(Don't forget to double click to see the beauty of the enlarged photos and then click back to the blog by using the BACK button.)
Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin
Writers of romance love romance, but another thing they want to do is experience the wonderful adventures that they put into their novels. A hot air balloon ride was my dream. Although I have a fear of heights, I trusted God to give me courage, and He not only gave me courage, he filled me with awe at the beauty and fresh air, as we rode about the earth in a wicker basket.
I had no idea how huge the balloons are, but I know now. Seven stories high -- so what keeps us in the air is seven stories of hot air bound in a cloth balloon. Amazing.
We floated up one mile high and could see distant cities -- like Detroit and Ann Arbor, even my neighboring city Southfield. Michigan is loaded with lakes and this one is Kensington Park. You can see the sailboats and it's surrounded by beaches.
With so many lakes, one pleasure we had was to view our reflection in the water. This lake happens to have lily pads - but if you look carefully, you can see the basket right in the center.
Our landing was an adventure in itself, and if you'd like to see more beautiful photos and hear about our amazing landing, you can visit http://www.gailmartin.blogspot.com/ and enjoy the full story.
Romance writers do anything to write a wonderful book filled with romantic experiences.
I'm just coming up for air after a really hectic few months. Where has the summer gone? I didn't even attend the RWA conference, but I still feel as if it has flown by. We're already into canning tomatoes, the grandkids are headed back to school, and there's a hint of fall in the air.
My husband and I had a once-in-a-lifetime trip earlier in the summer. We joined some friends for a tour of the Baltic Sea area, visiting Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Estonia. It was an amazing adventure, and I'm still trying to organize my photos and my memories!
And then all the kids and grandkids were home for their annual summer visit. We had a grand time with them. Since all of our grandchildren live in suburban areas, it's a real treat for them to experience country life.
And then, of course, there's the writing! I've been working hard in between all of that, trying to keep on schedule. I've completed two of the Amish books that will come out next year, as well as the first book in a Love Inspired series about a Coast Guard family in South Carolina. Right now I'm working on the third Amish book and really enjoying being back with those characters again.
So that's it for the topic of all those themes we had to write in grade school: how I spent my summer vacation! I hope your summer was wonderful and refreshing.
Meet Me In Pahrump, Nevada --- Doing My Favorite Thing
(Click to enlarge the photo - but use the back button to return to the blog)
You've probably already guessed what my favorite thing to do is. Talk. Ask my husband. (Grinning here). I love to present workshops for writers and to present keynote addressees at churches. So many doors have opened since I began writing and that's one of them.
Another thing I enjoy is meeting readers and then signing autographing their books. What would an author do without readers. They are our blessings, and when they let us know we've touched their hearts with our books, it's truly a gift.
On Saturday, September 6, I'll be speaking and autographing books at the public library in Pahrump, Nevada, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. If you live anywhere near there, bring and friend and come and join me. I'll be speaking on the crazy journey of my life as a writers and talking about why I chose to write Christian romance -- or I should say why God chose me. It begins at about 10 AM. I'd love to meet you.
I'm trying to think of a couple of new titles for book proposals in my Dry Creek series. I freely confess that I struggle trying to find clever, compelling (sometimes even adequate) titles. And then I see other people's titles and wish I had them. So I sat down and thought of titles I covet -- some of the one's I like are the serial ones, like the numerial Stephanie Plum titles and the woman who does the alphabet mysteries. I think of all of the book titles they get with that one clever idea. And then I flashed on 'Gone With the Wind' which has to be up there in terms of titles that are remembered and I look at it and think what does it even mean? Whoever thought of that? How about you and your favorite titles?
Her Only Protector Character Interview Online Now!
Did you ever wish you could interview a character in a book, ask them questions before you read the story and get a feel for who they are? Well, now you can. Sonny Montgomery, the heroine in my book Her Only Protector, has been interviewed by our own Terri Reed and the interview is now available at the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog. So make sure you check out the character interview. Remember, you can also read an excerpt of Her Only Protector by visiting eHarlequin.com.
This is a video of some of the people I saw at the RWA conference in San Francisco. As you can see most of them are Love Inspired authors.
First frame is of Margaret Daley (me) and Laura Marie Altom (left to right) at the Golden Gate Bridge (the wind was freezing). The second one is of Winnie Griggs and me in a small town outside San Francisco. Third frame is at Muir Redwood Forest with Winnie, Lynn, me and Laura. The fourth one is of the Craftie Ladies of Suspense--minus Cara Putman who couldn't make RWA this year. The fifth frame is of Kit, me and Jillian Hart at the booksigning. The sixth frame is of Linda Goodnight who won the Rita Award for her Love Inspired, Debbie Clopton, who won the Bookseller's Best Award, Irene Hannon, myself and Winnie. The next one is of Debby Giusti who won the Daphne Award and me who won the Inspirational Romance Readers Contest. The eighth through the tenth frame is of the eHarlequin pajama party. The eleventh through the thirteenth frame is dinner at the Jazz Club before the Harlequin party. The last frames were of the Harlequin party with people such as Allie Pleiter, Judy Baer, Gail Martin, Missy Tippins, Dana Corbit and Janet Dean. I'm sorry I can't put captions on the program I have. The very last frame is the Craftie Ladies of Suspense at the party. From the back at the left are Pamela Tracy, Roxanne Rustand, and Debby Giusti. In the from at the left is Lisa Mondello, Terri Reed and myself.
I spent some time sightseeing San Francisco which is a wonderful city with a lot to see--more than I could in a week's time. If you want to see some of the sights I went to, I have a video up at my blog. Check it out at margaretdaley.blogspot.com. I went to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Muir Redwood Forest, Napa Valley, the Golden Gate Park where I saw the Japanese Tea garden and enjoyed some tea, a street that is so crooked you have to crept down it in your car (gorgeous place) and of course, Chinatown.
Also I have some pictures up at Craftie Ladies of Suspense blog which I'm a member of. We are seven Love Inspired Suspense authors who blog about suspense books and what's going on with us. Every month we have a drawing for the four LIS books out and draw from the people who leave comments that month. So if you want to be entered in the drawing, visit the site and leave a comment with your email address.
In the above video I show some pictures of those places but mostly they are of functions I did at the conference--like the booksigning for literacy (RWA raised thousands of dollars for the cause), the pajama party eHarlequin sponsors every year, various dinners with friends, and the Harlequin party where I get my year's worth of dancing in on a crowded dance floor filled with women (great exercise).
If you are like me, then your to be read pile is completely out of control! And since I've just come back from RWA in San Francisco, where I was able to get a boxful of free books, my pile is even more scary. But I love books and I love reading so while others might look at my TBR as a pile of clutter, I think of my books as old friends.
I just finished reading Terri Reed's Double Jeopardy and it was fabulous! If you haven't read the character interview for Double Jeopardy, make sure you stop on over to the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog. Each week there will be a new interview from one of the Love Inspired Suspense books out that month. So you don't want to miss it!
And if you're a writer, you'll want to check out Debby Giusti's Donald Maass Writing the Breakout Novel blogs where she highlights elements of this wonderful writing reference book. She's on week 22 right now, but it's worth it to spend some time going back in the archives to see the rest of the series!
This month my book Her Only Protector is out on the shelves. Rumor has it you'll start seeing the Love Inspired Suspense books around August 12Th. So if you're out and about and you happen to see the August books, drop me an email or post on the blog where you're from. It's always fun to see where readers are finding my books. You can read an excerpt of Her Only Protector, please visit the eHarlequin website.
The next book on my TBR pile is Lynn Bulock's To Trust a Friend. Let me know what you're reading!
This coming Saturday at 12-3pm at Bob's Beach Books in the beautiful Lincoln City, Oregon I will be signing my July release Double Jeopardy. There will be several local authors signing and we will have a wide variety of romance subgenres to choose from.
Recently, I and several hundred other authors signed at the Romance Writers of America book signing in San Francisco to raise money for Literacy. The signing raised a record dollar amount and was a huge success.
I also was at the RITA Awards and cheered on my fellow authors who were finalist in this years contest. Our own Linda won!!!! 2008 RITA Winner for Best Inspirational Romance A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired (978-0-373-87426-2) Allison Lyons, editor