We're half-way through September. Fall is fast approaching.
Soon the trees will display an array of beautiful autumn colors. Before you get busy enjoying the change of the season check out, A Harvest of Blessing, by June Foster.
Even the title fits the approaching season.
June shares with us how this wonderful book, full of hope came about.
How the Story Came About
A Harvest of Blessing was inspired by a real life couple my husband and I met in Pensacola, Florida. Several years ago we were traveling and living in our RV full time. Since my husband is retired army, we generally stayed on military posts in their RV parks. This year we stayed at Pensacola Naval Air Station and attended the military chapel.
One Sunday we got to talking to a great couple and wound up going to lunch with them after church. Their story amazed me. They were both visiting the graves of their dead spouses when they met. They even pointed out the graveyard as we passed on the way to lunch.
Cupid went to work, and they eventually married. Their story has been on my mind for several years, and I finally got the chance to tell it in A Harvest of Blessing where my hero and heroine who're in their mid fifties meet in a graveyard. But that's where the similarity ends. I deviated from the real couple and made Nadia's husband a jerk and Jared's daughter an obstacle between the two of them.
About A Harvest of Blessing
If there's one thing Nadia Maguire knows, Jon Maguire robbed her of a godly marriage and left her in financial ruin. The night he was killed in an accident, guilt threatened to suffocate her. She wasn't sorry he died.
When Nadia accidentally sits on a stranger's lap in the graveyard where Jon is buried, she's horrified to learn the good-looking guy with salt and pepper hair is her new boss.
Jared Abrams is a widower who longs to move on. He's intrigued by the beautiful woman who puts God first in her life. But as their friendship grows, an unexpected obstacle separates them—his daughter Sarah. No one can replace her mother. Especially not Nadia Maguire whose son harmed her in high school.
If Nadia can't find the funds to get her house ready to sell, she'll have to balance two jobs with no time left to nurture a relationship with the man she loves. Will she and Jared find a Harvest of Blessings, or a season of drought?
A Harvest of Blessing
After the death of her husband, Nadia Maguire never expects to meet handsome Jared Abrams in the cemetery where she visits her dead spouse's grave. Though she falls for the handsome bank president, his daughter hurls a wedge between them. Will her life be a harvest of blessings or a season of drought?
When bank president Jared Abrams falls in love with one of his tellers, Jared's daughter does everything in her power to keep them apart. Will he reap a harvest of blessings or a season of drought?
Getting closer to the last step on the stairs of life, makes you appreciate the little things that come your way
Like a bouquet of flowers.
which transforms a frown into a smile, and adds a rainbow to an emotional cloud.
These simple wildflowers made my day. Hubby has a habit of surprising me with little acts of kindness, that cost nothing, but mean a lot.
I enjoyed the beautiful cluster of God's creation. A reminder of the joy that waits for His children when reach the final step.
I also welcome the smile hubbly holds when he presents me with a token of love, either from the yard, or the wooded area at home.
Thank you to readers
I also want to thank the readers. I know I've mentioned it before, but appreciation bears repeating. I'm grateful to everyone who reads my inspirations. As with many Amazon authors, I'm a drop in a big pool of writers.
As a reader picking up a book, or opening an eBook is a simple thing, but a writer appreciates being able to share their story.
A few months back I received an email in my public author account that mentioned a reader nominated Escape to Big Fork Lake, to Top Shelf Magazine for the Religious fiction category. Recently, I was sent another email which says,
"We had a staggering 1,023 entries in the 2018 Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, and your book Escape to Big Fork Lake has been selected as a Finalist in the category of Religious Fiction!"
Top Shelf Magazine is new to me, but I'm glad to be counted a finalist among authors. And very grateful to readers, who enjoy
September is a few days away. My birthday is the first day of fall, so I suppose autumn introduced me into the world.
Summer is normally my favorite time of the year, but too many up and downs have filled these past months. I’m ready for autumn and a new season.
Life never stays the same, that's a truth we must accept. Fortunately, a relationship with the Lord, and faith offers strength, which helps in the mist of trials.
On a lighter note, I appreciate everyone's prayers for safe travel as I attended a taping in Roswell, Georgia.
It was at Preach the Word Network, for the book of the month segment. The show is on Glory Star, iTunes, Roko, Comcast, Google Play and Charter Spectrum. The guest appearance airs on Sept. 1 at 6 EST.
The segment will also be seen on their website at 7 EST.
I also used the time in Georgia for a mini-vacation with my beautiful daughter. We brought my youngest grandson Blake, along as well. Many of you may remember he's the young author of An Angel's Burden. The weekend was a mixture of book marketing, and fun. While we were there we visited the World of Coke, and Stone Mountain in Atlanta.
Coming soon-Celestial Investigation # 3- Starr's Promise
and Rose-Colored Christmas
from Forget-Me-Not Romance (Winged Publications)
I enjoy creating stories, and look forward to continuing novels with Winged Publications.
In addition, I'm excited to add a contract with DWB Christian Publishing for a novella titled
Asheville Hearts. Released date unknown.
Many, many thanks to everyone who reads my social postings, novels, and novellas.
It's my desire to write uplifting and encouraging stories that will make you smile, or be grateful for God's blessing, in times of uncertainly.
It's a pleasure to highlight author Glenn Haggerty on Monthly Smiles. His latest novel Chase, is book 3 of his Intense series. Each novel is filled with suspense and adventure.
Glenn writes inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all his novels and studies. He is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, the father of six and grandfather of seven. Glenn likes tandem biking, kayaking, and daydreaming and lives in Minneapolis with his wife. He is also an award-winning author with short stories published in Splickety, Havok, Cadet Quest and Partners. Chase, the third book in his Intense series was released on April 1, 2018.
You can connect with Glenn at:
“There they are.” Chase’s voice rolled up the slope. Even hollering his voice sounded flat and lifeless like someone had drilled a hole in his body, and his soul had leaked out.
Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. When his friend is infected, Tyler decides to cut the small town drug flow by ratting out the dealer before it’s too late.
Shadowing drug runners is risky business. A bowhunter has already disappeared, and Tyler’s true adversary remains veiled. After his first spying mission misfires, Audrey, his classmate, volunteers to help, but Tyler can’t imagine where this mission will lead. Everything goes sideways, but he doggedly follows the twisting trails, risking his friendships and his own neck. In the end, he isn’t sure who he can trust or if he can rescue anyone—including himself.
Excerpt from Chase
Erick Donaldson crept from tree to tree scanning the hushed forest for his prey. Three-foot ferns screened the ground on either side of the path, but on the dirt trail ahead, cloven-hoofed prints pressed deep into the soft black soil.
He stooped. Fresh. His quarry was close.
A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. He’d ditched algebra that morning, but Mom’s grounding would be worth it—especially if he had a new antler rack mounted to his wall.
Through a break in the tall trees, wisps of vapor rose from the valley below, and the domed roof of an old barn poked above the early fall greenery. Erick narrowed his eyes. He’d never seen buildings out here in the state park, but he’d never roamed this far north either. The dim trail twisted downhill and disappeared toward the barn. He touched the hunting license in the cargo pocket of his fatigues and stole after his game.
At the valley floor, he pushed through the brush line and stepped into the clearing.
Mist swirled against the barn and decay ate away the corners. Broken and missing boards lined the structure like unraveling bandages on a gigantic mummy. Elm saplings crowded the ruin. Just an abandoned barn. And yet . . .
The hair on the back of his neck prickled.
A gravel driveway led to a sturdy looking door. Tire tracks cut into the dirt, and the weeds leading to the dilapidated structure were trampled. He leaned forward and scanned the area around the building. To his left, the rutted two-track tunneled into the saplings and disappeared. To the right, a vague trail snaked into the forest.
He took another step into the clearing.
A vagrant breeze wafted the mist his way, stinging his nose and pushing him back. Mom’s cleaner? Why here?
A spasm rippled through his gut.
Something was wrong. He knew the forest, its sounds and smells, and he trusted his sixth sense—the one that told him he was close to his prey. Or maybe—the chill racing through his veins—the one that warned him of danger. He backed into the trees.
A twig snapped to his left, breaking the heavy silence.
His head jerked. He raised his bow and drew back the arrow.
Two men stood on the path fifty feet away, staring at him. A clown mask hid the first figure’s face.
Erick’s chest tightened. Clowns creeped him out. Were they stalking him? Hunters should hail another hunter in the woods. He swallowed and kept the bowstring tight.
The second man, skinny and pinched-faced, sported a sparse beard along his jaw. Erick narrowed his eyes. He didn’t know the skinny man’s name, but he’d seen him around town in a battered old pickup.
“What you doin’ here?” Skinny’s tone was flat like a zombie.
“Hunting. What’s it look like?” He eased off on the bowstring but spoke loud into the forest stillness.
“This is private property. No hunters allowed.” Skinny wore a dirty sweatshirt, and festering sores framed his mouth—gross.
You can pick up your copy of Chase, Intense Book 3 here www.amazon.com/dp/B0792JP7Z2
If you’ve read this far, I have an extra for you! You can get Escape, Intense Book 1 free in ebook format at
Kindle Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075X2SF8S
Nook and other epub https://www.books2read.com/u/m2oRQ7
Escape is a short, fast-paced introduction to the series and another great summer read.
Summer is a fun time. To celebrate Monthly Smiles is excited to highlight Flawless (Woodlyn book 1) written by June Foster
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. Her characters find themselves in tough situations but overcome through God's power and the Word. She writes edgy topics wrapped in a good story. To date, she's seen seventeen contemporary romances and several short stories published. Find June online at junefoster.com.
Flawless, Woodlyn book #1
When man sees two broken lives, God sees them flawless.
When Jess Colton quit drinking to honor God, he discovered another addiction. Now he can't manage his weight and diabetes threatens to claim him. Jess is baffled when the beautiful Holly Harrison declares her love.
Holly Harrison lived to please herself. But everything caught up with her in one moment of time when a destructive motorcycle accident altered her life forever. She doesn’t plan on falling in love with the handsome Jess Colton seeing past his bulk to the godly, tender man within. When Jess drives a wedge between them, she loses hope of a future together.
Can Holly overcome her handicap? Can Jess find control over his eating and his life? Only God has the answer.
What a few readers have to say:
1. June Foster is a unique author. She has a way of looking at people and seeing what's on the inside and not the outside. She also loves to bring characters with unique personalities and problems to the written page. Flawless has characters with disabilities that some may want to look away from, but June brings them to light, and you fall in love with them--seeing the hero and the heroine the way they see each other. Flawless is a warm, fuzzy, "ah" read. You'll enjoy it tremendously, and you'll never forget this unique hero and heroine.
2. A chance encounter in an elevator leads to friendship, reconciliation to God for a number of people and acceptance of God's plan for lives instead of the devil's.
3. It was inspiring and the characters were realistic and likable. There wasn’t anything embarrassing in the romance portion (yay!). I can easily recommend these to other women of any age without being embarrassed about sex scenes or vulgarity. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series!
4. This book captivated my attention from page one. This story reminded me that none of us are perfect; some just hide their flaws better than others. If we trust in God, he will help us to overcome our imperfections. He truly sees us as Flawless.
Thank you June for giving us a glimpse into your new book. I'm sure it will a wonderful read.
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Flawless-Woodlyn-Book-June-Foster-ebook/dp/B07B7Y4PWN/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529197205&sr=1-1&keywords=Flawless+June+Foster
It's great to have Syndey Winthrop on June's Monthly Smiles. Here's a little about the author and her book, The P.I. and the Federal Marshal
Sydney Winthrop grew up reading Nancy Drew, Ellery Queen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, and Agatha Christie. Constantly writing in her head, Sydney decided putting words on paper would be healthier.
While raising two girls her writing filled notebooks with make-believe conversations between people she saw in restaurants, in cars, or walking down the street. A writing course at a library encouraged Sydney to start writing.
Sydney Winthrop is the author of Cocoa Capone, The Calico Cow Caper, Secret Society, Fibers of Freedom, The Face of Insanity, Aengus, Abba-daba and Fate, and The P.I. and the Federal Marshal.
She and her husband currently reside in Greenfield, Indiana along with Poirot – a kitten who is a teenager in cat years.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I enjoy plotting. In between novels, I try to commit the perfect murder, from the POV of the villain, then twist it to the POV of the protagonist. And then the usual – reading! At the moment, I’m stuck in a Rex Stout rut. And what a rut! When I feel like turning off my brain, I’ll sit in front of an episode of Chopped and work on a counted cross stitch.
What inspired you to write The PI and the Federal Marshal?
I have continuing characters. Cocoa Capone and Fibers of Faith are a daughter/mother dynamic featuring Suzette and Chloe.
The Calico Cow Caper is a historical – circa early 1900’s – where Daisy, the protagonist, starts her own P.I. agency. I carried that forward to present day in Secret Society. Nadine, Daisy’s great granddaughter, runs the agency now.
In The Face of Insanity, Nadine’s best friend, Kelsey – a forensic accountant – is kidnapped. I had fan mail wondering what happened to Kelsey after Face, so I answered that question in Aengus, Abba-daba, and Fate.
The PI and the Federal Marshal circles back to Nadine, Robert, and Nadine’s mother, Tessa – who we last saw in Secret Society.
How did you choose the title of your book?
Oh, there’s a page or two. I am HORRIBLE at picking titles.
This last one, The PI and the Federal Marshal was pretty straight forward, as the theme the publisher set up for the boxed set was Marrying My Best Friend.
The hardest title to come up with was the one for Aengus, Abba-daba and Fate. I wanted it to be Aengus, Abba-daba, and the Corpse, but as a mystery writer writing for a romance publisher – who graciously allows me to err on the side of the mystery – I thought I should dump the Corpse from the title. I wanted Kelsey’s love interest to be in the title, Aengus, and since the book went into a collection on two people falling in love over a cat, Abba-daba, the cat, needed to be in there. The third word in the title came from my husband.
He’s a sci-fi fan and has the television series Stargate practically memorized. There is an episode titled, “Fire and Water” where a very famous line is “What fate Omoroca?” (Which we, in sillier moments change to “What fate Almond Roca?”) My husband suggested I use “What Fate Abba-daba?”. I didn’t care for that.
One, nobody but a sci-fi fan would get it, and two, if they did get it, they would think the book was sci-fi. BUT, I liked the word “fate.”
Can you tell us a little about The PI and the Federal Marshal?
It’s a hot August in Houston, Texas – there’s a redundant phrase – and Nadine Debenheim is settling in to her role as CEO of the prestigious Williams Agency. Before she can get too complacent, a madman storms her office demanding her help in locating a female P.I. on the loose shooting up cheating spouses.
Robert Bellamy, U.S. Federal Marshal and Nadine’s best friend, has been keeping tabs on Tessa – Nadine’s mother. Tessa was arrested for murder but managed to beat the rap. Now she’s in Texas, working as a private investigator.
And do Robert and Nadine discover there is more between them than friendship?
Is there a message in this novel you want you want readers to grasp?
One of redemption. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a character that has a softening of the heart that only God can bring about.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about?
I’m working on a book with two other authors. The story follows a family Bible from one generation to the next – circa 1779 to present day. We looked at the timeline, split the story up, based on true events in history and wove our characters into it. I wrote one of my sections about two sisters that went to England before the start of WWI. One of them dies, (of course!) and the other meets Agatha Christie.
I’m writing a short story on spec using the Chloe and Suzette dynamic from Cocoa Capone and Fibers of Freedom.
And, I have another book due for Forget Me Not Romance the first part of next year.
Sydney, you're a busy lady. I can hear the wheels turning for more to come.
I'm sharing marketing and buy links so readers can learn more. Thank you.
Buy Link for Cocoa Capone: https://www.amazon.com/Cocoa-Capone-Christmas-novella/dp/1540851990/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1506886953&sr=8-4&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for The Calico Cow Caper: https://www.amazon.com/Calico-Cow-Caper-SydneyWinthrop/dp/1548308676/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506887089&sr=1-3&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for Secret Society: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Society-Sydney-Winthrop/dp/1974579409/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1506886953&sr=8-5&keywords=sydney+winthrop
Buy Link for Fibers of Freedom: https://www.amazon.com/Fibers-Freedom-Sydney-Winthrop-ebook/dp/B0763YX79V/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1513947673&sr=8-9&keywords=fibers+of+freedom
Buy Link for The Face of Insanity: https://www.amazon.com/Face-Insanity-Sydney-Winthrop/dp/1980487332/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1527694966&sr=8-2&keywords=the+face+of+insanity
Buy Link for Aengus, Abba-daba, and Fate: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=aengus%2C+abba-daba%2C+and+fate
Buy Link for The PI and the Federal Marshal:
After a long, cold winter, spring is finally here. It’s a joy to watch all the feathered families in their birdhouses, prepare for their little ones.
I’m always amazed at the springtime beauty of new beginnings. As I look at the pretty flowers and budding trees, I thank the Lord for His masterful hand in painting a glorious tapestry of nature.
I'm sure spring has colored your yard with it's beauty. Isn’t God awesome!
As I write about new beginnings I think of my youngest grandson, Blake Leonard, he’s eleven. In 2017 he came to me with the inspiration for a novella. He says, “Nana, I have an idea for a book, and I know the title. Can we write it?”
I listened to his imaginary mind outline the plot and didn’t think much of it at the time. I’m under contract for a series, Celestial Investigation, so I’ve stayed busy writing book two and plotting book three.
I put off my grandson’s idea, too busy (I thought.)
One day he called me to the computer to show me some research he’d been doing for his book, that’s when my spirit stirred. I knew I had to help him on his project.
Days later, we began An Angel's Burden. Hopefully, it will be out, on Amazon sometime in May.
An Angel’s Burden
Deep in the forest, danger shadows two children.
Eleven-year-old Michael and his sister Caitlyn’s beloved pet Sparky, has went to Heaven.
Mom and Dad plan a camping trip to Indian Trails to lift their spirits.
An accident happens. The children have no choice but to find help.
A missed path has them lost. But that’s nothing compared to the lone cry of a white wolf stalking them.
Can the children face fear and continue on their journey to save Dad?
About the author
Blake Leonard is eleven years old. He an avid reader, likes science, animals and video games. He lives in North Carolina, close to his co-author grandmother, Mary L. Ball
Also, coming(late June) is Luna’s Treasure, Celestial Investigation, book two.
“Luna’s Treasure,” Celestial Investigation, book two. A Christian romantic suspense based on three sisters. Their P.I. skills come in handy in the quaint town of Mercy, North Carolina, a place where romance and mystery unite.
My infrequent newsletter will go out to subscribers soon, and is more in-depth with Blake's book idea.
It's titled, "When God has Another Plan."
I know Blake will appreciate any words of wisdom you can share with him.
The month of April fills us with a newness that refreshes our souls. Beautiful flowers are blooming everywhere. Each blossom has a vivid color to make us smile.
It's exciting to watch God's beauty unfold and Debra Rufini's new novel,
The Artist Page
fits well for Spring and new beginnings.
Welcome Debra. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in 1971 into a loving Christian family. My Father is a retired church Minister. However, I have always struggled with grasping the assurance of the love of God.
Although I was raised within the Christian faith, where the loving arms of Jesus Christ could not have been wrapped around me any tighter, my occasional doubts provide me with the ability to create such a story as ‘The Artist’s Page’ – inviting people like myself to seek evidence for The Artist
I'm sure we all want to know more about your book.
The Artist's Page is an inspirational short story brought to life through expressive illustration.
It tells of an Amazing Artist who has just completed a 'work of love' - a gift for any of the takers, but sadly many of the admirers of His Masterpiece only view the outcome of what lies upon His drawing board, while ignoring His wonderfully creative hands.
'The Artist's Page' sums up the truth behind the creation of all that has been designed before us, irrespective of whether we recognize or accept that truth.
This short story is ideal for those spiritually seeking, or spiritually skeptical.
What would your response be to a group of small people, overlooking you, to look at the masterpiece you'd lovingly made for them?
How would you feel by their admiration at your wonderful creation, as they ignore your wonderfully creative hands?
Would you feel sad? Frustrated? Angry?
Imagine your relief when they leave your invisible side. Picture your joy and your gratitude with their replacement - an appreciative group marveling at your masterpiece, undoubtedly produced by your love.
Would you feel glad, grateful, relieved, believed?
Would you feel the same way the Artist in this story felt?
Debra, thank you for showcasing The Artist's Page on Monthly Smiles.
Visit Debra Rufini's Face book Page:
Amazon (paperback) link;
Amazon Kindle link;
The Artist's Page
I'm delighted to introduce Marie McGaha. She's a talented author and an inspiration for all women.
Her newest book Shine His Light – Lessons In Life, is a must read
Marie McGaha is a counselor and ordained minister, as well as an author, editor and co-owner of Dancing With Bear Christian Publishing. She lives with her husband, Nathan, a variety of furbabies, and enjoys riding motorcycles, is a member of The Patriot Guard Riders, an avid fisherman, and NRA supporter. As Nana of 30, she spends her time making sure they are all well-loved and not spoiled, although their parents may disagree!
“Shine His Light – Lessons In Life” is a collection of devotionals that bring God’s truths to light. The book is arranged in Lessons on various subjects like marriage, sin, purity, and other matters we deal with every day. Most of what I wrote are actual lessons I have learned along the way in this thing called life. Some were learned prior to becoming a Christian but found new meaning in the light of God’s word. As a counselor and minister, it’s important for me to be able to share what God has shown me over the past 35+ years of being a Christian. Life is never easy but if you pay attention, you will learn some important lessons along the way!
Readers you can purchase a copy of Marie McGaha's life changing devotional at: https://www.amazon.com/Shine-His-Light-Daily-Devotional/dp/0692947817/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519944818&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=Shine+His+Light+%E2%80%93+Lessons+In+Life%2C
Monthly Smiles is happy to usher in February with Dan Salerno. He's the author of 20 Short Ones, a unique collection of inspiring short stories. Each story is told from a fun and faith-based (Judeo-Christian) perspective.
Dan Salerno has traveled to Northern Ireland five times and to Japan (once) on mission trips. This was before he lived in New York City for eight years, earning a master's degree in social research while working for the National Coalition for the Homeless. After that he worked and lived at the Catholic Worker's Joseph House near the Bowery, before moving back to the Midwest.
He eventually returned to New York and worked for a children's ministry in Brooklyn, NY for 16 months soon after 9/11.
20 Short Ones, his first book, was published by WestBow Press (a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing).
20 Short Ones is a fun, fresh, faith-filled collection of short stories about relationships, romantic and otherwise. Kirkus Reviews called it “an engaging and whimsical book about faith, love and friendship.” Nadine Kells of Prismatic Prospects wrote, “I especially liked the depictions of characters who are introverted or socially awkward; it can be easy to portray a character’s shyness or introversion as a “flaw” that he or she needs to grow out of instead of a human attribute that can be appreciated as much as another person’s outgoingness.”
Dan,what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
My main form of exercise is walking. So I go for a twenty minute walk every day, even in winter, around a beautiful park not far from my home. In summer months I garden and shoot hoops (basketball). I love reading outside on the patio and watching films. Volunteering is also a top priority - at my church, a neighborhood after-school program and for an anti-human trafficking coalition.
What inspired you to write 20 Short Ones?
Simply living long enough and being distanced enough from the past to see so many really good stories in it. Much of the material in 20 Short Ones is auto-biographical. Being recently retired, and having more free time also helped. During the year that most of 20 Short Ones was written, I read the Bible four times through, cover-to-cover, so my faith helped form the narrative.
How did you choose the title of your book?
A burst of inspiration? I’m not really sure. It’s partly a literal statement of what the book is, twenty short stories. With a little bit of wit added to it. (I’m 5’ 1” tall).
What is your favorite scene/chapter?
It’s hard to pick one. “For Emily” is one of my favorite stories in the book. It takes place in Northern Ireland and it was a lot of fun to write. Mainly because it was focused on the actual experience of going to Northern Ireland five times on (faith based) mission trips. One of those visits lasted four months. I met some exceptional folks there, mainly the couple who run Crossfire Trust and the volunteers who help them. But I also like “Agee,” because it deals with a friendship that develops under very unusual circumstances. But then a lot of the stories in 20 Short Ones are about relationships that are spontaneous and happen because of a person’s willingness to go with the flow and take a chance.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Hope. What I wrote in the Author’s Statement is: “Life can be so complicated. Relationships reflect life. It seems to me that it’s becoming more and more difficult to develop and sustain deep relationships. So much of everyday life makes it difficult to form solid friendships. But we need them. And we can choose to spend the time necessary towards developing them. It’s really our choice, so there’s hope.”
Are you working on a new project?
I’ve written another collection of short stories with a Christmas theme. And I’m in the middle of writing another collection centered around my Mom’s home town of Metropolis, Illinois. (Yes, there really is a Metropolis, with a statue of Superman in the town square). And I have an active blog, posting weekly, mainly on the topics of faith and social justice.
Dan, thank you. This has been a very interesting interview. And speaking of taking things literal. I have to wonder if the creator of Superman was inspired by Metropolis, Illinois.
Readers, you can visit Dan’s social sites here:
Dan’s blog: www.lifesomethings.blog.com
Dan’s website: www.dansalerno.com
Check out 20 Short Ones on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2qA7hK0’
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