Saturday, March 31, 2012

FEATURED BOOK: SANCTUARY FOR A LADY BY NAOMI RAWLINGS



The injured young woman Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat. And in the midst of France's bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to heal.Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke's daughter cannot hope for mercy in France, so escaping to England is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be….

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Lent??? Lenora Worth

Easter is on the way. Elnora has always loved the Easter season. Maybe because Elnora's birthday is in April. And Elnora loves presents! I also love Palm Sunday. I love how at our church the children will walk in waving their palm branches. We all know that Easter brings the sadness of what Christ went through for us, but it also brings the grace and beauty and the meaning of what being a Christian is all about. We are going through Lent right now. Usually, Elnora gives up chocolate or ice cream for Lent, even shopping! But this year, I decided I'd try something different. I'd try not to speak as much. I know--you're all laughing at that one. It hasn't been easy, let me tell you. But I've tried to not speak so much in a bossy way. I'm trying very hard to give up being bossy. I'm letting go of control in a lot of areas. I think because I'm about to make an important life change when we move to our retirement condo later this year, I've learned to be still and know that God is in control. I don't raise my hand to be the first to volunteer as much as I used to. I don't feel that nagging need to be in charge, to go forth and steamroll my way into a project. I don't feel the need to be the first to speak up in a group or to remind others of what we need to be doing and when. I'm learning to do what I do as a writer--sit back and observe. It's been quite refreshing to do this. Amazing how silence can bring so many answers. I haven't always been successful at this task, this letting go, this being silent. Especially when I see so much injustice in the world and I wonder why the world has to be so cruel. But I have always been an Easter person. I have always believed in spring and renewal and hope. Christ gave me that hope. Lent is just part of the journey. Someone at church was talking about the children's moments and one of our pastors was asking about Lent. One of the children spoke up and said that was the stuff that comes out of the dryer. Everyone thought this was really funny and it is. But that kid might be onto something. Lint is mostly fibers and dust. And we know from our ashes that we are only dust, after all. We return to dust but our spirits return to God in Heaven. So that got me to wondering? What kind of lint have you found in your Lent? What have you let go, what have you cleaned out, what have you swept away? Children are shrewd in their innocence. Sometimes, it is the stuff that comes out of the dryer, sometimes it's the stuff that gets caught in that trap in our brains, that stuff that clouds our judgment and holds us down. Let's discuss--Can we let go of the lint in these last days of Lent??

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meet Olufisayo

Lenora says: Last year we had a new visitor to the Craftie Ladies Blog and thankfully, she is now a regular. Her name is Olufisayo Alabi and she lives in Nigeria. She loves reading and writing Christian fiction. She and I have become so close she calls me MUM and I call her Daughter. She e-mails me almost every day with a prayer and little tidbits of her life in Nigeria. Her husband is a minister and she has two growing boys. She recently received a promotion of sorts at her job and she shared that joy with me. She has created a website to help writers. I'll let her tell you how to get to the site. It sounds so interesting and promising. Olufisayo loves our books but they aren't available where she lives. She reads a lot of the short stories on the Harlequin site. I've sent her a few books and writing materials because she wants to write her own stories. I hope we can send her more. Olufisayo is kind and hardworking and she is a blessing in my life. So enjoy this interview with her and if you'd like to send her some books, let me know. I have her mailing address! I'm blessed to have Olufisayo in my life. I've been reading and editing her short story for a while now. She has tremendous potential. She was so excited to find our blog on the very day our editors were taking questions from bloggers. I even mentioned her to one of them--so Olufisayo-don't give up. You might become a Love Inspired author one day! I sure hope so.


Olufisayo says: I am Olufisayo Grace Alabi. I will be 35 this month (24th). I am married to a pastor, I have two lovely sons - Testimony and Teniola (Fortune). I am a working mother. I am a graduate of Mass Communication (which I studied because of my love for writing). I havewritten about eight (yet-to-be-published) books. Summarily, I live for reading and writing (smiles)


How did you discover Love Inspired Romance and how long have you been reading them?

I started working in a cybercafe in 2010, so I had time to surf theweb. I read all online stories at Heartsong Presents, (that was thefirst christian romance I ever knew!) then I started looking for freebooks to read. Someone borrowed me one Harlequin Intrigue then Idecided to visit the website. Oh, the joy of seeing free on-linereads! I started reading the daily and weekly online reads and thatwas how I came across A COWBOY'S PROMISE. It was my first LI. I saw the word 'Lord' there and wondered if romantic Harlequin has a spacefor God. I saw related reads and read all Terri Reeds online reads(Key witness, Yuletide Peril, etc) I actually tried contacting her but could not. In the course of my research, I came across this wonderful blog and became addicted ever since! I searched my local bookstores for LI series butcouldn't find any until my 'Mum', Lenora Worth, sent me threewonderful hard copies.


What is your favorite Love Inspired Romance?

Why?Lenora Worth's book, Hometown Sweetheart, a take on Snowhite. I read it within 3 hours! I just could not put it down.I re-read it over last weekend too. I love it because it shows how persistent love can transform a grumpyman into a lovingly persistent man. It's a nice one, just like the cartoon on Snowhite that I watched with my boys (I love cartoons too). The author took time to marry the hero and heroine's works to the plot. I learned that from the book.


What are you reading today?

Online reads - Donnely's Promise by Cherill St.John and An Enduring Love by Jillian Hart (both online)


Do you write, also? If so, tell us what you’re working on?

I am working on a story for Love Inspired with the suggested title,Her Worst Enemy. It would be a dream come true if I am published byLove Inspired.


Besides the Craftie Ladies, tell us two or three other Blogs you like to visit and why.

Well, Craftie Ladies is my main blog, others I got to know through Craftie.


What are your three favorite books of all time (I know, hard to narrow it
down
). Tell us, what spiraled them to the top of your list? What did the author do that won you over?

1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It was a story of how oneman replaced another (to be killed) because of his love for a woman(who eventually became the other man's wife). It touched me, I cried,because it shows me what Christ did for me.

2. The Sound of Music. It makes me look inward to that inner strenghtand gift (like Maria in the story) and be the best I can be, in thecourse of helping others.

3. Beyond Pardon. A lady innocently made a mistake by falling in loveand eloping with a married man. On the ship, she found out he was married and she corrected her mistake. The marriage was notc onsummated. She became a nun and later helped save the life of many children, including the man's child. It touched me and taught asacrificial and restitution lesson.


Anything else you'd like to add?

I must let you wonderful women realize that I greatly appreciate your work. Way back in high school, I read all novels in my school library(all Nancy Drews stories) and I wanted more. Then M&B etc started coming. I read them but I did not like the love scenes and so I decided that there should be a romance book without love (sex) scenes.That was why I chose writing as a career. It is a great inspiration to now see a trail to follow. I believe that one day, I will get there. Love you all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick and easy jambalaya

Hi! Winnie Griggs here. Jambalaya is one of my favorite foods partly because it is so versatile. I fix it often and never the exact same way twice. Cooking it 'right' takes a bit of time, but over the years, I've come up with a few short cuts for when I'm in a hurry. That's the version I cooked for supper last night and I thought I'd share the recipe with you today


I keep instant rice along with dehydrated versions of onions, green onions and celery on hand for just such times.

Take whatever meat you have on hand - last night I used some left over turkey and some sausage I had in the freezer - totaled about two or so pounds of meat.

Toss the meat in the skillet with some fat free italian dressing in place of cooking oil.

Cook the instant rice using package instructions (I also add chicken bullion cubes to the boiling water for added flavor).

Reconstitute the veggies (I don't measure, but ballpark it was two tablespoons of the onion, one tablespoon of the green onions and probably a teaspoon of the celery) and add them to the meat.

Let the meat and seasonings sautee for about fifteen minutes, adding water as necessary to keep from burning.

Stir in the cooked rice, a dash of worcestershire sauce and whatever seasonings strike your fancy (I like cajun spices) and let cook another fifteen minutes or so until flavors blend well.

And that's it - stove to table in 40 minutes. As I said, nothing beats the flavor of my momma's way of cooking it, but this is a satisfying second!

So what about you - do you have a favorite version of this down home meal that you want to share?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pamela Tracy's Dark and Stormy Night Tale




It was a dark and stormy night as the rabid reader climbs the trellis outside the suspense novelist’s home. Looking right and left, Rabid Reader assures herself that she hasn’t been seen. Good. She’s trained for this day.



Dressed in black, she feels a bit like a cat burglar. Only it isn’t jewels she wants; it’s information.



After she climbs through the conveniently unlocked window and lands quietly on soft carpet, she tiptoes across the bedroom and looks down the hallway. There, two doors down, comes a soft light. That's the room! The office where Pamela Tracy works, writes stories, stories that have driven Rabid Reader to tonight’s deed.


Pamela: Ouch. Hey, what’s with the rope?

Rabid Reader: I’ve tied you up. Now you won’t be able to type another work until you tell me all your secrets.

Pamela: Secrets? Me? I’m on deadline? I’m too tired to have secrets.

Rabid Reader (waving the cover of Pamela’s last Love Inspired Suspense Clandestine Cover-Up) : It’s all your fault. I start these stories, and I have to read them in one setting because I have to know whodunit.

Pamela: And you’re telling me this why?

Rabid Reader: So I can finally wake up in the morning with more than five hours sleep, so I won’t be looking at my clock all day and thinking when can I get back to the book, so I won’t be at work and wondering if I’m – just like the heroines in your book - just one step from the extraordinary, so…

Pamela: I get it. You’re wondering how a suspense writer works? Specifically how I, a wife, teacher, mother, friend, come up with these plots that keep you guessing until the end?

Rabid Reader: Yeah.

Pamela: Untie me and I’ll tell you.

Rabid Reader (picking up a bookmark and aiming it at Pam): No, I don’t trust you.

Pamela: Good, never trust a suspense novelist. We just might put you in a book.

Rabid Reader: That would be grand. I love all this characterization stuff you guys do. Just what do you do?

Pamela: My heroines are always 1/3 me, 1/3 someone I know, and 1/3 spunk. My heroes depend on the book I’m writing.

Rabid Reader: What are you working on now?

Pamela: Well, right now I'm working on the line edits for a Love Inspired contemporary. It will be out in December and is called Once Upon a Christmas. Not very suspensy.



Rabid Reader: No, not very suspensy.



Pamela: You want me to talk about Clandestine Cover-Up?



Rabid Reader: Yes, I love suspense.



Pamela: Well, my hero is a handyman. He’s really Vincent D’Onofrio from Mystic Pizza, only he’s a handyman who’s afraid to commit but not afraid to come to the heroine’s rescue.

Rabid Reader: Oh, I wish I could meet him.

Pamela: Buy the book online.

Rabid Reader: I will. Hey, you have a television in your office. Way cool. What are you watching?
Pamela: Bones.

Rabid Reader: Is that your favorite show?

Pamela: No, I do like it, but I watch it for mood only. You can’t trust it for fact. See, the investigators on the show have way too much freedom with crime scenes. When I write, I have to pay attention to what my readers will believe. Personally, I don’t believe all I see on Bones. I actually am really into The Gilmore Girls right now. On DVD, of course, during their heyday I was much too busy meeting deadlines to get to watch.

Rabid Reader: Judging by your books, I’d not take you as a Gilmore Girls fan.

Pamela: My critique group actually made me stop watching the Gilmore Girls. They said I was starting to put cutesy stuff in my suspense novels.

Rabid Reader: Where’s your critique group now? If they were loyal writer buds, they’d be here rescuing you.

Pamela: They’re too busy to rescue me. We all have a three pages a day goal. Then, we meet once every two weeks for critique. They’re brutal, which a suspense writer really needs.

Rabid Reader (Finding Clandestine Cover-Up on her Kindle and waving it around): You mean, you wrote this book at just three pages a day.

Pamela: Well, I wish I’d written it in three pages a day increments. But really, I have a full-time job (college professor), a husband, a son (in elementary school) and so many other things to do (clean house, attend church, judge contests) that I’d start with my three pages a book goal (Did you know that at three pages a day, you can write three books a year?) and eventually I’d be behind and start trying for five pages a day until I’d be really behind and writing ten pages a day for ten days. It works. By the time I get to the last 100 pages, I’m flying.

Rabid Reader (frowning at book): Wow, a college professor. Do most writers have day jobs?

Pamela: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

Rabid Reader: Do you get your ideas during your day job?

Pamela: No, the book you’re holding, Fugitive Family, I got that idea while standing in line at the bank. I was looking at the mirror that shows the customer line, and I thought to myself, “Ummm, do I really look like that?” I’m pretty sure I also thought to myself, “Ummm, no more candy for me!” A whole book idea came from that moment.

Rabid Reader: A whole book idea!

Pamela: And you’re holding it in your hand.

Rabid Reader (staring at book): So, the idea came complete, all you had to do is write it?

Pamela: No, I had to write the synopsis, which is never easy for me. I always know my beginning and my end, but the middle is pretty much a mystery. I have four papers with two columns on them. I label the first column with the heroine’s name and the next column with the hero’s. Then, I starting coming up with at least three harrowing events per chapter that will happen to both. In Fugitive Family, there’s warnings posted on doors, flattened tires, tornados, corpses. Oops, I’m telling you too much. I need you to buy the book and then read it. Oh, and I also research. I found a bank manager and investigated what his life was like because I made the hero a bank manager. The heroine is a lawyer. Then, I also researched things like fallout shelters and go-go boots and stalkers and-

Rabid Reader: Stop, all of those things are in here! In one little book. See, that’s why I broke in tonight. You put all this great suspense in a book, and then I buy it, and pretty soon I’m losing sleep because I try to read it in one setting.

Pamela: I think you lose sleep because you’re reading and training to be a cat burglar when you should be sleeping.

Rabid Reader: Do you have a cat?

Pamela: Yes, his name is Tyre.

Rabid Reader (suddenly studying the walls and pictures in Pamela’s office): Do you have any jewels?

Pamela: Hey, I thought you were here to find out how I wrote books?

Rabid Reader: Yeah, but you just told me that most writers have day jobs. I’ll be a cat burglar by night and a writer by day. Thanks for helping me out.








Novelist Pamela Tracy lives in Arizona with a her husband, son, and cat. She was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and started writing at age twelve (A very bad teen romance featuring David Cassidy from the Partridge Family). Later, she honed her writing skills while earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas (And wrote a very bad science fiction novel that didn’t feature David Cassidy.) She’s a Carol Award winner and has been a RITA finalist. She's written for both Barbour, Summerside, and Kensington. Today, she writes both suspense and contemporary romance for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired line.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Find Us Faithful

Leann Harris here. In church Sunday morning we had a special men's choir. I love an all male choir, the richness of their voices always touches me. They sang the hymn "Find us Faithful" and it hit me square in the heart.

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Those words sank into my soul. Am I leaving a life that will point my children and their children to God?

And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.

We are examples to our children. And when I think of my parents and my husband's parents, I know they've left a rich heritage to my husband, my children, and me.
The link below is to Steve Green singing the song. Listen to the words and let them touch your soul.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eERKnxzNzwg&feature=related

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What the Crafties are Reading

Vicki Bylin: I'm reading Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. A friend recommended it. Awesome book about deepening one's faith. I'm about halfway and savoring every word, every concept.

Patty Smith Hall just finished 'The Temporary Wife' by Mary Balough. It's one of her earlier novels and while it was good, I can see the progression Balough has made with her storytelling and writing. It serves as encouragement for a newbie author like me!



Lenora Worth: I'm reading "Shattered Silence" (an ARC) by Margaret Daley. Very suspenseful and intense so far!!! :)


Pamela Tracy: I'm reading The Lost Girls of Johnson's Bayou by Jana DeLeon. It's an Harlequin Intrigue,and quite honestly the cover sold me. I'm about a third of the way through the book.

Lacy Williams: I'm reading "The Witness" by Grace Livingston Hill. I got is as a Kindle freebie and the first chapter sucked me in.



Sandra Orchard: I'm reading Saving Hope by Margaret Daley, because I love Margaret's books. :)



Merrillee Whren: I’m reading When Sparrows Fall by Margaret Mosely. She was a Golden Heart finalist with me in 2003.



Carrie Turansky: I am reading To Marry An English Lord, by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace, for research….and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, by Julie Klassen, for fun.



Missy Tippens: I'm reading a non-fiction book at the moment, Hidden in the Rubble: A Haitian Pilgrimage to Compassion and Resurrection by Gerard Thomas Straub. A friend loaned it to me recently while my son was on a mission trip to Haiti.



Winnie Griggs: I'm currently reading The Baby Who Saved Dr. Cynical - the first Mills & Boon Medical Romance by my good friend Connie Cox. I'm about 1/2 way through and finding it's a great emotional read.



Christine Johnson: I'm reading A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman because it's set in the 1920s. Since I write books set in the early 20s, I generally avoid fiction depicting that time period. Weird, I know, but it's me. At the moment I'm working in another era, so I can enjoy Julie's take on the 1920s. Also, this is the first novel I'm attempting to read on an ereader. I still love the feel of paper, the smell of a new book, and the gorgeous cover art, which I get to enjoy every time I glance at a print book. The ereader does have the advantage of larger font size. Sigh...I guess that's a sign of age.


Karen Kirst: I'm reading Linda Goodnight's Harlequin Romance The Least Likely Groom. Loving the hero Jett! (Awesome name, right?)



Jean C. Gordon: I'm reading Smitten, Love is on the way. I'm having a hectic week and the short, cute, heartwarming novellas are just right for the few minutes a day I can catch to read.



Naomi Rawlings: I'm reading Engaging the Earl by Mandy Goff. It's one of this month's Love Inspired Historical releases. And I'm loving the combination of society wit and serious expectations.



Linda Goodnight: I'm re-reading Forgiving, an old historical romance by Lavyrle Spencer, my all-time favorite author. I'm re-reading it because I love her word choices, metaphors, and her powerful characterizations and emotion -- and because her stories are just so beautifully woven.



Louise M. Gouge: P. D. James's Death Comes to Pemberly because my husband gave it to me for Christmas. Regarding style, it is totally "told." We're all over the place in POVs, and there is an assumption that the reader knows the characters from Pride and Prejudice. All that being said, it's a lot of fun to read. I'm about halfway through.



Debby Giusti: I'm reading Brandilyn Collins' OVER THE EDGE, about the Lyme Disease war. A fascinating suspense! I did an in-depth article on Lyme in my freelance days and actually interviewed the PhD who endorsed her book. Love reading Brandilyn's fiction tale of what is actually happening to so many folks. I can't put it down. As you probably now, Brandilyn has Lyme so she has lived this story. An excellent read that I highly recommend.




Sherri Shackelford: My 12 1/2 year old daughter has asked to read The Hunger Games, so I just downloaded the book to my kindle. I'm only on page one...but that's what I'm reading.



Margaret Daley: I'm reading Love Finds You in Sunflower, Kansas, by Pamela Tracy because it is by one of my favorite people.



Terri Reed: I'm reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. This is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I started the series because my kids were reading them and I wanted to see what it was that had them so enthralled. I expected to not like the books for several reasons. The books are written in 1st person POV. I'm not a fan of 1st person POV. And not only that but the author alternates between present tense and past tense, which felt very clunky at first. It took me several chapters to become used to this style of writing. I also expect the subject matter to be a turn off. It is violent and gut wrenching. However, the author does a super job at making the reader care about the characters, despite their flaws. The pace of the stories are breath stealing, the tension high, and there are so many twists and cliff hanger endings that the reader can't help, but want to know what's going to happen next. I'm also reading FOR YOUNG MEN ONLY by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice. This is a book that helps young men understand the mind of young women. You're probably wondering why I'm reading this...my son will be fifteen soon. Since I plan to give him this book as when I'm done, I wanted to know what the book said so I could follow up with discussions. When my daughter was this ageI gave her the book FOR YOUNG WOMEN ONLY by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice. I read it first so we could talk about the information inside. I wish there had been books like these out when I was a teenager trying to navigate my way through relationships.

So, now you know what the Crafties are reading... how about you? What are you reading and what do you thinking about it and why.









Friday, March 23, 2012

Ask Elnora--About the Rule of Three? Lenora Worth

Hello, my spring chickens! The rain has gone and the pollen has pollenated and Elnora feels pretty springy this morning. Maybe that's because instead of writing my blog last night, I was sleeping away like a newborn lamb. But here I am and the sun is shining so bright, I need my transition glasses, even inside! So I'm in a good mood but I want to talk about a serious subject. Writers know all about the "rule of three". We have a beginning, a middle and an end. Plays have a three-act structure. Events or actions will happen in a story three times to show emphasis. This repetitive beat makes a story stronger and builds the tension. Remember, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz taps her ruby slippers together three times. In writing, the rule of three is necessary for story development. But in other areas .....? Shallow person that I am, I love to watch those shows that always have three judges--Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The Voice (which technically has four judges) and Project Runway which has three judges and a "guest" judge most of the time. While Elnora enjoys watching people go after their dreams, I saw a disturbing pattern in my mind late last night as I drifted off into what I call "plot land". (Seems I always dream in plot points and sometimes my characters literally walk right off the page and frolick in my dreams.) Anyway, that got me to thinking about the "Rule of Three". Is it just me or have we become a society that depends on these kind of judges? Is it just me or does this seem to have a slightly creepy factor? Does this method of entertainment force all of us to become more judgmental? Nobody likes getting kicked off the island, but while these shows are fascinating they sometimes feel wrong on so many levels. To have three superior, stoic, snarky judges (and no, Steven Tyler doesn't count) sit on their thrones and decide your fate--well, that's just more than Elnora's delicate nerves can handle. But writers are trained to send off their work and wait for judgment, right? Contest judges, critic partners and career-changing editors (see how I used that rule of three) are involved with writers much in the same way Jennifer Lopez is involved with contestants on American Idol. We need their opinions to advance us to our goal--and that, of course, is winning the prize. So let's discuss--Is everything in life done in the rule of three? Marriage, family, career? Mom, Dad and the cat? The Three Little Pigs, The Three Stooges, The Three Amigos, The Three Musketeers?? And when Elnora goes on a shoe binge--the flat, the kitten heel and the tall pump??? And let's not forget The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost! Maybe that's the only three we need to worry about! Talk to me, you lovely laughing ladies!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Kid on the Block: Carrie Turansky

Hi Friends, Carrie Turansky, here.

Pamela asked me to share a little about my writing journey and how I came to join the Craftie Ladies Blog….So here it goes.

I started writing fiction in 1997 after our family returned from spending a year in Kenya. We had some fantastic experiences, and I thought I could relieve those by writing a story set there. I poured out my first novel in just a few months. It was sort of an international romantic adventure suspense missionary story. I had written articles and devotionals and papers in college, but I’d never written fiction…so I had a lot to learn.

I worked on my writing alone for about three years and completed three novels. Then I emailed an author I admired, Elizabeth White, and asked her for some advice. She encouraged me to join a new group, American Christian Romance Writers. That was in 2000, and they had just started their email loop. I was one of the first 100 members, and there are now over 2500 aspiring and published authors in ACFW.

Becoming a member of ACFW opened many wonderful doors for me. I found a mentor, met my agent, and future editors there and best of all I met many other authors who have become dear friends. My first book was published in 2005 with Barbour, and my first Love Inspired was published in 2006. I’ve written four more LI novels and have also continued writing for Barbour. I’ve had nine books published and one more is contracted with Love Inspired. I’ve written by historical and contemporary.

This year I’ve really stepped up my efforts to reach out and connect with readers. I started an email newsletter last April. I wanted to team up with some other authors to do some more blogging, so I asked Missy about joining Craftie Ladies, and she helped connect with everyone here. I love the variety of posts and the fun connections I’ve made already.

Thanks for welcoming me. I look forward to blogging and commenting and joining in the fun here!

I love to connect with other authors and readers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and my website: http://www.carrieturansky.com/.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beautiful Covers

Rhonda Gibson here...

I love book covers. They often tell a story or kick my imagination into gear. For me the cover is my introduction to another world. Based on the cover, most of the time I know what kind of world it will be but the cover teases me into wanting to visit that time period or world again.

With that thought in mind, covers often turn me away from a book, too. I hate seeing blood on a cover, especially if its dripping from a person's face or neck. So I would never pick up a book with that type of cover.

The art department at Harlequin did a beautiful job on the cover for my newest release The Marshal's Promise. I love that they put Seth leaning against the jail. It screams historical romance to me.


What kinds of covers do you like to see? What do you not enjoy seeing on a cover?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Heroes Who Wear Uniforms

This is Margaret Daley. What kind of heroes do you like? I wrote a post the other day about the popularity of cowboys, police officers, firefighters and military men. I love a man in a uniform. I think of a uniform like the armor of knights during medieval times. These men are protectors--often alpha males. Men of action.

In my most recent romantic suspense book the hero is a Texas Ranger (not a baseball player but a member of the state police for Texas). His "uniform" usually is nice slacks, white (or solid light color) shirt, tie (conservative one), boots, cowboy hat and a silver star badge worn on his shirt over his heart. This can vary slightly depending on the captain a Texas Ranger works under.

I have the first in a three book series called The Men of the Texas Rangers (from Abingdon Press). The first book is Saving Hope, out this month. The next Shattered Silence will be out in October. Read an excerpt at http://www.margaretdaley.com/2012/02/saving-hope-excerpt/.

Blurb for Saving Hope:

When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt's daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped.

Now it's personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves.

So what is your favorite type of hero in a uniform?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Viva Las Vegas


Kim Watters here. By the time you read this, I'll be knee deep having fun in Las Vegas with my kids over Spring Break. So needless to say, I won't be responding to any comments until I get back. Great timing, don't you think?

Las Vegas you say? With kids? Of course. It was Las Vegas or San Diego in the summer. I think I'm going to save some money and wear the soles off my shoes. It's been over a decade since I've been to Vegas. A lot has changed. Did you know there's 101 FREE things to do? How are we going to cram it all in in three days?

By creating a plan. An outline. A synopsis of sorts. Map in hand and the list, we will work our way from one end of the strip to the other. Kind of like how I plan my books with an outline and synopsis. Working from one end to the other. Of course, I've also factored in free time in Vegas if we find something else to do, the same as I don't quite plan every scene in my books as some scenes pop into my head about a chapter before I need them. That way I feel three's still a bit of surprise factor in both my books and my vacations.

Will we do it? I'll get back to you that.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Bridal Swap Interview

How exciting to have Kate Morgan, the heroine from The Bridal Swap written by Karen Kirst, a March 2012 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Kate Morgan, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I’m a photographer, a profession usually reserved for men. I count myself fortunate that, because of my family’s wealth and connections, I’m able to afford

the equipment. And in our estate, there’s ample wall space for me to display my work. I’ve taken countless photos of my hometown, New York City, but now I’m looking forward to traveling to East Tennessee and taking some of the mountains and farms there.

2. What do you do for fun?

While photography is my passion, I also enjoy helping our gardener plant and care for our vast gardens. I’m a voracious reader, as well. I spend many hours in our library. I’ll be taking a crate or two of my favorite works with me to Tennessee.

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

Much of the time, I dread facing my mother. She adores my sister, Francesca, who can seemingly do no wrong. I, however, am a puzzle and disappointment to her. Currently, I dread facing Francesca’s fiancé. I meant, ex-fiancé , only he doesn’t know it yet. It’s been left to me to break the news to him, that she’s already married someone else. This isn’t going to be easy, I’m afraid.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Of being alone. Of never experiencing love. I haven’t been blessed with loving relationships in my life.

5. What do you want out of life?

I long for a family of my own to love and cherish. Professionally, I’d like to pursue my dream of setting up my own photography studio. I’m not sure that will be possible, however. My parents would have a fit if I entered the working classes.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

God first, then family.

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

At times, I’ve been naïve and too trusting. If I could go back, I’d change some decisions that drastically altered my life and even now, threatens my chance of future happiness.

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

I don’t have any pets, but I do like horses. It’s not easy riding side-saddle, but I’m accustomed to it.

8. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?

It’s 1880, and I’m excited about all the technological progress we’re making, the new inventions that will make our lives interesting and easier. The invention of the dry plate for our cameras, for instance, makes it possible to capture an image and not have to develop it right away. No more traveling dark tents. I’d better stop there. Once I get started on this subject, it’s hard to stop.

Have a nice day!