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Friday, December 9, 2016

Author Spotlight With Pamela Trawick's Walking Between The Stones


It is my distinct pleasure to bring you author, Pamela Trawick, and her new novel Walking Between The Stones

Please Pamela, tell us a bit about what inspired you to write this novel.

Thanks, L.A for having me as your spotlight guest. Who would have thought that watching elderly neighbors and their spouses deal with dementia would lead me to write a book where one of the characters suffers memory loss? Who would have thought that I could find humorous aspects to such a heartbreaking subject?  Who would have thought that writing Walking Between the Stones would provide me with lessons I used when my mother was suffering from ALS and that I’m now using as I face serious health problems of my own?

When I first started this book, I had no idea of the path God would put before me, but now I see his hand in everything. Walking Between the Stones is a story of love, family, and God’s healing hand. I hope reading it gives you new perspectives and a renewed faith in our Creator.

Excerpt:
Willie Joe exited the Santa Fe church where he’d pleaded again for God’s guidance. He hesitated when he saw the entrance to the circular stone labyrinth nestled on the side of the building. He didn’t believe in New Age hooey, but the spiral path drew him in. A good stretch of his legs couldn’t hurt. Maybe the walk would clear his mind. Maybe God was answering his prayer already. Well, no one was around to see anyway.
He placed one boot onto the gray gravel path. The small rough stones crunched beneath his foot. This wouldn’t take long. The thing wasn’t huge. He’d walk through the stone markings, turn around in the center, then be on his way. A second step—firmer, louder. A few more steps and his body settled into a cadence. Step, step, step.
The keys on his belt loop added a higher note. Crunch, jingle, crunch, jingle. The smell of fresh asphalt burned his nose. The stench started at the nearby intersection where a crew repaired potholes. The aspens beside the labyrinth flung their golden leaves into the wind gusts. He resumed his journey. Crunch, jingle.
Traffic roared on the road while he walked the course marked between worn river rocks planted firmly in the ground—raised into a Braille missive. The varied sizes spoke a message he couldn’t read, but its presence drew him deeper. Was God trying to talk to him? Show him the way in a language he didn’t yet understand?
The longer stretch—a runway—allowed him to increase his pace before the tight turn back toward the center caught him unaware. When he tried to twist his clunky boots through the switchback, he stubbed his toe on a rock and stumbled. “Focus, Willie Joe,” he muttered. “One step at a time.” Was that it? Had he been trying to plan too far ahead? Trying to play God in his own life?
He wove his way through the labyrinth, hands splayed at his sides for balance. He shifted between longer and shorter strides according to the winding path’s demands. When he arrived at the center, seven wooden stumps of varied heights offered respite. Was he supposed to know the significance of seven?
He sagged onto an oak stump and his knees popped. A groan escaped his lips. He hated getting old. The adjacent evergreens danced with a slow metronome beat and his body swayed with them. He closed his eyes and focused on relaxing, but continued groaning words he couldn’t vocalize. Slumped, elbows on his knees, he buried his face in his hands and sobbed. He already missed Dory-Ann. They’d not been apart longer than a night or two during their entire marriage.
How was he going to get out of this mess? When could he go home? Deeper sobs overtook him. Not ever if his fears were true. Would Dory-Ann forgive him? She’d be mad at first, but would she eventually understand his actions were driven by love for her? Or would she hate him forever?
A warm tongue licked his whiskered chin, and he jerked away. “What the—” Heart pounding, he wiped his eyes and peered into the mug of a black and gray Labradoodle. One with wet snarled fur and a vigorous tongue. He rose from the stump and stepped away from the dog, but not soon enough.
The dog shook, flung water with centrifugal force, and doused Willie Joe’s rumpled work clothes.
Willie Joe swiped at his soiled pants. “Go away, you mutt.” He’d asked God for guidance, not a dog.
  
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The Blurb:
They had the perfect marriage.  At least she thought they did…
The day before their fortieth anniversary celebration in their small Arkansas hometown, Willie Joe Lankton tells his wife he must leave. Embarrassed by his disappearance, Dory-Ann makes excuses to her friends and family about her husband’s location. Heartbroken and frightened, she tries to track him down, but Willie Joe doesn’t answer or return her calls.

Willie Joe has a lifetime of experience repairing vehicles; however, he may have made a mistake when a young man is killed in an accident while driving a truck he just repaired. Suffering from memory lapses he believes are signs of Alzheimer’s, Willie Joe flees to the western states so as not to burden Dory-Ann.

A troubled journey, pride, and fear keep them apart until God's plans are revealed.  

Bio:

Pamela Trawick draws on her years as an attorney specializing in family law and estate planning and her parents’ experience battling cancer and ALS to craft a story of a couple traversing the rocky terrain of emotions and challenges tied to aging. Her books have been finalists in numerous contests, and Walking Between the Stones won the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Contest for best contemporary novel. Pamela lives in San Jose, California, with her husband and their only slightly spoiled Westie.


Find Pamela:



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Five Secrets With Berdie Elliot ~ Enigma Of Fire's Main Character


Wow, today we're in for a different treat, learning five secrets 
from Berdie Elliott....read on :)


Thanks for this opportunity, LA.  I’m afraid Marilyn Leach has her head buried in an edit for an upcoming book.  She suggested that I, Berdie Elliott, her main character from the Berdie Elliott mystery series, share my own 5 secrets.  If you don’t mind, I’ll proceed.  And if you read Enigma of Fire, the mystery in which I relentlessly sleuth to resolve the crime, I’m sure you’ll learn even more about me.  Here goes--- 5 secrets about me, Berdie Elliott.

1) Although I’m an English vicar’s wife, I don’t fit the usual expectations when it comes to the kitchen.  In other words, I’d rather be sniffing out who the guilty party is in a village mishap than sniffing the perfect dinner for twenty I just cooked.  In fact, in Enigma of Fire, I have a special party for my husband’s former military pals, but my best friend, Lillie, and her handsome love-interest, Loren, actually do the lion’s share of preparing the meal.  What wonderful friends they are.

2) I sometimes struggle with living up to the expectations of a village that can put their vicar’s wife on a bit of a pedestal.  I tend to be impatient and I cannot abide falsehood.  To the chagrin of many, I’ll openly call people on it, which can sometimes rock the boat in a small village like Aidan Kirkwood where I live.  Often, my friend, Lillie, or my husband, Hugh, has to remind me to keep my tongue in check which is extremely difficult for me.

3) Although I don’t own a pet myself, I deeply appreciate the many animals that figure into most of the mysteries I solve.  For instance, in Enigma of Fire, there is a dog that’s a visiting nuisance at the vicarage.  But in the end, he’s quite heroic.  He helps save several lives.  And even wounded himself, he fights through his own pain to rescue others.  Where’s the box of tissues?

4) I’m not one to fussy-dress.  I do enjoy an occasional evening out when I can glam up a bit.  Like the time we went to dinner at Bamkingswith Hall as guests of the prestigious Preswood family during the Up from the Grave affair, although I almost went bum-over-end in their gravel driveway.  But I much prefer dressing for comfort.  I mean, how can you chase after the primary suspect in an attempted murder if you’re wearing high heels and pearls?


5) Though I sometimes get weary, as people do at my mature age, I never tire of solving perplexing crime cases.  I was created for adventure, intrigue, and a good giggle, even in distressing situations.  And I hope that I add a touch of inspiration to those around me as well.  I invite any who like to guess who-done-it, laugh, and be uplifted, to come visit with me in the mystery series named after me, Berdie Elliott.  Oh, and I’ll send Marilyn your best regards.  Cheers. 

Blurb:
Enigma of Fire: A Berdie Elliott Pentecost Mystery

When English village, Aidan Kirkwood, experiences an explosive fire, the entire parish is aflame with rumor and innuendo until Berdie Elliott, the scorching sleuth and vicar’s wife, can douse the flames with cold, hard facts that expose the perpetrator. A heroic dog, elusive book, and military champions come together to reveal the enigma of fire.

Buy:

Bio:
Marilyn Leach is a dyed-in-the-wool British enthusiast who lives lakeside near the Colorado foothills.  She enjoys viewing and reading mysteries that originate across the pond.  From the Scottish Boarders to Devon, city buzz to rural church bells, she enjoys excursions throughout the beautiful isle that inspire her writing.  Her dear friends, who have become like family, live in Reading, England.  

Find Marilyn:
Blog | Amazon Author Page |  Facebook

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