Some end-of-year fun…

Well, another year has passed and circumstances have prevented me from finishing the next book in the Rona Shively Stories series. Fear not, it’s on the way. I just had a few minor personal catastrophes to deal with first. In the meantimes, I wanted to share something fun here. I know many people say that you shouldn’t do these things because hackers will get your personal information, but I assure you that there is no classified information contained in my answers. So, take a look at this comparison between my 47 year-old self and my 50 year-old self. Feel free to do your own A-Z assessment. 🙂


My answers at 47My answers at 50
Age – 47
Bed size – Full
Cat’s name – No cat
Dog’s name – No dog
Essential start of your day – some sort of coffee…
Favorite color – PurpleHeight – 5′ 1”
Instruments you played – None
Job title – Publisher
Kids – One wonderful daughter
Last ate – Grilled cheese
Mom’s name – Brenda
Nickname – Beaker
Overnight hospital stays – Maybe four or five…
Pet peeves – People who don’t take time to think about what someone else may be going through.
Quote from a movie – “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob,” Office Space or “Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking,” Airplane or anything similar to these.
Right or Left handed – Right
Siblings – Two sisters
TV – The Good Doctor, Grey’s, The Masked Singer, New Amsterdam
Underwear – Absolutely!
Vacation favorite – Grand Canyon/Las Vegas
Ways to relax – Writing
X-rays – A whole bunch of them…
Yummy food – Pizza, lasagna, eggplant parmesan
Zoo favorites – Lions, tigers, and…I don’t know…bears.

Age – 50
Bed size – Same bed
Cat’s name – Still no cat
Dog’s name – Still no dog
Essential start of your day – Coffee, just coffee
Favorite color – Purple
Height – 5′ 1”, but possibly shrinking.
Instruments you played – Still haven’t picked that up.
Job title – Publisher/Salary Administrator by day
Kids – One wonderful daughter
Last ate – Oatmeal
Mom’s name – Brenda
Nickname – Beaker
Overnight hospital stays – Maybe four or five…thankfully no more since then.
Pet peeves – I still don’t care for people who don’t take time to think about what someone else may be going through. However, I’m more annoyed by people who choose not to pay attention to the truth. People who bury their head in the sand and just let bad things happen rather than taking action to stop it.
Quote from a movie – “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob,” Office Space or “Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking,” Airplane, “You know I don’t speak Spanish,” Ron Burgundy,  or anything similar to these.
Right or Left handed – Right
Siblings – Two sisters
TV – Various anime series and the occasional K-drama.  Fruits Basket, To Your Eternity, Death Note, All of Us Are Dead, Little Women, The Sound of Magic, etc. 
Underwear – Again, absolutely!
Vacation favorite – I do love the Grand Canyon/Las Vegas, but any vacation would be great at this point.
Ways to relax – What is that? Relaxing?
X-rays – None for a while now.
Yummy food – Pizza, lasagna, eggplant parmesan – though nothing is really tasting all that great these days.
Zoo favorites – Lions, tigers, and…I don’t know…bears. Why would I change this answer? It’s my favorite.

While you wait for the next Rona Shively Story, check out this new short fiction on Kindle Vella! I release it chapter by chapter, so there’s always something new to read! Remember to like and follow each story for regular updates!

End of Eternity –

Redemption –

A Great Work of Fiction –

What Now?

Sometimes, things change. I was in the middle of writing the Rona Shively series when I reconnected with God and suddenly realized that I just couldn’t continue writing in the same way that I had been writing. You see, when I started writing this series I was angry. I was hurt and I had been holding back much of what I was dealing with. Granted, I love some of the stuff that made it into the first four books, but I am now being led by a power much greater than bitter inspiration. And in following God, I no longer wish to write about things which I feel are indicative of the very behaviors which grieve Him. I’m hoping that my readers will appreciate the transformation that I’m putting the Rona Shively character through and not feel as though I’ve gone crackers.

I’m still me; I just don’t want to glorify the wrong things in my writing. I’ve come to accept that if this is a gift from God, then it should glorify Him and not the things of the world. It may or may not make sense, but this is what is happening in my life. As I looked back on the many experiences that I have had and tried to understand how they all led up to my writing these books I found myself somewhat ashamed of what I was writing. It became clear to me that if I’m going to write this series at all then I really need to change direction. And so, in the next book, Now You See Me, Rona’s struggles with her own spirituality are a prominent feature. In much the same way that I struggled to come back to God, Rona finds herself fighting the urge to accept Him in her life.

Writing this book has taken quite a bit longer than I had anticipated, but I believe that the changes will be so worth the extra time. Now You See Me will hopefully make you think about your life in a whole new way and compel you to appreciate the relationships you have with the people in your life. We all experience loss in different ways and Rona Shively is no exception. I hope that as you read this book, you’ll laugh a little, cry a lot and remember what makes life worth the struggles and the challenges. Stay with me. It’s going to get good.

Now You See Me will be available soon!

Until next time…

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To Forgive…divine?

I’ve been doing some thinking about forgiveness lately. My P.I. character, Rona Shively has struggled with issues related to forgiving people. She has been estranged from her mother for years, she recently broke off her relationship with her boyfriend who was also a close friend for many years, and she also has difficulty forgiving herself when she makes a mistake. The underlying problem with Rona is that she sees forgiveness as allowing someone to walk all over you and then just saying, “Okay, just don’t do it again.”

I completely understand having issues around forgiving those who have wronged you. Forgiveness does not translate into allowing someone the opportunity to screw you all over again. It does not mean that you will necessarily give someone the opportunity to hurt you again. Forgiving someone does not necessarily absolve that person of their sins and it doesn’t have to mean that you give them another chance to do anything to you again whether that thing be bad or good.

I can see where forgiveness is important; however, I think many people often mistake the intended outcome of the act (which is to free the forgiving party’s soul to live a life energized by love and peace instead of being burdened by anger and hatred) for their own interpretation of the meaning of forgiveness. In other words, if the person who has hurt you believes that being forgiven gives them a clean slate on which to once again stomp you into then they miss the point. Forgiveness isn’t really meant to make the offending party feel better, though that’s the way it is often taken. In many cases, people mistakedly believe that forgiveness is meant to serve as a “starting over” point when it may actually be a “jumping off” point for moving on to a better situation.

Rona Shively has been dealing for years with the guilt of having not been able to forgive her mother for cheating on her father. When her boyfriend cheats on her, she wants to have nothing more to do with him. As she continues to grow from book to book, her capacity for forgiveness is gaining momentum. She will soon find herself in a situation where forgiveness may be the difference between life and death. I’ll share more about that as I get closer to getting the next book in the series finished. For now, check out This Side Up: The Rona Shively Stories. I’m offering a special right now for anyone who would like to buy two or more Rona Shively Stories! Order two or more of the stories (In the Wash, Under Lock and Key, Keeping the Faith, This Side Up) at the low price of $10 each and shipping is absolutely free! To order this special, e-mail me and put the word “Forgiveness” in the subject line. I’ll be running this special until May 1, 2010.

Until next time…

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Keeping the Faith…available September 25th!

I’m so happy to announce here on Benston Blogs that my third Rona Shively book, Keeping the Faith will be released by Publishing on September 25th! This is the first novel-length Rona Shively story and I can hardly wait for the release date! Rona is going through some changes and you won’t believe what she’s up against or for that matter, whom she’s up against in this one.

Stop by my Rona Shively website for more about this book!

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