Sunday, February 28, 2010

Heroine Interview from Heart of the Matter


Interview with the heroine: Amanda Bodine, heroine of Heart of the Matter by Marta Perry, Book 2 of the Bodine Family series, Love Inspired.

1. Amanda Bodine, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

My family! Honestly, when you’re part of a sprawling Southern clan like the Bodines of South Carolina, family is everything. They’re bossy and interfering and sometimes they drive me crazy, but I just love them to death, and I know they’d do anything for me.

2. What do you do for fun?

I love heading out to the family’s beach house on Sullivan’s Island to spend time with my grandmother, Miz Callie. She’s always had an open house for all the Bodine cousins and their friends, and it seems there’s always something going on. Usually connected with food! We’ll have a shrimp boil on the beach, play games, gather round the fire...there’s nothing like it.

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

Confronting my boss. Honestly, Ross Lockhart is the bossiest man I ever met in my life. I usually get along with people, but he looks at me as if he’s convinced I’m the worst reporter in the world, and he insists on giving me the stupidest assignments.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Letting down the people I love. And thunderstorms!

5. What do you want out of life?

I’d like to be successful as a reporter, writing pieces that get to the heart of what makes people tick. And someday, I’d like to get married and have babies and be as happy as my mamma and daddy are.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Faith and family, no question.

7. Do you read?

If so, what is your favorite type of book to read? I don’t get much time to read, but when I do, I like to immerse myself in a rich historical drama.

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

I guess I’d like to be a little more able to stand up for myself. It’s funny, because my family would say I already to that, but mostly I find I can stand up for someone else easier than I can for myself.

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

No, I don’t, unless you count all the sea turtles I help Miz Callie watch over out on the island.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d go back to the summer of 1942, right here on Sullivan’s Island, so I could find out the truth about my granddaddy’s brother’s disappearance. It means more than anything to Miz Callie to know what happened to him, and I’d give a lot to make her happy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

FEATURED BOOK: HEART OF THE MATTER BY MARTA PERRY

Amanda Bodine's boss is so bossy!
The hard-nosed newspaperman will only assign reporter Amanda Bodine fluff pieces about dog shows. She longs to prove herself with a serious front-page story. But then her own family becomes newsworthy. Suddenly, Ross Lockhart is sitting beside her at Sunday dinner, interviewing her relatives. And he almost seems…like part of the family. Until she realizes he's after information that will tarnish the Bodine name! Time to teach the boss about the real heart of the matter: love.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nice Surprises


Missy Tippens, here. Valentine's Day has passed, but I'm still celebrating because I got a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from my husband that are still going pretty strong. Though some pedals are falling off and a couple of flowers are drying, I'm still admiring the gift. And another reason I'm enjoying them so much is because they were a nice surprise.

You see, my hubby used to buy me flowers all the time. And I usually felt a little guilty, like it was a waste of money. So finally, I told him I thought I'd like something different next time he wanted to buy something romantic--maybe something more practical.

So the next year, I got a heavenly box of Godiva chocolates. Yes, edible and very practical! Needless to say, I was thrilled and raved about it. So the next few years, I got more chocolates. But the last box he got me lasted quite a while (and I'm afraid he noticed!).

Then this year, just when I was geared up for chocolate, he surprised me. He ordered flowers. When the delivery girl arrived (on a day when we had that huge snow on the ground here in Georgia!), I was floored. Flowers?

And you know what? I was once again thrilled and have enjoyed them so much.

I think the element of surprise is what makes a gift extra special. That going out of the way to do something new or unusual. And what's nice about that is that it doesn't have to be something expensive. Spending some time on a gift--making it more personal--makes it that much more appreciated.

Oh, and can you guess what I got for my hubby for V-day?

Godiva chocolates. :) And he loved the nice surprise!

What gifts have been the best surprises you've gotten?
Oh, and don't forget to check out our new Facebook page! We're going to be having a contest!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are you SAD?


Linda Goodnight here:

I heard a news report tonight on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you're not familiar, SAD is depression and lethargy brought on by the lack of sunshine. Naturally, winter is a prime time for SAD. And this winter in Oklahoma has been especially hard, dark, and dreary, so more Okies are feeling SAD and dreaming of the sun.

That got me to thinking as I am particularly fond of spiritual parallels. If we humans are SAD without the sun, just think how sad we would be without The Son. Without His light in our lives, we would have real reason to be sad and depressed.

On another note, my husband jokingly claims that humans were meant to hybernate, and that explains the overwhelming desire to lay on the couch and eat all winter. Well, that explains it-wisdom from the Goodnight Couch--er--Ranch.
 
So, do any of you battle SAD? How do you cope?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lyn Cote here-If you're on Facebook, you could win GOODIES!

Hi Lyn Cote here! Are you on Facebook? If you are, would you like to win a bunch of goodies, such as a $5 Starbucks gift card, pens, bookmarks, etc? The how to is easy!
Just go to the page featured below. Here's the link

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Craftie-Ladies-of-Romance/190312409669?v=box_3&ref=ts#!/pages/Craftie-Ladies-of-Romance/190312409669?ref=ts

Go there and click become a fan. Then invite your Facebook friends to our new Fan Page. Under the photo on the left top of the Fan Page is a button Suggest to friends. If you do this, post a note on our Wall to let us know and your name will be added to the drawing on March 31, 2010.

Craftie Ladies of Romance

Promote Your Page Too

Above is the new Page photo. On our new page we will be posting excerpts from the new Love Inspired Romances and many other new features for readers and writers. More on that later! If you drop by the new page now and join you can read the first page Valerie Hansen's February novella under Discussion.

The old FACEBOOK Fan Page pictured BELOW will be deleted on March 1st, so switch now! And Invite a Friend-Win Big!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Mary or Martha?


Hi, this is Janet Tronstad here. I wanted to share with you a question our pastor asked in church this morning. Are you a Mary or a Martha (as in busy or thoughtful)? It turns out most people in the congregation thought they were a Martha and not a Mary. I guess the pastor wasn't surprised because his whole sermon was on how Christians tend to get too busy. It was particularly interesting to me because I've been thinking a lot lately about how I can fill up my days with things to do and don't always get done the things I really want to do. I've made a pact with myself to take it slower and do less that I don't want to do (not always easy as someone is always asking). I'm wondering who else feels like that? I'm not sure we ever solve this problem, but I do think we periodically need to adjust our list of things to do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Heroine Interview from Groom in Training


Interview with the heroine: Steph Wright – Groom in Training by Gail Gaymer Martin

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

I started my own doggie day care in my home. I love dogs and decided it was a way I could work and not have to go back to college for a degree. Although some of my neighbors weren’t thrilled, I stuck to it despite them and I did well. That’s one way to work and love it.

2. What do you do for fun?

I love the dogs. People can learn from animals. They’re so honest. When they love you, you know it, and when they don’t, you know that. People are different. I also enjoy the out of doors so I like to go for walks, and I enjoy my friends. Molly has been my best friend and we shop, go out to dinner, enjoy girl talk. Otherwise I’m probably more a homebody.

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

Romance. I avoid getting involved and I suppose I’m so standoffish that the problem won’t occur. Molly is constantly pushing me to date. You know how other women are. They hate to see another woman without a mate. It seems to be in their genes.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I suppose, talking about my feelings is the thing I dread most. I’ve dealt with some serious issues, and when people begin asking me about my past, I tend to withdraw. It’s difficult.

5. What do you want out of life?

Happiness is what I want most, but part of happiness is security. I haven’t had that. I’m not just talking about financial security, but security of being loved despite my failures and flaws.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

My doggie daycare and my border collie, Fred. He’s my companion and faithful friend. I can count on him to love me and he waits at the door, tail wagging, to greet me when I get home.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I read a little. Magazines, mostly. I have subscriptions to some dog magazines and I’ve read a couple of books on dealing with suicide.
I rarely read fiction, but I do like a good suspense. That keeps me buried in the story and I forget the past.

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

To feel vindicated from my difficult marriage. I’m a widow. My husband committed suicide and it’s been difficult to understand. I want to know what I could have done to help him. Now, if you ask my friend Molly, she would want me to be less blunt. I sometimes tell it like it is.

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

Fred, my border collie, is more than a pet. He’s my pal. But a new neighbor moved in next store and has a dog that intrigues me. Dogs are faithful and honest as well as intelligent. I’ve learned a lot from Fred about human nature. I’ve recently met my new neighbor’s dog. She’s unique, a bouvier named Suzette. She looks like an amazing slate gray dust mop. I’ also met her owner’s brother, who’s much friendlier than the owner, by the way. He’s a good-looking guy who likes dogs too.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’ve never given that thought. I’m so down-to-earth that traveling to another time or place is too fantasy for me. But if I think about it, I’d like to be back in time with a family like the Waltons and live in a small town where life is simpler. I could cozy up at night, knowing that I’m loved and secure.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Craftie Carolyne



I know the word, Craftie in this blog is an acronym, but for me these days, it also applies to things I've been busy with. Crafts.

I have always loved making things. I used to sew everything my children wore - shirts, blue jeans, dresses, coats. I used to embroider and knit but then I discovered writing. I got published, my kids moved out and a lot of that other stuff fell aside. I wanted so badly to do the best I could with my writing that my focus narrowed down to anything and everything that could improve my writing. Online courses, writing books that fill up five feet of shelf space, writing magazines and articles. My embroidery thread and wool and sewing machine languished in various cupboards of my house. I didn't make time or feel I had time for the handcrafts. Then, one day, I looked up from another round of endless edits, weary and tired and thought, there has to be more to me than writing. I focussed so much energy on writing, I was losing that very energy and enthusiasm. My ideas felt stale and boring. So I took a break from writing romance and fell in love with writing again. How?

By going back to the other things that made me happy. Crafts. I started making scrapbooks. I started sewing for fun. And lately I've discovered a new craft, card making. At first I felt guilty for the time I was taking from my writing to do this. After all, if I wanted to be a better writer I had to devote all my time and energy to it. Write? Wrong.

Because the other benefit of crafting is I got excited about something again. I felt a little thrill of satisfaction when I finished a project. I had fun surfing the web looking for felt flowers, double sided satin ribbon, cardstock in just the right shade of green, buttons and paper and glitter and glue and a new cartridge for my cricut cutter. (I live at the intersection of No and Where so I have to have most of my crafting supplies sent my mail) And when the packages came in the mail, it was like Christmas all over again. I unpacked and enjoyed. I got another little thrill from seeing green, gold, silver, red, brown, pink and blue embossing powder lined up on my crafting desk in their cute little pots. I riffled through paper that came and oohed and aahed over the lovely colors. I discovered the fun of cuttlebugging and embossing folders and textures and colors.

And the other benefit? As I'm crafting, my mind is free to wander. As I'm enjoying the tactile experience of seeing embossing powder solidify and shine, watching my cricut make intricat cuts I start thinking in new and fresh ways about my current story. As I'm cutting and pasting, I am finding joy in my writing too.

And that to me, is the best benefit. Yes I have to find balance. Yes I have to make sure I don't do one at the cost of the other. I'm still a writer first and foremost, but if crafting helps me write, then that to me, is a huge benefit. Plus, my friends now get cards from me. And my children get scrapbooks. And my grandchildren. And doll clothes. Let's not forget the doll clothes.

What about you? Do you have a particular craft that you enjoy that expands your life in other ways than writing?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lessons from a Car Wash

I caved yesterday, and drove through our local $5 car wash. Right now $5 is $5 and that's sort of a waste when your husband is mostly unemployed, but we can't wash my car at our house right now because our driveway/yard is still trying to dry out from all this wet weather...I was going to wait until it was dryer out, but I was actually growing concerned about my paint job. Not kidding, my car has been THAT dirty for THAT long. We're talking all over, full-out mud streaks, not just country dust. It was past time.

So on the way home from doing some errands today (including a humbling trip to my credit union, who is working with us on allowing a skipped payment next month so we can try to get ahead financially during this lay-off) Little Miss and I drove through the car wash. I talked it up real big, not sure how she'd react. I figured it'd be either fun for her, or terrifying. She's been through it before but not since she was an infant and was too little to have an opinion on such things.

Soon it was our turn. We lined up on the rolling track and I put the car in neutral and hands/feet off the steering wheel/brake. "Here we go!" I squealed happily, as she looked around warily at the rapidly approaching chaos.

Soap and water began to spray, and those giant blue strips that remind me of Octopus legs started slapping the car. "Yay!" I cheered, hoping my enthusiasm would catch on. She wasn't crying, and I thought, so far, so good as I turned around to check on her....

She was hiding. From her car seat, she had both hands thoroughly covering her eyes and wasn't moving a muscle. It was like she thought "if I don't move a muscle, maybe the Octopus won't get me." It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. She stayed just that way, not crying, not moving, just hiding, as we finished the wash and dry and rolled out into the parking lot. As soon as the sunshine shone through the windows, down came her hands, and off we went down the road toward the house.

I think there's a lesson there.

Lately, through the chaos of these last few months since Hubby's lay-off, I've been tempted to hide. Crawl under the covers and ignore reality, hoping that if I couldn't see my circumstances, maybe they couldn't see me. Lately my Octopus has been constructed of bills, bank statements, grocery receipts, dead-ends and dwindling hope.

But even while I cower in the backseat, craving the sunshine and wishing the monsters would just go away, Jesus is still in the driver's seat, guiding me through what I view as danger and what He views as opportunity. Opportunity to grow, opportunity to give and receive blessings as never before, opportunity to increase my faith in my Provider. The car wash was a necessary evil. And I'm hoping so is this season in life. I'm hoping when I get out into the sunshine again, I'll be a little cleaner, a little brighter, a little shinier for Christ.

And hey, maybe even with a fresh Pine scent. =)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics-Running the Race


Hi, Terri Reed here, I was watching the men's downhill skiing last night and I was struck by the speed, agility and determination of the skiers. My heart pumped with adrenaline as the skiers raced between the blue lines, taking the curves at breakneck speeds, gilding over the jumps with lethal grace and sliding across the finish line where then they had to quickly slow down and finally stop with a flurry of snow shooting from their skies.

The final results were:

1. Didier Defago 1:54.31 Swiss
2. Aksel Svindal 1:54.38 Nor
3. Bode Miller 1:54.40 USA


As I was watching the race this scripture came to mind: Hebrew 12:1-2.
The Christian life is often compared to a race. With the same speed, agility and determination, we must run the race of faith, keeping our eyes on Jesus and not looking to those around us. I don't think Jesus cares where we place or what our run time is, He just loves us and wants to see us finish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, or Dom Deluise?

Pamela Tracy says Happy Presidents' Day. So, yesterday I'm at Grandpa's house and we're having a big valentine's dinner. (Two holidays in a row; how did that happen?) Everyone was there. Finally, it comes down to the wives in Grandpa's kitchen cleaning up after the meal. Oldest brother's wife was talking about a session (No, I don't know what kind) she went to years ago and how it was supposed to help you understand the kind of husband you needed.

All she remembered was that she wound up having to pick between Clint Eastwood, Tom Sellack, and Dom Deluise. (This should help you realize how many years ago the session was).

Hummm, suddenly middle sister-in-law stopped doing dishes. Me, I stopped cleaning the counter. And, oldest sister-in-law paused from clearing off the table because she had our attention.

Middle sister-in-law's eyes glittered. "Yum, yum," she said, not thinking about the Valentine's meal we'd just eaten, "I'd take Tom Sellack."

I agree. Tom Sellack is good looking. He'd be my second choice, not so much because he's good looking, but I like his voice. I also would be willing to watch reruns of Magnum PI. Still, I didn't even have to think. I knew who I'd take. "I'd pick Dom Deluise."

"That's who I took," said oldest sister-in-law. Middle sister-in-law's jaw dropped. "Why?"
You know, it's the answer to the why that makes a romance novel. And, yes, we usually put Clint or Tom in the hero's role. But, there's a lot to be said for the Doms, the ones who make you laugh, the ones you can come home too and curl up with in front of the telly. So, who would you pick? (I'll tell you later what each choice implied.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hero Interview from A Valentine's Wish


An Interview with the hero from A Valentine’s Wish by Betsy St. Amant:

1. Andy Stewart, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Oh that’s easy. I’m a big practical jokester. I love “getting people”. Which is only fair, since my youth group has played their share of jokes on me over the years! Whip cream wars, water balloon fights, the works.

2. What do you do for fun?

Basketball. Either alone or with my youth group guys, it’s a great stress reliever and a way to bond. Teenagers don’t just love to chat over coffee, ya know? Though come to think of it, they don’t love chatting at all. But somehow on the court, the world’s problems get solved or at least become smaller.

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

Budgets for the youth group. ::big shudder:: The senior pastor at my church is often having to remind me to turn them in on time. Money just makes things complicated. I hate that I can’t give my youth group more I do. But God always provides! I guess that’s what matters.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I used to think I wasn’t afraid of anything. But when I looked up one day and realized Lori was more than my best friend, I was suddenly terrified of losing her to another man. ::shakes head:: Not a great feeling.

5. What do you want out of life?

Man, you’re going for the deep questions, aren’t you? ::nervous chuckle:: Well, I guess a wife. A family. Kids. You know, the white picket fence scenario, though I could do without the fence. I’m pretty content with my life and where God has placed me. But I also think there is a lot I have yet to accomplish for Him.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Haha, if I were answering for Lori, that’d be shoes. Or chocolate. It’s a toss-up. Good thing I’m not a girl, huh? My life is less complicated than that. I’d say my faith is the most important thing to me, but if you’re talking about something more tangible, than I’d say my youth group. Those kids mean the world to me. It’s pretty sweet that I get to contribute to their lives.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I read when I have time, which isn’t that often with my busy schedule at the church. But I tend to stick to non-fiction or devotional style books. Gotta squeeze in that self-help as much as I can, you know? Oops. Don’t mention that to Lori. I’d never hear the end of it.

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

I wish I was better at basketball. Just kidding—sort of. I guess I’d change my tendency to procrastinate, like with the church budgets, and with Lori. I almost lost her because of my hesitation. ::smacks forehead with hand::

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

No pets here. I’d probably forget to feed it, or it would end up eating what I eat, which is mostly pizza. Not a good situation either way.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

Cool question! Hmmm. I’d say the first time I met Lori. I know that’s corny, but I think I’d appreciate it more now than I did then. ::goofy grin::

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hero Interview from A Match Made in Texas


Interview with the hero from A Match Made in Texas by Arlene James:

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

I’d have to say that the most interesting thing about me is that I play professional hockey, goalie, which is the best position. Ha! My agent told me to say that. But, really, I wouldn’t want to play any other position…unless they wouldn’t let me play goalie. Then I’d play any position at all just so long as they let me play. I’ve loved hockey since the first time I laced up my skates, but that opportunity didn’t come until I moved with my mom from Texas back to her native Holland after my parents divorced. I just thank God that I get paid to do something I really, really enjoy.

2. What do you do for fun?

Not too long ago, I was a party hound. You know, drinking, nightclubs, everything that goes with that life. Looking back now, I realize that the whole scene was one of desperation for me, and believe me, it only brought heartache with it, but I just didn’t know what else to do, until I met Kaylie and her aunts. Those Chatam sisters—they’re triplets, you understand––now, they know how to live. I’m not talking about the mansion or the money or any of that stuff. What they have is peace…and goodness and, well, joy. Kaylie, too. And I guess in a way I have to include myself in that now. Anyway, these days, the most fun thing I do is just hang out with my sweet Kaylie and a few good friends, like my agent Aaron and his wife. Oh, okay. And Kaylie’s aunts, too. I confess: I get a real kick out of those three old sweethearts. Other than that, I really like working out, any kind of physical activity, really.

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

I hate to say this, but since the death of my cousin Nick I’ve dreaded every conversation with my mom and the rest of the family in Holland. I-I just couldn’t face them. For a long time, I wouldn’t even take my mom’s telephone calls. That’s better since I learned how to be forgiven, but I still have a hard time talking to my aunt and grandparents about it. I don’t hide from them anymore, but it’s still tough sometimes. I miss Nick so much, and I still feel responsible, but it’s getting better, little by little.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Messing up. Again. I’ve made a couple of mistakes, let down people who depended on me, with tragic results. I didn’t think I’d ever get past them, but I guess that’s why God brought me to Chatam House, to show me that I can overcome my past and trust my future with Him.

5. What do you want out of life?

Well, I want to keep on playing hockey as long as I’m physically able, but really, that’s just the icing on the cake. More than anything else, I want to love well those precious, important people God has brought into my life. That’s Kaylie first and foremost, of course, and our family, my folks back in the Netherlands, the Chatams (only God knows for sure how many of them there are!), including her dad and brothers and aunts and my dad here in Texas. Aaron, too. He may be my agent, but he’s my friend first. There was a time when he was my only friend, frankly. He’ll make a great “uncle,” for when Kaylie and I have kids of our own, which is something I want very much.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

Knowing that I don’t have to do it all on my own anymore. Listen, there is a God, and He cares and He provides. He is there, here, always, and He wants to meet our needs. Understanding that has changed my life.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Uh, not so much. I mean, if I’m laid up in bed with broken bones and too many stitches to count and the TV is in the other room, I might pick up a book. If it’s close to hand. Or if Kaylie’s reading something she wants to share with me. Believe it or not, I kind of like the historical stuff.

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

It has been pointed out to me lately that I’m something of a brooder. It’s not that I worry so much; it’s just that I seem to always think about the worst possible outcome first and then spend a lot of time working my way around to the best possible outcome. I think that’s one reason I like hockey so much. It’s such a fast game that it gives you no time to think things through. You have to react instinctively, and if you don’t have the instinct, no amount of training can give it to you. Too bad I can’t do everything that way.

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

I haven’t had a pet since I was eight years old and my parents split. We had a hairy mutt back then, but I couldn’t take him to Europe with me when my mom and I left. I guess I figured it wasn’t smart to have another, so I forgot about it. Playing hockey involves a lot of travel, so I never really had time for a pet once I put on the skates. I expect one day Kaylie and I will bring in a dog or cat, preferably a dog, or maybe we’ll wait until we have kids and they are old enough to appreciate having an animal in the family.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

No question. I’d go back to the night that Nick died and make sure we both stayed out of that car. Then I’d tell him everything I’ve learned since my second accident, everything I’ve learned since I found myself at Chatam House.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bread of Life

This is Merrillee, who is thinking about a very simple thing in my life. My bread box.



Most of the time I don't even think about it as it sits on the counter in my kitchen, even when I get out a loaf of bread. I can't remember when or where I got it, but I'm pretty sure I've had it for at least twenty-five years.

So why am I writing about a bread box? This past weekend, like many people, we had a Super Bowl party. I loved reading all the blogs this week about the Super Bowl and the Saints' victory. I enjoyed the comeback by the underdog team. Anyway, we had lots of people at the party and lots and lots of food--way more than we needed. So hubby and I have been trying to tackle leftovers. This brings me to my bread box that suddenly held my attention when I was able to put a loaf of our regular bread, two packages of hamburger buns and another package of thin buns into my bread box with ease. I realized how big and serviceable it is. I realized how much I love my bread box.

That got me to thinking how bread is a staple in our lives and how Jesus sustains us in our spiritual lives as bread sustains us in our physical lives. Jesus talked about it in John 6:35. Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

Has there ever been something in your life that suddenly has taken on a renewed appreciation?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's your favorite TV show?


I'm not a big television fan. Not like my husband is. Maybe he's that way because he has control of the remote. There are some things I watch. I like CSI and HGTV for sure, but last week I got hooked on a new show. Did anyone watch Undercover Boss?


The show is about CEO's of large companies who go undercover in their own businesses to see how the other 99% of us live. Now, there must be some people who work for WM who aren't on dialysis, or in danger of losing their home, but the people this President met were wonderful people doing a good job in difficult situations. The boss had a heart. He made changes. It was a touching show.


No one got voted off. No one schemed to backstab a friend. No one got drunk or had a meltdown on national TV. It was a good show.


I'll bet it get cancelled before the end of April.


By the way, my all time favorite show was Big Valley. Who didn't want hair like Linda Evan? Who didn't think Heath Barkley was the hottest thing in chaps?

Okay, my age is showing, but you never know. I might have been watching it with a sippy cup in hand.


TV shows. Like them? Hate them? Let's hear what you think.




Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Go Saints!!


This is Margaret here. I know that Lenora wrote about the Saints winning the Super Bowl, too, this week, but I can't resist doing the same because this was a long time coming for the Saints fans. I grew up in Biloxi and the Saints were the closest pro football team for us. My mother and stepfather weren't big into sports and football, but they loved following the Saints team. I'm only sorry they aren't here to finally see their team win the Super Bowl. They used to go to New Orleans to watch the game--this isn't something they did for other sports or teams. But there was just something about the Saints that pulled them in. Thank you Saints for giving my mother and stepfather such joy. I'm tickled that you finally played and won the Super Bowl. I know New Orleans needed the boost after all they have endured in the past years.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Orleans Saints and dreaming .....


Hello. It's Lenora. 106 million people watched the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl. And what a win it was. In order to understand the magnitude of this win, you'd need to understand the history of the Saints and how they almost left Louisiana right before Hurrican Katrina hit. Their owner wanted a new stadium but Louisiana wasn't quite ready to pay for that. Things looked bad for a while and then Katrina hit and things went from bad to worse when the Superdome became a symbol of devastation and dismay. We didn't get a new Superdome exactly, but we did get a remodeled, rebuilt Superdome and after some tough negotiations, the Saints came marching home. Then Drew Brees took a chance and followed them.

It's the stuff of legends, a magical season of excitement and hope in the hearts of fans who needed something to cling to, something to hold onto when the world looked so bleak just outside their doors. New Orleans is a city of mystery and magic anyway, with one foot in the fire and one hand knocking on heaven's door. The city is a mixture of sinners and saints, that's for sure. But after the storms, it also became a city that truly was almost forgotten. Then something changed. The Saints started winning football games and New Orleans got a new attitude and a new breath of life. So if everyone out there will allow the state of Louisiana, known for being on so many "worst" lists, to enjoy being on a NUMBER ONE list, we'd appreciate the love, brothers and sisters. We are so thankful for the Saints, for Drew Brees, for Tracy Porter, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Bush and Garrett Hartley. And the whole team of players with big hearts and big determination. This is all about redemption and hope, things we love to write about in our love stories. This is a love story--love for a team and a city. Even if you don't get football, we can all agree on that. It's nice to win. It's nice to smile and hug a friend and to dance around the room in glee as you watch a saint coming into his victory, carrying a flag of forgiveness and hope and redemption and salvation. Sure it's just a game, but this particular game was important to the state of Louisiana. And sometimes hope comes in the least expected forms--touchdowns, punts, field goals and interceptions--in a game or in life itself.Okay, back to writing my stories. I think I have a new one in mind.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Debra Clopton is Here! Can I get an Amen :)

Yes it's me, Debra Clopton and if all goes well hopefully this time as I write this post my computer is not going to crash like it did last time! Thank goodness for backups. God is good and I was able to get all of my current book in progress off and am happily trying to finish up in the next few weeks.

Last night was the Super Bowl. I'm not a huge football fan but I do like watching the Super Bowl...maybe that's because I know that the week after the Super Bowl is over means its NASCAR time! Daytona is Sunday--Woohoo!!! If you're a fan who are you pulling for this year?

Anyway back to the Super Bowl--sorry I got distracted about thinking about 200 miles an hour car racing :)--but I also had a blast last night at the Super Bowl party that I went to. Chuck Parks (the very special guy in my life :) are the leaders of our youth group at the Cowboy Church of Leon County--Chuck is the leader (or as he says, God is the leader he's just helping out) So I just help out too and have a blast being with the teenagers. The Super Bowl party was put on by a Christian group last night unaffiliated with any particulart church and there were about 60 kids there from the 2A school. The kids had fun hanging out, playing basketball and watching football on a big screen. It was an awesome feeling to see these kids come together from all walks of life and have such a great time. I over heard one young girl say that it was the best Super Bowl party she'd ever been too. I looked around and it blessed me to see the adults who had gotten the group together and the work that they had put into. Chuck and I just came in and helped for the night but it was great to see the work that these adults had put into the night being paid off by the smiles on the kids faces. I'm on major deadline right now and my head was telling me that I needed to be home writing. But so glad I went and participated. I want to urge you to get involved with the youth of your community if you can. I can't tell you how awesome it feels to walk into a room full of teens and to be welcomed with hugs and smiles. I've awakened this morning feeling fresh and happy. And that's good for my writing--which I love and have a great passion for. Who knows you may see a Super Bowl party in my book and you'll know where the inspiration came from. I urge you to jump in and find out where God wants you to help out and serve. You will be blessed!

By the way I hope your team won, if not it was still a great, exciting game...
Until next time live, laugh and love God with all your heart...and I can't help but add this morning that if you are feeling discouraged by something in your life that you will immerse yourself in God's word to help you refocus and know that God loves you and is there for you.

Visit me at debraclopton.com, facebook, or debraclopton.blogspot.com

Blessings--Debra Clopton

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heroine Interview from On Wings of Love


Heroine Interview from On Wings of Love by Kim Watters:

1. Ruth Fontaine tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Wow. Interesting question. I’d have to say my job. I’m an Organ Procurement Coordinator. I bring hope to people in need of new organs through the generous gift from recipients and their families. The one downside though is that I run into people like Noah Barton, the pilot with the new charter service, who has serious misconceptions about what I do and the whole process involved in procuring organs.

2. What do you do for fun?

I knit, but I’m not really sure how fun it is since I’m so lousy at it. It helps pass the time in flight though because it gives me something to do with my hands. I hate flying and Noah isn’t making it any easier.

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

Laundry. Like dust, it’s everywhere and always seems to pile up when I’m not looking. Good thing I wear a lab coat most of the time.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

That I will never find the true love that my parents have. I seem to have poor judgment when it comes to men, and I’m afraid I’m making another mistake by even thinking about trying to help Noah. He’s still in love with his deceased wife.

5. What do you want out of life?

To be happy? Fulfilled? I’m not sure. What does every woman want? Right now I’m just concentrating on my job, the rest will fall into place, I’m sure.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

To save as many lives as possible. There is a such a serious shortage or organs to go around, sometimes I feel like a hamster on wheel; spinning but getting nowhere fast. I also want to make people aware of the benefits of organ donation and dispel the myths surrounding it. If I can help Noah, that would be a start.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Yes, I read magazines. I can usually get one read during my flight once I’m finished with my job and if I don’t want to knit. I’d like to read more books, but my attention is usually scattered in all directions so it’s hard to keep up with the characters and plots.

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

I’d like to lose a little weight and maybe add a few inches. Aside from the physical though, I’d like to get rid of my crazy fear of flying since it’s a required part of my job.

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

I don’t have a pet. I’d love a dog, but my crazy schedule won’t allow me to have one because it wouldn’t be fair to the poor animal to have me gone all the time.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d take the medical knowledge that I’ve obtained through my job and go back and save my twin sister. She died waiting for a heart transplant, which is part of the reason I do what I do. Is that wrong? Am I living in the past? No. I’m simply doing God’s will and helping people on earth. I know that when I see my sister again, she’ll be proud of me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Heroine Interview from Hometown Promise


Interview with the heroine from Hometown Promise by Merrillee Whren:

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

That is a hard question because I don’t think there is much that is interesting about me. I live a very mundane life in a small Ohio town. What is interesting about that? I guess if I have to think of something, maybe the fact that I restored a century-old house with the help of my uncle. I now live in that house.

2. What do you do for fun?

I love to sing. I sing in the church choir and with the church praise team. I have the lead female part in the program the church choir is doing for the Winter Festival that is held each year in Kellerville. My dad loves Karaoke, and we have a fun time singing together.

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

Dealing with my dad. I dread having any kind of conversation with my dad about his drinking. We also don’t always see eye-to-eye on things regarding the family store. So those conversations are hard, too.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m afraid that people will find out that my father has a drinking problem. My mom, my sister and I have been covering for him for years.

5. What do you want out of life?

I want a peaceful family life in which my dad isn’t drinking and my sister and I have resolved old differences. I want to make a success of our family’s store. I’d like to get married one day, but our little town isn’t exactly teeming with single men who aren’t related to me. So I plan to make the best of my single life.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

My relationship with God and my family. Even though I don’t always get along with my sister Elise, I love her.

7. Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Most of my reading is either related to Bible study or business. My family runs a variety store in Kellerville. I try to keep up with the latest business trends and news. Every once in a while I have time to read a romance novel. That’s about as close as I get to any kind of love life.

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

I would like to lose a little weight.

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

I have no pets.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

If I could go back in time, I think I would go back to the time to the early nineteenth century when my ancestors established our little town of Kellerville.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Killer Chocolate: A Valentine Mystery


Hello from Lisa Mondello. I want to invite you all here on the Craftie Ladies of Romance site to visit our sister site, Craftie Ladies of Suspense. The authors have put together a 14 day serial that started Feb 1 and will conclude Feb 14!

Each day a new author writes a different chapter based on the previous day's twists and turns, plus reader comments. No one knows which way the story will turn, even the authors. It's been fun to post and see what kind of ideas readers come up with. So join in for Killer Chocolate: A Valentine Mystery over at the Craftie Ladies of Suspense site. http://www.ladiesofsuspense.blogspot.com You won't want to miss what happens next!


Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Allie Pleiter says "hello!"


Well, hello there! I’m Allie Pleiter. I’m new here. I’ve been writing for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Historicals, and Steeple Hill Cafe for several years now, but only recently became “Craftie.”


I’ve been “crafty,” however, for a long time. Some days I wonder if I’m more known for my knitting than my writing. I’m a knitting fanatic. I write a knitting blog called DestiKNITions. Fill my day with yarn and coffee, and I’m a happy gal. Add in a little chocolate and let me hit my writing word count for the day, and I’m ecstatic. Of course, life very rarely gives me the space to hit success on all those fronts, but I do try to make sure a little yarn, a little chocolate, and a little coffee makes it into all of my days. And writing most days.


And reading. Writers are always readers. When we go to book fairs, we’re just as star-struck to meet our favorite authors as we hope you are to meet us.



My next book is one of the rare moments when my passions converge. Sad as I am to wrap up the
Kentucky Corners series with “Bluegrass Easter” in the Easter Promises novella out in March, I’m delighted to get to write a knitting character. Librarian Audrey Lupine loves to knit and loves her little quartet of ewes that she raises for wool. What she doesn’t love is when things don’t go according to plan. And really, what kind of exciting book would it be if things went according to plan? Audrey gets a whopping load of chaos before she gets her happy ending, but I hope readers and laughing as much as they sigh with her adventures.


I’ll let you in on a little secret: the basis for the book’s plot comes from a true story. You’ll hear more about that next time I post. For now, just know I’m here waiving, saying hello, and happy to be here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kim Watters is in the house


Hi everyone, Kim Watters here introducing myself. Like the other newbies, I'm so happy to be here and honored to be among such a wonderful group of ladies. Thanks so much for the invite. I live in Arizona with my husband, two kids, one dog and two highstrung hamsters. ( I want whatever they have that keeps them spinning on their wheels all night)

My first book is one the shelves this month and brings me a story I want to share something with you.

Joseph Gibson is my hero.

While out jogging, the 38 year old Phoenix doctor was hit by a car and killed. Dr. Gibson's wife, Jennifer, says "his passing served as a blessing to others". His organs were donated to four patients in need. Four beautiful pieces of Joseph live on through others. I should be so blessed to be able to do the same when it is my time to go.

My current release On Wings of Love also deals with the delicate subject of organ donation. My hope is that people reading this book will also come away with a new appreciation for organ donation, the many people involved to make sure everything takes place, and the wonderful gift that each and everyone of us has a chance to give to someone else.

Blessings,

Kim Watters

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Helllooooo!

This is my first time here, and I am sooo excited to meet you all. This is a very cool blog, you know--filled with authors I admire, who write books that I love.   I'm so glad they let me join in, because I won't  have a Love Inspired book out until November!  In fact, I'm working on that book right now.

So, I'll just introduce myself.   I wrote fifteen books for a secular line before moving to Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense. I've now sold nine books to that line--including FATAL BURN, which will be out in the stores during the next week.

I live with my husband on an acreage in the country, with three very  active dogs--our two Border collies, plus our grandpuppy Abby, who is here a lot because our son travels as part of his job.  Abby thinks she's still a puppy, but at ten months of age she's around 70 pounds of pure muscle, and she can sure wear the other two dogs out.  We're just glad she's here--she had a rough go of it as a young puppy, but with a lot of prayer and a wonderful vet, she's now our miracle dog!

 We also have a couple of horses out back--our son's thirty-three year old quarter horse Smokey, and my ten-year-old gelding--and lots of super-friendly, fluffy barn cats.  They've all been neutered, though we keep finding new strays that join the mix, too.  Must be all of the good cat food. :) 

Our three kids are all in college.   Emily is an English major and wants to be a professor and a writer.  Brian is working on his MBA, and Andy is close to finishing a degree in engineering and business management.

So that's it for us....and now, I look forward to meeting you all!

Blessings,
Roxanne Rustand
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com
The "All creatures great and small place"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Saying Hello and Sighing with Relief!!


Hi Everyone! My name is Lisa Mondello and I am thrilled to FINALLY be able to make my first post on the CRAFTIE LADIES OF ROMANCE blog. I can't tell you how happy I am to be part of this wonderful group of Love Inspired authors!
The first thing I want to say is PHEW! My first Love Inspired Romance manuscript is written, revised and currently on its way to my editor in New York City! It's called FRESH START FAMILY and will be published by Love Inspired October 2010! Here's a little blurb about the story...
Taking care of a 7 year old is a full time job for any mother. But for Jenna Atkins, she has the added worry of dealing with her child's potential fatal illness. The same illness that killed her husband. With no one to help her deal with her small business and the fear of possibly losing her son, she moves to her hometown in Nebraska where she knows she'll get the support she needs from her community and her father. The price she pays for support is long commutes to the big city for treatment for her son.
After being imprisoned in Afghanistan, the last thing Tom Garrison wants from anyone is a medal. He just wants to hide and forget the high price he paid for playing the hero. He's nobody's hero. But when Jenna Atkins shows up on his doorstep one rainy evening begging for him to drive her and her sick son to the hospital because her car broke down, how can he refuse her? He offers what little he has to give, a plane ride to Valentine, hoping they'll make record time to save her son.
Neither one of them were looking for anything more than a friend. But with God's help, they may just get a second chance to be a family.
As the months go on I will update you on the progress of FRESH START FAMILY and post the cover when it is available!
Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello