Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Romeo and Juliet tale in the Civil War times

Book review Beloved Enemy by Al Lacy

Jenny Jordan is from Virginia but moved to Washington for her father’s job. After his success in the Mexican war President Lincoln put him in charge of the Senate Military Committee. As the Civil war breaks out the Jordan’s find it difficult being proud southerners and living in the north. President Lincoln is impressed with Jenny, not only because she is beautiful but smart and he offers her a job as a receptionist at the White House.
When the Union troops were attacked by an angry mob on a train heading to Washington, all the wounded soldiers were taken to the Capitol. Jenny volunteered to help and when Corporal “Buck” Brownell carried one of the wounded into the rotunda, Jenny quickly came to assist. When Buck looked at Jenny their eyes locked together. Buck Brownell was a tough solider but at that moment he couldn’t remember his own name. He was captivated by her beauty. Jenny smiled sweetly and turned away to concentrate on her work. Buck asked her out and they instantly hit it off. Jenny’s father was against her getting involved with someone from the North. “Right now isn’t the time to fall in love,” her father warned. Jenny couldn’t help it; Buck was different than anyone she’d ever known. Colonel Jordan was in the perfect spot to become a Confederate spy and he needed Jenny to help. Jenny is terrified as the punishment of being caught as a spy is death by the firing squad. When Jenny is asked to bring classified information to the Southern camp she is torn between doing what her dad wants and following her heart. 

Al Lacy did a lot of great research. It was a history lesson along with a wonderful love story. Beloved Enemy was a thought provoking read as I learned about a war that separated our nation. You’ll have to read this Romeo and Juliet tale to find out if it’s a tragic ending or a happily ever after.

Al Lacy is an evangelist and author of more than one hundred historical and Western novels, including the Journeys of the Stranger, Angel of Mercy, and Mail Order Bride series, with more than three million books in print.

You can purchase this book at:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Monday, May 21, 2012


Here’s a teaser from Book two Zenobia – Challenging a Legend, which will be released later this year. The scene takes place with Zenobia and Longinus. Cassius Dionysius Longinus is known in history as a living encyclopedia. Besides Zenobia, Longinus is another historical figure that intrigued Russ when he was writing Zenobia’s life story. 

Wallace added, “I have Longinus instructing Zenobia’s favorite class, Critical Thinking, in book one, but this may not have actually happened. What is certain is that he became her top advisor when she became queen and de facto ruler of Tadmor. He joined her campaign to overthrow Rome, lending his formidable analytical powers to her political and strategic skills. Most readers will enjoy the intellectual interplay between them, which really takes off in book two. He is intrigued by the toughness and brilliance of his beautiful pupil, while at the same time he fears her reckless daring puts her at risk. After Zenobia herself, Longinus was my favorite character to develop and work with.”

The two horses pounded along the trail. Saturn wanted to overtake Bethy, but Longinus held him back. He watched intently the girl in front of him. He detected the subtle shifts of her body as her mare flew up and down the hills and around the curves. She could have been born on a horse, he told himself. What a beautiful rider! And somewhere deep inside he realized that he meant it in more ways than one, but he did not allow himself to dwell on that. After a while, he gave Saturn his head and the big stallion overtook the mare.
Zenobia knew that her instructor had studied her ride, and she responded. He sat tall in his saddle, and he was a proficient rider. She could tell, however, that he was not a natural at it like Salim or Cam. He had evidently learned intellectually, and for some reason that disappointed her a bit.
They arrived at the connected rise and dune, but Zenobia noted that the formations had changed in the last few weeks. She explained how some of the riders and grooms had shadowed her that day, and how she had circled the dune twice to sneak up on them.
“Hmm. A bit provocative. What happened next?” he queried.
“One of them told me they did not like girls ‘invading’ their territory. I asked, ‘Do I look like I care?’ So he bumped Bethy with his stallion.”
“That was a mistake.”
“I warned him, but he did it again. So I cut his reins and swatted his stallion on the rump. The groom was hanging on to the mane as they sped over the rise.” She smiled at the memory.
 “No one can believe you are so deadly,” he observed, “because you are too pretty.”
Zenobia felt her face grow warm as she tried unsuccessfully to hold back the blush. “You did that deliberately,” she accused.
“Of course,” he admitted readily, “and it was gratifying to see the response I had anticipated. A vain woman would not have blushed.” She looked displeased, so he shrugged his shoulders and added, “I am merely gathering facts, as I told you I would.”
“Very well,” she acquiesced. “You can tell me about yourself as we head back. First, though, I would like to switch mounts.”

To read more about this exciting new adventure series go to 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Young Adult Book review City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I posted my book review for Young Adult series on my other blog, go check it out. 

Click on link to read book review : book-review-of-city-of-lost-souls

Monday, May 14, 2012

No spoilers just a little teaser about Zenobia - Birth of a Legend.

How a writer develops and creates a story is very interesting, Russ Wallace shared thoughts on how he wrote Zenobia – Birth of a Legend and I thought I would share it with you.

 Let me explain how I wrote some of the first Zenobia book:
   “The action scenes required a vivid imagination. In the chapter where the lions attack, for instance, I asked myself, ‘What conditions would make the lions more threatening?’ The darkness of night. ‘How would Zenobia feel while peering into the darkness, straining to see the developing threat?’ Apprehensive. Of course, I tried to see and feel it myself, and then put it into words, pulling the reader into the scene. The description went on for several paragraphs. Then, ‘What would the attack itself be like? What tactics would the young warrior be likely to employ to try to survive?’
   “The historical chapters, that is, the real history, was easy to write, but the dialog was more challenging. Zenobia and her classmates and instructors discuss and dispute the whys, hows and meanings of history, as indeed we do today. Sometimes the conclusions are nebulous. And they take lessons from history.
   “I especially enjoyed developing the complex personality of Zenobia, who was one of the most dynamic women who ever lived. She wrestles with injustice, as we all should, but she learns that it is not as cut and dried as she could wish.
  “ Zenobia chaffs at the counsel she receives about a growing romantic attraction, while at the same time she reluctantly recognizes the wisdom her advisers are giving her – a typical teenage conflict between the heart and mind.
   “She loves the academic world, but she longs to be a warrior and fight injustice. She feels pulled in two directions. Can she have both? Hoping the answer is Yes, she postpones a decision. And so did I, until Book 2.”
To learn more or read free chapters go to

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Welcome to Anna del C. Dye's Blog tour for A Royal Elf of Abalon

Thanks for stopping by for a great interview with Anna del C. Dye as we discuss her new and exciting fantasy book, A Royal Elf of Abalon.

Anna del C. Dye

Julie: Hi Anna! Thanks for being in my blog this week.
Anna: It is my pleasure to be here. I love to meet new people.
Julie: So, tell us what’s happening with you?
Anna: My life has been quite busy lately. I am getting ready for the “Renaissance Faire & Fantasy Festival” which will take three of my weekends in May. I take my books and have fun being a princess for three weeks. I really love it.
Julie: That does sound fun. Tell us about your upcoming release.
Anna: After the great success of “The Curse of the Elfs,” I’ll release: “A Royal Elf in Abalon” this May.
Julie: Where can we find this book?
Anna: Amazon, B&N, and my website will all have the links to buy it.
Julie: What inspired you to write this book?
Anna: Amathis, the queen in the story. She is a selfish, demanding, and cruel woman. She forced me to write it.
Julie: What fantasy bug bit you and got you started writing these mystical tales?
Anna: It was a great masterful bug and it bit me hard a few years ago—The name of the bug J. R. R. Tolkien. I love Lord of the Rings and that is my inspiration for my Elf Series.
 Julie: Intriguing, so tell us what is this book about?
Anna: A princess of a mankind kingdom, who is so sheltered by her mother that she makes some unsafe choices growing up. They will change her life and that of her kingdom as she faces challenges that she isn’t prepared for. It also tells of a young Elf who feels an unsafe fascination about the nearby mankind kingdom. Against his elders’ wishes, he ventures there, finding heartaches, betrayal, and murder. 
 Julie: Now I want to read this tale. Tell us what’s the first rule in building a fantasy world?
Anna: To stay true to the rules. If you say beings in that world don’t do something, don’t have them doing it later without explaining what changed so that now they can do what you said they couldn’t.
Julie: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?
Anna: Your characters are the most important parts of your book. So, if they want to go left you go left, even if you wanted to go right. If you don’t, it will be quite hard to make them change and your tale will feel forced. I want my tales to go smoothly, so I don’t fight the characters, they know better than me. 
Julie: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. Tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Anna: Change dirty diapers and keep my little Alexis happy. She didn’t feel too good. I love taking care of her though.
 Julie: What's your favorite music?
Anna: Romantic, hands down. The Platters, The Stylistics, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis. Soft rock. Lots of oldies. More recent artists: Il Divo, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion, etc.
Julie: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.
Anna: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I am a big believer of paying it forward.
Julie: What other fantasy tale are you weaving for us?
Anna: I am ready to finished The Flying Elf, which will be my Elf book for next year.
Julie: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Anna.
Anna: Thank you for inviting me to come. I had a wonderful time visiting with you.
Julie: If you’d like to find out more about Anna please visit:, and to read reviews of Anna’s books visit or Barnes & Noble

Here are the places you can buy A Royal Elf of Abalon:
Amazon print
Amazon ebook
Barnes & Noble

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book review of "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell


The story takes place right before Y2K. We are introduced to three characters; Beth & Jennifer are friends who work at The Courier together. Jennifer is a copy editor and Beth is a movie reviewer for the local paper. Lincoln is the IT guy that monitors the emails and sends warnings to those employees who are breaking the company rules about not emailing inappropriate stuff. This seems like an invasion of privacy and Lincoln hates that about his job. The employees at the newspaper know that someone could be reading their emails but Beth & Jennifer don't care. Lincoln finds he gets pulled into their lives as he reads emails they send back and forth. He feels he knows them on a personal level and wants to know them even better. Lincoln is attracted to Beth's personality and her witty ways. He likes her caring side as she helps her friend Jennifer, who's married and pregnant. Beth is involved with a non-committal guitarist in a local band. Lincoln doesn't think anyone is good enough for Beth, including himself.

I thought it was very clever how we got to read the emails back and forth between Beth & Jennifer and then Lincoln's thoughts on those emails. Lincoln is not your usual main character. He is an IT computer nerd, Dungeons and Dragons player on Saturday night, and still lives at home with his mom at age 28. He grows on you and the IT, D&D, nerd truly becomes the hero. This was a fun read and the characters felt like someone I would want to be friends with at the office.

To purchase a copy: