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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pushing on


Carolyne Aarsen

I've recently taken up running. I never thought I'd enjoy it as much as I do. What I like the most about it is I can put on my running shoes, step out the door and go at it. I don't need any special equipment, though I have to confess when I saw the fun shirts at The Running Room I decided I 'needed' some of those to go with my new running shoes. Running has opened up whole new wardrobe options!

But it has also given me a good analogy for my writing. What I love the most about running is having done it. Just like what I love the most about writing, is having done it. I feel great when I come into the house after a run - all rejuvenated and healthy - but there are times when I'm running that part of my mind is saying "That's good enough, you've done enough for now, just walk. Besides, you're tired. You need a rest. Tomorrow you can run a bit more." And then I think, really? Am I really that tired? Couldn't I go just a little further NOW? So I go on a bit more and pretty soon here comes that pernicious voice. "That's far enough now. Just stop. You're knees are getting sore and you're running out of breath. You're not a marathon runner and besides, you're not even going that fast." And back and forth it goes. Sometimes I give in, but mostly I realize that I can carry on my knees are not that sore and who cares how fast I'm going besides the Nike app on the iPhone.

Writing is exactly the same thing. I sit down at the computer, open up my file and shortly after I start working I have that same nagging voice badgering me. "You've done enough writing for the day. Take a break. Play Solitaire, Bejewelled, check Facebook, read your e-mail. Tomorrow you can write more." Sometimes I give in, sometimes I push on. And always, always, I feel better when I've pushed on. Always I'm happier when I get up from the computer, with whatever goals I've set for myself, accomplished.

Writing. Running. Both require ignoring this voice that wants me to fall short of what I know I can do. Both require pushing through the resistance. Both are hard to do. But both give me the same sense of satisfaction when I've done what I set out to do.

What about you? Do you have those same voices in your head that drag you away from thing that are hard - things that require pushing through resistance? What do you do about them?

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Re-energizing a la barbara


By Barbara Phinney
As you read this blog, most of the authors who contribute here are now in New York City. The Romance Writers of America have their annual conference there this year, but sadly, this author wasn't able to go. I have two children in post secondary education, am finishing up a busy month of June, and our daughter is getting married in our backyard in less than 5 weeks. A trip away just wasn't doable.
But the main reason authors congregate at this conference is to re-energize. If you were a fly on the wall in any room there, you'd hear a lot of different conversations, some authors playing catch-up on each others' news, some talking contracts, and some just plain schmoozing.
Surprisingly, it's all re-energizing. Meeting like-minded people, some with more knowledge than you, some with less, all add to your 'filling up'.
But what about those of us left behind? Naturally, we need re-energizing, too. We can get it. We can share in snippets of conversation or tidbits of cool info through Facebook, Twitter, and those authors who can squeeze in a bit of time to post on loops.
For me, re-energizing also came this past weekend at our local church family camp. It poured rain, was cold enough to see your breath, the mosquitoes were the size of hummingbirds, but the messages provided were fabulous.
"Your Soul Care should be your 'sole care'." And in doing that, you gained discernment, and became a better family member. By doing what's best for your own soul, you instill that need in your children. I was thrilled to look down the row of chairs and see my own grown children listening to the talk on Nehemiah, and how he saw a broken people and told them to be brave, remember the Lord and He will fight for you.
I was re-energized. I spent time with friends and family, battled the mosquitoes, the rain, the thunder and lightning, even managed to edit some stories for Smashwords and came away knowing that when God is for us, who can stand against us?
The cabin question was: What is one way I can improve the health and spiritual well-being of my family?
So I ask you, what is one way you re-energize during the time off this summer?

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Dangerous Reunion Releases


Hi, from Sandra Robbins. I'm so excited because my new Love Inspired Suspense Dangerous Reunion releases next week on July 5.

If you've read the last few blog posts I've made here, you know that three years ago I traveled to Ocracoke Island on vacation. This tiny speck of land is one of the barrier islands twenty-five miles off the coast of North Carolina and was the headquarters of Blackbeard the Pirate in the early 1700s. In fact he met his death just off shore in a bloody battle. A two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride is required to get to the island, but once there the magic of the island takes over.


I knew right away I wanted to write a book set on the island where sea oats wave in the breeze along the beaches that have been voted the most beautiful in the nation. Even while I was there I started plotting a story line. Much to my delight, however, the book I wrote turned into a three book series about the Micheals family who live on the island. Dangerous Reunion is the story of the eldest daughter Kate who is a deputy sheriff on the island.

Here's the back cover blurb:
A murderer on tiny, safe Ocracoke Island? Deputy Sheriff Kate Michaels doesn't want to believe it-until someone at the crime scene starts shooting at her. Then Nashville detective Brock Gentry shows up. Brock broke her heart years ago when he called off their engagement. Now, torn apart by a case, Brock seeks sanctuary on the island. Yet as the threats against Kate escalate-and Kate's sisters are targeted-she turns to the man she's never stopped loving. Even if their reunion is more dangerous than it ever was before.

The story is packed with suspense, but the main theme of the book is forgiveness. Mark 11:25 serves as a focal scripture for the story: And when ye pray, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Although Kate has always had a difficult time forgiving others, she comes to understand true happiness depends on following what Jesus said.

Watch the trailer.

The second book in the series, Shattered Identity, features Kate's long-lost brother Scott as he tries to solve a twenty-five year old mystery of the island. Fatal Disclosure, the third book, relates the adventures of Kate and Scott's sister Betsy as she assists a DEA agent to bring down a drug smuggling ring. Both of these release next year.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July, and if you want an explosive read, I hope you'll choose Dangerous Reunion.

 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Kindle - Gail Gaymer Martin's 2002 Award-winning Romantic Suspense: A LOVE FOR SAFEKEEPING

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

I love writing romantic suspense, and I should write me. Finding the time has been my nemisis, but one of these days I will again.

Before the LI Suspense line, I was able to write a couple of suspenses for the regular LI line and for Steeple Hill's single title. A LOVE FOR SAFEKEEPING was my first suspense novel, and I was thrilled when it received three national awards, including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award and ACFW's Book of the Year (now called The Carol Award). 

The idea for this suspense was triggered by the old Dick and Jane Primers used from the 30s to the 70s to teach reading to elementary school students. The phrase See Jane Run is a line from the primer, and the Jane in this novel experience a cryptic note with that statement. But that wassn't the end, and she didn't know why. Imagine finding a note with: See Jane fall. See Jane bleed. See Jane die.


BACK COVER BLURB:

See Jane run?

If that's what Jane Conroy's stalker had in mind, he was going to be disappointed. The feisty schoolteacher was more angered than frightened by her shadowy adversary's pranks. Thanks to him, she reluctantly found herself under the watchful deep blue gaze of a handsome lawman bent on keeping her safe — and restoring her lost faith....

See Jane fall...
For Kyle Manning? The preacher's son and police officer figured that wasn't likely. After all, Jane made it clear that she didn't trust cops or religion — and that she could take care of herself. But Kyle wasn't just determined to guard her life...he was hoping to share it! --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

REVIEWS

4-1/2 Stars - Perhaps Gail Gaymer Martin's best. This story will keep you riveted. - Romantic Times

4-1/2 Plugs - A LOVE FOR SAFEKEEPING is a powerful blend of passion and suspense...one of the finest romantic suspense stories I have read. - Tracy Farnsworth, The Romance Reader Connection

4-1/2 Stars - Ms. Martin writes her faith. - Karen Larsen, Scribes World

GGM has found the balance of mystery and intrigue. This novel is hard to put aside once you begin to read it. Dale Van Tassel -www.thewordonromance. com

Click to purchase or view A LOVE FOR SAFEKEEPING:

In case you're curious about my second suspense, a single title, FINDING CHRISTMAS was optioned by producer Larry Levinson for a Hallmark TV Movie. Though the movie was never made, I was thrilled that they optioned the book and found it worth of a Hallmark movie.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Win a $100 gift card!

Love Inspired authors 
 Romance Writers of America charity booksigning
 June 28 in New York City.

We've come up with an idea to make this massive signing of more than 400 authors even more fun for our Love Inspired readers. Stop by any Love Inspired author's table and pick up a post card with full details. Basically, all you do is visit the table of any Love Inspired author. They're arranged in alphabetical order. At each one, pick up your free trading card and any other free goodies they have. (Buying a book is optional). When you're all done, visit the table of Lenora Worth, Missy Tippens or Janet Tronstad. Those ladies will count your cards. At evenings' end, the visitor with the most cards wins the $100 Amazon gift card!

Little Inspy Trading Cards are fun!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not enough time--Lenora Worth

Wow, I'm late to my blog today because I was also scheduled for another blog (Superromance) today, too. Top that with--I just got home from Florida last night and I'm pedaling as fast as I can to catch up. Where does the time go? I have two days before I leave for RWA in New York. We're doing a road trip so we will leave either Thursday or Friday. And I take forever to pack. (I have to decide which shoes to take, of course!)I know I'll see a lot of the Love Inspired Ladies there and we will have fun at our annual Harlequin party.

In the meantime, I have things that must get done. I've always tried to stay focused and slightly organized but some days it seems I'm just spinning plates in the air. Do you ever get like that? Where you mind is whirling so fast your body can't keep up?

I have to wash clothes from one suitcase and pack conference clothes in the bigger suitcase. Right now, I'm starving so I'm off to lunch. Then it's back to work. What's your biggest challenge today?

 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Graduation Season



Congratulations graduates!


Hi All! Charlotte Carter here.



My husband and I recently journeyed to Northern California to celebrate the high school graduation of our oldest granddaughter Rachel and her cousin Josh. What an important milestone for those two young people and their 140 classmates. And Rachel, like me years ago, was really ready to move on to a new phase of her life.


During the ceremony I was struck by how many ‘graduations’ or ‘milestones’ the young people in the class of 2011 will experience in their lifetimes.


Hopefully, college graduation will be the next biggie. Then comes the first job out of school (and hopes for an economy that is thriving with opportunities).


Milestones to be celebrated keep on coming in both personal and professional lives – the first promotion and moving up the career ladder, engagement, wedding, the extraordinary birth of the first child (and all the subsequent children).


There seems to be no end to the days we mark as special in our memories: the first apartment, the first house, the first grandchild.


(For an author, the sale of the first book is a GIGANTIC milestone!)


Each of these steps involve a NEW BEGINNING, and maybe that’s what we ought to call them instead of a graduation or even a milestone.


So my heartfelt congratulations to Rachel and Josh for their high school graduation and my sincere wish that they will experience many exciting and wonderful NEW BEGINNINGS in the years to come.


Love, Grandma Char.....


What New Beginning do you remember most clearly? What New Beginning are you looking forward to in the near future?

Books that leave you smiling -
Big Sky Reunion, available now -
Big Sky Family, 11/2011 -
New Beginnings, Guideposts Books, 12/2011 -
www.CharlotteCarter.com






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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New website


If anyone has time to check out my new website, I would appreciate it at http://www.margaretdaley.com. The above picture is the background for my website--a far cry from the flamingoes I had on my old site. I would love your thoughts on the site. You can either email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com or sign the guestbook (if you do you are entered in a drawing for June for an autograph book) or you can leave a comment here. I write stories from heartwarming to heart pounding. Do you get that feeling when you visit my website? Is it easy to navigate? What do you like? What do you think needs tweaking?

Thanks for your help. Margaret

 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Better Than a Handshake



Pamela Tracy here, and I confess, "I am not shy." I basically like being with people, like meeting new people, and will talk to strangers.




Yet, sometimes I'm in the midst of a group and I'm thinking, "I wish I were somewhere else." Usually that means that no one is talking about my favorite topics. Yes, the Bible is one. My family is another. Also, right up at the top, you guessed it: books! Put me in a group of strangers, and let one of them say, "Did anyone read the latest [insert name of favorite LI author here] and now you've got my attention.



I will walk up to strangers who are reading and say, "What are you reading?" Most eagerly engage and we dish about favorites, not so favorites, and what we intend to read next. Yes, some let me know that all they want is to get back to their books. If that happens, I smile and head back to my own book.



So, here's a cute story. This past week I was at cub camp with my six-year-old. Cub camp is designed for little guys and they actually stay in a cabin and do all the 'camp' things, but Moms get to be in a nearby cabin just in case something happens. I had a blast. My job was to be there 'just in case,' but to know I was to be hands-off.



I spent most of my time reading (Totally cool because I was in the middle of nowhere amidst tall trees and a lake and great weather). One day I actually drove into town. I shopped and then decided to treat myself to lunch. I don't mind eating alone IF I HAVE A BOOK. , I didn't have one. No way could I sit in a restaurant all alone without a book.



I happened to be in a clothing store and mentioned my dilemma to the owner. She immediately lent me her book. We, you guessed it, promptly dished about our favorites, our not so favorites, and what we were going to read next.



I took her book to a restaurant, made it to page 40 (and that author now has a sale in her future because I'll buy the book) and then returned her book.



What a cool way to make a friend.



I took her business card (If you're ever in Prescott, AZ, be sure to go to Just Beadtween Us) and as thanks come this August, I'll be mailing her a copy of my next book.




A bull-riding injury has sent Joel McCreedy crashing—literally—into his tiny Iowa hometown. But the last thing the prodigal son wants is to stay. On top of a bruised head and ego, he has relationships to mend and a reputation to clear. And then there’s lovely Beth Armstrong, his nephews’ teacher, who’s willing to give them all lessons in family and forgiveness. But Joel isn’t the dutiful “family first” man Beth deserves. Or is he? Suddenly, instead of wrangling bulls he’s helping with homework. And instead of craving his next win, he’s determined to be Beth’s once-in-a-lifetime love.



Just think. If everyone was a bookworm, the whole world would be friends.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Innocent Witness


Terri Reed here. I'm so excited because the author copies of my July release arrived. The art department did a fabulous job with the cover. A friend told me that Romantic Times Magazine gave it a good review. I haven't seen the review yet but its always nice to know the book is being well received. For this book I've decided to do something I haven't done before--a blog tour. From July 5 through the 18th, I'll be blogging on various blogs promoting the book. I've very excited to try this and to reach more readers.
Several of the Love Inspired Authors are also doing something we've never done before--making Little Inspy Trading Cards.
If you happen to be at the RWA Literacy Signing in New York City, you can collect cards from various Love Inspired Authors. We even have a prize for the one who collects the most. How fun is that!

Here's a sample of what the back of my card looks like.


Little Inspy Trading Card

~Protection Specialists~

Antony Carlucci Ex-Secret Service Agent turned bodyguard

Assignment: Bring in suspected murderess Vivian Leigh Grant

and her autistic son before the real killer does away with The Innocent Witness


Book two in the series:

The Secret Heiress

~Protection Specialists~ 1/2012

www.loveinspiredauthors.com

terrireed@sterling.net


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Monday, June 6, 2011

A Graduating Mom



Hello all! Dana Corbit here. I thought you might like to congratulate me because I graduated over the weekend. Well, it was our daughter, our firstborn, who actually donned the cap and gown and walked during the ceremony, but as her mom, I can tell you I graduated, too. She marched out as a high school graduate, and I emerged, a little worse and more tear-stained for the wear, as the mother of a high school graduate. A parent of an adult.



I know this is supposed to be a proud moment, one of those points where parents can look on with pride in realizing that the children they led through riding toys and two wheelers is ready to pull out of the driveway, equipped with all of the roadmaps and owner's manuals they've provided them. But I have to admit that in my gut, all I felt was this overwhelming need to cling. I wanted to pull her tight and tell her stories the way I did when she was that toddler, always wise beyond her years. I wanted to beg for more time to get to know her though I once thought I knew her better than anyone. She turned that tassle, and I knew in my heart our lives would never be the same. I hear that it gets easier with each child, but I know myself and am fully prepared to have two more little heartbreaks when her sisters make that march to their futures.



Okay, I admit it. Letting go is going to be so much harder than I thought, and I always thought it would be a killer. Parenting has been one of the most exciting, most exhausting, most rewarding and most frustrating things I've ever done. I thank God for the opportunity and the responsibility He gave us in entrusting us with these three little girls.



In most life moments I like to find appropriate Bible quotes to express the sentiment, but in my maudlin state today, I feel like quoting the great Dr. Seuss from "Oh the Places You'll Go!" "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. ...You are the guy (or gal) who'll decide where to go." Whether I'm ready to let go or not, I pray her journey will be a great one, and I'm sure God has great plans for the graduate's mom as well.




 

Writing Christian Fiction



Hi, Renee Ryan here. Even though I consider myself a conservative evangelical Christian, I sold my first manuscript to the secular market. At the time, I didn’t see a contradiction in my faith versus my career. I was proud of the fact that I was following Jesus’ command to “go out and make disciples of all nations.”




That first sale brought lots of validation. All my hard work had finally paid off. I’d arrived. I was doing something important. I was God’s vessel. I was woefully misleading myself.



Within months of that first book hitting the shelves I was released by my publisher. Enter a very long, very frustrating dry spell. For months I rationalized why I couldn’t make another book sale. It was everyone else’s fault, of course. Westerns were dead, the market was shrinking and, my favorite reason, the editors didn’t like people with the first name Renee.



Long story short, the pursuit of publishing my second novel became my obsession, maybe even my idol. Something had to change. So I started working on my relationship with the Lord, something I had let lag to a dangerous level of indifference. I began studying the Word on a deeper level and turning to God for answers, rather than myself.




It was around this same time that I decided, hey, if I was going to collect rejections I might as well swing for the fences and stop playing it safe. The resulting book was my first attempt at writing Inspirational romance. By the time I wrote “the end” I’d found my home. Writing isn’t any easier, but knowing that I’m the quill and the Lord is the Great Author brings unspeakable joy (and peace).




So what’s the point in all this? Simple. Swing for the fences in everything you do, never play it safe and always put the Lord first. The rest will work itself out in time.

 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Memories—by Leann Harris



I loved Janet’s blog on Memorial Day. I was going to blog on a different topic, but her thoughts sent me in a different direction. My last book and the book out next April are about Iraq veterans and the scars they bring back when they come home. Their experiences are unique and they are in an elite group of men and women who were in war. They share a bond than those of us who haven’t served cannot share. But our love and support can be there.

This last summer, my husband and I went to Hawaii. We stayed with my daughter’s in-laws. They took us to Punch Bowl, where many veterans are buried from WWII to today. It is a humbling place. I could only stand there and give thanks for all the men and women who served this country. And the young people who gave their lives. You are remembered.

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weather

Merrillee here, who is enjoying some very nice weather--perfect for going to the beach near my home. I feel fortunate that the weather has been so wonderful for the folks who were here for this past holiday weekend. Although sunny skies and rainless days are great for beaching going, golfing and tennis, it also means a greater chance of fire. Fires are burning in several places along I-95 in Florida. We need rain very badly.



Other people in the US are getting too much rain and are dealing with horrendous floods, and others are dealing with tornadoes.





Everyone talks about the weather even though we can do very little about it. An important weather event starts today--the beginning of hurricane season for those of us who live in the coastal areas of the United States. Every year it is a guessing game as to what the hurricane season will bring. We get our hurricane readiness supplies and hope for the best. Several years ago we purchased hurricane shutters for our house. Thankfully, we haven't had to use them. If a hurricane is expected to make landfall where we live, we will be required to evacuate. That means we will have to take our most important possessions with us and leave our home behind and pray that it will still be there when we come back.

In several of my books, my characters have had to deal with problematic weather. In FOUR LITTLE BLESSINGS, my hero and heroine have to evacuate because of a hurricane. In MOMMY'S HOMETOWN HERO, the farm where my hero lives is hit by a tornado. In HOMETOWN PROMISE, the hero and heroine have to dig out after a blizzard, and in my upcoming January 2012 book, MONTANA MATCH, my characters also have to deal with a blizzard.

What kind of weather affects the area where you live? Have you ever had to deal with a weather related disaster? If so, please tell us about it.

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