Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Literacy by Leann Harris

RWA has always supported literacy. At every national conference there is a big signing where money is donated from book sales. Our local chapter has a literacy tea to raise money for our local chapter. We also reach out to the local school districts. I've spoken several time to 5th graders about reading. The last time I talked I brought my book, which wouldn't have interested them, but I brought the book my son had to read in the 6th grade. Hank, The Cowdog, by John Erickson
The kids learn everything they need to know from that book. Viewpoint--who is talking, setting, description. They loved the book. When I read Hank with my son, I loved it, too. The questions they asked were thoughtful and sincere. Afterward, they wrote me wonderful thank you letters. If you have kids or grandkids, I'd recommend Hank. He's a great

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writing vs. Revising from Marta Perry

Someone recently commented to be about how easy it is to get a book into print these days...the implication being that all it involved was sitting down in front of the computer for a few hours! We all know better, right?

At the current moment I am simultaneously writing an Amish Christmas novella for Love Inspired and revising HOW SECRETS DIE, the latest in my suspense series for HQN Books. As I bounce back and forth, trying not to lose momentum on the novella while I revisit the suspense story, it occurs to me that anyone who thinks this is easy hasn't tried it!

That said, I do love the revision process. My editor has a gift for finding exactly the spots in the manuscript that need attention. And better yet, she leaves the fixes to me. Which brings me to the point: good novels aren't written--they're rewritten. Again and again, sometimes.

I've heard writers moan and groan about revisions, and I confess that sometimes I'm the one doing the groaning. But usually I welcome the chance to go through the manuscript just one more time in the constant pursuit of a perfection that probably can't ever be achieved. I have such a wonderful vision of the book in my mind before I start a project. Then I start writing, and with every word I put down I'm falling just a little short of that image. If I ever produced something I was completely satisfied with, I'd know I was ready for therapy!

HOW SECRETS DIE will be out in April through the combined efforts of the writer, the editor, the copy editor, the art department, and who knows how many more people. My name may be the only one on the cover, but I couldn't have done it without a lot of help, including my husband, who knows just when to say he'll fix his own supper!

All the best,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Allie Pleiter welcomes you to Blue Thorn Ranch

There’s nothing like the launch of a new series!

Now that I have a son going to school in Texas (hook ‘em, Longhorns!), it was time to set some books there.  Texas, cowboys, cattle ranches, right? 

Well, not completely.  Texas and cowboys, but you know me—I have to do things just a bit differently.  I went for a bison ranch.  And no, it wasn’t just because you can make spectacular yarn from bison hair—although that was a large part of it.  One has to do one’s extensive research yes?

When the friendly folks at Lucky B Bison Ranch welcomed me with open arms, I knew I had a great setting from which to launch the fictitious Blue Thorn Ranch that would host my next five books.  Here’s another glimpse at one of my favorite videos:  me getting up close and personal with the bison.

Starting with February’s The Texas Rancher’s Return, you’ll get to meet matriarch Adele Buckton and her five strong willed grandchildren as each of them returns to the family ranch.  First up is Gunner, Jr, who is determined to live down his black sheep reputation and save the family land by creating a thriving bison ranch.  Beautiful single mom Brooke Calder needs the cooperation of the Buckton family to save her job, but she’ll lose her heart to Gunner before the adventure is over.  Throw in Brooke’s adorable daughter, one bull-headed mama bison, and a thorny misunderstanding, and you have what’s become one of my favorite books I’ve ever written.

I hope you’ll enjoy all the books in the Blue Thorn Ranch series as they arrive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In good company with February Releases from Love Inspired...

Jenna Mindel here, excited to report that A Soldier's Valentine is on the shelves along with a great line up of fellow Love Inspired Authors!

When preparing to write a book, I typically choose occupations for my characters that I find interesting.  Makes researching super fun getting a peek into some cool jobs.   When I first saw a glassblowing demonstration,  I was mesmerized.  Talk about the perfect kind of work for a hero...

Enter Zach Zelinsky, the latest hero of the Maple Springs series.  He's an army captain who comes home to to pursue his passion of glassblowing and gets more than he bargained for when he meets his new tenant, Ginger Carleton.

Romantic Times Magazine stated that  A Soldier's Valentine is a great read for the holiday.
I hope you think so too.

 As Valentine's Day approaches, have you made any special plans how to the spend the day?

Thank you for stopping in and happy reading!
 Jenna Mindel

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

As Rocks Are Carved So Are Our Words

Welcome to Love Inspired Authors blog from Gail Gaymer Martin.

Today I am writing from Sedona,
Arizona where I love to spend time in the winter. I look out my windows or from my deck to view amazing red rocks in a variety of shapes and sizes carved by wind and rain.

This setting inspires me as I write, realizing that this natural beauty is one of God's gifts to us in variety and breathtaking forms. It stirs our emotions and our memories. We know that God not only give us the gift of natural beauty but He  inspires our writing in the same way.  Our words are carved not by wind and rain but in the difficult and blessed times of our lives, carving and molding us as human beings. This inspiration creates moving stories and plots that stimulate emotion in our readers in the same way that the view of these rocks stimulate my creativity.

 The red rocks in Sedona go on and on for miles as our lives go on each day, carved a bit more by experiences and molded by our response to each event. All my novels bring to live modern day parables of life and love that teach the truths about who we are as God's children and the promises and blessings available if we only learn to trust, forgive and love.

Presently I'm working on three new stories to add to the Lilac Circle Series. Readers responded well to the first two stories: A Mother To Love and A Husband For Christmas. I hope the next three are greeted with the same enthusiasm.  Look for all my books on my website at  Gail's Book List

Wishing you love, joy, peace and good reading in 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Reader Connection Questions by Cheryl Wyatt

Hello all! Cheryl Wyatt here. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and are off to a nice new year. I want to be more intentional with blogging and connecting with readers this year. So I thought I would take this opportunity to ask what kinds of posts you'd like to see?

One of the blessings of writing books is getting to know readers. I love when readers share aspects of their lives, hopes, dreams, quirks, stories and just life with me. I feel so blessed and honored.

I'm pretty bashful in person, but online it's easier for me to communicate. One benefit of blogging is the connections and friendships I'd be too shy and awkward to initiate in person. What are some things that you love talking about? Things you'd feel comfortable sharing with us online?

I'd love to hear about your life, your pets, your hobbies, your faith walk-things God's been showing you in His word, encouragement you've received.

I'm hoping you'll share insight into what sorts of subjects you'd be excited to discuss/share.

Thank you so much for the blessing of your readership and for visiting our blog. We appreciate you more than words could say.

In short, for the purpose of future blog posts, I'd love to know:

1. What things would you like to know about me/my life/my family/my writing?

2. What things would you love to talk about regarding your own life/family/career/hobby/etc.?

I interact with readers daily on my Facebook page, and invite you to join us:

I also provide freebies, story extras, series-related recipes, giveaways and other goodies, exclusive to subscribers of my newsletter. You can sign up for that here:

Lastly, here's my prayer for you, dear readers: 


Cheryl Wyatt

Friday, January 8, 2016

Baking in the Wee Hours of the Morning

Regina Scott here. Christmas and New Years are behind us, but I’m still eating the last of the cookies and candy my family made over the season. How about you?

I enjoy cooking for family and friends, even though I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a genius in the kitchen. Maddie O’Rourke, the heroine of my January release, Instant Frontier Family, can bake rings around me. But she has to get up ridiculously early to do so.

You see, Maddie owns the best bakery in pioneer Seattle. Burly loggers and miners have been known to stampede into her shop demanding the fresh bread, cookies, and rolls she makes each day. I think they all have a crush on her.
But Maddie’s made of tougher stuff. Pioneer baking involved long hours in a hot kitchen carrying heavy loads. Here’s the schedule I worked out for her. It starts at 5:00pm the night before, after she’s finished selling for the day:
  • 5pm—Feed the barm (the yeast starter on which her bakery depends) with flour and water leftover from boiling potatoes; sift enough flour for the next day into the mixing trough. Cover the trough to keep the cat out!
  • 5:30—Go upstairs and make dinner for the family. Clean up and spend a little time with the family before going to bed.
  • 7pm—Go to bed.
  • 11:15pm—Get out of bed; get dressed, and stumble downstairs. Melt butter with molasses.
  • 11:30pm—Mix the flour in the trough with the butter/molasses mixture and the barm. Have it done by midnight so it can rise.
  • Midnight—Lay the fire in the oven; go back upstairs for a nap.
  • 3:00am—Get up, go downstairs, knead down and smooth out the dough.
  • 3:30am—Divide the dough into loaves of exactly 8 pounds each; cover with cloth.
  • While the dough is rising for 2 hours, make cookie dough of various sorts
  • 5:30am—When the oven bricks are hot all the way through, rake out the coals and sweep out the ashes. Roll out some of the bread dough to make cinnamon rolls. Then put the loaves and rolls into the oven using the peel, a paddle with a long handle.
  • 6:00am—Bake and don’t fuel the fire. Close the door and shut off the flue with the damper.
  • 6:30am—Brush the tops of the loaves with egg for a crisper crust at the half-way point. Make icing for the rolls.
  • 7:00am—While the bread cools, bake the cookies. Ice the rolls.
  • 8:00am—Sell it all to customers and start all over again for the afternoon rush.
Phew! Is it any wonder Maddie pays for a woman to come from New York help in the bakery, escorting Maddie’s little brother and sister to come live with her in the process? Yet the person who arrives with them isn’t someone with experience baking. He isn’t even a woman . . .

Regina Scott has twice melted a spatula into what she was cooking. The author of more than 30 historical romances, she’s currently working on a series set in Seattle’s early years:  Frontier Bachelors, bold, rugged, and bound to be grooms. Sign up here for a free e-mail alert with exclusive bonus material when her next book comes out, or visit her online at her website or Facebook.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Do You Like Perfect Women? Gift card #giveaway...

EDIT:  Joy, you're a winner! Please contact me either on Facebook or by leaving another comment. Once I have your email address, I'll send you the gift card.
Hi there! Lee Tobin McClain here, and I have to tell you, I don't love perfect women. I know, I know:
Check it out by clicking here!
I shouldn't make blanket judgments. But women who have perfectly neat houses or perfectly behaved children or perfect bodies are annoying. Or actually, make that intimidating. 

I think that's why I write books featuring seriously flawed heroines. I must need to reassure myself that even people who aren't perfect--hey, like me--can find love and happiness with God's help.

In my latest novel, A Bond Fulfilled, I must say that I've outdone myself in the "imperfect heroine" department. Maria Moretti is one of those women who has kept a tight grip on herself and tried to be perfect, and it's totally backfired. Now, she's unmarried with a baby to raise, and she promised her dying mother that she wouldn't reveal the identity of the baby's father for a lot of complicated reasons. But when handsome police officer Hector Santiago moves in right next door, keeping that secret becomes a whole lot harder. Especially when danger threatens...

My question to you is, are you okay with seriously flawed heroines, or do you like your romances to feature upright, always-do-the-right-thing role models? Answer and explain why in the comments (just a sentence is fine) by midnight on January 7th, and I'll choose a random commenter to win a $10 Amazon gift card. 

And if you're interested in more imperfect heroines--or in my blog, Flawed. Christian. Woman.--stop by my website. If you sign up for my newsletter, you'll get a free short story that sets up the whole Sacred Bond and Sacred Bond Guardians series.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Change Begins Today

The New Year prompts many to make resolutions. Others might want to do things differently, but they aren't willing to alter their behaviors just yet.

I had a talk with one my pastors recently about change, and he had an interesting take.

Frank said change is a process that requires daily discipline. But first we must make the change. Too many of us have a Little Orphan Annie view, forever thinking about tomorrow. "I'll stop (insert behavior)... tomorrow," or "I'll lose that weight...tomorrow."

The trouble is, as the famous song goes, "tomorrow is...a day away."

I believe Frank is on to something. Waiting around for that seemingly elusive "tomorrow" can be a cop-out. Real, lasting change begins today.

Are there things in my life I want to change? Plenty. Will I make any progress if I keep on procrastinating? Nope.

If I want to let go of one habit or embrace another, today is my strongest ally.

One of my goals for the New Year is to do more plotting before I begin a story. With that in mind, I took action--today! I pulled out my index cards, determined to fill them with ideas. I Skyped with my daughter, and we brainstormed. The result: a new story is taking shape.

What changes do you want to make this year? Which of them will you make today?