Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Vision of Lucy

Summary: Lucy Bradshaw dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he'll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, a painter. But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf, a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town, she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of her life: Lucy meets someone who sees her as no one else has-as the compassionate, creative young woman that God made in His image. And Lucy helps David uncover a secret that forces him to change his perspective on an event that left him deeply-scarred.

My Take: This is a delightful book that has it all. There is romance, misadventure, a little bit of mystery, some fun and a healthy dose of forgiveness. I love books that have a good mix like this. It reminds me of one of those treasured recipes that's been handed down through the generations ~ it just gets better and better. :o)

Lucy is independent and knows her mind. She really wants to please and understand her father though. Family is important to her. I have a serious pet peeve. I can't tolerate lies. Lucy has trouble with secrets. This is really important to the story for many reasons. Despite how often she gets in trouble, she's a peacemaker and tries to help smooth things over between her father and brother when they don't see things from the same perspective. She has a plan for her life and it doesn't include any of the men her father wants to set her up with. In fact, it doesn't include any man at all ... that is until she meets a certain wild man.

David Wolf has plans too. He's determined to settle some old business  - quietly - and then get out of town and back to what he's good at - where he's comfortable. He didn't count on Lucy taking his picture and getting everyone riled up. He didn't count on Lucy at all come to think on it. He's handsome, stubborn, talented, and he has a past that hasn't let go.

I loved the way these two interacted with each other. They had a genuine appreciation for each other and you could feel a real relationship growing but they didn't lack chemistry either. The story had enough interesting historical details without feeling like a lesson and the characters were likable and stayed with me long after I quit reading. This will go on my list for favorites. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing an electronic copy for me to review.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I read somewhere that NASCAR drivers and jet pilots use video games as a way to sharpen their skills in their free time. Whether it's a rookie driver playing a game so he's more familiar with a certain track or the pilot playing a realistic simulator game to prepare for flight, they all just want to be the best at what they do. Maybe the article I read overplayed the roles these games play, but I can tell you that I play games to try and sharpen my skills as a writer.

Some of them are as simple and obvious as vocabulary games you can find online. I also love the classic board games like Scrabble and Boggle. I'm pretty sure those didn't surprise you. Here's one that might though: Hidden Object games on the computer. Now most of these are fairly simple, but they teach me observation skills (very important for a writer) and clarity in language.

You may wonder why I think a game like that can help me learn better word choice. They often give you lists and you have to find the objects. So, if I write the word "club" what do you picture in your mind? A nightclub? The symbol from a deck of cards? A golf club? A billy club? A bat-shaped weapon a cave man might use?

Imagine if you read a sentence in a book like, "She saw a club on the hill." With no context it could be confusing what the author was talking about. Let's be honest, there are a lot of words in our language that can be ... less than clear. The game is a good reminder to me to be careful about my word choice. 

I do a lot of things to try and make me a better writer. I have to admit that reading and playing games are the two I enjoy the most. :o)

What about you? Do you do anything special to help sharpen your skills? Any favorite hobbies?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The winner of:

Is Carol. She has two days to get back to me and then I'll notify the name that was next highest on the list. Congrats again, Carol. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Thank everyone so much for participating.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Friday 56

Freda @ Freda's Voice is hosting The Friday 56.

Here are the rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.

Then you go to her blog and enter your blog URL in her linky area on her Friday 56 post. :o)

Here's mine from:

"Nigel comforted himself with the thought that since Harriet was a widow, Alfred a bachelor, and neither had children, the pair certainly must be the last of the Hawkers."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spring for Susannah

With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.
In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.
But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise-or the tenderness and love he shows-could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.

My Take:
I have had some real winners lately. This was a beautiful love story. I could relate to Susannah more than I would like to admit. Her background has made her doubt her worth and the possibility that she could ever find real love. She has a lot of fears controlling her. As the book progresses you get to know what an intelligent and talented woman she truly is and we can appreciate her nearly as much as Jesse does.

Jesse. I don't know that I can totally capture him for you. It's almost like trying to put lightning in a bottle. He's kind and patient but he's also carefree and energetic. His enthusiasm for life and for their marriage catches Susannah totally off guard and she doesn't know how to trust him. I loved that he was a red-head - it fit his personality perfectly.

She also has a host of other characters. My favorites were their neighbors, Ivar and Marta Vold. They're Norwegian and good friends to the couple as they go through the ups and downs of life in the territory. Ivar has almost as big a sense of humor as he does honor. He loves how Jesse seems to have a verse for every situation. Marta is newer in the territory and doesn't learn English until after Susannah comes and helps her learn. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was reading Jesse's short prayers that head each chapter. This is just the kind of thing that gives you insight into the character. The author does a great job handling tricky issues like the roles of women, prejudice against foreigners, overcoming your past, and what genuine faith looks like. She does it all without sounding preachy either. This doesn't read like a first book and I can't wait to read her next one. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wish I was this cute when I plop on the couch exhausted and in pain. lol

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My thought for the day...

"Trust people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being." -- Goethe

This reminds me of a wise woman who told me once that I should always try to look at people and see what God sees in them -- who He created them to be, how much potential they have, and how very much He loves them.

I hope someone around you sees you with God's eyes today and know that I'm thankful for you. Have a great day! :o)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Not the best picture - but it was late at night and we went to walk the dogs and saw this juvenile Robin right outside our door. So cute!

Free Book - The Lady of Bolton Hill

I am excited about this new blog and my new facebook page by giving away an extra copy of The Lady of Bolton Hill (because I'm keeping mine).  ;o)

Please put all your entries in one post. Here are the rules:

  1. This is only valid where not prohibited by law.
  2. I will only ship to the United States.
  3. You must leave a valid email address in order to enter.
  4. You earn an extra entry for being a follower of this blog, becoming a follower of this blog, for advertising the giveaway on your blog, for being my friend on facebook, or becoming a friend on facebook. So - there are a lot of chances to get entries. If you want to friend me on facebook, my email address is: margaretmetz_writer at yahoo dot com. That's the way you should write your email addresses as well -- to try and stop people from sending you spam. :o)
  5. The contest will run until the 10th of June at midnight CST. I will contact the winner via email and they will have 48 hours to respond. After that I'll choose another winner. Good luck!