Turnin' Pages — Cardinal Bluff Diary — December, 2019

Cardinal at Cardinal Bluff

WRITING and writing because I’ve been READING and reading!  And, there is a lot of Christmas things to do.

We are inhabited by CATS, so I’ve long given up on a tree and much décor.  I have a struggling Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter cactus.  One of those holidays…so far 2019 hasn’t been its year.  Maybe Easter!

We have a window that is a target for birds. Gives them a terrible headache and raises concerns about broken feathered necks.  I cut out bright snowflakes to decorate the window and create bird diversion.  Freshening them up with holiday colors. Do you remember our favorite seasonal art class in elementary school? Folding a sheet of paper into pie shapes, then cutting triangles, slashes, boxes and other shapes on the edges. Opening the pie revealed delightful snowflake design.  I’ve seen many on Pinterest where the cutters where using darling, recognizable shapes. Reminds me of cutting out the strings of paper dolls for my kids.

The December Book of the Month is co-authored by one of my favorites.  J.L and Lin Stepp began hiking In their own ‘backyard’ state of Tennessee a few years before noting that there were over 50 state parks available.  They had already written a book entitled Afternoon Hiker: A Guide to Casual Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains  

Setting up a routine plan to check out the parks across Tennessee from East to West, they visited, made notes on parts that were good, shot some excellent photos and added directions to get there.  The end result was Discovering Tennessee State Parks.  Both books are available in digital or paperback format.  You can’t go wrong on any book these people write!

Lin and J.L. Stepp have more of their writing at the website, LinStepp.com

December 16, 2019

Book about dogs as heroes and friends

A rainy and freezing drizzle coming up on Christmas. Makes me thankful to be a writer who can stay inside today.

I’ve had some warm-hearted reaction to the Dog Love post. A quick and easy read that appreciates DOGS! Dog appreciation is a big thing at our house!

The Christmas at the Chateau review was posted out of sequence on the Marsh Saga series of books! Just seemed so RIGHT for the holidays.

Roaring 20s story -- war is hell

The first book in the Series, Millie is in the review queue awaiting publication while the second book won’t be released until January 2020. Book 2, Prue is the featured New Release book for December.

December 19, 2019

The freezing drizzle that I wrote about earlier is past. We had some ice on roads and on tree branches, but it has all fallen. We’re looking at very warm weather for the actual days of Christmas!

I’ve been reading and reviewing a reserve of books to release after Christmas! I know that this is such a busy time of year, that you probably are elsewhere in your mind. When my kids were little, I would go on a ‘book fast’ from Thanksgiving till Christmas. I made a lot of Christmas gifts for family and friends. No time to be distracted by even the best story!

Graphic about clean reading standards

Today, I was concerned that I had been cold and hard about the Cardinal Bluff standards for books that I would review. Another read of the page, Cardinal Bluff Review Standards, reassured me that I wasn’t being an ‘uppity, judgmental reviewer’, but explaining clearly why we look for ‘flinch-free’ books to review.

Coming Soon!

Of course, I have plans for the January 2020 Book of the Month, so that is coming soon.

I have reviews coming that feature Medieval people. Kings and Queens, along with people living in the 1400’s-1500’s.

And more historical fiction revolving around the years of World War II.

And, don’t forget Regency Romance. I have a new favorite that I’m writing on today! A new author for me, Laura Mills Alcott is offering a new and different reading possibility. She wrote a novel, then did some editing to make the book into a PG version. This is so unusual and I appreciate the effort. I will be publishing the review for The Briar and The Rose before New Year’s!

Happy New Year graphic -- Resolve to Read

Time for New Year’s Resolutions. I’m suggesting one that wouldn’t be difficult for me to keep! I’m resolving to READ! Reading is a compulsion with me. I have had a Kindle Fire digital reader for several years. I’m on the second one! That little tablet is almost another limb. I still read ‘real books’, but do enjoy the compressed library. Never have to dust the shelves on the Kindle library!

December 27, 2019

We’re getting closer to the end of the year and end of a decade! There has been a lot of water under the bridge in the past 10 years! Even now, some things are completing besides a decade. Meanwhile different things are beginning which are not related to a decade!

I hope you had a Christmas filled with happiness and peace as we did. I am happy to be getting back into the blogging. I can’t say that I was distracted by preparations, decorations and lots of other tasks. I kept the celebration simple at our house.

The dog and I have been outside for the first walk in another foggy morning. We haven’t had snow or rain, nor do we anticipate any serious weather. But, things are damp and the past two mornings have been foggy.

Eastgate Keeps on Singing - January Book of the Month, Cozy Mysteries

I hope you are enjoying the newest post about a Cozy Mystery. Eastgate Cozy Mystery — Eastgate Keeps on Singing is an extremely pleasant read. Not a long, long novel, but flinch-free. Author, K.D. McCrite, writes a good book with elegant prose that doesn’t insult your intelligence.

There are more reviews awaiting publication! I’ve been writing a reserve this month to get us off to a good start for 2020. Plus, there will be a new look with the emails. I’ll be sending all subscribers a message in the next few days about a change to Flodesk for our email service.

Things will be changing there as we go along because the service is in Beta development. That is a state I enjoy working with and look forward to updates and new pieces. At present, there is enough for me to work with when comparing to other services.

December 31, 2019

Adding more to the diary this month than I have before. But, this is a monumental time — I like ‘mathematical’ phenomenon. A new year of a new decade is impressing me. The numbers 2020 are impressing me! Since 2000, I can’t remember being intrigued by the next year. We just worked our way through one year’s last day to the next year’s first day. That has been going on too long. This year, 2019 has been pivotal because I’ve been led to become the full-time blogger. No matter what else I do, I want to be defined as a blogger!

Happy New Year's resolution - Resolve to Read

We’re ‘celebrating’ for our New Year’s Day by visiting old traditions. We prefer chili soup to the traditional black-eyed peas. Neither of us grew up in the south, so the peas weren’t a tradition with us. For my family, traditionally, New Year’s Eve was Chili soup (in the upper midwest, 1950s) Chili was unusual. And, it wasn’t very spicy! Several families got together for the evening for chili soup and FUDGE. Chocolate fudge was also on the extravagance list for my parents. To go to an aunt’s house where she made the outrageous chocolate treat was the height of my year!

We were gifted a lovely treat of homemade fudge candy. We’re going to really celebrate with some SPICY chili soup and some FUDGE!

I think as well as a New Year’s Resolution to READ more, I’m going to be shopping for a new computer mouse! That will be fine.

I wish you the best year you’ve ever had in upcoming 2020! More chatter in January’s Diary!

Remember our author friends benefit from reviews about their art. Subscribers can download their free copy of Book Notes to keep track of review notes. And have ongoing access to other new things that will be coming to the Resource Library at Cardinal Bluff.

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