Thursday, July 26, 2012

Travel and Research - Fun And Stimulating

Hi From Gail Gaymer Martin at traveling in Europe.

Travel is part of an author's research. Bringing the setting to life means understanidng the way people live as well as the sights, sounds and smells of a place. Whether it's a small town in the .. or a country outside the US, good information can add reality to the novel,but it an also stimulate creativity in the author. I've thought of great story ideas, scenes, conflicts and goals while visiting other locations. Travel is essential for authors.

I've been inspired by so many things I've seen around the world and in the US. We are in Heidelberg, Germany, one of my favorite towns with tremendous history.  My husband lived here four years when he was in the military. The Heidelberg Castle in a tremendous landmark. This view is taken from the town across the Neckar River, Neunheim. Behind me is the Philosophenweg or Philosopher's Way, which is a path up the foothill that offers a tremendous view of the Heidelberg, but even from the street level, looking across you will see the famous castle loaded with history, the Holy Ghost Church (Heiliggeistkirche) with more history, and the Alte Brücke (the old bridge), with it's beautiful design.

From the castle terrace that faces the city, the view shows the pedestrian area, part of the Heidelberg University buildings, the old bridge and the Holy Ghost Church as well. On the hillside across the Neckar River where the top photo was taken is the Philosopher's Way that I mentioned.  The walk is to the top of the hill. I once did it and the sun went down, leaving us in the dark coming down the mountain without a flashlight. I included that true life scene in my novel, Dreaming of Castles which is set in Heidelberg.

Here is a close up of the bridge entrance as I walked on it. Gorgeous architecture.  The statue is the elector Carl Theodor, who built it in 1786-88. The tops of the two columns are shaped like the old helmets from the 18th century.

Tomorrow we leave for the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), the place known for beautiful forests, waterfalls, valleys and hills and the famous cuckoo clocks.

Wishing you wonderful travels and great memories when you have the opportunity to venture out into the world or enjoy the great sights in our country. As Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, "There is no place like home." Though I always love the travel, I also love returning home.

The National Romance Writers of America Conference

By Debby Giusti

I'm in Anaheim, California, for the 2012 National Romance Writers of America Conference, enjoying the lovely weather, great workshops and opportunity to spend time with my writer friends.

Debby (left) and Sandra at Dana Point
Author Sandra Leesmith and I are rooming together. She lived in LA and knows the city so we rented a car on Tuesday and spent the afternoon at Dana Point. We had lunch at a delightful restaurant right on the water and then walked off our yummy crab and shrimp as we browsed the shops and markets.

Yesterday was the huge book signing with over 400+ authors. The money raised goes to literacy.  It was crowded but so fun.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to say hello.

L to R: Lyndee Henderson, Anita Mae Draper, Suzanne Dietze,
Sandra Leesmith, Suzie Johnson and Debby Giusti at
the FHL get-together on WED.
  The next three days will be filled with workshops.  I learn so much when I come to this conference, and I'm excited about the great lineup of programs.  I'll be sharing much of the information on future blogs.

Wish you all could be here!

Happy writing! Happy reading!

Debby Giusti

THE COLONEL'S DAUGHTER, the third book in my Military Investigations Series, will be out in August.  Hope you enjoy the story.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This is Merrillee, and the photo to the left is a picture of one of the bedrooms in our home. We are anticipating a big change in our lives as my mother-in-law comes to live with us. This will be her room. It will not only be an adjustment for us to have her here, but she will have to adjust to not having her own house.

As I see my mother-in-law age, I know that someday, I may face these exact changes. We all have to make adjustments as our lives change and things around us change. We are often resistant to change, but nothing stays the same. So we have to learn to negotiate new and different things.

What kind of changes have you had to deal with? Did you find it difficult?

Here is the cover for my most recent Love Inspired book. The hero and heroine both go through changes when he loses his children's caregiver and she loses her job.

Please visit me on my website at or on Facebook at

Monday, July 23, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Jenna Mindel here and proud to announce the success of my first BIG garden.  Actually, my husband and I planted it together with the help of our neighbor kids.  I’ve already picked three colanders full of green beans despite the bunnies that have eaten several leaves.   We’ve also enjoyed half a dozen cucumbers.  Waiting on the tomatoes to ripen as well as our stunted sweet corn.  Don’t know what happened there. 

My husband and I pretty much threw the seeds in, watered, weeded, and hoped for the best.  We’re organic, because we’re lazy and oh so inexperienced.  But, I think we might get into this – we’ve already talked about how we’ll get the soil ready for next year and keep the rabbits out.

I really look forward to following the pumpkins develop into big ‘ole Jack-O-Lanterns.  It’ll be fun to watch the kids next door pick their pumpkins when ready.  

I see a connection to God’s creation, patience and provision all wrapped up into a garden.  Every gardener I know shares their bounty, and we’ll do the same.  I’m thinking there’s a gospel lesson in there somewhere. And so, my foray into vegetable gardening has been, so far, a very satisfying one.   Accept for the weeding, which needs to be done yet again!

Any gardeners out there want to share their knowledge and experiences?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm signing for Literacy--Lenora Worth

Next week, I will head to Anaheim, California for the RWA 2012 conference. Along with my friend and fellow Love Inspired writer Winnie Griggs (who is also in charge of securing all the wonderful workshops we'll be having this year) I will arrive on Monday and stay till the following Sunday. On Tuesday, Winnie and I will go along with several Harlequin authors on a Hollywood tour. I've always wanted to do this but the last couple of times I was passing through, I wasn't able to take an extra day to have some fun. I'm looking forward to seeing the homes of movie stars, the Hollywood sign and some of the other attractions around L.A. Then on Wednesday night, about four hundred of us will be part of a huge open-to-the-public book signing at the convention center across from our hotel. I always enjoy these signings because I get to go around and find my friends and hopefully buy their books and I get to watch the amazingly long lines to some of the more famous tables of writers such as Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. But the best part is this--all the books sold are donated either from the publishing houses or the authors and all the money goes toward literacy. We're talking thousands of dollars--five figure type thousands of dollars.
So if you happen to be in Anaheim next week--come on by and see us. And buy books. It's for a good cause. I can't imagine not being able to read. Education makes the world a better place and brings people together. Reading is a big part of having an education. The magic of being able to read books can open doors for people all over the world. I'm proud to be part of an organization that believes in literacy. Thank you RWA, publishers, writers and readers for making RWA Literacy for Life Autographing such a success year after year. Have you ever been to one of these affairs and if so, do you have any stories to tell about your experiences? Share with the class!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Camy here! I don’t know if I ever shared this with you guys, but I recently was listening to Rush of Fools and remembered how the song “There is Nothing” really inspired me when I was writing Stalker in the Shadows. This became the theme song of the book because I’d play it over and over as I wrote key scenes, especially at the climax at the hotel.

“There is Nothing” by Rush of Fools from the album Wonder of the World

Songwriters: Kevin Huguley, Jason David Ingram, Wesley Willis
How far is too far for You?
How hard is too hard for You?
How much is too much for You, great God?

There is nothing, no, there's nothing You can't do

There is no wilderness, no desert place, no sickness
There is no sinking ship, no history, no weakness
That you can't save me from
That you can't save me from

How high is too high for You?
How low is too low for You?
How can I say thanks to You, great God?

There is nothing, no, there's nothing You can't do

There is no wilderness, no desert place, no sickness
There is no sinking ship, no history, no weakness
That you can't save me from
That you can't save me from

When I can't find the strength I'm needing to get up
I'm not outside Your reach, You rescue me with love

There is no wilderness, no desert place, no sickness
There is no sinking ship, no history, no weakness

There is no wilderness, no desert place, no sickness
There is no sinking ship, no history, no weakness
That you can't save me from
That you can't save me from

Buy the MP3 on Amazon

Aren't they awesome lyrics? They remind me how God is always there with me, no matter what happens to me or how I'm feeling. I am never alone.

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, July 16, 2012

Fun with Cats

Hi, this is Margaret Daley. I have a September Love Inspired coming out in a little over a month. In the story I have a secondary character who is a vet--Nathan Grayson. He is my heroine's (Maggie) cousin. After the hurricane, his farm became a refuge for homeless and discarded animals. I often have animals in my stories. I love them and have always had at least one pet--either dog or cat. On Harlequin's website in September I will be doing a serial novella telling Nathan's story.

We have three cats in our home that found us over the years. Each one is unique and different from the others.  My male, Ringo, rules the house and tries to keep the two females in line. He doesn't always succeed. Peppers is my neurotic cat but is so loving. Her favorite place is to wrap herself around my neck, which can make it difficult to write at the computer. My third cat is the one that has made me laugh more than any animal I've had. She is so curious and gets herself into trouble. Once she snooped inside a plastic bag and got it caught around her. She ran through the house scared as though something was chasing her. I still laugh when I think back to that. She is also the one that growls when she hears someone coming to the house. She thinks she is a dog. I often know when someone is coming before they ring the doorbell because she growls--then goes and hides.

One picture is Peppers being Catzilla through my Christmas village. The other picture is Ringo in his usual position.

What are some funny things your pet does?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Surprising Twins by Marta Perry

Why are we so fascinated by identical twins? And how identical are identical twins, anyway?

Her Surprise Sister, my July release, is the first book in a new Love Inspired continuity series, Texas Twins. It will be followed by a new book in the series by a different author each month. All of the stories revolve around a Texas family and two sets of identical twins who were separated when they were very young, and what happens when they discover each other.

Working on the series made me think a great deal, obviously, about the subject of twins in general and about how I might feel if I discovered that I had a sister I'd never known existed. And one, moreover, who looked exactly like me. To a non-twin, it seems almost eerie--like looking in a mirror and discovering two faces staring back at you!

A good friend of mine has twins, boys who are so identical that she assigned colors to them at birth in order to keep them straight. Everyone knows that one is the "blue boy" and the other the "red boy," as they used to say when they were little. Everyone the twins come in contact with, especially their teachers, is grateful for the distinction!

But aside from the outward appearance, what else does being a twin involve? We've all read about twins who develop their own secret language, or who feel pain when the other is hurt. But the twins in our stories grew up separately, so it was great fun to imagine what things they might have in common, as well as how they might be different.

In Her Surprise Sister, Violet Colby comes face to face with her identical twin, Maddie Wallace, at an already critical time in her life. With her mother lying in a coma and her brother caught up in his imagined guilt over her accident, Violet is coping with more than enough burdens for one person. Discovering that much of what she's always believed about herself and her family is a lie could send anyone into an emotional tailspin.

But Violet, like her mother, is a survivor, and she has to find unexpected strength within to carry her through to her own happy ending.

I hope you'll enjoy this new continuity series from Love Inspired. To read the opening of Her Surprise Sister, visit my blog at

And tune in next month for the further adventures of the Texas Twins, as Barbara McMahon brings you Maddie's story in Mirror Image Bride.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kim Watters here.  Cancer. I shudder every time I hear that word, yet these days its almost as common as breathing. Every time I turn around, I know someone who knows someone with the disease.  As the mother of two young children, I can't even begin to know or comprehend what it would be like to have a child with cancer like my heroine does, and my heart breaks for those parents who do.  I pray daily that God helps us find a cure.

Writing And Father Makes Three gave me the opportunity to explore the complex subject of bone marrow transplants. The stories and testimonials were truly inspirational and humbling at the same time. A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Be The Match program to defray the costs associated with the testing. Straight from their website: "The National Marrow Donor Program ® (NMDP) and our Be The Match Foundation ® are nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need, when they need it."

From a personal perspective, one of my dear friends from high school was diagnosed with Large Cell B non-hodgkins Lymphoma and needed to have a bone marrow transplant to put her cancer into remission.  In her honor, I have dedicated this book to her. Today she is in remissionand living life to the fullest.

And Father Makes Three
July 2012
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?