Monday, October 29, 2018

Word of the Week - Buck

This one also comes courtesy of my daughter and her history book, which includes fun little snippets about what words got their origins in the time she's studying (a history book after my own heart!). I think I'd heard this one before, but I'd forgotten.

Ever wonder why Americans call their dollar a buck sometimes? Unlike the English quid, which is probably directly from Latin, meaning "that which is, essence" (talk about a highfaluting nickname, LOL), the American buck has a more down-to-earth history.

Around the time when our money was being established, there was still quite a frontier. This was the age of trappers and hunters bringing hides from the wilds in to sell. And a deer hide was one of the standards--with it, one could barter, trade, or get hard currency. Want to take a guess at how much a buck's hide was worth?

That's right. One dollar. So buck and dollar were equivalent. If something was worth a dollar, it was worth a buck, so the two began to be used interchangeably--both in speech and in practice.

What could you get for a buck when you were a kid? (I'm guessing not an entire hide, LOL)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt - Stop #7

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’re just joining us, the hunt begins at, with Stop #1. If you complete the loop of 26 stops, writing down the clue on each author’s site, you can enter to win all 25 books as well as Amazon gift cards, an iPad and more! 

Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, Suzanne Woods Fisher! Suzanne is an amazing author of bonnet and historical fiction, and it's a true honor to welcome her to my blog today. She'll be chatting about her latest release, The Light before Day. I have this one sitting on my shelf now!

Here's her official bio: Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including THE LIGHT BEFORE DAY, book 3 in the Nantucket Legacy. She is also the author of several bestselling nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Here’s the summary of her latest book:

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. But the inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when they should marry and whom. As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will's conditions, they'll be faced with obstacles on every side--and it may be that their grandmother will have the last word after all.

You can purchase her book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, or your local bookstore. 

And here’s her EXCLUSIVE content that you’ll only find in this hunt!

Friendship Steps

A few days ago, the doorbell rang while I was at my desk, working on the computer. The dogs barked and barked, but not expecting anyone, not knowing who was ringing the bell, I ignored it and kept writing. Finally, my friend texted that she was outside and knew I was home because the dogs were out and could I please just come to the door?

I bolted to greet her, more than a little embarrassed. Later, I pondered why it’s become a habit for me to ignore the doorbell. Part of the reason is that I work at home and I need to safeguard my time. (I have some chatty neighbors.) Another reason: a doorbell ringing often means a package is dropped off. No need to rush to the door.

But as valid as those excuses may be, there’s more to my not-answering-the-door than that. Dropping by someone’s home doesn’t happen much anymore. Blame the increased pace of busy lives, or the ease of communicating via technology—it’s easier to tap or text than to sit down for coffee. But I wonder if we’re losing something here: a welcoming hospitality, an openness to others, a flexibility toward interruptions. An attitude that people matter. Friends matter even more.

On Nantucket Island, houses in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries were built with “friendship steps.” Streets were narrow, so the short steps led down both sides from the house’s threshold. During those centuries, the island’s dominant religion was Quaker, so they are often referred to as Quaker friendship steps.

This little island, the world’s wealthiest port in the beginning of the 19th century, centered around the booming whaling industry. It was said that all of London was illumined by the oil of Nantucket whales. Men sailed off to sea for years at a time, so Nantucket women, known for their strength of character and grit, ran the town in their absence. Women had to depend on each other, day in and day out, for company and commerce, for safety and socializing. The double-sided steps in front of a house were to ease the coming and going of friends—a metaphor for a warm welcome, at all times. Friendship in Nantucket meant everything.   

After writing a historical series based on Nantucket women, I’ve thought quite a bit about those wise ladies. Do I make enough time for my friends? Have I become so focused on my to-do list that I have sent a message to not bother me, that I’m too busy? I wonder.

A recent study from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management found that a lack of deep friendships was a chief regret of people at the end of their lives, far more than any regrets about work. Their research also found that having meaningful friendships are getting harder, not easier. The reason? Not enough time.

While that might not be surprising news, it’s a good reminder to prioritize friendships and keep them well nourished. To drop everything and answer the door when a friend (or chatty neighbor) stops by.  

Thanks for stopping by on the hunt! Before you go, make sure you WRITE DOWN THIS CLUE:

Secret Word: five 

Got it down?? Great! Your next stop is #8, on Suzanne’s site. And if you get lost, a complete list of the loop with links can be found on Lisa Bergren’s website.

And now, a special giveaway! Since I'm celebrating the release of the final book in the Shadows Over England trilogy, I'm offering a signed copy of the whole set to one lucky winner!