Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Oh! You meant 'spectacularly ignorant' in a NICE way."

Jeeves and Wooster has been the Going Thing for my remind-everyone-about-submitting-for-I'd-Like-to-Share-posts, but in order to be fair to my other (and perhaps more) beloved BBC series-with-great-quotes, this month features Sherlock instead.  (Quick, people, what episode is the quote from?) Actually, I really ought to pay homage to Lark Rise as well... maybe I'll rotate quote sources.  

So anyways, please submit your post nominations for the March I'd Like to Share event!  Do remember that you can only nominate ONE post per month-- and the posts don't have to be from February, either.  Archived writings are perfectly eligible.  In case anyone's forgotten, the categories include Humor, Inspirational, Informative, Just Plain Interesting and Miscellaneous.  

Looking forward to your submissions!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Bookish Chat With Anne-girl

The next installment in our Bookish Chat series is none other than my very own sister, Anne-girl of Scribblings of My Pen.

Welcome to the podium at Yet Another Period Drama Blog, Anne-girl!  Have some coffee and chocolate to calm your nerves and tell us a little bit about yourself.  Name, general age-ish (feel free to be as vague as you like), favorite type of weather, least favorite color, favorite way to relax in the evenings, and what got you started blogging.  Ready, steady, go!

My name is Carolyn, but I go by Anne-girl, and I am of the age in which one dances in the gazebo with telegraph boys {though I’ve never found one to dance with me}. I like sunny skies and mild temperatures. I enjoy a good thunderstorm of an evening but other than that I’ve not much given to inclement weather. Though I do enjoy a nice strong wind in the early fall. I loathe pea green. Lark Rise to Candleford is my favorite evening activity but I’m sure that will change when we start Sherlock! I started blogging when I was thirteen because you blogged and I wanted to do it too. But that blog withered and died on the vine. I started Scribblings in November of 2011 because I loved Rachel’s Inkpen Authoress and was writing my first book. My first posts were blatant {and not very good} copies of her posts but over the two years that followed I’ve found my niche talking about my beloved Selkin and Story Structure and doing the Les Amis series.

People, seriously, you need to go check out her Les Amis series.  It's epic.  
So, now that we know a little bit more about you (well, okay, the adoring PUBLIC knows a little more about you-- I already know everything about you because I am your seestah), let’s ask some bookish questions.  Tell us about three books that you loved when you were little-- that is, under ten or so.

The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright was perhaps my favorite book back then. I also really really loved the American Girl “world” books. I’ve always been addicted to other cultures *grin* and I guess if I could only pick one other it would be Great Illustrated Classics The Three Musketeers because of all the fun we had with it.

Ooooooh, yes, I shall always have fond memories surrounding the 3M.  "This is D'artagnan!"  :D  You are, I believe, a writer as well as a reader. No kidding!  I can’t imagine where I got that idea, but I think you may have mentioned it to me at some time, or maybe I found something of yours lying around... anyways, if someone big and importantly authoritative came to you and told you you could never write anything again, what would your response be?  (This is meant to be a little twist on the run-of-the-mill “why do you write” question.)

Make up stories in my head. I did it for eleven years {I first remember doing it at the age of three} without feeling the need to write. I would miss writing terribly but I would add a wing to my mind palace and store the stories there. I would memorize poetry to give myself the ability of reciting reams and reams of stuff and I would turn myself into a story teller. I would be like the bards of old traveling around in a little beat up car with Les Mis CDs in my Hello Kitty boom box and tell stories at libraries and children's parties. I love words, I really do, and I love putting them down and honing them but all I NEED are stories. So I would survive. I would cry and always feel like someone I loved had died but I would survive.

And no that is not a scenario that I have had planned out for a long time complete with a plan for developing my memory. Whatever would give you that idea? I’m not paranoid. Not paranoid at all.

What genre of book do you write?  Tell us a little about it.

I write Christian Adventure. It’s really a lot like High Fantasy {Tolkien, Sanderson, George R. R. Martin} but without the magic. Or you could could compare it to Literary Political Fiction {Les Mis, The Way We Live Now, Anna Karenina, but without the icky stuff}. Or with swashbuckling Fantasy of Manners {The Prisoner of Zenda, The Princess Bride, Three Musketeers} or coming of age {Johnny Tremain, The Bronze Bow}. It doesn’t really fit in any particular genre but it’s meant to be exciting and “feels” filled but thought provoking. Obviously I have a really really long way to go but cultures, politics, and adventure all fascinate me and what is writing unless it’s about what you love?

Excellent rhetorical question there.  :D What is your favorite history book (not a textbook)?  Tell us a wee bit about it.

I’m quite fond of Rebecca Fraser’s History of Britain but the one I love the most perhaps is the HUGE book simply called History found in our YA nonfiction section. I’ve read it several times but I never seem to glean everything. I just love love love the dips into different cultures and stories it gives. Just a taste of this and a taste of that. I’m not really patient enough to read a history book on every topic that interests me and if I really want to know about something I can look further into it. This book gives an overview of just about everything. I have no idea where it’s from or who wrote it though. Sorry.

What are some of your favorite quotes about books?

I never remember or collect quotes about things. Only quotes from movies and books. There is of course the essential “I cannot live without books” but there is always Henry Tilney to the rescue. Say it with me, girls!

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid”

What did you most recently finish reading?  Would you recommend it?

Tuck by Stephen R. Lawhead.  You would not like it sister dear I do not think. But anyone who likes a good thick medieval politics story would like this. I read the whole King Raven trilogy awhile ago. The first one, Hood was rubbish. Inappropriate in places, and with a mysticism that I didn’t care for. But it did have great character development. The middle one Scarlet was exciting and well written with a wonderful protagonist but a little more violent than I like. Tuck is the best of the lot with nothing worse as far as content goes than Caroline Arless’s favorite word. It’s a novelization of the real Robin Hood {who originated as a Welsh rebel lord not an outlaw in Nottingham} and though Median is annoying the other characters are lovable and relatable {especially Friar Aethelfrith fondly known as Tuck}.

Did you discover any good new authors in the last year?  Which of their books did you like best?

I’m quite enjoying Lemony Snicket right now. I’m about five years older than I should have started the series but it does not dampen my enjoyment of the series one bit. Jack talked about them so much that I just had to try them and though the first one was a bit contrived by the fifth one I knew I had struck gold. My favorite in his Series of Unfortunate Events so far has been The Vile Village. I just really like seeing the Baudelaires strike off on their own and not go back to that insufferable Poe. Though The Ersatz Elevator was almost as good.

I also enjoyed Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory series and the first two Wings of the Nightingale books. I’d have to say I liked With Every Letter best. I don’t normally enjoy historical romance but these are just so good! The characters are entirely unrealistic as far as looks go but other than that they are wonderful stories about WWII and the people who fought it.

But the best discover of this past year has been Monster by Miriam Neal. Just go read it. You won’t regret it.

Quick!  First funny quote from a book, off the top of your head!  {{ You can go look it up to make sure you have it right, if you like.}}

“Cornflakes. Cold noodles,” said Rush. “BLO-OD! BLO-OD!”
~Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright

What would be your response to someone who told you she never read books?

I would smile comfortingly and then back slowly away. Then I would go disinfect myself. It would not do to catch whatever disease has impaired there persons judgement and taste.

What are your thoughts on the subject of e-readers?

Bor-ing. But good for beta reading. Someday when I am rich I will get one so that I don’t have to use the computer for beta reading. But then when I’m rich I’ll get my own computer so I won’t have to wangle computer time so never mind. I was also going to say that Kindle books are cheaper but I use kindle cloud {which doesn’t need a kindle} and again when I have my own laptop I wouldn’t need to wangle the computer time to finally reread Monster.

If you could write a note to a future reader in one of your top ten favorite books, what would you write and why would you choose that particular book?

I would pick Pilgrim’s Progress and I would beg them to memorize Hopeful’s conversion or at least to read it over and over again. It would say that is the single most comforting passage of literature outside of the Bible. I would tell them to drag it out whenever they are fearful and to pair it with Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentess. I would tell them to keep praying for God’s revelation because it is hard to see and easy to lose sight of. And I would also advise them to buy the audio drama because Steve Eager does a killer Mr. Moneylove.

What is the best children’s book you’ve read (not reread) in the last few months?  We all know there’s no shame in reading good children’s literature-- come on, spill.

See my paragraph about Lemony Snicket.

If you could have a fictional side character over for tea in the nearish future, who would you choose and why?

Herbert Pocket. I’m rather half in love with him.

Quick, name a book you love that begins with L.

Lorna Doone.  It was badly written but I loved it. John Ridd is awesome and the Doone Valley is awesome and there is so much history and politics wrapped up in it. I really really like it.

And now... recommend six titles for the lovely readers of this blog.  Any titles.  Six of ‘em.  Do it.  Now.  (No, I’m not bossy.)

Ok, these are the six books that have affected and changed me the most.

~Carry On Mr. Bowditch
~Pilgrim's Progress
~Stepping Heavenward
~The Shadow Things
~Les Miserables
~Great Expectations

And I’m going to cheat and add Johnny Tremain because it was the first book I fell in love with.

Cheater, cheater.  


Huge round of applause to Anne-girl for her fabulous answers and for taking the time to stop by!  Go read Johnny Tremain, peoples, and check out Anne's blog.  Biased sister though I may be, I do believe her Legend of Honesty is destined for greatness.  So go follow her blog before she publishes the book, and then you can say you Knew Her Back When.  And don't forget to stay tuned in March for our next guest speaker!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Little Letters, Third Edition

{Or whatever it's been... I think this is the third one I've done.  I should have kept count... anyways, this supposedly random post is basically my thinly veiled excuse for blogging about a bunch of stuff that is totally not period-drama-blog-related, namely Frozen and Sherlock, cough cough ahem, okay let's get on with it.}

Dear Sherlock Holmes,

We've had a pretty great relationship, you and I.  You were my new dream the book series that got me through those rough early teenage years when I was outgrowing most of the juvenile fiction I'd always loved, but hadn't yet discovered Jane Austen and her fellow geniuses.  And then I heard about the BBC show through Margaret Hale and Marie, to whom I'm forever indebted, and I waited and waited and waited to see it until I went to Ally's house and she (bless her heart) showed it to me.  And now?  Yeah, now I'm more in love than ever.  You're a great man, and someday if we're lucky you might be a good one.  Try not to start a war before I get home, you know what it does to the traffic.

Dear John Watson,

I was going to say just "Dear John," but thought that sounded a little too horrid, so I'm being formal.  You're seriously the best character in the show.  I'm not spoiling series 3 here for people who haven't seen it yet (nyah nyah :P) and I trust the rest of you won't do so in the comments, but let's just say you are the best friend I have ever seen in a TV show.  Ever.  That is, you do the best job of being a friend.  And a husband.  That hug (yes, that one) in His Last Vow... okay, I bawled.  You're my favorite.  Did I say that already?  I'll say it again.

Dear Reichenbach Fall,

The who, the what, the why, the when, the where, the HOW.  Don't inflict this kind of torture.  (Put your theories in the comments, peoples.  Seriously, share 'em.  I want to know.)  I'm going with the whole he-told-Anderson-because-he-knew-Anderson-would-doubt-that-it-was-the-truth-but-it-actually-was-so-he's-just-messing-with-Anderson-because-he's-Sherlock thing.  But, you know, some confirmation would be nice... or perhaps I should say TELL ME, WAS I RIGHT?

Dear Moriarty,

It's raining, it's pouring, you're anything but boring.  I didn't want to like a psychopathic criminal.  (And don't try and tell me YOU'RE a high-functioning sociopath.  Not buying it.)  And I still don't really LIKE you... it's just that you're kind of one of my favorite characters, if that makes any sense.   "Look at his face, Granny.  Hasn't he got a cute little face?"  "Wicked little face, if you ask me."  Sooooo *highlight for SPOILERS* if you could in any possible way be Not Dead, that would please me very much.  One more miracle, Moriarty. For the fans.  Also, your lines are pretty much The Most Quotable Ever.  Do you mind if I get that?

Dear Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss,

You guys are geniuses.  Evil geniuses.  Someday we're all going to be standing around a body and it'll be you two who put it there.  Don't get me wrong, I love your show (and Mr. Gatiss, you make a rather awesome Mycroft) but the amount of emotional trauma I went through this Valentine's Day was not pretty.  I spent almost the entire evening either in tears or totally in shock.  Look, I have a blanket.

Dear Every Heartwarming Moment in Sherlock,

You were kind of desperately needed.  Thanks for being there.  No, you didn't do it wrong.  Come here.

Dear Martha Finley,

I'll admit, I used to be a pretty big fan of the Elsie books.  (Then I discovered Jane Austen and realized what trash I'd been reading.)  Reader boredom aside, I think you had some serious familial/romantic issues.  I mean, come on.  Horace Dinsmore's an obsessive tyrant and Mr. Travilla's a creep and a half.  Practically proposing to an eight-year-old?  Really?  And don't get me started on the whole Bromly-Edgerton-and-Elsie thing.  If you're going to make your angelic heroine pull a complete Out Of Character stunt like that, you could at least make it interesting.  Sheesh.

Dear Frozen,

Thanks for being my first movie theater experience-- for having wonderful songs, for being the most heartwarming sister story I've seen in an animated film, for having incredible animation and for being an all-around feel-good movie.  (Could have done without some of the weirdness surrounding Elsa's powers, just sayin', but overall you were fantastic.)  I was totally thrilled with the way you took a lot of the Disney stereotypes (the dumb ones) and stood them on their heads.  (Hopefully they have skulls, or else that won't end well.)  "Love is... putting someone else's needs before yours, like, you know, how Kristoff brought you back to Hans and left you forever."  Speaking of which...

Dear Kristoff,

For the first time in forever, I fell in love with a Disney hero.  Despite the fact that you're a bit of a fixer-upper.  You're ranking right up there with Dug and Russell and Buzz and Jacques and Mater and Captain Hook on my Favorite Animated Characters list.  It was about time for a realistic Disney guy.  Seriously.  (Sorry, Flynn fans.  :P) Plus, you're also the sweetest character in the movie.  I didn't fangirl in public.  Of course not.   ...Well, not LOUDLY, anyway.

Dear Katherine Reay,

It sounds too weird to say Dear Dear Mr. Knightley, so I'm addressing the author instead of the novel.)  Your debut book is fighting its way to my Favorites of the Year list.  Somehow you managed to combine an actually likable heroine with a ton of great book quotes and a hero who's half jerk and half awesome (okay, maybe the halves are a little less evenly distributed, if that makes any sense) in an EPISTOLARY FORMAT and make it all work and be fabulous.  I loved it.  People, go read Dear Mr. Knightley. (But I needed more closure at the ending.  Gahhhhh.)

Dear Inside Jokes,

You're the best thing since tater tots.  I love how you can take completely normal items and ideas and turn them into something completely hilarious.  I will really never be able to look at cawing crows, olive oil, Pocahontas, my contacts list in Gmail (okay, so that's not a physical thing you can touch, but it's still THERE), Google Translate, hearts, Pinterest, the opening to Beethoven's Fifth, the name Martha or trench coats the same way ever again.  (Apologies to everyone who read that paragraph and is now convinced that I'm certifiably insane.)  *makes Moriarty face*

Dear blog readers,

Thanks for hanging in there while my blogging's been so sketchy lately... I'm hoping to get started reviewing movies again very soon!  Any input as to what should be next? I just... I really don't know.  Can't make up my mind. I'm shallying between Great Expectations (2011), Lark Rise to Candleford (Series 1), Little Women (1994) or Somewhere in Time (1980).  Thoughts, peoples?  Thanks so much!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Visit With Ally (because I couldn't think of a cleverer title)

Helloooooo!  This is Amy-- Ally made me start this.  Here we sit on her sofa giggling, which is pretty typical for what the week has been so far.  (I'm writing everything in blue and she's in pink.  Just so ya know.)

Where do we start to describe the epicness of this week? We've been talking all day long. Most of the time in Martha Mahinsky voices. Because that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Seriously, this has been awesome.  Very relaxed and hilarious and super perf adorbs for realsies because we are Martha Mahinsky, and if you don't know who Martha is, watch this.  You know, they say a picture's worth a thousand words... should we show them a picture?

Sure. Pictures in posts about a week together is usually a good idea. That's what people DO, you know.


Okay, here's a picture.  We've been quoting Moriarty pretty much constantly, too.  And then we switch back to Martha.  Sorry boys, we're SOOOOOOO changeable!

Where to start? Amy got in Tuesday, and we hung out that evening and then completely freaked her out with the first episode of Sherlock. In a good way. :D Wednesday we talked about deep, deep things for several hours first thing that morning (first deep conversation of many that day), adopted our Martha voices (and fangirled a bit over a guy who Martha calls Aaron Tater Tot), and worked on top-secret project that will not be revealed to the public just yet.

Amy, Belle and Ally

Ally's sister Belle, by the way, has been our confederate in the Martha-ing.  And in a lot of other things as well.  Like Sherlock fangirling and seeing Frozen at the theatre (my first time!) in which Kristoff completely stole our hearts.  <3 data-blogger-escaped-font="">

Wednesday night we introduced Amy to one of our favorite games, Seven-Up, watched The Blind Banker, and then saw Austenland, which we had just bought on DVD. I thought it was adorable, personally. JJ Feild, people, yes, yes.

Belle with Tom Hiddleston :P

And we agreed that he and Tom Hiddleston look enough alike to play Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay in A Tale of Two Cities.  Dream cast, folks.  Oh, and take a look at this picture that Belle drew of Tom Hiddleston... how cool is THAT.  She's incredibly talented.

Thursday we worked on the guest posts for the A Tale of Two Cities blog party on Eva-Joy's blog (CHECK IT OUT!!!). That evening the upstairs shower messed up and water leaked through the kitchen ceiling. Not an uncommon occurrence, but ya know. Thursday night was The Great Game evening, and Moriarty thoroughly spooked us. In that awesome he-is-such-a-cute-psycho-we-love-him-but-gosh-he-is-so-creepy way. Which leads to the events of that night.

Duhn-duhn-duhn.  We were awakened in the pitch black of the night by a thunderous crash that shook the whole bedroom-- being the phans that we are, we immediately assumed it was a falling chandelier.  No, actually, our first thought was bombs and Moriarty, if indeed we thought at all, since we were too busy screaming our half-asleep heads off.  Turns out Ally's jewelry board had fallen down from the wall, taking a shelf with it, and though nothing was broken it made quite a lot of noise.  We were both fine, of course, and it was a funny story in the morning.

She screamed first. I heard her and thought, "Someone is screaming. I must scream, too." :P Friday was VALENTINE'S DAY, and it was our day-out-in-KC with Belle and my brothers Nick and Alex. We went to Crown Center to eat at Fritz's, a restaurant where trains deliver your food. Tradition to take visitors there. So if you ever come to visit the Rovirosas, prepare to go to Fritz's. ;) It's tradition for Nick to order our meals at Fritz's with an accent (you order over a phone at your booth), and when he did an impersonation of Benedict Cumberbatch, we were amazed at how quickly we got our order. Amazing what power a British accent has.

In our conductor hats at Fritz's

Being ridiculously silly in KC was so much fun-- taking goofy Reichenbach-esque pictures along the edge of a railing in Crown Center, counting the coins in the waterfall, remarking on the fact that we were the only "young people" in Fritz's, as everyone else was either a small child or a parent-- we stuck out like sore thumbs in hats that were too small.  :P  As we were leaving the Union Station parking lot, Nick was getting ready to pay for the parking and there was no attendant there, so Belle suggested we just run for it without paying "since know one would know", and we had to reprove her. "God would know... and Sherlock would, too!"  But we must excuse her for this flagrant dishonesty, as she is only a child.  (Sorry, inside joke.  :P)

"Goodbye, John..." yes, we make light of tragedy :P

After eating we went to the Country Club Plaza (where we were afraid of being murdered in a parking garage - waaaay too much Sherlock) and saw Frozen at the theater there. Our second time seeing it, Amy's first. Absolutely adorable, of course. I fangirled through "Let it Go" like I do every time, and Amy was desperately in love with Kristoff (ok, so was I, how can we help it?!). OHMYGOSHSOGOODILOVEFROZENSOMUCH!!!!!! Anyway. Then we played another game of Seven-Up on the way home ("Why can't they just let it go?" "Because that's what people DO!"), went home and had tacos and amazing guacamole compliments of my dad. And thennnnn...came Amy's Most Emotionally Traumatizing Valentine's Evening Ever.

I'll say... first we watched the Hounds of Baskerville, which while not tearjerking is totally suspenseful and sad and scary and all that (also awesome) and then Somewhere in Time, through which we all cried buckets, and then the Reichenbach Fall, and... well, Ally says it was extremely emotionally satisfying to see me bawling like that.  I suppose she didn't know I cared.

The look on your face!!! :P Anyway, yes. It was very emotionally satisfying to see her bawling. I enjoyed having someone who actually enjoyed Somewhere in Time for once and didn't hate it by the time the movie was over. A bit of a let-down when you're showing people your favorite movie and, ya know, they don't like it. But what can we say...sad is happy for deep people. :) And then of course Reichenbach was delicious. All the Sherlock feels.

Ally, Emma, Joey and Amy with a frog-face effect

You talk as if it was something to eat.  :P  On Saturday Mr. Rovirosa made a traditional Cuban dinner, which was sooooo good-- I'd never eaten plantains before and I'm in love.  We had way too much fun doing impressions of different singers-- you don't know what ridiculous is until you've heard Sarah Brightman and Julie Andrews do "Defying Gravity."  Heehee.  Fooled around a bit with her younger siblings and the webcam on my laptop, as shown above.  Annnnnnnd I was incredibly spoiled because I had to wait just one day (though it was an eternity of a day :P) to watch the beginning of Season 3 after seeing the end of Reichenbach.  I do appreciate it, believe me.  :D  We went to bed ostentatiously early that night but ended up staying awake until 4 on Sunday morning, talking so much.

Today Amy got to meet my church family! We had such an awesome time and had some really enlightening discussions as my church usually does. ;) All in all, this has been such a fabulous week and I am *so* thankful for the opportunity for Amy to come down. I've been so lucky to get to know her through blogging and she's just as awesome in person. Honestly, so thankful for her friendship!!! And she can't say anything because I have the last paragraph. :P So we have...basically a day and a half left, and we're planning on filling those days with tons and tons of stuff. :) Love all you guys, etc., etc.

The Two Marthas

P.S.  And a bonus little gift to you... something Silly we made...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Interview With an Authoress: Rachel Heffington and Fly Away Home

I am tickled pink today to be interviewing the lovely and illustrious Miss Rachel Heffington, a writer whose work I have admired for some time now. Her debut novel was released yesterday and is available on Amazon-- you can read more about it on Goodreads as well, and of course on her blog (just click on her name).

Rachel has been a good friend for nearly two years now... in fact, we started corresponding right around Valentine's Day in 2012. :D She's an amazing word-crafter, a well-read gal who understands about Milne and Wodehouse and all those fabulous Britishers, and a delightful friend that I'm very glad to have in my life. (Also, she calls me old chump, and that's kind of hilarious, and there are very few people who use expressions like that, so they-- the people-- deserve to be treasured when you stumble across them.) I'm incredibly excited about her new novel, and I think you ought to be too!

The summary from Goodreads is as follows, and will hopefully serve to whet your appetites...

1952 New York City Callie Harper is a woman set to make it big in the world of journalism. Liberated from all but her buried and troubled past, Callie craves glamour and the satisfaction she knows it will bring. When one of America's most celebrated journalists, Wade Barnett, calls on Callie to help him with a revolutionary project, Callie finds herself co-pilot to a Christian man whose life and ideas of true greatness run noisily counter to hers on every point. The new friendship sparks, the project soars, and a faint suspicion that she is fall for this uncommon man grows in Callie's heart. When the secrets of Callie's past are exhumed and hung over her head as a threat, she is forced to scrutinize Wade Barnett and betray his dirtiest secrets or see her own spilled. Here there is space for only one love, one answer: betray Wade Barnett to save her reputation, or sacrifice everything for the sake of the man she loved and the God she fled. The consequences of either decision will define the rest of her life.

1.  To what sort of person would you recommend FAH?  A Janeite, a Dickensian, a Scarlet Pimpernel fangirl, an aficionado of modern Christian fiction?  To all of the above, mayhap?  What elements in the book would attract those types of readers?

Oooooh. A Scarlet Pimpernelian who likes modern Christian fiction. Fly Away Home isn’t quite like most modern romances. Indeed, romance takes a complimentary rather that front-forward role in the book. Considering I am all of the above (Janeite, Dickensian, Scarlet Pimpernelian and sometimes-enjoyer of modern fiction) I should think most people would find something to like. It’s a story of friendship, love, loyalties, and the true definition of greatness.

2.  Mr. Barnett is the hero of the piece, and the favorite character of many (myself included). What's your favorite thing about him?  (Yes. Pick one.)

(darn your mushrooms.) erugmmmm.sshhhdhhdhs. ....ummm... his brown eyes? Oh. You meant character-wise. His tender spirit. He has taught me. His author. Oy.

3.  What beverage did you consume the most as you wrote and edited FAH, and what stimulates your creativity the most?

Crumbs. What stimulates my creativity beverage-wise? I think we could say Chick-fil-A lemonade but I don’t think you meant that. I drank mostly...tea? Probably. Coffee came in the editing rounds and mocha in formatting. As for what stimulates my creativity (besides lovely pulpy lemonade): reading good books, people-watching, traveling, and reading deep blogs like The Rabbit Room

4.  Callie's cat Nickleby is a most satisfactory and pleasing beast-- was he at all inspired by your own cat Cricket?  Do you think cats use words when they think?

Yes, he is inspired by Cricket...or rather, he is a manifestation of companionable black cats of which le Cricket is one...which is much the same thing. And of course they use words...or sniffs. I rather think contemptuous sniffs make up much of their vocabulary.

5.  In all sharp and blunt honesty (what an oxymoron!) what do you think Calida Harper would think of her authoress?  

Haha. She wouldn’t really know what to do with one such as me. Eventually she would like me but I think she’d consider me from rather a stiff angle because of course she’d know how I love Wade Barnett.

6.  Is there a particular character in FAH that makes you want to throw something (preferably somewhat heavyish) at him or her?  What is it about this abrasive creature that rubs you (and presumably the readers) the wrong way? 

Blackmailers are rather nasty, you know. ‘Tisn’t polite.

7.  Can you tantalize us with three untagged dialogue snippets and give the blog readers a chance to guess (in the comments) who said what?  (If you'd be so good, tell us the names of those who spoke, and let the readers match people to quotes.)

Okay! How fun! The people speaking are.... Jerry Atwood, Nalia Crosticinni, and Wade Barnett:

“Well I don’t think about your opinions. My own occupy my time sufficiently.”

“Miss Harper, let me ask you one thing: do you have any aspirations for marriage?”

“Going forth to charm the world, are we? Be yourself, Miss Harper. They’ll love you for it.”

8.  What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I confine myself to my Lair for several hours every day. Usually one to two hours of that time are writing, but I also am required to spend a couple hours with publicity work, blogging, catching up on blogs, etc. I usually add 1500 words a day to my manuscript of choice. Having won the Five Glass Slippers contest, I will soon be busy with revisions and edits for that as well.

9.  How long did it take you to put FAH together, from first scribbled draft to final polished edit?

Oh crumbs. Let me think: a year and a half? Two years? I did so many edits and took my time since I was none to sure how I wanted to publish it. It had several lulls in that interim of Not Being Worked On.

10.  What drew you to the setting of 1950's New York City for FAH?  (It's a brilliant one, I might add!)

Glamour and Glitz. Yeah, ironic, I know. I’m a sucker for vintage glam. :D

11.  What songs inspired you as you wrote FAH?  Any particular tunes for certain characters?

Bwahahahaha. “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” is pretty much my sole song for the book. I love it to bits and it is Mr. Barnett’s song for Callie. (PSSST. Matt Belsante’s version is best.)

12.  If you could sum up some potent advice for newbie writers in one pithy quote, what would you say?

If you wait to write till you feel like writing, you’ll never write worth beans. (Now I feel like some old hag from Jack and the Beanstalk or something.)

Thanks for having me, Gussie old chump! <3

Rachel Heffington is a Christian, a novelist, and a people-lover. Outside of the realm of words, Rachel enjoys the Arts, traveling, mucking about in the kitchen, listening for accents, and making people laugh. She dwells in rural Virginia with her boisterous family and her black cat, Cricket. Visit Rachel online at

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Time is Near...

"I'm so excited I can't STAND it!!!!!"
~Emma Woodhouse, Emma Approved

In just one short day I'll be boarding a plane all on my own to go see the girl who sparked my love for Les Mis, so I thought the song was appropriate for today.  :D I dreamed a dream in time gone by that this day would come, and now it has and in my life it has burst like the music of angels, the light of the sun.  Soon I will be there, at last beside her and I can die in-- never mind.  At the end of this day, I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep... so many things anticipated, so many things unknown.  The time is now, the day is practically here... I'M GONNA SCREAM!

 (And I'm Javert.  Just so ya know.)

In short, yes, I'll be at Ally's for a week so blog posting may or may not actually happen.  Hopefully we'll have some time to write something together while I'm there, but no promises.  There will, however, be pictures and anecdotes when I return.  I pledge my word.  In the meantime, stay tuned for an author interview on Saturday to coincide with the release of Rachel Heffington's novel Fly Away Home!  EEEEEEEEP!

Just twenty-seven hours more, and then tomorrow I'll away... it's time to open another door and live another day...

Until then, I'll just be floating around the house on cloud nine-- er, desperately racing around trying to get a million last-minute things done before Departure tomorrow.

The only thing I'm desperately hoping is that the above is not true... weather, please cooperate.  PLEASE.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Handy-Dandy Helpful Hair Guide, From the Gentlemen of Period Drama

In light of the success of last week's post from the ladies of period drama, we bring you the sequel, live from the man cave.

(Please note that as subject material is a bit scarcer when it comes to gentlemen's hair, being that there generally isn't as much of it, we have expanded the repertoire of advice to include facial hair as well.)

1. If you're a farmer and really super busy at harvest season, we'll cut you some slack, but seriously, Ramen noodles don't look good on anyone.

2. Those who are in the habit of wearing their hair slightly longer and parted on the side (which is, we might add, not at all unattractive) should not attempt a romantic proposal after slicking their hair down with some weird kind of gel.  Whether they get the girl is not necessarily correlated to this attention to appearance, but they will run the risk of being gently ridiculed and their mode of walking compared to that of a gander when they are being observed by a pair of snarky, sentimental teenage girls.

3. Do the powdered wig thing if you must, but you'll always look better if you let it go natural (while dressed in farmer's clothing) and end up getting shot in the process.  (Warning: this method is prone to attract much screaming from a certain group of people calling themselves Leaguettes.)

4. Curlytops should hang out with other curlytops.

We don't know why, but it's been practically scientifically proven that they always do.

5. Never underestimate the power of a good hat.  And if you're nice enough, you can even pull off an ugly one.

6. If you're going to start making rules about how people are not allowed to be taller than you, you might want to consider actually growing something on top of your head, as this will at least add to the illusion of height.

7. Trying to look older in an attempt to woo your ex-girlfriend's little sister will not be helped by growing a wispy little mustache/goatee thingy.  She will, in all likelihood, demand you shave it off, like the sensible woman she is.  To prevent this from happening, just don't grow it in the first place.  It looks ridiculous.  I don't care if you're Batman.

8.  If your name is Marius, your hair must be amazing at all times. (please note that your voice has to be incredible too and all the curls and swoosh in the world won't make up for a lack in that department.)  This is the unwritten code of the Marii, and don't get me started on the Enjolrai.

9. Well-trimmed, clean hair of a decent length is always an agreeable thing, and you may well win the heart of the hoity-toity postmistress's assistant if you wear yours in such a manner.

However, if you turn up later on with long, greasy locks and a generally unkempt appearance (not to mention a little matter of, y'know, skipping town earlier in the series UM HELLO) you might not be met again with such favor.

10.  Seriously, do consider washing it once in a while.

11.  What we said about mustaches earlier?  Notorious cause for divorces, so I hear.

12.  In case you're not taking this seriously, gentlemen, a lady really does notice your hair.  First impressions, so say Jane Austen and Peter Pan, are awfully important, and if you look creepy and stringy when first seen...  well, the viewers won't be as likely to dub you their favorite character.

  Just saying.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Friends, bookworms, countrymen, lend me your interest...

Jessica Greyson

...because I have something rawthah exciting to announce!  Jessica Greyson and Katherine Sophia are hosting a dee-lightful book giveaway in honor of Valentine's Day, with fifteen books by self-published authors as the reward for one fortunate winner. (Plus a Starbucks gift card and a book light.)


I am incredibly honored to be one of the featured authors (look! there's Only a Novel on the left, second tier!).  Only of course that means I can't enter the giveaway, which is a shame because in case you can't tell, I'm kinda drooling over the notion of fifteen new books.

Anyways.  Giveaway information!

For some reason I can't get the rafflecopter widget to embed in my post (I have the code, but all it will give me is a link... silly code) so here is the link you should visit if you wish to enter the giveaway. More information can be found on Jessica's author blog.

I am going to be interviewed later today on Jessica's blog (the link's the same as in the previous paragraph so I won't bother doing it all over again) so do stop by and take a peek-- and don't forget to enter the giveaway!  (Did I say that enough times?)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I'd Like to Share: February 2014

In order to make I'd Like to Share events each month a little bit more interesting than they already are (because the assumption is that everyone clicking on the links is getting to stumble upon new blogs each month and possibly even make a new friend or two), I've decided to add a new feature-- a quote from a period drama, the source of which must be guessed by my lovely readers.  Leave your guess in a comment and I'll come back and comment in a week or so and let you know the answer (so don't forget to subscribe :D).

Our February quote:

"I am by no means assured of his regard, and even were he to feel such a preference, I think we should be foolish to assume that there would not be many obstacles to his marrying a... a woman of no rank who cannot afford to buy sugar."

And our nominations!

In the Inspirational category...

Livia Rachelle nominated Susannah for The Story of Us
Kiri Liz nominated Kathryn for Writing and Writing
Miss Dashwood nominated Anne-girl for Animal Crackers, Lexicons and Clam-Digging

In the Just Plain Interesting category...

Eva-Joy nominated Anne-girl for A Taste of Legend's New Bits