Thursday, March 7, 2019


We’ve probably all heard the comment, “He’s a real character!” But what does that really mean? Not necessarily a compliment, but it shows that the individual behaves in a different way than is normal by society’s standards.

As a writer, we’re supposed to create characters that are a notch above the different personality types studied. It can be a daunting task to create characters that are a bit off the map. One way I find helpful is to watch a movie and see how a character changes throughout the storyline. Take notes as you watch body language, behavior and voice variations depending on the moods portrayed. Sounds easy enough, but it takes time to hone the skill of having varied and diverse characters in a story.

When in doubt, have dessert.

Happy writing!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Lady of a Thousand Treasures
 by Sandra Byrd

Lady of a Thousand Treasures is another great read by Sandra Byrd. It is a historical fiction romance intertwined with a mystery involving art and antiquities. Victorian England is the background that envelops the life of Eleanor (Ellie) Sheffield and her family business in London. There were moments that made me smile, laugh, and cry. This is a charmingly told story that leaves the reader feeling their time was not wasted.

The infusion of scripture throughout the story reveals Eleanor's faith as it grows. During a time when a woman is not regarded highly in the business world, Eleanor struggles to keep the family business afloat. With an uncle who has dementia, and an employee who may not be what he seems, Eleanor find herself at odds.

Harry, the son of a deceased client, is dependent on Eleanor's skills as the appraiser of his father's collection. Prior to his death, Lord Lydney specified that she was to be the trustee of his treasures. She would make the final decision as to where they will be placed—donated to a museum, or remain with Harry.

Eleanor's past with Harry clouds her judgement as she hopes to be reunited with him. She attempts to push aside her doubts as he'd broken her heart in the past. Could she ever trust him again?

Her uncle’s memory lapses come to light as debts creep in, leaving them practically penniless. Debtor's prison becomes a possibility. As Eleanor's life becomes more complex, she isn't sure who to trust. Only faith in God can point her to true treasures.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review.
Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Lady In Disguise by Sandra Byrd

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A Lady in Disguise
Sandra Byrd

Historical Fiction
Four out of Five

A Lady in Disguise was as much of an entertaining read as Mist of Midnight, which I enjoyed immensely.

Springtime in Victorian England of 1883 finds Gillian Young has become an orphan in her mid-twenties. Her father, a policeman, has recently died in an accident—or so Gilliam assumes—until small pieces of evidence start appearing.

Lord Thomas Lockwood steps into her life. Gillian has not seen him since childhood and he seems to want to draw closer to her. She feels the same way but is unsure who to trust as events in her life unfold, leaving her uncertain who to turn to.

There are many things I could say about this story. The writing is creative, enduring at times, and full of suspense. After a few chapters I found myself not trusting any of the characters! This made for a delightful read. I could list a number of quotes from this novel but one of my favorites is, 'The Lord may care for the birds of the air, but He does not drop food into their nests. Each of us must carry part of the load.'

Thanks, Sandra Byrd, for a marvelous book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Forgotten Seamstress

The Forgotten Seamstress
 By Liz Trenow
3 1/2 out of 5
Historical Fiction

I was immediately drawn into this story by Liz Trenow’s story telling abilities. The Forgotten Seamstress is a dual time novel with the past beginning just before WWI. An orphan by the name of Maria has been blessed with a talent like few have with a sewing needle. Caroline Meadows is the present day protagonist who finds a quilt among her mother’s stored possessions that shows much the same talent as orphaned Maria. Caroline begins a quest to find out who pieced such an elegant and intricate piece.

The way Ms. Trenow weaves these two timelines together is so seamless and intriguing that it makes it near impossible to put the book down. My only negative with this novel is one instance she uses a very nasty innuendo when she confronts a homeless person regarding the missing quilt. No real issues occur again until it is near the end where Caroline gets very angry and uses several bits of profanity. Such a talented author as Ms. Trenow does not need to use language like this to show that her character is extremely angry. Her talent at writing is evident.

Ms. Trenow has a sophisticated writing style which I am drawn to. Much like Susanna Kearsley or Kate Morton.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Interested in posting here?

Love the U.K. and writing too?

Then, please join me for a cuppa!

Hosted by Carole Lehr Johnson, The Teacup Journal is a place for talk of tea and scones, castles and cottages, and all things British – including great novels, of course!

And you’re invited to submit a post ranging from a recent trip via airplane or novel to a U.K. setting, a favorite scone recipe, or anything remotely of interest to an avid Anglophile. Published or unpublished - you’re welcome to submit!

Interested? Please leave a comment below with your name and email address! Thank you!

I hope you all have had a great summer. I apologize for my absence—my blog has suffered for many reasons which began in 2013. After much prayer and contemplation, I am ready to revamp my blog and get on with it!

I am inviting fellow Anglophiles to be guest bloggers and would like any input you may have. It doesn’t have to be a long post, just something brief (between 350-500 words with at least one photo) you would like to share about the many fascinating and historical highlights of anything British.

God bless,

Thursday, December 19, 2013



Hope you all have had a great summer and fall. Mine was memorable on many levels--the reason I've been AWOL these past months. My first distraction was a two week trip to the UK, the second was my early retirement from a job with terrible hours (sometimes seven days in a row, and weekends). My husband felt God's prompting that it was time for us to rely on Him more and take a leap of faith. I have included a photo of one of the cottages I stayed in as well as a link to the owner's site in case you are interested in renting it.

This new found freedom will allow me to have more time to devote to writing, my home based travel business, organizing my house, many hobbies, and working on a new ministry at church. I will be alternating highlights from my trip, book reviews, and other topics beginning in January 2014.

Let's not forget why we have Christmas. Happy birthday, Jesus!

Have a Merry Christmas and God bless.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate Book Review

A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

by Susanna Calkins

3 out of 5

Historical Fiction

Susanna Calkins A Murder at Rosamund's GateSeventeenth-century English chambermaid, Lucy Campion, works for the local magistrate and his family.

Between chamber pots, polishing, and many other household chores she tries to solve the murder of her friend and fellow servant. Suspicious of someone in the household, she follows clues and tries to be discreet in her search.

Becoming a very determined young woman takes her into gypsy camps, Newgate prison, the most detestable streets of London, and many other places she would never have ventured. Her conviction to find her friend's killer leads her into dangerous situations.

The historical aspects of Susanna Calkins debut novel is well researched and captivating.

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate tells an interesting tale of the role of a servant girl in London's society, among the plague and the great fire. Her elements of romance are well balanced with the historical. I look forward to Susanna Calkins next novel.