It’s in the Eye of the Beholder

Today is Beautiful Day

Yesterday I shared my bad day. I hope to hear from you about your last bad day.
Today is Something Beautiful.
There are lots of things I could choose for my favorite beautiful thing, flowers, children, trees, clouds, the ocean, mountains, my son’s smile the day he adopted his babies, or many others. Instead, I thought of something entirely different: My Parents.

My mom and dad are healthy, happy people, and they are older than most. Dad is 90 and Mom is 86, for a few more months. They spend the summer growing a garden and canning everything so they can share with their children and grandchildren. They live in a warm part of the country and grow from early spring until late fall.
Besides all the garden vegetables: peas to tomatoes, cabbages to squash, and many more, they have pecan and almond trees, peach and apple trees, grape vines, and pomegranate bushes that keep them busy all year long.
Besides all that, Mom crochets and embroiders and sews. Dad reads and proofreads my books, mows the lawn every week, and helps mom keep the house spotless.
Yep. I’d say my parents are beautiful.

What would you choose as something beautiful to you?

I’ll tell you mine, please tell me yours

Today is Have a Bad Day.

This is a picture of my last bad day.

This is a picture of my last bad day after the nurses wiped some of the blood away. Yep. Broken nose, split lip, bruised elbow, sprained wrist, banged up knees, and a bruised heel. Not fun.
How did this happen, you ask? Easy if you’ve been diagnosed as a Klutz.
As I hurried back across our apartment parking lot, thinking of five things I needed to do, and trying not to bump into the pyracantha bush on one side and the car parked on the other, I slipped off the curb and fell. I landed so fast I smacked my face on the curb. I heard a crunch and knew I had broken the nose. I jumped up, holding the blood and rushed home. My husband took one look at me and went for his shoes. I grabbed a towel (it happened to be red and didn’t show all the blood) and put it to my face. My husband drove me to a local hospital.
I spent five hours in the Emergency Room. They x-rayed my knee and wrist, not broken, and did a ct scan on my head and neck, no concussion. Eventually, the nurse put a stitch in my lip and glue on my nose to hold it together and sent me home.
I’m healing quickly, thank you. The scabs on my face are gone, though I still hurt.
I’d love to hear about your last bad day. Share in the comments below here.

Ready to Win a Prize?

Abandoned Hope is published and available for your reading pleasure. It is available on Amazon here.

I have an offer for my readers. If you send me a screenshot of your receipt, your name will go into the “hat” for a chance for a $5 Amazon gift certificate. That isn’t all. If you leave a review and let me know about it, your name will go into the “hat” again.

Easy, peasy, as we said when we taught Kindergarten. Where do you send the screenshots?

 

Angelique@AngeliqueCongerAuthor.com.

I look forward to your entries!

 

 

A New Book to Crow About!!

As an author, most of my day is spent in writing. Imagine that! Anyway, last week, amid the other things I do for my family and friends, I managed to do two things worth crowing about.

First, my latest book, Abandoned Hope, is available for pre-sale on Amazon. You can order it now, or you can wait until Saturday, September 1st and download it and start reading! I’m excited to share this book with you!

I don’t usually even read a romance book. But, my husband loves chick flicks, and turns them on regularly. Some days we spend the evening with romance movies. What can I say? I have a romantic husband.

Abandoned Hope is a romance, telling the story of a visitor to Nod, Daphne, and Ziva’s son, David. I never expected it to be a romance. Half way through, I announced to my husband that I had written a romance. He read it, and liked it.Hope to see some of you have chosen to download Abandoned Hope this weekend. You may even find it on sale. The regular price for the eBook is $4.99. Saturday and Sunday, it may be less. *shrug* Check it out.

The next thing I did that I’m happy about is that I finished the first draft on the next book in the series, Brotherly Havoc. It is a totally different story. With a name like Brotherly Havoc, what do you think will be the focus of it?

Everyone Talks about the Weather, But …

Weather.

Amazing how it affects us. Too much sun, or not enough. Rain pours down, drowning us. Or snow buries us. Never the right amount, always overdone. Or, the wind blows, hard. Blowing trees from their foundational roots. Darkening the sky with the dust and dirt picked up as it whooshes past.

We’re “enjoying” monsoon season here in Las Vegas, which means clouds blow up every day, promising rain and bringing lots of humidity. For a desert, 40% humidity is lots! (I know, I know. I’ve lived in Virginia Beach where the humidity was closer to 90%, but this is a desert!) And when the rain finally comes, it floods the valley, or a section of it. Our little section usually gets missed. But other sections get flooded, people are hurt, trees are felled in the wind, water gushes through the streets, and all that beautiful rock people have trucked in to create a “desert landscape” gets washed down the road. Now, if it was grass, it wouldn’t wash away, but … No. I won’t go there today.

Mark Twain said, “Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.” I suspect we’d do something more than react to it if we could figure out how. I think we could, but that’s an op ed for a newspaper.

Hope you aren’t suffering from the recent tornadoes. How is your weather? Drop me a line and share. Maybe we have a poem we could write.

What Price Happiness?

We watched “Unsinkable Molly Brown” yesterday. John Brown was a genius in the west, with the ability to find gold or silver any time he needed more money. Molly grew up poverty stricken with a desire for more. No matter how much John gave her, she couldn’t find happiness, until after surviving the sinking of the Titanic.

I have friends and family who struggle with happiness and joy. Some cannot be happy with a million dollars and a fancy car. They are always, like Molly, searching for something more. Other friends have little, they live in small houses or apartments on tight budgets and find joy in their families and their friends and their God.

Which are you? Do you always need more or can you find joy in the life you have?

I don’t mean to suggest that because we are happy we don’t want or need to make our lives better. I’m happy with what we have, and it isn’t a mansion or a million dollars. But I’d love for my book business to grow much more rapidly. I wouldn’t turn down additional sales. We all want to make our lives better.

In my next book, Abandoned Hope — that is still awaiting a cover, Daphne is happy to be with her papa as a trader, until he is abducted in Nod. Daphne had to find a way to find her own joy. Not with money, not with things, but inside her.

From Abandoned Hope:

Daphne sorted through the bundles of goods her papa had already prepared to take with them on their return journey to Bashan. The silk fabrics and copper bowls and pans would be welcomed in the small villages and larger towns they passed through on their journey home. However, they were common here in Nod. Certainly not worth a gold.
What was she going to do to rescue Papa? How would she ever come up with fifty golds?
The door to the small barn stood open, allowing warm sunlight to fill the small space. As long as the breeze did not become a wind, she would leave it open. She returned to her sorting, submerged in her fears for her papa.
A shadow blocked the sun, chilling her. Daphne turned expecting to see Joyanna. Instead David entered. His hair stood out across his head and his rumpled clothing looked like he had slept in it.
“Do you have news for me?” she asked.
David crossed the space between them. “No, and yes. Kenji will not take trade goods in exchange for the fifty golds. He is determined to take the coin or the important thing, nothing else.”
“Then Papa is without hope, for we have not fifty coins in our pockets or in our baggage and he cannot have my book.” Daphne glanced at the stack of bundles she had not yet searched through. “Most of what is here will be welcomed in small towns on the way home. But of no use to acquire gold coins.”
“Can you sell it all back in the market? Surely, it will bring you some coins.” David turned to look at the items in the open bundle.
“Perhaps a few. Nothing is so rare or unusual that people here will want it back. They will not give me the fifty gold coins I need to save Papa.” Her hands flew out to flutter toward all the bundles. “And if I could sell them all to set Papa free, how would we get home with nothing to trade along the way? There are still bundles I have not gone through. Perhaps …”
“Let me help. Perhaps I can find something you would otherwise overlook.”
Daphne sighed. “If you wish. I fear for Papa.”
“And you should.” The frown on David’s face sent a chill down her spine.
(Abandoned Hope, to be published soon)

What about you? Where do you find your happiness? What are you working on now to improve your life?

A Short Questionnaire:

1. Are you a reader who loves my books?
2. Are you also a writer, or someone who has thought about writing?
3. Would you be interested in support or help from a published author?

I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading,

Angelique

Do You See the Beauty?

Today has been a day filled with many emotions.

I learned that a loved brother-in-law returned home to his Heavenly Father this morning. He discovered only three weeks ago that he had a type of cancer. Not feeling ill, he and his wife went with a daughter to New York state, the other side of the country from him, to settle business for his brother. He returned home in time to feel sick. The hospital sent him home to hospice care about three days ago. The family was told he would not recover. This morning, he moved from this life to the next, leaving the rest of us behind.

We live about five hours away and knew his life was near to ending. We planned to head up to visit him one last time after church on Sunday. I had purposely left the Internet closed on my computer this morning to get some editing done on my next book. When I opened it, I discovered this good man had lost the battle.

After calling his sister, and sharing condolences and sorrow with her, my husband needed to do something, go somewhere, so we went for a ride to our local National Conservation Area, Red Rock Canyon. This is a beautiful loop drive, with stops for hikes and overlooks. Today, however, we just drove through, slowly, enjoying the beautiful mountains, rocks, trees, cactus, and plants. I even saw a rabbit run across the road. As we drove through this beautiful area, my phone played music praising God for his wonders through our radio. It filled us with joy.

God, in His majesty, filled us with joy and understanding of His plans for us. Each of us will leave this world at some point in our future. Some, like my brother-in-law, will find that his future no longer includes the pains and sorrows of this earth. Many more of us will continue through this life for many days and years.

Some of us will drive through the beauty of the earth and miss it, swallowed up in our own sorrows and griefs. Others, like my father, will look at the desolate desert and find a flower, the darkening sky and see hope for moisture, or the loss of loved ones and see blessings and hope for that person.

On days like today, when it would be easy to see only the clouds and the sorrows, I am grateful to hear beautiful music and see colorful mountains and growing plants, reminding me that life will continue. What is important is what I do with it.

What will you do with your life? Seek the shadows or look for the shining sun behind the clouds? What sorrows do you face today?

Who Do You Honor This Mothers Day?

Happy Mothers Day to the women who are reading this.

Some moms are already posting pictures on social media of the flowers their children have given them. My husband bought me a beautiful plant. (I hope I can keep this one alive.) I have also noticed many women who vent their feelings of frustration, anger, and sorrow about the coming Sunday when we celebrate our mothers.

Those who aren’t mothers yet, or who haven’t been able to become mothers, for whatever reason, speak of their embarrassment when wished a Happy Mothers Day. Or sorrow, or grief, or regret, or … The emotions vary as widely as the women who do not (yet) have children and are not (yet) mothers.

Other women feel guilt because they aren’t the perfect mothers you read about in the Mothers Day card section or the songs the children sing. (I always cringed at the “Your happy smiling face”. For some reason, I didn’t alwyas feel like smiling.) Perfection just isn’t possible, but moms feel guilty because they haven’t yet achieved it.

Some women struggle with Mothers Day because their relationships with their own mothers isn’t as good as it could be. Or they feel sad because the relationship with their mom or stepmom ended with the death of their mothers.

Ad infinitum. The grief and sorrow continues with multiple variations of all these excuses and more. Many women struggle to find any joy or honor on the day set apart to honor mothers and women.

Believe it or not, I’ve had all those feelings burn in my heart and soul. Yes, I now have children and grandchildren, but I went through a painful time when I wondered if I would ever be a mother and hear my little ones sing, “Mother dear I love you so.”

I am blessed to still have my mother here with us. She’s now 86, and in general good physical and mental health. Not many women my age can say that. I’m grateful that I can go visit her on Sunday.

This Mothers Day, I am thinking of our first mother, Eve. She struggled with her children and grandchildren who didn’t always listen or do as they were asked. They made choices contrary to those she would have chosen. They caused her hurt feelings and great sorrow. I can only imagine how sad a Mothers Day would have been for her in the years after Cain killed Abel. Such sorrow!

Still, I look to her in gratitude as our first mother and thank her for taking that one step, eating that fruit or whatever it was that caused her to be ejected from the Paradise that was Eden. She did it to give us life, for until she did that, she and Adam were alone in the garden and no new life was created. I am grateful for her willingness to leave that perfect place so we could have life.

So, this mothers day, I honor Eve.

What about you mothers? Who do you honor and remember this year? I’d love to hear your stories if you struggle, if you are sad, or if you are grateful to be with your mom or … I’d love to hear.

What Happens When He Throws a Rock?

I am working on the first draft of book three in the Lost Children of the Prophet series. (No. I don’t have a name for it yet. I’m sure I’ll find the name sometime soon.) I wrote a scene I’d like to share with you, but remember this is rough, I’ve done no editing on it yet.

You may wonder the things that helped me write this scene. Many years ago when I was a little girl, my brother had a friend who lived across the street from us in our small town. One day, this friend wanted me to see a rock he thought was particularly pretty. Instead of running it across the street and placing it in my hand, he threw it to me. I, of course, caught it on my head, not in my hands.

In January, we visited our son in Arizona. He took us to a river purposely kept low to save water during the winter. He and his little boy stood for almost an hour throwing rocks into the river. I stood for a long time watching father and son throw rocks into the water. As I watched, I wondered how I could include this in my books.

Here is a part of that scene:

“It may be my fault. When we were still young boys, Father took us out to the horse farm with him while he checked on the horses. Kimnor hit on a great game, or so he thought. We stood across the stream with a stack of smooth rocks, Kimnor stood on one side while I stood on the other.”

David shrugged and pulled his head down into the collar of his cape. “It was Kimnor’s idea. Peter and I were his younger brothers. We always did what he told us to do. Usually, his games were fun. On that day, we were tossing the rocks from one side of the stream to the other, trying to throw them close enough to the other boy that he could catch it.”

“That does not sound safe to me.” Daphne glanced at David, then faced forward to keep her eyes on the road ahead of her.

“Looking back, it wasn’t very safe. We were young boys. What did we know? I threw a rock to him, and he caught it. Then he threw one to me. We stepped back and Kimnor told me to throw the rock to him. It was a flat, little rock, easy for boys to throw. I threw it, he caught it and threw it back, before we stepped back another step. We did this several times.”

“And then he did not catch it?” Daphne asked. She guided the mules around a rock that stood in the center of the road. “Good boy, Jack,” she called out to the mule.

David caught up to her.

“So what happened to Kimnor? Did he miss the rock?”

David grimaced and swallowed. “We had stepped back a distance from the edge of the stream. I had barely managed to throw the rock to him the time before. I worried it would not reach him this time. Kimnor had yelled at me, called me weak. I didn’t want him to call me weak yet again.”

David stared at the ground between the wagon and his horse. He swallowed and cleared his throat. Daphne glanced his way, then stared down the road. She sat in silence, waiting for David to find the words.

David cleared his throat and spoke once more. “I stepped back with one leg and pulled the rock next to my ear. I flung that rock as hard as I could to Kimnor.” David swallowed again. “He didn’t catch it. It moved too fast. He lifted his hands to catch it, but he missed it. It hit him on the head, here.” David pointed to a spot above his eye and dropped his hand.

 

Does it Matter Where Eden Was?

After months of not adding to my blog, it’s time to add to it now. Rather than focus on what is happening in the world, my posts will focus on my books and the world win which they are set.

One of the first complaints I received from a reader is that Eve, First Matriarch had not been set in the Middle East. That is because I don’t agree with current historians on the location of Eden.

Regardless of where it was actually located, the knowledge of Eden’s location would have been lost in Noah’s flood. During that event, when the earth received it’s baptism, the appearance of the land would have changed significantly.

I believe the Ark landed far from the location of Eden and the earliest settlements on the earth. For that reason, I do not include some of the things expected by some. I use the things I believe as a basis for my settings.

Eden could have been any place on this earth. It’s location was on an earth not yet divided into continents and sub-continents. I locate Eden in central United States in my mind.

Does it really matter? Not really. It only matters that it existed while Eve and Adam lived there. After then, it was gone.

Where do you think Eden may have been located? Where do you think God placed it on our earth?

Blogs and Ancient Historical Fiction