Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spectacular Spook Giveaway

You have come trick-or-treating at my door! Here is your tricky treat: I shall give a copy of my book 'Small Deceptions' away to a lucky winner. You can do any of several things to earn a chance.
1. Follow my blog
2. Comment on a story on my blog
3. Like my page Small Deceptions on Facebook
For 2 points, tout my book Small Deceptions to your friends
For 5 points, do a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Krista Friant wins this giveaway. The copy is winging its way to her house as we speak (or chugging). On to other things!

Angels and other Scary things

Firstly, I want to announce that I'll be signing books again this weekend. I'll be up at the Pioneer Bookstore in Mesa, Arizona, along with Betsy Love and Theresa Sneed.

So I just got finished reading 'No Angel' by Theresa Sneed and I LOVED it!!! I'm annoyed that I'm done and out of good reading material again. I can't wait to read her further offerings.

The book was fast paced and extremely interesting. I enjoyed Theresa's innovative ways of handling the plot. Her characters were 4-dimensional and interesting. I liked it that Jonathan wasn't a perfect person. The idea of a curmudgeonly angel tickles my funny bone.

I did find it hard to believe that in all the years Jonathan was sitting around not sleeping and eating, that he couldn't have read the manual clear through and maybe memorized it. What else did he have to do...especially when Faith was a sleeping baby?

I also would have liked to have more interaction with Faith. I wanted a few more glimpses of Celeste to shore up his reasons for changing his mind later. (I'm trying not to blow the ending, here.)

I liked the whole tie of the root to the idea of the Tree of Life. I caught the Spacious Building tie-in too. And the idea that our guardian angels are riding around on the tops of our cars was hilarious. It almost makes me want to watch the roofs of cars more often.

All in all, a thumbs up for 'No Angel'!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I just finished an excellent book. Identity, by Betsy Love is the offering today on my blog. I put that book down only with extreme reluctance (It's never a good thing to fall asleep at the wheel when you are hauling other people's children to Seminary and then school). I'm only sad that there's no more juicy goodness left. Now I'll have to hunt down the rest of Betsy's books!

Identity was fast-paced and well-written. I was immersed in the story line from the beginning. I could feel the main character's confusion and pain at trying to piece her life back together without a picture to go by. I wanted to kick bratty Delilah and Giles. Savannah's family became my own for just a little while. I'd like to hear more about Scott and Shawn. I want to know if Amelia's father ever found the peace that Savannah's family felt. I found myself falling in love with their family and knowing that somehow they'd be fine because they knew who they were and from whence they came. That knowledge is the most important in this life!

To me, the story was quite plausible. I know there have been mix-ups just as confusing. This story reminds me of that of Anastasia Romanoff. Her extended family searched everywhere for her when they heard rumors she might be alive. Had she survived the massacre, Anastasia would have suffered some severe head trauma and quite possibly profound amnesia. Mix-ups occur all the time. That's why maternity wards have such strict rules about labeling babies.

I really can't think of anything I would change other than maybe fleshing out Brent's reasons for loving Amelia a little more. It seemed like he didn't really know why he loved her that much. We know that he does, just not really why. I found myself really liking that Brent stuck by Amelia so well, despite her attitude.

At any rate, I laughed, I cried, I loved it. Hurray for Betsy Love!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Bit of Pivot Point

"Why would someone so fantastic want someone like me?" she asked the darkness. "I'm broken in so many ways. I have nothing to offer anyone. Nothing. I can't even offer a 'clean' body like Sarah apparently can." Tamsin's many sins rolled over her, pressing down with their awful weight. She remembered all those seemingly magical nights in Bobo's arms. So simply and easily he had led her down the path. It had all seemed like her own idea at the time; all those honey-scented kisses; all those flights into the starry night sky on wings of ecstasy. What a pile of rainbow-colored garbage.
Those flights had ended in squalor. All those beautiful dreams had just been false fronts like in Old Western towns. Nothing of substance backed up the pretty cardboard flats. Bobo's honeyed words had been empty flattery. What made it doubly difficult was that even though he had taken the gift of her innocence and thrown it in the dirt, she had first handed it to him on a platter, with sauce.
She felt, now, the terrible burning guilt of a life thrown away on glitter and spangles. She had bankrupted her soul with acts, which, at the time, had seemed so natural and innocent. "I was in love! We got married, even. I wore a white dress and we didn't even elope to Las Vegas, like Bobo wanted to. Doesn't that count for anything?" She asked God that question, and yet she knew the answer already.
As much as she had tried to gloss over it, the guilt was still there, growing and festering like a pus-filled boil; leaking poison into the rest of her life. Maybe this was what had eaten away at her married relationship. The guilt had so poisoned every thought that neither of them could stand the sight of the other. And now Bobo was seeking the arms of other women to put a band-aid on his poisoned heart. Someone should tell him that band-aids never stuck to hearts.
Tamsin went to bed feeling like the wreckage of her life would bury her. Why hadn't she been lovable enough when she was cute and had two good legs? What did she have to offer anyone now? She made people uncomfortable just being around her. She thought back about how the doctor had squirmed when she had unloaded on him. Stupid girl! Why had she done it? He didn't want to see the pus-filled, maggoty mess that was the under-belly of her life.
He lived in the sunshine. With every whine and whimper, she was thrusting away the only person besides Sarah, who was still around to help her—who still seemed to care a little. But how could she pull herself out of the muck? It was like being in quicksand. The more she struggled and felt miserable and felt sorry for herself, the more people backed off and didn't want to have anything to do with helping her. Who knew, she might pull them into the quicksand too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


A couple of weeks ago my daughter called from the hospital. The doctors were confused about whether she had appendicitis or a ruptured cyst. She was exhibiting the pain of appendicitis, but not the elevated white blood cell count nor was she febrile.

We immediately started praying for her but couldn't really think of anything else we could do. Apparently prayer was the best thing we could have done, though. She called back and told me that her in-laws had a friend with extra flight miles and he was offering them to me and to Lesley (a week later) to fly out to Kansas to take care of Nat's family. Bang! Answer one.

So I flew out to Kansas. (I enjoy flying and am getting pretty good at it after this summer. The flights ranged from fun to adequate. They don't even offer peanuts on 'American' flights anymore.)

Once there, I didn't step outside the house until Friday--barely knew what the place looked like until then. It was all playing with my adorable babies and diapers and taking care of Natassia, who got home the next morning.

It turned out that Nat's appendix did rupture. Because it happened behind some other 'guts', the sepsis didn't spread out into her system. That's why her temperature and white cell count didn't elevate. Answer two.

I caught food poisoning from some food one of the ladies from church brought (at least that's what I think it was). I felt like death for the whole night but finally, after the poison was out of my system, started to rally. I was still able to take care of things. I used a couple of plastic bags on my hands in case it was actually flu, but nobody else got sick. I was back to feeling fine by evening. Answer three.

On the way home, I had a lay-over in Dallas, Texas. As I sat there, I got the distinct impression that the three Middle Eastern guys waiting there were up to no good. So I prayed again. Then I took out my sketch pad and sketched the one who was sitting there with the bags (the other two went somewhere). Then I memorized everything about him (and the other two when they got back). They didn't sit together on the plane and disappeared when we got to Tucson. I have no idea if they were really up to no good, but I have a dang good idea of what they looked like. As we touched down on the runway and came to a stop, I breathed another heartfelt prayer of thanks. Answer 4.

Thank God for His tender mercies every day. I feel His hand working the controls of my life and hope that I can fly back to him intact.