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Tag: Kentucky

Coming Out of Isolation

Last weekend, our family started coming out of our socially distanced shell. Our family hasn’t done much to expose ourselves to other people. We are high risk, and we kind of closed off of any kind of group meetings. We’ve had a few social things here and there with individual families, but only outside or at a restaurant, and always masked and distanced. But, we haven’t attended church services or small groups or gatherings of any kind.

Last week (like a good portion of the country), we had super cold weather, an ice storm, followed by several inches of snow, followed by more ice then more snow, followed by colder weather. As I type this, the snow is still on the ground a week later (not normal for Kentucky) and it’s 22 degrees outside. But, the forecast is calling for a high of 47, so I know it will all be gone before the week is over.

A friend from Bible study invited us to go sledding at their house. It took me quite a long time to decide that we wanted to do it. Our boys are 12 and 14. This type of snowfall only occurs every few years in Kentucky. The next time it happens, they may be “too old” to enjoy it. We don’t have a hill like our friends do, so we made the decision to go ahead and go and enjoy ourselves.

While the kids sled down the hill over and over again, I enjoyed having some coffee and fellowship time with two other moms. I have to say, that was so welcome. I love these ladies, and even though I haven’t seen them much in the last year, it felt very normal and natural to sit in the cold driveway all bundled up and chat while our kids played like they used to.

Our kids have longed for connection as much as we have. They’re homeschooled, so they don’t even have the classroom opportunities that their peers have. We’ve signed them up for things here and there, but they’re all via computer just like ours are.

Gregg and I are so happy that we gave them the chance to play with their friends and reconnect in person. By the time we left there, they were soaking wet, freezing cold, and happier than they have been in ages.

The next day, I met up with the ladies in my Bible study group for coffee.

Inside the military community, there is a group called PWOC. It stands for “Protestant Women of the Chapel” and was founded in 1952 to help chaplains minister to the wives who had accompanied their husbands to a duty tour in Germany. For the last 70 years, it’s grown and expanded into a global organization.

When I first heard of PWOC, I imagined a church basement, hard metal chairs, stuffy women drinking bad coffee from styrofoam cups. I went the first time because Gregg wanted me to connect with women in the chapel in the Fort Knox community. I walked into the building expecting that image I just projected and instead found a big semester kick-off party with a football tailgating theme. Over 100 women were running around, dressed in football jerseys, eating traditional tailgate food, laughing, loving each other. They embraced me into their fold like no one ever has and, two weeks after moving to Fort Knox, I had a community of my people.

I had friends whom I met for coffee, lunch, breakfast. We went to each others’ houses, had coffee parties, wine parties, dinner parties, Pampered Chef and the like parties. I found lifelong friends and sisters in Christ.

Fast-forward four years. When Covid hit, we weren’t able to have the big gatherings anymore. Some groups still met in socially-distanced person, but I did not. Because of the way we distanced, I joined the classes that were online.

After a year of pretty much doing nothing social, I hesitated before going to this coffee. But, my soul longed for a connection that didn’t involve a computer screen.

I have to say, it was amazing to be in person with people again. We all stayed masked unless it was our turn to speak. We laughed, supported, prayed, loved. It fed my spirit in a way that my introverted self will deny that I needed.

I’m continuing in my prayers that the vaccines help bring about a return to normal – even if the normal has a slightly different look or feel than it used to.

Our daughter, who is an essential worker, is fully vaccinated. We found out this weekend that we can go get vaccinated at any time through the National Guard. It’s a relief to know that is finally happening. We just keep looking forward to how different life will look a year from now, even if it’s still not what it was 2 years ago.

In the meantime, stay safe and well, friends.

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Interview with Mystery Author Abigail Keam and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am introducing you to my friend Abigail Keam. Abigail and I met in a Kentucky writers group six or seven years ago. I have enjoyed spending time with her any chance I get to see her and I’m thrilled that she’s my guest today. Abigail writes mysteries set in Kentucky and romances set in Florida – two of my favorite states! Abigail is giving away a copy of the first book in her latest series – so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hello, I am an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author who writes the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth in the Bluegrass.  In addition to Josiah Reynolds, I have a new heroine— Mona Moon.  I just released my new Mona Moon Mysteries1930s mystery series. I love this era and the research was a joy.  I combined real events and people into the storyline giving the stories an additional richness.

I also have written The Last Chance For Love Series where strangers from all walks of life come to the Last Chance Motel in Key Largo and get a second chance at rebuilding their lives and The Princess Maura Fantasy Series.

My first mystery novel, Death By A HoneyBee, won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Readers’ Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011. 

Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth from Readers’ Favorite and also was placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist.

I am an award-winning beekeeper who has won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.  So when I write about beekeeping in my Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, I know what I’m talking about.

I currently live on the Kentucky River in a metal house with my husband and various critters.

Tell us about your current release. My current release is Murder Under A Blue Moon—a 1930s Mona Moon Mystery series.  It’s a rags-to-riches story about Mona Moon who is an out-of-work cartographer and pinching pennies when she receives the news that her uncle had died and left her a fortune plus a Thoroughbred horse farm.  Mona relocates from New York to the Moon estate in Kentucky only to discover her uncle has been murdered.  Now she has to find out who did the dastardly deed or she might be next!

To make matters more complicated, her next door neighbor is English nobility, Lord Farley, who is too smooth, too charming, and too handsome.  Mona doesn’t like him. So why does Mona’s heart beat faster when she sees him?

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down?  It takes me about three months to write each book.  In today’s market that is not fast enough, but I want to put out a good story, and one that will outlast reading fads.  I am hoping readers will be enjoying my novels long after I’m gone.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)?  I have seen poorly written novels make the New York Times list and excellent books bite the dust.  There is no rhyme or reason to success sometimes.  I think some writers must be sprinkled with pixie dust.  I write the best I can and hope for the best with sales.  I love my characters and my stories.  I think it shows in the writing.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I remember being in the second grade and wanting to be a writer.  I wrote my first story in the second grade.  It was titled Bobby Bobo Got Baptized At The Big Bone Baptist Church.  My teacher showed it to my mother and told her to encourage me to write.  However, my mother was already on top of it.  It was my mother who imparted the love of the written word.  She and I would take the public bus to the Cincinnati Library every month and bring home a shopping bag full of books.  I would read them all, and she would take me back to the library.  We did this for years.  She thought education was very important and pushed, pushed, and pushed.  I’m so thankful she did.  I rewrote Bobby Bobo several years ago and published it as well as several other autobiographical short stories.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? If it were 2010, I would advise to self-publish.  However, things have changed, and I tell newbies to get a deal with a publishing house if they can.  The new self-publishing authors are struggling because the writing field is glutted, and a self-publishing author must spend sixty percent of her/his time marketing.  If the author doesn’t know what she is doing then she will fail.  I know several New York Time best-selling authors who are throwing in the towel because they can’t make a living anymore.  My advice—keep your day job.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?  I have a vague outline, but I let the characters guide me.  I don’t keep notebooks or do charts.  Somehow it seems to work out all right.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? I like short, tight books.  I rarely write over 45K wordsI keep description and adjectives at a minimum. Less is more with me. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but I hate reading a book with long wordy narratives and pages of description that don’t push the story forward.  An author should be able to present a mood or depiction of a character, location, or object in a few short lines.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Stay away from “publishing businesses” which promise success in return for a large fee.  It’s most probably a scam.  I saw one such business advertising on FB which guaranteed a 100K salary in the first year for new authors.  The asking fee for their magic formula was $10,000. Not going to happen, folks.  Also get rid of toxic people in your life.  They will sabotage you and your work.

Here is where you can find Abigail online:

Official Site









Abigail is giving away a copy of Under a Blue Moon to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 3/25/19 – Small Town Kentucky Series

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Today I’m talking about my current book taking place in small town Kentucky.

I hope you learn more about me through my response:


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Devotion: Let the Butterflies Remind You

Despite the fact that today will have a high of ninety degrees, autumn is starting to bloom around me in Kentucky. This morning, on my walk/run with the dogs, I passed this field of Coreopsis. It’s been in full bloom for about a week now. This morning, though, the butterflies were all over it.

I’m in the process of getting ready to travel to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. I’ll come back and be home for two full days before flying out to the Novelists, Inc., conference. Then, I’ll join my husband Gregg and the boys and head to a conference for Gregg’s occupation. I’ll be home without another trip scheduled for four whole weeks on October 7th.

For me to leave like this, there’s a lot that has to be accomplished:

  • Our publishing company has to be in a paperwork/accounting place that I can leave it for three weeks.
  • I have to get birthday cards written and ready to mail for my birthday club. That means about 30 cards for the next three weeks.
  • I have laundry and housework that needs to be completed. I realize I can leave it undone and my husband and boys will happily take care of it. But, for me to leave in peace and not stress about it, it has to be done. My husband has a full-time demanding job. My absence is already going to add a stressor to their lives. I know an ordered, prepared environment will chill that stress.
  • I need to get bread baked for the week so the boys all have bread.

I have a to-do list a mile long, but those bullet points hit the high marks and the headers. So, my brain is a little frantic. The only thing making me not run around in circles accomplishing nothing at all is knowing I’ll be home for two full days before leaving again, which means I know I have plenty of time to handle the things I didn’t get to finish before I leave Thursday.

As I was walking this morning, three butterflies flying off together like friends made me stop and just enjoy them. I didn’t care that my workout ap blared out the words, “workout paused.” I just looked at the butterflies flying above a field of yellow Kentucky wildflowers and let some calm and peace intrude into my thoughts of lists and responsibilities.

It made me think of Matthew 6:25-34. Christ is telling us not to worry. In verses 26-27, He said:

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

I realize butterflies aren’t birds, but the image brought the verse to mind, and the verse reminded me that God’s got this.

I can pack, I can clean, I can prep an organized home into military precision organization, and I can do it all without absolutely losing my mind with worry over what I won’t be able to accomplish because God’s got this, He has me, and He tells us NOT TO WORRY.

Letting go of the worry and stress gives me more room to look forward to seeing my friends at ACFW in Nashville this week!

Let my butterflies speak to you. Relax. Don’t worry. God’s got you.


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Monday Morning Chat 2/19/18 – The Seelbach’s Rathskellar!

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m showing you the Rathskellar – the basement of the Historic Seelbach Hotel in downtown Louisville!

I hope you learn more about me as a writer through my response:



I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!

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Beer Cheese Festival Book Signing!

I will be at the Winchester, Kentucky, Beer Cheese Festival doing a book signing this Saturday, June 9th!

My friend Linda is graciously setting a table up for me in front of her shop, Jako Candles.  The address is 16 Court Street, Winchester, Kentucky.

I’ll be selling and signing copies of Sapphire Ice and Emerald Fire.  You can pre-buy Topaz Heat as well.

Sapphire Ice 3DEmerald Fire 3D

If you’re in the area, come by and say hi!

I look forward to seeing you!
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature

I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!

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