Monday, April 30, 2012

A day in the life of Lisa Mondello

Hello to all you Craftie Ladies followers from Lisa Mondello!!  It's good to see you again.  

Too often people have a wild view of what the life of a romance writer is like.  While I'd love to think of myself as living a life of luxury, enjoying having a maid clean my house, do my laundry, do my grocery shopping and put it away, and then carting kids around, I don't.  The only difference between me and my readers is that my day job allows me to work in my pajamas instead of pantyhose.  Don't get me wrong, I see that as a major perk to being a full time writer.

So today, I decided to give you a little glimpse into the world of a full-time fiction writer.  You can decide how close to your own life my life is or how "glamorous". 

You know how it is. We all have housekeepers who make our houses spotless while we sit in our huge beautifully decorated offices (boa wrapped around our neck) drinking Manhattans and eating chocolate as the words just flow from our fingers right on the computer screen.

Get real. THAT only happens in the movies. If you’re lucky enough to have a housekeeper, my hat is off to you. I wish. If the kids drop dishes in the sink, or the counter…or the kitchen table…they’re staying there until my scene is written, which may or may not happen before Project Runway is on, depending on how busy the day is. Thank God for the DVR!

I don’t own a boa and would hate one wrapped around my neck as I type.  It would tickle my nose and distract me.  In truth my writing day looks more like this…

6:00AM Get up with the kids, put on coffee, make sure every has what they need before they head out the door.

6:30AM Kids are on the school bus. I’m searching the house for “hairball presents” the cat left me during the night. Then check the front porch for any “other” cat presents. (Oh, joy, the dead rodent is the reason why my daughter screamed on her way to the bus.)

7:00AM I’m cleaning breakfast dishes (which means the kitchen will be clean until 2:30 when the kids get home), picking up the pile of clothes my daughters decided not to wear after 10 wardrobe changes and straightening the bathroom sink of makeup, hair products and electrical hair appliances. (Yes, that’s plural!)

8:00AM Sitting at my computer and drinking my first cup of coffee which is already getting cold and bitter because I made the pot at 6:00AM.

9:30AM Done with emails, Twitter, Facebook, and putting out any fires that need to be put out. Make a second pot of coffee.

10:00AM Deep into my WIP.

11:00AM Letting the dog outside because he’s whining at the door.

11:15AM Letting the dog back in because he’s whining outside the door.

11:30AM Yelling at the cat because I can hear him scratching the couch.

12:00PM Making my bed because the dog AND the cat want to sleep on it while I write. (Did I mention my “office” is in my bedroom? No glam office for me.)

12:30PM Having a fight with the cat because he insists on jumping on my desk and sleeping in front of the monitor. I lose, so I take a break for lunch.

1:00PM Cat is snoozing under my desk and dog is snoozing by my feet. I am writing.

2:05PM I jump in the shower. (Unless I’m on a deadline. Then all bets are off. Can’t waste precious time before kids get home.)

2:30PM Kids get off the school bus and start asking me to take them (Fill in the Blank).

The rest of the afternoon is usually a mix of driving kids to work or boyfriend’s houses and then picking people up. I make dinner, that is if I wasn’t smart enough to put something in the crock pot that morning. Have dinner with whichever member of the family happens to be home at the time. Clean up and then sit back down at the computer to get whatever writing time I can squeeze in before tackling laundry.

I can almost guarantee your life is more glamorous than mine. No? Make me feel better and tell me what your glamorous day, writing or otherwise, is like!

I love hearing from readers so you can email me at LisaMondello@aol.com, visit me at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com and find me on Twitter at @LisaMondello.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Love Rekindled Interview

Interview with the hero from A Love Rekindled by Margaret Daley, an April release.
1. Zane Davidson, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I was considered a bad boy in high school, which is probably the reason Kim Walters was attracted to me.
2. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy sailing when I can get away from work. I have to admit work consumed most of my time.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Seeing Kim Walters when I returned to Hope, Mississippi. I was angry with her for what happened when we were teenagers, and yet I couldn't get her out of my mind even after all these years we were apart.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
Ending up like my dad who was the town alcoholic. I never want to be like him.
5. What do you want out of life?
To give back. In spite of my troubled teenage years, I was given a second chance to make something of myself. I want to help others have a second chance like I did.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
My word--if I say I'm going to do something, I mean it.
7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I don't usually have time to read books, but I would enjoy a suspense/adventure/thriller if I did.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
All the lost time Kim and I had because of the past.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No, because I'm not home that much. A pet deserves its owner's attention. Maybe one day I can get a dog.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
Fifteen years ago right before Kim and I broke up. Maybe I could changed the outcome.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

FEATURED BOOK: A LOVE REKINDLED BY MARGARET DALEY



Do You Want My Help Or Not?"Kim Walters wants Zane Davidson's help all right. Her family is struggling to rebuild their home after a hurricane, and Zane is a successful contractor. But the fifteen years that have passed since they were high school sweethearts aren't about to magically melt away. Nothing can erase Mr. Walters's clear message—Zane wasn't good enough for his daughter. But now the Walters fortune is gone, and the town is reeling from the recent natural disaster. Can Kim and Zane find the faith to believe that some things work better the second time around?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Love Inspired Forums on Harlequin.com

Hi Everyone, Sandra Orchard here.

Did you know that Harlequin has forums for readers to interact with each other, and editors, and authors?

They recently spruced them up, giving them a new look and making them easier to navigate.

If you're new to the community, you'll have to join to comment. If you were previously a part of it, you'll have to re-update your profile. I found it still had me logged in, but had lost my profile pic etc.

To help you find the MOST IMPORTANT places on site, I've included them below for your convenience.

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/216-The-Christian-Cafe

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/53-Love-Inspired-Suspense

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/49-Love-Inspired-Historical

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/114-Ready-Set-Write!!!-2012-Goals

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/113-Writing-Inspirational-Romance

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/71-Emily-Rodmell-Love-Inspired-Love-Inspired-Historical-Love-Inspired-Suspense

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/213-The-Prayer-Room

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/203-RITA-Finalist-Reading-Challenge

http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/41-Love-Inspired

And one for Canadians (because I am...but this isn't part of the LI lineup):
http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/119-I-am-Canadian

A quick added tip, since I just checked a link this morning that worked find for me when I drafted this post. 
I noticed that when I clicked the LIS link and perhaps the same is true of the others...I was taken to a general welcome page for all the forums.

But when I copy and paste the link into my browser, it takes me to the proper place. (I was already signed in in both cases. If you're not signed in or signed up for the community forums, you may have to do that first.)


ASPIRING WRITERS: This just in...pitch your story to LI editor Emily Rodmell!
http://community.harlequin.com/showthread.php/281-Speed-Dating-with-Associate-Editor-Emily-Rodmell  Copy and paste in the link to avoid it defaulting to the forums welcome page.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

RWA and The RITA Contest


Terri Reed here talking today about something near and dear to my heart.  In 1993 I joined a writers organization called Romance Writers of America®  
I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and needed something to distract me from the constant morning sickness (I had it from the moment I conceived until the moment she was born-Ick).  I took a class at the local community college on How to Write a Romance.  During the class the instructor gave us information about RWA.  I went to my first local RWA chapter meeting a week later and joined that night.  Through RWA I have learned the craft of story structure as well as the business side of writing, made some of my best friends, networked with agents and editors, and have served on the national board of directors for four years. 

Romance Writers of America®  (RWA) was chartered in 1981 to serve as a nonprofit trade association for romance writers.

The mission of Romance Writers of America is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income. To learn more about this organization visit http://www.rwa.org/cs/home
Every writer hopes their work will be recognized and appreciated by readers and peers alike.  In the romance world there are many contests open to authors but the contest that tops them all is Romance Writers of America’s RITA®.   In 2004 I was a RITA finalist with my second Love Inspired Romance novel titled A Sheltering Love.   Finalists receive a silver pin in the shape of the RITA®, which I proudly wear every year to the national conference. 
We have had several Craftie Ladies final and win in the RITA contest over the years.  Our 2012 finalist is Linda Goodnight.  (see sidebar)
Winners receive a gold pin and a gold statuette in the shape of a woman sitting on a stool with an open book in her lap. The statuette is named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada.
From the RWA National website:  The purpose of the RITA® contest is to promote excellence in the romance
 genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
About the Contest
Up to 1,200 romance novels from 12 different categories are entered in the RITA competition each year. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book's publisher in one of the 12 categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists.
Once RWA announces the RITA finalists, a final round of judges evaluates and ranks these novels to determine the 12 RITA Award winners. 
Romance Writers of America will announce the winners of the 2012 RITA Awards during its Award Ceremony at its 32nd Annual Conference in Anaheim.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mayerling: An Interesting Bit of History

Hi! Louise M. Gouge here. (I use my middle initial because, believe it or not, there are several other Louise Gouges in the U. S.)


As a writer of historical novels, I’m always looking for historical movies that bring to life interesting events of the past and showcase some fabulous settings. Usually I prefer films set in England or other parts of the British Isles, but you can’t beat the opulence of the palaces and castles of Austria, Germany, and France. I’m always amazed that the modern owners of these edifices permit their use for filmmaking. Maybe that helps to pay the taxes to keep the buildings open for future generations. Just guessing about that.

Anyway, last night I watched a three-hour miniseries entitled The Crown Prince (aka Kronprinz Rudolf), which tells the story of Crown Prince Rudolf, the late 19th Century heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. Although I have no doubt the filmmakers “tweaked” history, as they always do, I found this tragic story truly fascinating. If you would like to know more about the deaths of this handsome prince and his pretty, much younger mistress, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayerling_Incident for an overview and several theories about cover-ups of their assumed murder-suicide.


So why am I bringing this up on a blog devoted to historical romance, which specializes in happily-ever-after (HEA) stories? Well, first of all, any self-respecting historical fiction is based upon actual history, even if that history is merely a setting or background for the plot. Not only that, but I think it’s important to understand these tidbits of history because we are who we are today because of who these people were. If the filmmakers are correct, Prince Rudolf wanted to change things in Europe, both socially and politically. He wanted to help the poor and he wanted to influence all of Europe for the good. (Yes, that’s simplistic, but I’m not writing political commentary. :-)) If Rudolf had lived and succeeded with his reforms, perhaps there never would have been a need for the revolutions and wars that followed for the next fifty-some years. Millions upon millions of people all over the world were and have been affected by these two deaths, including you and me. It’s something to think about.

Another historical event/period that has had a lasting effect on subsequent generations is England’s Regency period. I have dipped my writing pen into this era with my first full-length Regency novel, A Proper Companion, which will be released in June from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical imprint. In this story, an orphaned, impoverished vicar’s daughter is rescued from destitution by a handsome British major. Unlike the tale of poor Prince Rudolf and his lady love, my story definitely has a HEA ending. Look for it at CBD.com, Amazon.com, and your local Walmart. Please visit my blog at blog.Louisemgouge.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Barbara Vey's Readers' Appreciation Luncheon

Waiting for the readers to arrive for the Barbara Vey
Readers' Appreciation Luncheon
Debby Giusti here!

On April 10, I had the privilege and pleasure to join more than 30 other authors and nearly 250 readers for a lovely luncheon hosted by Publishers Weekly romance blog editor Barbara Vey.  The event was held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee.  I flew in the day before, and fellow Love Inspired author Laura Scott picked me up at the airport.  After I checked into my hotel, we went out for dinner and talked about books and writing and how excited we were to take part in the readers' luncheon.

The next morning, I arrived at the event early to get my table ready.  Each of the ladies sitting with me received a copy of THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION, cute notepaper with a matching journal, a Bath and Body purse mirror, votive candle and candy.  I also brought a tropical print beach tote for the author drawing, which was won by librarian Barbara Roark.
The ladies at my table: L to R, Carol, Jenny, Estelle, Debby,
Carrie, Leila, Matty and Nadine.
Soon the readers started arriving, and my table quickly filled.  The ladies were delightful, and we all enjoyed the delicious lunch and the cute cupcakes decorated with my book covers.  We talked about kids and books and genres and whether we preferred electronic readers or print books. Heather Graham was the guest speaker, and an autographing followed the luncheon.  Everyone received a bag filled with books, and lots of the guests won gift baskets so everyone went home happy.
Librarian Barbara Roark won my tropical beach tote.
Doesn't the hot pink beach hat look cute on Barbara!
Fellow Love Inspired authors Allie Pleiter and Debbie Kaufman were at the luncheon as well as Laura Scott.  The day was a fantastic success and raised more than $2,000 for the libraries in the local area. Barbara plans to make the readers' appreciation luncheon a yearly event and said next year's event will be on April 27 so save the date!
Barbara Vey and I at the end of a delightful day!
Have you ever attended a readers' luncheon? If not, what other type of reader events have you enjoyed?

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti
www.DebbyGiusti.com
www.seekerville.blogspot.com
www.crossmyheartprayerteam.blogspot.com
Email me: Debby@DebbyGiusti.com



THE CAPTAIN'S MISSION, book two in my Military Investigation Series is available in print or e-book.

Watch for THE COLONEL'S DAUGHTER, which will be released in August.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pat Davids here, waving wildly from the wilds of Wyoming.

Yes, I'm on the road again. I can't seem to stay home this year. In the past six months I have been to Maine, Cancun, all around Kansas and now out to Thermopolis, Wy. Home of the world's largest mineral water hot springs. It's a hop, skip and a jump (by Wyoming standards) from Yellowstone. If you've never been, I say pack up the kids, throw in your fishing poles and come on out. You'll love it. However, the hot mineral water does smell bad. Once you get past that, the rest of the trip will be great.

I'm traveling with my parents, both in their eighties, and we are having a grand time. Today, I caught the biggest, most beautiful rainbow trout you have ever seen. On my first cast! Then, for the next three hours of our float down the river, I caught clump after clump of river moss. Happily, my brother and my dad did a little better. I didn't mind. The water was beautiful and so clear I could see fish scooting out of our way as we went past. We stopped near an island where the river ran on both sides in sparking ripples for several hundred yards. I told my brother, (our guide) that the water looked like it was laced with gems. He said they call it "Diamond Chop".  Choppy water that looks like diamonds. What a great description. I know I'll use it in a book some day.

Since I'm on the road again, I won't get back to check comments until later. Don't let that stop you from posting. I want to know where you spent your most memorable vacation? Disney World? Europe? Your own backyard? Share with me what you loved about it or hated about it. After all, most memorable doesn't always mean the best.
See you later.
Pat

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Her Lone Star Cowboy Interview

How exciting to have Jess Holden the hero from HER LONE STAR COWBOY written by Debra Clopton an April 2012 release from Love Inspired Romance.
1. “Jess, tell me the most interesting thing about you,” I ask, a bit nervous because this interviewer is really intrigued by the mixture of seriousness and fun I sense in the dark haired, good looking Jess Holden.
He leans against the porch post outside the ranch office and thumbs his straw Stetson back. “Are you sure you want to do this interview with me?” His lips curve up into that smile that I realized immediately must make women sit up and pay attention. I nod and he hikes a dark brow. “Ok, but I’m just a cowboy who owns a third of a ranch I bought with my two brothers, Luke and Colt. My older brother Luke wanted us to buy this ranch and put down roots for our kids—when we have them. Not that I ever plan on having kids. I can’t remember my dad ever being sober and my mom left us when I was ten…just walked out. If it hadn’t been for Luke,” he shook his head and a sadness flashes in those eyes. “I don’t know what would have happened to me and Colt. I bought into the ranch to help Luke with his dream. That’s me in a nutshell. I’m a pretty laid back boring guy…oh and I don’t ever plan on marrying, not even for Luke. I have my reasons—hey, there you go. The answer to your question. I guess some folks might find me not ever planning on marrying something interesting wouldn’t they?”
2. “I’m sure there are a lot of people who would find that interesting. I’m sure they’d also like to know what it is you like to do for fun?”
Jess grins again. “The ranch and my cattle hauling business keep me pretty busy these days. But when I do go out the ladies know I’m not looking for forever or anything. Even the matchmaking posse of Mule Hollow understands that. They don’t even try to fix me up—which is a good thing, since I prefer to find my dates on my own—that’s fun to me.”
3. “What do you put off doing because you dread it?”
“Church. Me and God aren’t on the best of terms. I go to church when I absolutely have to, I guess you could say I feel like God abandoned me and my brothers right along with my parents.”
4. “That leads right into my next question. What are you afraid of most in life?”
He looks away, as if the question makes him uncomfortable. There is a hurt that I see deep in his eyes and it pulls me in. As a reporter I’m supposed to stay neutral, but this guy gets to me. I really would like to know what makes him tick. His gaze shifts back to meet mine. He smiles. “I’m afraid of marriage. I’m afraid of giving control of my happiness over to a woman.”
5. Wow. “Okay that’s fair. So in that case what is the most important thing to you?”
“That’s easy. My brothers and their happiness is the most important thing to me.”
6. Sweet. “Um, next question. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?”
“Now that’s a question I didn’t see coming. I read anything on ranching and cattle I can find. I guess you already figured out I don’t read romances,” Jess says, and then winks! “I will tell you though, yesterday I had to pull this irresponsible veterinarian assistant out of flood waters! Gabi Newberry is her name, and I just happened to come up on her when she was falling into a ditch of raging water…it was thundering and lightening and if I hadn’t come along she’d have disappeared downstream like my hat did! It was a violent lightning storm going on and she was out in it instead of sitting in her stuck truck and waiting on help to arrive.” He frowns, “Sorry, I got a little carried away. What I was trying to say is that people who read romances would probably think that was a good opening to a romance novel—which is exactly why I don’t read them.”
7. A bit flustered by the cowboy’s wink, I laugh. “Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?”
“We have some cattle dogs but that’s it. Hey, I could take one of them into see that cute vet tech.”
My ears perk up. “But, you called her irresponsible a few minutes ago.”
“True, but for some reason I can’t get her out of my head.”
“Hmm, romance in the air?”
“I wouldn’t go that far. She was just…intriguing.”
8. I’ll have to check back on that. “This is my last question. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?”
His jaw jerks and those gorgeous green eyes shadow. “I wouldn’t go back. I’m moving forward like I’ve always done since I was a kid. Me and my brothers are going to make a success of this ranch and I’m going to watch my future nieces and nephews play and grow here. I’ve closed the door on my past and even if I could change something about my parents I wouldn’t. They made their choices. Life is good now and I’m looking straight ahead.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

FEATURED BOOK: HER LONE STAR COWBOY BY DEBRA CLOPTO



With his harrowing childhood behind him, cowboy Jess Holden made some promises to himself. He'll remain a bachelor. Won't ever get involved with a certain kind of woman. But then he rescues a lovely newcomer—and two scared calves—from a flash flood in the middle of Texas Hill Country. Not only is veterinarian's assistant Gabi Newberry a reminder of his past, she's the granddaughter of a Mule Hollow matchmaker! But as sweet, spunky Gabi tends the ailing cattle on his ranch, Jess begins to discover that some promises were made to be broken

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Winning??? Lenora Worth

It's Friday. This week moved with lightnening speed around my house. Elnora has been inside Lowe's and Wal-Mart more than I've been inside this condo I think. They know Big Daddy in both of those places now. Elnora goes along for the ride and to pick colors, but Big Daddy has done most of the hard stuff--the hammering, the banging, the grunting, the screaming. Remodeling a house is not for sissies. But this has been a pretty good week. My bad back is behaving enough that I can enjoy life again and I managed to get some writing done--a couple of chapters and two proposals and ... a grocery list! Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for helping the Craftie Ladies and me celebrate Love Inspired and my birthday. Since I wasn't back in Louisiana with my Surf Sisters, I was a bit lonely. But having all of you was such fun. I appreciate the indulgence and now Elnora has to get back to work. But before we get serious again, I got to wondering why people love contests so much. What is it about winning that keeps us grinning? Free stuff, competitive natures, the thrill of the hunt? Let's discuss winning while we're celebrating our Birthday Book Bash winner. And that winner is---Jackie S--who posted on April 17 and left us a comment about what might be in the birthday cake. Jackie, please go to my website www.lenoraworth.com and send me your address. I'll make sure the other ladies who are giving books receive the information.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Hundred Years From Now

When thinking of what to write today, I realized that the setting of my book, Love On The Range, is almost one hundred years ago. My mouth kind of gaped at that because 1918 doesn't seem so long ago to me.
I still see people come through my bank, unassisted, who were born in the '20s.
But times have changed a lot and it is indeed almost one hundred years later. According to this government site, the influenza of 1918 forever changed history.

What do you think people will say about 2012 one hundred years from now? What changes do you see on the horizon?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Suspense...

HI, Terri Reed here with a question for you dear reader.

What is it about suspense novels that keeps you reaching for them?

For me, its the fast paced action and the edge of your seat anticipation of what will happen next.

Birthday Book Bash - Suspense Style

We're celebrating spring and Lenora's birthday here this week.

And since Tuesday is the day for our suspense ladies to post, we thought we'd pose a fun question to get your creative juices flowing. Remember, everyone who leaves a comment will have a chance to win an armload of books at the end of the week!

So here's the question... What might pop out of the cake in a Love Inspired Suspense author's book? 
Hee, hee, hee. Have fun with this one! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthday Book Bash--Lenora Worth

We're celebrating spring here at the Craftie Ladies Lounge. Since my birthday is this week, I wanted to celebrate with all of our lovely bloggers and our treasured readers. So we'll be giving away a whole bunch of books to one lucky blogger this week. All you have to do is SAY SOMETHING on the blog Monday - Thursday of this week and your name will be entered in a drawing for the Book Bash. Then I'll announce the winner on Friday in my Ask Elnora blog. After that, well, sister, just sit back and wait for the books to arrive. It's like Christmas and the Fourth of July all wrapped up as one! I love presents, and having our readers present here on our blog is ever so nice. So let's celebrate fifteen years of Love Inspired and way too many years of yours truly. And if that isn't enough fun, I just found out that April is National Grilled Cheese Month! How did anyone know that a good grilled cheese sandwich is one of my favorite things to eat! So I'm grilling up cheese sandwiches for everyone! We have cheddar on sourdough, white cheddar (one of my favorites) on dark pumpernickel and American on wheat, maybe with a little pesto mixed in. We'll have a batch of my famous blow-out cookies, too. That's dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and oatmeal, peanut butter and mini M&Ms and a few Georgis pecans thrown in for good measure. I have lemonade (pink)of course, and all kinds of creamy coffee mixtures. And we have to have cake, right. Red velvet cupcakes for every birthday girl in the world! Don't you love a good party!!! And wait, there's more--I also have a book out this month:
And so do lots of my friends here! Just to remind our readers, here are some of our books through the years, too:
So, let's kick back and have some fun. I recently bought the Lionel Richie CD "Tuskegee". Yes, I buy myself presents. I'm putting it on the record player. Oh, what a feeling. I'm dancing on the ceiling! It's a great CD because he does duets with several of my favorite country singers. Yes, I like country music! I know it's Monday but .... spread the word. Time to flip the sandwiches. Don't let me sit here all alone at my own party!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Love on the Range Interview

How exciting to have Gracie the heroine from Love On The Range written by Jessica Nelson an April 2012 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Gracie, tell me the most interesting thing about you. Oh boy. Well, I don’t know if there’s anything interesting about me specifically, but I do know of a most intriguing man. His name is Striker and he’s a special agent for the Bureau of Investigation. He’s rumored to be secretive, elusive and quite possibly dangerous, but I’m positive I can track him down for a news story of a lifetime.

2. What do you do for fun? Don’t tell my father or mother because it might make them lose hair, but I really adore searching for Striker. I even allowed them to send me to the Oregon desert because I know he’s here…somewhere.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it? That would be sewing. It’s an abominable task for me, I’m afraid.

4. What are you afraid of most in life? I used to think it was horses, but now I’m beginning to think being restricted to a mundane social existence is my greatest fear.

5. What do you want out of life? Right now, to find Striker, procure an interview and perhaps I’ll even tell him that I’ve fallen madly in love with him.

6. What is the most important thing to you? Faith in God, that He sees and that He cares.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to sew my mouth closed. I think my mother would enjoy that too.

8. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? I’ve always wanted a pet but my parents didn’t allow it. My uncle’s friend Trevor, who is really quite an intriguing man, has some kittens who I adore.

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in? Oh yes! 1918 in America is such an amazing time. Women are fighting harder than ever for the vote, even winning it already in some states. World War One has finally ended and I’m certain that pants, a wonderful, wonderful article of clothing, are here to stay. Now if I can convince my parents that they’re appropriate for a woman of my station…J

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FEATURED BOOK: LOVE ON THE RANGE BY JESSICA NELSON



Any other socialite would view being packed off to a remote Oregon ranch as a punishment. But Gracelyn Riley knows that this is her opportunity to become a real reporter. If she can make her name through an interview with the elusive hero known as Striker, then she'll never have to depend on anyone ever again.Rancher Trevor Cruz can't believe his secret identity is being endangered by an overly chatty city girl. But if there's one thing he knows, it's that Gracie's pretty little snooping nose is bound to get her in trouble. So he'll use her determination to find "Striker" to keep an eye on her…and stick close by her side.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ask Elnora--About loving our pets?? Lenora Worth

Hello, my little kitties. Elnora and family have had two very sad weeks. Last week our daughter lost her sweet dog, Sassy. Sassy was thirteen years old and she was one of the sweetest animals I ever knew but she was tired and ready for a long, long nap. Sassy is part of the reason we are moving to Florida. We came down here a few years ago and baby-sat little Sassy while her mama went on a trip. We took care of her for three weeks and even took her up to Georgia with us. (In a Miata). She loved all of our relatives and they loved her. While we were here, we also fell in love with this area. So thanks, Sassy, for getting us to Florida. Sassy was with my daughter through a marriage, a divorce, bad boyfriends and lots of joy and sorrow. She was a true companion who loved unconditionally. Granny Elnora will miss you, little Sassy.
This week, our kitty Cujo got sick and took a turn for the worst. She'd been losing weight but we just thought it was old age. Elnora and Big Daddy had fretted as to what we'd do when it came time to move permanently. Would she survive the long drive? We weren't sure. But Cujo Kitty has always had a mind of her own. This is a cat that jumped on the top of my van once and tried to ride all the way to a church salad supper. I had to stop in traffic and coax her down and take her home. Cujo would let friends rub her and then to show them her thanks, she'd hiss and try to bite them. Which is why most of my friends avoided her. She always preferred water from the bathroom sinks instead of a dreadful water bowl. She enjoyed Christmas morning because she got to run and jump into the wrapping paper and shred it with her claws! So in typical Cujo fashion, she decided enough is enough. I'll just get things over with now, before they make me get in that cage and take that trip. She got so sick, she couldn't eat or drink. The vet said it was hyper-thyroid and old age and we all agreed we didn't want her to have to suffer through this again. So Big Daddy and I held her and petted her and told her what a sweet kitty she was and ...after the doctor did what he had to do, she just fell asleep. Her cute little face looked at peace, at last. No doubt she is chasing butterflies in Kitty Land. We forgot to tell her that she'd probably see Sassy up there somewhere. They never quite became solid friends, but they had a mutual respect for each other. And Sassy taught Cujo how to hang around the kitchen and beg for scraps. While this is terribly sad and yes, I've cried buckets, I'm also glad I had the chance to love these two special pets. So that begs the question--why do we love our pets so much? As writers, we love to put pets into our stories. Several of us are working on a K-9 continuity right now, due out next year. I've cried tears over the animals in my story, let me tell you. Let's discuss. What is it about pets?
Oh, on a lighter note, next week is Elnora's birthday week. I'll blog Monday and all week we will celebrate with a Birthday Book Bash in the spirit of also celebrating our fifteenth anniversary at Love Inspired. One lucker blogger will get a ton of books simply by showing up and saying something pithy. I will be 28 twice by the way. The contest ends Thursday at midnight. I will announce the winner Friday (the 20th) in my Ask Elnora blog. After all this sadness, we need a fun week! I mean, Elnora needs a fun week. Virtual chocolate for everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pick a Pic - Part Two

Sandra Orchard here with round two of picking a picture for our Facebook page.

I loved the ideas that were shared last week, so my daughter and I played around with the top picks and came up with the version above for our blog...What do you think?

It was actually supposed to be a transparent background that allows the yellow to show through, but it didn't work the way I expected with the blog's template, and the automatic shrink to fit makes it a little narrower than our double columns, without allowing me to center it, but once we decide on which one we like best, I'll take it back to my daughter's to resize it to match the blog width.

I also want to see if shrinking the depth will give us a bit of yellow between the banner and the book slide show, because I don't like how they touch each other. Unfortunately, I don't have photo editing software on my computer so getting out all the kinks could take a few days. 

I decided to run with the idea of making a montage since the favorite photo--the fence--is one that one of our members has purchased rights to use, however, we weren't sure that we'd be permitted to modify it...not that adding words likely counts as modification.

Anyway...

Since the yellow background didn't appear through the transparency to frame the photos, and we wanted them "framed" for our Facebook page, we tried creating a variety of backgrounds. As per a couple of people's suggestions, I used photo #1 from last week's blog. However, the bright colors proved to be too busy, so we experimented.

Below are what we've come up with. The plan is to put it as our Facebook banner, but Pamela asked me to experiment with adding it to the blog banner, too. Let us know which one you like best, or top three. Thanks!

# 1

#2
#3
#4
#5
#6 

#7 - the one that's currently up top


Your Turn: Tell us which you like best! (Note: after I got home from my daughter's, I also noticed that the word "historical" wasn't bold in all the versions. I'll get that fixed along with the resize!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Novel Settings--Familar vs. Exotic--Which Do You Prefer?

Happy Wednesday, everyone,

Naomi Rawlings here, and I’m wishing you all a warm and lovely spring day from Michigan’s rather cold and windy Upper Peninsula. (And yes, I saw a few snowflakes touch the ground while writing this post.)

The month of April is especially exciting for me this year, as my first-ever published novel, Sanctuary for a Lady, releases. And did you know I’m not the only one with a debut novel this month? Author Jessica Nelson, had her first novel, Love on the Range, release as well. (Congratulations, Jessica!)

So as any eager new author would do, I raced to Walmart last week and found my book on the shelf (right beside Jessica’s). As I stood back admiring my novel in an actual store, available for anyone to buy, I noticed that my setting was a little different from the books beside it. All three other books releasing from Love Inspired Historical this month are set in the 1800s, and all three other books are attached to the United States in some way. Two of the stories are set in the American West, and the third involves a sea journey from Ireland to America. Then there’s my book, lonely little Sanctuary for a Lady, set in France during the late 1700s and without a single mention of America throughout the entire novel.

Did you know my publisher considers this setting a bit of a risk? That Love Inspired Historical has never before published a novel set during the French Revolution? So my publisher is rather curious to see if Sanctuary for a Lady will sell as well as Love on the Range and Brides of the West and The Wedding Journey.


Novels set in the United States generally tend to sell better than novels set other countries. Please understand there are exceptions to this rule, and a book set in a foreign country can sell just as many copies as a book set in the United States. Novels set in England are rather popular as well, but in general, foreign set books sell fewer copies.

I’m not the only Love Inspired Historical author dipping into the pool of European fiction, however. Last month Eva Maria Hamilton had her debut novel, Highland Hearts, release. Highland Hearts is set in the 1700s like my novel, and it takes place completely in Scotland. Our publisher has asked both Eva and I to consider writing sequels to our novels. Eva’s will be set in Scotland again, and I’ve just started working on a second novel set during the French Revolution. And while Eva and I and others are writing, our publisher is watching to see whether these novels sell a good number of books, or whether Love Inspired Historical will want to publish novels set primarily in the United States and England in the future.

So I’m curious about you. What type of historical novels do you prefer? Do you like stories set in foreign or exotic places and unfamiliar times? Or do you like stories set that take place on American soil and within the past century and a half? If you had to pick between a book set in Europe or a book set in the United States, which would you chose, and why?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remembering the Titanic

As we close on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I thought I would say a few words on the subject.

While the exact number of casualties was in dispute, we can still tell you that too many lost their lives that fateful night. 

And yes, there was a novel written years before that bore eerie similarities to the Titanic tragedy. In fact, there were several. Check out this link for the almost hair raising tales. Titanic predictions

But in actuality, the theme of a giant ship sinking and not having enough lifeboats was actually common back then. Remember the time in which these events and stories took place. The middle class was rising from the poor ranks and all men and women were gaining rights usually preserved for the the wealthy and powerful. Such stories as those written before the Titanic sailed were natural warnings of a world in a state of flux.

As our world is, also. 

Now, as cities tied to this terrible disaster commemorate it, such as in Halifax, where most of the victims are buried, and where you can still find many artifacts from the doomed oceanliner here, we can reflect on how important, and how fragile, our lives are.  

We are all important, and the inquiry that resulted from the Titanic disaster recommended measures to emphasize that.

On the 15th of April, take a moment to remember the disaster, and how each life is precious and should be treated as such.   


 Photo: RMS Titanic newsprint image from The Daily Graphic - London, 20 April 1912. Source: Nova Scotia Archives

By Barbara Phinney
Fatal Secrets
Silent Protector
Souvenirs
find these stories and others here

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't You Love Spring!



Hi Everyone!!! Debra Clopton here to say, "Yay! Spring is here! And that makes me one happy girl." What a beautiful day yesterday was...I hope everyone had a blessed Resurrection Sunday aka Easter :)
I love spring and summer with a passion, they are my favorite times of the year. You know I love road trips :) and these shots I've posted are from a drive through the country looking at the beauty of God's creation. Spring is, I'm sure everyone's favorite season...summer probably not so much--because yes, Texas summers are hot, hot, hot (but I still love them.) By the end of July and all of August things are really crispy here in good ole central Texas with an average week hovering near or over 100 degrees most of the time...but still, I love it. Then again I don't have to work out in it so my heart always goes out to those who have no choice but to work in the heat all day. They, I'm sure have favorite times of the year too and I'm sure its spring, fall and even winter.
This time last year I was working on my book which just came out on the 1st of April, HER LONE STAR COWBOY. What is weird or the behind the book story of this book is that our spring started out just a bit dry which got me to thinking about some new twist for my book that I was working on. I knew a little about toxic plants and drought...and since it was a dry spring it got me to thinking about the fact that I'd never put a drought in Mule Hollow. Soooo, I decided it would be a twist to do just that and have it themed around toxic plants threatening the livestock on the Holden Ranch and other ranches in the surrounding area of my little town Mule Hollow. Great idea except I had no idea what so ever that Texas was about to go through the worst drought its been through in what a hundred years or so!
Truly, this book was created in real time as I worked on the drought going on in Mule Hollow here in Texas we were drying up and looking more like Arizona than Texas! Here on our small 300 acres we almost had no grass by the beginning of summer and it was really bad by fall. I was researching toxic plants and having no trouble since every monthly farm and ranch publication I receive was talking about and warning about the dangers of toxic plants during drought. It made for easy research. Plus I had the expert help of local veterinarian Lisa VanReenen who knows her plants as well as my heroine Gabby Newberry. I was as impressed by Lisa and my hero Jess Holden was with Gabby. The book isn't just about killer plants but also fun at the county fair--or I guess that should be chaos at the county fair!
I'm hoping that you are loving this weather as much as I am and that you're looking for a road trip you'll grab a copy of HER LONE STAR COWBOY and come join me and the gang in Mule Hollow for a few hours of reading pleasure. http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find/1285572356?Ntt=Debra+Clopton&N=1014644&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCN&nav_search=1&cms=1&search=
I have a couple of things I'd be interested in knowing about you--what is your favorite time of year? And also have you been to the county fair and had and "Incident" something funny that happened to you?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Redemption Ranch Interview

How exciting to have Tyler Lynch the hero from Redemption Ranch written by Leann Harris, a April 2012 release from Love Inspired Romance .

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

I’m an ex-soldier and demolition expert. My best bud is a mutt named Dogger. I picked him up in Iraq. He fit into our unit by being the best natural bomb explosives alert dog I’ve seen. He saved my buddies and me countless time.

2. What do you do for fun?

Fun. Well, it’s been a while since I did ‘fun’. Beth McClure, the little dynamo who changed my life, dragged me to an overnight lock-in at her church. I was one of the chaperones riding herd over a bunch of teenagers. But that was okay, because I got to bring my friend’s kid brother, Riley, who needed some friends. Of course, being around that many screaming teenager girls can shake the strongest of men.

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

Talking to my foster parents. I kinda blew up after I came home from Iraq. I was at a 4th of July party when some of the kids put cherry bombs under the picnic table. I didn’t react well and knew I’d to get my head together and left for a while. But I took my dog.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

The dark secret of my life, that I feel responsible for my best friend’s death when we were disarming a bomb in a café in Baghdad. He didn’t survive. I did.

5. What is the most important thing to you?

To help Riley, who was left without his brother thanks to me. And figuring out how I can stay at the equine therapy ranch and be with Beth. She makes me laugh.

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

I love westerns. Zane Grey was the best. I’m a westerner having grown up in Oklahoma.

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

Hard question. I wish I could laugh more, and roll with the punches. In foster care, you learn to watch your step and guard your feelings.

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

I have a dog. He’s a mutt I rescued while in Iraq. I found him when he was a pup. He was under the fender of a truck that was blown up. I don’t know if he was hurt in the explosion or crawled under the fender, but he has a moon-shaped scar on the back of his head. He’s become my best friend. He’s loyal, loves me, and doesn’t ask questions about why I can’t be open and honest and consider his feelings. (Can you guess, I had a fiancée? The operative word is had.)

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

I’d go back before the tornado hit my house in rural Oklahoma when my folks were alive. I wished we’d be early for church, because the twister hit that Sunday morning.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

FEATURED BOOK: REDEMPTION RANCH BY LEANN HARRIS



A former foster kid and army soldier, Tyler Lynch doesn't trust easily. In fact, the shy mutt who never leaves his side is his sole confidant. Tyler knows what it's like to be a child in need, so he goes to work at an equine therapy ranch.He's instantly surprised by the way lovely volunteer Beth McClure seems to understand scared children—and stubborn cowboys. Beth's tenderness even wins his dog's trust. But when Tyler faces his greatest fear, it'll take Beth's love—and one brave boy—to open the most guarded of hearts.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Good Stuff? Lenora Worth

Hello, my little bunnies. Today is Good Friday and while we celebrate the coming of Easter, we also reflect back on the sacrifice that Christ made for Christ made for us. We know this day is important so that got me to thinking about all the "good" in life. Elnora loves spring. It represents the rebirth in all of us. Christ left us that precious gift. We do have so many blessings, so many good things in life. Then it hit me--let's make a list of those good things. We hear about the bad every day but we need to celebrate the good and thank Christ for the beauty and the bounty of this world. So let's make a list. I'll start with ten good things. Bloggers, please add and let's see how many we can come up with. Don't ponder it to much, just go with your heart. Happy Easter! 1. Butterflies 2. Those who serve our country 3. Easter lilies 4. A child's laughter 5. Chocolate 6. Family 7. Sunshine 8. Surviving the storms of life 9. Books 10.Shoes Okay, your turn. Add to my list. I could come up with a thousand good things, but one of the good things we have here is a sense of community and some great bloggers, writers and our dear readers. Celebrate!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

HELP US PICK A PHOTO


Hello Everyone, Sandra Orchard here.

I'm very excited to share with you nine gorgeous photos that our own Lenora Worth has shared from her personal collection, three additional photos that one of our authors has bought rights to share. 
Now here's what we'd like you to do: 

Tell us which one you like best! 

The winner will become our new Facebook banner and perhaps the blog's as well.

You see...we have a Facebook page for the Craftie Ladies. Recently Facebook has changed how pages look and it allows us to place one photo along the top of the page that best depicts who we are. 

Who are we? Writers and readers of inspirational romance and romantic suspense.  

So...without further ado, I give you the photos: 

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE   




TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

YOUR TURN: Please, tell us which one you like best. Or list your top three picks in order of preference.