Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

A New Five Star Review for Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven was penned by several contributors many who have never been published before they were asked to just write their stories which they did- Grief is no respecter of persons it comes to us all. It is how we deal with it that matters.

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

5.0 out of 5 stars A moving compilation, September 27, 2013
By Ashley Fontainne “Ashley”
This review is from: Pennies from Heaven (Kindle Edition)
Losing someone you love is a burden each of us must face during our lifetime. The manner in which death appears does not lessen the pain and heartache that yearning for our loved one leaves inside us.

Just as different as the patterns on a snowflake, each of us differs slightly in how we deal with the loss. Grief stems from our internal thoughts, memories and coping skills. Some grieve longer than others. Some learn to let go quicker and move on with their lives.

Some never do, lost inside the unending sorrow, their wounds too deep to ever fully heal.

This collection, written by people from all different walks of life, explores the painful journey of losing a loved one. Each person deals with their loss differently, yet there is a common thread throughout all the stories.

Love. It never ends, never fails and, in the end, always prevails.

Ashley Fontainne http://www.ashleyfontainne.com/
ABOUT ASHLEY

Award-winning and International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley’s love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her latest work, a short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contest.

Look for Ashley to delve into Christian fiction in late 2013 with her exciting thriller The Lie.

September 27, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Five Star Review for Pennies From Heaven

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Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

I was very humbled when I saw this review this morning. This book is very close to my heart and to know that it is being read and appreciated and  understood by those who read it is very humbling. Pennies from Heaven is not a how to book on grief. There is no such thing. It is a book filled with stories from others who have lost someone they loved. They have grieved and tried to heal in spite of the hole that remains in their hearts.
There is no set of rules for grief. There are however different steps of grief that we each must feel in order to move forward. If you stay stuck in any of those steps we cheat that person we grieve for. We cheat them of the life we had with them and their memories. Grief  and death are as much a part of life as living and being happy. We all must face it one day.
Pennies from Heaven doesn’t preach about the right or wrong way to grieve- it only shows how people have grieved and what they did after the grief was done. Everyone needs this little book. To read or to give away to someone who is grieving or about to grieve. It will help bring comfort – strength and hope to all.
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulfully Insightful… August 21, 2013
By GJLentz
Format:Kindle Edition
Death and grief are just one of those things in life we all have to deal with one day, and like many aspects of life that we all share, we do so in different ways and at different times. It can be very overwhelming, so reading these stories from different folks and their varying experiences and perspectives is quite the treasure. I’d recommend this book to anyone who has just lost a loved one, or someone- who after sometime- who is still coming to terms with their grief. Laugh, cry, be amazed, and move forward with these real life experiences and thoughts from folks just like me and you.

August 22, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The First Review on Pennies From Heaven

The first reviews for Pennies from Heaven are appearing on Amazon. Horror Author Thom Futrell has put pen to paper after reading Pennies from Heaven. Thom got it. He understands why this book is so important. He gave this book a five star rating and highly recommends this book for every household. Death does visit each and every one of us if we live long enough.

 

“Pennies from Heaven is a book that I think no family should be without. Death walks through the living room of all of our lives and leaves a bit of himself as he leaves. These are stories of people who had to face death, and are willing to share those experiences so that no one has to feel alone in the world. What I took from this book is, we matter. All of us, every person on this Earth and every minute we have with them is precious and should never be taken for granted. My heart goes out to the people who had dealt with loss and to those who will in the future. Know this, no matter who you are, you are not alone”.–THOM FUTRELL, Author of Empty Graves

 

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

July 1, 2013 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option on Amazon Kindle’s Bestseller List

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option is still on Amazon Kindle’s best seller list. This book is very close to my heart for many reasons. One this is about my brother Stan who is challenged and was never supposed to succeed, second this book took me 34 years to publish. I was rejected so many times that I lost count. I finally decided that I was in charge of my own destiny. I have never looked back. Third this book is the reason I say I am successful contrary to the naysayers and the ones who are jealous because they refuse to live their dream.

Stan is my yardstick. He has done things that he was never supposed to do. He has never given up and he keeps on getting up when he is knocked down. This man has touched so many lives it amazes me. He has spent 15 years at Publix Grocery store and just received his evaluation he received the highest he could receive – which was 168 points-

So when I hear someone say they can’t or they can’t find a job or they want to just draw a check I want to smack them. One time I asked Stan if he wanted to draw SSI which he qualified for his comment was “No, I don’t want to live off the government, I will make my own money.” This was a man who was not supposed to be able to reason- and yet he has excellent reasoning skills.

So if this man who has brain damage understands there is no pride in living off the government that pride comes in hard work and honest work why can’t others? The answer is simple- he understands that nothing is free. He understands that in order to have pride and a sense of success one must work no matter the job- if it janitorial- digging ditches – washing dishes or whatever it takes to earn a living even if one has to work two jobs which he has done. He also understands that when one lives off someone else be it the government or someone else they own you. They determine your future and your present. They tell you what to do and how to do it.

If Stan who is brain damaged understands this why don’t those who are “normal” get it? The reason is simple- they choose to take the easy path they allow others to make those decisions for them- they like being owned.

Stan refuses to be owned as he is always telling the children “I am a full grown man, I can take care of myself.” Those who live off others can and should take lessons from a man who was never supposed to succeed failure was his only option- but yet he beat those options.

This book is available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, audio books including itunes download with enhanced version with photos, and nook as well as Lulu

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never An Option

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never An Option

 

Stan on Graduation Day

June 27, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies From Heaven – They do Speak to Us

 

 

 

 

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

My newest release Pennies from Heaven has been released through Lulu Publishing. It is now up on Amazon Kindle and Nook and will soon be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This book involves several people who have graciously agreed to reach down inside their souls where no one else goes to write their stories of loss and grief. The stories are as varied as the people who wrote them. Some of them are faith based – some are non faith based- many ask the question of why- a couple are about precious pets which have gone on to Rainbow Bridge.

Each of us grieve in different ways- sadly some of us never grieve- we cheat ourselves by not grieving and we also cheat those who have died. We do not allow them to become a memory nor do we allow them to help us heal. We spend time in denial with no way out. This shortens our life- our mental outlook and destroys our physical being.

When we don’t grieve and then accept their death- we cheat those we have lost. We cheat them of the life they lived and we cheat them of their love for us.

It was my goal when I put this book together to help at least one person who may be grieving- to show that no two people grieve the same on in the same way and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. The important thing is to grieve and then heal- then live.

June 25, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pennies From Heaven has Been Released

penniesfor cover

After the weekend from Hell Pennies from Heaven has been released on Lulu. This book has been a labor of love from many different contributors about death and grief. Each contributor has reached down in the depths of their souls to write their heart wrenching stories of grief and how they have dealt with not only the loss but the healing and moving on with their lives.

When I am wrong I am the first to admit it. And I was wrong so very very very wrong. I was ranting on and on about how Lulu was getting greedy – and all the other blather when it was a huge DFO on my part about the book pricing.

I  spend the entire weekend pulling my hair out and saying words that even embarrassed the monkeys   when the entire screwup was my fault.

When I was formatting the book I failed to mark the b&W interior and it had defaulted to color. So please Lulu excuse this old woman’s brain cramp – you guys still rock for me and I will be sending folks to you.  Yes, they are good people. I don’t know about myself though.

I will not be pulling my books from them. Especially when I can’t keep up with what I am doing. Thank goodness for my author support group that keeps me straight – Thank you Hydra for making me take another look at the set up. Girl you are the queen.  My sweet editor and friend Kelly with Dressing your Book she is reloading the book on nook and kindle yet again for me.

So please forgive the stupidity of someone who should have known better. All is well in my world. The book is good it has photos and life is once again on the right axis. As soon as I get my proof copies I will release it for distribution. They should be here in a few days.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Books, New Releases | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dealing with Grief

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

While my newest little jewel is not yet out (soon very soon) I wanted to once again let the public know it is on its way. As I have lived quite a long time. (No, I am not in my 20’s, 40’s or even 50’s) I have experienced death on many levels since I was a small child. My four siblings and I were not spared the experience. We were not shielded from death or funerals. We were brought up in the old South where death and grief were accepted as part of living and giving birth. I thank my parents for that. As children we were expected to attend funeral services, to sit with the family during the wake to accept condolences from others with grace, dignity and good manners. We were allowed to grieve to be hurt but we were not allowed to misbehave. I too raised my children in the same manner.

Now many many years later, I have experienced the deaths of many many family members and friends, some who were taken way too soon. However, that timetable is not always our timetable. It  is one of those things which is totally beyond our control.

Pennies From Heaven was a need to express grief – a need to outwardly let the world know that those who have died mattered. It is not just my story- it a story from many contributors. Contributors who have lost children, grandparents, parents, even beloved pets. The reason for this book was twofold, the first to help those who were grieving who had never had the opportunity to express that grief to do so. The second reason was to be able to offer comfort and strength to someone else who has lost someone and wondered if they were grieving “correctly”.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we all grieve in a different way and at different times. While there are several stages of grief- no one of us goes through them at the same time or the same way. We never “get over” the loss. The hole is always there, the pain is always there. However, if we do grieve- we will heal, the pain will diminish- even though we will always feel the loss the hole in our hearts.

Pennies from Heaven doesn’t tell anyone what to do- when to do it or how to do it. It is just stories of loss and grief- Many stories talk about the anger, guilt, denial,  shock  and acceptance of the death of a loved one. You will also find that one or two even talk about the comfort they found when they saw their loved one just for a brief moment. Yes, I believe we are visited by those who have left us.

If we stay stuck in one of the stages of grief, we not only cease to live- (sure we function on a day to day basis but we don’t live) we cheat those who we love who have left us. We cheat their memory. We rob ourselves of the life we enjoyed with them. We become worse than being dead-

If they could tell us one thing they would tell us what my sister told me before she died “Live your life.”  She meant it. She loved life. She loved her family. She didn’t want to die. She fought it for almost two years. But she knew what we all know- death comes to all of us. What we have this moment in time is all we are promised. When we waste it we can never get it back.

If you are grieving- you need to read this book. Immerse yourself in the stories that are shared. Stories that the contributors reached down deep into the deepest darkest parts of their hearts to write so that others could find comfort.

No, not all the stories are faith based. We do not cram “religion” down the throats of our readers. Each story is unique to the writer. The only guideline that I asked for was for them to be honest with themselves. They did not disappoint.

This book is currently at the editors and will soon be released. Add it to your to read list. You will not be sorry. Also add it to your gift list, that person will thank you.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies From Heaven – Soon to be Released

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heavan

 

 

Pennies from Heaven is at the editors and will soon be released. This book was written with the intent to help anyone who is grieving – it is not a book that is based on any type of “medical” jargon or what you should or should not do. This book is stories from every day people who have experienced death in different forms. Who have grieved on different levels and in different ways. While there are stories that are spiritual based it is not necessarily a spiritual book. We have left it to the reader to find their own level. There are stories where the one left behind feels and sees the loved one who has gone on. There are stories of pets who have died and the grief that was caused. There are stories of young people who have died and left behind their parents to pick up the pieces. There is a story about what I call the slow death of hell, a parent who suffers from Alzheimer’s and the grief that begins as the disease progresses, the guilt that follows. There are stories of multiple deaths in one family as family member after family member seems to follow each other in death like an angry ocean crashing on the rocks. There are stories of children losing their parents way to soon and the missing piece that follows their lives.   

Our hope is that at least one person finds comfort, strength and the ability to heal after reading these heart wrenching stories. The authors of these stories have reached deep down in places that no one ever goes in order to write them for others. They are written in pain, love and grief so that others might find the courage to heal. Learn from them – know there is no timeline for grief- but also know that if you do not grieve and do not move forward you have cheated the person you grieve for of the life they had and you have cheated yourself of their memories which are forever with you.

May 28, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pennies from Heaven Has Gone to the Editor

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

For those of you who have been waiting for this little book of strength and comfort know that it has made its way to the editor. The next step is the publisher. The stories are as varied at the people who contributed to them.     Below is just one story of the many which are included in this book: Bear in mind this is the raw copy – which includes any errors which were corrected in the final draft. Many of the contributors are not professional writers they are just people who have a story to tell. These wonderful people offered to not only open their hearts and the pain of loss but they were also willing to put in on paper. A huge thanks go out to them.

 

 

Still Daddy’s Girl

My parents married for the first time, later on in life. I was born when they were in their 30’s. I was born on New Year’s Eve the following year, and was “Daddy’s girl” from the get go.

My Dad and I always had a very close relationship. He was a very loving Father, and put mine and my Sister’s needs before anything else in life. He did without, so we could have what we needed, or went without to give us “special, little things that would make us happy.”

He always had time for us. Every summer, he would put up a swimming pool for our enjoyment. He loved to take us fishing during the summer, and he would take us to carnivals, and to Peony Park which was an amusement park, here in Omaha, so we could ride the rides and play the games… I can still remember the good times we had, and the happiness, closeness and love that it left in my heart.

My Dad looked out for us in every way possible. Like any child, I thought he was being mean or controlling, when I would get chewed out or lectured “as I called it,” but he was always right and it was love coming from his heart, trying to protect his “little girl.” Dad’s thoughtfulness and wise words and kind heart made me the person that I am today, and I am proud of who I have become.

Throughout my life, my Dad and I always had a special bond. When I grew up, I would take care of him when he got older, just as he took care of me, and that is exactly what I did. I took care of him and my Mother in every way possible.

My Dad’s way of dealing with death was cut and dried. People died, you went to their funerals and paid your respects. He wasn’t one to believe in life after death.

After my paternal Grandmother’s death (his Mother) I had some experiences with life after death. I was very close to my Grandmother also. I told my Dad and my Mom about my experiences. My Mom believed me, because she has had “life after death experiences also.” My Dad was not a believer of such things and tried to debunk my experiences, even though I know in my heart my Grandma was trying to let me know that she was with me and still loved me.

My Dad had a long, chronic illness that was slowly killing him. I was very lucky to have him with me until 2010, when he turned 87 years old. In 2010 he was struggling worse than ever, and I knew that our time together was limited.

 

Decisions had to be made on whether to have them put a tube down his throat, to help him breathe, or to let him die with “dignity.” He had always taken care of me and even though I didn’t want my Dad, “who was my heart to die,” I had to make sure that he was comfortable and let him go peacefully, without suffering.

When the decision was made to let my Dad go, I didn’t leave his side. I held his hand and talked to him, and made sure he was comfortable. I thought that he would pass on quickly, but my Dad held on for several days, which I was believe “for his girls.”

 

About a week before my Dad died, he was in the hospital, and still talking. I remember Dad looking towards the door of the hospital room, when I was there, and he said “there’s Donnie, why don’t you go talk to him!” His brother “Donnie” had died around 8 years earlier. When he told me to go and talk to my Uncle Don, and he said it with such clarity, and I could tell by the look on his face he was truly seeing his brother. I knew that, Donnie had come to take him “home,” even before the thought of “letting Dad go” was even considered.

 

Another thing that my Dad was doing around the same time was, “acting like he was reaching into his pant pocket,” even though he was wearing a hospital gown. He kept doing this and “handing something to me.” He wanted me to open my hand so he could,  “put something in my hand.” I went along with it, because it was obviously something important to him, because he kept repeating this task. I asked him what he was giving me and he said “the keys.” I believe that he thought that he was reaching into his pants pocket and giving me the “keys to the house because he wanted me to have the house and remain in our home.”

 

I made the mistake of not responding to “taking the keys” and despite his 87 years of age and being so sick, his feistiness came out. He got a wee bit snippety and told me to “take the keys.” So, from there on out, he would reach into his pocket, take out the keys, I would take them from him and put them in my pants pocket. He repeated this, to make sure that I had the keys.

 

My Dad always liked to look nice when he went somewhere to visit. He would always be clean shaven, and smelling of cologne, and dressed in his nice pants and a nice shirt. Before his death, he couldn’t talk, but he took his hand and rubbed his chin area. He hadn’t  shaved for about a week. I asked him if he wanted me to shave him, and he shook his head “yes.”

 

I asked the nurse to shave him because I didn’t want to cut him with my unsteady hands. She shaved him and I took a wash cloth and washed his face, and wet his hair down and combed it back like he would wear it, and I told him “you can go now, you are Heaven’s little hottie.”

 

Later that night we were moved to a much nicer room on another floor because the ICU was needing the room. We had a newly remodeled room and my Sister slept on the couch and I took the recliner, and held his hand in mine, and we all fell asleep. The nurse woke me, to tell me “that it was getting close.” His breathing was getting shallow. Within 15 minutes or so, my Dad was gone, and my heart was breaking.

 

Once again, I looked at his face, as I had done with my Mom. All of the years of suffering and the lines on his 87 year old face disappeared. He looked happy and so peaceful! He looked so young, and happy again.

 

After my Dad’s passing I was going through some major depression. I had lost my Mom in 2009 and now my Dad in 2010. Other than my Sister, that was my only family. I was struggling to find a job, had people in my life that “claimed to be friends,” but were treating me terribly, and trying to take advantage of my kind heart. The people that said that they would be there for me, bailed and I was left alone or with people that were not treating me right, and I was hurting so badly, that I excepted that, when I should have slammed the door in their face.

 

My Dad had warned me about one of these people, when he was alive and I lived in “major denial,” and would get angry because of “the lectures.” This person was trying to take advantage of me and brought others into the picture. My life turned into a living hell in every way possible, and I can truly say that I had hit my rock bottom, and really didn’t want to be on this earth, living like this any longer.

 

There were people living in my household that I could not get out of here. They would not leave and the police said that they were “residents” and I would have to do a “legal eviction” which takes 30 days, so they could stay. There was stealing going on, and other things that were terribly wrong. I would sit here and cry and was giving up on my life.

 

I would cry myself into panic attacks, then would fall asleep. I would pray and talk to my Dad, even though I knew that he wasn’t with me and couldn’t help me. I would feel my Dad’s presence with me though. I felt like he was listening. One day, I realized that he was still with me.

 

I was sitting in the recliner watching TV, and I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked over towards the hallway, and saw my Dad, walking through the hallway.

 

He was not looking sickly and 87 years of age, but instead he looked young, and healthy again. I would see him from his head down to his chest. He was young looking again. He looked like he was maybe in his 40’s or 50’s. He was wearing a light weight, gray jacket that he always wore in the spring. He would walk from the upstairs door in the hallway, and then disappear at the end of the hall. This gave me comfort knowing that my Dad was still here with me, and he knew what was going on, and listening.

 

I had seen my Dad several times in the same exact place, and wearing the same exact thing. It eased my heart to know that my Dad, who did not believe in life after death, was visiting me when I needed him the most. Daddy was looking out for his little girl and this was easing some of the pain and helping me get through the things that I had been goingthrough.

 

Throughout this time, I never mentioned this to anyone.  One of my roommates came up to me though, and mentioned that he thought he saw my Dad. Well, before I opened my mouth and said anything, I asked him what he looked like, and he gave me the same exact description:  he looked younger and healthy, and  he would only see the upper half of him and he was wearing the same gray jacket. Now I knew that my Dad was making his presence known.

 

Over the next month or so, I would see my Dad. Even though we did not have any interaction, it gave me great comfort to know that he was there for me and I believe he is the reason that I struggled to go on, and got my household situation straightened out, and I was able to start my life over.

 

It means the world to me, knowing that my Dad of all people, the person that didn’t believe in “life after death,” made his presence known, and helped me in my darkest time. My Dad is still “my hero” even though he may not be physically with me right now, I know that he is still with me. I love you Dad, you are my heart!

 

Sharons father

Sharon J. Sobolik                                 Sharons’ Father

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soon to Be Released Pennies from Heaven

Pennies From Heavan

Pennies From Heaven

 

How many times have you lost someone and felt emotions that you didn’t know you were capable of feeling? How many times did you question those feelings? How many times did you try to repress those feelings because you thought they were the wrong feelings? Did you get angry at God and then feel bad because you did? Were you angry at the person who died and then felt guilty because you were angry? Did you lash out at someone who was still living because you were angry at them for still being alive? Did you fall into a depression and not understand why? Do you feel stuck in a time warp and do not know how to move forward?

Pennies from Heaven is a compilation of stories from folks just like you who have lost ones.  Maybe by reading this book it will help you in some way with the grieving process- the acceptance and the ability to move forward.

 

 

May 5, 2013 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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