Monday, October 30, 2017

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

by Andrea Renee Cox

Coming up in only a couple of days, I'll be hosting a reading marathon of Katherine Reay's books. As a bit of a preview, here's my review of her fifth novel, which happens to be her newest release, available on November 7. Stay tuned past my review for more information on the reading marathon. I would love it if you'd join in the fun!

The beginning chapters of The Austen Escape provided a steady, gentle tug into the story, but before I knew what was happening, I found myself ensnared by this beautiful, vulnerable tale of tender hope and broken friendships wrapped in a contemporary-Regency setting. I love Ms. Reay's trademark inclusion of vulnerability and insecurities in not only the lead but also the supporting cast. Honestly, I think she's one of the best at incorporating these qualities in a way that makes her characters and stories incredibly easy to relate to... and ones that will always have a place on my bookshelves.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Prep Work for Another NaNo

by Andrea Renee Cox

It’s just about that time again. NaNoWriMo begins on November 1, which is barely over a week from now. In case you haven’t yet heard, NaNoWriMo is short for the National Novel Writing Month—November—during which writers come together online and try to each write 50,000 words in a new book. Some are rebels and work on screenplays, short stories, or a new draft of an old book. I’ve been one of those rebels before, but this year I’ll be starting from scratch on an entirely new story.

How does one go about preparing for NaNoWriMo?

That’s a fantastic question. I used to simply wing it. Yep, I’m serious. I’d pick the idea most prevalent in my mind and dive into it with zero prep work done. No character sketches, no timeline, no backstories… nothing. It seemed to work… for a while. Then I’d get stuck. Not just I’m-in-the-ditch-someone-tow-me-out stuck, but actual I’m-in-a-fifteen-car-pileup-and-the-rescue-team-is-behind-miles-of-traffic stuck. It would typically take three to five days of precious writing time staring at the page and maybe getting a single paragraph written during that entire span.

In recent years, though, I’ve changed from a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants, or without a lot of prep work ahead of time) to a plantser (a combination or pantser and plotter), but this year I’m considering myself more of a plotter (someone who prepares ahead of time and might have at least a rough outline of their story and/or character sheets worked up).

Monday, October 16, 2017

Upcoming Reading Marathon

by Andrea Renee Cox

Coming up in November, I'll be hosting a reading marathon of Katherine Reay's books in celebration of her new release, The Austen Escape, which releases on November 7. Stay tuned through this article for more information about the books involved in the marathon. I hope many of you will join in on the reading fun. I've checked with Ms. Reay, and she said she may stop by to answer any questions we have about her books as we discuss them. How awesome is that? I love it when authors get involved in discussions of their books.


The Katherine Reay reading marathon will take place on Goodreads in the Christian Fiction Devourer group, of which I'm one of the moderators. You may find the thread for the marathon by clicking here.

Can't decide yet? No worries! There's another opportunity to join near the bottom of this article, and I'll be adding a reminder to the bottom of the next several articles for your convenience.


These are the dates of discussion for each book. Spoilers will be allowed for each book on its discussion date, so beware of that if you're popping in while you're in the middle of reading one of the books. The pace is one novel per week, but you don't have to participate in all of them if that doesn't fit into your schedule.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

by Andrea Renee Cox

Heartache in a Book

DISCLOSURE: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, authors, and sites like Netgalley, Litfuse Publicity Group, and Blogging for Books. They do not require me to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

From the outset of this story, I knew it was going to twist my heart into a pretzel. While I didn’t much care for Philip, his arguing with his wife was what first endeared me to Clare. It was clear she wanted the best thing for her family, and it’s hard sometimes to know what that is, especially when the leader of the family is off chasing a whim. I’m glad I stuck through with Clare through the stubbornness she displayed often throughout the remainder of the book, because her heart journey was exquisite. To have one’s son stolen by Indians and then to attempt to gain those Indians’ trust in order to get merely a glimpse of the child lost to you… I can imagine how much one’s heart would wrench and ache in that scenario.

My favorite character was Wolf-Alone. He was quite mysterious, and I can’t remember him in The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn (I wish I had time to reread that one right now!), but he was the type of guy who stands for what he believes in and tries to keep the peace but is willing to fight for his people too. Ultimate hero, right there. So yeah. I may have to dig out my copy of Tamsen after all. I want to see what happens next to Wolf-Alone, who might just go by a different name in the other book.

Monday, October 2, 2017

See: A One Word Update

by Andrea Renee Cox

Recently, I read an update on Cara Putman’s One Word. It’s an interesting article, and I hope you’ll give it a look.

After reading that one, and recalling that I was planning on updating you guys on my own One Word for 2017, I am here today to share how God has opened my eyes this year.

My word is "see." One of the things that God whispered to me pretty early on was, "See what I'm already doing in your life." Okay. So I thought I was appreciating them as they came along, but sometimes life sweeps us along too fast if we aren't being deliberate about it. God has done some pretty amazing things in my life this year. Here are just a few: