, all depends. My mind does not depend on a certain environment. If it is active and thinking along the book’s plot, any environment will do.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
We are retired and on a sparse income, so we have done all our own editing and cover design. I figure if the content won’t sell it, nothing else will.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
There is a learning curve, for sure, but overall it was fun. We enjoyed the whole experience.
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing?
I would say good reviews are the most rewarding thing. I always pray that it will cause someone to think in a deeper sense toward God.
What is your advice to new indie writers?
Just dive in and do it. It will be a good experience no matter.
Who are your favorite independent writers?
My eyes have gotten worse over the years and I don’t read much anymore. So, I can’t say that I have any.
Who are your favorite authors and what is your favorite book?
My favorite books are childhood favorites mostly, The Secret Garden and Little Princess. The Late Great Planet Earth has affected me the most spiritually other than the Bible itself.
What books or authors have influenced you the most? Is there a writer that you consider a mentor? Do you have a favorite?
Hal Lindsay with his insight into the mysteries of the Bible probably influenced my writing the most. Looking for and finding the mysteries of the Bible.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I am currently reading your book Mary, When Angels Fly. It is an eBook. I have an Empath personality, so I am hoping to be able to finish it without falling apart emotionally. Losing a child has to be the most painful event in the world.
Do you work with an outline or do you just write?
No I am not that organized and I don’t like that kind of strict structure. I am a very loosey, goosey type of writer. I like to go with the flow of the current writing.
What makes you laugh?
Irony, animals with quirks, sometimes sarcasm, absurdity and sometimes human nature with its quirks.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
Can’t say that I’d like to be on a lonely island. But I suppose some kind of communication device, like a phone or computer that worked.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
I would love to have a sit down dinner with God and ask him about some issues on this planet. I would especially like to know the reasons for suffering, especially children’s suffering. I’m sure his answer would satisfy me, but I would love to have a real answer on this.
What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?
I am quirky and love to be free. I don’t like restraints of any kind. I speak my mind, to some people’s displeasure. You don’t have to guess where you stand with me, I will honestly tell you.
Tell us about your other books?
We have three novellas in the Angel Quest series and one non-fiction about a near death experience of a friend of ours. We were amazed to hear his story and wanted to put it into written form for others to hear.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
It depends on the criticism. If it is constructive and helpful, I like it. If it is just an opinion about doctrine, I find it annoying. I actually had one Christian upset that our friend who had the near death experience was still a sinner when he returned. I was shocked. That’s the entire point of the book and the hope it emanates. She totally missed the whole point of the experience.
Shane Flynn and Madeline Duffy are co-authors that decided to tell a story about Lily Carpenter. Like many of us, she’s struggling and learning about things in this world and the supernatural world at the same time. The authors, having both experienced supernatural occurrences of their own (that are unexplainable in the world view) can both say that there IS a supernatural world surrounding us.
Just how do you explain the supernatural without sounding like a kook? How do you tell people that a supernatural world really exists? There is great risk in giving testimony to supernatural events. People may label you as crazy or even as a liar. The world does not seem willing to embrace the powerful supernatural world of the Almighty God. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Whether you believe it or not, it does exist. Your belief or disbelief doesn’t change the reality of its existence, it only affects your ability to tap into it and/or see it. I strongly urge you to tap into it.
Retired from business, they have hobbies ranging from model ship building, painting, traveling and now writing. Both are well educated with multiple college degrees between the two of them. One is Southern born and bred, the other a Yankee. Their varied life experiences combine in a sense of adventure and exploration. Shane’s business experience is mainly entrepreneurship; Madeline’s is engineering and entrepreneurship. Together they make a remarkable team, complementing each other in most areas of life. They met under compelling circumstances and seemed destined to enjoy a relationship together. God works in the most mysterious ways.
Since this is a co-authored book, you may find an inter-twining account of events. As in any book, you may find us drifting into philosophical and thought provoking ideas. We have found that we agree on many things and we feel this is reflected in our work. Although this is fiction, you may find that supernatural events are common in our world. Maybe you have had one of your own.
Review: Angel Quest, The Beginning by Shane Flynn & Madeline Duffy.
First the author’s book blurb found on Amazon. “Unexpected acts of fate throw Lily Carpenter into a search to find angels. What starts out as an ordinary day quickly turns into a supernatural search that will not only enlighten her but expand her life in directions that she’s never imagined. Lily’s life is about to implode and in the process she will discover hidden secrets in the Bible that she’s never noticed before. Her Granny Rose’s heartfelt experience will instruct her granddaughter on the mysteries she, herself has discovered. Lily has always thought of herself as a Christian, but it’s taken a backseat in her life of family and kids – not anymore. Everything will change as Lily discovers a new life in the supernatural world of God and His angels. Lily has been drifting through life without much purpose or depth. She will discover that we all have a purpose on this planet that we inhabit – many purposes in fact. A supernatural world has been surrounding her the whole time, but has gone unnoticed as the reality of this world distracts her from the reality of the supernatural world. Two worlds intersect at some axis – journey with Lily and Granny Rose to find that axis and see the supernatural. The first in a series of realistic, contemporary fiction eBooks, Madeline Duffy and Shane Flynn explode into the world of writing – achieving 5 star reviews right from the start. The second book in the series, Angel Quest, Take Flight has now been published and is available at most major book retailers. Don’t miss the first eBook that prepares for the second book which takes Lily Carpenter even further into the supernatural world. This supernatural world is available to all and just waiting to be discovered.”
I found Angel Quest, The Beginning a unique read. This novella is a fast, easy read, and quite enjoyable. The characters are well developed and the narrative makes you feel like you are right there with the main character, Lily. Lily is in a car accident on her way to her grandmother’s home. Grandma Rose tells Lily biblical quotes and how she can see darkness and light – the light of God. At first, Lily tosses her words aside, but events occur that culminates in Lily’s belief, and her faith. Granny Rose teaches Lily that belief is good, but faith is stronger. Despite marriage issues in Lily’s life, she does turn herself around through faith. This story could use some editing and polish. I give four stars.
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Walking Over Eggshells: Surviving Mental Abuse by Lucinda E Clarke
I have just finished reading “Walking Over Eggshells: Surviving Mental Abuse” by Lucinda E. Clarke and my review will follow Clarke’s book blurb on Amazon.
“Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography that tells the story of a mentally abused child, who married a “Walter Mitty” clone. They moved from England to Kenya, from Libya to Botswana and on again to South Africa. It took all her courage to survive in situations that were at times dangerous, sometimes humorous, but always nerve wracking. She had a variety of jobs, different types of homes, and was both a millionairess and totally broke. She met royalty, hosted ambassadors, and won numerous awards for her writing and television programs. She also climbed over garbage dumps, fended off bailiffs, and coped being abandoned in the African bush with a seven-week-old baby with no money or resources. She admits to being the biggest coward in the world, but her survival instincts kicked in and she lived to tell her story. This book will make you laugh and cry and hopefully inspire others who did not have the best start in life either. All names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent – and that includes the author as well!”
I have had this book for a while now and in order to decide which book I was going to read next, I spun my Kindle carousel and landed right here, on this book. With trepidation and a flow exhale of air, I started this book. I dreaded reading this book as I thought it would bring back my own PTSD and life of abuse, but I took the plunge! I felt a connection with Lucinda as both our mother’s had a narcissistic personality disorder. Despite Clarke’s home life, the life she led with her husband, who simply drifted from job to job, and the ongoing mental abuse from her mother – due to an ongoing adult relationship, Clarke arose victorious! Clarke’s career in writing and broadcasting is highly inspirational. Despite life situations, Clarke rose up to become extraordinary in her journey, and she is rich in her humanity! Within all the grief and sadness, Clarke wove uplifting pieces of her own motherhood, and adventures, which never satisfied her mother, sadly. Clarke maintains her self-esteem, something of which I struggle with to this very day, at age 56.
The pace is uneven in her story, and the descriptions in her narrative are well done. This well written narrative holds numerous messages that most everyone can take something away from this story, and apply it to their own lives, or the lives of others. I know writing this story had to have been cathartic for Clarke. Everyone wants love from their mother’s and some don’t ever receive it, sadly.
Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks
I have just finished reading Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks, but first a teaser from Beem on Amazon’s website.
‘While all of Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, sudden orphan-hood wraps its icy embrace around Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten, a pretty young teen.
Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, Baby Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that brings church ladies to righteous tears, and makes both angels and devils take notice. “I’m going to New York City to sing jazz,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. But the Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she’d always called home.
So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all sorts of shortcuts, Emily Ann soon learns it’s the whorehouses and opium dens that can sidetrack a girl and dim a spotlight…and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out.
Jazz Baby just wants to sing–not fight to stay alive.”