Cherish Free on Kindle

In honor of Mercy Sunday, my Christian novel about forgiveness, Cherish, will be free on Kindle through Thursday, April 27.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

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Cherish

Cherish for blog

My latest Christian novel, Cherish, is now on Amazon. For a limited time, it will be available on Kindle for just 99¢. As usual, all net profits go to charity.

Kindle Version: https://www.amazon.com/Cherish-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B071DCW1PM

Paperback Version: https://www.amazon.com/Cherish-J-Avila/dp/1544081952/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492453437&sr=1-1&keywords=avila+cherish

Here’s the story:

About to give the closing argument on the most important case of her career, District Attorney Candice Boulanger is struck down by a heart attack. When she comes to, however, she discovers she is not in a hospital but in an odd courtroom with no windows and no doors. Continue reading

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“Let There Be Light!”

Easter Vigil for blog

A very lengthy—3 ½ hours–Easter vigil Mass once brought home to me the entire human condition just from two people sitting close by me.

During the numerous Baptisms taking place, I got the feeling I was being watched by someone in the pew in front of me. I glanced over to see a baby girl, perhaps 10 months old, her eyes dark as coffee beans, glaring at me. She had a little doll with her, one of those kind who have a plastic head, arms, and legs but the rest of the body is made of cloth. While staring at me, she turned the doll upside-down, stuck its butt into her mouth, and began teething on it.  Continue reading

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On the Wall

Jesus Mural for Blog

When I was two years old, my mother enrolled my older sister in a tap dancing class. Since I was considered too young, I sat on the sidelines with Mom to watch their performances. Yet, not wanting to be left out and trying desperately to mimic my sibling, I would get up and do the routines. Eventually the instructor told my mother that since I was able to perform, I might as well join the class too.

It wasn’t long before we were scheduled to give a show in public. The class was invited to dance at a local social club—I can’t remember if it was the Lion’s Club or the Rotary Club, but it was some organization like that. I do remember they had a stage, and all we girls, dressed in western garb, lined up on it to perform “Cowboy Bob” who was the “rootinest, tootinest (bang! bang!) cowboy you ever saw.”

Because I was the youngest and therefore the shortest, the teacher had placed me in the middle of the line. And I was doing all right until the dance required us to make a 360 degree turn. I got halfway around and stopped dead in my tracks. Continue reading

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Good Enough for Me

Bauble Holder for blog

One day when I was driving my two daughters home from their Catholic school, they brought a problem to my attention. They were being teased about their shoes. Apparently everybody else in their classes was wearing Nikes and Adidas. Why did they have to wear shoes from Kmart and Walmart? Couldn’t they have those nicer, name brand shoes their classmates had?

My heart sank. How well I knew that in a school where uniforms are required the only status symbol a student can wear is something beyond the uniform. In an effort to quell such snobbery, in my old Catholic school we had been required to wear Oxford shoes so our footwear would be identical.

Yet even that had not been enough because girls could wear bows and ponytail holders in their hair. I remembered being teased for having just a rubber band for my ponytail instead of the incredibly popular bauble holders. Oh, how I desired to have those pretty bauble holders! Each had two colored plastic balls so you could choose what color you wanted that day.

Desperate to fit in with my classmates, I asked my mother to buy some. Well, she was not going to spend good money on a triviality like that! The rubber band that came with the newspaper was good enough for me. In fact, the rubber band that came with the newspaper was so good enough for me that it, along with a few strands of hair, was daily yanked out of my ponytail to be used again.  Continue reading

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Relative Size

Bathtub for blog

One thing small children have trouble understanding is relative size. For example, my older daughter, when a toddler, always insisted I take her out of the bathtub before pulling the plug. She was terrified that she, like the water, would go down the drain.

I showed her one of her bath toys and asked her if it was bigger or smaller than she was. She admitted it was smaller. So I demonstrated for her that the toy could not go down the drain—even if I tried to squeeze it in there, it wasn’t going to disappear down the hole and be forever lost.

My pleas were to no avail. She just couldn’t grasp the concept and continued to insist on being removed from the tub before the plug.

Amazingly, I remember have trouble with this concept myself. Continue reading

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Full Gratitude

Roses for blog

When our first child was born, my husband wanted me to make a video for an aunt he was especially close to. This involved several hours of work since I had to edit out everything the aunt wouldn’t be interested in, like footage of my family. We shot a special introduction to the video in which we said we hoped she would enjoy seeing our new baby. We put her address and our return address label onto a bubble mailer and dropped it off at the post office.

So imagine my surprise when about a week later my mother-in-law informed me that the aunt had phoned to thank her for the wonderful video. Continue reading

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Water

Water for blog

My dad and his brother owned a small plumbing business.

That sort of occupation doesn’t place you very high on the social register. Plumbers are usually looked down upon, most likely because they work with things like toilets.

When I was a child, I knew my father’s job wasn’t going to gain me any points with my friends. Even worse, one day my dad and uncle showed up during lunchtime on our school playground. Both of them filthy and sweaty, they were there to fix the drinking fountain.

I can’t begin to tell you how embarrassed I was. I hoped nobody in my class knew who they were. And I especially hoped my dad wouldn’t do something—like say “hello”—which was bound to diminish my already low standing with my classmates. Continue reading

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The Will to Disbelieve

Will to Disbelieve for blog

Some time back I had an internet discussion with another Christian over the topic of contraception. I can’t remember if the person I was discussing this with was Catholic or not. At any rate, she seemed to think contraception was just fine.

During our exchange, I gave her a syllogism:

God designed human biology.

God does not err.

Therefore, God did not err when He designed human biology.

She could see where the argument was headed: if God did not err when He designed human biology, it is correctly designed. So who, then, are we to alter a divine design? She had already agreed with the first premise. My syllogism didn’t have any fallacies in logic, at least not any that I could see. I thought the argument was pretty much a slam-dunk for someone who was, at least, Christian.

To my utter shock, she denied the second premise.  Continue reading

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Best Laid Plans

Murphy's Law for Blog

Jean-Paul Sartre supposedly once said “Hell is other people.” I have to admit sometimes I want to agree.

Ever knock yourself out working with great precision on something only to have someone else step in and ruin everything? Take, for example, the bookcase my daughters had when they were young. It was a small one my husband had found at a thrift store. That was all well and good. The problem, however, was that his father dealt in used books, and grandpa was so generous that our kids were oversupplied. Keeping their room tidy was an impossibility.

One day I decided they were finally going to have a neat room. To that end I culled the books they had outgrown. Even after eliminating about two-thirds of their tomes, getting all the ones left into such a small case wasn’t easy, but I managed to cram a lot onto each shelf. My fingers actually throbbed with pain from holding open tiny slots to squeeze them in, but I was determined that their room would look nice. At the end of it, I sat back on my heels and sighed with contentment.

I had one second of bliss. I want you to know that. I did have one cherished, ecstatic second of accomplishment. Continue reading

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