Thursday, September 27, 2012

Snoopy Dancing With New Ideas...

Debra Clopton here--its been a while since I blogged on the LI blog and I'm glad to be here to say a big HELLO! 2012 has been a busy year for me with writing and family and 2013 will be just as busy. It is a blessing to be busy. Just some quick news, on the homefront I celebrated my 2 anniversary this week! We headed to Fort Worth and stayed at the Historic Stock Yard Hotel established in 1907. As a Texan this was my first trip to the famous Stock Yards that are so heaped in history it was mind boggling. This is a shot of the beautiful lobby of the hotel.You can bet I was running around checking everything out. Chuck and I had a great couple of days there then we headed to the ACFW Conference held at the DFW Hyatt. It was a great time.

I had just finished up deadlines the week before leaving on this trip and that meant I was beginning to process new ideas which is always so fun to me!!! Okay so I didn't really snoopy dance but my mind feels like it is because of all the differet ideas that are whizzing around in my mind trying to get me to dance with them. Going to conference and also the Stock Yard and also the romantic anniversary celebration with my husband all worked together to inspire me in my creation of new storys. Now, I'm home and working hard on my proposals for the next 2 books on my list...and maybe make my readers do a little snoopy dancing when they hit the shelves at the end of 2013.

If you haven't read my latest, HER HOMECOMING COWBOY  3rd book of the MULE HOLLOW HOMECOMING SERIES it was on shelves in Aug .  Here is a link to it 

Watch for my next release in March 2013 book 1 in the new Sunset Ranch Series, HER UNFORGETABLE COWBOY. And please drop by my blog and sign up for my newsletter by entering my contest to win a signed copy of Her Homecoming Cowboy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lyn Cote here- With a Chance to be Creative

Lyn Cote here and I'm in one of my moods.

I'd like to ask a few questions:

1-Which do you prefer more--contemporary or historical romance or both?

2-Do you like a bit of suspense in your romance?

I've written for all three lines and have enjoyed each kind of story. But I know which is my favorite. Can you guess?

In honor of the season, I attached a photo. Sometimes authors find a photo of a setting or person and that's the seed of a story. I wonder what I could get out of this one.

Which type of novel do you think would fit this setting-romance, suspense or historical?  Why? Who would be the hero and heroine? What would they be in conflict over?.....

BTW, I have a new Love Inspired Historical coming November 1st--THEIR FRONTIER FAMILY. I'll be blogging about it next month!--Lyn

Monday, September 24, 2012

Changing Times

Pamela Tracy here.  I've a stack of Harlequin romances in my closet dating back twenty years.  I really need to work on my TBR pile.   I don't know about you, but I'm a cycle reader.  For three years, I devoured historicals.  Then, I went for contemporary humor which segued into small town stories.  I did a stint with first person women's fiction.  Next, all I wanted to read was suspense.  Right now, I'm in my cozy mystery phase.

Which means some books purchased get tucked in a corner waiting for their genre to cycle back.

This past weekend, as I was driving my son and his friend to the skateboard park (a second grader and third grader with scooters and a mom instead of skateboards and loose pants) I overheard the third grader teaching my son something I don't want him to know about yet.

Prank phone calling.

Okay, raise your hand, who of you did the deed?

I confess, I did.  It was junior high with my friend Sandy.  We'd call random numbers and when a grown-up answered, one of us would say, "Can I speak with your son?"  When the grown-up called said son, "Terry, come to the phone!" we'd now know the boy's name and speak to him as if we knew him.  Until he caught on and hung up on us.

Not in second grade though!

I'm thinking - thanks to caller ID, the era of prank phone calling, for kids, has come to an end.

So, yes, I'm also thinking about books and how often I read one from the eighties or nineties and I'm jarred by thinking "Why don't they just use their cell phone."

What do you think?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Sharon Project

I don't have a new book out to talk about, but I have something to share that has deeply touched my heart.  My husband and I went to a veterinarian dinner meeting on Tuesday night.  The company was entertaining, the food was excellent.  I'd expected that, but I sure hadn't expected the emotional impact of the second speaker's presentation. 
Isn't it wild how a chance encounter in  life can lead to so much more?  It just has to be the hand of God.  I was in awe and in near tears, listening to Dr. Darrow, a veterinarian from a small town in rural Iowa.  He spoke about his college years, when he was on the track team.  At a recent track team reunion, he learned of a tragedy:  a Kenyan member of the team had lost his little girl, Sharon, to rabies after she was bitten by a rabid dog.  Unbelievable though it seems, 24,000 people die of rabies in Africa every year.  Mostly children, mostly bitten by the domesticated dogs which wander freely in the villages.
This news affected Dr. Darrow so deeply that he began planning a mission trip to Kenya.  His goal was to find vaccine donations and some helpers, and then vaccinate as many dogs, cats and donkeys for rabies as they could.  And last January, it happened. Named Sharon's Project, after that little girl,  he and his helpers vaccinated 14,997 dogs, almost 2000 cats and 600 donkeys in areas where no one has enough money for their own health care, much less vet care for their animals.  People in remote villages swarmed to the vaccination sites, for rabies deaths in that country are far too common.  For Darrow's second trip, coming up in January, Merck Labs has already promised to  donate 90,000 doses of rabies vaccine!
When I got home, I wondered if there might be anything on YouTube about the project, and sure enough there is, at  Do watch the video....the statistics and images in it just took my breath away.  
Just one man started this, when he asked himself why even one child had to die from rabies in that country...and the fact that he followed through on his concern is now making such a difference.   

Goes to show that when someone says, "I'm just one person--there's nothing I can do"   he is sooooo wrong! 
Roxanne Rustand

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Countdown to the ACFW Conference!

By Debby Giusti

I’m flying to Dallas tomorrow for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. This past week has been busy, which always seems the norm before a conference. Probably because I’m cutting into my work time while away and have to double-up on my production schedule before I leave home.

Although busy, it’s been a fun seven days. Last Tuesday, I met with a local book club that selected my current release, THE COLONEL’S DAUGHTER, the third book in my Military Investigations series, for their monthly selection. The ladies—Carroll Pellegrinelli, Teri Sauer, Suzie Luciano and Aileen Friedlein—were so welcoming and had such kind things to say about my story.  Thank you, ladies!  Thank you, too, for the yummy dinner of chicken quesadillas, green salad, fruit kabobs and key lime pie.

For wonderful baked recipes, check out Carroll’s guide to desserts and baking at
L to R: Teri Sauer, Debby Giusti, Aileen Friedlein, Carrol
Pellegrinelli, and seated, Susan Luciano. 

Wednesday evening, I joined my own book club for delicious finger food and great discussion about our own monthly selection.  All of us attended a church retreat a number of years ago and have been meeting monthly since then.  Our upcoming selection is THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho.
L to R front row: Elfi, Debby, Ginger, Gerry, Terry, Judy.
Back row: Dee, Tammy, Mary, Rita, and Joan.
 Thursday, I blogged about Travel Tips for those attending ACFW. Check it out at

The rest of the week, I worked on the first three chapters and synopsis of the fifth book in my series. This story deals with the army’s Wounded Warrior Program and has been rewarding for me to write. I mailed the pages late yesterday afternoon and posted this blog last night.

Today, I’m packing and attaching labels to small composition books that I’ll give away at the conference. If you’re heading to Dallas, be sure to say hello.  The best part of any writers’ event is meeting friends old and new.

Safe travel! Happy reading and happy writing.

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

Monday, September 17, 2012

I’m in Charleston where my daughter attends college, visiting her and doing some preliminary research for the sequel to HOMEFRONT HERO.  Ida’s going to get her own story involving a Charleston orphanage and a dreamy doctor, so I’ve had my head buried in numerous historical texts.  Not the kind of thing to catch the attention of your average 20 year old communications and tourism major.

Ah, but life can surprise us.  Events conspired to bring her with me on one of my visits to the South Carolina Historical Society research library, where she was sure she’d be “catching a few winks” while I caught up on a few facts.  Instead, halfway through the third resource I uncovered an hysterical account of an orphan band who’d been hired to “drown out the opposing team’s band” at a local football game.  Misunderstandings took bad to worse and by the end of the episode the children were running from the scene terrified the opposing team was out to steal their instruments.  Very funny stuff.

It was fun to watch my daughter pull such an entertaining scene out of the annals of history.  People were people back then, too, just a given to panic and misunderstanding and comedies of errors as they are today.  Who’d have thought we’d be fighting back giggles in the research library?

Dry history?  Not a chance.  Not if you dig deep enough.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Building Memories

Earlier this week, my mom, two of my sisters and I took off for a girl’s getaway.  We stayed at a condo  loaned to us by a generous friend and had a great time just relaxing, talking and laughing.  We also played games and watched DVDs of movies.

The best part of the trip, of course, was the time we spent together, regardless of what we were doing.

That being said, the games we played included Rack-O, Rummikub, and Sevens.  We’re all highly competitive so these were no ‘fluff’ matches.  I’m pleased to say I won my fair share of the rounds J

The movies we watched were a mixed bag: Stardust, The Holiday and Man Of The House.  None of these are particularly new and I’ve seen them several times but I was surprised to learn my sisters had never seen them before.  It was fun to introduce these to them and I enjoyed watching them again myself.

So now I’m curious - if you were going away on such a trip, what games and what movies would you bring along? 

Oh, and I almost forgot, I’ll be giving away a copy of my September release, Handpicked Husband, to one of today’s commenters.

Can she drive away not one, but three suitors?

Free-spirited photographer Regina Nash is ready to try.  But unless she marries one of the gentlemen her grandfather has sent for her inspection, she’ll lose custody of her nephew.  So she must persuade them - and Adam Barr, her grandfather’s envoy - that she’d make a thoroughly unsuitable wife.

Adam isn’t convinced.  Regina might be unconventional, but she has wit, spirit and warmth - why can’t the three bachelors he escorted here to Texas see that?  He not only sees it, but is drawn to it.   His job, though, is to make sure Regina chooses from one of those men - not to marry her himself!

Can Reggie and Adam overcome the secrets in her past, and the shadows in his, to find a perfect future together?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Come and join the Harvest Festival--Lenora Worth

Hello. Fall is in the air and we're celebrating all week on the Love Inspired forums and blogs at eharlequin. You can get there from here: So what are you waiting for? We'll answer questions, talk about writing, discuss recipes and anything else you might want to ask. Oh, and we're giving away books, lots of books. So sit back and imagine the leaves turning to yellow, gold and amber, and think about a nice cup of tea and a couple of my made-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies. There is a nip in the air and a crispness in the leaves. Time for a new season. We are celebrating fifteen years of Love Inspired! Good reason to have a party. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love Inspired Harvest Festival at

This week is the Love Inspired Harvest Festival at forum boards! Games and prizes and authors dropping by to chat! Come join us! If you’re not yet a member of the Harlequin forum boards, it’s super easy to sign up! If you have problems, just message me or Love Inspired Books on Facebook for help!

Harvest Festival forum thread:

Contest with Charlotte Carter:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept 11

Pat Davids here.

I'm late posting this morning because I turned on the news when I got up and was riveted to the replay of the events of 9/11 that happened 11 years ago today. The news footage is as compelling today as it was back then.

I didn't have the TV on that morning. I was making coffee when the phone rang. It was my daughter. She said, "Mom, turn on the TV!" "What channel?" I asked. She said, "Any of them."

How right she was. I was spellbound then as I'm sure most people were by the images streaming into our home. I prayed that day as I have rarely prayed in my life for people I didn't know. All those strangers in harms way. To this very day I'm saddened by how cruel people can be to others, and I'm heartened by how heroic the ordinary person can become in the midst of overwhelming danger.

I'm a nurse, so I understood something of what was happening in the hospitals of New York. When my hospital called and asked if I would come in, I didn't hesitate. There was no danger out here in Wichita, but the airbase had gone on alert and the daycare there was being closed. One of our nurses had her daughter at that daycare. I took her place so she could go pick up her child. It took her three hours to get on base and hold her daughter safely in her arms.

I'm sure all of you will remember where you were and what you were doing on that fateful day. You can share those memories if you'd like or your thoughts about the aftermath of those events.

Today, on this anniversary, it's the right time to pray again for strangers in harms way, and for peace and tolerance among all peoples. The Lord God made every one of us and He doesn't make junk. We all have value in His sight.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Family time is precious...

Jenna Mindel here, blogging from Sunny Florida...  
Actually, I'm visiting my family this week, so if my responses are spotty, please forgive me.  I may be slow to respond, but I will respond. :)

My sister, Lisa and me.
 Family - what a wonderfully crazy gift God gives us.  Sometimes that gift is blessedly intact and sometimes it gets broken and kicked around like a misplaced Fed Ex package.  I'm fortunate to have the former but there's still challenges. 

One of those challenges is that my family is spread out and I don't get to see everyone as much as I'd like.  My parents, and my sister and her husband live on the gulf side of Florida about an hour north of Tampa.  My brother and his wife live in the Hudson Valley area of Upstate NY.  I have two nieces, my brother's girls, who are grown up now and one lives in Jacksonville, FL and the youngest one lives in Pittsburgh, PA.  I live in Northern Michigan.   

There was a time when we all lived within three hours of each other, and I took those days for granted.  Now, moments when we are all together are few and far between.  When we do get together, we cram as much catch up information as as we can, typically around the dinner table.  Email helps us keep tabs on each other, but it's not the same.  And so, I am blessed to be with them, but feeling a little nostalgic too. 

How does your family stay in touch?  Do you live close?  Have big reunions?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Qualities of a Writer by Marta Perry

I recently celebrated the publication of my 50th book, and someone asked me what I thought were the most important qualities of a writer for success in today's market. I'm not sure I gave a very coherent answer--I'm not really that good at off-the-cuff responses! But the question has been bouncing around in my mind since then, and I've come to a conclusion: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Not very original, I know. But cliches become cliches precisely because they contain that kernel of truth that all of us know but seldom want to acknowledge. True, the ways in which stories are delivered have changed and continue to change at an alarming rate. I suspect all of us feel a bit panicked at times when it seems technology is racing ahead, leaving us behind! But what hasn't changed is the longing and need of the human psyche for stories which help us make sense of the world nor the qualities required for the development of a writer who can keep on producing those stories year after year, no matter whether the delivery system is a rock and a chisel or next year's latest leap forward.

With that in mind, I venture to sound off on the qualities I've observed make for success, no matter how you define it, as a writer:

Preparation. If I decided tomorrow to take up painting, I wouldn't expect my first effort to hang on the wall of an art museum. If I learned to play the cello, I wouldn't expect symphony orchestras to be pounding on my door, begging me to join them. Why then do aspiring writers assume their first efforts are worthy of publication and hasten to slap up a self-published e-book before they've learned their craft? I'm convinced that every writer has to write a certain amount of drivel before getting down to the truth that really matters and learning the most effective method of delivering that truth. When the only option for publication was to submit one's work to a publishing house, we learned the sad facts of life at an early stage of our careers. And if we stayed around to acquire enough rejections to paper a wall, we'd proved the value of my second point.

Persistence. I've been writing for more years than I care to mention. Along the way, in workshops, in critique groups, at conferences, I've met writers who were far more talented than I...the sort of writers who seemingly without effort produced beautiful prose and vibrant characters. I usually went home discouraged, convinced that I didn't stand a chance of being published when other newcomers with their talent were knocking on the same doors I was. But a few years down the road, I looked around and discovered that many of those people had vanished. They'd taken up watercolors, or scuba diving, or organic gardening. They'd had an opportunity and lost it because they refused to change their golden prose. They'd become disheartened at the first rejection, or the tenth, or the twentieth. The books they might have written disappeared into the neverland of unfinished novels, and their writing dreams went with them. They lost, because they gave up, unwilling or unable to muster the will to get back up each time they were knocked down. They lacked not only persistence but another important quality...

Patience. Making it in publishing is not just about keeping on keeping on. It's also a matter of preparing and learning and waiting for the right opportunity for us. It's so tempting, each time we learn of a new sub-genre gaining in popularity or a new publishing venture starting up to exclaim, "I can do that!" and rush off in a new direction. And maybe it's true. Maybe I can do that, at least well enough that someone will buy my work. But is it the right direction for me? Is it an area I know about, feel deeply about, and have the empathy to write from the heart? Or is it, we imagine, a shortcut to what we really want to write? If we're writing romance or inspirational or Amish or anything else because we think it's easy, we'd best think again. Phyllis Whitney, the grand old lady of romantic suspense, compared it to waiting at a train station. All the while we're waiting and learning and stretching our writing wings and preparing ourselves, and trains are pulling out, taking other writers to their dreams. But finally the train comes along that's meant just for us, and we're ready to hop on board and grab that opportunity.

Now that's writing for success!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Mom's New Start

Below is the character interview for my current Love Inspired book. It is the third book in the Town Called Hope Series, about a town that recovers from a hurricane. With the recent hurricane along the Gulf Coast, I wanted to offer a prayer for health, safety and recovery. Having lived in the area that was hit by the hurricane, my heart goes out to the residents. May God be with you as you rebuild.

Heroine Interview from A Mom's New Start (Love Inspired, Sept. 2012) by Margaret Daley:

1.  Maggie Sommerfield, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I don't know if it's interesting, but the thing I like to do the best and is most interesting to me is gardening. Taking a plot of land and turning it into a beautiful work of art. 

2.  What do you do for fun?
Read and gardening--lately most of my free time, however, has been spent putting a house damaged by the hurricane back to its original condition. 

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Dusting. That is one chore I hate. Not long after you dust, more settles and you just need to dust again.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Being abandoned again--first my fiance and then my parents. I don't put myself out there because I don't want another to walk away from me.

5.  What is the most important thing to you?
My son--he is everything to me.

6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I read romances--love is what makes the world go around. I was fortunate to love one man, even though he was taken from me before we could marry.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not to be afraid to let myself love again.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Yes, I got a two legged dog (injured in the hurricane) from my cousin, Nathan, a vet. She is amazing and doesn't let her disability stop her from doing anything.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I wouldn't want to go anywhere because the Lord put me where I am for a reason. I am content for living in the present.