Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Courageous Brides Collection releases on July 1. Join me and eight other authors on a blog tour. There will be a rafflecopter giveaway for a Kindle Fire. More details coming soon. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ten Romantic Books That Made Great Movies

I don’t want to talk about the same books time and again, so for this post I tried to find books I haven’t mentioned in earlier in my blog. I haven’t read all these books, but I have read most of them. Although there were some parts of these movies I didn’t like, overall I enjoyed watching them immensely. Here’s my list of ten romantic books that made great movies.  

A Farwell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway: I didn’t like how this one ended but I loved how the hero in this book went to such great lengths to protect the woman he loved, and his unborn child.

The Blue Lagoon by Henry De Vere Stacpoole: I love this movie. It came out when I was young so it took a few years before I could watch it, but when I did, I wasn’t disappointed. The love story is so sweet and innocent. The tropical location of this film is stunningly beautiful.   

Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake: The romance in this book. The positive portrayal of the Native American characters and the honest portrayal of the Old West make this movie a classic.

Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper: I hated the ending of this book, and the movie version made me cry, but I loved the characters, the clothes and all the romance and drama.

Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison: I wasn’t fond of the heroine in this movie, but there was enough drama to keep me watching. This movie captured a heartbreaking and gritty portrayal of family life in the early 1900’s.

Love Comes Softly by Jeanette Oak: A faith-based classic with many great additions to the series, I loved how poignant this story is. Heartwarming elements of faith are subtly woven into the movie.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory: Rich in drama, and tons of breathtaking period costumes, this was a great movie. The film was full of surprises and kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: This one doesn’t exactly qualify as a historical but there is a beautiful castle, lot of sword fighting, and period clothing. I loved the romance and the heroine’s name, Buttercup. Too cute.   

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: This movie deviated from the book, but I think the romance between the characters really enhanced the movie version. Aside from the love story, there are points about this movie that make me be careful about judging people.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice may be the favorite of Jane Austin fans, but I love Sense and Sensibility. The plot twists kept me watching. I enjoyed watching Marianne find love again. Of course I loved those gorgeous period costumes.  


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ten Awesome Barbour Anthologies

A few years ago I posted some of my favorite anthologies from Barbour Publishing, but I’ve read countless more over the years. So, this time I’ve decided to narrow it down a bit and list some great “historical” four-in-one collections. This wasn’t easy, there are so many well-written stories, I could have listed twenty.

A Blue and Gray Christmas by Vickie McDonough, Lauralee Bliss, Tamela Hancock Murray, and Carrie Turansky: I love stories about the Civil War and this book was no exception. I loved how it gave different perspectives about Northerners and Sooutherners during that difficult time.

A Currier and Ives Christmas by Lyn Coleman, JoAnn Grote, DiAnn Mills, and Deborah Raney: I loved how these stories painted pictures of snowy Christmases. This is the perfect book to read in front of a fireplace during a snowstorm, with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm quilt, of course.   

Bound with Love by Joan Croston, Cathy Marie Hake, Kelly Eileen Hake, and Joyce Livingstone: These stories follow a Guttenberg Bible as it passed through the ages and from country to country. I especially liked the story set during WWII.

Brothers of the Outlaw Trail by DiAnn Mills, Tamela Hancock Murray, Lynette Sowell, and Kathleen Miller Y’barbo: This book, set during the Old West, tells the tales of four brothers who were outlaws. I loved how each one struggled through their own journey of personal growth. These are some great stories of redemption.   

Church in the Wildwoods by Paige Winship Dooly, Kristy Dykes, Pamela Griffin, and Debby Mayne: This is the first Christian romance I ever read. It changed the way I viewed romance. I never expected to see such a flawed hero grace the pages of a Christian novel. Silly me. The hero, a former bank robber and gang member, found Christ and changed his ways. The heroine saw a repentant man with a sincere heart for God. The congregation didn’t judge him by his past mistakes, but embraced him and became his friend. This book gave a phenomenal example of what a church should be. I know it taught me a thing or two.    

Colonial Courtships by Laurie Alice Eakes, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson, and Amber Stockton: I had fun learning about ship-building when I read this book. For instance, I never knew that there were artists who specifically carved the figureheads for ships.

Missouri Memories by Kelly Eileen Hake, Joyce Livingston, DiAnn Mills, and Deborah Raney: The book focused on a house build along the Missouri River from when it was first built in the late 1800’s to Present Day. I especially like the story set in 1972, during the Vietnam War.

Stuff of Love by Dianna Crawford, Cathy Marie Hake, Kelly Eileen Hake, and Sally Laity: I like how these stories were set during WWII. Two of them were set in Copenhagen and knit together with threads of Danish culture, which really drew my interest.

Sweet Liberty by Paige Winship Dooly, Kristy Dykes, Pamela Griffin, and Debby Mayne: So many books by Barbour are set during the Christmas season, so when I saw this one centered around the 4th of July holidays, I picked it up. I enjoyed reading how the holiday was celebrated in different time periods and in different parts of the country.

Wildflower Brides by Andrea Boeshaar, Cathy Marie Hake, Sally Laity, and Pamela Kaye Tracy: I love stories set on the Oregon Trail. The stories were so seamlessly woven together it felt like I was on the trail with the characters, going west as they were, sharing in both their struggles and triumphs.

Romance is a common theme throughout all of these books and they’re interwoven with strong elements of faith which keeps me reading them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Only 47 Books This Year 
I had so much fun last January blogging about the 52 books I read in 2014 I wanted to repeat the process. I had hoped to read another 52 books in 2015, but it didn’t work out that way. I only got through 47 of them this past year, but reading 47 books in twelve months is no small accomplishment.
Numbers usually swim around in my head like a mass of frantic minnows in a fish bowl, still I couldn’t resist the temptation to compare numbers between the past two years. Here are a few of the statistics.  

In 2014 my busiest month was March where I read 7 and ½ books. August was my slowest month I only got through one book. In 2015 the numbers were more spread out. In January, June, August and December I got through 5 books while February, April, July and November I only read 3.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how diverse my reading tastes are. Here’s a break-down of what genre’s I read this past year.

Memoirs and Biographies: 4
Nonfiction/True Crime Drama: 3
Children’s chapter books: 5
Mainstream Fiction: 3
General Romance: 3
Mainstream Christian Fiction: 2
Contemporary Christian Romance: 4

And the genre winner for most books read, Historical Christian Romance. This one is my obvious favorite with a whopping 23 books. The break-down in this category is:

Books set in the 1700’s: 1
Books set in the 1800’s: 13
Books set in the 1900’s: 7
Books set outside the USA in the 1900’s: 2

For the year 2016, we’re only as far as January, but I’m already wondering what the statistics are going to look like next year.