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Arlene Rains Graber

'To write something that brings a smile or initiates thought is truly one of life's pleasures.'


Arlene has written for newspapers, magazines and Christian periodicals for over thirty years. In 2010, her first non-fiction book, Devoted to Traveling, was published by AWOC Publishers. The book traces the author's travels throughout the world. In 2011, her first novel, A Plane Tree in Provence, was released, and a Christian novel, Angel on My Shoulder, was released. In 2012, Arlene published The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society, the second book in the Plane Tree series, followed by Sarah's Choice in 2014. All books are available in paperback or as e-books.


Mar

wow! Twenty-four inches of snow in February, which is the largest snowfall in history they say. We were so in need of the moisture that no one complained. My grandson loved the lost days from school and had great fun sledding, building a snow man and using his new snow board. Most of our usual appointments were canceled so I used the time to get caught up on that huge stack of stuff crammed in my “In” box.

My book sales are good but for all you readers out there who haven’t researched my new book, I’ll give a shameless plug. Check out www.amazon.com/dp/B00AHHAGCS.
I’ll have a short non-fiction story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers realeased in May this year. And if you like news articles, check out the East Wichita News this month for my lead article, “Empowering Creative Ideas” www.eastwichitanews.com and click on News. Huge thanks as always for reading.

So looking forward to spring and warm days. For the first time in a very long time I’ve been having writer’s block on the new novel. I want my character to come through her problems well without causing too much trouble for everyone else…but gotta tell you, not having much success. I guess some people just don’t learn from mistakes—do they. I think I’ll put it aside for awhile and start writing on the article soon due for The Lookout. But in the meantime, if I have a sudden brainstorm, I’ll scamper right back to Sarah’s Choice. (new novel)

Wishing all of you a happy peaceful spring and with sunshine and flowers.

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Dec

The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society has just been published and is ready for purchase. I’ll give you a short blurb about this new novel.

The women in A Plane Tree in Provence are home from France and ready to make changes in their lives. This volume centers on Penny Wilson, owner of the Designers Pen needlework shop in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Penny lives in a large rambling home with her husband, Michael, and two sons. Life is good until Penny accidentally spots Michael with another woman. An affair? Well, she did have her arm around his shoulders. Or a harmless encounter?
Unraveling an explanation is not easy, but Penny has her friends in The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society to lean on. While she wants her marriage to succeed, will she ever be able to forgive Michael if he is indeed having an affair. The group’s lives are intertwined with challenges. Wendy is cut from her acting job at Summer Theatre, Sarah’s decision to get back in the swing of taking care of her home and cooking goes south, Vernie is under an enormous amount of stress at the Portland Symphony, and Rose develops a fondness for the carpenter who is renovating her home.
As the weeks go by, Penny is also plagued by medical issues, which she decides are a result of her emotional state. But are they? Perhaps it is something entirely different.

And now for the updates with my family. My daughter is recovering nicely from her fall last January and is enjoying her weekly therapy sessions. She is living with me along with her dog, Peppermint, and her son shares time between Mom and Dad. It is a joy to have him around and I must say things have really picked up around my once boring household. Shan, oldest daughter, is still at Wichita State University and we see her most weekends. Carey, youngest daughter is working hard in Lawrence, Kansas running her twenty-year-old company. When not writing, I’m chauffeur to Penny and Palmer, taking yoga lessons, playing poker, or working at our church.

Currently, I’m working on the third volume in the Plane Tree Series. My goal is to have it published in early 2014. I’ve just started it and my or my, those women are all in so much mischief that I think I’ll need to tone it down a bit.

Have a blessed Christmas holiday. You might want to check my updated gallery, and yes, my hair changes color with the wind. Love and blessings to all. arlene

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Sep

Fall has finally arrived and we’ve even had rain, which fights to repair all the damage those 108 degree temperatures did to our plants and yards in the summer.

My daughter, Penny, is making steady progress, and while frustrating for her, as she would love to have this recovery thing over, we are thankful we are going forward instead of backward. She is now volunteering at her son’s school during lunch, and has a brand new computer to keep her challenged.

I’m currently on a writing retreat and my writing partner and I have made a list of five wishes for ourselves. More often than not, as we forge our efforts toward others, we forget about our own wishes. We thought this would motivate us in accomplishing even more in our lives. I won’t list them for you, but as I arrive at each wish I’ll let you know what it was. For this retreat, I found this wonderful little place in Newton, Kansas that is surrounded with beautiful gardens chock full of sculptures. It is a delightful small bed and breakfast in a once working silo. It is now on my repeat list of places to visit.

My second novel is almost ready to format and my daughter, Carey, has sent two possible choices for the cover. If I do say so, she is one talented woman. Check out her website at Tallgrass Studios, Lawrence, Kansas. Can’t wait for all of you to see my selection for the second novel in the Plane Tree series. My target date for release is October 15.

Keep your fingers crossed for me as I have several submissions out to publishers. It’s been seven months since that dreadful day in January when Penny fell down the basement stairs and our lives were changed forever. It is only now that I’ve been able to write a couple of devotionals about the experience. If published, I’ll let you know where to find them.

Until next time, arlene

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Aug

Kansas is experiencing an extremely hot summer, and everywhere you go and everyone you see talks about it. I’m getting bored with all of it. I prefer to think about Maine and Seattle and my two vacations this summer. Maine was heavenly, and the best weather ever—-sunny, high in the 80’s and low in the 50’s. I was able to work on my new novel daily and was so inspired by the ocean and the wonderful Maine folks. My daughter and I took long walks, ate lobster every day, sat at the beach and collaborated on my novels. A wonderful time. Not sure if I have ever mentioned this, but my daughter, Shan, is the best editor I’ve ever come in contact with – ever.

In July, I took Penny and Palmer to Seattle to visit my sister and her clan. Palmer, now ten years old, connected to his five cousins (all girls and all under ten years old) and had a fantastic time. The highlight for him was getting to tour the fire station where his older cousin Colin is a firemen. The trip went smoothly and Penny did well. It was good for her to get away and enjoy the cool weather in Seattle.

My critique group has put their final editing on my new novel and now it goes to Shan for the final final. My other daughter in Lawrence, Carey, is working on the cover. So blessed to have such talented daughters. I’ll be checking in again soon—I promise to be more timely.

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May

Okay, the photo has changed along with my hair color. Frankly, I got tired of marching off to the hairdresser every month to keep that brown color in check. Soooo, I have gone natural, sort of. Grey is the new brown for me, but with a touch of blond here and there. What do you think?

My daughter has been released from Meadowbrook and is now home. She has settled into a routine of outpatient therapy and once again caring for her son. I feel so blessed to have her home. Her surgeon says her recovery has been remarkable.

I have finished editing the first draft of the second book in the Plane Tree series. The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Society should be ready for publishing by fall. Can’t wait to see how Penny’s life back in Cape Elizabeth changes. Stay tuned.

This month East Wichita News named me Writer of the Year for 2011, and I sold another Chicken Soup for the Soul story. A very good month for this gal. I must admit, this has given me an extra push to keep writing and do what I love best. I will be going to Maine as usual in June, this time taking my oldest daughter. Sitting by the ocean I’ll spend hours rewriting and polishing the Cape Elizabeth book. Can’t wait.

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Feb

Hi all, a quick note to update my viewers. My daughter, Penny, fell and suffered a severe brain injury on January 25th. I rushed her to the hospital and she had brain surgery shortly after. She was in ICU for over 12 days – asleep. Prayer warriors around the globe sent prayers on her behalf upward, and God interceded. She has made a miraculous recovery so far, amazing the doctors. My family has sat close by her side for over one month now, and tomorrow, she will be going to Meadow Brook Rehabilitation hospital (outside of Olathe, Kansas, for a few weeks. We are confident she will recover fully and thank God for all his blessings and healing power.

I have channeled my thoughts and energy toward her recovery, so writing has taken a back seat. Now, I see the light and by next week will once again be editing the sequel to A Plane Tree in Provence. I expect the book to be released in a few months. Of course I have already started another in the series but it is really rough and needs an abundance of work. I’ll be updating you again soon. For all the cards, flowers, food and prayers – I thank you. I never knew I had so many wonderful friends.

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Dec

Okay, I wasn’t able to finish NaNo in November for number of reasons, i.e. computer crashes on both my computers at the same time, a few minor health issues, Thanksgiving, and on it goes. But, I’m back writing, which, for me, is the best medicine available. My retreat in October was the most productive yet. We went to Sylvia, Kansas and stayed at the Prairie Oak Inn. The setting was wonderful with wildlife everywhere, beautiful sunsets, silence and in the middle of nowhere. I completed four solid chapters on the sequel to A Plane Tree in Provence, and reworked three short essays and memoirs, thanks to my critique partner, Vicki.
The Christmas season is on and my household is buzzing with excitement. Palmer, my grandson searches each day to find where the Elf on the Shelf has parked and receives emails from Santa. If you still have someone on your list that might like a devotional book, perhaps my Devoted to Traveling might be just the thing. It is non-fiction and traces my travels all over Europe with short snippets fashioned into devotionals. Click on the book to the left and it will lead you right to it.
The first of the year, I’ll be filming another YouTube video with Keyhole Conversations for Angel on My Shoulder. Have a wonderful Christmas and spirited holiday. See you in 2012.

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Oct

Good news. Keyhole Conversations has completed a video of one of the characters in A Plane Tree in Provence. Take a look. http://youtu.be/aJKblkw3uhs. Also, Angel on My Shoulder has been released by Amazon.com as an ebook. Pringle Taylor is thirty, single, tall, lean, smart, and involved in a two-year relationship with Hunter Wilson. Her third floor walk-up in Park Slope, a section of Brooklyn, New York is decorated just the way she likes it, and she is rewarded every day teaching at-risk children. Crisis hits when the head master at her school suddenly closes due to economics, and Hunter unexpectedly proposes. What to do. While she is fond of Hunter, theirs is more of an uncomplicated romance without excitement. You might even say boring. And, while she loves teaching, there are no other Alternative Schools in the area. Does she settle for a predictable married life with Hunter? Does she settle by taking a job she doesn’t want? Or does she throw caution to the wind and change her life completely?

I’ll be going on a four day writing retreat next week and it is much needed. I’ve been so busy marketing the novels that my writing has taken a back seat. Even so, I can’t wait to get back to working on a sequel from the Plane Tree novel during the retreat. I’ve also signed up for the NaNoWiMo event for the month of November. For those that don’t know about it–writers write every day and try to complete an entire novel by the end of the month, or at least 50,000 words. Why they have it in a month where there is a holiday I’m not quite sure, but I’m going to try it. Wish me luck.

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Sep

Fall is finally here and for Kansans this is huge news. After 54 days of 100 degree temps we are so ready for the blessings fall brings.

My novel, A Plane Tree in Provence (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005JFBUPK) is doing well as an ebook and I thank all who have purchased it. Take five women who would like to change their lives, but don’t know how, and a three-week vacation to France, and aside from delectable food, wonderful wine, and a sampling of adventure amidst squabbles-they get their wish.

I have to confess, that last year when my children asked what I wanted for Christmas, my answer was interesting. “I know what I don’t want. Don’t even think about an electronic reader.”

Now, less than a year later, I published my novel just that way. Who knew? Not me! And, in less than a few weeks away my second novel, Angel on My Shoulder will be published as an ebook. Never say Never.

Seriously, in less than one year, Amazon reports that  ebook sales are three times larger than last year and are outranking both hardbacks and paperbacks. Don’t you just love change?

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27

Aug

My the summer is almost gone. The world is in chaos, and right here at home, earthquakes, hurricane Irene is pounding away, and the economy has gone south. Still we live in the best country in the world and I never forget that. I have great news! My novel was just released as an ebook and available on Amazon and Smashwords. http://smashwords.com/books/81473 and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005JFBUPK and also at BarnesandNoble.com. If you don’t have a reading device just download it on your computer.

I truly enjoyed writing A Plane Tree in Provence and hope women of the world will both identify and join my characters in fulfilling their dreams.

You’ll be able to read my Bio and a sample of the book also on these websites. Enjoy.

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