Thursday, November 15, 2018

How quickly things change…

The leaves outside my window have turned from summer’s green to the myriad hues of autumn. All too soon, the bare branches of winter will fill my view, and I’ll be pining for springtime buds and new life to return.

Whether it’s the seasons, advances in science and industry, or our children shooting up to adulthood before our eyes, change is inevitable.

How quickly things change really hit home this year as I revised and updated a few of my earliest novels for republication. It hasn’t even been a decade since the books first released, but wait—were my characters really using flip phones back then? The vehicle one of my heroes was driving isn’t even manufactured anymore. And—horrors!—I’d shown characters stopping at a once-popular video store to browse the aisles for a movie to rent!

Yep, I had a little bit of editing to do to make those books realistic for 2018. And another 10 years from now? Who knows!

Here are some fun facts I found on the web:

  • December 1997—Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid auto, debuts
  • April 14, 1998—Netflix launches DVD rental website
  • September 4, 1998—Google is founded
  • December 1998—PayPal is founded
  • 2004—first Keurig model for home use
  • February 4, 2004—Facebook debuts
  • March 21, 2006—Twitter is launched
  • January 9, 2007—Apple announces the first iPhone
  • November 19, 2007—Amazon releases the first Kindle
  • April 3, 2010—Apple introduces the iPad
  • June 2010—Uber launches in San Francisco
  • August 26, 2010—Blockbuster announces plans to file for bankruptcy
  • October 6, 2010—Instagram debuts
  • Summer 2016—Amazon experiments with drone delivery

How many from this list have made a direct impact on your lifestyle? What other significant changes have you observed in the past 10 or 20 years?


Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She’s currently at work on a new Love Inspired mini-series, Hill Country Haven, with returning characters from Her Hill Country Cowboy and Hill Country Reunion. The first book in the series, The Rancher’s Redemption, is slated for a May 2019 release.

Also look for the updated editions of Myra’s earlier romances:

Myra is a three-time Maggie Awards finalist, two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered rescue dogs who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They’ve also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind when they moved overseas.

Sign up to receive Myra’s e-news updates here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Be Grateful

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I find I always have much in which to be grateful. Good music, my pets, my writing and, of course, my family and faith.

This week on the Love Inspired Authors and Readers Group on Facebook, I am sharing more about my favorite things and chatting with other readers and authors about theirs. If you are on Facebook, I hope you’ll come join us. It’s a very active group and great fun. You can find us here:

I do hope you'll join us, but whether or not you’re on Facebook, I’d love to know what you’re thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Look for Deb Kastner's Christmas novel on the shelves starting November 20th or preorder here.

Haven't become a Deb's Daydreamers VIP and joined my newsletter yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up HERE.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Allie Pleiter on teaching young writers

For two years now, I’ve had the pleasure of guest lecturing at Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. Since the first year I met some of the students at the Write to Publish conference, I’ve been impressed with the talent, skill, and professionalism of these young writers of faith.  These students are getting ready to launch careers that utilize their gifts on behalf of God’s kingdom—even if they don’t end up in professional posts at faith-based publications. I have no doubt all of the publishing world is gaining some great assets in these up-and-coming scribes.

What did I tell them? 
  • Work hard. 
  • Conduct yourself with integrity and professionalism, because even exceptional talent will only get you so far. 
  • Find your style and speed (of course, I taught them the Chunky Method) and stick to it.
  • Mentors and writing heroes are great, but steer clear of paralyzing comparisons. 
  • Ignore “overnight successes” because they never are what they seem. 
  • Be the writer who makes the long, steady climb in the right direction, because those are the careers that last. 
  • Celebrate every little success.
  • Allow yourself to yell “ouch” when the failures and hurts come, but don’t stay down long. Pick yourself up and start over, or start new, or just start anywhere you can find a foothold.

I enjoy giving back to my profession. What do you do to bring up young people in your field of work, church, or community?

PS: Happy Veteran's Day and my heartfelt thanks to all who serve.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Scripture

The Widow's Mite (Le denier de la veuve), James Tissot, 1836-1902,
Brooklyn Museum. [PD-US]

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. 
Many rich people put in large sums. 
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."
Mark 12:41-44

If you have any 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.

Remembering our Veterans 
with prayers of gratitude for their service!

Saturday, November 10, 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 the authors, click on their names.
A Team Macachek Christmas Anthology
by Jean C. Gordon

Fall in love with the strong women and fearless men of the motocross circuit in these three heartwarming holiday stories:

Holiday Escape
Bridget O’Brien lost her fiancĂ© to a dangerous job. And, while she’d love to have a relationship like the one she lost, the last thing she wants is one with another man who willingly puts his life in danger. Luke Foster is a motocross racer whose track record with women runs short and no-strings-attached on both sides. He’d never seriously pursue a forever-after woman like Bridget. All they want is a holiday week away. Bridget from her well-meaning family’s condolences about her planned Christmas Eve wedding and her memories of a future that won’t be. Luke from his family’s annual critique at which he and his life choices always fall short of expectations. But, under the blue Caribbean skies, anything can happen.

Team Macachek Christmas
Sparks fly from a Christmastime reunion of motocross racer Jesse Brewster and his ex-girlfriend Lauren Cooper. Being thrown together to plan the race team's Christmas party reignites a flame Lauren thought she'd extinguished when she broke up with Jesse six months earlier. But will Jesse's well-meaning secret Christmas gift—meant to help win her back—compromise the independence Lauren is fighting to establish? Is it, as she maintains, the wrong time for their love?

Christmas Pizza to the Rescue
Jilted at the alter two weeks ago, motocross champion Royce Evans plans to make an appearance at the Team Macachek Christmas party to show the guys he’s just fine. Then he’ll hunker down alone at the team barracks for the rest of the holiday season. Out-of-work investigative reporter turned pizza delivery person Samantha Linder needs money for her younger sister’s special school tuition and needs to re-establish her cred as a reporter. When a freak winter rain storm strands them alone at the barracks, they strike a bargain that benefits them both. But after Sam appears to break that bargain, can even the spirit of Christmas save their blossoming love?

Sweet Contemporary Romance
A Christmas to Remember
by Deb Kastner

Cowgirl Maisey Gray knows horses, not six-year-olds. But when her socially-awkward, VR glasses-wearing neighbor needs help creating the perfect Christmas for his nephews, it’s up to Maisey to make sure Cam and the boys have a Christmas they’ll never forget!

Contemporary Inspirational Romance
A Brilliant Christmas
by Allie Pleiter

Zoe Walters pours her heart and soul into the community arts center she runs. Her kids could benefit so much from the brilliant talents of animator Nigel Langdon—if he weren’t such a legendary grump. The next six weeks of his artist-in-residency look like they’ll ruin Zoe’s Christmas for sure. And certainly, things get off to a rocky start until Zoe discovers the great big heart—and the deep hurt—Nigel’s been hiding under that crusty exterior. It turns out Nigel can see through to Zoe’s deepest wounds as well. When the arts center is threatened, Nigel and Zoe come together not only to save the organization, but to discover a love and the brilliant Christmas no one ever expected. (This novella originally appeared in an anthology entitled "I'll be Home for Christmas" in 2017.)
Contemporary Inspirational Romance 

To Cherish

After crossing two state lines escape her abusive ex-husband, Jemma McNally is eager to put the cooking skills she learned from her grandmother to good use in running the McNally B&B. But when she realizes she’s being stalked she is certain her ex-husband is responsible. She’ll do anything to keep her three year old son, Trey, safe even if that means asking Sheriff Deputy Garth Lewis for protection.

Refusing to repeat the mistakes in his past, Garth is determined to remain professionally distant from Jemma and Trey. But his heart refuses to listen to reason. He becomes emotionally involved with Jemma and Trey, caring about them far more than he should. When Trey is kidnapped and Jemma sacrifices herself for her son, Garth risks everything to rescue the child—and the woman who has stolen his heart.

Sweet Contemporary Romance 


Friday, November 9, 2018

Finding Thanksgiving by Marie Bast

I love the holidays and this time of year. It always brings to mind            
how much I have to be thankful for—our family, our health, for
the many blessings, but this year I get to add my first book with
Love inspired. I’m so grateful to the wonderful LI team and all
their hard work to get my book ready for publication. 

But Thanksgiving also goes deeper…

When I set the table with my grandmother’s antique Haviland Bavaria china and mom’s silverware, memories from past years with family come flooding back. One Thanksgiving years ago, it was my turn to host the traditional family dinner. It snowed 15.6 inches in northern Illinois the night before. I had cooked and baked for two days and had tons of food and afraid we’d be eating a 25-pound turkey for a month. They plowed the roads and everyone made it. Now we go to South Carolina for the winter, but my grandson thought he’d send me a reminder of those days.


Yet Thanksgiving can be about remembering a family vacation like
the one we had three years ago with our son and his family in Michigan and visiting the dunes and enjoying beautiful Lake Michigan. Two years ago, it was about taking a cruise to Mexico with our other son and his wife.

Thanksgiving was also when my husband had bypass surgery, and today I thank the Lord every day that he is here with me.
Yes, Thanksgiving is all these things and much, much more.
Thanksgiving isn’t about just one day, it’s about all the memories, all the good times, all the people, and yes, it’s about the food, too, and about sitting down together and joining hands in prayer and making new memories. It’s about finding all that we have forgotten about…

So what are your memories? Have you found your Thanksgiving?



Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Holiday Favorite -- Jean C. Gordon

Because a looming deadline has me frazzled, I'm taking the easy blog way out and sharing a recipe for a holiday favorite around here—Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, or any other time.

Almost Fat-free Cheesecake

1-2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter or margerine melted
3 pkgs (8 oz each) nonfat cream cheese cubed [or use regular cream cheese]
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups nonfat sour cream [or use regular sour cream]

Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press into the bottom and sides of a 10-inch spring from pan. In large mixing bowl, beat cheese until smooth; gradually add 1-1/2 cup sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour, and lemon juice. Mix well. Fold in one cup of sour cream. Pour into pan. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 60 minutes. Turn off oven and leave door ajar for 30 minutes. Combine other cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Carefully spread over cheese cake, return to oven for 30 minutes with door ajar (do not reheat oven). Remove from oven, cool, and refrigerate at least 3 hours or over night. If desired, garnish with fruit. 

 Happy Thanksgiving 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A visit to Amish Country

Hello everyone, Patricia Davids here again. 
I’ve been on a brief hiatus from blogging. I was buried under a huge deadline, but I’m back!
Recently I traveled to Shipshewana, Indiana, for appearances with fellow Amish fiction authors Sarah Price, Jennifer Beckstrand, Jennifer Spredemann and Laura Bradford. Let me tell you that this trip was quite an eye opening and wonderful experience. I traveled with my assistant (my daughter) and my grandson. We drove from Central Kansas all the way to Niagara, Ny and back that week. We made some great memories along the way and I’ll share our exploits over the next few blogs.
Our first leg of the journey, after a day and a half of driving, was two days in Shipshewana, Indiana. Spending time in such a large Amish community was amazing. It was also a white knuckled driving experience for my daughter, due to weather and the sheer amount of horse and buggies sharing the road. A new experience for us, as the Amish from our home state drive tractors and are a little more reclusive.
The first day we spent in Shipshewana at Parkers Outlet Center, where J. Farvers Christian Book Store hosted a book signing for Sarah Price, Jennifer Beckstrand and myself, celebrating the release of The Amish Christmas Letters. Meeting these two ladies for the first time, outside of emails and such, was amazing. I admit, I fangirled a little. Sarah and Jennifer are great authors and beautiful women. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them in person and meeting their readers. We had a good turnout for the book signing, even met a couple from Lawrence, Kansas.
Later we met for dinner in Middlebury, at an Amish eatery, Das Dutchmann Essenhaus. The food was spectacular! We chatted away the evening with our family and friends, who traveled with us, like old friends. If you ever find yourself near Middlebury and Shipshewana Indiana, I suggest spending some time sightseeing in the area. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you visited an Amish community? What were your feeling about it?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


It's Tuesday. My Tuesday! I can hardly believe it. Which is one of the reasons I'm a tad late posting this.

If you've noticed, I'm a dog person. A serious dog person. Having the chance to write about K-9s in service is pretty much my idea of a dream job. The real dogs, however, have more issues. Take their maladjustment to Day Light Savings time reverting to standard time.

Mine are two black labs and a little poodle but the reactions match. Boy, do they. If I don't come to bed at the time they deem appropriate, the older lab just stares at me and the poodle will actually bark. So, I go turn down the bed - for her - and go back to watching TV. That satisfies for a while.

You can see the dog bed for the little dog in the first picture. This is the medium sized dog sleeping in it! Well, part of him fits. And, yes, he has his own bed.

That brings me back to nighty-night at my house. There are two enormous, padded dog beds on the floor at the foot of my bed. Plenty of room for both big dogs, plus a blanket between them. So, where does the first one to bed lie? Right in the way to block the other bed and the blanket. Then the second one (it can be either) will come get me for help. I have to assure the outer dog that it's okay to let the other one pass, then assure the late-comer that it's safe to enter before they get situated. In the meantime, the little poodle is sitting on my bed, watching like a vulture in a tree.

I haven't taken many pictures of mealtime because it's pretty hectic. I feed the biggest one first, then the little one, then the middle dog last. That's their pecking order when it comes to food. It's the only way I can keep the poodle from practically jumping into the large dishes. They do sometimes trade, so I have to monitor that, too. See?

But they are a joy. I hope you enjoy the upcoming K-9 Military Unit Christmas book. It will be in stores by the time I return to this blog.

Valerie Hansen- and Lucy and Boo Boo and Hope. :)