Have you heard about Christmas in July? I had, but I thought it was a Hallmark thing to promote their movies, Christmas ornaments, and other products. It turns out Christmas in July goes FAR beyond Hallmark. Here are two sources I dug into, to learn more.
1 - What is Christmas in July? How to Celebrate Properly - Open for Christmas
2 - Christmas in July: What It Is, How It Started, and Why You Should Celebrate This Year | Real Simple
I was surprised that both sources said Christmas in July started at the same place . . . Keystone Summer Camp for Girls in Brevard, North Carolina. They also had the same dates for that first Christmas – July 24th and 25th of 1933. Would you believe it’s still going strong? I wonder if Keystone Camp inspired the writers at Hallmark. One of this year’s featured movies was Campfire Christmas. Who knows?!
Christmas in July has spread all over the globe. Today it’s celebrated in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. If you lived in the southern hemisphere, you could celebrate a July Christmas with snow and cocoa. December ones probably look more like a Florida Christmas.
Christmas in July is all about Hallmark Christmas movies for me. My husband thinks it’s crazy, but I love escaping into stories with a little Christmas spirit. It always brings out the best in people. I need that when July makes us all hot and sticky!
My All-Time Favorite Hallmark Chrismas Movie: This is it! Why do I love it so much? First, the script is so well done. It’s a lovely blend of sarcasm and wit that it’s pure fun to watch.
Second, the writers used bits of A Christmas Carol in it. You know the Christmas story with Ebenezer Scrooge? He’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas present, past, and future.
Third, the cast! Candace Cameron Bure and Jean Smart are a dynamic duo. They work well together, and they play off of each other. I can’t believe they don’t list Jean Smart on this cover. She was Charlene on Designing Women, and she’s just as funny in this role as she was back then.
Fourth, I love the Christian connection in this one. Jean Smart’s character is an angel who’s sent to get Candace’s character back on track. Candace doesn’t understand until Jean tells a story of how God sent a sleigh to save a man who’s buried in the snow. He got three chances but didn’t take any of them. When he dies, he asks St. Peter why God didn’t save him. Peter answers that God sent the sleigh to him three times, but he never took it. It’s a small reference, but I appreciate Hallmark keeping Christ in Christmas.
Finally, and most of all, it’s the shoes! Candace gets to wear some great ones that are full of possibilities. Guys like my husband don’t get it, but I do. When you put on the right outfit, it can change your day, maybe even your life. One of my favorite scenes in the movie shows a Christmas tree made out of shoes.
PS - Would you believe I had a 2nd grade boy ask how many shoes I had? I said I didn’t know, but one can never have too many shoes! He nodded like he understood. I hope he did!
As Christmas approaches, Noelle (Candace Cameron Bure) is at a crossroads in her life when it seems that love, a connection with her father, and her dream career are out of reach. When she stays late at her job in a department store on a snowy Christmas Eve, she accidentally gets locked in after closing. She isn't too concerned about the prospect of spending the night in the store… until a quirky woman (Jean Smart) appears out of nowhere in the shoe department and tells Noelle that she's her guardian angel. Soon, Noelle finds herself revisiting Christmases past, present, and future as she must work with her new neighbor, a handsome, Christmas-loving firefighter, to plan the annual Christmas Charity Gala. Will visiting the holidays of yesterday and tomorrow help Noelle take new chances and discover the true spirit of Christmas? And in realizing that the only thing standing in her way of leading a fulfilling life is herself, will the love she has longed for all her life be the best surprise gift of all?
Started 7/22 Finished 7/27
Woohoo! I’m caught up! Book 3 is the best one so far. J.K. is a master of mixing the back story of Voldemort and Harry’s parents with what’s going on with Harry today. The tension keeps rising until the very last chapter. That’s when J.K. brings it quickly to a satisfying ending. WOW!
I also noticed some lines in the last chapter that I loved. That I had to share with you . . .
1. “It didn’t make any difference,” said Harry bitterly. “Pettigrew got away.”
It’s easy to blame ourselves about the choices we make, but, if you wait long enough, you can find your silver lining.
2. “Didn’t make any difference?” said Dumbledore quietly. “It made all the difference in the world, Harry. You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate.”
This silver lining wasn’t what Harry wanted. But sometimes we get what we need, not what we want.
3. "You did a very noble thing, in saving Pettigrew’s life . . . Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them . . . and I’m much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter.”
It’s true, whenever someone does a good deed for me, I remember it, and I work to pay it back, sooner or later.
4. “You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him. How else could you produce that particular Patronus? Prongs rode again last night.”
My favorite line of all time, that love never dies. That our loved ones are alive in us. We just need to look for them.
5. “I know,” sighed Hermione, “but I can’t stand another year like this one. That Time-Turner, it was driving me mad. I’ve handed it in. Without Muggle Studies and Divination, I’ll be able to have a normal schedule again.”
I love this reference to time. You never have enough, ever! When Hermione gets a time-turner, it’s too much, even for her. She stretched herself too thin, and there’s always a consequence for that. My best advice, do what you can in a day. That’s the easy part. The hard part – to be happy with it.
Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.'
When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss...
Started 7/19 Finished 7/22
I read this one in three days, WOW! It was almost like the good old days when I could read a Harry Potter book in one day.
In Book 2, J.K begins to reveal some of the secrets from the back story, like what happened the last time the Chamber was opened. She strings the clues out like gingerbread crumbs. They lead to the treasure – the truth about the Chamber of Secrets, Hagrid, and the Heir to Slytherin. It’s a great story, and J.K. is a master of raising the tension, then delivering a satisfying ending.
This time a quote from the last chapter caught my attention. Harry was worried when the Sorting Hat saw him in Slytherin. Harry said no, but he’s still worried that’s where he belongs, not in Gryffindor. When he asks, here’s Dumbledore’s answer . . .
- “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Choices matter, even if we get them wrong. I believe if you do something for the right reasons, even if it turns out wrong, it’s OK. We can learn and grow from it. We’re WIP’s . . . Works in Progress . . . Working to become the best we can be.
PS- I prefer the old covers. Harry looked younger, nerdier, more like a real boy. This one just looks wrong with a flying car that’s only in two scenes.
Harry Potter's summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors - and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone... Dobby's sinister predictions seem to be coming true.
Having become classics of our time, the Harry Potter eBooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism. With their message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.
Started 7/12 Finished 7/19
I used to read Harry Potter books in one day, but that was when I was still teaching, and it was the beginning of summer vacation. Now that I’m writing full-time, it took me a week, and that’s about right.
This time, I read The Sorcerer’s Stone as a writer. It’s the beginning of a series, but it leaves room for its sequels. The first couple chapters are so sharp, the way she set them up. Then I remembered . . . she couldn’t have done that the first time. She did multiple revisions, until she got it right. J.K. is brilliant!
I also noticed some lines in the last chapter that I wanted to remember. That I wanted to share with you . . .
1. “. . . To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
I’ve always viewed it that way. Maybe that’s why I’m not afraid of it, yet.
2. “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
I believe in facing fears head-on. It’s much better than dancing around them.
3. “The truth . . . It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
It took me a LONG time to understand this. Sometimes things should be left unsaid, until the right moment.
4. “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign . . . to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.”
It’s my favorite quote! Love is stronger than hate. It’s stronger than death, and I’m glad J.K. reminded me how important love is.
5. “There are all kinds of courage . . . It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
I'm glad J.K. recognized Neville’s brand of courage, and that his points put Gryffindor over the top for the house cup. Not Harry’s or Hermione’s or Ron’s. It was the perfect idea!
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Having become classics of our time, the Harry Potter eBooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism. With their message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.
Started 7/11 Finished 7/11
I finished another book on the 11th, on the way home. Then I started and finished this one, TWICE, before we arrived. It’s full of VERY short stories! Each one is told by one of Henry’s queens from their point of view, during their last days as queen. Or, of life. Each is historical fiction, but they fit the history I know of the time period, and the stories told in Alison Weir’s series, ‘Six Tudor Queens.’
The first three stories are part historical fiction, but they also include the words of Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour. They’re short passages that are footnoted in the back. Proof that Catherine, Anne, and Jane really said, or wrote them.
The last three don’t include the words of Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, or Catherine Parr, but they match the history and take it one step further . . . to let you peek into their minds, and their feelings.
I wish you could pick up this book, but it’s no longer available, not even on Amazon. It’s too bad – it’s short and well-written. Two things that are VERY hard to do.
There has been much written of Henry VIII of England, everyone knows of his struggle for a male heir, his divorces, the beheadings, his quest for marital happiness. The motives for his actions have been examined and re-examined, and his wives have been the subject of countless romantic novels, films and television.
In this pamphlet of VERY short fictional stories Judith Arnopp considers the position of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr to consider, through their own eyes, the emotional effects of life with Henry and the traumatic ending to each marriage. You can read more about Henry's queens in Judith's full length novels. The Winchester Goose, The Kiss of the Concubine, Intractable Heart and A Song of Sixpence.
PLEASE NOTE: this is a revised edition of VERY short stories. Judith Arnopp graduated from the University of Wales, Lampeter in 2007 having gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and a Master of Art’s degree in Medieval Studies. She now combines those skills to write historical novels, reflecting the medieval period as experienced by women.
Started 7/11 Stopped 7/12
I started to read this one, but I stopped when I wrote about ‘Many Waters.’ I discovered I’d read and written about it in April of 2021. If you’d like to read what I thought, click on this link. It’s done in short stories from the Tower of London. Some you’ve heard. Others you haven’t. Intrigued? Click on this link: Rinda Beach - Blog - Rinda Beach
Started 7/1 Finished 7/11
I thought this was book 4 from the Wrinkle in Time series when I ordered it, but the Amazon description listed it as book 2. Go figure! Now I understand why Meg’s brothers are much younger in Many Waters.
Whichever number, I loved this story! Imagine checking your dad’s computer. Then traveling back in time to meet Noah, his ark, the Seraphim, and Nephilim. BTW, they’re the good and bad angels in the Bible. I checked! Add in the time/space continuum and quantum physics, and you’ve got a story of epic proportions!
Here are my two favorite quotes from Many Waters.
- “When there is an unreconciled quarrel, everyone suffers.”
- “Do not seek to comprehend. All shall be well. Wait. Patience. Wait. You do not always have to do something.
Amazon’s Description: In A Wrinkle in Time Quintet book two, Meg Murry, now in college, time travels with her twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, to a desert oasis that is embroiled in war.
Sandy and Dennys have always been the normal, run-of-the-mill ones in the extraordinary Murry family. They garden, make an occasional A in school, and play baseball. Nothing especially interesting has happened to the twins until they accidentally interrupt their father's experiment.
Then the two boys are thrown across time and space. They find themselves alone in the desert, where, if they believe in unicorns, they can find unicorns, and whether they believe or not, mammoths and manticores will find them.
The twins are rescued by Japheth, a man from the nearby oasis, but before he can bring them to safety, Dennys gets lost. Each boy is quickly embroiled in the conflicts of this time and place, whose populations includes winged seraphim, a few stray mythic beasts, perilous and beautiful nephilim, and small, long-lived humans who consider Sandy and Dennys giants. The boys find they have more to do in the oasis than simply getting themselves home--they have to reunite an estranged father and son, but it won't be easy, especially when the son is named Noah and he's about to start building a boat in the desert.
I spent last weekend at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. I brought my book Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream to sell, AND my model wind tunnel to share. The plane lost weight like it was supposed to, and aerospace lovers got to figure out how. (Think wind and lift.)
Neil’s 1946 tunnel was way better than mine . . . he used a real propeller. It had lots of lift! It knocked his mom’s robe off and sent the model through the window. Cole Roberts did a great job illustrating it for my book.
Tale #1 – The Space Hipsters: I’ve heard of hipsters, but not the space kind. Kevin stopped by my wind tunnel and introduced himself, and the hipsters. I didn’t know they were all over the world, but it figures they love everything about space. You don’t have to be a scientist to be a hipster. They even take in retired 2nd grade teachers, like me.
Kevin gave me two things, free. I didn’t ask for them, but I love them both. First, this Ohio patch. The stars around the state represent cities who are space-famous. The two up north, Wapakoneta and Cleveland. Wapak’s known for Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. Cleveland’s famous for the NASA Glenn Visitor Center.
The two down south are Dayton and Cambridge. Dayton’s the home of the Wright Brothers, the ones who were first in flight. Cambridge is the home of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.
Tale #2 – A Piece of the Couch: Kevin also gave me this little piece of plastic. He said I’d flip over it. I did . . . after he told me what it was.
It’s a tiny piece of fabric sealed in plastic. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s part of a couch, the one Viola Armstrong sat on, on a long-ago day back in 1969.The day her son walked on the moon. Now, I have a tiny piece of history! WOW! Kevin was right . . . I just flipped!
Tale #3 – It’s Rocket Science: And I found it in the museum parking lot. That’s where I met a few people with the Wright Stuff. The real ‘Right Stuff’ comes from a 1983 movie about the Mercury 7, our first 7 NASA astronauts. One of them was Ohio’s own John Glenn.
The ones in the museum parking lot were the Wright Stuff Rocketeers. They’re from Dayton and named after that famous pair of brothers. The Rocketeers travel all over Ohio helping kids build and launch model rockets. The kids in Wapak were thrilled when the Rocketeers spent a rainy Saturday afternoon helping them build rockets, but I bet they were disappointed when the Rocketeers had to cancel Sunday’s launch . . . too rainy.
My biggest thrill – the Rocketeers checked out my wind tunnel when I unloaded it. My biggest disappointment – I didn’t get to see them in action, working with kids. Maybe next time!
PS – I could barely post last night (9/19). I wrote the rough draft, but I could only revise the first section. Then I hit a wall with the Space Hipsters. It was midnight, and I was exhausted. Sometimes you have to know when . . . When to push through . . . When to stop and take that break. I’m glad I did . . . Tonight’s revision was easy-peasy!
PPS – I thought I’d post Part 2 last night (9/21). COULDN’T! Not even a rough draft. I tried! For 2 or 3 hours. I finally gave up and posted my pictures. Then I could finally start writing phrases, and a rough draft. Editing tonight was easy peasy again. Sometimes – you have to wait for the words to come.
Tale #4 – Cutting Class: Welcome to Purdue! It’s the university Neil picked to study aeronautical engineering, at age 17. I don’t think Neil ever cut class, but the engineering students at Purdue did . . . whenever Neil returned for a visit . . . unannounced. He never told anyone he was coming, and that is so quintessentially Neil.
I heard this story from a Purdue aeronautical engineering grad. I’m not sure when he went to Purdue, but he told me how he’d walk into class . . . and find an empty room. He knew immediately that Neil was in the lounge. So was the rest of his class, and they were listening to Neil. But the saddest part of his story – he didn’t get to. His professor made him stay for class. If I’d been that professor, I’d have headed to the lounge to talk to Neil too.
PS – Happy Ending – My new friend got to skip class. He finally got the news in time, and he made it to the lounge so he could listen and talk to Neil. I wish I’d been there too.
Tale #5 – Instructables, Anyone? I shared my book and my wind tunnel with museum visitors, but I shared something else – Instructables. I found my wind tunnel there. I needed one because I couldn’t write about wind tunnels – unless I understood them. The best way – to build one.
The best part – I’m sharing my Instructable story right now. I added the link in the back matter section of my book, How to Build a Wind Tunnel. I also shared it with museum visitors. They didn’t have to buy a book. They just took a picture of the link inside. Here’s the new version: Cardboard Wind Tunnel : 6 Steps - Instructables
Goalieguy wrote his Instructable back in 7th grade. I found him in 2019, messaged, and asked to use his pictures in my back matter. He had already graduated from college and had a job building robots in California. WOW! That’s what Instructables did for him, and they can do it for you too.
And, they have all kinds of projects to try – with 3D printers . . . crafts . . . electronics . . . food. If you come up with a new and terrific project, you could enter it in one of their contests – maybe even win a prize! If you want to learn more, here’s the link to their homepage: Yours for the making - Instructables
PS – My Purdue friend has a daughter going to college for aerospace engineering, just like he did. Just like Neil did. Guess what site she met after taking a few precollege engineering classes! If you guessed Instructables, you’re right! She said she could go back to her dorm room and build my wind tunnel. If she does, I bet hers will be better than mine.
Tale #6 – A Single Disappointment: From the outside looking in, Neil lived a charmed life. He set goals, and achieved them . . . from the first airplane he built at age two, to setting foot on the moon.
Neil did so many fabulous things. It’s hard to believe that he had disappointments, but someone from the museum told me he did. His . . . Neil never designed and built commercial airplanes.
It just goes to show that even Neil didn’t get everything he dreamed of. Nobody does. The sad part for me – knowing how much he loved making planes, and making each one better – That he didn’t get to build real commercial airliners. I’m disappointed for him. My story about Neil started when he discovered planes at age two, and it’s where this one ends, with his disappointment about the thing he never achieved.
Meet Henry’s Queens. I’ve been reading about them over the last two months.
I realized a few ways they’re alike, but a lot of ways they’re different.
Part 1 – Comparing Henry’s Queens:
Here are six ways his queens were the same. Finding similarities wasn’t easy.
Part 2 – Contrasting Henry’s Queens:
Here are 12 ways they’re different. Finding them was easy!
- From England – Four of Henry’s queens came from the UK.
- From Abroad – The other two came from Spain (Catherine of Aragon) and Germany (Anne of Cleves).
2. Their age when they married Henry:
- Teen – Catherine Howard
- Twenties – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Anne of Cleves
- Thirties – Catherine Parr.
Interesting . . . his last two queens were his youngest, and oldest.
3. Henry’s age and health when he married them:
- Young and fit – Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn
- Old and heavy, with leg wounds – The rest of his queens
- Most educated – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Parr. All three learned Latin and Religion. Most girls didn’t. Those were boys’ subjects.
- Basic Education – Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves. They were taught basic household skills, plus reading, writing, and a little math.
- Least educated – Catherine Howard. She had tutors, but she’d rather sing and dance than read or write.
5. Why Henry picked them:
- Political alliances – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves
- For knowledge and personality – Anne Boleyn
- For kindness – Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr
- Catholic – Catherine of Aragon
- Church of England - Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard. According to the novels which are historical fiction, Jane, Anne, Catherine, and their families, leaned toward the Catholic faith, privately. Anne of Cleves was chosen because her brother belonged to a Protestant league of German princes, but she was Catholic, like her mother.
- Protestant – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr. Catherine was almost arrested for heresy, for being too Protestant in her beliefs. I didn’t know the Church of England was more like the Catholic church than the Protestant one.
- Henry crowned his first two queens, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. He made the others wait until they produced that all-important son. They didn’t. Jane Seymour died giving birth to one. Unfortunately, she was never crowned.
- Anne of Cleves was betrothed to the Duke of Lorraine’s son, but the betrothal was broken. Later Henry used it to delay, then annul his marriage to Anne.
- Catherine Howard got involved in common law marriages before she married Henry. It was one of the things that brought her down.
9. Children: - His first three queens had children – Catherine of Aragon (Mary), Anne Boleyn (Elizabeth), and Jane Seymour (Edward, that all-important son)
- His last three queens – Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr
- All of Henry’s queens had miscarriages. Those babies didn’t make it to full term.
10. The end to their marriages :
- Divorced – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves, the foreign princesses.
- Beheaded – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. The nieces of Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk. He helped them become queen. Then he helped convict them. Nice uncle!
- Died – Jane Seymour – She was Henry’s favorite wife . . . She gave him that son.
- Lived – Catherine Parr – She was the only queen to outlive Henry. He died first. Anne of Cleves lived longer than Catherine, but she wasn’t queen. Thank goodness Henry divorced her!
- BTW – In England they say there’s a pattern to the six queens. Divorced, beheaded, died. Repeat . . . Divorced, beheaded, lived. I read it in another series starring three of Henry’s queens.
- The exception, Catherine of Aragon, who was born in 1485.
12. Birthdays :
- Known dates with year/month/date – Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves
- Circa dates – Anne Boleyn (Between 1501-1507), Jane Seymour (Sometime in 1508), Catherine Howard (1521-1525), Catherine Parr (August 1512). It’s sad! No one took the time to record the year Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard were born.
Started 6/19 Finished 6/30
Henry’s Sixth and Last Queen is another Katherine, Katherine Parr, but she’s so much more. She’s the Accepting Queen. She accepted whatever was asked of her.
At five Katherine accepted her father’s death. She left her London home to move into her uncle’s house, and her mother returned to court. She was one of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies-in-waiting.
At 16 Katherine accepted her first marriage, to a complete stranger. At least he wasn’t an old man. By 21 she was a widow, but not for long. A year later she married again, but as a widow, at least she could decide. She said yes . . . because it helped her family.
At 31 Katherine was a widow again, with two suitors, Sir Thomas Seymour and Henry VIII. She preferred Sir Thomas but accepted Henry . . . because it helped her family.
Katherine was also dutiful. She fulfilled her duty to her husbands, to her family, and to her religion. She was more educated than most women. She published three books, all about religion. But Henry’s queens had to be careful. Two of his advisors got a warrant for her arrest. Luckily someone got it to Katherine, in time. She begged Henry for her life. She said she’d argued religion to help him feel better. Thank goodness Henry believed her.
Henry died in 1547, and Katherine finally got her wish, to marry Thomas Seymour. But be careful what you wish for. Katherine later discovered Thomas was interested in her stepdaughter, Elizabeth, age 14. Her ending – so sad – she died in 1548, after giving birth to her only child.
Having sent his much-beloved but deceitful young wife Katheryn Howard to her beheading, King Henry fixes his lonely eyes on a more mature woman, thirty-year-old, twice-widowed Katharine Parr. She, however, is in love with Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the late Queen Jane. Aware of his rival, Henry sends him abroad, leaving Katharine no choice but to become Henry’s sixth queen in 1543. The king is no longer in any condition to father a child, but Katharine is content to mother his three children, Mary, Elizabeth, and the longed-for male heir, Edward.
Four years into the marriage, Henry dies, leaving England’s throne to nine-year-old Edward—a puppet in the hands of ruthlessly ambitious royal courtiers—and Katharine's life takes a more complicated turn. Thrilled at this renewed opportunity to wed her first love, Katharine doesn't realize that Sir Thomas now sees her as a mere stepping stone to the throne, his eye actually set on bedding and wedding fourteen-year-old Elizabeth. The princess is innocently flattered by his attentions, allowing him into her bedroom, to the shock of her household. The result is a tangled tale of love and a struggle for power, bringing to a close the dramatic and violent reign of Henry VIII.
Started 6/11 Finished 6/19
Katheryn Howard’s story feels like it should have been titled The Neglected Queen. It starts when her mother died in 1528. Katheryn was only 7. Her father was a ne’er-do-well, so Katheryn was sent to her aunt’s house to grow up. That was the best part of her childhood, with an aunt and uncle who watched over her, who cared about her.
In her tweens/teens, Katheryn was sent to live with her step-grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, who only looked out for herself. Katheryn didn’t like school, so she didn’t apply herself. She was a social butterfly, into boys and alcohol. She made bad choices, and they shortened her life.
Her uncle, Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, got her a position at court in 1540 as a maid of honor for Anne of Cleves. When Henry VIII started thinking divorce, Thomas pushed Katheryn at him, hoping she’d become wife #5. AND that she’d be in a position to push his interests at Court.
It worked, until Katheryn’s past caught up with her. The result – she was the 2nd Howard girl to lose her head. Her uncle prosecuted both nieces. Her age – 21. Her cousin, Anne Boleyn, wife #2, was in her 30’s. Poor Katheryn! She lost her life, but many of those who served in her step-grandmother’s house, who had encouraged her bad choices, were sent to the Tower of London. There were so many, that Kathryn had to stay with the Constable of the Tower, instead of in the Royal Chambers.
The Dowager Duchess and the Duke of Norfolk served the most time. All signs of Katheryn disappeared after her death. The portrait of a lady, below, is thought to be Katheryn. BTW in my opinion, Anne of Cleves is as pretty as Katheryn Howard. I don’t understand why Henry divorced Anne, but at least she lived to tell. Scan down, and you can compare the real Katheryn to the real Anne.
In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII is desperate to be rid of his unappealing German queen, Anna of Kleve. A prematurely aged and ailing forty-nine, with an ever-growing waistline, he casts an amorous eye on a pretty nineteen-year-old brunette, Katheryn Howard. Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, Katheryn is a niece of the Duke of Norfolk, England’s premier Catholic peer, who is scheming to replace Anna of Kleve with a good Catholic queen. A flirtatious, eager participant in the life of the royal court, Katheryn readily succumbs to the king’s attentions when she is intentionally pushed into his path by her ambitious family.
Henry quickly becomes besotted and is soon laying siege to Katheryn’s virtue. But as instructed by her relations, she holds out for marriage and the wedding takes place a mere fortnight after the king’s union to Anna is annulled. Henry tells the world his new bride is a rose without a thorn, and extols her beauty and her virtue, while Katheryn delights in the pleasures of being queen and the rich gifts her adoring husband showers upon her: the gorgeous gowns, the exquisite jewels, and the darling lap-dogs. She comes to love the ailing, obese king, enduring his nightly embraces with fortitude and kindness. If she can bear him a son, her triumph will be complete. But Katheryn has a past of which Henry knows nothing, and which comes back increasingly to haunt her--even as she courts danger yet again. What happens next to this naïve and much-wronged girl is one of the saddest chapters in English history.
Started 6/7 Finished 6/11
Anna’s story begins in 1530 when Katherine of Aragon was still queen. The first time I read it, I ignored the storyline in the first 2 chapters because they had Anna pregnant. This time I read the author’s notes that included a quote from Henry VIII. He said Anna wasn’t a maid when he married her, and evidently, he said it more than once. There’s no proof Anna was ever pregnant, but it’s an interesting theory.
By chapter 3, the story is historically back on track. It’s 1539. Jane Seymour is dead, and Henry’s looking for a new wife. Anna isn’t interested. Europeans are shocked by Henry and his three wives. One royal said she’d marry him, if she had 2 heads.
The Princess in the Portrait is the perfect title. Henry was so obsessed with Anna’s appearance that he sent his court painter to Kleve. Henry proposes after seeing the portrait, but he’s disappointed when he meets the real Anna. Enough that he doesn’t consummate their marriage. Within weeks he’s working on an annulment, and, seeking a new queen.
I’m amazed by the ending to Anna’s story. She kept her head, literally, and became Henry’s good sister. Odd, but true. Henry died in 1547. His last queen, Catherine Parr, died in 1548. As for Anna, she died in 1557. She lived longer than Henry’s other queens, except for Katherine of Aragon.
Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England, and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her.
What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England’s shore.
Started 5/30 Finished 6/7
The Haunted Queen begins in the same place the other two did, with its main character as a teenager. It ends in the same place too, with her death. All three are historical fiction, but I got to know each queen and her character, enough to compare and contrast them.
Anne and Jane’s stories began during the reign of Katherine of Aragon, the true queen. Her value to Henry VIII – her dowry and connections to Spain. She was renown as a Christian, a devoted wife, mother and queen, but she couldn’t satisfy Henry . . . she couldn’t give him a son.
Both Anne and Jane started royal life as Katherine’s maids of honor. Jane arrived sometime during The King’s Great Matter, his obsession to divorce Katherine and marry Anne. Both were well educated, but Katherine remained Catholic. Anne turned to Protestant reformers, pushed to translate the Bible into English, and made the Church of England possible. She believed that women could rule. She might have kept her head and remained queen, if she’d only given Henry a son, and been a little nicer.
Jane stayed with Katherine until her family made her go to court, as Anne’s maid of honor. When Anne lost her fourth child, Jane’s family pushed her at Henry. It worked – they were engaged the day after Anne was beheaded. That’s when the haunting began, at least in this work of historical fiction. Jane would give him that all-important son, but die doing it.
Jane was a devout Catholic, but not educated like the others. She could read and write, but that was it. Her claim to fame – her obedience and kindness. She obeyed Henry and the Church of England. She brought his daughter, Mary back into the fold after Anne had her disinherited. Jane was remarkable.
Ever since she was a child, Jane has longed for a cloistered life as a nun. But her large noble family has other plans, and as an adult, Jane is invited to the King’s court to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The devout Katherine shows kindness to all her ladies, almost like a second mother, which makes rumors of Henry’s lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn—also lady-in-waiting to the queen—all the more shocking. For Jane, the betrayal triggers memories of a haunting incident that shaped her beliefs about marriage.
But once Henry disavows Katherine and secures Anne as his new queen—forever altering the religious landscape of England—he turns his eye to another: Jane herself. Urged to return the King’s affection and earn favor for her family, Jane is drawn into a dangerous political game that pits her conscience against her desires. Can Jane be the one to give the King his long-sought-after son, or will she be cast aside like the women who came before her?
Bringing new insight to this compelling story, Alison Weir marries meticulous research with gripping historical fiction to re-create the dramas and intrigues of the most renowned court in English history. At its center is a loving and compassionate woman who captures the heart of a king, and whose life will hang in the balance for it.
A Tudor Family Portrait, circa 1545, from left to right: 'Mother Jak' (Edward’s nurse), Lady Mary, Prince Edward, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour(posthumous), Lady Elizabeth and Will Somers (court jester)
In 1965 a song came out about Henry VIII. I thought Henry was the king who’d had 6 wives. This Henry, but I was wrong.
I just looked up the song and reread the lyrics. It turns out the song’s Henry married a widow from next door, and she’d married seven other Henry’s. That made him the widow’s eighth Henry.
Here’s the cover from that 1965 song. It hit #1 on the US charts, and it was the fastest selling song in history, back then.
It’s still one of the shortest songs in chart history. That’s because it only used the chorus. There are actually three verses, but Herman’s Hermits didn’t use any of them. I guess they wanted their song short and snappy.
The Hermits skipped the verses, but they kept the Cockney accent from the original song. It was written back in 1910. Their Henry is pronounced Enery, with three syllables.
Would you like to hear The Hermits? Click this link.
Link: henry viii i am song - Search (bing.com)
Would you like to learn more about the song, Henry VIII? Click this link.
Link: I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am - Wikipedia
Photo Source: By MGM Records - Stereo Gum, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62053039
School’s out for the summer, and it’s lovely – more time for vacation and family – But it can also make it harder to get things done. If you need a little help, here are four tips from Justin Bennett. (@HealthyFit.info). I hope they’re just what you need.
Having a baby or toddler makes life exciting and exhausting. However, working from home while managing your children presents an additional layer of challenges. If you are looking for ways to be successful when working remotely while taking care of your kids at the same time, follow these four tips.
1. Rely on Others
Having a support system makes a huge difference when it comes to taking care of your kids while working. Your partner, family members, friends, and neighbors are all excellent resources when you need someone to watch your child.
Sit down with your husband or wife and make a weekly schedule; it should note who watches your children and when. Do your best to include some child-free work time for yourself.
Maybe there are a few days during the week it would be helpful for someone else to watch your child. Perhaps you need someone on standby for extra busy days. Talk to people in your support system, and see if any of them can tend to your kiddos on a regular basis or as needed.
2. Reorganize Your Processes
If you are a company employee, over time you have probably gotten into the habit of doing things a certain way. Taking a step back and reevaluating your processes helps you realize there are faster options that save you time.
For example, maybe your inbox is a mess, and you have simply gotten used to it being that way. Making a few teaks can make it easier to manage and track emails. Search online for articles and videos with helpful recommendations for reorganizing your inbox.
If you are a freelancer, you have more flexibility with revamping your processes. Maybe you need help tracking your income. Instead of sending a generic email to customers as a bill, better track the amount and accuracy of payments using free tools. Check out this invoice maker. This allows you to create professional invoices that feature your logo and brand. Simply select from a variety of pre-built templates, and customize your invoice with your brand colors, business name, logo, and other important information.
3. Stock Up on Toys and Books
Whether your kiddo is stationary, sitting, crawling, or running, having items to play with helps him or her stay busy while you work. Set up a play area in or near your office so you can monitor your child.
Fill the area with kid toys, books, and games. Wash the toys on a regular basis to prevent germs from spreading. Stock up on toys without spending lots of money by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales.
4. Make To-Do Lists
Many people find their lives run smoother when utilizing checklists. According to one article, 96% of those surveyed felt their lives were better when they used to-do lists.
To prevent personal and professional tasks from slipping through the cracks, make a to-do list at the beginning of each day. Check items off as they are accomplished. Create other to-do lists throughout the month, such as bills or chores lists. As needed, add tasks from these indexes to your daily list. This ensures big-picture items are not overlooked and get tackled during the week.
While working remotely gives you more freedom, you need to take intentional steps to make sure your job and your little ones are tended to. Following these four tips brings balance to your workday while still loving on your children. Visit Rinda Beach for more.
I spotted this on one of my Private Facebook Groups, and I saved it to share with you. It made sense to me because I’ve done all of these things, tried to quit, and found myself going back there again. Bad habits, they’re hard to break!
When I went back, my source had disappeared. I did a reverse picture search and found the original site on Tiny Buddha.com. I’m glad to give them credit.
1. Trying to please everyone – Have you ever felt like this? Like everyone wants a piece of you, and you just can’t say no? You don’t have to be a doctor to feel this way. It happens to everyone, even kids.
I’m a retired teacher, and I used to feel that way all the time. I had kids at home and at school who needed me, and I tried to help everyone.
The result . . . I burned out. You can’t take care of everyone, if you don’t take care of yourself. Sometimes that means you have to say no to someone. Just make sure it’s not always YOU. Sometimes you need to say yes to your own needs and wants. If you’re happier, everyone around you should be happier too.
2. Fearing Change – No one likes it. Change is hard, but it’s inevitable. Everything changes. Kids do . . . they grow from babies to toddlers to high school graduates in the blink of an eye, and they’re excited about it. As a parent, I felt torn between being happy and sad.
Fear needs to be handled like anything else. I look for opportunities in it. Sometimes what I fear actually makes my life easier. Look at elementary age kids – no diapers. No terrible twos. It was my favorite time with my three kids.
Losing a job/failing to find a new one – those are hard changes to make. When I’m in the middle of one, I look for silver linings. I wait for them. I know they’ll come, but I have to be patient and wait them out. You can too.
3. Living in the Past – You have no choice. You can’t stay in the past. It will quickly become the present, and eventually the future. Nothing stays the same forever. I’ve been a kid, an adult, a mom, and now a grandma. Each stage had things that were wonderful, and awful.
That’s life. It’s interesting that #2 fearing change, and #3 living in the past can be the same. You have to change to move into the future. For me, the trick is to minimize what’s awful. Then I look for silver linings. There are opportunities out there. Sometimes you have to look for them. Sometimes you have to work, and make them happen.
4. Putting Yourself Down – Are you harder on yourself than you are on anyone else? Me too. It’s important to be honest with yourself, but you also need to give yourself a break, the kind you give other people.
I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve learned to forgive myself when I fall short. It’s hard. It’s easier to forgive someone else.
My advice – Put yourself up. Recognize one thing you’re doing well. You have to believe in yourself to get things done. Put downs can stop your forward progress.
5. Overthinking – Do you examine every angle before you start something new? Thinking through consequences is a good thing . . . unless you freeze and can’t move forward.
I overthink things, but I’ve learned to balance it by looking for problems, and then coming up with solutions. If they don’t work, I make a new plan. Life is about problem solving, not perfection. I want to enjoy both the journey, and the challenges.
My Summary – I’ve given you a list of don’ts, but I’d rather finish up with things to do.
1. Please yourself. If you’re not happy, no one else will be either.
2. Examine change. Look at it closely. Does it fit you and your style? Adjust as needed. You don’t have to change, for change sake alone.
3. Live in the present. Learn from the past, and plan for the future, but enjoy the here and now. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
4. Compliment yourself. Celebrate what you do well, and what mistakes can teach you.
5. Make a plan and test-drive it. Correct as needed. Remember detours can be a good thing.
Do you have flower power? Test yourself with a few trivia questions . . .
1. Which flower follows the sun across the sky?
2. What makes them follow it?
Nectar Water Sunshine Shadow
And the answers are . . .
1. Sunflowers follow the sun across the sky.
2. Water helps them do it.
Did you know that as young plants, sunflowers actually follow the sun during part of their day. How? Why? Because of Heliotopism. Common sunflowers who are the same age, turn their petals in unison toward the sun. Before the flower opens or is pollinated, the young plants face the sun at dawn and follow it across the sky. At sunset they turn to the east and wait for the sun to rise again. Who knew sunflowers could tell time?!
Heliotropism uses special cells at the bottom of leaves and flower buds. They’re called pulvinus. Those cells have tiny motors inside them, not the kind we have in cars, but they move the flower so it can follow the sun. Water inside the pulvinus creates turgor pressure. That means those cells get either bigger, or smaller. How do they know which way to go? That depends on the pressure, and it makes the stems bend toward the sun or away from it. Wow, who knew plants could measure air pressure too?!
For More Info: homeguides.sfgate.com
Which flower follows the sun’s... | Trivia Answers | QuizzClub
3. Why do people plant sunflowers close to nuclear accident sites?
To monitor radiation To suck it out
To decorate the area To increase crop yields
4. What are sunflowers better at cleaning?
And the answers are . . .
3. Sunflowers suck the radiation out of the soil.
4. They can do it better with water.
Sunflowers suck the radiation out, but how? They grow quickly so they’re known as hyper-accumulators. They need to gather lots of nutrients, and FAST! They’re not particular about what comes in, so they absorb minerals, both regular and radioactive ones. They pull the nutrients into their roots, stems, and leaves. If you travel to Chernobyl or Fukushima, both nuclear disaster sites, you’ll find fields of sunflowers growing and cleaning the dirt.
Scientists studied sunflowers first at Chernobyl in the 1990s. They were surprised by how effectively they could clean water sources. Soil is trickier because radioactive elements get more time to bond with the minerals down in the dirt.
More Info: www.askqotd.com
Why are sunflowers planted in... | Trivia Answers | QuizzClub
Got flower power? Test yourself with my final pair of trivia questions . . .
5. Which one of these plants do people eat? Hint . . . it belongs to the sunflower family.
6. Where does this plant come from?
The Caribbean The Mediterranean The North Sea The Arabian Sea
And the answers are . . .
5. The plant people eat . . . artichokes.
6. They’re from the Mediterranean.
Artichokes look like thistles, but they belong to the sunflower family. They’re also perennials. That means they live at least two years. They’re hardy so their seeds go straight into the ground. They don’t need to be planted inside first.
Artichokes come from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands. People eat their stems. They also get a liquid coagulant from it that southern Europeans use to make cheese. Coagulants change liquids into solids/semi-solids. The best part about the cheese – it’s vegetarian so it comes strictly from plants.
The artichoke we eat is classified as an invading species in the United States, Argentina, and Australia. That’s because it comes from somewhere else, and because it damages our own native plants.
More Info: en.wikipedia.org
Photo: Hellabore Argutifolius: By Daderot - Self-photographed, Public Domain,
Started 5/20 Finished 5/30
The best part of this series – seeing a critical period of history through the eyes of three different queens. Katherine of Aragon begins as Henry’s first queen. Then Anne Boleyn enters when Katherine can’t give him the all-important son. I just started Jane Seymour, and I’m amazed how their fates intersect and intertwine.
Anne’s story begins at age 12. Her father sends her to serve in the royal court in the Netherlands, then later onto France. Follow her through the next 9 years, and you’ll see how the Protestant Reformation, early feminism, and a few forward-thinking women shaped Anne, the woman who changed English history.
You’ll also see how those same strengths led to her downfall, and to her death. Anne was brilliant and independent, but not always kind. I’ve always admired her, but now, I’m not sure I would have liked her.
In this second novel of Alison Weir’s epic Six Tudor Queens series, the acclaimed author and historian weaves exciting new research into the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s most infamous wife, a woman ahead of her time whose very life—and death—forever changed a nation.
Born into a noble English family, Anne is barely a teenager when she is sent from her family’s Hever Castle to serve at the royal court of the Netherlands. This strategic move on the part of her opportunistic father also becomes a chance for the girl to grow and discover herself. There, and later in France, Anne thrives, preferring to absorb the works of progressive writers rather than participate in courtly flirtations. She also begins to understand the inequalities and indignities suffered by her gender.
Anne isn’t completely inured to the longings of the heart, but her powerful family has ambitious plans for her future that override any wishes of her own. When the King of England himself, Henry VIII, asks Anne to be his mistress, she spurns his advances—reminding him that he is a married man who has already conducted an affair with her sister, Mary. Anne’s rejection only intensifies Henry’s pursuit, but in the absence of a male heir—and given an aging Queen Katherine—the opportunity to elevate and protect the Boleyn family, and to exact vengeance on her envious detractors, is too tempting for Anne to resist, even as it proves to be her undoing.
While history tells of how Anne Boleyn died, this compelling new novel reveals how fully she lived.
Started 5/13 Finished 5/20
This is my 2nd time through this series. I started with Katherine both times, and I was amazed by what I didn’t know about her. I knew about all the children she lost. How she refused to give Henry VIII an annulment, and how terrible it got for her after she said no. Henry definitely wasn’t nice.
What I’d forgotten . . . was that Katherine was a princess of Spain. Her parents – Ferdinand and Isabella – the ones who drove the Moors out of Spain and reunited the country. Isabella funded Columbus’ trip to the New World.
I’d also forgotten how Katherine left Spain at age 15. Can you imagine leaving home for another country, knowing you’d never see your parents again? She married Prince Arthur at 15 and became a widow a year later. She was stuck in limbo for 7 years, with her father and father-in-law playing political games with her life.
During that time neither Spain or England had her back. I’m impressed by how Katharine held things together for herself and for her household. Henry finally married her at age 23. He was 18. She should have had a wonderful life, but Henry left her when she couldn’t give him a son. She’s a heroine in the best sense of the word, and I would have never known it, if I hadn’t read this book.
Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII’s wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s first, devoted, and “true” queen.
A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage—and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the
future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner.
Katherine’s patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine’s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart.
Photos from Wikipedia.
Started 5/4 Finished 5/12
Wow! This book is timely, with war blowing up in the Ukraine, and Russia’s threat of nuclear war. I’m on my 2nd read. The Murrays are gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. That’s when their dad gets a call from the president that Madog Branzillo has threatened to blow up the world.
That’s when Mom O’Keefe, Calvin’s Mom, pulls Patrick’s Rune from her memory. She recites it for Charles Wallace who sets off on a voyage through time. He never leaves his special star-watching rock as he moves within people and back out again.
The idea is to find pivotal moments when history can be changed by a single choice. Imagine if Hitler or Putin could be stopped by a few changes to their past.
PS – I found Patrick’s Rune and a bit about its history. The link: Poem: Patrick’s Rune (holyjoe.org)
In A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle, a companion to the Newbery Award winner A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, the Murry and O'Keefe Families enlist the help of the unicorn, Gaudior, to save the world from imminent nuclear war.
Fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo. They are not alone in their quest.
Charles Wallace's sister, Meg--grown and expecting her first child, but still able to enter her brother's thoughts and emotions by "kything"--goes with him in spirit. Charles Wallace must face the ultimate test of his faith and his will as he is sent within four people from another time, there to search for a way to avert the tragedy threatening them all.
Started 4/29 Finished 5/4
I love reading a series! You know the characters and their personalities, but the author gets to spin a new plot. This time it starts with a car in the river and a ghost who believes her land was stolen. Bring in the regulars, Lexie, the reporter who sees and talks to ghosts, and Wes, the mind-reading policeman. Can you solve this mystery before they do?
I’m on my 2nd read, and it’s easier to see the plot develop this time. I love Shanna’s Enchanted Inc series more, but I like this series, a lot. I’m not into mysteries, but I love fantasy. I also think she’s building a relationship between Lexie and Wes, the same way she did in Enchanted Inc with Katie and Owen. I’ll have to read book 4 and 5 to see for sure.
Was It an Accident—or Vengeance?
When a fisherman spots a car in the river, it’s the most exciting news during a slow week in Stirling Mills, and newspaper editor Lexie Lincoln is there to cover it. The cops think it was an accident, but a ghost on the scene tells Lexie the drowned driver got what he deserved for cheating her out of her land. Lexie figures the ghost got vengeance.
There are just two problems: A ghost can’t be prosecuted for murder, and the person the ghost named isn’t one of the people found in the car. Still, Lexie thinks it’s worth digging into, and she discovers that someone has been taking advantage of elderly landowners.
She’d have thought the town would rally behind her investigation of a real estate scam, but she finds herself standing alone. Her suspect has an eerie hold over everyone he encounters. If she doesn’t find concrete proof that he committed a crime, she may get run out of town. That’s a real challenge when no one still alive will talk to her.
And then there’s still the case of the drowned driver and his passenger—was it an accident, or did the scheme lead to murder?
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!