Monday, January 27, 2014

A January Bride by Deborah Raney

A January Bride is the second book in A Year of Weddings novellas penned by twelve different inspirational authors.

These are perfect books for an evening read, while you wrap up in a blanket, and sip hot chocolate.

Writer, Madeleine Houser, moved her life from New York City to Kansas to help out her sister. Unfortunately, her sister’s home is being remodeled which means no peace and quiet to write. Neighbor, Ginny has the perfect solution— Arthur Tyler’s Inn.

Deborah creates a sweet story with a delightful twist. If you enjoy well written happily ever after stories of love, you’ll like A January Bride.

I plan to read them all. A December Bride by Denise Hunter is also available.

Found this interesting poem contrasting reality and dream

Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas

I know it must be winter (though I sleep)--
I know it must be winter, for I dream 
I dip my bare feet in the running stream, 
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep. 

I know I must be old (how age deceives!) 
I know I must be old, for, all unseen, 
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green 
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves. 

I know I must be tired (and tired souls err)-- 
I know I must be tired, for all my soul 
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll, 
As storms the riven pine to music stir. 

I know I must be dying (Death draws near)-- 
I know I must be dying, for I crave 
Life--life, strong life, and think not of the grave, 
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year. 

Today's poem is in the public domain.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shadows of the Past (Book 1 of the Logan Point series) by Patricia Bradley

What happens when the victim profiler becomes the victim? In Shadows of the Past, psychology professor and criminal profiler, Taylor Martin, knows she’s being stalked. Yet she’s determined to push the thought away while she works to find her father, who left the family years ago.

Mystery writer, Nick Sinclair searches for his brother, Scott, a teen on a self-destructive binge. When Taylor and Nick cross paths they are drawn to each other. But, the past pushes them apart.

From the first chapter of this romantic suspense to the last, Patricia Bradley’s engaging voice and fast-paced story grabbed my attention and kept me reading. She took her characters through intrigue, romance, danger, and a revelation of self-awareness. I grew to respect Taylor as a professional and a woman who handled herself in the eyes of danger. Nick’s gentle, caring personality balanced Taylor’s need to be independent. I love the way the author wove together Taylor’s impossible situation with the mystery of her father’s disappearance and Scott’s self-destruction. With a perfect blend of dialog, description and tension, Ms. Bradley’s story pulled me in and didn’t let go until the very end.

The secondary characters played an engaging role to the story. With each one, I gained a better understanding of what made Taylor’s and Nick’s personalities tick. The author included the home where Taylor grew up as a part of the story. This intrigued me and made me appreciate the history that went into creating Taylor’s persona.

I recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of Terri Blackstock or Dee Henderson. Five stars.

Book 2 in the Logan Point series comes out in the fall 2014.

To find out more about Patricia Bradley, go to:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Church Building Repurposed

I love church buildings. And ironically, I attend church in a high school. This one inspired the idea for the cafe/bookstore in Peace, Love, and Mashed Potatoes. Turtle Creek Cafe and The Book Nook are housed in a repurposed church.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


When someone asks me about people I admire or respect or even consider a hero, a few come to mind. I tend to admire people who have faith in what they believe. Especially folks who trust God for their strength and guidance. 

Today as I think about people who made a difference, I remember Harriet Tubman, who took numerous chances on her life to rescue her fellow men and women from slavery. Continuing in that vein, Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his short life working to make life better for others. As we remember this man and the efforts he put forth, I want to share a few of his quotes:

  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
  • “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

It’s hard to believe this is Katherine Reay’s debut novel. Written as if she’s penned stories for a lifetime, Dear Mr. Knightley delights as it reveals a young woman’s journey into adulthood.

Through letters to her benefactor, Samantha is required to detail her life as she works through a graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. Along the way, Sam meets an array of quirky and interesting characters. I wanted to visit with the Muirs, a kind, older couple and have lunch with handsome, charming Alex Powell. Along with the fascinating characters, the honesty that pours on the pages from Samantha’s life pulls the reader in.  Katherine writes with humor, reality, sadness and triumph. If you love Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet, or Jane Eyre, you’ll enjoy this delightful modern tale.

Anyone who enjoys a tale of growing up and finding love will lose themselves in Dear Mr. Knightley. You may even wish you had a Mr. Knightley of your own.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hot Tea Month

January is hot tea month. I found a new tea that I enjoy. I'm usually one who sticks with black tea, such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey and good old Lipton. But I read that green tea is good for me. I had tasted green tea before and didn't like it. I'm trying to take better care of myself so I thought I'd give it another chance. Thanks to the many varieties at my local Kroger, I came across green tea infused with honey. Yum. This is a great afternoon treat with biscotti.

What's your favorite hot tea?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Peace of Winter

I've always loved January. In Ohio, the first month of the year is usually cold and sometimes we are blessed with snow. Ideally, I like to stay home and write or spend the day reading, snuggled under a warm blanket, with a cup of tea. But like most folks, I go to work each day.

Nevertheless, I find ways to relish the beauty of winter. I appreciate the frozen scenery as I trek to work after a winter snow. I nestle in my living room after supper and share the time at home with my husband and dogs. And I write. I don't spend as much time outside, so that gives me more time
to rattle the keyboard and bring my ideas to life.

This January is no different. I'm working on my new work-in-progress, Faith, Hope and Hot Chocolate. I've returned to Turtle Creek to see what God has in store for Lily June and Finn.

I hope you stay warm and enjoy the peace of winter.