Monday, November 25, 2013

Winner of the Catie's Secret Giveaway Announced!

Congratulations, Ellen Bratzel! You are the winner of the Catie's Secret Giveaway! To claim your prize, please email your mailing address to  

Catie's Secret - A Perfect Fit for a New Reader


This book is a perfect fit for a new reader. Catie’s Secret by Laura Nonemaker is full of colorful illustrations, and characters who quickly win your heart. Children will learn to both embrace and celebrate diversity in God’s creation. Showing kindness to others is the moral of the story, in addition to a small token lesson on forgiveness. There are also helpful story challenge questions at the end of the book to initiate conversation about these lessons with children.
                                      Written by Sweatpants & High Heels on November 15, 2013 

Purchase a copy at Amazon or Tate Publishers (in ebook or paperback formats).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Splashes of Joy Reviews Catie's Secret


T    This is a really cute little book. The story talks about differences in the way people look, and that the beauty of a person comes from inside them, not what they appear to be on the outside. Using the caterpillar and butterfly is awesome to help kids understand this valuable lesson. The characters are adorable and kids will love them. The colors are vivid and bright, and the book cover is so very adorable that it will sure capture the attention of any child. This is a book you will want for your child’s library, so run out and pick up a copy today!
Written by splashesofjoy on November 18, 2013 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catie's Secret and an Exciting Prize Giveaway

Join the official launch of Catie's Secret, the second book in my God's Secret Garden Adventures. Join my blog tour and enter to win an exciting Kids Giveaway Package, including a Kindle Fire.

Enter to win at

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Comfort for Loss

“This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I begin each morning with this biblical affirmation from Psalm 118, along with some other proven favorites, and then move into my devotion time. Before Paul went to heaven, these words would slide off my tongue with confidence. Lately, they sometimes want to stick in my throat like a too-large chunk of bread that just won’t go down.

The emotions resulting from loss of any kind, but especially of a loved one, are unpredictable and deceiving. When we think they are receding into the background of our consciousness, they creep up on us and suddenly plunge a dagger into our stomach, leaving us reeling. They sap our strength and assault our thoughts as we desperately search for perspective and order in a life that is forever changed.

This morning, as I read from one of my devotionals, I was reminded that “it is through our trials and afflictions that God gives us fresh revelations of Himself.”1 But the pain of the loss is unwelcome and my mind and body want to run for cover. Yet Paul says in Philippians 3:10 that he so wanted to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection, that he was willing participate in His sufferings and be conformed to His death. I need this resurrection power, now more than ever, in order to walk through this period of my life.

So I speak the words that open the door of my day, words that hold a promise of hope and peace. Jesus assures us in Hebrews 4:16 that we can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. As we experience our brand of suffering and yet are willing to give Him our sacrifice of praise, He scoops us up, holds us close, and soothes our pain.

1 Nathaniel William Taylor in Streams in the Desert

                                                   ©2013 Laura Allen Nonemaker  All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moving Forward

As I woke this morning, thoughts flooded my mind with the force of a tsunami. My brain seemed to be going through an exercise in free association with phrases and sentences coming at me from everywhere. I wondered if some kind of dam had broken inside me and this was my mind’s way of releasing the grief. Was it part of the healing process? I had prayed that the grief cycle would not take five years with Paul as it did with the loss of my first husband, Bob, thirteen years ago. Could the Lord be answering my prayer and speeding things up? I hope so.

Yesterday, I was pretty stern with myself when the denial came rushing in again. Accept it, Laura. He’s not coming back. And even if he could, why would he? He has seen the face of Jesus and experienced heaven. Would I? Of course not! And so I resolved once again to take one day at a time and move in the right direction - forward.

My sweet little cat, Callie Marie, is finally beginning to return to normal. How it pained me the first night after I returned home following  the service in Louisville when I watched her searching for him. She walked from one side of the bed to the other, trying to find him.  She sniffed between the mattress and headboard. She made the journey repeatedly across the area rug on his side of the bed,  trying to detect his scent. My heart wanted to break for both of us.

On the last few mornings, Callie has returned to being excited about her Fancy Feast ® and once more she is putting her tail in the air when she walks, demonstrating that she is adjusting and feels better. Callie is processing her loss – and so must I - particularly with the official release of my newest children's book, Catie’s Secret, on November 5.

I am convinced I must do what is necessary for the successful launch of my book, in spite of this sad and unwelcome event in my life. Paul was my most enthusiastic cheerleader and often would tell me how proud he was to be “married to an author".  I know he would encourage me to move on with my books and I can almost hear him cheering me on from the halls of heaven.
So I will move forward with God's help and continue to pray that this time I will pass through grief faster than before. After all, there are children waiting for more God’s Secret Garden Adventures.  

            ©2013 Laura Allen Nonemaker    All rights reserved

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Watercolor Memories

Yesterday, Joey, our lawn guy, dug a hole and planted the gardenia bush the family sent to honor Paul’s memory. There are some blooms on it already and, combined with the jasmine growing nearby, it distributes a heavenly scent along one end of the lanai.  

Later on, I puttered in the garden, attempting with all my mind and all my senses to pull memories of Paul close to me. Somehow, although I knew there was beauty and color all around me, everything seemed pale and incomplete without Paul to share it. It reminded me of an unfinished watercolor painting that the artist has set on a shelf and never returned to finish. One has to strain to visualize how the finished painting would have looked.

Paul used to love to watch me deadheading, pruning, and weeding among the flowers and shrubs. “You belong in a garden,” he would say. I would agree.  I began gardening, after a fashion, when I was two years old. That is when my daddy marked off a small plot just for me in the flower garden that bordered our front lawn. Daddy used to love to tell the story of how I would discover snails on the undersides of the leaves and quickly pop them in my mouth before he could stop me. Fortunately, I eventually learned not to eat the snails and developed a love of gardening that has endured to this day.

I imagine one day I will see my garden in full color again, as it was when Paul was around to share the experience. For now, I reach out and pull the memories close, sensing his presence with me.

                              ©2013 Laura Allen Nonemaker All Rights Reserved