Sunday, September 20, 2020

My Book Club reads Her Vanquished Land by Diane Scott Lewis

Last month my Book Club drank wine at a winery in Western Pennsylvania and discussed my historical novel, Her Vanquished Land, which was that month's pick. I was honored when the Wine Lady suggested it when we made our year's list.
Here's the novel blurb:

In 1780, Rowena Marsh decodes messages for the British during the American Revolution. When the rebels overrun her home state of Pennsylvania, she flees with her family. Are the people loyal to England welcome anywhere in the burgeoning United States? Rowena struggles with possible defeat and permanent exile, plus her growing love for an enigmatic Welshman who may have little need for affection. The war might destroy both their lives.

But when I sat down to face the women present, I wondered if they'd liked it, disliked it, thought I was brilliant or a hack.
Here were the comments:

"I thought the story of the Loyalists and Patriots paralleled today's government situation. Stay in the system and fix it or change to a new system."

"You really painted the historical picture, everyday things, and the bigger picture of the war."

"Use of Welsh was well done."

"I loved the Welshman."

"Rowena was a strong, intelligent heroine, who also questioned the system and why the two factions were fighting."

"Made history come alive! And I loved the Welshman."

"The two aunts were opposites, one frivolous, the other steady; I liked how the frivolous aunt showed her bravery in the one instant she needed to, banging a thief on the head with a teapot."

"The history was well done and fit right into the story, not overwhelming it."

One woman, a head librarian, said she loved my cover, very striking.

When I asked for any negative comments:
One woman said she'd read another book where the author used long sentences, and coming to mine, the sentences seemed choppy. But once she got into the story, she liked the structure and the fast pace.

I hope they weren't being kind to not bruise my feelings, but my novel seemed a triumph. It was good to get so many outside opinions on a novel I labored over.

To purchase my novels, and my other BWL books: BWL

Find out more about me and my novels on my website: Dianescottlewis

Diane Scott Lewis lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty puppy.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

My Grandmother, Maw by J.Q. Rose


Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.

Click here to check out more of J.Q.'s mysteries published by BWL Publishing.

Grandparents Day in the USA

Welcome to the Books We Love Insiders Blog where BWL Publishing authors offer insights, updates, excerpts, behind-the-scenes in writing their books and interesting topics for you to ponder.

Last Sunday in the US, we celebrated Grandparents Day. When it first became a national holiday in 1978, greeting card companies and florists got the credit (or the blame) for it. That is not the case. A thoughtful West Virginia woman who wanted to honor grandparents organized the first celebration in 1953 in her state. 

I was in the florist business in 1978 and we welcomed another holiday to promote flowers--and sales! It never really became a big observance. In fact, my kids and grandkids never realize it until AFTER the day! But they do remember me all year, so that's okay.

Today I am sharing a piece to honor my grandmother, Maw. She was the one who spurred me on to be a writer. Perhaps this writing will spark memories of a grandparent or of someone who took on that role for you. Take a few minutes to write down some notes or an entire essay about the memories you recall with your grandparent and share it with your family.  Perhaps this will inspire you to write more about your life and share it with friends and family members. You can do it!

My Grandmother, Maw by J.Q. Rose

My grandmother is the large lady in the middle with her husband (my grandpa who passed before I was born), sisters, brother and niece

Beulah Lee, yes, she’s my mother’s mother, was a schoolteacher. She loved reading and especially loved reading her Bible. She’s the one who pointed out many verses to me and directed me to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.

 Maw, as she was called by our family, was an intelligent woman who was stubborn as could be. When she made up her mind to do something, she did it and there was no stopping her. She and my father held loud “disagreements” quite a few times.

 She wasn’t exactly a warm, cuddly, mushy kind of grandma who made cookies for every visit. But she did love to sew and made several doll outfits for my beloved Ricky Jr doll on her foot pedal sewing machine.

We had a special connection and not just because we loved to shop. (When her social security check came in, she cashed it into small bills and stuffed it in her wallet. She delighted in showing me the stack of cash she had for us to go shopping.)

We both were readers. Her reading probably spurred my love of reading which in turn developed my desire to write stories for others to read. I began writing little stories when I was in second grade and developed a writer’s bump on my middle finger from writing constantly. (Anyone else get that bump?)

By seventh grade I decided to tackle writing my first novel. The storyline was about a horse and a girl due to my love of the book, Black Beauty. I wrote the entire book on lined yellow tablet paper and showed it to Maw. Taking those awful scribbles of sentences and typing them into a manuscript became her major project.

 Her blue eyes sparkled with excitement when she handed me the typed pages. I almost cried. I was overcome with the idea she had “published” my book for me. I was thankful for her taking the time to work on this manuscript.  She got a kick out of my reaction, but she also loved the story and encouraged me to write more stories for more people to enjoy. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to tell stories and have them published so I could share them with readers.

 I wish Maw were here now to be a part of this writing experience. Somehow I think she is with me with her blue eyes shimmering with pride.


Arranging a Dream by J.Q. Rose coming in January 2021

In the introduction about Grandparents Day, I mentioned I was in the florist business. If you are interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes in a floral shop and greenhouse operation, check out Arranging a Dream: A Memoir to be released in January 2021 from BWL Publishing. This is the story about pursuing our dream to be entrepreneurs in the floral industry. 

That challenging first year is recorded in the book-- the ups and downs, the doubt, the guilt, the funny, the sad, the joys and wins. Were we a success or a failure? Sorry, I can't tell you that--no spoilers here!


 Click here to visit JQ online. 

Happy Autumn Season! Be Safe. Be Well.

Favorite Things by Helen Henderson

Windmaster by Helen Henderson

Click the cover for purchase information

Greetings from Tennessee. I am Helen Henderson and pleased to be the newest contributor to the BWL Blog. Since it has been some time since I was a guest here, I thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce myself. A question often asked a writer is when did you first put pen to paper. I won't state the number of years but will just say I've been a storyteller of some shape or form for quite a while. Another authorial hat that is worth mentioning are the local histories and the collection of feature articles under my byline on a wide range of topics including military history and weapons,  archaeology, and antiques. Throw in some museum work and I blame my background not only for a focus on fantasy, but for making the worlds come alive.

Which brings me to the covers from the fantasy romance series, the Windmaster Novels. I love the impression of action and adventure they present. (Special thanks to Michelle Lee for creating them.) I have sailed (notice, I said sailed, not crewed) on a sailboat. And the desert temple inspired by Petra in Windmaster Legacy calls to the historic side of my soul.

There is another story set in the world of Windmaster, however I've stayed with Windmaster and Windmaster Legacy for two reasons. Both deal with the tales of Captain Ellspeth and the archmage, Lord Dal. Their adventures continue in October with the release of Windmaster Golem where a new generation takes over the task of saving the future of magic.

To purchase the Windmaster Novels: BWL

~Until next month, stay safe and read. Helen

Find out more about me and my novels at Journey to Worlds of Imagination.  

Follow me online at Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Website.
Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky and a feisty who have adopted her as one of their pack.