Summertime is definitely in full swing— heat waves, forest fires, beach dinners, and wonderfully unpredictable schedules. Add to that some great books (you HAVE to work in some serious reading time in summer—it’s a rule) plus a new yummy cupcake dessert (to balance out the plethora of salads consumed) and the season is complete! So of course, I have few suggestions for you this Fabulous Friday…
I’ve always been a huge fan of summer. I love pretty much everything about it, especially living in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley. My fondest memories include countless hours with my kids on the beach. Over the years, I morphed from optimistically popping a book in the beach bag— in case I could snatch a few uninterrupted minutes reading time whilst keeping two eyes on three children— to considering the beach to be my reading haven. Kids were eventually occupied and old enough that I was a mere supervisor and lunch provider. And now, my three are either married and living on the other side of the country or working REAL JOBS for the summer. Even the young one. Sigh. Happy memories tucked away. But the summer reading tradition at the beach lives on— with or without kids!
I simply have to rave about New York Times bestselling Christian fiction author Francine Rivers’ latest novel, BRIDGE TO HAVEN. She’s actually my favourite author, and for good reason. This particular gem is set in the 1950’s, and follows the heartbreaking story of a girl called Abra from abandoned baby to Hollywood starlet. It’s a tale of a prodigal daughter, a broken father, and his loving son— sorrow, tragedy, temptation, pain, hope, and ultimately desperation to somehow come home. Rivers’ extensive research and passion for the era is evident, transporting the reader on a soul-churning, page-turning journey with a powerful message of hope and forgiveness. Umm yes, I recommend this book!
Here are a few other random suggestions: If you like a bit of murder, intrigue and mystery mixed into your Christian fiction (mwa- ha-ha!), may I suggest: Distortion (Moonlighters series) by Terri Blackstock:
For those who prefer a little seaside romance with their Christian fiction, here’s a story of faith, trust, and unconditional love:
Surrender Bay- A Nantucket Love Story by Denise Hunter:
And because it’s summer and fruit is everywhere, can I throw this one in, too? It’s not a novel, but it’s super easy to read in (orangey) segments. COLD TANGERINES: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist (love her!) Open, honest, down-to-earth musings by one incredible lady! Cold Tangerines is served in bite-sized chapters, packing a punch while tugging at your heartstrings. Niequist draws on her own life experiences to challenge, amuse, and encourage the reader- I thoroughly recommend this book:
Okay, after all that reading we seriously need something sweet and delicious. Preferably with chocolate. You want to know what I found on my friend Pinterest? Well I’m having a bit of a cupcake phase, and this one jumped out and begged to be baked. So I did, and it was ridiculously good, though I say so myself. It’s another one from Sally’s Baking Addiction (which I am actually addicted to, ironically.) If you like Oreos (who doesn’t?) then you will love these. They even have Oreos crushed into the cake batter:
COOKIES & CREAM CUPCAKES WITH MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
You can find the recipe on her wonderful website right HERE
You now have a book and a cupcake— you’re welcome. Isn’t summer wonderful? I have a stack of non-novel books to read in the next month (when I’m not writing my next Christian teen fiction novel) and I’ll let you know which ones are outstanding. In the meantime, let me know if you try any of the above? Including the cupcakes 🙂
Have a fabulous Friday!