Thursday Book Feature: The Christmas Forest

Image contains: me, smiling.The Christmas Forest

by Rebecca Boxall

Copyright 2018.


After the tragic death of their parents, Enid and Bess are living in two identical cottages side by side on the island of Jersey, England. Enid meets Fred, who lives in Australia, through a Christmas card exchange. Fred is mourning the loss of his mother. After corresponding with Enid for a year, he invites her to visit him for Christmas. Because she has Aspberger’s, Enid is afraid to leave her comfort zone, but Bess persuades her to accept Fred’s invitation. The book has sub-plots involving other characters.

I felt a special connection to this book. It reminded me of the time my late husband Bill, who lived in Fowler, Colorado, proposed to me and then invited himself to visit me in Sheridan, Wyoming. Although this didn’t happen during the holidays, and I wasn’t expected to leave my comfort zone, I could understand Enid’s apprehension. You can read our story in My Ideal Partner.

With its surprising plot twists, The Christmas Forest kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. In the Audible version I purchased, the three narrators did an excellent job of portraying Enid, Bess, and Fred as they told the story from each of their points of view. I can’t think of a better way to start your holiday reading.


My Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome


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Thankful for My Writer Friends

My post a week ago Tuesday was inspired by author Alice Massa’s month-long series on gratitude. Now here’s the last installment which includes information about her book, The Christmas Carriage. Of course she mentions me as well. Thank you, Alice, for the shout-out to all your writer friends.


A Month–Not Just a Day–of Thanks:


Part 5.  Thankful for My Writer Friends

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Despite all the hustle and bustle, the shopping and planning for the holiday season, the calendar still proclaims “November”–the month of thanks.  Although I must admit that I have on my dining room table (most often, my “office table”) some gifts which I need to wrap and although I have placed a few items of holiday decor in my townhouse, my turkey and pumpkin autumnal decor predominates.  Thus, I can still announce one more part of my thankfulness for this 2018 month of thanks.  While picking just a handful of “gratitude” for this blog is challenging, I decided that this week I will focus on my thankfulness for my writer friends.

After retiring from teaching in 2011, I joined an international group of writers with disabilities–Behind Our Eyes.  Through this organization and…

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Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks to Colleen Chesebro for giving me an opportunity to promote my work on her blog today.

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition (1)

Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!

This week I’m happy to bring you another new author I’ve just had the pleasure of meeting, Abbie Johnson Taylor. She’s been participating in my weekly poetry challenge each week. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE.

We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions and learn from each other.

First, please meet my guest, Abbie Johnson Taylor:


Author, Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is currently working on another novel. She has a visual impairment and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes.

Before that, she was a registered music…

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Let’s Talk: The TMI Questions Tag

Image contains: me, smiling.Okay, it’s time for a little fun. I read this tag on Amaan Khan’s blog. Here are my answers to his silly questions. This shouldn’t be too much information.


Q1. What are you wearing? I’m dressed in blue jeans, a pink sweatshirt with a design on the front, black socks and white tennis shoes.

Q2. Have you ever been in love? Yes, and I married him. Three months later, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home for six years before he passed. You can learn more about this by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Q3. Have you ever had a terrible break-up? No, but I did lose my man. Death is similar to a break-up, you know.

Q4. How much do you weigh? 132 pounds.

Q5. Do you have any piercings? Not now, but when I was in junior high school, I was crazy enough to have my ears pierced. Although it was done professionally in a jewelry store, my ears became infected, so I had to let them close over.

Q6. Do you have any tattoos? No, and I never will. I’m not that crazy.

Q7. How long does it take you to shower? That’s nobody’s business but mine.

Q8. Have you ever been in a physical fight? No, but I’ve been in plenty of verbal ones, mostly with my younger brother.

Q9. What turns you on? At my age, I don’t get turned on.

Q10. What turns you off? Incorrect grammar, too many adverbs, and too many descriptions of sex and other activities that aren’t relevant to a story.

Q11. Do you prefer loud or soft music? I mostly listen while I’m working, so for me, it’s better soft.

Q12. Do you have a favorite quote? Yes. “Sometimes I even amaze myself.” It’s what Han Solo says in Star Wars after Princess Leia marvels at her successful rescue. It’s what I say when someone tells me how amazing it is that I do what I do despite my lack of vision.

Q13. What’s your biggest fear? I’m terrified of fire. This stems from my younger brother’s fascination with it, resulting in his burning down an abandoned shack and starting a blaze in our basement when he was only five years old. He eventually outgrew this, and now he teaches physics at a private high school.

Q14. What’s the last thing that made you cry? Hearing a song that was included on a cassette that my late husband sent me on Valentine’s Day after proposing to me. You can listen to the song and read more about my experience with it here.

Q15. Who was the last person you spoke to? The gal who delivered my groceries.

Q16. What are the three qualities in a best friend? Honesty, empathy, and a sense of humor.

Q17. Do you like your name? I never gave this much thought. Besides, if I didn’t like it, changing it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

Q18. If you could pick your own name, what would it be? I wouldn’t bother. I’m happy with the name I have.

Q19. What makes you happy? Writing, reading, eating.

Q20. What are five random facts about you? I live in Sheridan, Wyoming. I’m about five feet tall with short dark hair and brown eyes. I use a white cane when walking around town. I like dogs and cats but don’t want the responsibility associated with having pets of my own. I like most types of music except for heavy metal, hip hop, and rap.

Q21. Is there any religious persuasion? No, not anymore.

Q22. Have you ever given or received a hicky? No.

Q23. What do you think about the most? My writing projects and other obligations.

Q24. Is there someone you really hate right now? No.


Now it’s your turn. I triple dog dare you to answer any or all of the above questions, either on your own blog or in the comment field below. If you do this on your own blog, please be sure to include a link to this post. I look forward to reading your answers.


My Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome


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Thursday Book Feature: Sugar and Spice

Sugar and Spice

By Cara Wade

Copyright 2018.


Kaylan’s life is turned upside down when she learns she has inherited her deceased aunt’s bakery. Kaylan has a job and a life in the city, and the last thing she wants to do is move to the small town where she grew up and run the shop, but she agrees to try it for a few months. Along with flour, sugar, and other ingredients, add a resentful boyfriend, two dedicated employees,, and a handsome stranger named Jack to the mixture, and what comes out of the oven could be interesting.

This is a good story, but it’s not well-written. The author tells the story from Kaylan’s first person point of view, which is fine, but it’s in present tense, often slipping into past tense, which doesn’t work. I can understand using past tense to tell back story, but even when she’s in the present, she occasionally shifts into past tense. These instances could have been mistakes her editor didn’t catch. In any case, the story would have been more effective told in the past tense. Besides this, I noticed some grammatical errors and minor plot inconsistencies.

I also didn’t appreciate the detailed descriptions of love-making in this book. Unfortunately, many romance writers feel they need to include such scenes to show how their hero and heroine feel about each other. In most cases, descriptions of sex slow down a story. In this case, it was pretty obvious that Kaylan and Jack were falling for one another by their kissing, caressing, and cuddling. The bedroom action wasn’t necessary.

On the other hand, I like the way most of the character’s back stories come out in dialog and not in narrative. According to the author’s biographical information at the back of the book, Cara Wade is a new indie author. It looks like she has a lot to learn, and I hope she improves. As I said before, this is a good story, and it teaches an important lesson about relationships. Honesty with each other is always the best policy.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.



Website Down

Due to technical difficulties, my website will be down temporarily. I’ve hired a friend who does web development and hosting to move the site to her platform and install WordPress on it so I can maintain it myself. Usually, this sort of thing goes seamlessly, but I just received word that she has encountered a problem that will require some down time. I don’t know how long this will take, but service will be restored as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

AUTHOR’S CORNER: A Serial Miracle by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks to Patty Fletcher for publishing this story of mine last week. It’s not quite the spooky story you would expect. Happy Halloween.

Campbells World

Hello everyone and welcome to the Author’s Corner.
This morning author Abbie Johnson Taylor has dropped in to share with us a wonderful Halloween treat. It’s not your average spooky story but if you like story treats much as do I you’re gonna love this tantalizing tale.
Be sure to read onward when the terrific treat is through to learn all about Abbie’s other works.
Thanks for dropping by and do come again soon.
If you enjoy this please do give it a like, comment and share.


I woke with a start when I heard the baby cry. I’d been dozing in an arm chair in the living room. I jumped to my feet and stopped short. That wasn’t David. He’d died a few days ago. I’d been the one to find his cold, limp body. Now, I heard a crying baby.
It was late on Halloween…

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