Have you ever had the thought or asked yourself the question, “How did I get here?”
You know, the kind of question examining the indirect decisions and circumstances that led you to the point life that you even need to ask such a question.
One of the oldest questions ever recorded in human history speaks to this very question we ask ourselves in moments of doubt. What if that ancient question was a question we ought to ask ourselves on a regular basis?
Journey with me as we wrestle with a question that if meant for us, today, would change everything about we view the life we choose to live.
Where You Are & How to Get There Excerpt Five
I called the staff to send a maze runner to find me.
Or maybe you have worked on a project with others and someone asked, “Where are we with the T.P.S. report?”
That kind of question is more mechanical or technical than a question about the essence or being of a thing. No one asks what the T.P.S. report thinks about itself.
I am not talking about those kinds of “How did I get here?” moments.
I am talking about being in a relationship with a significant other where it started off great, but along the way, things changed. Suddenly, you two grew distant. Then, you wonder,
“How did we get here?”
Maybe you have felt stuck in a job. Instead of following after the dreams of your youth, “reality” crept in and you settled for something less than what you hoped would happen.
Maybe you’ve been overwhelmed by bills, the amount of debt you owe, and asked the how did I get here question…
I mean those types of situations where there is a literal explanation to the “how” certain things went certain ways, certain decisions were made, and how those things culminated in an unexpected season of life
MISSED ANY EXCERPTS, Come back after July 19th to see them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nolan’s toughest and rewarding opportunities are being a husband and a father. As a husband and a father, Nolan wants his family members to discover and live a flourishing life. Nolan’s life experience has covered the spectrum from being a camp counselor to a school teacher to a custodian to a Lead Pastor of a church. This, is why he writes. If he wrestles with the ideas he writes about, maybe others wrestle with the same things, and if they do, would they benefit from a different perspective? He’s honored to listen to anyone who graces him with their time to tell their story; especially if it involves coffee or pizza.
Among the Innocent by Mary Alford is a modern day story of murders that take place an Amish community in Montana. When Leah’s family was murdered, she was adopted by the police chief and his wife. Now ten years later, the killer appears to be back.
This is one of the best books I have read this year. The characters are wonderful. The story is well written and very easy to envision. The story is full of action, mystery and suspense with twists and turns. I found myself reading steady just to get to the end. This story shows how not being truthful impacts so many people is many ways. This is a great Christian crime story that does include topics of murder or alzheimer illness.
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.
About the Book
When Leah Miller’s entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family’s deaths.
As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can’t help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah—and Dalton—when the full truth comes to light?
About the Author
Mary Alford grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything really. Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her two brothers and her sister, Mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seemed to come naturally to her.
As a teen, Mary discovered Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination.
She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it’s tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first inspirational romantic suspense and was hooked.
Today, Mary lives in Texas with her husband and loves to create characters who face dangerous situations with faith on their side.
Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the social media platforms listed at maryalford.net.
Elysium Tide by James R. Hannibal is a modern day story of a London workaholic neurosurgeon who is forced to take time off in Maui. Instead of relaxing he pushes himself into a police investigation. This story is filled with action, suspense and mystery from the very start. This is a story that is hard to put down, from car chases to trying to get the bad guys, the characters have little down time.
The Christian aspect of this book is very mild and is mainly shown through how the characters care for others. Yet when Dr. Chesterfield continually gets hurt he questions what happens when you die, does life just end or is there more.
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.
About the Book
Dr. Peter Chesterfield is one of the Royal London Hospital’s top neurosurgeons. He is also a workaholic, ordered by his boss to take a week off to attend a medical symposium at the luxurious Elysium Grand on the island of Maui. While there, Peter pulls a woman with a skull fracture from the water. Though he is able to revive her in the ambulance, she eventually dies in his arms, leaving him with only one clue to what happened to her: the word “honu.”
Increasingly obsessed with discovering the cause of his patient’s death, Peter becomes entangled in an ongoing investigation of a brazen luxury auto theft. He also becomes a source of deep irritation to detective Lisa Kealoha, who has jurisdiction over the case. But when the two join forces, they begin to uncover a destructive plot that runs far deeper than either of them could have imagined. And if they’re not careful, they’re both going to end up dead.
About the Author
Former stealth pilot James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up with surface to air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries, a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series, and a Selah Award finalist for his Clandestine Service series. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.
From Shore to Shore by Tabitha Bouldin, is book 23 in the Independence Island series. This is the fifth one that focuses on Sparrow Island. This is a wonderful Christian series that is written by six different authors featuring five different islands. These are good stand alone stories but they do include characters from earlier books so they are best read in order.
This story focuses on Bree and Cooper, who both have different plans for their future. Bree plans to travel and Cooper plans to stay on the island. This story started out slow but picked up with action and suspense. I especially enjoyed the mystery surrounding the sunken ship. This is a fun, well written, easy to read story. It carries the message of faith and the struggles the characters have with their beliefs. I also enjoyed reading of characters from previous books in the series.
\I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest story.
About the Book
Book: From Shore to Shore
Author: Tabitha Bouldin
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release date: May 31, 2022
Can one captain show her the deep love of the ultimate Captain without falling in love himself?
Bree Jamison comes to Sparrow Island for one reason: to study coral reefs. She’s not interested in happily-ever-after and certainly won’t allow her handsome boat captain to sway her into believing these islands are different from any others. But when she finds an old shipwreck and learns the history of pirates and treasure, Bree finds herself searching for something that always feels just out of reach.
Cooper Carmichael takes the job as boat captain for the enigmatic Bree to further his career. He never expected her to be so driven—or so painfully opposed to God.
All Cooper wants is his happy island life. He wants for nothing. In fact, he’s made it his mission to be content. In every aspect of his life. Bree throws a wrench in his plan as her presence pushes Cooper to want for things he deems unnecessary.
A man striving for contentment. A woman who believes God is picking on her.
It takes one to show the other that no matter which shore you find yourself on, God got there first.
Read the next Sparrow Island novel in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Tabitha Bouldin is a student at Southern New Hampshire University, where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she works with critique groups and provides endorsements for other authors. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart. Tabitha spent ten years working as a Medical Assistant before God opened the door which allowed her to become a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom and author.
More from Tabitha
Writing in the Independence Islands series has been a true blessing, and From Shore to Shore is no different, except that these characters brought out feelings that I never expected.
Most of the time, when I go into a story, I know a bit of what’s going to happen. I already understand the characters’ backstory and what has driven them to this point in there life where I’ve picked up their tale and begun to weave it into a book.
Bree decided she wanted to go another route.
Cooper didn’t want to talk to me for half the book.
Christian walked onto the page and tried to take over because he didn’t want to wait for his turn in book five.
These characters, I tell you what, they’re a demanding bunch.
Finally, though, finally they settled in and told me their story.
You might remember Cooper, he’s Mel’s brother and he showed up in book one, Mishaps off the Mainland. Cooper is a delightful yet careful captain who delights in the open ocean and loves the islands.
Bree is a tangled mess of consternation. She scorns love and believes it to be a trap. Even God’s love is suspect in Bree’s eyes.
These two are imperfectly suited for each other, but God has a plan to help them both, and He helped me through every page of From Shore to Shore, a story that shows no matter how far you run, no matter what shore you find yourself on, God got there first.
Season of My Enemy by Naomi Musch, is such a good book. This is part of the Heroines of WWII series, a series of stand alone stories written by different authors. This story is based in Wisconsin, during WWII, it gives a realistic look at what life was like for those who were left to care for farms while soldiers were off to war. We often hear of women who work the factories, this story shows that women did all jobs that were needed. While we don’t hear about the prison camps in the US during WWII, this story gives a glimpse of what that may have been like.
This story is filled with strong likeable characters. I just loved the characters of Fannie and her younger brother. They worked so hard to keep the farm profitable for their older brothers to return home to after the war. I appreciated how the whole family guarded the younger sister to keep her safe. This story is so realistic, I enjoyed reading it.
I voluntarily recived a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.
About the Book
Title: Season of My Enemy
Series: Heroines of WWII
Author: Naomi Musch
Publisher: Barbour Fiction
Release Date: June 1, 2022
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance
“Get Your Farm in the Fight” – The Realities of WWII Come to a Wisconsin Farm
Only last year, Fannie O’Brien was considered a beauty with a brain, and her future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. With her father’s sudden death and her brothers overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm—until eight German prisoners arrive and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Someone seems intent on causing “accidents,” and Fannie is certain the culprit is one of the two handsome older Germans—or possibly both. Can she manage the farm, keep the prisoners in line, and hold her family together through these turbulent times?
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
Naomi Musch is an award-winning author who crafts her stories from the pristine, Lake Superior north woods, where she and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Lake Superior Writers. Though she has written in a variety of venues on topics ranging from homeschooling to homesteading, her great love is historical fiction. She enjoys roaming around on the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren. Naomi would love to meet with and speak to your group. She would also enjoy connecting around the web. Visit her at her website NaomiMusch.com
(1) winner will receive a print copy of Season of My Enemy and a $15 Amazon egift card!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 22, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 29, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Legacy of Love is the second book in the Stratton Legacy series by Renae Brumbaugh Green. Skye is just a young girl in the first book, so they are best read in order. However, the author does a wonderful job of giving background information, so this is a nice stand alone story as well.
This is such a good story. It is well written and easy to read. The writing is so clear it is easy to envision what is happening. I really appreciate the truthfulness of the story with the real life struggles Skye has to fit in. I just loved the background story of Skye’s ancestor and how welcoming the tribe was to Skye. I appreciate the protectiveness Alan has towards Skye and the lengths he will go to to protect her. One of the things that really stands out to me in this story is the honesty her Indian friend has in telling her the truth of what would happen if she were to choose to live the life of an Indians versus the life of a white woman.
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book, this is my honest review.
About the Book
Book: Legacy of Love
Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: June 14, 2022
She’s struggled her entire life to overcome her parentage.
Skye Stratton is nearly perfect. Or at least, she tries to be. She carries the Stratton name, but everyone knows her true half-breed heritage. When she completes her education and is hired as a teacher at the local school, she hopes to finally find acceptance in the town. But when most of her class elects to stay home rather than be taught by an Indian, she knows things will never change.
Alan McNaughten went to Washington, D.C. to make a difference. Instead, he finds himself entrenched in political lies, manipulation, and deceit. When he finds a way to return home to Texas as an Indian Agent, he leaps at the chance. Even if he must hurt an innocent woman to secure his position.
But when the lovely Miss Stratton agrees to teach for the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, Alan knows he’s gone too far. He’ll do anything to protect her from further heartache and harm. But what will happen when she learns the truth about her position…and the truth about him?
Renae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.
More from Renae
All my life, since I can remember, I’ve been told I’m part Native American. My great-great grandmother on my mother’s side, they said, was full-blooded Comanche. So even though I am blonde and fair (I have glow-in-the-dark skin) I believed them. I told people, and laughed at their sideways looks. I was proud of my heritage.
Then I took one of those Ancestry DNA tests. Nope. Not one drop of Native American in me. According to the test, I’m English, Scottish, Irish, and Swedish. And yes, I am the biological child of my father (very blonde and fair) and my mother (brunette, with high cheekbones). So I guess it’s just the way the genetic dominoes fell. When I got my mom’s half, I apparently didn’t get the Native American part.
I’m not sure how the science of DNA works, but I will tell you I feel extremely connected to Skye, the heroine of Legacy of Love. She’s a perfectionist. I’m a perfectionist. She thinks she has to perform to be accepted. I do, too. Though she’s always been loved, she struggles to fit in, to feel like she’s really a part of things. Ditto.
Skye’s journey is both difficult and beautiful. It helps that there’s a dreamy beaux (or three!) along the way. But in all the hardship and heartache, she finds herself. And she finds that she’s enough, exactly as she is. Most importantly, she finds a relationship with the One who created her and loved her before time began.
I hope you enjoy Skye’s journey in book two of The Stratton Legacy series. If you haven’t read book one, I encourage you to do so—you’ll meet Skye as a child. More than anything, I hope you’ll glean some beautiful truths along the way.
Critical Alliance is book three in the Rocky Mountain Courage series by Elizabeth Goddard. This is a great stand alone story which references characters from the earlier books, so it is best to read them in order. This is a nice Christian suspenseful romance story that is full of action, suspense and mystery with touches of romance. It is well written and very descriptive, I was able to imagine what was happening and was kept guessing as to who was attacking her father’s company. I was kept guessing untilt he end of the story as to who was attacking the company.
The things that stand out for me in this book are the family dynamics and how serious Cyber threats are. It is hard for me to imagine a family turning their backs on a family member for what they did while young. Even with not seeing her family, when she suspects they are in danger, she rushes to help them. I enjoyed how stressful Mackenzie and Alex’s jobs are, yet when needed they push on for the good of others.
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this book through LibraryThing. This is my honest review.
About the Book
Mackenzie Hanson’s special set of skills opened the door to a successful career as a professor of cybersecurity at a Michigan university, allowing her to put her criminal past behind her. But when a long-ago partner in crime delivers a cryptic message about her father’s tech company being under cyberattack, she heads for Montana to secure exposed assets, close security breaches, and hopefully save lives.
Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight is back home in Montana to decompress from a mission gone wrong. But even as he’s trying to relax, he’s drawn into another mystery, complete with suspicious deaths, lethal threats, and whispers of espionage that all have one thing in common—a beautiful cybersecurity expert with a dark past.
When the situation turns deadly, Alex and Mackenzie will have to work together to find the answers they need–before someone silences Mackenzie for good.
About the Author
With over a million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried,Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to fulfill her dreams of writing full-time. You can learn more about her and books she has written at https://elizabethgoddard.com/
Violet’s Vow, by Jenny Knipfer, is book two in the Botanical Seasons Novella series. This story focuses on Violet, the owner of flower shop, Fragrant Sentiments. She recently lost her husband and is searching for answers to how and why he died. This is a nice short story to read. I especially enjoyed catching up on the characters from the first novella in this series. I enjoyed reading of the different flowers. This story is has so much written into it. A childhood friend returns, Violet has a secret admirer and her sister comes to visit. Even with the bad timing of her sister’s visit, something good comes from it. I enjoyed the friendship Violet and Holly shared as well and the friendship that builds between Violet and Holly’s uncle. This story contains mystery as well as romance and is very easy to read.
I voluntarily received a complimentary copy of this story from the author. This is my honest review.
About the Book:
“Author Jenny Knipfer made the 1890s come alive; the characters all seem real and the plot so believable. It is a must-read for all romantics, Victorian-era historical fiction lovers, and anyone who just enjoys a good book!” five-star review, byTrudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite
A springtime novella of a secret love and a passionate vow
In the late 1890s, intuitive flower shop owner Violet Brooks opens up her heart and business to the Moore family but yet has vowed to get justice for her deceased husband, Roger, whom she believed had died as a result of bucking the Moore lumber company.
Handsome lumberbaron Devon Moore frequents Violet’s shop with his niece, Holly, who’s preparing for her upcoming wedding. Running the shop herself after her husband’s death a year prior exhausts Violet, so she hires Holly, surprising herself by hoping to have more chances for her path to cross with Devon’s.
In the meantime, a secret admirer leaves Violet messages in the language of flowers. Her heart blossoms to the sentiments within.
She’s torn between her growing attraction for Devon and her admirer, or are they one in the same?
Journalist Frankie Dermot, an old classmate and flame of Violet’s, comes back to town. Violet enlists his help in her search for the truth about Roger’s death. But when they uncover who’s really responsible for her husband’s passing one year prior, Violet is shocked.
Will Violet shut herself off from newfound love, or will she allow her past vow to her deceased husband to dictate her future and keep her from the man who wins her heart?
Readers of Christian historical fiction and Christian historical romance with a twist of mystery will find their hearts set aflutter by Violet’s tale of discovering romance and be inspired by her path to grace.
“Knipfer has created intriguing plots in previous books and this one is no exception. Readers are sure to enjoy this sweet historical tale filled with mystery, interesting twists and mercy.” Dawn Kinzer, inspirational author of The Daughters of Riverton series
Libraries and retailers can purchase wholesale on Ingram
About the author:
Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.
Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.
All of Jenny’s books have earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.
She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.
Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons and working a series of retold fairy tales.
Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website at https://jennyknipfer.com/ Ways to connect with Jenny via social media, newsletter, and various book sites can be found on her website, or visit the following links.
Fluffing out the head of the peach-colored carnation in her hand, an envy built in Violet for the simplicity of the clove-scented flower. But although the fragrance held sweetness, carnations were said to have sprung up from Mary’s tears along the path Jesus trod as He carried His cross. And thus, it was a divine flower, birthed in passion.
Though far removed from what the Lord suffered, Violet knew a bit about spent passion and wondered if her hopes and dreams would end up buried with Roger. She brought the ruffled carnation petals to her nose, closing her eyes and breathing deeply. The spicy scent reminded her of the aftershave he had worn.
Dear Rodger—her best friend, confidant, and husband. She conjured his rugged yet handsome face in her mind: wide-set, brown eyes, a heavy brow, and deep lines around his mouth, from too many days in the sun. How she missed him still. Though his passing had been over a year ago, in some ways, it seemed like yesterday. They had been such good companions, interested in the same things, but Violet hadn’t really considered them to be a love match. Theirs had been more a union of like minds, and oddly enough, their relationship had satisfied them both.
The bell tinkled on the shop door, and Violet stood to attention, rolling her eyes open to see who had entered her domain—Fragrant Sentiments. She and Roger had worked so hard to establish the flower shop, providing most of the cut flowers from their three greenhouses and multiple gardens. It had been full-time work just growing the flowers, let alone selling them, until they had hired Webster, a young man unafraid of hard work and eager to learn more about gardening. The three of them had made a happy team. However, they were three no longer, and the workload, at times, overwhelmed her. Whether she could keep the business afloat without Roger remained to be seen.
Violet keenly missed Roger’s presence in the shop. Oddly enough for a man, he’d had an eye for design and arrangements of a grander scale, while it was the everyday bouquets that spoke to Violet. Her heart lay in the little treasures to brighten the home. She held to the philosophy that flowers should be an everyday part of a household, as much as tea or coffee were. Her Aunt Dahlia had often said that flowers were the morning drink of the soul, and Violet agreed.
Violet positioned the carnation next to some lilacs in a white, porcelain urn which held a half-arranged bouquet of flowers, destined for the funeral of a young woman. Finally focusing on her clientele, Violet’s gaze brushed over the tailored cut of the man’s light gray suit and the fine, couture lines of the light blue, silk dress the young woman wore. A loose pompadour style encapsulated her dark hair, and her dark brown eyes glistened like dewy centers of a rudbeckia.
The woman smiled, easy and sincere, showing straight teeth. “A good morning to you, ma’am. My, it smells so lovely in here.”
She turned her head left and right, taking in the shop displays and buckets of flowers.
Violet offered a slight curve of her lips in return. “Thank you.”
A tinge of envy nudged at Violet. She had lost that sense of identifying an overpowering, welcoming fragrance upon entering the flower shop some time ago, and she missed it. Her nose had gotten used to so many flowers in one space.
The young woman loosened the blue, velvet pouch dangling from her wrist and pulled out a calling card. “I’m Miss Holly Moore, and this is my uncle, Mr. Devon Moore.”
She flipped her wrist in the man’s direction. He smiled, sincere as well but with a hint of something else altogether. Sadness perhaps. Upon that intuition, Violet instinctively glimpsed his spirit as a purple hyacinth, holding regret and sorrow. She had a way about her, for matching flowers to people.
Inclining his head ever so slightly, he said, “Ma’am,” in an airy but not unmasculine voice.
Reaching out to take the card, Violet said, “Why, good day. I’m Mrs. Violet Brooks. How may I be of service to you?”
Violet stood along with her customers and said, as she walked them to the door, “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again soon. Thank you so much for stopping in and for your business. I look forward to creating something special for your wedding, Miss Moore.”
Extending her hand, Violet shook Miss Moore’s.
Miss Moore flashed another winning smile Violet’s way. “It is I who should thank you for your expertise. I will inform you as soon as I can about my availability. Good day.”
With a spring in her step, she walked out of the shop door, which Mr. Moore held open.
Still leaning against the door, he caught Violet’s gaze. “Forgive my saying so, but you seem the semblance of your namesake.”
He cleared his throat and dropped his gaze a second, as if repenting of speaking.
Violet did see herself as reserved and holding a quiet beauty, of a kind, which the botanical violet was said to be known for. Roger had always said so.
She took Mr. Moore’s words as a compliment—though Violet would rather have been perceived as something more exotic than the modest and humble violet—and replied simply, “Why, thank you.”
He lifted his forget-me-not eyes again and tipped his head toward her. “Not at all.” A reserved smile arched his lips. “Good day, Mrs. Brooks.”
He turned and left, closing the door softly behind him, leaving a whiff of clove and bergamot behind him.
Through the glass panes of the front window, Violet watched niece and uncle amble away from the shop, arm in arm. Not one to form attachments easily, a slight sadness picked at Violet.
It would be nice to have the cheery company of Miss Moore in the shop, she decided, and she began to hope Miss Moore’s fiancé would agree to their employment scheme.
Expelling a large breath, Violet turned and walked back to her worktable to finish the arrangement she’d been making before the Moores had walked into Fragrant Sentiments, undeniably brightening her day. She whistled as she nestled carnations next to voluptuous branches of lilacs and pictured Mr. Moore’s forget-me-not eyes.
Just a little more… Violet stretched out her arm and groaned. She gripped the top of the ladder with one hand and worked at hanging a paper banner on a nail with her other, but she hadn’t positioned the ladder close enough.
“Oh, bother!” she growled out, as her foot slipped on the rung she stood on and the banner fluttered from her grasp.
“Here. Let me,” a deep voice said, startling her.
Concentrating so hard, Violet hadn’t heard anyone come into Fragrant Sentiments. She looked down from the five extra feet she stood at and spied Mr. Moore fishing for the looped string of the banner among the leaves of a Ficus tree.
He pulled it out. “Ah, ha!”
A warm smile lit up his face. A twinkle in his eye danced when he tipped his gaze up at Violet. Violet wobbled, as if she might slip again, but she gripped the ladder firmly with both hands.
“Thanks so much, but I think I need to move the ladder over a bit. My arm is too short,” she told him before she backed down the ladder with care.
When she set her feet on the floor, she extended her hand for the end of the banner.
However, Mr. Moore held it fast. “No, no. You must allow me.” And before Violet could protest, Mr. Moore shifted the ladder over and climbed up it, like a man half his age. He hung the end of the banner on the nail without incident. “There.”
He sounded satisfied and came back down.
But instead of being grateful, annoyance simmered in her heart. Violet hadn’t asked for his help, and she certainly didn’t need it.
“Thanks,” she squeaked out.
He looked up at the banner. “A big sale, huh?”
In stenciled letters, Violet had spelled out, “All flowers here 30% off,” on the pennant-shaped flaps of the banner.
“I’m trying to get through some product before it expires.”
He looked back at her, concern lowering his eyebrows. “Don’t you have a cooler?”
“I do, but it’s just a small, insulated room that I keep blocks of ice in. The temperature of the space is difficult to control.”
“I see.” Mr. Moore smiled again, and Violet repented of her less than kind thoughts about him. “I was in Chicago not long ago and stopped at a flower shop that boasted an electric cooler.”
Again, irritation rubbed at Violet, like an itchy collar. “I could never afford such a thing. It must be terribly expensive.”
In truth, she and Roger had discussed investing in an electric air cooler to keep the flowers fresh, but in the end, they had both determined it to be too costly and too much of a risk.
“Yes. I suppose they must be.” Mr. Moore’s warm tone wavered, likely due to the starchy way Violet had responded to the mention of the cooler. He looked down at the tips of his shiny, brown shoes. “I don’t mean to take up your time, Mrs. Brooks, but I told Holly I would get this to you.”
With eyes full of unasked questions, he focused on Violet momentarily before pulling a small, handwritten notecard out of the inner pocket of his casual, taupe suit jacket. He held it out to her.
Taking the note from him, their fingers brushed, and Violet pulled back too quickly, sending the note to the floor. “Oh, dear. Nothing wants to stay within my clasp this morning.”
Violet’s hand fluttered to the hollow of her neck. He must think I’m a clumsy lout.
Mr. Moore stooped down and retrieved the note from the floor.
“I can’t imagine why,” he told her, placing it in her open palm with a light touch.
Violet’s fingers folded around the thick, linen, cream-colored cardstock, a distinctive warmth kissing her wispy hairline at the back of her neck at his veiled compliment. “Thank you. Do give my regards to your niece.”
He stood still, watching her for a few seconds, then continued. “Should I wait while you open it? In case you’d like to send a response?”
What is the matter with me? I need a second cup of tea.
Violet fumbled with the seal and opened the note, reading through it quickly, trying not to squirm under Mr. Moore’s intent observation of her.
The note relayed that Miss Moore would be available to work immediately up to the week of her wedding and could start again the week following, if such was agreeable to Violet. Tucking the note back in the envelope, Violet wondered just who was hiring whom. Miss Moore seemed to have arranged things and assumed Violet would hire her, with few to no questions asked. Violet hadn’t imagined finding anyone so swiftly, but she knew she needed help, and who better than sweet Miss Moore?
Clearing her throat, Violet said, “You may tell Miss Moore that I’ll expect her first thing Monday morning. Eight O’clock sharp. We’ll discuss other details at that time.”
Mr. Moore smiled, and Violet noticed how his eyes crinkled at the corners. The creases made him look even more distinguished.
“Holly will be so pleased,” he replied. “She deserves to be happy.”
“Don’t we all?”
The question slipped out, a whispered thought, before Violet could take it back. Why did she so often speak without thinking first? It dismayed Violet. It was a habit she had not grown out of.
Mr. Moore tipped his head back and laughed. “Well, we’d all like to think so, wouldn’t we?” Then he turned serious. “Now, I must go, but I’ll leave my card with you.”
With his middle and pointer finger, he plucked a business card out of the breast pocket of his jacket, as gracefully as a card shark, and arched his arm to give it to Violet.
She took it and forced herself to smile. “Thank you.”
Mr. Moore tipped his hat. “I feel quite certain we’ll be seeing more of each other, Mrs. Brooks.”
He left before Violet could decide whether she agreed with him or not.
She threw up her hands in mild frustration and went to organize the flowers in buckets under the sale sign, but try as she might, Violet could not clear her mind of thoughts about Mr. Devon Moore.
Driven to rekindle her relationship with her ailing grandfather, Amelia Scott returns to her childhood home. However, her unyielding grandfather is determined to control her future and poses an ultimatum. Marry and inherit the iconic Scott Hotel or return to New York penniless. Amelia is determined to stay, and formulates a plan to ensure proprietorship of her last connection to family. But love is not a part of the deal. She can’t risk another man having control of her.
Ex-convict, now town carpenter, Micah Kelly struggles to raise his deceased sister’s children. When Amelia proposes marriage without love as the answer to both of their problems, he knows better than to say yes. While partnering with his childhood friend may yield an answer to his monetary challenges, he cannot agree to a marriage in name only. His heart is already involved, and that always leads to trouble.
Circumstances put them together, and while they struggle within their new marriage, outside forces are determined to snatch the Scott Hotel from them. Even if it means killing them.
Lucette Nel is a coffee addicted work-in-progress daughter of the Lord Almighty. She’s a mommy to a rambunctious boy and sweet baby girl and wife to her best friend and real-life hero. Along with a spoiled Pug, a pampered cat, they make their home in Gauteng, the smallest of nine provinces in South Africa.
You can find out more about her and her books by vising her website https://lucettenel.com/ and to stay up to date with news about her writing, sign up for her newsletter:
Free Fall is the third book in The Quantico Files series by Nancy Mehl. This is a great Christian Suspense story that is filled with action, suspense, mystery and romance. This story contains the same characters and references situations in previous books, so it is good to read them in order. The story grabbed me right from the start and it was hard to put the book down. This was my favorite book in the series. It contains humor to lighten the serious situations that take place.
I appreciate the faith and trust in God that the team members have and how easy it is for them to share with others. The theme that stand out for me is that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I liked how Alex was able to continue working the case after she was abducted and how the other women were so easy to get the information she needed. I struggled with Logan not wanting to bother his family with his current situation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Dead Fall Launch Team, this is my honest review.
About the Book
Someone has been abducting women with long dark hair across Virginia. When the FBI is called in to help, Alex Donovan, a behavioral analyst, is tasked with putting together a profile. She’s aided by her friend and colleague Logan Hart, but he has been acting strangely and won’t say why. When the kidnapper demands that Alex meet him at an abandoned amusement park in exchange for the location of all his captives, she takes the bait. But the meeting proves to be a trap, and the building she’s in explodes.
Finding herself imprisoned with several other women, Alex works to think one step ahead of her captor. But the more Logan and the BAU learn about the kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive this time.
About the Author
Nancy Mehl has written 30 books. Many of her books are crime mysteries, she has also written Amish stories and Mennonite stories. You can learn more about her and the books she has written at: http://nancymehl.com/