Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: So Rare a Gift!!

Good morning and Happy December!!

I am so excited to get to share with you the cover for the third book in the Daughters of His Kingdom Series:


You are all so you kind and supportive, and I can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you for being my "reader" friends!! I really do hope you like this cover and that this little teaser will get you excited for learning more about Henry and Anna. I LOVE their story, and I can't wait to share that with you as well.

Escape is Anna Rone’s only option. Never again will she be trapped in a loveless marriage. A new life in America means safety—and discovering the truth behind her beloved brother’s death. But when she is nearly captured and forced to return to England, her vow to never marry for anything but love is forgotten when she must marry for protection. Perhaps the handsome man she accepts is truly as caring as he seems. If he is not, her future in America is darker than ever before.

Captain Henry Donaldson aided the colonists too many times. And now, the British army intends to make him pay with his life. Without his friends in Sandwich, he would be a dead man. He’s already changed his name, and when the kind, courageous woman he rescued offers to become his bride, he accepts despite the risks. His past taught him that women are not to be trusted and that love can cut deeper than the sword. Only time will reveal if this choice will bring the greatest pain he’s ever known.

Releasing Spring 2016

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Mistress of Tall Acre

She's aliiiiiiiiiive!!!

Yes, I am here, folks. I know it's been like 150 years...wait, let me check. Yep, 150. BUT! I have not totally left the world of HCR. In fact I am as deep in HCR as ever. But alas, life has taken a toll lately, so please forgive me for so many months without a post.

I am SO pleased that my first post after so long is Laura Frantz's book, The Mistress of Tall Acre!

Pretty much....loved Every. Thing. About. It.

Book Rating: Best of the Best

It's funny how things work out sometimes. I was lucky enough to get this book quite a while ago, but I just didn't have time. Then I picked it up and after starting it had to put it down again. So sad!
Here's the cool thing though--and you may think this is weird, but I really needed this book right now and if I'd read it earlier I know I would have enjoyed it, but it wouldn't have impacted me the same. You know what I'm talking about?

For me, this story was sweet, and touching and really brought to life such a powerful time in our history. Of course you know this era is my favorite, and wow does Laura deliver. Her details are perfect and she really helps a person FEEL the characters emotions--brings it to life.

Oh! OH! Oh my wor--people! I mean, if you want to find a hero that will leave you in a sweet puddle of mush (that's a good thing) Seamus. All the way. He is--I mean, of course, to ME he's perfect! A Revolutionary War hero? Come on! You can't beat that. But even if you're not into the blue uniforms, he's tough and gentle and thoughtful and....OK, just read it and you'll know what I mean!!

Sophie is fantastic. I LOVED her. She wasn't the typical head-strong heroine that we see so often. And not that that's necessarily bad, but she was real. She was determined, had principles but was humble and understanding. Also, she was very pretty, to be sure, but not one of those knock-out beauties with uber-perky boobs.

And I HAVE to mention Lily Cate. Be still my soul! Little Lily Cate was the heart of the story for me, and I think--in all the stories I have read with children in them--Laura created the best little girl that has ever graced the pages of an HCR. True, I haven't read them all, but for me this is really true. :)

The end is FANTASTIC!!!! I won't say more about that, because I can't give anything away.

Have you read it?? I'm late in the game, I know, so most of you probably have.

Laura, I am SO happy for you. This book is truly a treasure and in my opinion, it's your best. But I think I say that every time, don't I? Much love to you, and thank you for sharing your gift.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 6, 2015

To Win Her Favor

Gone With the Wind meets Seabiscuit.
That's this book in a nutshell.

Book Rating: Best of the Best

The good old days are here again!!!!

I tell you, it took a lot of guts to read this book. Yeah, yeah, call me chicken, it's okay. But after the last Alexander book I read, I was beginning to think her style wasn't for me any more. I liked her first few series, but the last several books left me wanting.

Not this one! 

This book is a crazy-kind-of-scrambled-up 
GWTW/Seabiscuit. Am I right, or am I right?!? You know I'm right! And how fabulous is that?!?!?!

I can almost hear Mr. O'hara saying, "Land is the only thing that matters--it's the only thing that lasts!" And I can see Mammy with her adorable smile and her sweet tears... and THEN right after that I see horses racing down the track, the jockey's jersey colors flashing across the screen! 

This book was exceedingly well paced, with wonderful depth and--BOY OH BOY--this book's got mother-loads of spice! Ooooh, Mama!!!! Could be considered too steamy by some, but all was appropriate in my way of thinking, especially considering they were married. 

Great hero, great heroine, great plot and great history. *wink*

Glad I gave this one a try. Now you gotta give me your two cents. Did you like it? Is it on your TBR list?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Covered Deep

You're shocked I know. AN ACTUAL HCR BOOK REVIEW!

I've been wanting to read this one for a while...a good read for a vacay that's for sure.

Book Rating:
Up All Night'er (with reservations...)

I wanted to love this book--I really, REALLY wanted to love this, but for me there were too many things that bugged--you've been bugged before, right? I know that's happened to you.

It actually almost could have ruined the story for me, but before I explain that, let me share the many positives.

1. I loved the setting! I had not expected it to be set in the Holy Land--that was fantastic!

2. The plot kind of reminded me of a Jane Austen/Charles Dickens type story. Lots of characters, many with dark pasts who wished ill on others...I did enjoy that.

3. The hero was kinda perfect. He was "wounded" by decisions from the past and desperately wanted to make a new life. He was very much like Indiana Jones--an adventurous history buff (and I mean buff! LOL) who had traveled the world for ancient art and artifacts, etc. I mean, what's not to love? (So when the heroine can't get over the fact that he made a mistake--however huge--and had obviously truly repented, despite the fact that he desperately loved her and would do anything for her...gah! I mean, get a grip, woman!)

4. I LOVED the history and art that was discussed in this story--mostly by the handsome, intelligent, daring, brave, and fearless hero..........


*shakes head and blinks*

Where was I? Oh yes. I studied art history in depth in college and I was geeking-out over the paintings and sculptures and architecture that was constantly be talked of by such a dashing man.... Very fun!!

Honestly, the heroine was so frustrating!!!!! GAH! For my taste she was too naive throughout the majority of the story, and got too mad for too long at the AWE-some hero--why did he even like her?? I mean, I guess I know why, but still.  It nearly did the story in for me.

I do recommend this book, however. It might just be my personal taste so don't let that sway you. Have you read this one? What did you think?
Let me know!

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rush Revere


I know a lot of my recent posts haven't been HCR's and I hope you'll forgive me. With the 4th of July fast approaching, I had to share a review of Rush Limbaugh's history series for children.

No matter what you may think of the radio talk show guy, I ask you to push that aside, because these books speak for themselves.

If you have children at home, or if you know of some children who might like these books I couldn't recommend them more highly--they are phenomenal! My six-year-old daughter listens to the audio version of the books every day. I kid you not. Ever. Single. Day. And HOLY COW she is learning so much, I LOVE IT! She is telling me all the "cool" things she's learning about the pilgrims, Paul Revere, Patrick Henry and others. I'm just tickled pink!

The stories are exciting, funny and filled with accurate history in a way that is entertaining and engaging for kids.

So, I know this isn't my usual review (I didn't give it a rating, but it would be a Best of the Best for sure) but I got to thinking that if you are searching for something educational and trustworthy for your kids to enjoy, this is it for sure!

These stories are in print and audio...maybe even ebook, I don't know about that.

Have you heard of these before? Do you think your kids/grandkids/ friend's kids would like them? I almost guarantee they would...but in the immortal words of LeVar Burton, "You don't have to take my word for it."


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God Bless America

July 4th is one of my favorite days of the year. 
As a kid I looked forward to pie and fireworks, but as an adult, I look forward to spending a little time with a 239 year old document. (Psssst...that would be the Declaration of Independence. And the Constitution too, but that didn't come until 1788. *wink*)
We are forever indebted to those brave men and women who gave their lives, fortunes and sacred honor so that we could be free today. I couldn't think of a better way to show my unshakable love for America, than to read what started it all. 

(image from www.archives.gov)

Sadly, those rights and freedoms are slipping away from us. But they don't have to. If we become familiar with our Constitution and hold sacred the principles and values our Founders loved, we can make a difference by educating those around us who may not yet understand the vital nature of that document.

I plead with you, if you do any reading this upcoming Fourth of July week, please read the Constitution. Have you ever read it? Has it been a while? Well, now is the time to remedy that! I know you will be so glad you did.

(image from  www.archives.gov)

No matter how unpopular it continues to become--to be a Patriot and to love this country, fly the flag or say God Bless America--I can never stop. I read the Declaration and Constitution every July 4th, and every time I do it fills me with gratitude and renewed resolve to do my part--in my own little way--to keep America strong.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July next week. 
God Bless America!

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Hello to my fellow HCR readers!!

Here are the answers to my "first sentence" blog post from a few weeks ago.

Did you get any of them right? :) All of these books are on my "keeper" shelf. I hope you've read all of these. If you haven't, might I suggest you get started?! *wink*

After two years, they'd finally cut him loose.

This street is impassable, not even Jackassable.

His name was Judas.

"This is madness."

"Half-hidden beneath the bare-limbed canopy of a dogwood tree, the grave digger kept a reverent distance..."

"A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out."

Jurassic World

As you must know by now, I like movies. I like them almost as much as I like books. We don't go out to the theater too often, but I do every now and then and if it's a good show, it's totally worth the money and a wonderful experience. If it's "Into the Woods", I want to die.

Last evening I was one of the millions of people that shelled out their hard earned cash to watch terrified people run for their lives from the evil jaws of.... dun dun dunnnnnnn.... bunnies.


...... I mean dinosaurs.

Movie rating: Pass the Popcorn.
(for an explanation of my rating system, checkout the post below this one. ;)

Man, Spielberg is a smart dude. He knows I'm one of the of adults who watched Jurassic Park in the theater as a kid and thought it was the coolest movie ever made. He knew that if he made another one, that I would get excited and would plan to go without giving it much thought. Let's face it, Jurassic 2 and 3 were terrible so NATURALLY I went hoping this would be better. And it was. Kinda.

I won't go into the plot of the story, there isn't much of one--if you saw the first one, you'll know what to expect in that department. However, the special effects were fantastic and some of the scenes were actually pretty intense. Bravo, Steven.

But seriously, folks, WHO decided on these characters?! WHO thought it was ok to do NO character development?! The thing that made the first one so great was that we CARED about the characters and didn't want them to be eaten. (Or in Nedry's case we actually did want him eaten.) At any rate, in Jurassic World, they hopped right past anything that might make me know something, ANYTHING about these characters that would help me FEEL for them, and swung right into making them dino-snacks.

Don't get me wrong, the hero kinda carried the movie for me, even though we knew little to nothing about his background. He was rugged and handsome and tough--very likable. The heroine was just plain bleh and the boys were more shallow than a kiddie pool.

The dinosaurs however, were fantastic! We all know velociraptors didn't really look like that, but we don't care. It's entertaining and thrilling and even though there are still things that bother me about the actual story, the fun factor nixed the rest. It was a great summer movie.

Would I see it again? Eh...probably. There were some really exciting scenes..... and Chris Pratt is pretty dreamy. ;)

Be advised-- In my opinion, this is not a movie for children! I was very disappointed in the amount of swearing that went on. Way too much--totally unnecessary. I don't remember as much in the first one. And there are some very intense scenes of death and carnage, so be aware of that.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind my new little avenue for blogging. Talking about books is my favorite, but every now and then I just gotta talk about something else too. ;)

Have you seen this? Will you, if you haven't already? Let me know what you thought!

Happy Watching! ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If you give a girl a costume...

As you well know, I love historical costumes. :) I would dress up every day if people wouldn't think I was CRA-ZEE for going grocery shopping in stockings and stays. *teehee* So, for funs and giggles I thought I'd share some pictures from the photo shoot we did for the cover of book three in my Daughters of His Kingdom series, SO RARE A GIFT.

This last shoot was SO much fun! I was so blessed--seriously blessed--to find an amazing dress for an even more amazing price. It fit perfectly without needing a single alteration. Incredible! I even got to wear pocket panniers...and for a historical-ista like me, that was kinda the best ever. ;)

The hair was a blast, and also, remarkably easy! I was scared to death it would be a disaster, but seeing as how I'm not a "hair-doer" as my daughter would say, I think it turned out okay. :)

My good friend Heather Smith was kind enough to come out in the freezing cold to assist--you helped so much, Heather! Could not have done it without you!

And I've been so fortunate to work with an amazing photographer, who also happens to be my good friend--Danyell Diaz. She knows exactly what will look good and makes the experience so much fun.

I hope you don't mind that I share these photos, ladies. Let me know what you think! Would you like to dress up? What would you want to wear?  

Happy Reading!!

Here's Heather and I talking as we walked to the next spot for shooting. It was so windy and cold!

Dancing a wee little jig...

"Hold on, gotta fix this hair." I must have used half a can of hairspray to keep this thing in place. If it had been any more windy I am sure it wouldn't have stayed together at all. The minute I got back into the car, Heather looked at me and laughed, "Your hair just totally died right this second." LOL!

Heather and Danyell were so much fun and we kept each other laughing the whole time. We were the only ones at the location that day. Everyone else was smart enough to stay in where it was warm.

Me and Danyell.

The grounds were lovely--even during mid-February when the trees were totally bare.

Funny faces...

The setting was so lovely, I would really enjoy going back there when its not 30 degrees!

Hair shot...and fun with picmonkey. *wink*

The bodice of this dress is just so lovely. I wish clothes were this pretty now-a-days.

These shoes are so incredibly comfortable! Seriously!! I don't know if they were this comfy for ladies of the 18th century, but I was genuinely surprised at how these fit so perfectly.

Last picture, ladies...
 I purchased "authentic" 18th century stockings, and of course that means there's no elastic to keep them from falling down. The one thing I did not have--which would have helped--were garters, so I had to keep pulling up/straightening my "socks". ;) By the end of the shoot, my stockings were not quite as white as they were in the beginning and my fingers were bright red from the cold. More than 300 pictures later, we decided to call it a day. But I'd go out and do it again in a heartbeat, no matter the weather. ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The power of first impressions...

Today whilst visiting a real-live book store, (I LOVE Amazon, but the smell of books is intoxicating therefore I must indulge, at least weekly) I came across a book in the children's section and upon seeing the Revolutionary-looking cover immediately plucked it from the shelf and was quickly lead to the book's companion in the series, prompting me to open to page one:

"The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up."

Holy whaaaaaaaat????

OK, let's be honest, I was not expecting THAT--that, my friends, is a GREAT opening line!!! (In my humble opinion.)
From thence, I was hooked-- I needed to keep reading Laurie Halse Anderson's CHAINS, and afterward FORGE. Here's the funny thing, though. I ended up buying the book I actually went to the store to buy--THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE, BUT I seriously can't stop thinking about that book and so inevitably I will buy it and read it. That's a powerful first line!

It got me to thinking... what are some of the opening lines/sentances of books that you love? Since we focus mainly on HCR's around here, tell me what HCR had you from the first sentance!

Here are my three: (See if you can guess which ones they are...)

"After two years, they'd finally cut him loose."

"This Street Is Impassable, Not Even Jackassable."

"His name was Judas."

Any ideas?!?!?! It was REALLY hard to cut it down to only three, I could go on and on. In fact...
here are a few more just for fun:

"This is madness."

"Half-hidden beneath the bare-limbed canopy of a dogwood tree, the grave digger kept a reverent distance..."

"A nightmare seized him from sleep, turned around his throat, and filled his mouth so full he could not cry out."

I am sure you are curious for the answers if you don't know these books, so I'll post the answers in a few days.

PLEASE tell your favorite first lines!!!! I would love to know!!

Also, I wanted to thank you for your insights and comments on my Kindle post. You ladies are wonderful!

I look forward to your comments!!

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 1, 2015

To Kindle or not to Kindle-- that is the question.

Back among the living! Wow, it's been a million years. At least.... Sheesh!! *LOL*
I've really missed communicating with you ladies so I'm happy to do a quick post I've been thinking about for some time.

In a world where your phone will do pretty much everything expect take out the trash, I'm noticing everyone seems to be retreating more and more into their own little world and I think its disturbing. Are you with me?

I'm not much better than the masses. I carry my phone everywhere. I use it for SO much that I'm not sure how I'd live without it. It's my phone, my phonebook, my "map", my radio, my email, my internet, my camera, my notebook...kinda scary how much I do with it. And let me not forget--my phone is my bookshelf.

That Kindle app!!! Oh baby!!! I don't know what I'd do without it. For someone who usually has 4 books going at one time (I know some of you have WAY more than that, but that's a lot for me) it is uber handy to read on my phone. I love it! Where before I'd have to carry several books in my purse,--much to the chagrin of my shoulder--now, all I need it my trusty Galaxy Note 4. Kindle, my shoulder thanks you.

BUT..... cue, menacing music....

The more I use my phone and the more I READ on my phone, the more I get headaches--so much so that I can't even LOOK at my phone or a computer for hours as a time. NOO!!! So frustrating! Even though actual made-from-paper books will always be my favorite, I LOVE my ebooks. *wahhh!!!*

As I've been thinking about it though, I think this is a blessing in disguise. I have this yearning to be less technology dependent, so in a way, these annoying headaches are a good thing. I find myself reaching for magazines and paper books more. I have started writing more letters in place of emails, and I find ways to avoid my phone, where before I was reaching for it very often-- and I LOVE that!

I feel like I rediscovered the joy of reading paper books (never stopping loving it, just in case you were worried! LOL) thanks to the invention of the ebook.

So, this whole post was just to try and answer the three year old question.....To Kindle or not to Kindle.... and I think the answer is: for me, Kindle about 43.7% of the time. ;)

Tell me--how much do you Kindle?!?!?!

Happy Reading!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The new Cinderella movie equals perfection and I Must. Watch. Again.

I might be the biggest Cinderella fan in the known universe. That is not an exaggeration. Well... okay maybe it's a slight exaggeration, but still--it's close! I have loved that story from the moment I first saw the animated movie and heard, "So This Is Love". The story--divine! The romance--sheer perfection! I mean, come on folks, you can't find a tale more perfectly woven than that of the cinder girl and the handsome prince. At least, I can't find one, anyway.

So, allow me to issue my first review of a movie. (Not saying I'll make a habit of this, but ladies, this movie deserves it.)

Rating: Uh, pretty much this movie sets the precedent. So ya. Best of the Best.

(You can't take it, can you?? I know you can't, because I can't!!!!You look at that picture and you want to die, because you have found movie-poster-heaven. And if a movie POSTER gets you that excited--just wait. Look at the way he's looking at her!!!! LOOK!!! Look at his coat and his sword and her dress! GAH!)

So years ago when it was first announced that they were doing a live-action Cinderella, I cried, "Blasphemy! They'll ruin it!"

Fast forward to the first time I saw the trailer. I kid you not, I was screaming with such delight the kids rushed in to the office thinking I'd been stabbed. Speaking through my delight, my voice rose three octaves and it wasn't until I showed my daughters the 2 minutes of bliss that they finally understood why I was acting like a lunatic. It's cool. They're used to it.

My hopes had lifted to dangerous heights. It actually looked good. Really good. So either I was going to love it, or I was going to be super disappointed I ever wasted a dime seeing it in the theater and would be forced to cleanse my mind for days by watching the old one. I told myself, if nothing else, the prince looked super handsome. (#richardmaddenisthebestprincecharmingever Tweet THAT!)

Now fast forward again to last Saturday when my life changed forever. Seriously, changed!! The movie was perfect!!! Utterly and completely perfe--

Hey. Come on now! None of that. You know how I am about these kinds of things--and I'm the one writing this review so I can be as dramatic as I want, capiche?! Allow me to continue...

It was perfection!! If I could, I would tackle Kenneth Branagh and give him one heck of a smacker. I would change absolutely nothing about this film. And that is saying something, because again, I AM just about the BIGGEST fan IN the universe. Cinderella is my girl and Ken did her proud. The script, the plot, the acting, the sets, the costumes, the cast, the tension, the tenderness, the ROMANCE and the message of courage and kindness just about killed me. Cinderella is all sweetness and strength just as she should be, while the Prince embodies everything my girlish heart imagined he would be--as good as he was handsome and as strong in body as he was in character.

What's wrong with loving princes and princesses? What's wrong with women being women and men being men? What's wrong with ladies desiring to be treated with respect and love by gentlemen--as if that somehow makes us weak? I'm so tired of that! I hope this movie blows the box office to smithereens. I hope the makers of Fifty Shades of Sluttiness see what the world is really craving--beautiful, uplifting tales of pure, undefiled love.


Here's my TBR list....

A fabulous reader-friend asked me to share my TBR list and I thought that was a wonderful idea!!

I blog so little these days, *sniff!* but this is a fun way to keep up and keep in touch. After seeing the new Cinderella movie--be still my still-pattering heart--I am dying for another romance; one just as tender and real and completely consuming. (Side note...I love that movie so desperately much I might  break with tradition and actually write a review about it...just to ya know.)

Anyhoo, I'd love to know what you are planning on reading! Do tell! And please, oh please, give me some more ideas for those fabulous romances. I NEED ONE!!!

Much love and happy reading to my dear HCR friends. <3

The Covered Deep

Falcon and the Sparrow

Into the Whirlwind

Fire By Night

Against the Tide

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hope Rising

Best of the Best

I always enjoy reading Stay Henrie's novels. I feel as if I'm inside a work of art-- as if I'm reading a Monet--so full of gentle beauty that I feel surrounded by color and drawn in with just the right amount of intrigue to keep me interested to the very end.
I highly recommend this book as I do all of her works!! Congratulations, Stacy, on another beautiful piece of writing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Of bouffants that are not really....

Because I'm a bit of a colonial-era nerd, I decided to try my hand at the 18th century version of the beehive. 

OK, really their hair was nothing like that and REAL historians would be cursing my name for even saying such a thing even in jest, but in essence, it's "big hair". From what I understand, many ladies in those day could do an up-do in just about 15 minutes. Talk about talent! Me? Not so much.

I started with one of those big hair donuts cut in half and twirled the top of my hair around it. They had something similar to the donut--cloth stuffed with wool or some such thing.

After it's pinned into place, rather precariously, it's time to curl the bottom to get those nice little ringlets. Next time I try this, I will need to use my extensions and have my hair completely curled before hand. (And I know you're thinking it--no, they didn't really have "bangs" in the 1700's so I gotta pin those suckers back.)

Pin, pin and pin.

And then curl again.

Results? It looks nothing like I imagined/hoped. AND my selfie skills are sadly lacking because I couldn't get a good enough pic of the back. Which, really, that's OK because it didn't look super. *guffaw* 

Perhaps with my new 18th century pinner in place and more curl? A girl can hope. It's funny what a gal like me is willing to spend time doing...

If you could do a historical hair style, what would it be??


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baron of Godsmere: The Feud

If I could sing a song about this book it might go something like this. "You make me feel... you make me feel... you make me feel like a natural woman!"
Bayard, you had me at "eyepatch".

Book Rating: Best of the Best

Ladies, if you are a fan of Tamara Leigh then you have absolutely no excuse for not buying this book and reading it immediately. You know how expertly she commands her craft, how she captures you with her eloquent prose and how her characters will come to life from the pages and LIVE in your mind and in your heart. I have read every historical Leigh has written and I can honestly tell you that I LOVE every single one.
Bayard (AKA delicious-as-ever-and-totally-feirce-but-seductively-tender) is a fabulous, wounded and totally perfect hero. He NEEDS to keep his lands, but he must marry to do so. And he does marry. A few times.
Wait, what?
That's where the heroine comes in. Lovely, sweet, and unstoppable Elianor. (Which is such a lovely name I think I might name my next daughter after her.) Determined to keep another from suffering as she did, Elianor takes matters into her own hands and changes the course of their lives in a way she never imagined.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of historical romance. You won't be able to put it down! Congratulations, Tamara, on another completely fabulous novel!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The inner musings of an insignificant writer/reader

I haven't blogged in a while. I miss it. I miss the laughs, the interactions, the pleasant distractions. I miss the reading!! And yet the time it takes to write books, and read books and then write blog posts about those books, is--well, for me it's a lot, and to my great regret I simply haven't been able to do continue doing both. Not to the degree that I wish to, at any rate.

But I ask myself, which is more enjoyable, more rewarding? Which would I rather spend my precious time doing? Writing reviews is thoroughly entertaining, if only to myself. I can share my thoughts about what I've read without the concerns of, "What will they think? Will they like it? What if they don't?" You get the point. Reviewing is fun. It's a treat. It's a way to interact with other readers who take pleasure from similar books and who share similar ideas about what we read. It's a chance to be my silly-self and have fellow-readers interact positively (most of the time) and find enjoyment in what I've written. So, in that way, reviewing is a mental-recreational activity that I look upon with much delight. And yet, my heart is left wanting for still, reviewing lacks something. It lacks depth.

Writing a novel on the other hand is as different as Starsky is from Hutch. It's beautiful, rich, and yet horrendously painful for a women of very little brain, such as myself. (I say that tongue-and-cheek.) I'm no Dickens, no Austen and certainly no Leigh. That much is already clear. But as with all writers, baring so much of yourself in a literary work of any kind exposes you to a certain amount of vulnerability that no amount of "I can take anything" will shield you from. It's in those head-banging moments when I think to myself, "Self, what are you doing? Quit this madness and go back to reviewing. That was fun and it didn't hurt your head as much."

But I can't. Writing is God's call for me (which came as a flying bolder out of the clear blue sky... that's a story for another day) and that is why--despite the unasked for pains--I can't give it up. Even if it hurts a bit more, even if I don't get all the positive returns, it's the God-given strength, peace, and fulfillment that keeps me going. I love writing for Him, I love writing to keep American history alive-- I love writing for the joy of it. And hopefully over the years I will continue to improve in my craft and my head will callus from the banging.

So, the question remains--will I keep reviewing? Yes and no. I can no longer write reviews on all the books I read, no matter how much I would like to. However, I will continue to give them a rating and post that here. If it's a book that I am head-over-heels about then I'm sure I'll write an in-depth review, I can't help myself! Since reviews will be few in number, I plan to find new and creative ways to interact with my fellow readers. You are all so much fun, I can't not keep in contact with you!

I appreciate your patience in allowing me to share my inner-workings. Not that you really had a choice... I did force it on you, didn't I. *BWAHAHAHA* *eh hem*

Here's to many more Best of the Bests. ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A little cover magic...

Have you ever created something that you liked, but man, there was just something that still wasn't right about it? After creating the first cover for So True a Love, there was something I didn't quite like, but I couldn't place it. In fact, it was bothering me SO bad that I finally decided, "Forget this! I'm making a new one!"

So, for those of you who were excited about/supportive of the first cover, let me say THANK YOU! It means a lot that you were so kind. BUT, I have created this new one (I LOVE that about being indie--I can change whatever I need to, whenever I want!) and I hope that you like it as well. Personally, I LOVE it and I'm finally at peace.

For me, this cover really captures the story and I'm very thrilled with how it turned out.

Only two weeks until the release!! (Well, a few days more than that, but STILL!!) I'm very excited to share this story with you, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy New Year, friends!