Blog

New Scene from “Picking Daisy”

PickingDaisyoption2
Coming in 2017!

Here is the (rough draft, unedited) scene where foster daughter meets foster mom. Let me know what you think of it so far. Does it ring true or sound unbelievable in any way? Thank you in advance for your feedback!

***

What is in that?” Elise whispered to Judy when DJ had walked out of earshot.

“In what?” Judy sent her a quizzical look.

“In the garbage bag. Why is she bringing trash in here?” Elise shuddered.

“It’s her stuff.” Judy looked bored and dug her vibrating cell phone out of her pocket.

“Her…” Elise blinked, the thoughts in her head felt as if they were traveling through molasses, “stuff?”

“Yeah, like clothes and belongings? Her stuff.” She looked down at her phone.

“In a garbage bag? For garbage?” Elise had let her voice grow too loud. DJ spun around and scowled.

“It’s her bag. Sorry. Gotta go.” Judy pasted on a smile and waved. “See ya, kiddo.”

Elise opened her mouth and turned to ask another question, but Judy had already ducked out and shut the door. Licking her dry lips, she looked back to DJ and tried to remember to inhale.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult your . . . your bag. It’s just . . . I mean . . . I thought someone would have given you some nice luggage or something to carry your things in. Because your belongings are important. And they deserve something . . . special. So, if it’s okay with you . . . that’s going on the list!” Elise strode to the kitchen and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. “I haven’t had a chance to go shopping this week, and I thought we could go tomorrow. Get a few things we’ll need, you know. And I’ll put that right on the top.” She wrote in big, loopy letters. “Luggage for DJ. There.”

DJ still stood in the same spot, arms hanging down by her side, garbage bag clenched in her fist. Elise could only see annoyance in her eyes.

“Is that okay with you?” Had she already offended her first foster child within five minutes of her stay?

DJ’s body finally unlocked and relaxed slightly to let out a shrug. Then a yawn.

“Oh! I’m so sorry. You must be exhausted! Here, I’ll show you to your room! Actually, you have a choice of three bedrooms. They are all set up for guests, but feel free to pick the one you like the best.” Elise marched down the hall and flicked on lights as she went. “This one’s the tiny room, but it does have easy access to the bathroom, right across the hall. This bathroom is yours, I have my own attached to the master, of course, so you can just use anything in here you need. And if you need anything else, I’ll add it to the list.”

Elise flipped on another light switch. “Here is the room with the most natural light. Two windows on that wall face south. And this one . . .” she pushed open a door and flicked on the light. “This is the largest one with the biggest bed. Queen sized.” She smiled and turned to see DJ down the hall, still staring into the first bedroom. “You want the one closest to the bathroom?”

DJ walked in the room without a word. Elise bit her lip, turned off the other bedroom lights, and joined DJ in the smallest room in the house.

“If there’s anything you need at all to make your stay more comfortable, I can just add it to the–”

DJ sighed and looked at her feet.

“Okay, then, umm, light switch is here, towels are in the bathroom along with soap, shampoo, conditioners, lotions, disposable razors, et cetera, et cetera. Extra blankets and pillows are in the closet along with lots of hangers so you can hang up anything you’d like. And if you need anything else at all, just let me know and I’ll, well you know. Add it to the list.” She let out a laugh that surprised her. “I’ll let you get some sleep. I’ll be in the living room for a while doing some paperwork, umm, but then I’ll be in my room upstairs, so just barge in if you need me for anything at all. Anything. At all. I don’t mind, and I don’t bite. Okay?”

DJ was a statue again.

“Okay, well. Goodnight.” Elise bobbed her head and made her escape, trotting down the hall and collapsing into the safety of her living room couch.

Why did she make such a big deal about the garbage bag? She probably embarrassed her so much when that’s all she had in the world. Why did she babble on and on? She’d probably made her so uncomfortable already when she was attempting to do just the opposite.

She sighed and grabbed her laptop from the coffee table.

Why had DJ chosen to stay in the most cramped room in the house? Did she really need to be that close to the bathroom or did she just not want to impose? How could she make her feel more at home? How could she connect with her at all if she refused to so much as speak to her?

Elise rubbed the bridge of her nose and let out a long breath. Maybe Melissa was right about the whole thing. Maybe she couldn’t do this.

New Adult Coloring Book! FREE pages!


More than just a coloring book, this inspirational activity book will help you relax, unwind, and enjoy some creative fun while hiding God’s Word in your heart. 

The 35 separate verses and passages are printed in colorable word art with decorative borders, blank on the back to make them easier to remove and frame or display, if desired. Each one is accompanied by two different activities or puzzles featuring the verse or key words from it. 


Hide it in Your Heart is an ideal Scripture memorization aid for Christian schools, homeschool programs, Sunday schools, or your own personal use. Children and adults will enjoy learning, practicing, and meditating on these artistically presented verses from the New International Version Bible. 
 
Proceeds from the sale of Hide it In Your Heart will be donated to www.Christar.org to help provide a translation of God’s Word for a particular people group in East Asia who do not yet have the Bible in their own language.
 
Here are a few sample coloring and activity pages from Hide it In Your Heart. If you’d like to color them or complete the word puzzles, click here to access a PDF that you can download and print.
Hide it In Your Heart is available in paperback on Amazon. Click here to order your copy for $8.99. 
HOWEVER, you can get it for 15% off if you order it here on CreateSpace with coupon code JZBVVBH8The code can be used an unlimited number of times and will not expire, so feel free to order as many copies as you like for family and friends. Hide it In Your Heart makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys word puzzles, coloring, or God’s word! 
You’re welcome to share the code with others, too.

Happy coloring!

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 thirteen books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, five anthologies of her
students’ poetry, and a Scripture coloring and activity book). Besides writing,
her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction),
scrapbooking, and international travel.

 
 
Connect with Annie Douglass Lima online:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sign up for author updates and receive a free ebook of “interviews” with characters from her fantasy series: http://bit.ly/LimaUpdates
 

Re-Release of Deep Blue Sea

I wrote and published my first story five or six years ago.

I had no idea what I was doing.

And since I’ve learned a lot since, I figured it was about time to revisit the book that started it all and give it a makeover inside and out.

It is scheduled to be re-released here on  July 7, 2016.

Here’s the new cover:

DBSKINDLEcover2016

And here’s an excerpt from chapter one:

1

Sunday, March 30

JAMIE WALKER opened one eye and looked around her bedroom. For a single moment, she delighted in the embrace of the sunshine as it stretched its golden fingers through the window. Silky sheets and fuzzy pillows hugged her body. Sleep lingered in her mind as she yawned. For one fleeting second, everything was all right.

Then she remembered.

Groaning, she glanced at the clock and rolled her eyes with disgust.

11:26. Great, now the whole day is shot.

She ignored the clock and stared for a long time at her navy blue carpet. It reminded her of something. Something she didn’t want to remember.

She shook the thoughts from her memory as she closed her eyes and tried to recall what day it was.

Sunday.

Jamie cringed and clenched her teeth. Her eyes squeezed closed as a cramp seized her insides.

No more midnight ice cream binges.

She pushed her face deep into her pillow and wished for better days ahead. But it would never happen. Never in a million years.

And she knew why.

After convincing herself to get out of bed, Jamie found a pair of dirty sweatpants and a ripped sweatshirt amidst the clothes on the floor and pulled them on over her nightgown. She stepped into her slippers and headed down the stairs of her empty house.

Jamie opened the cabinet above the kitchen sink and fumbled for the aspirin bottle with one hand while closing the blinds against the sun with the other. Once she had the bottle in her grip, she pried off the cap and dumped out the last five pills. Sitting on the bar stool, she popped each one into her mouth and cradled her head with her fingers.

Deciding to skip breakfast, she padded into the living room and issued a search and rescue mission for the remote. As she scrutinized the mess, a twinge of guilt resonated in the center of her stomach. Dan would be home in three days, and he wouldn’t like coming back to a filthy house. He would know something was wrong. And Jamie couldn’t tell him what it was.

She found the remote under a mound of used tissues and granola bar wrappers. Maybe watching TV would edge away the panic threatening to rise. She found the M&Ms from Monday stuck to the bottom of a glass bowl. She ate them while settling in to watch QVC and Lifetime. Maybe later she’d find the momentum to get something accomplished.

Instead of reviving her, the soft sofa and low drone of the television coaxed her into catching up on the sleep that had escaped her last night.

Book Review: Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight

Note: This book becomes available on Amazon.com today!

My rating: 5 stars

SP

This book is a masterfully written continuation of the Ilyon Chronicles. In this book, the readers get treated to more knowledge about the background and families of the main characters. The third book, Samara’s Peril, takes us to the country of Samara where the emperor has declared an all-out war. The rebels decide to fight against their home country and come to Samara’s aide. What makes this novel even better is the allegorical themes with the miracle-worker Elon sacrificing his life for his people.
If you’d like to escape reality for a day or two, you need to read this series. I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait to read book #4!

New Book by Annie Douglass Lima

I’m excited to announce that my young adult action and adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available for purchase! This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach



First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 


Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?


The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  


Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

 

And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

 

 

Bensin, a teenage slave and
martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused
of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early
death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue
him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment
designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his
choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty
of the arena system and
seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

 

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!



Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

 Now for an excerpt of The Gladiator and the Guard:

The gritty sand stuck to Bensin’s bare feet as he circled his opponent. Sweat trickled down his face, and he could hear his own breathing magnified a hundred times across the arena, picked up by a microphone on one of the drones hovering above the ring. The crowd in the stands was silent in anticipation, or as close to silent as an audience of ten thousand ever gets.

I’ve got to find the right opening and finish this. Bensin’s life didn’t exactly depend on winning the match, but his freedom did.

Like a snake striking, the young man across from him lunged forward, cavvarach flashing through the air. Bensin brought his own cavvarach up to block it, and their blades met with a crash. His opponent shoved forward, weapon pressing against Bensin’s, trying to force him backward. Bensin gripped his hilt more tightly and shoved back, fingers clenched around the foam rubber, feet digging into the sand, willing himself not to give way. The ankle he had twisted in the previous match protested painfully, but he refused to pay it any attention.

Between their crossed blades, he could see the grimace on the young man’s face, the clench of his jaw, as they both strained to force each other off balance for the pin that would end the match. He wants this win bad. But not as bad as I do.

Bensin’s ankle was threatening to betray him. He found himself compensating by taking a quick step backward, and then another, and his opponent pressed his advantage. I can’t let him beat me! A spark of desperation prickled in his mind.

But the match wasn’t over yet.

 

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 twelve books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her
students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially
fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.






Connect with the Author Online:


 

Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!
 

Or find the giveaway at this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ad2fd99a3/?

 

Book Review: Little Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

My Rating: 5 stars

lllfG.jpg

This hardcover book has absolutely stunning illustrations on every single page. My three-year-old loved to read it, and I loved the easy-to-read rhymes and rhythms that told simple and popular accounts from the Bible. A lot of children’s books try to rhyme and do it badly. This is not that type of book. It is expertly written and expertly illustrated; a beautiful addition to any bookshelf. I also liked that this book contained quick and easy Scripture verses that could be easily taught and memorized. One hesitation I had about the book was the individualized letters supposedly written to the child by God Himself. (“Dear________” –fill in your child’s name.) I get the point of them, but toddlers are very literal, and I’m hesitant to lead my son to believe that God actually wrote those letters to him, because obviously the author of the book wrote them. However, that’s a minor point, the idea behind each letter is biblical and sound, and it may just be a “me thing,” so I don’t expect everyone to have the same reservations. All in all, this was a great book to add to our other children’s Bible books, and I anticipate my son picking it over and over again to be read to him at bedtime.

Book Review: Space Kitties by Various Authors

My Rating: 4 stars

Space Kitties

I’m going to start off this review by admitting three things.
First, I’m allergic to cats.
Second, I’m a “dog person.”
Third, I wrote one of the short stories in this book. (My review is for the ones I didn’t write or read until I purchased the anthology myself.)
Some of the stories were written better than others. Some had almost no dialogue. Some had almost only dialogue. Most were up to snuff with professional writing; some were not quite there yet for me.
If you are a cat lover, a space lover, a funny, quirky story lover, then you need to add this book to your collection! Each space kitty tale contained in this anthology is unique and takes a different approach to the theme of cats in space. Even if you’re not so much a fan of cats, space, or the two concepts together, you will still find a lot in this book to hold your interest and keep you smiling and reading.