Category Archives: Giving Back

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 1 or Plans Change

Sometimes plans change.

Mine did this summer when Grace to Stand just wasn’t working :(. I’m hoping to have it (or a different Grace book) out next summer still.

Cover for the eventual solo release. Maybe 😉

I’ve been working on Book 2 in CROWNS & COURTSHIPS, but had to put it on the backburner when a boxed set due date cropped up. That set, Out of the Blue Bouquet, releases November 7. I’m super excited about the story – A Kaerasti for Clari (I can’t make it do the ae as the same letter thing here…) – which will actually be labeled book 2 in the CROWNS & COURTSHIPS series, because it comes between Heart of a Prince and Prince Kensington and Anabelle’s story (and introduces Anabelle and gives a peek into a little bit of palace life in Eyjania).

So that makes Kensington/Anabelle book 3. And Princess Esther book 4.

And King Benjamin and Katrin (her name is supposed to have the little slanty line over the i) book 5.

Kensington & Anabelle


Some of you may remember when I talked about my cousins last year. They were displaced from Baton Rouge when the flooding hit. Allen has spent the last 14 months in and out of hospitals and other facilities. He’s spent less time at home than he has in one of them.

Because Allen has spina bifida. When the floods hit, he spent hours sitting in that nasty water and what was a manageable sore became infected.

And he’s been fighting that infection ever since.

During his most recent hospitalization, they were told his prognosis is very poor. But in the meantime, he’s living his life.

Me with Glenda & Allen in September

He’s visiting with friends. Going on helicopter rides. (Click the links for the two news stories done on him recently.)

And inspiring a character.

King Benjamin’s book will be dedicated to my cousin. One of the characters is inspired by the Wheelchair Preacher.

And because I want to get a copy of it to Allen as soon as I can, that’s the project I’m going to be working on right now. These characters have been after me to tell their story since at least spring and my trip to Toronto in May.

They’ll still be book 5, but I’m going to write as fast as my fingers can fly to get it finished and send Allen the first (likely unedited) copy.

Then it’s back to Kensington and Anabelle.

Sometimes, you know something is right even though it doesn’t make logical sense. WHY would I write book 5 before book 3 is finished?

King Benjamin & Katrin (but not their cover pic ;))

There’s no logical reason for it. My sales numbers, while not bad, could sure use a new release soon.

But I feel a complete peace about this. This is the right order to write these.

If you have a few extra dollars, Allen and Glenda could use your support. (For the record, Allen is my second cousin. Glenda is my first cousin once removed.)

Facebook keeps trying to get me to donate my birthday to a cause, but “Allen’s Life List” isn’t one of the options it gives me. If you’d like to contribute, please click here or in one of the links in the news stories.

Thank you for understand. And for being there when Kensington and Anabelle get their story. And Esther. And Benjamin and Katrin.

I appreciate you more than you know.

(It’s late and I’m tempted to wax poetic for a bit, but I think I’ll stop there ;). Tomorrow, it’s nose to the grindstone… :D)

2016: Day 229 or Family Helping Family

If you follow my blog regularly, or just happened to see it on Facebook or wherever, you know I spent the last weekend of July at a family reunion in Louisiana. If you’ve followed the news at all the last few days, you probably know where this is going.

Family Helping Family

All of the biological relatives at the family reunion (though a couple had already left)

Glenda is the lovely lady who hosted our reunion. I think she’s technically my first cousin, once removed – she’s my dad’s first cousin. Their dads were brothers.

She has two adult children, both of whom live with her at the moment. They’re my second cousins.

Her daughter is Mandee. She’s become a dear friend over the years. We don’t talk as much as I’d like, and I’d never met her before that reunion, but nonetheless…

Allen… Well, Allen is a miracle. When he was born, his parents were told he had maybe a week to live.

Allen Mandee Glenda

Mandee, Allen, and Glenda last year (Mandee has blonde hair now ;))

That was somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty years ago.

Allen has spina bifida. He’s paralyzed from the waist down and reliant on his motorized wheelchair and a specially equipped van to get around, and others for pretty much everything he can’t do for himself. He has ongoing health problems because of all of that, but he’s an outgoing, energetic, upbeat person.

They live in the home next door to the church where the reunion (pictured above) was held.

So where am I going with this and what does it have to do with yesterday’s Giving Back post?

Saturday, we all started hearing that the Baton Rouge area was flooding. I saw pictures of the intersection half a mile or less from our hotel. Under water. Everything flooded.

Outside their home

Outside their home

And I heard that Glenda, Mandee, and Allen were unable to get out of their home because it caught them off-guard. They normally bug out early when they suspect something might happen (they’re only a couple hours from the coast after all and hello, hurricanes), but this time, no one was prepared. The water was on their road, and they couldn’t get out, but their house is on a little bit of a hill and had never been close to flooded before.

By Sunday morning, the water was in their house. Communication was spotty at best. They have AT&T and, thanks to the flooding, one of their “switching centers*” was down, and there was no service. Eventually, as the water in the house was at least knee high, a member of the “Cajun Navy” (here is another story about the Cajun Navy) showed up and were able to get them to another home much further above water, and miraculously still had power. One person had a Verizon phone with a bit of power, and they were able to make a quick call.

Allen in the boat - you can see his usual wheelchair in the water next to it

Allen in the boat – you can see his usual wheelchair in the water next to it

They were there for a period of time, along with a number of others. The Army came along in a truck and promised to be back after picking up a few others further down the road. They did, but were unable to get Allen (now long sans his usual wheelchair and in a regular one) into the truck. They would send a helicopter that would hopefully be able to get them out. (Another quick call on that Verizon phone before everyone else left.)

I still don’t have the details of how it all went down (and I admit I could be wrong/have misunderstood some of the details I just shared), but by the time I went to bed Sunday night, they’d been taken to a shelter in a nearby town.

Monday, word came the house was under water up to the eaves. They moved several times in an effort to get them to a location where Allen’s needs could be taken care of more easily. From what I’ve gathered, the “medical shelter” still leaves a lot to be desired. As I’m sure you can imagine, the number of people needing medical assistance after being in that water… Even minor cuts can become major issues in situations like this, and no one is immune.

But Allen’s blood work came back showing his kidneys are functioning normally. PRAISE GOD! I’m sure there’s still on-going concerns, and I know they would appreciate your prayers. Glenda and Allen are with her brother and sister-in-law in Texas now, while Mandee stays closer to home and starts to see what needs doing to rebuild.

I’ve seen estimates that 75% of the homes in their parish (aka: county) are a total loss, including up to 90% in their town of Denham Springs.

The Cajun Navy

The Cajun Navy

So again, what does this have to do with yesterday’s post?

They’ve lost EVERYTHING. From Allen’s wheelchair and the van to get them around to Mandee’s truck to clothes, furniture, electronics, you name it.

Another cousin, Donna (Glenda’s sister), runs a charity and has set up a way for people to give funds as they are able to. If you feel so led, here’s the direct link. You can also mail directly to the address at the bottom and note what the donation is for. All donations are tax deductible. If you’ve followed my blog (or Facebook page) long enough, or around Christmas, you’ve likely seen me share a toy story her husband, Randy, tells every year.

For August (yes, even though it’s already half over, all of August) and September (and maybe October), my “cause of the month” is my family. 12% of my US ebook sales (which is the VAST VAST majority of my sales) will go to Glenda, Mandee, and Allen to help them rebuild their lives.

In addition, if you give a minimum of $25 to this particular cause, I will gift you a Kindle copy of Discovering Home when it releases next month. Just shoot me an email at donations at candidpublications dot com (they MUST go to this address, set up solely for this purpose) – include your name, the email address you’d like Amazon to deliver the book to, whether it was online or mailed directly to Spirit and Truth Ministries, and the date of the donation. I’m not going to ask for a copy of the receipt, so this is an honor system, but I trust y’all won’t take advantage.

If you’ve also been displaced, I hope you understand why I’m helping my family specifically through this. However, if you have been and would like a bit of reading material to help pass the time and hopefully take your mind off things for even a little while, send me an email at the same address and I will gladly send e-copies of any one series already published to you (these will be done a bit differently than above). You are all in my heart and in my prayers continually.


Spirit and Truth Ministries
Randy and Donna Denton
PO Box 2635
Mission, TX 78573-0044

*Kudos to Verizon for stepping up where they could help

2016: Day 228 or Giving Back

Giving Back

Something I’ve been thinking about for a while is how to tithe on my company’s income. My husband and I tithe on our personal income, but what about my company?

For those who don’t quite understand, about two years ago, I started my own publishing company. That’s who officially publishes all of my books.

So what will it entail?

Basically, about 11-12% of my US income will got to a charity each month. Why not 10%? Because most of my income comes from the US but not QUITE all of it. I need to look at the data a bit more closely, but by adding a couple percent to the total US earnings will “make up” for not including the non-US income. Part of it is for ease of accounting, because the rest of it comes in in dribbles and drabs over a period of time and there’s no easy way to know ahead of time how much it’ll be because of fluctuations in currency exchange rates.

How will it work?

In August, I’ll sell books and have pages read through Kindle Unlimited. Around the 15th of September, I’ll find out the exact total of income. The payment will come through at the very end of October. Shortly thereafter, I’ll write a check or make an online payment for the appropriate amount of money.

What charities will I choose?

Well, it depends and will vary from month to month. The August and September (and maybe October) will be a cause very near to my heart. I’ll share about it tomorrow. If you’ve been following my Facebook profile, you can probably guess what it’ll have to do with.

Each month I’ll post on the front page (and possibly a blog post) what the charity/cause of the month is and why. They may seem odd sometimes – because the payments won’t be made for 60 days, and I want to coincide with when the money is most needed (so a Christmas charity will likely be an August.or September cause because of when the money comes in).

So while I hope you enjoy the books you buy, I hope you also know you’re supporting a good cause at the same time.

Watch this space for more details on what’s up this month and next!!