Monday, December 29, 2014

What's Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

By Andrea Renee Cox

Instead of doing my end of the month movie wrap-up, today I thought we’d talk about Christmas movies. There are so many options out there, too many to squeeze into one month of TV time, or even one blog article. What I like to look for, when choosing which ones to watch, is a good message of hope, which reflects the reason for the season: Jesus Christ. He is my hope, and I love seeing rays of hope in films during the season that celebrates His birth. When I watch movies with this theme, especially around Christmastime, I feel so inspired to keep working hard to overcome my weaknesses and, in the process, gain more characteristics that reflect the God I love and serve. With His grace, these characteristics will help me serve Him in new and wondrous ways that will spread His Light into the world around me.

Here are some of the Christmas movies I try to watch every year. They each make me hopeful in different ways and make me smile (and sometimes cry) every time I view them.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
You can’t really go wrong with Henry Winkler. Ever since he played The Fonz, this man has made me laugh. When you team him up with the holiday spirit, there’s much laughter to be shared. In this movie, Winkler’s niece schedules everything about Christmas. Can a vagrant show her how to “do Christmas” before her son stops believing in Santa Claus?

Iron Will
Now, this one isn’t technically a Christmas movie. It’s about a kid and his dog sled team that try to beat the odds to win a dangerous cross-country race. If that’s not a story filled with hope, I don’t know what is.

Arthur Christmas
When a child gets missed on Santa’s trip around the world, Arthur launches a rescue mission of sorts to make sure the present ends up under the tree before the sun comes up. Will he make it in time? This animated flick is humorous and fun and allows adults to feel like kids again. And tell me … can anyone not bust out laughing at Arthur’s unique chortle?

I’ll be Home for Christmas
What happens when a college student’s rival dumps him in the desert, dressed as Santa Claus, right at the beginning of the Christmas break? He has the adventure of a lifetime trying to find his way home and win back his girl … and maybe even discover a little bit of humility and self-respect along the way. (There is some crude humor and inappropriate language in this one, so please use discretion when watching with your children.)

It’s a Wonderful Life
Jimmy Stewart at his best. How can I describe this film to bring across its sense of family, despair, hope, and joy? An impossible task. But I’ll give it a shot. Unexpected things happen to a guy who aspired to escape his boring little town, trapping him there for a lifetime, it seems. One night, he receives a gift. He gets to see what life would have been like if he had never been born. As he sees the results of the lack of the impact he made on the lives of the people in his boring little town, will he learn to appreciate the life he had in time to get it back? One of my favorites, it will renew your hope when you feel like life is spinning out of control.

White Christmas
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye might be an unlikely duo, but they’re really going places in this movie. What happens, though, when Danny’s character tricks Bing’s into joining forces with a couple of dames in order to help an old pal in the Army? A little comedy, a little music, some dancing, and a whole lot of fun! This one is, by far, my favorite Christmas movie of all time. Bing and Danny are a great team, and Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen hold their own with the boys quite well. Again, it’s difficult to get across just how special this movie is. You’ll just have to see it for yourself to get the full experience of the hope it spreads around. I challenge you not to cry by the end!

What themes do you look for in Christmas movies? Which holiday flicks do you like to watch with your family? What other traditions do you enjoy for Christmas?

See you in 2015.

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Favorite Quotes of 2014

By Andrea Renee Cox

It’s been a wild and crazy year that swept by without giving me a chance to catch my breath. Even though 2014 is winding to a close, my proofreading job is picking up speed. I started last January, by proofreading Dianne Price’s Broken Wings.

The publishing company that released it—Ashberry Lane—had put a rush on the job to try and beat death. Dianne succumbed to cancer one week before the release of the first book in her Thistle Series. Because Dianne’s journey had touched my heart, I felt moved to help promote her books. So I bought a copy of the first one as soon as it released and let the publisher know I would help spread the word about it. When Christina Tarabochia emailed me back, she asked me to keep my eye out for typos along the way. I took her seriously … and earned a spot on her staff.

Throughout this year, I’ve worked with her and a few other clients, and word is still spreading about what I do. Currently, I’m working on back-to-back-to-back jobs, with two overlapping a smidge. I’m thrilled to be so busy and to have the privilege of juggling my schedule to have Christmas off. Not only that, but the last one I’ll receive this calendar year will be my twelfth official proofreading job, which means that I had one for every month of the year. They may have been spaced out at first and bunched together at the end, but I think it’s really neat that, in my first year of this work, God chose to bless me with exactly twelve jobs, which matches the number of months within the year. This new career is such a blessing to me, and I thank God every day that He gave me a job I love and can do from home.

Now that I’ve summed up my whirlwind 2014, let’s take a look back at some of my favorite quotes in books I read in my free time. All of these books I enjoyed very much. If you’re looking for last-minute gifts for those book-lover friends or relatives of yours, I’m certain this list should get you started.

“In a period of only a few minutes, my life had been turned upside down.”

“Jesse was making a studied effort to let patience have its perfect work in him.”

“My head is full of ideas and thoughts, and my mouth is never reluctant to share them.”

“But what was a girl to do when the memory of a kiss stalked her?”

“Who knew a dream potentially coming true could feel so … scary? And yet, how long had she prayed for an open door?”

“Restaurants may have been my first love, but that didn’t mean we were meant to be.”

“Getting lost hadn’t been part of the plan.”
Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

“Lord, how much more does my heart have to bleed?”

“… it seems that as we plan to teach others, God often makes us the pupil first, just so we get the lesson real deep within before we try to share it.”

“Sometimes you had to know when to leave so you could fight another day.”

“I’ve got a scream could peel the paint off the Titanic, you know.”

“She’d managed to wring an address out of the postmaster, now all she needed to do was convince a madman to hire a female secretary before he blew her to bits.”

Marc: “I started to [pray], but it’s not like I can expect God to perform a miracle.”
Abe: “Why not?”

“Faith isn’t just a matter of what you believe; it should be seen in the way you live and the way you treat others.”

“A man’s horse dropping dead in the middle of nowhere left a man with few options.”

Phillip: “There’s a baby in here, buddy—not a bomb.”
Erik: “I’d rather handle a load of dynamite.”
A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt

“God made you with unique skills and talents. Ask Him how to use those for Him and His glory.”
White Christmas by Cara C. Putman
Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara C. Putman, and Sarah Sundin
“I guarantee no woman has ever fallen in love with me after one kiss. It takes at least twenty. I happen to be quite resistible.”
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin
Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara C. Putman, and Sarah Sundin

“Could her choice to be joyful make that big a difference to all the men around her?”
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer
Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara C. Putman, and Sarah Sundin


What were some of your favorite books of 2014? Care to share any quotes that stuck with you? What books are you looking forward to reading next year?

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Be My Guest - JoAnn Durgin

My next guest is a sweet woman I met a couple years ago while on vacation. We had a great time chatting over dinner at my favorite restaurant, Cheddar's. Now, she's here to tell us all about how she finds inspiration for her novels. Friends, please welcome JoAnn Durgin.

Source of Inspiration
By JoAnn Durgin

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters and their stories?

This question comes up quite frequently, especially now that I’ve had a number of books published. Another author once told me that I’d need to come up with a “satisfactory” answer to that question—something other than “God gave them to me.” In the end, my answer remains the same as it has from the beginning of my writing journey. But more about that in a minute.

Real life is one of the best places to find story and character ideas. Writers are naturally keen observers of people and life. Give me an airport—especially an international terminal—and I’m in writer’s heaven, studying everything from body language to the way they’re dressed. I wrote a blog once about my observations on a 12-mile drive to work. Try it sometime. You may be surprised and enlightened. Here’s a link if you’d like to read it:

Digging even deeper, my own life experiences have greatly influenced some of my stories and characters. How could they not? My debut novel, Awakening, and the first in my Lewis Legacy Series, is loosely based on my love story with my husband, Jim. More than the story itself, however, the character of Sam is based on Jim and yours truly is the heroine, Lexa (although she’s feistier than I am). Lexa’s grandmother is my grandmother: sipping tea on a summer porch, stringing pearls and picking apples to make a pie. Lexa’s father is also my father but with a different profession. I poured so much of my life into that book that it will forever remain the book of my heart. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe features a unique aspect of Jim’s character that I knew I’d need to write about one day.

In my subsequent books, I share character traits with my heroines. For instance, in Daydreams, one book, Amy drinks half Coke, half Diet Coke. If the server remembers to bring lemon after she requests it, they get an extra little tip. I do that. Cassie, in Moonbeams, makes the observation that she can’t sleep with herself if she doesn’t brush her teeth before going to bed. Pointing to myself here! My newest heroine in Sleigh Ride Together with You, Nicole, is a morning television show co-host in Des Moines, Iowa. Nicole shares my strong desire to give her viewers (readers, in my case) something meaningful to carry them through the day.  

The biggest impact can sometimes be derived from the seemingly insignificant details. One of my books, Second Time Around, features a hero whose famous father died from a brain tumor. His father had pushed everyone out of his life and died a lonely, broken man. After reading that book, a reader wrote that she called her estranged sister who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Like the hero’s father, she’d been pushing everyone out of her life. As a result, the reader and her sister reconnected. I ask you, how awesome is that?

The other primary way I find story ideas is from newspapers, television and other media. If you’ll pardon the cliché, truth is indeed stranger than fiction in many instances. How many times have you read or heard something and ask, “Whhhaaat?” I read an article in the Philly newspaper once about a region in the foothills of Western Maine that has the largest concentration of certain gemstones than any other area its size in the entire world. I found that interesting and constructed a story around it. I’m hoping to release Heart’s Design in 2015. I’ve always been interested in space exploration, and one of my favorite books in my series is the upcoming Pursuit about my NASA shuttle commander. Ideas abound everywhere and they’re just waiting to be discovered!

My answer to that question about where I find my inspiration? I remember telling the author, “My inspiration comes from the Lord.” She stared at me, aghast. “You can’t say that!” she said. “That’s not enough.” While I love this person, I disagree. What better, more satisfying answer could there be? He is the reason I write and that will never change. If it weren’t for the grace, mercy, faith, love, and hope to be found in a relationship with Christ, I would not be where I am today in terms of my writing career. I’ve recently *transitioned* (a softer word for retired) from a full-time paralegal career to being a full-time author because of His faithfulness. Again, I’m reminded of this verse: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB)

I found this photo recently (see below). When the inevitable challenges come in my writing career, I’m going to read it again. It’s not pretty, it’s not flowery, but this is something my sweet Jim has told me time and time again. How I love Jim’s faith in my writing ability, and what this says. God is always faithful, and I always intend to be faithful to Him.

Blessings, friends. Matthew 5:16

Check out JoAnn Durgin's latest release, SLEIGH RIDE TOGETHER WITH YOU. It's on sale for only 99 cents until the end of the year.

As the popular television co-host of Wake Up, Des Moines! Nicole Reardon has achieved her dream. So why has the network sent “image maker” Alex Kingsfield to the station? The irritatingly handsome man is also the first man she’s been attracted to since Jake Marston dumped her three years ago in Starlight, Iowa. When an unexpected assignment sends Nicole and Alex to Starlight, can she rise above the past and make this interview the defining moment of her career?

Alex Kingsfield knows Nicole is poised on the cusp of network stardom. But beneath the profesional exterior is a small-town girl at heart, genuine and God-honoring. Alex holds the power to boost Nicole's career to unknown heights. Or crush her dreams. From any angle, he's caught in a "no win" situation when he finds himself falling for the beautiful Nicole. What's a man to do when love comes calling at Christmas?

JoAnn Durgin is the author of The Lewis Legacy Series, Catching Serenity, Echoes of Edinburgh, and the Starlight Christmas Series.  JoAnn lives in southern Indiana and loves to hear from her readers!



JoAnn, I love the answer you gave. Must say, it's the same one I would give. God is so inspirational. Thanks for visiting with us today. Your new book sounds wonderful, and what a great price! I hope my readers discover how wonderful your stories are.

Readers, how has God inspired you lately? Tell of a time you transitioned to a new phase of life and discovered you loved it even more than the previous one.

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Recipe Swap 2014

By Andrea Renee Cox

One of my favorite things about Christmas is baking things my family and friends will enjoy devouring. There’s something really unique and special about creating delicious food that the people I love dearly can gather around. It’s those moments, when my family and friends are conversing and laughing over a great meal that I helped put together, that I realize just how incredibly blessed I’ve been. To have people around you who love you … well, that’s one of my favorite blessings ever. And when I stop to count my blessings, that's always the first one that comes to mind.

This year, I thought we (yes, dear Readers, I mean you and me) could swap our favorite recipes. I’m about to share one that gets requested practically every get-together I attend. And I would love to hear about some of your favorites.

Andrea’s Sweet Potato Casserole
2 large cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, and vanilla together with mixer. Spoon into 9 x 13 inch greased casserole dish. Mix together topping ingredients and layer on top of sweet potatoes. Bake 30 minutes.

Note: This casserole may be prepared a day in advance and baked on the day of serving.

So tell me, Readers, what is your favorite part about Christmas? Which recipes do you look forward to making every year? Please share one of your favorites with us in the comment section below. Let's see what different parts of the meal we can put together.

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

A November Bride

By Andrea Renee Cox

A November Bride

About the book:

Even though Sadie enjoys her job as a private chef, she dreams of one day having her own cooking show. Uncertain she’ll make it big any day now, she soaks up the encouragement of her best friend, a guy she met in middle school. But Erik’s got a different plan for Sadie. Though he agrees her goal is admirable—and he’d love for that dream to come true for her!—he wants to slip past the “best friend” title and see what else God has in store for them. Will he find the answer he’s looking for, or will he crash and burn? And will Sadie learn to trust God through the uncertainties of life?

My Review:

A November Bride is one novella I was super excited to get an early copy of. I’m so thankful to Beth Vogt and her publisher for allowing me to read it before its release date, via This is my honest review.

A November Bride is the final installment of the first Year of Brides novella series. It’s the only one I’ve been able to read so far, but after LOVING it, I guarantee you I’ll be finding a copy of the others when my budget permits. Fun, spunky, creative, and hilarious all describe Beth K. Vogt’s witty tale of romance that includes one of her “favorite” things: doors marked NEVER. I’m sure Sadie and Erik thought a romance was behind a NEVER-type door. But if you pick up a copy of A November Bride for yourself, you’ll see just how wrong they were. Their journey from best friends to territory neither expected to test out is one exciting ride that kept me laughing from beginning to end.

I was already a fan of Beth’s (since her very first fictional novel, Wish You Were Here, which is still my favorite), but this one, though much shorter than her others, brought something new to the table. It held more of a lighthearted tone throughout, whereas her others tend to touch on very deep topics at times—another reason I love her! She challenges you to dig deep along with the characters, pushing you to grow as a person as they do as characters. Even in this light romance, though, I found myself catching glimpses of a deeper and wider truth, that, even when life doesn’t seem to be happening any way I thought it would, I can still hold on to hope in Jesus Christ. He knows exactly where He’s leading me, and if I grasp the hope He’s offering and cling to Him, He will bless me in ways I could never have imagined on my own. His dreams for me are much greater than the ones I’ve made for myself. All I have to do is hold tight to Him in prayer and wait for that divine timing of His. Sound easy? Not so much. But the best things in life are worth fighting—and waiting—for.
Beth K. Vogt

To tell you the complete and honest truth, I’ve been struggling with waiting for God’s timing. It’s hard to be patient when you feel like He’s taking His sweet time and dragging it out. The thing is, though, that He knows where I’m at and where He’s leading me. Holding on to hope in the dark days is the toughest thing I’ve ever done, and I really wanted to give up today. But I can’t give up. It’s not in my character. I may cry about the situation I’m in, and that's okay because He will lend me His shoulder. I may be on the verge of giving in to the “quitter” bug that tries to niggle its way in. But, when push comes to shove, God knows I will never quit or give up or stop believing in Him and His promises. Why? Because He loves me too much to let my dark days last forever. God is still God, and God is still good. Even just typing up this review tonight has been an encouragement to me, and I praise God’s name for that. He always knows exactly what I need, and He provides. Always.

May the God of Heaven bless you, one and all.

Readers, how has God encouraged you recently? Did you have a happy Thanksgiving? What was your favorite part of the holiday?

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

November 2014 Movie Wrap-Up

By Andrea Renee Cox

Between NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and a couple of proofreading jobs, it was almost impossible to squeeze in time to watch movies. If I wasn’t multitasking, I wouldn’t have been able to watch the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games, either. But I wrote while I had them on. Some pretty good games this month, from what I picked up between chapters, especially for the Mavs.

Early in the month, though, a couple of friends and I took time out of a Saturday to see a movie at the theater. When I suggested the movie, I knew they might not be huge fans of the idea. But they agreed it looked cute. What we weren’t expecting was for it to carry weight for adults as well as children. Once it was over, we all looked at each other, shocked expressions all around, and said, “Whoa. That. Was. Awesome.”

So, if you’re looking for a movie to take the entire family to see over the Thanksgiving break, check out:

Big Hero 6

When prodigy Hiro Hamada loses someone close to him, he teams up with a large, inflatable robot named Baymax. Though their mission starts out as a battle for revenge, with Hiro’s brains and Baymax’s programmed heart, both of them learn that balance is needed when it comes to dealing with complicated situations.

What surprised me the most about this animated feature is that it dove right in to difficult themes. Grief, revenge, “nerd school,” genius/prodigy, and superheroes. Also, there wasn’t a single bad word that I remember, which might have shocked me more than anything. Such a pleasant surprise! This movie is really clean and family friendly. It lets kids know that being really smart is super cool, and that grief is a normal process that takes time and connection with friends and family to overcome. I’m so glad the filmmakers chose to tackle deep topics in a way that will touch the hearts of all types of people from all different age groups. Honestly, it’s probably the favorite of all the movies I’ve seen this year, and I’ve seen quite a few, as you know from my other monthly wrap-ups. At least it’s in the top five, anyway. A definite must-see. Take the kids, your parents, friends … everyone will love it for one reason or another.

And have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Readers, what are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are YOU thankful for this year?

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

*100th article* Be My Guest - Hillary Manton Lodge

This is the 100th blog article here at Writing to Inspire. I can't believe I've finally hit triple digits! And, to top that off, I've got a guest on my blog today. Please welcome Hillary Manton Lodge, the fabulous author of A Table by the Window. (See my review of A Table by the Window here.)

Kitchen Inspirations

I realized that autumn is my favorite time of year last week, while stirring a pot of soup. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy winter’s holiday season, the return of leaves in spring, and the abundance of summer produce, but there’s something about fall that I love.

For one thing, I can finally turn my oven on! Standing over the stove and feeling warm and toasty is a good thing. While I miss the summer stone fruits and berries, I love roasting vegetables and having my pick of apple varietals at the grocery store. And the abundance of squash is the perfect way to celebrate the balance between sweet and savory. A single trip to the grocery store gives me a head full of ideas.
photograph provided by Hillary Manton Lodge

This fall soup is a favorite of mine because it’s so iconically fall – pumpkin, apple, and spices. The lentils give it substance and the curry makes it the perfect warming soup on a cold day. If you’ve got a food processor and immersion blender, this soup comes together quickly. It’s based off of this recipe, but – like most recipes – I’ve toyed with it a bit. More spices, more fruit, and pureeing it at the end takes it from rustic to elegant.

Curried Pumpkin, Apple, and Lentil Soup

2 tablespoon butter
3-4 shallots, minced fine (about one cup)
1 tart apple, such as a granny smith, or two sweet apples, minced fine.
48 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked through
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons honey
Plain Greek yogurt, for garnish
1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish (optional)
½-1 tsp salt
Cracked black pepper to taste

1.       Heat the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven, and add the minced shallots. Sauté the shallots until soft and golden, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the apple and sauté for another 5-10 minutes, until the apples are very soft. 

2.       Add the spices, including lots of cracked black pepper.

3.       Pour in the broth, add the lentils and the pumpkin. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very soft.

4.       Add the honey and coconut milk, stir, and remove from heat.

5.       To blend the soup, either use an immersion blender or puree the soup in a standard blender, in batches. If you use a standard blender, be very careful to let the soup cool a bit before blending, and don’t overfill. You may want to reheat the soup over the stove once blended.

6.       Taste the seasonings, and add more salt, pepper, or honey as needed.

7.       Serve hot with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. Delicious with pepitas sprinkled on top, with whole wheat naan or pita bread for dipping.

Makes a LOT. Freeze any extras for another cold, blustery day.

Hillary Manton Lodge

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of A Table by the Window Her latest novel, Reservations for Two, will release in April of 2015. She and her husband make their home in Portland, Oregon.

Ooh, that recipe sounds delicious! Of course, being allergic to cinnamon, I'll have to drop that ingredient and double up the nutmeg, if my taste buds deem it necessary. Thanks so much for being the guest for my 100th article, Hillary! It's such a pleasure to host you here at Writing to Inspire.

Readers, make sure to mark your calendars. Hillary's next book, Reservations for Two, will release in April 2015, from WaterBrook Publishing Group.

Readers, thank you for sticking with me through 100 articles. It's been fun sharing my life, favorite books and movies, and author interviews/guest articles with you. I look forward to sharing many more on upcoming Mondays.

What is your favorite season of the year? Do you have particular recipes you use for each season? What's your favorite recipe? Mind sharing them in the comments?

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Cowboys and NaNoWriMo

By Andrea Renee Cox

Since the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is going on this month, my schedule is quite packed, especially with a couple of proofreading jobs squeezed in along with my regular tutoring students. Not that I’m complaining; I love staying busy and challenging myself. But being so busy does have its drawbacks, one of which is less time to read books from my to-be-read basket. So, during November, I’m reading a couple of novellas, that way I can still read a book for fun in the evenings but it won’t be so lengthy as to pull me away from my other obligations for a substantial amount of time.

One such shorter-length book, which I just finished, is A Cowboy for Katie. I was excited when I received an electronic galley copy through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review, because I love reading about cowboys. I like everything about cowboys. The hats, jeans, and boots. The hat-tipping, let ladies go through the door first, show respect to women kind of chivalry that is hard to come by these days. Ooh, I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

In A Cowboy for Katie, Katie Pearl is known as a crazy woman. With a threat on her lips and a gun on her hip—if it’s not in her hand—Katie Pearl will stop at nothing to protect her land from the squirrelly cowpokes trying to steal it from her by way of marriage. Treb Rayburn doesn’t know what he’s in for when he hires on to rebuild Katie Pearl’s house after a tornado destroyed it, killing her Pa. The only question is, will he have the gumption to love an unlovable crazy lady?

Don’t let this story’s small size fool you. Like its main character, Katie Pearl, it carries a whirlwind of spunk in a small package. I found myself chuckling many times through many of the chapters, thanks to Debra Clopton’s creative humor woven through the plot. The essence of cowboys was captured perfectly in Treb, and I couldn’t help but hope he could somehow find a way through Katie Pearl’s defenses. All in all, I discovered a new-to-me author I’ll be keeping my eye on.

Since I need to work on my word count for NaNoWriMo tonight, I’m keeping this fairly short. I hope you have a chance to read A Cowboy for Katie soon. I’m sure you’ll get a laugh or two out of it. Happy reading!

Readers, it’s your turn. What is your favorite type of character to read about? What qualities do you like about them? Do you see any similarities between them and the people you interact with in your daily life?

Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to drop by next Monday for my latest article.

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