CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!


Congratulations to Elise Jehan who won a copy of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Author - Susie Finkbeiner

It is my sincerest honor and pleasure to bring to you debut author, Susie Finkbeiner. I acquired and edited her wonderful novel, Paint Chips, for WhiteFire Publishing. It is a beautiful story of hope and healing, and I hope you all will check it out. ~ Dina Sleiman

Susie Finkbeiner
I hate driving in the winter. There. I’ve said it. As a Michigan native, it is shameful to fear driving on icy roads in white-out conditions. I just cannot seem to keep my mind from constructing all the “worst case scenarios”.
The thoughts that I allow to work into anxiety are worse than the actual snow and ice. They consume me, causing me to forget who is in control of the wind and the waves, the ice and the snow.

In my novel “Paint Chips”, Cora considers the various storms she has weathered throughout her life. She doesn’t understand why God allowed her to suffer. When recalling the story of Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41), she stops short of the end.

She remembers that Jesus and His disciples were on a boat and that Jesus slept through a deadly storm. That the disciples feared for their lives. That they cried out, asking Jesus if He cared that they were about to drown.

Somehow, through her hardships and loss, Cora forgot that Jesus woke. That He calmed the storm. That the disciples stood in awe of this God-man who could command the wind and the waves by the sound of His voice. She forgot that Jesus cared for His disciples.

When I allow my imagination to formulate those “worst case scenarios”, I have forgotten as well. My anxiety is stuck, thinking that Jesus is sleeping, unconcerned with me. That He is numb to my fears. I let myself feel abandoned by Him.

However, when I call out to Him, He is there. He shows Himself to be good and loving. To be in command. He calms the storm. He gives me peace. Why? Because He loves me. Because He cares. His help comes in ways different and better than I could ever imagine.

“The words of Jesus ran through my mind.
‘Peace, be still.’
Gladly, Jesus. Thank you.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What lies beneath the layers of hurt?

Though haunted by her troubled past, Dot has found a safe haven. She has a fierce protector and a colorful collection of friends...but sometimes she wonders if her life will ever be normal again. Though college and romance await her, embracing them requires a new kind of strength--one she isn't sure she has.

Emerging from years of confusion, Cora struggles to latch hold of the sanity she needs to return to the real world. She yearns to find a place of peace...but first she must deal with the ghosts of her past.

Can this mother and daughter overcome abuse, betrayal, abandonment, and the horrors of sexual trafficking, and make it back into each others arms? Facing the past is never easy. But as they chip away the layers, they might just find something beautiful beneath the mess.

Susie Finkbeiner is the writer of fiction, both short and long. Her deepest desire is that her fiction reflects the love of Jesus in a broken world. She and her husband are raising their three children in the beauty of Michigan. http://susiefinkbeiner.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In what areas do you struggle with anxiety? Has Jesus ever calmed a storm in your life?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Welcome Revell Author Laurie-Alice Eakes!



What Do You Want from Me?
by Laurie Alice Eakes

As an author, I constantly study the market, what books are hot and what are not, what plots seem to flourish and which ones fall flat, what editors buy and what they won’t read past the one-line pitch, etc. Sometimes, far too much of my work day is spent reading blurbs and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and blogs. This isn’t stalling; this is part of my job in an effort to keep up with, perhaps even jump ahead, of what readers want and what makes a wallbanger of a book for them.

Stepping away from being a writer, I will speak as a reader—I have a fairly broad scope of reading preferences. My preferences is for a lot of romance, and I read books without it. I also read books that aren’t for the Christian market. A few genres I have to be coerced into trying, and a couple of those I don’t finish.

Wanting to ensure that my interpretation of what readers want in books isn’t biased or one-sided, I asked a few places mixed with authors and readers—so all readers—what things they like and do not like in books. This is wholly participatory. I want to know what you like and dislike in books. For the like, feel free to name a book and/or author who embodies this liking. For things you do not like, please leave titles and authors names out of it.

WHAT PEOPLE LIKE:
  • Settings include ranch, Regency, Amish. No surprise and, for me, a baffler as to why the last one is Sooooo hot.
  • Mystery, suspense, and thrillers. This is broad, since theygo from the gentle, to the procedural, to the downright bloody.
  • Humored, quirky characters, and so forth. For me, as long as it flows naturally from characters and situations and doesn’t sound like author decided to write humor at all cost.
  • Heroic heroes. This is the broad category of men who act heroically even when they don’t like the heroine, treat her with respect when they do like her, and do fill in what else can make a man heroic.
  • Instant attraction V. a slow growing attraction. I’ll take both myself.
  • Marriage of Convenience. Good as long as it’s done lawfully. A few of these books have been written where the tension is built around a premise that isn’t legal in time or place. Me, I prefer marriages of great inconvenience to both parties.
  • Reluctant heroes. Oh, yes, bring ‘em on and watch ‘em fall. My next Regency is A Reluctant Courtship and that reluctance isn’t all on the heroine’s part. Relationships between women—mother/daughter, sister/sister, etc. 
  • Independent heroines. Yes, those make the best kind  as long as they don’t so overstep the boundaries of their time and situation that one wants to use a trepanation saw to open the writer’s skull and pour in some social history.

WHAT READERS DON'T LIKE
I’m not commenting on these, which some of you may find difficult to believe. Yes, I have opinions, but, for once, am keeping them to myself.
  • Amish 
  • Widower falling in love with the woman he's hired to take care of his kids 
  • Unbalanced point of view (usually) between him and her 
  • Superficial conflict
  • TSTL--him or her (too stupid to live) 
  • Obvious, and easily remedied, research errors 
  • Heroes who are wusses 
  • Mealy-mouthed pushover heroines who wouldn't know a backbone if it hit her in the head 
  • Heroines who want a career more than love/family/a home 
  • Lack of sexual tension and then OMG we're in love and have to get married!
  • H&H who come out fighting and then OMG we're in love and have to get married! 
  • God told me to marry you 
  • Overdose on Action or dialogue to make up for holes in a flat plot 
  • Romance Plots easy to figure out 
  • An overly spiritual hero Sister (or friend) teaming up with hero to make heroine jealous 
  • Widowed parents with adorable little kids 
  • Main characters over fifty 
  • books without a true ending 

 Hmm,the dislike list is longer than the like list. Let’s see if we can even them up. Please share what you do and do not like to see in books. And remember, unless you’re paying a compliment, no names please.

About Laurie Alice Eakes

“Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of  bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author. With the release of Choices of the Heart, The Midwives #3, she sees her twelfth book published, in addition to two novellas with more novels and novellas releasing over the next three years. A graduate of Asbury University with a degree in English and French, and  Seton Hill University, with a masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction, she also teaches writing and gives inspirational talks to women’s groups. She lives in Texas with her husband, dogs, and cats, where she enjoys long walks, rainy days, and knitting—rather badly.

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurieAEakes
Read excerpts from her books at: http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com


CHOICES OF THE HEART
A Novel
By Laurie Alice Eakes

She thought she had left her old life behind . . . 

Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But when a terrible scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia. But instead of the refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud—and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. All she wants is to run away again.

But could it be that her past holds the key to reconciliation—and love?

 In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you’ll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart.

“The gifted Laurie Alice Eakes has done it again with a page-turner romance. The wonderful period detail sucked me into 1840s Appalachia, while the realistic characters and tender romance kept me reading late into the night.”—Linda Goodnight, Carol and Rita Award–winning author

Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart’s Safe Passage, A Necessary Deception, A Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tears in a Bottle

by Suzie Johnson

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” 
~~ Washington Irving; American author, 1783-1859

Several weeks ago while having breakfast with my coworkers, my boss mentioned a Victorian tradition of mourning where their tears were collected in a bottle. When the tears had evaporated, the mourning period was over. Some of you have undoubtedly heard of this, but I had not. Something about the idea of storing tears in a bottle struck me as both tragic and romantic. 

 Tear Catchers 
 Larchrymatory Bottles
Lachrymosa
Tear Bottles

There are differing opinions on when this tradition began. Some believe it was approximately 1000 AD. Others believe it was in First Century Rome.

 “Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
~~ Psalm 56:8; King James Version

This passage in Psalm 56 is often mentioned as the beginning of the tradition. However, like many other verses, this particular one is translated differently in several different Bible versions.

“Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll – are they not in your record?”
~~ Psalm 56:8; New International Version

There is no mention of putting tears in a bottle in this translation. But there is a footnote next to the phrase “list my tears on your scroll”. The footnote reads: “put my tears in your wineskin,” which is closer to putting them in a bottler than listing them on a scroll.

Either way, the sentiment is the same:
Take note of my tears, O God. Wipe them away for me; help me grieve, for I cannot do it alone.”

Was there a tradition of gathering tears into a bottle at the time of David? It’s not known for certain, but David wrote those words and there is evidence of small bottles found in ancient tombs of the extremely wealthy. Though no one in First Century Rome really knew the purpose for the bottles, the theory of tear catchers was developed. Mourners would, they said, cry into the bottles as a sign of respect.

Did the First Century Romans then begin to use tear bottles? Again it isn’t proven, though many glass bottles were manufactured during this time. Like the bottles found in the tombs, they could have been used for perfume, oils, or medicines.

Whether factual or not, tradition seems to have been borne out of legend.

Victorian Era Cut Glass Tear Catcher
The various mourning traditions of Victorian England are well documented, and among those traditions – collecting tears in the lacrymatory bottle. 

Civil War Era Tear Catcher
A variation of this practice spilled over to the United States, and soldiers during the Civil War would leave a bottle with their wives in the hopes that she would fill it with her tears while he was gone. If he returned from war to find the bottle filled with her tears, he would then be assured of her devotion. Since many of the soldiers did not return from war, the wives would save their bottle of tears in remembrance of their husbands.

This practice is truly fascinating and sentimental. Whether it really did occur in King David’s time or in the first century, the legend itself demonstrates the need for a physical act to help with the mourning process. By legend linking it to Psalm 56:8, it also demonstrates the human need and longing for God’s healing touch when grieving.

Suzie Johnson’s debut novel, No Substitute, a contemporary inspirational novel, is out now from White Rose Press of The Pelican Book Group. Her second novel will be out later this year. She is a regular contributor to the Inkwell Inspirations blog, a member of ACFW, RWA, and is the cancer registrar at her local hospital. Suzie and her husband are the parents of a wonderful grown son who makes them proud every day – even though he lives way too far away. Suzie and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest with their naughty little cat on an island that is definitely not tropical. You can visit her at the following places:

Sources used:
www.lacrymatory.com (this site has many links to more information on tear catchers as well as other mourning traditions)
http://www.tearbottle.com/
http://www.Webhealing.com




Monday, January 28, 2013

Let's Talk Snow!

by Anita Mae Draper

Monday's posts are for whatever is on the author's mind and up here on the Canadian Prairies at the end of January, I have to admit, I'm thinking an awful lot about snow.

Blowing snow at ground level obliterates roads and causes white-out conditions.


Snow is like money - some people have it, and some people don't. And how much you have can fall anywhere between those 2 extremes. At the moment we have so much of it that I'm sure we'll flood come spring. That's a surety considering we flooded last year with only one third of the snow we've accumulated so far and there are still 2 more months to go.

But last year, someone on a loop asked about snow. What did it feel like? What size was it when it fell? How long before it melted? Did it make a sound?

Do you know, I had to think about the answers. Snow is actually made up of different sizes of snowflakes, in all different patterns. Snowflakes are cold and sometimes they sting from the force of the wind. Snowflakes comes in all sizes up to about a quarter of an inch or more when they bunch together. They melt as soon as they touch your skin - unless your skin is cold, so that depends on the temperature of what the flakes touch.


Tiny, snow crystals look powdery but the wind can make them feel like pins.

Hubby clears powdery snow by dragging a heavy tractor tire around. Snow is pushed out of the way as well as packed down  creating a solid base.


Snow drifts make chore time extra hard, especially when you sink down and get a boot-full of the cold, wet stuff.



Last year, the snow between the house and my office drifted in a North-South direction.


This year, the drift went Northwest-Southeast, but mainly in one spot.


Sometimes the wind just whips the snow around in a fury. I can go to the house, then return in 30 mins and my footsteps will be covered.

This was taken last week after a couple days of snowfall...


...But the wind had filed it smooth and hardened it until it cracked. I showed it on Facebook and mentioned making an igloo. Someone asked why I didn't make one, but it was still too cold and windy out. The next day I remembered the fun I used to have making a fort. This snow was perfect for that.


Here I am at 12 yrs old with my sister, Bonnie (13) and my brother Johnny (9).  Yep, fort-making was a whole whack of winter fun.

Look at the size of those snow chunks! They dwarf my glove. Today, I was tempted to make a fort in front of my office, but I'm behind in my writing. It was perfect weather too, with the temperature just a few degrees below the freezing/thawing point.

One year the snow was so hard these Clydesdales had no problem standing on it as they waited for their feed. What amazed me was that they could have stepped over that fence at any moment, but nope, they stayed put all winter.

On Friday, hubby would have liked to use his John Deere 4020 to clear the snow, like he did in this photo from a few years ago, but the John Deere doesn't like starting in the cold weather. Well really... who does?


So he was relegated to using the Kubota yard tractor. It does a decent job, but takes twice as long because the bucket isn't as big as the 4020. 



Yep... after all that clearing on Friday, we woke up to find
another 3-4 inches of the white stuff had fallen.
Hmm... usually my path is the width of one shovel...
looks like JJ cleared my path since he's the artistic one. 

And since we're on the topic of snow, I'll leave you with a video I made during a blizzard in 2011 when I got punked by a porcupine. It's called, Blizzard Surprise and it's only 2 mins long:




I took some video of snow falling into my hand to show you what it looked like, but that footage has disappeared like the snowflake itself. In other posts, I've asked about your experiences with snow, so I won't do it again, but how about this one...

What's the worst storm you've ever been in? Hurricane? Twister? Sandstorm? Blizzard? What else is there?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scripture Pic - Psalm 150:6



Taken June 8, 2012 at 8 pm at Draper's Acres, Montmartre, SK, Canada


Lest you think we don't have leaves on our trees in June, we do. But this sweet-singing robin sat in the only barren branches of the Manitoba maple and sang for almost 30 mins. Such a blessing.

The robins will be here in a couple months as they're one of the first to arrive.

Do you have birds arrive for nesting? Or do they leave you and fly up here to nest?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Les Miserables


Les Miserables

I'm a sucker for a musical. I love the whole idea of living life to a soundtrack. Bursting into song during a moment of crisis? Makes perfect sense to me. The more dramatic and gut-wrenching the songs, the better. You know, there'd be a lot less road rage if everyone sang along to show tunes in the car.

I saw Les Miserables performed on stage about twenty years ago and fell in love with it. When I heard it was being made into a movie, I was excited, especially when I heard that Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were cast. Then, I found out that the actors were performing their vocals live as the movie was being filmed, a first for a movie musical (which I blogged about earlier here). By the time the movie came out, I had very high expectations.

My son and I went to see it together on Christmas day, the first day it was out. The theater was packed, but since we got there early we had perfect seats. As the previews came to a close and the lights went all the way down, I felt that moment of anticipation. And then, with the opening notes of the Overture, the goosebumps started.

Les Mis is essentially a tale of grace versus the law. One man, Jean Valjean, when presented with an act of grace and mercy, embraces it. The other, Javier, receives his own moment of grace, but he can't comprehend it. He's lived his life by the law, and he sees no other way. This is all set against a backdrop of revolution, poverty, and love that never dies.

I've heard people say that they wished the vocals in the movie were "cleaner." In other words, that they'd taken the actors back to a studio and recorded beautiful, pitch-perfect versions of the songs. But one of the things that gives Les Mis so much power is the raw emotion in those performances. When Anne Hathaway, as the tortured Fantine, sings I Dreamed a Dream, it's as gritty and and angry as the character herself. Fantine has sunk as low as she can go, and you feel her desperation and pain.

It's a long movie, about three hours, and there are a few places where it drags just a bit. But overall, Les Miserables is a powerful look at how people treat each other, how we view God, and how love has the power to transcend just about anything. I highly recommend it.

How about you? Are you a fan of the movie musical? Which one is your favorite?


JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and the upcoming A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's thrilled to be working on her first historical series with the amazing Lisa Karon Richardson. Diamond in the Rough is the first book in the Charm and Deceit series, to be released May 2013 by Whitaker House. And... as if that's not enough, her novella Comfort and Joy will appear in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories (Barbour, 9/13) She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.
Visit Jennifer's website at www.jenniferallee.com/

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Random Acts of Praise

The Opera Company of Philadelphia delights and inspires a mall full of people with this glorious cultural surprise:




I so wish I could be in the middle of one of these.  How lovely would it be if, everywhere we went, people were glorifying God like this.

And He SHALL reign forever and ever!


Amen.


Have you ever done a random act of praise?  What kind of response did you get?



DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, as well as Letters in the Attic and The Key in the Attic, contemporary mysteries. Her new series of Drew Farthering Mysteries will debut in the Summer of 2013 with Rules of Murder from Bethany House.  A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Noses. Everybody Has One.

by Niki Turner

It's fiction day, and as one of the few remaining unpubs in Inktropolis, I'm going to share yet another of my recent writing-related learning experiences. Why? Because if you're a writer, you'll probably commiserate. If you're a reader, you'll probably get a good chuckle out of it.

I was plugging away at my current manuscript when I realized I needed to provide a good physical description of my hero's nose. Yes, his nose.

My first thought? Aquiline. How many romances have I read in which the hero's nose is described as aquiline? I started to type it... aqui— and was interrupted. (This inner interruption occurs frequently when I pray for God's assistance with my writing endeavors.)

—What exactly is an aquiline nose?
—Um. Er. Straight? A straight nose?

(OK, if you already know the answer, stop laughing at me. At some point in time you, too, had to learn the definition of an aquiline nose.)

Thank goodness for Google. What did we do before Google and Bing and Yahoo and access to the world wide web? (We wasted a lot less time looking at pictures of unattractive cats and indulging our flesh with annoying political/religious arguments, for starters.)

Anyway... I looked up aquiline at dictionary.com and received the following result:

aq·ui·line

adjective
1.
(of the nose) shaped like an eagle's beak; hooked.
2.
of or like the eagle.
Really? That's not at all what I had pictured in my head. 

Worse, I was directed to a slew of sites about nose shapes and what each shape might mean about personality, character traits, and so forth. There are Greek noses, Roman noses, Nubian noses, hawk noses (John Lennon), flat noses, wavy noses (Owen Wilson), Jewish noses, snub noses, small noses, fleshy noses, celestial noses, bulbous noses... and of course, aquiline noses.

My quickie search for the meaning of aquiline stretched into several hours devoted to noses. (Please, tell me this has happened to someone else.) I read an article, Nose Shapes and What They Reveal; a quiz... What Your Nose Says About You; a CBS News report about celebrity noses; and an entire blog devoted to "the art of face reading" which I may actually use in the future. Interesting stuff.


At this point, I was no longer thinking about my hero's undeveloped nose, but my own nose. What kind of nose do I have, and what does it say about me and my potential for future success or failure?

Several hours later, exhausted by all those noses, I came to the conclusion that my hero, Sebastian, has John Lennon's nose. And now, on to the mouth. And the chin. And the eyes. And the eyebrows...
My lessons for the day? 
1. There may be multiple hours tied into that author's description of the hero's nose, so pay more attention next time!
2. Writers (at least this one) are easily distracted by stuff on the Internet. And... ooh, something shiny! 
3. Just because you like the way a word sounds, don't use it unless you know what it actually means!
What research rabbit trails have you been led astray by lately? 

 Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. She is a self-confessed failure at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snowshoes From Yesteryear to Today

by Anita Mae Draper

Last week was the first of my 2013 historic winter sports posts with Early Snowshoes For Man and Beast. But lest anyone thing snowshoeing is only a winter sport, may I draw your attention to this 1867 print which shows an actual race on turf.

1867 snowshoe race at the Crystal Palace in London,
published by The Illustrated London News.

As noted in the caption above, the print was published along with the race results in The Illustrated London News. Yes, it was a real race and proved to be great entertainment to those gathered to watch. But snowshoeing wasn't that entertaining over on this side of the ocean where it sometimes became the only method of transportation through the deep snow. 


Out in snowshoes, 1871, Courtesy of the
Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage

According to the Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage "The first inhabitants of New France had to borrow snowshoes from the Amerindians to get around on foot when snow lay thick on the ground. These snowshoes were made from sinew (leather thongs) knotted and braided on a wooden hoop ... The troops of Canadian and native militiamen led by the brothers Le Moyne (Jacques Le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène and Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville), to name one example, crossed considerable distances in snowshoes to strike British villages and outposts from New England to Newfoundland in the 1690s."  




However, it wasn't long before North Americans saw the recreational value of the snowshoes and formed a club.  


The Victorian Age emphasized a sound mind as well as a sound body and encouraged physical training for men and women.  Snowshoes clubs allowed participants to enjoy the sport together, often ending the time with a cup of hot cocoa.

J. Beattie's snowshoeing group, Montreal, QC, 1869-70, 
Courtesy of the McCord Museum

Inevitably, racing provided a goal as well as entertainment. Who can turn away from a rousing snowshoe hurdle race? It reminds me of the sport of steeplechase. 


Does that look as dangerous to you as it does to me? So much for extreme sports being a product of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Snowshoeing isn't limited to adult men and women. Anyone who can move their legs can walk and/or run on snowshoes. 

Harold Hammond, High Park, February 1910, 
M. O. Hammond, Archives of Ontario

Snowshoes are round, oblong, pointed, long, and short. I used to think they were different depending on who made them, but I've since learned that it also depends on what type of snow you'll be travelling on.

Traditional snowshoes
Courtesy of wikipedia
Atlas racer snowshoes
Courtesy of wikipedia















Courtesy of wikipedia

According to Wikipedia:

"Snowshoes today are divided into three types:

aerobic/running (small and light; not intended for backcountry use);

- recreational (a bit larger; meant for use in gentle-to moderate walks of 3–5 miles (4.8–8.0 km)); and

- mountaineering (the largest, meant for serious hill-climbing, long-distance trips and off-trail use)."



And of course, two people alone, not having to worry about anyone hearing their tentative words of love ... snow crunching beneath their feet ... cheeks and noses tingling from cold, but adding to the awareness of being with that special person ... how positively romantic.

Couple snowshoeing, 1907,
John Boyd, Courtesy of the Archives of Ontario

There are several YouTube videos out there that show you how to snowshoe, and all the preparation including buying the right kind and how to fall so you can get up again, etc. And although all those videos show you how to move with snowshoes on, they have what I call a big yawnability factor - they were boring. Not only that, but most of my images were from Canada - you know, the foreign frozen north country - So I've chosen a video that was filmed right in the state of New York and is called,




So, are you game? Which type of snowshoes would you buy if you had the chance and the time?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/