A Book Giveaway Contest on “Geeky Girls Knit” ~ Episode 177

Sometimes you just need to ask…

I am an avid knitter. It is a HUGE part of my life. So when I wrote my first book, I HAD to include knitting.

I am also a geek.

I discovered a knitting videocast called Geeky Girls Knit and I loved it. On this particular podcast, a mother/daughter pair, who are Americans living in the U.K., discuss the television shows, movies, and books they are into each week. We have quite similar tastes. So I emailed and asked if I could donate some books for prizes on their show. They said, “Yes.” They also said, “We read two of your books. We liked them.” So I humbly and promptly mailed some books and extra goodies to Scotland.

C.C. and her adorable daughter, Damaris, are hosting a Days of the Guardian Giveaway contest right now. If you’re a knitter, you’re probably already on Ravelry. To enter this giveaway, you need to join the Geeky Girls Knit group and find the Days of the Guardian thread. Then answer this question- What’s your favourite book series?

Hurry, knitters! The giveaway will end right after they record episode 179…

The prizes are… a signed copy of The Red String and a handknitted red hat (just like the one that the character Liang makes- except I made it.)    🙂

Writers, follow your instincts. Sometimes you just need to ask.

Thanks again, C.C. and Dami!

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For The Rest, There Is Grace

“What’s wrong?” Elizabeth asked.

“Lots of things.”

“Wrong can be made right. And for the rest, there is grace.”

T-bone smiled. He’d heard that before. He wanted to believe it.

Excerpt from Chapter 18, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Red Knot, Days of the Guardian Vol. 3


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Knitting Anthology to Days Of The Guardian – Volume One

The Red String

The beginning of an addiction…

…she had become addicted to a very unusual drug- knitting. She blamed Nurse Cheng for that. One day, she was walking through the atrium area of a hospital wing and noticed Nurse Cheng teaching another patient how to wrap a string around a needle, slide it down, create a loop, and then slide it off. She moved along loop by loop, magically creating fabric. Ainsling was fascinated by it, so she begged Nurse Cheng to teach her too. Now she was addicted! Scarves, blankets, hats, and even socks were in abundance in their tiny apartment, created by the skilled movement of her own two hands.

Knitting for charity in dystopian novels…

Because of her unproductive status, she had never personally purchased the yarn she knitted with now. It was all passed on to her through E.C.C.O.’s Distribution Network with the stipulation she made items out of it for charity. She never had the luxury of choosing green over blue, or wool over acrylic yarn. Whatever they sent her was what she had to work with. It forced her to be creative and frugal.


Ainsling had never gone shopping for anything. She wasn’t given an implanted chip when she turned twelve, like everyone else. Nurse Cheng always commented that the many blankets, shawls, slippers and sweaters Ainsling had produced made the term “unproductive” an oxymoron, whatever that meant. Ainsling was more than happy to give away her knitted creations. Although, she did pity the poor person who received her first attempt at socks.

Relaxation knitting…

Ainsling got up and stretched. She picked up a box with a knitted blanket in progress lying in it. She pulled out the instructions and found her place. The repetitious movements were soothing to her.


“Should I teach you something now?” she asked playfully.

“What? Knitting? Please!” He rolled his eyes.

“Oh, yeah, you probably couldn’t do it anyway,” she said, prodding at his ego.

“Fine- if it’ll get you to be quiet and stop asking me annoying questions- I’ll do it. Once.”

Ainsling smiled mischievously to herself.

Knitting takes smarts…

Today Ainsling’s mind wandered back to the picture of Li’s long fingers dexterously maneuvering wooden needles and white yarn. She smiled to herself. He had become quite proficient. It must be because he is smart, also like his father. Li had recently remarked to her how some of her knitting patterns involved complex algebra skills and must have attributed to her surprisingly high math scores.

Knitting is freeing…

“Maybe. But what if it’s worth it? Just think- after your surgery, you will be free to knit things for yourself. You can pick the color, the fiber, everything. Doesn’t that make you happy?”

Knitting is comfort…

Li wrapped himself up in one of her many blankets, knitted from random leftover yarn. He tried to relax. It was over. She was all right now.

The yarn shop…

Li followed the woman for a few blocks and found himself in an old store that had walls loaded with displays of yarn. It was spilling out from every crevice. The nurse led him over to a whole wall dedicated to the color red. Fuzzy rouge red mohair, shiny ruby silk, and warm, russet red wool were waiting to be touched and knitted into something special. Ellen smiled at his eyes widening, taking it all in.


Li rolled his eyes and then shivered. Ellen was wrapped in Ainsling’s handmade scarf and felt badly for Li.

“Look, I know it’s cold here. If you want, I could teach you how to knit yourself a hat someday.”

“I might take you up on that. It’s more than cold- it’s freezing here! Hey- how many people are on this ship, anyway?”

Mistakes and frogs…

“No, Li, this row should be all knitting, not purling. When you work in the round, the right side is always facing you. Some people dislike purling, so they knit everything in the round.”

“So, I have to undo all this?” Li looked up at Ellen in frustration. She responded by trying to make a joke.

”Do you know what knitters call it when they undo lots of stitches? ‘Frogging’- because they ‘rip-it, rip-it.’“ Li rolled his eyes as Ellen did a lame imitation of a frog’s ‘rib-bit.’

“I know, it’s silly. Look, we all make mistakes! Don’t get too upset about it. Knitters are always learning.” Li smirked as she continued, “Knitting, like many skills, has a way of keeping you humble.”

Good distraction…

Plus, knitting distracted him. It also strengthened his connection to Ainsling. Ellen noticed he often toyed with a red string tied securely around his ankle.



Because You Asked Me To…MLK, Jr Tribute

When it’s hard to believe; remember, it’s been done.

Author D. Marie Prokop- YA Sci/Fi and Children's Fiction

(Quote used in The Red String, Days of the Guardian, Volume 1)

I adore Patti Griffin’s heartbreaking and beautiful song, Up to the Mountain, which was inspired by MLK’s last speech. I am also proud to feature Houston’s own, Robbie Seay.

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Anais Nin Quote- The Dream and the Miracle

“Don’t be too hard on them, Noelle. They hear a lot of quotes from me. This one is from Anais Nin. ‘The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live in unison with it, that was the miracle.’

“Oh, I like that one, Captain!” Ainsling declared.

Noelle smiled at her daughter. “Me, too.”

Excerpt from Chapter 16, The Miracle, from The Red Knot, Days of the Guardian, Vol. 3

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Watch “In Memoriam – The Oh Hello’s” on YouTube

It’s a pleasure to feature this lovely musical entourage from Texas. Check out their newest album, Dear Wormwood.


This song is dedicated to the character Liang.

In Memoriam

The Oh Hellos

well, it’s a long way out to reach the sea
but I’m sure I’ll find you waiting there for me
and by the time I blink, I’ll see your wild arms swinging
just to meet me in the middle of the road
and you’ll hold me like you’ll never let me go
and beside the salty water, I could hold you close,
but you are far too beautiful to love me

it’s a long climb up the dusty mountain
to build a turret tall enough to keep you out
but when you wage your wars against the one who adores you,
then you’ll never know the treasure that you’re worth
but I’ve never been a wealthy one before
I’ve got holes in my pockets burned by liars’ gold,
and I think I’m far too poor for you to want me

it’s been a long road, losing all I’ve owned
and you don’t know what you’ve got until you’re gone
and it’s a nasty habit, spending all you have, but
when you’re doing all the leaving, then it’s never your love lost
and if you leave before the start, then there was never love at all
and heaven knows I’m prone to leave the only God I should have loved, but you are far too beautiful to leave me

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Getting Sketchy

I dream of being miraculously talented in the visual arts. I’m still dreaming. Apparently drawing well takes work and practice, like all the other arts. Dang… I have too many hobbies already…

In great humility, I shall share my sketchy sketches of the main characters in my YA trilogy, Days of the Guardian, Liang and Ainsling.


These personal attempts at drawing make me ever so grateful for my brother, Michael Rode’s cover art for all my novels. Thanks, bro!

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Top 5 Viewed Posts of 2015

1.) Mad About God Book Review

My review of Pastor J.S. Park’s book that struggles with the endless question of why God lets bad stuff happen and how to wrestle well with God and faith.

2.)Houston Authors Bash 2015 Recap

Reporting my first time experiences attending a book festival as a self-published author.

3.)Happy Birthday, Veronica Roth!

Celebrating a fellow dystopian/ YA author’s birthday just feels good.

4.)Book Review- Water Walker (The Outlaw Chronicles) by Ted Dekker

Proof that I don’t like everything I read.

5.)Oceans by Hannah Elizabeth Smith

Supporting a talented local Houston musician proved to be a good decision. This was the only music video in the top 5!

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