Salve for Souls

Monday, October 23, 2017

FREE SAMPLE - FIRST CHAPTER, LOVE'S SWEETEST REVENGE


 
Elizabeth Bertelli loved springtime in New York State, where she lived among pine-scented hills climbing toward the Adirondack Mountains, as if to the heavens. Wearing a jacket over relaxed jeans and a T-shirt, she stepped off the back porch to head out for her morning walk. Having left her phone and all communication behind, she felt unencumbered by life’s demands. She inhaled the country air, that even in April, caressed her face with remnants of winter’s chill.
Usually, Liz (as everyone called her) walked along the rural road with her friend, Rosa. But this day, the singing birds and golden daffodils drew her toward the meadow and woods beyond her home. She thought of painting the scene. Although her art had sold and won awards, it had been far too long since she had picked up a paintbrush.
Pulling her jacket tighter, Liz wished she could leave her sorrows behind. Steve was gone and there was nothing she could do about it. Even the rugged beauty of the area, where he enjoyed hiking and fishing, could not keep him; nor could the rambling old farmhouse Steve's wealthy parents had given them as a wedding gift.
He and Liz were only in their teens when she became pregnant with their twin sons. She gave birth to the boys at 15 and despite her youth, motherhood came as naturally as breathing. But marriage to Steve always felt like a bad fit, as if she were struggling to walk with tight shoes on the wrong feet.
Still in her thirties, Liz felt unattractive and alone.
She couldn't go home to her parents, since they had recently passed away. Liz recalled their anger when they discovered her pregnancy. They pressured her to have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption, rather than marry Steve.

We don't like him. He's selfish and immature and we don't want to be saddled with his responsibilities.

Liz dismissed their warnings. She was the accident her parents had in their late forties, when they never wanted children. She always felt like an intruder.

Steve and I love each other, she yelled. I'm not going to kill our baby and I won't give it to strangers. If you try to make me, I'll run away and you'll never know your grandchild.
Seeing Liz's determination, her parents relented and grudgingly accepted her pregnancy, but they never liked or accepted Steve.

In those early days, he would run his fingers through Liz's flowing chocolate curls, compliment her golden-brown eyes, accentuated by a hint of makeup and call her his curvaceous cutie. But the chocolate curls had since been shorn and the warmth had faded from eyes that now reflected only sadness. Liz still had her curves; however, they had become a bit more rounded.
Toward the end of their marriage, Steve would not let her forget that. His icy blue eyes would view her with contempt, while his words stabbed at her heart. I wasted my youth on you. You've let yourself go. Look at you! I don't even want you anymore.

Liz's anger simmered. What right does he have to criticize my appearance? Steve's no Adonis.
Though athletic and muscular when they married, he had packed on the pounds over the years.

I should have suspected something when he began exercising again and losing weight.
Even though Steve was generous with money after the divorce, Liz didn’t see how she could ever forgive him for his cheating. Her mind raged at the memory. How could I even think about him after he left me for that slut?
He and twenty-three-year-old Gloria Hamilton had met at a business convention in the Daytona Beach, Florida, hotel where she oversees social events. Steve had moved to Florida and they were now living together in an oceanfront condominium.

It gave Liz some satisfaction to shed her married name of Cavanaugh for her maiden name, recalling her Italian heritage. Even though her twin sons would always be Cavanaughs, to Liz, the namechange was severing her connection to Steve for the way he had severed their marriage vows. The boys also were gone, only they to pursue education, careers and individual lives.

Liz's heart always swelled with pride when she thought of her tall, lean sons. She could see Steve in their faces, but there was not a hint of his deceitful ways.
A recent law school graduate, Steve Jr. (Stevie) had graduated summa cum laude—the youngest in his class. After the prodigy breezed through his bar exam, he was quickly picked up by a law firm. Tony (named after Liz's father, Antonio) followed in his father's footsteps as a chef. He and his wife, Stephanie (Steph) managed a restaurant and had given Liz her only grandchild, Ashley. Each of Liz's sons held an equal place in her heart.
However, the boys lived hundreds of miles away in the Washington D.C. area. That seemed so far, especially after Steve left. To Liz, that is how God seemed too, but also occupied with things far more important than herself, much like her late father, usually out of reach at the office or in front of the television..

When their sons were growing up, Liz and Steve brought them to church whenever they could, especially on Christmas and Easter. When her boys asked if she believed in God, Liz said "yes," but her mind was filled with doubt.

These days it was just Liz and King, the young Rottweiler she had gotten for protection at the house, now too lonely and creaky. Thinking of her affectionate pet, she had to smile. Despite his menacing appearance and bark, Liz had often said if a burglar broke into the house, King would probably lick rather than bite. Liz guessed he was less aggressive because she had him neutered.
She looked toward the house, wondering if she should go back for him. But he was sleeping after recent surgery to correct elbow dysplasia, thankfully discovered early in his life. Deciding to let him rest, she continued on her way, occasionally pausing to admire the emerging grass and wildflowers, such as the dandelion-like coltsfoot and clusters of bluets.

As the house grew distant and the shadows of the woods began to creep over her, it struck Liz that in the twenty years she’d lived there, she had never ventured into the forest alone. An uneasy feeling invaded her thoughts—unseen eyes seemed to be watching.
Trying to put aside her fears, she continued toward the forest, where tall trees swayed against an azure sky. Birds fluttered among the branches, filling the air with their song.
At the edge of the woods, a cold breeze swept in. Liz hesitated, thinking she heard rustling in the brush. In spite of her misgivings, she pressed on.
I can do this. I don't need any man to protect me, she thought, stepping onto the path Steve had kept clear.


Despite him being gone over a year, the path was still free of overgrowth. It followed one of the many old and often crumbling stone walls, winding through the woods of upstate New York. Most, like the wall on Liz's property, stood about waist high.
The walls used to mark properties, she recalled Steve telling her in happier times. The stones that have withstood centuries of harsh winters and neglect, show the handiwork of old-time farmers.
Liz's anger with Steve was never far away.
He's probably cooking for his bimbo like he did for the boys and me, she fumed, wishing she could bash him over the head—or somewhere else—with one of those stones. This would also be for the wandering eye he had throughout their marriage, as well as his affinity for material Liz considered pornographic. She had confronted him about it, but he dismissed her concerns.
Photography and videos are just art forms. As an artist, you of all people should know that.

I hope your pornography's enough for you, because that's all you're gonna get, Liz snarled, stomping out of the room.Things were never the same for her after that. Good riddance to him!

Liz forced her thoughts back to the sights and sounds of the forest. She realized something had changed. The forest was quiet … too quiet. The wind had stilled. Birds were no longer singing. Liz paused, her eyes darting one way then another. As a cloud moved over the sun, a sense of danger crept over the landscape.
Suddenly, a loud snap shattered the stillness and a flock of birds launched into the sky, their chirping and flapping wings fading away. Fear tingled up and down Liz's spine as her eyes drifted to a clearing, where a black bear was sniffing the air. Liz thought she saw two cubs in the nearby brush. Her heart pounded in her chest.
Steve's warnings screamed across her mind. Bears have a keen sense of smell. If you see one, don't try to run away. Back away slowly. Yell at the bear. Firmly tell it to leave. Get out of here! Especially beware of a mother bear with cubs.
Then, in one horrible moment, the bear spotted Liz and charged in her direction. In a blind panic Liz also ran, forgetting everything Steve had told her. Though the episode lasted scarcely a minute, time seemed to move in slow motion.
Zigzagging between the trees, she hoped to lose or confuse the bear. However, she could hear it closing in, snapping branches, crunching on the forest floor.
Without thinking, Liz glanced briefly over her shoulder, taking her eyes from the path. In that instant, she tripped on an exposed root and fell, striking her head against the stone wall.
Immediately, the bear was over her. Liz could hear it sniffing and feel its breath, which despite her racing heart and an engulfing dizziness, overwhelmed her with the stench of rotting garbage.
While drifting into unconsciousness she remembered the Lord's Prayer from childhood. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name." (Matthew 6:9, NIV).


It seemed like only a minute or two later, Liz opened her eyes to see the stone wall beside her.
Her head throbbing, she realized she must have been facedown in the dirt, because she could taste the grit in her mouth. At first she lay still, fearing the bear was nearby.

Maybe it's best to play dead.
After a while, she gathered the courage to look around, relieved the bear was nowhere in sight. As the world came into focus, Liz saw the sun was bright in the sky, as if it were approaching the middle of the day.

I wonder how long I've been here.
Clutching her head, she felt blood in her hair. Then, balancing herself against the wall, she struggled to her feet, spitting out the dirt. As she stood, intermittently taking deep breaths and spewing more dirt, she caught a glimpse of a shiny object wedged between two stones in the wall.
Despite her heart pounding in her temples, she reached for the object and discovering it stuck, pulled it free. A tarnished silver locket and chain was soon in her hand. But consumed with pain and terrified the bear might still be near, she shoved the find into her pocket and stumbled home.

What will happen to Liz and what life-changing secrets are waiting inside the locket? Find out more:

Ebook ONLY $2.99
https://www.amazon.com/Loves-Sweetest-Revenge-Castle-Sun-ebook/dp/B075R5HHTS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

SHE CALLED ME AN ELEPHANT!

I see an elephant!
That's what a woman in my church said when she looked at me!
Would you be insulted if someone said that to you?
I was not, because this was done within the context of symbolism, when I was receiving ministry during an "encouragement time."
The woman explained and perhaps what she said to me, will "speak" to you.
"It's been said that an elephant never forgets, but that is really true of God. He will never forget the promises He has made, or how committed He is to keeping them. That is because He can never forget you. His thoughts of you "outnumber the grains of sand."
Hearing that, reminded me anew of God's faithfulness. We (you) are always in His thoughts.
That is just one small example of affirming words contained within Flora Reigada's devotional book, "Where Your Heart Meets God's."
Like brightly wrapped gifts beneath a Christmas tree, might some of these be waiting for you, or even a friend who needs encouragement?
Ebook ONLY $1.99 https://www.amazon.com/Where-Your-Heart-Meets-Gods-ebook/dp/B072X9M98M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr



Friday, September 22, 2017

A BEAR, A BAUBLE AND A BEACH


AVAILABLE NOW - "Love's Sweetest Revenge"
Book 1 of the "Castle in the Sun" series by Flora Reigada tells the story of Liz's escape from an abusive marriage to an adventure in St. Augustine, Florida where she gains a new understanding of God and love.
Sometimes, the best revenge is starting over.
Get it on your favorite eReader today!
ONLY $2.99
Amazon Kindle - https://goo.gl/rYGDw1
NOOK - https://goo.gl/8e7AV5
iTunes - https://goo.gl/RGjVdP
Kobo - https://goo.gl/XufEHS
Google Books - https://goo.gl/epVSHm
As if things couldn’t get any worse, Liz was about to be dinner for a hungry bear. She thought she needed that lonely walk in the woods, if for nothing else, to clear her head of her ex’s betrayal. Liz vowed never to trust another man after…
amazon.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SO THIS IS HOW I'M GOING TO DIE

That's what I thought, paralyzed with fear on the stairs of a run-down New York City walk-up, where I was on my way to visit a relative.
A menacing-looking man had suddenly emerged from the darkness beneath the staircase. He appeared poised to attack. I was ready to scream when . . .
Find out what happened in "The Jewel of the Father's Open Arms," one of 51 devotions in "Where Your Heart Meets God's," a devotional book published by MillerWords.
https://www.amazon.com/Where-Your-Heart-Meets-Gods-


Saturday, August 12, 2017

CAN YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION?


Win an eBook of Flora Reigada's “how-to” devotional “Where Your Heart Meets God’s”. Answer this question: “In the Old Testament, when did the nail prevail?”


To enter, send your answer by email to Media@MillerWords.com. You will automatically be entered to win one eBook in the format of your choice (Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc) and you will be subscribed to the MillerWords quarterly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time after the contest ends on August 31, 2017. Five (5) winners will be chosen on or around September 1, 2017. No purchase necessary.

THE BEST REVENGE


Monday, July 31, 2017





Cover Reveal - Love's Sweetest Revenge by Flora Reigada

Flora Reigada is back and this time, she is introducing her series Castle in the Sun. The lives of the characters in this universe are centered around a well known "castillo" in Saint Augustine, FL.
Today's cover reveal is for the first book in series titled Love's Sweetest Revenge.

Before taking off with a plaything in her twenties, Liz's husband ripped her apart with his words. "I wasted my youth on you. You've let yourself go. Look at you! I don't even want you anymore."

Could Liz's best revenge be starting over?



Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE TEST RESULTS ARE IN


I shivered all the way to the doctor's office that frigid January day. Not only was my car's heater broken, I was trembling with fear. A mammogram and other terrifying tests had revealed suspicious lumps.
Now a surgeon would tell me whether I needed a mastectomy.
Prior to this crisis, I had not given my own mortality much thought. But like the chill in my car and the wintry landscape outside my window, it seemed to be wrapping its cold, bony fingers around my throat.
God, I prayed. I'm only in my 30s. I have children at home. Let me have my life.

Find out what happened in "The Jewel of Heavenly Wonders," one of 51 devotions in "Where Your Heart Meets God's" available from MillerWords.
ONLY $1.99 on #Kindle - https://goo.gl/Em8NaE

I felt so alone that cold, frightening day.

Friday, August 4, 2017

TEN-CENT TREASURE


Treasure hunters hack through jungles, climb mountains and dive into oceans to uncover vast fortunes. Priceless works of art and valuable antiques have been discovered at yard sales, thrift stores and in dusty attics. But sometimes, treasure is found where we least expect, even when we are not looking for it.
I never imagined this could happen to me until . . .
Find out more in "Where Your Heart Meets God's," available from MillerWords, ONLY
$1.99.

Monday, July 24, 2017

DOORS OF THE SPIRIT



The Jewel of Revelatory Realms
"I have set before you an open door" (Revelation 3:8, NKJV).

To visit my mother in the gothic-style apartment building where she lives on Staten Island, New York, I enter massive wooden doors with stained-glass panels. These open to a gleaming marbled lobby, reminiscent of a castle hall.

From there, an elevator ascends several floors. When I emerge, my footsteps echo through wide corridors. Doors stretch down the corridors and I wonder what souls and secrets might be beyond.


Doors can represent many things. We know Jesus is the Door to salvation.[i] Doors also represent opportunities or relationships and these may open or close. When the door to my mother's apartment opens, she welcomes me into her home.
But are there doors of the spirit, through which the believer may enter the inner kingdom or revelatory realms?
This is discussed in "Where Your Heart Meets God's," a devotional book that explores the many expressions of God's voice. E-book only $1.99.


[i] See John 10:7

 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE



Flora Reigada delivers some powerful messages like this one in her "how-to" devotional "Where Your Heart Meets God's."


Whatever has happened and however things may appear or feel, God's faithfulness and devotion to you cannot be shaken. He will never walk away. Nothing can separate you from His love. Abandonment cannot do this, nor divorce. Neither can sickness, fears, worries, angels nor demons. Nothing that comes into your life is stronger than the covenant of love, Christ signed in His blood, giving His life so you would give Him yours.
Buy it on #Kindle today ONLY $1.99! - https://goo.gl/Em8NaE

Saturday, July 15, 2017

AN OTHERWORLDLY HELPER

The Jewel of a Giving Heart
(Sample devotion from "Where Your Heart Meets God's)
"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14, NIV).
On that steamy summer day, the car trip was too long, the children too crowded in the back seat and our air-conditioner broken. Even the wind whipping in our open windows felt hot and stale. We were all in a foul mood by the time the car overheated.
Dan turned off the road into a large service area. It consisted of several bays, all empty but one, where a young woman stood beside her car with its hood up. She watched us as we drove through the lot and pulled in beside her. In retrospect, it seems strange that we would come so close. However, we seemed drawn to her.
When Dan got out of the car, he noticed that there was no mechanic or attendant in sight—only the woman who approached to inquire about our situation and needs.
The kindness on her face was unlike any I'd ever seen. It was more than an expression. It was a caring warmth at her very essence. She made me feel safe. Have you ever encountered anyone like that?
Find out what happened in "Where Your Heart Meets God's, available from MillerWords, just $1.99.
Kindle - https://goo.gl/Em8NaE Also, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and Google!



Sunday, July 9, 2017

FOREVER FAITHFUL


Flora Reigada delivers some powerful messages like this one in her "how-to" devotional "Where Your Heart Meets God's"
Whatever has happened and however things may appear or feel, God's faithfulness and devotion to you cannot be shaken. He will never walk away. Nothing can separate you from His love. Abandonment cannot do this, nor divorce. Neither can sickness, fears, worries, angels nor demons. Nothing that comes into your life is stronger than the covenant of love, Christ signed in His blood, giving His life so you would give Him yours.
Buy it on
#Kindle today ONLY $1.99! - https://goo.gl/Em8NaE





Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ONE STEP FROM ETERNITY

Liz didn't realize how close she was to eternity when she took a walk in New York State's lush forest  to forget her troubles. Instead, she encountered a mother bear with cubs. The large animal charged at Liz, who ran in panic.
 
But the bear was quickly on top of her.
A thousand miles away in Florida, the Angel of Death was waiting when Carlos hopped on his motorcycle for a quick ride to the supermarket--and a rendezvous with disaster.
He'd stopped at that red light every day for years. But that day he didn't see the speeding truck barreling his way until it was too late. The next thing Carlos saw was a peaceful meadow and loved ones who had gone before.
How could these deadly encounters possibly lead to life and love, not only between Liz and Carlos, but also between Liz's best friend Rosa and Carlos' Army hero brother, Jack?

 
   It all unfolds in "Love's Sweetest Revenge," first in the "Castle in the Sun" romance/suspense series, available from your
favorite e-reader: ONLY $2.99
Amazon Kindle - https://goo.gl/rYGDw1
NOOK - https://goo.gl/8e7AV5
iTunes - https://goo.gl/RGjVdP
Kobo - https://goo.gl/XufEHS
Google Books - https://goo.gl/epVSHm




Monday, June 12, 2017

Does your life feel incomplete? Find the answer you've been missing.

Cover Reveal - Where Your Heart Meets God's by Flora Reigada

Flora Reigada may be new to the MillerWords family, but she is no stranger to writing. In her how-to devotional, she asks if your life feels incomplete? Well, maybe you can find the answer you've been missing...

Where Your Heart Meets God's Coming soon from MillerWords!
New Revised Edition

About the Book: God has life changing messages for you, but how would you know, and what would He say? You might be surprised to find His words shining like jewels in everyday life, but also where we need to search and dig. Recognizing these messages of life and love can be compared to discovering hidden treasures just for you, then exploring these jewels one at a time, each with numerous facets. Such is the divine treasure with your name, if you will but receive. Where Your Heart Meets God’s can help illuminate these inner riches right where you are, whatever your circumstances or struggles. Open the pages and your heart for an everlasting adventure in hearing and experiencing God. Discover the many ways He is calling your name.

About the Author: Flora Reigada is an award-winning journalist and novelist. She and her husband, Dan, have been a reporter/photographer team for several newspapers, including the Florida Today. At present, they cover Brevard County/Space Coast news for Senior Life newspaper. Interesting places they have explored in pursuit of a story include a “castle,” the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. In Titusville Florida’s historic Vassar B. Carlton Courthouse, they climbed a hidden stairway to a long-abandoned jail. While covering events at a local ranch, Flora narrowly avoided being trampled by a “spooked” horse. She has also been a staff writer for Warner Press, contributing to their Pathways to God devotional and Christian Art Bulletin. In addition, she has written for Guideposts Magazine, Decision Magazine, the Upper Room Daily Devotional and more. She and Dan are proud parents and grandparents.

“Our lives have been filled with adventure,” Flora says.


Where Your Heart Meets God's is coming soon from MillerWords on all major eBook readers!

Follow
MillerWords on Facebook for the official release date.

Monday, February 20, 2017

LOST IN THE BLIZZARD




One snowy day as my sons, Daniel age nine and David six, played at a friend’s house I called their playmate's mother.
"It's time for my boys to come home for supper," I said.
None of us realized the snowfall had become a blinding blizzard. Their house was within sight of ours and the walk normally took less than five minutes. But as my sons stepped out into whiteout conditions combined with late afternoon’s dimness, they became disoriented and lost in a swirling mist. Before long, the driven snow blew into David’s eyes, making them sting.

“I can’t see! I can’t see!” he cried in panic.

“Pull your hat down over your eyes and I’ll lead you home,” Daniel shouted above the howling wind.

Taking hold of David, he led him step-by-step.

Waiting for my sons who were late for supper, I again called their friend’s mother. It shocked me to hear Daniel and David had left about a half hour earlier. One glance out the window ignited my fears. I threw on my coat to look for my sons.

They must be lost in the storm. People have frozen to death in blizzards. They’re just little boys. God help us!

I was about to rush outside, when a feeble knock sounded at the door. I flung it open to two snow-encrusted children. My arms wrapped around them.


Safely home, David helps Dad shovel out from the blizzard.
Thanking God, I gave my boys dry clothes and a warm meal.

I never forgot that incident, which I always believed had deeper meaning.

Unable to see, David had to trust his brother. “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” we read in Proverbs 18:24 (NIV). That friend is Jesus. When problems threaten to overwhelm me, I need to trust His lead.

I realized there is another application. After Cain killed his brother Abel, he asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9, NIV).

I believe this applies not only to blood relatives, but all of humanity. When God’s Spirit impresses me to lend a hand, say a word or even reach into my wallet, I am my brother’s keeper.

On that snowy day, Daniel could have run home to save himself, abandoning his panicked brother to the elements. Instead, he reached out, possibly saving David’s life.

That makes me think about the people I pass every day, especially those in my own household.

What personal storms are they struggling through? When God’s “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12, NIV) prompts me to do or say something, do I just keep going?

My nine-year old son answered me by his example.

Tall snowdrifts in our back yard.
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. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BLKMLRC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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?
https://www.amazon.com/Love-Obsession-Castle-Sun-Book-ebook/dp/B01M1O6HC4
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.
https://www.amazon.com/Where-Your-Heart-Meets-Gods/dp/1622085868
Book also available in "sample" kindle edition, just 99 cents.
https://www.amazon.com/Where-Your-Heart-Meets-Gods-ebook/dp/B00X1LCFXK