Favorite Friday Fiction-Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler

My two favorite genres are Southern fiction and fantasy. Yes, I know, it’s a weird combination, but it’s what I like. Today’s novel is by one of my favorite contemporary Southern fiction authors. I’ve read most of her books and this is one of my favorites…

Rain Song

Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan…something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone…something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces.

But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart.

Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does…

Small Acts of Kindness: Aiding a Veteran

By Josh  Drzewicki

Living in metro Detroit isn’t an easy feat. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of poverty stemming from the decline of the Motor City that started in the 1950s, continued with urban decay throughout the 1970s, that has evolved to now.

In fact, Detroit was the only city in the 50 biggest cities to lose population between 2010 and 2015. I didn’t grow up in Detroit or the metro area, but I feel a strong sense of belief in the biggest city in my state.

I know it’s a digression from the story, but many people just assume that Detroit is some horrible place that looks like it’s out of a Dystopian video game. While it’s not beautiful everywhere you go, and there is noticeable poverty, it’s still like other cities. That includes the care that we show the people who find themselves begging for money underneath the bridges or outside ball parks.

I was in the Do Random Acts of Kindness club while in university, and it taught me to give back. I was inspired to help this older gentleman, Matt, that I always saw near 8 Mile in my city. He was always sitting at the corner begging for money. He’s African American and an Army vet as I later found out.

The first time I encountered Matt was shortly after I moved to the area. It was June, hot, and sprinkling. He walked up to my window at a red light and asked for some change. I didn’t have anything in my car at the moment, so I told him next time. I encountered him a week later when I ran to get groceries. Again, I told him I didn’t have any money on me, but he could get in and we could get some food.

He hopped into my aging Chevy Cavalier and I drove a half mile to McDonald’s. I told him to order whatever and we could hang out and eat. I ordered a side salad and french fries (I’m vegetarian). Matt ordered a Big Mac meal and two more cheeseburgers. I thought it was a lot of food at first. Then I listened to him tell me his story. It helped me realize that even buying someone a meal can increase their quality of life. Even if it’s just one time.

I learned that Matt was in the Army in the 1990s, back when I was just a little kid. He was injured during a drill and discharged. Through the years, he’s been dealing with the VA system with little luck. Eventually, in the early 2000s, he was given some prescription painkillers. Despite having a steady job, he fell into addiction which caused him to lose his job and his girlfriend. A year later, he lost his house without steady work. By 2012, he was on the street devoting his whole life to finding drugs.

In 2015, some clergymen helped Matt. They taught him how to get help as a drug addict. While it got him off drugs, it didn’t get him off the street. He’s been living there since. He said it was the first time someone had bought him a meal in six months.

Not everything is like it seems. The city of Detroit or even Matt. With a little help and a little bit of food. Anything is possible. I haven’t seen Matt in months. I’m hoping it means he got off the street.


 Josh Drzewicki is a variety writer hailing from metro Detroit. In his free time, he enjoys long walks through the city while listening to NPR podcasts. He spends time attending the local National Stuttering Association meetings and playing video games.

 

Favorite Friday Fiction-Alone by Edie Melson

Today’s book is in the science fiction genre. Alone is a dynamic read that, at times, reminded me of the debut Star Wars, my all-time favorite science fiction movie. If you like science fiction, you’ll love Edie Melson’s debut novel…

Alone

After her family is killed in the cleansing, Bethany’s purpose in life has changed. No longer will she be allowed to work to save her dying planet. As a slave, endurance is her goal as she marks each day as one moment closer to an eternity spent reunited with those she loved. But when her planet is invaded, everything changes.

Now she must decide either to align herself with those from her planet who condemned her faith and killed her family, or with the warriors who have conquered her world. Ultimately her choice will mean life or death for more than just her planet’s ecosystem.

She alone holds the key to a powerful secret, and the fate of the entire galaxy depends on her decision.

Sutter’s Landing by Betty Thomason Owens

I’m so excited to announce that Betty’s latest book releases today! Don’t miss this great read. But make sure you go ahead and buy book one, Annabelle’s Ruth, also…

Sutter’s Landing

Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep.

In early spring of 1955, Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law, Connie have nearly made it through the first winter on their own. Then the skies open up as West Tennessee and much of the south endures one of the worst floods in history. As many of their neighbors endure losses due to the flooding, Annabelle and Connie sit tight on dry ground.

As spring gives way to summer, Annabelle begins to dread Connie’s upcoming marriage and removal to Sutter’s Landing. Though she’s happy to note the growing affection between Alton Wade and her daughter-in-law, their marriage means Annabelle will be on her own for the first time in her life.

Connie’s doubts increase when Alton’s bigoted brother Jensen uses every opportunity to drive a wedge between them. Is she doing the right thing? Did she move too quickly? Unexpected summer visitors and anticipation of a new neighbor provide diversion and open possibilities for both Annabelle and Connie.

Purchase at: Amazon

Favorite Friday Fiction-The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom has written many great books and this is one of my favorites. The characters and story itself grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I think you’ll enjoy it too…

 

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him, as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers.

One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”

Let There Be Light!

I’ve lived in my home for a little more than five years now and I love it. But the place is over 30 years old and so are its light fixtures. “Dim” would be an understatement to describe the lighting in the hall, the kitchen, and the nook.  Dad offered to help me improve and update it.  Dads are much less expensive than professional electricians and he assured me he could take care of this.

We went to a few lighting stores in the city and after about 45 minutes in the last store, I found what I was looking for. I talked to the salesperson and ordered what I wanted.

When the lights came a few weeks later, we got to work. We got everything out of the Dad replaces light in nook April 2017boxes and took out the directions. Dad took down the old fixtures and handed them to me.  I gave him the new lights and their respective covers.  In each case, Dad looked at the new light, examined  the wires in the ceiling, and figured out how they went together so he could install the new ones.

 

 

 

Between the two of us, we got the lights lined up in the hallway where they looked good and threw off adequate lighting.

Dad replaces light in kitchen April 2017

What a difference it makes! The increased light in the hallway makes it much more inviting when people come over and when I come home.  The lights in the nook, and the kitchen both make it easier to function in the kitchen as well as making it more comfortable on the eyes.

It took a couple hours for to take down and put up the five lights Thanks Dad. I couldn’t have done it without you!

 

 

 

 

Favorite Friday Fiction-Everybody’s Broken by Fay Lamb

Suspense is normally a genre I don’t read because, well, it’s so intense. But every once in a while I happen upon a book I just can’t put down. Like the one written by my friend, Fay Lamb, that will be well-worth your time.

 

Everybody’s Broken

The walls have ears … and voices. Voices that threaten …

Abra Carmichael’s husband, Beau, has been murdered. She begins to realize that the man she loved was never who he seemed. Beau’s secrets endanger Abra, their twin sons, and everyone who loved him. When Abra’s life and the lives of their boys are threatened, she flees to Amazing Grace, North Carolina, and to Beau’s family–people she never knew existed until the day of Beau’s funeral.

For six years Shane Browne, an award-winning songwriter had both wished for and dreaded the return of his cousin. Beau’s departure from their small hometown left behind his family and his inheritance, a grand Victorian with its legend of secret passages, which lay empty. Empty until Abra moves to Amazing Grace, into the house Beau willed to her only weeks before his death. Shane finds himself deeply drawn to Abra and her sons, desiring a future with them and his daughter.

But the danger follows Abra to the peacefulness of the North Carolina mountains. Abra and Shane are both threatened, and Abra claims to hear noises deep within the walls of the old home. Shane will do everything possible to keep Abra and her boys safe, even if that means revealing secrets of his own that will completely shatter Abra’s already broken heart and destroy his relationship with everyone he loves.

Click to tweet: Favorite Friday Fiction: Everybody’s Broken by Fay Lamb

 

Favorite Friday Fiction-Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Hello, book lovers! There’s nothing like first opening a new book, whether the pages crinkle in your newly purchased delight or you swipe open the e-book you’ve waited for with your finger. I LOVE BOOKS.

So, each Friday, please join me as I display the cover of a book I love and a blurb telling you, the reader, what you’ll find inside. On the first Friday of the month, I’ll share a cherished classic. The rest of the month will consist of newer fiction that has captured my heart. Ready? Let’s start with a classic.

I love mysteries and detective stories, especially ones that take place before the 1950’s. Here’s the one that started it all.

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who first appeared in publication in 1887. He is the creation of Scottish born author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based detective, Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of deductive reasoning (somewhat mistakenly – see inductive reasoning) and astute observation to solve difficult cases.

He is arguably the most famous fictional detective ever created, and is one of the best known and most universally recognizable literary characters in any genre. Conan Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that featured Holmes. All but four stories were narrated by Holmes’ friend and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson, two having been narrated by Holmes himself, and two others written in the third person. The first two stories, short novels, appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887 and Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890.

The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891; further series of short stories and two serialized novels appeared almost right up to Conan Doyle’s death in 1930. The stories cover a period from around 1878 up to 1903, with a final case in 1914. in this collection you will find: Novels: • A Study in Scarlet • The Sign of the Four • The Hound of the Baskervilles • The Valley of Fear Short Story Collections: • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes • The Return of Sherlock Holmes • His Last Bow • The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes