Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to ALL.....

 This writing is from my latest book--Thoughts from the Heart. So appropriate for a Christmas Day Message:

Pay It Forward With Kindness

Last weekend I received an email from a dear friend telling me a story of a boy she met a long time ago.  She has always volunteered her time in children shelters as she has such a soft heart for misplaced children.  She has six of her own.  As she told me of Kyle, who was a regular there for over five or six years, tears came to my eyes.

Kyle was born with two parents who should have loved him but didn’t.  They were abusive and decided to put him up for adoption at a young age.  Luckily at seven years old he was adopted by a couple who said they wanted Kyle but after a few days decided they didn’t want a child that wasn’t “theirs” and the abuse continued.  He went back to the shelter at 12 and stayed there until he was old enough to get on his own at 18.  My friend took him home from time to time for a weekend break and then brought him back hoping someone would take him home permanently.

Unfortunate for Kyle, he had no place to go after being on his own and slept in abandoned houses or cars until the he was arrested for sleeping in the wrong car.  He is spending 18 months in jail but has made a way for himself there. He washes the cars for the sheriff’s department and feels trusted. He is so grateful for the job. 

As my friend says, “This young man, now almost 21, was thrown away by his parents when he was a young child, lived in foster homes and a shelter, and has never felt unconditional love.” Yet when he feels trusted by someone, anyone, it means so much to him.

We never know what pain someone is feeling.  We never know what someone is going through in life.  A smile, a kind word, or even a compliment when standing in line at Walmart or McDonald’s may be what someone needs to get them through the rest of their day.  I think we have all been recipients of someone’s kind words and smiles and those unknown angels will never know how much they have touched a life. As Kyle continues to serve his time and learn that being trusted is a great privileged, he can learn to be a contributing citizen to his community and help himself.  There are many Kyles out there trying to find a place in life for themselves.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” With all the failing markets and financial institutions we hear about today, the best we can do for each other is be kind. Pay if forward with kindness and a smile because you never know what will help another person who is truly in need.

Merry Christmas to all.....and to all a good night.  Pay it forward with kindness.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Checkin’ It Twice: A Terrific Collection of Christmas Stories

 Congratulations to Donna McNeil Gonzales for winning a free e-copy of Checkin' It Twice

This just out...... a terrific collection of Christmas stories to read each night in December before going to bed.  All of them entertaining and heart warming as this is a wonderful book for the family. There are lots of ways to buy this book and lots of bonuses so read to the end of the post!!!

From the back cover:

Can Santa learn a lesson from the Savior?
Can a foreign exchange student help you see Christmas a little more clearly?
Do things really look better from a distance?
And just how many holiday ornaments does one woman need?

Get in the Christmas Spirit with Volume 2 of award-winning stories from LDS Publisher's 2010 and 2011 Christmas Story Contests! Sixteen short stories from popular LDS authors to help you remember the reason for the season!

What I like about "Checkin' It Twice"
The stories written are devoted to the true meaning of Christmas and entertaining. One of my favorite from the list is "Foreign Exchange" by Teresa G. Osgood. This story hits your heart as Paul and his family, learn a lesson about opening their hearts to those we don't know well and the blessing of doing the right thing for the right reason.

Fishing Buddy by Rob Smales is a delightful story of a fisherman and his interesting evening with a special fishing buddy.

Broken Things by Angie Lofthouse was a heartwarming story of redemption and forgiveness.  Christmas time is when we think of family and the closeness we feel --even if we haven't been good. It brought tears to my eyes and I thought about it the rest of the day.

Most of the stories have a wonderful, unexpected twist and leave you wanting to read more. This collection is a great combination of humor and thought provoking ideals.

Featuring LDS Authors:

Amie Borst • A Soldier’s Christmas
Angie Lofthouse • Broken Things
Brenda J. Anderson • Milkshakes and Mittens
Brian C. Ricks • Third Strike Christmas
Gussie Fick • Substitute Santa
Janice Sperry • Slushballs
Jennifer Carson Shelton • With Wondering Awe
Jennifer Ricks • Christmas Stash
Jennifer Ricks • The Two Hundred Forty-fourth Ornament
Kasey Eyre • Gifts from Jesus
LeeAnn Setzer • Christmas Bus
LisaAnn Turner • The Real Magic
Michael Young • Checkin’ It Twice
Rob Smales • Fishing Buddy
Teresa G. Osgood • Foreign Exchange
Weston Elliott • Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Win A Free E-book Copy: 
Comment below on your favorite Christmas tradition you and your family do every year and your name will be entered to win a free copy of "Checkin' It Twice".

There are even bonuses when you buy!!!
 Anyone who purchases a print copy of Checkin' It Twice from Amazon.com before December 15th can get the Bonus Goodies package. All they need to do is send a copy of their Amazon receipt to citbonus@rosehavenpublishing.net. Details can be found at: http://bit.ly/UgfMTi

Check out other links with reviews:
• Amazon (print & kindle): bitly.com/ViEc22
• 5 format ebook bundle: http://www.ldsebookstore.com/checkin-it-twice

Check out the "Checkin' It Twice" blog

Lots of Giveaways.....

Click to Buy the Book Here

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Letter To Al Franken

As I was reviewing some of my WORD files--I came upon this letter that I wrote over 3 years ago when Al Fraken "won" the senate position in Minnesota. I found the letter  quite amusing and I remembered that I actually mailed it off to his office because I was so disguised with his cheating .  I wonder what he thought......

August 4, 2009

Dear “Senator” Franken:
  I write weekly editorials for a local paper in Alabama.  Several weeks ago I wrote a piece on the importance of integrity and surprisingly on the same page, a political cartoon was published about you right next to my editorial.

Al Franken
How appropriate I thought this was as I feel that you, among other senators, should review and ponder the importance of integrity in all aspects of life.

As a comedian, you are a funny person and I have enjoyed watching you on Saturday Night Live---but as a Senator, you are no senator.  You basically stole the votes from the other candidate and lied your way through to the Senate floor.

You wrote a nasty book (Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat, Idiot) to belittle another person which, by the way, was all untrue.  By calling other people names, especially in public, shows your true character as one who has no integrity.  So, take a tip from this mother, your mother, and many other mothers trying to teach their children to be honest in life; lying and cheating might get you some where in government but it won’t get you anywhere in the life hereafter.

 Valerie J. Steimle