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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Gays Days. Talking Love with Nancy Shew Bolton

 
Another release based on I Corinthians 13.
 
The first one is Hounded by Anita Klumpers
The second one is Clue into Kindness by Gay N. Lewis
The third one is Greener Grasses by Julie B. Cosgrove
 
A Work in Progress is the fourth release. You'll want the entire collection!
 
 
 
 

 
 
Ah, love! Such a topic!
by Nancy Shew Bolton
For me, I had a close, loving family growing up, but we hit some rough times when my siblings and I were all teenagers in the 1960’s, and the closeness often became strained and rocky, especially with our Dad who felt pretty overwhelmed with his outspoken, stubborn children. How I longed for the uncomplicated days when we were smaller!
 I’d always gotten along well with boys, and often preferred their company. But due to a childhood trauma, as I grew older, I was wary of any romantic relationships, and figured I’d never marry since the whole dating process appeared pretty scary to me. Though I perceived interest from various boys during high school, I kept a friendly distance, protecting myself from the titanic hurts I watched my siblings suffer as they navigated through their dating years.
Then, in my junior year, when I was seventeen, I became re-acquainted with a boy who’d once lived next door to us years back, and who I’d hardly seen in recent years. He had soulful, dark blue eyes, and a marvelous, quirky sense of humor which captivated me. He didn’t show any of the annoying romantic attention that always made me wary, and I delighted in humorous bantering with him, and sharing comic observations about everything. He was such fun to talk to.
Somehow, he snuck through my giant defenses, and I found myself fascinated at the thought of getting to know him as more than a friend. Though I resisted it once I realized he was becoming romantic toward me, it grew more difficult to push away the strong feelings I had for him. To his credit, he waited and maintained our friendship while the attraction deepened. When I finally opened the door to my heart, he rushed in and though we’ve had our rough times, now five sons and 40 plus years later, he still makes me laugh and is my other half.
We also shared our spiritual journey toward new birth in Christ in our twenties, and God has been a huge part of our ongoing relationship. I am well and truly blessed with love, and children and we even have two grandchildren now. We’ve never had a regular sort of life, but I’m comfortable being rather an oddball, and so is my husband, who first taught me to embrace my eccentricities, and enjoy them, just as he’s always enjoyed his and mine.  God makes all kinds of quirky folks, and I’m so happy to share my life with my husband John, though honestly sometimes he drives me nuts!!! I wouldn’t have it any other way!
 
Check out Nancy’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…
 
A Work in Progress
“Love is kind…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4
 
There’s something cooking outside the kitchen…. 

They’ve worked together for two years, but that’s all they have in common. Like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Julie thinks he’s a shallow flirt, Mark thinks she’s a cold fish. Despite their mutual dislike, they’ve carved out a civil work relationship at the restaurant. But after each of their inner worlds suffer a jolt; the careful, polite kitchen routine becomes a stew of conflicting emotions. Things are about to get interesting.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gay's Days. Thinking about Kindness

Good morning friends,

I welcomed a cooler morning today. Whew! I'm not looking forward to Houston hot. The thought of summer annoys me. My morning slipped by yesterday and I didn't exercise. I remedied that this morning. At 5:30 am, I walked two miles. If possible, I'm going to a jazz class later. I want those three pounds I gained gone. When the heat arrives, I'll have to go to the gym. That's a thirty minute drive each way. Yuk. Driving in the Houston area takes time.


 
Traffic's gonna get worse in my area because authorities plan to widen the main road I travel. They also plan to make part of it a toll way.
 
Do you find it difficult to be kind sometimes? Boy! I do. I often speak before I think and my blunt words harm another person's feelings.
 
I've been feeling a bit blue because my latest book, Clue into Kindness, has been slow to receive reviews, but then, lo and behold, two came in! Readers bless writers with reviews, and they have no idea how much a review encourages an author.
 
Here's one left on Amazon
 
"This book was a 5 star book at my house. I identified with the feelings of the character. Personally, I have never been treated unkindly by my husband but I have seen the pain caused by such insecurities. I think anyone reading this book would and should be personally involved in re-evaluating their behavior and the reaction it has on people around them. This book was an easy read. Once I started reading I did not want to stop until I knew the characters would resolve their problems. I admired the fact the young lady's commitment was greater than her desire for wealth and fame. I think it would be easy for readers to change gender roles in order to see themselves in this book. I would even say this book should be a must read for young or old couples."  B Wright
 
Then another review popped up on Readers' Favorite.
 
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

"Gay N. Lewis' Clue into Kindness is a story about Georgia, a woman who loves her husband, but he often says things that make her feel sad. He doesn't think before he speaks; then situations arise where he does things that embarrass Georgia or her friends. Georgia is a kind woman and always tries to avoid situations where her husband verbally abuses her. Her kindness goes above and beyond to keep the peace with her husband, but she always feels like she is walking on egg shells! Even her friends do not like him.

Her life and situation change after attending a party at her father-in-law's house. Her husband Alan hears some home truths about his behaviour from his friends during the party. Hearing these things about his behaviour, he tries hard to mend his ways. But could it be too late for Georgia to accept his willingness to change? Especially after the years of verbal abuse she experienced? It is an arduous task indeed for her. Do we love unconditionally? Georgia certainly did, and even when temptation comes her way she is steadfast and loyal towards her husband. She firmly believes that kindness will overcome anything presented to her.

Gay N. Lewis' Clue into Kindness illustrates from Corinthians 1:13 that "love is kind." This is certainly not a romantic novella, but a story of the struggle of love and the power of love to overcome adversity, like a husband who can be cruel in what he says. Verbal abuse is not and should not be acceptable anywhere, and certainly not in marriage. Georgia shows utmost kindness to this, and Gay N. Lewis is adept at describing how Georgia feels and the ultimate changes that her husband would/should go through. A heartrending and well written story."
 
 
These two readers showed kindness to me with their reviews and their words encouraged me to keep writing.
 
A kindness given is a Godly thing.
 
 
Sometimes a smile is all a stranger needs.
It's a small gift to give.
 
 


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gay's Days. The Last Sunday


Good morning friends,

I'm on my way to church and I'm a bit sad. Actually a better word to describe the way I feel is bittersweet.

You see, this is the last Sunday our tiny church will own our property, buildings and facilities.  After today, we will be guests in our former dwelling.

Our little church grows smaller in a declining area. A larger group approached us about buying the property. They can't meet in our facility on Sunday morning...they are too large. They bought over twenty acres on the freeway, closer to Houston, but they need a small facility for office space. Our facilities can reach that need. They'll also use our buildings as training centers for smaller gatherings.

Our church has been owned by a small congregation of one hundred people since the mid 1950's, and we've seen many come and go...mostly in their casket and on to the cemetery. Replacements are hard to come by. Most people prefer the large churches with big bands.

The buy-out says we can use the facilities for five years. That's a good thing. Another good thing is that we will have no expenses, so monies given to the Lord through our congregation will be used for missions or for a relocation.

So it is a bittersweet moment. Sad that our church faces this change, but sweet that we can continue in our spot with a new look toward the future.

Enough about that. Now....for a lighter, funnier article.

My friend and editor, Delia Latham,  is happy to feel like an idiot.

Have you ever felt blessed with relief to be an idiot? I have. Many times. Read her cute story. You might learn what not to do.

http://chirpnchatter.blogspot.com/2016/02/so-happy-to-feel-like-idiot.html

Blessings everyone! Smile today to that lonely person in the pew.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Gay's Days. Got siblings?

 
Good morning friends from down here in Houston! I hope you'll read Julie B Cosgrove's touching story about her siblings. I found myself wishing I had siblings to come to my aid and defense--such as the ones Julie has. How about you? Do you have kind siblings?  I hope so.
 
 
 
Sibling Love
 
 
 
I guess most sisters bicker as they grow up. We have a tendency to be a tad jealous of each other. “How come she gets to…” and later, “Why do all my boyfriends notice her?” Even later, “Why doesn’t my husband treat me like hers treats her?” or “”Why are her kids so well-behaved?”
My sister and I are six years apart so by the time I entered my teens she was married. I felt a deep loss and for a long time I felt the odd person out. She and my brother’s wife were closer in age, so they bonded. They always huddled at family events. I felt the pangs of exclusion like the wimpy little kid slumped on the sideline bench whose muscles would never fill out his uniform.

Until my husband died suddenly in the shower getting ready for work. Though five hours away, my sister dropped her life and rushed to my aid. She boarded her animals at the vets, packed a bag and drove to my door. I honestly cannot tell you how long she stayed with me. Certainly until after the funeral five days later. Having lost her husband a year previously, she guided my numbed mind and aching heart through the planning, the visitations and the arrangements as I sniveled for days on in overwhelmed by it all.

When I sold the house and moved to a one bedroom apartment, all I could afford at the time, she returned. We spent hours rubbing masking tape onto the floors mapping out where furniture would go and plotting what I could bring and what I should leave behind for the estate sale. She then monitored the estate sale like an award winning  car salesman, raking in the bucks so I could afford the moving company.

My brother, an attorney, drove in to handle all the legal affairs pro bono without blinking an eye. All I had to do was show up at the courthouse and swear my husband to be deceased—by far my highest hurdle. Declaring him legally dead before a magistrate made it real, too real. My brother stood by my side as my knees quaked. His even-toned professionalism became my boulder. I watched, wide-eyed and tear-blinked as he handed off paper after paper to the court clerk. Documents all identified by letters and numbers which I never understood. 

Growing up, my brother seemed a phantom. Eleven years older than me, he was a teenager locked in his world by the time I could toddle. Then came the college years away. When I was in third grade, he walked down the aisle. After that, he moved away, had a child of his own and built a life. Eventually I did the same. For decades we acknowledged each other like shadows at family gatherings. But that day at the courthouse, he became flesh and bone to me.

God purposes good from tragedy. My husband’s passing brought me closer to my siblings and showed me what family-bound love is all about. Five years later, we are able to communicate at a deeper level, share our feelings openly, and be there for each other through this rollercoaster called life. Now, that’s true love— a love akin to no other on earth.
 
Check out Julie’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…
 
 
 
Greener Grasses
“Love does not envy…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4
 
Twin sisters, Erin and Ellen, covet each other’s lives and husbands. Their festered envy has not only kept them at arm’s length for almost two decades, it has placed both on a precipice of divorce— something they’d never admit to each other. 

Yet after two weeks together with their spouses, as they sort through their mother’s belongings following her funeral, they discover the flaws in their sibling’s “grass-greener” lives. But will that revelation help each sister appreciate her own husband and lifestyle as truly according to God’s plan? Or is it too late for a change of heart? 

 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gay's Days

Good morning friends,

Beautiful weather adorns us again in Houston. For the most part, we've escaped winter this year. Come visit us. You'll enjoy the days and the many activities in our area.

My latest book, Clue into Kindness debuted on February 12. I'm sharing reviews today and thoughts.


 


Reviews on Amazon
This review earned four stars. The reader thought Georgia too much of a doormat. Was she? What would you do as a woman or man committed to marriage in this situation? Would arguing constantly help? Withdraw and becoming depressed? Divorce? What is the answer?

This book two in the "Love is . . ." series by Prism Book Group. Gay Lewis often writes about a ditzy but sweet angel, but that's not Clue Into Kindness is about.

This story is about Georgia. She really loves her hubby but he's really kind of a class-A jerk. She responds to every cutting remark with kindness. And she takes it? I don't get it and neither does her best friend Jana who really would like to slap the guy. But her husband tells her that's not really who Ken always was.

Georgia has work to do that gives her more positive feedback. Especially when a handsome business owner wines and dines her and offers her a job . . . and possibly more? Georgia backs away although given the way she's treated at home, she's very tempted. But as a follower she could never betray her husband like that. Although who could blame her. Things change when they gather to celebrate her father-in-law's birthday. While Georgia is away from the table, Alan hears some hard truths but he refuse to believe them. He follows up and God gets ahold of his heart . . .

I like light-hearted stories and this was not one of them. But to shine a light on the subtle and yet devastating abuses that can take place even in a Christian marriage through verbal abuse is a good thing to explore. I still wish Georgia hadn't been so much of a doormat but maybe if it had continued, in time, she would have recognized it for what it was.


The reviewer above didn't seem to like Georgia. Perhaps the reader has never been in Georgia's shoes. Unfortunately, many have. Another way to look at Georgia's responses is this. Georgia was strong and well-balanced enough to find positive attributes about Alan and chooses to believe patience and kindness will change the guy.
Here's another review.
Great Book! The author presents well-developed profiles of two young married couples and their complex relationship issues and temptations. Although the text was easy to read, the themes and plots were unexpected, thought-provoking, soul-searching, and definitely convicting to the reader (me). I am specifically reminded of how in the haste and pressures of everyday life, it is far too easy to take those closest to us for granted, be critical, and even fail to provide basic acts and words of kindness. I've read and loved the author's "Sarah books", but this is an exciting new direction for Lewis that I hope we will see more of in the future--in addition to more of Sarah's antics.
An author is complimented when a story causes a person to think.
Another one.
When I was asked to proof the edited version of this novella, I jumped at the chance because I had read many of Gay Lewis's "Sarah" books. This one is a totally different theme, but Lewis handles it with finesse and tenderness. Through my 33 years of marriage, my late husband was over-critical,so this one struck a deep chord in me. Lewis tells the story in a realistic and honest way from both husband and wife's perspectives. I think every couple would benefit from reading it. I loved the main character's tenacity to see the best in her marriage as well as the sweet scene between her husband and his dad. Well plotted and very well written.

 One more.

What an admirable, well-drawn heroine Georgia is! All she needs is a little cooperation from Alan to make things turn out right. So many stories that begin like this one end in heartbreak. However, author Gay Lewis doesn't follow the predictable course - instead she weaves a realistic tale, dealing with a true-to-life issue in a realistic way. I really enjoyed this sweet story. It's definitely worth reading
 
Okay, your turn. Please read Clue into Kindness and leave a review. Ask yourself the question, "What would I do?" Or if you are in the situation, "What am I doing?"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gay's Days. Read the excerpt.

 
 
Good morning friends,
 
What's planned for your day? I discovered two pounds on the scale this morning. I knew they were there, my jeans told me so. Yuk. Cutting calories and headed to the gym is my plan, and you know how I love that.

 
 
Here's an excerpt from my latest book.  Three reviews are on Amazon. One reader thinks Georgia is too much of a doormat. What do you think?
 
In Georgia's situation, she could have argued with her hubby more. Would that benefit her? She could have divorced him or had an affair. Would that have been the kind or the Christian thing to do? Georgia loves Alan, her husband, but will love die because of his attitude toward her?
 
Women and men who find themselves in Georgia's position face hard choices. 
 
 
 
 
 
EXCERPT
Copyright 2016 Gay N Lewis
 
Georgia loved this Italian restaurant, and having dinner with her husband’s best friend, Ken, and his wife was a treat too. And to top it all off, Jana, Ken’s wife, had become her best friend. Fine food with companions she loved—an evening couldn’t be better.

At least until this moment, anyway. Georgia wished the topic hadn’t switched to political leaders.
“Georgia, you don’t know what you’re talking about. That guy is a bozo.”

Georgia cringed as though bitten by a scorpion. Why did he need to sound so condescending?
Ken winked at her and reached out to touch Alan’s shoulder.

 “Hey, old buddy, don’t get all excited. The four of us can share different opinions, can’t we? Shoot, you and I’ve been friends since kindergarten. Have we always agreed? Nope—not hardly. Remember those days when we argued at recess? You wanted to play tag with the girls and I wanted to swing. I ended up going with you. Turned out well, chasing those little lassies was fun too.”

How kind of Ken to defend her after Alan’s embarrassing remark. Had her sweetheart harped on such things before they married? Georgia sighed. No, she didn’t think so—didn’t remember any. When they dated, he’d complimented her and seemed pleased with anything she’d said. If he’d made some of the observations he’d made today, she might’ve entertained second thoughts about the life-time commitment.

Jana sipped an iced tea. “Ken always defends the underdog. Don’t you, honey? He’s been like that ever since I’ve known him, but I agree with Alan. That politician is a bozo.”

Georgia toyed with a napkin. “I didn’t care for the way he voted on the tax issue, however he’s done well with other matters.” Who cared if this group failed to appreciate her opinions? She held the right to speak them, even though she risked her husband’s scorn. On the other hand, would this kind of reaction cause him to treasure her? Probably not. She wanted Alan to appreciate and value her accomplishments. Oh well, she’d keep trying to make him see her as special.

“Which day in our history did you become an expert on current events? When we dated, you were a party girl—the campus beauty queen. You weren’t tuned into politics.” Alan waved a dismissive hand as he spoke to Georgia. “Now, me? I’ve always been interested. I study the issues and learn what’s going on.” He wiggled a finger. “After three years of marriage, you’ve become a real know-it-all.”

“Maybe you’ve taught her a lot about world affairs.” Jana crossed her legs and shifted her weight. “You’ve shown Ken a thing or two. He watches cable television now—even reads the newspaper. I like having him at the morning table with me rather than sitting at the computer.”
How polite of Jana to smooth things over.

A server carried a large tray on his shoulder and the aroma of garlic drifted down to their table.
“I thought he had our order. I’m starving.” Alan viewed the dimly lit restaurant as if he hoped another server would appear with their meal. “I made sure my customers’ bread baskets were full to go along with their drinks when I waited tables in college. Our waiter doesn’t understand his job.” He held up a basket. “Look at this. This thing should be restocked with rolls, and the guy can’t bother to refill our glasses, either. He won’t get much of a gratuity from me.”

Jana nodded. “He’s forgetful but I’d hate not to give him the fifteen percent.”

“When a person does a respectable job, I tip twenty to thirty percent.”

“Perhaps he’s new.” Georgia lifted her eyebrows as she scanned the room.

“No matter. He needs to use common sense. When I held his position, I earned more money in tips from satisfied customers than all the servers combined. The staff couldn’t figure out how I did it. I used my head and checked on people.”

Georgia patted Alan’s arm. “You did well, honey. You took me to some elegant places during those days. We even went to restaurants similar to this. Alan was very romantic back then.” She fingered the white table cloth. “Our favorite Italian bistro sported red-checkered cloths and candles instead of this neutral color.”

“If I’d known Ken through college years, our dates might have been hot dogs and free movies.” Jana touched her husband’s arm and gave him a wink. “And I’d have loved every minute of it. Too bad I didn’t meet you earlier.”

“I wish you’d been around, too. Hot dogs would’ve tasted gourmet with you there.” Ken shrugged. “The paycheck from the campus bookstore was small—Alan earned more in the restaurant, but I enjoyed the job. Reading has always been a hobby to me, and now as editor of Always Texas Living, it’s my career.”

“But we didn’t take the paper in the early days of marriage.” Jana’s tone carried a hint of reproach, however she smiled apologetically and glanced at Georgia. “A long-time habit. Had to have my newspaper first thing with coffee.”

Now why couldn’t Alan be more like Ken? How she longed for cozy moments similar to the ones her friends shared. Georgia tried to ignore the gnawing ache of loneliness in her heart.

“Alan finally convinced me to subscribe to the Houston Chronicle. Before the paper, I got information solely off the Internet. Good job, old buddy.” Ken lifted a water glass in a mock toast. “Thanks. The newspaper helps me with work. You can’t imagine how many ideas it generates for me.”


“Glad I helped.” Alan searched the room again for the server and scowled. “Where is the waiter?” He turned his attention to Jana. “Ken wasn’t as fast on his feet as me—never has been. I always tagged the most girls at recess.” He gestured—palms up. “Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. Did you know I ran track in high school? I switched to baseball when I entered college. My speed and good arm earned me the position of shortstop on the team. Found it difficult to maintain my GPA, work at night, and take on athletic duties during the day, but I did it.”

“I keep Alan’s trophies in the bookcase. I’m sure you’ve seen them. He has many accomplishments, past and present.” Georgia smiled at Jana. Maybe that remark will please Alan and win some points for me. Hope so, anyway.

Jana performed a subtle eye roll. “Yes. He pointed them out once and described each event. The awards are good mementoes of former days. Ken often talks about those high school meets and university ball games. We don’t have plaques or medals at our house. We aren’t athletically inclined.”

Ken and Jana grinned at each other.

Georgia blotted her lips and returned the napkin to her lap. “Alan runs five miles every morning. I’m so proud of him. Rain or shine—he’s out there.”

Alan patted his abdomen. “Got to keep the six-pack in shape.” He pointed a finger at Georgia. “When are you going to start jogging? Your waistline could use some attention. You’ve gained a few since our wedding day.”

“You’re right, but I’m content to merely walk a mile or two.” Georgia clutched her hands in her lap.
“You should join me sometime for yoga class.” Jana glanced at her watch. “My session usually meets right now, however the class for tonight was canceled.”

“Yoga might be okay for stretching, but it won’t burn as many calories as a decent run. I’ve tried to convince Georgia to go with me every morning. An early jog is beneficial for the metabolism, and it spawns more energy. She’s gained three pounds—one for each year we’ve been married. At this rate, she’ll be fifty pounds heavier on our golden anniversary.”

Why must he publicize such things? Georgia determined to show no response. Was her smile placid? She hoped so.

“Are you going to train for the marathon?” While toying with his spoon, Ken directed his question to Alan.

“Yep. Plan to win the thing.”

All this bragging is bound to bore Jana. Georgia focused her attention on her friend. “Are you enjoying your promotion? I can’t imagine sitting at a desk all day and analyzing data on spread sheets.”

“The work overwhelmed me at first, but I love it now.”

“New employment can do it. I remember when I initially joined Wick’s Pipe and Fitting, I was uncomfortable, but it didn’t take me long to find my groove. Of course, I’m a people person, and selling has always been my thing.” Alan’s proud grin reminded Georgia of a cat she’d once seen who’d hidden a songbird in the bushes.

The server appeared, placed dishes in front of them, and mixed up the orders. Alan frowned. “I asked for lasagna, and Ken ordered the grilled chicken.” He switched the plates. “Georgia wanted fettuccini, and Jana requested spaghetti. Ladies, trade your platters.” He squinted at the waiter. “Would you bring bread and refill the tea glasses.”

With a red face, the server nodded and scurried off.

“Honestly. Did you ever witness such incompetence?” Alan expressed his opinion loud enough for the retreating employee to hear it.

Georgia picked up her fork and poised to eat. “Oh, it’s okay. No harm done.”

Alan scowled. “Perhaps not, but even if you don’t agree about politicians, why can’t you see eye to eye with me regarding the waiter?”

“Sorry. I guess you’re right. He has a lot to learn.” She turned her head toward Jana. “How’s your spaghetti?”

“Spicy and delicious.”

“This chicken is good, too.” Ken leaned in to kiss Jana. “But not as juicy as yours. My wife treats me to fantastic suppers and her grilled chicken is a favorite of mine.”

Jana beamed. “Thanks. I use Mom’s recipe. I marinate with secret spices for a minimum of six hours before I place it on the grill.”

“Georgia does okay with spaghetti and meat sauce from a jar. She’s not a fancy cook.”

“And it’s a good thing I’m not a food expert. How else could I help you keep your six-pack in such excellent condition? If I were a gourmet chef, you might need to run ten miles each day.”

Three of them laughed as though she’d told the best yarn of the century.

Georgia glanced at Alan. He hadn’t found merriment in the comment. Maybe her statement sounded too unkind. Well, she’d make it up to him. This man owned her heart. No way did she want to hurt him.
 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Gay's Days Kindness is here!


February 12. 2016 is here!

“Yes, so?” You ask.
Well, it's a lovely day in Houston, and I usually begin my greeting with a weather report. The temp is warm and it's perfect for outdoor activities, but I'll be inside. I'm busy today telling you about important books. So here goes.
My novella, Clue into Kindness, officially releases today--two days before Valentine's Day.


Prism Book Group kicked off the love season last week with Hounded. These books are based on I Corinthians 13. Prism’s plan includes one book per week for the year. You’ll want to read these inspiring books.


Here’s my review for the book above, Hounded—the first book in the series.

Elise Amberson's is a widow, not once but twice, and she's not yet thirty years old. After husband number one is killed while serving his country, she marries an older man and enters a dysfunctional family. At the funeral for her second husband, a former high school friend, Russ, a minister, attends the service. We learn, little by little, that Russ has always loved Elise. Russ is a patient man but never assumes Elise will return his love. A second long-time friend, Steve, now a detective, appears ready to take Elise to jail for her husband's murder.

We appreciate the patience and longsuffering of the minister, but we see God as the true patient One. Elise has turned her back on Him, but He waited for her to return. Elise left Him, but He never left her. No one is more patient than God Himself. Thanks Ms. Klumpers for an excellent read.

I thought you might want to read a blurb from Clue into Kindness. Although this is a Christian book, I mention very little about God in this story, but by the actions of Georgia, the heroine, I hope you see her Christianity.

 
heart clip art free

 
 Clue into Kindness is the second book in the Love Is series.

Clue into Kindness
by Gay N. Lewis

“Love is kind…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4

Georgia loves her husband, Alan. She shows him kindness with actions and words, but Alan responds in a heartless, selfish way. To receive respect and admiration from people, he believes he must have a perfect wife—so he criticizes Georgia at every opportunity—even tells her she’s fat! Alan’s best friend Ken and his wife Jana, reassure Georgia that she remains the gorgeous beauty queen she was during her college days. Who will Georgia believe—her friends or the mysterious, handsome stranger who comes into her life? Circumstances bring a change to Alan’s attitudes. But is it too late to save this marriage?

 These two books are now released. I hope you’ll read them and write a review. Reviews are important to authors. We need feedback to see how we’re doing and what ya’ll like.

Happy reading and even if your day is gloomy, keep smiling.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gay's Days. My intimate story

Good morning friends,

We are having another beautiful morning down here in the Houston area. Voters in New Hampshire go to the polls today amidst snowy conditions. Good for them! Nothing is more important than casting a ballot. The candidates from both political parties are urging everyone to respond, and I hope the citizens of that great state do so.

Prism Book Group is releasing the Love Is series this month for a Valentine emphasis. My book, Clue into Kindness, is the second one among many to come out. I hope you'll read it. You can preorder today but must wait until Friday for the novella to appear on your device.

When our publisher asked us to write our personal love story, I was a little hesitant. Even though I sometimes share this anecdote, it is still a private one. At first I thought I'd write about love for my three daughters. Then I considered something silly and whimsical like exposing my adoration for my granddog, Mindy. Casting those ideas aside, I decided to tell you how hubby and I experienced a whirlwind experience.

I hope you enjoy.
 
A Whirlwind Relationship

 
 

At the age of seventeen, my boyfriend presented me with an engagement ring. I said yes and then wondered what I’d done.

My fiancé was good-looking, charming, and he cared for me, but our goals were different. The man I’d promised to marry planned life as a farmer. Can you imagine me as a farmer’s wife? I grew up in the city, had never even planted a pot of ivy, and possessed no idea about country life.

And to top that off, at the age of eight, I’d surrendered for God’s service. I presumed I’d teach children Bible stories in a distant country in South America. After all, I was studying Spanish.

To say I had second thoughts about marriage to this nice guy is an understatement. Our ideas were totally incompatible. I guess when I said yes I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

I finally decided it would be kinder to undo this tragedy in the early stages rather than continue in a relationship destined for failure. Three months later, on a Saturday night, I gave him the ring back. He reluctantly accepted it and said to me, “You’re gonna get your feet wet.”

As I tried to sleep the night of our heartbreaking parting, I thought about his odd remark. I’d never heard the expression before, but I had an idea what he meant. The thought came to me that my feet had been in hot water when I’d accepted his proposal. I’d just dried them off when I returned the ring.

The next morning dawned warm for early March in Texas. After church, I spent the afternoon washing cars for a high school fundraiser. The project kept my mind off the sadness dwelling in my spirit. During a lull between vehicles, I inspected my appearance and gave a rueful smile. My feet were literally wet, and so was the rest of me. I was a dirty mess, but I don’t think that was the kind of prognostication my former fiancé had meant.

As I finished hosing down the last car, a friend and her mom came by. I declined their invitation to attend a new church, but they talked me into it and waited for me to change clothes. The three of us strode late into the service. The small, crowded sanctuary left no room for us to sit together, so we split up.

A handsome young man with black, wavy hair and sparkling brown eyes led the music.

At the end of the service, he slipped out the back door and managed to be the first one to greet me as I left the sanctuary. The guy must have sprinted—he appeared faster than Texas tornado. We exchanged names and spoke a few minutes, and then I left.

Intuition told me he’d call on Wednesday night. And he did. We made a date to go bowling the coming Saturday night. The evening was fun, and in between my falling down once or twice and throwing my ball into the gutter rather than down the alley, I discovered he planned to enter the ministry.

He walked me to the door as our date ended. He kissed me goodnight and then said, “I’m in love with you, and I’m going to marry you.”

Whaaat? Was he kidding? Seriously?

I’d just ended a relationship and had no intention of jumping into another one. This guy didn’t know me, and he loves me? What kind of nut could he be?

Before long, I learned. This man is a fast mover, makes speedy decisions, and is seldom wrong with his discernment. 

Our relationship moved along at a rapid pace, and I discovered we shared the same goals.

He was in college, worked full time, gave twenty hours a week to the church, and somehow managed to find time for me.

Before long, a church in Oklahoma invited him to become their pastor. He accepted the invitation, and then drove back to Texas. We met for lunch the day he returned. He proposed marriage—presented me with a ring. I felt comfortable accepting this one, but I wanted to wait before we said the vows. I’d just graduated high school and wanted to attend college for at least one semester. During those few months, I could plan a wedding.

“Oh no, you can’t do that—no time. I told the church I was bringing a wife in three weeks. We have to marry now.”

Whaaat? Was he kidding again? Seriously?

After I gulped back my shock, I responded. “I can’t marry you right now. My mom is in the hospital.”

His reply? “We can have the ceremony there.”

My fiancé drove to the hospital to visit with mom. She was extremely ill, and we weren’t supposed to upset her. She surprised me by accepting the news well, but she asked the young preacher how much money he would be making.

“Fifteen dollars a week.” Came the reply.

Mom almost fell from the bed. “Fifty dollars a week? You can’t live on that.”

Uh oh. She’d misunderstood the amount. My sweetheart merely nodded and said, “The Lord will provide for us.”

Six months after we met, we had a small ceremony in the chapel at the Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We said vows on a Thursday night and packed our few belongings on Friday. We drove to Oklahoma on Saturday, and Paul preached his first sermon on Sunday morning.

Our meeting and wedding sounds fictional, doesn’t it? But it is a true story.  I tell it often when I speak to groups. Maybe I’ll include it in a book in the near future. 

My sweetheart isn’t the most romantic guy in the world, but he is kind, caring, thoughtful, and funny. The first time I saw the Dallas skyline lighted up against the black sky as we drove in from rural Oklahoma, I cried.

My new husband said, “If I’d known lights would make you this happy, I would have fastened a string of them in the back yard.”

Three daughters, and four grandchildren later, we find we think alike—even finish each other’s thoughts.

The Lord, Paul Lewis, family and friends are the loves of my life. I’m thankful that God graciously prevented me from making a mistake with a nice guy—but he was the wrong one for me. God was kind to me, and I didn’t get my feet wet. God gave me the husband He’d intended for me all along.  I just had no idea a whirlwind came with him.

And here’s the thing, this man of mine still moves faster than I do. Somewhere over the years, I’ve adapted to his swifter pace. On the other hand, he’s slowed down a bit so I can keep up.

 

Check out Gay’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

 


 2.99 on Amazon
Clue into Kindness

“Love is kind…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4

Georgia loves her husband, Alan. She shows him kindness with actions and words, but Alan responds in a heartless, selfish way. In order to receive respect from people, he believes he must have a perfect wife—so he criticizes Georgia at every opportunity—even tells her she’s fat! Alan’s best friend, Ken, and his wife, Jana, reassure Georgia that she is still the gorgeous beauty queen she was during her college days. Who will Georgia believe—her friends or the mysterious stranger who comes into her life? Circumstances bring a change to Alan’s attitudes. But is it too late to save this marriage?

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Gay's Days Beautiful day here in Houston


February 8, 2016

The morning touched down with beauty, and the temp reminds us of spring. We haven’t had a bad winter. I’ve only worn a heavy coat once.
We lunched on Chinese after church yesterday with new members and had a delightful time. Last night we attended a Super Bowl party. Did your team win?

I’m busy this week getting ready for two books to be released.
I know, I know, I’ve told you, right? Well, I’m excited!

I also received a new contract for a Christmas novella. This one is entitled Sarah and the Cowboy’s Lady.  Prism Book Group has invited their authors to write a series of stories with a Christmas ranch theme. Women love cowboys, don’t we?

Can you imagine Sarah around horses? Oh merciful heavens!  What fun I’m going to have as I write this one. In case you don't know, Sarah is a klutzy angel who tries to help the humans.

 
If you haven’t checked into the Love Is series, please do!  Books are now available, and you won’t be disappointed. I promise.

You can preorder mine now. Clue into Kindness and it will be sent to your electronic reading device on Friday, February 12. Let me know what you think.
 
This book is not a Sarah book. In most of my books, I have angels coming to Sarah’s rescue as she falls all over herself. Clue into Kindness is Christian, Women’s Fiction. You know me, though, I had to through in a bit of humor.

Enjoy your day and don’t hide your smile.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gay's Days: Hounded by Love


Good morning friends!
 
The tree surgeon is here again today. I'll post pictures later. My poor tree grows smaller with each cut.
 
Prism Book Group, my publisher, kicks off our Love Is series today.  I've read this article by Antiat Klumpers and enjoyed it. You will too. Her book, Hounded is officially released today. It's a good one!
 
Her article below is a true story and will bring a smile to your lips. And who doesn't need one?
 
Pop over to the Prism Book Group website and join our Valentine party. Chocolate...yum. I'm craving it these days. Prism Book Group is giving other prizes too. Don't you love Valentine's Day?   http://prismbookgroup.com/
 
My book, Clue into Kindness officially releases next Friday, but right now, enjoy Anita Klumpers.
 
 
Old Maid, Do-Si-Do, and the Bottomless Cup of Love

Anita Klumpers

 


 
 

 By the time I was twenty-five my mother had given up on the hope that I would marry. She bought me pots and pans and Pfaltzgraf and flatware because, she reasoned, even single women need to live. And, Lord willing, I wouldn’t live with her and Daddy forever.

 

Dad wasn’t too concerned. After all, he hadn’t married Mom till he was in his early 40’s. And if God didn’t want me to wed, then I could follow in Cousin Angie’s footsteps and be a missionary in Africa.

 

The idea of a single life filled me with dread. Please, please, PLEASE God, don’t be equipping me to remain unmarried. I developed crushes. Friends tried setting me up with their relatives. I went out dancing with friends. To bars. After all, I was a nice Christian lady at a bar. Why couldn’t there be nice Christian guys there too? Maybe there were. I never met one.

 

A few months shy of my 27th birthday I decided I was tired of looking for potential mates. Although not at the point of picking up books on how to enjoy the gift of singleness, I figured it might be time to focus on my relationship with God. So, along with several wonderful single girlfriends I went to a spiritual winter retreat for young adults from a dozen churches across our state. Did I mention I’d determined not to check out every eligible young man also in attendance?


I meant it. So when I took note of a devastatingly handsome man with dark eyes and a dimpled chin sitting across the room, it wasn’t his good looks that got my attention. Arms crossed, looking bored, he was the only one sitting out the square dance mixer. In gracious and generous Christian-girl fashion I thought ‘Jerk,’ and went back to dancing my little size 9’s off and trying to remember my allemande left from my do-si-do right.

 

Later that night, after devotions, a group of us played cards. A game I didn’t know, called euchre. I’m a dab hand at Old Maid but this one had me flummoxed, and a group of generous friends tag-teamed trying to teach me to play. It was hilarious. Really hilarious.

 

Later that night a group of us went into town for coffee. The dark-eyed square-dance-boycotter came too. He sat across from me and told me he got a kick out of watching me laugh over euchre. He flirted just enough to make me feel interesting but not so much as to make himself look insincere or lecherous.

 

We went our separate ways after that weekend and didn’t meet up till early summer. It took him till late summer to ask me out and in the meantime one of my major crushes from the previous few years, a Christian marathon runner and photographer I’d met at work, finally returned my interest and began asking me out. After I lectured God about his timing I realized maybe He knew what He was doing. I had to make a decision between two attractive men (my daydream back in the days before I realized it would be painful) and I chose the right one.

 

Wouldn’t my story make a fine romance movie? Sort of an ‘At Long Last Love’ type of life? But now, three sons, four grandsons and countless prayers and tears and rejoicings later, I realize that my entire life has been filled with love.

 

From birth, before my birth, my parents loved me, and continued until their last breath on earth. Aunts and uncles and cousins by the dozens meant extended love and the kind of safety net children long for but don’t always enjoy. Then there is my family in Christ. Brothers and sisters more than the sands on the shore, and wherever there are God’s children there is my family, and we love each other. We don’t always play well together, but the love is there.

 

My friends—oh, my friends! When I bemoan my limited practical skills and meager dose of common sense I remember my glorious friendships with some of the most godly, delightful, gracious, fault-overlooking women as can be found. I would rather have my friends than an artist’s eye, a singer’s silver tongue, or an athlete’s supple limbs.

 

On all this abundance of love God set a gem of a husband. He is as attractive, open, and affirming as when I first met him, and he still refuses to dance. Those three sons love me in spite of a plethora of faults and mistakes and my little grandsons still give me smooches in public.

 

Do I know I have been gifted far and above anything I could think or ask, much less deserve? You bet. But what if God had not seen fit to give me a husband, children, grandbabies? What if my parents had been cold, negligent, absent, and I didn’t have some sort of strange ability to find wonderful friends? Would I be any less blessed? No. Not a bit.

 

God loves me. God has loved me before I knew what love was. If I had never known human love, God’s love would be beyond the heights and depths and breadths of what I think I need. Jesus prayed for me the night before His death and prays for me today and the Spirit intercedes for me with sighs too deep for words and the Father’s love is vast beyond all measure. What wondrous love is this?!

 

Family, friends, husband and children have all hemmed me in love, and the love that comes from God is greater than these.

 

 

Check out Anita’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

 

Hounded

“Love is patient…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4

 

Elise Amberson’s husbands always die before she can get the marriage momentum going. At least this last one left her with lots of money. Now she can hang out with her dogs, avoid men, and try to keep off God’s radar.

 

But her dogs are behaving oddly, a pesky pastor can’t keep his hands off her soul, and God is backing her into a corner.

 

It’s all more than a rich, beautiful young woman should have to bear. But when someone begins targeting Elise, she’ll have to figure out why before she becomes the late Widow Amberson.

 


Available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1nIiqWm.