Books by Craftie Ladies

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fun in Europe by Merrillee Whren

My husband and I recently took a vacation in Europe. We visited Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We flew into Munich where we spent two days. One of the highlights in Munich was hearing the Glockenspiel and watching the carved figures move around in the giant clock.

Notice the sounds of foreign languages mixing with the sound of the Glockenspiel. 

From Munich we took a train to Passau, Germany, where we started out river cruise on the Danube. We did a lot of traveling by train, and most of the time it was a good experience, but the second leg of our trip to Passau was on a train without A/C. It was hot. We were expecting a relief from the hot Arizona temperatures, but the joke was on us as we encountered a heat wave. For the first dozen days of our trip, the temperatures ranged from 95 degrees to 102 degrees. The Cathedreal in Passau was my favorite church, and we saw a lot of churches.

Next we sailed from Passau to Linz, Austria. From there we took a bus tour to Salzburg, where we saw the place where Mozart once lived. 
From there we stopped in two small towns along the river, Melk and Dürnstein. Melk has a beautiful Abbey that you see in the photo below.

Our next stop was Vienna. We were disappointed not to be able to go to an opera, even though I'm not a big opera fan, but we did tour the Opera House, that doesn't have performances in August.
Bratislava was next on our itinerary. It is the capital of Slovakia. Our guide gave us a very thought-provoking talk about the differences in life there after the fall of the Soviet Union. Here is an very interesting photo I took there. People actually got down on the ground to have their picture taken with this. Not me.

The last stop on our cruise was Budapest, my favorite city on our trip. We sailed in at night and had this spectacular view of the buildings all lit up. Here's a photo of the Parliament.
After the river cruise, we spent another week traveling on our own. We took the train from Budapest back to Vienna, where we spent another day checking out the things we missed. The heat wave finally broke, and we had a pleasant day. Here was an interesting sculpture that was right outside our hotel.
The next day we took a train to Prague. We spent two days in the rain there. It was not fun trying to sight see in the rain. St. Vitus church had magnificent stained glass windows. This is only one of the dozen photos I took there.

After two rain-soaked days in Prague, we made our way to sunny Berlin. We were there a day and a half. It's a big city and not nearly as interesting as the other places we visited, but it does have a few remains of the Berlin Wall, the most fascinating thing, for me, in the tour of the city. You can see there were actually two parts of the wall with a no-man's land in between.

Our final stop before heading back to Munich and our flight home was Fussen, Germany. The Neuschwanstein Castle is located near there. It is said to be the model for the castle at Disney World. What do you think?
The only disappointment was not being able to take photos inside. It has some beautiful painting on the walls and ceiling, and the woodwork was spectacular.

These photos are only a few of the over seven hundred that I took. We had an amazing trip. If you would like to look at more of my photos, you can see them on my Facebook page.

If you could take a trip to any place in the world, where would you go?

I'll be giving away a copy of my latest book, Nursing a Soldier's Heart,  to one person who leaves a comment and an email address.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Three Cheers for Clever Copywriters by Keli Gwyn

Does back cover copy play a role in your decision to buy a book?

If you're like me and many other readers, I have a hunch it does.

I'll pick up a book if its cover or title grabs me, but it's the blurb on the back that lets me know if the story is one I'd enjoy.

Writing copy is an important part of the publishing process. Some people have a real knack for it.

I think the team at Love Inspired does a super job with back cover copy. The copywriters know what readers are looking for in a story, and they focus on those elements in the blurbs they write.

As an author, I eagerly await the day the description of one of my books shows up on Amazon. That's generally the first time I see the copy.

Yesterday the back cover blurb for my March 2016 Love Inspired Historical, A Home of Her Own, appeared. I read it and cheered because the copywriters did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the story.

Here what they came up with:

A Blossoming Love

Becky Martin knows that she can't stay at James O'Brien's apple farm forever, but she wishes she could. After her brother framed her for arson, she flees Chicago, traveling cross-country to California and finding work caring for James's ailing mother. Beneath the apple blossoms, it's almost as if she has a real family…but her secret won't stay buried forever.

James, scarred from an explosion, didn't expect to connect to the pretty young traveler. Could she really love someone damaged like him? He knows she's hiding something. If only she'd trust him. Can she let go of her past and believe in the possibility of a future amid the apple trees?

Q4U: What back cover copy have you read recently that made you rush right out and get the book?

Copyright © 2015 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What a Summer!

Hi Everyone, Sandra Orchard here.

Can you believe that September has arrived already?!

This has been an eventful summer around our home, both personally and professionally.

In June my son proposed to the love of his life and they will wed this fall!

Also in June, two of my novels were recognized with The Word Award, one for romance, one for mysteries. And at that same conference, I had the privilege of rooming with and getting to know Kay Strom, former script writer for Murder She Wrote--super cool!

July brought the release of my 10th novel and my first visit to NYC and a Romance Writers of America conference. If that wasn't exciting enough, my new editor Giselle Regus joined me for the National Readers' Choice Awards, where Identity Withheld won the action/suspense category--against a slate of mainstream/non-inspy book--super cool!

I also got to attend my first...and second Broadway show. And...enjoy a ball at the Waldorf Astoria courtesy of Harlequin. Waaay cool!

August brought the COOLEST event of all...the birth of my 3rd grandson!

And I got the fun of having my four- and two-year-old grandchildren sleep over for a whole week. While the eventful summer didn't leave me a lot of time for writing, it definitely filled up my creative well and I'm looking forward to diving into a new story this very day! between a trip to the pool with the grandkiddoes <wink>

How about you? What are your plans for the new month? Did you have an eventful summer?

Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time…when not doting on her young grandchildren. Subscribe to Sandra’s newsletter to receive a subscriber-exclusive mini-novella. Learn more about Sandra’s books and bonus features, as well as writer helps, at or connect at

Monday, August 31, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired September 2015 Releases

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented Love Inspired  writers here at Craftie Ladies of Romance.  To purchase any of these wonderful books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.

By Jill Kemerer

His Surprise Daughter 

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. 

Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. 

Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blast from the Past - Guess the Author

It's that time again, when we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a copy of said author's latest Love Inspired release. 


Here's your clue.

This is a picture of my son and me deep sea fishing in the Gulf on my stepfather's boat. Every summer Shaun and I would go to see Tony and my mother. A highlight of our vacation was always going out on the boat, fishing and spending time on the beach at Ship or Horn Island. My son still talks about those fishing trips. He loves to fish now and I think it is because of those times in Biloxi. Both Tony and my mother are dead, but I have such fond memories of time spent with them. Seeing this picture brings those memories to the foreground.

Yes, you may have seen this photo before. However, since we had no correct guesses, we're bringing it back. Do you know who this is? Watch for more clues throughout the day, then leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sticks and Stones with Patricia Johns

It takes a certain personality type to be a writer. I sit at home all day by myself, spinning stories and drinking pot after pot of tea. I only have the internet for company most days, which isn't very balanced. I'm forced to get out and interact with real live people on a semi-regular basis, and I have to warn you: not a lot of social contact  tends to breed a socially awkward woman.

I once spent a few weeks working on a deadline, and when I finally roused myself to go to the grocery store, I struck up a conversation with another woman at the egg case, which seemed entirely natural to me. I was starved for human contact. Who wouldn't want to discuss the chances of eggs being cracked in the carton? Then I caught the slightly panicked look on her face as she edged away. Oops. Sorry. I get like that when I've been cooped up for too long.

But then, like most socially awkward people, after chit-chatting with a friend or having a good visit with someone (an absolute necessity from time to time), I get this nervous feeling in my gut that I've said too much and sink back down into quiet solitude again. That's where novel writing comes in and soothes my soul. I can say as much as I like when I write a book, because it's fiction and a lot harder to nail down the vulnerable bits. ;) It's feels safer that way. People can buy their eggs un-accosted by lurking novelists.

It's okay to be different. My intense focus on things that interest me and mild social anxiety are actually an asset to my writing. The focus makes it possible for me to write entire novels in a matter of weeks. The social anxiety makes me more sensitive to the details in relationships around me. If I weren't as sensitive as a skinned grape in social circumstances, I doubt I'd notice half of it.

God put me together like this on purpose. I'm not a mistake. His hand didn't slip. I'm just... me. And you are put together the way you are for a reason, too. So be you with all the dignity and pride you can muster. And if you recognize yourself in me at all... maybe try writing book!


A Hero for Her Son

When the baby he rescued seven years ago returns—with his widowed adoptive mom—Deputy Fire Chief Matt Bailey can't turn them away. Desperate to escape the reminders of his failure in the line of duty, Matt is close to leaving town. But one look at Rachel Carter and her son, Christopher, has him second-guessing his plans. Rachel is a mom in need of a hero for her son. But as much as she wants the two to bond, she's determined to keep her distance from Matt. After losing her husband on the job, she promised never to love another fireman. Yet somehow she finds herself drawn to the one man she should avoid.

Check out my newest release, A FIREFIGHTER'S PROMISE. And come by my blog! I'd love to see you. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

For the love of a Horse

Deb Kastner here. If you read Love Inspired contemporaries on a regular basis, you'll know I enjoy writing cowboy heroes, cowgirl heroines--and all about their horses. I could go on and on about why I love writing about horses in my books. In fact, horses often play large roles in the plot. 

I’ve been obsessed with them ever since I was a little girl. Every other year we visited my grandfather’s ranch in Oregon (we live in Colorado.) You could always find me out by the horses, and it was my greatest joy when I was allowed to mount up and ride.I spent many summers at Camp Fire Girls camp in their trail riding program. I even collected Breyer models. Horses are just so beautiful and magnificent, not to mention intelligent.

We lived in the suburbs, which wasn’t conducive to owning a horse (not that I didn’t beg…and beg…and beg…) so I read everything I could get my hands on, both fiction like Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague and non-fiction how-to-take-care-of-your-horse manuals.

By the time my younger sister Amy started begging for a horse, I guess we’d worn my parents down enough. She was able to own a horse and boarded it locally while participating as a member of the world-class Westernaires Drill Team. She did everything from Roman riding (standing on two horses!) to trick riding, eventually working her way into the coveted Red Team, the highest performance group of all.

Unfair, right?

Well, yes, but the Lord had special plans for Amy. She now runs a horse sanctuary ( for horses that would otherwise not stand a chance. I still don’t own a horse, but I am blessed to be able to take trail rides with Amy.

And since I haven’t (yet!) been able to fulfill that lifelong dream--it's still on my bucket list--I do the next best thing. I write about them.

(Pictures compliments of Amy at Happy Haven.)

My next release, Yuletide Cowboys, which is a novella anthology with the wonderful Arlene James, will be available in stores October 20th. There are a team of beautiful black Percherons in the story--and a couple of mischievous reindeer.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: The Wrangler's Wife by Lacy Williams

With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to
With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable. 

Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name…can he trust her with his heart? protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable. 

Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name…can he trust her with his heart?

How exciting to have Seb White, a character from The Wrangler’s Inconvenient Wife written by Lacy Williams an August 2014 release from Love Inspired Historical.

1.  Seb, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Prob’ly the most interesting is that I’m not the hero of this book. Nope, I’m his brother. I’m eighteen, not ready for marriage or anything like that! I met Fran and Emma Morris at the same time Edgar did and I’m taking over this interview for my brother.

2.  What does Edgar do for fun?

Edgar used to be buckets of fun. Always playing tricks and pranks on our brothers—there’s seven of us adopted by our pa, plus our adopted sister Breanna—but since Oscar and Maxwell both got hitched, he’s become all responsible… stodgy, even. He ain’t no fun anymore! I’m hoping that meeting Fran will loosen him up, but so far… well, he’s bein’ his stubborn self, that’s for sure.

3.  What does Edgar put off doing because he dreads doing it?

That would definitely be personal hygiene. Ed’s been avoiding women since he hit puberty—he’s got trust issues left over from his childhood. I don’t really know why, he don’t talk about that time in his life, but basically he don’t like women, don’t want to court no women—don’t even want to talk to them. So if his hair’s a little shaggy and that crazy-long beard of his help keep ‘em away, well, he ain’t shaved in ages.

4.  What is Edgar most afraid of?

Didn’t ya see my notes above about women? He’s afraid of trusting someone and getting hurt, has bristles like a porcupine.

5.  What does Edgar want out of life?

That old grump… who knows what he wants out of life? He likes staying on the family homestead. Don’t want to travel, don’t want a wife… He just wants thing to stay the same. And we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

6.  What is the most important thing to Edgar?

This one’s easy. He don’t want to let our pa down. Pa took all us boys in as orphans, back when he was in his twenties, just a young pup hisself. All of us owe him for saving us from our bad situations, but Edgar takes it especially seriously—he feels like he owes Pa some debt or something. Which is ridiculous. Pa loves him, loves all of us. He don’t expect nothing, but Edgar takes his family loyalty real serious.

7.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

We live on a working ranch, so we’ve got more working animals than pets. Our sister Breanna has this little white rat of a dog that follows us boys around. It’s a pest sometimes, but we can’t get rid of it ‘cause Breanna would hate us.

8. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about Edgar?

Well, I prob’ly shouldn’t say this but… I’ll tattle on big brother anyway. He ain’t as immune to Fran as he wants everyone to think. I see how he watches her when he thinks no one is payin’ attention. He’s infatuated, even if he pretends like he ain’t. And it’s gonna be fun to watch!

Friday, August 21, 2015

What Are We Writing

What Are We Writing
By Margaret Daley

Author: Linda Goodnight
Hero and Heroine:  Hayden Winters and Carrie Riley
Line: HQN
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
But on these dark, moody, broody nights the demons danced around the edges of his fertile mind. He wondered at his sanity, and knew it was only by a merciful God that he was strong of constitution and could keep the demons in their rightful place. Most of the time.
Due Date: August 21!!!
Word or page count goal today: Rewrite 100 pages
Something cool learned from research:
Marbles are ancient toys that have even been found in Egyptian pyramids.

Author: Barbara Phinney
Title: The Heiress at Proud Ranch
Hero and Heroine: Victoria Templeton and Mitchell MacLeod
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
 "There's nothing for me in Boston. My mother and I were deluding ourselves, thinking that society was carrying on as normal. It isn't and I don't have a place in it anymore."
 Due Date: October 31st
Word or page count goal today: I reached it. 60,000
Something cool learned from research: America’s first electrical wind turbine was invented in 1888!

Author: Rhonda Gibson
Title: A Pony Express Courtship
Hero and Heroine: Seth Armstrong-Pony Express Station Keeper and Rebecca Young - Widower
Line: LIH
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
When he topped the small rise and saw Rebecca trapped between two masked men, Seth pulled his colt from its holster and aimed for the sky. If he didn’t have to kill the men, but could scare them off, he would. He pulled the trigger and pushed Sam to race faster toward the woman he now realized that he loved.
Due Date: August 17th
Word or page count goal today: I finished last night but have been writing. 3000 words a day.
Something cool learned from research:  Donuts maybe a product of the Pony Express. The story goes like this: Two sisters were sweet on the Pony Express rider, Johnny Fry. When he would ride by their house, they would hand him cakes and cookies. To make it easier for him to hold the desserts, they began forming holes in the middle so that he could get a good grasp on them. Therefore the donut was invented. 

Author: Pamela Tracy
Title: TBA
Hero and Heroine:  Donovan Tate and Emily Hubrecht
Line: Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: Sam’s phone sounded, Donovan heard just enough to know that the police officer had obtained some sort of permission - for excavating the body. This was going to turn into a major hassle, Donovan just knew it.  He headed back to his company truck and snagged a bottled water from his cooler before leaning against the door to study Emily.  To think, just an hour ago he’d been happy because everything was on schedule.  Now, he was down to a...  Donovan tried to stop thinking the term skeleton crew.
He couldn’t.
Due Date: August 30th.
Word or page count goal today: 2500 words
Something cool learned from research:  I've patterned my town of Apache Creek off of the real Apache Junction, Arizona.  I've added a whole component to the book based on a historical motel that was torn down in the 70's.  It was a favorite place of movie stars who came to Arizona to shoot westerns.  I'm mad at the developer who tore it down!

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: A Family for St. Nick (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Nick McKenna and Vivian Grainger
Line: Contemporary
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
“Texas grows their men large, don’t you think? Especially the McKenna men. Just look at this handsome guy.”
Vivian Grainger was looking. 
Due Date: December 15th
Word or page count goal today: ten pages

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: A Family for the Rancher (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Edmund McKay and Lula May Barlow
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Once Lula May saw Edmund to the door and watched him ride away, she was surprised by how empty the house felt, even though the children were making the usual amount of noise as they got ready for bed. Just getting the taciturn man to talk about his life—a self-defensive move she’d employed to keep from blurting out too much about her own life—had brought about something special. Knowing he’d been an orphan like her, one who’d had a kindly old mentor, again, just as she had, moved her deeply. Maybe the day would come when she could tell him the truth about her past.
Due Date: August 15, 2015
Word or page count goal today: 1500
Something cool learned from research: I'm learning about training quarter horses, the indispensable mount of the western cowboy.

Author: Winnie Griggs
Title: TBD
Hero and Heroine: Sheriff Ward Gleason and Hazel Andrews
Line: Love Inspired Historical One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Hazel came to her senses with a thud.  Of course, the embrace had only been to steady her, nothing more.  It was never anything more.  Hadn’t she decided to wash her hands of him just a few short days ago?  She’d never been a wishy-washy kind of person, and now was not the time to start.
Due Date: Sept 1
Word or page count goal today:
2500 words
Something cool learned from research: 
The growing popularity of bicycles in the latter part of the nineteenth century helped speed the acceptance of a more relaxed wardrobe for women

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Craftie Lady Jill Kemerer!

Hi everyone! Jill Kemerer here. This is my first post as a Craftie Lady, and I couldn't be more excited! You see, I was one of the very first followers of this blog way back when all of my publishing dreams seemed impossible and far off. I've been reading Love Inspired books for years. When I got the "call" in May 2014 that I'd finally sold to LI, I cried big, ugly thank you tears. My second novel, Unexpected Family, hit store shelves yesterday. I'm pinching myself!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I married my high school sweetheart. Here we are at a Toledo Mudhens game. The first picture is typical. I don't remember what he said, but it obviously annoyed me! The second picture is us playing nice. :) The sun was really bright, so I kind of look like I don't have eyes. Sorry about that. I do have eyes. I promise. 

I live outside of Toledo, Ohio with Mr. Funny Guy up there, two teens and one needy mini-dachshund. Years ago I was an electrical engineer, then I became a stay-at-home mom, and now I'm a full time writer. My commute is about twenty steps upstairs. No complaints here. :)

I'm not a morning person. Coffee is about the only thing I truly look forward to when waking up. I load it with a lot of flavored creamer, and I do not stop at one cup of joe. I'm more of a 2-3 cups gal. The Cinnabon flavor is amazing. Yum! Once a mug of coffee is in my hand, I spend time reading the Bible and praying. Without prayer, I get frazzled. Coffee and prayer--essentials of my life.

An hour or two later, I find my groove. My dear friend and neighbor keeps me in shape. We do yoga together twice a week, and our dogs join in. They chase each other through our poses, and they love every minute of it. The rest of my day is spent plotting, writing, revising or promoting.

Our kids are busy in sports, so I spend a lot of time at their events or carpooling with other parents. During my free time, I love taking long walks in the gorgeous parks around our area. My favorite hobby is reading. I read Christian romance novels, historical romance novels, classics, nonfiction, magazines and the occasional bestseller.  Besides that, I'll be teaching preschoolers at Sunday school again this year. They are so cute!

Besides that I occasionally try my hand at crafts. This usually means a $75 run to Hobby Lobby, burning myself on the hot glue gun, and ending up with a mediocre wreath or similar item. Still, I tried.

So there you have it--Jill Kemerer in a nutshell. Is there anything else you'd like to know? Feel free to ask!

Unexpected Family, is in stores now, and the digital book will be available September 1, 2015. Click HERE for links to all major online retailers.

His Surprise Daughter 

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.


Fess up--do you love coffee in the morning? If yes, how do you take yours? If not, what motivates you to get out of your warm, cozy bed? 

Have a terrific day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Memories with Sherri Shackelford

Sherri here today!

I know, it's still August--which means it's a little soon for a summer recap, but I wanted to share some of the book fun I had over a busy summer.

For the first part of the summer I finished up a continuity for Love Inspired Historical. A continuity is a three book series the editors put together. Selected authors are given the synopsis and character overview, and we write a story.

Cheryl St.John is writing the first book in The Cowboy Creek continuity, I have the second, and Karen Kirst has the third. Shhhhh...don't tell anyone...but we have two titles. Cheryl will release 'Want Ad Wedding', and I have 'Special Delivery Baby.' Look for our books in April, May and June of next year (2016).

I took a two-week break from writing and spent the time studying craft. I attended a plotting retreat in Denver with Mary Buckham and had an awesome time! Nine writers spent a long weekend sharing ideas, learning and generally having a good time.

Check out the mountains in the distance!

Mary Buckham

On our way to Ted's Montana Grill for dinner

More Mountains

More Chocolate and Coffee

Lovely writers...

More lovely writers...

The following week, our local Romance Writers of America chapter participated in a quad-state meeting of the Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri chapters. Held in the beautiful town of Mt. Ayers, Iowa, the meeting was a wonderful opportunity to get to know our sister chapters better. There were workshops and a lot of delicious food!

After that two week break, it was back to work. I have a book scheduled for the holiday season next year, which means coming up with a new story and new characters.

When I'm starting a new book - which is always my favorite part of the process - I develop the characters and ruminate on the plot. Once I 'see' the opening scene, I can start writing. The best part about this book? It's a Christmas theme!

I'll turn that proposal over to my editor in another week or two. I like to let it rest a week before I hit 'send'. It's amazing what a break will do for clarity! Then I wait for the editor to approve the proposal (spoiler alert: I keep writing during the wait. Otherwise it's tough to stay on deadline.)

The proposal is due on the last day of August - which will be the official end of summer of me. 

Oh, and between the writing I shuttled the kids to Science Camp, Swim Camp, and Writing Camp (Go middle child!), there was a family vacation, a two-week visit from my nieces in California,  a week long visit from family in Maryland, lots of swimming and several visits to the best zoo in the country. 

Not to mention, my husband and I taught our oldest child how to drive (bring on the winter weather!). More about that experience later. Let's just say I called my mom and thanked her for her patience in teaching me  how to drive. 

All in all I'm almost glad summer is over. I need the rest! 

Look for "The Rancher's Christmas Proposal" in November: 

Mother for His Children

Single father Shane McCoy has his hands full trying to run a ranch while raising two-year-old twins. His children clearly need a mother's guiding hand. An encounter with a lovely stranger on a train platform offers an unconventional answer to his predicament when she suggests a marriage of convenience.

Tessa Spencer needs a fresh start far from her con man father's schemes. His latest scrape has made her the target of a vengeful outlaw. Shane's isolated ranch provides refuge, and his children easily win Tessa's affections. But as her checkered past resurfaces, only honesty and trust will make this family Christmas the first of many…

How was your summer? What are your favorite summer memories? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Suspense August 2015 Releases

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented Love Inspired Romance writers here at Craftie Ladies of Romance.  To purchase any of these wonderful books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.

Proof of Innocence

Innocent Fugitive

Erin Eagleton has been on the run for months after her ex-boyfriend was killed in front of her. She escaped from the killer once, but the police consider her a prime suspect. She is determined to prove her innocence and bring down the real criminal …Before he finishes the job. Her high school sweetheart, Capitol K-9 officer Chase Zachary, has been searching for her with his trusty police dog. Now that he’s found her, he vows to keep her safe at all costs. He’ll stop at nothing to reveal the truth—and to protect the woman he’s never forgotten.  

Person of Interest


While babysitting a young servicewoman's infant, Natalie Frazier hears a murder in the neighboring army duplex. Convinced her former commander is behind the crime, the ex-soldier bolts with the baby. But who will believe her story? Army investigator Everett Kohl deals only with the facts, but this time his gut instincts can't be denied. Is the attractive Natalie a cunning killer, as his ranking officers believe, or an innocent victim? Ordered to bring her in, Everett has a decision to make. Helping her could cost him his job…but not protecting Natalie and the baby could get all of them killed…

Military Investigations: Serving their country and solving crimes

Saturday, August 15, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: The Cowboy's Surprise Baby by Deb Kastner

Hometown Reunion 

After years away serving his country, Cole Bishop finally returns home—with a newborn baby in tow. As a single dad, Cole needs help. But the last thing he expects to encounter at his new job is his high school sweetheart—all grown up and more beautiful than ever. Tessa Applewhite might have broken Cole's heart years before, but she's never forgotten him. And he can wrangle her heart like no one else ever has. But Tessa rejected him when the stakes weren't nearly as high. Can Cole trust her again—and in the process, form a forever family? 

How exciting to have Cole Bishop, the hero from The Cowboy’s Surprise Baby written by Deb Kastner, an August 2015 release from Love Inspired Romance.

1.     Cole, tell me the most interesting thing about you?
My baby boy, Grayson. He’s the biggest blessing and the best part about me. I’m a navy vet recently returned to my hometown, Serendipity, Texas, so my family can help me out and be a big part of Grayson’s life.
2.     What do you do for fun?
With an infant to care for, I don’t have much time for myself, but I take an occasional horseback ride to clear my mind.
3.     What do you put off doing because you dread it?
The owners of Redemption Ranch where I work, as well as my high school flame Tessa Applewhite, all think I ought to be a mentor to the troubled teens who visit. I’ve made too many mistakes in my life to be any kind of mentor, especially to impressionable teens.
4.     What are you afraid of most in life?
I’m afraid I won’t be able to give my son all the support he needs emotionally and spiritually. I can only be a father to him. I’m afraid he’ll resent me because he has to grow up without a mother. He has some female role models with the ladies in my family and even Tessa, but I’m afraid that’s not enough.
5.     What is the most important thing to you?
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I’m going to say my son. I’ll do anything for him.
6.     Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I’m not a reader. Never have been.
7.     If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I had Tessa’s ability to work with people. She’s so naturally outgoing and friendly, and she always seems to instinctually know what the teenagers need from her. And she’s terrific with Grayson, much more natural than I’ll ever be.
8.     Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Until recently, I’ve been in the navy, so no pets.
9.     If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
My immediate response is that I’d go back to the night that, through a series of circumstances, I let down my guard, drank more than I should, blacked out and had a one-night stand. I regret my behavior and will never forgive myself. I completely abandoned every moral principle I held. But from that came Grayson, my biggest blessing. So how could I wish to change that?