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Monday, February 28, 2011

Kids Do the Funniest Things


I have four grandchildren and have such fun with them. What a joy they can bring to a person's life! With that said, I'm not the one who has to clean up the messes they make in the house and with themselves. Once one of them got into the Vaseline and put it all over her hair. Have you ever tried to wash Vaseline out of hair? Not easy. The picture above is of one of my granddaughters trying to figure out how to put her mother's lipstick on. She didn't quite figure it out. I think she got it everywhere but the lips. When I first saw the series of pictures of this escapade, I thought she had gotten into some chocolate. I laughed even harder when I discovered with this pic it was lipstick. What are some funny things you've experienced with kids?

 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Canada Games

is an important event in the lives of our young athletes, up here. And I had the privilege to see two of them compete. They are friends and I came to encourage them on.
The event was sharpshooting. Not a spectator sport by any means. It's too hard to see the tiny target, and the audience must be quiet at all times, but to see the young men and women do their best, thank each other and the officials and learn to concentrate solely on the task before them, was something I didn't want to miss.
One of the team I'd come to watch finished just shy of the podium, missing third by 3-tenths of a point. But she's a winner in my books.
Do you have anyone in your life like that? There are many who just don't quite make it, but it's our attitude toward them that really defines how good they are. Let's cheer on these 'real' winners!

 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ocracoke Island Series


Hi from Sandra Robbins.

I suppose I’ve always known there were barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, but I had never thought much about them. Then three years ago I had a phone call from my daughter's former college roommate. Not having heard from her in several years, I was thrilled to catch up on what she'd been doing. I was surprised when she told me she was teaching school on Ocracoke Island. The way she described it I knew I had to see it.

That summer my son, granddaughter, and I ventured the nine hundred miles from our home in West Tennessee to the very edge of North Carolina. At Swan Quarter we boarded a ferry and rode for 2 1/2 hours across Pamlico Sound, the large expanse of water that separates the North Carolina coast from the small island of Ocracoke.

The island is about fifteen miles long, but the village that sits in the center covers approximately two or three miles. The quaint shops, the friendly residents,and the beaches that have been voted the most beautiful in the country make this the perfect vacation spot for families. Bicycles abound as tourists wheel around seeing all the sights. With the speed limit set at 20 mph, bicycle travel is a safe way to go.


It has a rich history, too. During the Civil War, residents, afraid they might be invaded, built a fort to fend off attacking forces. The water has now consumed this small fortress with only a marker to remind us what had once stood near there. A small British cemetery contains the remains of British soldiers whose bodies washed ashore during World War II when their ship was sunk off shore by a German U boat. And there’s a lighthouse that still functions today.

From the moment we drove off the ferry onto the island I knew I had to set a book in this piece of paradise. Dangerous Reunion, the first in a three book series, will release from Love Inspired Suspense in July. It will be followed by Shattered Identity and Decoy for Disaster. The series revolves around the Michaels family, island residents. The first book features Kate Michaels, the chief deputy sheriff on the island. The second one tells the story of Scott Michaels, the brother who has only recently discovered his family, and the third is about Betsy Michaels, an island artist who finds herself trying to outwit smugglers.

I am so excited about this series, and I hope you’ll find the island and its residents as exciting and friendly as I did. And if you’re looking for a place to vacation this summer, you couldn’t choose a better spot.

 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A DAD Of HIS OWN - Gail Gaymer Martin - March release

Good morning from Gail Gaymer Martin at http://www.gailmartin.com/

I'm excited to tell you about my upcoming release and the first book, A DAD OF HIS OWN, in the Dreams Come True Series released by Love Inspired in March. Make sure you hit the stores at the end of February. Our novels are only in the stores for one month. I hope you'll find this novel and let me know what you think.

Also look for a link below that will take you to my first video interview about this novel and also a little about my career.

A DAD OF HIS OWN is a very different kind of story, and when the editor of the LI line asked me about taking on a topic similar to Make A Wish Foundation, I turned up my nose, trying to imagine how I could make this book a happy-ever-after love story. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. I enjoy writing stores filled with emotion -- laughter and tears -- and this seemed a perfect idea for me.

Here's a teaser from the back cover:

One Child's Wish


With his Dreams Come True foundation, Ethan Fox turns wishes into reality. Amazing trips. Meeting heroes. But Ethan has come to care deeply for a sick boy whose dream is. . .a dad. And not just any dad. Ethan. Though little Cooper has a great chance of getting well, widowed Ethan can't chance loving---and losing---again. Yet he's spending time with the sweet boy and his lovely, single mother, Lexie Carlson. Could a little boy's wish for a dad of his own come true after all?

I've been invited to visit so many people's blogs to talk about this novel, but the most unusual offer was to do a video interview.  I want to share that with you. . .so here it is.  Hit the link and you'll find me in my living room, talking to Borrowed Books about my career and my newest novel - A DAD OF HIS OWN.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdjPlkGWOmA  I hope you enjoy the interview, and even more, I hope you love the novel.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have a viable excuse...really!






So I was supposed to blog today. The week (as you can see from the photos) has been horrible and crazy and wonderful. Wonderful in that my husband wasn't killed in a head-on collision one week ago today. Horrible because the driver of the other vehicle that skidded on an icy bridge and struck my husband head-on did perish at the scene. Sadly this family also lost their home and all possessions to fire two weeks prior to the fatal accident! Please keep the Watson family in your prayers. The driver left behind four little children under the age of five. Please also lift up the other two passengers of the Watson car, who were airlifted with massive injuries. They are both doing better but still not out of the woods yet.

Have you ever been involved in an automobile accident? Did it change the way you drive? If so, how so?

My husband wants to sell my Jeep Liberty and get me a tank to drive. He has banned me from driving the Jeep until further notice. SO the wreck definitely turned him against smaller cars. He walked away from the above wreck with only minor injuries. The crazy man was walking around (with a broken knee cap!) helping the police officer direct traffic after the wreck!

Thankful for my husband's protection yet sad for the other family. Utilizing this blog post to garner prayers for the family and their tragic situation.

Thanks all!

Cheryl Wyatt

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why I like February--Lenora Worth

February is a pretty good month. First, it's not January. It's still cold outside but in February (especially here in the South) we begin to see the first signs of spring. Today I actually went for a walk without having to bundle up so much. The robins are coming into the yard to graze and wander around.

Second, February is Valentine's month and also "Wear Red" time. It makes us remember to nurture our hearts by showing some love and by taking care of ourselves. (And you all know heart disease is the number one killer amongst women--right?)Red is the color of power, but for women it's more about empowerment. We can be strong and self-sufficient but only if we feel good about ourselves, health-wise and heart-wise.

Third, February is also the month we celebrate President's Day. That should remind us of the freedom we enjoy all year long. We've had many leaders who stepped up to try and make our country better. And that does a heart good, no matter your politics.

And finally, I'm really excited about this February because my book "Body of Evidence" is out on the shelves. This is the second in the Texas Ranger Justice continuity series. It's set in Texas (of course)and continues the story that Terri Reed started last month (Daughter of Texas). Our heroes in these books do make a girl's heart go pitter-pat!

So in spite of the chilly weather, February gives me hope that Spring is not too far away. This has been a long cold winter, but we have the hope of spring and Easter. And the one hope that Christ left with us. To love one another. That is something we can do all year long, with open hearts. I hope you had a great Valentine's Day. And I hope you'll continue to read all of the great Love Inspired books out there.

What do you like about February?

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from Stephanie Newton

Twenty years ago today, I went on a picnic with my valentine.  We'd been dating about six months and I knew he was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  I didn't know that he felt the same way.  He surprised me that day with an engagement ring.  It may be a little cliche, but I've always loved having that special Valentine's Day memory--especially a few years later when we had a baby and a three year old and we couldn't even sneak away for dinner, much less a romantic picnic.  And then there was the year that we had a babysitter and waited two hours at a restaurant for a table that never materialized.

Twenty years of Valentine's Days...we've had really special ones and really average ones. I have a feeling this year, all four of us--me, my man and our two kids are going to be piled on the couch with a blanket and some hot tea, considering we all have the flu.  But no matter what we're doing, or where we're spending Valentine's Day, it's special because we're together.  And really, that's the point.  It isn't about how romantic you can be on one day of the year.  It's about being there for each other every day of the year.

So now you know my favorite Valentine's memory--I'd love for you to share your favorite (or least favorite!) Valentine's memory, too. :)

 Stephanie Newton loves any holiday which is celebrated with candy hearts and chocolate.   Visit Steph at her website www.stephanienewtonbooks.com for more information on upcoming books and appearances. Her next book in the Emerald Coast 911 series Point Blank Protector is an April release.

 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hometown Hero



Hi! Charlotte Carter here.
I don’t often make reading recommendations, but Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit) is extraordinary. It is the story of Louie Zamperini, former juvenile delinquent, Olympic athlete, and survivor of World War II in the Pacific where he endured 27 months of daily beatings in a Japanese POW camp. Never once did his optimism falter.



His post-war struggles, PTSD, led him into alcoholism, poor financial decisions and the threat of divorce.


Then he met Billy Graham, who led him into redemption.


Graham had set up a circus tent in downtown Los Angeles. Louie’s wife cajoled him to go. The first time Louie walked out in a rage. But the second time Graham’s words touched him. Louie remembered his promise to the Lord when he and his B24 pilot floated helplessly in the Pacific Ocean for 47 days. He’d promised if he survived, he would spend his life serving the Lord.


The next morning, Louie woke feeling cleansed.


In the interest of full disclosure, Louie is a hometown hero in Torrance, CA where I live. My husband Chuck wrote a book about the Torrance Municipal Airport, which is now named Zamperini Field. Louie wrote the preface; Chuck considers Louie not only a friend but his role model.


Louie, still incredibly energetic on the cusp of his 95th birthday, finally gave up skate boarding around the age of 89. But he still works with at-risk teenagers, taking them skiing in the local mountains. Louie’s neighbors had to put a halt to him climbing a ladder to trim his trees; they didn’t want to call 911 if he fell.


Hillenbrand’s research for Unbroken, a 7-year long project involving hundreds of contacts, not only tells Louie’s story but encompasses details of the men who served with him and the incredible cruelty of Japanese POW guards.


But it is Louie’s redeeming faith that is most obvious in his life now.
Do you have a hometown hero or heroine you admire? Tell us about him or her.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The eBook Debate


Susan Sleeman here weighing in on the eBook debate. Not the debate about which eReader is best, but about the future of eBooks. In my fellow author circles, discussions are flowing over the future of printed books and the effect of eReaders. As in any debate, authors have various opinions on the eBook revolution. Some see it as the beginning of the end of printed books. Some see it as a great way to offer another reading format. Some embrace eReaders themselves and read only on them. Some will read nothing but a printed book.



I personally own a Kindle. I received it as a Mother's Day gift and didn't know how I'd like it, but I have to tell you I LOVE it. I can get a book instantly from Amazon, I can read my manuscripts on it, I take notes and underline sections I want to remember, and I take thousands of books with me when I travel in the space of one book.

Does this mean I don't ever read printed books anymore? Not at all. I still love to hold a book in my hands and I love to go to bookstores and look at the amazing covers.


And my opinion doesn't differ as an author, Both of my books, High-Stakes Inheritance and Nipped in the Bud are available in eBook format which gives readers a choice in how to purchase my books. Of course, if printed books went away, I'd miss getting my author copies when a new book releases and miss seeing my own books on the shelves, but I really don't think printed books will disappear soon.


Now in case you didn't know this, all Love Inspired books come in eBook format. You can purchase them for most of the eReaders out there, so no matter the eReader you might own, our books are available for you.


So I thought I'd solicit the opinion of readers like you. What do you think about the ebook revolution? Do you own an eReader? If so which one and what do you like about it? Did you stop reading print books when you started using an eReader?

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More snow? Really? by Lisa Mondello


Thank God for the Internet! That's all I have to say. I'd have no contact with the outside world otherwise. You see, here in New England we've been clobbered with snow. (If you live anywhere in NE you all know what I'm talking about.) Every time I look out the window I'm blinded by white...if I can see anything at all. The drifts are that high. I can no longer see the log pile in the back yard. It's buried. If I hadn't carved a path in the yard and put my beagle on a chain, I'm sure I'd have lost him in the snow by now. All the drifts are twice as high as he is.

Today it's snowing...again. The news is showcasing many places in my area where roofs have caved in on homes, and businesses. Even the local mall got a scare and closed down for a time to shovel off the roof. (That one got my kids' attention.)

Living in Massachusetts my whole life, I'm used to snow. Just not THIS much snow. The good thing is that the power hasn't gone off, the Interenet is still up, I have a full coffee pot of hot coffee and the kids are in school. (Another blessing since these snow days have been killing my writing schedule.)

Okay, enough complaining from me. Please tell me your snow horror stories. I'll vent with you.


In the meantime, I'll dream for March like I always do each year. My crocuses and daffodils will be poking out beneath the snow and my next Love Inspired Romance will be released. If you're snow bound, you can still order In a Doctor's Arms online at Amazon.com or at eHarlequin.com.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Memories: Old Friends

Pamela Tracy here, and, yes, you'll be once again hearing about things I found when I REALLY cleaned my office over Christmas. Let me jog your memory. The last time I chatted about this I chastised myself because I'd kept check stubs from 1979 (first job).Some things I discovered, however, were not so mundane. I found my autograph book from the seventies. I'm having a blast going through it. I've listed some teachers (I remember two). I do remember many of the kids. And, I'm amazed at how personalities come through.For example, Bob Worden wrote on fifteen pages of my autograph album. He wrote the same two words in sprawling, giant letters: PAM WHO?Joleen Staats wrote: I auto this; I auto that; but in this book I autograph.My good friend Robin wrote: You are my best friend, besides Lisa.Marian Ballenger wrote: When you are old and out of shape, remember that girdles are only $2.98.Lynne Eppenbaugh wrote: When you get married and have some twins, don't come to me for safety pins.Every page of my autograph book is filled. As I first cruised through it, my finger touching the faded words and names from my past suddenly shimmering into shapes before me, I realized I miss my friends of old. Yet, what a treat, their words are right here in my autograph book. Courtesy of Linda Farris: Big ships, little ships, they never made a ship like friendship.Did you have an autograph book? What does it say?

 

Friday, February 4, 2011

What is it about romances?




Jenna Mindel here, and thank you for joining me on my first blog. I'm technologically challenged and you wouldn't believe how many times I accidentally deleted my images.

Anyway, here goes...

February makes me think of snowy sunsets, chocolate covered cherries, and well... romance.

I'm thrilled to have a February release titled Season of Dreams. (http://www.jennamindel.com/)

A question to ponder. What is it about romances that keeps us coming back again and again?

I have loved romantic stories since I was a young girl. Reading fairy tales and watching oodles of old movies must have had something to do with it. The Quiet Man is one of my favorite movies. It's a perfect romance packed with conflict, humor, and the best first kiss scene in movie history. (my opinion, but just watch and you'll see.)

For me its not just the happily-ever-after. It's the chase. My favorite moment of that chase has to be the killer first kiss that rattles the hero to his soul because he realizes the heroine is one for him.

What's your favorite moment in a romance? What brings you back to them over and over?


 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Books for a blizzard....


How are all of you, after the Monster Blizzard?  We're in the Midwest, and had a ton of snow and up to 50mph winds, so the drifts are  amazing.  Between the house and our horse barn there were stretches of drifts almost up to my hips.  Until we got things plowed out, making it the barn and back was a challenge!  But it was all beautiful, too--everything blanketed in pristine white.    And this time, we didn't even lose our electricity!  It happens quite a lot, out in the country, but I just kept on chugging at the computer,  making progress on my current manuscript, and then took some time to just sit and enjoy watching the weather.   
And that got me thinking about a question for all of you.   If you knew you were going to be stranded somewhere for a few days and could bring five books along, what titles would they be?  
 Roxanne Rustand
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com