Saturday, August 23, 2014

Small Plot Gardening

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, I have a tiny garden, but I get a lot of produce out of the small space.  The garden is an evolutionary work in progress. Each year I experiment with different configurations and a variety of vegetables to maximize yields. Not only does the tall bean-trellis in the center and back allow for a lot of beans in a tight spot, but it’s a decorative focal point. I also consider harvest times. Peas are generally here and gone before many plants really get going, so they can be planted close together. This year I miscalculated the size of Beefsteak tomatoes, plants and produce, which have provided too much shade for the neighboring chili peppers, but it’s hard to complain when I see the size of the tomatoes. I’ll make a few changes next year and maybe someday I’ll be satisfied.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Adventure Scrapbook – Costa Rican Croc Alarm

While cruising up the Rio Frio River in Costa Rica, we motored past this group of cows standing belly-deep in the river. Maybe the cows are large enough where they have no predators, but I interpreted their calm demeanor to indicate this section of the river to be relatively crocodile-free.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seeking Patience

I am pleased to introduce multi-award-winning author Josie Riviera. She spends her days teaching piano, lending an ear to her teenage daughter’s ongoing drama, and, of course, writing. Josie and her family are transplanted upstate New Yorkers, now living in the sunny state of SC. She writes character-driven novels filled with inspiration and emotion.  Her latest novel, Seeking Patience, is an inspirational historical romance about a Gypsy man and widowed noblewoman.
To learn more about Josie, visit http://josieriviera.wordpress.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Josie.RivieraAnd, for more on Seeking Patience, please continue reading. 

Do people prove their self-worth by strength, or by character?

A Romany leader confronts the English heritage he has denied when he lands, beaten and powerless, in the path of a high-spirited young widow. Will the prim countess agree to hide the charismatic rogue in her home and jeopardize her safety while her stepson accuses her of murdering her elderly husband?

Patience Blakwell is not beautiful. As a dutiful young countess in Regency England, she endures her husband’s cruelty. She struggles with her faith, trying to understand why God is not following the plan she had for her life—to be loved and cherished by her husband. After her husband’s unexpected death, her grown stepson charges her with her late husband’s murder.

Luca Boldor, more Gypsy than English, is determined to prove that he is strong and capable and doesn’t need anyone. But once he is forced to depend on Lady Patience Blakwell, a woman who represents all he loathes, he must decide whether he should turn away when she needs him, or risk his most vulnerable, forgiving self to keep her safe. By denying his English heritage, has he denied a part of himself?
 
Josie is also the author of Seeking Catherine (Tudor Novella). Only $0.99 for your Kindle through Amazon. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Garden Nostalgia and Tomato Tips


When I’m not writing and reading about adventure, and trying to find little adventures of my own, I garden. Not like I did while growing up rural, but I am compelled to grow things nonetheless.  When I was young we grew enough for multiple families (though not officially, it just turned out that way), and then some. We ate vegetables in mass quantities during the summer, gave produce to family, friends, and co-workers, canned, froze, and stockpiled enough gunny sacks of potatoes in the well-pit to last all winter.

Now, my garden is only as big as I can carve out of my much more urban lifestyle. Despite its small size, my garden is mighty, and it brings me great enjoyment and satisfaction. It might sound silly to someone who hasn’t tried to garden, but fresh vegetables just taste better, last longer, definitely put a noticeable dent in the grocery bill, and instills a sense of confidence in knowing no fertilizers or pesticides are used.  So, with August well underway, I’m feeling a little nostalgic and already missing my mountains of tomatoes. Luckily they freeze well.

Tip: I freeze my tomatoes whole, without blanching. As needed, I take however many I need out of the freezer and rub gently under warm water and the skin peels right off. This method really cut the work of freezing tomatoes down to nothing over the years I spent blanching, peeling, dicing and freezing.
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hush In The Storm

Reviews are already trickling in for Hush in the Storm, a new Christian Suspense novel by Julie B. Cosgrove, and they’re very positive.  I’ve included the blurb from the novel and a review for this must read book. Please keep reading to learn more about Julie and her work. 

Blurb:

Jen, a young widow floundering in the storm of mourning, whose only lifeline is her humdrum job, is tossed into a maze of deceit and intrigue by a coworker named Tom...at the request of her late husband, or so Tom says. He kidnaps her and fakes her death to keep her safe from the cartel who he thinks caused her husband's "accident." Together, they are thrust into a tempest of danger and deceit where no one is whom they claim to be. The list of people Jen can believe in keeps diminishing. Who can she trust while dodging the Feds, human traffickers and the press who've discovered she's alive? How will Jen rescue the two held-captive girls she befriends without drowning them, Tom, and herself in the waves of betrayal, especially when she's begun to suspect her husband may not be as dead as everyone thinks... 

Amazon Review:

5 out of 5 Stars - Suspense with a Twist of Human Issues, August 6, 2014, By M. Hamilton

Right from the start, this book keeps the reader guessing. The heroine, Jen, is mourning the death of her husband when she's kidnapped and held in a cubicle by a guy who claims to have worked with her husband. He also claims he's protecting her. But from whom? And why? And is her husband really dead?

It's a tangled web to unravel that leads into human sex trafficking. The reader will learn a lot about this issue from the story, and see some of it's devastating effects. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

About The Author:

Julie B. Cosgrove is a freelance writer, professional speaker and published author. She is a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, North Texas Christian Writers, The Christians Writers Group Two, and Christian Writers Fellowship International.

She represents Women at Risk International, a Christian missionary group who sponsor safe houses for women and children snatched from human trafficking and slavery in thirteen countries and is actively involved in Prayer For Freedom, a nonprofit anti-trafficking ministry. 

Jule has published five nonfiction works, and she has authored three contemporary faith-based novels. Focused, set in the Texas Hill Country, which follows a woman’s journey to find God in her empty nest, was released in 2012. She is working on the other two novels in that trilogy, Grounded and Rooted. The sequel to Hush in the Storm, Legitimate Lies, launches through Prism Book Group in early 2015.
 
Contact Julie at http://www.juliebcosgrove.com  or through her blog, http://WhereDidYouFindGod Today.com http://amzn.to/1lHIMQw