Thursday, July 25, 2013

Becalmed and Cooking Up Love -- Two Great Reads from Two Great Author Friends!

I am so excited to share news two of my favorite author friends have had their books come out this month. And I've had the privilege of reading both.

Becalmed by Normandie Fischer

 I already gave a strong pitch for this book on my Facebook Page this morning. I cannot say enough about this story. I took it to bed with me every night to read before lights out. I've not had time to read much during the day this summer, but knowing I had the book with its delicious characters waiting for me at bedtime, kept me looking forward to turning in.

If you love sailing, you will enjoy this book. But you don't need to know anything about the sport. Just enjoy the ride as you sail out to sea with Tadie (it rhymes wih Sadie) the heroine. But Tadie's sail hits some rough seas when she encounters Will, the hero. He's a widower with the cutest little redheaded daughter named Jilly. She's a bit precocious, but not obnoxiously so.

It's easy to see Tadie and Will are made for each other, but they're both too blinded by life to notice. How in the world will they ever get together?

I'm not going to tell you, but I will say reading this book is like enjoying a lazy hazy trip to the Carolinas and settling back with a glass of sweet tea and one of Tadie's cookies.

I was sure sorry when I read the last page. Not because of a dissatisfying ending, but because I had to say good-bye to the characters I'd come to love so much.

Watch out for Normandie Fischer. She's a new fiction author we haven't seen the last of. I'm already chomping at the bit for her next book. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, both on line, and at many of your favorite bookstores.

Cooking Up Love by Cynthia Hickey

 I first read Cynthia's new book when she submitted it to our critique group. I read the first three chapters, and then couldn't wait for her to send more. It's a fun romance that also teaches the reader about the Harvey Girls. I'd heard of Fred Harvey restaurants that used to be scattered around the U.S. before all the fast food restaurants took over. People knew that when you ate at a Fred Harvey you would get good food at a great price.

What I didn't know was that for many years Fred Harvey fed multitudes of train passengers as they rode the rails, crisscrossing the U.S. The trains would stop to refuel and while they were doing that, the passengers would file into a clean comfortable restaurant to dine on food they'd already selected from a menu earlier during the train ride. Everything had to be done precisely and quickly as the train had a schedule to keep.

Harvey Girls were held to strict rules which included no fraternizing with fellow employees of the opposite sex.  Tabitha McClelland knows this, but wouldn't you know that on her train ride to begin training as a Harvey Girl she meets handsome Fred Harvey chef, Adam Foster. Well, she doesn't have any intention of getting involved with a man, so no loss. She wants to travel and live an exciting life.

Adam is falling hard for Tabby and isn't going to take no for an answer. Other girls are angling for Adam's attention when the head waitress, Miss O'Connor (whom I picured looking a bit like O'Brian, the maid on Downton Abby) while all Adam wants is Tabby.

Adam has a plan to settle down in California. Can he convince Tabby that his plan won't be perfect unless she joins him as his wife?

I've loved all of Cynthia's historicals, but she's hit a winner with this series. A short fun, romantic read. Great to take along to the beach or pool...or just lazing in a hammock on a summer's afternoon. You can find Cooking Up Love on Amazon, iTunes,, as well as other sites.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Morning Walk Blessing

Since I attended my church's Saturday evening service last night, I stayed home this morning and savored a long special time with God. Since the day was heating up fast, as soon as I finished my Quiet Time I hustled out to walk before I could talk myself out of it because it was too hot.

My condo complex is adjacent to a small strip mall with a rather eclectic mix of businesses. There's an Italian restaurant, a dentist, a nail salon, a magic shop, a tanning spa, and a bakery, followed by a veterinarian's office and a hair salon. And bringing up the rear is a dry cleaners.

I always love going by the dry cleaners because the owner is often there, sitting  in the early morning light, reading his Bible. The first time I noticed him, I stuck my head in the door and let him know I'm also a Christ-follower and we rejoiced in the way Christians often do when first meeting like that. Since then, whenever I see him there I wave.

Today I walked by, knowing he wouldn't be there because, after all, it's Sunday. He wasn't, but this Bible was--open and ready to enrich, bless, and teach. I couldn't help it. I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture!

As the camera clicked, a black SUV pulled up and the dry cleaner man climbed out.

Caught red-handed.

He  must think I'm casing his shop or something. I laughed and told him I loved how he left his Bible open and ready for him to dive in, and I wanted a picture of it. He laughed with me (whew!) and said he just worked out and had stopped by to read the Bible and then clean up for church.

I didn't look at the picture I took until a little while ago and I still smile. I wish I could flip through the pages, see his notes or what has been underlined. But I probably wouldn't understand much anyway. It's likely written in Korean. And that warms my heart even more. Many language groups all following the same Jesus and He hears all our prayers no matter what language.

It was an awesome way to begin my Sunday.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Let's Remember Old Glory on this Special Day!

On this Fourth of July Morning during my walk I passed a house that had about three or four dozen small American flags lining both sides of its circular driveway, and another large flag waved over their backyard swimming pool. I wanted to stop and tell the owners, "Thank you."

Too many times anymore I see the American flag disrespected. People wear it like clothing, and in one recent case a website suggested using it as a tablecloth for your Fourth of July celebration. Even worse, some have stomped on it or burned it.

Our forefathers fought for this country and many gave their lives to give us the land they called the land of the free and the home of the brave.

How many people today can't even say the Pledge of Allegiance or know the words of the Star Spangled Banner? Read the words of the Pledge of Allegiance think about them for a moment.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

On this day I think of my ancestor John Bancroft who fought in the Revolutionary War. I remember the day my cousin Mary and I found his grave site in a small cemetery in Springfield OH and we both were struck with how he fought for the country we've both been blessed to be raised in and enjoy the benefits of what he fought for. And what our military fights for today.

I'm not against picnics, parades and firework shows on the Fourth of July at all, but let's not forget the true reason for this day and pray that God would continue bless this country as he has in the past.

Happy July Fourth everyone!!!!