Thursday, December 15, 2016

Win 40+ Love Inspired Romances and a Kindle Fire!

Hello lovely readers of Love Inspired books, Terri Reed here, sharing with you a fun promotion some of the Love Inspired Authors are doing. Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.
There are so many wonderful authors and books that could be yours. My offering is Murder Under the Mistletoe, my November 2015 Christmas suspense.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Allie Pleiter's super-easy Christmas treat

I'm not much of a baker.  While I love desserts, I'm more about eating them than making them.  So, I'm always on the lookout for snacks and desserts that are easy and fun.  Here's one that has been a staple in the Pleiter household since the kids were tiny:

Reindeer Eyeballs
About the silly name--back when it was highly amusing to little minds, we used to make them with pretzel rings so that with a single M&M in the middle they did look like eyes.  Now that we're older and more dignified (supposedly) we make them with square pretzels and four M&Ms.  But the name simply refuses to go away....

1 package Christmas M&Ms
1 package vanilla almond bark
1 package pretzel "snaps"--or any shape that amuses you

1.  Lay out pretzels on wax paper.
2.  Working in small batches, melt one or two blocks at a time of the almond bark in the microwave until it is a pudding-like consistency.
3.  Using a spoon, dab a glob of almond bark onto (or in the spaces of) each pretzel.
4.  Arrange M&Ms on the almond bark and let cool.

This is a salty-sweet snack that is a holiday must-have around our house.  I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Deb Kastner here with a holiday question.
 Do you believe in miracles?
My family has been through SO much this year that my answer is an unqualified YES.

First, my husband had a double-stroke in September. The first stroke was immediately treated and we thought the worst of it was over, but then he was sent down to get an MRI and stroked again. He truly thought he was going to die in that moment, but God brought him back. He's still needed on earth, and I think the Lord every day for that. Even with his new disability, every day I spend with him is a blessing.

Then my mother had back surgery and there were moments that were touch and go. I'm nowhere near ready to say goodbye to my mother, and am happy to say that, while she's still in pain, she's recovering.

And last week my youngest daughter, with my five-year-old grandson in the car, had a major automobile accident. Her car was totaled, and yet they walked away, not totally unscathed, but considering what her car looks like, with relatively small injuries. She has a painful case of whiplash in her neck, shoulders and back, and one hand is in a splint, but for what it could have been, we're thankful. And the highlight of my grandson Boo's day was riding in the firetruck, with nothing more than a cut on his neck where the seat belt was.

Let's just say my family's guardian angels have been working overtime.

And in a most unexpected reminder of Christmas miracles, my Christmas cactus bloomed--at Christmastime! I have the blackest thumb ever and if it blooms, which is rarely, it's always been around Easter.

In my latest release, Mistletoe Daddy, Nick and Vivian are awaiting a miracle of their own. I'll bet you can guess from the cover what that is!

 Christmas is a time for miracles. Has God been working in a special way in your life?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Traditions

I still can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving. It just seems like yesterday it was hot out…oh wait, I live in Texas, so yesterday it was hot!

But seriously, this is one of my favorite times of the year. In my opinion, Thanksgiving is one of our unsung holidays because it doesn’t always get its due. I mean look what comes next.
Thanksgiving is the time where we give thanks to God for all the gifts he has blessed us with before we celebrate receiving of the greatest gift of all. The birth of our Lord Jesus.

So, as I sat down to write this, I thought about all the Thanksgivings that have passed in my life. At 57, there’s been quite a few that come to mind.

As a child, I remember all the family coming together over a wonderful meal cooked by my mother. Turkey and cornbread dressing, pies, and one of my favorites, my mother’s fruit salad. Of all the things that made the Thanksgiving meal so good, it was her fruit salad that I loved the most. It’s stuck with me through the years.
By then, the weather had usually turned colder, though we lived in a different part of Texas. I remember one year it even snowed. All special memories for a child.

One of our other traditions was to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The floats and the balloons were great, but when Santa made an appearance we knew Christmas was on its way.

Most of my family have now gone on to be with God, so nowadays, Thanksgiving is bittersweet for me.

As a grandmother, we have our own holiday traditions, but I do my best to make all those wonderful dishes my mother made so well and that I loved as a child, (even the fruit salad). And on occasion we watch the parade still.    

So what about you? What are your family’s Thanksgiving traditions? Do you have some that you learned from your childhood and that you carry on to your children?  


All the best…


Mary Alford

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Finally, Fall has arrived by Leann Harris

Cool weather is here. Yeah. Last week folks were in shorts, sandals, and t-shirts. This morning we had rain and cold. But now I have to switch out my closets from summer to winter. Don't tell me I'm the only one who has taken over their children's closets (once they left). Okay, I need to be brutal and go through those closets and throw out things I haven't worn in the last three years, but in my defense, I wore a dress this summer I haven't worn in more than ten years. There's also another wrinkle in this plan to clean closets. I have a proposal to finish. What is more important to a writer, clothes or writing? Need I say more.
I wanted to share pictures of my yard at this time and table, but I'm not brave enough to take a picture of those closets and post it. There are some things a girl doesn't do.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Being a writer is scary

How many people can say they kill people for a living and get away with it? Well, if you’re a suspense writer, you can. The ability to make up dangerous situations and then throw your main characters headfirst into the action, is both fun and a little scary.
I tell my husband all the time that I hope no one ever takes a serious look at my computer history. They’d see such things as what is the name of a fast acting poison? What’s the best long range weapon for a sniper? What type explosives can bring down a building? Research for writing suspense can take you to some strange places.

And yes, all those things are scary to think about, but there are other parts of writing that are equally frightening. Like sitting down to a blank screen and writing…something. There’s nothing more exciting or daunting than typing those first few words of a book, or trudging through the middle of a story when you’re really not sure where things are going, then finally limping battered and bruised across the finish line to be able to write, “the end”.
Then, just when you think your heart couldn’t possibly take any more excitement, it’s time for the edits. That in itself can be scary because most times your editor is asking you to stretch yourself as a writer in order to make your story the best it can possibly be.

With the edits finished, you ca relax, right? Wrong. The book is ready to be released, but what if no one likes it? Just because you wrote it, agonized over every single word in it, doesn’t mean the reader will have the same reaction you did.

So you see, writing can be scary, but let me just say, I wouldn’t trade a second of the terror, the rollercoaster ride of emotion, or the nail biting moments of doubts, for anything else. Because it is a true blessing to be able to say I am a writer, scary or not.


All the best…

Mary Alford



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Allie Pleiter's favorite Fall tradition

November 1 is coming in few days, which means it's time for my favorite Fall tradition: Snickers Bar Salad!
This started one year when I was speaking to a women's conference on November 1.  One of the attendees who knew my sweet tooth brought this to me as a treat. I loved it. Now, for something like 10 years straight, it gets posted to my email list and Allie fans everywhere celebrate November 1 as "Snickers Bar Salad Day." With so much fun-sized candy around from trick or treating, it's a cinch to make. And yes, I have it for breakfast!
Snickers Bar Salad

6 (or more—go ahead, you’ve earned it…) fun-sized Snickers bars, chopped into small bits (my friend says more are permissible if it's been a bad week!)
3 Granny Smith Apples, diced
one 5-oz package vanilla instant pudding mix
8 oz cool whip
1 c. milk

In a bowl, mix pudding mix and milk. Fold in Cool Whip. Mix in apples and Snickers Bars. Cool and enjoy.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Glynna Kaye...and A Taste of That Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Yes, it’s only October, so maybe these snowy scenes seem a bit premature to you? But with my Love Inspired November release The Pastor’s Christmas Courtship already spotted on retail shelves (and Arizona mountain country experiencing a dusting of snow on the highest mountain tops), I couldn’t resist!
As some of you already know from having read my books, this part of Arizona isn’t all desert heat and saguaro cactus. At a 7,000 ft (and higher!) elevation it’s a beautiful ponderosa pine-studded four-season region--which makes it such a fun place to set my stories. Especially a Christmas one!

Have you started thinking about or even preparing for the upcoming holidays--Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year?
If you’ve started preparations for Christmas, what might those entail? Making a To Do List and checking it twice? Gift shopping or making handmade gifts and decorations? (Don’t you just love the craft and fabric stores this time of year?)
Perhaps you’ve picked up holiday-themed magazines for ideas and are reviewing your recipe file for family favorites? Or maybe your community or church choir is preparing for a cantata or a presentation of Handel’s Messiah? Have you been tempted, as I have, to read a Christmas novella to get a tiny taste of this most wonderful of seasons?

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
In The Pastor’s Christmas Courtship, the heroine finds herself reminiscing about family traditions and gatherings held at her now-deceased grandparents’ mountain home. She’s retreating there for a healing time alone and to get the place ready to sell—never expecting that her former crush would be back in town or that her sisters would insist she provide their children a Christmas at the cabin just like the ones they used to love themselves.
I hope Garrett and Jodi’s story gives you a taste of this most wonderful time of the year!
Happy soon-to-be holidays!
Jodi Thorpe’s childhood vacation cabin seems the perfect place for her to heal her broken heart…and avoid Christmas cheer. After twelve years, nothing in Hunter Ridge has changed--except Garrett McCrae. The bad boy who was once her secret crush is now the town minister. And Garrett won’t let her miss out on all the hope and joy the holiday brings.  With every day he’s drawn to the vulnerable woman Jodi’s become, even as he’s about to leave for a mission halfway around the world.  But as they grow closer, their plans begin to change. Can Garrett make it a season to remember, with a love they can’t forget?
Click HERE to order Jodi and Garrett’s Christmas story!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Christmas In October

Hello, Terri Reed here.  I can't believe Christmas is only 73 days away!! Here's a link to a countdown you want to keep track:

I have two books out this month, both are holiday themed. 
Identity Unknown is a fast-paced, edge of your seat romantic suspense. A man with no memory is marked for murder. A female deputy sheriff with trust issues is determined to learn the truth. They must work together to uncover the past and stop the threat or they won't live to see Christmas Day.
A Family Under the Christmas Tree is a charming, delightful story to warm your heart. A man juggling sudden parenthood of a five-year-old and a growing business doesn't need the distraction of his neighbors granddaughter. A woman with wanderlust is determined to keep her heart from growing attached. A matchmaking grandma and a rambunctious dog conspire to form bring these two together.

To celebrate the beginning of fall
, I
ve teamed up with more than
inspirational contemporary romance authors to give away a huge colle
ction of novels
PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!
You can win my novel NAME OF NOVEL, plus books from authors like NAME and
Enter the giveaway by clicking here:
To celebrate the beginning of fall
, I
ve teamed up with more than
inspirational contemporary romance authors to give away a huge colle
ction of novels
PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!
You can win my novel NAME OF NOVEL, plus books from authors like NAME and
Enter the giveaway by clicking here:
Good luck, and enjoy
To celebrate the beginning of fall, Ive teamed up with more than 40 fantastic inspirational contemporary romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels,
PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!
You can win my novel Double Threat Christmas, plus books from authors like Margaret Daley and
Linda Goodnight. 
Enter the giveaway by clicking here:

God Bless, and enjoy!
Good luck, and enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Strange Things by Mary Alford

My husband and I live out in the country, which is a huge blessing. We have no close neighbors so it’s very peaceful and I love it.

But let me tell you, through the years, we’ve seen some pretty interesting things around here. Whether it be mountain lions, wild hogs, bobcats, various fowl life passing through, or simply a snorting and angry deer, it’s never a dull moment in the country.

One night while sitting outside in front of a fire we heard a noise that sounded like something straight out of a horror movie. My husband and I both wanted to run.

But I have to say, the strangest and most amazing thing I’ve witnessed lately happened when our three granddaughters were out visiting a few weeks back. We took them on a ride in our side by side four wheeler and what we saw, well, we couldn’t believe our eyes. There in the small creek that crosses our property was a group of otters. Otters in Texas? We were certainly stunned. I’ve seen them on TV and at the aquarium in Galveston, but never in the wild.
My husband got online and did some checking. As it turns out river otters originally ranged across most of the eastern half of Texas and even into the Panhandle. The animals were and are inexorably tied to rivers, creeks, bayous and other waterways. In the past, a lot of otters disappeared due to habitat loss or degradation and unregulated hunting and trapping, but they are making a comeback and that sure was lucky for us.

Unfortunately, we only spotted the little otters, (there were six of them) one more time so I think they were just passing through. But still, how great is it to be able to show your granddaughters real live otters in the wild. Thank you God.

So what about you? What is the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?


All the best…


Mary Alford



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Having Fun by Leann Harris

I thought I'd never be a grandma. My children decided to do their thing before having children. I decided not to ask the question when are you going to give me grand-babies because I got that question from my parents. But I now have two and I'm having the time of my life. Sunday, the family gather to see our youngest, Isaac, dedicated. He has the sweetest nature and a smile that wilts any heart. And he loves flirting. There were six babies in rows one and two. How beautifully my life has turned around. Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are a crown to the aged. (I don't consider myself aged, but blessed.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Fate of "Returned" Books

Keli Gwyn here to talk about unsold books.

Have you ever wondered what happens to books that sit on the shelves at your favorite booksellers and don't sell?

The logical answer is that the booksellers return the books to the publishers. But, sadly, that's not what happens to all books.

In the case of mass market paperbacks, which are the smaller-sized paperbacks such as those published by Love Inspired, a different fate can await them.

If you look at the copyright page of a mass market book, you might see a box similar to the one in this photo. Unless you're a curious sort, though, you might not be in the habit of reading copyright pages and the fine print found there.

In this close-up shot, you'll see that the books might not be shipped back to the publisher. Instead, a mass market paperback might (shudder) have its cover removed, and the remainder of the book would be "destroyed."

Yes, it's possible an employee would wield a box cutter, slice that pretty cover off the book and toss the rest of it in the trash. The mere thought causes me to blink back tears. Perhaps your reaction is similar.

Why would a publisher allow an unsold book to be destroyed? Good question.

Publishers know that not all the books they print are going to sell. They factor that into their planning. Because mass market paperbacks are priced lower than the larger trade paperbacks, the publishers figure it's more cost effective to have the book sellers return the covers for credit than to ship the books themselves back.

It's sad to think of books meeting such a sorry end, but that is the nature of the publishing business. What can help is realizing that every time you purchase a mass market paperback, you're ensuring that the book will not end up lying in some dumpster "stripped" of its cover.

As I stood in our local Walmart a few days back, I saw that all five copies of my August Love Inspired Historical, Make-Believe Beau, were still on the shelves. Knowing what awaited them if they didn't sell, I grabbed four of the books and headed for the register.

Since I'm a softy and believe those books deserve good homes, I gave them away to some happy Facebook friends who will provide them.

Questions for You 
Have you ever wondered what happens to books that don't sell?
Have you ever noticed the "stripped book" message in a book?

If you were to rescue books from such a fate,
who would you give them to?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Release day!

Jenna Mindel here, excited for the release of my third installment of the Maple Springs series.  Today should be the day A Temporary Courtship hits the shelves at my local Walmart and MeijersYours too.   I'll check on that later today.  Although this is an October book, Sept 20 is the day paperbacks can be ordered off Amazon and Barnes & Noble .  I still prefer a paper book to read, how 'bout you?.
Below, I included the cover blurb, but that's not quite the whole story. My hero, Darren is a man of the land with a deep connection to the area.  He has a chip on his shoulder against the summer residents and tourists who he believes do not appreciate his town like they should.  And Bree happens to be one of those summer people who thinks nothing of Maple Springs other than its a place to vacation.
I'm excited about this book for a couple reasons.  First, there's beagles on the cover!  I love beagles.  But more importantly, I was able to showcase the wild edibles Northern Michigan has to offer.  That was fun research even though I fell in love with hunting for morel mushrooms years ago.  Hopefully, that love translated into this book.

 An Inconvenient Attraction 
Before leaving for a coveted two-year musical residency, cellist Bree Anderson is taking one month for a relaxing lakefront vacation. But she's thrown off track by the instant attraction she feels for one of the resort's instructors. The last thing local Darren Zelinsky needs is a privileged summer resident like the fiancĂ©e who jilted him. Bree's no threat to his heart…until he uncovers the vulnerable woman beneath the pristine exterior. And soon Bree is in danger of falling for the rugged outdoorsman. The clock on her stay is ticking and Bree's facing an impossible choice—between a lifelong dream and a lifetime love.


ps.  Here's a picture of our beagle, Lana.   We also have a rat terrier, Peanut and her puppy Walnut who will be 4yrs old in Jan, but will always be the baby. :) 

Have a wonderful day!
Best wishes and many blessings,

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Regency Romance Writer Goes to Texas

Regina Scott here. Many of you know me from my dozen or so Regency romances over the years. But that’s not the only period of history that fascinates me. I love a story about knights in shining armor, pioneers heading west on the Oregon Trail, and cowboys riding across the plains. That’s why I was thrilled to be asked to write the third book in the Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years series, A Rancher of Convenience, out this week.

So, how did a Regency author fit in Texas? The Texas Hill Country in 1895 is a far cry from the English drawing rooms of the early nineteenth century. For one thing, there are no butlers, maids, or other servants hanging about ready to dress and clean and cook for my hero and heroine, just a couple of cowboys tending the herd. But that just means Hank and Nancy have to be more resilient. If they want something done, they have to find a way to do it themselves. And those cowboys were so sweet to Nancy when she lost her first husband.

And the language! It was a lot of fun to use a more common dialogue than the elegant sentences my Regency lords and ladies are used to uttering. But that doesn’t mean those cowboys and the ladies they love aren’t witty. Take this exchange between Hank and Nancy.

“For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,” he murmured, releasing her.

She’d said those vows twice now, but never had she felt them more surely. “That’s right. I mean to honor those commitments.”

His smile inched into view. “Even the obey part?”

“Don’t be absurd.”

Then there’s the food. Those ladies in Little Horn sure know how to cook! In fact, Renee Ryan (Stand-In Rancher Daddy), Louise M. Gouge (A Family for the Rancher), and I had a grand time coming up with recipes for our heroines to cook. Here’s one of my husband's favorites:

You can find eight more recipes, along with extended excerpts from our books, in the Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years Sampler, free on Amazon

Because even a Regency author can get carried away in Texas.

How about you? Do you have a favorite time period or setting?

Friday, September 2, 2016

My Volunteer Flower Garden

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

Unlike many of the other ladies who post here I do NOT have a green thumb. Mine, I'm afraid, is much closer to brown. That's why am so enamored of what I call volunteer flowers, those that just pop up on their own without any effort on my part. In the spring there are those lovely yellow daffodils.  And this time of year I always look for the first signs of spider lilies.

And today was the day I stepped out in my back yard and saw them!  With their blazing red color and slender, tendril like petals they are a sassy close out for summer and harbinger of the Autumn to come.  Here are a couple of pictures of the ones in my back yard.

I did a little reading up on spider lilies and learned that they normally bloom a few days after the first good rain in September, so I guess mine are a little early.

I also learned that they have several other common names (none of which I'd ever heard before) British Soldiers, Guernsey Lilies and Surprise Lilies

So are you a bona fide gardener? And how do you feel about 'volunteer blooms'?

TEXAS CINDERELLA - A September 2016 Release

In Search of a Groom 
After a life of drudgery on her family's farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her new-found freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 

Riley is on the run. He's desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half-brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn't know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to both keep the children safe and become her Prince Charming?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Uncooperative Characters by Leann Harris

I'm working on the next book in my "Rodeo Heroes Series". I know the heroine, Kai Delong. She is the younger sister of the the heroine of my last book. Kai just finished her degree at the University of New Mexico. I know the hero, and where the book is set. It's back in Peaster, Texas, west of Fort Worth. I know the hero has a sister, but none of those folks are talking to me. They're closed mouth. Won't share anything. Both the hero and heroine are second children. (I believe in birth order.) Now I know the horse that is featured in the book that brings the hero and heroine together. The dog that the sister has (therapy dog) happily wags his tail and is willing to lick my face, but that's it.
I am not a pantser, but with this book I plan to sit down and write the first three chapters. I don't like doing it this way, but the same thing happened with my last book. Rats.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Beginnings

Keli Gwyn here to talk about beginnings.

It's the time of year when my Facebook feed is filled with pictures of students heading off to the first day of school. I smile each time I see one, recalling the joy I felt every year when I headed off to begin a new grade.

The first day of school picture at our place looked different this year. My retired teacher husband and our daughter, who is pursuing a teaching credential, are both working as substitute teachers.

To our surprise, their first guest teacher assignments of the year took place on the same day at the same school. They got to carpool to work.

Even though they had to leave the house by 6 am, I was up with camera in hand ready to capture their departure. A surge of pride rushed through me as I watched two generations of Gwyn teachers head off.

Questions for You

Did you look forward to starting a new school year?

What new beginnings are you looking forward to?

Monday, August 8, 2016

You've Got Mail

Howdy, Pamela Tracy, here and yes, I used one of my favorite movies as a title for today.

Since email became more popular, most of the mail I get from 'fans' come via Internet.  Which is cool because it's immediate.   Another plus, is it's easy to file.   I've figured out who writes me for almost every book (I LOVE YOU) and I figured out some people cut and paste their fan letters (and once they forgot to change the title of the book).

Actual fan letter to me.
By the way, I Googled Fan Letters and discovered that there's a how-to site for
writing a fan letter to Taylor Swift.  I did not find my name mentioned in a similar manner .

Used to be (yes, I've been around a long time) fan mail would be sent to the publishing house.  Many editors had files with their authors' names and the mail would go into the files.  I'm not sure whether the editors (or their assistants) would simply transfer the mail to a manilla folder once the file was full or if there were a few times a year when they cleaned all the files.  Doesn't matter.  A decade ago, a few times a year, I'd get manilla envelopes full (okay, not full full) of fan mail.

There were a few different kinds.  Some simply told me what they loved about the book and promised to read all my books (Thanks Mom and Aunt Shari).  Others told me my mistakes (I once typed ASAP instead of ASSET for a teacher heroine).  Some were amazed that I used all the names of their relatives in my book (There are lots of Brittneys, Sarahs, and Mikes in the world).

Fan letters do touch the lives of authors.  I've gotten handmade bookmarks and recipes (I've always admitted that I don't cook.  Some readers think a recipe will change this character flaw.  So far, the perfect recipe hasn't appeared.  Hmm, methinks the only perfect recipe would be one used for the replicator on Star Trek).  I've had readers share poems and ask for prayers.

Yes, I've gotten the letters from prison inmates.

My favorite, though, came not because of a story but because of a dedication.

I dedicated one of my books to my birth mother who I met a little over a decade ago.

I got a fan letter because my birth mother's name is fairly common and one reader saw the name and the sentence I wrote as part of the dedication, called her friend who had the same name, and said, "Wow, you've had a book dedicated to you!"

The second lady said, "Uh, no, there's hundreds of people with my name.  Not me."

But, she went and found the book and read it, too.  Then wrote me and said, "God has blessed your gift of writing.  Thank you for following His path and sharing your life with us."

She was right.  God has blessed me.

A long time ago, I read an article in the Romance Writers Report.  It was a list of things authors should do.  One item was "Write one fan letter a year to an author new to you."

I've done that.  Sometimes I get a thank-you back.  Sometimes I hear from an author's assistant (I want one of those!"  Sometimes I hear nothing at all.   Best of all, I've made a few friends.

So, readers and writers, what are your experiences with fan letters.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Are You a Water Baby?

Keli Gwyn here with an admission: I'm not comfortable in the water.

I come by my fear of the water naturally. Neither of my parents was fond of being in the water. My mom summoned her courage and learned to swim when I was around eight years old. My dad never did learn.

Although I can swim, I'm not a very good swimmer. I didn't learn until I was in high school.

The first day of our swimming unit in P. E. class, the teacher told us to get in the water. Being an obedient oldest child, I did. We were then told to swim a lap. I just stood there.

I'll never forget the look on the teacher's face. She stared at me in disbelief. "You don't know how to swim, do you?" she asked. I shook my head. I'm pretty sure she was shaking hers, too.

That incredibly patient teacher spent the next few weeks making a swimmer out of me. While my friends were logging laps, diving into the deep end and having a blast, I was alone in the shallow end mastering the dog paddle. Talk about humiliating.

I took lessons at the local pool the following summer, determined to avoid future embarrassment. My parks and recreation class consisted of students half my age. I persevered and mastered all the strokes. The side and back strokes are my favorites to this day. Why? Because they don't require me to put my face in the water.

The hero and heroine of my August Love Inspired Historical, Make-Believe Beau, know a lot about water. The hero, Flynt Kavanaugh, is an irrigation engineer. Jessie Sinclair, the heroine, is working as his draftswoman. They and the rest of Flynt's team are helping design the El Dorado Canal, which brought--and still brings--water from the Sierras to the Foothills below, where I live.

Thanks to the efforts of the real men who built the canal, I enjoy water in my glass or in the tub. I give swimming pools and other bodies of water a wide berth to this day.

Questions for You

Do you enjoy swimming?

If so, what is your favorite stroke?

Are you a swimming pool person, or do you prefer lakes or oceans?

(Swimming pool credit here. Canal image is in the public domain)
The Courtship Charade

As a draftswoman in a man’s world, Jessica Sinclair causes a stir as her new male colleagues vie for her attention. And the company manager has an ultimatum: fake a courtship with her boss, Flynt Kavanaugh…or lose her job. But pretending to be smitten with the handsome engineer unleashes a real, complicated attraction—and could reveal the past she hoped to keep hidden.

Jessica is certainly the best person for the job. But as their make-believe romance escalates, Flynt knows that’s not the only reason he wants her on his team. However, with his past shrouded by a shameful secret, Flynt has always focused his ambitions on building a career, not a family. Now he has designs on Jessica’s heart, but can they trust each other with the truth?
Copyright © 2016 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
or its affiliated companies, used under license.