February 25, 2011

The Promises She Keeps

The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy is a fascinating book and one that I mulled over for several days after I read it. It is a beautifully woven tale of three separate lives converging together throughout an intricate plot. Promise, the talented young singer, wants to be famous and leave her mark on the world before she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art dealer who is looking for immortality. Chase is the autistic man whose focus in life is to draw trees and give them out in love. When Promise survives several crazy accidents, Porta believes she holds the key to immortality. But Chase's visions gives him insight and he becomes Promise's savior in the midst of obsession and insanity.

The prose in this book is lyrical and beautifully soothing. I love how Erin Healy wove in biblical truth and allegory throughout the pages, and I was struck by sheer creativity of the story. It is not my normal style of book, but I loved it! It gripped me from the very first page and kept me turning the page.

The Back Cover:
Promise, a talented young singer with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging sorceress and art collector in search of immortality.

When Promise inexplicably survies a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that she may hold the key to eternal life.

Enter Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and fascinates her with his mysterious visions and drawings.

Soon, all are plunged into a confrontation over the mystery and the cost of someting even greater than eternal life...eternal love.


February 21, 2011

Revision Land

I have to say that culling out my google reader afforded me more time to work on my editing this past week. I've redone the first part of my contemporary/speculative and am working on a synopsis. I've also been daydreaming about a new story, the regency idea I had, and am getting excited about that one.

The extra time has been nice, but I have to admit I have had some withdrawals. Weird, huh? I kept wanting to just waste time. Procrastinate. Do anything other than write or edit. I wonder why that is? Here I am, making time to do something creative, and I am hedging about it.

But I am getting over that weirdness and am getting back into the groove. I am soooo loving it!

Do you find that it is hard to get back into the groove of writing after you've been away from it?

February 15, 2011

Love At First Glance

Ah, the first look of love. The heart pounding, breath catching look at your heart's destined love. Come read excerpts of a couple of my favorite Love At First Glance scenes! It's all about love at...


February 14, 2011

Blogging VS Writing

I know I have been vocal in my confusion and wishy-washy writing plans. Well, I'm going to continue to share my struggles. Many of you may have read Jody Hedlund's post Friday, and I do believe I was the inspiration for the post. I could be wrong about that, but if it wasn't me, then it might as well have been. I've jumped in too soon. I've let the internet and writer's networking take over my time and energy. I've given in to the race for publication before I am ready, not being able to let go of my first manuscript, and not developing the skills needed to be successful.

You see, I am a young writer. I have completed one manuscript, and have written half of another. I never finished editing the first, because it was beyond my capabilities at the time. I have carried shame about that, especially since won first place in the TBL contest last year. I mean, what writer doesn't edit? If I cannot make myself edit, how can I call myself a writer?

I started a new story and got half-way through it, but wasn't loving the genre as much. Contemporary is easier  in some ways, but was harder for me to keep the tension up. So I decided to go back to historical and try that, all the while trying to keep up a blog, visit other people's blogs, and read books. I remember how I could devour books in one sitting...for pleasure! I miss that.

I work a full time job and am a pastor's wife, so my time is limited. I have spent so much time on blogs that it has sucked me dry writing-wise. I am struggling to do it all, and I am failing. I've been so bummed about all of it, that writing hasn't even been fun! Imagine!

So, I am taking the pressure off. I am scaling way back. I will post on Mondays and I will post at The Writer's Alley on every other Tuesday. I will also be pulling back on my blog reading. I am so sorry to everyone who I can't get to, but at this time in my life, I need to feed my inner writer.

I need time. Time to be creative. Time to let the words flow. Time to learn to edit without pressure to be perfect. Time to become a real writer.

* Tomorrow at The Writer's Alley, I am talking about the First Glance of Love. You know, the moment that a person sets eyes on their destined love. The heart pounding, breath-stealing glance. Stop by tomorrow for a look at two of my favorite First Glance scenes from Lynn Kurland and Jenny B Jones. 

February 09, 2011

Save The Date by Jenny B Jones

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancee in return for the money she desperately needs. 


Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?


MY THOUGHTS:
This is by far one of the sassiest, fun books I've read in awhile. Jenny B. Jones is known for her YA books, but this women's contemporary romance will set her firmly as a great romance author, for young and old.

When Lucy's funding is pulled from Saving Grace, her non-profit home for girls coming out of the foster care system, she makes a deal with Alex, an ex-pro-football player making a bid for a seat in Congress. He agrees to pay off her mortgage in return for helping erase his playboy image by becoming his fake fiance.

Alex's ratings in the polls up with Lucy by his side and he is intrigued by this clutzy girl who seems immune to his charms. It's not long before he seeks out her companionship and the feel of her hand in his. Of course, Lucy sees the vulnerable man behind his tough, powerful demeanor and soon finds herself in the same boat as all those cheerleader types who swoon in his presence.

Many obstacles are thrown in their way, including Lucy's ex-boyfriend, a secret grandmother, and a kidnapped brother. There are so many great twists and turns in this book, and Jenny does a masterful job of weaving in serious issues along with the hilarity that she does so well.

I love the snappy dialogue, hip fashion, and secondary characters that made me laugh out loud. And I especially loved the underlying theme that says: yes, we are good enough. We may see ourselves through the eyes of others and what they may think of us, but in God's eyes, we are incredible people and deserving of love.

If you like fun, fast paced, witty romance, then you will love this one! It's definitely going on my "Favorites" shelf.

*** Netgalley.com and the publisher provided a galley copy of Save The Date in return for my honest review.

February 07, 2011

Historical or Contemporary Fiction?

After many people told me I looked sick yesterday at church, I gave in and went to the doctor. It was what I thought. I sinus infection. No fever, but just plain miserable. So...I got a steroid shot - those sting, by the way - an antibiotic, and an icky bubble-gum flavored syrup for congestion and coughing.

Today, I am better. I thought I was achy because I laid on the couch reading, watching movies, and writing during our unheard-of-four-snow-days-in-a-row week! But no, I was really sick. I'm glad I had the snow days to rest and recover, but I'm hoping the state gives us a waiver so that we don't have to make up that many days! Wishful thinking maybe, but I can hope.

During my time off, I started submitting my speculative contemporary romance to the big ACFW crit loop and have gotten some pretty good feedback. So... I think I'll continue working on it and maybe enter it in a contest to see how it fares. I saw that some contests had speculative genres open. (Interesting, huh?) I am still dreaming and plotting out my regency and hope to start that one in the near future. I better get busy!

Entering both my historical and contemporary writing into the crit loop has been eye opening. I've gotten way more feed back - and quicker feedback -  on my contemporary, rather than my historical. I've really been amazed at the difference!

Do you think more people prefer contemporary over historical? What do you think?

February 03, 2011

A Writer's Snow Days

We've had this strange weather in Texas, closing down schools for four straight days! My area has been covered in white ice...not snow...but ice. People, Texans do NOT know how to drive or even function properly with any white covering the ground. Seriously, it is like the world has shut down.

So what have I done? I haven't written anything, except for blog posts. I have, however, been researching for my next story. I have read some Regency books and historical books, and I have watched some luscious Regency movies. Jane Austen, anyone? Yes, indeed. All in the name of research.

It has been heaven to be a slug on the couch, with either a book or Kindle in hand. I have the remote nearby to watch movies when my eyes tire of the printed page. What a great week it has been, despite my little world  coming to a stop around me.

So tell me, how do YOU spend your snow days?

I leave you with a cartoon page of how my teens are faring this week:


February 02, 2011

Sharpshooter In Petticoats by Mary Connealy

Mandy McClellen Grey, has become the focus of a feud thanks to her husband, who made this mess and then died. Far from home, Mandy, the best little rifle woman in the west, has resigned herself to a lonely life under siege rather than call for help and endanger her family.

Tom Linscott is fed up with waiting for Mandy who should have had the sense to come to him as soon as she finished burying her worthless husband. In fact he'd've come fast enough to dig the hole if she'd've sent for him. He goes to round up his little woman and buys into a heap of trouble from a whole clan of outlaws.

Between Mandy's deadly skill with her rifle, her determination to not bring trouble down on someone she loves, and an ever growing crowd of varmints who want to bury everyone named Grey—and anyone who sides with them, Tom may not survive getting himself hitched.

My thoughts:
Mary Connealy writes such adventurous and fun stories that suck me in from the get-go. She is so good at starting off her books with action that hooks me fast and keeps me turning the page throughout the book. 

There are many characters from her previous books in Sharpshooter, which I enjoyed seeing again, and Mary's ability to weave these characters in while staying focused on the main plot is truly amazing. 

Both Mandy and Tom are stubborn people who butt heads from the very beginning of the story, but their chemistry together is sizzling and makes for some great scenes! Sigh...I love a strong hero who can be gentle in his dealings with the woman he loves. 

This is another great book from Mary Connealy and you won't be disappointed! Well, maybe disappointed in that it is the last in this series, but I'm sure she has upcoming books that 
will knock our boots off!

You can purchase Sharpshooter in Petticoats HERE.

*This galley book was provided by Barbour Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for posting my honest review of the book.


February 01, 2011

Are You A Research Guru?

Come share your research tips at The Writer's Alley today! I am talking about research and some ways to do it.


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