Wednesday, September 27, 2017

An Early Christmas Idea


Louise M. Gouge here with you today. When we authors create our characters, we try to make them likeable and relatable. So, since most of us have more than one thing we’re interested in, I like to give my heroes and heroines extra pastimes readers might relate to or appreciate, such as hobbies or talents beyond their job or career.

In my October release, Cowboy Lawman's Christmas Reunion, my hero is a no-nonsense small town sheriff who can cause outlaws to quake in their boots. But he also has a talent for carving. Having enjoyed a Grand Tour of Europe as a young man, he took particular notice of the German displays of toy Christmas villages. In my story, he sets out to delight the hearts of his hometown’s children by carving a similar village for them.

It’s quite an ambitious project, and all the while he’s working on it, he has an ongoing conflict with the beautiful widow lady who was once his fiancĂ©e. So, of course, I had to give her a talent for painting the delicate houses, church, trees, and people he has carved. The village must be finished by the annual Christmas pageant and party at the church, so this puts them together quite a bit, even though neither of them wants to be. Will they finish the project in time? And will they discover being together is not such a bad thing? I hope you’ll read  Cowboy Lawman's Christmas Reunion to find out.



In trying to find pictures of very old toy villages, I ran into the usual problem of copyrights, but I did find this lovely little village that offered free use. Isn’t it a delight? The lights that brighten it would not have been available in 1887 when Sheriff Justice Gareau carved his small town, but I know the children and adults were just as delighted in their time. Perhaps if they were careful, they could use candles, as they did on Christmas trees back then.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Decorative_Christmas_village_3.JPG, Julian Colton: I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Here are links to other lovely villages: http://alfa-img.com/show/lemax-christmas-village.html and http://vitalsignsblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/perfect-place-for-christmas-village.html. If you click on the links, be sure to check out the details of these beautiful creations.


Finally, my daughter-in-law has this lovely carved church she sets out each Christmas. Notice the details inside. This was an inspiration to me as I wrote about my carving sheriff.




At our house, we love Christmas and all of the trappings. We have about fifteen Nativity scenes we display, but I’ll save those picture for another time. Do you have any special decorations you put up for Christmas?

Tell me about your Christmas decorations in the comment section below, leave your email address, and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a copy of Cowboy Lawman's Christmas Reunion. Sorry, U.S. residents only.

Cowboy Lawman's Christmas Reunion is my fifteenth novel to be published by Love Inspired Historicals. Here’s the story:
Sheriff Justice Gareau can make outlaws quake in their boots…yet coming face-to-face with Evangeline Benoit once again takes away all his composure. She broke their engagement, and his heart, to marry a wealthy older man. Despite his reluctance, Justice can't avoid the widowed single mother of two when they're collaborating on a Christmas village for the town's children.  

The loving boy Evangeline once knew has become an unyielding lawman. Forced to flee New Orleans over false allegations, Evie doubts Justice will take her side when the past follows her to Colorado. Especially when he and her troublesome son butt heads. But perhaps the spirit of Christmas will soften his heart and give them a second chance at love.
Copyright © 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises. ® and Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Glynna Kaye Welcomes Spring --- and a New Release!


It’s been a typically crazy winter in mountain country Arizona where my “Hearts of Hunter Ridge” series is set. Deep freeze temperatures and record warm ones. Multi-footer weekend snow systems or an overnight sixteen inches that buried little hyacinths just starting to bloom. That’s what you get most years when you’re at an elevation higher than Denver!
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But springtime is around the corner here--and in just a few weeks, my latest release The Nanny Bargain (#4 in the 6-book The Hearts of Hunter Ridge series) will be on store shelves!
 This was a fun book to write with a cute set of twins whose big brother is fighting an attraction for their pretty nanny. Both Sawyer and Tori have issues from their past that they need to let go of so God can bless their future. So it’s a rocky road on the way to their happily ever after!
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While this part of the country is still a number of weeks away from flower planting if you don’t want them to get nipped by a freeze, in anticipation of that event I want to share previous years’ photos from a local nursery—and my own barrel of pink petunias!
 
 I’ve always LOVED gardening—flowers and herbs and fun things like miniature pumpkins. What about you?
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Due to a high elevation that makes growing season incredibly short--and the poor soil—I don’t dare plant seeds if I want to see any blooms at all. So these days I stick pretty much to patio pots and hanging baskets!
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I hope you’re having a beautiful Spring wherever you are!
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Glynna
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THE NANNY BARGAIN. Concerned for his orphaned twin brothers, outdoor-gear shop owner Sawyer Banks urges new employee Tori Janner to apply for the nanny position their grandparents are advertising…and spy for him. With plans to start over in Hunter Ridge and dreams of reviving her quilting business, Tori takes the job—but refuses to report to Sawyer unless the boys' welfare is in danger. But soon it's her own heart that's in jeopardy. Because after spending time with the committed bachelor, she starts to see the depth behind his easy charm—and begins to imagine herself as his wife.
 
Keep an eye out for “The Nanny Bargain” (Pre-order HERE) and, in October 2017 “Mountain Country Cowboy,” another story set in Hunter Ridge!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A New Adventure by Leann Harris

I've be having fun the last six weeks writing my first novella for a Fourth of July collection I'm doing it members of my ACFW chapter. The story is set in West Texas and McDonald observatory. My heroine, Star, grew up in Alpine and wants to become an astronomer. My college roommate was from Marfa (the next county over). We visited her parents for a book I was writing early in my career. It's a long way between small cities. Not many folks brave living in that part of Texas, but there's a stark charm about the scenery. It would not appeal to a lot of people, but I enjoyed the trip. Out there were there are few city lights, you can see the night sky. I remember growing up and watching the stars come out and laying in the yard seeing the constellations. I'm so sorry my children and grandchildren won't see the beauty of the night sky. Those are the seeds that gave birth to the story. It was fun to write.

Monday, March 27, 2017

STARTING A NEW SERIES by Marta Perry


As a reader, I love series. Once I've become familiar with a place and a cast of characters, I like to visit again and again. So, in both my inspirational romances and romantic suspense books, I've created a number of series, most of them based on particular places which become very real to me while I'm writing about them.
The beginning of a new series is always a scary time. Will readers like it? Will they want to come back again and again? I can only hope, and so here is an introduction to my new series:
Welcome to Echo Falls, Pennsylvania! This small, isolated Amish and English community looks like a haven of peace and security. But dark secrets lurk here, as elsewhere, and events are coming which will crash through the serene, pastoral landscape, and all the strength and compassion the community can muster will be necessary as never before.

First up in the Echo Falls trilogy is ECHO OF DANGER, available on April 25th. Here's a look at it:

In peaceful Pennsylvania Dutch country, a young mother discovers a shocking danger—and an unexpected ally 

A whisper of a threat looms over widow Deidre Morris. She and her young son have unwittingly become prisoners of her intimidating father-in-law's power. One wrong step could find her son torn from her and in the hands of the influential judge. But when Deidre collides with an intriguing stranger, the prospect of a new friendship gives her renewed hope…until a devastating murder rocks the quiet community of Echo Falls and Deidre learns first impressions can't be trusted. 

Attorney Jase Glassman's assignment is straightforward: befriend Deidre, gather incriminating evidence…and allow her dogged father-in-law to take custody of her child. Anything else, including losing himself in her honest charm, will compromise the job he was hired to do. Yet when a murderer ushers danger into the town, Jase's only instinct is to protect Deidre and her son—no matter the sacrifice.

ECHO OF DANGER is available now for pre-order on Amazon and other online retailers.

Echo Falls is based on several small towns in the scenic mountain areas of north-central Pennsylvania, and the falls itself is a twin, in some ways, to the beautiful falls to be found in Ricketts Glen State Park, a long-time favorite spot of ours for hiking an picnicking. My children grew up enjoying those trails, and now our grandchildren love scrambling up and down beside the falls.

One of my favorite memories is of climbing the trail up the falls with a group of teenagers. We stopped on a ledge of rock halfway up for a time of quiet meditation and prayer in God's beautiful creation before continuing on our way. Recently one of those teenagers, now long-since grown up and with a family of his own, confided in me that it had been an important spiritual experience in his life. For me, as well!
Blessings,
Marta

Monday, March 20, 2017

Springtime.....maybe, and a renewal of faith

by Roanne Rustand

This has been a confusing winter!  The red wing blackbirds came back during a long stretch of warm and sunny days in early March, the trees started  budding and our hostas burst up from the wood chip mulch by our garage,  Then we got our first measurable snow...more warm days..and now a cold snap is on its way.  Still, it seems like spring is around the corner  and I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of all the roses we planted last year.  Without anything colorful to photograph in our yard, I am slipping in a photograph I took of a bouquet on our kitchen table.  But I can dream about what is to come!  Do you like to garden?  What do you grow?

New beginnings of spring...and some sad changes, too.  My husband and I belong to a Bible study group, and one of the members is now in hospice. We hadn't seen her for quite a while, but signed up on the online Meal Train site, to join other friends in bringing the family meals. and last night we brought them supper. Our friend and her husband are the loveliest people, so kind and welcoming and giving; people of deep faith, yet we arrived feeling sad and just wanted to be careful to not intrude for too long.  We soon realized that in our expectations, we had totally underestimated our friend.

Despite being in bed now, cared for by hospice and her family, she was filled with gratitude for every aspect of her life past and present--so thankful for every extra day she has been given to be with her friends and family, deeply grateful to the Lord for the joy she feels here on earth and over what is yet to come.  We went hoping we could uplift her in some way, but left feeling as if we'd experienced the Lord's love and peace through her ministry to us. What a gift she is to everyone who visits her--what a testimony she is to the presence of God here on earth and power of faith.

Today, as I  think again and again about this wonderful, sweet woman, I find myself wanting to be a better person...to focus more on my own faith and on ways I could help someone else.  And, it also reminds me of what a blessing it is to be able to reach others, in some small way,  through the books all of us with the Love Inspired line are writing.

Have you had people in your life who have deeply touched you, and helped you on your own faith journey?

Wishing you all blessings and peace,
Roxanne Rustand

USA Today Bestselling Author
Falling for the Rancher, LI       6/2017
An Aspen Creek Christmas, LI 11/2016
The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016
www.roxannerustand.com 
www.facebook.com/Roxanne.Rustand 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Things That Go Bump In The Night




What scares you? We each have something that makes us fearful. Sometimes it a figment of our imagination. And somethings it’s the real life horror story we’re going through.

When I was fairly young, I saw the older version of Night of the Living Dead with some friends at an outdoor movie theater, and let me tell you, it scared me and gave me a few nightmares as well as sleepless night. Looking back, I’m wondering if that’s what got me interested in writing suspense.  

While there are dozens of things that scare us when the sun goes down…an unknown bump in the night, a noise that sounds like a footsteps. A light that could be the beam of a flashlight.

But as many unexplained terrors as there are out there, real life fears can be much more frightening. A death of someone close to you renders you paralyzed with grief. Financial worries that makes for many sleepless nights. A critical illness that can bring you to your knees.
Whether our fears are real or imagined, the one constant that stand the test of time is that no matter what we’re going through, God is there with us through it all.

John 14:1-3 says, Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

So whatever you’re facing, know that you are not alone no matter what. Even when something goes bump in the night.

 

All The Best…

 

Mary Alford


 

Deadly Memories – Coming June 2017

WOMAN WITHOUT A PAST

Amnesia may be keeping Ella Weiss from remembering her past—but not from saving the little boy who's been her fellow prisoner the last seven years. After managing to escape her cell, all she wants is to find where little Joseph is being kept. Instead she runs straight into CIA agent Kyle Jennings. Kyle isn't sure if Ella is actually a kidnap victim or if she's working for the gunrunner he's been after. One thing he is certain of is her uncanny resemblance to the wife he thought he'd buried. To save a child's life and stop a terrorist from slipping through his fingers, he'll need to uncover the secrets of Ella's past—and whether or not she's really the woman he's never stopped loving.

Available at Amazon:

 

   

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Good Morning by Leann Harris

I am not a morning person. I taught for a long time and had to leave the house around 7AM. Once I stopped teaching, I didn't keep up the early routine. I wake later but isn't my optimum time. Talk to me around noon.) But these last few weeks as I'm making hot tea in the morning, I look out in my yard and see all the daffodils and hyacinth and papperwhites blooming. They greet me and it's as if God says good morning. It makes me smile.