Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2021

I’m excited to link up today with Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re sharing our most anticipated releases for the second half of 2021. I don’t have ten, but here are the books I’m most excited about…

July: Woman in Shadow-Carrie Stuart Parks

I got to read an early copy of this one thanks to NetGalley. Carrie Stuart Parks always has amazing settings (this takes place near Yellowstone) with unique characters. And this cover is just amazing.

August: Yours is the Night-Amanda Dykes

Split time now ranks right beside mystery/suspense as one of my favorite genres. Amanda Dykes hooked me with her first book, Whose Waves These Are, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting her newest since it was announced. Plus, again – that cover is just gorgeous.

September: The Lines Between Us-Amy Lynn Green, The Secret Keepers of Old Grocery Depot-Amanda Cox

Last year I read both of these authors debut books and was blown away by their talent. I’m such a fan of Amanda Cox’s writing that I’m on the launch team for The Secret Keepers of Old Grocery Depot.

November: The London House-Katherine Reay, Lost in Darkness-Michelle Griep

I’ve been a Katherine Reay fan since Dear Mr. Knightly, her debut book. This is very different from her previous books, but it wounds so good!

I’ve just started reading Michelle Griep’s books this year. I’ve enjoyed them so far, but this Frankenstein inspired Gothic romance sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it. It releases in November – perfect timing! A cool, dark, rainy day with a hot tea and this book sounds like perfection.

What books are you most excited about for the second part of the year?

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

I crave quiet. I’m an introvert who recharges in quiet moments. Thats why I’m a morning person – I love waking up to a silent and still house, sipping my coffee and reading my Bible and writing gratitudes in my journal. It helps me focus on the rest of the day if I can have those few moments of silence and peace each morning, time to center my heart and mind on what matters most.

It’s hard to find quiet in our world. We’re surrounded by noise and 24 hour news and connectedness and social media with thousands of voices screaming to be heard. We’re wrapped up in busyness and to do lists and all the things that have to be done, even if we don’t really know why.

But we need quiet. The Bible tells us that God speaks in the quiet. He speaks with a still, small voice. He’s the gentle whisper after the raging winds and shaking earth. I love 1 Kings 19:11-13: So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it,he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

My prayer is that God will keep me focused on the quiet. I want to hear His voice, and to do that, I need to listen in the quiet moments.

Book Flight: Food

It’s pretty safe to say that food is a popular topic for all of us. Everyone loves to eat. At our house, we watch Top Chef and Chopped like most people watch sports. My boys grew up on Food Network shows. We all cook, and vacation planning includes finding popular restaurants and new foods to try. Books about food are some of my favorites!

There are so many great novels set in restaurants, bakeries, and more. Here are some good ones:

Lizzie and Jane-Katherine Reay

Elizabeth is struggling in her career as a chef, so when her sister Jane reveals that she has cancer, Elizabeth returns home to help her the best way she knows how: cooking. Both sisters struggle with their past, their unstable future, and their relationship as they face scary decisions.

I love the literary references that are woven into Katherine Reay’s books. I also love the unique perspective of cooking for a chemo patient – because of their treatments, food often tastes different, and each person is unique in how they’re effected. That added a really interesting layer to this book.

The Supper Club series-Cara Loreano

I loved this entire series! Friends Rachel, Melody, and Analyn are the focus of these books. Each is involved in the restaurant industry. Each book focuses on one of the women, but their stories are all woven together throughout the series. The friendships, romance, and setting (Denver) are all perfect.

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish-Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner is one of my favorite authors! Her books are hilarious, but also tackle tough topics with humor and grace. This book starts with a cooking competition gone horribly wrong. Max severely damages his career with a blowup over Hadley’s win on a cooking show. The last thing Hadley expects is to be asked to work with him on her dream show. As the opposite personalities begin to work together, they find much more in common than they expected.

Two Blue Doors series-Hillary Manton Lodge

I haven’t read this series yet, but I own the entire series. It’s high on my TBR pile because I’ve heard such great things about it. I love the titles!

What are your favorite novels about food?

Five Minute Friday: Disagree

We’ve forgotten how to disagree.

Everywhere you look, you witness arguing and hatred and anger. It’s not enough to disagree with someone-many want to destroy anyone they disagree with. It started with social media. Now, people are comfortable fighting on social media and it’s moved into real life, face-to-face battles. Gone are the days of friendly debates or even civil debates. Now it’s all out war against anyone who disagrees with you on any issue, no matter how small or insignificant.

We will always have disagreements. There are more than 7 billion unique people in the world, each with their own background, their own opinions, and their own ways of seeing the world. We are all different, and we will never agree on everything. Disagreements are inevitable.

We can disagree and still be kind. We can disagree and still show respect. We can even disagree and still be friends. We can disagree on every single issue and still remain friends. I grew in the 1980’s, in the days of President Ronald Reagan. I remember how President and Reagan and Tip O’Neal fought. They were bitter rivals by day, disagreeing over almost every issue. Yet after work, they set aside their differences and remained friends. The world today needs more people like them.

One of my favorite quotes is “Be known for your kindness and grace.” We need more kindness and grace in the world, especially when we disagree.

Book Review: On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

Jaime Jo Wright hooked me with her very first novel, The House on Foster Hill. Split time novels have become one of my favorite genres, thanks in large part to her. The fact that she writes split time suspense makes her style the perfect combination for me.

This book cozy was a special edition based on Jaime Jo’s earlier book, The Curse of Misty Wayfair.

Today is release day for Jaime Jo’s newest book, On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor. I was thrilled to be part of the launch team for it! This is her creepiest book yet. Mystery/suspense is my lifelong favorite genre, so I can handle some pretty intense books, but this one gave me goose bumps.

Hidden treasures. Stolen goods. A ghostly image who pleads for help. Mysterious deaths. I couldn’t put this book down and stayed up until I couldn’t keep my eyes open just to read one more chapter.

One of my favorite things about Jaime Jo’s books is the way she includes characters with special needs. In this book, one of the main characters is a man with autism. She also features main characters who struggle with anxiety and other issues in a realistic and grace-filled way. Her characters are so real you really want to spend time with them.

If you’re a suspense fan or split time fan, you need to check out this book! You can find out more about the author on her website, and you can get On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor at your favorite bookshop today.

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