Thursday, March 31, 2011
This last Saturday I was asked to come to my friend’s book club and speak to them about my latest book, Second Chance Ranch. They had selected it to read and were going to discuss the book.
This was a first for me and so exciting to hear readers talk about how the book affected them and how they related to the situations in the book. One lady identified with my foreman, Ollie. He had cancer, but didn’t want the heroine to know about it since her situation was so dire. The hero discovered the man’s cancer (he was throwing up behind the barn), but Ollie asked him to keep the secret from the heroine. This woman at the reader group had also survived cancer. She understood Ollie’s reasons, but thought he should’ve told the heroine.
It thrilled me to hear to how the readers connected with the characters and story. The healing our books provide shouldn’t be discounted. And our readers identify with our characters in ways we can never imagine.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
That's what happened last Friday when the RWA RITA Award finalists were announced. Our very own Linda Goodnight finaled with not only 1 book, but 2!
I may be speaking out of line here, but I'm fairly sure that there wasn't a Love Inspired Author who was still sitting in her chair when word got out that Linda Goodnight was a double finalist. (I know my chair few back, I scared the cat and the dog ran out of the room. Of course, it could have been from the Yippee! I hollered, too.) I caught up with Linda Goodnight over the weekend and asked her to share a few thoughts with us on being a DOUBLE RITA finalist. Here is what she had to say...
1. Where were you when you got the RITA call and what were you doing?
After going to the gym with my husband and home-schooled daughter, I had just opened my computer to get to work. Turns out, the gym was the only productive thing I accomplished all day. But that's a good thing!
2. Who was the first person you called/emailed?
My awesome, supportive editor, Allison Lyons. She was beyond excited, too, as I knew she would be. We laughed and squealed together.
3. Did you hear about both books in one phone call? Or two different phone calls? And what was the first thing that went through your mind?
I heard in two separate calls which made the news twice as thrilling. When the first call came, I wasn't even thinking about RWA. The caller ID was unfamiliar and I usually don't answer my phone when I'm sitting down to write but for some reason, I picked it up. SO glad I did. It was Terri McLaughlin with RWA. Instantly, a chill went up my back. I asked if she was calling for the reason I thought. When she said yes, I started laughing and crying like a baby. Poor woman almost never got me shut up long enough to read the official spiel, of which I remember absolutely nothing. Good thing they send a back-up email.
As soon as I hung up, I bolted from my office in search of family to squeal and jump around with. I made it as far as the living room when the phone rang again. My first thought? "Uh-oh, they made a mistake. I'm not really a finalist. " When the caller told me why she was calling I screamed, "No way!" I hope she doesn't sue me for rupturing her eardrum.
4. Do either of the books (or both) have a special meaning to you? If so, tell us about it.
Both these books in my Redemption River series are really special to me. The first, FINDING HER WAY HOME, is about a rape victim, fighting her way out of the darkness and depression, distrust and guilt. I received so many wonderful letters from readers who had suffered abuse, and those letters mean the world to me.
THE WEDDING GARDEN is one of those books in which the hero lived in my heart and I had to give him a story. Having spent my entire life in a small town, I understand the way people you've known forever can surprise you, hurt you, and heal you. Besides, I'm just plain in love with Sloan Hawkins!
5. Did you celebrate in any special way with your family and friends?
My family took me out for dinner last night. I really want to lose some weight before conference but who can resist food, especially chocolate, during a celebration?! And all my amazing friends Facebooked and emailed all day. It was wonderful, encouraging, and joyous.
6. Can you give us a little rundown of what each of the books is about?
Since I've already discussed a little about FINDING HER WAY HOME, I'll tell you about THE WEDDING GARDEN.
Sloan Hawkins grew up as the bad seed, the abandoned son of Redemption's only convicted murderer. Falling in love with the police chief's daughter cost him more than he ever knew when he was run out of town at eighteen. Now he's reluctantly back, attitude and all, because of a dying aunt who gave him hope and a home when he had nothing else. Chief Dooley Crawford isn't happy to see him. Neither is his daughter. Both hide secrets that will shake Redemption and change Sloan's life forever.
A little mystery, a dab of murder, family turmoil, and lots of love on many levels. I LOVE this book! lol
Thanks so much Linda! From all of us at the CRAFTIE LADIES of Love Inspired Romance, CONGRATULATIONS!
Many blessings, Lisa Mondello
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight (Steeple Hill Love Inspired; Allison Lyons, editor)
Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense; Tina James, editor)
A Convenient Wife by Anna Schmidt (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical; Tina James, editor)
Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy (Barbour Publishing; Rebecca Germany, editor)
In Harm's Way by Irene Hannon (Revell; Jennifer Leep, editor)
Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House Publishers; David Long and Julie Klassen, editors)
Shades of Morning by Marlo M. Schalesky (WaterBrook Multnomah; Shannon Marchese, editor)
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers; Karen Schurrer and Charlene Patterson, editors)
Friday, March 25, 2011
We were all sad to hear that Ellizabeth Taylor died this week. She lived a very colorful and full life and Elnora has always admired her beauty and her jewelry. Let's face it, the lady knew her diamonds. And she had some very big jewelry. But then, Elnora believes in having wonderful shiny bling. There is something about sparkly things that just brightens the day. Now Elnora prefers pearls, lots and lots of pearls. I think Southern girls are practically born wearing pearls. I've seen babies with little pearls in their tiny ears. Elnora doesn't go that far, but I do recall wearing baubles and those feathered Barbie shoes around the house when I was a tiny tot. And I always had a handbag on my arm.
What is it about bling that makes women happy? Marilyn Monroe sang "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" and maybe she was onto something. It might seem frivolous to some, but size doesn't matter when it comes to jewelry. I still have the simple pearl earrings my darling Big Daddy gave me over twenty-five years ago and I love them. He gave me the matching necklace one Christmas, early, so I could wear my pearls with a little black dress to a party. One year, he gave me tiny diamond stud earrings and I wear those a lot. He hid the matching darling tiny diamond necklace inside a book like a shiny bookmark. The man does have his moments. So, let's talk, ladies and Vince. Why do we love jewelry, small or large??
And thank you, Elizabeth Taylor, for your timeless beauty.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
So I hope you'll share the excitement with me. It's kind of like seeing another child born. Something that started as an idea, a one liner, I call it. That grows into a proposal that my editor buys. That then grows into a full book that I turn in by a certain deadline. That gets revised and edited several times. That gets a title and cover. And that then gets shipped to book club subscribers and stores.
Wow, I'm tired from giving birth again! LOL I hope you'll enjoy the story. :)
Here's a blurb:
A Family for Faith should be in stores any day now.
Available online as well:
e-Harlequin (click here)
Amazon (click here)
B&N (click here)
Christian Book (click here)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Linda Goodnight here. Remember when Cabbage Patch Dolls were the rage? Or when parents tackled each other in toy stores to get the last Tickle Me Elmo? It seems every few years a toy becomes "the thing". I’m not sure if Zhu-Zhu pets qualify as the big thing today, but if you have a child under the age of 12, you know about them. You probably even own some. A Zhu-Zhu puppy was the only toy my 11 year old requested for her birthday.
So I got to thinking about Jace and Kitty, main characters in my current Love Inspired, A PLACE TO BELONG. What toys would they have played with as kids? For Kitty, a child of the 80’s, the answer was easy: Strawberry Shortcake and all her assorted items. As for Jace, he’d have begged his mom for a Big Wheel Hot Cycle. Remember those?
So how about you? What was the popular toy from your childhood? Or one your child just had to have?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Lyn Cote's here tackling Keeping Track of "what you keep clean with."
I know, I know--how does she come up with this stuff???
Well, it's the way my mind works.
Have you ever noticed how "THEY" keep coming up with new ways of doing things--
like reading books on a Kindle or Nook instead of paper?
Or using a handful of ruffled plastic instead of a washcloth?
Or liquid soap from a bottle instead of a bar of soap?
The topic of this blog post is not who THEY are but that THEY change the way we do things.
I remember going to a talk when my son was in boy scouts and listening to a leader who had visited Russia during the days of Communist government. The one thing I remember (this was a long time ago!) is that the Russians had only one kind of soap--period. I mean they had one soap to wash their clothes, the floor and themselves.
THE MIND BOGGLES. Just thing of all the brands of cleaning products and soap we have in even a small store like Dollar General. Anyway, the idea of only one soap is ghastly but on the other extreme, did we really need liquid soap in the shower?
I mean wasn't soap on a rope enough?? GRIN
Anyway, which do you use? Soap or body wash? And why--I want to know.
Also I asked my latest heroine Jeannie and her hero Jake (from Daddy in the Making) what they used --soap or body wash. Both were definitely soap people. Jeannie used Ivory because it was gentle on her skin and her twin nieces. Jake used whatever he found in the shower. He's a busy vet and his late grandfather's best friend keeps house for him so he doesn't have time to bother about such stuff.
BTW, if you drop over to my blog today, you can find out how to win a copy of Daddy in the Making that will hit your local Walmart. BTW, if you leave a comment HERE with your email address (using dot and at), I'll put your name in the hat and draw a winner for one autographed copy! What a deal!
So what's your choice--soap or body wash? And what brand? (Yes, I am nosey.)
And what about the Old Spice Man video????
Monday, March 21, 2011
Merrillee here, who has been thinking about heroic acts in light of recent events around the world. As I was thinking about my blog post for today, I was looking for photos that might suit my topic. When I did a search for photos of heroes, a lot of photos of sports figures, cartoon and movie heroes of the super hero type came up in the list of photos. Another site featured firefighters, police officers and soldiers. As the slogan says, ordinary people can be heroes. In recent days, there have been many heroes who have helped the people of Japan deal with the earthquake and tsunami. When difficult times emerge, ordinary people step forward and become heroes.
Have you ever been a hero, or do you know someone who has been a hero? Please share your story with us.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
How exciting to have Vince Morningway, the hero from A COLORADO MATCH, by Deb Kastner, a March release from Love Inspired Romance.
1. Vince, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I don’t know if it’s interesting, but I’m in charge of running Morningway Lodge. Our ministry offers reasonably priced housing for families of paralyzed patients recovering in the nearby Rocky Mountain Rehabilitation Hospital.
2. What do you do for fun?
I use every waking hour to keep the Lodge going. I eat at my desk and don’t stop working until it’s bedtime.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I try to avoid having confrontations with my brother Nate. We can’t seem to have a civil conversation, no matter how hard we try. Everything comes so easy to him and he just coasts along, doing his own thing. He doesn’t consider the consequences of his actions--how his actions will affect the lodge, and me.
Can you believe Nate hired a business consultant—whatever that is—without even telling me first. She’s messing with my office, trying to organize it, like I have time for that. Just what I need—a woman underfoot. Even if she’s attractive.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
I’m afraid I won’t be able to maintain the legacy my father built in Morningway Lodge. God always provides, but sometimes I find my own faith is weak, especially after the resident daycare center burned down. I’m not sure how we’re going to make it out of this one. If we go under, I don’t know where the patient’s families are going to stay. Most of them are putting their money into hospital bills. They don’t have a lot left over for housing.
5. What do you want out of life?
Honestly? I really don’t know. I’ve always had to take care of the lodge. My brother Nate went and joined the Marines when he was eighteen and left me alone to keep the ministry going. I’ve never had the opportunity to explore my own goals and dreams. I don’t even know what they are.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
Serving God. Taking care of my family’s legacy. Serving people. I take care of the guests’ needs at the lodge and often visit patients at the hospital, but all I can really do for them is pray.
7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I haven’t picked up a book other than the Bible since high school. I was never much of a reader and I don’t have time anyway.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I had more faith. I know God’s there and that He’s in control and has a plan, but sometimes I’m still afraid of the future. I know the truth in my head, but I don’t always feel it in my heart.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
There are lots of wild animals in the woods around the lodge, but I don’t have a pet, mostly because I don’t have any time to spend with one. I suppose that’s the same reason I’ve never had a serious relationship with a woman, either.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I would go back to the time just after my mother passed away from cancer. I’m the elder brother, and think if I would have stepped up more for Nate, maybe our relationship would have been different, and maybe he wouldn’t have felt the need to leave the moment he turned eighteen. Deep down, I guess I’ve always dreamed that Nate and I would run the lodge together.
He’s back and has a family now, but things are still strained between us. I don’t know how to bridge the gap. I guess all I can do is pray.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
My darling Big Daddy helped and we got the whole house spic and span. But there was the little problem of Cujo Kitty. She gets overly excited when we have guests and tends to give them a little "love bite" to show her affection. Or lack thereof. And lately, she's been kind of old and tired (much like her keeper!) So when the nice reporter man arrived, she promptly tried to bite him. I had to toss her into the game room with a bowl of food and a prayer. Not a good idea.
The interview went great. I had a nice friend who writes for Superromance here with me and she did a lot of the talking so that helped. Elnora mostly smiled.
But I could hear the kitty's pitiful meows in the background. Along with the garbage truck, the recycling truck and later, the train. I'm not making this up.
So everyone but my nice Super friend left and I let the kitty out. She gave me a meaningful look and pranced past me. But ... she had left me a nice little present in the game room to show her distaste. Picture Elnora holding her nose and daintily trying to clear up this horrible pile of kitty rebellion. On my carpet. So the question of the day, my darlings, is--why do cats seem to own the house in which they live? There is room for only one diva in our house and it ain't Elnora!Questions. Answers. Meows??? Anybody???
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I am delighted to announce that there will be several more books in the new Forest Ranger series I’m writing. My editor at Harlequin Love Inspired called last week to buy three more books for a total of five in the series.
The first book is titled The Forest Ranger’s Promise and will be released in May 2011. In this sweet story, the hero is struggling to keep a number of promises he has made to various people even though each promise seems out of his control. He quickly learns to depend on the Lord to help get him through. The story opens with a bang. Literally! You’ll have to read the first chapter when the book comes out to see what I mean. :)
The second book in the series is titled The Forest Ranger’s Husband and will be released in November 2011. In this story, the hero is a hotshot wildland fire fighter who suffers a life-altering event that sends him on the path of repentance and faith.
The third book has been tentatively titled The Forest Ranger’s Baby and doesn’t yet have a release date. The heroine in this story struggles with committing herself to a promise she doesn't dare make for fear she won’t be able to keep it. You can expect some very action-packed scenes in each book as the main characters deal with grizzly bears, wildfires, floods, and their own aching hearts as they search for their faith in God.
Because my father is a retired forest ranger and is serving as my consultant, many scenes in each book are based on actual events in my dad’s life. I’ve tried my best to write faith based stories that are both very realistic and romantic. Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you! To contact me, visit my website at: www.LeighBale.com
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Terri Reed here, I recently made the switch from a PC to a MacBook Pro. In the process I had to switch email programs, which in one way was a blessing, because, believe it or not, I had over 40K email in my inbox on my old computer. About five years worth. No wonder the machine was dying. I know, crazy, right! But I just couldn't let anything go. Especially in the beginning when I first started using email. Over the last year I've been better about reading and then deleting, but still.... So when I opened up the new email program on my new laptop, I made the decision that I wouldn't hang on to anything that wasn't necessary. Okay, well, I've already probably reneged on that decision-I'm a work in progress. But I have made folders! And every time I open my email I either move the post to a folder or delete it. Yes, I do have a miscellaneous folder for stuff I'm not sure I want to delete but not sure why I'm keeping either, ugh!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Thank you, Pamela. It's good to be here. I'm blessed to be a SAHM to two lovely daughters, ages 4 & 10, and my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary on Ground Hogs Day this year. In addition to reading, I enjoy listening to Bluegrass music, watching FOX News (I'm a bit of a political junkie), spending time with my family, and hanging around the library or local bookstore. I am night owl who enjoys a bit of peace and quiet after my family goes to bed. My reading genes come from my mother and I'm pleased to have passed them on to my 10 year old daughter.
After Anne by Roxanne Henke, The Debt by Angela Hunt, and Jimmy by Robert Whitlow are your favorite books. Tell us, what spiraled them to the top of your list? What did the author do that won you over?
Great questions. In each book, each author put a character in his/her book that really personified Christlikeness and/or child-like faith and I just felt so drawn to these characters. Each book also ended in such a dramatic and unexpected way, and after becoming so emotionally attached to the characters, I couldn't help but be affected. These three books are also proof that not all books have to have an ideal or happy ending to satisfy readers.
Besides the above three, who else do you read? What are you reading today?
I read most genres of Christian fiction, with the exception of fantasy and speculative. I also enjoy reading a bit of non-fiction...biographies, current issues, and Christian growth and humor. My favorite genres would include Amish, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Comedy, and Young Adult. The book I'm currently reading...Kim Vogel Sawyer's newest YA...Katy's Homecoming.
Do you write, also? If so, tell us what you’re working on?
Oh, how I would love to be able to write...but it seems my brain has only input mode when it comes to the written word.
What technique did you use to enable you to identify all the Craftie Ladies for your contest win? (Jenny came to our site following a Facebook post from Merrillee)
I was a bit familiar with a few of the authors, but with the others I wasn't familiar with I just read each author biography and tried to find some of the keywords in each clue....and boy, some of them were really tough!
What were the three most interesting things you discovered while striving to identify the Craftie Ladies?
1. I found the testimony of Leann Harris healing from an aneurysm quite compelling, especially how her daughter's belief that God would bring healing to her mother. It was such an inspiring story to me, as my mother has faced a number of health issues over the last several years.
2. I was amazed at how much vocational diversity there was in the group of ladies...microbiologist, nurse, English professor, gymnastics coach, etc.
3. I was also impressed with the number of books that many of you have written. I know that those in your group who haven't amassed as many published books will have lots of encouragement from those of you who have, and I look forward to more books from all of you.
And then I have to say I was also pleasantly surprised to find a fellow Kansas State attendee (Pat Davids) in your midst. Go Wildcats!
Besides the Craftie Ladies, tell us two or three other Blogs you like to visit and why.
I'd been without a computer for a few months and have just recently gotten back online, so I've got a bit of catching up to do on some of my favorite blogs.
My favorite book bloggers include Rel at Relz Reviewz and Jennifer at So Many Books, who are two of the first booklovers I ever met online. They are the ladies who talked me into starting a blog of my own.
Rel's blog (relzreviewz.blogspot.com) is full of reviews, character spotlights, and upcoming books releases.
Jennifer's blog (somanybooksblog.blogspot.com) has reviews, blurbs about some of Jennifer's favorite book covers, and spotlights on upcoming books she wants to read.
Needless to say, both of their blogs are detrimental to my buckling bookshelf!
A couple of the author blogs I frequent:
Angela Hunt (http://alifeinpages.blogspot.com) - she's always got interesting things on there, from books to cooking, funny or compelling videos, or just her observations on life.
Kristin Billerbeck (http://girlygirl.typepad.com/girly_girl/) - she's a one of a kind, and is not afraid to speak the truth as she sees it. I'm not girly girl like she is, but I do love reading her perspective on life.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks so much for having me....and I really enjoyed getting to know a little about each of the Craftie Ladies. Thank you all as well for the gift certificate. I'm looking forward to finding some goodies over at Amazon.
Thanks so much for being our Monday’s Main Character.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
How exciting to have _Teresa Morales the heroine from In a Doctor’s Arms a March 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance .
- 1. Teresa tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I’m not sure I’d say it’s interesting, but I love kids. I’ve worked for years as a high school counselor and love seeing “my kids” go from being young adults to adults. I love their stories and, yes, the lovely color hair that seems to change every week. I was never brave enough to do that when I was a teen!
- 2. What do you do for fun?
That’s just it. I’m a work-a-holic! If I do anything for fun, it usually has to do with the kids in the community. I volunteer at the community center near my home and find that really rewarding.
- 3. What are you afraid of most in life?
Making a mistake that will have a long lasting effect to another person. Not seeing a problem with one of my kids and it having a devastating result. Kids are a mix of fragility and strength. That fragility is what scares me because you can lose a kid so easily.
- 4. What do you want out of life?
I have the same dreams as most people. I want to meet a honorable man that I enjoy being with, who makes me laugh, and doesn’t let me take myself too seriously. Someone who can pull me away from my work and remind me of the important things in life. I want a family of kids of my own. That would be the greatest joy.
- 5. What is the most important thing to you?
Family and my faith. Without both, I’d have nothing.
- 6. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I read a lot of work related material, but I do love a good romantic suspense!
- 7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t put so much pressure on myself. There is truth to the physician heal thyself phrase in that it’s easier to see problems with someone else than it is to see them in yourself. If I could only look at myself and take my own advice, the same advice I’d give someone else, I’d be better off. But that’s hard because I can be so critical of myself.
- 8. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No, I do not have a pet. I work too much and live in a condo in the city. But moving to Vermont and having all that open space makes me want to adopt a dog!
- 9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
That’s a hard thing. I don’t think I would. The temptation would be to go back and change something from the past. But how far back do you go to change things. Everything you do moves you forward. Going back means I’d end up in a different place than I am right now and I can’t imagine that.
Visit Lisa Mondello at www.lisamondello.blogspot.com. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of In a Doctor’s Arms.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Hello, Friday People. I had a lovely time this week visiting Publisher's Weekly and dear Barbara Vey's Beyond Her Book Blog. http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/
She threw a week-long party to celebrate her blog. (I'm pretty sure it was the fourth anniversary, but Elnora ate too much and shopped too much so I'm a little fuzzy on the details.) Those wild and wacky Seekerville chicks took over on Wednesday and wisked us all away to a tropical island. Every girl's dream, right? And Captain Jack Sparrow was there. Ahoy! Then on Thursday, it was YA, inspirational and non-fiction. The lovely ladies of Love Inspired showed up to have fun because the virtual setting was .... gasp .... a shopping mall.
So let's talk shopping? Why do women love to shop more than men? Why do women love shoes so much? Why do some women (bless their hearts) not like shopping so much? Can we find a way to help them? What's the best bargain you ever found, ever??
Elnora will be in and out today because I'm off to a wonderful local conference (www.nolastars.com) I baked Ghirardelli double chocolate pecan cookies for the speakers. Elnora can become domestic when an editor or agent is going to be visiting!
So ask away and discuss. I will check back between packing and doing my conference duties. Don't you just love Fridays???
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Who here belongs to a book club? Go ahead, raise your hand. I'm counting.
One, two, three, do I see four? Yes, and five, six and so on. Book clubs are popular. Why? Because a good book is meant to be shared the same way our love of reading is meant to be shared.
I've been the speaker at several book club meetings. If you are an author, a book club is the perfect place to speak. Chances are they've read at least one of your stories and they want to ask questions about the characters and how they came about. I enjoy talking about my imaginary friends as much as the next person. It's fun to share how they came to life in my brain. In a way, this blog is an extension of a book club. We meet here to read about our favorite author's experiences and catch a peek into their lives. It's a fun place to meet where books are important.
If you belong to a book club, tell us about it and why you enjoy it.
I'm sure you've noticed the questions for discussion in the back of all the Love Inspired books. Do you find the questions thought provoking? Do they make you see the story in a different light?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
This is Margaret Daley. Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. This year Easter is one of the latest dates it can be which means Ash Wednesday is usually not this late either (the latest it can be is March 10th). What does Ash Wednesday mean to you?
To me it means the start of the most important season in the Christian Church--Lent and Easter. To me it is even more important than Christmas. It is when our Lord Jesus fulfilled his purpose. He died to save us. Lent and Easter are in the spring--a time for renewal.
The reason it is called Ash Wednesday is because the ashes from the palm crosses from Palm Sunday the year before are used to make a cross on a person's forehead on Ash Wednesday. Some people give up something for Lent--a food they love to eat, a bad habit they are trying to kick. Ash Wednesday is the start of that "fast".
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
If you would walk up to me and ask me what color eyes did the hero in my last book have, I couldn't tell you.
What college did Zach McClure (my hero) attend?
How old is Sophie (the heroine)?
Sophie’s horse’s name is what?
These are all questions I needed to remember in my last book, Second Chance Ranch. You’d be surprised how often you forget what color your hero’s eyes are. You'd think I could remember, but you'd be so wrong. I can't tell you the endless hours I spent looking up little details of the hero/heroine's life, so I finally came up with an idea on how to keep my facts straight.
Is it some high tech way or do I create a file with all the info in it?
No. My high tech way of keeping track of facts and info is to write in an old spiral notebook I keep on my desk. I've put tabs on different pages with the name of the book, then on those pages I write all the pertinent information about that story. If a character appears or a new horse, I write it down in the notebook. You can't believe how much easier that makes my life. If I have to know what color eyes Zach has, I look in my book and there it is. By the way, his eyes are blue.
It might sound ridiculous, but every writer I know has developed their own system. And readers notice when your hero's eyes go from blue, to brown, to green, then back to blue.
Our gift certificate was won by Jenny. Thanks to all you wonderful readers who participated in the contest.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Tom Hanks will forever fill my heart with warm fuzzies when I think of him as Joe Fox in You've Got Mail. A totally different type hero than Mathew Quigley and yet, I loved the role. I also am crazy about him as hurting dad and widower, Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle. What a hero--struggling to do his best for his son while hurting deeply as he forces himself to reach for a new future.
I absolutely love to create my heroes and watching movie heroes inspires me. What makes a main character stand out to you?
I invite you to meet my heroes from my Mule Hollow books on sale this month. Gabe McKennon in A MOM FOR MULE HOLLOW part of the Small Town Moms anthology with Janet Tronstad's A DRY CREEK FAMILY. And also Clint Matlock and Cort Wells my heroes in my first two books: THE TROUBLE WITH LACY BROWN and AND BABY MAKES FIVE, being released as a Love Inspired Classic on sale now :)
Sunday, March 6, 2011
How exciting to have Jace Carter the hero from A PLACE TO BELONG by Linda Goodnight, a March, 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance .
1. Jace, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I’m not too interesting but I think my work is. I restore historic homes and buildings, anything made of wood. Redemption is an old Victorian town and most of it’s on the National Register of Historic Buildings. I feel pretty good to be one of the few people around qualified to work on them.
2. What do you do for fun?
Work on restoring a turn of the century Queen Anne I bought. Sometimes I wonder why I want that big old money pit since I’ll never have a family live there with me, but I like bringing her back to her former glory. You should see the banister. It took me months to find and refinish it, but the result is worth the effort.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Police Chief Jesse Rainmaker wants me to mentor some rowdy teenager that’s been getting into trouble. Seems the boy has magic hands with wood and Jesse thinks I could help him. Me, of all people. Besides, I’m a private kind of man. I work alone. So I’ve put off following up.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
People finding out who I really am. I’ve spent fourteen years convincing this town that I’m someone they can trust. If people knew, they’d run me out of town.
5. What do you want out of life?
Not much. Safety. Privacy. Peace. Well, I dream of Kitty Wainright but that’s all I do is dream. She runs the local motel, an old relic that needs constant work. Since Kitty’s husband died a war hero, I’m honored to work for her at a big discount even though the motel isn’t historic. Being around Kitty is pure pleasure. She’s like a fairy tale or something. I wish things could be different, that I was someone else, someone worthy of a woman like that, but she’s devoted to her husband’s memory anyway. She’d never want a guy like me. So I just go on with life, doing what I can to help a hero’s widow and try to be content with knowing her.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
My reputation. It takes a lifetime to build and only a few minutes to destroy. I worry about that.
7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
Magazines-usually about old houses or antiques or wood art. That kind of thing. I read the Bible too, though I stopped going to Kitty’s Bible studies. Every time I did, I had to repent for thinking about her instead of God.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would have graduated high school. But keep that to yourself. The people of Redemption don’t know I learned my lessons through the school of hard knocks.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
A while ago, the local vet talked me into adopting a little pup. He’s a beagle mix. Entertaining too though he leaves puddles on my hardwood floors. Still, I’m glad he’s around. He’s a good listener and he keeps our conversations to himself.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
There’s lots of stuff I’d erase in my life, choices I’d make differently, but probably I’d see my mom again before she died and let her know I didn’t turn out as badly as she’d thought.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Well, Elnora needs people to change light bulbs and slay spiders, of course. But mostly, we all need other people to make our lives better. It's about love. And maybe it's just me, but some of the people I love the most drive me a little nuts.And I mean, tossing the pearls and throwing the shoes nuts. And yet, I couldn't live without them. So let's talk about what makes a great relationship and what not to do. Ask away? I have tons of experience in this department!
While you're pondering your fabulous questions, tell me what you love about Friday??
Besides being here with us, of course!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Isn't Punxsutawney Phil cute?
Because of our wonderful Valentine's story, my blog was postponed for a month. Being the type of writer who hates to delete things, I'm revising it and reposting. Gee, the story of a writer's life.
Well, it's been a month now, has Spring sprung yet? I don't believe Phil saw his shadow so what's with the weather? We had snow in North Phoenix over the weekend!
For those of you who don't know, the following is a bit of history of how the day began.
(Adapted from "Groundhog Day: 1886 to 1992" by Bill Anderson) Credit given to The Official Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.
If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.
If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.
The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.
As a writer I can relate to poor Phil.
We hibernate as we write our manuscripts, venturing out only when we have to to eat or do laundry or other tasks that keep the household running. We slave away in our dark, little caves, churning out page after page of wonderful prose destined to meet with editorial and reader approval.
And then comes the revision letter.
If it's an easy one, (no shadow), we can emerge from our caves and enjoy life a bit more as the winter season has passed.
If it's a complicated one, (shadow), we scurry back into our caves for a few more weeks of a writing frenzy until we can emerge again and enjoy the spring.
As for this writer, I just emerged from my cave for a bit, waiting for my editor's reply.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The winner will receive a $16.00 Amazon gift card! We will tally the number of correct answers that were posted first by each participant, to determine the winner. We won't reveal any of the correct answers until the end of the contest, so keep coming back, and keep guessing!
#1 I grew in the Denver where if you can see the mountains, you know what direction you're going and don't get lost. My parents moved to Texas when I was a teen. I met my husband in college and got my job first--deaf ed teacher. He followed. We're going to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. (Remember I was a teen when I married.)
#2 I grew up in the Western United States, living in teensy towns with no clinics, movie theaters or restaurants within a 3-hour drive. My father was a forest ranger (which is the theme of my new book series coming out in May). I hate litter bugs, am an excellent seamstress and still bottle produce grown in my own gardens. I graduated with honors with a degree in History and love doing research. I had the distinct privilege of marrying the love of my life thirty years ago and have two wonderful adult children. That said, if I'd known early on how fun being a granny is, I might have just skipped the kids. :) I sold my first book by entering and winning the Golden Heart...a dream come true. Everything else since then has just been icing on my cake.
#3 I'm a Massachusetts girl, through and through. I started out in college in Mechanical Engineering but quickly caught the music bug, changed my major to Sound Recording Technology and started managing a Boston rock band! Our highlight was being interviewed on M-TV and opening for The Fixx after winning the legendary WBCN Rock-n-Roll Rumble. But love bit me hard when I met my husband at a gig and I left music to pursue writing--my other passion-- and finished my first novel the year we were married. That was 20 years and 12 published books ago!
#4 I was born and raised in Kentucky then headed to Georgia to attend graduate school at Emory University--where I met my pastor hubby. I worked as a microbiologist, then became a stay-at-home mom of three. While home with the kids, I started writing fiction. After over ten years of pursuing my dream, I finally made my first sale to Love Inspired!
#5 I was adopted at birth (by a wonderful family) and grew up (in Nebraska) to be both an English professor and author (21 books!). I have been married eight years (and now live in Arizona) have one son and my favorite book of all-time is All Things Great and Small. I sold my first book in 1999 and am now on book 21.
#6 I grew up a Kansas farm girl. I've been an archery champion and a neonatal nurse. I married a sailor, I enjoy traveling and I love, love, love my grandkids and my coffee.
#7 I'm six feet tall and am known as much for my knitting as my writing. I grew up on the East Coast and was a theater major in college. I have a spoiled Havanese dog and am never far from a cup of coffee. My books have taken me to Kentucky, San Francisco, and Cincinnati, among other places, and I laugh as much in my books as in real life.
#8 I literally grew up on a horse. I've always had at least one of them since I was six, and rode with my friends all over our part of the county even at that young age. It was a lot like giving a first grader a set of car keys! I also grew up with a menagerie of pets, and made sure that our kids had that opportunity also. Needless to say, animals have played a role in many of my books. Who am I?
#9 I'm from Georgia but live in Louisiana. My favorite books are "Gone With The Wind" and "Wuthering Heights." I love all kinds of music--from the blues and rock to gospel, classical and country. I'm a city girl with a country heart. I love shoes and chocolate. I get into trouble a lot. Really a lot.
#10 I was born in Nashville then eighteen years later returned to go to college where I met my husband. I love cookie dough ice cream, caramel and pecan pie. I've never been a coffee drinker but love tea. My favorite book is James Rollins' Amazonia.
#11 I have visited all fifty states and lived in ten of them. I met my husband while I lived in Ohio, and our two girls were born there. I lived in Georgia when I first decided to write something to send to a publisher. I won the Golden Heart in 2003 and made my first sale to Love Inspired in 2004.
#12 I was born and raised in Texas. I love eating dessert first, small town life and road trips, but most of all I love God, my family and writing books about all of the above! I was a hair stylist and salon owner for many years and wrote at night after my kids were in bed and dreamed of selling one of my books. It wasn't until I wrote a book about a wacky hairstylist on a mission for God in a tiny Texas town that I finally sold my first book. That was 6 years and nineteen books ago.
#13 I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada mountains. During college I pursued a modeling career, coached gymnastics and also met my husband. We've lived in Sacramento, NYC, Chicago before moving to Oregon where we started a family. I sold my first book to Steeple Hill in 2003 and have written twenty-two more since then.
#14 I love fruity desserts better than chocolate ones. I love to cook and bake and eat. I worked my way through college as a beautician and still cut my family's hair. I'm a Midwesterner though I was born in TX. I write about strong women. I'm posting my first manuscript on my blog scene by scene this year.
#15 I've lived in two foreign countries, France and South Africa, grew up in the Midwest and now live in a much warmer climate. I'm deathly afraid of spiders so the tarantullas are always out to get me. I work at a golf course but don't play golf. Who am I? :)
Who are we?
Best wishes to you all!