A Sparkling Vintage Life

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Old-fashioned but modern? Hurray, I’m not the only one!

I often feel alone in my passion for all things vintage, and have trouble explaining to others exactly what fascinates me so much about life 70+ years ago. So I was thrilled to find a series of videos on YouTube by German vlogger Lilly Jarlsson, whose view on vintage vs.modern lifestyles frequently resonates with my own.

In this video Lilly explains what attracts her about the vintage lifestyle. Starting at around 7:35 on the video, she talks about modern manners vs. vintage manners, and manages to express a concept I’ve stumbled over:

“Politeness is a different thing from being good, being right and being able to determine right from wrong. So of course that was always a problem in every decade of our world, and since you’re a human being whenever you were born, you have a personal responsibility of deciding if you want to be good or bad. This is something that has nothing to do with the style or the decade or the political situation. I think that at one point a person has the possibility of deciding who and what you want to be. So this is definitely something I don’t want to sugar-coat too much, the times back then. I believe every time has its good and its bad sides as well as our world today.”

She also broaches the topic of people who make fun of those who are out of step with the modern world:

“This group of people will always find something, even if you’re “normal” in other people’s eyes, that they can take as a reason to bully you or mock you. If it’s not the vintage style, they’ll find something else that they don’t like and that they have to use as a reason against you. You don’t have to swallow everything. Of course life is cruel and people are cruel and there will always be mocking and ridicule, no matter how old you get, but I think it’s important to understand that you have a right to live, in a free society, where you decide who and what you want to be.”

If you enjoy vintage style, especially from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, check out Lilly Jarlsson’s YouTube channel for inspiration.

We have a winner!

The randomly-chosen winner of a copy of Jan Cline‘s heart-stirring new novel EMANCIPATED HEART is Violetta Davis! Congratulations, Violetta. Check your e-mail for a note from me (Jennifer).

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! I hope you will continue to visit this blog, where we talk about Sparkling Vintage Fiction…among other things. 🙂

emancipated heart

Hana Kato and her family are nearing the end of their confinement in a WWII Japanese American internment camp. Her beloved Papa has been taken to prison, and Hana works hard to keep the family together until he can join them in preparation for their release. Surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, and years of enduring difficult living conditions has tested Hana’s faith and trust. Although she stays strong through trials and tragedy, her resolve is weakened as she fights her affections for two men. Will she choose the rebel Japanese young man? Or will the bright Caucasian doctor she works with win her love? Emancipated Heart will hold your attention with a setting of an interesting era in American history, and a lesson in true loyalty, love and forgiveness, told through a Christian worldview.

Sparkling Vintage Read with Giveaway!: EMANCIPATED HEART by Jan Cline

emancipated heartThe other day I wrote about a fun “Forties Frolic” event set at a USO during World War II. This event focused on the positive aspects of life on the homefront during the war: the determined efforts to support the men in uniform, the camaraderie of a community pulling together during difficult times, and even the cheerful Big Band music that lifted the spirits and soothed the heart.

But despite these nostalgic aspects, the reality is that war is hell, and even on the homefront there was a darker side. One of the more shameful blots on U.S. history is the internment of Japanese-Americans in internment camps for the duration of the war.

Jan Cline

Jan Cline

Pacific Northwest author Jan Cline has just released a novel whose story revolves around one such internment camp in Wyoming.  Emancipated Heart follows one family through the trials of life behind barbed wire. “Considering the current events in our country, this book will remind us how easily history repeats itself, and how God calls us to act humanely in all situations,” Jan explains.  “The topic of internment is not well taught in history books. Emancipated Heart will inform and educate, all while providing an entertaining, enjoyable read for anyone, especially history lovers.”

I asked Jan to tell us about Emancipated Heart and the writing life, and she graciously agreed. Better still, she’s going to send a copy of Emancipated Heart to a lucky winner! Simply post a comment below or e-mail me privately at jenny (at) jenniferlamontleo.com to be entered in a Rafflecopter drawing for a copy of Emancipated Heart. I’ll hold the drawing on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, and will notify the winner.

Let’s give a warm Sparkling Vintage welcome to Jan Cline!

Jennifer Lamont Leo: First, the basics. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? Husband, kids, pets…?

Jan Cline: I grew up in central California and moved to Washington State in Jr. High. Been here ever since with my hubby of 43 years. We have 3 children and 8 grandchildren – most live nearby but some are across the U.S. We have a Yorkie named Cooper who rules the house and pretty much runs our life!

JLL: Tell us about your writing journey and how you got started as an author.

I’ve been writing since childhood, and started writing devotionals as an adult and some other non-fiction pieces for magazines and other publications. I always thought I would forever be a non-fiction writer. But a friend dared me to write fiction and I gave it a try. After completing my first “novel” I was hooked. Of course it was terrible, but it got me started on the road to learning how to write fiction.

JLL: How did you get inspired to write Emancipated Heart?

JC: I was researching for another story I planned to write and happened on information about the Japanese American’s plight during WWII. I was fascinated and knew I had to write about it.

JLL: Tell us about your research process for Emancipated Heart.

JC: I LOVE to research and I did extensive reading on the topic, and found several documentaries with personal interviews. I decided to visit the Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming to see for myself what it might have been like. They have a wonderful interpretive center there and it captured my imagination. I visited Japantown and Chinatown in the Seattle area and read and viewed everything I could get my hands on. Most Japanese who were interned are not willing to talk too much about their experience, so I didn’t have the opportunity to speak personally with many who were interned. I returned to Heart Mountain when the manuscript was done and was even more moved – Heart Mt. is what I modeled my story after.

JLL: Did writing Emancipated Heart reflect your own life and/or faith journey in any way? If so, discuss.

JC: I think the theme of freedom is one we can all relate to – especially as it concerns the message of Christianity. And I think we have all been treated unfairly at some time. I remember as a young girl being looked down upon for being poor, and that’s just a very small experience with prejudice. I discovered the Japanese American people of that time were far more dignified that I would have been under those circumstances. I was encouraged in my own faith, just by the mere perseverance of these people.

JLL: What 2 or 3 people have had the greatest influence on your writing thus far, and why?

JC: I have been coached by Susan May Warren, who always encouraged me in my writing. She has been an inspiration to me. My friends in the business like James L. Rubart, Mick Silva, Tracie Peterson, and others, have been faithful to encourage and inspire me by their creative and spiritual walks. I have been blessed that way.

JLL: Are there any particular challenges you’re facing in your writing life?

JC: I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis about 8 years ago, and I find it difficult to keep up with life and writing sometimes. The challenges of chronic pain is something I have to deal with daily, but writing is a good escape, when I’m able. Being disciplined is always an issue for me, so I’m trying hard to do better now.

JLL: How do you stay spiritually grounded?

JC: Writing and being accountable to the message God has asked me to share is a way for me to stay dependent on Him. I know that without Him I would write only for self-glory, and I would surely fail.

JLL: What reading material is next to your favorite reading spot?

JC: I am a slow reader, so I don’t get as much read in a year as I would like. Some of my favorite authors are Charles Martin, James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and Lynn Austen. I also enjoy reading non-fiction – especially by Ravi Zacharis and other great spiritual leaders.

JLL: What’s on your music playlist?

JC: I love listening to movie soundtracks. I have several different playlists to listen to depending on what I’m writing.

JLL: Are there any can’t-miss TV series, blogs, podcasts, vlogs, etc., that you’d recommend?

JC: For podcasts, I recommend Author Media and Write from the Deep. Blogs – I have a million I love, but the key ones I’m following right now are Jane Friedman, Chip MacGregor, My Book Therapy. TV series? Anything Alaska!

JLL: What do you do for fun?

We own a cabin up at Twin Lakes, Idaho, and we spend a lot of time there. Also love to golf, spend time with grandchildren, and I’m a craft addict for sure. We love to travel, and have been to many wonderful places around the world.

JLL: What’s the next project coming up next from Jan Cline, Author?

JC: I’m working on what I hope will be a series of women’s fiction set in the depression days up through WWII. I also peck away at a Christmas novella I hope to have out this Christmas season. I will keep doing all the promo and marketing for Emancipated Heart as well. I’d love for readers to pick up a copy and also help spread the word, AND write Amazon reviews for all the books they read!

JLL: Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

JC: Visit my website, jancline.net, sign up for my newsletter/blog, and receive a free download of a booklet I wrote titled “What to Do While You’re Waiting to Be Published.”

JLL: Thanks for chatting with us today, Jan.

JC: Thanks so much, Jenny, for this opportunity to share with your readers. It’s been a treat!

Jan Cline is an author and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. She has been involved with the writing/publishing community for several years, and was the founder and director of the Inland NW Christian Writers conference for 5 years. She teaches at writer’s conferences and speaks for women’s groups in the Northwest.

Jan enjoys golf, attending her grandchildren’s sports activities, and loves to bake – proud to be called the queen of cheesecakes by her friends and family. She also indulges heavily in crafts such as quilting, painting, and scrapbooking. When she needs a break from a hectic life, she and her husband of 40+ years escape to their cabin on a northern Idaho lake.


Trouble Brewing: A new “Marjorie Corrigan” short story

A new “Marjorie Corrigan” short story has sprouted! In this episode, Marjorie’s landlady is brewing up her spring tonic, claiming the secret recipe cures everything from poor digestion to skin rashes. But can it cure “heart” trouble? And worst of all–will it land Mrs. Moran in jail?

Trouble Brewing” is available as an e-book on Amazon, or as a free giveaway for signing up for my quarterly newsletter.  If you enjoy it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are solid gold to a fledgling author like me.

A Sparkling Vintage Event: The Forties Frolic! Recap

forties frolic posterThis past weekend was the “Forties Frolic” fund-raiser for the Bonner County History Museum. It’s the main reason I’ve been so quiet on this blog recently, as it took up a lot of my writerly time and energy–but it was totally worth it!

The whole evening was a delight: live Big Band music, delicious food inspired by recipes from the era, vintage-wearing revelers, and World War II-era decorations in a historic building that actually was our local USO during the 1940s, serving the sailors stationed at nearby Farragut Naval Training Station, as well as servicemen and -women passing through Sandpoint on their way hither and yon.

history mystery radio show

Photo: Jill Murray

My contribution to the evening was to write, direct, and act in the “History Mystery” drama portion. Set up as a radio station “broadcasting live from the USO on radio station K. L. U. K., the fifty-watt blowtorch of North Idaho,” the drama featured a radio cast of eight, plus five “USO hostesses,” a Civil Defense director, a visiting movie star, and her long-suffering assistant. The evening alternated between music and dancing and the History Mystery. In the end, guests voted on which character they thought committed the crime (a stolen necklace) and one lucky winner won three cans of Spam and a bottle of wine. (There were much more appealing raffle prizes, too, donated by generous sponsors.)

north bound band

North Bound,, featuring Kelly Dragoo (photo by Jill Murray)

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m so proud of the actors, the cooks, the servers, the musicians, the sponsors, and everyone who put in 110% to make the event a success, including all the people who came out to support the museum. Because it’s always fun to think up fresh and creative ways to share the history of our region. And because it was the “perfect storm” of fabulousness for this history- and theater- and vintage-loving writer to combine all her favorite things into one tidy bundle. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.

And now back to our regularly-scheduled Sparkling Vintage Life!

Sign up for my Reader Community