Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve, dear readers!

In honor of the new year, I'm going to put my on-again, off-again feature, "Where the Past Meets the Present" (which has been more "off-again" than "on-again"!), to rest and start up a new feature: "May I Borrow From Your Book?"

"Where the Past Meets the Present" was a feature geared for writers, where I gleaned writing tips from the classics I read and shared them with all of you. I started it when I was still in college - i.e., when I was reading more classics.

"May I Borrow From Your Book?" will be a feature geared more for readers, although it should hopefully encourage writers, as well. =) Writing letters to characters and/or authors is nothing new, but here's the twist: the letters will be all about borrowing (continuing the theme of our blog title!). Examples: borrowing an author's ability to create fantastic worlds in order to do better on a school project; borrowing the hero for a day in order to have a gentleman-ly escort to a dance; borrowing the heroine's pet in order to have a bit of comfort on a lonely evening; etc. These letters can be funny or serious, sweet or sassy, short or more in-depth. My hope is that the letters will be entertaining or inspiring to read and will show appreciation to authors - and to the Lord for giving us creativity!

I'll plan on doing this every other week (as long as I don't run out of ideas or time, LOL!), and I hope you have fun reading them! It would be really awesome if you'd like to submit a letter of your own to be posted here, as well! You can e-mail me at with your letter or any questions you might have.

Oh, and on the weeks I'm not posting about this feature, I'll probably be posting book reviews or doing a book-spotlight, as usual!

Today's letter is for author Lena Goldfinch regarding her novella, The Language of Souls:

Dear Lena,

As 2013 is peeking around the corner at me, would you mind terribly if I borrowed your knack for combining simple but powerful imagery with such a tender romance? I keep setting my WIP to the side - after writing a difficult scene, it's hard to get started again. But in the new year I want to continue it, and your sweet and evocative writing style inspires me. 

I love how you fit so much adventure and heart into a shorter story! I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love for you to write more novellas like this... In which case, perhaps I could just borrow your imagination for about a week? That should be enough time to kick-start some sort of writing schedule again! After that, I'm sure you'll want it back so you can keep blessing others with it. =)


You can purchase The Language of Souls in e-book or paperback format at  (The e-book is currently only $.99!)

Huge thanks to Juju from Tales of Whimsy for introducing me to this author and her novella!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas Pony
By: Melody Carlson
Published by Revell
ISBN 978-0800719272

Back Cover:

With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.

It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy’s world changes forever.


Christmas is a time of celebrations and traditions, and in her latest book, Melody Carlson manages to capture both. The Christmas Pony is a satisfying blend of hope and faith, heartache and healing. Add to this the wonder of a child’s Christmas, and the reader is left with the perfect story for a snowy afternoon.

Kudos to Carlson for this sweet book! I highly recommend it.

Review by Elizabeth Ludwig

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

One of my favorite Christmas pastimes is watching “A Christmas Carol.” The story never gets old, and I never fail to cry at least twice. My tears start during Ebenezer Scrooge’s haunting vision of Christmas to come when we’re shown Tiny Tim’s unused crutch hanging on the fireplace. I recover from those tears just in time to cry again when Scrooge finally sees himself for what he is and realizes he’s been given a second chance to make things right.

Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in just six weeks for the Christmas season of 1843. He began working in October and sent it to the publisher on December 19th. At the time he was under stress, both personal and professional. Imagine creating all those unforgettable characters in that amount of time. The unfailing love of Ebenezer’s nephew Fred who comes to see his Uncle Ebenezer every Christmas despite being rejected each time. The faithfulness of Bob Cratchit who works long hours for a bad tempered Mr. Scrooge, who is too miserly to keep the office warm. Then there's Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim, Belle, and old Fezziwig. As a writer, I'm amazed at Dickens' accomplishment. The story has never been out of print.

Although the story isn’t “Christian” per se, it’s hard not to see spiritual truths in Dickens’ story. The most obvious is the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s given a chance to start over, and although he can never recover all the things he forsook as a young man, such as Belle, he can begin from that moment to be a new man.

My favorite movie version of “A Christmas Carol” stars George C. Scott. If any of our readers have a favorite version, please comment. I'd love to hear what they are. 

If you’re interested in more history of the manuscript, it’s been preserved by the Morgan Library and Museum. Visit their site to see how they preserved the manuscript, and also to see a digital facsimile of Dickens' hand written pages.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve to all of our readers!

Today I'm sharing a review I posted a couple of years ago on my personal blog. Happy reading!

About the Book (from Waterbrook Multnomah)

"Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?

 In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?"

Amber's Review

What a quirky, sweet read! Part contemporary romance, part fantasy, part Christmas story, and part family drama, this book fits a lot into a novella. It's such a curious read that I got caught up in its enchantment and read it all in one day!

The main characters are well-developed, with real struggles and dilemmas. And the secondary characters are delightful. I just love the matchmakers on Sage Street, and Simon's family is so fun, especially his sister, Sandy! The characters are all so vastly different, but come to
gether to make this one very entertaining read.

The only problem with this being a novella is that the story seems to end rather abruptly. It's wrapped well and offers satisfaction, but at the same time the ending develops quickly and leaves a lot unsaid. The issues between Cora and her family, while slightly addresse
d, are troubling. But in traditional fairytale fashion, there's a "happily-ever-after" that offers hope for the untold parts of the story.

If you're looking for a different holiday story--with romance, eventual reminders of the need for understanding and forgiveness, and a touch of magic--then this book is for you! And I simply have to add that this has an absolutely gorgeous cover: a hardcover with raised accents, a beautiful background scene, and great color coordination.
Love it!

*With thanks
to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Click HERE to purchase the book on Amazon!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Saturday, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming! This week's winner is:

Michelle (Bookwormgal2011(at)yahoo(dot)com) - A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman!

Congratulations, Michelle!

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oops...we've changed the rules for fun Friday at The Borrowed Book!

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzle in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying the winner. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. :-)

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Anita Higman and her newest release, A Merry Little Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ever since I first accepted Christ, I’ve been pretty active in my church, but I never thought—I repeat, I never, never thought—that God would call me to work with youth. Let’s face it…they’re independent, often hard-headed, and they listen to strange music. So imagine my surprise when I very clearly felt the pull of God upon my heart for a handful of needy teens who’d come to our church looking mostly for a place to hang out and a free meal.

“Okay, God,” I said, eyeing the teenagers across the gym who were just as warily eyeing me. “I’ll feed them, but it’s not going to be free. They’re going to have to sit through a bible lesson, or no deal.”

I bet God smiled when I said that.

Soon after, a five-year partnership started, with God supplying the lessons, me supplying the pizza, and the kids supplying the fun. I’ll never forget the trips we made or the silly things the kids liked to say. Most of all, I’ll never forget the lessons that the Lord, and a handful of “needy” teens managed to teach me, the first of which was learning not to separate people based on their appearance, or even the kind of music they listen to:


Before students arrived, I recruited three or four adults to help. Then, I selected an area where there were several rooms to choose from, preferably with doors so students couldn’t see inside the rooms.

Next, I located an empty pizza box (most pizza places gave these out once I told them what it was for). I stationed one of the adults outside the door holding the pizza box and instructed them to try and persuade as MANY students to go into their room as they could. I told them they could tell students there was pizza inside the boxes. Once a student entered this room, they were not allowed to leave.

The next station was an adult standing outside a door holding several empty DVD or CD cases. I instructed them to try and persuade as MANY students to go into their room as they could. They could tell students that there were used movies and CD’s inside and the students would be allowed to choose as many as they wanted. Again, once a student entered this room, they were not allowed to leave.

Lastly, I recruited one adult to stand outside the room where the youth and I normally met. Hard as it was for them, I told them to wait patiently outside the door with nothing in their hands and told them NOT to speak.

As students arrived, I led them to a room separate from all of the other rooms. I told them I was going to give them pizza AFTER class was over. Then, I gave them the announcements, told them about upcoming events, etc. Once I finished, I let the students leave the room one at a time with the following instructions:

Go to the room where we normally meet. Wait for me there. I don’t know how long I will be.

I repeated this to each student as they went out the door. The process took a while, but I didn’t give them any more information and I didn’t answer questions. When the last student left, I went to the room with the pizza box. Some students had chosen to enter this room. I reminded them that I had given them specific instructions about what they were supposed to do, and that I told them their pizza would come after the lesson. Then I told them they had believed an empty promise, and sent them to the room they should have chosen. I did the same with the DVD/CD room.

By this point, all of the students had been sent to the room where we normally met. I separated the students into two groups, with the students who went to the correct room on my right side, and the students who went to the pizza or DVD/CD room on my left. Then, I read the scriptures for the Sheep and Goats.


Jesus left us pretty specific instructions about our walk with him. Unfortunately, we often believe the empty promises of this world. We fall away, make wrong choices. Though it seems harsh, God told us what the outcome of these choices would be. When we choose not to accept his Son, we separate ourselves from God. On the other hand, great is the reward for those who DO accept him. To emphasize this point, I turned my back so that I was reading only to the “goats” when reading the passage about the goats, and only reading to the “sheep” when I read the passage about the sheep. It was hard, but effective.

Most of all, this lesson reminded me (and hopefully the kids), that God’s instructions are explicit. He doesn’t always offer an explanation, but He does always expect us to listen and obey. I wanted to remind the students and myself that the temptations of this world, the things that would keep us from listening to God and following His path, are no more than empty promises. True happiness, true peace and contentment, those come only when our hearts—and our will—are focused on following Him.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Journey, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. She is an accomplished speaker and teacher, and often attends conferences and seminars, where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. She is the owner and editor of the popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book. To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, visit her at

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have you ever wondered how candy canes came to be associated with Christmas? I decided to find out and discovered there are many legends, but few hard facts.

The most popular story of the origin of the candy cane is from 1670. A choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks to his young singers to keep them quiet during the long living crèche ceremony. In honor of the occasion, and supposedly to remind them of the season, he had the candies bent into shepherds' crooks.

For those who are interested only in facts, here are a few primary historical references to peppermint sticks and the candy cane.

·        *     In The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook and Baker, published in 1844, there is a recipe for straight peppermint candy sticks, white with colored stripes.

·       *     The candy cane was mentioned in association with Christmas in a book called Babyland, published in 1882. It was also mentioned as a store window decoration in a story that appeared in Ballou’s Monthly Magazine in 1866.

·       *     In the 1920s the Bunte Brothers in Chicago filed the earliest patents for candy cane making machines.

The candy cane has been given religious meanings, as well. For instance, its shape is like the letter “J” in Jesus’ name. It’s in the shape of the shepherds’ crook, symbolic of how Jesus, like the “Good Shepherd” watches over his children like little lambs. It’s a hard candy, solid like a “rock”, the foundation of the Church. The flavor of peppermint is similar to another member of the mint family, hyssop. In the Old Testament hyssop was used for purification and sacrifice, and this is said to symbolize the purity of Jesus and the sacrifice he made. Some say the white of the candy cane represents the purity of Jesus and his virgin birth. The bold red stripe represents God’s love. The three fine stripes are said by some to represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Others say they represent the blood spilled at the beating Jesus received at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

But no matter how the candy cane came about, and what the inventor (whoever it was) really meant, to this day it remains a lasting, tasty Christmas tradition.  

If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a link to a candy cane recipe. It would be fun to make with kids as you have to pull the candy like making taffy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There is but one art, to omit.” He obviously appreciated the power of polish. I call polishing powerful, because it has the ability to transform a rough draft into something remarkable—something salable. After I complete a rough draft I go over it quite a few times, checking for problems, large and small. Here are 40 power-polishers from my personal list. 

  1. Did I sprinkle in backstory like a fine spice or did I dump the whole jar in at the beginning? 
  2. Do my characters have plenty of quirks and ticks like real people? 
  3. If I repeated words are they beautifully rhythmic or just annoyingly repetitious? 
  4. Is it clear which characters are talking, or will readers need to stop to figure it out? 
  5. If I altered anything midway—a character’s hair color, the season of the year, etc.—did I make those changes all the way through the manuscript? 
  6. Did I check each “was” and “were” as well as other potentially scrawny verbs? Do some of them need to be removed from the herd? 
  7. Is the word “that” used so much that readers will become so weary of that that they’ll want to use my novel for kindling? 
  8. Have I included literary devices such as sensory details, foreshadowing, irony, metaphors, and similes to give my story depth and delight? 
  9. Did I dip so randomly and deeply into the barrel of limp and colorless adjectives and adverbs that my prose came out hopelessly anemic?
  10. Are the elements of action, description, and dialogue balanced in my story? 
  11. Is my point of view consistent, or will I confuse readers by head-hopping? 
  12. Is the setting in each scene well-defined? 
  13. Are my characters unforgettable and believable, or are they one-dimensional and uninspiring because I haven’t spent enough time getting to know them? 
  14. Are my heroine and hero relatable and likable? Do they have enough noble and endearing qualities—along with their flaws—to make readers want to cheer them on? 
  15. Will readers know the year, the season, and the time of day easily, or are these story elements too vague? 
  16. Does my timeline have inconsistencies? 
  17. Did I vary the length of sentences in my paragraphs so they’re eye-appealing and easy to read? Are my paragraphs so long they’re like a wall of words in need of mental climbing gear? 
  18. How is my pacing? Is there a good rhythm to my storytelling? Are there passages I need to slow down or speed up for effect?
  19. Do I have too many summary paragraphs? Do some segments need to be revised so I’m showing and not telling? 
  20. Does my work have the fine brushstrokes of subtext dialogue?  
  21. If I’ve written in first person does it look like there was an “I” explosion all over the manuscript?
  22. If the professions and hobbies of the main characters are important to the story will the readers get a good look into this part of their lives? Was this material presented in a way that is organic to the story, and did I check the information for accuracy? 
  23. Is my dialogue realistic and interesting or mind-numbingly boring? 
  24. Do my characters have occasional and natural interruptions in their speech without being confusing?
  25. Have I taken out unnecessary words, such as some, began to, just, rather, and all at once?
  26. Does every scene have some element of suspense or conflict or intrigue? 
  27. Is each and every scene important to the overall plot, or have I padded the novel to up my word count? 
  28. Are some of my chapters too long?
  29. Do all my chapters end with cliffhangers?
  30. When my character presents a potent line of dialogue, do I use it later to make an arc that is memorable and effective? 
  31. Do I have a sagging middle that’s in need of a few tummy tucks of story tension? 
  32. Did I succumb to the temptations of authorial intrusion? 
  33. Do my characters make gestures that reflect their personalities, and are those gestures fresh and unique? Or are my characters engaged in too much shrugging, sighing, lip chewing, nodding, brow furrowing, arm crossing, throat clearing and head shaking?
  34. If I’ve added humor to my novel, does it fit the characters, and does it flow with the rest of the work? 
  35. Do the elements of faith happen naturally in the story, or did I toss in some prayer and Scripture to make it sound Christian? 
  36. Are the themes in my story memorable and effective? 
  37. Are the character’s thoughts interesting and necessary, or are they merely repeats of what the character is saying? 
  38. Do I have an overall story arc that is clear and memorable? 
  39. Did I create a satisfying ending, or is it too predictable and rushed because I’m tired of the story? 
  40. Have I read the work out loud to catch the errors that might be more obvious when heard rather than seen? 

I hope this mini version of my checklist is helpful in all your novel-polishing endeavors.

CBA bestselling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Her latest books are A Merry Little Christmas (Guideposts/Summerside Press) and Where God Finds You (Standard Publishing). Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and making brunch for her friends. Please visit her online at

Anita's Reader Page link is:
Anita's Website:

Monday, December 17, 2012

 About the Book (from Bethany House)

"The Black Dogs Are on the Hunt, But Who Is Their Prey?

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission... and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?"

Amber's Review

With daring descriptions and exquisite emotion, Stengl continues to fascinate and inspire with her fourth installment in the "Tales of Goldstone Woods" series. Earlier this year, Moonblood (the third installment) moved me to tears and enchanted me, and it became my favorite of the series. But then Starflower came along with its powerful themes, epic quests, and unique look at familiar characters... It took a little bit of time for me to become completely enthralled, but once I was in, this book blossomed into my new favorite. And yes, I cried again!

The "Tales of Goldstone Woods" is very intriguing in its cyclic nature. It's very eternity-oriented, what with the Wood Between and the various faerie realms that aren't governed by time (at least, not how mortals would define it). It all begins with the story of Una and Aethelbald in Heartless. Then one of the secondary characters gets a chance to share his back story and his perspective of the events of Heartless in Veiled Rose. The events of Veiled Rose continue in Moonblood. But Starflower takes a very different turn by going back about 1,600 years in order to tell the tale of Eanrin and Starflower.

And yet, the jumping back and forth in time isn't as complicated as it sounds. (The non-linear approach reminds me a lot of C.S. Lewis' concept of the "Unbounded Now" - the idea that God is not bound by time, but rather everything is as "now" to Him.) While the perspective changes in each story from character to character, the focus - the overarching theme - does not. Each story is beautifully and uniquely crafted, and each story explores different facets of faith, but the message of love is wonderfully, marvelously the same.

All that to say, I highly, highly recommend that you read all of the books in this series. I think it is best enjoyed in order, but even if it isn't read in order, I think all of the books have so much to offer combined. Starflower was all the more meaningful to me because I had already "met" Eanrin and Starflower, and because I wanted to know what past events brought them to such a mysterious and hidden-emotions-filled future.

Coming back to this particular installment, I fell in love with the adventure. Stengl takes her readers through such exotic and evocative fantasy realms! The imagery is lovely and clever, and the romantic undertones, hints of humor, and intense chase scenes all come together to make this book such an ultimately engaging read. And the "Hound of Heaven" theme... Wow! This genre might not be every reader's cup of tea, but I admire Stengl's God-given talent of weaving such emotive literature, and I was deeply impacted by the questions and truths this story stirred in my heart.

I long for more of Eanrin and Starflower's story, and I eagerly await the release of Dragonwitch. Stengl's stories just keep getting better and better!

*With thanks to the author and Bethany House for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

[Note: This review was previously posted at Seasons of Humility.]

The Hound of Heaven

In an author's note at the back of the book, Stengl talks about how "The Hound of Heaven" - a poem by Francis Thompson - inspired one of the main themes of the book. I highly, highly recommend reading the poem in its entirety HERE. It's heart-breaking, convicting, and utterly beautiful.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Some traditions are so old no one remembers how they got started. Some are so special, the argument isn’t worth having anyway. 

Ask the people who live in one of the many small towns lining the banks of the Mississippi River. They’ll tell you that most of life’s lessons aren’t taught at home or in the churches dotting every other corner of every other street. Some things you just know from the cradle and act accordingly. 

 For example, you know that if the automatic barricade swings down at the railroad crossing outside an oil refinery, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a train is coming anytime soon. Since holding up traffic is just plain bad manners, look both ways, and then drive carefully around the barricade. If you want to be really polite, have someone get out of the car and hold up the bar until another 5, 10 or 15 cars get across. 

And even as a child you know that Papa Noel, known in some parts of the world as Santa Claus, cannot possibly find his way into this dark, swampy pocket of Earth unless you light a really big fire to help him find his way. 

There is some disagreement as to whether lighting fires began as a beacon for Papa Noel or just to light the way for travelers going to midnight Mass. Either way, these bonfires are not your typical “let’s roast a marshmallow” blaze. They are carefully constructed towers, built around a frame of willow and covered with cane reed. It takes as long as a month to do it right, and most families begin work on Thanksgiving. 

Then, about 7:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, after the sun has set in the low country, the towers are doused with diesel fuel and lit, lighting up the riverfront with the glow of hundreds of bonfires. 

 For Louisianans, however, the finale to this tradition isn’t watching the fires burn. No, the best way to enjoy this tradition is to dish up a spicy bowl of gumbo and wander from fire to fire. After all, isn’t being neighborly what Christmas is all about? 
‘Tis the season for a great whodunnit! 

If you love cozies as much as we do, then you’re in for a holiday treat! From December 12 – 23, we’re giving away one cozy mystery EVERY DAY! So light the fireplace and grab a cup of hot cocoa, because you just may have a free cozy mystery coming your way! 

HOW TO ENTER… There are two ways to enter: 

1. Create a Pinterest Pinboard entitled My 12 Cozies of Christmas. Fill it with 12 Spyglass Lane titles that either you want to read, or have already read and love! Be sure to use the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag in the description of each pinned book cover. People who create boards will have to leave a comment here with a link to their board for their board to be entered. One pinboard will automatically enter you in each daily drawing! 

2. Tweet about Spyglass Lane mysteries. Simply Tweet about the giveaway or one of your favorite Spyglass Lane Mysteries or authors and include the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag along with the link. You may Tweet as many times as you want each day! Only Tweets sent out the day of the giveaway will be considered for that day’s drawing. 

Follow us on the Spyglass Lane blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook for the latest info on the 12 Cozies of Christmas giveaway! Each day, we’ll reveal which Spyglass Lane cozy mystery we’ll be giving away. 


1. Each day, we will reveal which Spyglass Lane mystery will be given away that day 

2. A “giveaway day” runs from 12AM EST to 11:59PM EST. 

3. There will be one winner per day 

4. Winners will be announced the following morning 

5. A Pinboard (see rules above) counts as one entry each day of the giveaway. Tweets (see rules above) only apply to the day in which they were originally Tweeted. For example, if you send 10 Tweets on Thursday the 13th, you will be entered 10 times in that day’s drawing. But those Tweets will not apply to the next day’s drawing. 

6. Winners will be chosen via, with Tweets and Pinboards each assigned a unique number 

7. Winners will be announced via our blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook. Winners will be contacted via email or social media. If a winner does not hear from Spyglass Lane, they may contact us at SpyglassLaneMysteries (at) gmail (dot) com. 

8. Winners will receive their prize in the form of a Smashwords coupon that they can redeem at Smashwords accommodates all ereader devices, though it may require the device to be directly connected to a computer for proper download. 

9. The same person may win more than once! 

10. There is no entry limit 11. Participants are expected to play nice! Inappropriate behavior (including but not limited to foul language, bullying, trolling, arguing) will not be tolerated and Spyglass Lane reserves the right to exclude such people from these and future giveaway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love a good murder mystery, but I don’t like gushing blood, raunchy language, and random naked body parts—dead or alive. For instance, I’ve never watched Silence of the Lambs. When it first came out on VCR years ago, my family rented it. After the first ten minutes, I left the room. Please understand that this isn’t criticism of people who loved that movie; it’s about my sensitivity. Television shows and movies live second lives as reruns in my brain—especially the vivid, gory ones.  
That’s why I enjoy a good cozy mystery. I like to write them, I like to read them, and I like to watch them. They give me the satisfaction of a good murder mystery without gory, in-your-face violence. They also provide a bit of psychological thrill without weirdness. 

(If you like cozy mysteries, check out the 12 Cozy Mysteries of Christmas Ebook Giveaway below.)

Recently I discovered a BBC cozy mystery series through Netflix called Rosemary and Thyme. Yes, I’m behind the times. The show ran from 2003 to 2007. The main characters are middle-aged gardening sleuths Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme. Rosemary, who is single, lost her job as a plant pathologist and lecturer at a college. Laura was a former police constable whose cheating husband recently asked for a divorce. Their joint gardening business gives them exposure to plenty of opportunities for mayhem to occur.  Their friendship is realistic. The scenery is amazing. And I’m even learning a few things about plants.

Unfortunately the series was short running, only 22 episodes. But I’m savoring each show, usually during my afternoon break while I have a cup of coffee. It makes me feel. . .cozy.

There are two ways to enter the 12 Cozy Mysteries of Christmas Ebook Giveaway:
  1. Create a Pinterest Pinboard entitled My 12 Cozies of Christmas. Fill it with 12 Spyglass Lane titles that either you want to read, or have already read and love! Be sure to use the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag in the description of each pinned book cover. One pinboard will automatically enter you in each daily drawing! Leave a comment here with a link to your board in order to enter.
  2. Tweet about Spyglass Lane mysteries. Simply Tweet about  the giveaway or one of your favorite Spyglass Lane Mysteries or authors and include the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag along with the link. You may Tweet as many times as you want each day! Only Tweets sent out the day of the giveaway will be considered for that day’s drawing.
Follow us on the Spyglass Lane blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook for the latest info on the 12 Cozies of Christmas giveaway! Each day, we’ll reveal which Spyglass Lane cozy mystery we’ll be giving away.

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