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Showing posts from January, 2020

Happy Birthday, Kansas!

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If you've been my reader for more than a few days, you know by now that I'm a Kansan girl through and through. I've lived in Kansas the majority of my life, and have traveled around much of the state. I look for excuses to take pictures of sunflowers and honey bees, and get a special sort of thrill when I see a herd of bison. Yep, Kansas has seeped into my very being, and quite often seeps into my writing.

When I wrote the Charming Academy series, the stories were meant to take place in a fantasy version of our world, way, way back when. So while Kansas couldn't be a location, it certainly inspired the rolling plains of Lictthane, where Moira and Adrian grew up, and the dangerous tornado which prolongs Lucian's stop in the province.

But as for my contemporary works, Kansas has quite often appeared as part of the setting. Almost a Fairy Tale never specifically states it, but I've always imagined that the story took place on the eastern side of Kansas.

Oh, Snap!,…

Dumplings and Dynamite - A Book Review

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I promised you romance readers that my reviews wouldn't just be fantasy, and today I'm here to prove it!

I received an advanced copy of Shanna Hatfield's newest (and by newest, it released just yesterday) book, Dumplings and Dynamite. If you are a historical romance reader, pay attention! This book was fabulous!

So, I'll just start out by saying the Baker City Brides series by Shanna is my absolute favorite of her series. Not only are the titles unique and memorable (the series begins with Crumpets and Cowpies), but the stories are wonderfully told. The series is set in historic Baker City, Oregon during the later half of the Victorian era. The research behind each book is visible in the rich details of the city, and how the characters dress, speak, and act. Along with the wonderful human characters, precious animal sidekicks often steal the show with their sweet little personalities, making you wish for the ability to travel in time just to meet them.

Dumplings and Dy…

Determination to Find Solutions

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It's been a tough week, readers. And not necessarily because of any one thing. I've been struggling to get a good sleep pattern going thanks to a toddler who is transitioning from a daily afternoon nap to no nap. Which essentially boils down to when he's up past ten or eleven (because he crashed for a three hour nap at three), I'm up past ten or eleven. On top of the lack of sleep, it's been a gray and dreary week. As much as I love the fuzzy blankets, cozy sweaters, and quiet peace of winter, I miss the sunshine of spring and summer.

If you look at my house based on the original design, my office is put in what used to be a bedroom, but was converted into a walk in closet and essentially hallway into the master bedroom when it was added on. There are no windows, and the windows in the master bedroom are north and west facing. The west facing window is blocked by the garage. Yeah, I know, not the best or smartest design in the world by any means. And I can happily …

Labyrinth of Shadows - A Book Review

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One of my goals this year is to actually read all of the Fellowship of Fantasy book club books this year. Which, by the way, if you are one of my fantasy readers and you haven't joined yet, do so now! Great books, opportunities to chat with wonderful indie authors, giveaways, parties, and lots of fun await you there. Anyway, back to the blog. Last year I did pitifully, completing only two of the books, even though the majority had already been on my to be read pile. Embarrassing? Yeah, pretty much. Especially since we all know I love a good fantasy. But, I figure if I tell you now in January that I'm going to start regularly blogging about the books I read, that ought to hold me at least a little accountable. And don't worry, romance fans, I'll be reading and reviewing lots of romances this year too.

So without further ado, my first book of the year is Labyrinth of Shadows by Kyla Stone.

Oh. My. Goodness! If you like Greek mythology, you need this book. Just trust me, …

Determination to Start Again

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We're a week into the New Year, and I don't know about you, but I've broken every single one of my "resolutions". Hard. They're shattered. Beyond redemption...

Or are they?

I've learned a lot of lessons over the years, and one of the lessons I've learned is that it's a million times harder to break a bad habit than to start a good one.

It's why my nails have been bitten down to nearly nothing. It's why I stuck a frozen pizza and chicken nuggets in the oven instead of following my menu plan. It's why I didn't finish my novel until this afternoon, instead of this past weekend as I'd hoped.

Bad habits are tough to break. And so when we come to New Year and we make all those vain promises to ourselves, the reality is we're going to fall. We're going to break those resolutions. Some might not even last the entire first day of the year, while others might possibly make it a few weeks in. But the sad truth is, most of us are …

Thoughts from the Hallway

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Some Sundays, going to church is easy. It's not even a choice I really have to think about. Of course I'm going to go to church. I want the time with other adults, and truthfully I look forward to the time nourishing my soul.

And some Sundays, going to church is hard. When the children refuse to get dressed, when tantrums abound, when I wake up too late for the shower I know I should take. All the reasons, all the excuses you can think of. I've experienced them. I've felt them deep to my soul.

Yet most Sundays, despite the excuses, I go anyway. I force a smile on my face, I herd my children to the car, and I make the thirty minute drive to the church building desperately trying not to lose my temper with the screaming children behind me. Most often, within a few moments of pulling into the parking lot, I feel my mood improve. My troublesome children joyfully enter the building, the tantrums and arguments of earlier forgotten. No one comments on my lackluster hair, or …