Friday, March 30, 2012
She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
What It's About:
For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.
Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.
I've read this book like two or three times now! It's one of my favorite inspirational historicals. I love the time period and location - 1890's New York City - and that it's told in first person. Clara is a strong heroine and I love the guy she eventually ends up with - but I won't say who for those who haven't read the book. It's well-written and full of interesting historical details that add to, not distract from, the story.
On a personal note:
I had the opportunity to meet and have breakfast with Siri Mitchell about two years ago at a writers conference. She is as kind and gracious in real life as she is online!
Find this book here on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
There are a few places I would love to see or revisit, but they won't make it on the actual itinerary this year.
These other places are where you're more likely to find us this year.
Do you get the itch to travel when the weather warms up? Where do you dream of vacationing? What spots will make it on your travel itinerary this year?
Friday, March 23, 2012
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
What It's About:
Ellen and Mimi Dodge have never been close, but their mother’s dying wish sends them on a walking tour of Hampshire, England that follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen. Their mother also left them a mysterious diary that belonged to Jane’s sister, Cassandra. These private pages shed light on the secrets that nearly tore the Austen sisters apart and inspired one of the greatest love stories of all time.
As the Dodge sisters visit sites important to the Austen sisters, they are drawn together in unexpected ways. They also discover that Cassandra’s diary holds clues to the greatest Austen treasure of all: Jane’s diary. But someone doesn’t want the sisters to discover Jane’s secrets and will go to great lengths to keep Ellen and Mimi from uncovering the truth. As the sisters stumble along their own paths toward love, they discover how Jane and Cassandra inspired the characters of Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. Ellen and Mimi come to realize that despite their different sensibilities, they are a vital part of each other’s happy endings.
I loved this book - it was one of my favorites last year! And while there aren't any faith elements in the story, the romance is clean and enjoyable. If you're looking for a Jane Austen story with a modern twist, then this book fits the bill. There's humor, sibling drama and a lost love that shows up at the beginning. The sisters' relationship is authentic and the book explores deeper themes while still maintaining a light-hearted feel. It's a fast and fun read!
Find this book here on Amazon or here at Barnes & Noble.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
1. Book or movie and why?
Depends on the time of day. I typically read during the day, unless I'm trying to finish a book quickly, then I'll read at night too. My husband and I enjoy watching movies together in the evenings.
2. Real book or e-book?
Real book, all the way. I don't even own an e-reader yet - shocking, I know.
3. Funniest thing you've done in the past five years?
A couple years ago I went out to eat at a nice Japanese restaurant with some of my gal pals from college. It was one of those places where the cook makes your meal right there at your table. He was frying up shrimp and chucked the tails onto our plates to be funny. Not being a shrimp connoisseur, I put the tail in my mouth. My friends got a good chuckle.
4. How would your best friend describe you?
Hmm. Caring, hard-working, and hopefully, real - that I'm myself around others.
5. How do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch?
With my writing, I try to imagine how I'd think/feel or react - other times I try to dig into the characters and decipher how they would think/feel or react.
6. Favorite kind of car and why?
A vintage car, like this 1930s roadster or this 1957 Chevy. My husband and I have even talked about restoring old cars like these some day.
7. Would your choice party be a catered meal or a BBQ out back?
Definitely a BBQ out back - that way I wouldn't feel bad about using paper plates and cutting down on the dishes!
8. What's your favorite season and why?
Fall. Love the colors on the mountains and trees, and the feeling of change in the air.
9. What specific lesson have you learned - spiritual, educational, occupational?
Worry and stress do nothing to actually solve a problem. If only I could remember that!
10. Besides writing, what's your favorite thing to do when you get extra time?
Digital scrapbooking or reading.
11. What's one place you can be found at least one time every week?
I was also tagged by Melissa Sugar in the Lucky 7 MEME tag. The rules are to go to the 77th page of my manuscript, find the 7th line and copy down the next 7 lines/sentences. For fun, I pulled out my only real attempt at writing a contemporary romance, which alas, I never finished.
“Six it is.” He grinned, and my pulse sped up. “Good night, Eva. See you Monday at staff meeting.” Stepping up beside me, he brushed my cheek with his warm lips, then he walked to his car.
Now it's your turn. In lieu of tagging, you can answer any of these fun questions from above: Are you a fan of real books or e-books? What's your dream car? What's one place you can be found at least once a week?
Friday, March 16, 2012
What It's About:
Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.
When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?
I enjoyed the western setting (Wyoming) in this book. A lot of historical romances are set in places like Texas or the Midwest, which isn't a bad thing, but I appreciated the different location. It was also fun to learn about life at Fort Laramie in the 1880s - I had no idea it was so cultured. My favorite part of the book - hands down - was the hero, Ethan Bowles. I loved his character and how his past influenced his decisions.
My only complaint is the absence of a real kiss between Abigail and Ethan (ie. not just on the cheek)! That aside, I enjoyed the genuine friendship that developed between them, which eventually grew into love. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Find this book here on Amazon or here at Barnes & Noble.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
But . . . it wasn't a whale - it was turtle, and a dead one at that.
Challenges or stresses in life can be the same. We see what looks like a whale - a monstrous trial on the horizon. We may even feel certain that's what it is.
Sometimes we're wrong, and the problem or stress isn't really whale-size at all. Instead it's just a turtle - maybe even a dead one - not something worth stressing about or expending a lot of energy over.
Other times, life does hit us with whale-sized problems. A natural response may be to stress, whine or ask "why me?" but as my husband loves to quote, "there is no problem so bad that whining about it won't make it worse." (Not that I whine or anything.)
For myself, the best help for challenges - big or small - is perspective. Sometimes it helps to see the issue from a different angle, like when our boat moved closer to the floating object. Perspective may come by talking things over with a friend, or focusing on something else like blessings, or infusing the situation with a little humor. I'm sure we got a good chuckle that day, and we still laugh about it now when we get together as a family and reminiscent our whale tale!
What helps you keep challenges or stresses in perspective? Do you like talking it out, focusing on something else, finding a reason to laugh?
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Have you joined Pinterest? If so, what do you like about it? What do you use it for the most? How do you keep it from becoming a time vacuum, but still get a lot out of it?
- Stacy Henrie
- I'm a stay-at-home mom to three kids and an author of inspirational historical romance. I love laughing with my family, reading, interior decorating, and chocolate.
Lady Outlaw, published by Harlequin Love Inspired Historical in 2012, is my first novel.
I am represented by Jessica Alvarez of BookEnds, LLC.
No one would ever imagine a fresh-faced young woman could be robbing stage bandits of their ill-gotten fortunes. But Jennie Jones is desperate to save her family's ranch from foreclosure. And the risks seem worth it, until her upright new ranch hand offers a glimpse of how much is really at stake.
Former bounty hunter Caleb Johnson is ready for a new, clean start. With a woman like Jennie, he could build a future there in Utah territory. But only if his gentle faith can guide her in a choice between the land she's fought so hard to save and a future by his side.
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I blog on Wednesdays - about life, motherhood, writing or my recommendations for inspirational romance books.