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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 7 March 2019 – SPECIAL EDITION – ROBIN (still) NEEDS A CAR – GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN

BLOGWORDS – SPECIAL EDITION – ROBIN (still) NEEDS A CAR – GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN

“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

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

Sometimes, we need help to change our life. This is me, asking for your help.

Please, please help however you can.

Any donation is appreciated!!

And share everywhere you can!!

 

MY STORY

Robin is stuck. Help Robin get unstuck.

 

Imagine if you will a simple routine visit to the doctor’s office.

Time to get there:        30 minutes

Time with doctor:       30 minutes (including wait time)

Time to get home:       30 minutes

 

Now imagine this 1.5 hours has turned into a FOUR HOUR outing. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m very grateful for Medicaid transportation. But logistics is not their strong suit. Add rude drivers (I almost had one stop the vehicle so I could get out!) and it can be straight up miserable.

 

This is just one example (and yes, it’s real, and it’s the most extreme scenario) of the struggle of not having a car. Even an otherwise simple trip to the store becomes an ordeal. And meeting a friend for lunch or coffee? Going to church? Going anywhere??? I mean, think of all the BOOK SIGNINGS I could do!!!

 

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis nine years ago, which placed me on Disability, i.e. limited income. Believe me, I would rather be working than to be weak and chronically fatigued all the time. Meanwhile, I’m making the best use of my time with my writing.

 

THE PROBLEM

I’ve been without a car more times in my life than anyone I know. Classic episode of a comedy of errors, or in this case, a tragedy of errors. No DUI’s or anything like that. Circumstances and situations beyond my control, unwise decisions on my part. A wreck that totaled one car, a ticket (52 in a 35 – long story) that cost me my license—which I got reinstated.

I mean, so many weird things—I wouldn’t do this to my characters!!  LOL

 

So, I’m putting it out there again. I set up a GoFundMe campaign. I set my goal to allow some “wiggle room” and to get insurance and taxes / tags, and whatever else I might need to get myself driving again. I’ve had too many cars with too many problems because they’re too old and I don’t want that again.

 

GOFUNDME LINK

https://www.gofundme.com/manage/robin-still-needs-a-car

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

 

First, of course, is donate. Any amount helps. I am humbled with every dollar than comes in—I gotta tell ya, this is weird for me; asking for help is not easy for me.

Two—share the campaign. Let anyone know about it you think might help. Share on Facebook, Twitter, wherever you hang out online. If you can, share at your work or club meetings or church.

And three—pray. I know Father knows my needs, and I know He provides, sometimes in unusual ways.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

One last thing, I thank you for taking the time to look at my campaign. Thank you for caring, thank you for helping.

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Robin Needs a Car, GoFundMe

 

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 21 March 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY and COVER REVEAL – MARIA HENRIKSEN

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY and COVER REVEAL – MARIA HENRIKSEN

I have my eye on the prize- the publication of my very first novel! I’m excited! I’m scared! I’m emotional!”

 

This is huge for me and I need all the support I can get. So, thank you for reading this. Thank you for your continued support whether it’s a quick simple prayer that I don’t lose my mind or a Facebook note stating, “You got this!” or even a Facebook thumbs up on my posts. I need the encouragement. I didn’t know how excruciating and cut throat this business can be.”

 

Please join me in giving a feathered welcome to Maria T. Henriksen.

 

FAST FAVES

Dogs or Cats  – Dogs

Facebook or Twitter – Facebook

Paperback or Kindle – Paperback

 

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

MARIA:  I was raised in Delaware County outside of Philadelphia, PA. I live about 45 minutes north of there in Montgomery County.

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

MARIA:  I’m a terrible typist. Ironic, I know.

I often feel like a teenager. Maybe it’s because I live and breathe teenagers; I teach them, I am a parent to them, I write about them, I’m often mistaken for them. I know that’s hard to believe, but I get that frequently. (rem: you DO look rather like a teen… )

I feel like I have yet to accomplish anything significant in my life and I hope that this novel will put those feelings at ease once it’s published. (P’SHAW!! You’re a teacher—that’s like the most significant thing you can do!)

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

MARIA:  Live, love, laugh. It’s so simple and sums up how we should embrace life.

rem:  So simple, and so profound. What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

MARIA:  Axio, an energy drink packet. It is also a mood enhancer and provides better mental acuity.

rem:  I’m sure you need it being a teacher! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

MARIA:  Cinema Paradiso in Italian with subtitles. I know, you probably never heard of it.

Friends. I could sit all day and watch re-runs. I have to tell my kids to shut it off or I get sucked in its vortex.

rem:  You’re right, I’ve not heard of it—but I’m the same with shows I do watch! Can we say #bingewatching…  If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

MARIA:  Bible times during Jesus’s life to witness the Sermon on the Mount because I truly believe that I would be in awe of His live teachings.

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

MARIA:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) I love this verse because it is a reminder to put my faith in Christ and in doing so, I can accomplish anything. It is also my protagonist’s mantra.

rem:  Such a good reminder that what we do is in Him, and not of our own strength! If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

MARIA:  Miss Brenda from my novel because she is genuine, caring, selfless, and a prayer warrior with a heart of gold.

 

rem:  I can’t wait to meet (read) her. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

MARIA:  I think it is important to make Christ the center of our lives, so by reading about it, He is still the focus. As a reader, you’re not far off in a fantasy world void of our Savior if you are reading content with Christ in it.

I love this next question. Being a novelist has definitely brought me closer to the Lord. I have had to rely on God every step of the way. I have had to pray about what to write, what to edit, what to add, who to trust to help me along the way, what I should spend money on regarding the publication and so much more. My novel was inspired by God. I never knew what He wanted me to write until I sat down to type it. Publishing a novel is the hardest thing I have ever done and I have boy/girl teenage twins!

rem:  For all that it’s true in any calling, there is something about making words to share, that truly draws us in to rely on Him. Literally for every word. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

MARIA:  I don’t like it when stories are long and drawn out with a lot of brooding.

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

MARIA:  Run. I love running and would love to run a marathon.

rem:  OY! I’ve never been much of a runner but I love to walk. I’d walk a marathon with you. What are you reading right now?

MARIA:  It Doesn’t Hurt Anymore, Release The Past and Embrace Your Future by Dr. Arvis Murrell. It’s Christian nonfiction.

rem:  So hard to do, though, isn’t it—release the past? What do you munch on while you write?

MARIA:  I don’t really munch on anything. I have a water bottle next to me at all times.

rem:  Such discipline! (said the perpetual muncher) Your degree is in communication and journalism. How did that translate into writing a book?

MARIA:  Comm/Journ is basically writing in different forms. I have always enjoyed writing and received excellent grades and praise for my writing. As a major, it’s probably lends itself to writing a novel more than most majors.

rem:  Words is words, after all. You’ve had your hand in a variety of things—graphic arts, wellness, finance, and most recently education. Which was your favorite and why?

MARIA:  I would have to say education, because I am able to interact with students and hopefully make an immediate impact in their lives through helping them learn and discover. In fact, I inspired a student to write a novel.

rem:  I wanted to be a teacher at one point in my life. Will have to settle for living vicariously through my characters. (I have 4 teachers in my new series.) Wee bit off topic, but one of particular interest to me—you are the mom to twins. What’s the best thing about having twins? The hardest?

MARIA:  I joked about having twins earlier, but quite frankly they are a blessing and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I actually think it’s easier having twins than having kids of different ages. My kids are at the same stage in their lives which makes it so much easier as a parent. They are very different in looks and personality, so we get variety there. At this point, the hardest thing is teaching them to drive. They both need to get their time in behind the wheel and as a working mom and novelist, I have to defer to my husband to teach them how to drive. Not to mention he is a much better driver than I am. I can teach just about anything, but driving is where I draw the line.

rem:  I’ve always been fascinated with twins and multiples. Wished I was one, wished I had had twins. But, I’ll have to settle for living vicariously… Tell us a little about your writing journey.

MARIA:  I wrote and illustrated books when I was in third grade. I loved it! I dreamed of writing a novel since high school, perhaps even younger, but I was never much of a reader until my thirties. I decided that I needed to read in order to write, so I set out to read as much as possible. I started my novel about ten years ago. It took about six months maximum to write while working during the day. I put it on the proverbial shelf until about two years ago when I finally decided to get it published.

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

MARIA: I wrote my novel in my finished basement at my desk on a desktop computer. I started after the kids went to bed and wrote until about 2 am. Since then, I progressed to the modern age and write using a laptop. Now I work anywhere. I especially enjoy writing while sitting on a lounge chair on my patio that my husband built with primitive tools.

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

MARIA:  The writing is the easy part. It’s trying to figure out how to promote your book without breaking the bank or having a break down.(rem: no kidding!)  I have also had many technical difficulties with my computer. My formatting was destroyed after spending hours manually formatting it to create certain aesthetics. I took it to the Geek Squad several times and was a wreck. I tried to remain calm to no avail. Instead, I made jokes in an attempt to keep some composure. Ultimately, I would be a complete mess if I didn’t exercise regularly, pray constantly and meditate. Recently, I made getting proper rest a priority because I was only getting a few hours of sleep each night. I was not only irritable, but I was completely unable to function after several nights of insufficient rest. Thus, the Axio energy packet in my bag.

rem:  So sorry about the computer and formatting nightmare. But good on you for treating yourself with TLC. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

MARIA:  The element of surprise. I never know what I am going to write.

rem:  Amen, Sister!! #PantzersUnite  Your debut novel, Not Again, releases soon. Tell us about why you wrote this book.

MARIA:  At first, I wanted to write about what I know, me. Then I realized that my life is boring, so the Lord led me in another direction. In the end, I believe the Lord inspired me to write a story to help teens deal with stress and to deal with the pressures of sex in a more realistic and relatable fashion with some much needed comic relief to compensate for the weighty mature topics.

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

MARIA:  There have been so many challenges! Technical issues, waiting on people to get back to me for various different reasons, trying to figure out how to navigate the very complicated world of publishing with its acronyms, terminology… In the beginning I never knew what anyone was referring to, so I asked. I still don’t know what people are talking about half the time. If I knew then what I know now in terms of challenges, I may not have written my novel.

Perhaps the easiest for me would be the fun part that feeds my gregarious nature, promoting on social media. I am very active on FB where I have an author FB page, Maria T. Henriksen, author that I write mostly inspirational and scriptural posts. I want my page to be a place where friends/followers/readers can go to be lifted up, to learn and grow. The opportunity to interact with people around the world feeds my soul. I find that part is easy and relaxing as well as inspirational for me. I recently became more active on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest as well and I have a website/blog that helps people to connect with me. Mariathenriksen.com

rem:  How did you choose your characters’ names?

MARIA:  I loved the name Christina since I was a child and I love roses, so I named my protagonist Christina De Rosa. I like the name Avery, but it’s only been the last few years that I heard of it and I wanted a simple generic last name to go with that was close to D for De Rosa in the alphabet, so I chose Evans. I like the names Morgan and Katie, so I named Christina’s best friends those names. Some of the other names I used are from friends and family. If I don’t like a character I might choose a name that I don’t like.

rem:  That’s so fun. Did you think of the entire story before you start writing?

MARIA:  Absolutely not! I didn’t think of much before I started writing.

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

MARIA:  I love the characters in my book because they are true to life. In fact, they inspired me to forgive. You should read this book to be lifted up in difficult times. I strongly feel that God inspired me to write this novel to help others cope with trials and tribulations. While I was writing/revising I was going through some challenging stuff (neck surgery) and the Lord helped me through it by providing me with techniques to help me deal with the stress. I, in turn, incorporated them into the story. Furthermore, I think that teens today are so inundated with sex and pressured to have sex outside the marriage bed, so I wanted to create likeable, realistic characters that experience the same pressures but handle it differently than the way society deems acceptable.

rem:  Kudos to you for your efforts!! Please give us the first page of the book.

MARIA:  This is the Prelude:

            NO! NOOO! NO! STOP, PLEASE STOP!” For two  whole  glorious  years,  I  cherished a

little, yappy dog, named Mugsy, from the moment I laid eyes on him in 1977, at the age of nine. Our neighbors from down the street, the Martins, gave us the puppy from their dog’s litter, shortly after my parents, brother, and I moved to our newly constructed house in the sleepy town of Pennsford, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

            The Martins kept one of the puppies, a skinny honey-colored, short-haired, homely looking runt with short pointed ears, a bushy tail, and a short temper. He was named Elvis, as an ode to the recently departed.

            I found the contrast between my Mugsy and Elvis humorous. Mugsy was the cutest mutt. He was a Shih Apso, a combination of a Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu. His fur was sandy brown and soft. His ears were floppy and bounced when he walked. They came from the same litter, yet one looked scrappy like he needed bathing, and the other dog, my canine buddy, was lovable, soft, clean, and ready to be hugged.

            Mugsy and I shared a special relationship in the fleeting time she graced us with her presence. Sometimes I pretended it was Mugsy and I against the world. She was always there for me, ready with licks and cuddles, unconditionally.

 

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

MARIA:  I hope that my readers will become closer in their walk with the Lord; to depend on the Lord for everything; that the Lord will put people in their path to help them during trying times; that the Lord will provide them with coping mechanisms to reduce stress.

rem:  Like puppies. #justkidding sWhat’s next? Is there another book or a sequel?

MARIA:  Yes, I started a sequel. Not Again, the Fallout. The sequel will expound on a theme that was started in book 1 and will introduce another extremely important theme that the readers will greatly appreciate.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

MARIA:  My greatest hope is that readers will come to know the Lord through my novel, since that’s the greatest gift anyone can receive.

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

 

 

https://www.mariathenriksen.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PurpleNchocolate/

https://twitter.com/MariatHenriksen

https://www.instagram.com/maria_t_henriksen/

 

GIVEAWAY

Maria is giving a $10 Amazon gift card.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at 12:00 A.M. on Thursday 21 March and end at 12:00 A.M. on Thursday 28 March. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

 

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b11/?

 

 

What Do Ya Say?

Hey, hey, hey! What do ya say?

This is my first step to start blogging away.

Let’s write something relevant, something fun

I don’t want this to be one and done

Looking to share life’s wonders

in the midst of life’s blunders

Follow me and you will see

me in you and you in me

I won’t be shy

to share my why

A few keyboard clicks

Reveals what makes me tick

So stick around

for life’s profound

 

NOT AGAIN COVER REVEAL

Christina De Rosa has a potentially deadly secret that threatens to get out. As an innocent young teenager, Christina survives a terrifying sexual assault that destroys her self-worth and trust.

In her daily struggle, Christina searches for ways to keep her torment at bay, so she can function as a “normal” teenager. Meanwhile, Christina’s spiritual journey leads her down a path causing conflict within, as she’s riddled with guilt and shame.

A chance encounter with her longtime, hot crush, Avery Evans, sparks a fire in Christina that she can’t  extinguish. As the sweet, loving, knight in shining armor he readily portrays, Avery offers the safety and security that Christina craves.

In her quest for internal peace, Christina must make a decision. Will she give her heart, body and soul to the ever popular, Avery Evans?

Will Christina’s nightmares become all-consuming or will her discoveries lead her to a renewed way of life?

Find out if true love triumphs in this edgy, faith-based young adult page-tuner, set in the 1980s.

*This is NOT your typical Christian coming of age story. Fierce faith doesn’t come without a fight. Prepare for heartache, traumatic events, real romance, and actual scripture in these pages. Bring tissues.

 

AND NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it lovely!!

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Maria Henriksen, Giveaway, Cover Reveal, Not Again

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 30 January 2019 – WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK MAGAZINE – HOPE BY THE BOOK-LAUNCH EDITION

WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK MAGAZINE – HOPE BY THE BOOK-LAUNCH EDITION

                                                                             

 

PROLOGUE:

Embrace your bookish side.

Does your dream day consist of staying in bed with a good book or binge watching Jane Austen movies? OURS TOO!

Have you adopted the Dr. Seuss method of home decorating (‘fill your house with stacks of books in all the crannies and all the nooks’)? WE HAVE TOO!

Cancelled plans don’t bother us because we’d #ratherbereadinganyway.

YOU TOO?

 

STAFF:

PUBLISHER & FOUNDER             Angelia L. White

ART DIRECTOR                            Kim Baker

SENIOR EDITOR                          Carrie Schmidt

ASSOCIATE EDITORS                   Beth Erin, Rachel Dixon, Annie Sturt

COPY EDITORS                           Erica Baker, Melony Teague

REVIEWERS                                 Rachel Dixon, Beth Erin, Patsy Glans, Leslie L. McKee, Carrie Schmidt, Annie Sturt, Kerry Sutherland, Andi Tubbs, Suzie Waltner, Alysha Worthen

SPECIAL GUEST                          Liz Johnson

CONTRIBUTORS                         Patti Callahan Henry, DiAnn Mills, Tiffany King

ADMIN/HR COORDINATOR        April Johnson

BUSINESS/FINANCE COORD.     Sherrell Jenkins

 

MY THOUGHTS:

What a wonderful bookish publication! Filled with, quite literally, all things books! Reviews, articles, recipes—what more could a book lover hope for!

 

 

#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book Magazine, Hope by the Book – Launch Edition

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 26 January 2019 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – PASTA BELLA ISABELLA

WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – PASTA BELLA ISABELLA

 

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.

Welcome to the return of my What’s Cookin’ in You Kitchen feature!!!

PASTA BELLA ISABELLA

In memory of my mother, whose name was Elizabeth

INGREDIENTS

1 lb                  ground Italian sausage (may substitute hamburger)

1 tablespoon    olive oil

1                      onion

1                      bell pepper

8 oz                 mushrooms, sliced

 

1 small can      tomato paste

2 large cans     tomato sauce

2 cans              diced tomatoes

1 container      Parmesan cheese

 

1 box               large pasta shells

2 lbs                 mozzarella cheese, grated

Reserve ½ cup

8 oz                 Ricotta cheese

1 bag               fresh or frozen spinach

 

SEASONINGS

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons     garlic powder  *I use powder not salt.

1 teaspoon       oregano

1 teaspoon       basil

 

DIRECTIONS

Drizzle olive oil in large skillet, and add ground sausage. Brown over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Dice onion and bell pepper, and add to meat. Add sliced mushrooms.

 

Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a Dutch oven or 4 quart pan with olive oil. Place on hot burner.

Empty tomato sauce and paste into pan, and blend using a whisk. Add tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and the oregano and basil. Add half container of Parmesan cheese. Bring to a low boil and turn burner to medium-low. Cover pan and allow to simmer, stirring frequently.

 

Drain meat and sautéed vegetables, and add to sauce.

 

Fill a large pot with lightly-salted water and bring to a rolling boil.

Place the shell pasta in the water, and return to a boil.

Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain and rinse; let cool.

 

Mix the mozzarella, Ricotta, Parmesan, and spinach. Season with remaining garlic powder.

Scoop ¼ cup into each cooked and drained shell.

 

Preheat oven to 375° F

 

Ladle half the sauce into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Place stuffed shells, seam side up, into dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella over top.

 

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

 

 

SUBSTITUTES

  • Cottage cheese can be used in place of ricotta.
  • I like this recipe with clams, but my #2 man child is allergic to shell fish, so I make it without the clams.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 25 January 2019 – HEADLINE NEWS and CURRENT EVENTS – ABORTION and the REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT

CHAT THURSDAY – HEADLINE NEWS and CURRENT EVENTS – ABORTION and the REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT

 

I’m breaking a cardinal rule and writing on a hot trending topic—abortion and the “Reproductive Health Act.” I do not write this as a debate, but as my conviction as a follower of Christ.

 

 

“New York State passed a bill this week that feminists are celebrating with glee, lighting up the top of the Freedom Tower with pink lights as they claim victory for women’s health reform and women’s rights.”

 

I am a woman and this is NOT a “right” for me.

 

It is an abomination.

 

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,  hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.  – Proverbs 6:16-19

 

I read a comment on a Facebook post a while back that blasted God for asking Abraham to sacrifice his own son, raging at the horrific notion of… sacrificing his child to God.

My immediate thought was of Molech, the Canaanite god who actually did expect infant sacrifices. And gruesomely done, too.

And—GET THIS—done willingly. By the parents.

WARNING: graphic description ahead—

Some of these sources suggest that babies were roasted to death on a heated bronze statue. According to Diodorus Siculus, “There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.” They placed their children alive in the arms of a bronze statue of the lady Tanit.

The hands of the statue extended over a brazier into which the child fell once the flames had caused the limbs to contract and its mouth to open. The child was alive and conscious when burned. Philo specified that the sacrificed child was best-loved.

According to Stager and Wolff, there is a consensus among scholars that Carthaginian children were sacrificed by their parents, who would make a vow to kill the next child if the gods would grant them a favor: for instance, their shipment of goods were to arrive safely in a foreign port.

* source: Wikipedia

 

I am reeling from the news of this decision in New York. Never is abortion warranted, but to poison a child who might otherwise live, but for which side of birth he or she (and yes, only two genders) resides is unfathomable.

 

This means that a woman has carried this child, felt its movements within her own body, has heard (potentially) the heartbeat, that she knows that a person is inside her—and still chooses to murder him or her. This means that a woman has had weeks, months to make a decision to give life outside her womb to the life she carries. This means that a woman who makes this decision, this late in her pregnancy, has a hardened heart. Cold. Stone.

This means that it is no panicked, irrational decision. It is calculated, and callous, unconscionable. Premeditated.

 

Facebook is glutted with reaction to the New York decision, and because of my circle, that reaction overwhelmingly is grief, sorrow, lament.

 

Melissa Ferguson talks about the “bystander effect,” in which we, as Christians, grouse and gripe and grumble about a thing—but actually DO nothing. She shares a time when she had an opportunity, and reached out:

 

https://www.mlferguson.com/uncategorized/time-to-rise-up/?fbclid=IwAR39spD86B-NKb3oVGiq3NqVEvuT93F6eGns19_xJ2PMXR_U51kBCfcvQWI

 

Each of us, as believers, is called to step up, to speak out, to DO something, anything, to make a difference. This post is, for me, one thing I can do.

 

Whatever we do, we must do it in love. And boldness. Never superior-minded, never brash or aggressive. But neither timorous or reticent or diffident. Rather, we must be confident and gentle and meek, sure in the One for Whom we live, and act, and speak.

 

Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Not subjective, dependent neither on whim nor emotion. Truth is truth, and it is absolute.

 

And when the unthinkable happens, when a child is conceived and born with defect or deformity, it is not a punishment or a test. It does not mean God has forgotten us, or looked the other way.

 

Rather, it is our chance to look to Him IN the difficult and heartbreaking circumstance. To trust Him when He says He works all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28)

 

My friend, Kimberly Wyse, shares her experience:

 

http://kimberlywyse.com/2019/01/24/lord-have-mercy-a-response-to-the-new-new-york-state-abortion-bill/

 

And lest you think me a naïve commentator, who is ignorant of the issues, let me assure you I am not. All three of my own children were very much wanted and cherished, even though one was a product of rape—still, never did I wish to murder my unborn child. So yes, I knew those anguished emotions. But a wise friend told me, in those early days of that pregnancy, that God had a special purpose for the child—as He does for all of us.

I pray God’s mercy upon our land. I believe this has rocked us to our core, and that the righteous will rise up and rout out such evil. Yes, the days are dark, and yes, the enemy is growing bolder. But he is also growing careless. He is desperate, for he knows his ultimate end. Oh yes, the enemy is surely alive, but he is not well. Not at all. We, the righteous, we are alive and well, and we are strong in His might. Our God is not desperate, He is not grasping at straws, He is never careless. He is firmly seated on His throne, steady and sure as all eternity. And when we look to Him (Psalm 121:1-2) we, too, are steady and sure in the face of evil.

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Headline News and Current Events, Abortion and the Reproductive Health Act, Jeremiah 1:5, Proverbs 6:16-19, Bystander Effect, Romans 8:28, Psalm 121:1-2

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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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