Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas! The days are passing us by. Tomorrow is the beginning of "The 12 days of Christmas!" Everyday between now and Christmas we have the opportunity to do something for someone else! What shall it be?......Make a treat, help shovel a snowy sidewalk ( or send your strong 16 year old son to do it at least!) Call someone and tell them you are thinking of them. Sing Christmas carols to your neighbors or a care center,  fix a meal and take it to a young mom trying to juggle life this month, babysit for someone needing to go Christmas shopping...so many ideas! I just LOVE Christmas!
     Sunday is our family's "Night of Music" fireside. We started this last year to replace the small recital I used to have in my living room every year with my piano students. Now our family prepares music and we invite a selected few other talented friends to perform with us. I am SOOO excited! We have such great songs we'll be sharing. Everyone is invited!
    The other great news is....I have a working PayPal account for anyone who wishes to order my book from me! It is currently on sale and would make an AWESOME Christmas gift for someone! Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

December is here and tonight we are getting our first snow! The tree is up and the gift pile is beginning to grow larger. Haven't put them under the tree yet though. Merry Christmas to all of you! Hope the spirit of Christmas is warming your heart and hope you find someone to share a secret act of service with--makes Christmas extra special to be sneaky for someone else's pleasure! 
     Next week I will be at Hastings in Nampa, Idaho for a book signing! My book is on sale this month--thru me!. Books are a great gift! (Hint, hint! Wink, wink!) My next book in my Orchard Grove Series has just left the second editor! Progress, progress! Danny and Lily's book will be out soon!
      Happy Holidays to all of you! And a special wish for a Happy 2014!  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Holidays to everyone! I have finally started my Christmas shopping! I am so behind! Yes! I am behind! Years ago I started my shopping as early as September. I had six children and hated the mad rush and money crunch of December. Some may think that is just too crazy and commercial minded, but not really. I LOVE Christmas. December is a time for remembering the Savior's birth. I hate going to the stores and rubbing elbows with all the rushed and stressed out people.
     Our family does have a Christmas tree and we use the idea that Santa brings gifts that surprise and thrill the kids Christmas morning. During the year, I don't buy my kids everything they look at in the store so, yes, they make their lists and "Santa" may bring them something on the list, but I take care of that before December so we can focus on the Savior and the doing things for others in December.
   We started off the month with a special family night, the first Monday of the month is our "Jesus' Dinner". We start our December off with the story of Jesus' birth from the bible in Luke 2. We cook fish, add sliced apples, oranges and grapes. I buy all kinds of different cheeses-things we don't usually buy-- and I make unleavened bread. We spread out a quilt and this special dinner is served in the living room floor on platters. We don't use plates---and the best part! We dress in costumes representing the Nativity and we take a picture. We started this when my oldest son, Josh, was 8 years old, so now for 20 years we have carried on this tradition.( I actually have the order wrong in my telling--we prepare the dinner, take the picture, eat the dinner and then read the from the scripture!)
     Even though we decorate our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving, no gifts go under the tree until we start the season with our "Jesus Dinner." The rest of the month is for doing things for other people. We make gifts and we make goodies and visit people. Sometimes we become "Secret Santa" for a couple of families.
    One other traditions is Music. In the past we have had people come to our home for  a night of music. We have had piano recitals, we have had Christmas Caroling around the piano or on the back of a flat bed truck. Last year and (again this year) we invited our neighbors, friends and people from our church to a special Night of Music in the Chapel of our church. (Great sound system and a baby grand piano!)
    Our family prepares solos, duets, and other musical numbers to share with  our friends. Last year we included other talented people, featuring vocals and piano solos and performances by violinists. It was a beautiful night! We will be doing it again December 15th in Parma, Idaho! Everyone is welcome!
      Christmas is for celebrating the life of our Savior. We celebrate that he lives! That he showed us the example of how we should live our lives on this earth. Christmas is for giving as the Savior gave to us. It isn't about the expensive gifts under the tree, its about giving unselfishly to others.
     I hope you all are preparing for a wonderful Christmas. But first is Thanksgiving! A time to give thanks for the Savior and all that my life has been blessed with!

      I am still writing! I have people editing my next book. I do have a couple of short stories that I have written if you need a quick read for the Holidays.  1) A Christmas Wish  2) Kendra's Blessings. Paper form-- $3.00-- Mail me a note stating your choice, include your address and the price of the story and I will mail it to you! Out of the U.S.A.-$15.00 --U.S.A. currency only.
                         Donetta Loya /26227 Pioneer Lane/ Parma, Idaho  83660

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving month to all of you!  I love this time of the year. It is fills my heart with warm thoughts of my family and friends. There is so much I would like to do for all of them and things  I would like to say. So many people have touch my life through out my childhood  and on to my adult world. I would like to hug you all, to be there for your hard times and to cheer for you on your great days. I am so grateful for the influence everyone has had on my life. I am who I am because of the experiences I have had with you.
    My heart is overflowing with love for all of you. At the top of the list is my family. I have the most amazing people in my family. Their hearts are as big as the world and they continue to uplift me every day.
    My husband makes me laugh, makes me feel special and loved every day. He always brings out that giddy little girl feeling in me. I love my children. They all are at different stages in life, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of each one of them and pray for them. I pray for their happiness and I pray that angels keep watch over them constantly.
    My mother is always in my daily thoughts, also. How can she not be? Everything I say or do reminds me of her! I hear her words when I speak, I see her actions in my own. ( I say that with a smile.) I love my dear sisters. They are uniquely, beautiful individuals that have a special gift for loving people that are suffering and need that extra tender care. My brother, he is a spiritual giant to me. I admire him for his quiet strength. I miss them all so very much!
   I am a grandmother now and I love those little babies that have blessed my children's lives! What a great feeling it is to see that unconditional love when their little eyes meet mine and their soft voices say, "There's Grandma!"
    I have been so blessed in my life! Thank you all for your friendship and support, too! Every day one of you reaches out to me and helps me through another day! Thank you!
    
     I have my book at a second editing. I am excited for the new friends I have helping me with editing this time round.
    A sneak peak into Book 2:  Poor Danny though has it rough while Lily is sent away to become a "Lady" at a finishing school in Boston and to live with her overbearing, society minded aunt Lucinda. Then when a newspaper clipping of Lily with a Duke from Europe reaches Danny what is he to think? 

    If you haven't read my first book, "Darla's Decision", you are missing out! Order it off of Amazon or from me directly for an autographed copy. It is on sale for the month of November! $15.95 plus $3.00 shipping! Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Life is great! My husband was just home for a week and now he is back in North Dakota working hard for his family. Next on my agenda is my 6th annual Holiday Craft Boutique. Nov. 7, 8, and 9th and also Nov. 14, 15, and 16th. My friends help make wonderful items to sale and goodies to smell... I mean eat! Mmm! I take my furniture out of my living room and my dining room holds all the goodies on my extra long table. I burn pumpkin spice candles and play soft Christmas music and it is a wonderful two week ends.
    This year my personal theme is Nativities. I have made a couple quilts. A couple of sets of Ceramic figurines and other items reflecting Christ as a part of Christmas.  Plus other cutsie fun quick gift items. I can't wait to see what everyone else has made!
    I have written a short story about blessings to share with everyone that comes into the "store" along with last years "A Christmas Wish" short story. I will also have  "Darla's Decision" for sale at a special discount price for those who haven't bought a copy yet!
     I have my first edited copy of the second book of Orchard Grove series back and getting it ready to send to the next level of my new editors! I am excited for the next book in the series to head to print in the near future!
     The fall colors around Parma are gorgeous! I love Fall!
     Also, I want to include a special comment about my graduating class! They just had our 30th class reunion...and I had to miss it! I love to look at the pictures and see all those familiar faces! I went to school with some amazing people that I probably didn't appreciate enough while I was attending school with them! I hope life has treated them all well and I hope they are happy and blessed in their lives!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall is here! I saw the most beautiful sight. The leaves on the Boise River are changing: reds, pinks, yellows and orange color the limbs of the trees, with the river running beneath these beautiful leaves. Gorgeous picture! I love Fall! This time of year is the gateway to the holiday season.
     The cool crisp air makes me think of hot chocolate, marshmallows and pumpkin spices. I love the smells in the stores on the holiday isles.  Pumpkin pie scented candles and sachet packets. Mmmm. I will be decorating my living room with my fall decorations that consist of colored leaves and pumpkins and a quilt I made.
     There are different size pumpkins in each block inspired by the pumpkin patch I grew ten years ago. Pumpkins of all sorts of shapes and sizes. We had over 30 pumpkins that year and we gave them away to neighbors and anyone that walked through the door that fall.

      Writing and writing...can't get enough of it! Some days I think, "I really should be cleaning or spending more time with my kids still at home!" But my stories call to me!
      Just so you know, I have spent special time with Gretchen this week. She had a  talent night at her church group night last night. We have been practicing together all week. She played the family trombone as I played the piano to "In the mood." It is a toe tapping dance tune that my mother taught me from the days she used to play in a dance band--back in the day when a dance had a live band playing. It is one of our favorite family songs!

     I am sending out more copies of "Lovin' Lily" to friends to read and to my new editors. --I will be using more then one! I need to get on it! I have people anxious to know what happen next in the lives of the people that live in Orchard Grove! 

    Sneak peak into Orchard Grove's Book 2:
        On the fifth day, Danny was laying there staring into nothingness when a bucket of cold water showered down on him! He jerked up and sputtered, wiping the water out of his eyes. He turned his dead-pan eyes on the culprits. Charlie and Rusty stood over him Charlie held the empty bucket and Rusty stood with a second full one. They waited for Danny to respond. All he did was stare at them with an emptiness in his eyes. The second bucket raised over his head and Rusty let the water trickled down in a steady stream. He sat there taking it at first and then he shook his head, trying to wipe the moisture out of his face, but it just kept coming! He finally flew off of his bed.
     "Leave me alone!" he sputtered, wiping the water from his face as he glared at the two older men.



Monday, September 16, 2013

September has been a progressive month for me. I have been writing again. I have written a Christmas Novella. Now to get it put into print!  Book 2 of the Orchard Grove series is out for editing.
    I love this time of year. School starts and it is the end of summer. My favorite flowers are blooming and the weather is changing. We have had the most amazing lightening shows.
    I am still hearing great comments about "Darla's decision". Just want to say thanks for all who have bought my book or a kindle version. I hope you will share how much you have liked it with your friends and encourage them to buy a copy!
     Tomorrow I will be attending a review for a neighborhood Book Club and share my book with them. I appreciate the opportunity to "get it out there" a little bit more!
     I wrote Darla's Decision with the hope that it "wasn't like all the others". I feel I have achieved that! So many people call me halfway through and ask what is going to happen! It has an unexpected twist and a surprising incident. I hope you will love Book 2 just as much.
    I have decided on a name for Book 2. "Lovin' Lily."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Had a great evening at my book signing at Hastings Bookstore in Nampa, Idaho. Talked to so many supportive people! It was amazing. People stopped to just encourage me in my new adventure in writing, publishing and selling my book.
     Loved watching the people walk by. I saw a lot of families coming in to buy books! That was the greatest! It was fun to hear the interaction of the people deciding which section to go to first. I loved it when people spoke to me first! It was also fun to watch people try very hard to not see me. LOL  It was an entertaining evening. Sold some books AND Hasting now has my book on their shelves!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Howdy ya'll!
      Greg and I are back from our week long anniversary trip! It was great to spend time together. Wonderful, hand holding, steal-a-kiss moments. Life is good! Here we go! Beginning another wonderful 30 years together!

      There are several of you who will be glad to know that book 2 of An Orchard Grove Series is now heading to the editors! I have completed it and it is on to the next step of preparation. I have new editors lined up and I am grateful for their willingness to work with me!
     I have shared a few sneak peeks already. Book 2 is the story of Danny Thompson, (who is one of Darla's brothers), and the love he has for Lily Pratt, (aka Sissy Pratt, Matthew's little sister). He finally tells her how he feels and... (sigh)...sometimes life never goes as one plans, does it? But the greatest thing about a book is they all live happily ever after! But getting to that point always has its ups and downs. That is what makes reading a book so great! That emotional struggle that we all can relate to on some level. Plus, it is someone's imagination put in writing for everyone to share!

Sneak Peek:
      Danny leaned against the porch rail. He let out a pent up breath. It wasn't the same without Lily. Just like last year. It was at the Harvest Party that he had claimed her as his in front of the whole town. Then later they had ridden off together and on the hill overlooking the river, he had kissed her. He closed his eyes and felt her lips against his as if she were here. She had been as sweet as honey.

Don't forget to read "Darla's Decision" first! Order from me for an autographed copy or order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Westbow Press.

    

    

Friday, August 16, 2013

Our anniversary weekend is off to a GREAT start...my husband has spent the night with a broken down vehicle in Bozeman, Montana! $1000 later and he is on his way home finally.

    So to get our minds off the "woe-is-me" moment, here is a piece of "Darla's Decision":
 
      "No!" he whispered hoarsely. "Darla didn't want a wedding in December, she wanted a spring wedding." He stepped to see her face and she looked away.
      "Tell me its not true, Darla! Look at me and tell me it's not true!" His husky emotional voice grew louder with each phrase. Darla slowly turned her head to face him.
      "I'm sorry, _______, but its true. We were married tonight."


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Next week my husband, Greg, and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. That is just amazing to me! 30 sounds like a long time, but I don't feel like it has been a long time! He still intrigues me, makes me blush, I can't wait to hear his voice on the phone when he calls me and I love when he gives me that look! I love my husband more then anything (or anyone) else in the world! I can't wait to spend time with him as we celebrate our anniversary!
   
     Here is a description of our first date.
     Prologue --I was introduced to Greg by my brother, Max. We wrote letters for almost two years, weekly, while he served a proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
     Greg returned from serving his Florida mission on a Thursday, he called me that night and asked me out on a date for Saturday. I was just ending a cake decorating 4-h class at my house that night of our first date, so all my good buddies were there. (My sister, Barbara, and our best pals-and later bridesmaids- Shelly Nelssen and Rainy Cooper.) They started whispering and I knew they were up to no good!
    Greg came to the door--smiling that gorgeous smile that still gets me. His lips kinda disappear when he smiles and his cheeks just look so cute! Not only did his lips smile, but his green eyes sparkled.
      He stepped into the house in a shirt from Florida showing off his football player size, broad shoulders, A brand new pair of jeans, his thighs where squished into those blue jeans! ( He had a skinny waist and muscular thighs.) And he had a pair of new cowboy boots on! Cute and funny all rolled in one! He started to shake my hand and then he pulled on my hand saying, "Get over here!" and he pulled me into a hug.
   That's when my "friends" lined up with their hands locked, as if in a choir stance and started singing, "You are My Sunshine." He turned around and walked out the door! He came back with an even bigger grin then before.
     He drove me 30 minutes away to Globe, Arizona and we spent the evening trying to find his parents who were suppose to have been bowling--never found them. But at one point my hand ended up in his. It was a WOW moment! I felt like I had held his hand before! I felt like I had sat next to him, just like I was, with my hand in his, before that night! It was like coming home. As I sat there having that incredible moment, a warm, tingling, thought came to me. "I am going to marry him."
     It was an unforgettable feeling. I will say, I have held many other guys hands, spent my time during dates trying to make sure the guy didn't kiss me! I just wasn't into giving my kisses away. But with Greg--he got a kiss on the first date! What can I say--he was the right guy!
     That was March 26, 1983. We were married August 18, 1983. Now 30 years--6 kids and almost 8 grandkids later--I still get that WOW feeling when I see him walk through the door.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Today was a new one for me! An interview with I.B. Nosey was posted! Wow! What a witty fellow. Check out his blog--  feelingnosey.blogspot.com  and read his crazy interview staring ME! and my book characters from "Darla's Decision"! Entertaining indeed! Thanks Nosey for the publicity!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good-bye to July and hello to August! I remember when August meant one more month of Summer vacation! My condolences to those of you who are starting school next week. There are several other schools that start through out the rest of the month of August, also.
     As for the Loya Family Homeschoolers. Daniel will be a sophomore in high school and will continuing his Penn Foster studies and he will be getting back to work to keep up with the three year schedule he has to get his work done. AND be headed to Parma schools in the afternoon for football practice. Gretchen will be in 7th grade and she and I will commence her studies the first week of September. Though! I will say for her she is anxious to do school work and has a couple of workbooks she has worked in all summer.
    I picked up her new school work today. Intro in to Algebra, language arts and writing skills, science, history, and she will be starting her violin lessons this week! She will continued her piano, flute, trombone and ukulele through out the year! She loves playing all those instruments! She will also rejoin her community choir children's group she is a part of. (Treasure Valley Children's Chorus.)
     School, School, School! That is what everyone else is thinking about, but me? I am thinking--just five more months to Christmas!! Time to get started on my projects!
     The other great event of August coming up is our 30th wedding anniversary! Greg and I have been married just a few short years! 30 years! That sounds like a long time, but it feels just like yesterday! He still makes my insides melt when he gives me that "look", you know what I mean? He has that special light in his eye when he is about to kiss me. Still gets me every time. Then there is the one when he smiles just so...and I know he is up to something and I better be on my toes!
     Mixed with all this I am working on my next book! 2nd in the Orchard Grove Series. Still thinking on the name of it. "Danny's Dream"? How about "Lovin' Lily"? I will have to let you know!
      Today I scheduled a book signing  for "Darla's Decision" with Hastings Bookstore to be held Saturday, September 7, 2013, 4:00 to 8:00p.m. Exciting times acomin'!

     Sneak Peek time: Book Two
           Danny stopped reading. "Why does she tease me this way?" He ran a hand through his hair. His heart couldn't take much more. He quickly read the rest of the letter.....
     He stared off into space. She talks like nothing has changed. He shook his head in frustration then pulled out the next letter.

Quiz: For those of you who have read "Darla's Decision". Question #1and #2
       What was the reason the Preacher invited Darla to his home for lunch?
        What did he serve her for lunch?
       
       

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I have spent the last couple of days down with the flu. It gave me time to reflect about my writing. Publishing "Darla's Decision" has brought me a new experience. The responses have been very positive. I received a compliment on facebook. One of my old classmates stated that he was proud of me and that our old English teacher would have been proud too. I thought that was a fun comment.
    It made me reflect on my writing and the GREAT teachers that I had. English was my strong point through out school. I did well and feel confidant in my education in writing skills thanks to them. BUT! There are parts of my story that do not follow perfect grammar rules. Why? Because I used punctuation to pause thoughts, to emphasize the emotion. Lots of comma splices, run on sentences and incomplete sentences. When I was working with my publishers I asked about further editing. They said that traditional editing is no more. That each author uses incorrect spelling and grammar to make their story unique--to put across emotions that would not be allowed in a "proper English class" or in traditional editing.
     The other thing I discovered is there are Grammar rules that have changed since I sat in an English class. I love to read and lately I have been finding other writers using punctuation differently. I finally called my youngest sister who has her masters, who ended her classroom time more recently then mine. I called her asking for her opinion on one issue that I kept coming across and her answer was "Depends on how it is used". WHAT? OH! NO! Well, all is well. Any mistakes can now be called "Creative license"! HA HA!
     I do admit, though, there are a couple of misspelled words or a missing word, such as 'at'. After countless rereads and editing sessions with 7 other adults, my eleven year old found a mistake right on the first page--after the book was printed! What can I say? I did a great job in homeschooling my child!
     I have been following the blogs and facebook time of a couple of seasoned authors I know. They were laughing over the longest sentence they had written...with and without commas...breaking all the rules. Well, I say! If the pros can do it--so can I! HA HA! SO to those who find my writing wanting in the "proper English" department. I say "to each his own". Read it for the story and put down your red grading pencils--I ain't in english class no more! :)
     I love my story! I love writing and have more coming. I am sure the more I do--the better my attempts will become. I thank all of you for your support and good words that you send my way.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sneak Peek for those of you who have not read "Darla's Decision" yet:
     
         Matthew snorted and turned back towards her. "Someone of your own to love? What? You don't have enough fellas already lined up to help you with that?" He waved his hat out in a semi-circle. "You're still looking for more? A person would think with all the kissin' you've been doin' that at least one of them could help you forget my brother." 
      Matthew looked at her with disgust in his eyes. He turned completely away and was shaking his head in disbelief.
      Darla straightened her back and said, with a tilt to her chin, "Well, God hasn't sent the right one yet."
      Matthew swung back around to face her. "Oh, really? So how do you judge them? By how long they kiss you? How deeply they kiss you? How many times can they try before you determine they 'aren't the right one'?" Matthew taunted.
       Darla eyes narrowed in anger. "Oh! You can just leave now!"
       "Well, not until I take my turn!" His hands snaked out to grasp her by the waist........"

You will love my book! I know you will!  Order from me, find it on Westbow Press online bookstore, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Price will vary. Available as an ebook also! Great summer reading!
Hey there! my blogging friends,
      I have spent time running children to tennis camp and shopping this week...kids seem to think they need to eat when I am writing! So as soon as the cupboards were bare I knew it was time to step away from the computer and go shopping! It was a great success! I found a curio cabinet at a thrift shop to put my porcelain dolls in that my mother and grandmother made. I have 3 and each has the blessing/christening dress of my 3 baby girls on them. Finally I can display them safely. And yes, I did buy groceries also. :)
     The story of the curio cabinet: I have been telling my married daughter Jessica that it takes patience to acquire things that we 'want'. I have advised her to not run out and just purchase things that she decides she wants...it takes time and being thrifty and patience pays off. I have wanted this cabinet for years and yes, I could have bought a new one several times over now. But it was not a 'need' so I waited for just the right one-the right price-and the right moment in time to finally buy it!
     So now that my children have their food supply I can get back to writing. So when they say, "Mom, what's for dinner?" I can say eat whatever you want! And keep on writing!
     Here is another "Happy Mom Moment" for me. Last year I was not able to just hop and do. Radiation burns under the arm pit was pretty harsh. So, my youngest two children waited on me quite a bit. We came up with this system for who would make meals.
    Sunday--Sacrifice Sunday (Do we always have to be eating?)
    Monday--Mom will make it. ( I do my part!)
   Tuesday-- Taco Tuesday (Family loves their Mexican food! My children learned to make them.)
   Wednesday--Whatever Wednesday. (Means everyone eats whatever they want!)
   Thursday--Throw it Together.(Pretty much means eat whatever you want again.)
   Friday---Fend for yourself Friday. (Easy to figure out.)
   Saturday--Serve yourself Saturday. (Get the picture?)

It really isn't as horrible as it sounds. It just means I have a family with a sense of humor. I was very blessed to have Daniel and Gretchen willing to help out and not whine and complain when their mother wasn't able to stick to the routine of making meals and doing for them. Instead they did things for me! I was so blessed with their love and concern for me last year. It made me feel proud to be their mother.

      Sneak Peak of Book Two in The Orchard Grove Series:
            Danny loves Lily. He has for a long time. Things had been going pretty well considering Lily, known as Sissy to the rest of the crowd, had refused to dress like a girl. She wore men's trousers usually and the others had seen her as just one of the guys... until the Harvest Party.

      "Today she was in a cornflower-blue cotton dress with an empire waist. There was a ribbon that accented her almost nonexistent bosom, tied in a small bow. She felt like crossing her arms in front of herself as she walked out of the house earlier that morning. There had been several young men standing around talking with Danny. A hot blush had risen to her cheeks when she had stepped outside. All the boys stopped talking at once. Each one of Danny's friend had turned to stare at her. Her stomach clinched nervously. She knew it was a mistake to wear such an outfit! Her mother had convinced her to let her use the hot iron on her shortened hair and she had made her daughter's blonde hair wave in ringlets all over her head. Sissy had no idea how cute and adorable the curls made her look."

      I have had GREAT responses to my first book "Darla's Decision". Thanks to all of you who have bought my book. I am so thrilled it has been such a great hit! Thank you!  TELL A FRIEND! You are my greatest source of advertisement. I appreciate your help in spreading the good word! Until next time...Have a great day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

I have received that greatest compliments on my Book..."Darla's Decision"...today from different directions. I am so humbled and grateful that people are reading my book! I wanted to write a book ever since I was a little girl. I have the silliest stories in my trunk of keepsakes. I am so thrilled that my dream has become a reality! I am more thrilled over the GREAT support from friends and even strangers! It is reaching others. It is amazing!
    I am working on Book 2. I haven't quite settled on a name...Thinking of keeping the same trend in alliteration  in the title and call it "Danny's Dream". But he hasn't had dreams like Darla did...his dream is the girl he loves--Matthew Pratt's baby sister, 'Sissy'---whose real name is Lily.

Sneak Peak: "I love ya, Lily," he said quietly. "I always have and I always will."
      "Oh, Danny, that just makes me the happiest girl ever. I love ya, too!" She tipped her head back against his chest. He kissed her forehead.
      "What are we going to tell Mama and Daddy?" She twisted her head slightly to speak to him.
      "Well, I don't rightly know, honey." He swallowed a lump in his throat as he caught sight of J.D. Pratt coming out of the barn. "But we better think fast, your pa just spotted us."
       "The truth is always the best way to go " She let out a long breath as she watched her father hasten to them.


Hope you have a great day...if you haven't read my book! Then I hope you do! Order it directly from me for an autograph copy or from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Westbow Press.
                

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear Friends,
       Summer activities took over for awhile and now I return to my blog. I want to say 'Thanks so much' to those of you who have supported me in buying my newly published book "Darla's Decision." I have had a great response and each day brings word that someone else has read my book...so EXCITING! Thanks!!
      I have been polishing up Book 2 of my Orchard Grove Series. Darla's brother Danny is the next one to be facing life's experiences with the twists and turns of being in love. Remember Danny? He traded places with Matthew when Darla needed him close by after her devastating news. He was more then happy to make the change since that put him closer to Lily, "Sissy", Mathew's younger sister.

Sneak Peak:
       "I'd give a million dollars if you weren't goin' away," Danny spoke with a tight voice.
       "Me too," Lily whispered leaning her head on Danny's shoulder. "Me too." She let out a deep breath. "Promise not to forget me," she said softly. 
        Danny pulled her firmly to him. "Never."

The story is coming along....just fine tuning it. It will be ready for the editing in a couple of weeks!


Daniel is off to Scout Camp. My 6 year old grandson prayed for him last night. "and please bless that uncle Daniel won't get lost with those scout men this time." Never fear! They will not be going to the same place that caused the upheaval a few weeks ago. He will be canoeing with his Varsity Scout troup near McCall, Idaho. I have great faith in the men that will be in charge...its all the young boys canoeing together that I worry about! Scout trips are famous for their non schedule events!
      Hope your summer is going well!

Your friend always! Donetta

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We have had an exciting week. My 15 year old son went out with two scout leaders and to other youth,( two sons of one of the leaders), to hunt for a sight for their upcoming Scout camp. Daniel is the unit leader this year and was assigned to help select the area. They left Tuesday morning at 8:30 and that evening did not return.  
     They ended up with two flat tires in an area that had taken 3 hours to get to by car. Daniel and one of the leaders hiked out to find a spot that a cell phone would work. After 5 dropped calls the message that they needed help was given. Family of one of the leaders was sent to help, but couldn't find them, so they returned without the stranded five.
     They next day a phone call was sent to local authorities for some assistance. About 10:00, the next morning Daniel and his leader were found...after a night spent in rain, hail and high winds. They had walked almost 22 miles by then.
     They officer took them back the way they had come to find the other three. Father and sons were found warm and fed, as they had shot a rabbit and had eaten the night before as they enjoyed the shelter of the red suburban that had stranded them in the first place. Daniel's leader that had been with him, refused him the opportunity to shoot one of the many abundant supply of rabbits jumping around on their jaunt for help. Daniel would have gladly eaten one.
     Finally at 6:30 the next evening Daniel was returned. Sunburnt, blood shot eyes, dirt and grit in his ears and hair, a blister on his toe, but a smile on his face as he hugged me and said, "Oh, mom, I am glad to be home."
     And me, I had only two hours of sleep the night before. The happy point of the day--before I knew that Daniel was stranded--I sold a book!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My shipment of books is here! Contact me if you would like an autographed book. $20.00 and $3.00 S&H. If you live in the Parma/Treasure Valley area I will deliver it to your door! I am so excited! It came out beautifully and I am excited to hear back from you. Did it make you smile? Laugh? Cry? Who was your favorite suitor? My 15 year old son flipped through it and read parts here and there. Then he looked at me funny and said, "Well, who does she marry?" I told him he would have to read it and find out! Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why do writers write? It is a way to express feelings. A way to remember things. A way to clear your mind and a time to create!
      I have always loved putting pen to paper. I started writing in a journal when I was ten. I wrote every day until I got married and then I wrote every Sunday. Now six children I write two or three times a month! and especially when there is a very important event in my life or in the life of those that are important to me.
     I am also a letter writer....I started my pen pal in the fifth grade. I didn't send notes, I sent books! I didn't know how to write a short message. LOL.
      I wrote stories, poetry, and music!
      What motivates me to write? Life.
      I am sitting her listening to the wind. It makes me think of a time I was younger and lived in a very remote mountain town in Arizona called Young. It was Originally named Pleasant Valley. The wind was howling just like it is now. Summer winds can make me think of winter snow storms.
       The other day I watched my grandchildren play with our kittens. Annalyse who is not quite 2 but loves the kittens. Her excited face and her squeals of happiness are so entertaining. Gideon ,who is 3 is terrified of touching any animal. Scared to death! But there are moments that he tries to be so brave and his little hands hover over the soft kitten, shaking with fear--trying to find the courage to touch it. The joy on little children's face, the worries and fears that causes their tears. They make me think of descriptive words!
      Another source that makes me want to write is music! I love the words that musicians use in songs! They touch me. I admire those who write the words to music. I love the simple phrases that can create a whole memory in my mind!
     I have spent this whole week working on my sequel to "Darla's Decision". I had a lot of it written, just adding details and descriptions to help you 'see' it better. That is what words do--helps our mind see things. 
      My shipment of books is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! I am so excited to get them out to those of you who have ordered my book! Thanks so much for your support!
     If any of you feel inclined....You can go on to Amazon and write a review for me. I hope you are finding it to be a five star book!

Friday, June 7, 2013

My copy of Darla's Decision arrived last Monday! It is SO Beautiful! I love it! I just finished reading it all the way through. I was asked why I was reading it. I said, "Because I have never read THIS book!" Ha ha! It is so Awesome to see it in print!
     Finally my new computer is back in order. My new Office program wouldn't run on my NEW computer! I just went through four days of not being able to write on book two. Remember Darla's brother Danny? He traded places with Matthew in "Darla's Decision". Matthew moved to town to be near Darla. (Oops! Some of you didn't know that yet, did you? hee hee!) Danny moved out to the Pratt's ranch to take over Matthew's responsibilities...but he didn't mind! He got to be closer to Sissy, Matthew's little sister. Mm mmmm!
     Thanks to all of you who have bought my book! I am so excited that someone gets to read it! I have an order of books coming....on its way! For any of you who are waiting to by my book from me...which I appreciate SOOOO very much! Don't forget for those of you who have it, I would love it if you could leave a book review on Amazon.
     Have a great day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Great day! "Orchard Grove series, book one, Darla's Decision" is on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Westbow Press. Listed at $22.95  I might add that I did not set that price! The Publisher did. When I ask why they said because good books cost more!  So what could I say to that?
      It is also available through me! For the first 100 to preorder/order my book, you will receive the special "Celebration Sale" price of $20.00!! (plus $3.00 shipping)
      So today was a great day! My husband is probably more excited then I am ....if that is possible! He called me constantly all day! Love that man! Plus family and friends called me. It was such a wonderful day! Thanks to all of your support!
      This morning I had planned on sleeping in, but when my daughter Jessica called and said, "Mom, have you been on facebook?"  "No, I hadn't," was my sleepy reply. "I am looking at your book on Amazon right now! Karen posted that she had already bought your book!"
       I flew out of bed as fast as my hamstring pulled leg would let me! And I hobbled down the stairs, waddled to my computer desk and there it was in all its pink glory! The rest is now history! :)
      And just so you know... I am currently finishing up Book Two of the Orchard Grove Series. 
      I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! My little girls dream of being an author has come true! Life is Good. My life has been full of blessings and this is a bonus.
HELLO! Everyone! Today is a GREAT DAY!! My book has been released!
      You may purchase it through me. The retail price is $22.95.My number is 208-722-5676 My address is: 26227 Pioneer Lane Parma, Idaho 83660 It is available through my publishers bookstore Westbow Press and through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The ebook should be available soon also. I appreciate all your support! This is an exciting time for me! Thanks to all of you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Publisher just called! My copy of my new book is on its way then as soon as I sign the form on my email it will be available at Westbow Press online, Amazon, and Barnes and noble on line. It will be in ebook form for $5.99 and soft cover for $22.95. It is almost here! SO EXCITED!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Remember the movie "Money Pit" with Tom Hanks? He had ended up with a house...don't remember how or why... but it needed lots of repairs and he was constantly being told. "Two weeks" whenever he asked about when a job would be finished. That has been my experience with this book. But it is FINALLY on its way to the printer! I am SOOOOO excited. Can't wait to see my book in my hand. In TWO WEEKS!
     I've had a few people ask me if my book is about my cancer experience. So, I thought I would comment it on my blog incase others are wondering the same thing.
     No, my book is has nothing to do with cancer. Only, while I was going through treatments I did use that time to put the finishing touches on "Darla's Decision" and wrote two sequels. So if this one goes well I have two more in the series. I couldn't work in my garden or go into the heat for very long, I got tired of reading and watching movies and hurt to much to much else then sit...so I wrote! I also have two other smaller stories that I wrote last summer also. It was a great way to get my mind off my troubles and worries.
     I appreciate everyone's support and I am thrilled to hear other people excited about ME writing a book. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
   

Monday, May 13, 2013

Going to the printer! In about two weeks my book "Darla's Decision" will be available! It will be available at Westbow press bookstore, Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Yeah!!!!! FINALLY!
     The book will cost $22.95 not sure about the shipping yet-depends on where you get it from. The ebook will be $5.99. I hope you will enjoy it!
       Sneak peak:
     "You know, Darla, I was right there the whole time. Why couldn't I have been the example of the man you wanted?" He paused and looked at her thoughtfully. "I imagine if Nathan was available you wouldn't be sitting with me right now." He flicked the reins and called to the horses.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy May! This weekend is Mother's day and I want to dedicate this blog to my mother. Dorothy Johnston. I am who I am because of her. I have the greatest memories of my childhood and she is a part of each one. I should tell you about her for those who do not know her. She is an amazing woman. She could do everything! Cooking, canning, gardening, sewing, reading, music, crocheting, painting, helping others, church service, community service, chaufeur, teacher, hiking, swimming, camping--so much more.
     I have great memories of moments spent doing things with my mama. When I was young our TV went out....old thing with large tubes in the back. It was several months before we got a new one. In the evenings after dinner we sang around the piano. I learned to sing harmony very young. She would play and my sister and I would sing. Old songs! I love the old songs!
     My mom wanted us to learn to cook and sew. I remember a few lessons...I remember being grumpy by the time the learning moment was over...So, I think, to make it fun she started a 4-H group. I was in 4-H for 10 years!(She later became one of the longest serving 4-H leaders in Arizona!Even after we all left home, she continued to serve as a leader.) She taught us and many neighborhood kids to cook and sew. We had crafts that we learned. We had party's--Halloween parties, where are house became the spook alley and our yard was filled with tables of fun home carnival fun times. I loved the "come as you are" early morning breakfasts! We would show up early on a Saturday and pick up all the girls in the neighborhood for a pancake breakfast in our pajamas! So much more!
   My parents drove Datsuns and Nissans (small cars!)...they were always crammed packed with kids! Way before seatbelt laws were in effect!We sang and drove  kids to church, school activities, 4-H activties and trips to the lake.
    I love to read and that is because I saw her reading. I love to garden because she gardened. I learned about music because my Mama knew music. I love music because of her!
       I could go on and on about things my mother taught me! But the final thing I will mention is the greatest gift of all. My mama has a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of his gospel. She taught us to pray and to love the Savior, to respect our life that God blessed us with and to serve others as he would.
    Everything I do as a mother I do because she was and is my mother. I love you, Mama!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hello, My Friends,
       Do you have a favorite word? I have one.....it's an AMAZING word. One I never use...well rarely. But since I learned of its existance it has intrigued me. Ya wanna know what it is? Here it is:  juxtapose. Great word isn't it! Do you know what it means? Definition: To place side by side.--the unexpected combination of colors, shapes and ideas. ( Now use it in a sentence all week! HA HA!!) I will write many juxtaposed words in my blogs!
     When I was in 5th grade I had a placement test that placed me at 12th grade reading level...but I had never heard of this word! Then I continued my schooling-- I felt like I had advanced in my education through junior high and high school, did very well on my ACT....I consider myself an intelligent person, but still I had never ran across this word. Then about 8 years ago as I was homeschooling my children, one of my children had this word on his vocabulary list! I had to look it up in the dictionary! Loved it! And then the strangest thing happened. I either read it or heard it used at least 4 times that week! And then not again until today! I was reading another author's blog! SO I had to share it with you today. Juxtapose. :)
     I love words. I love putting words together. I love writing. Not only do I have stories in my childhood trunk, but I have poems and I LOVE to write letters! I have saved tons of letters from other people. You know....pen, paper, envelopes and stamps...communication before emails and texting. I love writing!
    
                                Words flow through me,
                              Like the wind in the trees,
                               Constantly filling my mind.
                              Surrounding me with sound
                                   Amazingly to find,
                                 It is the breath in me.
     

Friday, April 19, 2013

Well, my computer skills are being tested. I can't get a whole AND clear picture of my book cover. My email of it is coming up as a 15 X 20....I have shrunk it to print it...some. But I can't get it clear. It is SO wonderful on my email--Bright colors, clear pictures. It is weird...but the copied picture makes Darla appear to be grimacing to me...for real! Strange thing! In the email her face is beautiful and she looks so happy! I am WILL figure this out! SO be patient with me.
    I asked my daughter, Jessica, if she had read the blog. She said yes and then asked me what happen to the picture....so I am not the only.
    Have a great week end!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

                                                   Introducing Darla Thompson from
                                                              "Darla's Decision"
Dear Friends!
       Closer! Closer! Here is the latest info on my book. The cost. Book cover price with be $22.95. It has 334 pages....unless changed on this next ...hopfully... last round of changes.  It is very exciting and feels like a long wait! In the meantime I am working on my book two in the series. I have two and three written, but not fine tuned for publishing...I better get started so it doesn't take forever to get the next book out for all of you to enjoy.
     I have read and reread "Darla's Desicion" so many times now that all the people in the book are VERY close to me now.  I know every word they say and every action they make. They are like...family! :) Darla is a wonderful girl. SO dedicated to wanting to do what God wants her to do. She is a beautiful girl with her long brown hair. She is a confused by the choices she has to make and listening so hard to the Lord's promptings. What choice is confusing her?....Men!
 
         Sneak Peek!
      "Oh, my!" Darla muttered to herself. "What am I to do about James?"
       She must be the most fickle girl in the whole territory. "I have been proposed to, kissed and caressed more then any girl I know--and by more than one man!" she said to herself.

        Maybe God sent Jordon into her life to help her forget Nathan? Maybe Jordon is part of God's plan for her?.... But  what about Matthew? What if he really did love her?....James, now there was someone that would be a worthy husband.

Greg is heading back to to North Dakota. He is returning to SNOW! While he was home on his time off someplaces in ND recieved 15 inches of snow! I shall miss him! We talk 8 to 10 times a day....but its not the same........
Have a great day my friends!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hello! Friends,
     Exciting news! I have wonderful news! I have a spot in an international book fair this summer. Book should be ready way before then....hopefully. I also have two spots in a book fair in Texas and D.C. The two hot spots for Christian book sales. they tell me. ( I already missed the Tuscon fair...bummer.) I quesitioned the marketing guy about D.C. --as there was five choices--Florida, Tennessee, D.C and Texas and....? (Can't remember now!) Those places were left on the list of Fairs. His reponse was. "Well, we might not think the government is the most Christian atmosphere. But the families of the politicians promote Christian beliefs in their own homes and that is a great place to sell books. And before you ask ...no, I am not going to D.C or Texas ...or St.Louis where the internationaly book fair will be. (Would be cool!)...The representatives of my publisher will be there...hopefully promoting my book! At least this time! Next year.
    I will be looking for other places to sell my book ( I can do my own local marketing all I want!)...so if any of you have a friendly little bookstore, around the corner, you love to go to....(hint hint, wink wink), and if you can interest them in placing my book in your town...You and I will chat and agree upon a wonderful compensation for your hard work! Free book? My next book? Dinner to Olive Garden? You may become part of my Marketing staff! Hey! Hey! :)
        Greg has been home from North Dakota all week, still here for 4 more days.(Sigh!) Love that man! We have such a great time. He still makes me smile---when he isn't irritating me with the mess he leaves behind! LOL But he knows my weakness...all it takes is a little smile and a kiss.
    Heard a saying a while back, can't remember where! But it has stuck with me:
                         "Choose your love, love your choice."
     Have a good week! Your friend today, tomorrow and always!
Donetta

P.S. I set up my domain...has anyone found me without using Facebook this week? Trying to get it all in order! Thanks!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The big day is getting closer! My book with its beautiful cover of pinks and mauves, the orchard in the background with Darla standing in the center in her rose print dress--just as I imagined it!-- will be here soon. Its SO exciting to see it all!
    Just a little about it. It is considered a historical romance christian fiction....and yes there is kissing in the book! A good romance has to have at least one good kiss, right? It takes place in 1880's. Darla's eyes has been opened to the fact that there are several young men vying for her attention. Choices, choices.
    One of the most important choices you can make is who you choose to spend your life with. I am the luckiest girl in the world! It is true! God led me to the most awesome, handsome, loving, caring man I could ever be with. I am so thankful that I lived a life close to my Heavenly Father that allowed me to be intune to God's promptings. I knew on our first date that I would marry Greg. It felt like I had held his hand before. I KNEW him somehow on a deeper, spiritual level. (Sigh) It was wonderful to be with him. Still is! The very thought of him makes me smile in the middle of the day, in the middle of laundry, in the middle of....sitting here writing on my blog about him! His eyes still smile into mine and can make me giddy inside. (Sigh) Our love is forever.

     Here is a sneak peek into the book:
          Jordon raised his hand and ran it across his mouth, then placed his arm on the seat cushion behind Darla as he turned more to face her.
          "Does that mean you don't want me to come calling on Wednesday?" His eyebrows raised in question.
         Surprised at his response, she said. "You mean you don't care if David is courting me, also?"
         Jordon smiled and said, "What is courting all about? Getting to know one another, to see if we are compatible. There may be others to choose from along the way. If we limit ourselves to gettting to know only one person, how do we know what God wants us to do? I think David Miller is an admirable fellow, but I am just as splendid of a man as he, if not more so." He said the last with a little chuckle and a grin. "In fact, if Matthew wants to join in then so be it. May the best man win!"........."Just so you know, Darla, I intend to be that man."

Have a great day everyone. Returned to my blog in a few days and we will talk so more!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I have to share my almost life changing experience on Easter Sunday:
    First of all, the Friday before, I finished my corrections on my book. I was waiting to send it into the pubisher on Monday. Sunday, I decided to have a last look at it. Pulled it up on my computer. Found a comma that needed to be changed to a period...or was it a period that needed to be changed to a comma? Hmmm....anyway, somehow my finger moved across something and wiped out the whole thing! My book was gone!!!!!! I had a one new blank micorsoft word document page staring at me. Talk about your life stopping! My heart froze, I started breathing hard, I grabbed my head muttering, "No! No!" My loving children rushed to my aid. "What is it, mom?" Gretchen comes to comfort me. "My book! Its gone!" "Oh, is that all." She huffs at me.
    I started flapping my arms like a bird and yelled for someone to bring me my little pink phone book that holds friends and neighbors phone numbers and I immediately call my computer wiz friend, Jared. He wasn't home! Where could he be?! Easter Sunday! He is with family! So I call his mother-in-law's house. Trembling, I ask if Jared is there. He is! Hal-a-lu-ya! I very calmly come to pieces and tell him, "I erased my book!" He very calmly replies. "So, I probably should come over there to take a look at your computer."  "Yes! oh, Please!"
    I really should learn more about computers. Ya think? Jared made the 15 minute drive (that took him at least an hour to get here by my count--The clock was wrong, I am sure). He took a look, pressed two keys and waa-la! It was all back. Phew! I owe Jared a large steak dinner or something!
    So, I told him just send it in! I am not waiting another day! So, when you read my book you may find a comma in the wrong place, or was it a period? Anyway, just ignore it and read on! :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Here is a sneak peek into "Darla's Decision":

     "Nice night for a stroll, huh, kids. What happened to your chaperone?" he winked at David. "Gave'em the slip, did ya?"
      David took Darla's elbow in his hand and started to steer her towards the house. "No need for a chaperone, Pratt."
      "Oh now, with what I saw before the dog came along, I'd say you two are definitely in need of one." Matthew managed to catch up to them in two strides and matched their pace on the opposite side of Darla. He gripped  Darla's other elbow and she felt him tug on her arm, turning her steps away from David. David's grip tightened, pulling her back to him. Darla stopped. She shook off both of their hands from her arms."

      It's getting closer! SO EXCITED!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dear Friends,
       I am making progress on the retech...but there are still those little mistakes that have to be fixed. It is amazing how my mind sees what is not there! I have read my story so much now I just see what it is suppose to say...so I read right past the missed place quotes or missing punctuation.
     Just got back from Arizona. Had a great visit with friends and family. My son, Joshua, was married while we were there to Kristee Eaton. We are so happy she is a part of the family now...with her 4 year old daughter, Maddie. We miss everyone in Arizona today as much as we did leaving 10 years ago!
     Tennis has started for the kids. And Daniel has been realigning the pig pen for another go around of a 4-H pig. (I can already smell the stinky things!)
     My mind is full of stories and I'd rather be writing theses days then doing anything else.
Hope you all have a great day.

Your friend, today, tomorrow and always,
Donetta

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dear Friends,
      I am trying to organize this blog....I am still wishing I could just sit down and write you all a letter and you would write me back. But instead we are blessed with the great age of computers and blogging. SO here goes!
      To start...My exciting news is my book is almost ready to head back to the ol' printer (Computer program of some sort.)...the "retech" is almost done. "A Book!" you say. Yes! I am having a book published. I am so excited!
   Over the last couple of years I have had time to sit and recoup from a series of health issues. I watched  every show of "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman"...which I loved. And I read lots of books and I just said to myself, "I could write a book."
    I have a trunk full of stories and poems that I wrote through out my childhood and young adult life....So yes! I love to write. I decided to come out and say it out loud, "I love to write. I have a crazy imagination, a love of reading and a room full of books dedicated to other people's books. SO why not!
     I love the pioneer, mail-order bride, English garden stories and of course "kissing books". It has to have a least one good kiss at the end for it to be a romance story. Not to mention the handsome, tall, dark man that you already know is THE one and only one for the heroine!
     And of course, I imagine my husband, Greg, as the hunky, handsome hero!
      Well, I hope that when my book comes out you will enjoy it. The title is "Darla's Decision". It is written as a Christian, historical fiction. It is what I call "Escape Literature".
     It is about a young girl in 1880 Idaho. The young man she has had a crush on her whole life marries her best friend. She finally realizes there are others that are vying for her attention. But who would God have her choose? The handsome, educated banker's son? The cowboy, who is the brother of the love she lost to her best friend? The stocky, handsome preacher? Or the God-fearing, shy mercantile store owner? As soon as it is out I will let you know!
    I am looking forward to hearing your responses!

Your Friend today, tomorrow and always,
Donetta