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How plans change :(

Hey there all you lovely readers.

I've been working on the end of a book that has been a challenge from day one. Lots of fits and starts with the book. Time away from the story and computer woes. But I was hoping to finish it this week and then start editing. I had plans to work, in the evenings, on a quilt I'm sewing on and am quite excited to finish.

Mostly so I can start a new project.

So many plans.

And then Sunday early morning I got a tearful phone call from my dear sister-in-law. Her husband had passed away at home. This was devastatingly unexpected.

This news dropped like a bomb into all of the family's lives.

And suddenly all those plans became unimportant and not even very interesting or fun. We had lost a dear, dear member of the family. He was a kind and loving father, husband, grandfather, brother-in-law and beloved uncle. Our children spent many weeks of their lives at this uncle and aunts farm, helping in the barns, doing chores in the house and often the reward was a trip to a creek for a wiener roast and scavenger hunt. They would get treated like the rest of the kids. Hugs, kisses, stories, adventures, chores and even the occasional spanking. But the biggest tears came when we showed up to take them home.

All these memories flow over us as we deal with an upcoming funeral eulogy and slide show. Photo albums were paged though to find pictures and memories relived. Stories told and remembered of a man who moved through life with a hearty laugh always ready to help. Generous to a fault. You know those funerals where people talk about the dearly departed like they were saints and sometimes you wonder how true this all is? In this case, as we remember this man's life, we won't have to embellish or gloss over anything.

I'm not trying to drum up sympathy for our situation because I know each of you have dealt with or are dealing with your own losses and griefs. And my heart does hurt for the pain and the loss. The empty place at the table. The person or people who are gone but still remain embedded in our memories.

Grief is a part of life and is the price we pay for loving. And it's worth every tear. Because the other option is to keep ourselves away from connections and apart from people. Wall ourselves off from community.

And that's no way to live.

The need for family, community and connections is one of the main themes I work with in my books. I've been blessed with not only my own loving family but my husband's. We laugh together, tease each other and cry together. We've weathered divorce, death, disagreements, division and disaffection. But we've also had countless family get-togethers, camping trips, christmas parties, graduation parties, weddings, birthdays. All the times in life that are to be celebrated.

And I love to write about this tremendous blessing in my life and have my characters experience it as well. I know they're not real, but in some ways the things my characters deal with are many of the things we all struggle with.

I hope that with my stories, I'm being honest and truthful. That I show the good parts of life as well as the difficult.

Through all this, as we now struggle with our own grief, I know that we can cling to the rock that is stronger than we are. That God's love holds us fast. Those aren't just words, to me they are woven into the very fabric of my life, our family and community. And these values are things I also want to weave into my stories.

This box set is a collection of four of my books/stories that I've poured a lot of myself into. Each book takes place in the town of Rockyview. I deal with family stress, connection, community, cowboys and small town and, of course, romance. These books are about the Tye family, hence the name of the series, Family Ties. I've called this box set Season One of The Rockyview Romance series.

It will retail for $9.99 for all four books.

Next week I'll be introducing Season Two and the week after that, Season Three.

All in Box sets. If you are part of Kindle Unlimited, you can get an even better deal with these books as they are considered one unit to borrow on your KU term. So you can download and binge read these stories. And so life carries on through the ebbs and flows of joys and sorrows. And sometimes even just ordinary living. The day to day stuff that can be a blessing in their ordinariness.

I pray that you will have a blessed week. And we'll talk again.

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