Crystal's Wicked Garden 2017

Saturday morning I spent several hours "spring cleaning" my Wicked Garden. Sadie helped me, sort of. She gave me as much help as a dog can give, she watched! I think she enjoyed the outdoor time and sunshine as much as I did, it was a beautiful day. After cleaning up the garden I went plant shopping. That's one of my favorite things to do. I went to Red Butte Garden's annual plant sale,  the garden center at Smith's Marketplace, Western Garden, Millcreek Garden, Home Depot and Glover Nursery. I had such a great time hunting for unusual plants, black flowers, wicked sounding plant names, toxic plants and black foliage. I will probably add to this during the summer but here is a list of my 2017 Wicked Garden plants so far:

Bearded Iris ‘Before the Storm’
Black Mondo Grass
Carnation ~ mini
Dusty Miller
English Ivy
Globe Thistle
Heuchera ‘Violet Frost’
Hollyhock ~ black
Hot Pepper ‘Satan’s Kiss’
Juniper ~ Creeping
Lupine 'Thomas Church'
Narcissus ‘Thalia’
Petunia ‘Crazytunia Black Mamba’
Poppy ‘Brilliant’
Shasta Daisy
Solomon’s Seal
Spiny Bear’s Breeches
Tufted Evening Primrose ~ Moonflower
Tulip ~ Black Parrot
Tulip ‘Queen of Night’
Viola odorata (Violets)
Vinca Minor
Virginia Creeper

BOOK REVIEW: After Hello

BOOK REVIEW: After Hello by Lisa Mangum

This book delivered, from the title: After Hello, to the back of the dust jacket: "What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?" The cover is a creative work of art. The story is beautifully orchestrated. The setting is fantastic New York City. I've experienced Times Square, St. John's Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, the Empire State Building and Central Park. Lisa's words brought back memories of my visit. I fully understood the assault  on your senses; the sights, sounds, smells and magnetism of this incomparable city.

The storyline had a natural progressive flow toward a satisfying and memorable end to Sam and Sara's "partnership." I appreciated Lisa's ability to start me on a journey while not making me feel as though I was led along by an author. I felt I was discovering the way alongside the characters. Lisa created some tremendous visual images with her descriptive writing. She carefully peeled away a few layers to help the reader understand Sam and Sara's true character strengths as they became honest with themselves.

God blessed me with more than a fair share of empathy. I could empathize and sympathize with the emotions the characters experienced: Sara, her dad, Sam, Paul, Rebecca, Aces, Piper, and the rest of the cast. And all within a twenty-four hour block of time. I walked away from the book feeling wonder. I want to join Sam and Sara on their next quests. I hope they will be successful and will cross paths again. I thoroughly enjoy stories that have me still thinking about them hours, days, or even weeks after reading them. I think this is one of those thought provoking stories.

My favorite quote from the book is on page 255: "I believe sometimes people come into your life at exactly the right moment to give you exactly what you need at that moment." SAM
(I believe this too!)

Life is all about the journey. WHAT IS YOUR QUEST?

BOOK REVIEW: Love Under Construction

I have enjoyed reading the books in Danyelle Ferguson's Indulgence Row series: Sweet Confections and Love Under Construction. These are sweet contemporary romance stories with a cast of intelligent, sassy, and intriguing characters. I love the complexity of relationships amongst the families and friends, it makes the characters realistic. The independent nature of the main characters shows strength and encourages women to work hard for what they want. The settings draw you in; Sweet Confections bakery, Transformations and Indulgence Row are places that I would love to visit. Now I'm excited to see what happens when Mari comes to visit and we learn her story. Danyelle is creating a delightful series with many possibilities!

Windows of Heaven: THE MANOR has been submitted

After reading my manuscript again, I have edited and made several revisions. I'm very proud of Julie and David's story and hope to share it in book form in the near future. I have submitted it to a local publisher and will patiently await the response of their acquisitions team. Fingers are hereby crossed!