Light a Candle in your Heart

Sadness prevails only when we allow it to take up residence in our lives – when it becomes the focus of our minds and hearts.

Anger leads only when we give up the reins of our life, when we become people who REACT by lashing out instead of  ACTING by reaching out a hand in love.

Fear runs our lives only when we give it permission to whisper its poison into our ears and then pay those whispers the utmost attention.

But hope – HOPE is that undying song that emerges from the darkest reaches of our sad, angry, and scared imaginings to blossom into happiness when we water and fertilize that part of us which WANTS desperately to believe that goodness can still be found in the world.

Sometimes,  hope needs a candle to help see its way clear of our darkest hours. I pray everyone will join me in lighting the candle of hope in our hearts, that we will reach out our arms in loving embrace of those who have suffered unimaginable loss through violence.


In caring memory of all those who lost their lives in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

A Regency Christmas from Astraea Press

AP Christmas Regency blog hop logo 5(1)

Thank you to everyone who participated! The winners of my portion of the blog hop are:
Tin, Inga,  and Marti! Congratulations!


Do you love Christmas? Love Regency romance? You’ve come to the right place!

Step back in time – two centuries…200 years. Eleven Astraea Press authors wantlords leaping to take you on a journey to Christmas in Regency England…1812.

My contribution to this journey, The Toymaker, was inspired by a doll from my own collection – a doll I had long ago named Jenny.

Peg wooden dolls originated in Germany and the Netherlands around 1810, but because of their affordability and the ease with which they were crafted, they quickly became popular throughout Europe and were brought to America in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Originally hand-carved in pine, poplar, or maple, they were crafted by families of German and Dutch toymakers, and they varied in height from 2 to 12 inches, generally IMG_4727resembling wooden clothespins with peg joints. These dolls were known by an assortment of names, including peg wooden dolls, penny woodens and wooden poppets. Because of their affordability, young girls often developed extensive collections. The dolls were sold without clothing and the children would use scraps of fabric to sew dresses for them.

TheToymaker 453x680Jenny’s doll in The Toymaker was inspired by a peg wooden doll in my own doll collection. Years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I came across a simple wooden doll at a flea market outside of Detroit, Michigan. The vendor had discovered an entire crate of these antique dolls in her grandmother’s attic, and had dressed them all up. It was estimated at the time I made the purchase (for $2) that my doll was probably nearly 200 years old. I wondered then if she had been part of a young girl’s collection or if she had ended up in a scrap pile only to be salvaged for me to find her almost two centuries later. I’ll never know the history of my English peg wooden doll, so I wrote this story for all the might-have-beens.

I’m giving away two kindle or nook versions of The Toymaker (or may substitute any of my titles if you already have this one). All you have to do for a chance to win is first,  share my blog hop link on facebook (tag me on facebook  Kay Springsteen Tate) and then leave a comment here telling me about your favorite Christmas tradition.

Here’s a taste of what Mrs. Peabody thought of my hero and heroine’s antics at Lord and Lady Kringle’s grand ball…


To read more, continue on your Regency Christmas journey with a stop at Sherry Gloag’s blog!

Sweet Saturday Sample/Contemporary-Military

From work in progress: The 13 of Hearts:

Lin pulled her cramped little car up to the curb at the school and shut off the engine so it wouldn’t overheat. She knew Nate would probably be embarrassed that she was picking him up. He hated his friends to see the ancient beat up car that was all she could afford, and as far as she knew, he hadn’t told anyone they lived in a motel. That wasn’t a bad thing anyway, since it was safer that way. But she and RJ had been out for the afternoon anyway and she’d thought to save Nate the long walk back to the Tidewater.

The passenger side of the car opened and Nate surprised her by dropping into the seat. She hadn’t even heard the bell, but sure enough, middle school kids were crossing the front of the school, getting on one of the buses or walking toward the road that would lead them to their homes.

Lin smiled at her oldest. “Hi, did you have a good day?”

Nate shrugged. “I guess. Can we leave now?”

Choking back a tight sensation in her throat, Lin turned the key in the ignition. The car coughed to life and she pulled into the traffic lane, trying to ignore the stab in her heart when Nate slumped into his seat. Tears burned the backs of her eyelids but she blinked them back. Her children deserved so much better.

…………….Check out more of my Heart Stories on Amazon and Barnes and Noble……………..

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Watch for a Christmas Regency blog hop beginning Monday – 11 Authors, one genre, one holiday, many prizes!

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