Posted in History

Welcome to 1885


From the Civil War to the present day to 1885. We’re on quite a journey together!🙂

Those that follow my blog are already familiar with my debut Civil War series and are already anticipating my next project. If you’re new to the blog, you might have missed some of the great Civil War history that I’ve shared with my readers over the last 22 months. If history is your thing, and Civil War history in particular, then I know you would enjoy the various Civil War letters and other tidbits that I’ve posted. Feel free to indulge yourself.

The 4th Monday of every month is history week here and now we have a new era to explore! I’ll continue to bring you Civil War facts and letters but I’ll also start sharing some of the interesting points of my research as I delve into 1885. This is a new setting for me and I don’t know very much at the start so we’ll learn as we go. But here are a couple of points that I do know!


By British standards, we’re still in the Victorian Era, which is good news for me since I’ve grown rather comfortable here.😉 But here in America, we also like to call this era the Gilded Age. You can read about how each of these eras break down in my previous post, A Quick Guide to Common Eras in Historical Fiction.

And another major note is the style of dresses. I’ll be switching from the full belled skirts to the infamous bustle. I’ve forever been smitten with the full skirts, but what about you? Which is your favorite look between these two styles?

And lastly, as I study into the social issues of this time in history, I would love to take in as much as I can by reading fiction novels that also deal the era that I’m studying. Can you recommend any non fiction or Christian fiction novels that focus on the social issues of the 1880s?


Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Cottage by Michael Phillips

13Michael Phillips Continues His Sweeping Shetland Islands Saga

When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that “the Cottage” is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman–and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place–and the character of its most prominent citizen–that soon gets under her skin.

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whale’s Reef. David’s cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni’s hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni’s very life in danger.

What I Loved: The setting really came to life in this book. I felt like I was actually there, visiting this small Shetland Island. Everything from the descriptions to the characters’ speech and down to their constant offer of tea sent me on a journey every time I picked up the book. The setting truly was the star here.
Phillips not only created a well developed setting, but he also crafted an in-depth family saga, cloaked in mystery and spanning several generations. The Cottage is book 2 of the series. While I was able to fill in the blanks and follow the story without having read book 1, I would highly recommend any interested reader to read this series in order. The book and its mysteries started off very strong, but sadly it didn’t end strong for me.
At the point where the romance begins to take center stage, it didn’t. The drama on the island remained in high gear but for this romance reader it wasn’t enough to keep the entire story from fizzling out. Loni and David just didn’t show any emotion toward one another. They had feelings about several issues throughout the book but when it came each other, they might as well have been siblings.
Another concern of mine was the amount of Quaker beliefs being taught here as well as David’s spiritual beliefs. I don’t want to argue doctrine in a review and I’ll have to be honest and tell you up front that at 3/4 of the way in, I had started skimming because I had grown bored so I can’t say for certain whether or not things in the religious department worked themselves out, but from all that I read it didn’t appear to. I only want to mention it so that each reader can make the decision that is best for them. My problem is that the characters were seeking God and the focus seemed to be outside of “faith alone through Christ alone” as found in the Scriptures alone and it never settled well with me. There may have been a line somewhere that balanced it out but I didn’t read it or see any indication that it would in all that I had read. Simply put, the message just sounded off to me.

~I received free a copy from Bethany House. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

*For those who may be concerned about the credibility of my complaint over a book that I wasn’t able to fully finish, I want to put your mind at ease. The rating I gave this book, I gave solely on the book’s other merits and not on the questionable religious content. I don’t feel that I can properly reduce the rating based on an area of the book that I’m 90% instead of 100% sure of. So why did I mention it at all in my review? Simply because I felt it my Christian duty to point out something that I wasn’t comfortable with for the sake of like-minded readers who may have appreciated the warning. I stand by my comments shared in this review. After 11 years of faithful study, the teaching in this book simply sounded foreign and I wasn’t comfortable. Each reader will have to make their own decisions. I hope I brought you an honest review that will help you in deciding.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin

112Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

What I Loved: I wasn’t sure if it was possible to love the third book of the Wings of the Nightingale series more than the first two books but I did! In Perfect Time was simply amazing. I was sorry to see it end.
I’m a sucker for the redemption story of a previous “bad boy” or in this case, “bad girl.” Sundin certainly didn’t disappoint. The gospel was beautifully weaved into the story. And the twists and turns kept coming. There really is so much to praise here. I insist that you should add this entire series to your TBR list.

Rating and Recommendation: In Perfect Time is a 5-star novel and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys War  Fiction or Christian Historical Fiction.

Posted in Book Reviews

Adult Coloring Book Recap

2016_0623summer20160032I’ve reviewed quite the collection of adult coloring books so far this year. I thought it would be handy to stop and take a look at them again. Maybe you’ll find something you like or a new book to add to your Christmas shopping list. 
*All links take you to my original review, complete with sample images. 

Coloring Notebook:
This is a gem. It’s part classic notebook, part coloring book. There is a wide collection of images here and perfect for just about everybody.

Coloring Inspirations:
This one took a different approach by allowing you to download it and print your own copies. It allows you to select your favorite type of paper without fear of markers bleeding through.

Cats in Paris:
A cat-lovers dream. This coloring book will keep you entertained with a variety of feline-filled pages.

Paris Steet Style:
This compact book mixes fashion and Paris together.

Wonders of Creation: 
If you’re an animal lover, then this book is a must. There is a wide variety of animals here to color and enjoy.

Gratitude, A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal: 
This one is a fun twist to the coloring book scene. You’ll find sections to color, places of reflection, and areas of prayer all in one colorful package.

For I Know the Plans:
This is another compact book but it packs a TON of scripture. Every page sports a different verse, each is meant to edify and encourage you.

God Bless America: 
This is one of my favorites. It mixed history and Christianity together. Plus it’s patriotic!

Godey’s Fashions:
For the history lover, this is a must have. It covers nearly 50 years of ladies’ fashions.

Civil War Fashions:
Another gem for the history lover. This one is similar to Godey’s except that it focuses ONLY on Civil War fashions and it includes men and children in the images.

Now it’s your turn! Have you joined the coloring fad yet? Do you have a favorite coloring book? Did you find something in my collection that you’d like to add to your wish list? 

Coming Soon: My review on the latest adult coloring book to hit the shelves: All is Bright. It’s a Christmas devotional coloring book! How cool is that?!


Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

20Austin Returns with a Multi-Generational Historical Novel

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

What I Loved: One of the things I love most about Austin are her multi-generational novels and she didn’t disappoint with Waves of Mercy. The story bounced between Anna and Geesje’s present and Geesje’s past. I’m in awe at the way she was able to weave these two stories together in a flawless way.
The characters were complex and yet easy to relate to. You could feel their pain as they told their story. The historic detail was just as phenomenal as the characters were. The hardships and heritage of the Dutch was a new subject for me to study and I really enjoyed digging into this area of history.
In the midst of all this was a solid message of faith. I was encouraged and edified as I read, making Waves of Mercy a Christian Fiction masterpiece. Life is messy and unpredictable and Austin brought these realities to life in her latest release.

Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend Waves of Mercy to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or Christian Historical Fiction. And I’m giving it 5 stars.

~I received a free copy from Bethany House. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

7Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace–and a love that remains true.

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson.

Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin weaves an exciting tale of emotion, action, and romance that will leave you wanting more.

What I Loved: Is it okay to just say that I loved everything? Lol But seriously. I forgot how much I loved With Every Letter, book one, until I was caught up in On Distant Shores.
The timelines overlap a little between book one and book two. While you can understand the story if you read them out of order, you would enjoy them SO much more if you played by the rules.😉
Sarah Sundin certainly has a way with WWII history. This can feel a bit heavy at times since it’s an area that I’m unfamiliar with but she weaves such a delightful story between every detail that before you know it, you’ll feel like you’re really there.
Georgiana and Hutch were charmers from the start but that sweet little Lucia stole the show. Lucia is the type of character that you hope to run into in your real life.

Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend On Distant Shores to anyone who enjoys War Fiction or Christian Historical Fiction. I’m giving it 5 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers

5.jpgMillions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she s gathered over a lifetime of exploring abroad and in her own backyard and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity? Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

What I Loved: First of all the overall display is to be praised. This hardback book is stunning from the first page until the very last. Each devotional is four pages long with 2 breathtaking pictures to coincide with the theme of the devotion.
Francine Rivers has penned 52 thoughtful devotions that were inspired by different aspects of nature. It’s a quick, but thoughtful, read to add to your Bible study. I enjoyed the way each devotional is laid out and the details that make up each one.
Here’s a sample of what to expect in each devotional:
One full page picture and one smaller image.
At least 4 quotes that go along with the lesson. Most quotes are scripture but some are also hymns and others are quotes from various authors.
A personal backstory linking the devotional theme with the lesson.
Some devotionals have an amazing fact featuring the theme’s the animal or plant.
At the end of the devotionals’ main body, are 3 smaller sections to help you connect the lesson to  your life.
-Reflect helps you turn the lesson you’ve just read onto yourself.
-Apply gives you a suggestion to focus on for the week to keep the lesson front and centered in her mind and your heart. The suggestions are easy and applicable.
-Connect with God is a suggested prayer.
I’m not always a devotional fan but I loved the focus on God through His creation. And I especially loved the weekly Apply sections that offer great advice for allowing the lesson to impact your life.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Earth Psalms 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone looking for a new Christian Devotional. This will make a wonderful gift.

~I received a free copy from Tyndale House. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Interview and Book Review: Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero

15Belle has returned unannounced to the castle to restore her relationship with the king, her father. Her hopes are dashed with the devastating message: “The king refuses to see you.” Convinced that God has led her home, she is unwilling to return to Lord and Lady Kiralyn.

Time is running out for the decision that will change her life. When tragedy strikes, will she and her father be pulled further apart or knit together? Could she stay at the castle even if she will never see her father again?

Amanda Tero is likely the YOUNGEST published author that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s refreshing to see so much wisdom and purity coming from such a youthful package. You can read my chat with Amanda following the review as we talk about new stories, old stories, and life as a young author. 

What I Loved: I love the Beauty and the Beast so I was thrilled to get my hands on Amanda Tero’s retelling. She has such a creative take on the story that I admired right away. Tero stripped the story of all magic and romance and presented it in a brand new way. One of the highlights of the novella was the way Tero treated the gospel. The gospel was presented so clearly. The overall theme of forgiveness and following Christ’s plan for you life was also well handled and beautifully presented.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it Befriending the Beast 5 stars and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, Christian Fairy Tale Retellings, or Christian Historical Fiction.

~ I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

And now for my interview with the author…

Me: You have such a unique take on this Beauty and the Beast retelling. Can you tell us how this idea came to life? What were some of the thoughts going on in your head?

Amanda: Well, those who know me personally know that I’m not a huge fan of romance.🙂 It’s just not me. So, when it comes to stories, I am usually drawn to a non-romantic setting.😉 With Befriending the Beast, I wasn’t actually trying to plot out a fairy tale retelling. God just placed the question on my mind, “What if the beast was Belle’s father?” And of course, from there, I began to wonder how to make it a believable story that would draw the hearts of the readers to Belle, even though there was no romantic interests for her (sorry, Anita, there aren’t romantic interests for Belle despite what you conjure up😉 ).


Me: I know you have a BEAUTIFUL Pinterest board set up for Befriending the Beast, can you share the link please?

Me: Fairy tale retellings are becoming very popular. Fans LOVE the chance to revisit old stories. Do you have a favorite retelling? Why?

Amanda: Hmm… I haven’t read very many retellings, but I loved Shantelle Hannu’s A Dream Not Imagined (retelling of Cinderella). I loved how she took the story we all knew and added some great twists! She’s a teen writer, but I found it a refreshing read!

Me: Are you planning to write any more fairy tale retellings?

Amanda: At the present, no. But, God can always surprise me!🙂

Me: You’re likely the youngest published author that I’ve read and yet you have a stack of published short stories and a couple of novellas under your belt. Tell us about your first publication. 

Amanda: Being homeschooled definitely enabled me to pursue my love of writing as a teenager as Mom catered my schooling to include a special dose of writing help.🙂 Most of my stories written in my teens will never see the world.🙂 My first publication would be “Letters from a Scatter-Brained Sister” in which Nicole pours out her heart to her newly married sister, who left her in charge of the kitchen. I got the fun, whimsical idea to write a story in which I could share kitchen mishaps that happened to me, my sisters, and cousins. I started it in October 2010 (age 19) but only wrote a few of the letters. My younger sister, Rachel, begged me to finish it, so for Christmas 2013, I surprised her and gave it to her as a gift. Honestly, that was the only dream I had for it. The next Christmas (2014), I wrote three other short stories for my three youngest sisters: “Maggie’s Hope Chest,” “Noelle’s Gift,” and “Deb’s Bible.” I’m not a big dreamer. These short stories were just something fun and special for my little sisters. I wasn’t necessarily planning on becoming a published author anytime soon. But in Spring 2015, I got a booth at the Louisiana Homeschool Convention for my music endeavors and Mom suggested that I print my short stories to sell there. That piqued my interest in what publishing for Kindle entailed. Within a month, the Lord allowed me to have an author website set up with the four short stories available in print and for Kindle. And you know what? People bought the stories and actually enjoyed them!

Me: Where have you taken your readers since then?

Amanda: In short stories, I have taken readers to a castle in medieval England, a lighthouse in the 19th century, and into the hearts of modern girls with daily life struggles. Most recently, I have exposed my readers to the trials and joys of Orphan Train riders at turn-of-the-century America.

Me: Who is your target audience and what should readers expect from you?

Amanda: Because of the content of my writing, my target audience is definitely pre-teens, though I hope all ages will enjoy it. I came up with a descriptive alliteration  for my writing: faith-filled, family-friendly, flinch-free fiction (and yes, that’s a LOT of F’s!).

Me: Is there a setting you’ve grown to love more and hope to write in more often?

Amanda: Medieval! Or maybe it’s a tie. I love a lot of historical eras, but America in the 1800’s and medieval England just draws me.

Me: Is there a setting that you haven’t tried yet but hope to? Or one that you’re slightly intimidated by?

Amanda: Now this would be the medieval era — which answers both questions. Lord willing, in the nearish future, I will be experimenting here!

Where will you take your readers next?

Amanda: As far as short stories go, I’m not quite ready to divulge this information to the public.😉 But for novels … oh boy! Next is a journey from New York to Indianapolis to Missouri … and then everywhere that the 18th Missouri regiment traveled during the Civil War (which goes down to Mississippi). Nat is a boy on the move in Journey of Choice.

Me: What has writing taught you about life?

Amanda: It seems like every time I have a theme to write about, God reveals how much I need to work on these areas in my own life. In a way, the lessons that I “teach” my readers are lessons that God is working in my life as I write. It reminds me of God’s grace for daily living.

Me: I know you’re a young lady of many talents. Tell us what else you’re involved in?

Amanda: I’ll go for the nutshell here. I usually juggle writing, music (piano, violin, hymn arranging, recording, family music group, teaching), photography, and web/graphics design.

Me: What similarities have you found between writing and music?

Amanda: There are a lot of similarities. They both take dedication, commitment, practice, work. They both can be shared and enjoyed by others. They both can be used to glorify God. Anyone can plunk a chord on the piano and anyone can piece together a sentence, but to create something that is of true value, one must diligently study the craft and practice what they’ve studied.

Me: Publishing seems like an impossible task and yet you’ve tackled it at a young age. What word of encouragement could you give to someone that is still in the dream stages of something big in their life?

Amanda: There are a couple of things, actually.🙂

– When I first began thinking about publishing, I heard a sermon where the preacher went on a “rabbit trail” about battle plans. God had different battle plans for different battles in the Old Testament, and just because one battle plan worked once, didn’t mean that’s what God wanted the next battle plan to be. Even though it was just a sidenote, it really spoke to me. It was very easy to try to find an author to follow, but the Lord used that sermon to remind me that, while I can get ideas from others, ultimately I needed to seek Him for His “battle plan” for my publishing. So first and foremost, seek God in this dream!

– Secondly, don’t be so eager to get out there that you neglect to polish up your work. I have read many young authors who don’t have enough eyes read through their work before it’s sent out to the world (this means that we read all of the spelling and grammatical errors as well as plots that needed one extra run-through–and it also means that this is what your name is attached to). I am far from being a perfectionist, but every time I’ve slowed down to be more careful, it’s been completely worth it.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Amanda Tero better! She really is as sweet as she appears on paper. And she’s the type of author that I would gladly hand over to anyone looking for a heartwarming story, but especially for parents looking for something wholesome for their children to read.
You can connect with Amanda online on Facebook and her website.
And you can pick up your copy of Befriending the Beast today!!

Posted in Book Reviews

Interview with Lynn Austin

We’re celebrating my favorite author’s new release today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynn Austin this month. We talked history, her writing habits, and, of course, Waves of Mercy!

20Austin Returns with a Multi-Generational Historical Novel

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

I’m looking forward to reading Waves of Mercy and will be reviewing it later this month. For now, let’s see what Mrs. Austin has to say about it…

Me: Which character is most like you? Which is your polar opposite? And which inspires you the most?

Austin: I suppose Geesje is somewhat like me because she dares to get angry with God and question why He allows pain and suffering. Geesje and I both know that a real relationship is an honest one—and besides, God knows that we’re angry, so we can’t really hide anything from Him! I was most inspired by Geesje’s parents—who didn’t question God, and were willing to do His will, even if that meant suffering. They also lived out their faith in their daily lives, no matter what. I’m probably least like Maarten, who never seemed to have doubts and lived a solid, consistent, Christian life, sacrificing for others.

Me: Where did the inspiration for Waves of Mercy come from?

Austin: I grew up in the area of New York State that was originally owned and settled by the Dutch, and I visited Holland, MI for the first time when I attended Hope College. I was immediately impressed by how proud the community was of their faith and their Dutch heritage. My husband grew up in Holland, so when we decided to move back here two years ago, I began researching Holland’s history to see if it would make a good novel. It intrigued me to learn that the first Dutch settlers came here in 1846 for religious freedom after suffering persecution in the Netherlands. Since that’s true of so many other immigrant peoples over the years, I knew the story would resonate with many readers. I was very surprised to learn how much hardship these early settlers suffered in the process of founding this community. If nothing else, their story taught me not to take our religious freedom or the American Dream for granted.

Me: What was the biggest hurdle when researching Waves of Mercy?

Austin: There was so much information available—including an entire VanRaalte Research Center at Hope College—so it was difficult to do a thorough job and not be completely overwhelmed. I knew I was leaving out a lot of good information but I had a story to tell, first and foremost. I hate reading novels with too much history tossed in. Keeping the history and the story in balance was challenging at times.

Me: What Message do you want the reader to walk away with?

Austin: I hope they see what a close relationship with God is really like, and will learn to trust Him through the hard times and praise Him in all circumstances.

Me: Is there a theme that seems to show up in your writing more often?

Austin: Life is hard but God is good—and He always has everything under control.

Me: You’ve covered a lot of ground, historically speaking, is there an era that intimidates you? 

Austin: Aside from my biblical novels, which go WAY back in history, the earliest time period I’ve written about is the mid-1800s. I don’t think I’d want to go back any earlier than that in U.S. history. Researching the time of the Pilgrims or the Revolutionary War would scare me.

Me: Lol We have that in common. I’m intimidated by Revolutionary War history too…although I’d really love to try my hand at it someday. Biblical fiction however…I’ll leave in your capable hands.😉

Me: Most history lovers have an antique or two around their home. Assuming this is true for you, do you have a favorite? Anything on a wish list?

Austin: I love antiques, but my husband doesn’t care much for them, so I have to keep my collection under control. (No wish lists!) My favorite pieces are the ones that were handed down through my family, such as the mantle clock that my great-grandfather bought for my great-grandmother as a present on the day my grandmother was born. I guess he wanted her to know what time it was when she got up to feed the baby in the middle of the night! I also have a huge, wooden steamer trunk from 1812 that I bought before Ken and I were married to serve as my “hope chest.” We’ve been dragging it around ever since. My oldest antique is an oil lamp I purchased in Israel that dates to the time of King Hezekiah.

Me: WOW! Those are some amazing pieces!

Me: Do you have a favorite era to research?

Austin: The Civil War. I did a lot of traveling when I researched my three Civil War novels, and I enjoyed every minute. The battlefields and cemeteries were very moving, especially seeing the grave of my husband’s great-great grandfather, who died in the war. And I loved visiting the beautiful plantations in the South. This time period also brought a lot of good changes for women, so that made it interesting, too.

Me: And that is why you’re my favorite author.😉 It was your Civil War novels that hooked me…and it happens to be my personal favorite to research too.
Now let’s talk about your writing habits…


Me: Do you have any writing must haves?

Austin: I must have my daily quiet time for prayer and Bible reading—or else I don’t get anywhere at all with my writing.

Me: Do you partner with any other authors?

Austin: I have never partnered with anyone to write a book, but I would never have gotten where I am today without the faithful women from my writers’ critique group: Jane Rubietta and Cleo Lampos. They are also two of my favorite authors.

Me: What is your least favorite phase of the writing/publishing process?

Austin: The part I hate the most is getting the first editorial review of my finished manuscript. I just want to be done with the book (and of course I’m convinced it’s perfect) but my editor always has a few suggested changes.

Me: How do you recharge your batteries?

Austin: I go out and play! I love to ride my bike, walk in the woods, and play with my granddaughter. My husband is a professional musician, so going to his concerts recharges me, too.

Me: Is it possible to get a small clue about your current work in progress? 

Austin: It’s about two wealthy sisters who live in Chicago in the late 1800s. They love to travel the world and seek adventure.

Me: And lastly, can we see where all these wonderful stories are born?


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Austin.If you’re already a fan, please share your favorite Austin book in the comments below. For those just getting to know Lynn Austin, you can connect with her on Facebook and her Website. And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Waves of Mercy today!

Posted in About the Book

A New Adventure!


Nothing sums it up quite like the image above. It is time to start a new adventure!! Don’t worry, I’m still working on the old adventure.😉 But the Lord has trumped my plans and has led me to start a new series while still working on the Ancient Words Series. You can read more about the story behind this decision here.

After working in total secrecy for about two months, I’m prepared to give you all those yummy details your heart desires. There’s a giveaway also in progress and you’ll find those details on the bottom of this page. But first, let’s talk about that title…


Book One of the brand new series is titled, If Only it were Yesterday. This story is loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland. *The above graphic is NOT the official book cover.


It’s funny how fast things can change. When I officially began If Only it were Yesterday, it was, believe it or not, a stand alone story. I was brainstorming for an idea for a new Christmas short story when I was inspired by a plot that became the second novel in the series. Twelve hours later, I had two more stories to add to the collection, creating A Season Passed.
Each story in A Season Passed carries four distinct connections.
One: Each story is set in one of the seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer. If Only it were Yesterday starts us off in the Fall.
Two: The plot of each story takes place in two different periods of time. Each plot is crafted with both the character’s present and past intertwined together.
Three: For the first time, I’ll be writing this series using only ONE point of view character per book!! If you’ve been following the Ancient Words Series you’ll know that this is big news.
Four: Each story is a loose retelling of one of my favorite Disney movies. As mentioned, If Only it were Yesterday is inspired by Alice in Wonderland but I’m not ready to reveal the other three just yet.
Are you excited yet? Now let’s talk plot!


In If Only it were Yesterday, Liz Cooke has a problem with reality. Several problems, actually. Disheartened with the condition of society, she daydreams about a simpler time when things made sense and problems were easily erased. But when Liz falls asleep and dreams she has traveled back in time, will she find things to be as easy as she had imagined?

Now for the details…


While the other stories in the series will flash back to a real time in the character’s history, Liz’s story is a little more unique in that her flashback takes place in a dream. She dreams she time travels to 1885.


Here’s a quick look at Liz Cooke. I’m still working on the official model but you’ll find her likeness in the picture above that I snagged from Pinterest. I don’t own the picture or know the lovely lady, but her long brown hair, loose curls, and pretty smile help inspire the image I have in mind for Liz.


Liz and I both agree that one of the perks of “living” in two different eras is having two different suitors to choose from.😉 Again, I don’t own these fellas but they do inspire my characters. Although, I picture Scott with lighter hair, that easy-going smile of his is spot on.


I wanted to increase the Alice in Wonderland connection by naming my new fictional town after the story’s author. As it turns out Carroll is a pen name so I allowed readers attending the FB party to vote between Carroll, TN and Dodgson, TN (the author’s real last name).


And last but not least, the official tagline of If Only it were Yesterday. I hope you’re as excited as I am about the new project. You’ll be hearing news about my progress as well as the progress on my upcoming release, Out of the Ashes.

I’m giving away paperback copies of my first two novels, Where Can I Flee and In the Shadow of Thy Wings, a $5 Christian Book gift card, and some of my favorite tea in celebration of this new adventure. You can enter the giveaway through one or more of the options below. *Giveaway is open to continental U.S. residents only and closes on October 6 at midnight. Thanks SO much for stopping by!

How to enter the giveaway:
1  Comment below. I’d love to hear your excitement about the new series.
2  Share this blog post. Grab an entry for sharing on different social media platforms. Just comment below and let me know how many times to add your name in the bowl.
3  Follow me on Facebook. Don’t forget to tell me about it.
4  Follow this blog page and tell me about it in the comments.
*Don’t forget to add your email address so I know how to contact you if you’re the winner.