Hello everyone, what a pleasure it is to be able to share a little bit about myself here on Chris the Reading Ape’s blog. I was born and lived the first ten years of my life in the bay area of California. My parents moved back to their home state of Oklahoma and I then became an Okie. I have one sister so there’s just the two of us.
I am married to a wonderful man who spoils me rotten and I love it. I have two grown children, six grandchildren and a set of twins for Great Grands. I also have a rather large fur family at home which consists of five dogs and three cats. I can’t even begin to think about not having them but it’s like living in a house full of three year olds. The oldest is nine years old and the youngest two are siblings and they are four months old.
I retired from 32 years of being an RN. My specialties were Geriatrics as well as Labor and Delivery. I wouldn’t trade a minute of all my medical background and the adventures I encountered while practicing. I miss interacting with my mothers and babies but most of all I miss the friends that I made along the way, but I absolutely love being retired.
In my leisure time I do different things. I love old movies so I watch one of those every chance I get. I also do a lot of reading especially in the evening before I go to bed. I find it relaxes me a great deal. I also love to do needle work such as cross stitch, knitting and crocheting. I prefer crocheting because it seems to go faster for me. The knitting and crocheting are my usual wintertime activities.
I live out in the country on five acres so I spend time outside enjoying the sights and sounds of Mother Nature. I enjoy watching my backyard birds and the wildlife that comes up from the creek which I can see very well from my back door. I once had a lovely young willow tree that is now residing in a Beavers Den on the creek. They wiped it out in one night. I guess that goes along with country living.
I began my writing career after I retired. I’ve actually loved writing my entire life. I guess it went along with my love to read. Unfortunately, I never had time to write a book. I was too busy working and trying to raise my children. I woke up one morning shortly after I retired with the thought in my head I’m going to write a book. I got up and had my breakfast and then sat down in front of my computer and started typing. The story seemed to just flow from me to my fingertips. I only stopped typing to eat and sleep and take care of other necessities. I am so fortunate to have a husband who supports me 100%. When I was finished I had my first book, The Tower. It’s a great story but it was the beginning of my education on the publishing industry and my writing.
I’m very eclectic in my reading and writing. I write short stories, poetry, flash fiction, fiction and non-fiction. I enjoy writing different genres. I never know what my muse will be coming up with.
So far I’ve written four published works. My first and last book, The Tower and Dobyns Chronicles were both published through Xlibris and two published ebooks. One is a book of short stories and the other Christian poetry. They were done on CreateSpace. The easiest ones were actually with Xlibris but you do have money payout depending on what features you want. I liked the fact they did all the work for me as far as the publishing went.
Let me share with you a little bit about my books. The Tower is a young adult, mystery that is based in Tulsa Oklahoma. Samantha (Sam) Jensen works for her brother Allan, as his assistant. Allan owns IDEA (International Diagnostic Environmental Agency). This agency covers the world providing consultations, and investigations into any situation which affects the environment or the people.
Sam finds herself in a foreign country, without a memory of who she is. A full scale investigation is started by her brother Allan. The story takes you from Oklahoma to the continents of South America, Europe and Asia. It has mystery, action, romance, betrayal and murder, all tied together with Sam and her brother Allan.
You follow the lives of Sam and Allan as they try to find closure to Sam’s kidnapping experience. You also follow each of the criminals to the final outcome for each. Each character in the story has their own agenda, and trying to have those agendas agree leads to twists and turns you won’t expect.
My second book called Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes is one of my ebooks. It is a book of short stories of different genres. There’s love, mystery, fantasy, and horror. It also contains several pieces of flash fiction. I enjoy writing flash fiction because it is such a challenge. In case you don’t know, flash fiction is a complete short story that contains all of a short stories components but done with a limited word count. Sometimes it’s fifty or one hundred. As I said they can be very challenging.
My third book is another ebook of Christian Poetry called Verses For My King. It contains different styles of poetry along with an illustration for each poem. This was a fun write for me because of being able to express my love for the Lord.
My latest book, Dobyns Chronicles, was published in May of this year. This book is really close to my heart because it is loosely based on my Great Grandfather, Charley Dobyns. Dobyns Chronicles is the story of Charlie Dobyns and his family. This story allows us to follow young Charlie, who was born in 1872, living with his parents in Texas, and later brother David and sister Viola. Glimpsing the lives of the Dobyns family showed that the family was filled with love and lots of hard work. Sadly though, in 1888 the world changed forever when tragedy struck the Dobyns family, leaving sixteen-year-old Charlie in charge of his siblings. He is determined to hold his family together, and Dobyns Chronicles allows readers to follow along on his life’s journey.
Dobyns Chronicles gives readers a wonderful look at the changing and not so easy times that Charlie lived in. The characters literally jump off the pages. I could feel the love from new lives coming into the world to loss of beloved family members. Ms. McLain captures a simpler time with her writing. Hardship is certainly a part of the story, but the strength of the characters allowed me to believe that they could overcome anything. This book truly plays out like a wonderful motion picture where I felt like I was watching the episodes of Charlie’s life unfold. From the sting of early loss to the people who helped him along the way, I saw the many facets of Charlie’s life and watched as the world around him changed. But the one constant was his love of family, and the fact that life always goes on.
Dobyns Chronicles is a work of historical fiction. The characters are so lifelike and realistic and captures the essence of what it must have been like to have lived during the time span of the book – from the cattle drives to the stock market crash. The history of the time is woven into the pages of this story. Dobyns Chronicles is a story where the characters become embedded in the heart and won’t shake loose.