Friday, May 31, 2013

Writing Friday: Beginnings

Happy End of May!

So, as I promised, I am going to be doing something different on my Writing Friday posts for a while.

Today, I wanted to briefly discuss beginnings of books. I thought it'd be fun to share the first paragraph of the book closest to you.

For starters, I will share the first paragraph of my work-in-progress, Swept to Sea.

"Lady Eden Trenton dashed into her bedchamber and slammed the oak door. The bang sent an echo through the chilled room. A loud crash sounded behind her but she ignored it. At one time she would have felt guilty if something broke as a result of her temper, but now she truly did not care. She threw herself down onto her four-poster bed and curled into a ball."

What do you like to see in a first paragraph?

Now, it's your turn. Open up the book nearest to you and tell me either the first sentence or the first paragraph. I think it's fun to share these! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Music Thursday: Javert's Soliloquy

So on Tuesday I shared Hadley and Ramin in Les Mis, and I am again today.
Here they are in Javert's Soliloquy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bible Verse Wednesday: Love

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 
John 15:13

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Broadway Tuesday: Confrontation

This is just awesome.
I found Hadley Fraser and Ramin Karimloo singing Confrontation in Les Miserables. Hadley is Javert and Ramin is Valjean.

(This is really funny to me because they have played Raoul and the Phantom together before)

Anyway, here it is.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review Monday: Gingham Mountain

I just got done reading Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy. It is the third in the Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, after Calico Canyon and Petticoat Ranch.

Here's a description from Amazon: "All aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she's determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare? Grant is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage?"

My opinion: I LOVE this book. It is one of my favorites of this series.

Grant is about 24 years old and has, oh, about twenty children. And six or so grandchildren.

He was orphaned at a young age, and when he turned 17, he began taking in other orphans, some very close  to his age, which explains his abundance of kids and grand kids. Grant raises about six or so kids at a time, all in his tiny cabin house.

Hannah is also an orphan. She was Grace's (if you remember Grace from Calico Canyon) adopted sister. Hannah and her younger adopted sister, Libby, who has an injured ankle and does not speak, sneak on a train. When Hannah realizes it is an orphan train, she puts Libby in with the other children. They make their very last stop at a town called Sour Springs. The only two orphans who weren't adopted are Libby and boy, Charlie.
Grant comes along and adopts Libby and Charlie without a thought to the girl's injury and the boy's attitude.
Hannah is shocked, and protests. She is certain that Grant is a tyrant who adopts children to put them to work just to make money for him, much like the man who adopted Grace and Hannah.

Grant successfully adopts the kids, and Hannah moves to town and becomes the teacher. She has her heart set on rescuing the children from Grant's clutches.
Grant, of course, is nothing like Hannah thinks him to be. His children are perfectly happy.
However, when a swindler and his wife come to rob Grant of the oil on his property, Hannah and Grant learn a lot about each other they never would have.

This story was amazing. I loved the characters and the plot line. I LOVED it!

What are you reading?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bible Verse Sunday: Bad Company

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15:33

Friday, May 24, 2013

Writing Friday: An Interview with Matthew Emery

Last week, you met my character Matthew Emery.
Thanks to all of my awesome readers, I have put together an interview for him, using your questions.

Here we go:
1. How did you become a merchantman? (from Cortney)
I have always enjoyed spending time by the sea. When I was taken in by the church's pastor, he told me about his son who had been a merchantman but died in a tragic storm at sea. I suppose at first I went into the business because of the stories I was told, but I really do enjoy my job. I try to do some mission work on my trips whenever I get a chance to, so that is amazing.

2. What's your favorite color? (from Eden)
I like brown, I suppose. It is simple and pleasant.

3. Where were you born? (from Eden)
I do not know exactly. I have been told somewhere in the east end of London.

4. What's your favorite thing to do? (from Eden)
My favorite thing to do is to spread the Word of God to other people, especially people who live in the far corners of the earth and have never heard of such a thing as a Savior from their sins.
5. Have you ever had a pet? (from Eden)
Unless you count the mice that call my ship home, no, I am afraid not. I would like to have a dog or a cat, though.
6. How long have you known Eden, Ivy, and Aimee? (from Nathan)
I have known them since the age of eight, when I first was adopted by Pastor Dobbs at the church. They attended each and every Sunday service.

7. How did you get your ship? (from Nathan)
Like most of the things I have gotten, it was out of the goodness of someone else's heart. I was working as a rigging man on a merchant ship captained by a jolly old man. He took a special liking to me and I worked my way up and up in position on his ship. Finally, he decided that he wanted to retire to spend time with his wife and grandchildren, and he very kindly gave me his ship. I did not deserve it and I can never repay him.

8. What kind of ship do you have and what does it look like? (from Bookishqueen)
I have a full-rigged pinnace. It is not one of the largest ships out there, but I don't need an immense crew, so it works nicely for me.

9. Why are you reluctant to have women on board your ship? (from Sandy)
I am reluctant because it is simply unheard of. While I am not, most of my crew is superstitious and they say that it is bad luck to have a woman aboard a ship. Personally, I think that it is not only an unsafe but also unpleasant situation for a lady to be in. I think it is best that women avoid sailing  unless it is unnecessary.

10. Do you know who your father is? (from Sandy)
 No, I do not, and my mother always refused to talk to me about him.

11. Do you know why your mother abandoned you? (from Sandy)
I was very young when my mother abandoned me. All I remember was that many days she would be buying herself new hats and gloves while I went to bed hungry. I suppose she did not want a child and valued her vanity over me. I got in the way, so she eliminated me from her life.

12. Do you harbor and ill feelings toward your parents? or have any wish to meet them? (from Sandy)
I know that it is wrong of my, but I think nothing of my parents. I would be much happier if I never met them or had never even known about them. If I was discarded by them when I was an infant I would have been much better off. I do not cherish my memories with my mother and I wish that I could imagine pleasant memories of a mother I had never known. I do not wish to meet them.

13. Where would be your ideal place to do your missionary work? (from Sandy)
I would love to do missionary work anywhere I find myself. I look forward to doing some while visiting the Caribbean, if we find Lady Trenton safely there.

That's the end, Ladies and Gentlemen! Thanks for your questions. See you next week!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Music Thursday: The Speed Test

I have never actually seen Thoroughly Modern Millie but I love the music from it.
Have you seen it?
 Here is a very amusing song..."Speed Test"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bible Verse Wednesday: What God Has Prepared

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Broadway Tuesday: Wicked

I was cast as a chorus member in The Wizard of Oz. Yay! In honor of that, I will share a clip from a musical I like a little better, Wicked.

Fiyero, A.K.A the Scarecrow is one of many hilarious characters in the musical Wicked. Here is one of my favorite moments. (It might be more funny if you are familiar with the musical)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review Monday: Calico Canyon

First of all, head on over to The Literary Maiden's Blog where there is a giveaway of MaryLu Tyndall's Forsaken Dreams.

Okay, on to today's post.
I just read the last pages of Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy.
It is the second book of her Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, and comes right after Petticoat Ranch, which I reviewed a little while ago.

Here is a description of Calico Canyon:
"Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?"

Here's my opinion:
As with every book of Mary's that I have read, I loved it. 
Everyone in town has the impression of Grace as the snooty, proper teacher who newly moved into town. 
She struggles to control Daniel Reeves' five rambunctious boys--three are a set of triplets, and the other two are twins. When, one day, everything in class gets completely out of hand, Daniel pays a visit and ends up getting Grace fired and his boys kicked out of school for the semester.

The same day, Grace's abusive adoptive father pays her a visit. She hides from him in a wagon, only to realize the wagon belongs to none other than Daniel Reeve. Daniel finds her when he arrives home, and then the next day, the parson pays them a visit and forces them to marry. Poor Grace is stuck in a home full of six males, the very ones who got her fired from the job she desperately needed.

This book is amazing! I can't wait to read the next in the series.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bible Verse Sunday: Peace

They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:11

Friday, May 17, 2013

Writing Friday: Matthew Emery

Hello, everyone! Thanks for participating in last week's character interview.
This week and next week may be the last character interviews I do for a while, so ENJOY this one! Just kidding ;P
After that, I will probably still be posting about my stories, but I've run out of major characters to interview at the moment. I'll keep you posted on what I'm doing!

Okay, here goes for this week's character description. Leave some questions for my character on this post and they will be answered in an interview next week!

Matthew Emery grew up in London and is an acquaintance of EdenIvy, and Aimee. (If you don't know these three characters, feel free to click on their names to learn more about them.)

Matthew has dark blonde hair that curls around his ears. He has midnight blue eyes and is very handsome. He is of medium height and build. Matthew his about twenty-four years old.
I imagine him looking like Hadley Fraser, but with bluer eyes and blonder hair.

Matthew is concerned about others, willing to do anything to help those he cares about, and brave.

He never met his father and was abandoned by his mother at a young age. He was taken in by a church and raised there. Matthew works as a merchantman right now and plans to be a missionary some day. He loves to spread God's Word. 

Aimee and Ivy ask Matthew to help them search for Eden when she goes missing. He offers his ship and his time and goes along with them, reluctant to take women on a voyage but glad to search for Eden.

I intend for him to be one of the main characters of my third and final book in my trilogy.

So, what do you think of Matthew?
Please, leave some questions for him in your comments and see them answered in my final (for now!) character interview.
Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Music Thursday: One Song Glory

I love Adam Pascal, so I love him in the musical Rent, although I don't love Rent that much.

Anyway, here is a new perspective on the song that Adam's character, Roger, sings.

I think Aaron Tveit sings "One Song Glory" very well. What about you?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bible Verse Wednesday: Let Your Light Shine

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Broadway Tuesday: The Spark of Creation

Have you heard of the musical "Children of Eden?"
It is loosely based on some of the Bible. Anyway, here is amazing singer Shoshana Bean singing "The Spark of Creation" from "Children of Eden."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review Monday: It Happened at the Fair

I just got done reading It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist.

First of all, I want to brag that I met Dee at the writer's conference I went to last week. She is so sweet!

Here is a description of the book from amazon:
"Gambling everything—including the family farm—Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the fair’s Machinery Hall makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?"

Here is my review: This book truly is amazing. It is seriously one of the best books I have ever read.It has made me experience so many emotions and it was so informative of so many subjects, I cannot even believe how well-written it is.
I completely love the two main characters, Della and Cullen. Typically, I don't care about the hero and heroine as much as I do in this book, but they are amazing. I completely "fell in love with" Cullen just like Della did.
Cullen is a cotton farmer from North Carolina who is allergic to cotton. He is great at inventing things, and when his father buys him an exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to display his automatic fire sprinkler system, he reluctantly goes.
Della is a lip-reading teacher for young children, and her school moves to Chicago during the fair to display what they teach.
The Machinery Building that Cullen's display is in is extremely loud. Coupled with his already failing hearing, the noise makes it impossible to interact with his possible clients.
Finally, Cullen gives in and begs teacher Della to give him lip-reading lessons, which prove to be very hard for him because he finds himself having trouble concentrating while staring at the pretty young woman's lips.

The history and all the research Dee put into it made me become absolutely obsessed with the Chicago World's Fair. I want to learn way more about it now after reading this book. Also, the start of every new chapter included a real photo from the fair. How awesome is that???

Seriously, this book is one of the best I have ever read. Words cannot describe how amazing it is.

Go, buy a copy, and read it. You will not regret it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bible Verse Sunday: My Rock and Salvation

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:2

Friday, May 10, 2013

Writing Friday

Hey, everyone.
First of all, I want you to check out my friend Adriana's blog where she is doing a character interview like I do! So, it would be nice if you stopped by and left her a comment with a question in it. :) Thanks!

Okay, I skipped last week, but the week before last, I introduced you to my character, Aimee Dawson.

My amazing readers left some questions for Aimee, so here goes the interview:

1. What are your brothers named? How much younger than them are you? (from Cortney)
My brothers are Richard, Robert, Alex, and Thomas. The oldest, Richard, is 35 years old and the youngest, Thomas, is 25 so they are quite a bit older than me. Richard was 16 when I was born, so all of my brothers kind of spoiled me because I was the only little girl.

2. What is your favorite color? And, do you like traveling? (from Eden)
Pink! I love pink so much. Nearly all of my dresses are different shades of pink. 

As to your question about traveling, I have not been traveling very much. I think it would be exciting to see new places, though.

3. What is your favorite animal? Where in London do you live? (from Nathan)
Hmmm.... I really love cats. They are so cute and fluffy and they kill mice...I hate mice.

I live near the northern side of London.

4. What is your favorite food? Have you met the Queen of England? (from Sandy)
My favorite food is gingerbread. It is just delightful.

No, I have not met the Queen of England, but I would  be honored to.

Thanks so much to Aimee for answering these questions, and to Cortney, Eden, Nathan, and Sandy for giving her questions to answer!

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Music Thursday

I recently auditioned for a production of "The Wizard of Oz" so I thought it was fitting to share Sierra Boggess singing "Over the Rainbow".
However, I couldn't find the video I wanted, so for now I will share her singing "Love Never Dies". 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bible Verse Wednesday

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Matthew 7:3

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

Hello, my dear blog followers.

I am deeply sorry I haven't been around the last few days. I was attending the Romantic Times Booklover's convention.

I attended writer's workshops every day and learned a lot, but, alas, I had no time to write blog posts.

I promise I will get back to the schedule tomorrow and apologize for any inconvenience.
Also, please note that my blog URL or address had changed to
Please get the word out or I might lose some followers. 
Meanwhile, I will share some pictures with you.

Just a part of one of my day's schedule:

Some photos from Deeanne Gist's presentation on Victorian clothing.

 The hotel:

 My popcorn from movie night:
The delicious pizza at Crown Center:

And, a temporary typewriter tattoo from an author. I thought it was fitting for the theme of my blog. ;)