Monday, June 20, 2016

Inspiration is unexpected places.... Roxanne Rustand

Inspiration for creative projects--arts, crafts or writing--can come from everywhere. Do you enjoy working on creative projects?  Where has some of your inspiration come from?

I've never lived in Wisconsin, but I love the state...the deeply rolling, scenic southwest, the breathtaking bluffs and streams and beautiful forests of the eastern border, the myriad lakes of the north country, which blazes with color  in the fall.

I've ended up setting several series of books there, because it all seems so perfect for a story setting. I took these Wisconsin photos a few years back.

My current five-book Love Inspired series, Aspen Creek Crossroads, is set in a fictitious town along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border and has been such fun to write!

The third book in the loosely connected series, The Single Dad's Redemption, is out at the beginning of July, and I had such fun "spending time" with the folks of Aspen Creek once again.  They've begun to seem like old friends, and I know I'll miss them when the series in done.

Is it just me, or do you remember characters in your favorite books? Think about them later, and wish there were more books to  read about them? That happens to me all the time when I read a favorite author!

Best wishes to you all for a summer of  sunshine and plenty of time to read!
Roxanne Rustand

The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016
An Aspen Creek Christmas,     Love Inspired 11/16

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Odds and Ends by Leann Harris

I am a geek and readily admit it. The other night on the ACH channel they had the program What History Forgot, and talked about actress Heddy Lamar and what a genesis she was. During World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.
I was so awed by this information, and told my husband, thinking to surprise him. Yeah, he knew. He was in the army and was a munitions officer and a physicist. I didn't stump him. But he still can't find yeast in the kitchen cabinet.

Monday, June 6, 2016

WHAT DO THEY SEE? by Marta Perry

Your characters, I mean. What do they see when they look around them?

Most romance authors I know search diligently for just the right image for the hero and heroine of the story, collecting photos of actors in various roles, imagining them with different clothes or different hair color, seeing them walking through the plot. When it's time to fill out the all-important cover art form, a picture of the heroine is well worth a thousand words.

But setting is also a crucial part of any romance, and for the author, that means visualizing the surroundings before plopping the characters down in them. To mean, pictures are invaluable in this process. Even if the setting is one I know well, looking at a photograph or painting will push me to select just the details I need.

Take the lovely rhododendron in this photograph. I'm currently writing a book set in north central Pennsylvania in late May. If I were doing this writing in December, I might be hard put to remember exactly what was blooming at this time, to say nothing of how it looks and my reaction to it. But the photo, saved with the date, is there in my file to remind me, and the rhododendron with its enormous blossoms was just written into a scene.

When I'm planning a new series, one of the first things I do is begin to collect images of the place which inspired the location of the books. For me, it's much easier to begin with a real small town and then make the changes the plot demands than to start from scratch in creating the story world. Since the same location will be used for each book of the series, I try to collect photos taken in different seasons.

For instance, my upcoming Love Inspired Amish series, The Kings of Lost Creek, will take place over a span of many months. Each book will have its own distinct feel, and while readers like to return to familiar settings, I want to highlight a different aspect of that setting for each book. So building my treasure trove of images will be helpful over the long haul of writing a novella and three full-length novels.

The novella, coming out in November, will require the snowy scene, but once I move on to the next book, it will probably be spring. And the creek, which figures in the series' name, has to be included. Of course, that part of it will be easy--all I have to do is look out my window to see the creek!

The pictures provide more than an identifiable image, though. If I look at the creek picture, I remember the feel of the cold water splashing over my feet on a hot summer day. I hear the birds chattering in the trees, and I can taste the wild raspberries that grow along the bank.

Happy Imagining!
Marta Perry

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day by Leann Harris

Monday is Memorial Day. It is a time to think of those men and women who gave their full measure for this country. I remember going to visit my in-laws graves. They bought the plot during WWII. Although my in-laws died in the '70's the graves around them are young men who were 18 or 19, but they all died in December of 1941 or in early 1942. What promise was cut down, and they deserved my heart-felt thanks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May, Babies, Books and Anniversaries

This month is a huge celebration for me. I will celebrate my 45th anniversary. Mind you, I was a teenager when I got married. Second, is offering the second book in my Rodeo Heroes series as a free down load. In addition, the first book in my Legacy of Lies will be a free download on Amazon May 19-22. In June the final books in the different trilogies will come
And last, I have grandbabies. What a blessing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Giveaway Prize Preferences

Upcoming Giveaway Prizes on My Blog
Keli Gwyn here with a question about giveaway prizes.

I saw a post on Facebook recently asking about author giveaways. The person posing the question wanted to know what readers thought about authors who offer prizes such as Kindles, Amazon gift cards and other items instead of books.

Since I've started giving away a newly released Love Inspired Historical on my personal blog each week, the question made me wonder if books are what readers are most interested in winning.

If you're an author, do you offer books for giveaways, or do you add non-book items as special prizes for online launch parties and other big events? What non-book prize that you've offered has generated the most interest?

If you're a reader, does a non-book prize interest you, or are you drawn to giveaways that offer nothing but books? What are some non-book prizes that made you eager to enter a drawing?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Allie Pleiter on Spring in Chicago

Spring is SERIOUS BUSINESS in Chicago!

We suffer—and I do mean suffer—through this region’s cold nasty winters only to dig our heels in for March and April’s wildly fickle weeks.  There was a time earlier this month where we got snow, rain, sleet, and sunshine in repeated cycles all in one day!  It was a different season every time you looked out the window.  Thirty degree temperature drops.  Snow on blooming daffodils.  You don’t know which clothes to keep in your closet, or whether to take the ice-scraper out of your car.  It can make a gal crazy.

Then, finally, Spring puts her foot down and declares her arrival.  It was 80 yesterday, and I did doing the very favorite thing about my work—writing on the deck.  Those are the day where I love the nature of my job, where writing feels like the best profession on the planet.  Sure, it’s 50 again today, but I know Chicago’s on the upswing of Spring.

I’m currently writing the fourth book in the Blue Thorn Ranch series—one you’ll see next year. But this month has also been filled with lovely letter and emails from many of you who have taken the time to let me know how much you’re enjoying the Blue Thorn Ranch series.  Books one and two are out and ready for you to read, and book three will show up in August.

Spring is my favorite time of year.  It’s optimism season.  Dog walks are happy affairs instead of bundled-up endurance tests.  Grass is emerald green and soft, flowers poke their perky noses up everywhere in celebration that Chicago’s winter is long gone.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?