Saturday, April 30, 2011

FEATURED BOOK: THE FOREST RANGER'S PROMISE BY LEIGH BALE




Managing a Wyoming sheep ranch and a feisty little girl isn't easy for widow Melanie McAllister. The last thing she needs is yet another forest ranger to stir up trouble for the ranchers. But when she meets single dad Scott Ennison and his daughter, she realizes there's something special about this ranger. Scott has vowed to protect the land and the ranchers his predecessors have alienated in the past. Yet no one wants to trust him—except courageous Melanie. Together they'll prove that a rancher and a ranger can become neighbors, friends…maybe even a family.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ask Elnora--About Weddings?????


Did someone get married today? Wait, let Elnora get her tea and pastries. I do believe there was a very important event this morning. Early this morning. Very, very early in Colonist time. But thankfully, we have about eight million news outlets covering the Royal Wedding (why is that always in CAPS???) so Elnora won't have to miss her beauty sleep or any detail of this grand affair. Sigh. Don't you just love a wedding?

While I got married in a private ceremony wearing a Gunny Sack dress (remember those back in the seventies--yes, Elnora was a flower child), I've always loved weddings. And I cry like a big bawling baby at weddings. We have several questions to consider this morning (early this morning) regarding Kate and Wills and weddings in general.

1. Why do we love weddings so much?
2. Why do we love a prince and his princess so much??
3. Why do we still believe in fairy tales even though reality isn't so pretty?
And 4. Did anyone get a look at her shoes????

My darlings, it's all about lasting love and happiness. It's about being hopeful in a world where jaded people are tired and weary and skeptical and cynical. I still believe in love and hope and happily ever after and I don't care if it starches the queen's knickers!! So, let's discuss. Or rather, someone start the discussion while Elnora find the Community Dark coffee and pours herself a big mug. Not very ladylike but then did I mention it's rather early for me??

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Allie Pleiter on What the Breadmaker Taught Me

I tried banana bread in my automatic bread-maker this morning.  I found a recipe on the internet, followed the instructions to the letter...until the part where I had to tell my machine to skip the kneading and rising functions.

It won't.

My machine insists on going through those cycles no matter which buttons I press.  I'm committed, however, because the batter's in there and I still hold out hope that this could end well.  I'm an optimist by nature, and I want my house to smell like baking banana bread even if I can't eat the results.  I'm hoping I can, but I'm thinking this poor batter will be so mauled by the time it bakes that I'll have a banana brick instead of banana bread.

There's a lesson here for us writers.  Especially those of us struggling through revisions at the moment.  Our impulse is to beat the words to death, to knead them, sit on them, stir them up endlessly in the pursuit of excellence.  Yet, sometimes they just need to be mixed up a bit and slipped gently into the oven.  Every writer I know has re-written a book to death, or at least within an inch of its life.  Not always to the best results.

It's fear, I think.  Fear we don't have the talent we used to (or weren't sure we had in the first place).  We can't bring ourselves to trust the process, God's gift of words, and the strength of the story.  So, if you are an aspiring writer and you can't stop kneading your story today, or there's something you can't bring yourself to turn in to that editor, contest, or crit partner, learn from my bread-maker:  Go.  Back off, step back, and realize that it might just be done and ready to bake.

Like Arthur William Radford said, "half of art is knowing when to stop."

As for the banana bread?  Give me a few hours and I'll let you know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bid On Me

Kim Watters here....Come bid on me. I wanted to tell you about an awesome opportunity to help find a cure for Junvenile Diabetes. Brenda Novak does an auction each year in May and there are many wonderful items to bid on. I've included my offering below.


I know some of our other lovely and talented Craftie authors have donated items as well so check us out.

I'm auctioning off a gift bag. Included in this tote bag is an autographed copy of On Wings of Love, a sterling silver and Marcasite necklace, a candle and candle holder, a heart paperweight, a picture frame, a mirror, a decorative charm, a pen and calendar.

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2154316


To check out the regualr auction, click here
http://www.brendanovak.com/auction.shtml

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easing back into the week...

Hello from Lisa Mondello. If you're like me, you're coming down from your sugar high from all that Easter chocolate and candy the Easter bunny left. I spent the morning nursing my coffee and staring at my computer screen.

Hopefully you were in better shape than me! But I do hope that all you enjoyed your Easter Sunday and that it was filled with wonderful food and the company of family and good friends. Many blessings to you!

Lisa Mondello

http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ask Elnora--It's Good Friday--so tell us something good!


My precious people, today is Good Friday. What a special day for all of us. There are so many bad things going on in the world today, we sometimes become overwhelmed with helplessness. But Elnora knows we're not helpless! I went with a few friends to see the movie "The Grace Card" this week. Powerful story about hatred and racism and a griefing family. But if you change the race card to the grace card, you have a whole new world. The grace card says "I promise to pray for you everyday. Ask for your forgiveness, grant you the same and be your friend always." It's that simple. We can all extend grace to someone else, especially today when the world needs a little grace.

So tell me--What is good about your life? What blessings can you share on this special holy day? Me, I am blessed to have Big Daddy, my darling husband who puts up with the many moods of Elnora (and Lenora), and I have two beautiful grown children who continue to surprise and amaze me (even on days when they make my hair gray!!!) I have roof over my head and flowers in my garden and friends to laugh and cry with. Friends such as all of you. And I know that no matter what, God loves me and gives me His grace. Oh, and I have shoes and books, of course!!! But that's enough about me. I want to know what's good in your life?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Kid on the Block





Missy, here. I'd like to welcome new kid Ginny Aiken, who's not actually new to Love Inspired (she's had LI suspense novels published) but is new to Love Inspired Romance. Her first LI, The Daddy Surprise, will be out in June.


Ginny, congrats on your upcoming LI! Can you tell us titles of the books you've published with Love Inspired Suspense?


Mixed up With The Mob
Mistaken For The Mob
Married to The Mob
Danger in a Small Town
Suspicion
Someone To Love
All of them are LI Suspense, and the first three were the most fun to write of all I've written, while the other three were definitely the most challenging because of the subject matter. I love both series.

Can you tell us a blurb about The Daddy Surprise?
I can't beat the back cover copy on the absolutely gorgeous cover of The Daddy Surprise! Here it is:
Matthew "Ryder" Lyndon has just learned he's the father of a five-year-old girl. A girl who suddenly appears in his life with her mother, Lucie Adams--and Lucie is everything Ryder remembers. Beautiful, sun-washed, a free spirit who made him smile. But she'd trampled his heart with her sudden disappearance six years ago. Coming face-to-face with each other again, both Ryder and Lucie are reminded of what they once shared. Now God has given him an unexpected blessing in their daughter. After all this time, can Ryder find a place for them in his life?

Sounds like a great story! What's your favorite vacation spot?
Vacation? You've got to be kidding! What's a vacation??? Four college educations have put vacations in a distant category. These days, my favorite vacation is time with my two little grandsons...wherever they might be.

Grandkids are enough fun to call a vacation! :) What's something people may not know about you?

That English isn't my native language! Believe me, in spite of my lack of foreign accent and my totally American education, sentence structure has at times been a massive challenge.
Ginny, thanks so much for giving us a sneak peek! We'll be looking forward to your new book. I guess book club subscribers will get it this month! :)


***********
A former newspaper reporter, Ginny Aiken lives in northwestern Indiana with her husband of thirty-four years, their three dogs, and her husband's miniature parrot--yes, his parrot. Ginny was born in Havana, Cuba, and was raised in Valencia and Caracas, Venezuela. An avid reader, she wrote her first book at the age of fifteen but burned it when she turned a 'mature' sixteen. University in Europe, college in northwestern Pennsylvania, and four sons followed. In the hope of retaining some sanity amid all that testosterone, she turned to writing and still works at the hardest job she'll ever love--except raising those four guys. When Ginny's not writing, she's reading, knitting, embroidering counted cross-stitch, or playing with her two gorgeous grandsons.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's Special About Easter?

Linda Goodnight here. Easter is coming up this Sunday. Of all the holy days, to me Resurrection Day is the most special, the most significant. Jesus gave himself as the sacrificial lamb that we might live. Wow! That moves me just to type it.

Every year, I look for ways, beyond our beautiful Easter Church services, to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with more honor and zeal. For instance, last year, we made Resurrection eggs for our new daughter to learn the Easter Story. In turn, she decorated the living room wall with Easter art and made this egg wreath.


So I thought I’d ask:

What special things do you do to prepare for and celebrate Easter? (And can I steal your ideas? lol)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lyn Cote here-Are Men Romantic?

Lyn Cote here--keeping track today about one of the many differences between men and women. How romantic are each of the sexes?

Click the link below and you'll watch a 1.02 minute video. It's a clip from the old comedy, FRIENDS. I never watched the show much, but this is so exactly on target.

http://youtu.be/iGoC8FTLKSI

Now compare that video with this one.


How do you explain the contrast between the first and second videos?

Why is one man bereft of romance and the other filled with it to overflowing?

Any ideas? We romance writers want, no NEED to know!

Here's an excerpt from my latest romance, Daddy in the Making. I think this is a very romantic scene. Tell me what you think?

To set up the scene, my hero is a vet and with the help of my heroine he has just rescued a litter of orphaned kittens.
***
Inside, Jeannie stood across from Jake, with the high examining table between them. One by one, he gently lifted out the kittens. He examined their teeth, ears, prodded their abdomens, and gave them distemper shots. All the while, he murmured to them. All the while Jeannie pressed her lips tightly together to hold it all in—all her sadness, her loss, and her loneliness. She and Carrie had been orphaned too and left defenseless in this harsh world.

When Jeannie had placed the last kitten back into the box, she turned away, trying to hide the tears that could no longer be held back. Trying to stop them.

"Jeannie, oh, Jeannie," Jake said and within two steps, she found herself in his arms. "Don't cry."

Jake folded Jeannie into his arms and against him. Jeannie--soft and warm and fragrant, with the subtle scent of lilacs.

"I'm sorry. I'll stop--" But then a sob erupted, ripping the peace of the quiet clinic.

"This is about more than just these poor kittens." His unexpected observation slipped out, but he judged it to be true. "What's wrong, Jeannie?" I can't bear to see you cry. Let me make it right.

"It's just all the orphans in this sad world. I know how that feels--I was one," she whispered.

Me, too. He'd never put this into words. But he had been orphaned too. At least, that was how he'd always felt. A lump in his chest, he tugged Jeannie even closer. "I'm here," he said simply.
***
So are men naturally romantic? And do you agree that my scene is romantic?--Lyn

Monday, April 18, 2011

Road Trip

This is Merrillee ready to tell you about a road trip I took before cell phones were in wide use. What does a road trip have to do with heroes? Here is my story. Back in the early 90's (that's 1990's) when we lived near Boston, I took a cross-country road trip with my two teenage daughters. Here's a photo of a vehicle very similar to the one I drove.

My husband would fly to join us when we reached Spokane, Washington, where one of my brothers lives. (What was I thinking?) I wanted to show my girls some of the sights in our wonderful country and parts of Canada. During our month-long trip, we visited four national parks and saw several national monuments besides a myriad of other sights that are too numerous to mention. Here are some of these places.


The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota


The Badlands National Park in the western part of South Dakota


Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota


Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

As we drove along route 212 in Montana toward the Little Big Horn Battlefield the minivan started to shimmy, and then one of the back tires blew. I had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, Montana. You can see from the photo above that there isn't much out there except grass and a few trees. I could change a tire, couldn't I? After all, I was a modern woman. So I got out the jack and started the process while cars I had passed earlier went whizzing by. When I was finding it difficult to lower the spare tire from its perch beneath the minivan, two families of migrant farm workers stopped. The two gentlemen pulled out their heavy duty jack and had my tire changed in five minutes. My heroes! That trip took place nearly twenty years ago, but I still remember how thankful I was for those two men who changed my tire.


Part of the rain forest in Olympic National Park


Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada


Mount Rainier National Park


Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park


Here is Mount Spokane. The day we arrived in Spokane the temperature was 106 degrees F. When we returned a week later after a whirlwind tour of the western part of Washington State and parts of British Columbia, Canada, it snowed on Mount Spokane.

We saw a lot a fabulous sights on this trip, and besides the heroes that changed my tire, this trip reminds me of all the men and women who heroically crossed this nation in covered wagons and faced dangers of all sorts to settle our country from coast to coast.

Please share with us the story of a road trip you have taken.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reunited Hearts Interview

How exciting to have Trent the hero from Reunited Hearts Ruth Logan Herne an April, 2011 release from Love Inspired Romance!

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

I’ve never found myself all that interesting, but if you ask the residents of Jamison, New York, they’d tell you that finding me in a field, lost and alone, a four-year-old little boy dumped by his parents, well… I kind of became the town mascot. The town child. I had a nice foster family, but the whole town watched over me. Looked out for me. And that was great, but I never felt normal. What’s normal about parents trashing their kid along an Interstate? Nothing. But the worst of it was they dumped my little brother Clay a couple of counties east. Clay didn’t make it. I did.

2. What do you do for fun?

Well, this one takes some thought. I don’t do fun. I should, but I have fun working. Helping others. Developing opportunities for others, just like the town did for me as a kid. I love the army. West Point. Serving. But I knew I couldn’t stay there, not when I heard Jamison was in trouble. The town fell on rough times financially, and well… With a smack upside the head by the Holy Spirit, I KNEW I could help. It meant coming back. Setting the wheels in motion. Getting a job with Walker Electronics, a great small company I believed would do well with military contracts. And military contracts mean more jobs to the whole area. A win/win.

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

Nothing. Ever. That would be wrong.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Being alone. Living alone. Dying alone. I want a family. I want the dream. I want to belong to someone, some time.

5. What do you want out of life?

Nothing physical. Well, I like to drive a decent car. And I like the sweet old house I bought on McCallister Street, it’s one of those old colonials and I knew it was meant for me the minute I saw it. Of course Cory was excited about it… Oh, wait, you don’t know Cory. She’s Alyssa’s daughter, probably the cutest little thing known to mankind, all big blue eyes and mops of curls and the cutest little speech issues going on. I hate to correct them because, well… they’re that cute. Like her.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

My faith. Living it, not just talking it. Walking the walk. Helping others be the best they can be. But ultimately it’s my love of God and country, knowing I’m here for a purpose. A goal. Even if I’m not sure what that is all the time, I know God drives me toward it.

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

I love edge of your seat books. Thrillers. Espionage. Nothing tame, unless it’s something I’m reading to Cory. She likes things like Goodnight Moon. And stories about dogs.

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

I’d relax more. Slow down. Smell the proverbial roses. Take a walk. Play on the swings. I love playing football with Jaden. Oh, yeah, that’s right, you haven’t met Jay. He’s the son I didn’t know I had. He was born twelve years ago, when I was in my first year at West Point and when you’re at West Point you cannot be married or responsible for a child.

So yeah, Alyssa and I, we went too far. We were young. In love. And then she dumped me, and I didn’t get it because she loved me. I knew it.

But she walked, headed off to college, and never told me about the baby because she knew I’d give up my appointment to West Point to take care of her and our baby. Because nothing’s more important than family. Family is a gift to be loved. Cherished. Held close to your heart. I guess when you have family, you might not understand what a miracle that is. It amazes me to think I have a son. And it angers me to imagine what I missed, but I’m trying to understand Alyssa’s reasoning.

I won’t pretend that’s easy.

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

No time for pets in the military, but I like dogs. And Cory’s been pestering for a dog, so maybe if I have one, she’ll come visit me. And bring her mother. Did I mention that Alyssa is even more beautiful (if that’s possible) now than she was in high school? That dark hair that gets just a little auburn in the sun?

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

World War II. I’d have a go at Hitler. Probably on a European offensive. But I like the here and now, being back home in Jamison, seeing the hills deepen with summer green. Watching the kids play on the Park Round playground. Stopping in to see Reverend Hannity and his wife. She sent me cookies all the years I was gone, a taste of home, she called them. Coming back here was as close to a home as I’ve got and every now and again… Well, I guess, every now and again I wonder if this could be home. A real home. Clay’s here. His little body is in a sunny corner of the town cemetery, just south of the gnarled oak. The town marked his grave with a beautiful carved stone, a stone engraved with twining ivy beneath a ball and a bat. Clay loved to play ball. Someday we’ll have a catch again, him and me. But right now my days are filled with football and Jaden. He’s amazing. A natural. And a born leader. And Cory likes to be in on everything, always laughing. Smiling. And grabbing my hand, tugging me places.

After so many years of leading in the military, I had no idea how good it would feel to have a little kid lead me along. I could get used to this.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

FEATURED BOOK: REUNITED HEARTS BY RUTH LOGAN HERNE


Back in his hometown, military hero Trent Michaels comes face-to-face with a twelve-year-old boy who looks just like him. Same dark curly hair. Same blue eyes. And the boy calls Trent's old flame, Alyssa Langley, mom. Trent was a foster kid from the wrong side of the tracks when he fell in love with Alyssa. But she cast him aside because he wasn't good enough—or so he thought. Now Trent is determined to connect with his newfound son. And to get the truth from the woman he never stopped loving….

Friday, April 15, 2011


Elnora is both joyous and depressed. This Sunday I will turn 55! Yes, offically middle-aged and getting older by the minute. I don't mind the number so much as the aches and pains and wrinkles. Old age isn't for sissies, after all. But I plan to embrace this milestone. I'm thowing myself a party! A big backyard picnic to also celebrate the release of my 45th book "Hometown Sweetheart." And yes, all cyber gifts are welcome. Elnora loves presents. Especially your presence here on our blog.

How do you handle old age?

Here are some old age adages:

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was? Satchel Paige

Adults are obsolete children. Dr. Seuss

Just remember when you're over the hill, you pick up speed. Charles Schulz

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. Mae West

I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. Mae West

Men become much more attractive when they start looking older. But it doesn't do much for women, though we do have an advantage: make-up. Bette Davis

I married an archaeologist because the older I grow, the more he appreciates me.
Agatha Christie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leigh Bale Muses About Her Daughter's Wedding

You might recall my daughter is getting married soon. Planning everything for this great event has continued to proceed amidst meeting my new book deadlines and a new book coming out next week: The Forest Ranger’s Promise. This book is dedicated to my father, who is my first greatest hero. Check for it in Wal Mart, K-Mart, grocery stores or your local bookstore after the 19th. It’s officially a May release, but Wal Mart always gets them in earlier. This is the first book in a new series and the second book titled The Forest Ranger’s Husband will be available the end of October. Both books have page-turning scenes I think you’ll enjoy. To find out more info, visit my website at: www.LeighBale.com

We will be holding our daughter’s wedding reception in our back yard. To get the yard as beautiful as possible, we needed to complete a barren back hill area. You know those useless hills your home builder sticks in your back yard and then includes it into the overall acreage? What can you do with them? Nothing! So we decided to wait until we could afford to do something constructive with our hill. We’ve lived in our home for a number of years, but had put off doing anything to this back hill area for want of time, energy and financial resources to do what we really wanted. Which is to terrace it with rock walls for a couple of reasons. First, I want to be able to climb that hill in my older age to weed up there without being in danger of taking a serious fall. Second, I want to be able to plant bushes, trees and flowers up there that will look attractive with the rest of the yard.



This past week, we finally put in the rock walls to terrace the hill. What do you think? My husband and I are over the moon. It is just what we envisioned. In fact, the terracing has made it so we have basically almost doubled the plantable area of our yard. Last weekend, we picked up a variety of lilac bushes, honeysuckle and Lydia broom plants. We’re planning to plant a variety of perennial and annual flowers on the bottom row. The bushes are small now, but they’ll grow and we’ll get to watch them morph into large, fragrant flowering bushes over the years. I’m also planning to put in a weeping mulberry tree. The weather where we live promises to be in the 70’s this weekend, so we’re going to be out there planting and putting water up on the hill. I can’t wait! I think our daughter’s wedding reception is going to be beautiful. Now I better get back to work writing my next book, right? :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lyn Cote's December book-Her Healing Ways RT

I caught up with Lyn Cote yesterday and asked her to share a few thoughts with us on being the Romantic Times Winner of the Best Love Inspired Historical of 2010 for her book, Her Healing Ways. Here is what she had to say...

1. Where were you when you got the RT call and what were you doing?

I was sitting at my laptop as usual. And it wasn't a "call" but an email. RT wanted to know if I'd be attending the RT Convention in LA in April because I was the winner of.... I emailed them back my regrets and the kicker is--since I'm not going I don't get a plaque. Which is fine with me because I'm not a "plaque-displaying" kind of person. :-)


2. Who was the first person you called/emailed?

No one actually. They didn't tell me to keep my trap shut but for once, I thought it would be better if I did. :-)


3.Does this book have a special meaning to you? If so, tell us about it.


I've always been fascinated by the Quakers and by the changes brought by the Civil War.

Her Healing Ways is the third in my "Gabriel Sisters" series, about three Quaker sisters who try to help heal the nation after the horrible war. The first was Her Captain's Heart, and featured Verity who went south to open a Freedman's School to teach former slaves how to read and write and prepare them for citizenship. The second was Her Patchwork Family and featured Felicity who moved to an Illinois Mississippi River town to set up an orphanage to care for children--black and white--orphaned by the war. (This book also finaled for American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award last year.) Each of these fictional women had a passion for doing what God had called them to do. I think that is what makes them special to me. I hope to follow their example. :-)



4. Did you celebrate in any special way with your family and friends?


No, it's really business as usual around here though my dh was impressed with me. He's such a dear. While I have the chance, I'd like to thank my editor, Tina James. She made my book better which is the mark of a good editor. And I'd like to say that this award could easily have gone to any one of the other finalists:

ROCKY MOUNTAIN MATCH
Pamela Nissen, STEEPLE HILL, (June 2010)

DANGEROUS ALLIES
Renee Ryan, STEEPLE HILL, (September 2010)

THE OUTLAW'S BRIDE
Catherine Palmer, STEEPLE HILL, (September 2010)

PRAIRIE COURTSHIP
Dorothy Clark, STEEPLE HILL, (October 2010)


If you'd like to see the finalists for the other Love Inspired lines, scroll down till you find Love Inspired at http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-awards/nominees-and-winners?award_type=book


Thanks so much Lyn! From all of us at the CRAFTIE LADIES of Love Inspired Romance, CONGRATULATIONS!

Many blessings, Lisa Mondello




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Story Mastery with Michael Hauge

Terri Reed here and I’m starting a new book, as of yet untitled, but will be a June 2012 release. My book will be the sixth book in a new Love Inspired Suspense continuity series about an Irish Christian family with a long history of public service. The setting will be a fictional town in Massachusetts called Fitzgerald Bay. Already, this is a place I'd like to visit with a wonderful cast of characters. So keep an eye out next January for the first book in the series by Shirlee McCoy.

So back to my new project, before I ever sit down at the computer I do a lot of pre-writing. Mostly done by hand in a spiral notebook. Yes, I’m a plotter, through and through. I have to have my road map, or in other words, a detailed synopsis. But before I even write that, I have to develop my characters. To me, this is the most important part of writing since so much of story comes out of the characters. I use several methods, gleaning various processes from many different brilliant authors and teachers.

The most recent tool I have added to my pre-writing comes from story master, Michael Hauge. http://storymastery.com/

Last year I attended a workshop where Michael shared his expertise with us and helped me to delve deeper into my characters. I was stuck in the middle of a book at the time, my January 2011 release Daughter of Texas, book one of Texas Ranger Justice from Love Inspired Suspense. My heroine wasn't working. There was something about her that was eluding me. By the time the workshop was over, my heroine was a fully developed, sympathetic character that readers could root for. Thank you, Michael!

For those of you who will be in NYC this summer for Romance Writers of America’s national conference www.rwanational.org , look for Michael’s workshops. You won’t be disappointed!




Monday, April 11, 2011

California Girls!

Here we are! Six Love Inspired authors at the Romantic Times convention in LA. Oh, you can count? There's eight in the photo. Yup, you're correct! So, go ahead, see if you can figure out who we - plus two editors from Harlequin - are. I'll give you a hint. I'm in the photo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hometown Sweetheart Interview

How exciting to have _Simon Adams the hero from Hometown Sweetheart by Lenora Worth, an April release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Simon, tell me the most interesting thing about you. I’m not that interesting. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I like to work. I’m a boot-maker. I like solitude.

2. What do you do for fun? Ah, nothing. I listen to my country music and go for long walks near the Chattahoochee River. Usually my brother’s dog, Shiloh, is with me.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it? Going out in public. I like my privacy. My clients come to my workshop to have their boots hand made. That’s about as public as I get.

4. What are you afraid of most in life? Giving my heart to someone again.

5. What do you want out of life? Mostly, to be left alone.

6. What is the most important thing to you? My work. I love what I do. I like creating a perfect pair of hand-crafted cowboy boots. It’s a lost art.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book? I read a lot since I’m alone most of the time. I like westerns, mysteries and anything to do with my craft.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I need to reach out to my family more. They mean well, always checking on me and trying to set me up with women. But … I’m still not over my wife. She died a few years ago. Cancer.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? I have a pet, but Shiloh is my brother’s dog. Somehow, I got stuck with the big mutt because he’s like a bull in a China shop, so he can’t go to town and stay at the General Store anymore. I think my brother Rick leaves that dog with me just so I won’t be alone.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? The wild west, of course. I’d probably get in trouble and wind up in jail, but that sure would be fun. And … it would be a good place to hide away.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FEATURED BOOK: HOMETOWN SWEETHEART BY LENORA WORTH


Seven unruly kids have moved next door to Simon Adams's mountain cabin. On a church retreat, these rambunctious rascals and their perky teacher, Shanna White, prove to be too much for one reclusive craftsman to handle. Plus, they're a big reminder of everything Simon lost, especially his chance for marriage and family. All he wants is to be left alone, but soon he's drawn in by the kids' shenanigans—and by Shanna herself. Can a brooding mountain man and a sweet lady live happily ever after?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ask Elnora--About remodeling your kitchen???


Yes, we're renovating. Well, Elnora is staying up in her office while Big Daddy renovates. My darling husband is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. Things get colorful around my house whenever a renovation is going on. Loud snarling noises drift up the stairs to my office. The cat runs and hides under the bed. Hammers fly, nails sail and sooner or later, I hear a burly voice from the bottom of the stairs.

"I have to go to Lowe's. Or maybe Home Depot. I need ......" He always needs a part, or more grout or a new measuring tape. The house is quiet for a while then I hear saws cranking up, tiles being cut, the cat's dreadful meow of protest. White sheets of dust start floating up the staircase like the ghosts of projects past. But sometimes, even Big Daddy hires out the job.

Then I get to wait for even more burly men to appear at the door, usually carrying tool belts and water bottles and kitchen counters! Then more sawing and colorful language and dust flying through the air. So ... what's to be done about renovations? Is there an easy way to remodel a room without all the nasty stuff such as cluttered closets and cabinets having to be straightened or 25 different sets of placemats having to be sorted???How do I get rid of all that carpenter dust?? Somebody tell me? Or ask me what I've learned watching HGTV????

And by the way, if you have a question for Elnora or any of our lovely ladies, please send it to me through my website: www.lenoraworth.com. We want YOU to ask for our advice!!!!!We'll post your question here on the next Friday and give you a proper answer. And I'll even throw in a book or two. I'll draw a name from the questions sent to me and YOU might win a prize. (No, not a gift card to Home Depot or Lowe's--or maybe that is a good one!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Fever


Hi, this is Margaret Daley. I have got spring fever bad. I don't want to do anything but play and yet I have a lot of work to do. What do you do when you have spring fever? Do you give into it and play and play? Or do you do something to get yourself back on track? Outside it is gorgeous today. Sunny and the high will be in the low 70s. Flowers and trees are coming out. The brown landscape is greening up. I even have the urge to go outside and work in the yard. If you know me--that is radical thinking on my part. I don't do yard work. Of course, it could be worse. I could live on a tropical island and have the ocean calling me. Now that would be hard to resist when I have work to do. So what do you do when you have spring fever?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Allie Pleiter on Keeping Track

With the release of YUKON WEDDING today, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about treasures.  I’ve been pondering what makes them, why we hide them, what happens when we lose them or when we grab the wrong ones.  There’s a lot to ponder.
Some of the best treasures are tokens, or milestones. Wedding rings, my first valentine from my husband, the signed bat White Sox baseball star AJ Pierzynski gave my son this past summer--objects that call up a host of happy or significant memories.  We are a tactile species; things around us can spur memories when we interact with them.
In my book, Lana has a brooch she wears every day to remind her of the woman she believed she could have been (and still is, somewhere inside).  Her life changes when the brooch is damaged, and it spurs her to take drastic new steps.  I have something close to that:  I have a bracelet--two of them, in fact, that I wear everyday.  Each bead represents something specific and positive in my life.  It is a celebration of sorts--our generation’s version of the charm bracelet.  Pandora and Trollbeads were the first to market these, but there have been many versions in recent years.  I buy a bead to celebrate an achievement or a milestone, and I deliberately never buy them to memorialize sad occasions. It’s like wearing a timeline of optimism around my wrist, my life’s blessings in baubles.
How to you collect your blessings?  Do you mark them at all?  Would you like to? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daddy in the Making Interview

How exciting to have Jeannie Broussard the heroine from Daddy in the Making, an April 2011 release by Lyn Cote from Love Inspired Romance.

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

I don't know that I'm much of an interesting person. I just work hard to provide a home for my sweet nieces, Mimi and Cindy. They'll be eight years old later this year.

2. What do you do for fun?

I love taking the girls to a Disney movie occasionally and maybe out for ice cream.

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

I hate to ask people for help. I like to do for myself and my girls.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

That something will happen to me and my girls will lose me like they lost their mother like Carrie and I lost our mother. The twins were only a week old when my sister Carrie left and never came back.

5. What do you want out of life?

I want a good life for my girls.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

My girls and being a good Mom to them. My own mother wasn't able to take care of Carrie and my sister. I've always believed that was part of why Carrie disappeared. I don't know if I'll ever see her again.

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

I really don't have much time, but I did read a Love Inspired romance recently Winter Reunion by Roxanne Rustand and it was just lovely, about a Marine coming home and falling in love with his ex-wife. I love happy endings.

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

I'd like to be smarter and have done better in school.

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

We just got kittens! The girls named them Peanut Butter and Twinkie. We found them in the snow and rescued them. That's how I met the vet Jake McClure, he's such a kind man. And he has this great basset hound, named Bummer that the girls just love and he loves them back. In fact, Bummer preferring the girls has been a bit embarrassing.

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

I have enough to keep me busy here and now. I don't have time for such. When I do daydream, it's about the real house the girls and I will have in the spring through Habitat for Humanity. And sometimes I imagine Bummer and Jake McClure stopping by and us cooking out this summer. That would be so much fun!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FEATURED BOOK: DADDY IN THE MAKING BY LYN COTE


Dr. Jake McClure's basset hound has fallen in love. With a single mom, her adorable twins and the orphaned kittens they rescued. Man's best friend suddenly won't budge from Jeannie Broussard's home—and Jake can understand why. Jeannie's place is full of love, laughter and everything Jake has been missing in his life lately. As Jake spends time with Jeannie and her girls, a bond forges between them, and soon Jake is wondering if he's the perfect fit in this fatherless family….

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ask Elnora--About Rude People--Lenora Worth


Darlings, Elnora is a bit frazzled. I've had a busy week watching my husband (Big Daddy) remodeling our kitchen. Elnora was forced to put my coffee pot in the powder room since I was not allowed in the kitchen while the new tile was drying. A small sacrifice to finally get the kitchen I've been dreaming about since we bought this house. Our refrigerator is in the front foyer, which makes for interesting conversation when we have visitors. And of course we always have visitors when I have on no make-up and am nursing a migraine.

Today, Elnora and Big Daddy went to pick out the new counters. Mark the counter man was very interesting and decisive. I've never seen Big Daddy write a check so fast! We picked out a lovely golden and cream marble with shots of red running through it. I'm designing my kitchen around a picture of a feisty rooster standing in front of a fleur-de-lis and wearing Mardi Gras beads. It was created by local artist Ron Atwood.
But I digress. After all that decision making, we needed some refreshment so we stopped at that place with the golden arches. The people behind the counter didn't seem to realize they had customers. In fact, they kind of ignored us. Elnora ordered a skinny vanilla latte and never got it because no one seemed to know how to make it.
This was not good. With a huff, I demanded my money back and Big Daddy stomped and stewed and we left. Now normally I don't have a hissy fit waiting for a cup of coffee. Okay, maybe I've had a few. But ... this is the question of the day--

Why are people so rude? This is no April Fooling!!! Why can't people just smile and do their jobs? Or at least ask someone to help them do their jobs? Do you have an answer or a question to add? Can we discuss? What is the problem? Why can't everyone be as nice and helpful as Mark the counter man????