Lyn Reviews Author Dame Agatha Christie’s Come, Tell Me How You Live

Last week I reviewed Veronica Heley’s British Mystery MURDER BY SUSPICION. Long before I read any other British mystery author, I was reading Agatha Christie. And I found that I was intrigued by the woman behind those stories and character such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. So I was interested when I came upon this book.

Come, Tell Me How You LiveCome, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie Mallowan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have long enjoyed Dame Agatha Christie’s cozy mysteries. Love Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. But now Dame Agatha has parted the veil for a peek into her life with her second husband, the archeologist.

In case you don’t know, Dame Agatha’s first husband turned out to be a mistake and after their divorce, she married Max Mallowan, a man 17 years her junior. But I believe he was her soulmate.

The most amazing part of this book is a glimpse into a world long gone! The book was begun in the mid-1930’s. It was a world before people in the mid-East had begun to have radios or any major contact with the outside world. Irag and Iran were colonial territories. Most of the action of this book takes place in Iraq and Syria near the border of Turkey.

Characters consist of Bedouins, Kurds, French colonial officials, Turks, Armenians, Yedzikis, and all in their native and almost untouched selves.

Today when all we hear from this area is slaughter and massacres and civil war, it is an eye-opener to read of people–Muslim, Christian, and Yedzidis who live peacefully (almost) side by side. And an English lady and scholar that enjoyed their differences, including interesting portrayals of different cultures and off the wall individuals.

It was before World War II, before oil wealth, before the birth of modern Israel and the modern conflict over that. The highest compliment I can pay a book is that I’ve already read it over twice!

Bravo, Dame Agatha!

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Author Elizabeth Goddard & Submerged & Book Giveaway

Elizabeth Goddard

My guest today is Love Inspired Suspense author Elizabeth Goddard. She’s been my guest before and she always has a message worth reading in her blog posts and her books. Be sure to look for the QUESTION below and leave a comment to enter the book drawing. Here’s Elizabeth:

When I created Cobie MacBride, my heroine in SUBMERGED,

I wanted someone who was an everyday woman. Someone who wanted—needed—stability in her life. A job she could count on and a home she could go to every day in the town where she grew up. Cobie loved to see people smile so she became a dentist. She has pretty good job security running her own dental practice.

The only thing missing in Cobie’s life is family.

She’s been estranged from her father for years. He’s the reason she wanted stability in her life so she could have something different. Friends and more time with family. He was gone all the time due to the responsibilities of his job, and she didn’t want that for her life. Yet she finds herself alone, living in the same town, all the same. Then when her father is missing and presumed dead, she needs closure. Cobie goes in search of him and collides with a man she once had a serious crush on. A man she blames for her brother’s death.

Someone tries to kill her,

so Cobie must partner with Adam Warren to solve the mystery behind her father’s death and who is trying to kill her. She must come out of her comfort zone and the safe life to find answers. Cobie must face death and find a way to forgive Adam before it’s too late. She must return to the scene of the tragedy and face her greatest fears and worst memories.

Here’s a snippet from the Dear Reader letter I want to share.

My heroine, Cobie MacBride, has another kind of mystery to solve. Another kind of treasure to find, and that’s forgiveness. If she can somehow forgive Adam for the part he played in her brother’s death, she can find freedom from resentment and bitterness, and she can have the treasure of love. Adam must forgive himself, too, and if only Cobie could forgive him, then he would be free of that burden, as well. We don’t want to sink to the depth of the ocean, burdened or weighted down because we carry bitterness and resentments, no matter how we believe we’ve been wronged.

I pray blessings on you and hope you’ll give Submerged a try.”–Elizabeth


To purchase, click here. Submerged (Mountain Cove)

Book Blurb:


With Christmas just around the corner, Cobie MacBride wants closure in the case of her missing father. But when a visit to the last place he was seen leads to an attack by a masked assailant, Cobie knows she’s in over her head. Running for her life, she never expected to find safety with Adam Warren—the man she blames for her brother’s death. Seeking answers leads them to a treasure ship, buried secrets…and deadly danger. Christmas could find them starting a new future—if they can avoid getting trapped in the perils of the past. 

MOUNTAIN COVE: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide

Thanks, Elizabeth. A very good message for all of us. Last Sunday our pastor brought up something I hadn’t thought of before. That we must learn to forgive ourselves.


Leave a comment to enter the book drawing for a copy of SUBMERGED.

QUESTION: Don’t be specific (keep your privacy) but have you ever struggled to forgive yourself for something? (Please don’t give details.) THE QUESTION IS: How did you do it? Or are you still working on it?–Lyn

For more online:

Twitter handle: @bethgoddard

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Lyn Reviews Veronica Heley’s Murder by Suspicion-British Mystery

British Mystery Author Veronica Heley has often been my guest. This year I offered to review her latest mystery. So here it is!

Murder by Suspicion (Ellie Quicke, #16)Murder by Suspicion by Veronica Heley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Ellie Quicke mystery and I found Veronica Heley a very good writer.

The character Claire really got to me. I really identified with Ellie coming home from a trip abroad and finding her household turned upside down–furniture moved around, her longtime cleaning crew dismissed by Claire, someone whom she barely knows and who is working for her… Everything feels like a bad dream.

And I found myself wanting to hit Claire with a big wet fish right in the face. (I’m not usually violent!) What she had done to Ellie’s home felt as if it had been done to me. That’s the sign of good writing.

Ellie sorts it all out and finds out just how nasty the cult Claire is part of and justice is done. Thank goodness!

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For more online:

Veronica’s website

Veronica’s blog


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Looking for a Great Holiday Collection? How About Sweet Christmas Kisses 2?

 Several of these authors have been guests here. Hope you’ll read about this and take a chance on it. If you like it, please share the info with others who enjoy sweet romance!–Lyn

SXK2 Blog tour graphicWelcome in the holiday season with 19 heartwarming and wholesome novellas from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 takes you from the Smoky Mountains to Florida’s sun-drenched beaches, from the Italian Alps to Paris, France, and even to a quirky little town in Arizona. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 collection features all-new, stand-alone stories that are sure to make you laugh, sometimes bring tears to your eyes, but always put you in the Christmas spirit. Foreword by New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne.


Mona Risk Christmas PapaChristmas Papa by Mona Risk
Living for three years in her stepmother’s respected house helps Monica forget the horror of her youth and reform her wild streak, and even dream of a normal life, similar to her stepsisters’, with a loving husband and children. Geez, she’s pretty enough to attract any man she wants, but to keep him is a different ballgame. The moment they learn of her past or meet her adorable twins, they feel the urge to move two-thousand miles away. Until Michael kisses her…

Cover_Gingerbread_Kisses_by_Beate_BoekerGingerbread Kisses by Beate Boeker
Carol spends Christmas at the luxurious Hotel & Spa “Dolomitissimo” in the snowy Alps of Italy where she’s busy creating gingerbread men as name cards for her younger sister’s wedding. When things start to go wrong, she finds help in the form of Tom, the attractive hotel manager, but then, her sister manages to create havoc and Carol has to fight for her happiness.

Boycotting+Chirstmas_Melinda+CurtisBoycotting Christmas by Melinda Curtis
Bachelor Nick Santolli needs someone to help him give his niece a Christmas to remember. Back in the day, no one did Christmas better than Joy Encastle. But times have changed and Joy would prefer to boycott the festivities this year.

Devine Christmas Remember FRONTA Christmas to Remember by Denise Devine
Katie McGowan is returning home from a business trip when a blizzard forces her to take refuge at Lakewood Resort and miss celebrating Christmas with her family. The resort is overflowing with people, including Ryan Scott, an avid snowmobiler who’d come to Lakewood to escape the holidays. Ryan and Katie join forces to help others in need and learn the true meaning of Christmas.

AnAngelforChristmascoverRaineEnglishAn Angel for Christmas by Raine English
Alexa Stevens needs a job, or she and her daughter might wind up living out of the car. Blake Collins needs a nanny to help with his spoiled ten-year-old. What seems like the perfect match turns out to be anything but when the two girls and a rambunctious mutt create havoc at Christmas.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride by Aileen Fish
When veterinary student Tara seeks shelter in a snowstorm with handsome rancher Dylan, she quickly writes him off as boyfriend material since he’s more temperamental than an unbroken horse. Thanks to a job lined up half a state away, she’s not even tempted by a friend’s request that she move to White Oak, until she learns what has damaged Dylan’s spirit. Will a sickly calf and the magic of Christmas help her heal Dylan’s heart?

LuckyBreakChristmasSecondHoneymoonLucky Break Christmas: Second Honeymoon by Patricia Forsythe
Lily is convinced that her new marriage to Marc is cursed because of a string of fiascoes. Marc knows she’s wrong. It takes the intervention of three body-building wedding planners and most of Lucky Break to change her mind.

Beach Walk by Grace Greene - Cover for IndieWritesBeach Walk by Grace Greene
Twelve years earlier, Kelli, a teenage runaway, was taken in by a kind woman named Margie who gave her a home, and safety and security. When Margie dies, her long lost nephew and only blood relative, arrives with plans of his own. Kelli loves her life at Emerald Isle, but how far will she go to keep it, or will Christmas bring a change of heart?

An Irish Christmas Blessing_COVER RustandAn Irish Christmas Blessing by Roxanne Rustand
When Eve travels to Ireland to run an old friend’s quaint village bookshop over the Christmas holidays, the trip is a dream come true—all the more because of the beautiful Irish countryside and the quirky locals in the village. And then there’s the charming, enigmatic stranger who just might steal her heart…

ChristmasWedding-MScott-Ebook-LGChristmas Wedding by Magdalena Scott
Jim Standish is ready—right this minute—to marry the love of his life, but Melissa Singer wants the day to be one they’ll look back on forever. Planning and execution time: 25days. Will it be possible to create the perfect Christmas Wedding?

finding+you+at+christmas+500x750Finding You at Christmas by Kristin Wallace
After years of looking out for everyone else, preacher’s daughter Janie Worthy is ready to get a life of her own. A stalled car and a stranger on a motorcycle puts that plan in a tailspin…and leads to the best Christmas present she could ever find.

ChristmasLaurel-Amazon (1)Christmas Laurel by Christine Bush.
Female army veteran Laurel Covington and her retired bomb dog have retreated to a cabin in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. She’s dealing with PTSD and a mind full of ugly war memories, and wants nothing more than solitude, quiet, and an escape from the clamor of Christmas. But then she meets the tall handsome mountain man who shares the mountain, and who has his own ghosts from the past to put to rest. Sometimes, the true meaning of Christmas can bring both healing and love when you least expect it.

Lois Germain CoverCountry Christmas by Lois Greiman
Emily Kane was tossed into the deep end of the foster care system years before, making her cautious of love and commitment. Securing her dream job at the Lazy Windmill, a working farm turned guest ranch, has begun the healing process. But the past can’t be shut out forever. Will familial reunions cause her to bolt back into hiding or will the magic of Christmas heal her heart and allow her to find her happily ever after?

The Christmas Crusade S. HatfieldThe Christmas Crusade by Shanna Hatfield
Levi Clarke is on a crusade to create a merry Christmas for the patrons of Center for Hope community center. He’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen, even if it means seeking a sponsorship from Kat Kingsley, the woman too stubborn to realize she’s still in love with him.

Christmas Charm.inddThe Christmas Charm by Susan R. Hughes
Gemma and Chris were childhood best friends until their lives took separate paths, both leading to heartache. Fifteen years later, a surprise reunion at Christmastime offers them a second chance at happiness.

Jarnagin Cover Evergreen RomanceEvergreen Romance by Julie Jarnagin.
After giving up her plans for college to care for her ailing grandmother, Jillian Rogers has a shot at being promoted to project manager at the local nursery, but the owner’s son comes back into town and tries to take the job. Monty Nelson spent the last five years playing triple-A baseball after college but never made it into the major leagues. Now, he has returned to Lakota, Oklahoma, driven to show his parents he can succeed, but they stick him with running the Christmas tree lot with smarty-pants Jillian Rogers. When old sparks reignite, Jillian and Monty must determine whether their romance will wither or if they’ve found everlasting love.

ChristmasCupcakeMy Christmas Cupcake by Shaleen Kapil.
Clare thinks she is doomed to spend the holiday alone managing her new cupcake bakery until a handsome stranger appears just as she is closing up on Christmas Eve. Despite an instant attraction, Starfish Beach is a tourist town, and Clare has learned to be wary. How can she tempt Garrett, a university professor, to move to her small town when all she can offer are cupcakes?

Christmas+SparkA Christmas Spark by Ciara Knight
Sara Foster blames herself for her failed marriage. On Christmas Eve, she hides away in the family cabin, the same place her father abandoned her twenty years ago. Dalton Scot is unable to face the family holiday after his divorce and discovering he can never have children of his own, so he chooses Christmas Eve to fix his buddy’s cabin. Both search for a secluded spot to mourn their Christmas pasts, but instead are snowed in at the cabin for the holiday where they discover the power of the Christmas spark.

Cookies decorated with pink and blue snowflakesSweet Blizzard by Milou Koenings.
He’s an ex-con, she’s a socialite. He saves her life when a blizzard strands them together, but she could make or break his. Will love make it all right in time for Christmas?


All 19 authors in this boxed set write sweet/wholesome romances and are members of Sweet Romance Reads, a group of authors whose books contain no sex, violence, or strong language. While the emotional stakes are high as the characters’ relationships grow, lovemaking is not described in these stories. Think movies rated G or PG. Therefore, Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 can be enjoyed by romance readers of any age.

Pull up a chair by a cozy fire, pour a cup of hot chocolate and allow these bestselling and award-winning authors to bring the holiday season alive as they warm your heart.

Purchase the book at your favorite online retailer:






Connect with the Authors at Sweet Romance Reads:






Or connect with each of the Sweet Romance Reads Authors individually:

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion, sprinkled with a good dose of humor and set in the fascinating places she visited— or in Florida, her paradise on Earth.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Beate Boeker is a USA Today bestselling author with a passion for books that brim over with mischief & humor. She writes sweet sophisticated romantic fiction and mysteries, many of them set in beautiful Italy. While ‘Boeker’ means ‘books’ in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as ‘Happy’ . . . and with a name that reads ‘Happy Books’, what else could she do but write novels with happy endings?

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today bestselling author. She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet, light-hearted romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes the sweet romantic comedy Bridesmaid series, and fun, traditional romances. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “…Wonderfully entertaining.”

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also writes inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romances, as well as hotter paranormal and Gothic romantic suspense. She lives in New England with her family and her French bulldog, Bailey.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


USA Today bestselling author Aileen Fish is an avid quilter and auto racing fan who finds there aren’t enough hours in a day/week/lifetime to stay up with her “to do” list. There is always another quilt or story begging to steal away attention from the others. Her books include The Bridgethorpe Brides series and the Small Town Sweethearts series.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Patricia Forsythe grew up in a small copper mining town in Arizona where she had the opportunity to observe a great many interesting people who have since turned up in her books. She has written many romances for Harlequin books (as Patricia Knoll), as well as indie-published books and enjoys creating the kinds of stories she hopes people want to read.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Grace Greene writes novels of romance, mystery and suspense. A Virginia native, Grace has family ties to North Carolina. She writes books set in both locations. The Emerald Isle, NC Stories series is set in North Carolina where “It’s always a good time for a love story and a trip to the beach.” Or travel down Virginia Country Roads and “Take a trip to love, mystery and suspense.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter


USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women’s fiction with small town settings. She invites readers into her world to find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map—mystery, romance, and the occasional unexplained occurrence.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Christine Bush is an award winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Lois Greiman is an award winning author who has penned more than 50 heart-warming, laugh out loud novels. She currently lives on a small farm in Minnesota with her best friends, some of whom are human.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her bestselling sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Susan R Hughes writes contemporary and historical romance novels set in Canada. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and three children.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched, but these days she lives in a not-so-big city with her husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Shaleen Kapil is new and upcoming author. Her first book, None But You, debuted in 2014. Her latest stories are built around the Emerald Coast of Florida, a favorite vacation spot. She created the Starfish Beach series to allow readers to enjoy a taste of romance in a laid-back beach setting.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Ciara Knight writes ‘a little bit of edge and a lot of heart’ with her bestselling sweet romance and young adult stories that have topped the Amazon charts. When not writing, Ciara enjoys her own happily ever after with her husband and three sons living in suburbia, GA.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter


Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because she believes sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Best-Selling Author Rhonda McKnight & Live a Little

Rhonda McKnight

My guest today is author Rhonda McKnight. I’ve read one of Rhonda’s books, An Inconvenient Friend, and it was outstanding–a real page turner with real life situations and deep emotion. So you understand why I was so happy to have her decide to pay us a visit. Here’s Rhonda:

Live A Little opens and our heroine, Raine Still, has decided to commit suicide. Yikes!

Raine is struggling with a major life change. She is grieving the death of both her parents.Having no other relatives, she finds herself alone in the world. Having lived a sheltered life with them, she now has to exist in a world that was filtered through their experiences and she’s completely unprepared for life without them.

Our hero, Gage Jordan’s family situation is the opposite of Raine’s.

He has a large family of siblings, both his parents, and a host of extended family members that love him. But he’s returned home after fourteen years of military service, most of them spent in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Injured, he’s been discharged and forced to return to a world he’s only been connected to through emails, letters, and short visits.

Gage left a piece of his soul overseas and he’s not sure how to get it back.

These two people meet on cold winter night and their spirits connect in places that are much deeper than physical, for they are two halves that need something to happen in their lives to make them feel whole. They both need a reason to live. They need hope.

I have people in my circle that struggle with depression and even thoughts of suicide

every day. I wrote this story for them and because of them. Sometimes I think people believe suicidal people are crazy or demonized. Live A Little is a story of two people that have lost hope. In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises us a hope and future. We have to hide that message in our hearts.

What I love about Raine is she finds her strength as a woman and a Christian

when she decides to fight to save Hope House, the homeless shelter for veterans that is her parent’s legacy. Our hero comes along for the ride.”–Rhonda


Live a LIttle
To purchase, click here. Live A Little (Jordan Family Book 2)


A grieving woman, an injured soldier and an abandoned dream…can they find hope for tomorrow in each other?

Raine Still has never had much of an identity outside of being the daughter of the old hippie couple that own Hope House, a transitional housing facility in the worse part of Charlotte, North Carolina, and that had been okay with her until her parents died and left her alone in world.

Gage Jordan is a decorated soldier discharged from the army after fourteen years due to a physical injury, but the emotional scars are far worse than anything he’s rehabbed from. He has a great job lined up and a mass of support from his family, but something is missing and he’s starting to feel like it’s Raine.

Gage thought his wounded heart had issues, but Raine’s pain is much deeper. If something doesn’t give soon they will never have a chance at love. Can he convince her to see that “hope” and faith are the balm she needs to heal her hurting soul?

Great piece, Rhonda. I’ve known people who have suicidal thoughts too. Fortunately that has not been my problem. As I told my dh early in our marriage, I’m more homicidal than suicidal–if you know what I mean. :-) (wink-wink)

QUESTION: Have you ever dealt with a friend or family member who is suicidal? Or recovering from some great loss?–Lyn

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Author CaSandra McLaughlin & Grandma Christine’s Hot Water Corn Bread

CaSandra McLaughlin

My guest today is Author CaSandra McLaughlin and she is going to share her Grandma Christine’s Hot Water Corn Bread Recipe and some about her latest book. Here’s CaSandra:

“I’m not much of a cooker but growing up I found joy in watching my grandmother Christine  cook. Cooking was her ministry. The people in the small town of Karnack, Texas made it their business to stop by and have a plate of her greens and Hot Water Cornbread.

the best way for you to prepare food

I remember her telling me that the best way for you to prepare food was in love and if you didn’t have love in it wouldn’t turn out right. As I watched her prepare many batches of her specialty Hot Water Corn Bread I realized that she indeed was doing it in love. If someone asked her to cooked for them, she never said no and she never charged them any money .My grandmother would smile, and sing songs of zion as she cooked. Her love for Christ and for others were all a part of her preparation, she loved to see our smiling faces as we gave her raving reviews about how great the food was..

can’t seem to make it as good as she did

Although I watched my grandmother cook the corn bread I still can’t seem to make it as good as she did. I  have changed mixing bowls, and even cook my bread in her skillet that was left to me when she passed away. I have yet to make my batch come close to hers.

I don’t think I will ever be as good of a cook

as my grandmother and I’m actually fine with that. I will always remember our time together in the kitchen. When I’m cooking I’m always flooded with memories of her and that makes me feel as if she’s there watching me. Every meal that I prepare for my family is out of love and I thank my grandmother for instilling that in me.

Today I want to share her recipe for Hot Water Corn Bread. It’s near and dear to me.  There’s truly nothing like grandmothers cooking!

Grandma Christine’s Hot Water Corn Bread





1 Egg

Boiling water

Cooking Oil (Crisco or Butter Flavored Crisco)

*Notice that there are no specific amounts listed. My grandmother NEVER measured anything.

1. In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal, salt, flour and sugar & slowly stir in the egg.

2. Next pour boiling water into the batter. You want to make sure it’s enough to make the batter thick. If it’s not thick enough you may need to add more cornmeal & flour.

3.Form the batter into patties and fry in the cooking oil in a heavy skillet until it’s  brown on both sides. (Make sure the oil is hot enough)

4. Drain the patties on a paper towel & then serve immediately(They taste better hot). I hope you have better luck than I have!–CaSandra



Tania Clinton left her small home town of Sweet Lily, Texas, shortly after her graduation day with the intent to never return. Her mother had gone on to be with the Lord leaving her and her baby sister Naomi to be raised at the hands of her eldest sister Mona.Things between Tania and Mona weren’t great but she’d moved on, made a new drama free life for herself and didn’t have a desire to reach out to her sisters. After receiving an invitation to her youngest sisters wedding, memories of why she left began to haunt her. Why was this happening? Had Tania truly forgiven Mona or  had she simply tucked those memories in the back of her mind? Will a trip home, change their relationship? How long does it really take to forgive and move on?
For more online:

I must admit that I cook like this too, CaSandra. Just kind of mixing the ingredients together, but perhaps if someone hasn’t made cornbread before, they might want to follow a recipe. Just to have some idea of what they are aiming for. 

Here’s one that begins “Making Old Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread is more about the feel of the batter than a precise measurement.  The main thing is to get the right consistency with the water and cornmeal mixture…”

QUESTION: Do you always follow recipes or just start mixing stuff together or both?–Lyn

A collection of novellas–to purchase, click cover.

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Author Naomi Rawlings & The Strength to Overcome our Failures

Naomi Rawlings Author

My guest today is author Naomi Rawlings and her topic is The Strength to Overcome our Failures. Here’s Naomi:

When originally volunteered to write a post for Lyn’s blog, I liked the idea of doing something about the heroine of my most recent novel… until I sat down at my computer and started to think. As a woman, I’ve naturally built most of my novels around my heroines, but Love’s Every Whisper was built around a man, Elijah Cummings, and his desire to start a life-saving team after his father’s boat capsizes and his father drowns in a storm. And of course, since this was a romance novel, I then need to fill in the blanks with a heroine. What kind of person would be completely wrong for my hero, a determined fisherman with big dreams?

I ended up with Victoria Donnelly.

Victoria is a failure, and not just a subtle failure, but a big one that everybody notices. Maybe if she could manage to speak more than ten words without stuttering. Maybe if she could suffer through a society dinner without spilling something on her dress. Maybe if she wasn’t as tall as an oak tree, didn’t have a jaw that looked like a square bucket or a nose that stuck out like a ship’s rudder, she’d be able to find a husband. But as she nears another birthday, Victoria still has no husband.

Victoria Donnelly faces an extraordinary amount of pressure,

both from her parents and society. The time period is different, and society certainly expected different things from women in 1883 than it does today. But some of the basic principles are still the same. Society always has expectations of people, and families always have expectations of their members. In Victoria’s case, she needs to overcome her stutter, which worsens whenever she gets nervous and brands her as an outcast at social functions. The more she tries to speak normally, the more nervous she gets. The more nervous she gets, the more she fumbles her words. The more she fumbles her words, the more she’s branded as an outcast. The more she’s branded as an outcast, the more she tries to speak normally and fit in. It’s a vicious cycle that she doesn’t know how to stop.

other peoples’ expectations in their proper places

As the story progresses, Elijah and Victoria’s friendship deepens, which causes Victoria to start changing her opinion of herself. She looks to God’s Word for advice about her failures and her future rather than to society’s expectations. When she decides to put other peoples’ expectations in their proper places—below her relationship with God—then she finally finds the courage to overcome her failures.

QUESTION: What do you think about

society and the expectations it often forces on people? Do you ever feel like other people are putting pressure on you? How do you deal with it when other people have expectations different from your own? What are ways you can stop from putting unfair expectation son other people?

Love's Every Whisper
To purchase, click here. Love’s Every Whisper: Historical Christian Romance (Eagle Harbor) (Volume 2)


Victoria Donnelly is, as always, a failure. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, Victoria’s determined to redeem herself and snag a proposal from a wealthy childhood acquaintance, Gilbert Sinclair. But returning to Eagle Harbor stirs up long forgotten memories. And worse, old affection for her betrothed’s enemy.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen’s sons don’t marry shipping barons’ daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks.

He knows how to save drowning sailors, but how is he to save a woman from the biggest mistake of her life—without destroying both their hearts in the process?

Thanks, Naomi. I think you did a great job with your heroine. Let me repeat Naomi’s 

QUESTION: What do you think about 

society and the expectations it often forces on people? Do you ever feel like other people are putting pressure on you? How do you deal with it when other people have expectations different from your own? What are ways you can stop from putting unfair expectation son other people?

For more online:

To be informed whenever Naomi has a new book release, consider signing up for her Naomi Rawlings Author Newsletter.

PS: Ola Norman won Ann H Gabhart’s The Innocent. Congrats!–Lyn

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Author Ann H Gabhart Shares Shaker Lemon Pie Recipe

Ann Gabhart

My guest today is author Ann H Gabhart who writes stories about another sect of Plain People, the Shakers. There are no longer any active Shaker colonies but they were an active group on the American frontier at one time. Ann is offering a book giveaway and sharing her Shaker Lemon Pie Recipe. Here’s Ann:

A Shaker Recipe

My mother made a yummy lemon pie, but it was nothing like the Shaker lemon pie. Either pie lovers savor this taste treat or don’t like at all. The first time I tried it at the Shaker Village restaurant, long before I published any Shaker books, I didn’t care for its tartness. But the passing years must have changed my taste buds. Now that combination of tartness and sweetness seems just right.

The Shakers were a thrifty people and when their brethren brought back lemons from their southern trading trips, they were determined to not let any part of the lemon go to waste. Thus, we have their unique lemon pie. The simple recipe has only three ingredients.


2 large lemons

2 C sugar        

4 eggs, well beaten

Slice lemons as thin as paper, rind and all. (The thinness of the slices is the secret to this pie.) Combine with sugar, mix well. Let stand at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight, blending occasionally. Add beaten eggs to the lemon mixture; mix well. Turn into an uncooked nine inch pie shell, arranging lemon slices evenly. Sprinkle a bit more sugar on the lemon mixture. Cover with top crust. Cut several slits near center. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes or until a silver knife inserted near edge of pie comes out clean. Cool before serving.

While the Shakers lived an austere life in some ways, they always had plentiful food on their tables.

The Innocent

To purchase, click here. The Innocent: A Novel

In my new Shaker book, The Innocent, that is one of the things Carlyn Kearney depends on when she goes to the Harmony Hill Shaker Village. When her husband doesn’t come home from the Civil War, she needs a roof over her head and a table to put her feet under at mealtimes. The Shaker Village seems to be the perfect answer. She can work in exchange for her keep. But there are many parts of the Shaker way that she cannot accept. However, she’s thankful for the gardens and the plentiful food.”–Ann


The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The War Between the States ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep the dog that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brody has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?

Ann, that sounds like a great very simple recipe and an interesting book! There were sadly so many widows left by the Civil War on both sides. I hadn’t thought about one seeking a shelter at a Shaker Village. Excellent. Now for the QUESTION: Do you enjoy a suspense thread in a novel? Why or why not?–Lyn

For more online: for Ann’s

a Shaker Wednesday post,

Sunday Morning Coming Down,

Friday smiles and more.


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Lyn Reviews Author Becky Wade’s Meant to be Mine & a Couple More Images for Feedback

Meant to be Mine (Porter Family, #2)Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first Becky Wade romance, but not my last! Meant to be Mine started out with a wedding, not at the right place but with the right guy OR at least the heroine thought so at the time. In the morning light, everything unravels.

Surprise babies are a staple of romance fiction but that doesn’t mean that they ever lose their appeal. After all, a baby changes EVERYTHING–as anyone who has become a parent knows.

And this unexpected baby becomes a little girl Addie about to enter kindergarten–before the daddy ever finds out that she’s been born.

Sometimes I think that the heroes in stories that are so angry that no one told them about the baby don’t ring true. There are so many dead-beat dads in this world. But Ty Porter is not one. He was totally believable as a man who wanted to know his child. Well done, Becky.

I love the other characters especially Celia’s surfer uncle and his mishaps trying to find his Ms. Right.

The highest compliment I can pay a book is that I’ve already read it again. And Meant to be Mine is one of those!

PS: This book was a finalist in Oklahoma RWA’s National Reader’s Choice Contest in the inspirational category!

View all my reviews

To purchase, click cover.

Now for another couple of possible images for my holiday novella.

How about focusing on the hero instead of the heroine since he’s the one coming home?

Does his face draw you in, make you want to know more about him?

Hero image?


And how about this heroine? I’m thinking of cropping most of the background out and just focusing on her face. How does she stack up to last week’s two heroines?

young woman in snow


Thanks for your help!–Lyn

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Lyn Needs Feedback on Cover Art and Titles for Holiday Novella

back cover for holiday novella

Hi, need some input or feedback on cover art, images I will use for a novella I’m releasing in November. And also some title help. The image above is the one I plan on using on the back cover of the print edition (ebooks don’t have back covers.) As you can tell, the story is set in winter.

Here’s the BLURB:

Catching a freight train out of Chicago is no way to spend Christmas Day.

But Will Gustafson has run out of options. The Depression has cost him everything–his classy wife, executive job  and high society life. Now he’s heading home to the northwoods of Wisconsin to face the “I told you so’s” he deserves. On the freight train a homeless little boy attaches himself to Will like a lost puppy. Who is the boy and why is he alone?

On the day after Christmas in her Model T, Cass Newton picks up Will and the boy and takes them home with her. Is she crazy? But a new widow, she needs a handyman to help her weather the winter in her isolated cabin. She’s concealed her “delicate” condition from everyone but can’t deceive Will.

A baby is coming and Will wonders how he’ll handle this–when his lady boss refuses to see a doctor. Why not for heaven’s sake? He fights his growing attraction to this good but stubborn woman–so unlike the wife who divorced him. The three of them become an unlikely “family.” Yet what will happen when the snow melts and all their secrets are revealed?

Sound interesting? 

Recently on the Love Inspired Goodreads Group, I asked for title help.

I listed these titles to kick off the discussion of feedback and suggestions:

In the Heart of Winter
Deep in the Heart of Winter
Longing In Their Winter Hearts
Winter in their Hearts
Winter Homecoming

Suggestions I received there:

A Season of Change

Season of the Heart

Winter Hearts

Then Came Spring

Promise of Spring

Spring Always Comes

When the Snow Melts

Do you have a favorite or one to suggest? PLEASE DO!

Now on to front cover images.

The think the very most important thing about a cover is that it must EVOKE EMOTION and the emotion or mood which represents the story, its feeling.

Secondly I think that romance novels with women on the covers sell better than covers without women. So here are two images I like.


The Pensive Heroine

pensive heroine

The Snowy Heroine

Snowy heroine

Do you have a favorite of these two? Which and why?

The ebook edition of my novella will debut in November in the latest Inspy Kisses EBOOK collection. 

So please give me some feedback on the title and the cover images for the print edition!–Lyn



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