Here’s wishing all my American friends and readers a Happy July 4th!
from Bonnie Engstrom
Brain fog! That’s what I have right now. Not really writers block, but a misty haze hovering around my head. My own personal cloud.
I know I have to write book nine, the final book in my Candy Cane Girls Series. I even started it and have two chapters. My publisher has been patient, but she did remind me right after book seven to hurry and write book eight because in a series, readers are anxious to know. I even have the title, inspired by a little old lady who walks her blind dog in a stroller in my community. Natalie’s Red Dress. It was easy to write Melanie’s Blue Skirt and Connie’s Silver Shoes, but Natalie is having trouble with her red dress. Rather, I am.
The blame game is easy. All the distractions and obligations are because of the pandemic. Right? I have to iron our pillowcases every Friday, the border of the sheet, too.
Yes, I have to. Crawling into a smooth bed at least once a week is important to my psyche. I never ironed them before. Flor always did it for me. But our daughter insists we have no one in our house right now. So, I mail Flor a check every week to make up for her lack of work. Poor thing, she has four kids and an elderly mother. Plus, she’s a prayer warrior.
Cleaning toilets is no picnic, either. At least I don’t have to mop the floors. Hubby has taken on that task. (Thank you, bad back, for cramping up when I bend over.) I have learned to cook again and relieve the master chef, occasionally. Ina Garten is more than The Barefoot Contessa, she’s my guru angel. Watching her videos sometimes takes up the afternoon. Can’t write when learning how to make zucchini casserole, can I? Will my hubby like it as much as Jeffery?
I cut my own bangs the other morning. I’m afraid to tell Robert. Or Lisa. My two alternate hair dressers. Have you ever tried to use waxing strips? They don’t do much for chin hairs, and certainly not for nose hairs. But, I can’t go to Kay’s salon.
It’s a sad commentary when the most stimulating discussion I have with hubby every morning is “What’s on Netflix tonight?” Or we rush to the back patio to see what the dogs are barking at.
“Maybe it’s the Golden Retriever. Or maybe the lady with the two little white dogs!” (Our whiny Lola hates the white dogs. Sam barks up encouragement.) I ask if he has any Skype calls with his university colleagues, and he asks if I have writing to do. Yeh, but . . .
I should be composing my weekly newsletter that converts to my Facebook page. It’s due to my VA Thursday. Thank goodness she’s forgiving when she gets it late Friday. Let’s see . . . there’s the American Christian Fiction Writers email loop with lots of chatter and questions I have no clue how to answer. There’s the Romance Writers of America forums for Pro authors. Boring. Everyone has an opinion. There’s the Moms’ Prayer Chain that I moderate. Lots of needs and thank yous back and forth. There’s the daily card I mail at the remote postal drop box just to get out for a half hour. There was the house I wanted to buy for our daughter and four grandkids. I stalked it every day. Can one really stalk a house? I did. I parked in front of it and prayed and brought up icons about perseverance on my cellphone’s Bible app. It sold to someone else.
Oh! It’s almost three o’clock. Time for my daily excursion to the mailbox to post a card to friend Jean telling her how special she is. Lipstick. Check. Watch. Check. Special bracelet. Check. Gotta feel human. At least I penciled my eyebrows this morning.
It takes exactly seven minutes driving slow to get to the isolated P.O. box for the 4:15 pm pickup. I still go to “the house” to pray. God doesn’t tease. He put the house idea in my head for a reason. Maybe it will fall out of escrow, or maybe there’s a better one soon. After my few minutes of prayer I wonder what the neighbors think about the crazy woman waving her arms out a car window. I doubt if they know I’m praying. Don’t care. The drive back home that should take ten minutes takes twenty-five on my long route. I prolong it by trundling along at twenty-one miles an hour in the forty-five-mile zones. Cars speed around me, but nobody honks. I am the little old lady, Miss Daisy, driving herself. No Morgan Freeman. I wish.
Then to stop on the way home at our bank of mailboxes to retrieve all the useless flyers and catalogues. I sort through the mail. Sam got a card from his vet, Dr. Nick, reminding him to get his teeth cleaned. Hubby got two bills and the Lou Malnati’s pizza catalogue. I got the latest Mornings with Jesus and a Steinmart ad. That’s a toughie. My favorite store, my home from home. Several years ago hubby had a quip, “If you can’t find Mom, call Steinmart.” Not this month, or maybe not this year.
Two of our grandchildren had special birthdays recently. Taylor turned fifteen, and Teagan celebrated thirteen. Big rights of passage, especially for girls. No hugs, just presents handed quickly over the back fence. Taylor had a party of sorts. Her best friend’s family came to sit on the lawn about twenty feet away from her family. Teagan got to indulge in her favorite sushi at Beni Hana since restaurants had opened. I count it a blessing that her family were the only patrons, except one man at the sushi bar. If you want to see the girls and their creative celebrations, go to my Facebook page and scroll down.
That reminds me I am giving away NOELLE’S CHRISTMAS WEDDING there to a commenter. Also, giving one away on this blog. Both signed copies, unless you prefer an eBook. You can have two chances to win it by commenting both places. It’s not just about Christmas or a wedding. (If you believe in Santa you need to read this book). Its message has a much deeper social issue about abuse and stalking (of Noelle, not a house) that takes place off stage. It’s the first in the Candy Cane Girls Series honoring Noelle, a teacher. (I love teachers, don’t you?) I hope you will like it so much you will want to read the entire series to meet Cindy, Candy, Connie, Natalie (yes, she has two books), Melanie and Doreen. You will also meet Jake (my sweet dog I still dream about), Lola (yes, the whiny girl who hates little white dogs) and Arthur, the dog who adopts Doreen and encourages her to dance. All the dogs are on the covers of my books.
Maybe Natalie should adopt a dog! One who pees on her red dress. I think brain fog is lifting and I have my story.
by Bonnie Engstrom
Noelle Day finally has the courage to break off her ill-fated engagement with her volatile fiancé and cancel their Christmas wedding. It’s embarrassing, and she has to share the humiliating reason with her friends The Candy Canes. The other five girls were to be her attendants in red taffeta gowns.
When she faints and falls into the arms of Braydon Lovejoy, the now former wedding florist, Braydon is confused by her abrupt manner. Who is this beautiful woman with the sepia hair and the huge brown eyes? Is she a damsel in distress as he suspects? He prays for an opportunity to find out.
Then he backs his delivery van into her precious red car, and he’s sure she would never go out with him, especially since he was hired to deliver a huge bouquet of roses to her from a secret admirer.
Noelle isn’t sure how to respond when Bruce, the school principal, physically forces himself on her. After all, he is her boss, and she’s just a first year English teacher.
She finally accepts a lunch date with Braydon, and he takes her to Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar where she learns he is the local rose expert. But, Noelle worries their friendship is happening too fast and calls a respite.
One of the Candy Canes has a tragic accident, and the women bond together. But Braydon, who is not sure why he is involved, becomes their anchor.
Will Braydon’s prayers heal the hurts, physically and emotionally? Will the injured Candy Cane forgive the woman who caused her accident, the woman who is related to Bruce the principal? Will Noelle ever have her California Candy Cane Christmas?
Bonnie lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her psychologist husband Dave of fifty plus years. They have three grown children and six grandchildren, four of whom live in Arizona and two in Costa Rica where they surf. Pura Vida!
She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and a long time member of American Christian Fiction Writers; also, a member of Christian Writers of the West, the Arizona chapter of ACFW. Two of her books, Restoring Love at Christmastime and Melanie’s Ghosts, have garnered 5 Star Readers Favorite Awards.
Most of her stories are set in Arizona, and in Southern California where she and her husband lived for over thirty years and raised their three children. She likes to use real people (with their permission) and real-life experiences in her stories, and real dogs that are featured on her book covers. Readers love animals!
Social Media Links:
Website www.bonnieengstrom.com where you can see all my grandchildren and read about my writing journey, sign up for my newsletter and even order books
https://www.facebook.com/bonnieengstromauthor/ where you can win books and stash and have fun literary discussions and sign up for my newsletter
firstname.lastname@example.org where we can connect and get to know each other. Be sure to put BOOKS in the subject line
Christmas is coming, and with that holiday season comes more Christmas romances. If you don’t now, I love Christmas and Christmas romances. So, to fill out the rest of the Thursdays this year, I’m hosting fellow authors and their Christmas novels. Today I’m featuring Patty Hall and her historical, sweet Christmas novella Mistletoe Courtship. I love her story-behind-the-story cooking mishap post. Read on for the fun and an excerpt.
I’ve always been sucker for Christmas books. Novellas, short stories, novels—if it had a snowy Christmas cover and a story set during the holidays, I would find a way to read it. Even as recently as last week, I bought three holiday novellas from writers I love as a reward for getting my book into my editor.
So, when I was asked to write a Christmas novella for a collection, I jumped at the chance! I’d been kicking one around in my head for years and to finally get to put it on paper! You bet I was excited!
Mistletoe Courtship is a historical romcom about two lifelong friends who discover romance. When Ernestine(Ernie) discovers her grandmother has a beau, she enlists the help of her best friend, Jack to teach her how to attract the attention of the men in town. Between secret pen pals, matchmaking grandparents and stolen kisses, they wonder if they haven’t been caught in their own trap.
I particularly love one scene when Ernie is trying out her cooking skills on Jack and the cake she’s baking blows up! It’s really special to me because it’s actually true! When my husband and I were dating, Danny asked me to his place for a homecooked meal. The poor guy spent all day preparing the meal of grilled pork chops, veggies, rolls and a chocolate pound cake. We were in the middle of dinner—which was great, by the way!—when we heard this popping noise. Suddenly, the oven door blew open and cake batter went everywhere!
Of course, I had to write about it. It’s a sweet memory from my own happily ever after.
By Patty Hall
Her Grandmother Has a Beau!
Mayor Ernestine ‘Ernie’ Sims isn’t ready for marriage, not that anyone in Stony Creek, Wyoming has come calling. But when she sees her grandmother holding hands with a gentleman in the local tearoom, Ernie enlists her best friend, Jack Randolph to teach her how to attract a man.
Friendship into Something More?
Jack would do anything to help his beautiful friend, even teach her how to catch a man. Between secret pen pals, match-making grandparents and passionate kisses, they can’t help but wonder if they’re been caught in their own trap!
Up ahead of Jack on the sidewalk, a small crowd of men had gathered, stealing glances into the shiny glass window of Maisy’s dress shop. As he drew closer, Jack smiled. “Window shopping this morning, gentlemen?”
A man he recognized as Boyd McCullough turned and nodded to him. “Hi, Jack. We were just passing by and noticed some of the ladies were trying on their dresses for the Christmas Ball. It’s a mighty pretty sight.”
“I don’t doubt it but don’t you think the ladies might be a little upset with you gawking at them like that?” Jack asked, standing toward the back of the crowd. “In my experience, women like to reveal as few secrets as possible.”
“Maybe so,” a man Jack didn’t know piped in. “But these girls are just primping and preening around like pretty little peacocks. It does a man good to remember such a sight when the snows set in.”
The man had a point. Socials of any kind were a rarity in the winter months with snow and sheet baring down on them. The memory of a pretty girl in a fancy dress could keep a man warm through the long, bitter cold nights.
Maybe, it was time he met his pen pal. The Christmas ball would be the perfect place for such an event. Enough people around to guard her reputation, yet a quiet stall to finally talk to her face to face. The thought of seeing her, of waltzing her around the dance floor coaxed a smile out of him. If all goes well, he might just be a married man by Christmas morning. For some reason, the thought didn’t give him the contentment he’d thought it would.
A flash of blue out of the corner of his eye caught Jack’s attention. He turned just as a woman stepped up on a square box in the center of the room. Her back faced him but even from this angle, he could tell the crushed velvet was made for her. Her chestnut hair hung lose, curling at her small waist, her bare arms, pink and cream though Jack thought he saw one or two stray freckles.
The man next to him elbowed him in the side. “The mayor’s right pretty, isn’t she?”
Ernie? Jack narrowed his gaze at the same time she pivoted around to face him. Dear goodness, the man was right! It was Ernie, only not any semblance of the girl he’d known most of his life. This was a woman, a beauty beyond comparison and yet, his dearest friend on earth.
And every man in town was eying her right now.
Jack’s gut clinched as he looked over the hodge-podge of trail-hardened cowboys and two-bit farmers. Not one of them was good enough for her. Oh, they might flatter her or try to gain her favor, but they didn’t know about her sharp wit or how she liked a cup of chocolate when she started to read a new book or how she took her work so seriously. Jack knew all those things about her and more. As far as he was concerned, Ernie was his.
His? Jack blinked. When had he started thinking of Ernie as more than a friend? When had he not? She’d always been especially dear to him, the best friend anyone could ever have but now, he wanted more. That’d he’d almost kissed her had surprised him, almost as much as the fact that he still wanted to, more than just once.
Maybe for a lifetime.
Want to read more? You can buy Mistletoe Courtship Here
Multi-published author Patty Smith Hall lives near the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Danny. When she’s not writing on her back porch, she’s spending time with her family or working in her vegetable garden.
Social Media: Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/authorpattysmithhall
You may not be aware of this, but Shakespeare talked a lot about gardens in his plays. There isn’t a lot of historical information about Shakespeare outside of his life in London, but his references to so many garden plants leads us to believe that he knew a lot about plants. His detailed descriptions about the plants–from the way they smelled to their myths, meanings and special powers–are evident in the lines from his plays. It’s even believed that he may have taken poetic liberties with the climates where the plants grew and even created new plants much like he created new words.
Take a look at some of the flowery lines from Shakespeare’s plays and some pictures from Disney World’s Shakespeare Garden featured in 2013 Garden Show and you’ll see what I mean.
Violets in the knot garden (lower center)
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk roses and eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Start with a bust of the bard. If you want to add a tree, consider a white mulberry. The playwright planted one in 1602 in his Stratford-upon-Avon Garden. Add the flowers and herbs mentioned above or choose from any of the flowers Shakespeare mentioned in his plays. You can reread his works or do an internet search. Shrubs played an important part in 16th century gardens of his day, so consider ringing your flowerbeds with a low growing shrub like that pictured in the first photo in the blog or add some on the perimeter of the garden.
For those of you who don’t want to explore Shakespeare, here are some herbs and flowers you can choose from that Shakespeare mention in his plays:
And if a few weeds creep in, don’t worry. Shakespeare mentioned them in his plays, too. Just follow his advice on what to do:
Dandelions in the phlox (in my garden)
“Now this is the spring, and weeds are shallow rooted. Suffer them now, and they’ll o’er grow the garden and choke the herbs for want of husbandry.” Queen Margaret Mary in Henry the Sixth, Part III.
Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing and flowers. You’ll find plants in many of her books. Her romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama features flowers in several scenes.
Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.
Flowers and gardens play a part in Catherine’s award-winning romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama. Take a peek at the blurb, then hop on over to Amazon for a sample read or just buy the book.
By Catherine Castle
Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.
The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.
A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.
This dish, with fresh cucumbers from the garden, was a summer favorite in my childhood home. Mom always peeled her cucumbers, but I like to use organic English cucumbers when I can get them and leave on the outer skin. It adds color to the dish. You can choose to use non-organic cucumbers and leave on the peel, but sure to wash them thoroughly to remove pesticide residue.
After you’ve eaten the first batch of cucumbers and onions, don’t throw away the liquid. You can cut more vegetables and place them in the leftover vinegar water. Chill and serve the next day.
This recipe doubles easily for company.
While you’re waiting for the flavors to blend pick up a copy of Catherine’s multi-award-winning inspirational romantic suspense The Nun and the Narc.
By Catherine Castle
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Today on Musings from a Writer’s Brain, author Joanna White is sharing some writerly thoughts on challenges we authors face. Can you guess what our biggest challenge is?
By Joanna White
What’s the biggest challenge writers face in the actual writing process (not counting editing and marketing your book, which are the two biggest for me)?
Procrastination. Oh man, this is so bad sometimes. There are all kinds of memes and jokes about it on the internet but every writer has to admit to procrastinating at some point or another and some do it too much.
So how do we overcome this issue? How do we sit down and write a book? The advice is just as simple as it is difficult: Sit down and write!
Sometimes, I know it’s an effort to put words to paper and invent new things, ideas, and end up with a story at the end of it. It can also be mentally exhausting sometimes. That sucks, but if you’re ever going to be a serious writer or a passionate one, then you just have to force yourself to do it.
What works for me (keep in mind, everyone is different) is setting a goal of a daily word count. I’ll say, “I’m going to write one chapter every day for this book.” With some books it’s “one chapter and each one is at least 1,000 words long.” Lately, it’s been at least 4 to 6000 words every day. Set a goal, do it, and try to at least write once every day. Even if your goal is “I’ll write a paragraph or one scene every day.” That’s still better than before. Don’t give up!
Keep trying and if you fail, don’t beat yourself up about it. The only way to fail at writing is to never write the book. If you wait for the perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done (from the Bible). And that’s also true with writing. If you always procrastinate, then your book is never going to get written.
Procrastination is a writer’s worse enemy but it can be overcome. You just have to set goals and have the determination to finish your story and never, ever give up.
While you’re procrastinating about writing or something else, check out the blurb from Joanna’s Christian Fantasy Shifter, with a little bit of clean romance. Shifter comes out July 1st, but there’s no need to procrastinate on a purchase because you can preorder now at Amazon and have the book delivered to your Kindle when it’s released.
By Joanna White
Beroan is a shapeshifter, part of the dragon clan. His clan’s Alpha, Sirath, wants to watch the world burn.
For ten long years Sirath has attacked villages, killing thousands of humans and burning towns to the ground. Beroan has had enough, but his resistance will only end in suffering.
Nsi is a human living in a small village with her grandmother and cousin. Her ignorance about the existence of shifters won’t protect her for long. Her family was killed in a dragon attack when she was younger, and now dragons have come again. Now she will stop at nothing until the dragon shifters are stopped, to save humans from suffering the same fate as her family.
Together, Nsi and Beroan will risk everything to save humanity from Sirath.
Darkness is spreading through the galaxy, Corrupting one world after another, and now it has come for theirs. Sirath already belongs to the Corruption of darkness.
He will not stop until he burns down the world and leaves it covered in fire and ash.
Joanna White earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. The Valiant series is her first published work, which first started off being updated on a website called Wattpad. She lives in the countryside of Missouri with her husband, where she continues to work on her other upcoming books. Writing has been a passion since she was ten, when she wrote her first book. Ever since then, writing has become her life outside of her family, God, and being a nerd.
Today’s Tasty Tuesdays recipe comes from author Gail Sattler. Although the recipe bears an unusual name, Gail assures me it’s a homemade Hamburger Helper recipe, developed by her mother-in-law. Gail didn’t forward a photo, but says if you close your eyes and think of Hamburger Helper, you’ve got it. Enjoy!
This is a recipe that was originally a throw-together created by my mother-in-law. She owned and operated a small corner grocery store, back in the days before superstores were open late. Basically, it’s Hamburger Helper without the box. She had three growing boys to feed, and often not a lot of time to cook. For a big part of the summer my father-in-law was out of town on construction jobsites, so this recipe would also suit a single mother. I remember the first time I made this for my husband, he was floored. We still think of her every time I make this.
While you’re waiting for this cook, take a peek at the blurb for Gail’s Romantic Suspense The Other Neighbor.
Cheryl Richardson doesn’t know that her landlord who owns the other half of the duplex where she lives is plotting to build a bomb—but the FBI does. In order to discover what her landlord is planning to blow up, agent Steve Gableman moves next door to get closer to Cheryl to learn what she knows, namely the target and motive, so they can stop it. But when Steve involves himself in every area of her life, including her dog, will Cheryl be the one to explode?
You can find The Other Neighbor on Amazon
Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver BC Canada, where you don’t have to shovel rain. When she’s not madly writing (Gail Sattler has over 40 published novels and novellas, plus a few works of non-fiction) she plays bass for an Elton John tribute band as well as a community jazz band, plus she plays piano for a smaller private jazz band. When she’s not writing or making music (or at her day job) Gail likes to sit back and read a book written by someone else, along with a good cup of hot coffee.
By Gail Kittleson
After being gone for several months, I ventured into the gloom of our old-fashioned (a kind way of putting it) basement, a.k.a. cellar the other day. Certainly not a “finished” lower level, its limestone foundation has been added onto more than once.
I’ve forgotten what we were looking for, but here’s one item we found:
Yep, potatoes sprouted to kingdom come, and that was before we meandered further into the bowels of the cavern. For in an even darker room with windows at all, we found—voila!
These hungry-for-light specimens made the first two pails full look like youngsters. Our granddaughter, curious and scientific-minded student, exclaimed over these sprouts’ spectacular growth, and tweaked my imagination in the process. What IS it in a potato that seeks light so voraciously?
Onward to practical matters—shall we dig holes three and a half feet deep to plant our crop this year? But from the looks of the frozen landscape outdoors, that won’t be for at least two more weeks…definitely NOT the year to observe the old wives’ tale, “plant potatoes by Good Friday.” Not in Northern Iowa. Not in 2018.
So what would you gardeners do with these eager-to-grow survivors? We can still cook some of the veggies, however wizened they may appear. But should we snip off these sprouts at the usual length of a few inches? Will they still produce a crop?
I thought I’d share this deep philosophical question with Catherine’s green-thumbed followers — HELP!
Iowa born and bred, Gail spends the worst of winter in the Arizona mountains, where she and another author/college writing instructor facilitate a writers’ retreat. Iowa’s seasonal changes and growing grandchildren keep Gail and her husband active. This year, to celebrate their fortieth anniversary, they’re heading to England to tour WWII sites and add novel fodder to Gail’s Forties’ Women’s Fiction.
You can find Gail at her website and on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon Author Central.
by Gail Kittleson
From Book 1: Pearl Harbor attacked! The United States is at war. But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage on her when his father’s stroke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God’s punishment.
When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits. Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?
Women of the Heartland can be found at Amazon
Today’s Wednesday Writers’ guest is bestselling author Amanda Cabot. Amanda will be talking about her book A Borrowed Dream, the second book in her Cimarron Creek historical trilogy. Welcome, Amanda.
The first full day of spring – what a perfect day to talk about A Borrowed Dream. Though the story stretches over a longer period than one season (it begins in January 1881 and ends in July of that year), perhaps more than any book I’ve written, it embodies all that I love about spring.
Those of you who’ve read my interviews over the years know that when someone asks about favorite seasons, I answer without hesitation: spring. For me, spring is a season of rebirth, reawakening, and – most of all – hope. And, oh, do Austin and Catherine need hope! Though she’s found unexpected satisfaction in her position as Cimarron Creek’s schoolteacher, Catherine’s personal life is dismal. Her mother’s death at the hands of the town’s incompetent doctor has left her with a deep-seated distrust of all physicians, and the fact that the man she’d once expected to marry was so easily infatuated by another woman has caused her to believe that she’s not destined for marriage.
Austin has only one hope – that he can keep his daughter safe from a truly despicable man. That’s why he fled Philadelphia, put aside his rewarding career as a surgeon, and established himself as Cimarron Creek’s newest rancher. While his brain tells him that his daughter needs a mother, his heart won’t let him make the same mistake he did the first time. No, sirree, marriage is not for him.
But as spring comes to the Texas Hill Country and the bluebonnets carpet the countryside, both Austin and Catherine experience a reawakening. And when a woman with a mysterious past comes to town, their lives are changed in ways neither one of them could have imagined.
I really enjoyed writing this book, although I’ll admit that some of the scenes wrenched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. But even as I was putting those difficult scenes on paper, I kept reminding myself that hope would triumph, that hearts would reawaken, and that Austin and Catherine would find their happily-ever-after. That’s the promise of spring.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s your favorite season and why? When you’re choosing a book, does the season when it takes place affect your choices? Why or why not? Lastly, have I intrigued you with Catherine and Austin’s story? I hope so!
by Amanda Cabot
There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . .
Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor’s treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, A Stolen Heart, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.
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