Talked to Death

Am I the only one who wishes there were no such thing as political ads? They’re everywhere; I can’t escape them, but I dearly wish I could!

I think this 1873 Currier and Ives print sums up my feelings pretty well:

I’ve decided that until election day, my only form of entertainment will be reading.

No TV (unless I’ve recorded the program and can fast-forward through the commercials), no more radio. Just books.

Having made that decision, I now know why I have a To-Be-Read pile that’s taller than I am (times three); it’s for emergencies such as this.

So, a few minutes ago, I covered my eyes with one hand and poked the fingers of my other hand into my TBR shelf; here’s the book I randomly selected:

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

Doesn’t this look like  a fun book? It’s my first time reading this author and I’m looking forward to losing myself in her cowgirl world. And when I’ve finished this book, I’m going to select another; then another.

So good-bye horrible, screeching, misleading political ads. I’ll see you again in 2020.

A Romance Trope in Real Life

I freely admit I’m a hopeless romantic. There isn’t a romance novel trope I don’t like, from a hero in disguise to an orphaned heroine who must work as a governess to a moody widower aristocrat.

One of my all-time favorite tropes is the friends-who-fall-in-love trope. In fact, I’ll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag: the book I’m writing right now is a variation on that theme.

So it’s no wonder that a post on today’s Inspy Romance blog really touched my heart. It’s all about friends-who-fall-in-love, but it happened in real life!

You can click on the image below to read the post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

The Young Rebels

I’ve always loved history, and when I was a kid, I was enamored of the period surrounding America’s War of Independence.

It began, I think, when I read the children’s novel Johnny Tremain. It’s about a young teen in Boston who is caught up in the events that lead to the American Revolution.

My interest in that time period heightened when I began watching a TV show called The Young Rebels. It was about a group of four teens/young adults who single-handedly fought off the British Army’s attempts to infiltrate Philadelphia and its environs.

From time to time the Rebels had help from General the Marquis de Lafayette of France. I think my first crush was on Philippe Forquet, who played Lafayette in the show. I recall that he had a charming French accent and a pair of dimples that went on for days.

Actor Philippe Forquet in 1970 dressed as Lafayette on the set of The Young Rebels.

Rick Ely (whose brother Ron played Tarzan in his own TV show) starred as Jeremy, the leader of the merry band of patriots. Alex Henteloff played a brainy, Benjamin-Franklin-like character who was always inventing explosives or contraptions to harass the British army with. Louis Gossett, Jr. played a brave ex-slave, and in a few episodes Hilary Thompson played Jeremy’s sometime girlfriend.

Male members of the cast: Alex Henteloff, Rick Ely, Philippe Forquet, Louis Gossett, Jr. in a still from one of the show’s scenes.

Together, Lafayette and the Rebels blew up British munitions depots, blocked British cavalry troops from crossing rivers, thwarted the King’s messengers from reaching their commanders in time to summon help. By the time the show went off the air, I was convinced they had single-handedly won the War of Independence for all Americans (high school history classes subsequently corrected that belief).

It was a lot like The A-Team (a TV show that came along twelve years later) set during Colonial America, but with wigs and waistcoats.

I loved that show, and I especially loved the character of Lafayette.

The real Marquis de Lafayette.

But it should be known that I wasn’t the only one with a crush Lafayette. America love him, too . . . the real Lafayette, that is.

Lafayette’s image on an American cigar box.

And when Lafayette returned to the United States in 1824, American’s rolled out the red carpet for him.

Medal struck when Lafayette visited the United States in honor of the country’s 50th anniversary, 1826. From ForgottenDelights.com

Newspapers published adoring tributes to him.

“The National Guest” by Thomas Hope, published in a Wilmington Delaware newspaper on September 18, 1824.

Cities erected monuments in his honor.

A statue of Lafayette in Union Square, New York.

Banks printed his image on money.

A five pound bank note printed by the Bank of Manchester, Michigan.

Communities held banquets and balls and welcomed him to every event as if he were royalty.

Admission ticket to an 1824 fete to honor Lafayette

Lafayette’s image was everywhere, from playing cards to cigar boxes.

A deck of playing cards with Lafayette’s image.

But when I think of Lafayette, I don’t think of those images; I still think of the lasting impression a young actor named Philippe Forquette made on me when I was young. I still remember how a TV show helped ignite my love for our country’s history at the time we were fighting for our independence.

In fact, the show helped ignite my love for history of all eras, and I’m fortunate to be able to share some of the historical bits and bobs I’ve collected along the way in the blogs I write.

Tomorrow is America’s birthday, and in honor of the day, I think I’m going to reread the book that started it all, Johnny Tremain.

What about you? Was there a television show, book, or movie that made an impact on you when you were young? Please share your thoughts!

Cover Reveal!

In my last post I promised to share the cover art for the book I’m currently working on.

Without further ado, here’s the cover!

His Kind of Love is set in a small tourist town in Colorado (my home state). I’ll share more about the plot and some excerpts in a future post.

Right now I’m in the stage of making final edits to my manuscript, then it’s off to a professional editor/proofreader. After that, the book has to be formatted and prepared for publication in print and e-book formats.

All of that takes time, so my current release date is September 30. I’m hoping to improve on that date; I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.

This cover captures the spirit of the story so well! I’m really happy with it, and I hope you are, too!

 

Updates and My New WIP

It’s been a busy 2018 so far.

The good news is that all that busy-ness has produced some real results! Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last few months:

Isabella Alden Blog

I manage a website dedicated to sharing the life and written works of Christian author Isabella Alden. With weekly blog posts and daily updates on Facebook, it keeps me pretty busy!

But this year we (my techie friend Susan and I) made a few changes to the website we’re pretty proud of:

  1. We made Isabella’s website ad-free. No more distracting ads for heaven-knows-what kinds of products!
  2. We added a Privacy Policy page to the website, so visitors will know exactly how we do or do not collect or use their data when they explore the site.
  3. We arranged to publish Isabella’s Free Reads through BookFunnel. This is a big development for us. Every month we publish one of Isabella’s novels or short stories for free on the site; but in the past, we published those Free Reads only in Adobe PDF format. We now publish them in PDF, mobi, and e-pub formats, and distribute them through BookFunnel. It took a lot of work hours to get to this point, but we think it was worth it!

My WIP

I’ve been hard at work on my own novel, too!

Back in January I shared my “word of the year” with you . . .

Finish

. . . and pledged to finish at least one writing project of my own.

I’m pleased to report that it looks like I’m going to meet my goal!

My current work-in-progress is coming along nicely. So far, I’ve written

77,739 words!

That’s almost a complete book! Of course, I still have plenty of work to do to complete my novel, but I’m happy with my progress so far.

In my next post I’ll share my novel’s title and cover, so stay tuned!

All-in-all, 2018 is turning out to be a very productive year, and I couldn’t be happier.

How’s your year going so far?

 

A Free Read for Your Week

We’re expecting snow in Denver tonight. You may think that’s not a remarkable occurrence in Denver at this time of year, and normally I’d agree with you.

But this winter has been unusually dry for us. We’ve had precious little rain or snowfall, here in Denver and up in the high country where ski resorts rely on fresh snowfall.

It’s such an unusual weather pattern for us; in fact, I’ve been doing my daily walks in 60 to 70 degree weather . . . in March! It’s a little crazy!

Tonight we’re expecting snow, and tomorrow I intend to enjoy all the things that naturally go with a wintry day. I’ve already promised myself that if I’m good and get all my chores done (that includes writing at least 500 words on my current work-in-progress), I get to do what I love to do most on a snow day:

Curl up on the couch with a good book.

Pinterest

Sounds good, right? I’ve already got my afternoon planned, and I know what I’ll need:

  • A soft blanket to cover my legs
  • A freshly brewed cup of cinnamon apple spice tea
  • A dog or two to cuddle with
  • A great read

Pinterest 02

And I’ve already selected the book I’m going to read: Promise of Peppermint by Valerie Comer.

Valerie is one of my favorite authors; I never miss her books. If you haven’t read any of Valerie’s novels, you’re in luck, because right now you can read Promise of Peppermint for free!

Free Read

All you have to do is click here or on the pink graphic above to go to Valerie’s website. Just sign-up for her monthly newsletter, and you’ll get a link to download Promise of Peppermint.

It’s a great way to read one of Valerie’s books for free and decide if she’s an author you’d like to read in the future. And if you decide her style of writing isn’t for you, just unsubscribe from the newsletter.

Easy-peasy.

I hope your Monday is a great one. Stay warm . . . and enjoy the book!

(P. S. I’m a fan of Valerie’s Christian romances, but I don’t know Valerie and I don’t get any compensation for recommending her books. I just like sharing my favorite authors and books with you.)

 

Happy 2018! And My WOTY

Hello, January 2018!

This post is a little belated because I have been down for the count with the flu. I’m talking eleven days of laying on the couch, doing absolutely nothing but bolstering the stock prices of companies that manufacture facial tissues and cough drops.

Today is the first day I’ve felt well enough to try to put words on my computer screen … which is oddly appropriate, given my blog topic today.

You see, I write a lot on a typical day. I have a dedicated writing time when I sit down at my keyboard and give full reign to the stories and novels that live in my imagination. I write thousands of words on a weekly basis.

Some of the stories I write are, in my opinion, pretty good. Some of the chapters in my novels are so-so compared to others. But regardless of the quality of the words I produce, I write every day.

There’s just one problem . . . None of the stories and novels I’ve worked on are finished.

None.

Stop Go signs

It’s weird, because I know I can write a complete novel. I did it a little over four years ago when I typed “The End” on the last page of Ask Me Again. Ask Me Again was a contemporary Christian romance set in Colorado (my favorite place!). It was the first book I ever wrote. Several friends, family members, and ladies from church read it and gave me positive feedback; so I went for it. I self-published it on Amazon to see what kind of reception it would get.

The book garnered five reviews; not a lot, but they’re all positive. I took those positive reviews as a good sign, and immediately started work on a new novel.

A new novel I never finished.

I can’t explain it. I don’t know why I started, but never finished, any any stories or novels since Ask Me Again was published. I don’t know why my brain gives up on writing as soon as a bit of dialog gets hard or a scene doesn’t work.

Speed Bump Ahead sign

It’s almost as if my usual determination flies out the window as soon as the story gets a little challenging. Instead of pushing through the difficulty, I find myself giving up, and turning my attention to a different story, hoping it will be easier to write, only to repeat the process again and again.

Go Back Wrong Way

In my heart and my head, I know there’s no magic way to write a book. Every plot will have its challenges. Every scene has the potential to go annoyingly off-track.

But if I ever want to be truly satisfied with writing my stories, I know I have to complete them.

So here’s my Word of the Year for 2018:

Finish.

In 2018 I vow to finish one of the many books or stories currently stored in the WIP folder on my computer. I vow to finish SOMETHING I started in my creative writing process.

Go the Extra Mile

I vow to push through and write those extra words when my brain is telling me it’s just easier to give up and move on to another project.

I vow to finish a book. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be publication-ready. It just has to have those magical words typed on the final page:

The End.

So that’s my goal for 2018. I have twelve months to get it done, and I think I can do it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!