Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fourth--What are you going to do?

Leann Harris here.  Next week is America's Birthday--246 years old.  Oh, I remember the bicentinnal.   Does that date me?
What do you plan to do that day?  Have a picnic?  Gather with your family?  Go watch a parade?  Our city's parade is just a walk up the hill to see the folks walking in the parade.  I walked in it one year for our local garden club.

My family will gather at the house and we'll do a big lunch here.  Later watch fireworks.  I heard there are places in New Mexico and Colorado that have to cancel fireworks because of the drought conditions.  That was us last year, but we've had rain.  What are you going to do?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NARROW ESCAPE manuscript is done!

Camy here, and I just sent the line edits off to my editor in New York! Narrow Escape is my fourth Love Inspired Suspense novel and will be out in Spring 2013. I’m excited because I think the book turned out really well. There’s lots of kissing, anyway. :)

Narrow Escape stars Nathan Fischer, one of the minor characters from Stalker in the Shadows. I always pictured Nathan to look like Nathan Fillion from Castle. :)

Also, there's a cameo appearance of Monica and Shaun from Stalker in the Shadows. :) However, you don't have to read any of my other books to understand this one--it's completely stand-alone.

I'll let you guys know when it's available for pre-order!

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer's a good time for romance....

Jenna Mindel here, thoroughly enjoying summer in Northern Michigan.  Lots of other folks travel to the area to enjoy summers too - and who can blame them with the pristine beaches and quaint shops and fun fesitvals!  Check out those Pure Michigan commercials narrated by Tim Allen and you'll see what I mean.  

Anyway, I'm a winter time kind of gal who adores reading romances set during the Christmas season, but there's something awfully sweet about the summer-time romance.  Maybe it's because summer romance holds a bit of nostalgia for me.  I recieved my very first kiss on a Ferris Wheel during the July 4th Field Days in my hometown of Cazenovia, NY.  In Northern Michigan, field days are called festivals.   And there's tons of festivals up here! 

In the book I'm currently writing, I'm using the well known Cherry Festival held the 2nd week of July in Traverse City, MI as the backdrop for the "big" kiss between my characters.   Sinclair Marsh finally comes home and falls for childhood buddy, Hope Petersen.   Their story should release during the spring of 2013 so stay tuned or check my website at for upcoming news.  Truly, writing a summer time set romance is alot of fun, and hopefully I'll capture that summertime feel. 

Which leads me to my question - what is your favorite seasonal setting for romance?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lyn Reviews & Gives Great News!

Duty to ProtectDuty to Protect by Roxanne Rustand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Roxanne is a dear friend but even if I didn't know her, I would have given this book 5 stars. Duty to Protect in her "Big Sky Secrets" series hits every note right on key. A lovely and endangered heroine, a handsome cowboy/former cop hero, a cross country chase--and every plot twist heightens the tension between the hero (Jake) and heroine (Emma) and the very real danger Emma faces. Roxanne knows the horse world and the Big Sky country from personal experience and it shows. She even manages to throw in some family dynamics with the hero's teen-aged nephew and someone out to take Jake's ranch. So if you enjoy a sweet romance, a fast-paced mystery set in Big Sky Country, don't miss Duty to Protect!

View all my reviews

And Here's the Great News!
Free on Kindle Friday June 22 through Sunday June 24, 2012

A penniless but pretty girl...a wealthy young man on his way to war--what could draw them into a marriage of convenience?

In April 1898, Sophia Schiffler boards a train and meets Gannon Moore, both on their way to Chicago. Gannon is going to withdraw from the university to enlist in the Spanish American War. Teddy Roosevelt is gathering his rough riders to invade Cuba. And Gannon is ready to join the fight against Spain to gain Cuba's freedom. Mourning the recent loss of his sister, Gannon is shocked when Sophia reveals she is going to marry a man she's never met. When this suitor doesn't meet Sophia at Union Station, Gannon accompanies her to the man's address. What they discover there catapults Sophia into a situation she could never have imagined.
Soon she is living in Chicago and frequenting Jane Addams' famous Hull House. Gannon trains in Florida and prepares for combat in Cuba. He and Sophia exchange letters written from their hearts. In the fall, Gannon returns from war, a changed man. The course of true love never runs smooth. And life has a way of turning tables on two young people in love. Their springtime love endured separation and a war. Will it survive a winter of reality?

Free on Kindle Friday June 22 through Sunday June 24, 2012
Also on sale those days, one of my full length historicals,  La Belle Christiane.
Normally 4.99. On sale for $1.49-- Three days ONLY!

 So which do you prefer--ebook or paper?--Lyn

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Writing Humor

Hi, Charlotte Carter here -

In August, I’m going to teach an online class about writing humor via the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America. ( Basically I have to expand my one-hour workshop on humor into eight lessons. Whew!

The good news is I get to revisit some of favorite authors and pluck scenes from their books to use as examples. Here’s a scene I particularly love for using the technique of Dialogue in Contrast to Inner Thoughts.

In Sandra Paul’s book The Reluctant Hero, the heroine Ernestine is a marine biologist. She has decided it’s time she married and is pursuing Sam in her usual academic way. She takes him to an aquarium where they examine a display of a whale penis.
     " slender finger tapping the dimple in her chin as she studied the exhibit with the same unselfconscious enjoyment an art patron might display when viewing Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.She said, ‘Did you know a ‘right’ whale had the largest testes every recorded? They weighed one metric ton—twenty-two hundred pounds’
     She sounded so pleased. Sam wasn’t sure of the correct response, but he tried to work up a little matching enthusiasm. ‘A ton, huh?’
     ‘Yes. Obviously there is a distinct correlation between brain size and the size of reproductive organs. As you probably know, in the primate family, man has the largest of both.’ Her sideways glance was apologetic. ‘I’m referring to proportional size, of course’
     ‘Of course,’ he answered, mentally calculating his own endowments. He smiled, relieved. He’d never realized his brain was so large."
Another of of my all-time favorite books is The Gift by Julie Garwood. Julie provides a perfect example of how Props can add humor to a book.

Set up: Lady Sara is sailing to her Carribean island in a ship captained by Nathan. Lady Sara carries a parasol with her everywhere she goes, and she apparently has hundreds of them. Her parasols are forever causing havoc (and physical humor) including on the ship. After a parasol is caught in the rigging, nearly sinking the ship, Nathan forces her to promise no parasol will leave her chamber.
     "The parasols won’t leave this chamber?" he asks.
     "They won’t."
     "You will destroy them?"
     "I will."
     He was finally satisfied. He actually began to feel a little more peaceful. By the time he left the cabin he was convinced his wife couldn’t possibly wreck anything else.
     Besides, he reasoned, what more could she do?"

    (Chapter break)
    She set his ship on fire.

Not only is this a great example of using a prop, it’s a perfect example of what John Vorhaus in The Comic Toolbox calls the Doorbell Effect. 
"Have you noticed how in certain situation comedies, Dad or Mom or Chip or Sally will say, ‘We’re okay now; everything’s going to be fine as long as the doorbell doesn’t ring’ or words to that effect? Where upon, with relentless certainty of a loan shark circling his prey, the doorbell proceeds to ring. That’s the doorbell effect.
"I sure make it sound stupid, don’t I? You’d sure be stupid to use it, wouldn’t you? Not necessarily. With a little misdirection, a little tweaking of the jokoid, the doorbell effect cam be a very funny bit indeed.
"The character has a certain expectation — the doorbell won’t ring—and then that expectation is defeated — the doorbell rings. The joke is funny as a function of the way it catches the character’s expectation off-guard."
Charlotte again. The chapter break Garwood uses is also the perfect tool to make her humorous bit work.

Okay, back to my lesson planning. What humorous scenes do you remember and which authors do you love because of the humor in their books?

Happy reading.......

Montana Love Letter, Love Inspired, 10/2012
Home to Montana, Love Inspired, 3/2013 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guess what appeared on my front porch?

By Debby Giusti
Busy with the final rewrites for my next Love Inspired Suspense, I wasn't thinking of my August release until three boxes showed up on my front porch last week.  I quickly hauled the cartons into my kitchen and carefully cut through the tape so I could open the lids and peer inside.  

Of course, you've probably guessed what was in the boxes!  Copies of THE COLONEL'S DAUGHTER, my tenth book and the third story in my Military Investigations Series.  The two larger boxes each contained 48 paperbacks, while the smaller box held three books in the new large-print, trade paperback size. 

I had sent the Art Department a number of pictures of military quarters to give them an idea of what I would like to see on the cover.  Fort Rickman, the fictional Army post I created for the series, is located in Georgia, but the set of quarters I envisioned as I wrote the story is identical to a house at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where I had lived in my youth.

Not only did the Art Department provide an accurate rendering of the quarters, they also captured a feeling of suspense and intrigue, and added the heroine at the window as a bonus.

Love Inspired is celebrating their 15th anniversary in publishing. Congrats to the editors and staff, and a special thank you to my editor, Emily Rodmell, and the Art Department.

What do you like to see on covers?  Did you ever buy a book just because you liked the art work? Do you prefer still life covers or ones that depict the hero and heroine?

Happy writing! Happy reading!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

By Debby Giusti
A ruthless killer is targeting the families of soldiers in a U.S. Army colonel’s brigade. Special agent Jamison Steele, of the Criminal Investigation Division, vows to stop him—because this time, Jamison’s heart is involved. The colonel’s daughter, the woman who loved and left Jamison without a word, came face-to-face with the murderer. Protecting Michele Logan means constant surveillance. And solving the mystery of the serial killer’s motive requires asking Michele the questions she least wants to answer. Questions that may lead them both into a deadly trap.

THE OFFICER'S SECRET, book 1, and THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION, book 2, are still available in paperback or e-book.  Order them here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Be Careful of What You Wish For!

Susan Sleeman here. I’ve heard the saying be careful of what you wish for and honestly never felt in my life that my wishes coming true might be a bad thing. I still don’t think that right now, but I’ve recently gotten several of my writing wishes fulfilled and as a result I have five books to write between now and May of next year. I don’t think I ever wished to write five books in a year, but I wished to make a living as a writer and that’s a good start to doing so.

Now before you think I am feeling sorry for myself, I’m not. This isn’t a bad thing at all. I am truly blessed. BUT. . .I don’t have time to do much else but write and sleep. Cooking dinner or laundry this month. Forget it. Hmm, maybe this is better than I first thought. LOL

My writing days have expanded from ten to twelve hours at least. This I can handle. BUT. . .there’s that word again, I feel stressed. Especially with a deadline for completion of two of the books by mid-July.

So what about you? Have you ever had your wishes come true only to be stressed out by the reality?

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. To learn more about Susan visit her at her – Website
Or any of these social media sites-

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             *Five adopted siblings with a law
               enforcement background who
               now work together in the Justice
               Agency to help people who traditional
               law enforcement can’t help.
             *Five books – each featuring one of
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Bird Rescuer

Kim Watters here. The other day I was riding my bike, a real bike, not the stationary one that doubles as a purse and belt holder, enjoying the morning before the summer heat set in in Phoenix. As the slight breeze with a hint of refreshing coolness danced across my skin, and the enjoyable scent of night still lingered, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye--a baby quail running along the curb trying to jump the concrete barrier to join his family.

Poor thing. Now keep in mind that I don’t particularly like birds—long story that stems from a childhood incident…but if I didn’t intervene, Junior was going to exhaust himself, get hit by a car, or eaten. None of his options looked good. I scanned the area looking for his family, but they were long gone. This is the reason quail have so many eggs at a time. Most of them don’t survive until adulthood. But they are so cute and fluffy as they form a line and trail between momma and papa bird.

So I had a choice to make. Intervene, catch the little bugger, and take him to the local bird lady to raise, or leave him where he was. Actually, there wasn’t a choice and I told him so. Let me tell you though, for such a small thing, this guy was quick, but determination finally won over exhaustion. Of course getting home on my bike riding one handed, worrying if the little guy or gal was going to peck at my hand, or escape, was a challenge.

So how does this relate to writing?

A lot. Well for one, I like to use real life stories in my writing, so don’t be surprised if this incident appears in an upcoming book. For another, it demonstrates overcoming fear.

A necessary thing if an author is going to make in the publishing world today. I was not going to let the baby quail die, so I had to overcome my fear of birds for a moment. I’d say this fear is similar to how I felt when I sent out my first manuscript to an editor. I eventually got over it, just as I got through the ride back to my house carrying the baby quail in my hand. He survived and so did I.

In fact, my third Love Inspired Book releases this month and got a 4.5 stars from Romantic Times.
And Father Makes Three

ISBN-13: 978-0373877560

“Your Daughter Needs You.”

She’s saved countless lives, yet there’s one person emergency room doctor Elizabeth Randall can’t rescue—her adopted daughter, Jordan. Perhaps meeting her biological father, Blake Crawford, will be the lifeline Jordan needs. The handsome, guarded firefighter takes risks every day. But facing the daughter he never knew—along with lovely Elizabeth—has him thinking about family. With fatherhood thrust suddenly upon him, there’s no way he can turn his back on his sick child. Will working together to give Jordan a second chance at life also lead them to a second chance at love?


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Allie Pleiter on the OTHER kind of writing

You know what I mean--the OTHER kind.  The vanishing kind.  The handwritten note.

It’s probably the only thing that doesn’t get typed onto a keyboard these days, isn’t it?  Even the forms we fill out are often digitized lately.  I can’t even remember the last time my fingers touched a typewriter. 

Handwriting is a bit of a relic nowadays. Sigh.

I hope that’s not really true.  Actually, if one were to take my son’s handwriting into account, it might be better if it were true.  Still, I cherish things written by hand.  I used to think I could tell so much by a person’s handwriting, because it was such a part of their daily lives.  Now, short of someone’s signature, do we ever see much of anyone’s handwriting?

I’ve made it a goal of mine to write more notes this year.  The “snail mail” kind that require pen put to paper.  Part of that is drawn from my year-long goal of “connecting” with people rather than merely “communicating.”  I feel like I can communicate digitally, but I’ll really connect if I take the time and thought to write with my hands instead of just my fingertips.
How about you?  Where (if anywhere) does handwriting play a part in your life?