One Last Spring

I know it’s not spring right now, but this book doesn’t just cover spring. There is a blizzard, spring blossoms, and summer fun all wrapped up in its pages. This historical romance is set in the quiet village of Llanwddyn in Wales in the late 1880’s. I don’t have a clue how to say Llanwddyn. It could be pronounced Lan-widden or Yanidin or Lawden or Land Down Under depending on your mood. But I digress.

The characters in this tale are Gwen–a 16 year old girl who lives with her strict aunt; Lewis–the blacksmith’s son who is supposed to watch over Gwen for her brother, his best friend; and Thomas–an English engineer sent to the village to supervise the dam construction.

When Gwen’s brother leaves for sea and changes come to her community due to the new dam being built (which in the years to come will force the villagers to relocate), she must dig deep within herself to find happiness.

This story intrigued me because it’s based on true events in Wales that the author discovered in her family history. The Vyrnwy dam was built in Wales to bring clean water to the people of Liverpool (which was a cesspool back then…ick!). Don’t ask me how to pronounce Vyrnwy either. I’m kind of glad I’m not a Welsh girl, because I think I would flunk my spelling tests.

This story is more introspective than others I’ve read. It’s not driven by a gripping plot and lots of twists and surprises. Still, I enjoyed it. Though it depicts a simple life, there are challenges the characters must overcome. The characters were great, and I enjoyed the love triangle in this one. I didn’t know who to cheer for at times because the author didn’t write one hero off with a character flaw to get him out of the way. They’re both true heroes.

The setting details and writing style were beautiful. This reflective piece made me smile and was perfect for reading in a cozy chair on a cold winter night. I could tell the historical details were well-researched and written in a way that enhanced the story and taught readers a piece of history. Overall, a thoughtful read and cozy romance befitting of simpler times.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book in from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review…and I can give One Last Spring two thumbs up.

Enter to win a Rafflecopter giveaway and check out the rest of the sites below on the blog tour this week.


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Windy Weather & Words


My area of the world has had some blustery days this week. If you look in my backyard, you’ll see lots of willow branches scattered everywhere. When it’s not so cold, maybe I’ll get out there and rake/pick them up.

I looked up what caused wind so I could give you a weird fact for the week, but it was semi-confusing and I couldn’t figure out how to dummy-ize it for myself. There were high pressure systems and low pressure systems and graphs with lines all over to explain wind. What I came away knowing is that wind is tricky. It’s this invisible force we notice only by how it affects everything in its path–so our hair blows in our eyes, the willow loses branches as they’re whipped around, and leaves and garbage blow all over the place.

You’re welcome.

But I did find one weird fact I could understand. The WORLD RECORD WIND SPEED recorded on the surface of the Earth was 231 mph on April 12, 1934, atop Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. This high-elevation weather station experienced the winds of an extremely strong jet stream that had descended unusually low in the atmosphere.

Now that is FAST. No wonder planes and jets can go so fast when they get in those jet streams. But we people should stay the heck out of them.

I’m still in the revision stage with my next novel. If you want to know what that’s like, imagine me as a high power wind pouring through about 120,000 words. Like my backyard littered with willow branches of all shapes and sizes, my novel is kind of messy too–but instead of branches, there are words scattered everywhere. I change one scene, and that messes up everything after it so I have to redo those scenes as well. Soon I’m so confused, I’m trying to rake up my mess into organized piles by making outlines and plot grids…but my windy creativity blows through again, messing it all up again.

Don’t worry. Eventually I’ll get my piles of words raked up and made into a beautiful leaf-word centerpiece to share with the world…but don’t hold your breath until then. Writing is HARD!

Imagine having to rake a whole back yard of leaves every day for the rest of your life…and you get an idea of how writing novels is…except there will be people out there who badmouth your efforts no matter how bad or good you raked up those leaves. Yeah. Fun, huh?

I really do like writing. The part I don’t like is putting my finished product out there for everyone else to read and try to blow to pieces like the Big Bad Wolf (he was a windy fella). Some days, I am tempted to throw glitter at my computer.

But all joking aside, windy weather and words can be a lot of fun…or a great big headache. It’s all in how you look at it…and which stage of the weather and writing process you’re in at the time. Hurricanes are NEVER fun…and marketing my writing is like a hurricane. I’m not there yet with this novel…but it’s on the far horizon and I know I’ll have to hunker down, buy my Pop Tarts and wait out the storm until the high or low pressure systems stabilize and make writing a breeze again.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods…or city…or lake town…or village…or wherever you live? Is the wind making a mess of things, or blowing away the smog in your life?

char sig heart

Christmas Kisses

I’m NOT talking about CHOCOLATE, although now that I say that, my mind is conjuring up silver wrapped yummies for my tummy. However, Christmas Kisses is a collection of stories from five bestselling and award-winning authors that is on sale right now…so don’t pass this up, because even though it isn’t made of chocolate, there is chocolate mentioned in the stories, which is less calories than the REAL STUFF. Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these clean romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa [OH NO! I mentioned chocolate again] by the fire and listen to Christmas carols. Continue reading

Writers and Spiders

DSCN9387Writing and spiders don’t connect, unless a spider spins it’s silky web and attaches it to a writer…then they’re connected by threads, but that just creeps me out to think about…so casting that thought out of my head, I will continue on.

I’m a writer…and there are spiders and spider webs all over my back yard. Ick. I promised weird facts occasionally, so I looked up why there are so many arachnids in the fall…and it’s because they are on a seasonal timetable. They hatch in the spring, reproduce and die in the fall. In the summer, they lie low to keep from being eaten, but by fall, the survivors are large enough to start spinning webs and scare and annoy humans before they die. Continue reading

Scattering Seeds

DSC01131It kind of hit me that we’re always scattering seeds of some kind as we travel along life’s path. Sometimes we might drop weed seeds as we complain or grumble or gossip about somebody that’s stepped into our way in life. Hopefully, more often, we’re scattering seeds of kindness and happiness to be reaped by others following after us.

There are many people who walked the path ahead of me that dropped many wonderful seeds that have bloomed for my enjoyment. My Grandma is one of these people. She always smiled and spoke only good about people. Because of her positive seeds she planted, my life has been better. Remembering her makes me wonder about my own seeds I’m leaving behind me. Are my children and grandchildren (some day) and friends going to enjoy life more because of the flowers I made bloom. Or will they have to chop through icky weeds because I planted discord Continue reading

9 Book Giveaway

Hey, I have exciting news. My good writer friend, Rebecca Belliston, and her father, Gerald Lund, are giving away 9 of their books. I’ve read all of Rebecca’s books and many of her dad’s (but not all of these listed since he’s written a TON) and I can vouch for total awesomeness contained in them. Check out their giveaway below and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Author Gerald N. Lund is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 30 novels and non-fiction religious works. Rebecca Belliston is the author of four novels, including the new dystopian trilogy, Citizens of Logan Pond.


Enter to win signed copies of Gerald N. Lund and Rebecca (Lund) Belliston books.

Prizes will be awarded in sets of three and include: Continue reading

Mending Hearts


Mending Hearts (1)

This should be HOT FUDGE READING MONTH, because I keep enjoying these amazingly sweet reads that I just have to share. Mending Hearts is no  exception.

Logan & Candice, on the verge of divorce, decide to give their marriage one last try.
But will they be able to get past the issues holding them back?

Candice is through with married life and all it entailed: infertility, an adoption gone wrong, and the death of her Continue reading