Friday, September 23, 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 a print copy (US only) of her upcoming release.

Ready? Here we go…

My mother said I was a monkey from early on.
In 1966 I climbed the dresser to get something off the top I’m sure.
In 1970 one of my favorite past times was hanging upside down from the kitchen counter.
All as a precursor to being a gymnast in high school and winning the league championship my senior year.
I went on to coach gymnastics for many years before turning to writing as a career.

Do you know who this is?  Well, here's one more hint. This author has a new release coming up in October.

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.
All the best...
Mary Alford

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Handkerchiefs in Historicals

Keli Gwyn here to talk about handkerchiefs.

Since I write Victorian-era stories for the Love Inspired Historical line, my characters make good use of those classic fabric squares.

The women in my stories might carry a handkerchief in their reticules. When a female character doesn't have her handbag with her, I'll have a her tuck a handkerchief up her sleeve.

Ladies' handkerchiefs were often decorative as well as useful. Floral fabrics, embroidery or lace edges were common.

Heroes in my stories carry handkerchiefs, too. A hero's handkerchief is a usually a freshly laundered white version, though, that he has on hand to present to a heroine who is overcome and needs to dab at her tears.

Although few people carry handkerchiefs today, I remember a time when they were still in use. My Grandma Pat always had a hankie in her purse. I went through a phase as a girl when I was emulating her and had a pretty pink-flowered handkerchief in my purse.

When I was going through my in-laws things while clearing out their house a number of years ago, I came across an assortment of handkerchiefs that belonged to my mother-in-love. They're the ones shown in the photograph above. Aren't they pretty?


Questions for You

Have you ever carried a handkerchief?

Do you remember any relatives who did?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Look to the Sky

Mindy Obenhaus here, and I don't know about you, but I'm a sky watcher. 
To me, the sky is like God's canvas where He paints some glorious works.

There's your basic blue sky with the occasional puffy cloud.
This one is a classic and never goes out of style.

Then there's the eerie night sky with storm clouds rolling in.
As foreboding as it is beautiful.

Oh, but after the storm, God does some of His best, if not most intriguing, work.

There's nothing like a brilliant sunrise to start your day off right.

While a moonlit night invites you to sit back and reflect on the day gone by.

But some of my most favorite skies are when God breaks open His heavenly color palette and paints a masterpiece for all of us to enjoy, blending purples, pinks, oranges and whatever other colors He chooses.

Are you a sky watcher? Do you revel in the paintings done by The Master's hand?




Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September Is National Honey Month


Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Did you know that September was National Honey Month? Since honey is one of my favorite sweeteners (especially for hot tea) I thought I'd look up some trivia and fun facts relating to honey and honey bees to share with you.


  • There are over 300 unique types of honey identified in the US alone. The flavor of honey is derived from the nectar source the bee gathers from.
  • Honey bees are not native to the Americas but came over with some of the first colonists
  • Honey contains every substance needed to sustain human life, including water, minerrals, enzymes and vitamins.
  • Honey is the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant that has been shown to improve brain function
  • A single honeybee will only produce about 1/12 teaspoon of honey during its entire life
  • Honey contains natural preservatives. Vats of sealed honey were found in King Tut’s tomb that still contained edible honey after being stored for over 2,000 years.


What do you think - did any of that surprise you? Do you like honey and if so, what's your favorite way to eat it?

TEXAS CINDERELLA - A Sept. 2016 Release


In Search of a Groom 
After a life of drudgery on her family's farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 
Riley is on the run. He's desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn't know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Historical September Releases



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

amzn.com/B01CNPOQMCTexas Cinderella

by Winnie Griggs


In Search of a Groom

After a life of drudgery on her family's farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her…

Riley is on the run. He's desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn't know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

amzn.com//B01CNOK974

The Nanny's Little Matchmakers

by Danica Favorite

A Wife for Their Papa


Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor's five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch's brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She's seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own.

Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he's sure he isn't husband material. Though Polly's tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?


Friday, September 16, 2016

What We Are Writing?
By Margaret Daley



Author: Linda Goodnight
Title: Cowboys of Calypso County (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Nate Caldwell, a cowboy/rancher and Whitney Brooks, divorced mother of twins
Line: Love Inspired or indie
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
“Ma’am, you all right?” A man went to his haunches next to her prone body. In her peripheral vision, Whitney spotted round-toed western boots and worn jeans. Lovely. A cowboy, probably a neighbor she’d have to face for the rest of her life, had witnessed her graceless humiliation.
Due Date: Self-imposed, Dec. 1
Word or page count goal today: 5 or more pages
Something cool learned from research:  A miniature Jersey cow stands only three feet tall but produces four gallons of milk a day!

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: Holiday Escape
Hero and Heroine: Bridget O'Brien and Luke Foster
Line: A Team Macachek Novella (Upstate NY Romance: Indie)
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
“What? I’ve loved miniature golf since I was a kid. Luke may be able to scramble up some tickets. He had no problem finding us ones for the ruins yesterday and for me for snorkeling today.”
Due Date: October 7
Word or page count goal today: 900
Something cool learned from research: 
Cozumel is part of the second largest barrier reef system in the world, the Meso-American reef system, which spans almost 175 miles (280 km) of ocean between the Gulf of Mexico and Honduras.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: Cowboy Lawman (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Justice Gareau and Evangeline Benoit
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Sheriff Justice Gareau ducked around the corner of the Esperanza train depot, hoping he hadn’t been spotted by the woman who’d just stepped off of the train. He felt a downright foolish. Usually people hid from him, that was, if they’d done something wrong, and he sure hadn’t done anything wrong. No, it was that woman who’d done him wrong and ruined his life. 
Due Date: January 2107
Word or page count goal today: 2,000
Something cool learned from research: While my story takes place in Colorado, my characters come from Louisiana, where the laws are based somewhat on Napoleonic Code Law rather than the common law (English). I'm still checking out the details.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Letting Nature Renew You

by Jill Kemerer

Last week I had a craving to sit and stare at one of the Great Lakes. Ideally, I'd sit on Lake Michigan all day--or for an entire week!--but Lake Erie is within an hour from us. My husband agreed to take a Sunday afternoon drive to check out a nature preserve along Lake Erie. I packed a cooler and a few camping chairs, and we were on our way.

About 90 seconds into the trip, I said, "Let me just check the hours of the park." It's a good thing I did, because it was already 3:00pm and the park was closing at 4:00pm! Our GPS clearly showed a fifty minute drive.

On to Plan B...

We're blessed with many gorgeous parks in our area, and many of them have pretty views of the Maumee River or small, inland lakes. We decided to stay local and went to a heavily wooded Metropark. Once there, we strolled to the pretty lake where families fished and picnicked.

I took this picture last year, but this is the little lake we visited.


It's been an extremely busy month for me, so I was happy to just sit on a bench and let the shimmers on the water whisper all my stress away. After lazing about, we decided to walk along a trail we hadn't tried in the past. I'm usually up for a power walk, but neither my husband nor I had much energy, so we took it slow.

The two-mile path cut through diverse environments. One minute we were in a patch of towering pines, the next we were in a meadow with bluebirds and butterflies. We even saw three deer on our walk. Beautiful!

I took this picture a few years ago, and I still love the message!


I still want to explore the nature preserve we originally intended on visiting, but the local park revived our energy, renewing us for another hectic week. What a blessing!

Do you have pretty parks nearby where you can explore? What about nature renews you?

Have a wonderful day!

Jill Kemerer writes Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith for Harlequin Love Inspired. Jill loves coffee, M&Ms, fluffy animals, magazines and her hilarious family. Visit her website, jillkemerer.com, and connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for her Newsletter.

HER SMALL-TOWN ROMANCE is available in paperback or ebook from online retailers like AMAZON now.



Finding Her Way Home 
Cozy Lake Endwell, Michigan, seems the perfect place for Jade Emerson's new T-shirt shop—and perhaps a fresh start. After a lifetime of letdowns, she is finally ready to face the future on her own. So when local wilderness guide Bryan Sheffield offers to help Jade overcome a past trauma, she warns him they will remain strictly business. But soon, with the help of Bryan's big, complicated family and a boisterous St. Bernard named Teeny, Jade's frozen heart begins to thaw. Now Jade wonders if she can return the favor, bringing a little happiness to a man who has long kept his own sorrow under wraps…


Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Nanny's Little Matchmakers Personality Inspiration

Hi Everyone! Danica Favorite here, and since I have a new book out, I thought I'd talk a little about the inspiration behind my book, The Nanny's Little Matchmakers. Actually, I want to go a little deeper and talk about the motivation behind my inspiration.

Recently, I realized that the stories I write (and why)are rooted deep in who I am as a person. My friend Christa is very into understanding personalities and personality types. We were at knitting group, and she asked if I knew what personality I was, so I told her. I'm an INFJ. As soon as I said it, Christa got excited and said, "I know why you keep writing about THOSE characters." I knew exactly what she meant. I tend not to write about the easy characters. In every book, I ask myself why I had to go the hard route, and write about the hard character in the hard situation. (And yes, I am RIGHT THERE in the current book I'm writing.)

Apparently, the INFJ is the advocate, and we like to believe in the possibility of redemption for everyone, and that it's possible for everyone to get their happy ending. So what do I do? I find the people who are the least likely to get a happy ending and I give them one.

 Why? Because it's who I am at my very core. I absolutely love digging deep into who people are and helping them be the best they can be. I see things in the world that I don't like, and I do my best to make them better. What you see in my characters are people with complex problems, deep flaws, and a lot of room for growth. But I write them because I truly believe that they, that we, can overcome all of those things. There is a piece of true humanity in each character I write, and I see the redemption as being something real for each of us.

Of course, I didn't have this realization prior to writing Polly and Mitch's story. But as I look back, I see that deep motivation in how I chose each character and why. I needed a character who would make Polly stretch and grow, challenging her preconceived notions, yet was willing to love her for who she was. Mitch needed someone different. He needed someone who could make him feel safe, and show him that it was okay to open his heart. And I wanted them to find, despite all of the reasons they might be hard for someone else to love, a perfect match. While thinking up stories for Polly, I found and discarded dozens of heroes. They simply weren't right, and I think part of that difficulty wasn't just about Polly, but about my need to right some of the wrongs I'd seen Polly experience in previous books. It wasn't enough to give her a husband, but I wanted to heal her as well.

 It's fascinating to see how something as simple as an author's personality shapes the books they write and why. I had no idea just how big of an impact it made, but as I thought about my stories, and how my personality interacted with them, I realized that it's a huge part of my process, even if I hadn't been aware of it.

What about you? Do you know your personality type? How does it impact things you do? If you don't know or don't remember, here's a simple test: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test  

I'm giving away a copy of The Nanny's Little Matchmakers to a specific personality (that I've preselected), so be sure to share yours!  

About The Nanny's Little Matchmakers:
A Wife for Their Papa Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor's five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch's brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She's seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own. Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he's sure he isn't husband material. Though Polly's tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?

About Danica: A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

You can connect with Danica at the following places:
Website: http://www.danicafavorite.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danicafavorite
 Instagram: https://instagram.com/danicafavorite/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanicaFavoriteAuthor

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Seeing the Light by Christine Johnson

Lighthouses that is. These structures hold a special place in my heart. I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan and would look for the light of the offshore lighthouse when it came on after dark. There’s something comforting about that reliable light warning ships and boats away from danger as well as guiding them to safe harbor.

Forty Mile Point Lighthouse


During my sailing days when I was much younger, a lighthouse was a fixed point by which I could measure progress. Each one passed was a milestone. Others indicated where safe harbor could be found.

So when this Labor Day weekend our bicycle ride ended up at a lighthouse, I was overjoyed! We didn’t realize the bike path ended there, so it was a double treat. It was also a lighthouse that I had not visited yet. This one is located on the shores of Lake Huron. 

Forty Mile Point Lighthouse


Forty Mile Point Lighthouse was built in 1896 and, to my delight, still has the foghorn building, bunkhouse, and oil house onsite. The lighthouse is now a museum and open to the public.

Foghorn building
Note the foghorns above the door


Oil house at Forty Mile Point Lighthouse


Lighthouses are often a symbol of the Lord’s guidance and one symbol that I treasure. When life’s storms hit, we need that Light to guide us to safety. His Truth held me above the waves during recent battles with depression and anxiety. I would have been lost and broken apart on the rocks without His presence and guidance. 

I love to include lighthouses in my stories, so I'm thrilled that the real-life location for my Boom Town Brides series had a lighthouse. Actually, it had more than one over time. The first lighthouse collapsed when the sand eroded. The second lighthouse was built farther from the water atop a dune and is the one that existed at the time of my stories. See this article for a picture of it. 

I mention the lighthouse throughout the series, but look for it to play a larger role in the third and fourth books of the series. Book 3 is currently slated to be released in June of 2017.

Have you ever visited a lighthouse? Which is your favorite?

Mail Order Mommy


Christine Johnson
Mail Order Mommy (Nov. 2016)
Honor Redeemed  (Revell, July 2016)
Mail Order Mix-Up (April 2016)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

National Read a Book Day!





Linda Goodnight here. Bookworms of America, you'll be delighted as I was to know that today, September 6 is National Read a Book Day! Which means, you really, really must give yourself permission to take a break, grab a book, and read!

What am I reading on this momentous "holiday"? Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble, a book I picked up at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference. The story is set along the Maine coast where I vacationed this past spring so I couldn’t resist moving it to the top of my TBR pile. It’s a mystery suspense reunion story, and personally, I love it when old flames cross paths again and the spark reignites.


Speaking of old flames, my newest book, Lone Star Dar, releases September 20. (See how I snuck that in to the conversation?) You’ll find a lopsided old flame story but a lot more in this one. And did I mention a very hunky but damaged hero who can be a bit on the-er-gruff side, a trouble making neighbor kid, a smart heroine with a secret, and a pile of cuddly kittens? This book was such fun for me to write. I hope you love it!
 

What's on your reading list today?












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