Monday, 30 November 2009


Just lately God is showing me that though I have improved, I still suffer from a severe lack of patience. He has reminded me of the vision I had when I was a young Christian, which I will share. However first I need to remind myself and any who read, this just how important patience is to our spiritual lives and walk with God.

The word Patience biblicaly means=Endurance, Consistency, Forbearance, Long Suffering.
Patience is that calm and unruffled temper with which the good man bears the evils of life from what ever source they come.
It manifests itself in a sweet submission to the providential appointments of God, and fortitude in the presence of the duties and conflicts of life.
God of patience means that God is the author of patience in His servants Rom 15:5.

Patience is one of Gods many attributes and as such it should be something I strive for also, and believe me I do. I am His servant and made in His image, so I should reflect Him in my life. But as I said earlier, patience in its fullness has been sadly lacking in my life. Even as a child I was always way ahead of myself. If it didn't happen yesterday I wanted to know why, and there would be tantrums and tears. But when I became an adult that lack of Patience and impetuosity threw me into periods of frustrated anger and depression.
Okay, I am far more patient than I used to be, nevertheless it is an ongoing battle and one I sadly lose more often than I win.
Patience is of paramount importance to God, and we need to desire it, as we desire Him. He knows that without it we will rush into things, that are not His will or desire for our lives, and so find ourselves in all sorts of trouble. Whereas if we had waited patiently, and trusted Him, we would find ourselves in the place of rest, which is His plan and purpose for our lives.
I dread to think how often in my Christian life I have preempted God and because of that damaged and hindered my walk with Him. Our lives are short on this earth, and if we are going to fulfill the plan and purpose He has for us, then we need to be patient, trust Him and allow Him to lead us, knowing that His way is perfect and He will give us clear direction.
If we wait patiently before Him and allow Him the opportunity to speak into our lives, we will find the fulfillment we all seek.
I am so grateful that in my life, He has been a God of patience and mercy.

In Nov 1981 I became a christian and it was the most wonderful day of my life.
All questioning and searching was over and I was madly in love. For the first time in my life that word love had real meaning. Everything was perfect, and all I wanted to do, was go to be with the one who had changed my sorry and sad existence, so amazingly. I would cry and pester God constantly, my impatience knew no bounds. I had an expression I used, and believe me I meant it. "My bags are packed and I want to go home," how selfish and in a way arrogant.
But you have to understand, my life before meeting Jesus had been an unhappy mess. So when I realised He was alive, all I wanted to do, I guess like every other Christian before me, was to opt out of this world and go to be with the one I loved. And being young in my faith and naive, I could not understand why He ignored my request.
But I am not one who gives up easily, and even though I have had to remain here to grow spiritually and do the work God has planned for me. I believe that my constant pestering allowed me a vision that I have never forgotten. It was a spiritual and not a physical vision, but it was powerful, and enabled me to understand what God is trying to do in my life, and why going to heaven was not an option at that time.
As with all Gods children I will go when my work on this earth is finished, and only God knows when that will be.

This is the vision as I remember it. I had been a christian just a few months and was attending the morning service at church. During the meeting I was overcome by the presence of God and helped to the front of the church where I knelt alone at the alter rail.
God was heavy upon me and I leaned my arms on the rail, my eyes tightly closed. I had no idea what was going on I just knew I should wait. In front of me slightly to the left was a raised pulpit of dark wood, as I knelt there a glorious form appeared to come out of it. At first what I saw spiritually was a bright light out of which came the shape of a man, it was Jesus.
He stood in front of the pulpit, He was amazingly tall, He held His arms out slightly to the side, his palms towards me.
He was enveloped in a golden light and yet I saw Him quite clearly. He was dressed in a white gown with a pale blue gown over it, the garments shimmered. He was glorious the light coming from Him was so bright that in His presence it became harder and harder to breath. I reached for Him quite sure I was going to die and go with Him.
He was looking at me with such love, and at the time I was convinced that I saw His face, but I didn't, only spirit to spirit.
His love radiated over me like waves, each wave stronger than the last, it was the most wonderful and intense feeling, but so powerful my body was struggling to cope. And I became convinced He had come to fetch me.
Nothing else existed it was as though I was in another world, the silence was almost tangible and yet the church was still going on around me.
As I knelt there in His wonderful presence He spoke, just one word, but that word was soaked in His love. Rather like coating a nasty tasting pill with honey, so that the child will take it, and that word was, "PATIENCE"
Once the word had left His mouth He disappeared, much to my distress. But the joy and privilege of being in His presence has never left me. Even though in a way I suppose He was rebuking me, while trying to help me understand just how important Patience is.
I am still trying to get to grips with it, some times succeeding, some times not.
But one thing I do know I serve an Awesome, Merciful and Gracious God, and He has promised, He will never leave me, or forsake me. And I love Him.
I will finish with one of my favorite scriptures. Isiah 40:31, 'They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary they shall walk and not faint.'
Teach me Lord I pray to be patient and wait. That I may find your good and perfect will for my life, and that you would be glorified.

Friday, 27 November 2009

I Did It. 50,000 words in a month.

Taking part in Nanowrimo has been the most amazing experience. The sense of freedom was liberating, not having to worry about spelling and grammar, but just letting the story flow was an incredible experience. I enjoyed it so much I think I may choose to continue to write this way.
Having achieved the 50,000 words I shall continue with the novel and when it is finished, tidy it up and edit, edit, edit.
To be a winner is wonderful, a real confidence boost. That's not to say I found it easy, there was an element of pressure that I found tiring, but at the same time it drove me on. I was surprised at how much I wanted to win.
I am well aware that having a definite story line was a huge advantage, at least I had some idea where I was headed. I know without it I would have struggled, and dare I say I might even have given up, but I didn't and I am so glad.
Now I can look forward to the day my Nano novel 'The Crystal Rose' is completed and published.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

To be reviewed, or not to be reviewed. That is the question.

Why would someone ask people to submit their books for a free review, and then not give each book the time it deserves.
If the person is not going to give their full attention to a book why bother in the first place? Or if they find themselves inundated with books from authors keen to have our work reviewed. Why not just get in touch with the authors and explain that there are a lot of books to read, and so it will take longer than expected.
I would rather that, than read a review of my book that is at worst inept and at best moderately encouraging.
To me it was blatantly obvious that the reviewer did not read the book properly. In fact they admitted at the time, they were trying to read and review two books at the same time. Personally I don't think that was fare to either the books or the authors. We invest a lot of time and love into our writing.

Am I annoyed? you bet I am. I honestly don't expect everyone who reads my books to like them. But I do hope they will actually read and review them fairly.
Is this reviewer saying that they are right and that every other readers positive review is wrong, I don't think so.

One conciliation I suppose, is that all reviews whether good or bad, can be helpful. Because in many cases people will buy the book just to see if they agree with the bad review. I know myself if a new film is slated by the critiques I will go and see it anyway. And more often than not I love it, and I find most of my friends are much the same.

Those who review aren't always right, after all it is just their personal opinion. And thank goodness they don't always have the last word.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Kindness and Trust

Sometimes people we meet can be so kind. I have already mentioned our holiday visit to the exquisite village of Boughten-on the-Water. As we walked around enjoying ourselves, we came across a small christian bookshop. So we went in and had a look around.

I have had some book marks made, to promote my new book 'Valley of Shadows.' I try to make sure I always have some on me to give away. So I went to the lady who ran the shop and offered her a couple, she was delighted and very interested. We had a long chat, I told her about my books and she asked me to send her a copy of them both.
She will read them and then have some from me to sell and promote them for me.

As we were talking she told me about a writer she felt I would like and gave me a copy of the book. I offered to pay for it but she insisted I take it, trusting that I would send my books to her, which I most certainly will.
I was quite overcome by her kindness and trust, it's the sort of experience that restores ones faith in human nature. I don't believe in coincidences, this was a Divine appointment and a day I shall not forget and who knows what may come it?

Model Village

While we were on holiday we visited a very pretty village called Boughten-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire.

They have a model village which is a replica of the real place, it was very good. I love model villages, I like to imagine there are tiny people living in the houses and perhaps coming out at night when all the visitors have gone. Okay so I have a vivid imagination !

Anyway here are some photos in case any one is interested.

Write a book in a month !!

I think November is going to be a very challenging month, perhaps daunting would be a better word. I have committed myself to try and write a novel of fifty thousands words before the month rushes to its end, Help !!
But I have to say I am quite excited and feel reasonably optimistic. And at least I will not be alone, as I think the whole world is doing it as well, have we all gone mad?

However I look upon it as an opportunity to discipline myself and write the sequel to my first novel 'Through a Glass Darkly,' it is something I have wanted to do for a while. The thought of meeting up again with the hero of my book Stagman, spurs me on.
So at the moment I am busy with plots and characters in readiness to start writing. My only concern is the need I have to do corrections and changes as I write. I am going to find it a struggle just to go for it and ignore all the mistakes. But I think it will be good for me, as I have never written with spontaneity and abandon before. But like every one else in Nov this is what I shall have to do.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Some months ago I read a book on worship by the author Tomy Tiny. The book was based on the story of Esther. It had a profound effect on me. It was beautiful and well written.
I was so inspired by it, I put together this short piece, which I shared with my worship team at church.
Some of it, is information borrowed from the book, and some of it my own thoughts.
Esther is a small book consisting of ten chapters, but those chapters are steeped in worship.
And worship is very close to my heart, I love to sing for the Lord, and hopefully bless Him.

Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman, who found herself in the court of the great king of Persia, along with other young women from all over the province.
She was forcibly removed from the home of her beloved uncle Mordecai, and taken to the palace, where she would be prepared for possible life as the queen of Persia.
She could have sulked, and been uncooperative, but Esther was a wise and sensible girl, she was also very humble, and soon found favour with the king’s top Eunuch Hegai who was chief custodian of the woman.
She decided in her heart to do what ever it took to please the king, and to do that she needed to know as much as possible about his likes and dislikes. And the best person to guide her in this was Hegai.
He knew the king's taste better than anyone, what colours he liked, his favourite perfumes, every thing. So wisely Esther decided to avail herself of Hegai’s knowledge, for she desired one thing, and one thing only, and that was to please the king.
Are we like Esther, is it our hearts desire to please our God and King?
Esther was a pheasant girl with a passion for the king. This passion transformed her into a princess.
Most of us know that as Christians we have royal rank.
But can the world see any difference in us, compared to those who make no claim to know God? Lets face it, in many cases we are the only Jesus the world will ever see. Can He be seen in our lives?
Esther was the vehicle God used to rescue His people the Jews from total annihilation. She was young and probably thought what can I do?
And maybe she also thought why should I worry, as the kings queen I am safe and protected here in this great palace, and no one knows that I am Jewish.
Okay we may all think how selfish, but would any of us have reacted differently in her situation?
Like all of us she probably thought if I keep a low profile then no one will find out and I will be safe, even though the rest of my people may perish.
As Christians the time may come when we will have to stand up for our faith. And as a consequence be forced to say like Esther, “If I perish, I perish.”
She realized that she would not escape, and that her only safety lay in obedience to God and to her uncle. She was willing to risk her life by going into the king’s presence unannounced, to save her people and herself from annihilation.

Evil has always feared the Esther story. Even Hitler and the Nazi concentration camp commanders feared the power of the book of Esther. In fact it was banned from their death camps. One writer wrote.
Anti Semites have always hated the book, and the Nazis forbade its reading in the crematoria, and concentration camps.
In the dark days before their deaths, Jewish inmates of Auschwitz, Dachau, and Treblinka, wrote the book from memory and read it in secret on Purim.
Both they and their brutal foes understood its message.
Then and now it represents the service of God, and devotion to His cause. It is not just a record of deliverance, but a prophecy of future salvation.”
Satan still wants to exterminate from the globe every child of God. But he will fail as did Haman.
Esther’s story is prophecy of future gloom to Satan's plans.

Esther became queen, one night with the king changed her whole life.
If we want intimacy with Divinity, then our dirty garments must be cleansed by the blood of Christ.( That is an unsaved person.)
We who are the bride of Christ, and cleansed by His blood, can enter the throne room of the king, knowing that we will be accepted by Him, because of the cleansing blood of His Son Jesus our saviour. We no longer wear filthy rags, now we are clean. We are to God as a sweet smelling savour; we wear His favourite perfume, so to speak, the sweet smell of Jesus. The perfume of redemption and righteousness.
As Christians we should be to Christ a sweet smelling fragrance. Sometimes worship releases its sweetest fragrance when offered to God from the fires and trials of adversity.
Even thirty seconds in the manifest presence of God can change your future.

I know myself some Sundays I may come to church feeling low, or tired. But once I have the opportunity to worship Father, I begin to experience release. And when I leave to go home, my spirit feels light, and the burden is lifted, and I am strengthened to face another week.
Esther had a blind date with destiny, and so do we. Sometimes we just need a lengthy soaking in the Holy anointing oil, to prepare us for our divine appointment.
We have a destiny altering date with the King. But we need to seek His heart not His hands, or the splendour of His kingdom.
We must worship Him from our hearts, in spirit and in truth.
To sing our love songs to Him that He would be blessed and glorified. He cannot resist true worship, as we enter His throne room in praise and worship, so to speak, He puts out His sceptre, and we are accepted in to His divine presence.
Eph Ch 1 v 6 He has made us accepted in the beloved, His beloved is Jesus.

I love F.B Meyer’s commentary on this scripture. “The source of all we are and have and hope to be. The stream of salvation, flows to us through our Lord. And the end to which all things are moving is the summing up of all in Christ. As He was the Alpha, so He will be the omega.
The sealing of the Holy Spirit is of incalculable advantage, because it means that we are stamped with the likeness of Christ, and so we are kept inviolate, which basically means.
We are intact, pure, stainless, unbroken, unhurt, unpolluted, untouched, virgin, and last but not least, whole. Even among all the ups and downs of life.”
I find that incredibly comforting, and encouraging. He keeps us we are sealed forever. And nothing will ever change the way God feels about us.
The word revoke, means, so many things but here are just a few.
Cancel, disclaim, negate, recant, take back, and withdraw.
It is just not possible for God to do any of these. We are sealed through Jesus, and our names are written in the Lambs book of Life.
Has He not said, He will never leave us, nor forsake us. And has He not also said, God is not a man that He should lie. Num Ch 23 v 19

Jesus on the cross took the role of Esther, (symbolically).
He willingly gave Himself to the cruel king called death.
And allowed His body to be laid on the bed of death in another mans tomb.
He fully surrendered His virgin flesh, and spotless soul to death on a cross. In order to free us from its ultimate control forever.
Esther was an incredibly beautiful young woman,
But her beauty was not just her outward appearance.
She entered the kings presence, resolved to love him and to serve him, her one desire was to please him, and she did, and he loved her, and chose her as his queen.
We are chosen for potential, but kept because of passion.
Last Sunday we sang that lovely song you are my passion, the love of my life.
Our God and Father feels that way about us, so let us reciprocate His great love. And never be slow to tell Him how much we love Him, and what He means to us. I know that our voices raised in love and adoration really blesses Him.
Let’s make the most of the freedom we have to openly worship Him, for the day may soon come when we cannot.
We cannot worship what we dethrone. The jealousy of human nature tends to tear down, but worship builds up.
Praise takes us into His courts, but worship transports us into the Holy of Holies, the sacred dwelling place of Gods glory.
We humble ourselves before Him, simply because of who He is. Worship is not dependent on what He has done or will do.
This is unconditional love for our Father in heaven. And this place cannot be entered unless we are clean, in our hearts and minds with pure motives.
Again we must worship Him in spirit and in truth, loving the giver more than the gifts.

The Greek word for worship is Proskuneo, it literally means to kiss like a dog, licking his master’s hand.
Or to fawn or crouch, to prostrate oneself in homage, ( to reverence, to adore, worship.)
Ones dignity is not preserved in this posture, but the king’s majesty is presented.
When Queen Esther entered the kings chamber on behalf of her people, and he held the sceptre out to her. She would have prostrated herself humbly before him, in worship and gratitude. She had found favour in his eyes, and thus she and her people were saved.
And we are now able to enter the king’s chamber through the blood of Jesus. We are loved and accepted, what greater reason could we need to raise our voices in extravagant praise and worship, to our beloved God and King.
Praise be to His Holy name.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Let Go And Let God.

Is it just me? or do others struggle to understand some of the very important aspects of spiritual truth.

For years I seem to have struggled with the Biblical teaching that tells us to surrender all that we are and have to God. Try as I might I just could not seem to get it, I wanted to, don't get me wrong, but I just had no idea how to do it.

I remember reading a book called 'Hinds Feet on High Places' It was very good and was written in such a way that it appealed to my vivid imagination. Oh how I wished that I could lay myself on the alter of sacrifice, like the main protagonist and rise up a changed person.
A person no longer in control of their life, because that life had truly been handed over to God.
But sadly I still didn't get it, and some years later God moved me to read the same book again, but to no avail .
How long suffering and patient our Heavenly Father is.

Believe it or not, it is only in these past few days that I am beginning to get the revelation of how to go about it, and I have to say it is truly liberating.

It all came about because of my book 'Valley of Shadows' I have invested an awful lot in it, and I guess was holding onto it very tightly in deed, as the reason for writing it has made it very precious to me.

If I believe that my gifting and imagination have come from God, which I do. Then I have to accept that God has had a major input in my writing, as He most certainly did with my painting.
After all He is the one who inspires and give us the ability to do whatever it is we are doing. I admit that without Him I would never have an original idea, whether for my writing or my painting. He has always been my undeniable inspiration.

So it goes without saying, He has a right to be part of what happens to anything I may have created. Whatever it may be, book, painting, song, it all belongs to Him.
He is the inspiration, without Him we have nothing. God is the original source of all things, all we do as His creation, is copy Him, as a child copies what their father does. He has done it all, as the scripture says"there is nothing new under the sun" God did it all first.

But I digress, back to my question, how to surrender everything to Him?

One evening when our prayer meeting finished, a friend told me she felt God was saying , lay down down 'Valley of Shadows' and give it to Him. And she saw a picture of me taking the book to the foot of the cross and leaving it there.

She could see I wanted to do it but was struggling as to how. So she suggested I take it upstairs to one of our rooms that has a cross on the wall, with a small shelf beneath it. She suggested I put the book there and leave it with God, Trusting Him to do all that was needed.
I did what she suggested and suddenly the penny dropped and low and behold I understood.
I got the revelation, it was wonderful.

Okay that doesn't mean I am not tempted sometimes to take it back. But each time I am in that room and see the book on the shelf, it helps me, I remember who the book really belongs to, and that it is His responsibility, not mine.

That doesn't mean I don't have a part to play. I have a responsibility to do my bit to promote it, and then God does His. Like a team, and what a team, when we allow God to have His rightful place in our lives. Right at the centre and in full control it takes all the pressure away from us. Then and only then will we truly fulfill His plan and purpose for our lives.

We have to let go and let God. Then stand back and watch Him work on our behalf. After all He has invested as much in what we have created, as we have.
What a mighty God we serve.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Victimizing The Little Guys

It appears that 'Gardner's' who are the main book suppliers here in the UK, have issues with self published authors.
They are refusing to supply small quantities of books for writers book signings. The manager of my local Waterstones Book Store is really angry, and so am I, it's just not on.

I did not willing choose to be self published, any more than thousands of other writers. We were forced into it. I spent five or more years struggling to find an agent/ publisher, but without success. It was always the same old replies, 'your work is good, but we are not taking on any new writers at this time' ect, ect.
Why can't they just be honest. What they really mean is that I, and the thousands like me, are unknown, we are not famous, or celebrities. and they don't want to take a risk.

At least those who are good writers in the self published community write their own books. Unlike most celebs who use ghost writers. I mean how pathetic is that? At least I and others like me write our own books, which believe me, takes imagination, time and skill.

Let's face it, many well known authors started of by self publishing. For example, Tolkien, Beatrix Potter, C.S.Lewis, and many more.

I am a creative person, with a desire to write, and just because some high powered main stream publisher doesn't think I
am a good risk, is not going to stop me, it's their problem and their loss.

I don't have the time to hang around waiting in the hope that someone will believe in my work and take me on. I have stories to share and no longer a huge amount of time to do it in.
So no matter how difficult the established publishing world try to make it, this writer is not stopping, I will get my work out there, come hell or high water. So do your worst 'Gardner's' and all others like you, we who have been forced to self publish are here to stay.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Stand Aside, Your Too Old.

Life is never simple and straight forward. In some country's like Korea, the old are respected and even revered, sadly not so here in the UK.

When your young, people are quick to say for example, "You won't achieve much in any chosen field, especially writing, until you are older and have some life experience behind you."

So the years go by, you become older and have amassed a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience, only to be told, "Sorry your too old, youth is what it's all about."

When I was about twelve, there was a crisis in the family and we went to live with my aunt and uncle in Kent, until the situation at home was sorted out.
I have always had a vivid imagination and loved to read and write stories. Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine.

I remember shutting myself away in the attic with paper and pencils, determined to try and write a story. I persisted for nearly a week, only coming downstairs for food.
My aunt said nothing, she left me to carry on, just calling me for meals.

However eventually I began to realize that what I was trying to write was just no good, and this writing business was not as easy as I thought.
And so in a fit of frustration, I tore up all the paper and stomped downstairs in tears, my aunt did her best to comfort me, and I will always remember what she said.

"Don't try to write a novel at your age. Perfect your English and spelling at school, and practice writing short stories. Then when your older, and if you still want to write, you will have your life experiences to draw on. Then is the time to start writing novels."
Those were true words and stuck with me.
My aunt was a very good writer, having had a number of plays and short stories published.

I am older now, and certainly have a wealth of life experiences to draw on. But guess what, no one wants to know. I am too old and should stand aside for the young.
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for encouraging the youngsters, but does that mean I should just lie down and die, because I happen to be in my early sixties?

Does my age mean I no longer have any imagination? That the talents I had when I was young are no longer present in my life? I don't think so. My body may be older, but my mind is as active as any young person.
The inner child encapsulated in this body is as vibrant and full of life as it ever was.
Am I going to lie down and die? not on your life. While there is breath in my body, I will continue to be creative. In fact I might even create a little havoc. LOL

'Ageism If Your Over Fifty Forget It.'

You know I had never really thought much about my age. Most of the time I don't feel it, and people have always insisted that I don't look it, [which is very kind of them.]
But that's beside the point, as far as I am concerned it should never be that much of an issue.
However sadly I am afraid I've found out that it is, especially here in the UK.

You see, I did a press release for my latest book 'Valley of Shadows.'
The heading was 'Valley of Shadows, A Novel Born Out Of Personal Tragedy.'
Quite soon there was interest in my press release, and initially it all sounded very exciting. Interest was shown, contracts and money were mentioned, and rightly or wrongly I kind of forgot I was a christian, and got caught up in the excitement of it all, how I was going to spend the money ect.

But all the while there was a nagging suspicion that it was all a pipe dream, and not something I should really be getting involved with. In fact I commented to my hubby, that nothing would come of it, and sure enough I was right. However when the pipe dream ended it was not for the reason's I expected, it was because of my age.
That threw me I can tell you, and yes, it hurt.
I received an email asking how old I was, and how old my sister was at the time of her death, I knew then it was all over.

Let me explain, My sister who was six years younger than me, was shot by her husband as she slept, he then shot their two dogs, set fire to the home and then turned the gun on himself.
It was an horrendous time, and 'Valley of Shadows' was written to honour my sisters memory.
She died in March 2005, I was in my late fifties and my sister's age was about 51.

When I gave them this information, I received an email telling me that I was too old and the story about my sister was also old, and no longer newsworthy. You have to remember the press release that started all of this was purely to promote my book.
Maybe I was naive, and should have realized they would pick up on the inspiration for the book, rather than the book itself. To late, I have learned an important and painful lesson, the main one being that once you are over fifty you are of no more interest and you have nothing to say that's of any value.
In a strange way it has taken away my confidence, and saddened me. I am finding it a struggle now to shake off the heaviness in my spirit, and an awful sense of worthlessness.

The poor person who initially took up my story, is doing their very best to help me, but is constantly coming up against the barrier of rampant age prejudice.
What a sad age we live in, when it is no longer the quality of a persons work that counts, but how old they are.
Why don't they just bring in euthanasia, for all of us who are over the age of sixty. I'm sure the powers that be, would love to do that. And believe me it will come and probably in my lifetime, under the excuse we can no longer afford to pay the pensions.
Am I bothered No!! 'For to live is Christ and to die is gain.'
Even though for me it's a win, win situation, it is still very sad for all us older folks who are talented, and still have so much more to share.
But I refuse to be written off as old and useless. With Gods help I will regain my confidence, and I will fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for my life. I will Glorify Him before I draw my last breath. That's a promise!!!!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Forward to 'Valley of Shadows'

Written by Helen Armitage

I was thrilled to be asked to write the forward to 'Valley of Shadows.'
I enjoy a good fantasy and this really is an exciting read and not just for young teens, but also those of us for whom teenage years have long since past.
The writing is so descriptive, that as I followed Celia the main protagonist on her terrifying journey, I felt as though my emotions were on a roller coaster ride, as she struggled with the emotional and physical challenges that faced her.

This is an allegorical and mystical story with a strong moral overtone.
It is very evocative in its description of people and places.
They are so vivid they create virtual paintings in my minds eye.
When Celia arrives at Greyache House, the sinister sense of dark despair is overwhelmingly oppressive.

The way the author has tied in the start and end of the book is excellent. And as we expect in all good fantasy stories, in the end good triumphs over evil, despite the endeavours of a number of devilish foes in various guises and disguises.

Helen Armitage
Television Producer

Helen began her journalistic career at ITN. She worked for forty years in broadcasting and television, specializing in european politics.
With her work she has traveled widely around europe and beyond.

'Valley of Shadows'

Saturday, 27 June 2009

'Valley of Shadows' book cover.

It seems to have taken forever, but at last My book 'Valley of Shadows is published and available to purchase.
The cover is great, I just hope the actual story is enjoyed by those who read it.
When my sample copy fell onto the doormatt, and I ripped off the packaging and held my new baby in my hands, it was such a thrill. And yet at the same time I felt so sad, and could not stop myself from crying, I sobbed and I'm really not sure why.
The book was written to honour my dead sister Celia, killed by her husband in 2005, so was it some residue of grief? I don't know. And yet suddenly I feel strangely vulnerable and I can't seem to shake off this strange sadness. It's a struggle to explain how I feel, but I don't like it.
I can only pray that the book does well.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Psalm 139 v 9:10 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, or settle on the far side of the sea. Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

This verse is a favourite of mine. I find it so reassuring. Where ever I go, what ever I do, God is aways with me. There is nowhere I can go that I am not in His presence. What a comfort.

I feel this scripture and my painting, go so well together. I hope if anyone looks at this, they will agree with me.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

'Valley of Shadows' book cover.

When I look at this painting, it's hard to believe how the designer of my book cover has changed it. The two pieces of art work are the same and yet so different. The book cover is hardly recognizable as this painting. But I love what he's done, the cover is so moody and atmospheric, it represents the book perfectly.
I painted this oil a number of years ago, and am quite sure it's owners will not recognize it in the book cover. I hope they won't be disappointed as it was so kind of them to let me borrow it.
I haven't seen the cover properly myself yet, I just hope I like the finished product, I'm sure I will, it's just there have been a few changes since I last saw it. However my publisher sounds happy with it, so I guess all is well.
It won't be long now and the book will be published, I can hardly wait. This proofing and editing business is so long and laborious. I just pray that soon it will be as perfect as we can get it, and that shortly I can hold the finished product in my hands, WOW!! A bit like having a baby, well, maybe not!
To see my first book 'Through a Glass Darkly' go to,

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My Talented Publisher

On the 23rd of May my husband and I drove down to Cambridge. My publisher Richard was playing the part of Sgt Wilson in Dads Army.
When we arrived at his lovely cottage we all had some lunch together and then drove to the theatre.
All the cast were very good, but I have to say that Richard's portrayal of Sgt Wilson was excellent, and no I am not biased.
We had a great day the weather was lovely, and we even managed a quick walk by the river.
It was a most enjoyable day and one to remember.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Quintessentially English

We drove to Devon last week for a short break away. As we traveled down the M5, I watched the countryside flashing past and thought to myself, there really is nowhere more lovely in early spring than England.
The trees with their tender young leaves, and the fields looking lush and green, sparkled like an emerald jewel in the warm sunshine. Every where I looked the landscape appeared fresh and new. In most of the Fields we passed, young lambs were skipping about and playing together.
I felt hope and optimism rising within me, and for awhile at least, it was as if anything was possible. The darkness and gloom that has pervaded the country, was for a brief time at least dispelled.
Eventually we reached our destination, the village of Branscomb. It was bathed in afternoon sunshine and looked lovely as always, and so quintessentially English.
The house we stay in is gorgeous, and at the back of it, there is a pleasant walk down to the sea. Across from the house is a pretty thatched tea room, which used to be the village bakery, but is now owned by the National Trust. The food is good, and the obligatory cream tea is delicious. The scones are homemade and huge, they melt in the mouth. I have to say, they serve the best cream tea I have tasted.
As always we enjoyed our stay, and have returned home, with our batteries recharged, and ready to get on with life. In my case, preparing to promote my soon to be published book 'Valley of Shadows.'

Monday, 27 April 2009

A great weekend

My hubby and I went to Devon for the weekend with some friends, it was great, and nice to get away from everything for a short while at least.

The weather was good, quite warm in fact. Once we were close to our destination we left the motorway and stopped for a leisurely lunch.

Then we drove to spend the afternoon at a lovely National Trust property called Montacute House. Not a huge place, but extremely interesting, and for those who enjoy going round stately homes this one is a must. It has a fascinating history and is well worth seeing.
We finished our visit with a welcome cup of tea and then resumed our journey to Branscombe where we were staying over night.

The next day we drove to Yeovilton, Fleet Air Arm, and enjoyed looking at all the different aircraft. Fortunately we were inside as later in the day it poured with rain.
It was a brilliant weekend, but we were all very tired bunny's by the time we got back home to the Midlands. Nevertheless it was a happy couple of days, and we have some nice photoes to as reminders.

Valley of Shadows book cover

It's been great today, I went to my book designers office to look at what he had done.
And I must say I am thrilled, the cover looks amazing, I am so pleased.
We photographed one of my painting's for the cover, it actually belongs to some friends of mine, but they kindly let me borrow it back, not that I think they would recognize it now. It looks amazing what can be done with computers these days is incredible.
We had to do a little tweaking to get it just right, but now it's finished and looking good.
I can't wait to see the finished book, although once I have it in my hands, then begins the job of promoting and selling it, but I am confident it will do well.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

'Valley of Shadows' close to being published

I am so relieved that the editing process is over and at last my book 'Valley of Shadows' is safely in the hands of my publisher. So it won't be long now, soon it will be ready, and then begins the job of publishing it, and letting the world know that's it's available. Fortunately I quite enjoy this part of the book writing process, and am looking forward to organizing some book signings and promoting it.

The book cover is coming on well, I like what has been done so far. I just need it to be darker and more atmospheric, as the story is about Celia's journey through a place of darkness and struggle.
Book covers's are so important, after all they help to sell a book.
However I am confident, that between the designer and myself we will get it right. I am so looking forward to seeing and holding the finished product.
Valley Of Shadows, is my second book, but that does not diminish my excitement. It is special and means a lot to me on an emotional level, as the inspiration for it came through the violent death of my lovely sister Celia. Writing it helped me in some ways to come to terms with her death and find some peace from my grief and anger.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Proof Reading of Valley of Shadows

The past few days have been a bit of a nightmare, to say the least. I was working away happily on my latest novel 'Valley of Shadows, which had just come back from being proofed. I was a good half way through it, when the corrections just stopped, I couldn't believe it, there was nothing, not a correction in sight.
So then began the emailing backwards and forwards to the proof reader, as we tried to figure out what had happened. To say I was upset and stressed was an understatement, but thank God we did eventually get it sorted and at last the job is done. There is no more I can do now, until the final read through.
It's the part of the writing process I hate any way. I just want to write the stories, how I wish my writing was so perfect that I didn't have to bother with editing/proofing. In my dreams.LOL
I don't suppose I'm the only writer who feels like this, I guess there aren't many of us who don't find the process irritating and stressful.
But if we want our books to be as good as they can be, then it has to be done.
'Valley of Shadows,' is very special to me, for personal reasons, so I want it to be as perfect as it can be.
Publishing my first book, 'Through a Glass Darkly' has taught me a lot of important lessons, which will benefit 'Valley of Shadows.' I know what I want now and what works best for me and my book.
I just pray that my choice of book cover is right and will enhance the book.
It's hard to believe that after nearly two years of hard work, it will ready and out in the big wide world. Whoopi !!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Following the Cross

The rain tried to spoil the morning, but didn't succeed.
We all had a wonderful time as we followed the cross around our town centre. We stopped at certain points on route to read from the bible and sing. And then we moved on to the next point.
It was very encouraging to see so many fellow Christian's joined together to remember our Lords suffering on this Good Friday.
When it was over and we said our goodbyes, my husband and I went for a welcome hot chocolate.

This is not a good photograph, but this is a painting of mine, done a few years ago, I just felt that it symbolized today so well.
It is called the 'Rose of Sharon' one of Jesus's many names.

Happy Easter to all who read this.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

A Rat Show and A Book Signing

This picture was taken in February 2009, when we went to a rat show. I used to breed and show Fancy Rats and so I was invited to bring along some copies of my debut book to sell at the show.
It was great to see some old friends and meet a lot of lovely ratties.
I took my two little girl rats with me and one of them Maddy, did very well in the agility contest, she really seemed to enjoy herself. Her sister Milly was not quite so keen.
But I think on the whole they enjoyed their day out. They both slept soundly all the way home.
We all had a great day and as an added bonus I sold some books.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


I have been reading some of the posts on Ravens blog. Most of which I find very interesting. However I came across one entitled 'A Memoir Of Life After Death.'
As I began to read I thought, this sounds interesting. However the more I read, the more annoyed and uneasy I became, and like Raven I found the whole article very irritating.

I have to explain that I am a committed christian. Which I guess some will also find irritating. But that's their privilege, as it is mine to dislike this article that I am writing about.

The article was way too long for me to explain what it was all about.
But briefly the author is very sick and dies. He has an out of body experience and See's the proverbial white light, and hears a voice, which introduces itself as encompassed in all the major religions.
My faith teaches me that all roads do not lead to God, which is the prevalent teaching around today.

The Bible gives me some idea of what heaven is like and it sounds wonderful.
However hell is an awful place, that was not created for man, but for Satan and his demons. Whereas the authors understanding and description of hell is quite different. In fact his understanding of it, is that it's more to do with people than the enemy of mankind, Satan.
Suffice to say I found this article very disturbing and had to put pen to paper, so to speak.
And having done so , I feel a lot better.
But whether this post is of much help to any who read it, is debatable.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Dark Days

I suspect that the majority of us, are aware that the days we live in are getting darker by the minute.
I am grateful for my strong faith, it is where I find my peace. If a house is built on sand , when the rains come it will collapse and fall. But if the house is built on the rock, then it will withstand all that comes against it.
I do not profess to being a poet, so I hope the real ones out there, will not take offence at this amateur rendition. But it is something I wrote a number of years ago. It spoke to me then and still does.

I Turn To Him Who Loves Me

When the way ahead is hard
and the path I tread is lonely.
When the sky is grey, it's just another long lonely day.
When my mind is confused
and there's nothing I can say.
I turn to Him who loves me.

When I'm sad and old hurts rise up inside me.
I try my hardest not break
as Jesus gently loves me.
I feel His arm round shoulders
so stiff and bent so low.
Surounded by His gentle grace
tears begin to flow.
And I turn to Him who loves me.

No matter what I've done
how awful my past may be.
The blood of Jesus cleanses and sets me free.
Through Him I can forgive
He helps me to forget.
As I turn to Him who loves me.

You can find out more about my work at

Friday, 20 March 2009

A Nervous Intoduction

I suppose I should introduce myself first. My name is Yvonne Lee and I live in the Midlands. I am a writer. I have had one book published and am waiting for my latest to come back from the proof reader.
Creating and using a blog is a whole new ball game for me. However I am quite pleased with myself for getting this far without any help. I feel more nervous than when I used to wait in the wings before going on stage to sing.
This blog won't be very interesting at the moment as I have to learn how to use it and figure out how to put photoes and stuff on it. So I hope if anyone looks at this, you will be patient with me, as I am not very computer literate.