Last Minute Gift Idea – Tell Them What They Want To Hear

For the little girl who grew up without a dad around to make her feel safe and protected.  And for the woman who used to be that little girl.

“I’ve got you.” (wrap it in a tight hug)

For anyone who hasn’t heard it from a parent in a while.

“I’m proud of you.”

For anyone who hasn’t heard it from a child in a while.

“I know you did your best. Thank you.”

For anyone who has lost someone they love.

“I just want you to know that I still remember and think about ____” (share a memory)

For anyone who feels like they can’t.

“You CAN. I believe in you.”

For anyone who feels like they aren’t.

“You ARE. I see it in you.”

For anyone who asks you if they look fat in these pants.

“No. No, you do not look fat in those pants.”

For anyone you’ve hurt.

“I am sorry. Please forgive me.”

For anyone who has hurt you and has asked for your forgiveness.

“I forgive you.”

For anyone who has hurt you and HAS NOT asked for your forgiveness.

“I forgive you.”

For anyone who has written a blog entry that touched you.

“Your blog entry touched me and I’m sharing it with a friend. Also, you are very handsome.”

For anyone reading this blog post.

“Thank you for reading this blog post.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Also, you are very handsome.”

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Filed under Hearts Left Behind, Where The Broken Lie

Book Release Party Recap! Let Them Read Cake!

Last month we had a party to celebrate the release of my book Where The Broken Lie.  And what an incredibly special night it was.  So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to recap some of the things that made it such a wonderful event.

Malta Town Hall

Malta Town Hall

We held the party at the town hall in Malta, Illinois, which is where I spent my childhood and is also the basis for the novel’s fictional town of Willow Grove.

It would have felt wrong to have the party anywhere but in “Willow Grove.”

Next highlight of the night?  Check this out…

My very talented sister (Rachel Rempfer-Hill) made an AMAZING cake for the event.  It was the spitting image of my book cover!  In fact, she got more Facebook likes on the picture of the cake than I did on the book itself!  What’s that?!?

BL_CakeDerekBook (15)BL_CakeDerekBook (12)

Yes, that’s the cake.  AMAZING, right?  If you’re an author throwing a book launch party, this is a must.

Here’s another must.  We’ve all been to weddings where they have the guests sign a large photo of the bride and groom, right?  Well, my wife and sister came up with the idea of having our guests sign a large canvas print of the book cover. Check it out…the image below doesn’t really do it justice, but you can see the signatures from most of our guests.


As this was my first book to be published, I felt it apropros to have Local Green provide our musical entertainment for the evening.  They are a recently formed local band and this party was their first official gig.  They did a great job all around, but my favorite performance was a song that lead singer Joe Crouch wrote after reading my book.  The song was titled Hearts Left Behind (my book’s original title) and it tied in quotes from the book as well as the book’s new title Where The Broken Lie.  It was very touching.

BL_LocalGreen BL_DerekLocalGreen

Speaking of touching…our friends Troy and Kati Mattis gave us a really beautiful and unique gift that Troy designed and crafted himself.  I hope the picture below does it justice, because I know my words don’t.  I just know that he somehow transferred the images of the books original cover and the published cover onto wood and put them in a shared frame.


Best of all was having so many family and friends there to celebrate with me.

From my 90 year old grandfather to Stephanie and Jeff Morgan’s 2 month old son.  Friends since kindergarten and buddies from college.  My park district baseball coach and my high school english and math teachers.

My Mom and step-dad.

My sisters.

My children.

My wife.

Lionel Richie.

I’ll tell ya what…that was the kind of party that inspires a guy to write another book.  So I can have another night like that one.  And so that I can try to write a book that gets more Facebook “likes” than it’s cake counterpart. :)


Filed under Ethan Merrill Rempfer, Hearts Left Behind, Loss of a child, Stillbirth, Uncategorized, Where The Broken Lie