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2022 Welcome to Spring & Family Celebrations - click to read
2021- (Scroll down for prior issues from 2014 - 2021)
Winter 2021 - Grace Upon Grace
I’ve been reading John 1:1-18 in different versions, trying to help my puny brain grasp the passage’s amazing truths, though I know I won’t truly “get it” this side of glory. And even on the other side, I have a feeling I’ll need an eternity to comprehend our multifaceted God. But the Bible is the revelation we have for now, with a foundational though mind-boggling description of who Jesus is packed into the first four verses of John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (CSB)
While pondering those unfathomable concepts, I read down to verse 16, which says From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace, a statement I love because it’s proven true in my life. One version uses blessing upon blessing. Over the decades, God has showered me with his blessings. But some Bible versions and a couple footnotes indicate the actual rendering of the original language should be grace in place of grace or grace in place of grace already given.
I have to admit the notion of replaced grace bothered me. What does it mean? Is it like taking a favorite toy from a child and saying, You’ll like this one better,” whether the child thinks so or not? Could be. Twice, Steve and I have had housing deals for nice houses fall through because God had job changes and moves to other states in mind for us. Or is it like Paul and Timothy who tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this. Instead, God called them to Macedonia to launch a fruitful European ministry.
As you can tell, I’m not a theologian, but for me, the idea of ocean waves is a better way to understand grace in place of grace already given. Most of us have watched waves splash onto a seashore or a lakefront. Some are big, some are small. Some crash loudly on rocks, some lap quietly at sand.
Whatever the shoreline, waves replace waves in unceasing repetition, a sign of God’s faithfulness, I believe, just like the rising and setting of the sun and changing of the seasons.
Colossians 1:17 restates Jesus’ preexistent preeminence over his creation as well as his faithful sustaining power. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He’s not only the Creator and Sustainer of our world, he’s the Sustainer of our souls. Surely God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul. (Psalm 54:4) And because of who he is, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness.
That’s a long-winded way to say I wish you grace in place of grace already given in 2022. After the last couple crazy years, I think we all recognize our need and our gratitude for the Sustainer of our souls and his endless, undeserved waves of grace.
In case you haven't seen my very first book trailer created by my talented videographer friend, Leah Bower, take a look (or a gander, as my grandma would say) on YouTube. :-) Watch Winds of Wyoming Book Trailer
Writing update: Shadow Ranch, the first novel in the Children of the Light Series, is finished (yay!) and in the midst of edits and revisions. I wish I could do a “cover reveal,” but that’ll have to come later. FYI, Shadow Ranch is set on a horse ranch in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, not far from the U.S.-Mexico border. Here’s a blurb to whet your appetite. :-)
Not knowing he has other wives, Kasenia Clarke marries a man who sequesters her in his isolated desert compound with no way to escape alive.
Thanks for reading this far and for reading the stories I write, whether fiction or nonfiction. You can also hear stories on the podcast Steve and I host called "Let Me Tell You a Story." Our latest podcast, #131, features a falconry enthusiast named Dwight. Listen to LMTYAS podcast
~ MAY THE LORD BE YOUR HELPER AND SUSTAINER IN 2022 ~
Fall 2021 - In Times Like These
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the old hymn In Times Like These. Written during World War II by Ruth Caye Jones, the song was based on 2 Timothy 3:1. “In the last days perilous times will come.” Her words were true in 1943, and they’re true today. In times like these, we need to anchor our lives on the Solid Rock, Jesus. Another old tune comes to mind, Andrae Crouch’s Jesus Is the Answer—for our perilous times. (To honor copyrights, I won’t provide the words to either song, but you probably know at least the first line or two. If not, the lyrics are readily available on the Internet.)
Lysa Beltz’s new book, titled Becoming Unshakeable (and featured in my previous email), encourages readers to build their lives on the Rock, not the sand, as some of us once sang in Sunday school. :-) Steve and I recently interviewed Lysa for our podcast, Let Me Tell You a Story (#130). She offered to give a free print copy of Becoming Unshakeable along with the companion workbook to one of our listeners, so I decided to do a giveaway too. My offer is for a print or electronic copy of On a Wing and a Prayer.
Click our podcast photo above or here to listen to Let Me Tell You a Story #130 then email me (email@example.com) or Lysa (CoachLysa@lysabeltz.com) to tell us something you liked about the podcast. Doesn’t have to be long. A couple words or a sentence will do. Please name which book you’re interested in—or both, if you’d like. We’ll throw your names in a hat and have our hubbies draw the winning names, one for each book. The deadline to submit your comment, name and book preference is midnight on Sunday, November 7th—the day Daylight Savings Time ends. (You're welcome for the Public Service announcement! :-).)
Lysa is also discounting Becoming Unshakeable from November 3rd through the 15th. Check it out here.
Like most of the West, the Boise area has had a gorgeous autumn. Pics from our little corner of paradise include the lovely maple outside our office window, a beautiful sunflower in the gap between our front yard fence and the canal bank, Lucky Peak Lake near Boise, and never-say-die pansies in a chair.
Several of you have asked about my book progress. (Thanks for keeping me motivated!) This one has been slow in coming, but it finally came. SHADOW RANCH, the first book in the CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT SERIES, is finished, hallelujah! Now it goes to my wonderful critique partners to seek and destroy all my goofs. (No pressure on them, of course…)
I describe my novels as Contemporary Christian romance set in the West and sprinkled with suspense. The Shadow Ranch description should probably read Contemporary Christian suspense set in the West and sprinkled with romance. (You’ll understand when you read it.) Just remember, I always promise a happy ending. :-)
Here’s a blurb for Shadow Ranch, a present-day polygamy story set on a horse ranch deep in the Sonoran Desert.
Not knowing he has other wives, Kasenia Clarke marries a man who sequesters her in his isolated Arizona compound with no way to escape alive.
The ultimate happy ending, of course, awaits those who’ve accepted Jesus as our Answer for life and eternity. Despite newspapers and airwaves flooded with “in times like these” bad news, I proclaim the ultimate GOOD NEWS. In times like these, GOD IS STILL ON HIS THRONE!!!
“To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord before all time, and now, and for all eternity.” Jude 25 (BSB).
Copyright © 2021 Perpedit Publishing, Ink, All rights reserved.
Summer 2021 - Art on the Lawn & Writing Update
Wow, an entire year has slipped by without a newsletter from my tiny bookish corner of the world. I have a sneaking suspicion you didn’t miss it, ha. This extra-long newsletter should make up for all those I didn’t write last year.
In-person book sales don’t happen often these days, but I was recently privileged to participate in an Open House and Art on the Lawn event sponsored by Chrysalis Women’s Transitional Living. Chrysalis, a wonderful Boise organization designed especially for women, was celebrating the addition of another lovely home for program participants. To give you an idea of what Chrysalis is all about, here are the organization’s objectives (taken from their website https://chrysaliswomenidaho.org/).
Chrysalis Goals and Objectives:
--To provide transitional living and interim support and services for women at risk of institutional placement, women transitioning from institutional settings, homelessness, or coming out of detox or other treatment facilities.
--To provide Life Skills classes that are designed to enhance personal and family skills for work and home, reduce marriage/family conflict and develop attitudes and capabilities that support the adoption of healthy, recovery-oriented behaviors and a healthy re-engagement with the community.
--To provide an enriched Christian environment where healing and spiritual growth can occur.
--To provide case management and recovery support services to residents to achieve wellness and autonomy through advocacy, planning, linking, communication, education, resource management and service facilitation.
--To rehabilitate the resident so they may re-engage with the community and become discharged from Chrysalis within 6 to 18 months from date of entry.
Please contact Chrysalis through the website if you know someone who could benefit from the program or you’d like to serve as a volunteer or donate to the ministry.
I’d like to tell you I’ve written another novel and can’t wait for you to read it. However, my current project, which features women trapped in modern-day polygamy, has been slow in coming. I’m nearing the end of book one in what I’m calling the “Children of the Light” series, but revisions, editing and proofing will take time. My hope is to see it in print before the end of 2021.
For those who wonder if I’m tweaking historical polygamy to fit contemporary times, some experts estimate the current number of North American polygamous family members to be as many as 50,000, maybe even 100,000. I haven’t watched any of television’s “Sister Wives” episodes—don’t have the stomach for it. But I have a feeling they don’t begin to mine the depths of despair and mistreatment “polyg” women endure, especially in oppressive cultish cultures like the misogynistic FLDS groups and their spinoffs.
Now that I’ve slammed you with the book’s disturbing subject matter, please remember I always promise happy endings plus a little humor along the way. :-) If you’d like to learn more, here are some of the books I’ve read that detail modern-day polygamy (plus one historical), most of them written by women who lived it. Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs, Escape by Carolyn Jessop, The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron, His Favorite Wife by Susan Ray Schmidt, Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer, Wife No. 19 by Anna-Eliza Young, and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.
A sweet woman I met at Art on the Lawn recommended Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel
“A Land of Sheltered Promise.” Jane, an award-winning historical novelist in Oregon, included somewhat contemporary history in “Sheltered Promise” by telling the story of a 1980s central-Oregon town called Rajneeshpuram along with an early 1900s narrative about the same region. Rajneeshpuram, billed by “The Guardian” as the “free-love cult that terrorized America,” no longer exists and has been wonderfully repurposed as a home for Young Life youth camps.
You may or may not see a connection between free love and polygamy, but from what I’ve read, “love” is free and always available for polygamous men because making babies to grow their membership (and to control) is what it’s all about in such groups.
Lysa Beltz, another delightful lady I met at Art on the Lawn, is an author and life coach. She recently released a book titled “Becoming Unshakeable” along with an accompanying workbook.
Here’s what Lysa says about her book (taken from her website:
“I began writing Becoming Unshakeable in 2007. I completed 3 chapters and then God said I had to go live the rest before I could write it. The last 14 years have seen incredible growth and change. Many tears, fears, breakthroughs and a-ha moments occurred. All of those were necessary for this book to be what it is and what it was meant to be. God does not waste any of our experiences but will weave them together into a beautiful picture when we partner with Him. I hope that reading Becoming Unshakeable will encourage, inspire and motivate you to become who you were always meant and designed to be. It takes work, no doubt, but it’s well worth it!”
Check out Lysa’s book online or contact her through her website if you’d like to learn more about her life-coaching services.
Speaking of books (still…), I read a couple good ones as we traveled to and from Alaska with Alissa and Jim, our daughter and son-in-law, a week or so ago. In Wildflower Girl: A Lifelong Journey Beyond the Trail, I loved Dana Quinney’s beautiful descriptions of her many adventures while growing up during the 1950s in gorgeous Ketchum, Idaho. I was not surprised to learn she eventually become a field biologist.
I also read a whodunit, the first I’ve read in a while. Relative Silence, written by multi-published author and forensic artist Carrie Stuart Parks, took a look at dysfunctional family dynamics and kept me guessing.
Alissa just happened to take along Memories in the Drift to read on the plane, not realizing our glacier tour would leave from the small town where the story is centered. Billed the Weirdest Town in America, Whittier, Alaska, is only reached on land through a 2.5-mile tunnel that accommodates one traffic direction at a time, whether cars and trucks or trains.
BTW, I read Memories in the Drift several months ago and found the story of a woman living with trauma-induced short-term memory loss fascinating.
Of course, I can’t end this newsletter without a few Alaska pictures. Lucky for you, the days of home slide shows have gone the way of rotary telephones and I’m not able to drag you into our living room to show you our pics. :-) But I will say I was enamored by the colorful flowers (Steve says I went to Alaska to photograph flowers, ha), waterfalls cascading down the sides of craggy snow-capped mountains, endless greenery, intriguing wildlife, sweet fresh air, and rivers, lakes or seas at every turn. We have an amazing Creator who fashioned our magnificent planet just for us!
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens—He is God; He formed the earth and fashioned it; He established it; He did not create it to be empty but formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18 (Berean Study Bible)
One last note: The first ebooks in both the Kate Neilson Series and the Prisoners of Hope Series, Winds of Wyoming and Shattered Dream, are currently 99 cents on Amazon. What a deal! :-)
Happy Fall to All (who made it this far in the newsletter!) – It’s comin’ fast.
Fall 2020 - Photos and Book Lists from a Few Friends
A big thank-you to those who shared their book lists and pictures with us!
Shawna from Arizona sent pics from her beautiful state. She's been reading finance books lately and says these are super-easy reads.
1. Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey (The foundation of his budget program)
2. The Legacy Journey - Dave Ramsey (Looking at money biblically)
3. Everyday Millionaires - Chris Hogan (If you start young or go full-tilt after becoming debt free, one can become worth a million for retirement)
4. Retire Inspired - Chris Hogan (An overview of how to set up your finances to be able to retire and what to do once retired)
5. Smart Money, Smart Kids - Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey (For parents, teaching them how to raise kids who are smart with money)
In addition, Shawna recently read Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II - Darlene Deibler Rose
Mary from Idaho shot these great photos plus the "Wash Your Hands" sign while vacationing in Wyoming. Two books she enjoyed this summer are The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri and The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.
Dwight in Tennessee (as reported by his wife, Denise) is reading a 458-page volume titled The Beatles: Then There Was Music by Tim Hill.
Kathy in Idaho writes:
--Emma by Jane Austen (no explanation needed)
--The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks (Christian columnist for the New York Times)
--The Journal of Sedona Schnbebly by Lisa Schnebly Heidinger (interesting story of the settlers of Sedona, AZ)
--Encounters with Jesus by Tim Keller (can't go wrong with anything by him)
--In His Image by Jen Wilkins
--The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (fun little mysteries where the protagonist is an 11-year-old girl)
Currently reading The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics by Jonathan Haidt (very interesting so far, but a bit technical. A social psychologist's research on moral psychology and where our judgments come from).
Ralph, a Coloradoan, snuck over the border to Wyoming to do a little camping and fishing (Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest and Vedauwoo Recreation Area).
Debbie from Idaho also border-hopped to snap the first picture on a train ride in Oregon. The second was taken while hiking the Polaski Trail in northern Idaho.
Favorite Authors: God and Agatha Christie (in that order)
Best Books this summer: Lost Friends, Oregon Trail Diaries, Lamentations
Charley, another Idahoan, provided this list. "I think I've read all of Clive Cussler. I'm rereading some of Barbara Kiingsolver now. C J Petit westerns, mysteries, biographies, etc. I'm starting a novel about Heddy Lamarr. Looking forward to your next book." Thank you, Charley! :-)
Lisa from Idaho is a voracious reader, but she's been too busy serving specialty coffee this summer to put together a list, so I'm uploading the cover to her wonderful YA book, The Ghost of Gold Creek. Click here to read the Amazon description.
Bob in Oregon shared a picture of Agatha demonstrating cat yoga. Try this amazing stretch! It'll do wonders for your spine. :-) Here's his reading list.
--Too much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump
--The Other Side of the Wall: A Palestinian Christian Narrative of Lament and Hope by Munter Isaac
--The Future of Open Theism: From Antecedents to Opportunities by Richard Rice
--How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibrahm X. Kendi
--The Guardians by John Grisham
And on order - Caste: A Brief History of Racism, Sexism, Classism, Ageism, Homophobia, Xenophobia, Religious Intolerance and Reasons for Hope by Isabel Wilkerson
Laurie from Idaho actually vacationed in Idaho. Imagine that! Her summer reading--
"I read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, In the Dark by Loreth Anne White (a thrilling murder mystery), and I have to keep up on fantasy, so I've read several Bella Forrest books (author of the Percy Jackson and Harley Merlin series) and everything by Jennifer Nielsen. They're young adult, but Forrest writes with a terrific sense of humor and Nielsen writes very interesting stories. Also looking at some classics and rereading them, like 1984 and Lord Jim. Also reading some C.S. Lewis (his Christian writings) and started the Temperance Brennan series (by Kathy Reichs, the inspiration for the Bones TV series). Also read Code Red and started on the diet and lifestyle this summer. Have lost 42 pounds so far. Have been reading slowly through James as well."
One final picture: Steve and I visited Bishop Castle near Rye, Colorado, last summer. It's a fascinating structure and great fun to explore!
One final note: The electronic version of PASSAGEWAYS, A SHORT STORY COLLECTION is *on sale* for a short time wherever ebooks are sold. Four authors, sixteen stories! Click here for the Amazon description.
Now comes the moment when I copycat Garrison Keillor's conclusion to his weekly radio program, A Prairie Home Companion.
“Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”
Copyright © 2020 Perpedit Publishing, Ink, All rights reserved.
Summer 2020 - Favorite Reading List While Sequestering
Like you, I've been sequestered in my tiny corner of the country way too long.
Yet, the lockdown has been a good time for Steve and me to sort
through the garage, closets, boxes and files (our kids will thank us
someday!). And for me to start writing a new novel, which may
eventually become a series. We’ll see… Similar to my previous series,
it’s about a disturbing social issue (aren’t they all disturbing?!). The
challenge will be to find the happy ending I promise with every book.
I’m only 50 pages into the new story, which may eventually be titled “Children of the Light,” and can’t say when it’ll be finished and ready for your enjoyment. But thank God, you and I have millions of completed books available to us, whether in print, electronic or audio formats. I’ve read several good ones during these quiet weeks (and some not so good), and thought I’d share the better books with you.
However, when I searched our bookcase and my Kindle, I saw favorites from earlier and decided to provide a random selection, just in case you’re looking for an end-of-summer read. (Can you believe it’s August already?!) I’ll add Amazon links so you can read descriptions and reviews.
A Friend Like Henry: The Remarkable True Story of an Autistic Boy and the Dog that Unlocked His World by Nuala Gardner [sweet and amazing!] Amazon
A Tangled Mercy: A Novel by Joy Jordan-Lake [heartbreaking and heartwarming!] Amazon
A War of Loves: The Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus by David Bennett [enlightening and inspiring!] Amazon
Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson [beautiful!] Amazon
Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired by Wyatt North [interesting and challenging!] Amazon
People Speak 3: Real Life Stories [wonderful collection!] by Rabbi Chaim Walder Amazon
Pope Joan: A Novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross [Fascinating!] Amazon
Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller [incredible!] Amazon
Sinner’s Creed by rock star Scott Sapp [transparent recounting of his faith journey] Amazon
Truth Seekers: Ten Amazing People Who Found It by Sid Roth & Mike Shreve [great read!] Amazon
Unwritten: A Novel by Charles Martin [broken characters haunted by painful pasts collide on the road to restoration] Amazon
Wife No. 19: The Story of a Life in Bondage ...Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy by Ann Eliza Young (written in 1875 by Brigham Young’s 19th wife) [informative and sad!] Amazon
I won’t bore you by listing my stack of to-be-read-someday books. Instead, here are a couple I’m reading right now. Christ-Centered Conflict Resolution: A Guide for Turbulent Times by Tony Merida is a short but wisdom-packed primer for living out Christ's peace daily. Amazon
I’m rereading another wonderful Keller book titled Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. Like Tony Merida’s book, this one is short, but its concepts are radical, not what I was taught in Sunday school way back when. Amazon
Keller reminds readers that “prodigal” is defined as “recklessly extravagant, having spent everything.” An online dictionary includes “giving or yielding profusely; very generous; lavish.” The Luke 15 story is a parable of TWO lost sons, both recipients of their father’s extravagant love, yet they both fail to love their father.
Like the father in the story, our Heavenly Father lavishes his love and resources on us. Whether we act as elder sons or younger sons, we fail to love our Father when we desire his resources but not him. Gulp!
“Jesus is redefining everything we thought we knew about God,” Keller writes.“
He is redefining sin, what it means to be lost, and what it means to be saved.”
Now that you have my recommendations, what books have you enjoyed lately? Let me know, and I’ll share them in this newsletter. And if you’re one of the lucky people who got to travel this summer, send a scenic photograph and I’ll include it too. That way we can all revel in God’s creation, even if it’s not up close and personal. 😊
May your August be filled with cool breezes and fun times in the sunshine!
Merry, Merry Christmas to You & Yours!
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son
from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (HCSB).
Wondering what to give your little &
not-so-little ones for Christmas?
Great Books by Great Friends
Ryan and Michelle Netten's fun, colorful Cheer e-Books
can be found here and on Amazon.
Steve read Angela Ruth Strong's Fun 4 Hire Series to our
grandchildren a couple years ago. They laughed and laughed
and loved the stories. All four books can be purchased through
the publisher and on Amazon.
Your Teens Will Love These Books (and so will you!)
Click the these covers to learn more about these entertaining,
And here is another series our grandchildren love ~ lots of humor!
Check out Paul Regnier's Space Drifters Series by clicking the graphic.
The link will take you to Book One, The Emerald Enigma.
Prisoners of Hope Series Update
Shattered Dream and Tangled Truth, the first two books in the Prisoners of Hope Series, are now available in electronic and print formats. Book three, Hidden Path, is finished and in the hands of proofreaders. I don't yet have a cover to show you, but from what I've seen so far, it'll be another beauty. If all goes well, I'm hoping to release Hidden Path no later than December 31.
Thanks to those of you who've prayed about the series and encouraged and helped me along the way. I couldn't have done it without you!
Have a Wonderful Christmas Celebration!
Prisoners of Hope Series
Book One - Shattered Dream
Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and assistance in helping me bring Shattered Dream to fruition...finally. So many of you have supported me through this crazy challenge, and I am grateful. Just wanted you to know the eBook version is now available for pre-order before the October 20 release at a special discounted price of $2.99. Grab your copy HERE. The price won’t stay low for long.
In case you prefer print or would like to give a print copy as a gift, that version will be coming along soon. Can’t tell you exactly when, but soon. And audio? Maybe someday. 😊
Once you read Shattered Dream, you’ll likely be anxious to dive into the next book in the PRISONERS OF HOPE SERIES—Tangled Truth. You won’t have to wait long. Tangled Truth is scheduled to release a month after Shattered Dream. And then, you’ll of course want to read the third…
Also, in celebration of this long-awaited series, the prequel to the Kate Neilson Novels, Winds of Hope (notice the HOPE theme?), will be $.99 on release day wherever eBooks are sold.
Singer/songwriter Cassie True enters a rehab program that promises to change her life. And it does…in ways she never expected. Caught in a religious cult’s ever-constricting web, she fights not only for her sanity but for the freedom to form real friendships. She longs to put alcoholism behind her, finish the program and return to her career. But when her friend is forcibly separated from her husband by the cult leader and a young boy is abused at the cult’s elementary school, she can’t stand by and do nothing. See on Amazon.
Winds of Hope
Kate Neilson leaves a Pennsylvania penitentiary and heads for The Whispering Pines Guest Ranch in Wyoming. Although she’s determined to be a good citizen and support herself with her newly acquired marketing skills, other forces are just as intent on dragging her back into the pit. Can Kate withstand those who oppose her—and learn to love again? See on Amazon.
Merry Christmas to You
Well, I kept my promise. I didn't flood your email inbox with newsletters in 2018. In fact, this is my first - and last - missive (such a fun word!) for the year. :-)
Steve and i had a fairly typical January-December filled with plenty of "ups" - sweet times with family and friends, and occasional "downs." One challenge was a first-world problem, cars that took turns "vacationing" at a nearby repair shop. But God provided, as he always does.
I hope you had a great year, one where you can look back and say, "Yes, now I see God was working in that situation...and that one...and that one." The good news? He's still working on our behalf. Astounding thought, really, that the Creator of the Universe cares enough about each of us to step into our puny little lives. But that's what the Incarnation is all about ... Immanuel, God with us. Redeeming, relational love beyond comprehension is ours for eternity!
BOOK NEWS! I wish I could tell you my latest books are available ~ I've written two in the new "Prisoners of Hope" series. But a third novel needs to be written before the series makes its debut in the spring. Set in Montana, these stories feature a young woman trapped in a religious cult. My purpose in writing the series is to show how easily we humans become entangled in controlling cultures and how difficult it is to escape them. Yet, as always, I promise you humor and happy endings. :-)
If you're interested in acting as a beta reader or proofreader, let me know. My only request, other than to ask you to point out errors and weaknesses in the manuscript, is that you post an Amazon review, positive or negative, when the book is published. As a "thank you," I'll send you a print copy, once it's available.
Although I don't have a new book to promote, I can tell you the ebook prequel for the Kate Neilson Series, "Winds of Hope," is currently available for 99 cents through most online retailers. For those who haven't read it, here's a chance to purchase it at a discount. Winds of Hope/Amazon.
Wishing you Jesus' Love, Joy and Hope, now and forever,
I tell readers my newsletters are “rare and random.” Apparently, I speak the truth. I haven’t sent out a newsletter since April. But here we are in December again, so I feel I ought to at least give you a year-end summary of books and such.
Looking back on the interactions I’ve had with readers, friends and family members in 2017, I must say I am blessed. You-all are so gracious and encouraging—and fun! Your smiles and chuckles and kind notes keep me from taking life too seriously. Thank you for enriching my world!
One of my greatest encouragers is Diane, a volunteer jail librarian in another state, who graciously sends me comments regarding the Kate Neilson Series. You can read excerpts from her emails in the box below. I think you’ll enjoy what she has to say.
Two copies of your latest book Winds of Hope were waiting for me when I went in last Wednesday. It was like winning the lottery for the two women who were lucky enough to get to borrow the books. I wish you could have seen their faces. They just lit up. Probably the best thing that has happened to them in quite some time.
When I took the cart to the ladies [outside their pods], the Winds of Wyoming books flew off the shelf very early on. I had a chance to ask one woman what made her pick your book. (Thought I might be able to get some insight for you.) She said it looked like a good book. After a short pause, she went on to say that because it was so well used, it must have been read many times and therefore must be a good book.
The "well used" comment refers to the way the cover actually starts curling and wearing away. If you unroll and flatten the cover, it is no longer as wide as the book because it is literally worn out. There is only one other book that I have ever seen that was as well used as yours are. The ladies really do enjoy your books!
Last week, one of the ladies came out to the cart carrying a Winds of Change book and the biggest smile on her face. She had requested that book from me, but since none had been returned I was unable to complete her request. Well, she proceeded to tell me how excited she was that she found this copy of Winds of Change in the box in the pod.
I think I've mentioned before about how there's a cardboard box in each pod where books go when a woman leaves before returning her books. Then any of the ladies have access to the books in the box. She said she read it and it was every bit as good as the others. She wishes there were more.
Also, last week a copy of Winds of Hope had been returned and I was holding it for a woman who had requested it. When she came to the cart and I handed her the book, her face lit up like she had just won the lottery. I'm not kidding. I really wish you could see the reactions your books elicit.
Thank you, Diane, for JOY stories and for serving hurting women in your community! We'll be praying for you and your ladies.
Let’s see, what’s the latest book news? As you know, WINDS OF HOPE was released last spring. But you may not know the eBook version is currently available for FREE wherever eBooks are sold. Here’s an Amazon link: Winds of Hope
Also new in the eBook realm is a four-book KATE NEILSON SERIES box set. For those who like a bargain (and who doesn’t?), the box set is less costly than purchasing the books separately. As of a week or two ago, the set went “wide,” meaning it’s not only available on Amazon, but wherever eBooks are sold online. Amazon link: Kate Neilson Series
In case you’ve never checked out Let Me Tell You a Story, the podcast Steve and I record together, you might take a listen. We have almost 100 podcasts under our belt (or is that belts?), featuring a variety of authors and writings plus some fun and fascinating interviews. You can access the podcast through my website or on iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher and Spotify. Let Me Tell You a Story
As mentioned before, I’m working on a new series, tentatively titled PRISONERS OF HOPE. Between editing jobs (many thanks to my editing clients—I learn so much from you-all!), I’ve been writing the first book in the series. Because the subject matter—life inside a religious cult—is as appalling as human trafficking, a topic addressed in the previous series, the research and interviews have been heartbreaking.
Yet, our All-Powerful God of Hope can break through the lies and the darkness. My favorite verse is May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) As always, my current project will have a happy ending. Please pray for me as I search for the joy, peace and hope in the story. Thank you!
Speaking of JOY, I purchased the below-pictured stitchery in an Idaho mountain town. Joy isn’t something to drum up each December, but rather, it’s a gift from God and a way of life. The joy of the Lord is our strength ~ all year long. (Nehemiah 8:10)
The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I’ll dance
In the shadows I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength
(“Joy of the Lord” by Rend Collective & Ed Cash)
Wishing you and yours JOY, PEACE AND HOPE during this Season of Celebrating our Savior ~ and throughout 2018.
Spring Has Sprung & the Taxes Are Done!
What could be better than sunshine, green grass, spring rains, bright flowers and blossoming trees? If you're a last-minute income-tax filer like I tend to be, conquering taxes is the frosting on the cake (or the dew on the tulips). I finished yesterday and am still doing the happy dance. :-)
and in book news...
I have lots of great WINDS OF HOPE news to share with you. For those who've been patiently waiting for the print version, it's now available on Amazon. Just tap here to check out the details. AN AMAZON BONUS - readers who purchase a print copy will be given the option to download the Kindle version at no cost. If you like having both electronic and print on hand, or maybe you'd like to gift a paperback but read on your device, the same combo deal is available for ALL my books.
WIN FREE BOOKS! Reply to this email no later than Friday, April 21st, with a note saying you'd like to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of WINDS OF HOPE. I'll put your name in Steve's hat and we'll let the winner know on Saturday. Next week, Goodreads will offer another chance to win an autographed copy of the same book. That contest is open from April 18 to May 31. Input your name and email address here or here.
I thought you might like to know I've come up with a name for my next fiction series, which will be about a restrictive religious cult. The epiphany occurred during last weekend's Palm Sunday sermon when the pastor referenced Zechariah 9:9. Although I was paying attention - really I was, I couldn't help but notice a phrase I'd earlier underlined in verse 12: "Prisoners of Hope." (Yep, I'm still on the "hope" theme.)
Vulnerable people join cults because they HOPE their lives will be better there. They also HOPE to please the leader, who represents God to them, so they can go to heaven when they die. However, if a person disappoints the leader, they're punished and threatened with hell, again and again. Eventually, they tire of the abuse and their HOPE morphs into a desire to escape the cult. But because they've been warned that leaving will result in a miserable earthly existence as well as a damned afterlife, they're torn. They can either endure their present torment or risk eternal torment. Yet, my guess is that most continue to HOPE life will get better, one way or another, making them "Prisoners of Hope."
I've already begun the research and interviews for the books. Like human trafficking, which was the subject matter of my previous series, cults are incredibly evil. My goal is not to horrify but to expose what goes on inside controlled, closed environments in the name of our holy, loving God. Please be assured that no matter the suspense and trauma portrayed, I promise to insert humor and lighter moments and always strive for happy endings. :-)
Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 from Our House to Yours!
~ Ring the bells, ring the bells, let the whole world know
Christ was born in Bethlehem, many years ago ~
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Alfred Tennyson - Christmas & New Year Bells
Winds of Hope
You might remember that Winds of Change, the third book in the Winds/Kate Neilson Series, released last summer, but you may not know I'm working on a prequel novella titled Winds of Hope. I'm excited to share that story with you, but for now, here's a teaser.
The prison gate clanged shut behind Kate Neilson, the sound as loud and harsh in her ears as coupling train cars. She’d heard that clatter of metal against metal hundreds of times during her five years of incarceration. Yet with each slam, her stomach lurched and her shoulders jerked. Try as she might to steel herself against the jarring crash, she couldn’t help but twitch like a startled bird.
For the first time, Kate stood on the visitor side of the barred gate that separated the reception area from the wide fluorescent-lit hallway leading to the cellblocks. She still had to walk out the front door of the building and through the fence that surrounded Patterson State Penitentiary, but she’d crossed the final interior barrier
Winds of Change
Despite the tough subject matter in Winds of Change, I've received great response. I especially appreciate the sweet jail librarian who tells me my Winds books are favorites with her clientele because they can relate to much of what the characters experience. Here are a few more reactions:
This is my first Kate Nielsen read, but I loved it. I laughed, I cried and I couldn't put it down. It's full of suspense as well as heartbreaking information about sex trafficking. I have to go back and get the first two in the series. Thank you, Ms. Lyles; it was a great read. M. Rose
Loved the series! Sad it has come to an end. Can't wait to see what the author writes next. You won't be disappointed. Amazon Customer
A very enjoyable read with plenty of action and love interest. M. Fisher
I read Becky's new book one night this week. I didn't want to put it down!
Best one yet. J. Stoddard
Powerful Conclusion to the Kate Neilson Series - Intense page-turner. Opened my eyes to the cruelty and terror of human trafficking that is going on around us and throughout the world today. Showed the power of love, faith and hope to survive and overcome the worst of circumstances. Very well written. S. Bower
I return to Donna's Seasons of Prayeragain and again, but she's better known for her mysteries, some of them contemporary, some historical. Donna is not only an Idaho native, she's a super-sweet lady and an amazingly prolific author with a huge array of books to her credit.
On my reading list for 2017 is her epic historical novel, Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. I've heard rave reviews and need to get up the courage to tackle her longest book. Check out Donna's Amazon author page.
Get Your FREE eCopy of Passageways Here!
PASSAGEWAYS ebook available FREE! All you have to do is sign up to receive this rare-and-random newsletter. If you already receive the newsletter, sign up again. I'll try real hard not to send you duplicates. Really, I will!
WIN a Print Copy of Winds of Freedom Here!
Enter the WINDS OF FREEDOM Goodread's Giveaway before the the end of the month (and the year!) to maybe, just maybe, win a free print version of the second book in the Kate Neilson Series.
Find All My Books on My Amazon Author Page
One Last Thought...Let Me Tell Me A Story
If you haven't had a chance to hear the fun podcast Steve and I host called
Let Me Tell You a Story, give it a try. You'll find a variety of authors and topics there, including a couple Christmas-themed episodes this month. We're always looking for new material to read to our listening audience, so please feel free to submit family friendly short stories, book excerpts, poems, essays, jokes and funny kid sayings to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praise Him who comes,
our King, our Counselor,
Bringing joy, this silent night,
this holy night.
From Seasons of Prayer by Donna Fletcher Crow
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of the page! Feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested. Also, if you've read any of my books, fiction or nonfiction, I'd love for you to leave an honest review on Amazon. The more reviews the better because they help readers decide whether or not to invest time and money in a book.
Merry Christmas &
Happy Reading to All,
Hiking, camping, gardening and finishing WINDS OF CHANGE kept me hopping this summer. How about you? What adventures did you have?
Did you read any good books? My friend Val Gray introduced me to Charles Martin's novels a while back and he's become one of my favorite authors. I just finished his debut novel, The Dead Don't Dance, and found it to be just as heartrending and heartwarming as his other stories. You might like it, too. :-)
Just a quick note on this last day of August to let you know Winds of Change is available in print and can be ordered through Amazon. You should be able to order from your local bookstore within a couple weeks. Click the below link for an instant preview.
Here are a few of the kind comments I've received from readers.
Just finished it, couldn't put it down! I really enjoyed it. Gail Harmon
I read the third one on the way to Wyoming, it was riveting (and nerve wracking)!
Once I read the first few pages I couldn't put the book down. Eva Marie Beisner
This is my first Kate Nielsen read, but I loved it. I laughed, I cried and I couldn't put it down. It's full of suspense as well as heartbreaking information about sex trafficking. I have to go back and get the first two in the series. Thank you, Ms. Lyles; it was a great read.
What a whirlwind of emotions and events! Rebecca Carey Lyles newest book, Winds Of Change is wonderful. It definitely keeps your attention. I enjoyed it immensely. You will definitely want to read the books 1 and 2 of the series first. You can just see the characters grow and mature as the story unfolds. The Kate Neilson Series is full of second chances, new beginnings, sacrifice and love. Sit back and enjoy some great reading. Pat Cory
Earlier this month, we had a drawing at a local book event for a gift copy of Winds of Change. Congratulations to the winner, CJ Crisman! The book will be in your hands soon. Now, it’s time for a nationwide contest. For a chance to win an autographed print copy of Winds of Change, send an email by midnight, September 5th to email@example.com.
In case you’re wondering what’s next on my writing calendar, I’m currently working on a prequel to the Kate Neilson Series titled Winds of Hope. My goal is to finish it this fall and begin the research for the next fiction series, which will feature life in a religious cult. I have a feeling the research will be fascinating but possibly as painful as the trafficking research. If you happen to think about the project, please pray for me. Thank you!
Enjoy the final days of summer sunshine.
July 2016: I Say Comin' Round the Mountain...
when she comes because writing Winds of Change has been a much longer journey than I expected. I feel like I've climbed over the mountain, not just circled around it. But thanks to wonderful critique partners, great advisers and a gracious team of beta readers, I was finally able to type "The End," hallelujah!
I hope you're as happy as I am that Winds of Change is ready for your reading pleasure. Just so you know what to expect, here's a hint as to what you'll find between the covers.
Would you sacrifice your marriage to save a child's life?
Kate Neilson Duncan discovers new purpose for her life when she and her mother-in-law, Laura Duncan, open a home on their Wyoming guest ranch for young trafficking victims. But her husband, Mike Duncan, insists the endless hours Kate spends at the children’s home threaten their marriage. Following an argument with Mike, Kate treats three of the kids to an outing—where the unimaginable happens. If Kate and the children survive, can she and Mike recover what they’ve lost?
WINDS OF CHANGE is the third novel in the Kate Neilson romantic suspense series. If you enjoy engaging characters, vivid locations and high-octane action, you’ll love this final venture with Kate Neilson Duncan and her Whispering Pines family and friends.
Christmas newsletter 2015
What if I told you...
this will be your best Christmas ever and 2016 will be your best year ever? Although I can't make such predictions, I pray for God’s very best for you and yours. From experience, I know that walking with the Christ of the Manger, the Cross and the Empty Tomb guarantees us his love, mercy, peace, provision, power and so much more (today, tomorrow and forever).
What if I told you…
you can enhance your Christmas cheer by listening to “Let Me Tell You a Story” Christmas podcasts at beckylyles.com/podcast? Steve and I enjoy reading stories by authors near and far as well as bits and pieces of our own writings. Have you written something you’d like us to consider for the podcast? Write us:firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I told you…
Idaho is beautiful in the winter...and all year round? You’d believe me, right? If only our living room ceiling was high enough for one of these trees. I’m sure Steve would think of a way to cart it home. :-)
What if told you…
I finally finished writing Winds of Change? Yes, the third novel in the Winds Series is done, thank God! I’m currently working through the edits provided by the amazing Mr. Chris White at CP White Media. Winds of Change won’t be available for your Christmas shopping, but I’m happy to say it should roll off the presses soon.
In the meantime, you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway for a copy of On a Wing and a Prayer: Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry (click button below). The Wing and a Prayer ebook along with Winds of Wyoming,Winds of Freedom, It’s a God Thing! and Passageways ebooks are selling on Amazon for $.99 until January 16, 2016. Those of you who use eReaders other than Kindle, please let me know and I’ll arrange discounts for your devices.
What if I told you…
I post uplifting Bible verses on Facebook, Twitter and in texts several times a week? After 100+ Who is God? posts, I recently added Who is Jesus? and Who is the Holy Spirit? If you’re not my Facebook pal and you could use some encouragement, please “friend” me. Or email me your phone number email@example.com. I’d love to share scripture nuggets with you.
My purpose in posting treasures from God’s Word is to remind us all that no matter how out-of-control our world appears, God is still the Master of the Universe. His love and power never waiver, shrink or shatter. Jesus remains our Savior for eternity and the Holy Spirit daily penetrates Planet Earth’s dark shroud with Light and Life.
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in
the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16 (NIV)
What I wish for you...
May you know the Joy of Jesus this Christmas Season
and throughout the New Year
July 2015 - Fun Stuff Happenin'
Hello and Happy Summer!
I promised not to flood your inboxes with newsletters…and apparently I kept that promise. Looks like I haven’t sent a newsletter since December 2014. Hope you’ve had a great first half of 2015 and you’re ready to read some good news, including updates about opportunities for freebies.
Have you listened to the podcast my hubby, Steve, and I host? Although we’re far from professional broadcasters, we have a lot of fun reading poems, quotes, jokes, essays and stories of all kinds on “Let Me Tell You a Story.” And our listeners seem to enjoy the variety we offer. Stats show more and more downloads every day. Check us out! beckylyles.com/podcast
Fans of the “Winds” books will be happy to know I’ve completed a rough draft of “Winds of Change,” the third novel in the Kate Neilson series. “Change” may prove to be even more suspense-filled than the previous two. Here’s a sample from early in the story…today’s version, that is. Every word is subject to change at this stage of the game.
Sample from next book - Winds of Change
Clint lifted a coiled rope off the dummy calf he’d made for the rodeo event by tacking a sun-bleached steer skull to one end of a wooden sawhorse. A frayed piece of twine served as a tail on the other end. He lifted the rope in the air, and the crowd quieted.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced, “I’m proud to present our one and only contestant in the calf-roping event this afternoon, Billy the Kid.”
The onlookers applauded, but five-year-old Tiemo pushed his hat brim up and stared at Clint. “N-n-not my n-name, M-mister Clint.”
“Oh, I see.” Clint turned to those outside the rails. “Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. Wrong cowboy.” He slipped the coil onto his shoulder, spread both arms wide and shouted, “The Whispering Pines rodeo welcomes Wild Bill Hickok to our arena today.”
Again, hoots and hollers.
This time, Tiemo placed his hands on his hips and jutted his jaw. “N-no. N-not that g-guy.”
“Oops…” Clint shrugged and held out his palms. “Give me one more try, okay?”
Squinting against the sunshine, the little boy studied the stocky cowboy. Finally, he offered a solemn nod.
Clint took a long breath, surveyed the audience from one side of the horse pen to the other, and called out, “What a privilege to have such a famous cowboy take time from a busy touring schedule to make a guest appearance at our Wyoming competition. Everyone, please welcome Calamity Jane with a hearty round of applause.”
The crowd burst into laughter.
Tiemo’s eyebrows puckered. He glanced from Clint to their audience and back to Clint.
Before he could say anything, Amy Iverson, Clint’s girlfriend and Kate's best friend from prison days, yelled from the far side of the corral, “Hey, Clint, I didn’t grow up in the West, but even I know Calamity Jane was a girl.”
Laura murmured, “I’m not sure how much more Tiemo can take.”
Kate nodded. She had the same concern. Like the others who resided at Freedom House, the home she and Laura had created for children Kate helped rescue from a Texas brothel, Tiemo was sometimes overwhelmed by Clint’s teasing.
So, there you have it, a hint at the happenings in “Winds of Change.” I know…the above isn’t terribly suspenseful. Just hold your hats—there’s more to come. :-)
And now to the freebies. We have something for everyone in this giveaway mix.
• Wonderful Wyoming photo contest! Send your Wyoming travel photos taken this summer, or any summer, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post my top three favorites (and maybe more!) on my website (beckylyles.com) and give those photographers one of my books, their choice. Contest runs from July 1st through August 31st.
• “Passageways” Goodreads Giveaway. The contest for the short story
compilation written by Lisa Hess, Val Gray, Peter Leavell and yours truly runs
from July 5th through July 31st. To enter, click the Goodreads button to the right.
We’ll also lower the Amazon ebook price to $.99 during that same time period.
• “Winds of Freedom” audiobook. Listen while you travel, or plug in by the
pool. The first three people who’ve never before won one of my contests and who contact me at email@example.com will receive a link to download the “Winds of Freedom audiobook, which was beautifully read by our beautiful daughter-in-law, Jessica Lyles, and expertly engineered by our handsome son, Toby Lyles. (FYI, their children are adorable, too!)
• “Winds of Freedom” print books. I have quite a few on hand at the moment and would be pleased to send free copies to the first three individuals who, once again, haven’t won any of my books before and who write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in a discount price (even cheaper than Amazon!) – $10/no shipping charges – email me at the above address.
That’s the news for now, friends. Have a fabulous summer!
December 2014 - Light and Life
This holiday season, I’ve tried to focus on the words of Christmas
carols rather than hum or sing along out of habit. Just to be clear,
I mean lyrics with deeper connotation than those in Frosty
the Snowman or Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.
(Now that I’m a grandma, I find the reindeer song
I’m talking about words like “Hail, the heav’n-born
Prince of Peace! Hail, the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, ris’n with healing in
His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, born that men
no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth.
Born to give them second birth.” So many gifts,
so many promises, so much scripture and hope
in those few lines.
Like every Christmas season, I’m struck by certain scriptures. This year, a quote from Jesus’ mother, Mary, after she became pregnant, has resonated within me. “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:46-50 NIV)
Many generations after Mary, I, too, can say, “The Mighty One has done great things for me – and my family, and my friends. So many prayers answered. So much guidance, strength and encouragement provided. Holy is his name. He has been merciful to us.”
This Christmas, take a moment to glory, like Mary did, in the Gift of Jesus. He’s our Prince of Peace, Son of Righteousness, Light, Life, Healer and Savior born to raise our dead, dark souls – and to give us a second birth followed by everlasting life in his brilliant, loving presence.
People walking in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:2a NIV
Wishing you and yours the merriest Christmas ever!
September 2014 - Becky's Summer Update
Hello All – I realize we’re at the tail end of summer, but lots
happened over the warm months that I’d like to tell you about.
First, a fun short-story collection I compiled, edited and published titled Passageways was released as an ebook in early summer and is now available in print. Drop me a note if you’d like me to mail you an autographed copy (email@example.com). The price, including shipping, is $15.00.
FYI, Passageways was a group effort. My
wonderful critique partners, Lisa Michelle Hess,
Valerie D. Gray, and Peter Leavell joined me in
this venture and contributed an amazing variety
of fascinating stories. You’ll enjoy the collection,
I’m excited to introduce my beautiful new website created by Excelle Marcom, LLC. I loved my former website but needed more versatility, and I think the designer did a great job with the makeover. Be sure to check out the Freebies page and send me an email within the next five days to enter a “win a copy of Passageways” contest. Like the last contest, I’ll throw all the names in a hat and have Steve, my sweet hubby and shipping/receiving manager (smile), draw *FIVE WINNERS* and mail autographed books to them.
“So,” you ask, “what’s the next project?” Winds of Change, the third novel in the Kate Neilson Series, following Winds of Wyoming and Winds of Freedom, is in the works. Can’t promise you a publication date, but I’m workin’ on it.
New Audio Book
In case you didn’t know, Winds of Wyoming is available online as an audio book. Winds of Freedom has been recorded and is currently in the editing process. I’ll let you know when it’s online. Audio books are great for those who like to listen to books while driving or exercising or have vision issues that make reading difficult.
New Donation Opportunity
I'm planning to donate a significant percentage of the proceeds from September sales of "Winds of Freedom" (ebook or print) to a local organization that fights human trafficking. If you haven't yet snagged a copy for yourself or a friend, this is a good month to do so.
New Purchase Options
All my books, fiction and nonfiction, are now available as ebooks on several sites and in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In addition, I have print copies of some of the books. They can also be ordered through bookstores. Call or write if you’d like to order through me or learn which Treasure Valley bookstores carry my books on their shelves.
For those who’ve read my books (any of them), I’d love for you to write short, honest reviews on Amazon for me. Supposedly 100+ reviews is the magic number to create better visibility for books online and more readers of those books. Something to do with Amazon’s algorithms… At the moment, Winds of Wyoming has 83 reviews, Winds of Freedom has eleven, It’s a God Thing! has three, Passageways has two, and On a Wing and a Prayer has zero. Please help me bump up the books, and I’ll report any resulting “magic.”
Last, but definitely not least, Steve and I started a podcast
we’re calling “Let Me Tell You a Story.” We recorded
three podcasts last winter but then had one technical
difficulty after another, including computer crashes. But all
systems are now go, and the podcasts are available for
your listening pleasure on iTunes as well as here on my
website on the Podcasts page. Although we’re not trained
broadcasters, we trust you’ll enjoy the variety of short
stories, essays, vignettes, poems and jokes we offer
Please send us your ideas for future podcasts and feel free to submit your own work for possible inclusion in a podcast. We read excerpts from books as well as short works and will need either copyright-free material or author permission to read a piece “on air.”
For my author friends, this is another way to promote your books. Give us a call or shoot us an email! Here are links to the podcast:
iTunes: http://alturl.com/9kt24 (or type in “Steve and Becky Lyles podcast” in the search box)
That’s all my news for now. Thanks for joining me in the journey. I’d love to hear from you.
These barns are located in the Sierra Madre Mountains near the fictional location of the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch featured in the "Winds" series.
Showing off Our Grandson in His Great-Grandpa's Cowboy Hat
A Christmas Greeting from our grandkids! Listen now
Art on the Lawn (somehow I managed to park my table right in front of the porta-potties!)
Showing off our daisies
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