Goodreads Giveaway!

It’s the Christmas Season and the time for giving. I shared this on Facebook and Instagram, but not with all of you. I’ve just opened my Instagram account, so still finding my way around there. I’m older, so stick with me, it takes a while to figure it all out. Only yesterday I discovered that I could link my group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216963165342784/

to my author page on Facebook. It’s probably been available for months, or even years, but at least I have it now!

I’m having a giveaway on Goodreads! This is for my newest release and runs until the 8th of January…2018! Wow! It will take me a while to remember that year. Until about July I’m still functioning in the previous one. So, be sure to enter. To date, I’ve given away 18 books in giveaways on Goodreads. So check it out!

Follow this link to enter for a chance to win one of three signed copies of my newest release! https://www.goodreads.com/givea…/show/269283-when-love-grows

That also gives you time to read the first book in the series, When Hope Blooms. You may purchase the first book, or any of my books right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykem…/e/…/ref=sr_tc_2_0…

All books are available in paperback, or kindle editions on Amazon. If you purchase the paperback, the kindle edition is yours for free!

Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million (BAM), and Walmart also carry my books for online purchasing. Please share with all your book-loving family and friends, and remember…reviews are greatly appreciated! Merry Christmas Everyone!

When Love Grows Cover - 6.2 x 9.5 measurements I love the colors on this cover! Red is my favorite one, and it does remind me of Christmas colors.

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I Was Where?

At one time in my life, I spent literally hours at shopping malls. I kept up this habit until we had two small children. By then it was a great way to get out of the house for a few hours and incorporate some much-needed walking into my day. I never really spent much money, but I recall the people-watching and the store windows. At Christmas time, I loved the decorations and the music, the shoppers with the common goal of locating that perfect gift.

Then, for many years, the thought of entering that brightly-lit fray had the power to make me feel as though an elephant was sitting on my chest. The mall was the last place I wanted to be, and during the Christmas season I really wanted to avoid it. My comfy office chair guided me through many years of birthday and Christmas shopping.

I’ve noticed that life seems to travel in full circles. I’m also the person that would always do the opposite of others, not wanting to follow the crowds. If hair was to be short, mine was long, and if curls were the go-to style, I wouldn’t fuss so much to have that bounce. I haven’t told my family this, but the other day when I was contemplating the painting of our house, two sides one color and two sides of another color flashed through my head. After all, people don’t normally decide to do this to their homes. (And, if you live in a neighborhood with rules, you may not be allowed to do this!) I just know that our house has been the same color for over ten years now, and I want something different and unique, but all in good taste…of course!

So maybe that is the greater reason that I found enjoyment in not one, but two days at two malls…all in the same week! That, or the company I was with. It was also an excellent way to get that walking in! Because I was having such a good time, I even had my picture taken a few times…also a rarity. Thank you to my husband and our youngest for two fun days. It reminded me of why I once spent many hours at the mall, and shopping. The picture below is actually at Home Depot. I’ve never looked so good in red!

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I think this is one of my favorite pictures of my husband and me. It just makes me smile. Merry Christmas! May your Christmas shopping be peaceful, enjoyable and those gifts right at your fingertips.

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The Time for Giving!

My newest release is available! Lots of excitement here! That’s me doing a little happy dance in the snow.

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Okay, not really. It’s been almost in the seventies the past couple of days here in Kansas. So no snow, but that’s what I would be doing if I could!

In honor of When Love Grows and the release, I am having a Goodreads giveaway. 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/269283-when-love-grows

This will begin on December 11, 2017 and end on January 8, 2018. So you will have one month to enter this giveaway. I will be giving away three, signed copies of When Love Grows. No purchase necessary. But if you would like, you may read When Hope Blooms first and get acquainted with the little town of Wheatacre, Kansas. The story continues in When Love Grows, but it can be read as a stand-alone. You may purchase When Hope Blooms, or any of my books right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykeman/e/B01B2BYPK6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1512426480&sr=1-2-ent

Happy reading everyone, and I wish you a very happy December!

Welcome To the World!

Because I delivered five babies, I went through labor five times. My labors weren’t the ones where you went in and played cards for a while, skipped down the hospital corridor with your backside for all to see, had an epidural and then were told to push because you were numb from the middle down.

Now, to be fair, I’ve never had an epidural. These were stories told by other moms that had one. Because of my fear of anyone poking around my spine, I always declined. I would rather be completely sedated. But you understand that with any fear, it can be completely irrational. Facts don’t matter! Each woman is different, every person experiences pain in a different way. Every woman needs to do what she feels is best for her labor and delivery, and she  needs the support of those with her.

My labors were long, and I delivered big babies. With each one, the first cry and the first glimpse of that tiny face…made all those hours very well worth it. Around thirteen years later with each child, I rethought those moments and my conclusion was that I was delusional at the time. Extreme discomfort and pain can do that to you! But with each child, when active labor began, it was that feeling of despair. The memories of what that long contraction felt like…and I wanted to run!

So it was with our second oldest when she was in labor with our sixth grandchild last Wednesday. Believe me, I felt those contractions, I knew by the look on her face that she wanted to run. But labor is one of those items in this life that you have to see through until the end. And women all around the world for ages have done it over and over again. Women are strong, they are formidable, a force to be reckoned with. And yet, when a child is small, and sometimes big, they want their mother to ease the pain…to comfort.

Our sixth grandchild, the fifth girl, arrived last Wednesday, November 22nd at 3:43 pm. Her name is Eleanor Rose Elise…Ellie to us. She weighed 7 pounds and 6 ounces, 19 inches and then some, I think. The statistics dim for me after the first few days. Because of her parents request to not post pictures at this time, I will not. But she is a real cutie! Her big sister Ava thinks so as well.

Family is one of those Divine Institutions that God has given us in this life. Marriage and family is to be honored and cherished. It is a Blessing far beyond my comprehension. It is what makes this world, rather difficult to live in at times, just that much better. I am thankful for mine!

Welcome to this big world, Miss Ellie Rose! I look forward to watching you grow into the delightful woman God created you to be. And may your mother have the honor of watching your little ones arrive in this world one day. It is a Blessing to behold!

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From Shabby to Chic

I had made a goal to post every Tuesday. As you can see, that did not happen this past week. Home renovation projects have kept me very busy. They are going well, but very slow. But at least they are moving along.

There is something about the holiday season that gets me motivated to set the house in order. Maybe it’s the cooler weather, maybe the fact that I like the house to look nice for the decorating. At any rate, it’s that push I need to get it done. Kitchen renovation - 11-04-2017 (2)

This is a picture from early November. The wall cabinets had finally been moved thanks to one of our son-in-laws. Thank you, David! Those cabinets were original to the house, and very heavy. So far, they have held a lot of dishes and are still hanging! New paint color in kitchen - 11-16-2017

This is after painting the color on the walls yesterday. The white parts are where more cabinets are to go and the back splash. I put  20 hinges on the cabinet doors on Tuesday. That made for 100 screws, by hand. I don’t use power tools if I can help it. They really rattle my arms and joints. That is usually where the sons-in-law and our son come in. I rely on them for a lot!

I know I drive my family crazy with the home projects. I really like doing them from the standpoint of taking something old and shabby and making it beautiful again. I just don’t have the desire to live in a home project anymore. I guess I’m at the age where I want it done, and I can just use the kitchen for what it was meant for. I’ll post more pictures when the kitchen is finished…hopefully that won’t be too long!

This week also produced more progress made on my next release…When Love Grows! That is always exciting. My editor is now in the last stages of formatting and making everything look really pretty. Here is a sneak preview…

When Love Grows Cover - 6.2 x 9.5 measurements

If you enjoyed When Hope Blooms, you will love the continuation of Sybil’s story. She could be compared to my kitchen project. Taking something rather shabby on the inside, and making it beautiful. You may purchase When Hope Blooms right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykeman/e/B01B2BYPK6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1510855121&sr=1-2-ent 

If you are a Prime member, you can have the book by Monday. Books make wonderful Christmas presents as well. Be watching for When Love Grows on Amazon, very soon!

If you enjoy Women’s Christian Fiction, these stories are for you. I’ve had a lot of great feedback from them so far, and that’s wonderful to hear. People have loved the Rubyville series and getting to know the Barton women. Happy readers are very important to me! So make you, or someone you know very happy this holiday season by purchasing a Deborah Ann Dykeman book! I think you’ll be glad you did. Have a great Thursday!

All Hallow’s Eve

It’s October 31st, the last day of the month. For me, even as a child, I greeted this day in the hope that it would pass quickly, and the anticipation for what I think of as the holiday season. It always seemed as though the end of October signaled the beginning of winter, and a slower way of every day life.

Halloween has never been a favorite day of mine. When I was young, our family did dress up in costumes and our father walked us around the neighborhood to only those people we knew. Even in the early 1970’s. We always carved a pumpkin or two, setting it outside our door. Our maternal grandparents came over, bringing donuts and apple cider. That was never a good mix for me! You would think I would have learned after several years to go with one or the other. But not me. I had to go to bed with a tummy ache every year.

Fast forward to our teenage years. We were living in a little town called Crown Point in upstate New York. Our house was huge. A gorgeous home built by the town banker in the late 1880’s from what we were told. His name was A.J. Wyman, and he began a banking business in April, 1881 in Crown Point.  My mother loved older homes, and she has always done a fantastic job of making them look beautiful. Well, of course this was a great place to have a Halloween party for all our friends. This included a scary trip through the barn, and probably the attic of the house. This same attic was filled with bats every summer. I’m not saying a couple, I mean thick with bats. I’m pretty much terrified of them today. October 31st in upstate New York wasn’t great for bat activity. They were either gone or sleeping by that time. But none-the-less, the attic was a scary place to be with the lights off! I remember the night being fun…hands through spaghetti and that kind of stuff. Nothing like what you see today. We had refreshments, probably played games. I remember having a good turn-out. Those were the years of big celebrations for birthdays, etc. I had a couple sleep-overs in that house, inviting all the girls in my class. It was a very small school, our class of 50 being the largest at the time. Here is a picture of the house, the photo my parents used for our Christmas cards that year. It was taken on Thanksgiving Day! Yes, we had a lot of snow that winter.

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Our family didn’t talk about it with most people at the time, but that house had some strange things going on. I won’t go into all the details, but when my sister toured the house many years later as an adult, she asked the owners if they had noticed anything, and they had. The house was being used as a bed and breakfast at the time. So of course he didn’t want to advertise too much! I will tell you this little bit because it was very strange, and it involved the family pets. So it wasn’t just us humans noticing odd things! Every day, around four in the afternoon, if I recall, my brother’s bedroom would smell of fish. I don’t mean like fish cooking. It was if you were at the wharf. The cats in our house would go in and sleep on his bed, enjoying the aroma. After all, fish is a cat’s best friend. Then about an hour later, the smell would be gone…no trances remaining.

As I said earlier, Halloween was never my favorite day. It could go by with no notice from me. When I was younger, it was fun to dress up and get candy, but as I grew older, probably around my 30’s, I really began to be uncomfortable with it. I have never believed in ‘ghosts’. I do believe there are fallen angels and demons. I won’t go into a theological discussion here on whether they are the same thing or different, but only that they are real and not a good thing. My personal belief is that given an opportunity in your life as a Believer, they can and will play around. As a non-Believer, you are on extremely dangerous ground. I believe this is the ‘ghost’ activity that is spoken of, and I do believe it is very real. And that is why I am uncomfortable with dabbling in things that are borderline evil or just plain evil. In a verse that I have shared here before:

Philippians 4:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I believe that as a Christian, your life should be filled with what that verse says. I think this can be applied to our speech, our actions, the books we read, the music we listen to and the shows we watch. All things should be honoring to God. As a Believer, if you are attracted to ‘stuff’ that is not good, you should be knowing why. Why is your soul seeking those books, movies and activities that are not uplifting? I know that in my own life, those times come when I am not in fellowship with God, the times that I am not continually seeking Him. An analogy I would use is this: You fill your car with gasoline. If it is full and rich in what your vehicle needs, it runs well. If you purchase watered-down gasoline, or add something you shouldn’t, your car will chug down the road, get poor gas mileage, etc. It is the same in our Christian walk.

Personally, I will be glad when today is over. November 1st begins a long month of many birthdays in our family. It’s the month I really start thinking about fall decorating, baking and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the month when my life begins to take a slower pace, relishing of the days when the cold, winter wind blows and we are snuggled up inside. I wish the same for you.

Friday Trivia – Geography

I loved geography in school. The days that we were told to make maps and color them were my favorite. I don’t know if that helped with this trivia or not. I missed a couple of them. How about you? (The answers are in red.)

 

1) Atlantic City is a popular entertainment destination located in what U.S. state?

2)Which four U.S. states are on the United States-Mexico border?

3)What city in Australia has the highest population?

4)The Mexican city of Tijuana borders what U.S city?

5)What is the term for the natural boundary in North America separating waters that flow into the Atlantic Ocean from those that flow into the Pacific Ocean?

6)Sequoia National Park is located in which U.S. state?

7)The avocado is a tree that is thought to have originated in what country?

8)In what country would you find the temple complex Angkor Wat?

9)The Hoover Dam in the United States is built on what river?

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New Jersey

California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

Sydney

San Diego

Continental Divide (Great Divide)

California

Mexico

Cambodia

The Colorado River