Friday, December 19, 2014

I ((Heart)) Lighthouses!

Welcome to the second week of Lighthouse Love, aka Friday Light Day! Today's two lighthouses have a bit of interesting history that goes along with them.

There wasn't a name attached to this first lighthouse so we'll call it, The Abandoned!

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union built a chain of lighthouses, powered by small atomic reactors. These lights had to be totally autonomous because they were located hundreds of miles away from anyone capable of running them. The purpose of the lighthouses was to guide cargo ships through the complete darkness of the Polar Circle. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the lighthouses eventually went dark. The huge warning signs posted at the area touting the danger of going near the radioactive lighthouses did nothing to deter looters. The thieves ignored the signs to steal copper, contaminating themselves and the whole area. Silly Russian you won't need the lighthouse to glow!

Next is the Fire Island Lighthouse on the Fire Island Inlet, Long Island, New York

Originally built on the Fire Island Inlet in 1826, this light used whale oil, lard, mineral oil and kerosene to fuel the lamp. Electricity eventually reached the light in 1938, only to be knocked out the very same month by a hurricane. The light was decommissioned in 1973, but in 1982 a group of supporters was formed to raise money and the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The light was restored and by 1986 it was relit and reinstated as an official lighthouse! Great job New Yorkers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Cry From The Dust - By: Carrie Stuart Parks

In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day—but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims.

The above is a portion of the back cover copy from the book I bought at the ACFW Writers Conference in September. A Cry From The Dust is a thrilling suspense mystery based around the disjointed life of a recently divorced forensic artist, Gwen Marcey. While working on a facial reconstruction to be displayed at a new interpretive center being built at the site, she finds herself in the middle of a cover up plot concerning the Massacre.

I've been interested in this "true" account in Mormon history after seeing a movie concerning the massacre. Carrie Stuart Parks really did her research, making the book a very interesting and fun read with tons of historical documentation. Loved the book and would highly recommend it! Oh and did I mention there's a dog in the story? You'll have to read it to find out what kind!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Crazy For Lighthouses!

I was recently blessed to receive a literary contract for my historical fiction, Northern Light. The novel takes place at a "very real" historic lighthouse on the Texas Gulf Coast. I can attest to how much people love lighthouses by the number of sites devoted to them on the web. I'm guilty...I love lighthouses too! So to share that love with you, I've created something called...FRIDAY LIGHT DAY! Every Friday I will post a picture of a lighthouse and give a little blurb of information about the light. Since I started Friday Light Day on Facebook a few weeks ago, I've got some catching up to do. I'll post two lighthouses each Friday until I get caught up. 

The first lighthouse on the list is the Santa Cruz Breakwater Lighthouse at Santa Cruz, CA, also called the Walton Lighthouse. This is a very young lighthouse having only been in service since 2001. The light is called the Walton, because Charles Walton contributed a large amount toward the construction cost in memory of his late brother Derek. I visited Santa Cruz once while on a trip to the Mount Hermon Writers Conference. Me and three friends took a break from the conference and drove to the coast. What a gorgeous part of the country.

Walton Lighthouse

On week two the news was inundated with pictures of the frozen tundra up North from lake effect snow, brrr! So today I chose the Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse in Michigan. It stands guard over Muskegon Lake before emptying into Lake Michigan. Fun fact, in 1837 Muskegon Township was established and nicknamed the "Lumber Queen of the World." In the 1800s it was home to more millionaires than any other town in America and its lumber helped rebuild Chicago after the great fire of 1871. Either big or small, it seems there's a story behind every lighthouse.

                                        Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another great book from author and friend, Donn Taylor

Lightning On A Quiet Night is the latest release from author, Donn Taylor, and his first historical novel. The book is set early in the post WWII period. Here's what the book's cover looks like and a description of what the book is about.

A town too proud of its virtues has to deal with its first murder...

The Northeast Mississippi town of Beneficent, population 479, has never had a murder and expresses its complacent pride in the motto "A town as good as its name." But on January 9, 1948, a high school cheerleader is found murdered. The town's attempts to maintain its self-image and deny local guilt are woven into two narrative threads. One is a contentious romance between the local farmer Jack Davis and Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. He holds an idyllic vision of the town. She is repelled by everything in it, yet struggles to understand it on its own terms. The town's good and bad characteristics, its combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots, are revealed chiefly through their eyes. In a second thread, the sheriff's attempts to find the murderer reveal further insights into the town. Subplots extend the novel's emotional range with both comedy and pathos. The two narrative threads and the subplots eventually merge in shocking revelations which result in repentance and spiritual reconciliation of the town's internal contradictions and conflicts.

All of Donn's books can be purchased through this link:

Hurry up and buy it today while it's on sale!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Stages of Signing A Book Contract By: Annette O'Hare

This blog post is one I've been waiting to write for a long, long time. I'm proud to announce that my historical romance novel, Northern Light, has been picked up for publication by White Rose Publishing. Below is what I'd like to call, the phases of signing a book contract, by Annette O'Hare.

Stage 1 - The "Bliss" stage. You've received the e-mail informing you that you're novel has been accepted by a honest to goodness publishing company. Hubby takes you to a nice restaurant to is good!

Stage 2 - The "This Is It" stage. You're ready. The contract is spread out in front of you. The pen you hand-picked has been swirled around on scratch paper so many times to make sure it works that it's almost out of ink. This is're ready to sign.

Stage 3 - The "Contemplative/Okay Now I'm Ready" stage. You were ready to sign, but you stop, withdraw your pen from the contract and contemplate for a moment. Wow, a real book contract. God has really poured out His blessings on me. It's finally happening. Okay, now I'm ready!

Stage 4 - The "Wait Just One Minute" stage. Before opening a vein and drawing out fresh blood to ink your name on the page, you stop. Wait just one minute! Am I really going to sign over my baby to people I don't even know? What was I thinking? How do I know they're going to take care of it like I have? Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all!

Stage 5 - The "Hurry Up And Sign The Darn Thing Already" stage. This is the final stage because your husband said so! He's tired of taking pictures and he's said more than one time that he's ready to order. The time has come. It's now or never. You put ink to paper and with the stroke of the pen you join countless others who have gone down the path to becoming a published author!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

With Music in Their Heart- By: Carole Brown

This week on The Hook, I'm featuring Inspirational author, Carole Brown! Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Releasing November, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Here's what the book is about: 

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style 
they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?
Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Look for Carole's books on Amazon - Carole Brown's Amazon Page
Book Launch is scheduled for November 10 and 11 on  

Connect with her here:

Carole is also a part of these other blogs:
Barn Door Book Loft: