It’s my great honor to introduce you to the wonderful woman in this photograph–Sharon McGregor. Sharon is a terrific author, and she’s also one of the first friends I made when I joined Prism Book Group. She welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. I’ve really enjoyed chatting with her and her cat Zoey—and yes–I have to include her cat. You see, several times when Sharon and I have been talking, Zoey has strolled across Sharon’s keyboard and interjected a line of her own. It’s usually something like “skdjfldksjflksj,” and it always cracks me up. I’m convinced that not only is Sharon one of the nicest people on the planet, but that her cat, Zoey, is definitely trying to communicate! It’s with a big smile that I welcome Sharon to my blog.
Danele: Hello, Sharon! It’s wonderful to be able to talk with you today.
Sharon: Hi, Danele. Thanks so much for having me over. Zoey says “hi” too. She’s sitting beside me, trying to take back control of the keyboard.
Danele: Oh! You just made me laugh! You’re so much fun! I can’t wait to learn more about you. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Sharon: Yes, but my favorite verse isn’t a single verse–it’s a whole chapter. If I tell you it’s a Psalm, you’ll probably guess that it’s Psalm 23.
Danele: I love Psalm 23! It’s so beautiful!
Sharon: In times of stress, or decision-making, or grief, there is no passage anywhere with the ability to comfort as much as the 23rd Psalm.
Danele: That’s so true!
Sharon: I don’t know what your preference is, but I always like to read scripture in the King James Version rather than the more modern ones. It seems to add an extra majesty and grace to the words, especially if you read them out loud.
Danele: I’ll agree with that! When I was in Bible Quiz as a teenager, we studied the New Testament in the King James. For me, the poetical slant of the language made it easier to memorize. Now days, I read the New Testament in the King James and the Old Testament in the Living Bible. It was hard using two different versions during my devotions, so I got creative and glued an Old Testament Living Bible to a New Testament King James Bible. Never underestimate the craftiness of a determined woman holding a bottle of glue! But let’s get back to what you were saying. Why do you like the 23rd Psalm?
Sharon: Reading Psalm 23 brings a blanket of comfort that settles over your shoulders. It is filled with the promise of peace and understanding.
Danele: That’s so true. There’s such comfort in the fact that we don’t have to be afraid when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Is there another verse that you enjoy?
Sharon: Yes, there is. Another verse I like–but for different reasons–is Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” I sometimes think that in our modern world–especially with the help of social media–we have become judges of other people’s behavior. It’s so easy to read Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds, and jump to conclusions based on little or wrong information. Who knows what damage can be done to someone by making quick accusations about something that is none of our business? Documented news stories–yes, it’s important to have an opinion–but judging a person’s actions without having proof–no.
Danele: That’s true. It’s easy to get caught up in gossip–and it’s easy to judge–but the practice is extremely harmful. Proverbs 25:18 says that telling lies about a person is as harmful as hitting them with an ax. When I first became ill, some of my acquaintances had never heard of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Since they didn’t understand it, a few of them began spreading rumors that I was an agoraphobic hypochondriac. The rumors really hurt, but there was nothing I could do about them. Through my experience, I’ve become very aware of how hurtful a little “harmless” gossip can be. 1 Peter 4:15 mentions being a busybody in a list of sins to be avoided. The list also includes being a murderer, a thief, and an evildoer.
Sharon: Any time I feel myself reading a social media post and becoming full of righteous (or unrighteous) indignation about a person, I think about Luke 6:37. It’s a reminder to me that I shouldn’t judge what I don’t have the right to judge. It reminds me to keep my nose where it belongs.
Danele: Gossip is definitely something to be avoided. Something that shouldn’t be avoided, however, is the presence of God. Can you describe a time when you’ve dramatically felt it?
Sharon: Yes. After 14 years I’m still struggling to make sense of the horrific disaster of 9/11. It left so many of us questioning life, humanity, and even God.
Danele: That’s so true. I’ll never forget the sickening horror of watching the towers fall. I was in my kitchen, and I couldn’t believe I was seeing so many lives being taken all at once. It made me feel physically ill.
Sharon: In 2002, some of the steel beams from the towers were taken to places around the world that had lost citizens in the disaster. One of these places was the International Peace Gardens between Manitoba (where I was living at the time) and North Dakota. We made a visit there, and I remember leaning over to touch one of the beams. It was almost as though an electric current passed through me. I could instantly feel the horror and fear of the stricken souls, and tears jumped into my eyes. But almost immediately after, I could feel a calming Presence assuring me that everything had an ending and a reason, and I was to take comfort in God’s love. It taught me that no matter how horrible events may become in this world, there is an answer to be found in another.
Danele: Oh, Sharon, that’s so beautiful! What a comforting experience! God speaks to us in such amazing ways.
Sharon: Yes, He does.
Danele: Now, here’s a fun question for you. What’s the first thing you want to do when you get to heaven?
Sharon: I suppose the natural answer would be to gaze around in wonder and awe. But then would come the most easily understood answer–and I’m sure one that is shared by everyone–to meet my friends and family who have gone on before. What a reunion that will be! Then maybe I’ll do a quick check to see if there really is a rainbow bridge for all the loved pets that have died. After that, I might just ask St. Peter if he could arrange a gentle nudge in the direction of the Stanley Cup for my Montreal Canadians.
Danele: Oh! You just made me laugh again! You’re such a delight! Now, Sharon, I’d love for you to tell us about your new book.
Sharon: All’s Fair in Love and Arson was released on November 20th. It’s one of those stories that combine my three favorite things–mystery, romance, and humor.
Danele: I really enjoyed All’s Fair in Love and Arson when I read it! I love a book that makes me smile. Can you tell us more about it?
Sharon: Sure! In my story, Bella has returned to St. Christopher, her childhood home. When her mother took a fall in the Nuisance Grounds (garbage dump) and broke her leg, Bella came back to help her and run her shop, Izzie’s. Soon Bella discovers she’s also been handed Izzie’s role in the town’s Christmas theatre production, a musical version of a well-known mystery that threatens to become more bizarre each day. A serial arsonist is frightening the townspeople, a family feud threatens young romance, and intrigue and rumors are the order of the day. On top of everything, Bella’s high school sweetheart Jake, who dumped her for a cheerleader, is now Chief of Police. Poor Bella! Christmas in St. Christopher’s is not what it used to be. As Christmas approaches, she is overwhelmed by the glitz and glitter that seems to have taken over. Somehow the real meaning of Christmas seems to be lost.
Danele: Can you share a link where we can find it?
Sharon: All’s Fair in Love and Arson can be found on Amazon. http://goo.gl/3CkLq2
Danele: Now, before I let you go, can you give us a list of the books you’ve written for Prism Book Group?
Sharon: Autumn Dreams, Acres of Dreams, and Fiona’s Knight of Dreams.
Danele: I really love Fiona–her story is so much fun! Sharon, thank you so much for being on my blog today! I’ve had a wonderful time talking with you! Please give Zoey a scratch behind the ear for me.
Sharon: Thanks, Danele. Zoey and I both had a terrific time visiting with you.
Friends, Sharon McGregor is such a delightful person. She has a heart of gold and a wonderful sense of humor. She’s one of my favorite people! If you would like to learn more about her or her books, please follow the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Sharon’s web page and blog: www.sharonmcgregor.com
Sharon’s Amazon author page: http://goo.gl/0toXu0
Sharon’s Facebook Author Page: https://goo.gl/hUSNUp
Sharon’s Twitter: @sharonmcgr