The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw


“My little bit of earth in the front garden is one of the places that I find my bearings. The rhythm of my day begins with a cup of coffee and a little bit of weeding or dreaming.” ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, http://www.wildthymecreative.com

(Foxglove and roses in my Memorial Garden)

Living on a farm allows me more than a bit of earth, but the garden is also where I find my bearings. As much as I savor fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s the flowers that feed my soul. Beds dating back to my late mother-in-law’s day wrap this old white farm house and flow along the side of the road where drivers roar past. The road wasn’t such a menace in Mom Trissel’s time. Now, it’s ‘gardener beware’. I’ve reeled back more than once while working in that bed when a driver zoomed by alarmingly close. I have this crazy hope they will slow down to admire the flowers. Plus the barnyard geese graze in my front yard and sometimes wander near the road. We have about two dozen squawky Pilgrim geese. We’d have even more but they aren’t great parents and often misplace goslings. We’ve rescued some babies but can only do so much. It’s a running joke about the geese hating me, while not minding Hubby Dennis or daughter Elise. I think it’s because I clap and shout to get them away from the road and out of my yard. In addition to grass they graze on my plants, like phlox and bee balm. Tender lettuce is also a favorite but the vegetable plot is fenced in. Pic of goose with the monarch was taken last summer. Those are tithonia flowers the butterflies love.

Below are Shirley Poppies, Larkspur, yellow evening primrose, roses, iris, yellow coreopsis, and blue Love in the Mist blooming now in that massive bed along the road. A giant old-fashioned rose commands the far corner. This sea of color overflows with wildflowers, perennials, heirloom flowers, roses, and herbs. The abundant plants are so thick there is little need for mulch. It’s my living barrier to that beastly road. Grandchildren also play in the yard, but on this side of the border. The kids love to explore the many beds that comprise my garden, but they aren’t allowed to stick a toe in that one. Only I risk life and limb.

I’ve whittled down the vegetable plot over the years and expanded Mom Trissel’s flower beds while adding others. Herbs and blossoms surround my vegetable garden and mingle with the edibles. Drifts of wildflowers I seeded in April are lush with promise but I’ve knocked myself out dragging the hose around during dry spells. Blooms fill our small back garden from the white snowdrops in late winter to pink Queen Charlotte anemone in late summer. I watch from the kitchen window as feathered friends visit the bird feeder and hummers dart. Because this garden is enclosed by a wall, I can only expand it so far. Aggressive plants like fragrant Egyptian mint and Queen Anne’s Lace have taken too much ground, though both are beautiful. The mint should have been planted in a pot but I didn’t know that thirty years ago. Battling mint is an ongoing struggle and I must thin Queen Anne’s Lace. Iris and Dame’s Rocket (below) are finishing up for this season, as are Mom Trissel’s peonies. I moved some of her peonies and iris to the kitchen and Memorial gardens. My dear grandmother gave me this white iris years ago.

Dear to my heart is the expansive Memorial Garden I’ve labored in since late February. Not only have I worked there every day the weather permitted, but often when it didn’t. Cold wind blasted me in my scarf and multiple layers. Raw drizzle misted my face and chilled my muddy gloved fingers. In the early days, if temps hit the upper forties, I headed out the door. Fifties was a heat wave. Sometimes I waited until mid-day for the ground to thaw enough to dig. Everything was brown and depressing at first, apart from emerging daffodils. The only beauty lay in my vision of what could be. But I was bent on digging out wild asters that had overrun this enormous bed and creating a glorious site. I still dig tenacious roots out daily, but I’ve left some asters growing along the fence. They are butterfly magnets. The colorful mounds, some reaching over six feet tall, flutter and buzz with life in late summer. If I’m not careful, though, that’s all I’ll have. And I badly needed a goal and physical work this spring.

(Me digging aster roots. Hubby took pics when I didn’t realize)

I spent hours crawling around in the bleak cold getting out roots. See the tiny plant surrounded by stones? It’s a poor little rose that got lost in the asters, much happier since its rescue. Asters pictured below.


“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.” ~Author Unknown (Truth! My back ached terribly in those first days,not much now.)

“I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me.” ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

The garden has, indeed, cared for me. My father’s passing in late December, only a year and a half after my brother Chad’s death, left me overwhelmed with grief. Then my mother-in-law died. The Memorial bed is also for her. All the digging, clean up, planting, mulching, path making, and ongoing planning for what to put in where has given me a much needed focus. Writing eluded me as I never thought it would. But nature hasn’t. And Lord knows the seed catalogues and online garden sites are there for me. Local ones, too. I have discovered some wonderful gardeners through the world of YouTube. My favorite is artist Jeri Landers. the Storybook Gardener, who has been of much comfort and inspiration. I love her creativity and gardening style and avidly follow her YouTube channel.

Like Jeri, I would describe my garden as cottage, country, with native plants. I’m not in the least formal. In one video, Jeri suggested finding an unsightly–even ugly–corner and making it beautiful. So I tackled the kitchen garden, another bed ruled by an overreaching plant, Bishop’s Weed. It was a hard slog, but I am delighted with the transformation. Then I took on a third bed overrun with a different kind of wild aster, and so on…You see the pattern here. I worked until I dropped, but it helped lift my spirits.

Jeri raised stunning foxglove from seed this year, while I bought plants, so guess what seed I ordered yesterday…plus, plus. I have a little greenhouse Dennis built for me eons ago, but it relies on solar heat. Too often seeds I sow in spring don’t germinate, even with a heating mat. I like Jeri’s idea of starting some of the hardy flowers in summer and wintering them over to bloom next year.

My most enticing plant lure are roses. At last count, I’ve moved four from various corners of the yard where they weren’t thriving to join five existing roses in my Memorial Garden. Two more roses were given to me, and I’ve purchased fourteen. So far. You can’t have a remembrance garden without the queen of flowers. Most came from English rose breeder David Austin and Jackson and Perkins. (J and P had a super sale this past week.) Several roses spilled into my newly reclaimed kitchen garden. I eagerly await those that have not yet bloomed. Among my new Memorial Garden additions are delphiniums, various buddleias, oriental lilies, gladiolas, hollyhocks, sweet William, iris, peonies, hardy geraniums, dianthus, bellflowers, less aggressive perennial asters and an annual aster, heuchera (coral bells) Lady’s Mantle, phlox, yarrow, saliva, rudbeckia, violas, columbine, different varieties of poppies, foxglove, lupins, verbena, catmint, sweet alyssum, lavender, chamomile, lemon marigolds… I’m still adding. Pics below from emerging blooms in that garden: roses, nepeta (catmint) miniature delphinium and violas. I started violas and alyssum from seed.

Carding Mill — David Austen Rose

Grief has its own timetable, with unpredictable ups and downs, as uncontrollable as the tide. I’m slowly finding my way, but know the sadness will never fully leave me. I already knew this from past grief, but never quite so sharply. I’m blessed with a close loving family and dear friends. They are my lifelines. I hope to find my way back to writing. This is the most I’ve written in months and it hasn’t been easy, but cathartic. For me, gardening is a vital part of healing. At some point, I will add a plaque, statue, or remembrance stone to the Memorial garden. Maybe all three. It’s a work in progress.

“I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation.” ~Phyllis Theroux

First hollyhocks opened yesterday.

Furbaby Friday with Luanna Stewart!


Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Luanna Stewart, here to share her new historical romance, Love and Redemption, and her feline furbabies.

Luanna: I love black cats and I cannot lie. Mogget is our first ever and she is gorgeous, completely black except for a teeny, tiny patch of white on her belly. Now that she’s getting on in years, she has a few grey hairs on her chin. But, hey, who amongst us doesn’t, right?

My husband, the family photographer, frequently complains about the challenges inherent in photographing an all-black cat in low light. However, since I rarely have that challenge, I love that Mogget can almost disappear until she opens her glorious golden eyes.

She is the matriarch and lets us know when we’ve fallen down on our jobs of taking care of her every need. Her eyes are quite expressive and can nail you to the spot.

When she’s pleased, she’ll talk and talk and talk. When I walk into her room, by which I mean any room she’s in, she says hello, followed by a long sentence, which I frequently translate as, “the level of kibble in my bowl has fallen by a millimetre – take care of it!”

Bruno is our tuxedo cat, much easier to photograph. He’s forever a teenage boy, bashing and banging and roughhousing – and can sleep like the dead. All cats are good sleepers but Bruno sleeeeeps. He enjoys his outdoor time and in the summer presents us with a shrew or a vole with disturbing regularity. No worries, 75% of the time the critter is not deceased and escapes to live a long, fruitful life.

A brief note about their names. We adopted Bruno when we lived in Brunswick and I wanted a name for him that reflected his birthplace. When I was a little girl, I got a kitten from a litter of barn cats in Tiverton and I named her Tivi. So it’s a “thing” with me.

Mogget’s name is taken from a YA fantasy series, The Abhorsen, by Garth Nix that our two boys enjoyed as youngsters. The cat in the story was all white, and I believe a male, and he needed to wear a bell around his neck at all times, otherwise…well, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Let’s just say, it’s not pleasant.

How did you arrive at your pet’s names? What is their most dominant personality quirk?

Love and Redemption Blurb:

Mary Taylor abandoned her silk gowns and sparkling jewels when she quit her position as one of London’s highly prized courtesans. She’s determined to earn her living with a paintbrush rather than between the sheets. Starting fresh in a new country, she masquerades as a widow running a tearoom in Halifax while perfecting her art. But when she’s hired to finish the portrait of a handsome judge, she risks everything by surrendering to her lustful craving.

Finton Morash, youngest judge on the Queen’s bench, believes people are either good or bad. The dowdy widow painting his portrait is surely one of the former. After discovering the sensual beauty hiding beneath shapeless gowns, he wonders at her other secrets.

When whispers circulate about Mary’s nefarious past, she must find the courage to face the consequences. And Finton must decide whether love is worth the risk.

Buy links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Love-Redemption-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B07NYFQXGN

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Love-Redemption-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B07NYFQXGN

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Redemption-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B07NYFQXGN

Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/Love-Redemption-Luanna-Stewart-ebook/dp/B07NYFQXGN

Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130823749?ean=2940161420393

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-and-redemption

Excerpt:
Mary glanced around before leaning closer still. “You are the most exciting thing to happen here in quite some time.”
“Am I indeed? Exciting?”
She silently cursed her fair skin, surely bright pink. One would think that after earning her living by flirting, teasing, and more, she would be comfortable with such talk. This man wasn’t paying for the privilege of her company, though, and there lay the difference. She stared at the painting as if she’d never seen it before. “Back to important matters. Please don’t feel—”
“I want to purchase this painting. It will brighten a corner of my library. Every time I weary of opinions and laws I’ll look at this and imagine myself at ease surrounded by the beauty of nature.” He carefully lifted the small canvas from the wall. “I see you’ve signed it with only your surname. Why is that?”
“I believe it will be easier to make my way in the artistic world if I keep my sex hidden. Women are often judged to be idly pursuing a hobby and are seldom taken seriously.”
“Hm…Would you mind signing your full name on the back? That way my heirs will know they have one of the first by a famous artist.”
She chuckled. “Where is the honesty you hold so dear?”
Though his expression remained unchanged she detected a twinkle in his eye. Unbidden came the wish that she was indeed a respectable widow, able to pursue a friendship with this exciting man without fear of discovery.
Enough. Her “if only’s” would soon fill her largest tea urn. She had much to be grateful for. She’d come to Halifax to start anew. If that meant leaving behind physical desire then so be it. Celibacy was a small price to pay for a life free of shame.

Author Biography:

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna has recently returned to the land of her birth with her dear husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.luannastewart.com/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/luanna-stewart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Luanna_Stewart
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LuannaStewartAuthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/luannastewart/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14104212.Luanna_Stewart
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Luanna a comment.

Furbaby Friday With Barbara Bettis!


A warm welcome to fellow Wild Rose Press Author Barbara Bettis. Barbara is sharing her grand-furbaby and her medieval romance, For This Knight Only.

Barbara: For as long as I can remember growing up, I had furbabies. Living in the country, I had kittens and dogs. We just never NOT had a furry pet. Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve had to give them up for one reason or another. My last was a beautiful Australian shepherd who loved to ‘herd’ my husband and me on our daily walks.

These days, I have adorable furgrand-babies. The one I’d like to share with you is a mix, with the look of a miniature pinscher. Black with brown touches, he’s called Cocoa. (I had photos of him but I couldn’t get them downloaded from my phone for some reason, so I borrowed a shot from online to give you an idea of what he’s like. Just picture this sweetie with black and brown coloring.)
That’s Cocoa. Faster than a speeding bullet.

He and I had a getting-to-know-you period when he was young. He’d greet me at the front door, and it became a game (to him!) to see if he could slip past me before I could get in. I’ll long remember the first time he was successful. My grandson and granddaughter weren’t home from school yet, and there I was, all alone, searching the neighborhood for Cocoa after he darted between my legs. I was sick with apprehension that I’d lost their dearly beloved pet. It was a fun game—he’d race from one yard to another, me right behind. He’d stop and watch and as soon as I got close, he’d yip and dash off again, out of sight.

Finally, some neighbors helped corral him, and I got him back inside. I was exhausted. He was ready to play with his favorite toy, a tennis ball. In those days, he’d jump on my lap and bounce around, yipping, trying to lure me into some mischief—like giving him too many treats. (Hey, grandmas can spoil grandpets, too!)

Now he (and I) have slowed down a bit. He still greets me at the front door before I even open it, this time with his tennis ball in his mouth. He leads me up the stairs where he drops the ball and jumps up and down in welcome, then stands, watching expectantly for me to play fetch. He wears out a lot sooner, though. These days, he even climbs (no jumping now) on my lap to actually lie down and rest. I’d like to think I’ve trained him to do that. But both of us know who trained whom.

I miss having my own furbaby. Now that I’ve retired, I’ve been thinking of getting another dog (unfortunately I’m allergic to cats.) I haven’t settled on the breed yet, although I have a fondness for greyhounds. A friend has a pair of retired racing greyhounds. I asked her if they were a problem to manage. She said no. The only running they do now is racing her to the couch. I could love a dog like that 

My latest release is a medieval romance, For This Knight Only.

Blurb:

He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him. If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.

Check it out here
https://amzn.to/2Xlzynj

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. Through careers as a newspaper reporter and editor, then a college journalism and English professor, she’s retained her fascination with history. Give her a research book and a pot of tea, and she’s happy for hours. But what really makes her smile is working on a new story. Now retired, she lives in Missouri where she spins tales of heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

Find Barb Here:

Bookbub Facebook Twitter Blog/Website

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Barbara a comment.

Furbaby Friday with C. Becker!


Welcome C. Becker (Colleen) and her beloved furbaby. Colleen is also sharing her new release, a suspense published by The Wild Rose Press, Finding Euphoria.

Colleen: Thank you Beth for hosting me.
The biggest and best decision my husband and I ever made (other than having kids) was the addition of our Jack Russell dog, Brownie, to the family. We adopted him seven years ago, after enduring years of kids pleading to get a family dog. When I realized how deeply my youngest son was praying for a dog, I agreed. Once my husband and I made the decision to adopt, choosing a family pet suitable for our family couldn’t have been easier. We went to a house where the family was selling five-month old puppies. Brownie’s siblings ran around us, barking. Of all the dogs, Brownie was the only one who went up to my youngest daughter. He sort of just stayed next to her and didn’t bark. Like he was saying, “Take me.” His behavior sold me. We brought him home, and he took control of the house—in a good way.

Brownie is happiest when everyone is home. When the kids leave for school and college, his tail goes down, and he “knows” he’ll be alone for a while. If I’m home during the day, he’ll sleep on the couch while I work writing at the computer. When I stand up, he takes his cue that it’s time to play. He is great playing catch with his ball and he loves the dog park.

He sleeps with all the kids, rotating during the night, in different rooms. Whom Brownie sleeps with at night is always a focus around the breakfast table.
Jack Russells are known for being highly energetic animals. Brownie loves to run and at any time, can go wild, running in circles around the house. My youngest daughter takes him for 4-5 mile walks every day so he stays healthy and fit. He could walk all day, sniffing the air and everything around him. He’s also extremely protective, barking to let us know of any visitor at the door. He recognizes the sound of our cars driving down the neighborhood.

An intelligent animal, Brownie knows a few tricks, but he has trained us to let us know when he wants to eat and drink, go to the bathroom, play ball, and have a snack. His latest trick is holding off relieving his bladder in the morning until someone takes him for a long walk outside. He loves to have his belly rubbed and to snuggle up with anyone who is sitting or lying down. He enjoys attention, but has brought more love and happiness to our household than we could have ever imagined. The kids recently nicknamed him Bub, because “He’s such a Bub.” Through a unanimous vote, my novel is dedicated to him.

Finding Euphoria is a suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. The rating is PG-13.

BLURB:

Hailey Langley refuses to be a victim and has moved on from her traumatic past. But her marriage problems worsen when a deadly illicit drug threatens to draw her into the life she left behind.

Mark Langley has allowed his job to interfere with his marriage, but he never suspected the secrets in Hailey’s past might hold the key to solving both of his current investigations.
Together, they must unravel the mystery of the drug called Euphoria and find a way to save not only their marriage, but countless lives, before it’s too late.

EXCERPT:
He turned the bottle around in his hand and set it on the end table. “Don’t put me in this position. You know what would happen. Grace is his mother. She’s the one who needs to stay with him.”
Regret tugged at her heart. “I wouldn’t take any time away from her.”
Parker groaned. “Just you being there would make her feel uncomfortable.”
“Why?”
“You know why.”
“But I’ve stayed away for seventeen years,” she whispered.
“That was the adoption arrangement.”
She bit her lip. “I can’t stay away any longer.”
“You agreed to those terms in the contract. You terminated all parental rights.” Parker stood and paced to the kitchen.
“But it’s not fair!” She put down her water and began wringing her hands.
Straightening his arms, he leaned against the bar. “Hailey, please don’t start. I know how you feel…”
“You couldn’t possibly know how I feel. I need to see him.” She fought to control the bitterness in her voice.
“No.”
She rose, knocking over the water bottle. “He’s my son!”
“Not anymore, he isn’t.”
The rebuke stung. “He’ll always be my son!”
“When you gave him up, you promised to keep your distance.”
“I have.”
“Forever.”
The reminder lanced her heart. “You’re being unfair. He’s dying.”
He slammed his fist on the bar. “Don’t say that. He can’t die.” Parker pushed himself up and stomped near the window, raising his hands to rest on top of his head as he faced the curtain.
A muscle twitched in her hand. Her knees buckled. She sat on the edge of the couch, wringing her hands. “I was young. I couldn’t give Justin the life he deserved. I’m not asking to take him back. I only want to see him.”
Rubbing his jaw, he walked back to the couch and sat. The hard lines on his face softened. “The adoption papers were clear. No contact.” He placed his hands on top of hers and stilled them. “If the decision was mine, I would allow it, but Grace would lose it if she found out you’re Justin’s biological mother.”
Her hands squeezed into tight fists. The urge was unbearable. “I wouldn’t tell her.”
Parker ran a hand through his hair. “Argh! Don’t you understand? She’d take one look at your face and know the truth. Don’t forget, you’re the one who wanted us to protect him.”
She stood. “Well, you did a hell of a fine job, didn’t you? You divorced Grace and deserted him. Parenting takes sacrifice, Parker. You were too busy changing careers, and now he’s messed up with drugs. How did that protect him?”
Standing, he reached for her.
“No. You stay away from me.” She extended her hands and backed up a step. “Justin’s dying! Dying, Parker! And I don’t know him…You won’t let me see my own son.”
He wrapped his arms around her.
She pushed him, pummeling her fists against his chest with all her strength.
He silently took his beating.

BUY LINKS:

Finding Euphoria at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Euphoria-C-Becker-ebook/dp/B07NPX6ZBL
At Apple itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-euphoria/id1453326981?_bbid=11795784&mt=11
At Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130573850?ean=2940161287873

SOCIAL LINKS:
C.Becker website
Facebook C.Becker Author
Twitter C. Becker author
Amazon Author Page C. Becker

Author Bio: A native of western Pennsylvania, C. Becker earned a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and MT (ASCP) certification. She has worked in clinical settings analyzing body fluids and testing drugs of abuse. As an author, C. Becker has published multiple stories in various genres.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Colleen a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Mona Sedrak!


Welcome Mona and her dear little furbaby. Mona is also sharing her contemporary romance/family life fiction novel, Six Months.

Mona:

Our newest addition to the family is a teeny tiny, now 8 ½ week old Morkie. Lucky is about 1 lb and will be between 4-6 lbs when fully grown. When we went to the farm to choose him, I wanted the quietest, most timid creature they had. I found Lucky hiding behind a large plant by himself, shaking. He was terrified and docile. The breeder swore he would fit in with our geriatric Maltipoo well due to his timid nature. She lied. Twenty-four hours after Lucky came home, he unleashed his true personality. Lucky is not timid, shy, docile, or quiet. There are days I call him Beelzebub and that is when I am feeling kind.

Because he is so tiny, I have stumbled and tripped over him. All my pants and pajama bottoms have holes where he sinks his teeth in and holds on as I drag him from room to room. I have lost him under the sofa, ottoman, bed, and once, in the refrigerator…don’t ask.

He has shredded the underside of my new family room furniture, peed all over my cream carpets, and eaten a ridiculous amount of my grand-daughters stuffed animals. He dives off furniture, launches from couch to chair to table. Like an ape, he has climbed the baby gate I use to keep him in the bathroom so I don’t have to kennel him when I’m gone. Lucky has destroyed my house, furniture, and clothes, but none of that matters because he has stolen my heart.~

Six Months Blurb:

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters.

Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.
With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Six Months – Excerpt
Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.
When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.
The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.
People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed…and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

Amazon: https://goo.gl/gRmsMr
Kobo: https://goo.gl/ovXr3A
B&N: https://goo.gl/bQfNL1
Ibooks: https://goo.gl/yD7qfX

Author bio:
Mona Sedrak lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she is now writing mainstream fiction and women’s fiction. She is an avid reader and is probably Audible’s best customer. Writing and reading fiction is her escape from reality.

Mona lives with her husband of 31 years, a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. She binge watches too many shows to count and she loves fine brandy.

Website: https://www.monasedrak.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mona-Sedrak/e/B003VGUOZQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMSedrak

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563964.Mona_Sedrak
Email: AuthorMonaSedrak@gmail.com
Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/h1a1s0
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormonasedrak/
Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MonasReaderGroup/

Thanks for stopping by! Pleas leave Mona a comment.

Furbaby Friday With Julie Howard!


I’m glad to welcome Julie Howard to the blog to share her precious furbabies and her recent release, Spirited Quest, a mystery with a paranormal twist.

Julie: I’ve had several longtime furbabies in my life, from childhood through present. I’ll be honest here – they don’t rank up there with my children, but they are mighty darn close! My love of dogs has passed down to my two adult kids, something that is so rewarding to me. This means, of course, that now I have fur-grandbabies!

Gem is a Goldendoodle and wiggled her way into my heart from our first meeting. We’ve gone on trips together, and she comes for sleepovers when my daughter travels. She’s a great pal to my own 12-year-old puppy, a Sheltie named Patch. Gem is incredibly smart and insists on sitting up front in the passenger seat when we go somewhere. I do believe she thinks she’s human.

Holly is a one-year old Berniedoodle (St. Bernard and Golden Retriever mix),and yes, she’s BIG. She also has a huge heart and is a bundle of love, goofiness and gallons of St. Bernard slobber. I fell in love with her at first sight. My son and his girlfriend are having a blast with their furbaby and I am so proud of this new fur-grandbaby in our family.

I never forget my own fellow, though. Patch is my constant companion, quiet and gentle. He follows me from room to room, and greets me at the door when I return each day. My friend is getting old and a little slower now, and I appreciate every day we have together.

My latest release is Spirited Quest, a mystery with paranormal twist. The book is part of the Deerbourne Inn series, all stand-alone books about a fictional small town and residents in Vermont. I hope you enjoy reading about this mystery.

Blurb:
Paige Norman believes in a tangible, explainable world. When her ghost-hunting niece comes for a visit, she tries not to scoff. But someone, or something, is stirring up trouble at the Deerbourne Inn and her niece, Jillian, is at the center of the mystery.

Paige is certain the handsome Aussie photographer is behind the unexplained disturbances, and she warns her niece to stay clear. Meanwhile, Jillian gets to know the otherworldly Lady of the Deerbourne, who foretells an encounter with “two men.” Then the pranks turn dangerous. Has her niece attracted a stalker or has she conjured an evil presence? Can the culprit be the man who has captured her heart?

Excerpt:

He nodded a friendly greeting to her, his gaze grazing past to include others on the porch. “G’day, ma’am. G’day all.”
An Australian. Her heart skipped a beat. Oh, to be twenty-five, even thirty-five, again. His gaze settled on her niece, and as always happened to men where this girl was concerned, his jaw slackened, then tightened.
Next to her, Jillian grew still, lifting wide blue eyes to the newcomer. The moment passed. He was through the front door and into the lobby, and the door closed behind him.
“You’re in for some nice company this week,” Paige commented with a smile.
A frown flickered across her niece’s face. “I’ve seen him before.”
“You’ve met?”
“Not exactly. He appeared to me in a dream.” Jillian’s blue eyes were troubled as she gazed at the Inn’s front door. She lifted one hand and rubbed the back of her head, then gave a shiver. “There was blood and I was afraid.”

Bio:
Julie Howard is the author of “Crime and Paradise” and “Crime Times Two.” She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.

Author Links:

Website: http://juliemhoward.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18116047.Julie_Howard

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07D6CS4NQ

Buy Links for Spirited Quest:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U1Q61b

IBooks: https://apple.co/2FPadg1

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirited-quest-julie-howard/1130412180?ean=2940161285923

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Julie a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Sandra Dailey!


A warm welcome to Sandra and her dear little dog. Sandra is also sharing her new release with us,  a romantic suspense, The Co-Parent Project.

Sandra: I wish you could meet my furbaby, Archie. He’s a small, black and white terrier mix about seven-years-old. He was given to me by my sister four years ago. He’s quiet, well-behaved, and follows me everywhere.

Archie and I went through a scary time at the beginning of the year. He developed a bad cough and sneezing fits. I thought it was a cold. Still, I wanted to have him checked out. I made several attempts to contact his vet, to no avail. I decided it was time to find someone else.

After two hours of exams, tests, and x-rays with his new vet, I found out my little buddy was in big trouble. He had an abscessed tooth that had breached his sinus cavity, (the sneezing). Having a dental background I knew this could be fatal. He needed surgery.

His new vet was concerned about putting him under because of his loud heart murmur. Why hadn’t I been told he had a heart murmur by his old vet? A chest x-ray showed his heart wasn’t swollen, but he had a soft tissue collapse in his trachea, (the coughing). She could do the surgery, but I was ordered not to allow him to wear a collar ever again—more information I wish I’d had earlier.
The surgery was a success. But the month that followed was a challenge. We both love his new vet. It makes me wonder, though. Where would we be now if his old vet had answered her phone?

Interesting fact about Archie—he loves wearing clothes—sweaters, shirts, jackets, or just a bandana on hot days.

The Co-Parent Project

Parenting style won’t matter if they don’t all survive.

Blurb:
Luca Wolff and Joy Sullivan are competing for guardianship of their estranged, teenage nephew, Eric, after his parents are killed in a plane crash. Evidence shows the crash wasn’t an accident. Neither was a recent explosion that destroyed Luca’s house. When a fire is intentionally set in Joy’s home, suspicion points to Eric–and that’s not the end of their trouble.

Eric has been in his share of mischief, but now he has a chance to clean up his reputation. That’s hard to do when the only people who believe in you are the ones you’re accused of targeting. Just as Luca and Joy give in to romance, new information comes to light that could tear them apart along with Eric’s dream for a happy family. The three have to set aside their grief, personal issues, and disagreements to figure out who is out to kill them…and why.

Excerpt:
As soon as he walked through the door the smell of chemicals nearly drove him back outside. The odor was so strong it made his eyes water. He couldn’t take it anymore. “How can you live with the constant stench in this house?”

“I’m sorry. Mrs. Erving needed a perm today.” Joy walked in through the kitchen door carrying a squeeze bottle of mustard. “I was just making lunch. Would you like a ham and cheese sandwich?”

“No thanks,” he snarled. “All I’d be able to taste is that nasty smell.”

“How can you taste a smell?”

“You’d know if your olfactory receptors weren’t burned away. That stuff has got to cause brain damage.”

“Do you plan to claim it as a way to get Eric away from me? I wouldn’t put anything past a Wolff.”

Buy Links:
Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2EmYPGj
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NocQ9P
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2IrWA8V

Author Bio:
From childhood I’ve moved from place to place, from Indiana to Florida, stopping in several places in between. I also moved from job to job; as a waitress, soldier, retail manager, dental assistant, etc… The one thing I never had to leave behind was my imagination. Storytelling has always been my favorite way to pass time. I’ve often been told I should write a book. Finally, I did. It was so much fun: I felt I must write more, so I have. I’ve been a student of Long Ridge Writers Group and once won a short story contest with Harlequin. I currently live in North Florida with my husband, whom I torture with crazy story lines and half written manuscripts.

Contact Info:
Website/Blog: http://www.sandradailey.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/sandradailey
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551048.Sandra_Dailey

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Sandra a comment.