Love, not just blood, bound a family. This past year had taught her how badly
some people treated their blood. Nothing could ever destroy the love an actual
family. Their hearts connected them, and those bonds were more robust than
anything in the world.
-- from Not Without a Fight.
Isn’t that beautiful? I am pleased to welcome Rebecca Lange, author of Not
Without a Fight, Plane Crash, and The Heavenly Bodyguards series. Rebecca,
thank you for joining us.
Before we dig into your latest book, won’t you tell us about yourself? I enjoyed
checking out your website and for some reason, I’m particularly interested in a
certain Scottish wedding…
That particular wedding was unique. But first, a little more about myself: I was born and
raised in Northern Germany. My mother’s parents escaped East Germany before the
wall came up, and my dad’s family was already living in West Germany. (In fact, my
grandmother - my dad’s mom - was born in the house she still lives in. She is 92 years
old now.) I love reading, music, writing, acting, watching chick flicks (especially
Christmas romance movies), and sharing funny and uplifting posts on social media. My
husband and I have been married for over 16 years, and we have two boys (15 and 13
years old). We also have a cute little Yorkie.
Now about that “certain Scottish wedding” (this is the short version)… I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both my husband and I were missionaries for our church. My husband was a missionary in Germany (we didn’t meet, though), and I was a missionary in Scotland.
My husband met a girl from Scotland on his mission. When I went on my mission a few
years later, I met that girl’s mother in Scotland. Right at the beginning of my mission, my
grandfather passed away from cancer. Since that was hard for me, and I was still
struggling with the language, that mother would call her daughter in Germany whenever
I visited her to speak to someone in my language. A friendship developed, that friend
got married right after I came home from Scotland, she invited both my husband and me
to her wedding, and that’s how we met.
That's a very sweet story and a truly lovely way for you and your husband to have met. Lucky you to have stayed in Scotland! I've never met anyone who visited that country and did not love it. How much would you say your travels have influenced your writing?
My first novel, “Heavenly Bodyguards – Trainee in Action,” starts in New York, but most
of the story happens in Scotland. I purposely used Scotland as the setting for my story
because after living there for 19 months, I love that country, the accent, and so many
things, and I used a few of my own experiences as part of the story. I mention the
Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, and that’s because I was able to go twice. It is such a
cool event, and I was blessed to go both years I was there. I also talk about a castle and
loch ness. Even though I was never able to visit that area as a missionary, my husband
and I went on a trip to Scotland after he returned from his Iraq deployment. We made
sure we saw the highlands as well. It is such a beautiful country.
I am living in Germany right now because my husband works as a civilian for the
military. We also wanted to live closer to my family for a few years. Before we moved to
Germany, we lived in San Diego for 12 years.
I find it interesting that you choose to write in English rather than German, especially when you are living in Germany! What made you decide to do so? Are your books also published in
After serving my mission in Scotland and learning the language (and then living in the
US), I decided to write my books in English since there is a bigger audience for it out
there. I am fluent in both languages and tried to find a literary agent or publisher, but
when I kept getting rejected, I decided to do it independently. Being German comes with
a certain amount of stubbornness, and well, I was blessed with a lot of it. I hope to
publish my books in German one day, but since I have to do everything myself, I don’t
have the time right now. I had friends and relatives ask me to publish my books in
German, but I can only do so much. I used to have an editor, but she had to quit for
personal reasons. Now I am even doing my editing. I know it isn’t as perfect as it would
be with a traditional publisher, but I think it is pretty good considering that English is my
second language, and I am relying on two grammar programs and myself.
From what I’ve read about your books and from your latest one, "Not Without a
Fight", which I’m in the middle of reading, it is clear that while there are plenty of
joyful elements in your books, they are not lightweights. They cover serious
topics. Please, tell us your process, how you choose your topics. Then, I will
leave you free to tell us about Not Without a Fight.
I am pretty passionate about the topics I pick. I have covered abuse and bullying in my
stories, dishonesty, believing and trusting in God, racism, and human trafficking to raise
awareness. I think these things must be discussed even if it isn’t a comfortable topic.
Yes, my books are fiction, and certain issues make a book more dramatic and
suspenseful, but these things happen in real life. The reality of these topics is not fiction.
I addressed spouse abuse, for example, because I have a friend who went through that.
She told me one night what was happening to her and asked me to inform other friends
so they would know what was going on when she had reached the point of getting away
from her husband. He was such a nice guy for everyone to see, but not behind closed
doors. It was interesting to see how people reacted to my email. Most friends were
super supportive and thanked me for letting them know because now they could be
there for her. I did get two replies, however, that surprised and hurt me. They told me it
was not my business to share such details with other people and that I had no right to
get involved. I emailed them back and told them that I had every right since my friend
specifically asked me to do that and that we can’t ignore a problem just because it might
be uncomfortable. I never told my friend about it, but she found out much later and
apologized to me that I had become a target. I told her that she didn’t need to be sorry
and that I hadn’t told her about it so she wouldn’t feel bad. Now, I am not sharing this
because I think I am such a good person. No. I am sharing this to clarify that doing the
right thing isn’t always easy and might even cost us friendships, but we can’t look the
other way when someone is mistreated, especially when that person asks for help.
It must have been a very hard, very painful time -- scary, even. But I agree with you. We cannot turn away from those in need just because it would be easier for us to do so.
Let's talk about "Not Without a Fight". It’s the perfect name for this story, by the
Thank you for thinking it is the perfect name. I was wondering for a while if it was, but I
couldn’t think of anything else. “Not Without A Fight” is a story I originally wrote for
myself. It was a lot different and written in German. When I saw the many posts about
US Marshals rescuing children and women from human trafficking, I felt I should write
about that and research how it was back in the 1800s. The problem has existed for a
very long time; the same goes for spouse abuse. Although it is getting talked about
more often now, we still can do better. Today’s radical feminists like to paint a picture of
men that isn’t true or real. I tried to bring across that evil, but many good men exist, and
we shouldn’t shame the entire gender for the evildoings of a few. I believe that standing
up for our rights is essential. Women in the 1800s had to fight for fairness and better
treatment, but sadly, many feminists nowadays take it to the other extreme and are
demanding to be above men. I don’t condone punishing people for something from the
past that had nothing to do with them.
I am also a believer in romance. While women must know how to stand up for
themselves and can fight their own battles, there are times when we will need help, and
it is not a bad thing. Men and women were created differently for a reason, and we
should celebrate the differences. I believe that men and women can be playful without
being inappropriate. I think friendships between men and women are possible when both
are willing to see it as such. Not every man who is flirtatious and playful has
inappropriate thoughts in his mind. I think we often forget to enjoy life and not take
everything so seriously.
Thank you. That is beautifully expressed and also very interesting, especially considering the characters in the book. I have to say, I find Hazel, the heroine, uncommonly stubborn and opinionated. Wow. Of course, she needs to be strong. Please, tell us more about her. Did you enjoy writing her character?
I may or may not be uncommonly stubborn and opinionated myself. ;) I am not admitting
to anything here, but I like to use some of my character traits to better relate to my
heroine’s. Stubbornness, sass, outspokenness can be a wonderful and even important
thing as long as it is used for the right reasons and not to hurt another person.
I did notice that you have a Christmas novella coming out this holiday season. So exciting!
I hadn’t planned on releasing another book this year, but as I am such a fan of
Christmas and romances and recently have become somewhat of a fan of regency
romances, I thought I would get a little out of my comfort zone and give something new
a try. I don’t want to be known for just one specific genre, but be a bit adventurous.
Clean Young Adult Fiction will be my thing, but I am exploring the sub-genres a little.
The novella is about a young woman who fights her father when he tries to marry her off
to a man twenty years her senior. After a heated argument, he agrees to a compromise.
She has a month to find true love and accept a proposal. Let’s just say this heroine is
another rather strong-willed young lady. ;)
It sounds wonderful! Before we go, is there anything else in the works?
Yes, there is. I have two more novels in the making. One at least should be released in
2021, perhaps both. “Grandfather’s Will” is leaning towards the suspense-thriller genre
with humor, romance, heartbreak, and drama.
Something to look forward to!
Rebecca, thank you for joining us today and for the excerpt from "Not Without A
Fight", which follows.
Thank you for having me. It was an honor to be part of this interview.
Excerpt: NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT
1. This isn't Fair!
“Pa, you wanted to see me?” Hazel asked as she entered her father’s office before stopping in her
Uncle Ted, what are you doing here?” She jumped into her godfather’s arms, and he gave her a loving hug.
“It is so good to see you again, Hazel. You are getting more gorgeous each time I see you,” he said as he ran his hand across her cheek. The young woman blushed and stepped back.
“Ted is here for legal matters. I asked him to put my will together, so my family is looked after in case of my passing.”
“I don’t like it when you talk like that, Pa,” Hazel responded while her beautiful lips turned into a pout.
Her father grinned. “I am not sick, and I am not planning to die. It has to be done, though, and why not now, while I am healthy as a horse?”
“Hilarious, Pa.” Hazel rolled her eyes.
“Let’s sit, shall we?” George pointed to the chairs across his desk, and everyone took a seat. “Ted, I discussed this matter with Helen, and we both agreed that Hazel should be the one who inherits the ranch. I am aware I should leave it to a male heir, but I want Hazel to take over the ranch since I don't have one. She loves this place more than anyone and has been my right-hand helper ever since she learned to walk. She is fair and honest, and I know my family and ranch will be in excellent hands with Hazel in charge.”
“You seriously want me to take over the ranch, Pa?” A beaming smile spread across Hazel’s face, and her eyes lit up like the sky during fireworks.
“We all do. Haven has no interest in running a ranch, and Brenna wants to be a school teacher when she finished school.”
“George, may I say something?” Ted interjected as he scratched his neck uncomfortably.
You never have to ask, my friend.”
“As much as I would love to put Hazel as your heir into the will, it isn’t possible. The law states that a woman can’t own or inherit land or a business. That means any male related to you can fight her on it and would win.”
Hazel let out a frustrated gasp and glanced at her godfather with furrowed brows. “That is unfair!”
It is, I agree, but the way it is.”
“So what am I supposed to do? Sell my land because I don’t have a son?” George crossed his arms, his eyes squinted, a sign that he was not pleased.
“It doesn’t have to be a son, just a male relative or even friend.”
“The only living male relative I have is my younger brother Russell, and he doesn’t care about my ranch.”
“What does Russell do now?”
“He took over my father’s bank in Sacramento. I am sure he would love to get his hands on this place to sell it and make more money. I didn’t work this hard for him to destroy it.”
“Don’t worry, Pa, I won’t let that happen, ever.”
“There isn’t much you can do, Hazel. Once your father passes away, Russell can sue anyone who inherits this place. As the only living male relative, every judge will agree with his case.”
“But I am his closest relation. I am his daughter and should take over the ranch. I can run this place just as well as any man can. Isn’t there anyone we can fight on this? This isn’t right.” Hazel pressed her lips together and squinted her eyes. The smile from before was gone.
George smirked. He was aware of how headstrong and determined the 20-year-old could be.
“It isn’t right, but those who make the laws don’t care about fairness or what’s right.”
“Uncle Russell has no claim to this place. He only visited us once and made it clear what he thought of country-living and running a ranch. There is no way in he…”
“Hazel!” George interrupted with a warning growl in his voice, raising an eyebrow.
Ted turned around, hiding his grin.
“Okay, fine, I won’t say it, but there is no way I will let anyone take the ranch away from us. I am ready to take over the ranch. You taught me how to hunt, shoot a gun, and how to use a knife. I am good at archery. Girl or not, I can run this place.”
“I understand you and your feelings, Hazel. I do,” Ted replied, offering her an understanding smile. “My daughter Marianne is going through a similar situation right now. She wants nothing more than to follow her dad’s and brothers' footsteps in becoming a lawyer. But, no matter how many universities we’ve contacted, the answer is always the same: She can’t do it because she is a woman. Martin and John have tried their hardest to change the law, but this is a men’s world, and women don’t have a say in legal matters.”
“But why won’t they at least give women the chance to do those things? They wouldn’t stop being women by owning land or getting an occupation they love.”
“The most used excuse at the moment is that women aren’t strong enough to do certain things or not smart enough. Overall, they wouldn’t have an issue with one or two women trying out new things. However, they are afraid that more women would want to follow their lead and discover that they are smarter than men want them to believe. They want to keep women where they think they belong: in the kitchen and house. I disagree with that. Marianne is as smart as a whip, and she can out-debate anyone in any circumstance. The same goes for Hazel.”
“We need to fight for our rights then. I am not willing to step back and let my uncle destroy this ranch and sell it to someone who does not understand and appreciate how much hard work Pa and Jackson put into this place.”
“Fighting isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve tried suing for discrimination so my daughter would have a fighting chance, but I didn’t even get the case to court. The judges block everything that has to do with women getting more rights.”
“I am not giving up that easily. Hazel still needs to learn about business and management, but hopefully, we will find a way for that. I want her to inherit my ranch, and that’s it.”
Hazel’s eyes lit up again, her facial expression softening. She loved her father more than anyone. He never stood in her way of following her dreams.
George Buchannon and Ted Burton defined genuine friendship. They had grown up on the east coast in the same neighborhood in New Haven, New England, and had gone to the same schools. As a four-year-old boy, George had rescued Ted from drowning one day, after a few older boys had pushed him into a lake. George didn’t know how to swim, but he jumped into the lake, anyway. He held on to a tree branch hanging above the water. He then used his belt as a fishing pole so Ted could grab it, and George could pull him towards the shore and then out of the water. They had been best friends ever since.
George moved west before the big gold rush, even though his father wanted him to get into the bank business and take over his bank. But George had no interest in that. His dream was to own a ranch and live out in the country. Neil Buchannon was close to disowning his oldest son, but his wife reminded him he didn’t want to take over his father’s business either.
When George ended up in the Oregon Territory to follow his dream, his father supported him and moved his family west. They relocated to Sacramento, and Neil Buchannon opened a bank there. Several years later, Russell took over the Buchannon bank. Neil was grateful that he had listened to his wife. She made him realize that family should always come first, and different ideas and passions shouldn’t destroy the loving bonds.
Ted finished his studies at the University of Boston before following George to the west coast. He opened his office as an attorney in Salem and became George’s legal right-hand arm. He always made time for his best friend, no matter how busy he was. When the twins were born, George made Ted Hazel’s godfather.
If you are serious about trying to change the law and make Hazel your heir, we should wait with your will. As of right now, I must put your brother as the one inheriting your ranch. Once written, I have to contact the person who inherits your land. If you don’t want Russell to get his hands on it, it wouldn’t be wise to make it official now.”
“But what if something happens to me before the law changes in favor of women?”
“You can write a note in which you allow me to write your will as discussed, and we can ask Jackson to be a witness and sign it. Your signature is the most important, though.”
“What would happen if I get married before Pa passes away? Can you put me as the heir then?” “Yes, but your husband would get everything and can do what he pleases with this place.”
“Are you serious?” Hazel asked as she clenched her jaw, her eyebrows drawing closer together.
George grinned when he saw the familiar pout return.
“Yes. Until the law changes, even a widow has no rights. A widow can inherit her husband’s land, but as soon as she marries again, everything will fall into her new husband’s hands. She can’t pass on ‘her possessions and property’ to her children unless she has a son. If she dies and has daughters, they will get nothing, and the property and possessions will get auctioned off.”
“Wow. I am appalled. Is there no justice for women?”
“No. Once a woman marries, her husband is in full control and can do with her as he pleases; before that, her father. Many women get beaten and abused by the men in their life, and nobody is there to protect them. The law does nothing on their behalf.”
“So if you aren’t lucky enough to have a wonderful and loving father and later husband, the men in your life can do whatever they want to you?”
“Yes. Most violent fathers marry their daughters off to someone like them, so they will never know the difference.”
“That is horrible. We are human beings too, and should have the same protections and rights as men.”
“I agree you should, but many men don’t think that way and believe that women don’t deserve to be treated as equal.”
“They should reread the bible. God gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet, not a slave. He created Eve out of Adam’s rib so they could work side by side as equals. Sure, we have different responsibilities and are different in several ways, but Eve completed Adam. We are supposed to be companions to our spouses.”
“You have a great understanding of the scriptures. That might help you change the world; change the thinking of many.” Ted gave her a side-ways hug, and she smiled.
Perhaps her godfather was right. Maybe it was her mission to fight for women's rights and remind everyone that God created men and women, and both are on this earth for a reason. Maybe she was sent to this earth to help people realize that being treated fairly and equally did not mean they were the same. Being different wasn’t bad, but being treated differently because of your race or gender was wrong. Hazel knew she could embrace being a woman and loving her role given and still taking over her father’s ranch. Now she had to make others see it that way too.
“Hazel, you realize it won’t be easy, right? The men out there will not roll out a red carpet, and they will not let you step into their world without a fight.” Haven squeezed Hazel’s hand.
“I am aware of that. I know it will be difficult, perhaps even dangerous, but someone has to step up to the task and change the world, so women and girls get to choose what they want to do in their lives.”
“And why does that someone has to be you? You can’t even vote, Hazel,” her sister interjected while shaking her head.
“So what? Perhaps that will get changed too.” Haven sighed. Her sister was so strong-willed sometimes, it drove her mad.
So…. I still have eight flats of cool season annuals to set into the ground. I know where they are to go, at least. It’s just been rather busy lately and the back took a lot of work. We keep things organic and I don’t like mulch, so sometimes a lot of weeding is necessary. We also whacked back some giant plants and did a general cleaning. Now, it looks great back there. Nice little rows of pansies, sweet allysum, and snapdragons are here, there, everywhere, and cool season vegetable seeds have been sown. We also have lots of green fall tomatoes -- so exciting!
I do love spending time out there, especially during this time of year. And I’m downright gleeful about the tomatoes. We struggle with them every summer. By mid-July, they all but go up in flames. But now, in November, they’re healthy as can be. And the bird life is beautiful. That’s why it’s important to note the seasons, to understand and appreciate what’s best in each one, and to never take anything for granted
Welcome to Medieval Monday, Week 8, and another round of bite-sized excerpts. Check out the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page and allow yourself to be drawn into a delectable, medieval romance! We can also be found on Twitter, #MedMonFall20.
In this snippet from Tremors, my time-travel romance, Deidre and Lachlann are parked on the side of the road, in the middle of a pine forest. He is hedging, wondering where he stands with her and if he dare tell her the truth about himself.
She stared at him a moment longer. Everything about him spoke of honor, of goodness. He wasn’t a criminal.
She shook her head. “You haven’t.” (done something wrong)
He tilted his head slightly, watching her carefully. “You’re sure about that?”
“As sure as I can be. I trust you.”
He drew a deep breath. “I trust you, too.”
She laid a hand on his arm. “Lachlann, if you’ve made a mistake, I’ll help you. We’ll fix it together. If necessary, we’ll fight together.”
“You’d fight for me?”
Available at Amazon. Free with Kindle Unlimited.
The following is a reprint (very slightly updated) from a Crossing Cultures post from January, 2017. Lately, I’ve noted or participated in discussions on the topic with surprising frequency. I hope you enjoy it. I've had fun revisiting it.
For me, 2017 has started off with a purge. I realize that that’s not exactly unique, but at our house it has been rather extreme this year. We moved my husband’s office to home and it has wonderfully resulted in a lot of tossing out, donating, and rearranging.
In moving so much “stuff”, I had to relocate some paperback books from a cabinet to a bookshelf, creating a double row. Yes, it is unfortunate that there were books in a cabinet in the first place, but having more books than shelf space is not an uncommon situation among bookworms.
It is, however, an uncomfortable situation for a “less is more” person like me (with the notable exception of books and plants) and thus we have arrived at the topic of this post: ereaders. I find myself astonished, exasperated, and sometimes amused when otherwise sensible individuals insist that they just can’t read on them, that they ruin the reading experience. Often, they carry it further, proceeding to question my reading habits and my approach to life in general.
Finally, I protest. Enough of this nonsense! I don’t know how all ereaders work, but I love my Kindle. If you have a different favorite, please feel free to substitute your preferred choice where appropriate. Most ereaders share similar conveniences. Let’s talk about those as opposed to “traditional” or “physical” books. I honestly don’t know which term I like less. There are new traditions as well as old, after all, and I’m not entirely convinced that a digital book is any less physical than a non-digital one (see what I did there).
Multi-device accessibility is awesome. I love that I can read a book on my phone while in line at the grocery store, enjoy a reading break on my iPad when it’s convenient, and pick up right where I left off with my Kindle while relaxing in my garden, at the beach, or tucked in bed at night.
Not all ebooks have an efficient table of contents, but these days, most of them do. Granted, there’s nothing really hard about using a table of contents, but the touch screen makes it easier than ever, especially with big books. Take the Bible, for instance. I confess that I still have to flip pages a bit at times. The book of Hosea is between…? With my e-version of The New American Bible, I merely tap and I’m there. Lazy? Nope, not if my goal is to read. In answer to any lofty observations about the search being good for me (“the journey”), that I might stumble upon more than I was looking for by flipping pages, I say that my Kindle’s ease of use is just as encouraging.
That goes for the built-in dictionary as well; it’s encouraging. Stumble across a word you’re not familiar with? Press on it and the definition pops up. My Kindle offers a great variety of free dictionaries to choose from. I can also highlight passages, bookmark pages, flip back and forth – by touch. Other favorite options are font size, style, and screen brightness.
But what about the tactile aspect? Of feeling the book in your hands? The smell of paper? Okay, so while I’m definitely not as nostalgic as the next guy, I get it to some degree. There’s something particularly magical about old, cherished books. There’s also something particularly dusty about them, not to mention flat-out musty. Achoo! And – oh – the mellow, yellowed pages! Since when is yellowed anything remotely appealing? Personally, I’m not a fan.
And how about the feel of a heavy book collapsing on your face when you fall asleep reading? That’s a tactile experience worth remembering. Consider how nice and light an ereader is. It’s also a lot less awkward and physically more comfortable to hold while reading in bed. That’s not an opinion; it’s an inarguable fact. How about holding an entire library while reading in bed? Why not give that a go?
But you have to charge an ereader! Oh, no! Imagine that, using electricity or a battery for convenience! If you are going someplace where that might not be an option, by all means take a hard copy and read in the light of a lantern or candle and enjoy your time travel.
And back to that purging, that space-saving option. I have over a thousand books on my Kindle with plenty of space left for more. It’s just so easy and convenient. While I probably have about the same number of hardbacks and paperbacks in my home library, space is really tight. But even if I had one of those spectacular, multi-storied libraries requiring a rolling ladder or two, isn’t it easier to just tap my Kindle? Yes, it is! Can’t fall off a Kindle, now can I? What about purses, briefcases, backpacks? An ereader is usually lighter than a single volume and I carry a library wherever I go.
Not only can I buy more books for my Kindle, from my Kindle, I can borrow digital books from the local library as well as other sources. I can read magazines, periodicals, documents --- all on that one wonderfully light, thin device. I can read with all the lights out at night and without worrying about glare during the day.
Disclaimer time, just to be clear. I do know that there are still books as yet unavailable in digital form. There are also some places and situations where electricity really isn’t an option. Obviously, that’s not what I’m talking about. You know what I’m talking about. Yes, you do.
I should also admit that even to me there are some books that are simply better the old-fashioned way. Kindles don’t make for great coffee table books. Books with photos are more easily appreciated in paper or hardback. For me, these would include cookbooks with mouth-watering photos, how-to books, gardening, and travel books. Also books with maps, charts, and/or graphs may or may not be easier to study in a larger format.
But for general reading purposes? For novels? My ereader wins every time.
You could always have both, of course. For example, I’m fond of small, leather-bound prayer books. But even with this dear little exception, I like to have a backup Kindle version if it’s available.
So, all you romantics, old-fashioned hardliners, and under-informed, wake up, lighten up (literally), stop being snobby – or don’t. Go ahead and lug some heavy tome through two or three airports and back because you’re stubborn. Good for you that books and reading mean so much to you. I mean that sincerely. Just don’t try to convince me that it’s a superior, more soulful option. I might heartily agree that you’re a better person than I am, but let’s leave my Kindle out of it.
Happy November and Welcome to Medieval Monday, Week 7!
It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with a new book! For some wonderful romances, check out the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page. We can also be found at #MedMonFall20.
I’ve been sharing snippets from Lachlann and Deidre’s drive to a Christmas tree farm. In the last excerpt, he asked Deidre what she would do if he were a fugitive.
She’s not sure.
Lachlann didn’t speak. He only looked at her. He was waiting for an answer. What was her answer? Moments ticked by. She needed more information.
She looked him straight in the eye. “You’ve done something wrong?”
“What if I have?”
Available at Amazon. Free with Kindle Unlimited.
The Nocturne Falls books -- both the romances and mysteries -- are so fun and funny! We're talking lightest of light, but with so much humour and imagination. Kristen Painter has created a town where vampires, witches, gargoyles, reapers, hobbits, elves, Santa, the Sandman, werewolves, dragons, yetis, and many other mythical/ legendary, um, people mix and mingle. Of course, she puts her own particular twist on all of the legends and makes everything so much fun.
In the Nocturne Falls Mystery series, Jayne, Winter Princess, daughter of Jack Frost and niece of Santa Claus -- I am laughing as I write this -- is sent to Nocturne Falls to look into a problem in one of Santa's workshop toystores. Jayne is great. She's a good person with an elven metabolism, which means she thrives on sweets. The way she eats will have you wanting to dash to the nearest donut shop or bakery. I've been listening to the series and narrator employs a sort of East coast accent -- New Jersey light. It's really cute and makes all of her tart little observations even funnier. But the books are just as enjoyable to read.
Jayne also ends up with a talking cat.
The mysteries aren't hugely mysterious, but they are enough to keep the hilarity going. If you want to take a break and just laugh at the familiar in unfamiliar territory, by all means, try this series.
Someone recently asked me what sparks my creativity. Two major sources of inspiration for me are being with people I love and nature.
Last week, I enjoyed a hike through some woods and a day at the coast. I loved it.
The hike was fun mostly because I was with our son Bashir, who also writes. We decided that a day in nature would be good for our writing. We headed to a state park.
Ridiculously, I hadn’t taken hiking into consideration, although I love it and we were going to a park. Interesting, right? Bashir, of course, hadn't considered not hiking. Of course, he wouldn't.
Neither one of us are exactly famous for our sense of direction. We struck off down a path with notebooks, pens, and our phones. No water -- I, genius, didn't think we would spend much time along that particular path. Again, what?
I was a little bit of a wreck, to be honest. I was wearing crop pants and no-show socks. Everywhere I looked, I saw poison ivy and poison oak. What had I been thinking? Probably not so much about hiking as sitting beside the river, under the old, live oaks, writing and nibbling on snacks.
I have an unreasonable fear of poisonous plants.
Bashir wasn’t bothered in the least. He marched confidently down paths lined with poison ivy while I held my breath. He made his way to scenic overlooks while I hung back doubtfully. He surprised me, too. He knew exactly how to return to the parking lot. He was paying attention to the trails and not focusing solely on groundcover!
We finally did get to my lovely setting by the river. A cool breeze blew over the water, leaves drifted from the trees, and we soaked it all in. We talked. We snacked.
It was beautiful.
Happy Medieval Monday! It’s the last week of Daylight Savings – did you know?
We have an exciting round of snippets this week from some wonderful books and authors. Check out the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page and enjoy! You can also find us on Twitter, #MedMonFall20.
For my nature-themed snipped this week, Deidre and Lachlann are still driving down a pine tree-lined road towards a Christmas tree farm.
“Why would I think you’re crazy?”
“Sometimes, I think I am. Sometimes, it even seems the better option.”
She felt her tension ease. He was going to tell her about his PTSD.
“You mean clinically?” she asked gently, keeping her focus on the road ahead.
She shook her head. “You’re not.”
“But what if I am?” he persisted.
“I’ll take care of you.”
There was a moment’s silence.
“What if I were a fugitive?”
She almost hit the brake in the middle of the road.
“I’m not sure.”
“Let’s say I am.”
“That’s sort of huge.” She decided to pull off the road before she drove into a pine tree. She parked on the shoulder and turned towards him.
He could never lose her. In the infinite vastness of time – past, present, future, past – he wouldn’t lose her.
Love was eternal.
Lachlann had lost his entire family to the plague. He’d lost himself by falling through time. He had to go back, to return to the fourteenth century and try to save his family, save his son. But how could he leave Deidre? He needed her like he needed air. And she needed him.
Would she believe him if he told her the truth about himself? Would she reject him since he couldn't stay?
Deidre had become a medieval history professor because of a family heirloom -- a medieval drawing of a farmer that she'd loved since childhood. Too bad she couldn't have married him instead of the lying, vicious cheat who had almost ruined her life. Despite the fact that he'd cost her her job, her home, and her relationship with her family, he had failed to destroy her. With a new life in a new city, she'd moved forward. She didn't need anyone, especially another man. But it was impossible to ignore her new neighbor, a gorgeous giant with a strange accent, haunted eyes, and a striking resemblance to her medieval farmer.
She wanted to erase the tormented look in his eyes, to make him as happy as he made her. She wished he would confide in her. But was she ready to confide in him? To explain how she’d lost everything – her life, her family, her self-respect – because of her own poor choices?
Why did she have the feeling she could lose it all again?
Available at Amazon.
Happy Medieval Monday!
Better late than never, I hope? This was one of my best Mondays ever, and I've experienced, um... let's just say, "quite a few".
But it's never too late to enjoy a little romance, especially medieval romance! Be sure to check out the Medieval Romance Lover's FB page to discover some wonderful books and authors. You can also find us on Twitter, #MedMonFall20.
Until last week, I was sharing snippets of conversation as Deidre and Lachlann drove to a Christmas tree farm. We're back on that country road once again. He's trying to prepare her -- and himself -- for the talk they will have in the near future.
“We agreed that we both have a lot to tell each other,” she said.
“But what I’m going to tell you, what I have to say…” He faltered. “You won’t like it.”
Deidre drew a deep breath, her thoughts racing to the DEA agent. Last night, she hadn’t told Lachlann about the strange interview. They’d both been tired, and she hadn’t wanted to ruin the evening. Was he going to confess?
“Is it that bad?” she asked.
“You might think so. You might think I’m crazy.”
Drug smuggling was certainly crazy. Was now the time to tell him about the agent?
Slow down, Deidre.
First, she should be sure where this was going.
Available at Amazon.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Anne of Green Gables
I agree with Anne! I’ve never tried to grow “fall tomatoes” before and so far, I’m astounded. They’re looking happier than any tomatoes I’ve ever grown. We only have four plants, but they are all bearing fruit.
If the harvest is good and the plants continue to do well, I will have to seriously rethink my planting next summer. Vegetables usually die painful deaths by mid-July. I might have to try a new approach. Maybe I'll make the beds cutting gardens filled with heat-tolerant annuals and seasonal herbs.
Speaking of weather, we’re looking forward to a cool front this weekend. Daytime temps might be in the 70s. That kind of weather, especially first of the season, is pretty much a major event around here. It definitely is for yours truly.
I hope to spend at least one day in the garden. We have a new bed to build and fill with good, organic soil. I hope to also top a few of the beds with the same. Next week, someone is coming out to check and tweak our sprinkler system. Hopefully, by the end of October, I will be free to sow seeds for our cool season garden.
And then there are always situations like this:
A gardener's work is never done -- thank goodness!
Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun. – Gibran Khalil Gibran