“Time Tzunami” by Danele Rotharmel

I will have to admit that I don’t “normally” turn to books in this genre. I don’t know if it is because I have been bucking my husband’s trying to get me to read his books, or if I have just gotten into a rut with my own reading. But I decided to give it a try and not only was I pleasantly surprised, but I was floored!

WOW! Was it ever great!

Time travel is not something I ponder in my spare time, but as soon as I finished the first chapter, I felt that it might actually be possible in my lifetime. The author does such a wonderful job in not making the reader feel ignorant or silly, but is able to make the intricacies of time travel seem plausible. I was half expecting to turn around and find myself in another time.

The main characters are so unique and have their special ways of communicating with each other. There is romance – and not the mushy, passion-filled kind. The romance is real and three dimensional. It is deep and pure. There is action/adventure. The main character runs from a bad guy and her hero rescues her – several times. The bad guy goes from bad to worse and the conscience of the main character, struggling how to best deal with evil, is so realistic. There is humor. I found myself giggling at slapstick kinds of humor, as well as laughing out loud at the quips between the characters. And of course, the time travel. Time travel and alternate timelines and cross-over alternate timelines. I love that the author got me to close my eyes and have to contemplate the complexities without overwhelming me with so much information that I had to put the book away.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children. For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen. Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution. Gil’s assignment seems simple until her advisor, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny’s mother. If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive. William wants the woman he loves to be pulled from the field, but if Gil fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline. As TEMCO undergoes an emergency lockdown, and Gil’s fellow cadets try to figure out what’s happening, Gil and William learn the importance of faith and the price of true love. Everyone’s fate is resting in Gil’s hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path?

To purchase the book

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.
During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.
When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.
You can learn more about Danele by visiting her blog at https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/

Author interview

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Name Origins

Many people have asked me about my name. What does it mean? Where does it come from? I usually give a pat answer.”It’s a German name and my mom is German.”  But I want to tell you where it really comes from, if you have a few moments.

The original word, “Petra”, comes from a Greek word that means a large, massive stone. There is even a city in Jordan by that name made out of, what else? ROCK. I have had many youth tease me about my name, once they found out the meaning of it, and ask me if I am as hard-headed as a rock, and I have gotten more than a little offended.

That was then. This is now.

Now I count it a blessing to have such a strong name. I come to think of it as having an inner determination, fortitude, and strength. I love my name.

But this morning I have a whole new appreciation for my name because my mom explained to me why she named me that. I thought that after fifty years, it might be time.

For those that are unaware, my mom is handicapped. I never really labeled her as such since that was all I had ever known. She lived in Germany in WWII and had an accident while getting to a storm shelter when she was about four. Long story short, she has never been able to walk like most people.  When she met and married my dad, the doctors all said that she would never be able to have any children. Mom was watching some show on German television in the early 60’s when she came across this news anchor/reporter who seemed so brave and stalwart. Come to find out, she was in a wheelchair. Her name was Petra. Mom told herself and my dad that if they ever had a daughter they would name her Petra after that very courageous woman who overcame so many obstacles in order to be the person she was. (I’m not telling the story as well as my mom did.)

Anyhooo……

Now that I know the REAL story of how I got my name, and add to that what the original Greek definition of my name is, I love it even more. Knowing that my mom thought it was a strong name, giving hope and courage, makes me want to throw my shoulders back and lift my chin a little higher. Yes, I get a little stubborn sometimes, but I represent a name that is full of determination and strength! Maybe that is why I have a fascination with all of the old castles of Germany? They are fortresses AND they are in my mother-country.

For those of you who may be wondering how to pronounce it: The German way is difficult for most Americans to pronounce. I have been, since living in the states, been pronouncing it “Pay-tra.”

And bringing this back around to my writing (because that is what I do)…well, I want to be even more careful when choosing the names for my characters. Because for the first time in my life I have the sole responsibility for giving my “book children” names that will be worthy of their character. A name that is befitting of them. And I have the distinct privilege of doing it AFTER they have been created. How cool is that?!?!?!

Follow-Up

For those that follow my blog, I thought I should give you an update on something that happened today.  It will move you as it did me, and it served as a confirmation to me from the Lord that my message is timely.

Today is Derby Day. And living less than 45 miles from Churchill Downs serves as an instant camaraderie between residents of this area in Kentucky. My co-worker and I had donned our hats and were chatting away in the office when I decided to read my most recent blogs to her. At first I read the one on Grandmothers and then I read the one on Moms. I had totally forgotten that there was a woman hidden behind my computer screen.

When I finished reading the blog I had written entitled “Mama Mia”, I heard sniffling. I peeked around the corner to find this woman crying. “I lost my mother about seven years ago,” she said.

I was flustered. I was upset with myself for making this woman weep in the middle of the office. I turned to my co-worker to see her response. She was more flummoxed than I was. Usually when I find myself in situations such as these I get chatty and say things that are nonsensical. Not this time. This time I just looked at her and held my tongue. Her pain was raw and I couldn’t say anything.

It felt like eternity, but it was only about fifteen seconds later that she continued telling us that she and her mother were very close and it was a sudden death. She had younger siblings that were too young to have remembered their mother as she had. She was the oldest and missed their mother the most. I could not express true empathy – I had never experienced the death of a parents, and frankly, I never want to. There was something so sweet about this woman, though. Despite her tears there was something drawing me in, keeping quiet, and allowing her to grieve a little.

“Your kids are awful.” She finally broke the silence. She continued to speak with more energy now, more indignation, at the way my kids had been treating me. That one day they would regret treating me so poorly and she said she hoped it wouldn’t be on my death bed that they recognized their abominable behavior towards me.

Now I was in tears. This woman had overheard my heart being poured out in my blog and had taken it personally. She had identified with me from an angle I had not considered. We were kindred spirits, this woman and I.

She left the office, but not before I came from behind my desk and gave her a big hug. She held me like she was holding on for dear life. She sobbed in my ear, “Happy Mother’s Day.” I returned the sentiment and she left.

The Lord validated me and my ministry in those few moments. He assured me that my blog-writing is not in vain. He gave me the confidence that even though I might be having a rough day and my writing may not be as “good” as a professional’s, He is using my availability in order to reach others. What a sweet Lord I serve.

 

Amish Quilts Coloring Book by Rachel J. Good

amish quilts FB cover

About the book

Amish Quilts Coloring BOOK coverFeeling stressed? Why not relax with an adult coloring book? Rachel J. Good’s Amish Quilts Coloring Book takes you back to a time and place that’s calm. Immerse yourself in a world of peace as you color the 25 different quilts.

Inspired by quilts seen in Amish country, many of these designs are based on traditional patterns, but some have been reimagined or repeated multiple times to create more intricate designs to color. Each quilt is printed on only one side of the page; facing pages contain inspirational Amish proverbs. To make the quilts even more colorful and interesting, sketch fabric designs – plaids, checks, paisleys, flowers, or abstract shapes – into the larger quilt blocks, use pattern stamps, or even collage fabric scraps to the pages. And if the designs inspire you to make quilts of your own, the pages can be used as templates for quilt-making.

 

I asked to participate in a book tour for a coloring book. Instead of receiving an actual book, I received two coloring pages.  Each “quilting pattern” in coloring page includes an inspirational Amish proverb.

As I determined which page to begin coloring, and as I then selected the colors I wanted to use, I began to unwind. I am a “color-in-the-lines” kind of gal and I have a fondness for quilting. I have made a few quilts in my younger years and even lived closed to Amish country where I could admire their work on a regular basis. I have since gone on to other endeavors, but my love of quilts and the Amish has not diminished in the least!

Here are some of the things coloring just one page did:

  1. Took away stress
  2. Helped clear my head to think about a story I am working on
  3. Gave me an appreciation for the time I had to make my quilts
  4. Gave me opportunity to pray for those whom the Lord laid on my heart
  5. Allowed me to feel young at heart, giving me the freedom to “color”
  6. Made me slow down and breathe deeply

And this from only ONE page! I am so excited to work on my second page soon. Now if I could just find a decent pencil sharpener!

 

About the Author

Rachel photo webRachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1VmIOUi. Visit Rachel at:

Website: www.racheljgood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

 

Giveaway

Amish Quilts Coloring BOOK cover

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away two autographed copies of her Amish Quilts Coloring Book! Click here to enter:   Giveaway

Blog Stops

May 14: A Greater Yes
May 15: Quiet Quilter

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Originally posted 7-4-15 on “Hope for the Journey”

Since the original post, my son has had his baby, making me a grandmother, for the first time. Not much else has changed.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

Petra

This morning I watched an interesting video, and although I didn’t understand the language, the subtitles and topic was made perfectly clear.

It got me to thinking about my own son. When he was very young that boy had a head of hair I loved. It was soft and curly, although it never stayed where I combed it. His big brown eyes were the most expressive ones I had ever seen in my life and I gave in way too many times to the sad look he gave me. In my eyes he was the perfect little boy. He allowed me to coddle him and love on him with hugs and kisses. He gave the biggest bear hugs. Quiet tears come to my eyes when I think of how much he loved me.


He got a little older and while many his age started pulling away from doing those sweet loving acts toward their moms, my son promised he would never get too old to kiss me on the cheek before going to school in the morning, no matter how old he got. He would sit with me, even in his pre-teen years and allow me to read to him. He would nuzzle against my arm and sometimes fall asleep – depending on the content of the book I happened to be reading. I counted myself truly blessed.


Then came the girls. My was he ever girl crazy. And the girls loved him in return. I kept thinking, “what’s not to love?” He would talk about one or the other on a daily basis. My little boy was growing up. But he always seemed to have time for his mom. Life wasn’t always easy for him. He did some pretty bad stuff, but I always stood by him and saw the best in him. Looking back now, I think I may have been the only one who did. 


Then came the big “D” and something happened to my son that I never expected in a million years. The once loving and caring young man turned against me in a way that can only be defined as demonic. This wasn’t a case of a child being hurt or angry, he was plain evil. He turned on me. And now his actions are hateful and mean. 


He, since, has gotten married and is expecting a child of his own. And I shiver to think how he will  treat his own wife. Because most adults know, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their opposite sex parent. I shudder to think the mean things he will say to her behind closed doors.


Going back to the video…I wonder at the amount of respect those young men truly had for their mothers to treat women walking down the street with such disrespect. I think a number of mothers around the world would be shocked to see how their sons treat women, and they, like me, may wonder “does my son truly respect me or is it all an act?” 


The sad part is, my son doesn’t remember those times when he was younger. Those memories have somehow disappeared. But a sentimental mom, like me, will always cling to memories of that little wide-eyed boy whose whole world revolved around them. Yes, I want my boy to be a man, to be a good husband and father. But more than that, I want him to respect his mother and his wife and understand that you cannot expect respect without giving it in spades!


Until my next revelation,


Petra

Mama Mia!

Mother’s Day was one of my favorite “extra” holidays. Sure. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving, but Mother’s Day was special when I was growing up. As a child I had to be creative in trying to find a gift for my sweet Mom. She, I later discovered, kept all of the hand-made cards and pressed flowers, as well as the little poems I wrote. What a precious mom I have.

 

Then the day came about twenty-seven years ago when I became a mom. Oh the joy! No, of course I didn’t like the nights where I got no sleep because my cherub of a girl wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t like the times where I had to take my little boy (second child) to the emergency room because of an ear infection. Or when my baby girl was trying to get adjusted to life with a new family. I didn’t like the days when …well, you know what? I have forgotten most of those bad days. Why? Because as mothers, we tend to do that. We get overwhelmed by the negative, but in the long run, we tend to overlook those bad times and only remember the good times. The times when little “Jane” or “Johnny” goes to great lengths to make you smile when you are having a bad day. Or when he/she makes a macaroni necklace, or hands you a card with a big flower on it that he/she made “All by myself.”  Yes, the joys certainly outweigh the dislikes. 

For most…..

You read correctly just a moment ago. I did say “was”, but not for the reason that my mom is no longer with me. It is because I no longer have my children. Mother’s Day no longer has the same meaning for me on two levels.  Yes, I still have my sweet “mamalle” (that’s my nickname for her), however, the dynamics have changed for me, and they changed about five years ago.

Most of you know my story, so I won’t bore you with the details again. I no longer receive Mother’s Day cards from my three children. I no longer have to make room in my jewelry cabinet for my bead necklaces. I no longer have to find room to hang the poems from my refrigerator. I no longer get calls from my children letting me know how much they love me.  And those of you who have been through similar experience know that we would give just about anything to have those simple things again, wouldn’t we? 

And another reason it is no longer a “sweet” holiday for me is that I see the pain and hurt in my husband who no longer has his mom to celebrate with. This will be the second year he is without his mom, who passed away less than a week after our wedding. I see the struggle within him to want to have her here to to say “Happy Mother’s Day”, but at the same time not wanting her to leave her Savior’s presence. 

Mother’s Day is a difficult day for our household. Each of the three of us struggles with that day. My new step-son and I have a tenuous relationship, and he deals with the decision on a daily basis of whether or not he wants me to be his mom. His birth mother deserted him as a young child, so he doesn’t really understand the “mother role.”  My husband has no earthly mom anymore. And I am i the position where my children no longer recognize me as a mother. So the three of us generally stay home on Mother’s Day. We don’t go to church. We try not to make too much of a “deal” about Mother’s Day. My sweet man generally does something nice for me, but knows doing too much will hurt.  My step-son remembers to get me a little something only if prompted to do so. And I generally spend the day in tears. 

I don’t forget my own mom. She is my best friend and confidante. I love spending time with her as often as I can. But my heart breaks for all of those in this world that either do not have their moms with them anymore because of death or those who no longer have their children – whether by their choice or by death.  I sometimes wish that there was a day on the calendar for those that cannot celebrate on this day. 

Until next time,

Petra

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmothers

Just a little fun  this weekend before Mother’s Day. I hope that you will enjoy this. Just remember that it is an older post, so my style of writing might be a little different.

Originally posted 6-6-13

The other day I was driving to work and I was thinking about the word “grandmother.”  I wondered when that phrase originated.  I honestly don’t think it started in the old testament, did it?  Maybe you can correct me, but I think the first time the word is mentioned in the Bible is in Timothy when Paul mentioned Timothy’s grandmother, Lois.  Interesting.

So then I got to thinking about my own paternal grandmother. I know that my dad called her “mother” and sometimes “mom” and I called her “grandma”.  I am not sure what the rest of the grandkids called her (let me know if it’s something different, please).  But I wonder what she would have said if one of the grandkids had called her “meemaw” or “granny”?  I have a feeling she would have found it slightly disrespectful.  Grandma was very formal and liked traditional names.  (Dad was the only boy who didn’t have a biblical name.  But I digress.) In Germany, where my mom is from, the grandmother from the family is known as “Oma” and at least one person who responded on my FB page said she can attest to that.  There really is no variation to that name.  Every woman old enough to be a grandmother enjoys being called “Oma” because that is tradition.

I remember an aunt (who shall remain nameless for this post) say that she didn’t want to be called “grandma” because it made her feel old.  I can understand that.  I don’t like being “miss” one day and the next day be “ma’am”, but that’s the way it is.  There is no guile in the term, it is a term of respect.  And I believe my grandmother and all those who came before her  believe the same way.  I wonder how many would roll over in their graves if they heard other grandmothers referred to as “Mamaw,” “Grammie,” “Nana,” “Memaw,” “Granny,” or even be referred to by their first name.  Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong or anything. Truly.  I’m just wondering when we, as a culture, got to the point where we are so informal with regard to those who have earned every single grey hair on their heads, whether they color it or not.

 

As for me. Well, I many never be known as “Grandma” or even “Oma” to anyone.  After all, my own children don’t even refer to me as “mom” anymore.  But hopefully I will continue to be “ma’am” to a generation who still has an ounce of respect to give to his/her elders. Although, I must say that I am more than ready to be a grandmother to anyone who is willing to let me spoil them….and I don’t even care if they call me “Grammie Petra.”