Monday, November 24, 2014

Thank You–from my Publisher

Helping Hands Press



We can’t say it any more plainly.
As each day grows closer to those times of the year that makes one pause and reflect on what they are thankful for and what their year was like, we cannot help but come back to the one place any Author or Publisher needs to think of and consider with each and every word-YOU –our readers and supporters.

We count on you each and every “Thirsty Thursday” Party for your feedback, every review you give, every email and direct message you send the Authors in our Community. Without your guidance and support we know that we would cease to exist. “THANK YOU!!!!”

As a small token of our appreciation we are going to try to do a few fun things for you over the next 4 weeks.
We are going to offer all of the paperbacks, audio books and ebooks in the Helping Hands Press Store  at 30% off from Nov. 20 to Dec.18th.All you need to do is use the code word “THANKYOU” when you check out to receive the discount.


We are also starting a contest that will run the same length of time. There will be a Rafflecopter located on the Helping Hands Press blog that will have all the details. There are a lot of prizes:

  • Grand Prize -Kindle Fire HD6 (click the image to learn more about the Kindle Fire HD6)
  • Second Prize- 12 paperbacks-Full list is below
  • Third Prize-6 paperbacks-Full List below
  • Fourth prize-6 audio books-Full List below
  • Fifth Prize-audio book of choice

We hope that you have fun, enjoy the contest, and most of all know that all of us here at Helping Hands Press are very thankful for your support each and every day!

Second Prize-12 paperbacks: Declaration of Independence Series I, Colony Zero Complete Series I, The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series I, ’Tis The Season in Sweetland Complete, No Revolution Is Too Big Complete Series, Marsha Hubler’s Heart-Warming Christmas Stories Complete Series, No Matter What, Uplifting Devotionals Book I, 12Days of Christmas Complete Series, The Ambassadors, Preacher Man Volume I, Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine

Third Prize-6 paperbacks:Dark Enough To See The Stars, The Blizzard, The Christmas Wish, Mother Can You Hear Me?, Homeschool Co-ops 101, God,Me and a Cup of Tea

Fourth Prize-6 audio books- The Swaddling Clothes, The Desperate Road, Rio Oro, Once Upon A Christmas Eve, Neighbors V1, A Mended Heart

A Note from Peg: You can find my writings in the book compilations:, 12 Days of Christmas; Summer in Sweetland, and ‘Tis the Season in Sweetland. The individual titles in eBook are: Best Laid Plans, All Things Work Together, and Silver Bells and Candlelight.

HOPE you’ll check them out. And remember, to get the discount, you must enter THANKYOU upon checkout.

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Something’s Wrong

My publisher, Helping Hands Press, has organized a blog tour this month in recognition of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness. Since I, personally, have had no experience or direct contact with this devastating, heart-breaking illness, I’ve asked a dear friend to share her story.

Please welcome Joy DeKok, and read about her journey


Something’s Wrong

I’d known for months, but we hadn’t said anything. Maybe denial was easier, but honestly – we just didn’t talk about Mama. And when we talked to her, it was always about us. That’s how she was. And is.

Instead, we waited hoping it would get better. That her losses were temporary.

Then, it happened. She said to me, “Joy, something is wrong with my brain. Everything is all tangled up or gone. Please tell me what’s going on.”

Her words took my breath away, and I couldn’t ignore what I knew.

“Please, Joy. Please come over and tell me.”

So, I did.

“Mama, you have vascular dementia. After your big stroke, the doctor said this was a possibility.”

She looked at me, and all I could see was her fear.

“We went to that movie. You know the one,” she said.

“The Notebook,” I whispered.

“It’s going to be like that isn’t it?” she asked.

Looking her straight in the eye, I said, “Yes.”

She was very clear-minded that day so I asked her a favor. “Can I write about our journey into and through this on my blog and maybe share it with others too?”

Her hesitation was brief – about the length of two deep breaths. “Yes. But please, don’t show any pictures of me from now on. Promise me.”

I did.

A Tangle


Editor’s note: To honor her mother’s request, Joy chose this picture—one of her own—to illustrate the nature of this dreadful illness.

We didn’t cry together that day, which is strange. I guess we were hanging on to the shock of our circumstances for as long as we could. For me, it lasted until I got to the corner in my car.

Daddy and I talked a few weeks later, because we had to. Then, I told my brother and his kids and their kids. So far, it’s been a couple of years of loving and grieving.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far along the way:

God’s Word is powerful. She loves to have me read it to her and in the passages she memorized as a child, she mouths the words.

Music is a gift. She can sing along with her favorites, and when she’s not too tired, she does.

My dad is a hero. He is her caregiver at least 98% of the time. I go over a few hours each week, and they have a PCA a couple of hours a week, but Dad is the one who tenderly cares for her needs. Married love is amazing even when its 57 years old.

Dementia is relentless. It changes a person on every level. It also changes the loved ones and caregivers of someone who has it. But one thing remains the same for us: honoring my parents is a life-time commandment, and one I’m not going to break. She’s still my mom and I’m not her parent. Even when she’s resistant. Or a little on the ornery side.

Being the daughter of Ruth and Clarence Pater is an honor. It always has been, and it always will be. And it’s my role in this part of my journey too.

There are days I wish dementia didn’t exist and being thankful doesn’t always come easily. When I seem to be at the end of my courage, God gives me back a glimmer of my mama. Like when she says my name. Or smiles that way she always has when she’s very glad to see me. And there are our prayer times when she bows her head, closes her eyes, holds my hands tight, and when I’m finished praying for those we love, echoes my “amen.” Or when she says, “Joy go get the Book.” And I know she wants to hear His Word fill up our emptiness. And there are the times when she sees my sorrow and says, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.”

Because we both still love Romans 8:28 and because God said it, we know it’s true. Even now. Especially now – when something is terribly wrong.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i]have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)



To learn more about Joy,

visit her blog/website at:

Monday, November 10, 2014

It’s Here!


My new Christmas novel, Somehow, Christmas Will Come, has just been released on Amazon (Kindle) by Elk Lake Publishing.

Don’t you just adore the cover? Her name is Bethany.

I can’t tell you how excited I am! This is a dream come true for me. It’s also my very first traditionally published book.

Here’s the back cover ‘blurb’:

When Molly Dugan’s best friend gets married and leaves St. Paul, Minnesota, to live in Georgia, Molly feels alone and plans a visit to her brother, Patrick, in Las Vegas. Molly had been worried about him ever since his wife died in a tragic boating accident. Grieving she could understand, but she sensed something deeper going on. And she was concerned about Patrick’s six-year-old daughter, Bethany.

So she sets aside her life in St. Paul to spend an indeterminate time in Vegas. When Molly gets there, she finds more than she bargained on. And in the lead-up to Christmas, the situation only gets worse…. 6 year-old Bethany loses her last anchor. How does Molly convince her that somehow, Christmas will come?

You can find the book by clicking on the cover, or visit:

I’d be tickled pink if you choose to buy a copy, AND, it would make an excellent Christmas gift!

And, if you’re so inclined, pass the word around about this book. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any  other social media you choose. It would be so very much appreciated.

Thank you so much!

Here’s the image of both front and back book cover. I love it!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Release Write-up

I couldn’t help myself. Below is a copy of a great write-up by my publisher, Helping Hands Press, about my new Christmas release, ’Tis the Season in Sweetland.


Rozene and Pastor Mike Carson have been seeing each other since May, their relationship deepening with each passing day. When Mike finally proposes, their lives enter a new stage of exciting preparations. When and where would the wedding take place? Where would they live? Who would be the Maid of Honor? The Best Man?

Rozene had already started the process to adopt all four girls from the Youth Acres Group Home—Veronica, Shira, Melanie, and Misty, three in college and one in high school—and the preadoption trial period would be up in early December. But now that Rozene and Mike are engaged, Mike also wants to adopt them all right after they’re married, to make them a forever family. Would they agree to that? Would the girls consent to taking on the Carson surname as their own? The excitement builds as December 27, the wedding date, draws near. But Rozene, even while going through the wedding plans, is terrified at the prospect of becoming a pastor’s wife. What does she know about that? What, exactly, does a pastor’s wife do? Fear and trepidation plague her. She wants to marry Mike, loves him with all her heart. But a pastor’s wife?

The Amazon Kindle link for the story is:
"Do you enjoy romance? Do you enjoy stories that show how love can make a difference in the lives of others? Then Silver Bells and Candlelight is the tale for you. Rozene is a widow who opens her home to four orphaned teens. Misty, Shira, Veronica, and Melanie learn for the first time the meaning of belonging to a family. It gets better when Pastor Mike and Rozene become friends. Will they become more than friends? And if that happens, what happens to Rozene's foster teens?"

"Peggy Blann Phifer continues the Sweetland stories in Volume Four of Tis the Season in Sweetland. Rozene has overcome grief and opened her heart to four girls who need a home. Pastor Mike has grief of his own to bear, but he, too, embraces others in "Silver Bells and Candlelight."
Expectations real and imagined can muddy the season's delights.

Can four girls trust again? Will Rozene move forward or allow fears to trap her forever?
Light the candles and ring the bells!"

Peggy Blann Phifer retired from an executive assistant position after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale industry. She came to writing later in life when a prayer she wrote appeared in a two-volume Guideposts Book compilation, 'Prayers for Every Need,' in 2000. She self-published her debut novel, 'To See the Sun,' which released in January 2012. Her writing has appeared in three anthologies in 2014 with Helping Hands Press, with a fourth coming up. A novel she just completed, 'Somehow, Christmas Will Come,' will release sometime in November 2014, from Elk Lake Publishing.

Widowed in October 2012, Peg now makes her home in northern Wisconsin in a home she bought together with her daughter and son-in-law. The three of them share the house with three cats, one dog, and one granddog. She converted a third of the house into a cozy 'apartment' where she spends most of her time writing.
Peg has three children, six grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and numerous other granddogs and great-granddogs.
Follow her blog "Whispers in Purple," and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Matthew 7:13-14—An Analogy

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Broad is the way-2

I lived in Las Vegas for nearly 33 years, and had a daily commute for 21 of those years. We lived on the east side, and my place of work was on the west side. On the other side of ‘The Strip.’ It was 12 miles one way.

Fortunately I never had to drive into the sun either way. But that’s not the point of this post.

I learned to drive in Milwaukee, and used the freeways/expressways all the time. But Las Vegas traffic is a horse of a different color.

Early on, I found the most direct route from home to work…traveling the surface streets. I got to believe that, over the years, my car could get me there automatically.

So what’s point of all this lead-in stuff? At the rapid expansion of the city’s freeways, bypasses, etc, folks and co-workers told me I’d shave some time off my commute if I took the expressway from home to work and back.

So, I decided to try it. And I was terrified! No kidding. Not to bad-mouth the folks who drive there, but many don’t understand the terms ‘merge’ or ‘yield,’ nor do they prepare to get in their turn lanes until the last minute. Got the picture?

Did it save me time? Nope. The Vegas freeway system is in a constant state of flux. Yep, construction, barricades, merging four lanes into two. Causing…accidents. Causing…being late for work.

So I went back to my ‘straight,’ much safer—more or less—route. I pretty much had all the traffic lights timed, going at an established speed, and I got to work on time…every time. Of course there are always exceptions, so I left home early to cover any surprises, and that often got me to work early. And that’s a good thing.

Are you beginning to see the analogy to the Scripture above? God never promised following him would be an easy road. In the verse above, Jesus told us that the narrow gate/road would be difficult, but that it would lead us to life…with Him! While those who choose the broad gate/road think they’re taking the easy way and will arrive at their destination faster. If they get there at all.

As for me, I’ll stick with my narrow, but difficult road, knowing I will reach my promised destination, Life With Jesus.