For I know the (writing) plans I have for you

Hello, Blog readers! Susan Karsten here. It occurred to me that the Gracious Woman blog needs more posts about writing, so here I am with a report on my speaking engagement last night. The leader of the Fond du Lac Writers Club, John Silah, invited me to speak to the group after seeing a magazine […]

An Inconvenient Beauty, Kristi Ann Hunter

Wow, Kristi Hunter just keeps writing these Regency novels — she might bring the genre back singlehanded! Kristi Hunter scores again with her fourth Regency novel. The opening scenes, set in a private English boys’ school is well done, and sets the tone for frolics to come. Meeting our hero as a boy, we gain […]

The Day the Angels Fell, Shawn Smucker

I received this book from Revell Publishing. This is what I consider to be middle grade fantasy. It would have excellent appeal to adult fantasy readers as well. The writing in this debut novel is smooth, clear and engaging. I was impressed by the ease with which the author drew the reader into the story […]

An Amish Summer, a 4-novella collection including one by author Kelly Irvin

Disclaimer: I don’t normally read Amish fiction. But, a while back, I discovered the writing of Kelly Irvin. I enjoy her books, not because they about the Amish, but they are well-written, and interesting. Irvin does not write about the Amish as if she wears rose-colored glasses. She brings it, warts and all. Also, she […]

Thrifty Tip for gently used Aluminum Foil

This is just a little tip I picked up somewhere: When you have a nice piece of foil left from something you baked (maybe it covered a casserole and is pretty clean) fold it, clean side out, and use it for a spoon rest. When it has done its duty, dispose of it. Susan Karsten […]

Thrifty and Easy Rhubarb Jam

The large pot pictured above has a double batch of rhubarb jam in it. The recipe below is easily doubled. 5 Cups finely chopped Rhubarb 2 cups sugar 1 pack strawbery jello Placed chopped rhubarb and sugar in a pot, stir, and let sit overnight. Bring to a boil, boil and stir for 10 minutes. […]

Guide to the Empty Nest, by Rainey & Yates

This. Wow, tears fell as I drank in the support and validation provided by this book. It was like they were reading my mind and speaking it back…understanding why it’s hard — even when you’ve launched your children well. Ambivalence…Things are good and not so good at the same time. That about sums up the […]