Bestselling author, mother and reading addict recalls she has a blog once every few months and shares what's going on with her before she is swept away by life... and goes unheard from for another long jag.
appreciate Cyndi’s gracious invitation to appear here today.
Important and timely
ever read a novel which seemed so important and timely that you could hardly
contain your enthusiasm about it?Have
you ever WRITTEN such a story?
have.At least it seems that important
and timely to me.No, not FOR me — because this novel is my
tribute to the Greatest Generation …
and those still living are leaving us all too quickly.I’m a “baby boomer” — my parents and teachers
(and practically every adult I knew as I grew up) were among that generation
which struggled through the Great Depression and sacrificed during World War
About the novel
eight novels I’ve completed so far, Called to Arms Again (from Astraea Press, 2013), was my third
written and my third fiction book published.
story of a young newspaper reporter looking for a new angle for her Veterans
Day special section.Who better to give
her a fresh perspective than a bunch of old war dogs who’ve been there and back.Not only does Kelly Randall learn what the Greatest Generation was made of, but she soon discovers a great
deal about her own mettle.
has action, comedy, romance, plenty of the ‘can-do’ spirit, and an unashamedly
healthy dose of patriotism.You’ll
laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll cheer.
I need your help
I haven’t gone ‘all-out’ with
promotion of my first two novels – romantic suspense and romantic comedy –
because they’re mostly enjoyed by readers of those genres.But the sky’s the limit on promoting C2AA
— this story appeals to readers of both genders … from ages 19 to 90!
If you’re the child of a Boomer
Generation parent, you need to read this so you’ll understand what your
grandparents (and their siblings) went through and how they prevailed.
If you’re a Boomer (born after WW2)
— your parents, aunts, uncles, and teachers were members of the greatest
generation.Buy this book and read it,
because you’ll recognize these characters.And if you have living parents or other relatives, tell them about my
story.Please remember, the WW2
generation – both those who served in the military and those who sacrificed on
the homefront – are dying at a rate of about 2000 per day … so there is an
urgency to let them know about this story which honors them!
If you were born before about 1930,
you ARE part of the Greatest Generation
and you’ll find yourself (and your siblings and friends) in my story!
it!Pass the word!Get this story into the hands of everyone who
Don’t you agree that artist Elaina
Lee did an outstanding job on my cover for Called to Arms Again?
written all my life — focusing mainly on poetry.Published a few little things while still in
photo-journalism, I compiled some 250 bylines and became rather addicted to seeing
my name in print.
of two non-fiction monographs (about
librarianship) with a royalty publisher, plus a signed chapter in another
book and a signed article in a specialty encyclopedia.
published library articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems; my writing has won
nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests.
I’m a decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force
(including a remote tour of duty in the Arctic … at ThuleAB in
N.W. Greenland).I’m the married
parent of two and grandparent of six.
my early retirement (from nearly 30 years in librarianship), I imagined I would
write poems and book reviews and haunt nearby library conferences.But after moving to KY in late summer of
2006, I discovered (much to my surprise) that there were novels in my brain.
finished drafting my eighth complete novel.My fourth novel (to be published) will be released in a couple of weeks
— Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold (a
screwball comedy with Dingbat Publishing).I also have a short novella, Don’t
Bet On It, which is under contract with Astraea Press.
romantic comedy, romantic suspense, and screwball comedy are among my eight
novels, I don’t think of my stories as genre pieces.Rather, I write novels and novellas with
strong, creative, resourceful females who face obstacles of one kind or another
and usually don’t realize how courageous they truly are until they face a
crisis that calls for it.
Grit doesn’t fade away ... it just becomes
crusty.With harrowing elements
right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy
heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War
II.Though the old uniforms haven’t fit
in many decades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which
helped save democracy.
only a fresh angle to write her Veteran’s Day special, Kelly discovers first hand
that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back.While all the authorities are occupied during
a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated
retirement subdivision ... figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no
Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch
soon finds himself leading a mismatched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade
has his own assignment, with a homemade mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.
difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these
octogenarians have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home,
community, and country.The outcome of
their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an
unlikely ensemble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion
members, and others spanning four generations.
Called to Arms Again – only $2.99 – is available at:
Called to Arms, Greatest
Generation, America, Patriotism, World War II, World War Two, World War, United
States, Elaina Lee, grit, veteran, veterans, Veterans Day, Astraea Press, J.L.
Salter, Great Depression, sacrifice, Called to Arms Again
you so much for having me here on your blog! I am so happy to announce the
release of my new holiday novel, Christmas
Wishes. I love the characters in this story. Sophie reminds me of myself (a
long, long time ago), and Mitch is the kind of guy every girl wants to
meet—hard working, with a strong sense of family. The story takes place in
southwest Michigan, where I grew up and where I still live. This area reflects
the names and customs of the Dutch settlers who came here long ago. Zutphen is
modeled after some of the villages near here – everyone knows each other, and
most of the names begin with the letters in the last part of the alphabet!
Growing up, I asked my dad why our last name didn't start with Van or Vander
like most of my friends. He told me I was welcome to put a Van in front of our
last name, but that our Japanese relatives might be confused by that!
28 years teaching elementary school (15 years teaching music and 13 years in a
regular classroom), and when my kids were young I directed the Christmas
programs and spring musicals at our church. So I drew from those experiences to
write about Sophie's challenge in directing the Christmas pageant. And though
I've never longed to live in the Big City, I've enjoyed visiting them often. I can
understand the lure they have for young people. But like Mitch, I prefer the
small-town sense of belonging and security for raising my kids. Both of my
daughters have expressed the desire to move to larger cities far away—that's
why the central conflict of this story is a personal one for me. I hope you
enjoy reading about Sophie and Mitch and how they resolve their differences.
Carson is tired of the big city. In his former life, he'd been a news
Chicago, where the dangers are endless. But now, he just wants
to settle down in this quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Here, his only fear
is losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law.
Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She's ready to leave small town Zutphen, Michigan
and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she's busy writing
scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who's bedridden with a difficult
pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the
Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church.
Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants
what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and
pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes
might not be what they'd thought?
crinkled as she smiled, and he hoped his return smile wasn’t as goofy as it
felt. “So, let’s take a seat and I’ll give you the low down on the teenagers in
spied a small table and carried their drinks to it. She raised a brow when he
pulled out a chair, but said nothing as she sat. Curiosity finally got the best
that’s the second time you’ve looked at me as if I’ve done something strange.
Apparently, opening the car door for you isn’t normal, and neither is pulling
out your chair. Is that not done in Michigan? Should I give up those habits?”
jumped out of his chair at the force of her answer. And then he realized she
hadn’t spoken alone. The barista who’d poured their coffee, as well as two
other women seated in the cafe tables around them had echoed Sophie’s answer.
woman seated behind him tapped him on the shoulder. “Young man, you’ve been
raised with good manners, and you should never give them up. If Sophie was
surprised when you opened doors and pulled her seat out, it’s because she’s
grown up with young boys who don’t know how to treat a lady. She deserves the
best, so you just keep right on doing what you do.”
maybe some of the men around here can learn something,” the barista added.
ladies in the area nodded in agreement. Mitch nodded too, his ears burning. He
hadn’t realized his voice had carried and he murmured an apology to Sophie, who
looked anything but embarrassed. She seemed fascinated with her coffee, having
it raised to her lips, but her shaking shoulders told him she’d enjoyed his
Hello everyone! Today I'm doing a spotlight on the talented Lisa Orchard and her Super Spies series. I have read all three and loved them, if you have a tween in the household that loves reading buy these books for them. They are sure to enjoy this action and humor packed series. Check out how she deals with writer's block:
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m
here to talk to you about writer’s block. That horrible feeling when you stare
at a blank page on your computer screen.
When this happens to me, it’s usually when I’m in
the middle of a manuscript. You see I’m a “seat of my pants” writer, which
means that when I get an idea about a story I just start writing. No outlines
or plotting for this girl, when I get an idea I like to let my characters take
So, when my characters get into a situation that I’m
not sure how to get them out of, I get stuck. The first thing I do is reach for
the chocolate. I tend to have Tootsie Rolls on hand, but if not, any type of
milk chocolate will do. The endorphins start kicking in and seven times out of
ten; I’ll figure out my dilemma and continue my story.
However, there are times when I have to call in the
big guns. No amount of chocolate will work. This is usually during a major scene
or a key plot twist. I’ll get stuck. I can see the end in sight, but I’m having
trouble getting from the spot that I’m at to the end. That’s when I go for a
hike or a run.
There’s something about physical activity that gets
my creative juices flowing again. Not only that, the exercise is good for me.
By the time I finish my run, I’ve worked the problem out in my head. Now all I
have to do is put it down on paper, metaphorically speaking, of course. ;)
If I can’t run for whatever reason, sometimes I just
don’t feel like it. J I’ll go for a hike. I love hiking
through the woods, especially in the fall. The changing colors are so beautiful
and the scent of fall relaxes me. The hike is a great stress reliever and it
does the same thing as a run for me. Usually by the end of my hike, I have the
problem all worked out.
So there you have it, a couple of great ways to
relieve writer’s block. Something about the physical activity gets the
endorphins running and the creative juices flowing. Something all of us writer’s
Thanks for reading my post and if you have any great
ideas on how to overcome writer’s block, leave a comment. I’d love to read it.
You never know when I might twist an ankle and have to give up running for a
little while to heal. I twist my ankles a lot. J
In addition, if you’re looking for a great Christmas
gift for your tween/teen. Check out my Super Spies series. They’re bestsellers
and great teen reads. The covers, blurbs, and buy links are below.
This book opens in a small town in
Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her
Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation
until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the
ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers
investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death.
Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize
their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own
fact-finding mission.The Super Spies
can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they
start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty
years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to
bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in
the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also
struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal
loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police
don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies
realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…
This book opens in a small
town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their
Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah
starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns
the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher,
and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own
hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right
behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes
suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah
realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the
bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the
bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are
involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job.
Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again
when their missing parents’ cell phone is traced to Alden, Michigan. When the
FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own
hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation.
Suddenly the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery
involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah
finds out he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance she’s determined to find
out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads
them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves
innocent victims in its wake. Can the Super Spies stop the greedy corporation
before it’s too late?
Hello Friends! I’m one of those adults who spend a lot of time reading books written for children and young adults. I got started reading kids’ books when I taught elementary school. I was blown away by the exciting, edge-of-your-seat, tear-jerker stories. I devoured them! My students and I had great fun chatting non-stop about whatever we were reading.
As I moved from teaching elementary on to middle school, and then to high school, I switched genres to match the age of my students. So I’ve been reading young adult books for some time. I ask my students for book recommendations, and they ask me! I love it. I guess it's only natural that I write for this age! And I must admit — seeing my students enjoy the books I’ve written is the biggest high of all!
for Seeking Christmas (an Ocean Mist
short story Two):
The Christmas season has
eighteen-year-old Courtney crossing the state line with her little brother Dennis
to rendezvous with the man who deserted them years ago. Courtney remembers him
the tall man who ran away. Dennis doesn’t remember him at all.
Courtney is furious, but Denny is
curious. Will their meeting result in a happy Christmas memory or another
Excerpt from Seeking Christmas:
My phone buzzed against my leg. I pulled it from my pocket and checked
Such a stupid name.
For such a stupid man.
My gaze darted to where my mom lay slumped on the couch, her mouth
hanging open and a gentle snore escaping her saggy lips. My brother Denny sat
hunched over his math workbook at the kitchen table, a death grip on his
pencil. His short, scrawny legs swung to and fro.
I pressed the phone to my chest and took the stairs two at a time to my
“What do you want?” My voice was tense, short. With a steel hold on the
phone, I strode to the window and stared out. Across the street, strings of
Christmas lights drooped over a fir tree, winking at me in all their sparkling
I turned away.
“You know what I want. Please, Courtney.” The pleading in his voice
rankled like a cat scratching at the back door.
“But it’s been over seven years. It’s time.”
“And whose fault is that?” My words cut.
“You don’t need to remind me.” A heaving sigh came across the line.
I stood ramrod straight beside my single bed and gazed around the empty
expanse of the master bedroom. I attempted to shove down the lump of anger in
“Dad, the answer is no.”
“I would meet you way more than halfway. I’ve got it all arranged.
There’s a motel room for you. Your own. No sharing.”
“Mom would come unglued.” I sank onto the mussed flannel sheets and
impatiently kicked aside a stray slipper. It struck my dresser and lay over
like a dead animal.
“Your mother won’t talk to me.”
I went quiet and listened to his raspy breath. Despite my objections,
despite my bitterness, curiosity pulled. I attempted to stifle it, knowing that
giving in would mean wading into quicksand.
“Court? Come on, for old time’s sake?”
Resentment ripped through me. “Old time’s sake? Are you freakin’ kidding
“How’s Tiffany?” he asked, changing the subject to my sister.
“Horrid, as usual. Seeing you last year didn’t help her any.”
“I tried. I wanted her to stay.”
“Yeah, well, you had a weird way of showing it.” I grew tired of the
conversation. Such a pathetic waste of time.
I threw my cell onto the covers and moved to the walk-in closet. My gray
hoodie sagged on a row of pegs running above an unused shoe rack. My four pairs
of shoes lay scattered across the floor, resembling lonely children in a
deserted playground. Like the massive room, the closet was wasted on me. My
meager collection of clothes barely took one third of the space.
I pulled on my hoodie, adjusted my glasses, and went back downstairs.
Bending over, I plugged in the lights on the waist-high Christmas tree perching
on the coffee table.
Denny looked up, and his face relaxed into a grin. “Thanks, Court. I
forgot to plug ‘em in.”
“Finished with your math yet?”
“One more problem.”
“There are some chips in the cupboard if you’re hungry.”
Denny jumped off his chair and scrambled into the kitchen. The cupboard
door slammed shut, and he returned with his arm elbow-deep in the foil bag.
I chuckled. “I’m going for a walk. And no more banging around. Let Mom
I grabbed my heavy wool jacket and carefully opened the condo door,
clicking it shut behind me. The cold December air lent a crisp clarity to the
stars. They seemed near enough to gather in my pocket. I headed west toward the
ocean. A biting breeze brought the sour smell of seaweed and blew my dark,
feathered hair against my cheeks. I checked the time on my phone. Keegan should
intercept me any minute.
My passion is
writing! What could be more delicious than inventing new characters and seeing
where they take you?
I'm a teacher
so I spend most of my waking hours with young people. I love chatting with them
and hearing their views on love and life. My students are magical, and I am
honored to be part of their lives.
I've lived in
Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, I live in Indiana with my
husband, Paul. We have two grown children and a precious grandbaby, special
delivery from Africa.
teaching, I love to hole up in our lake cabin and write -- often with a batch
of popcorn nearby. (Oh, and did I mention dark chocolate?)
I was writing Breaking Ties from a perspective of blind faith – on the premise that these amazing pioneers did not simply disappear into thin air, but that they lived and laughed and loved and had a whole rest of their story to tell the world.
Then it happened. Last October – while I was still writing Breaking Ties - the British Museum released the news of a clue discovered beneath a patch on an original Lost Colony map. After many false leads and rumors throughout the last 426 years, this sketch of a fort located fifty miles inland from Roanoke Island might very well prove to be the first conclusive proof of survivors!
As a tribute to their courage and heroism, I am dedicating a fundraiser called A Thanksgiving Wish to these First Colonists. Running November 1-28, each copy sold of my debut novel, Breaking Ties, first book in the Lost Colony Series, will help fund the upcoming archeological dig of this newly discovered fort site beneath Scotch Hall Preserve in NC.
I am also holding a drawing for three gift cards to Amazon and Barnes and Noble – valued at $50, $25, and $15 - to appreciate my readers. Visit www.jografford.com to enter the Rafflecopter. Winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day.
A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue - hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum - that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.
Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.
Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.
Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes
historical fiction to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since. She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter. The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.
Hello everyone! Today I'm doing a spotlight on Heather Gray and her new book, Nowhere for Christmas. She is such a sweet author and knows how to enjoy life. Check out why she enjoys writing humor:
The Joy of Writing
Nowhere for Christmas
is a humorous novel that delves into topics such as family, faith, and taking a
chance on love.It was such a fun novel
to write!I enjoy reading a book whose
characters make me laugh, and that's what I wanted to create for my readers.
I always say I'd rather laugh than yell, and I did that
plenty while writing this novel!Even
though I've now been over the manuscript dozens of times, there are still some
scenes that make me laugh out loud.My
hope is that the fun I had while creating the characters and story comes across
to everyone who picks it up to read.
Of all the absurd situations that my characters find
themselves in, only one was completely fictitious.The rest were all based on things that truly
and honestly happened to me, or to people I know.Of course, I can't say that anybody's ever
had this much bad luck on a single road
trip.(That's where literary license
comes into play!)
So tell me – what's the most absurd thing that's ever
happened to you on a road trip or commute?(It didn't make it into this book, but I once passed a motorhome parked
on the freeway.PARKED.With nobody in it that I could see.On a VERY busy freeway during rush hour.Traffic was backed up for miles.It took an hour to get through the ten miles
leading up to where the motorhome was sitting.I've always wondered if it were the cause for the traffic delay or if
the driver had been stuck in traffic like us and decided to take a pit stop
right there because he just couldn't hold it anymore…)
Nowhere for Christmas
Back Cover Blurb:
Anything can happen on
the road to Nowhere…
A journalist and single mother, Avery is used to being in
control, though she tries to remind herself to let God take lead in her life.
Eli, her teenage son, is happy as long as he has his music, plenty of food, and
the occasional adult on which to practice his rapier wit.Gavin, a virtual stranger, is a
photojournalist who mysteriously disappeared from the scene a few years ago.
The trio ends up together for a Christmas road trip to the
small town of Nowhere.An eight hour
drive in a rental car turns into two days of misadventure and calamity as bad
luck stalks them.They get a flat tire,
the bumper falls off, the car overheats – and that's only the beginning! Along
the way they meet some interesting people – from a bait shop owner who
moonlights as a mechanic to a chatty preacher's wife and a highway patrolman
whose wife and mother can't agree on the best way to remove a skunk's stink.
Hungry, cold, and tired, the three finally arrive in Nowhere
only to discover the town is nothing like they expected. Reaching their
destination, it turns out, doesn't necessarily mean the journey has ended.
Some women are
satisfied with one man in their life. There are even women who would say that's
too many. Not me, though. Oh, no. Not me. I get to juggle two.
Avery Weston stormed into her editor's office and
slammed the door behind her. Mitchell peered up from his catastrophe of a desk.
The newsroom had been battling mice off and on for two years now, but
Mitchell's office had remained rodent-free. Her theory? The little beasts are terrified of getting squashed under a falling
stack of paper, or worse, getting lost in this mess and starving to death.
Mitchell, bushy black eyebrows raised, inspected
her and asked, "Yes, Avery?"
She threw herself into the only chair not filled
with file folders, books, and other paraphernalia. "I got your memo. You
didn't have the guts to tell me in person?"
His eyes returned to the article he was reviewing,
red pen in hand. Mitchell was old enough to be her… big brother… but he
insisted on doing things old school.
There was no way he'd ever get caught editing important articles on his
computer. He wanted a printout in one hand and his red pen in the other.
"I thought your temper might cool down during the walk from your desk to
"You thought wrong."
"I see that." Mitchell laid his red pen
down on top of the printout he'd been studying. "Has it occurred to you
this might be fun?"
"Has it occurred to you I might look for a
job elsewhere?" She'd worked for Mitchell more years than she could
remember. He'd given her the start she'd desperately needed, and because of
him, she was able to provide for the other man in her life. They both knew she
wouldn't be looking for a job elsewhere, but that didn't stop her from voicing
the empty threat now and then.
"Think of it as an adventure."
"Have you spent much time with teenagers recently?"
Mitchell removed his glasses and pinched the
bridge of his nose. "Is that the problem? You don't think Eli will want to
Avery sighed and sank back into the chair she
occupied. "He's fifteen, Mitchell. I told him we'd go north for Christmas
so he could go skiing. Now I'm going to be hauling him across three states to a
Podunk town in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere! Do you have any idea exactly how
not happy he is going to be with
Mitchell opened his mouth to say something.
Avery, ignoring him, continued her monologue.
"He's not going to blame you, either. Eli won't think Mom has such a rotten boss. How dare he ruin my Christmas plans?"
She let out a sigh and said, "This is all going to be my fault as far as
he's concerned. I will have broken my word to him, and he will have one more reason
to resent me for the rest of his life."
This time Mitchell lifted a hand to stop Avery so
he could say something.
Again dismissing his action, she said, "Do
you have any idea how hard it is to raise a teenage boy alone? Or to raise any
child alone for that matter? He wasn't always a teenager, you know. Eli started
out as a baby, and I thought how hard it was to be a single mom to this tiny
little thing that cried and pooped all the time. I never slept. No matter how
hard it got, I provided a home for him because he was my responsibility, my
joy. Then he was in grade school, and I thought that was as hard as it could
possibly get. I worked ten hours a day for a tyrant of a boss, then came home
to fix dinner for my finicky son and spend three hours working on homework with
him so he could pass to the next grade."
Mitchell cleared his throat.
Avery kept talking. "You know, when I was in
school, we didn't start working on algebra until I was in junior high. Eli
started working basic algebra equations in second grade. Who does that? Algebra
in second grade! Sure, it was easy stuff, but whatever happened to being a
child? But I did it. I wanted the best for my son. I looked at it as an
exercise in building confidence as he put in the hard work and saw it pay off,
so I sat there with him for hours and hours every night. Because I'm his mom.
Has he ever noticed any of that? Of course not! He notices everything he doesn't get in this life. And now,
thanks to you, he gets to add skiing trip to the list of things to hold against
me. You're a peach, Mitchell! An absolute peach."
As her voice wound down, Avery eyed Mitchell and
saw he had gone back to editing the article he'd been looking at when she'd come
"Are you listening to anything I say?"
When Mitchell said nothing, she leaned forward and slapped her palm against the
edge of his desktop. She didn't use much force, but the impact still vibrated
up her arm and echoed among the stacks of files and papers around the room.
Her editor neither jumped nor reacted. Instead,
the picture of calm, he put his pen down, took his glasses off, and set them
next to the pen. Taking his time, he looked up and asked, "Are you done
from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life
are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing.Years ago, she decided it would be better to
laugh than yell.Heather carries that
theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that
experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to
love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.