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My little niece has a writer’s heart.

In this video she reads her mystery, complete with sound effects–onomatopaeia (had to look up the spelling).

Isn’t she adorable? She’s been writing since she was  four. Back then she dictated to me. Now she is writing and illustrating them all by herself.

I’ll update this post with the transcript when I have more time.


I had the flu the last weekend in February, so I had time to read a novel that had been on my “to read” shelf for quite some time (along with 100 plus books, I’m afraid).

I received a critique of my novel EVE’S APPLE last May from the editor of The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen.

As I read the novel, I couldn’t help but think, there’s no way this publisher would ever publish me. Julie’s writing is so far superior to mine.

Here is the back cover blurb:

As Lilly toils in her father’s apothecary, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother’s disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond—of travel and adventure and romance.

When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for—the truth of the past and a love for the future?

Enjoyable read by a Christy Award winning author.


I purchased a copy of Dining With Joy by Rachel Hauck at the going-out-of-business sale at Borders in Chapel Hill.

I love the premise: A cooking show host that can’t cook. I so identify with the not cooking thing. Although, I’m not that bad. I at least can boil an egg.

Enjoyable read. My husband plans to read it too(a closet romance reader). He likes to cook and he likes softball which the main character loves to play.

They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti.

I heard the author speak at the 2005 Nashville ACFW Conference. It wasn’t a long talk. In fact, it was brief, but I knew then that this woman was a brilliant writer. And then later she became the “Topic of the Week” person for the ACFW main loop and her posts impressed me. I couldn’t imagine having that much creativity for coming up with the unique way she presented the topics. She has a natural gift from God for using words to make beautiful stories.

Here is the intro passage to her novel:

Do dead people wear shoes? In the casket, I mean. Seems a waste. Then again, no outfit is complete without the shoes.

The author says on her website: My prayer is that you will close the last page of my novels with a satisfied sigh. It will bless me if you say, “What a great story!” It will bless me more to hear, “What a great God!”

If I had to choose a favorite book, I would have to choose Jane Eyre. Which is odd, because there are parts of the book I don’t like.

I don’t like it when she is mistreated by her Aunt and cousins. I don’t like it when she is punished at Lowood or when her only friend dies.

Would these scenes have made it into the book if it were published today? Would it be considered back story? Because it definitely is. But it has a place in the story.

We need to know what she suffered as a child. Because it made her into the woman she became–the woman who forgives her aunt, the woman who flees when she discovers Mr. Rochester’s secret.

Others would say that running away is cowardly–not heroine material. But when you consider she is leaving the one place where she found happiness, I would say she is doing a very brave, very selfless act.

And yet, I hate it when she leaves, but I know she must. She forsakes love to do the right thing. Now that’s a strong character.

I’ll be dragging my poor husband to see this in March(with the agreement that I have to go with him to see Thor).

I’m not sure I’ll like it as much as this version:

Before the new movie comes out, I”ll be re-reading my Reader’s Digest Hardback edition (gloriously purchased at a Friends of the Library book sale for $1).

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.”

Thus begins the novel Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg.

This was the second contemporary Pride and Prejudice re-telling that I read this month and was by far my favorite.

I don’t usually read YA/Teen fiction, but the title was so clever I couldn’t resist. I wish I had thought of it.

The novel remained true to the original plot of P and P with modern situations and settings. What I liked most about the story was its lack of “reality show” language that is prevalent in teen shows and books. The novel was clean and I will have no problem at all letting my 10-year-old niece read it. The only kissing that occurred was on the cheek.

I can’t imagine that any teenager or pre-teen would miss the “reality”.

Jerry Jenkins’ advice to writers is to check out the competition. Even the edgy stuff.

So with his permission, I read “Writing Jane Austen” by Elizabeth Aston.  I cringed at the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, but it was otherwise a fairly clean read.

I’m leery of the Jane Austen knock-offs. My husband bought me the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for a birthday present last year. I still haven’t read it. It is not exactly what I choose to read. But I enjoyed “Writing Jane Austen”.

The poor character in the book has writer’s block. I don’t exactly have a problem with writer’s block. Ideas seem to flow easily and I enjoy letting the story come to me as I write–I don’t snowflake or outline (the snowflake method was mentioned in the book–I got the distinct feeling the author knows Randy Ingermanson, the Snowflake guy –the male character in the book is a physicist, too).

I don’t like revision. That’s why you’ll find many blunders on my blog posts.  I was supposed to be working on the revisions of my novel, but I elected to read this book instead–trying to postpone the dreaded task.

Anyway, I got a little perturbed at the character who had never read a novel by Jane Austen and didn’t until half-way through the book. I wanted to shake the girl and say, “READ THE BOOKS!”

And that is my suggestion. Read the books. I love Jane Austen.

Yesterday I wrote about Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book. I found this interview on youtube and wanted to share it.

It’s almost fitting that Mrs. Higgs’ new book, Here Burns My Candle, comes out  after Tiger Woods’ indiscretions were made public–making what happens in the book all the more plausible while at the same time, heartbreaking.

What you’ll find in Here Burns My Candle:

A Biblical Story parallel set in 1745 Scotland

Two Sons

A Loving Mother

Two Daughters-in Law

An indifferent Mother-in-law


the unthinkable happens

The author is masterful at taking stories from the Bible(The book of Ruth in this case) and weaving them into page-turning novels set in Scotland. Loved the book!

For more information about this book, visit  WaterBrook Multnomah.

This  book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

The last time I read a book by ML Tyndall I was lounging at the beach, listening as the waves lapped at the shore. Unfortunately, this time I’m snowbound. So I definitely needed The Raven Saint to carry me back to the beach and tales of pirates and sword play.

Grace Wescott has been kidnapped to be sold to a Spanish Don. Throughout her captivity she contemplates the purpose God has for her in this precarious situation.

I love Mrs. Tyndall’s writing and am a big fan of her stories.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the picture of the book to load, but click here for more information:

Note: This book was provided by Barbour Publishing for review.

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