Daddy ~ Our Superman (Eulogy)


To everyone who didn’t know what happened this last week, I lost my father. He was 79 years old and lived a wonderful life. He gave of himself more than any other human I ever met. He deserved honor, respect, and above all, our undying love and devotion. That, he certainly received.

His service was sad, but sweet. I thought I’d share the eulogy I hadn’t even planned to write or speak until 6:30AM the morning of his funeral. So here goes:

Spoken before I began: “As daughters, Annamarie and I have never experienced something so difficult in our lives. Watching Daddy’s decline was tough, but losing him after such a heroic fight for his life, was even more devastating. I’ll be very honest with you. I wasn’t sure I could get up here and do this, but I couldn’t allow this day to go by without all of you knowing a little more about the man whose life we are celebrating. If I choke up, please pray me through this.

“Children regard their fathers as God with skin on. This is very much the way Annamarie and I saw our Daddy. He was a man who could do anything. Even when there seemed no other way, Daddy either knew how to make it happen or he found a way. Just when everyone else thought the situation was hopeless, Daddy always came through leaving us wondering where he got his strength, wisdom, and stick-to-it-iveness. As the famous comic book and movie character, Superman, displayed: sacrificing of yourself to help the people you love, is not just a conviction, but a way of life. In his years, he set an example. Love with all your heart, your soul, and your mind, and make whatever sacrifices you have to, so that the people around you are left knowing without a doubt that you loved them.

“Daddy’s work ethic was beyond reproach. We wondered how he got so little sleep and continued working 12-17 hour days. He’d work all day and most of the night, come home, and get a few hours sleep, then restart the day, rested and rejuvenated. Looking back, now I know that he kept going because he loved his family and wanted the best for them. He wanted to have a legacy to leave behind when his final hours on this earth eventually arrived: for us to learn how to carry through life knowing how and where to get the answers when problems approached us, and that we should never give up.

“What I hope he knows now, is that his legacy wasn’t in items of monetary value. The cars, the carnival rides, the concession wagons, and all the means to make a living that he made sure were in place before he left us were amazing, but above all, the memory of him, his love, and his devotion to us meant more than any Earthly material item.

“When Annamarie and I were little girls, we rarely had the financial means to go on outings or family vacations. In fact, there were many days we scavenged through the sofas, the cars and any place in the house change might have been dropped, so we could purchase a gallon of milk and a bag of the cheapest cereal so we’d have something to eat for dinner that night. We always lucked up and found that final quarter or dime. And our mealtime with Daddy was just as good as if it had been a flame-grilled steak with all the fixings on the side. Because we sat at the table, discussed our day, and watched the twinkle in Daddy’s eyes as he enjoyed time with family.

“Family meant more to Daddy than anything else on his planet. We’ve joked and said that we ran a close second to his Cocker Spaniels, but they were part of the family, too. If any of you have a beloved pet, you know exactly what I mean. Anyway, not only did daddy ensure there was food on the table, never did a holiday pass that we didn’t have a basket from the Easter Bunny, a turkey on the table, or something we’d specifically asked for under our Christmas tree. As children, we didn’t get a lot of new things, unless our Aunt Kay and Uncle Bill took us shopping for school clothes or dress shopping for a special dance. We didn’t realize Daddy went without a few meals or worked countless extra hours for us. We only saw sparkling joy in his eyes, as he sat back and watched us giggling little girls, so excited with the prospect of something new.

“Daddy also worked extra hours to earn the money to send us on all the educational field trips the school offered. We never missed one. In fact, having been in the academically gifted classes, I was given the opportunity to chaperone all the other classes, field trips, at my own expense, so I went to the outer banks twice and Washington D.C. three times. Daddy made sure we had all we needed to get a well-rounded education. There was only one thing he held in higher regard: our Christianity. He stressed that we placed God in the center of everything in our lives. As the Bible teaches, he wanted us to make sure our eyes were set on God and that they never left him.

“In our younger years, Daddy surrounded us with Christian friends, a church family, and people we could look up to so that we’d grow into responsible, God-fearing adults. Today, I honor him today because he made sure that when he passed on from this world to go be with the Lord, that my sister and I would have the opportunity to run into his arms when we arrived at the Gates of Heaven. So, I don’t want you to focus on the loss of his life, but celebrate a man that deserved celebrating. He was a man of honor, a sense of duty to his country, his family, and his beloved friends. For years, I’ve wondered what I really wanted to be when I grew up. Now I know. I want to be as much like my father as possible.

“This afternoon, we will lay my father to rest, but be assured, the body you saw in that casket is only a vessel, a glove, if you will. The hand that fit into that glove, that guided the body throughout it’s life was his soul and that soul is no longer with us. On August 24th, he went to meet his maker. Daddy would want me to ask this. Are you ready to meet yours? Are you ready to stand before God? Daddy would want you all to be ready so that on that glorious day, he can throw those strong, loving arms around you again. Please make sure that before you leave this service, that you have made your peace, that you know, that you know, that you know without a doubt that you’ll be received into the Gates of Heaven washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and forgiven of all your earthly sins.

“Thank you for joining us today to celebrate this man of God. There will never be enough words to express how much it means to us. God Bless you all.”

There were so many years of things I left out, sacrifices Daddy made, especially the 17 years he went without buying a single stitch of clothing other than underwear and how he resoled his shoes so Annamarie and I would have things. It’s another of those things you can’t go back and change. But that’s okay. Daddy is in Heaven now and he knows how very special I thought he was.

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Long-awaited Release of Tortured Soul


Tortured Teaser Best Ever !

EXCITING NEW RELEASE

For four years, the fans of the first novel I released, Black Soul, have asked for the sequel. Now, I can finally, with great pride, say that Tortured Soul (The Forbidden Series #2) is available for sale at amazon.com for $2.99.

CONTRACT FOR CURSED SERIES

Given that there was such a long wait between Black Soul and Tortured Soul, I feel an explanation is due. Right after Black Soul was released, I earned a contract with Kensington Publishing for the Cursed Series which took over 2 and 1/2 years to complete.  Ever AfterEver BoundEver Tempted, and Ever Lasting were all full length novels, except Ever Bound which was considered a novella–the history of the curse in the late 1800’s–so they took a very long time to run through the five editing rounds, cover creations, and final galleys (read through of final document). In fact, I’m sure I aged ten years and gained a lot more gray hair.

CURRENT WORKS

My original plans had been to work on Tortured Soul alongside the Cursed Series, but the calibre of work that those four books took kept me up night and day for 2 and 1/2 years, leaving little family time, recuperating time, or even time to breathe. I learned not to contract books so close together next time.

Now, with the Cursed Series complete, I have three more novels I’ve released just this year alone. I try to write extremely different storylines in each series so I can appeal to a broader audience. Each series is a different genre. Cursed was YA, The Forbidden Series was YA/NA, Object of my Protection (The Sentinel Series) was NA, and Dante’s Embrace, my current WIP (work in progress) will probably be YA. My decision on how explicit it will be is still up in the air.

HEARTFELT APOLOGIES

So, now that I’ve given a bit of explanation, I want to apologize for the delay. As far as I know, and as long as the year goes well, with little catastrophy, I hope to release the third novel in the Forbidden Series, Souls on Fire, the second novel in The Sentinel Series, and when I name the series Dante’s Embrace will appear in, the second novel in that series. That’s at least three more books. I have high expectations of myself and want to keep my reader’s pleased. Please take a few minutes to flip through my books, choose a series you’d like to sink your teeth into, and share them with your friends.

IMPORTANCE OF REVIEWS

And don’t forget to leave a review–no matter how small. Every review makes an author more visible on Amazon. There’s some sort of algorithm they use to decide where they will stick the cover of your book. Apparently reviews get you higher up on the list.

 

A Tribute to Walt Disney (Beauty and the Beast)


I’d like to thank Walt Disney for being one of my biggest inspirations. Born just ten years before my Daddy, in 1928, Walt was born in Chicago Illinois, and co-founded the timeless Walt Disney Productions with his brother Roy. Winning 22 Academy awards, he was the creator of Mickey Mouse and various other Disney characters. Belle and Beast were my two personal favorites.

Over the years, the intriguing story of Beauty and the Beast has inspired many spin-off television shows, movies, and books. For my stories, it lent the elements of a strong-willed girl who envisions her man’s monstrous qualities as gifts instead of a curse.

Of all my novels, taking a whopping 8 years to write and perfect, Ever After (The Cursed Series) probably parallels Beauty and the Beast the most. It’s about a girl who inherits a house and a mysterious farmhand who protects her but can never quite bring himself to reveal his true feelings for fear of putting her in danger. At times, his appearance and disposition can be as alarming as Beast’s, but his inner beauty is as epic, immense, and heart-wrenching.

The moralistic approach in Walt’s storytelling, and the pure joy in my children’s eyes as they watch his movies or read his stories will stay with me forever. I only hope to inspire a tenth as much as he has. Thank you, Walt Disney for making a difficult life a little easier to bear, for being an inspiration.

Cover Reveal: Object of my Protection


5x8-paperback-ompsmall-1

I’m pumping out a lot of books in this new year. This is one of them. It’s a dystopian romance set a few years out. Again, Winter Bayne has performed her magic. She could have no more crawled into my head and stole my vision for the cover. Thank you, Winter. You’re the greatest.

Here’s a short clip from the book:

Emilie sauntered to the sofa and plopped onto the spot beside me.

“No date tonight?” I stumbled over words. It had been so long since we’d spoken.

“Nope. No date.” Her eyes squinted into a thoughtful pinch. “I’ve been avoiding this subject for a long time. I don’t know why. I guess I’ve just become cold. There’s not a lot in my life that is consistent. I guess it’s made me a little distant.”

“A little?” I would have laughed if I hadn’t thought it would send her back to her room angry.

“Okay, a lot. It comforts me to know that you are always where I am and that I don’t ever have to worry about someone hurting me…but I was just wondering. Why don’t you leave my side? For all this time, there’s been nothing in your life but me. Why don’t you do anything else?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that.

Emilie’s parents had wanted to be present for this explanation. They had gone on a month-long trip to Taiwan for business. As usual. I couldn’t remember a stretch they’d been home for more than three days since Emilie had hit these most confusing years.

“Don’t you have a family?”

“There are some things about me you can’t know.” I stared straight ahead at the screen.

The black and white flashes of the television illuminated Emilie’s face.

I’d chosen a classic movie channel in hopes of gaining insight on how to deal with Emilie. The modern channels had people who looked like her, but she wasn’t like the modern teens anymore. She’d gone above and beyond.

And at this point, I was ready to give up trying to figure her out.

“Why don’t you date? I know you have a stack of numbers in your room that is beyond ridiculous.” She glanced sideways at me after seeing the movie onscreen. She smiled and shook her head.

“Did you get tired of black? And where are all those God-awful piercings?” I asked dodging the question. Heat filled my cheeks. I had forgotten that she knew about my box.

“You have never called one of them have you?”

“No.” My jaw worked.

“Why?”

“I don’t need them.”

“Everybody needs somebody.”

“I have you. You’re all I need,” I told her. I searched for the remote. Where had I put it? It had been right under the cream-colored pillow. I flipped up the brown one. Nope.

“You have me, but I don’t have you,” she breathed. I wouldn’t have heard her whisper had I been a normal human. But I wasn’t.

Taking my focus off the discovery of the remote, I found a sparkling tear on her cheek.

I didn’t understand. As usual.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the rest of your life. You do have me.” An uncontrollable urge to take her hand shuddered through me, but I had learned over the last few years that you didn’t touch a woman when you didn’t understand what was going on with them. They did crazy stuff when you did.

“If I had you, we wouldn’t be on this sofa right now…five feet apart.” She stared at the empty space between us.

Cover Reveal: Object of my Protection


5x8-paperback-ompsmall-1

I’m pumping out a lot of books in this new year. This is one of them. It’s a dystopian romance set a few years out. Again, Winter Bayne has performed her magic. She could have no more crawled into my head and stole my vision for the cover. Thank you, Winter. You’re the greatest.

Here’s a short clip from the book:

Emilie sauntered to the sofa and plopped onto the spot beside me.

“No date tonight?” I stumbled over words. It had been so long since we’d spoken.

“Nope. No date.” Her eyes squinted into a thoughtful pinch. “I’ve been avoiding this subject for a long time. I don’t know why. I guess I’ve just become cold. There’s not a lot in my life that is consistent. I guess it’s made me a little distant.”

“A little?” I would have laughed if I hadn’t thought it would send her back to her room angry.

“Okay, a lot. It comforts me to know that you are always where I am and that I don’t ever have to worry about someone hurting me…but I was just wondering. Why don’t you leave my side? For all this time, there’s been nothing in your life but me. Why don’t you do anything else?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that.

Emilie’s parents had wanted to be present for this explanation. They had gone on a month-long trip to Taiwan for business. As usual. I couldn’t remember a stretch they’d been home for more than three days since Emilie had hit these most confusing years.

“Don’t you have a family?”

“There are some things about me you can’t know.” I stared straight ahead at the screen.

The black and white flashes of the television illuminated Emilie’s face.

I’d chosen a classic movie channel in hopes of gaining insight on how to deal with Emilie. The modern channels had people who looked like her, but she wasn’t like the modern teens anymore. She’d gone above and beyond.

And at this point, I was ready to give up trying to figure her out.

“Why don’t you date? I know you have a stack of numbers in your room that is beyond ridiculous.” She glanced sideways at me after seeing the movie onscreen. She smiled and shook her head.

“Did you get tired of black? And where are all those God-awful piercings?” I asked dodging the question. Heat filled my cheeks. I had forgotten that she knew about my box.

“You have never called one of them have you?”

“No.” My jaw worked.

“Why?”

“I don’t need them.”

“Everybody needs somebody.”

“I have you. You’re all I need,” I told her. I searched for the remote. Where had I put it? It had been right under the cream-colored pillow. I flipped up the brown one. Nope.

“You have me, but I don’t have you,” she breathed. I wouldn’t have heard her whisper had I been a normal human. But I wasn’t.

Taking my focus off the discovery of the remote, I found a sparkling tear on her cheek.

I didn’t understand. As usual.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the rest of your life. You do have me.” An uncontrollable urge to take her hand shuddered through me, but I had learned over the last few years that you didn’t touch a woman when you didn’t understand what was going on with them. They did crazy stuff when you did.

“If I had you, we wouldn’t be on this sofa right now…five feet apart.” She stared at the empty space between us.

Black Soul by Odessa Black ~ Review


I’m going to reblog this post if you don’t mind. I loved your critical review. Very in depth. Thank you for the time you spent. 🙂

Chicks,Rogues and Scandals

webpage_20170125_142053 The Forbidden Series #1

Half man, half angel, all soldier.
The souleaters will stop at nothing, even death, to uphold divine law. When duty brings Noah Kavanaugh into Nurse Caroline’s path, he is unprepared for the intense desire igniting between them. Rejecting the impulse to take Caroline as his mate becomes unbearable. The limits of his own self-control are tested. So is his loyalty to the law he upholds.
A forbidden human Caroline is determined to find a cure for the mysterious Noah’s illness. With her blazing attraction to him, she’d willingly sacrifice her heart, body, even her life to end his suffering. However, can she bring herself to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save them both?

My View

Noah is a Souleater, who after angering the head of the souleaters, the evil Amon he is sentenced to a long and excruciating death, Noah is dying because he…

View original post 520 more words

People Judge Books by their Cover


In the world of publishing and self-publishing, every author wants to see his or her vision of their books grasped by their cover designer. Winter Bayne takes the bull by the horns. She reaches into the author’s mind and withdraws accurate, striking, and visually stimulating covers.

If you are an author in search of a reasonably priced cover, this is your girl.

Here are a few examples of what she did for me and others:

lilian-oake-bounty-of-everdark

This is Lilian Oake’s cover for Bounty of the Everdark. Lilian is a fantasy author who really knows how to draw you in. She uses great characterization and very real worlds to hook you and leave you reeling for more.

 

sir-arthur

This is Sarah Hegger’s cover for My Lady Faye. She’s another author who uses fantasy, romance, and gorgeous descriptive writing to give you a real feel of her world.

 

coverwebsiteblacksoul

This is my cover for Black Soul The Forbidden Series 1. I’ll let you be the judge of my writing, but as you can see, Winter is very talented. She’ll work with you until you are happy, and she also makes some of the best banners and promo pictures you can find.

Check her out at WinterBayne.com or on Facebook!

I promise, you won’t be sorry. 🙂

 

 

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