Memorial Day

The United States of America was founded on Godly principles. As we celebrate this Memorial Day, I pray that we will remember our roots and thank God that our nation is still free. Problems abound, but God has blessed us with freedom and for that I am grateful. Let’s remember to pray for our nation today.

I lived on many military bases during my husband’s career, and I never ceased to be stirred by the playing of the national anthem every afternoon as the flags were lowered. I will always know that freedom for our nation came at a great cost, with sacrifices of many lives. Let us honor those sacrifices today with our gratitude and our prayers for their loved one left behind.

God Bless America by Kate Smith

My Steps Are Directed

I don’t know how you all are feeling about life right now, but I have been buffeted by some heavy storms lately and I needed this reminder. I may not know what God is doing, but I can rest assured that He knows. He knows my heart is hurting because of what is happening with my grandson. We were told on Friday that his Bible that I had bought him to take to boot camp was stolen. He has no access to computers or the internet so that was his only access to God’s Word. I’m going to write him later today and tell him to ask the chaplain for a Bible and hope he can get a new one that way. My sister who has lived in the area (less than an hour from me) is moving to North Carolina today for health reasons. We share our love of books and will still be able to talk on the phone, but I cannot get to her easily if I want to because she will be almost four hours away. Finally, my daughter called and both of her dogs, the friendly faces that greet me when we go to visit, died this week. Her children are rightly upset which tears at this Nanna’s heart. Yes, they were old and they died peacefully, so there is that to be thankful for. It was just “one more thing.”

In spite of (or maybe because of) all of these events, I have been weepy and more that a little discouraged. I pray, I worship, I read and I write. Then, on Thursday, I ended up at my doctor’s office because I was having difficulty breathing. The usual for me..sinus infection and bronchitis with prescriptions for steroids and antibiotics. The good news is that our planned trip to Maryland and Pennsylvania to visit our children and grandchildren can still happen. I just have to take my nebulizer along and use it regularly. Was this part of my plan? No, of course not! None of the above circumstances were part of what I would plan for me. But God is in control and the final word is that I trust Him, completely and without reservation. He has the road map and I only have a small part of it that He shows me as He needs me to know. All of my crying and dismay is not for nothing because I have been pouring my heart out to my Heavenly Father, getting closer to the Only One who can lead me through all of this. He knows what is going on and He has comforted me and sent me words of hope and encouragement like those above. Meanwhile, I would appreciate prayers from each of my friends online for strength and for renewal of my spirit. I appreciate you all more than words can say because I know that wherever you are, you will pray for me and my little road bumps. I will go on in fellowship with God, believing that He is working all things out for my ultimate good.

May God bless you with a straight path that you can walk in victory.

Review of NEVER COMING HOME by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Lucas Forester is the antagonist in this twisted tale about domestic drama with thrills up the wazoo. He is a guy I just couldn’t hate because he was so intelligent and figured out all of the possible scenarios before he acted. His very wealthy wife Michelle is missing and Lucas has a plan already in play for when she is declared dead. Notice that the word I used is “when” not “if.” You see, Lucas planned her murder, hired someone to carry it out and is not just waiting for the declaration of her death so that he can be independently wealthy. He had lots of ideas for what he could do while he waits for Michelle to be found. In fact, the entire plot revolves around Lucas’s plans which are constantly evolving as the situation changes. There is a complication to his well-thought out plan when it appears that the killer he hired from the dark web is sending him photos to blackmail him. Another problem for the very devious Lucas to contend with! The characters are mostly likable but very complex. The book has a well-developed plot, but the whole story is actually centered around the characters and what makes them act the way they do. All of them are sympathetic characters except for Lucas who is just plain old despicable. I think I liked him because he is like Wiley Coyote, always trying to catch the roadrunner and always running into trouble for his efforts. The plot has some great twists in it and innumerable red herrings. This is the kind of book that I really get caught up in because it kept me guessing all the way until the end. And the surprise twist at the end is just perfect, absolutely perfect! I would love this book to be made into a movie because I can just picture the story unwinding on the big screen, complete with deception and maliciousness as well as the conniving that takes place. This was such a good book and so well-written that I was sorry that it had to end. Fans of domestic thrillers will want to get this book and discuss it with others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Caution for my readers: This is an intense book with several triggers in it, including drug addiction, abuse and violence. I would rate it a hard PG but actually think it is best suited for adults who enjoy domestic thrillers with a psychological twist.
Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing, and is now the author of The Neighbors, Her Secret Son, Sister Dear and You Will Remember Me. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons, and is delighted by her twenty-second commute. Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @HannahMMcKinnon
Instagram: @hannahmarymckinnon
Facebook: @HannahMaryMcKinnon




The steady noise from the antique French carriage clock on the mantelpiece had somehow amplified itself, a rhythmic tick-tick, tick-tick, which usually went unnoticed. After I’d been sitting in the same position and holding my ailing mother-in-law’s hand for almost an hour, the incessant clicking had long wormed its way deep into my brain where it grated on my nerves, stirring up fantasies of hammers, bent copper coils, and shattered glass.

Nora looked considerably worse than when I’d visited her earlier this week. She was propped up in bed, surrounded by a multitude of pillows. She’d lost more weight, something her pre-illness slender physique couldn’t afford. Her bones jutted out like rocks on a cliff, turning a kiss on the cheek into an extreme sport in which you might lose an eye. The ghostly hue on her face resembled the kids who’d come dressed up as ghouls for Halloween a few days ago, emphasizing the dark circles that had transformed her eyes into mini sinkholes. It wasn’t clear how much time she had left. I was no medical professional, but we could all tell it wouldn’t be long. When she’d shared her doctor’s diagnosis with me barely three weeks ago, they’d estimated around two months, but at the rate of Nora’s decline, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise if it turned out to be a matter of days.

Ovarian cancer. As a thirty-two-year-old Englishman who wasn’t yet half Nora’s age I’d had no idea it was dubbed the silent killer but now understood why. Despite the considerable wealth and social notoriety Nora enjoyed in the upscale and picturesque town of Chelmswood on the outskirts of Boston, by the time she’d seen someone because of a bad back and they’d worked out what was going on, her vital organs were under siege. The disease was a formidable opponent, the stealthiest of snipers, destroying her from the inside out before she had any indication something was wrong.

A shame, truly, because Nora was the only one in the Ward family I actually liked. I wouldn’t have sat here this long with my arse going numb for my father-in-law’s benefit, that’s for sure. Given half the chance I’d have smothered him with a pillow while the nurse wasn’t looking. But not Nora. She was kindhearted, gentle. The type of person who quietly gave time and money to multiple causes and charities without expecting a single accolade in return. Sometimes I imagined my mother would’ve been like Nora, had she survived, and fleetingly wondered what might have become of me if she hadn’t died so young, if I’d have grown up to be a good person.

I gradually pulled my hand away from Nora’s and reached for my phone, decided on playing a game or two of backgammon until she woke up. The app had thrashed me the last three rounds and I was due, but Nora’s fingers twitched before I made my first move. I studied her brow, which seemed furrowed in pain even as she slept. Not for the first time I hoped the Grim Reaper would stake his or her claim sooner rather than later. If I were death, I’d be swift, efficient, and merciful, not prescribe a drawn-out, painful process during which body, mind, or both, wasted away. People shouldn’t be made to suffer as they died. Not all of them, anyway.


I jumped as Diane, Nora’s nurse and my neighbor, put a hand on my shoulder. She’d only left the room for a couple of minutes but always wore those soft-soled shoes when she worked, which meant I never heard her coming until she was next to me. Kind of sneaky, when I thought about it, and I decided I wouldn’t sit with my back to the door again.

As she walked past, the air filled with the distinctive medicinal scent of hand sanitizer and antiseptic. I hated that smell. Too many bad memories I couldn’t shake. Diane set a glass of water on the bedside table, checked Nora’s vitals, and turned around. Hands on hips, she peered down at me from her six-foot frame, her tight dark curls bouncing alongside her jawbone like a set of tiny corkscrews.

“You can go home now. I’ll take the evening from here.” Regardless of her amicable delivery, there was no mistaking the instruction, but she still added, “Get some rest. God knows you look like you need it.”

“Thanks a lot,” I replied with mock indignation. “You sure know how to flatter a guy.”

Diane cocked her head to one side, folded her arms, and gave me another long stare, which to anyone else would’ve been intimidating. “How long since you slept? I mean properly.”

I waved a hand. “It’s only seven o’clock.”

“Yeah, I guess given the circumstances I wouldn’t want to be home alone, either.”

I looked away. “That’s not what this is about. I’ll wait until Nora wakes up again. I want to say goodbye. You know, in case she…” My voice cracked a little on the last word and I feigned a cough as I pressed the heels of my palms over my eyes.

“She won’t,” Diane whispered. “Not tonight. Trust me. She’s not ready to go.”

I knew Diane had worked in hospice for two decades and had seen more than her fair share of people taking their last breaths. If she said Nora wouldn’t die tonight, then Nora would still be here in the morning.

“I’ll leave in a bit. After she wakes up.”

Diane let out a resigned sigh and sat down in the chair on the opposite side of the bed. A comfortable silence settled between us despite the fact we didn’t know each other very well. I’d first met Diane and her wife Karina, who were both in their forties, when they’d struck up a conversation with me and my wife Michelle as we’d moved into our house on the other side of Chelmswood almost three years prior. Something about garbage days and recycling rules, I think. The mundane discussion could’ve led to a multitude of drinks, shared meals, and the swapping of embarrassing childhood stories, except we were all what Michelle had called busy professionals with (quote) hectic work schedules that make forging new friendships difficult. My Captain Subtext translated her comment as can’t be bothered and, consequently, the four of us had never made the transition from neighbors to close friends.

Aside from the occasional holiday party invitation or looking after each other’s places whenever we were away—picking up the mail, watering the plants, that kind of thing—we only saw each other in passing. Nevertheless, Karina regularly left a Welcome Back note on our kitchen counter along with flowers from their garden and a bottle of wine. Not one to be outdone on anything, Michelle reciprocated, except she’d always chosen more elaborate bouquets and fancier booze. My wife’s silent little pissing contests, which I’d pretended to be too dense to notice, had irked me to hell and back, but when Nora fell ill and Diane had been assigned as one of her nurses, I’d been relieved it was someone I knew and trusted.

“I’m sorry this is happening to you,” Diane said, rescuing me from the spousal memories. “It’s not fair. I mean, it’s never fair, obviously, but on top of what you’re going through with Michelle. I can’t imagine. It’s so awful…”

I acknowledged the rest of the words she left hanging in the air with a nod. There was nothing left to say about my wife’s situation we hadn’t already discussed, rediscussed, dissected, reconstructed, and pulled apart all over again. We’d not solved the mystery of her whereabouts or found more clues. Nothing new, helpful or hopeful, anyway. We never would.

Silence descended upon us again, the gaudy carriage clock ticking away, reviving the images of me with hammer in hand until the doorbell masked the sound.

“I’ll go,” Diane muttered, and before I had the chance to stand, she left the room and pulled the door shut. I couldn’t help wondering if her swift departure was because she needed to escape from me, the man who’d used her supportive shoulder almost daily for the past month. I decided to tone it down a little. Nobody wanted to be around an overdramatic, constant crybaby regardless of their circumstances.

I listened for voices but couldn’t hear any despite my leaning toward the door and craning my neck. I couldn’t risk moving in case Nora woke up. Her body was failing, but her mind remained sharp as a box of tacks. She’d wonder what I was up to if she saw my ear pressed against the mahogany panel. Solid mahogany. The best money could buy thanks to the Ward family’s three-generations-old construction empire. No cheap building materials in this house, as my father-in-law had pointed out when he’d first given me the tour of the six bedrooms, four reception rooms, indoor and outdoor kitchens (never mind the abhorrent freezing Boston winters), and what could only be described as grounds because yard implied it was manageable with a push-along mower.

“Only the best for my family,” Gideon had said in his characteristic rumbly, pompous way as he’d knocked back another glass of Laphroaig, the broad East Coast accent he worked hard to hide making more of a reappearance with each gluttonous glug. “No MDF, vinyl or laminate garbage, thank you. That’s not what I’m about. Not at all.”

It’s in the houses you build for others, I’d thought as I’d grunted an inaudible reply he no doubt mistook for agreement because people rarely contradicted him. As I raised my glass of scotch, I didn’t mention the council flats I grew up in on what Gideon dismissed as the lesser side of the pond, or the multiple times Dad and I had been kicked out of our dingy digs because he couldn’t pay the rent, and we’d ended up on the streets. My childhood had been vastly different to my wife’s, and I imagined the pleasure I’d find in watching Gideon’s eyes bulge as I described the squalor I’d lived in, and he realized my background was worlds away from the shiny and elitist version I’d led everyone to believe was the truth. I pictured myself laughing as he understood his perfect daughter had married so far beneath her, she may as well have pulled me up from the dirt like a carrot, and not the expensive organic kind.

Of course, I hadn’t told him anything. I’d taken another swig of the scotch I loathed, but otherwise kept my mouth shut. As satisfying as it would’ve been, my father-in-law knowing the truth about my background had never been part of my long-term agenda. In any case, and despite Gideon’s efforts, things were working to plan. Better than. The smug bastard was dead.

And he wasn’t the only one.

Excerpted from Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon. Copyright © 2022 by Hannah Mary McKinnon. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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A Troubled Heart

The Bible tells us not to let our hearts be troubled and then explains that it is our faith in God that keeps us on the narrow path to victory. We just have to believe! Since “trust” is my word for this year, God has had me in some situations where I can do nothing less than trust, and many times, nothing more either.

But there is another word from the Lord that helps me to remains on a steady course, with my eyes fixed on him.

I just have to keep my focus on eternity and the fact that everything around me is temporal in order to build my own faith. This sounds like some kind of circular enigma, but the truth is that I keep my heart on the things of Heaven and the trust that I need to get through difficult situations follows.

My cat is a strange one, very loving, and very attached to my husband and me. We are her people. When I get out her food, she follows me around, with her eyes on the container until I put it in her dish and put the dish on the floor. She is single-minded, focused on getting that food. She completely trusts that I will give her the nourishment she needs but she still keeps her eyes on me and the food. That is how I think God wants us to focus on Him. We trust that He is going to take care of us, but we still keep our eyes fixed on Him, waiting for that moment when the blessings come, or maybe the answers to a prayer that we have been praying for a long time. Focused, fixed, single-minded…all lead to trust in the Only One whom we can completely trust.

Have a blessed and wonderful day and may God fill your hearts with trust in Him as you keep your heart fixed on Him.

Review of THE HONEYMOON COTTAGE by Lori Foster

The story of small-town life is front and center in this romantic tale by Lori Foster. Yardley Belanger is living with her aunt and mother, both of whom have a tendency to criticize her constantly. She is running the family business of wedding planning as well as helping out anyone in the community who needs it. Meanwhile, her own dreams are put on hold, to the point that she dares not dream a future for herself. In planning a wedding for his sister, Yardley meets Travis, a hunky contractor who is attracted to her and vice versa. The story of their romance is one for the ages, with a few bumps but mostly a lot of humor. Yardley’s way of speaking is so realistic that I could just hear her rambling on from topic to topic at a high rate of speed. I think her conversations were my favorite part of the book. I liked getting to know all of the characters of the small town of Cemetery, especially Betty, a disagreeable older woman who wants everything to stay the same. The characters were well-developed and each was given a different and intriguing personality. Mimi, Yardley’s best friend and protector, was charming and witty as she dealt with being a new mom and trying to encourage romance in her life. The plot rolled along at a good pace, perfect for the story and engaging to read. Fans of light romance will enjoy this stroll down the path of romance and will particularly enjoy getting to know the residents of Cemetery.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Rated PG-13 because of sexual references and innuendo. Also, an unmarried couple is living together in this book.
Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with over 10 million books sold. She received the Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews and her books have been chosen as editors picks by Amazon multiple times. Foster is actively involved in charity work, and all of the author proceeds from her anthologies have gone to various organizations, such as the Animal Adoption Foundation, the Conductive Learning Center, and One Way Farm. She lives in Ohio with her high school sweetheart.
Author Website
Twitter: @LoriLFoster
Facebook: Lori Foster
Instagram: @lorilfoster

Chapter 1, Excerpt

“Mother, didn’t you plan to go out?” It was nearing noon, and Aurora Belanger had yet to leave. Lilith, her mother’s sister, also lingered in the foyer right outside her office. It was as if they knew she had an appointment and they wanted to oversee the process. It was a fact that no matter how she succeeded, they expected her to fail, or sometimes they just disapproved of how she succeeded.

“Why the rush?” Aurora asked as she adjusted the V-neck of her sleeveless blouse to show more cleavage.

Granted, for an almost-fifty-year-old woman, her mother still had it. The problem was that she knew it, and she focused on looking sexy more than she did on making the business work. Yardley forced her mouth into a smile. “I thought you had some local honeymoon locations to scope out today.”

“I don’t scope out locations. And stop slouching.”

Automatically, Yardley straightened, but damn it, she hadn’t been slouching anyway. “So, what would you call it?”

“I visit, investigate, and collect valuable information that will enhance our clients’ experiences.” She shot Yardley a superior look. “It’s a key part of the business, you know. Certainly, the locations I suggest are more appropriate than that rustic Honeymoon Cottage you always recommend.”

“The cottage is amazing and you know it.” 

Aurora sniffed. “Most people are more interested in their honeymoon than the actual wedding.”

Meaning her mother’s contributions were more valuable than Yardley’s efforts? Baloney. She knew one thing though: Aurora’s choices were certainly more expensive. Folding her arms, Yardley said, “Huh. I guess a lot of happy clients didn’t realize that, because more than half choose the cottage, so—”

“Because it’s so disgustingly cheap,” Aurora insisted.

“Affordable,” Yardley countered, but why she bothered, she didn’t know. They’d disagreed on the point too many times to count.

“I need to leave soon for the café,” Aunt Lilith interrupted. She was four years Aurora’s senior, and though they shared similar features, she was more concerned with flaunting her intellect than her sex appeal. At least the niche, tea-parlor-type café Lilith owned turned a small profit, even though they’d transitioned from meeting prospective clients there to having them at the home office instead.

Lilith focused on Yardley with nerve-rattling acuity. “Whatever are you up to, Yardley? Do you have an appointment, hmm?”

“Yes, I do, and I need to prep for it. So… I’ll see you both later.” She took a step back. Then another. Neither of them budged. Damn.

Lilith gave her a longer look. “Don’t you have something more appropriate to wear?”

Looking down at her summer dress, Yardley frowned in consternation. It was one of her favorites. She adored the way the soft, flowing material gently draped her body. The skirt ended mid-calf, and it had just enough adornment to make it professional while still being comfortable. Plus Mimi had told her that the pretty blue floral pattern matched her eyes. “I love this dress.” 

“It doesn’t scream professionalism,” said her aunt.

“I’m not sure I want my clothes to scream.”

Ignoring that, her aunt said, “Yellow would be better for you, to offset your dark hair. Perhaps a business suit.”

A yellow business suit? She’d look like a block of butter.

“Nonsense,” said her mother. “Just the opposite is true. It wouldn’t kill you to wear something a little less matronly.”

“My dress isn’t matronly.” Was it? No, no, it was comfortable, damn it.

“You have breasts. Even though they’re small, you should showcase them.”

Yardley started to sweat. “Look, both of you—”

Aunt Lilith cut in. “Only you, Aurora, would think she needed to be sexy to sell a wedding. If you’d furthered your education, as I did, instead of getting pregnant so young—”

“That wasn’t my fault,” Aurora gasped in affront—as she always did when this debate got started.

“Well, it certainly wasn’t mine.” Lilith scoffed. “I didn’t have unprotected sex.”

“Likely because you, dear sister, have never experienced real passion.”

Lilith’s face went red. “No one said passion must equal an unwanted baby—no offense, Yardley.”

Yardley obligingly replied, “None taken.” This whole argument was so old, she knew the lines by heart. There was always some variant of the same thing. Over and over again.

It infuriated Mimi. If her friend was here now, she’d be blasting them both.

“I did the responsible thing,” Aurora specified with flair. “I raised my daughter. You’d probably have given her up.”

“How dare you?” Lilith pointed one manicured finger Yardley’s way. “I love Yardley.”

“Now you do. But while I was carrying her?” 

“I was attempting to be the reasonable one.”

“You didn’t want her around, but now you try to claim her as your own.”

“At least I don’t advise her to show off her breasts!”

Yardley lifted her phone to look at the time…and then she heard two things. A man clearing his throat, and a young woman giggling.

OMG. Awash with humiliation, she turned to face her clients…and holy crapola. Pretty sure her ovaries just danced.

Travis Long was a feast for the peepers. She knew because her eyes were gobbling him up from head to toe.

He wasn’t the intended, thank God, just the brother. Is he married?

Good Lord, why did she care? But she answered herself real quick as she took him in feature by feature. Sandy-blond hair, steaked by the sun.

Dark brown eyes, fringed by ridiculous—like, really ridiculous—long, thick lashes.

Broad muscled shoulders.

Lean torso.

Long, strong legs.

Of course he had to be married. He’d probably had a dozen proposals by now. Some lucky woman would have snatched him up already.

Unless… Remembering her initial phone conversation, she thought maybe he was too aloof. Too unfriendly. A discerning woman wouldn’t be reeled in by mere good looks. Somehow she didn’t feel all that discerning right now.

Whatever this man does for a living, it works in his favor.

The young woman laughed aloud this time. “Don’t worry, Ms. Belanger. He has that effect on everyone.” She nodded at Aurora and Lilith, and Yardley realized they were both gawking, too. 

Appalled, Yardley loudly cleared her throat—and accomplished nothing. Her mother and aunt continued to stare.

“I’ve told him he could have made more money as a model,” the young woman said, “but no, my brother went into construction instead.”

Attempting to ignore the heat in her face, Yardley stepped forward, hand extended—toward the woman. Who would be her client. She was the one who mattered. “Hello. You must be Ms. Long.”

“Soon to be Mrs. Borden, with your help.”

“Oh, I do hope so. That I get to help, I mean. Not that you become Mrs. Borden. I’m sure that’s a foregone conclusion or you wouldn’t be here.” Shut up, Yardley. “Please, just call me Yardley.”

“If you’ll call me Sheena.”

Beside her, Travis shifted but said nothing. Compared to him, his sister looked extra petite. Her hair, lighter blond than Travis’s, hung just past her shoulders. They shared the same striking dark eyes and sinful lashes.

Sheena appeared to be just out of her teens. Maybe twenty or twenty-one. Young, excited, and brimming with optimism. Total opposite of her silent, possibly brooding, brother.

What could she say with her aunt and mother still eyeballing him as if they’d never seen such a fine specimen before? Honestly, in Cemetery, they probably hadn’t. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to help plan your wedding.” Reluctantly, because she wasn’t yet prepared to gaze on him again, Yardley turned to Travis. It took her a second to get her lungs to work, and then she gasped, “I take it you’re Travis Long, the Victorian home enthusiast?”

“I am.” He briefly clasped her hand.

Very perfunctory. Not at all personal. Purely business.

But he had magic hands or something because she felt that touch radiate everywhere. With her tingling palm, she lamely gestured to the gawking duo. “My mother, Aurora Belanger, and my aunt, Lilith Belanger.”

Sheena greeted them with a little less warmth than she’d shown Yardley.

Travis merely gave them a nod, then said to Yardley, “I’m relieved to see you’ve kept the house true to the period.”

Oh goody, a safe subject, and one she was comfortable with. She could talk about the house and stare at him. “I’ve tried. Remodeling it has been a pleasure, but a slow process.” She wrinkled her nose. “Matching all that trim, finding the right valance windows, the iron railings—”

“And the slate roof. That impressed me.”

Oh, hey. She’d impressed him. Score one for her. “Most recently the kitchen got a facelift. I hope I did it justice.”

Sheena glanced around. “It’s beautiful. Can we do a tour of it later? I know it’d make this whole trip worthwhile for Travis.”

She shot a warning look at her mother and aunt. “Absolutely. I’ll show you everything.” What? “I mean, every part of the house. All the rooms. And stuff.” If only her mouth had a spigot she could turn off. “Even the upstairs rooms have been remodeled.” Had her mother and aunt left when they were supposed to, she’d have tidied their rooms for them. Now she couldn’t, meaning they were probably messy disasters.

Oh, how sweet it was to have a little payback against them. They were fanatics when it came to designing their rooms, but not so big on keeping them decluttered. Yardley knew exactly how they’d react—and they didn’t disappoint her.

“Excuse me,” Lilith said, exiting in a dignified, unhurried stride…until she was out of sight. Then they all heard the rushed clomping of her short heels on wood treads as she raced up the stairs. 

Aurora managed a wan smile. “Yes, I should go as well. Good luck, dear. Oh, not that my daughter needs luck, of course. She’s quite the talented wedding planner. Very popular here and in the neighboring towns. Why, her vintage weddings are heavily trending, or so she tells me. Personally, I prefer something a little more chic, which of course she offers.”

“Mother,” Yardley said, feeling her cheeks burn. “You don’t want to be late.”

“Oh, no. No, I don’t.” Aurora barely lowered her voice when she said in an aside, “Don’t slouch.” Then she turned and sashayed away, making a little less noise on the stairs than Lilith had. Unfortunately, they could hear them rushing around in their rooms, probably tucking away bras and shoes, clearing clutter from their desks, and hopefully tidying their beds.

It was the one thing she had in common with them: they each loved to show off the house. Since Aurora and Lilith had personally helped with the decor choices for their rooms, they were especially proud of them and loved to show them off.

Yardley pinned on her most professional smile. “We finished the upstairs as a divided living area, so both my aunt and my mother have their own private suites with bedrooms, bathrooms, and seating areas. My mother chose the side with the balcony, and Aunt Lilith has that romantic turret.”

“You live here, too?” Sheena asked.

“Yes, my bedroom is off to the right of the foyer, and the kitchen is to the left.” She gestured down the hall. “Only the dining room is used as my office. If you’d like to come this way, we can all get comfortable while you share your wedding ideas. Once I have a grasp of what you’re thinking, I can show you my portfolio and we can go over the budget.”

Excerpted from The Honeymoon Cottage by Lori Foster. Copyright © 2022 by Lori Foster. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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I’m pleased to have taken part in the Summer Reads Blog Tours from HTP Books.

God Promises to Restore

Have you ever felt assailed by the daily struggles that are life? This is not a new phenomenon, but a regular occurrence for mee and probably for most Christians. You accept Jesus as Savior and then you think that only good things will happen. Not true! The God who created us is in control but He does not control man’s choices and the sin that is in the world affecting us are the direct result of men’s choices. I am a sinner saved by grace but sin is still rampant in the world. Thus, the diseases that affect sinners can touch me, too. The hardships, the storms of life can all come my way. But, and this is a big but, those of us who have a relationship with the Lord can hold on to the promise that He says we will only suffer for a little while and then He Himself will restore us. Added to that promise is that He will make us strong, firm and steadfast. The boat may be rocking, but Jesus is walking across the water to get in with you!

Have a blessed day, my friends!

Praise God

I think all of us can relate to times when our faith was low and we thought we had failed God. Last week was such a time for me, but I clung tightly to the One in whom I believe and He is restoring me. I’m still struggling in some areas, but God knows and He is meeting me right where I am, just as He will do for you.

God bless you and your day with Him and His presence, reminding you of His love and faithfulness.

Review of MIDNIGHT DUNES by Laura Griffin

This is the third book in the Texas Murder Files series and is just as good as the gorgeous cover presents. It can be read as a standalone, but I did read the other two books and really enjoy the series. In this latest romance thriller, Macey Burns comes to Lost Beach to film a tourism commercial and gets caught up in a murder investigation. There she meets Detective Owen Breda, a quiet man with a lot of responsibility to catch a killer who seems to be escalating. The book begins with the description of a murder scene and the action ramps up from there and goes full steam ahead all the way to the end. As Owen investigates and Macey films, a killer is walking among them and they both know it but cannot seem to figure out who it is. There are red herrings, which I love, and plenty of twists in the story. The love affair that begins between Macey and Owen begins slowly and builds as each discovers a need for each other. All of the characters are well fleshed out but especially Macey and Owen. Some of the other characters were more fully developed in the other books and are a welcome addition to this one. I enjoyed the relationships, both professional and personal between the police officers at Lost Beach. They are dedicated to the pursuit of justice and don’t mind losing sleep to find it. I liked that Macey had a less than stellar past and that she is not afraid to admit it and move on. Mostly, I enjoyed the cat and mouse game that the police engaged in with the murderer. With missing cars, assaults on innocent bystanders and lots of action in every chapter, this book kept me reading until reached the ending, with a sigh of satisfaction and a desire to go back to Lost Beach for the next adventure there.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Rated PG-13: violence, sex (not graphic descriptions though)
Information and photos from the author’s website at

MIDNIGHT DUNES releases tomorrow, but you can pre-order today. Purchase Links:

Google Play Store



Barnes and Noble