Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Twelth of December

It's the twelth of December. 

Ring the bells. 

Blow the trumpets. Proclaim... What?

There are only 12 shopping days til Christmas. Is someone having another sale? Are you getting ready to have a blowout?

I woke up thinking of the Twelth of December and what, if any, significance today holds. At first I drew a big blank. After further consideration what came to mind was an old Donny Osmond song.

The Twelth of Never.

I know, I know. What does the Twelth of Never have to do with the Twelth of December? Nothing that I know. Maybe that's the day people say they can Never going Shopping again or they might go insane.

Surely something awesome had to have happened on the Twelth of December. The Twelth had to have more many than just a weirdly spelled day. So I went on a history hunt.

Did you know that on this day in History?

In 1474 -  Queen Isabella crowned herself Queen. Who knew it was so easy? Where's my crown?

In 1800 - Washington DC is established as US Capital. Prior to that where did congress meet? I'll give you a clue, they met in several different places. Philadelphia among them. Can you name others?

In 1878 - Joseph Pulitzer starts circulation of The St. Louis Dispatch.

In 1915 - The first all metal plane was test flown in Germany. They called it Junker J-1. Some name for a plane. Makes one want to climb right in a take a ride. I'll have to go see just how well that test flight went.

In 1946 - Tide detergent made its debut touting Oceans of Suds. Dreft laundry detergent came out in 1933, but Tide soap worked better in heavy duty washing machines. They said it gave you clean clothes and sparkling dishes.

We have so many choices for detergent and dish soap, it's hard to imagine clothes soap and dish soap all in one.

In 1962 - US goes nuclear with first test in Nevada. They do another one in 1968 on the same day. And Russia does one in 1970. (Perhaps there is more significance to the Twelth of Never than I first thought.)

In 1965 - Beatles hold their last concert in Great Britain. I was heart broken. Okay, maybe not. But what does a toddler know? Of course they go on their second tour in the US and Beatlemania goes into full force. 55,000 fans fill Shea Stadium and it grossed $304,000. The biggest in show business history to that time.  That little concert also proved that outdoor concerts were profitable.

In contrast... The top concerts since, have taken in more than 300 million. Some 700 million plus.

In 1982 - 9 million plus is stolen from a transport in New York City.

In 1997 - Japanese train hits a record for speed going 332 mph.

In 2000 - the Supreme Court gave its ruling on Gore versus Bush. Were those chads really hanging?

So a few other things happened on this day in history and there are other points to remember, but what does it all have to do with Christmas?

We are halfway there. In Twelve more days it will be Christmas Eve.

The night we curl up by the fire and remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. There are candlelight services to attend. We read the story of Christ's birth, sing Christmas Carols and just sit quietly watching the lights blink on the tree and the candles glow around us, and for a moment find a bit of peace in what can be a crazy season.

Naysayers may want to turn this day into the Twelth of Never by removing it from the Calendar bit by bit. By trying to say Christ has nothing to do with Christmas. But they can only stop words, not the heart or history.

If you're feeling somewhat tied up in knots this holiday season, it is my wish that you will take a moment and just sit down and kick off your shoes. Rest a moment and remember Christ is Christmas.

Merry Christmas  

Monday, December 02, 2013

Now Available

Christmas in Shades of Gray

It's Christmastime. David Pareman lies in his hospital bed, dying. The staff visits him, as does a drug induced cowboy and yellow-eyed monster -- so he believes. But not his children. He fears he'll die alone without a chance to share his heart. 

When Arion, a stranger with vast knowledge of David's life and a shroud of mystery over his own, comes to visit, David thinks he's from the newspaper. He learns otherwise. Soon David is tripping through his past in search of the answer to a soul-searing question. "What in your life merits God answering your prayer?" 

Through his past and those of his children he hopes to reach, David finds little to balance the scales against him. He believes he's no good, with nothing of merit that would make God want to help in him. Then he remembers the truth of Christmas and the love the Father sent to earth.

The walls are breathing. Breathing... In. Out. Slowly... In. Out. It's rather astounding.
It sounds foolish even to me to say that, but out of the dim glow cast from the light above my hospital bed, I can see the walls expand and contract. Over the whirr of machines, I'm certain I can hear the hiss of an inhale, and the heavy sigh of a released breath that is not my own.
The spot around the little angel that was put in my room to dress up the dingy dappled wall with some Christmas cheer, is the only place that remains unaffected by the strange aberration. That small section where the likeness of a heavenly messenger hangs, sporting her halo tiara and holding her trumpet, does not move. It remains calm and still while the rest of the walls labor to fill plaster lungs.
The pale light on that edge of the room must be playing tricks on my mind, 'cause only an idiot would think that walls could breathe. Only a fool would believe that lumber and drywall would push and contract for breath like the lungs of life. I shut my eyes and rub them. With a deep draw of oxygen from the tube below my nose, I will the aberration away.
With a quick peek, I see the walls aren't moving. Relieved, I open my eyes. The hallucination -- the reaction to my meds -- is over, or so I think until I see a black spot growing on the dingy white walls. I'm certain it's just a shadow, cast from what... I don't know. A shadow, nonetheless. So why is it growing and why is the blackness oozing from the wall in several places?
Meds again. That's it. Meds. Meds to take care of the cancer. Meds for pain. Meds for indigestion from the meds they give me for the cancer and pain. Meds to build up my blood. Meds to keep it from clogging. Meds so it's not too thin. Meds to make me sleep. Meds. All those drugs the doctors have been cocktailing in my blood are like turpentine to my brain, screwing with my mind, altering my thoughts. Redefining my reality.
As the darkness moves slowly down the white walls like rivulets of tar, even the angel seems to lift and sway slightly. I half expect her to drop her trumpet and raise her skirts so they don't touch the shadow coloring the wall. More disturbing is the way the darkness has begun to push across the room like seeping lava, heading toward my bed. The rivulets are now beginning to form fingers, fingers that splay over the floor like long talons extended and sharpened like knives, reaching for me.
I press the vein where my heart seems to thump in my head. Put a hand to the thrum in my neck. Though I am weak, my blood courses. I want to jump out of my bed and run for safety. I'm frozen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Meet my Veteran and husband Danny. He served on the USS Kittyhawk CV-63 as ships company and the USS Carl Vinson CVN-70 where he was attached to Air Anti-Submarine Squadron VS-29. 

You can read a story about what happened between him and our eldest son, Milton, after Danny returned from one of his cruises @

While being a navy wife wasn't easy ( wives didn't come with the seabag.) I am very proud of the service my husband gave. His father and my father both served their country as did our eldest son.

Thank a Veteran today. And remember the cost that so many have paid. 

Freedom isn't free.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Black Rain Now Available

Only 99 cents @


Joseph dreams of a life beyond the cold, black world of coal he and his family live in. Blackness has seeped into his skin. He fights to keep it from seeping into his soul. He is fortunate to have work, and blessed to be at home with his wife Antoinette, even if home is a gray patch town in the Kentucky hills. But the war between the states threatens to strip that away too. He presses on providing for his family, but tragedy strikes, leaving Joseph to wonder if there is life beyond the Black Rain and whether he has the faith to dream again.

..The story of their family intrigued me from the beginning. I felt every emotion and by the end of it, I was crying, in a good way. I have never read a fictional book that has affected every emotion in me before. I did not want the story to end and I look forward to reading more about Joseph and Antoinette!!


The Coal Fields of Kentucky
September 1863
"Don't you be dying on me, Nette. I don't want to be living with out ya," Joseph Abernathy McCormick whispered as he bathed his wife's face and neck with a cool cloth and laid the rag back in the bowl of water. He smoothed her sticky hair from her face and gulped when he felt the heat beneath his fingers. She was warm. So warm. "Oh, God. Please don't--"
He couldn't finish the words. Didn't want to think them. They clung to his thoughts. His wife was sick as was his son, and some in the patch had already died from the illness.
He sucked a breath and sat back, trying to keep his eyes on his wife, but long hours in the mines and long hours sitting up with Nette took their toll. His lids grew heavy.
He could close them for just a moment. Just a moment.
"Joseph. Mr. McCormick."
The touch of a whisper buzzed in his head. He opened his eyes and, after a few blinks, a woman came into view.
"Muriel? Something wrong? Is Nette--" He licked his lips and started out of his chair.
"No, your wife is fine." The woman put her hand to his shoulder to stop him. "I just come to sit with her and the boy so you can go get some rest."
Joseph looked at his wife lying there. She looked so serene he didn't want to go. But Muriel was right. He needed his rest. He couldn't burn the candle at both ends and expect not to get burned.
He felt little better than a man crawling out from under a rock when the whistle sounded the next morning rousing the shift for work. A touch of sleep didn't go as far as they claimed. He just hoped it would get him through the day. He dressed and went to see about his wife.
"You'll be pleased to know their fevers broke finally," Muriel informed him before he slipped into see his room.
"Thank you," he told her with a nod.
"Don't be thankin' me." Muriel smiled. "I believe the Good Lord heard our prayers."
Joseph returned her smile and gave another nod before he stepped in with his wife.
He slipped to the chair near the bed, studying Antoinette, and his sixteen-month-old son and namesake, Joseph -- Joey. Antoinette held their little boy close and let him suckle as she lay back and closed her eyes. Joseph should leave and let her rest. After a couple of nights with a sick boy and her ailing herself, she deserved it, but he couldn't move. He couldn't tear his gaze from his wife and son.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

About the book:
How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest. Release date is September 30, 2013 from the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an ACFW approved publisher.

Link to buy the book:


Twenty years earlier
The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched.
The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark.
“Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing the fear away.
Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him.
“And she’ll read to us and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear then rolled over.
Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room.
Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
“Please. That hurts.”
“Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn’t open. Just like they did when she and mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes. 
“Stop it—”
             Rubbing at her eyes the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money. 

Carole Brown’s debut novel is entitled The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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