Today, I feel like sharing that although the pandemic has changed how I work, like everyone, I'm building my publishing empire . . . to the exact size God wants it to be, currently at over 300+ titles I have purchased, created, or bought from other publishers. I'm building my Christian titles, writing and illustrating one to three illustrations per day, and creating at least 1-2 books a month. I won't allow myself to sit lukewarm. I will not, ever, be anything but hot or cold. God doesn't seem to want us to be hot or cold, he can work with that.
Whether I'm hot or cold today, I'd say hot. Guarded. Threatened. Things have been really heated this week. A threat at Silver Lake Books, one I can't take likely, for reasons maybe I only understand. Suddenly there was a new Google review posting comments about my husband, my brand, claiming the store reviews are a set up. PLEASE IF YOU WROTE ONE, verify it. I didn't ask for a meal when I was hungry, I remained hungry. I know what it feels like not eating for days. I wouldn't ask you to fatten your words, when I'm fat, because I don't ask favors.
My husband is under attack, my brand is under attack, your words are under attack. Either you can let them slide, and they will be assumed fake, like fake news, fake reviews; or I ask you to step up and defend your words. Did we in any way ask you, pay you, demand, con you or set you up to leave your five star reviews? Are they fake?
This Google reviewer yelled he was going to burn his book in front of our building, still a threat of arson (maybe he was going to put an insurance claim on it, who knows? He wouldn't be the first man to try to pull an insurance scam on me. Ask Winona County. That investigator, he spotted it. Brought straight on, by a volunteer fireman in another county. One that I wouldn't want in my house if it were burning.
The "Google Reviewer" left off his review that he made a threat of arson (he left that out on his review of my Silver Lake Books brand, a division of my Loucks Studios, Inc. corporation. He also left out that he was told to leave. That my husband was dialing "911", he left out that he was screaming you mother-f....: at my husband, AND he left out that upon entry, my husband told him, "We are not buying books", and that he was repeatedly told this, before he began swearing, making a scene, yelling at my husband, before he threatened to burn his book in front of our store).
See, God can work with him. No doubt he is hot.
Do you know what my job was? At 1AM when I wanted to go to bed, I couldn't I had two things I had to do. Defend God's brand, and take the name the "Google Reviewer" put on his review about Silver Lake Books and, since he was "name dropping" I copied and pasted it and submitted a police report, the second one filed in 6 hours on this guy. The first report was filed by my husband, the victim, with the Rochester, Minnesota police. I included his review, as hurtful as it was, how it was written to attack my husband, smear my company, and say our reviews were all a set up.
He wanted to attack my humble God-fed and led corporation, one I'm founder, president and CEO, a woman-led company but with Jesus as my co-pilot, as my silent partner.
He demanded the company invest its dollars into his book. He reached into a big backpack, and in our experience the person may have just about anything in their bag, and we don't want people at our desk dumping out or reaching into bags, or forcing their faces and demands into our faces. We follow peace.
We don't have weapons. We have Jesus. We hope the cops always arrive, in time, if we can even get a call out. Sometimes, like yesterday, my husband couldn't.
I set a new policy after being attacked, personally, by a homeless man last fall, months ago, at our other location. "We are not buying books at this time." That's the line my family will give you, when you try and sell us a book.
It's for our own safety. Until yesterday, it kept us safe.
Who would think that owning a bookstore, in my case two, would or could become life-threatening, twice, in 11 months?
If officers hadn't arrived on scene, along with the fire department on my "911" call last fall I might not be writing this. I call it operator error in a panic situation, I hit the fire button instead of the police button on my alarm panel. That's why I knew I had to get to my panic alarm in front, I needed police. I had no time to dance--the man was inside and cut me off from my back work area.
Thank God, I had time to dial "911" on my phone, and I could only hope they could hear everything, no one can ever hear me on that phone. Not that they could save me, but I could at least give information if he had a gun or knife so their officers would know what they were walking into, there would be a record if things went a different direction.
I had posted the video, the one I recorded on my Nikon camera, hanging it over my shoulder, as I left the back room. I thought he'd notice it, but he didn't. I was expecting the worse, the guy just through a rock at my window, then crashed his body into the other. When you have seconds, they all count. I knew, but only by the help of angels that I was safer in front that trapped in the back--I had a chance a customer may walk in, so I hit record on my camera. Thank you Nikon for building equipment that helped me in a bad situation. I posted the video, but then I was reminded this man had rights, even as an aggressor, attacker, tried breaking my window with his body. Even though he scared me, came within a whisker of my own--I hate getting old.
Lucky for me, God sent a lady over earlier in the day with a donation from the Pine Island Church, that pile of books saved me. God's word was all over them. See that's being cold in a hot situation. All I needed to do was stand. Not show fear. Talk him down. Stale him. I could hear the sirens. I felt I had seconds and I had no idea what he was holding in his right hand behind his back. I have photos of it, him holding it, him and how his face changed dark when he left and re-entered coming right at me. At least I had time to hit the panic alarm.
See, if God hadn't sprang cougars, black bear, and rattlesnakes at me in the woods, I wouldn't have had the instincts to get out of the way and stand. God knows how to shut the mouths of lions. He knows how to divert the snakes, and bear.
He knew exactly when to put on this kind lady's heart the very day an attacker would come into my store, and moments after my husband left--throwing his body against the glass window I was sitting by.
Try getting that image out of your mind. I'm glad we left that location. I don't have to see him every time I went to work in back.
God had me in full armor. Earlier that day, I had a man come in. He was making good on a promise to his recently departed wife. We'd all met last fall. I prayed over her, for healing from her cancer. She wanted to deliver the earrings she made me, sterling silver, in March, but the pandemic and Governor mandate to close was in effect. Her husband gave me the beautiful card she wrote, and the beautiful earrings she made for me. I put them on. I wore them all day. I felt blessed and protected. They became spiritual weapons against the man.
Something caused him to pause when he came at me, and he suddenly screamed, "I'm calling the police." He turned and walked into them.
The man was caught, let go, because he didn't actually touch me. He threatened. He threw his body against the glass, he intimidated me, overpowered me pressed himself to me-- but he didn't get in the backroom, or through me, though he tried. He told me I was alone. He told the cops he heard people talking in the back. He was on drugs.
I'm off to file a third police report on this man. Turns out, he's the same man, along with a friend, who came in harassing my husband about a month ago, demanding $200 each for an Edgar Allen Poe book, another book, and one that was signed by the author.
When my husband opened the book, it was signed alright, but not by the author, it was a name my husband instantly re-connected with. It was signed by my husband's sister, a Reverend, and wife of top criminal attorney in Rochester, Minnesota, Duane Kennedy.
My husband asked the angry man, "So where did you get this book?"
He said, "Out of a dumpster downtown."
Hmm. I wonder about that.
I guess it shows where he is spending time, and another reason we aren't buying books from the public. Between people stealing books out the little libraries and bringing them in to sell us, and now this. We trust you understand.
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