Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance

Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance
Escape to a romantic period where love endured, grew, and flourished despite a Civil War.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scotty's Jeans

Colored Jeans on the Clothesline: Such Precious Days Don't Last
Up early every morning, cleaning house and taking care of the family duties with the spirit, vitality, and energy of youth, far too busy to treasure the day, with a son in the first grade. She took pride in the fact that she kept a spotless house and had dinner on the table when her husband returned from work. She hung her son’s jeans out in the sunshine and fresh air, glad he had a pair of each color for school. They hung neatly, all in a row, jeans of brown, black, green, navy, maroon, and blue.

Where did those days go? Before she knew it, her son was grown and gone, with kids of his own. Those precious family days were a treasure that didn’t last. All too soon, spring turns to summer, and kids grow up too fast, leave home, and are gone. Summer turns to fall. Fall turns to winter. What you wouldn’t give to hang those precious little jeans of every color on the clothesline and watch them blow in the wind! Such precious days don’t last.

Those were the days, the best days in life. Such precious days fly by with the speed of lightening. Suddenly, she wonders where did the time go? How did she get to be this old? She no longer cleans her house with the spirit, energy, and vitality of her youth. What she once took pride in, is dull, boring, and humdrum, just another ordinary, routine day. Now, there are no little jeans blowing in the wind. No first grader will come home to excitedly tell her about his school day. Those are all things of the past, things she didn’t treasure when she had them, because she was always in such a hurry, things that didn’t last.

Now, her little grandson’s mother throws his bluejeans in the dryer as she rushes to get ready for work each morning. The hands of time slip by like a silent thief. Off to work. Off to school. School years fly. No little colored jeans blow in the wind, days of the past, treasured days that just don’t last.

First published at
Author retains copyright

(I have an idea for revising again and making this into a full story) This piece was written about the days I hung my oldest son's jeans on the line. His name is Scotty, and he was named after the song, "Watching Scotty Grow". When I wrote this piece, I knew nothing of author's craft and word choice. My writing has changed so much in the past five years. I have edited the first chapters in my manuscript so many times. Yet, each time I read it, I find myself changing another word for word choice. Something else jumps out at me, and I think of another way to improve it. By the time I let it go, it should shine for God. At this rate, will I ever let it go? :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Words to Write By: Author Devotionals

I have a writing devotional in the book Words to Write By: Author Devotionals, complied by Robin Bayne. The book is full of devotionals for writers, and I've found it very inspiring. It motivates me to continue my writing journey for the Lord.

Five chapters and 168 pages of inspiration encourage writers and include Encouragement and Motivation, Persistence and Rejections, Publishing and Networking, Success and Sustenance, and Write for Him. I read this nonfiction book while I waited for my husband at the hospital on October 22, 2008. He had to have tests, and I read and prayed. God answered my prayers, and He is fine.

The book includes a variety of well-known authors, and they share favorite scriptures and quotations they find inspiring for writing. My devotional is titled "Why Write When You Keep Getting Rejections?"It describes my experience of receiving the best rejection letter ever. Despite the fact that my writing and characters were praised, the novel was still rejected. It didn't fit in with their line.

I'm still writing for Him, and in His perfect timing, His will, not mine, my work will find a home and an audience. I am the daughter of the King. My Prince has come, and He is not fiction.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review of Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson

Things Left Unspoken
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Reviewer: Barbara J. Robinson
Five Stars
To Purchase: or Barnes & Noble (See reviews there also)

Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson is three hundred and eighty-one pages of pure Southern delight. The novel allows the reader to adventure through life, romance, true love, wisdom gained with age and life experiences, dealing with life’s curve balls, conflicts of love and life, heartaches that make us stronger, and God’s fingerprints on our lives to make us the people He wants us to become. If you enjoy Southern fiction, you’ll love this novel. I devoured it in a couple of days.

Jo Lynn Hunter and her Aunt Stella make it women’s fiction. Jo Lynn deals with current marriage problems and feels she’s not at home in the life her husband has chosen for them. Something is missing and leaves her feeling empty inside. At life’s crossroads, she takes on a project to rebuild an old Southern family home and finds herself restored in the process. Family secrets reveal their ugly challenges and place Jo Lynn in extreme danger. She rises to the challenge and refuses to be chased from her project of love.

Aunt Stella illustrates true love and the wisdom of ripe old age. Valentine, her teenage love, grows into a wise elderly man, who declares if the foundation is strong, anything can be rebuilt. Jo Lynn learns the secrets of the past and the treasures for a happy future, even as she learns some things are best left unspoken.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweet Peace

I relax in sweet peace to the smell of French vanilla coffee and creamer and the music of birds, the prettiest in the world. As milk builds strong bones, I milk God's Word to build a strong soul. Blissful morning surrounds me. I sip coffee and glasp the Good Book, the best one in the world.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter Visit 2009

If you look closely, you can see my feathered friends in the background as they leave. Bethany, my little granddaughter was amazed with the tall cranes. My son, her father, snapped this photo of us as we returned from watching them. I'd hoped the Sandhill cranes would grace us with their presence while my children and grandchildren visited, and four visited daily. My family had never seen this type of bird, and my son had to get photos of them, too.

They've come and gone, and their visit is over, but I have pictures to remember our Christmas of 2009. As I look at the large one I placed on my bookcase today, my favorite is a picture that shows us in the family room. It even includes Sunflower, my cocker spaniel. She's sitting by the side of my chair. The entire visit, she was never far from my side. In fact, she stayed right underfoot. Every step I made, she made it, too. I couldn't leave a room without her, but that's normal for her. She wants to be with her mommy.

Son, look closely, you've captured Sunflower; she's part of the family, too. I really miss you guys. We were disappointed with only sleet this morning and no fluffy white stuff. I'd loved to see a few snowflakes drift to the ground, but instead, I glanced out to see rain mixed with sleet, and we had a nasty, cold, miserable day.

I hope we get a chance to go camping this summer together. Meanwhile, I feel close and connected with Facebook. And, yes, Wendy, your mom is watching.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Repost of All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin Book Review

Monday, August 3, 2009
All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin

This was one of my favorite summer reads. Dogwood by Chris Fabry was another. I recently reposted Dogwood. If you scroll to older posts, you'll see comments from the first posting of Dogwood. Of my many summer reads, these two have stuck in my mind. I've read and reviewed books since both, but these two novels stand out and apart from all the others I've reviewed. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend both, and I'm reposting because no one deserves to miss these two great novels!

All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin is generational women's fiction,just the type of book I love to devour. The title speaks for what all women truly want and just as the female characters in the novel only want love, women desire true love. The main character, Kathleen Seymoure, discovers hiding the past of how she lived and grew up from her daughter, Joelle, puts an emotional barrier between them. When Kathleen opens up, it enables her daughter to understand her, just as when Kathleen hears her own mother's story, she's able to understand her mother's life.

You might say the females in this novel were unlucky in love, but the truth is they loved and made poor choices because of it. These women have something in common--they left home at an early age and never looked back until Kathleen found the courage to return. Kathleen came through a generation of women who'd made poor decisions strong enough to make right choices and ended up with a good man, while the men in the other characters lives were not so nice--that's putting it mildly. The story is so realistic to life and could be an important book for young girls, since it's thought-provoking and provides great life lessons and much insight.

Once I started reading the novel, I couldn't put it down. It's 35 chapters and 400 pages of life staring you in the face, published by Bethany House and available at bookstores or online through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love Finds You in Holiday Florida

Love Finds You in Holiday Florida by Sandra D. Bricker is 20 chapters and 328 pages of delightful Christian romance, published in 2009 by Summerside Press. The author spins a tale of humor set in Holiday, Florida, where two pink flamingos become a symbol of learning to live a different lifestyle for widow Cassie Constantine. Used to a brownstone in Boston, she returns to Holiday to ready the summer vacation home for the real estate market. However, during the process of redecorating, she falls in love with the Holiday home and hates to see someone else take over her dream kitchen and bath she worked so hard to design. Not only does she fall in love with the home, but she also falls for the Florida community and a handsome chestnut-haired Richard Dillon, she meets when her dock gets in the way of a boat. When Cassie plants the once-hated flamingos in the front yard and even decorates a palm tree for Christmas, she shows the first signs of loosing up and allowing herself to enjoy life.

Figurative language and great character description make characters come alive, from a disco granny to blue-haired senior citizens who hustle and tango. The canal behind Cassie's vacation home delivers a man, a Florida snake that invades one senior's home, and the threat of alligators. Will Cassie ever enjoy her scenic view of the canal again, once she realizes the danger it may hold?

Following the suggestions of a surprise box, she pulls a card, reads the scripture and recommendation of how to apply the verse to her life, and begins to really live for the first time in years. But, Cassie has a life back in Boston, where her daughter and grandchildren live, and she's expecting her third grandchild. At 56, can she brave throwing away one life to risk another? Will she sell her vacation home, or the Boston brownstone? This delightful novel may be purchased online through Amazon or Barnes and, or it can be bought at your local Walmart, where I picked up my copy.

Repost The Mystery of the Cross

Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Mystery of the Cross: Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life
Have you ever pondered the mystery of the cross? Judith Couchman's new book The Mystery of the Cross: Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life provides answers curious minds will want to devour. Forty chapters divided into seven parts explore signs and symbols of faith. The story of Jonah, favored from the Old Testament, and Noah, Moses, Abraham, and Daniel are illustrated. God's ability to deliver his spiritual children are illustrated through images. Popular redemptive images contribute to the overall theme in remembering the Old Testament.

The back cover states, "At the center of Christianity, sits the cross of Christ," and explains how from the beginning, Christ's followers valued the cross as a symbol of their faith. The author describes forty images of the cross from early Christianity and deciphers how the most favorable stories from the Old Testament had a redemptive message. Understanding of Christian tradition will be enriched, as well as deeper appreciation for the cross.

Values in God's Kingdom are not of this earthly world, like power-hungry, power-grabbing people clawing their way to the top. The book points out that Jesus invites us to live in an inverted world, where the first shall be last and the last, first.

I enjoyed reading the many mysteries of the cross and learned so much that I hadn't a clue about before picking up this amazing book. It'd make an excellent Christmas gift and provide the kind of gift that keeps on giving, Jesus. The book may be purchased at local bookstores, online booksellers, or the Inter Varsity Press website at for the retail price of $17, but many sellers offer discounts. The author's blog is and her Facebook page is www.facebook/judithcouchman.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Book Review Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas


First read and reviewed in November 2008, but I'm reading Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, and I'm over halfway finished, so I decided to repost this review. I'll post the review of Sandie's new novel when I've completed it. Look for it soon! You won't want to miss it. I love her humor.

Love Finds You in Snowball Arkansas by Sandra D. Bricker is 261 pages of page-turning figurative language with a delicately interwoven Christian message of what real love truly is. The main character Lucy illustrates how we can sometimes miss what’s right before our eyes, if we’re too busy looking elsewhere. From Little Rock to Snowball, Arkansas, Lucy delivers laughs, making readers think about their own fun-filled courtship days. Readers will visualize and laugh their way through the novel, as it keeps them guessing who’ll end up with who until the end when God’s grand design controls the scheme of things and Lucy must face her ultimate choice, Matt or Justin. Will she come to her senses before it’s too late? Check out the reviews of this delightful book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can still order in time to provide the readers in your life with a wonderful winter read!

Barbara Robinson