>The Public Library Association "Smorgasbord" Part II

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By: Christina Berry, author of The Familiar Stranger
Continued from Part I…
I loved it all, a veritable smorgasbord for the senses. Booths doled out wine, cheese, crackers, candy, cookies, popcorn, lemonade, grapes, and more. I enjoyed meeting so many incredible people who were excited to take my baby home with them. And the books! Aisle after aisle celebrating the written word.
(The low moment might have been when my daughter, who thinks I’m ready to find a husband, pointed out a book about how to find your perfect match online and the man at that booth shared all his horror stories of online dating. In front of my mother. And my kids.)
Braving the cold rain and longest possible waits between trains and trolleys, we six made our way across downtown Portland to PF Chang’s. Duane informed the children of the one rule set down by Moody: that they order absolutely anything they wanted.
And so began the veritable smorgasbord of appetizers (calamari, egg rolls, and ribs), entrees (duck, chicken, and beef), and desserts (The Great Wall of Chocolate, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, and Fried Bananas with Pineapple-coconut ice cream). 
It’s sad, really. My kids are only 11 and 8, and they’ve eaten the best meal of their life already. Though my son was slightly disappointed that an eggroll was NOT a bun with an egg cooked in it.
Deuteronomy 16:14 says, “Be joyful at your Feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.” I’m quite sure we ordered food for all of them, goaded on by Duane’s repetitive line, “Does that look like enough? I think we might need one more appetizer/entrée/dessert.”
An author spends many hours with a laptop, typing words, creating stories, portraying emotions. It can be a lonely endeavor. To be treated to such a lovely evening by my publisher, to be able to include my family who have given up so much time with me in support of my writing, felt like a piece of heaven.
Think of the fun and feasting that awaits us there, where our Father God says again and again, “Are you sure that’s enough? I think you might want more.” Where our loneliness and hunger exist no longer. A veritable smorgasbord of Love!

Craig Littleton’s decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise…if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, badly burned, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?

But what will she do when she realizes he’s not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?

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