Friday, July 22, 2016

Blast From The Past – Guess the author


It's that time when we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive an e-copy of one of her previous releases and a print copy of her upcoming release. Ready? Here we go…
 
If you know anything about me, you know I’m proud to be a seventh generation Texan. Part of that heritage it deeply rooting in raising and training horses. On my tenth birthday I was given my very own horse. I had been riding my mom’s until then.

Over the years there were more horses and by the time I was in high school I was working part time as a trainer at Hill View stables.

I tried barrel racing but didn’t enjoy the speed it took. Did some horsemanship but what I fell in love with was American Endurance Riding. (through AERC). You ride about fifty miles of two days. There are check points where your horse goes through a physical. If there is anything wrong, you are held until you are given the okay to continue. There are obstacles along the way: ditches, water, jumps, steep hills.

I have not owned a horse since 1998, but now that my four kids are grown I might rediscover the love I had for hitting the country side on horseback.  

The first picture was taken in 1983 at the end of the trail on the second day. 
 
 
The second is the same horse a few years later two days after her foal hit the ground. They are registered appaloosas. That is my mother in the picture. I don’t think was ever a time in her life where she didn’t own at least one horse. My little sister still owns the last horse my mother had at the time of her death.

Thank you for allowing me to take this trip down memory lane. To show my appreciation I will give an e-copy of one of my books and a print copy of my upcoming release. 
 
Do you know who this is?  Well, here's one more hint. This author writes for Love Inspired and will be writing for Love Inspired Historical soon.

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, July 21, 2016

Christmas is Coming!

Hello, Terri Reed here. How is your summer going? Mine has been super busy. We brought home a new puppy this spring so we’ve been doing lots of training, I finished and turned in one book, I went to Nashville for four days with my son, I attended RWA’s national conference in San Diego where I sat on a panel talking about 'sweet' romances--my portion was on writing the 'sweet' romantic suspesene-- as well as played 'Vanna White' for the RWA RITA and Golden Heart ceremony and I am now writing another book due mid August.  
The weather has been unpredictable here in Oregon. Hot one day, cool the next. Cool in the morning, hot in the afternoon. Hot in the morning, cool in the afternoon. I am longing for the consistent coolness of fall. Speaking of fall I have two new books coming up.  Both are Christmas themed.

http://amzn.to/29tvbRR Identity Unknown releasing October from Love Inspired Suspense



http://amzn.to/29BzTvy A Family Under the Christmas Tree releasing October from Howard Books


Did you know you can pre-order books?  I’d never done that until recently. I pre-ordered a friends book and when it showed up on my doorstep on release day it was a pleasant surprise.

Both of my fall books are available for pre-order.  J

My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the house and tree. I love the memories that come with the ornaments. I enjoy the uplifting pleasure of seeing the decorations and remembering the reason for the season. Jesus! 
I have several nativity scenes I put up as well as the cute snowman and angels. I don't do much in the way of Santa stuff. 
What is your favorite part or tradition at Christmas?

I'll be giving away one copies of each to TWO commenters!



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Risky Transport by Christine Johnson


Have you ever found yourself facing a mode of transportation that has you second-guessing? As someone who has found herself face-to-face with a bear while hiking and plowing into heavy seas with a sailboat, I’ve had my share of travel adventures and misadventures.

Sometimes, though, I know beforehand that it’s something I do not want to do. Naturally, those “no way” modes of transportation are precisely what my husband is dying to do.

First he insisted on parasailing. “It’ll be fun,” he said. I saw instead the potential for an ugly crash landing on the deck of the boat. Yep, me splattered with broken bones. Only after grilling the captain, did I agree to go. Yeah, it was fun. I loved it. Hubby? Let’s just say his knuckles never stopped being white.



Next up, whitewater rafting. When they made me sign a waiver that they weren’t liable even if I died, I had to ask how many had died on their tours. Well, none yet, but there’s always a first time. Don’t you love a kidder?

Next he wanted to take a helicopter ride through the mountains. Really? Hadn’t he read the same newspaper articles I did about tour helicopters crashing? I might have a chance over water but not over the northern Rocky Mountains. 



The writer’s mind automatically thinks up all the possibilities and settles on the one that will most dramatically change the story and affect the characters. That’s great on paper but not so fun when I’m the one signing off on the waiver.

Yes, I did all of these, though it took a lot of praying and reassurance from the Lord before agreeing to the helicopter ride. And you know what? None of the bad stuff happened. In fact, each adventure was fun and at times exhilarating. The moment the helicopter landed following the tour, I turned to my husband and said, “Let’s do it again, right now.” How else could I see God's beautiful creation from this perspective? 



Lately the Lord has been showing me that I need to trust Him completely. It’s not easy for this constant what-if thinker, but He has always come through. He is faithful. I’m the baby, uncertain whether to try that first step or not. Thankfully my Heavenly Daddy has big arms and unshakeable love.

In our books, our heroines all take a leap of faith, whether it’s women answering a mail-order bride advertisement, such as in my Love Inspired Historical Boom Town Brides series, or a poor woman spending everything to go to a new land to make a new life, such as in Honor Redeemed (Revell).





What leap of faith have you made that turned out to be the best decision ever?







Christine Johnson
Honor Redeemed (#2, Keys of Promise, Revell, July 2016)
Mail Order Mix-Up (#1, Boom Town Brides, LIH, April 2016)
Mail Order Mommy (#2, Boom Town Brides, LIH, Nov 2016)





Monday, July 18, 2016

Drumming up a fiction series.....


Dangerous Tidings, a Holt Medallion Award Winner

Hello, all. Dana Mentink here. Summer means "write like crazy" time for an elementary school teacher. I dash off into my garden here in Northern, CA and hammer out as many words as I can before the Mentink children find me. Having just finished the last in the four book Pacific Coast Investigations series, I'm at that scary time when I have to build a world, a fresh series idea that will hopefully please readers and editors alike. Sheesh! That's a tall order! This puts me in mind of a few questions I have to ask myself and I figured I'd pose them to you, too!

When writing a series....

1. Should it be a small town setting? Do we enjoy that type of story, dear readers? The little small town where strange and nefarious things occur? Usually this town has a quaint name, like Rose Villiage or Bear Mountain. It's got to be catchy, you know, not like 'Cuperinto' or something.

2. Should the stories focus on one family or on many unrelated characters? Do you like to follow the lives of those four brothers or sisters or do you find that tedious after a while? Hmmmm.

3.  What would a reader find unique about the series? Are the characters all scientists? Navy Seals? Dog trainers? Or maybe scientific Navy Seal dog trainers? What series have you found to be unique?


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Meet Harlequin Authors at RWA16

It's that special time of year again.

No, not Christmas. But sort of like Christmas in July for writers.

It's Romance Writers of America's annual conference - held this year in the stunning Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.
What a view!

Some of your favorite authors wanted to share the good times, so here are the pictures they've sent back.

Harlequin has also been posting live videos on their Facebook page.  Here's one from Friday night's VIP pre-party bash.  Party


Love Inspired authors met with Tina James, Executive Editor for Love Inspired Books.




National kicked off on Wednesday night with the huge Literacy signing. RWA has now raised and donated more than $1 million dollars for literacy.

From the RWA site:
The proceeds from this year's "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing ($39,741) pushed RWA over the $1 million-mark in total donations to adult literacy organizations since 1990.


Jolene and Belle at the Literacy Signing.


Catching up with friends.


Harlequin's annual PJ Party is always a crazy fun time.








There are lots of free books and lots of booksignings:





Some Like It Sweet
Speakers: Winnie Griggs, Deb Kastner, Terri Reed, and Pamela Tracy





Jolene and Teri at their workshop - From Football and Art School to Belly Dancing and Ballet: What Not Being a Writer Can Teach You about Writing


There's always something to learn.

More time with friends.

More books, more authors, more fun!

HIS JUST IN - from Friday night's Harlequin party.



If anyone else sends pictures during the day, I'll be happy to add them in.

Allie sent me this one today.




Next year - RWA 17 - ORLANDO!







Friday, July 15, 2016

What Are We Writing

What Are We Writing
By Margaret Daley


Author: Patricia Johns
Title: A Baxter's Redemption
Hero and Heroine: James Hunter and Isabella Baxter
Line:  Harlequin Heartwarming
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
“Hi,” he said with an easy smile. “This isn’t what I expected.”
She glanced back at the little house. No, she doubted that her living arrangements were what anyone expected from her, but at this point, she didn’t care. Life hadn’t been what she’d expected either, so she figured they could all be mildly surprised together and then get on with things.
Due date:  In about a week
Word count goal today:
I'm doing line edits, but I'm hoping to get about halfway through the novel today.
Something cool learned recently from research: 
In this book, I was researching tiny houses. They are these cute little homes about the size of a small travel trailer, and people can live mortgage free. I love the concept!

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: Reclaiming His Family
Hero and Heroine: Rhys Maddox and Renee Delacroix
Line:  Love Inspired Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
He’d had a lot of bad ideas in his life, but this one might be the worst. Rhys paced the Sunday school room and glanced at the Bridges group kids and smattering of parents gathered there for the group’s Christmas party at their last meeting before the holiday break from school. He rubbed the back of his neck. His intention was good, but he’d woken up this morning with the dread that his timing was all off.
Due date:  July 25
Word count goal today: Read and revise 45 pages

Something cool learned recently from research:  The Adirondack Park is larger in area than Yellowstone, the Everglades, Glacier Park, and the Grand Canyon combined.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

There is was, right there on my calendar. It was my turn to post on the Craftieladies blog. Did I check my calendar? Nope! I was too busy working on my next book, tentatively called The Cowboy’s Homecoming. But right now I’d love to tell you about my upcoming release, A Family for the Rancher.

This is my first time to write a continuity series for Love Inspired Historical. I was delighted to receive an invitation to join the team with Renee Ryan and Regina Scott to write the Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years.

Renee’s book is out right now, July 2016: The Cowboy’s Twin Surprise.
Suddenly a Father 
Rancher CJ Thorn isn't ready to graduate from uncle to brand-new daddy—but he has no choice. After his widowed brother runs off, a pair of adorable twins have no one but CJ…and lovely neighbor Molly Langley. She's helped with the girls for so long that she's almost part of the family. Almost. CJ knows his family isn't good enough for her. Not when his brother's actions have disgraced the Thorn name yet again. 
Watching CJ become a devoted father would soften any woman's heart. Yet Molly must remain immune. CJ deserves more than a woman who can't have children. Held back by fear, it'll take a disaster forcing the community together before they're ready to risk a chance on happiness.

My book, A Family for the Rancher, will be available on August 1.
From Neighbor to Daddy
Rancher Edmund McKay likes his life simple and quiet—everything feisty neighbor Lula May Barlow is not! But with a cattle rustler on the loose, he’s duty-bound to protect the widowed mother, even without her approval. Yet he never expected to enjoy her company. And he certainly never thought her crowded, bustling house would be the first place he’d ever feel at home…



After a harsh childhood, Lula May knows how to stand on her own two feet. She doesn’t need Edmund’s help—but she’s starting to want it, all the same. So are her children, who clearly have matchmaking in mind. And when a threat from the past resurfaces, she realizes all that’s at stake…including her chance for a lifetime of love.

Regina’s book, A Rancher of Convenience, will be available on September 1. Fill-In Father…and Husband 
Sweet mail-order bride Nancy Bennett can't believe it when her husband is exposed as a cattle rustler—and killed. And when the banker holding the ranch's mortgage questions whether she can run the ranch on her own, the pregnant widow has nowhere to turn. Until steady foreman Hank Snowden proposes marriage… 
Racked with grief about his role in Lucas Bennett's death, Hank resolves to do right by the man's wife and child. So it's natural for him to step in as Nancy's newly minted husband. But the marriage of convenience may become more than a mere obligation…if only Hank and his bride can brave the first steps toward elusive true love.



As a bonus feature, also available on September 1, will be our Lone Star Cowboy League Sampler. Not only will readers receive a brief sample of each of our stories, they will receive some of our favorite recipes. For my part, I included a very old recipe of my grandmother’s for mouth-watering chicken and flat dumplings, plus two others. If you love to cook up old-fashioned recipes, you’ll want this sampler as a complement to our series.

In this day of convenience foods and fast foods, sometimes it’s a nice change to go back to the good old days. 


Do you have an old family recipe that your family loves?would like to offer a three-book prize to one of our readers. These are not our continuity series but other books by Renee, Regina, and me. Sorry. Only U. S. residents are eligible. Sadly, postage makes mailing outside the U. S. prohibitive. Just leave a comment (must be more than “I’d like these books” or other such comments) about your favorite recipe, old or new. Please be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if your name is chosen.