Buried Under Spot 23

John Knox Buried Under Spot 23
Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks

The dark spires of St. Giles stood etched on the gray Edinburgh sky as our mission team walked toward the ornate Cathedral. Already we had been in the United Kingdom for almost two weeks, ministering in England and now Scotland. This was our first “free” day without any services or ministry commitments. Still, my hands were full of tracts as we shouldered our way through the throng of people, most of whom we could not understand because of their heavy brogue.

Tourist shops lined the street selling tartan plaids, bag pipes, picture postcards, and souvenir badges. A couple of the girls from my group stopped to inspect a stand of woollen shawls. My eyes lingered on a woman in her late twenties with two children in tow.

“Excuse me Ma’am,” I said, “could I give you this?” I handed out a tract.

Introverts Aren’t Broken – Stop Trying to Fix Us


In a world of open offices and collaborative projects, introversion is often considered a liability. But those who believe that don’t understand the true strengths of introverts.

I grew up believing the most popular kids – those who were gregarious and made friends easily – were the best. I also knew I would never be one. I preferred the company of my imagination to the interference of other children. I had a few very close friends and was happy in my world.

Then sixth grade came and my entire class was shipped off to a new school, divided up, and mixed in with their students. None of my friends were in my class, so I spent a lot of time happily alone. My teacher saw this as a problem. To help me “adjust” I was placed in a special class to learn how to make friends. I didn’t realize it then, but they were trying to reprogram introversion out of me.

The Trouble With Patience

The Trouble With Patience by Maggie Brendan

Some of the first novels I read were set in the old west. I love the time period and the rugged adventures the setting promises. It’s expected that we will find daring heroes, outlaws, and women with spunk and grit.

The Trouble With Patience takes us to Montana territory in 1866 and drops us right in the middle of a mining town. Though most books about towns like this focus on the rough element, this novel almost makes the place seem civilized. Though the marshal confronts a thief in the first pages, it is easy to forget the characters are in the middle of a boomtown while reading the story.

The number of available women in this town took me by surprise. I would think a unattached woman would be snatched up quickly in the wilds of Montana, yet almost every female in the novel is of age and on her own. This does create grounds for a lot of romantic tension.

Personally, I question the use of “java” as slang for coffee in that time period. Little anachronisms, such as this, kept pulling me out of the fictional dream.

Though I can’t pin down the overarching theme of this book, Maggie Brendan explores many vices and virtues found in an old west mining town. It was enjoyable seeing how she brought together the main characters. These two started out irritating each other to becoming part of a gentle love story.

If you are interested in a sweet, feel good romance set in the west this may be the book for you.

Back Cover

The Trouble With Patience by Maggie BrendanPatience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye–and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Melli’s Melody

Bee and Flower
Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks

Melli rushed from flower to flower. The reds, pinks, purples, blues, and yellows of the garden called to her, giving her a sense of purpose as she did the work that she was created to do. She hummed merrily as she went about her task, a song for the Creator pouring from her heart.

This was her favorite time of year. As spring buds bloomed in brilliant displays. Like the other members of the Apis Colony, Melli flitted from bloom to bloom, tasting each flower’s sweet nectar. Yellow pollen clung to her hairy legs.

A patch of purple Asters swayed in the gentle breeze, the scent floating across the garden. Melli could not resist the lure of the fragrance. She stepped off the yellow petal of the Black-eyed Susan and zoomed across the open space of the garden. In her haste to reach the Asters, she veered into Tella’s flight path.

Destroying a Child’s Trust in 5 Easy Steps

I'm Not Sure I Believe You

Children are naturally gullible. They will believe everything said to them, and sometimes it is fun to lead them along and see how far the deception can go.

But at what cost?

Trust is a fragile thing. Once the tender threads of trust are broken, they are not easily mended.

When I was a little girl, I honestly believed my mom knew everything. She perpetuated the belief, reminding me often when she was right about something. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing mother.

Then I discovered she wasn’t omniscient and my whole world fell apart.

The Beauty of Grace

The Beauty of Grace

I love books that encourage and inspire. Sitting down with The Beauty of Grace, edited by Dawn Camp, is like sitting down with a group of close friends. The women in this book are so open and raw in the way they share their hearts with us readers.

Several entries touched me in a profound way. I identified with the woman scared of losing her child after dealing with infertility. I cried with the woman who didn’t even have $2 to pay for bananas. I felt like I was with these women in the intimate moments discovering God’s work in their lives.

In reading their stories, I was forced to slow down and think about my story. How is God revealing Himself to me right now? Do I see him in the everyday moments while my son plays with his toys or asks me to read him the story of David and Goliath for the seventeenth time today? Do I have heart-to-heart times with my Savior while up to my elbows in soap suds?

All Puffed Up

Icy Birdhouse
Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks

Carl Cardinal finished preening and took a final look at his reflection in the window. Every feather was in place – his beak shined to a high gloss. He was, by far, the most handsome bird in the subdivision. Hadn’t he been told so many times?

Alighting from the bush, Carl fluttered across the yard, and into the woods beyond. Skillfully, dodging tree limbs and falling snow, he navigated his path. As he neared his destination, he gave his call. The sound was still echoing through the trees when he heard the reply. He changed his course, angling down and to the right. Carl chirped again. He had the most beautiful voice in the city. Hadn’t he been told so many times?

How to Keep Faith When Bad Things Happen

Icy Cattails by Pond

I was nine years old when I drove the snowmobile into a tree. The accident was a tragic combination of childish exuberance, inexperience, and youthful invincibility. The worst part – I wasn’t wearing a helmet.

When the machine stopped so quickly, my unprotected face slammed into steering column. I won’t get into the details of my injuries, but it took almost two hundred stitches to repair the impact lacerations on my left cheek. It still amazes me that I didn’t lose my eye, sever a nerve, or break any bones.

But the real trauma occurred when I returned to school. 

Will Secrets Destroy Your Marriage?

Wedding Ring

He would propose any day. I was sure of it. From our first interactions on eHarmony, we both knew we wanted marriage. The only question was if we wanted to marry each other. The more time I spent with him, the more I was sure he was the man I’d been waiting for.

It wasn’t surprising when he asked for a private word one evening. As we sequestered ourselves in Grandma’s parlor, his nervousness was palatable.

But I wasn’t prepared for what he wanted to say.

Blog Lauch Giveaway Winner

Fireworks Celebration

Thank you to each of you who subscribed to my email updates. If you haven’t subscribed yet, I would love for you to join me. Ever subscriber will get a pdf file with three of my flash fiction stories, one of which is exclusive to subscribers to the list. I promise to never share your personal information with anyone else.

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The winner of the $10 Amazon gift card is…