A Round Up of What I'm Reading.

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I thought I'd do a little round up of books in my life right now. I am a reader, through and through, and I always have a lot of books around me, around my bed, on my desk, traveling in my bags, on my phone, and at my table. I read before I go to bed, I read in the moments in between, and I listen to audiobooks while I'm cooking or painting or cleaning. 

The very first book I want to tell you about is written by a friend of mine! Cate M Ruane is the pen name of my friend Cate. We have traveled together and lived together in our wild life, and she has been an Auntie to my kids. We talk about books as often as we can, and now she has published her book, Telegram for Mrs. Mooney. I read one of the earliest drafts of this book, and I read the published book, and I thought the same thing both times: 

I love Tommy Mooney. He is one of the scrappiest, quirkiest characters I've ever come across, and he is so lovable, so adventurous that I can't help but adore him. Cate M Ruane's first book is a cleverly drawn picture of war, culture, art and a fascinating era, through the lens of a twelve year old boy. It is World War II mystery, but it is more. I highly recommend it! And soon more are coming. Even better. 

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What else have I read recently? For my book group, I listened to the audio of A Gentleman in Moscow, which was excellent. Both the book and the audio version were like returning home at the end of a long day. A Gentlemen in Moscow is refined, lovely, full of characters you actually like.

I also listened to Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, which is quite a title. I'm so glad I read it. The Osage murders happened early in the twentieth century to the Osage tribe, centering around, surprise surprise, racism, oil, and wealth. It's another glimpse of the horrific way Indigenous people have been treated in the Americas, but the book is easy to read/listen to.

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Also on my To Be Read list are two books that I missed reading for Book Group when I was in India: Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan, and A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide, by Stephanie Saldaña (a book that people have assured me I will love). I'll let you know how I like them. 

I'm brushing up on my teenager skills. I have two at the moment, and one approaching swiftly. This is what happens when you have three kids in three years, the teens just keep coming. I have always loved teenagers and get along with them really well, but that doesn't mean I am not misunderstanding and being misunderstood by my own. After a few locked-horn battles, I am reaching for some reading. I'm currently listening to How to Listen so Teens Will Talk and Talk so Teens will Listen. And I have yet to dip back into Boundaries with Teens and Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, but they are on my Kindle.

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Recently I read I'll Be Your Blue Sky, by Marisa De Los Santos. I always love her books, finding unexpected depth in her stories. I'll Be Your Blue Sky was the third in a sort of series about a girl named Clare and the people around her, and it was beautiful. 
 

Also on my Kindle TBR list:

The Spirit of the Disciplines, by Dallas Willard
Abide with me by Elizabeth Strout
The Omnibus of the Crosswicks Journals, by Madeleine L'Engle
32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line, by Eric Ripert and Veronica Chambers
The Sacred Enneagram, by Christopher L Heuertz (I'm a 4)
The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, by Timothy Keller
 

What are you reading lately? Anything good?

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts. A special thanks to new patron, Teresa Q. I really really appreciate your support, it helps me to keep going with writing and publishing my work.

This and that.

This morning is heavy and humid already, with a hint of cooling rain on the horizon. In a few minutes we will get into the car to drive to Mae Hong Son, about 2 and a half hours away, to renew our visas at immigration. The drive is very beautiful, though immigration days are long. 

I have a few business-y things. Kenya and I are opening our new website soon... with little starts and stops. We're selling our own art, as well as some collaborative pieces. It's a fun, interesting process as we get used to working with each other. Anyhow, I've been painting up a storm and I have a couple of new paintings in my shop.

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This brown bear.

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And these quail. You can find them here.

Also I'm putting a call out for reviews on my World Whisperer Boxset. If you have read the books, will you consider reviewing here? Thank you, reviews help so much with getting the books out to the world.

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This week will be full of writing and painting and teaching. I'm still hard at work on World Whisperer 4 and it's going to be worth the wait. It's a hard book to write, though! Oh my goodness. Every day is so full of the best things. Kissing and hugging and helping kids sort through conflict, deep discussions of faith and love with the kids and friends who drop over, or friends at the garden. All these things are worth it on this Monday morning. I know it is still Sunday for some of you. (Happy Father's Day!) But how is your week shaping up? What things are there to look forward to? To be curious about?

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Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as $1 a month, and get extra vlogs and posts.  I really really appreciate your support, it helps me to keep going with writing and publishing my work.

New World Whisperer cover and Patreon launch.

Thank you for your kind comments and messages. I have never ever regretted sharing about the deepest and hardest things in this space, because you are all so kind and respond in such gentle ways. You teach me. Thank you. 

I have just a couple of things today. I had hoped to give you a Shaper’s Daughter launch date, but am reluctant to do so before I have my new cover files in my hot little hands. So just know that it is coming very, very soon. We are waiting for covers, and that is it! 

Once I have the date, I will be relaunching all three World Whisperer books with a launch party on Facebook, so stay tuned for that info. 

For now, here is the first redone cover. I’m very happy with it!

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Isn’t Isika beautiful? Covers 2 and 3 are beautiful too. I can’t wait to show them to you!

Anyhow, I’ve been learning a lot about genre cover specifications. All the stuff you need to know to do authory things.

And speaking of authory things: Today is the launch of my Patreon site. In case you haven’t heard of Patreon, it is a new-fashioned way to accomplish an old-fashioned concept, which is patronizing the arts by supporting artists and writers. I have always hesitated to support this blog by using ads because I am a minimalist, and don’t love encouraging people to buy new things if I don’t have to. But I  believe that my writing is valuable, and support can help with hosting costs. You can support me on Patreon for only a dollar a month, and there are rewards for Patrons, including Q and A’s and patron-only posts.  

So there you are! Exciting times. Books ahead, patron only posts, and children growing very, very quickly. 

Much love to you all. Be gentle with yourself today. 

Path of Springs Cover Reveal!

Dear ones, in the midst of Advent preparations and getting my house ready for three very special guests, (Christy and the girls are coming!) I am releasing a book. In just five more days, Path Of Springs will be out in the world!

Chinua and I are both artists, (what that means is that we have a house full of children who get moody and emotional when their creations don't turn out the way they were hoping- we are an tempestuous household, not one of those chill households you hear rumors about) and we have collaborated before, but this was particularly satisfying. I drew the characters and he took what I made and created designs around my drawings. 

We remade the first cover as well, because as much as I love the artwork of Isika that my friend Tom made, I showed my cover to a group of booky people and they didn't guess the right genre at all. So we went back to work, as you do.

Here's what we made:  

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Isika. 

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And Benayeem.  

I love all my characters, but I particularly love these two. 

If you haven't read World Whisperer yet, why for? You have some catching up to do!  (You can buy it here.)

I'll be back soon with an excerpt for you. Till then, be well in this beautiful advent season.