Almost Home

Almost Home

In Michigan during World War II, my grandfather and his brother had to cease selling automobiles at the car dealership they’d built from the ground up since 1926. All consumer cars, trucks, and parts production halted from February 1942 to October 1945.  Even customers who’d ordered cars previously couldn’t receive...

The Bookshop of Secrets

The Bookshop of Secrets

The bookshop setting with a mystery enticed me to read Mollie Rushmeyer’s The Bookshop of Secrets. The mystery itself is tied to first print editions that once belonged to the protagonist’s mother. Classic old books, a bookstore, family secrets, mysteries, treasure—what more do you need? Mollie writes “Contemporary...

Everything is Just Beginning

Everything is Just Beginning

Years ago, when I taught high school art, I wanted students to embrace the process of creating art and enjoy the journey. That’s why I graded their steps along the way, not just the end-product. My motto was: Creating a Product without the Process is like having the Sizzle without the Steak. I liken the Sizzle to the...

Night Bird Calling

Night Bird Calling

Author Cathy Gohlke does not hesitate delving into rough territory through her novels, going where angels fear to tread. With masterful storytelling, she champions the oppressed and victims of abuse. This includes those found in Christian circles—abuse that nobody likes to acknowledge or talk about. I mean the corruption...

Count the Nights by Stars

Count the Nights by Stars

When I read Devil in the White City years ago, I was fascinated by the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Not just the World’s Fair and all its creativity, but the juxtaposition of evil running rampant at the same time. Four years later came the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, the state’s historic centennial...

The Right Kind of Fool

The Right Kind of Fool

When I realized that The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas had a deaf protagonist, I didn’t know if I was ready to tackle that story not. How do you write from the perspective of a boy who can neither hear nor speak? How do you convey his experiences without being clunky and awkward?  But Sarah does an...

The Memory House

The Memory House

We all have memories associated with a place we call home, particularly ones we grew up in. Some memories are happy and pleasant, some might be sorrowful. But a house is much more than a place where we spend time growing up. At best, it’s a place of laughter, learning, and thriving. It can be a place of respite and...

What I Would Tell You

What I Would Tell You

My daughter and son recently got 23andMe DNA tests. Fortunately, no unknown relatives showed up. But we did learn a few things. I have a lot of Dutch on my side of the family, but it was confirmed we had more French in our background than expected. Besides my husband's French roots (among other things), my Dutch ancestors...

The Finding of Miss Fairfield

The Finding of Miss Fairfield

Years ago, when I took my young daughters to Mexico for a month-long visit, my ten-year-old niece Ana got stung by a scorpion upon our arrival to their home in a small rural town. My sister Carol immediately took her to the doctor for an anti-venom shot. Ana was okay but in pain.  That night, Carol advised us, “When you...

Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time

Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time

Do you have a muse? Do you consider yourself a creative?  I believe everyone has inherent creativity because we are made in the image of God, the Creator. Creativity shows up in multiple ways, whether you’re a teacher, a chef, an artist, a seamstress, a photographer, marketer, problem-solver, strategist, or...

Out of the Frying Pan

Out of the Frying Pan

Michelle Griep (see my February 15 post) is known for writing historical romantic suspense, but my first introduction to her was this hilarious “cozy romance with murder on the side”: Out of the Frying Pan, co-written with Kelly Klepfer.  Collaboration.  I don’t know how good of a collaborator I would be on a...

The Innkeeper’s Daughter

The Innkeeper’s Daughter

After wanting to read Michelle Griep’s historical romantic suspense for a while, I randomly selected The Innkeeper’s Daughter, a standalone novel, book 2 of 3 in the Bow Street Runner’s Trilogy. It’s set in 1808 England, near the onset of the Regency Era.  I was hooked. Every day, I couldn’t wait to read the next...

The Writing Desk

The Writing Desk

My first introduction to The Writing Desk (2017), by Rachel Hauck, was reading The Fifth Avenue Story Society (2020). (See my November 15 post.) Certain characters and situations overlap. Since I enjoyed The Fifth Avenue Story Society so much, I knew The Writing Desk, published  three years earlier, would be my next...

A Life Reclaimed

A Life Reclaimed

The best way to introduce A Life Reclaimed by Olivia Rae is by sharing the endorsement I was honored to write:  "Britain’s era of Queen Elizabeth I springs to life in Olivia Rae’s A Life Reclaimed. Compelling and evocative, this story pulsates with vitality, haunting regret, and irresistible love as danger lurks at every...

Catching the Wind

Catching the Wind

Time-slip fiction is fast becoming my favorite genre. Catching the Wind, a World War II novel by Melanie Dobson, helped confirm that. For a writer, maneuvering through two timelines is no easy task. It requires perfect timing and finesse.  It’s more than writing two separate plot lines. Each storyline must ebb...

Things We Didn’t Say

Things We Didn’t Say

Epistolary novels aren’t my go-to genre, yet whenever I dive into one, I’ve not been disappointed. In fact, I’m usually astounded by the way the author deftly carries the storyline through letters or journals, outside the usual narrative parameters of scenes utilizing action and dialog.  Here are a few I’ve...

Keeping Christmas

Keeping Christmas

I don’t usually read the new Christmas stories published each year, but when I heard about Naomi Craig’s novella, “The Weary World Rejoices,” I knew I wanted to read it. It’s another example of Biblical fiction at its best and offers a fresh perspective on the birth of Christ. The story is set in the castle of King Herod,...

Christmas at Whispering Creek

Christmas at Whispering Creek

I’ve watched many friends and acquaintances go through the trials and tribulations of breast cancer and treatment. But reading Barbara Britton’s Christmas at Whispering Creek was the first time I’d read about it in fiction, through the survivor’s point of view.  Barbara can write about this authentically, because she...

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Ten years ago, Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America went through a horrific ordeal with a rare blood disorder she acquired from her previous breast cancer treatment. It required chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.  Instead of withdrawing, she stepped forward and shared her experience with TV viewers and...

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill

What is it about old houses? It goes beyond the charm. When I walk through my neighborhood of Victorian homes, I’m sure they’re calling out to me: “Listen . . . Come learn my story . . .” They pique my curiosity. Who has lived there throughout the years? What secrets do they hold? Old houses are fodder for stories,...

Coming soon: A Hundred Magical Reasons, a novel

Join My Newsletter!

Stay in the loop! Subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter for book news & exclusive  giveaways.

Bonus: I’ll send you the Prequel to All That Is Hidden.

Follow Me Here!

Want Book Reviews?

Subscribe to the Standout Stories blog and I’ll send you Smoky Mountain recipes based on food in my novel All That Is Hidden.

By clicking “subscribe,” you agree with the terms of the privacy policy noted on the bottom of our website.

Pin It on Pinterest