Monday, May 21, 2018

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Pentecost
Pentecost, Jean II Restout, 1732. [PD-US]

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained."
John 20:19-23


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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Family Mystery

Hi y’all! Virginia Vaughan here!


When I was growing up, I was sure I had to be adopted! I was so different from my brothers and sister. I was the shy, introverted, preferring to read and make up stories in my head as my siblings and cousins raced around like mad men type. I definitely did not fit in. My parents assured me again and again (yes, I was persistent in my belief) that it was not true and I finally had no choice but to believe them. After all, they had all those cute stories about my birth and the photos to back them up.

*Sigh*

So, imagine my surprise when, as a naïve eleven-year-old, I finally learned the big dark family secret. No, I wasn’t adopted…but my father was.
Image may contain: 1 person
My dad holding my youngest

I used my best Nancy Drew investigative skills (and a little math) to piece together the truth about this mystery after seeing a sign on my grandparent’s front door that read, “The Williamsons since 1943”. Even at that young age, I knew my father had been born in the year 1941.

I had my very own mystery to solve!

My grandmother was the one to finally fill me in on the big family secret. She’d been married before and her first husband was my dad’s biological father. This first husband left her soon after my dad was born and she then married the man I know as my grandfather. He adopted my dad and they became a family. End of story.

Yet my curious mind wouldn’t let it go. Who was this mysterious man who had bailed on my dad? I pondered this mystery for years (hey, it was pre-internet so what else was I going to do), wondering about this man every so often and if he had other kids and grand kids that might be like me on those continuing times when I realized I was the odd one out in my family. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I talked to my father about this mystery man. To my surprise, he’d never wanted to meet him, never felt the need to look him up and demand answers. Instead, he’d lived his life the best he could believing that if that person wanted to know him, he would have tried.

I put that part of our family history to rest. I was adult by then with kids of my own and family responsibilities. 

But when I started writing my upcoming release, Cold Case Cover-Up, I couldn't help but think of him again. You see, my heroine, Dana Lang, learns about her adoption when her mom dies. Her job as an investigative journalist spurs her to start searching for answers about her true family…only to learn that they’d been murdered thirty years prior…and so was she. 

Determined to uncover the truth about this unsolved cold case, her only ally is Quinn Dawson, the grandson of the man she believes faked her death. But when it becomes clear someone in town wants this story to remain hidden, she starts to believe Quinn’s grandfather rescued her from the hands of a killer who got away with murder.

This story releases in August 2018 and kicks off my brand new LIS series titled Covert Operatives.



Pre-order your copy here


But while you’re waiting for Cold Case Cover-Up to arrive, have you checked out my Rangers Under Fire series? You can find out more about the first book in the series, Yuletide Abduction here, or check out my Amazon Author Page.



Maybe one day, I’ll learn the truth about what happened to this mystery grandfather I never knew. Truthfully, it’s not a priority in my life but more like a fun fact. 

So how about you? Have you ever found a long-lost father/mother/sibling? And was it the joyous family reunion you hoped for? I’m giving away a copy of Cold Case Cover-Up before it releases to one lucky person who comments.











Virginia

Find out more about my life, my family and my upcoming releases by signing up for my email list at www.virginiavaughanonline.com. I’m giving away an Amazon gift card each month to one of my subscribers!  Or follow me at Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Let Me Introduce... by Christina Rich

Shortly after I joined the Crafty Ladies, the Love Inspired Historical authors received word that the line was closing. That was about a year ago, and I just realized that I've never really introduced myself or my books. Outside of my call story I don't think I've talked about my Love Inspired books at all. Partly because when I signed on as a blogger I fully expected to be writing about upcoming historical releases. Unfortunately, that never happened. Maybe one day (yes, I pray the market will scream for historicals once again) until then I intend on working toward submitting to the suspense line.

Anyway, here are my Love Inspired Historical releases.

2014

A Kingdom in Jeopardy


An evil queen and her royal guards will stop at nothing to find—and kill—the rightful heir to the throne of Judah. When their pursuit leads them to Mira’s village, only her father’s bond servant, Ari, a man shrouded in secrets, can keep Mira safe.

Abandoning his life as a temple guard and becoming an indentured servant was the only way Ari could protect young Joash, the true King of Judah, from Queen Athaliah. But his sacred duty prevents him from confessing his feelings for his master’s daughter. With the future of their nation on the line, Ari and Mira will risk everything to save their people.



2014

He Was Hers to Command

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him.

She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.



2015

 Captain of Her Heart

 
Sold into slavery by her jealous sisters, Ada finds herself captive on the ship of a Greek merchant. Expecting a harsh new master, she’s surprised to find the captain compassionate—and attractive. Yet she can’t fall for the man who owns her—not when she watched her enslaved mother pine after her unyielding father.

Nicolaus only wants to rescue the beautiful, mistreated woman from the auction block. He plans to free Ada, just as soon as he secures his inheritance. Which means racing the ship back to his homeland to best his brother. If he loses, all his cargo will be forfeited—including Ada. But as perilous storms reveal her courage and grace, the question becomes, can his heart stand to let her go?




2016

A Business Arrangement 

When the railroad pushes to buy her land, orphaned Cameron Sims will do anything to keep the only home she and her sisters have ever known. Even if she must marry a stranger. But she’s determined her agreement with the mysterious, dashing man—who’s unlike anything the Kansas railroad town has ever seen—will remain simply business.

Duncan Murray doesn’t want a wife. He wants Sims Creek, a sanctuary that can help him forget a troubled childhood. But his reluctant, and captivating, bride-to-be is key to making his dreams a reality. And despite their business arrangement, Camy and Duncan might be signing on the dotted line for true love…


 My first three books are set in Ancient Judah. The last is set in a fictional town based off a little community a few miles from my home. After having written in different eras I find that I love them all. However, I think Ancient Judah owns the bigger piece of my heart.

For you historical readers, what is your favorite era?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Life Can Change in a Moment by Deb Kastner


...And so can blog posts.

I had intended to do a character interview with Angelica May Carmichael, the heroine for my June Love Inspired contemporary And Cowboy Makes Three. She’s a particularly interesting heroine because I’ve turned the alpha man trope on its head. In this case, Angelica is the town bad girl and hero Rowdy Masterson is a stand-up fellow whom everyone loves.

Angelica skipped town on the eve of her wedding to Rowdy without so much as an explanation, so when she turns back up in Serendipity, Texas with her Down syndrome baby Toby and no wedding ring, no one is really surprised.

She’s only in town to settle her late grandmother’s will, but Granny has something else in mind, sending both Angelica and Rowdy on the ride of their lives.

That's what I intended to write about.

But mid-morning two days ago, my fifteen-year-old terrier mix Missy went out to do her business in our large back yard and then we couldn’t find her. Now, she’s deaf as a post, so I didn’t immediately worry, but my hubby Joe said he felt in his gut something was wrong. He didn’t even bother putting his shoes on, nor use his cane, though he is physically disabled. He rushed down the porch stairs as fast as he could and found Missy up next to the wall of the house, on her back, covered with mud and her legs twitching in the air as she tried in vain to rise to her feet.

She had suffered a stroke and the whole right side of her body was paralyzed. And when I looked into her frightened eyes, I knew. It was time for her to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.

I’ve had two other dogs that have passed during my adult years, but they did so on their own time, falling asleep peacefully at home. But Missy was suffering and the damage was permanent. It was up to me to be strong enough to be there for her in her last moments to make her passing peaceful and loving.

The vet tech cried along with me as she gave Missy a sedative that would calm her down and take away her pain. The vet came in, I whispered, “I love you,” and “Goodbye,” and Missy was gone.

Gone from this world, perhaps, but not gone from my heart. Grief is weighing me down and all I want to do is cry and sleep and dream of a place and time she is still with me.


Life does change in a moment. Sometimes for the good. Sometimes it breaks your heart. Both Rowdy and Angelica experience those moments, and I hope you’ll pick up And Cowboy Makes Three to find out how they overcome.

As for me, if it’s all right with you, I think I’m going to wipe away my tears and go take a nap.

RIP Missy. Run and play over the Rainbow Bridge.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day & Sunday Scripture

The Ascension of the Lord

Christ's Ascension,
Fresken von Gebhard Fugel, 1893/1894,
Ravensburg, Germany. [PD-US}

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Mark 16: 15-20

Happy Mother's Day!
Blessings to all the Moms and
to all those with a Mother's heart!

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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Laura Scott's Crazy Life!





Happy Spring everyone! 


I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed these days because I have a book deadline, my son just graduated from nursing school as a Registered Nurse and my daughter is getting married in August! So between graduations, work, bridal showers and other wedding plans (oh, by the way, did I mention I don't have a mother of the bride dress yet?) I can't tell you what day it is much less what I'm supposed to be doing. The days are going by so fast and before I know it, summer (and the wedding) will be over!

I've already started off on the wrong foot with my soon-to-be-in-laws. I'm calling this "The Stamp Snafu".

I offered to help with my daughter's bridal shower invitations and the envelopes came with the back flap along the short side of the envelope so that you put the invitation in the tall way, not the normal horizontal way most envelopes are. Not thinking much about it, I addressed them to the Collins side of the family, and put stamps on them. I only had enough stamps for half the invitations but I wanted to get the ones for the Collins in the mail (we were already a bit behind) so I stuck them in the post office mail slot and the next day went in to buy more stamps to mail the remaining invitations to my side of the family. That's when I found out that mailing the envelopes the tall way adds postage. Who knew? Instead of the normal $0.49 for a stamp, the cost was really $1. The helpful man at the post office told me that the envelopes I already mailed will arrive at each of the places I sent them with 0.49 postage due! Seriously? I felt sick to my stomach. I can only imagine what they will think of me.

I'm sure this is only the first speed bump in the road that I'll have along the way...but let's hope the others are just as goofy and nothing major. Prayers requested!

So tell me, have any of you experienced these types of problems during planning a wedding? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Since I'm here to celebrate my May release, Primary Suspect, I'm offering a free book from those of you who comment. I promise it won't arrive postage due! Primary Suspect is the fifth book in my Callahan Confidential Series and I'm so thankful that you as readers seem to love the Callahan clan as much as I do.

Thanks for stopping by,

Laura Scott

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

All Good Things....

Must come to an end....

Rhonda Gibson here. That was the phrase that was running through my mind in September. Why that phrase? Well, I turned in my last Love Inspired Historical, Baby on Her Doorstep, in September. Honestly, I was devastated.




But then I was reminded that God can make good things into great things. And He has.
I am writing for Winged Publications and have a wonderful editor. Since September I've had another book released, Harvey House Hero and two more will be coming out this year, Match Made in Chocolate and Claire Parker Takes A Cruise.



Baby On Her Doorstep is available this month. Finding a baby on your doorstep can change your life as Laura Lee soon finds out in this fun historical romance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it, even though it was a bitter sweet writing at the time. Harvey House Hero is also available now and it too is a historical romance. It is the story of one of the Harvey House women and how she found love where she least expected it.

Like me, both of these women find God's love and ways are better than she ever imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 says it all. I love how God takes what we think is the end and turns it into a new beginning. Don't you? 



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Best Laid Plans by Merrillee Whren

When I signed up for this date several months ago, I was sure I would have the fifth book in my Front Porch Promises series, A Baby to Call Ours, finished and for sale. I don't even have it ready for presale. Three reasons. First, I found out in February that my computer hard drive was failing, and I had to have it replaced. Thankfully, I do have everything backed up in the cloud, but even with that, it takes a week to get the new hard drive installed. Then it takes another week or more to reload the software and all the files on the new hard drive. Secondly, we had unexpected grandparents' duty. We watched our grandchildren for a week, and that included two cross-country flights from Arizona to New Jersey and back. That meant three weeks of my writing time disrupted. Finally, I have no cover for the book. Here are the covers of the current books in the series.



As you can see all the covers have front porches. I want a cover with a front porch with a baby crib or carriage on it. I have been unable to find a photo that works. The first, second, and fourth books have covers made from stock photos. The third book is a photo I took of my friend's front porch with the three chairs on it. The child's chair was borrowed from one of her friends. I would take another photo myself, but I don't have a crib or cradle or a front porch. While the book is being edited, I'll keep looking for that perfect photo to use for the cover. 

All of this reminds me of the verse in Proverbs. "The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps." Proverbs 16:9 (NRSV) I am trusting that this book will come out at just the right time. Not my plan, but God's. 

Have you ever made plans and found that God had something else in mind for you?

PS  If you come across a photo with a front porch and a crib or cradle on it, please send me a message. You can contact me through my website. Click here to find the contact page. 

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of America. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.

             

Monday, May 7, 2018

New for May from Our Love Inspired Suspense Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with two new must buys from our Love Inspired Suspense authors. Just click on the cover to purchase the book. And to learn more about Valerie and Laura, click on their names.

https://amzn.to/2Fr0t7d
Bound by Duty
by Valerie Hansen 

ASSIGNMENT: SINGLE MOM SURVEILLANCE
The Military K-9 Unit series continues
Her serial killer brother’s escaped—and it’s single mom Zoe Sullivan who’s under suspicion! Sgt. Linc Colson trusts two things: his instincts and his Rottweiler K-9 partner, Star—and certainly not the pretty face he’s assigned to monitor. He’s done everything to keep her from getting under his skin—now he must stop those who want to put her six feet under.
https://amzn.to/2KmMTFm
Primary Suspect
by Laura Scott 

WRONGFULLY ACCUSED
A Callahan Confidential story
When fire investigator Mitch Callahan is attacked at a crime scene, he’s shocked to uncover the body of a slain ex-girlfriend—and realize someone’s framing him for murder. Widowed ER nurse Dana Petrie believes Mitch is innocent, and not just because he makes her feel alive again after tragedy marred her past. But is she willing to risk everything only to love and lose again?

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Scripture

The Exhortation to the Apostles, James Tissot, 1886-1894, Brooklyn Museum.
[PD-US]


Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another."
John 15:9-17

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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

WHERE AM I GOING? HOW DID I GET HERE?

Have you ever wondered how you got to where you are today? As I look back, my life seems like a convoluted plot that was thrown together by a committee of demented writers! Of course I know better. Looking closely I can see the Lord's hand in every step, even if I had no idea at the time.

I was born in Cleveland, OH, and ran away when my parents informed me that the family was moving to CA. That could have been disastrous except I wasn't allowed to cross the street so I just kept riding my bike around the block until I ran out of the snacks I'd packed to take with me, gave up and rode home. :)

We could have settled in any area of Southern California but we ended up in Rosemead where I went to high school with the boy who was to eventually become my husband. Are you following me? Any other house on any other street and who knows how my life would have turned out? He moved away during my junior year and I thought I'd never see him again. We weren't dating so it was no big deal. But then he came back to visit and I ran into him in the hallway at school. I'd been having trouble with my chem class and he offered to help. I, in turn, thought it would be polite to ask him to dinner so I did. See? Everything had to happen in just the right order at just the right time. I used to think I was lucky but now I know better. God was in the details.
As our life together progressed it was filled with so many similar occurrences it boggles the mind. The way we struggled to make ends meet and muddled through raising children, the moves we made that each, in its own way led to further blessings and on and on. How I decided to try my hand at writing the kind of books I loved to read is another fantastic story. All I wanted to do was take a college class in writing at the same university where my married daughter lived. It was a girls' day out. I thought it would be fun. Boy, was it! But if she hadn't married the student she did, and if they hadn't lived in the building where the class was held, and if I hadn't happened to see the brochure for the Saturday class, and if I hadn't had a car that would make the long drive, and if we hadn't run into the instructors at - are you ready? - McDonalds after class, and if they hadn't bothered to encourage me and on and on. I wrote in longhand and typed on a borrowed typewriter, cutting and pasting and then making copies at a store. It took forever and I was also holding down a "real" job.
Rejections? Sure. Then and now. But if something like that was going to stop me it would have done so long, long ago. To be a published author you not only have to be blessed, you have to be BRAVE. 
This is my first autographing session. I don't do those much anymore but at the time it was a real joy. And both instructors from my college class showed up! At the time, if I had known how much work lay ahead and how deeply the Lord would draw me into His plans I would probably have insisted it couldn't be done. But it was. And it is. Not a day passes that I don't thank my heavenly Father for the opportunities- and the trials - He has provided. Usually on the far side of those trials and looking back as if I knew what I was doing all along!
 
My May book is BOUND BY DUTY. I went back and counted and it is the 53rd Christian novel. There were 18 secular before that, making a total of 71. Yes, I counted on my fingers. I can spell anything but never, never, never ask me to do math! Or chemistry, despite having the best tutor ever.
 
 
 



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Writers Need Hobbies

by Lisa Jordan, @lisajordan 

If you walked in my attic, you'd probably suggest it for an episode of Hoarders. I don't have a problem...honest...unless you count lack of time to clean and organize the boxes and totes of crafting supplies. 

My creativity isn't limited to words. I've done almost all of it--sewing, counted cross-stitch, crocheting, scrapbooking & stamping, crocheting and knitting. In my spare time, I love to stamp and make cards. Papers and stamps and inks...oh my!

  
Every writer needs a hobby other than writing. Since writing is my career, I no longer consider it a hobby. Something about deadlines and royalty checks, you know. In addition to caring for my family, I work part-time, write, and juggle church obligations. And someone needs to clean the house, shop for groceries, and fold the laundry. 

So when in the world do we have time for a hobby?? 

Well, I schedule time to craft with friends on a regular basis. I need the downtime to recharge my batteries. 

Sometimes, if I'm home alone, I'll put in a movie, and then make a stack of cards while getting caught up in someone else's happily ever after. Cardmaking relaxes me and allows me to focus on something other than my growing to-do list. I've even used that time to brainstorm plot points in my novels. Once I've created a stack of cards, I send them to family and friends, hoping to add encouragement to their days. 

Whether you work at home or outside the home, you need a hobby. Hobbies aren't limited to things like knitting or scrapbooking. Hobbies can be physical too--running, hiking, fly fishing, bird watching, miming in the park--whatever makes your heart happy...but keep it legal.

Hobbies allow you to express yourself in creative ways to be in touch with both sides of your brain. Hobbies allow you to de-stress in a positive, tangible way. Hobbies allow you to have time for yourself when others demand so much from you.

If you don't have a hobby, think about what you enjoy, and then consider trying that. You're never too old to learn!


Your turn: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?