Monday, June 29, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: The Fiction Writer's BOOK OF CHECKLISTS, by Angela Hunt

This is book #9 in the Writing Lessons from the Front series by Dr. Angela Hunt.

I kinda wish I had this book in paper, so I could photocopy the checklists and have them just sitting there as I go through my next writing project. This is common sense stuff, folks -- but you know how it is, you forget some of the steps because there is so much involved in writing a great book. And I still wonder how people can insist that writing a book is easy .... yeah, just the people who have never tried to write one!

Checklists, and a brief discussion of what needs to be done in each step, include: Prewriting, First Draft, Second Draft, Submissions, and even a checklist and discussion of pros and cons and considerations if you want to try self-publishing.

One of these days, I'll have the whole series, but the ones I've bought so far are very useful, and all worth reviewing on a regular basis.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


This novel from Year 2 of Tabor Heights deals with romance in the silver years -- and a mystery, and ties up some loose threads.

THE WRATH OF BUBBLES deals with Max's Aunt Rose and Andrew Coffelt, the editor and owner of the Tabor Picayune, the twice weekly newspaper.

Back in BEHIND THE SCENES, Joel's sister, Rose, came to stay with the family and help out during the family crisis. Aunt Rose became part of the family because her and Joel's family essentially threw her out for siding with her brother. During the events of BEHIND THE SCENES, Rose meets Andrew. They even have a short story where she is pursued by a man who adored her when they were children ... but the man he grew into turns out to be a silly old man.

In THE WRATH OF BUBBLES, Andrew asks Rose to take over the community column in the newspaper -- only the nasty next-door neighbor of Homespun Theater believes the column should have been offered to her! Then odd events start happening, and the pattern indicates everyone having nasty, and then destructive, then downright dangerous pranks played on them are all customers of the newspaper. What's going on?

Andrew and Rose make a good investigative team, and their friendship grows deeper and sweeter as he holds her hand through some personal crises. Who says you're too old for romance?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: A WINNING RECIPE, by Bonnie Engstrom

The full title is: A Winning Recipe for Meatloaf Magic and Love Everlasting. A mouthful, huh? Wish I had a mouthful of some of the recipes described in the book, which, per the title, features cooking quite often.

The story starts -- and throws the romantic leads together -- at a cooking competition. Kate is a control freak and Lance has some strong white knight tendencies, coming to her rescue from the start -- and maybe being just a little too friendly. At least, too friendly for a stranger ... who just happens to get on the same shuttle to the same hotel. As we find out soon, Kate has had some boyfriend issues, a guy who wants to control and dominate her life -- the kind who says she likes it when she protests his treatment. So when Lance kind of takes over from time to time, that irritates and frightens her.

I wish the author had put the winning meatloaf recipes in the back of the book -- they both sound scrumptious. This is a fast read, funny in places, frightening in others as Kate deals with some issues in her life, emotional and physical. If you like Golden Retrievers -- Kate's faithful sidekick -- and you like people who like to cook ... try it!

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Today the Spotlight is on the very first Tabor Heights novel ever published: THE SECOND TIME AROUND.

Daniel Morgan's past returned to haunt him when a freshman girl showed up wearing his college sweetheart's face.

Lynette Tyler was determined not to face her past, when she learned her daughter's favorite new teacher was the man she had forced out of her life when she got pregnant.

When Daniel learns that Kat is his daughter, he dares to ask God for the dream he had let go years before... to finally be a family. He pursues Lynnete's love through tragedy and shame, learning to forgive each other and themselves. The biggest hurdle isn't whether Kat would forgive them when she finally finds out the truth, but whether Lynette can let go of the past long enough to let them have a future together.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR, by Valerie Comer

This sweet, inspirational romance by Valerie Comer was a lot of fun to read.

Jo is Green -- heavily into natural products, energy conservation, organic food, sustainable sources, eco-friendly housing. She and her friends have come to a farm they have bought -- and named Green Acres -- in the little town of Galena Landing. Their mission: Change the world.

Zachary is a veterinarian with a problem. He was dating the daughter of the vet he was interning for, and hoped to work for, but when her demands didn't match his morality, suddenly he was out on the street, with lies told about him, and no chance of a recommendation. Not good for his career. Zach came home to Galena Landing to take care of the homestead while his father dealt with sudden, serious illness. Jo and her friends moved in next door.

The clash between the health food girl and the guy who loves junk food is predictable in some ways, unpredictable and fresh and fun and surprising in others, and heartbreaking in still others. You'll ache for them both by the time they get things straightened out, in their lives, their hearts, and their souls. It's a romance, so you know how it will end, but it's the JOURNEY that's so much fun. Of course, there are more stories about Jo's roommates, so ... more fun awaits!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Today, the Spotlight is on a book from Year One of Tabor Heights: THE MISSION

Claire came to Tabor five years ago to make a new start. Her life is wrapped up in the Mission, which now has funds for renovations and expansion.

Paul comes to be head custodian, threatening her equilibrium. First, his daughter, Sammy, asks if Claire will be her new mommy, then Claire begins to fear Paul will take over, changing the vision and goals of the Mission.

Paul only wants a fresh start and a safe home for Sammy. The Mission’s vision has caught his imagination, and Claire has caught his heart. Teamwork for the sake of the Mission promises to become so much more, and personal, if they only have the courage to take a chance

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY: Tabor Heights -- SEASONS: A Tabor Heights Anthology

Today's Spotlight is on SEASONS, A Tabor Heights Anthology, from Year One:

Cops and Bobbers: Officer Mike will do whatever it takes to get closer to Rec Director Trina, even put on swim trunks and help beginning swimmers at the city pool.

Troubleshooting: Jake follows Bailey to church, his first Sunday in Tabor. Hired to find an embezzler, he is dismayed to realize she is the prime suspect, and fights to prove her innocence.

In the Air, On the Air: Riley knows how Clark Kent felt about Superman, when Gina seems to like his radio alter-ego, Whit, more than him. What's a mild-mannered DJ to do to win the girl of his dreams?

From Turkey to Mistletoe: A nasty office trick sends Mitch to Jenna's door while she still aches over Thanksgiving dinner no-shows. Their instant friendship grows despite office politics until Christmas, the season of miracles.