Author Julianna Deering & A Trifle Recipe

DeAnna Dodson-Julianna Deering

My guest today is author DeAnna Dodson AKA Julianna Deering. You know I love a cozy mystery and she has a new one out. And I persuaded her to share a somewhat different recipe with us, a trifle. Here’s Julianna:


Quick English Trifle


2 round layers of white cake, baked and cooled (8 or 9 inch)

1/4 cup white sugar

2 pints fresh strawberries

1 pint fresh blueberries

2 bananas

1/4 cup orange juice

2 cups milk

1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.5 ounce)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

12 maraschino cherries

1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds

Add milk to pudding mix with milk and mix. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle sliced strawberries with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and pour orange juice over them.

Line the bottom of a large glass bowl with half of the cake cubes. Layer half of the strawberries, half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas on top of the cake. Top with half of the pudding. Repeat the layers in the same order.

Whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread on top. Add cherries and almonds on top.

Sounds delicious. Now here’s the scoop on DeAnna’s latest cozy.

Dressed for Death

Julianna’s heroine Madeline Parker (now Farthering) was eager to try genuine English trifle when she came to visit Hampshire in Book One, Rules of Murder, so Drew obligingly took her to visit the local tea room. She has had a fondness for the treat ever since. Of course, this is a somewhat modern (and easy!) version for people like me who don’t cook for the sake of the public welfare.

I’m sure if it had been available in the 1930s, Madeline would have been thrilled. But since Farthering Place has a full-time cook, Madeline doesn’t have to cook unless she just feels like it. She claims to be a worse cook than I am, but we’ll see about that.”–Julianna/DeAnna

Also, writing as Julianna Deering, The Drew Farthering Mysteries:
Rules of Murder, Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (now available)
and Dressed for Death (March, 2016) from Bethany House

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Thanks for the recipe, DeAnna, and sharing about your latest cozy mystery. I love a British mystery and the historical setting adds so much!–Lyn

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Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #8

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site.
    Stop #1:
  • The hunt is BEST VIEWED using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer)
  • It is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
  • PRIZES include 3 sets of all 32 books, $500 in Amazon gift cards and many authors are offering additional prizes!
  • There is NO RUSH to complete this hunt—you have ALL WEEKEND. So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books you might want to learn more about!
  • Submit your ENTRY for the GRAND PRIZE at Stop #33 (back on Lisa’s site) by Monday night (4/25) at midnight mountain. Final Stop #33

It’s my pleasure to introduce my special guest today author Roseanna M White. She brings up the most important thing an author must learn to write fiction that people want to read. That is readers must be interested in and want to spend time with the characters. Here’s Roseanna on:

Writing a Broken Heroine

I’ve lived a blessedly boring life—the kind that consists of a wonderful family growing up, no tragedies beyond the norm, falling in love with my high school sweetheart, fifteen years of happy marriage, and two healthy, happy kids.

The stuff of a wonderful life . . . but not so much of a fabulous story. 😉 So when it comes to writing, I more often than not have characters dealing with struggles. With pain. With tragedy and mystery they have to overcome and solve.

Reluctant Duchess

To purchase, click here.

When I sat down to write The Reluctant Duchess, I knew that my heroine was a lot of things. She was Scottish, so I had to learn how to write a Highland burr in a way that would make the reader hear it without overwhelming them. She was Edwardian, so I had to plant myself firmly in the century past, when automobiles were the new thing but electricity hadn’t even reached her Highland home yet.

And she was broken. So I had to figure out how to make the reader love her . . . while I worked on how God would heal her.

In my mind, this is always a piece a cake. Because obviously every reader should fully understand that this young lady had been through a lot. So she’s a little bitter. And a little doubtful. She’s not quick to trust. And she’s really quick to think the worst. This is normal for someone who has suffered the abuse that she has suffered, all my research tells me so.

The thing is . . . it doesn’t make for a relatable heroine. A likeable heroine. When I sent my first draft to my critique partner/best friend, she didn’t hesitate to tell me that, either. “Rowena’s reactions are a problem,” she said. “Because we love Brice. And she doesn’t. And that doesn’t work.”

Yet again, I ran into a familiar struggle for writer (or for this writer, anyway)—where reality doesn’t work in fiction. In reality, it’s okay that we get frustrated with people. But in a novel, we can’t spend the whole 400 pages annoyed with the heroine, or we just won’t get through those 400 pages. A few moments here and there, sure. But they must be few. And they must come between many pages of commiserating and understanding them.

For me, the answer came in one little realization: that my heroine, in order to be a heroine, had to try to help someone. She was still in a fragile place in her own life, but the immediate danger to her person had passed (she thought). So for the first time in years, she was in a position to make someone else’s life better. To help someone else out of a bad situation.

Rowena was still broken . . . but suddenly she saw it differently. Suddenly those shards of her life weren’t just waiting to cut her—they were a lens through which she could see someone else’s suffering, and move to stop it.

I love writing a broken character. Because through their eyes, through their sorrows I can demonstrate something I’ve learned even in my boring life—that God is always there. And that the darker the night is, the brighter His light shines.”–Roseanna

Roseanna White

BIO: Roseana M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself.

Thanks, Roseanna, that was a great explanation of how to do the most important thing–make people care about the characters we love and write about.



Here’s the Stop #8 Skinny!
Secret clue to write down: characteristic    

And your next stop is at Roseanna White’s blog, Stop #9, click here  next stop

PS: Here is the final link to an overview post that also will include all stops on the hunt in case someone gets lost:
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Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt –Don’t Miss It!

Save the Date_Scavenger_Hunt

Make that 120 books!–Lyn

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Amish Author Marta Perry & The Rebel

Marta Perry

My guest today is author Marta Perry, a dear firend and a great author. She is finishing up another of her great Amish romance series, the Keepers of the Promise. The book is titled THE REBEL and Marta is offering a copy to one commenter. Here’s Marts:

My Barbie Lapp finds herself in a quandary in my latest book, THE REBEL, Book Three of my Keepers of the Promise Amish series. Young, headstrong, and adventurous, Barbie longs to experience more than her quiet Amish community seems to offer.


when she accepts a dare and goes to a bar with an Englisch friend, she’s confronted with another stray from the Amish—a sixteen-year-old girl who has been drinking and is with a rowdy trio of Englisch teenage boys. Trying to help the girl will inevitably expose her not only to her new friends but also to the girl’s older brother, who just happens to be one of the ministers of Barbie’s congregation.

Common sense

tells her to leave the situation alone. After all, the girl is only doing the same thing she is in tasting a bit of Englisch life. But Barbie’s warm heart and sense of responsibility push her into making a hard choice. She confronts the drunk teenagers in the dark parking lot, putting herself in danger,

And than

takes on the even more difficult task of returning Mary Kauffman to her home and explaining to her father and older brother, Minister Benuel Kauffmann. Barbie, impetuous and outspoken, seems to get herself into trouble with the stricter members of her community on a daily basis, and Ben Kauffmann is no exception. He disapproves of just about everything when it comes to Barbie,

and yet

he has to be grateful to her for rescuing his foolish young sister. He certainly isn’t sympathetic to Barbie’s dreams of adventure, but he can’t help but be impressed by the warm heart that seems to propel her into helping others no matter what the cost.

As I was writing the Keepers of the Promise series, I discovered that I couldn’t wait to get to the story of Barbie, the youngest of three cousins, each of whom are given a special gift from their family’s story in America.

I couldn’t imagine

how rebellious Barbie was ever going to find her way to the life she was destined to have. Struggling, taking risks, but always coming back to the dictates of her loving heart, Barbie was a joy to write, and I hope her story will be one you find a joy to read.”–Marta


Marta Perry's Rebel

To purchase, click here.


In the final Keepers of the Promise novel, the acclaimed author of the Pleasant Valley series tells about a young Amish woman who must make a difficult choice, just as her grandmother did years ago.

Central Pennsylvania, current day. Restless and adventurous, Amish Barbie Lapp has been stepping out among the Englisch. Minister Benuel Kauffman doesn’t approve of her choices, but he can’t deny the positive influence Barbie has on his wayward teenage sister. As Barbie is drawn to the kindness beneath Benuel’s gruff exterior, the mementos she finds in a dower chest given to her by her grandmother, Elizabeth, provide the insight she needs to decide whether to fully embrace the Amish way of life or leave it behind for forever.

Lancaster County, 1960. As working farms for the Amish become more scarce, Elizabeth Lapp’s husband, Reuben, tries to persuade her that they would be better off moving north. But the prospect of leaving her close-knit community of family and friends frightens Elizabeth. Can she muster enough love and faith to leap into a new life?

Two women from one family, separated by decades, both find that the ultimate adventure takes place in the heart.

Thanks, Marta. I can’t wait to read it! I’ve loved this series and have read book 1 and 2 over more than once. now for the QUESTION: WERE YOU EVER A REBEL? OVER WHAT? WHEN? Leave a comment and be entered into the drawing for Marta’s book THE REBEL.–Lyn 

For more online:

Facebook page,

Marta’s newsletter signup there or at

PS-Last week’s winner of Kathleen Rouser’s book is Sunnie. Congrats!

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Save the Date and Tell Your “best” Friends!

Save the Date_Scavenger_Hunt

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Author Kathleen Rouser & Lena’s Apple Pie

Kathleen Rouser

My guest today is Author Kathleen Rouser, a new-ish author. She is offering to give away one copy of Rumors and Promises—paperback to US residents only OR Kindle book to international entrant. Be sure to answer the QUESTION below to be entered into the drawing. Here’s Kathleen:

Thank you so much, Lyn, for the opportunity of being on your blog today and share about my latest book, Rumors and Promises, a historical romance is being released on April 18. Sophie Biddle’s story is one that has been on my heart for a long time. Both Sophie and hero, Pastor Ian McCormick, are doing their best to start over after leaving difficult pasts behind and learning to trust God in the process. It’s a theme that’s as important today as it was 100 years ago.

Sophie Biddle’s story

Sophie works as a maid in Fairgrave’s Boardinghouse. Her employer, Esther, is proud of her pies, so she has taught Sophie to bake an apple pie according to her recipe.  And here is one I like:

Lena’s Apple Pie Recipe

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


7-8 apples, depending on size, peeled, cored and sliced. Mix with 1cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste, extra is always good), and 3 Tbs. flour. Mix together and set aside while you make the crust.


2 cups of flour

2/3 rounded cups of shortening

1 tsp. salt (optional)

¼ cup water.

Take 1/3 c. of flour and mix with ¼ c of cold water to make a paste.  (Salt can be mixed into flour first.) Cut shortening into remaining flour with a pastry blender until the size of small peas. Add paste to shortening and flour mixture and blend with a fork until it all sticks together. Cut dough in half. Take one piece and form into a ball. Press down on clean flat surface which has been sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle flour over the top of dough and lightly coat a rolling pin. Roll into a circle which is a little larger than your pie plate. Carefully place evenly into bottom, add the apple filling, and dot with butter. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same manner to prepare top crust. Carefully place over fruit filling evenly. Use water to stick edges together, fold over, and pinch together, making indentations with thumbs to flute edge all the way around. Make several evenly placed slits in top crust to vent steam.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until juice bubbles out through slits. Crust should be a light golden brown. If edges become too brown, cover with foil and reduce heat to 375 until done.

Many Sundays as I grew up, 

Mom created her delicious fruit pies. We often inhaled the delicious aromas of blueberry, apple, or cherry pie baking in the oven before a Sunday dinner. Her flaky golden crusts would melt in your mouth. Of course Mom taught my sister and me to carry on the tradition. One of the first pies I baked by myself was blueberry for my father’s birthday. Unfortunately that one never made it onto the table as it had slid out of my hands and onto the kitchen floor when it came out of the oven!–Kathleen

Rumors and Promises

To purchase, clck here. –


Sophie Biddle is an heiress on the run. Worse, she has a two-year-old child in tow, an illegitimate daughter she tries to pass off as her little sister. Believing herself abandoned by family and God, Sophie is caught off guard when she meets a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile.

Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock.

In spite of their attempts to stay romantically untangled, Sophie and Ian find themselves drawn closer through their mutual love of music and their love for the child, Caira. When rumors of her “scandalous” past surface, Ian must decide whether to confess the ruse she thought necessary. Will they accept God’s forgiveness and risk forging a future together? Or will they continue to go it alone?

QUESTION: Why do you think it’s hard for Christians (or anybody really) to forget someone’s past mistakes or wrong-doing?–Lyn

For more online:



Twitter: @KathleenRouser



Rumors and Promises is available at:


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Chance to Win My Ebook on Amazon

Where Honor Began

I am doing my first ever Amazon giveaway. I’ve offered 5 copies of my prequel novella “Where Honor Began.” This offere ends April 11, 2016. So don’t delay. Click and enter to win one of these ebooks!

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FAITH, Meet Her Hero, Col Devlin Knight


Today I am posting an excerpt of my latest book FAITH. Last Friday I posted the Prologue where we witness why Faith goes to serve in the Civil War–though the doctors at that time didn’t want or respect female nurses. But what of her counterpart?

Let me introduce Col Devlin Knight of Maryland. If you recall, the border states were slave stares that refused to secede but also wanted to keep their slaves. This is Dev’s conflict. He’s a slaveowner fighting for the Union and now the Emancipation Proclamation has made it clear that Union victory will mean emancipation. He is a man torn between two opposites. How can he go forward in a much different future?

Chapter One begins with Dev, a Union cavalry officer, engaged in a skirmish in Mississippi near Vicksburg. And in the midst he sees on the other side, his own cousin Jack. What’s a man of honor to do when he sees his “blood” fall?

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter One:

After shoving Jack’s distinctive hat with one side folded up and pinned with a miniature lone-star flag into his jacket, Dev slid one arm under Jack’s shoulders and one under his knees and rose. Jack struggled, cursed and then passed out.

Just as well. Dev managed to sling him face down over his saddle and then he mounted his horse, grasping his reins and turned away to head back to the Union lines.

“Stop where you stand,” a voice from the trees behind Dev barked.

Dev raised both hands. “I’m taking my cousin with me to get him medical help.”

“Your cousin, Yankee?”

“Yes, we’re from Maryland.”

“That man’s from Texas.”

“Yes, but he was born in Maryland on the Carroll Plantation ten miles from Baltimore.”

“So you do know him.”

“Yes, now are you going to shoot me in the back or let me help my cousin?”

“So you’ll shoot at him but then come back to help him?”

“That sums it up.” Dev choked on the irony of it, but he’d faced this over and over, meeting men he’d grown up with and taking aim at them.

An ominous silence hung over the three of them.

“Okay. But God help you if you do him harm.”

“God help me in any event.” But he doubted God would help him. Dev headed back to his camp, expecting to be shot by a sniper or Rebel straggler at any moment.

He’d fought in the Mexican War nearly twenty years ago and his goal then had been to serve with honor and survive. He didn’t think any man could expect to live through two wars. His lone goal now was to serve and when the time came, die with honor. That’s what kept him going.


When Dev neared his camp, his cut off his cousin’s gray military jacket and stuffed it along with Jack’s hat under his own jacket. He met the sentry, identified himself. Then as he picked his way to his tent, he felt conspicuous as if he’d be stopped at any moment. Fortunately, more than one skirmish had take place today so the camp was busy with injured.

His man Armstrong stepped out of Dev’s tent before he reached it. Armstrong always did this, heard him coming and was there waiting for him.

“Help me get him inside,” Dev said, glad of help.

“It’s Master Jack,” Armstrong said in obvious surprise.


Armstrong didn’t say another word just helped carry the unconscious man into their tent. Then he looked at Dev, asking without words what he thought he was doing.

“I will turn him in but first I need to see if at least one of his arms can be saved.”

Armstrong gazed at wounded man, obviously thinking. “The surgeons won’t think twice about cutting them both off for sure. But I heard about one of the nurses. They say she better than the doctors. Miss Faith Cathwell.”

“A nurse? A woman nurse? Better than the doctors?”

“They say her patients mostly live. Not all but enough where some notice the difference.”

“And you know this because?”

Armstrong looked him in the eye. “You know why, sir.”

You found out in case I’m wounded. Dev gripped his servant’s shoulder. “How can I find Miss Cathwell?”

“She tall with blond hair. And if what I heard is true, she’ll be in the thick of things near the camp hospital.”

Dev nodded, turned to go and then glanced over his shoulder. “Check his pockets in case he still has weapons on him. Keep him here.”


So the Dev goes in search of Faith Cathwell and his life will never be the same. What do you think of him as hero material? Does he act like one?

Have you read either HONOR or BLESSING? If you haven’t signed up for my enewsletter (see box on top right), you should. I’ll be resending Friday’s issue this week and you can find out how to enter a drawing for a copy of FAITH.–Lyn

PS-Last week’s winner of Susan Page Davis’s book is Laurene. Congrats!

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FAITH, Book 3 of Quaker Brides Debuts Today!


Today the final book in my Quaker Brides series, FAITH, is available to purchsse. (The left column will connect you to Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites, but it’s also available on all other etailers and in bookstores.) I’m so happy to have been given the opportunity to write a series so close to my heart.

Here’s what Marta Perry had to say about it:

Author Lyn Cote hits a new high in FAITH, the third book in her Quaker Brides series. FAITH is the beautifully-told story of a brave and dedicated Union Army nurse who cares for the victims of a terrible war while searching for a childhood friend who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Cote’s meticulous attention to historical detail never intrudes on the love story of Faith and Dev Knight, the slaveholding Union officer whose personal conflicts become very real. A particularly touching scene shows Faith sharing her Quaker beliefs with him, putting the eternal struggle of faith in a time of war in poignant terms. Any reader who watched the PBS series Mercy Street will be enthralled by this book.

Marta Perry, author of the Pleasant Valley and Keepers of the Promise Amish series

Thanks, Marta.

Romantic Times also reviewed it:

RT Review of FAITH

4 Stars! The Quaker Brides trilogy comes to an end with the story of Honor’s daughter and Blessing’s sister, who is wise beyond her years and devoted to God in a way that affects everyone she encounters. Readers will find themselves wanting the series to continue, as these three steadfast and brave heroines are both believable and admirable, and their historical situations treated with realistic detail.

If you missed it, I posted the Prologue a few weeks agao, Here’s the link…er-brides-series ?.
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Author Susan Page Davis and Son Join to Write Seafaring Women of the Vera B

Susan Page Davis

My guest today is author Susan Page Davis, who has guested before and whose books I’ve enjoyed and reviewed. She has authored a new book with her son. She is offering one copy to a commenter, e-copy or if print (US ONLY). Here’s Susan:

Strong out of Necessity

Alice Packard has always depended on men and been taken care of by them. Yet she has developed her own strengths and skills. It’s 1854, not an easy time. Her husband is the captain of a merchant brig. He was at sea when she lost a baby. After that, she sails with him, and while on the ship, she learns navigation and thrives in the harsh shipboard life.

But when her husband dies

in Port Phillip Bay, Australia, she needs to dig deep into her inner resources. She has to learn to defend herself, as well as earn her own living, instruct a dozen people in a new occupation, and look after the personal and spiritual needs of her crew.

Alice has moments

where she second-guesses her decisions. Was she wrong to promise a group of downtrodden young women a better life if they would help sail her ship? She delegates to others out of necessity, choosing a first and second mate to oversee the watches and assigning many tasks to the boatswain. But the ultimate responsibility for the voyage and her employees’ lives falls on her, and she feels that weight on her shoulders.

Alice is not very strong physically, but inside she’s rock solid. With others depending on her, she learns to lead. Read her story in The Seafaring Women of the Vera B.–SUSAN

Seafaring Women of the Vera B


1854–With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population.

In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected.

Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure?


For More Online:


Twitter: @SusanPageDavis


Jim’s page:

James Samuel Davis is a writer who has traveled in Australia, China, Micronesia, and Alaska. He resides in rural Travelers Rest, S.C., with his wife and seven children.

Susan Page Davis, James’s mom, is the author of more than sixty Christian novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.

What an interesting story idea! I love it! It kind of reminded me of my book BLESSING where my heroine works with the prostitutes of Cincinnati in 1820. QUESTION: DOES THIS IDEA INTRIGUE YOU? WHY OR WHY NOT? Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy fo this book e-copy or a print (US ONLY)–Lyn-

Buy Links:

Buy the paperback from Amazon:

Createspace store:

Kindle e-book:

Nook e-book:

Kobo e-book:


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