Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Report & Giveaway: A Sensible Arrangement, by Tracie Peterson

Celebrating Tracie Peterson's 100th book! YES THAT'S RIGHT! I cut my Inspiration fiction reading teeth on Tracie Peterson. I almost fainted when I found myself in the same room with her. Of course the fact I was also six months pregnant and anemic might have had something to do with it.

Anyway, A Sensible Arrangment is a great read. I really loved the fact her heroine was in her 30's. You don't see that as often and Tracie captured the young hip version of this historical heroine ("hip" isn't probably the correct terminology, but cut me some slack) while also giving her the maturity due someone in their thirties who'd experienced the trials of life.

It IS an arranged marriage story. BUT Tracie doesn't go the route of arranging a marriage to save a ranch. Instead our hero is a bank manager trying to save face with the powers-that-be of the bank who find an eligible bachelor less than seemly to hold such a powerful position. Married and settled is far more preferred. Of course, there is the ranch aspect. This is the West (Colorado) to be precise. And Jake wants to ranch while Marty, our heroine, wants to b as far away from it as she can. That's where she came from, and what she's running from. The memories of a marriage that ended to soon. So it wouldn't be a good idea to tell her new husband she holds his dreams in her hands, would it?

OK! no spoilers! The romance between the two is classic Tracie Peterson, as are the Spiritual threads, the gently woven plot that keeps you turning pages and the well-scripted scenery.

She has not disappointed with this one-hundredth book, only proven why Peterson is the MASTER of everything Historical Romance.

So if you were going to be married in an arranged marriage, what State would you hope your intended lived in? Leave your answer in the comments and enter to win the book! 
Lis K is the winner of last week's give away, watch for an email!
_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Martyrs Mirror

Most Anabaptist Mennonites can tell you that the Martyrs Mirror holds a record of all the martyrs from the time of Christ through the Reformation to 1660 for their confession of faith. It includes accounts of more than 4,000 Christians who suffered a martyr’s death because of their simple, nonresistant faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was first printed in 1660 by a Dutchman.



Many Mennonite homes held a copy, and contained a record of family marriages, births, and deaths. We have one in our home. Ours isn't a vintage antique like this first edition copy though, bummer. What many Mennonites may not know is that it was one of the most important documents in print in Colonial America.


In 1745, Jacob Gottschalk arranged with the Ephrata, Pennsylvania Cloister of believers to translate the book from Dutch into German. The work took 15 men three years to finish and in 1749, at 1512 pages, it was the largest single book printed in Colonial America before the Revolutionary War.  The first edition printed 1300 copies to support the faith of the growing nonresistant Mennonite Church.

How could such a book play a role in the foundation of our nation? After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Americans in the 13 colonies became divided in their support of Great Britain. About a 1/3 supported King George III of England, called Loyalists. Another 1/3 supported the Revolution and were called Patriots. The remaining 1/3 were neutral citizens, including nonresistant Mennonites and many others.

Public Domain: image of Dirk Willems who turned back to save his pursuer, who later put him to death

The Ephrata Cloister of Mennonites printing the large volume were literally located in the wilderness and used something close to 10,000 pounds of linen rag to make the 500,000 pages of paper for each volume. This type of printing effort was not to be repeated until mid 19th century. Being printed for the importance of the content, it was a financial disaster that play a crucial role in the Revolution. 

A large portion of unbound sheets were confiscated by the Continental Army supplying the Patriots with wadding for their muskets, quite an ironic fate for a book that existed for the sole purpose of the testimony of nonresistant faith. It's even reported that some believed the supply of wadding might have altered the outcome of victory.


All sides had losses, but today we live in a free country. 
Let us not take our liberty for granted. 
As we move toward the cross of Jesus Christ this Easter week, what moves you about the sacrifice for faith? Are you surprised to learn this tidbit of history, or have you read it before?
_____________

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book or Movie?


I remember the first time I watched Gone With The Wind. I was mesmerized by Scarlet O'Hara, the burning of Atlanta, the sheer scope and size of the movie. I think I was about 12 the first time I saw it.

A few years later, I checked the novel out of the library. I was floored that the story-line differed so much from the movie. When it was all said and done, though the book was wonderful (Pulitzer, anyone?) I found I preferred the movie to the book.

I felt the same way when Hallmark made a movie from Julie Garwood's book For The Roses. Again, the book differed from the movie. Hallmark changed handsome, manly, hunky Harrison--the prototypical historical romance hero--into a nerdy little fop that had NO resemblance to the book's hero. The nerve! In addition, in the movie, they killed my favorite character off! This does NOT happen in the book. In this case, I preferred the book to the movie.

Then there are some book-to-movie stories that I think are fairly even, I love them both. Robert Parker's Appaloosa. Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series, Tolkien's Lord of The Rings.

And I've come to the conclusion that my favorite version of a story tends to be the one I experience first. And if I have a choice of one over the other, I always want to read the book first. I guess I'm more of a 'word person' than a 'picture person.'

So, do you prefer books or movies? Does it matter which one you experience first? Are you more about the words or the visuals? What is your favorite book-to-movie, and which one were you most disappointed with?





_________________________________________
Author of Historical Romance

Reluctant Bookkeeper 

Homeschool Mom (for 2 more months)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When it's Time to Give Up

I think sometimes we just walk through the desert and all we can hug are cactus. 
(If there are any cactus growing)
But I think God allows us to walk in the desert because if we don't, and we're always in green pastures, our need for Him dissipates. And then I think at the same time, the enemy likes to see our discouragement and make it even more dry than it ever was before.

It's sort of like writers block and the only way to break writers block is to keep pushing forward and not allow our discouragement to make us quit. Because were passionate about what we do. If we are passionate about Jesus it should be the same pushing forward and pushing through and realizing that it is our strength that makes us strong. Admitting a weakness is sometimes the best thing we can possibly do.

Our struggles are not meaningless. There is a purpose and a time and place for everything.Whether it's husbands, wives, children, parents, or yourself wallowing in depression.Goals not being achieved at the speed we desire.Our independence hampered by the needs of others.Or maybe just exhaustion because of the pace at which the world turns these days.

We live in a fallen world and yet we expect perfection because God has planted that desire in our hearts. And He planted it knowing He is the only one who can provide it.So we need to stop looking for an emotion.Stop searching for a feeling of peace.Stop waiting to feel better when everything is better.And realize that maybe we need to hunker down, in the bow of the ship, with Jesus standing with His arms outstretched to calm the storm in His time, at His beckoning. And as we ride out the storm, or trudge through the desert, or embrace the cactus, and all we see are mirages of hope that always seem to be just out of reach...He whispers "be still".

But not to the storm.And not to the desert.And certainly not to the cactus.But to us.
Stop fighting. Stop wishing for something we do not have. Stop expecting peace during worship, revelation during Scripture, and hope during the day. Because really, we're looking for a feeling.
Instead we should just look for Him.And the rest will come.

Experience the desert or storm lately?

_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Senseless Loss, Meaningful Suffering

You've heard the phrase, "such a senseless loss."  

We might hear it said over the premature death of someone. Cancer. A preventable accident. An act of violence. The suffering of hundreds, millions, at the hand of an overlord. Tragedy.

Senseless.

Which is to say, we can't find the meaning in it.
Meaningless....almost.

Or is it instead, full of meaning? Working an eternal work of God's glory within us as we wrestle with Him in our suffering. In our grief and loss. Our pain and sorrow.

King Soleman looked around his kingdom at all the suffering, the oppression, and pain, and declared there is nothing new under the sun. The world has known pain and suffering since its birth. Meaningless, meaningless. meaningless, he declared.

Senseless.

Or is it instead, full of meaning? Doesn't the way of the cross of Jesus Christ instead  give life to our sufferings? The very opportunities God uses to encounter us. To meet us. To walk with us. To raise us up to new life in Christ.

About this time, the week before Christ's death on the cross, the disciples sensed it was coming. Something big. Really, really big.

John 12:23-25
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
"23 Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to receive glory. 24 What I’m about to tell you is true. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves his life will lose it. But anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it and have eternal life.'"

by permission: www.freedigitalphotos.net

They'd witness God's great power, sat at the feet of their servant King Jesus, walked with him, talked with him.

Yet hours after Christ's death, it seemed senseless, and for naught. 
Doubt, fear, anger rushed in to replace hope and faith in His teachings and His love.
Suddenly the really, really big thing seemed empty and hopeless.

Like Christ, we beg for our cups of suffering to pass from us.
And like Him, when we turn loose of our own will, our own life, He produces meaning.
He makes us live again.
He raises us up with Him.
And in this, is the mystery of the cross and the way of Christ.
And it's really really BIG. So big, it's hard to grasp.

For meditation in song, click the link: "Though You Slay Me" by David Crowder

May you find new meaning this week as you prepare for Easter and as you are reminded of Christ's suffering and atoning act upon the cross.
_____________

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Report: Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

Another Lessman Romance...

~~ The Queen of spunk and spitfire has done it again!

If you like a heroine with attitude and a hero with grit, you'll find it in Lessman's Dare to Love Again. True to form, she'll have you giggling at the first "Mr. Cranky Pants."

Socialite Allison McClare strikes out on a mission to teach the underprivileged children of Barbary Coast. But her uptown style draws unwanted attention from unsavory characters who make the dark streets their home.

Detective Nick Barone has better things to do than babysit a socialite with no street smarts and no sense for her own safety. Sparks fly when he finds the unyielding Miss McClare under his supervision.

But will Nick Barone, with a long e, join the ranks of the other frauds Allison has cared for in the past? "Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?"

Julie Lessman: Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 14 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com.

 Book one of this series is Love at any Cost, which I read on my last vacation. Apparently I like to read Julie's books while I'm on vacation. I wish I was on the cruise boat this week like I was when I read book one! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

You are invited to make a comment for a chance to win a free copy (US only).
They say opposites attract. 
For a chance to win, what are the most opposite attractions between you and your spouse, or your parents, or your friends, that you can think of?
_____________

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday


This picture was taken in 2009 in Guernsey, Wyoming. The handsome dude in the center is my husband, Peter. On the right is my son James, and on the left is my daughter, Heather. They are standing in ruts made by covered wagons traveling on the Oregon Trail. Can you imagine? I was stunned when we climbed up the trail and saw how deep and wide these ruts were. Thousands of wagons. Thousands of oxen and horse hooves. Thousands of boots.

When I see historical sites like these, I can't help but try to imagine what it must've been like, all my earthly goods packed into a wooden box on wheels, traveling hundreds of miles from everything familiar, headed toward a great unknown. The hardships, the loneliness, the fear and uncertainty.

Have you visited the Guernsey Wagon Ruts? Have you visited an historical site/museum that had you trying to imagine what it might've been like to live in another time?

You can learn more about the Oregon Trail Ruts at http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/site7.htm
_______________________________________________________________

Author of Historical Romance

Reluctant Bookkeeper 
Homeschool Mom (for 2 more months)

Earl Grey Aficionado 

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