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Book Four and Beyond! Wildflowers...

Dear readers....

Well it is done. I have published my 5th book and a few readers have already sent me comments.

This is the fourth book of my Wildflowers Series and I am excited to be continuing the story of my 'Valley Girls'.

This story has been planned for quite a while. I usually know the storyline way ahead of the book I'm writing... When I created the character of Violet I knew right away where her story would go.  (No spoilers here!) But it was emotional and captivating to write to say the least. A few people have written me little messages that they could really relate with her story. That is the main reason I write. I do enjoy a romance but sometimes life gets in the way of those things when we honestly face the past.

Dolly has her own adventure in the wilderness. I know that a lot of readers hated that I just left off book 3 on a cliffhanger... I intended to add all of that to book 3 but it was not meant to be.

This series is such a joy. I get to let my characters live on and plan on writing more books to continue their story.  I see all of them growing old and telling the story of their children as I grow old and gray myself.

Angela & Ted are dear to me and I look forward to continuing their story.

Galina is growing up and may just have her own struggles to face.

Dolly is a woman who is discovering her own strength and may finally find her place in the world.

I can see that Cooper and Brody, and the Varushkin boys will be old enough to be young men during the Civil War.

As my characters keep living out their lives in Willamette Valley I can watch them in my mind. Growing in their faith and making a world in the West.

I do love my job and am happily working on the next book of the series.

Love in Full Bloom

One reader recently told me to write longer books... No problem. I think with all of my characters that will be easy to accomplish.

Please keep reading and leaving reviews. That helps other readers to discover my books too!

As always I update my Author page on Facebook often. So please join me there. Leave a comment, send me a message. I love my readers!!

God Bless - Leah B.

I have more books in the works and will keep everyone posted!

My Author Page - Facebook

Book 1 - Finding Her Way  - FREE on Amazon
Book 2 - Angela's Hope
Book 3 - Daughters of the Valley
Book 4 - The Watermill


Life - The Big Tests!

I was pretty sure that by the time I was 40 I would have everything figured out. I am sure that everyone 40 and over would laugh along with me...

I am coming to the conclusion that there is no magic age or situation that makes us suddenly there... that magical place where everything is easy and managable.

There are a few circumstances in every person I know that tests them.
The health problems, or kid problems, or job problems, or family problems.

Life is a revolving wheel of the little tests and the big ones.

I feel like I am just winding down from one of my big tests.

I have been fighting a systemic bacterial infection for many years. Finally diagnosed over a year ago, and despite having gone through several rounds of mean antibiotics I had to try a different method.

The daily battle of figuring out how to rid my body of this pesky bacteria has been a painful and frustrating struggle. In the midst of that I did a complete turn around with my life goals and my career.
Being bed-bound was a huge struggle for me mentally, I am a driver and always have been. I enjoy challenges and not making an income was pretty devastating to my budget and to my mind. I don't want to sit around all the time. It was not in my nature.
Feelings of depression and worthlessness were very real to me.

I really struggled to find my self-worth in knowing who I was, not having a job or being a 'contributing member of society'. That broken record was on loop in my brain daily.

Learning to be patient with myself and my health has been a slow but rewarding process. Learning to work hard at my new job. Not only writing but also to help others with their author careers is very rewarding. I had to go through the testing time to understand my real strengths.

Patience, long-suffering, and self worth don't sound like fun tests but I cannot stress enough how going through this journey has changed me for the better.

My advice to anyone in the midst of their hard test, whatever it may be, to let God into the journey. He will shed truth over your situation. Believing thoughts that are only focused on negative things will only keep you in that trial longer. In every situation there is good and bad about it.  There is amazing truths out there that can help you through any situation.

Sometimes the course of your life just needs one moment of understanding to get it moving forward again.

My bacteria battle feels like it is finally coming to the last cycle. With the understanding that my body has a lot of healing to do. I will need to keep my patience while I am finishing the fight. I know that I want to jump back into the 'well' world with gusto. But I have to remember what I have been through and where I want to go may take time.

I want to be able to look back on this time as not 'lost time' but found time. The time I spent getting to know the real me. The me that is stronger than I thought. That looked death in the eye a few times and came out with a new understanding and empathy for others that are suffering. 

For me the most profound understanding is that I like me. The quirky real person that I am. I am not sure I can ever go back to the people-pleaser I was before. Life is way too short.

I am praying that whatever tests I have in the future, and we all know they are out there, is that I will be better prepared by what I have gone through. I have a few extra tools in the toolbox. To face what comes with God at my side.

Wherever you are on your journey, Don't give up, and let God in. You will never regret it! 

~ Leah Banicki
Writer, Mom, Wife, and survivor!