Hello, friends! Summer is here and has brought an unexpected event in my life which will affect my schedule somewhat for a few months. My husband is scheduled for surgery next week and will be off work for six weeks.
Add that on top of my increased babysitting in the summer and a large garden to pick, can, and freeze. I’ve decided to scale back my blog work for a couple of months which includes Favorite Friday Fiction.
I still plan to get some reading time in so when Favorite Friday Fiction resumes on September 7th, I’ll have lots of new books to share with y’all. I’ll still post every Monday with Small Acts of Kindness so don’t miss those fun reads.
I hope you enjoy your summer. And I can’t wait to meet you back here in September!
What readers are saying, “Maiden of Iron from @EdieMelson is a must-read for fans of the steampunk genre & a perfect first foray for those new to it.” https://amzn.to/2kApyV7
Robin Hood meets Dune in a Clockwork Universe—Through the Eyes of Maid Marion Marion Ravenswood’s brother is killed in a duel fighting for her honor. Their father, the Engineering Guildmaster, withdraws and refuses to speak with anyone. Marion must now save the guild’s children and reclaim the family honor. She dons the persona of the Maiden of Iron to right wrongs not of her making. But will a chance encounter with the prince of thieves be an answered prayer, or will he just steal her heart and abandon them all?
Clutch of Constables is my classic choice for June. I love books by Ngaio Marsh, especially when Agatha “Troy” Alleyn, Inspector Alleyn’s wife, plays a starring role in the book. If you love all things mysterious, you’ll enjoy this great read…
A classic Ngaio Marsh novel which features blood-curdling murders in the confines of a riverboat, the Zodiac, cruising through Constable country.’He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities,’ reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as `the Jampot’.
But it was Alleyn’s wife Troy who knew `the Jampot’ best: she had shared close quarters with him on the tiny pleasure steamer Zodiac on a cruise along the peaceful rivers of `Constable country’. And it was she who knew something was badly wrong even before Alleyn was called in to solve the two murders on board…
By Kathy C. Houser
I had the pleasure of going to an Easter egg hunt at St. Paul’s in Decatur where my granddaughter, Ellie, attends Pre-K. We sat in the hall as they brought out the children in groups. It was raining that day so Ellie’s egg hunt was in the gym.
Being a proud Nana, I filmed it all. The excitement in her little eyes grew when she saw me sitting in the hall. I knew she would really enjoy this year, being four. When it was over, she discovered that she had found the most eggs. I stopped filming and told her how proud of her I was and hugged and kissed her. But that was not the end. What happened next really warmed my heart.
As we were leaving the gym, a little girl with only a few eggs walked up. Ellie looked at me and smiled. She then turned to the little girl and gave her two eggs. This made my heart happy, not only because she is my granddaughter, but because she showed kindness and thoughtfulness in her heart.
I told Ellie how sweet and kind that was to give because she wanted to. Ellie has always shown kindness. When she goes somewhere with my mom and I, every time my mom gets out of the car, she says, “Grandma, let me take your hand and help you.” She noticed me do this and wanted to help also.
At the Easter egg hunt, this kindness blossomed out of her own little heart. The kindness of children just warms my heart.
It was over a decade ago, but I still remember it well. I’d been in the hospital for a few months, recovering from complications of a surgery. I was getting better, but the hospital isn’t a good place to spend your days—especially for so long. I was surrounded by white walls, sterile air, and machines that beeped constantly every day. The environment only worsened how bad I already felt.
I’d been in acute care for several weeks after surgery and had finally been transferred to rehab, where I was re-learning how to sit up, stand, and walk in physical therapy. The occupational therapist taught me to dress, shower, and groom myself again. I went through PT and OT every day, twice a day. It was exhausting.
One afternoon I got a wonderful surprise that brightened my mood for the rest of the day. Matt Rexford, the worship pastor at my church, came to pay me a visit. I lit up immediately when he came in. It wasn’t part of his responsibilities at church and I don’t know if he was even on the clock. We talked for a bit and then the surprise got even better. Not only had he come to visit, he’d brought his guitar.
We sang familiar, uplifting worship songs. It made me forget myself for a bit and focus on the Lord. It attracted staff and visitors to a least peek in the room as well. Others slowed their stride as they walked by. Matt was encouraging them, as well as ministering to me.
Nearly 15 years later, the memory of Matt’s visit still blesses me. We may never know what impact our seemingly small actions have on somebody. Our words and actions may matter more than we think.
The Five Times I Met Myself is another great novel by James L. Rubart. The struggles of the characters mirrored my own and touched me. Like all his books, it is very well-written. Make sure you have a box of tissue nearby!
—Andy Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of How Do You Kill 11 Million People, The Noticer & The Traveler’s Gift
What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?
Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.
We all have days when we feel we just can’t take another step. If we go by what we see, life at times can seem pretty hopeless. But it’s not.
Go ahead. Step out in faith. Put one foot in front of the other, knowing that the One who holds the universe, is on your side. For always and ever…
By Cammi Woodall
Have you seen the meme on Facebook or Pinterest of the little girl with a purple hairbrush? You haven’t? Go to Google and look for ‘tantrum girl with purple hairbrush,’ It’ is totally worth it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Isn’t she adorable? Haven’t we all felt that frustration and not been able to act on it? This clip comes from the 90’s movie Look Who’s Talking Now, the third installment in the John Travolta/talking baby series. The girl in the clip is named Julie and she is mad at her brother. You know how it is with siblings – you can’t wallop them or send them back to the hospital. So you grit your teeth, shake your purple hairbrush, and let off that steam.
The reason I chose this Small Act of Kindness is because of my sister Holly. Back before Christmas, she was having one of ‘those’ days. As a United Methodist pastor, she was trying to juggle her congregation’s needs, family, friends, daily stress, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Feeling overwhelmed and attacked, she posted this meme on her Facebook page with a joking(?) threat of ‘Don’t make me get my purple hairbrush!’ Several people responded and ‘liked’ it with the laughing emoji. Holly had a good laugh, relieved some stress, and didn’t think too much else about it.
A few days later she returned to her office after being out of town at meetings. On her desk was a gift for her. Someone had gone to lots of trouble to make it look nice with a homemade gift bag and gold confetti strips. Inside was a sparkly purple hairbrush. There was no note and to this day she doesn’t know who gave it to her.
That purple hairbrush has become an official mascot/stress reliever for their office. Anytime she or the church secretary feel like each other may be getting angry or stressed, they joke ‘Hang on, let me get that hairbrush!’ That is their cue to step back, take a deep breath, and find a constructive way to deal with the situation.
In Holly’s words – “Every time I use it – for brushing my hair AND threatening, it makes me happy to remember that a good friend went to the trouble, not just to buy a gift and wrap it for me, but to find a purple hairbrush just because I liked it in a Facebook post. It was a great gift that still makes me very happy!”
Each of us face trials and tribulations each day and how we handle the stress of those situations is what defines us. It is easy to give in, to be rushed, terse, even hurtful or hateful. So the next time you feel yourself welling up with a harmful emotion, take a deep breath and shake your purple hairbrush!
Daughter, sister, friend, huge nerd, procrastinator… All are words Cammi Woodall uses to describe her self. A new one she is using is writer. That is scary! Cammi is a writer. Her hands shake when she says it or writes those words.
After keeping her stories hidden away for decades, she’s decided 2018 is her year to jump out of her comfort zone and get her writing to the public.
Despite darker reading habits, a comic thread weaves its way through her fictional stories. Even in emotional pieces, her characters use humor to cope with everyday tragedies. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying!
Cammi has contributed articles to inspiredprompts.com and has become a contributor for 2018. She looks forward to the day she can list the titles of her completed novels!