April 29, 2009

Review: A Bride of Honor by Ruth Axtell Morren

Backcover: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady of rank and distinction is no match for an impoverished preacher. Yet Damian Hathaway is entranced from the moment he spies Miss Lindsay Phillips entering his church. She doesn't appear any different from the other pampered society ladies—and she's betrothed to a gentleman of the ton. But Damian is determined to find the pure heart he's sure exists underneath all the ruffles and lace. The unlikely friendship formed by Damian and Lindsay is a revelation to them both, but is frowned upon by her parents—and Damian's parishioners. Torn between two worlds, the pair must trust that their love can bridge the divide—and conquer all.

Review: I have read Regency romances for years and this book does not disappoint. Ruth brings the propriety of the times against the friendship and love of two people who defy their difference in rank and station in life.

Lindsay Phillips is a beautful young woman, whose heart is on a spiritual quest. Damien Hathaway is the perfect godly man to teach her and lead her in her spiritual journey.

When circumstances throw them together, both try to sacrifice their love and happiness to set the other free. Each must learn to see God's plan for them instead of trying to figure it out their own way. I enjoyed seeing both their journeys of self-discovery.

The romance was engaging, with enough tension to keep me turning pages to see their love finally realized. I love a good "sigh" moment!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a light hearted, romantic tale.

You can purchase this book here at Amazon You can also read an excerpt of the book there too.


April 23, 2009

Queen of Passitivity


I recently discovered that I am the Queen of Passive Voice. Yep. I received my first ever critique back from my lovely crit partner and it had many little passive verbs lying around in my first chapter.


I immediately read through the second chapter and sure enough, there were more! Those pesky things were scattered through out and I groaned at my stupidity. I was so thankful my partner found me out and gently encouraged me to change things up a bit.


I've thought about it through the week and wondered if I think in passive voice. Or worse yet, do I talk in passive voice? Am I a passive person?


Well, in some ways, yes I am. I am not a list person, nor a go-getter. I am very adaptable and enjoy harmony around me. I'm laid back...most of the time.


So does the way we write reflect who we are?


I am in the process of changing the way I write to a more active voice, so will that translate to me personally? I doubt it. I am who I am. Though I can strive to be more active, more organized, more pro-active, I will still be the relaxed, easy going person God made me.


I will keep working on the passitivity in my writing, and hopefully one day it will speak in a most enjoyable active voice.


April 21, 2009

Cranky Pants

I've been wearing my cranky pants the past few days and boy, are they uncomfortable. Seriously, I can't seem to peel them off and can hardly breathe for how painful they've become.

I don't know how I came to be wearing them. I don't remember slipping them on. I just looked down a couple of days ago and there they were...loud, obnoxious, and so unfashionable.

Sigh...guys, I am just in a foul mood. In a funk. Depressed? Maybe a little. Irritable? To say the least! I don't want to cook or clean. I don't want to write (gasp!). I don't even feel like reading! I know--totally shocking!
So, what's a girl to do? Well, I've decided to NOT check my email and blog list in the mornings. It has gradually been encroaching on my "me and Jesus" time and that is soooo not good. I need to really seek and not just go through the motions of my time with Him.

Seek first the kingdom of God..... YES! Everything will fall into place. Peace will rule my heart. I will be at rest.

And I will be able to strip these cranky pants right off. I'll make sure to put them in the dumpster where they belong!


April 16, 2009

Who's A Tweeter?


So everyone knows about Twitter, but I am finding it hard to understand its purpose. I've heard it called a micro-blog. What??? You know, you just write little blurbs about what you are doing throughout the day.

Why??? What is the purpose? Well, I don't really know.

I do find other people's tweets interesting...most of the time. I have to say, though, that I am starting to get followers who I know good and well don't care about following me. They only care about me following them back. It's advertising. It's marketing. And I can see that it could be beneficial in the writing/publishing world, though I really have my doubts about it.

What do you think about all these social networking sites to promote yourself? Or are you in it for all the friends? Are you doing it to build a platform for the day you are published? Or are you in it for the fun of it all?


April 14, 2009

I Have A Daughter

I have a daughter. And guess what? She is 16 and she still likes me. Impressive? I think so!

I have four children. Three boys and one girl. I love, love, love my boys. They are the most gentle young men who treat me so well. But I must add that I am so thankful God saw fit to bless me with a girl too.

She adds so much engergy to our life at home. When she is around there is laughter...loud laughter. She dances and sings...with intermittent laughter...all around the house. She is so full of joy.
But there is another side to her, which I think has been developed by having brothers. She is competitive. VERY competitive. She is tough and doesn't like to lose...ever. She can stick with something, pushing through pain, to meet her goals. I am so impressed by her, at times.

My daughter still likes to talk with me, go shop with me, and give me the occasional hug. She is a good girl, full of compassion and kindness. She is God's child and is turning into such a beautiful woman, mirroring the One who holds her in the palm of His hand.

April 11, 2009

Post Good Friday


I went to my very first Good Friday service. In my church background, we never had services on Good Friday. Some friends of mine minister at a church nearby and they were having their first Good Friday service, so I thought my family should join in and help us focus on the meaning of Easter.


Not knowing what to expect, I was really moved by the experience. The auditorium was dimmly lit, with communion spread out at the front, along with candles. The service was simple, yet profound.


We took communion together as the body of Christ, remembering the giving up of his body and the giving of his blood. We sang songs of Christ's sacrifce and love, and inbetween times of singing, there were times of scripture read by various members, all expounding the last moments of Christ's life.


After each scripture was read, a candle was extinguished, so that when the words, "It is finished" was read, we were in darkness and silence. We were dismissed by the pastor and we left in the quiet and in the dark.


I am sad to say that I will miss the beauty of Easter at this church when the members will enter to a beautifully LIT auditorium, full of light...the light of Christ and His resurrection.


Of course, we, as His children, walk in His light each and every day. I am thankful for that. But it was a good reminder for me at that Good Friday service to remember what I could be walking around in. Darkness. Utter darkness.


Praise God that He has come and brings us into the light of His love.


April 08, 2009

Wanted: Questions Answered


It is interesting that last summer when I decided to write a book, I just started to write. I had read some books on writing novels, books on grammer, books on POV, etc., and then I just started writing. I did a basic outline, but basically just wrote whatever came out of my fingers.


I didn't focus on a publisher or type of book, though I did want to write a medieval romance. I wanted to write a clean romance, but with some romantic tension I thought wouldn't be acceptable in CBA. So, I just wrote.


As I wrote, I noticed my faith creeping in and began to allow it, thinking maybe God is directing my writing. I started visiting blogs, meeting other aspiring authors, quickly learning that I have no idea what I am doing.


And now I have questions. These questions would have been helpful before I started my WIP, but it doesn't matter now. I am viewing this book as my "learning tool" and I want it to be something I can be proud of at some point. So let me ask you.....


What is a category book? What is a single title? How do you know the guidelines for each? Are there other types of books? Are there websites that tell you what is what?


Here's some more questions for you writers out there. How do you plan your book to come out a certain length? How many pages are supposed to be in a chapter? How many chapters are supposed to be in a book? Does THAT vary according to the type of book?


You see, knowing this kind of stuff would have been helpful BEFORE starting, don't you think?


April 04, 2009

First Paragraph Hook

I thought I'd share the first couple of paragraphs of my WIP with you. I've realized I have an unhealthy fear of letting others read my work, so I thought putting a bit out there for the world to see would do some good in getting me over it. Fear Factor done Sherrinda's way.

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England, around the late 1100's.

She blew her unruly hair out of her eyes and paused to still her racing heart. Undoubtedly she had not practiced enough in the privacy of her room to have easy success. She surely did not count on the shaking of her fingers or the time wasted looking over her shoulder. Taking a deep breath, she slowly pried the tip of her knife into the lock, listening for the quiet catch of the spring.

“Jocelyn! Make haste!” Sister Mary stood several paces away, standing guard.

While most of the sisters in the convent were sound asleep in their rooms, there were known to be a few who felt the call for an extra prayer or two during the quiet of a dark night. Jocelyn had diligently planned for this night and knew she had but a few more moments before the watchman made his way to the gate she was feverishly trying to escape from.

*************************
I was going for a "hook" in the beginning of my book. My heroine escapes disguised as a boy and must overcome many obstacles in her quest to find her family, her home, and hopefully a place where she feels she finally belongs. I've had so much fun with her!

So how many of you have started your work with a hook? Do you ever share your work before it is finished? Are you ever afaid?

April 02, 2009

Platform...really?


I don't know about you but I keep hearing about platform. I'm still not sure I understand completely what it is, but here is what I understand. It is your presence in the community you are trying to be successful in. It is who you know and how many you know and how many know YOU.

I don't know about you, but my platform...like those crazy shoes...is pretty wobbly. I don't know what I am doing yet. I know some people, but not many know of me. I feel unstable, unsure, and seem to go forward cautiously, a little fearful of falling on my face!

Platform is about sale-ability. Agents, editors, and publishers want to know that they can sell your book. (and make some money) They want to know that you can get people to buy the book and the way you do it is to have a following.

So how do you get a following? You get so busy blogging, joining sites, making connections, joining loops, etc that you don't have much time on the one thing that got you to go get a platform in the first place. Yep...like...writing a book!!!!

I don't know about you, but I just want to write without worrying about getting my name out there. What does it matter really? If God has decreed my book get published, then He will pave the way. My goal should not be to "have a Platform", but to learn the craft.

Learning the craft includes doing some of those things I mentioned earlier. Taking time to go to conferences, joining Writing Groups, entering contests, and connecting with other writers are all worthwhile endeavors in honing the skills needed. But I'm not going to stress over it.

I am going to rest in the knowledge that God knows my path. I just need to trust Him to make that path known. He will direct it. It may be a winding road with an obstacle or two, but those challenges just make the destination all the sweeter.


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