Welcome back. Loree. Let’s do some fun questions first. What song most closely resembles your life?
Toby Keith’s “How Do You Like Me Now!” It’s a fun, upbeat tune that give the wink-wink to those who, when I was starting out, didn’t believe “my little hobby” could become a full time career.
I do understand that. I had those people, too. Now they have taken notice, big time. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?
My go-to verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” At several points in my distant and recent past, life sometimes threatened to become overwhelming. And each time, I only needed to read this verse to remind myself that no matter how dark life may appear at any given moment, the Father will bless me with the light that leads me to peace.
What is the one thing you wish you could go back and change in your life?
Anyone who’s over 25 (and I’m more than 2x over 25!) has a few regrets. But instead of seeing them as stumbling blocks, I look at them as stepping stones. Each time I was disappointed (or disappointed others) was a valuable life lesson that made me who I am today. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing!
I’m with you. I own all those mistakes and learned from them. What is the most important characteristic for a good friend to have?
A good friend must be loyal, above all. If I share a heartache, a secret, a bit of joy—and ask you to keep it to yourself—that’s exactly what I expect. And I’ll do the same for you. And since trust and loyalty go hand in hand, I must always feel a true friend can be trusted.
There are too many would-be friends out there. What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
I held an assortment of odd jobs, beginning at age 14. Clocking 20+ hours a week while holding tight to an A-B average in school left no time for school-type extracurricular activities. When I could, I volunteered at church, babysitting kids while their parents attended services, or in the local hospital gift shop, delivering flowers and whatnot to patients’ rooms. In the community, you could often find me running errands or doing household and hard chores for elderly neighbors.
I can totally see you doing that, Loree. What is your favorite movie of all times?
Wow, that’s a tough one! I have a couple dozen favorites. The first that comes to mind at the moment is Secondhand Lions, an exciting, adventurous, wholesome story of the importance of family. Two other movies run a close second: Somersby and Shadowlands. Loved all three pretty much equally!
I haven’t seen the last two, but I love Secondhand Lions. Tell us about why you wrote this book.
After reading several articles and watching documentaries about the recidivism of prisoners, I grew curious; surely there were organizations that lent a helping hand to recently released convicts, to reduce the numbers that returned to penitentiaries. I’m blessed to know Linda O’Dell (Letters from the Lord) who routinely visits prisoners in her home state. She was generous with her knowledge of the system, and from conversations with her, I was able to compile a list of questions to ask the experts I interviewed (wardens, guards, psychiatrists/psychologists that work with prisoners), parole officers, half a dozen prisoners, and an equal number of family members who were forced to cope with the system before sentencing, during confinement, and after release. While it can’t be denied that some ex-cons seem incapable of changing, a large number work hard toward reformation. I wrote the book for those individuals and their families in the hope that the stigma of “having served time” could be overlooked on a case by case basis.
Please give us the first page of The Man She Knew.
“Maleah, you want to explain this?”
She placed the bowl of mashed potatoes on the dining room table. “Explain wh—”
When she saw what her brother held in his big hands, the words froze in her throat.
“Tell me you’re not still mooning over this low-life criminal!”
“Mooning.” She forced a laugh. “You’re picking up old-people talk from Grampa.”
“You can’t distract me.”
She’d made two mistakes: thinking the buffet’s silverware drawer was a good place to hide Ian’s photograph, and saying yes when Eliot offered to set the table.
“It’s no big deal.” Maleah shrugged. And there it was… Eliot’s I’m a decorated cop and I can tell when someone is lying look.
Maleah shoved a serving spoon into the potatoes. She and Eliot had gone round and round on this subject too many times to count, and she’d lost every round.
“Only one explanation makes sense. You’ve stayed in touch with him, even though whole family asked you not to, haven’t you?”
“First of all, no one asked anything.” Their relentless demands had been the primary reason she’d traded the comfort of her childhood room for a noisy, crowded dorm room at the
“How any times do I have to tell you I haven’t had any contact with him in…”
Years had passed since she’d scrawled Leave me alone! Please! across Ian’s
final letter. “Why won’t you believe me?” University of Maryland
He dropped the picture into the drawer and closed it, hard. “Maybe because that creep turned you into an OCD control freak. You can’t sleep with dishes in the sink. And name me one other person who alphabetizes the contents of her pantry and spice rack? Or color-codes and hangs stuff in her closet in order by length.”
Maleah didn’t bother to explain it was because she’d learned how much one mistake could alter a person’s life—and the lives of everyone close to them.
“So I like things neat and tidy. Last I checked, it isn’t against the law.”
He aimed his pointer finger at the ceiling, preparing to add to his big brother tirade, but she cut him off.
“Eliot, let’s not spoil Grampa’s birthday dinner, all right?”
She knew Eliot: The subject was far from closed. Maleah could only hope he’d take her advice, and not make a scene on their grandfather’s birthday.
I’m eager to read the rest of the book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Before I list the social networking sites, I’d like to thank you,
Lena, for sharing your blog and your
audience with me. You’re by far one of the most generous, big-hearted women I
have the pleasure of knowing!
Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/LoreeLough
Twitter -- https://twitter.com/LoreeLoughAutho
Pinterest -- https://www.pinterest.com/loreelough/
Instagram -- https://www.instagram.com/loreelough13/
Website -- http://www.loreelough.com
Thank you for the kind words, Loree, and thank you for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Man She Knew (By Way of the Lighthouse) - Paperback
The Man She Knew (By Way of the Lighthouse) - Kindle
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