Sunday, September 30, 2018

SAVE THE LAST WORD by Betsy St. Amant, Reviewed by Kim

This delightful novella in included in the Once Upon a Laugh series. First, let me just say this is a great collection. I have definitely found a few new authors and a couple who have firmly cemented themselves on my auto buy list.

I immediately loved Zoe! She’s funny, quirky, totally unorganized, and quite accident prone. Ben is also a great character. I knew as soon as he appeared on the page that this was gonna be a great story. Their first encounter is hilarious! Ben and Zoe are perfect together. They make each other their best selves.

This story is one I didn’t want to end. As soon as I was finished, I wanted to start reading it again! And, I’m sure, I will never be able to look at a clown again without laughing! 

5 stars!

*I received the collection from one of the authors, but was under no obligation to review, nor provide a positive review. 

Back Cover Blurb:
Ready for a book collection you can’t put down?

Eight brand new contemporary Christian romantic comedies are here to keep you company. Some of your favorite inspirational authors have come together in this collection of all-new novellas.

From light-hearted romance to laugh-out-loud love, this set will put a smile on your face and keep you reading long into the night.

Jane by the Book by award-winning author Pepper Basham
She lives by the plans. He talks to imaginary characters. Can they team up to solve a family mystery?

Crossed Out by USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell
Ruth Erickson always spends her morning break doing the crossword puzzle. Tate Darrow just messed it up. What’s that old saying about love and war?

If She Dares by Mikal Dawn
He’s a board game champion, but can he win her heart?

Definitely by award-winning author Heather Gray
Dating isn’t on her to-do list. Dating a pastor? Definitely not.

Under the Honey Moon by Jessica R. Patch
A honeymoon cottage reunites a pair of childhood friends. Can it offer them a future filled with happily-ever-after?

A (wildly) Wonderful Wedding by Krista Phillips
They may be the worst maid of honor and best man in the history of weddings…

Save the Last Word by award-winning author Betsy St. Amant
When conventional meets creative, who will get the last word?

The Long Game by award-winning author Laurie Tomlinson
Whoever said all is fair in love and war never dealt with small-town football…

Buy the Once Upon a Laugh Collection at Amazon

Friday, September 28, 2018

STORMY HAVEN by Elizabeth Goddard, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Definitely intense, hair-raising action in the latest Coldwater Bay Intrigue suspense by Elizabeth Goddard! She never disappoints me with her stories, they have plenty of elements to keep me invested in them. This is a high-stake, action-packed, run-for-your-life but at the same time confront-the-danger adventure. 

I really love that Jonna is portrayed as a competent, strong female lead and not some wilting damsel in distress! She can well take care of herself in spite of the high-risk to her life. Ian certainly has his hands full trying to protect her almost strong-will nature. He's the epitome of a natural hero and would give his life to keep her safe. Though they sound like perfect people, they aren't! They struggle with mistakes in their past that cost lives and need to learn to forgive themselves in order to move on. The author puts them in situations where they need to confront those issues and find peace in God. I like the realism throughout the story, bringing it to life in my mind.

Under it all, is the slow burn of romance brewing, though it doesn't take precedence over the suspense element. You can feel the attraction between these two and root for their happiness you know is coming at the end. Since I reside on the Oregon coast, I well know what our winter storms look like, sound like, and feel like and it adds to the already tense nature. I can picture in my mind what it looks like when Jonna jogs on the beach on a stormy winter night, bringing shivers down my spine! That's when I know the author did her job, when I can intensely feel the danger in a well-written suspense novel. I can't wait for the next Coldwater Bay Intrigue installment!

Be sure to read the “Dear Reader” at the end, even Goddard said “she wrapped up in blankets while she wrote the story” because she could feel the intensity of those storms. You know if an author can accurately describe something to make themselves feel it, you as a reader will too and are in for a treat! 

BackCover Blurb:

He’s her undercover bodyguard—but she can’t know

A Coldwater Bay Intrigue story

When someone tries to kill former government agent Jonna Strand, Ian Brady comes to her rescue. Now Ian must keep Jonna safe and catch the would-be killer—without revealing he was sent undercover to protect her. But when Jonna learns the truth, can she look past his secrets and lean on him to ensure they live through the storm-ridden night?

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

Buy Stormy Haven at Amazon
Buy Stormy Haven at


Thursday, September 27, 2018

THE PATRIOT BRIDE by Kimberly Woodhouse, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

I’ve been enjoying The Daughters of the Mayflower series, especially the historical aspect of the different time periods and areas. The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse is a strong and engaging addition to the series. 

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018) 

The settings in Virginia and Boston during the Revolutionary War captured my interest. The characters are well-developed, and I especially loved Faith’s strength and independence. She just stepped up and did what needed to be done to take care of herself and those she loved. Brimming with historical detail, it’s apparent that Woodhouse has done much research about the era and what life was like in those days. I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

Buy The Patriot Bride at Amazon
Buy The Patriot Bride at

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

AN HOUR UNSPENT by Roseanna White, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

 An Hour Unspent is book three in Shadows Over England series and takes place in London, 1915.

I love everything about this series, not the least are the beautiful covers.
Roseanna is a favorite author and her writing style and evident research kept me very interested. My love of history and spies had me devouring this installment. With each book in the series, I was glad to delve into the intrigue that surrounded this family. 

 Our hero, Barclay Pearce, is the self-appointed big brother to a patchwork family brought together by necessity and love. They are street thieves- only for preservation and safety of the family. As the children become adults and find spouses, they also find faith in a benevolent God. They turn from thieving to employment helping their government in time of war. On assignment from the mysterious Mr. V, Barclay meets our fiesty, independent heroine, Evelina Manning, daughter of a clockmaker. I like the way Roseanna used clockmaking terms throughout the story to illustrate life.

Roseanna’s characters are flawed but endearing. I love to see how she gets them out of predicaments. 

This is more than a well-executed yarn, with elements of suspense and intrigue. She weaves a spiritual thread among the words. To me, the theme of this story was : God is here for us. He does all things in His own time.

Roseanna’s fresh perspective on what family is can teach us many things. We need to accept our family members and appreciate them, pray for them and lovingly guide them to a closer walk with Christ. But we also need to stand firm for God and Right.

If you like historical fiction steeped in realism and interesting facts--don’t miss this series. I recommend all of Rosanna White’s books. I look forward to more stories about this unusual family. I hope we aren’t finished with them yet!

*I received this complimentary book from the publisher, Bethany House, on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

BackCover Blurb: 
Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge--and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina's father soon finds his whole family in danger--and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

Available in paperback, digital Ebook, hardcover and audio:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

THE PATRIOT BRIDE by Kimberley Woodhouse reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Before our next Patriot Bride review, here's something extra!
Paula is sharing something from her past...and our national past! Paula grew up in a house of antiques. Look at these beautiful pieces!

"I have a centennial chair. It was a Chippendale arm chair made in 1876 to commemorate 1776. (My mother was an antique dealer.) Look for the Seth Thomas clock we bought in the Exchange in 1970. Candlesticks made by hubby’s grandfather on a lathe. Wood  Magazine holder also made by hubby’s grandfather."

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse is the fourth book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. It can be read as a stand-alone.

What if George Washington had a ward named Faith Lytton? And what if Ben Franklin was a mentor to Matthew Weber? Imagine Boston, 1774 around the time of the Boston Tea Party. Kim Woodhouse spins a believable tale of espionage and romance during a turbulent time in our country’s history. Through her eyes, Faith and Matthew become important figures in the making of our nation. Excitement fills this interesting book.

This book is well researched and helps to educate readers about the reasons behind the conflict between England and the Colonies. I love that Kim included the Declaration of Independence at the end if this book. We need to be reminded of the cost of our freedom and why we wanted it in the first place. Kim uses this story from her fertile imagination to teach us a bit of history and life principles as well. And we have fun learning!

I recommend this for fans of historical fiction of the Revolutionary period.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 

BackCover Blurb:
Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

Buy The Patriot Bride at Amazon

Buy The Patriot Bride at

Monday, September 24, 2018

CHRISTMAS WITH THE COWBOY by Tina Radcliffe, review by Kim

Is it too early to start decorating for Christmas? Because after reading this wonderful story, I’m ready! In fact, I want to celebrate this Christmas at Big Heart Ranch. Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe is the third book in the Big Heart Ranch series. It can easily be read as a stand-alone. This is probably my favorite story of the three, although, I really enjoyed all of them!
I love Emma! She’s so positive, happy, giving, and has a ton of energy - you can’t not like her. Zach is pretty awesome too! He comes back to town and pretty much saves the day! I loved his interactions with the twins. Dutch is another great character with his sayings and little ways he tricks people. There was also a lot of humor in this story too. But my favorite part of this story is the feeling it gives you - a feeling of warmth, family, and God’s love.

5 stars!!

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review nor provide a positive review. This is my own opinion. 

Home for the holidays
A second chance at love on Big Heart Ranch

Former navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?

Buy Christmas With the Cowboy at Amazon
Buy Christmas With the Cowboy at

Sunday, September 23, 2018

THE PATRIOT BRIDE by Kimberley Woodhouse, reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

I thoroughly enjoyed this account of America’s turning point in history. The men and women who fought for our independence and took risks to ensure our freedom were portrayed so vividly. With each Daughters of the Mayflower book, I’ve been able to piece together how this great nation was formed and governed. 

Kimberley Woodhouse has done her research and it shows! She brought both George Washington and Ben Franklin to life in my mind and gave them personalities. I could hear Paul Revere call out “The British are coming” and the fear it instilled in many of the Patriots hearts. It was a time of uncertainty in our nation where both friends and families were divided and loyalties tested. I could not imagine living in this era! It was so real to me as if a movie were playing in my mind; Woodhouse did an exceptional job of describing places, people and events happening! And no story would be complete without a little romance. Both Faith and Matthew felt an immediate attraction the first time they met while secretly passing on messages. But their budding love would be tested as war edged closer and times became more dangerous.

Historical events come to life in this well-written book set before our Independence Day 1776!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. * 

BackCover Blurb:
Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause
Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

Available in paperback, digital ebook and hardcover:
Buy The Patriot Bride at Amazon
Buy The Patriot Bride at


Saturday, September 22, 2018



Deb here, with a special guest! I've long admired Kathy's writing since I first enjoyed Bachelor Buttons and I expected great things from her first full length novel. She delivered!

The Abolitionist's Daughter reads like top-notch historical fiction but carries both a gentle romance thread and a touching inspirational message. The story is told in third person with three point-of-view characters. It's hard to say what shines most here, because Kathy's impeccable touch with details should impress any historical fan, particularly those who favor Civil War fiction. There's no rushing here, but not once did the story falter on the way to the touches of romance. This is the kind of book that comes from an author who truly loves their setting, and touched me with its reminder of just how young our soldiers are and have been throughout the ages. How on earth do they and their families recover? 

I strongly recommend this award-winning book!

Deb:  Kathy, at what age or incident in your life did you think you'd like to be an author?

Kathy: I was the youngest of five children, and always waiting for my turn to talk at the dinner table. It never came. Hahaha So I figured out at some point that if I was going to communicate, that I should try writing. I found it validating to be heard, even if I was the only one listening at first. I met friends in grade school who loved to create stories and we banded together into a sort of writing group. I loved their creative energy and we encouraged one another to finish stories. We never worried about grammar or spelling, but just focused on plot twists and strong ideas. I’m still great friends with one of those girls, forty years later. 

Deb: It's been awhile since your debut (Bachelor Buttons!), and now you have two new releases! What are you working on now?

Kathy: Yes, life can demand your full attention in some seasons, and I had to leave some projects on hold while my incredibly strong mother’s health declined, and she faded from this life. Two years after her passing I am still processing the impact of her presence and her absence. I think one of these days I will tell her story, but until I am ready for that, I have a powerful sequel to The Abolitionist’s Daughter to edit, and some proposals out that would be lovely to contract. I also have a new idea that needs more brainstorming, but it’s got me excited about writing again. It feels really good to be back.

Deb: What surprised you in your research or writing journey as you were working on The Abolitionist's Daughter?

Kathy: I am always surprised and delighted when the characters start telling me about themselves, like who they are and what they want. And then, when the story starts speaking to me and forming out of the dry text of history like Adam from the dust as God breathed His breath of life into him, then I know it is inspired and meant for a purpose. That spark of life, of divine message, is what I write for. We all know that quote in Chariots of Fire that Eric Liddel, The Scottish Olympic gold medalist, says? “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” Yeah, it’s like that. Only with a laptop. 😉

The Abolitionist’s Daughter
1860-1864 Shenandoah Valley, and Elmira, NY
When a fiery social crusader interrupts a slave auction, a horse trader and his twin brother are set on a collision course with war—brother against brother. Can the passion that severed ties inspire a love strong enough to overcome hate?

Amazon Purchase link (I suggest you visit and read the great reviews and then ... purchase!)

Do you love book trailers?

Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. She has a novella releasing with BARBOUR in the 2018 Victorian Christmas Brides collection, featuring her hometown of Elmira, New York. Her debut historical, Bachelor Buttons, blends her Irish heritage and love of the American Civil War. She won the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest for her Civil War story, releasing this summer under a new title The Abolitionist’s Daughter. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo of rescued animals.

Follow Kathleen

on Facebook 
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and on Amazon:

Kathy: Thanks so much for having me today, Deb.  I look forward to interacting with your readers, and today I am giving away a copy of The Abolitionist’s Daughter to one lucky commenter. Winner’s choice of format, (ebook or print--US residents only.To enter, please share this post on social media and let us know where you shared. The more shares, the more entries! Please be sure to leave your email in your entry so you can be notified if selects your entry.

In addition, I am hosting a rafflecopter to be drawn at the conclusion of my blog tour just before Thanksgiving, with several prizes, including a $50 Amazon gift card, a print copy of each of my books, and a Christmas goodie basket. Be sure to follow each stop on the tour to increase your chances of winning! (US residents only.)

Link to rafflecopter:

Good luck!

Friday, September 21, 2018

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS BRIDES Release Party Celebrating Susanne Dietze and C.J.Chase!

Today we're celebrating a new Barbour release, THE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS BRIDES collection! Congratulations C.J., and Susie!

While some of us are far from ready for Christmas... there's no reason not to relax with some holiday cheer today!

Grab the book and it will be there ready for you on a 'long winter's night'! Now, to get you in the mood...


Experience a Dickens of a Christmas

Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?

Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?

One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother's wish for a family Christmas--and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?

Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts--for love.

The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.

Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?

Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician's heartstrings and prove her wrong.

The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
1880s London
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?

A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899

Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.

The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.

While you admire this gorgeous cover, please enjoy something sweet. Like plum pudding and someone who looks a lot like Viscount Harwood!

Deb's plum pudding!

Our waiter is carefully juggling lovely cups of creamy hot cocoa.

And we are carefully juggling our dropped jaws at the sight of the waiter. (Please let me know if I have a whipped cream mustache.)

Could this be our soldier Tristam?
Okay, now I'm completely confused about what I was doing, and there is a plate of plum pudding with warm nutmeg sauce dripping all over my taffeta!

Please join us in congratulating Susie and C.J. and enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a paperback!

And tell us what date each year are you;

1. ready for Christmas

2. ready for a Christmas story

More about C.J.:

Award-winning author C.J. Chase left the corporate world to stay home with her children and quickly learned she did not possess the housekeeping gene. She decided to make writing her excuse for letting the dust bunnies accumulate under the furniture. When she is not writing, you will find C.J. gardening, watching old movies, playing classical piano (badly), teaching a special needs Sunday school class, or pretty much anything else that will excuse her from cleaning house. Visit her dirt-free home-on-the-web at


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More about Susie:

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen romances with Timeless Heart. A pastor's wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama. You can visit her on her website,, and sign up for her newsletter:
Twitter: @SusanneDietze
Pinterest: Susanne Dietze

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2018

EVERYTHING SHE DIDN'T SAY by Jane Kirkpatrick, reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“A memoir is no place to whine but rather give us wisdom we can all share without having to go through the pain ourselves.”

“This book is lovingly dedicated to my dear husband Robert E. Strahorn whose constant chum and companion it has been my greatest joy to be for more than thirty years in the conquering of the wilderness. ~ Carrie Adell Strahorn (dedication page from Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, volume 1.)”

While this is a true account of Robert and Carrie “Dell” Strahorns' life, it is also written with the literary license to bring these two people to life. Following along their many years of traveling to birth towns and rail lines from 1877 to 1925. Kirkpatrick has the wondrous ability to spotlight figures in history that you would not otherwise read about. 

From various research sources she gleans fact and turns it into fiction. It's mostly from Dell's point of view and her inner musings as she travels along with her husband. There are things she would never speak aloud to him and the title of the book is a perfect fit. You'll glimpse her disappointment, heartache, broken dreams, and most inner desires of her heart. But you'll also see her courageous and adventurous spirit and the unconditional support of her husband. Their love is strong and can cushion anything life throws at them. 

I loved following along with them and learning how their vast influence formed the various railroads around the country. Making history in our own modern world! I also loved how the author incorporated snippets from Dell's memoir before each chapter. You got a feel for what she was like and how she felt. This makes me want to search it out to read myself! In short, Kirkpatrick is one of my top favorite historical writers and I've never read a book I didn't like by her. She always breathes life into dusty books, diaries or memoirs for me!

*I received a copy of this book from Revell and Netgalley and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

BackCover Blurb:

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn't Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.

Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn't insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.

With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living--the laughter and pain, the love and loss--to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

Available in paperback, digital ebook and hardcover:
Buy Everything She Didn't Say at
Buy Everything She Didn't Say at

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hear the Rustle

I love words and tend to play word games with my manuscript, changing words and sentences around until the deadline is upon me. Words are like music, each with its own sound to contribute to the overall effect. A poorly chosen word can sour a piece of writing in the same way a wrong note can ruin a composition, which is why I refer to my dictionary often.

Rustle is one of those words with several meanings. It's often used to explain dry, crackling sounds, yet can also be used to describe the sound clothing makes due to the historic use of silk in the fashion industry, because it makes a rustling sound when it's moved.

Embroided Wedding Dress, 1951, worn by Mrs Hermione S. Ball for her marriage to Mervyn Evans, 23 July 1951.  Courtesy of wikipedia

U.S. Navy WAVE Parachute Riggers carefully folding silk fabric, while packing a parachute at a Naval Air Station, November 1943. Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command

Autumn leaves make a rustling sound because they're bereft of moisture. Sometimes they make a soft tapping sound as they're pushed along a hard surface by the wind. Autumn leaves on lawns have a crisp crackle when they're gathered together on a lawn, and sometimes the dried leaves get caught in a corner and make a sweeping rustle noise as they twirl around and around with no way to escape.

Autumn leaves in a corner after the wind died down. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Due to our hot, dry summer, the leaves of stressed trees started changing in August, but even poplars and other trees make a rustling sound while flecked out in green as long as there is a breeze to move them.

Siberian Elm. Photo by Anita Mae Draper
Cattail heads turn chocolate brown in June and July and start fluffing out in August. At that time, the cattail leaves are turning yellow as they begin to dry. Soon they will have the color of dried field corn with the same papery rustling sound.

August cattails. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Field Corn, October 2017. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Any number of grain, seed, and legume crops make rustling sounds when left to dry in the field, a common occurrence at this time of year in my area.

Field peas. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Canary seed. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Since the song birds have flown south to their wintering grounds, you'd think the prairie was a quiet place to be these days, but it's not. In every direction something rustles. Sometimes in a symphony like this scene where the different stages of drying produces slight differences in rustling tones, but the end result is still that soft shifting sound of a rustle.

Prairie slough, Saskatchewan. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

On the other hand, one of the pleasures of autumn is hearing the crisp crunch of crackling leaves as you walk over them. The leaves have dried, there's no life left, and that sound expresses the change of seasons.

Draper's Acres, Saskatchewan. Photo by Anita Mae Draper

Here's another meaning to the word, rustle: A rustler is a person who steals livestock, yet a person can rustle up some grub and not be called a rustler. Just so you can tell the difference, I rustled up a photograph of a rustler.

Pssst . . . he's not really a rustler . . . he's my neighbor and I photographed him looking for strays one year.

How do you like to use the word, rustle?


Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are written under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details.  Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience.  Discover more at:

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