Posts by Janet

Meet J’nell Ciesielski – Author of Night Fox in The Highlander’s Collection

Posted by on Oct 15, 2019 in Blog, Books, History, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Meet J’nell Ciesielski – Author of Night Fox in The Highlander’s Collection

Over the next few weeks, I’m featuring one of the authors of  The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection. This week, I’m pleased to introduce J’nell Ciesielski, author of Night Fox, the first story in the collection.

J’nell, please tell us something about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Like most writers, I can tell you that I’ve loved reading for a very long time, but it wasn’t until I was a junior in college when I started to write my first real novel. It took a few years to actually finish and it wasn’t very good, as most first novels aren’t. Then I started my next and then my next. It wasn’t until six years ago when I got my agent and then two years ago when I landed my first contract. It’s been a long journey and one I’m excited to see where it’ll go next!

Is Night Fox your first novella? Did you find writing it more or less challenging than writing a novel?

Night Fox is my second written novella, but the first one I’ve had published. It was both challenging and easier than a full-length novel. More challenging because you have to cram an entire story into a very short amount of words, and easier because you can strip away all the extraneous lines and focus on the central story. And for a romance writer, that means more love.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I’m a planner in life and on the page. That being said, while I do have a plot it’s not necessarily written line for line without room for budging. I have certain plot points I want to hit, but I don’t always know exactly how I’ll get to them until I’m actually writing the scene. This can often lead to fun little surprises that I never considered before but can make the story more wonderful.

Was there anything that surprised you about writing this story?

How much fun it can be to write a female vigilante. I’ve never written one before and most stories have the men cloaked in black and holding roadside stick ups. No one expects a woman to be terrorizing the town!

Did you determine the story-line first or the era?

I’m most comfortable writing in the Jacobite Era of Scotland, specifically around the 1745 rebellion. For Night Fox I wanted to touch on something a little different and so chose the lesser-known 1715 rebellion. Once I had that, I settled on a fun take of Robin Hood by giving it a different spin with the woman as the thief.

Please tell us what the story is about.

After the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, war-weary Deven McLendon returns home to discover a thief creating chaos on his lands. But this thief isn’t like any other. When Rooney Corsen sets out to steal jewels to repay her family’s debts and keep a roof over her little sisters’ heads, never does she imagine snagging the laird’s heart instead.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Sometimes people do the wrong things for the right reasons. Try not to judge them too harshly.

What are your social media sights?

http://www.jnellciesielski.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jnellciesielski

https://twitter.com/JnellCiesielski
https://www.goodreads.com/jnellciesielski

https://www.pinterest.com/jnellciesielski/

 

Author Bio:

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.

Read More

Celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of A Heart For Freedom with a giveaway

Posted by on Oct 2, 2019 in Blog, Books | Comments Off on Celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of A Heart For Freedom with a giveaway

It’s been a year since A Heart For Freedom released and I’m celebrating by offering a chance for one person to win either a print or Kindle copy of the book. Become a subscriber (on the sidebar) to my website for a chance to win A Heart For Freedom, winner of the Christian Indie Award.

The winner to be selected from all new subscribers to my website Oct. 2 – Oct. 9, 2019. Eligibility for a print copy – must be in one of the lower 48 states.

He longs for freedom, but he won’t risk those he loves.

Matthew Stewart wants only to farm, manage his inn, and protect his family. But tension between the Loyalists and Patriots is mounting. When he’s asked to help the Patriots and assured his family will be safe, he agrees.

She’s seen the cost of fighting England, and she wants no part of it.

In Scotland, Heather Stewart witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. She wants only to avoid war and protect the family and peace she finally found in Virginia. But the war drums can be heard even from home in the countryside, and she has no power to stop the approaching danger.

The consequences are deadly.

When Matthew leaves for a short journey and doesn’t return, Heather faces the biggest trial of her life. Will she give up hope of seeing him again? Will he survive the trials and make his way home? What will be the consequences of his heart for freedom?

A Heart For Freedom is the second book in this Revolutionary War Saga.

It follows A Heart Set Free. Watch for further updates.

Read More

Never Underestimate the Heart of a Highlander

Posted by on Sep 14, 2019 in Blog, Books, History | 2 comments

I’m excited to announce that The Highlanders is now up for ebook preorder.

I was delighted when Pegg Thomas, Publisher for Smitten Historical Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas asked me to be part of this novella collection. None of us knew what the other authors were writing about or in what era it took place so it’s been such fun reading the other’s stories. 

Here’s a preview of what our Highlander tales are about.

Night Fox             By J’nell Ciesielski

After the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, war-weary Deven McLendon returns home to discover a thief creating chaos on his lands. But this thief isn’t like any other. When Rooney Corsen sets out to steal jewels to repay her family’s debts and keep a roof over her little sisters’ heads, never does she imagine snagging the laird’s heart instead.

A Tender Siege        By Naomi Musch

Pontiac’s War, August 1763: “I beg Ye to take me.” Wounded in battle in the American wilderness, Lachlan McRea of His Majesty’s 42nd Highlanders pleads with God, yearning to be reunited with his lost wife and child. As death hovers near, he is discovered by Wenonah, a native widow doing all she can to survive alone while avoiding the attentions of a dangerous Shawnee warrior. In aiding one another, their perils increase. If Lachlan can let go of the woman he once loved, he might find healing for both body and soul.

The Year without Summer            By Janet Grunst

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

The Violinist           By Jennifer Lamont Leo

In 1915 Idaho, homesick lumberjack Callan MacTavish despairs of ever seeing his Scottish homeland again. With kindness and patience, music teacher Rose Marchmont reaches a part of Callan’s heart he’d long ago locked away. She sees beyond his rough exterior to the artistic heart beneath. He longs for more than he can offer her, but she doesn’t know about the secret trauma that keeps him from crossing the sea.

Choosing a cover can be very challenging. So many options displayed more of our Highlander than seemed appropriate for our stories. So we were thrilled when one of our authors, Naomi Musch, suggested her son might fill the bill.  That’s the story behind our handsome cover model.

If you enjoy reading novellas please tell us why.

Read More

TRANSITIONS

Posted by on Jun 30, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Journal, Uncategorized | 6 comments

A recent “significant” birthday has made me feel a lot older than I did last week. I decided not to dwell on the fact that I can’t do, and shouldn’t do, some of the things I did even a year ago. I’m thankful for reasonably good health, the ability to do the activities I enjoy, even if at a slower pace. I learned a long time ago, my attitude determines how I navigate through life’s transitions.

Webster’s defines Transition as “a passage a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.”

Many friends are going through their own transitions, whether it involves downsizing, moving, an illness, job change, or the death of a loved one. Some of us embrace changes and view them as new adventures, while others find unexpected developments in their lives difficult. But transitions are inevitable.

“Change is always in your favor when you’re walking with the Lord.”

Words from a wise friend

The Bible is filled with stories of how God’s people journeyed through transitions, and it resulted in transformation.

God told Abraham in Gen 12:1-3 to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”

God didn’t reveal where Abraham was to go, just to trust Him for the outcome. Over time, and not without some poor personal choices, Abraham listened, obeyed, and learned to trust God.

In Deuteronomy 31:7,8 we read, “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Job, was full of transitions, mostly losses, but it was a picture of Job’s faithfulness despite his struggles.

Ruth’s left the land and idolatry of Moab to travel to Naomi’s homeland and embrace Naomi’s faith in the one true God.

Daniel’s and Esther’s stories are dramatic transition and transformation stories where they journey from places of insignificance to positions of great power.   

in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 Solomon tells us:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:                  

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing                                a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”    

Our Heavenly Father offers courage and direction for all situations. Carol Stratton, the author of Changing Zip Codes, says “When we do our part and take the first step, He will watch our back and take away our fear. We need to take the first step.”

“The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can trust God to guide us for every transition we face.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Psalm 32:8

And in His equipping us experience transformation.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

What season of life are you in? Are you enjoying the fruits of your labor, or dealing with discouragement, decisions, disease, or depression? Perhaps you are enjoying reflection, renewal, and rest.

Read More

MUSIC THAT LIFTS THE SOUL

Posted by on Apr 14, 2019 in Blog, Devotions, Uncategorized | 1 comment

There is something about music that draws us closer to God. So many hymns, as well as more contemporary pieces, touch my heart and intensify times of worship.

To celebrate Holy Week last year, I gathered an eclectic selection of music to listen to throughout the week, picking out special selections for each day. I had such fun doing this that I shared the links on my Facebook page. I share it now hoping it will bring you joy and draw you closer to Jesus this week.

Palm Sunday ~ All Glory, Laud and Honour  ~  King’s College Cambridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHN8UAk6Yow

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

http://praiseandworshiplyricsandchords.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-redeemer-lives-mullen-music-and.html

Monday ~ In Heavens Eyes ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389e0aLJJzU

Shine Jesus Shine by Hillsong (with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4

Tuesday ~I Can Only Imagine  ~ Bart Millard Mercy Me

https://www.facebook.com/icanonlyimaginemovie/videos/10156154869184810/

The Prayer ~ Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8Z_6HVutk

Wednesday ~ The Lord of sea and sky  ~ National Youth Choir of Scotland-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcL9S5a3weU

I’ve Just Seen Jesus  ~ Sandi Patti Larnell Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yLgtd_kkxw

Thursday ~  For Zions Sake ~  Marty Goetz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtKBZRJcEVM

Mary Did You Know 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPsgIhlYQmM

Friday ~Via Dolorosa  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7asEdmZsSPo

The Lords Prayer sung by Andrea Bocelli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50dLkv7v2TQ

Saturday ~

Jesus through the Bible !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upyJ6smkv9g&feature=youtu.be

Messiah Hallelujah Choir ~Naval Academy Glee Club

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWQnsYARm8

Sunday ~ Crown Him With Many Crowns  ~ Sandi Patti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLXRU1Vdauw

He’s Alive  ~  Dolly Parton

https://www.facebook.com/DollyParton/videos/10153640169959755/

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15dmjnB8FZU

 

Read More