Texas Wildfires: I had no idea I’d be living through this experience.

Fire can be pretty darn scary. We read about the wildfires in California every year that cause millions and billions of dollars’ worth of damages. I’ll see a touching story on the news, and I’ll quickly say a prayer, usually about two sentences long. But now, all of a sudden, here in Texas, we have several wildfires burning.

There’s a huge fire in Eastland County that is less than an hour away from me. It’s getting a little personal now. My prayers got a little longer, maybe four or five sentences. Then, this past weekend, my prayers grew long and fervent.

This fire was in Hood County. OMG, I live in Hood County. I was still unaware of the fire and was visiting my husband who broke his femur two weeks ago and is still in rehab. We were having a nice visit when I received a text from my daughter-in-law stating she and my son and grandson were being evacuated from their home located outside of town. Needless to say, I made a bee line home and discovered that our little town was in a pre-evacuation mode. Smoke was billowing south of town. We were advised to start getting ready, just in case.

I gathered up important papers, fed my dog, packed an overnight bag, but before I got much packed, we received notice that a mandatory evacuation order had been issued for our town. I quickly put everything I had prepared into the pickup, loaded up my husband’s dog Hank, and headed to my best friend’s house in Granbury.

As the evening progressed, the stories we were hearing got worse and worse. My house is roughly a half mile from the center of town. Each report showed the blaze closer and closer to town. The last thing I saw on my phone before going to bed Sunday night was the photo below taken by Brooke Winegardner. That is my house. I saw it and knew there was no chance of it being spared. Only a miracle could save it now.

Photo Credit: Brooke Winegardner

After a pretty sleepless night, we got up the next morning to reports of the fire being contained and the city of Lipan was safe. My house, my daughter’s and my son’s homes were all spared. Look at that photo again and tell me how my house made it through, untouched. As you can see, the fire was headed right towards us.

When I wrote my first published novel, Fire Light Fire Bright, I had no idea I’d be living through this experience. The fires in my book were the work of an arsonist, most were small and quickly contained, only one got out of control. If I had to do it over, I would have dedicated that book to the men and women firefighters everywhere, paid or volunteer. They risk their lives to save us and our belongings.

WHAT??? You haven’t read Fire Light Fire Bright yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Get your copy today.

Fire Light Fire Bright

The small north-central town of Glenwood, Texas is being methodically burned to the ground. Every few days another fire. Acres of scorched pasture, and skeletal remains of the once majestic trees that surrounded the township attest to the skill of the arsonist. Sheriff Dodge Brewster is frustrated by his inability to find even a single shred of evidence.

Several teenage girls in surrounding communities have been brutally raped. When the rapist finally targets Glenwood, the girls are not only raped, but murdered also. Deep in the woods outside of town, a Vietnam vet lives as a hermit. The people of Glenwood accuse him of every misdeed that occurs. The arson, rape and murders are no exception. They are demanding that Dodge arrest the vet, but new evidence in a turn of events point to his own friend.

Will Dodge be able to prove his friend’s innocence? Will he have to arrest him? Or will he go along with the townspeople and arrest the Vietnam vet?

The Color of Thunder: Trick or Treat?

I can’t believe it’s already October. Where has this year gone? Walmart already has Christmas decorations out and it’s not even Halloween. Speaking of Halloween, I love the Reece’s commercial I saw on TV last night. It shows a Reece’s cup with a big bite taken out of it and it suggests that you should turn off all your lights and pretend not to be home for Trick or Treaters. That way you get to eat all the Reece’s candy all by yourself.

I live in a very small community and the school sponsors a fall festival for Halloween. They have all sorts of booths set up and the kids end up with more candy than they need. We live at the end of a dead end street and for some reason, Trick or Treaters don’t come that far. We never have any of the kids hit our house.

With no Trick or Treaters, Halloween ends up being just a regular night at our house. My husband watching TV and I’m usually reading a book. Right now I’m re-reading The Color of Thunder. It looks very Halloweeny (Is that even a word) with it’s orange and black cover.

It may look like Halloween on the cover, but the story inside is totally different. If you’ve never read The Color of Thunder you might consider it. You’ll get to meet Michael Thunder (His name should have been Tundra, but his name was misspelled on his birth certificate). The Pastor’s wife goes to a rock concert and gets to meet Elvis in person. You’ll also read about a tornado that ended up being the answer to prayer. A lot of the events that happen in this book actually happened in my life. I never got to meet Elvis, but I did meet and shake George W. Bush’s hand just like in the book.

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Happy Reading!

Joseph is an ambitious new reporter who sees his chance to make a name for himself by taking on a popular local church. Pastor Thunder fears that his own shortcomings are what’s keeping the young man from becoming a Christian. However, Joseph is out to prove that you don’t have to be a Christian to be one of the “good guys”.

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WHY DID I WRITE THE COLOR OF THUNDER?

Why did I write The Color of Thunder? That’s rather hard to explain, but I’ll try.

I had already written Fire Light Fire Bright, Dreams Never Lie and was nearly finished with Dreams are Forever. One thing I decided on when I started writing was that my books wouldn’t be full of profanity, and there would be no graphic sex. I think I wanted to prove that a mystery/suspense novel could be a good read without these things being included.

I instilled in my characters my Christian values. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t shove Christianity down anyone’s throat, I just made sure to show that my characters were good moral people. They went to church, and didn’t cuss, smoke or drink. In fact in the Dreams Never Lie series, Josh’s best friend was his minister.

The first two books were well received, good reviews and readers clamoring for more. But I still had a nagging feeling that I hadn’t gone far enough. I was driving to work one morning during a thunder storm when it hit me. The Color of Thunder. Wow. Where did that come from? I love it. I’ve got to write the book.

I had no idea what I was going to write. I was nearly finished with Dreams Are Forever, but I put it on the back burner and started The Color of Thunder. I had no idea what this book was going to be about. I sat at my computer and the words just spilled out of my fingers. I poured my heart into this book. I wanted to explain how to become a Christian without pushing anyone away. I agonized over how to do this, but when I sat down at the keyboard, again, the words just flowed. I got so wrapped up during the church service near the end of the book that tears were pouring down my face as people stepped forward to accept Christ as their savior.

I was warned that publishing this book could potentially impact my sales. I didn’t care, I wanted to get this message out. There towards the end when Michael is talking to the girls, again, the tears just flowed. I couldn’t help myself, I cried and cried.

Now don’t get me wrong, this book isn’t all serious. It has a lot of fun things, like the disastrous picnic where Michael was trying to propose and everything kept going wrong. Or when he spent $1.98 on a bottle of champagne thinking he was getting the good stuff.

I had so much fun writing this book. Many of he events in this book are true, in fact, the ebook has inserts with me talking, explaining what happened in real life. I hope you’ll take the time to read The Color of Thunder. Truth be told, I just reread it, and you guessed it, I choked up at several places as I read it again for the umpteenth time.

Happy Reading Y’all.

Joseph is an ambitious new reporter who sees his chance to make a name for himself by taking on a popular local church. Pastor Thunder fears that his own shortcomings are what’s keeping the young man from becoming a Christian. However, Joseph is out to prove that you don’t have to be a Christian to be one of the “good guys”.

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“Every pastor should read this book.”

I had some exciting news this week. I just discovered that The Color of Thunder was the February, 2021 read for the Page Turner Book Club! The March meeting was to discuss the book.

My daughter Katie was browsing on Facebook and she saw the cover of the book. That caught her eye, so she clicked on it and discovered the announcement about the meeting, only five months after the fact.

Well naturally, she texted me, asking if I knew about it. I did not, so I researched the page and was able to connect with one of the members. She told me that the book was well received by the cub members, everyone said they enjoyed it and the consensus was that every pastor should read the book.

You cannot imagine how humbling that was to hear. My eyes filled with tears and I sat quietly for a few minutes trying to get my emotions under control before I shared the news with my husband. I tried to tell him and got all choked up again.

This is an online book club and I could have connected with them if I had only known about it before hand. That would have been so cool, being connected and able to answer questions anyone might have about the book.

The Color of Thunder is very near and dear to my heart. I got very emotional while writing it. It’s the story of a young newspaper reporter trying to make a name for himself. He discovers some things about the pastor of a large church that could destroy his ministry. While he digs deeper and deeper into the life of the pastor, the pastor is more concerned with bringing the young man into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

It’s a very moving story, in fact, to quote one of my Beta readers, “If people are not touched by this book, they cannot be touched”.

If you haven’t read The Color of Thunder yet, I hope you will consider putting it on your wish list for future reading.

THE COLOR OF THUNDER

When I starting writing, one of my goals was to make my books interesting and fun, with a little suspense thrown in for good measure. I also wanted to prove that books could be all these things without all the profanity and graphic sex that dominate so many novels today.

My novels in the mystery/suspense genre have a few four letter words, but they are usually used in a joking manner. Also, my main characters are Christians and church attendance is mentioned several times. My main characters best friends are generally the pastor.

I really enjoy writing the mystery/suspense novels, but I felt like God wanted more from me. I decided to try my hand at a true Christian novel. The Color of Thunder as a title for the book came to me before I even knew what the book would be about. I wanted to do something totally different from my other books.

I wrote it as the life story of a minister, totally made up, strictly fiction. As I starting writing, it just all fell into place. I would think all week about what I wanted to write, then on Saturday morning when I starting writing, it would end up nothing at all like I had planned.

The main theme of the book is the unlikely friendship between the pastor and a newspaper reporter who describes himself as a ‘heathen’. As their friendship develops, the reporter uncovers some flaws in the minister’s life and must decide whether to use the information to destroy the church, or to prove that you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good guy.

The minister’s main focus is the salvation of the reporter and he does everything in his power to bring this about.

Truthfully, I made myself cry several times while writing this book. I hope it touches you too.

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