How about serialized reads?

How about serialized reads?

I’ve been giving some thought lately to serialized content and wanted to get the input from you, my darling readers…since it would be all for you anyway. =)

To explain a bit what I’m thinking, when I say “serialized reads,” I have in mind episodic fiction, based in my fictional world. Each “episode” would be round about a chapter-length. Access to these reads would be a subscription. So you’d pay a very small monthly fee, but that would give you access to ongoing, perpetual, new, and exclusive content.

Would you be interested in something like this? If so, would you take a minute to fill out this form, so I can begin thinking about what stories everyone would most enjoy and what “small fee” would be reasonable? Thanks!

If you’re having trouble viewing the form below, please fill it out HERE.

Word of the Week – Evolution

Word of the Week – Evolution

In The Nature of a Lady, my heroine, Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, is a naturalist. She not only loves nature–as in, being out in it and enjoying it–she loves studying nature. Her most prized possession is a microscope, and she spends much of her holiday on St. Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly out collecting specimens to study under magnification, or sketching the flora and fauna she sees.

One thing that causes her no small amount of anxiety is the fact that the world she sees–orderly, following rules, and capable of adaptation–seems at odd with the world of faith as it’s been taught to her–that the world is “mysterious,” and that scientists who suggest that aspects are capable of changing and adapting on their own are sacrilegious. Of course, leading the debate in that day and age were the works of scientists like Charles Darwin. It’s interesting to note that he was awarded the highest scientific honor in England…and that immediately upon publication, his theories split the church. Some thought they didn’t contradict the Bible at all, others thought his theories were of the devil. By the point of my story, it was still a hot topic, but most of the Church had decided that Darwin and his theories were ungodly.

Today, I simply want to take a look at the word most closely associated with him: evolution.

Did you know that evolution literally means “to unroll”? It’s from the days when a book (or more accurately, a scroll) was literally unrolled or unfurled to reveal more of itself, and hence more information, dating from around 1620. By the 1660s, it was used in mathematics and medicine to mean “a growth to maturity in an individual.” The word was first applied to species in 1832, by Charles Lyell.

What’s really fascinating is that Darwin only ever used the word ONCE. That’s right, one time, in the closing paragraph of The Origin of Species. He preferred the much clunkier phrase, “descent with modification.” I find it so interesting that the word that in our modern minds equates with Charles Darwin was a word he didn’t even like, LOL. It was other biologists who followed Darwin who began to use the word to describe changes within or between species.

Have you ever read The Origin of Species? I did in college, and I was surprised to learn that the controversial theories Darwin is known for aren’t actually present in his most famous work–those came later in other works. The Origin of Species talks mostly about evolution within a species (micro-evolution), which most people have no problem with.

Science and Faith

Science and Faith

The following is a short article I wrote as part of my Science and Faith page. You can find this, a discussion on the topic with three other writers, book recommendations, and online resources on the main page here:

Science, Faith, and Us


In The Nature of a Lady, I have a heroine who is a naturalist, studying the nature all around her. If you’ve read many of my books, then you’ll know I’ve also featured chemists, nurses, mathematicians, physicians, mechanical geniuses, and more. I’m no scientist—but my liberal arts education did include three years of scientific study and four years of math, covering everything from biology to the beginnings of quantum physics, from geometry to astronomy to calculus. More than learning each fact, we were taught how to engage with scientific discovery, how to value it for what it has right and how to ask questions about what doesn’t seem right in a way that will lead to the next discovery. It’s a way of thinking that I’ve attempted to maintain in the years since my college education came to an end, because it’s one of the most valuable things I’ve ever learned.

As a homeschool mom, I’ve come across quite a lot of debate about how science and faith interact. I’ve heard other mothers get angry when an old-universe timeline was assumed in a class taught to our local kids—so angry that the facilitators issued an official apology and assured us that this teacher would not be asked back. I’ve heard moms talk about protecting their kids from harmful philosophies like evolution. I’ve heard, over and over, that a biblical worldview must be protected.

And I’ve recoiled from this. Because my education has taught me that the truth doesn’t need to be protected. The truth simply is. And anything else discovered cannot contradict it. It can only challenge our understanding of it. Philosophies may be right or wrong, but learning about them isn’t harmful—so long as one’s foundation is firm.

I operate from the understanding that God is Creator, God is omniscient, God is omnipotent, God is omnipresent. God existed before and outside of time. He reveals himself through the Bible, but also through the world. The Bible, however, was never intended to be a scientific treatise—it was meant to show us how God interacts with man. This means using words. Meeting us where we are. In the ancient days, that didn’t include an understanding of quanta or the speed of light or astrophysics. This is not a failure of the Bible. And it certainly isn’t a failure of God. But trying to put both God and the Bible into a box of my own understanding…that is a failure. That leads to contradictions and often ridiculousness, as we try to cling to understanding that is clearly faulty.

I approach both science and faith from the standpoint that neither can ever disprove the other. Faith tells me that God is, that God has done these things. Science can help me understand how. And if science shows me something that doesn’t seem to fit with the Bible, then it’s not the science or the Bible that’s wrong—it’s my reading of it. I am the weak link here. I am the one who is limited, who is finite, who is biased. God certainly isn’t—and He doesn’t need my ignorant defenses, either. He does not need me to bend over backwards, trying to dismiss new discoveries or rewrite them to jive with passages from the Bible. God did these things however He did them. He doesn’t have to explain himself to me. And He doesn’t have to apologize either. What if the days in Genesis are literal? What if they’re metaphorical? This does not change my faith, either way. What if He used a Big Bang to get the universe started? What if He spoke it into being exactly as we see it now? What if He chose to use evolution to move the animals from sea to land to air? What if He created each species distinctly, never to cross? The answers can be whatever they are—because whatever it is, that’s how God did it, and that makes it good. Because He is a God without limits, and He is our definition of good.

Science as we know it today actually got its start because godly men believed that our Lord is a God of order—that He created a universe that is not chaotic, but which has rules. It was this belief, this understanding, that inspired them to start looking for that order and trying to understand those rules. But of course, over the centuries, lines were drawn. There came those who tried to use science to disprove God. And there were those who rejected science because discoveries didn’t line up with their understanding. This is a tale as old as time. But it doesn’t need to be our story. We can instead say, “My faith will not be defined by my own limited understanding.” We can say, “I will not put God in the box of what I can comprehend.” We can say, “Nothing we can learn can ever actually contradict His truth.”

I’m not a scientist. And I’m not a theologian. But I’m a thinker. And more, I’m someone who wants my kids to understand that they can seek, they can learn, they can discover…and that whatever they find through observation, it’s okay. Because it’s part of the world God made, and maybe He did it this way…or that way…or some other way. Believing one method over another does not negate one’s faith. God is bigger than our understanding, bigger than our doubts, bigger than our questions. He created a beautiful, orderly, complicated world.

And trying to figure out how, trying to understand His methods…well. That can be a form of worship. As long as we remember that He is at the heart of it all.

Giveaway – The Nature of a Lady Release Day!

Giveaway – The Nature of a Lady Release Day!

There’s a lot of information here,
so here’s a quick list of what you’ll find in this post!

1. How I came up with the idea for The Nature of a Lady and why I love it

2. The “Hunt through the Pages” is on, and it has some awesome prizes

3. A science and faith resource page

4. Companion articles on subjects from the book

5. Facebook LIVE event link

Inspiration for The Nature of a Lady

I can’t believe it’s here! Finally! Release day for The Nature of a Lady, book 1 in the Secrets of the Isles series!

After seven books in a row that took place during a war, I was ready for a break–something pure fun. And that’s what this series is! Oh, not to say there aren’t some serious subjects contained in these pages. But writing these stories have been pure joy for me. We’ve got pirate tales, treasure hunts, mistaken identities, new love, old love, hometown rivalries…yep. FUN.

Hilariously, I actually got the idea for this book when The Number of Love released. My author copies arrived, and I was signing and packing up the books that readers had pre-ordered through my store. As I was looking at packing slips and signing books accordingly, I noticed quite a pattern. Namely, I have a LOT of readers named Elizabeth (or some variation thereof). Enough that at one point, I pulled another sheet forward and went, “Oh, look, another Elizabeth.”

Another Elizabeth.

The words stuck in my head. All day. Into the next. Another Elizabeth. Wouldn’t that be a funny concept for a story? Maybe it could be about a group of people all sharing the same name…could be a contemporary…it would be fun as a YA…but that’s not my style. No, so what would make sense as a historical?

I was out on the swingset with the kids when the next piece clicked into place. Edwardian era. A girl–a noblewoman in hiding, maybe–shows up at a flat she just let. The landlady greets her with “Oh, another Elizabeth is it? Hope you’re more dependable than the last.” This Elizabeth soon discovers that the previous occupant left all her stuff…including her troubles. And our heroine meets the same basic physical description too. So she gets confused with the previous Elizabeth. Then the brother of the original Elizabeth shows up…

Well, the flat turned into a holiday cottage, the name of the book got changed from Another Elizabeth to The Nature of a Lady, and the story certainly became a lot more fleshed out as I decided what sort of trouble the original Elizabeth–Beth–left for the new Elizabeth–Libby. And gracious. So much fun!!

My first step was a fabulous setting, and I settled on the Isles of Scilly (pronounced Silly), 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall. Figured I’d toss in a hunt for pirate treasure, give the hero Oliver (Beth’s brother) a rival he’s in constant battle with, have that rival be a would-be-old-flame of my third POV character, Mabena, Libby’s maid…and then just go along for the ride.

I hope you love the result as much as I do! These characters…they really gripped my heart, my mind, and my imagination. They ask questions about things that matter. They deal with tragedy and chronic illness. They struggle with anxieties and what friendship really means, how to find their place in the world. They ask questions about the universe itself. They find and deepen faith; and there’s a grandmother character I think you’ll adore.

Hunt Through the Pages

To celebrate the release of The Nature of a Lady, I thought it would be super fun to do something a little different from my usual giveaway. This time, I’m inviting YOU into the treasure hunt!

“Hunt through the Pages” while you read the book, find the answers to 20 questions, and turn them in for access to a SECRET PAGE! What’s on this page? Exclusive videos, a downloadable recipe booklet, a bonus scene featuring the story of the eldest Tremayne brother, which I’ve called “The Heart of His Brother,” and a sneak peek of the next book, To Treasure an Heiress!

PLUS, if you get your entries in by July 19, 2021, you will be entered to win one of TWELVE prize packages! (Each correct answer is one additional entry!)

Visit the Hunt through the Pages page here on my website for the full rules, to download a printable PDF of the clues, and to fill in your answers and be entered to win one of those twelve prizes!

The Prizes

Twelve winners will receive a “treasure chest” full of:

  1. A vintage teacup with saucer and a dainty spoon
  2. Two servings of flavored loose-leaf tea
  3. Honey and sugar cubes
  4. Cakebites
  5. A pearl and leaf necklace
  6. A Zoom link to join me and the other winners on Saturday, July 30 at 7 pm EDT for an hour to chat about the book and enjoy our tea together!


So grab your pirate hat, an eyepatch, and get your best “Arrr!” ready to roll off your tongue! We’re huntin’ pirate treasure, matey, and it’s bound to be fun!

On Science and Faith

Throughout the pages of The Nature of a Lady, Libby struggles a bit with how to reconcile her love for the scientific method and discovery with the faith of her mother, which seems very closed-minded to her. Oliver, a faith-filled vicar but also a bit of a botanist, helps her see that the two don’t need to be at war. This is a conversation I’ve heard played out many times over the years, though, so I thought it would be fun (and hopefully valuable) to chat some more about it.

If it’s a subject that interests you, please join me on the Science and Faith page. There you’ll find an article I’ve written, a conversation I had via email with other authors with scientific backgrounds, and some resources for further reading.

Companion Articles

In the weeks leading up to release day, I’ve also been posting articles on subjects corresponding with the book! You can find links to all of them now in one handy location. Check them out here!

Live Event

Join me for a LIVE chat on Tuesday, May 4th at 7pm EDT! Behind the scenes, an excerpt, a treasure hunt, and more! Join the event HERE.

Word of the Week – Dreckly

Word of the Week – Dreckly

So here’s the nutshell version: dreckly is just the Cornish way of saying “directly.” The end. Shortest post in history. 😉

Okay, so a liiiiittle bit more. The word directly has of course been in the English language for a good long time. In the 1300s, it meant “completely.” In the 1400s, it meant “in a straight line” or, metaphorically, “clearly, unmistakably.” By around 1600, it means “immediately.”

But apparently in Cornwall (and no doubt elsewhere), when someone says they’ll get to something dreckly, it generally means, “Hold your horses, I’ll do it when I do it, don’t rush me.” 😉 Yet another fun example of how a word that means “immediately” is used to mean “whenever, eventually.” LOL