Raspberry Kisses – Chapter One!

November 17, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1Raspberry Kisses is now available for order on Amazon!

Chapter 1:

Chapter One

Rhea and her assistant, Candy, piped white icing over the cupcakes. The enticing scent of chocolate filled the air as Rhea glanced at the clock. While swirling frosting over the last treat, her hand shook, and the sugared topping spread into a wavy line. “I can’t believe I messed up another cupcake.”

“You need to calm down, Rhea.”

Using a spatula, she wiped the frosting off and re-iced the last one. The customer would arrive soon to pick up her order. Wiping sweat from her brow, she stared at the cakes. This three-hundred cupcake order would bring in much-needed revenue for her dwindling business.  She really needed this money to pay her growing mountain of unpaid bills. She’d dealt with this customer before and she’d always been nit-picky about her desserts, making changes at the last minute. This order was not a done deal until the customer showed up and paid.

She dropped the pastry bag into the sink. “We finished in time.”

Candy dropped her pastry bag into the sink, too, her nose stud twinkling under the bakery lights. “I’ll box them up before—”

The phone rang and Rhea lifted the receiver. “Maple Grove Bakery.”

“Hi, I’m calling about my cupcake order.”

Rhea gripped the receiver, heart thudding. The client’s high-pitched, emotional voice resonated in her ear. Hopefully, she’d be arriving soon to pick up her order. “Oh, we just finished icing them. We’re about to—”

“I’m canceling.”

Rhea’s mouth dropped open, and she paced the bakery. “You can’t do that!” In order for her bakery to survive, maybe she needed to change her policy, requiring the client to pay a deposit when the order was placed.

“Yes, I can. I got them for half the price you’re charging over at the Grove Mart.” The customer hung up, and Rhea slammed down the phone.

She pressed her hands together, gritting her teeth, forcing herself to stay calm. She’d lost two hundred dollars on the cupcake order. What could she do now? She shut her eyes, pressed her suddenly aching head into her palm.

Candy touched her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

Rhea struggled to control her voice. “The customer canceled. She got them for half price from the grocery store.”

Candy rolled her eyes. Her light brown skin reddened with anger. “This is the fifth cancellation we received this month.” She shook her head, her dreadlocks swaying. “We can’t go on like this.”

Struggling to control her anger, Rhea kicked a cabinet before slumping onto a stool, silently agreeing with her assistant. She could not go on like this. She’d already lost over one thousand dollars in sales that month because of the recent opening of the new Grove Mart. How could she get her customers back?

She eyed the trays of recently-decorated cupcakes. Unable to resist, she selected one, shoving most of it into her mouth. The wonderful taste of moist chocolate cake and creamy vanilla frosting comforted her. She gobbled two more cupcakes, stopping when she eyed her size-twelve hips.

Candy grabbed two cupcakes. “This has been an awful day. I need to take a walk.” Candy shoved the door open, the bell above the door jingled as she went outside.

Pacing on the sidewalk in front of the bakery, Candy gobbled two cupcakes before walking up and down the street, talking on her cell phone, while Rhea struggled to come up with a plan. She needed to figure out how to compete with the grocery store bakery. If she didn’t, she’d be forced to close her business.

*

Rhea pulled into the empty space in front of her apartment complex, removing the paper sack of baked treats from her passenger seat. She’d be eating baked goods for dinner, not wanting to waste money on food. Her stomach rumbled with hunger as she unlocked the foyer door and stopped at the mailboxes, hesitating.

She unlocked her postal receptacle and envelopes tumbled out onto the floor. The bright pink and blue notices from the creditors reminded her about the delinquent bills. Bending over, she lifted the unwanted bills, stuffing them into her bag.

She trudged up the steps toward her unit on the third floor.

Leonard, her obese landlord, stood at the top of the steps, stooped down, sliding something underneath her door.

“Oh, no, now what?” she mumbled to herself. Her shoulders tensed. Did she have enough time to run outside and hide before he spotted her?

Almost as if he sensed she stood behind him, he turned toward her, his signature cigar hanging from his thick lips. His gray hair looked like crinkly cellophane under the bright lights, and his eyes widened when he spotted her. His too-small T-shirt lifted slightly, giving her a peek of his fat, hairy stomach. He pulled his shirt down, shoving the hem into his dirty blue jeans. “Rhea! I need to talk to you!”

Lord, help me.

She swallowed, walking up the steps, grasping her keys so hard that they dug into her skin. Hopefully, he wouldn’t try to ask her out again. He always leered at her as if she were a thick slab of meat that he wanted to gobble up. “Leonard, what do you want?”

“Your lease expires in four months.”

“So?”

“I’m not letting you renew it.”

She gripped the stair rail, groaning. “What do you mean?” Leonard charged the cheapest rent in Maple Grove. There was no way she could afford to live elsewhere.

“My nephew just graduated from college. He’ll be needing a place to stay later this summer. So, I’m letting him have your unit.”

“You can’t do that!” Balling her hands into fists, she glared at him.

“Yes, I can.”

She scowled, getting into his face. “You have an entire apartment building. Why’d you choose my unit to give to your nephew?”

Smoke curled from his cigar, the stench making her stomach clench. He pulled it from his mouth, licking his lips. He continued standing in front of the entrance, unmoving, like a statue. Why didn’t he answer her question?

She pointed toward her door. “I need to go inside.”

He shook his head. “Not until we talk.” His hot, musty breath fluttered around her face, almost making her gag. “You think I’m too old for you, but, if you go out with me, I might decide to choose another tenant’s apartment for my nephew.”

He took another puff of his cigar. She gritted her teeth. Could she really stand here, continuing to talk to this man any longer?

“Move!”

He refused to budge. “Make me move.” His taunting voice broke her patience. She reached forward, pushing, her fingers sinking into his fleshy arms. “I love seeing you angry,” he purred, leaning toward her, pulling her to his chest, his foul lips descending toward her cheek. The stench of his body wafted over her. When was the last time he had a bath? Her heart pounded, and using all her strength, she kicked his shin with her hard-toed shoes.

He hollered, his lit cigar, dropping from his mouth, landed on the dirty carpeted floor. Cursing, he turned away from her, lifting his cigar from the floor, placing it back into his mouth. “That’s the last time I try and be nice to you! You better find a new place to live! I don’t want you in my building anymore.” He narrowed his eyes, glaring at her. “You think you’re such a high and mighty broad, but, I got news for you, you’re gonna wish you’d taken me up on my offer when you’re homeless!”

Raspberry Kisses is available for order!

Sunday Brunch – The Exodus Magicians!

November 16, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Picture: “Sahara Desert” by James Barker on Freedigitalphotos.net

Why did the Exodus magicians have such great power? What compiled the secret arts which they used to perform their tricks?

In Exodus, Moses, with Aaron’s help, pleaded with Pharoah to let his people (Israel) go into the desert so that they could worship the Lord. The Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart, and He also struck Egypt with many plagues

Exodus 7:10-13New International Version (NIV)

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.

What, exactly, were the secret arts? Were the magicians’ snakes merely illusions? After all, Aaron’s staff swallowed up the magicians’ staffs.

Exodus 7:20-23New International Version (NIV)

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23 Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart.

Exodus 8:6-7New International Version (NIV)

So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Again, I wonder about the magicians’ secret arts. How in the world could they turn water into blood, and make frogs appear in Egypt unless it was merely an illusion? This dreaded power almost seems to be a battle between Satan and God as they struggle with the tug of war between the Egyptians and the Israelites.

Exodus 8:17-19New International Version (NIV)

17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

The magicians say that the gnat infestation was from the finger of God – so they are obviously aware of the Lord’s power. This scripture is proof that their secret arts had no power over God. Would they not fear Him, no longer wanting to perform these secret arts which seem to go against God?

Exodus 9:10-12New International Version (NIV)

10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. 11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians.

Again, the magicians’ power is minimized because they are now covered with boils, no match for God’s power.

I wonder if these magicians realized how small and insignificant their power was when compared to God? I wonder if they still relied on these secret arts, and if they made a habit of deceiving others using their false power? How did they manage to conjure up this secret power? What did they say and do to make these things happen?

Share your thoughts!

Raspberry Kisses – Now Available For Pre-Order!

November 13, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1

Raspberry Kisses is now available for pre-order!

Facing eviction, Rhea Morrison, a young grieving widow, must save her failing bakery. Her recently-injured twin sister, Raven, loans her money – stipulating Rhea attend a singles retreat to spy on Martin Lane, Raven’s new love interest. Disgruntled, Rhea attends the retreat and is attracted to Martin. She discovers that Martin can help save her bakery.

 Pastor Martin laments over his secret, traumatic past mistakes. He’s destined to lead his father’s church, despite blatant rejection. He can’t love Rhea – he’s yet to forgive himself for his past, and if Rhea knew how he used to be, she would have no interest in pursuing a relationship with him. In spite of their shared attraction, he helps Rhea form a plan to save her business. Martin, a former successful bakery owner, can expertly create delicious pastry recipes.

 Rhea feels torn about her attraction to Martin – he’s a pastor, and after her husband’s death, she vowed to never get involved with another pastor. Plus, her twin sister, Raven, has strong feelings for Martin. Can Rhea let herself have romantic feelings for Martin – knowing it would hurt her sister?

 Can Martin and Rhea overcome their past so that they’re free to love again?

- See more at: http://ceceliadowdy.com/bakery-romance-series/#sthash.HMPsIAti.dpuf

Sunday Brunch! Moses’s Son?

November 8, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Was the Lord going to kill Moses’s son because he was not circumcised?

After Moses sees the burning bush, and the Lord tells him about his calling to go and free his people out of Egypt, Moses reluctantly accepts the Lord’s calling and makes a journey back to his homeland. On the way, they stop at a lodging place and you read the following scripture:

Exodus 4:24-26New International Version (NIV)

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses** and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

**My NIV Bible has a footnote stating: or Moses’s son

This strange scripture kind of jumps out of the middle of nowhere, and it leaves me puzzled. Right after this scripture, the story resumes and the Lord tells Aaron to go and meet Moses in the desert.
Any insight about what this strange scripture means? Had the Lord never seen Moses’s son disrobed before this scripture, and he was angered when he saw that he’d not been circumcised? Did the Lord vocally tell his intentions to Zipporah (Moses’s wife) and that’s why she did a quick circumcision of her son?
I’ve asked some of my friends what this scripture means. They were not even aware of this scripture, did not recall seeing it before. So, I pulled a Bible out and showed them and they were just as puzzled as I. Leave a comment of you have any insight that you’d like to share.

Pics!

November 7, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

I got my pictures taken at ACFW last September!

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Waking Up Joy by Tina Ann Forkner

November 4, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Waking Up Joy by Tina Ann Forkner

Do you remember your first love? How long did it take you to get over the pain after the breakup?

Joy, a forty-something spinster in a small town, falls into a coma because of a freak accident. While unconscious, she hears conversations by her somewhat dysfunctional family. Jimmy, her love interest from twenty plus years ago, attempts to kiss her while she’s unconscious.

This book was deep. Told in the first person, you learn all about Joy’s life, how she’s pined after the same man for twenty-plus years. Her old beau, Jimmy, ended up marrying someone else. But, their love was shattered one day and a dark secret haunts Joy, and initially, she can’t get over her pain.

But, this book is about Joy’s journey, as she learns to deal with her pain. You also see her interacting with her weird family, as well as her ex, Jimmy. Sparks still fly between Joy and Jimmy, and Joy wonders why Jimmy has not made an attempt to befriend her since his wife died five years ago.

This book also shows that we can’t rely on charms, magic apple trees, and superstitions for happiness. We need to rely on our Heavenly Father for happiness.

So, do you remember your first love? How long did it take you to get over the pain after the breakup?

 

 

My Final Cover!

November 3, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Here’s the final cover for my next release, Raspberry Kisses!

RaspberryKisses_FINAL-1

Sunday Brunch! Moses!

October 25, 2014 Posted by novelistcd


Why didn’t Pharoah object to his daughter raising Moses, a Hebrew, under his roof as her own son?

Pharoah’s daughter took in a Hebrew baby and raised him as a son. Her father, the Pharoah, was trying to kill the new-born Hebrew male children because the Hebrews were multiplying so quickly. I also gather that the Hebrews looked much different from the Egyptians?

Wouldn’t her father have objected to his daughter, raising one of his “enemies” under his own roof as her son? I’m wondering what kind of dialog went on between father and daughter? Did Pharoah finally relent and let her keep the baby just to appease her? Did Pharoah figure that keeping this one child alive could bring no harm? What do you think happened between father and daughter on this day?

Exodus 2:8-10
8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

Promise To Cherish

October 21, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Promise To Cherish

Have you, or anybody you know,  ever worked in a mental hospital?

Christine works as a nurse in a mental hospital during World War II. She meets Eli, an Amish conscientious objector. Initially, there’s animosity between them since Christine has lost her brothers in the war, yet, Eli does not have to fight because it goes against his faith. This story takes a traumatic turn when Christine dates Jack, a handsome man who was a friend of one of her deceased brothers.

I enjoyed this novel because it’s not your typical Amish book. Since the story takes place in the thirties, and deals with war, it gives the book a different flavor than most Amish stories. It also shows how Christine deals with pain and grief. Reading about a mental hospital in the 1930′s also gave this novel a unique feel. A mental hospital was a terrible place to be, and we see how Christine and Eli deal with the patients. You see the horrific conditions to which the patients are subjected. It’s a really good, realistic read.

Have you, or anybody you know,  ever worked in a mental hospital? If so what was it like? Were you close to any of your patients?

 

 

 

Raspberry Kisses! Which Book Cover Do You Prefer?

October 15, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

Which of these book covers do you like the best?RaspberryKisses_v1Young Couple in loveRaspberryKisses_v3