Salve for Souls

Friday, June 22, 2018

ALONE AND AFRAID


Book available in paperback and e-book formats
E-book ONLY 99 cents.


THE JEWEL OF FAVOR

Sample devotion from devotional book, Where Your Heart Meets God's
The Jewel of Favor
“Then was I in his eyes as one that found favour,” (Song of Solomon 8:10, KJV).
God’s words to us generally fall into two categories, called logos and rhema.  The Rev. Danny Daniels, minister of prayer and counseling at Park Avenue Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida, explained the meaning of these Greek words.
“Logos is the written word of God, as well as the living Word, Jesus Christ.  Rhema is a personalized word from God, which might come out of the logos.”
To illustrate these terms, I would ask the reader to imagine him or herself, standing in a cheering crowd, straining to catch a glimpse of a king as he passes in his royal chariot,
surrounded by his entourage.
You might see him for a moment, or you might be inspired by some words he may pause to speak.  However, to you, the king would remain at a distance—someone you might read about in the newspaper, hear about on the news, or know facts about.  He would not be a confidante to whom you could pour out your joys and sorrows.
Sadly, this is how many Christians relate to God.  They read their Bibles and learn facts about Him—even life-changing facts.  But God is not someone with whom they carry on a two-way conversation.  His word, the Bible, remains the logos written word.  It might address the reader’s finances, marriage, family or life situations, but she does not hear the personal love song of the author’s heart.

Now, imagine yourself back in the crowd, but this time, you see the king glance from his chariot—and across the multitudes, his eye meets yours.  The king then orders his driver to stop and he emerges from his carriage.The throngs hush and part as he makes his way closer and closer, causing your heart to beat faster and harder.  Reaching you at last, the king extends his hand and leads you to his chariot, where you commune face to face.That is the rhema message, the kingdom of God within the believer’s heart.[i]  It is heaven here and now.
What or Who do you see in the clouds?
 Pearl to Ponder: In the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila wrote a book, “The Interior Castle.”  What does that title mean to you?

 Love Nugget: “I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”[ii]


[i] See Luke 17:21
[ii] Isaiah 43:1, NIV

Book is available in e-book and paperback formats.
Kindle: http://mwbooks.me/heart
Paperback: http://mwbooks.me/HeartPaper

Thursday, March 22, 2018

LOVE'S SWEETEST OBSESSION-Chapter 1: A Feast, a Fateful Decision and an Ex-Husband's Fury


LOVE'S SWEETEST OBSESSION, Book 2 in the "Castle in the Sun" series 
By Flora Reigada
CHAPTER 1
A Feast and a Fateful Decision
E-book FREE on Kobo for a limited time.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-s-sweetest-obsession


That Christmas evening in New York State could not have been more perfect for Liz Bertelli, enjoying a holiday celebration at best friend, Rosa Ramirez’s old farmhouse. Its big, drafty rooms with their high ceilings, vintage light fixtures and crown molding, lent a rustic charm.

Liz and her fiancĂ©, Carlos Martin, were cuddled on a loveseat by a living room window. Even with snow falling outside and the Christmas tree twinkling nearby, the couple sat lost in each other’s gaze.
Liz was lost in Carlos' eyes.

Liz had thought she would never love again after her ex-husband, Steve, left for a twenty-something plaything. Carlos had proven her wrong and just that afternoon, he surprised her with a proposal, slipping a diamond and emerald ring on her finger. She gladly accepted and seemed to enter a fabled world of knights and romance, she never thought existed; now it had become real.

Rosa and her love interest, Carlos’ brother Jack, helped make the engagement a reality. It involved an elaborate ruse and Liz smiled to herself, remembering how it unfolded.

The guys flew here from Florida and hid in Rosa’s house for three days. They hiked a mile through the forest, then waited for me near the old stone wall—hiding there too. It was sooo romantic when Carlos came out to propose.

The location was chosen for its significance.

One day I walked there to forget my troubles, but soon I was running from a bear.

Escaping its clutches, Liz discovered a silver locket and mysterious love letter hidden in the wall.

Solving their mystery put her and Rosa on the trail of star-crossed lovers that led to Florida, a castle and the strong arms of the lovers’ sons, Carlos and Jack. Several months had since passed, and although it was only six-o’clock, winter’s curtain of night had drawn over the glittering hills.

A white Christmas in New York State
Rosa and Jack were in the kitchen with Rosa’s daughter Laura, preparing a Latin-American holiday feast of roasted pork with yellow rice and beans. Their distant voices and the clatter of pots and pans seemed to float in the fragrances of meat and spices.

Liz and Carlos kissed, then resumed gazing at each other—she drinking-in his Latin good looks and he, her golden-brown eyes, and hair that flowed to her shoulders like a chocolate fountain.

It never failed to amaze Carlos that although in her thirties like himself, Liz had grown sons and a granddaughter.

She would tell him, Rosa and I were kids with kids. But we supported each other and we grew up fast.

Carlos kissed her locks. “Sweet.”

The couple’s reverie was interrupted by Laura’s two tots bursting from the kitchen with Rosa’s pair of dachshunds playfully yipping close behind.

The flustered young mom would occasionally poke her head from the kitchen to shout at the little ones. “Olivia! Noah! Be quiet!”

They would simmer down, only to start up again, louder than before.

After a while, Jack emerged to scoop up the children and hoist one atop each of his broad shoulders. The children laughed with delight as he trotted them around the house, leaving their mother to cook in peace.

Liz smiled as they passed her way—barely able to tear her gaze from Carlos and her ring, sparkling in the Christmas lights. Love glowed in Carlos’ dreamy green eyes. They wandered over Liz’s form-fitting red sweater.

“Not only are you beautiful, you’re a gifted artist,” he whispered, referring to her latest creation—a composite landscape painting she had shown him earlier that day.

Illustrating their journey to one another, it depicted the old stone wall where Carlos proposed. The wall faded away to a castle (the Castillo de San Marcos) in Carlos’ hometown of St. Augustine, Florida, where clues in the locket led Liz and Rosa. Their lives would never be the same.

Carlos motioned to the exercise watch on his wrist. “Thank you for the Christmas gifts. I really did need those shirts and the watch is just what I wanted.”

“Thank you,” Liz said, admiring her ring.

She stroked his thick black whiskers. “I like the beard and moustache you’re growing. They’re rugged and masculine—like you.”

He smiled, brushing his whiskers against her face. Liz laughed, kissing his eager lips.

She had already sent her twin sons, Tony and Stevie, photos of the engagement ring. She included pictures and videos of herself with Carlos and of the others as well. One video captured Rosa and Jack, chasing each other in a playful snowball fight, then wrestling, laughing and rolling in the snow.

Celebrating Christmas in Daytona Beach, Florida with their father, Liz’s sons and their wives watched in amusement. They gathered to extend Christmas greetings and congratulate Liz and Carlos on their engagement.

“Best wishes! That’s some big rock! We love you and hope to see you soon.”

Tony added a postscript. “Steph and I are looking forward to closing the deal on Carlos and Jack’s family home and making it a bed and breakfast, here in sunny Florida.”

The couples sent videos. Some included Liz’s beloved granddaughter, Ashley. To Liz’s delight, one video showed the child playing with her Christmas toys. She paused to point at her mother’s swollen stomach. “Baby brother in there!”

An icy glare came through in Steve's eyes.
However, Steve and his wife Gloria had made their way into some of the frames and Steve’s expression gave Liz a chill. Although he was smiling, it more resembled a scowl. An icy glare came through in his eyes.

Why would he be scowling on Christmas? Could there be trouble in paradise between him and Gloria?

Liz recognized the suppressed anger. She’d seen it before and it was usually directed her way. The last time was a couple of months prior, when she showed up at their son Stevie’s wedding on Carlos’ arm. She had picked up on the subliminal vibrations that Steve did not like seeing her happy, especially with someone as accomplished as Carlos. He had worked as a translator and cultural liaison with the executive branch of the United States government.

Now Steve seemed to be sending another message. She could almost read his thoughts.

Your wetback thinks he’s so important. You’d better not be sleeping with him.

The hatred Liz felt for Gloria when Steve left, had long since dissolved into pity.

That poor woman. Steve’s an idiot. I’m glad to be rid of him.

Yet, Liz could not shake a sense of foreboding. It hung over her like a dark cloud when Rosa called everyone into the dining room for the meal, which began with salad, followed by the main course and warm, crunchy bread. Carlos offered Liz a crispy piece of meat.

“This is the cuerito (skin) my favorite part. You can taste the spices in which the meat was marinated overnight. My father used garlic, oregano, cilantro, salt, pepper and lemon.”

Pernil, the centerpiece of the Hispanic, Christmas feast 
Liz took a bite, chewing it slowly, letting the perfect blend of crunch and spice, caress her taste buds.

Drinks flowed. They included apple cider and coquito; an eggnog-like drink made from rum, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. For dessert, apple pie was topped with vanilla ice cream and served with café con leche.

Even in the festive glow of the holiday, Liz could not get Steve’s cold, hateful stare out of her head. It seemed to bore into her.

“What’s the matter?” Carlos asked.

She told him how much Steve’s demeanor disturbed her and why.

“Maybe he had gas,” Carlos joked, trying to soothe her on this otherwise joyous day.

Liz shook her head. “I know Steve and he’s up to no good.”
The table is spread with all kinds of goodies.

After the meal when everyone was satisfied and the dishwasher humming, Liz and Carlos returned to their loveseat by the Christmas tree. From there, they could look into another room, where Jack was snoozing on a couch, with a child sleeping on either side.

Laura was reluctant to wake the little ones when it came time to go. But she knew it was inevitable, because they were expected at a relative’s home early the next day.

Liz and Carlos were close enough to overhear a conversation that Laura and Rosa were having about Jack.

The daughter began. “He might just be a keeper, Mama. You’ve been telling me how he’s fixing things around the house. Look how great he is with kids. He can cook too. Then he’s so handsome in that Greek sculpture sort of way. And I’ve seen the way he looks at you.”

A young widow, Rosa finds herself drawn to Jack, a
rugged Army veteran.
Rosa took a deep breath. “Even though your father’s been gone almost two years, I still love him. Who would have thought he had an undetected heart defect? He was never sick. He “I do find myself caring for Jack,” the mother confessed.

When Laura and the children were gone, Jack and Rosa returned to the kitchen to put the finishing touches on the cleanup. Their laughter reached Liz and Carlos, who resumed gazing at each other—stopping only to look outside at snowflakes swirling around the lamppost.

Beyond it, Liz’s house could be seen several hundred feet up the country road. The colorful Christmas tree in its window shone through the wintry night. Seeing her home, made Liz remember the Rottweiler she kept for protection.
went to the doctor.”

“Yes, it was a terrible shock,” the daughter replied. “And we’ll always love Papa. But he’s in heaven now and you’re only in your thirties. Like Liz, you had your kids when you were a kid yourself. Maybe the time has come to move on. Papa would understand. He loved you so much that he would want you to be happy.”
“I do find myself caring for Jack,” the mother confessed.

Jack is also drawn to Rosa, but is he a keeper?
When Laura and the children were gone, Jack and Rosa returned to the kitchen to put the finishing touches on the cleanup. Their laughter reached Liz and Carlos, who resumed gazing at each other—stopping only to look outside at snowflakes swirling around the lamppost.

Beyond it, Liz’s house could be seen several hundred feet up the country road. The colorful Christmas tree in its window shone through the wintry night. Seeing her home, made Liz remember the Rottweiler she kept for protection.

“Oh my! I need to get home. I let King out this time every night. He must be waiting anxiously by the door.”

She rose to get her coat for the walk.

Carlos stood too. “I’ll go with you. I can’t let m’ lady walk up that lonely road alone.”

“I appreciate that,” Liz said with affection. “But it’s freezing outside here in the Adirondack foothills and a Florida boy like you isn’t used to the cold. I do this all the time and I’ll be right back.”

Carlos would not hear otherwise and was soon going out the door with her. While Liz was unfazed by the cold, snow driven by moaning winds, needled Carlos’ face. The twenty-degree temperatures also aggravated pain in the femur he shattered in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. Trying not to limp, he let out a vaporous breath.

“It feels like Moscow in winter. I went there once with the Vice President.”

Snow crunched under their boots as they walked across Liz’s back porch to the kitchen door, where King was waiting just inside. Hearing Liz’s voice, he issued a few whiney barks. Unlocking the door, she gave him a quick petting and released him into the yard.

She motioned to Carlos. “Come in. I’ll make coffee so you can thaw out.”

For a while, the two chatted over coffee—Carlos warming his hands on the cup and breathing-in the steam. Once back inside, King fell asleep on a throw rug.

After Liz brought out snacks, she and Carlos talked and laughed for a couple of hours.
Liz's back porch is covered with pristine snow.

Finally, he noticed the time. “I guess I should be getting back up the road.”

“I’ll drive you,” she offered, reaching for her coat. “I know how much the cold hurts your injury.”

He drew her into a deep kiss, and then searched her eyes with his. “Well, we can go back out in the cold—or I can stay ….”

That frank statement caught Liz by surprise. She almost could not speak, but finally managed. “Wouldn’t that create an awkward situation for Rosa and Jack?”

He brushed her lips with a kiss that tickled like a feather. “I discussed the possibility with them and they wouldn’t mind. Let’s just say they’ve been very chummy since Jack and I arrived. I think they might appreciate some time alone before Jack flies home. He’ll be starting a job, moving into his new condo and representing our family at the sale of our parents’ home.”

“Aren’t you returning with him?”

“That depends on you.”

Liz hesitated. In her heart she wanted to say “stay,” but there were so many reasons she should not. She thought of the moral implications, wondering what her sons and their wives would think. Then there were her late parents, who would be turning in their graves. And Steve? Remembering his icy glare in the photos recalled her sense of foreboding. Yet she would not be intimidated.

Against her better judgment, she pressed herself close and made what would prove to be a fateful decision.

"What would you like for breakfast?"

***

What delights and dangers await Liz and Carlos? Find out in "Love's Sweetest Obsession," Book 2 in the "Castle in the Sun" series, E-book FREE for a limited time.
https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Sweetest-Obsession-Castle-Sun-ebook/dp/B07BBFRHJT

But it all begins in "Love's Sweetest Revenge," Book 1 in the "Castle in the Sun" series, E-book ONLY 99 cents..  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785FWH5P

Thursday, March 15, 2018

"FLY AWAY" TO FLORIDA'S SUN-KISSED SHORES

"Fly away" for a dream Florida vacation for JUST 99 cents, in the pages of  Love's Sweetest Revenge, Book 1 in the "Castle in the Sun" romance-suspense series. Book by award-winning journalist and novelist,  Flora Reigada.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785FWH5P

"Fly away" to Florida for kisses and "war"
on sun-drenched shores. Take the journey, in Love's Sweetest Obsession 
Book 2, in the "Castle in the Sun" romance-suspense  series.
E-book FREE for a limited time.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-s-sweetest-obsession



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

ROMANTIC THRILLERS

In Book 1, "Love's Sweetest Revenge:" How could a dangerous bear encounter possibly lead to a locket filled with secrets, a castle in paradise--and romance? 
E-book ONLY 99 cents:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785FWH5P 
Paperback also available. http://mwbooks.me/RevengePaper

Book 2: "Love's Sweetest Obsession:" Just as an approaching hurricane rattling palm trees
and pushing waves, signals danger, Steve's escalating behavior forecasts trouble.  
E-book FREE for a limited time.https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Sweetest-Obsession-Castle-Sun-ebook/dp/B07BBFRHJT/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BX81B8G3M445M0DFEW96


Monday, February 12, 2018

STEVEN IS OUT TO GET EVEN

NEW RELEASE: LOVE'S SWEETEST OBSESSION: BOOK II IN THE CASTLE IN THE SUN, ROMANCE/MYSTERY SERIES.

When Liz Bertelli thought her life was over, she discovered a locket that sent her on a new journey. That mystery led her away from her ex-husband Steve, to St. Augustine Florida and Carlos Martin, in the first Castle in the Sun novel. Rosa, Liz's best friend, and Jack, Carlos' brother, join the couple for a festive holiday feast, spiced just right, shortly after the events of Love's Sweetest Revenge.

An unexpected and disturbing phone call interrupts the Christmas meal. Steve is back and determined to ruin Liz's future plans. Hoping to avoid trouble, Liz and Carlos return to Florida. There, they set their sights on restoring a Victorian home into a classy bed and breakfast.

But, as an approaching hurricane rustling palms and stirring up waves, signals impending danger, Steve's escalating behavior forecasts trouble for everyone.

Will Steve ruin Liz's chance at happiness? Or will Jack and his motorcycle buddies be able to tame the hurricane? And what is with that acorn?  
In Book 1, Liz hopes to forget her troubles in New York State's pine-scented
forest. Instead she encounters a bear. How could this dangerous situation
possibly lead to a castle in paradise--and romance?
E-book ONLY 99 cents. 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785FWH5P
Paperback also available. http://mwbooks.me/revenge
Book 2: Just as an approaching hurricane rattling palm trees
and pushing waves, signals danger, Steve's escalating
behavior forecasts trouble.
E-book FREE for a limited time.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-s-sweetest-obsession

Sunday, January 28, 2018

MEET A HERO


Friday, January 26, 2018


Guest Post - Flora Reigada

MillerWords author Flora Reigada continues our Friday series on unique writing habits.

Flora is the author of the "How-To" devotional Where Your Heart Meets God's and the Christian-inspired romantic thriller Love's Sweetest Revenge. This thriller is the first book in her Castle in the Sun series. Book 2, Love's Sweetest Obsession was recently released.


In Flora's guest post, Meet a Hero, she reveals her unusual writing habit is that her characters come to life for her and that leads to interesting situations. Check out this one:

Sometimes I talk about the characters in my books as if they were real. I never knew how real, until the day my husband, Dan and I went to the local (VFW) Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

As a reporter/photographer team for Senior Life newspaper in Brevard County, Florida, we were gathering information for a story about Memorial Day events. I couldn't resist telling the VFW members about Jack Martin, a fellow veteran. Jack exists, for me, in the pages of my book. He is one of the four central characters I brought to life.



Others include Liz, an accomplished artist and Carlos, Jack's brother, an international linguist and Presidential aide. There is also Rosa. Don't let her pretty face and small size fool you. She's an expert markswoman. She is also Jack's love interest, as Liz is Carlos'.

The guys at the VFW listened as I rambled on about Jack. Enlisting in the United States Army after high school, he served fifteen years and had risen to the rank of Master Sergeant. Now a civilian in his mid-thirties, he had served several tours of duty in Middle East hot spots. That's where the vehicle he was driving with fellow service members struck an IED. (Improvised Explosive Device) As the senior enlisted man and trained in first aid, Jack tended to the others' wounds. Securing a tourniquet around what was left of a young soldier's leg, he saved his life. In the aftermath of a suicide bombing, Jack had also comforted a 20 year-old soldier who bled out in his arms. But Jack had been in kill or be killed situations and he had prevailed.

Rosa is just tough enough for Jack, but tender enough too. She holds him when he awakens from nightmares about his troops being ambushed and blood on his hands.

In addition to being a tall, handsome much-decorated veteran, Jack is a motorcycle enthusiast, a hardworking bartender and the fiercely protective father of a teenage daughter. He can fix or build just about anything.

"We want to meet him," the VFW members told me. "Tell him to come here. We'll help him with his (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We understand."

My eyes widened in surprise. Without intending to do so, I had convinced them Jack was real.

But in a sense, he is. More than in my story, we can see him in the faces of 540,000-plus veterans whom Wounded Warrior Homes states have been diagnosed with PTSD.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be described as a mental health condition that's triggered by a trauma, whether experiencing or seeing it. The symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, depression and confusion," the organization states on their website.

The soldiers at the VFW wanted to meet Jack and I hope you will too—and the other characters as well, in the pages of Love's Sweetest Revenge and Love's Sweetest Obsession.

Wounded Warrior Homes: http://www.woundedwarriorhomes.org/
Veterans & PTSD Crisis Hotline: 866-382-2287

Love's Sweetest Revenge is available in all major eBook formats and paperback from MillerWords.
E-book ONLY 99 cents - MWbooks.me/revenge

Paperback here (ISBN: 978-0998298689) - MWbooks.me/RevengePaper

Book 2 in series, "Love's Sweetest Obsession,"

FREE for a limited time.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-s-sweetest-obsession





Stay tuned for our next guest post!
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