Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Remember Mama

I'd like to invite all of you to visit my personal blog http://www.strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com

to read a special Christmas memory of my mother who was always the friend of any animal.

And also I'm suffering cabin fever and I'd love it if you'd drop by http://www.craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com

and cheer me up.

Hope you're all having fun in the lull between Christmas and New Years.

Happy New Year!!

I want to wish everyone a happy New Year and a great 2009. The possibilities are limitless for us in 2009. The door is wide open and I hope that wonderful things happen to you in the coming year.

My son and his wife are expecting their fourth child in April. I hope to devout myself to my writing. I have six books coming out next year. I've seen the cover for my July Love Inspired and I'm thrilled at it. The dominant colors are red, white and blue so that's appropriate for the Fourth of July. I have two Love Inspired Suspense books I'll be working on for the first months of the new year. But truly, the year is blank--so many of those possibilities enticing me to see what the Lord has in store for me.

Are any of you making a list of resolutions for 2009? I decided against it. I have stopped doing it for several reasons. I usually make short goals either daily, weekly or monthly. I even have loose yearly goals. Most of these goals are writer related. I've given up on dieting. I am trying to exercise but I don't want to officially make it a goal or resolution because knowing me I would stop. I don't really like exercising for exercising sake. I like activity.

What does the Lord have in store for you? What have you planned? What resolutions or goals have you come up with for 2009?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where has the time gone?

(A similar post can also be found at http://barbphinney.blogspot.com/, along with some other interesting notes)
Like my title says, where has the time gone? I've spent the last few months getting a proposal for some books done up and the day after I sent them, my editor called to offer me a one book contract!
It's part of a series coming out starting January 2010, and my book will be May 2010. It's called Fatal Secrets, and I've decided I like writing to a title, and a basic synopsis. At least, with the editors writing up the synopsis, they can't rip it apart on me! I love creating stories, but it's so easy to be given the title. That way, when your title, the one you love just as much as the story itself, is turned down, you end up scrambling around to offer others, only to have something totally different being chosen.
But now Christmas has come and gone and our family has seen some big ups and downs. An uncle died, my father in law had a heart attack, and yet, in the midst of that, my daughter got engaged.
Still, I will soldier on, as they say. I'm used to the idea of my daughter getting married some day in the future, and we've visited my father in law, who is still in the hospital. We attended a tough funeral for a well liked man.
My writing continues, as does life in general. Nothing stays the same, my mother in law says, and all we can do is go with the flow. And in the meantime, I must write and edit and coordinate with the other writers in the series, a joy and good experience to be sure, but worrisome when you think of the editor and what she may say. I want a big prologue, but it may be trashed when the editor reads the others and sees their neat and compact ones (each book is to start with a short prologue). She may look at mine and ladle out her bucket of red ink, the one she keeps for all us wayward authors!
I've also joined the Craftie Ladies of Suspense. We sound like a bunch of murderers who connive together to commit felonies. But I have a feeling we'll have fun. Naturally, if you ever meet us, remember that we're really just a harmless group of writers.
Speaking of which, I better get writing, remembering to be concise and yet, delightfully entertaining.
So, in that vein, I thank you for stopping by.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Surprise Thank You Note

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

My sister-in-law's sister suggested I send my novel, The Christmas Kite, to Sarah Palin. The story is of a widow with a child who has Down Syndrome. The book was out as a trade book in 2003 and was released again this year as a mass market. At first I thought it wasn't a great idea. The woman is busy with politics, her Governor's position, a family and a new baby, but the more I thought I figured why not. I sent the book a few weeks before Christmas.

A few days before Christmas I received an envelope from the Governor of Alaska's office. I was surprised, but opening it, I expected a generic note about thank you for your thoughtfulness. Instead I received a lovely personal note about the book and comments of things I'd said in my letter. It was signed Sarah Palin. I'll certainly hang on to it.

I've been so pleased with reader mail regarding that book. It has touched many people who have a child with Down Syndrome and more who don't, but they enjoyed the book and it's message. I can only praise God for that.

If you haven't subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you still have time before January 1. Visit my website above and subscribed by typing in your name and state just below the welcome message on the home page. I offer a free book six times a year and details are in my newsletter.

Wishing you all a very happy new year filled with blessings.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

!0 Hunks a Strutting

Hey, want some fun? Drop by http://www.craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com and read the run we're having with Margaret Daley's new version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

I'm doing 10 Hunks a Strutting today!

And you could win $50!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday fun, chance to win prizes, my 1st LIH

I don't know if any of you have noticed but Christmas is ALMOST HERE!

I always try to keep my focus on the true meaning of Christmas, God's gift of His Son to this dark world which had no room for Him and which preferred darkness to His light.

But I love all the holiday fun too.

I want to let you know about another ways you can have some holiday fun.

Another Love Inspired author Margaret Daley has come up with her version of

The Twelve Days of Christmas
. Tomorrow drop by


and join in the fun and a chance to win $50 for taking part.

I'd also like to invite all of you to the www.eharlequin.com Holiday Open House on this Thursday the 11th. Here is the link to join in the fun all day on Thursday.


If you want to participate in a
Live Chat: 7pm-10pm
Drop by the eHarlequin.com Community Chat Room: http://chat.eharlequin.com/

I plan to drop into the chat right at the beginning for about a half hour. There will be many book giveaways all day and during chats.

BTW, two copies of my first Love Inspired Historical RELEASED TODAY will be given away during the chat.

Most of you know that I've been a long time Love Inspired author and I am thrilled that LI now has a historical line.

My book is titled Her Captain's Heart and is the first in my Gabriel Sisters series which will be released one each December starting this year and finishing in 2010.

These three sisters, Verity, Felicity, and Mercy, live in the turbulent period after the Civil War and do their best to try to bind up the wounds of the injured nation both North and South. If you have a heart for children, you will love the first, Verity's story.

Finally, I'd like to invite you to my new personal blog, "Strong Women Brave Stories" on my website www.LynCote.net
I feature stories of strong women both in real life and true to life fiction. Every woman has a story. Come and share yours and read others.

And Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

Joy to the World! The Lord is come, Let earth receive her King.

I bet you can hear the melody to this carol playing in your head. Good. Sing it out loud. Rejoice in knowing that Christ was born.

If you're planning to have an Advent calendar this is the day to begin. Many years ago my children and I made Advent calendars out of felt and string and glitter and glue. Every year the kids get the calendar out and hang them from their bedroom door knobs. Each day they move a wooden snowflake to mark off the days until Christmas. Its a fun way to build the anticipation of the celebration we share on Christmas day.

In my release this month, Double Threat Christmas, my Irish family celebrates with a traditional Irish cake, a solid and heavy mixture of fruit and spices iced with Marzipan.
In my own family, my nephew makes the best homemade apple pie every year.
I'd love to know if you have a traditional goodie that you serve at Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Senior Editor Melissa Endlich @ Seekerville today

Hey all,

Senior Editor, Melissa Endlich of Steeple Hill will guestblog all day today (Nov 13) at Seekerville.

If you're targeting Steeple Hill, or interested in learning more about the books, come join us for this interactive blog. Melissa will be there to answer questions/address comments. We have an informative interview with her to post as well.

This is a great opportunity to get to know her, get your name in front of her and learn what they're looking for in an author/story.

Come learn more about Steeple Hill and one of their fabulous editors.

Hope to see some of you there!

Please pass this on/forward to your other writing-related blogs and loops.



Cheryl Wyatt

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Military Match

My newest book, A MILITARY MATCH, is on sale now. The fun thing about writing A MILITARY MATCH was actually getting to attend the U.S. Cavalry Competition while I was doing research for the book.
A MILITARY MATCH is the third book in the Mounted Color Guard series. The series features a real army unit at Fort Riley, Kansas called the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard. Troopers and horses of this unit are outfitted in the uniforms, equipment and weapons of the Civil War period. The men, brought together from various units stationed at the fort, receive instruction from the same type of manuals used by the men of Custer’s 7th Cavalry in the 1860’s.
Anyone who has an opportunity to watch a demonstration by the CGMCG shouldn’t miss it. They are awesome.
It is also possible to visit the stables and talk with the men if you’re in the area. The stables, located on Fort Riley's Main Post in Bldg. 275, are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The stables house 18 horses and two mule. I was amused to learn one of mules and I share the same name. Be sure and say hi to Pat if you happen to stop in.
You can learn more about the unit by visiting http://www.riley.army.mil/OurPost/ColorGuard.aspx
As it turns out, Fort Riley isn’t the only military base with a horse guard, but it is the home of the U.S. Cavalry Association and Museum. The association, in an effort to promote the history of the cavalry, hosts a cavalry competition each year. Active duty and civilians re-enactors compete in skills such as saber, pistol and military horsemanship while attired in authentic dress of their chosen period. In my book, I used a fictitious contest, but the real competition happens each fall at various sites around the country. To check out their schedule visit http://www.uscavalry.org/
I could go on and on about this amazing unit, but I won’t. I have to get back to my work in progress, an inspirational suspense set in a small Kansas town entitled SPEED TRAP. It will be out next September if I get it done this week.
Pat Davids

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To all my heroes

I just wanted to say to all the soldiers serving the world over and to those who've served in the past, we have not forgotten you. Our hearts and our prayers are with you. If you're sitting there in the desert, hot and tired and lonely, know that we are with you. If you're missing your family, know that we're hugging our close because you have fought for our freedom. You are all in my prayers and I will never forget your sacrifices. That is a promise. And everyday, I will lift you up in my prayers--stay safe and remember you are very special.

Lenora Worth :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is November 11th.
On this day in 1918, an armistice was signed. It was very early in the morning, around 5:30, but the Germans ordered the fighting to stop at 11 am, thus ending the war. The six plus hours were needed in order to get the information out to all troops.
The Great War was over.
It's hard to imagine a world so at war, and technology so backward that they needed hours to pass on information. But it's not hard to imagine the toll war takes on people. We are still involved in war. Canada, the United States, other allies. We have gone to war for various reasons, but regardless, the result is that we all here have the freedoms and rights that many are still denied today.
If you went to church yesterday, or even if you didn't, that is a direct result of war. We have the right to choose to worship.
We have the right to read what we want, to shop where we want, to vacation where we want. We have the right to homeschool our children and elect whoever we feel will lead us in office.
We got those rights from the men and women who have fought in wars for our sakes.
And who are still fighting. We are still losing men and women today, and these soldiers, sailors, airmen, even diplomats, journalists and missionary field staff are doing what they know is right for our freedom.
Let's honour them on November 11th. If you can't make it to a service, at 11 o'clock, take the time to thank your servicemen for their sacrifice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love Inspired - PERFECT for book clubs

I know that Steeple Hill books - for their length, perhaps (?) - are sometimes overlooked by book clubs looking for novels to discuss. But, imo, these little books are just about perfect! At the end of every book are a series of questions which are thoughtful discussion starters. And these books, while shorter, contain great stories with wonderful truths. Most book clubs choose one book per month - well, with Love Inspired, why not choose two. Or more!

You would be welcome to contact any one of the authors here, and we could help out, send our bios, answer more questions about ourselves and our work. We would welcome this and look forward to hearing from your group!

Linda Hall

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kids on surgery

Something else that came to me via e-mail. It'll tickle your funny bone.


Kids on Surgery

Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside the operating room the first surgeries of the day.

The first kid leans over and asks, 'What are you in here for?'

The second kid says, 'I'm in here to get my tonsils out and I'm a little nervous.
The first kid says, 'You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a breeze.'

The second kid then asks, 'What are you here for?'

The first kid says, 'A circumcision.'

'WHOA!' the second kid replies. 'Good luck buddy. I had that one when I was born. Couldn't walk for a year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACFW conference memories-different slant

I have posted other blogs about ACFW conference where I discussed all the things I did and people I met at the conference. But I also went to the Mall of America on Thursday morning before the conference started to see it. I only had a few hours to cover the place and didn't get to see it all.

I am not normally a person who likes to go shopping much. It is exhausting to shop. EEK! And the holiday season is coming. I'm gonna have to pace myself.

Anyway, I thought it was neat for a large shopping mall. And I mean large! Four stories of stores. In the middle on the lower floor was an amusement park for the kids and adults who like to ride rides. If I had had more time I would have been on one of those rides. They had several roller coasters and I love roller coasters.

Another place that interested me was the Lego store next to the amusement park. They had big works of "art" made out of legos. My son used to love to build things with legos. I have posted a few pictures of things made out of legos throughout this blog.

Friday, September 26, 2008

eHarlequin delivery!

I just love getting books! As I mentioned in my CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog today I got a shipment of books from eHarlequin.com. I'm always excited when I get a package of books and I wasted no time getting started reading Margaret Daley's October 2008 release Foresaken Canyon. I'm loving the book and actually wish the presidential debate wasn't on tonight so I can finish reading. (Truth be known, I'll probably have the book in my lap and read during commercials.) You'll want to keep checking CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense to see the character interviews for the book. In fact, make sure you check back each week because Terri Reed is interviewing a character from each Love Inspired Suspense book for the month!

The shipment of books reminded me that eHarlequin is still having their 100,000 book challenge. So if you've read a book recently, go over to eHarlequin.com and posts your books. If eHarlequin hits the magic number of books at the end of the year, they will donate 100,000 books to literacy. It's a great cause, so give the gift of books just by reading a book and posting a review at eHarlequin.com!

My crock pot is also working overtime these days. I've been posting my favorite recipes on my post at CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense so make sure you stop over and check that out. Why am I such a big fan of the crock pot? Aside from being Italian and my joy of feeding people, I used to be a Pampered Chef consultant. I have tons of cookbooks and thankfully my family is very receptive to me trying out new recipes!

I've been in synopsis mode and I have to gush about one of my favorite reference books! Pam McCutcheon's Writing the Fiction Synopsis is by far my favorite book on how to write a good synopsis. You'll want to stop by the Gryphon Books for Writers website to check out what they have.

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Artful Question

This blog may not agree with some of you out there. I'm usually the kind of person who likes warm fuzzy blogs, but today this one isn't going to be like that.
So read on at your own peril.
Both The United States and Canada are facing national elections, but here in Canada, one of our issues is arts funding.
I live near an excellent university and because of that, I have ample opportunity to enjoy their arts' programs. I love them.
In some ways, I, too, am an artist, a writer who is blessed enough to get paid for her work.
But here in Canada, we have people saying more funding must go into our arts and culture program.
Stop a moment. We also have gun violence in Toronto, an Arctic in crisis, and the working poor whose children are going hungry. We have natives who struggle to survive, and a country with a wildly growing dependence on fossil fuels.
Canada also has a global conscience, seeing the poor of other countries, the oppressed and those suffering under terrorist regimes. Canada has a responsibility to support those countries who want to end the global crises.
How can I sit in a comfortable seat in an auditorium enjoying the arts when this is happening? How can I justify saying that my government should support these programs when the burden of helping our own Canadians and the poor around the world is so great?
Some people may say that this is our culture, to have quality music, fine visual arts, and incredible talent.
No. When our poor and our native populations and environment are in crisis, this becomes our culture.
Our culture is our poor, and oppressed, and how we deal with them.
How we deal with the less fortunate is the true measure of ourselves. How are we dealing with them? It's not just a nationally elected body's responsibility, but an individual responsibility, too. How am I helping the poor, the environment, our supply of fresh drinking water?
How are you? What are you, personally, doing to change the culture that has been thrust upon us in the world's eyes?
Let us be able to watch that symphonic band's newest recital with a clear conscience.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I'm thrilled that my book, THE CHRISTMAS KITE, is being re-issued from Steeple Hill in mass market size. It was published in 2003 in trade book but since it is more expensive, I'm excited to know that my readers can purchase the book at a lower cost and even use it for Christmas gifts. This is my novel that was discovered by Larry Levinson, Emmy winning producer, and optioned for a Hallmark TV movie. The option ran out so no movie was made, but I am honored that they thought my book worthy to invest in as a possible film. I hope you enjoy viewing this preview of the book to be in stores on September 28 -- wherever books are sold.

Monday, September 8, 2008

100,000 Book Challenge-for Literacy!

Are you getting read to read your fall books? If you'd like to have your fall reading count in another important way. Drop by http://www.eharlequin.com and register. Harlequin is hosting a 100,000 Book Challenge. Every book read and briefly reviewed counts toward a book giveaway to a national literacy group. Drop by and click on 100,000 Book Challenge and read the details. Your reading could put books into the hands of others.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Time for sorting things out...

Autumn is always a time to take stock in things. I've sorted out drawers and closests. (Still have a ways to go.) And I've checked through my bookshelf and donated books that I know I won't read and no longer have room for. In the process I found a LOT of reference books on writing and just blogged about two of my favorites on the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog. I also pulled out my crock pot and started reviewing some recipes to help me get through my writing schedule. I've posted a recipe at the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog as well, so make sure you pop on over and check it out.

We're still having our monthly contest. Read a post in September, make a comment on the blog and you'll be entered in a drawing to get all 4 Love Inspired Suspense books for the month of September.

Many blessings,
Lisa Mondello

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I've climbed a mountain

Quite literally, folks. And it was awful. Brutal, painful, dangerous to an old wimp like me, but in an odd way, it was good. I'm glad I did it. I saw stunning scenery, and pushed myself to the very limit. I prayed and God answered my prayers. We all made it up and down safely.

It was only Mount Katahdin, in Maine, but we climbed from about 500 feet above sea level to near 5,000 feet.

I learned to trust God and myself and better understand what the Apostle Paul said about perservering. I'm proud of myself.

I'm only just getting the feeling back in my legs, but hey, I'm still proud!

Read some more at

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What I did over Labor Day weekend

Over the holiday weekend we went to Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon where we rented a cabin with another family. The fresh air smelled crisp with the scent of pine and the peaceful noise of nature lulled me to sleep at night. During the day we took the tramway to the top of the peak where we hiked and took in the awe inspiring views. My kids and I took a trail ride on horses up the side of the mountain which left me sore and grateful we don't have to ride horses everyday. The kids caught trout in the lake and at night we'd shine flash lights on the creek water and see the red Kokanee fish wiggling about. The night sky was incredible with the stars shining so bright and visible. There's also a fun center near the lake with go-karts, a volleyball net, basketball hoops and miniature golf. The nearest town to the lake is Joseph, a quaint place with interesting shops and resturants. We have friends that live in near by Enterprise and they came over to the lake and we have a great time visiting with them which our family agreed was the highlight of the trip.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another Romantic Hot Air Balloon Adventure

(Don't forget to double click to see the beauty of the enlarged photos and then click back to the blog by using the BACK button.)

Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin

Writers of romance love romance, but another thing they want to do is experience the wonderful adventures that they put into their novels. A hot air balloon ride was my dream. Although I have a fear of heights, I trusted God to give me courage, and He not only gave me courage, he filled me with awe at the beauty and fresh air, as we rode about the earth in a wicker basket.

I had no idea how huge the balloons are, but I know now. Seven stories high -- so what keeps us in the air is seven stories of hot air bound in a cloth balloon. Amazing.

We floated up one mile high and could see distant cities -- like Detroit and Ann Arbor, even my neighboring city Southfield. Michigan is loaded with lakes and this one is Kensington Park. You can see the sailboats and it's surrounded by beaches.

With so many lakes, one pleasure we had was to view our reflection in the water. This lake happens to have lily pads - but if you look carefully, you can see the basket right in the center.

Our landing was an adventure in itself, and if you'd like to see more beautiful photos and hear about our amazing landing, you can visit http://www.gailmartin.blogspot.com/ and enjoy the full story.

Romance writers do anything to write a wonderful book filled with romantic experiences.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coming up for air!

I'm just coming up for air after a really hectic few months. Where has the summer gone? I didn't even attend the RWA conference, but I still feel as if it has flown by. We're already into canning tomatoes, the grandkids are headed back to school, and there's a hint of fall in the air.
My husband and I had a once-in-a-lifetime trip earlier in the summer. We joined some friends for a tour of the Baltic Sea area, visiting Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Estonia. It was an amazing adventure, and I'm still trying to organize my photos and my memories!
And then all the kids and grandkids were home for their annual summer visit. We had a grand time with them. Since all of our grandchildren live in suburban areas, it's a real treat for them to experience country life.
And then, of course, there's the writing! I've been working hard in between all of that, trying to keep on schedule. I've completed two of the Amish books that will come out next year, as well as the first book in a Love Inspired series about a Coast Guard family in South Carolina. Right now I'm working on the third Amish book and really enjoying being back with those characters again.
So that's it for the topic of all those themes we had to write in grade school: how I spent my summer vacation! I hope your summer was wonderful and refreshing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Meet Me In Pahrump, Nevada --- Doing My Favorite Thing

(Click to enlarge the photo - but use the back button to return to the blog)

You've probably already guessed what my favorite thing to do is. Talk. Ask my husband. (Grinning here). I love to present workshops for writers and to present keynote addressees at churches. So many doors have opened since I began writing and that's one of them.

Another thing I enjoy is meeting readers and then signing autographing their books. What would an author do without readers. They are our blessings, and when they let us know we've touched their hearts with our books, it's truly a gift.

On Saturday, September 6, I'll be speaking and autographing books at the public library in Pahrump, Nevada, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. If you live anywhere near there, bring and friend and come and join me. I'll be speaking on the crazy journey of my life as a writers and talking about why I chose to write Christian romance -- or I should say why God chose me. It begins at about 10 AM. I'd love to meet you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wishing I'd thought of that title

I'm trying to think of a couple of new titles for book proposals in my Dry Creek series. I freely confess that I struggle trying to find clever, compelling (sometimes even adequate) titles. And then I see other people's titles and wish I had them. So I sat down and thought of titles I covet -- some of the one's I like are the serial ones, like the numerial Stephanie Plum titles and the woman who does the alphabet mysteries. I think of all of the book titles they get with that one clever idea. And then I flashed on 'Gone With the Wind' which has to be up there in terms of titles that are remembered and I look at it and think what does it even mean? Whoever thought of that? How about you and your favorite titles?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Her Only Protector Character Interview Online Now!

Did you ever wish you could interview a character in a book, ask them questions before you read the story and get a feel for who they are? Well, now you can. Sonny Montgomery, the heroine in my book Her Only Protector, has been interviewed by our own Terri Reed and the interview is now available at the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog. So make sure you check out the character interview. Remember, you can also read an excerpt of Her Only Protector by visiting eHarlequin.com.
Many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Monday, August 11, 2008

RWA conference--the people

This is a video of some of the people I saw at the RWA conference in San Francisco. As you can see most of them are Love Inspired authors.

First frame is of Margaret Daley (me) and Laura Marie Altom (left to right) at the Golden Gate Bridge (the wind was freezing). The second one is of Winnie Griggs and me in a small town outside San Francisco. Third frame is at Muir Redwood Forest with Winnie, Lynn, me and Laura. The fourth one is of the Craftie Ladies of Suspense--minus Cara Putman who couldn't make RWA this year. The fifth frame is of Kit, me and Jillian Hart at the booksigning. The sixth frame is of Linda Goodnight who won the Rita Award for her Love Inspired, Debbie Clopton, who won the Bookseller's Best Award, Irene Hannon, myself and Winnie. The next one is of Debby Giusti who won the Daphne Award and me who won the Inspirational Romance Readers Contest. The eighth through the tenth frame is of the eHarlequin pajama party. The eleventh through the thirteenth frame is dinner at the Jazz Club before the Harlequin party. The last frames were of the Harlequin party with people such as Allie Pleiter, Judy Baer, Gail Martin, Missy Tippins, Dana Corbit and Janet Dean. I'm sorry I can't put captions on the program I have. The very last frame is the Craftie Ladies of Suspense at the party. From the back at the left are Pamela Tracy, Roxanne Rustand, and Debby Giusti. In the from at the left is Lisa Mondello, Terri Reed and myself.

I spent some time sightseeing San Francisco which is a wonderful city with a lot to see--more than I could in a week's time. If you want to see some of the sights I went to, I have a video up at my blog. Check it out at margaretdaley.blogspot.com. I went to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Muir Redwood Forest, Napa Valley, the Golden Gate Park where I saw the Japanese Tea garden and enjoyed some tea, a street that is so crooked you have to crept down it in your car (gorgeous place) and of course, Chinatown.

Also I have some pictures up at Craftie Ladies of Suspense blog which I'm a member of. We are seven Love Inspired Suspense authors who blog about suspense books and what's going on with us. Every month we have a drawing for the four LIS books out and draw from the people who leave comments that month. So if you want to be entered in the drawing, visit the site and leave a comment with your email address.

In the above video I show some pictures of those places but mostly they are of functions I did at the conference--like the booksigning for literacy (RWA raised thousands of dollars for the cause), the pajama party eHarlequin sponsors every year, various dinners with friends, and the Harlequin party where I get my year's worth of dancing in on a crowded dance floor filled with women (great exercise).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Taming the TBR pile...

If you are like me, then your to be read pile is completely out of control! And since I've just come back from RWA in San Francisco, where I was able to get a boxful of free books, my pile is even more scary. But I love books and I love reading so while others might look at my TBR as a pile of clutter, I think of my books as old friends.

I just finished reading Terri Reed's Double Jeopardy and it was fabulous! If you haven't read the character interview for Double Jeopardy, make sure you stop on over to the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense blog. Each week there will be a new interview from one of the Love Inspired Suspense books out that month. So you don't want to miss it!

And if you're a writer, you'll want to check out Debby Giusti's Donald Maass Writing the Breakout Novel blogs where she highlights elements of this wonderful writing reference book. She's on week 22 right now, but it's worth it to spend some time going back in the archives to see the rest of the series!

This month my book Her Only Protector is out on the shelves. Rumor has it you'll start seeing the Love Inspired Suspense books around August 12Th. So if you're out and about and you happen to see the August books, drop me an email or post on the blog where you're from. It's always fun to see where readers are finding my books. You can read an excerpt of Her Only Protector, please visit the eHarlequin website.

The next book on my TBR pile is Lynn Bulock's To Trust a Friend. Let me know what you're reading!

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Book Signing in Lincoln City Oregon

This coming Saturday at 12-3pm at Bob's Beach Books in the beautiful Lincoln City, Oregon I will be signing my July release Double Jeopardy. There will be several local authors signing and we will have a wide variety of romance subgenres to choose from.

Recently, I and several hundred other authors signed at the Romance Writers of America book signing in San Francisco to raise money for Literacy. The signing raised a record dollar amount and was a huge success.

I also was at the RITA Awards and cheered on my fellow authors who were finalist in this years contest.
Our own Linda won!!!!
2008 RITA Winner for Best Inspirational Romance
A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired
Allison Lyons, editor

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An interview with my main character

This is a first for me - Lilly Johnson, the main character of my July Love Inspired release, Shadows at the Window, was interviewed! You can read 'her' responses 


Meanwhile, I am surrounded by boxes! This past week my husband and I moved out of the home we've lived in for fifteen years and are now the proud owners of a brand new and very lovely townhouse/condo. Here's something - on the day of the move I put some "Very Important Papers" - my checkbook and a few other 'important' things in a 'special' place so I wouldn't lose them in the move. You guessed it! I have no idea where that special place is!

Here's a picture of me on my brand new Kona bike. 

Linda Hall

Valerie Hansen surfaces

Well, I'm back but it won't be for long. I am one busy writer. And the more I take on, the more I'm asked to do so it doesn't look as if it will get any better in the near future. I have one book coming out in August, another in October, another in December, then so far, 2 in 2009 and four more to finish. Two of those are due in September of this year so we aren't taking much of a vacation until I get those done.

It's been hot here in the Ozarks but I'm pretty comfy in front of my computer. All I have to do is stay away from the cookies and find a way to exercise while I work. The veggies are ripening and that's always a summer bonus I enjoy, too. And my flowers are beautiful. If I can manage it, I'll post a picture or two. If not, you'll have to use your imaginations!

Sorry to have been incommunicado for so long but I'm just plum tuckered out.

Well, I see the pictures ended up first but considering the trouble I usually have with computers, I figure I'd better leave them right where they landed!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Have You Ever Longed for a Romantic Getaway?

Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin at http://www.gailmartin.com/. (Don't forget to double click the photos for a larger view, then use your back button to return to the blog.)

If you've ever longed for a romantic getaway, I've found the place. During our trip from Florida back home to Michigan, we decided to spend the night at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. This was the original Chattanooga Depot and is now a wonderful spot to enjoy many hours.

Although they have three hotels connected with this location, we opted to stay in an old train car which has been made into an amazing Victorian bedroom with all the modern conveniences. Notice the lovely decor but also the authentic luggage racks near the ceiling with the individual lights.

In this view, you can see the hallway that leads to the entrance and the bathroom. Can't you just image being swept away on an amazing journey in a place like this.

Besides the interesting bedroom cars, they have a restaurant called Dinner in the Diner. It's set around white gazebo and small tables like a garden party. It's a dining car with 50s decor and another lovely place called The Garden where we had breakfast. You can also enjoy a real garden which feature elegant flower beds and flowering trees, fountains and gazebos. We wandered around before dinner and after our meal we sat in the garden and had an ice cream cone.

We opted for dinner at the Station House which was once the baggage storage area. Besides a great meal, they have continual entertainment from the wait-staff who sing all kinds of music in duets, solos, and small groups, music most would love from romantic love songs to folk music to Christian gospel. You can't go wrong.

The next morning it was time to say goodbye. Don't miss this romantic trip if you ever get to Chattanooga. Lovely surroundings, history, music, good food, and the chance to sleep in an old train car decorated like a Victorian bedroom. Nothing wrong with that. Isn't life all about romance?

About the Love Inspired Classics

Just for your information, I have listed below the schedule for the Love Inspired Classic Reissues. These Classics are pairs of Love Inspired romances from the beginning of this very successful line.

If you've been looking for a few backlist (books that were released in the past) titles, you might find them here and know when to look for them on the shelves of your local bookstore or Walmart.

Also remember that our books remain online at sites like http://www.amazon.com and http://www.bn.com. They are available on http://www.eharlequin.com until that site runs out of them. Also many authors like myself, list all their titles and a way to purchase them from their websites. Drop by http://www.booksbylyncote.com and click on my Love Inspired pages.

I hope this helps you as you try to find those books by those special authors who speak to your heart.
Lyn Cote

List of Love Inspired Classics Information

isbn title_name author_name
Jul-06 0-373-65263-1 Hero In Disguise And Hidden Blessing Karr, Leona

Jul-06 0-373-65264-X Ben's Bundle Of Joy And When Love Came To Town Worth, Lenora

Aug-06 0-373-65265-8 A Bride At Last And A Mother At Heart Aarsen, Carolyne

Aug-06 0-373-65266-6 The Forgiving Heart And A Daddy At Heart Kastner, Deb

Sep-06 0-373-65267-4 Father Most Blessed And A Father's Place Perry, Marta

Sep-06 0-373-65268-2
Looking For Miracles And The Prodigal's Return
Bulock, Lynn
Oct-06 0-373-65269-0
Upon A Midnight Clear And Secrets Of The Heart
Gaymer Martin, Gail
Oct-06 0-373-65270-4
A Groom Of Her Own And The Way Home
Hannon, Irene
Nov-06 0-373-65271-2
The Best Christmas Ever And A Mother's Love
Wolverton, Cheryl
Nov-06 0-373-65272-0
Faithfully Yours And Sweet Charity
Richer, Lois
Dec-06 0-373-65273-9
An Angel For Dry Creek & A Gentleman For Dry Creek
Tronstad, Janet
Dec-06 0-373-65274-7
Her Kind Of Hero And Second Time Around
Steward, Carol
Jan-07 9-780373-65275-4
Second Chances And Love One Another
Hansen, Valerie
Jan-07 9-780373-65276-1
Never Alone And New Man In Town
Cote, Lyn
May-07 9-780373-65199-3 Heart And Soul And Almost Heaven Hart, Jillian
May-07 9-780373-65200-6
Baby On The Way And Wedding On The Way
Richer, Lois
Aug-07 9-780373-65201-3
A Rich Man For Dry Creek And A Hero For Dry Creek
Tronstad, Janet
Aug-07 9-780373-65202-0
Family For Keeps And Sadie's Hero
Daley, Margaret
Dec-07 9-780373-65203-7
Since You've Been Gone And The Doctor Next Door
Perry, Marta
Dec-07 9-780373-65204-4
A Mother For Amanda And The Doctor's Miracle
Schmidt, Anna
Jan-08 9-780373-65117-7
Never Say Goodbye And Crossroads
Hannon, Irene
Jan-08 9-780373-65118-4
A Hopeful Heart And A Home, A Heart, A Husband
Richer, Lois
Apr-08 9-780373-65119-1
Heaven Sent And His Hometown Girl
Hart, Jillian
Apr-08 9-780373-65120-7
Something Beautiful And Lacey's Retreat
Worth, Lenora
Hunter's Bride And A Mother's Wish
Perry, Marta
The Power of Love And The Courage to Dream
Daley, Margaret
Family Ties And Promise of Grace
Winn, Bonnie.
Small-Town Dreams And The Girl Next Door
Welsh, Kate
A Baby for Dry Creek And A Dry Creek Christmas
Tronstad, Janet
Blessings of the Heart And Samantha's Gift
Hansen, Valerie
9-780373-65127-6 Mother's Day Miracle And Blessed Baby Richer, Lois

9-780373-65128-3 Love Comes Home And A Sheltering Love Reed, Terri
A Family for Tory And A Mother for Cindy
Daley, Margaret
9-780373-65130-6 Twin Blessings And Toward Home Aarsen, Carolyne
9-780373-65131-3 The Best Gift And Gift from the Heart Hannon, Irene
Finally Home And Finally Found
Cote, Lyn
I'll Be Home for Christmas And One Golden Christmas
Worth, Lenora
In the Spirit of Christmas And A Very Special Delivery
Goodnight, Linda

Friday, July 18, 2008

Backlists and Ebooks...

I just love it when I hear from readers. Truly. Every time I get an email I'm all giddy that someone has read one of my books.

Since my next release is Her Only Protector, I've been thrilled to hear from the bookclub readers who've already read the book and couldn't wait to email me to tell me how they liked it. I'm also surprised at how many people are still picking up a copy of Cradle of Secrets and writing me to tell me they enjoyed the book. They're always thrilled to know they won't have to wait long for the sequel. Just a few weeks and Her Only Protector will be hitting the bookstore shelves.

Which brings me to the backlists and ebooks subject line of my post. As many readers know, Steeple Hill books are available in paperback for just one month on the bookstore shelves. If you happen to find a great author or a series you love mid-way through the series, it's hard to go back and find those first books unless you can get them at a used bookstore. But not anymore.

All Steeple Hill books are available on EBOOK! So it doesn't matter if you miss a couple of books from a great author. You can always go back and purchase an ebook to download to either the Kindle or some other software platform. These ebooks can be read on your computer, a PDA or ebook reader.

I have to be honest with you. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands, love to turn the pages and look at the cover. But I also love the idea of being able to load a ton of books on one device and store it there. I have a friend who just emailed me to tell me she won a Kindle in a contest. I must admit that I'm green with envy. But alas I can't justify purchasing another device to read ebooks since I already have one. I still have my old Rocket Ebook Reader that I purchased 10 years ago! While not as light and easy to use as the Kindle and certain not able to hold as many books, the Rocket is a great little device to load 8-10 books on as well as my own manuscripts for editing and final read throughs.

My point (and yes, I do have one) is that I love that technology has given us choices. I no longer have to hunt down a book I missed when it was on the shelf. I can buy an ebook from a new favorite author. And I no longer have to choose which books to bring with me on a trip because I can't fit them all in my suitcase on one device. I can bring enough books to last me an entire vacation! (I love reading while I'm camping. And the Rocket is great for night reading since I don't have to hold a flashlight and a book at the same time!)

I'd love to know your thoughts on ebooks and ebook devices. And if you're one of the lucky readers who has a Kindle, let me know what you think. I have a feeling, despite the fact that I still love my Rocket, that the Kindle may go on my Christmas List.

Until next time, many blessings! Lisa Mondello

Be sure to visit the CRAFTIE LADIES of SUSPENSE at http://www.ladiesofsuspense.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My vacation

By Margaret Daley

This is a slideshow of my vacation to Curacao this past week. I had a great time. The people were friendly and welcoming. I mostly sat on the beach or at the pool. I lived in my bathing suit most days except when we took a tour of the island. In the pictures of the capital Williamstad you can see the Dutch influence. This island is only 35 miles from Venezuela. It is arid and cacti are everywhere. I thought I was in Arizona there for a while. So it wasn't any surprise that it didn't rain on us while we were there.

The local language is Papiamentu (a mixture of many language from Dutch to Spanish to African to English), but a lot of the people speak Dutch, English and Spanish. I never had trouble communicating while I was there.

The trade winds blow almost all the time--our tour guide said 360 days out of the year. When the wind dies down, everything shuts down. School is called off. Businesses are closed. I was glad the wind was blowing or it would have been VERY hot.

The water is beautiful (I have several pictures of it) and the diving is great in this area--although all I did was snorkel.

The older man is my husband, Mike. The younger one was our tour guide (I have a picture of him at the blow hole on the north side of the island). He was so interesting with lots of information about Curacao. And he wasn't that bad to look at either.

The best thing I saw was the salt flats where flamingoes could be seen. They come to have their babies before going back to South America. I would have had a picture of some except they were too far away to really tell what they were with my camera. The one chance I had for a close up I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to take the picture. The flamingo flew away and it was beautiful to watch him fly (first time for me to see in real life).

Romantic at any age?

I am very curious to see what reader response I get to my latest, A Dry Creek Courtship, because the heroine and hero are in their mid-seventies.

I know sometimes a romance novel will venture into the fifties with their characters, but I think it's rare to go older than that. I hesitated when the Steeple Hill editors suggested (strongly) that I do the story of these two long-term secondary characters (Mrs. Hargrove and Charlie). Do any of you know of other romances that have characters in their seventies (or eighties)? Do you think readers will welcome that age group? Do you as a reader want to read romances about people who are older than you?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back away from the refrigerator!

There’s a new technology out and it’s not the Iphone. It’s a refrigerator that will order your groceries for you.
Okay, I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m a bit skeptical here. How does it know what you’re using up? I’m betting you have to tell it.
That’s all well and good, if you like the extra work it’ll no doubt bring, but what it should be doing is scanning you to see what exactly you’re eating. I mean, I have a teenaged boy. And he has friends. I rarely have enough milk in the house and sugary cereals are an endangered species here. And I know my son. He’ll be opening this new fridge door and saying to it, "I’m taking a carrot now. We have only three left."
Meanwhile, he’s helping himself to the last half of pie. I’d be inundated with carrots before the week’s out, if this fridge believes my son and calls in an order of carrots to the local Co-op.
Now, what the refrigerator should do is scan the kid. It should use one of those beams we see on Star Trek and yell out in a loud voice, or better still, announce it on an in-house PA, "You are not taking a carrot. You are eating all the pie. Back away from the refrigerator. I say again, back away from the refrigerator."
Or wave its arms around yelling, "Danger, Will Robinson, danger! All the pie is being eaten! Danger! Danger!" Then grab the offending teenaged boy (because it’s not necessarily going to be my own,) and hold on until an adult can come to pry the pie out of his hands.
You know, this could work for dieters, too. You simply program into the fridge what you should eat and it simply won’t let you reach for pie, but rather grab you with those flex hose pipe arms and not let go. Why, you could work up a nice cardio routine fighting it off, and speed and agility too, trying to get the pie out of the fridge before it grabbed you.
Of course, your teenaged boy and his friends would consider the whole food grab a challenge. They do, after all, have a computer game experience. Or they could just reprogram the fridge.
You’d catch on pretty quickly though, when you opened the fridge for supper’s nutritious salad and it said something cheeky to you like, "Enter password within five seconds or this refrigerator will self-destruct."
Oh, yes, self-replenishing refrigerators are fine, but those scientists should be working on getting teenagers to eat three meals a day, all nutritious, with no snacking. Now, that’s technology worth buying.
Have a nutritious day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Whale you were reading this blog...

I uploaded a pic of what happened to us last week. (warning, the following links may not be tolerated by some people's stomachs)

You can see it and read a bit about it at:

Plus you can check out the whole story at:

They managed to get a backhoe down the steep cliffs to dig a hole to bury it, but all of us wonder if they won't dig it up, like they did to this whale;

It's sad to see one of God's largest creatures dead, though.
Barbara Phinney

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Interactive Books Coming????

I am so jazzed. I don't know if everyone saw this notice on eHarlequin so I am re-posting it. What does everyone think? Imagine having interactive Steeple Hill titles! I am hoping that the sentence at the end about these books being available in many of the Harlequin series includes us!

TORONTO, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Harlequin Enterprises Limited (http://www.eharlequin.com/), the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, announced today the launch of their Enriched Edition eBooks. With this launch, Harlequin becomes the first publisher to offer entire eBooks that are enriched with interactive buttons that hyperlink to Web sites with more information about the content.
The launch title, UNMASKED, a Regency-set historical available from www.eBooks.eHarlequin.com, has been enriched with interactive buttons that hyperlink to Web sites containing photos, historical commentaries, illustrations, sound effects, maps, articles and more, bringing the world of the novel to life without the reader having to leave the computer or the current screen page. The interactive buttons have been designed to be unobtrusive, so if one prefers not to access the bonus material, the reading experience remains uninterrupted.
By exploiting the interactive possibilities inherent with eBooks, Harlequin is recognizing the opportunity for online reading to enhance the reading experience, evolving it above and beyond the replication of print books.
Harlequin will release select Enriched Edition titles from its many series and imprints, but chose to launch with a historical release since the period setting particularly lends itself to the enriched experience. Obscure period details, customs, terms and references become instantly accessible should the reader wish to learn more about the story's context.
Enriched Edition eBooks are available at www.eBooks.eHarlequin.com and are being sold at the same price as regular eBooks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Getting ready for the RWA conference

Every year the Romance Writer's of America have a conference and this year it's in San Francisco at the end of July. Thousands of writers, editors and agents come together for these few days. In addition to taking part in the Steeple Hill meetings, one of my most fun goals in attending is to get to know other authors better. If you're going to the conference, what do you hope to do?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Twenty-four hours can hold an awful lot

This time yesterday, I was deep in my writing. I had to get some synopses done for my editor and was determined to do just that.
But we’d planned some fun activities for later. Being Canada Day, we were going to take in the fireworks in the nearest town, but at supper, I finally had some down time and watched the news.
A whale had died and been washed in with the tide, down in Slacks Cove, near Rockport, New Brunswick. Since this wasn’t far from us, we decided to check it out.
So did half the town, too. It was big, but by far, the smell was more intimidating. I touched it, and found it smooth, rubbery, and very cold. It had been a bit battered after it had died, and I tried to identify it. A small fin whale or a sei whale, maybe. I’m not up on my whales, I’m afraid. But there didn’t appear to be anything I could see that may have killed it. Perhaps, we can hope, it was just old age.
It’s amazing to see how the tide had washed it in. At 12 metres long, it would take some doing, a testament to the power of the sea. Which was now returning. Time to leave.
Then of course, came the fireworks we’d looked forward to seeing all day. My hubby had packed some snacks for us, and when we got there, we stayed in our car until dark. And until we discovered my son, being the one in the far back seat and closest to the cooler, had eaten the huge chocolate bar his dad had slipped into the cooler for later. So all we had was water and popcorn. Good for the diet I had put us both on, I suppose. The fireworks were wonderful and we even got out of the parking lot without delay.
Then we came home to find we’d left the garage door open, and four stray kittens had decided to make it home for the night. I didn’t want them in there, so my daughter and I had to chase them out. Not an easy task. Corralling kittens in a messy garage is much like trying to hold a child who wants to be put down. Simply impossible and not unlike the fireworks we’d just seen. We did our best and thinking the kittens were gone, closed it up and went inside.

I did, however, peek out to see the kittens chasing one of those huge lunar moths. Unfortunately for the moth, the mum caught it and dashed off. She returned a few minutes later licking her lips. I'd seen enough, so I went to bed.
This morning, after my husband and my daughter had left for work, I saw two of the kittens curled up in the middle of the driveway. Feeling compassion, I mixed up a slurry of warm cat food, kibble, and homemade unsalted chicken broth, and took it out to them.
And the regular gang of adult cats came running to help these little darlings eat the food. Feeling a bit piqued, I glanced around.
And saw a gopher. Not a big one, but one curious enough to waddle out from under the trailer. It wasn’t until I heard the neighbor start up his lawn tractor that I realized that it was the one from under his shed, and he’d been temporarily evicted. I guess it wasn’t my delicious concoction of mixed cat foods that lured him out.
My morning of housework wasn’t happening, and wasn’t soon to happen, as I walked past the garage, and heard a faint meowing.
I opened the door and discovered yet another kitten inside. One I was sure I’d chased out last night. And as one would expect, he wasn’t ready to escape out the door yet. Under the pile of junk in the corner was much safer. I refuse to feed it. I don’t want it to become comfortable in my garage. I put garbage out there, and don’t want to clean that up every morning. I’d have to wait for my son to rise in order to get even attempt to get this one out.
But look what had happened to us in the last day. A trip to see, and smell, a whale up close, fireworks, in town and in our garage, and one curious, not to mention miffed gopher. We’d seen it all.
What on earth could today bring?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Saying Good-bye to a series

I just finished up the last of a four book series (The Sisterhood of the Dropped Stitches). I knew the series was done, but didn't want to say good-bye. It didn't help that I just got an email from a reader asking if I couldn't find a way to go beyond the four books. How do the rest of you --readers and writers alike -- feel about coming to the end of a series? I know as a reader I often wish series had more books. I get comfortable with characters and don't want to say good-bye.


Friday, June 27, 2008

New Mule Hollow book by Debra Clopton! THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE

Gail's post a couple of days ago Why Not Me? is such a true example of the angst, the ups and downs and doubts writers go through along the rocky path to publication. I was going to post a comment but because what she talked about is also the bases for my upcoming July book THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE I decided to make a blog post instead.
Like most authors I've been on both sides of that entry Gail blogged about. Before I was published I worked so hard and editors were really interested, but then I just couldn't seem to make my revisions meet with their vision of the story. And the sale wouldn't happen. So I began to ask God why? And I felt like I was running a race but was stuck on the track going round and couldn't find the off ramp to publication. Then the doubts started and I began feeling like God was actually asking me to give up my dream! What! No way could I even contemplate such a thing...after all I was almost published. Almost doing what God had called me to do. HOW could He be asking me to give it up?
Because I knew this is such a major struggle for writers I wanted to explore this in situation in my fun new Mule Hollow book THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE.
My heroine Sugar Rae Lenox has extremely stong reasons for knowing she is called to be an actress. But, she is always just missing her big break. And she's started feeling like God is asking her to give up her dream! God put a fighting spirit inside of Sugar and she's never given up on anything so surely she is misunderstanding God.

You can read the actual blurb on this website in the upcoming book link.

I believe this is a struggle and a question that each person must work out between you and God. In THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE Sugar Ray fights all the way to her answer while at the same time falling in love with cowboy Ross Denton. She, like I did, and like I hope you do to if you are struggling with similar doubts and decisions came to understand God's plan for her life when God's timing was right.
Like I always say, God's timing is worth waiting for because it's always the best timing. I know it was for me. But like my heroine, Sugar Ray, I fought through the doubts and held on and didn't give up in my quest. I'll forever be glad God put that fighting spirit inside of me so that I was able to persever...because if I had given up on my dream during all the years it took me to make my first sale then I would have really missed out on all the fun I'm having writing for Love Inspired!
Have you been to Mule Hollow yet? Come on and join the fun :)
Until next time, live, laugh and seek God with all your heart!
Debra Clopton

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Winning isn't everything

With my book, Keeping Her Safe, out this month, I've discovered something once again. That winning isn't everything.
I had entered four contests with last year's book, and didn't final in a single one of them. Oh, well. I was disappointed, but I'll let you in on a little secret. God won't let me win, until I learn to be a graceful winner. (I have a sneaky suspicion I wouldn't be one) LOL!
Anyway, in the meantime, friends and family alike have won at writing. If you'll allow me to boast for a moment, my daughter won an essay contest on a Canadian provincial premier. (he'd be the equivilent to a governor in the States) and she will receive $250! Pretty cool, eh, and let me tell you, everyone in the house now knows about Daniel Lionel Hannington, Premier of New Brunswick in 1874. We know ALL about him!
Bragging aside, I told my daughter she's done something I have yet to achieve. I've never won a contest. I got honourable mention in one about 10 years ago, if that counts for something.
But it doesn't matter anymore.
At my kids' school awards evening, a woman, mother of a friend of mine, sought me out, and told me something really wonderful. She absolutely loved my book. She couldn't put it down. She sat in her living room and read it cover to cover. Is that great or what?
And a writer friend took the time to write me to say how much she enjoyed the book, and loved the hero's prayer in it. It hit her right in the heart.
Just as these little compliments get me right there. They are way better than a contest. I've touched someone's life with my story and it gives me a knot in my throat. We writers write for various reasons, creative outlet, need to tell a story, the love of reading are some of the reasons, but we rarely sit at the computer and say, "I'm going to touch someone's life with this story."
We just hope we do. And when it happens, we are so incredibly thrilled, touched, a whole lot more than winning a contest.
Of course, I have never won a contest, so I may be off the wall here, but I don't think so.
You mothers out there can say that even when your son or daughter doesn't make the highest mark, or draw the best picture, the one they drew for you, the one they added, 'I love you' to, is way better than any ribbon or certificate.
Let's take the time to see how personal things matter so much more. How we can help each other, lift each other up, and encourage each other. It's worth a thousand contest wins.
Enjoy your summer!
Barbara Phinney

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why we read stories?

Ever wonder if there's any added benefits to reading fiction? In the latest "Psychology Today" (June 2008), there is an article titled "Dare to be Yourself." The authors list 8 Acts of Authenticity and the #1 Act is to read novels. "It's the best way to figure out what it feels like to be in somene else's head -- and that's what helps us to distinguish our own identity," (quote from John Portmann, professor of religious ethics, University of Virginia.).
I was intrigued. I know I've always loved to read novels, but I had no idea they were making me more myself. What do you think? Agree or disagree?


Why Not Me?

Jennie and Anita posted comments regarding my Standing Ovation post that gave me the idea to send out this new thought on writing. Though it's about writers, readers may like to know the struggle authors have regarding a writing career.

No matter if we're published or not, authors asked the question, "Why not me?" Why don't I have a NY Times best seller? Why didn't my editors like my new proposal? Why am I not getting a contract for a book? Why doesn't an agent want to represent my novel? Will I ever have a published novel?

These questions can cause us to be depressed and to guide our careers in places the Lord may not have in his plan for us. The Bible tells us "A man may plan his course, but the Lord guides His steps." The address that I spoke about in my previous blog entry was based on verses in Ecclesiastes 3, For everything there is a season, and the hard part for us is to wait for God to give us our season.

But the Lord also offers us Gal 6: 8-9 to think about. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Again we hear the word proper time. The Bible repeats those messages--our season, the proper time and He has made everything beautiful in its time. God keeps telling us, but we don't always want to understand. We wait on Him, the source of our talent and the purpose for which we write. God knows when we are ready to make the total sacrifice to be a writer, when our work is ready to be published so that it can reach a multitude of readers and not only a few as in self-publishing. And most of all, he knows when readers are ready to receive the book of your heart which you've written. It's a three-part plan to God and He knows. We wait.

If you live in Arizona...Greater Phoenix area

Valley of the Sun Romance Writers of America is putting on a one day event this Saturday (June 28) in Glendale, Arizona. I'll be speaking on writing Romantic Suspense. If you're a writer and in the area, stop on by.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 - 9 am to 4:30 pm at the GASLIGHT INN, 5747 W. Glendale Avenue - Glendale AZ, across from Murphy Park Tel: 623-934-9119

11:15-12:15PM - Pamela Tracy - Suspense Romance

Other authors speaking include Jennifer Ashley, Vijaya Schartz, Renee Bernard, and Janeen O'Kerry. Topics range from building a website, to writing the hook, to writing the historical as well as time management and agent hunting.

Ongoing book signing during the day.
No registration fee - Coffee, tea, and water available at no cost
Reserve your seat with Josette Umbertino at sicilijo@cox.net
Pay for your own lunch and/or room if you plan to stay at the Inn.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Standing Ovation

Have you every received a standing ovation? I don't believe I ever have until this weekend at the American Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids where I was on staff.
This was an uplifting, spirit-filled event, and I had the opportunity to present workshops to new eager writers, meet them at meals, talk with them at appointments and present the banquet keynote address. When they rose with applause, I was touched beyond belief.
Why does this happen? I think such an ovation happens, when the hearers relate to what's been said--when they identify themselves in the words spoken, when they hear the frustrations that they have experience, and when they have felt blessed by whatever event they were involved in. Writers share so many emotions besides lonely hours behind a computer. We experience the ups and downs of our careers, and we know the joy of a sale, but also the taste of rejection whether published or not.
I spoke on the topic For Everything There Is A Season, and we all need to remember this true statement. We don't know when it will be our season to shine. We may be surrounded by the storm of failure or be sprinkled of the rain of uncertainty, or we can enjoy the sunshine of God's presence -- whether rain or shine.
Our words are a blessing for authors who aren't speakers. Though we can't see the glow in the faces of our readers, we know that they are often touched by our written words and the stories we weave.
The Lord tells us, we do not write with ink, but on the hearts of our readers. What a responsibility, yet what a joy. Thank you Lord for allowing me and all my fellow authors to work for you and your kingdom.
Have you every asked yourself -- When will it be my season?

Friday, June 20, 2008


I'm a puzzle writer. When a story comes to me, I do not get it in order of how the story will enfold. I usually end up having one clear scene in my head and then the story builds on that.

Many times the scene that is most clear to me is the opening. The heroine is going about her life as normal and then something drastic happens to spin her world upside down. I usually can't wait to write that scene, so I jot down the bones of it in a file and then put it aside until I can work on it.

Since I'm usually working on several projects at a time, I need to keep good files to keep all my stories straight.You'd think that when the time comes for me to write the story, scene two would naturally be the next scene I work on. Not necessarily. For me, stories come together as puzzles. I know the beginning. I know a scene in the middle somewhere and I almost always have the ending mapped out before I even know how the hero and heroine are going to get there. In fact, if you look on my hard drive, you'll see lots of stories with beginnings and endings already written.

I've tried many times to write in order. When I force myself into this mode, I get writer's block. I've come to realize that I'm a big picture sort of gal. I see the the progression of the story coming together as a whole rather than in a linear fashion. Now that I don't force myself to write in order, I write much quicker than I used to.

I talk about puzzle writing as well as linear, pantsers and plotters in my Understanding Your Writing Profile workshop, which I will be doing this weekend for the New England Chapter of RWA. What kind of writer are you??

I'm already starting to hear from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense bookclub readers about Her Only Protector. If you in the bookclub and have read Her Only Protector, please drop me a line and let me know how you liked the book!

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WendyK you have won a book

WendyK, could you contact me so we can make arrangements to have your book mailed to you. www.lindaford.org

Thanks to everyone who made comments about the Steeple Hills lines. Your comments are both encouraging and helpful.

Linda F

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rita Award Nominee: Linda Goodnight

Last week we did the launch of the new Love Inspired' web site. What fun it is to look at everyone's pictures and see 'friend' potential. This is a fabulous place to be. Love Inspired has a lot to brag about right now. I'd like to brag about Rita Nominee: Linda Goodnight. And, then, she can tell you about her book.

They say the writing world is small. Well, it is. The first name on the nominee list for 2008 RITA for Inspirational Romance Fiction is Linda Goodnight. I was so tickled when I saw her name. See, I've known Linda physically (met at an RWA conference and on early loops) and figuratively (my critique partner of six years Libby Banks migrated from Oklahoma WHERE she also critiqued with Linda Goodnight). Too cool!


Beginning her career as Golden Heart finalist in 1999, Linda Goodnight’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Among her awards are the Booksellers’ Best, ACFW Book of the Year, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine. A former teacher and nurse, she currently writes for both Harlequin Romance and Love Inspired. She and her husband live on a small farm/ranch in Oklahoma. She is delighted and honored to be a 2008 RITA finalist.

1. Describe your RITA phone call.

On ‘the call’ day, I was in town doing some business, partly in self-defense because I didn’t want to sit around all day wishing for a call that didn’t come. I had just pulled up to the stoplight when my cell phone rang.

I answered the phone, expecting my husband. Instead, I got Kelly St. John. She said she was calling for RWA and asked, “How are you today?” The realization struck that this was the call I had wished for. A zing of energy tightened the hair on my head. My skin prickled. It was the weirdest sensation-good, but weird. When I could talk, I replied, “I think I just got better.”

Kelley laughed and went on to tell me I was a finalist. About that time the light changed and I had to drive. To this day, I have no recollection of driving for the next few miles. I kept saying, “Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Is this real?” and other gushing idiocies. At one point, I think I asked if it was April Fool’s Day.

I’ve always heard people say they pinched themselves to see if they were awake. I actually did that, thinking I must be dreaming. I mean, really, me a RITA finalist? It had to be a dream.

When Kelley finally got rid of me, I drove the seven miles to my house, laughing and crying and praising the Lord. Nah, I wasn’t excited or anything.

2. Tell us about the RITA book and why you think it stood out it the crowd.

I honestly don’t know why A TOUCH OF GRACE stood out from so many other really fine entries. I only know what the book meant to me and how much I loved the characters, the setting, and the theme. The key verses for that book are Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25, which are also my life verses. Maybe my passion for orphans and the needy was projected to the readers. Whatever the reasons, I am grateful.

Here’s a little blurb:
Ian Carpenter is a street minister with a heart for broken people and a subconscious that’s trying to tell him something. Gretchen Barker, an investigative reporter with a dark and painful past, turns the spotlight on Ian’s ministry when her drug-addicted sister turns up dead on the front lawn of the mission. Ian thinks he has nothing to hide. But he does. And the revelations shake the very foundation of who he thinks is and what he believes.

3. How many books have you written? Over 25

4. Do you have a favorite?

I’ve heard authors say that picking a favorite book is like choosing a favorite child. Although all my kids were favorites, I do have books that stand out in my heart and mind - All three of THE BROTHERS’ BOND, for instance, including the RITA nominee and last year’s ACFW winner, A SEASON FOR GRACE. I truly love those books and thank God for giving me the opportunity to write them.

5. Describe your writing process.

The process changes with every book, but the core way I write doesn’t. I am basically a seat-of-the-pants writer with a little structure to keep me focused. Once I get an idea, I spend a lot of time fleshing out my characters, although I won’t really know them well until I get into the book. I also use a plotting circle that I devised using the “mythical hero’s journey” to lay out the big things that must occur. (An overview of the circle is on my website.) The rest comes organically as I write.

6. When did you decide to become a writer and why Christian fiction?

I’ve always loved the power and beauty of words, but it wasn’t until the mid-nineties, after a serious illness, that I began pursuing the big dream of publication. The desire was always there, I just didn’t think I could actually do it.

Although I did not start out in Christian fiction and still write sweet romance that is not specifically Christian, I love the thought of writing something that directly brings glory to God and has the opportunity to bless or encourage a reader in Jesus’ name. My reader mail lets me know that Christian writing, even when its major purpose is entertainment, is a ministry, and I take that very seriously.

7. Tell us about your next or upcoming projects.

My next book releases in early July! WINNING THE SINGLE MOM’S HEART is a sweet romance from Harlequin available for pre-order at www.amazon.com. This is book four in an adorable author-generated series called “The Wedding Planners”. We authors had so much fun writing the books we now have a Wedding Planners’ blog that features real wedding tips, proposal and wedding stories from your favorite authors, visits from wedding experts, great prizes, as well as info about the series. I hope you’ll check us out. http://harlequin-theweddingplanners.blogspot.com

I also having Christian fiction scheduled for September-A BRIDE BY CHRISTMAS, a Barbour historical anthology, and A TIME TO HEAL, a contemporary from Love Inspired.

8. Do you have any advice for unpublished writers?

Years ago I met an assistant editor at a conference in Oklahoma City. Fast forward several years and that assistant was now a senior editor who approved the purchase of my first book. As she handed the manuscript to my then and now editor, she said, “Linda is a lovely person. You’ll like working with her.” When my editor told me this I nearly fainted. I had met that woman one time as an unpublished writer and she remembered!

That incident taught me a valuable lesson. Be nice to everyone. The publishing world is small, and both editors and writers have long memories.

And to the usual “study the craft” truths, I’ll add one other thing: If your book is good enough, someone will pay you. Don’t pay them. I feel so bad for new writers who are duped by vanity presses.

Visit Linda at: www.lindagoodnight.com and http://lindagoodnight.blogspot.com or zap her an email and Linda@lindagoodnight.com