Dogwoods, Redbuds, and Blue Skies

My husband and I just returned from five remarkable, refreshing days at the Lake of The Ozarks. The drive was spectacular. Brilliant, creamy white dogwoods scattered across the forested Missouri hills, challenging the scarlet-purple redbuds for attention. Fortunately, my husband was driving and I could focus on the brilliant display without running off the road.

Spending time with my family after a year of confinement helped refuel my soul and inspired me to write. While I’ve been working steadily on the third novel of The Dahlonega Sisters series, Golden Adventure, I have devoted little time to blog writing or much of anything else.

My daughter and her fiancé had spent their vacation week working on extending their upper deck. My husband supervised, and I pecked away on my laptop. Okay, that’s not true, but it sounded better when I first wrote it. They didn’t need supervision. In fact, both of them are far more experienced in building things than we ever have been or ever will be. And, in full disclosure, I only wrote when it rained one day, but I was able to critique five chapters of a friend’s manuscript. That should count for something, right?

Hubby and I took turns walking Hammie. He’s got us trained quite well and loves when all four of us are in one place. It makes his job of protecting us much easier. Posing for pictures is not one of his favorite things. My daughter calls him greybeard now. He’s aging, but still has some spunk in him, as long as it involves a treat.

After one of our many walks, I sat outside on the already refinished lower deck that overlooks a nearly dry cove. Staring up at the azure blue sky, my heart was at peace. Scattered clouds slid past towering oaks, taking with them any hint of stress I’d tucked away over winter. Slender branches dappled with lacey green sprouts danced in the gentle breeze and provided resting places for tiny finches as they darted from limb to limb.

I would be content staying right there, suspended in time, sucking in the sweet scents of unidentified flowering bushes, and listening to songbirds sing their praises in thanks of spring’s arrival. No phone, no cable TV, no distractions from God’s creations.

Of course, all good things come to an end. On Tuesday, we returned to our humble home and within an hour, the washing machine was humming, all the mail had been sorted through, and the lawn mower was cranked up. I plugged in the laptop and noticed a message that brought a smile to my face. It was a different type of praise and reminded me of the benefits of today’s advances in technology. I enjoy the solitude of the lake house, but I’ve grown to appreciate the many social media connections to friends, family, and writing enthusiasts.

Here’s a five star review of Veins of Gold by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

The Dahlonega Sisters: Veins of Gold is a work in the women’s fiction, interpersonal drama, and family saga sub-genres, and was penned by author Diane M. How. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and tells the tale of the titular sisters: Marge, Rose Ellen, and Mutzi. Following on from The Gold Miner Ring, we find the sisters poised at the start of what may be a terrifying or affirming discovery, as Marge prepares to take a DNA test. Mutzi is fearful that the rumors may be true, and that the sisters are not true sisters after all, whilst Rose Ellen encourages her younger sister to take the plunge.

Author Diane M. How has crafted an utterly charming work of fiction with a fascinating journey into family ties, loyalty, and love to offer its readers. One of the things which I loved the most about this novel was the way that the town itself has a unique personality, and how the history of the Gold Rush is woven into the contemporary storyline. It was also highly refreshing to read a women’s fiction novel which isn’t all about mushy romance, but instead explores the multi-faceted world of family emotions in a realistic way that brings joy, but also plucks at the heartstrings. The dialogue was also very effective, serving to display the unique traits of life in Georgia, whilst moving the plot forward in a natural and entertaining way. Overall, I would highly recommend The Dahlonega Sisters: Veins of Gold to fans of endearing family dramas, well-penned female characters, and Southern fiction enthusiasts everywhere.

Perhaps you need a refreshing getaway to a quaint, friendly place. The Dahlonega Sisters invite you to come join their journey at

Till next time, search for the silver lining. It’s there, right behind the cloud.

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