Mariposas

IMG_2127Even the mountains praise Him…The rocks cry out…The lilies are clothed in splendor. And then there are butterflies. What a colorful array of floating beauty—majestic in design and flight.

My favorite word in Spanish is mariposa. It means butterfly. It is so pretty in the language that Mariposa is a name for a girl. Rolling the “r” makes it more beautiful to the ears. The French has an awesome word too—papillon.

Butterflies conjure up images of beauty. This year I planted zinnias and milkweed to entice these busy beauties to flutter around my yard. I haven’t yet learned the names of the different kinds, yet I’m in awe of the individual patterns and colors. I’m mesmerized by the total experience as the God’s creation seeks out the colorful flowers containing the nectar of life.

Enjoy the designs and beauty…I sure do.

 

Review of Daughters of Northern Shores

Daughter of Northern Shores

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Daughters of Northern Shores

Author: Joanne Bischof

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Daughters of Nother Shores Cover Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s—which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

 

Click here to grab your copy!

 

My Review

How different lives would be if only a few things had taken a different course. But reality deals with the choices we make—good and bad. After the pieces of bad decisions fall into place, God gives us the ability to forgive and accept the circumstances and consequences. At times it is more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others. Daughters of Northern Shores offers opportunities to forgive, regain trust, and right some wrongs. The characters hope lives are changed before tragedy strikes again.

I feel the pain of the brothers in these pages, torn apart by past decisions. The novel makes me wonder if there is a rift too wide to restore. These men and women face two choices—to forgive or to hold to the past, prolonging and widening the mistrust. What would I do? Is it too hard? Then, God reminds me how big He is.

About the Author

Bischof JoanneJoanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com; Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof; Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

 

More from Joanne

One of the questions I receive most often is “How do you get it all done?” As a single, homeschooling mom, I’ve long-since learned that there would be easier ways to have a day job than being an author, but God has been gracious in providing abundantly in so many areas. Here are four that I am most thankful for as I look back over the last few years, including this season of writing Sons of Blackbird Mountain and Daughters of Northern Shores.

Togetherness

Now, most authors would agree that “togetherness” isn’t exactly conducive to quality writing time – especially when kids are involved! And while I do need quiet focus to be able to work through a scene or chapter, what I’ve been thankful for is the chance to share story and research discoveries with my children. It’s created more unity around the stories. Instead of needing to usher the kids away, isolating them from the novels I’m writing, I’m able to invite them into them. For the Blackbird Mountain series, I walked them through the Pinterest boards, showing them the different characters. Then we did a history unit on Vikings since that’s the Norgaard Family’s background. We had a blast and it helped make “the story that Mom was working on”, something that they were more aware of and interested in. For my current work-in-progress, we just recently finished an all new history unit including visits to a few local museums and stories that the kids wrote on their own!

Patience

I used to want to write, write, write all the time. And often, that’s what I did! Well, I still would love to write as often as I can, but God has been teaching me something oh-so-important: patience. As part of this, I set aside certain parts of the week for writing office hours. These slots of writing time typically occur on Tuesday evenings, and include a few additional 1 ½ hours slots during the week, once homeschooling is done. In this manner, I am able to carve out some quiet writing time while still making sure the kids are having a great and productive day. But for any writer or working mom, we can agree . . . that’s not a lot of time when added up! In God’s wonderful provision, though, He seems to extend much richness to those little snatches of time. They might not be many, but they are mighty! It’s been a prayer of mine for several years now, that by keeping my writing below these other priorities, that God would help me fill in the cracks of time and energy—and He has been so faithful to supply. I still have my moments when I feel frazzled,  especially when deadlines are near, and that’s why I am thankful for this next lesson that God has been teaching me . . .

Communication

The thing about living with a writer, is that you often find them staring at a computer screen. That doesn’t look all that productive, does it? But what we’re doing on the other side of that screen is weaving a story-world of plot, characters, purpose, and heart. Typing words onto the page that we hope will touch lives, digging through old articles for research, or jotting down messy plotting notes that we pray will somehow amount to a story one day. By communicating with my kids (like sharing with them about the story and characters) I’m able to help them see what I’m doing and why. And since kids can be rambunctious and full of life (and questions, and needs for snacking, and ideas, and messes . . . *wink*) and since this writer works well with quiet, I have a little chalkboard that I hang on my doorknob when it’s one of my “office hour” slots. I jot down my start time and end time for that 1 ½ hour block, add a heart or smiley face, and often make note of what our next task will be like preparing a meal or doing an activity together. Then I shut my door and the little sign dangling from the knob outside helps the kids remember what I’m up to. It reminds them that I won’t be tucked away for long, but that I do need to focus for a little while. They’re always allowed to come knocking if a need arises, but for the most part, they’re happy on these afternoons with their own projects. When the hour or so is up, we reconvene and go back about our day, usually slipping into something fun that we do together. By having these slots of time in the week, and by communicating carefully with them in a way they can understand, it helps to bring us all what we need.

Grace

There are days when I blow it, and days when I need a lot of grace. Maybe I’ve spilled iced tea on one of the research books (don’t worry, this is a hypothetical example 😉 ) or maybe I didn’t save a scene properly, or just feel stuck and exhausted with a plot thread. These days can certainly tamper with the harmony, which begins with my heart and the need to remember the reason for why I write these stories: for God’s glory. When I begin to lose my calm, or grow frustrated or weary with the challenges afoot, I know it’s time to circle back to what it’s all for. It’s for the readers, it’s for my children, it’s for my joy, and most of all, it’s for God’s glory. By me being harried or stressed, very little of this is being accomplished! God has used the writing process to speak to my heart in ways that have reminded me of what I can surrender, and more and more of the ways that I can look to HIM for guidance. The lessons aren’t always easy, but through each season, and through each book, I have come to see more and more all the ways to be thankful.

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, August 13

Connect in Fiction , August 13

For the Love of Literature, August 13

Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , August 14

Through the Fire Blogs, August 14

Bigreadersite , August 15

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 15

Daysong Reflections, August 16

Living Life Free In christ, August 16

A Reader’s Brain, August 17

Texas Book-aholic, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 17

Inklings and notions , August 18

janicesbookreviews, August 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 19

LifeofLiterature, August 19

As He Leads is Joy, August 19

Thank you for stopping by. Leave any comments below.

 



			
					

Giveaway and Review–The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide FB banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

 About the Book

Book: The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical 

Release Date: July, 2019

The Awakening of Miss AdelaideOrphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare. The Great War—and the Great Influenza—knock, and Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials. 

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

 

Click here to grab your copy!

My Review

Linda Davis is a new author for me. I truly enjoyed Book Three of the Women of Rock Creek, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. As I entered the WWI war in Italy, I found myself questioning what I would have done with the fighting and seizing of property. Wouldn’t it have been devastating to watch men die as well as have your way of life wiped away.  I’m sure women like the heroine in this novel realized they had to search for meaning and a new place in the world where they would heal and remember the firm foundation of their past is still there underneath the rubble.

The injustices put forth in this novel through Adelaide’s life put fresh thoughts in my mind about modern-day injustices that many face every day. It might not be the poor handling of mental institutions but I’m sure I could create a list of things that need to be fixed right here in my hometown or state. But will I be as brave as the characters in this book? That’s something to think about. Also, an interesting observation circles around the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. What a difference from today!

Thank you for the challenge, Linda, to face this world’s injustices one by one.

About the Author

Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared, educated, and married in Texas. Her children Linda Brooks Davisand six grandchildren were born in Texas. She devoted the bulk of her 40 years as a special educator in Texas schools. But her mother and grandmother hailed from Oklahoma, the setting for Linda’s 2015 debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, which won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award and the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. Linda continues to write from her home in San Antonio, Texas. She and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church. Linda enjoys chatting with readers through her website www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

 

More from Linda

Awakening Miss Adelaide begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up grim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders.

My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest.

Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork?

Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself.

Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose the name McFarland to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life.

Sometimes research for a novel can feel like digging up bones. In a way, it is.

One such “bone” I got my teeth around and refused to let go was an article in a 1913 edition of Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It described a murder committed in the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. This violent act occurred in connection with an adulterous affair.

Consequently, heightened emotions, lowered common sense, and the control males exerted over females resulted in one man’s murder and the murderer’s acquittal. The “offending” woman’s husband dragged her home kicking and screaming and committed her to a mental asylum for “emotional insanity.”

wondered if the “offending” man had been treated in like manner. Hardly.

How could I NOT include this morass in a novel?

Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care.

With an abundance of love and respect for my great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all.

offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He sees fit. May this story inspired by the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load.

Blog Stops

Bettimace, August 10

Godly Book Reviews, August 10

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 10

Connect in Fiction, August 11

Mary Hake, August 11

Genesis 5020, August 12

Through the Fire Blogs, August 12

For Him and My Family, August 13

Just Your Average reviews, August 13

Life of a traveling wife, August 14

Connie’s History Classroom, August 14

Bigreadersite , August 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 15

Blessed & Bookish, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

CarpeDiem, August 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 18

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 19

Pause for Tales, August 20

For The Love of Books , August 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 21

Texas Book-aholic, August 21

janicesbookreviews, August 22

A Reader’s Brain, August 22

Inklings and notions, August 23

Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e682/the-awakening-of-miss-adelaide-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Walking Tour

IMG_4075Walking is one of my favorite pastimes whether for exercise or a stroll to check out new and old neighborhoods. What about you? Does the prospect of a walk send you searching for your walking/running shoes? When I travel, I enjoy setting off through the streets and paths of the area hoping to find something not overtly popular in a guidebook. And if there is time, getting “lost” is sometimes a pleasant use of time especially if it is in Venice, Paris, or any other interesting city or town. My husband is a master at leaving the tour and winding through the less traveled streets. One of my favorite memories is turning off the main passageway in Venice with a few hours to spare soaking up the ambiance of the neighborhoods with a few stops for gelato.

Before I write one of my historical novels, I wander the streets of the characters’ town and imagine walking in their footsteps, the ones taken two centuries before when life was a lot different. But still, they would have taken the same routes to take care of everyday chores and activities. I’ve spent many hours in Charleston, SC walking from my characters’ house to the wharf, church, mercantile, friends’ houses, Custom House, government buildings, etc. It gives me a sense of understanding their lives and actions better. The cobblestones are the same ones their feet had traveled.

I’m reading a fun little book I bought in Charleston this summer– Unplug Every Day. One of the suggestions is “Take a walking tour of your town.” What a great idea! Have you done that recently? Have you really looked at the sights that you see all the time? Think about the significance of the buildings, the landmarks, the plaques. Think about who lived in your town before you. This physical walk down memory lane is a great exercise that I plan to repeat more often.

When was the last time you walked the streets of your town with your eyes alert and focused?

 

Research for the soul…

IMG_0186Well, maybe not for every soul. But for me, research is a thrill. It always has been even way back in junior and senior high. I even went back to school for graduate work and concentrated on the areas of research. I thought about getting another masters degree in order to research some more. But, I stopped with my MA in English. After all, I can research on my own…whatever topic I want.

IMG_2093I’ve found many ways and places to satisfy my deep desire to learn something new or to delve into a topic whether for a new novel I’m writing or a new interest. The library is always a top choice–the smell of old books and the feel of aged paper as well as the thickness of the volume or the well-used softness of the paper. The internet offers many resources too. I’ve found recently that archives in state libraries and museums are an awesome source of information.

On my recent trip to Charleston, SC for research, I bought four new books–South Carolina and the American Revolution by John Gordon, The Life of General Francis Marion by P. Horry, Crescent Moon over Carolina by C.L. Bragg, and A Gallant Defense by Carl Borick. I take these books and a highlighter and read and read letting ideas form for a plot. My focus now is on 1777-1782 American Revolution in Charles Town. Whether nerdy or not, I must admit I love this part of writing. Even though I’m not finished with the research, I couldn’t wait to write the first paragraph. So, the novel writing process has commenced.

What are your feelings on research?