Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Updated Book Covers


The two books of my PATRIOT series have been updated by the publisher and they look terrific! I am thrilled. Both of the books have already received wonderful reviews, but I believe a great book cover truly helps to sell books.

I admit book covers have often tempted me to buy books. I do read the blurb on the back, and I often read at least the first page or two, but the cover is the biggest factor in drawing me to the book in the first place. If it catches my eye, I'm likely to pick it up and take a closer look.

How about you? Can you answer these questions?

1. Does a book cover influence your decision to buy a book or not?

2. If the book cover is not a major factor in your book buying decision, what is?

3. Do you make a decision based upon the reviews of the book?

4. Do you only read books that are posted on the New York Times Best Seller list.

5. Do you only read books your friends have recommended to you?

6. Do you only read books you get for free?

PATRIOT'S HEART and PATRIOT'S PRIDE are not free, but the digital versions are very inexpensive. Only $4.99 on Amazon. Check them out. ðŸ’•

And follow me on Amazon! That way you won't miss out on any new reviews, new releases, or updated covers. ðŸ“š

Just visit my author page at https://www.amazon.com/Penelope-Marzec/e/B002BLQGA4 and hit the FOLLOW button. So easy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Guest Author: Gay N. Lewis

Gay N. Lewis has been a guest at this blog twice but I'm very delighted she's posting again today! I've enjoyed reading several of her stories about Sarah, the klutzy little angel, and Clue Into Kindness was a real keeper. Please welcome Gay as she tells us about her latest release, Mattie's Choice.

Thanks for having me, Penny. I hope after our visit today your hubby will play the accordion for us. I’ll sing!

Gay: Hubby will play for you anytime. ðŸŽ¼ 🎹


With my newest book, Mattie’s Choice, I’ve departed from my sweet, whimsical, fantasy genre about a dyslexic angel. Oh, Sarah is still up to her bumbles and antics, but I’ve put her in time out for a while.

I’ve been writing a Woman's Christian historical about two women married to abusive brothers. Mattie’s Choice was inspired by my mother-in-law and an aunt by marriage. The book is not biographical, but many of the events in this book actually happened to these women.

My father-in-law wasn’t physically abusive, but he was emotionally cruel. My husband's mother wasn’t allowed to visit her twin brother or any family members. She couldn’t go to her dad’s funeral. Hard to believe, right? Most of us ladies today would say, “No way, buster. Out of my way.” But even today too many women today live with a controlling man. Choices are not easy in these circumstances. My mom-in-law was a strong woman who managed to live within her claustrophobic existence while rearing eleven children. All of those children are now emotionally healthy adults—none took after their dad’s controlling ways. They are successful and respectable citizens. 

Everyone has a choice.


Here's more about Mattie’s Choice.

In 1925, against her father’s wishes, a romantic and naïve seventeen-year-old Mattie elopes with Jesse Colby in rural Oklahoma. Dreams shatter when Jesse slaps her. Jesse believes women are to obey husbands and forbids Mattie to have a relationship with her “infernal” family. Mattie can’t imagine life without her twin brother, Maury. Her self-confidence ebbs away as Jesse degrades her.

Joe, Jesse’s brother in Galveston, marries a nurse and returns home to Oklahoma. His wife, Ella, becomes Mattie’s best friend. Ella feels one’s safety is more essential than marriage vows. Mattie believes a vow made before God takes priority over abuse.

To bring relief from responsibilities and dreariness of life, Jesse and Joe embark on an illicit entertainment with two sisters who live near-by. In the meantime, Jesse refuses to allow Mattie to visit their eleven-year-old son, Adam, in the hospital. Adam is diagnosed with Polio.

One woman discovered the strength to stay in an abusive relationship.  The other found strength to leave.  Neither choice was easy, and both women believed they did what God wanted them to do.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

There are study questions which follow the book: 
What would your choice have been? 
Women are abused today. How can you help them?

Assistance was unavailable in 1925, but shelters and aid exist today. In 1925 the vogue of the day indicted the woman and exonerated the man.

In my research for this story, I discovered that America has only 1,500 shelters for abused women, but 3,800 shelters for animals. Statistics show that one out of four women will face abuse in their lifetime. On a personal note, I can verify this statistic. I have three daughters, so counting me, there are four women in my household. One daughter was married to an abusive man. Fortunately, that was a short marriage.

Here’s another statistic. Police will respond quicker if an intruder is a stranger rather than a member of the household.


A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  As a pastor’s wife, Gay writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  As a published author for Pelican Book Group, she writes in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. They are Christian women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to unhealthy relationships.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.
For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.
Sarah, the angel, has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Once Upon an Egg Cup

My mother tried every sort of craft there was. At one point, she tried ceramics. She made egg cups. This is the last one left, which was made for my brother. It's missing part of the base on the other side, but it's a cute piece. There was one for me, I'm sure, but I probably broke it. I learned about the fragility of china early on. 
My mother had a fascination with china and glassware. Eventually, in her later life she amassed a considerable collection of Depression Glass as well as unusual china pieces and sets. 
So I wound up with a decent amount of knowledge concerning dinnerware and other serving pieces, none of which has been particularly of use in my writing. But one never knows. I may need it someday when I'm writing about a woman cracking open the egg in her egg cup and eating her breakfast. 
At any rate, I found an informative article online about soft boiled eggs, how to cook them, eat them, and their history. (http://www.factsfacts.com/EggCups/EggCups.htm)
Perhaps tomorrow I will have a soft boiled egg for breakfast. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Do Something Useful

I was inspired by Garrison Keillor's column in the newspaper today. He spoke of "cheerful stoicism" and said, "If you moped around, Mother gave you two options: Go outdoors or do something useful. Or both: Go mow the lawn."

It struck a chord with me because as a child, I had plenty of chores. In the photo on the left, I am probably nine years old and minding my little sisters. That was my basic job for many years in addition to hanging the laundry out on the line and bringing it in. I swept and mopped floors, cleaned the toilet, scrubbed the tub. I was my mother's apprentice cook as well--so was my brother. As my little sisters grew up, they too became Mom's apprentice cooks. 

We still had time to play, but chores came first. We never watched television in the summertime. The television inevitably needed repair every summer and my parents wouldn't have it fixed until September because during the summer there were nothing but reruns on the tube. It was fine with us. We didn't miss it. 

None of us had to go off to karate or dance classes. My parents couldn't afford anything extra. My brother was a scout and so was I. Plus we went to CCD classes as required by our church. That was the extent of our extracurricular activities. 

I didn't mind having chores. It was part of life. I was a valuable member of my family--and I knew it. I didn't get paid for doing chores either. There weren't any options. I did it because I was told to do it and it needed to be done. All that prepared me to be an adult. I was "adulting" at the age of nine. 

That was also the time I started to write in my "free" time. 

Some things haven't changed in all these years. I still write in my "free" time, but right now I have a load of laundry to do. Chores never end.

Friday, August 25, 2017

When Writing Is Eclipsed By Other Events

The sun on Monday, August 21, 2017, was only about 75% obscured by the moon in our area of New Jersey. That didn't matter much. Most people wanted to see the eclipse.

I wanted to see it, but I didn't have the special glasses and I hadn't made a pinhole camera. Instead of writing, I watched the event online at NASA's site. But then we went to visit my mother-in-law at the assisted living facility where she now lives. When I stepped outside to get in the car, I was surprised to see the sunlight coming down through the trees had cast crescent-shaped images on the driveway. That was quite a surprise. I was impressed.

When we arrived at the assisted living facility, we noticed that all the residents had been provided with eclipse glasses. They sat quietly enjoying the phenomena on the patio. Hubby and I were handed glasses as well and so we did get to view some of the eclipse. It was a special day and I am happy we were able to enjoy it with my mother-in-law.

But I didn't get any writing done. That's the way it is. There are many times when my writing is eclipsed by other events such as trips to the ER, plumbing catastrophes, and car troubles.

A writer should have a schedule. A writer should write everyday. But even someone with a regular nine-to-five job takes days off now and then for doctor visits, dental work, or even--on occasion--what some like to call a mental health day.

My saving grace is my capacity to juggle tasks. If I know I won't be able to write at my usual time, I write before or after that time. Or I spend the next day doing little else but writing. A writer must write, even though there's a guarantee in life that when something can go wrong, it will. But a writer gets back to work as soon as possible.

There will always be other events that take priority over writing. I'm glad I was able to view the eclipse and though it eclipsed my writing that one day, I more than made up for the time I lost the next day.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Peaceful Times


My mother and my father posed for this photo in 1961. They were rowing on Treasure Lake, which was behind our house. The little dinghy, which we had christened "Scout" with a bottle of 7Up, provided endless hours of summertime enjoyment for all of us. 1961 wasn't a particularly peaceful year for the world. There was the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. The Berlin Wall was completed. President Kennedy urged everyone to build fallout shelters. My father shrugged at that. We lived across the bay from New York City. He figured NYC would be bombed and we would perish instantly--so there was no point in building a fallout shelter.

But all the trouble in the world didn't seem as close back then. My father was a journalist so I knew what was happening but I wasn't bombarded with it constantly. I was happy. We rowed around the lake in our little dinghy. We caught fish and turtles. We played with the neighborhood children. My mother baked cookies, cakes, and pies. We swam at the beach. In the evening, we'd build a fire and toast marshmallows.

Life seemed simpler, or maybe it was because I was a child with loving parents. I was lucky.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Wisdom


I posted this a few weeks ago on my Facebook page. It had been part of one of the readings at Mass that day. I used Canva as usual to make a nice frame for the quote with an especially lovely photo I had taken of sunset on the Navesink River.

Afterwards, one of my Facebook friends discovered she couldn't find the quote in her Bible. That's because it's from a Catholic Bible, which has more books. You can read a short explanation here https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-more-books-in-the-Catholic-bible-than-the-Protestant-bible
There are longer explanations if you care to Google them.

At any rate, I've read the entire book of Wisdom. It's good. Take a look at it sometime.