Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Walmart Book Department Shrinkage

by Keli Gwyn (@keligwyn)
Every time I visit my local Walmart, I head straight for the book department. I can't help myself. I love books.

When I reach the aisle, I start off at the Harlequin section. I never tire of seeing my fellow Love Inspired authors' books showing off their pretty covers.

This past week when I made my routine visit, I turned the corner, took one look and ground to a stop. Why? Because the department I know and love had undergone changes.

The first thing I noticed was that brand new signs directed readers to the various sections. That made my day because I figured Walmart wouldn't invest in new signage if they planned to remove the department.

After I'd oohed and aahed a bit, I noticed more changes. The first was that Harlequin's section was well stocked, with the Love Inspired books in their customary spots.

Moving along the aisle, I was met with an unpleasant surprise. Although the new signs indicated two sections of Inspirational titles, only one actually held them. The other was filled with mainstream novels. Well not completely filled. There were a number of empty spots.

Moving down the aisle, I noticed that Romance & Fiction had also been reduced to one section, again with noticeable gaps.

A quick glance across the aisle showed that magazine section wasn't exempt from the shrinkage taking place. Either that, or there had been an unprecedented run on magazines.

What do these changes tell us? That the inevitable is taking place: more and more people are opting to purchase their books online or in digital formats, meaning fewer print books are available for sale in brick and mortar stores.

Another thing it tells us is that Harlequin is weathering the downsizing better than most. Readers of their three Love Inspired lines will be able to find their books in select Walmart stores for some time to come, which makes this reader happy.


Where do you usually make your Love Inspired purchases?

Have you noticed changes in your local Walmart's book department?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Inspy Kisses anthology SEALED WITH A KISS only $0.99!

Sealed with a Kiss, 4 novellas by Janet Tronstad, Margaret Daley, Camy Tang, and Lacy Williams now only $0.99 for a limited time! Get yours today! Available on Kindle, Nookbook, Kobo, and iBooks.

Enjoy this collection of love stories with a theme of LOVE LETTERS. The Sealed with a Kiss collection includes: 

From USA TODAY and Publisher's Weekly Bestselling Author Janet Tronstad comes a new historical romance, Mail-Order Sunshine Bride
When mail-order bride, Eleanor O’Reilly, arrives in the Montana Territory the only one on the railway platform to greet her is a dangerous-looking man who claims to be the sheriff. Where is her intended husband? Janet Tronstad delights readers with another of her popular mail-order bride stories.

From #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Margaret Daley comes a new romantic suspense, Deadly Intent
Texas Ranger Sarah Osborn is sent to investigate the kidnapping of a prize stallion from the Shamrock Ranch, owned by Ian O’Leary, an ex-FBI agent and Sarah’s high school sweetheart. Someone from Ian’s past has a grudge against him and intends to make him suffer. Can Sarah help Ian find who wants him dead?

From best-selling author Camy Tang comes a new romantic suspense, Unshakeable Pursuit
A mysterious young woman warns Dr. Geoffrey Whelan and nurse Maylin Kinley that they are in mortal danger, and then two Asian hit men attack them at the children’s clinic where they work. Geoffrey and Maylin run for their lives, determined to figure out who is after them and why. When they discover the threat is connected to a young teenager whose life they saved, they must race to stop the person who wants them dead—before everyone they care about are caught in the crossfire.

From fan favorite Lacy Williams comes a new contemporary romance,With Love, Cowboy
When the love of his life is injured in combat, Ryan Michaels promises himself he won't let any more time go by without declaring his love. Veteran Ashley Reynolds returns home a changed woman, but is she ready to see the truth about the cowboy she left behind?

** In Unshakeable Pursuit, those of you who have read Stalker in the Shadows will find out what happened to Monica and her Free Children's Clinic, and Liam, whom readers met in Narrow Escape , also makes an appearance. Look for Liam's story in Treacherous Intent, coming in December!

To celebrate the 99 cents sale of our Sealed with a Kiss novella collection, I’ll be giving away THREE Surprise Boxes of Christian Books to three winners! The Surprise boxes will each include non-fiction and fiction, a mix of genres. There’ll be something in there for every taste! Click here for info and to enter!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Whole Lotta Love Inspired Authors and More

Pamela Tracy here and I'm in a motel in Lordsburg, New Mexico.  Today I spent 12 hours driving away from San Antonio  I miss it already!

For the last six days, romance authors of all shapes, sizes, and genres gathered at the Romance Writers of America conference.  I was in Love Inspired bliss.

The say a picture's worth a thousand words, so here are my favorites.
Mindy Obenhaus shows her badge with the SOLD ribbon while attending the Library Fiesta

Missy Tippens takes a photo during the general meeting.  Tina Radcliff sits next to her.

Lacy Williams attending the same meeting.  Look at that smile.

Danica Favorite looks chic as she attends the Harlequin E pajama party.

During Love Inspired Meet and Greet, various authors pay rapt attention to what's going on with the line.
It's all good!

Tina James, editor extraordinary, takes a group of authors to lunch.

What a great time we haad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

San Antonio!

Terri Reed here it actually Monday night but I'll be on a plane at 5am PT and won't have a moment to write. I'm on my way to San Antonio along with 2000 authors for the annual Romance Writers of America conference.  One Wednesday night is the Readers for Life Literacy signing.  There will be over 500 romance authors with books to sign.  If you're in the area, stop on by! We'd love to see you. Here's the link to find the out more about the signing

I'll be signing my June release Undercover Marriage, book six of the Witness Protection continuity series from Love Inspired Suspense.
An illegal adoption ring—using kidnapped babies—has to be stopped. To gather the necessary evidence, U.S. marshal Serena Summers goes undercover—as a married woman desperate for a baby. Her "husband" is her own partner, U.S. marshal Josh McCall, whom Serena blames for her brother's death. How can she act like a loving wife when she has to constantly fight her feelings for a man she isn't sure she can trust? The closer they get to unraveling the dark web of deceit, though, the more being Josh's undercover wife means putting her life—and future—in his hands. 
Witness Protection: Hiding in plain sight

Monday, July 21, 2014

Writing Real: Location

Hello from Gail Gaymer Martin at:  

Over time, I’ve learned if I want to write real I need to visit the location of my novel. While creating a fictitious location can be easier, I’ve found that fans love to read about real places. I’ve also learned real places offer bonuses as I researched.

Bonus 1 -Realistic Details

My writing is known for realistic characters and locations that bring my stories to life. For the last few years, I’ve used real towns for my novels. When I use a fictitious street or home description, I usually pattern it after one that is real. By researching real location, authors can take photos, note impressions, involve the senses and later can recall their reaction and experience. This can add reality to their novels. When I do Internet research, the photos and information also come to life. 

Bonus 2 - Simulating Plot Ideas

While researching a town, authors can learn town history, 
sights, events and activities that help stimulate story ideas. Recently, I spent two days in the small town of Owosso. Though a lifelong resident of Michigan, I’ve never had reason to visit this mid-state town. My publisher, Love Inspired, enjoys stories set in rural areas and small towns, making Owosso perfect. This town has its own castle, built by a 1920s novelist, James Curwood, to use as his writing sanctuary. 

With children in some of my novels, learning about the town’s three Playscape venues was a find. Two of these areas provide a kid’s splash pool, slides, swings, rock wall, rope brides, a pavilion and gazebo.  One Playscape is located at the DeVries Nature Conservatory and gives children opportunities to study nature in a hands-on activities. Owosso also has a sled hill for winter fun. The town has a Steam Railroading Institute, an art gallery, a conference center, sleigh museum, community actors and theater, numerous community festivals and events, and a nearby town that has a historic village.  People can roller skate, bowl and shop in a four street area, and the town is filled with restaurants and churches. All of these features triggered ideas for novels in the Lilac Circle Series.

Bonus 3 – Making Contacts

The Chamber of Commerce is the location of the woman who is in charge of all city events. She graciously took me on a tour of some of the cities features. We drove through residential areas where I located the street I call Lilac Circle, featuring characters from my series. We went to the nearby town of Corunna to visit their Playscape in McCurdy Park where characters will find Sled Hill, the historic village and the county Courthouse which is part of the first book, Unexpected Mommy, 2015 release. Through my contact I learned about holiday events and their details, such as: Christmas, Easter egg hunt, 4th of July celebration and other unique city festivals and celebrations.

I also learned the local newspaper is privately owned and
is open to carrying local articles that would interest the town’s residence. I am hopeful I can receive some press when my book series is released. Another contact was the Owosso Bookstore where they are interested in carrying my books when released. I offered to do a book signing.  These personal contacts provide individuals to call for answers to question not found through research.

Bonus 4 – Tax Deductible
The cost for a research trip is travel expenses which are tax deductible. The benefits are high: realism, idea stimulation, contacts and the ability to feel, taste, touch, smell, hear and see the location of your story.
Yes, you can fabricate a town, and you must if it’s speculative, but being there is a far greater investment especially for contemporary fiction, as well as historical fiction which is heightened by walking the fields of Gettysburg, exploring a real plantation, seeing migrant workers and where they live.  How can a writer imagine looking at Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower or riding in a gondola on the Grand Canal without experiencing it? I have, and so could you.

Researching for this book was a great experience, and I've visited Heidelberg. Germany numerous times now. Dreaming of Castles is a romance with humor and one I love.

5 Star Amazon Reviews, Dreaming of Castles:   Many adventures and mis-adventures while in Germany. There is both humor and romance in the book. Hope you will read the book and enjoy it as much as I did.  Amazon Reviewer
Spring Dalton along with her ‘less than perfect’ figure faces her life head-on and her cousin’s offer to stay with her in Heidelberg, Germany fulfilling her dream of a becoming an artist, losing weight and being swept away by Prince Charming. On the train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg, Spring meets Matt who falls into her lap and the two strangers embark on a floundering yet amazing adventure. Will Spring dreams come true and will she find her Prince Charming. Chuckle your way through her adventure. 

Available in trade book or eBook format. For the Amazon links visit: Dreaming Of Castles

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest blog post, devotional, and giveaway on Shannah's blog

Hey guys, Camy here! I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to let you know about my guest blog post at Shannah’s blog. I’m talking about my writing process for my latest book, which is a short novel/long novella published in Sealed With a Kiss, the latest Inspy Kisses collection. I’m talking about my hero and heroine and showing the actors who inspired them.

I’m also doing a short devotional for Shannah’s Water Your Faith Wednesday, and then there’s a giveaway for my contemporary romance, Sushi for One. Head over to enter!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First review of Danger at the Border

Terri Reed here, I just learned that Romantic Times Magazine gave Danger at the Border 4 1/2 stars!

“Biologist, Dr. Tessa Cleary is called in to investigate the source of a deadly toxin that is threatening lives on the U.S./Canadian border. Border patrol agent, Jeff Steele will assist. Jeff views Tessa as high maintenance and is looking forward to returning home as soon as possible. When they are kidnapped, they must trust each other if they hope to make it out alive. This is the first installment in Reed’s Northern Border Patrol series. As the danger increases, the reader is pulled further into the story. The secondary characters are well integrated, and the suspense and romance are evenly balanced.” Leslie McKee, RT Magazine

And for a chance to win a copy follow this link to Harlequin's Goodreads page.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer time....

Summertime adventures, anyone?

Can you believe it's mid-July already?  I don't know where this spring went, and here we are, heading into shorter days already.

After a moment or two of thought, I know why our spring and summer have been speeding by....quite a bit of travel, and lots of family events.

Here is the  lemon bundt cake I made for the party celebrating our daughter Emily's college graduation in May--she got her MS in Special Ed.  Her husband graduated too, so we had lots to celebrate!

Then a few days later, she and I headed to the Gulf so she could start looking at property and get a feel for the area, before we headed over to  New Orleans for the Romantic Times convention.

Oh, my.  What a wonderful time we had, enjoying the restaurants in the Garden District and French Quarter, and just soaking up the atmosphere down there.   I love New Orleans!

Have you been there?  Every time, I find myself on a Swamp Tour.  Bayou country is so beautiful, with its  mysterious waterways, Spanish moss draped trees  and creatures lurking in dark water.  Invariably,  the tour guides lure alligators from the shore with marshmallows, hotdogs or chicken.

This year, the guide seemed overly friendly with the  swamp creatures.  I was relieved when he didn't get hauled into the water... and glad that I was on the nice, safe boat.  :)

This little feller was  released after we had a chance to meet him.  I suspect he won't be nearly as friendly in another year or so.

 I hope you've been having a wonderful summer, filled with sunny days, time with family, and plenty of good books to read.

I would love to hear about some of your memorable summertime experiences!

Blessings,  Roxanne Rustand

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Allie Pleiter on "pretty, shiny..."

I went to Denver last month, and all I took home was...

...this very pretty trophy!

Now, we are not an athletic family by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to my husband's sports car enthusiast hobby, we have our fair share of trophies.  As a matter of fact, he won one just the weekend before my acquisition--and his even lights up!  This, however, is my first, it means a lot.

And that's not a bad thing.  I've been nominated for awards several times.  It always feel nice--especially when the nods come from fellow writers or, in this case, from readers.  We want to be appreciated.  We want to have our hard work recognized, no matter what our field of endeavor.

The trouble comes when such snazzy hardware becomes the goal, rather than the happy extra.  If I seek to write for acclaim, that's not nearly enough juice to keep me going through the day-in, day-out slog of sitting down at my computer and making words happen for fourteen years.  Instead, I've found that the real go-power for me comes from love of the process.  Being a writer is about 2% cool public acclaim, and about 93% sitting alone and making it happen.  The other 5% (maybe more) is pure Hand of God.

Am I happy to have this little trinket? You betcha.  It feels great.  I was pleased. I've waited a long time to add the words "award-winning" to my biography.  Does it significantly change my life?  No.  And it's best I keep it that way.

Hardware is fun, but a new book is even better.  Fans of the Gordon Falls series--book #2 The Fireman's Homecoming is the volume which earned me my spiffy trophy--will be happy to know that book #4 was just rated an RT Top Pick for August.  I hope you'll enjoy A Heart to Heal or any of the entire Gordon Falls series.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Loving

Jenna Mindel wondering if summer's really here.... It's chilly today in Northern Michigan and not expected to climb out of the 60's.  We'll see as the day progresses.  I live in an area that attracts summer residents and tourists alike.   Living here, I'm privileged to regularly enjoy what makes the area so special - miles of  bike paths, beaches and gorgeous sights.  I hope I never take any of it for granted.

Some of my summer favorites are jumping off our breakwall....

Picking cherries....

Going to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park...

Snorkeling the bay for famous Petoskey Stones...

Taking in the sight of the majestic Mackinac Bridge..
And bike riding but I can't seem to locate a picture.  You get the idea. :)

So, what kinds of things or places to go are you looking forward to this summer?

Check out my website for my latest books set in Northern Michigan.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gardening and reading - two favorite things to do!

Susan Sleeman here. Summer’s in full swing in Oregon and I have to share a few pictures from my backyard. I love the multi-color of the two tall stands of zebra grass. It's also beautiful in the fall and winter if you leave the stalks with their seed heads.

The red flower is called Crocosmia and is my very favorite flower ever. I not only love the way it looks, but it’s a hummingbird magnet. They love, love, love it.

The heathers along the upper rock wall are out of bloom now, but in the spring we have a gorgeous show. They're covered in pink and purple flowers that remind me summer is coming. 

I wish I could take credit for how good the garden looks, but I have so many book deadlines this summer that I have had to forgo almost everything except working and my youngest daughter who still lives at home has taken up the charge and kept it in good shape. I’m so thankful that she shares my love of gardening. It would be a huge mess without her.

And this amazing picture is of the hummingbird that came to visit her when she was staking up the Crocosmia that likes to get a bit floppy. Isn't it an incredible picture?

My other favorite thing to do is take a book outside and sit on the patio to read. I could do that all summer long and never tire of it. I'd say I continue in the winter, but we have so much rain in Oregon and it's hard to read a soggy book. LOL

So what is your favorite summer activity and have you been able to do it this summer? 


Gina Evans knows her brother was murdered—even if the police won't believe her. After catching a quick glimpse of the evidence her brother had gathered, the same criminals are after her and her baby niece. And Gina's only hope is the man she left behind. Despite the painful memories, private investigator Derrick Justice won't fail Gina and her baby. Yet now, the woman he never stopped loving and the baby he's come to adore are in a killer's crosshairs. But can Derrick trap the cold-blooded murderer before he strikes again?

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational and clean read romantic suspense books. Her first book, High-Stakes Inheritance was an ECPA bestseller. Award nominations include The Christmas Witness for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and Thread of Suspicion for the 2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Best Book Award. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts the popular website She currently lives in Oregon, but has lived in nine states. Her husband is a realtor and they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. . To connect with Susan outside of her – Website visit any of these social media sites-

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

What did you do today? My husband is smoking a pork shoulder--I can smell it from my office and it smells heavenly!


Sealed with a Kiss ebook is only 99 cents for a limited time! Preorder your copy today!

PREORDER print book:

Kindle (link coming soon)