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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brenda Novak's Auction

Kim Watters here....I've doing a faux pax by posting this here as well as the Craftie Ladies blog, oh my. But because I feel this is such a worthwhile cause I wanted to make sure as many people knew abuot it as possible. I wanted to tell you about an awesome opportunity to help find a cure for Junvenile Diabetes. Brenda Novak does an auction each year in May and there are many wonderful items to bid on. I've included my offering below.

I know some of our other lovely and talented Love Inspired authors have donated items as well so check them out as well.

I'm auctioning off a gift bag. Included in this tote bag is an autographed copy of On Wings of Love, a sterling silver and Marcasite necklace, a candle and candle holder, a heart paperweight, a picture frame, a mirror, a decorative charm, a pen and calendar.

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2154316


To check out the regualr auction, click here: http://www.brendanovak.com/auction.shtml

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Rhythm of Writing


By Debby Giusti
Have you ever wondered what an author does each day? Reflecting on my own life, I realized there’s a rhythm to writing…

THE OFFICER’S SECRET, the first book in my Military Investigations Series, will be on sale in May. I just finished reviewing the final copy—called Author Alterations—of the second book in the series, THE CAPTAIN’S MISSION, which will be in stores this October. I’ll UPS the AAs to my editor this afternoon.

Last week, I submitted two more story ideas to my agent, who then sent the submission to my editor. In the next couple of weeks, she’ll review my ideas and hopefully approve them for publication. I’m waiting to receive word back.

Today I was notified KILLER HEADLINE, a story I wrote two years ago that was published in 2010, is a finalist in the NATIONAL READERS CHOICE AWARD. (Books are eligible to be entered into writing contests the year following the copyright date.) Winners will be announced at the Romance Writers of America Conference so I won't know how the story did until then.

This Friday, I’ll head to Huntsville, Alabama, to attend the Heart of Dixie Readers Luncheon. I’m donating a basket filled with books and other goodies that day. In addition, the gals who sit at my table will receive a copy of THE OFFICER’S SECRET and some other little gifts as my thank you for joining me for the event. So this afternoon, I’ll also shop for the basket and gifts.

Later today, I’ll write more on the third story in my Military Investigations Series and then work on a press release for a book signing for THE OFFICER’S SECRET. My wonderful local bookseller hosts a signing with the release of each of my books. I like to give something back to my community, and for this story, I’m donating a portion of the proceeds to Bridget O’Connell, a little girl in my area who needs a kidney transplant. (Contact Omega Book Center, at 770-487-3977, to pre-order a copy of my book to help Bridget.)

Writing, rewrites, editing, mailings, shopping...are all part of my writing life.

What’s the rhythm of your life revolve around?

Wishing you Easter blessings!
Debby Giusti
http://www.debbygiusti.com/
http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/

THE OFFICER’S SECRET is available in regular paperback format as well as large print and e-book. Pre-order now. Contact Omega Book Center, 770-487-3977 to help Bridget.

THE OFFICER’S SECRET
By Debby Giusti
Love Inspired Suspense

SECRETS ON AND OFF BASE
In the middle of the night, Maggie Bennett finds her army officer
sister dead in her military housing. She’s devastated by the loss of
the estranged sibling with whom she was trying to reconnect. But as
U.S. Army criminal investigations agent Nate Patterson begins asking
questions about the officer’s suspicious death, Maggie can’t tell the
handsome man everything she knows. Except that her sister was
definitely murdered—for a secret Maggie can’t share. Then she walks
into the killer’s trap and has to trust Nate with the truth…and
her heart.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Camy and the Name Generator

Camy here! I will confess that I’m terrible at coming up with names for my characters. I’m currently working on a new proposal for Love Inspired Suspense, and I am imagining my hero looking a bit like Nathan Fillion:
So what do I name my hero?

Nathan!

But I gave him a last name of Fischer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s similar but I have already confessed my uncreativity in the name department.

I also was clueless about my heroine’s name, and I hadn’t yet gotten a picture in my head of what she looks like, so I decided to pass the buck. I have a fantastic Street Team of “influencers” who pass out my bookmarks in exchange for Christian fiction. (Click here to find out how you can be part of my Street Team.) Occasionally I have challenges for bonus prizes, and I had been intending to have another challenge this week, so I had a drawing for the prize of naming my heroine!

Street Team members who managed to give away the last of their batch of bookmarks in a three-day time window got their names entered in a drawing. I pulled a name out of a hat and the winner got to pick my heroine’s name! (She’s currently deciding, and I’ll have my heroine’s name on Friday.)

Am I the Queen of Delegation or what???

I still have other names to come up with for my other minor characters. I might hit up my Street Team again. :)

So do you have any good name suggestions?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her humorous contemporary romance Sushi series and her romantic suspense, Formula for Danger. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders dogs, knitting and spinning wool, running, Asiana, and other frivolous things. Sign up for her quarterly newsletter for giveaways!

Click here to find out how you can join my Street Team—it’s free and there’s lots of chances to win prizes!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

True Treasures - Allie Pleiter

Before all else...may the meaning of this Good Friday seep into your soul, reminding you of how dearly loved you are, the unfathomable cost paid for you, and the glory that awaits now that the debt is paid.




This season I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our endless hunts for treasure.




Treasure hunts don’t get much bigger than the Yukon Gold Rush. Still, it wasn’t something I knew much about until I was invited to write YUKON WEDDING the launch book for the Alaskan Brides series. My concept of Alaska was pretty much limited to “Northern Exposure” episodes (and those weren’t much help for a Yukon historical). Not eager to visit Alaska in winter, I had to confine by research to books, internet, and photos.


Human struggle, however, needs no research farther than our own hearts. Heartbreak is universal. Misunderstanding between men and women is timeless. And love still conquers all, no matter when and where. Sure, the historical details were intriguing. I uncovered stories of women who ventured up the Yukon trail with bravery that astounded me. The dynamic that really pulled me in wasn’t factual or historical, but emotional and spiritual. Mack, my hero, can’t figure out how to be a husband, much less a father to his new two-year-old stepson. He makes as many mistakes as his new wife Lana does in her journey to becoming “Mrs. Treasure Creek.” Much as they try not to, Mack and Lana spend their new close-quarters life hurting each other point-blank.


Ah, but they heal. They don’t discover gold, they discover the precious truth of how perfect they are for each other. And that was more fun to write than any treasure hunt.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Covers

This is Merrillee , and I've been thinking about the statement, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Do you think this is true? Does a cover influence you to pick up a book and see what it is about? Do you like covers with people or covers that feature landscapes or still life?

I think that Love Inspired does a wonderful job with the covers they put on our books. I've had people covers and landscape covers. Here are a couple of my favorite covers.






The artists did a wonderful job depicting the people who had lived in my mind and eventually came to life on the pages of a book. It is always an exciting moment to see the cover for the first time. I often wonder what images will be chosen to represent the story inside that cover. In my most recent book, the hero coaches youth baseball. The cover paints a perfect picture.



For my upcoming January 2012 book, Montana Match, I sent in a number of photos to portray characters and scenes in the book. I haven't seen the cover and probably won't for several months, but I'm eager to see which images they may use. Here are a couple.


The story takes place on a Montana ranch in the winter, and this snowy scene depicts it well.


There are identical twin girls in the story, and I thought this picture showed what I had imagined they might look like. I'll have to see what winds up on the cover of the book.

Please tell us what you like to see on the cover of a book.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Flowers of Our Youth with Janet Tronstad


This is Janet Tronstad and I have been thinking about flowers and especially what says spring around my parent's farm in Montana. This was important because I am just starting another Dry Creek book and I wanted to capture some of that 'ahhh -- spring is finally here' feeling in the title of the book (set to come out next April).


When I was thinking, I remembered the sight and smell of the lilac bushes that bloom on the south side of my parent's house (the very ones my mother planted fifty years ago - and the ones that I could smell through my bedroom window while growing up). When I mentioned these lilacs to a few of my friends, it seemed everyone had some kind of flower from their childhood that made them nostalgic. So the editors and I settled on the title -- "Lilac Wedding in Dry Creek." I love it already! And the editor is going to encourage the art department to go wild with the lilacs (they, of course, make their own decisions, but I am hopeful).


It was only after all of my thinking about flowers that I realized the cover of my latest book (shared with my good friend, Debra Clopton) also has flowers on the cover (yellow daisies, I believe).

All of this made me realize how important flowers are in our memories. And it made me wonder if you have a flower that holds a special place in your heart because of the memories it brings back. Do you? I'd love to know what flower it is and why it's special to you.

 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Leigh Bale Muses About Service

I’m delighted to say that my new book will be available next week: The Forest Ranger’s Promise. This book is dedicated to my father, who is my first greatest hero. Check for it in Wal Mart, K-Mart, grocery stores or your local bookstore after the 19th. It’s officially a May release, but Wal Mart always gets them in earlier. This is the first book in a new series and the second book titled The Forest Ranger’s Husband will be available the end of October. Both books have page-turning scenes I think you’ll enjoy. To get more info, visit my website at: www.LeighBale.com

This month, I have learned a lesson in service. Following one of the rain storms we’ve had, my husband rushed out the door early one morning to go to work, slipped on the black ice, and fell. Hard. He broke his ankle in three places and tore up the ligaments and muscles. It swelled to double the normal size and the bruising looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to his entire foot and calf.

Over the past few weeks since this accident, it has been my pleasure to serve my sweet husband. Suddenly just getting up to retrieve something as simple as a tissue became a gargantuan task for him. Going to the restroom, taking a shower and driving a car seemed impossible tasks. As I took care of my husband’s chores (like taking the garbage can to the curb) as well as my own, I became more fatigued, but it was a labor of love. I caught a glimpse of our old age and realized how fragile our lives are. But as I served my dear husband, I realized that the fragile body God has gifted us with cannot keep us from transcending the deep and eternal love we have for one another. Truly it was no burden for me to serve him. The extra work and inconvenience seemed so light in comparison to my love for him.



And secondly, we have finally been able to take the time and financial resources to finish The Hill in our back yard. You know those useless hills your home builder sticks in your back yard and then includes it into the overall acreage? What can you do with them? Nothing! So we have waited until we could afford to do something constructive with our hill. Take a look at the picture and let me know what you think? We’re going to plant a variety of lilac bushes, honeysuckle and Lydia broom plants. Our daughter is getting married soon and we’re planning to hold her reception in our back yard. I think it’s going to be beautiful. Now I better get back to work writing my next book, right? :)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Southern Recipe Remix with Stephanie Newton

If you've ever met me in person, you only have to hear about four words out of my mouth to know I'm a Southern girl.  And we Southerners take our cooking very seriously.  Just ask Paula Deen.  Here lately, though, I haven't had a lot of time to do real baking so my daughter and I have been using my mom's friend Betty's favorite cookie recipe a lot!  The basic recipe is to take a white cake mix, add a stick of butter and one egg.  Mix well and within just a few minutes (with no measuring!) you have a great cookie dough mix.  For what it's worth, these make great decorating cookies if you roll them out.  We don't have time for that  :)  We roll up the dough in a ball, sprinkle with some colored sugar, and bake.  Yummy!

Recently, I was blog-hopping through some of my favorite craft blogs and came across a recipe for red-velvet cake cookies.  Red Velvet Cake might not've been invented in the south (I think there's some discussion about that) but it was certainly perfected here.  I know how to make it and suffice it to say, there is measuring involved.   So, when I saw that these cookies were made with a cake mix, I knew I had to try them.  We bought the ingredients and made them that afternoon.  They were delicious!  The original awesome recipe can be found here at Whipperberry, but my daughter and I made ours a little closer to my cookie recipe.

Red Velvet Cake Cookies

1 Red Velvet Cake Mix (any brand)
1 and 1/3 stick butter
2 eggs
1 package white chocolate chips (I used Girardhelli)

Mix first 3 ingredients, add chocolate chips.  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Bake at 350 degrees for around 12 minutes.

So, why is Stephanie sharing a recipe,  you might be thinking?  It's obvious from the picture that I am no food blogger.  The hero in my most recent book, Point Blank Protector, is a tortured hero.  He's tortured by his past, by things that he's done--or hasn't done when he could have.  And so, in the long nights when he can't sleep or when the nightmares come, he cooks.  It's just his thing.  I love a man who isn't afraid to be a man in the kitchen.  And Tyler definitely is that kind of hero.

Hope you enjoy this easy recipe and that it gives you a little taste of the south!

Best,
Steph

Stephanie Newton lives in Northwest Florida with her husband and two teenagers.  Her latest book Point Blank Protector is available now!

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

P90X and me


My name is Renee Ryan and I have a release out today. THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE is Book 4 in my Charity House series. I have an interview with the hero, Logan Mitchell, up on eHarlequin. To read it, go to: http://community.eharlequin.com/content/character-interviews

Today I want to talk about another one of my favorite things besides writing. I am an infomercial junkie. There, I said it. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not hooked on all infomercials. That would just be silly. I’m a sucker for the exercise infomercials. And I have a large collection of equipment and DVDs to prove it. I even use most of the programs and equipment that I purchase. No, really. I do.

I consider Billy Blanks a personal friend. I know the girls from the Firm by their first names. I’ve trained with famous faces from Dancing with the Stars. I own every size dumbbell, mat and band imaginable. I have three sets of steps for step-aerobics. Best of all, I own the cute outfits that go along with all of the above.

Okay, so not all of my purchases have resulted in weight-loss success. In fact, many of the so-called claims to instant skinniness were downright lies. So after years of hits and misses, I consider myself an expert on what will and what won’t work. In other words, I’m jaded. But I’m always hoping to find the next best program. And I think I’ve found it. P90X.


The infomercial claims I, too, will get a great physique if I follow the program to the letter. There are no false promises this time, not if you listen carefully. The program will be hard work. For the low cost of three easy payments of thirty nine dollars each (or something like that) I could get into the best shape of my life.

But wait, there’s more (you knew that was coming). As the half hour continued to tick away, I could get lots of “extras” if I paid the full dollar amount plus shipping in one payment. I signed up that day.

I’m a week into the program with the sore muscles to prove it. Muscles, I might add, that I never knew I had. I feel like an out-of-shape eighty-year-old woman who has spent her life sitting on a lounge chair eating bon-bons. Long story short, I will not be defeated by a fitness program, not even P90X. I plan to finish the ninety-day workout.

Stay tuned to find out if I make it all the way to the end. Limping away now...

 

Monday, April 11, 2011

4th book in the LIS continuity-Trail of Lies


I have the fourth book in the LIS continuity series called Texas Ranger Justice out in 2011. Below is an interview with the hero, Daniel Boone Riley.


1.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

I'm a Texas Ranger in San Antonio in Company D. I am working on the murder of Captain Pike, our commanding officer who was murdered several months ago. Melora Hudson's husband was finally found a few weeks ago--dead. She may be our only lead to whom killed our captain because her husband is possibly connected to the group behind his murder.
 
2.  So, during the book you met Melora Hudson.  Tell us a bit about him/her.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love? 

I came to interview Melora about her husband's murder. When I arrived at her house, she was fighting off a man who had broken into her place. She didn't want to say much to me which sent up a red flag. I wondered how much she knew about her husband's illegal activities.

Melora is an amazing woman. She is tough and has a lot of courage. She was determined to protect her daughter at all costs. When she told me what was going on--the threats against her and her daughter, I started falling in love with her. She didn't give her trust easily and she had to me.

3.  What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness? 

I am strong physically and mentally but my dedication to my job has led to some problems with my teenage son. I have messed up that relationship.

4.  What scares you? 

Losing my son's love.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be less driven.
6.  Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? 

My faith has been what has kept me going.

7.  Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

It has grown even stronger. Through all the danger involving Melora, my faith is what held me together.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant.
Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
The only way I can make it is to give the Lord my worries. I see so much evil in my job, I have to turn my concerns over to Him to survive.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

Apple pie--the American dessert. My country is important to me. Keeping people safe has been what I've dedicated my life to.

 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why I Love My Latest LI--Lyn Cote



Lyn Cote here. At your local Wal-Mart my latest Love Inspired, Daddy in the Making, perches on the book shelf, waving to prospective readers. At least, that's how I picture it in my mind. :-)

Daddy in the Making is one of those books I had fun writing--really. I love animals and this story features a match-making basset hound. (Don't you just LOVE those big brown sad eyes? Awww-irresistible.)

And it has two golden tabby kittens (Do you remember helping name them on my blog?)

And twin seven-year-old girls and a mom with a big heart. Not to leave out--a best friend hero, a vet who really cares about his patients and gives to them (often too much).

So what's not to like?

Though the story has lighthearted elements, both my hero Jake and my heroine Jeannie hide past wounds. The best part is their finding healing and a happy ending. Sigh.

This is the second book in my "New Friends Street" series, set in a fictional town of Hope, WI where three Habitat for Humanity houses are being built for three families. Jeannie is helping build her house #2.

BTW, has Amazon got a deal for you! The first book in this series, Shelter of Hope, is on sale, in both digital $ 1.56 and Large Print $1.64. Click here to take advantage of these marked down prices.

To read an excerpt, click here. Well, that's all I have to say. Have you read Shelter of Hope or Daddy in the Making? If you have, would you consider, writing a brief review of those on Amazon.com? I'd appreciate it!

Do you have a favorite Love Inspired? Which one?--Lyn



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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Beginnings


Hey there. Carolyne Aarsen here. The past few days I've been staring at a blank computer screen. I'm starting a new book. When that happens, putting those first few words on the screen is a daunting task. I stare at it and think, there's nothing here! I have nothing to say! I don't know these people I'm going to be spending the next 290 pages with and they don't know me and right about now they don't even want to show themselves.They're sitting in their room drinking coffee and reading the paper and telling me to leave them alone because, let's face it, I'm going to make them uncomfortable and probably a bit unhappy. I'm going to make them face down their demons and make choices they don't want to make. So, I guess I can't blame them for not making eye contact and ignoring me. Why wouldn't they sooner eat doughnuts and watch reality television?

It's always like this when I start out. Always the uncooperative characters and the story that just won't gel. But I've learned to accept this as part of the process and my husband has learned to ignore the scriptural sighs (too deep for words) that emanate from the office after I've written Chapter One on that blank computer screen. Because sooner or later my characters know they can run, but they can't hide. I hunt them down and step by by agonizing step I drag them onto the page and into their story. I prod and push and analyze and slowly, sooner or later the doughnuts get put away, the coffee cup rinsed out and they square their shoulders and step onto the page.

There will be moments they will rebel. Go their own way. Fight me on some of the issues I put in front of them. But eventually we find a way to co-operate because I won't give up until they've realized their journey. They might not appreciate it, but I know they'll thank me for it by the end of the story. Maybe even share their doughnuts with me.

 

Monday, April 4, 2011


Hello from Sandra Robbins this Monday morning.

Spring has come to the South, and it won't be long before the days will be so hot that everyone will be looking for ways to escape the sweltering heat. Vacation time will soon arrive, and I have to admit my mind is already returning to one of my favorite vacation spots, Ocracoke Island. This small barrier island off the coast of North Carolina cast a spell on me the first time I went there, and I haven't been able to shake the urge to return.

Of course the fact that the first of my three books set on the island will be released in July might have something to do with it is possible. Dangerous Reunion , the first in the series, focuses on Kate Michaels who is a deputy sheriff on the island. The second book will tell her brother's story, and the third one will be about her younger sister.


Although these books are romantic suspense, the island is rich in history. Blackbeard the Pirate lived there and died just offshore in a battle. A fort was built there in the Civil War, but it has long ago disappeared into the ocean. One of the most interesting stories to me is that of the British Cemetery that is located on the island.

During World War II German U Boats were a menace to ships off the eastern coast of the United States. The area was known as "Torpedo Alley" and from January through July 1942 the Germans sank 397 ships in the Atlantic. Since most of America's sea effort was located in the Pacific, Churchill sent a flotilla of ships to patrol the shipping lanes. One of them was the HMS Berfordshire. It was torpedoed and sank on May 11, 1942. Everyone on board died.

The bodies of four men washed ashore on Ocracoke Island, and the islanders buried them. The area where they are buried has been forever ceded to England, and it is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The cemetery is one of the most visited spots on the island. Each year in May representatives of the British Royal Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard hold a ceremony at the cemetery to honor the men buried there.

Beautiful beaches, shady lanes with artists' and craftsmen's shops tucked in the landscape, salt marshes, wild ponies, and a rich history are just a few of the things Ocracoke has to offer. You couldn't find a better place to spend your vacation.

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