Spotlight: The Yellow Lantern

The Yellow Lantern FB Banner

About the Book

The Yellow Lattern CoverBook: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August, 2019

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

AngieDicken

Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.

More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Giveaway

The Yellow Lantern giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Enter Here Button

 

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

My Review – The Story Raider

My Review - The Story Raider

about-the-book-2

Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game. 

Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret: Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse.

As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone—least of all herself.

The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on the story weavers and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent.

Amazon

Why This Book:

The second I read the final page of The Story Peddler, I knew I would be reading the next book in this series. (See my review HERE.) Then my two eldest boys (13 & 11) read The Story Peddler and loved it as well. We all agreed that we would preorder the next book as soon as it was available to do so. So we did. Then I came across the opportunity to join Lindsay Franklin’s launch team. Um yeah. I signed up in a blink.

So I now have a digital ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) and a printed purchased copy of The Story Raider (the printed copy has been claimed by my boys). Best yet, because I pre-ordered the printed version, Lindsay sent my boys some fun swag that included a personalized and signed bookplate which now lives happily in the front of their book. (This swag was offered to anyone who pre-ordered The Story Raider and submitted their information to Lindsay before the release date.) (BTW – My boys will be recording and sharing their own video review of this book in the near future.) All of this said, my review will (as always) be 100% sincere and 100% my own.

Opening Lines:

Chapter 1:

Naith Bo-Offriad hurried down the main thoroughfare of Afon. Of all places.

How had it come to this?

First Impressions:

I was immediately drawn back into the action, troubles, and world of the story I’d left behind in The Story Peddler. And I was happy to be there–eager to see what would happen next.

Book Quote - The Story Raider

SPOILER WARNING!!! – If you have not read The Story Peddler, skip down to my section on THEME and continue reading from there.

Main Characters:

Naith Bo-Offriad–  The High Priest of the Tirian Empire now in a degraded situation he never dreamed of facing and determined not to remain there.

Tanwen En-Yestin – The heroine of the story facing a mysterious, progressive, life-threatening illness. The wonderfully gifted Storyteller we readers are rooting for. She is complex, with both selfless and selfish moments that I think most readers will relate to. She struggles with the emotional consequences of the events taking place around her and navigating her complicated relationships–especially with her father, Brac, and Mor.

Braith En-Gareth a.k.a. Queen Braith – As the new Queen of Tir, she struggles with the ramifications of the recent coup which placed her on the throne, her father in the dungeon, and her mother on the run–not to mention it left her former suitor behind bars and probably awaiting execution for his crimes. Meanwhile, the unrest and rioting of the peasants of Tir leave her a virtual prisoner in her own castle. And in case all of that isn’t enough, a surprise arrival threatens the legitimacy of her claim to the throne. Poor Braith. Good thing she’s such a strong, intelligent woman with a compassionate heart and admirable integrity.

Cameria En-Benatti – Trusted friend, confidant and personal servant to Queen Braith. She helps keep Braith sane among the chaos.

Brac Bo-Bradwir– Tanwen’s childhood friend, her unwanted/accidental fiance, and a generally nice (if a bit naive) guy who finds himself in too deep before he even knows what’s happening.

Mor Bo-Lidere– The hero of the story (IMO) who is a gifted Storyteller like Tanwen. His relationship with Tanwen grows even more complicated in this book than in the first book, and I’m not always a fan of the choices he makes, but overall, I definitely like the guy and want to see him succeed. Also, in his defense, he has a lot to deal with emotionally and in regard to the events of the story. There is a lot of weight on this poor guy’s shoulders, which makes the less-than-positive choices he sometimes chooses very relatable.

Yestin Bo-Arthio – Former First General of Tir, loving father of Tanwen, and man of many, many talents, skills, and secrets. This man continues to surprise throughout the story and it is delightful to wonder what he will reveal or do next.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. There was a continuous tension that kept me turning pages, but also brief moments of slowing down that allowed me just enough time to catch my breath and process what was happening (as opposed to some of those action movies where everything happens so fast, the next battle has begun before you even realize the first one is over). I was always reluctant to set this book aside in order to fulfill those annoying things called “responsibilities.” (Don’t they know they should just disappear while I’m in the middle of a great read?)

As for emotional engagement, it was definitely there. I cared about what happened to these characters and I had decided opinions on which path I thought their stories should take them. I didn’t always get what I wanted, but I was always content (or happy, depending on the moment) with what I got.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

Getting to better know Yestin Bo-Arthio was particularly fun for reasons mentioned in his description. Which actually brings to mind the other thing I liked: many surprises. This story was anything but predictable. In both big and small ways, the author made choices that surprised me and kept the story feeling fresh at each step of the journey.

I also liked the travel and adventure side of the story. The descriptions were wonderful. From the big action scenes to the intimate moments, I could vividly see in my mind’s eye exactly what was happening. By the end of the book, I felt I’d traveled the character’s world with them.

Book Quote - The Story Raider - Someone Watching Over You

THEME:

I found that two themes stuck out for me in this novel. The first was this:

The choices we make are rarely simple or black and white, and always have consequences–often beyond what we expect.

The other theme was epitomized in this quote:

Wherever you were, it seemed you could really only understand your own troubles and the trials of your little spot on the world.

Ending:

Umm. WOW! Yes, there is a clear ending in one sense (regarding the cure), but in another sense there is a very obvious cliff-hanger. And I have just one thing to say about that:

I WANT THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!! 🙂

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Amazon

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly ! (Also look for Click-to-Tweet quotes at the bottom of this post!)


The-story-raider-fb-banner

About the Author

Franklin-Lindsay2018-Author-Photo-300x200

Lindsay A. Franklin is a best-selling author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following. You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.

More from Lindsay

I often get asked how I came up with the idea for The Story Peddler, book 1 in The Weaver Trilogy. It’s a dangerous thing to dig too deep into a fantasy novelist’s imagination (it’s pretty weird in here, you guys), but the short answer is I was sitting in a workshop at a writers’ conference, and an acquisitions editor made a comment—something like: “I have to peddle your stories to executives. At the end of the day, I’m just a story peddler.” When I heard that phrase, my imagination exploded. I thought of what a “story peddler” might look like if we added a little wonder and a sprinkling of fairy dust to the equation. Then Tanwen emerged as a character who might be a fun vehicle for this story-peddling process, and I imagined a story that would suit her. The Story Peddler was born.
But someone recently asked me why I visualized the supernatural art of storytelling in the way I did—as strands of color, light, fabric, or glitter coming out of the hands of the person telling the story, then crystallizing into a solid object for her to sell. And I have no real answer for that, except, again, “It’s pretty weird in here, you guys.” The Weaver Trilogy is a celebration of creativity and art, and that gave me reason to think about what other types of strand-weavers in this story world might look like.
If you’re new to the series, here’s a primer on the weavers you’ll find in these books.
Storytellers: Strands pour from their hands as they tell stories. When they reach the moral or ending of the story, the strands come together to form a crystallized sculpture. A story peddler then sells the sculptures to make her living.
Songspinners: Strands are lighter, airier, and come from their mouths instead of their hands as they sing. Songspinner strands are emotive and speak to the hearts of the hearers. Once the song is over, the strands disappear.
Colormasters: Strands are like streams of paint, ribbons of fire, or jets of water. When they hit a solid object, they create an image on the object. Colormasters seek to reflect the beauty of their surroundings, capturing the physical world exactly as it is or simply as it feels.
Stoneshapers: Their hands light up as they manipulate rock and stone with their fingertips. They create beauty by molding something that already exists and releasing the art trapped inside.
If that sounds like fun, welcome to my weirdness! Tanwen can’t wait to weave a sparkling adventure for you.

Giveaway

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, The Corsyth custom Story Peddler candle from Novelly Yours, The Cethorelle custom Story Raider candle from Novelly Yours, choice of two tea tins from the Adagio Story Peddler Tea Shoppe, “Hedgenibblers, fluffhoppers, mountainbeasts, oh my!” mug
Story Peddler book sleeve, Story Raider enamel pin, and assorted bookmarks, stickers, and art prints.
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Enter Here Button

Let’s chat!

Have you read either The Story Peddler or The Story Raider? Do you enjoy fantasy fiction? How do you feel about cliff-hanger endings?

TWEETABLES:

Surprising choices kept this novel feeling fresh at each step of the journey. #BookReview 

A fascinating adventure that will engage the emotions and imaginations of adults, adolescents, and teens alike! #BookReview 


Note: Although I did receive a free ARC of the digitial version of this book, I had previously preordered my own print copy of this book, and in any case, I was under no obligation to write a positive review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.


Enjoy Christian Romance?

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

 

Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Love and Other Mistakes
By Jessica Kate

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, including the Q&A at
each stop of the tour, you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Meagan Davenport – Review

“I liked sooooo very much about this book. I found myself literally LOL-ing at times, to the startled reactions of those around me (on the train or at the nail salon). The author is downright hilarious, and I appreciated how she incorporated humor into some very serious topics.”

Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters – Interview

Describe your book in 25 words or less.

To land her dream internship, a woman must nanny her ex-fiancé’s infant son and deal with his troubled teenage niece.

(I have five words left, so–) sassy, love/hate, comedy, drama.

Library Lady’s Kid Lit – Review

“Jessica Kate has written a novel that many teens can relate to. On one level it is about relationships and forgiveness. On another level it is about God’s love for us even when we think no one loves us and the people who should care the most about us fail. . . . I would not hesitate to add this to my K-12 Christian school library. It is appropriate for high school age and adults.”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a delightfully, entertaining novel addressing the topics of love, betrayal, facing problematic situations, forgiveness and other Christian ethics.”

Beauty in the Binding – Spotlight

Did you have a favorite character in this novel and who is it?

Jessica: This is a weird answer, but NICK! I know, he’s not a main character, but this teen math nerd has a Nirvana T-shirt, knows how to hot wire a car, and raises baby chickens as a surprise to cheer up his mother. He’s such a sweetie pie!

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“I really enjoyed this story of love, forgiveness, loss, and compassion. The characters are complicated and the author does a great job of describing them, how they are feeling, and moving them forward in a positive way. . . . I appreciated how they came back to their faith and trusted God to help see them through.”

Singing Librarian Books – Spotlight

SLB: What inspired the idea for this story?

Jessica Kate: ​Complicated answer! The actual plot – entirely fictional. But the emotional journeys? I started writing this book at 22, working a job that didn’t lead anywhere, single, and unsure where I fit in life. I felt like I was missing out on my purpose—and so did my main character, Natalie.

Peaceful Pastime – Review

“For a debut novel I thought that one was pretty impressive and I liked that author had characters from various age groups and blended them perfectly within the pages of this book. A story of family and friends and how at times we have to make sacrifices to help not only your loved ones but those who are need of help. too. . . . Overall this storyline is much more tender than I thought it would be and that’s just fine with me. I like the writing of Jessica Kate and I will read more of her work.”

Radiant Light – Review

“This book met all the things I adore in an inspirational rom-com. Jessica Kate handles tough subjects and real relationships well. The inspirational thread is woven throughout the book like a beautiful ribbon. I highly recommend this book.”

Life Is What It’s Called – Review

“It was dramatic narrative interwoven with romance, forgiveness and sense of family. It was interesting to read about the challenges in Natalie, Jem and Lilli’s lives and how they overcome their hardships and past. I would recommend reading it.”

A Modern Day Fairy Tale – Review

“In the midst of all the drama and heavy issues was just the right amount of humor to keep it a lighter and more entertaining read. . . . I personally really enjoyed it. It was still clean, just more real. As such, I could see that it could appeal also to a wider audience who might not generally prefer Christian fiction as well. This is a great, quick read that I would certainly recommend, and I cannot wait to see what Jessica Kate has in store for us next!”

I’m Into Books – Spotlight

Q. Do you write full time or do you also have another job outside of being a wonderful author?

A. I work full-time as a training developer at a small bank. It’s fun getting to use my creativity in a team context, especially when we make training videos. I like to pretend I’m Steven Spielberg 😉

Backing Books – Review

“I do think that this is a really good read. Natalie and Jem are an adorable couple, taking care of an adorable baby, and Lili is an amazingly relatable teenager. And the heavy, emotional scenes are balanced well with lighthearted moments that show the brighter side of life. There were a few moments which seemed unrealistic, but those played more into the comedic side of the story, making them easier to roll with.”

Among the Reads – Spotlight

Jessica, what would you like your readers to take away from Love and Other Mistakes?

Hope! Life, family and love can all be messy and scary—but God is bigger than the mess and brings us love and joy!

Uplifting Reads – Review

“There is a lot going on in this story! . . . In a way, these problems almost made the story seem a bit more realistic, because we often get plagued with multiple life events that cause stress and chaos. Life is not pretty; it is messy. . . . I also want to point out that while this is listed as a Christian contemporary romance, you are not going to have Christianity shoved down your throat. To me it was more of a way at looking at how even Christians do not have perfect lives. But these people are, at the same time, using their faith to help them through. . . . So I think readers who are not necessarily interested in Christian romances would also enjoy this one.”

Wishful Endings – Spotlight

What is one piece of advice your character, Natalie, would give us about love?

Natalie at the start of the book would bark a slightly bitter laugh and shrug, then change the subject.

Natalie at the end of the book would say that if you don’t understand how God loves you (and that your value has nothing to do with your good works or mistakes), then it’ll make your relationships much harder.

It’s when you get that clear understanding from God about your own value, then that love can more easily spill over to others.

Two Points of Interest – Review

“Natalie Groves has big dreams and hopes but, when her fiancé, Jeremy Walters, suddenly breaks up with her, she felt lost. Her father was then diagnosed with cancer, which left Natalie struggling to keep her family afloat while nursing her broken heart. With her grand plans in the rearview mirror, Natalie’s relationship with God is also stilted. . . . Overall, I think it’s a decent read for young adults.”

Just Your Average Reviews – Review

“This was a good debut novel! I loved the author’s writing style and voice! . . . I don’t often remember quotes or make note of them, but this one really stood out to me and touched my heart. “The truth is you are far more than a job, a ministry, or even a calling. You are a person created and saved by God, no matter what your job is or what you do in life.”

Overall, this is a good story.”

Angela Walker’s Reviews – Interview

1)What inspired you to first start writing this book?

The original seed of an idea was a story about a man and a woman who were raising a kid, but they weren’t a couple. From that I got the idea of Natalie nannying her ex-fiancé’s son and it all grew from there!

I adore love/hate stories, so the idea of ex’s having to work together is one I find endlessly entertaining! 😀

Splashes of Joy – Review

“This is a nice and interesting read. There is a lot going on in this story. . . . The author handles each situation going on in the story really well. . . . Overall, this debut novel is pretty good. It’s fun to read, and will keep you entertained for quite a few hours. I really think the younger generation would love this book, as in late teens and early 20’s.”

Locks, Hooks and Books – Review

Love and Other Mistakes is a good read. It has some cute, fun, and delightful moments that made me laugh out loud. There were some tearing up moments that made me want to grab the tissues. . . . I believe it is worth a read.”

Love and Other Mistakes
By Jessica Kate
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 352 Pages
July 30th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

Jessica Kate’s hilarious, romantic debut novel proves that some mistakes—including love—are begging to be made again and again.

Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancé, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away.

Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast.

An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate . . . and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all.

Praise for the Book

“A stunning debut . . . This tale of love and redemption will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book. A must-read.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress

“Witty. Charming. Heartfelt. I could go on and on about Jessica Kate’s debut novel. From its highly relatable characters to its pitch-perfect dialogue, Love and Other Mistakes is a delightful, romantic read filled with just the right amount of sass. I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud as I watched Natalie and Jem navigate their relationships, careers, and faith. Definitely one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read lately, and I can’t wait to see what’s next from Jessica Kate!” —Melissa Tagg, Carol Award–winning author of Now and Then and Always and the Walker Family series

Love and Other Mistakes wraps a poignant and warm look at relationships within a smart, sly, and knowing comedic voice. Readers of Sally Thorne and Bethany Turner will be immediately at home with Natalie: an all-too-real heroine who balances whip-smart agency with an endearing vulnerability and whose intersection with long-lost Jeremy helps her forge a path to confidence and discover the woman she was always meant to be. Kate’s unputdownable debut recognizes that all human relationships—familial, friendship, romantic—are worth the keen eye and clever insight of her talented pen.” —Rachel McMillan, author of the Van Buren and DeLuca Mysteries

“If you’re looking for a story with sass on top of style, or a fresh voice pumped full of fun, you need to read Love and Other Mistakes. Then after you’ve enjoyed this—and I’m confident you will—make a date with whatever this exciting new author writes next!” —David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGooglePlay

Bookstagram Tour



Find out more about the tour here.

About the Author


Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.

She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast. When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.

Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes releases July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hits shelves in January 2020.

Receive her sassy short The Kiss Dare FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com. StoryNerds podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at www.storynerds.podbean.com.

WebsiteGoodreadsBookBubFacebookTwitterInstagramNewsletter

Grab Our Button!


Enjoy Christian Romance?

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

 

Guest Post: Are You The Next Emily Dickinson?

Today I am excited to share this guest post by award-winning author Tessa Emily Hall. Please give her a warm welcome in the comments below!


Tessa Emily Hall Guest Post - Emily Dickinson

 

I first learned about the poet, Emily Dickinson, in my eighth grade English class. My classmates had laughed about her life story and made jokes about her hard-to-interpret poetry; me, on the other hand? I became enthralled. This poet had not only written unique poetry, but she had also lived quite a mysterious and unique life.

Fast forward several years, when I first began to brainstorm my novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY. The main character was a mysterious and shy songwriter who, like Dickinson, led a sheltered life. I had somehow allowed Dickinson’s life story to influence Cassie’s story without it even realizing it! Even the theme of hope in the book is perfectly reflected in one of Dickinson’s poems titled Hope is the Theme With Feathers.
 
Of course, after realizing that, I began to examine my own life to see how I compared to the poet as well. I wasn’t surprised to discover the many ways in which I could relate with Dickinson. (No wonder I found this poet to be so fascinating in eighth grade!)

No, you don’t have to write hard-to-interpret poetry in order to become the next Emily Dickinson. This poet is known for far more than just her thousands of poems that are in print. So how can you know if you are following in this sheltered writer’s footsteps?

You might want to check for these five signs…

  1.  You don’t abide by popular styles and trends.

When it came to poetry, Dickinson was the first to throw out the popular writing rules of her day. This is why it was difficult for her to find publication during her lifetime; in fact, she didn’t rise to fame until after her death.

  1. You don’t leave the house very often.

Dickinson stayed in her bedroom and wrote poetry for days on end. When someone visited the house, she would speak to them from the other side of the door. Although she was rarely seen in the public, she communicated frequently to friends via snail mail (AKA today’s version of social media and email). Sound familiar?

  1. You keep your art hidden in a private space.

After Dickinson passed, her sister discovered thousands of her unpublished poetry. Only twelve of her poems were published during her lifetime.

  1. The purpose of your creative outlet is for the sake of your own sanity rather than in effort to please others. 

It’s obvious that Dickinson wasn’t motivated to write by the idea of publication or applause; rather, she wrote for herself. It wasn’t worth it for her to alter the style of her writing just for the sake of receiving favor from publishers.

Writing was Dickinson’s way of expressing her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I don’t doubt that she used it as a form of therapy. (Which she could’ve probably benefitted greatly from, based on how many hours she spent in her bedroom by herself!)

  1. Your art tends to reflect the darker side of life. 

Many people believe Dickinson struggled with bipolar disorder. Traces of her depression are exposed in much of her poetry. Does your art reflect optimism or pessimism?

UM_3

As I brainstormed UNWRITTEN MELODY and discovered that Cassie’s life mirrored Dickinson’s, of course I had to give Cassie an obsession with this poet as well. She even discovers, in the book, that she has many of the “symptoms” that are on this list. When Cassie realizes this, she becomes determined to live life to the fullest and strives to avoid following in Dickinson’s footsteps.

If you, too, possess many of the above signs, then it might be time to evaluate your creative life and keep yourself from becoming the next Dickinson. How?

Here are a few quick tips that might help you lead a more balanced (and productive) creative lifestyle:

  1. Get some fresh air. Take a walk. Change locations and, if possible, work from a coffee shop, library, or bookstore.
  2. Socialize. (Yes, with actual people.)
  3. Leave it to your siblings to publish your writing. (Kidding, of course.)
  4. Stay passionate about your art, but don’t allow it to become an obsession.
  5. Keep your family first.
  6. Don’t be afraid to release your work to the public.
  7. Make sure that your health is a priority and in balance. If you find that your physical or mental state of being is headed off track, seek help.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

How many of these signs did you possess? Have you ever been intrigued by the life of Emily Dickinson as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Unwritten Melody

about-the-book-2

2017 Moonbeam Bronze Medalist Winner
2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Young Author

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder–did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

Buy Now: AmazonB&N

Mark “to read” on Goodreads


About the Author

Tessa Headshot2

Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who writes inspirational yet authentic books to remind teens they’re not alone. Her first teen devotional, COFFEE SHOP DEVOS, released with Bethany House September 2018. Tessa’s passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as an Associate Agent for Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency, Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She’s guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating art journals, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is through connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: http://www.tessaemilyhall.com.

Tessa is represented by Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency.

UM_2

Ways to connect with Tessa:

 

First Line Friday – 08.02.19

first-line-friday-3

Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

This week I am sharing the first line from Full Steam Ahead, a book by one of my favorite authors, Karen Witemeyer. I am *finally* getting to listen to this one on Audible after my print copy suffered a sad fate at the hands of a toddler a few years ago before I got the chance to read it.

Full Steam Ahead cover image

Here’s the first line:

Galveston, Texas
April 1851

Nicole Renard gripped her mother’s letter in her gloved hand as the carriage rattled down Bath Street, away from the docks.

about-the-book-2

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston and finds her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, he’s only ever focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to secure a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But when her father’s rivals come after the dagger, she’s forced to change her destination.

Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed since the fatal boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana that nearly took his life. He will do anything to stop such disasters. Even hire a female secretary. Sure he can ignore the distraction of her pretty face, he’s not sure how to proceed when drawn to her clever mind.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grows between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to an unsuitable candidate? And worse, when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, she will have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy.

Amazon

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

My Review – Where Dandelions Bloom

My Review - Where Dandelions Bloom

about-the-book-2

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Amazon

Why This Book:

I thoroughly enjoyed Tara Johnson’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (click HERE to read my interview of Tara). So, of course, I wanted to read whatever she released next.

Opening Lines:

Prologue:

June 4, 1851
New York City

Gabriel Avery hit the unforgiving pavement with a grunt. Above him, the thin dirty faces of his foes looked down on him with sneers.

Chapter 1:

TEN YEARS LATER
April 12, 1861
Howell, Michigan

“Cassandra Kendrick! What have you done?”

Cassie cringed at the slurred, booming voice hovering just beyond the barn door.

Book Quote - Where Dandelions Bloom - Who We Want To Be

First Impressions:

My attention was engaged from line one of the prologue. I immediately wanted to figure out what was happening and once I did, I wanted to see how it played out. Gabriel Avery snared my heart from the first scene as a brave young man struggling to stand (literally and figuratively) in a harsh world he couldn’t control.

Main Characters:

Gabriel Avery–  A young man from humble beginnings shadowed by the guilt of youthful choices and a strong sense of duty to those who’ve blessed him. He sees the world in a unique way that provides a different lens through which the reader experiences the events of the story.

Cassandra “Cassie” Kendrick a.k.a. Thomas Turner – This young woman is made of sterner stuff than I, no question. The circumstances she overcomes and the experiences she endures take her on an incredible journey both physically and spiritually. Not without her faults and certainly not exempt from terrible errors in judgment, Cassie is a character you want to see succeed and won’t soon forget.

Book Quote - Where Dandelions Bloom - Hope Remains

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

The pacing of this novel was spot on. Not a moment was dull. In fact, several places had me literally holding my breath, yet I was unwilling to skim a single word. I wanted to savor every second of the experience.

Easily one of the most moving novels I have read this year, this story had me running the gamut of choking back tears and giggling like a giddy school-girl. Long after I turned the last page, these characters and this world stayed with me, calling me back.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

I especially loved the mistakes both the heroine and the hero made in the course of the story. It made them more relatable and real.

I’ll be the first to admit that Civil War stories are not usually my first choice. It just isn’t a period of time I typically enjoy dwelling on. However, I thoroughly appreciated the accuracy and realism of the war experience as portrayed in this novel. I truly felt I wasn’t just reading about these characters and what they went through–I was living through it alongside them. The horrifying, the heartwrenching, and the heart-lifting–every moment was well written and deeply felt.

Theme:

Withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the unforgiven–it hurts the one holding onto the anger.

Book Quote - Where Dandelions Bloom - Pain

Ending:

I do admit to having mixed feelings about the ending for one of the secondary characters, but I can’t argue against it logically.  It made sense, even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for, and it was handled perfectly by the author. Other than that minor issue, I found the ending to be refreshingly surprising, unique, and satisfying. After reading the last word, I spent several moments just sitting there, pondering the events of the story, revisiting the character’s world and imagining what might come next for them. It was definitely one of those books where I felt the story had come to its best conclusion and yet I was a little sad that it was over.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

(I’m telling you right now, Where Dandelions Bloom will be on my annual list of Top 10 Historical Romance Novels for 2019. Don’t just add this novel to your TBR. Read it!)

Amazon

Let’s chat!

Have you read either of Tara Johnson’s novels? Do you enjoy Civil War fiction? What are your thoughts on forgiveness?

TWEETABLES:

Don’t just add this novel to your TBR. Read it! #BookReview

Easily one of the most moving novels I have read this year. #BookReview

I was unwilling to skim a single word. I wanted to savor every second of the experience. #BookReview

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !


Note: I purchased my own copy of this book and was under no obligation to anyone to write a review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.

First Line Friday – 07.26.19

first-line-friday-3

Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the first line of the book I am currently reading: Searching For You by Jody Hedlund. This one has been sitting on my TBR for far too long and I am super excited to finally be reading it! Searching For You is the third full-length novel in Hedlund’s Orphan Train series. (You can see my full review of the second book in this series HERE.)

Searching for You

Here is the first line:

New York City
September 1859

Sophie Neumann nuzzled her nose against Danny’s chest.

about-the-book-2

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

Amazon

Don’t forget to enter!

If you haven’t already heard, I’m sharing some BIG BIG NEWS and hosting my best giveaway yet! Don’t wait! There are daily entries to be earned and the giveaway ends at 12:00am PST July 28, 2019!

Check it out:

HR 5 Bk Giveaway

https://kathleendenly.com/2019hcrgiveaway

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating: