Finding Freedom

Hey, guys! I want to give you an update on my exciting projects. As most of you know, I have been working as a playwright and enjoying every moment of it! It’s been such an answer to prayer as I am able to still do this when I am not feeling well.

A year ago, I was approached by the LEAH group in Pennsylvania and New York. They asked if I could write a play based around the founding of our nation and with the theme of freedom – both in life and in God. As an avid history buff, I was more than excited to jump in.

I was able to write the play and be part of an amazing experience. In November, I went to New York to help with the casting. It was so much fun to see these kids just jump in and become part of a world I had created in my head! So surreal.

Opening night was April 27, 2018 and I was not sure if I was going to make it. As you know, I haven’t been well and I was mostly confined to bed rest over the last 6 months. As always, God is good and I was able to get some answers and make it up there!

I decided to set the story in Boston as the tensions were rising. It centers around a group of friends as they make big life decisions. Which side is the right side and what are the reasons for choosing? What does God want? It was a tough time and I can’t even imagine going through it! It gave everyone a lot to think about – for sure!

I wanted to share some pics with you from my time up there! Hope you enjoy!!

Run-through and practice:

 

Opening Night:

 

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There are hundreds of pictures and I can’t possibly choose my favorites! I am just so proud of what they did. God used it in such an awesome way and I’m really thankful I was able to be a part of it.

I’m currently workin on their next project and can’t wait to share more with you! For now, here is a scene from Finding Freedom and I hope you enjoy it!


(Set: outside in a field as the boys are walking home from hunting together)

(All laughing)

Malachi: (laughing…) And did you see Titus tryin’ to chase that coon and fall flat on his ear?

Titus: Now hold on there a minute! ‘Twasn’t my fault there was a tree stump in the way! I reckon I gave that coon more than he bargained for though when I came flyin’ face first right at ‘im and even managed to get a shot off…

Adam: Truly? “Get a shot off’?” I am fairly certain you misfired and could have killed any one of us out there just because you fell on your face and lost all control! I sure wish Emeline could have seen you then!

(Laughter continues as they all speak over each other)

Malachi: (Malachi stops and puts his hands on his knees to catch his breath and they all stop) Look at us. (Pauses to look up with a crooked grin) I’m gonna miss this! Tomorrow, everything changes for us.

(The boys nod in agreement – still catching their breath. Malachi straightens back up.)

Malachi: Sure will be different…

Adam: Yeah, well you went and got yourself that fancy internship with none other than Mr. John Adams! You didn’t think that would be all coon hunts and dodging Titus’ bullets, did ya? (Said with a smirk)

Malachi: Blood and ‘ounds! I thought I might lose an eye today! ‘Tis best I be moving on to the law! (He tries not to grin and looks innocently up at Titus)

Titus: (Punches Malachi on the arm and starts for Adam as they are all laughing) I’ll have you know that I wouldn’t waste a bullet on either of you clods! I’m savin’ those for the redcoats.

Malachi: (gets serious) Alas, Titus, do tell us about this meeting you are attending tonight. I hear that Mr. Samuel Adams may be in attendance! Some say that he can be a dangerous fellow – always stirring up trouble.

Titus: (becomes more and more angry as he says) Dangerous? Do come on, Malachi. We live in dangerous times. Our own homes and shops are subject to the king’s royal army at their whim. What rights do we now have? ‘Tis as if we are the King George’s unwanted stepchildren and he hopes to punish us for the crimes of others.

Malachi: But we are only paying taxes to cover the war not long ago fought on our own soil. The king protected us from the French and the Indians and ‘twas a costly war.

Titus: (barely containing his anger) They invaded Boston, Malachi! ‘Tis not past wars I dwell on, but what is on our soil at this very moment! British soldiers are here, taking up residence and extending curfews as if we were their children! They tell us when we can eat and sleep and what we can buy! (He spits to the side)

Malachi: (Looks at Adam and asks) And are these your feelings as well? (Titus also looks up to see Adam’s response.)

Adam: (Adam is very uncomfortable and fidgeting) I thought I might tag along with him, Mal. It can’t hurt to see what they are saying. They call themselves the Sons of Liberty and believe that we should not be governed by a foreign power and that we should rule ourselves. (He kicks at the dirt seemingly lost in thought.)

Malachi: And where is this meeting?

Adam: Under the Liberty Tree.

Malachi: The Liberty Tree!

Titus: Nay, Adam. ‘Tis been moved to The Green Dragon Tavern as a storm looks to be a-brewin’.

Malachi: Aye! A storm is brewing, indeed! Did you not hear what the “Sons of Liberty” did to Mr. Andrew Oliver at that said “Liberty Tree”? They hung a man that was just doing his duty to King and country! They then proceeded to walk upon his dead carcass and burn him as if his body had been not defiled enough! (He pauses.) Are we, ourselves, not British citizens? (Malachi remains calm as if curious of his friends’ feelings on the subject, yet concerned for their welfare. Titus is visibly growing agitated and angry. Adam feels very uncomfortable.)

Adam: ’Tis just a meeting, Malachi. As Titus said, ‘tis not at the Liberty Tree, so you need have no fear on that account. I only wish to know what is being done in my own city. We have lost so many of our freedoms these weeks past. Julia says that soldiers come into Emeline’s family store and take what they please without regard to coin. How is it that she is to be paid when her employers are not compensated for their wares? ‘Tis a trying time, Malachi, and I, for one, shan’t turn a blind eye. I must at least have knowledge of what is taking place all around us.

Titus: (looked up when Adam mentioned Emeline and looks angrily at Malachi as if it is somehow his fault.)

Malachi: Can we not find a peaceful way to deal with the situation at hand? (He looks back and forth) Truly?

Titus: (Spits to the side) I’ll not stand idly by and let this happen in my own city. Sam says that all might be free if they valued freedom and defended it, as they ought. Shall I not defend my right to freedom?

Malachi: (eyes wide) Sam? I presume you are speaking of Mr. Adams? (Gives Titus a chastening look)

Titus: (rolling his eyes) If only I could be half as fastidious as you are, Malachi, I may not assume the world and these trying times shall trouble me either. However, I cannot. I shall not. I shall do my part.

Malachi: I did not intend to…

Titus: (waves him off) Say no more of it. I only pray that you shall not think less of me for doing what I must. We must each do as we believe is right in such a time.
Adam: He speaks the truth, Mal. We must look to ourselves to govern our actions.

Malachi: I believe not what I am hearing! (Voice raised) Can you truly say that you must look to your own selves for truth? If mankind is to look to self for truth, pray tell, what happens when we, each man, finds his own truth and such truth does not resemble the truth his neighbor has found? (Looking dumbfounded) We can only look to God for truth! Who’s to say that my truth is above your truth? Nay! I will not agree! For this very reason is why we have war and suffering!

(Titus begins to walk away while shaking his head.)

Malachi: Titus! (Runs to catch up) Do not walk away, brother. Indeed, you and Adam are my brothers in every way that can be – barring blood.

(They stop and pause in quiet. Malachi looks up at the sky and closes his eyes for a moment.)

Malachi: Today is the last of our childhood as we have come to know. No more coon hunts, late night fishing or even brawlin’ over who gets the biggest biscuit. I desire not to spoil such a day. So much of me wishes we could roam these woods with all of the innocence it has provided thus – to never face the injustices of this world and come face-to-face with the men we truly are. I, for one, fear to see my true reflection staring back at me. I know not what I shall find when I’ve the courage to look upon it. I do not think any less of you, Titus, or you, Adam, for being brave enough to gaze upon it and face the truth within.

(Titus visibly relaxes.)

Adam: You two are startin’ to act like a couple of women. I daresay ‘tis time for me to away! (He grins and punches his friends as they continue to pummel each other and walk off set)


* The issue of Andrew Oliver is cleared up later in the play. It was an effigy, not the real Andrew Oliver 😉

If you would like more info on Finding Freedom, please contact me at: aTransParentMom@gmail.com

Face-Off with Sarah Sundin!!

61Dm0I55KIL._UX250_novelsIt’s been TOO LONG and I’m SO EXCITED to have Sarah Sundin here today! This lovely lady has been more than patient with me and I appreciate it more than you can ever know!

She’s an author of WWII novels, speaker, has a PhD as a pharmacist, and, last but not least…a mom!!! Wha??? #truth Talk about a lady that loves living life to the fullest!!

I know you have seen her books! They are absolutely eye catching and beautiful. Not only that, but they are a GREAT PRICE right now! In fact…the first 2 people that buy one of these sets (using the links provided here) will receive a swag bag from me full of fun stuff 🙂 Just let me know as soon as you order!

ADM-Official-Cover-194x300 A-Memory-Between-Us-Cover-194x300 Blue-Skies-Tomorrow-Cover-194x300 $14.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Sundin-With-Every-Lettter-194x300 On-Distant-Shores-cover-194x300 In-Perfect-Time-194x300 $17.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Through-Waters-Deep-194x300 Anchor-in-the-Storm-193x300 When-Tides-Turn-193x300 $20.97 for all three on Amazon Kindle

Let’s get to it, shall we?


image1

The rules are simple. I ask Sarah some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Funniest movie?

Sarah – A Christmas Story. Every single scene.

Charity – Ha!!! I love that we both choose Christmas movies because…Elf.

— Definitely a tie!

Charity 1 / Sarah 1

2. Weirdest experience at the dr.?

Sarah – Keeping this family friendly… Our favorite family medical story is when our daughter had a blood draw and received her shots before kindergarten. Anna has a blood & needle phobia. And she’s feisty. I held her on my lap with my legs wrapped around hers and my arms anchoring her torso and one arm. One nurse wrestled her arm into position and held it there. And another nurse did the foul deeds. Anna screamed the entire time. When we were done, she went skipping and singing through the waiting room with her sticker and lollipop, while half a dozen people watched bug-eyed. I’m sure they thought Anna had been drawn and quartered.

Charity – Oh my gosh!! I would have needed a nap STAT! (see how I used a nurse word there?) If anything, I think that I make it really weird and awkward for the dr’s and nurses. I say REALLY inappropriate things when I feel uncomfortable. It’s a disease, really. I mean, there’s a reason I haven’t gotten a colonoscopy…

giphy-3

— Definitely don’t get that one…

Charity 1 / Sarah 2

3. Favorite destination type (beach, mountains, Disney, etc…)

Sarah – Sightseeing! London, Rome, Boston…I love seeing beautiful places where interesting things happened. We dragged our kids to museums and battlefields and volcanos. We toured historic ships and planes. We saw the California missions when the kids were in fourth grade, Washington DC and Williamsburg in eighth grade, Gettysburg and Antietam and Yorktown. And our daughter whined because we didn’t have “normal” vacations, going to the beach like everyone else. So we took her to the beach. And she was bored. Victory!

Charity – “Victory”, indeed! I am right there with you. I love historical sites and little villages. I would have been all, “We are sitting on the beach for 8 hours each day we are here and doing nothing else. Enjoy.”

— Tie

Charity 2 / Sarah 3

4. Least favorite chore?

Sarah – Scouring toilets. When you have boys.

Charity Oi, got me there. That’s just disgusting. Yeah, I don’t think I can beat that! I am so freaked out by anything un-princessy. Drains, toilets, hair, etc…

gag-me

— You. I am a HUGE WIMP.

Charity 2 / Sarah 4

5. What’s your biggest phobia?

Sarah – This is totally bizarre, but I freak when I have wet feet and get hair stuck to them, especially tangled around my toes. Argh! I MUST have my slippers by the shower to prevent this. Yes, I know hairy feet aren’t dangerous. Yes, it’s totally irrational. And yet.

Charity – Noooo!!! REFER TO LAST ANSWER OF MINE! REFER TO LAST ANSWER OF MINE!

How could you even say those words??

gag-me

Ok, I can’t even think right now.

Trying to pull myself together. I was going to say that my biggest phobia is the dentist…but you may have just single-handedly cured me of that.

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— Nope. Just, nope.

Charity 2 / Sarah 5

6. If you could be an epic fighter, who would you be?

Sarah – I’m just giving you this point. I’m such a wimp. I cringed through my sons’ karate lessons.

Charity – Oh, man! I would love it if I was tough and a fighter!!! It would be so fun!!! I would have to be John Wick. Is there really anyone else???

source

— BOOM!

Charity 3 / Sarah 5

7. Apple or Windows/Android?

Sarah – Both! I have a Windows laptop, which I love—and an iPhone, which I also love.

Charity – ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! (That’s a buzzer sound). WRONG ANSWER! Apple or Mac would have been the only correct answers to choose.

— Mine.

Charity 4 / Sarah 5

8. How do you strive to bring God glory in every situation?

Sarah – I try to see people through God’s eyes—and when I can’t, I ask Him to show me. Even the meanest, rudest, stupidest, and most arrogant people are beloved by God. He died for them same as He died for me.

Charity – Girl, that is SUCH a beautiful answer. It’s so easy for me to give up on people and not extend grace. “Grace” is the word that God has really been putting on my heart. It’s so dang hard for me! I suppose that straight up boils down to arrogance. Yikes.

— God wins!!!

Charity 4 / Sarah 5

9. Fun hobby when relaxing (besides your awesome skill of writing)?

Sarah – Well. I read. I hike with my husband and our dog. I go to the gym. Hobby wise, I’m super-boring. Point to Charity!!

Charity – Not so fast, my friend…

sweatpantsandstayinghome_grande

and that’s about it.

— Definitely not my point! Uh, you even had “the gym” in your answer. *ashamed*

Charity 4 / Sarah 6

10. Favorite movie from the same time frame as your historical novels?

Sarah – So, so, so many. My most recent favorite World War II movie is Hacksaw Ridge. Absolutely gorgeous movie with superb acting, a sweet romance, some outrageous humor, harrowing battle scenes, historical accuracy, and a thought-provoking and uplifting message.

51+34tOFyvL._SX342_

Charity – Yes!!!! What an amazing movie!!! Wow. I think I have to go with you on this one. Beautiful movie ❤

— tie

Final:

Charity 5 / Sarah 7

i-lost-the-game-2


I thought I had it for a few minutes there!!! But, alas, Sarah’s coolness over-rode mine!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, GIRL!!!!! ❤ ❤

Just wanted to share with you a few beautiful moments of Sarah enjoying life ❤

Remember, be sure to grab a set of one of Sarah’s books from the link above and I will send you some fun stuff!!! Woot Woot! Everyone wins!

Face-Off with Lena Nelson Dooley!!

sGl30RrW3AxB-5LrhBaaiZlLRyy40SiHm_R9hocQXEkP84oZZBIX0fheHRShRWlIad04RmM56-tyDTBdDXvEmacgIOkg0-kuugQR6rH8hCp6tom_o7fuubwLTuUBulTyxl5SgLs63qLGBtBhxt1Z29kiThhppXxKv5mc-yz1W4WFbsB71j0ssb2Y9Od9hpe_ugMBG5xiGOrvRNmoKnnDev3aSEb7D1Zlb Today is an exciting day because I am facing-of with Lena Nelson Dooley! She has sold over 800,000 books and three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins. She also received the American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award.

Let’s get to it, shall we?


11863496_1480686162229624_8454508594779766707_nThe rules are simple. I ask Lena some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. What is your favorite song from the 50’s or 60’s time period?

Lena- My all-time favorite love song is “Love Me Tender.” I think it’s the most romantic song ever written.

Charity – Oh! That is a good one! I love that song too!!! I also like Alley Oop.

— Tie!

Charity 1 / Lena 1

2. Are you an avid roller skater?

Lena – When I was much younger, I roller skated a lot. It was one of the most popular forms of entertainment when I was a teenager (late50’s and early 60’s)

Charity – I love it too! When I was growing up, it was still pretty popular (in the 80’s). We always had a fun time. The youth group I went with always had a cassette tape that they took along and it played the same 5 songs on repeat the entire night!!! The worst part is that there were two artists on the tape. They were Ann Murray and The Carpenters. :-/

— Raindrops keep falling on my head….

Charity 2 / Lena 2

3. What was your favorite subject in school? Why?

Lena – I’ve always loved history. I’m sure that’s why I’ve been published with so many historical novels. Of course, I’ve been published with contemporary novels, too. A lot of people, who are readers now, hated history. So when I write a historical novel, I do massive research to make sure I get as many of the historical details about setting, clothing, society, etc., correct. That way they learn about our history in an interesting way.

Charity – History is my favorite too! I love it. I especially love American and English History ❤

— Lena not only LOVES history, but also writes historical fiction. She totally gets that!

Charity 2 / Lena 3

4. Do you like to go camping?

Lena – I like my creature comforts too much. The only time we went camping in a tent was when our oldest daughter way under a year old and it rained a lot. Not a pleasant experience. But several times, we’ve gone camping with a couple who owned a really nice RV.  That was fun.

Charity – haha. I agree! Whew. you are brave though. I am a little scared of RV’s too!!

02b2f85dbe20dfb7760a8c4696a49bd5Now…If only I had one of these…

— At least you are brave enough to try the RV!!!

Charity 2 / Lena 4

5. Funniest thing a child has said to you?

Lena – I hope no one will be offended by this. When my oldest daughter was about 4 years old, she wanted to be a boy when she grew up. Our next-door neighbor had a daughter about her age, and a new baby boy. I was baby sitting for them one day. When I changed his diaper, my daughter said, “I don’t want to be a boy. I want a plain bottom.”

Charity – Oh my goodness! hahaha!! How could I compete with that??? That is so funny 🙂

— Lena, for sure!

Charity 2 / Lena 5

6. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Lena – I asked Jesus into my heart and life when I was 7 years old, so I’ve walked with Him way over half a century. He is so much a part of my life, He’s often in my conversations with others. And I only write my novels to bring glory to Him by showing characters live through hard times with Him. I’ve also been a speaker at Christian writers conferences, as well as speaking in two foreign countries. I’ve mentored younger women, and mentored other Christian authors.

Charity – Love it! I

— God Wins!

Charity 2 / Lena 5

7. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go?

Lena – I’d like to go to Australia. I fell in love with Australia before it was chic to like Australia. I’ve read well over 200 books set in Australia. What I’d really like to do is rent a luxurious RV and tour all over the continent, stopping and staying awhile when we wanted to.

Charity – Oh! Sounds so fun.Santorini-Blue I would love to go to Greece. This has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen (pictures of….)!!!

It would really be fun to tour all of Europe too. I love English history.

— Tie!

Final:

Charity 3 / Lena 6


Thank you, Lena! Custom-Balloon-design-toolI loved getting to know you a little better 🙂

Guess what, guys!! Lena has offered to give away a copy of her newest release. So exciting!!!!

Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering.

*U.S. Rez only (Sorry! We do love the rest of you too!!)

** Entries will be checked, so don’t falsify and get yourself disqualified.

The Win Her Favor

by Tamera Alexander

In Tamera’s second Belle Meade Plantation novel, we are back to the races! In order to save the farm, an arranged marriage is in order. The question is, can these two find love? Set among the recovering South, after the Civil War, there is MUCH history here!! Racism is at an all time high and the people of the South are not happy when an Irishman decides to take up residence.

I know there has been talk about some of the scenes in this book. While I was surprised by the somewhat graphic nature of a few of the words chosen, I also know that it was how people talked during this time. It certainly wouldn’t be very historically accurate if one changed the vocabulary of the time. I also believe that the words were used within reason, to show the hatred of the times.

As far as the bedroom scenes go, again, while I was surprised to see them in a Christian book, I didn’t feel that they were graphic in any way. I would certainly say that you shouldn’t buy this book if you would be offended at the mention of unbuttoning of clothes and skin touching between married people. I would also caution that you, as a parent, should know what is in the book. I feel that there is an honest look at what is in the book with Lindsey’s review here. Again, it wasn’t a problem for me, but I didn’t find it graphic while some of you may.

Overall, I thought it excellent writing. I fell in love with the characters and my interest held throughout. I feel comfortable giving it 5 stars because I think that Tamera is an excellent writer, it dealt with some really dark subject matters, the history was wonderful, and the characters were 100% lovable.

Thank you, Litfuse and Netgalley, for a copy of this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!

If you would like to see my fun Face-Off with Tamera Alexander, just head on over here! She’s giving away a copy of this awesome book!!!

Face-Off with Janice Thompson!!

Author of over 20, highly acclaimed books, Janice Thompson is here today!!! Woo Hoo!! You can take a look at her blog HERE! I will be reviewing her new book later on this week, so keep an eye out!!!

Known for her contemporary romance, she writes many wedding stories!! Her newest is on sale for $4.99 right now! (Link is in the pic) Below are some other titles that you might be interested in! All of them under $5!!

Let’s play, shall we?


ebrHVCklF8yKCKzqap_AowNIPw_LjDRPS-fu9zMmfBULtvaV0-pAC6hSvaaCS0OvGEmm4cdlIV9frNncVygRdjfqDo3LAAUoOV_RNsTVwMyR8FJcrM7nyJK2o-1S2RTKXj9GaM6AVmZmPI_jU0BovAxakBVQ7kahRACtgyp39ch1LSUkylY44F4LK-k4jHzL7nXQGX-YuPfDmGXe8JR9pDycTUDne4ZHvThe rules are simple. I ask Janice some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Do you wear a fancy hat on Easter Sunday?

Janice – Um, no. But I love the song “Easter Parade,” if that makes any difference.

Charity – That DEFINITELY counts! haha. I am not a fan of the hat or the song…so….

— Janice gets that one!

Charity 0 / Janice 1

2. Have you ever had a chimichanga? If so, did you love it?

Janice – Yes. . .and yes. I love anything that’s deep fried. I’m from Texas, where we love all-things-Tex-Mex.

Charity – Mexican is a MAJOR go-to for our family. My sister eats it every single day!!! haha. If they don’t have tacos for lunch, they will have them for dinner. No joke!!

I am VERY ashamed to admit that I don’t ever remember eating a chimichanga though! My husband’s dog was named Chimichanga. That might be part of a deterrent.

— Another point for Janice! Not even my sister’s habits won that one for me!

Charity 0 / Janice 2

3. Favorite time in history?

Janice – I love the turn of the century (1900 – 1910). Several of my novels were set during this time period: Hurricane (about the Galveston hurricane of 1900), Queen of the Waves (about the sinking of the Titanic) and Love Finds You in Groom, Texas (set in the Texas panhandle).

Charity – Nice!! I love that too! My favorite times were Regency (Jane Austen) and Revolutionary War (American and British stories). Both were very intriguing!!

— Tie

Charity 0 / Janice 2

4. What is the fanciest kind of car you would want if money was not a concern?

Janice – I love my Equinox but would probably buy something a big larger, if I could afford it—something big enough to hold all eight grandchildren!

Charity – Lucky!! I want grandchildren!!! Man! I would probably go with a Tahoe. They are HUGE and can fit all the teenagers in it that I want to adopt!!!

— Tie

Charity 0 / Janice 2

5. Beach Bum or Hiking Trails?

Janice –Oh, beach bum, for sure! I love going on cruises. My favorite part is the private beach excursions. Swimming in the teal-blue waters off of Grand Cayman ranks high on my list of fun things to do.

Charity – Nice! I am not sure. Tough question. The beach is nice and I love warm weather. I also love hiking.

— It’s always best to know what you like!

Charity 0 / Janice 3

6. Favorite character in The Princess Bride?

Janice – Westley, of course! Isn’t he every girl’s dream?

Charity – Absolutely!!!!! However, Fezzik? INCONCEIVABLE!! 1796_108657080017_2451_nOur youngest son used to look like him when he was a baby/toddler. He didn’t get hair FOR-EVER!! It was so funny!! We kept getting him to say “Inconceivable”!! hahahaha

There’s the little bald guy!! —>

— Totally taking that point!!

Charity 1 / Janice 2

7. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Janice – By acknowledging that every good gift comes from Him—whether it’s the gift of life or the artistic giftings He’s placed in my life (writing, baking, directing, acting).

Charity – Love it! Thankfulness in all things ❤

— God wins, OF COURSE!

Charity 1 / Janice 2

8. Since you love writing about them, I was wondering if you had a big, elaborate wedding?

Janice –Nope. Surprisingly, I did not. Now, my four daughters did. The first had a large Italian-themed wedding. The second had a garden-party themed wedding. The third had a Hawaiian-themed wedding. The fourth had a lovely traditional wedding. All were lovely.

Charity – Girl, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of there! We didn’t waste time on ANYTHING!! It was walk up the aisle, cut the cake and SCRAM!! Who wants to waste their time hanging out with a ton of people when you JUST GOT MARRIED?

Nope. Nothing fancy here!! (and can I mention how happy I am to have SONS!! haha)

— Tie. We were on the same page.

Charity 1 / Janice 2

9. What is the coolest thing you have ever gotten from overseas? (Purchased or Gifted)

Janice –While in Israel in 1991 (just after Desert Storm) I purchased some lovely pottery. I loved it then and love it now.

Charity – Ohhhh! I LOVE Israel! I was going to say a ring box I got from there! It is so beautiful!!

— Tie again!!

Charity 1 / Janice 2

10. Would you ever want a pet monkey?

Janice – Never. No way, no how!

Charity – HAHAHAHA 🙂 I’m right there with ya!

— Ok, totally random and dumb question. I’ll give you a point!

Charity 1 / Janice 3

11. What kind of coffee is your favorite?

Janice – Chai Latte. Oh, wait. . .that’s a tea. Hahaha. Truly, I prefer hot teas over coffee. If I do drink coffee, it has to be weak and very, very sweet (with Italian Sweet Cream creamer).

Charity – I am a big tea lover too!! But, I have a weakness for this coffee here:
Now, that’s serious business!!!

— Since the question was “Which coffee”, I am totally taking the point!

Final:

Charity 2 / Janice 3

i-lost-the-game-2 and what else is new?


Thanks so much, Janice!! I had a great time getting to know you a little bit better! Looking forward to my great read 🙂

Face-Off with Colleen Coble!!

Yep! You read that RIGHT! Colleen Coble!!!!!! Multi award winning author of 1 or 2 million books 😉 https://i2.wp.com/www.margaretdaley.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Carol-Award-Winner1.pnghttps://i0.wp.com/67.199.68.238/ProdImages/Retailer%27s%20Choice%20Awards.jpg

I’m sure you’ve seen and read quit a few!! Well, today, you are going to get to find out some fun facts about this wonderful author!!!

The Mercy Falls Collection is only $12.99 for ALL THREE BOOKS!!

The Lonestar Collection is only $14.99 for ALL FIVE BOOKS!!


Now that we have established that…WE PLAY!!!

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The rules are simple: I ask Colleen some random questions. She replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Favorite State to live in? Why?

Colleen – I’m a born and bred Hoosier, and I can’t imagine ever living permanently anywhere else! Hoosiers are friendly, super friendly. We speak in the grocery store, and we are quick to help a neighbor. You can’t beat that. And I like having four seasons, but winter lasts way too long! The only bad thing is that we got Daylight Savings Time rammed down our throats, and I still hate it. Don’t get me started!

But you might twist my arm to live a few months a year on Kauai. Dolphins, sea turtles, snorkeling, what’s not to love?

Charity – haha! Oh my goodness. We’ve always had it here in Virginia! I didn’t know it was knew to you!!! My hubby is actually from Indiana too! I love living here though. I am right in between Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown and Virginia Beach. The Blue Ridge Mountains are only a couple hours away!! Such a beautiful place to live!!

I hear ya, girl!! I have never been to Kauai, but I would go in A MINUTE!

— tie! We both have good reasons!!

Charity 0 / Colleen 0

2. Which period of history interests you the most?

Colleen – I love the early 19th century. It was a time of such great innovation and change. Exciting times! But I like my modern conveniences, especially my WiFi!

Charity – Whew! That is NO JOKE!! One word: Chamberpots!!!

I love two periods equally: Regency and Revolutionary War time frame. Both are so interesting to me!!!

— Tie again!!  #Getting nowhere!

Charity 0 / Colleen 0

3. Have you ever gone on a “cross country” trip to visit sites in America?

Colleen – I’ve been in every state of the Union. Love visiting our glorious country! We made a point of taking the kids on long trips, kind of like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Charity – Oh my goodness! So incredible!!!!!! I sooo wish I could do that!!!

— DEFINITELY Colleen!

Charity 0 / Colleen 1

4. When you go to Cracker Barrel in the evening, do you still order breakfast?

Colleen – Well, I don’t know that I’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel except for breakfast!

Charity – Oh man! You are missing out!! Who doesn’t love a good breakfast for dinner!?

— I get that one!!

Charity 1 / Colleen 1

5. Weirdest thing a fan has done?

Colleen – Weird? I have awesome fans who come up with great names for characters and coffee shops. LOL

Charity – ❤ that’s awesome! Surprising!! People can be strange….

— I have no fans! ha ha

Charity 1 / Colleen 2

6. Would you go back to being a teenager if you had that option?

Colleen – Are you kidding me? What person in their right mind would want to relive that treacherous, hormonal time?

Charity – Not. Me.

I absolutely LOVE growing older. I would never want to start over. Mercy me!!!! Sounds like a nightmare!

— Tie. We are agreed!

Charity 1 / Colleen 2

7. Are you a camper or Marriott kind of girl?

Colleen – Marriott all the way. My idea of camping out is staying in a Holiday Inn instead of a Hyatt!

Charity – LOL! I knew I loved you. Right there with ya!!!!! ha ha ha.

– #HighMaintenance #StickTogether

Charity 1 / Colleen 2

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Colleen – I try to use every day He gives me to grasp the most joy from today. I  learned so much about how to do that from my sister-of-the-heart, Diann Hunt, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in Nov 2013. We only have today, and I try to give my best to every day.

Charity – Love it. Just being in love with God and serving Him day in and day out ❤

— God wins!!!!

Charity 1 / Colleen 2

9. Did you ever make “green eggs and ham” for fun?

Colleen – I made them for my son when he was little once. He wouldn’t eat them. LOL

Charity – Nice! At least you tried… I wasn’t that nice! ha ha

— Nice moms win!

Charity 1 / Colleen 3

10. Weirdest ornament you own?

Colleen – I don’t have any weird ornaments, but I do have some precious ones made by my kids when they were small. One is a tiny chalkboard with A B C on it. does that count? LOL

Charity – Of course it counts! Someone bought my hubby an ornament that says, “World’s Best Coach”. It’s so gaudy and big. Horrible. My husband has never coached a thing! He doesn’t even watch sports!! ha ha. He won’t get rid of it though. He loves it. So horrible. I try to hide it in the back of the tree…

— Totally taking that one!

Final:

Charity 2 / Colleen 3

41pQGKwBBLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ again.


Thanks so much, Colleen!! Balloons-for-Birthday-Party I had such a blast chatting with you 🙂

Guess what!!!! The balloons say it all! COLLEEN IS GIVING AWAY A COPY OF HER NEW RELEASE!!! So exciting! I’m reading it RIGHT NOW and will be posting my review later today!


All you need to do is head on over to:

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and start entering!!

*U.S. Rez only! (We do love the rest of you!)

** All entries are checked. Any falsified entries will be disqualified.

GOOD LUCK!!

The Thorn Bearer

by Pepper D. Basham

I don’t even know where to begin. I have never read a novel that tackles such a difficult subject with as much clarity, truth, and passion. Sexual abuse is something that over 50% of women have suffered with at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, when it happens, it makes the victim feel dirty and like they are the only ones. I would know. It came to me in the form of a “friend” when I was 10 years old.

In this first book of a trilogy, Ashleigh Dougal’s childhood was stolen from her by her father. This book is a story of forgiveness. It is a story of the love of our true Father in Heaven. I can’t emphasize enough how important this topic is. It is so overlooked in our culture, yet so important. Pepper takes this topic and runs with it. She doesn’t hold back. She shows the fear, anger, hurt and bitterness. She also shows the love and peace that is gained from forgiveness.Tucked inside a wonderful romance, you will find more depth here than most books you’ll ever read.

Aside from that, there is some very rich history in this story. From the sinking of the Lusitania ship (a passenger ship shot and sunk by the Germans) to the war torn London, Pepper intertwines history, romance, and real life wounds being healed.

I absolutely recommend this book. I think that every woman should read this because chances are very high this book will be dealing with something in your life. It shows real people with real life problems (sexual abuse is only one). Please pick this up for you and one for a friend. Release date is set for May 7th.

Solid 5 Stars. Wish I could give it more!

Thank you so much, Pepper, for giving me a copy of this book to review. As always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more! AND HURRY UP!!

BTW, if you would like to see my Face-Off with Pepper, just CLICK HERE! It’s one of the most fun yet!!

A Historically Accurate, Well Made Series about the Culpepper Spy Ring?! Can it really be true?

Oh my goodness, guys!! If I find out ANY of you knew about this series and weren’t telling me, I will …. throw my lotion bottle across the room at an imaginary image of you!!!!


Turn, on AMC, is a Revolutionary War story about the Culpepper Spy Ring. It is, surprisingly, extremely accurate. I think I am going to die!!! The first season is out. I bought it on Amazon Prime for $16.99. (Just a side note. I wasn’t trying to rhyme that last sentence). Of course, I bought instant video. The actual DVD’s of the whole season are $24.96. Not bad at all!!!

What an awesome series. I can’t tell you enough! It is rated TV-14, so there are a few things you won’t want to see, but it is very rare and far between. Nothing explicit. I feel comfortable watching it with my children. It is obvious when certain things are implied and we turn our heads away. Again, this is VERY RARE!!

Season two is set to premiere in April.

Since I don’t have cable, I am going to have to watch it on Amazon. THANKFULLY, you can pay ahead of time for the season and watch each episode as it comes out.

If you are a history buff like me, you will think you died and went to heaven! Mostly because it’s so accurate in it’s telling!!!

This is Caleb Brewster, Abraham Woodhull, Anna Strong and Ben Talmadge. It was actually through this spy ring, and Abraham Woodull’s information, that George Washington was protected from being captured by Benedict Arnold.

The Accidental Empress

by Allison Pataki

When I first picked up The Accidental Empress, I didn’t know anything about Sisi. As I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. It was very well written. The story is based on Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria and Hungary. While sticking very closely to the actual historical account, there are, obviously, small bits of fiction.

Sisi lived a very difficult life. She stole the heart of Emperor Franz Joseph I after her sister was betrothed to him. History shows that he passionately loved his wife and never wavered in his affection towards her. Sisi, however, struggled immensely. Having her children taken away from her and raised by her Aunt (the emperor’s mother), knowing her husband had other affairs (as was the right of a king or emperor) and being cut off from her family all led to her demise. She was a tortured soul.

My only reason for giving this book 4 out of 5 stars is because there were some MILDLY graphic portions. Nothing major, but a few insinuating acts and remarks. I definitely do, however, recommend this book. It is a very interesting read and historically spot on.

Thanks so much, netgalley, for giving me this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

— The reason for two covers is because, I am not sure which is the final choice for tomorrow’s release date! I personally prefer the first!!!

How about some History Freebies Today?


The Weird Wild West: Tall Tales and Legends about the Frontier

*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts of the legends
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

Space may be the final frontier, but no frontier has ever captured the American imagination like the “Wild West”, which still evokes images of dusty cowboys, outlaws, gunfights, gamblers, and barroom brawls over 100 years after the West was settled. A constant fixture in American pop culture, the 19th century American West continues to be vividly and colorful portrayed not just as a place but as a state of mind.

Even for those who travel through the West today, there are plenty of traces of the old times. Ghost towns still stand in remote parts of the desert and prairie, Native American rock art still tell their mute legends, and old prospectors’ mines still dot the hillsides. Even some of the places’ names, such as Bloody Basin, Arizona and Soldier’s Hill, New Mexico, have their stories to tell. In November 2014, one lucky archaeologist at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park spotted an old rifle leaning against a pine tree; the sun and wind had weathered the wooden stock until it was as gray as the tree trunk, making it almost invisible to passersby. When the gun was examined, it turned out to be a Winchester rifle. The serial number was still legible and records showed that it had been manufactured and shipped in 1882. Some prospector or hunter had set the rifle against a tree more than a century ago and never came back for it. It had been leaning there ever since.

As popular as works about the West remain today, the Wild West captured the imagination of people all the way back to the days when it really was wild. Even in the 19th century, its fame spread thanks to dime novels, travelogues, Wild West shows, and theater plays, and people were thrilled by tales of exploration and gunfights. Naturally, in the process of settling the frontier, the adventures contained countless numbers of strange stories, ranging from tales of monsters and lost mines to those about hidden cities and men coming back from the dead. It was a vast, unexplored country, and many mysteries could hide in the unmapped mountain ranges and seemingly endless plains.

The Weird Wild West: Tall Tales and Legends about the Frontier is a collection of tales about America’s frontier that range from the possible to the downright ridiculous. Some are adaptations of old folk tales immigrants brought with them or creations of overly eager newspaper reporters, but many have their basis in fact. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the Weird Wild West like never before, in no time at all.

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The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for Kids: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids!

Get ready to take a tour through the wonderful world of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

This book is perfect for any young reader ages 4 to 8. Younger children will also enjoy looking at the vivid pictures and hearing you read to them. You and your child will discover intriguing facts about these unique and Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

Such as…
Chapter 1: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Chapter 3: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Chapter 4: Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Chapter 5: Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Chapter 6: Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Chapter 7: Colossus of Rhodes
Chapter 8: Lighthouse of Alexandria
*And Much More…*

Includes delightful FULL COLOR photos of the most adorable and incredible tigers you and your child have ever seen. So get ready to have a lot of fun with your kids as you both learn amazing facts about these incredible Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

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50 Core American Documents: Required Reading for Students, Teachers, and Citizens

The Ashbrook Center’s 50 Core American Documents is meant to introduce
readers to America’s story as it has unfolded from the American Founding
into the Twentieth Century. Many of the documents emphasize America’s
uniqueness and contributions to the world, but they also present different
views on some of the major issues and disputes in American history and government,
especially on the meaning of liberty, the injustice of slavery, and the
demands of progress. Taken as such, the documents reveal a kind of political
dialogue to readers, an ongoing and profoundly consequential conversation
about how Americans have agreed and often disagreed on the meaning of
freedom and self-government. 50 Core American Documents invites teachers
and citizens alike to join in this American political dialogue.

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Failed Yet Famous: How To Learn From Extraordinary Men And Women Who Overcame Adversity

Life can be difficult sometimes: set-backs, roadblocks, and sometimes failure threaten to derail dreams and goals we all have. Everyone has faced obstacles and chances are that more obstacles are yet to come, but how you deal with those obstacles can be the difference between happiness and misery. Successful people are just like everyone else because they too have faced adversity in a number of different ways, but successful people persevere through their set-backs and learn from their failures.

This book examines the lives of a number of men and women from different walks of life and different periods of time to understand how some of these extraordinary people overcame adversity. The book serves as both a guide and an inspirational manual for those who have feel beaten by life but want to fight back!

This book is unique in that it borrows from the literary genres of biography/history and motivational writing to present a fresh perspective on life. Although the book focuses on the life of historical and some contemporary personalities, it is not a historical study and does not try to paint an especially glamorous picture of any of these people. In fact, the book does not focus on the “highlights” of the extraordinary people’s careers and instead emphasizes the “lowlights” of their lives because that is where the reader can learn the most. Each person profiled in this book is unique, like each of us, but they also employed similar techniques to overcome adversity, which is where you the reader can learn the most. By studying how great people overcame various set-backs, roadblocks, and failures you can use the same methods to persevere adversity in your own life.

Ultimately this book intends to motivate everyone who reads it to pursue their goals no matter the set-backs. The goal is to tap into our unused perseverance reserves in order to meet our goals and attain happiness and success. We all have the power to realize our goals, but sometimes we need a little help when the going gets tough. Most of us have friends and family that we can lean on when times get tough, but hopefully this book will provide a little more incentive for those of you who are looking for an extra person to help you when things get tough!

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101 Amazing Facts

Did you know that Shakespeare wrote the world’s first ever knock knock joke? How much of a ribbon worm’s own body can it eat and still survive if it gets a little hungry? What unusual lost property has been handed in on the London Underground? And what surprising kind of song is the American national anthem based on? This absolutely fascinating book contains over one hundred facts covering various categories such as war, music, TV & film, ancient civilizations, royalty and many more. So whether you want to know which pirate ate a man’s beating heart, or what Lennon and McCartney’s unfinished play was called, then this is the book for you.

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Great Battles For Boys: Bunker Hill to World War I

1st book in the Great Battles series designed specifically for young boys.
“I strongly recommend this book, particularly to younger readers who aren’t provided this kind of insight in standard texts. Giorello has written a truly valuable, concise and relevant work of scholarship for readers of all ages seeking an enhanced understanding of crucial turning points in American history.”

Ranolph Harrison, Army Special Forces Captain with 27 months of combat duty in Vietnam, and author of “West from Yesterday.” This is the first book in the Great Battles Series for students in Grades 3-9. This series will transform the way we experience history. Great Battles is a unique look into specific battles affecting American History. Also included is a listing of other reading materials and movies that will help each student not only understand the history, but realize how it has shaped our world.

Great Battles takes young readers directly to the field of war. This first volume begins with Bunker Hill and the American Revolution then moves chronologically through United States history: The Alamo, The Civil War, Little Big Horn, San Juan Hill and World War I. (Later Great Battles will cover WWII in Europe and the Pacific, modern warfare, and Ancient battles). With historic photographs and maps, each chapter also offers an age-appropriate reading list, Internet resources and movies the whole family can watch. Even the most reluctant reader will be captivated by history shown through weapons, warfare and strategy. Learn how those ragtag American colonists beat the powerful British, why the Civil War so bloody, and how lloss at the Alamo ultimately led to Texas Independence. Great Battles is the perfect primer for creating a love of history in any child.

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All you ever wanted to know about fortifications but never asked

An introduction to the history of fortifications and their building technology.

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Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray

With the 150th Anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg, New York Times Best Selling Author, Heather Graham, is revisiting one of her favorite time periods – The American Civil War. This time, however, she has compiled biographies of some of her favorite real-life characters of the period. We hope you’ll enjoy her gift to you in SOME WORE BLUE & SOME WORE GRAY. And feel free to comment in the review section if there are people you would be interested in reading about from the Civil War. Ms. Graham sees this as a living, growing document and is certain to add to it as time goes by.