Sunday, May 10, 2015

For Dad - who with the help of his nurse - reads my Blog.

Barkley on the "doggie love seat".

Today's a hard day for the family.  Dad has lost two wives and two children, and he's terminally ill himself, though his age (94) may take him before the mass in his colon. I've lost my "moms" and also two children, the one I gave up and one that just didn't make it full term, though it was close, as well as  my only brother and Barkley both my best friends, within weeks of each other last year..

I rushed to write Saving Grace - to have it published while Dad  was still with us, with lots of caffeine and the support of a very understanding husband.  It's a story for my daughter but it's also a tribute to my parents who adopted us from foster care (with issues) and loved us unconditionally.  It's sold well but as an author, you know your friends will write nice  things about it, but what of the world at large?   I did't write it for them, but like anyone that writes, I wondered if the story would bear meaning for someone other than my family.  I wanted this message to touch someone and make them appreciate the family they have, imperfect as they may be. For each day is a gift.

I finally got my first "verified purchase"  Amazon review from someone that's not family or personal friend, but had read and reviewed The Book of Barkley.  It just made a day that's very difficult bright, and will make my Dad smile when someone reads it to him later.

So please humor me and then as we say in the business "move along - nothing to see here"

.Barkley - Dad is not going to give you another treat.

L. B. Johnson uses words to weave her story with more skill than a master weaver ever used to weave the finest silk.

I finished reading Saving Grace yesterday. If I could write with a fraction of the skill of L. B. Johnson, I would have a different career and a different day job. I did force myself to stop reading several times when I was starting to go faster and faster. You do not stuff a gourmet chocolate bar into your mouth and gulp it down, you savor each bite and with Saving Grace you will enjoy the trip if you take a little time to appreciate just how well she writes.

I grew up in Philadelphia, very far from where she grew up, and yet when she wrote of the feeling of community, the neighbors, the bikes, the playing outdoors, the aches and pains, scrapes and scars, and the joy and sorrow in our hearts, I could do more than see it, I could hear it, and feel it.

The book begins with the day when she and her brother are adopted, and flows to where she is in life today. The journey has happiness and pain, and discovery and loss, and mistakes and success, and does not dwell on the “I wish I would have,” it tells us what happens with both good and poor choices, and how the people we are today are the result of those choices.

She tells of her life, her adopted parents, her brother, her family, the undemanding love of animals, and the intertwining of relationships and life events with a natural feel for people. And she has the rare gift to make the reader see her, and those other people in her novel, as the real, imperfect humans that we all are.

Enjoy the journey.

John in Philly


  1. Thinking about you today and wishing you a Happy Mother's Day.

    Linda, Shelly, and DaWeenies....

  2. Congratulations on the lovely review - we understand how important it is to have outside validation, it makes things that bit more real.
    Happy (belated) Mother's Day.
    Wally & Sammy

  3. I am currently reading Saving Grace on Kindle. Having also read The Book of Barkley, I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewers view, although I would also add that you are not a wordsmith, but an artist of words. That is on of the reasons I enjoy reading your blogs, along with the interjection of your humor.

    This is a super Mother's Day post.

  5. This review was a gift indeed to you! We are so glad you got it and so glad your dad is able to share in your book.
    stella rose

  6. Wow! That was a wonderful review!

  7. Thank you everyone! This just made my day and even better-- Saving Grace made #1 in the paid Kindle store at Amazon today! Someone said "when's the third coming out". I wrote these while my Dad was still with us to share our family stories. But I'm taking a year off from the "author" thing to have fun in Blogville, write a few short stories to go in a later e-book and spend time with my VERY patient husband who has a serious chocolate chip cookie deficiency after all the time I spent writing editing and marketing.

    I'm so glad I found such good friends here and look forward to more adventures in Blogville.


  8. We think the best thing an author can do is to touch the soul of the reader. A well written story can still not make that final connection. Looks like you did it with this person. It doesn't get any better than that! Congrats!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. I look forward to continuing with Saving Grace and will most certainly leave a review on Amazon (All-stars, All the time!, of course!) I will have to be careful to not gush and wax purple, but this book is just wunnerful. Thank you for letting us into your life, if just for a brief visit

    I am so happy for you... You are an amazing woman in so many ways. As I have said before, I honor you.

    Fair Winds, Following Seas and a Safe Harbour,

    Cap'n Jan


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on our Lab Rescues that have joined our household since Barkley left us.

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