Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Need a story idea? Try the Lost and Found!

Where can you find a good story idea? How about the lost and found? Hello, all. Dana Mentink here and there’s nothing more intriguing than a Lost and Found. It’s a tiny snapshot into the crazy world of people’s passions and playthings. If you’ve left something on a train, bus, cab or coach during your jaunt through England, you can visit the Lost and Found in the basement of Baker Street, Central London. For 75 years the place has been collecting items left behind by travelers. Not just the expected collection of brollies (though the basement houses more than 7000 lost umbrellas a year), you can find such nutty items as a puffer fish, clothing, false teeth, watches and two urns of ashes. No reports on whether or not Jimmy Hoffa has surfaced yet. I can’t help thinking this would be a great place to start a suspense novel. What if the clerk at the Lost and Found happened upon something…say a small black notebook with some hard to decipher writing? Or a round disk with a series of numbers printed on it? And what if this discovery soon had her running for her life? What do you think? And what, pray tell, is the strangest thing YOU’VE ever lost or found?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Writing TEXAS COWBOYS Comes Naturally to Debra Clopton

Debra Clopton here and yes I do love Texas Cowboys and you ma have heard the saying "Write what you know, or love" well I believe that. So, since I live in the heart of Texas Cowboy country and am surrounded...it just came naturally to write about them. First with my long running MULE HOLLOW series and now with my new COWBOYS OF SUNRISE RANCH I love bringing strong men to the pages of my books. Men who tip their hats, swagger a little and always open doors for a lady--whether she wants him to or not!

I think most cowboys are unforgettable...so when I was searching for a title for the 1st book of this series HER UNFORGETTABLE COWBOY was the perfect fit--after all Jolie Sheridan broke off her engagement to Morgan McDermott but she was never able to forget him! For more behind info on the creation of the series check out my blog post http://debraclopton.com/category/personal/ and sign up for my newsletter on the Contest page and a chance to win a prize!

Here's the blurb:    A New Beginning
Everyone in Dew Drop, Texas, is thrilled that Jolie Sheridan has returned to Sunrise Ranch. Everyone except Morgan McDermott. Eight years ago, Jolie left the ranch—and Morgan—for a career as a competitive kayaker. Now after an accident has sidelined her, she's back as a teacher for the ranch's foster boys. Morgan knows he can't risk getting his heart broken again. But watching Jolie's gentle ways with the boys opens his eyes to the truth: he's never stopped loving her. Can a "family" of foster kids help give this couple a second chance at love?

I have a sweepstakes on my Facebook page for a chance to win also: http://on.fb.me/17rNSeT
Follow me on Twitter @debraclopton and facebook and http://www.debraclopton.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Marriage Barter Interview


How exciting to have with us today Wyatt Reed, the hero from THE MARRIAGE BARTER written by Christine Johnson, a May 2013 release from Love Inspired Historical Romance.

1.  Mr. Reed, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I can shoot a hole through a birch leaf at a hundred yards. All right. I guess that might not be interesting to the ladies. Let’s see. I’ve got a bullet lodged in my knee. Got it in the war. Fought for the Union, mind you. Part of General Sherman’s troops that blazed through the South to end that terrible war.


2.  What do you do for fun?

Fun isn’t a word I use much. I’m a tracker. That means I hunt for people who are missing. Mostly fugitives. That’s not fun, folks. It’s dangerous work. One mistake and you’re dead. I relax by riding hard. Dusty—that’s my horse—and I like a good gallop in open country.


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

Anything, and I mean anything, that involves women. I gotta stay tough and alert to keep alive. A man tends to get distracted around the ladies, if you know what I mean.


4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

That the nightmares won’t end.


5.  What do you want out of life?

I don’t expect anything from life. If you don’t expect things, you won’t be disappointed.


6.  What is the most important thing to you?

It used to be faith and family, but the war took that away from me. A man sees things and does things in war that he’s none too proud of afterwards. I wish I’d done things differently, mind you. Every day. Sometimes when I see a family with young’uns, I get to dreamin’ about what might’ve been. If this here job works out, I’m heading west. Going clear to San Francisco. Maybe there I can start over.


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

I would never have lost my temper. I keep it under control now. Have to. But in the war, I let that anger loose, and others paid the price. Regret it every day, and that ain’t no way to live.


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

I’m a tracker. I’m always on the move. There’s no place in that kinda life for a pet. Closest thing I got is Dusty. He’s the best mount I ever had. Smart as tacks. Bit of a temper. Guess that’s fair enough considering I got a bit of one myself.


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

Ten years after the Civil War, and the railroad’s finally laid tracks across the whole country—coast to coast. Part of it passes right by Evans Grove, Nebraska, where I got this simple job to do. Seems a bunch of orphans got stranded here when their train got robbed. All I got to do is bring ‘em twelve miles to Greenville. The town’s offered a bundle of money for it too. I figure it’ll take me only a day or two, and then I’ll be on my way to a new life. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: THE MARRIAGE BARTER BY CHRISTINE JOHNSON

Mission: Children


Rounding up a gaggle of orphans isn't Wyatt Reed's specialty. Still, the bounty hunter is being paid handsomely to bring these children from Evans Grove to the next town. And then he sets eyes on one pigtailed, pint-sized complication, and the beautiful widow who needs his help.



Charlotte Miller's marriage lacked love, but at least it gave her the right to adopt little Sasha. Now without a husband, she can't be a mother. Wyatt agrees to be her groom-for-hire—only until Sasha is hers. But the man who couldn't wait to leave town is finding unexpected reasons to stay…and glimpsing a future surpassing any fortune he's known.


The Marriage Barter

by Christine Johnson
Love Inspired Historical
May 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ask Elnora-- about friendship--Lenora Worth

Darlings, I am at the beach at beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama with a group of ladies I call the Surf  Sisters. You   have heard me mention them before. They are my dear friends and I'm happy to be back with them for the weekend. That got me to thinking about what true friendship means. I can tell you what it means to me:

It means laughing until you cry. It means crying when you pour out your heart then crying until you can finally laugh again. It means fighting like sisters but defending each other like warriors. It means shopping until you drop, then modeling what you bought and comparing notes to see who got the best bargain. ( I once got a suede coat that was priced at $250.00 for $1.08. Yes, one dollar and eight cents!!)  It means life, death and birth. It means carrot cake and coffee and trail mix and happy trails. It means knowing someone is in your corner even when you've painted yourself into that corner.  It means no matter how far away you are, when you get back together you are home.

What does true friendship mean to you?  Let's discuss!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Word Search Puzzle and a Giveaway

Hi.  Winnie Griggs here.  I thought we'd take a break from our normal type of post here and do a fun word search puzzle instead.  In the puzzle below, you can find the names of our 15 Love Inspired Historical authors who post regularly here at the Craftie Ladies site.  And just to make it more interesting, to all of  those who post a comment indicating you've found at least 12 of them (we'll go on the honor system) I'll put your name in the hat for a chance to win an advance copy of my upcoming June release, The Bride Next Door.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Covers: from Vague Ideas to the Reader's Hands

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Naomi Rawlings here, and I thought I'd share a bit about book covers with you today. Have you ever looked at a book cover and thought, Oh, that looks interesting? 

If so, the next thing you probably did was pick up the book and glance at the back cover copy to find a little more about the story. Perhaps at this point, you put the book down and realized it wasn't quite like you thought it was going to be. Or maybe the paragraphs on the back of the book made you even more curious about the story. So then you find the price, flip the book open to the first chapter, and decide whether you want to buy the book.

Or perhaps the opposite is true. Have you ever seen a book cover that made you cringe and walk to the other side of the store?(Don't feel bad. I think we've all done that before).

I'm currently in the process of gathering cover information for my next book (The Wyoming Heir, which releases January 2014). And while every publisher goes about creating book covers a bit differently, they all have the same goal in mind: To make a cover so eye-catching readers will take a moment out of their busy day to give the book a second glance.

For all of the Love Inspired imprints (Contemporary, Suspense, and Historical), authors fill out a cover form on the computer called an Art Fact Sheet. This sheet asks for all kinds of information about the story. The year and place in which the novel takes place, the themes of the book, the looks of the hero and heroine, etc. On top of that, I also have to provide a summary of the novel, as well as pictures of famous people who look like me hero and heroine. For example, my hero, Luke Hayes, is a rancher from Wyoming and looks a little like . . . Paul Walker.

My heroine teaches advanced mathematics at a girls preparatory school, and she looks like . . . Amy Adams.

Furthermore, the story takes place in 1893 upstate New York. So then I had to dig up some pictures of New York in the fall.
 


And then, I'd really like for the story to convey that my rancher isn't very comfortable being called to New York and thrust into all the business his late grandfather left behind. So I thought, why not have a western cowboy on the cover with a fancy white mansion in the background? I found this picture of a mansion:
All in all, Love Inspired writers have to give the Art Department three different scene ideas for the front cover. Then the Art Department decides which scene they think will do best on the front of the novel and use that.

So what will the cover for The Wyoming Heir look like when all it's done? I have no idea! I've got to wait until this fall to find out. But I do know that the art department will try very hard to create a cover that will appeal to readers like you.

So now I'm curious. Is there a book cover you saw recently that you loved? Please do share. I'd love to know what some of your favorite book covers look like. As for me, one of my best friends (Melissa Jagears) has a debut novel releasing in October, and I'm completely in love with the cover.


What do you think?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You Can Change Lives

Sandra Orchard here to tell you that you have something very significant to offer other people: You!

You don't have to be a published writer to touch lives, or have accomplished some heroic act, or be expert in some field. You've had many experiences in your life--both positive and negative--and others can benefit immensely from that experience...if you're willing.

There are infinite opportunities to come alongside someone and encourage them.
Do you see yourself in any of these roles?

As a young mom, I was blessed to have more experienced moms (and even teens who'd had more babysitting experience than me!!!) offer encouragement and advice and lend a helping hand. And to tell me that yes, it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed by it all sometimes.



As a home educator, I was blessed by the experience of those who'd navigated through the grades and stages ahead of me and were willing to share their experience, their resources, their triumphs and their frustrations.

Oops! How did that get in there?!

When I lost my parents, I was blessed by those who weren't afraid to cry with me, to bare their hearts, and share their own journeys through grief.

As a new believer, I was blessed by those who'd not only encourage me to go to church, but go out of their way to drive me, by those who'd lead by example, by those who'd hold be accountable, and especially by those who weren't afraid to be real about their struggles.

As a young wife, I was blessed by older women who helped me master cooking a Christmas turkey, building gingerbread houses, navigating a tax return, balancing the many aspects of running a home.


 As a wife at every stage, I've been blessed by women who'd be transparent about the emotional roller coaster marriage can be and who didn't shy away from asking the hard questions or offering advice.

As an aspiring writer, I was blessed by the encouragement of other writers, both published and aspiring. Women who freely shared their knowledge, their experiences, and offered their advice and prayers.


As a published writer, I continue to be blessed by the mentorship of other writers--and not just published ones. I have several critique partners who offer me invaluable advice, and encouragement with every manuscript, and who pray for me. This is a huge time commitment on their part and I am so grateful for them.


 I love being on the other side of the scenarios above, too. The most fulfilling, of course, is coming alongside my own daughter as she raises my granddaughter, and awaits a second. Yee! (Sorry, couldn't help it those squeals just come out uncontrollably sometimes.)



Whatever your vocation, passion, hobby, you have likely been blessed by someone who has taken time to help you grow in it.


And you can do the same for others.

Your Turn: How has someone touched your life? Don't be shy about sharing. You may inspire someone to touch another's life in what you say!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Drawing Readers Into the Story Through Settings
By Carrie Turansky

Hi Friends,
Taking Readers to unique settings is something I enjoy doing to make my novels memorable. I've set stories in rural Vermont, Princeton, Portland, Philadelphia, and Kenya. My next novel, The Governess of Highland Hall, will be set in Berkshire, England.

 My last three Love Inspired novels, Seeking His LoveA Man To Trust, and Snowflake Sweethearts were all set in Fairhaven, the beautful historic section of Bellingham, Washington.

These three novels were published over a two-year period, so it may be hard to find paperback copies, but they are all available as eBooks. Many readers have told me they enjoyed the descriptions of the setting and felt like Fairhaven was a real location. And I am always delighted to tell them that it is. I chose Fairhaven because I liked the name, and thought it would be wonderful place for my heroine in Seeking His Love to find a safe refuge.

Rachel Clark, the new director of the Nortcoast Christian Youth Theater, is seeking to escape her past mistakes and make a fresh start in Fairhhaven. Handsome frame shop owner, Cameron McKenna, ovesees the Fairhaven Arts Center, and he needs to rent space to the youth theater to raise funding to keep the center open. But secrets and hurts from the past could destroy their relationship and hurt all those who are counting on them. It's a tender story with a sweet romance.

Ross Peterson, a secondary character from Seeking His Love, became the hero in A Man To Trust. Ross's photography business fails, and he must take on a new job as manager of Bayside Books. Adrie Chandler has been the acting manager, until someone can be found to take her place. But when Ross steps in, she is not sure she wants to leave and follow her dream to become a classical musician.

In each book I include four senior-age friends who are known around town as the Bayside Treasures. They are life-long friends, faithful prayer warriors, avid Scrabble players, and soft-hearted matchmakes. It was fun to watch their plans for younger firends and family memebers find lasting love.

I used actal businesses, events, and special sites in each book. You'll find mentions of Village Books, Katie's Cupcakes, The Village Green, The Annual Salmon Bake, The Tylor Dock and South Bay Trail, Mt. Baker Theater, The Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Skylarks, Chuckanaut Drive, and Larrabee State Park.

Some may be surprised to read that I have never been to Fairhaven, but I was able to write the stories with accuracy by doing reasearch online, watchign videos, and by connecting with people in Fairhaven to check my facts.

I hope to visit Fairhaven some day, and when I do, I think I will feel like I am coming home. If you travel to North West Washington State, I hope you will stop in and visit our friends there! Here is a link to what's happening in Fairhaven: http://www.fairhaven.com.

Check out my Pinterest boards for more photos of the characters and settings for these books: http://pinterest.com/carrieturansky/

What is one of your favorite settings? Leave us a comment, or stop by my website for more information on these books: http://www.carrieturansky.com.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ask Elnora--How do you mend a broken heart? Lenora Worth

What a week. I'm beginning to dread my birthday each year. So many mass tragedies have happened over the years during this week in April. It's supposed to be spring. It's supposed to be a time of rebirth and rejoicing. But even as the flowers bloom and the rain pours, evil tries to fill our world with darkness and fear.

But we do not have a spirit filled with fear. We have a spirit filled with love. Christ died for that love.  We live because of that love. Each time something horrible happens, we prove over and over that love never fails. Our hearts may be broken, but God's love mends all broken hearts. God's love shields us with an armor of hope and His strength gives us the strength to carry on.

In Boston, heroes ran toward the smoke. That is love. In Texas, a man and woman rush into a damaged nursing home to help the elderly. That is love.  Teachers protect little children. Fathers shield tiny daughters. Mothers hold their babies close. That is love. This country, with all the politics and the parties, with all the demanding discussions and angry rhetoric and all the spins and the bluster and the speeches and the confusion--this country, no matter, always rushes toward the smoke. That is love.

What a week. As Jimmy Buffet would say "Just one more candle and a trip around the sun."
Each sunrise brings a new day. And each sunset brings us a sense of peace. If we run toward love, evil can never win. If we run toward love, there will always be a light in the darkness.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our 2012 RT Reviewers Choice Best Book Award Winners

Please join us in congratulating our Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Best Book Award winners.

For Love Inspired Contemporary, our winner is  

A Home for Hannah by Patricia Davids.



Yearning to find a meaningful life in the outside world, nurse Miriam Kaufman strayed far from her Amish community. She also needed distance from Nick Bradley, the cop who had caused her so much pain. Back in Hope Springs to care for her ailing mother, Miriam needs Nick, now sheriff, to find the mother of the baby abandoned on her porch. Nick is as wary of Miriam's intentions as she is of facing their past. Can two wounded hearts overcome their history?

Awarded 4.5 stars by RT reviewer Leslie L. McKee, (click for full review)


"Davis’ deep understanding of Amish culture is evident in the compassionate characters and beautiful descriptions that enliven her heartwarming story."

Click here to view more of Patricia Davids' books

For Love Inspired Historical, our winner is  

Handpicked Husband by Winnie Griggs 




Can she drive away not one, but three suitors?

Free-spirited photographer Regina Nash is ready to try. But unless she marries one of the gentlemen her grandfather has sent for her inspection, she'll lose custody of her nephew. So she must persuade them—and Adam Barr, her grandfather's envoy—that she'd make a thoroughly unsuitable wife.

Adam isn't convinced. Regina might be unconventional, but she has wit, spirit and warmth. His job was to make sure Regina chose from the men he escorted to Texas—not to marry her himself! Can they overcome the secrets in her past, and the shadows in his, to find a perfect future together?


Awarded 4.5 stars by RT Reviewer Susan Mobley (click link for full review)


"the novel successfully kicks off the Texas Grooms series, introducing complex, sympathetic characters with interesting pasts."

Click here to view more of Winnie Griggs' Books

 For Love Inspired Suspense our winner is 

Critical Condition by Sandra Orchard 




EVERYONE’S AT RISK There’s a murderer in the hospital, and nurse Tara Peterson is determined to prove it. With mysterious deaths in the cancer ward, anyone could be next. But no one wants to believe her…except for undercover agent Zach Davis. The murderer wants Tara’s suspicions silenced, permanently. To protect Tara, Zach lets her in on his secret, and unwittingly into his heart. Tara and her three-year-old daughter are like the family he lost years before. Zach will risk everything to keep them safe, no matter the cost.

Awarded 4.5 stars by RT reviewer Leslee McKee (click link for full review)


"Well-developed characters and fast-paced action will keep readers fully engaged in this wonderful tribute to spouses struggling with a loved one’s illness."

Click here to view more of Sandra Orchard's Books

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let Freedom Ring!

Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, said, “In the beginning
the Old World scoffed at our experiment (in a democratic self-government);
today our foundation of political and social belief stands unshaken, a precious inheritance to ourselves, an inspiring example of freedom and civilization to all mankind.”

Paul Revere and other unnamed heroes

And it all began in 1770 with the first Boston Massacre, when British soldiers fired on citizens who had gathered to protest tyranny. In 1773, ordinary but irate Boston patriots dumped several boatloads of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest against excessive taxes levied by the British Crown.

On April 7, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride, during which he alerted the organized American militia that the British soldiers were coming to put down our efforts to gain freedom from British control. June 17, 1775 saw the Battle of Bunker Hill, first major battle of the Revolutionary War. These are just a few historical events that took place in the great city of Boston at our country's inception.

A fictional setting

I visited Boston two times while researching my novels Hannah Rose (2005) and Son of Perdition (2006), so I have a profound love for that beautiful, historic city. At right, see the Louisburg Square Townhouse I used for a model for my heroine's house in those two books.
 

Hannah Rose is now available in e-book format from amazon.com. Son of Perdition is coming soon. Check my Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com





My first Love Inspired Historical (2009)

Boston is also an important setting in my first two Love Inspired Historicals, Love Thine Enemy (Harlequin 2009) and The Captain’s Lady (Harlequin 2010). In the first LIH, an American patriot lady falls in love with the son of a British earl who is one of King George III's advisors. But once the Declaration of Independence is signed, their romance is in serious jeopardy.

 
Although I've had several more Love Inspired Historical books published, I mention these because of their Boston connection.
 
And because I have been to Boston.
 
I walked the very street where, on April 15, 2013, wretched cowards placed bombs to kill and maim decent people who were out for a run to test their personal strengths. People who were enjoying their freedom! How sad that we must add this tragedy to Boston’s list of historic events. Brave patriots won our freedom for us, but this is the work of a madman.

Words of wisdom
Maya Angelou once said, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

We must face the past and the future with courage by refusing to let those haters of freedom frighten us into hiding in our homes. Instead we must go forth and enjoy our freedom to work, play, worship, and generally live life as we see fit.

Still going strong

Eighty years after President Harding called this nation an inspiring example of freedom and civilization to all mankind, the United States of America is still a beacon of liberty to the entire world. For those who still scoff at our liberty and despise our freedoms, let the words of Marco Rubio explain it all: “They may claim to hate us, but they sure want to be us.”

But those of good faith, including most of those Old World countries mentioned above, now wish us well. Many people the world over long to come here so they can enjoy the Land of Opportunity. To those who have the patience to come through the front doors, we say “Welcome!” Let Freedom ring!

Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical Imprint. Her latest release is A Suitable Wife, a Regency romance set in 1814 London. Visit her blog at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Amish Suspense


Debby Giusti here!

I just received the go-ahead from my Love Inspired Suspense editor, Emily Rodmell, on the proposal for the sixth book in my Military Investigations Series. The story—untitled at this point--features a heroine in the US Army Criminal Investigation Division who grew up Amish. I’m thrilled Emily liked the idea and excited about including some of my past experiences with the Amish in the story.

My dad was career army and we lived in numerous spots around the country, but he and my mother were originally from Ohio, and I graduated from The Ohio State University. Often during college, friends and I would head to Plain City, an Amish community not far from Columbus, to enjoy the wonderful restaurants that featured favorite Amish delights.  

Sometimes we'd head farther north into Holmes County that boasts of having one of the largest Amish communities in the US. Picturesque farms dot the rolling hills, and we’d pass horse drawn buggies on the way to local dairies that sold cheese and ice cream, which provided special treats on a hot summer’s day and a lovely escape from campus life.

After marrying, my hubby and I lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where I’d shop at the nearby Amish farmers’ market stocked with local produce and fresh baked pies and breads. Often we’d drive to Lancaster County, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, with favorite stops at Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand. Visiting Zook’s Fabric store was fun. On one trip, my husband bought a straw hat, and I found a lovely hand stitched slip for my youngest daughter.

As you know, the Amish speak Pennsylvania Dutch, a derivative of the German language. My great-grandparents came from Fulda, and my husband and I lived in Germany for three years. I became quite fluent in German while there. Hearing the Amish dialect reminds me of my time in Deutschland and makes me feel a certain kinship with the Amish.

Doing research and pulling information from my past for this next book has been so much fun, but now I need to write the story. I’ll keep you posted on my progress in the days ahead.

Have you visited Amish communities? What did you think of their plain lifestyle? Do you enjoy reading Amish stories? 

Wishing you abundant blessings,

The General’s Secretary, book 4 in my Military Investigations series, is available here. The Soldier’s Sister will be released in October. Watch for the Amish story, book 6, in March 2014.



THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY
By Debby Giusti

Trusting the Wrong Person Can Be Deadly...

Lillie Beaumont's dark past has just turned up on her porch--fatally wounded. The dying words of the man imprisoned for killing Lillie's mother suggest hidden secrets. Criminal Investigations Division special agent Dawson Timmons agrees. He has his own motive for seeking the truth, and it gives Lillie every reason to doubt him. But even as they reluctantly begin to face painful secrets together, Dawson fears that a murderer is waiting to strike again. And this time, Lillie is right in the line of fire...






Monday, April 15, 2013

On being a multi-published author.


Patricia Davids here.
I'd like to wish you a happy Tax Day. I hope you have filed your taxes. If you haven't, stop reading this blog and get cracking. You have until midnight.

I'm sure many of you realize how drastically an author's life changes when they become published. I wanted to share with you some of the changes in my life.

Recently, I reached a milestone in my writing career. I finished my 22nd manuscript. It was an awesome feeling. To celebrate completing my book, I played fetch with my dog Sadie, loaded the dishwasher, picked up all the dirty clothes I’d left scattered around the house for the two weeks I was in panic-stricken deadline mode, and then I got into my car and went to KFC and got supper.

As I was sitting in the drive-thru, I said to myself, "Pat, this is a sad way to celebrate."

I went home, ate my yummy chicken pot pie and wonderful apple turnover in front of the TV and thought, "Hey, a long soak in a hot bath will end my day on an high note."

So, I started the water, added the bubbles, let the tub fill and went to get in. At that point, I thought, "Gee, this is a little chilly."

I ran some more hot water, but WAIT. There was no more hot water. Ugh! Don't you hate that when it happens?

I finished my tepid bubble bath in short order, and spent the next twenty minutes lying face down on the laundry room floor cleaning beneath and relighting the pilot light on my old hot water heater.

Dust bunnies and spiders live under there! Okay, they were tiny spiders and they are dead now, but YUCK.

After the blue flame was glowing once more, I headed to bed in my flannel nightgown. As I lay on a small sliver of the mattress while my snoring 75lb yellow Labrador took up the rest of the bed, I thought, "Golly, it's amazing how being a multi-published, award winning romance novelist and the author of 22 books has changed my life."

Just so you know. Life isn't always greener on the other side.

Book #22 will be out next year. Book # 18, Plain Admirer, will be on sale in June.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Family Lessons Interview


How exciting to have Holly Sanders, the heroine from Family Lessons written by Allie Pleiter, an April 2013 release from Love Inspired Historical Romance .

1.   Holly, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
That’s just it--I’m not interesting at all.  I’m as uninteresting as they come, I tell you.  Oh, I suppose I’m a good teacher, and that’s worth something in these parts, but Evans Grove is filled with good people who merit much more attention that I.
2.   What do you do for fun?
I love to read every book I can get my hands on.  It’s been much harder to find a free hour since the flood damaged so many homes and shops in our town.  Everyone’s been working so hard to try to rebuild--reading feels like a luxury I can’t afford right now.
3.   What do you put off doing because you dread it?
While I do indeed dread it, I can’t put off starting up school again.  There will be empty seats from the children taken by the flood.  It’s such a sorrowful thing, I can’t bear to think about it--despite how much I love to teach.
4.   What are you afraid of most in life?
I’m afraid that I’ll never amount to anything, never make a true difference in someone’s life.  I’d have to say that having a gun pointed in my back during a train robbery is the most frightening thing that’s ever happened to me.
5.   What do you want out of life?
I want to matter to someone, to be dear to their heart.  I’ve almost given up hope of that someone being Mason Wright.
6.   What is the most important thing to you?
The children are everything to me.  I want them to grow up smart and strong and full of hope.  The flood has taken so much from them.  I want them to feel like life still has joys in store for them.
7.   If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I wish that I was pretty.  Not beautiful--I don’t need that--just less plain than I am now.
8.   Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I have a cat named Dickens.  He’s wonderful company and very clever.
9.  Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
The orphan trains were run by social agencies back east to give impoverished children a better life.  It seems so harsh to ship them all the way out here to new families, but I’ve heard that many of them find wonderful homes.  It’s my hope that the orphans who were stranded here in Evans Grove get such loving new homes.