Reading, Writing and a Good Cup of Tea

It’s Oscar night and spring is just around the corner. In my corner of the world, the daffodils and peach trees have already started to bloom. It is a time of renewal and recommitment. So with that, I’m relaunching my blog.

Over the next few weeks, you will be seen some changes in formatting and more regularly posted content. Until all of the changes are in place, I will post once every ten days after that my goal is at least once a week.

The focus will remain on reading and writing, the quirks of the English language, and what’s in the cup this week.

So to get the show on the road . . .

I just finished reading two wonderful books, AWhite Room by Stephanie Carroll and Do You Believe in Santa Claus by Sierra Donavan.

A White Room is a Victorian era story that follows Emeline Evans as sacrifices her dream of becoming a nurse and enters into a marriage of convenience to protect her financially strapped family. In a small town full of lies and secrets, is she going mad?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

Do You Believe in Santa Claus is a contemporary romance. It follows Mandy, a woman who really has seen Santa, and the handsome stranger, Jake. Will Mandy ever have the nerve to tell him her secret? Will he believe her? Set in the summer, you don’t have to wait until Christmas to read it.

I just started two new books.

The first isThe Irresistible Novel: How to Craft an Extraordinary Story That Engages Readers from Start to Finish  by Jeff Gerke. I listened to him discuss the highlights on the podcast  First in Fictions hosted by Alton Gansky, Aaron Gansky, and Molly Jo Realy. He takes an honest look at the “rules” of writing and how reading engages the mind. Looking forward to learning more.

The second is Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. It is the first book in his science fiction trilogy. And it’s hard to believe there is a Lewis book I haven’t read. But this trilogy is new to me. Love his fantasy and his theological works, so this should be interesting.

On the writing front, I just sent off query letters for my novel Leap of Faith, contemporary romance.

Grace’s life takes an unexpected turn one frosty morning when she is knocked off her feet, literally, by a stranger. Not content to remain a stranger, Philippe Santiago offers her a job on his sugar plantation in the Bahamas. Will Grace find the courage to face new challenges on this pink-sand island? All it will take is a Leap of Faith.

My still untitled historical is just about ready to be sent off to the editor.

In 1886, Princess Victoria was on the last day of her visit to the United States. When she discovers her betrothed is old enough to be her father, she looks for an escape. She trades places with a middle-aged school teacher and heads to the Antelope Valley. There she meets Hiram Jacobs, a widowed rancher with four boys. How long will she be able to hide her true identity?

What’s next? I’ll let you know.

And what’s in the cup tonight? A lovely organic chai with a splash of milk.

As the changes take effect, please let me know what you think.

Follow my on Twitter @tess_degroot and Facebook.

Until next time remember – the door is always open and the kettle is always on.

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