Beautiful Historical Romance

Young Anne Crofton must leave behind her girlhood fancies of love when her family sells her into marriage to a man she’s never met. In the home of Lord Wolverton, Master of the Wolf’s Aerie, she finds herself thrust into a mystery with danger, betrayal, and sword fighting in a castle with secret passageways. With courage, faith in God, and a personal resolve to be a good wife despite her heartache, she seeks Biblical wisdom in the pursuit of true love. You will become lost in another time and place and won’t want to put the books down.

–description on the back of In the Aerie of the Wolf

Every girl grows up with fantasies of being a beautiful princess, living in a castle, in love with a handsome prince, and enjoying his adoration and devotion. Living in the 21st Century, this dream can never become a reality (unless your name is Kate Middleton, but that is another story!) In 18th Century England, though, young girls had the chance of seeing this fairytale dream come true. Anne Crofton is one such girl. Only the fairytale didn’t happen exactly the way she had expected. Rather than meeting her handsome prince and falling in love, Anne was sold into marriage with a man she had not met, one she actually knew very little about. She is forced to leave behind the man she first loved in hopes of being a suitable wife for a wealthy stranger.

In the Aerie of the Wolf is the third novel by author Leonora Pruner and the second that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. It started off slowly for me. The language used by Old Samson, a very central character to the story, was difficult to understand, though I understand it is right for the time period. Having to re-read passages of his dialogue made me consider giving up on the book before the third chapter. Now that I have finished the story, I am so glad that I didn’t give up.

Once again, Ms. Pruner has written a beautiful period romance. My favorite part of the book was watching how Anne’s idea of love evolved over time. She was thrust into a situation she never dreamed of, one that no woman ever would ever want to find herself in. She had every right to be cold and heartless about it and to resent Lord Wolverton—especially after learning shortly after her wedding that he had been lying to her from the very beginning. Yet she never was anything other than gracious. She accepted the situation and was determined to make the best out of it. She never closed her heart to the possibility that she could love her husband. Even in moments when she was unsure the God was really with her, Anne’s motto seemed to be, “Not my will but Yours, Lord.”

It’s an attitude that could serve many women today very well.

Despite what I considered a slow start, this book was worth every moment. It’s full of everything that is expected of a fairytale—beauty, beast, romance, love, betrayal, and even sword fighting. But this book goes one step further than the typical fairytale—it also has a deep message about faith. I loved the way that message of faith was woven into the story. It never seemed to be “preachy” at all, just another fact of what Anne’s life was all about. All in all, I was so pleased with this book that I have already loaned it out to a friend.

To order a copy of this book, please visit

World War II Thriller

Book Blurb—

The German War Machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin. During the Warsaw Rising he meets Natalia, a covert operative who has lost everything—just as he has. Amid the Allied power struggle left by Germany’s defeat, Adam and Natalia join in a desperate hunt for the 1940 Soviet order authorizing the murders of 20,000 Polish Army officers and civilians. If they can find the Katyn Order before the Russians do, they may change the fate of Poland.

My Review—

My dad loves movies about World War II. Growing up, it would annoy me to no end to have to sit through those movies. Was that really the best kind of entertainment that he could come up with? Something must have clicked with me somewhere, though, as out of my resentment for watching those old movies has grown a real love of history. I have a special fascination with Russian history. When I had the chance to read and review The Katyn Order, the latest novel by Douglas W. Jacobson, I jumped at it.

Set in Poland near the end of World War II, The Katyn Order is a gritty novel about survival and revenge. Polish-born American Adam Nowak has been operating as an assassin in Poland, seeking revenge for the arrest and presumed murders of his beloved Aunt and Uncle. Natalia, born and raised in a small Polish village, has joined the AK, an army of Polish citizens determined to fight the Germans and Russians for control of their country. Her hatred of the Russians runs deep, as she blames them for the death of her brother and the destruction of her home village.

Reading the book was much like watching one of my dad’s old movies. I could see the action in my mind, just as I would on a movie screen. Jacobson’s writing style she his passion for history and the great deal of research he did in order to write this book. My heart pounded from the first battle scene until the very last word of the book.

One thing I did not enjoy about this book was the language. I don’t care to watch movies full of foul language and I don’t care to read books full of cursing. However, taking into account the time period where this novel is set (the characters are, after, at war), I could tolerate it. While I did not particularly enjoyed reading some speeches in the book, the dialog would not ring true if written any other way.

Over all, The Katyn Order met and exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend it to any history buff, even my dad. Though I knows Dad’s response will be, “I’ll just wait for the movie.”


For more about The Katyn Order, as well as other books my Douglas W. Jacobson, please visit the author’s website at













Adam NowakDouglas W.JacobsonGermanyKatyn massacreMcBooks PressPolandPolish Land ForcesWarsawWarsaw UprisingWorld War II

Weight Loss Goals

On May 10, I weighed my highest weight ever. The scale at the bariatric clinic read 445. I had mixed feelings when I read that number. On the one hand, it was embarrassing to see what an out-of-control attitude toward food had done to my body. At the same time, I was giddy at the thought that it was the highest weight I would EVER be at! What the scale will say near the end of this journey is anyone’s guess. But I am determined to not be this big ever again!

My ultimate goal is to weigh 180 pounds. That is still more than the “ideal” weight for a woman my height. Even my surgeon said that I should weigh about 135 pounds. That seems much too small to me. I’d like to get to 180, and then we’ll see what happens.

But that ultimate weight goal is just too much to tackle at once, even with the surgery that I have had. What I want is to be healthy. I want to be able to play tag with my sons, while they are still young enough to want to play tag. My oldest is 10 now. How many more chances to play tag in the park with him do I have? So I’ve decided to break up my ultimate goal into smaller goals. I though I’d share some of those here, to help me be accountable for reaching them. I hope to check back in every now and again to update them and let you know how I am doing!

Goals for me—

  • Buckle my seatbelt comfortably
  • Take a bath not a shower
  • Lose 50 pounds by August 8 (the day my sons go back to school). I am well on my way here, as I have already lost 31 pounds!
  • Walk at least half an hour a day, at least 5 days a week.
  • Do my cardio dance DVD at least 2 times each week.
  • Walk with my mother in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Survivor lap.
  • Do at least 10 more laps in the Relay this year.
  • Complete a 5k in 2011. I am signed up to walk in the JDRF Walk For The Cure on September 17.
  • Be off my high blood pressure medication by my next birthday.
  • Enroll in ballroom dancing classes
  • Complete on 9-hole round of golf, walking!
  • Lose at least 135 pounds by May 23, 2012 (that is half of the weight I want to lose in the first 12 months after surgery)

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I don’t think that any of these are too unreasonable, at least not with the healthy eating I am learning and the exercising I plan to do. Oh, I so cannot wait to see Dr. Finks tomorrow to be cleared to start exercising! The energy level I already have is amazing to me! I really am anxious to take advantage of it.

Favorite Book

I am considering making my books available for the Kindle and the Nook.  I am just not sure which one to start with.  So I am turning to my readers for help!!  If you have read any (or all!) of the novels I have currently published, could you please let me know which one you like the best?  Click on the answer in the poll below if you get a moment.  Thanks!!!


Feelin’ Good

 It’s been just over a week since my sleeve.  I am feeling GREAT!  No idea yet how much weight I have lost.  Friday morning, I go see my PCP about some of the heart complications that popped up after surgery (which are under control now due to the cardiac medications I am on) and I will be weighed then.  Never in my life have I been so excited about stepping on a scale as I am now!!!

The dietitian at the University of Michigan asked me to keep a log of the foods I am eating each day.  She said that will help her to see where I might need to make changes to keep the weight coming off and to keep it from coming back.  But a food log looks so boring….  LOL I decided to “spice it up” by writing down not only what I ate, but how those foods made me feel.  When I started the pre-op liquid diet, I wrote how much I dislike Cream of Wheat.  Yesterday, after not having any since the day before surgery, I wrote how much I was missing it.  I made a packet of the instant stuff with extra milk (to make it thin enough to drink), vanilla protein powder, and a dash of cinnamon.  Oh, it was so yummy!!  The real NSV (non-scale victory, for those who may not know the term!) came, though, when I realized that the one packet was enough for me for two meals!!  NEVER would have believed that a full packet would satisfy me, let alone just half a packet!

So then I went upstairs to get ready for my day.  I slipped on a blouse that I have always worn with a tank underneath because the blouse doesn’t button comfortably around me.  It DIDN’T button comfortably around me, I should say!!  This morning, I can button it and there is even some room!  The weight is coming off!!!!  Oh, I cannot tell you how excited I am!!