Posted in Uncategorized

Winner Announced

Congratulations Alicia Ruggieri!! You’re the winner of the grand prize! I’ll have your goodies out to you soon! 

grand prize copy

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized

Valentines Countdown to Great Giveaways Romance Special: Day 6

51023235_10218775640245995_7138630907497283584_nWhen I think of romance, the classic love stories of Jane Austen often come to mind. I want to share some of my favorite quotes with you along with some relationship tips inspired by Austen’s novels. And as a special treat, I’m offering an ebook copy of my novel If Only It Were Yesterday for free on Amazon. My heroine, Liz Cooke, is an avid reader and major Austen fan. You’ll find several nods towards Austen’s work throughout the novel.
And keep scrolling for the joint giveaway and the countdown calendar link. 

I hope you enjoy revisiting these timeless stories, or that it encourages you to pick up a new-to-you Austen novel. If it does, be sure to share with me which one you’re planning to grab first!

*Note: As I was searching for the best quotes to share, clearly I could have chosen a hundred more, but was forced to limit them. I started this post out, strictly quoting the novels. But I soon found out that Miss Austen’s common style was to explain the course of events, rather than allow us to eavesdrop on the happy couple and the professions of love. Because of that, many of the romantic quotes we go around repeating actually come from the movie adaptions and not the original work. In order to keep things romantically focused, I’ll be quoting movies and novels. 

captain wentworth

Pride and Prejudice:
“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.” ~ Mr. Darcy

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” ~ Mr. Darcy

Sense and Sensibility:
“To your sister, I wish all the imaginable happiness; to Willoughby that he may endeavor to deserve her.” ~ Colonel Brandon

“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and will always be yours.” ~ Edward Ferrars

Mansfield Park:
“I have loved you as a man loves a woman. As a hero loves a heroine. As I have never loved anyone.” ~ Edmund Bertram

“Surely you and I are beyond speaking when words are clearly not enough.” ~ Edmund Bertram

Emma:
“I cannot make speeches, Emma … If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.” ~ Mr. Knightley

“Mr. Knightley, if I have not spoken, it is because I am afraid I will awaken myself from this dream.” ~ Emma Woodhouse

Persuasion:
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope … I have loved none but you.” ~ Captain Wentworth

“I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.” ~ Captain Wentworth

Northanger Abbey:
“I felt myself bound to you, by honor, by affection, and by a love so strong that nothing could deter me.” ~ Mr. Tilney

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.” ~ Mr. Tilney

 

Austen-inspired Advice Column:

Pride and Unforgiveness Will Ruin Any Relationship:
“My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.” ~ Mr. Darcy
“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” ~ Elizabeth Bennett
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy show us how these attitudes can cause unnecessary rifts in a relationship. Could you imagine all that these two would have missed out on had they stuck to their earlier feelings? Is there any wonder that the Lord teaches us to be quick to forgive others and to repent of our pride?

True Friendship is Sometimes Painful:
“Badly done, indeed!” ~Mr. Knightley
“Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do.” ~Mr. Knightley
There is no greater example of a true friend in Austen’s works than  Mr. Knightley. At first glance, he sounds harsh, condescending, and the enemy of dear, sweet Emma. But in truth, he’s the truest friend of all. The Bible teaches us that a true friend might wound us from time to time, but it’s the kisses of the enemy that you have to be aware of.

Beware of Their Fruit:
“I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of.” ~ Fanny Price
“I mean to be too rich to lament or to feel anything of the sort. A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” ~ Miss Crawford
This is a theme that we can find in all of Austen’s novels. The Bible teaches that just as a tree is known by its fruit, so people are known by their deeds. And it’s only a matter of time before those deeds are brought to light. As Fanny stands between two men, one she had loved a lifetime and another who promises her the moon, it would have been all too easy for her to be swept away by the tender promises of one so attentive and handsome as Mr. Crawford, and for a season Fanny was. But she was never fully certain of his motives and kept him rightly at arm’s length. In time, Mr. Crawford proved who he really was just as his sister eventually shows her true colors. Fanny was not only saved a lifetime of disappointment but was offered her greatest joy.

Being Tongue Tied Could be a Sign of Deep Feelings:
“You have bewitched me, body and soul. And I love, I love, I love you.” ~ Mr. Darcy*
“I cannot make speeches. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” ~ Mr. Knightley
“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness.” ~ Edward Ferrars
“My soul mate must take tea. I wouldn’t even care if he loaded it with sugar or refused to take cream. But all of Jane Austen’s heroes took tea, and she knew a thing or two about worthy men. One could argue that she also died single, but I prefer to think that she died refusing to settle for less. I found it best to stick to her example.” ~ Liz Cooke 
Just as my heroine Liz Cooke learns, sometimes we fictional readers can be a bit blind sighted by what we think the right man ought to do or say. When we see such breathtaking examples of romance, we might be tempted to hold the men in our lives up to fictional standards. But even Austen shows us that sometimes the hero doesn’t always know the right thing to say or do. Think of Mr. Darcy’s insulting first proposal. Or later his declaration of love in which we could say that he muddled because he stuttered his way through it. Mr. Knightley was so in love with Emma that he had very little to say. If the man in your life is shy and not good with his words, cut him some slack. Words and emotions aren’t always easy for people to express.

Impressing the Right Guy Shouldn’t be Hard:
“All were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. … He advised her against it, thought the jar too great, but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, ‘I am determined I will.’ … she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless!” 
Louisa Musgrove is a joyful young lady who is enjoying the attention of a rich, older gentleman. The moment she’s most known for, however, is when she lets her silliness run amuck and we find her jumping off the flight of steps in order to have the thrill of being caught by her handsome escort. Oddly enough, it’s this little stunt that takes Louisa down the path to finding the right sort of man for her and … her handsome escort realizes he needs someone more mature … someone he’s never stopped loving. Lesson learned: If you’re tempted to go to the extreme to get someone to notice you  – don’t bother, he clearly wasn’t interested enough to notice your natural beauty on his own. Save your time and efforts for someone who will.

How We Behave Will Reflect on Who We Catch:
“Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.” 
To the Austen fan, the name Wickham is never attached to anything pleasant. He’s one of those cads who you think is God’s gift, but after a bit of fruit examination and a background check, we learn that he’s as low as they come. We see characters like this a lot in Austen’s fiction … possibly because we find so many in real life. Sometimes, these guys can blind us to the truth, but be careful that we don’t set ourselves up for failure. Offering the world a cheap version of yourself is bound to attract cheap men. The Bible teaches us to adorn ourselves with the Word of God. Not only is it right, but it’s a great way to increase your chances of catching the right sort of man.

Fiction is Still Fiction:
“It seemed as if the whole might be traced to the influence of that sort of reading which she had there indulged.” ~Northanger Abbey
“What sort of fevered imagination you must have? Perhaps, after all, it is possible to read too many novels.” ~ Mr. Tilney

“Don’t make the mistake of comparing a great reality with a flimsy fairy tale.” ~ Betty Tanner (If Only It Were Yesterday) 
Just like my character, Liz, Catherine Mooreland learns the hard way that fiction is just fiction. Like Liz, Catherine is consumed with makebelieve worlds, so much so that she almost ruins a great relationship in order to chase after her fantasies. Catherine and Liz have that in common. While fiction is fiction, we’ll do well to learn from their mistakes by enjoying our books then setting them down to enjoy our lives and those in it. Your family and friends will benefit from your attention, and you’ll benefit from the clear air.

And I’d like to wrap up this post with one of my absolute favorite Jane Austen movie clip videos. I don’t own the rights to the video. ENJOY! And then be sure to comment and talk Austen with me! Who is your favorite couple?

My post and novel gift is part of a bigger giveaway. So be sure to visit the other stops in this countdown series and enter the joint giveaway. 

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of If Only It Were Yesterday from Amazon
or add it to your Goodreads shelf. 

Valentines special.png

Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas In July Multi-author Blog Tour

Christmas in July Blog Party! Burlap JPEGI’m thrilled to take part in a multi-author blog tour. You’ll find giveaways galore throughout the month of July. There’s a grand prize as well as some individual prizes. Check the Tour Schedule and Prize List for details!

As for me, I’ll be featuring all three novels from my Ancient Words Series over three weeks. I’ll share some giveaway options here inside the blog for you and additional options on my Facebook page, so be sure to visit me there as well. I’ll be giving away a paperback copy each week.

DSCF6196

Blog Tour Stops: 

July 1, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Free: “Distorted Glass”

July 2, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Where Can I Flee?

July 3, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.fathblum.wordpress.com,
Giveaway: Audiobook redemption code

July 4, 2018
Author  E. Kaiser Writes
http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/
Spotlight: new cover

July 5, 2018
Author- Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free: Noelle’s Gift

July 6, 2018
Author Ryanna Lynn
https://www.lifeofheritage.com/blog
Discount: Free shipping for Coffee Shop Christmas

July 7, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The House of Mercy e-book

July 8, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Discount: Emmeline

July 9, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Suit and Suitability ebook

July 10, 2018
Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Second Impressions ebook

July 11, 2018
Author Rachel Rossano
https://www.rachelrossano.com/blog
Discount: The King of Anavrea ebook

July 12, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free eBook: Hartly Manor

July 13, 2018
Author Kate Willis
https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/
Free eBook: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt

July 14, 2018
Author Kendra E. Ardnek
knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
Vlog and Giveaway: The most romantic fairy tales

July 16, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Out of the Ashes

July 17, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Discount: The Unexpected Request
Free: Choices for Max

July 18, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Discount: Perception, a Vintage Jane Austen Novel

July 19, 2018
Author Erika Mathews
www.restinglife.com
Discount: Promise’s Prayer ebook, Overrun By His Love
Free: Gather ‘Round The Fables

July 20, 2018
Author Ryana Lynn
www.lifeofheritage.com
Blog post: character interview.

July 21, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Sale: to be announced

July 23, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Discount: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, The Secret Slipper

July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.faithblum.wordpress.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
https://theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

 

 

Prize List: 

4

You can enter the grand prize giveaway here

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Reviews: February’s Backlist: 2 in 1 Review

Alongside my usual new release reviews, I’m trying to squeeze in more books from my backlist. Here are the books I read this month. Have you read any of these books yet or are you planning?
*All links unless otherwise stated will take you to Goodreads

219A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears
Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store–where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams–or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

My Review: I absolutely loved this one!!! The first one was good, but this one was my favorite of the series so far. I was surprised at the twists and turns the story took along the way.
Rating: 5 stars

222Pride and Prejudice in AUDIO

Pride and Prejudice is a beloved classic for a reason. You either love it, or you don’t, or you know you need to give it a try, so I’m not going to review the book. Suffice it to say that all things Austen rank highly with me. I enjoy the romance and the old-fashioned language. But I do want to share the audio version that I’m listening to and the great deal I had found.
If you’ve looked at the classics in audio, you would have found SEVERAL versions for a single book. Many reviews will point out that the more expensive versions are best. But I picked up this one dirt cheap and I’m loving every minute of it.
The original audible price is $14.95. But they had an option of buying the kindle version with it (which turned out to be free) THEN buying the audible version at a discount. My records show that I paid less than $2 for the audio. And I have I mentioned that I’m loving it?! I’d give this audio 5 stars but at this price, I’d give it 10 stars! 😉
Here are the two links I used when buying. Always, always, always preview the audio to make sure the narrator is pleasing to your ears. Be sure to double check prices before pushing any buttons because prices can change. And if you’re looking to pick up the audio at a discount, be sure to pick up the ebook version first and click on “add the audio.” Ebook and Audio

Posted in Uncategorized

Fiction Diner: Roasted Broccoli

This was another recipe I had found on Pinterest countless times. I’m a major broccoli fan, so I knew I had to try it. 

DSCF5873

Sadly roasted broccoli wasn’t my favorite way to eat broccoli. I love roasted potatoes, but I prefer my broccoli either raw or boiled. But give them a try! You may enjoy them more than I did!

Ingredients: 
Fresh broccoli, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Toss chopped broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil and lay out onto a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
Roast in the oven at 375 until broccoli is tender.

99Novel Quote: 

“No woman is worth six dogs.” ~ My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas

Lol This is hands down the best line I’ve read in ages.

Posted in Uncategorized

Fiction Diner: Bell Pepper Eggs-in-a-Hole

I ran across these on Pinterest and just had to give them a try. I even have a couple of tips for you. I give them 10 stars because they are simple, delicious, and fun. 

DSCF5882

These are as simple as they look. No long list of ingredients or tedious directions to follow. 
Select fresh bell peppers and slice.
Place a slice of pepper into a HOT non-stick pan.
Crack egg into the center of the pepper.
Season and let cook.
Remove from pan and sprinkle with cheese.

Tips: 
I made it two ways: with yolk and just egg whites. So feel free to pick your favorite.
The egg tried to escape from under the pepper. I had to hold the pepper down on the pan while pouring the egg in. It’s best to crack your egg into a small bowl so you can pour it into the pan with one hand.

48Novel Quote: 

“God owes you nothing, and yet He made you His daughter. You are a child of the King; it is His image you bear. King Louis marked you with judgment, but the King of Kings covers you with grace. Whose mark will you now display?” ~ The Mark of the King

Wow! Just wow!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

52 Week Challenge for 2017

2017-challenge

As we wrap up 2016, many of us look into 2017 and consider what types of changes we’d like to make. I don’t want to talk about flimsy New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I want to present a weekly challenge. This is something that I’ve found real results with over the years. And here’s the fun part about this challenge, YOU decide what your weekly challenge will be. 
If you’re anything like me, there are several areas that you’d like to see some changes in. I’ve created a list of ideas, but I would recommend that you only choose one, or two at the most. The more changes you attempt to make at once, the less likely you are to stick with any of them. If you want to take on more than one challenge, consider waiting two months before adding the next challenge. 

Here’s how this works: 
Instead of trying to alter every day, this weekly challenge is set up so that you only have to do it ONCE a week. This gives you more flexibility and hopefully, less burnout.
I recommend keeping a journal for your weekly challenge. This may sound weird, but I think you’ll come to appreciate it down the road. A journal will help you remember what you’ve done as well as helping you to see at a glance how far you’ve come this year. Sometimes we forget about the progress we’ve made but the journal will be like your sash full of badges or your sticker chart. Seeing what we’ve done helps to motivate us when we consider giving up.

Challenge Ideas: 

Memorize Scripture: Pick 1 new verse every week of the year to memorize. Write down in your journal which verse you’re working on each week.

Read a Book: For those that desire to read more, turn off the tv and commit to reading 1 book every week. Jot down your books in your journal with the date or keep up with them on a specific shelf on Goodreads.

Take a Walk: This may sound silly, but if you’re like me and spend 90% of your time indoors, making an effort to step outside for some fresh air and a quick walk once a week may do wonders for your attitude, spiritual development, and creative mindset. You can jot down your location, time, and/or weather for your walk in your journal.

Read a Book of the Bible: If you struggle with daily Bible reading, consider taking on the challenge of finishing a whole book of the Bible each week. Make sure to write down the books you finish in your journal for accountability.

Visit the Gym: Maybe you haven’t made the habit of regular gym visits. But challenging yourself to visiting at least once a week will get you off to a good start. Write down the time you spent and what you did at the gym in your journal.

Craft: So many craft ideas and so little time!..at least that was the story before you challenged yourself to crafting something new for every week of the whole year. If your craft takes more than one week, it’s not a problem. Pick it up again the following week. The key is that you’re finally doing all the fun crafts that you’ve dreamed about. Don’t forget to jot down what you worked on each week in your journal.

Watch a movie: For some of us avid readers, we never get around to turning the tv on. I know people say that it’ll rot your brain out. But for me, I’ve found that a little downtime in front of the tube helps to renew my creative mind. And I happen to have a stack of favorite movies that I never make time for and a few tv shows on Netflix that I could indulge in. Keep track of your tube-time adventures with your journal.

Declutter or Deep Clean: Again, it can be difficult to get to everything on a daily basis. But adding 1 small job to your list once a week is much more doable. Unless you plan to kick your family out of the house for the year, you’re likely to forget what you’ve cleaned by June so make a quick note of it each week in your journal. Just flipping through your journal in July will leave you feeling accomplished.

Shoe Box: If you participate in the Christmas Shoe Boxes each year consider upping your game next year by purchasing goodies to fill one shoe box every week. You’ll have so many to turn in and bless so many more children at the end of the year. Since you’ll be collecting boxes, you may not need a journal entry on this one. 😉

Attend Church: If you’ve been lax in church attendance and hoping to change that, consider challenging yourself to attend at least one of the services every single week of 2017. You can write down the time of the service, date, and scripture preached in your journal. If you’re still looking for a church home and expect to visit more than one, don’t forget to document where you attended.

Visit/Lunch with a Friend: Busy schedules keep even the best of friends far apart. If you’d like to make more personal connections this year, consider challenging yourself to visit or meet a friend for lunch. Doesn’t have to be the same person. You could make a list of people you’d like to spend more time with and work down your list. It’ll be loads of fun. You can document who and where each week in your journal.

Color: With the coloring fad in full swing, you might have an abundance of coloring books on hand and yet little progress in any of them. If this is your story, consider challenging yourself to complee one new picture each week. You could date your pictures on the bottom or jot down what book and page number in a journal.

Visit the Elderly: Are you hoping to spread the cheer in 2017? Consider visiting someone in the nursing home or a local shut-in at least once a week. And don’t worry if you don’t know any. Just drop by the nursing home with a smile and see who you can meet or ask someone at the desk to point you to a person who doesn’t receive visitors. If snacks are appropriate for their diet, bring some when able. You can also check in with your church. They likely have a list of members who haven’t been able to get out or know someone who doesn’t. Being sick may keep you away at times so stock up on greeting cards for those weeks when you are forced to stay away. And don’t forget to document who you spent your time with each week in your journal.

Send a Note: Maybe you have a list of people you’d like to spend more time with but distance is an issue. Challenge yourself to send at least 1 email, card, or phone call to someone on your list each week. Make note of who and how in your journal.

Volunteer: Could your child’s teacher use a hand? How about another local organization? What about a single parent that could use a hand? Or parents that need a babysitter so they can get out? How about sending baked goods to your EMS, police department, ER, school office, child’s teacher, church office, pastor, or fire department? Do you know an elderly person who could use a hand with housework or yard work? If you’re hoping to offer more of yourself next year, challenge yourself to volunteer at least once a week. Make note of where and how long each week in your journal.

Try a New Recipe: Do you have a collection of cookbooks on hand? Or countless pins, links, and emails with recipes that you promised yourself you’d try and haven’t? Challenge yourself to trying at least 1 new recipe each week. Make note of the recipe, your thoughts on it, and where you found the recipe in your journal.
*I’ve actually done this one in the past and kept it up for well over a year. I feel like it’s time to start this one again so I’ll be working on this one in 2017 AND I’ll be blogging about it here! I’ve decided to title it, Fiction Diner. I’ll not only share the recipe that I chose but also my thoughts on it and one of my favorite quotes from a book I’ve read.

I’d love to hear from you! Where you inspired by any of the challenges listed here? Have something different you’d like to focus on?