Author Suzanne Lilly’s blog

Suzanne Lilly2013_THThanks for stopping by my blog, Suzanne Lilly blogging as the TeacherWriter.  I’m a teacher, an author, and an avid reader. I mostly blog about books I’ve read or teaching and writing, but occasionally something else sneaks onto the screen.

On social media, you’ll find me as Suzanne Lilly. So if you’re looking for the TeacherWriter, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, here are the places I spend the most time:

Oh, and the person blogging as Suzanne Lilly on a blogspot? Yeah, that’s not me. I’m just letting you know.

Sign up for my occasional newsletter to win prizes and find out about my new releases before anyone else. One subscriber is chosen to win a $25 gift card each time the newsletter comes out.

You can also drop me a line through my contact page. I’d love to hear from you!


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Quicksilver to Gold, by Lynn Lovegreen

If you’re thirsting for more books about miners, pioneers, and claim jumping, Lynn Lovegreen is an author you’ll want to check out. She’s a teacherwriter from Alaska who just released her third book about the Alaskan gold rush. She’s willing to do school visits or Skype visits, plus she has a page of teacher resources on her website. Here’s a quick blurb about her latest novel.

QuicksilvertoGold-Ebook copy smallThieves took their claims…Now she wants to steal his heart. Gold mining is in Jeannie Kelly’s blood. But it’s a dangerous time to be an honest miner in Nome, Alaska—claim jumpers have invaded the territory. Jeannie has set her sights on Clint Tilghman, the strong, quiet man next door to her family’s claim. Clint fights his feelings for the impulsive lady miner, fearing he’ll lose his independence. Jeannie tries to change her tomboyish ways to attract Clint and gain respect from others, but there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights. Jeannie must woo Clint and beat the claim jumpers before summer’s end.

Available at Amazon.

About Lynn Lovegreen:

Lynn Lovegreen AuthorI was lucky enough to grow up in Alaska. My family moved here when I was six, and we fell in love with the place. I’ve called Alaska home ever since. You’ll know why Alaska is so close to my heart as you see the beauty and meet Alaskans of past and present.

Throughout my life, I’ve felt the power of words. I taught English for 20 years, and I’m now able to spend more time on my writing, including the novels in my young adult historical romance series. My first series is set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters who made their own way in the world.

When not writing, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and participating in Cowboy Action Shooting with the Alaska 49ers. I also belong to several historical and writers’ groups.

Lynn Lovegreen Author Website


Asher’s Mark by Amy Durham Release Day

You may remember Amy Durham from this blog post when she talked about her favorite non-fiction book, and told us about her first novel, Dusk. She also had a guest post where she shared her writing space with us. Today I’m so pleased to treat you to a third blog about Amy. Today is the release day of her novel  Asher’s Mark.

asher's markI had the pleasure of reading Asher’s Mark, and was quickly entranced by the lead characters.  The author’s writing is strong, clean, and evocative.

Grace has been in love with Asher ever since the moment she met him. But their lives take them down different paths, and she ends up with Asher’s brother, Adam. When Adam dies suddenly, she’s free to pursue her love with Asher. But can Asher and Grace overcome the haunting guilt of Adam’s death and create a new relationship of their own? They must cross many hurdles on their path to happiness, not the least of which is the question of right and wrong concerning their feelings for Adam and for each other.

In this touching and memorable book, Amy Durham leads readers down a path of self-discovery and coming to terms with who we are and what we want out of life. Woven throughout the story is Navajo legend and lore, handed down to Asher by his mother and grandfather. Near the end, Grace learns the true meaning of one symbolic gift from Asher, in a scene that truly touches the heart.

Amy Durham has created a story that integrates deep emotion, conflicting relationships, and hope for the future. I highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a pre-release copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You may download a sample and purchase your own copy of Asher’s Mark at these locations:

B&N ➜ iBooks KOBOAmazon


About  Amy Durham:

Amy Durham Author

After spending every work day with classrooms full of tweens and teens, then going home to three boys of her own, two of whom fall into the tween/teen category, you’d think that Amy Durham might like to leave the world of teens and young adults behind. Not so!

Instead, she spends her spare moments – which sometimes consist of waiting twenty minutes for her oldest kiddo to get out of band practice – with her laptop and a multitude of teenage characters trying to navigate their way through the twisted, difficult road of adolescence.

You might ask… “Why Young/New Adult Fiction”? Well, because it’s what she knows. As a teacher and a parent, Amy is around teens and young adults on an almost constant basis. And while it’s true they can be – ahem – challenging, they are also full of life, vision, and dreams. And that’s a really cool place to be.

Young Adult and New Adult Fiction allows young readers the opportunity to find hope for the situations they find themselves in, find determination to keep on going, and courage to pursue their dreams. It also allows adult readers the chance to revisit the exuberance of youth, remember the joy and poignancy of first love, and recall how it felt to dream with abandon.

Amy Durham is a wife and mother, an author, a teacher, an avid reader, and a musician. If she weren’t writing books, she’d be a celebrity chef!

Twitter – @amy_durham

Facebook –

Instagram – @authoramydurham



Gold Rush Deluge Opening Day

Just in time for Gold Rush Days in Old Town Sacramento, the second book in the series California Argonauts is here.

GoldRushDeluge_Lilly_EBOOKSacramento is underwater. A deluge of epic proportions has engulfed the town, leaving Lucinda Martin York and George Arnold stranded. Lucinda uses her medical skills to help save the citizens of Sacramento, working as a physician’s assistant to Dr. Mitchell Kersey. When she uncovers lies and treachery in the doctor’s past, she becomes enmeshed in dangers even more deadly than the flood. Lucinda must fight to save her life, her dreams, and her future with George.

Based on historical events of 1850 Sacramento, Gold Rush Deluge is riveting and romantic.

You can purchase your copy now at these online locations.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords


Masquerade Tours is hosting a book blast on September 8-12 with a giveaway of a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card or Book Depository Book Spree. I’ll post the stops in a September blog post so you can follow along and enter to win.

Under the Trees Cover Reveal

The first time I read this manuscript, I fell in love with it, and I knew a publisher somewhere would, too. Yesterday, the stunning cover for Under the Trees, by Ashley Maker was revealed at her Facebook party. It’s making an encore appearance here today, and I’m sure at many other sites around the web.

Under the Trees cover image

Isn’t it gorgeous? If you think the cover is fantastic, wait until you read the book.

Here’s an excerpt:

Desperate to prevent an abusive arranged marriage, Princess Araya flees to a neighboring kingdom, only to land at the mercy of the impulsive Crown Prince Thoredmund, who provides refuge in a secluded forest and teaches her survival skills. Her surprise at the unexpected hold the price has on her heart mirrors his shock at falling for the one girl he can’t have.

As the young couple’s feelings for each other grow, the fragile alliance between the two kingdoms threatens to break apart. With a vengeful duke and an enraged king fast on their trail, Thor and Araya must decide how much they’re willing to risk for love.

Even if staying together means starting a war.


Here’s one more piece of terrific news. You can preorder Under the Trees, published by Cliffhanger Press, from Amazon right now. While you wait for the September 15th release date, you may want to learn more about the multi-talented Ashley Maker. She has a Facebook page here.

Performance Task Writing . . . What It Means For Kids


Performance Task Writing versus Fiction Writing: is creativity lost ? This post from teacherwriter Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things and 18 Truths will get you thinking.

Originally posted on Jamie Ayres:

This past week as summer vacation ended, I had to switch my mind from writing mode to teaching mode. Although I do teach writing to middle school students, it’s a lot different than the type of writing I do for my books, 18 Things and 18 Truths. I realized that many of you probably have children and may not know the new College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing that our nation adopted, so I thought I’d list them here. Of course, the devil is in the details and what these standards mean exactly differs for each grade level, but it’s still good to familiarize yourself.

Text Types and Purposes:

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection…

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The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova #bookreview

Swan_ThievesI gave this book away before I read it.

It was a mistake. Giving it away, I mean.

It happened innocently enough. I was summer cleaning my house, and I thought I wouldn’t have time to read it, so I passed it on to a local Friends of the Library store. The next day, I went to lunch with a group of friends. Here’s how the conversation went.

“Suzanne, I’m reading the most spectacular book I’ve read all year,” says Friend One.

“Oh, really? What’s the title?” I ask.

The Swan Thieves.”

Friend Two gasps. “What a coincidence! I’m reading the very same book. I can’t put it down.”

They both look at me. “Have you heard of it?”

“I just gave it away,” I tell them. “It’s a novel about a painting and the book is gold with a picture of a swan and a woman on the cover, right?”

“That’s the one,” Friend Two agrees.

“You need to get that book back,” Friend One tells me. “You don’t want to miss it.”

After lunch, I slogged over to the bookstore, which was closed, so I couldn’t get it back before leaving on a trip the following day. However, while I was on vacation, I stopped in at a used bookstore, (one of my favorite things to do) and found another copy.

My friends were right. The Swan Thieves is story not easily described, and even harder to forget.

The author tells two stories in this novel. One is about a modern day doctor, trying to solve the mystery of why one of his patients is so obsessed with a particular painting, to the point of trying to destroy it. The doctor’s curiosity takes him on travels to other cities and countries, searching for the history behind the painting. The author artfully takes us back to the past, to a small circle of artist friends, and the story behind the painting.

Through the well-written flashbacks and the modern day interactions, the story develops one brush stroke at a time. As I read, I felt as if I were right on the page with the characters, they were so realistic and intriguing. Elizabeth Kostova has created a cross-genre novel that is engrossing and delightful.

I’m donating this new copy of The Swan Thieves to the bookstore as well, so someone else can enjoy this remarkable story. At least this time, I’ve read it.

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden #bookreview

I am a shallow person.

I choose books by their cover.

There. I’ve put it out there for the world to know. If a cover doesn’t attract me, I don’t even bother to read the blurb.

Against_the_Tide_coverThe cover of Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden immediately caught my attention. When I read the blurb, I downloaded the book and started reading it right away. I finished the same day. Other reviews have mentioned the author’s stunning way with words and I completely agree.

Against the Tide is a well-researched, captivating historical novel written by a skilled writer. It takes place during the early years of the United States. The main character, Lydia Pallas, is orphaned at an early age, but her intelligence and talent with foreign languages earns her a job as a translator at the naval shipyards. It is there she meets Alexander Banebridge, Bane for short, who pays her well to translate seemingly mundane inventory lists from incoming ships.

As the story progresses, Lydia begins to realize she is involved in something bigger and darker than mere inventory records. She and Bane work together to solve a mystery of deceit and illegal activities leading them both into great danger.

The romance is not the central theme in the book, but it’s there nonetheless, and I found myself wanting to see the two of them get together. Bane is the quintessential tortured hero, and I wanted him to find happiness, even if he didn’t want it for himself. Just so you know, this is also a Christian inspirational book, and in the second half of the book, there are some references to scriptures.

This is the second novel in a series, and now I want to go back and read the first book, which is the story of Bane. In Against the Tide, the author alludes to his past. The character of Alexander Banebridge is so strong, how could I not go back to learn more about him?

I highly recommend this novel, and not just for the cover.