Cherry Blossom Temple: Getting There

June 6th, 2020

Hello, everyone.

It has been a while since I’ve contributed to this blog.

I’ve been on a personal writing journey that has gone in different directions, led me down various paths, but ultimately  got me to this point. I’ve finished a project that started out as a series of small writing assignments and wove it together into a satisfying (I hope) story. The Kindle format is available on Amazon now, the print version should be ready soon (I just ordered the proofs), and my next project will be  the audio book. I am going to try and narrate it myself, so it will be a learning experience.

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the back cover blurb:


Marissa Shively’s return to Japan is bittersweet. She’s honoring her husband’s dying wish by visiting the site of their Kyoto honeymoon fifteen years ago. Leaving Brent’s wedding ring in a pool within a specific temple’s grounds during cherry blossom season is her mission. Marissa is unsure of the official temple name, but she’s confident her heart will lead her to the spot. However, she finds the number of temples in Kyoto daunting and the cherry blossoms aren’t blooming on cue. Extending her trip is not an option, she must return to the United States in time to take part in her best friend’s wedding.

Three new friends assist her on her quest for the location; a handsome Japanese businessman, an empathetic widow, and a young boy who has experienced cancer. Through them, Marissa experiences a culture that honors the past while embracing the future. The key, the businessman tells her, is to focus on the present. Marissa’s search affirms that honoring her past doesn’t stop her future from unfolding. 


I’m not a widow, but I am a nurse. I’ve seen many scenes from the private lives of people when they are going through trying times. I’ve been to Japan four times, and I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful Japanese daughter-in-law who helped me with the cultural aspects of Cherry Blossom Temple.

I’ll be posting often in the next few weeks, discussing my development of the story, a little more about my personal background, and much more about Japan (including Japanese tea and the geisha culture). So – keep coming back!


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