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A few verses to know by heart

Today's project: make a master list of Bible verses for my daughter to learn for homeschool. I started with...
100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart 
by Robert J Morgan 

I added a few myself but here is the first batch. Just 10 verses to get her started.  I found myself enjoying this assignment and found a few verses to add to my own memory. Feel free to join with me in celebrating the Word. 

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Ephesians 5:20
Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Let me know if any of these verses are an encouragement to you. I just couldn't pass up sharing this. All verses were found on 

Leah Banicki
Mom, writer, homeschool teacher and wife.


How to read Kindle on your computer - by Leah Banicki

Being a new author is a challenge but being a reader shouldn't be.

I have answered many questions from friends and family about ebooks and how convenient they can be. I personally have hundreds of ebooks and don't own an ereader yet. (Hoping for christmas.)

The main issue I have seen is that people don't know that 
You can download Ebooks to Your Computer
For Free!

I will show you how. 

Step one: Goto 

The page should look something like this!

Choose PC or Mac 
 but know if you have any of the phones above the apps are just as easy to use. 

the next page has the download button.

Just follow the prompts to download and load your application.

Once it is loading you can open the application. 

You can See the LIBRARY button and any book you select will look like this. :)

When you read you have the single or double page option (shown below)
Can click on the sides or use Arrow Keys to go to the next page.

I love it because I can make the screen as big as I like. It works especially well for cookbooks.

The best thing about the Kindle App is that it's FREE.

There are a ton of free books available on as well as other sites. Like  with thousands of out of print and rare books scanned and upload by libraries around the world.  It is a readers paradise.

I hope this helped to introduce you to the wonder of how easy ebooks could be for you. I will gladly answer any questions on my page on facebook.

I am also an author but love getting people excited about using technology and enjoying it.


Music & Writing

Just popping in to tell the world about what I have been up too. 
Just this year I published my first novel, Seeing the Elephant, by  Leah Banicki (me), but this journey has been an interesting one. 

My life in a nut shell...
Leah the singer - doing commercials and voice overs since the age of ten, performing on every stage imaginable. Lead singer of a Christian Rock back that traveled around Michigan with some amazing people. (I got pictures of me in leather pants to prove it.)
I love music, I truly do, it's in the blood. 

Writing has been another passion for me but was always in the background. It worked well for me while in a rock band, songwriting fulfilled that urge I had to fill up notebooks. But even in between times I have at least 30 stories started with ideas and characters floating around in spiral notebooks since I was a little kid. 
Just found one the other day from when I was a teen, two teenagers got stranded when a plane crashed on a desert island. Not very original, I laughed my way through my pages. 
Four years ago, everything changed. My hectic lifestyle of singing every other weekend in our local big church, working full time, and recording my own cd in my home studio came to a screeching halt. 
I got a parasite somehow, (still don't know how) called campylbacter, it nearly killed me. Food has not been the same since, neither has my health. Once the doctors figured it out and got rid of it, my body was broken. I spent an entire summer in bed. Three years later, still trying to learn how to eat and not be sick, not singing, not writing, barely living.  My family has been so supportive, loving me through the hard days. Sickness isn't pretty and chronic illness takes it's toll on everyone. Not just me. 
I read a book by a friend, Patricia Strefling, and was so inspired that I picked up my old beat up laptop hand me down and began writing again. A story that had been in my heart for more than a decade. battling my ever sick stomach and broken intestines, I took my ten years of research I had done and the story bloomed from the few chapters I had doodled over the last decade and fleshed it out to the adventure of my lifetime. 

The economy has hit my home in a big way in the last few years and my husband and I struggled along pinching pennies as I was sick at home the last three years, somehow feeling guilty for having found something I enjoy doing from my place on the couch or sickbed.  In a few years my life had done a complete turn around. It was very difficult to face for me some days, missing the stage, my health and livelihood, but having writing was a new direction for me to look for hope. 
Before I even finished the new stories started flowing in my head, sequels and other stories. Some hitting close to home, characters that have to face some hard situations before finding their happy ending.
My struggle to find my health is still an active one. I feel lucky to have a few days in a row that I feel good enough to go out and about. I take it day by day. I am learning about the publishing industry from my perch here at home. I read everything I can afford and write and write and write. 
The thing I have learned that is most valuable this year that no matter where you are at you can do something. I showed my daughter that even from a sickbed you can reach people.  Holding my first book in my hand was a profound experience for all of my family. Even on the worst sick days I have hope. I have a story to tell, nothing can stop me. 
Be blessed,  Leah Banicki


Some Good Clean Books

Being a writer today has it's challenges, especially for the self-published. Trying to put out a good book that people want to read has been a challenge for every generation. Putting out a good clean romance and getting it in the hands of readers is even harder. 
Certain genres of writing have gotten a lot of attention lately but I am determined to write my stories for the young and old alike. 
A good romance doesn't have to shock you with inappropriate actions to be a great novel. Jane Austen wrote amazing and captivating characters that kept our attention and stayed in our hearts for generations. Today I want to focus on a few books that you can recommend to your daughter, your friends and your own mother. 
Great stories with memorable characters, fun plots and romance. After all we know what we love to read, we should be able to have something clean and good to go to. Simple as that. 

Today wanted to promote a good clean Romance novel by an amazing writer.


Edwina - by Patricia Strefling
Edwina is a small town librarian and loves her predictable lifestyle. But her stepsister Cecilia has other plans. As they are about to board a plane for Scotland, Cecelia is suddenly called away. Exhausted and alone in Edinburgh, Edwina collapses into the arms of a tall Scot. Anxious to meet his fiance, Alex Dunnegin whisks Edwina off to his castle and that's when the trouble begins.

or go to for news about all her books.

Patricia loves to tell stories about people so real you can live the story with them. From contemporary to historical her books are a pleasure to read. - Leah Banicki

I hope you enjoy trying out  new authors like I do. I found myself in a rut always going to the same authors and reading stories that seemed further and further away from interesting.

I am so glad I stepped outside my normal box and tried out some new and talented writers. It refreshed my love for reading. - I hope it does for you too.

Leah Banicki

If you write clean fiction and would be interested in being spotlighted on this blog email me at

You can also find me on Goodreads:


Writing about Romance

Writing About Romance

This newest WIP (work in progress) is a lot more about finding love than my first book.
I am a romantic soul that gets pretty giddy about love, for me or anybody else.  I adore the little looks that happen between people when the sparks start to fly.

Tonight I am writing a dating scene and feel all the highs and lows with my characters as the scene plays out. I am loving the challenge of keeping my stories “sweet”.  There are plenty of hot and steamy romances; I enjoy the sweetness before the spice in my writing. I am hoping my audience will too.

When I write these scenes I try to remember when I was first falling in love. That excitement/terror of it, the impatient times when you are certain you may perish before he makes a move or the fear that lingers when I missed the chance to say something and maybe he will start dating someone else. The simple pleasure of when HE first held my hand.(I still love it!)

The sweet torture it was to wait for that first kiss. Maybe it’s just me but that is what gets me happy. When a book can remind me about what I love about love, it's bliss. 

Back to writing my novel,  just wanted to gush and share my thoughts.

Leah Banicki –


Watch the Book Trailer for Seeing the Elephant


Leah Banicki - Book Trailer for Seeing the Elephant

I am recovery from foot surgery this week. It wasn't serious but stuck on the couch for three-four days was not my idea of  good time. The first day the pain was pretty intense so I took it upon myself to make a distraction project.

This is the result.

Seeing the Elephant by Leah Banicki
Book Trailer.  *made on my Mac*

Please pass it along and share with your book loving friends.

Support your Independent Authors


Exerpt of Seeing the Elephant - Debut Novel

An exerpt from
Seeing the Elephant 
by Leah Banicki

Setting 1848 - Oregon Trail
Snake River crossing...

Corinne was on the other side of the river when her horse Clover jumps at a sound and Corinne loses her seat. She goes flying and bumps her head and rolls for a second or two before she felt the water splash around her. At first she was dazed. Where am I?

The water is cool and the gurgling current under the surface was loud. She is swept along the river and breaks the surface once or twice to catch some air but is pulled under the current. She feels herself starting to panic as her lungs start burning. Her head bumps a rock and the thud is felt to her core. She is grabbing for anything, kicking her legs, and wanting to curse her skirts and petticoats for wrapping around her legs in such a moment.

Her hand reaches and finds a branch to grab. With what little energy she has left from her thrashing about she pulls herself up on a rock. She lies there for a minute without moving but to cough and breathe. Her head aches a bit from hitting something underwater. She lay there thinking of her friend Angela and her fall into the ravine. Secreting hoping her own fate in the wilderness turns out better.

She sits up slowly with a groan and observes her surroundings. There were tall walls on each side of the river. The crossing was a good place, this was not. Corinne stood on shaky legs and tried to climb the wall but the edges were a bit too smooth. There was no edge to grab. She looks down and sees the rock she was sitting on is covered in slime and a few mysterious spongy things that Corinne assumes are alive in some way. She decides to sit back down and ignore the slime. Her dress and petticoats are now filthy and clinging to her legs even worse than they were in the water. Corinne sighs and looks up to the edge, hoping to see someone looking for her. At the wagon crossing there is always a lot of chaos. How long will it be before someone notices that I am missing?

She thinks about yelling but with the headache that she was getting she figures to save herself the pain. She was not desperate enough to yell yet.

She is glad the clouds are moving in a little to block the hot sun. She has been sitting here on the slimy rock for more than twenty minutes according to her lapel watch. She has shaken the water from it and it still was ticking. She pins it back on her damp collar.

She hears a few far off gunshots and watches a torn up wagon come around the bend toward her part of the river. Corinne panics a second but sees the water pull it away from her perch and drags its twisted empty shell away. She has hopes for the family that they got out in time and says a prayer for whoever they were.
She was so focused on the wagon that went by that she does not hear the nearby voices. She pulls herself from her praying when she looks up and sees Clive and Lucas smiling down on her from the edge of the cliff.

* * * * *

I hope you enjoyed the snippet of my debut novel, Seeing the Elephant. 
A story of survival on the American frontier.

Now Available:


New Bears Recruit -Does a Good Deed

My friend Jen Levell told me on the phone a few days ago about an amazing thing that was going to happen for her daughter. Joslyn Levell, 14 years old with spina bifida and wheelchair bound, got a date to the prom from a famous person.
I knew Jen had been struggling with helping her daughter cope with disappointment. As a mother we want to do as much as we can. Sometimes we can only love them through the hurt.

Dreams of dancing may be hard to swallow for  a girl in a wheelchair but asking 7 different boys to the middle school prom and getting told "no" might be a little more than hard to take. It would be devastating.

A chance meeting. . . and cinderella gets to go to the ball.

Read all about my friend's journey. From ESPN...
ESPN - Thomas makes fans dreams come true - Article
I have cried with joy several times this week with Jen, Joslyn's mom, when she told me on the phone  about what was going to happen, also when I got the picture texted to my iphone and again when I read the story on ESPN website. 
Sometimes good things can happen. I feel lucky to be a witness.  
Josyln, I hope for many more miracles for you, baby girl!


Story on Demand

A story challenge on friday was:

Radio challenge:
Song line. "Doctor Doctor, give me the news."
Now write a story.

Here is my submission. Just for fun:

I nervously click my pen as I wait. It usually drove everyone nuts when I would do it but today I am alone, in a cold sterile room in nothing but a thin paper gown.
The door opens and a man with black hair and a salt and pepper beard walks in slowly, his eyes glued to the chart in his hands.
"Doctor..." I say... and wait. I clear my throat loudly, perhaps a little rudely.
"Doctor, give me the news!"
He looks up at me and smiles broadly. I don't actually want to hear him talk I realize. I nervously tell a joke to calm myself. It's my doctor's office tradition. It's my one act stand up comedy routine.
"Can we cure this with penicillin or do we just have to chop it off?" I say with a grimace.
He gave me the double blink of the humorless soul and looks down at his chart momentarily confused.
"Well, Mrs. Palmer I do have news."
I hold my breath...

By Leah Banicki




The last three years of my life has seen a fall in my health, death to a few close family members a few habit changes and an increase in my anxiety levels. All of these things happen in life I have discovered. It's our job to go with the flow or get washed away.

For me writing was a way to think about things outside the struggle. When I couldn't eat without pain I could write as an escape. When the time for mourning was a heavy burden writing was something I could do to take my mind off the pain I was feeling but also the pain of everyone in my family.

Journaling has been a big part of healing for me. Fiction is fun and has it's ironic times where your mind uses your own  experiences and pain and lets the story go there sometimes without your permission as a writer. (I know it sounds crazy but it's true. I checked with other writers. It wasn't just me.)

Journaling is more personal, actually it's downright narcissistic. But... I have come to a conclusion, everyone needs a safe place to say "What about me?" - I believe that's why I need to journal, to write out all the crazy thoughts in my head that I can't always say. Then I can look over them and decide whats junk and what is worthy of keeping. I feel it's where I have had the toughest conversations with myself, with God. I sometimes even journal prayers. A pen can silently say a lot I have found.

Knowing the reader is only me is freeing. I try out book scenes and I think some of my best work came from a real place that started from my journal.

Because I have been writing so much I do a lot of journaling on my laptop. I have a Word and just use the insert date and time and start writing. The next time I just insert date again. One day I will have a 400 page monstrosity and will have to start a new file.

Goofy things I do with Journals:

For my book journals I love to fill them up with stickers. I do not scrapbook but I am addicted to buying stickers and decorating anything I want with them. :)  I have many filled journals and  notebooks that are full of thoughts and stickers. It makes me happy.

What do you love to journal about?


Self-Publishing Tango

The self-publishing tango...

It feels strange to be done with my first novel. I had a few days after the first draft was done that I felt like this too. Like a huge 'Now what?' cloud lingered as I went about my days after I finally caught up on sleep after the finish-the-book grind.

New projects made their way in and the new WIP (work in progress) is coming along nicely. It feels good to know I have more than one book bouncing around in my noggin. Now the parade of new ideas needs to slow to a reasonable trickle while I work at the game of the writing life.
Live life, love my hubby & my kid, pray... write...
Eat food, hygiene, soccer game...write
Job, friends, birthday party, grocery shopping...write

It's a dance that I am slow to learn the steps but eager to sway to the music for now.

Now the next chapter and a new dance partner has arrived. Self-publishing!!!

Years of my life spent researching and writing. My book SEEING THE ELEPHANT is done.

Cover made, pages organized and sized just so... ebook file manipulated and bookmarked... don't ask me how it works I have no idea. 4 different attempts at getting the cover text perfectly done on the spine was a test of my graphics art training in college. I now have less remorse about those student loan payments. (grimace)

Much respect to anyone who has self-published before me, I understand the roller coaster ride more than ever now. The excitement of your 'baby' getting to be let loose on the world is thrilling and terrifying. The new tools available to self-pubbing authors is amazing. Go !!!  But it certainly is WORK!!
Wonderful brain-numbing, detail grinding editing primping and fussing like a debutante getting ready for her debut. Now it is done... My book proof is in the mail. My ebooks on and on the way to many respectable E-reader bookstores everywhere. Big breath- let it out. Now to wait....and think way too much.
 My heart does a little trip-trop everytime I think of someone reading my book. Hoping they like it, hoping it makes  them smile, laugh, get angry or just feel something...

For those that know me as a singer this is a different art form to discover about me. I am pretty used to an instant gratification with my audience, this is different. Reading is not a spectator sport. You do it alone. With live music the fade-out means the sound is gone and only a memory of the performance remains. Writing has such a more permanent feel. The ink and paper a tangible thing. My voice... carries out. Scary and exhilarating.

So I hope you enjoy the one-on-one with me. Please share you feedback as you always have with me. That's what art is for.

A free sample of the first few chapters available for download. Enjoy.

Thanks everyone for sharing the ride with me. My printed books will be available soon.
Love,     Leah


Why I Write

From the first week of fourth grade I can say definitively that I have been writing. My fourth grade English teacher had a weekly assignment due every Monday for a one page story. My young heart leapt and my writing began as most little girl’s does with rainbows and butterflies and everything that makes us happy. I am unashamedly a girlie girl.
My writing has been my own since then, I had also the inherited a gift for singing, being in a musical family and performing on stages since the age of six. That was the gift I shared, but my writing was for me.
Lately the shift has changed. I read a book from a friend who is published and lives in my hometown. I remember visiting her home when I was young when my family went for a visit, her children where my age. She was always friendly and smart. Her book was intuitive, real and well told. I enjoyed the read so much and I am ashamed to admit I was shocked.
How can someone from my hometown be such a good writer? It must be a well rehearsed small town insecurity that talent is only born in big cities. My mind began to shift and after a meeting or two with my new inspirational friend I was encouraged to finish what I had started more than a decade before.
It’s hard to remember when I began as “the Oregon trail” book for it was in my head long before I ever wrote anything.
More than a decade ago the research and writing began. I have always loved history. My secret longing to time travel gets to come out and play for when I write it feels like I am there.
My book sat with several chapters done, piles, and piles of historical research had been gathered for more than a decade. I know it sounds a bit like a mental illness but this whole time the characters have been in my head, growing and learning with me on my life’s pathway.
I cannot thank my friend sufficiently for being brave enough to share her book with the world and helping me be brave enough to share mine. In the last year I have finally finished my first novel. SEEING THE ELEPHANT
Weekly visits and nearly daily emails have been shared with encouragement and sharing word counts at the end of the day (or wee hours of the morning.)
The story to me means so much because it is the struggle to find her strength in a male dominated world. I can understand and relate to my characters as they trudge through the untamed land.
With the application of my new writing disciplines the next stories are coming and all the research has paid off well. I can’t wait to share my stories with the world.

To join my author page on facebook click here. Leah Banicki Author Page


Leah's Good Deed - Kinda

Out grocery shopping and was stuck behind a long line of cars at a red light.  As i worked my way up the line I saw a woman wrapped up in hat and scarves carrying a sign.

Laid off - need food for my kids.

I watched her get into the car in front of me and left her purse behind. I honked my horn before they took off but they were gone and her purse was sitting on the icy curb.
I was at a loss of what to do. Should I take the purse and see if I can call her or take it to her home, or leave it there at the mercy of someone who could steal it and not return it. I was convinced I should help, the light was still red so I jumped out and ran over to the cheetah purse still in the snow.
I was shocked by what I saw. The purse was empty but for a large empty bottle of vodka.

I left it there. Good feeling gone.

By: Leah Banicki