Flash Fiction Friday: Overcome Defeat

Orwynne stood with her head hung low, tears dripping from the tip  of her nose creating a puddle on the ground around the broken pieces of her heart. A warm wind blows, and she feels his presence but he cannot be seen.

One by one he picks up the pieces of her heart. He meticulously reassembles them, then he breathes on them and hands her heart back to her, good as new. She clutches it to her chest and it enters the empty place where it belongs.

He whispers, “You are never alone.” Then he is gone, but the fire burns inside Orwynne. She lifts her head, brushes away the tears, straightens her shoulders, marches on to fight another day.

I’m Sorry

“I’m Sorry:
by Kelly F. Barr

“I’m sorry”
He sounds so sincere
But the actions do not change.
The hurts come again and again.

“I’m sorry”
Words without meaning
When he really only thinks of self.
I wish I were a turtle
So I could hide inside my shell.

“I’m sorry”
An empty sound
As the hurts abound.
How long before
The actions prove the words sure?

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is an Audio Freebie! The Broke and the Bookish suggest Top Ten Audio Books You Should Listen To; Ten Books I Want to Listen to on Audio; 10 Bands You Should Check Out; Ten Podcasts You Should be Listening to; Ten of my All Time Favorite Albums; Ten Songs I Love, or anything else you can come up with.

Since I don’t really listen to audio books, I have decided to do Ten of my All Time Favorite Albums, and before we start I will admit that it was absolutely impossible for me to limit it to just ten because my mom introduced me to music at the age of 2, and I have loved and listened to many different genres ever since, and that’s quite a few years but I won’t say how many. Therefore, expect more cheats on this list than any of my previous lists.  😀

  1. Singles 1969-73 (Import) (CD) ~ The Carpenters (Artist) Cover Art

The Carpenters: The Singles 1969-1973. I LOVE this album. Karen had a fantastic voice and it was heartbreaking that she died so young.

2. On Stage and Elvis' Golden Records

I loved pretty much every song this man sang, and I loved his movies too, but these are two of the albums I listened to most. Elvis was also the first singer that I cried over when he died, and I named our first black Labrador Retriever after him.

3. Thriller and Bad (Remastered)

Many people judged and criticized this man, but I always felt sorry for him. How could anyone expect him to be “normal” (whatever that really is) when he was raised by an abusive father who exploited his children, and he never had the opportunity to have any semblance of a normal childhood. He was incredibly talented both as a singer and as a dancer/performer, and I still miss him and hope his children will have a better life than he did.

4. She's So Unusual by Lauper, Cyndi (2000)Hat Full Of Stars and A Night To Remember

A lot of people think Cyndi is weird or strange, but she, too, is incredibly talented. I have loved her from the start. She’s given me great dance music and wonderfully artistic songs. I also never thought she sounded better than on the albums Hat Full of Stars and A Night to Remember.

5.  Wham Make It Big , Faith and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1

I fell in love with George Michael when I first saw the MTV video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-G0”. Yes, he had a very controversial song on the Faith album, but I still loved him and found him extremely good looking. I was heart broken when he announced his choice to be gay, but he was another incredibly talented artist, and many artists seem to like to push the envelope and do something controversial. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing, but it’s not going to prevent me from loving a talented artist, just as I have been taught “Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner”. His album Listen Without Prejudice consisted of songs with strong and good messages. I even got to see him in concert when he did his “Faith” tour. That remains one of my favorite concert experiences.

6. Who's That Girl Soundtrack and Immaculate Collection

Talk about controversial! Madonna is the epitome of controversial. I loved her when she first came out even though some of her songs, even then, pushed the envelope. I totally loved “Who’s That Girl” the album and the movie, and I almost all of my favorites are on The Immaculate Collection. However, I did lose respect for Madonna and stopped listening to her when she became too “over exposed” (if you get my drift) and erotic. That is just completely unacceptable and inappropriate as far as I’m concerned, and I believe it shows a lack of self respect. However, Madonna has talent. It’s just too bad she feels she always has to try to top herself and chooses to do so in inappropriate ways.

7. Product Details

Yes, yet one more controversial artist. I have been a fan of Cher since I first saw her with Sonny Bono on Laugh-In, then I watched the Sonny and Cher show, and I always thought she had a great voice, but I totally became a fan when she made her musical comeback in 1987. I also enjoyed many of the movies she starred in over the years. However, I would never go to see her in concert because her choice of wearing too little clothes is just wrong. My two favorite Cher songs are “Bang-Bang (her single remake), and “Just Like Jesse James”.

8. Pat Benatar Crimes Of Passion and Pat Benatar - Precious Time | ~Music is the ART of making~ noise | Pi ...

I loved Pat Benatar’s heavy rock’n’roll. She sang songs about strong women, and I loved to listen to her music whenever I was angry. It gave me an outlet for my anger, in that listening to those tough songs with great beats always calmed me down.

9. heart album cover heart backstage pass heart german promo 1985 and Heart Brigade Album Cover, Heart Brigade CD Cover, Heart Brigade Cover ...

Been a fan of Heart since I was in junior high school!

10. Insert Brand Name Here: Fleetwood Mac - Rumours review

LOVE this album!

Okay, I know I’m supposed to be done and I’ve already cheated, but I have just a couple of more I want to share:

11. Michael Bolton Greatest Hits: 1985-1995 album cover

This man can sing a love song to me any time! He has a fantastic and distinctive voice! I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sing a song I didn’t enjoy. I also had the privilege of seeing him in concert once, right after he first cut his long curly locks! I didn’t know until I saw him that he had gotten his hair cut. At the time, I was very disappointed as I loved that mane. However, it didn’t take me long to get used to his short do, and he’s still handsome.

12. All the Way... A Decade of Song - Céline Dion - Disc-O-Graphy

I have followed this woman’s life ever since she was first noticed as a young girl with a beautiful voice when she sang the song for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. At first I was appalled that she married Rene, who was soo old compared to her. But as I watched them over the years, it became evident that they truly loved each other and were meant for each other. I empathized with her as they struggled to have children, and all that she went through so that they could have their three beautiful boys. I cried with her when she lost Rene to throat cancer early this year. She has an incredibly beautiful voice.

13. Air Supply Greatest Hits album cover

These guys did a wonderful job with love songs as well. I also had the opportunity of seeing them in concert once — we sat in the third row from the front!

14. Palace of Rock: tobyMac - Eye on it and This Is Not A Test 2015 Momentum 0 Portable Sounds 0

This is my current favorite male singer and these are my two favorite albums. I love to blast This is Not a Test as I’m driving. We had the privilege of taking our entire family to Toby’s Eye On It Tour concert, and we totally loved it!

15. Blanca Announces Self- Titled Solo Debut Blanca Releasing May 4

This is my new favorite female singer and this album is awesome!

16. Shelleen | Rough Tracks

This is my favorite up and coming female singer, I suggest you watch for. This is a great album! I know Shelleen personally, not well, but a bit, and she has wonderful talent. She writes her own lyrics too. If you haven’t heard this album, I suggest you listen to it soon.

Okay, I’ll stop now, because I could go on for a long time yet. There are so many talented artists in so many different genres that I love, but you get the picture.

Who are some of your favorite music artists?

A Big Change in my World

My husband and I are the proud parents of three wonderful boys, two of which are now grown. Our oldest went off to college last year, so this year he is a sophomore. It’s been a bit of challenge adjusting to his being gone. We miss him but are pleased to see him boldly going forth in the next stage of his life.

Now our middle son has decided to go much farther away than our oldest to attend a two year Bible school, with a third year option. Being left with just one in the house seems a huge difference and will most likely take a bit more time to get used to. Again, we are pleased to see this son also boldly going forth in the next stage of his life. We only hope this one will call us frequently since he will be much farther away.

Now, I am down to homeschooling my final child. We are enjoying this school year and it seems quite strange to only have to teach one child. This should also open up a bit more time for me to write, provided I use the extra time wisely.

Change is constant in our lives whether we like change or not. Some of us struggle more with change than others. I am not one who struggles very much with change.

How about you? What kinds of changes are you dealing with in your life right now?

Author Interview with Lillian Duncan

Today, I am taking a break from Flash Fiction Friday to bring you an author interview with Lillian Duncan, Christian Mystery/Suspense writer, who has a new book out, Game On.

Tell us a little about you.

My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love being back home. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

Tell us about GAME ON.

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone’s not out to get you!

That’s the premise behind GAME ON. Politician Lucas McMann believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. Since he has no proof, his friends and colleagues believe he’s being paranoid.

He needs someone to help him get the proof and that’s when he turns to Nikki Kent, someone from his past. She’s a private investigator now, but the last person she wants in her life is Lucas McMann. He deserted her years ago when she needed him most, but her new found faith won’t let her say no to him.

And that’s when the game begins!

Tell me a bit about your main characters.

Lucas McMann is a politician with a big problem–actually two. First, he believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. His second problem is that no one believes him because there’s no proof. He can’t move forward until he stops the game. He can’t stop the game until he discovers who’s behind it. To do that he needs someone who will believe in him enough to help him get the proof he so desperately wants.

And he knows just the person, if only she’s put their troubled past behind her.

Private Investigator, Nikki Kent makes a living finding out other people’s secrets, but she has one of her own. When Lucas shows up asking for her help, she refuses. She can’t take the chance of her secret coming to light. But her new-found faith won’t let her turn her back on someone who is desperate for her help—even if he was the first man to break her heart!

What’s the setting for GAME ON?

Most of the story takes place in Maiden, North Carolina which is a real place. But that’s the only thing that’s real. The specific places talked about in the story are a figment of my imagination.

Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?

Lucas’s mother is my favorite secondary character. She’s a gun-toting Southern belle who believes in being able to protect herself.
Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?

Not in the least! My suspense stories are just that—stories I create.

 

What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?

Actually I was watching a TV talk show. This particular guest believed that many of his “friends” were actually stalking him. My writer’s mind took over from there and I created Lucas McMann, a politician who believes he’s being stalked but nobody else does. And it went from there.

What do you want readers to take away from GAME ON?

I think there are several lessons to be learned. One of the most important is that forgiving others isn’t letting them off the hook. It’s letting go of your own anger and bitterness so you can have the life God wants for you.

What is your writing process?

I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

What are you working on now?

I just finished the final edits on the third in the Deadly Communications series. Its title is DEADLY SILENCE. In it, Maven will be back and facing some very difficult life circumstances.

Along with that, she’s working with a late-deafened adult as a client. A subject near and dear to me since I’ve lost all my hearing in one ear and a significant amount in the other because of the brain tumors.

I also have several other stories in various stages that I’m working on.

If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?

DON’T GIVE UP! It took me 15 years to get a traditional contract, and now I have almost 20 books published! If I can do it, so can you. But not if you give up. KEEP WRITING!

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?

I prefer a “real” book with paper. Unfortunately, I don’t read them that way very often because of my eyesight. So, I use an e-reader almost exclusively these days.

Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?

Romans 8: 28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors. The treatments and the side effects wreaked havoc on my health! I was very sick but I kept repeating this verse over and over. It kept me trusting God and it kept me in peace and joy in spite of how bad I felt at the time.

What’s your day job? Tell us a little about it.

I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.

What sort of serious health issues?

In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. A long name that basically means I can develop tumors at any time on my nerves but especially in the brain.

It’s been a long, long journey but God is good. There’s a lot I can’t do these days, but I can still write!

 

How did your education or previous career impact your journey to publication and where you are now?

My day job was as a school speech pathologist, better known as a speech therapist. So for more than 30 years I listened…and listened…and listened some more. I think it helped me in a lot of areas but certainly with writing dialogue of my characters.

Anything else you need to tell us?

To celebrate the release of GAME ON, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes including Amazon gift cards. For all the details, just click on that link. Simply leave a comment on the blog post GAME ON and you’ll be entered.

Also, my publisher outdid herself when she created this GAME ON book trailer

And lastly, thanks for having me.

BLURB for GAME ON

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]
Politics is no game when a stalker nears and there’s nowhere to hide.

A run for the senate is just a step on the road to the White House for Congressman Lucas McMann. But his public profile has put him in the middle of a crazed gunman’s twisted game of stalking. If he wants to win the election and reclaim his life, he’ll need the help of the one person who’d rather leave their past behind them.

Private Investigator Nikki Kent knows how to dig up secrets and discover those who exist in the shadows. She should. She’s good at hiding secrets of her own. Can she risk her own discovery for someone so desperate for her help? For the first man who broke her heart?

With new-found faith, she’ll help Lucas search for the answers. But with the truth comes a danger they must face together.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.