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Watching the Sunrise

Published July 18, 2019 by LS Murphy

On a warm October morning, I woke my husband and daughter up while darkness covered the sky. The heat of summer hadn’t loosened its grip, but determination seated in my chest. For months, I’d been seeking my “zen” and I was going to find it any way necessary. We were going to watch the sunrise. It was a spur of the moment thing that began as a seed in my subconscious. The kind that take hold of you and occupy every thought until you submit to its demands. My husband asked why in his husky, sleep-deprived voice. I replied, “How many times do we just get up to watch the sunrise?”

He shrugged and lugged himself out of bed, waking our child in the process. Thirty minutes later (I had to have my coffee first), we were out the door.

We climbed to the top of Monk’s Mound at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL with our dog Ethan leading the way. Dawn broke as we hit the 154th step, but the sun had not yet appeared over the horizon. Pale and bright pinks, faded oranges, vibrant yellows painted the lightening sky. Naturally, I had to capture the moment with my trusty phone. The images did not do justice to the reality, but they so rarely do. I posted photos of Ethan and the glorious sunrise on my Facebook page with the caption; “Each day is a gift. Cherish them all. Watch the sunrise.”

It was ethereal, relaxing, and dare I say spiritual. Exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Three hours later we were driving like Richard Petty from St. Louis to Quincy, IL. My father was in emergency surgery. He’d had a heart attack.

The morning went from glorious to terrifying with the sound of my phone. A phone I didn’t answer when it first rang. I’d sent the call to voicemail as I finished a task. An insignificant, inconsequential task that could’ve waited. A task I cannot even remember.

My father and I haven’t always had the best relationship. When I was a young girl, he was my idol. Like all idols, he fell from the pedestal. And he fell fast and he fell hard. I discovered my father was human, and it destroyed our relationship. He was my everything. With one decision, he become nothing to me.


For three years, I refused to speak to him or even see him.

Eventually, I grew up. I saw my best friend lose her dad to a heart attack. We only get one father, one person we call ‘daddy’. Sure, I had a stepfather, a wonderful man who I called Pops. But he wasn’t my father.

Dad and I made amends over time, although hurt feelings never really go away. No matter how much we tell ourselves that they do. Sometimes we just have to push past the past and move into the future. Even if we don’t want to or feel like we can’t. I buried the feeling of betrayal that my dad wasn’t superhuman, but it lingered. It still does. Even when he proves to me again that he is human.

My family hurriedly packed and drove like we might not get another sunrise. Dad had an emergency triple bypass. By the time we made it to the hospital, he was out of surgery. By fate or coincidence, one of the best cardiac surgeons in St. Louis just happened to be in Quincy. He saved my father’s life.

I’d sent my stepmother to voicemail for no real reason other than I thought it was my dad making his usual Saturday morning phone call.

I thought of all the calls I sent to voicemail because I was in the middle of something I deemed more important. I thought of all the times I didn’t give three hours home because I had other things to do. I thought of all the moments I’d blatantly ignored. Because I was 1) too busy or 2) too self-involved.

Much like the sunrise, we can’t neglect the small things. We can’t take for granted the big things. And we certainly should never ignore family. They’re all we’ve got. Even during our darkest days and brightest nights, we need that connection. We need our family.

I don’t want to waste another sunrise.

Next time, I’ll answer the phone.


Long Time, No Write

Published July 11, 2019 by LS Murphy

Hi, y’all.

It’s been a while. A long while. Like years.

So, where have I been? Actually, I’m still writing. I changed my pen name and started writing romance under a different pen name. I love writing romance and I love, love, love the romance community. Heck, I love reading romance. It’s fun.

But I want to get back to my first love…. literature.

Back when I started writing again, I fell in love with YA lit and felt that was my calling. I wrote for a while, published a little, and I really enjoyed it. But I stopped loving it. I stopped loving writing. Hence the reason I switched to romance, specifically New Adult.

I’m at the very beginning of researching  a new novel that’s so far out of my comfort zone as a writer, but it is something I desperately want to share. I’m excited about it. History is a passion of mine, and I love reading historical fiction. This story is set in the mid – 1970s. That much I know. I also know how it starts. After that I have no idea. That is so terrifying.

But this character, her name is Cheryl, is so vibrant in my mind. She’s the story. It’s her life I’m going to write about. The hardest part is waiting to start writing. I know if I rush into it, I won’t do it justice.

It’s going to be a slow process.

And I’m really looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I’ll do better with keeping up here. My blog has sorely been neglected. My goal for the rest of the year is to blog once a week with status updates on this project starting in August.

I’ve got a few things to tie up with my alter-ego before I can start working on this book in earnest. Don’t give me wrong, I’m not giving up on the world of romance at all. I plan on continuing and self-publishing.

This story won’t leave me alone. So, I’m going to write it. Hopefully, you’ll get to read it soon.

Happy Reading.

Cover Reveal: Forty Nights by Stephanie Parent

Published August 30, 2013 by LS Murphy

Forty-Nights.v2 (2)

Forty Nights (Neima’s Ark #2)

by Stephanie Parent

Release Date: September 2013

Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs

Summary from Goodreads:

Neima, her family, and her grandfather Noah have found themselves trapped aboard an ark as a great flood destroys all life in the world. As their time aboard the ark lengthens, food begins to run out, wild animals grow restless, and family tensions become as much of a threat as the flood outside. In the second and final installment of Neima’s Ark, the stakes are higher, the conflicts are greater, and Neima finds herself facing a choice as impossible as the destruction all around her.

Forty Nights is a continuation of the story begun in Forty Days, and it’s recommended that you read Forty Days first for the best experience. Forty Nights does, however, contain a character guide to refresh readers’ memories. The Neima’s Ark series is a historical, feminist reimagining of the story of Noah’s Ark rather than a religiously oriented one, and the novels are best suited for readers who are comfortable with new interpretations of biblical stories.




forty daysForty Days Info:


 Forty Days is currently FREE!  Get your copy!




 About the Author

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended StephanieParentthe Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block’s WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.


***Author Links***





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8 Days and Counting …

Published December 31, 2012 by LS Murphy

Eight Days…

Wow, time is flying by….

Here’s a snippet for you to ponder:

“I don’t need you to save me.” 


Reaper Playlist Song One: Popular by The Veronicas

Published October 11, 2012 by LS Murphy

I love playlists. Sometimes I make up my own for books I love. With Reaper only a few months out, I thought it was time to share some of the Reaper playlist in no particular order. After you read the novel, you can decide what song fits where in the book. No musical era or type is exempt and some songs may have come out after the completed version of the novel, but that doesn’t mean they don’t fit in somewhere anyway. 🙂

First up: Popular by The Veronicas

Waiting On Wednesday:The Collector

Published August 29, 2012 by LS Murphy

Welcome to my FIRST Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I cannot wait until March for The Collector by Victoria Scott. Seriously, how awesome does this sound?

From Goodreads:

He makes good girls…bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.