Thursday, September 23, 2021

Guest Author, Denise Weimer

Author Denise Weimer gives us a glimpse into her new story, A Harvest Heart, and lets us in on a deal. Thank you, Denise.

 

A Harvest Heart

#16 in The Georgia Peaches Series

https://www.amazon.com/Harvest-Heart-Georgia-Peaches-Book/dp/B09F1FXWDL/

 




Back Cover:

Hope Richardson is good at just that—hoping. Problem is, she’s often disappointed—by fathers who die, boyfriends who ghost her, and promotion at her event planning firm. It’s her twin sister, Faith, for whom things work out. When Faith’s fiancé lands an out-of-town job, Hope is called home to plan a wedding in the Georgia foothills … and jumpstart the tea room Faith was supposed to run with their mother.

Of all the people to make the first reservation for his family farm’s new event barn, Tucker Bradshaw least expects Hope Richardson. She might’ve rebound-dated him their senior year of high school, but she was all too eager to run back to the star football player in college. Always wanting something bigger and better than their hometown of Clarkesville. Than him.

Her sister’s wedding plans land Hope in the midst of the opening season for Tucker’s corn maze. When a harvest romance reignites, Hope searches for the faith to finally live up to her name.

 

Bio:

Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense mostly set in her home state of Georgia. The author of a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas, she's also an editor  independently and through Iron Stream Media Fiction, a wife, and a mother of two daughters. She always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses. https://www.deniseweimerbooks.com

 




CHAPTER TWO

Tucker Bradshaw was pounding the last nail into the kitchen window frame of his family farm’s new event barn when voices made him pause. Female voices, coming from the main room on the other side of the open slider door.

“Oh, look at the woodwork. I love how they left the beams exposed, with those fancy metal brackets.”

“I do love the stone fireplace. But it’s very rustic. A far cry from the Charm House.”

“We can’t afford the Charm House.” The first speaker again, her airy voice growing tight. “And see, we could put the band up in that loft.”

Tucker laid his hammer next to the window he was about to insert. Apparently, he’d forgotten to bolt the main doors when he’d started work this morning. That’s what you got for being in a hurry … nosy women comparing his post-and-beam Gambrel barn to a Greek Revival mansion in the nearby historic town of Clarkesville. He ought to be out working the summer harvest with his dad and brother, but the rain had put his local contractor behind. And this place needed to be brochure-photo-ready this month if they hoped to pay back the massive loans they’d taken out this year.

So despite the fact that these women weren’t supposed to be in here, he put a smile on his face as he ambled into the main room. “Can I help you ladies?”

And there he stopped short, for not one, but two petite redheads turned toward him. He’d seen Faith Richardson a couple times in the last several years, whenever he’d been home from college. Each time, he’d done a painful double-take before his heart rate slowed down. But she must not have expected him to be back home, for she spoke with surprised emphasis.

“Tucker Bradshaw.”

And no need to double-take today, for her sister was right there beside her, unmistakable and in the flesh. Every fiber in Tucker’s body went into some sort of instant freeze-dry as Hope’s dark eyes swept him from the top of his tousled blond hair to the tips of his scuffed work boots.

“Faith. Hope.” Her name stuck on his tongue like the honey they sold in the open-air market across the parking lot.

“Hey, Tucker.” She seemed to pump enthusiasm into the greeting with the breath she drew, lifting her shoulders under the straps of her silky, red tank top. The only ginger he’d ever seen pull off wearing the color stood before him. The only girl who’d crushed his heart like a Ritz cracker.

Faith took a step forward. “I should’ve known you’d be here today.” Was that an apologetic glance she tossed at her sister? “I told Hope you’ve been behind the changes at Bradshaw Farms, even while you were still in school in Tifton.”

“Griffin,” he corrected. “ABAC is in Tifton.”

“Oh, right. Of course. And you went to UGA. I forgot that you and Hope started together in Athens before you went to … Griffin.” Faith faltered as her gaze again drifted to Hope, who shifted her purse on her shoulder and focused on the concrete floor. “Anyway, I love your new barn. Did you do it all yourself?”

He hooked a thumb in the pocket of his jeans, trying hard for casual. “It’s a kit barn. The company we bought it from came to lift the bents and drop the ridge in place. Basically, they raised the shell. We finish the inside. That’s why, as you can see, it’s not done.”

“Looks pretty close.”

Tucker jerked his thumb behind him. “You wouldn’t say that if you saw behind the slider. I’m finishing window installation, then I’ve got to frame out the kitchen and bathrooms so the plumber can come in.”

“Well, I’d love to see behind the curtain, so to speak.” Faith gave him a wink. She seemed perkier than he remembered. She’d hardly spoken to him in the past. “You see, I got engaged. We’re shopping for a reception venue.” She thrust her left hand toward him, bringing his attention to a shiny diamond.

Perkiness explained. She was a blooming bride. “Very nice. Congratulations. Neal Watkins?”

She nodded and smiled, catching her lower lip between her teeth.

“Lucky guy. When’s the date?”

“Mid-October.”

Hope brushed a strand of hair back. It fell just past her shoulders now, shorter than it had been in high school. “I told Faith you might not be ready for bookings. She doesn’t realize how much goes into planning big events.” She definitely sounded hopeful.

“And I guess you’re the maid of honor?”

“And the wedding planner, basically.”

The Richardson-Watkins wedding on Bradshaw property would mean Hope Richardson shoved back into his sphere. Again. But it would also snag one of the biggest events of the season. Even though Neal’s parents had moved to Chattanooga, his extended tribe remained in Habersham County—the reason he’d attended their local college. And they were one of the most influential families in the area, benefactors of said college.

“Then let me show you around. We’ll be ready in plenty of time for a mid-October wedding.” Did that sound confident enough?

Tucker walked them into the rear portion of the building, his back burning. He could just feel Hope studying him. His t-shirt might catch on fire from the intensity of her perusal. Sure enough, when he pivoted to face them, she whisked her gaze back to his face, giving a startled blink. He almost laughed. That moment of unguarded attention gave him confidence. At least he wasn’t the only one affected by proximity, even four years later.

 




** Want to read more? Today through the end of the month, you can pre-order an e-book of A Harvest Heart for .99!**

https://www.amazon.com/Harvest-Heart-Georgia-Peaches-Book/dp/B09F1FXWDL/


  

Friday, September 17, 2021

Kathy's Kitchen, Recipes From Friends

When I mentioned making potato salad a while back, and asked for favorite recipes, I received these yummy replies from three friends. Thanks, guys.

 

From Nina:

 

I found the recipe for pulled mushrooms in the Washington Post. I won’t be using any fancy varieties- I can’t locate them here (Arizona), so I think I will try this with regular, large white mushrooms. It’s a vegetarian recipe and I look for those as my daughter doesn’t eat meat, so if we find a good recipe, we all can enjoy it.

 

You’ll think of dozens of ways to use these fork-shredded mushrooms, which soak up their marinade and turn juicy and succulent in the pan. They were designed by Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery to look like pulled pork, but their texture is more delicate. Still, they would be at home in tacos, enchiladas or sandwiches, or tossed with pasta or rice. Note that king trumpets go by many names, including royal trumpet, king oyster and French horn mushroom.

Total time: 30 mins

Storage Notes: The mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat in a hot skillet.

 

SERVINGS: 4  

Tested size: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound king trumpet mushrooms (a.k.a. king oyster, royal trumpet or French horn)

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch fine sea salt (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Pull the tines of a fork down the length of each mushroom to shred it, breaking up the head with your fingers, if needed.

In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the maple syrup and smoked paprika. Add the mushrooms and toss well to coat. 

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they release their liquid, it evaporates and they start to brown and stick, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

From Erma:

 

Funny what we get known for! Mine is indoor smores. I had to bring two batches of this Golden Graham cereal mixture to my in-laws or there was no living it down!! They were inhaled in no time. Now my daughters make them so I'm duty-free!!! I've never added nuts - just seems wrong to me!!!

INDOOR S'MORES

Printed from COOKS.COMhttps://cooks.com/843tm4m7

 

2/3 c. light Karo syrup

2 tbsp. butter

1 pkg. (11 1/2 oz.) Nestles Real milk chocolate morsels

1 tsp. vanilla

1 pkg. (10 oz.) Golden Graham cereal (about 8 cups)

3 c. miniature marshmallows

1 c. chopped nuts, optional

Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Heat corn syrup, butter and chocolate morsels just to boiling in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal in a large mixing bowl. Toss quickly until completely coated with chocolate. Fold in marshmallows, 1 cup at a time, fold in nuts. Press mixture into prepared pan with a buttered back of spoon. Let stand 1 hour. Cut into 1-1/2-inch squares.

 

From Patti:

 

Pasta Salad: There's nothing special to it, believe me. 

 

Slice one-and-one-half cucumbers, then cut each slice into quarters and set aside

Chop up 6-8 radishes, a half cup of hamburger dill pickles, and two large slices of onion and set aside

Cook 32 oz of macaroni (don't overcook!) drain and let cool.

Combine cucumber, radishes, pickles, and onion

Place macaroni in large mixing bowl, then stir in the above combined ingredients

Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise and mix in well (when I say two tablespoons, I'm actually thinking of two large soup spoons, not the really big ones that you serve with, but the ones you eat with)

Salt and pepper to taste

Decorate with tomato slices

 

Okay, so I've never written out this recipe before. LOL! Take into consideration the amount you want to make and scale accordingly. Also, you can cut the cucumber slices in half if you have a skinny cucumber and cut the radishes in small pieces instead of chopping them in a chopper. I've just kind of made adjustments over the years. 

 

As you can see, there is absolutely nothing special about this recipe. However, when I mentioned that to one of my nieces, she said, "Yes there is, Aunt Pat. We know you make it with love!" I guess maybe that's the key! 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Grace and Truth, John 11

This is another well-known Bible story, when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

 

Questions have been asked many times—why did Jesus Cry? Lazarus and his sisters were Jesus’ friends. Why didn’t he go to them immediately?

 

I’ve heard possible answers, and I have my own ideas, but truthfully, we only know what the Scripture verses tell us.

 

Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, was sick, and his sisters asked Jesus to come heal him. Jesus didn’t go until after Lazarus died.

 

Jesus would have known from the beginning that Lazarus was going to die, and that he was going to raise him from the dead.

 

In the meantime, he had to deal with his disciples’ questions, the sisters’ disappointment, the mourners’ speculations.

 

In the end, Jesus had his goals, and he explained this to his disciples.

 

Verses 14-15: So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

 

He spoke to his Father and explained to all of us what the whole event was about.

 

Verses 40-42: Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

 

He wept. Certainly he was upset. For the suffering of his friends? For the confusion of his disciples? For the lack of faith toward his Father? For the horror yet to come for all of them?

 

Maybe. Jesus was human with human feelings.

 

And he was God, completing his work, moving, with purpose, toward the finish. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Guest Host, David Parks

The Boy Who Closed the Sky by David Parks, one of my critique partners, is the best book I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for joining us, Dave.

 

Family in Fiction

Birdie—my one remaining sibling—phoned. She had read to page eight of The Boy Who Closed the Sky, A Novel of Elijah the Prophet

“I’m disappointed my baby brother didn’t give credit to our mother. Sunday afternoons she read Egermeier's Bible stories to us and would be proud her little boy published a Bible story.”

Mother read to us of David and his five smooth stones? Sorry. I only remembered Oliver Twist and Chuchundra, the muskrat, who never came out into the middle of the floor, but always crept round by the wall.

Birdie forgave my poor memory, and I told her to keep reading.

She’ll find family in a line I dug from the archives of 1946. With my spoon standing in the oatmeal, I leaned across our porcelain-top kitchen table and asked Dad, “Why doesn’t God just kill the devil?”

A few chapters later Birdie will phone again when Elijah says, “Small matter, pal.”—a phrase our dad used so often people called his business Pal’s Place.

Two lines, though, I’ll have to show her.

The first comes from Oboth, the desert spot where Moses lived in 1293 BC. When my wife, Delphine, and I lived there in 1984 AD, one night she looked up at the Lord’s brilliant star show. “The sun goes down and the sky is ours.”

The second line comes from a custom of my mother-in-law.

Elijah turned to his brother, Nathan, “Remember how mother takes your cheeks in both her hands?”

“Mm-hm. To help you listen. She holds your face and looks into your heart.”

So, bits from my family did work their way into the Elijah novel. Hmm… Had Mother’s Bible stories been the thumb in my back which nudged me to complete this book?

Elijah faced the king then glanced at the open gate.

Vendors and shoppers blocked his escape.

Lord, you’ve gotta get me out of here.

He leaned toward the king. “As the Lord lives—the God of Israel whom I stand and serve—for these next years we will have neither dew nor rain unless I say so.”

Guards lunged.

Elijah sprang for the gate and smacked into a donkey loaded with onions. “Uhh!” The air left his lungs.

“Grab that kid!”

The Elijah story for purchase: TinyURL.com/ElijahClosed

Or -  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1737353709?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

The first chapter’s free. Click on “Look inside.”