The Finish Line

On Saturday, my family and I walked in the Garden Spot 5k walk/run race. My hometown’s Chamber of Commerce organized the first race in 1982, and it’s evolved into a fun community tradition.

This year, I challenged myself not to compete, to enjoy the company and the journey. Sadly, I failed. I’d talk and walk for a few minutes; then I’d start speeding up, forgetting my resolve. I walked past my great-niece and her aunt.  If my sister hadn’t called out their names, I would have walked by without a word.

 

Thankfully, my concentration was back to people when I approached Mr. Bill, a ninety-plus-year-old member of my church family. He came out to encourage the racers, and he offered a drink or a spritz from his water-hose. It was hot and humid, and I enjoyed the race the most when I slowed down and focused on the people around me.

My life is like that too. I can lose sight of what’s significant as I strive to be a successful writer. I’m preparing for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference, and the pressure is building. When I’m at a conference and pitching my manuscripts to a publisher, it’s easy to forget it’s God’s job to determine who will read the words I write. My novels may never be published and this little blog might be the only words I write that will reach someone.

Maybe, God called me to write so that I’ll spend more time with him. Time spent in scripture and in prayer is essential if I am to write words that might lead someone to Jesus. And that’ the only reason I write stories and blog posts. If my efforts can be a conduit to help one person come to know Jesus, it’s enough of a reason to persevere on this marathon writing journey. If this sounds confusing to you, let me explain.

  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
  • Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross to pay our sin debt. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

 Jesus Chris paid the price for my sins, and for yours. To be REDEEMED, you must first admit that you are a sinner. Second, repent and turn from sin and turn to Jesus. Third, Confess that Jesus is Lord of your life ask Jesus to enter into your heart.

  • If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

If you have questions, please message me. I may not have all the answers, but I know where to look. The Holy Bible.

This is the most important decision you can make, to turn from sin, and to turn to Jesus. I hope an pray everyone I meet on my journey has REDEEMED stamped on their souls when they cross the finish line of their race.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1 ESV

 

Book Review – “A Glitter of Gold”

One of the best gifts from my writing journey is the friendships I’ve made over the years. Liz Johnson and I met eight years ago when we both were members of a little writing group called the Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Even though I live in Kentucky, Nashville is only a forty-five-minute drive for me on a Saturday morning.

When I first met Liz, she’d only published a couple of books, but today, she is a best-selling author with a dozen successful books published. Liz is still the same sweet encouraging friend, and she’s very humble about her writing success.

Today, Liz lives in Phoenix, AZ so we don’t often get the opportunity to visit. I can’t wait to catch up with her in September in San Antonio, TX, where she’ll be teaching at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference. Many authors don’t take the time to attend writers’ conferences once they hit the best-sellers list, but not Liz. She’ll be teaching classes this year, as she did last year. I appreciate her willingness to share her time and talent with other writers.

Her newest book, A Glitter of Gold releases today, and it’s my favorite of all Liz’s book. If you enjoyed the movie, “National Treasure” I think you’ll enjoy A Glitter of Gold.  There’s romance and a treasure hunt, The story is a contemporary romance, however,  the added bonus romance revealed through an ancient diary’s journal entries will delight readers who love historical fiction.

Carter, the hero of the story, is a museum director with a family mystery. Anne, the heroine, is almost broke and needs to discover the lost treasure to save her business. But to do so, she must trust Carter, which seems impossible because Anne carries the baggage of being deceived by a man from her past.

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’m not going to say anything else about the book except the setting is beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Liz always researches the locations of her book, and you’ll feel as if you’ve walked the streets of Savannah through Liz’s writing.

For a chance to win a free copy and a Glitter of Gold and the book bag in the photo, subscribe to my blog. I’ll draw a name from my subscribers on Friday, August 9, 2019 and announce the winner on Facebook.

Happy Reading!

New Releases in Christian Fiction – August 2019


Contemporary Romance:

The Butterfly Recluse by Therese Heckenkamp — Lila finds solace in her sheltered world by raising butterflies and surrounding herself with their gentle beauty. They’re all she needs—until a motorcycle-riding stranger roars up her driveway, invading her safe haven, throwing her life off-kilter, and forcing her to question everything. What exactly is he after, and what is he not telling her? In one intense night of desperation and revelation, Lila must confront her darkest fears—and hopefully discover that with faith and courage, shattered dreams can be restored, damaged hearts can love again, and broken wings can heal . . . maybe even fly. (Contemporary Romance from Ivory Tower Press)

A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson — Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned. Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man. (Contemporary Romance from Revell-A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery — She’s home again, but not for long… Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction:

Grace in Deep Waters by Christine Dillon — William Macdonald is at the pinnacle of his career. Pastor of a growing megachurch and host of a successful national radio programme. Clever and respected, he’s a man with everything, including a secret. His wife has left him and he can’t risk anyone finding out. Blanche Macdonald is struggling. Her once rock-solid marriage is showing cracks. She promised to love her husband for better or for worse, but does loving always mean staying? Blanche desires to put God first. Not William. Not her daughter. Not herself. When is a marriage over? When do you stand and fight? (Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)

When Mountains Sing by Stacy Monson — Mikayla Gordon loves nothing more than sleeping under the stars, reeling in the “big one,” and long hikes in the wilderness. A medical crisis reveals a 30-year-old secret that turns everything she’s known and believed upside down, unraveling her dreams and her identity. In search of answers, she follows a trail from Minnesota to Colorado and discovers more unwelcome secrets even as she falls in love with the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and a wilderness camp leader who shares the greatest secret of all. Knowing her life can never go back to what it was, she must make decisions that will impact far more than just her future. (Contemporary from His Image Publications)

All In by L. K. Simonds — Cami Taylor: a blackjack dealer, a bestselling author, and a fraud. Cami’s boyfriend, Joel, loves her in spite of her flaws. He wants to marry her, buy a house on Long Island, and raise a family–a life that’s a million miles from Cami’s idea of happiness. Her therapist suggests compromise and trust, but Cami bolts like a deer. She breaks off the relationship and launches on a new quest for happiness, not knowing that a nasty surprise waits around the corner. What follows is a fight to the death. Who will be the one left standing? (Contemporary from Morgan James Fiction)


Historical:

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano — A rag girl accepts an invitation to become the lady she’s always dreamed of being, but some dreams turn out to be nightmares. (Historical from Revel – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Historical Romance:

Lady and the Lawman by Crystal L. Barnes, Vickie McDonough, Annette OHare, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Four historic stories of lawmen and the ladies who love them. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Farmer’s Daughter by Mary Davis, Kelly Eileen Hake, Tracie J. Peterson, Jill Stengl, and Susan May Warren — Enjoy five historical novels by some of Christian fiction’s bestselling authors. Meet daughters of prairie farms from Montana south to Kansas who find love in the midst of turbulent life changes. Marty’s nieces are kidnapped. Rosalind’s town is overrun by a railroad company. Amy’s jealousy comes between her and her twin. Beulah’s answer is needed to a marriage proposal. Lilly’s choice puts her at odd with her neighbors. Into each of their lives rides a man who may only make their situations worse. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Cowboys by Sandra Merville Hart, Cindy Ervin Huff, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Linda W. Yezak — Taming the West–one heart at a time. Healing Heart: A physically scarred cowboy finds solace with a ranch girl who is hiding from her past. Becoming Brave: A cattle drover wants to get his boss’s heard safely through Indian Territory…as soon he figures out why a bloodstained woman is holding a gun on him. Trails End: Waiting for his boss’s cattle to sell, a cowboy takes a kitchen job at a restaurant where the beautiful and prickly owner adds spice to his workday. Loving a Harvey Girl: To improve the local preacher’s opinion of career women, a Harvey Girl makes it her mission to redeem a wayward cowboy, but finds herself longing for a husband, hearth, and home. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Lost in the Storm by Tamera Lynn Kraft — Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job. Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist wants him to reveal what he’s been hiding. He’d prefer to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind. Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried? (Historical Romance from Mt Zion Ridge Press)

Love’s Allegiance by Linda Shenton Matchett — Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

The Brightest Hope by Naomi Musch — Five years after the Great War, Holly Allen is a well-adjusted war widow with a knack for running the family press. She’s over the days of waiting for a white knight to ride in and sweep her away from her cares. Besides, if Hugh Phelps is a knight, he’s certainly a black one—with his prison record, personal demons, and the ghosts of war that haunt him. When Holly hires Hugh, despite her reservations, it isn’t long before she sees the man he could really be, and as Hugh finds his niche at Allen’s Printing, he finds his lady boss equally appealing. Despite the attraction, however, Holly won’t let herself fall for a faithless man, and Hugh isn’t on gracious terms with God. Then, just when new beginnings seem possible, old heartaches from the war come calling. Now it might only be in letting go of everything dear that they both discover what real love is. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Annabelle’s Joy by Betty Thomason Owens — She’s waited too long. When Tom proposed last year, Annabelle wasn’t ready to open her heart to another man. Pain still held a thin crust around it. Time has healed her heart, but with a new woman in town, one who clearly has her sights set on Tom, does it matter if Annabelle’s heart is ready to love again? Folks in town are keeping a close eye on their pharmacist, hoping to be the first to hear the good news. He’s been courting the widow Cross for nigh on two years now. Annabelle Cross better wake up and put her dancing shoes on. Mr. Tom is prime real estate. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)


Mystery/Cozy Mystery:

Hidden Secrets by Janet Sketchley — When an online vendetta against the Green Dory Inn escalates to physical threats, a cryptic message about a tunnel points to the property’s original owner, a notorious Prohibition-era sea captain rumoured to have left hidden wealth. (Mystery, Independently Published)

Murder at Rendsburg Resort by C. L. Wells — Trapped in a remote resort with a killer on the loose, the body count piling up, and no one else to save them, mystery writer Jill Pemberton must help find the killer before they claim their next victim. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)


Romantic Suspense:

Two Steps Forward by Luana Ehrlich — When CIA operative Titus Ray has an unexpected encounter with a Jihadi terrorist while he and Nikki are on their honeymoon in Morocco, he assumes it’s a coincidence, but when they travel to Israel for the second half of their honeymoon and encounter him again, he takes action, which takes him to Baghdad to prevent the assassination of a high-profile government official. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Edge of Truth by Kimberly Rose Johnson — The DEA sends two of its best agents, Kara Nelson and Jeff Clark, to Central Oregon, to shut down a major drug ring. Kara and Jeff usually work alone, but Operation Trail Ride throws them undercover together in a way neither of them expected. A notorious Miami drug lord wants Kara dead. Can these agents pull off the greatest acting job of their lives—and manage the sparks flying between them? Or will they die trying? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Speculative:

Redemption by Jacques R. Pye — Sterling Newman and Armena Sandal face death as they struggle to help the Alesandrans and the Kirilleans combat a force seeking the destruction of both worlds. (Speculative, Independently Published)


Young Adult:

Shards of Light by Susan Miura — Sometimes the pieces of a shattered dream can transform into something extraordinary. (Young Adult from Vinspire Publishing)

New Releases in Christian Fiction – July 2019

July 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.


Contemporary Romance:

Hometown Hope by Laurel Blount — In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Heart Surrendered by Joy K. Massenburge — Since her teens, pastor’s daughter Sharonda Peterson devoted her life to church service and solitude after the one night she gave Carl Ray Everhart everything. Sobered by a near-death experience, prodigal Carl returns home from an acting and singing career to serve as the worship leader at Sheronda’s church, and she finds that it takes every ounce of her resolve to resist his pursuits … not to mention memories that threaten to overturn the delicate balance she’s created. Can she finally surrender the one thing she’s tried all these years to protect: her heart? (Contemporary Romance from Harambee Press [Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas])

Starting Anew by Melanie D. Snitker — He’s afraid to trust. She has a secret that could change everything between them. Will they let go of their fear, or allow it to rob them of their chance at happiness? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Historical:

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller — Can shy, sweet Cecilia overcome her family’s prejudice to see a future with the recently returned prodigal son from next door? (Historical from Kregel Publications)

Benaiah: Might Man of God by PH Thompson — A novel of Biblical, historical fiction about Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men, examining the premise: What happens when the king’s most obedient soldier is issued a wicked command? (Historical/Biblical from Word Alive Press)


Historical Romance:

Waltz with Destiny by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield — When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. All they knew was that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world. (Historical Romance from CrossRiver Media Group)

Thimbles and Threads by Mary Davis, Grace Hitchcock, Suzanne Norquist, and Liz Tolsma — Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When Tilly, a schoolteacher; Alice, a bridal shop owner; Sarah, a seamstress; and Melissa, a rag doll designer, put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to the surprising gift of love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Refiner’s Fire by J.M. Hochstetler
Will the promise their hearts cling to finally find joyful fulfillment, or will war’s refining fire separate them forever? (Historical Romance from Sheaf House Publishers)

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson — To escape an arranged marriage, Cassie Kendrick enlists in the Union army as a man, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer. Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase past guilt, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships along the way, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding. Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

The Express Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse — Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Legacy Rejected by Robin Patchen — She’s not giving up her home, no matter what threats come against her. Realtor Ginny Lamont’s family has abandoned her, leaving her with nothing but a warning that she’s in danger. But Ginny’s built a home in New Hampshire. After a childhood of nomadic living, she’s not running again, certainly not because of some nameless, baseless threat. Real estate developer Kade Powers is thrilled to go out with Nutfield’s beautiful new real estate agent. But the prowler they surprise after their first date offers a glimpse into Ginny’s past and the legacy of lies her parents left her with. She brings a mystery, one he’s determined to help her solve. With Kade’s help, Ginny searches for the truth of her parents’ criminal activity while her enemies close in. When mobsters show up in her quaint New England town, will she find a way to bring them down, or will she lose the home—and the man—she’s come to love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)


Suspense:

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig — Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets–and dangers–never before seen on earth. Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them. Iskra “Viorica” Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most–freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of their past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction. (Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])


Speculative:

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin — Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself. The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent. (Speculative from Enclave Publishing)

Friendship: When Opposites Attract By Tara Johnson

Peanut butter and jelly. Tarzan and Jane. Salt and pepper. Tom and Jerry. Some things just belong together, even as extremes on opposite ends of the spectrum.

That’s the great thing about friendship. Relationships with our polar opposite sharpens our attitudes, challenges our thinking, and carves out bonds that last a lifetime.

Such is the case for two characters in my latest novel Where Dandelions Bloom.

Cassie Kendrick is on the run from her abusive father. The only way she sees to escape his reach is to enlist as a soldier in the Union army. The rigors of war—drilling, fatigue, the deception—all threaten to crush her, until she finds a soul as lonely as her own…a nine-year old boy named Jonah Phifer.

Orphaned and alone, Jonah has been thrust into the heart of the conflict as an errand boy for a Union commander. While Cassie (Thomas) is serious and thoughtful, Jonah is mischievous and outgoing. They both protect each other from harm, as well as annoying each other to distraction.

And isn’t that what friends do best?

Here’s an excerpt:

“My name’s Thomas Turner.” She stuck out her hand, and after a moment’s hesitation, the scruffy boy offered his own sunburned paw.

“Jonah Phifer.”

“Nice to meet you, Jonah.”

Grunt.

“Where you from?”

“Missouri.” He wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “You?”

“Michigan.”

Silence.

The gruff tone melted away as Jonah blinked at her in the light of the dancing fire. “Does it get cold up there?”

“Very.”

Blond hair peeked out from underneath the brim of his kepi. “We get some snow, but I’ve always wanted to see a great big bully snow. Snow so deep you can build a house out of it and live like them Eskimos I’ve heard about.”

“We get snow deep enough to do that.”

His chest puffed out. “Of course, I’m used to the heat and humidity too. Our summers are tough. They‘ll make a man out of ya.” Shooting her a haughty glance, he lifted a brow. “Something Michigan types don’t know much about.”

So much pride packed into such a tiny body. She kept her face serious. “You’re right. I’m not used to this heat. I feel sticky all the time.”

Jonah barked a sudden laugh. “My buddy Wes says stepping outside in the air during July is like getting licked in the face by a slobbering cow.”

Cassie’s chest bloomed with pleasure as she laughed along with him. What a funny little boy.

“How old are you, Jonah?”

“I’m ten.” He lifted his chin as if daring her to refute him.

Cassie grunted. “Hmm. I would have guessed thirteen or fourteen.” A wispy smile of pleasure hovered over Jonah’s mouth. “What’s your job, soldier?”

” He frowned. “I was wanting to be a powder monkey for the Federal Navy. Trained for it and everything, but I couldn’t get my sea legs.” He sighed melodramatically. “I sure was looking forward to blowing stuff up.”

She suppressed the laughter bubbling for release. “Sounds like an interesting job . . . if you take away the queasy stomach.”

Jonah tossed a rock into the fire and smiled with satisfaction when it made the logs shift, causing the wood to snap and whistle. “I like that sound. What makes burning wood whistle like that?”

“Don’t know.”

“Me neither.”

Silence.

“How did you manage to enlist? Being underage and all?”

Jonah sniffed, his face turning dark. “Schoolmaster Howe encouraged the recruitment officers to give me a try. They take on drummer boys, so why not?” His little jaw tightened. “I’m an orphan.” He turned to her with a scowl. “That don’t make me lonely or sad or anything like that, you know.”

“Of course not.”

Straightening his spindly shoulders, Jonah scratched the straw-colored hair crammed under his kepi. “No, Howe thought he was getting rid of me, but what he didn’t know was that I hoped to join up. I wanted to join up.” Jonah glowered. “I was thrilled to get away from that old man.”

“I take it you two didn’t see eye to eye.”

“No, sir.” Jonah shook his head. “He hated me and I hated him.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “Don’t know. He called me a poor little orphan boy a lot, and that made me fighting mad. Also called me the devil’s son from time to time.” Jonah turned to Cassie with an incredulous glare. “

She somehow managed to keep a straight face. “Doesn’t make much sense.”

“’Xactly. He sure could get mad. Like the last day, he took a switch to me. I asked him a question and called him ‘Teacher.’ He didn’t like that none. He wanted us to call him Schoolmaster Howe.” Jonah snorted. “He stopped in his tracks and said, ‘Mr. Phifer, can you be so kind as to call me by my respectful name?’ So I says, ‘Of course, Schoolmaster Howe-’d-he-get-so-ugly-and-mean.’”

It took all of Cassie’s willpower not to burst into gales of laughter.

“Old Man Howe like to have whipped me raw that day. So, you see, when he was happy to recommend me as fit to serve, I was more than happy to oblige him. The captains here drill us until I’m bored out of my mind, but at least they don’t whip me or call me the devil’s son.”

Keeping her smile in check, Cassie nodded. “Well, I’m glad you’re here. Say, I’ve got a group of friends I’d like to introduce you to. We’re gonna play some cards before bed. You want to join in?”

Jonah’s slow manner spoke of reluctance, but there was no hiding the excited pleasure that filled his eyes. “I reckon that’d be okay.”

“I appreciate it.”

They stood and walked side by side.

“I like you, Private Turner. You don’t jaw too much at all and that’s nice.”

Cassie winked. “Happy to oblige, Private Phifer.”

Question: Do you have a friend who is your polar opposite? How so? I would love to hear!

About the Author:

Tara Johnson is an author and speaker, and loves to write stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves.

Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as well as numerous other accolades. In addition to be published in a variety of digital and print magazines, she has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio, Enduring Word radio, television and podcasts. She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas.

 

Website: www.TaraJohnsonStories.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraLynnJohnsonAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tarajohnsonministry/

Tara Johnson
Author with Tyndale House Publishers
www.TaraJohnsonStories.com
Tyndale: https://www.tyndale.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraLynnJohnsonAuthor/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: @TaraMinistry
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tarajohnsonministry/

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson releases today, July 1, 2019. For a chance to win a free copy, subscribe to my blog.  I’ll draw a name from my subscribers and announce the winner on Facebook on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Book Review: Seven by Jen Hatmaker

I’ve been on a non-fiction reading binge for the last few weeks, and one book spoke to my heart regarding the excesses in my life. Jen Hatmaker’s Seven emphasizes how Americans are drowning in consumerism. She and a few of her close-knit friends conducted an experiment and committed to whittling down the excesses in their lives.

For one month, she only ate seven foods (sweet potatoes, apples, bread, eggs, avocadoes, chicken, and spinach). The next, month she wore the same seven articles of clothing; then she gave away seven things from her home every day for a month. Get the picture? The book opened my eyes to fasting from anything that’s distracting us from God.

The author emphasizes not to try all the crazy things she and her friends did, but to search our hearts and see how the Holy Spirit speaks to you.

I cleaned out my closet and made a trip to Goodwill. Big deal. I still have a walk-in closet and another double closet crammed with clothes. Maybe, it would be best not to mention I have a shoe closet.

Before reading this book, I hadn’t realized I have a shopping problem. I considered fasting from buying clothes for seven months. Thank goodness, my husband talked me out of that radical idea. He suggested I try to abstain for seven days. I rolled my eyes and committed to fast from buying things for myself for seven weeks, and today, I can breathe a sigh of relief. I made it. But really, how sad is it, I can’t commit to fast from shopping for seven months?

When I started my experiment, I asked God to show me how He wanted me to use the money I would have spent on all those clothes I don’t need.  On the first Sunday of the fast, I ran into someone taking a six-week leave-of-absence from her job to build a kitchen at an orphanage in Honduras. Then I had the opportunity to host five boys who are part of a singing group from Children of the World, an International Children’s Choir. These orphans travel across the U.S. performing and raising an awareness that other orphans need sponsors.  Check out: https://worldhelp.net

God made it clear to me I was to feed His sheep. It’s been eye-opening as to how little money it takes to help meet the basic needs of a child in an impoverished country.

I hope you’ll read Seven and consider if there are excesses your life. Reading Jen Hatmaker’s book reminded me I’m blessed far beyond anything I deserve. I am thankful and still considering other changes I need to make. There are too many to list in this short blog post.

As for me, I keep thinking about a handwritten sign I read in an orphanage in Niger. “In you, the Orphan finds mercy.” Hosea 14.3

New Releases in Christian Fiction – June 2019


Contemporary Romance:

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson — Can a woman whose life has been damaged by addiction trust her heart to a man in recovery? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)


General:

Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)

Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Historical:

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)


Historical Romance:

This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])


Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans. The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission. American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

The Last Chaplain by Carl M. White — At the request of Pastor John Grant, the last chaplain of the United States Senate, Lisa Smithy embarks on the adventure of a lifetime: find a former Senate staff member and convince him to reveal to a DC reporter the plot that led to Dr. Grant’s removal and the discrediting of his best friend, a United States Senator. From the South, to the West, to the Midwest, evil men are desperate to stop her, and romance surprisingly finds her. Can she bring together the former Senate staffer who knows all and the Washington reporter who can tell all, while eluding the men who would end it all? (Romantic Suspense from Austin Brothers Publishers)

Book Review – Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Becky Wade’s newest novel Sweet on You is the perfect escape for a lazy summer afternoon. Warning!  Do not open this book without first stocking up on your favorite chocolates. Britt, the adventurous heroine, is the owner of a small-town chocolate shop, and the descriptions of the experimental recipes will make you yearn for something decadent to eat.  I made the mistake of starting the book on a boat, in the middle of the lake. I’d only packed fruit and nuts for snacks. Oh, how I suffered.

I loved that Britt and Zander share a deep friendship (something both are afraid to risk for romance.)  The author wove layers of other romances throughout the story.  The bonus of a mystery surrounding the death of Zander’s uncle heightened my interest.

I highly recommend this book for a fun escape  into romance and mystery, set in Washington State.  Don’t forget to stock up on your favorite chocolate treats to savor as you turn the pages.

Becky was kind enough to share one of her favorite dessert recipes and included links to buy the ingredients if they’re not in your pantry. It’s the perfect recipe for May in Kentucky as the strawberries are fresh and wonderful.

I can’t wait to try it out.  Let me know if you do too.

Strawberry Blueberry Paleo/Vegan Cobbler

Filling:

Topping:

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. For this recipe, you can use one 9” baking dish or pie dish, or two smaller dishes, as I did.
  2. Place berries in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, then toss with the remaining filling ingredients until absorbed. Place in the baking dish or dishes evenly.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all topping ingredients (order doesn’t matter) and stir well until a thick batter forms.
  4. Using a spoon, dollop the topping evenly over the filling leaving space around the perimeter. Place dish or dishes on a large baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins or until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown.
  5. Serve warm or room temp topped with coconut vanilla ice cream if desired. Enjoy!

 

About the Author:

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She’s the Christy and Carol award-winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

New Releases in Christian Fiction – May 2019


Contemporary Romance:

When Love Won’t Wait by Roger E. Bruner — Laugh at Pastor Dan’s impulsive efforts to get out of the ministry and marry a woman of his own choosing by going against his domineering widowed mother’s wishes. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman — After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sing a New Song by Candee Fick — Songbird Gloria Houghton has always needed to be the center of attention, but the spotlight has shifted. Seeking fame and a fresh start, she finds a new stage in Branson, Missouri…only to risk being replaced by a manipulative rival. If Gloria can’t be the star, who is she? Jack-of-all-trades Nick Sherwood is just one leaf on a vast family tree that includes a restaurant chef, hotel owners, and even the headline act at a family-owned theater. He’s seen how fame can blind a person with jealousy and is more than content to stay in the background thank you very much. If only he wasn’t so fascinated–and irritated–by the newest addition to the staff. After a disaster of a first impression and financial difficulties land Gloria in the humblest of jobs—with Nick as her boss—it might be time for her to learn to sing a new song. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Pigtails and a Tool Belt by Janetta Fudge-Messmer — The Christian Romance where circumstances seem impossible. But with God – all things are possible. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner — After four years of dating Will, Cadie questions his love for her and sends him packing. Their breakup only makes Will more determined to become the man Cadie wants him to be. With the help of his work buddies and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, he devises a “foolproof” plan. What could possibly go wrong? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)


General Contemporary:

Over the Waters by Deborah Raney — As “Dr. Botox” to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan was shocked by the decision of his son, Joshua, to focus his medical talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua’s death, Max searches for resolution in the very place his son called home. The selfless labor of Joshua’s coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken by American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a honeymoon on a tropical beach were crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie’s view of Joshua’s sacrifice challenges everything Max has lived for. Now Max wonders if he can ever return to his “Max-a-Million” lifestyle, or if the doors to his gilded cage have finally opened. (General Contemporary from Raney Day Press)


Historical:

True Freedom by Carol Ashby — When a Roman slave rescues his master’s daughter from the kidnapping arranged by her own brother, will his sacrificial service earn the freedom and love he never dreamed possible, or will it only end in death? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)


Historical Romance:

The Daughter’s Predicament by Mary Eileen Davis — Can a patient love win her heart? As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle–always the unfavored daughter–becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Isabelle loves her sister, but with three suitors interested, will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Mail-Order Mishaps by Susan Page Davis, Linda Ford, Vickie McDonough, and Erica Vetsch — In The Bride’s Dilemma by Susan Page Davis, Eve Martin arrives in Cheyenne to learn that man she came to marry is in jail, accused of a violent murder. But has God brought her here to help save Caleb Blair’s life? In Romancing the Rancher by Linda Ford, Amelia expects a safe home for herself and her niece in Montana as mail-order bride to Zach Taggerty. Only Zach has never heard of her. In The Marriage Sham by Vickie McDonough, Texas mail-order bride Zola Bryant is a widowed newlywed. Worse, they were never truly wed because the officiant was an outlaw not a preacher. What will she do now that her life and reputation are in tatters? In The Galway Girl by Erica Vetsch, a mail-order mix-up sends Irish lass Maeve O’Reilly to the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Will Kaspar Sandberg consider it a happy accident or a disaster to be rectified as soon as possible? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid — Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth. Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways. Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love’s Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett — When the Third Reich implements mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution, is midewife Pia Hertz’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man? Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army, despite the reason–a battle that cost his arm. After he returns to Berlin, only to discover the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Shelter Bay by Pamela S. Meyers — Adventurous bicyclist Maureen Quinn and her best friend, Preston Stevens, a member of the U.S. Life Saving Service, find love and face life-altering events on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)


Mystery:

Fallen Leaf by Julie B. Cosgrove — When a DNA kit reveals blond, blue-eyed Jessica Warren is half Cherokee, she confronts her adoptive parents and learns her birth father is in prison…for murder! Now he wants her help in exonerating him. Can Jessica trust the handsome, young Tulsa district attorney to help, or does he have an agenda of his own? (Cozy Mystery from Write Integrity Press)

Bitter Pill by Richard L. Mabry, MD — Things were going along just fine until the miracle fouled them up. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Latter-day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott — Kirsten Young, a well-known and rebellious Utah heiress, is found murdered in Provo Canyon. The strange markings carved into her flesh and the note written in 19th century code seem to cast a shadow on ancient Mormon laws. Journalist Selonnah Zee is assigned to cover the story– and it quickly grows out of control. (Historical Mystery from Moody)


Romantic Suspense:

Running Target by Elizabeth Goddard — A routine patrol turns deadly when marine deputy Bree Carrington’s boat is sunk by men carrying illegal weapons. Fleeing a barrage of bullets, she’s suddenly rescued by DEA agent Quinn Strand—her ex-boyfriend. Quinn’s return threatens more than Bree’s heart…because he’s the one the men are really after. As criminals hunt her to get to him, can Quinn and Bree take down a drug ring? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Speculative:

The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart — Allison Moore’s dad was living a secret life and left her mom in massive debt. As she scrambles to help her mom find a way out, she’s given a journal, anonymously, during a visit to her favorite coffee shop. The pressure to rescue her mom mounts, and Allison pours her fears and heartache into the journal. But then the unexplainable happens. The words in the journal, her words, begin to disappear. And new ones fill the empty spaces—words that force her to look at everything she knows about herself in a new light. Ignoring those words could cost her everything…but so could embracing them. (Speculative from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Romance and Shakers? Not so Sweet and Neither Is their Lemon Pie

By Ann H. Gabhart

So why didn’t the Shakers think it was proper for a man and woman to marry?

One of the things people question most about the Shakers is why they believed in celibacy. That seems self-defeating for a society that wanted to expand. It is also somewhat amazing that the societies did see amazing growth in the early 1800s as they added villages all across the eastern United States plus some in what was considered the western frontier at the time. Two of those were in Kentucky with the Pleasant Hill Shaker Village in Mercer County established in 1805 and the South Union Village in Logan County in 1807.

Ann Lee, the founder of the Shaker religion, was born to a poor family in England. You might be surprised to know she did marry and had four children who all died in infancy. She came to believe that the death of her children was the Lord’s way of revealing to her that marriage was wrong and to be truly devout all should live together as brothers and sisters. The Shakers had the aim of making their villages heavens on earth. So to that end, they pointed out the Scripture where Jesus says, “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Mark 12:25 NIV) If the Shakers wanted to live as those in heaven lived, then there could be no marriages in their villages.

Mother Ann, as the Shakers called Ann Lee, taught peaceful living. She left these instructions. “Our testimony is for peace, now and always. No Christian can use carnal weapons or fight. He never did so. We oppose wars of households, and wars of nations. All wars are the result of lusts for lands and for women. Those who marry will fight.”

You have to think she and her husband did not have a good relationship. In fact after she came to America in 1774 with a handful of followers and began to seek converts, her husband left her. Ann Lee died in 1784, but the Shaker sect continued to draw in converts. In 1854, the Shakers published “Principles and Practices of the People who are called Shakers.” The following is the 8th principle and practice listed.

A united interest in all things in their general order; but none are required to come into it, except as a matter of choice; for this order is not a principle; but is the result of mutual love and unity of spirits; and cannot be supported where the selfish relations of husband, wife, and children exist.  This order is the greatest and clearest demonstration of practical love. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Ann’s new book, The Refuge, release on April 30, 2019

Does The Refuge have romance in the story?

Love can be forbidden. Marriage can be forbidden, but the Lord made man and woman and gave them that desire to love and be loved in a marriage relationship. So, some of those who joined with the Shakers struggled to abide by the no romantic love rules. Many left the Shakers, sometimes with a Shaker of the opposite sex since love can happen anywhere.

When I write my Shaker books, I often sneak romance in the back door. That wasn’t quite as true in this particular story, The Refuge. My character is married when she comes to the Shakers. She and her husband join the Shakers to escape a new cholera outbreak since Shakers seemed immune to the disease. We know now that was because they had clean water, but in 1849, many thought cholera was caused by “bad air.” So Darcie and Walter came into the village to escape death and planned to leave in the fall after the danger of cholera was past. But the first line of the book has Darcie thinking “You can’t cheat death.” Walter is killed in an accident and Darcie, having conceived a child before joining the Shakers, is left with no resources to make her way in the world. So she stays even though she knows the Shakers have a children’s house where all the children live with a few Shakers watching over them. She cannot imagine giving up her child to others to raise. She has to trust the Lord to find her another way. And yes, romance may be involved.

In The Refuge, Darcie sometimes had kitchen duty. The Shakers did eat well. While they raised much of their own food, they didn’t raise lemons. So being frugal, they came up with a recipe that used the entire lemon. It’s still on the menu at the restaurant at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village. It’s a bit tart. I love lemon pie, but this one is different. The first time my taste buds said no thanks, but the last time I tried it, I actually liked it. The difficult part of making this pie is slicing the lemons thin enough. If I figure out how to do that, I might give making the pie a try.

SHAKER LEMON PIE

2 large lemons                        2 cups sugar                4 eggs, well beaten

Slice the lemons as thin as paper, rind and all. Combine with sugar; mix well. Let stand 2 hours, or preferably overnight, blending occasionally. Add beaten eggs to lemon mixture; mix well. Turn into an unbaked 9 inch pie shell, arranging lemon slices evenly. Cover with top crust. Cut several slits near center. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until a silver knife inserted near edge of the pie comes out clean. Cool before serving. (Recipe from The Shaker Cook Book by Caroline B. Piercy)

Happy reading!

Do you think you’d like to read a Shaker story or bake a Shaker lemon pie?

About the Author:

ANN H. GABHART, the bestselling author of over thirty novels, has been called a storyteller. That’s not a bad thing for somebody who grew up dreaming of being a writer. Ann’s historical novels, including her popular Shaker series, have Kentucky backgrounds. Her new release, The Refuge, is her 8th Shaker novel. Ann also writes about family life, love and sometimes mystery (as A.H. Gabhart). Recently she headed to the Appalachian Mountains for These Healing Hills while her 2018 release, River to Redemption, was inspired by a true story that happened in the Kentucky town of Springfield. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren and enjoy life out on their Kentucky farm. To find out more about Ann and her books, visit www.annhgabhart.com. You can also join in the conversation on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart or Twitter @AnnHGabhart.