Pool-side, Umbrellas, and Good Reads

A tall glass of iced tea, sweet tea for those of us in the South, or the beverage of your choice accompanied with your feet dangling in the cool water… aahhhh. Of course, I personally need an umbrella, one of those big beach umbrellas to block those rays that you younger girls are soaking up. I’m past the “getting a good tan” point in my life and more concerned about getting too much sun. When did that happen?

If your stack of books to read is dwindling ( lol), then here are some suggestions. The 2013 Christy Awards have been announced and what a wonderful list it is. I am one of the authors who covets that award ( I do remember that is a biggy – thou shalt not covet, but I just can’t help it.) These awards are for the best Christian fiction of the year.

 Christy Award       The winners are:

Contemporary Romance: The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group).

Contemporary Series, Sequels & Novellas: You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren(Tyndale House Publishers)

Contemporary Standalone: Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

First Novel: Into the Free by Julie Cantrell (David C Cook)

Historical: Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot (Tyndale House Publishers)

Historical Romance: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Suspense: Rare Earth by Davis Bunn (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Visionary: Soul’s Gate by James L. Rubart (Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Young Adult: Child of the Mountains by Marilyn Sue Shank (Delacorte Press, a division of Random House)

Enjoy any or all!

Picnics, Summer Camp, and Baseball

What do picnics, summer camp, and baseball have to do with books?

PIcture taken at a rotary family picnic found on Yahoo images. Credited to Rotary5280, DSC_0141
Picture taken at a rotary family picnic found on Yahoo images. Credited to Rotary5280, DSC_0141

In my world, everything has to do with books and stories. Are you surprised? Story ideas come from everywhere. I receive a church newsletter that keeps me apprised of all the coming events, prayer requests, and service opportunities. Our annual beginning of summer all church picnic is this weekend at a local park. The meal is catered so we need to sign up early to be counted or just bring our own food. Everyone has a great time. The sounds and smells remind me of family picnics as a kid when we drove across country to get there. Within 24 hours of our arrival, grandparents, uncles, cousins, in-laws and out-laws from multi-generations gathered at Sinissippi Park on the Rock River. We had mountains of fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, home made baked beans, jello salads, and apple pie.  It started at lunch time and lasted until dusk. We swam and played baseball. Some of the more sedate cousins sat under the huge shade trees and read books or walked hand-in-hand with future spouses along the river bank.

My brother and I spent part of our summer at Scout camp and loved every minute of it. We experienced things we never would have other wise — stoning rattle snakes to death and curing their skins, skinny dipping in the moon light, and hiding the camp bell in hopes of getting up late the next morning. Great memories!

When I was growing up in Amarillo, Texas, the library had book mobiles that made the rounds of the city parks. The neighborhood kids could check out books, participate in the summer reading program, and return their books for more two weeks later when they returned. I loved it. My best friends and I would line up with the other kids and then spend the afternoon reading. I’ll bet you have picnics, summer camp, and baseball in your summers past and present. Go out – have fun and make more memories, read a new book, and enjoy yourself.