Friday, February 28, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book!

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. 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 and...you 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. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Deanna Klingel and her newest release, Rock and a Hard Place: A Lithuanian Love Story.

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Deanna Klingel
“Hi diddle de dee, An actor’s life for me.” Pinocchio. He’s one of my favorite friends. I used to have him in a marionette, a doll and a hand puppet. Many of my friends, like Pinocchio, are make believe book characters, who became real to me at various stages of my life. I was Beth or Amy or Jo for days on end. I created an entire set for Wind in the Willows in our backyard and waited by the window to see if the critters would come. I wonder how many writers had these habits as kids? I’ll bet a lot did. Maybe several of us became stage actors. I don’t remember ever wanting to be an actress. But when Hans Brinker came into my life I wanted to ice skate and I asked my immigrant Sunday School teacher to teach me “Dutch.” I suddenly loved all things Dutch. 

Being a writer is in many ways like being an actor. We spend hours studying our lines, rewording, making them more real, more believable. We become our characters. We define our sets to bring our audiences close to the action, and we use those set props to show rather than tell both action and emotion. Our character must have depth. He or she can’t just stand there on the page or the stage and look good, with “sparkling blue eyes.” He has to move. He has to feel. He has to overcome, grow. He must be loved or hated. He must be memorable. 

The biggest difference, I imagine, between actors and writers, is the world they work in. Actors work in chaos, lots of people moving about, everyone in charge of a different aspect of production, wardrobe, sound, props, script. A writer works in a quiet world where she is in charge of every aspect, wardrobe, sound, props, also the story line, the plot, the outcome. She is in charge of the story. 

Actors and writers travel to visit Place, meet their audience and promote their work. At the end of the day, the actor has a team of PR, publicists, promoters, studios, who do all the plotting of the marketing effort. The author, not so much. When the curtain comes down on the computer screen saying “The End,” for the writer it’s the beginning. For many writers this is the most difficult part of the job. If we wanted the job of self-promotion, if we wanted center stage, we could have taken our talent, creativity, love of word production and scenes and become actors. But, we chose a quieter scene, one where the book is the star rather than the author. To step out of our “work clothes” and leave our desks to self-promote is an uncomfortable curtain call. 

Deanna Klingel ~ Civil War
I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed the travel. Two of my middle grade books are historical
fiction which I market at Civil War events. I’ve visited places that aren’t even on the map, met some wonderful characters and collected “scenes” for future work. The best part of that experience has been meeting the audience, which I do with school visits and museum events. 

I enjoy the challenge of finding new places to market various books. Most writers I know have a niche they write for, so once they establish their market they reuse their resources. I write in various genre for different ages, so each book becomes unique in the marketplace. It’s a challenge, an education unto itself. 

My next book out on the stage is Rock and a Hard Place: A Lithuanian Love Story. The actors in this story, my characters, are real people. This is biography, history, culture, romance, YA, religion. The challenge in marketing this book is also going to be the fun learning experience. I’m discovering Lithuanian festivals, newspapers, organizations, foundations. Hans Brinker sent me into all things Dutch; Vytas and Donna are introducing me to all things Lithuanian. I can’t wait to get this book in front of the audience and move into the curtain call. I want Rock and a Hard Place to become a star. Then I’ll recluse back to my quiet writer’s world of make believe. Hi diddle de dee, a writer’s world for me. 

Deanna lives and works in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband Dave and golden retriever Buddy. Their seven children, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild are all in the southeast where they enjoy visiting them. Deanna travels extensively with her books speaking at museums, civic organizations, historical events and schools. She writes primarily for YA but also has picture books for the little ones. 

Don't forget to stop by The Borrowed Book tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Deanna's latest release, Rock and a Hard Place!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In August 1874, pioneer farmers in Kansas hoped that the year’s harvest would be prosperous. Wheat and oats were drying in the fields, awaiting harvest. Pasture land was lush and it appeared cattle would be fat and healthy. All was well for the people who had struggled against the elements to make homes in the vast prairie.

Then a great, white glistening cloud appeared. Grasshoppers. So many of them, their wings caught the sunshine and made them look like a vapor cloud or sparkling snow. In some places they were so thick, they blocked the sun. Soon grasshoppers dropped from the sky, pelting the earth like snow or rain, piles of them, sometimes four inches or more. Soon they covered every inch of ground, and every plant and shrub. Branches of trees and shrubs broke under their weight. Garden plants were smashed flat. Then they started eating. Tobacco, corn, vegetables—nothing escaped the devouring plague. They ate everything green except the prairie grass.

(According to the articles I read, this grasshopper is scientifically in the same class as locusts. When they don’t migrate or become destructive, and their population is low, they are considered grasshoppers. When they migrate and destroy things, and have a high, dense population, they are considered locusts. This particular grasshopper was referred to as the Rocky Mountain Locust. Since the farmers called them grasshoppers, and the pictures look like grasshoppers, I will use the term grasshopper in this article for consistency.)

Farmers tried desperately to save their crops. They covered them with blankets, clothes, and feed sacks. One pioneer remarked that the hoppers seemed to laugh at the farmers’ attempts to stop the attack. They either crawled underneath the items or ate holes in them. Some farmers tried to protect their crops with bonfires, but as the grasshoppers landed, they smothered the flames.

A Kansas farm family fights a losing battle
with the relentless "hoppers" in a cartoon
by 19th-century illustrator Henry Worrall.
(Kansas State Historical Society)
Once the crops and foliage were gone, the grasshoppers moved inside barns and houses. They devoured food in cupboards and barrels, and people said the insect began to attack anything made of wood. They destroyed utensils, furniture, fence boards, and sometimes the siding on cabins. Window hangings were left shredded. The hoppers liked things that had been exposed to sweat, including handles of farm equipment and harnesses. But the destruction didn’t stop there. Even trains were affected. The grasshoppers made the train tracks so slick, trains couldn’t start or stop.

When the plague finally ended, the devastation continued. Everything reeked with the stench of grasshoppers. The water in ponds and streams turned brown with excrement and dead grasshoppers, making the water unfit for human or animal. Chickens and hogs gorged on the insects, and their flesh tasted so strongly of grasshopper, they were inedible.

Kansas wasn’t the only state hit by the destruction. Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado Territory and Dakota Territory all felt the devastation of the year of the grasshoppers.

Some pioneers gave up on their dream of making a go in Kansas and other states, and returned home to the East. But others stayed to keep trying, although many of them had to borrow money for wheat to feed their animals. People from the East sent aid in the form of clothes, shoes, bedding, and food.  The U.S. Army stepped in as well, reaching homesteaders in remote areas. During the bleak winter that followed, soldiers distributed thousands of heavy coats, boots, shoes, woolen blankets and other items, including nearly 2 million rations, to suffering families in all the areas affected.

In the spring of 1875, trillions of eggs the grasshoppers had laid hatched and the land was covered with nymphs. But a late snowstorm and hard frost killed most of the insects and the farmers were able to replant.

The grasshoppers kept appearing in the following years, though never in the plague-like amount of the year 1874. By the turn of the 20th century, the Rocky Mountain locust/grasshopper was becoming extinct. The last reported sighting of a living specimen came in southern Canada in 1902. 

Why this particular species became extinct remains a mystery.
There are lists for everything: the best, the worst, the most, the least. I wonder if there’s a list of characteristics or qualifications for writers? What is our best, worst, most, or least? What do we have in common that made us into writers?
           
I’m only speculating now, but I’ll bet we all had one particular English teacher that planted that qualifying seed. For me, it was Betty Mattson when I was in ninth grade. She taught English so easily, her students all believed grammar and diagramming sentences were easy. She glided through literature and enjoyed it so much, we all wanted to enjoy it with her. Her literature class was like a book club.  She wrote such pleasantness with her red pen on our essays, we never felt deflated, only encouraged that she liked it so much she wanted to read it again with suggested changes. We couldn’t wait to get started on the rewrite to see our grade improving with each rewrite. We didn’t write book reports. We wrote book reviews. We weren’t compelled to like anything. We could review using our choice of style, compare it to another book, another genre, another author. We could critique POV, plot or characters. Our raves or other opinions were never challenged. We were graded on how we wrote it, not on how we liked it. It was probably Betty Mattson who first believed in my hope to become a writer “when I grow up.” It was she who said, “You already are a writer.”
            
We are probably a pretty thick-skinned group. Whether that’s cause or effect of being a writer, I don’t know. How do we learn not to take those red marks personally, not to be devastated by rejections?  I think I learned that from Betty Mattson, too. When I make school visits I talk to the kids about how their teacher is their first editor. If she’s still making red marks at the end, she liked it! She believes you can make it better. The teachers smile, and “get” the point I’m making.
           
We’re mostly creative people. Sometimes that might be our best characteristic, sometimes our worst. The creativity explodes into what ifs, and try this and oh yeah! But sometimes it’s still exploding when we need rest. For many of us, shutting down is hard. Creativity demands to see what you got, put it out there, write it down, build on it. Creativity must create. As readers, we’ve been blessed by centuries of creative writers who inspire and move us to action, mentoring us from their graves. As writers, we’re blessed by our own creativity that transforms our ideas and words into Story.
            
I’m sure we’re all readers. If we didn’t care for books, why would we care about creating more? It’s certainly not for all the money we make! It’s for the love of the story. It’s the belief that we can create something readers will enjoy, or learn from, or be inspired to greatness. Books are only fragile paper. How do they achieve such permanence in our lives? Perhaps it’s that desire for permanence that we all have on our list.
            

Is our work ethic something else we have in common? I follow a lot of writers on facebook and groups, and there are as many ways to approach writing as there are writers. Some tell facebook hourly how many words they’ve written. Several take part in the November Novel write-a-thon. Their posts sound exhausting! I’ve known some who leave home and go somewhere special, void of distractions, and write for days. Many post all through the night of their frustration with not getting their story written.  Some of us sit at our desks and plod along day after day. However the work ethic plays out for each writer, it’s there. It’s a drive, a force from within that says I have to get this down. I have to write this. We are compulsive wordsmiths.
            
The last thing we have in common that is one of our best, is the story in the heart. We all have one. For some it might be the first one written. For others it might come at the end of a career. It might be a picture book, or an 800 page novel. It doesn’t matter. It is in the heart and will niggle at us until it’s done.
           
What qualifies us as writers? We write. It’s what we all do.

 
Deanna K. Klingel calls the mountains of western North Carolina home. She lives with her husband and golden retriever. She enjoys visiting her seven married children and eleven grandchildren, and travels with her books.
Blog: www.BooksByDeanna.com, “Selling Books”
Facebook: Deanna K. Klingel;  Author Facebook: Books By Deanna
Twitter: @deannakklingel

Monday, February 24, 2014

Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl is releasing a new story in the "Tales of Goldstone Wood" series - Book 7, titled Golden Daughter. Look for it this November...and read on to learn more about the book and it's intriguing cover!


Beyond the realm of dreams
is a world she never imagined

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life. 

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch? 

For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn. 

About the Author

Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series, adventure fantasies told in the classic Fairy Tale style. Her books include Christy Award-winning Heartless and Veiled Rose, and Clive Staples Award-winning Starflower. She makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration and English literature at Grace College and Campbell University.

You can connect with her on her blog, Tales of Goldstone Wood, as well as on Facebook.

Cover Design

The cover illustration was done by Julia Popova. Visit her website, www.forestgirl.ru, to learn more about her and her fantastic work!

http://goldendaughternovel.blogspot.com/

Book Page

If you’d like to learn more about Golden Daughter, visit the book page for interesting articles, illustrations, and more!

Giveaway!

Anne Elisabeth is giving away two books from her "Tales of Goldstone Wood" series (winner's choice from the first six)! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Good morning, 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 McLean - The Scent of Fear by Susan Reinhardt.

Congratulations, Michelle! Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book.
On any given Sunday, the pastor will read his sermon text from Scripture and my thoughts will spin away on side trails from his intended direction.

This time, it was the calling of the prophet of Jeremiah. When God first spoke to him to go to the people of Israel, he pleaded inadequacy on the basis of his age. God affirmed the call and told him not to be afraid.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve given this passage less and less attention because, well, it’s been less relevant to me. But it struck me this time that the “youth” Jeremiah was referring to can apply to inexperience in other areas.

I struggle with this on so many different levels, I hardly know where to begin. For all the years of experience I do have, I don’t feel fully qualified to serve in some of the places God has put me.

But as He’s said to me in so many different ways, He is with me. And if He’s the one who chose me, then He will give me the words. And the strength. And the confidence.

Our pastor commented on the phrase, “Do not be afraid of their faces.” He thought the particular wording interesting. Why not simply, “Do not be afraid of them”?

And I wonder, how many times does it fill me with terror just to think of standing in front of people, to have them looking at me?

But if I have the face of the Most High looking down on me—if He is the One before whom I truly stand or fall, not the human audience I see with my physical eyes—how do I dare to let the fear of man rule me?

Whether I am very young or very old, my God is the same. His power is not diminished by my lack of ability.

If anything, it is magnified.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Then said I:
“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1, NKJV)

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book!

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. 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 and...you 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. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Susan Reinhardt and her newest release, The Scent of Fear.

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Today we're happy to visit with Susan Reinhardt, author of The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and The Christmas Wish. Hello, Susan, and welcome to The Borrowed Book.
Thank you for hosting me today! 

What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?
When I'm in the groove and words flow almost without effort, I could write for hours. I love the satisfaction of seeing a story come together.

The whole time management thing is a constant battle. Life doesn't fit into neat compartments, so I've learned to make adjustments and prioritize. Often the Lord will impress a particular task on me (like getting a blog post done now rather than later). Nine times out of ten, something urgent will arise in the time slot I'd originally selected.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?
Plotting, outlines, or plans make me shiver. It's not that I think they're bad, but they don't work for me. Whenever I've attempted to plot, it's had the effect of clobbering any creativity that poked  its head between the written lines.

Most of the time, I know the beginning and end of my story. As I write, I'll have an idea. It's a one-step-at-a-time-drenched-in-prayer process. Marrying solid writing craft with inspiration works best for me.

My greatest concern is ending up with a formulaic story. I want the words I write to be containers of life.

Do you write full time or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?
When I started writing fiction, I worked with my late husband in his business. This gave me a lot of flexibility since "the boss" was on board with the project.

Now, I'm working a full-time job, helping my elderly mother, active in church, and writing. I'll say one thing: I'm never bored. LOL!

No, I'm sure you're not! What's your favorite method for keeping a story's middle from sagging?
A secondary plot and added tension keep things moving along. As in real life, we're rarely in a difficult situation that doesn't get complicated by other circumstances.  In The Moses Conspiracy, I developed a conflict in two family relationships, while the main characters tried to figure out who was out to get them.

Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?
A gym membership helps keep me fit. I try to get there 2-3 times per week. The stairs in my house, dashing around the office (the printer is not at my desk), and errands provide the remainder of my exercise.

Hmmm... I'm going to have to quit asking that question because it reminds me I need more exercise myself. 

Well, thank you, Susan for taking time out from your busy schedule to speak with us!

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops. Her publishing credits include her debut novel, The Moses Conspiracy, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Don't be forget to stop by The Borrowed Book tomorrow when you can enter to win a free copy of Susan's new release, The Scent of Fear!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Last week I mentioned how I used to wander the countryside when I was a kid. One of the features I remember is a small pond in the meadow next to the woods. The pond was filled with cattail plants. I used to love it when the brown cattail seed pods were ready to pop. I’d grab them, split them open, and watch the fuzzy seed head fluff fly in the air. But I had no idea that the cattail plant is one of the most versatile of wild plants.  


Most of the cattail plant can be used for food. The roots can be ground into flour. The pollen can be gathered and used as a substitute for some of the flour in pancakes to make cattail pancakes. It also works well with cornmeal in cornbread and can be used as a thickener or flour extenders for breads, cakes, etc. 

The sticky sap between cattail leaves is an excellent source of starch and can also be used to thicken soups and broths. The white shoots at the base of the leaf clusters can be boiled or steamed, or sliced and eaten raw in salads. In early spring, the roots can be dug up to locate the small pointed shoots called corms. These can be removed, peeled, and eaten. They can also be added to other spring greens for a salad, or cooked in stews. As the plant growth progresses to where the shoots reach a height of two to three feet above the water, they can be peeled and eaten like the corms, or sauteed. These shoots are called "Cossack Asparagus" because the Russians were so fond of them. 

In early summer, the female and male bloom spikes begin to emerge in the center of the plant. If you pull away the leaves around them, like shucking corn, you can remove the spikes and eat them—boiled like corn or eaten raw. (The female bloom spike is the one that turns into the big brown seed head that I delighted in when I was a kid.)

The cattail also has many traditional folk medicinal properties. When the pollen is placed directly on a cut, it is hemostatic (stops blood flow) and astringent (constricts body tissue). The pollen is also a mild diuretic and is said to induce or hasten menstrual flow. Fresh cattail root can be pounded and used as a poultice on infections, blisters, and stings. The same sticky starch used as a soup thickener can also be used as an antiseptic, coagulant, and to help numb a painful wound. The leaves can be boiled to make an external skin wash. The roots can be mashed and used as toothpaste. You can drink cattail root flour in a cup of hot water. The young flower heads, eaten raw, are said to stop diarrhea and dysentery.

Cattail has other uses, as well. The dried stalks can be used for arrow shafts. Seed heads and dried leaves can be used as tinder. The dried seed heads, still attached to their stalks, can be dipped in melted animal fat or oil and used as torches. The seed head fluff can be used for pillow and bedding stuffing or as a down-like insulation in clothing. The leaves have been used for hundreds of years in the construction of shelters or for woven seats and backs of chairs. They can also be woven into baskets, hats, mats, and beds.

And so, if you're hiking in the rain and you find yourself with blistered feet and an empty stomach, find some cattail. You can make a rain hat, feed yourself, fix your blisters, and stuff your shoes with cattail fuzz.

















Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Most people shudder at the thought of writing without an outline or other plotting aid. The opposite is true for me. I've tried many programs, storyboarding, etc., and all they do is make my creativity seize up like a car engine sans oil.

Would you like a peek into my SOTP (seat-of-the-pants) writer brain? Here goes:

1.  After I wrote "the end" on The Moses Conspiracy, I sensed the story wasn't complete. At first, I thought the original characters would again take center stage. 

Yet, when I sat down to write, my mind kept veering off and focusing on a secondary character, Jim Kenneman. A reader had mentioned she really liked him. As I was trying to force the issue and make the other characters primary, Jim finally whispered in my ear, "This is my story."

2.  Okay, switch gears. What story did Jim have? Well, he'd helped break up a hate group called, "The New Patriots." What if they decided to seek revenge and re-establish their organization? I sat down and put Jim in his Washington, D.C. office. (I couldn't wait to see what would happen next!) 

3.  I usually know where to start and where to end. The fun is getting there. Yeah, it's sometimes a little nerve wracking, but a hefty dose of prayer gets me through the tough times. And so, The Scent of Fear was born. 

4.  All through the first draft stage, another book was taking shape. A character from the first book was developing in my mind. She kept pushing me to finish, so her story could be told. So, a sequel turned into a trilogy. 

5.  People think a SOTP writer only writes when they're inspired. Not true. Getting my seat in that chair and writing is sometimes the hardest exercise of all. I try to leave a few loose ends from the previous writing session. It gives me a place to start, to pick up the story thread if you will.

So, there's a little glimpse into the writing life of this SOTP writer. BTW, this entire post was done at a moment's notice because it somehow slipped through my time management net. Happy writing!

Susan J. Reinhardt's publishing credits include her debut novel, The Moses Conspiracy, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

You can connect with her at her blog:  and on her Facebook author page.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.




Blog:  Christian Writer/Reader Connection    http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanJReinhardt

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012233.Susan_J_Reinhardt

Twitter:  @susanjreinhardt

Review for A Scent of Fear, by S. Black:

Once again the ugly head of the New Patriots begins to influence the American people’s freedoms and to persecute the Christians. Henry Schwartz, the antagonist from The Moses Conspiracy, alias Striker, former head of the New Patriots, gains controlling influence with the Vice President Loring and President Briggs of the United States, spreading accusations against the current Director of National Security. Believing them to be true, the President appoints Henry Schwartz to replace Jim Kenneman as the new Director of National Security, and to arrest Jim Kenneman for treason.  Henry’s goal is to eliminate Jim Kenneman

Pros about the book:

“Scent of Fear” is scary with a believable plot in predicting America’s future downfall politically, financially, and spiritually. It was one of those books that was hard to put down. Lots of intrigue.

Cons about the book:

Quotation from Ellie Zimmerman in the “Scent of Fear”:
 “Pardon me, but I’m having trouble keeping the names straight. I’m not accustomed to people using an alias.” 

She expresses my exact problem with following the story line…keeping characters straight as to who they were, very confusing at times. 

I also had problems with the ending feeling too abrupt. So much so that I reread last few chapters to see what I had missed.


The love romance of the story between Dr. Abbey and Jim Kenneman seemed to grow too quick. They had only met once, time had elapsed; and before you know it, Jim was declaring his love for her and she was accepting it as if they had been seeing each other on regular basis and talking to each other a lot.  It just didn’t seem real to me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

About the Book

"1952 New York City: Callie Harper is a woman set to make it big in the world of journalism. Liberated from all but her buried and troubled past, Callie craves glamour and the satisfaction she knows it will bring. When one of America's most celebrated journalists, Wade Barnett, calls on Callie to help him with a revolutionary project, Callie finds herself co-pilot to a Christian man whose life and ideas of true greatness run noisily counter to hers on every point. But when the secrets of Callie's past are hung over her head as a threat, there is space for only one love, one answer: betray Wade Barnett to save her reputation, or sacrifice everything for the sake of the man she loved and the God she fled. The consequences of either decision will define the rest of her life.

Self-preservation has never looked more tempting."

Amber's Review

The book begins with lots of sass, an intriguing setting, and a voice that both echoes the classics and injects both humor and wisdom in a fresh way. It's an interesting blend, and one that took me a bit to get comfortable with, but ultimately charmed me as the story progressed with lovely wording and great plot construction.

The heroine, Callie, frustrated me throughout a good deal of the book, and yet there was enough earnestness in her, enough hidden hurt visible through the holes in her mask, and enough hope for her character that she endeared herself to me and made me not mind being in her first-person POV. Plus, she loves her cat, chocolates, and writing - there's no way we couldn't be friends on at least some level!

And the hero... *happy sigh* He really is quite wonderful, despite his sometimes patronizing and occasionally foolish ways. Getting glimpses into his thoughts and heart through letters really added a touch of class and made the story that much sweeter and interesting.

There really is a lot to love - a trip back to the 1950s, the back-and-forth clash and banter between two journalists, a fascinating array of settings and situations, a dash of suspense, a lesson in true love, and some absolutely fabulous lines worthy of highlighting or underlining (either for their wittiness or their lyrical beauty). While there are a couple of borderline preachy scenes, this really is a unique and clever take on inspirational fiction, with one part of the storyline being a bit reminiscent of the movie Miss Potter. Heffington's voice shines like the New York skyline, and Fly Away Home is a brilliant debut.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Extras
  • You can purchase the book now  on Amazon - in paperback and e-book formats!
  • In honor of the book's release, the author is giving away two signed paperback copies! You can enter the giveaway HERE. (Ends in 4 days.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good morning, 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: 

Mary Preston (marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com) - A Dozen Apologies by Jennifer Hallmark.

Congratulations, Mary! Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book.
So, Friday was Valentine’s Day. You know, the one day a year that everyone is talking about the L-word.

Love.

Not just LOVE, but ... loooooooooooove. Complete with hearts and flowers and fluffy teddy bears. The sort of day that’s guaranteed to be a disappointment to so many of us just because of the expectations that come along with it, no matter how good we might actually have it in real life. It’s so easy to focus on what I don’t have, that I wanted.

But then I look at what love actually is—the bleeding, broken, dying God-Man who came to rescue a fallen world. To redeem the poor who thought they were rich according to the world’s measure of things, the stupid who think they are brilliant by the same standard, the wicked who have convinced themselves they have others’ welfare at heart.

I read the chapter that is the classic description of love—and I know that I fail, not even in small ways, but epically, to walk out what love really is.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

I could be wildly talented in how I speak, but if I don’t love ...

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

... or incredibly gifted in intellectual and spiritual matters, but if I don’t love ...

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

... or even wildly generous and self-sacrificing ... and obviously it’s possible to do that and not really love ...

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Oh, ouch. Patient and kind? Not envious of others? Not drawing attention to itself?

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

... not pushing and shoving, not—what? I’m not supposed to react if someone says something to offend me?

 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Not just patience, but endless patience. Endless faith. Endless hope. Endless endurance.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

Because intellectual and spiritual giftings all have their limits ...

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
 
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 12, NKJV)

Friday, February 14, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! This week's giveaway is ebook format only.

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. 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 and...you 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. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Jennifer Hallmark and her newest release, A Dozen Apologies.


Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Welcome to The Borrowed Book, Jennifer. We're delighted to have you with us. Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it? 

When I was nine, I received an “A” on a book of poetry I had written and illustrated as an English assignment. The first poem started, “My cat is fat.”  In the eighth grade, I won $5 in a poetry contest and realized I could possibly make money doing what I loved. I took my writing from hobby to career in 2006.

What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least? 
I love being able to express my deepest joys and sorrows through the written word. It’s therapy to me. I enjoy working with other writers and all the people I’ve met since I began. I dislike trying to explain to people face-to-face that I’m a writer.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination? 
Pantser. I tend to write scenes, in no particular order, then put it all together later. I have learned to do a little plotting. It became a necessity when I participated in NaNoWrMo, writing the rough draft for my latest book in a month.

What do your kids think about your being a writer? 
They know? Oh, I guess they do. I think deep down they’re proud of me, though its like pulling teeth to get them to read my stories. Maybe they are afraid of what they’ll find…

How do you get your best ideas? 
Writing Prompts. Our local writing group and online blog use writing prompts to spark ideas. My latest W.I.P. came from these prompts: Faded coveralls, baseball cap, and wedding dress designer. 

Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise? 
Does shopping count? Seriously, when I first started writing, I did nothing different. I soon realized I needed a way to combat the long hours in the chair. I now do thirty minutes of low impact aerobics five days a week, and also ride an exercise bike.

Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you
We have a Basset Hound named Max. My husband, Danny, and I both spoil him, especially since we’re now empty nesters. We have to keep him outside because of my dog hair allergy, however.

What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you? 
I love football and actually played intramural flag football in college. I never miss an Alabama game (Roll Tide!) and follow the Atlanta Falcons and Peyton Manning. I’ve considered joining a fantasy football league, but don’t really have enough time to dedicate to it.

Thanks for having me on the Borrowed Book!

Our pleasure, Jennifer!
Jennifer Hallmark: writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read
detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes. Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.

Check out her website, connect with her by Email, on Facebook (here's her Facebook author’s page), Twitter or Pinterest.

And don't forget to stop by tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Jennifer's latest release, a collaboration with eleven other authors entitled A Dozen Apologies!

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