Celebrate the Small Things 6: Faith Through Failure #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.


Life inside of a child is a courageous place to be. This week as I watched my own children tackle their own separate challenges, I saw myself in my sweet little girl learning to ride a own bike. With my son, I remembered the same feeling on the soccer field, waiting as the goalie in that net as the opposing team barreled my way with what seemed like an unstoppable force.


Who doesn’t want a perfect result the first time you try?


Courage is my word of the week. Faith, too. Courage is the driving power to move. Faith is the fuel behind it. As I watched my kids go through their own unique challenges, I also saw them practice both acts within themselves, and being the proud mom who I am, these are the moments I’m celebrating this week.


  1. The bike. It’s not easy to learn to balance and trust you can go as fast as you need to go and to stop when you really need to stop without hurting yourself.
  2. The soccer game. Being the last man standing on a team and facing a small band of others headed your way is really overwhelming. You want to strategize where that ball is going to land. You want to protect the goal and the team.


Success. My daughter conquered the bike. My son conquered the will to try again through the defeat. When he told me he wanted to play another season, I couldn’t help but glow on the inside.

Remember …

Twenty-four Days Book Tour with Jacqui Murray

Today, I am featuring a fellow author friend of mine Jacqui Murray. Her new book Twenty-four Days sounds different, intriguing and full of mystery. Plus, she made it relevant to my son’s world with the question:

Is the submarine’s invisibility shield like the cloak in Harry Potter?

I love her answer 🙂

One of the Harry Potter movies included a scene in a train where Harry hid under a cloak that made him invisible. Invisibility has also been used in the Iron Man series and in James Bond.

About the Book

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the sentient artificial intelligence who thinks he’s human:

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.

At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.

In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.

But the second, Otto can’t locate.

Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi–the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.

And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.

As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.

Kirkus Review:

A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. … A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale

Book information:

Title and author: Twenty-four Days by J. Murray

Genre: Thriller, military thriller

Cover by: Paper and Sage Design 

Available at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle Canada

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.


Social Media contacts:

Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Linkedin / Google / Blog

Have your read Twenty-four Days? Do you like interesting mysteries with invisibility and maybe a combination of science and suspense?

Don’t forget to check out blog tour posts for Hero Lost: Mysteries of  Death and Life.

Thank you and have a lovely day 🙂

Celebrate the Small Things 5: Change is Scary. Try it Anyway #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.


Change is a difficult task to swallow for some. We get comfortable. We’re afraid to rock the boat. We come up with multiple reasons why it won’t work and spend days and weeks thinking about it and wondering what-if. Then the string unravels and you make the choice, and hopefully, the pick was the chance to try.

Today, I’m celebrating a much-needed change in my mornings. One of my small kiddos is a morning bird. The smallest kiddo is the night owl. Morning moments and evening moments can be a challenge at times. But this week I dared to be different. I dared to establish three fast rules before the rest of the day gets the best of us.

  1. Get dressed.
  2. Brush your teeth.
  3. Eat your breakfast.

Pretty simple, right? In the past, I did these things, but not in an orderly fashion. But now that my kiddos know what to expect next, and after a couple of days, it worked! No one gets nearly as upset. It’s a happy dance out of the door, to school for the kids and to work for me.

So today, I am here to say, if you’re thinking about something different that may impact your life for the better but you’re not sure how to start or if you should … research it. Talk to folks who’ve tried it. You might be surprised.
I know I am.

Finish Your Book. Write for Big Moments #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #WriteTip

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!


It’s funny how as a kid you think you have all the time in the world. Each day spans forever, and when the sun dies and the moon is born, I hardly remember lying my head on that pillow, closing my eyes and starting all over the next day with a new sun.

In writing as a kid, I’d let my mind run away with my fingers. I’d write until I didn’t know where to go and I’d stop. Maybe it was dinner time. Maybe I’d lost the daylight. Maybe I had a tree to climb and a wind to catch in that tree. I did hardly ever finish a book though, well, at least not a lengthy one.

Now, I know why.

As a middle-aged adult, I realize I can’t just sit and write without a plan. Planning has become everything, especially in regards to writing, no matter how unfun it sounds.

Today, I’m thinking about planning Big Moments in any working story before the creative writing part takes hold of you, your fingers fly, and you write all those wonderful scenes and chapters. My resource today comes from my second favorite writing book, “Outlining Your Novel Workbook,” by K.M. Weiland. I wish I’d found this book in 2008 when I decided to get serious about writing, but alas, the book came out in 2014.

The 5 Big Moments begin after you think of all the possibilities in your story. After the Log Line, and your Premise.

Ever had that brain block moment, where you stop and you don’t know where to go?

The questions in this book help get you past that and it’s a real workbook, not just a text. My resource last month is also another great tool to make your mind buzz with possibility.

So what are the 5 Big Moments?

They are moments when the character is faced with a no turning back decision. They impact your main character in an uncomfortable way where the motivation or want is clearly at risk. The main character doesn’t get what she desires the most. She squirms. A decision has to be made. Change has to result. Settings blossom out of a big moment and all sorts of complications result moving your main character into the next Big Moment, 2, 3, 4 and finally the climax. I love how this resource book makes me think of these 5 Big Moments and then asks me what are potentially 4 complications that result in each moment. I would have stopped at one had the book not pushed me forward. Also, never never give your main character what she wants, else the risk and the suspense dies.

I won’t spoil the rest of the working questions in this chapter of the book, but now I find myself unable to plot my own manuscript without it. Ever come across this resource? Do you plot out the Big Moments in your story before you start writing a real single line?