As you know, dear fans and readers, I write in a wide-range of genres: everything from my highly acclaimed time travel series (The Carthage Chronicles) to my latest return to my romantic comedy roots (Mt. Hope Southern Adventures). What you may not know is that 10 years ago, I also took a stab at writing a medical thriller with my good friend and award-winning romantic suspense author LISA HARRIS.
Here's the story as to how all that came about and what it means for you:
In June, 2008 the Dallas Morning News carried a story on the atrocities committed against albinos in Tanzania. The picture of a terrified albino caught my attention. As I read about the horrors these fragile people face, I couldn’t believe that such evil existed in the world. So I contacted Lisa (she's a missionary in Mozambique, a country that borders Tanzania) and asked if she could find out if the genocide of albinos was being carried out simply because of the difference in the color of their skin.
To be honest, until I wrote to Lisa about the article I’d read, she’d never heard of these barbaric crimes. But after doing some further research, Lisa discovered that what I’d read was true. Once we learned that the witch doctors pay people to harvest the pale skin and hair of these fragile people in order to make good luck charms and potions, we knew we had to tell their story.
The writing--and recently extensive rewriting--of this book has been a long journey, but we believe the timing for its release is perfect. Because while we live in a fallen world, we believe it is possible to bring light into the darkness. The journey of each of these characters challenged us, comforted us, and pushed us to live life more courageously. But most of all, writing this story opened our hearts to wanting to do our part to create a world that loves no matter what the color of our skin, education, financial status, or nationality.
For God's light to shine, sometimes it take a brave person willing to step into the darkness. We pray this story will ignite a flame so bright no corner of the earth will be left in shadow.
I'm excited to announce the the book is up for pre-order as an ebook on Kindle. The book will be officially on sale August 1st on all other platforms including paperback.
Lisa and I have started a blog which will have more behind the scenes info that you can only see there. We'd love for you to follow us at: HarrisGentrySuspense
I love introducing my readers to women who've reinvented themselves...and KIM GILSON is at the top of my long list of outstanding women. She is tough, resilient, and filled with faith. I met Kim at church, but it was our love of shoes, a good laugh, and the mutual dislike of whiners that made us instant friends.
Whenever Kim is around, you can expect a party. When I launched my Roman time travel series, Kim showed up at our book club meeting wearing a sheet.
What neither of us expected when I wrote the fictional story (WALKING SHOES) of a pastor's wife suddenly being widowed that, in many ways, I would be writing Kim's future (minus the pastor's wife part).
On July 2, 2014, Kim, who was only 43 and her husband Paul, who was only 45, went out to dinner. When they came home, Paul said he wasn't feeling well. He'd been complaining for a few weeks about a "charlie horse" in his leg. With his background in body building and physiology, she took it for granted he knew what he was talking about. That evening, he died from a blood clot. It was Kim's second day on the job at the Region X Service Center as a data and accountability consultant.
Now, the mother of two teenage boys had to figure out what to do next. She says the job was a blessing and she continued the 45 mile commute through Dallas traffic. Her parents offered to help with the kids because they knew it offered greater opportunities for her, and that took on new meaning as a sole provider. Three weeks later, she sold her house and put a contract on a smaller one closer to her sister. She continued commuting through the throngs of Dallas traffic and has since been promoted to a Program Coordinator at Region X where she oversees the P-16 Team.
Kim tackled grief the same way she has always tackled life: with a determined sense of joy.
It is my pleasure to share with you a small glimpse into the mindset of someone who successfully puts one foot in front of the other, no matter how painful, and continues to walk toward the light. Every day...even on the hard days.
I pray Kim's story will touch you as much as it has touched me, but more importantly, if you're struggling to take that next terrifying step perhaps it will give you the courage to find your walking shoes.
Door Number Three
by Kim Gilson
You’re surrounded by enough screaming women to fill a Macy’s on Black Friday. Holding their purses, ready to dig for the random item that will get them a chance to play, the women gyrate in whatever movement matches their quirky getup. The go-go dancer might be cute if her outfit was 12 sizes bigger, and you pray she doesn’t experience a wardrobe malfunction that endangers the lives of her seatmates. The clowns remind you why they give you nightmares, and the tennis player behind you hits you inadvertently with her racquet. The host, a middle-aged man with a tacky suit, loud tie, and super-skinny microphone, bypasses them and goes straight to you, as if only one crazed shopper has the correct doorbuster coupon.
“He’s wasting his time,” you think to yourself, “I’m sure I have whatever item he’s looking for, but I couldn’t find a wet cat in this bag.” In a total breach of game show etiquette, he holds out his hand, imploring you to follow him to the stage. You’ve been saved from the embarrassing experience of pulling out three weeks worth of fast food receipts to find the earring back he’s asked for, lodged between a sticky penny and a rogue Sudafed in the darkest corner of your Simply Vera Wang satchel from Kohls.
You know how this works. There are three doors. One contains a valuable and desirable prize, usually a new car, that’s more a curse than a blessing once you pay its taxes. Another contains a less expensive, though functional prize, often a home appliance you normally wouldn’t purchase until yours goes to the Sears Appliance Outlet in the sky. The third usually contains a barn animal wearing a cute costume. You’ve always wondered if the poor schmuck who gets stuck with the cow dressed as a mailman has to tether it to her sedan for a long ride home.
Breaking all game show rules, the host doesn’t even ask your name, let alone which door you choose. He simply waves his microphone wand in the air and the panels on Door Number One slowly open.
There is your life on stage. Your husband, your home, your children….the life you know. You’ve never used the word “bucolic” in your life, but it’s the only fitting description of the scene. You’re at the dinner table, eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Mouths are moving to form words, but the volume has been muted. Everyone seems so happy, so….normal. Before you can process the meaning, the doors slowly begin their march towards each other as the lights on the homey scene fade to darkness.
Your eyes move to the host. Surely game shows pay enough to buy better toupees. He looks strangely sad, and you begin to suspect this episode is scripted, and everyone knows their lines but you. His eyes show sympathy, and your fear meter rises as you see pity in them as well.
What on earth could be lurking behind the other doors?
He waves the microphone again. Door Number Two slowly reveals a future Christmas. You and your husband are old and gray, rocking in chairs by a Christmas tree, holding hands while looking on grandkids opening their presents.
Your grown children and their spouses hover nearby, ready to assist with unwieldy tape or packaging that requires a NASA engineer to open. It’s everything you expected on that wedding day so many years ago when you said “I do, until death us do part.” It’s the sequel to every fairy tale ever written. You know, it’s what happens after the prince and princess ride off into the sunset and the words “Happily Ever After” are scripted in beautiful lettering inside the back cover. No little girl has ever asked to hear the rest of the story. Deep down, she knows it’s not nearly as glamourous. Mortgages, car payments, labor pains, stretch marks, PTA meetings, a vomiting dog under your bed at 3 in the morning, graduation parties, student loans, retirement receptions, adult diapers, denture cream….the list is never-ending. And yet, it’s exactly what you wanted when you traded the fairy-tale wedding dress for yoga pants and flip-flops, wedding cake for frozen dinners, and a shoe-polished limousine for a mini-van with stick figures on the windshield. It’s the way life is supposed to be.
You want the obnoxious game show music to blare loudly from the speakers, signalling the end to another great episode. You wait to hear the announcer extol the virtues of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat, and learn how many months of Turtle Wax you get to lug home in your Hyundai.
They don’t come.
Slowly, to the stunned horror of you, the go-go dancer, and at least a dozen Kardashian impersonators, you watch the distance between the panels of Door Number 2 slowly diminish, as each prop disappears into nothingness.
The entire room is silent.
You’re afraid to look at the host, but you hate awkward silence more than anything and he’s the only one who knows his lines. Your eyes travel up the brown tweed, past the 5 o’clock shadow, over the heavily applied stage makeup...and you see a twinkle. He begins to smile.
Now you’re really scared. Everyone knows one of the three doors has the booby prize and you’ve exhausted the two best options. No episode has ever had three winning doors.
At best, you’re looking at fainting goats in pajamas. At worst, a bison dressed as a politician. The HOA will freak.
“For you, Kim, we have what’s behind Door Number Three. It’s not the life you have. It’s not even the life you thought you were going to have. You get……(insert synthesized drum roll).....THE LIFE YOU WERE MEANT TO HAVE!!!”
They pick this point to blare the closing strands of the theme song. Cue the announcer’s voice. There’s the rice...there’s the car wax….The sound of clowns, Kardashians, and other disappointed contestants leaving the studio audience. It’s at this point you realize you surely wandered into the wrong TV studio. You were looking for a GAME SHOW, not THE TWILIGHT ZONE REBOOT!!!!
The announcer begins to walk away. You grab him by the sleeve.
“Hey, what’s up with this??? What’s behind Door Number Three??? Do I get to come back tomorrow to find out?”
He pauses and smiles again. It’s not a condescending smile, like he’s trying to appease you to let him go backstage for seltzer water and cookies. It’s compassionate. Patient. Respectful.
“Door Number Three is your future. The script was written long ago. Door Number One is over. Door Number Two was never meant to be. Door Number Three is your reality.”
“But, when do I get to see what’s in it??? When do I get to see who’s in it??? Is it good??? Will I be happy????
WHO WROTE THE DAMNED SCRIPT FOR THIS SHOW????”
He pauses again.
“The Lord wrote the script before time began. There was nothing you could do to change it.”
Things just got cosmic, and you’re not exactly proud of your use of profanity given this turn of events.
In shock, you barely hear yourself ask him to open the doors. If you’re not going to get the life you expected, the least he can do is show you what you will get.
He places his hand on your shoulder.
“The doors will open each day. One day at a time. You’ll wake up each morning with an expectation of what that day holds for you, and you’ll go to bed each night knowing what it was really meant to be.”
“But, tell me!!! WILL IT BE GOOD???? WILL I BE HAPPY?”
He touches your cheek. “In some cases, they will make you happy. Others will leave you sad, but they will all combine to create the life that will make you the person you’re needed to be to accomplish the Lord’s will.”
“But, who will be there???”
He continues answering your questions with patience, and a surprising hint of love. “People will come and go. They are, after all, mortal. But, know this. The God who wrote the script will be with you for every scene. He’ll direct, produce, and even co-star as much as you’ll let him.”
“BUT WILL IT BE GOOD???”
“If you believe the Lord’s promises, then it can be amazing.”
You can tell he’s beginning to move away from you, headed to the Green Room, and you decide to go for one last question.
“But, what about the others? What about their doors???”
At this point, he looks slightly sad again.
“The difference between you and them is this. They’re still living under the delusion they get doors One and Two. You, on the other hand, know those are gone forever.
Everyone gets Door Number Three. They will all eventually be called to the stage to learn the difference between their expectations and reality. You were called first to show them how to navigate that journey.”
With that, he leaves the stage. You’re the only one left. You and the Door Number 3. It has a big question mark on it. You study it for some time and then realize you’re hungry. Food, friends, and life itself won’t present themselves by studying the door, analyzing the question mark. Door Number Three will only reveal itself on the stage of life. You face the Exit Sign, glad you’re not beginning the journey in a badly fitting go-go costume.
The world outside is truly unknown, but at least you know you’re not alone. The producer, director, writer, and co-star of the script will take the show on tour. You clutch the gray bag, still hanging on your shoulder, believing that whatever random item, skill, or resource is needed to move the storyline forward will be provided when the time arises. At least there’s not a bowtie-wearing bovine following you home.
Most Definitely Not….The End
Kim is the real Leona Harper...a woman who believes that if God begins a good work in someone, he can be trusted to finish it.
If you know someone who could benefit from Kim's story, please feel free to share.
If you know a woman who is reinventing herself, I'd love to hear from you.
Everyone needs a vacation.
I just got back from spending several glorious vacation days in beautiful San Diego, CA. I walked on the beach, took a harbor tour (with my husband humming the theme song from Gilligan's Island in my ear), and read some delicious books.
All this relaxing and reading got me to thinking...I wish I could send all my faithful readers on vacation. Before you get your hopes up...that ain't happening. But, I can give you a little something to put in your suitcase to take along on your next trip (or read now if you can't wait).
For a limited time only (the next two weeks) WALKING SHOES has been reduced from $3.99 to only $0.99. That's right, $0.99. That's such a great deal for the full-length book readers are calling the new Mitford.
But here's the even better part...at the end of WALKING SHOES there's a link for Book #2, SHOES TO FILL, and you can get David's story for FREE. That's right, FREE...and everyone knows if you get your books for FREE then you can afford one of these cute tourist hats.
Don't miss this limited time offer of only $0.99.
The KINDLE link for DANCING SHOES is live. I think this is one of my favorite stories yet. Download today and return to Mt. Hope, Texas. Here's a short synopsis of what to expect:
When you realize you’ve been home all along...
The time has come for the widowed Leona Harper to make a fresh start. Leaving the parsonage means she’ll need a home of her own. Complicated finances force Leona to work with Saul Levy, but she refuses to allow the uptight lawyer to impede her makeover plans. When a handsome old friend blows into town, Leona is faced with her toughest decision yet. Save the world, or dare to dance with a very unlikely partner?
Return to Mt. Hope, the West Texas town reminiscent of Mitford. Enjoy the hilarious world created by Romantic Times Top Pick author Lynne Gentry.
Fast-paced humor. Tear-jerking candor. Heart-melting romance.
BUY Dancing Shoes now and laugh until you cry.
If you have a reinvention story to tell, I'd love to hear from you.
Sometimes the steel-toed boot of life kicks us square in the teeth. Unexpected blows can crush us, set us back on our heels, and put an end to our dreams. When I went on my small towns of Texas #WalkingShoesTour I visited Pottsville, TX. Pottsville was a thriving little farming community until the bottom fell out of farming/ranching, kids left the country and moved to the city in search of a better life, and the highway never became a major thoroughfare.
As a result, not much is left of Pottsville, TX today.
People can become ghost towns too...if they refuse to move forward.
I'm excited to reveal the cover for Book #3 in the Mt. Hope Southern Adventures series. I'm so excited to share this phase of Leona's story. As you remember, life kicked Leona in the teeth. In DANCING SHOES, Leona must decide how to move forward. Some days she does it well. Some days she doesn't. But I'll guarantee you this: you'll laugh until you cry every step of her journey.
Stay tuned, the links will be live in a couple of days.
Just returned home from our first Walking Shoes tour of the small towns of Texas. Saw some fun sights and met some incredible people. One of my favorite stopping places was SOUTHERN SPICE in Hamilton, TX. This quaint little boutique is run by a spunky gal named Melissa Gentry. Just like Leona Harper, the heroine in my hilarious new contemporary Mt. Hope series, Melissa is in the process of reinventing herself. Kick off your shoes and sit a spell as we visit with a woman who believes you're never too old to start over.
If you haven't laughed until you've cried, then you haven't read WALKING SHOES. Buy it today.
Friday, March 31, we're packing our bags, putting on our red shoes, and taking to the back roads of Texas. Some of the fun things we'll see, besides wide open spaces and lots of bluebonnets and cows, are three really quaint Texas towns. We'll stop in Hico, Hamilton, and Pottsville. We'll meet a spunky Texas gal who is reinventing herself in a big way.
Since the release of my new humorous Mt. Hope Southern Adventures series, I thought you'd enjoy meeting a real adventurer. Someone who dared to dream. Someone who donned a different pair of shoes and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
I've known retired Air Force Colonel Steve Johnson for years. His adventurous spirit has taken him all over the world. Successful in everything he tries, Steve can now add successfully hiking the difficult Appalachian Trial to his resume. Steve has authored a book (I'll give you the details at the end of our interview). Today, we're talking about the importance of choosing the right shoe for your journey. Come along with this funny guy. Who knows, you may even be encouraged to walk toward your dreams.
LG: Glad to have you with us, Steve. You recently completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. That’s quite an achievement. How many miles was that?
Fob: 2189.1 miles…through 14 states.
LG: I know you spent a lot of time deciding on hiking gear and clothes. But, as you might expect, I’m especially interested in your WALKING SHOES.
Fob: We call them hiking shoes.
LG: What’s the difference?
Fob: Well, most 2-year-olds can walk. But to hike this trail, you need to be crazy.
LG: Explains a lot about you. How important is having the right shoe?
Fob: It’s critical. You’ve heard the expression, “where the rubber meets the road”. Well, on the AT, the “rubber meets the trail” with each of the roughly 5 million steps you take. You want a shoe that is comfortable and keeps everything in place.
LG: Like a bra?
Fob: Let’s not go there.
LG: So did you have any foot problems?
Fob: Plenty. My feet suffered from blisters, bruises, blisters on bruises, intense pain, and numbness. In fact, it’s been 5 months since I finished the trail, and I still can’t feel the 10% of my feet that run along my toes. But I shouldn’t complain. Some hikers had it much worse.
LG: How so?
Fob: I know of several who quit the trail due to foot issues. The constant pounding had reduced their feet to hamburger meat. In some cases, they hiked too many miles too soon. Some chose the wrong…what do you call them...“walking shoes”. And then there was the hiker with the trail name Two Soles.
LG: Two souls? Was he possessed?
Fob: No, two soles. After several days of intense foot pain, he got off the trail and went to see the shoe and foot guy at an outfitter. The foot guy checked his sorry looking feet and said he needed a new pair of insoles. Two Soles agreed, but after hiking in them the next day, he was in even more pain. His buddy took a closer look and discovered he had put the new insoles on top of the old ones…and the combined pair was restricting movement and crushing his feet. He didn’t quit the trail, but he did earn the trail name Two Soles.
LG: Who had the most unusual shoes or feet?
Fob: I know of a few hikers who hiked almost the entire trail in their bare feet … really crazy. I also saw hikers in boots, trail runners, Chacos, and Five Finger toe shoes. And then there was ET.
LG: ET? You hiked with an extra-terrestrial?
Fob: Not exactly. You won’t meet him till my second book, but ET and I met and hiked together in Pennsylvania. Super nice guy and a FAST hiker.
LG: So was that due to his shoes?
Fob: No, he has an extra toe!
LG: No way!
Fob: Yes, way. He was born with 11 toes. Thus, his trail name…ET…for Extra Toe. He let me take a picture of them. They were cool in a way, but a bit creepy. Like when your mom gets her first tattoo.
LG: And the extra toe gave him an advantage over you?
Fob: It couldn’t have been that he was half my age, two-thirds my weight, and was in better condition. So it must have been the extra toe.
LG: Makes sense. I look forward to reading about your AT journey in your upcoming book. Thanks for joining me today.
Fob: Thanks, Lynne. Some day we should co-write a book and send your heroine on a long hike in her red, high-heeled shoes.
LG: I’m not sure she could do that.
Fob: She could if you write her in a couple extra toes!
AUTHOR STEVE JOHNSON
After turning 50, Steve Johnson decided to embark on an incredible, life-changing adventure. Leaving family and friends behind, he chose to thru-hike the rugged 2189.1-mile Appalachian Trail. In this first of two volumes, Steve, "Sir Fob W. Pot," invites readers to lace up their hiking boots and join him on the journey of a lifetime, from Georgia to Maine, traveling five million steps across fourteen states. Filled with belly-aching laughs, heart-wrenching struggles, practical life lessons, and AT hiking strategies, Fob's hike is a compelling story about humanity and wilderness survival.
What kind of shoes do you need to take that first step toward your dream?
Spring (all three days of it) in Texas is a beautiful thing. Bluebonnets, Indian paint, and oak pollen abound. The weather goes from chilly to hot almost over night. So we, here in Texas, have learned to grab these few days of perfection with gusto.
Spring reminds us that no matter how long, or how difficult our winter has been, there is the hope of starting over. Of taking a new path.
Wishing you strength and endurance and hope for your journey.
For all of you who came to my first ever FACEBOOK LIVE broadcast ... thank you so much. If you missed it and all the fun stuff we talked about, I've put the video below.
Let me tell you, technology is not easy for me. Any time I conquer another new platform, I want to stand up and shout...but my attempts never goes without a glitch. I had things all set up to broadcast with my phone and then one little question on the process held me up. So I grabbed my computer and came to my own party two minutes late. Better late than never. Grateful the computer setup worked.
We're so excited to bring this fun new series to you, dear readers. I'm not drawing the winners of the secret code access to my stage performance until Sunday night. Jump in and buy the book, make sure you're on my newsletter, and join the fun.
Have you experimented with the new FACEBOOK LIVE feature? I've watched several people use it, but I've never had the courage to try it myself.
This Thursday night (7pm CST) I'll be on my personal Facebook profile page here.
Why risky humiliating myself in a live broadcast?
I'm telling you the news early, dear blog followers. We're introducing a laugh-out-loud contemporary women's fiction/romance series. But you're a time travel/sci-fi/adventure writer, right? I know. But originally, I started out in humor.
This series is a return to my small town roots. You'll meet some of the folks I grew up with (fictionalized of course) and others I've met in some of my stays in small towns.
Early readers are calling Mt. Hope a place of hope and second chances. Others are saying it is a laugh-out-loud look into a close knit community.
I hope you'll visit Mt. Hope and escape your troubles for a few hours.
Here's a peek at WALKING SHOES, the first book in the series:
Sooner or later everyone encounters a fork in the road. When Leona Harper crashes into tragedy, the shocked pastor’s wife is forced to summon her estranged children home. But parenting young adults in a nosy, small southern town soon proves more difficult than reinventing herself. Determined to give her broken family a shot at a second chance, Leona begins to put one foot in front of the other.
Reconciliation and healing won’t come easy in this zany, trouble-filled, walk-through-grief adventure.
Tear-jerking candor. Fast-paced humor. Hope in the darkness.
This holiday story of tear-jerking candor and fast-paced humor offers hope in the darkness.
Fans of Jan Karon, Ann B. Ross, and Philip Gulley will enjoy exploring the dusty town of Mt. Hope. Escape into this delicious southern adventure.
Everyone deserves a place of hope and second chances.
In my make-believe world I’m like my characters. Outspoken, brave, and adventuresome. In real life I’m extremely cautious. Risk adverse. Chicken.
How can a scaredy cat like me write romantic adventure? While all the twists and turns of a story are not known to me before I start, I’m not afraid to take risks because I know I can control the outcome.
I've learned the hard way that it's the blind corners and hairpin turns of real life that are not so easily manipulated.
Living fearlessly terrifies me.
And yet, that is exactly what God asked me to do this year. He asked me to discard my false sense of self-control and step out in faith.
Here’s how my year of living fearlessly looked:
Release of Book #2 in The Carthage Chronicles series. They say your second book is exceptionally difficult to write and it was. I bit my nails waiting on the reviews to come in.
Next we sold our house and moved to a smaller house in a different town leaving behind friends we'd known for 15 years.
I traveled more. Spoke more. Laughed more. And met some amazing people. Yes, that is me gawking at Francine Rivers...the woman whose work inspired me to write.
I've had two new grands for a total of THREE.
Wrote the FINAL page of THE CARTHAGE CHRONICLES series and released the finished story into the world in September.
I've made new friends. Learned to navigate city traffic. Found wonderful little places to eat. Spent more time with family. And launched myself wholeheartedly into a new writing project. I can't wait to curl your hair with this totally crazy new adventure. Here's a clue:
Can you guess at the story?
My gracious thanks to all of you who cheered me on. Who prayed for me. Who loved me … even when I faltered.
As this year comes to a close, I hope you'll join me in waiting upon the Lord's direction with great anticipation.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
I love the change in the seasons. Fall is my favorite time of year. I drag out the crock pot and purchase the ingredients for chili. I call a chimney sweep and have the fireplace checked. I pull out wrinkled sweaters in hopes it will one day cool off enough here in Texas to wear them.
I can't wait for the first cold snap.
As much as I like the change in seasons, I've discovered that life changes don't come easy for me. Especially when the change involves anything technical. But I've come to embrace the fact that change can be good.
Change forces us to look at the world differently. Change presents new challenges. New hills to climb. New things to learn. Change keeps us looking at the world in wonder.
It's time for me to make some changes. I've finished up my Roman time travel series (The Carthage Chronicles) and have jumped head-first into an exciting new series. (Can't share just yet but hope to soon.) I've also totally reworked my website. Taking on these two changes at once may not have been the smartest thing I've ever done, but the challenge has invigorated me.
I invite you to look over my website. Check out some of the new features and info I've added for you. And could you do this "change-challenged" girl one more favor? If you discover a link that doesn't work, let me know.
I'd love to hear any tips you have about handling change.
It’s release day for the FINAL book in the series that has swept us away on a grand adventure. I’m so grateful for the readers that have joined us on this journey and look forward to hearing from new readers who don’t like to start a series until it is complete.
It’s bittersweet for me to say goodbye to these characters. I celebrate the place they will forever hold in my heart and hopefully yours.
Thank you, dear readers, for all the kind words you've sent me. Word of mouth is still the best way to get a story out there. Invite your friends to join us.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of talking story with the wonderful women of Oliver Creek Church in Arlington, Tennessee.
At the end of our time together, one of the women presented me with this beautiful necklace and earring set. I was touched by her generosity. I read her name tag and said, “Thank you so much, Marlene.”
It wasn’t until later that I learned this sweet woman had stayed up until midnight the night before our retreat to make me this gift. Even more astounding, she’d had a mild stroke on Thursday and still wasn’t feeling well. But she’d committed to having this gift ready and was determined to follow through with her promise.
I should have gone back and thanked her again before she left.
But I didn’t.
To my shame, I got busy signing books and talking to others and just let her slip out quietly. I’ll write her a thank you note when I get home, I thought.
And I did.
First thing Monday morning. I even dropped it in the mail that very day.
On Tuesday she had a major stroke. As of now, she’s unresponsive. She may never see my note of gratitude.
How I wish I would have taken the time to hug her.
If there’s someone you need to thank, do it today.