A Lot of Work for a Little Snow [GUEST POST]

Wintertime at the Monastery
Sometimes the smallest detail creates the largest amount of work for an author, like trying to pick the perfect time for a setting to have snow. E.M. Powell explains in this guest post regarding her new novel, The Monastery Murders. (Photo by Paul R. Robinson, Flickr)

Whenever we pick up a book by one of our favorite authors, we may not realize just how much research went into writing a certain character, choosing a setting, or crafting a particular scene, especially when the author does her job as seamlessly as historical mystery author, E.M. Powell. Reading her latest novel, The Monastery Murders, she excels at luring us into the story’s disarming setting and made us ask: How did holiday traditions differ way back in 1176 and how does she utilize these details to build suspense? Thankfully she explains in today’s guest post. Enjoy! —J&H

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It Takes Courage to Be Empathetic

Hug

We can’t take away the pain of the world, but we can make it more tolerable when we are empathetic. (Photo by Arwen Abenstern – KWP, Flickr)

Those of you who follow along with us on a regular basis may have realized that we frequently introduce books that celebrate people, whether real or fictitious, who make a difference in the lives of others. Three of our diamond reviewed books come immediately to mind: My Glory Was I Had Such FriendsThe Trick, and our most recent volume, What Blooms from Dust. What is it that these volumes have in common? The answer is easy: empathy.  Read more of this post

Fiction Finds Foothold with Immigration Issues: V.C. Andrews® Ignites Dialogue with the Re-Release of Delia’s Crossing [GUEST POST]

Vestido Bonita

A young immigrant comes to America to escape a cruel fate in V.C. Andrews’ Delia’s Crossing. (Photo by Jonathan Emmanuel Flores Tarello, Flickr)

There is no mystery as to why the publication of Delia’s Crossing, first in a three-book Series featuring a Latino main character, has since been aptly called “The Latino Cinderella.” Delia’s Cinderella reference comes from the plot driver: a teenage Mexican girl from a small village loses her parents in a truck accident. Read more of this post

Unplug in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains [PHOTOS]

Heather relaxes on a beautiful Ozark morning

The Ozark mountains are a restful destination where we love to reconnect with nature and good friends.
(Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

We love our friends in Texas, but sometimes the chaos of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is enough to drive anyone batty. That’s when we know it is time to escape to the mountains. Read more of this post

Six Ways to Show You Love Your Library

Heather at Portland Public Library

Heather visits the moose at the Portland Public Library in Maine. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Last week may have been National Library Week, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show love to your local library the other fifty-one weeks of the year. Whether you’re a bibliophile who knows each librarian by name or someone who hasn’t stepped into a library since catalogs were in a big wooden chest with thousands of index cards inside, here are some ways to make the most of your local library now.  Read more of this post