Salve for Souls

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The day I looked death in the face began like many others.

As a photographer/reporter team for a newspaper in Central Florida, my husband Dan and I were on assignment to cover activities at a local horse ranch.

But as we drove there I felt unsettled, like the gusty wind rustling the trees.

Perhaps this hesitancy was God's "still small voice" (see 1 Kings 19:12) warning me to be careful.

At the ranch, its owner Lynn came to greet us. A children's riding class happened to be there on horseback. Lynn was about to lead the group down a sandy path to a meadow with a pond.

"Want to join us?" she asked Dan and me.

Dan nodded. “That sounds like a great setting for pictures.”

Angela Neal, volunteer at Hidden Rescue for Thoroughbreds
(HART) in Cocoa, Florida, (not location of incident)
gives horses such as  Lucy, tender loving care.
Holding a horse's reins, Lynn led the procession, while Dan and I brought up the rear on foot. I stepped carefully among piles of manure.

Dan pointed out an electric fence. "I touched one of those by accident years ago. It gave me quite a jolt."

When I turned to look, the wind blew sand into my eyes. As they burned and watered, I considered returning to our car and letting Dan tackle this job alone.

I dismissed the thought after seeing the fun others were having. The children were chatting and laughing. Dan began taking pictures as we emerged into the meadow.

While Dan moved closer for better picture angles, I stayed in the background taking notes. Relaxing a bit, I was able to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. Beneath an azure sky, horses circled the pond and waded in with their riders astride.

Rachael Whiteley, volunteer at Hidden Acres Rescue
For Thoroughbreds (HART) in Cocoa Florida
(not location of incident) gives horses such as
Comrade, tender loving care.
But when I noticed unfenced horses grazing about 50 feet away, my unsettledness tried to creep back in. I forced it to the back of my mind. The horses were content, grazing peacefully. For a fleeting moment, I felt peaceful too.
Then suddenly, a spotted horse with a girl on its back, galloped toward the pond, kicking up its hind legs. The girl slid off, splashing into the pond, thankfully unhurt. The horse continued to gallop and buck.

Lynn attempted to grab its reins, but the horse galloped past her, around the circumference of the pond—aimed straight at me!

Time seemed to move in slow motion.

Where can I run? How will I get away?

I glanced behind me. The electric fence was right there and all around was open field, with nowhere to hide.

My heart pounded. I could almost feel the horse's hooves kicking me to death right there in the muck and manure. God help me, I prayed.

Immediately, one of the loose horses stopped grazing. Although facing away from the panicked animal, it turned as if on cue. It then galloped into the path of the spotted horse, blocking its way. Calmed, the spotted horse trotted off in another direction. Things returned to normal as the intervening horse went back to grazing.

Lynn later told Dan and me that the horse had "spooked" because it was new to the ranch and something had blown past its face.

As we drove home, Dan expressed amazement.

"That horse in the field seemed to know exactly what it had to do."

Shaken but thankful, I agreed, certain the horse had received its instruction from the Master, who heard my cries.

Flora invites you to check out her "Castle in the Sun" romance/suspense series, published by Helping Hands Press.
In Book One, "Love's Sweetest Revenge," after Liz's husband takes off with a plaything in her twenties, Liz hopes to forget her troubles in the beauty of the forest. But unseen eyes are watching and an encounter with destiny, waiting.
In Book Two, "Love and Obsession," fly away to romantic, St. Augustine Florida, where Liz and Carlos plan to marry beneath the city's legendary "Love Tree." But Liz's ex-husband Steve, is hell-bent on stopping the wedding and he's ready to duke it out with Carlos. Who will prevail?
Think that dream you had might mean something? Flora's devotional book "Where Your Heart Meets God's," published by Helping Hands Press, explores the many ways God whispers our name.
Book also available in "sample" kindle edition.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


God has life changing messages for you, but how would you know?

And what would He say?
You might be surprised to find God's words of love,
shining like jewels in everyday life.

But also where we need to search and dig.

"Where Your Heart Meets God's," a devotional book from MillerWords, can help you discover this priceless treasure of the heart. E-book just $1.99
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21, KJV).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Her husband had left with a twenty-something playing and Liz hopes to forget her troubles in the beauty of the forest.
But bigger problems are watching and waiting.

How could this dangerous situation possibly lead to
a hidden locket,
a mysterious love letter, romance
and a castle in paradise?

It all unfolds in "Love's Sweetest Revenge,"
coming soon from MillerWords.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


If God had something to say to you, how would you know and what would He say? You might be surprised to find God's words of love hidden like jewels in everyday life, but also where we need to search and dig. Where Your Heart Meets God's can help you discover a priceless treasure of the heart with your name. Open the pages and your heart for an everlasting journey of hearing and experiencing God. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21, NIV).
Ebook just $1.99. Find out more:

From Heaven with love. What or Who do you see in the clouds?

Thursday, November 10, 2016



During the final, critical moments of a football game, I leaped to my feet with the cheering crowd when the quarterback hit a home run.
Not really—but that scenario illustrates something unbelievable about my writing career. For several years, I covered sports for a newspaper, even though I know absolutely nothing about sports.

I got by quoting those involved in and passionate about whatever sport I was featuring.
People were amazed by my "vast knowledge." Now the truth can be told.

It can also be told about mistakes I have made as a writer. I keep a log to remind myself how easy it is to trip up—sometimes in subtle ways. Errors were often caught by my husband and editor, Dan, whom I call Ol' Eagle Eye. He will spot a mistake and pounce on it.

Here are some examples:
In a query to a publisher, I wrote, "A 100 word blub follows, rather than a blurb.

In a devotional, I wrote about a lethargical dancer, rather than a liturgical dancer.

I addressed an envelope containing my manuscript to Strange Publications, instead of Strang Publications.
For a newspaper story about how a New Jersey transplant initially thought Florida was a new state with little history, I wrote, "A move to Titusville and the historic, LaGrange Cemetery would challenge that perception."
Dan asked me if she had moved to the cemetery.

I re-wrote the sentence as follows: "A move to Titusville and a visit to the historic, LaGrange Cemetery would challenge that perception."

In "Lovers and Secrets," book three of my "Castle in the Sun" romance series, I wrote, "Carlos returned to his room, immaculately cleaned by hotel workers."

Dan asked me if he had been scrubbed down with a big brush.

I re-wrote the sentence as follows: Carlos returned to his hotel room, finding it immaculately cleaned by hotel workers.
Somehow, at the conclusion of a Bible verse in a very serious devotion, an extraneous word became inserted. "But knowing these things and knowing His fate, Jesus still told his disciples, 'I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you.'" Pocahontas
Dan asked me if Pocahontas attended the last supper.

This is but a sampling of my mistakes, many of which got past my spelling/grammar checker. Sharp human eyes always work best.

FLORA'S BOOKS, published by Helping Hands Press:
Think that dream you had might mean something? "Where Your Heart Meets God's" explores the many ways He whispers our name.
Sample kindle edition only 99 cents.

How could a dangerous bear encounter possibly lead to a vacation in paradise--and romance?
Find out in "Love's Sweetest Revenge," first in the "Castle in the Sun" series."
Will Steve get past Jack and his motorcycle buddies to stop Liz and Carlos' wedding? Find out in "Love and Obsession," second in the "Castle in the Sun" series.

In "The Face Behind the Veil," travel in time to old New York and meet WWII's "Greatest Generation."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Love grows amid the flowers in the magnificent Rockies, but sometimes romance can be deceptive.

Wren Tabor hopes the cool Colorado air at Lavender Fields Inn will heal her aching heart after her former boyfriend betrays her. When she literally bumps into handsome accountant Graham Maier, the painful memories from the past begin to fade. But after she sees Graham kissing another woman, she figures no man can be trusted.
Graham Maier needs to prove to his father he's as capable as his brother Greg. The Rocky Mountain Anglers' Tournament at Gold Pan Lake will give him the chance. But he must win first place. After he meets Wren, a woman like the unnamed girl who's occupied his dreams, he can't understand why she suddenly won't speak to him.
Can Wren learn to trust men again? Can Graham understand how valuable he is in God's sight?

Author, June Foster

Find out more about "Lavender Fields Inn," by gifted author, June Foster:


Tuesday, November 1, 2016


What do YOU THINK of the beginning of Flora Reigada's novel, "Love and Obsession?"

Below you will find a reading sample of Flora Reigada's novel "Love and Obsession," second in the "Castle in the Sun," series. If you are nice enough to read it, please leave a comment and tell Flora what you think.
The Amazon link to the first novel in the series "Love's Sweetest Revenge," available in ebook and paperback, is:

Escaping its clutches, Liz discovered an old 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 though it was only six-o'clock, winter's curtain of night had drawn over the glittering hills.
Rosa and Jack were in the kitchen with Rosa's daughter, Laura, preparing a Latin-American holiday feast of pernil (roasted pork) with yellow rice and beans. Their distant voices and clatter of pots and pans carried the tantalizing aromas 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'd 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 awhile, Jack emerged to playfully 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 landscape painting she'd shown him earlier that day.
Illustrating their journey to one another, it depicted the old stone wall where Carlos had 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 had taken 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 stopped to point at her mother's swollen stomach. "Baby brother in there!"
But 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 trepidation. It hung over her like a cloud when Rosa called everyone into the dining room for the meal, which began with salad, followed by the main course and warm 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 in overnight. My father used garlic, oregano, cilantro, salt, pepper and lemon."
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 cafĂ© con leche. (Coffee with milk—a popular Spanish drink with equal amounts of hot milk and strong coffee.)
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."