The Friday 13th I will Never Forget

It all started late Friday afternoon. We had to wait until our oldest autistic son returned home, and he did not get home to after 5 p.m.
My husband and I already had packed my van. So we could leave right away once our autistic son returned home, and I could set up for the Habitat for Humanities Boutique.
I was a vendor there, and vendors could set up from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. that evening. I always had done this in the past since I live quite a ways from the church, and this allowed me time to not have to get up so early on Saturday morning to make the 9 a.m. beginning of the event.
I drove the van and traveled to the church next door, and that’s when I heard the clunk, clunk of the tire. I drove the van back home into the garage. My husband and I unloaded my materials then loaded them into my husband’s car.
My husband had lost his own set of car keys to his car, so he thought he may have left them at a local diner. On our way to the church, I drove his car there since the diner staff told my husband they had of set of keys, and my husband hoped they were his. While there we looked up the insurance information, so we could call the company and get the recommended tow service the insurance company would authorize.
I dialed the number on my cell phone and explained we needed to have my car towed to a certain service station the next day. (I was in hope I could pick up my van the next day.)
The insurance company staff could not find the service station I wanted to use for the tire’s repair. During this time, my husband left the vehicle to check to see if his car keys were those the diner found. He returned and they were not his.
During all the commotion, the car moved forward. I tried to back up the car, but it would not move. Paul thought I did not know what I was doing, and he took over with the same results.
I got out of the car and then looked and saw the front of his car was stuck on the parking barrier. Thank God the car next to us saw our plight.
The older man from the car next to us yelled, “Is your car stuck?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“My grandson thinks he can pull you out.”
The grandson got out of the car and lifted our car up and freed it from its entanglement.
The call with the insurance agent was lost. Thankfully she returned the call.
She still could not find the filing station I wished to have my van towed. Since we only were about five blocks from there, I asked if the insurance woman could hold on while we drove there. She agreed. We pulled in and I gave her the full name of the service station. She found it and set up a morning time in which the tow company would arrive Saturday.
I took over the driving of the car and drove us to the church. We arrived around 6:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before the time to end set up stopped.
The volunteers assisted us bringing in the items. With all that went on, they allowed me to set up until I finished. This was the first time a Friday the 13th really became Friday the 13th.
On Saturday, I found out that the tire was blown out, thus I needed to call the station so they could order a new one by noon. However, I never heard the call since I was working the craft show. I saw it at 12:30 p.m. I called my husband who made the call.
Now I would not get my van back until Monday. My husband had been working on our income tax, and it was stressing him out. Thank God he turned those in today, Monday, the 16th, and later today I had my own car back.
Although all was horrible Friday night, I am grateful for many things: (1)I had driven my van earlier in the day to a location far from my home and back. What if I had trouble with that tire on that trip? (2)it was good that the car beside us was there, and the grandson was able to lift our car off that parking barrier, or I do not what we would have done, especially when we were down to one car and our autistic son sat in the back of the car. (3)I want to thank the church volunteers who waited for me to set up. That was so kind of them to give up some of their time for us. (4)I found Paul’s keys in the pair of pants he wore on Thursday.
So good things can  happen in the midst of your trials, remember that as you experience days like the one we experienced on Friday the 13th. And, of course, I end with a God bless.
Posted in Friday, the 13th, Inspirational, marketing, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Slaying the Giants

Sunday’s church sermon was on how David slayed the giant, Goliath. The visiting pastor talked about how big and tall Goliath was, and how he adorned himself with heavy battle armor. This Philistine was intimidating to the Israel people. Who could defeat this menacing giant?

To urge someone to come forward to fight Goliath, King Saul offered one of his daughters to marry and for the family to be exempt from paying taxes. Still no one stepped up to the plate until a shepherd boy expressed his interest in 1 Samuel 32-33:

“‘Don’t worry about a thing,’ David told him [Saul]. ‘I’ll take care of this Philistine.’”

“Saul replied. … ‘You’re only a boy and he [Goliath] has been in the army since he was a boy!’”

However, David was not deterred even when he threw off the weighty armor Saul gave him to battle the giant. David would kill Goliath on his own terms.

The odds were against David. But with one swift swirl of his slingshot, the rock hit Goliath on his forehead, and the giant fell dead to the ground.

This reminds me of our own writing battles. We work hard to make our work the best we can do. We edit and edit, research and research for historical accuracy, we promote and promote to secure readers and yet at times we feel just like the Israel people – intimidated and hopeless.

This year I made an oath that I would depend upon God and not worry. There are a few days that hopeless feeling resurges once more within me, such as this weekend at a writers’ conference.

It took a couple of hours for me to set up my booth, so I could sell my books during Saturday’s lunch and conference breaks. I had practiced reading from my recent historical, clean and Christian romance, When Hearts Rekindle, wanting to entice those hearing my Friday night reading to visit my book booth on Saturday. For all my efforts, I sold one book, my first book, Seasons of the Soul, which includes a spattering of personal accounts of my two different autistic sons. It took me awhile to get over my sinking feeling of all my efforts to result in one sale; however, grateful I am for that sale. But to be honest, I had hoped for more, not a lot, but perhaps three to four sales. At least with that, the $10 booth would have paid for itself.

The next day I shook myself awake from my despair and renewed my commitment to God. As a Christian, I must believe the word of the Lord, “all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23) That does not mean there are not troubling times.

However, overall, each year gets better and so, I say to you, keep trudging along. Do not let your fret overtake you and continue to write, tweak your manuscripts and move forward. You are doing better than when you started because you have learned from your past mistakes and so you are more prepared today than you were yesterday. Grab your pad and paper – or should I say your word program and computer? – and write! God bless.


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Where am I going to be?

For those of you in the Omaha area, I will be signing books, including my third and last in the Great Plains Series, When Hearts Rekindle, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the 2018 Arts and Crafts Show at the Mid-America Center, One Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51501.

Come by and see me in my new costume to go along with my recent release. Here I am wearing the dress, I originally wore as an attendant at my brother’s wedding many moons ago, but now re-modified to go along with my new book, When Hearts Rekindle.



Hope you can make it. If not, check my books out on-line here on the blog or visit my Web site by clicking here.

















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What was your gift for Valentine’s Day?

I got a dozen red roses and a big kiss. It was so nice for my husband to leave early this morning – without my knowing – to purchase them. In that way, I get to enjoy them for the whole day and beyond. What a sweetie!


What did I give him? A restaurant-made, lemon-meringue pie and a bacon baking dish. Our microwave dish broke and since my husband cooks a lot of bacon I thought I would replace this. However, when I called the woman to order a similar microwave dish, she steered me away from that since it only would cook four pieces of bacon at a time. She suggested I purchase a large baking pan, saying once you cook bacon in the oven you’ll never go back to doing it the other way. I took her advice and ordered one. My thinking was you could bake all the bacon at one time and that would be awesome. She recommended we bake it at 375 to 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Well, we will see how this turns out.

I want to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day and in so doing I wanted to let any readers out there know that the first in my three-part Great Plains Series, Courtships and Carriages, is free on three e-book platforms: Kobo, Smashwords and Nook is on KINDLE for 99 cents, all until May 7. Click the above links to get your free or reduced priced book!

Courtships and Carriages also is on iBooks for $2.99. This book also is available in paperback: PAPERBACK LINK


Don’t forget the  second in the series, The Bride List for $2.99. Click these links for your copy: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and is available on iBooks. Click here for Paperback.


THE THIRD AND LAST IN THE SERIES, WHEN HEARTS REKINDLE, WAS RELEASED JANUARY 13, 2018. Click these links to get your e-book copy. Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Smashwords.  Get your paperback edition here: PAPERBACK.





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Released: When Hearts Rekindle


Can two lost souls find forever love?

The third and last in the Great Plains Series — When Hearts Rekindle — is up on the following e-book channels:







Paperback edition is here!

Click this link for your copy: Paperback

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New book, When Hearts Rekindle

Well, if you have been waiting with faded breath for the final book in my Great Plains series, you are in luck. As of Friday, December 1, 2017, I submitted this manuscript, When Hearts Rekindle, into the publisher.

Other e-book pre-orders will be up soon. It is available on these e-book platforms right now:



When Hearts Rekindle is released January 13, 2018. The other two books in the series are Courtships and Carriages and The Bride List.

When Hearts Rekindle’s cover and description are below:

Thunderbolts echoed and rain pelted down as distraught Betty Chapman stood in agony to express her heartache from a broken courtship in Janet Syas Nitsick’s new clean, historical romance, When Hearts Rekindle. This is her third and last book in the Great Plains Series. …


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Trees, Trees, and Destruction


Storms bring destruction. We are in a mess and are still trying to pull ourselves out of this. That is true about everything.

We also need to pull ourselves out of our writing destruction. This is when our writing gets sidetracked. Sidetracked by uncontrollable events, such as storms, technical issues and the loss of production time.

I faced a storm, where we lost power for three days (which was better than some in the area where they were out of power for about five days). However, I was unable to not only write, charge my phone, cook or basically do much of anything. It is amazing how much you live on power and do not know that until you are out of electricity.

Prior to the storm, I had technical computer problems and had been on the phone with technicians off and on all day. My computer backed upped the data just before the storm. I was lucky there for 15 minutes later the storm hit, and we were out of power. However, once electricity returned, another problem developed and that was the upgrade to a new operating system.

This new system would no longer back up my work. Another call led to another call and still the issue was not repaired. Then my other computer, which had been doing great on that end, would no longer backup as well. All these technical calls and spending days on the phone did not fix the issue. It was so, so frustrating. In addition, this lost valuable time in writing, promoting and all those other activities associated with being an author. Finally, last week, after three weeks of this, it got fixed. Praise God!

Writing, though, is like this. Everything is going along fine. Your writing goals are met. You smile on the progress you made and then devastation happens. This puts you behind the eight ball. What should you do?

Well, you must move on for what else can you do? I am trying to get caught up on weeks of lost production time. So no matter what you face, put your front foot ahead of you and take steps forward. Destruction and disasters come and the best is to look up, say a prayer for strength and set your eyes on finishing your project. God bless.

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