Girl on the Train


The story of Rachel, Anna, Megan collides in this gripping psychological thriller that is told from each of the woman’s perspective.

When I started listening to this story on Audible I wasn’t quite certain what to think of it or where it would lead or if I liked any one of these ladies.  I will say the story is not beautiful.  It has cuss words and it is dark.  But there is much to be learned from it.  It goes with much of what I have been saying about manipulators and those of you who are in a relationship with such a man/woman I would recommend reading this if for nothing else but perhaps to open your eyes and perhaps to make you understand that the consequences can be tragic.

This of course is fiction but I found Rachel’s journey in particular very gripping.  She is a drunk when we meet her, she is at rock bottom.  She sees herself as ugly and useless, she takes a train back and fourth pretending to go to a job she no longer has.  Here the story begins because here she sees something and here she begins to have a new purpose…here a new resolve comes back to her…a determination is born, and here I begin to love her, because I relate to her struggle, even to her addiction.  Perhaps not to alcohol, but to her depression, to her darkness, to her desperation to be useful.

We find out along the way about Anna, the mistress that became the wife of Tom who was once Rachel’s husband, how they got married.  We get to hear Anna’s voice too, we hate her, we then question if we hate her.

We hear Megan’s voice who is very troubling because she has also gone through so much and of course she is the one the story revolves around, she is the mystery that must be solved.  Who is Megan?  Do we love or hate Megan?

But the moment that I love the most in the book is when Rachel realizes the lie, that one lie that she has been told about herself from the very beginning (spoiler coming), the lie that she was the problem in her marriage, that SHE was the one at fault for EVERYTHING, the lie she readily bought, and when she sees that lie being told to another person…that is the moment I love Rachel very much, because she is strong, she is not weak even though her heart is torn.  THIS is the center of it all, this is what a master manipulator does, and this book does a masterful job of showing us this, how a victim is made and how a victimizer does it all…but through it all a lesson can be learned…how to NOT be a victim, how to understand when someone tries to turn their faults on you, to open your eyes and SEE.  My review for this book is a five star despite the language because of the fact that I think it can bring awareness to this very hard topic.


Signs, Tactics of an Abuser


She won’t leave.  Why won’t she leave?  Or in some cases he.  He is clearly a psychopath and an abuser, EVERYONE sees it.  The signs are there.

We all ask that.  We make the victim of abuse sound stupid, pitiful, like they have a very clear choice.  How wrong we are.

Abuse comes in so many forms.  Some never suffer the pain of a fist, but do suffer the constant verbal slams that through them into such a dark abyss that they can’t get up, they can’t breathe, they can’t see their worth.  They can’t get up.

First I want to address the signs of an abuser.  If anyone sees these, perhaps it’s one step closer to helping the person being abused and taking power away from the coward that is the abuser.

Of course no one begins dating an abuser.  No one in their right mind would.  First comes the charm, the ‘smarts’ the pouring out of compliments, and he lifts you up, he makes you feel like he is your soul mate and there is absolutely no one else in this world that would ever make you feel the way he does.  He is the Cowboy Casanova as some would say.  He makes you feel like he can actually protect you from the world that maybe in some ways has hurt you.  And here’s the thing, an abuser knows how to pick his targets, the ones who have been broken a bit and because when you are broken you seek to depend on someone he knows he can be that crutch…and he will be that for a little bit.  He will rescue you and then the manipulation starts.

You see, now he will convince you of all the things you need to be rescued from.  Number one thing that needs to go is anyone that can see him as a threat.  Who might that be?  If you have family, that has got to go, so he will ‘rescue’ you from that.  Friends?  Yup, your friends are bad, they are stupid, they are too stuck up, their morals are to uptight, they ‘wouldn’t understand our love’.  He sets up an ‘us against the world’ mentality.  He sets up a fiction world where he is the only hero in the victim’s world.  If possible he will move the victim as far from those the victim knows as possible.  If a friend has plans, he has more important plans, or he is sick and needs your care.  SOMETHING will happen where you will NOT be allowed to see your friends and if you do it will be with a tainted mentality that he has already planted in your mind.

Also according to About the Issue “Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior characterized by the intent to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner or other family members. The abuse can be established over time and in most cases, it begins subtly with insults, a shove or by alienating the survivor from family and friends. With time, the abusive behavior can be more frequent and severe.” 

The key thing, there is always an excuse that excuses the abuser’s behavior.  Often, the victim is the problem.  “If you understood me better, if you did this better, you know I have this issue! Etc.”  An abuser rarely if ever takes ownership.  An apology will be offered but it is usually followed with “But maybe next time you shouldn’t, or should be careful not to provoke me….”

Feelings of course are central here too.  They always are.  Because the victim LOVES the abuser, that is the whole part of the ENTIRE manipulation, the feeling game and the abuser will play on that until the victim sees it for what it is and gets the courage to either reach out for help and walk away.  But it is not that easy depending on how violent he/she is.  This is why I write this.  If you are seeing these signs in anyone, or if you are in the beginning of such a relationship, walk away while you still can, because believe me, an abuser only escalates.  He might be only verbally abusive today, maybe for years, but soon he/she WILL escalate.  It’s only a matter of when.

You may think you can change him…like in the movies.  That you are the Beauty and he is the Beast that can be tamed.  Please understand that you do not have such power.  I firmly believe only God can change a person.  Such people need deep professional help, and you are not it.

You might be convinced he is the underdog you have to save that everyone else has cast aside.  While believe me, I am a firm believer in second chances, and I seek out the forgotten and lonely…understand that an abuser only plays on these sentiment for what he/she can gain.

What are they seeking to gain?

It is different in each situation.  In some, it is money.  In some it is power.  In some it is affection at the cost of beating you and not allowing you to give that affection to ANYONE ELSE (but notice that he is allowed to give affection to anyone he pleases).  There is always a double standard with an abuser.

You might leave your family and friends, and maybe for a while he might too…but he won’t leave them forever.  He/she will NEVER do that because the goal was to get YOU away from your family and friends…not the other way around.

To those who see these sighs of abuse (in a neighbor, co-worker, friend), don’t let them withdraw.  If you know where they live, constantly visit, make the abuser know that you are watching and that the victim is not alone.  Don’t confront the abuser, but be there for the victim until the victim is willing to reach out to you.  When that happens, seek out law enforcement.  Do not be silent.  Do not be a shadow.  Learn to survive.

Court Upholds Anti-Religious Ruling In Discrimination Case

I find this to be beyond sad. I pray for this family and that God will defend them.


Oregon- Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian issued the final order to Melissa and Aaron Klein to pay a fine of $135,000 to a lesbian couple, Rachel Bowman-Cryer, and her partner Laurel Bowman-Cryer after refusing service for religious reasons, as they upheld their beliefs in traditional marriage and did not wish to take part in serving to a lesbian wedding.

”We stand for God’s truth, God’s Word and freedom for ALL Americans,” and “We are here to obey God, not man…” were some quotes from the Sweet Cakes by Melissa Facebook page.

The Klein’s lawyer was reported as saying “Avakian’s orders are further proof that the state is trying to force businesses they don’t politically agree with to conform.”

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The Heir by Kiera Cass Book Review

the heir

From the beginning of this series I was enchanted by the story Kiera Cass has woven.  Loved this one…to see the daughter of America and how she was raised as a royal heir.   Princess Eadlyn is a compelling enchanting character.  We see her change throughout the book from a slightly spoiled princess to one who is faced with the reality of her people and she is willing to do anything to make her father proud and relieve some of the stress of running the country.  She has a reluctant Selection of her own…completely determined not to marry but to go through the motions for the sake of distracting the public from their displeasure with the monarchy.  I would have given this book 5 stars, however I think there is only one thing lacking in this and that is more action…but most likely we will see that in the next book…which I look forward to reading!

Christian Indie Conference, Anyone? Post by Mary C. Findley

For Christian Indie Authors…



The original Christian Indie Authors Network will hold its first official Christian Indie Author Conference July 30- August 2, 2015, at the Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 111 East Second Street, Davenport, Iowa, 52801.

I chose the image at the top because one of the themes of the Christian Indie Author Network is “A light in a dark place”. Books nowadays are getting to be pretty dark — focusing on vampire romance, demonic influence, serial killers, and so many other topics without shining the light on the hope, comfort, and heavenward focus we can have with Christ.

Please consider joining us at this conference. It’s for writers, with educational opportunities and promotional ones. I will be teaching two sessions: One on Book Cover Design for those with limited means but who still want a professional-looking cover, and one one formatting your ebook without being afraid it will…

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GUEST BLOG-Annie Douglas Lima

Every once in a while I like to feature authors on my page.  Today I want to step aside and present to you author Annie Douglass Lima and her books.  Please make her feel welcome!


The Annals of Alasia by Annie Douglass Lima


The books in this unique trilogy can be read in any order, and each one can stand on its own.  Instead of taking place one after the other, their time frames overlap.  They each describe the same major political event: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life.  In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded.  Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion.  In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the time frames and settings overlap.

Prince of Alasia


Twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin, heir to the throne of Alasia, barely escapes with his life when invaders from neighboring Malorn attack. Accompanied by Erik, his young bodyguard and friend, Jaymin flees to a nearby town to live in hiding. There, coming face to face with the hardships suffered by the poor, he determines to improve his people’s lives someday when he takes the throne, assuming he can reclaim his kingdom.

In his struggle to retain his identity and yet blend in with children in the local school, Jaymin’s life depends on his ability to protect his secret from both enemy troops and unsuspecting townsfolk. Meanwhile, Erik must resort to his skills in unarmed combat to defend Jaymin against everyone from a gang of schoolyard bullies to the Malornians who regularly patrol the streets looking for trouble – and for the missing prince.

As the search intensifies and his enemy’s suspicions grow, Jaymin seeks desperately for a way to save his kingdom and himself. Then he stumbles upon a startling discovery that will challenge his assumptions and forever change his view of Malorn and the events that altered his life.

(FREE educational resources are available for this title.  Click here to access a series of PowerPoint presentations that introduce the key vocabulary words from each chapter.)

Click Here to Download Prince of Alasia for your Kindle.


Click Here to Download Prince of Alasia for your Nook or in Other Formats.  


Click Here to Buy Prince of Alasia in Paperback.

In the Enemy’s Service


Enslaved when invaders take over Alasia, ten-year-old Anya discovers ways to spy on the enemy and slip information to the resistance. But then Anya uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family and is confronted by a stranger who seems to know her secrets. Holding her life in his hands, he claims to have proof that her father was involved in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself.


Click Here to Download In the Enemy’s Service for your Kindle.  

Click Here to Download In the Enemy’s Service for your Nook or in Other Formats.

Click Here to Buy In the Enemy’s Service in Paperback.


Prince of Malorn


One major obstacle stands between seventeen-year-old Prince Korram and the throne that is his birthright: Regent Rampus.  Temporary ruler of Malorn, Rampus has no intention of giving up his position when the crown prince comes of age – or of allowing the prince to live long enough to reach that age.  


Desperate to build an army of his own to stand against the regent, Korram treks into the Impassable Mountains to try to recruit the one segment of Malornian society not under Rampus’s control.  But can he lead a band of untrained hunters and gatherers to victory against the full might of the Malornian military?  Or will they all be crushed by the grasping hand of the regent before the prince can claim his rightful throne?


Click Here to Download Prince of Malorn for your Kindle.  

Click Here to Download Prince of Malorn for your Nook or in Other Formats.

Click Here to Buy Prince of Malorn in Paperback.


Praise for The Annals of Alasia from Amazon Reviewers:


“(Prince of Malorn) on its own is definitely an exciting read, but I also liked the character development and story connections between this book and those that were previously released. It makes me want to read Prince of Alasia and In the Enemy’s Service again! For me, the characters have come alive, and though they are fictional, I can’t help wishing that it was actually possible to meet them. I would definitely recommend that other readers buy this book and enter into the worlds of Malorn and Alasia.”


“All three of the Annals of Alasia books are fantastic! (They have) action, suspense, adventure, tragedy, and humor.  Each story in this series is a stand-alone novel, but it is very fun to read all three and see different perspectives of the same story. The accuracy between the novels is amazing, and it’s also incredible that one can read the same story three times and never have a dull moment- even when you think you know how things will be wrapped up!  Lima is a master of her craft, and I will be looking for anything and everything this author puts out there in the future. I highly suggest you do the same!”
-V. Howard


“I’d call this literary fiction in the fantasy genre in a camp with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series–particularly, Taran Wanderer (which was my favorite of the series). It’s deep, complex, and yet very easy to read… I loved the different points of view used in the story, and the way that it overlapped with Prince of Alasia (first book in series Annals of Alasia). Lima always chose the most intriguing angle to “view” each scene.”

-Mrs. G.


“This book has everything I love: lovely, concise prose, unique word pictures, and highly developed characters as well as epic adventure and absolutely superb world-building….  I did not learn this is the third book in the series until I was halfway done. The other two are interrelated, but they can be read independently with no problem. I loved the lands of Malorn and Alasia so much that I purchased books one and two and signed up for email notification for when book four comes out. Prince of Malorn earns my highest recommendation!”



“(Prince of Alasia) is a great book with a fantastic story line, and it will keep your attention. You can’t stop with this one, however, for the amazing way that the author intertwines the sequel (In the Enemy’s Service) with the story presented in this book is truly amazing!”

-Family Oriented


“The whole Annals of Alasia series is awesome. I think they would make an absolutely amazing movie. The details and the painstaking depth that Annie Douglass Lima puts into her works are admirable.”

-V. Howard


“(In the Enemy’s Service) is involved, suspenseful, and definitely kept my attention. If you enjoy a good fantasy novel, complete with swords and treachery, this one has enough action, humor, and drama to supply many hours of reading entertainment. I have not read the 1st book in this fantasy series, but did not feel that it hindered my ability to follow the story at all. It can certainly stand on its own.”

-Biker Babs

About the Author


Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published six books (three YA action adventure/fantasy and three anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.


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Say Something–5498.html

This couple’s Christian version of the popular song, “Say Something” gave me chills.

It’s amazing how God can speak through a song. Life is so hard and then comes a song that casts away all the demons of life…literally. It’s just like David and Saul in the Bible..when David sang the demons fled.
Perhaps you have and are still having a hard life…maybe you believe in God, you just don’t LOVE Him like you used to. Maybe this is because life has worn away that love, satan has tried to tarnish it by brokeness. But God is still chasing us. He wants to “Say Something” through this song and that is:
He’s not giving up on you. The whole world may give up, every single person might cast you aside like a rag…but He won’t. He’ll make something beautiful out of what the worlds sees as a rag.
I write this blog post as much for you my readers as I do for myself.
So long I have been broken.
So long I’ve wondered where He is.
So long I have wondered why He has left me and given up on me.
So long I have wondered…of my worth.
Much of this is due to lies I have and still continue at times to believe. Lies that have come through a broken relationship from a person that was supposed to be my forever love, the one I said ‘I do’ to. And yet that love faded and transformed into something grotesquely ugly and painful both for me and the children. And yet…God rescued me from that…no matter how much that rescue hurt and sometimes still hurts…He RESCUED me and my children out of something that could have turned much worse. I am CHERISHED that much. I am LOVED that much….and I am BEAUTIFUL TO HIM (the only one that matters).
The same is true for you.
God is rescuing you…but that salvation may hurt, it may come dangerously and turbulently…just like it is in the movies when a character is rescued from the bad guys. Sometimes we don’t want to be rescued…sometimes we grow attatched to our tourmentours and we even BELIEVE the lies the tourmentours feed us…ENOUGH.
Let Him rescue you.
He is saying something to you.
He is loving you.
He is not and WILL NOT give up on you.


Recently I was speaking to a customer who’s appliance had broken, she was frustrated…but not just because the appliance, but also because they had run over a deer with their car (very expensive to fix the car…and poor deer).  In the course of the conversation she had a great positive attitude despite the frustration and she laughingly mentioned ‘Murphy’s Law’ (this theory basically states that anything that can go wrong….will go wrong).  In life this theory seems to be true, doesn’t it?

Well whether it’s true or not in life, I will tell you right here and right now that it MUST be true in fictional writing.  A good story will have a LOT of conflict (otherwise no one will bother to read it).  So, as you’re writing and you come up with conflict, ask yourself:  How can I make this situation ten times harder for my main character(s)?  (Of course you will also have to find a genius way of getting them OUT of the situation too).  Don’t let that intense scene end after just a few paragraphs, pull your readers in emotionally.  Make your reader FEEL that bullet.  Make your reader want to cry (even though they’ve never cried in their lives before).  Make your reader commit to the story by putting your character into such an impossible situation that they can’t imagine how they will ever get out of it.  (Of course you BETTER have a good way out)  Also, I would say make sure that you leave ‘bread crumbs’ or clues that will hint to what that way out might be.  Don’t just all of a sudden give your characters super powers when along the way of the whole story they didn’t have them….