Books I Reread (Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge)

This week, I’m tackling the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge from Long & Short Reviews – the topic is “Books I reread (or want to reread)”.

Amazon Associates Disclaimer: J. Lynn Rowan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I receive a small percentage of earnings on any purchase you make through associated Amazon buy links, at no extra cost to you.

Anne of green Gables Series

One of my absolute favorite book series is the Anne of Green Gables series.

I first met Anne in fourth grade, thanks to a friend, and never looked back. Not only do I periodically reread the entire 8-book series, I also own and have read (multiple times) every L.M. Montgomery series, book, and short story collection ever published. I cannot wait to share the delights of Anne-with-an-E with my daughters.

The Chronicles of Narnia

I can’t remember when I first discovered The Chronicles of Narnia. I think I read The Magician’s Nephew as part of a children’s literature course in college, and went on from there.

There are two schools of thought in terms of the order one should read the Narnia books. Most people start with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and end with The Magician’s Nephew, while others put Magician first, as it is chronologically the beginning of Narnia (literally). I’ve read Narnia both ways and don’t really have a preference.

The North & South Trilogy

I am a huge fan of John Jakes. Like L.M. Montgomery, I own every book he’s ever published (except the sci-fi volumes he wrote under a pen name). I think he may finally have retired from the literary scene, but there is definitely a reason he’s called The Godfather of Historial Fiction.

I first read the North and South trilogy after a friend introduced me to the television mini series adaptations of the first two books when we were in high school. They are hefty books, and for someone as into the Civil War era as me, they are an excellently researched and written set of books, especially for the era of publication in which they were written.

Other Favorites

These are, of course, not the end all and be all of the books I love to reread. I used to read The Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and The Silmarillion once a year. And I think I’ve read Gone with the Wind about 16 times altogether.

There is nothing like an old favorite book. It’s like revisiting an old friend!

What are your favorite books to reread? What do you hope to reread in the future?

Advice for Aspiring Authors (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Today I am pleased to host author Kimberly Daniels, who is sharing some of her best advice for aspiring authors. Be sure to read to the end for information about her book, SAVED BY YOU, and find out how to enter her giveaway to win an Amazon/B&N gift card!

Kimberly Daniels Tells Aspiring Authors…

Diving into that world of writing and (gasp!) committing to becoming an actual published author can be both exciting and utterly frightening. The idea that your words, your very own stories will be out for anyone to see and experience is a scary thought. The good reviews and those pesky one and two-star reviews can really wreak havoc on your psyche. My advice to aspiring authors is to silence all that noise. Stay true to your words, your stories. No matter what agents, publishers, and reviewers say, remember that those stories are your very own masterpieces. Most importantly, write simply because you love it.

Check out the book

Saved by You

by Kimberly Daniels

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb

Cole Stevens thought he was finally given a second chance in life. With the woman he always loved now by his side, an adopted son who felt like his own since the day he met him, and a baby on the way, Cole could finally see his forever. And then his past showed up on his doorstep, threatening to take it all away.

 

Now forced to relive painful memories and bring dark secrets to light, Cole begins a downward spiral that leads him back to the place he spent years trying to escape. As the pain of his past collides with the present, he finds himself lost again, fighting for his family’s future. How can he find the way back in time for his forever to be saved?

Read an Excerpt

I let go of him and he falters back. Dusty wraps his arms around me to pull me back and Camryn is begging me to stop. Her voice registers, sinking through the fury that just consumed me, and my head snaps up realizing where I am. Camryn’s hands are over her mouth and I can see her fighting back tears. And that’s when I see him, my little superhero, crying and shaking at Camryn’s side. My sweet little boy, my Gavin—how could I let myself get to this point?

I reach out to him and he shudders back, sinking into Camryn even more. At that moment, my heart shatters, seeing that my son, the one I vowed to protect, is afraid of the menace I just became. My gaze travels to Camryn and I see the pain in her eyes, which I am sure I put there. “Take him home, away from me.”

She reaches her hand and grasps my wrist, pulling me with her. “Come home with us.”

I pull my hand away and begin to back away from them. “Take him home without me. Right now, he’s afraid…of me.” I can’t bear to stay here and look at what I did to Gav and Camryn, to see that the old Cole has never really left. I rush off the beach, away from my family, the ones I disappointed again with my thoughtless actions. I try to grasp the realization that I’m no longer the superhero Gavin once thought I was. Today, I became the villain.

Kimberly Daniels is Awarding a $10 Amazon/B&N Gift Card to one lucky winner. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Meet Kimberly Daniels

Kimberly Daniels is a middle school English Teacher who took the advice of her students to pursue her writing hobby as a career. When she’s not at her laptop dreaming up new happily-ever-afters, she can be found glued to the TV or Kindle consumed with a new show or book addiction. She lives with her husband and two daughters in in the suburbs of Philadelphia, spending weekends at basketball games, softball fields, and dance recitals.

 

Connect with Kimberly Daniels:

Website: https://www.kimberlydanielsauthor.com/

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/kimberlydanielsauthor/?ref=settings

FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/authorkimberlydaniels

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkdaniels

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_kimberly_daniels/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17942227.Kimberly_Daniels

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Daniels/e/B07BPMLDY3

Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020

I am once again hopping onto the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge from Long and Short Reviews (see how good I am so far at posting more often?)

This week’s topic:

Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020

Amazon Associates Disclaimer: J. Lynn Rowan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I receive a small percentage of earnings on any purchase you make through associated Amazon buy links, at no extra cost to you.

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is the third and final book in the Seeds of America trilogy. I’d been waiting literally years to get my hands on this book, as I loved the first two installments. Ashes is the final volume telling the story of Isabel and Curzon, two young African Americans, as they navigate the dangers of the American Revolution in an attempt to rescue Isabel’s little sister from slavery in the south.

The Gown by Jennifer Robson


The Gown is a fictionalized account of the royal wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip (before they were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip). I’ve been binging on Netflix’s “The Crown” for a while, so this is right up my alley.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World is a new title for me. Set in the days after the Civil War, it follows a news reporter into unsettled territory of the Great Plains as he attempts to return a young girl to her family.

The fall of Gondolan and Beren & Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you didn’t already know, I’m a Tolkien fan. I’ve read Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion multiple times.

For fun.

A few years ago, Tolkein’s son, Christopher Tolkien, began working to take some of the tales from the Silmarillion and, using his father’s extensive notes, flesh them out into proper novels of their own. I am giddy to finally own Beren & Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin, as I already own The Children of Hurin.

My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Who doesn’t love a good story about Alexander Hamilton? My Dear Hamilton, however, provides a glimpse into the very private – and elusive – experiences of Eliza Schulyer Hamilton in the years before and after meeting and marrying America’s first Secretary of the Treasury. The authors completed impeccable research to flesh out the character of a woman often overlooked in the history books, but whose story is compelling in its own right.

So what about you? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

My Goals for 2020

2020 is upon us, and with it the obligitory Yearly Goal Setting Post.

Goals.gif

This year, I’m piggybacking onto the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge, hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

So what’s on tap for me this year? I’m trying to be conscious of the fact that I have a new baby, which obviously changes a lot in terms of how much time I have for any sort of goal setting. But here goes.

Writing

Obviously I want to try and do more writing this year. This includes submitting the historical romance that placed 2nd in three 2018 contests (yes, I know that was a goal last year, too). I also need to return to the first installment in my Sweet Somethings spinoff trilogy, which has sat in First Draft Limbo since last February.

This also incorporates freelancing. I had several excellent freelance writing gigs the past couple years and I want to keep that up, in addition to my independent contractor work with Newsela.

As an extension, I would love to finally set up a copyediting business as well. This has been sitting on my chairside table for over a year. I should probably start perusing it:

Ultimately I would love if I can make enough with my pen, so to speak, to cover Babycakes’s school expenses and maybe a little extra.

Reading More Books

Or just reading books.

More on that later.

Cooking

I love to cook and bake, but haven’t had time to do much of either since I went back to work in 2015.

Okay, since Babycakes was born and then we moved to Charlotte and most of my kitchen stuff stayed in boxes for almost a year.

Being a stay-at-home-mom again for a while will, eventually, give me time to cook and bake again like I used to. For now, it helps that I am now the owner of an Instant Pot:

Apparently I can make yogurt with it? I’m also interested in the fact that I can also apparently sterilze baby bottles with it.

Being Mommy

Of course this year, I want to focus once again on being Mommy. I am officially on maternity leave for the rest of the school year, and then we have to reevaluate our plans beyond that. But I have a 5 year old in kindergarten, and I want to volunteer at her school. And of course, Sugarpie is here.

I also hope to not only finish filling out Babycakes’s baby book, but also keeping up with Sugarpie’s.

what are your big goals for 2020?

Much Ado About a Widow (Virtual Tour & Giveaway)

Much Ado About a Widow

by Jenna Jaxon

Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb

A key grated in the lock. Lulu growled and stalked toward it, the fur on her back rising straight up.

“Not yet, Lulu.” Georgie gathered the leash. “Don’t bite him quite yet.”

Her dog stopped advancing on the door; however, the growling did not abate. Better be safe. She gathered Lulu into her arms. “I’ll give you the signal.”

The cabin door swung open, revealing Lord St. Just, an impossibly broad grin on his face. “Wait until I tell you what my men and I just did.”

“You don’t have to tell me, my lord. I already know.” Georgie glared at him and held Lulu tighter. The little animal was shaking, and Georgie was sure if she loosened her grip Lulu would launch herself at the unwary marquess. Serve him right too.

“You do?” He frowned and cocked his head, which made him look like a puzzled puppy. Lulu looked just like that whenever she was unhappy. But what did he have to be unhappy about? He was the one who had kidnapped her.

“You have set sail, my lord, with me and my maid aboard against our wills. Many sensible people call that kidnapping.” She’d always known this man was a pirate. In fact, she’d told her brother so. She handed Lulu to Clara before the dog could leap out of her arms and tear at his lordship’s throat. If anyone was going to attack the marquess, it would be Georgie herself. Plant him a facer and see how he liked being set upon.

“Oh.” The impossible man was all smiles again. “Yes, we had to put out or miss the evening tide.” His grin had returned, showing many straight, white teeth. “But we did manage to steal your trunks, Lady Georgina. If you will consider yourself abducted again, at least rejoice in the fact that you will have clean linen throughout the ordeal.”

During the tour, Jenna Jaxon will be randomly awarding a $25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card to one lucky winner. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter contest.

Meet Jenna Jaxon

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Blog:  www.jennajaxon.wordpress.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jenna.jaxon

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon

Instagram: passionistimeless

Buy the Book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Much-about-Widow-Widows-Club-ebook/dp/B07Q6VM63Q/

 

A New Edition – I mean – Addition

2019 is coming to a close, and what a whirlwind year it proved to be.

I got started with some very cool independent contracting work, which I’m looking forward to continuing next year.

I self-published a historical fiction short story.

And our family welcomed a new “edition”, you will.

I found out on April 1st (no joke) that we were expecting again. It was the first time since having Babycakes that we had a positive test, and disbelief isn’t a strong enough word for how I felt. As with Babycakes, worry and a lingering need to remain somewhat detached were the norm.

It was not an easy pregnancy.

With Babycakes, I had pretty severe nausea and vomiting from week 6 to week 16 of that pregnancy, and this time around was worse. The nausea began around week 5 and continued literally until the day before I delivered. I had food aversions, mainly meat – which caused anemia. I felt tired. I felt terrible. And as with Babycakes, I worried that, no matter what I did, there was a chance this just wouldn’t work out.

But on December 4th, Sugarpie arrived.

She is an unexpected blessing.

Now, we reenter The Baby Bubble.

A Sickness in the Soul (Virtual Tour & Giveaway)

A Sickness in the Soul: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery

by William Savage

Genre: Historical Mystery

Book Blurb

“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

 

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

 

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

 

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

 

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

Read an Excerpt

‘Most irregular!’ the coroner spluttered. ‘This is mere hearsay, doctor. I cannot admit it into evidence unless it is vouched for by the physician who you say was there at the time. Is that gentleman in the court?’

Silence.

‘Does anyone know where he may be found?’

The clerk to the court stepped forward — most reluctantly, Foxe thought. With much hesitation, he explained that, unfortunately, the man was not present at the inquest. Nor could his evidence be sought.

‘From what I have been told by those who encountered him that evening, sir, he was visiting from London. He said he intended to depart to return home on the first mail coach the following morning.’

‘God’s teeth!’ the coroner exploded. ‘Did anyone think to make a note of this man’s name or ask where he lived?’

Another silence.

‘Is Viscount Penngrove present?’

A tall man with a long, bony face stood up slowly. ‘I am here,’ he said. ‘I wish to God I were not.’

Whether this was an understandable comment about needing to attend an inquest on one of his sons, or an expression of disgust at being forced to sit, hugger-mugger, with tradesmen and other common people, was not entirely clear.

‘Is it true, your lordship,’ the coroner said, ‘as the medical examiner here has said, that this physician no one can name made a remark about the temperature of your son’s … body … and the extent of … um … stiffening?’

‘Something like that,’ Viscount Penngrove drawled.

‘Exactly as reported, my lord? Nothing else added and nothing omitted?’

‘Can’t recall. Rather upset by it all, as you might imagine.’

The coroner struggled bravely forward. ‘You did not ask for this physician’s name or his address?’

‘I am not in the habit of bothering myself with the personal details of tradespeople,’ came the viscount’s cold reply. ‘I passed what I could remember on to the fellow now on the stand. Up to him after that.’ He then sat down, making it clear he would entertain no further questioning.

Author William Savage is awarding a $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card to one randomly chosen winner during the tour. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Contest!

Meet William Savage

I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and  knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at http://www.penandpension.com. You can also follow me on Twitter as @penandpension.

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#foxe

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries http://bit.ly/2Abn1Ks

The Fabric of Murder http://relinks.me/B00W3SDJW8

Dark Threads of Vengeance http://relinks.me/B01FPQ2Q1Y

This Parody of Death http://relinks.me/B06XDNY81B

Bad Blood Will Out http://relinks.me/B079RCVQ4X

Black as She’s Painted http://relinks.me/B07H1SZN37

A Sickness in the Soul https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WF3Y4VJ

Getbook.at/SoulSickness

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#bascom

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries http://bit.ly/2k43dSQ

An Unlamented Death http://relinks.me/B00RXGWIY0

The Code for Killing http://relinks.me/B01A2BY1LU

A Shortcut to Murder http://relinks.me/B01M1R78L3

A Tincture of Secrets and Lies http://relinks.me/B075LM2TZP

Death of a Good Samaritan https://relinks.me/B07NLCGK2Y

Blog: Pen and Pension: http://bit.ly/1Kb1Q4k

Amazon Author page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K