Thursday, April 26, 2007


I long for a little glamour at the moment. I realize how much I have to be grateful for, how blessed and even spoiled I am, but right now I'd like to have a little quiet. One thing going on the fritz at a time, thank you very much.

It started with the hot water heater pipe springing a leak, and draining under the house...

...the pump did its thing, forcing countless gallons from under our house and out into the yard...

And then, the same week, the washer went caput...

Thankfully, it was just a broken plunger in the lid switch. One switch kit later ($29) and after some help from our buddy Mr. Muller ($10), we were back in business after four days without a washer and two teenagers.

AND during this same week, we discovered that the electric to the A/C compressor outside won't work. We think it might have had something to do with the water under the house zapping a connection somewhere. But the A/C guy looked at it, and said the electrician needed to check our breaker box.

However, we've known this breaker box has needed upgrading. We need to do it we can get our A/C back, among other things.

I'm praying for this kind of peace in the midst of aggravation:

I love Schatze. She is a dear, sweethearted cat. They say cats lounge like this when they know they're safe and secure. Not a care in the world. I need that kind of peace!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sneak Peek: A Big Apple Christmas

Okay, so it's not exactly the Christmas season, but I noticed that Amazon has the cover up for A Big Apple Christmas, which releases in September 2007. Again, Barbour has done a bang-up job on the cover. I love it!

Another inspiration for that Christmas feeling is the fact that we've had SNOW here in Texas. Yes, snow! The day before Easter, even.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Valley of Betrayal ~ by Tricia Goyer

Every once in a while I like to feature an author and their book, and today it's Tricia Goyer with her latest release, AValley of Betrayal.

I love historical fiction...done well, and this story pulled me into its images, sounds, scents, and textures. Sophie, a young American with romance in her heart and stars in her eyes, arrives in 1930s Spain and her journey is very different than she imagined. I became immersed in the story of the Spanish people--on both sides of the conflict--and the Americans and others who must make difficult choices as they struggle just to survive.

Tricia's research is impeccable and thorough. If you're aspiring to write historical fiction of any kind, you need to check this book out. Read it first to experience the story as a reader, and then go back and take notes.

A Valley of Betrayal brings to life a story not often told. At first I didn't know there was such a thing as the Spanish Civil War, nor did I know its impact on Europe afterwards. The book left me anticipating what comes next.

One of the challenges historical writers face is finding something "new" to write about. those of us who like to write historical novels should, like Tricia, keep our ears open for that something new. Chances are if it's new to us, it'll be new to someone else. Then we need to listen for the characters that emerge from history, and tell their stories. Right now I'm researching what I think will be a unique historical novel. I hope my research and storytelling are as well-crafted and thought-out as Tricia's work in A Valley of Betrayal.

The Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series, I believe, will give readers the something new they're looking for. If you get the chance, pick this book up!