It was my parent's decision to share this story with all of you or keep it as a treasure for themselves...
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey
When the Waves Subside
The Mystery Gift Revealed!
Initial phase: Develop idea from July 2012
Next: Scan, crop, adjust, organize,
and order illustrations and photos to be included.
A special thanks to our youth group who helped with the organizing of the illustrations.
During: organize bin of notes and Scriptures
Next: Upload images and format pages
Then: Add the words
Design the cover...
Deliver the book to my parents on their anniversary!
Happy Anniversary to the two best parents we could have!!
We all love you!
To learn more about the book and its message...
read tomorrow's blog!
"Mom, Dad, this is your book. The decision to sell it, is up to you." They didn't have to think for long...
there answer, on tomorrow's blog too.
We look forward to sharing your gift with the world...
and anticipation on your faces have blessed me so much!
To learn what my parent's gift is, be sure to check back later this afternoon, after 3:30 p.m.
The top photo is of my parents and I before my sweet sister joined us...
It is going to be an exciting evening at the River's End on April third. Refreshments, quiet music playing in the back ground, and a guest author to share a bit about her book before sitting at the hand crafted table, built by her dad, and signing books.
As if this isn't exciting enough, there is more. If you live in the area or are looking for an excuse to go on a road trip over Spring Break this year, you can reserve your copy of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey through the River's End Bookstore's website or in the store starting in February. I will post when you can reserve your copy, once all the technological aspects are complete.
Also, starting on the first "TOP's Tuesday Blog" of March, one clue will be given each week of a mystery book signing for April third. Nineteen years ago we searched for Heidi and still haven't found her BUT this year you can search for the story ignited by this event ~ it will be available on Amazon.com at Midnight yet you won't be able to have your copy signed if you order online. Tease, tease.
~ April 3, 2013 at 6 p.m. ~
River's End Bookstore
19 West Bridge Street
Oswego, New York 13126
Why is it called T.O.P.'s Tuesday? Great question! Heidi played volleyball for the Bishop Cunningham Jr./Sr. High School until it closed in 1992. On February 14th, 1992 the Palladium Times (an Oswego, New York newspaper) named my sister, Heidi M. Allen athlete of the week. This was exciting and we were all proud of her but it was the name they gave her that stirred the most attention, "Tower of Power".
What's New Since Last Week:
*A few more bloggers have joined the Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey blog-book tour, very exciting.
*Invitations to speak and share are coming in: a writer's conference, library, and reading council to name a few
*Ideas for other writing pieces are dancing in my head
Things yet to do:
*Develop my author/book portfolio to send out to bookstores, libraries, and media about the book release on April 3, 2013
*Send out said portfolio
*Schedule rest days on the calendar so I don't get sick. :0)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3 - 4 NIV
Less than ten minutes into our drive home, our poignant daughter asked, "Mom, how come so many people die? How come we have lost so many people in our families?" With nothing but love and honest to share I gave this answer..."I don't know."
"Mom, how come everyone reacts differently?"
With a silent prayer lifted I gave my best answer. A condensed and paraphrased version, "We are all different as people so we handle death, dying, and grief differently. We have different backgrounds and life instances that make us who we are today. The biggest difference though is our faith. Without God, it's difficult to transition to the next step." This was all I had.
Then a question and comment that returned the tears to my eyes (thank goodness the car was dark) ~ "Mom, You lost Aunt Heidi and so many others in your family. Daddy's family is losing so many now but you still smile and stay positive. How do you do that? It's so hard."
This time, silence from me.
"You are right Mary, it is hard but God called us to share the comfort He's given us with others who hurt. Remember the verse from 2 Corinthians 1? This is our command. God saved me, the least I can do is share this comfort and hope with others. I'm glad you see that in who I am. This is one of the reasons I write and speak, to help others."
"Mom, you should include that verse in your book."
A little chuckle before I respond, "It's on the first page leading into the book, on a page all by itself, on my business cards, and on my website."
More smiles..."I'm glad. I love you Mom."
Have a great Monday and week. Keep communication open.
Did you ever answer a question to comfort your child only to end up having them be the comforter? I have...
I have this sweet, yet odd and wonderful duck of a friend named "Sparkles". God has given her an amazing gift, one she uses in her daily life. Since our first meeting a couple years ago, she shared this talent with me out of love and pure generosity. As I wind down my "secret" gift for my parents' anniversary, I needed a little help from a friend. (I could break out in song, couldn't you?)
After reading her email this morning I tried to think of a way to bless her and honor her wishes so I share this poem with you. Sparkles, there is a little ditty at the end for you too. A song special to me and now I share it with you.
Thank You IS Enough
By Lisa M Buske
Why do people feel the need to return a gift?
A gift is given as a small token
Of one's appreciation and love for you.
When I less you with a little something
I'm not looking for an item in return
Two words are enough, if you get my drift
Nothing need be bought, only spoken
It doesn't require you to overdo
Or have your wallet sting
Yet the concept is one many need to learn
I enjoy seeing your spirits lift
As you read and open this tiny little token
For my love for you is true
Two little words that cost not a penny
Yet have a joyful and refreshing ring
Thank You is all you need to express in return
Sparkles, "Ooh You're Gold". This chorus is for you...
Heidi and I used to sing this song to each other
(with our curling irons as microphones mind you)
Enjoy the author's note. Remember there is a new page on the site titled, "Book Reviews". If you missed one or want to share them with your friends and family, a permanent link to my fellow bloggers who shared Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey with their readers is always available on this page. Happy Reading! A special thanks to Diane!!
How will you spend your Saturday?
Sooooo....I got an idea. I talked with Ed and Mary, prayed about what we could do, and in the middle of the night ~ it came to me. I would... I know, unfair ~ because dot, dot, dot, is not a description or answer to the mystery gift for my parents BUT on Wednesday the secret will be revealed. First, to my parents and then to all of you.
The extent of how much is shared will be their decision because it is their gift. I anticipate it will be shared with all of you later that same evening. Mom and Dad are both curious, Mom a tad (to infinity) more than my Dad. I am more excited than they are though. This is the first surprise I am pulling off on them, where they don't have a clue!! My dad thinks he does, but he doesn't.
I love, love, love it!! Of course, they reminded me the other night, "Paybacks...paybacks...just wait." Aren't they cute? But the way I look at it, this is a payback for the teasing about my Christmas gifts this year. Right? There is nothing to payback, this just makes us even.
Mama said...there will be days like this!
Some of the options were:
1) To read and review the book
2) Interview the author
3) Have me guest blog on their site
4) Or a combination of their choice
I have read books as part of blog tours in the past and I appreciate the options when offered. This allows the blogger an opportunity to read the book presale and also write and/or present a blog with a style their readers will relate too.
Last week, Elaine W. Miller, http://splashesofserenity.com/, posted a book review of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. She shared tidbits from within the book and ways she connected with the story.
Today, Aimee Quonce, http://windingroadbook.weebly.com/blog.html, chose to interview the author and her Q & A is posted on the book review page.
Feel free to leave a comment here, on the book review page, or on Aimee's blog in response to my interview. Thanks for following the blog and my first virtual book tour, also known as a "blog tour". I look forward to hearing from you.
It's my daddy's birthday so his ego I must inflate.
He is the best dad a girl could have
Although this message only comes from one halve
Heidi went missing nearly nineteen years ago
So something special for your birthdays I bestow
It won't be delivered until next week
Yet the love it contains is bittersweet
I love you Dad more than you might know
Heidi and I know you are the maestro
Have a great day!
I know Heidi would spoil you too, if she could
So work in the shop or take the day off
But whatever you decide
Know you are loved and prayed for
Each and every day!
I love you!
There are times in beautiful upstate New York the snow falls so fast, so hard, and in such great quantity that our school superintendents are forced to close school for the day. This is for the safety and wellbeing of the students and staff. These days are built into our school calendar and if we don't use them all, we have an extended Memorial Day weekend. I enjoy a long weekend as much as the next gal but there is something special about a snow day.
Snow days are an unplanned gift of time...a true blessing!
As an adult working as a teacher's assistant at the local elementary school, and as an author with an upcoming book release, and a speaker with various speaking presentations in the next few months ~ the snow day has taken on new meaning. I have no intention of going out to play in the snow, to sleep the day away, or waste this gift of time God has blessed me with.
This week's "things to do" and "things accomplished list" is exciting. First and foremost, there are more things on the accomplished list BUT the excitement to have an entire day to eliminate some of the "to do" items on my list ahead of schedule...awesome!!
Don't worry though, it won't be a day of only work.
Mags and I plan to watch a chic flic or two, too.
Things to Do
*Finish Mom and Dad's anniversary gift by the end of the weekend
*Meet with Bill & Mindy at the River's End Bookstore to plan the book release party!!
*Write upcoming blogs and save as drafts
- Ash Wednesday (2/13) kicks off Lent and in celebration of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey's release at the end of Lent, there will be an opportunity for one of you to win a book prior to its release, with the drawing video taped and posted on Thursday (2/14)
- Mystery Book Signing on 4/3 Announced
During March, there will be one clue in each TOP's Tuesday blog of the time and location for an unadvertised book signing prior to the party at the River's End Bookstore in Oswego (oops, already gave you a clue)
- Friends and Sweetheart Dinner Ticket Giveaway - On February 16th, our church is hosting their annual dinner. Two tickets will be given away to someone commenting on the blog between 2/8 - 2/10
* Develop My Portfolio to send out to: bookstores, media, and libraries to announce the release of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey and to secure interviews and book signings for the days and months following 4/3/13
* Compile lists of potential media: local television news, talk shows, newspapers, radio, etc.
* Compile lists of bookstores, libraries, and other places to do book signings
* Continue to pray, prepare, and share while keeping my eyes and heart focused on Jesus
Accomplished Since Last Week
*Approved final proof for Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey!!!
*The Blog Tour started - with a couple new bloggers added to the schedule since last week
*My house is clean and organized!
*Ran out of regular coffee :( Drinking the decaf from the freezer ~ and guess what, it isn't that bad
*Nearly completed a surprise gift for my parents - their anniversary is on Jan. 30th. I will share a photo of what the surprise is, on Jan. 31st, so my parents have a day to enjoy it.
Well, I'm happy to say, the "chillaxin" has been fun and productive this weekend.
This is the least amount of time we've ever spent
at my parent's house over a weekend, especially a long one,
BUT the majority of the weekend has been spent
creating something for them.
So in the end it will balance out...I can't wait to see their faces!
Let's calculate the time:
Friday Evening: 3 hours
Saturday: 9 - 10 hours
Sunday: 3 hours after church, before our family came, and after everyone left
Monday: 4 hours and counting
What is the sneakiest gift you've ever given?
What motivated the secretiveness?
I know my answer...this anniversary gift for my parents is the sneakiest and love, appreciation, and admiration are the motivation. I love you Mom and Dad!
us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
In this day of social media, there are ample opportunities to get "connected", "be friends", or have a "circle" of friends at your fingertips. If you have a phone or electronic device, you don't even need to be home because you can access your "contact list" via a Wi-Fi or 3G or 4G network. BUT this isn't the type of circle of friends I am talking about.
Who holds you when you cry? Who drives you to the doctors? Who lifts you up on the most difficult of days? Who do you trust to share your innermost thoughts, fears, hopes, and love with?
I'm thankful for a contact list on speed dial in my phone. I'm blessed with family and friends that I can call on at any given time to bear my heart with. Sometimes to share joys and others stress but God has placed people in my life for it all. This isn't always an easy task with life pulling us in so many different directions but no one said relationships are easy.
My challenge to you this week, ask yourself the questions above (in blue). Do you have someone to call or do you have a hundred people or so to click "like" or leave a comment? Friends can be found online but a loving and healthy friendship can't.
Please don't misunderstand my message today.
I thank God daily for those of you I've met online.
You are an encouragement and
blessing. I look forward to our conversations online,
the comments shared, and all the "likes".
Yet at the same time, we need our intimate "circle of friends".
Continue to make new connections online but remember to cherish the friends within the reach of your hands and hearts.
So when is it a "lie" and when is it a "fib"? This is the question to answer today. Just to be sure I continue this mirage of falsity, I fibbed to my parents again today. They asked, "What are you doing tomorrow (Saturday)?" My answer, "Chillaxin, Monday will be a work day." Well.....my day started at 8:30 a.m. and it has been spent chillaxing with the ideas and notions in my head. The mere thoughts floating through my head since July are taking shape.
Tee Hee ...
What type of surprise do you think I am working on?
"Lord, I know I've drifted away from you and I haven't been reading my Bible but I don't have time. Lord, help me to see the minutes nestled into my day that I can read a few Scripture verses. Lord, I can't do this alone. Help me, please."
God is the defroster for the sin on our heart. Just like your defrost is a part of your car, it doesn't work until you turn it on. God is there and ready to help, we only need call on Him.
Are you trying to do this thing called "life" on your own? How do you keep your "on" switch selected between you and God?
Look at your typical day, do you have five minutes to turn "on" your Heavenly Defroster? I pray you do.
I don't know if you are like me, but I look forward to reading the reviews of a book before I make the final decision to invest money to purchase and the time to read it.
I hope you said "Yes!" because this the kick-off to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey's first blog tour with the first review written by Elaine W. Miller. Elaine is known for her Splashes of Serenity series and her recent release, We All Married Idiots. A special thanks to Elaine for reading, reviewing, and touring with us to share Where's Heidi? with her readers and all of you.
To make it easier for you to read and track all of the book reviews of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, I set up a "Book Reviews" page on this site. Links to the reviews will be posted on this page with the option to comment too. I know my fellow bloggers look forward to you visiting their sites to read their reviews. Feel free to leave a comment on their site or on the book reviews page.
To read Elaine W. Miller's review ~ click on the photo of Elaine above or copy and paste the link below. You can also click on the blog tour photo for a direct link to the "book reviews" page for a direct link to Elaine's review too.
http://elainewmiller.blogspot.com/2013/01/wheres-heidi-let-blog-tour-begin_17.html- Elaine W. Miller's Review
1/17/13 – Elaine W. Miller
“Splashes of Serenity”
1/24/13 – Amy Quonce
“Winding Road Books”
1/26/13 – Diane Estrella
“That’s What I’m Here For”
An Author’s Note
2/9/13 – Terri Groh
“Hearts in Service”
An Author’s Note
2/21/13 – Paula Davis
“A Peace in the Puzzle of Life”
2/23/13 – Marlene Bagnull
“Write His Answer”
An Author’s Note
2/28/13 – Terri Groh
“Hearts in Service”
3/2/13 – J.A. Zilske
“Deep Calls to the Deep”
3/30/13- Dave Fessenden
“Concept to Contract"
4/6/13 – Karen Beaudin
“A Child is Missing”
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God,
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything,
Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all
the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always
keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray also for me, that whenever speak,
words may be given me so that
I will fearlessly make known
the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
Similar to you and others you know that desire to serve the Lord and do things that bring Him glory ~ satan doesn't want you to do this and he uses your weakest points against you. We are all gifted in different ways to serve God and we each have different aspects of our life that have the potential to keep us from serving God and fulfilling His purpose for our lives.
As the April 3, 2013 release date gets closer, it seems satan is working harder to keep me down ~ emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I have Good News though, I serve an Amazing and Powerful God who is bigger, stronger, and more determined than the one trying to keep me from finishing this journey to share Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey will all of you.
From today forward, I choose to give it all to God and let Him fight this fight because it is bigger and broader than I can ever defend on my own. With the Armor of God on, I look forward to the day you read my first book and pray you see how God worked in one sister's life after she lost her best friend and only sister, Heidi M. Allen.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
It is time...April 3, 2013 ~ on the 19th anniversary of
Heidi's disappearance you can read about the
effect her kidnapping had on my life...the sister.
*I approved the final draft of "Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey" this week and received the "order author copy" notification!! Wahoo!
* Blog Tour kicks off this Thursday - Jan. 17th!!!
*The number of bloggers joining the blog tour (book reviews) has nearly doubled since last week's TOP's Tuesday - see the "Book Reviews" page for dates, blogger, and link
To see a complete listing of scheduled reviews, author notes, and author interviews on this tour ~ visit the "Book Reviews" page on this site.
Things yet to do:
*contact other bookstores, libraries, and businesses for potential book signing locations
*contact television and radio stations in hopes of securing an interview to share my book with their viewers and/or listeners
*Continue to pray, prepare, and share through my speaking
*Keep my eyes focused on Jesus and ignore satan's attacks on this release & our family
What is something you hope to learn during the blog tour?
Who (and Where) can I purchase Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey ON April 3rd, 2013?
2) Mystery Book Signing - clues to be given each Tuesday on the blog during March
3) Release Party and Book signing - River's End Bookstore in Oswego, New York
(more information after 1/24)
Who (and Where) can I purchase Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey AFTER April 3rd, 2013?
2) River's End Bookstore - Oswego, New York
3) Goal for January and February is to secure other locations for book sales - praying for Barnes and Noble in Clay, New York to do a book signing on April 4th or 5th
What will be available on April 3, 2013?
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey and ???
Why is the book only available in one store on April 3, 2013?
So I can meet at least some of you personally and thank you for the encouragement, prayers, and support you've shared over the years.
Do you have a question I didn't answer?
Do you have a thought to share about the upcoming release?
P.O. Box 323
A Mother's Monday
Ride For Missing Children
Sewing And Crocheting
The River's End Bookstore