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February Newsletter 2024 (and the last newsletter via my blog)

Updated: Feb 25

Dear Friends,

It felt like I blinked, and Australia's summer holidays were gone. The kids are back in school. The house is so quiet. I miss their chatter, even my oldest yelling at his computer game. Ah well, life moves on whether you want it to or not. A fact my youngest does not appreciate when he needs a few minutes to gather his emotions and time marches on without him. He'd like the clock to stand still. I think we all wish it was possible sometimes to freeze time for a bit.

We can't wind the clock back. We can't make it stand still, but we can make better choices for the future.

With that in mind, you may have noticed quite a few changes on my website... Okay, so there are a lot of changes! :) I hope you like the new design. What do you think of my new 'look'?

Speaking of changes, we're growing!

Which means we've outgrown my current email provider. Email notifications will now be sent out once a month, and newsletters will no longer be posted as a blog. Subscribers will receive my newsletter via email. Lucky subscribers, you'll get all the juicy news exclusively! :)

But never fear, I won't be abandoning my blog altogether. 'Devotions with Dienece' will now be joined by 'Books with Dienece.' These will be added as a link in your email newsletter and spotlighted on my socials.

Introducing Nugget!

Yep, the puppy finally has a name, and it didn't come from all my research on historical dog names. I was reading Andrew Peterson's On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness to my oldest. Nugget was the name of the family dog. Not only did it fit my puppy perfectly, the scene about how he gets the moniker (her little 'Nugget' of joy!) flowed out of my pen and onto the page.

Catching the Past

Living on Apples and Apple Tea

One thing I noticed about John Wesley while doing research for Freeing Defeat was that he liked to self-medicate, a lot! One particular time, he gave up on the doctors and ordered someone to crush up some rocks and applied it as a poultice. I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of that, although Wesley said it worked.

On Monday 25th April 1748, Wesley had 'a quinsy attended with a fever.' Basically, he had a severe sore throat with a fever. So, he decided to keep to his bed and live on apples and apple tea. Lots of vit. C, as we'd say today. It comes as no surprise he got better with that. (As I write this, I've been sick for almost 3 weeks. Maybe I should try living on apples and apple tea? Yeah-nay, as my Aussie friends would say, I lack the dedication for such a strict diet.)

Do you have a go-to food when you're sick? Have you ever sipped apple tea? I'd love to know.


Your support is such a blessing. Before I leave you this month, be sure to check out the book mentions below. We have two free books, one bargain collection (12 novellas for a 90c, or at least that was the price when I bought it), and a fun contemporary romance that features a large scruffy rescue dog.

With love,

Dienece Darling


Book Mentions

I was browsing for something to read and settled on Linda Hoover's Lighter Than Air (a fun read btw). Two days later, you can imagine my surprise and delight to be contacted by the author of that book, offering to do a newsletter swap with me!

Joel and Ella is Linda's reader's magnet. Meaning you get this book for free if you sign up to her newsletter.

1881 Boston.

It’s been a year since Ella's fiancé left town on the eve of their wedding, and she still can’t bring herself to go to church or see her friends. In order to help her move past her hurt, her parents insist she get a job. In the process she gets reacquainted with Joel, a neighbor who accompanies her on the trolley to and from the large department store where she finds work. They enjoy each other’s company and Joel begins to think they might share a future.

Then, Ella’s ex-fiancé returns asking for a second chance. He’s already broken her heart once. Can she trust him? Does she still love him? Her feelings for Joel pull her in another direction. Or maybe she should stay away from any man so she won’t get hurt again. Mama advises her to pray.

Will Ella look to God for her answer or turn away from both men to avoid heart ache? Find out here.


Finding Sunshine is a short, sweet, inspirational romance just like the author claims. How would I know? I've read this one. :) It's a little sister/big brother's best friend trope.

Finding Sunshine is free when you sign up to Karen's newsletter.

by: Karen Malley

Since she was a little girl, Anne dreamed of marrying a man like her father. When she meets Mark, she's sure her dreams have come true, but will Mark ever see her as more than his roommate's kid sister? Find out in this free, sweet short read which introduces some characters in the Pine Springs series here.


by Cindy Ervin Huff

When Cindy asked which of her books I'd like to feature in my newsletter, one book stood out so much I added it to my own kindle bookshelf. So, obviously, we had to do that one!

I loved the scruffy, disobedient dog in this book! And the hero's son added so much depth to the story. Some interesting issues the couple had to work though. Why don't you check it out?

Loving the Dog Groomer Book# 1 of the Dog Groomer Love Stories

Former model Bria Willis hurt and disillusioned with her career, returned home to partner with her quirky brother and master dog groomer in his grooming business. Away from the limelight and paparazzi, Bria is content as co-owner of Doggie Designer Duo, where dogs are always better company than people. When she’s not working, she’s helping at BowWow Dog Rescue.

Widowed Single Dad, Marc Graham, moved to his grandmother’s home to start over. Working from home as a marketing consultant and web designer gives him more time with his five-year-old son. Tyler has a comfort dog, Brownie, to calm his panic attacks. Marc has never owned a dog and isn’t fond of the unruly hulk of tangled fur. Brownie’s need to be groomed and trained forces the reluctant Bria to spend time with Marc.

They both have trust issues from previous relationships that left them wounded and avoiding the opposite sex. It doesn’t take long for Tyler to win Bria’s heart but Marc will take more persuasion. Brother Aaron, Tyler and loveable Brownie do what they can to get the two together.

Can they let go of their past and navigate the unexpected twists in this relationship to their happily ever-after? Find out here.


The last mention for this month is a bargain collection!

I took one look at this bargain collection and clicked 'pre-order' please! And then I hastily went back and asked Linore Rose Burkard if we could do a newsletter swap. Now, it doesn't come out until October 22nd, 2024, but it was 90c when I bought it. So, yeah, I can wait a few months to get 12 novellas for 90c! Especially when they come with the following description: Once Upon a Courtship: A Sweet Historical Romance Collection

A Limited-Time Collection of 12 books from 12 beloved Christian authors spanning rustic landscapes, elegant ballrooms, rugged cowboys, enigmatic spies, and daring pirates! Delight your romantic heart with Colonial, Regency, Victorian, Western, and Gilded Age Romance and preorder your copy today!

Linore Rose Burkard's contribution to this collection is:

Miss Spencer Meets Her Match by Multi-Award-winning Author Linore Rose Burkard

Miss Spencer attends a Cinderella Ball unwillingly, not knowing the “prince” is in disguise.

Why don't you snag this bargain collection here?

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