Category Archives: Announcement

Book announcement – On Higher Ground

ImageAuthor Paula Hrbacek is pleased to announce the release of her new Christian romance novel, “On Higher Ground”, a sweet romance about finding the courage to change.
The story features three humans and two angels.  The angels have been assigned to help the humans find God’s will for their lives.  They offer inspiration, good luck, divine intervention, and at times, appear in human form.
     “One review of the book didn’t like the angels,” comments the author.  “She said that everything I had to say about a “still small voice” should have been attributed to the Holy Spirit, instead.  She’s right.  It could have been the Holy Spirit, but I had to use angels in order to create a dialogue.  Characters speak when they don’t understand or don’t know something.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to explain anything to the rest of the Trinity, because they already agree with each other.  So, instead, I made one angel an apprentice, and one a supervisor, so that they would have something to talk about.”
     At the end of each chapter, the angels discuss why God has answered one prayer with a no, and another with a yes.  The angels take a look at why bad things happen to nice people.  It also discusses why good things happen to not so nice people and why bad things happen to bad people.
The main character is a young adult woman, Melanie Worlds, who has run out of luck; no job, no friends, no future.  Desperately wanting to replace the middleclass life she once knew up on “the Hill”, her faith is being tested to the limits.  JT, her newest friend, is up to something, but Melanie isn’t sure what it is.  And then Brad, her high school crush, comes back to town.  She can’t let him know how bad it is, or he’ll lose all respect for her.  And, to make matters worse, someone is trying to break into her apartment.
     None of her prayers are getting answered, and she feels all alone.  But she’s not.  Two guardian angels have been assigned to help these three humans.  The angels know God’s plan, and it’s going to take everything they’ve got to pull it off.  To battle temptation, the angels will need to instill courage; courage to dare, courage to dream, and most of all, courage to love one another.
     “On Higher Ground” has been getting four and five star reviews on Amazon.  People who have read the manuscript have this to say.
“A stunning story of angels, wonder and redemption. Prepare to be amazed.”  Duffy Brown, author of “Iced Chiffon” and “Killer in Crinolines”
“This is a novel with a lot of heart and soul.  But it’s also a very grounded one, thanks to the vivid, sometimes gritty details that Paula Hrbacek weaves into the narrative.  So many spiritual novels aren’t, and the characters end up being mouthpieces for the author’s beliefs. That doesn’t happen with “On Higher Ground”. Hrbacek gets her message across without ever losing sight of the story itself or making her characters into cardboard cut-outs. The main characters — Melanie, J. T., and Brad — are fully fleshed out.  We see them — faulty lines, good intentions, and all — and we care about what happens to them.”          — T. J. Banks, author of “Sketch People:  Stories Along the Way”.
“This was a very well written book that I couldn’t put down. It was written in such a different way by having the story of people down here on earth and the angels in heaven discussing the people on earth. What a great concept.  The entire book was enjoyable from start to finish and I highly recommend it.”  Barbara Kuebler Renczkowski
     Paula Hrbacek is the author of “Stars Shine After Dark” and four non-fiction craft books.  She won first place in an international writing contest sponsored by Echoes of The Right to God in 2011.  She majored in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and writes two newspaper columns for The Examiner, an online newspaper.
“On Higher Ground” is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook from Amazon and B&N.
Kindle version:  $2.99
Paperback:    $14.95
Stars Shine After Dark, a sweet Christian romance, available in paperback, Kindle and Nook.
Day Camp in Hawaii, a complete program guide for summer camp or summer school, available in paperback, Nook and Kindle.  For more information see http://paulahrbacek.weebly.com or my author page at https://www.amazon.com/author/paulahrbacek
Please subscribe to The Examiner, a free online newspaper, and get email updates on my columns; Children’s Arts and Crafts, and Book Reviews.

 

Horse stories for a good cause? Yes, please!

Today I’m thrilled to host my friend and fellow author, Candace Carrabus, and tell you about how buying her books will help a nonprofit animal rescue facility.

Candace I met through a mutual horse-loving friend-hi Pam! and were amazed at how many things we have in common. Both Candace and I trained in the British Horse Society certificate program-different stables, different times, and we’ve both lived on Long Island, and of course we share a love for writing, and horses. (Oh, and we even drive the same kind of car!) All my books end up having horses in them, and so do Candace’s. And we both care about helping out animals in need. More about that in a moment.

Raver jpg

Click through to see The Raver trailer (you will be taken to Youtube.

Here she is to explain how she writes, why horses are so compelling to us all, and what you will find in her great books.

Hi Candace!

candace

Candace and Remi

Hi, Bev, thanks for having me!

What is it about horses? From the avid rider to the long-distance admirer, everyone agrees their beauty, power, and grace stirs deep emotions.

Author Jane Smiley said, “I discovered that the horse is life itself, a metaphor but also an example of life’s mystery and unpredictability, of life’s generosity and beauty, a worthy object of repeated and ever changing contemplation.”

Ah, that explains it! And in literary terms no less. All I know is I love them and can’t live without them. They have made me who I am, and who I am is way better than who I would have been if horses hadn’t helped raise me and continue to mentor me. I’m a lifelong horsewoman and author. I haven’t been writing as long as I’ve loved horses—mainly because I couldn’t connect pencil to paper soon enough—but I’m not sure I can live without that, either. Now, come ride with me, which is where I do a lot of my story development.

horses grazing

W.C. Fields famously said, “Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

Images, characters, and snippets of conversation flow naturally during long trail rides. On the undulating back of a horse you can be anyone, you can go anywhere, you can fly. Imagination awakens, stretches, and flexes its muscles. When I started pulling ideas out of my head and writing them down—at around age 12—horses were as inextricably entwined in my stories as they are with my heart. Writing romantic adventures centered around horses is still rewarding. The seed that grew into Raver began in a dream of a trail ride on my old thoroughbred, Smirnoff. Raver tells the story of Lauren Gallagher, a woman who longs to simply be left alone with her horses.

When a strange man arrives at the stable seeking a particular rider, Lauren and her mount, Pindar, find themselves transported through the Ravery to Cirq, a dying land bereft of its beloved steeds. In Cirq, Lauren is proclaimed the long-awaited Horsecaller and she’s expected to find the lost horses and return Cirq to greatness. No pressure.

buy a book, save a horse

Click here to go to the fundraiser FB page

So it is with great joy that I am able to further connect my two passions with the Buy a Book—Help a Horse fundraiser for Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue and Horse Sanctuary. This non-profit sanctuary’s owner, Christine Barrett-Distefano, works tirelessly on behalf of horses, mules, and ponies as well as some chickens, ducks, goats—you name it—who are no longer wanted by their owners. Owners who often promised to love them forever. Circumstances change, children grow up, horses get old and lame and are too often discarded as easily as yesterday’s newspaper.

Amaryllis rescue farm

Some of Amaryllis’ success stories.

Sometimes, people like Christine are all that stand between a once beloved horse and the misery of neglect and even slaughter. All too often this is also the fate of successful racehorses.

How you can help.

When you buy one—or all three!—of my books between August 25th and September 8th, I will donate all my author royalties to Amaryllis Farm. You can get them in print from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and for Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.

And, as if that weren’t good enough, you can also enter a contest on Facebook for giveaways such as

• A $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card

• A fabulous hand-crafted horse hoof necklace

• Gumy ear buds

• Horsehair bracelet

• Tablet pillow sleeve

• Pony Pizza Company’s pizza-shaped horse treats www.facebook.com/promotion… Winners will be announced September 9th. The horses thank you! See ya on the trails!

Links & Credits

www.amaryllisfarm.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCandaceCarrabus

www.candacecarrabus.com

Buy a Book—Help a Horse photo by Streetsidephoto@gmail.com

Horses Grazing photo by Cynthia Roysden Photography

Next time we’ll tell you about Candace’s next title, On the Buckle, another horse story. The world can never have too many of those, right? And to help out an author, if you enjoy our books, please leave a fair and kind review on any site like Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble, they really do help spread the word.

Bev out!

 

A Farm Fresh Romance – fun new series breaks ground

Since we’re all about fresh starts here, when I saw this unique series, I knew I had to invite the author, Valerie Comer, and find out more.

Raspberries and Vinegar V-cover

FARM FRESH ROMANCE  – This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods. 

The debut title:

RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR

Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR finds Josephine Shaw and her friends renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.

 

Putting the “Fresh” in Fresh Start

Have you noticed—or maybe been a part of—the resurging interest in fresh food? Buying from farmers’ markets or direct from the farm is a growing trend. The number of North Americans planting a vegetable garden and cooking with fresh herbs is growing. Real food. Local food. Organic food. Seasonal food. Fresh food. All these are buzzwords in today’s foodie culture. The popularity of fast food chains and prepackaged mixes seems to be waning as we rediscover our taste buds—as well as our health and our consciences! Back in the 1970s there was a “back to the land movement,” strolling along hand-in-hand with hippies and peace freaks. Disenchanted folks flocked to log cabins in the hills and tried their hand at pottery. They made a fresh start, all right, but lots of them gave it up and returned to urban corporate life.

Making a living off the land isn’t that easy. It wasn’t then, and it isn’t now. Don’t tell that to the characters in my new novel, Raspberries and Vinegar. Josephine Shaw and her two best friends are renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty. Jo, Claire, and Sierra are determined, though. Even a trailer full of mice isn’t enough to deter them, though it comes close.

Raspberries and Vinegar is the first in my new Farm Fresh Romance series, called Farm Lit with sweet simplicity and a bit of zing. Sound interesting? You’re in luck! From August 6-9, anyone who orders a paperback copy of Raspberries and Vinegar can receive the digital versions as a thank you gift. We’re also offering a bunch of other fun downloads: digital art, a podcast with interviews about the intersection of food and faith, a video of me making Raspberry Vinegar, and more.

2-book blitz graphic-4What do I know about a fresh start? God’s been preparing me for this leap into Farm Lit for years. Both my mom and my mother-in-law were country women who gardened, cooked from scratch, and preserved food for long, cold Canadian winters. Being as Jim and I didn’t have a lot of money in our early years, following the traditions we already knew was helpful in feeding healthy fare to our little family. We bought the family farm in 2000 and are actively farming, gardening, and beekeeping, plus staying involved in our local food action coalition and farmers’ market. Watching our adult kids and their spouses examine food issues has been fun to see. Our son moved his little family back to the farm, where they live across the yard from us. (Yay! I get to see my 1-year-old granddaughter every day.) Our daughter loves to cook and experiment. Her little girls love food, are learning where it comes from, and enjoy watching the piggies and chickens when they visit the farm. It’s my kids’ generation I’m writing for. Many college students and 20-30-somethings are unsatisfied with urban options, feeling disconnected from humanity’s roots. Many seek a way to get their hands in the dirt, but the price of land has skyrocketed since the 70s. It’s tough to buy a farm and, if you should be so lucky, it’s even harder to make a go of it. We work off the farm as well as on it in order to sustain our lifestyle. What kind of fresh start are you yearning for? Are you taking steps to make it a reality? Life is too short to sit back. Ask God what He wants for you then reach out and grab hold of His promises. Go get it!

Valerie-Comer-sqValerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at these social sites.

  • Website: http://valeriecomer.com
  • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valeriecomer.author
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/valeriecomer http://twitter.com/towritestory
  • Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/valeriecomer
  • Blog: http://valeriecomer.com/blog
  • Writing Blog & Free eCourse: http://towriteastory.com
  • What is FarmLit?

A little about Choose Now publishing

Choose NOW Ministries, founded by Nicole O’Dellis dedicated to working with parents and teens to battle peer pressure, face the Hot Button issues, and commit to good choices.

Today’s choices have lasting impact on your tomorrows.

I’m grabbing my copy and a glass of iced tea, see you on the porch swing.

Bev out!

 

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. 

Every Hill and Mountain – fiction

Today I’m pleased to be a part of a CrossReads book blast! Stay tuned, and read to the end to find out how to enter to win a $50 Amazon card.

Every Hill and Mountain (Time and Again) (Volume 3)

By Deborah Heal

Visiting another century…not the summer vacation she had planned.

Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And the Old Dears’ old house, and…well, any old house.

And since the program worked so well for the Old Dears’ family tree project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield. And Kate’s fiancé Ryan thinks the program has lucrative commercial potential.

Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands…well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy.

The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate’s research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.

The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, “There’s nothing there for you to see.”

Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune.

Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate’s ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.

Download on Kindle | Purchase Paperback

Deborah Heal
sticker picture
Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again time travel mystery series, was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website www.deborahheal.com and her Facebook author page www.facebook.com/DeborahHeal.



Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Deborah Heal! a Rafflecopter giveawayThis book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

A Life of Gratitude: Free Kindle Book and Giveaway

By Shelley Hitz

About the Book:

A Life of Gratitude: How to Overcome Self-Pity and Negativity

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude.

I want to share what I learned with you in the pages of this book which includes:

  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge
  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude
  • 21 Stories of Gratitude

What to Expect On Each Day:

  • Read my personal stories, struggles and reflections.
  • Read one scripture and one quote about gratitude.
  • Apply one personal application step from the challenge.
  • Read one prayer of gratitude
  • Read one story of gratitude

Get Accountability and Encouragement

Along with the 21 day challenge, I also started a private Facebook group to provide accountability and encouragement for myself but also for others who decide to join me in the challenge. You will get access to this group as well. It has been amazing to see God at work in each of our lives.

Will you join me on this journey to gratitude?

 

Download on Kindle

FREE on Kindle 2/27/13 & 2/28/13)

Purchase Paperback | Purchase Large Print Paperback | Purchase Audiobook

 

Shelley Hitz

Shelley HItzShelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

Follow Shelley Hitz
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a Paperback Copy and Coffee!

Enter below to enter a paperback copy of “A Life of Gratitude” and a $5 Starbucks gift card, sponsored by author Shelley Hitz!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
Share this FREE book and giveaway with your friends!

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!

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!

Coffee Break Escape…7 Minute Adventures exploring the world together

I don’t know about you, but I get a little restless once in a while. It’s a big world, erm…galaxy, right? With interesting lifestyles, people, new sights, and under-reported events that beg for discussion and discovery.

So I ask you:

How many words per minute do you read?

How long does it take to sip your coffee, or tea, etc.? (We include beverage drinkers of all varieties here.)

Here’s the desk in the office suites where I work answering phones. My gracious boss lets me drink coffee all day long, AND work on my fiction and blog. Thanks, Kevin!

While I pondered how to take a quick “armchair” trip to explore, without expensive airplane tickets and embarrassing airport yoga…

I percolated up (sorry) the idea of Coffee Break Escape, for a quick getaway. Short enough to digest while we ingest.

Subscribe, follow, or check back here weekly to see what we’ve brewed up. And you may be a winner…details to follow!

We’ll take a quick look at something we all wonder about, or someone whose story needs to be shared.

Like…Where did Sodoku come from? or who trained the first service dog for the blind?

The world is our sandbox.

We’ll explore the lesser known, or time travel to unique and compelling moments in history, all nutshelled down for a quick read.

You can play, too!

I’m looking for guest “adventure-istas.” 

Maybe you’re an expert on how the knitting needle evolved to its current length and pointy-ness, or you’ve taken some snapshots in a corner of the world most of us may never be able to visit. Let me know!

Whenever you hear something intriguing, visit that backroads museum of antique washing machine parts, or see something unusual you want to share, bring it!

Write up your idea, and I might feature your discovery or insight right here! See contest information below.*

Or…

maybe there’s something you’ve always wondered about, and you want me to do your “exploring.” Leave me a note and I’ll add it to the “to be brewed” menu.

And I want your bio, links, urls, twitter handles, or FB professional page links on each one so readers who discover you can quickly click through to find you where yo live.

To answer the questions I posed above, according to a quick internet survey, and some home testing (it’s the least I could do), I found the average adult reads about 300 wpm, and drinks a cup of coffee in around 7 minutes (give or take the average between guzzling and savoring.)

To fit into our break time, we’ll keep the posts to 1000 words or less. (This one is 531 to give you an idea.)

Photos you’ve taken or have rights to, or artwork you’ve created, are definitely encouraged!

This is going to be fun!

This caracal demonstrating mid-air hunting leaps for excitement (and toy balls). (San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

When I’ve gathered a couple dozen or so, I’ll be compiling them into an anthology and publishing them to Kindle (nook versions planned for the future), to meet the digital audience yearning for interesting material. The links you provide to your blog, book or business will draw these readers and potential new followers.

Occasionally, we’ll have contests* and people’s choice awards for the most unusual, outrageous, funny, or poignant stories. Start gathering your ideas now, and start submitting today!

Email me using the contact box in the sidebar with questions or your submission.

*Overseas contestants may receive accolades of applause, while North American winners can expect fun and exciting gifts along with their high-fives. Bev reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity. 

 

 

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