Caffeinated Murder Fourth installment of the Evelynton Murder Series, featuring fast moving adventure, good friends, coffee, and a touch of quirky humor. Freelance writer and part-time hair salon receptionist, Lauren Halloren faces yet another murder investigation where she must face off with the local police department. It’s festival season in small town Indiana. The merchants of Evelynton are invested in making the town’s Marshmallow Festival a success. The one exception may be the local cleaning lady who thinks there are enough trouble makers in town already. Why invite outsiders in? She could be right. The festival planning committee has things in hand until the festivities are threatened when a murder victim is discovered in the dumpster outside their favorite coffee shop. Local authorities are quick to produce a list of likely suspects. The problem arises when their suspicious characters are all well-known citizens. As the police set out to prove their case, it’s up to Lauren to protect the innocent and find the true culprit. But as her investigation continues, even Lauren begins to doubt the word of her friends. (Cozy Mystery from Winged Publications)
Untraceable Evidence by Sharee Stover -- Someone’s after a deadly weapon…and only she can stop them. It’s undercover ATF agent Randee Jareau’s job to make sure the government’s 3-D printed “ghost gun” doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. So when someone goes after scientist Ace Steele, she must protect him…before she loses the undetectable weapon and its creator. But with a mole inside Ace’s company and everyone a suspect, this assignment could become Randee’s last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month: Lost Down Deep by Sara Davidson, Romantic Suspense Son of Mary by R.S. Ingermanson, Biblical Then There Was You by D. L. Lane, Romantic Suspense Love's Silver Bullet by Julie Lessman, Historical Romance Tug of War by Brenda C. Poulos, Thriller/Suspense The Scholar's Quest: The Way by Brad Rucker, Adventure Illusions by Jennifer Sienes, General Contemporary The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch, Historical Romance A Beautiful Arrangement by Beth Wiseman, Amish Romance
It seems so simple – just cut a straight line on straight hair. Right?
No. Cutting your little girl’s hair or your own hair can be quite a challenge.
Looking closely, you may notice that a person’s head is not made up of straight lines. All of the areas are curved. Cutting straight lines in hair may result in an un-natural un-even appear appearance.
Trimming bangs: You may call this section the fringe.
Comb all of the long hair – the hair that you do not want to cut – back and clip it out of the way. We do this to avoid cutting hair that is not meant to be part of the bangs. Cutting a few long hairs, by accident, each time you trim bangs, can eventually result in more bangs than you want.
The result is natural looking bangs with a soft, not blunt, edge.
The end trim.
Yesterday I attended a Good Friday service, streamed online because we are under a shelter-in-place order in the midst of the Corona Virus. I sit here on Saturday waiting for Sunday to celebrate the resurrection. I try to envision what it was like for Jesus’ original followers. The difference between us is that I know our Savior came out of the tomb. I have the Bible to tell me the story. They had his promise to return, but it must have been a difficult promise to hold on to, given what they had seen on Golgotha. After the crucifixion, the believers waited. They wanted to have faith, but must have been afraid, sad, depressed. It would have been a long wait.
Their wait was rewarded with the biggest miracle the world has ever known. They were rewarded with Salvation.
I know at some time this fear of the virus - COVID19 - will end. This storm will pass. One way or another we will go back to a somewhat normal life. Until that time, we will wait. I will be thankful for this quiet time. I’m grateful for space to study, and to pray. I’m thankful for the necessity to trust in Jesus, because I’ve been running on my own power for too long. I’m also grateful for time to get a few projects done at home, to connect with friends via the phone or Internet, and to read for relaxation.
When this is over, I'm pretty sure my friends and I will celebrate as if it were Resurrection Day. But until that time, I don’t want to waste this time of waiting. When this plague passes, when I’m let out of this lockdown, may I be stronger, more grateful, more loving, more faithful, more trusting in the Good Shepherd who has promised to care for me.
Have you thought about what you would be doing today if the virus hadn’t taken over the normal life of the planet?
If not for the Corona virus. If not for the shelter-in-place order, what would I be doing at this time of year? Certainly, I would be visiting friends and family. I would be shopping. I would be enjoying the signs of Spring. I would be working a regular schedule, paying bills. I might be taking my life of ease for granted.
But most important of all, in a ‘normal’ year, I would be preparing for the celebration of Easter. I would read of the happenings at Calvary. I would be contemplating the Cross for reminders of what Jesus did for me. I would be filled with gratitude for the miracle of a changed my life. I would be studying Scripture for understanding of the abundant blessings that are far beyond what I see in this world, and that are mine.
I wonder if the enemy, the evil one, the devil, (whatever you call him) thinks that all the chaos created by fear of the virus will draw us away from this beloved celebration of new life. I'm praying that we won’t let the troubles and the fears of this crazy year in history overshadow the observance of an event in history that saved us all. My life began at Calvary.
And I am grateful that, this year, the Lord has given me more time to meditate on his grace and more time to worship the Savior. I am be grateful that these times have caused me, and many others, to draw closer to Jesus. Now and in the future, we will not take this life for granted. We are becoming more aware of who is in control. Father God, Creator from the beginning of time, holds this world in his hands. He also holds each of us, individually, in a personal relationship.
To borrow words from a song for my own use in prayer time. You’ll take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good.
April 2020 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Spies & Sweethearts by Linda Shenton Matchett -- A secret mission. A fake bride. A run for their lives. According to the OSS training manual, the life expectancy of a radio operator in Nazi-occupied France is six weeks. Partnered with one of the agency’s top spies, Gerard Lucas, newly-minted agent Emily Strealer plans to beat those odds. Then their cover is blown and all bets are off. The border to neutral Switzerland is three hundred miles away-a long way to run with SS soldiers on their heels. Will Emily and Gerard survive the journey and get home? And what about their hearts? Nothing in the manual prepared them for falling in love. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)
Devyn's Dilemma by Susan G Mathis -- 1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart. Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
A Life Renewed by Olivia Rae -- In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason. But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived? Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes. Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press LLC)
The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo -- Stubborn Hearts Clash on a Cattle Drive Eliza Gentry’s pursuit of marriage to the son of her family’s sworn enemy has cost her greatly. Furious at his daughter’s choices, her father sends her off with the cattle drive heading toward Fort Worth and the Barnhart ranch, but under the watchful eye of Wyatt Creed, a Pinkerton man he has hired to see to her safety. With danger at every turn—not the least of which to his heart—can Wyatt Creed keep his focus with Eliza Gentry around? Is the Chisholm Trail a place for falling in love or a place to die at the hands of cattle thieves? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner -- When drugs are smuggled across the border, it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost. Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month: Only a Glimpse by LuAnn K. Edwards, Contemporary Romance Fugitive Trail by Elizabeth Goddard , Romantic Suspense Critical Decision by Richard L. Mabry, MD, Medical Mystery Glacier of Secrets by J Carol Nemeth, Romantic Suspense A Perfect Fit by Christine Schimpf, Contemporary Romance Riven by H.L. Wegley, Romantic Suspense (Historical)
I go to my Bible and to prayer for peace this morning, as I have to do every day. When circumstances are far beyond my control, the only place to go is to God. Of course I know he should be the first place I look, not the last resort.
Too bad it takes times like these for us to take God’s word seriously.
I am reminded of God's promises.
My God has promised to be with me during this storm. He will see me through.
From Psalm 143
The psalmist begs God to hear his prayer and pleas for mercy. He says “In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness.” This is what I have to remember
So, I just had to remind myself to turn off the news. Every news show tells me similar stories with maybe a tidbit of extra information to keep me watching.
I'm not blaming them. As the reporters do their job, and in their attempt to keep me informed of the crisis, they make evil seem very large. They make it seem like a huge black cloud hanging over my community, my country, the world. It appears that evil is winning, but I know it isn’t.
Evil likes to appear strong. It likes to scare us and to keep our attention. My heart pounds when I have to go to the grocery store. Fear wakes me in the middle of the night. But focusing my attention on God reveals how weak evil is.
My God keeps me in perfect peace when my eyes are on him. I trust in the Lord my God. (Isaiah 26:3)
They say our world is at war, but this battle has already been won. God is on the throne. He is in control. We follow the guidelines given us and wait in faith for the storm to pass.
Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. They rise up like eagles, run and not get weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Isaiah 40:28 “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”
If you don't know that reference - you are younger than I am. Google "I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden." or not.
I can’t turn on the TV without hearing about more illness, deaths, serious danger – fear. If not the virus, it’s financial ruin because of business closings. Jesus didn't say in this world we would have an easy life--or a rose garden.. He said in this world we would have trouble.
Not much joy in homes around the world. Not much peace. That is, if we get our joy and peace from circumstances. Relying on the stability of life in this world has never been a safe bet. Ask the person receiving an unexpected Cancer diagnosis, or the family cleaning up the rubble of a home destroyed by a tornado.
Certain joy and certain peace comes from one source only.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. (Romans15:13- look this up for exact Scripture)
My part? Belief. Faith. It is my choice to believe, and to depend on the God of the universe, my Creator.
So I’ll take my dog for a walk and thank God for the sunshine today and that the weather is nice enough today that we can get out of the house.
Let’s take this one day at a time.
An article containing my study of Romans 15:13 will soon be available on the Christian Living site of BellaOnline.com
My verse for today:
"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;" Psalm 24:1 NIV
Like many of you, I’ve been in partial self-quarantine for a few days now, but today begins the official lock down day for Indiana. So, since it’s just me and Lizzy-my Russell/Yorky mix—at my house for the next two weeks, I feel a real need to communicate with people. So I hope you will say ‘hello’ here or on Facebook.
How are you coping?
It's important that we take care of ourselves. I’m determined to eat healthy in an effort to boost my immune system—something we all need right now. I’m also hoping not to gain twenty pounds of quarantine weight from boredom eating.
Day one quarantine breakfast. - Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts.
Oatmeal contains fiber – everybody says we need that.
Since I have no time restraints, I use Old Fashioned Oatmeal. I have plenty of time to cook it.
The internet tells me oatmeal is nutrient-dense, containing iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
They tell me it also boosts immune protection, lowers inflammation, revs up metabolism, lowers cholesterol and gives a feeling of fullness. (I’ll need that if I’m to be satisfied until lunch.)
A scoop of walnuts
I’m told (by the Internet again) walnuts are rich in antioxidants.
They are said to be a super source of omega-3 which may reduce heart risk.
They are said to reduce inflammation, which is at the root of many diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
My study told me that walnuts also help produce beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. This promotes the health of your gut and may help reduce disease risk.
What’s more, eating walnuts may even help control your appetite. (refer to the twenty pounds quarantine weight)
I top it off with a heaping handful of blueberries.
My study told me blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables
Supposedly, they have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body. They help to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and maintain brain function. They may also have anti-diabetes effects.
As I’ve aged, I’ve discovered my body doesn’t tolerate a lot of dairy, so I use almond milk on my oatmeal. Almond milk is not as nutritious as cow’s milk, but is rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin E.
I'm not suggesting almond milk over anything else, just listing what I use.
When I want sweetener, I’m using Stevia. There are lots of pros and cons to this natural sweetener,
March 2020 New Releases More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Traces by Denise Weimer -- When a failed romance and a $500,000 prize lure Kate Carson into participating in the reality TV show, Traces, the least she expects is to pick her partner. After all, she's the PR spokeswoman of the company that derived a thirteen-lens, rotating camera from military use and installed it atop Atlanta's tallest skyscraper. But she never would have chosen to evade techno hunters for twenty days with "G.I. Joe." Stoic, ex-military Alex Mitchell is the sort of man she always vowed to avoid, while the shadows of Alex's past cause him to spurn emotional involvement. When Kate's insider knowledge makes her a target of someone more threatening than game show hunters, Alex offers her only hope to reveal the dark plans of proponents of The Eye. (Romantic Suspense from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Song in the Dark by Jessica White -- After graduating from Juilliard, harpist Jenna Fields returns home to Albany to escape her manipulative ex and prove to her controlling mother that she can orchestrate her own life. Homicide detective Dean Blackburn spends his days seeking justice for the dead. But darkness taints everything, including him. When his three Dobermans lead him to Jenna playing in the park, he tries to resist the beautiful musician and focus on his cases. At least until he witnesses Jenna’s ex attempt to blackmail her and learns she’s being stalked, just like one of his homicide victims. When her world crumbles beneath her feet, and Dean learns she has her own dark secrets, he helps Jenna see that the key to escaping her mother's gilded cage is already in her hands. (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Secrets She Knew by D.L. Wood -- Boston police detective Dani Lake dreads returning to her small hometown of Skye, Alabama, for her ten-year high school reunion--and not just for the normal reasons. At only fifteen, Dani tragically discovered the body of her murdered classmate, setting in motion the process that led to the unjust conviction of her dear friend and an unshakable burden of guilt she carries to this day. So when new evidence surfaces during her trip home which suggests the truth Dani’s always suspected, she embarks on a mission to expose the real killer, aided by Skye detective Chris Newton--who happens to be the man Dani’s best friend is dying to set her up with, and also the only person who believes her. But when Dani pushes too hard, someone pushes back, endangering Dani and those closest to her as she unearths secrets deeper and darker than she ever expected to learn—secrets that may bring the truth to light, if they don’t get her killed first. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Kings Falling by Ronie Kendig -- Leif Metcalfe and his team, dubbed Reaper, need to recover the stolen, ancient Book of the Wars if they hope to stop the Armageddon Coalition and their pursuit of global economic control. But their attention has been diverted by a prophecy in the book that foretells of formidable guardians who will decimate the enemies of ArC. While Iskra Todorova uses her connections in the covert underworld to hunt down the Book of the Wars, Leif and Reaper attempt to neutralize these agents but quickly find themselves outmaneuvered and outgunned. The more Reaper tries to stop the guardians, the more failure becomes a familiar, antagonistic foe. Friendships are fractured, and the team battles to hold it together long enough to defeat ArC. But as this millennia-old conspiracy creeps closer and closer to home, the implications could tear Leif and the team apart. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month: Love & Hope by Elsie Davis, Contemporary Romance Bite the Dust by Jackie Layton, Cozy Mystery Jordan's Arrow by Allen Steadham, Speculative The Letters by C. Kevin Thompson, Suspense
The mundane becomes inspiration.