I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back Cover Copy--Something to Squeal About

What an emotional weekend! Back to school here at home, but we also moved our oldest into her dorm to start her freshman year at college.

I'm proud of her, but miss her. Last night was our first family dinner with that empty spot at the table. I held it together, but I would be lying if I didn't say I was sad.

Parenting is a lifelong grieving process, according to one person I spoke to. I think he's got a point. Letting our kids go as they grow is a series of goodbyes (to different stages) and much as it is hellos (to new ones). I'm celebrating my kids' growth and achievements, but I think it's ok to be a little sad at a time like this, too.

So it was a nice treat to look up the link for my upcoming Love Inspired Historical, The Reluctant Guardian, and see that the back-cover copy has been written. WOW! The team did an amazing job capturing the story:

Under the Spy's Protection 

When Gemma Lyfield inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she's rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her…

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he'd be.


No cover to share yet, but when I have it I will pop it up here! I can't wait!

The Reluctant Guardian releases Feb 2017!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Announcing the Of Rags and Riches Collection!

I'm excited to tell you I'm in an upcoming Historical Romance collection from Barbour Publishing!

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection, coming June, 2017.

Authors to be announced shortly

But I can say I'm so excited to be in this collection with them!

My story is called The Right Pitch, set in Philadelphia PA in 1876. Here's the blurb:

It’s a fair pitch: a guarded, injured rail-works owner will sponsor the local ladies’ baseball team if they let his capricious sister play ball, but when the team’s pretty pitcher insists he manage the team, it’s a curveball that could prevent him from playing it safe, in life and in love.

I'll let you know when it's available for pre-order and when we have a cover!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Garden: Zucchini with Dill Sauce

Summer gardens tend to overflow with zucchini, and I'm always looking for creative ways to use them. Bread, sauteed, steamed, in salads, on the grill...

Here's a new way we've enjoyed it this year: with a sauce of dill and yogurt. It's refreshing and fun.
  • 1 lb. zucchini, washed, cut into spears or rounds, tossed with olive oil, s&p. Either grill, broil or steam until tender (we grill a lot this time of year, and steaming is fine, but the zucchini won't have a nice little brown crispness that the other methods provide). Time varies by cooking method and size of zucchini pieces, but ten minutes is generally enough. Just check with a fork for tenderness.
  • Combine 1/2 c. plain yogurt, 1 t. lemon juice, s&p to taste, and 1 t. dried dillweed. Add a little fresh garlic and/or chopped chives if desired.
Serve zucchini hot or cold with sauce.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August Frenzy! I Need Chamomile!

Chamomile tea may conjure images of cold weather, being tucked under a blanket before you go to sleep, but the first week of August is the perfect time for me to brew a cup.

I have a deadline looming, summer's almost over and it feels like it hasn't really started yet, and my firstborn is heading off to college in a few weeks. Yep, that last one is the real kicker. I'm the emotional equivalent of a pinball.

So here's what I'm going to do: brew a cup of chamomile. It's a good tea to drink when your body is under some stress. There are others, too, but chamomile is easily accessible and popular.
Chamomile, Chamomile Blossoms, Medicinal Herb
Chamomile blossoms are pretty, too!
Chamomile relaxes muscles, including the smooth muscles in our intestines. It also helps release digestive enzymes, so your body has less work to do. Another benefit? It calms the nerves.

You can make your own tea using dried chamomile, or purchase from just about any retailer that sells tea. Here's my favorite, which contains lavender for extra relaxation and it smells wonderful.

Chamomile can be (dare I say?) boring. Go ahead and add a little of your favorite sweetener, like stevia, if you desire. Or just bust out the calories and dunk a cookie in it. (Did I mention I'm stressed out?)

Take a load off, and spend a few minutes with a soothing cup, no matter the weather.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sun Tea

It's never too hot for tea!

I love making sun tea on warm, sunny days. Then I can kick back, enjoy a book while I lounge on the chaise. Perfection!

Have you ever made it? If not, it's easy:
Drink, Beverage, Glass, Splash, Ice Cube, Refreshing
Put 8 tea bags (strong English breakfast or any flavor you like, regular or decaf) into a clean gallon glass container or pitcher (but you need a lid). Fill with water and secure the lid. Place outside in full sun for 3-4 hours. That's it!

Discard the tea bags. Serve sun tea over ice, add sweetener if you're inclined, and enjoy. (Sometimes when I'm outside, I reach over and pluck a sprig of peppermint that grows right next to the chaise lounges, and I add it for flavor. Lovely.)

Drink up quickly or refrigerate, though. The taste changes if tea sits out on the counter too long (in my opinion, anyway).

Enjoy your summer reading and tea!

Monday, July 18, 2016

I'm Back from RWA!

I'm back from RWA in San Diego! So Much Fun!

The Harlequin Party...the workshops...the Literacy Signing...but most of all, meeting and hanging out with fellow authors. I learned so much!

I have a brief report up on Inkwell Inspirations today. Come by and say hi!

Monday, July 11, 2016

RWA in San Diego this Week!

I'm so excited to attend the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego this week!

I'm looking forward to workshops that will help me improve my writing, time management, and understanding of the industry. There will be new friends to make, old friends to hug, book signings, and the chapter meeting for Faith, Hope & Love, the RWA chapter whose focus is on selling to the Christian Booksellers Association.

Wednesday night!

I won't be signing any books at the Literacy Autographing, but I will be on hand to pass out Bingo sheets where readers can visit the tables of FHL members to win an Amazon gift card. All are welcome to attend the Literacy Autographing Event! Come by and meet some amazing authors and get their books, autographed!

Friday will be a night to remember for me...my first Harlequin Gala! I am so excited!

If you're attending RWA, be sure to say hi! If not, I look forward to chatting about it with you next week.