This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Christmas Desk Sweep


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I've been hanging around the publishing industry long enough to recognize cycles at Christmas. Things slow down to a crawl. Granted, the publishing industry is typically SLOW, but the Christmas season virtually brings things to a stop with the exception of a mad desk sweep right before Christmas vacation.

What is the mad desk sweep? It's when editors clean manuscripts off their desks before they leave for Christmas break. I can't blame them for wanting to return from their Christmas vacation to a clean desk or a cleaner desk. I doubt they can completely sweep it clean because I do recognize how swamped they become with submissions. The thing that is disheartening to writers is that the sweep usually involves a multitude of rejections, not acceptions.

I've heard of authors waiting to hear on a manuscript as long as six months to a year, sometimes--more. All of a sudden they get that dreaded rejection in December. So if any of you writers have experienced a few rejections recently, take heart and know that you aren't alone. You are part of the Christmas Desk Sweep and it doesn't mean your manuscript won't find a home at a publishing house some place else at a different time.

My advice is to gird yourself up with some extra prayer. Either take a break and enjoy your family over Christmas vacation and recharge your spirit with God's wonderful Word, or use the extra time off to write the story that God has laid upon your heart. Read Scriptures on faith and hope. Fill your tank with encouragement to keep going.


Readers, write a nice note to some of your favorite authors--just to encourage them over the next few weeks. Even published authors are often a part of the Christmas Desk Sweep.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book Review - "A Forever Christmas" by Missy Tippens

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

My Review
This is a wonderful Christmas story that will fill your heart with thanksgiving and joy. The characters are so vivid that you can see them. The two little boys in the story are true to life, as is the heroine and hero as the humorous tension between them is quite entertaining. It's perfect for the season if you're looking for something to help you get into the mood for Christmas. I highly recommend A Forever Christmas!

Description
Sarah Radcliffe's quiet Christmas back in her hometown will be lost if she agrees to direct the church's Christmas pageant. But when she meets two little boys determined to gain their father's attention, Sarah agrees to help. Then she discovers that the dad in question is Gregory Jones, the man she loved and lost. The single dad is working himself to the bone to give his boys the Christmas of their dreams, when all they want is some family time. Time that includes a new mommy. If Sarah can learn to open her heart, she may receive the most wonderful present of all--a family of her own.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What is Your Favorite Christmas Recipe?

I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to share their favorite Christmas recipe. If you're like me and you don't cook very often, you can just list your favorite dish. I hope to hear about some delicious meals and some wonderful food traditions in your family. I'll start with my family's Fruit Salad.

The Fruit Salad
My grandmother started the Fruit Salad and I've never known any other family that makes fruit salad like we do. I'm not sure if she got this from her mother or grandmother or where it came from. She's gone now and I can't ask her, but we carry on the tradition. And every year as I make the Fruit Salad, I think of her and miss her.

We get a huge mixing bowl (at least 4-qt size) and cut up five oranges in chunks, 4-5 tangerines in chunks, a can of chopped pineapples can pour in juice if you want, a jar of red cherries (8 oz) and pour in cherry juice, peel and cut up 4-5 apples in chunks, 3-4 bananas in small round slices, 1 lb. pecans or walnuts. You can add other fruits like pears and coconut. This year I plan to leave out the bananas. You can chop up the pecans or leave them whole.

Pour in a qt of 2% or whole milk, a qt of half and half. You can add a little more if you want. Sometimes we'll add extra fruit or milk to make a larger serving. It doesn't have to be exact. Add a cup of sugar and a 1 tb of vanilla extract. Mix and adapt to your personal taste and refrigerate until it's time to serve in bowls. We love our Fruit Salad.


What is your favorite Christmas dish? Please share.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Traditional Christmas Desserts


I wanted to share a couple of traditional colonial recipes you can use for Christmas. Hope you enjoy!


Hasty Pudding

Exact amounts were not given in my booklet so you you might have to experiment. Bring a container of water and some salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Slowly pour in some yellow cornmeal, stirring all the while til the mix becomes thick enough so a spoon will stand up in it. Laddle the pudding into 3-4 small bowls. Drop some butter onto each portion, then sprinkle on ground nutmeg and some molasses. Serve hot.


Buttered Bakes Apples


Peel and core the apples, leaving them whole. Carefully butter a heavily-tinned plate and arrange the apples on it. Fill the holes left by the cores with powdered sugar, and sprinkle the apples with melted butter, then bake twenty minutes. Put a small amount of current jelly in each of the cores.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Author Interview - Myra Johnson


Please welcome Myra Johnson to my blog! She's a fellow Abingdon Author of One Imperfect Christmas as well as a Heartsong Presents Author of Autumn Rains. Myra has offered to give away one free autographed book to one blessed person from our pool of comments. So don't forget to leave a comment if you'd like to be included in the drawing. Please include your email for notification purposes and private exchange of your mailing address should you win.

Myra, thank you for joining us.

Where do you get ideas for stories?

Ideas come to me in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s just a random image that takes root in my imagination. It might be an interesting character, or an intriguing situation, or a setting that attracts my attention. Personal-interest newspaper articles may spark ideas, and I’m often fascinated by the issues people present to advice columnists. Not all ideas turn out to be viable, but I know I’m onto something when the image just won’t let go.


What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?

One technique I’ve tried with recent books is to free-write my characters’ autobiographies in their own voice. I also like to find pictures that most resemble my characters, using sites like iStock and Getty Images.

Also in the planning stages, I try to determine each main character’s personal goal, motivation, and inner and outer conflict. These aren’t always crystal clear until I’ve written a few thousand words to see where the characters take me, but I need at least a general feel for my characters’ driving passions in order to get the story moving.

Since I’m primarily a “pantser,” I don’t do a lot of scene-by-scene preplanning. I much prefer to let the characters show me where they want to go with the story. I do, however, usually have some idea of what the main turning points could be and how the story will resolve. Then, as I write, I keep detailed spreadsheets to track the timeline, scenes, character names and descriptions, etc. My full set of Excel spreadsheets is available for download at my website.

http://www.myrajohnson.com/Myra_Langley_Johnson,_Writer/Writing_Helps.html


Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft? How many drafts?

It’s very hard for me to turn off my internal editor. During any given writing session, I keep trying to push forward, but I still find myself pausing to search for just the right word, or reworking a sentence or paragraph until I get it just the way I want it. At the start of the next session, I usually back up several pages, read over what I’ve written, and make a few (or several!) edits. If it’s been several days, I’ll backtrack even farther, as much to get myself back into the story as to revise. Once the full story is drafted, I’ll let it rest for several days before beginning revisions. I don’t have a set number of times I’ll go through the manuscript. It all depends on how comfortable I am with it as I complete each phase. Also, at some point I will bring in my critique partner for her feedback.

Where do you like to do most of your writing? Describe the setting.

A spare bedroom upstairs has been converted to serve as my office, and even though I use a laptop computer, I rarely unplug. Being at my desk surrounded by my writing reference books, dictionaries, word finders, manuscript notes, etc., helps keep me in a working frame of mind. I usually have a bottle of water or cup of tea and a jar of peanuts close at hand for quick sustenance when I need it. My two dogs stay pretty close, too, making it hard to roll my chair back without smashing a tail or a couple of toes!

In your opinion, what is a writer’s greatest struggle?

Speaking from my own experience, I would have to say self-doubt. We can get caught up comparing ourselves to other, seemingly more successful writers and believe we’ll never measure up. We can obsess so much over making a manuscript “perfect” that we never find the courage to actually send it out. Or if we do submit something to an editor or agent, getting rejected could set us back days, weeks, or months. The struggle—and the victory—comes in letting go and taking a chance, because the manuscript that will absolutely never sell is the one you never send out.

Tell us about your latest book.

I have two books out right now: my debut novel from Abingdon Press, One Imperfect Christmas, and my Heartsong Presents contemporary romance, Autumn Rains.

One Imperfect Christmas is about a woman drowning in self-blame after her mother suffers a devastating stroke. She allows the guilt to isolate her from the people she loves most, including her husband and daughter, and only her family’s love, persistence, and faith can help her heal.

Autumn Rains tells the story of a redeemed ex-con and a woman recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Their unexpected romance proves to be the key that unlocks the prison doors for each of them.

Readers can learn more about these and my upcoming books at my website, www.MyraJohnson.com. You can also find me at www.myra.typepad.com and www.seekerville.blogspot.com.


Thanks, Myra. Both your novels sound very interesting. To our readers, be sure to leave Myra a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Truth About Authors' Income - Why I'm Still Working

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

An author who hit the New York Times Bestsellers List made a promise that if she ever made the NYT List she would post her earnings on the book. She's kept her word. I wanted to share with you the realities of a published author. You've probably heard the mantra of "starving artists", but for some reason people tend to think that authors make millions or hundreds of thousands on their novels--especially if it becomes a bestseller. The reality is--not so. Many of us are the "starving writers" who pull a full-time job and write deep into the evenings and late at night because of this creative desire that we were born to do.

Granted, there are some out there whose books have grossed millions, like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, JK Rowling, Rick Warren, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, whose income from their novels have gone on to include royalties from movie rights. But keep in mind they are "the few" and the rest of us (writers in general, not any specific writer of any genre) look to their success as inspiration and hope of what "is possible" to achieve in publishing.

The reality for the rest of us published authors is best summed up in the linked posts below. Although I don't personally read the genre that Lynn Viehl writes, as a fellow author, I very much appreciate her candid report.

The Reality of a Times Bestseller  by Author Lynn Viehl (April 2009)

More on the Reality of a Times Bestseller  by Author Lynn Viehl (November 2009)

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Traditional Christmas in Regency England


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The Christmas Feast
Christmas dinner was typically around 4 PM. As the evening progressed a Christmas toast was given to the season and gifts were given out, usually this is when servants also
received their gifts and children would sing Christmas carols for entertainment.


Since water was unsafe to drink, they usually had wine with their meal. (I haven't found a source that indicated what the children drank.) Roast Beef and Venison were the main course. Other meats included goose, pheasant, swan and peacock. The goose was most popular until the mid-century when turkey became a preference. By the Victorian period, turkey was the standard Christmas meat. Often, bakers cooked the meat for those households that contained small ovens. Many would pick up
their food on the way home from church. Like today, stuffing for the bird, vegetables such as potatoes, beans, squash, and carrots, enhanced the meal. 

For dessert there was Mince pie and Christmas pie. Recipes varied by region, but typical ingredients included beef, sugar, raisins, lemons, spices, orange peel, goose, tongue, fowls, eggs, apples and brandy. The pies were eaten each day for 12 days before Christmas to ensure good luck for the next 12 months of the new year. Talk about a chance to gain weight over the holidays!

Another dessert was Christmas pudding, a mixture of 13 ingredients (representing Christ and the twelve apostles) which was boiled in a pudding cloth. Ingredients included suet, brown sugar, raisins, currants, citron, lemon and orange peels, spices, crumbs, flour, eggs, milk and brandy.

Other desserts included Gingerbread and butter shortbread. Children enjoyed sugar plums and ginger nuts.

Christmas Carols
Caroling dates back to the middle ages. Songs such as: Here We Come a Wassailing, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The First Noel, Good Christian Men Rejoice and Greensleeves are all traditional carols from the Middle Ages. Caroling in the form of tramping from door to door had died out with the end of the feudal system in England and didn't revive again until the Victorian period. In Jane Austen’s era, family and friends typically spread good cheer in the comfort of their homes among gathered friends and family at balls, dinners, small parties, and churches.

  • O Come All Ye Faithful was first published in 1760, but not translated into English until 1841.
  • Joy to the World was first published by Isaac Watts' 1719 hymnal, The Psalms of David, but the modern version wasn't written until 1836.
  • Hark the Harold Angels Sing was first written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, amended in 1753 by George Whitfield, but the modern version of today wasn't written until 1840 by Mendohlsson.
  • Silent Night was written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr, but wasn't translated into English until 1863.

Christmas Trees & Decorations
Typically, Christmas trees didn't exist as they do now and did in the Victorian period. If a family did have a tree, it was a table top tree and quite plain. Decorations were live greenery with berries, including mistletoe. They burned the yule log as a tradition. It was HUGE and picked out and dried out from the year before. It wasn't brought in until Christmas Eve and hoped to burn through the night and all through Christmas day. They didn't exchange Christmas cards or multiple, elaborate gifts. If they did exchange gifts, it was usually one special hand-made item.



References:
Regency Yuletide - http://regencyyuletide.blogspot.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas at Billy Graham Museum


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

For those of you who live within driving distance of Charlotte, NC or are interested in the ministry and history of the Billy Graham ministry, I'd like to tell you about Christmas at the Billy Graham Museum. The outside of the museum is built in the shape of a barn and looks like a renovated farm, obviously to represent the Graham farm.


It's a free and wonderful experience for the whole family everyday after 5 PM except on Saturdays. They offer free horseback carriage rides on the estate. The lines can get pretty long and it is on a first come, first serve basis. Last year it was cold and we let my father-in-law sit inside where it is warm because of his health. When we were getting close to being next, my husband went to get him. I only mention this as an alternative for the elderly or disabled. We brought those self-heating coffees and those kept us quite warm and so I would recommend it, although you can buy coffee or hot cocoa inside, as well as eat dinner.



They also give every family a free Christmas keepsake ornament. You can visit the Billy Graham farm house where Billy grew up to age nine. His father built the home in the 1920's and they have it decorated with furniture and appliances as it was back then. Please be aware that only the first floor is available for touring, but I still thought it was worth the visit. The photo to the left is the outside image of the house, which has been relocated to this spot. The original site was on Park Road, a few miles south of this location.


There is also a bookstore and a museum you can tour, as well as a live nativity scene outside, including a live camel and donkey. It's lit up and looks beautiful in contrast to the darkness. The photo to the right was taken by my phone camera. If you look closely you can see the camel sitting down on the grass in front of the nativity scene. You can also walk a short brick trail to the garden and where a monument is located.



Links to:
The Billy Graham Museum


The Billy Graham Library

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I'm Thankful For


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

In the spirit of giving thanks this week, I wanted to share some of my thoughts and the wonderful things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for my salvation and the growing relationship I have with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

I'm thankful for my loving husband and sweet daughter, and my extended family who are always there to support me and encourage me when things get tough.

I'm so thankful that my daughter has been healed from her life-threatening seizure disorder. Even though this occurred years ago, I'm thankful everyday. Sometimes I'm moved to tears when I think of all she has overcome and the fears that my husband I no longer live with.
(Update: Her seizures came back 3 years later in 2012.)

I'm thankful my daughter is doing so well she was released from speech therapy and occupational therapy last month. We are seeing her overcome more of her delayed developments, and we are so thankful for God's grace to her.

I am thankful that my brother's back surgery went well this past summer and he's recovering just fine.

I am thankful that my youngest brother rededicated his life to God last month. He still has a long way to go to overcome some other issues, but I see him trying and I hear it in his voice every time we talk on the phone. God is so good!

I'm thankful I wasn't laid off from my job this year, and I still pray for my co-workers who were, as well as my family members who have lost their jobs--my father, my brother, and two uncles.

I'm thankful for our health--even though we're getting older and my hubby is now needing bifocals, dental work, and I'm struggling with dry eyes--we are healthy! We can exercise and we have so many abilities that we sometimes take for granted.

I'm thankful we had another year with my father-in-law. Even after triple by-pass heart surgery and lung cancer surgery, and a heart aneurysm that he has to live with, he has outlasted some of the grim projections we received from his doctors. God is still on the throne and with Him all things are possible!

I am thankful for the new addition to our family, my sister's new baby girl, Sarah Elizabeth Moore. She is so precious!

I am thankful that after thirteen years of writing, over 122 rejections, three agents, and seven full-length, completed manuscripts later--I finally have a debut novel coming out this spring! God is so faithful!

I am thankful for my life and this journey God is taking me on--and all the things I don't have time to list. When I sit down to really think about it--I am so humbled by God's grace.

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)

Friday, November 20, 2009

19th Century Pianos


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

People in the 19th century didn't have radios, CD players, ipods, or live stream music from the Internet. If they wanted any kind of music, they had to produce it themselves. Therefore, among those that could afford it, one could walk into most any home and find a piano of some sort--much like today you'll find it rare to walk into a house and not find a TV. A young woman was expected to play the piano and it usually qualified as part of her studies.

The first photo in this post is of a mahogany square piano dated 1790. It was made by Charles Albrecht in Philadelphia. I apologize that the image isn't better or up close. I took this image in the Joseph Manigault Museum House in Charleston, SC.

Pianos first originated from the clavichord and the harpsichord. The clavichord was widely used through the Medieval period through the Renaissance era. The haprsichord is much larger as a winged shaped instrument with strings perpendicular to the keyboard. It was invented around the middle ages (abt. 1500).

In the 1720's Bartolomeo Cristofori of Italy inventend what we know as the modern piano. It virtually replaced the clavichord and the harpsichord in many homes. Throughout the next century, many changes where invented and adapted to the modern piano.

The second photo is of a pianoforte dated 1820. It is made by William Rolfe & Company in London and sold by Siegling Music House of Charleston, SC. I apologize for the lack of clarity. I snapped this photo through the glass at the Charleston Museum and I couldn't use a flash.

This final photo is of a beautiful piano that is one of my favorite antiques. I love the unique carving of the wood. It was made in 1860 by Timothy Gilbert of Boston, MA. It belonged to Mary Jane Williams (1833-1904), wife of James Harvey Carlson. It was donated by their great-grandson and now sits in the Rosedale Plantation House in Charlotte, NC.



I love piano music and I often listen to a CD of Beethoven or Bach, Claude DeBussy or Peter Tchaikovsky when I'm writing my Regency and Victorian era novels. I'll share a secret with you. I've always dreamed of playing the piano. When I was little, I begged my mother for piano lessons, but she said we couldn't afford a piano for me to practice on or the lessons. I never got my oppoturnity to play the piano. It's still a dream that I hope isn't too late in my adult heart. But now with working full-time, writing and researching all the time, and being a wife and mother, I don't know when I could squeeze it in. So I'll do the next best thing, keep pounding out my stories on my keyboard. It's ironic, but I suppose I was destined for a keyboard--just not the piano.

For now I'll listen to others play beautiful piano music.

But...maybe...one day...


Monday, November 16, 2009

"Writing the Christian Romance"


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

If you ever struggle with writing about relationships and showing them progressing at an appropriate level, then I would suggest reading the book, Writing The Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin. She builds insight into different kinds of personalities and how they respond to other personalities. I especially like the analogies and examples she uses in showing the gender differences in thought pattern, behavior, and responses.

When I'm writing the POV of a man, sometimes I'll have my husband read it and he'll tell me, " a guy wouldn't say that." And of course, then I want to know what he would say. My husband can give me ideas, but it usually comes in the form of a modern guy and I'm usually writing about 19th century England or medieval Scotland. Then I'm left to translate, which can be even harder, if I don't understand the character's train of thought.

Writing the Christian Romance helped me connect all these things together in my writing. When I started implementing some of these suggestions into my writing, I noticed a difference in my critique partners' responses to my work-in-progress. Some of the information in this book we already know, but it's presented in a way that helps us better utilize what we know.

The book covers the difference between sensuality and sexuality. Gail compares Christian romance to secular romance and gives you an idea of how much is too much and explains how different publishers have various thresholds. This is a huge topic of debate in the Christian romance publishing industry. She gives some great adivce on how to use sensuality to one's advantage without it crossing the line.

Some other great topics included in the book are: the power of emotions and senses, spirituality in romance, writing believable dialogue, introspection, plotting a Christian romance, and how to sell a Christian romance novel.

Writing a Christian Romance is a wonderful writing resource I wanted to share with you. It's available on Amazon and Writer's Digest.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Wading through Feedback on Your Writing


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The other day I sent out a book blurb for feedback on a couple of writing loops I'm on. In good faith, several writers sent back some comments and a couple tried to reword everything. I went through all their suggestions and realized I couldn't go with what each person said. Some comments contradicted others, and a few changes didn't sound any better than what I'd already written, and some suggestions were better. If I had been a new writer, I would have thrown up my hands in eternal confusion.

I took a day or took to evaluate the plot points that needed to be on the back cover blurb, and I realized that some of the motivational questions people were asking didn't need to be answered on the back cover. It stirred the interest I wanted to pique and that is the purpose for the back cover copy. I prayed about it and with patience decided what suggestions I wanted to keep and which ones I needed to ignore.


This is part of writing. Yes, what I had written would have worked--and in my humble opinion--it was good. But what I was after--was to make it better. My friends helped me do that, but first I had to wade through the varying opinions on how to make that happen. When you ask for opinions, that's exactly what you'll get, a wide range of varying ideas and thoughts that are as different as day and night, and very subjective.

I now have a great back cover blurb--or what I think is great. It wouldn't work for everyone, but I'm hoping it will work for those who have similar tastes as me. I believe these individuals will eventually become my core readers--the ones who like most of what I write--because we have the same interests and tastes. And as a result, I'm very thankful to my writing friends who took the time out of their busy schedules to give me suggestions. That is what these writing loops are for--to help each other.

What about you? Have you ever asked for help on something and the help you received seemed overwheing or confusing? How did you wade your way through it?

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Balance of Pacing for Authors


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Pacing is the steady flow of the story, whether it be a fast pace or slow. Action scenes increases pacing, while reflective scenes slows pacing. Too much action can cause confusion and give the reader no time to reflect on what is happening, while too much reflection bogs the reader with unnecessary insight and detail in a character's thoughts and risks boring the reader. This is why proper balance is so important for a book's pacing.

Depending on the type of novel, an excellent strategy on pacing is to write an action scene and follow with a reflective scene. A suspense or thriller novel may require a more intense strategy of action scenes before a reflective scene. Action scenes are also a great way to enhance a sagging middle.

Ways to Increase Pacing
1) Introduce Conflict -- Create an obstacle that would prevent a character from achieving a goal. As soon as one conflict is about to be solved, introduce another conflict, or if possible, one that is worse.


2) Dialogue -- Intense or amusing dialogue can also increase pacing. It makes the flow read faster and can reveal new conflict, show tension, or reveal backstory in a way that doesn't slow pacing, but increases curiosity.


3) Foreshadowing -- Alerting the reader to potential conflict, not only increases pacing, but gives something for the reader to anticipate without knowing how an event will happen or how it will affect the characters and their decisions.


4) Add a Subplot -- By adding a new element or subplot to the story, the stakes are raised and a character's motivation can change.

Ways to Slow Pacing
1) Layer in Backstory -- Use backstory where necessary to help a reader understand a character's motivation to achieve their goals.


2) Stretch the Tension -- During a reflective scene, delay a person's decision or action by showing another POV, or have a secondary character interrupt the action. These techniques slow the action, while deepening the impact.


3) Use Introspection -- Show the internal thought process of a character's reaction to an event in an action scene.

Are there any other ways you change the pacing in your novels? What are some reasons that motivate you to consider pacing?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Books to Movies


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Have you read any great books lately that would make a great movie?

Today I want to talk about books that are made into movies. How many of you find yourselves in the mood to watch a movie with your family on your home entertainment or would like to enjoy an evening out with the family at the theater, only to find that there isn't anything out that is decent and compelling for the whole family unless it's animated? 


Chances are, if there is something available, you've already seen it because the selection of family friendly movies is so limited. Or maybe it's the other end of the spectrum, there's another Batman, James Bond, or Spiderman movie and you're looking for a fresh storyline--something different for a change.

With all the great fiction out there, why aren't more books made into movies? I'm thrilled that there are a few new companies really making an effort to produce faith-based movies. Personally, I'd like to see more of these movies made from some of the awesome Christian fiction I've been reading. What book would you like to see made into a movie?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Review - "Prisoner of Versailles" by Golden Keyes Parsons


By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

My Review
A Prison her Versailles is enchanting story, full of historical information woven into romance, faith and suspense. The characters possess integrity, strength and perseverance. This is the first historical Christian book I've read that was set in France, and I must say, it was refreshing. While I enjoy American prairie romances and always will, it is nice to read something different. It has just enough flavor of the French language to give it a French flair, but not overwhelm someone who doesn't know the language.

As Madeleine Clavell is torn from her younger children by King Louis XIV's command, I felt the emotional turmoil and struggle she endured at the wails of her young daughter. The sense of her grief and aloneness from her husband's demise moved me. There is a sense of danger and fear of the unknown that keeps one reading to find out what will happen next and how they will escape. The specific elements I have discussed occur near the beginning and do not ruin the outcome of the story. I hope you will get a chance to read this book. I highly recommend it.

Italic
Book Description:
King Louis XIV's burgeoning palace is the place to be--and be seen. And the last place on earth Madeleine wants to be. She's trapped there as a pampered prisoner. If she stays in France, she'll be forced to deny her faith. By escaping the king's long arm, she may find freedom--but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Madeleine will need courage, hope, and total faith in God to outmaneuver the Sun King and reach her true destiny--and love--in another country.

A Prisoner of Versailles continues the Darkness to Light saga that began with In the Shadow of the Sun King. (Note: I have not read the first book and was able to read and follow this book just fine.)

To learn more about the author, Golden Keyes Parsons, visit her website.