Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marketing an Ebook

Isn't that a gorgeous photo of a Japanese maple? Marketing and advertising your own eEbook is something like that tree, with its trunk and many branches.

I'm still on a steep learning curve and learning every day, and a few months ago I discovered Goodreads.

Goodreads is an online group for readers to share reviews, recommendations and discuss favorite books.

A Secret Hope is there too, and I would love if any of you out there who have read it would go to Goodreads and rate it, put it on your to-read list or just "like" it. Also, if you take the time to go through your favorite genre (mine of course is historical fiction) and mark the books you've loved in the past, Goodreads will give you recommendations for other books you may enjoy.

www.goodreads.com

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Does the Lord Have a Sense of Humor? Heck, yes!

I don't know why I thought about this particular incident from my past this morning. Maybe someone out there needs to hear this, or maybe it's because I was reflecting on His goodness and mercy.


And His sense of humor.


Yes, the Lord does have a sense of humor. Just ask any Christian.


This little story happened in 1977. Yep, thirty-five years ago. I was attending Christian Center Church in Brockport, NY, where I first heard the Gospel and was saved.


I was single. There was a divorced man with four little children that wanted me to be his wife. I was flattered by his attention but deep down in my heart I knew this relationship wasn't meant to be. I was still in the process of learning to hear the Lord's voice and had been a Christian for about 2 years at the time.


Slowly I was realizing that the Holy Spirit was urging me to break it off with this man. But I wasn't ready to do it and I questioned whether this was really the Lord's voice I was hearing.


So I decided to test the Lord. My old pastor, Don Riling, used to say "Make it easy on yourself and tough on God." So I told God I was going to do that. A woman by the name of Marilyn Hickey was coming to our church to do a conference on motive gifts. It was to take place at a Holiday Inn in Batavia, NY. At that time I was helping in the sound ministry - helping set up microphones and setting up for events, etc.


I was to assist with the conference at the hotel. So I told the Lord I would ask Marilyn Hickey what she thought about my situation. Whatever she told me to do, I would do and receive it as coming from the Lord.


But then I arranged the "tough" part for the Lord. I stayed as far away from Marilyn Hickey as I could get. If I saw her anywhere near me I would move away. It was a day-long conference and I never got near her once.


The conference finished. Marilyn Hickey left. People went home. We broke down all the equipment, packed the van and were ready to leave. I was smugly congratulating myself that I had managed to never give Marilyn the chance to speak to me.


I needed to make a quick trip to the bathroom before we started back to Brockport, so I went to the Ladies Room. It was empty. I went into a stall to do my business.


Then I heard the door open. Someone walked in and entered the stall next to mine. I looked down at their shoes.


Brown and white leather spectator pumps. Just like the ones Marilyn Hickey was wearing.


I closed my eyes and groaned. 


She finished before me. I could have waited for her to leave but I KNEW the Lord had arranged this. Just as I had asked Him to.


So I left the safety of my stall as she was washing her hands at the sink. I approached her, my heart pounding in my chest. I could barely get the words out.


"I have to ask you a question," I said. I proceeded to give her a quick synopsis of my situation and that I would receive her counsel as coming from the Lord.


"SLICE IT." That's what she said. Two words. I can still remember that moment clear as day. I think I was a little bit in shock at how the Lord had arranged the entire scenario. In the bathroom, for Pete's sake. While I was on the TOILET!


But I knew that I knew that this was definitely the Lord speaking. So I obeyed. I broke the relationship off and moved on. And a year later the Lord brought the man who was to be my husband into my life. Thirty three years later we are still growing in the Lord together. 


Why did I think about this today? Maybe because it demonstrates that the Lord always knows where we live. He can always find a way to speak to us. We can trust that He knows what He's doing. And we can be sure that He WANTS to speak to us and direct us and that He has a PLAN for our lives. 


Whew. I'm sure glad I listened.


Thanks, Lord. On the TOILET, for Pete's sake!



Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Dear Little Mother, the Miracle Girl.

Jean M. Quinn
1929-2102
My dear little mother passed away on June 22. Although she only stood 4'11", she was big in spirit and personality.

Eight of her children gathered at her deathbed in Utica, NY. We took turns comforting each other and remembering all her funny sayings and our growing up years in Tonawanda and East Amherst, NY.

She became the "Miracle Girl" at St. Elizabeth's in 2009, when she survived a major heart attack that would have killed most men. She thought she had the flu and so stayed home for two weeks until pulmonary edema sent her to the hospital.

She recovered and went on to live three more happy years, doing her crafts, cutting her lawn, and visiting her grandchildren.

My heart is sore and aching but I know she wouldn't want me to grieve too hard. So I won't. I will dedicate my next book to her, in memory of all she did to help me flourish in this life.

Rest in peace, Miracle Girl.