Coffee Thoughts #1
Coffee Thoughts was an idea I had to keep a daily blog rolling. These posts will be periodic and free-flowing, with many different thoughts. As for my first ever coffee thought, I think introductions are a good way to get started.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m Alex, and I enjoy writing, reading, and exploring the world. I have finished and published two separate novels. One is a Christian fantasy book called The Shadow of Our Stars. And the other, which is a historical mystery, is The Victorian Vigilante. Both books were largely written during the COVID pandemic and have mature themes about life, death, and personal sacrifice.
Currently, I am typing the second draft of my murder mystery novel, The Highland Tour. A book that came to me while traveling in Scotland in 2022. This book has been an absolute joy to write, and I’m so excited to get it finished by the end of the year! Very similar to Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley’s novels, this has a complex plot with different points of view that make it interesting from start to finish.
Now for the thoughts:
I was thinking the other day about sharing beauty with others. While hiking the Pool of Winds in Washington, I thought about the end result of the hike. The massive gust of icy water hitting your face in a cave-like waterfall— the perfect way to spend a hot day. This isn’t our first time doing this hike. In fact, I think this is the sixth or seventh time. But the beauty remains even after all those other times. When we arrived at the end, you only had a few moments to see it before you kindly stepped aside to allow others to see it. That has become part of the fun for me— watching others fall in love with the sight just like I have. Sometimes sharing is more enjoyable than trying to collect it for yourself, especially when you see something that God has created so brilliantly. Just a thought.
NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT
I am proud to announce the release of my newest novel, THE VICTORIAN VIGILANTE on March 28, 2023. I have been teasing it slowly for over a year, and I can finally share it with you all. If you like books with strong female protagonists set in historical London, this one is for you!
PRE-ORDER link: The Victorian Vigilante https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BT8MGDBM?ref_=cm_sw_r_apin_dp_Q7QV01H1F3CQSJRJ7FN6
Una Egerton is a woman adrift in a world dominated by man’s corruption and crisis. Riddled with a dark side herself, when night falls Una cloaks her feminine appearance and becomes the fighter known in the London Underground as the Silver-Haired Devil. But just as Una finally has a grip on her abnormal condition, the body of a woman is found floating in the Thames River in an oddly familiar way to that which claimed the life of her mother a decade ago. This murder sets off a series of events that fall one after another. Her alter ego is rapidly labeled a person of interest and the mysterious death toll continues to climb. A secret society hidden in the shadows begins to emerge having her question everything she thought she held dear.
Una must set aside her convictions and become the detective her city desperately needs. With themes of sacrifice and personal virtue, The Victorian Vigilante is a grounded take on vigilantism with an elaborate plot canvasing Ancient Egypt and the London underbelly known as the East End.
“A mystery with endless twists and turns.” – Ellen Z.
“Brilliant.” -Early Beta Reader
Available early 2023, preorder details will be up soon and I will be announcing giveaways for free copies of the book in the coming weeks. Excited to have this baby out and share it will you all! It has been a labor to write but every much worth it!
DEBUT NOVEL: The Shadow of Our Stars
The Shadow of Our Stars can be found for sale as an ebook or paperback exclusively on Amazon.com by clicking here.
Light waves reflect from the surface of my skin. I know where I am, but I don’t know where I’ve been. The rush of electricity feels foreign to my dismal way of thinking. Perhaps I am meant to be grounded. I twist the dial once more to my left. The picture changes. I see my variant laughing on the side of the highway looking for a ride east. He’s alone, but happier than I am now. The dial twists again. This time I am surrounded in tapestries of wool– a castle of old with a man of new. The grim taste of earth lines my lips and I am somewhat taken back to a time long before I existed. Both images petrify me. I hoped things would be different, but– in some way beyond my comprehension, they are just the way they’re meant to be. I cannot change what is down the road from me, no matter how many times I turn the dial, my path is set in concrete.
The Truth About Working From Home [UPDATE]
I cannot believe it has been over a year and a half since taking this plunge into working from home. If you would have asked me how long I saw this lasting, I would have laughed and said, “Not long at all!” But here we are. And I’m starting to wonder what it’s even like to see the faces of the public anymore. Will we ever return to the normalcy of the prior world? Or, will we create a new norm, one that forbids handshakes and emphasizes sanitation and personal spaces?
These questions may result in grim answers. I very much want to take a time machine back to years ago and experience the peace of the past, but time machines are not ￼ readily available as of now. So, I will either find myself romanticizing about the peace of yesterday or be thrusted into this new way of doing things. *Lord be with me*
Initially, the work from home order was issued back in March of 2020 and now it’s May of 2021, nearly June. The same realizations from my previous truth about working from home remain, but with some added discoveries.
First and foremost, the word normal no longer holds any value or hope. I have spent days and days worrying about the challenges of tomorrow only to find myself more let down when lockdown presses on. In that momentary let down, I’ve learned to be thankful for the things I have, rather than of the things I do not. I have an ￼ exquisite kitchen to cook my meals in and a personal domain ruled by me and my golden retriever, Willow from 8 am to 5 pm. ( After 5 pm, the rule over domain is bestowed to my beautiful wife.) I have also come to discover the power of prayer and finding hope in the Lord rather than my employment. All of these “struggles” as I may view them, are temporary and will not last forever.
Secondly, this time of living in an office cave has given me the opportunity to write more frequently when I have the time. (Obviously not on the company’s dollar.) I published my first novel during quarantine and am rounding the corner of the first draft for a second. Now, rather than letting go ideas escape into my subconsciousness, I ink them down on fabulous paper with a good fashioned fountain pen. (I think I have discovered my old soul in 2020.) I find myself writing letters to my spouse too, complete with wax seals and everything. (Another task to complete while on breaks but slightly mirrors the current reality of my job description). ￼
Collectively, I have discovered who I am. Isolation, don’t get my wrong here, is utterly terrible. I would not wish it on my worst of enemies, but it was the hand all of us were dealt. I merely learned to be okay with it, rather than complain. (I am sure I still do that occasionally.) And through the tragedies that have enveloped the world￼, I have found God in the chaos who has nurtured me and my spiritual gifts. (For He I am most grateful.)
So, as updates go, I am far better that I was before and have learned a lot over the last year. I only look fondly into the future awaiting the age-old handshake to make its triumphant return! ￼
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ”
The Impassionate Diary of a Window Watcher: Part 2
Night wanes and clouds collide orchestrating a bleak activation to my morning ritual. Outside I see grey. I can sense it in the air, thick with desolation, it will volley as it did the preceding era. And the delusions of my subconscious can offer no escape. I am entombed in a cycle of permanent nature. Why must things be this or that? Black or white? Why must we pick our chosen conduit before having given sensible thought? Clock in. Clock out. Clock in. Clock out. It repeats itself. Where are the turquoises and greeneries of the overlooked? Where does the wind blow when it prefers not to shadow the tides? How does the moon wax when there is nothing for it to convert? Why do we fear simplicity and voyage far more than a nauseating routine? Have we lied to ourselves about vocation? Are we missing the beauty set forth into this world by Our Creator? Have we fallen from our deliberate hallways into a somber of reminiscing? We do not know what could be, because we are content with just being. I, for one, can no longer observe while the world grows distant to me.
The Impassionate Diary of a Window Watcher: Part 1
I inspect from my office window frame the season’s transformation—the red to the gold, the snow to the sun, awaiting escapism. The mundane tragedy of a corporate existence extracts the very life within like the squeezing of an orange. All the good bits inside are expelled for the pleasure of another. For I will never taste the truest zests of the juice. I will remain, eyes glued to the pane, observing what goes about on the other side while the clock ticks… For the larger part of my life, I have been ensnared in a net of black and white– of paper and pens, ethics, and performance evaluations. The delight of maturity in grade school was a predatory falsehood served with faux hopefulness. I, like so many others, swallowed the reality. I graduated college with the ambition of financial prosperity and occupational ventures but found I am a caveman primitively existing amongst folks shackled to their vices. The art of fire, my only spoken language, is lost to all memory. Hidden in the dark, oral stories of long ago and the peril of what the end of the age will bring– haunt me. I will live out the rest of my days behind this bureau until another faux promise comes to fruition. Then, I will depart this world and pass on into the subsequent, not knowing what life could have been if I seized the risks it presented.