2015 Book of The Year Finalist!


Feeling the #indielove! Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven has been chosen as a Foreword Reviews’ prestigious #INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards finalist in #General Fiction! In a competition with over 1500 other entrants, it’s pretty great to have made it this far. Stay tuned for the winner announcements at the end of June, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, in Orlando, FL.

Click HERE to go to the list of General Fiction Finalists, and HERE if you want to go directly to the finalist page for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven.

Woohoo! 🙂

An Unexpected Sale


So, the e-book versions of Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven was set at a special sale price of $2.99 for the last three weeks of May, in honor of its appearance at Book Expo America 2015 in NYC.

It’s back up to its usual $4.49 price now – BUT, for reasons unknown, amazon is once again listing it for $2.99 for kindle (and showing that it’s a sale from its usual “Digital List Price” of $4.49)!

So if you want to catch the deal for kindle (whether you have a kindle itself, an app on your phone, or on your desktop), go now. I have no idea how long it will last. 🙂 Click on the cover to be taken to the amazon page and its sale price.


Foreword Review!

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven

Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann
April 29, 2015

A woman discovers her rich relationships in this exquisite exploration into themes of time and connections, love and loss.

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven tells the story of protagonist Elena Elizabeth Wright Maguire, who reexamines her life and relationships after she is involved in a minor car accident.

M. Reed McCall skillfully transitions between different periods with segues that invite further exploration into memories triggered by a comment made in the present. For example, when Pa says he can hardly wait to put Christmas decorations around the house, the narrative flashes back thirty-two years to the Christmas Eve when Elena was almost seven years old. This movement in the narrative not only serves to keep the story flowing but also creates an intriguing and natural flow in the stream of connections that Elena makes as she unravels the journey she has made in her life.

McCall captures the unique voices of different personalities and their relationships with one another with evocative and heartfelt precision. This creates a vivid image, not only about Elena, but also about the people around her and the place she lives. This is clear in Pa’s letters to Elena, which offer wisdom, and in radio disc jockey Willard T. Bogg’s announcements on WGRR FM 103.9 about the events in Moose Junction. Elena’s transformation to a mature woman is contrasted with her past idealistic and youthful eighteen-year-old voice in a diary entry about her love, Jesse: “I can’t wait to give Jesse the card and giant Hershey’s chocolate bar I bought for him. I’m SO in love!!!”

While the narrative itself is deeply moving, the black-and-white photographs scattered throughout further contribute to the story’s heartrending quality by lending a unique sense of reality to the story and giving it the feel of a personal history unfolding, adding to the book’s allure and effectiveness.

Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven forges a path straight to the heart.

**For a limited time, Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven is still on sale for $2.99 for Kindle and Nook!

Life Might Not Be Fair, But It’s Beautiful

20994_969605946384560_4690850952568560146_nThe Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies (for many reasons, Cary Elwes among them) and this quote that reminds me in a clever way that life is to be lived, in all of its tragic, beautiful, messy, wonderful glory.

That said, there are multiple ways I can “take” this quote, depending on my mood.

Anyone else have a reaction to it that is similar or different from mine here? 🙂

Thoughts Have Energy

think-positiveI stumbled on this poster the other day, and it triggered something in me. A little, niggling voice in the back of my head that reminded me of how I’ve been wrestling with this concept in the past three years, especially since my father’s passing. But I suppressed the voice as I tend to do and moved on.

I went in search of the poster, intending to write down the words and make a “Wordle” of it for my students. When I located it, I admit to being more than a little startled to find that it had been originally posted on the very day my father died.

Here’s why that was startling for me:

It’s kind of funny, but for many members of my family (and I’m talking not just my husband and kids, but also my six sisters and their families, and my mother), the death of our father (“Pa”) seemed to be the demarcation point of a series of unfortunate circumstances (family illnesses, some severe and long-lasting, some involving our children or grandchildren, shocks, stresses, and accidents) that seemed to have kind of piled on as time passed.

Of course Pa’s death doesn’t actually have any connection to any of the other events or challenges. People lose parents – especially an older parent – all the time. But it was kind of noticeable that in conversation it would come up, “You know, since Pa died…” followed by the various incidences or at the very least, a sense of displacement. A sense of things being shifted out of balance that is very subtle but still has impact over time.

That Pa was really the emotional and physical center of our family and a strong, much-loved, vital presence for my mother, all seven of us daughters and our own families made his death very difficult, of course, but he had been ill for the six months prior to his death, and so we were also relieved for him when his suffering ended.

Still, it was a struggle to pull out of the sense of shock of losing him in our family. I tried to turn as much of my thoughts and energies as I could to the positive, even through the challenges that seemed to arise out of nowhere (I was even able to finally finish Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, after having struggled with writing it for two and a half years prior, thanks to some of the lessons and experiences I had during his illness and death. Ultimately, a full five years after beginning, I wrote “The End” this past May).

Anyway, as the issues cropped up one by one, they tested my emotional mettle, but I soldiered on.

I’ve been mostly successful with it. As a child, I couldn’t bear the least amount of change (I even begged my parents to save the old linoleum they ripped up after they refinished the kitchen floor when I was five), but I’ve become an adult who is becoming comfortable with the realization that control is an illusion; I know and accept that the best I can do is choose how I will react to the circumstances I face, positive or negative. Pa tried to teach me that all my life. I learned the lesson slowly while he was alive (probably because he was always there as the emotional “safety net” for all of us) – then in big, heaping leaps once he died.

My life has settled down and been very good again in many respects. But I wonder, sometimes, if I still spend too much of my energy “watering the weeds”. I keep working and slaving over what I “have” to, all the time, and letting myself get bogged down in responsibilities and feeling trapped by them.

Thoughts are energy.

I tell my own children this all the time. And the whole convoluted story in this posting is just to say that, seeing this poster has made me realize that maybe I need to do a better job of remembering that statement myself.

I’ve been getting better at it, but I have a ways to go and some polishing to do in terms of the thought patterns I allow myself…and that allow positive or negative into my life here and now.

And those are my philosophical thoughts for the day (maybe even the week).

Happy Wednesday! May it be a positive one for you.