Rainy Wednesday

August 18, 2014 | Comment on This

garden of eden

 The Garden of Eden

by Hugh Goldwin Riviere (1869-1956)

Writers World Blog Tour!

August 13, 2014 | Comment on This

jocelyn collage best

I’m honored and excited to be a part of the Writer’s World Blog Tour, mostly because I get to introduce you to two of my favorite people on the planet. The first is author friend, Jocelyn Green, who tagged me. Her post went live last week HERE.

Jocelyn Green is an award-winning author of multiple fiction and nonfiction works, including Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she co-wrote with Dr. Gary Chapman. Her first novel in the Heroines Behind the Lines series, Wedded to War, was a Christy Award finalist, and the gold medal winner in historical fiction from the Military Writers Society of America. A native Northerner, she and her Southern-born-and-bred husband live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, with their two children. Her goal with every book is to inspire faith and courage in her readers. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com and www.facebook.com/jocelyngreenauthor.

Jocelyn asked me to answer a few questions and then introduce you to another author below! Since I don’t talk much about writing here, it’s fun to shake things up a bit! Here goes…

What are you working on, Laura?

When I was first published, I was always thrilled to answer this question but have since changed my view.  Now I believe talking about the next novel removes it’s mystique somewhat. So I’ll speak in general terms. This story is a standalone, not part of a series, is set in the 18th-century and involves history, mystery, and romance in spades!

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I can only echo what others say about my work as I’m not very objective. I think the word passion is mentioned a lot. My stories are peopled with passionate characters and emotions, particularly the 18th-century books. Another mention is poignancy which I love. Some say there is a lyrical quality to my writing. I don’t hear it but maybe it’s there. Other readers say that I write outside of the box. I don’t think my stories are formulaic or typical of the genre. Many readers don’t like the unexpected or any heartbreaking realism in novels. I tell them to stay away from my books! No sugar-coated history for me though I always promise a happy ending.

Why do you write what you do?

I write what I want to read and what I often cannot find.  I have a passion for history so that’s probably the bottom line behind my books.

How does your writing process work?

I don’t really have one. I write anytime, anywhere, noisy, busy, quiet, sick, tired, sad, happy, etc. I love mornings and get up very early but write as much as I can whenever I can, nearly every day, even if it’s just a little bit. And no, I don’t do a word count. Too much like counting calories, I always say! I’m more of a panster than plotter. I don’t do outlines but do fill a small notebook of plot points, dialogue, and whatnot as I research before I write a word. 

But I’d much rather talk about someone who has become a true inspiration to me with her gentle spirit, oasis-like website, and giftedness…

amanda image best

It’s a real joy to introduce the very lovely and talented…

Amanda Dykes

amanda dykes

Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, a dweller of Truth, and a spinner of tales. She grew up just down the mountain from Lake Tahoe, a lake that holds a special place in her heart. It’s here that she now enjoys setting her historical fiction. She is a Novel Crossing contributor, co-founder of the Christian Fiction Book Club, but most of all, she’s just a girl redeemed, grateful for the gift of story, the hearts of those who read it, and the God whose love changed everything. Join her in the writing of the short story Bespoke, and the chance to use your own memories to give a bicycle to a missionary across the world at www.AmandaDykes.com/Bespoke .

I hope you’ll check out these authors if they’re new to you!

Happy Monday!

Riding high

August 5, 2014 | Comment on This

major with linda and me

Nothing like a summer ride up into the woods and mountains. Here’s my buddy, Linda, and I preparing to go. Since my next hero is a horseman, among other things, I’m rehearsing the role, so to speak:)

major trail best

The woods were so cool despite the 80 degree day and so lovely with the sunlight filtering through the trees…

major flower collage

My favorite summer flower here is the wild rose but the fireweed and avalanche lilies and other blooms are in abundance…

wyatt discovery trail best

After taking some switchbacks, we were up on the ridge behind my house with an inspiring view of the water blanketed with mist…

roger discovery trail

The same view at twilight, taken by Linda’s photographer husband, Roger, who captures such unforgettable images wherever he roams. He even snapped these pics of Linda and I without my knowing! His Facebook photography page is full of inspiration…

major best laura

I rode Major who has lots of personality  We’d be tearing down the trail and he’d snatch a big ol’  helping of salmonberry brush without missing a beat ~ truly, a horse after my own heart:) This little collie followed us all the way…

An unforgettable day with God’s glory on display!

Any other horse lovers out there?

The porch

July 26, 2014 | Comment on This

porch bestest

We are in a house with windows on all sides. On one side the sweet garden is trampled and torn, the beeches blown down, the fountain broken; you sit and look out, and it is all very miserable. Shut the window. I do not mean forget the garden as it was, but do not brood on it as it is. Open the window on the other side, where the great mountains shoot heavenward, and the stars rising and setting, crown their peaks. Down those stairs look for the descending feet of the Son of Man, coming to comfort you. This world, if it were alone, would not be worth much – I should be miserable already; but it is the porch to the Father’s home, and He does not expect us to be quite happy, and knows we must sometimes be very unhappy, till we get there.

~George MacDonald

*Pinterest image

July joys

July 20, 2014 | Comment on This

Celebrating the joys of summertime…

july's joys collage

It’s been a busy month in the garden. Lots of fruit ripening and jam-making in our kitchen. Our favorite flavor? Wild blackberry! Recently Randy found this abandoned bird’s nest in our woods, truly a work of art…

seattle trip collage best

To celebrate Paul’s 15th birthday, we took a trip to the Seattle zoo and also the locks to see the boats come in and out of Puget Sound. The weather was glorious – an unheard of 90 degrees and sunny…

seattle trip collage 2

The roses are in bloom everywhere and it’s been fun to have some boy time. My favorite stop in Seattle is PinkaBella cupcakes! Can’t eat just one…

fairy queen wing reading best

One of the highlights was being the Fairy Queen at a fairy party for a friend’s granddaughter. Oh joy! A wonderful leap from our all-male household to gossamer wings and giggles! This group stole my heart…

july joys story

And then there are the stories, always the stories, written in the margins of ordinary life…

Hope your summer is going well!

 

Sacred idleness

July 17, 2014 | Comment on This

sequim lavender festival

Local lavender fields, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.

~George MacDonald

A sneak peek…

July 8, 2014 | Comment on This

wren back cover copy

Just saw the back cover copy for Love’s Fortune, releasing soon.

Counting down with you…!

Our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor

July 3, 2014 | Comment on This

july 4th new

The 4th of July is a favorite holiday of mine because of the rich history behind it. It doesn’t hurt that it was birthed during my favorite century!

founder's bible

Recently I ordered The Founders’ Bible, thanks to a dear reader who told me about it,  and wanted to share the link with you here. If  you’re in need of a new Bible with beautiful illustrations and commentary that’s based on America’s founding, this one is truly unique.

Hope your holiday is blessed!

A recipe and a memory

June 29, 2014 | Comment on This

luss cottage on loch lomond best

One of my favorite spots in Scotland is the tiny village of Luss on Loch Lomond. They have such quaint cottages with colorful doors and glorious flowers ~ and a tea shop!

luss scones best yet yet

I spent a memorable morning delighting in their scones fresh from the oven with clotted cream, butter, and jam. I’ve never had a scone so good!

A dear friend sent me her favorite scone recipe, thought to be nearly as good as the ones in Luss. I can’t wait to make a batch and wanted to share it with you here…

Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 with rack in center of oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Place a mesh sieve over bowl and add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Shake the contents into the bowl. Dribble in the heavy cream, mixing well with a wooden spoon. The dough will be rough, with some dry areas visible. Scrape the spoon and the sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Gently knead dough until smooth. Add a little flour to the work surface and your hands as you go. Flatten ball of dough with your hands into a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Take a sharp, serrated knife and cut the circle in half. Cut each half-circle into 6 equal wedges. Place the wedges about 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Glaze

1 extra-large egg

1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 tablespoons coarse sugar or granulated sugar

Make glaze by whisking egg with 1 tablespoon heavy cream in small mixing bowl. Brush tops of scones with glaze. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Bake about 18 minutes till tops and bottoms are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.

Store in covered tin or perforated plastic bag at room temperature for up to 4 days. Freeze, if preferred.

*3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, or 1/4 cup dried cranberries can be added, too.

divider best

Summer is in full swing so I’ll be posting once a week or so with comments closed. That way you can just enjoy not commenting and I can stay busy with my family and a writing deadline.

Happy baking! 

He giveth

June 23, 2014 | Comment on This

job quote