Flag of the Free

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I’ve been dying to share this post, but I’ve been saving it for now so that it comes out just before we celebrate our nation’s independence!

My mother read book one in my dystopian trilogy, Chasing Liberty. She said she liked the themes on freedom, then she told me that she had written a poem about freedom when she was twelve years old.

She shared her poem with me. As I read this poem written by my very own mother, I was so excited! The last book in the Liberty trilogy, Fight for Liberty, has a special thread about our American flag and all that it represents.

betsy ross flag

In honor of our country’s independence and in honor of my mother, I give you “Flag of the Free” by Esther Thomas.

Flag of the Free

by Esther M. Thomas

In our country strong and free,
Waves the flag of liberty.
With its colors bright and true,
Where it waves for me and you.
There are some who work and fight,
That Old Glory may fly high.
There are those who pray and die,
For the flag that stands for right.
Right to freedom, right to speech,
Right to ideas, right to preach.
‘Tis the banner all free men
Will revere until the end.

 I get goosebumps when I read this poem. Go Mom! I love it!

As an American who loves our country, the home of the free and the brave, and as a Child of God who believes it is “for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1) this poem really speaks to my heart! I hope that you enjoy it.
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On July 4th, the final book in the Liberty Trilogy comes out. It is available for pre-order now. Although I love this book and am excited to share it with you, I have been so overwhelmed with other things in my life that I haven’t done much to prepare for release day. If you would like to help this book come out with a bang, consider ordering your copy in advance or on the release day. And tell a friend about the trilogy too!

I recently had the opportunity to share this trilogy with someone famous! This person, a popular television personality, said he would check them out and then he gave me an address to send copies. I will share more soon. I am hoping he loves them!
God bless America! Keep her strong and safe from all enemies. Keep each of one us free and in Your loving grace.
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New Medical Thriller: Dying for Revenge

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 In keeping with my current theme of “friendship,” I would like to share my thoughts on friendship in this new medical thriller.

Friends can be the glue that holds us together. A friend can help a person get back on track or stay on track. They can help us to see parts of ourselves that we’d rather not look at, but which we ought to in order to grow or find inner peace.

I was privileged to read an advanced copy of Dying for Revenge by Barbara Golder. One particular friendship in this story gave me a lot to think about: the friendship between the main character and her parish priest.

The strong-willed, competent, and hardworking main character, Jane Wallace, knows pain and loss. She’s moved from Florida to Telluride, Colorado, a popular skiing and tourist town, hoping for peace and healing. As the Chief Medical Examiner, she expects to encounter a few dead bodies from accidents, violence, and sickness. But she never expected this string of suspicious deaths. While she’s dealing with autopsies, lawyers, and nosy journalists, she also has her own inner issues to deal with. Unfortunately, she’s put up a wall, cemented by her lack of forgiveness for her husband’s murderer.

Fortunately for her, she’s got a friend in the new local priest, Father Matthew Gregory. He’s just a few years older than her oldest son, and he doesn’t have a lot of pastoral experience. Tall, with an uncontrollable beard, and with an edge to his otherwise warm personality, he can be intimidating. Doctor Wallace isn’t sure how to take him sometimes.

When they first met, Father Matt noticed that something troubled Dr. Wallace and he reached out to her. He began inviting her to coffee regularly. She meets with him, but she doesn’t appreciate the way he seems to probe into her life.

While she doesn’t always welcome his advice, at times he seems to know her better than she knows herself. He pushes her to do the right thing and to rise above her feelings, even when it calls for her to give up things she’d been clinging to. He helps her to face her faults. He helps her to grow.

True friendships might not always be comfortable at all times, but they can lead us to be better versions of ourselves. They can lead us to healing.

I haven’t read a medical mystery in a while, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I’m glad that this is Book #1 because that means more will follow!

Dying for Revenge: The Lady Doc Murders Book 1

DyingForRevenge.jpg Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

About the Author:

Dr. Barbara Golder is a late literary bloomer.  Although she’s always loved books (and rivals Jane in the 3-deep-on-the-shelf sweepstakes), her paying career gravitated to medicine and law.  She has served as a hospital pathologist, forensic pathologist, and laboratory director.  Her work in forensic pathology prompted her to get a law degree, which she put to good use as a malpractice attorney and in a boutique practice of medical law, which allowed her to be a stay-at-home mom when her children were young.  She has also tried her hand at medical politics, serving as an officer in her state medical association; lobbying at a state and national level on medical issues, writing and lecturing for hire, including a memorable gig teaching nutritionists about the joys of chocolate for 8 straight hours, teaching middle and high school science, and, most recently, working for a large disability insurance company from which she is now retired.   Her writing career began when she authored a handbook of forensic medicine for the local medical examiner office in 1984.  Over the years she wrote extensively on law and  medicine and lectured on medicolegal topics.  On a lark, she entered a contest sponsored by the Telluride Times Journal and ended up with a regular humor column that memorialized the vagaries of second-home living on the Western Slope.   She currently lives on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee with two dogs, two cats and her husband of 41 years.

Social Media Links:

Dying for Revenge Kindle Edition link

Dying for Revenge Print edition link

Novel Page on Full Quiver Publishing -Check out the book trailer & excerpt here!

Author’s website

Book Series Facebook page

Facebook Author Page

Instagram: @ladydocmurders

Twitter: @ladydocmurders

Email: ladydocmurders@gmail.com

Reviews:

“Barbara Golder joins the ranks of Chesterton’s bloodthirsty heirs as she
spins a tale that will delight mystery fans. With Dying for Revenge in
hand, your beach experience is now complete!”
~Mark P. Shea, Author of Mercy Works

“Dying for Revenge dives into the deeply personal place in so many
hearts with “justifiable” reasons for revenge… but the face of mercy is
entwined in the unexpected turn of events. You’ll be captivated…”
~Patricia M. Chivers, ABLAZE Radio WNRE-LP 98.1 FM, Catholic Church of Saint Monica

“Dying For Revenge is a darn good medical thriller — a page-turning
plot and vivid characters — with a stop-you-in your tracks twist: the
costs of revenge. It’s a gripping story — I defy anyone to put it down.”
~Deacon Dennis Dorner, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Atlanta

“I know it sounds cliché, but I honestly couldn’t put this down. It isn’t
just who-dun-it, but it’s the story of the power of understanding in a
world that’s afraid of self-knowledge.”
~Joan Watson, Director of Adult Formation, Diocese of Nashville

Virtual Book Tour Dates:

 

My Baby Won!

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Do you have a hobby? Do you have something that you really enjoy doing, something at which you work to improve your skill? Something that you feel almost compelled to do?

I like to write.

Doubting my skill, I told very few people that I wrote… until the day a publisher accepted my first book, Chasing Liberty. Only then did I consider myself a writer. Only then was I willing to share my secret.

Why did I keep it a secret? I don’t know. Maybe I was afraid of seeming silly, afraid I’d never be good enough. Or afraid someone would tell me I’m too old to write and that I was wasting my time. Maybe a part of me felt guilty about all the time that goes into writing and rewriting and rewriting a single story. If time were money, I put way more into a singe story than I’ll ever get back.

It is hard work. Just like any hobby or job, if you want to be good at it, you have to continue to learn and work on improving. But I love writing. I find it fulfilling. The stories and characters are a part of me.

I recently found out that the first complete novel I ever wrote (not the first book I published) just won an award from the Catholic Press Association! Click on the link and scroll down to “Books for Teens and Young Adults.”

My baby won!

Like most writers, I’ve been writing for personal enjoyment since grade school. My sister and I used to take turns writing chapters in a crazy story with no real plot. We used characters from our favorite TV shows and movies, and a few that we developed on our own. They were a wild bunch, always getting into trouble. She and I would always leave the characters in a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter. And the other one would have to write them out of danger and into a new ridiculous situation. It was so fun!

My first full-length novel.3D-Book-Roland

I didn’t set out to write a complete story until I was a young adult. Roland West, Loner was the first story I felt compelled to write. I began writing it before I knew much about the art of writing. Over the years, I read dozens of books on the subject, and I received advice and help from other writers. As a result, the story changed and grew. The characters developed. Mysteries and threads came together. Many things changed, including the point of view and the title, but the important things did not change. The message remained the same.

A few years ago, I joined the Catholic Writers Guild fiction critique group. Writers Don Mulcare, Carolyn Astfalk, and Susan Peek critiqued and beta read the story, adding their expert advice and helping this story to become what it is today. I am so incredibly happy with it. Little miracles happened along the way, too, but I can’t share them without spoiling some of the surprises you will find if you decide to read this story.

Behind the scenes:

Roland West, Loner was originally called Peter’s Inheritance. And Peter’s story line, with his autistic brother, was the main focus. Roland’s story line was secondary. A publisher who read the story encouraged me to reexamine this. While Peter is greatly impacted by an inheritance he receives, Roland is impacted even more. This was Roland’s story. After much contemplation, I agreed and I rewrote it!

West family crest.west family crest

The West family crest described in chapter 7 of Roland West, Loner is real. At a certain point in writing the story, I decided it would be appropriate for the West family to have a crest. So I searched the internet for “West family crest.” I couldn’t believe what I found: two tiger heads over a single tiger head and a knight’s helmet above them all. This totally fit the West boys. The two tiger heads on top represent the twins, while the loner on the bottom represents Roland. And the knight helmet, well, once you see what type of house the Wests’ live in, it all makes sense!

blackhillsSetting.

Why South Dakota? I’ve never lived in or even visited the state. But I needed this story to take place somewhere that had interesting rock formations and waterfalls. All my research pointed to South Dakota, so I set out to learn as much as I could about it. The setting plays a very important part in this story. So I hope it comes to life for my readers.

The Communion of Saints.

Conrad of Parzham Capuchin Brother

A saint comes into this story at some point. And while I never knew of him before writing this book, this saint has truly come into my life. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I chose him for the following reasons:

  • I wanted a little-known saint.
  • I am a secular Franciscan so I wanted him to be a Franciscan saint.
  • My sister was in love with the German language, so I wanted him to be from Germany.

After choosing him, I learned everything I could about him. Several things made him the perfect choice: the details of his life, the similarities to characters in my story, and the miracles that resulted from his intercession. During the final revisions of this story, I discovered that Susan Peek also knew this saint. She hadn’t realized it at first. At some point during our work together, she emailed me: “Hey, I think I know this saint. My daughter visited his shrine and brought back his candle.” This blew me away! Of all the saints from all the countries in the world, she had a candle from the shrine of this particular little-known saint. So we decided to begin a novena to this saint as we completed our work. It was an amazing experience.

I hope I haven’t given away too much. And I hope that I have peaked your interest in this story. Through the intercession of—can’t say—I pray that this story touches many lives and gives a greater appreciation of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints.

Whatever your hobbies or interests, I hope that you will pursue them and find great fulfillment, too!

Congratulations to the other CPA Book Award winners and especially those in the “Books for Teens & Young Adults” category:

1st place: The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl

3rd place: Liberation by Corinna Turner