Waiting for His Return by Carrie Turansky -- The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover the battles near Union occupied Nashville. (Historical Mystery from Flowing Stream Books)
Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey -- Undercover Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn’s convinced Danielle Segovia is really a wanted criminal—until she’s nearly kidnapped right in front of him. Now Colter must keep her out of the clutches of the notorious drug cartel leader whose traitor sister is a dead ringer for Danielle. The drug czar wants the drugs he thinks the pretty shop owner stole from him. And with the younger brother Danielle is raising dragged into the crosshairs, Colt has to find a way to protect them both. But a showdown at Christmas—with Danielle as bait—may be the only way to make sure they all survive the holidays. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright -- Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
October 2017 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Christmas Captive by Liz Johnson -- On his cousin's Christmas cruise wedding, navy SEAL Jordan Somerton anticipated having the typical best man duties—not facing down criminals boarding the ship. But when the luxury liner is infiltrated by men determined to kidnap the flower girl, he's plunged into an unexpected mission. Maid of honor and DEA agent Amy Delgado hasn't forgiven Jordan for a misunderstanding in their pasts. But with her young niece targeted, she must draw on Jordan's skills as a protector. Signs point to an inside job. With a traitor in their midst, can they ensure that every passenger returns home safely for the holidays…even as they find love amid deepening danger? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
September 2017 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
The House Next Door by Susan Page Davis -- As Jennifer’s due date approaches, Harvey decides to invest in real estate, unaware of the terror this will cause his family. A hidden cupboard isn’t so bad—in fact, it’s almost fun to try to solve the little mystery inside it. But will any of their loved ones want to live next door after they learn what’s in the basement? (Mystery, Independently Published)
Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel -- Detective Jasper Hollock thought he wanted nothing more than a real case. But when the man who raised him stands on the brink of suicide and mysterious incidents sabotage the factory, Jasper has 24 days to unravel the malicious plot and convince his employer that life is worth living. (Mystery, Independently Published)
Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty -- An innocent bike ride leads to a hostage situation, jeopardizing an undercover mission and two stubborn hearts. (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan -- A female attorney hires a former Army Ranger turned private investigator to help research an alleged pharmaceutical cover-up. As the case deepens, both hearts and lives become endangered. It appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial. (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Uncharted Hope by Keely Brooke Keith -- Sophia Ashton must prove herself in her new job while researching the gray leaf medicine and dealing with her toxic family. (Romantic Suspense from Edenbrooke Press)
Witness Protection by Carol Kinsey -- After four years in witness protection, Ty Westgate’s identity has been exposed - with the help of a struggling nurse, the ex-lawyer with a new faith must work to unravel the truth behind his adversaries before he’s silenced permanently. (Thriller/Suspense, Independently Published)
Encourage your local authors.
Attend book signings and talk to authors about their books. You may find your new favorite author or book series.
My friend, Gloria Doty, and I signed and sold books at the monthly Glenbrook Mall PopUp Market. And we met some great people.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat with us.
August 2017 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Plain Retribution by Dana R. Lynn -- Ten years ago while on rumspringa, Rebecca Miller and her friends were kidnapped and held captive…and now, living in the English world, she's nearly abducted again. One by one her friends who once helped send their abductor to jail are targeted, and she is next…unless police officer Miles Olsen can stop a killer. Deaf since birth, the only person on the force that Rebecca can communicate with is Miles, and he needs this case to redeem himself of past mistakes. When the relentless killer tracks them deep into the heart of Amish country, protecting Rebecca must be Miles's sole focus. Because a mistake this time will cost something worth more to him than his job—the woman he's falling for. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Cold Blooded by Anne Patrick -- Detective Gwen Jamison has the highest closure rate in her division, but a string of armed robberies is about to take over her life. Not only will her job be on the line, but the troubling case also wreaks havoc on her personal life. Lieutenant Ian McKean knew he would have his hands full when he took over leadership of the detectives unit. He wasn't prepared for the headstrong Detective Jamison, though, who quickly becomes a thorn in his side. If they can stop butting heads long enough they might realize they are more alike than either imagined. (Romantic Suspense from Anne Patrick)
It masquerades as a small tree, and is seen as simply a nice addition to the landscape, until it explodes with bloom in mid-July. Then it takes over as the focal point of the yard, putting most other blooms to shame, and welcoming visitors to my front door.
Although it is trained to be a dwarf, the Limelight Hydrangea can grow to up to eight feet if it isn’t pruned to maintain the smaller heights.
It is usually healthy and resistant to disease and pests. It also tolerates drought well and requires little in the way of care.
This tree gives stunning blooms every year, with little maintenance or pruning. Unlike other hydrangeas, the soil pH is not a factor with the Limelight's performance.
I receive months of enjoyment as it flowers and then I can even dry and preserve some of my favorite blooms to keep them on hand after season's end.
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July 2017 New Cozy Mystery Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard -- FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha's Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn't take a vacation, and she's soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications--and even a secret or two? (Cozy Mystery from Revell [Baker]) ______________________________________________
Don't forget this cozy, released in September 2016. Heart Strings by Lynne Waite Chapman
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We look at the outside, but our Lord looks at the heart.
Valentine's Day. It's all about love and where we place value. These articles are from my collection at Christian Living @ BellaOnline.com
Who was he and why all the hoopla?
Is it the unpredictable and unreliable emotional response or something more?
It's the center of everything.
A Man Worthy of Your Heart
Let's talk about dating and choosing the one you will spend your life with.
Sweethearts of the Bible Quiz
Test your Bible knowledge of these biblical couples.
A Heart of Faith
My wandering heart is very much like that of the disciples.
The Heart of the Canaanite Woman
The bible gets to the heart of the matter. Scripture reveals truth.
A Woman Who Loved Jesus
She risked ridicule and embarrassment to worship the Lord.
No matter how beautiful snow covered evergreens of northern Indiana may be, after a month or two of frozen landscape, I’m longing for green growing plants. That’s when a trip to the Botanical Gardens is in order.
The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is always a refuge for me in the cold winter months. An hour or two inside the greenhouses serves as a mini-vacation.
When I last visited, right after Christmas, the Atrium was filled with hundreds of festive poinsettias and Christmas trees decorated the hallways.
The theme throughout, was the Twelve Days of Christmas. There was even a (fake) cow to milk as I became one of the Eight Maids a Milking.
My first stop was the Showcase Garden, which features changing seasonal displays as well as permanent plants such as bamboo, loquat tree, gardenias, hibiscus, and creeping fig.
After that was the Tropical Garden. This is my favorite place. Thirteen types of exquisite palms, breadfruit, coffee, banana and orange trees, cycads, and ferns grow in abundance there. There’s even a chocolate tree.
Stress slips away with the peaceful background sounds of the waterfall. Rushing water tumbles from a rock ledge high above, and feeds into a rushing stream. I climbed steps to the top, for a bird’s eye view of the gardens and returned below to walk under the fall of water. I followed the stream that wound through lush undergrowth until it emptied into a goldfish pond.
The tropical plants are fascinating. Delicate orchids, lilies and various tiny blooms are sheltered by palms and the over-sized leaves of unknown (to me) vines. Possibly the showiest of the flowering plants is the Bird of Paradise.
After marveling over the individual plants, I took time to sit on the park bench, breathing in the aroma of moist earth and growing things.
The next garden in my path was the Desert Garden, hauntingly quiet and intriguing. Saguaro cacti, fishhook barrel cactus, prickly pear, creosote bush, jojoba, and yucca, mesquite and ironwood trees are among the residents in this southwest desert greenhouse. The plants are allowed to grow and ramble just as they would in the desert.
There are several gardens to explore outside in the summer months. Since I visited to escape the cold, I saved those for later.
I bent the spindly tree branch for the billionth time. There was just no way I could fill the gaping hole in the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. A twelve dollar, six foot tree left a lot to be desired in lushness and extravagance. But at six months pregnant and walking to college through the snow, I rejoiced in the wonder of our first Christmas tree.
Finish college first. Don’t get married. You’re too young. Yes, I suppose, in retrospect the naysayers were right about that. We were but babes. At twenty and twenty-one, both me and my husband, still college students, could have probably planned it better.
It will never last. You’ll be divorced in a few years. I laugh in joy as I type this. Now, thirty plus years later, two children, two in-law children, and two grands, my husband and I still revel in each other’s company, anxiously await our Friday night dates. Our children grown with families of their own.
But that day I lamented over ornaments. We’d spent all our budgeted money on the tree. That meant no money left over for ornaments. For surely, our faces graced the billboard’s example of “starving college students.” It saddened me to think we would weather our first holiday season celebrating the birth of our Savior with a barren tree.
So I continued to wash clothes in my “new” fifty dollar washing machine and hung the clean clothes on strings strung in the bathroom. I tidied the apartment with its hand-me-down furniture like our three-legged couch, stuffing tumbling out the left cushion. Thank the Lord for the perfect measurements of the brick under the left front leg.
But somehow, by the Lord’s sweet providence, we found ourselves with a crisp five dollar bill, standing In a local department store. My brilliant husband came up with the perfect plan. Why buy ornaments when you can make them much cheaper? This appealed to my creative nature, and he and I hurried home with a kit to make “stain glass ornaments” in the oven.
What a jolly and jubilant night he and I spent that evening, poring over each creation, dropping the tiny colored beads into each space. I could hardly wait until they popped out of the oven. And then, they were finished. No less a work of inspiring art than the Sistine chapel. At least, for us.
Those ornaments, coupled with the nostalgic silver strands of icicles, took our tree from drab and sad to yuletide wonder. And with a little yellow felt I had amongst my fabric and a tiny bit of glitter, I stuffed a star for the top.
Now my husband and I are in our fifties. And every year I take those little ornaments in my hand and lean over to my grandchildren to whisper the story of my first Christmas with their grandpa. Their eyes light up while a tear comes to mine.
For you see, God taught my husband and I a valuable lesson that year. The meaning of life is not about possessions. It’s not about a ginormous tree blanketed with a plethora of extravagant decorations footed with the grandest of gifts.
It’s about love. It’s about sharing yourself. Giving of your time. Being faithful. Daring to be dedicated. Committing to being there. Sacrificing your wants for others’ needs. Making the impossible work. Even when it’s hard. So very, very hard.
But most of all, it’s about the Lord Jesus, Savior of the world. The author of all of these things. Merry Christmas.
Read my interview with Peggy Trotter
Year of Jubilee Book Review
Peggy's Facebook Author Page
The mundane becomes inspiration.