Saturday, October 30, 2010

Healer by Linda Windsor - A Terrific Read

The first novel in the Celtic-Arthurian Bride of Alba series, Healer centers on Brenna of Gowrys. After ensuring the safety of her infant daughter with a trusted nurse, Brenna’s mother killed herself to escape the clutches of the neighboring O’Byrne clan leader, who murdered her husband moments before. The dying woman prophesied about her daughter, forcing Brenna to live as a fugitive in the wilds with only Faol, her wolf, as her companion. But the early guidance of her nurse and a mentoring monk has helped Brenna hone her God-given healing skills, and with the monk’s assistance, she secretly restores local people to health, even though her acts of mercy and kindness place her at great risk.

Together Brenna and Faol fend off an unknown assailant who attacks and severely injuries a stranger. Brenna drags the victim to her cave home, where she heals and restores him, unaware that he is Ronan, the O’Byrne prince—eldest son and heir of her father’s murderer—who doesn't reveal his identity until they fall in love (which Windsor honestly portrays without the extremes of explicit detail or unrealistic purity).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Delightful and Sweet "Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska" by Loree Lough

What’s Bryce Stone, a Marine war hero, to do, when going home to North Pole, Alaska to hide from life's woes and start over in a barely-there carpentry shop isn't working? And everyone disgustingly commercializes Christmas every day of the year?

What’s Samantha (Sam) Sinclair, a Baltimore, MD chef with a brand new culinary arts degree, to do, when her guaranteed job in North Pole is reneged, and  employment opportunities are almost zilch? And she's forced to settle for something else quick because no way is she going back home to face teasing and disgrace?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beth Wiseman's Plain Pursuit--An Enjoyable Read

In Plain Pursuit Beth Wiseman not only gives the reader a glimpse of Amish life, she also imparts a strong faith-in-God message. Ms. Wiseman’s unique handling of shunning reveals the struggles of family members from both sides of the issue, something other Amish novels I’ve read had not addressed with such sensitivity and depth. Because Plain Pursuit is a romance, the plot follows the predictable romance format, but that doesn’t detract from the story. The lovers’ poignant journey draws the reader in, and plot twists keep the pages turning. The glossary of Pennsylvania Dutch words and the recipes adds a warm, homespun flavor.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Forcing Creative Juices to Flow...Via a Margie Lawson Online Fiction Course

My apologies for neglecting this blog since mid-February. If you're wondering if I fell into a gorge, took a trip to some and dreamy, distant utopia, or suffered a mysterious malady that made me allergic to blogging, then nya, nya, nya, nya, nya. You were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Nothing that dramatic happened.

On a whim in late February, I enrolled in a Margie Lawson online Empowering Characters' Emotions course, thinking maybe I'd lurk my way through it like I normally do. Surprise, surprise! When the course officially began March 1st, I discovered I'd be stupid to stay passive this time. So I put aside my blogging, hid from Facebook, and honed all other activities to the barest levels to let Margie's amazing lectures and assignments dominate my life. [Almost devour it, in fact. For the whole month and then some.]

Hmmm. On second thought, maybe something dramatic had happened after all. And something dynamic. Thank you, thank you, Lord. Thank you, Margie, too.

If you don't know about Margie Lawson, she goes around the country alerting authors to powerful ways of impacting characters and readers. She's been a college professor, clinical trainer, sex therapist, Director of an Impotence Clinic, hypnotherapist, and Director of an Employee Assistance Program. And that's only a small part of her incredibly busy and productive life. She also practices what she preaches. [Oh ackk, cliche alert!]

Check her out on and be prepared to hang there for a while. Her website and blog are just as comprehensive as her courses. [Or is it the other way around?] She is a woman who doesn't do anything halfway.

In her ECE course, she helped me identify and correct areas of my wips that were bummed out. Validated good things I did but wasn't sure about. Answered questions to niggling concerns that always seemed to hover, and encouraged me to identify and eliminate cliches so I could write fresh. Write Fresh. WRITE FRESH!

No wonder Randy Ingermanson, Colleen Coble, and other award-winning and best-selling authors can't praise her enough.

I can hardly wait until next month. That's when I'm due for another mega-shot of M.L. instruction and insights.

Happy writing, or whatever your April goals are...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Author Interview with the Highly Talented Roseanna White

Today I'm very pleased to interview my multi-talented critique partner, Roseanna White, to discuss her book, A Stray Drop of Blood, and other subjects dear to her heart. We've been novel-writing buddies for almost three years, and I truly believe I've benefitted more from our association than she has. She's an inspiration, and I frequently thank the Lord for hooking us up together.

MP: Hi Ro, I'm so glad you're here to get your brain picked. But before we begin, can you share an excerpt from A Stray Drop of Blood? Something to pique our readers' interest?

RW: Sure can. This is from the scene where my lead character, Abigail, meets Jesus on his way to Calvary, and where the title of the book comes from. It's one of those scenes that I had planned out in excruciating detail long before I got to that point in the book. For weeks I had these lines running through my head: "One little drop to soil her garment. One little drop to cleanse her soul."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

After the 21-Day Fast ~ a Time of Meditation and Expectation

I seem to be a goal-oriented, type-A personality without the intense emotional upheavals that some people like that often have. Still, in my not too distant past, I was tempted to do, do, do, go, go, go, hurry, hurry, hurry, now, now, now for weeks, months, years at a time. One of my nasty habits was staying up too late at night because I wanted to squeeze in one more project. I ended up creating stress that could have been avoided.

In early January this year when my pastor called our church into the 21-day Daniel fast, I knew my challenge wouldn't be abstaining from certain foods or TV. I did that most of the time already. No, my idol was time, and relinguishing control was going to be difficult. But I sensed the nudging of the Lord to do just that. He didn't require I give it all, just increase my daily prayer and Bible reading. So I let go and obeyed. The more I read about what Jesus did in His earthly ministry (I love to read while I listen to a dramatized version of the NIV), the more I realized I needed attitude adjustments BIG TIME. To help that along, the Lord planted a yearning in my heart to become more pliable in His hands.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day Five of the 21-Day Daniel Fast~the Pursuit of Jesus

The fast continues. Although foodwise, it barely feels like it because I usually eat this way. But I do have a mild yearning for salmon now and then. Green smoothies are filling and enjoyable, if you like that sort of thing. Which I do. Other people shudder when I try to tell them you can't really taste the cup of kale in a two-cup blended health drink. Ah well, as my mom used to say, "To each his own."

Now there's other things I do crave, the fiercest: reading fiction for pleasure before I go to sleep at night. Voices continue to tell me to read it just a little, to back off with scripture readings and the spiritual works. I don't dare. Instead I'm praying more, seeking more, reading the Word more, especially John 17, saying it aloud and imagining Jesus speaking the words. The love that floods me through that simple act of obedience overwhelms me at times. And I'm appreciating the sacrifices Jesus made for me so much more. How patient, loving, and surrendered. What a oneness with the Father. So amazing, and their unconditional love knows no bounds.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day Two of the 21-Day Daniel Fast~the Pursuit of Jesus

Jesus~to know Him is to love Him. But putting aside "in-this-world" pursuits and focusing on Him is to CRAVE Him.

Day One wasn't hard as far as eating goes. The Daniel diet (Daniel 1:8-16) isn't difficult for me to follow because I tend toward vegetarian eating anyway. Well, except for abstaining from grain foods--brown rice, barley, corn, wheat, oats that are no-nos right now. But I started to drop them from my diet months ago because foods with gluten slow or stop my ongoing battle to control my weight.

My areas of temptation came from other areas: like staying away from reruns of Castle--the only TV show I watch, after Terry Burns said it's great. I never wanted to watch the reruns before. HAH! Sounds like the little foxes trying to spoil the vine. Get thee behind me, satan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Duke's Redemption Book Review and Author Interview

To protect her sister, Prin, Eloise Cooper has been forced to serve in the South Carolina patriot underground network as a spy dubbed the Fox. She yearns for the day she and her sister are free to leave Brixton Hall Plantation and the tyrant who controls them. When she accidentally kills a Redcoat double agent in a fight for her life, she continues her covert activities, but declares the Fox is dead--a decision that threatens the hopes for freedom for Prin and herself.

In England, Drake Amberly, Fifth Duke of Hawk Haven, learns a murderous rebel spy has not only killed his brother in SC, but has also duped the British authorities there and escaped. Enraged and frustrated by the news, he travels to SC under the guise of a tradesman ship owner to secretly head a plot to flush out the notorious insurgent and bring him to justice.