Monday, September 1, 2014

Have you ever scared yourself silly?

Jenna Mindel here wishing you all a safe and happy Labor Day!

I love the water.  I love being near it, in it and on it.  My husband and I along with 2 other couples have just returned from a houseboating vacation on the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada.
Another one of my bucket list checkoffs and it was a blast!  But the first day was scary getting to our moor up site as the conditions were rough with high winds and good sized swells on the lake.



Maybe because I'm a writer, I can visualize the worst happening and pretty much freak myself out.   Although the houseboat was as stable as they come, my husband's 14 foot fishing boat (not pictured) was not -
at least it didn't feel like it was and I could easily imagine the thing flipping. It didn't.  In fact, we did just fine cutting through those swells.




Which brings me to my September release titled, The Deputy's New Family.  I wrote a sailing scene in this book that scared the living daylights out of me.  I had the help of a critique partner with sailing experience and YouTube.  Oh my gosh, check out sailing rough seas on Lake Michigan if you get a chance and you'll see what I mean. Scary stuff.  Add my overactive imagination, and boy oh boy, was I scared.

So am I alone? or do any of you scare yourself silly too?




The Deputy's New Family has hit the shelves.
Romantic Times magazine has given me four stars on this one.
Yay!

"Mindel's characters demonstrate how we should not let life's risks and fears hold us back..."

Feel free to email me and let me know if you were scared too as you read the sailing scene at www.jennamindel.com 



Thursday, August 28, 2014

LIVING OUR LIVES LOOKING DOWN

Dana Corbit here. This morning while I was driving our second daughter back to her college campus, I passed a young woman pushing a stroller. Only instead of interacting with the happy and alert baby in a stroller, she was texting...all the way down the road. I told my daughter that this was a commentary on our times, but my clever child quipped that the real commentary on our times was that I would tweet about it later. Close. I'm blogging about it instead. I'll just tweet the link for it later.

Now I don't want to be too critical of this young mother, who might have had something really important to share just then. I also might have been hypersensitive today as I was sending my baby away while hers was right there waiting to laugh with her. Still, this woman unknowingly reminded me of how much of our lives are really spent looking down at our Smartphones and tablets and today's unbeatable level of Candy Crush. I personally don't have a few of those things, but I'm pretty addicted to Facebook updates and Grumpy Cat videos, so I'm including myself here.




Our need to stay connected to our friends, family and strangers that we only really know from their photos, Scripture memes and 140 characters of brilliance sometimes prevents us from seeing sunsets, noticing people who stop ahead of us at the mall and having full eye-contact conversations with the people right there with us. The first time I noticed this phenomenon was a few years ago at a high school football game. I watched a whole row of students sitting together and texting people who were somewhere else. Now that sight no longer surprises me or anyone else.


I'm not even talking about texting and driving right now, which is deadly and should simply be off the table as an option. I'm talking about texting or social-media scrolling while walking down the street, hanging out with friends, eating at restaurants, attending church services and even participating in work meetings. We're always somewhere else instead of spending time in the now...the only moment God has promised us.

During our oldest daughter's college orientation, the leader told students to leave their phones in their rooms and "be in the moment." That's a good reminder for all of us. There are so many beautiful sights to see in this world, great conversations to be shared - out loud - and even hilarious jokes to be told in real time instead of through a YouTube video.We all need to remember to take time to talk to each other - sans phone - and enjoy these moments that we'll never get back. And while we're lifting our eyes from those little screens, we need to remember to keep looking up.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Art for Covers/Goodreads Giveaway

Terri Reed here. I'm working on a new book, the second in my Northern Border Patrol series due to be release next summer.  One part of the process is finding pictures of the hero and heroine to send along to the art department, giving them an idea of my vision of what the characters look like.
Normally this is long process for me as I troll images on the internet looking for someone, usually an actor/actress to become the 'face' of my characters.  For this book I didn't have to struggle to find exactly the right images.  My family watched the latest season of 24 on Hulu.  We're all big Jack Bauer fans. On this season, Agent Morgan was exactly how I pictured my heroine for my new book.
When I brought up images of the actress I discovered she had been on another show called Chuck.  I'd never watched the show so I thought I'd see what it was all about. My family now has another show we watch together.  And I found my hero.   What do you think? Have you watched this show?

Scroll down for info on the Goodreads Giveaway from my upcoming September release.




Goodreads Giveaway
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/103369

So here's the cover of the book and below are the pictures I chose to represent my character and the situation I wanted the cover to depict. I think the art department did a fabulous job!
 What do you think?






UNSAFE TERRITORY 

When a mysterious toxin threatens lives and livelihoods near the border between the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Tessa Cleary is called to trace the source. But when the no-nonsense doctor is forced to work with border patrol agent Jeff Steele, she finds the lone wolf's dedication to his job—and country—chipping away at the walls around her heart. Just as Tessa and Jeff are about to uncover the toxin's deadly source, armed thugs kidnap them in the forest. Now they must trust each other to survive before time runs out for everyone. 

Northern Border Patrol: Keeping the U.S.–Canadian border safe


Friday, August 22, 2014

Goodreads giveaway of Sushi for One!

Camy here! On Goodreads, I’m giving away the last of my author copies of the first book in my Sushi series, Sushi for One! It’s a light, humorous contemporary romance. My goal when writing it was to show that no matter what your ethnicity, crazy families are all the same!

I hope you’ll enter the giveaway and put the book on your To-Read shelf on Goodreads!



Goodreads Book Giveaway


Sushi for One? by Camy Tang

Sushi for One?

by Camy Tang


Giveaway ends September 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win

Monday, August 18, 2014

Booksignings and Me - from Gail Gaymer Martin



Booksigning have changed, and I'll tell you why. Happy Monday from Gail Gaymer Maritn @ www.gailgaymermartin.com

 When I first became published, I would jump hoops for opportunities to do book signings. Some were very successful and others were not, but meeting readers and getting to know the booksellers made it a worthwhile experience.
 
But times have changed, bookstores have closed, and they are no longer as eager to have local authors do signings in their stores. I decided not to jump hoops as I was willing to do years earlier, but I did decide that some opportunities would still be worth while. 
 

One in particular has become a yearly event that I will move the moon to be part of it. The event is Writers On The River, a book fair in Monroe, MI. Since it is close to Ohio too, I have a wonderful fan base in that area as well and have enjoyed the signings at the Monroe County Public Library. They invite thirty to forty novelists to participate.  Many of these writers are self-published local writers who have written books relating to the area, but some, like me, have publishers who distribute our novels all over the country and even internationally.

Recently I was invited to attend a four novelist signing at an independent book store called Blue Frog Books. I had to drive over an hour, but I accepted since I knew the other three Michigan authors and  I love to support independent booksellers. I enjoyed the event and was pleased to have 

Facebook friends show up as well as regular customers to buy our books. I will do this again, especially when independent book store owners invite me to participate. They do great promotion and appreciate the novelist participating in their event.  

The main book I promoted at the last signing is my recent release,
Treasures Of Her Heart, a romance mystery, available in both trade book and ebook.

What's It About?
Nikki Townley a fashion-buyer, looking for a life with deeper meaning, leaves her career and moves to a small, tourist town in northern Michigan to assist her ailing great-aunt Winnie in running her floundering antique business. There she finds herself caught in a mystery searching for her aunt’s missing fortune, facing an investment company in pursuit of her aunt’s property, and hoping to save long-distance romance with her faithful male friend Rob Moore, while struggling to escape her attraction to an exciting, smooth-talking womanizer.  Can she overcome temptation, locate the missing fortune and find the truth to the treasures of her heart? Will Rob wait for Nikki to make up her mind?
 


 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

And a chatting we will go.....

Jenna Mindel here on the heels of a couple interactive days with readers that were awesome.  
Saturday, I participated in an author chat with my buddy and fellow Love Inspired (Historical) author, Christine Johnson at the lovely Olivet Book & Gift store in Alpena MI..
 Olivet Book & Gift

Christine Johnson on the left and me.
And then on Tuesday, I joined 19 Northern Michigan authors for an author fair at the Charlevoix, MI public library.   

I love to talk writing, but even better is getting a chance to meet readers.  I'm always curious to know what lures a reader to pick up a book, and then maybe (gulp) put it back down.  

One of the topics discussed in Alpena was connected books belonging to a series or trilogy.  What is it that readers like or dislike about these novels?  The information gleaned was great and the discussion lively.

And so, I thought I'd bring that question here.  What are your likes and dislikes about books in a series?





_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

September Release from Love Inspired.

Just in time for the next book set in LeNaro, Michigan.
My September 2014  release "The Deputy's New Family" should hit the shelves by the end of August.

Beth Ryken finally gets her man, only he's exactly what she's never wanted.  A cop! 

Check out my website for more information at www.jennamindel.com

Thank you!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Christmas is Coming


Susan Sleeman here. Okay, no need to panic from the title of my blog post. You have eighteen weeks until Christmas, but I’m thinking Christmas this week. You see, I have two Christmas themed books releasing this year. Silent Night Standoff in November and a military themed novella in October. I just received my author copies of the novella and want to tell you about it because it's a new venture for me.

The book is titled Holiday Defenders with three military novellas. Mine is titled Special Ops Christmas, and I’m joined in the book by two wonderful Love Inspired Suspense authors, Jodie Bailey and Debby Giusti. I love, love, love the cover, but  . . . it reminds me that Christmas shopping is just around the corner.

And seeing the packages on the cover got me to thinking about presents I’ve received in the past and reminiscing about my favorite ones. I’d have to say my all time favorite present is an opal necklace, ring, and earring set I received from my husband on our first Christmas together. Maybe it's because I like  jewelry, but I think it's more likely that I love it because it was my first Christmas of many to come with my amazing husband.

So what about you? Have you given Christmas shopping a thought yet? Do you have a favorite gift?


SPECIAL OPS CHRISTMAS 
Operation Christmas
For Green Beret Travis Chapman, special operations and covert missions are the norm. When his country calls, he reports for duty without question. Until now. Until he’s tasked with protecting a woman he’d once loved then shattered his heart. He’d rather go AWOL than spend time with civilian researcher Claire Reed. Even when he learns that the research project she’s poured six years of her life into is stolen, he has to think twice about exposing his heart to her again.

But everything changes when he hears that the prototype and specs for the Army’s latest virtual training program are worthless without knowledge only Claire possesses, making her a target for abduction by the cunning thief. Despite his wounded heart, Travis won’t let anything happen to Claire so he puts aside his feelings and goes undercover to keep her safe. Now all he needs to do is convince strong, stubborn Claire that she must rely on him if they are to keep the training program out of the hands of subversive military groups.


SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational and clean read romantic suspense books. Awards include Thread of Suspicion-2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best Book Award, No Way Out-2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence finalist, and The Christmas Witness-2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence finalist. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts the popular website TheSuspenseZone.com. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband, but has lived in nine states. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. To connect with Susan outside of her – Website visit any of these social media sites-