Book Review: A Life Wild and Perilous


Title: A Life Wild and Perilous

Author: Robert M. Utley

Number of Pages: 285

Note: Robert M. Utley was the Chief Historian of the National Park service and has written several books on history.

What is this book about?

A Life Wild and Perilous is an expose’ on the role mountain men played in the opening, exploring and settling of the vast western region of the United States.

When President Jefferson purchased thousands of square miles of land (called the Louisiana Purchase), he doubled the size of the nation overnight. Lewis and Clark’s expedition in 1803-1805 was essentially the first organized “look” into the northern portion of this newly acquired and unknown land. Surrounding the purchase, the British were established in the northern regions from the Great Lakes all the way to the western shores of the Atlantic along the Columbia River. The Spanish were settled in the southern regions and in California having established missions as far north as Monterey.

After Lewis and Clark’s findings became known, American businessmen began to finance organized expeditions to explore the new land in order to conduct trade with Indian nations and trap for beaver pelts, the latter being in high demand back east and in Europe. Men, young and old, came from all over America to take part. Men like John Colter, Jedediah Smith, the Sublette brothers, Tom Fitzpatrick, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger would go on to play major roles in expanding our knowledge of these western lands.

A Life Wild and Perilous details this history and the parts these men played in settling the west.

Why should you read this book?

A Life Wild and Perilous is a wonderful read. Mr. Utley does an outstanding job of bringing this complex and important part of our history to life. This book is a must read for anyone studying our nation’s history and the opening of the west.

Question: Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think?

Full Circle Book Signing


We are so excited about our first book signing!

We’re even more excited about the awesome location: Full Circle Book Store.

Everyone is welcome – we would love to see you there! We can’t wait to meet & greet, talk about Tahosa Treasure, get to know our readers a little better and win new ones as well.

So tell your friends and family and come on over to Full Circle Book Store on Saturday, March 16th any time between 3 & 5pm!

Book{s} Update


It’s about time for a quick update on both books.

Yes – both.

It’s hard to believe, but the second book in The Talon Family series – Winter Chase – is making its way steadily through the “draft” stage. We are excited to watch this new adventure unfold word by word, idea by idea. We think our readers will love it and we can’t wait until it hits publication.

In the meantime, we are working hard to ensure that every word in Winter Chase counts. We want the adventure our readers enjoyed in Tahosa Treasure to be matched or surpassed. It’s a challenging and exciting process that takes time, focus, patience…and, well, a whole host of other things. But we’re determined! So keep your eyes peeled for Winter Chase – it’s coming soon!

Tahosa Treasure is doing well. We knew this journey would be more of a marathon than a sprint. Writing/publishing/marketing a book is no small feat. It’s a huge task that takes a huge amount of endurance. And that’s okay; we’re up to the challenge 😉

So far we’ve received nothing but wonderful feedback on Tahosa Treasure. Youth and adults – and pretty much everyone in-between – has told us how much they enjoyed the story.

Here are just a few things our readers are saying:

“This is a great book for children and young adults. ”

“I look forward to the next installment and hope the boys come out on top again!”

“It was exciting from cover to cover!”

You can go here to read more reviews (and leave a review if you’ve read the book and haven’t left a review already!).

So that’s about it – our little update on both books. We hope you pick up a copy of Tahosa Treasure and keep your eyes peeled for Winter Chase!

Writing in Real Life [Second Edition]


In the first edition of “Writing in Real Life,” we talked about finding/making the time to write. I shared about how I write for at least 30 minutes at the start of every week day.

But sometimes having or even making the time to write isn’t the problem. Sometimes the problem is knowing what to write.

I am by no means an expert on coming up with material for blog posts, books, essays, etc. There really is no magic formula…at least, not that I’ve found. Most of the time it comes in waves – I’ll have a whole bunch of blog post ideas throw themselves in my lap at one time. Or sometimes an idea comes in a flash of brilliance, truly like a light bulb turning on.

But, most of the time, not so much. It’s like digging for gold in a sandbox.

So, what to do then? When you have the time to write, but you don’t know what to write?

Take from real life.

Don’t look too far or you’ll miss it. Chances are fresh inspiration is as close as the pen in your hand or the keyboard under your fingers. What you think is ordinary may be extraordinary to your readers. Drawing writing material from real life interjects humanity into your words. It gives breath to what might otherwise be a one-dimensional process.

Some of my best writing happens when the topic I choose is based on my life or experience.

What about you? How do you decide what to write about?

Introducing the ShadowTime Writers Newsletter

It’s a new month, so it’s only fitting that we introduce something new here at ShadowTime Writers.

A newsletter! Yes, our very own. It’s about time we joined the club. We’re excited about this new addition.

If you go to our sidebar and sign up for our free newsletter, here’s what you can expect:

A short, monthly e-newsletter delivered to your inbox (we’re shooting for the 15th) that includes:

  •  A featured writing tip
  • A featured book recommendation from one of us 
  • A quick update on our books 

So, if that sounds like something you would enjoy…

Head on over to our sidebar

Click on the link

Fill out the simple form

And our newsletter will be delivered to you as soon as it’s released.

Yay for new months and new additions!

The #1 Way to Bring Your Stories to Life


Nothing can substitute for heartfelt writing. Nothing can make up for sincerity and honesty.

When you think you have nothing to say…say what’s on your heart. This applies to fiction and non-fiction.

I always have two responses when I hit a wall in my writing.

1.) What I think I should write.

2.) What I know I should write.

And what I know I should write is always there. It’s always present. It’s just that sometimes it gets waylayed by a more proper, seemingly better (this is up for debate), more dignified idea of what I should write.

But as soon as I start to shape my writing to fit a certain idea…well, it’s all over.

The #1 way to bring our stories to life as writers?

Be real.

Don’t be proper. Or try to “write better.” Or be more dignified. Don’t try to shape your writing to fit a certain idea.

Be real.

Just as in every other area of life, being real breathes fresh air into the words you have to say. People take notice. They sit up and listen when you speak from the heart.

They will sit up and listen when you write from the heart, too.

What are some other ways we can bring our stories to life as writers?

4 Quotes to Inspire You

It feels like it’s time for a little inspiration.

Not that anytime isn’t a good time for inspiration. But now just feels like an especially good time.

So, here goes. I’ve got 4 quotes to inspire you today in whatever your craft or calling:

And a little bonus one for you:








You can find our full writing inspiration board on Pinterest.

What is inspiring you today? Leave us a note/link in the comments!