Melinda is already at a crossroads when the “for rent” sign beckons her down a gravel road. Facing forty and laid off from a Twin Cities ad agency, Melinda is struggling to find her way forward when a phone call brings her home to rural Iowa. And just like the vast garden she tends under the summer sun, Melinda begins to thrive.
Melinda’s efforts are starting to pay off: She’s learned to preserve produce, outsmart a few headstrong chickens and wrangle a flock of spoiled sheep. But even in the little town of Prosper, nothing stays the same. As the seasons change, she must choose between the security of her old life or taking a chance on an uncertain future.
Melinda has a list of ideas that will make the season perfect, and she’s checked it more than twice. But when a mysterious visitor arrives, she is reminded there is more to the Christmas season than elaborate celebrations and expensive decorations. With the help of her friends, she is not only home for the holidays, but home at last.
January finds Melinda struggling to keep the worst of winter from her door. Shoveling snow, thawing her farm’s water lines, and watching over the pregnant sheep in her barn fill her shorter days and longer nights. When a series of events threatens to break her heart and shatter her hopes, can she see the season through?
A no-nonsense housing inspector claims Melinda’s sweet deal with Horace could come at a high cost, and her latest idea to improve life in her rural community meets with skepticism from some of the locals. When Uncle Frank makes a shocking discovery in the town’s archives, the fallout threatens to dim Prosper Hardware’s bright future.
Moving to the country’s brought Melinda a new set of skills, but does she have what it takes to fix matters of the heart? And as the temperature climbs, the shadow of hard times falls over Melinda’s rural community. Can she make the tough choices that will keep her dreams from turning to dust?
Autumn makes tiny Prosper picture-perfect, but under the surface lies a startling truth: Not everything is quite what it seems. An unexpected windfall gives new life to a long-held hope, and a surprising discovery has everyone on edge. And Melinda discovers small-town politics can be worse than anything that goes bump in the night.
Spring brings a series of fresh starts. But it’s a season of secrets, too. Someone seeks a chance to start over, while others are too proud to ask for a helping hand. And when Uncle Frank and Aunt Miriam take a much-needed vacation, Melinda finds herself at the helm of her family’s business.
Early winter makes Prosper look like a quaint scene from a snow globe. Everything changes when a national magazine sets its sights on the town’s newest business, creating controversy about the best way to put little Prosper on the map. And when federal officials threaten to close the post office, Prosper’s future suddenly doesn’t seem so bright.
A Tin Train Christmas
The toy train in the catalog was everything two young boys could ask for: colorful, shiny, and the perfect vehicle for their wild imaginations. But was it meant to be theirs? As the Great Depression's shadows deepen over the Midwest, Horace and Wilbur start to worry that Santa might not stop at their farm. But with a little faith and their parents’ love, the boys just might discover the true spirit of Christmas. (Approx 12,000 words) And there's more! At the end of the story, you'll find three holiday recipes that have been handed down in the author's family.