Book Review, romantic suspense

Deadly Intentions Book Review

Lisa Harris combines the perfect mixture of intrigue, murder mystery, and romance in her new release, Deadly Intentions. Detective Josh Solomon reluctantly agrees to work alongside Caitlyn Lindsey, a former co-worker of his late wife to find out who is doing something deadly with a vaccine they were working on in their lab. Several deaths that originally seemed independent of one another start looking like they’re connected and someone is now stalking the two of them. What really happened in that lab? How much danger are they facing? And how will they find the right answers in time? 

This book is a must-read if you like romantic suspense. Harris will keep you on your toes from the first page to the last suspenseful moment of the story.

Book Review

Yours Truly, Thomas Book Review

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham is a historical romance. Set in the 1880s, it tells the tale of a single woman who works in the Dead Letter Office of the U.S. Postal Service. Moved by the repeated letters of a man who is broken-hearted over a lost love, she is moved to try to help the couple reunite. Her efforts to help them lead her to travel to find them, only to discover the woman has died. Unable to complete her mission she travels to find Thomas. What ensues is a sweet but unbelievable love story. I enjoy a good love story, but it was hard to embrace one where the story was so unlikely. Maybe I’m too much of a realist, but I like to read a story where the possibilities are more believable. To its credit, it is a clean romance, which can be rare in today’s world of graphic everything. And it shines a light on a little known department of the U.S. Postal Service, the Dead Letter Office, which attempts to find a home for mail marked undeliverable. It was an interesting slice of history.

publishing, Writing

When did you first start writing?

Mina’s Minutes – June 30, 2019

When did you first think about being a writer? Do you remember the first time you wrote something that wasn’t for a school assignment? Was it a personal journal? How old were you?

I have one friend who told me she put out a family newspaper as a child in elementary school. Another friend was always writing stories as a young person. Then, I have one friend who published her first book when she was in her late 60’s.

I only wrote for school until after my divorce. Then I began with a personal journal, which led to a personal Bible study, which led to writing for the church newsletter, which led to writing for newspapers, which led to other paying opportunities. I self-published my first book in 2009, started my own book company in 2014, and recently published my second book through my publishing company and re-released my first book through the same publishing company. Recently, I had another author contact me about possibly publishing his book. Last, but not least, my youngest granddaughter wants to learn how to write a newspaper as a school project.

What’s the takeaway? It doesn’t matter how young you are or how old you are. If you have a desire to write, it’s possible to make that dream happen. What it takes is the desire to learn how to write well, and to learn the publishing and production process to put out a quality product. Then, you have to be willing to promote your own work, regardless of whether you go through a traditional publisher or whether you publish it yourself. But, that’s a discussion for a different day.

So, how old were you when you first started writing?



Domestic Violence, Uncategorized

Why She Doesn’t Just Leave by Mina R Raulston

One of the most common questions people ask when domestic violence is discussed is, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting about the many reasons why a woman, or a man, doesn’t “just leave’.

For this first post, I’m going to start with a response I heard from a survivor in a video for a domestic violence awareness training video with our local shelter.

In the video, we learned that the woman lived in an apartment complex with her abuser (not sure if they were married or not). They were constantly fighting and one day she and the man were in the parking lot, and he was making quite a spectacle about mistreating her verbally and physically. Another tenant taped them. He gave the tape to the apartment manager and proceeded to insist that the couple be evicted because they were disturbing the peace of the complex. The interviewer asked the woman the predictable question. “Why didn’t she just leave?”

I loved the woman’s response. “Why should I have to leave? He is the one who broke the law. I was the victim of his assault. He should be the one to leave.” And she is right. That’s what society seems to forget. Whether it is a stranger on the street or the person you share a home with when one person physically assaults another person its a crime. Assault is against the law. The person who commits the assault should go to jail. The victim should not have to leave their own home and go hide somewhere to be safe.

Now, I know from experience this is not always possible. So, my future blogs will discuss other reasons why a person experiencing abuse do not “just leave”.


Book Review, Uncategorized

Book Review for Living Lies (author Natalie Walters) by Mina R. Raulston

From beginning to end, Living Lies by Natalie Walters keeps you reading for what happens next. A moving story about dealing with depression in the face of how other people view you, this book tells the tale of a small community dealing with depression, murder, art theft, and drug cartels. Natalie Walters has been a writer for some time, but from what I can find this is her first book and she’s done a wonderful job of combining romance and suspense. I have a few authors who I follow diligently, and Natalie may just join their ranks. I’ll be watching for the release of the next book in this series, Deadly Deceit, due November 4, 2019.

I am thrilled to be a part of Revell Publishers review bloggers and receive copies of great books like this to enjoy and find new authors to read.

Blessings, Christian Testimony, Declaration of Faith, Fear, healing, Uncategorized, wholeness

God’s New Puzzle

I have heard so many people talking lately about God putting the pieces of their puzzles back together again. But, my circumstances happened a little bit differently.

After my divorce many years ago I was shattered into a gazillion pieces and had no idea how I would survive. One Sunday morning I was singing in the choir and we sang a song about God putting the pieces of our puzzles back together again. I remember I was crying profusely and asked God, “Dear Lord, how can even you put all the pieces of my puzzle back together again when all of the pieces were not there anymore?”

God answered me, not in a still small voice, but in a gentle quiet voice and said, “Child, I’ll simply build you a new puzzle.” And he did just that. My life today is nothing like it would have been with the power of God in my life.

Dear Friends, if you are feeling shattered today, don’t give up or give in to the fear. Give your fear to the one who said repeatedly in his word, “Fear Not”. Jesus is still the answer, the only answer, to whatever you’re heartache is today. Regardless of how your life was shattered, God will make you whole once again.

Learn more about God’s healing in my new book, Pathway to Healing, recently released by my new publishing imprint, Hat Rack Books, LLC. and available on Amazon.

Blessings, Christian Testimony, Declaration of Faith, Education, Employment, parenting, Uncategorized, wholeness

What’s Wrong with Being a Girl (or a Boy)?

Everywhere I look in the news and on Facebook lately, I see articles about people proclaiming that they are a different gender than the body they were born with. Others proclaim their right to make such claims. I see articles of parents who insist that it is good to raise their children as gender neutral. Supposedly they can raise children, with definite gender specific bodies, with no gender training.

How is that even possible? Boys and girls are different. I’m not talking about what colors they wear. Male and female bodies grow differently. When they approach puberty, those differences become even more noticeable. How do you not teach them about those differences when their bodies are changing differently than their friends? Children and teenagers are curious by nature. How do you convince them those differences are in flux when they are not? And, how can any parent subject their children to medical intervention to stop puberty? That is simply medically dangerous to a child. That is abuse.

But, today, rather than debate something that neither side will budge on, I’d like to approach this subject from a different angle.

What is wrong with being how you were born? What is wrong with being a girl? I don’t mean that a girl has to be frilly and lacy. A girl can wear frills and lace or she can wear jeans and shirts, or even suits or dress pants made to fit a female figure. Male and female anatomy are different after all. She can wear her hair long and curly or she can wear it short. But, she can still be a girl and everything that means. She can be a stay-at-home wife and mother or she can have any career of her choice. And she can still be a girl and everything that means.

What is wrong with being a boy? I don’t mean that a boy has to be all macho, rough and tough without any artistic talents or nurturing instincts. A boy can wear jeans and t-shirts, or he can wear suits and ties. And he is still a boy. I don’t think I can go for a boy wearing dresses and such, because well, he is still a boy, and male and female anatomy are different. A boy can wear his hair long or short and still be a boy. He can work a hard physical job, or work in a corporate office, or work in an artistic career. And he is still a boy.

All of this talk of people thinking they are a different gender than they were born is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong being who you were born. How can you expect others to accept you if you can’t accept yourself?

I am not a frilly, lacy girl. But, I am a girl. I like being a girl. I liked being a wife, except for the abusive behavior of my ex-husband. But, if I found a good man who loved God and loved me as Christ loved the church as the Bible teaches, then I would love being a wife again. I love being a mom. I bore and raised two wonderful kids, a boy, and a girl. I taught them how to be the man and woman of God that the Bible taught me. I wear pants, but they are women’s pants. The same goes for shirts. They just wouldn’t fit a man’s anatomy. I wear my hair short, but it’s a haircut that accentuates my face, not whatever is the current fad. Once in a while, I wear a skirt or dress just because I choose to do that, not because I’m required to wear one. No one has ever mistaken me for a boy. Yes, I dealt with gender inequality in the workplace. But the solution isn’t to change my gender. The solution is to fight the discrimination by fighting for gender equality. My generation has won great victories in this even if we haven’t won all of them.

But, seriously, what is wrong with being a girl or a boy? Why do people have to be so contrary? And raising a child without teaching them your faith is bad enough, but not teaching them how to understand their bodies is just plain abuse. Our bodies are different for a reason, meant to work together. The human race needs both male and female, real male and female, not those who are surgically manipulated to be one or the other, in order to survive and thrive. After all, medicine and science teach us that two males or two females cannot produce a child independently. It’s just not medically or scientifically possible.

And, once again, what is wrong with being a girl or a boy? I don’t mean just accepting that you are a girl or a boy, but celebrating that you are a girl or a boy.

These beliefs that there is no such thing as a gender, inborn from conception, is simply not realistic. Regardless of whether you believe in God, which I do, it is a fact that when babies are born they are born either male or female. And, no teaching can change that reality. No surgery can change what a person is at the chromosome level, and all the surgery in the world can’t change your chromosomes.

I’d like to see real women stand up and celebrate that we are women. We are smart and talented and unique and gifted and beautiful in our own individual way.

I’d like to see real men stand up and celebrate that they are men. They are smart and talented and unique and gifted and handsome in their own individual way.

We don’t have to be something different because society is pushing a different belief. We need to learn to be tolerant of one another as we are individuals, but we need to be totally intolerant of teachings that feed poison into us regarding who we were born to be.

When a teaching says that who you were born to be is wrong or is not enough then that teaching is harmful. It’s not supporting you. It’s insulting you.

I encourage everyone to take joy in who you born to be. I was born a girl and rejoice in being a girl. I don’t need a psychologist to help me deal with that. I don’t need surgery or medicine to make me something else. I don’t need to make myself over into something else to please anyone. And if anyone expects that of me then they don’t respect me as a person.

So, one last time. What is wrong with being a girl or being a boy?