Thursday, October 31, 2013

Southern Magic and Wounded Warriors!

Southern Magic Readers Luncheon 2011
Debby Giusti here!
I can't wait until Saturday and this year's Southern Magic Readers Luncheon. Each person at my table will receive a number of goodies, including my September Love Inspired Suspense, THE SOLDIER'S SISTER.

When I first learned about the Army’s Wounded Warrior program, I knew I wanted to feature the AW2 program in my Military Investigation series. 

Last fall, I interviewed Nancy Carlisle, the Army's Wounded Warrior Advocate who helps wounded, injured and/or ill soldiers assigned to Fort Benning,Georgia. As one of more than 200 advocates nationwide, Nancy’s job is to provide hands-on support for the soldiers on her caseload as they transition back to active duty or return to civilian life. She walks the injured and their families through the maze of paperwork that often accompanies government programs and also provides career counseling and information on educational opportunities and resources available to the wounded warriors.
Debby Giusti (L) with Fort Benning AW2 Advocate
Nancy Carlisle.
Nancy provided me with a detailed overview of the AW2 program and talked openly about the many ways she assists the soldiers. She also discussed the setup of the Warrior Transitional Battalions, special units on each Army post where the injured service members live and work during their recuperation.

After meeting with Nancy, my story started to take shape. The heroine would be an AW2 Advocate, and the hero would be a special agent in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. I decided to have one of soldiers on her caseload attacked in the opening chapter and upped the heroine’s internal conflict by including an estranged brother. Making him a suspect added an interesting twist and increased the tension between the CID hero investigating the crime and the advocate trying to reconnect with her brother.

My hope is that THE SOLDIER’S SISTER will not only provide an exciting suspense read but will also spotlight the AW2 program and the many people who help our injured military heroes.  God bless the brave men and women in uniform who sacrifice so much in order for this great country—the United States of America—to remain the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Debby presents her author basket at the 2009 Southern Magic Readers
Luncheon to MV Freeman, the current chapter president.

See you at the Readers Luncheon!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

By Debby Giusti

Someone wants Stephanie Upton dead. A warning to leave town is just
the beginning. Fearing for her life, Stephanie turns to Special Agent
Brody Goodman for help and protection. But can she trust him when
he’s convinced her own brother is a prime suspect? Torn between her
devotion to two men—an estranged brother whose trust she yearns to
regain and an agent she may be falling for—Stephanie doesn’t know
who or what to believe. As feelings between her and Brody escalate,
she’ll have to choose sides to stay alive.

Available now at Amazon.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Bridge Too Far by Leann Harris

While I’ve been sick, my husband has taken up most of the chores around the house.  He’s been a real trooper.  He does the grocery shopping, errand running, and meal fixing.  (I still do the laundry since I want my clothes to stay the same color as they began.)
Well, the other day, I needed some clear nail polish. Just clear nail polish--nothing fancy. Well, you would’ve thought I asked him stand on his head in the middle of the store and sing. He gave me a blank stare, which I recognized.  One Christmas, I asked for a nightgown, told him what store it was at and what it looked like. (This was after the disaster the Christmas before when he bought me a crockpot.)  He came home from the mall and said he stood at the edge of the lingerie department, but just couldn’t make himself walk into the department. Well, I knew I asked him to go beyond his comfort zone. It was his bridge too far. That was okay.  My adult daughter bought my the nail polish. 

But I had to smile--clear nail polish. Who would've thought? Still, I have a gem in spite of the nail polish.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Has Arrived

What signals for you that fall has arrived? For me (Margaret Daley) it is when I need to turn on the heater because it gets cold at night. So far down to 37 degrees. That nip in the air means fall is here and I'm thrilled. I'm one of those people who loves fall and spring but endures summer and winter. The trees around here are starting to turn different colors--their last hurrah before winter. There are other signs that it is fall: the grass slows down growing and doesn't need to be mowed as much. Certain flowers thrive in cooler temperatures. Football is all over the place on TV.

So for you, what signals that fall has arrived in your area?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Poll for Love Inspired Suspense readers

Camy here! I was thinking about new stories for my Love Inspired Suspense books set in Sonoma, California, and I was curious about Love Inspired Suspense readers--what kinds of story elements do you like in your Love Inspired Suspense novels? What kinds of heroes and heroines? What kinds of plotlines? What types of spiritual arcs and romantic arcs? I know I’m not the only Love Inspired Suspense author who’d like to know your tastes and preferences, so chime in!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Does An Author Do With Novels That Don't Fit The Genre?

Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin at

I once had strong feelings about Independent publishing, Indie publsihing we now call it, but times have changed, and novelists have learned that self-publishing allows them to bring their out of print books back to life in an immediate way that interests faithful readers and sometimes brings in new readers.

Indie publishing is still not the sun, moon and stars. For established novelists, it does allow bringing back the older books when rights have been returned, and even better, to publish novels they've written that never found a home with traditional publishers. Those are usually novels that don't fall into the genre category their publishers print. LI is known as category romance and has an established expectation from readers. They want a fast-paced novel of conflicts and struggles beginning on page 1 and concluding with a happy ending. Yet some novelist also love women's fiction or straight suspense, and Indie publishing gives them an outlet that goes outside their brand (their usual genre). Other reasons cause novels to be reject, though still romance, the story line is too complex for a shorter novel.

For non-published authors, Indie publishing also opens doors, but the truth it for both published and non-published novelists, being successful in Indie Publishing is not guaranteed. Expenses are still presen. Cover art and design can be costly and a good cover is important to selling novel. Editing is expensive and putting out a book that has not been professionally edited is a serious issue. It shows readers who is serious about writing and who isn't. Marketing is time-consuming and can be costly. Yet for both published and non-published novelists learn selling the book falls on their backs. Either they pay for professsional marketers, with no guarentee of success, or they spend hours away from their next book to  promote and market their novels.

So what does this mean? If you noticed at the beginning of this blog, I stated that I once had strong feelings against Indie Publishing, but with the times changing and eBooks becoming very popular, I've made the big step into bringing some of my out of print work back to life, books that were basically dead. I'm thrilled to see these books back into print as eBooks. with my cover ideas and good editing.

Dreaming of Castles was my second published novel released in 1999.The story is witty, one of my most humorous, touching and different with a heroine who's not body-perfect and a hero with problems too.
The setting is one of my favorite place in Europe, Heidelberg, Germany with it's charm, different culture and locations open to adventure. The book is available as an eBook priced at $2.99 and I invite you to give it a try, and let me know if you enjoyed this romance that will make you laugh and cry.

Sadie Hawkins

Hi all, Terri Reed here. Do you remember Sadie Hawkins from your high school days? Did you know the tradition originated from the comic strip Li'l Abner?  I just now discovered that.  I never read the comic so had no idea, but I remember Sadie Hawkins vividly.  My freshmen year I asked a popular senior and he accepted.  About gave my poor step-father a heart attack.  At the time I thought no big deal, what's all the fuss about.  Ha!  As a mom, I realize exactly what the fuss was about. The guy was too old for me! :-)  Thankfully, my daughter now is twenty and we're past this stage but I still have a son. Tonight my little boy, who towers over me--I might add,  is going to Sadie Hawkins with a girl who asked him.  They are friends. She's a sweetie and I wouldn't mind if they about five or ten or so years.  :-)  But they're only sixteen.  I'm not ready for my son to have a girlfriend.  I don't want him to grow up!  Of course, he will, that's inevitable.  I'm so proud of this kid.  He's becoming such a fine young man.
The school my son attends doesn't do 'dances'.  So tonight the kids are headed to a pumpkin patch with a corn maze, a bonfire and I've heard a rumor there will be a mechanical bull.   Thankfully, the weather is gorgeous.  No rain today.  Actually sunny right now.  But cold.  Perfect for autumn.  Soon we'll be sliding into Thanksgiving and then Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas...I have a new release coming out next month.  A 2 in 1 novella collection with Shirlee McCoy.

Holiday Hero by Shirlee McCoy 
Emma Fairchild never expected to find trouble in sleepy Sagebrush, Texas. But when she's attacked and left for dead in her own diner, her childhood friend turned K-9 cop Lucas Harwood offers a chance at justice—and love. 
Rescuing Christmas by Terri Reed 
She escaped a kidnapper, but now a killer has set his sights on K-9 dog trainer Lily Anderson. When fellow officer Jarrod Evans appoints himself her bodyguard, Lily knows more than her life is at risk—so is her heart. 
Texas K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

They grow up so fast...

Jenna Mindel here, and I bet you're thinking kids, right? Nope.
At the end of January of this year, our dog Peanut had puppies.  They are little jack-rats - a mix of a rat-terrier (Peanut) and a jack russell (puppy-daddy). 
I believe I shared a picture of the babies on my February post when they were almost 3 weeks old.  Anyway, what an experience!
So, much so, I've included a loose retelling of the emergency puppy birth in my current work in progress. 
My little Peanut will make her literary debut as a character when that book releases sometime next year. ♥  Check my web for details.
What is it about our pets that we spoil them rotten and make them part of our family? 

3 weeks old
7 weeks old

6 mth puppy reunion (notice the hole)
Wallie (pup we kept) & Peanut (mom)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Camy Tang is writing

Hi everybody! I'm under deadline and forgot about my blog post last night, so instead I'll share with you my view as I'm writing today:

What are you up to today?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Allie Pleiter on Falling

I love Fall.  

It seems to be my favorite season for lots of reasons:  October brings “knitting weather” (although I knit all year long!), I begin my daily ritual of breakfast in front of the fire, the holiday candy and baked goods seasons are upon us, and I’m no longer wilting in the summer heat.  There’s something about the clear, bright slant of Fall sunshine that simply makes me smile.

This season, however, there’s more than just the meteorological version of Fall going on.  Falls--figurative and literal--play crucial roles in my November book THE FIREFIGHTER’S MATCH.  JJ Jones is falling for the mystery guy on her dock, her brother is trying to recover from a traumatic fall, and Alex’s company is falling to pieces around him.  All this chaos creates the perfect opportunity for love’s healing power to save the day.

What do you like about Fall?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Corny Dogs and the State Fair by Leann Harris

One of the delights of Fall is the State Fair of Texas.  It is held in Dallas and runs for a month.  Some of my fondest memories of my kids growing up is going to the Fair with them.  The school districts give their students tickets for the fair.  The wonder of children wandering around the midway, wanting to ride the Ferris Wheel and play on the midway is a treasure.  Chowing down on Corny Dogs and fresh squeeze lemonade is a treat I can only have once a year.  (Those are corny dogs my son and daughter-in-law are enjoying.) Now, you can buy corny dogs at the supermarket, but they are nothing like the treats at the State Fair. My heroine in my March book, A Ranch to Call Home, reminiscences about going to the fair and shares my opinion about corny dogs.

I know each state has a state fair, and on the food channel, they explored the different foods at each fair. I think it was Wisconsin had pork chops on a stick, but Corny Dogs are a treat you must try.

And in the middle of the fair, UT plays OU at the Cotton Bowl.  That is a crazy day since I'm at UT alum and have been there on that day. Last year, Big Tex burned toward the end of the fair, so we have a newly rebuilt Big Tex.

What are your best memories of your children going up or of going to your state fair?

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Season of Love by Kim Watters

Kim Watters here. I'm proud to announce my newest release from Love Inspired.  A Season of Love is my fourth book with Harlequin and my second in Dynamite Creek, Arizona. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Soldier’s Gift

Just in time for Christmas, a tall, dark and handsome Scrooge visits Holly Stanwyck’s holiday shop, threatening eviction. But once landlord Ethan Pellegrino sees the single mom’s plight, the former soldier becomes her protector instead. Suddenly he’s helping her with her struggling business and bounding with her troubled son. A wounded veteran come home to heal, Ethan is no stranger to sorrow. But something about the pretty widow fills him with hope. Will Holly be able to let go of her own painful past to see her future by his side?

Ethan momentarily lost himself in Holly’s presence. Her swept back locks exposed her long, elegant neck and straight, slightly upturned nose. But it was her vulnerability that got to him.
Despite her attempts to keep it all together, he sensed just below the surface she suffered and struggled with her son, the shop, everyday life.
He should step away. Instead, when she turned her head toward him, he found himself staring into her deep green eyes that had seen so much pain. A pain he could identify with. He’d lost his father at a young age, and several of his friends in Afghanistan. But even that couldn’t compare to losing one’s partner, one’s soul mate.
He had no experience with that sort of loss, yet he felt the need to comfort. Protect. He wanted to draw Holly into his arms and absorb her pain and blend it with his own. 

For further information, check out my website at

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Life's Storms

Susan Sleeman here. It’s raining, it’s pouring. . .

We have been having a monster rain storm in the Pacific Northwest. The remnants of a typhoon have pushed through the area giving us record rainfalls over the weekend.  If you’re at all familiar with the northwest, you know that’s saying something as it rains here nearly every day from October through June.

Except for going to church, I've stayed home and watched the rain fall while listening to the wind howl. As I watch and listen the weather reminds me of the storms of life. How they blow in, mess us up, and then move on.

In Thread of Suspicion the fourth book in my Justice Agency series releasing today, Dani and Luke have both weathered their share of storms. Dani has embraced her faith and used it to make it though the tough times. Luke on the other hand has been shipwrecked by his storms and doesn’t trust God to do what’s best for him.

I have to admit, I’ve been Luke at times. Wondering how I will ever survive the storm I’m facing and wondering if God is listening. If He’s seeing what I’m going through. If He even cares. But then the sun comes out on the other side of the storm, and I’m reminded that God has been there all along. How about you? How have storms shipwrecked your life or how have you survived the storm and come out the other side stronger?

When someone sabotages former navy SEAL Luke Baldwin’s “unhackable” software, there’s more than his reputation at stake. Faced with treason charges, Luke turns to Dani Justice, a computer expert and skilled investigator. She’s eager to dive into the challenging case…until she uncovers a devastating connection. The hacker framing Luke has a personal, deadly history with Dani. Luke’s code of honor and his growing feelings make him resolved to protect the sweet, strong woman he knows is more vulnerable than she’d admit. But what good is his training or determination against an enemy who can hack into any system and find them wherever they hide?

Susan SleemanSUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. Her first romantic suspense title, High-Stakes Inheritance earned a spot on the ECPA bestseller list and her Garden Gate Mystery series, which features Nipped in the Bud, and Read Between the Tines has enjoyed time on Amazon bestseller lists as well. And The Christmas Witness was named a finalist in the 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to writing, Susan hosts the popular internet website She currently lives in Oregon, 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 connect with Susan outside of her – Website visit any of these social media sites-