Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cover Design Poll ... and a Chance to Win an Amazon Gift Card!


Hi there, all you artsy types! Lee Tobin McClain here, in dire need of help with cover design.

I’m very lucky to write for Love Inspired, whose cover artists are amazing. But I also write and publish an independent series, which means I have to create the cover concept myself. Oh, I have a wonderful cover artist who puts it all together, and lately, I get some professional help with finding the right cover model. But I’m still prone to this kind of disaster: 


The cover I liked....
The cover EVERYONE else liked















Right now, I’m working on a romantic suspense series. Book one, a Memorial Day stalker story, is here, and my readers already let me know I chose the wrong cover pose. They love heroic, protective Chad, but they don't like the turned back. 

On sale for 99 cents... just a few more days!



So, please vote:  which pose is better for my next romantic suspense novel? 

Let's call this "Man Striding"
And this is "Man with Axe"


A couple more optional things to comment on, if you have time, in relation to ROMANTIC SUSPENSE COVERS:  

(a) Hero on cover, or just a landscape?
(b) Smiling or serious?
(c) Beard or no beard? 

I'll choose a random commenter at the end of the month (which is Sunday!) and gift you a $10 Amazon gift card for your trouble. Thank you so much for your help! Remember, the main question is:  Man Striding vs. Man with an Axe.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Capitol K-9 Unit Series and Prayers for Houston

Terri Reed here on this gloomy day here in Oregon. I've been watching the news this morning with a heavy heart over the flooding of Houston. I'm praying that lives are not lost. This has been a strange year for weather.  Here in Oregon we didn't have a winter.  Usually we have a few days or weeks of freezing cold but this year the weather stayed mild while other parts of the country were hit with blizzards or droughts. We supposedly had record rains here in March but it didn't seem that much different to me than any other year.

On another note, the Love Inspired Suspense continuity Capitol K-9 Unit is doing well. The first three books have been released and the fourth will be released next week. If you haven't had a chance to read them, they are still available on the Harlequin website or on Amazon.  You can search the sites by author name or by title to find the books.


Protective Instincts, Shirlee McCoy, March 2015,

Duty Bound Guardian, Terri Reed, April 2015 
 Trail of Evidence, Lynette Eason, May 2015
 Security Breach, Margaret Daley, June 2015
 Detecting Danger, Valerie Hansen, July 2015
 
Proof of Innocence, Lenora Worth, August 2015


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crazy Days!

Allie Pleiter here.  This past week was a crazy/happy/busy one for me!

Last Friday I had the honor to accept the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Love Inspired Novel at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas TX.  My book A Heart to Heal earned the distinction.  

I love a celebration, so I made the most of it, getting all dressed up and having a splendid evening with my friend and fellow nominee Lenora Worth.  Often our lives as writers are quiet and solitary, so the chance to get out and celebrate with friends is a welcome event for this raging extrovert!  It’s always nice to have our work recognized, isn’t it?  Congrats also go to other LI author recipients Janet Lee Barton and Jodie Bailey.

From one extreme to the other—I spent the next night visiting my new friends (four-legged and otherwise) at the Lucky B Bison Ranch in Bryan, TX.  The owners and I have become friends since I started researching my upcoming Blue Thorn Ranch series which will debut next year.  From evening gown galas to bison ranch pastures—I have the best job ever, don’t I?


Then I shifted again, this time to Austin TX to help my son move out of his University of Texas freshman year dorm and come home for the summer.  A large, tedious job made better by outstanding meals upon our return to Dallas for the flight home: barbecue, fried chicken, and pie.  You know how I love pie.  Pie makes everything better (and yes, yes it did).


Now life has calmed down.  I’m back in Illinois working away on the Lone Star Cowboy League continuity series that comes out this fall and a second Blue Thorn Ranch book for next year.  My diet had better calm down, too, although turkey breast and rye crackers can’t compare to all the Texan goodies I enjoyed!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gail Gaymer Martin's Small Town Series

Good morning from Gail Gaymer Martin on this lovely spring day. If you enjoy cooking and recipes stop by my website for Gail's Kitchen. If you're a writer, you can check out Writing Fiction blog, and I hope you are a reader since you can peruse my Books.

I've enjoyed writing for Love Inspired for the past fifteen years. They've A Mother To Love is now available at bookstores on the Internet and soon to be in bookstores and places like published many of my
 novels, some out of print so long that you've probably never read them. One was a seven book series. But this book if from a new a new series I call Lilac Circle, a fictitious cul de sac street in a real small town of Owosso, Michigan.

Each romance revolves around one of the residence of Lilac Circle so readers will get to know the neighbors and perhaps try to guess whose story will be next. In October (or the last of September) you'll be able to read A Husband For Christmas. 

I'm working on the proposal for the next books in the series, and I decided to let you tell me what you might enjoy experiencing in this little town which has many interesting features and yearly events to provide special places to set scenes.  Here are a few spots I haven't used in the novel.  Tell me what would be fun to read about:

This is a real castle once owned by James Oliver Curwood, an author in the 1920s. His books were popular and many were made into movies. He worked in his castle much of his life, and each year the town holds the Curwood Festival which is a fund raiser decided each year for various needs, and it can be rented for special occasions.

A popular event at Christmas time in the Corruna Parade of Lights and Festival of Trees. Corruna is another small town connected to Owosso. The parade begins early evening as it leads the people of both towns to the Community Center where they enjoy over forty amazing decorated Christmas Trees as well as other fun events for the family. Musical events are also offered during that time in both cities.

This town is filled with many other events and if you look up the tourist information about the town you will find more interesting events and locations to set scenes. Leave a comment with your ideas. We love to hear from you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm Late for a Very Important Date by Leann Harris

Okay, Okay, I didn't look at the calendar and missed by date to post, which was yesterday, but as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland said, "I'm late." It's been a busy week, combined with falling in love with my first granddaughter. I never thought I'd go so goofy over a grandbaby, but I was wrong. Having been a deaf educator, I know all the stages of how babies learn to speak. They start to babble and then hear themselves and repeat what they are hearing. Echo babble it's called and that's what my little girl is doing. I didn't appreciate it when my kids were young, but I was running as fast I could to keep up with them. Now, I can just visit and notice how she's changed. She wasn't smiling in the picture, but both sets of grandparents were.
Now, my hair is a bit short, but I had minor surgery to fix my scalp, but I'm well. After going through the cancer, I want to thank Heaven for this this new life and my health. On another note, I have a book out next month, with two little charming boys driving that book who want to be cowboys and love the rodeo cowboy who shows up at their ranch.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Son the Author

Pamela Tracy here.  Or, you can call me Mike's Mom.  That's what Mike's classmates call me.
And I'm not the only author in the Tracy family.

Mike, my ten-year-old, wrote me a mother's day poem!


                                                  "I Love You the Reddest"
(That's what the outside said, but I opened the card)


I love you with all all my heart.  I love you as a red rose.  I love you as red as your heart.  I love you as red as blood.  I love you as red as a marker, crayon, colored pencil, paint, sharpie, and Expo marker.  I love you as much as red popcorn.  I love you more than a red shirt.  I love you red as a bike, scooter, skateboard, and I love you most when I'm in your arms.

He also drew me with only one chin!

And, note the plant can he made me at school.  I'm a SOUPER mom.

I'm so glad I decided not to be a super/souper hero or rock star (my other choices).
Mom is much better.


Last month, Mike's mom had an April Love Inspired romance on the shelf.
It's the first in a trilogy.
Next month, Mike's mom has a Harlequin Heartwarming on the shelf.
It's number four of five.

How was your Mother's Day?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Writing A Small Town Series

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  This month the sixth book in my Texas Grooms series hit the shelves.  When I wrote the first book in this series, Handpicked Husband, I hadn't really intended to go past four.  But as I wrote these first four books, some of the secondary characters that popped up really captured my imagination and made me itch to tell their stories.  At the moment I plan to have ten total books before I wrap it up.

These books are tied together by community - they are all set in the fictional town of Turnabout, Texas with, of course, a common set of secondary characters. They are standalone stories and can actually be read in any order.  But trying to set so many stories in the same town can become a nightmare from the perspective of keeping up with characters, landmarks and town layout.

And, since I'm a visual person, I came up with a couple of documents to help me do this.  The first is a town map I drew up, and that I update with each book as I reference new areas of town or different businesses.  Here is what it looks like.

The second document I created contains the main characters, by book, including important dates.  It looks like this:

Having both of these documents handy when I'm writing new books in the series has really saved me lots of time, and prevented potential mistakes, as I write.

So what do you think?  Would these documents be of interest to readers who follow this series?  Is there other information that you as a reader would like to see all in one place like this?


And in honor of the release of Second Chance Hero this week, I'd like to give away a copy to someone who leaves a comment on this post today.


Winning the Widow's Heart 

To help his dying sister, Nate Cooper once broke the law and paid a heavy price for his actions. Now the ex-con turned saddler hopes for a quiet life and new beginning in Turnabout, Texas. Being declared a hero for saving a child’s life, however,  leaves Nate feeling like a fraud. 

Since the violent death of her husband, single mom Verity Leggett has attempted to lead a safe life, avoiding danger and excitement at all costs. And her daughter's handsome rescuer Mr. Cooper seems like a perfectly responsible man, one she can finally rely on. 

When his secrets come to light, however, will Verity be able to get over his past and see Nate for the caring man he's become?