Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Beginning, A Muddle, and An End


“What could I write that has only two words?"
"A very, very short story."
"Could you give me an example?" asked Avon.
Edward thought for a moment. "Here's one: 'He died.'"
"That doesn't seem very lively," said Avon.
"Then you've understood the story perfectly," said Edward.

“An egg is not likely to grow on its own," said the crow crossly.
"She's right," said Edward. "I've never seen a grown-up egg."
"The egg doesn't grow!" cried the bird. "It's what's inside that grows."
"Then why don't you sit on what's inside?" Avon asked.
"Because there's a shell."
"What makes you so sure there's something inside?" asked Edward.
"It's always been that way!" insisted the crow.”

“The last time I looked," Avon pointed out, "the world isn't bigger than the universe, though I'm willing to admit I've never actually measured it.

“Edward," said Avon with a sigh, "maybe I shouldn't be a writer or an author. I had no idea it would be so hard."
"Be a reader then."
"Is that easier?"
"Actually, it's much harder."
"I don't understand," said Avon.
"Avon, what's writing? Scribbled letters on paper. It's the reader who has to make sense of it.”

“An enormous fish poked his head out of the water and stared at them. "Who are you?" he demanded.
"Avon Snail, at your service," said Avon.
"Edward Ant," said Edward. "But I am not at your service.” 


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Irresistible Earl

If this book were described in colors they would be a grey-blue, and dusty coral.
This engaging and winsome novel takes place in Scarborough, Yorkshire England, where many go to partake of the healing waters, but the Prices have gone to hide.
Chase Dearborn, earl of Allyndale, has also sought refuge in the crowded tourist town, hoping to distract his sister from an unworthy suitor- a young dandy with more coats in his closet than sense in his head; Algernon Whitaker Price.
Whitaker happens to have a sister who is befriended by Phoebe Dearborn, and noticed by Allyndale himself, for the service performed. 
For Meredee Price, Scarborough is useful for more than a hideaway or a chance to take the waters; for here she hopes to fulfill a promise she made to her father on his deathbed, by finishing his lifelong quest. 
Chase and Meredee grow close as they- with Phoebe- spend time together ambling along the shore, visiting the spas, and even joining forces to hunt down the elusive incarnata.
Will their bond prove strong enough to weather the gales of deceit and betrayal when Meredee's connection to the unwelcome "popinjay" is revealed?
Lessons are learned as each character realizes that pretending to be someone you're not only brings burden, the blessings of putting others before yourself, trying to control those around you will only sow discord, and that nothing is too insignificant for prayer; God hears (and answers) every one. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this seaside adventure of love and the importance of family.
Regina has outdone herself.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The End of the Beginning (Quote-A-Day)


“With great care the two creatures edged to the very tip. From there they looked out at the cloudless sky.
"The end of the branch," said Avon, mostly to himself.
"The beginning of the sky," said Edward, mostly to himself.”

"Yours Sincerely,"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Honorable Gentleman

(3 1/2 stars) An Honorable Gentleman was a sweet and quick regency mystery from one of my favorite authors. It didn't quite grip me as Regina's others have, but it had a heartwarming-small-town (or village, in this case) feel to it, and endearing characters. A nice & easy "weekend read", and I enjoyed it's unique simplicity.

*Update to 4 stars 1/24/15* I think I would have enjoyed this novel all the more if I had read The Irresistible Earl beforehand, as that is where you first meet Trevor, and thus would have a better understanding of his character.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Heiress's Homecoming

Quite possibly my favorite installment in the Everard Legacy, the Heiress's Homecoming captured me from page one!
Picking up eight years after Cousin Vaughn solved the mystery of his uncles death, the Everard clan reassembles at Dallsten Manor in a large reunion, bringing with them new faces - as well as more secrets and intrigue to surround the old ones.
Who is the villainous thief stalking Samantha, Lady Everard, as she nears her twenty-fifth birthday and her last chance to either preserve or relinquish the family legacy, and what are their motives for ensuring she keep the past silent at any cost?
This gripping novel is steeped in mystery and romance as Lady Samantha Everard must learn to let those she loves pass the barricade of emotions she's built around herself to help her discover the meaning of both in her life.
With a plot as swift-paced as a skipping stone, The Heiress's Homecoming is a must read for any and all regency fans!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Beyond All Dreams

Someone once told me "you can't go wrong with a book involving libraries", and, along with having said the same myself about books involving ships with mystery surrounding them, I couldn't agree more.
Elizabeth Camden captures the bustle and development of the library of congress (and congress itself) in an intriguing and detailed way.
Beyond all Dreams is a well balanced waltz where history partners the importance of family over career, all-conquering and selfless love, and -ultimately- forgiveness.
Camden has a beautiful way with words and of describing things in such a way that gives you a clear picture of what she was hoping to make you see. For instance: someone can't smell like a thousand summer days filled laughter; and yet, we all seem to get the idea and to enjoy how it sounds, so...maybe they can. ;) 
The seemingly small cast of characters is intricate and well structured. Inevitable imperfections keep them personable and relatable.
A swift-paced story line takes you up and down, here, there and everywhere in a whirlwind of progress and activity- finally setting you back on your feet and giving you time to soak in what you just experienced and appreciate the masterpiece. You don't want to miss out!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Rake's Redemption

This book. Aaaaah!!!!! I loved it! I so enjoyed finally discovering the answers to all my questions from the previous two, and seeing how they all tie together so well. Vaughn was a wonderful and imperfect hero who knows so and must learn to surrender to Christ and not care for the opinion of others. Imogene was a lovely and spunky heroine with a commendable loyalty to family and a sparkling & friendly personality; she'll need strength as she discovers truths that will change her world.

Yours truly,

Interview: Regina Scott

Today I'm thrilled and honored to have one of my all time favorite regency authors visit with me! :D 

Hello! Welcome to Reading with Alice! Tell us a little about yourself:
Hello, Alice!  Thanks for inviting me to visit!  I'm the author of more than two dozen historical romances, most set in the Regency period of England.  I currently write for Love Inspired Historical, and I have a set of historical mysteries/romances called the Lady Emily Capers that I'm bringing out myself. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, sewing, or plotting projects with my dear husband as we fix up our home in the south Puget Sound area of Washington State. I'm the mother of two grown sons and an entirely too bouncy Irish terrier named Fergus.

What is your favorite book, and why?
One book?  Goodness, how will I choose?  One of my favorites is The Phantom Lover by Elizabeth Mansfield.  It was the first Regency romance I read, and I was hooked from page one on the era and Ms. Mansfield's writing.

I know- it is hard to choose just one! ;D I love hearing which books endeared a certain era to different readers.

What/who was your inspiration to start writing?
I've always loved books.  When I realized at about age 8 that people actually wrote those stories, I knew I had to be one of them.                                      Books
Thank you. ;)

What got you interested in the Regency era?
I've always loved history, but Regency authors like Elizabeth Mansfield, Susan Carroll, and Allison Lane made me want to learn more.
#EccoDomaniCelebration would love to do this with my Beyond Tolerance script and programs
The Regency era is so fascinating! I never get tired of it. :)

Which of your novels have you enjoyed writing the most?
"The June Bride Conspiracy."  I am a multidraft writer--the first draft is usually pretty rough, and things get progressively more polished with each draft.  That story came out perfectly from day one; the words just flowed.  The final draft is almost identical to the first.  It was a joy.
I really need to read that story! 

What is your favorite perk that comes with being a writer?
Getting to sit down with some of my favorite people and sharing their stories with the world.
"you know you're a writer when..." especially those guy characters you could date but you love them like your children at the same time. That just sounded crazy, didn't it?

What do you enjoy most about the research aspect of writing? (Or do you? ;))
Oh, sweet, sweet research--I can see her beckoning even now.  I love discovering new things about the past, especially things we think are so modern today.  For example, there was a plan to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena with a submarine, of all things! And when history aligns itself perfectly with the plot I was hoping to write, I get goose bumps.
"When you are writing a novel, you're not making anything up. It's all there, but you just have to find it." Thomas Harris quote.
After Waterloo, Napoleon was truly exiled to the island of St. Helena (an island way the hell far away, off the south west coast of Africa). Six years later, he dies of stomach cancer OR he was murdered using arsenic by the British. His cause of death is still highly debated.
That's really interesting! I enjoy reading books that have obviously had thought put into the plot vs. historical events!

How does your faith influence your writing?
For a long time, I was a Christian who happened to be a writer. You can see that in my earlier works--the Christian world view is there, but my faith was very much in the background.  I was writing for a  secular publisher at the time.  I wouldn't have dared do more even it had occurred to me to try.  But a couple years ago a sermon really made me aware of the difference in my writing today.  I am no longer a Christian who happens to be writer but a Christian writer, and I think that's reflected in my stories.
I will never be afraid to reveal that I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. #quotes #jesuschristCan you see the “brand new thing” God is doing in your life? Sometimes it’s easy to see the hand of God moving, and sometimes the storms of life can cloud our vision. But no matter where you are in life today, meditate on this truth that God is working even when you can’t see Him. Like a seed buried deep in the ground, it may seem dark and lonely and there may be dirt all around, but that is place where life springs forth. Trust that God is doing a new thing! You can trust Him because He is fait
It has definitely reflected in your stories! I think I speak for many historical fiction readers when I say thank you, so much, for your commitment to writing clean, God-glorifying novels despite the negative influence of so much of the opposite all around you in the writing world. It is so appreciated.

Can you tell us a little about your current writing project?
I am currently finishing up the third book in the Frontier Bachelors series, Frontier Engagement.  These are my first books set outside the Regency, but they are very dear to my heart as they deal with a chapter of Pacific Northwest history.  Just after the Civil War, a ship of brides led by a gentleman named Asa Mercer journeyed from the East coast to help settle Washington Territory.  When I started the series, I had envisioned writing about three of the women on that ship.  But in the second book, Would-Be Wilderness Wife, which will be out in March, I fell in love with the family my Mercer bride married into. Frontier Engagement follows another of the brothers from that family, who is tasked with finding a proper schoolteacher from among the Mercer brides for the area north of Seattle.  James Wallin does nothing halfway, whether it's dressing well, driving fast horses, or flirting with pretty gals, so he brings back a most unusual schoolteacher.  And Alexandrina Fosgrave has a lesson or two for him.
I am so excited about this series!!!!! :D 
And here's to your non-regency venture! It'll be just as good. ;)

What are some of the things or the atmosphere that you like to have around you when writing?
The one essential for me is enough quiet to concentrate.  I can take a certain amount of white noise, so long as I know someone else in the house is dealing with it.  And if I'm writing the first draft, I need a journal and a very smooth-writing pen (yes, I still write my first drafts longhand).
Nice to know Someone is always dealing with it, isn't it? :) That is so cool to know you do your first drafts longhand!! :O Haha!

What is your favorite period drama film?
My favorite period film isn't a drama.  It's the comedy St. Ives. Great costumes, adorable script, and the delivery is lightning fast. I absolutely break into giggles every time I see it. 
I'd never heard of it! (It's a book too- who knew! ;P)  Haha

Tea or coffee? 
Neither?  Caffeine tends to make me loopy.  :-)  But when I'm sick or want comfort food, I adore chamomile and peppermint tea.
Sounds relaxing!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

England--over and over and over.  My "wish list" of places to see there grows with every book.
16 things to visit in 16 cities in England – Now. Here. This. – Time Out London
Ah! Lovely choice!! ^_^ So much to see- places you've written about! How fun. :)

Thank you so much for your time, Regina! It was lovely chatting with you! I'm off to go finish "The Rake's Redemption"! :D

If you haven't read much or any of Regina Scotts works, you're missing out! Check out her site here; and pick up some of her stories for yourself here. :)