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New Series Started

While I’m still working on The Awakening Series (Rebel Alliance is only a few chapters away from being completed and still set for release on 11/28 – just in time for Thanksgiving weekend reading!), I’ve also just released the first book in a Fae trilogy, “Leave it to Fate.” Book 2, “Twist of Fate” is in the works, and am aiming for a December release.

Nanowrimo plan for this year is to work on the adult spin-offs of The Awakening Series, starting with Midnight Ink: Gabriel. Gabe is one of my favorite characters and the first two chapters of his story are already written. I’m excited to bring him to you, followed by Laurent. Stay tuned! 🙂

Big News!

What?

The entire Awakening series has been temporarily removed from sale while it is undergoing major revisions with new scenes, additional editing, and a more cohesive storyline to tie the series together.

Why?

Originally, “Mutts Like Me” was meant to be a stand alone story. However, I realized that I had other manuscripts and characters that, with some tweaking, could fit into that world. Unfortunately, it was all a bit rushed to the finish, which resulted in less than stellar editing, and the transitions from book 1 through book 3 could have been smoother. (Not to mention I had a different editor on book 3 than on the first 2).

So, I made a decision to step back and revise to get everything ready for the final books, coming – I hope – over the next few months. It has taken a little longer to get there, but I believe it will be worth it.

What if you’ve already read the books?

If you have, there will be announcements made here and via email to my newsletter subscribers when the new books are ready. In fact, “Mutts Like Me” is complete (except for new cover & branding) and “Reluctant Gods” is well underway. Once the first three in the series are completely revised, they will be made available to the public again.

If you purchased your copy through Amazon, you can get updates for free.

To get an automatic update through Amazon:
  1. Go to Amazon.com (or go to your own country’s Amazon domain)
  2. Go to Manage Your Content and Devices.
  3. Go to Preferences tab
  4. Scroll down to “Automatic Book Update”, turn it on.

If you read the books through Kindle Unlimited, feel free to check them out again when they’re ready.  In fact, why not reread the series to get read for Reset Part 2?  🙂

If you didn’t read through Kindle, aren’t yet a newsletter subscriber and want updates, go to: https://keriarmstrong.com/contact/ and subscribe. I swear I won’t overload your inbox.  🙂

Magical Mondays – Much Needed Gifts

affection appreciation decoration design
Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

Since we’re in the traditional days of giving, today’s blog is about the gifts we sometimes give without realizing just how timely they are when we’re in the process of giving them.

For instance, a friend mentioned driving around with a scanner she’d planned on giving to Goodwill, but when she spontaneously asked some friends if they’d like one, she discovered they’d just been discussing how much they’d like to have one right before she showed up.

Another friend spontaneously received the gift of a laptop from which she can print her manuscripts, just when her computer went kaput.

When I was moving from IL to AZ a few years back, I experienced a couple of those moments from the giving side. On one of the days before I was due to leave, I was running out of time to get rid of everything I had, so I drove several miles to drop off a large number of very nice coat hangers to the Salvation Army, only to discover they didn’t want them. As I drove home, I wondered what the I was going to do with them, and hated to throw them away.

I drove past a Wendy’s when I had a sudden urge to pull in – not because I was hungry or thirsty – I just felt like I should. I didn’t even understand it at the time. I asked myself why I had pulled in there and decided to just get a drink from the drive-thru. The woman at the register commented on all the coat hangers I had, so I jokingly asked if she’d like to have them. She said, “Oh, yes, please! I never have enough hangers for my or my kids’ clothes and I can’t afford to buy them.”

A few days after that, I was upset because I couldn’t get a charity to pick up the furniture I had, and I didn’t have time to try to sell it. (The charities wouldn’t pick it up because my apartment had four steps they had to go up and down – they said I’d have to move everything outside.) I was practically in tears wondering how I’d do that with no help, but I managed to drag a desk up the stairs and out to the curb. Since that hurt my back, I worried how I’d manage to clean everything later.

But as I started to turn away from the curb to go back inside, a van stopped and two women got out. One of them asked if I was throwing the desk away, and if so, could the other lady have it. I said sure, and she told me the other woman (who didn’t speak English) had nothing – no furniture at all. I told her I had an apartment full that she could have, if they could just pick it up.

I took them inside and the second woman started crying. She and her two little boys had been eating and sleeping on the floor for several months (they were recent immigrants). She was so happy, she not only helped me finish packing what few things I was taking with me, she also came back after they picked up the furniture and cleaned the whole apartment for me. It turned out to be a blessing for both of us.

These types of gifts that we might give or receive appear to be spontaneous or coincidental, but I wonder. Nevertheless, when it happens, it makes me realize how much I have to be grateful for, and how small acts of kindness pay large rewards. I hope we will all be able to give and receive such blessings this year.

Magical Mondays: Help at the Right Time

photo of two old man helping each other
Photo by Roman Carey on Pexels.com

Oh, my, how the time does fly! Sunday evening I reminded myself to get this post ready for Monday. Monday at work, I said, “Don’t forget to post this afternoon.”  Here we are on Wednesday….

The title of this post is “Help at the Right Time” because multiple times in my life I’ve received help exactly when I needed it, and in what I’d consider a display of synchronicity. Today’s post is about one of those occasions.

This happened as I drove to work on the first day of a new job at a hospital in Chicago:

I was heading down the highway, trying to get to work before 7 am when a little voice inside suddenly said I should get off the road. I ignored that inner voice since I was in a hurry, but it just kept getting louder and more insistent, until I finally I got off at the next exit, and started taking the back roads. Yet again, something inside said, “Don’t turn there, go this way!” and I veered off my usual route. I have no explanation for this other than it was an incredibly strong feeling, and I’ve had enough unusual experiences with that “inner voice” to know I should trust it.

However, the road I ended up taking was a little scary. It was before daylight and in a rough neighborhood. I was already a little nervous, and then my car started acting funny. I had passed the train station about a block or two before and wondered if I should turn around and go back there.

However, there were no streets where I could turn around. The car started dying just as I entered a dark area where I saw a gang coming down the street carrying baseball bats and pipes. I started thinking, “Great, the car’s going to die and so am I.”  At that point, I saw a taxi and begged my car to keep going long enough to follow the cab. It choked, sputtered and finally started again – just long enough to follow the taxi down the street to a gas station, where my car died completely.

I asked the taxi driver if he could take a fare, but he seemed reluctant and was quite grouchy about it. It was getting late, and I was nearly in tears, because if I didn’t make it to New Employee Orientation that day, I’d have to wait two more weeks to start, which meant another month before I got paid, and I just couldn’t afford that.

At that point, another man walked up, helped me push the car out of the way (it was blocking traffic into the station) and asked where I was going. I told him, and he said he ran a shuttle service for people going to doctors’ appointments and he was going right by that hospital. He said he’d take me for free.

That same voice inside said, “Go with him, not the taxi.”

Crazy, surely – even as I got in his van I wondered what the heck I was doing, but he was true to his word. He got me to work on time and for free, which was a good thing since once I got in the van, I remembered that I had no cash and I had given my daughter my credit card the day before, so I wouldn’t have been able to pay for a cab anyway. Given how rude that cab driver was when we thought I had money, he surely would have been nasty if I had taken a long ride without being able to pay!

I thought about it later, and if I hadn’t gotten off the highway, if I hadn’t changed my route, if I hadn’t decided to try to follow that cab, I would have been seriously out of luck. As it was, I felt someone was looking out for me.

I hope they stick around. 🙂

How is life treating you these days?

Magical Mondays

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Many years ago, on an old blog of mine, I had a feature I called “Magical Mondays”.

This was about all the things that happen in our lives that seem almost miraculous, or could even be called miraculous. Amazing coincidences, answered prayers, help just in time, spontaneous healing – you name it. Lately, I’ve felt the need to revisit the hope and wonder those experiences bring, whether they are small moments, or life-changing events. I hope you will join me in sharing the joy. 🙂

Here is just a small moment–republished from my first blog–but it gave me hope at the time and it still does.

The Power of Prayer

Since coming up with the idea for “Magical Mondays”, I’ve had to work hard at figuring out where to start. There are so many things that I can think of to write about here, and one idea leads to another, many wonderful events are connected in a beautiful chain, so that I’ve been reeling trying to decide where to begin. Since this is the first one out of the gate, I decided to go with something simple.

From the time I was very young (around 3), I had a spiritual inclination that none of my family shared. I’m not even sure where or how it started, but it was there. Somehow, I learned about prayer and began doing it on my own very early on and now, several decades years later, I can honestly say that I’ve never had a prayer go unanswered–large or small–even when the prayer wasn’t formal, or even when I didn’t know to what or whom I was praying.

As I’m typing, I’m flooded with images, big and small, of all the prayers that have been answered and am wondering which ones would be the best to write about. I’ve had major prayers answered, but I think my favorite, though, was a just a small one. It always touches me to remember it.

Several years ago, I lived next door to an elementary school. One day, I looked out the window and saw a little boy who looked to be about six or seven years old, standing far away from all the other children on the playground. He walked around by himself looking so sad, just watching while the other children played together. He was not well dressed, very overweight for his age, and not a conventionally attractive child. Knowing how kids can be, it was easy to see he might have a hard time in school. My heart broke for him. I watched for several minutes and not a soul spoke to him. Eventually, he walked away from the groups until he was at the side of the building, where he picked up a stick and started hitting it against the wall.

I kept hoping someone would notice him but they didn’t, so I said a fervent prayer that someone would come and play with that him–give him just a few moments of happiness because he looked so sad. I heard the laundry buzzer go off and had to leave my spot at the window for a few minutes. When I came back, I looked out again to check on him. He was now joined by another little boy and they were playing and laughing, and the look on his face was one of pure joy, as if he’d been given a wonderful gift.

It could be that it was his prayer that was answered that day. It could be that the second little boy was simply a good-hearted soul (and I believe both those are true), but my prayer was also answered, and I’m still grateful that I saw a minor miracle take place: a spontaneous act of kindness.

#magicalmondays, #hope, #love, #kindness

NaNoWriMo and More Freebies

Am working on RESET, the 4th book in the Awakening series, which mostly wraps up the younger characters’ stories and paves the way for the adults (i.e., Gabe, Laurent, Alejandro, and Luke) to take center stage. Also have a novella planned to bring back the original gang from MUTTS LIKE ME.  Am looking forward to writing that, but first must finish book 4!  Enter NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.  I’m using it to keep motivated and moving on Reset.

Current progress:

Meanwhile, I’ve teamed up with other authors for the last time this year to bring you some more free e-books while I work on Reset (and Midnight Ink).  You can check them out here, as well as enter to win a $30 gift card (my historical novella set in the world of The Awakened is free in there, too, until November 10th):  https://mybookcave.com/g/812fc9c6/

Good luck to all of us! 🙂

 

Free Fantasy & Sci-Fi eBooks!

adult books business commerce

Looking for a good book (or several) to curl up with as the weather turns colder?

I’ve joined with other authors to bring you lots of freebie goodness this month and next.

Through Oct 31:

Potions & Petticoatshttps://books.bookfunnel.com/potionsandpetticoats/s767t0ndge

Magic & Mayhemhttps://claims.prolificworks.com/gg/VOCjy0yyesQvHFvPggVQ

Through Nov 20:

Otherworldly Romancehttps://mybookcave.com/g/4de117ef/ 

For some, you might need to join the author’s mailing list (not all are required) but it’s a small thing and you can unsubscribe any time.  Hey, it’s a free book! 🙂

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

Two New Items & That Dratted GDPR

Have the first three books of the Awakening Series now in a boxed set, ready to debut at $0.99 for a little while in advance of a new story coming out in the next couple of months (set for release 8/31, but might go earlier if edits are in before that.)

Also working on the 4th of the series, tentatively titled “Reset” and picks up in Chicago after some of the Mutts have returned, while others were left behind in Arizona. The Chicago group is going to need to heal and work hard to rescue their friends. (Cover coming soon – stay tuned.)

Meanwhile, experiencing a bit of consternation regarding the whole GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) business.  I think it scared off many subscribers when so many authors had to send out those “please give me your consent and here is my privacy policy” notices. If you’re wondering what I meant by it, in a nutshell it was simply to comply with the new regulations that provide transparency about what you are agreeing to when you subscribe to my newsletter (receive news and updates about books) and what I do with your information (only used by me personally to email you the newsletter and nothing more.)

If you didn’t re-subscribe and are wondering why you aren’t receiving updates, it’s because the new law forced me to unsubscribe anyone who didn’t click the “I consent” check box in the email that went out. If you want to keep receiving news, please go to the contact page and sign up again (I’m so sorry – I know it’s a pain!) and click the checkbox under the email field.  Then we’ll be all squared away in case the big dogs come looking for us. 🙂

 

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