Giveaways 12/10

Enter to WIN a FREE Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker (retail value $387)!

Check out Square Panda’s Plush #Giveaway!

Holiday Rise Buddy #Giveaway
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Giveaways 12/8

Scorch Lipstick #Giveaway 1x 12/21

#Win a Xiaomi Roborock S50 robot vacuum from!

Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway #giveaway #win #kindle #simplycharly
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Giveaways 12/7

Bath & Body Works eGift Card #giveaway #win

$100 Dollar General Gift Card for this Chrismax Free Giveaway. Only for USA. #giveaway #win

** Win an Instant Pot (Lux) & The Steam Boss Diverter ** #giveaway #win #instantpot #fullsteamahead
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When a Book Series Ends…..

When you’re an avid reader, a book series can become an important part of your life. You look forward to the next installment. You check Amazon daily. You can almost become giddy when you see that a new book was released. Then, the inevitable day comes. The series ends.

Recently, I had 2 series end. One, I expected. The other was a complete surprise. The first one was not a surprise mainly because I could tell that the author didn’t know where to go with it. The last 3 books before the finale were forced. There was no character development and each mystery seemed almost recycled.

The second series was a complete surprise. It was on Book 33. It seems an odd number to end with. As I read the finale, I had thought perhaps there’d be a spinoff. No such luck. Granted, the author is maintaining 3 separate series currently. But, I was dumbfounded when the finale book also killed off a main character.

It wasn’t well done. Fine, the author wanted to kill off a character. Ok. But, when the murder is solved, at least end with something upbeat and positive. Leave your readers with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Instead, the murder is solved and the remaining 2 main characters end the book with an overly simplistic ‘Merry Christmas’. What?!

No hint as to what their futures hold or anything. We’re just left with an empty hole, wondering how their lives really ended up. Susan Gillard ended her popular Donut Hole Mysteries series properly. We had closure, we had futures discussed, etc. I wish all authors did this. It’s almost infuriating.

Readers deserve better. We’re loyal. We buy the books. At least, at the very least, end your series so that the majority of readers are satisfied. You can’t please everyone, but, your dedicated reader base deserves more. End of rant.

Christmas Reflections

For most of my life, Christmas was always a joyous time. I loved everything about it. But, in 2011, at 3:52 Christmas morning, my dad passed over into eternity. He’d suffered for so long that I took it as an honor that Christ had called him home on Christmas morning. But, when the grief set in, I realized that Christmas would never be the same.

Of course, the first year was the worst. But, here we are in year 7, and it hasn’t changed that crappy, depressed feeling. Sometimes, I miss him so much that it actually hurts. There were some rough patches between us as father & daughter, but, I got to be exceptionally close to him during his final 5 years. Maybe that’s why it hurts so much. We were making real progress in transparency and I wanted him to see my kids graduate.

Every year I try. I really do. Last night, I decided I was going to decorate today. Period. But, when I woke up today, I discovered that whatever I had felt last night was fleeting. I don’t want to hang things up. We haven’t even purchased a tree yet. When the boys were little, Christmas was fun. Now, our youngest will be 16 on Friday. Our oldest & middle are living their own lives and we don’t hear from them often. It’s unlikely either will make a Christmas appearance.

Now, mom is having extra health woes (besides her Parkinson’s). We’re all facing her mortality. My aunt, who has become more than an aunt, is in her late sixties and trying to pretend she is still 30. We all know that doesn’t work. Only 2 years younger than mom, she maintains 2 part-time jobs and an active social calendar. They barely decorated except for a small tree. Our youngest can’t be persuaded to be excited. He feels that since we NEVER have company, what’s the point? He doesn’t even care about a tree.

We’re still battling a losing battle to keep our home habitable. Roof issues and erosion are our biggest enemy right now. Continuous November rain left its mark. I had hoped to be in a new home by now. It was apparently not God’s plan. Apparently, He is saying, ‘Wait’. I will. But, honestly, what choice do I have?

Eventually, we’ll decorate. I can’t believe I haven’t yet. But, we will. I ask the Lord daily to change my attitude. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be jolly. I know the Lord understands and will see me through. But, real talk, I just want it to be January.