News: The Bad and The Good

First off a few words about the shooting in Jacksonville FL over the weekend that took the lives of three Black people. A White supremacist carried weapons into a Dollar General and shot the people for no other reason than the color of their skin.

The shooter, who I will not name so I don’t further his 15-minutes of fame, took his own life before authorities could apprehend him. According to a news story, the man was only 21-years-old and had a previous encounter with police for a “domestic call” and in 2017 was involved in a Baker Act. That’s a Florida law that enables families and loved ones to provide emergency mental health services and temporary detention for people who are impaired because of a mental illness.

If background checks on people wanting to purchase a gun worked the way they were supposed to, he should’ve been flagged for denial. Details on First Coast News if you care to read more.

This mass shooting was truly a hate crime. The gunman had swastikas on the weapons he used, as well as derogatory, bigoted, hateful language in the manifestos he left for his family, the press, and police.

A rising tide of hate and animosity that’s sweeping our country is fueling incidents like that, and I sure wish we could become a nation, a world, that has respect for, and appreciation of, all people who reside on this planet.

But just like in a family where what children learn comes from the top, a lot of people are influenced by the rhetoric and actions of those in the top tiers of our society.

Enough said.

Small stylized ceramic kitty on a small shelf with one paw raised. Kitty is orange and white. Wordage at top of image: Be Kind

Now for some pleasant news.

I’ve had a wonderful working relationship with Next Chapter Publishing ever since they first released this novel that means so much to me, and the company is always looking for ways to stir interest in their authors’ books. Recently, the publisher has included Evelyn Evolving is some special sales, and here comes another.

Cover for Evelyn Evolving. Two young girls walking toward a tree in the background. They are wearing dresses and carrying battered suitcases.

This is one more opportunity to purchase Evelyn Evolving: A Novel of Real Life, at a deep discount at Apple. Check it out and see why the book has 152 ratings at Amazon, most of them 4 and 5 stars. Readers are obviously enjoying this story that’s based on my mother’s life.

The book’s on sale as part of Apple’s “Bingeable Reads Sale” from August 29th – September 5th

Get Evelyn Evolving for only $0.99

My parents had a rocky relationship, and I suspect a bit volatile based on some of the stories I heard later in my life, but since they separated when I was quite young, probably about 5 or 6, I never knew first hand what the early years of their marriage was like. I could only guess as I wrote this book, but since neither of them were bad people, or I believe singularly responsible for the demise of the marriage, I chose to depict them this way in one scene:

That’s what the priest had told her the last time she went to confession and asked if she could please take Holy Communion again. The answer was “no.” Because Evelyn was not married in the church, her marriage was not recognized, and therefore she was banned from the Eucharist. The priest also told her that any children from this civil union were bastards.

Evelyn had been shocked to hear that. She wasn’t even sure exactly what that meant, but the tone in the man’s voice made her think it was something nasty. She’d hurried home so she could tell Russell and found him in the kitchen drinking coffee and reading a newspaper. After she told him what the priest said, he slammed the paper down so hard the coffee sloshed out of the cup. “How could a priest say such a horrible thing about a child?”

“I don’t know.” Evelyn hung her coat on a peg by the door and joined him at the table. “But maybe we should do something about it.”


“Get our marriage blessed. The priest said that would make everything legal in the church.”

“I don’t care what your church thinks.”

“I was hoping—”

“Hoping what?” He stood and threw up his hands. “I’m so tired of you and your church.”

His angry interruption had reduced her to a stammer. “I…I…”

They faced each other in a strained silence for a moment, then he said. “I told you before we married what I think about any church. And I keep telling you. Yammering away at me is not going to change my mind.”

“I wasn’t yammering.”

“Woman. All you do is yammer. If it isn’t about the damn church, it’s about the house. ‘Russell, when are you going to finish the spare bedroom? Russell, could we have a real front porch? Russell, it wouldn’t kill you to go to church once in a while.'”

He turned and started toward the door.

“Well, it wouldn’t,” she called to his retreating back. “And if you spent more time here, maybe you could get the damn house finished.”

He whirled. “I’d spend more time here if the atmosphere was a lot more pleasant.”

“Oh. That’s right. Blame everything on—”

The last of her sentence had been cut off by the slamming of the door.

That’s all from me for today, folks. Hope you enjoyed this excerpt and will consider giving Evelyn Evolving a try. If you don’t get your books from Apple, here is a link where you can access all sales outlets.

Have a great rest of your week.

2 thoughts on “News: The Bad and The Good”

  1. I feel so honored that I was part of the writers group that got to hear and watch the development of your Evelyn book. Seeing it completed and being able to read it brought back sweet memories of sitting together with each other in our group and learning from each other.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Deborah. That little writing group was great and we all did learn so much from each other. The feedback I received from you and the others was so helpful as this story struggled to be. It took several more years and the help of a developmental editor for it to finally take shape.

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