Monday, January 31, 2011

Word of the Week - Macaroni

Yes, you read the title right. Today I'm bringing to you an enlightening treatise on the word "macaroni." =)

Now, in my house "macaroni" is synonymous with "the most common food to be found, because it's the only thing my kids are 100% guaranteed to eat." But as with all things we take for granted, there was once a day when it was new. Rare. Fashionable, even.

Back in the 18th century, Italian foods were just beginning to make their way into British society, and they were all the rage. One of the most loved was macaroni--and it was so stylish a dish that an entire club was formed around the it. The Macaroni Club was quickly known for their dedication to fashion and style . . . a dedication which soon went into dandy-ism (which is to say, over the top).

At that point, "macaroni" became an adjective meaning something like "a style befitting a dandy."

And so Yankee Doodle finally, FINALLY makes sense! Ever wonder why the dude in the song "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni"? Well, there you go. He wasn't calling the feather pasta, which was what I thought at age 6 when I learned the song (yes, I thought we were singing about some delusional guy, LOL), he was calling the hat stylish. Even dandy.

Only took me 22 years to figure THAT one out! =)

So enjoy your macaroni, folks. And know that back in the day, it was not just kids' food.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Praise

There are days when my prayers are all supplication. When I barely remember to thank the Lord for anything before launching into my litany of things I need His help with. Most days, I try to balance it out, to start and end my prayer time with thankfulness, with worship, and to put into the middle my requests.

On Monday, I had the joy of getting so caught up in praising my God that I felt no need to talk to Him about my requests, because I knew that through that communion, my heart had been laid bare. He had heard all the cries of my heart, that gave tenor to the praise of my lips. It's been a long while since my private prayers were so . . . joyful, and for no reason. I didn't sit down thinking, "I'm just gonna praise the Lord today." I sat down with that list of prayer requests in mind. But then I started thanking Him for all He is to me, and, well . . .

I wanted to share some of my reflections that I wrote down, simply because we can never praise Him enough.

~*~

You are faithful . . . just yet merciful. You are awesome beyond compare, yet humble enough to become man. You orchestrate all of history, yet still care to number the  hairs on my head. How infinite you are, O Lord my God, in every direction! You fill me to bursting with love for you, with amazement at your glory. You hear every cry of my heart, even if my lips can't give it utterance. You hear, and you respond in ways I cannot see.

How often we ask to see--yet could our mortal eyes, our finite minds ever contemplate the vastness of your hand? We look for reason in the coporeal, yet never could we truly understand all that lies beneath.

O Lord, my Lord, I worship you and adore you. I adore you for all you are that I cannot comprehend, and I praise you for the glimpses you reveal to me!

And I am humbled to think that though I might give you my all, it is nothing. Nothing compared to what youetdo, what you orchestrate, what you give for me. I am nothing. You you love me enough to be my God and Father. I am a speck. Yet you created this universe and placed me just so within it, with loving care. You hold everything in the palm of your hand, yet you give me the will to choose my own path, my own way.

I want your path, my Lord! I want The Way, Yahweh. I want to walk only beside your footprints, I want to pull only so far as I can go and still be holding tight to your hand. I want to warm myself by the light of your countenance and bathe your feet with my tears. I want to give you all and praise you for leaving me, not with nothing, but with arms open and able to embrace you and your children.

Show me what you have for me, Lord, so that I might blow away the chaff and better serve you. Hew me, chisel me, refine me. Polish me, O God. Shine through me. Shine so hotly that the impurities are incinerated. Shine so brightly that I'm blinded to all but you.

Thank you, Father. Thank you for all, for every. Thank you for knowing, and for doing. Thank you for ministering to this pathetic woman on this cold morning and filling me to overflowing . . .

With you. Always, only with you.

Amen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember When . . . It Was Fun to Discover Facts?

This is actually a post I created for Inkwell Inspirations, which went up yesterday. I had fun chatting with the inkies about it, and though I've already done something very similar to this here one Wednesday . . . well, the snow's coming down and the inspiration for the next chapter in my current story is stirring, so I'm cheating. ;-)

~*~

I love history. For as long as I can remember, I would sink my teeth into each detail I learned, and usually gnaw on it until it turned into a story in my mind. One of the things I love most about the Old Testament is the history it brings to us. Better still? When third-party history and archaeological evidence backs up the Bible stories I've heard since I was a child.

One of my favorites was always Esther. Last winter I was thinking about how I'd love to write a novel about Esther—yet my style isn't to use real people as my main character, it's to explain real events through fictional characters. Now how, I wondered, could I do that with the story of Esther? I was standing in the shower when it came to me—Esther was one of many young women brought to the king. What about the other wives?

As the idea brewed, I got out my study Bible and got a few facts straight. Like, you know, which king of Persia this was. I found that historians can't quite agree on this. Some insist it's Xerxes, others Artaxerxes, some pose others altogether. I like the arguments put forth for it being Xerxes, so I ran with that one with quite a bit of excitement—see, I already knew something about Xerxes. In college we had to read Herodotus's Histories, which details the Greco-Persian war and so the king who waged it.

 Over the course of a few weeks, I reread Esther for the umpteenth time and reread the Histories, taking notes like crazy. Brought in some other historical data too, of course, and watched some documentaries on Persia. And you know what? The way it all clicked made me giddy.

In the book of Esther, the king is absent from the main story much of the time and seems fairly distant when he is there. We get only a few glimpses into his character—he had a temper on him, he was a fan of beautiful women (shocking, right?), and he was generous with those in his favor and impatient with those who weren't. Can the same be said of every king? Er, no, not actually.
In Herodotus, we get to know Xerxes pretty well. He's beloved by his people to the point of being revered as a god, though they were in a fact a monotheistic society. He was a man of passion and temper, who ordered people executed left and right when he was in a rage and offered them cities as rewards left and right when he was happy. And some of the things he's most remembered for are his affairs, one of which led to the deaths of a few of his closest family members.

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too.

A few other facts snapped into place so beautifully that I became really convinced it was Xerxes in Esther. First of all, the timing. If you line up the events of Esther with the events of Xerxes' reign recorded by Herodotus and Persian historians, you get a few really cool clicks. First, that 180-day-long feast, where Vashti of the Bible refuses to come before his guests in her crown? That would have been when all the nobles were gathered to plan out the war. And the queen would have been about 8 months pregnant with her final child—pretty good excuse not to want to go before all the men in the empire and be judged for your beauty, eh?

There's a three-year gap between when Vashti is dethroned and when new young women are brought to the palace. Did it really take the king that long to cool off and think, “Gee, I better name a new queen?” Well, sure—because that's when he was at war! Pretty neat, huh? Herodotus has him arriving back in Susa (Shushan) within months of when the new virgins were scouted.

Maybe to some these things are small, but to the historical novelist, they're like candy. I had so, so much fun combining two history sources into one story—and yes, explaining it all through a fictional character. See, in my version, Kasia is the real reason the queen is deposed (let it be noted that Esther never says she's put to death, though that's the common notion). She's the reason for much of what happens during the war. And she's the unifying force behind the scandalous affair mentioned above and the arrival of new potential queens at the House of Women.

Because, you see, she was the one who held Xerxes' heart all along. And when a king with countless wives places his heart into the hands of a poor Jewish girl, trouble is bound to brew.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Story Time . . . first glimpse of LADY IN THE MIST

I was very excited yesterday. My hubby brought up the mail, and in it was a book from Revell. I get a ton of books from Baker Publishing Group, but I knew as soon as I saw the envelope what this one was, solely because other influencers on the list for the particular book had begun receiving theirs.

And I was right! I opened it and pulled out Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes, which I have been eagerly looking forward to reading for, like, ever. Laurie Alice let our historical group in on its inception as soon as she sold it to Revell, and we've gotten to travel this journey with her. So you can imagine how touched our whole group was when we open the book to see she dedicated it to us, the HisWriters.

I only had a few minutes of reading time last night, but I carried her book with me all afternoon as I was out doing errands, just in case there were a few minutes of unexpected down time. I only managed to squeeze in two chapters last night, but that was enough to hook me.

Here's the back cover blurb: 

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.
By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?
With stirring writing that puts readers directly into the story, Lady in the Mist expertly explores themes of identity, misperception, and love's discovery. 

And here's what I already love about it:
From the get-go, you get a taste of the suspense. A woman who dies under suspicious circumstances, a stranger run into the shadows, a knife to the throat.

Already there's wit and banter. The first exchange between mysterious hero and weary heroine is enough to make one's heart flutter. I mean, he jests about her being a mermaid. How much more awesome can you get?

The characters are already engaging and lovable. 

I can't wait to read more, and I'll give you a full review of the book next week, but I was too excited to wait. =) Lady in the Mist is a book I know already will go on my favorites list, and Laurie Alice will be here to talk about it in February. Yay!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Word of the Week - Pedestrian

While I'm far, far away from working on modern books, I thought I'd introduce a new feature on Mondays for now. Actually, I owe the idea to two Facebook friends, who responded to one of my word-nerd moments with the thought that I should do a word-a-day on my blog. The concept stuck with me and turned into once a week in my little brain.

So my first word of the week is . . .

Pedestrian.

Why, you ask? We all know what pedestrian means. We all know both its meanings. Sure.

But here's the curiosity. Did you know (which you obviously do if you saw my Facebook status last Tuesday) that the meaning of pedestrian that means dull, prosaic predates the meaning of walking on foot/one who travels on foot?

I had no idea. I would have thought the walker definition came first, given that "pedestrian" is from peds, which means foot. But no. Apparently it came into being first in 1716 in reference to literature, which, if it was "of the foot" was therefore as opposite "of the mind" as a piece of writing could get, LOL. It was also well contrasted with "equestrian," and we all know horses were considered a noble pursuit at the time. Hence why, by 1791, it took a literal turn.

See, you learned something. =) Come back next week for a fascinating look into the history of "macaroni." ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Friend Ronie - Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm happy to welcome Ronie Kendig to the blog to talk about her latest romantic suspense. It sounds awesome, so y'all are in for a treat!

Ronie has been kind enough to offer a giveaway, too. So as usual, to be entered please leave a comment below with an email address where I can reach you in the event that you win.

~*~

About Ronie


Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat, married a veteran, and they now have four children and a Golden Retriever. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Ronie lives in the Dallas/Ft Worth her family and their pets, Daisy, a Golden Retriever and Helo, the Maltese Menace.


~*~

What's your latest book?

Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2) was released January 1 from Barbour Publishing. Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives is at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?


Oo, sounds intriguing! What's your favorite part of the story?

Oh man, that’s. . .hard. I can’t give away the story. . .but there are so many favorites parts, too. I guess one aspect that I loved in this book was Colton’s relationship with his family, especially his daughter. That’s pivotal. I loved writing the scene in the mall when his daughter vanishes.


We authors are such strange folk, delighting in making terrible things happen to our beloved characters, LOL. What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

I’ve spent the last week reading Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Fascinating story and read. I have a stack of books sitting next to me that are champing at the bit for me to read: Decision Points by George W. Bush, Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card, and Valley of the Shadow by Tom Pawlik. That’s not counting the dozens more that I have.

I just read Pathfinder! It was fabulous. We ordered his other new release too. =) Lost Gate, I believe. Anyway. While we're on the topic of books . . . Other than the Bible, what's your favorite of all the books you've ever read?

It would definitely have to be The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis because that book radically changed my mind and life.


I've yet to read those, though several friends have recommended them. One of these days . . . Okay, so what's one of the oddest or most interesting things someone has ever said about you?

Years ago, at a small group meeting, we had to write something about those around us on 3X5 cards. One friend wrote that “Ronie is sweet. . .and unassuming.” Sweet? Well, if you insist, but the “unassuming” stopped me cold. I had to ask my husband what that meant to him, and when he explained, I realized. . .she’s right. But I’d never really thought about that, and it blessed me that someone would notice such a small thing about me.


Awwww. Any funny family stories about living with a writer?

It was the night when Brian and I were flat broke but managed to scrape up a smidge to go out for a CHEAP dinner date. We were sitting there in the restaurant, and he mumbled something that threw my mind back into my story... I have no idea how long I sat there, staying off into space before he said, "I've lost you, haven't I?"  I felt HORRIBLE. Our first night out in eons and I spent it with my characters. *blush* I apologized profusely, but he laughed, said he loved that I loved writing so much.

Another awwwwww. Aren't those supportive hubbies grand? =) Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

Yes, absolutely! In July, the third installment of the Discarded Heroes will release—Wolfsbane. Then in January, the final book releases, Firethorn.


Can I just say I love your titles? =) Okay, one final question. Is there another author who has greatly influenced your writing?

This question brings warmth to my heart just thinking about my mentor, John Olson. He plucked “me” from an entry in the Genesis contest—before it was called the Genesis. I didn’t final that year, but John sought me out, befriended me, and told me he wanted to be my advocate. He has such a passionate heart for writers, and such a very gentle soul. But he’s wildly creative and sometimes, he just blows my mind with the way his works. He has not only encouraged me, but championed me in so many ways. I would *not* be where I am without John’s help (through the Lord, of course). He’s become like a big brother to me. If you haven’t read his books—Shade, Powers, Fossil Hunter, Oxygen, Fifth Man—take a moment to do so. He’s amazing and so very brilliant!

~*~

Thanks for visiting, Ronie! Everyone, you can get her books at Amazon or CrossPurposes. And check out her website at http://www.roniekendig.com/.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Chance of winning depends on number of entries. Contest ends 1/28/11. Winner will have two weeks to claim prize.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winner!

And the winner of the Karen Kingsbury omnibus is . . .

Kelly Massman! (kmassman@ . . .)

Congrats, Kelly! I'm emailing you now.
(This drawing was a combination of entries from my blog and the Christian Review of Books)

Thoughtful About . . . Holding On

Does anyone like to wait? I don't think I've ever met such a crazy person. I'm not talking about being patient in a long line or restraining yourself from honking your horn in traffic. I'm talking being really, truly joyful as you put down the phone or close out the email that said, "Not yet. I know you've been anxious, but not yet."

It's hard. When you've been looking forward to something, when your hopes rest in a possibility . . . it's hard when that possibility remains just out of reach.

Hard--but that doesn't mean it's cause for discouragment.

I don't find it a coincidence that so many of the devotionals and inspirational quotes I've read in the past year deal with waiting, with resting, with that lull between times of action. And all the messages are the same: we might get impatient, but this is the time when God's preparing us for what's to come. This is the time when He's building our roots before visible growth, when the waters are gathering beneath the surface before the wave breaks. This is a blessing. This is rest--if only we can sit back and let Him rejuvenate us instead of stressing out about it.

This came up again for me yesterday because, within an hour, we got two big "Not yet" answers. The first was concerning a publishing proposal. It wasn't a No, it wasn't even a "maybe at some far distant time." It was instead a request that I finish up, send it to her when it's finished, but don't kill myself over pace in the meantime, and a promise of an answer in March. In some ways, this is the best possible news, because I need to take a few days from writing to get editing done here real soon, and I hadn't felt I had the freedom to do that. So it's good . . . even if it leaves me with a bit of ennui over yet another Not yet.

The second was concerning our church. We've been renting a building we share with other groups since our inception, and it's not really working anymore. But our hunts for a place of our own kept turning up empty. We recently found a building we feel can work, everything was chugging along . . . then we get the email saying, "I think it'll still go through, but not yet. We have to check on XYZ first."

It would be easy to toss our hands into the air and say, "Fine! Okay, God! You're not smoothing every bump, so fine, we'll just give up!"

But that's not right. When God calls us to leave something behind, he fills us with peace about it. He breathes excitement into us about the new path he wants us on. Never, never does He work through discouragement. Never, never does He work through destruction. He is a builder. He edifies, He encourages. If we get discouraged by minor setbacks that isn't Him telling us to quit. That's someone else entirely.

No, God isn't into tearing us down when we seek him. But sometimes, because He sees a lot farther into the future than we can (like, all the way), He makes us wait just a bit longer than we wanted. Maybe just a week. Maybe a couple months. Maybe years or decades. Why? Maybe because it'll grow our faith. Maybe because there other things at work that need to be dealt with, on both physical and spiritual planes. Maybe because He wants us to enjoy just a little more rest before the change begins.

I don't have answers about this stuff, not definitive ones. But I know that when disappointment sets in, He isn't the one that whispers, "Give up." He's the one that whispers, "Hold on." Yeah, that can mean "wait." But it also means, "Take My hand."

I'm holding on, Lord. I'm not letting go, no matter how long it takes. When my strength fails, when my patience runs thin, when hope feels faint, You'll sustain me. That's the way You work.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remember When . . . Love Was in a Triangle?

It was bound to come up sooner or later. And as it happens, I seem prone toward them, including with my latest historical, so now seems as good as time as any.

Let's talk love triangles. (See me rubbing my hands together with glee? Mwa ha ha ha.)

They can be overdone. Yes, I came right out and said it. I have been known to sigh and roll my eyes when I'm presented with a supposed love triangle, yet it's obvious the other guy (or girl) is there only to provide conflict for the author, and really there's nothing to endear him (or her) to the heroine (or hero). It rings fake, it's annoying, and there's never any real question who the heroine (or hero) will choose.

I know, I know. In a romance, we always know who ends up with who anyway. But that doesn't mean there aren't times along the way when you wonder if maybe--just maybe--the author will trick you. And it certainly doesn't mean that if done really, really well, you might want the unexpected, yet still be satisfied with the happily-ever-after you knew you'd get from the get-go.

In this day and age, one can't talk love triangles without mentioning Twilight. I mean, the fans are divided into "teams." I'm Team Jacob. On the opposing side are the Team Edward girls. Now, am I unhappy that Bella ended up with Edward? No way. It was the way it had to be. But I still loved Jacob more. That takes skill. It takes talent.

And it takes one killer love triangle.

Now, when I use them, I try to bring something new or unexpected to the table. And always, if I intend to really make folks wonder, I give the third point of the triangle a POV (point of view). How are people ever going to take the triangle seriously if it's lopsided toward the hero? ;-)

So, give me your take. Which side of the love triangle do you come down on?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Story Time . . . PUT IT ON THE LIST! by Kristen Darbyshire

Yes, I'm doing it again and talking about a kids book today, because I haven't had time to read anything else this week. ;-) (Well, technically speaking, I've been reading plenty, but none of it is near publication yet, so . . .)

But this book is a hoot, so all of you with kids should be grateful to me for bringing it to your attention, LOL.

Back cover:

What happens one frantic week when everyone forgets to put the things they need on Mom’s shopping list? First, it’s cookies, but no milk. Then macaroni, no cheese. And don’t even ask about the toilet paper!

Newcomer Kristen Darbyshire’s quirky humor, fresh, graphic style, and sweetly expressive family of chickens will make this a favorite with kids . . . and the beleaguered grocery shoppers in their lives.

Here's why I love this book--first, it's just hilarious as these cute little chickens go through their human-esque world, yet make observations like "Mom, chickens don't have teeth." Second, it's so my life sometimes. I'm not a list person (unlike certain friends and sisters of mine), and I don't think I've ever gone to the grocery store without realizing within 24 hours that I forgot something vital. So it was quite the funny book to read to my kids, who know how very true this can be, LOL.

For a fun, quirky read the adults will enjoy as much as the kids, I can't recommend this book enough. Even my husband got a few hoots out of it as he caught part of the story while strolling through the living room during our nightly book time--enough that he paused at the doorway to hear the end. For a man who was on his way to watch a hockey game, that's the highest compliment a kids book can be paid!

We got this book from the library, but my kids love it enough that they asked if we could get a copy of our own. And I love it enough that I intend to. Can't wait to see more from Kristen Darbyshire!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sick Day

I've spent most of my weekend being mildly sick--nothing life threatening, mind you, just a headache and upset stomach. Which has left me a bit behind on things I need to do this morning, so I'm taking a sick day from blogging. Sorry. I know the world just won't be the same without my dazzling wit. (Ha . . . ha . . . ha . . .)

So off I go to motivate my daughter to finish her last two minutes of morning homeschool, then back to work I go. Still not feeling fabulous, mind you, but feeling better than I have.

Oh, while you're still reading . . . I have several friends who have either been dealing with cancer, just diagnosed, or awaiting a diagnosis. If you all could please pray for them, I'd appreciate it. Sandi has been fighting t-cell lymphoma for several months now (I blogged about her before) and is about to undergo another "bad" round of chemo. Mary has just discovered cancer in the bone of her leg, and they're waiting for test results to tell them what type. We're standing with Mary to claim healing. Finally, my childhood friend Jennifer has been told she may have cancer of the adrenal gland; biopsy results are still pending. Please pray that she does NOT have cancer, and that her health issues are quickly resolved.

Thanks, all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Friends Adam & Andrea Graham - Interview

Today I'm happy to feature another speculative author (or writing couple, as the case may be) from Splashdown Books. Adam and Andrea graham will be chatting about Tales of the Dim Knight.

~*~

About Tales of the Dim Knight

 Mild-mannered janitor and superhero fanboy Dave Johnson gets all his wishes at once when a symbiotic alien gives him supernatural powers. But what's he to do with them? Follow his zany adventures as he fights crime and corruption while trying to keep his family together and avoid being sued for copyright infringement.




~*~

About Adam & Andrea
Adam Graham is a multi-talented author known for his wit and poignancy. His work appears on Pajamasmedia.com, Renew America, American Daily, The Conservative Voice, Red State, and Conservatown. He also has short stories published in the anthology Light at the Edge of Darkness, and in the Laser & Sword e-zine. He is also host of the Truth and Hope Report podcast, as well as the Old Time Dragnet Radio Show, and the Old Time Superman Radio Show. Mr. Graham holds a general studies Associate of Arts degree from Flathead Valley Community College with a concentration in Journalism. He tweets at @idahoguy, @dimknight and @radiodetectives.
Andrea Graham co-authored Adam’s first novel,Tales of the Dim Knight. Her short story “Frozen Generation” also appeared in Light at the Edge of Darkness. She studied creative writing and religion at Ashland University. Visit her online at POVbootcamp.com and Ask Andrea, or follow her tweets @povbootcamp.
Adam and Andrea live with their cat, Joybell, in Boise, Idaho. They are members of several writers groups, including Lost Genre Guild and American Christian Fiction Writers. Adam is president of their local ACFW chapter, Idahope.


~*~

What's your latest book?

Tales of the Dim Knight (Splashdown Books 11/22/2010)

It sounds hilarious--love the copyright infringement line in the blurb. =) What's your favorite part of the story?

I love the superhero team up chapter where Powerhouse joins with four other superheroes to fight a terrorist madman in New York City, er, Megalopolis. We had a blast poking fun at superhero stereotypes and even got to pay homage to the 1960s Batman TV show. Second to that would be the Alien Zoo chapter.

Okay, I'm thoroughly intrigued. What was the hardest part to write?

The relationship portions. Our hero is married and his marriage is in trouble. Getting to be a superhero with all the required whooshing off doesn’t help. In early drafts, I really tried to keep the focus on the action while coming back to the marriage here and there. The feedback we kept getting was that there wasn’t enough depth or details on the family stuff. Obviously, such an effort can get out of hand and ruin the light tone of the overall story. We worked in more scenes set in Naomi’s point of view, portraying what’s going on in her world. What was gratifying about the way it worked out is that most of her scenes still have quite a bit of humor and fun. So, the tone of the story is such that we’ve got a family comedy-drama worked together with the superhero story.

That sounds like a great balance! What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

Adam: I hope they’ll laugh a lot and enjoyed the journey.

Is there a theme to this book?

Adam: Grace, forgiveness, and the need for God are big themes.

What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

Adam: Speculative fiction, mysteries, action adventure. (same for both.)

I'm all surprise. ;-) What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

Adam: I’d been on a reading kick after Christmas, but got hit with a stomach flu. I’m not yet committed to anything new, though I might try, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Let me know if you do and like it. We just rented the recently-made movie and loved it, though we understand it's not exactly accurate, LOL. Other than the Bible, what's your favorite of all the books you've ever read?

Adam: Frank Peretti’s The Oath. really is the most exciting, engaging, and thought-provoking novel I’ve ever read.

Oh, I loved that too! What's one of the oddest or most interesting things someone has ever said about you?

Adam:  Someone once told me I had an accent. I don’t. I speak perfectly unaccented English. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Though my New Zealand publisher may disagree.

LOL. What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?

It would be a soundproof recording studio. I would lie on the couch as I dictated my material to my robot secretary Bob, who could also program my blogs for Wordpress and automatically edit all of my podcasts.  My office would also come with a fully modern 3D Holographic workout facility with a five star robot-staffed dining room adjacent to me. (Remember, you asked this of a sci-fi writer.)

My current “office” is a sofa pulled up to my computer because I, like Nero Wolfe, have a certain problem with chairs.

Can I borrow Bob for a few days?? ;-) Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

Google is pretty much the only thing I “always” have on hand. My wife likes www.m-w.com.

What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

I would never guess the number of things that can become of critical importance when editing.

Ain't that the truth! Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?

My wife is probably the most important key to any success I have in writing.

Awwww. (Andrea, did you write that answer? Kidding, kidding.) Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?

Working for the man, man. (Just joking.)

If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving or gifts to charities allowed!)

I would put up the money to start my own publishing imprint and publish, Genesis of Judgment, serious futuristic bioethics novel that has yet to find a publishing home.


Quite a goal!  If you could take your family on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’d have to say Scotland, to the ancestral family castle.

Sweet! What are you writing right now?

Right now, I’m writing the answers to the interview…Okay, forgive the literal sense of humor. (Quote Monk, “It’s a gift and a curse.”)

I’ve got an idea for a detective parody novel that I’m working on. I also might get to finishing the origin novel of my 18-inch tall superhero, Packages.

LOL. Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

I wrote a science fiction story based on Jesus’ parable of the Unjust Judge and sold it to Residential Aliens magazine. It should be out in the next issue or so.

~*~

Thanks for stopping by, guys! Everyone, you can check out their website at http://www.dimknight.com and purchase from Amazon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . The Arms of God

Most of my readers know me well enough to realize I have two small kids. Xoe's 5, Rowyn's 3 next month. One of my greatest frustrations is that it seems that three minutes can't pass without someone screaming, "Mommy!" Followed by some demand, request, complaint, or whine. It gets a little old sometimes. And then there's the physical side. Rowyn's still in that stage where, when he wants me, it isn't enough to just be where I am. He must be up on my lap, and he does it with energy. He runs across the room, throws himself onto me, and, once situated, just tosses his little self in whichever direction he wants to go to get comfortable.

Now, as one tired mama, this can make me groan. I love that he's a cuddle-bug, but good golly. Sometimes holding onto this kid feels something like wrestling an alligator. In spite of busted lips, head bumps, hurt arms and bruised knees, he (in true little boy style) never learns to slow down and be easy. No, it's always full steam, all out. Even when it comes to hugging.

As he did one of his signature lunge-to-the-left moves while supposedly on my lap to get rocked before bedtime, my "oh, my aching back" thought was quickly eclipsed by the realization that this was trust. He trusts that Mommy isn't going to drop him or let him fall. He trusts that for his every move, I'll make a countermove. And he trusts that no matter how much I might grumble or chastise, Mommy loves him and will still hug him, rock him, and cuddle him. Even after I say rocking time is over.

It's humbling. It's especially humbling because, while I want to make the obvious analogy to God, I realize it's not perfect. Why? Because God's arms are so much better than mine. God doesn't grumble about his aching back. God doesn't lose patience with our constant whining. God doesn't ever think, "Can't you just do it yourself?" No, He in fact wants us to turn to Him with everything. He wants us to ask him in every moment what He thinks we should do. He wants us to toss ourselves into His arms without a care, with all our energy.

My kids have it right. But me--man, I've still got a ways to go. Not just in learning to fly to the Lord with such abandon, but in remembering that that's the way it should be with my kids, that's the relationship God set up that we are an imitation of. Sure, I want my kids to grow into independent individuals capable of making decisions and, you know, functioning away from the apron strings. 

But how do I get them there? By catching them every time they fly at me, answering when they call . . . so that when they're ready, I can teach them that God is the same way, only better at it.

We tend to complicate things, don't we? We have this idea these days that our goal with kids ought to be to get them out and on their own ASAP. But is that how we were designed? And because we tend to get impatient with them (I'm speaking for myself here) we then wrongly take that analogy to the us-God relationship and get into the mindset of, "I don't want to whine to God."

That's just not the way it works. Which in turn teaches me that maybe I'm looking at some other things the wrong way too. But one thing I know--no matter how much I mess up, how many times my stubbornness and pride lead me to bruises and scrapes and head bumps, no matter how many times He has to chastise me, I know my Father's there, His arms open wide. And I know that no matter which way I turn as I jump into them, He's going to catch me. He's going to love me. He's going to hold me, no matter how long I need it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remember When . . . Words Were Cool?

This past week was a decent one for me when it comes to writing. Not fabulous, mind you--no earth-shattering personal records on word count. But I put down just over 10,000 words, and it felt great. Especially since it got me up to (a) a really fun, pivotal scene that I get to write today and (b) the halfway point of my story. Yay!

In my writing last week, I had some fun stuff in general too. I wrote my Christmas scenes, a New Year's collation and ball, and had my heroine think about the hero something the effect of "Let him beg forgiveness of the Almight--she never wanted to see him again." Right, of course, as he packed up the carriage to come see her. =)

And now, yes, I'm going to tell you what a collation is. I had to look it up. And, yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. As in, from the word "collate." Like you do with paper. It means "a coming together." Which was so logical that I laughed at myself for not realizing it right off the bat.

I had another fun word come up too. I wanted to describe the high-energy little boys and could think of no word other than "rambunctious." But upon looking up the etymology, I discovered that it was too new a word for my time. However, it was an alteration of the word "rumbustious," which, voila, was in use at the time. Yay! And isn't that a fun word? Rumbustious.  You know what it means just by hearing it. Love that kind of word. Like "quagmire." Can't you just tell by listening to "quagmire" that it's a sticky, boggy place? ;-)

That's all I've got for you today. Unless you want two elbow-grabbing kids in need of breakfast . . . ?

So, what's your favorite word?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Story Time . . . PATHFINDER by Orson Scott Card

It started for me in high school. My hubby--then my boyfriend--was a diehard Orson Scott Card fan, and he told me, more or less, that if I didn't read Ender's Game, he may not ever speak to me again. (Okay, jokingly.) So I read it. And I loved it. So I read the rest of the Ender's series. Which I didn't love as well as Ender's Game, but which was good enough that I steadily borrowed every other book Orson Scott Card had written by that time that David owned, and between us we bought the slew of new ones he put out during our high school years.

One year for Christmas, after we were married, my gift to my honey was to buy him a copy of every title by OSC that we didn't already own. So naturally, as new books come out, we buy them. I do believe that there are more books by him on our shelves than any single other author. And for good reason. He has a great sense of humor, a great skill with writing, and imagination that makes me sit back in awe.

Pathfinder caught my hubby's eye when we were out Christmas shopping, so guess what he got for Christmas? After hearing him chuckle all through the reading of it, I decided I'd take some time out of my busy reading schedule and share in the joke.

I'm glad I did.

Pathfinder is the story of a world about to be colonized by humans . . . and of a world where humans have counted down from year 11,191, past Year Zero, and are now counting upward again. In all this time of human history, people and animals have walked the various forms the earth has taken.

And Rigg can see their paths. They hover in the air, varying in color and intensity and texture, and as he tramps through the upland woods with his Father, learning lessons in politics and astronomy and physics and everything else a trapper has no need of, Rigg uses his gift to find the animals they need to make a living. But when an accident leaves him fatherless, with one last order from him to find a sister Rigg didn't know he had, his ability to see paths becomes necessary for more than animals. It leads him to a boy about to plummet over a waterfall . . . and into the past? He has no other explanation for the man that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared as quickly, except that when Rigg focused on his path, it became him.

A quandry that matters litter when the boy falls to his death anyway, and Rigg is left to run for his life to keep from being hunted by the boy's family, who thinks him responsible. He has one friend who comes with him--Umbo, a boy with a talent as unique as his own, who was really responsible for the leap through time--and an unexpected inheritance from Father. Nineteen jewels, and a letter stating that Rigg is in fact a prince.

Not such a great thing when the royal family has been overthrown.

In a story of adventure, coming of age, and more twists and bends and redefinitions of physics and time than a brain can handle all at once, Pathfinder is one of those stories that you have to read once you start, otherwise you spend your entire day going, "But how did that happen?" until you can go back, read more, and find the answer.

In his usual fashion, Card has created characters that made me laugh and shake my head, smile in pride and nod in agreement. In other words, extraordinary talents or not, they were real. I can always count on OSC for fabulous characters. And the plot of this one . . . wow. In his note at the end, he describes Pathfinder as madness, and it is that. The beautiful, fun madness that comes hand-in-hand with genius.

Pathfinder is being marketed as a young adult novel, and as I stretched my mind to try to understand all the intricacies of the story, I had my doubts that it was properly labeled. Then I remembered that I read similar stories by him as a teen and had no issue--perhaps because I didn't know all the laws and rules that make it so hard to fathom what goes beyond them. One thing's for sure--had I read this at 16, it would have involved staying up into the wee sma's several nights in a row, and continually saying, "I'll do it later, Mom," until I'd turned the last page.

For those concerned about what their kids read, I'll say that if OSC has any place in your house, you'll find that this fits his usual standards. There are one or two mildly questionable words, a few references to bodily functions that don't bother me and are undoubtedly in the vocabulary of any teen boy anyway (not obscene, just, you know. Functions, LOL), and otherwise nothing I wouldn't want my kids to read when they're round about high school age.

My final word--if you want a gripping, amazing fantasy novel that will steal your thoughts at odd moments throughout your busy day and make you wonder what in the world these crazy kids are going to do now, then Pathfinder is a book you have to get your hands on. You'll laugh, you'll scratch your head, you'll wonder if maybe you could do some of these things if you could stretch yourself just a little more . . . but you won't regret it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Modern . . . Faces

So the other night as hubby and I were flipping through the TV while the kids were staying with their grandmother, we came across one of those movies. You know the ones--threat of the end of the world (or at least humanity) through weird and/or crazy source. You've got your main characters, at least one of which you assume will live through the movie, and then a slew of secondary characters that you just assume will die in some horrible, unexpected way.

Like, you know, a lawnmower. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway. Starring in this particular movie (which had a few hilarious lines, just FYI) was Mark Wahlberg. He's in a ton of movies from the last few years that dominate our television for long stretches, and when one of the networks was on an The Italian Job kick, I was trying to put a face to one of my characters. I saw good ol' Mark E. and thought, "Yeah, sure. He could be my Smith." And matching a face to my leading man really helped me, for once, feel like I knew him a little better.

I shared as much with my hubby the other night, and he said, "Seriously? I always pictured someone more like Dolph Lungren for Smith." Me: "Seriously??"

LOL. Hubby and I have this problem frequently. But which I mean, 95% of the time. He will form an image of my characters that bear little or no resemblance to my idea of my characters, and will argue his opinion to the point of accusing me of describing them incorrectly in the pages of my books. ("I know you say on page 23 that she has blond hair, but you were wrong. I'm sorry, honey, but she's a brunette. She just is." LOL)

Which really just goes to show that the beauty of books is that everyone puts whatever face they want on the main characters, regardless of what book covers or comparisons within the novel tell us. My Smith is a strong guy, a SEAL, and the heroine describes his face as more angular than she is used to, and so European. Hubby's mind jumped to as-angular-as-you-can-get, which makes a certain kind of sense. Not what I pictured though, ha ha.

Authors, do you usually pick famous folk (or spot regular folk) to pair up with your characters? Of do they remain nebulous in your mind? Readers, do you enjoy visualizing them yourself, or do you prefer when an author gives you a comparison within the novel? I'm always curious about how we visualize this sort of thing . . .

Friday, January 7, 2011

Karen Kingsbury Giveaway!

Today I'm mixing things up. After exchanging a couple emails with Karen Kingsbury's publicist, we've set up a giveaway of Karen Kingsbury's 2-in-1 collection both here and at the Christian Review of Books. Want two entries? Hop on over to the CRoB!

Please leave a comment to enter, and include an email address where you can be reached if you win.

Now, onto the good stuff!

~*~


About Karen

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist. There are more than 15 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 40 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen has a true love for her readers, and she has nearly 100,000 friends on Facebook along with more than 7,500 followers on Twitter. The popular social networking sites have allowed Karen daily interaction with her reader friends.

Karen is best known for her Life-Changing Fiction (TM) and for creating unforgettable characters. When speaking before women's groups - some with more than 10,000 in attendance - Karen makes audiences laugh and cry with her compelling story-telling. She likes to tell attendees they have, "One chance to write the story of their lives," and her talk focuses on reminding women to live every day loving well, laughing often, and finding true life in Jesus Christ. Karen routinely speaks before more than 100,000 women each year.

~*~

About the omnibus

A Thousand Tomorrows

Cody Gunner is a nationally renowned bull rider-cocky, brash, a legend among his peers. On track to the top, Cody has rejected everything about his past-his famous father, his hurting mother, and every woman who ever came along. His heart has room only for his young handicapped brother. Ali Daniels is the most recognized horsewoman in her sport. She embraces life, making the most of every moment and risking everything for her passion. Along the way, Ali seeks to fulfill the dreams of her little sister, a girl who died before she had a chance to live. And so competing is all she needs until the day Cody discovers what Ali has been hiding so well. Reluctantly Ali allows Cody into her private world. Despite their fears, they bare their souls and love finds them in a way that it seldom finds anyone. In a breathless race for time, their love becomes the one part of them that will never fail, never die. In the end they find something brilliant and brief - a thousand tomorrows.

Just Beyond the Clouds

Still aching over his wife's death, Cody Gunner can't bear the thought of also letting go of his Down's Syndrome brother, Carl Joseph. Cody wants his brother home, where he will be safe and cared for, not out on his own in a world that Cody knows all too well can be heartless and insecure. So when Carl Joseph's teacher, Elle, begins championing his independence, she finds herself at odds with Cody. But even as these two battle it out, they can't deny the instinctive connection they share, and Cody faces a crisis of the heart. What if Elle is the one woman who can teach Cody that love is still possible? If Cody can let go of his lingering anger, he might just see that sometimes the brightest hope of all lies just beyond the clouds.  

~*~

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Chance of winning depends on number of entries. Contest ends 1/14/11. Winner will have two weeks to claim prize.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Shine!

Last Thursday I mentioned that I was asking the Lord for a word for 2011, both for me and our small church. A word that is either something to live up to and strive toward, a goal, or a promise from our Father.

Saturday morning (we're Sabbath keepers) I was making bulletins for church and choosing the songs to sing. My usual method of doing so is to consider time of year, sermon topic, and otherwise just do a quick prayer and flip and pick whatever catches my eye. Said method resulted in our opening hymn being "Shine, Jesus, Shine." I typed the page number and title without thinking much about it.
Then in church, as we sang it, I got that shiver of awareness all through me, and my voice wobbled. My heart welled up inside. I could barely sing, barely play the organ. Because I knew the Lord had just given me my word: Shine.

Still playing, still singing, I started to pray. Was this a private word, just for me, or did it go for the church too? I'd been praying that whatever He gave us for the church, He give to several of us for confirmation. So I asked Him to make clear who all this word was intended for.

After we sang the chorus the final time, my mom (the worship leader) raised her hand and said she wanted us to sing that chorus again. And more, she wanted us to make it our prayer for the year. That the light of the Lord would shine through us, and that we would be the mirror to reflect Christ and his love. My dad (the pastor) added that the words "set our hearts on fire" struck him, and that we ought to pray for that too. And so I also added what I'd been praying for, and how this leaped out as an answer.

I get shivers again remembering. We're a small church, a tiny congregation of mostly-family. Yet in this little body of believers, I've grown closer to the Lord, I've heard from Him more, and I've felt the moving of the Spirit more than in all my life before, combined. And on Saturday, I latched onto this newest whisper of my God.

Shine.

Shining isn't easy. It means being bright when you feel dull. It means projecting out when you want to huddle in. It means being filled with light and heat when you might want to crawl into a cool, dark corner and sleep for a century or two. 

And not just that--because we are not light in ourselves, because we are, on our own, empty vessels, it means, like my mom said, being that mirror for Christ. Not just when we're "on," not just when we're trying, but always. It means, like my Dad pointed out, having hearts on fire for our Lord and Savior.

I'm not going to claim that already I'm this brilliant, shining creature, enjoying the success of the Lord's word. But I'm sharing it with you all because I want to be accountable, and because I think it's a word we can all share. If ever you see me stuck in a shadow, remind me to Shine. And if ever I see you in one, I'll point my mirror your way and try to share what light I've got with you.

That's the beauty of being a mirror--we can reflect on others without losing anything. So come on, friends. Shine with me. Let's fill the land with the awesomeness of His presence.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Remember When . . . The New Year Arrived?

I'm at an interesting point in my work-in-progress right now--see, it's the same time of year there as it is for real. Pretty neat, and it doesn't often work that way for me. Oh, I'm a few days behind in Annapolis (it's currently the 27th of December), but I'm about to skip a few days, so I'll soon overtake myself. ;-)

There's something really fun about writing about the season you're currently in, and about reflecting on it what your characters would be doing on this day in their year. I just got through Christmas with them, and my heroine received a leather bound journal--much like the two hard-cover journals I got. ;-) The kids in the family were playing with toy soldiers (which will be made either of wood or metal, though I haven't figured out which) while mine are dashing around with Matchbox cars and My Little Ponies.

New Years celebrations are actually very similar. I don't know that they stayed up to greet the New Year like our culture does, and certainly they didn't watch the ball drop on TV (ha ha) but the first day of the new year was still a big celebration. Families pulled out all the stops and put on a huge feast, often entertaining friends and neighbors. And resolutions have been a tradition since Ancient Roman days, so don't think that's a modern concept!

Most fun in my story right now, though, is that "tomorrow" in the story, my hero figures out where my heroine has run off to and chases after her. Meanwhile, heroine reads a letter from her brother saying how sorry hero is for his dastardly behavior, but she renews her decision to sever all ties with him--yes, even as he's hitching the carriage to the horses and galloping her way. =) Should be fun! I can't wait to get these two in the same city again!!

Hope everyone's having a great Wednesday thus far! And don't forget to check out the two current stops on the Jewel of Persia blog tour for your chance to win--another's coming on Friday, too! =)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Story Time . . . TEA FOR TWO by Trish Perry

I'm doing that thing again and talking about a book that hasn't been released yet. Mwa ha ha ha! This one comes out in April, so y'all are just going to have to pre-order a copy. ;-)

Since the day I cracked open her first novel, I have been a huge Trish Perry fan. No one else's books make me laugh so hard, yet show me something valuable and meaningful. No one else's books can capture those goofball moments of life, yet pair them with the deep and intense.

I recently read Trish's first book in the Teashop Series and adored it, so when I received a galley of the second one, Two for Tea, from her publicist, I was excited as all get out. It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've sat down with a book and then actually wanted to sit down with it again the next day, but of course Trish pulled that off--during the busy holiday season, no less!

Zack Cooper's teens are out of control, and Zack is at his wits' end. He has a farm to run and is still recovering financially from when his ex-wife ran off with their savings. Help is the last thing he thinks he needs--until new stunts convince him only trouble lays ahead if he doesn't take action. Now. When Millie of the tea shop lines up a counselor willing to donate her time, he's thanking God for the first time in years. But when he realizes the counselor is the gorgeous brunette he spotted not long ago . . . well, that sheds a whole new light on things.

Tina Milano's life has been steady and bordering on uninteresting for quite a few years, but when Zack (a.k.a. Hunky Produce Guy) and his kids enter her life, things get interesting--fast. From the moment she first starts talking to the handsome, sweet man about his kids, people mistake them for a couple. She's okay with going along with that, since it makes her job of surreptitiously giving them advice a lot easier. But the town of Middleburg isn't alone in thinking she and Zack are a great fit. The more time they spend together, the more she begins to wonder if there's more there too.
Zack and Tina's story is cute and fun, sweet and savory--much like Millie's tea shop treats. Though I didn't find this book hilarious like some of Trish's others, it gave me quite a few grins and lots of food for thought, plus was romantic and compelling enough to keep me turning those pages (quite a feat at this point in my life!). As always, Trish delivers characters you can't help but love in situations that both make you smile and tug at your heart--and does it all in a light style that will leave you begging for more.

Though part of a series, the unifying factor to these books is Millie and her tea shop, so each story stands beautiful on its own, without a single wobble if you read them out of order. I can't wait to see what happens in Middleburg next! Keep 'em coming, Trish!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jewel of Persia Is Available!!!

Wow, this is exciting! With the dawn of 2011, I also get to celebrate the realization of many months of hard work. Jewel of Persia is available!!!!!

The digital version, technically. ;-) You can find it at all the major e-book retailers, of course--or will be able to within the next week, but they're all in process--but we recommend you go straight to our e-book distributor, from whom you can download any format you want. Kindle, Nook, what have you.

Click here to visit my page on eBookIt! It's priced at a bargain $3.99, so, you know, why not? (And yes, that's the publisher's philosopher. "Let's price it so that people will go, 'Why not? It's not even 4 bucks!'")

For those of us who aren't so interested in (or don't have) e-readers, the paperback is also up and available for pre-order at Amazon or our store, CrossPurposes. Naturally, I recommend you go to CrossPurposes, so that I can sign it for you. ;-)

Oh, and the blog tour kicks off today too! Look over at the left margin for each stop along the way--there's one a week from now until June. (Okay, I don't have May filled up yet, but I suspect I will by the time it rolls around. And if you'd like to have me on your blog, just let me know!) I'll be offering giveaways at them all--your choice of digital or print when I get my copies (I'll be keeping a list of winners, which I will send out the moment my books arrive).

Modern . . . Romantic Comedy

I've chatted a bit about this subject before, in that I was wondering if I should consider publishing the two romantic comedies I have with WhiteFire eventually. I don't think I came to any conclusions, and that's not really my point today. ;-)

I just finished reading a book by who I would consider a romantic comedy author (you'll find out who tomorrow, when I review her book). As always, her story was contemporary. I happen to know that she was considering doing a historical at one point a few years ago, which she assured me would still have that bit of humor to it, but alas. So far as I know, that never happened.

Which got me to thinking. I've read historical romantic comedy, but only by Mary Connealy. (Her books are amazing, by the way. Laugh-out-loud, romantic, and cowboys. Can't go wrong.) I can't think of any others I've come across. Oh, there are some funny moments in many  historicals, to be sure. Lots of them. But not most of them.

Ever wonder why the lighthearted, hilarious novels are usually modern? Maybe because we understand our own senses of humor better? Maybe because we don't mind trivializing stuff from our own time? Hmm.

I'm guilty of this myself. When I come up with a funny story idea, it's modern. When I come up with weighter subjects, they're generally (not always, but generally) historical. Why? I . . . don't . . . know.

But I'd love to chat about it! Let's start the year out with fun. =) And I hope everyone enjoyed a happy and safe New Year's! I'm looking forward to an amazing 2011.

Oh! And to ring it in right . . . you know what? This deserves its own post. Guess I'll do two this morning. ;-)