Free prequel today and tomorrow! A book that entertains AND makes you hungry (sorry).

Thank you for downloading the FREE PREQUEL! Several hundred copies have already flown through cyberspace, and since digital downloads can’t “sell out” you can get as many copies as you want. Great as a gift or to introduce someone to the series. Only Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8!

prequel free download

Here’s the kind of mixed metaphors you can expect in a book that will not only entertain but also make you hungry. (Probably not the best combination, but oh well.)

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What readers are saying:

“The Walls in the Middle of Idumea is a great prequel and supplement to the rest of the Forest at the Edge series. Trish Mercer is still one of my favourite authors, with her skill for weaving humour, sadness, truth and hope together to create an incredible story. This book works perfectly on its own, but I also really enjoyed the references to characters that become a big part of the rest of the series.”

“. . . like all the books in this series it is entertaining, uplifting, and wholesome. There’s an actual story and it manages to be compelling without anything graphic. Highly recommend all of her books.”

“Pere Shin was a fascinating and, yes, a flawed protagonist. He sensed that a grievous wrong was perpetuating in the mansion and took the steps that his heart and gut feelings pressed upon him. Integrity wins.”

It’s free right now–get it!

The Prequel is a free download this weekend on Amazon!

Need a free gift? The prequel is FREE now through Sunday on Amazon! The Walls in the Middle of Idumea is a great place to begin the series–not too long and daunting, and the storyline is accessible to new readers. Pere Shin is one of my new favorite characters–come get to know him. He’s unlike anyone else you’ve read about!

prequel free download

What readers are saying:

“The Walls in the Middle of Idumea is a great prequel and supplement to the rest of the Forest at the Edge series. Trish Mercer is still one of my favourite authors, with her skill for weaving humour, sadness, truth and hope together to create an incredible story. This book works perfectly on its own, but I also really enjoyed the references to characters that become a big part of the rest of the series.”

“. . . like all the books in this series it is entertaining, uplifting, and wholesome. There’s an actual story and it manages to be compelling without anything graphic. Highly recommend all of her books.”

“Pere Shin was a fascinating and, yes, a flawed protagonist. He sensed that a grievous wrong was perpetuating in the mansion and took the steps that his heart and gut feelings pressed upon him. Integrity wins.”

It’s free right now–get it!

Three ways to evaluate those who hold political power: when to run away and when to give them another week

I’ve created a list by which I gauge those in power: who I should run away from and who I’ll trust for another week. (By the way, the purpose of the world is NOT to serve us; this is how every major conflict begins.)

Now I won’t be naive and pretend that in the past those with power used it wisely. Thousands of years of dark history are against me on that. However, there have been bright points who realized that power was granted to them to see if they’d do the right things. Occasionally, true leaders and statesmen set aside their personal hopes and fears, and instead pursued the hopes and fears of the communities they represented.

Overwhelmingly, however, people with power have acted like 6-year-olds on their birthday, greedily taking everything handed them, believing they’re important and forgetting everyone else around them.  But they’re not as important as they deliriously believe, and usually the “day after blues” reveals that, too late.

So here’s the current draft of my list evaluating who to trust in power, still a work in progress. Feel free to send me suggestions.

When to run away from someone in power:

  1. When their every comment or observation is “I” based; they’ve forgotten they are to represent others and instead are obsessed with themselves.
  2. When their desire is to be front and center, when they use real problems and issues to get more attention for themselves (real people are merely tools). In fact, new problems may be “manufactured” to draw new attention to the person in power.
  3. When they’re increasingly defensive and angry, because only self-centered people are defensive and angry. (It’s a basic truth. Test that sad theory for yourself.)

When to support someone in power? Watch for this behavior:

  1. They focus on “you” not “I.” They (usually) remember that power has been given to them temporarily to do a job for others.
  2. They don’t give a flying fig what others think about them; they just go about doing what good they can. Often their public relations aren’t too good, but their results generally are.
  3. They don’t complain endlessly about problems real or manufactured. Instead, they go about fixing the problems. There’s action, not continued pontification.

Power in the United States is granted not because someone “deserves” it, or is popular, or attractive, or wealthy, or athletic. (Although you can make an argument that power has been granted to all of those in the past, and we can see now how those were mistakes.)

Power is granted to those we HOPE will take care of us, will fight for us, will remember that a large group of people are expecting them to represent us fairly and accurately. (Those people may also be popular or wealthy or attractive, etc. but those shouldn’t be the deciding characteristics.)

Many (most?) politicians forget how they got their positions, and instead of managing that power, the power tragically eats them up. It’s tragic for those they represent and even more so for the individual who really thinks that they’re someone important and special because they’re in office.

They’re not important or special. We the people get to take away that power, unfortunately often not until a lot of selfishness has been manifested (“My legacy!”) and a lot of damage has occurred, sometimes irreparably.

I suspect that Lord Acton’s quote of “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” can sadly be paraphrased to reflect modern politics as: “Any kind of power corrupts every kind.”

Walls meme horizontal POWER SERVE

New prequel coming Summer 2019!

Get the rest of the series here.

The world isn’t what you think it is, and why should it be?

I feel stupid confessing this, but I was slightly freaked out by Europe. We came back last month from eleven days in Rome and Greece, and while I was prepared for the trip, many silly things deeply worried me.

For example, the electrical outlets–two little holes? And their electricity is “different” than American/Canadian electricity? Isn’t it all the same zippity-zappity stuff that streaks across a stormy sky?

And no ice in drinks, anywhere. And water is served lukewarm, even when it’s 95 degrees outside (Fahrenheit; don’t get me started on trying to convert in my head from Celsius). And the grocery stores had little-to-no selection: only four cereals to choose from? What do these poor people eat for breakfast?! And a lot of roads didn’t have painted lines. The cars and pedestrians just winged it and hoped for the best.

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How many lanes is this? And yes, there’s soon to be a car going up the other direction.

And you have to pay one euro just to enter a bathroom, and there’s no guarantee there’ll be toilet paper or even soap.

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I bailed out fellow American women, twice, who danced frantically before these asking, “Wait, what?!”

And our hotel in Rome didn’t even have a sign above it, just a tiny typed piece of paper at a little bell on a stucco wall that we wouldn’t have noticed if the owner hadn’t been waiting for us. And why was he WAITING for us? And shop owners were very aggressive, and taxi drivers were practically shoving us into the back of their cars, despite our exclaiming, “But we have train tickets!” And there was no Dr. Pepper, anywhere, except at an expensive import shop.

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And at two euros each. And of course they’re not cold.

You get the idea.

Naive American traveler, that was me.

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Along with the donkeys of Santorini who smelled lovely on a hot, muggy evening.

Of course I’ve chuckled at naive travelers myself. We went to Yellowstone National Park many times when we lived in the west and shook our heads when we overheard people say, “That smell–can’t they do something about the sulfur? Why are there so many bison? They should build a fence to keep them off the roads. Are those really wolves out there, eating something that was alive? Should kids be seeing this? Why won’t they show us where the bears live? I want to pet a bear.”

Each of us has an idea of how the world is, and it’s narrow, distorted, and unrealistic. No two people will see the same sight the same way, but that’s how we learn, how we grow, how we realize that the world is not what we imagined it would be, and how we teach our imagination to become even broader.

And why should the world conform to our naive expectations? I see many entitled people complaining in the news and social media how the world is “disappointing” them in one way or another. This isn’t right, or that isn’t what they expected, and somehow they feel cheated. In this immense planet with unlimited options and glories around every corner, they bizarrely feel ripped off.

Strangely, it doesn’t occur to them that maybe they, with their selfishness and arrogance, are the real disappointment.

The adventure of life is discovering how diverse it is, being startled to realize that it’s not behaving the way we expect it to, and that it’s never going to be precisely as we demand. Often there are no painted lines, no obvious signs, no clear crossings, so just wing and hope for the best. You’ll survive the vast majority of the time, until you don’t. Life it just that simple, and that complicated.

Walls meme horizontalWorld

Books? Thinking? Are those “lit”?

[“Lit,” by the way, is the trendy way to say “cool,” or “neato, daddio.” Just typing that last one is totally not “lit”.]

These lines are what I hope none of my students will ever say about my class:

books thinking never saw before

These lines are also why I often read out loud to them, because even though they’re 10th graders, a few kids had never finished a novel until they took my class.

I worry that books and thinking are becoming as old-fashioned as typewriters and rotary phones. We rarely hear about either much anymore, and when we do it’s, “Hey, remember when we used to think about problems and read all we could before we made judgments? Or am I just remembering a time that never really existed? And am I using the word ‘lit’ correctly?”

Get Book 1, The Forest at the Edge of the World right here. It’s totally lit. (Maybe?)

 

Admit it–you want unpredictability and challenges!

Ever have one of those years when everything changes on you?

And does it seem that it happens every year?

Yeah, me too. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as “regular” life, that the “good old days” when life was predictable and easy never in fact existed, that when we long for the stability of the past, we’re really longing for a fantasy that never happened.

And why would we want a quiet, dull existence? Isn’t the unpredictability of our lives what makes it worth living? The daily challenges that push us, the nightly flopping into bed with a quiet but triumphant, “Survived another day!” that invigorates us to exhaustion and new determination? Don’t we want that, crave that?

I had two dull days this past year.

I couldn’t wait for them to be over. (And I’ll probably regret writing this . . .)

People aren't as clever as they hope they are

Official Forest at the Edge clock is here–just in time for Christmas!

I’ll be honest: I made this for me.

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I love unique clocks, and while I’ve made clocks for other genres, I never made one based on my own books.

The other day I thought, “Why not? I wrote the kind of books I want to read, because I couldn’t find them. Why not make the kind of clock I want, too?”

Then I thought, maybe a few of you might like one, too. On my Etsy site they’re listed for $15 (plus shipping: USA is about $3.60, international about $21.00).

BUT, if when you order you put in the comments, “Book reader” I’ll refund you $5.00. 

So your total cost for this fun clock, straight from my house, will be less than $15.00. Pretty good deal for a fun gift!

They come in black, white, or red. The black can have either parchment-like paper (scroll down to see close up of parchment-like paper) or plain white.

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Detail of parchment-like paper option on black clock.

I ship usually within three days of receiving an order, and clocks arrive about three days after that. If you want this for Christmas, make sure you order by the middle of December, because I get a bit backed up with other orders. Click here to order!

Why in the world am I giving away my books for free?

As I’ve done with my other books, I’m offering Book 5, Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti for free as a .pdf file on my website.

Book 5 FRONT COVER kindle

Click on the image above to access the .pdf file. Yeah, for free. Seriously. No strings attached. (I’m not that kind of a girl.)

No, this makes absolutely no financial sense whatsoever. It’s the second place I’m offering it for free (Smashwords has the download for free) and when Amazon notices, it too will make it for free (maybe in a week or so; I have no control over that).

So why in the world am I doing this?

Because it’s not about money. Nothing, really, should ever be about money.

It’s because in many ways I feel I was given this book, like a rough blueprint, along with a pile of supplies, and told to “Go for it.”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a clumsy builder, but for the past few years I’ve been constructing a book series I’ve absolutely loved! Writing and rewriting has brought such immense joy, and I want to share it, with as many people as possible. I don’t want a few bucks to come in the way of someone accessing it, and while the paperbacks cost a bit, I literally do not make anything from them. The prices are set to the barest minimum I’m allowed to set them to. (Even I have to pay to get them!)

You see, years ago the phrase, “Freely given, freely shared,” came to me, and while I’ll average about 30-40 hours a week writing and editing and working on this series and website, I don’t feel right about profiting from them. The reasons why are explained in detail in Book 5, as you’ll see.

But because this blueprint and supplies were “Freely given” to me by our Creator, I feel He wants me to “freely share” them with you. Yes, I’ve put in a ton of labor, but I’ve been compensated in other ways, if not monetarily.

No, I’m not independently wealthy. Our income qualifies us for a variety of social services which we choose not to accept, because we can get by just fine since we’ve learned to temper our desires and we don’t chase after the trends of the world.

I feel deeply, earnestly, about the messages of these books, and Book 5 in particular, which I spent a year studying and researching before I attempted to start writing.

So share freely, enjoy, and get the word out: “There’s this slightly mad woman giving away her books. Snatch them up, quick, before she comes to her senses!” (No worry there; I’ve never come to my senses. I have no idea where they are, and they aren’t too worried about looking for me, either.)

Book 5 IS HERE! Get it in e-book or paperback!

It’s HERE! Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti, Book 5 is now available as an e-book ($.99) and in paperback ($13.50) (soon to be as a paperback on Amazon, too).

You can also find it on Smashwords for FREE!  

(Why for free? When you read Chapter 13, I think you’ll understand. “Freely given, freely shared.” And where the heck is Medicetti? You’ll find out . . .)

book 5 published announcementThank you for your patience, and enjoy! (I’m gonna take a nap now . . .)

Book 5 Cover Reveal!

Book 5 Front Cover

Woo-hoo! One huge step down, about a dozen more to go until I can launch Book 5: Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti.

It WILL be out before May is over. I don’t yet dare set a date because then the Anxiety Gods see that number and take it as a challenge to thoroughly undo me before then.

But I’m deep into final edits and formatting which, because there are three completely different platforms for print and ebooks, with each taking about 10 hours for someone technically-disabled such as myself to properly format, means I need lots of chocolate chips to get me through and I’m trying to give up sugar right now. Yeah, I chose a bad time for that.

But it WILL get done!

In the meantime, thanks again to my oldest son for standing in for the cover, even though he and his siblings keep saying, “What did you do to him? It’s Teagan, but it’s not Teagan.”

“I know,” I tell them. “Because now he’s Peto.”

“Who?”

That’s when I remember they haven’t bothered to read the books. If it doesn’t have a Star Wars character on the cover (Happy May the Fourth everyone!) they won’t touch it.

(For my next book cover, I’ll put a Wookiee in the background so it’ll trick my family into reading it. Actually, a Wookiee would fit pretty good on this cover . . . I think I need to do a bit more photoshopping.)