Remarkable Regency Women – A Guest Post by Georgie Lee

I think I first met Georgie Lee this past March at the California Dreaming writer’s conference, and we hit it off right away. Our friendship has grown over the months, and last month I won one of her books – a Harlequin Historical called The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets. The title alone makes me want to read it! Now, after reading her guest post here, I’m going to buy Lady’s Wager the minute it goes on sale! 😀 

Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Georgie Lee!

I recently read Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence, a non-fiction account of Jane Austen’s life and the elements in her background and family that shaped her and her writing. The book offers an interesting look into Jane Austen’s background while painting a vivid picture of Georgian and Regency England. Despite the manners and elegance of these eras, they were very harsh times, especially for women without money.

Ladys Wager coverHowever, these difficulties gave rise to a great deal of strength and resilience. For example, orphaned Phila Austen, Jane Austen’s aunt, was penniless with little more to look forward to than a career as a milliner in Covent Garden. Instead of accepting fate, she made the brave decision to travel to India and create a new life for herself.

Stories like Phila’s remind us that only by rising to the challenges of life, instead of avoiding them, can we hope to achieve success. This is an excellent lesson for writers since the writing and publishing process is full of challenges. Jane herself must have learned this lesson from both her own career and the lives of her remarkable female relatives, and I’m glad she did. Where would we be if she had given up? Can you imagine a world without Mr. Darcy? I can’t.

Persevering in the face of adversity is a central theme in my Regency novel Lady’s Wager. Despite a number of problems, including betrayal by a former fiancé and having to escape a war, Charlotte, the heroine, doesn’t allow her troubles to stop her from supporting charities, or trying to live life on her terms.

Edward, the hero, has also faced his share of problems, from losing his mother to watching his father suffer in a disastrous second marriage. The heartache of his life hasn’t made him give up on searching for someone who loves him and not his money and title. Both Charlotte and Edward refuse to buckle under the weight of their troubles or fears, and their lives are richer for it.

So, when the going gets tough and you think of giving up, think of Jane and Phila. Rise to the challenge, you never know what might happen.

Lady’s Wager by Georgie Lee is a sweet Regency Romance available for $0.99 from July 7 -14, 2015! Check it out:

Charlotte Stuart is an heiress dedicated to charitable causes who’s been betrayed by the false love of a fortune hunter before. Ridiculed by Paris society for her mistake, she vows never to fall victim to the weakness of love again. Driven back to England by the collapse of the Peace of Amiens, she enters London society and meets Lord Edward Woodcliff, a handsome Viscount in straightened circumstances. Falling for Edward means risking being humiliated again.

Edward has come to London to find a wife. Made leery of marriage by his father’s disastrous second marriage, Edward feigns poverty in order to find a woman who loves him and not his wealth. He loses his heart to the independent and spirited Charlotte, but her fear of being betrayed, and his hesitation to make a matrimonial mistake, prove difficult to overcome.

All seems hopeless until Edward challenges Charlotte to a wager. If he wins, he gains her hand in marriage. If he loses, then Charlotte is free of him. Charlotte accepts the wager only to lose her hand and her heart to Edward. Now Charlotte must put aside her fears of being betrayed by love long enough to let Edward into her life and admit he is the man of her dreams.

Georgie LeeAbout Georgie Lee
A lifelong history buff, award winning author Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com to learn more about Georgie and her books, and to sign up for her newsletter.

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Book Marks: A New Monthly Book Review Column

Hi friends! I’m excited to introduce you to my new friend, Carrie Kurtz! We met when my romantic comedy, Little Miss Lovesick, was free for five days in May. Carrie downloaded it, liked it, and reviewed it on her blog. Not only did she say wonderful things about the book – which of course made me like her immediately! – but I just loved the way she reviews books. I read several book reviews on her blog and then asked her if she’d like to be a regular guest here. And she said yes! Yay!

Juliette and the Monday ManDatesLet’s get to know Carrie a little better, and then get on to her first book review here, Juliette and the Monday ManDates. Carrie, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.

CK: My name is Carrie Kurtz and I’m 35 years old. I grew up in Ohio where I married my high school sweetheart and had two children. A few years ago I received a degree in Psychology while we were also in the process of moving. We now live in Tennessee and I’m definitely enjoying the weather much better!

KB: Haha! I understand about the weather. I’m originally from Michigan! (And I married my college sweetheart. 😉 ) So how did you become a book reviewer?

CK: I have been a book lover since I was a very little girl. I remember when I was probably just five years old and my father went to an auction and brought home several boxes of books. It was like opening a treasure box to me! Since I love to read, my husband bought a book/journal called Books I’ve Read for me several years ago. So, I started writing about all of the books I’ve read and I actually have had to purchase several more journals since I keep filling them all up. After a while, I just figured I would go ahead and start a blog and write reviews too!

KB: Awesome! I tried keeping a book journal when I lived in Sydney, but I had more time for reading then than I do now, and I kept finding myself several books behind in my journal so I quit. Like you, I find it easier to say whatever I want to say on my blog. :)  Welcome, Carrie! Let’s get on with your first book review!

Juliette and the Monday ManDates (Gustafson Girls #1) by Becky Doughty

Summary from Goodreads:
Juliette Gustafson is heart-broken after waiting nearly ten years for a proposal from her boyfriend that never came. Determining she isn’t “getting over Mike” quickly enough, her three younger sisters come up with The Monday ManDates; an intervention plan requiring Juliette to endure what turns out to be a series of remarkably disastrous blind dates. Between TheraPaul, Frisky Frank, TAZ the rock star, and the stoic Tim Larsen, the Monday ManDates are doomed from the start. Then there’s Victor Jarrett, the police officer with an affinity for pulling Juliette over when she’s at her very worst. But no one is more surprised than Juliette when she meets the one man who can right the wrongs in her past and change her future, if she will only let herself fall in love with him.

My thoughts on the book:
When I first found this book, it was labeled as women’s fiction or chick lit but I think I would label it more as Christian fiction, which is fine with me!  I enjoyed it and will recommend it to others, including my daughter.  It was a nice read; entertaining, funny, yet serious at times, leaving you with a message of love and forgiveness.  While reading this book there were times when I laughed, times when I got a little teary eyed, and times when I just had to sit and soak up the words.  There were sections of the book that were written so beautifully, like poetry, that touched my heart. The author used some metaphors that I had never heard before but they made so much sense to me and really spoke into different parts of my life.  I found myself even more thankful for my family and my relationship with God.

Juliette and the Monday ManDates is the first in a new four-book series (Gustafson Girls) by Becky Doughty.  This is also the only book by Becky Doughty that I have read so far.  I am curious about what the next books will be about so I will be looking for them.  I am pretty sure that the next book became available May 1st of this year.

All in all, I’m glad that I found this book.  It had a good mix of humor, seriousness, family love and frustrations, friendship, and clean romance.  There were a few things in the storyline that I would have liked to know more about.  For example, character backgrounds and different situations that were left open making me want to know what happens.  But hopefully they will all be told in the other books in this series.

Some of my favorite Juliette and the Monday ManDates quotes
“I need a dog,” she said. “One that will love me unconditionally. And eat my cold left- overs.”

“Let the words of our mouths be necessary, kind, and true. Let the secrets we share be kept safe amongst us few. Let the decisions that we make be brave, noble, and wise Oogie- boogie- doggy- loogie Wiggly- jiggly- fries! G- FOURce unite!”

“God wanted her to call Him Husband? The words were like a balm to her soul.”

“In a sunset’s glory, in the awakening of dawn, when I see Your handiwork displayed across the sky. I am amazed, I am in awe. I am in wonder of who You are, that You would love one such as I.”

“But his thoughts defied his words, and his heart kept whispering her name.”

“Her chest was so tight it almost hurt to breathe, but it was a wonderful pain, and she sighed, reveling in her suffering.”

“Every time I see her she’s either crying uncontrollably, laughing like a lunatic, or hissing like an alley cat!”

“But tonight, instead of more turmoil, the sight of her was like a cool drink of water to his thirsty heart.”

“Her cheek rested against his chest and she listened to the pounding of his heart, the sound of his love for her.”

“Forgiveness. It was like pulling slivers of steel from under the skin.”

Carrie Kurtz

I hope you enjoyed Carrie’s first book review here! She’ll be back the second Tuesday of each month. To read more of her book reviews, visit her blog at http://carrieksbookreviews.blogspot.com.

The First Great Movies of 2015

I love movies! I love any kind of good story, presented in whatever creative form the artist comes up with. Movies are one of the forms I like a lot. If you don’t realize what good stuff is out there, here is a list of the stories that have caught my attention recently.

These are the ones I’ve either seen or want to see. I’ll post again in a week or two about more upcoming summer movies. Click the title to see the trailer. I hope you find some good stories you’ll enjoy!

Out in Some Theaters, Older but Current

BigHero6Big Hero 6 – Animated – possibly in some second run theaters, already on DVD and in Redbox
I loved this movie! Strong family values, power of friendship, good triumphs over evil, kid power, etc. So funny!! Loved the story!

Kingsman: The Secret Service – Colin Firth – possibly in some second run theaters, already on DVD and in Redbox
I enjoyed this movie. It entertained me, which is exactly why I went. The characters played by Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson made me laugh. Mark Strong did a great job as the main character. It was just plain fun!

Insurgent – part two in the Divergent series – possibly in some second run theaters, on DVD August 4, 2015
I went with friends, which is part of the fun, and I enjoyed it. But I’d recently watched Divergent again (which I loved!) so I could be sure not to forget anything. Unfortunately, several times I thought, “I liked Divergent better.” Still, it was entertaining, and told me more of the story.

CinderellaCinderella – possibly in some regular theaters, probably in second run theaters
Best two hours of my movie-watching life so far this year! (At the time it came out.) I saw this one alone and completely forgot myself, the other viewers, the theater – I was so immersed in the movie, I was aware of nothing else! It wasn’t until I left the theater that I realized my cheeks ached from smiling for two hours straight! See it!!

Ex Machina – in some regular theaters, probably in second run theaters soon
Really strange story that kept us guessing the whole time. I didn’t know much about it (which I think helps enjoy a movie more for what it is, not what it’s advertised to be), and I kept getting surprised by what was happening, which led to great enjoyment. Talked about “what if” afterward with John, which is always a good sign that we were really engaged with the story.

Out Now in Most Theaters

Home – animated
This just looks fun! I haven’t seen it but I want to. I mean, come on, Jim Parsons – who plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory – plays the alien! What’s not to like?

Avengers Age of UltronAvengers: Age of Ultron – standard, 3D, IMAX
BEST MOVIE THIS YEAR!! John and I enjoyed this movie so much we saw it twice the first week it opened! As I implied above about Insurgent, it’s difficult to make a sequel as good as the original. But this movie rocks!! Of course, since I write superhero books that have a strong family focus, I loved the family scenes. But the action and the dialogue were just about perfect!

Mad Max: Fury Road – standard, 3D, IMAX
We pulled out our three Mad Max DVDs to watch before going to see Fury Road, but we bought them when we lived in Australia, and our International DVD player is packed. Darn! So we watched the new one without having the background fresh in our minds. And it was great! Lots of action, lots of the same kind of fighting I remember from the first three (meaning it’s too violent for some of you), and some great scenes of sacrifice for the greater good. I enjoyed it.

TomorrowlandTomorrowland – standard, IMAX
I expected a fun Disney movie when I saw the trailer for this. You know, like Pirates of the Caribbean, where it’s just something fun based on a ride. But by the time the movie was over, I was inspired to go make the world a better place, to believe we can make it a better place, even one person at a time. Go see this movie! Take your kids! Get inspired! Change the world!

 

CBS’s SUPERGIRL Trailer

Have you guys seen this yet? Supergirl is coming to a TV near you! Woohooo!!!! 😀  Click here to read the full article. Looks like all good news!

Supergirl_CBS_1

CBS has dropped the first trailer for this fall’s SUPERGIRL series, which reportedly exists in the same Universe at the CW’s DC shows.

Source: CBS’s SUPERGIRL Trailer | Newsarama.com

Little Miss Lovesick Is Free Today Through Saturday

Little Miss Lovesick by Kitty BucholtzHi friends! I hope you’re having a great week! Maybe I can make it a tiny bit better. Would you like to read Little Miss Lovesick for free? You can if you download it from the Kindle Store either for your Kindle or your Kindle app on your computer, smart phone, or tablet.

I’m running a promotion this week, Tuesday through Saturday, to help readers who like sweet chick-lit romantic comedies find my book and give it a try. What I’m really hoping is that readers like you will leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you like to leave and read reviews. This helps new readers to see what other people liked and disliked so they can decide if it’s a book they would enjoy.

Would you do me a favor? Please share this post with the social media buttons below. I’d be so happy to know you wanted to tell your friends about Little Miss Lovesick. 😀  And let me know if you liked this one. I’ve had two people tell me this week that they enjoyed it so much they want to read more set in the same area (my hometown of Traverse City, Michigan). Wow! Thank you, friends! If there’s a character whose story you’d particularly like to read, let me know in the comments below or via email. Maybe I can do that for you. :)

Meanwhile, Happy Reading!

Free Ebook of A Very Merry Superhero Wedding

Seems like almost every day I learn something new about how to please my readers and encourage new readers to give my books a try. And each new thing requires me to learn about ten other things to make that one thing work. Luckily, I kind of like learning new things!

Superhero in Disguise by Kitty Bucholtz, in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke seriesSo over the last few days I’ve been creating a system where you can get the first two books of my superhero urban fantasy series, Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, absolutely free! All you have to do is join my email newsletter list.

In chronological reading order, “Superhero in Disguise” is first, and it’s free everywhere you buy ebooks. You can download it right now (if you haven’t already) from your favorite ebook store and it will load right onto your ereader.

The second book, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, sells for $2.99. But if you subscribe to my newsletter, you will get access to the ebook for free as soon as you sign up. Kind of great, right?

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding book cover by Kitty BucholtzAlready a subscriber? You received an email last night with all the information on downloading both books. Already purchased A Very Merry Superhero Wedding? Let me know and I’ll make sure you get the next short story for free. My gift to you for being such a great fan! 😀

Speaking of which, I got a ton of writing done on the new story yesterday, and I hope to get it finished, formatted, and out to you in the next month or so! I think the final title is going to be My Bull-headed Superhero Valentine. I’m having so much fun with this story and I think you will, too.

So if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so on the top right of this page. As soon as you do so, check your Inbox for an email from me with the links to the books. And enjoy!

If you’d like to do me a huge favor, I need more people who’ve read the books to post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Barnes and Noble. More reviews help other readers to know whether these would be books they’d like. If you would take the time, I’d be so grateful!

Meanwhile, happy reading!

3-superhero book covers

More Marvelous Marvel

When I opened the DVD box for Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday so I could watch it on my other monitor while I worked, I remembered that I still hadn’t gone to the Marvel web site to enter the code inside to unlock extra goodies.

I’ve never been to the Marvel site before. It’s got lots of fun stuff! Trailers, pictures, and even a quiz! Of course, I had to take it to find out which Avenger I am. Haha!

The results were inconclusive. If this were the Divergent movie, that’s what I would’ve ended up as – a divergent. I wasn’t a bit like Hulk, and barely at all like Iron Man, but I was fairly evenly spaced across the others, with Thor getting just a tiny bit more points. So I just downloaded a Thor desktop wallpaper to my iMac. 😀  I guess it’s good that the next Thor will be a woman so I can dress like “her”? Haha! I don’t know about that.

Here are my results:

Kitty's Marvel Quiz Results

And here is the link to the quiz. Which Avenger are you? Tell me in the comments! 😀

Receiving Helps You Grow

ribbonWe talk about “the gift of giving” in our society because people need to understand that giving to others and helping other people can benefit the giver as well. Once you experience the satisfaction and joy that comes with helping a person or organization in need, those feelings will often push you to give again and again until you find yourself looking for opportunities to help others.

When something good happens to you, like getting a raise at work, you may experience the desire to pass along a little of the good that came your way. Maybe you’ll take the family on vacation, tip your waiter more than normal, or hand some cash to the guy standing at the end of the freeway exit.

But what about when your life takes a turn the other direction? Depending on your personality, you are likely to tell your friends, “No, I’m fine, thanks” when they ask if you need anything. Despite tough times, you may not allow your friends to treat you to lunch let alone help you in a bigger way. It might be your pride that keeps you from accepting help, or it might be the feeling that everyone has hard times and you can get through it without adding a burden to your friends.

That’s perhaps a healthy (read: non-leech-like) attitude for a little while. No one wants a friend or a relative who is likely to ask for a loan at the least inconvenience. But some tough times are more than an inconvenience. Someone gets sick or loses their job, and it can quickly escalate to a huge problem. Then what do you do?

Keep in mind how you felt when you were able to do something nice for someone – treat a friend to lunch, give or loan someone the money to fix their car, give a friend a gift card so they can have a little fun in the midst of hard times. It felt good, didn’t it, like you’d made a small difference in the life of someone you cared about.

That’s the feeling you need to remember when someone offers to do something nice for you. That person is going to feel a little bit of joy and satisfaction when you accept their gift. If you say no, no, and no again, you’re denying them the good feeling of helping someone else. It may be hard – it probably will be hard – but as the arguments come to mind (and as they pass over your lips at first), you need to stop and take a breath, and smile, and say, “Thank you.”

And this is where receiving helps you grow.

Now you know what it feels like. Now you know how hard it is to smile and say thank you and accept the gift, no matter how big or small. Remember that feeling.

Because your life is going to turn around. You’re going to be able to start giving again, helping out a friend, treating someone to lunch, overtipping a single mom waitress. And it’s important that you learn to give with as much humility as you had to have to receive. You need to know how hard it can be to accept other people’s generosity so that you can give with an attitude that helps people accept your gifts.

Life is cyclical. The good times come and go. The bad times come and go. John and I have been in both places, and in all the places in between. We’ve had opportunities and circumstances that have allowed us to be enormously generous, and we have learned to love those times. It is so fun to help people once you get started! We’ve also had opportunities and circumstances where we had to take a deep breath, smile, and say thank you to other people’s enormous generosity, even though it was gut-wrenchingly difficult and we really wanted to say no.

Being on the receiving end of help is difficult. There are some people we will never be able to pay back. All we can do is promise everyone that we will pay it forward. But our circumstances have taught us once again how we need to act when we can start giving again. And we’ve begun to understand what Jesus meant when he said about giving, Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

Giving in humility makes receiving in humility easier. And both will help you grow into a better person.

Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers 2It’s almost time! Avengers 2 is almost here! Woo-hoo!!!

That means I’m turning away when a new trailer pops up on the TV or Facebook so I can be as surprised as possible with all the scenes and effects. I know I’m going to love it so I really want to see the whole thing for the first time in the theater. :)

Since John’s commute is so long, we’re going to see the movie on Saturday instead of Friday night. If we can, we’ll watch Avengers on Friday night when we get home. Though, as John said, we’ve seen the first one so many times that we don’t need to see it again.  :)  In any case, it’s going to be a great way to get started celebrating our 25th anniversary! Haha!

What about you? Are you going to watch it on opening weekend, or wait until the crowds die down?