Welcome to the Seesaw



teeter-totter-148268_1280We know how a see-saw (aka teeter-totter) works. Let one side be heavier and it will crash to the ground. The rider lands with a teeth-jarring thump. The unfortunate passenger on the opposite side might end up bouncing off into the troposphere. Only with perfectly distributed weight is the see-saw perfectly balanced.

Christians, no matter how learned or discerning or pious, still can get out of balance. But God in His infinite loving wisdom has provided everything we need to keep from either slamming painfully to earth or losing our grip and flying out-of-control off the apparatus.

For Example:

Without faith it’s impossible to please God, (Hebrews 11:6). Right? But start neglecting the good fruits God wants us to display and we’ll slide not only downward into selfishness, but into doubting the truth of our faith and the Father who provides it.

Pray without ceasing, we read in I Thessalonians 5:7. Our entire lives should be constant communication with God. But when those prayers turn into vain repetitions and meaningless babble warned against in Matthew 6, we aren’t communicating any more. We’re just throwing words at God. He reminds us that prayer involves the heart, mind and will. We’re speaking to a real Person!

Examples of Contradictions?

Sometimes Scripture seems to contradict itself.  But could some of these “inconsistencies”  be God’s way of keeping our lives in balance? (I was going to write “keeping our Christian walk in balance” but walking doesn’t work well with the seesaw metaphor.)

Please pop over to Heartwings for the rest of the story!


Christmas Passed (Almost)

Here I told friends I’d love to promote their books on my blog. But not on Tuesdays, because—you know—TUESDAY Prude. I want to save it for my own book.

And then I wake up this morning. TUESDAY. And I forgot to post about my book. So now I’m a blur of trying to get it published before everyone goes to work.

The book is Christmas Passed. Published by Pelican Books. Only available on ereaders like Kindle, Nook, or those clever apps you can download. (No. No print for this book. Sorry. Don’t hate me.)

It’s a suspense romance, set in Milwaukee in early December. Dinah, my heroine, is photographing an old house she loves. While it is being transformed for a series of Christmas open houses, an unfortunate event puts Dinah in charge of the preparations. It’s a dream come true, until she realized she has to work with Mick Wagner, her childhood nemesis. An old secret in the attic results in a very present danger for Dinah. Here is the cover.

Dinah, my heroine, would be slightly surprised at how glamorous she looks, but it is a pretty cover, don’t you think?ChristmasPassed_w5499_680

Some women dream of tropical islands. Dinah dreams of rummaging through old attics. Mickey, her nemesis,  was gorgeous as a rotten kid and just as gorgeous as an irate adult.

Here are a couple of tweets if you don’t follow me on Twitter. (Mental note to self. Put these on Twitter too.)

Ebbie’s unfortunate accident puts Dinah in command. Her troops? Four elderly women.

Mick calls Dinah a brainiac. She calls him a dumb jock. Opposites attract. Or do they?

My publisher wanted me to explain a bit more about Christmas Passed and why I wrote it:

I’m hooked on holidays. Even the ones you don’t send cards for, like Flag Day.
So when I saw (on April 1) that my publisher was accepting submissions for Christmas novellas (due May 1), I set my face away from my spring decorations, turned on Christmas music, and started writing.

A month later and panting heavily from the exertion, I submitted “Christmas Passed” and immediately turned my thoughts to May Day.

Since then, the manuscript was accepted, the cover art designed and a release date of December 1 set. Since then I’ve decorated for Flag Day, Fourth of July, First Day of School, and all things autumn. Now it’s time to get in a Christmas frame of mind.

If you are like me, you enjoy summer beach reads—while it is summer—and Christmas stories beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Moreover (if you are like me) you don’t want your Christmas stories too dark or depressing. Why ruin the most wonderful time of the year with gloom?

“Christmas Passed” is a quick read, but filled with all things Christmas. Want decorations? It has boxfuls. Watery hot cocoa? Check. A possible romance? Possibly. Adorable old folks? Got ‘em. Danger? Of course! I am, after all, a romance-SUSPENSE writer.

Sprinkle the story with a bit of humor, some life-changing history and a solid base of faith, and you have “Christmas Passed.” No matter where you live, your age, or your circumstances, I hope that, if you read it, you’ll get a whiff of Christmas at its best.


Me. In the snow. Drinking coffee. With the gutter in the background, which is why my husband wouldn’t let me use it as a main publicity photo.

Links to Christmas Passed



Barnes and Noble:


Monday at the Prude: MM by LL


I just finished reading “Meow Mistletoe” by Lisa Lickel. This woman is a prolific, intelligent, imaginative writer. (Tell me you see what I did there in my post title. “Meow Mistletoe” by Lisa Lickel.)

Lisa comes up with some of the best names for businesses! How about Mea Cuppa for a coffee shop? And people: Pfannie? A woman as ditzy-yet-inoffensive as her name.

Lisa’s books are peppered with interesting and memorable people. In “Meow Mistletoe,” a prequel to her “Meow” cozy mystery series, we meet Almanzo, Pfannie, Donald, and most importantly, Ivy our heroine and Adam, the man who makes her heart skip beats at inconvenient moments. Did I say they were the most important? The cats Memnet, Isis and Tut, would dispute that statement. I asked Lisa about her own relationship with cats.

Why cats in your books?
I have cats in a lot of my books, don’t I? Except for UnderStory, which has dogs. I grew up with cats and have fond memories of a couple of them, like the Terrible Turk, a Siamese we had for a number of years. He used to chase me and my brother around the house, nipping our heels. Then I married into a family of allergy-prone people, and while my husband’s brother and sister just suffer and have cats in their homes, my husband doesn’t want to. Our oldest struggled with animal allergies, too, so that was that. Oh, we did have gerbils for a while, but they’re not exactly the same, are they? I now have pets vicariously through my stories. Still not sure about dogs, though. Sorry.

“Meow Mistletoe” takes place in one night—a few hours, actually.  Christmas stories are best read at Christmas, I think. The next question for Lisa (who is also a historian) was:

If you could adopt any Christmas tradition from any era or nation or culture into your holidays, what would it be?
It’s been a while since I’ve seen traditions around the world. There are so many unique customs, aren’t there? Our new house has high ceilings. Maybe we could do several upside-down German Christmas trees…hmm, maybe not. I confess to having miniature clip candle holders for Christmas tree branches and have lit them successfully a couple of years without needing to use a fire extinguisher. I still love later Victorian celebrations, including Boxing Day and the Twelve Days of Christmas, bows, small gifts spread over the season, special treats, punch, music, long skirts and mufflers, a group of carolers singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and Tiny Tim being healed.

Knowing how much authors live in the fictional worlds we create, I wondered—

If you could insert yourself into “Meow Mistletoe, tell us which scene you’d love to be part of.

There are a couple of scenes I’d probably curl up and burn with embarrassment like Ivy did. I thought maybe I’d like to be rescued by Adam when Ivy almost got run over, but street burn doesn’t appeal to me…even though there was that almost-kiss. I think I’d like most of all to be part of following the blood trail. That’s the scene that shows they are kindred spirits, unafraid of adventure and would make a good team.


If you want a quick, fun read, well-written, with a quirky and unexpected little mystery, get “Meow Mistletoe!” It’s part of the Pelican Book Group Christmas Extravaganza series.

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2OjPmBn
Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2CVwTsT

Ivy has just cause to be wary of men. Her long-time fiancé backed out of their wedding. The slow fizzle of their undramatic relationship leaves her wondering if romance is a myth. Then, Adam, an intriguing new member of her pet organization, catches Ivy’s attention. Unfortunately, his cat Isis, a beautiful purebred Egyptian Mau, prefers to pick on her cat, Memnet. Ivy would like to get to know Adam better, but with her self-esteem in the gutter and feline fights at every turn, she wonders how to proceed.

When Ivy agrees to help a clingy friend find her missing pet, she learns that true love doesn’t need theatrics. There’s hope for Adam and Ivy, if only their cats would approve.

Lisa Lickel F (2) 49,1 kb

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin author who loves books, collects dragons, and writes inspiring fiction. She also writes short stories, feature articles, and radio theater, and loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops. Lisa is a member of the Chicago Writer’s Association and vice president/instructor for Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc. She is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor. Find more at http://www.LisaLickel.com.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lisalickel
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lisajlickel
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisalickelauthor
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2bPxi2X