Thursday, December 18, 2014

What is it about a Christmas Tree?

Jenna Mindel here, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! I had to share a picture of my Christmas Tree this year.  Looking up the history of the Christmas trees online, I was glad to see more than simply pagan traditions.  Christians in Germany around the 16th century were credited with starting the decorated evergreen tree tradition and Martin Luther is said to have been the first to add candles.

I'm not sure how true all that might be, but I sure do love the tradition of Christmas trees.  I'm a stickler for a cut-your-own too. The smell of freshly cut pine can't be beat.  (unless you're allergic, of course!)

Every year, I drag my husband into the woods or the tree farm not far from our house to cut down a tree.   I love the process of hunting for that special one.  You know, the one that whispers... "take me home." LOL. 

In fact, I paid homage to searching for a Christmas tree in my latest Love Inspired release, His Montana Homecoming.  It was really fun writing about it too. 

(I also love reading Christmas tree scenes!)

So what's your Christmas tree tradition?  Do you go real? Artificial? One or many?  What kind of ornaments do you prefer? 

I'd love to know here but also, if you email me through my website at, you'll be entered in a drawing for a copy of "His Montana Homecoming."

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Lives For Old Novels - by Gail Gaymer Martin

With Christmas only a few days away, I would like to wish you a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year.  Greetings from Gail Gaymer Martin at:

Christmas is a time of gift giving as we celebrate the great gift we can receive, the birth of our Lord and Savior in a humble stable in Bethlehem. It's the time of year we become more generous and more thoughtful of those who have little, and our giving increases.

When it comes to family, especially one that has few needs, books always seem to be an amazing gift. Two of my older books have been given new life and both are Christmas stories. One is a novella set in England in Victorian times and the other is a romantic Suspense set in an affluent suburb of Detroit.

My novella Yuletide Treasure can e found in Barbour's collection - An Old-Fashioned Christmas.

Stories Celebrate Christmas Traditions and Love from Bygone Years
Experience Christmases spanning over one hundred years through nine inspiring historical romances, beautifully and economically packaged for you and all your gift-giving needs, including Yuletide Treasures by Gail Gaymer Martin:
Arriving at the wealthy Mandalay home in Grand Rapids, Michigan shortly before Christmas, 1875, Livy is charged with her young nephew’s safekeeping and to slip Helen Mandalay a mysterious package from Livy’s brother.  A spinster, Livy is drawn to the handsome Mandalay son, Andrew, home from the lumber camps.  But Andrew has other thoughts.  Ignoring his mother’s urging to court a woman from the church — someone like Livy, Andrew prefers more earthly woman.  Despite their attempts to oppose God’s will, Livy and Andrew are led ‘on a path they had not planned to travel.’ Click here to read more.

Finding Christmas, a romantic suspense, published by Love Inspired is now an eBook.

A Gift Or A Threat?

Her daughter, Mandy, had died in the icy waters of Lake St. Claire, Michigan, three years ago—or so widow Joanna Fuller was told. At the urging of family friend Ben Drake, Joanna tried to accept her loss and move on. But mysterious phone calls reawakened her doubts. Was someone trying to reunite her with Mandy? In a frantic search for her daughter during the season of hope, Joanna unraveled the web of one man’s hatred…and came face-to-face with the truth she’d known all along.

And finally, don't miss this gem of a Christmas gift for women or men who love to read and cook. This unique book written by 22 Love Inspired novelist is a blend of 22 stories that involve romance and food plus the recipe for each tasty dish. 

The stories are short enough to read during this busy season and the recipes are favorites to the author and sometimes a family recipe. 

 Thank you for being readers of Love Inspired. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Gift for Christmas!

Hello there, Terri Reed here with a great gift idea for Christmas!  Several of the Love Inspired Authors have stories and recipes in this collection.
But the best part...the proceeds go to BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
Help us donate to this worthwhile non-profit organization that serves the needs of children by snagging a copy for yourself and anyone else who might enjoy 22 short romances and 22 recipes.  You might even find something new to make for Christmas!

P.S. The authors would love to hear how you like the stories and recipes. Reviews are most appreciated.

P.S.S We're doing a Goodreads Giveaway

P.S.S.S Scroll down for an excerpt of the book by Lyn Cote

Here's the links for your convenience to purchase the book

Or, if you'd like to order through the Createspace store, the royalty is approx $5 to the charity: 

Excerpt from Second Chance in the Northwoods by Lyn Cote

Heading to a job interview at 9 a.m., through the thick green forests of far northern Wisconsin to Rhinelander, Carrie couldn’t shake the feeling that people were watching.
She knew it wasn’t true. But she was hiding the truth, afraid someone would find out. She turned off Highway 47. Ahead, she saw the sign along Lincoln Street for MIKE’S AUTO REPAIR. Her heart pounded at the thought of what this job could mean for her. If she didn’t find work, and soon, she wouldn’t be able to stay here near . . . She slowed.
A horn beeped behind her, prompting her to turn in. She pulled up to the area near the door. Already the sound of tools emanated from within. Two bay doors stood open. She got out of the car, pressing down her bad case of nerves. Most of the time she felt as if she’d accomplished a lot in the past two years. Now that feeling deserted her.
She entered the building. The desk was unattended. Of course. She was here to apply for the position of receptionist and parts manager. She shifted, uneasy about what to do. Finally, she walked to the door marked “Shop” and opened it.
The noise level shot up. She stood at the doorway, debating the best way to get someone’s attention. A German shepherd stood up and walked slowly toward her. A guard dog? Her alarm rose.
Then the power drill, or whatever it was, stopped. A mountain of a man – Mike? –climbed out from beneath a vehicle on the hoist. She gasped, and her back bumped against the door.
In worn jeans and a gray T-shirt with “Mike’s Auto” on it, Mike commanded attention. He moved with a grace she didn’t expect from such a large man. Then she glimpsed his deep-brown eyes, his gentle gaze telling her not to be afraid. Jeannie had assured her that the Becks had lived in this area forever and were good people.
“Hi, I’m Mike Beck. Are you Carrie Baker? Jeannie McClure’s friend?” He wiped his hands on a towel attached to his belt. The dog moved to his side, the animal’s sharp eyes trained on her.
It still pained her that no one knew Jeannie was more than her friend. She cleared her throat. “Yes.”
The man’s large, slightly greasy hand gripped hers and shook it vigorously. The dog woofed once in welcome.
“Glad you could come. I didn’t want to advertise if I could find someone who knew someone. I heard about you when I took Greta to Jeannie’s husband, the vet.”
Greta sat back on her haunches, panting.
Carrie’s head swam with all of those connections. She’d grown up in a large city, feeling invisible, but here it seemed everybody knew everybody.
Then Greta lifted a paw toward her. Carrie automatically shook it, watching the big man beam at his pet.
Mike tried not to stare, but this young woman with long dark hair was so pretty and looked so nervous. “I hear you qualify as an executive assistant?”
Her head bobbed.
“Great! You need to fill out an application and then start work.”
Her eyes widening, Carrie didn’t immediately respond. It must have been tough for her trying to get settled among strangers. The vet’s wife had told him Carrie was shy. Or maybe his size made her nervous like it had others.
“Start?” she squeaked.
“Sure. If you want the job, it’s yours.”
Carrie hid her surprise as best she could and hurried to keep up with her new boss. And that’s how she got the job at Mike’s Auto Repair.


Lyn’s Tart and Cheesy Green Beans

2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon onion flakes or ¼ onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
2/3 cup cottage cheese or ricotta
3 cups fresh green beans, cooked/drained 
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup  breadcrumbs
2 slices crisp bacon

Melt butter. Stir in flour, salt, onion, pepper, yogurt (or sour cream) and cottage cheese (or ricotta). Mix well. Heat to bubbling. Stir in green beans and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Pour into sprayed casserole dish. Sprinkle on the rest of the breadcrumbs and cheddar. Crumble bacon over top. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Joy by Leann Harris

I saw Chuck the reindeer at the local grocery store, and just couldn't pass him up, and bought him to take to Grandma's. I'm rejoicing this Christmas.  I pray that everyone will take time to enjoy this season. Laugh, take joy in this joyous time.
Also, my second book in the Legacy of Lies,  THE LAST TRUTH, is out. 
 Betrayed by her fiancĂ©  to the Nazis, Linette Van Linder escapes the clutches of the Waffen SS and runs into American reporter, Michael St James. The only way he is able to get her out of the Netherlands is to marry her. He does.
Their forced marriage becomes more than a simple means to an end, but two souls bound in the fires of war. Linette goes to work with the SOE running spies for the English into Holland, while Michael joins the American Army and becomes attached to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
With Europe ablaze, Linette and Michael join the fight against the darkness that settled across the continent and struggle to come to grips with the people they've become, and wonder if their love will survive.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Loneliness, Free Book, and Ornament Giveaway!

Lee Tobin McClain here. It’s Thanksgiving week, and because I'm a new Love Inspired author, it’s my first posting here. So I thought I’d write about something cheerful like…loneliness????

The thing is, a lot of people in our crazy world are lonely, and they can get more so as the holiday season approaches. I remember a time in my life when I was super lonely. In my twenties, I spent a year house-sitting for a friend on a mountaintop in Colorado. It was an absolutely gorgeous environment, and the house was cozy, and I’d always wanted to try living and writing out in the country . . .

Free on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo!
And I was desperately lonely. I made excuses to stay in town, I begged friends to come visit, I befriended drunken hunters and eccentric, reclusive neighbors and the wood rat that lived in the attic (well, we didn’t become that close). As soon as the house-sitting wasn’t needed anymore, I high-tailed it back to town and moved into a busy apartment complex. Guess this introverted writer wasn’t cut out for total solitude!

That experience plays into the first novel in my new Sacred Bond series. In His Baby Bond, heroine Kendra is a fabric artist, and she lives alone on the top of a mountain. Kinda like me, except that she’s also raising her baby niece there because her sister and brother-in-law have been killed in an avalanche. One winter evening, millionaire Zeke King arrives, demanding custody of his dead brother’s baby. And the battle is on!

Since His Baby Bond is the first book in the series, I’m offering it free for your e-reader. I’d love for you to try it and let me know what you think!

I’m also giving away 100 Christmas ornaments! Come sign up for my mailing list and I’ll send you this pretty little cast-iron manger. And guess what: it ties right in with the missing baby Jesus in A Christmas Bond, the prequel novella for the Sacred Bond series.

Free Ornament with Newsletter Signup!
It’s great to meet you. Leave a comment to let me know if I should write about a peppier topic next time! Thanks for reading!

Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. When she not writing emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

Connect with Lee: 
Blog:  Flawed. Christian. Woman.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Forest Ranger's Christmas

Leigh Bale here! Today, I'd like to tell you about a new book I have out titled THE FOREST RANGER'S CHRISTMAS. Josie Rushton’s in Camlin for the holidays—but not for long. She has just a few weeks to persuade her ailing grandfather to leave his small Nevada town and move closer to her Las Vegas home. But after seventy-five happy years in his house, Gramps isn’t going anywhere. Josie can’t imagine what’s so great about Camlin. When she meets single dad and forest ranger Clint Hamilton, she quickly begins to see the appeal. Clint shows Josie the joys of living in a close-knit community, especially at Christmas. She’s soon falling for the town, Clint’s charm and his adorable daughter. This book hit the Publisher's Weekly Bestsellers list.  I hope you like it. Enjoy!

AND...I'd love to give two autographed copies of the book away today.  Do you have a fake Christmas tree, buy a live tree from a tree lot, or do you go out and cut your own tree down? There's no right or wrong answer. I happen to have a fake tree we put up every year. When I was a kid, we made it a family affair and my dad cut a live tree for us (he was a forest ranger). But the grandfather in my new book takes this to an extreme and cuts numerous live trees to give to the local widows...without a tree permit. A very kindhearted man who gets into a bit of trouble for his efforts. :)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

God Smiled by Leann Harris.

I’m looking forward to February 2015.  I’m skipping over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  It is a special month. My son and son-in-law’s birthdays are in that month, but that’s not what I’m looking forward to. Around the 3rd week of February my first grandbaby is due. My daughter and her husband have been trying to have a baby for several years. They went to the specialist and tried in vitro-fertilization several times.

They took a break and looked into helping with foster children. In May, they also went back to see the specialist to consider their next step, but God had other plans. When they walked into the specialist office, they announced to her they were pregnant. The doctor’s response was “How did that happen?” All the people in the office laughed until they cried.
My daughter and husband went to the regular OB. The baby is a girl, and all her tests came back 100% normal. Tears well in my eyes as I type this. My daughter and I know how Hannah in the Old Testament felt. God is good.