No Awards Please

Blogger Award

I have thought about this for several months now. Wondering what I should do, not wanting to seem ungrateful. Because I am not. Each one of you is very precious to me in that you’ve taken the time to stop by here, and read my posts. I am thankful for you!

I have been nominated for several blogger awards over the past few months…and I am really speechless! I hope I have not offended those that have nominated me by not responding immediately. I have not forgotten your kind gesture. I just haven’t known how to proceed.

Blogging is something that at this time is secondary to my novel writing. I enjoy blogging, but admittedly am not very good at it, or as prolific as I probably should be. I just don’t have the time. I have reached so many of you through this blog, and I have met so many wonderful people. And I love that about blogging. I have been inspired, encouraged, and delighted by the sites I have encountered on here. This blogging has opened up another whole world for me. So I will continue to post when I can, because I will always have something to say, and I will always love to hear from you. But taking part in the awards is just more than I can fit in at this time. I think they are a lovely gesture, and I adore reading about those that have been nominated, but I just can’t reciprocate at this time.

The Versatile Blogger Award was one I received from a beautiful lady that I’ve come to know on here. Please check out her site at: https://rhythminlife.net/ She has written some beautiful poetry, and shared the challenges and blessings of her life in a very special way. Thank you, Susan!

https://mycountryepoque.com/ is where I received the One Lovely Blog Award. The colors and beauty on her site really drew me in, and I’m enjoying my journey there. Thank you!

Ellie Holmes at: https://ellieholmesauthor.wordpress.com/ was the first to nominate me for an award. It was very exciting! It’s been so long ago, that I don’t even remember the award, but I did tell her at the time how much I appreciated it. I just didn’t know what I was going to do about awards. She has a couple of books that are on my reading list, which is also something I don’t get much time to do. But I haven’t forgotten, Ellie!

So, a huge thank you to all of those that have nominated me! You are appreciated! Please keep stopping by and sharing your thoughts, and your life with me. I love to hear from you. And I will continue to read about your awards, and will share in your joy.

The Newest Release!

This book has been a long time in the making compared to my Rubyville series. I had it written in three months, but the editing, cover, etc. took much longer. But today, when I arrived home from my walk, there was the box on my porch! I was so excited to open this shipment of books, and I had to share it with all of you! The book has been available on Amazon for about a week now, but these are actual, real, books I can now hold and take to events. And that’s really exciting for an author. I don’t think that will ever become common-place for me.

This past Saturday, my editor and I attended the Author Fair at the Emporia Public Library. It is always a privilege to be a part of these events, and get to meet other authors. The library staff was wonderful, and whenever water and chocolate is handed out, it’s a great day!

After the library event, we checked out Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore at the recommendation of a couple authors. I’m so happy I did! This adorable bookstore now has all my titles available for purchase. Well, I do need to get this newest release to them! Supporting local authors is huge, and this store is doing a great job of it! Please check out their Facebook page right here: https://www.facebook.com/EllenPlumbs/  and be sure to like their page. Look for me to be announcing more events with this bookstore!

I’m doing a little happy dance, and it’s tingling right through to my fingers, so I need to get to writing on the book that follows When Hope Blooms. Have a great day!

Beat the heat with this new book!

It has been wonderful to work with Peas In A Pod Editing&Design! I thank her for this great review, and wanted to re-blog her post.

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I’m excited to announce my most recent project is now available to you, the reader!

Once again, I was honored to be involved on the “inside work” with Deborah Ann Dykeman…this time with her newest novel.

Being editor/typesetter/a little of everything gave me the privilege of reading this story…many times! And if I enjoyed it multiple times, you definitely need to give it a try.

Like the Rubyville series, this book takes place in Kansas. Though I’m not yet her age, I feel for Elvira Sample. She’s struggling…looking for a last chance at some happiness. But she knows how easily hurt comes, so she is sure the town of Wheatacre will only be a brief escape. Until she meets some special inhabitants that assure her of her value and place in the world…and the hope that what’s been shattered can be renewed.

Remember, it’s available in print and Kindle version…

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Boldness to Speak

When I sit down to read a book, especially in the summer, I want a light, happy read. I don’t know why this is more important to me in the warmer months, but it is. I desire to read stories about beaches, and warm days on the sand, children playing outside with the fireflies. The long days of summer were always a happy time for me. Hours of swim lessons, and neighborhood friends, riding bikes up and down the sidewalk. Times I thought would go on forever.

But as we all know, they do not.

As far as I can recall, I have not done a book review on here. I review almost everything I can. If I purchase something, I review it. This is important to me because I rely so heavily on reviews of a product before I make a purchase. Sometimes I watch reviews and investigate for months before I buy. I want to know what I’m getting for my money. And usually, the reviews are pretty right-on. Most of the reviews I write are on TripAdvisor and Amazon, and those two places are where I read the most reviews.

So when I read a book, I review it. If I was less-than thrilled with it, I will only give it a star rating. If it was really terrible, I will write my humble opinion, and if I enjoyed it, I will give the reasons why. Today, I read a collection of poems written by a woman that I have come to know through her blog, https://rhythminlife.net

This little book, which you may purchase or read for free if you have kindle unlimited right here: https://www.amazon.com/Audacity-Her-Making-Sense-What-ebook/dp/B07256W1Z3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498058670&sr=1-1&keywords=the+audacity+of+her was an emotional read. As someone that encountered abuse in my early teens, it really spoke to me. The author lets us into her soul, and that’s difficult to do. Only after much healing, physically as well as emotionally, can a person write with such pain and truth, but not bitterness. This book is a must-read for those that have dealt with abuse as children, or are trying to understand a person that has been abused.

No, this book is not a light, beach-read. But it is an excellent, easy read. Because even through the author’s pain as a child, you sense hope in what she has become today. And that makes me happy.

Thank you, Susan for your poems. For letting us see a glimpse of what has made you the strong woman you are today. Someday, I look forward to a collection of poems on the process of healing, because I know those words are there to share.

The Newest Arrival!

No, this is not about another grandchild, although in about five months, we should be making that announcement. I’ve said it before, and I know I will again. Grandchildren are the best little people in this life! We have blessings running over in that area!

After many months, and lots of hard work from my editor and our oldest daughter, I can finally say that my newest book is available! So many of you have asked about it, and I really appreciate that! As I am writing this post, Amazon is still updating my author page, but you may purchase both the paperback and kindle editions right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542917301/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497870196&sr=1-5&keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman

If you purchase the paperback edition, the kindle edition is yours for free!

Here’s a little sneak peak at the back cover:

Back cover, When Hope Blooms

I will also be having a giveaway for this book over at Goodreads. Check back here for more details on that. And if you love getting free stuff, please enter to win a signed copy of the fourth book in the Rubyville series, A Place in My Heart. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32662285-a-place-in-my-heart There are just ten more days to enter this giveaway. I’ve sent out nine books from the Rubyville series so far and you could be another winner. A giveaway for my first published work, To Thee I’m Wed, (and the most talked about story so far), will begin on July 1st.

Lots of exciting things happening this summer! I have several events scheduled. The best part about that is I have the privilege of meeting you, the reader! And of course, I have a second book about the little town of Wheatacre, Kansas that is speaking to me. I know, that sounds a bit crazy, but if you are a writer, you understand!

Whew! Now that I have that out of my head, maybe I can get a little sleep before I need to get up for the day! Have a beautiful day!

Psalm 118:24

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Big Smile!

Branding and marketing are huge if you have a business, want to sell items that you have made, or if you are an author. The list probably goes on for areas where you need to brand and market, but those are just three that came to my mind. Think of brand names that you know. Whether it’s the breakfast cereal you eat before you start your day, or the shoes you put on your feet. The symbols and colors that come to mind speak of that product, and you know exactly what it is. Drive down a strip of road located in a busy city, and your brain will be boggled with all the branding. You don’t even have to read the sign of a restaurant, or fully focus on it. You know what it is. The yellow arches beckon all of us if we are in a hurry for a quick, cold drink or salty order of fries. And you can see those yellow arches from blocks away, maybe even miles away on the interstate.

Branding and marketing take up a very large amount of my time when I’m not working. My author name of, Deborah Ann Dykeman is not known in my small town, much less around the state of Kansas. Forget about the rest of the world! But in order for me to be able to retire my husband before he’s using a walker, and move to the country, my name needs to be know everywhere. And that takes a long time! I want you to see and smell roses when my name is shown to you, and know that I’m an author, and hopefully know what I write about.

So, when someone contacts me and asks to read one of my books, and they will do a review on their site…wow! There is nothing better than that. Sure, at first I thought it would be a scam, but what do I have to lose at this point in my writing career? I always check out another site to see if it’s legitimate of course. It would be crazy in this world today to not do a bit of research before you jump in with both feet. When everything looks pretty good, I proceed.

And I’m so happy I did!

Pople Backyard Farm at http://poplebackyardfarm.blogspot.com contacted me a couple weeks ago, May 17th to be exact. They requested a copy of my fourth book in the Rubyville series, A Place in My Heart. I thought it strange that they requested the fourth book, but I was just so happy they requested it at all! That put a big smile on my face! They said they would do a review and have it posted within a couple of weeks. So of course I checked them out. And boy do they review products! It’s a great site, and you should really see what’s happening over there. They were true to their word. They read my book and posted a great review here, http://poplebackyardfarm.blogspot.com/p/best-reads-for-summer-2017.html for their summer reading reviews. You may have to scroll down to read my review, but I saw some books I would like to read on my way down the list!

Thank you, Pople Backyard Farm for requesting my book, for actually reading it and then writing a review! It is very much appreciated! And I love your site! I would wish you much success, but you seem to be doing really well already! 😉 But still…much success to you!

And remember to enter my giveaways over at Goodreads. This is for the third book in the Rubyville series, A Place to Healhttps://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/231878-a-place-to-heal

This is the link for the fourth book, A Place in My Hearthttps://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/231879-a-place-in-my-heart

If you win one of the three, signed, printed books I’m giving away for each giveaway, I’ll have it in the mail to you within a day…really! And please, please, please write a review if you read my books. You can do this where they are sold online: Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Walmart, Target and Amazon. Some of those require a purchase first, but Goodreads does not. Thank you all for your support and helping me on this writing journey! It really does put a big smile on my face! Have a great day!

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The Story Is There

Have you ever looked at a picture, and wanted to know the story behind it? It could be an old painting, or a photograph. I’ve seen pictures and I want to jump right into that time, hear the conversation taking place before the camera captured that image. Feel the temperature of the air on my skin, smell the aroma of the room, or the flowers the couple was standing beside.

Yes, I’m probably strange. I’ve been told so before. But it doesn’t really bother me anymore to fit into the little box others think I should be in. Everyone experiences life in different ways, and that is good. So these days, (most of the days since I turned fifty a few years ago), I just float along with some of those thoughts and feelings I have when it comes to creativity. It has helped me to write and publish five books so far!

Pictures say a lot. holding-hands-1772035_1920

This one speaks to me of young love, hope and a future. It is autumn, shown from the colors of the leaves on the trees. I think the sun is setting, but it could be rising. The train tracks lead you to believe there is more, a road to travel, life to experience. This picture makes me feel happy with a touch of melancholy. thunderstorm-2077667_1920

Of course the first thought for this one is something dark and sinister. I love the house, but not the setting, even on a bright, sunny day. It looks flat and somehow wild…and very lonely. The flashes of lightning don’t help the entire feeling of something bad about to happen. But I still love the picture and all the emotions it stirs up. relax-705817_1920

Peace is felt when I look at this one. I think it’s early morning, the mist on the water. It reminds me of an Adirondack lake. I actually saved this one to use for a meme on my third book in the Rubyville series, A Place to Heal. Much time in the book is spent on Lake George in upstate New York. There is a dock with chairs just like these. I could spend a lot of time here with my eyes closed, smelling the clean, fresh air, and listening to the sounds of the water lapping at the boards.

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I love country churches. Especially if they are white or stone. I prefer them nestled in a little valley with trees shading the steeple, but this one is intriguing. Just think of the stories this one could tell! A young couple on their wedding day, the wind whipping the bride’s veil as they climbed into the buggy to begin their future. There is a thought.

But of course, photographs of those we love are the most special of all. This one was taken of our grandchildren on Easter Sunday. They are all below the age of seven, and they each have a story to tell, a future to experience. My mind races with the possibilities of the thoughts in their little heads. There is a story to tell…18090708_10155275580618804_513646526_o

Thanks to Editors

Editing, a very slow and painful process in my opinion. But it is a very needed one. It gives the writer and the editor a chance to find all those little mistakes and typos. Some that would have been read over by a reader engrossed in the story, or others that would have caused a person to come to a screeching halt.

I appreciate my editor. She is also our oldest daughter, so that is unique in the editor/writer experience. We are able to sit down together, and she reads my book out loud. Those mistakes jump to attention then. We are able to rewrite, correct, and talk about changes immediately. And that is also unique. I have a very good set-up for my writing, but it is still…slow.

And all of the above is the easy part. After we finish going through the book, reading it out loud, Britta Ann will then spend hours going meticulously through each page, checking sentence structure, word usage, and spelling. She will format and make the interior look pretty. Yes, I have the easy part!

Thank you to all editors out there. You are greatly needed by us writers. We appreciate you, even if we think you are a bit crazy with the red pen at times!

So, just a quick note to let you all know that I am here…just a little overwhelmed right now. Have a great evening!

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – To Thee I’m Wed by Deborah Dykeman

Thank you, Yecheilyah for such a wonderful review! I just had to share it on here! Pick up a copy of To Thee I’m Wed, and readers, let me know what you think! I love hearing from you!

Pearls Before Swine

Title: To Thee I’m Wed

Author: Deborah Dykeman

Print Length: 239 pages

Publication Date: December 29, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B019YT5NC2

*I received this book as a gift from the author*

When Jason and Kathy Miller marries in June of 1985, they are in total bliss. As any young couple is they are happy and giddy and excited to start their lives together. They are so happy in fact, that even at the beginning I knew things would not be all peaches and cream.

Twenty years and three children later and the fire dies. Once happy-go-lucky Kathy is starting to feel unfulfilled. The life of a Housewife is now just her duty where it had once been so much more. It had once been fun. Now that the children are older, Kathy seeks work to rekindle the excitement in her life but her husband…

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A Wow Moment

This past weekend, my editor, a.k.a. daughter, and I attended a writer’s conference in Pittsburg, Kansas. It’s the Called to Write Conference, held annually at the Lamplighter Inn and Suites. There is always a great turn-out for this event and the speakers are just phenomenal for a conference this size. This year, Kathy Ide http://kathyide.com/ and Twila Belk http://www.gottatellsomebody.com/ were the keynote speakers and they taught the workshops. They were terrific! Probably my favorite time over the few days was the Q&A on Friday night. It was just fun to watch these two women interact and answer questions. I learned so much!

The biggest take-away I had from this conference, was the gift I have been given with my writing. My writing is for a purpose, it sends a message, and I would pray it leads others to seek Christ. And that is a lot of responsibility! But, I couldn’t do anything else. I often wonder how I managed for so many years of my child-rearing days to not write. But our lives have seasons, and those years were not my writing season.

I was privileged to be able to donate A Place to Call Home for a door prize. Because of that donation, I was given the opportunity to share vocally about the book and the series. I think that’s the reason I was sold out of A Place to Call Home! That was very exciting for me! But to top that off, people even asked for me to sign their books. Yes, I know that is expected and a normal practice. But it’s still new enough to me that my jaw kind of drops and I want to ask, “You want me to sign your book?” I probably spelled my name wrong because my heart was pounding so!

During a quiet time, I was sitting in the garden room, looking out over the swimming pool. I was dreaming of my younger years, when the pool was all that mattered at a hotel. It’s been rather cold and rainy here in these parts, so swimming wouldn’t have been an option. Putting on a swim suit would have solved the ‘going swimming’ dilemma if any chance had been left. The woman standing among the trees approached me, apologizing for interrupting me during my retrospection. She asked if I would mind signing her copy of A Place to Call Home. Would I mind? Does chocolate taste good?

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Moments like these make writing so very special!

Yes, writing is a gift I have been given. But over and over, I have been the receiver of so much more in this writing journey. From the joy of working with our eldest daughter on editing, formatting and proofing, to our middle daughters giving their very needed suggestions on content. Our son reading the books has been great encouragement. And our youngest has been able to keep the house from tumbling down as I have sat in my office for hours at a time, glued to my chair. Hearing readers talk about my books, sharing them with others and reading reviews has gone beyond what I ever hoped to accomplish with my writing.

I have readers! Readers have asked me to sign their books! Wow!