Category Archives: News from Cherryvale

New story for The Seasons of Cherryvale fans

aloha grace cover

A short story. .99 on e-reader

At the conclusion of “Christmas Bells” Mark surprises Grace with a trip to Hawaii. I’d been wondering how to write a fun story for Grace to experience the island, and for the island to experience Grace!

While I was thinking about Aloha Grace and what she’d do while on Oahu, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was on the news and I had my story. As those of you who’ve read my other books know, I like to add a little something that’s an extra touch, like in Fresh Start Summer, the information about the Oscar award ceremony for “Gone with the Wind” that adds fun details.

I hope you enjoy Aloha Grace as much as I enjoyed writing it. Escape to the tropical paradise of Hawaii with Grace and find out how she helps a new ohana, as welll as a young woman who must make a life changing decision.

 

Why so many covers, Bev?

FSS 2015 cover

or…do people judge books by their covers?

People are asking, so here’s what’s been going on.

When FRESH START SUMMER first released with a medium-sized publisher a few years ago, the cover was chosen for me. Here it is:

Fresh Start Summer2-1-1I started getting feedback right away, and most of the comments were that it was “cheerful” and “light” but then people started asked how sales of my “children’s books” were doing. Ugh.

And then book two, Grace & Maggie Across the Pond had the same “feel.”

296218_2446424724540_1369582868_33004948_2023059927_n

The publisher found some stock art and added lovely graphics, the layout was beautiful, I can’t complain. But the covers weren’t telling readers what was inside. (Rainbows and unicorns?)

They used to say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but with the evolution of digital media and all the screens we use to shop and sell with, the cover art on books has become one of the most important parts of reaching readers and quickly conveying what’s inside. Cover artists realize cozy mystery readers expect colorful graphic animation art, and a romance reader looks for six packs (not of beer). Ahem…

So when the rights reverted to me, I wanted to recover the Cherryvale books so their true interior style was obvious from the outside. I didn’t have a big budget or a lot of time, so I used my own photography and a template on Amazon’s createspace. Here’s what that one looked like. A little closer to the feel l wanted:

FSSnewcover.do - Version 3

When Fresh Start Summer won an award recently I realized I HAD to redesign the book to give it the respect it deserved. And with two weddings and a major household move behind me, I finally had some time. So far, I’ve recovered all the Seasons books, beginning with the Kindle versions.

Here is how Fresh Start Summer looks now. I used the picket fence shot again, but now I think the graphics and Grace’s pink cruiser evoke cozy small town fiction even better. What do you think?

FSS 2015 cover

It may take some time for Amazon’s pages to reflect the new covers, but I hope the new covers help the stories find readers who enjoy them.

What do you think of covers? What do you look for?

Thanks for stopping by! Bev out.

Award season, and we have news!

RF Green-Hon MentionFresh Start Summer cover

 

 

It’s red carpet season for books, and I’m thrilled and honored that FRESH START SUMMER received an award from Reader’s Favorite, a juried, peer reviewed contest that considers hundreds of published and pre-published books.

ALSO!! SPRING BLOSSOMS is a finalist in the AUTHORSdb cover contest that will be announced in a few weeks. The original artwork was done by my amazingling talented friend, Carol Field. She really captured the charm and flavor of Main Street Cherryvale. Congratulations, Carol!

Spring Blossms Cover - Version 4

 

Spring Blossoms

Fresh Start Summer-now an Audiobook!

From the award winning novel, now in audio! Set in small town Cherryvale, where “neighbors care, gardeners share, and God allows do-overs,” you’ll fall in love with the folks who live around the CherryPath.

FSS audio cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From an Amazon review of the book, “Novel Rocket and I recommend it as a thoroughly good read.” Ane Mulligan

More about FRESH START SUMMER:

With a smattering of humor, a touch of mystery, and a summer filled with fun, FRESH START SUMMER is perfect for those road trips, walking the dogs, or working in the garden.

The entire family can listen in as Hollywood arrives in small town Cherryvale. After the two worlds collide, fires break out, and a townie most vocal about their intrusion goes missing. Are the new arrivals the culprits, or will they be the cure to helping mend a friendship in need of repair? With themes of prejudice, forgiveness, and fresh starts, the fun abounds with colorful characters, adorable pets, and a delightful small town setting where folks meet life head on, and rely on their faith to face life together.

DW Garden path

Selected as one of realsimple.com’s Great Summer Reads of 2011 and recipient of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild Excellence in Writing award, and narrated by the talented Hollywood actress, Connie Ventress, FRESH START SUMMER is now available for download on audible.com and Amazon.

 

About the Author:

 

Bev HS 1

Beverly Nault lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart, Gary, where they take turns spoiling their two granddogs for practice. Besides writing The Seasons of Cherryvale series, she’s the co-author of the best selling LESSONS FROM THE MOUNTAIN, WHAT I LEARNED FROM ERIN WALTON, with Mary McDonough, about the actress’s life growing up on the classic television series. Find her at www.beverlynault.com, on Facebook, twitter @BevNault and Pinterest. 

Christmas Bells, free on Kindle!

Christmas Bells will be free on Kindle from December 13-15th!

A Christmas Eve blizzard strands dozens of tourists like a bad episode of Survivor:Cherryvale on Grace’s wedding anniversary no less. Instead of directing the Christmas pageant, and hibernating to spend an evening alone with her husband, Grace must scramble to feed and house the multitudes. When she challenges a troubled young soldier fleeing mistakes she’s made with her own family, Grace is reminded of the real meaning of Christmas.
What are reviewers saying?
From Amazon:
  • “I can not tell you enough that you MUST read this story! It is just the thing to bring you up if you’re down, to warm your heart in a cold world, and to brighten your Christmas!”
  • “I loved the Cherryvale characters and holiday moments!”
  • “I loved how the book ended…literally gave me chills. A heart warming and inspirational read. Recommended!”
From Goodreads:
  • “Some quirky, but realistic characters, and some heartfelt issues make this a sweet book in a Christmas themed spirit!”
Merry Christmas!
Main Street Cherryvale – before its blanket of snow

 

A new Christmas novella, a good friend, and not one, but TWO recipes

To celebrate the release of CHRISTMAS BELLS, I’m combining the two things that always receive the most visits and comments:

A visit from my friend, Luann, with one two of her delicious recipes, and the announcement of my latest Cherryvale book.

Win-win!! 

Luann’s got the chops in the kitchen, and she’s a hoot as well. If you haven’t subscribed to her blog, Mudpuddle, hurry and do so, then come right back.

I guess you’ve noticed cooking with exotic salts is trending! so always on top of the latest, Lu’s showing us how to make  Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce. Good on any.thing.

So snuggle in with a cup of hot tea, a sample of Lu’s drop dead delish dessert, and take a trip to Cherryvale, where a Christmas eve blizzard’s got the town scrambling to find enough room in the Inn. And food to fill hungry bellies of dozens of stranded, grumpy travelers. Lu, Grace could really use your help!

And now, here’s Lu!

*******

When Better Than Good is Just Right

Well, I’m sure you know what I mean.
Sometimes things are good.

Like Weegie soaking up the morning sun with his squeaky toy.

 

Or a piece of The Fresh Apple Cake made with Honeycrisps. (pictured at the top of this post)

 

 

The Fresh Apple Cake 

1.  Chop and toast 1 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts).  The toasting is SO important.  Let them cool completely.

2.  Peel and chop 3 cups Honeycrisp apples.  Pour 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the apples.  Set aside.

3.  With a mixer, combine 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. salt.  Just mix until well combined.

4.  In a separate large bowl combine 3 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.

5.  With a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar mixture and the flour mixture.

6.  Stir in the apples and pecans.

7.  Bake in a well-greased and floured tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

8.  Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.  Run a sharp knife all around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan.

9.  Invert onto plate.  Glaze with a mix of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice.

But. As good as those things are… this is better

A piece of  Fresh Apple Cake with a little Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce.

See. I told you.

This sauce is something you don’t want to miss. I promise.
I can think of all kinds of things you could drizzle it over.

Pecan Pie
Brownies
Pound Cake
Ice Cream

Your finger.

A carrot.

It makes anything better than it was before.

(Except Weegie, of course. He can’t be improved upon!)

Try it. You’ll love me more than Friday!

Luann’s Salted Lemon Caramel Sauce

 2 cups light brown sugar
½ c. heavy cream
½ c. milk
1 stick butter
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ T. vanilla paste (or vanilla)
The juice of one lemon
Combine the brown sugar, cream, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan and cook while stirring over medium heat. You don’t really ever want to see it boil…
Cook and stir until it begins to thicken. (about 8-10 minutes) Stir in the salt. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste and the lemon juice. Stir very well.
Let cool slightly but serve while warm.
This makes a lot and can be reheated in microwave!
 ****
Thanks, Lu! Keep ’em coming, and give Weegie a cuddle for me!

Happy Thanksgiving from Cherryvale

Happy Thanksgiving!

To celebrate, Hearts Unlocked is free for Kindle, November 18-20th!

Here’s a snapshot of the story:

Far from home and alone for the holidays, Stephanie Allan wants to prove she can make it on her own until handsome movie star, Brandon McCallister, sweeps in, exposing her fears and threatening her independence. Will Stephanie resist his playful persistence, or can Brandon discover the key to unlocking her heart?

The story takes place in Cherryvale, but you’ll also find out more about nearby Franklin City. But where ever they go, the smells, sights and sounds of autumn are evident as the characters try their luck in a corn maze, make new friends, and run into the folks who live along the CherryPath.

And like all the books in the Seasons of Cherryvale, I’ve included yummy recipes and heartwarming moments.

In Fresh Start Summer, Grace cooks modified and modernized recipes from her grandmother’s copy of Fannie Farmer’s Original 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook. So I thought it would be fun to know Fannie’s suggested menu:

Menu for Thanksgiving Dinner (1896)

Oyster Soup

Crisp Crackers

Celery

Salted Almonds

Roast Turkey

Cranberry Jelly

Mashed Potatoes

Onions in Cream

Squash

Chicken Pie

Fruit Pudding

Sterling Sauce

Mince, Apple Pie, and Squash Pie

Neapolitan Ice Cream Fancy Cakes

Fruit

Nuts and Raisins

Bonbons

Crackers

Cheese

Cafe Noir

Doesn’t sound too terribly different from our own, right? Unless you consider before they cooked, they had to “blacken the stove” and “build a proper fire.” Mercy.

Instead of mince pie, this year we’re having a phenomenal new pecan pie recipe discovered and perfected by my friend, Joanne Bischof. Here’s a link to her Moonshine Pecan and Butterscotch Pie. (Yes, it’s really made with moonshine, so get your still set up! LOL There is “legal” ‘shine available. I promise!)

May God’s love and blessings surround you and yours with bounty (including yummy food, and perhaps a good book or two!) this Thanksgiving.

AUTUMN CHANGES Book Two in the Seasons of Cherryvale

At long last, the sequel to Fresh Start Summer is here. Thanks for your patience, encouragement, and continued support. 

“Along with shorter days and cooler nights, big changes are stirring up Cherryvale. While the trees along the CherryPath exchange summer-green garments to autumn’s crimson and gold, Grace and Maggie scurry to prepare for the town’s annual Harvest Festival, but spar over how to help pop star Tiffany Lane adapt to her new lifestyle and adoptive hometown. A surprise visitor—or two—spice up the town like cinnamon in Grace’s pumpkin walnut muffins just in time for The Scrapbook’s preview opening. The second book in The Seasons of Cherryvale, Autumn Changes continues the stories of the friendly folks and charming small town introduced in the much loved Fresh Start Summer, and Grace & Maggie Across the Pond.”

Will peaceful Cherryvale ever be the same after all the changes blown in on the autumn wind?

Available in paperback from Amazon. Kindle version now available!

Hear ye, hear ye! Announcing the winners!

 

Cue the drum roll, trumpet fanfare, boat parade and RAF flyover, Her Majesty the Queen will now announce the winners of GRACE & MAGGIE ACROSS THE POND.

Without further ado, here’s her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II–a bit tired from all the Rolls Royce riding, hand waving, and moshing at the rock and roll concert, but a promise is a promise–to read the list of winners.

“I am pleased to announce the names of my close friend, Bev’s, book giveaway contest.

>clears throat dramatically<

…Joy Isley, Deborah Malone, Nancy Farrier, Terri Clark, and Nancee M.  Now hand me my purse, I need to tweet this.”

Thank you, your highness! Congratulations on your decades of reigning and crown wearing, and also congratulations to all the winners!

Please send your mailing address to bev@beverlynault.com upon receipt of this news, and expect your novella fortnightly. (I think that’s a thing.)

So you don’t miss more giveaways like this, awesome announcements, and general mayhem in store for Fresh Start Stories, make sure you have verified your subscription by clicking through the automated email in your box after you subscribed.

Get your virtual passport ready, and let me know what you think about your virtual trip across the pond.

Now back to the fields, peasants! Er, have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

I’m giving away a “trip” Across the Pond

 

 

In honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, I’m giving away 5 copies of my novella, GRACE & MAGGIE ACROSS THE POND!*

Grace and Maggie take their good-natured bantering  to the land of crowns and Fascinators for a pony trekking holiday. While riding over the countryside’s beautiful hills and dales, they discover a friend in need of a fresh start. Find out how their trip becomes a whirlwind race to save newly-widowed Emma’s outlook on life. Grab a cup of tea and settle in to ride along with these two fun-loving gals across the pond.

 

This is my favorite picture of the Queen. We once "brushed elbows" at Wimbledon Horse Show, and she looked just like this.

Here’s how to enter: Subscribe to this blog, and then leave a comment on this thread for one credit. To be entered twice, email me the name of my “local pub” from the time I spent living in England. (Hint: you’ll find the name and picture in one of my past posts.)

If you are already a subscriber, you can also play by emailing me the name of the pub.

If you’ve already read Across the Pond, please consider going to Amazon and writing a comment or two about what you enjoyed about Grace & Maggie’s trip. Word of mouth helps immensely.

Winners will be announced Wednesday, June 6th.

TA! (That’s British for thanks!)

(*North American addresses will receive a paperback, and overseas pals will receive a digital copy.)