Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday Thursday - 152 - 13 Quotes by Ann Coulter and 13 Quotes by Adolf Hitler

Ann Coulter's recent visit to Canada prompted this week's Thursday Thirteen:

1 - "The swing voters - I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal, or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster." - Ann Coulter

"Generally, readers of the Press can be classified into three groups: First, those who believe everything they read. Second, those who no longer believe anything. Third, those who critically examine what they read and form their judgments accordingly.

Numerically, the first group is by far the strongest, being composed of the broad masses of the people.

Nowadays when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor; the decision lies in the hands of the numerically strongest group; that is to say the first group, the crowd of simpletons and the credulous."
- Adolf Hitler

2 - "God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours." - Ann Coulter

- "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator." - Adolf Hitler

3 - "We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say." - Ann Coulter

- "The same end might be achieved if the government authorities would get rid of the Jew and his work. For as long as the masses remain so ill-informed as they actually are to-day, and as long as the State remains as indifferent to their lot as it now is, the masses will follow whatever leader makes them the most extravagant promises in regard to economic matters. The Jew is a past master at this art." - Adolf Hitler

4 - "Within [the liberal media's] little fiefdoms at ABC, NBC, CBS, the camera men are right-wingers. The makeup girls are right wingers. The drivers are right wingers. They’re all smiling and waving at me. The ones that create the impression — just like Friends, the sitcom Friends — creates the impression that this is how beautiful, hip people live in New York, all of the hosts on TV create the impression that this is the official, sophisticated, what-everyone-knows opinion is." - Ann Coulter

"The function of the so-called liberal Press was to dig the grave for the German people and Reich. Their sole task is to break the national backbone of the people, thus preparing the nation to become the slaves of international finance and its masters" - Adolf Hitler

5 - "Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy." - Ann Coulter

- "As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice." - Adolf Hitler

6 - (Responding to 9/11) "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." - Ann Coulter

- "It may be remarked that the progress made by the missions in spreading the Christian Faith abroad was only quite modest in comparison with the spread of Mohammedanism." - Adolf Hitler

7 - "I don't really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating [Kansas abortion doctor George] Tiller in the 203rd trimester." - Ann Coulter

- "Through this impulse of the soul, some dozens of men may arise who believe that, by virtue of their understanding and their knowledge, they are called to solve the religious difficulties of the time and accordingly present themselves as the prophets of a new teaching, or at least as declared adversaries of the standing beliefs." - Adolf Hitler

8 - "Americans don't want to make Islamic fanatics love us. We want to make them die. Japanese kamikaze pilots hated us once too. A couple of well-aimed nuclear weapons, and now they are gentle little lambs." - Ann Coulter

- "God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work. No people can do more than that everybody who can fight, fights; and that everybody who can work, works; and that they all sacrifice in common, filled with but one thought: to safeguard freedom and national honor and thus the future of life." - Adolf Hitler

9 - "I mean, you do see [the Democratic party is] the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care - and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?" - Ann Coulter

- "Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice." - Adolf Hitler

10 "The single greatest victory of the Darwiniacs is in the realm of rhetoric, not science. They have persuaded the slumbering masses that anyone who questions the theory of evolution must do so out of religious fervor. No matter what argument you make against evolution, the response is Well, you know it's possible to believe in evolution and believe in God. Yes, and it's possible to believe in Spiderman and believe in God, but that doesn't prove Spiderman true." - Ann Coulter

- "Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction." - Adolf Hitler

11 "If liberal propaganda didn't work, it would be impossible to comprehend bimbo starlets and uneducated slobs attacking the intelligence of the man who won the Cold War." - Ann Coulter

- "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." - Adolf Hitler

12 - Fatima Al-Dhaher, a Canadian political science student, to Ann Coulter: "Since I don’t have a magic carpet, what other modes [of transport] do you suggest?"

Ann Coulter to Fatima Al-Dhaher: "What mode of transportation? Take a camel."

"In North America the Teutonic element, which has kept its racial stock pure and did not mix it with any other racial stock, has come to dominate the American Continent and will remain master of it as long as that element does not fall a victim to the habit of adulterating its blood." - Adolf Hitler

13 "Republicans are historically more likely to defend the U.S. against its enemies, foreign and domestic, whereas the Democrats are historically one of America's domestic enemies." - Ann Coulter

- "The pacifist-humanitarian idea may indeed become an excellent one when the most superior type of manhood will have succeeded in subjugating the world to such an extent that this type is then sole master of the earth." - Adolf Hitler

Realliveman says It's a stretch, but I can almost see a slim resemblance.

Kim says Wow...she's just nutso.

Cate Masters says Perspective is everything. It would be nice if she had some.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 143

Ms Snarky Pants says That's just lovely! And a little lonely looking.

Janet says I can't see my waterview this morning (fogged in, don't ya know), but I have your lovely picture to remind me of why I moved here :)

Brooke says Beautiful and peaceful.... although it could also be a perfect Eeyore day at the shore.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 53 - March Art Show - The Art of the Celts

Here is a closer look at the art I've featured this month in my Sidebar Art Gallery:

Dragon Shield, a contemporary piece by Kevin Dyer

The Tara Brooch of the Irish Insular style, 700 CE

Bronze horse artifact, honoring Epona the Horse Goddess

Pentre ifan, a Welsh cromlech

Celtic mermaid, from their mythological traditions

The Battersea shield, Iron Age ceremonial piece, 3rd to 1st century BCE

Celtic ring featuring Epona, the Horse Goddess, Late Iron Age

Celtic zoomorphic art, from the rich animal symbolism of the Celtic culture

The Ardagh Chalice, 8th century metalwork

Apprentice Writer says My fave piece - the horse.

Travis says The chalice is way cool.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 145 - Make Me / Take This Tune - 1

For today's Poetry Train Monday, I'm taking a prompt from the Take This Tune meme, which posts on Friday's for a Monday meme. Take This Tune is hosted by Jamie from Durward Discussion and Fairweather from Fairweather's Red Mud Inn.

Here are the Take This Tune guidelines:

A video will be posted each Friday as a theme. Write anything you like based upon that video, the lyrics, or just a story that in some way ties in with the idea. You may use a written piece, photography, or poetry. Post your contribution on your blog the following Monday (the official day, but everybody cheats with any day of the following week) and link back here so that others can read what you have created. Have fun.

This week's prompt is Red Staggerwing by Mark Knopfler. Here are the lyrics I'm using for my prompt:

If I was a Fender guitar
A Fender painted red
You could play me, darlin'
Until your fingers bled

If I was one of them Gibsons
Like a '58 or '9
You could plug me in
And play me anytime

- Mark Knopfler

And now, my poem for both memes:

Make Me

No woman ever held me
The way I hold my guitar
No woman's curves fit into mine
The way my Dobro sighs

If only you could hold me
Coax the sighs from me like that
There's a song inside me yearning
For the right fingers
For the right pressure on my neck

Pick me up
Strum me
Coax me
Make me sigh
Make me sing

- Julia Smith, Mar. 28, 2010

Ms Snarky Pants says Very nice. What a gorgeous guitar!

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff says I like your poem - rhythmic and evocative! :)

Jamie says You captured both the music and the erotic content of the song. Thank you for joining in.

Friday, March 26, 2010

5 on Friday - Set 7

For today's 5 on Friday, I've got another character sketch, this time for the main female character in my Dark Ages vampire tale.

Tanwen is the beloved of Peredur, whom I featured in last week's set. But things do not go smoothly for this couple, who become part of a love triangle.

For more tunes, visit Travis at Trav's Thoughts.

1 - Crossing the Stone (Tros Y Garreg) - Traditional Welsh song performed by harpist Catrin Finch

There are no lyrics in this version, but these words form the story of Crossing the Stone when sung.

NOTE: There's a little tribute to a departed someone at the very end of this clip.

Standing here, thou silent stone
What a world thou must have known
Deeds of glory, lost to story
Hast thou witness'd ancient stone
Here beneath the grass, 'tis said
Many warriors bones are laid
Fighting for their land they fell
None but thou can truly tell
Secrets keeping, ever sleeping
Dream'st thou of the past, old stone?

- English lyrics by John Oxenford

2 - Houdini - Kate Bush

With a kiss
I'd pass the key
And feel your tongue
Teasing and receiving
With your spit
Still on my lip
You hit the water

Through the glass
I'd watch you breathe
("Not even eternity-")
Bound and drowned
And paler than you've ever been
("-will hold Houdini!")

- Kate Bush

3 - U + Ur Hand - Pink

I'm not here for your entertainment
You don't really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life

- Gottwald / Martin / Moore / Yacoub

4 - You and I from the musical Chess - Elaine Paige and Michael Ball

Knowing I want you
Knowing I love you
How can I love you this much, yet make no move?

I pray the days and nights
In their endless weary procession
Soon overwhelm my sad obsession

You and I
We've seen it all
Chasing our hearts desire
But we go on pretending
Stories like ours
Have happy endings

- Andersson / Rice / Ulvaeus

CLICK HERE to hear the song

5 - I Saved the World Today - Eurythmics

NOTE: There's a few minutes of network blah-blah following the song on this clip.

There's a hurting thing inside
But I've got everything to hide
I'm grieving

Hey, hey, I saved the world today
And everybody's happy now
The bad thing's gone away
And everybody's happy now
The good thing's here to say
Please let it stay

- Lennox / Stewart

Janet says Favorite - the first one! All together, makes me wanat to read more of you Dark Ages Vampire Tale - and a love triangle, hell yes!!

Mags says First time visitor-can't wait to check out your site!! I love Kate Bush and haven't listened to her in a while-thanks for the reminder! I also have a Pink song posted today.

Jamie says The music lovers rule on this Travis created meme.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 151 - 13 Questions For Nikki Figueiredo, Past President of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada

Many of you know that I belong to Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, my local chapter of the larger trade association for romance writers, Romance Writers of America.

For my third interview here at A Piece of My Mind, I have Nikki Figueiredo, past president of RWAC. Kick back and let's find out what lurks behind the glamour of taking on the lead role for a group of On-Fiyah Creative People Who Cannot be Stopped.

1 – When did you begin writing fiction?

I began writing after I saw Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. I always had stories in my head, but that movie actually made me write them down. I couldn't shake that character. And there were more than a few scenes with a Mr. Darcy doppelganger in them, I'm not afraid to say. And the characters might have had to swim in a lake with their shirts on ... purely coincidence though.

2 – What prompted you to join RWAC?

I love the book The Alchemist and it speaks to me with regards to 'finding your destiny' and how the universe will show you signs when you're ready to see them (I know, putting down the incense now ...). Shortly after I started writing my Mr. Darcy rip-off stories I saw a poster for a presentation on 'How to get your romance novel published', and so I stopped by and was floored by how many other people were there. I signed up for the free visit to the Sunday meeting and was hooked. It was the best decision I ever made!

3 – What made you decide to serve in the executive?

I'm a firm believer in 'you get what you give'. If you give your time the universe will pay you back somehow (okay, I lied earlier when I said the incense was being put away, but really, I mean it this time.)

4 – When was your term as RWAC prez?

I served as President for 2008 and 2009. I'd been on the executive before and I was nervous to take on a role that's so important, but I'm glad I did. I learned so much about the organization!

5 – How did your work as chapter president affect your writing?

That's a good question - how did it affect my writing? When I think about those 2 years I realize I've learned to listen a lot more. I'm a very 'take charge-y' kind of person, but when you're working with so many personalities you tend to listen to what people are saying a lot more. And when you're listening, you're learning .. I think it made me better at observing others. Make no mistake - I'm still 'take charge-y' though (and I want this entire blog post written in Times New Roman 14pt ... kay?)

6 – Were there any major events during your term? How did you approach them?

During my term as presidency there were a couple of significant events:

a) RWA decided to have all chapters rewrite their bylaws to be consistent. This meant every page of legalese had to be reviewed and rewritten. It was tiring, but I certainly learned how my chapter works after that!

b) Our chapter never had a full "Policies and Procedures" manual. We had pieces, but during my last term we made it a mission to complete a full manual - and I have to say it turned out great. It's a valuable tool for new executive members to learn the ropes quickly.

c) The Harlequin decision (participating in self-publshing) happened during my last few months as president. This was a polarizing event for RWA members and I found it tough to know when to put my opinion out there (which was quite different from most) and when to just listen. I put my "Step Aside or I'll Run Over You With My Take Charge-y-ness" t-shirt in the drawer for most of that period ...

7 – How many published authors did our chapter have when you started your term? And how many were there when you finished? Was this expected? A crazy dream?

I think there were only 4 or 5 published authors when I started and by the end there were about 10. I attribute it to my skills as a leader and to the fact that 5 extra people wrote great stories and had the persistence to get themselves published ... but mostly to my skills as a leader. They couldn't have gotten there without those crisp new bylaws!! :)

Seriously though, we have such a close-knit group and so many published authors who are willing to help the unpublished, that the numbers of newly published has grown so quickly these last few years in comparison to our size.

8 – What would you say to RWA members who may have considered serving on their chapters’ executives but haven’t quite made that step yet?

Volunteer! Remember, you get what you give back, and the time it takes to help out your chapter ensures that those resources that lift you up and inspire you to write, stick around. Many people think that if they don't volunteer someone else will, and that's true, but you miss that opportunity to network, to learn and to push yourself.

9 – How did you find RWA National and their executive? Were they easy to interact with?

I primarily dealt with RWA through a chapter liaison who was so terrific and informed that I have nothing but great things to say about the experience. As well, we were all connected through a messaging board and all that experience out there was humbling. There are so many authors out there who are savvy about the business of writing - so it was great to be a part of it prior to being published (which I will be someday, so save this interview because it will be worth muchos deneiro down the road!)

10 – Would you ever consider running for a spot on the RWA National executive?

I would consider a spot on National once I was published. Right now I have to concentrate on my writing, and I'm still learning the business piece ... but once I have some taste of success (and, as I've stated before, it's going to happen for me!) I would definitely like to learn even more about RWA and keep giving back to the organization since it's helped me so much already.

11 – With your perspective from seeing our chapter from where it was when you joined, to where we’re at now, where do you imagine RWAC will be ten years from now?

I see RWAC growing and growing. This year the executive is dabbling in online workshops and bringing in some great presenters, which not only helps our members, but helps us get our name out there more. I see our chapter having more recognition out there in RWA Land. I see our authors becoming super-successful and really branching out to mega-authordom. I see new members filling up the seats trying to 'rub the magic lantern' that is RWAC. I see me looking even more goddess-like than I do now (I am wiping the Doritos crumbs from my sweatpants as I type this, but normally I am truly spectacular).

I am absolutely convinced the next 10 years are going to be incredible for our members!

12 – Where do you see your writing career ten years from now?

I see me being published with a few romantic comedies and branching out to try new writing adventures. Maybe a screenplay. Maybe a non-fiction book. But mostly I see myself still trying to learn something new 10 years from now ... and the Doritos will probably also be a fixture .. some habits are hard to break.

13 – What role do sexy boots play in successful presidencies?

Sexy boots are my signature item! I think they've made me very successful in all aspects of life! Now if only my sweater vests would catch on!!

Nikki, thanks so much for dropping in here at A Piece of My Mind.

Julia - this was so much fun. Great questions! I wish I could have mentioned Russian movies more though !

Sheila says This is great! Very enjoyable. I loved The Alchemist too lol not that that matters but it was an awesome book!

Journeywoman says Great list. Very informative!

Brenda ND says Thank you Nikki, we need more volunteers like you and thanks Julia for featuring Nikki.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 142

Brooke says Looks like you all have fun when you get together so it should be interesting....

Debby says Sounds interesting, will try and be here tomorrow.

Kelly Boyce says I'm looking forward to Nikki's interview. Should be a riot.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 52 - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

After my overtime shift at the office this evening, I walked over to wait for the bus, only to stop dead in my tracks.

A headline on the front of the Chronicle Herald caught my eye from the newspaper box at the edge of the sidewalk.

Historic U.S. Health Bill Passes

As you know, I am a proud Canadian. But I am also a proud American. I was born at the Fort Hood army hospital in Killeen, Texas, where my dad served in the U.S. army.

As I stood on the sidewalk reading words I never thought I would, my heart absolutely swelled inside my chest. It's a wonder I didn't burst out crying right there at the bus stop.

For today's Through the Opera Glasses, I dedicate this song to all of the Americans who have bravely voted this bill into existence.

I also dedicate this song to the Americans who have fought against this bill.

"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." - Matthew 25:45

Debby says Love your post!!!!

Kelly Boyce says I have a good feeling that while the adjustment might be a little rocky, in the end the Americans will embrace universal health care.

Annette Gallant says I'm grateful we have universal health care in this country. Not to say the system couldn't be tweaked a bit to make it more effective. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how things go in the States, once it's been in effect for awhile.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 144 - American sentence 5

For some time now, the kids who go to and from the elementary school behind our house have been enamoured of the little tree tunnel created when we had our fence put in a few years ago. The original owners had planted a line of spruce trees beside a fence, but over time the fence collapsed and the trees grew over the original fence line.

Before the new fence was installed, I trimmed the branches from the line of spruce closest to the house so the trunks would be flush for the fence. Once it was up, a perfect tunnel appeared between the fence and the trees, and it is now a kid part of the way to school. No kid can resist it.

Which my mom and I think is adorable. But not quite so charming are the kids who bounce against the fence at the entrance to the tree tunnel. Over time this has bent the top bar and ripped the chain link from the bar. Not only that, an intrepid girl has decided that she adores climbing the towering Scotch pine in our yard, which you can see in the picture.

So today my uncle came over and removed the bottom layer of branches from the huge pine, as well as took down the scraggly fir at the beginning of the tunnel, which the girl used as steps to get up to the fence and then into the pine. This opens that area to a bit more sun, because I'll be planting a cutting from the monster rose bush at the foot of that section of fence. No more bouncey-bouncey, because those rose thorns are vicious from that particular rambler.

Meanwhile, for my first official day in the garden this spring, my agoraphobic husband came out in the yard with me and we wired the chain link back to the top bar. It even snowed tiny pellets on us at one point, but we didn't care. Brad was a total trooper. Believe me, he was having lots of anxiety out there in the fresh air. But he knew I could use the muscle to pull the heavy-gauge wire taut, and it's sexy to show off for your honey.

So, for today's Poetry Train, I give you this American sentence:

Misshapen tree sacrificed so that girl can't reach her sylvan goddess.

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Stan Ski says Climing trees is part of growing up. I'm sure she'll think of a way to get up there.

Nikita Banerjee say Oh no! I would have loved to do something like the little girl!

Akelamalu says You have to be so careful here these days - some kid climbs your fence or tree and hurts themself then they sue you! :0

Friday, March 19, 2010

5 On Friday - Set 6

Yay! Time for another set for 5 on Friday!

This has quickly become my favorite post to put together, eclipsing Thursday Thirteen which has been the highlight of my week for the past 150 weeks. Travis, you're brilliant for starting such a fun meme. I invite any who wish to participate to drop by Travis' blog at Trav's Thoughts and sign up.

For today's set, I turned it into a defining exercise for one of the characters I'm currently working on. I based all the song choices on Peredur, the Dark Ages Welsh vampire from one of my works in progress. He's the product of two NaNoWriMo writing marathons. If you want to read a poem based on his character, CLICK HERE.

The five songs represent his character arc throughout the story. I thought I had already drawn a good bead on him, but I was delighted to discover that placing these five songs in this order helped me realize a few important things about him. This exercise has already helped me with the revisions I'm doing with this current draft.

Travis - thank you, man.

1 - The Gael - Clanadonia

2 - Love Me Two Times - The Doors

Love me one time
Could not speak
Love me one time
Yeah, my knees got weak
Love me two times
I'm goin away

- Densmore / Krieger / Manzarek / Morrison

3 - Secret Journey - The Police

Upon a secret journey
I met a holy man
You will see light in the darkness
You will make some sense of this
And when you've made your secret journey
You will find the love you miss
And when you've made your secret journey
You will be a holy man

- Sting

4 - Dr. Mabuse - Propaganda

NOTE: The music doesn't start until the 0:16 mark.

The man without shadow promises you the world
Sell him your soul
Never look back
Glamorous death is his destination
Why does it hurt?
You've already lost the chance of your lifetime
There's no way back

- Dorper / Mertens / Thein

5 - I Who Have Nothing - Tom Jones

Believe me dear, when I say
That he can give you the world
But he'll never love you the way
I love you

I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane
I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else
When darling it's I
Who loves you

- Donida / Leiber / Mogol / Stoller

Jamie says Interesting group of songs. Good luck with the character development in your story. I agree that this meme on Friday is excellent.

Debby says Oh, The them..that was many, many years ago.

Shelley Munro says What a great way to get a handle on a character. Tom Jones was down here in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago rockin' his stuff.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 150 - 13 Reasons to Read McShannon's Chance by Jennie Marsland

Jennie Marsland belongs to my writers' group, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. During the business part of our monthly meeting, we have a segment called Member News, where we share writing developments. Jennie was only with us a short time when her member news was 'I sold my first book!'

1 - McShannon's Chance is a Romance from BlueWood Publishing. It released last October in both E-book and print formats.

2 - Jennie takes us out to the Colorado of 1870, and as Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote about Oklahoma Territory:

Territory folks should stick together
Territory folks should all be pals
Cowboys dance with the farmer's daughters
Farmers dance with the ranchers' gals

This is the West of big skies, ranches carved from stands of lonesome pines, Civil War vets remaking their lives and women taking their chances with life on their own terms.

3 - We meet E.M. Underhill, an emerging Philadelphia painter whose work suggests something of the Impressionist movement making inroads in France. Masking her name with initials helps Beth's work to be taken seriously, but her cousin and guardian takes her least seriously of all. His attempts to marry her off send her instead to a barely-formed Colorado town. She steps off the stagecoach wondering if she'll regret her decision to accept a husband through an agency. But for Beth, it's a husband on her own terms, or none at all.

4 - Trey McShannon grew up on the edges of antebellum society, refusing to fight for the Confederacy when it finally came down to it. But he fought all the same - for the Union army. Now, with the war only raging in his nightmares, he carves a new life for himself outside Wallace Flats. A respectable homestead, good neighbors. All of it only makes the solitary days and nights that much worse. Writing to an agency for a wife seems like the practical approach, and Trey certainly has too much work taking up his time to go a-courtin'.

5 - This romance doesn't follow genre convention. It's much more like the 1989 mini-series Lonesome Dove, with Tommy Lee Jones, or 90's series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, with Jane Seymour and Joe Lando. We're introduced to a wider cast of characters than most romances allow. We follow two secondary couples, and meet many of the folk who make up the town of Wallace Flats.

6 - Where this novel excels as a romance are the scenes between Beth and Trey as they begin their relationship with an endpoint - an arranged partnership - and work backwards through their courtship. Jennie has written a 3D-High Definition cowboy in Trey McShannon. No mistaking who's talking when he and Beth are together. He's a man of few words, of unwavering gazes that size Beth up. And Beth, true to form as a woman ahead of her time, is not feisty so much as sassy as she teases Trey with delightful zingers.

7 - I really enjoyed the artist subplot with Beth's sketching as a counterpoint of expertise as she flounders in the day-to-day work of running a homestead. Her refusal to give up is a truly endearing quality - the unending chores don't dissuade her, the Old Boys Club of the art world doesn't intimidate her, and Trey's obvious war demons don't keep her at a safer distance.

8 - As I mentioned in my review of Anna Campbell's Captive of Sin - see the top menu bar for the link to my book reviews - a tortured hero is my favorite character, bar none. If there's the promise of a reveal as to why the hero is so tortured, don't lead me on - let me have it, right between the eyes.

Jennie delivers, with a poignant scene to which Trey's nightmares have led us in gradual but unrelenting steps.

9 - If you're used to the slicker pace of commercial romantic fiction, why not let the slower build-up of McShannon's Chance take you off the beaten track? The scenery is always more breathtaking when you take the backroads. Jennie's story takes its pace from the iconic lone cowboy making his way across an immense landscape. Why wear out your horse when there's so much ground to cover, mister?

10 - Jennie really knows how to end each chapter with a hook. Like this, for example:

" 'Have it your way, Philadelphia. And you might as well call me Trey.' Another smug grin, followed by a measuring look. 'What are you doing here, anyway? Were you bored in town?'

Beth crisply gave him the plain, unvarnished facts.

While she spoke, Trey's angry look softened to something that might be curiosity. 'Why didn't you go to your cousin's?'

Beth decided to be honest. 'I didn't want to sit in Graham's house and wait for him to find an acceptable man to take me off his hands - acceptable to
him.' She looked Trey in the eye again. 'When I wrote, I told you I didn't know much about housekeeping. What did you think you were getting?'

'That's not the point. I can't expect you to be content out here.'

Now he sounded embarrassed. Beth shrugged. 'Mr. McShannon, I'm a big girl. I thought from your letter that you'd give me credit for being able to make up my own mind.'

Trey's heavy brows lifted as he gave her another measuring glance. 'Oh, I'll bet you're an expert at that.' Then he turned his attention back to the road and urged the team into a faster trot."

11 - As well as an art world subplot that addresses bringing the authentic self into a relationship, rather than trying to deny that person, there is a wonderful undercurrent of the horse world, not surprising in a Colorado homestead story. But Jennie's masterful handling of the horse characters shows a real affinity for the world of the cowboy. Her love of Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour provides the backdrop for Jennie's romantic flare to paint a new west. In this one, the charged banter between Trey and Beth is the fuel for their attraction, not simply the way Trey wears a Stetson, or the way Beth pretties herself up for the Wallace Flats social.

12 - Here's the book trailer:

13 - I leave you with an excerpt. Enjoy!

"Trey got the blanket he kept tied to the back of his saddle, stretched out on it and closed his eyes.

The bright sun beat down on him, soothing tired muscles and clogging his mind. He laid a forearm over his eyes and took in a breath laden with the scent of warm earth. Another...three...four...

The acrid reek of burning brush, combined with the odors of sweaty horse and his own unwashed body stung his throat. The last two days fighting had taken place over a burning landscape, set ablaze by artillery fire. A pale, smoke-hazed moon hung above him in the night sky.

Cloud stumbled and nearly fell to his knees. Dizzy with fatigue, Trey pulled him up. Sheer instinct kept him in the saddle. He no longer cared if he fell. He only knew they couldn't stop, not with troops from both sides moving through the darkness.

The screams of the wounded they hadn't been able to save from the flames that day still rang in Trey's mind, drowning out the subtle night sounds around him. Sounds he shouldn't have ignored.

He looked back to check on the rest of his patrol, but they blended into the darkness. In another minute, he'd be turning the corner he could barely see up ahead. His pulse hammered in his ears.

He rounded the bend in the road, heard a shout from the darkness of a stand of trees. Metal flashed in the moonlight. Trey pulled his rifle and fired in one smooth motion.

Trey dismounted and walked toward the still figure, knowing what he'd see. He turned the body over and looked into the face of the man he'd shot.

The darkness broke up and gave way to sunlight again, the cool, smokey night to the warmth of Beth's arms.

'Trey, it's alright. It's over.' Her voice barely reached him through the remains of the nightmare. Stomach heaving, muscles frozen, he clung to Beth while she stroked his hair and murmured soothing nonsense. Long, humiliating seconds passed before he regained enough control to pull away. Beth clasped her hands around her knees and waited while he gathered what was left of his dignity.

'Maddy told me she and Logan asked you to stay with them your first winter here. I think I know now why you didn't.'

Still sick and shaky, Trey wiped his face with his sleeve and looked out over the river. 'Yeah, I guess so.'

'How often does this happen?'

'Not often, now. Not for a year, until...'

'Until I came.' Beth reached for his hand.

Trey pulled his hand back. He'd rather have Beth's contempt than her pity, but then he glanced at her and realized she wasn't offering him pity.

'There's no point, Beth. Some memories aren't worth sharing. It wouldn't do anyone any good.'

Trey picked up a rock and tossed it in the river. The ripples it made spread and vanished with the current."

- Jennie Marsland, 2009

Alice Audrey says I've never known farmers and ranchers to be all that chummy. Not that they won't pass the time of day...

Pamela Callow says I love books that take me off the beaten path. Sounds like Jennie Marsland's book fits the bill!

Scotialassie says I can't wait to read it. I love the trailer. This book looks like it's right 'up my alley'.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 141

Susan Helene Gottfried says Signs of spring! I love it!

Wylie Kinson says Spring! Wheeeeeeee!!!

Andrea says Too sweet and pretty!