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.
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.
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.
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.
And when Lafayette returned to the United States in 1824, American’s rolled out the red carpet for him.
Newspapers published adoring tributes to him.
Cities erected monuments in his honor.
Banks printed his image on money.
Communities held banquets and balls and welcomed him to every event as if he were royalty.
Lafayette’s image was everywhere, from playing cards to cigar boxes.
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!
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!
But this year we (my techie friend Susan and I) made a few changes to the website we’re pretty proud of:
We made Isabella’s website ad-free. No more distracting ads for heaven-knows-what kinds of products!
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
Today’s post is something of a continuation of my last post, but not by design. I originally intended to write about an entirely different topic, but I got side-tracked.
First, I’ll make a confession: I love writers. Whenever I get a chance to meet one—and I’ve met a good number of writers at book signings and conferences over the years—I get pretty giddy. Giddy in the same way some people get when they meet a Hollywood celebrity.
In my defense, I have shelves full of books that have earned the “keeper” designation. These are books I read and loved; most of them I’ve re-read several times; all of them touched me emotionally or conveyed a story that was so powerful I instantly wanted to run out and buy the author’s next book. Which brings me to author Lisa Wingate.
I’ll confess I’m a big fan of Lisa Wingate’s books. I read her novel Word Gets Around about seven years ago and enjoyed it so much I’ve been buying her books ever since. I never miss a new Lisa Wingate novel.
So I was glad to learn there are other Lisa Wingate fans out there just like me.
Today’s post on the Inspy Romance blog is all about Lisa Wingate and her books. In the post Lisa reveals a few hints about the novel she just finished writing (think World War I era), and she shares a link to her Pinterest site . . . plus many more little gems about her books and writing process.
I hope you’ll you’ll head over to the Inspy Romance blog and check out her interview. Maybe you’ll become a Lisa Wingate Fan-girl, too!