Guest Post — Lizzi Tremayne

What draws us to history?

  • Is it the romance of a different time from our own?
  • Is it what history can show us about ourselves?
  • How we’re different from or similar to others in the past?
  • Does it show us links to the people we were, and how we will be in the future?
  • Does it show us where we’ve diverged when people have made new beginnings?
  • Do we hope it will give us hints about where to seek in the eternal quest for who we are and where we fit in to this world?

Lizzi_archerFor me, this last reason is why I write in the historical genre. When I began writing, I never thought about all this. I only knew I was drawn to stories of the past. The Dark Ages, the Elizabethan Period, and the Old West equally held me enraptured since even before I began to read myself, for the simple first reason above.

I began researching and writing historical novels only a few years ago. It soon became clear that I was looking for answers to questions in my own history and present. What I discovered has helped me become more comfortable with the person I am.

As I study, I repeatedly ask myself how I can make the information I unearth palatable to someone who might never pick up a book of historical fact, search out an old battle record or travel to a remote graveyard to read the inscription on an old tombstone. Can I offer readers some inkling of what happened in their own town or country to give it the unique flavour it carries today?  Some idea of why a certain town emerged just when it did? Most importantly, to shed light upon the reasons a particular society developed the way it has? Perhaps it will provide a piece of the puzzle, which will allow a whole population to try to open the doors previously closed upon the past, allowing healing of the hidden wounds that prevent peaceful cohabitation.

Several towns in the West define themselves as being part of the Pony Express Trail. The stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder played a large part in my understanding of the westward-moving American pioneer, and the peoples and lands they encountered, and how the settlers dealt with adversity. In my first novel, Express Desired, soon to be published, I use Aleksandra, the daughter of a Polish immigrant trapper family, to show snapshots of 1860 life in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. She must survive when she is left alone in the world, and becomes a “boy” rider for the famed Pony Express.


Although the ‘Pony’ as it was called, only lasted for a mere eighteen months, it still captures the imaginations of thousands, if not millions, of people, even one hundred and fifty years after its inception.

I show some interactions with American Indians in the novel,  both positive aspects and negative.

In my second novel, A Sea of Green Unfolding, more than halfway completed, I showhistorical aspects of 1860’s history of both the San Francisco Bay Area, (or the part from Redwood City, via La Honda, and through to San Gregorio)  and 1863 New Zealand. Discover why  Redwood City grew so quickly? Learn why it was called Redwood City. In the same book, I offer the reader aspects of New Zealand history which are certainly not taught in primary, and only rarely in secondary schools here. They are shadowy aspects of our history which portions of our society wish had never happened, and would rather forget. Although almost apologetic, many of those who know are content to bury it beneath the carpet, so most people are unaware of the whole story and resolution cannot be attained. This untold history has shaped us as the people we have become. The conflicts began long ago between the Maori (and before that, the earlier Moriori) people who had already settled New Zealand before Captain Cook came in the 1700’s and the white settlers from England, Europe and Asia.  There was wrongdoing on both sides, but much has remained hidden from the general view.

Overall, I hope to effectively use history to paint a picture, so that readers can better understand some of their own past, answer some of their questions about themselves and become more comfortable with their own place in the world.


Lizzi has just completed her first novel, and is halfway through the second.

Lizzi_old west

About her first, Express Desired, an historical Fictional Suspense with Romantic Elements: Seventeen year old Aleksandra Lekarski, alone and running to prevent her pa’s killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar, conceals herself as a boy Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah Territory. Her “Californio” boss Xavier Arguello has a spirit to match her own—along with a mutually undeniable attraction—and together they overcome the evil that threatens them.

A Sea of Green Unfolding  is the sequel to Express Desired, about a young couple’s journey to adventure from the California of 1862 to the turbulent wilderness of New Zealand. Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly found paradise on their California Rancho and Von Tempsky’s invitation draws them to a new life in New Zealand—where the land wars between the European settlers and the local Maori have only just begun.


Lizzi says she is rewriting her life. She is the mother of two teenaged boys, a part time hobby farmer, a medieval re-enactor and archer, a kayaker, a carriage competition driver, a gardener, a singer, a cook and an equine veterinarian with post-doc veterinary certification in equine dentistry. Following a back injury, she works part time at equine veterinary dentistry and part time at high school teaching of Science/Bio/Chem. Mostly, though, she’s writing! She looks forward to your visits to her blog and to hearing your thoughts on the above.

Writing Blog:
About Me

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Music To Inspire You

Hi, all. Jennifer here. 🙂

© Ice | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Ice | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to settle into a normal routine again. Some of you may have made resolutions or goals to work toward in the new year. And that’s great!

However… maybe you still need an extra kick in the pants.

So here are My Ten Favorite Motivational Songs to Help Inspire You

1) It’s Time by Imagine Dragons  –time to write that book, lose that weight, quit smoking

2) Roar by Katy Perry –take charge of your life and body

3) Work B**ch by Britney Spears –you want it. It’s not going to be easy. You have to work.

4) The Climb by Miley Cyrus — it’s going to take time. But enjoy the process of getting there too

5) Dare You To Move by Switchfoot  –what’s holding you back?

6) Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey  –you can do it. Don’t stop believin’

7) Fighter – Christina Aguilera  –others saying you can’t? Thank them for making you stronger!

8) Let it Go –Demi Lovato from the movie Frozen –stop telling yourself no

9) Brave – Sara Bareilles  –Be brave and do it!

10) Defying Gravity from The musical Wicked  –listen to your instincts and defy gravity


A co-worker/friend of mine recently passed away last week. He was only 45.

Ecclesiastes 9:12 ESV For man does not know his time

Time is precious. Don’t waste it. Decide what you want to do then do it.

You may not get another chance. IT’S TIME to DEFY GRAVITY today!

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

The Power of 15 Minutes

The Power of 15 Minutes

The new year always makes me think about how I can be more productive. One of my favorite productivity tools is setting the timer on my phone for 15 minutes. Over the holidays, I wanted to make sure I kept the momentum going on my book. I knew I wouldn’t have big chunks of time to devote to writing, so I committed to writing at least 15 minutes per day (even on Christmas Eve and Christmas!) It worked out great and my 15 minute sessions added up to some worthwhile progress.

Here’s why 15 minutes is so powerful:

* You can get a lot accomplished in 15 minutes. Really. Just try it. Set your timer and clean your house until it goes off. You’ll most likely get more done than you expected.

* It’s easier to keep 100% focus for 15 minutes. If you say you’re going to spend an afternoon writing, you’ll probably spend more of that time than you realize messing around on the internet, getting a snack, checking your phone, etc. If you say you’re going to write for 15 minutes, it’s much easier to do nothing else but write for 15 minutes.

* Ignoring distractions is possible for 15 minutes. It’s not always possible to turn off our phones or lock ourselves in another part of the house for long periods of time. We have friends and family who would worry if they needed to reach us, but it’s not unreasonable to cut off contact with the rest of the world for 15 minutes. Even the biggest worrier probably won’t call the cops if you don’t answer a text in 15 minutes.

* 15 minutes isn’t overwhelming. Committing to only 15 minutes can break through self doubts and fears and help you take the first step on a task.

* It’s easier to carve out 15 minutes than to carve out an hour. We’re all busy. I may not have an hour to get something done before I need to get ready for work or pick my son up from school, but I often have 15 minute increments that could be filled with something more worthwhile than checking my Facebook page.

* 15 minutes usually turns into 20 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour! It turns out that getting started is usually the hardest part, but once I get involved in a project, I usually don’t want to stop.

What could you do for 15 minutes?

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series were released in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous was released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, A PROPOSAL & PUMPKIN PIE is on sale for .99 through Thanksgiving.