Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jolene Navarro here. Checking in from the Texas Hill Country. School is out and I don't have a schedule. LOL. The calendar has no meaning to me. For these two months, I get to be a full-time writer and get lost in my stories for hours at a time.
The other day I hosted a workshop at my local library. A question comes up that I hear often. What happens when you get writer’s block? When it became difficult the brain will look for things to do that take less energy.
One of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my writing career was the fabulous Alexandra Sokoloff. Her advice was to make a list. List work great.
Jolene Navarro, Jodi Thomas, Alexandra Sokoloff, Sasha Summers

If I get stuck I make a list of the things that could happen next – at least twenty. I know the first few are obvious, the next might be a little too crazy but by the time I get to the last five I usually have something new and fun to work with.
Alex also breaks down story structure in movies.  When I was writing a Texas Historical (Lone Star Bride) where a girl disguises herself as a boy to go on a cattle drive I studied Tootsie. What happens at the turning points and how they were handled. On the surface, my Texas cattle drive and Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie doesn’t have much in common. But they do share a common problem. The main character is in disguises in order to get a job they want. I think it’s better if the genres don’t even match.

She also suggests having a question about your story and think about it before you go to sleep. Your brain loves working on problems while you are checked out. There are those wonderful mornings I’ll wake up and want to get back to the story right away.
In my upcoming story, Lone Star Christmas I was struggling with the heroine's guilt. I knew what it was but had to find a way to show it without hitting the reader over the head. My couple knew each other as teenagers and wasn't sure where they met was working. Some discussion and options and it all fell into place. It's like the sun popped out from grey skies after weeks of darkness. The choir sings and your story clicks. 
My favorite was of getting back into my story in meeting with other writing friends. We can talk over the phone, meet for a meal, meet at a library or bookstore. The best is when we get to go on a weekend write-in (or lock-down). Brainstorming and talking through the problem with other writer’s is the best. This will always get my writing moving forward again.
West Texas Writers' Academy 2018

The first week of this month I was in Canyon Texas at the West Texas Writers' Academy. A full week of brainstorming and writing. Best vacation ever.
If you want to learn more for Alexandra Sokoloff she shares some great advice on her page

What do you do when you get distracted from your goal? Do you have tricks to keep you focused?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Something Unexpected

When something comes along to shift our plans or our direction we usually think of it as a bad thing. We grumble and complain and wonder why this sudden event disrupted out lives. Lorraine Beatty here, and as a woman of a certain age I’ve experienced many unexpected events and the one thing I’ve learned is that they can be a good thing, an adventure, a turn toward something better if we embrace it.

    In fact that’s why I’m with you today. An unexpected request to write this blog. It was the last thing on my agenda but it also gave me the opportunity to visit with y’all. That’s always a fun.

    Bret and Nina have faced many unexpected events in their past involving loss and grief. They’re first meeting will set in motion a whole new series of  events neither one could possibly have anticipated. But what happens when you add forgiveness and relinquishing the past is added to the mix?

    Her Fresh Start Family is the first in my new series Mississippi Hearts. Each book focuses on a young widow who is struggling with the next phase of her life. With the help of a small therapy group – The Widow’s Walk Club – each woman learns to let go of the past and learn to love again.

    Facing sudden change is hard and scary. But everyone I’ve encountered has proved to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did situations improve but I learned a lot about myself and I grew as a person and as a Christian. Bret and Nina will find happiness at the end of their journey but first they must go through the struggles just like we all do.

    Going around the hard times is what we want to do but its only by going through  the trials that we learn and mature and develop character. Don’t you wish we could develop our character the easy way? Problem is we won’t change unless we’re forced to. We like our comfortable worlds. Unexpected change upsets our predictable life and kicks us out of our comfort zone.

    I’ve learned not to panic when sudden events crop up. Instead I start wondering what I’m going to learn or experience that I haven’t before. I’ve always been presently surprised and discovered an aspect of myself that I never knew existed.

    Next time you are confronted with an unexpected event take a deep breath and be prepared to be amazed at what you will discover. You might just find your own happy ending the way Bret and Nina do.

 Her Fresh Start Family

 A new life. A new love. But will secrets tear them apart?

 Struggling with a tragic loss, widow Nina Johnson seeks a fresh start in a small Southern town. Then she meets handsome veteran Bret Sinclair and his sweet daughters. Bret’s no stranger to loss, and his companionship is the solace Nina’s been searching for. Until a dark secret from Bret’s past is exposed, threatening to break these Mississippi Hearts.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Another Side to the Ladies of Love Inspired Romance

Many of the Ladies of Love Inspired Romance write more than their Love Inspired Books. Here are some of this month's other new releases. Just click on the covers or buy links to purchase them. And to learn more about Lisa, Jean, Danica, Terry, and Sherri, click on their names.
A Vast and Gracious Tide
by Lisa Carter

A wounded veteran and the police chief's daughter must work together to bring a killer to justice

Caden Wallis lost friends, his girlfriend, and even his leg to the ravages of war. He arrives on the Outer Banks broken and still reeling, struggling to make peace with his new life.

McKenna Dockery has been stuck in limbo since her fiancé died three years ago. Now, when the handsome yet heartbroken Caden arrives on her doorstep, she starts to wonder if there may be hope for her heart after all.

But no sooner do they meet than a man is found murdered on McKenna's property—and Caden becomes the prime suspect. The two must learn to trust each other, or no one will be safe in the tangled web of conspiracy, greed and deceit lurking in the tidal marshlands of the Outer Banks.

Romantic Suspense
Buy: Amazon
Sweet Entanglement
by Jean C. Gordon

Is three the charm?

Lauren Cooper is on her way to her life’s dream. She’s financed and finished college and law school all on her own. And she’s up for partner at the largest law firm in Indigo Bay. There’s nothing to stop her from concentrating everything on achieving that goal. Until Jesse Brewster, the man who broke her heart twice, shows up sleeping off the night before on the beach, and she’s called in to serve as his public defender.

Looking to make a new start after the racing accident that ended his lucrative motocross career and sent him spiraling into darkness, the former champion had envisioned an entirely different scenario if he ever saw Lauren again. That vision was more along the lines of the successful businessman he’d be once he rehabbed the seaside mansion he’s inherited from his uncle and sold it to open a custom bike shop.

Sparks fly between them, and Jesse vows to fan those sparks once he’s got the project successfully underway. But someone starts sabotaging it, putting Jesse behind on the deadline he has to meet to get the property off the Indigo Bay Planning Board’s condemned property list. And Lauren has a sick suspicion that her bosses are somehow involved.

Jesse and Lauren had once promised they’d wait for each other while they pursued their career dreams. Despite that broken promise, neither can deny the love that’s still between them. But now that they are on the cusp of reaching those dreams, are they willing to risk everything to renew that love?

Team Macachek: Fall in love with the strong women and fearless men of the motocross circuit.

This is the 12th novel in the Indigo Bay Sweet Romance series, but all books can be read as standalones.
Legacy of the Heart

An antique locket with the power to inspire everlasting love unites the five stories in this stunning collection of historical and contemporary inspirational romance novellas!

In "Heritage of Love," Danica Favorite takes us to the Chicago world’s fair, where a chance encounter will spark an opportunity for true love, if only the young couple can first overcome polite society’s rigid rules . . .

Stacy Henrie tells the story of a sheriff desperate to escape the matchmaking efforts of the women in his small town, only to discover that his attempts to sidestep them may lead to eternal love and happiness in "By Any Other Name . . ."

Tina Radcliffe’s "Forget Me Not" paints the picture of a charming antique store, where love will blossom when two strangers learn the secret about a long-ago hurt and a love that never died . . .

In "The Lost Locket," Terri Reed introduces readers to two people who have given up on love and will fight their undeniable attraction until it may be too late . . .

And in "Winning the Fireman’s Heart," Sherri Shackelford shows us two long-time friends forever searching for the perfect mate, until a gesture of kindness reveals the love that’s always been waiting for them . . .
Pre-order/Buy (releases June 22): Amazon

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Scripture & Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus, Guido Reni, 1620,
Hermitage Museum. [PD-US]

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Mark 4:26-34

The Love Inspired: A Story for Every Reader Authors 
wish all the fathers a
Very Happy Father's Day!

May the Lord bless you and your families!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Jeanne M. Dickson: Rita Finalist

1.) The RWA Rita call.

When my cell phone rang, I was upgrading my PJ bottoms to sweatpants. The cell was in the family room. By the time I got there, I’d missed the call. Since I didn’t recognize the phone number, I assumed it was a junk call. Then, the landline rang. I flinched. Ran into the living room. Answered the phone. The voice on the other end said she was with the RWA board, and Grounded Hearts had finaled in the Rita’s Inspirational category. I sank into a chair. Pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The rest was a blur.

2.) The first person I called was my husband. 

3.) It’s been a year of ‘debut first,’ but I was excited to land my first local newspaper interview spotlighting my Rita final. Writers tend to be insecure, so the other cool thing about being a Rita finalist is the boost of confidence. 

My debut book Grounded Hearts is set in WWII Ireland.
4.)In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

5.) I wrote six manuscripts before I made my first sale with Grounded Hearts.

6.) I’ve been nicked-named the ‘Contest Queen’ by my local RWA chapter! I won and finaled in many RWA contests through the years, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, and was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Most recently I won The Tara and Pages From The Heart.

7.) My advice to aspiring authors is never give up. Rejection is part of the game. The road to publication is a journey filled with potholes, detours, and heading up one-way streets in the wrong direction. Keep the faith and keep writing.

8.) I’m thrilled and truly honored to be a RWA Rita finalist, especially to be included among the talented authors in the Inspirational category.

Short bio:  Jeanne was born into an Irish-American family, the only girl in a family with four brothers. Her Irish grandmother lived with them, and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and the saints and ancestors long gone from this earth. She credits her mother, her aunts, and grandmother for her love of storytelling. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes. Jeanne writes stories set in WWII Ireland and also contemporary tales of Irish/Irish American characters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The History around You

Christina Rich here. Since I've spent the better part of the last week in some form of transportation I am going to keep this short and sweet.

On May 20th, my daughter got married, and because of that new marriage we traveled to New York so that I could meet my new son-in-law's parents. It was my first time in the Empire State and everywhere we went somebody was pointing out historical landmarks. Churches and homes where George Washington took refuge, gave speeches, and prepared plans. Islands in the middle of the Hudson with castles and mansions. Indian trails and lakes hidden in mountains.
The more places we were shown the more we heard from locals that they'd never seen the historical landmarks, which I found surprising. As an historical writer I'm always looking for cool and interesting places that enhance my visualization, especially in my own backyard.

So here is my question to you, what are some of your favorite historical sights in your hometown?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June Delights {and Giveaway!}

**Updated! Giveaway closed--congratulations to ablst nlki I!**

June! How I've longed for you through a cold, dreary, never-ending winter. And you're here--at last!

There's nothing I don't love about this month. That's a double negative right there. Maybe I should rephrase it. I love everything about this month! Better.

I live in northern Ohio where the winters are long, summers are short, falls are gorgeous and spring...well, sometimes we get spring and sometimes it skips us.

My Favorite June Delights

School is out. My 6:15 am alarm is off. Yay! I still set the alarm, but 7:30 is more my style. Plus, I can stay in my pajamas and sip coffee without the busy-busy of school year stuff.

Blue skies, sunshine, temps in the seventies and eighties, green vegetation everywhere you walk. Being outside is a must. I walk as often as possible. My tip? The mosquitoes are out, so load up on bug spray.

Happy anniversary! My hubby and I married twenty-four years ago this month. It's hard to believe! I still feel young at heart, and I'm thankful for my husband every day.

Baseball! My son plays baseball, and summer ball will be wrapping up next month. I also love watching the Detroit Tigers on television and going to Toledo Mudhens games. There's something so nice about spending the afternoon at a ball park.

Beach reads. Who needs the beach to read a fun romance? Not me! I'm digging into Becky Wade's Falling for You. It's her second book in the Bradford Sisters Romance series. Becky writes contemporary romance novels for the Christian market. Love her voice! I can't wait!

Farmer's markets. Thursday nights are for strolling the streets of Perrysburg. Not only is this farmer's market in an adorable downtown, it also features homemade kettle corn. Yum!

Release month! My seventh Love Inspired novel is in stores now, and I'm so excited about it! Reunited with the Bull Rider is the second book in the Wyoming Cowboys series. Here's a little about the book.

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.

I'm giving away one copy (paperback for US residents 18+, ebook for international residents 18+) of Reunited with the Bull Rider. Simply leave a comment below to be entered. Winner will be selected via random number generator, and I will contact the winner by email. Giveaway is open from June 12, 2018 through 9:00 pm June 15, 2018 (EST).

How do you feel about June? Do you have any June Delights you'd like to share? Please do!


Jill Kemerer is an author and freelance writer. A multi-published inspirational romance novelist with Harlequin Love Inspired, Jill also writes nonfiction books, blogs, and articles. Her essentials include coffee, M&Ms, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. Please visit her website,

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  Website 

Monday, June 11, 2018

New for June from Our Love Inspired Suspense Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with a new must buy from our Love Inspired Suspense authors. Just click on a cover to purchase it. And to learn more about Dana, click on her name
Top Secret Target
by Dana Mentink 

Her true identity is a secret
The next explosive Military K-9 Unit thriller
With his ex-wife next on a killer’s hit list, military police lieutenant Ethan Webb and his K-9 partner, Titus, must guard the woman posing as her. But courageous private investigator Kendra Bell refuses to be just bait—she wants to help bring down the killer. Can she play her part without falling for her pretend ex-husband?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Christ, Heinrich Hoffman, 1889. [PD-US]

Jesus came home with his disciples.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, "He is out of his mind."
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said,
"He is possessed by Beelzebul,"
and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself
and is divided, he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder the house.
Amen, I say to you,
all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be
forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

His mother and his brothers arrived.
Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."
Mark 3:20-35

If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Kara Isaac: Rita Finalist

Rita finalist Kara Isaac describes getting the call!
After finding out you were a finalist, who did you call first and tell? 
I live in New Zealand and the time difference means that the RITA finalist calls are done while we are sleeping. The upside to this is there’s no spending the day waiting in tension because the complete list of finalists is up by 8am our time!

I checked the list as soon as I woke up and saw four finalists listed, including a good friend, Nicole Deese. Because there have only been four finalists in the religious and spiritual elements recently I assumed they had all been announced so I messaged Nicole with my  congratulations and then went on with my day. I was in the shower washing my hair when my husband banged on the door and told me that “some guy from America” was on the phone from some romance place? He will be laughing for years about the sight of me racing through the house sopping wet in a towel to get to the phone!! 

What other cool things have happened now that you’re a RITA finalist? Tell us a little about this book? How many books have you written? 

This was my first attempt

I first started writing the manuscript that became Then There Was You in 2008. It was my first attempt at a contemporary romance and, much to my surprise, was a finalist in the first couple of contests I entered it in. However, I also got consistent feedback from judges that no publisher would be interested in a book set in Australia and if I was serious about getting it published then I needed to relocate it to the US. I ultimately decided that the Australian setting was a critical component to the story that I wasn’t willing to compromise on and put it aside while I worked on other ideas. I finally finished it in 2014, it had some interest with publishers but ultimately wasn’t picked up so I put it aside again and pursued other ideas. It was my next manuscript that ended up being contracted to be my debut novel, Close To You. 

By late 2016, I had two books traditionally published but then my publisher went through a major restructure and a decision about whether I was going to be offered another contract was put on hold. Then There Was You has always had a special place in my heart for a number of reasons and so I decided to make the leap and publish it independently. Probably the most amazing thing about the RITA final has been the affirmation that Then There Was You is the same calibre as traditionally published novels (which is mostly thanks to my two phenomenal editors who pushed me to make it even stronger than I thought I could!). 

What other kudos have you earned? 
My debut novel, Close To You, was an Inspy Award winner and my sophomore novel, Can’t Help Falling an RT Reviews Top Pick. In the last couple of weeks Then There Was You has also been announced as an Inspy Award finalist and a HOLT Medallion finalist. I’m so honoured by how readers have embraced my characters but it can also be very daunting wondering how the next book is going to live up to how well loved the others have been!

One piece of advice you have for other authors... 
Publishing has been in a huge state of flux the last ten years but if your dream is a traditional publishing contract then don’t let people discourage you from pursuing it. Publishers are still looking for new voices and fresh talent. Two friends of mine have recently signed their first traditional publishing contracts after years of hard work and I recently signed a new book contract with my publisher after 18 months of not knowing if I was going to be offered another contract. So don’t listen to the naysayers who would have you believe that traditional publishing is dying!

Short bio: Kara Isaac is the award-winning author of three books. She lives in New Zealand (yes, it’s really as beautiful as it looks in the movies!) where she spends her time chasing three small people, writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in the South Pacific. Find out more at

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for having me to visit!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sparking the Imagination

Do you ever wonder where authors get the ideas for the stories they create? Sometimes conversations can spark an idea. Sometimes it's a dream, or even a news story. Inspiration can strike anywhere.

Here's the cover to my August release. Amish Country Ambush is the fourth book in my Amish Country Justice series. When I was first plotting the proposal for this book, I hit a stumbling block. I knew that I wanted the hero to be Sergeant Ryan Parker, who was introduced in Plain Retribution. I knew some of his backstory. I just couldn't wrap my mind around what his book would be about.

In June, my friend and fellow author, Katy Lee, was coming to Pennsylvania. She suggested that we tour New Wilmington, the third largest Amish community in the United States. Why not?

It was great fun. We visited shops, saw houses, and took lots of pictures of the majestic scenery. I loved the tan covered buggies, too. I had never seen any like them before. Our guide informed us that these particular buggies are only found in New Wilmington. We were fascinated by the tidbits we were learning.

And then we saw this bridge. The Banks Covered Bridge. It's gorgeous. Cars continued to stop and take pictures. We were puzzled until our guide told us that this bridge was featured in an episode of The West Wing when it was popular. People come to take pictures of it all the time.

And there it was. I could hear a woman asking Ryan, "What are they doing?"

In my mind, I could picture the scene. Immediately, the questions started. Why were they there? What was the danger? Who was this woman and how did Ryan meet her?

By the end of the week, I had my story line.

And of course, I have a scene in the book with that bridge. I was thrilled when I saw the cover. It was perfect. 

I can't wait to share this story with you! I would be interested in learning about the places you have gone that have sparked your imagination or stayed with you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Allie Pleiter - Waterfalls...and a giveaway!

Was is it about waterfalls?

They’re soothing. They’re powerful. They can be mighty and dramatic or small enough to trickle pleasantly on our patios. Little fountains or breathtaking cascades.

One of my favorite movie scenes, the heroic promise “Stay alive…no matter what occurs…and I will find you!” from Last of the Mohicans, takes place inside a waterfall. Good stuff! 

Of course, there was dastardly villain hidden behind the lava waterfall in The Incredibles, too. So, not always good stuff.

The waterfall in my new book, however, is the perfect backdrop for a wedding. Mayor Jean Matrim knows that is the key to her town’s future, so she forfeits her family moniker on the falls to turn “Matrim’s Falls” into “Matrimony Falls.” It’s the first step in her grand plan to give her dying hometown new life as “Matrimony Valley,” a unique and rustic destination wedding venue.

This is a waterfall near the western North Carolina set of towns that I drew from to create Matrimony Valley.

Plans are going great…until the brother of Matrimony Valley’s first bride turns up, and it’s Jean’s great love from college, Josh Tyler. What Josh doesn’t know is that Jean’s charming son is also Josh’s son. Even though he is profoundly deaf, young Jonah teaches Josh a great deal about listening to your heart.

I loved writing this story of forgiveness, restoration, and life’s unexpected twists. I hope you enjoy it as well.

To celebrate, comment with the answer to this question:
If you could stage your wedding anywhere in the world, what spot would you pick?

I’ll draw names from everyone who leaves a comment and give away a copy of His Surprise Son on Friday.

Monday, June 4, 2018

New for June from Our Love Inspired Historical Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with a new must buy from our Love Inspired Historical authors. Just click on a cover to purchase it. And to learn more about Karen, click on her name
Romancing the Runaway Bride
by Karen Kirst 

Second-Chance Bride
Though she came west in her wedding dress, Deborah Frazier isn’t looking for a groom. She fled St. Louis to escape marrying a man she didn’t love. In Cowboy Creek, she’s found shelter, friends and a job. All that’s now in jeopardy, thanks to a handsome newcomer.

Undercover Pinkerton agent Adam Halloway is hunting for his family’s greatest enemy. The pretty baker at the boardinghouse is certainly hiding something—but is she an accomplice to a criminal? As evidence against Deborah piles up, can Adam trust his heart and make Deborah a bride at last?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Last Supper, Juan de Juanes, c 1562. [PD-US]

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
"Where do you want us to go
and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them,
"Go into the city and a man will meet you,
carrying a jar of water.
Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.
Make the preparations for us there."
The disciples then went off, entered the city,
and found it just as he had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.
While they were eating,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
"Take it; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
"This is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you,
I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Getting Ideas from the Great Outdoors

Anything you eat tastes better if you're in the middle of nowhere
 if your husband cooked it instead of you!
(or, if you're writing a book, you can think about getting lost in the woods,
stumbling across a forest ranger, who shares his meal

The best ideas come if you explore every corner of your world.
Don't just people watch.
World watch.
(Maybe it wasn't a forest ranger.
Maybe it was a meteorologist,
who was gathering data concerning a tornado
that rammed through a one mile swatch of forest last year)

Don't just rely on what you can see from where you're standing.
Go ahead, look down, and sometimes you 'll even need to  crawl into a hole.
This is a lava tube near Flagstaff, Arizona.
(At the top of the tube, we met a veteran. This was Memorial Day.  He was alone.
If you write romance, you always know that heroes don't remain alone
in Happily Ever Afters)

Always, always, reach for the sky!
(Most people sit on their quads.  But, there are those who take a different approach.
Remember, not all stories should be the same.
And, when this guy falls and needs a bandage...
There's definitely going to be a heroine around.
LOL, in this case it was me. MOM)

At the end of the research trip, you can rest and plot your next adventure.
(By the way, dogs always work well in romance novels.
This is Lucy, and she's ready to go home.
Hmmm, this might call for a veterianarian hero)

Pamela Tracy not only camps and gets ideas, but she writes stories about those ideas.  Check out her website
Click Here

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Reader's Wishing for Wedding Bells... by Maggie K. Black

Reader’s letters matter so much to us authors. Sometimes they even give us new ideas for books!

A few weeks ago I got an email from a reader called Nancy who had just read Undercover Holiday FiancĂ©e and The Littlest Target, which are the first of my two books about the Henry brothers. 

Nancy said, “I am eagerly looking forward to the next books that star the remaining Henry brothers. I am hoping that Trent and Chloe will have their wedding in one of them, plus that the Henry team will apprehend their sister’s killer. I kind of get carried away with the friends I find in the books I read.”

I know just how she feels! One of my all time favorite authors is Madeleine L’Engle who had characters that often crisscrossed between books. Once I was so eager to discover what had happened to one character who’d disappeared from her stories that I read some of her rough drafts, which her family had generously donated to Wheaton College, to find out what had happened to him. 

Now, thanks to Nancy’s email Trent and Chloe’s wedding is very much on my mind! Although I’m not sure when their big day is going to happen. Knowing them they might have a long engagement. I’ll keep you posted, Nancy!

My next book is Standing Fast. It’s the fourth book in the Military K-9 Unit series following on from the first thrilling three books by Terri Reed, Valerie Hansen and Dana Mentink. It was my first book starring characters that appeared in other author’s books. Single dad Chase McLear is suspected of helping a serial killer. Preschool teacher Maisy Lockwood is the daughter of one of the killer’s victims and suspects Chase might’ve been framed. It’s up to trainee K-9 dog Queenie to help sniff out the truth before it’s too late.

Are there any main characters you love that have reappeared in other books? Or characters from old books you wish you could catch up on?