A Summer to Remember Black Horse Campground Mystery Blog Tour

The Black Horse Campground Mystery series by Amy M. Bennett has served as my introduction to  cozy mysteries! I’ll admit to being a book (or two) behind in the series (darn you, to-be-read pile!), but I’m eager to get caught up so that I can enjoy A Summer to Remember.

I love the campground setting, which lends itself to a cast of quirky characters, incorporating both locals and more transient types. The main characters are well-drawn, and discovering who they are is half the fun. The other half is trying to out-solve the sleuths by guessing whodunit before them. Continue reading

Becky Wade True to You Blog Tour

True to You by Becky Wade

I’m happy to host the blog tour for Becky Wade’s latest book:

True to You: A Bradford Sisters Romance

by Becky Wade, author at Litfuse Publicity

About the Book:

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another. Continue reading

Relevant Fiction Reviews: American Colonial Period

Relevant Fiction Reviews

I’ve always had an affection for American history, but as I’ve matured, I’ve grown to love it. (Don’t talk to me about European history. Kings, queens, blah, blah. It causes my eyes to roll to the back of my head.) The colonial era has long been my favorite, and I’d love to visit some of the historical locations so important to our nation’s founding.  Until then, I can read about them! Continue reading

In Honor of St. Dymphna: The King’s Prey by Susan Peek

St. Dymphna (the patron of those suffering from nervous and mental afflictions, whose feast day is today) and I go back to about 1996. I can’t recall when or how she first came to my attention. Did I look her up or stumble upon mention of her? I don’t honestly know.

It was about that time that I began to recognize my anxiety issues and learned what a panic attack was. (So, that’s what I’d been experiencing!)

My problem is relatively mild and fairly-well controlled these days. (I wrote about one aspect of my anxiety issues here.) It is not something I’ve ever felt the need to seek medical attention for. But it was enough to lead me to St. Dymphna. Continue reading

Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Edition

Blogging from A to Z April 2017 Challenge

Last month, for the first time, I participated in the Blogging From A to Z April (2017) Challenge. For each of the days in April (minus Sundays) you blog about a topic beginning with the day’s assigned letter. You’re encouraged to blog according to a chosen theme. Mine was my April book release, Rightfully Ours. You then share your posts on blogs and social media. (You can find the links to each of my  posts in my Letter Z post.) In early April, I realized I’d clearly over-extended myself. My book released April 1 and the Facebook launch party and blog tour soon followed. I had volunteer commitments to attend to, and my kids’ springtime sports and activities were gearing up. I persevered, and here are seven ways in which it benefited me. Continue reading

Home Sweet Home

On Saturday, my mom left the house she’s lived in since 1960. That’s 57 years in one home. She lived on the same property, different house, for six years before that. It’s the same property my father lived in for all of his 80 years, excepting his service in World War II.

That property and that home, will always be my first home. When I close my eyes, I can see the tree line towering over the valley where the two-story block and brick home is nestled. I know the pattern of the pink tile floor in the bathroom with its squares and rectangles. I can hear the sound the attic fan makes as it stirs to life. And, I know in exactly which parts of the yard the wild purple and white violets grow.Home Austen Quote

Continue reading

An Open Book

An Open Book CatholicMom

Welcome to the May 2017 edition of An Open Book, hosted both at My Scribbler’s Heart AND CatholicMom.com!

psalter for couplesDespite the many times over the past decades that my husband and I have been reminded couples should pray together, we’ve been horrible about doing it. As in, we almost never pray alone together. Meal time, yes. Bedtime with the kids, yes. But outside of attending Mass together, no routine prayer. To remedy that, when buying a wedding gift for my son’s teacher, I bought an additional copy of A  Psalter for Couples by Pierre-Marie Dumont. (Happy 20th Anniversary! To: Us, From: Us.) There are some recommendations in the back of the book for establishing weekly prayer time together that I will read more carefully, but for now, we’re selecting a psalm to read together each night after all of the kids go to bed. It’s a beautiful hardback book with gold trim and red ribbons. It makes a lovely gift (even if it’s to yourself).

AaroI’ve been working my way through Dana Pratola’s Descended Series using my free monthly loan from the Kindle Lending Library via Amazon Prime. Last week, I read Aaro (Descended Book #3). As the series progresses, more of the nature of the brotherhood of Jett, Sebastian, and now, Aaro, is divulged. Their supernatural abilities suggest a quasi-angelic nature, which I expect will be more fully revealed in the final book as the prophecy regarding these men, all dedicated to defending and protecting women (and extraordinarily good-looking, to boot) is realized. FYI – The books are tagged as “not your mother’s Christian fiction,” and they are not. Particularly in this third book, there’s quite a bit of sexual tension and sensuality.

True to YouAs soon as I finish a couple of advance copies of forthcoming books from friends, I’m looking forward to diving into Becky Wade’s new novel, the first in the Bradford Sisters series, True to You. You can get a jumpstart on the new characters by downloading (for FREE!) the prequel novella, Then Came You. I’m eager to participate in the Facebook Release Party for True to You tomorrow night, May 4, at 8 p.m. EDT and then host a spot on the book’s blog tour later this month!

outsidersNow that my oldest son has finished reading The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton with his eighth grade class, I’m ready to re-watch the movie with him. I’m only slightly embarrassed to say that there was a time circa 1984 when I could recite the movie dialogue pretty much line for  line. I may also have had pictures of the cast members taped to my bedroom walls. I knew the book inside and out, too.

White FangThe other book he’s finishing is White Fang by Jack London. When I asked what his favorite part of  the book was, I got a smart aleck answer regarding White Fang ripping something or someone apart, so I’m just going to spare you recounting those details. I’ve never read Jack London’s books, and my son really enjoyed both White Fang and Call of the Wild, which I’ve been trying to sneak in between other books.

Trixie Belden Glen RoadMy third grader is back into the Trixie Belden series since I supplemented the library’s collection by buying her a used copy of a book the library doesn’t carry. She’s reading Trixie Belden #5 The Mystery off Glen Road as well as 7 Riddles to Nowh7 Riddles to Nowhereere by A.J. Cattapan. I think of 7 Riddles to Nowhere as sort of a National Treasure for kids. So far, she’s only asked me about a single character in the book, one whose inclusion is maybe my favorite thing about this novel – Old Man Englebert. Having been a bit awed by people who had electronic voice boxes when I was a kid, Kam’s  (the protagonist, who suffers from selective mutism) horror/fascination with Old Man Englebert was among my favorite parts of the story.

Harry MaclaryThe little kids are back in story time at our local library, so we’ve been reading a couple of their selections. I really enjoy reading aloud Hairy Maclary’s Bone by Lynley Dodd. I’m partial to rhyming books, as is my little girl. This is a fun story of a dog who manages to outwit a group of other dogs coveting his delicious butcher’s bone. The varied dogs in the illustrations as well as the predicaments that prevent them from stealing Hairy’s bone are fun to look at.

Squirrel ParkMy cynical self is less thrilled with Squirrel Park by Lisa Campbell Ernst. A kid and his squirrel friend must prevent the boy’s overbearing father from creating a dull park and removing their beloved tree. When it looks like the mean dad is going to get his way, the squirrel resorts to ecoterrorism and gnaws his tools. Whatever. The kids will like the pictures, and who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful park with a big, old tree? I’m just a wee bit tired of the evil capitalist/anti-nature trope. (Even the School Library Journal called it “a bit heavy-handed.”)

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Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World Blog Tour

Fatima book cover

I’m happy to host the blog tour for Jean M. Heimann’s latest book:

Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World

About the Book:

Fatima. Few place-names in the Christian world conjure up such powerful images and associations as that of this humble town in Portugal. For it was there that Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children beginning in 1917 apparitions that are intimately linked to pious Catholic practices such as devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the five first Saturdays, daily recitation of the Rosary with the Fatima prayer, as well as miracles attested to even by non-believers, such as the day the sun danced. The Virgin’s message, as it always is, was penance. But she also predicted world historical events such as the rise and fall of communism, the second world war, and the attempted assassination of Pope St. John Paul II. She promised refuge in her Immaculate Heart to all who approach her – a promise extended, and urgently needed, today. Continue reading