Catching the Wind

Catching the Wind

Time-slip fiction is fast becoming my favorite genre. Catching the Wind, a World War II novel by Melanie Dobson, helped confirm that. For a writer, maneuvering through two timelines is no easy task. It requires perfect timing and finesse.  It’s more than writing two separate plot lines. Each storyline must ebb...

Things We Didn’t Say

Things We Didn’t Say

Epistolary novels aren’t my go-to genre, yet whenever I dive into one, I’ve not been disappointed. In fact, I’m usually astounded by the way the author deftly carries the storyline through letters or journals, outside the usual narrative parameters of scenes utilizing action and dialog.  Here are a few I’ve...

Keeping Christmas

Keeping Christmas

I don’t usually read the new Christmas stories published each year, but when I heard about Naomi Craig’s novella, “The Weary World Rejoices,” I knew I wanted to read it. It’s another example of Biblical fiction at its best and offers a fresh perspective on the birth of Christ. The story is set in the castle of King Herod,...

Christmas at Whispering Creek

Christmas at Whispering Creek

I’ve watched many friends and acquaintances go through the trials and tribulations of breast cancer and treatment. But reading Barbara Britton’s Christmas at Whispering Creek was the first time I’d read about it in fiction, through the survivor’s point of view.  Barbara can write about this authentically, because she...

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Ten years ago, Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America went through a horrific ordeal with a rare blood disorder she acquired from her previous breast cancer treatment. It required chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.  Instead of withdrawing, she stepped forward and shared her experience with TV viewers and...

The House on Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill

What is it about old houses? It goes beyond the charm. When I walk through my neighborhood of Victorian homes, I’m sure they’re calling out to me: “Listen . . . Come learn my story . . .” They pique my curiosity. Who has lived there throughout the years? What secrets do they hold? Old houses are fodder for stories,...

Unfortunate Homecoming

Unfortunate Homecoming

Years ago, my husband and I bought a 1883 two-story Victorian. It needed more than tender loving care. It needed rehab.  The previous owner had torn down the wrap-around porch in the 1950s, tried “updating” rooms with dark wood paneling in the 1980s, and disposed of the beautiful stained glass windows shortly after...

Dangerous Inheritance

Dangerous Inheritance

Even though Dangerous Inheritance is the second book in Sherri Wilson Johnson’s Jeopardized Reunions series, it’s the one I read first. But it doesn’t matter. Each one functions as a standalone. Last time I introduced Desolate Escape. Reading this novel reminded me why I shouldn’t read romantic suspense at bedtime. But...

Desolate Escape

Desolate Escape

Suspense is vital to a novel, but my favorite kind of tension is the interplay of relationships and family dynamics, not ruthless criminals seeking wealth or revenge. Both kinds of stories can keep me up late, turning the pages, but the latter type sets my nerves on edge.  It’s kind of like being afraid to fall...

A Far Way to Run

A Far Way to Run

Years ago, my cousin’s son lived in Calcutta ministering to prostitutes through an organization called Word Made Flesh. I was deeply moved by their work. I wrote him an email:  “I admire what you’re doing in building relationships with the girls in the red light district there. That takes a special kind of courage....

Ezekiel’s Song

Ezekiel’s Song

In the southern kingdom of Judah, around 597 BC, famine overtakes as Babylonian troops close in at the borders with raids and threats from King Nebuchadnezzar—mirroring Assyria’s invasion of Israel centuries earlier. Now it appears to be Judah’s turn. Ezekiel had been warning them all along to repent of their evil ways,...

A Love Restored

A Love Restored

We can hardly turn around without seeing thin, shapely women on our TV screens, computers, or billboards. We’re bombarded with body shaming or the best diets for weight loss. Fortunately, a newer trend emphasizes body acceptance, regardless of size or shape. But that was long in coming.  Author Kelly Goshorn puts a new...

Revelation

Revelation

My childhood daydreams of castles and princesses led me not only to Grimm, Lang, Perrault, and Anderson fairy tales, but to novel-length YA tales. Even as an adult, I’ve enjoyed the fantasy worlds of Just Ella (Margaret Peterson Haddix) and Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine). Both expand on the story of Cinderella in...

Salvation

Salvation

Like many young girls do, author Olivia Rae claims she “spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms.” Nowadays, she writes about them. Visiting European castles and forts in her travels provided additional inspiration, resulting in two series: The Sword and the Cross Chronicles, and Secrets...

Counterfeit Love

Counterfeit Love

Is choosing career over family—or a potential spouse—sometimes the better choice?  If your spouse is number one, what else are you sacrificing? Are you giving up the very thing that serves the community and provides the better good for all?  What if you’re on a dangerous career path that puts away criminals?...

A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie The Birds (1963). In the early 1970s, I was just a kid when it played on TV one night. The din of thousands of squawking birds on the wing grew as they approached, hovered, darkened the sky, then attacked and killed their human victims. It creeped me...

Mulberry Hollow

Mulberry Hollow

I’ve only been on the Appalachian Trail once, and that was decades ago. As I briefly mentioned earlier (All That We Carried), my hubby Tim and I took a few of his male high school students down south for a camping trip.  Part of that involved camping in Virginia along the trail. Before we even reached our campsite,...

The Moonlight School

The Moonlight School

A former student of mine, originally a British immigrant, credits me for teaching him how to read in fifth grade. Prior to that, he struggled with reading. Years later, the day he became an American citizen, he called to tell me personally, and thanked me for teaching him to read.  His phone call and heartfelt thanks...

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

Ice cream—don’t get me started. It’s everything from the week’s highlight to an addiction. My obsession began at age three. I’ll blame my parents for introducing me to Battle Creek’s best kept secret: a local brand and family-run store, Henry’s Ice Cream. You might say I was born with a silver ice cream scoop in my hand....

The Red Door Inn

The Red Door Inn

What attracts you to a particular novel? Are you ever drawn in primarily by the setting? I certainly am. Such was the case with Liz Johnson’s The Red Door Inn, set in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island. For our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary years ago, Tim and I went to Nova Scotia and PEI. Of course we did the...

Coming soon: Fifteen Minutes with Mr. Baum, a novel

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