Why do I read?

Encouraging reading in youthPaula reading to Mike c

I don’t remember a time without books. They were a part of my day, every day, stretching back into memory. In this photo I am reading to my brother, two years younger than me. Since he looks about two in this photo, I was reading this to him before I started school — probably as a four-year old. I don’t know if I was telling the actual story from words, or had memorized it, or was guessing from the photos, but the important thing is that at a very young age I understood that there were exciting stories in books, and that reading unlocked those stories for us.

Once school started we had assignments – to read a new book every day. I continually worked my way through the libraries at home and at school, and of course at our public library where we proudly held our own library cards as soon as we were old enough to write our names. I remember many times when I was engrossed in a book and my parents had to get my attention to come eat supper, because I didn’t hear anything while I was reading a story.

I could only do that because my parents read to me. Reading before bed was a frequent ritual even after we were readers. Mom would choose somethingreading with mom above our reading level and continually challenge us with that content. Some of these were Bible stories, some were Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, which were a great way for kids to hear classics before we were ready for the full dose.

When we were ready for the full dose, the classic books were already old friends.

My family treasured books. I remember my first hardback books — Yertle the Turtle and Little Women.  We didn’t have a lot of money, but we always found ways to have lots of books, of all different genres, on our shelves in the living room, the bedrooms, the family rooms.

We did  have television, even though these vintage photos don’t make that obvious. We enjoyed a few shows. But mostly our imagination was stoked by what we read. And we never stopped reading. My brother has a memory that lets him remember everything he has ever read. I don’t have that same memory, so I even re-read my favorites from time to time.

I copied this same technique with my own daughter, who is also an avid reader in adulthood.


With Family you’re never alone.

By Delores Goodrick Beggs

Lynette’s birthday photo is almost the same vintage so Delores let her share.

             Family – you have to love them. Nobody stands alone, however much they may think they do. My parents were special, just in helping me to live a normal life with a severe hearing problem, and more.

            Around the time of my seventh birthday, my mother started working too, to help make the family ends meet with four children.  Prior to that my folks, like the other parents on our Kansas City, Kansas block, held birthday parties for each of their children every year. When my birthday rolled around the year Mom began her job. They hadn’t said anything, but I assumed I was having a party as usual and invited my friends.

            On my birthday, my father arrived home from work soon after my party friends and I began a competition of dropping clothespins in an empty glass milk bottle.  I saw a strange look wash over his face when I told him we had gone ahead and started my birthday party, but he didn’t say anything, just stood around looking on while we played. When the winner of the game was declared, he dug into his pocket and produced a nickel for the prize. (a nickel was worth a lot back then, it would buy an ice cream bar.) My friends were both surprised and delighted at the unusual prizes of nickels given that day while we continued to play the usual birthday games.

          My mother arrived home from her job and my parents conferred.  My father went to the store and brought back some ice cream to serve. My party was the excited talk of my friends for days after.

            My wonderful parents never said a word to me about having invited my friends for that unplanned birthday party.  However, I did notice when my siblings birthdays rolled around, no more birthday parties were held, and so I asked my parents about a party the next year instead of inviting my friends, and was told times were really too tight that 1946 year for my family to hold birthday parties. It was then I realized I’d made an impetuous mistake the year before; but my parents never mentioned that party again.

             In my coming newest release, Substitute Lover, Tennyson Wells learns the hard way she’d made an impetuous mistake when she’d left home in defiance of her older sister Mauranie, who’d been supporting her on their ranch. Once she realized her mistake, she returned home.


“I came home.” She smiled at Mauranie through teary eyes.

“You are very welcome, dear. I never wanted you to leave.”

“Yes. Well. It’s all about decisions. Sometimes you have to change them.”

“I’m delighted you came back,” Mauranie spoke with a firm voice. “You’re my sister. Sisters should stick together, don’t you think? Come, let’s sit on the porch and celebrate.”

“Celebrate what?” Tennyson startled.

“Sisters.” Mauranie’s smile warmed, her voice firm. “You go on and make yourself comfortable, Tennyson. I’ll get coffee and cookies.”

 Place in the Heart Book Two: Substitute Lover, available from Desert Breeze Publishing. Also available from  Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other major e-book publishers

Available now from Desert Breeze Publishing or on Amazon:  Place in the Heart Book One: Breaking Point.


A Unique Love Story … Amazon reviews for The Return of Joy

5.0 out of 5 stars a unique love story, December 3, 2012

By Billie Houston (San Antonio, TX USA)
This review is from: Starting Over Book Two: The Return of Joy (Kindle Edition)

The husband Joy Huffman adored is killed in an automobile accident. Only hours after she receives the news, their daughter is born. Joy is devastated. With the passing of time and the help of her mother-in-law, Evelyn, she begins to heal. Almost two years later she is ready to revisit the cabin she and her husband designed and built before his death. Joy, Evelyn, and Charity, Joy’s daughter, pack up, leave St. Louis, and head for New Mexico.

Her return is not what she expected it to be. The caretaker, Mark Stone, is a handsome computer expert who runs his business from the cabin. She is immediately attracted to him.

Joy begins to suspicion that her husband’s death may not have been an accident. She realizes that she, Evelyn, and her little daughter, may all be in immediate danger. Should she stay and try to solve the mystery while dealing with her growing attraction to Mark, or should she run, not walk, to the nearest escape route?

Starting Over Book Two: The Return of Joy I found many things to recommend this book. The poems at the beginning of chapters are lyrical and lovely. The plot kept me engaged all the way through the book. The characters are flawed, but sincere and loveable. Joy and Mark’s love story unfolds like the petals of a fragrant flower. If you like a different twist on a romantic story, you will love this book.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Second Chance, December 1, 2012
By Barbara Scott (Florissant, MO USA)
This review is from: Starting Over Book Two: The Return of Joy (Kindle Edition)

At first glance, Joy Huffman seems to have the perfect life: a loving husband, a baby on the way, a beautiful cabin designed and built for the life they’d soon share. Fate had other plans. On the night she gave birth to her daughter, her husband Steve is killed in a car accident. Joy plunges into a two year tailspin saved only by the need to take care of her child and the support of her grieving mother-in-law. It is only the recurring dreams she has when Steve returns trying to tell her something, trying to draw her to the cabin she’s never seen completed and avoided since his death. When even her baby talks of seeing Steve, Joy feels compelled to go to New Mexico. Accompanied by baby Charity and mother-in-law Evelyn, Joy confronts the possibility that Steve’s death was no accident.

In The Return of Joy, Lynette Endicott creates an evolving storyline peopled with memorable characters and settings so vivid they provide a backdrop as alive as the people. The cabin is like an HGTV Dream Home with a waterfall wall, secret hideaways, and surprises at every turn. It is set in a landscape of mountain and desert splendor near Santa Fe where morning walks with handsome caretaker Mark begin to work their way through Joy’s grief. Hovering over all is the mystery of Steve’s possible murder.

This second of Endicott’s Starting Over series, stands alone but aptly addresses her theme of second chances in life. The reader strongly empathizes with and roots for Joy as she works to earn her second chance. The blend of romance and suspense mixes easily with the deeper work of the plot giving it a substance that lingers in the reader’s memory.

Barbara Scott

4.0 out of 5 stars Return to Joy, November 30, 2012
This review is from: Starting Over Book Two: The Return of Joy (Kindle Edition)

The day of her daughter Charity’s birth, should have been one of the happiest in Joy’s life. And it might have been, except it was the same day she lost her husband Steve. And the same day she lost a big part of herself.

Were it not for her mother in law Joy might have lost herself to the pain completely. But Evelyn had been there to help anchor a young mother to sanity.

Now, two years later, Joy, along with Charity and Evelyn, is taking a step back into the world by taking a trip to the family cabin. The place Steve and Joy built specifically for themselves, but never got to share together.

Joy would rather not go, but the recurring nightmares she’s been having of Steve lead her to believe his death was caused by something more sinister than a simple side-swipe and the answer to the puzzle just might lie in the secret hideaways of the cabin.

At the cabin she meets Mark, who just might be the key to restoring her broken heart. If only Joy will free herself to take the chance. But if Joy doesn’t face Steve’s past, she might not have a future.

The Return of Joy is the second in Lynette Endicott’s Starting Over Series. It has moments or sorrow, suspense and, of course, a Return of Joy.