Monday, April 15, 2013

Bread & Wine

I received a copy of BREAD & WINE: A LOVE LETTER TO LIFE AROUND THE TABLE WITH RECIPES by Shauna Niequist from Zondervan.  When they say “with recipes” that’s exactly what they mean.  Each chapter is an essay focusing on an aspect of food, with a correlating recipe included at the end.  The book makes a great bedtime read – you can absorb one essay and daydream about the recipe to be made the following day.  It is a great way to ponder the information while your mouth salivates.  Shauna’s writing is catchy and familiar.  It feels as if she is sitting in the room with you sharing a glass of wine.

Her stories about food reminded me of the times my friend and I travel to different ethnic restaurants.  The essays have that gentle, friendly quality.  Next time she’s in town, I’ll share BREAD & WINE with her.  We might even have our own bread and wine party.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the descriptions of food included within the pages. 

My mother was excited to read it after me.  As a lover of food, she’s always eager for fresh recipes.  Without much time on her hands, the essays were the perfect length.  I highly recommend this to my “hungry” friends. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I received a copy of ANGELGUARD: NOT ALL THE SPIRITS ARE GOOD by Ian Acheson from Lion Fiction via Kregel.  It is definitely one of those books that grabs you from page one and won’t let go.  I love books that keep me reading late into the night, and then leave me with fantastical dreams, especially novels that take you into new worlds. 

Humans, angels, and demons are the main characters in the novel.  Recently I’ve been reading my critique partner’s manuscript about angels, so it was fun to continue in that genre with ANGELGUARD.  I haven’t found many novels about angels at the store, which made this more refreshing.  It also reminded me of Supernatural, one of my favorite television sitcoms.  Think of war and a business man who sold his soul.  Now think of a guy, Jack Haines, who is finding himself while he grows strong in this war of angels. 

Realistic dialogue, quirky people…fast-paced plot…smooth writing.  I really couldn’t find anything negative as I read.  The scenes never jarred me, which is a big plus. Sometimes when I read, I think, “I could have tightened that sentence by rewording…”  That didn’t happen with this book.  I’ll keep my eyes open for the next book in the Chronicles of the Angelguard series.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I love to do crafts – nothing is as exciting as finding a fun craft book at the store.  I decided to design crafts to go along with my steampunk novel, COGLING.  (You can read the first few chapters here: 

I selected two of my favorite fantasy species from the story, a foxkin and a tomtar, to create the basis for magnets.  I printed off two of the images, done by illustrator Aaron Siddall, and cut them out to fit inside pickle jar lids. I pasted them inside, then cut enough ribbon to go around the outside.  I attached the ribbon using more glue, and added a bow to one.  Magnets glued to the back of the lids help you to hang them, but you could also use a ribbon loop to make them into ornaments.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Icecutter's Daughter

I received a copy of THE ICECUTTER’S DAUGHTER by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House.  It is the first book in the Land of Shining Waters series.  As soon as I opened the package that arrived in the mail, I couldn’t wait to start reading.  The cover is addictive!  Two horses pull something heavy through the snow – I could almost feel the wind and biting snow flakes.  A young woman looks on from the top of the cover, her eyes the color of frozen water.  From her manner of dress and the fact we still use horses today for various things, I had to check to make sure it was a historical novel, which it is.  I can’t get enough of those.

Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite historical fiction authors.  Her stories always introduce me to something I don’t normally read about.  Sure, there are tons of Elizabethan and Civil War stories, but how many times have you read about ice cutters?  I hadn’t known much about them at all until I finished this book.  Tracie Paterson introduces believable characters and creates exciting adventures from everyday activities.  You feel as if you’re living in Minnesota with Merrill, the main character, and Rurik, her love interest.  I highly recommend this to fans of historical fiction, riveting plots, and religious stories.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interview with LM Preston

What better way to start off a new month than with a new young adult book.  LM Preston visited us before, so I thought it would be great to invite her back for to talk about her new book.  

LM Preston
LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
Author Links

Title: Purgatory Reign
Series: Purgatory Reign, Book 1
Release: ebook (March 2013) Print (May 2013)
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, SciFi
ISBN: 978-0-9850251-3-7
EBook: 978-0-985-0251-4-4

Tagline: Something evil this way comes, unfortunately for it, Peter Saints is waiting.

Seventeen-year-old Peter Saints' life stinks. But things are about to get much worse. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms.

Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give - his blood.

On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It's the one secret the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer he hopes that will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.


A sickening thump made Peter jerk around. His face crinkled with
fury. The car threw the sparse girl’s body upwards into the air, and sped
off down the street. She bounced several times on the pavement. Peter ran
and knelt beside her. Blood dribbled from her lip. And he felt like gar-
bage, being the cause of her injury.
She smiled at him. “Petah. I…knew you would come.” Her dazed
eyes never left his face. “Take me home, Petah.”
He shook his head and searched around. Surprised the street was now
deserted. Tendrils of guilt filled his chest. Another one…my damn fault.
My fault.

Book Trailer (Please include in your post)

Book Sample
If you think Purgatory Reign is something you might like to review follow the link to read a sample.  If you enjoy please request a review copy.

Buy Links

Other works by LM Preston

1)       What’s your favorite place to write?
LM: I prefer to write outside on my laptop or anywhere my kids are. Their energy gets me writing and I can share snippets with them for their input. It’s an instant critique.

2)       Do you have a special writing routine?  Perhaps you always have a mug of tea nearby, or you prefer to listen to classical music.
LM: I love writing to noise. I always take lots of breaks by getting up and hopping around. Oh, and I do play music or have a movie on.

3)       Were there any parts in this story that are almost exactly like something that happened to you in real life? 
LM: Actually yes. I don’t want to give it away, but I have had some weird instances happen in my life. However, the main character Peter says something my husband told me about his personal experience in an orphanage.

4)       Which character do you connect with the most? 
LM: I connect the most with Peter. He’s that guy you know that you just know has issues but can’t help falling in love with because you know that his heart is hungry for love.

5)       Which character in your novel do you love to hate? 
LM: I hate Gavin Steele. He was so hard to write. I had to really get in a bad place to sit down and understand his mind. And trust me, there are dark parts yet to come.

6)       Do you have a favorite book that you love to re-read? 
LM: I love re-reading the Child Thief by Brom.

7)       What’s the most inspiring thing an author has ever asked you?
LM: I remember talking to LA Banks (yes, the best selling author Leslie Banks!) and I was trying not to faint. She asked me about this very book, Purgatory Reign. I told her the idea and she mentioned that she had a someone similar book out. I cringed and told her I shouldn’t write this one.LA Banks, then told me, “You write that book. It sounds great and it’s your story, and I can’t wait to read it.” I was awed, and just so humbled that she would give her time and encouragement to me. Unfortunately though, later that year she died of cancer. That was the most wonderful moment in my writing career. A priceless memory.