Friday, August 26, 2016

Blast From The Past – Guess the author


It's that time when we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies.
So, the first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a print copy (US only please) of her latest release.

Ready? Here we go…

I met my husband when he was home on leave from the USMC. He was from the town where I lived and came into the family restaurant where I was working. I *knew* at that moment I was going to marry him.
We dated for 18 months long distance--he was stationed in VA, and I was in PA going to college.

When he received orders to SC, it made the distance between us even greater. Tired of being apart, we eloped in 1989, planning to have a church wedding the next spring.

Well, that didn't happen. On our 25th anniversary, we renewed our vows in our church. I may not have had the wedding I had hoped, but I ended up marrying the man of my dreams, and we're going strong 27 years later.

 

The second photo is of our 25th anniversary vow renewal with our two sons, Scott and Mitchell.

Do you know who this is?  Well, here's one more hint. This author writes for Love Inspired.

Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest. And be sure to look for more clues in the comment section throughout the day.

 

Good luck!

 

Mary Alford




 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

National Kiss and Make Up Day

August 25th is National Kiss and Make Up Day!




Have you been putting off reconciling with a loved one? There's no better day than today, National Kiss and Make Up Day, to reach out and make the first move. Believe me, I know how frightening and difficult that can be. I was estranged from my sister for many years. I was scared to death to reach out to her and start a dialogue between us, but now we are the closest of friends and enjoy a very special relationship. Not only that, but it took a load off my heart, a burden I'd been carrying around for a long time.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled to your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.  ~~Matthew 5:23&24

Today is also National Banana Split day, so you and your loved one can share a nice dessert together after you've kissed and made up. Because God is good that way.



In The Doctor's Secret Son, part of the 2 for 1 Classic reissue of my first two Serendipity novels, Delia comes back to Serendipity to reconcile with her old boyfriend Zach. And she has a surprise in store for him--a son he didn't even know he had! Phoebe's Groom & The Doctor's Secret Son is on the shelf now or available from Harlequin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are you on Goodreads?

Hey everyone, Danica Favorite here, and I am on the fence about Goodreads. On one hand, it feels like just one more thing I have to do, and it ends up being this endless place where I get lost and distracted because there are so many pretty and shiny things to look at. But on the other hand, I know that's where the readers are, so I feel like I should be there connecting.

So tell me about your experience! Are you on Goodreads? How do you use Goodreads? What are your favorite parts about Goodreads? And, bonus question... How do you like to see authors interacting on Goodreads?

Though I'm still figuring out Goodreads, I am offering a giveaway of my upcoming book, The Nanny's Little Matchmakers. So stop by and enter!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Nanny's Little Matchmakers by Danica Favorite

The Nanny's Little Matchmakers

by Danica Favorite

Giveaway ends August 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Follow the grain in your wood!



Hi, all. Dana Mentink here. Though I REALLY wanted to be an Olympic ice skater at one point in my life, it just wasn't going to happen. I mean, it turns out that you really do need to know how to skate. Furthermore, people who don't like the cold just aren't suited to hang out at ice rinks all day. Nope. The Olympic ice skater thing just wasn't going to cut it because it didn't follow the grain in my wood. I am so glad I found a nutty, wacky, crazy profession that suits me...writing! It's the perfect fit for me for three reasons.

1. I am a constant daydreamer. Not good in a corporate staff meeting, but really awesome for a writer!

2. I need to be creative. If I don't have an outlet for this quality, I begin to behave badly, drawing on things, wiggling in my chair, eating large quantities of junk food. Not pretty.

3. I am hyperactive. I need things to do, lots of things, or I get antsy. It's not a quality that I'm proud of, but there it is, the grain in my wood. Writing provides a plethora of ideas and projects that can all be whirling around at the same time. I love that!

Here's a little motivational about following the grain in your wood.

Follow the Grain in Your Wood

So what's your grain like? Are you shy? Outgoing? Calm? Inquisitive? Personable? How have you found ways to follow your grain in your work and home life? 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Endings by Christine Johnson


These days my heart is heavy, because my beloved kitty of 17 years is nearing the end of her life. She has thyroid and kidney disease. Though she has lived a long, happy life, I’m having a hard time letting go.

my kitty


 

That made me think about series and the characters we come to know so well over the course of many books. As an author, I love to write series and to explore the many interesting characters in a town or location. With each book, more is revealed. As a reader, I feel the same way and mourn a bit when a series ends.

 

When I ended the books set in Pearlman, Michigan, I knew it was time to say goodbye. That didn’t mean the farewell wasn’t bittersweet. A few tears were shed. Do you enjoy series or books set in the same location? Why or why not?

Love by Design
The last Pearlman book



The wonderful thing about ending a series is that a new one can begin. I loved the opportunity to set a new series, Boom Town Brides, in a real-life place that has long fascinated me—Singapore, Michigan. No, you won’t find this town on today’s maps, but it once existed and had a fascinating end after the lumber boom was over. The first book in the series, Mail Order Mix Up, came out in April, and the next one, Mail Order Mommy, will be released in November.

Mail Order Mix Up
Book 1 of Boom Town Brides


 

What do you like best about series?

 

 

Christine Johnson

http://christineelizabethjohnson.com

Mail Order Mix Up (LIH, April 2016)

Mail Order Mommy (LIH, November 2016)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Meet the Donnelly Brothers

Hometown boys make good . . . and find love

 

Jared
A HOMETOWN REUNION
Single mom Becca Norton is surprised to discover her high school crush Jared Donnelly is back in town. The motocross champion hasn't been home in years, but the former bad boy is as gorgeous as she remembers. And his kindness toward her kids melts her heart. But when she learns his true purpose in town is to build a motocross school on land near her home, she has to put on the brakes. Her children's welfare is her priority, and her former in-laws have made it clear they don't approve of Jared or his plans. Soon Becca may have to choose between her heart…and her home.

Connor
THE PASTOR'S CHRISTMAS MATCH
Pastor Connor Donnelly is done with romance. After proposing to his high school sweetheart, Natalie Delacroix, five years ago—and being turned down—he's putting all his time and energy into his community. He's determined to make the Christmas pageant he's directing a success. But family and friends are set on fixing up the good-looking bachelor in time for the holidays. And now that Natalie is back in Paradox Lake—and helping with the pageant—they might just succeed. Because working so closely with Natalie stirs up old feelings…and Connor starts to hope for a second chance with the one who got away. 

Josh 
FALLING FOR THE BACHELOR
Tessa Hamilton never imagined the hardest part of having her best friend help renovate her small-town movie theater would be keeping her heart safe. She can't fall for a man who has no interest in a serious relationship with any woman…and who doesn't know the secret she hides. Besides, Josh Donnelly is too eager to leave Paradox Lake—especially when his estranged father returns. Tessa struggles with the turmoil, but as she falls deeper for the bachelor, she knows she must be honest if there's any chance for them. But will telling Josh put everything at risk—including their friendship?



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Friday, August 19, 2016



Debby Giusti
I just finished ROOM by Emma Gallagher, which was a riveting story. 

I'm currently reading a memoir by a self-published person in my church, NEVER ALONE, by J.D. Towle.

Next on my reading list is THOSE WHO SAVE US, by Jenna Blum, my book club's selection for September.

Pamela Tracy
What I Just Finished:  To Catch a Wife by Lee McKenzie.  This is a Harlequin Heartwarming that I picked up for free at RWA.

What I'm Reading Now:  Rocky Mountain Reunion by Tina Radcliffe.  I went to the pool last Sunday and grabbed the first book I saw from my TBA pile.  This was supposed to be my purse book, but it's so good that it's now the book in residence.

What I'm Reading Next:  The 7th book in the Lexi Carmichael series by Julie Moffat.  I cannot remember the name, but I bought the first one at RT, and I've been reading them one after the other.  Yeah!  I love it when I find a series that draws me in.  Number 6 was the best one ever - picture female bond age who bumbles just a little but never with a TSTL reason.

Deb Kastner:
I just finished reading: The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth, a WWII novel.

I'm currently reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

I'm not watching the movies until I've finished up the books.
Next on my list: Beast by Chawna Shroeder This is a Gilead Publishing novel from their Enclave imprint and it looks fascinating. I read the first couple of chapters and was hooked.

Mary Alford
I’m reading Her Deadly Inheritance, by Beth Ann Ziarnik. 
I just started the book this week an already its hard to put down. The characters really suck you into the story. I love gritty stories like this suspense. 

Barbara Phinney
I’m reading Ice Cold by Tess Gerritson, a Rizzoles and Isles book. It’s my first book by this author in a long time and I really enjoy her riveting style. I love RS books with real characters.

Jill Kemerer
I recently finished The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin. This fictional account of historical figures--Babe Paley, Slim Keith, and Truman Capote--brought a slice of 60s New York high society to life. A fun read!  


I'm currently reading the Christian living book, Audacious by Beth Moore.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Readers and Writers... A Match Made in Cyberspace

The internet is a pretty amazing place. If I really stop to think about how it's changed my life, it's really kind of mind-blowing.

Some of my longest-standing writing friendships are with people I got to know on the original AOL Series and Contests boards when we were all starting to write.

I sold my first book to LIS through an online pitch contest.

I've built a world of writing relationships with online acquaintances who have become real life friends. Just think how quickly your FB circle of friends responds when you ask for prayers!

Last week I was visiting my mother in Philly and working on a book set in Texas. It's been a few years since I've been to San Antonio and I had some questions about something I wanted to be sure I got right. Thanks to online friendships, the lovely Jolene Navarro was ready and willing to answer all my questions. I can return the favor by telling all my friends about her new release! And I can have it delivered to my Kindle or Nook app instantly when it releases.



I recently had the opportunity to participate in an online launch party for fellow Craftie Lady Rachel Dylan. I always love these parties because the interaction between readers and authors is SO intense and so much fun.


And that's what I really want to talk about today - how cyberspace has changed reader-writer relationships.

I remember being such a fan girl of my favorite authors when I first discovered romance fiction. I might write a letter, sent via the publisher, that the author might receive and maybe would respond to. I cherished several lovely letters from Mary Jo Putney and they made me feel like I mattered as a reader.

Today we can have almost instant communication between readers and writers either through FB parties, email, Twitter, or blogs like this one.

How do you feel about that?

I've helped host several Facebook parties in the past two years and I noticed one recurring theme: the readers are very excited to have the chance to chat with the authors and the authors are equally excited to chat with the lovely people who read their books. I don't know any writers who weren't readers themselves first, so when we can get together and chat about books, well it's just great FUN!




At Rachel's recent party there was so much conversation about how great it was to get to spend time together chatting about books and our lives. And boy can we talk about our pets!


I asked two of the attendees if I could quote them because I loved their comments:

Jennifer Stevenson Tipton: "I think it is neat how we can all get together from all around the world or country."

Caron Tweet: "One of the reasons I love these parties is because the authors go from being a name to a friend!"







I'd love to see some readers come out and join us here today. Let's talk about our favorite books or whatever is going on in your life.

Or we could talk about pets!





And to my fellow writers - what's your favorite part about interacting with readers?




Let's all connect as readers.  

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What Writers Do Besides Write

Pamela Tracy here and I'm already working on my next book.

You are surely thinking, "Oh!  I just finished her July Love Inspired release Arizona Homecoming and can't wait to read another.
Still Available
Order here

If you are, indeed, thinking that, then I send hugs and kisses your way.  If you're thinking "Oops, I forgot to order it," I included the link above.  Email me separate if you want the hugs and kisses sent.

It's not just writing, though, that a writers does.  Or research for that matter.

Sometimes, it's filling the well, sitting with other authors, and learning who they are, what they do, how they do it, and where.

This past weekend I attended the Sisters-in-Crime conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  I've gone the past four years and it gets better every year.  How do they do that?

This is the flyer for this year.  I think I'll beg to be on it next year.
You might recognize Cynthia Hickey's smiling face.  She's an inspy author.
Also, there's Holly Lorincz who does work for Chip MacGregor

This is my table from Friday night.  I only knew Deb Uribe who is standing next to me.
I met Mike and Patricia for the first time.
Deb is about to send off her first completed book.
Patricia self publishes cozies
And Mike was at his first writers meeting ever.
I learn so much from people just beginning the journey.
Sometimes, I forget the wonder of taking a first step, feeling both amazed and inadequate.


I think my favorite thing was meeting Alex Kava.
See, she's from my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
No, I didn't grow up knowing her.
Cool beans, though, my birth mother is always talking about Kiva's writing.
I purchased a book and will soon read it.
I'm pretty sure it will scare me.
No, I'm very sure it will scare me.  I read the first five pages while sitting at the table listening to her.

Jan Burke was another favorite moment.
See, I read her before I was a writer.
I read her when reading was my favorite hobby.
Yup, I bought a book.
I took three pages of notes during her talk.
Next time I post, I'll tell you about skulls and spiders.
Oh, my.
The conference ended with a writing panel.
Lots of discussion on plagiarism and piracy.

My next available book from Harlequin is a November release
preorder it today: just click

In the meantime
Read a book
Eat some chocolate
Write four pages
Comment on my blog post

What valuable advice have you learned when filling the well, whether at a writers' conference, a church service, or even your child's PTA group (I can't begin to tell you what I've learned there - mainly DON'T RAISE YOUR HAND)




Monday, August 15, 2016

Don't Miss a Single Book

Did you know you can have the Craftie Ladies' and other Love Inspired Romance, Suspense, and
Historical books automatically delivered directly to your home or email box every month? All you have to do is sign up for the Harlequin Love Inspired Readers Service. You'll get free books and prizes for signing up and special member perks while you belong.Click below for more information.

 http://www.readerservice.com/content/?page_id=9089
http://www.harlequin.com/ebook_subscribe_info.html


Saturday, August 13, 2016

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn





Interview:
How exciting to have Jessica Sinclair, the heroine from Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn, an August 2016 release from Love Inspired Historical, pay us a visit.

1. Jessie, tell us the most interesting thing about you.

I’m a draftswoman. There aren’t many women working in this field, so I tend to draw attention. I don’t mean to. I’m just trying to do my job, but when a woman walks into an all-male engineering office, heads turn. That fact has caused some problems at my current position. The manager has forced me to feign a relationship with my boss—or lose my job. Although Flynt Kavanaugh is a handsome, talented engineer, I’m not happy about this arrangement.

2. What do you do for fun?

I love to sing. I don’t do it as much as I used to, though because— No. I prefer not to talk about that time in my life. Suffice it to say that I limit myself to singing hymns in church these days.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I dread anyone asking about my past and having to answer their questions. I’ve done things I’d rather no one found out about, especially Flynt.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m afraid that if people were to learn what I did, they wouldn’t understand and I would lose their trust.

5. What do you want out of life?

I want to be a successful draftswoman who can hold her head high.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Respect. I want people to see me for who I am today and accept me.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’m not sure I could change anything. Circumstances forced me to make certain decisions when I was young. I hadn’t found my way to the Lord yet, so I didn’t know He was there for me. But He is now, and I seek His guidance when I have choices to make.

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

I don’t have a pet. I wish I could, but as a single woman who must support herself, I don’t feel it would be fair to leave an animal alone all day.

9. Can you tell us an interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?

I’m fascinated by the many advancements being made. I’m helping design the El Dorado Canal, which will bring much-needed water from lakes high in the Sierras to the Foothills below. It’s one of California’s most ambitious undertakings, and I’m privileged to be part of it.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What Are We Writing

What Are We Writing
By Margaret Daley



Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: Cowboy Homecoming
Hero and Heroine: Tolley Northam and Laurie Eberly
Line:  LIH
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Tolley had pictured this day in his mind for the entire two years. He would kiss Mother first, of course. Shake hands with his brothers and brother-in-law. Kiss his sister and sisters-in-law on the cheek. Embrace his nieces and nephews, some of whom he’d never met. But his imaginings always stalled over how he would greet the Colonel. Maybe his father would reach out to shake his hand and Tolley wouldn’t have to decide. But then, their parting had been so bitter, so filled with anger on both sides. He could only hope and pray the Colonel had mellowed.
Due date:  August 14, 2016 Yikes!
Word count goal today: Need to cut 3600 words, oh my
Something cool learned recently from research: How to install plumbing in 1885!

Author: Patricia Johns
Title: The Runaway Bride
Hero and Heroine: Liam Wilson and Bernadette Morgan
Line: Harlequin Heartwarming
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
They weren’t just powerful, they were influential, and they had money Liam didn’t. He could put himself into bankruptcy with lawyers and still not win this. Ike was a Morgan, but if Vince had cared one bit about the boy, he’d had three years to do something about it. If the Morgans were interested now, it wasn’t for familial love, and that realization curdled his blood.
 Due date:  October 15
Word count goal today: 3500 words
Something cool learned recently from research: 
I've been researching classic Rolls Royces. They had burl wood veneer and leather interiors... beautiful! And significantly out of my price range. LOL!

Author: Lorraine Beatty
Title: The Advocate
Hero and Heroine: Mitch Kincaid and Hannah Davis
Line:  A novella for a Barbour collection ( my first attempt at an historical)
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Hannah smoothed her skirts down her hair up and assumed her sweetest smile. The one that never failed to mellow her father. With a copy of the Riverton Chronicle in one hand she gathered her courage and pushed open the door to the Sheriff’s office. Her nerves quivered and her throat constricted. Finally she was going to meet her hero the famed lawman Mitch Kincaid the man who tamed a town, the man she’d dreamed about for over a year now. The reason she’d come to Riverton in the first place.
Due date:  October 1st
Word count goal today: 2000
Something cool learned recently from research:  Many town sprung up along the new rail lines as the came through the west but most of them failed due to mismanagement but the railroad companies themselves.

Author: Mary Alford
Title: Rocky Mountain Pursuit - Book Three
Hero and Heroine: Aaron Fisher and Liz Ramirez
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Agent Liz Ramirez faced the man who almost took her life. So many questions chased through her mind, the most crucial being why. She’d considered Sam Lansford a friend. Discovering that he was the notorious terrorist the Scorpion team had been hunting for years was incomprehensible.
Due date: September 
Word count goal today: 2,000
Something cool learned recently from research: I'm learning that the Amish people once tried to settle in Alaska.     

Author:   Pamela Tracy
Title:  No Working Title
Hero and Heroine:  Jane de la Rosa and Ethan Ross
Line:  Hopefully Love Inspired Contemporary
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Casually, Ethan held out a ketchup bottle.   “No, I need you to get us a new one.  The lid’s stuck.”
Not thinking, Jane took the bottle, gave the cap a quick twist, and handed it back to him opened.  
His date laughed, almost snorting.  Ethan took the ketchup bottle and scooted it to the back of the booth.  His burger must no longer need it.
There went her tip and his dimple. 
Due date:   None yet
Word count goal today: 1014
Something cool learned recently from research:   I'm on page three, no research yet.

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: TBD
Hero and Heroine: Marc Delacroix and Fiona Bryce
Line:  LI Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
He had no good reason to be put out about Claire’s co-worker joining them. No good reason except he didn’t want to talk shop today. He had plenty of time for that later. He was taking the set-up and launch of his farm-to-table restaurant slow because he could afford to, and his daughter needed him to. Even more, this Fiona was the first woman he’d noticed, really noticed since Cate had died. And to be honest, that scared him.
Due date:  Proposal is due September 13
Word count goal today: 1,200
Something cool learned recently from research:  I'm not far enough into the story to have needed to do any real research yet. It's set in the same town as my other Love Inspired books.

Author: Terri Reed
Title: Agent-in-Training
Hero and Heroine: K-9 Officer Zara Fielding and Computer genius Dylan O’Leary
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: Dylan burrowed deeper into the heated blanket the paramedic provided. He sat on the back bumper of an ambulance surrounded by his team. The dive into the river had been painful. He’d suffered cuts, bruises and a bone deep chill. But he was alive. More importantly, Zara was alive.
Due date: officially Oct 1st but I’ll be sending it in next week because its done
Word count goal today: revising today
Something cool learned recently from research: I learned that cars made after the late 90’s/early 2000’s have an emergency trunk release built into the car in case someone is ever trapped inside.

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: Rocky Mountain Wranglers: Mick
Hero and Heroine: Mick Dolan and Winn Davis
Line:  My first book for Gilead Publishing
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Mick was almost handsome when he smiled. Who would have guessed there was rugged attractiveness under all that attitude?
Word count goal today: 4,000 (yes, on a very tight deadline)
Something cool learned recently from research: The sound American bison (buffalo) make. Look it up on Youtube. It's incredible.