Wednesday, February 3, 2010

boys and books

Here are my boys. Wyatt is on the left and my little fiddler, Paul, has put down his violin and is into that milkshake on the right. After writing about them earlier this week I thought I'd show you a picture. They are the delight of my heart. Yep, better than a book any day:)

But speaking of books... My TBR stack is toppling. I really need some bookshelves but baskets suffice for now. Here's a peek into my mailbox this week:

Finishing Becca by Ann Rinaldi
Affectionately Yours, George Washington (letters)
The Duke's Redemption by Carla Capshaw
Costume Close-Up by Linda Baumgarten

I've never read a Love Inspired historical before and found The Duke's Redemption at Wal-Mart today. The price is certainly right and the cover is quite romantic. Plus it's set in my favorite century - the 18th.

What are you reading right now? Fiction? Non-fiction? A bit of both? I'd love to know!


  1. Oh, I love that pic of your boys! They are so cute. I just love boys!!!
    Forgot to mention, I homeschooled Justin and Brandon in Kindergarten, jr. High, and part of high school, also homechooled my former step-daughter in high school for a few years. (I have such a complicated history...)

    I just saw The Duke's Redemption online today and almost ordered it, but I'm going to get it at Walmart when I'm done with The Silent Governess. I'm loving that one. I really like the way Julie Klassen writes. I'll have to head over to the new Christian Historical Fiction site to chat about it. I'm also enjoying one of my research books immensly which is about southwestern Colorado's first preacher. It's fascinating and true!

  2. I just read Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker, and I am about to read either a Sally John book or a Tamera Alexander one. I am also reading every now and then Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul and a Shannon Ethridge book. It's funny because that looks like a lot of books but I spread my reading time out.

  3. I'll be back to list my current reads in progress a bit later (and remember, you asked for it!), but just wanted to say how handsome your boys are! And that photo really captures their personalities.

  4. I'm always on the hunt for new good book! my 'books on the bedside table' pile is usually way out of hand ;) and I read several at once. Currently have "An Echo in the Bone" out from the library...hope it wont matter that I didnt finish the book before it ;) A friend just lent me "Confessions of an ugly stepsister" and there are always books in my library that I read over and over...I also have a soft spot for decorating books. I have a feeling I will be getting those out to dream now that we're trying to sell our house!

  5. Very handsome boys, Laura. They look mischevious though...I bet they keep you ont heir toes.

    I just started reading "A Lady Like Sarah : a Rocky Creek Romance" by Margaret Brownley. It's a Western set in the late 1800's. The writer has a soft, fluid style and the words just roll around in my head and tickle my imagination.

  6. I'll leave the exhaustive list for the blog post I plan to write later today, so here's the short list of the books I'm reading now:

    ~The Red Heart, by James Alexander Thom
    ~Christopher Columbus and His Legacy, Opposing Viewpoints, edited by Mary Ellen Jones
    ~A Company of Heroes: the American Frontier, 1775-1783, by Dale Van Every
    ~Writing The Other, A Practical Approach, by Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward
    ~Children of the Longhouse, by Joseph Bruchac
    ~Madeleine L'Engle {Herself}, compiled by Carole Chase
    ~The Essential Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), Edited by Michael Fitzgerald
    ~Becoming a Vessel God Can Use, by Donna Partow

  7. Adge, I think of you as an eclectic reader as you don't get stuck in one genre like I do but read across the board. That's so good! I need to follow your lead. I really like the Chicken Soup books, too, but am not familiar with the others, just Tamera Alexander. Thanks for sharing - and for giving the rest of us more good reading ideas!

  8. Carla, I know you love boys as you have 2 like me:) I'm so glad we share a homeschooling link. You have a rich history!

    Yes, The Silent Governess is getting good reveiws. I've read Julie's first book, Lady of Milkweed Manor, so will have to check this new one out. And I'm glad to hear you love research like I do. Your WIP sounds like it's going so well and you've found some great sources! Can't wait to hear more!

    Bless you today!

  9. Lori, Some of your books are my books - we certainly share the same taste in literature:) I'll have to check out A Company of Heroes - sounds inspiring! Especially after all our hero talk. I just realized I left a few books out as well. I've never been one to read more than one book at a time till the last few years. I'm always researching though with more than one. Thanks for your list!

  10. Heather, This is such an exciting time for you - getting ready to box up those books:) I've always loved moving. And I'll be praying for you as you go!

    You are one of those blessed readers who like to read books twice. Some of my favorite reader mail is from folks who say they did that with TFD. I've only read a couple of books again - Jane Eyre, The Blue Castle, and Christy. I'm going to do a post about The Blue Castle as I can't get that out of my head:)

    Happy reading to you today!

  11. Kav,
    You picked the perfect word: MISCHEVIOUS. Notice that's in caps?! So far they haven't put any snakes in my bed (my big horror) but they've done about everything else with great glee. And I'm an older mom! Didn't have Wyatt till I was 35! Sigh. I can hardly keep up with them - or maybe they keep me young?

    I've been wanting to read Brownley's book as I keep seeing it in Crossings Magazine, etc. It's good to know exactly what you like about it. Am wondering if it's anything like Tamera Alexander's books? The cover is very well done.

    Oh so many good books, so little time...

  12. Your boys definitely have that glint in their eyes, don't they? You're in for a lot of fun. :D I have a soon-to-be 14 year old with that same glint.

    As far as books, give me fiction anyday. I'm just starting Amy Wallace's "Ransomed Dreams" (for the 3rd time). It's a beautifully written romantic suspense.

    And, I see a few people have mentioned Julie Klassen. She's from my home state of Minnesota & has just been nominated for The Minnesota Book Award in genre fiction, and is in the top five along with the likes of John Sandford. This is a wonderful advance for CBA fiction. Writers are finally being recognized for excellence in the general market too.

  13. Love that pic of your boys! I know what you mean when you say they are your true heart.

    I'm on the waiting list at the library for "The Silent Governess" by Julie Klassen and "The Lightkeeper's Daughter" by Colleen Coble.

    I wish I had known you'd be interested in "The Duke's Redemption"----I just traded it on Paperback Swap! I'll email you a list of other titles I've got to see if you're interested.

  14. Oh Mary, You just named another one that I'm after - The Lightkeeper's Daughter:) Love that cover. Would you believe I've never heard of paperback swap but it sure sounds neat! I've only just heard of Think I got that right.

    I know you have a heart for boys. Your Peter looks just as mischevious and probably would be even moreso if he had a brother. So count your blessings:)

  15. Brenda, That is really good info to share about Julie's award. Quite an honor! There are several CBA novelists that are really top of the line. I think of Liz Curtis Higgs and Dale Cramer, especially.

    I'm with you - fiction rules:) And the Wallace book you mentioned with that intriguing title sounds very inviting. I'm always tempted when I hear a book is beautifully written. We've talked about that before. It's one of the hallmarks that turn a book into true literature.

    Enjoy that almost 14 year old - they get even more interesting the older they become, huh?

  16. Me again. Adding to my just reads.

    'The Lightkeeper's Daughter' by Colleen Coble was a good suspensful read but I didn't feel immersed in the time period the way I do with other historical novels.

    I finished reading 'Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana'by Melanie Dobson. The one I won on this site! It's a gripping read about the underground railroad from the point of a Quaker woman who actively runs a station. The historical details were fascinating from the descriptions of the house and the hiding places to the fugitive slave act and the high emotions of the time. I was riveted. I felt the romance took a backseat to the rest of the story and would label it a historical novel rather than a historical romance. Well worth the read, though.

  17. Kav, Thanks so much for checking back with your review of "Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana." I especially like hearing what you liked best about the book. You made such an important distinction between historical fiction and historical romance. They are indeed very different! Thank you for pointing that out. I had readers expecting a romance with TFD and they were quite surprised once they got into the book and found it was historical fiction with a capital HF:) I'm learning from my romance buddies though and am bringing my hero in a bit earlier in these next two books. Poor Ian.

    Now I want to read TLD more than ever, as I've heard so many different things about the book.

    Bless you for checking back in! Love that:)

  18. Handsome boys. Thanks for sharing their picture. I'm into Shaker history books again to try to jar loose some new ideas. Also reading Jim the Boy by Tony Earley and The Lost Mission by Athol Dickson. Never enough time to read all I want to read.

  19. I just finished The Duke's Redemption and it was delightful and wonderful. A great read. I also have been waiting for your next book. I so enjoyed The Frontersman's Daughter.Blessings.

  20. Laura, I would still say that TFL has a lot of the romantic element in it. You just draw it out and build it up, but it's there from the very first page. I think you did a fantastic job of building the romantic tension in the book. In fact, it makes it more 'romantical' in a way. You definitely get a big HF from me. LOL.

    As to Coble's TLD -- I felt like the historical setting took back seat to the plot though the plot mirrors a true Gothic pattern: Orphaned girl brought to the home of a wealthy family as a governess only to find her life in jeopardy.

    Colleen is excellent at plot-twists and action and it's definitely a page turner as you try to piece together the clues but I think the historical aspect was just there as a venue to tell the rest of the story...It wasn't actually a part of the story. If that makes any sense.

    It's still a great read and is in Coble's distinctive style, but if you're a die-hard Historical Fiction enthusiast you might be a little disappointed.

    Oh -- and I also noticed a few errors -- mostly in conversation -- using 20th century slang say instead of the slang at the time.

  21. Laura! You're boys are absolutely adorable! (Although they are probably at that age where they prefer not to be described like that. lol) My ONE boy keeps me on my toes more so than BOTH my girls sometimes, I don't know what I would do with another one. =) Makes for double the fun times as well though I'm sure!

    Some of the reads on my TBR list (which is also VERY toppling at the moment!)are The Frontiersman (still haven't had the chance to read it =( since I got it in KY in Novemeber!) Also, the newest releases from Lauraine Snelling and Julie Klassen. ALso there are a few Mary Connealy books that I have yet to read. (She is fabulous! You would LOVE them...historical westerns with broods of rambunctious boys!)

    And of course, I absolutely cannot WAIT for the next releases of two of my absolute FAVORITES - Laura Frantz and Julie Lessman! =)

    Now back to my homework. =S

    Have a great weekend!

  22. Thanks so much, Ann. I know you have a few boys of your own, kids and grands:) I always enjoy seeing their pics, too.
    I don't have a doubt that you'll be coming up with another great Shaker story. Is it all right to say here that I have only a few more pages of The Seeker to go and am really, really enjoying it! My deadline for endorsement is the 15th. You really outdid yourself on this one, Ann. Better shush lest I blurt spoilers but you added some wonderful elements!
    I need to get a hold of an Athol Dickson book. He writes so very well from the excerpts I've read. But I'm like you. Never, ever enough time to read. Won't that be the best thing about heaven (well, one of the best) is unlimited books and no sense of time!

  23. Yippee, April! Another thumbs up for The Duke's Redemption. Can't wait to start. I almost dove in last night but got sidelined again. Thanks so much for enjoying TFD and saying so here - and for looking forward to Morrow' story.

    I'll be giving away 4 copies of CML will go out before it's in stores - and I think I'll throw in a gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes&Noble, too, for those folks who already pre-ordered the book and would rather have that in the drawing.
    So good to hear from you, April. Bless you bunches!

  24. Oh Ashli, Goodie:) I love your reviews and have your blog on my sidebar which you probably already knew. Lots of good books coming up on blog tours this year! I hope CML will be one of them though I don't know the schedule yet.

    Your kids are so cute and I'm thinking maybe it's a good thing you just have one boy:) Love their names.

    YES, Julie's book is coming up! Can't wait!

  25. Kav, I so love all this book talk. And I really enjoy reader's telling me what works for them. I'm glad to hear the romantic element wasn't lost for you in TFD, nor the setting and detail overpowering.

    I have an author friend who says she just uses the bare minimum of historical detail for her novels. She is mostly dialogue-driven, I think. And some readers love that. Colleen's book might be very similar from what you've described. Have you read her Rock Harbor series? I hear they're just terrific. I worked at Rock Harbor Lodge/Lake Superior/Isle Royale National Park one summer and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I'd thought of basing a book there but Colleen beat me to it:)

    Glad for the reminder of slang in novels. Keeps me on my toes!

  26. I love book talking too -- can you tell? LOL.

    Yes, I've read Colleen Coble's Rock Harbor series and loved it. Also her first Sanctuary one. The things she puts her characters through! Oy, I don't know how she sleeps at night! LOL.

    Colleen has certainly done justice to Rock Harbor in her books. I want to live there! She excels at all those authentic little details about the people and the culture and the wilderness. And of course, there's a dog. I love a dog in a story! Come to think of it there's a dog in The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter too. There's something so satisfying in a loyal dog companion when your heroine is going through multiple angst...unless the dog is kidnapped or injured protecting said heroine...ack...I'm having Rock Harbor flash backs.

  27. Good lookin' kids!! What a blessing!

  28. Kristen,
    Thanks so much. They are full of vim and vigor and do everything with great gusto and glee. Just love using those words:) Must be the writer in me!
    Hope you're having a great reading and writing week:)

  29. Kav,
    I just realized what is missing in CML. A dog! Well, there is a dog but then he only makes a brief appearance... I'm with you. Dogs and kids are so necessary to a good novel, I think. Ann Gabhart does a really good job with the children in her stories - very poignant and believable. I imagine she has real life inspiration as she has so many grandkids! And she's very involved with them.

    Hmmm, not too late to put a dog in book 3:)

  30. Your boys are so precious and I remember well when my boys were that young (but I had a litter by the time my oldest boys were the age of yours)
    I haven't had time to read anything for Months and have to be careful what I leave sitting on my end tables or my pups try to eat them
    I have also been very busy trying to get more things made up to put in my blog plus hoping to have a craft sale on the car port (weather permitting)
    My friend is still bugging me to write that book I told you about so maybe I will try talking into a tape player and have my DD who studied writing through high school and college put it on paper for me and see what happens.
    Have a great week end

  31. FINALLY, I can log onto my own blog:) Blogger has been have some mood swings today. Nancy, thanks so much for your comments. I know you have a few boys/men in your life, too! They sure make things interesting.

    I do hope you start to work on your story/memoirs. You've led such a full life, rich with all kinds of experiences. It might be just the break you need from crafting, though you'd better not give that up:)

    Thinking of you!

  32. Stacey, I'm so glad you're homeschooling your little girl. I really treasure my time with my boys though am glad to have the public school as a backup. I may put my Paul in this fall.

    And I'm so happy to send you some bookmarks, etc. I'll include extra for any book-loving family and friends you have. Thanks so much for asking. And thanks for looking forward to meeting Morrow!

  33. Great pic of the boys Laura! They are growing up too fast like mine! Syd turns 15 on Monday! Praying your Mom makes it there safely today and you both have a wonderful long visit together! Can't wait to see you guys this December! It will be so much fun. Hello to the family and maybe I will talk to you soon. ;)

  34. Hi Rhonda,
    Mom just asked about you and I told her Sydney's birthday was tomorrow:) Can't believe our kids are getting so big. Next thing you know we'll be flying to weddings, not reunions!
    Sure miss you all. Wonderful to hear from you. Mom sends big hugs your way, as we do!

  35. handsome fellas!!

    i'm reading Caddie Woodlawn right now. I can't believe I've never read it before! it's funny.

  36. Lisa, I know you're a boy lover like me:) Though I do wish I had a girl like you every now and then:) Oh, Caddie Woodlawn is awesome! Right up there with the Little House books for me. I bet your girls would love it. Can't remember if there is a series? Bless you bunches today!