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Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

I’m thoroughly enjoying this book. Unfortunately, the day job has me working so much that I’ve had very little time to read. I love the author’s voice.

What you’ll find in the book:

A woman who carries a go-anywhere Bible and a gun in her purse

Family Secrets

Great cover art



Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

Leaving Carolina

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Leaving Carolina:

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

What you’ll find in Kaye Dacus’s novel Stand-In Groom:

A satisfying romance

A plane crash

A celebrity wedding

A wedding planner

Tantalizing food

I enjoyed reading this novel with a plus-sized heroine.

I’ve created a new cover for my own book, Finding Riches.

Finding Riches2

It was my first completed novel. It is not the greatest, obviously, or I would have found a traditional publisher for it.

If you are brave enough to read it, keep in mind that it was not professionally edited.

It can be purchased here.


Damien Hathaway, clergyman, is no stranger to scandal.  Unfortunately, this last scandal  could cost him his life’s calling–ministering.

When heiress Lindsay Phillips  takes an interest in spiritual matters, Damien has no objections to teaching her. Even though  his heart is becoming attached to the woman, his disability keeps him from acting on those feelings. After all, no woman, rich or poor, would be interested in a cripple who couldn’t protect her.

The author, Ruth Axtell Morren,  puts a new twist on the marriage of convenience in her regency romance put out by Steeple Hill‘s inspirational romance line.  Enjoyable read.

Kathleen Fuller has written a delightful regency romance, my favorite choice for reading.


Since Michael Balcarris returned from university he no longer was the same man Emily Dymoke had been smitten with as a young girl. In fact, the change in him was quite ridiculous, so much so, Emily felt his very presence insufferable. No longer was he the young man who rescued her from a tree, but instead, a fop.

But Michael’s ridiculousness is all a clever disguise, thus the title of the book.

I enjoyed reading the book and couldn’t wait until Emily discovered Michael’s annoying behavior was nothing more than a ruse because of his profession.

I have just two criticisms of the book:

1-The prologue starts with Emily pursuing another man, Gavin. Maybe the prologue could have been from Michael’s Point of View as he watched Emily make a fool of herself with this man who does not feel for her. Had it been from Michael’s point of view, then I would not have assumed the main character was the man she was pursuing. Michael did not appear until page 12 which I suppose is not too far into the story, it just threw me just a little.  (So, who am I to criticize another writer? After all, I am unpublished and this author is published. She obviously is far more advanced than I am).

2-Avalon books are expensive. I wish they were cheaper because I would love to sign up for a subscription to a service much like the Harlequin system. But to their credit, the books are all hardbacks which is nice for the bookshelf. Check your library to see if they can order a copy.

Despite my confusion in the very beginning, I loved the book and I read it in one sitting.

I had wanted to catch the BBC versions of the Jane Austen movies when they were on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Unfortunately, I missed a couple. So, at my first opportunity, I rented Persuasion from Netflix. I had seen an earlier version, but I think this(2007) was far superior. My romantic inclinations were definitely satisfied.

I’ve been told to study movies and their structure to help in the writing of fiction because you can watch them in a shorter time than reading a novel. And let me say my day was an enjoyable one “researching”.

The second time I watched it, I convinced my husband to watch it with me. Of course, he did not appreciate it nearly as much as I did. At the beginning of the DVD there were a few trailers of other BBC movies that I thought looked interesting. I found one of them on Netflix for immediate play. When I started it I didn’t realize it was a 4 hour movie. But once I started it I couldn’t stop.

What was the movie? It was one I had never heard of before–Daniel DeRonda written by George Eliot. And may I say it was one of the best movies I’ve seen. I loved every minute of it. Hugh Dancy, the actor who played Daniel DeRonda, was perfect for his role.

I watched another movie today called North and South (not about the U. S. Civil War Movie, but a British movie). I loved it so much that I stayed up until 12:00 am watching it (another 4 hour movie–and I like to go to bed at 9:00 pm).

What do these movies have in common:

Set in England

Great Romantic Stories


Great looking men.

If you like romance from the 1800s set in England, then certainly watch those movies.

Courting Emma

I’m afraid I didn’t make my April goal for reading, but I did read an enjoyable story called Courting Emma.

Emma runs a boardinghouse with an eclectic bunch of tenants. The town’s new pastor becomes her most challenging one because he threatens the guard she has put up around her heart to protect against the memory of an unhappy childhood.

Letters from a mystery person in Illinois encourages her to read the book of John and has her seeking answers to questions about her life.

When a new tenant moves in the boardinghouse Emma faces the new challenge of caring for her dying father who caused her unhappy childhood.

Courting Emma is a sweet romance with a story of redemption.

At some point in time we all get rejected by someone, whether it is by a book editor, a literary agent, a job interviewer, a love interest, etc.

I’ve been rejected multiple times for my book manuscripts. See my post Missing the Mark on my first rejection.

Don’t get discouraged about rejections. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a second chance. I was given a second chance by that same publisher in 2007 at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

I sat down with Nick Harrison from Harvest House (my first rejection) for a 15 minute pitch of my ideas. He asked to see a sample of my writing.

Just before leaving for the conference I stuffed in my bag three chapters of one of my works in progress, so I handed him those pages. This had not been run by any critique partners so it was a rough draft. I should have been embarrassed to hand it to him.

He read the first page and turned to the next. I’ve heard many times that editors know from the first page whether it is something they are looking for in a manuscript, so I was thrilled. Then he turned the next page and the next. He asked a question about the plot of the story.

Then he said, “You’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of writing.”

My heart sank. I wondered what I did wrong.

He said I didn’t lead with the protagonist, but that I did it well.

I broke a major rule in writing fiction, but I did it well! I couldn’t have been more flattered.

He wasn’t interested in that story, but wanted to know if I had others. And boy did I. He probably regretted asking that question. I turned my notebook toward him where I had written down about 50 book ideas — all in various degrees of completion, some just a one sentence idea.

He wanted me to send him my Regency proposals. Unfortunately, those were the one sentence ideas.

I came home and worked on a contemporary piece that I had gotten some interest from other editors at the conference and was subsequently rejected by them.

An opening paragraph for the regency came to me one day so I wrote it down and haven’t stopped writing on it yet. I have written 75 pages on it and hope to write 15 pages today. See my post Writing the Breakout Novel.

I heard Mr. Harrison will not be attending the conference this year, so I plan to get it completed before the conference and send it to him. I think he is my dream editor.

The point of this blog is to say that you may be rejected, but keep working.

In all liklihood I’ll be rejected by Harvest House again, but that will not stop me from sending in my story, Absalom’s Beauty.

Note: How did I start the book where I broke a cardinal rule of writing? Here is the first sentence:

“Will you be my Daddy?”

(and believe it or not, this is a military/suspense/romance)

I started writing this morning at 6 o’clock. My intention was to work on my contemporary work called Sweet Sixteen. An agent said he pitched it at the International Christian Retail Show and got some interest. But that was not what was on my mind today.

So instead, I wrote 26 pages on a regency novel I’m working on. I pitched this to a well-known publisher in the Christian market — well kinda. He read a sample of my work(a contemporary piece), wasn’t interested in that story, but looked at all my story ideas. (I have too many) And the ones he wanted to see most were the Regencies.

Originally, I had dubbed my tag line to be, “Writing Contemporary Fiction with Old-Fashioned Values” but if you notice on my website, , I’ve dropped the “Contemporary” part. At least until I sell something. Then that will determine whether I write contemporary or historical. I’d prefer to write both, but people in the industry advise on sticking to one genre to create a “brand” of yourself. All of my fiction is romance, so I consider that my genre.

Writing the Regency was a lot of fun today.  But it’s intimidating– all the research I need to do. I think I’m pushing to finish the story by the end of the month, so I can get it to a professional editor before sending it to that publisher.

Pray for me.

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