The Romance of a #Lighthouse #Wedding

Have you ever been to a wedding at a lighthouse?

Here are some fun ideas—

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Let them eat cake

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The happily-ever-after begins

For more Falling for the Single Dad-inspired photos, visit Pinterest.

Party Food #Recipe—Cucumber Rounds

cucroundsIngredients:

• 1 large cucumber

• 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

• 1 1/2 tsp mayonaise

• 1/8 tsp seasoned salt

• 1 loaf multigrain bread

Parsley springs for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut cucumber in half. Peel, seed and shred 1/2 of cucumber.
  2. Measure 1/3 of shredded cucumber.
  3. For garnish, slice remaining cucumber. Cut slices in half and set aside.
  4. Combine cream cheese, mayo and seasoned salt. Mix till blended.
  5. Stir in shredded cucumber.
  6. Cut 2—2″—rounds from each bread slice.
  7. Spread each round with 1 tsp of cucumber spread.
  8. Garnish each with thin half slice of cucumber and a sprig of parsley.
  9. Can prepare beforehand.

Yield: 48 sandwiches

For more recipes, visit Falling for the Single Dad on Pinterest.

Gone from My Sight

While writing Falling for the Single Dad, this poem by Henry Van Dyke was especially poignant to me when my father passed.

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”gone1

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voicesship
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Behind the Scene #Photos from Falling for the Single Dad

Real-life places on the Eastern Shore of Virginia which inspired fictional Kiptohanock in Falling for the Single Dad

  1. Fictional Sandpiper Cafe

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2. Island House Restaurant—Sweet tea, anyone?

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Watching the boats dock

3. Virginia Institute of Marine Science

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Future Scientists

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Where in the world is VIMS?

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4. Wachapreague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival—just in case you missed the real deal—

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inspiration for The Spider

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Cute Kids Contest aka Izzie and Max win

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My favorite ride—the Ferris Wheel

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For more behind the scene photos, visit Falling for the Single Dad on Pinterest.

#Recipe—Crab Sandwich

crabsandwichTraditionally, a crab sandwich would involve fresh crab and legs hanging out of 2 slices of bread. Yes, I kid you not.

For those of us not fortunate to live close enough to get live crabs right off the dock, here is a variation using crab meat made into crab cakes—

Ingredients:

• 1 lb. crab meat

• 2 Tbsp parsley

• 1 tsp mustard

• 1/4 cup bread crumbs

• 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

• 1 egg

• 1-1 1/2 Tbsp mayo—more if needed

• 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Shape into patties.
  3. Cook in skillet with butter until golden brown on the outside.
  4. Or deep fry in oil or broil till lightly golden.
  5. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve between bread slices or hamburger buns of choice. White bread is preferred on the Eastern Shore.

For more recipes, visit Falling for the Single Dad on Pinterest.

 

Eastern Shore Getaway—Falling for the Single Dad Releases

Eastern Shore

Welcome to the Eastern Shore of Virginia

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A land of sandy beaches, a slower pace of life, good fishing, good neighbors

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And beautiful beginnings.

Falling for the Single Dad tells the final Duer sister’s story.

Step out of your busy life and enjoy one last chance at summer.

For more behind the scene photos, visit Falling for the Single Dad on Pinterest.

Why I Wrote Falling for the Single Dad

9780373719785Late September 2015, I stepped off a plane from Dallas and returned home, trophy in hand for winning the ACFW Carol Award for Romantic Suspense, only to be met with news that my elderly father had been in an accident. For the last several years due to his advanced Alzheimer’s, I had been his primary caretaker. With my father now placed in an end-of-life facility, I was immediately faced with contacting hospice and preparing him and our family physically, spiritually and emotionally for his imminent passing.

What followed were five of the hardest months of my life. Unrelenting life and death decisions on behalf of my father came one after the other. It was a heavy responsibility that weighed upon me. And those decisions took an enormous toll.

From the height of professional achievement to the saddest of personal situations, I also had a deadline to meet—writing book 3 for my contemporary romance publisher, Love Inspired. During this period between September to February 2015, Falling for the Single Dad emerged.

On the surface, the book is about a young woman who returns home after being estranged from her family for fifteen years after the death of her mother. The heroine, Caroline, finds a second chance at love with an amazing widower and his adorable little girl. There is a lot of laughter and fun involving the most fascinating of creatures—sea turtles. But the book is really about coping with grief and moving forward in faith and love. At the heart of this novel is the story of one woman’s battle with depression.

There, I said it.

A word not often discussed among Christians. But I believe—if we are honest—that most people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. It can be a temporary, situational experience or a more chronic tendency for a multitude of reasons both physical and emotional. Falling for the Single Dad is an intensely honest look at this topic. It is an intensely honest insight into my personal struggles.

There is a great deal of joy involved in penning words to paper, of becoming an author. But there is a downside for some—not all—writers. Research indicates that creative people—perhaps due to the deeply introspective nature of what we do—are especially prone to bouts of depression. I think it is essential that we share our stories so that other people can find the courage to seek help and not suffer alone.

Years ago, a teacher friend gave me a nautilus shell. This friend struggled against the darkness and battled sadness, but told no one. Tragically, one day he chose to end his life. I’ve since pondered the meaning behind the unique, multi-chambered design of the nautilus. Falling for the Single Dad is an outgrowth of that takeaway. I believe it is important to talk about depression to combat the lie that we are alone. I hope this story illustrates the truth that it’s okay to ask for help. Life is often hard, but God is always good.

We do other Christians a disservice to pretend depression only happens to non-believers. Like King David, the prophet Elijah and the Apostle Paul, the heroine of Falling for the Single Dad wrestles with depression. If this describes your current situation, I pray you will seek the advice of a medical professional and wise, spiritual counsel, too, so that you might take partake of the richer, fuller, abundant life God desires for you to experience. Life is worth living.

Ultimately, Falling for the Single Dad is about hope. My inspiration comes from Hebrews 10:23—“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Yes indeed, my friend, He is.

My father’s home-going occurred on February 12, 2016. I don’t know what the future holds for you or for me. But I’ve learned that I must trust in the God who holds us—our hopes, our dreams, our loved ones and our lives—in the palm of His hand. The safest place we can ever rest.

It is my hope that you will not only enjoy reading Falling for the Single Dad, but find it thought-provoking as well.

For more photos, visit my board on Pinterest.