Monday, June 30, 2014

Camy's Sonoma fictional family tree

Camy here! The second Inspy Kisses anthology collection, Sealed with a Kiss, centers around the theme of love letters. It includes my novel, Unshakeable Pursuit, a story in my Sonoma romantic suspense series.

For this novella, however, I was able to branch out and bring a new family into Sonoma, the Whelans. They’re second cousins to the Grant sisters from the first 3 books in my Sonoma series, Deadly Intent, Formula for Danger, and Stalker in the Shadows. They’re also cousins to Jane, who’s in my novella Necessary Proof.

It was rather confusing to come up with the family tree! I used the app Scapple to create a pictorial family tree so I could keep all the families right. The way I have it set up, the Whelan siblings’ mom, Emma Whelan, is sister to Jane Lawton’s mom, Eleanor Lawton. The Grant sisters’ mom and her sister, Aunt Becca, were first cousins to Emma Whelan and Eleanor Lawton.

I thought it might be fun for you guys to see my created family tree, so here it is! I could only fit part of it on my screen shot. The stuff on the left side that got cut off is Aunt Becca’s relations who were only mentioned briefly in Narrow Escape (the cousin who owned the cabin in the woods).

Click on the family tree to see the larger version:

Sealed with a Kiss ebook is only 99 cents for a limited time! Preorder your copy today!

PREORDER print book:

Kindle (link coming soon)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pinterest anyone?

Terri Reed here totally confused as I try to learn another social media site.  This time Pinterest.
I signed up for an account.  That's progress, right?
My daughter is a huge Pinterest fan so she's promised to teach me how to use the site. I hope it will help me keep track of photos for my books.  Are you on Pinterest? What are the ways you use Pinterest? Do you like to see the visual aides a writer uses in the writing process? Any advice you can give a newbie?
Curious minds (okay my curious mind) wants to know?

There's still time to pick up your copy of the last book in the Witness Protection series.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Writers To-do List

Pamela Tracy here, and I'm a writer.

I'm also a teacher, mother, wife, reader, go to churcher.

Sometimes those other things get in the way of being a writer.

So, I become a list maker.  I have a book due on the 30th, and actually, it's coming along very nicely.  It's because of my Writer's To-do List.

Want to see my Saturday and Sunday to-do list?

Here it is (btw, the numbers are word count.  I'm writing in 500 word spurts)


Reorganize game shelf in play room (I cleaned this room while my son was in camp last week)
43,500 -44,000
Do laundry (load out, load in, fold put away)
44 -44,500
Take back overdue library books, mail contest win, pick up medicine at pharmacy, eat lunch
Go to signing at Poison Pen bookstore (Opps, missed this one)
Mop kitchen floor (who dropped the box of Otterpops so that all the bottom ones broke open and now there's sticky stuff on the floor.  Huh?  It was me)
Make Dinner
Visit with neighbor
Convince son that the showers he took last week at camp don't mean he doesn't have to shower this week.
Watch a Harry Potter movie for the sixth time (remind son to close eyes during all snake parts)
Put son to bed, lay with him and talk, go to bed.  

Clean out pot and pan cabinet (It's getting ridiculous.  Who bought all these pots and pans anyway?  And why do I have lids that don't belong to pots?  A red lid!  Really?  No red pots. Arg)
Sweep porch
Write LI blog

Hey, I'm doing good.

Do you have a to-do list?  Do you write it or just keep it in your head?

 What Janie Saw
  May 2014
Available at eHarlequin

Friday, June 20, 2014

A new Inspy Kisses anthology, SEALED WITH A KISS

I'm super excited to announce that a new Inspy Kisses anthology will be coming out in July!

The second Inspy Kisses anthology collection, Sealed with a Kiss, centers around the theme of love letters. It includes my novel, Unshakeable Pursuit, a story in my Sonoma romantic suspense series.

A new anthology from some of your favorite inspirational authors--no reprints here!

Enjoy this collection of love stories with a theme of LOVE LETTERS. The Sealed with a Kiss collection includes:

From USA TODAY and Publisher's Weekly Bestselling Author Janet Tronstad comes a new historical romance, Mail-Order Sunshine Bride
When mail-order bride, Eleanor O’Reilly, arrives in the Montana Territory the only one on the railway platform to greet her is a dangerous-looking man who claims to be the sheriff. Where is her intended husband? Janet Tronstad delights readers with another of her popular mail-order bride stories.

From #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Margaret Daley comes a new romantic suspense, Deadly Intent
Texas Ranger Sarah Osborn is sent to investigate the kidnapping of a prize stallion from the Shamrock Ranch, owned by Ian O’Leary, an ex-FBI agent and Sarah’s high school sweetheart. Someone from Ian’s past has a grudge against him and intends to make him suffer. Can Sarah help Ian find who wants him dead?

From best-selling author Camy Tang comes a new romantic suspense, Unshakeable Pursuit
A mysterious young woman warns Dr. Geoffrey Whelan and nurse Maylin Kinley that they are in mortal danger, and then two Asian hit men attack them at the children’s clinic where they work. Geoffrey and Maylin run for their lives, determined to figure out who is after them and why. When they discover the threat is connected to a young teenager whose life they saved, they must race to stop the person who wants them dead—before everyone they care about are caught in the crossfire.

From fan favorite Lacy Williams comes a new contemporary romance, With Love, Cowboy
When the love of his life is injured in combat, Ryan Michaels promises himself he won't let any more time go by without declaring his love. Veteran Ashley Reynolds returns home a changed woman, but is she ready to see the truth about the cowboy she left behind?

** In Unshakeable Pursuit, those of you who have read Stalker in the Shadows will find out what happened to Monica and her Free Children's Clinic, and Liam, whom readers met in Narrow Escape, also makes an appearance. Look for Liam's story in Treacherous Intent, coming in December!

Order print book:
Will be up soon on Amazon

Kindle (link coming soon)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Understanding Hybrid Authors

Good morning from Gail Gaymer Martin at New words have grown out of the digital age, and one of those words is hybrid. You probably know that hybrid is a thing made by combining two different elements or a mixed character. Those of us writing fiction for traditional publishers and also self-publishing are hybrids.

Why do this? Being published traditionally and books are distributed to stores. Why select a publishing method that rarely gets into stores and depends upon Internet buyers for sales? Why pay for editing, cover design and formatting (or do it yourself) when it is free with traditional publishers along with receiving an advance on sales?

The positives for being a hybrid - An author:
1. Has the final say, writing stories he wants without changes to meet the needs of a publisher’s book line, genre or editors.
2. Can step outside his brand and write stories different from what is expected by his publisher and readers in terms of genre and story length.
3. Can design the cover and title his book without other’s doing it for him.
4. Keep his writer’s voice pure with no changes of word choices, sentence rhythm and symbolism.

The negatives - An author:
1. Foots the bill and pays for all that goes into the publishing of a novel, such as: editing, cover design, and printing and faces mistakes, wasted money, scams and issues without backing.
2. Receives no distribution or marketing other than what he does on his own or must pay for it.
3. Finds slow sales even when traditionally published with a good following.
4. Learns larger sales number even with a lower royalty rate earns more money than a hybrid
5.  An author learns “the buck stops here.” Mistakes,

So why do it? I became a hybrid first when my out of print book rights were returned. I thought of my novels fully written that didn’t fit the lines I wrote for. Some I loved and were, in my opinion, my best writing. I reworked the stories to my present quality of writing and used the opportunity to bring them to life. My first new novel, Treasures of Her Heart, a romantic mystery set in a Michigan tourist town, released this June, a novel with characters that had remained in my mind and heart.

Treasures of Her Heart
Nikki Townley a fashion-buyer, looking for a life with deeper meaning, leaves her career and moves to a small, tourist town in northern Michigan to assist her ailing great-aunt Winnie in running her floundering antique business. There she finds herself caught in a mystery searching for her aunt’s missing fortune, facing an investment company in pursuit of her aunt’s property, and hoping to save a long-distance romance with her faithful male friend Rob Moore, while struggling to escape her attraction to an exciting, smooth-talking womanizer. Can she overcome temptation, locate the missing fortune and find the truth to the treasures of her heart? Will Rob wait for Nikki to make up her mind?
Click here to read the first 2 chapters:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Allie Pleiter on Heroes


Some heroes are dashing, take charge men who need a woman with spine enough to show him he’s incomplete without an equal partner.  Other heroes are dark, brooding characters who need the love of a good woman to restore them to wholeness.  Many heroes are complex guys who fall somewhere in between.  The best heroes take character traits we know and love and give them a unique, creative twist—we wouldn’t love Indiana Jones half as much if he weren’t queasy about snakes, would we?

Me, I tend toward the dashing types.  James Bond, Indiana Jones, the larger than life heroes.  John Gallows from Homefront Hero was among my favorite of my dashing heroes, as was Matthew Covington from Masked by Moonlight or my upcoming hero Max Jones from August’s A Heart to Heal.  I love to take their bravado and crack it a bit until we see the loyal, loving man underneath all that high-visibility heroism.

I’ve written my share of brooding heroes, too, such as Clint Thornton in my current release The Lawman’s Oklahoma Sweetheart, Chad Owens in Falling for the Fireman, or Gil Sorrent from Bluegrass Hero.  I like peeling away their crusty shells until I find the soft center (wow—sounds rather culinary, doesn’t it?) that enables these men to love deeply.

Either way, a good hero is a joy to read—especially when he meets his match in a great heroine.

What about you?  Do you go for the dashing or the brooding hero?  Who have been some of your favorites from books or movies?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's in a Title?

Good morning! Jenna Mindel here, working on a new book and wondering about how titles grab the reader.  Or don't.  As an author, I try to convey the emotional aspect of each book I write through a title.  Sometimes my editors accept my working title from the get-go like with my first Love Inspired novel, Mending Fences.  And sometimes they don't.  When they don't, I have to come up with something else, typically putting together a list of possibilities that my editor and I then pick from.

I remember buying a book written by Jodi Thomas because the title grabbed me from the start. And I loved that book.  It was not her usual, either.  The Secrets of Rosa Lee - something about that title, and maybe the name Rosa Lee made me curious to read more. So, I did.  :)

As a reader, do certain titles attract your attention?  If so, why?  

Check out my growing list of titles (I thank the Good Lord for that!) at my website.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

To Read or Not to Read

Susan Sleeman here. I recently went on a camping trip with my family. We rented cute little cabins in an Oregon State Park on the Pacific Ocean.

In Oregon in June, you can usually expect rain, but the weather cooperated. No rain and each day was in the low 70's with beautiful sunshine once the morning clouds burned off. However . . .

If you go to an Oregon beach at any time of year it can be chilly. It's nothing like going to beaches on the east coast where it's warm and you want to plunge into the water to cool off. Where you settle back in the warm sunshine in your bathing suit. Where you can pull out a book and simply relax and read.

Well as you can see my reading experience was totally different from what I describe. I wore heavy fleece pants, a fleece hoodie under a jacket with a hood, all zipped up tight at my neck as I huddled under the heavy comforter. I shivered until my goosebumps had goosebumps. But still, I braved the elements. Why? To enjoy the beauty that God created. To spend time with my family. And of course, to read to a good book.

I'd do just about anything to be swept away in a good book. How about you? How far would you go to read a book?



Gina Evans knows her brother was murdered—even if the police won't believe her. After catching a quick glimpse of the evidence her brother had gathered, the same criminals are after her and her baby niece. And Gina's only hope is the man she left behind.

Despite the painful memories, private investigator Derrick Justice won't fail Gina and her baby. Yet now, the woman he never stopped loving and the baby he's come to adore are in a killer's crosshairs. But can Derrick trap the cold-blooded murderer before he strikes again?

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational and clean read romantic suspense books. Her first book, High-Stakes Inheritance was an ECPA bestseller. Award nominations include No Way Out and The Christmas Witness for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence. Plus Thread of Suspicion was named 2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best Book Award.

In addition to writing, Susan also hosts the popular website She currently lives in Oregon, but has lived in nine states. Her husband is a realtor and they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. . To connect with Susan outside of her – Website visit any of these social media sites-

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Allie Pleiter on Life Advice

I bought my daughter a copy of “I Just Graduated, Now What?” as we celebrated her college commencement last month.  These days, the media is filled with life advice for recent grads.  As my son will be donning the cap and gown for his high school graduation this weekend, it’s been on my mind.

My favorite version of this game is “What would you tell your younger self?”  So, in the spirit of graduates everywhere, here is my list of five things I would tell 18-year old Allie if I had the chance:

Ignore the statistics
While it’s good to know the likelihood of something, stats aren’t certainties.  I’ve spent a lifetime bucking the odds—for good or bad—and that’s been 90% of what made life interesting.  Like The Magic School Bus’s Miss Frizzle always said, “Rarely is a long, long, way from never!”

Life doesn’t work like high school or college
Life doesn’t hand out A’s for effort.  Output matters, so while you should embrace the process, get in the habit of focusing on the end game.  Also, what was popular and powerful in high school almost never is in real life.

Marry the nerd
The dreamy guy you think you want now probably won’t turn out to be a decent life partner.  The quiet, studious guy who takes some effort to get to know?  That’s the dependable husband and father that will bloom into a man of amazing character down the road.

Start somewhere
So much of success is digging your heels in and taking the first small step.  Often the plan we lay out at the beginning gets changed.  Almost everyone pays their dues and overnight successes never really are overnight.  A long career in the right direction wins over the hot shot to stardom every time.  Don't wait for the perfect dream job to land in your lap—get as close as you can and work really hard, and the rest will come.

You won’t always look this way
I was gawky in high school.  While I consider myself a well-polished woman now, I sure didn’t start out that way.  Style is something we grow into, confidence can only be earned (or occasionally borrowed).   Conversely, that slim figure I boasted as a young woman is pretty much long gone and while I could wear anything I wanted in my 20’s, now I dress to hide my flaws.  And buy a lot of concealer.

What about you? What advice would you give our high school or college self?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Spring Rains, Inspiration and a Giveaway

Hi y'all, Winnie Griggs here.

Recently I was procrastinating getting to my writing and looking for inspiration.  It had rained earlier that day so I got my camera out and decided to take a stroll around my yard and snap a few pictures.

I'm not a particularly talented photographer, but the point was not to take great pictures, but to observe my surroundings in new ways.

Today I thought I'd share with you some of the pictures I took that day.

This first one is of a wet leaf that had fallen onto my driveway.  I thought it was interesting, not only because of the sharp color contrast, but also because of the juxtaposition of the actual leaf with the imprints left by fallen leaves when the concrete was first poured.

This next one is of my magnolia tree.  It was the first time this spring I'd actually paused and noticed that there were blooms on the tree.  Aren't they lovely?

Just past my magnolia tree is the street that passes in front of my house.  When I glanced that way, I noticed a bird just standing there looking around.  I'm not really certain what kind this is but I thought it was very polite of him to hold still long enough for me to snap the picture.

Circling to the other side of the house, I saw this lone mushroom growing near a patch of clover.  Nothing really special about it except it caught my eye.

And here is a picture of an old stump hunkered down near the small creek that runs behind my house. It caught my eye as I remembered that its been holding its own there for many, many years and it never seems to change much.

I took many more pictures but these were the best of the lot.  And I will admit that by the time I went back inside my house I did feel refreshed, inspired and ready to write again.

So what about you.  Where do you go, or what do you do, when you're looking for a way to 'refill the well' or find fresh inspiration?


And since I have a new book out this month, I'm planning to give away a copy to one person who leaves a comment on this post today.

LONE STAR HEIRESS (Book 4 of the Texas Grooms series)

       Awarded a 4 ½ Star review from Romantic Times 

Rescuer Turned Husband? 

Plucky Ivy Feagan is headed to Turnabout, Texas, to claim an inheritance, not a widower's heart. That all changes when strapping schoolteacher Mitch Parker rescues her in the wilderness. Straightlaced Mitch has never met a woman like Ivy—beautiful, adventurous and good-hearted—but he already lost love once and doesn't dare try again. 

When Turnabout's gossips target Mitch and Ivy's friendship, he proposes to save her reputation. But Ivy doesn't want to marry for honor, and she doesn't need to marry for money. Ivy will only agree to a proposal made for love's sake—but will Mitch make his heart part of the marriage offer? 

Texas Grooms: In search of their brides…

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Good morning Terri Reed here.  I have a milestone birthday coming up.  The big 50.  Where did the time go? I can look back over my life and see the various milestones that bring a smile to my face.  Graduating from high school, meeting my future husband in an acting class, married said guy 26 years ago last week.  Living and exploring NYC, moving to Chicago and experiencing the coldest winter ever, then moving to Oregon and finding out I was pregnant with our first child.  I remember with clarity the moment my daughter was born. She came into the world with a mind of her own and has been a feisty whirlwind every moment since, I have enjoyed every second with her as she has grown into a beautiful, caring, productive young woman.  She'll be 21 this summer.  Then three years and ten months later my son was born. I remember seeing my husband speechless for the first time when he held our little boy.  My son just turned 17 a few weeks ago.  He's a marvel and joy. Quiet and reserved yet funny and talented. I can't wait to see what plans God has for him.
This seems to be the year for milestones for me.

What milestones are you celebrating?

I also have a book out today! Book #29.   My 30th book will be out in September and I'm working on book # 31 now.  Wow, I get a little overwhelmed when I think about that.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Exploring the Past

Good morning from Marta Perry! I've been thinking a lot lately about how we writers use elements of the past in our stories, and in particular in writing romantic suspense. There's a saying that goes: Old sins cast long shadows. That can be so valuable in creating a suspense story, because not only can you delve into the present mystery and danger, you can explore the roots of the crime which may lie buried in the past. Some of my favorite authors have used this element to add depth to their novels--especially the classic romantic suspense or Gothic novels I consumed when I was in high school, like Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt to name only two from a long list. (I should confess that I still have the yellowing, faded paperbacks and return to them from time to time to enjoy living those stories again.)

My June 24th release from HQN, Abandon the Dark, uses a crime that happened twenty years in the past as the catalyst for the danger that stalks the protagonist in the present day. Lainey Colton spent one perfect summer with her Amish great-aunt Rebecca before being whisked away by her mother to a life of constant change with never a place to call home. Now Rebecca is gravely ill, so Lainey has returned to Deer Run to care for her...and to escape her mistakes.

But mistakes have a way of following a person, intruding on Lainey's attempted fresh start. Are the frightening things that happen a remnant of her problems or a result of her great-aunt trusting Lainey with the care of her property? Or do they come from the twenty-year-old accidental drowning of an Amish youth and Lainey's memories of that terrible night?

Lawyer Jake Evans gave up a high-powered career to build a quieter life in Deer Run. So when a beautiful stranger appears on the heels of his client Rebecca's illness to manage her affairs, he questions her motives. Still, he is drawn to Lainey, even though he isn't sure he can trust her. But no amount of attraction will matter if he can't keep her safe from a mysterious threat.

Happy Reading,
Marta Perry