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  • Teaser Tuesday – Twice Loved

    teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

    Here are the rules:
    * Grab your current read
    * Let the book fall open to a random page
    * Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
    *You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
    * Please avoid spoilers!

    This week’s teaser is:

    “Well, love and devotion didn’t happen overnight, and in time she would learn to love this kind, gentle man. She needed to be patient.”
    – From Twice Loved by Lori Copeland, page 171

    So I haven’t actually started reading this book, but it’s on the loan from the library. (Don’t worry, I’ve added a low jack to it so it won’t disappear along with various socks and my other recent library debacle.) I’m really looking forward to reading this one.


    Friday Favorite – The Witch of Blackbird Pond

    Since my Teaser Tuesday this week featured this years Newbery Medal winner, I thought I’d continue the trend with my favorite of the week. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare was the1959 winner of the Newbery Medal and is without a doubt my favorite book of all time.

    I was probably 8 when I read this book for the first time. My mom assigned it to me for a school project, and I fell in witch-of-blackbird-pond1love with the story of Kit Tyler, a young woman forced to move from Barbados to a Puritan colony in Connecticut when her grandfather dies and she must live with her aunt and uncle in New England.

    Kit, with her silk gowns and awkward ways, can’t figure out how she fits in with her cousins Judith and Mercy. Instead she befriends Hannah, a lonely Quaker widow, who lives on the shores of Blackbird Pond. Kit also befriends a young girl, teaching her to read despite the wishes of her parents.

    Through a failed courtship and ultimately a trial as a witch, Kit’s mind goes back to Nat Eaton, a seaman on the ship that took Kit to New England. Nat appears and rescues her at his own risk at every turn.

    Next to Gilbert Blythe, Nat was one of my first literary crushes, and so I’ve read this book over and over again. In fact I borrowed–of course, I mean that I stole, as I have no intention of giving it back–my mom’s copy of the book. It has this orange cover, and pages are bent and wrinkled and it’s seen many years of love on my shelf.

    Then, a couple years ago, my mom bought a new copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. She tried to trade me for my–obviously, I mean her–old copy, but I just couldn’t part with it. How could I ever get used to a new book? I’d have to memorize the pages of favorite passages all over again. I’d have to find the scene where Nat and Kit thatch Hannah’s roof and the one where Nat sails down the river and appears out of the mist to rescue Hannah and the one … Well, you get the point.

    If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait. It’s a quick read and worth every minute. Remembering why she loves Nat until next time. -LJ

    The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn Cover!

    How exactly does one celebrate her first official cover of her first novel? I don’t know, but let’s start by posting it for the world to see! 🙂


    I’m just so thrilled and thankful to everyone at Steeple Hill for taking a chance on me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the cover.

    Confession: Sometimes when I’m having a really hard day, I open up the file of my cover art and look at it, and it makes me smile. 🙂 Hope you enjoy as much as I do. -LJ

    Quality time with Brandon Heath

    So I heard that Brandon was interviewed last week for CBS Evening News, and I was looking forward to watching the segment. But when I watched it, it was so not what I was expecting. The segment is on how Americans are losing their religion. A pastor of a “non-demoninational” church is interviewed almost as if attendees of a non-denom don’t consider themselves traditional Christians.

    Anyway, as a whole, it just made me sad. I could go on and on, but I’ll just let you watch the video and offer your thoughts if you like.

    Watch CBS Videos Online

    Teaser Tuesdays – The Graveyard Book

    teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

    Here are the rules:
    * Grab your current read
    * Let the book fall open to a random page
    * Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
    *You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
    * Please avoid spoilers!

    This week’s teaser is:

    “Bod thought, then he smiled, momentarily, and it lit his face like the flash of a lightbulb. He pulled a crumpled sheet of newspaper from a packing case, flattened it out as best he could, then pushed it underneath the door, leaving only a corner on his side of the doorway.”
    – From The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, page 136

    This is the winner of the 2009 Newbery Medal Award for excellence in children’s literature. I love children’s lit and am generally a fan of Newberry winners. However, I’m finding that this book starts darkly and has yet to lighten up after nearly 70 pages. I’m curious how it will move forward.


    Monday Movie – Vantage Point

    Last week I went to the library to pick up a couple books I had on hold (hoping not to lose any of those), and I happened by the spinner for rapid view movie rentals. I love this part of the library. Free movie rental for 3 nights, and they have some newer releases. I chose Vantage Point with Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox of Lost (and who could forget Party of Five?) fame.


    Anyway, I’d heard about this movie and wanted to see it in the theater, but I never made it. And then I forgot about it.

    Does that happen to you? It happens to me all the time. So imagine my surprise when I stumble across a movie and suddenly remember that I couldn’t wait to see this movie. Such was my visit to the library last week.

    Anyway, I sat down to watch Vantage Point last week and was wonderfully delighted. This thriller starts with the a news crew covering the President’s address on a peace summit in Spain. And then suddenly the President is shot and an explosion rocks the public square, leaving the news reporter dead. Then it promptly rewinds back to noon that day, and we see the same events unfolding through the eyes of a different character.

    It retells the situation multiple times through the eyes of Thomas Barnes (Quaid), a secret service agent first returning after being shot in the line of duty; Kent Taylor (Fox), a fellow secret service agent; Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), a father missing his children and trying to recover from a seperation from his wife; President Ashton; Enrique, a Spanish police officer; Veronica, the woman that Enrique loves; and more characters.

    And with each new view of the events, we learn a little more. We discover the reasons why and how these seemingly unrelated characters are all interconnected. The alinear story telling is done pretty well. Except at the end, where I felt like because there were so many characters, some of the reasons were lost .

    Overall, I did enjoy the movie. There was a bit of harsh language and violence, but it definitely kept my attention. Hoping that you’re enjoying an unexpected surprise movie until next time too. -LJ

    I’m for sale on more sites!

    Hey all, just wanted to let you know that The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (available July 14) is now available for preorder on even more websites. BarnesandNoble.com and GoHastings.com has my book available. Visit Liz’s Books page for direct links. The suggested price is only $5.50, so start saving your pennies and nickels now. 🙂

    And just an heads up about cover art. I should be getting the final in a couple weeks, and I’ll be sure to post it here first.

    Can’t believe people can actually buy my book! -LJ

    Friday Favorite: New Ring Tones

    It was 11:40p.m. on Monday night of this week. I had turned off my light, closed my book, and pulled my quilt up to my chin just ten minutes earlier. My eyes were closed, and I was in that wonderful state between sleep and wake.

    And then my cell phone let out a horridly pathetic beep, telling me that it was dying and desperately needed a charge. I knew it would keep going all night if I didn’t get up and plug it in, but I still grumbled to myself as I turned my light back on and scavanged for my glasses. I had barely jammed them on my face , when my phone beeped again. But this one was stronger. An alert to the text message I had just received.

    Who was sending me a text message at 11:40 at night?

    My sister-in-law Beth. That’s who. I was irked for second, then I thought maybe it was a cute picture of my niece or nephew. It was not. But then I remembered that Arizona does’nt observe daylight savings time, so she probably forgot that Colorado is now an hour a head of them. No problem. I’d get back to her in the morning, but I decided to check the messages to make sure it wasn’t really important. But the moment I opened it up the instense organ strains of The Pantom of the Opera pelted out of my little pink phone.

    A Phantom ring tone, just for me! Is my family cool, or what?

    The next day came more funny ring tones, and I had to call Beth, at which point, she told me that she’s set her phone so that when I call, it plays Phantom. Awesome! Then she told me about this very cool website where you can create and text ring tones from any song. Feel free to check out here. And the cool thing, is it’s all free. (Don’t be fooled by the ads on the site that ask you pay.) For example:

    Create free ringtones at Phonezoo

    As for me, I’m just stoked with Phantom. I’m sure there’ll need to be a Brandon Heath ring tone soon. Probably even a Third Day and Chris Tomlin too. But it’s all thanks to my coolest sister-in-law, who is he only girl in the world I’d want to share a name with! A big shout out to Beth (and Micah too, just by proximity). Miss you guys! See you in April.

    Now, if only someone would call me. 🙂 -LJ

    Happy Birthday, Amy!

    Just wanted to offer a big birthday wish to Amy! Hope your day is great! In honor of the big 2…. never mind about the age. Let’s just focus on the honor:

    Paula’s earrings ROCK! I tried to find a pair for Amy for her birthday, but they were not to be found. Sorry. She’s stuck with the other gift I got her.

    Be sure to check out her blog about the gummy, green ice cream that she experienced earlier this week. 🙂

    LJ on Ice!

    When I first moved to Colorado Springs in 2006, I was determined to take up a new activity, try something that the locals might do. I contemplated skiing for about 2 seconds. Nope! Too expensive and I’d like to stay alive. With my poor coordination I was sure to break at least one bone if not all of them if I tried skiing. Hiking? Well, I don’t mind a nice stroll, but I’m certainly not a interested in hiking a 14er. I prefer to get to the top of mountains the way that God intended me to. In a car or on the cog railway.

    So what were my other options? I debated a number of things and finally decided ice skating was the sport for me! After all, we didn’t have ice–EVER–in southern Arizona, so I figured it’d be a new and exciting opportunity for me. I promptly signed up for lessons through the city of Colorado Springs and began a 10-week session at the Adult Basic 1. I was pretty sure I was going to be the worst person in my class. But it turned out, I at least wasn’t afraid to stand up on the ice, which could not be said of everyone else in the class.

    Every Thursday night I’d make the trek down to the Sertich Ice Center. Most Saturday mornings I did the same, just for some extra practice. I needed it too. I was never very good. I could only marginally skate backward. I think I was too busy worrying about falling on my bum. But I certainly had a very healthy appreciation for the guys and gals who have mad skills. I loved going to the public skate times and seeing the kids sailing around the ice. Jumping and dancing and practicing their routines. I made me wish that I’d started skating before I was 25.

    Anyway, in 2007, I was back in AZ visiting the family. One night I was flipping channels and stumbled on the men’s National Figure Skating Championships. I just happened to catch Evan Lysacek perform the routine below to the music from Carmen. It was thrilling and beautiful and the music so haunting. (The performance also prompted me to go see the opera Carmen when it came through the Springs about a year later. Bad move. It was terrible and had absolutely no redeeming characters. But the music was good.)

    Anyway, about a month later I heard that Evan and Ryan Bradley (a skater, who trains here in the Springs) and others were performing at the Four Continents Championship at the World Arena. So I packed up after work and went to see the show. Two nights in a row I went by myself and I actually got to see Evan perform the same program that won him the gold medal at Nationals. His performance was so beautiful and I was so sucked in that halfway through I realized that I was crying. I’d never seen anything so beautiful before.

    I’ve been thinking about that performance lately. Not sure why, exactly. I was just remembering how fun it was to feel so weightless on the ice, so free to fly. I had a vacation day to use last Friday, so I called Sertich to see if they had public skate times. Sure enough they had a matinee for $1.50, so I pulled out the skates that I haven’t worn in over 6 months and headed over there.

    It was everything I remembered. So fun. Zig zag. So freeing. Swizzle, swizzle. So … uncoordinated. I’ve lost a step or two, for sure! But then in the mail that afternoon I got the brochure for the upcoming Learn to Skate sessions. I’m seriously thinking maybe it’s time to sign back up and get back into the fun of it! Remembering how much I love how cold the rink is and how rosy my cheeks are on the ice until next time. -LJ