To Live By a Code – or Not

It’s been a few days again. I will certainly be writing more in the coming days as I’ve found that I do miss writing if I don’t do it. Here’s my reply to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Walk the Line.”

So, do I live by a code? Are there certain principles that rule my life?

No, not really. I’m not big on arbitrary rules and I don’t follow blindly, but that being said, some rules are meant to be followed. Don’t kill anyone (duh, but that icky, gigantic spider in the bathtub? Yes, you can kill that.). No stealing (duh, don’t take things that aren’t yours…..meh, except maybe a paperclip or opps, that pencil you forgot to give back from the office….hey, you meant to). Honesty is usually the best (there are times when you should probably keep your mouth shut. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to say it).Be kind (when kindness is deserved, and most of the time when it doesn’t seem to be).

Beyond that (I am I hope I not missing any biggies here…if it’s not in my meant to be followed list and it sounds atrocious, there’s a fair chance it should have been in the list), I’m pretty flexible.

I eat healthfully – most of the time (but a treat, or an occasional week of treats is not forbidden).

Exercise is good (if it is minus a billion, my dogs may get nothing more than a quick walk to the end of the driveway and back, while I beg them to make it quick).

Sleep is optional (set bedtimes, unless they are my children’s and I am finished for the day, are not necessary).

We’re pretty “alternative” when it comes to raising our children, but really, I think we make good sense and have grown from our early years where anything the “experts” said went. The children are happy, healthy, super smart and social. There’s no code to raising children, whatever works, goes, I’ve found (with that whole be kind principle from above, you know?)

So, yeah, I walk the line – but I might stray just a wee bit from your line. It’s my line, after all. Now, please excuse me while I go and listen to some Johnny Cash.

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An Inspirational Romance? ~ Review and Giveaway

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 10.29.17 AMWhen I was about eleven years old, a lady in the neighbour invited me over after school to pick up some novels for my mother. She said that they’d soon be good for me. As an avid reader I pulled the books out as soon as I got home and saw that they were romance novels. Ew, romance. After my Mum died, I pull these books out a few times in an attempt to read them, but I never made it through a full book. They seemed a bit cheesy. The love scenes seemed forced or out of place. They just weren’t my cup of tea.

I have to say that when I was given the opportunity to review a series of three inspirational romances I was a bit intrigued. The fact that the romance novels also promised to be a good mystery was also a plus – mysteries I do like. I gladly took up the offer and received the first three books in the Texas K-9 series just as the whole family came down with the flu. I managed to pull mattresses into the living room for all of us and we spent three days in a fevered, achy state. We did not move than we absolutely had to. I was so glad to have these e-books available to read at the times when I was well enough to focus, but too sick to do anything else. I devoured the books in about five days.

The series follows the members of a K-9 unit as they first look for missing boy, but then realize that there are much more widespread issues in their town. Each novel has a self contained story, but the crime ring arc spreads through each novel and you learn more and more as each story progresses. The story was based on caring relationships and not just spur of the moment “I’m hot for you” story lines – that was much appreciated. The books were kept clean with handholding and later the occasional kiss being the extent of the romance. No bedroom scenes here. The designation of an inspirational romance comes for the occasional mention of God or someone reading a bible, though I would have liked to see more depth to that.

I think these books were good, light reading for when I wasn’t feeling well. I was anxious to get through each book for the mystery/crime ring focus. I enjoyed the fact that the books were centred around the K-9 unit as I know how strong a bond can be with one’s dog and that shone through the stories. I feel that there could have been a bit more development of the characters as I would have liked to know more about them and their past and maybe a little bit of a deeper exploration of their faith, however, these were fine books and I very much want to read the last three in the series to find out how everything ends. Here’s a little bit more from the publisher.

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3: Tracking Justice\Detection Mission\Guard Duty (Available at Amazon)

Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can’t remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer’s target.

 
About the authors:
Shirlee McCoy

Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine — gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished. Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn’t until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book. Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

Margaret Daley

Margaret has been writing for over 35 years. She started writing in the late 1970s because she wanted to see if she could put a whole story down on paper. That book is still in the drawer and will never see the light of day. But she was able to finish a book, which was her goal. She loved teaching and working with students with special needs, and recently retired from teaching to write full-time. When she isn’t working, she loves to read, travel, and go to lunch and a movie with a friend. She and her husband, Mike, to whom she has been married for over 40 years live in Tulsa. Besides teaching and writing, she is also a mother of one. Her son, Shaun, is married with four daughters.

Sharon Dunn

Sharon Dunn first fell in love with mystery and suspense about the time she read Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade. Her first book in the Ruby Taylor mysteries Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves was a finalist for the Romantic Times Inspirational Book of the Year. The second book in that series Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. Her hobbies include reading, working out, hiking, trying to find things around the house and making pets out of the dust bunnies under the furniture. Before she started writing, she used to sew. Now she just collects fabric and patterns and fantasizes about projects. After nearly twenty seven years of marriage, Sharon lost her beloved husband in 2014. She lives with her three nearly grown children, two cats and a nervous border collie named Bart.

Check out the Facebook Page!

I will be giving away a copy of the next book in the series, Protection Detail, to one lucky winner. Just leave me a comment and let me know what your favourite dog is and I will enter your name into a draw for the book on March 23rd, 2015. Remember, each book can stand alone, so you don’t have to have read the other books to appreciate this one. However, I do recommend them!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Take Me Back to the Sea Again

“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.”
-John Masefield
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve always, for as long as I can remember, felt a strong connection to the sea and tides. I have been most lucky to have almost always lived near the ocean. I’ve missed it something fierce when I haven’t been near it. I remember moving to Cape Breton and getting out of the car on the very first day and exclaiming that it tasted like home, the wonderful salt air on my lips.
I chose the above poem, because I am not a sit on the beach and soak up the sun type person. I’d rather walk along a rocky shore and stare out to sea. The windier the better. It suits my personality. It’s a place to dream and think, but not to be idle. I must be in moving, exploring and living. So yes, bring me back to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky.

Posted for The Daily Post using the prompt – Places

Love, Sweet Love

I’ve been thinking about, and writing some, about love this last little while. Love is something that I have a bit of a love (ha ha)/hate relationship with and I’ve struggled to define it. Of course, because there’s no such thing as just dipping your feet, the daily prompt for today is Want to Know What Love Is. Yes, what a way to make this whole let’s get back into blogging thing easy.

If you asked me before this last little while, I would have likely described love as putting the ones you love before yourself and doing whatever you can to make their lives easier. However, I’ve been there and done that, and it’s not really love. Or rather, if it is, it’s a bit misguided. That kind of love is a good way to just burn out and get to the point where it feels like you’ve just given it all and there’s nothing else left in you.

I actually spent many years just going through the motions of love without feeling much of anything. I cared about those around me. I did all I could for them, and yes, I loved them, but I was also completely spent. I felt very much like I could give it all and get very little in return and it got the point where I felt pretty resentful much of the time. I just didn’t have anything else left in me to give.

Right around that time, I was given a most wonderful gift in the form of sweet boxer dog. I always say that she taught me how to smile and love again. Sweet Penny was there for me. She didn’t judge. She was happy to see me. She didn’t care how silly I was. She stayed close to be without being demanding. She knew when I was sad and needed someone (or rather, some dog) to be close to. She was so, so special to me, but sadly she was only in our lives for a very short time, but yes, she taught me to be open to love and what it’s all about – being there, being patient, knowing when to be close and when to stand back.

She’s been gone for over a year now (it’s actually very close to the two year anniversary of us getting her….so she’s been on my mind lots these last couple of days), and I’ll admit that it’s been a struggle and I so often get back into the rut of doing stuff to show my “love”. Last summer I posted on facebook about how very spent I was and how I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I couldn’t. I was finished. I talked about how I couldn’t be loving. I didn’t know how. A very wise woman told me that I didn’t have to do anything, that I was love, and that really resonated with me. Love is a state of being, it doesn’t have to be an action where you give and give of yourself to no end. You can show love in all those ways, but really to feel love, you have to be love, and I strive for that every day. It’s beyond challenging, I’ll admit, but one day I’ll really believe and I’ll just be love. Then you’ll see what I can really do. No more waiting for love for me, I’ll have it within myself.

I Miss You, Eh?

I’m trying something new here and using a writing prompt to get going. The purpose is to write, right? Here’s today’s prompt – Twenty-Five. Here goes.

~~~~~

There’s something missing – oh, the lovely first letter  will not be seen here. It tried to show itself right in the beginning. We use it so often. It’s difficult without it. This could be quite short, I think. Right now my dog is being troublesome, not the word I’d chose to use, but my little letter is needed for how I’d describe her.  I need to try to continue, but this is toilsome indeed. It’s work to sidestep this little letter, moreover the word. We use it to hold our sentences together. It helps us to know if something is single or if there’s more. I love this letter so, it seems. Without it, I’m lost, so I’ll stop this right here. Oh, how I miss you, my most wonderful letter; most wonderful letter indeed.