Spring Farm Update 2022

Spring is in full swing in Oklahoma, and our little farm is getting busy! I love winter and the natural slower pace it brings, but by March, I’m ready for warmer weather. I get so excited when my bushes and crepe myrtle tree start leafing out again.


We enjoyed raising pigs so much last year! Last year we raised two. We kept one and a half for ourselves and sold the other half. This year we’re raising three pigs, keeping half the meat and selling half. This year we got three girls who are half red wattle and half Hampshire. We got them last week at eight weeks old. They were pretty skittish at first but are quickly warning up to us.

They root and dig a lot more than our boys did last year. They love their pen, their food, and their straw. They fight a lot, but they’re sisters, so what do you expect? They also play a lot, and it’s adorable! They love chasing each other around their pen.


My husband and boys made an early Mother’s Day present for me—raised beds for a garden! I’ve wanted one for a while now. I’m really excited. I planted tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, and okra. It all looks great except the okra…a week in and it’s dying. I planted it too early, so I plan to dig it up and try again with okra in mid-May. I’m hoping for a good crop of fresh veggies this summer.

Container Flowers

I’m running a little behind on getting my container flowers in because I’ve been focused on the garden. I did plant some dahlia bulbs—my first time planting bulbs. I’m planning to also plant impatiens and pansies in the next couple of weeks.

While these aren’t container flowers, I get super excited about my floribunda roses. This week I noticed the first rose buds of the year forming! I absolutely cannot wait to see this gorgeous plant bloom again.

What is spring like where you are? What are you most excited about this spring?

Bookish Merchandise I’d Like to Own

Books are wonderful, but for a true bookworm, there are so many fun accessories. From bookmarks to bookish shirts, here are a few few favorite items that are on my wish list:

I love this shirt from Amazon!

Another Amazon find—this seems like such a fun way to do a reading challenge.

Can we talk about bookmarks for a minute? There are so many cute ones, and I feel there’s really no such think as too many for a book lover. Here are some favorites…

Another item from Amazon—who wouldn’t love to have Nessie holding your place?

One more from Amazon: The Wizard of Oz is a childhood favorite and I’ve had my eye on this bookmark for so long!

Now let’s move to one of my favorite shops: Emily Cromwell Designs. I have some of her bookmarks, but there are so many other things I want! She has such cute designs, like this shirt.

Another favorite item for me are book sleeves. I have a few, but I need more! (It’s a need, right?) I love this one from Bookish Star Designs on Etsy.

Being a book lover means being a paper lover, and these personalized bookish notecards from Carrot Top Paper Shop on Etsy are perfect.

Finally, for my crafty side, there are a couple of great embroidery patterns that are bookish, like this quote from Louisa May Alcott.

What’s on your wish list?

Book Review and Giveaway: Counterfeit Love

I love discovering new authors, and I was so excited to read this new historical mystery from debut author Crystal Caudill. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s face it—readers do. This gorgeous cover caught my eye as soon as I saw it. Historic mysteries have become a new favorite genre for me, thanks to my obsession with the Lady Darby series. Counterfeit Love fits perfectly into that category. It’s a historical romantic suspense involving the Secret Service, a counterfeit ring, and murder.

I really enjoyed this book. It immediately pulled me into the story. I really liked the main character, Theresa Plane. She’s tough, industrious , and fiercely loyal to her grandfather, who raised her after her parents died. I loved the story and the mystery Theresa and Broderick are trying to solve. The story was great, and I’m really looking forward to the next book!

Read below to find out more about Counterfeit Love and follow the link at the end of the post to enter the giveaway!

About the book

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiance is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.

About the author

Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW.

She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

Learn more at crystalcaudill.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Giveaway Details

Visit Audra Jennings website, where you can enter to win a copy of Counterfeit Love.

Why You Should Do a Reading Challenge

Reading challenges get a lot of criticism. I frequently see and hear the question, “Isn’t the joy of reading enough?” For many readers, it is, but sometimes readers struggle or need a change in their reading life. Even if you’re happy with what you’re reading, there are still a lot of good of good reasons to do a reading challenge.

I started taking part in the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge several years ago and found that I loved it. This year I’m actually doing two. One is kind of a DIY challenge, where I put together my favorite categories from past MMD challenges. The other is from a Facebook group I’m part of, called Eating Our Words. I also set a yearly book goal on Goodreads. These challenges have been great for me!

Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking part in a reading challenge.

1. Expand your horizons

Sometimes I get stuck in a reading rut. Maybe it’s too many books in one genre. Maybe it’s tons of light reading instead of deep books, or maybe it’s reading mediocre books instead of great books. Reading challenges expand my horizons and point me to genres or authors I might never consider otherwise.

2. Set goals

I’m a goal setter when it comes to reading. I find that it keeps me motivated and makes me read more. Some of my goals for this year are to read more classics, catch up on the backlist of some favorite authors, and read more nonfiction. You’ll see those picks filling a lot of my reading challenge categories.

3. Help choosing your next book

My TBR list is overwhelming—300+ books on Goodreads, to be exact, and it’s growing all the time. I read an average of 55-65 books a year, so picking books from my list can be a little overwhelming. Sometimes filling a slot in a reading challenge is the perfect motivation to finally pick up a book from my TBR pile.

4. The feeing of accomplishment

Y’all, I am a planner and a list maker. Yes, I’m that person who will add something I’ve already done to my list just so I can check it off. I love the satisfaction I get when I check off another category from my list.

5. Focus

Do you ever look at back at your reading and realize you’re losing focus? Maybe you want to read more classics, but you’ve been reading mostly new releases. Or maybe you’re reading serious books when you really love humor. When you read widely, it gets even more difficult to focus because there’s just so much to choose from. A reading challenge helps me focus in on what I need or want to read most.

6. Tracking your reading

If you don’t already track your reading, a challenge is a great way to start. For me, looking back at my trends each year is fun. Seeing what I’ve read also helps me plan and make changes to my reading life, if needed.

Have you ever done a reading challenge? Do you like them? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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