Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mellow Yellow

Fall on my mountain
Autumn. The word itself is enough to make you wax poetic. Especially on my mountain.

Well, it's not really my mountain, but I've thought of it that way since my in-laws built the tiny cabin nestled deep in the Smoky Mt. woods at about 4200 ft elevation. When my kids were small, we trekked to the cabin every fall, and now that my kids are having kids, we still trek to the mountains every fall.

Sometimes tradition is a warm, snuggly blanket. 

A walk in the woods is simply magical. The normal green of the foliage has somehow melted into at least 30 shades of yellow (a nod here to Johnny Cash's song about the many shades of Irish green).

It's like an explosion of butter. You can almost taste the deliciousness of it. Every shade of yellow known to man is punctuated by that incredible deep blue of the sky that's unique to high elevations. A twinge of russet here and a smackling of crimson there are the perfect accents to the profusion of amber hues.  

A crisp breeze ruffles the feathers of the tallest of trees and you feel sure Papa God is leaning down from heaven, whispering something very, very important meant for your ears only.

I can't help but pull an Anne of Green Gables and rename "the woods" its rightful name: the Forest of Golden Whispers.

Actually, I get the feeling that the title has been here all along for centuries and I'm the slowpoke who's just now becoming enlightened. Kind of like when a novelist pens a story - it feels inexplicably like the story has been there all along; your task as the author is simply to hear the time-hewn words in your heart and write them down. 

So I take it all in. I feel peace whispered into my soul by the Creator of all this beauty.

And I'm so glad I came.

Where is your Forest of Golden Whispers, my friend?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Who Doesn't Love a 75% Off Sale?

On SUPER SALE for a limited time (sale ends 10/13/14): The Kindle edition of my brand new release is only $2.99!
Deb's newest release

I hope you'll hop on this one like a tick on a hound dog.

Here's the link:

Now don't tarry or you'll miss out!

And as an added bonus, my publisher is putting the Momma book of my 6 Baby Blessings on sale during the month of October. Yep - Too Blessed to be Stressed is only $1.99! 

If you've already got Too Blessed to be Stressedplease send this golden opportunity to a friend. As always, I'm VERY grateful for your support! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Face of Kindness

Father Chris Fitzgerald, friend to all
I am not Catholic, in fact I'm a dyed-in-the-wool protestant. But for the past two decades, I've had my own priest. 

Actually he wasn't exclusively mine, but I admired, loved, and respected him as if he were. But then everyone felt that way about Father Fitzgerald. He was that kind of guy.  

Father Fitz was not just our neighbor for 5 years, he was a lovely, funny, godly man, and a true friend to a bunch of crazy protestants (many others besides me and my family). 

Our relationship started out badly but grew to be a beautiful and unique thing.

The first time I met Father Fitz, I angrily presented him with a petition I had personally walked around my subdivision to attain signatures for, demanding that the brand new St. Francis of Assissi church install speed humps at the back entrance which bordered my property. For the ten years we'd lived there prior to the church being built, my house had been perched beside a nice, quiet dead end. When we bought our property, it was surrounded by orange groves. I was plenty torqued that urban sprawl had stolen my beautiful view. 

At the time I had two wee children and a dog and was miffed that this church I knew nothing about had the nerve to install a gate and entrance road for whizzing cars that I perceived as an endangerment to my family.

I foolishly thought that since I was (strongly) of a different religious persuasion, Father Fitz wouldn't care. Boy was I wrong. He graciously accepted the petition, enveloped my hand warmly in both of his, and to my utmost surprise, invited my family to dinner. 

That speed hump was already installed by the time our dinner engagement at Ben's Family Restaurant rolled around the following week and despite jokes back and forth about proselytizing each other, we became fast friends. The clincher was when this wonderful Catholic priest kept a (mostly) straight face when he asked my 4-year-old daughter if he could see her dolly (which she was holding tightly to her chest) and she replied, "Not right now. I'm milking her."

My husband began working out with Father Fitz at the gym and I even modeled one of the main characters in my first novel after him. There was no one else, really - it had to be a wise, kind, godly Irishman with a keen sense of humor. 

Yep. Father Fitz. No one else would do.

When The Distant Shore released, I hand delivered a copy to him and explained that he was the inspiration for Captain Stone and why. He seemed puzzled at first, but then I saw tears come to his eyes and I knew that he finally understood how special he was to me and my family.

We moved away and finally lost touch, but I'll never, ever forget the Catholic priest who touched my life and those of the myriad of readers who came to know and love him through my books.

Father Fitz graduated to heaven this week. I felt my heart break when I heard the news. In fact, my eyes are leaking as I write this. 

I have no doubt where Father Fitz is right now - in the Catholic section of the humongous heavenly sanctuary saving seats for all his protestant friends. But I can't help but feel that our world has a little less light without him in it.