SUCCESSFUL BOOKSIGNING EVENT

On Friday, April 10, my husband and I traveled to Burlington, Iowa, to stay with my sister, Martha.  After spending the night with her, early in the morning we drove to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore for my first book signing of this year.

Authors Mac O'Shea, Sherry Hill, David W. Dorris, and Mary Martsching

Authors Mac O’Shea, Sherry Hill, David W. Dorris, and Mary Martsching

Four authors autographed books for customers and visitors from 11:00-1:00 pm. Children liked the book cover designs on the books we offered for sale, and parents listened as we told about our book contents. Many read the synopsis on the book backs, and some asked questions about how and why we write. I enjoyed myself thoroughly!

Delene Wilson and daughter Amy

Delene Wilson and daughter Amy

My first customer greeted warmly though she and her family drove three hours to specifically see me, and personally autograph my three books she wanted. How that touched my heart! To make it even more special, she grew up across the street from me, played all kinds of neighborhood sports with me and my family, and sang incredible harmony with my sister and me many nights after school while relaxing on a curb! For years we lost track of each other, but because of my post about this author book-signing event, Delene Loper Wilson decided to seek me out and buy my books. What a blessing she gave me! I met her daughters and some of her grandchildren, and visited about some of the ornery things we did growing up on South 5th Street in Burlington, Iowa.

Mia, a new friend, and others wait to have their books signed by Mary

Mia, a new friend, and others wait to have their books signed by Mary

Other shoppers blessed me with their interest and kindness while speaking with me while gazing over my books. Strangers bought my books, and other authors I sat with did, too.

Michael Helgens, an author and actor, came in and visited with me a bit, too. I had the privilege of sitting next to Michael two years ago at a book-signing held in Cedar Rapids at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Michael Helgens, author and actor

Michael Helgens, author and actor

Two young people who came to read Spanish books to children, stopped by and each bought a book from the author I sat by and me. We thanked them for taking time to read to children, and for their support with our sales.

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Trish O’Dell and Mary Martsching outside of Red Lobster

In between signing autographs and visiting with people, we authors collaborated about marketing tips, and some of our experiences with the writing and publishing process. We all learned from each other. What a tremendous privilege to interact with customers and fellow-authors!  Right at the end of our event, another friend, Trish O’Dell, stopped by and we all went to lunch together. We shared news in our lives while we ate at my favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. The Lord truly blessed my day!

 

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Easter – A Time of Renewal

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Easter comes an opportunity to reflect and evaluate my life. Last fall was a tough year for my hubby and me. I spent a lot of time in the hospital with illnesses, and in-between my mother died. Four days after she died, our beloved dog, Nestley died, too. Since Thanksgiving and Christmas fell right after these events, Easter was the first holiday I was well enough to feel the effect of not having my Mama around to celebrate it. She loved Easter, and what it meant for humanity.

My mom enjoyed the new sprouts of plant life springing up everywhere out of the ground, on trees, and bushes. New calves and colts populated the countryside, and their dependence on their mothers touched her heart tenderly. The visible signs of renewal placed hope in the hearts of people of all ages.

Easter sets other faiths apart. Without the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, no hope for eternal life with God is possible. The perfect, unblemished Lamb of God bore my sins on His body on the cross; therefore, He paid my sin debt in full through His blood sacrifice. In addition, His bodily resurrection proved Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the One Who alone was approved by His Father to satisfy the requirements for restoration of fellowship with a Holy God.  The mother, Mary, I’m sure like any mother, would offer to die in His place, but her death would not be the same! She, a sinner herself, needed like the rest of us, a sinless sacrifice to complete the mission – reconciliation of sinful people to God.

What a comfort to know that Christ provides the way for that communion. What a comfort to know my mother knew Christ as her Savior, and trusted in Him, and Him alone to give her eternal life in the kingdom of God. She accepted Christ as her Savior and admitted she sinned and needed His forgiveness. Mom believed He was Who He said He was, the One God sent to save us from our sins – the way, the truth, and the life – that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6). She confessed with her mouth Jesus as Lord, and believed in her heart that God raised Him from the dead; thus, she was saved (Romans 9:10).

My mother’s A, B, C, action (accepted, believed, confessed) renewed her fellowship with God. Because I did the same actions as Mom, our fellowship renewal awaits in heaven one day, too. I look forward to that time of reunion with her and the Lord!

What about you? Loss of someone you love impacts us all. Do you celebrate Easter and the Lord’s resurrection? Is there someone with whom you look forward to reuniting someday? I welcome your thoughts about this post. Thank you for visiting my website.

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Fellowship – A Wonderful Gift!

Have you ever thought about how important fellowship with other people is? God said in the book of Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He created animals for Adam, and took them to Adam to name. Though pets have a special place in our hearts, they can’t offer advice, encouragement, and fellowship like people can.

My husband and I enjoy fellowship with others very much. However, when we moved across our state eight years ago, very little fellowship took place in our new setting. Though we enjoy our biological families very much, they all live their hurried lives some distance from us, and as a result, rarely do we hear from or see them. When we can, we travel to their homes to visit, but seldom do they come to our home. We have wonderful neighbors, and we make a point to visit with them during good weather months. Since they are elderly, we usually go to their homes to catch up on their well-being and what’s going on in their lives. Though we love our new church family, there is only a short time on Sundays to visit between Sunday School and church service. Most conversations are superficial during that time.

When you move somewhere new, you are an “outcast” in many ways. Groups of people in the community habitually attend activities they enjoy together. These groups formed years before we arrived, so even though people unintentionally snub others, or leave newcomers out, it happens, nonetheless. Because of the need to fellowship and develop close relationships, new community members feel lonely, and even depressed.

To combat some of that loneliness, my husband and I started several home ministries. For one ministry, we open our home to weekly Bible Studies. The blessings are rich, and relationships develop as we dig into scripture together, and discuss our needs to grow spiritually in various areas.  Now each week when we see these people at church, our bonds are tighter and more authentic.

For another ministry, we invite guests to our home once or twice a month for supper. Many attend church with us, and some we know from work, and others are our neighbors. We invite 2-3 couples for supper on Saturdays, and we provide the meal – usually a  simple one. We find if we ask more than six people at a time, less conversation takes place between our guests and us. Shy personalities hesitate to talk with a larger group.

The purpose of these gatherings is to increase knowledge of one another – backgrounds, where they grew up, how they met their spouse, their passions and interests, and their occupations. It’s important to ask about their lives, so the listeners hear information that interests them, and they can then identify their own connections with these people.  Owen and I find our fellowship with others increases greatly through these ministries. Everyone needs to be heard – really heard, supported, valued, appreciated, and connected to other people.

On a similar note, God seeks fellowship with us daily. He waits for us to talk with Him through reading His Word, praying to Him, and thanking Him for the gifts and blessings He gives us every day. No wonder God knew His created beings needed fellowship. He desires it Himself!

Do you suffer from a lack of fellowship with other people? What steps can you take to meet this need?  Do you spend time with the Lord? How often? He waits for you every day. Feel free to comment about your thoughts on fellowship, and what you do to deal with it personally. As always, thank you sincerely for reading my post, and visiting my website.

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DATES TO REMEMBER!

My two latest published books!

My two latest published books!

Three different book signings will take place in three locations. The first one scheduled is Saturday, April 11 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from 11:00-1:00 pm at Barnes and Noble Bookstore. The address is 333 Collins Road NE. Please plan to come celebrate the release of my second and third books in my Lighthouse Series Books. These are both mysteries. Copies of my first book will also be available for sale. Sign up to win a free copy of one of my ebooks.

The next book signing in Burlington, Iowa, during the Burlington Steamboat Days. I will be at Burlington By the Book Store on Saturday, June 20 from 11:00-2:00 pm. Come down and watch the parade outside this bookstore, and join me inside. All three books will be available for you to buy, and sign up for a prize while I sign your book! I look forward to meet and greet my friends and classmates!

Then, Saturday, July 18, I will sell and sign my books to those who attend this book signing event in Mount Ayr, Iowa, where I live. Come and enjoy this small town celebration where all kinds of activities for families – car shows, tractor shows, parade, Bounce House, quilt displays, crafts, meals, Bar-B-Que Cook offs, antique appraisals, and book signings in the Mount Ayr Public Library on the town square. Again, sign up for prizes from me, and allow me to sign my books you buy. I’ll be there from 1:00-3:00 pm.

I hope you mark these dates on your calendars, and make it a priority to attend one or more of these events! I enjoyed writing these books, and want to share them with you! Leave any comments below, and thanks for visiting my website!

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My Two New Books – Published in Time for Easter!

Great news! My second and third books are now for sale! These are both mysteries, my favorite genre. Each setting is a different lighthouse in present day, and I hope you will love the stories as much as I do!

The first book in my Lighthouse Series Books.

The first book in my Lighthouse Series Books.

The first published book, Finding Heath Young Lighthouse Keeper, introduced my readers to Heath, a youth who lived on Block Island, Rhode Island. Heath and his grandfather tended a lighthouse there. The story told of Heath’s adventures on the island, and his struggles with his new life there after his parent’s deaths.

My second book, Mystery at London Ledge Lighthouse A Haunting Encounter, combines legends about this lighthouse with Christian perspectives of the afterlife. Heath works with new characters to solve strange activities occurring at this

My second book in my Lighthouse Series Books!

The second book in my Lighthouse Series books.

lighthouse as well as his best friend, ZZ, who sheds insight about his own supernatural experience. If you like suspense and spooky events, you’ll love this book!

My third book in my Lighthouse Series Book.

My third book in my Lighthouse Series Book.

In the third book, also just published, Terror at Twin Lights Lighthouse Missing!, Heath finds himself in the middle of a mystery in New Jersey. During a school field trip, a student vanishes, and theft of historical artifacts connected to the lighthouse disappear. Terror, danger, and deception creates a treacherous situation for Heath and his friends. If you enjoy mysteries, read this book and see if you can solve the mysteries before Heath!

I hope you’ll visit westbowpress.com, amazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com and buy your copies of these books today! You can also buy them at your local bookstore.

Watch for my book signing dates coming up soon! Thank you for stopping by my website! I appreciate your time and support. Leave a reply below about this post, or any others you read while here.

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The Ministry of Medical Care Personnel

I recently spent time in a hospital. This is not my favorite past time, by any means. However, the Lord sometimes interrupts our own agendas to take care of needed repairs. During my stay, I experienced exceptional care from all the staff from the dietitian, custodian, nurses, nurses, aides, technicians, and doctors. I thought how each one of these people served in a ministry. Each had their specific skill sets, areas of ability, and represented their facility. How blessed I was in their hands!

Lately, I’ve been studying to “have the mind of Christ” through scripture and our adult Sunday School book study. I realized how weak I am, and my priorities needed rearranged. Too often my thoughts focus on this world and its ways. If I seek the Lord’s Kingdom first each day, He orders my day more effectively. After I spend time reading His Word, communicating with Him through prayer, confessing my sins and weaknesses, He permeates me with His peace. Once that happens, He is free to guide me through His will for my service on earth that day.

Through this time of study, I see “work” as service areas. No matter what type of occupation you have, it’s a service to each other on this earth. When I taught, it was a ministry, When I sing at church, it’s another type of service for building up others. Another avenue of service the Lord recently gave me is ministering to middle-grade students through the books He helps me author. My service for the King of Kings is as important as the medical staff that served me, and whatever you do as a mother in the home, day-care center, sanitary trash collector, is as important as my areas of service and the hospital staff.

Praise the Lord that He can use a negative situation to cause us to reflect on His plan for our lives. He helps us evaluate our lives in terms of His will, and discover value and worth of all avenues of service for His glory!

What are your areas of service? Have you thought of what you do as a ministry? What impact on your attitude does thinking of your work as a ministry make? I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks for taking your time to visit and read my posts. I appreciate you for doing so.

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Fall, A Beautiful Season

Fall is showing its colors and characteristics everywhere I look. I love this season, and never tire of its splendor.

The cooler temperatures are my friend. Clear, crisp 60’s and 70’s in the daytime, and great sleeping weather at night at 40’s and 50’s. I feel more alive at this time of the year than any other. As a girl growing up, I played outside with my neighbors until dusk – kick ball, football, basketball, baseball, Whiffle ball, Hide and Seek, bike riding, races, Red Rover, Red Rover.

Our neighborhood used to rake piles of leaves and jump into them, hide in them, and burn them at the curbs while roasting marsh mellows and hot dogs. Maple, Oak, and Elm trees decorated our block, and so did colorful fall Mums and Gladioli.

It seems families are too busy today to spend time outside in the fall. Autumn offers so many activities that other seasons can’t. Block parties seem rare. How do neighbors support one another today? How does communication with them take place in our fast-paced world? My family always watched out for our neighbors, and they did the same for us.

Fall is a perfect time to stay in close communication. This season invites us to get outdoors, walk, notice the trees with colorful leaves, fall flowers, and breathe the crisp air into our lungs. Even those with allergies can take medicines to help with all that Fall has to offer. My husband prepares for next year’s flowers and plants, since Fall is when bulbs of many types of flowers need planted. Do you agree that Autumn is a special time of the year?

What is your favorite season, and why? Do you join in any neighborhood activities and events connected to this season? I would like hearing from you on this topic. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog(s)!

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