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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 17 January 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON

 

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON

“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.”—Madeline L’Engle

 

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett

 

In honor of Chat Thursday returning next week,

I am pleased to welcome MOI to my little nest.

FAST FAVES

Cake or Cookies?  cookies

Call or Text?  call

Dogs or Cats?  cats

Eggs or Pancakes? eggs

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook (I live there… )

Paperback or Kindle? paperback

Thornton or Darcy? Darcy, specifically as portrayed by Colin Firth

Yoga Pants or Jeans? stretchy pants

 

rem:  Hullo Robin! Welcome. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  Thanks, always glad to be here. We moved around when I was growing up. Sixteen years in Colorado—went to high school, got married, had babied, got divorced, and went to college. I moved to the upstate of SC in 1988, and have lived here since. I currently live in Greer.

rem:  Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

ROBIN:  I am ambidextrous. I started learning Russian a few years ago (stalled out) and have started learning Gaelic. I was planning to go to college as a vocal music major.

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

ROBIN:  There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”  by Erin Hanson

I lived so, so many years believing I was a failure. It crippled me from trying, and instilled a fear, not of failure, but of success.

rem:  What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

ROBIN:  On the shelf next to me is a tube of glitter. Not sure why it landed there, but there it sits…

rem:  If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

ROBIN:  OY! This is like choosing a favorite! I love history, and would love to visit so many eras, beginning with Biblical times—and work my way to the present.

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  Can’t pick a favorite any more than I can choose a favorite movie or TV show, but I do have a life verse—Be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the Word of God. Romans 12:2

rem:  If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  This is akin to choosing a favorite… For the sake of answering the question, I choose Tessa, from my own debut novel. Writing her, writing this story, is what first drew me into my passion for writing, and stirred my appreciation for all the other authors and characters.

 

rem:  What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  The stories we write are very much akin to the parables Jesus told. They paint a living picture of life, and with fiction at our fingertips, we have the liberty and privilege to weave Spiritual Truths into our stories, placed as naturally as the air we breathe or the coffee our characters drink. Unbelievers who might never pick up a Bible—or a believer who needs encouragement—finds God’s love and truth wrapped in the words and pages of the stories we write.

As an author, I have realized truths that I might not have ever otherwise recognized. In the writing, the words and lessons are secured firmly in my mind and heart.

rem:  When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  Cheesy dialogue.

rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  My degree is Interior Design. But I love acting, too, and was in theatre all through high school.

rem:  What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  Just started The Scroll by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I’m a mood eater (also eat per dictate of my blood sugar… ) so it varies—I do most of my writing in the evening, and usually have cookies on hand.

 

rem:  Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  Stories have always rattled around in my head. The opening of what would become my debut novel, Tessa, came to me while I was out on a walk in July of 2008. I diverted to college, and after graduation in 2013, I devoted my time to finish my story. Without a clue and with the help of an author friend, I released Tessa in March of 2014. I have discovered a

rem:  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  A nest. I write in a nest. My routine, such that it is, seems to be backward to what I most often read as best—to write first thing. I find, however, that until I tend to other tasks, i.e. email and blog stuff, I don’t focus so well on my story. Ergo, I do the bulk of my writing later in the day and evening.

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  all.the.things an (Indie) author has to do! Staying focused. I created an Excel spreadsheet as my calendar to keep up with my blog schedule, and other details. On it, I have a tab to track my word count.

My greatest struggle, though, is that I have rheumatoid arthritis, and the weakness and fatigue associated with it. I don’t have stamina to do many of the things I need to and want to do.

I handle it by praying, and by doing what I can and [have had to learn to] leave what I can’t till another day.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  The community of other authors! Oh, and the stories! I love the stories!

rem:  What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

ROBIN:  Marketing! I don’t have a budget to speak of, and am limited on what I can do to promote.

Easiest? Writing the story! I get so lost in my story world, and enjoy being there.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:

DO: Read, read, read. Join and participate in writer’s groups. Attend writers conferences.

DON’T: Go it on your own. Skip help where you need it—editing, cover design, etc. Don’t ever compare yourself, your journey, to other authors.

rem:  How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I don’t really, they (my characters) introduce themselves and tell me their names. Only a few do I choose, and to do that, I look at lists of names for the era and nationality or location. Also, sometimes names are rooted in family history.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Nope. I know the beginning, and have a general idea where the story needs to go. I let my characters lead me from Point A to Point Z, or wherever it ends up.

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  I’ve been floundering lately. There are a few reasons for this. And I only just recognized one of those reasons the other day—I wasn’t sure my main characters’ (two MC’s in this book) major conflict, or where it’s going. Now I’ve identified that much I can move it forward.

And that said, my next book is a change of genre for me—going for a bit more lighthearted mood this time. One for the Price of Two, twins Elizabeth and Meredith are so identical their parents can’t tell them apart. They learn early on how to exploit this, mostly for kicks and giggles. Inevitably, of course, they must discern their own unique identities.

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  I’ve only just begun, but the opening is pretty funny—see below. I love this because it’s a new genre for me, and yet still my theme of search for identity. And you should read it because it’s going to be—hold it, it IS an amazing story, with laughs and kisses and swoony (nods to Pepper Basham) scenes.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

ROBIN:  The story has been with me for 20-ish years. I’ve always been fascinated with twins / multiples, and with multiple personality disorder (think Sybil.) This is my first story to play with the issue of twins.

rem:  Please give us the first page of the book.

ROBIN:

 

“YOU!” Elizabeth Elliott skewered her sister with a glare.

“Took a long lunch, did ya?” Meredith shrugged, a smirk streaked across her face.

Bethy jabbed a well-manicured finger in her twin sister’s chest, punctuating each word. “That.Was.Not.Funny.”

“But you had a good time, didn’t ya?” Mere’s smirk burst into a snicker, then a chuckle. She followed when Bethy turned and wove her way through the cluster of workstations in the open office area.

“Well?” Mere prodded. She folded her arms and propped herself against Bethy’s desk.

Bethy unlocked her desktop computer and started clacking away without so much as a glance at her sister.

“You know I’m not leaving till you at least tell me if you liked him.” Mere slid into the blue upholstered side chair next to Bethy’s chair-on-wheels. Mere tipped back slightly, and propped her feet next to the computer.

The keyboard clattered as Bethy’s fingers tripped over the keys. Randomly. On a blank doc. “He.Was.A.Troll.”

“What?” Mere leveled the chair and leaned forward.

“What were you thinking?”

“You haven’t dated since—”

“Don’t say it.”

“C’mon, Beth.” Mere’s confusion ebbed to sympathy. “You need to get back out there.”

“Where did you even find this guy?”

Mere hesitated, sputtered. Her plan had been brilliant. She had anticipated laughing over her sister’s profile on the dating site. Mere had been sure this guy was a perfect match—a match made in heaven, just like the site claimed.

“It was supposed to be a joke.”

“Well it wasn’t funny.” Bethy clacked at the keyboard, and opened her current presentation doc.

“He was cute, at least.”

“Cute? You call pulling his teeth out to bite me cute?”

Mere’s eyes widened and her hand covered her mouth, trying to stifle a snicker. She wasn’t successful.

“It wasn’t funny.” Bethy’s arms tensed and she crossed them over her chest. “It was creepy.”

“I’m sorry.” Mere swallowed another giggle. “He was a hottie in his profile pic.”

“Profile?” Bethy’s eyes narrowed. “What profile?”

“Oh, that.” Amusement stretched across Mere’s face.

“What. Profile?” Amusement was not written on Bethy’s face.

“Match Made in Heaven.”

“The dating site?” Bethy’s chair smacked into the credenza, knocking two books and a plant loose as she launched to her feet.

“What?” Mere stood to match her sister. “It’s a good site. They have the highest success rate.”

“Not with gremlins like the one you found.” Bethy surrendered into her chair. “What were you thinking?”

Mere leaned sideways across the curved work surface, tugged the keyboard. In a few strokes she had opened the website. “There? See?”

Bethy’s eyes widened. “Well, that’s not who I had lunch with.”

“Maybe it’s an old picture.”

“Yeah, like a hundred years ago.” She scrutinized. “Before a spell was cast on him.”

“I was just trying to help, okay?” Mere logged off and made her way back to her workstation.

 

rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  We are each unique, made in the image of God, with giftings and purpose.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

ROBIN:  You have an amazing blog! #winkwink  I love all the birds and nests and stuff!

rem:  Why thank you, Robin! You know what they say, great minds and all…

.

 

 

“There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” —Erin Hanson

 

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Robin.E.Mason/

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://plus.google.com/+RobinEMason

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-e-mason-a323b142/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

“Break the rules. That’s my number one rule. I know the rules [of grammar] and I know how to break them.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin E. Mason

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 15 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY         

Nine books, nine stories, nine reviews

* NOTE: This series is best read in order.

 

BOOK 1: THAT’S AMORE: THAT’S LOVE

THE BLURB:

Begin your journey to Tuscany with Book 1 of A Tuscan Legacy! Each novella is a complete and satisfying romance, filled with faith, family, forgiveness and love.

When Rafaele and Jayne meet again two years after dancing the night away together in Tuscany, is it a matter of fate or of faith?
After deciding to take a six-month sabbatical, Italian lawyer Rafaele Rossi moves from Florence to Tuscany, resigned to managing the family farm for his aging nonna after his father’s passing. Convinced a family get-together is what Nonna needs to lift her spirits, he plans an eightieth birthday party for her, making sure his siblings and cousins attend.
The Keswick jewelry store where Jayne Austin has worked for seven years closes its doors. Jayne takes her generous severance pay and heads off to Italy—Tuscany to be precise. Choosing to leave her fate in God’s hands, she prays she’ll miraculously bump into the handsome best man she’d danced the night away with at a friend’s Tuscan wedding two years ago. She hasn’t been able to forget those smoldering brown eyes and that rich Italian accent.
Jayne’s prayers are answered swiftly and in the most unexpected way. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s a guest not only at Isabella Rossi’s birthday party, but at Villa Rossi too.
When Rafaele receives what appears to be a valuable painting from an unknown benefactor, he’s reminded that he doesn’t want to lose Jayne again. After what he’s done to drive her from the villa, though, what kind of a commitment will it take for her to stay?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest’s no longer so empty.
www.marionueckermann.net

 

MY REVIEW:

I loved this story so much. I was transported to Tuscany, and fell immediately into the family saga with all the dynamics at play. A very apt opening to the series, Ms. Ueckermann introduces the reader to each of the family members, and sets up the mystery that runs through each story in the series—the curious painting each cousin receives. And a cousin no one even knew about. So many questions, so many books in the series—of course I’m hooked!

 

 

BOOK 2: LUNA ROSA: BLUSHING MOON

THE BLURB:

She loves the spotlight, he prefers backstage. Can they still play love’s duet?
Nick Carter’s career as a piano tuner and teacher keeps him off-stage and allows him plenty of time to compose music he has no intention of ever publishing. Enter Louisiana Chalfant, the new symphony pianist who embodies the word diva. She’s exactly the kind of woman Nick has vowed to avoid, but when they’re cajoled into playing a duet he finds there’s more to her than he first thought.
Louisiana settles into her temporary role with the symphony in Washington, D.C., glad for the reprieve from touring professionally. She’s astonished to discover immense talent in the handsome man who keeps her piano in tune. Practicing for a duet at church gives her the perfect opportunity to get to know the real Nick.
As they play together, Nick and Louisiana develop a friendship that begins to morph into something more, but what happens when their diverging goals threaten to upstage their love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Maddrey’s style draws the reader into the story from the first word. Sparks fly the moment Nick and Louisiana meet—almost literally according to Nick’s reaction. Easy-going meets high-strung. I love Ms. Maddrey’s dialogue, so genuine and real, the interaction between characters comes alive.

As Nick’s history seeps out, a secret tries to crawl out of hiding, too. One he has hidden away for good reason. Always on the road for performances, the young and talented—and friendless—Southern Belle, Louisiana Chalfant, comes across as a pretentious and self-important diva.

The harmony—and dissonance—between them played out like a masterfully composed symphony.

 

 

BOOK 3: RAPSODIA: RHAPSODY

THE BLURB:

A risk taker with a crushed spirit and a control-addicted businessman with a crushed heart… Can they surrender themselves to God’s healing love?
After the woman he loved left him for a richer guy, Marco Carter turned all his passion toward the chain of pizzerias he founded. He can control his business, unlike love. Then his world is turned upside down. He meets Samantha Jenkins on his flight home to Texas after his grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Many hours with the guarded but beautiful Samantha has him questioning his career-centered mindset.
A born risk taker and fiercely independent, Samantha misses her former life as a travel photographer and extreme sports aficionado. But more than anything, she grieves her fiancé. On her trip from Italy on the anniversary of his tragic passing, the last thing she expects is to become drawn to her neighbor on her flight. Deep inside, she still blames herself for her fiancé’s death…
Though Marco is determined to forget Samantha, the arrival of a mysterious painting reminds him of all that is missing in his life. Hoping for a new chance with her, Marco opens a pizzeria in Samantha’s hometown in south Texas. Spending time with her, he’s learning to surrender control to the Lord. But apparently it’s easier to earn millions than to make Samantha open her heart again. What will it take for her to heal enough to trust in God and take the biggest risk of all-to love again?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Alexa Verde writes sweet, wholesome books about faith, love, and murder. She penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her popular series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules. For giveaways, news, and recipes, please sign up for her newsletter at http://www.alexaverde.com. Twitter: @AlexaVerde3. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexaverdeauthor.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ooohhh, what a clever cute-meet! Two island-personalities thrust together for long hours, and my heart ached for both of them. I longed for both Marco and Samantha to step outside their self-imposed restrictions and give love a chance. This reviewer may or may not have scolded and chastised (okay, I did) when they bucked and resisted, and I surely cheered as they each put their past aside and opened to the possibility of a future together.

 

 

BOOK 4: TI AMO: I LOVE YOU

THE BLURB:

The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammà died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in Architectural History and Archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fear that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single.
American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows no sign of interest in Michael.
Can anything sway the beautiful and headstrong Italian to fall in love? Can anyone convince her to put her faith and hope in a Heavenly father, despite being raised by an earthly one who never loved her? Will her sister’s prompting, or a mysterious painting, or Michael himself change Alessa’s mind? About love. And about God.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

OY! I did not like Michael AT ALL! Not terribly unlike Alessa, this reviewer tends to run the opposite direction when confronted with pushy people. Of course, the story wouldn’t have the ending it did if Michael weren’t so pushy as he was. And—of course—I read on, eagerly waiting for them to get together. To Michael’s credit, he did seem to regret his initial overbearing interest, and backed off some to allow God to do what only he can do.

I was glad for Alessa’s sister, Sienna, who gently encouraged Alessa to embrace what Michael had to offer, including his faith. It’s so hard watching loved ones resist God’s love, and I appreciated Sienna’s gentleness with her sister.

When Alessa’s guard started to come down, it was a sweet journey to watch and she and Michael became friends.

 

 

BOOK 5: LA FIAMMA SACRA: THE SACRED FLAME

THE BLURB:

Forged in love’s sacred flame, can a firefighter and a widow find the path God set for them?
Ric Rossi left the family farm in Tuscany and never looked back. Working as a firefighter in Reading, England, he has everything a man could ask for—a secure job, a firm faith, and a neighbour who cares for his cat Noci when he goes away. The only thing missing is a woman he can share his life with.
Widowed when her son Deforest was a week old, Bracken Hughes isn’t prepared to open herself to the heartache a relationship can bring. Especially with her handsome neighbour who risks his life each time he leaves for work. No matter how good the man is with her son.
Ric finds Deforest to be an appealing child who captures his interest. And the mother has that certain something that pricks his heart. But the unhealed wound in Ric’s soul might just spoil any chance he has at love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Clare Revell is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children’s stories. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
The first draft of every novel is hand written.
https://www.facebook.com/ClareRevellAuthor

https://twitter.com/ClareRevell

http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/

 

MY REVIEW:

While I loved the characters, the story seemed to lose momentum with this book. As a single mother, I remember the struggle Bracken faced. And I so appreciate Ric’s connection with Deforest, and the way he eased into their lives.

 

 

BOOK 6: BELLA NOTTE: BEAUTIFUL NIGHT

THE BLURB:

He likes to play the field. She’s content to wear her goody two shoes.
Piero Carter packs light and travels often. He loves adventure and manages to keep his life simple by sticking to a two-dates-only rule. The longest relationship he’s had — aside from family — is with his camera. As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, he’s used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side.
Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. Being seen on his arm means getting tied to his reputation, and that’s the last thing she wants. Yet, somehow, they keep getting thrown together. What’s a girl to do?
Piero finally meets a woman who makes him want more than two dates, but does that mean he’s ready for one of life’s greatest adventures — falling in love? When Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. Her books almost always include someone who’s infatuated with coffee, too. Some things just can’t be helped. Heather delights in creating characters who, like her, have their share of faults and foibles, characters who are flawed…but loved anyway.

 

MY REVIEW:

Appearances are not always what they seem! That was certainly the case with both Piero and Felicity. This reviewer can identify a little too well with Felicity, hiding behind a skill, afraid of what she might find on the other side of the mask.

Talk about a clever cute-meet—tumbling on the rug?? Forced into an embrace by gravity?

Ms. Gray deftly peels away the masks they both wear, exposing both Piero and Felicity’s true colors, and allowing the attraction between them to develop.

 

 

BOOK 7: SOLO TU: ONLY YOU

THE BLURB:

Home means everything to Sienna Rossi.
Four years ago, Sienna defied her father by moving to Australia to obtain her teaching qualifications. Her grand plan is shaken by her father’s unexpected death and a trip back to Tuscany for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday where she renews her close bond with her sister, Alessa.
Teacher Dave Maxwell likes the freedom of his nomadic lifestyle. He works contract-to-contract, moving to different high schools around Australia. He’s in Sydney for a season, caring for his grandma while his aunt is on an extended overseas vacation.
Back in Sydney, Sienna moves in with her Aussie cousins and starts her first teaching job, torn between her dream for a future in Australia and her longing for home. Sienna and Dave work at the same school, attend the same church, and quickly become friends. They are drawn together by circumstances and an undeniable attraction.
But their idyllic time together is temporary. Can the girl from Tuscany and the boy from Australia risk everything for love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle’s contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

 

MY REVIEW:

Oh, I love the setting for this story! Ms. Atkins is a true storyteller! I felt as though I was in the story, walking along with Sienna and Dave. Sienna’s tug between the life she wants in Australia, and returning to the land she loves—Tuscany. Dave, however, is a wanderer and has no desire to put down roots. The attraction between them stirs conflict and tension that leaps right off the page; I longed for Sienna to return home—and yet, I wanted her to stay in Australia to be with Dave. I also mentally thrashed Dave for even thinking about relocating without Sienna!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will look for more of Ms. Atkins’ books.

 

 

BOOK 8: DOLCE VITA: SWEET LIFE

THE BLURB:

La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love, awaits Rachel. But can she accept it?
Rachel Golding loves her uncomplicated life in Wales. Teaching art, a close-knit group of friends, and a strong and loving bond with her mother. But the trip to Italy to meet her Italian grandmother for the first time stirs unwelcome emotions — reluctance to forgive Nonna for a lifetime of rejection, and longing to know more about the father who died before her birth. Between her cousin’s accusation she sent a series of mysterious unsigned paintings to get revenge on the family, her mother’s wedding, and her realization she feels way more than she should for her best friend Jonathan, Rachel’s carefully planned life is spiraling out of control.
Always ready for adventure, especially with the woman he loves, Jonathan Davies gladly accompanies Rach on an impulsive return journey to Tuscany. Okay, so he also hopes the time together might give him the chance to tell her how he really feels. But now she needs his friendship and support more than ever, revealing his love is a risk he dare not take. Not without some sign she wants more. A sign she may never give.
In the haze of a sunflower summer, can Rachel learn to surrender her hurts and fears to God and so embrace the life He intends for her? La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Autumn Macarthur is a USA Today bestselling author of Christian inspirational romance. Originally from Australia, she now lives near London with her very English husband and a variable number of spoiled rescue cats, after a one-year working holiday turned into twenty years!
She loves writing deeply emotional stories to make you smile and remind you how big and wide and deep God’s love and forgiveness can be. She’s thankful to be blessed with good friends and a patient husband. Most of all, she’s eternally grateful for God’s great love and mercy.
When she’s not writing or being a cat slave, she spends far too much time on Facebook. She’d love to hear from you!
Sign up for her email newsletter at http://www.autumnmacarthur.com, and get a free ebook, as well as news of new releases, special offers, and exclusive subscriber-only contests!

 

MY REVIEW:

This is the story that started this reading journey for me; not realizing the continuity of the stories in this series, I read this one first. And felt a small letdown when I finished it and there were questions unanswered! That said, Ms. Macarthur’s story thoroughly whetted my appetite for the whole story, and I went back to the first book.

 

Honestly, I wanted to throttle Rachel. But then, I’d have to throttle myself—how stubborn we can be…

I so admired Jon in his pursuit of her, having wisdom not to push her, staying by her side as she discovers this whole large and loud family she had never known about—and who thoroughly invade her quiet and ordered life. I loved the way Ms. Macarthur wove Jon and Rachel’s friendship, with questions about how or whether it would ever become more. I surely rooted for him to win her heart, and silently encouraged her to come out of her protective shell.

 

 

BOOK 9: LA RISPOSTA: THE ANSWER

THE BLURB:

One marriage ends, as another begins.
Or can faith and forgiveness bring a hurting couple back together?

When the harvest celebrations and a family wedding bring the eight cousins back to the villa at summer’s end, along with their new beloveds, the final secrets are revealed, along with the solution to the puzzle of the unsigned paintings.
But can these secrets be forgiven, healing old wounds and mending broken hearts, or will the mistakes of the past be repeated?
The future of a marriage about to crumble depends on the answer!

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Macarthur ties up the series beautifully with this story. Her insight into the characters, the depth of their love and their pain, bleed through on every page. Lies seeped out slowly, like a lanced wound, making way for the truth, and healing. A wonderful story of hope, and love and forgiveness.

 

SERIES REVIEW:

What a delightful reading journey! And what a creative way to tell the story, from so many characters’ perspectives!

Tuscan Legacy was a fun read for me—me with #alltheaccents in my brain.

Ultimately, the one theme that runs through the series is forgiveness. What a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Christian believer!

 

 

Note to readers: this book uses British English and grammar. Though the story is a complete new romance, it’s best enjoyed if you’ve read the other books in the series, at least Books 1 and 8.

 

I purchased these books on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Series Review, A Tuscan Legacy, That’s Amore: That’s Love, Luna Rosa: Blushing Moon, Rapsodia: Rhapsody, Ti Amo: I Love You, La Fiamma Sacra: The Sacred Flame, Bella Notte: Beautiful Night, Solo Tu: Only You, Dolce Vita: Sweet Life, La Risposta: The Answer

 

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 13 January 2019 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DEATH COMES AS A THIEF

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – DEATH COMES AS A THIEF

 

            Dedicated to Israel Jeremiah Burton 12-27-18 – 1-4-19

 

I read a book several years ago, Living the Lord’s Prayer. In it, the author (whose name I cannot remember) broke the prayer into its parts, a separate chapter for each phrase in the prayer. Of all the depth of revelations in it, it was the second chapter, “Who art in Heaven,” the meaning, and a single image that has stayed with me:

 

Basically, we’re not God. He sees and knows things that we cannot begin to understand. And when we have questions, sometimes we have to do the thing that goes against every fiber of our natural being, and accept the unacceptable.

 

Like death.

 

Do I believe that God had some reason to take this child’s life? No, I do not. Do I believe He allowed it? Sadly, yes, I do. Was his death some form of punishment? Or lesson? No, with all my heart and spirit, I do not believe that is how God operates.

 

I could rail against Him, rant in His presence, curse at Him even. But that won’t give me answers, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.

 

Do I grieve with my friends? Yes, certainly. My heart breaks for their loss, and I feel the sting of it with them.

 

Does this mean God is not sovereign?  Not Who He says He is? No, not at all.

 

How, then, do we explain?

 

Sometimes, we just don’t.

 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

 

Sometimes, we have to let go of our natural understanding, and trust that our Father—who art in heaven—will see us through. Will carry us when we can’t go on.

 

That He weeps with us in our sorrow.

 

 

Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of His wing.  Psalm 91:1

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Sorrow’s End, Living the Lord’s Prayer, Death Comes as a Thief, Psalm 46:10, Psalm 91:1

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 12 January 2019 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – RETURNING SOON

WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – RETURNING SOON

 

I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.

 

Almost as soon as I launched it, my What’s Cookin’ in You Kitchen feature fell off the Blogosphere Radar. I am bringing it back.

 

In two weeks, on 26 January, I will share one of my recipes—I only have to decide which one to share.

 

 

If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

 

NOTE: All recipes must be original or used with permission.

 

 

#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

 

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 10 March 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – RETURNING SOON

 

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – RETURNING SOON

 

“Break the rules. That’s my number one rule. I know the rules (of grammar) and I know how to break them.”

 

Chat Thursday has been anemic for most of 2018. With only three interviews—count ‘em, THREE—for the entire year!! Truly, the whole of the blog has been anemic.

 

 

Till now! The drought is over!! In two weeks, on Thursday 24 January, we meet the lovely Deborah Raney! In honor of being my first re-interviewee, Ms. Raney has graciously offered to provide a mug from her wonderful collection.

 

 

 

“There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” —Erin Hanson

 

 

 

“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.”—Madeline L’Engle

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Returning Soon

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 6 January 2019 –  FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SPECIAL EDITION – NEW YEAR NEW WORD – RESTORATION

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SPECIAL EDITION – NEW YEAR NEW WORD – RESTORATION

 

Each year, toward the end of the year for the past four years, Holy Spirit has dropped a word for the coming year in my spirit.

 

This year not so much. Always by September or October I’ve known my word for the coming year. But September passed, then October. Even November came and went, and I’d heard nothing of my Word. Fleeting thoughts, words—RECONCILIATION, COMPLETION, ADJUSTMENT—but none that really resonated in my spirit. I was floundering.

 

In truth, I’ve been floundering on all counts for months—since my last book in May, and my surgery in June if I’m honest. Recovery from both has been tedious, shall we say. While learning something new—using my knees in ways I’ve not been able for so long—I’ve also been rather lost without my writing. (And thus, no post for New Year’s Day.)

It seemed I wasn’t ‘hearing’ my word for the coming year. But that wasn’t entirely true. In fact, it was Tuesday or perhaps even Wednesday, I realized why I was so flustered—RESTORATION, my word this past year, is making a repeat performance. Co-starring RECONCILIATION, COMPLETION, and ADJUSTMENT. With guest appearances by FOCUS and DISCIPLINE.

While I’ve seen so many posting about the difficulty of 2018, and rejoicing to see the year end. I sat quietly in my little corner and marveled at how gracious Father has been to me during this past year. And, it seem, He’s not done yet. Is He ever? Done with us?? Isn’t He always reaching to us, drawing us, wooing us to His side?

 

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

 

What has this to do with Sunday Devotional? Seems the word of the year has become quite trendy. I’ve seen quizzes and an app or game to discover your word.

 

But for some of us, it’s not a silly thing at all. Rather, it’s a deeply spiritual thing. And for me, at least, it’s not even something of my own choosing. For me, it is an intimate promise from the Father.

 

This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:18-19

 

Restoration is not mine to do or give. Restoration is Father God’s to give. It’s in His hand, it’s all in His hand. And I’ve claimed what’s mine, what He’s promised me. And now it’s time.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Year’s Special Edition, 2019, New Year New Word,  RESTORATION, Alignment, Adjustment, Completion, Reconciliation; Focus, Discipline; Restoration, Breakthrough, Shift, Forward, Inhabit, Expectation, Rest

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BLOGWORDS – 25 December 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – CHRISTMAS DAY

SPECIAL EDITION – CHRISTMAS DAY

 

 

Merry Christmas to each of you, my happy followers, and thank you for being part of my writing journey. I wish you a most Happy and Blessed New Year.

 

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpxrK5ItgG0

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word was made flesh and made His dwelling among us. John 1:14

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Christmas Day, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Isaiah 7: 14, John 1:1 & 14

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