Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

This is a hard review to write for me. Very much like writing a review for Lauren Willig's  Pink Carnation series, this last book in the Pennyroyal Green series is one that I have been dreading reading and waiting impatiently for quite some time.
From the very first book, The Perils of Pleasure, where Colin Eversea escapes the hangman's noose to find love with the woman hired to free him, I have enjoyed every single book of the series. Colin's sister, Olivia, has been a part of each book, doing her good works against the slave trade, stoic and mysterious. Lyon Redmond has also appeared in each book, never literally, but as the golden heir to the Redmond family lost and mourned by all. All you know as the reader is that something went terribly wrong between Lyon and Olivia that does not seem will ever be put right.
This book opens with Lyon receiving word of Olivia's impending wedding to Viscount Lansdowne. Olivia has finally given up on ever hearing from Lyon again and decided that her only path is marriage. Lansdowne loves her and it would make her family happy to see her finally settled. And the story goes from there.
I read this book in a day. I loved it. It finally explained what happened to them originally. They are two strong-willed people who fall instantly and very believably in love at first sight. That feeling between them never truly changes though there were moments when I was not sure that I would get my HEA for Lyon and Olivia.
A bonus was the last chapter. Very well done, Ms. Long. I highly recommend the entire series, but this is a book I will reread.

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trad Tuesday - The Gael by Albannach

Albannach means Scotsman. The band Albannach is one of my favorite bands to see live. The four drummers and one bagpiper can make you feel as if you were marching over the highlands on your way to battle with William Wallace.

Here they are at a festival performing The Gael written by Dougie MacLean and famous as the soundtrack from Last of the Mohicans.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Review - Little Girl Lost by Angelique S Anderson

Little Girl Lost is a story of a young girl betrayed by an uncaring family. This first part of this short story series tells how Star is often left hungry and dirty because of her father and stepmother's gambling addiction. Sent to stay with strangers her life becomes better and worse. It is told from Star's viewpoint which gives her story even more poignancy. It is very well written and a fine start to this series. While a sad story, it is also a story that begs to be told.

Link to Amazon

Angelique S. AndersonBiography

Angelique S. Anderson is a singer/songwriter who majored in English and creative writing in high school. Having spent a couple years as a song writer, she decided to pursue her passion of story writing. She studied psychology at Liberty University. Currently she home schools four little girls, and enjoys doing speaking engagements and meeting new people. After living in Nashville, Tennessee, for four years, she and her family moved back to their home town of Stockton, California, where they currently reside.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Bedlam Boys sung by Old Blind Dogs

Tom of Bedlam is one of the earliest songs about madness that was first introduced in 1618. Bedlam was a common name for St. Mary Bethlehem hospital in London (now called Bethlem Royal Hospital) which housed the insane. During the 18th century it was a popular diversion to visit the hospital to watch the antics of the poor inmates. Admission was one penny and it is said the hospital realized an income of four hundred pounds a year from visitors.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Song for Ireland sung by Mary Black

Song for Ireland is a modern song with a traditional feel. It was written by English folk singer Phil Colclough after a visit to the Dingle Peninsula. Here it is sung by Irish singer Mary Black.

Walking all the day, near tall towers where falcons build their nests
Siver winged they fly, they know the call of freedom in their breasts
Soar Black Head against the sky, between the rocks that run down to the sea
Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets, asked for more 
I stood by your Atlantic sea, and sang a song for Ireland

Talking all the day with true friends, who try to make you stay
Telling jokes and news, singing songs to pass the night away
Watched the Galway salmon run like silver dancing darting in the sun
Living on your western shore saw summer sunsets, asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea, and sang a song for Ireland

Drinking all the day in old pubs, where fiddlers love to play
Someone touched the bow, he played a reel, it seemed so fine and gay
Stood on Dingle beach and cast - in wild foam we found Atlantic Bass
Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea, and sang a song for Ireland

Dreaming in the night, I saw a land where no man had to fight
Waking in your dawn, I saw you crying in the morning light
Lying where the Falcons fly, they twist and turn all in you e'er blue sky
Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea, and I sang a song for Ireland

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Full Stop - Free Speech, Censorship, and Moderation

I was asked to write an article for Full Stop, an Ezine about writing (

I went with a topic that is important to me. Here's the link for your reading pleasure.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Trad Tuesday: Three Fishers sung by The Duhks

"Three Fishers" is a poem and a ballad written in 1851. The original poem was written by English poet, novelist and preacherCharles Kingsley. It was first set to music by English composer John Hullah shortly thereafter. Some more recent recordings of the song follow a musical arrangement created by Garnet Rogers in the 1980s. 
The poem tells the story of three fishermen who sail out to sea, and lose their lives when overtaken by a storm. It describes the tragic loss of the fishermen's lives to their families.
The Duhks are a band from Winnipeg, Canada. They play in many styles including traditional Irish dance music. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

New Release - Shredded by Kimberly Rae

Title: Shredded
Your Past Does Not Define You 
Author name: Kimberly Rae

Teaser: Only two people know why Jean has stayed at the church all these years, why she won’t let anyone else work with the children. Only Jean knows about Sunday nights, the leftover bulletins she covers with words, then shreds as she weeps.
When Grant Henderson moves into town and starts to care, will Jean succeed in pushing him away, or will he break through to discover the truth? Is love enough to set her free?

Book Trailer:
Book Buying Link for Amazon Paperback and Kindle:
Book Buying Link for Autographed Copies:

Reader Comments:
…this book really blew me away!..All the emotion, the drama, the romance and tenderness, the action, adventure. I couldn’t wait to see what happened but I didn’t want it to end either. I really can’t say enough good things about it and how much I enjoyed it. WOW!… I was nervous with anticipation and crying and so caught up in it all. I had to put the book down to give myself an emotional break. :) … I rarely cry over books, but I think that other than Karen Kingsbury, [Rae is] the only other author that has made me cry while reading a book. -Sue
Warning!! You won’t want to put it down once you get started!! ….there’s no stopping. Awesome, awesome book!!!!  -Sue
Shredded was compelling, convicting, and compassionate at once…a deeply disturbing reality packaged with grace, humor, and a sweet love story. I couldn’t put it down. -Joy
I think this is [Rae’s] best book yet. It is so relative to today’s church and how we treat people. It is a wonderful mix of relationships, interwoven with suspense and love. It is a must read for anyone who thinks their past defines them and gives them no hope, whether they are a victim of human trafficking, child abuse, or just bad decision making, because Jesus can wipe the slate clean. -Wanda

Website link:

Author Bio:
Award-winning, Amazon bestselling author of 20 books, Kimberly Rae has been published over 300 times and has work in 5 languages.
Rae lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. She rafted the Nile River, hiked in the hills around Mount Everest, and tried cow brains just to say she’d done it! She now lives in North Carolina at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and two young children.
Rae’s 3 books in her STOLEN SERIES on human trafficking (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, Stolen Future) all are Amazon Bestsellers.
Since the release of her trilogy on human trafficking, Rae has become a sought-after speaker and trainer on the topic. Recognizing the lack of books about slavery and trafficking that focus on those who are making a difference rather than glorifying the evil or being overly graphic or despairing, she has also since created a series on modern day slavery for teens and pre-teens (Capturing Jasmina, Buying Samir, and Seeking Mother), and is currently working on a project for adults to help train children to recognize and avoid childhood sexual abuse (I AM SAFE), a major risk factor in childhood and adult exploitation. Printable handouts and other resources, as well as autographed books, are available on her website,
“People out there care and want to make a difference,” Rae says. “I love getting to help them do that.”
Author Photo:
Kimberly Rae

Author Logo:
An image posted by the author.

Jean collected the church bulletins people had left on pews or in hymnal racks, turned out the lights, locked the front doors, and carried the bulletins downstairs.
Arms forward, as if swimming through the thick darkness, she felt her way down the hallway, bulletins clutched in one outstretched hand and a light jacket in the other.
Fourth room on the left. Her hands had long ago learned to count the doorways along the wall. Her key opened the door and from there it was six steps forward and two to the right.
The desk was where it should be, and a moment of blind searching brought her hands to the small lamp set just to the left of the desktop paper shredder.
She draped her jacket over the lamp before switching it on. Even at that, she winced at the faded light which spread across half the desk.
Jean stood still, fighting the feeling someone was watching, knowing she was there. Knowing why.
Pulling the desk chair backward out of the circle of light, she sat and placed the bulletins in a neat pile on her lap. Jean watched her hands stretch into the light and set the first bulletin onto the desk alone next to the paper shredder, separate from the pile.
For a moment that small movement took on meaning. One bulletin out of all of them had been chosen and plucked away from the others. Placed separate, alone and helpless, at the mercy of someone's choice. Someone's hands.
Her own hands trembled. Jean reached for the ink pen always left next to the lamp and began to write. Fast, hard strokes shaped words along the margins, under announcements, between paragraphs listing nursery schedules and coming events. Black letters formed dark words, fragments, sentences, until every portion of white space succumbed to pressure and ink.
Once filled, she set the burdened sheet of paper aside and reached for another. It, too, she methodically filled, then another, until the stack reached five high.
She stared at the papers, at the words, then quickly lifted the stack and fed each bulletin into the paper shredder positioned half-inside the light. The small machine vibrated on the desk, chewing with loud and harsh sounds like a child who refused to learn manners, before releasing the shreds over a trash can adjacent to the desk.
Jean wrote on five more papers, and one by one, held them up to the shredder's mouth and watched them destroyed. The chopping sound paused after the fifth paper, but left a silence that seemed to breathe, as if the machine waited, impatient and greedy for more.
After an hour, possibly two, all the bulletins lay silent and powerless in the trash. Long, thin, shredded secrets.
Another Sunday night was over, but the routine had given no security. The words she wrote offered no freedom.
Jean knew next Sunday would be the same. And the next. Forever.
Her mother had been wrong, about so many things.
Jean's hands, with no bulletins left to hold, opened palm up to capture and cocoon her face as she dropped her head and sobbed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Trad Tuesday - MacPherson's Rant by Old Blind Dogs

Jamie MacPherson was a Scottish outlaw, the illegitimate son of Laird MacPherson of Invereshie and a beautiful gypsy girl. He was acknowledged and raised by his father until his death, then claimed by his mother's people. He grew up "in beauty, strength and stature rarely equaled."

He became the head of the gypsy band and was a famous swordsman and fiddler. He and his men became famous as outlaws in Aberdeenshire. He was eventually captured and put on trial.

It was still at that time a criminal offence merely to be an Egyptian (Gypsy) in Scotland, and it was under this statute that MacPherson was tried in November 1700. MacPherson and three others were brought to trial at Banff before Sheriff Nicholas Dunbar, Sheriff of Banffshire (who allegedly was a close friend of Duff's), on 8 November 1700, accused of: "Being ye mercats in yr ordinary manner of thieving and purse-cutting, or of the crimes of theft and masterful bangstree and oppression", and they were found "Fyllen, culpable, and convick" and sentenced "For sae muckle, as you, James MacPherson, are found guilty of being Egyptians and vagabonds and oppressors of his free lieges. Therefore, I adjudge and decern you to be taken to the cross of Banff to be hanged by the neck to the death".

The actual proc├Ęs-verbal of his trial is still extant; the following is the text of the death sentence:

"Forasmeikle as you James McPherson, pannal [accused] are found guilty by ane verdict of ane assyse, to be knoun, holden, and repute to be Egiptian and a wagabond, and oppressor of his Magesties free lieges in ane bangstrie manner, and going up and down the country armed, and keeping mercats in ane hostile manner, and that you are a thief, and that you are of pessimae famae. Therfor, the Sheriff-depute of Banff, and I in his name, adjudges and discernes you the said James McPherson to be taken to the Cross of Banff, from the tolbooth thereof, where you now lye, and there upon ane gibbet to be erected, to be hanged by the neck to the death by the hand of the common executioner, upon Friday next, being the 16th day of November instant, being a public weekly mercat day, betwixt the hours of two and three in the afternoon....”

MacPherson wrote his Rant the night before he was hanged, though it was later reworked by Robert Burns. Supposedly, he played it under the gallows and asked for a member of his clan to play it at his wake. When no one stepped forward, he broke his fiddle over his knee and said "No one else shall play Jamie MacPherson's fiddle." The broken fiddle is in the MacPherson Clan Museum near Newtonmore.

The legends about the life and death of Jamie MacPherson are numerous and very interesting reading. He is still quite famous in Aberdeenshire. The lyrics to Jamie's Rant or Lament go like this: 
I've spent my life in rioting,
Debauch'd my health and strength,
I squander'd fast, as pillage came,
And fell to shame at length.
Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play'd a tune, and danc'd it roon'
Below the gallows-tree.
My father was a gentleman,
Of fame and honour high,
Oh mother, would you ne'er had borne
The son so doom'd to die.
Ach, little did my mother think
When first she cradled me
That I would turn a roving boy
And die on the gallows tree
Farewell, yon dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch's destinie!
M'Pherson's time will not be long
On yonder gallows-tree.
O what is Death but parting breath?
On many a bloody plain
I've dar'd his face, and in this place
I'll scorn him yet again.
But vengeance I never did wreak,
When pow'r was in my hand,
And you, dear friends, no vengeance seek,
It is my last command.
Forgive the man whose rage betray'd
MacPherson's worthless life;
When I am gone, be it not said,
My legacy was strife.
It was by a woman's treacherous hand
That I was condemned tae dee
Aboon a ledge at a windae she stood
And a blanket she threw o'er me
Untie these bands frae aff o' my hands
And gie tae me my sword
There's no a man in a' Scotland
But I'll brave him at his word
There's some come here tae see me hang
And some tae buy my fiddle
But afore that I dae part wi' her
I'd brak' her through the middle
He took his fiddle into both of his hands
And he brak' it o'er a stone
Said, Nae ither hands shall play on thee
When I am deid and gane
Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright, "
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!
A reprieve was coming o'er the brig o' Banff
Tae set MacPherson free,
But they pit the clock a quarter afore
And they hanged him from a tree.
Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play'd a tune, and danc'd it roon'
And they hanged him from a tree.