Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Deals!

The Lost Heiress is the first book in the Ladies of the Manor series. Learn more about the story HERE.

The ENTIRE Culper Ring Series is on sale! YAY! Learn more about the series HERE.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Word of the Week - Hose

I know, I know. This seems like a strange choice of word for me to look up. 😉 But I had a moment last week when I was wondering how long the garden-hose type of thing had been in use, so I looked it up. As I do. And then was kind of amazed by the answer!

Hose first meant "a covering for the legs." As early as the 13th century, hose were a common article of clothing, especially for men. They could be woven or of leather, have feet or not. We know them today as tights or leggings, but those hose of old would have been much thicker than the nylons some women still wear (though I usually eschew them, LOL).

In the Middle Ages, the word began to be applied to other things that resembled a stocking, like a sheath or a husk of a grain. So where did the garden-hose sense of things come in? And why?

The etymology site doesn't explain the "why" clearly, but it did mention that one of the roots of the word--the Dutch hoos--not only meant "leg covering" but "waterspout." I wonder if this dual meaning had something to do with the additional meaning the word gained in English.

Regardless a "flexible rubber tube used to convey liquid" has been around since the mid 1300s! I had no idea it was that old. Hence why I had to share. 😉

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thoughtful About . . . Christian Suffering

In a move strange to fiction-loving me, much of my recent reading (or listening, as the case may be) has been of non-fiction. I've already written about my thoughts on the importance of having heroes in our lives, inspired by The Closing of the American Mind by Allen Bloom. I've also been listening to a really amazing book about living a creative life, Big Magic. (Warning on that one--it has some language. But if you can overlook the occasional F-bomb, it also has some really interesting and unique views on our creativity.)

But in both of these books, my dander was raised by nearly throw-away lines that demonstrated how each author fundamentally misunderstands the core of Christianity. Without quoting either Bloom or Gilbert directly, both made the assertion that the reason Christianity was flawed and even dangerous is the fixation on suffering. Both seemed to imply that Christians desire suffering--that we all have a martyr complex, thinking that by suffering we earn our reward.

I'm a bit baffled by this. First, is this really what most people think about our faith? That we just love to be miserable? And if it is...WHY? Where are the throw-away lines about the Christian JOY? The Christian PEACE? The Christian LOVE?

My friends, if we're known for our suffering instead of those things, then we are doing something wrong.

Because yes, suffering is a part of Christianity. But we are not--or should not be--taught that our own suffering is necessary in order to achieve salvation. We are--or should be--taught that when we suffer, which is inevitable, Jesus will be there with us. That through His suffering, ours has already been paid. Because he willingly took that for us.

The beauty of Christian suffering is that we can rise above it, through Him. That we can sit in a prison in chains and sing for joy. That we can lose everything the world says should matter and rejoice in all He's given. That we know where true value lies and that nothing the world throws at us can strip us of that ultimate gift. 

The misconception seems to be that we seek pain, trials, hardship, and agony because we think that without it, there is no joy. I wonder who these authors knew that believed this. I'm sure there were people. I certainly know of fictional ones who fell into this trap. One of L.M. Montgomery's neighbor characters (whose name I'm drawing a blank on). Dorothea from Middlemarch. I'm sure there are plenty of others, and I'm sure they're based on reality.

But I so want to talk to these two authors I've been reading and say, "Oh, man. Look. Suffering is at the heart of Christianity, yes--because suffering is inevitable in life. But we don't seek it. He already did, so that we don't have to. We seek Him, and what we find is that those dark parts of life aren't so dark anymore."

And I am so, so sad that this is what thinkers, people who actually give the subject thought, not assumption, come away with. I'm sad because that means that the Christians they know have shown them this untruth. That we're preaching pain instead of joy without actions. That we're showing loss instead of gain. That the world thinks we're dangerous, not because we oppose the evil they might love, but because we're coming off as self-destructive.

Yes, Christ calls us to suffer for Him. As in, when we suffer--which we will--make sure it's for a good cause and not a bad one. If we're going to be accused, be accused of being a Christian, not a criminal. If we're going to be persecuted, let it be because we've gone toe-to-toe with evil, not because we're filled with hatred. Suffering is assumed for all--we're just supposed to make ours count and have joy in the face of it.

I pray that if any of these thinkers come in contact with me, their throw-away lines in their next best-selling books won't be about how people of faith have a martyr complex. It'll be how people of faith sure do exemplify what it means to seek the good with a joy that goes beyond logic.

Let's show the world that we're not about clinging to pain. We're about walking in love.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Word of the Week - $ and Dollar

This one is yet again at the request of my kids, who asked why in the world we abbreviate "dollar" with $. (They also asked why they sometimes have one line through it and other times two.)

So...though it has been suggested by some historians that the $ is related to the 8, for the Spanish pieces of eight that were frequently used as currency in Ye Olde Days, the more accepted history is that it's in fact from the peso, which we also used before the Revolution. Peso was abbreviated with a capital P and then a superscript S. In handwriting, people began to write the two letters overtop each other. And so it evolved as in the diagram below.

By why do some dollar signs have two lines? The theory is that it used to be to differentiate the US dollar. Given that $ was already in use by then, the two lines are thought to have once formed a U. Also in the diagram below.

These began to appear in handwriting in the 1770s and in print in the early 1800s.
Image by JesperZedlitz

So where did the word dollar itself come from? It's from Flemish daler, which is short for Joachmistaler, which was a coin mined from the silver in Joachimstal, Bohemia. Daler was borrowed as a term for coins used in both Spanish and British colonies in the Americas during the Revolution and became the official US currency in the late 1700s.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Back to School Reads & SALE!

Whether you are going back to school as a student, as a mom, as a homeschool mom...Or you are simply savoring the sweet change of seasons...we all could use an excuse for a new book right????

Here are a couple NEW releases that you won't want to pass up this Autumn! While I have yet to read these books myself, they have come highly recommended. However, I will be reading Hidden Among the Stars with my book club in a couple of months.

Don't forget to check out the sale info below!

Hidden Among the Stars
by Melanie Dobson

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love. (Goodreads)

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
by Anne Bogel

For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them.

I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone's life, I'd Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover. (Goodreads)

All Made Up
by Kara Isaac

Everyone thinks Katriona McLeod is living the dream. Her professional career as a makeup artist sees her traveling the world working with the stars and she's got no shortage of men wanting her affection. Only problem is she's never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she's ever loved. When she accepts a job on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she's cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it. 

Caleb Murphy couldn't care less about C-Class celebrity fame or reality TV and he certainly doesn't believe it could lead him to love. The one thing he does care about is fulfilling his mother's last wish. Kat's presence on the show seems to offer up a solution that will make both the network and his mother happy. It might have been almost ten years since they split but he knows he can trust her with his plan. Just as long as he doesn't fall in love all over again with the woman who will never stay. (Goodreads)

Book Sale!

Celebrate Back-to-School with a special discount. Use promo code "school2018" and receive 25% off your book purchase. Valid 9/15/2018 - 9/30/2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Greater Than Gold - Secrets of Wayfarers Inn – Book 4

A little while back you may remember that I shared some book info about the series I am a part of through Guidepost. Exciting news! My first story in the series is now available! YAY! Greater Than Gold is the fourth book in this series and you can find purchase info below! There are 8 other authors contributing to this series, so make sure you check out their books as well. 😉

About the Book
Wayfarers Inn finally opens, just in time for Marietta’s biggest tourist draw, the Sternwheel Festival. But LuAnn, Janice, and Tess’s excitement is tempered when the inn’s ancient elevator breaks down—and handyman Tory Thornton goes missing, leaving a bloody rag behind. When LuAnn finds a valuable and long-missing bracelet in Thorn’s toolbox, suspicions mount—as do the suspects. Has Thorn run off with a treasure that had been hidden in the inn centuries before . . . or has an old enemy caught
up with him? 

As LuAnn and her friends seek to learn more about the bracelet, and how it ended up at the inn, they uncover a tale of theft, betrayal, and sacrifice that dates to the Civil War. As the clues pile up, both for and against Thorn, and hidden pieces of his past come to light, the friends find themselves asking the age-old question: How well do you ever really know someone? And how do you ever know what to believe about the people you think you know?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Giveaway! A Heart's Revolution...Is on AUDIO!

The moment we have been waiting for is finally here!

A Heart's Revolution is now available on AUDIOBOOK! And I am giving away a couple copies!!! All you need to do is COMMENT on this post! Please leave your email address so that I have a way to contact you if you are one of the winners! 

Giveaway will be open 9/11/18 - 9/17/18 11:59pm EDT. Winner will be chosen via Random.org from the list of those who leave comments. Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited.

You can find a list of retailers on my website

Happy Reading!