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Becky's Rare & Random Newsletter

If you don't like a cluttered email inbox, this once-in-a-blue-moon newsletter is for you! You can read a couple of my newsletters below, and if you register to be added to my email list, you'll receive a free short story. One of these days, I'll send out another newsy note, Lord willing and the creek don't rise. Watch for it...but don't lose any sleep waiting! ;-)

Spring 2024 (May) - Quick Update!

 

CRIMSON ARCHES, Book Two in the Children of the Lights series, is now available on Amazon (+ eBook & audio). Email me if you'd like an autographed copy:  beckylyles@beckylyles.com  Thank you so much for your interest in my writing. :-) I trust you will enjoy this story's crazy romp through the desert.

Spring 2024 (April) - The Shadow Ranch Saga Continues...

 

CRIMSON ARCHES, Book Two in the Children of the Light series, debuted Tuesday, April 30, at a special low price, so grab it while you can…the Amazon Kindle eBook, that is! (Shadow Ranch is even cheaper!) The audio book will follow, with the print close behind. Other online bookstores plus many libraries will carry the Crimson Arches eBook within the next week or so. Here’s a cover pic on the right and a blurb below. BTW, I had amazing help writing/editing/proofing this one. Thank you, everyone, who shared your knowledge, corrections and suggestions with me. You’re the best! Couldn’t do it without you (and that’s no exaggeration)!

Kasenia Clarke escaped Shadow Ranch months ago, but when Trent Duran asks her to visit Crimson Arches, his neighboring ranch, she hesitates. She adores Trent and wants to see where he “hangs his hat,” yet she dreads going anywhere near the abusive polygamous cult. Then an unexpected connection with another “plyg” community changes everything, and she jumps in with both feet, unaware of the peril that awaits her down by the border.

Because Fiction Podcast Interview (Episode 323)

Chautona Havig picked my brain regardng the Children of the Light series for her Because Fiction podcast (#323). If you'd like to learn why I tackled such a strange subject for the series (contemporary polygamy), please give #323 a listen. Chautona is a great interviewer! I enjoyed my chat with her.

Shannon Taylor VanNatter Interview

I recently told the story of our awkward but hilarious engagement "dance" on Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s blogsite. Steve and I “becoming one” 50 years ago didn’t merely involve a crazy engagement, the wedding also provided plenty of entertainment, most of it unintentional.

If you were to celebrate 50 years of marriage, what would you do? Where would you go? The winner will be given the opportunity to purchase airplane tickets for us, yay! Just joking… But seriously, please email me with your ideas. beckylyles@beckylyles.com. And/or, if you have a fun engagement or wedding story, we'd love to hear it. :-)

Last But Not Least

Steve and I were recently privileged to talk with Kathy Collard Miller on our Let Me Tell You a Story podcast. In the midst of a fun conversation, she shared much wisdom about life and relationships. Kathy is a prolific author with more than 60 books under her belt. Her upcoming book is titled Anger Management, Jesus Style. She’s also a popular retreat and conference speaker as well as a lay counselor with her husband, Larry.  

https://kathycollardmiller.com/

Becky

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Winter 2023 - 'Tis the Season to Celebrate!

“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the

land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Matthew 4:16

The word “light” keeps popping into my reading this Christmas season, more than usual, it seems. And it’s not just about the star or the angels who brought God’s blinding glory to the shepherds, but about Jesus coming to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Yet, headlines often suggest the dark side is winning. Try as we might, the Christmas season’s sparkling lights and tinkling bells can’t diminish the horror of evil. Just yesterday, I heard another heart-wrenching human-trafficking story. When we think our dark planet can’t get any murkier, it does, and I ache for the multitudes trapped in the shadows.

Sounds a bit like Matthew 4:16 (quoting Isaiah 9:2). “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” But what is that light? Who is that light? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Steve and I recently viewed the documentary No Place on Earth that tells the story of 30 Ukrainian Jewish relatives who hid from the Nazis for 511 days—in caves. Though the enemy attempted to snuff out the lights of their lives, the family survived in darkness, with the aid of ingenuity, candles and lanterns.

 

Documentary: https://www.timesofisrael.com/saved-from-the-nazis-in-the-caves-of-the-ukraine/
Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0vuJRFn1q4

The Bible tells us the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. I'm eternally grateful those of us who are not of Jewish descent can be included among the chosen. All we need to do is accept Jesus the Messiah as our Savior to light our way. I Pet 2:9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

What amazing *GOOD NEWS*— news even greater than reports of wars ending or despots being dethroned! We do not have to succumb to the darkness! “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:4-5). Thank God, the dark side holds zero power to extinguish His light.

The day is coming when nations no longer train their citizens for war (Isaiah 2:4) and our Creator fashions a new heaven and a new earth—and a new Jerusalem. “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelation 21:23).

I will make darkness light before them and crooked places straight.

Isaiah 42:16b

SPEAKING OF DARK AND CROOKED PLACES, my latest novel offers plenty of both—but with a happy ending. Crimson Arches is the second book in the Children of the Light series and continues a look into contemporary polygamy. Just so you know, I don’t advocate plural marriage, and after nearly 50 years of marriage, I’m pretty sure Steve would say one wife is enough. :-)

My purpose with the series is to counter those who suggest such so-called wedlock is a happy way to live. From what I’ve discovered through extensive research (not personal experience!), the opposite is true.
 
I wish I could share a cover with you, but it’s still in the artist’s computer. And the Crimson Arches story is in the capable hands of beta readers. Someday soon, I hope to be able to put it all together. I'll be sure to let you know when the novel is available! In the meantime, if you haven’t read Shadow Ranch, you can access it through my website or anywhere books are sold online. Click the book cover to zip directly to Amazon.


Here’s the back-cover blurb:

     University of Arizona student Kasenia Clarke knows where she's headed in life and how to get there. But falling under a charismatic professor's spell was not part of her plan. When a romantic weekend getaway to his isolated ranch reveals his perverse agenda, Kasenia finds herself a prisoner of a madman.
 
     Desperate to extricate herself and her teenage brother from the locked compound near the U.S.-Mexico border, she frantically searches for someone to help them escape. The other "captives," who seem content with their unconventional lifestyle, are suspicious of Kasenia and her rebellious ideas. Can she trust anyone to aid her quest for freedom when the group’s loyalty is to the professor and their activities are monitored day and night?


Podcast News:

In case you didn’t know, Steve and I host a podcast called Let Me Tell You a Story. We’ve interviewed dozens of people with interesting stories, from a race car driver to a former addict to a falcon enthusiast. We also interview authors to talk about their writing and their latest books. Our most recent interviewee, Jodi Cowles, has both—an intriguing background and a new book set in an exotic locale. Listen here to Podcast #146, "Cold Turkey, Warm Culture," and see the book here. I bet someone on your Christmas list would love to find this fun romp through Istanbul under their tree!

 

     Hoodwinked by the charming smile and dishy British accent of an international school administrator, Amanda says farewell to her simple, predictable American life in exchange for a teaching position in Turkey, a country featuring fasting, feasting, and frequent calls to prayer.
 
     She soon finds herself caught up in a colorful—and often perplexing—life as a foreigner in Turkey. Navigating a never-ending leaking bathroom, crowded public transportation and plenty of foibles in a language completely foreign to her, Amanda jumps in with humor and enthusiasm.

 
Discovering Turkey’s rich culture, impressive street food and friendly (if slightly intrusive) inhabitants enamors Amanda at first, but as the school year grinds on, the newness and excitement wear off. As her challenges begin piling up, Amanda questions her decision and longs for home. But, deep down, she is beginning to fall in love with this crazy and chaotic metropolis and the people who live in it.

That’s the news from my world. I hope and pray all is well in your world! :-)

Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

Wishing you straight paths and Light from Above in 2024,

 

Becky

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