Hello and welcome to my June Writing Update! I have some exciting news for y’all as far as my writing projects are concerned! If you are subscribed to my blog, then you may know some of this stuff all ready! But there’s some new stuff to mention here too, so let’s dive in!
The Battlefield is Silent ||
This project has been on the back burner for the past few weeks. I’ve made some good progress, but there is still much to do. But I felt God urging me to take a step with a different project so… I plan to work more on it this summer!
Secret Project ||
This has been on the back burner, but I’m planning on picking it back up in July!
Secret Project #2 ||
This is the main project I am working on right now. After much prayer and talking it over with my husband, I have taken the step to hire an editor! I have finished revisions and am currently working on a color-coded edit. After that, it goes to my editor for review and correction *halo* She’s already given me sample chapters and I am so excited to work with her!
Lord willing, this book will release in October! Details to follow!
And the title? That’s coming June 30th, so mark your calendar! (Wanna help spread the word? Email me and I’ll make you a part of the title reveal team!)
Are you writing a book? Share your update in the comments! Reading any good books lately? Feel free to share as well! What books are you most looking forward to for 2021??
God Bless and God Bless America!
It’s Summer! Or almost? Oh, who cares about technicalities? I’m so excited to dig out my summer reading recommendations and my TBR! Without further ado, let’s hop into today’s post!
My Summer Reading Recs ||
1| Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts
This book screams summer! Four-wheelers, dandelions… and the heartbreaking reminder that life is fleeting. I am rereading this book this summer and will be officially reviewing it here later this season!
2| Freedom by Faith Potts
I’m sorry! It’s summery too and is such a good book! I mean, it’s South Carolina, Marines, Ice Cream… Okay, why do I associate Marines with summer…? *Gasp* do military branches have a season aesthetic??
Anywho! Pick up this story when you get the chance!
3| Love Needs No Words by Faith Potts
Okay, girl, there’s something about you and summer settings isn’t there? *glares at her for taking over my summer recs* Seriously though, this is a short, sweet read that I love. It has a beach and a little café and a non-verbal person that I just want to protect… and it just needs to be read.
(Note, these three books do have romantic storylines. I do not condone premarital hand-holding/hugging, but honestly, these books are so sweet and clean! So much deeper in meaning and message than your average Romance!)
4| Quest for Leviathan by Amanda Tero
A Biblical fiction with a strong forgiveness message! I highly recommend this! Amanda Tero is one of my favorite authors and this short story was no disappointment! Who doesn’t want to sail away after a sea monster at least once in their life??
5| Resistance by Jaye L. Knight
Don’t ask me why, but this book just says summer in the forest to me. Mild censoring is suggested for younger readers because of the violence (persecuted church-type things) and some mild romantic elements.
My Summer Reading List ||
*Note these are not recommendations. I have not read these books and cannot vouch for their content. Also, I censor my books a lot, so there’s that *halo*
Besides rereading 1-4 above… *Halo*
1| Greater than Angels by Carol Matas
This is set in Autumn, but for some reason, I’m just drawn to it for this season. Makes no sense to me, but it’s been a while since I’ve read a Holocaust story…
2| Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson
I started this book last year and somehow it got left behind. It wasn’t because it’s boring! And I don’t know about you, but I need a good Soldier story, biographical or fiction, to complete my summer!
3| Indivisible by Travis Thrasher
Based on a true story, this book is the novelization of the movie… which I adore! As I said, Soldier stories are for the Summer!
4| A Better Place by Jenna Starr
Had to get me an Indie book in here! I read Jenna’s sequel to this book when she was drafting it, so I’m excited to finally read the back story!
5| Fighting for Life by Lila Rose
I am way too excited to read this book! I’ve been eyeing it for months and now it’s on my shelf! Time for a heavy pro-life read that I know will have me in tears.
1|Promises at Pyramid Rock by Jess Mastorakos
This is a military story set in Hawaii. I have an ARC copy I need to read and review on GR, so I’m excited to see what this story has to offer!
2|Hurray for Newsy Jones by Rebekah A. Morris
A new short story that I can’t wait to devour! Her books are always so good!
3| A Very Bookish Fourth of July by Various Authors
I love Independence Day and I love me so good old patriotic stories. When they happen to be retellings of classics, it’s that much better!
4|Once Upon a Summer by Various Authors
Another compilation of summery retellings!
5| Freedom Formula by Bryce A. Chandler
I think this is a dystopian-type story? It’s patriotic, that’s all I know and the author knows the truth about the War Between the States so I’m gonna give it a shot!
What are you reading today?? What are you planning to read this summer?
Have a blessed day and God Bless America!
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner! I hope you are having an amazing Monday! I’ve been promising book reviews for a while and today I am bringing you two! I’ve always had a morbid fascination with the murder of Abraham Lincoln (call it what it is, don’t hide behind fancy words) and have read more about it than the battle of Gettysburg and that’s saying a lot, since that is my favorite battle to study, lol! (Would y’all like a 10TRF post about the Lincoln Murder? Comment below!)
These reviews are of two different books by the same author. The first is the young people’s version of the second, and tbh, I was surprised by how different they were. Without further ado, let’s jump into these reviews!
Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
By James L. Swanson
|| Amazon ||
About the Book ||
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author James Swanson delivers a riveting account of the chase for Abraham Lincoln's assassin.
Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.
About the Author ||
James L. Swanson is the award-winning author of the bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. His other books include Chasing Lincoln's Killer, an adaptation of Manhunt for young adults, and his follow-up, "The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy", which was a finalist for the YALSA-ALA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award. He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C.
My Review ||
This book was good for the most part! It had excellent information, though some basic facts needed correcting. It assumed too strongly that Dr. Mudd was deserved to be punished when his only crime was knowing B
ooth. Though it did clarify he wasn’t involved in killing Lincoln. It also pushed the Lincoln Worship narrative to an almost cultish point in my opinion for a children’s book. It was very heavy-handed on calling the Confederacy rebels and such. It seemed more like an indoctrination campaign, lol!
I did appreciate how much detail was put into this book! It’s a great comprehensive book for young people that gives them information that will encourage them to share with others! It’s not the generic fact book; it’s got unique little-known facts!
At the conclusion of the book, there was a comment about Lincoln being the hero of the story; this was not true, as he had little “screen time” and most of the things said about him were incorrect. There was no protagonist in this story. Nothing wrong with that! Not all stories have a good guy.
I recommend it for anyone who loves history, true crime, and dramatic anti-heroes!
Recommended for 14+ || Content meter: 3.5* || Quality: 6 || Personal Enjoyment: 5 || Overall: 5
*One major swear word that I remember, in a quote. There is also great detail about injuries/blood. Moderate censoring is needed for younger readers.
Manhunt: The 12-Day Hunt for Lincoln’s Killer
By James L. Swanson
Adult Narrative Non-Fiction
|| Amazon ||
About the Book ||
The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history--the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry troops on a wild, 12-day chase from the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.
Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln’s own blood relics Manhunt is a fully documented, fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, it is history as it’s never been read before.
About the Author ||
James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
My Review ||
This book is my favorite! It’s chock full of information that is incredibly difficult to find! People you had no idea were connected with the death of Lincoln and Booth, the mad dash through Virginia, and the final hours of both men.
There is some mild Lincoln worship and anti-southern propaganda, but not nearly as bad as the children’s version. There are multiple swear words in quotes that need censoring and there are some “Too much information!” moments that should be censored out. Remember, Booth was an actor, and the actors’ reputation of today applies to the past as well. The sections on Boston Corbett also need attention!
I learned so much about how Washington City was laid out, how interconnected the people were in each other's lives and how such a scheme could be pulled off with just a few hours' notice. It’s disturbing! Thank God we have more safeguards in place now, but it’s alarming just the same. I do wish they had emphasized more how the South did not sanction or condone Booth’s actions. So I will say it for the author: we do NOT as a whole believe that this was a proper move. As much as I dislike Lincoln, this was not the proper course of justice. It was his night to die, or he would not have died. But it was not Booth’s call to make; that was God’s.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves history, narrative non-fiction, and true crime. It’s well written and well executed! Grab a copy today!
Recommended for 18+ || Content meter: 3 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 9 || Overall: 9
Have you read these books? Do you have a recommendation for a book on this subject? Would you like a post of random facts about the Lincoln Murder? Comment below!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
I don’t know about you, but I love me some totally random facts! And even more so, I love me a totally random battle that not many people have heard about! So today, we are going to look at what many say is the actual first battle of the War Between the States!
1| Where and When. This battle took place on June 10th, 1861, 160 years ago! The battle took place in Big Bethel Virginia and is one of the lesser-known battles of the war.
2| It All Happened Here. Many people refer to either Ft. Sumter or First Manassas when talking of the first battle of the War Between the States. But Big Bethel is actually the first.
3| Looking at the Numbers… As with most battles of the war, the Confederate Soldiers were outnumbered. They had under 1,500 men while the Union invaders had around 3,500. But you know us, that makes the odds about even! *halo*
4| The Men Behind the Moment. Two lesser-known Generals were in command of the opposing armies. For the federals, Brigadier General Ebenezer W. Peirce led them into battle. For the Confederacy, it was Colonel John B. Magruder.
5| Confederate Gold Star Family. This battle saw the death of the very first Confederate soldier in the field. Private Henry Wyatt was the sole Confederate soldier killed in the battle, the only fatality of 8 Southern soldiers injured.
6| How did he Die? Being the first enlisted casualty of battle, it’s no wonder we know how it happened. Colonel D. H. Hill requested 4 volunteers to set fire to a house federal troops had commandeered and were using to pin down the Southern troops with their firepower. Henry was one of them. They never made it to the house, and Henry died in the line of fire.
7| The Fate of the House. After Henry’s death, the volunteers were recalled and the house was taken out by artillery fire.
8| Why Here? Confederate Forces hoped to dislodge troops from Ft. Monroe, reclaiming it for the Confederacy. Unfortunately, the same fort where Custis Lee (Robert E. Lee’s son) was born at remained the only Southern Fort in Virginia to remain in federal control through the entire war.
9| Tar Heel Legacy. North Carolina has often been known as the state that was “First at Big Bethel and Last at Palmito Ranch.” We lost more soldiers than any other state and sent the most men to the Confederate Army. As usual, we had a big hand in the events at the battle of Big Bethel.
10| The Victorious Victors *Halo* The Confederacy of course. They couldn’t let the first battle at home be won by the opposing army!
Have you heard of this battle before today? Is this the first time? I encourage you to do some research and share some of your findings in the comments below!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner! I’m sorta nervous about today’s post, not gonna lie. I want to make clear from the beginning that this post is not aimed at anyone. I just noticed some things in Christian fiction in general that bothered me and I decided to write a post about it. This has been weighing on my mind for quite some time and I felt it needed to be shared.
Please don’t take offense if you happen to disagree. That’s totally fine! I just couldn’t get away from this post and felt God wanted me to share it with y’all. Think of this as one of Ryana Lynn’s Ramblings *halo* So! Without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?
1| Calling your book clean Romance, but actually, it’s not.
*Ducks as a million books are thrown at me*
*Drags myself out from under the mountain and dusts myself off as I sit on top*
Please keep an open mind here. I don’t mind a story that includes a couple falling in love and getting married, though I tend to get bored if that is the main plot of the story. I’m just not a huge romance fan. But every once in a while, one stands out to me as amazingly good and I so enjoy it.
I’m tired of recommending the book and having to say, “This book is so good, but there’s a lot of kissing in it,” or “I marked out the bad parts, but the message is so good!”
People. I know everyone has their own beliefs about touching and kissing before marriage, biblical or not. And I’m not here to fight that battle with you right now. I have a Bible reason that I didn’t hold hands, hug, or kiss my husband until my wedding day, but that’s for another time.
As a married woman, I look back over books that I adore and cringe. Couples are hugging, patting a shoulder, touching their hair, kissing (though not necessarily detailed), and getting electrocuted…
Okay, so that last one is me making fun of a cliché romance writing technique. *halo* if you know, you know 😊
I’m gonna keep this as G-rated as possible, but writers, words are powerful. Words paint pictures and evoke emotions. That’s not a bad thing! But when used wrongly, they can lead minds astray. Talking with my husband about things I never even thought were issues in writing has opened my eyes to just how bad a seemingly innocent touch can be.
Can we control our readers’ minds? No. Can we be sure that even something written innocently won’t lead someone down the wrong path? Absolutely not. We have no control over that. But we do have control over what we write. My rule of thumb is as follows when having couples (even married ones!) interact. I ask myself, would I behave this way in front of someone? Would I be embarrassed if my internal thoughts about this moment were played over a loudspeaker? Is this something lovely, holy, honest, pure (Philippians 4:8)? If the answer is no…
I won’t write it.
Keep things pure and holy in your writing; you represent the King.
This is not to say I’m perfect. I may have written something in innocence that in hindsight, I would like to change. And I’m not judging you if this is you. We all make mistakes! We need to show grace to each other and be understanding. Give each other the benefit of the doubt! But ultimately, remember Who you are writing for. God is our ultimate audience.
2| Calling God by a name other than His Own.
*takes a deep breath and screams as another hailstorm of books come reigning from the sky*
*Climbs back out of the pile and pants for air*
Seriously, where are y’all finding all these books?
This some is more of a matter of opinion. I get SUPER annoyed when reading a Christian non-magical fantasy and God doesn’t have His rightful Name. *suppresses a scream*
Okay, I get it, it sounds neat, especially if you are writing a world with less than common names. And I have read and LOVED some books where God was given a different name.
You are probably thinking of some right now.
I am NOT shaming any of the books you might have thought of. NOT IN THE LEAST.
THIS IS MY OWN OPINION *halo*
But here is what comes to my mind when this happens. I’m afraid we are trying to trick people into reading our books.
Again, hear me out.
I’m not saying that is the intent. And again, I’m not judging anyone because I honestly don’t think this is the goal of most. But by not calling God by His Name, I almost feel like it’s a way to trick non-believers into reading a Christian book. Are we ashamed of Who our God is? Are we afraid of offending someone? Are we more worried about getting the lost world to read our books that we will hide our intentions under a pseudo-diety?
There are so many Names for God, there’s no need to invent new ones! Pilgrim’s Progress refers to Him as God and the Lord of That Place and the King of the Celestial City (another name for Heaven, which was common in its time). The Holy War refers to God as King Shaddai (El-Shaddai, a well-known Name for God), and Jesus as Prince Emmanuel. I would love to read a book that used more names of God! There’s El-Roi (the God Who Hears) for example! Or Elohim (Creator), Jehovah-Jireh (God Provides), or I AM??? There are so many others and I’m just scratching the surface with some basic ones!
I’m not against fantasy (as long as it’s a non-magical, totally different subject, please don’t hurt me 😉), and I will still read books that include different names for God as long as the book is Biblically sound. But if I ever write a fantasy, well, let’s just say that I am gonna have fun picking just the right name from God’s long list of Majestic and Awesome Names!
3| Writing “clean” books.
*Lowers my hands when nothing happens*
*Gets hit in the head by a few books*
Well, at least it wasn’t a mountain this time!
I love clean books. Don’t get me wrong. I love my middle-grade Scholastic books about soldiers and marines or animals or whatever the topic was. I love them!
But I just want to give a friendly little warning.
We are Christian writers, right? We don’t just write for pleasure or profit, though those tend to come with the territory. We write with a higher purpose. We write for Someone.
And that Someone is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Master Author.
The Creator of the Universe.
The God Who literally is giving you the ability to breathe, read this post, or have it read to you.
Um, the One Who blessed you with the ability and desire to write.
The One Who gave you readers in the first place.
Need I continue?
We don’t write for ourselves. We write for Him. And as such, it’s a shame when we waste our talents writing “good books.” There’s so much more to writing than that! Yes, we need clean, but we need Light! A lantern is useless without the flame! Salt is no good left in the shaker! The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12)! And He said to us in Matthew 5:14 &16, “Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
There is so much to unpack here.
Notice first that word light. It’s not saying that we are Jesus or a god. It is referring to us being a reflection of Christ, like the moon is to the sun. He is the Son, we are the moon (yes, that spelling is intentional 😉). We are to reflect Christ so they can see our…
It says it right there.
What do we call our books?
Our WORKS in progress.
Our good works. God didn’t give you the ability to write so people could read it and pat us on the back. He gave us the ability so we can show people our talent and GIVE. GOD. GLORY! That is the whole point of writing! That is why we suffer through the agony of writing, revising, beta reader comments, and editor feedback. And we can’t forget those reviewers either.
It's all for God’s Glory! Not our own! What a high calling and privilege! What an honor and responsibility!
See why writing clean fiction just doesn’t cut it?
Write with purpose. Write the Light into your story and don’t disguise it with a bushel basket! LET IT SHINE AND BURN THAT BASKET OF SATAN!
*0.0 clears throat again as I step off my soapbox*
That’s all I have for you today. I sincerely hope this has been a blessing or an encouragement to someone. I don’t know why God wanted me to write this. I honestly don’t. But please think over what has been said and see how God can use it in your life!
Did I miss anything? What are your thoughts on the matter? What are some things you think Christian Authors need to improve in? Comment below (keep it Christ-honoring please and no calling anyone out by book or name)!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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