It’s not a secret here on Pages that Deb Raney is special to us. She’s become not only a friend to each of us, but also a mentor and cheerleader as we pursue our own writing dreams. This winter Deb gave me a copy of her new book that would be out in May. I took that book to bed with me and read until two a.m.. The next morning I grabbed it again and got nothing else done until I had finished the last page, sometime after noon.
The Face of the Earth is a true page-turner. It’s high suspense without any of the fear or creepiness that we sometimes associate with a suspense book. The premise is, what would happen if someone you love suddenly went missing without a trace. How and where would you find peace if you never knew what happened. Mitchell and Jill Brannon have a great marriage. They are recently empty nesters and life looks good as they start a new chapter in their lives–until Jill doesn’t come home from a conference in Kansas City. She called before leaving the hotel so when the sun sets and she still isn’t home Mitchell gets concerned. Was she unhappy with their marriage? Did she meet up with an old boyfriend? Was there foul play in the parking garage? Is it possible to fall off the face of the earth?
I had this story figured out at least five times while reading it and yet, when the truth came out, I never suspected a thing! Delightful!!
I’ve read every one of Deb’s books and I can honestly say her writing just gets better with each new novel. The suspense woven into this story keeps you turning the page. Somehow Deb wrote Jill in a way that you know her and can even hear her voice in the story and yet she’s the one missing. Often the characters in suspense stories are bigger than life, but these characters could be your next door neighbors–or you. Who hasn’t seen a missing person story on TV and wondered how they would handle that situation. Not knowing where someone you love is, would be the worst situation ever, in my opinion.
After reading this book, I had to drive to the airport in KC. The whole time I was watching and looking over my shoulder! This story kept playing through my mind. What would happen if I never came back? How long until anyone would notice and look for me? Would they look for me? Those questions made my own trip a whole lot more fun with just the right touch of suspense!! Now that’s a great story!
The Face of the Earth just came out in the middle of May. Add it to the top of your summer reading list and then let me know what you think. I’d love to discuss this book with you!
After Julane’s story, I feel pretty lame posting a recipe, but I got a hankerin’ for a dessert this past weekend, and I wanted something that wasn’t off the charts in calories. I found this recipe on http://www.skinnytaste.com. It was pretty tasty! Even with my few adaptations, it still wasn’t too bad on the calorie scale.
I thought I’d share it with you all as it’s a perfect recipe for a spring get-together or for just the family.
Here you go …. super easy and fast to put together.
- 5 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel Cheese.)
- 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup Better n Peanut Butter (I used Organic Peanut Butter which has no sugar)
- 8 oz fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
- reduced fat graham cracker pie crusts (I used an Oreo Crust I had. Sooooo good!)
- 3 tbsp Hershey’s chocolate syrup (I used Special Dark Hershey’s Syrup.)
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a bowl. Add peanut butter and blend well. Then stir in whipped topping.
Pour in graham cracker pie crust. The Oreo one I had on hand and used was extremely good. Enough said.
Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.
Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/10 • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 216.8 • Fat: 6.4 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Carb: 32.9 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar:16.7 g
Sodium: 94.6 mgx in peanut butter until smooth.
Okay, so I just have to make note that those pre-made graham cracker (or Oreo) crusts are not huge pie crusts. They say this is supposed to make 10 servings. Yeah, right. We cut ours in eight.
My family really enjoyed it. I hope you will too!
In the country of Perhaps, in the province of Say-Who, was a tiny little village that was called O’That’lldo. There was just one little problem—had you ever cared to visit—it was such a little place that if you blinked you’d miss it.
The villagers were all quite sad, some even cried “Boo-Hoo. No one ever stops by here, whatever will we do? We need to come up with a plan—perhaps some flags and gidgets—so when they journey past our town they won’t blink and miss it.”
And so the Mayor shouted “Ye shall gather in the Square. Big and little. Young and old. Come one! Come all! Be There!” Now they all came running, from every nook and cranny. Mamas, papas, boys and girls and one old, old, old Granny.
Oh, the villagers had such big plans. The Mayor listened to them all. “We’ll have a picnic…a parade…and yes!, a Fireman’s Ball. We’ll sell tickets and build floats and hand out shiny whizzets. And from now on—just wait and see—they’ll come! They’ll stay! They’ll visit!”
Mamas, papas, boys and girls were all so busy talking they hardly noticed old, old, old Granny as she was slowly walking. She made her way down to the front and with a shy “yoo-hoo”, she said, “Mr. Mayor, I’ve a plan, and it’s a good one, too.”
“How can she help? What can she do? Why, she can hardly walk.”
“Quiet! Hush! Be still, I say, just listen to her talk.” With that the Mayor picked her up and set her on the stand, then to the crowd he said—quite loud—as he held up his hand, “I declare you must be still. Ye all shall cease to visit. Old Granny has something to say, and I don’t want to miss it.”
“I’m old, you know, a hundred years, a hundred years plus two, and I’ve outlived every Mayor except for Lazy Lou. Every village has a villain, and this one’s no exception. Lazy Lou still lives here, and he’s a master of deception. Oh, I know you cannot see him, that’s his dirty trick, I fear. You will never see him, but he’ll whisper in your ear.”
“Remember when your mothers said, “It’s time to pick up toys?” Old Granny shook her finger at all the village boys. “Old Lou was there, he’s always near, and you listened to him, too. He said, ‘just pick up three or four and then O’That’lldo’.”
By now the girls were giggling. Oh, they felt so very sly until old, old old Granny looked them in the eye. “Your mama’s said to each of you, ‘please sweep out all the dirt,’ but you listened as Lou whispered ‘some ‘neath the rug won’t hurt’.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12
I love spring. Just after the trees turn green and the grass starts to grow. Every where is vivid and fresh in hundreds of shades 0f green. And then there are the flowers that spring forth from the cold winter earth. I am certain that heaven will look this way. Just beyond the streets of gold and punctuated by the crystal streams.
There the aroma of our morning coffee will always smell like we just opened the can. The warm light of the Lord will wrap around us and the beauty will be amazing.
My mansion has a wrap around porch so every moment there will be a perfect spot. It will be painted white with white wicker chairs waiting to be used. The ceiling fans will be the fancy kind with blades that look like palm leaves. Roses will bloom on every trellis. And just in view of my favorite chair, God will have given Orin these wonderful tulip bulbs to plant. Oh, I just can hardly wait.
What kind of porch will be on your mansion? What kind of flowers will bloom in your yard?
I love the beauty of all kind of flowers and plants. I particularly like perennials, because it’s like a “surprise” every year when they make their appearance and bloom. Sure you know they’re there, because you planted them. But you’re waiting. You’re waiting. Then shazam! There it is! A sight to behold. And even though you know, year after year what they look like, their beauty never ceases to amaze and delight you.
If you plant annuals among the perennials, you’ll always have something blooming throughout the summer and into the fall. Much of what you plant depends on where you live, of course. I’ve always wanted a lemon tree in my yard, but living in Kansas sort of nipped that in the bud. (I know. Pathetic pun. I couldn’t help myself.)
I would have to say that one of my very favorite perennial plants is the mum. It’s green throughout the summer, but then blooms in all its glory in the autumn. Each individual little bloom is nice, but it’s the massive blooms all over the entire plant that make it so beautiful to me. It’s like a huge bouquet in every plant. There’s a certain kind of mum — available in a variety of colors — that I see most often here in Kansas. I don’t even know the official name for it. But while searching the internet for pictures, I learned there’s a lot more varieties than I was aware of. I love mums. Who knew there were so many kinds? Hmmm, I guess mum’s the word, eh?
God is most assuredly the Master Gardener and Creator of the heavens and earth. No matter what your favorite flower is, gaze upon all of His handiwork. Let the beauty fill your heart. Inhale the perfume from His flowers. And praise Him. I love hearing the birds sing His praises every morning. Let us not forget to do the same.
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:11-12 NASB
May you never cease to be amazed at the miracle and beauty in God’s creation.
For the past several years, one of my daughters-in-law has given me a Fuscia plant for Mother’s Day. At first they put on these little buds…
Then they continue to swell up, like a little balloon.
Then they get bigger and bigger and reveal a whole new flower…
First, I would like to congratulate, Larry Timm, for winning a copy of Angelguard by Ian Acheson in the book giveaway last Tuesday! We’ll be in touch about getting a copy to you! Click here to read my review of this supernatural thriller.
This week we are talking about flowers. I’d like to share with you a poem by one of Canada’s beloved authors, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Many of you will recognize the name as Montgomery is the author of Anne of Green Gables. Along with this poem, I’ve posted a few pictures of flowers that I took this spring.
– by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Surely the flowers of a hundred springs
Are simply the souls of beautiful things!
The poppies aflame with gold and red
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.
The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled
Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.
The lily, white as a star apart,
Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.
The daisies that dance and twinkle so
Were the laughter of children in long ago.
The sweetness of all true friendship yet
Lives in the breath of the mignonette.
To the white narcissus there must belong
The very delight of a maiden’s song.
And the rose, all flowers of the earth above,
Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.
Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs
Must be the souls of beautiful things.
We had a storm go through last night. It knocked the power off for several hours. In a way, the quiet was kind of nice. But I was very glad to wake up in the middle of the night to turn off the lights – and turn on the fan!
This week, we’re blogging about flowers. I didn’t get a picture uploaded because of the power outage – so here’s a shot of last year’s crop.
These were planted to fill a space that was too hard to mow. It reminds me that even my “problem areas” can be turned into something beautiful in God’s hands.
Irises are one of my favorite flowers. They’re beautiful – but also so strong and hardy. The pale lavendar and yellow ones can be traced back to my grandmother’s farm.
Last week Cherie came to visit for a few days. Usually we only get to be together at the writers conference in September. Those days are filled with nerves and stress so it was wonderful to get together just for fun. On Saturday, Susie M, Kathy and Julane joined us for an afternoon of talking, sharing and laughing. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
Over the years of being on this writing journey, I’ve learned writing and getting published isn’t easy, but the friendships I’ve made are worth it. I often think if I never get published, it will still be worth it because of the wonderful people I’ve met and the ladies I consider to be dear friends!
Have a wonderful weekend,