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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.


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
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” 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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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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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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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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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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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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Good news. Keyhole Conversations has completed a video of one of the characters in A Plane Tree in Provence. Take a look. Also, Angel on My Shoulder has been released by 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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Maine! Where I’m lulled to sleep by restless ocean waves crashing against a six-foot sea wall. Where at 53 degrees a light blanket is required, and daytime temps struggle to reach 75 degrees. I’m on my annual writing retreat polishing up a soon-to-be released novel. Energy flows through panoramic windows of our oceanfront beach house. This year is special and I’m so blessed to be able to be here.

On May 11th, I took some overdue medical tests. Less than twenty-hours later, I was in the hospital where medical teams worked to get my heart back to a sinus rhythm, and others treated me for pneumonia. Heaven was flooded with prayers from church friends and relatives. I healed and went home seven days later. Slowly, I gained strength only to be re-admitted within five days for a gall bladder attack. Removal occurred as soon as my body would tolerate the surgery.

Seven days later, I once again returned home and focused on building strength. Maine wouldn’t wait and my plans were made.

So here I am. Weak, but strong of mind writing away energized by God’s creation right outside my door. I’m most thankful for God’s healing–and aren’t I blessed His will for me included Maine.

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I’m sitting here today with my very own copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul – Grandmothers. It feels good to be a part of this world-renowned publication. It’s been a long time coming because I’ve submitted at least four times in the past and never succeeded. Preseverance is gold. My story is about the first time I was allowed to stay with my first grandson alone. Hmmmm. Look for my contribution is on page 26 and a brief bio on page 354.

For those who are not familiar with Chicken Soup for the Soul books, they publish real stories from real people and are translated in 40 languages and found in more than 100 countries. The goal is to offer hope, comfort, inspiration, and improve lives everywhere.

The second bit of news is that after 28 years as a travel agent, I have retired. My emotions are mixed. I will now have more time to write and spend time with my family, but at the same time…what will I do at 8:00 a.m. each workday morning? The first week I hit the gym, but admit I’m already getting bored with that, so I’m betting something else will soon that its place.

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Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am so blessed with family,friends and the love of God. Our family will celebrate with a huge Christmas Eve dinner, this year brisket, potatoes, mushrooms in a white wine sauce, grape leaves, and a mega salad. Often we have had prime rib, but over the years when arrivals are delayed and we never know when dinner actually is—we have changed that to brisket as it holds well. Lots of Simi wine and Elvis singing in the background. It’s a wonderful time. Christmas morning, we have Champagne and Caviar while opening gifts. Over the years, the gifts have become quite secondary with laughter, conversation, and just being together as primary.

I wish all my friends and family a wondrous Christmas and may God shower you and your family with blessings this Christmas season. One of my favorite quites is this one from Andy Rooney. Think about it.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room Christmas morning. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

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