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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is it Done Yet? by Marta Perry

How do we know when a manuscript is done? Is it like soup--that wonderful moment when all the flavors are blended to perfection and nothing is under-or-over-done? I just wish I had the answer to this one!

I tend to tell myself a manuscript is finished when I finally hit Send and off it goes to the editor. I've had that lovely feeling twice in the past two weeks: last week my novella for an Amish Suspense anthology for Love Inspired Suspense went out; and yesterday I hit Send on the second book in my current Amish Suspense series for HQN Books, Search the Dark. Joy! Celebration! A piece of chocolate!

Unfortunately, reality hits too soon. I will barely have gotten back to the WIP and engrossed myself in its world when revisions from the editors will arrive. By then, having divorced myself from those projects and fallen totally in love with the new one, I'll have to drag myself kicking and screaming to revisit them. I thought this story was done! Didn't I give it my all? It's time to walk around the house muttering to myself for an hour or a day, letting my whiny inner child have her say. As one of my grandkids is prone to say about homework when she wants to go out and play, "Isn't it good enough?"

I must confess, though, that once I regain my perspective it can be inspiring to see my precious  darling through the eyes of the editor. All those little loose ends and repetitions are dragged out into the light and must be dealt with. This should be strengthened, that should be trimmed. And suddenly I'm enthusiastic about the story again as I see how much better and stronger it can be.

So no, it isn't good enough, not yet. Non-writers are sometimes amazed at how collaborative a work of fiction is, even when only one name is on the cover. There's the agent, who helped to shape the original series concept; the editor, who contributed suggestions at the proposal stage and the revision stage; the writer friends, who offer support and cyber-chocolate as needed; and the author, alone with her computer but knowing help, advice, and support are only an e-mail away.

What about you? Whether you produce books or quilts, what do you feel when you finally say, "It's done!"?


 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book giveaway - NARROW ESCAPE by Camy Tang

This week I'm giving away five copies of my Love Inspired Suspense novel, Narrow Escape:

KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT

Arissa Tiong and her three-year-old niece are snatched off the street by members of a notorious drug gang. Having lost her police officer brother to a drug bust gone bad, Arissa knows the danger she's in. But she has no idea why they want her. Desperate to protect the little girl, Arissa escapes and runs straight to Nathan Fischer. She knows the handsome, weary former narcotics cop hasn't told her everything about the night that ended her brother's life and Nathan's career. But he's all that stands between her and dangerous thugs who are after something she doesn't even know she has.

Excerpt of chapter one:

Arissa Tiong awoke to darkness and the stench of fear. Pain throbbed from a sharp point at the back of her head and radiated forward to pound against the backs of her eyeballs. She drew in a ragged breath and swallowed dust. She stifled a cough against the scratchy nubs of the frilly carpet she lay on.

Where was she? She tried to move and realized her stiff arms were fastened behind her back, and her ankles were tied together. She attempted to straighten her legs and found her feet were tethered to something. She was bound like an animal.

And Charity. Where was Charity? Her heart began to speed up, and each beat felt like a hammer blow to her breastbone. Her entire body ached.

The dim room narrowed into focus before her swimming vision. Slivers of light came from a boarded-up window. Daylight, it was still daytime. They'd taken her sometime in the morning, and she didn't feel she'd been out for that long, so it must have only been a few hours. The rays spilled onto a rusty metal bed frame that held a thin, sagging mattress with no sheets and several dark stains. Her mind shied away from what made those stains.

The smell of mold was almost overpowering, and dust had settled on the thin carpet, pooling in holes and rips across the surface. The walls had dark water stains painted over older water stains.

She didn't realize there was a ringing in her ears until it started to fade and she could hear noises from outside the room. The sharp hard cries of street kids playing a pickup game in the middle of a road. She made out a word or two here or there. The kids spoke in Tagalog. She was still in Los Angeles, maybe still in the Filipino community where she lived. She hadn't seen the faces of the men who had nabbed her off the street, but if she remained in her neighborhood, they hadn't taken her far.

What had they done with Charity? Her last memory had been seeing the three-year-old's huge dark eyes, her mouth wide open, screaming and reaching for her as Arissa was hauled backward into a van. Had the men left Charity on the street? A three-year-old girl alone on the streets of L.A.? A cold knife blade slid under her rib cage and pricked her heart.

And why had they taken Arissa? She was only an international flight attendant. Her parents owned a tiny grocery store in a low-income Filipino community that barely earned enough to feed and house the four of them in the minuscule apartment above the store. They had nothing anyone would want.

The men must have taken her by mistake, and when they realized it, they'd kill her.

She closed her eyes. No, she had to see if she could get out of here. She would get out of here.

Arissa tugged at her hands behind her back. It felt like tape wrapped around her wrists. She twisted her arms, arched her back. Agony jabbed from her right shoulder—she must have injured it or fallen on it at some point. She gritted her teeth against the pain and pulled down her arms, getting them under her rear end.

She folded her body in half as she scooted her bound hands along the back of her legs toward her feet. Rope secured her crossed ankles, and a line ran into a tiny closet and fastened to the head of a large nail sticking out of the closet wall.

She reached down to see if she could untie her ankles even though her wrists were bound, but the line gave her a better idea. She sat up and drew her legs closer, pulling the rope taut. She set the edge of the duct tape around her wrists against the rope and started sawing back and forth.

It took forever, but soon the rope cut through and created a tear in the layers of duct tape. Then it was easier to saw through the rest and free her hands, ignoring the blood that trickled down the creases in her wrists from the tape and the friction from the rope.

She was about to untie her ankles when boot steps sounded outside the closed door, coming closer. A child's sobbing approached with the steps.

Charity. They had her niece. Arissa wasn't sure whether to feel relieved or terrified.

She dropped back down to the carpet, tucking her hands behind her back again. Hopefully the men wouldn't realize the tape was gone. She settled into the same position she'd been in when she awoke, and shut her eyes.

The metal doorknob rattled as someone unlocked it, then two different footfalls sounded against the carpet—one lighter than the other, but neither were the steps of a child. One of them must have been carrying Charity, whose soft crying erupted into a wail as she saw Arissa on the floor.

"Let her go," growled a man's voice in Tagalog.

Now she could hear Charity's footsteps, followed by tiny hands that wrapped around Arissa's head and neck. "Aunty Rissa," Charity sobbed. "Wake up, wake up. Why won't you wake up?"

It took every ounce of willpower not to throw her arms around the small trembling body. Arissa kept her eyes shut. Thankfully, Charity's body shielded her face from the two kidnappers.

"Now be quiet," said a second voice in Tagalog, sharper than the other and slightly higher pitched. They were both men, both Filipino.

Charity gave a startled cry of fear, but then her sobs softened and she buried her face in Arissa's hair.

"See, I told you it would make her be quiet," said the sharp voice. The men walked out of the room. "Why'd you bring her, anyway?"

"It would have been better to leave her crying and screaming in the middle of the street?"

He was one of the men who'd grabbed them, then.

"All this trouble," the deeper voice groused. "If Mark hadn't gotten shot.." The door closed behind him and metal scraped as they locked it again.

Mark? Arissa's brother, Mark? But he'd been killed in the line of duty over three years ago. Why would these men care about his death and kidnap Arissa now?

And would they go after her parents, too, now that they had Arissa and Charity?

She reached out to gather Charity close to her, and the little girl gave a surprised noise. "Shh, shh. We have to be quiet or they'll come back."

"Why did they take us, Aunty Rissa?" Fresh tears trickled down Arissa's neck.

"I don't know. But we have to get out of here, okay?"

The little head nodded against her ear.

Arissa sat up and worked on the rope tying her legs together. It had been knotted tightly but inexpertly. She tore a fingernail trying to loosen the first knot, but after that she was able to undo the other knots quickly.

The window had been boarded up with plywood so that only slits of light shone through, but as she leaned closer, Arissa could see that the drywall securing the boards was brittle and crumbling. She yanked at a plywood board that she was fairly certain hadn't been nailed into a wall stud, and the bottom edge pulled away easily, with white dry-wall flakes drifting into the dingy carpet. She tried the top of the board, and it drew free.

So that's why the window had been boarded up—cracks splintered out from the glass, radiating from a small hole. A bullet hole. She glanced behind her into the room, and saw a corresponding hole high in the wall next to the closet door.

She shuddered. Growing up in her area of L.A., she'd gotten used to hearing gunshots every night, but she never got used to seeing the damage to buildings, to people.

She tore away as many of the boards from the window as she could and set them quietly on the floor. Outside, the kids playing in the street had moved on, and the empty road echoed with the whisper of cars driving elsewhere nearby. It seemed to drowse in the bright sunlight as drug dealers slept off a busy night and nosy neighbors watched reality TV shows.

There was also nowhere to hide. The street ran in a straight shot in either direction. These small, old houses had postage-stamp front lawns and broken metal fences around the better ones. Only an occasional scraggly tree or decrepit bush. If she ran with Charity, they'd be spotted down the street in an instant. How long could she run with a three-year-old girl in her arms?

What had Mark always said to her? "Distraction evens the odds."

She scanned the room, easier now that it was brighter, and stepped into the empty closet to look up. A square in the gray asbestos-snowlike ceiling pointed to an entry to the attic crawl space.

She used a board to nudge up the panel and slowly, quietly shift it aside to clear the opening. She wasn't tall enough to get to it easily, or to check that it was safe. She'd have to trust there wasn't anything dangerous in there.

Arissa picked up Charity and whispered in her ear, "You have to be brave for me, nene. Can you do that?"

The girl hesitated before nodding slowly. She wasn't her father's daughter for nothing.

"I need you to climb up there and be very, very quiet," Arissa said.

"In the dark?" she whispered, her breath coming faster.

"It's not so dark, see?" Arissa stood under the hole and could see faint rays of sunlight coming through a crack in the roof, illuminating the crawl space. "If you stay very quiet, we can get away from the bad men. Okay?"

Charity took a quick breath. "Okay."

Arissa lifted up the girl and she scrambled into the hole. She pushed at her niece's round bottom, covered in her favorite pink stretch pants, to get her over the edge into the attic. There was a soft shuffling, then Charity's large dark eyes stared down at her from the edge of the hole.

"Stand back," Arissa whispered, "and don't make a sound."

Arissa took the longest of the plywood boards and slid it under the flimsy doorknob, propping the other end of the board against the floor. It wouldn't hold them long, but she only needed a few extra seconds.

She grabbed the heaviest of the other boards and took a deep breath, then swung it against the window glass with all her might.

The impact jarred her arms and shoulders and the sound of shattering glass rang in her ears, making them ache. She hit at the shards of glass left in the window, knocking them loose and shoving them outside. She glanced down and around the outside of the house, spying some dented metal trash cans a few feet to the side of the window. In order to make even more noise, she threw the board at them, knocking one down and making the other rattle ominously against the peeling paint of the house.

Men's voices sounded outside the bedroom door, and the knob rattled. The door stuck against the board wedged there.

She ran toward the closet and took a flying leap at the hole in the ceiling just as the men began shouldering at the barricaded door with thundering blows. She grabbed at the edge and swung an elbow over with her momentum, then hauled herself up as quickly and quietly as she could. Thank goodness for the hours she spent at the gym in between her flight assignments. She drew in her legs and laid the panel back over the hole just as the men crashed through the door to the bedroom.

"They're gone!" The voice came from the direction of the window.

"Don't just stand there, we have to get them back."

Footsteps raced out of the bedroom, leaving the house. There was a sound of a slamming door, then all was silent.

She waited a few seconds, straining to hear if there was a third man left in the house, but she didn't hear anything, not even the sound of a television or radio. She pushed aside the panel and dropped down. Reaching up her arms for Charity, the girl obediently dangled her legs over the edge, then slid into her aunt's arms.

She stepped through the splintered bedroom door, walking noiselessly into a small hallway. It opened into a dusty living room, with the open front door at one side and a kitchen door at the other. Arissa headed toward the back of the house.

There was a narrow kitchen door with a cobwebby glass panel. Thankfully it wasn't locked. She opened it and let them into an overgrown backyard, strewn with rusting car parts and various pieces of trash. She carefully closed the door behind her, then made for the sagging back fence, which had several loose slats of wood. She wriggled through one of them, followed by Charity.

Then she picked up her niece and ran.

Nathan Fischer opened the front door and saw his dead partner's eyes staring solemnly up at him.

It took him a moment to realize Mark's eyes were in the face of a three-year-old girl, her dark brown curls blowing about her round cheeks in the crisp Sonoma breeze. Then Nathan's gaze shifted to the young woman standing behind the little girl. The foyer tiles under his feet tilted sideways before righting themselves.

Arissa.

She had lost weight. Her high cheekbones stood out more, and her collarbone peeked from the wide-necked blouse she wore. It was her favorite color, a dusky rose that matched her lips. Her eyes bore into his, wide and intent.

"I'm sorry to drop in on you like this, Nathan, but I need your help." Her voice was the same as he remembered it—low, musical, her words carefully enunciated in a way that hinted at a Filipino accent, although she'd been born in the U.S.

"My help?" he heard himself repeat idiotically. Maybe because he was exhausted—he'd pulled a double shift, taking over for one of the other security officers at Glencove Towers whose wife had gone into labor.

Arissa cast a nervous glance around the neighborhood. The gathering darkness had cast the other bungalow-style homes into shadows, but this was a safe, quiet street in downtown Sonoma—there were no monsters here. Something had spooked her badly.

Especially if she'd come to him, after the last words he'd spoken to her three years ago.

"Come in." Nathan stood aside and opened the door wider. The little girl caught his attention again. So Arissa had had a child? The girl seemed tall for her age. So much had happened since he'd last seen Arissa.

She stepped into the foyer of Nathan's parents' home and he closed the door behind her, the light from the hallway lamp casting a glow across her almond-milk-colored skin. He caught a thread of rain and roses, and her familiar scent made him have a flashing urge to give her a peck on the cheek, to say, "Hi, honey, how was work?"

He exhaled a sharp breath to dispel the vision. It was the little girl causing this in him, the reminder that he had once had deeper feelings for this woman, had once wanted to have a family with her. The little girl had fooled him into thinking his dream had come true.

His dream would never come true. Certainly not with this woman, and now, not with any woman.


Here’s how you enter:

1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at http://www.camytang.com/. Please know that when you sign up, you will get an email asking you to click a link to confirm your subscription. If you don’t get that email or if you don’t click the link, you won’t be subscribed to my newsletter and you won't get this extra entry. If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know!

2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CamyTangAuthor. If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know!

3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49078. If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know!

4) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] camytang dot com with the person’s email address (new newsletter sign-ups only).

5) In the comments section of this blog post, let me know if you joined/already belong to my email newsletter, Facebook page and Goodreads group. Also please list the email address you used to sign up for my newsletter (please use this format--you [at] yourmail.com--or something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address) OR if you're not comfortable posting your email, just email me at camy {at] camytang dot com with your entry, and please put "Love Inspired blog contest" in the subject line.

I always email the winner and give him/her a week to reply, but if I don’t receive an answer, I will pull another person to win the book. It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me. I am not responsible for a lost opportunity if you misspelled your email address, are on vacation, or leave an email address you don’t check frequently.

I’ll pick a winner on February 5th, 2013. The winner can expect his/her free book in 4-6 weeks.

Sorry, I’m limiting this to the US and Canada only because it’s too expensive for me to ship books internationally. Sorry, no ebook copy winners for this one because I'm giving away specific physical books.


Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. The fourth book in her Sonoma series, Narrow Escape, released January 2013. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Allie Pleiter on getting s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y


Someone recently asked me if I thought there was a theme to all my writing.  A common message that runs through all my books.  Now, I try hard not to overanalyze my work for fear that the Talent Fairy will come snatch all my muse away once I’m on to her (not exactly true, but I do try not to analyze).  Still, when I took a look at my books, the through line is precisely what my tagline says:  “The adventure starts right where you are.”

I believe this to be true.  I believe each of us is capable of far more than we realize.  I believe God places great--and small--adventures in our paths every day if we would only choose to launch them.  As the saying goes, God needs neither strength nor skill, only will.

My next book Family Lessons is no different.  In April you’ll meet the tiny, tenacious town of Evans Grove Nebraska, and the orphans stranded there who change the town forever.  You’ll meet a short, spunky teacher named Holly who steps up to the challenge God lays before her.  And you’ll meet Mason, the lonely lawman who lets Holly into his life.  Of course, Holly and Mason have to go through a whole lot of strife and drama.  I love my characters to get their happy endings, but I sure make them work hard to get there.

Even though I make my living in “happy endings,” the raging optimist in me loves beginnings.  January, Monday, casting on a new knitting project, Chapter 1--all those starts and launches get my juices going.  I have big plans for 2013, including some goals that make me more than a little bit nervous.   I’ll be writing more books than ever in 2013, starting college plans for my son, launching my daughter into her senior year in college, accepting the Presidency of my local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter, and a bunch of other s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y challenges. Those, after all, are some of the best kind you can have.  The kind where God has to show up or you’re sunk--those are the growing places for our faith.

So what about you? What adventures is God laying at your feet?  Where do you think you’ll stretch this year?

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wishing you 'glee'

Hi, Charlotte Carter here. What gives you ‘glee?’

Holly Jacobs  writes charming tales of romance and love for Harlequin SuperRomance and Montlake. She is the most optimistic person I know. She finds ‘glee’ everywhere: her grandson’s smile (he is adorable), a new sink for her kitchen, walking in the snow. Everything is a joy to her.

I find it easy to name some relatively obvious things I enjoy: starting a new book, sitting in a quiet pine forest and reading a book, sunsets (sunrises not so much), giving a workshop and having people laugh, watching a cat play. (I’m lobbying my husband to get a new kitty since ours passed away last summer.)



Identifying the little things that give me ‘glee’ is harder and took longer. The leaves of an Evergreen Ash tree covering our backyard and the irony that it’s not ever green at all.


A pair of redtail squirrels playing with abandon in our backyard. A box of Sees candy, especially if there are chocolate covered cherries included. Seeing my 12-year-old grandson make a basket for his team. Watching winter-brown vacant lots in Southern California turn green after a rainfall. The swoop of pigeons from one perch to another at the local park. Contrails across a blue sky turned pink in the setting sun. A toddler smiling at me from his mother’s grocery cart.

The last rose of winter.



I want to be like Holly with all of her enthusiasm for life. In 2013, I’m going to work harder to see the ‘glee’ that’s in my life and cherish those moments.

How about you? Where do you find glee?

Happy reading......
Char....

www.CharlotteCarter.com

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Monday, January 21, 2013

A Penny For Your Thoughts.

Pat Davids wishing everyone a happy 2013.
(I posted this blog on my writer's group blog a few weeks ago, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to repeat it here.)

This time of year is filled with renewed hopes and dreams for a better year, for ourselves and for others. We even swear in a new President today. Resolutions are made, and for the most part, not kept. I know. I do it every January. Weigh less, spend less, save more, exercise more, and write more. Some of those resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. Some already have. Mom, that peach pie was awesome.

This year, I wanted to start the New Year, not with a list of resolutions, but by asking you a few questions. They are tough ones. Are you ready?

# 1. What is your value?

Not what do you value, but what is your value? Think about it. Are you valuable because you are the breadwinner? A grandmother? A homemaker? The better half? An awesome friend? What makes you a valuable person? Are you an efficient worker? Do you have empathy for others? Are you a problem solver? God has given every life valuable. You are valuable. Look inside and see if you can give a voice to that value.

# 2. What is your strength?
What is the most indelible part of you? What makes you tick? It can be more than one thing. Perhaps it's your faith. Maybe it's your children or your husband. Perhaps it is your ability to care for others. Perhaps your strength lies in teaching, fixing things or in the belief that what you do matters. Search your heart. What makes you strong?

Did you think the questions would get easier? They don't.

# 3. What do you enjoy?

Think about this carefully. What do YOU enjoy? Just you. Quiet time or going out with friends?Family time? Traveling? Serving others? The New Year will be dull and lifeless if you don't make time for what you enjoy. Pick a date and mark your calendar for some YOU time this year.

# 4 What is your passion?

Now that you have focused on what you enjoy, pick out your passion. It's the one thing you love above all else. It can't be family. That's a given for most parents. This is about you. You are not just a parent or a spouse. You have a core that goes much deeper. What would you want to do, or to be, if every distraction was removed from your life?

A side note about passions. They change, evolve, migrate, and even disappear completely. What you were passionate about when you are 20 can be a lot different from what you are passionate about when you reach 60. And that's okay. Live in today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. What are you passionate about today?

As romance writers, many of us will say our passion lies in writing romance, but does it really. Are you passionate about weaving a spellbinding story from a simple idea? Taking that word count from 0 to 20,000, 60,000 or 100,000? Or, are you passionate about getting lost in a breathtaking story that someone else served you whole and unblemished and makes you sigh when it's done? We can love books and romance without writing it. We can love horses and cowboys without getting manure on our shoes, too. When you uncover your passion, you won't care what you have to step in to achieve it.

Last question.
# 5. What is your weakness?

What keeps you from following your passion? What holds you back from accepting your full value? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? Over commitment? It can't be family, or your crappy job, or anything outside of you. This is about you. This is about finding out what makes you tick. To know and understand youself is the key to finding inner peace and happiness and to follow the path God has chosen for you.

When you have your answers to my questions boiled down to their most simple elements, you may share them here, or not, but write them down somewhere. Then you will have a place to start making the coming year a more productive and a happier one. You will see your value. You can make time for what you enjoy. You will know your strengths. You will find your passion, and you will understand what is holding you back. From there, you can go forward with a clearer picture of who you are and what you need in order to accomplish the things you want to get done.
Blessing to all.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 - Here I Come!!!

Jenna Mindel here, and super excited about this year!  Ever watch Sienfeld?  Remember the episode where George Costanza gets a severance package from his job with the Yankees? Anyway, George declares the upcoming summer as The Summer of George.  And he does stuff he's always wanted to try like Frolf - Frisbee/Golf.

Well, I'm declaring 2013 as my year and there's a host of exciting things on the horizon. One of them is my Love Inspired June release titled Courting Hope.   I'm thrilled to revisit the Marsh family who live in Northern Michigan Cherry Growing Country.  In Courting Hope,  Sinclair Marsh comes home to make amends and gets way more than he bargained from childhood bud, Hope Petersen.  

I don't have a cover yet, so stay tuned for future posts! Or check my webpage at www.jennamindel.com

Another exciting event that's right around the corner is our little rat terrier, Peanut is having puppies.  Here's a picture of me with Peanut and our beagle, Lana, from last winter.  I'll have more to share about the puppies on next month's blog!

And so, what are you excited about or looking forward to this year? 

 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Be It Resolved That. . .

Susan Sleeman here, wishing all of you a Happy New Year. I’m not a person who usually makes New Year’s resolutions. I’ve spent too many years setting unreasonable expectations then breaking them and feeling bad for doing so. But this year something, perhaps it’s God, has been telling me it’s time to make a few changes in my life. So as 2013 rolled around, I took a long look at what I wanted to change.

The old me would’ve instantly chosen the typical New Year’s resolutions of weight loss or exercise. But I’ve already been eating healthier and working toward being more physically active for the last six months, which has resulted in weight loss. Yay! So I had to dig deeper and look harder and that led to a time of great soul searching and prayer.

Resolving to change in the upcoming year is basically the same process characters go through in a book. As the story opens, the character is faced with a dilemma that will change their lives. They may not know it yet, but after the author puts enough obstacles in the character’s path, they realize how important change is to them and they take the steps to make the change. The obstacles in romantic suspense books are often high, and I personally love to make them life-threatening.

Nothing better than almost losing your life to put your priorities in place. For example, in Dead Wrong, my latest release, Kat Justice has lost her birth parents and her adoptive parents. So she worries about losing other people she loves and does everything she can to make sure they come to no harm. Plus she refuses to open her heart to another person for fear of losing them. I won't tell you what causes her to change as it would be a spoiler, but by the end of the book she learns that loving someone is more important than not loving because of fear of losing them.

Though I make my characters experience life and death, I’m so thankful choosing my resolutions didn’t involve a life-threatening situation. So what about you? Did you make a resolution? If so how are you doing with it?

Susan Sleeman SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. Her first romantic suspense title, High-Stakes Inheritance earned a spot on the ECPA bestseller list and her Garden Gate Mystery series, which features Nipped in the Bud, and Read Between the Tines has enjoyed time on Amazon bestseller lists as well. And The Christmas Witness was named a finalist in the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.
Much to her husband's chagrin, Susan loves to look at everyday situations and turn them into murder and mayhem scenarios for future novels. If you've met Susan, she has probably figured out a plausible way to kill you and get away with it. Don't worry, she'd never follow through on it.
In addition to writing, Susan hosts the popular internet website www.TheSuspenseZone.com.
She currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.
To connect with Susan outside her– Website
Visit any of these social media sites-

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Leigh Bale discusses lions and tigers and...salmon???

Yes, I want to talk about salmon today. It makes very good eating, but we don't always think about where our dinner came from. We sometimes hear about endangered species. The lions on the Serengeti, grizzly bears in Wyoming, various birds and reptiles. But we rarely discuss something as boring as...fish. Specifically, salmon. In my new book titled FALLING FOR THE FOREST RANGER, both the hero and heroine are fighting to repair the damage done by mankind to the rivers and streams in Northern Idaho. Their work methods differ, but their goals are the same. As they try to repair the earth, they are able to heal their own broken hearts.
 
During his career as a forest ranger, my own father played a great part in trying to help this endangered species and served as my consultant on this book. It was a joy to write.
 
I hope you enjoy reading FALLING FOR THE FOREST RANGER and I invite you to visit my website at www.LeighBale.com to learn more about my books.
 
Best wishes for a prosperous New Year!
 
Leigh Bale
Falling for the Forest Ranger – Now available
Healing the Forest Ranger – Available May 2013
 
 

 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Things First

Debby Giusti here!

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, I cleaned my office. It took all day, but I wanted to start 2013 with everything neat and tidy.

I finished a book and emailed it to my editor on December 28 so I'm getting ready to begin a new story.

A new year, a new story, a clean office!

Now I can get back to work.

Did you do something special to get ready for the new year?

BTW, everyone's talking about their One Word for the year. Mine is BELIEVE!

Do you have a One Word?

Wishing you abundant blessings in 2013!
Debby Giusti
www.DebbyGiusti.com
www.seekerville.blogspot.com

THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY, the fourth book in Debby's Military Investigations series, is out this month...


THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY

By Debby Giusti

Trusting the Wrong Person Can Be Deadly...

Lillie Beaumont's dark past has just turned up on her porch--fatally wounded. The dying words of the man imprisoned for killing Lillie's mother suggest hidden secrets. Criminal Investigations Division special agent Dawson Timmons agrees. He has his own motive for seeking the truth, and it gives Lillie every reason to doubt him. But even as they reluctantly begin to face painful secrets together, Dawson fears that a murderer is waiting to strike again. And this time, Lillie is right in the line of fire...



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