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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A Quilt for Christmas Book Review and Giveaway

This book was not what I expected. At all.

Quilt for ChristmasI entered a Goodreads giveaway, and surprise of all surprises, I won! The following week, I had an advance readers’ edition of this lovely little book in my hands. I thought it would be a typical, light historical romance with a quilt as the central piece of the story. Let me tell you all that it was not.

  • It wasn’t a romance, although it did have a small bit of romance. However, that wasn’t the main story line. I would classify it more as women’s fiction, as the personal growth of the female characters was the main force in the novel.
  • It wasn’t about women making quilts. However, since quilting was a normal, everyday activity in the mid 1800s, the art of the quilt does play a part in the story.
  • It wasn’t a Christmas holiday story.

The book was a relaxing read that held my interest, and I couldn’t wait to sit down and read a few chapters each day. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything without spoiling the story for you.

The plot was full of unexpected events, all true to the time period. It dealt with the themes of slavery, justice, friendship, death, and moving on without forgetting  the past. The writing style reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Grace Greene. A Quilt for Christmas is a gem of a Civil War novel, and I wholeheartedly recommend it if you enjoy sweet historical fiction.

I’m giving away my paperback copy of A Quilt for Christmas. If you’d like a copy, just leave a comment with a way for me to contact you. Or, you can send me a note via my contact page.

Building A+ Better Teacher

Building a Better Teacher

I began this book with high hopes. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I thought I was going to be treated to new, cutting edge information related to Common Core teaching. Since we’ve had a tectonic shift in the way we teach, I expected as much from this book.

It didn’t meet my expectations, but that’s my own fault. I didn’t realize how much research and investigation into teaching I have read over the past few years. Building A+ Better Teacher is a summary of metadata from many different sources about what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re new to education, or you’ve just begun reading the research, this book is a concise way to catch up on what has been happening in the education field. If you are up-to-date on your professional reading, this book will be an extra reinforcement of what you already know.

The author, Elizabeth Green covers a good deal of educational history, and focuses a few specific teachers who have made groundbreaking changes, such as Doug Lemov. It’s a valuable book, but again, it’s a review of the metadata from educational practices and research.


Writer’s Village 2014 Writing Contest $1600 Top Prize

Heads up everyone! Writer’s Village is having another writing contest, and the deadline is December 31, 2014. Write a story, find a story you’ve already written, polish, polish, polish, and enter this contest!

$1600 top prize for short fiction in Writers’ Village Contest winter 2014

$1600 is the top prize on offer for short fiction in the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2014. The second prize is $800, third prize $400 and there are five runner up prizes of $80. A further ten Highly Commended entrants will receive a free entry in the next round.

Everyone wins because every contestant, win or lose, gains feedback on how their stories were graded – plus tips for improvement.

Winners will be awarded the title ‘Winner, the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award winter 2014’ and see their work showcased online.

Any genre of prose fiction may be submitted up to 3000 words, except playscripts and poetry. Entries are welcomed world-wide. The fee is $24 and multiple entries are permitted. Deadline is midnight 31st December 2014. Entry rules plus all winning stories since 2009 can be found at:

Juliet Waldron on Why and How She Writes

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As an only child who lived in the country, playmates were in short supply. So, very early, I learned to create my own entertainment. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling myself stories. Writing them down was a natural progression. Of course, I read a lot, too, and my favorite was history. The books came, at first, mostly from my mother, who loved to read history, too, as well as about archeology, and mythology. She was a glamorous, flamboyant woman who loved grand opera and classical music. She also loved horses, her dogs and the out-of-doors. Naturally, I wanted to please her, though I was plain and shy, a nerd, always caught up in studying (aka falling in love with) some historical personage.

I’m still obsessive. Once my imagination has been captured by one of these long-ago subjects, it’s study all the way, to the bottom. Only after total immersion, am I ready to write. Inspiration comes from the characters themselves. Sometimes I’ve called it “channeling,” – although maybe it’s just nuts! Still, they speak to me, these long dead.

Juliet Waldron office deskMy writing space is neither beautiful nor organized. As many of my novels were written before the ‘net, I relied on books/libraries. I’ve always got a pile of research stacked around me and a rats’ nest of notes. When I was writing my Mozart books, I had to high-step over the encircling pile to get to the kitchen for that ever-so-necessary next cup of coffee.  Before my husband retired, though, and needed to share the workspace, I could play Classical music at full volume all day. The inspiration for my Viennese novels came straight from the source—the soundtrack of the 18th Century.

Regarding Roan Rose – Richard III is a very old love. I became a Ricardian at ten, when I read the Daughter of Time. Richard has been around, one way or another, for the last sixty years.  I’ve kept current with the latest scholarship.  I, like many others, wept, when his body was found and so many questions about his disability were answered at last. I’ve “owed” Richard a book for a long time, but even before Philippa Gregory, there was engaging fiction written about the Wars of Roses.  Instead of using the principals, however, I thought I’d take the road less traveled, and write the story through the eyes of a servant, one who would have a close-up – and not always charitable – view. I love to begin with child narrators, because it’s a natural way to make a character grow.  Personally, I’ve reached the crone-age, and so I have other, deeper concerns, too. I hope my novels illustrate some things about women’s history as well as speaking to issues of gender and power, which are still a challenge to the women of today.

My publisher, Books We Love, recently suggested that series are popular, so I’m taking a break from semi-biographical stuff. I’ve just published Black Magic, sequel to Red Magic, both historical fantasies. The first is traditional historical romance with an action/adventure overlay. The hero of Black Magic is a shape-shifter; his antagonist is a vampire intent on settling an old score. Of course, these “usual suspects,” swiftly got mixed up in my brain with the Napoleonic War and European folklore.  I’m also writing a sequel to my traditional 1870’s farm country romance, Hand-me-Down Bride.

Juliet Waldron


From the TeacherWriter:

You can see all of Juliet Waldron’s fantastic books at her Amazon Author page. Personally, the next books of Juliet’s that I’ll be reading is Mozart’s Wife, followed by My Mozart.

Juliet Waldron Mozart's Wife

Roan Rose Book Review and #Giveaway

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Juliet Waldron has deep knowledge of the historical time period she uses as a backdrop for Roan Rose, and it shows in the authenticity of her writing. The setting and characters come to life under the mastery of Ms. Waldron’s wordweaving. The story pulled me along with such gentle intensity, that after reading for a couple of hours, I had to reorient myself to the modern world…even though I was reading on my Kindle. Such is the magic of this story.

Roan Rose takes place during the time of the Plantagenets. It begins with a chess game, and the theme of chess strategies plays throughout the story. Rose Whitby is a strong young woman, adept in the healing arts, and the herbal lore was fascinating to me. Her healing abilities lead to her being taken from a poor peasant town to a royal household, changing her fate as she grows close to the young King Richard.

The book cover has been updated, so you may see two versions in different places. Here is the newest from the Amazon website. I was happy to do an honest review in exchange for a copy of this book. Head to the end of this post to join the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Roan Rose cover

Watch the book trailer for Roan Rose

About Juliet Waldron

Juliet Waldron

“Not all who wander are lost.” Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after the boys left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself–and for her readers. She loves her grand-girls and her kitties, likes to take long hikes, and reads historical/archeological non-fiction as well as reviewing for the Historical Novel Society. For summer adventure, she rides behind her husband of 50 years on his “bucket list” (black, and ridiculously fast) Hyabusa motorcycle.

You can find more information at or connect with Juliet on Facebook.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

To win a $20 Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway Link:

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 1st and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Waning Moon by PJ Sharon Book Review

Waning Moon The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael


I’ve read other books by award winning author PJ Sharon, and I always enjoy them. This book, Waning Moon, The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy Book 1, was no exception. I purchased the copy about a year ago, but didn’t get to read it until recently. Now I wish I’d started sooner. The minute I finished the last page, I was eager to begin the next book in the series, Western Desert.

This dystopian young adult novel opens in the year 2057. Lily Carmichael is living off the grid with her family. She is a healer, and her knowledge of herbal remedies helps save a young man, Will Callahan, (don’t you love that name?) who stumbles into a game trap on her family’s land.

Lily’s uncle is ill with cancer, and her healing methods aren’t working. She needs to go to the city to obtain medicine for him. Traveling to the city is a dangerous proposition, because she could be hunted down by an entity called the Industry. She and Will travel undercover to the city together, but along the way, she discovers Will has secrets that could put her in more danger than anything else she might encounter.

PJ Sharon has done a remarkable job of creating characters that are memorable and realistic. Lily has qualities anyone would want in a friend; brave, smart, compassionate. Will has a strong exterior, but has a kind heart and a personal burden that no young man should have to bear. I found myself rooting for him as much as for Lily.

This is an enjoyable read that I became so engrossed in, I put everything aside to finish it in one afternoon. The good news is I already have the second book in the trilogy, Western Desert, on my Kindle. Even better news is the third book is coming out soon. I highly recommend this series.

PJ Sharon was a guest on my blog and shared some unusual facts and pictures about herself. Click here to read the post.

PJ SharonPJ Sharon is the award winning author of contemporary young adult novels, including Pieces of Love, Heaven is for Heroes, On Thin Ice, and Savage Cinderella, winner of the 2013 HOLT Medallion Award and the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She is excitedly working on The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA Dystopian trilogy. WANING MOON, Book One in the trilogy, was a finalist in both the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit recipient. Book Two, Western Desert released in June of 2013 and placed third in the 2014 Winter Rose contest. Watch for Book Three in the fall of 2014.
Writing young adult fiction since 2007 and following her destiny to write romantic and hopeful stories for teens, PJ is a member of Romance Writers of America, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.

Her author website is


Golden Days, New Gold Rush Novel by Lynn Lovegreen

Lynn Lovegreen has another gold rush book out today! Don’t you just love the cover of Golden Days  her newest YA/NA historical romance?

Golden Days cover

 Alaska is a cold place to live until love blossoms.

Elizabeth Robinson travels by dog sled to help her family mind the store in Fairbanks, Alaska. She wants to pursue her drawing and painting, but women artists are rare in 1906, and flood, fire, and a death in the family force her to take charge at home at age seventeen. James Garrett comes north to help his uncle at a nearby gold claim. An awkward eighteen-year-old who is more at home with machines than people, he becomes a man as he falls in love with Elizabeth. When a discovery about her benefactor, the founder of the town, threatens their future, Elizabeth and James find that together they can overcome any obstacle.

You may remember that Lynn has been on my blog before. In February, I featured her book Fool’s Gold, and in August, Quicksilver to Gold. Just click on the book titles to read the blog posts about them.

You may also visit Lynn Lovegreen’s author website, or learn more about her books at her publisher’s website, Prism Book Group, or on her Amazon Author page.

Her Gold Rush series books are certain to entertain readers who crave Western historical fiction.