Author Roundtable: Garden Favorites

Did you know that the lovely bouquet you’re eying in the florist shop could actually contain a secret message?

Well, not today, maybe. These days, a rose is just a rose. But in the Victorian era, young people would use the commonly accepted meanings of flowers to express their feelings for each other. (Pity the poor suitor who didn’t know that yellow tulips meant “hopeless love” or that snapdragons meant “deception or presumption”!)

Here are a few of our authors’ favorite flowers and their corresponding Victorian symbolism.

Becky Wade: Geraniums

GeraniumMeaning: True friendship

Kimberley Woodhouse: Tulips

TulipsMeaning: Declaration of love

Jen Turano and Elizabeth Camden: Sunflowers

SunflowersMeaning: Loyalty

Ann Tatlock: Violets

VioletsMeaning: Faithfulness

Melissa Tagg:  Daisies

DaisiesMeaning: Innocence, hope

Nancy Mehl: Irises

IrisMeaning: Faith, wisdom

Ann Mateer: Gardenias

GardeniasMeaning: You’re lovely, secret love

Regina Jennings: Zinnias

zinniasMeaning: Thoughts of absent friends

Dee Henderson, Leslie Gould, Kate Breslin: Roses

RosesMeaning: Love

Mary Connealy: Daffodils

DaffodilsMeaning: Respect

Here’s a fun idea: Look at the meanings of certain flowers and think of friends who fit that description perfectly. Then buy seed packets of those flowers and mail them to your friends with a note about why this particular flower and meaning made you think of them. (Zinnias are always good for a “Thinking of You” card!)

What’s your favorite flower, and what does it mean? (There are some variations in meaning from place to place, but most of these I found here and here.)

Prayer for Authors: January 2014

Happy January, everyone! Today we’re starting a new Bethany House Fiction tradition: taking time on the first week of every month to pray for authors who have new releases coming out. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and these authors mean a lot to me. I appreciate you joining me to pray for them. To read more about the reasons behind this time of prayer, go to this post.

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Authors with Books Releasing in January:

Mary Connealy
Carol Cox
Regina Jennings
Julie Klassen
Tracie Peterson
Karen Witemeyer
Kimberley Woodhouse

Verse of the Month: Feel free to use the text of this verse to guide your prayers for these authors, as well as other people in your life who you want to remember in prayer today.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10, NIV

General Suggestions for Prayer

  • For readers to find the authors’ books at just the right time for God to use the books’ messages in their lives.
  • For peace and focus during release month (often a busy and stressful time for authors).
  • For God to give clarity and endurance to the authors as many begin new projects.
  • For freedom from comparison, worry, and pride—that the authors will be able to put their identity in God and not in their writing.

If you have a prayer request on your mind, for yourself or for someone you care about, share it below. I’ll read through every comment and pray for your requests as well. Thanks for joining us!

Turkey Diving: Kimberley Woodhouse

After much interest in a post where I mentioned turkey diving and started a trend almost a decade ago (well, at least with my readers!), I’ve decided to share the original post about how it got started. So here you have it…Turkey Diving.

Our Safeway does this great thing before Thanksgiving and Christmas where turkeys go on sale (this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone). Anyway, the store will stock the really nice, brand-name turkeys for a deal—like up to a fourteen-pounder for a few bucks and then over a fourteen-pounder for a couple bucks more. The key is getting the most turkey poundage for your buck, right? Everyone with me so far?

Okay…so the only way to really do this is to DIG through all of the turkeys in the freezer bins. Most people don’t go to the trouble of really searching. They see the sign and think, Ooh turkeys are on sale and grab one. How do I know this? Many years of observation, that’s how!

Turkey

Let me tell you, those people disappoint me. Where’s the fun in that?

Now, I’m sure there’s a few of you wondering what could be fun about shopping for a turkey. Especially in the madhouse-supermarkets-of-today at holiday time. Just stick with me for a minute.

This is what I do:

Go to the store with several friends (it’s even more fun if they have a child or two with them…you’ll understand in a minute). Head to those turkey freezers and have everyone stake out territory. Then, you dig.

But wait! There are rules:

  1.  You MUST look at every turkey in the freezer – Yes, I said EVERY turkey.
  2. If you are too short to reach all the way in, you must yell, “I’m goin’ in!” Which in turn will signal one of your faithful friends to come help you by holding your legs so that you can “dive” in. Another option is to throw a small child in to help you look (not literally – you don’t really think I would do that, do you?) Actually, you can hold the child’s legs while they reach for that last one in the corner that no-one else can get to, but you just KNOW that’s it’s the biggest one in the freezer!
  3. The other important rule to remember is to sing! Yes, you heard me. Sing. My personal favorite is “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…” This is great fun while turkey diving. (And is also useful in scaring off other customers so you have the whole freezer to yourself for a while.)

So, you have the turkey diving story. I’m going to have to trademark it now, since everyone will know what I’m talking about.

This holiday season, I’ll be watching for all you newbie “turkey divers.” Just don’t come to MY Safeway—I already have it staked out.

What does your family eat for Christmas dinner?

Connect with Kimberley on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

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Upcoming Release: All Things Hidden

All Things Hidden

Working side by side at a rural medical practice in 1935 Alaska, will nurse Gwyn Hillerman and Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan find hope or heartbreak?