It’s that time of year again where, in Michigan, we start feeling the effects of changing into a new season. The hot days of summer are slowly making their way to the cool (frigid, if I’m honest) days of winter. Whether you call it fall or autumn or whatever name there may be out there for this season, it’s hands down my favorite. Here’s why:

  1. As mentioned above, the temperatures are dropping! Typical weather in Michigan during the autumn months are mid-50s to 70 degrees. To me, that’s perfect! Add in the days where you have full sun and you’ve got a teeny weeny taste of heaven!
  2. The leaves are changing! I do like it in Spring where things comes to life and the leaves start appearing, but something I like even more so is when these leaves show us just how creative and brilliant and gorgeous our Creator is! I don’t even have a favorite color. I like them all! From dull browns, to sunny yellows, to fire oranges, to burnt reds, the trees display a vibrant work of art. Having said that, it brings me to another reason I like fall.
  3. Fall color tours! I absolutely love waking up on a crisp morning, getting some coffee or hot chocolate (whatever mood I’m in) and a donut, and then driving the day away on scenic roads, admiring our view. Michigan has so many routes to explore!
  4. Apple picking! Hands down a must do during the fall with the family. My kids love picking apples with us. We have an orchard just a tad south of us that offers unique varieties of apples, all of which are tasty.
  5. Fall-like desserts! With all of the apples that my family and I pick, we have to do something with them! My favorite has to be apple crisp! A couple of years ago I found this recipe that is just to die for. Anytime I make apple crisp, that’s the recipe I run to. It’s also a fan favorite of many family members. More than one person begs me to make it every year. It’s that tasty! But don’t stop there. I love pumpkin rolls, apple fritters and other apple/pumpkin donuts, and so many other things that it’s just not healthy, lol!
  6. While we are talking about food, let’s add in a drink. APPLE CIDER! Oh man, this stuff is delish! It’s sort of a staple at our house from September until about mid-November.
  7. The holidays are approaching! That’s right, I actually look forward to the holidays! I love Halloween, Thanksgiving, and most of all, Christmas. It’s just the time of year that gets exciting. Busy at times, but so worth it!

While for some it’s a reminder of busy-ness or snow or even the time when school is mandatory, autumn is by far the best time of the year for me. There’s just something about it that makes me come alive! What’s your favorite season? Why?

For Christmas last year I asked for wind chimes. We had just recently moved into a new house, one we consider to be our permanent (forever) home. I’ve always liked wind chimes, especially the ones that are bigger and deeper sounding. So when it came time to make a Christmas list for my in laws (the only people I have to make a list for), I knew this is what I’d put on it. Which I finally had to breathe a sigh of relief because I never know what to have on my Christmas list!

As Christmas came last year, it was my turn to open one of my gifts. It was a box. But it wasn’t a heavy box so I was a little clueless as to what was inside. When it was opened, there was a note. The note talked about how my in laws wanted to get me a wind chime, but instead of picking out something they thought I’d like, they wanted me to pick out my own. Now, as if that wasn’t cool enough, what made it sweeter was that they wanted to make a trip out of getting a wind chime. They wanted to treat me and the family to Shipshewana (a heavily Amish town) for the day. Shipshewana and the Amish are well known for great, handmade products so I knew that a wind chime from there would be perfect!

I share all of this because we finally got our trip to Shipshewana done! Actually we got it done back in June, but since then I’ve been super busy that I didn’t have time to create a post.

The day was fun! It started out a little crazy because my husband decided to follow his GPS from his iPhone. Most of the time GPS’ work well. This time, we made it to our destination, but we were taken way out in the boonies first! It made for quite the interesting experience!

While there we visited some unique shops, got some Amish goodies, did a buggy ride, and ate a healthy lunch. What is so cool about the place is that I feel like I’m back in time, although cars are still heavily present. I also find it fascinating how many flowers there are. It’s so beautiful. The place is truly magical, and if you ever get the chance to visit, I’d recommend it.

This is the wind chime that I came home with!

It is called Song of Solomon. I never knew wind chimes had their names, but apparently they do. And this name holds a special place in my heart. At our wedding, the passage read was from Song of Solomon.  So I just think that’s cool that the one I ended up liking the most had that name.

It’s deep reds and blacks, colors that match our new home perfectly. And the sound is so beautiful. I wish that pictures had sound with them so that I could share with you all the melodic noise they make. One bonus is that this beauty comes with a lifetime guarantee! Can’t get better than that.

Every time I look out my window and see my wind chimes dangling in the breeze or each time I hear the chimes ringing, I don’t just see/hear wind chimes. My in laws gave me something more than that. They gave me memories of the day that we went to get the wind chimes. I won’t forget about petting the huge Clydesdale, or meandering through specialty stores, or feeling like I’m in the middle of nowhere as we traveled south, or the many other things I got to experience that day like riding in an Amish buggy for the first time!!!! In fact, here’s a pic of our horse and driver!

It’ll also serve as a reminder of my marriage ceremony! It’s neat how God orchestrates certain events and things to bring up pleasant memories of things long ago. I can actually see it being sort of like a wedding ring…a visual to symbolize a vow that was made.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Has something ever reiterated something from your past? Or how has God done something really cool in your life?

 

Now that Christmas is over with, you may find yourself with a brand spanking new kindle that you have no idea what to load on it! Or you may find yourself with Amazon gift cards that you have no idea what to buy with them!

 

I have the perfect idea!

 

My debut novel, Growing Up Neighbors, is the perfect solution. Not only can you purchase eBooks with your Amazon gift cards, but you can also put this eBook on your kindle! If you got both gifts for Christmas, you’d be killing two birds with one stone so to speak!

 

And that’s not all!

 

The best part about this deal is that from Monday, December 26, 2016, through Friday, December 30, 2016, Growing Up Neighbors is just $0.99! You can find it HERE on Amazon!

 

What is Growing Up Neighbors about?

 

Growing Up Neighbors is a general fiction, coming of age story that is suitable for young teens and “older” folks alike. Those who have read this novel already enjoy the believable, sweet love story that is woven within its pages. This is a clean read that is suitable for anyone and everyone to read AND share without feeling guilty.

 

 

Here is the back cover blurb:

Little Deborah Harrington stared across the street the day the Michaels family moved in. Who was this family? Would she even like them?

Nicholas Michaels hated the fact he had to move away from everything and everyone in his life, but his feelings change when he meets the Harringtons.

Deborah and Nicholas become the best of friends, and as the children grow up, their friendship deepens. But when tragedy strikes, will this cause them to part ways? Or will it perhaps make them realize they may have stronger feelings for one another before it’s too late?    

 

Growing Up Neighbors is the first in my Neighbors series. All are clean and all focus on a love connection between neighbors. Each novel can also be read as a standalone. Next Door Neighbors can be found HERE and Long Lost Neighbors can be found HERE

 

All books are available in paperback if that is your cup of tea, and all eBooks are FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Giveawys

Welcome to Day 11 of our 12 Days of Giveaways! Today is a giveaway from Angela Carling and yours truly!!

First: Angela Carling. Angela Carling is an amazing young adult author with various novels to choose from. I love her giveaway because she is letting the winner choose their prize! You can pick one of these four novels: Shackled, Becoming Bryn, The Secret Keeper or Unbreakable Love. Whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. To enter, please visit her FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/angelacarling/app/228910107186452/?hc_location=ufi
You can also visit her blog at: http://angelacarling.blogspot.com/ Continue reading “12 Days of Giveaways DAY ELEVEN – My Christmas Gift to You!”

Let’s get right down to business and announce what is being given away today! Our spotlight authors are Brenda Anderson and Lea Doue!

Brenda Anderson is giving away an autographed copy of Chain of Mercy. In this novel there’s a lesson both the hero and heroine need to learn. Both are broken, both have made terrible choices and both struggle to find hope with the mess they’ve made of their lives. Through Christ, they eventually find that hope. For your chance at winning this giveaway, please visit: http://brendaandersonbooks.com/2015/12/20/a-season-of-hope/ Continue reading “12 Days of Giveaways DAY SEVEN!”

When it comes to reading, which do you prefer? A digital copy of a book or the actual physical copy?

I go both ways. I think that it’s great to have the actual book right in front of me. I love the feel, and sometimes smell, of a book that I’m reading. And in some cases, I get the physical copy just because it’s part of a series that I already have.

Other times I think Continue reading “Paperback or Digital?”