Friday, May 31, 2013

Ask Elnora--About Electronic Activities??? Lenora Worth

Hello, my BFFs. I'm LOL about how society has become so dependent on electronic gadgets. I long for the good ole days when you actually had to look someone in the eye to talk to them. Now, we have texting, facebooking, tweeting, IMing, Skyping, voice mail and of course, e-mail. Do you know how hard it is to stomp your feet and have a hissy fit through an e-mail!!! Or to tell a story in 140 characters!!!

Going to dinner has become a multi-tasking event, too. The other night, I saw an older couple sitting across from each other in a booth and instead of talking, they were both scrolling on their phones. I wanted to shout, hey, granny and grandpa, say something to each other.

And I'm sure you've been with someone and you see them across the table, one eye on the phone in their hand under the table while you're telling them your delightful and colorful story of how you wrestled a pair of Jimmy Choos out of a woman's hands during clearance in the shoe department. Only they are not really listening. They're more interested in what's streaming on Twitter or what's pinning on Pinterest.

So what about it? I know these necessary evils are here to stay and I actually enjoy them myself. I love being in touch with my friends, my readers and my darling editors. But part of me longs for the days when I didn't know who was calling or I didn't have a phone nearby while enjoying a long, leisurely lunch with a friend. A lunch where we focused on each other and laughed and gossiped and had another round of martinis. Oh, wait. That's only on Mad Men. I don't drink martinis!

Anyway, let's discuss Electronic Etiquette. Have you had experiences that left you exasperated and agitated to the point that you couldn't wait to get home and expound on facebook? Let's hear them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waltzes, Corsets and Rakes, Oh My!

Hello from Jessica Nelson, formerly a writer of World War I era romances.

No longer though.

Oh no, I had a rake with a story, and an almost-on-the-shelf lady in need of some romance! And so I've dug into the Regency era. The fun, the wit, the rules. Oh the rules...they drive me nuts!!

Who gets called "My lord" and who gets called "Mr."? Can my heroine ride with her suitor in an open carriage but not in a closed one? Can their hands ever touch?

What is your favorite historical time period to read about? Which one do you think is the most romantic?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Truth is Stanger than Fiction

Pamela Tracy here, and what you are about to hear is true, absolutely true, and I won't even tell you that the names have been changed to protect the innocent because I'm not mentioning names

It's Memorial Day weekend, and for my family that means camping.















When my hubby and I first married, he had a tent that fit two. We progressed (mostly because of the suitcase I insisted on bringing) to a two room tent. Then, I got pregnant. Did you know when you're pregnant and camping in a tent, it's really REALLY a pain to roll off the ground every ten minutes in the middle of the night because nature calls. Yup, you guessed it. We got a pop-up. We still have it for our short camping trips.

Now we have a camper (think bathroom and stove). The reason why my husband agreed is because our camping trips are for longer periods of time and if he wants me fully vested, I want the potty.

So, we've been camping since Wednesday with lots of camping friends.

The chain of events you are about to read is true. They happened yesterday.

1. Early Morning: Married couple (Grandma and Grandpa) leave tent behind to drive to Big City to attend graduation party.

2. After Dinner: Mother A (not her real name) heads to nearest town (twenty miles away - not really a town, more a spot) for trivial reason.

3. After Dessert: Child bitten in head by over excited dog (Don't worry, child is fine we now know).

4. Mother B tosses child in truck, heads for nearest big town for hospital.

5. Instead: Mother B drives off road (there was lots of dust) and her truck goes down an embankment.

6. Two minutes later: Mother A finds Mother B and rescues her and drives her to hospital.

7. After stitches, Mother B turns child over to Grandpa and Grandma who were not supposed to return camping until following day but who for some stranger reason decided to return early and got to big town just in time to rescue grandson. They spend night in hotel while Mother B returns to campsite and other children.

8. Next day, tow truck pulls Mother B's truck from embankment and NOT a STRATCH.

Isn't God amazing.

If I put this in a book, would you believe me?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Hi, this is Margaret Daley and I wanted to give my thanks to every person who has served in our armed forces to protect our freedom and country. Memorial Day was first observed in May 1868 and finally was declared a national holiday for the last Monday in May in 1971.

My father served in the army as a doctor. I can remember going up into our attic as a little girl and seeing his uniform. I used to wear his hat around. He is dead now, but while thinking about him on this Memorial Day, I thought about those times I played in the attic role playing.

Do you have anyone special you remember on Memorial Day?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Her Unforgettable Cowboy Interview



How exciting to have Morgan McDermott the hero from HER UNFORGETTABLE COWBOY written by Debra Clopton a May 2013 release from Love Inspired Romance. Book 1 of her new Cowboys of Sunrise Ranch Series.

1.     Morgan tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I help run Sunrise Ranch, it’s our families 10,000 acre working cattle ranch and also home to 16 foster boys at a time. I love it. The boys keep us on our toes though. 
2.     What do you do for fun? With 16 boys ranging from 7 to 18 we have every kind of fun you can imagine. From seeing who can flip a calf the quickest to crazy fishing tournaments.
3.     What do you put off doing because you dread it? Looking for love…it hasn’t worked out so well for me in the past. I’ve gotten used to being alone. I’ll probably stay single. Getting practically left at the altar twice will do that to a man.
4.     What are you afraid of most in life? Letting someone get close to me again.
5.     What is the most important thing to you? Being a good role model for these boys and carrying on my mother’s legacy (this ranch was her dream before she passed away.)
6.     Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book? I enjoy a good mystery.
7.     If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I don’t really know—I guess I’d have a tougher heart if that were possible.
8.     Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? My horse. He’s useful and a must have in the ranch business. I love horses and especially love foaling season. The boys hear at the ranch enjoy seeing the new foals running around too.
9.     If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? I’d go back to the day Jolie handed me her engagement ring and chose her career as a competitive kayaker over life with me on the ranch. I’d try to figure out how to stop her from leaving.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: Her Unforgettable Cowboy by Debra Clopton


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?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ask Elnora--About Farm Lit--Lenora Worth :)

Hello, my little chickadees. It's 3rd Friday Writing Day (actually, it's the 4th Friday but who's counting) and I'm fascinated by a term I heard on a writer's loop--farm lit. The link below provides an interesting article about novels where a city girl either returns to her small town roots or leaves the city and finds love in the country.

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/05/chick-lit-is-dead-long-live-farm-lit/275643

This got me to thinking about why our readers seem to love small town stories. Our editors, too, for that matter. Maybe it's the bucolic beauty of a flowery meadow as compared to the cracked dirty drudgery of a crowded sidewalk. Or maybe the smell of fresh apple pie is even more intoxicating than the richness of a coffee shop on every corner. What is it about small towns and the simpler life that readers seem to love?

I grew up in a small town. Couldn't wait to get out of there. I lived on a crossroad and just about every day after I got up old enough to cross the road, I'd go stand in the middle of the crossroads and turn my head in each direction and I'd wonder which way I'd go--North to Atlanta, South to Florida, West to the Pacific or maybe East to the Atlantic. As it turned out, I went North to Atlanta and then West to Louisiana. And I've traveled to both the Pacific and the Atlantic since then and now I live in Florida. While I felt stifled and restricted in my small town, I still have places there that are dear to me, places that I often dream about at night and daydream about during the day. Now I'm humming that John Mellencamp song in my head: "I was born in a small town...."

So is chick lit dead and is farm lit alive? Or can a city chick really survive on a farm? Okay, now I'm singing  the "Green Acres" theme song in my head. "Darlin', I love you but give me Park Avenue." That's my favorite line! Let's talk about city verses country and which we love for settings. I like them both because I believe love happens in both, but there is a different dynamic in each. Kind of like the television show "Smash" as compared to the television show "Nashville." Both are about music but each has a distinctive flavor. Having said that, cowboys are always welcome on Broadway. What do you think? Will we argue until the cows come home or until Carrie Bradshaw comes stumbling home carrying her Manolo Blahniks? I think I'm  a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. And no, I'm not going to sing anything by Donnie and Marie!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Romantic Times Convention, Kansas City, 2013 by Sherri Shackelford

The first week in May I had the opportunity to attend the Romantic Times convention in Kansas City, MO. There are a couple of big conferences for romance writers, including the Romance Writers of America convention and the Christian Fiction Writers convention. Like children, each event has its own personality.

The Romance Writers of America (RWA) convention is a more stately, well-organized event. The Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is like a big, extended family. And the Romantic Times, well, let's just say it's like a trip to Vegas. What happens at RT stays at RT.

Cheryl St. John and I attend a 70's-themed Party

This year the trip was within driving distance, so my critique group planned a getaway. I'm lucky to critique with Cheryl St.John, *lizzie Starr, Eve Savage, MK Meredith, as well as pre-pubs Deb and Donna. The seven of us shared adjoining rooms and took two cars. With all the luggage and promo materials, I drove the entire way without being able to see out of the rear-view window!

We managed to squeeze out a little room for Deb

Now for some shameless name dropping....I had lunch with the amazing Winnie Griggs and Lenora Worth as well as two editors from Harlequin-- Dianne Moggy and Glenda Howard. The editors treated us to a fabulous meal at Union Station. We laughed and talked for over two hours. On the way back to the hotel, Lenora and I even crashed a book release party. (We're such rebels!)

The orange juice and pomegranate drink complimented the book cover perfectly.

While I admit I haven't read her books, I couldn't resist a peek at EL James, the author of the 50 Shades series. Cheryl and I attended the Harlequin Soiree and had a chance to interact with some wonderfully enthusiastic fans. Harlequin provided us with lovely foam-core posters that became our mascots for the event. We took them to lunch, to parties, they visited other hotel rooms....

Lynn Raye Harris, Cheryl St.John, Me

I also did an interview with a Canadian film crew working on a documentary about Harlequin books. We'll see how that turns out! While I was a little concerned they would be looking for the more salacious angles of the romance industry, they proved to be really kind and genuinely interested in the writing process. 

My husband said I traveled with more costume changes than Beyonce... 

Writing can be a lonely business, and I always enjoy the opportunity to see my fellow authors in person. My critique buddies and I taught a class on forming and maintaining a successful critique group. I even managed to attend a few workshops and learn a few things...I'm always, always learning. 

The final morning Cheryl and I had breakfast with fellow Harlequin authors Ann Lethbridge, Kate Bridges, and Jeannie Lin

Deb displays the amount of luggage three women need for five days.

The trip home was bittersweet. We were exhausted and out of outfits, but incredibly sad to let go. We laughed so hard my sides hurt. I'm not kidding, I thought that was just a myth--but my sides actually hurt. 



Sherri Shackelford is an award-winning author of inspirational, Christian romance.


A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.


Sherri is putting the final touches on three more books for her Cimarron Springs series. Winning the Widow's Heart is currently available. The Marshal's Ready-Made Family releases in February of 2014. 








Monday, May 20, 2013

Of May and Mothers

Jean C. Gordon here. For me, May has been all about mothers. To start, I was invited to write a Mother's Day piece for the Harlequin Reader Service Simply Books Extra Home page.It's a tribute to my mother. I love the picture. Mom and Dad had it taken for their 50th wedding anniversary. http://simplybooksextra.readerservice.com/simplybooksextra/2013/05/jean-c-gordont-talks-about-puting-on-your-rose-colored-glasses-for-mothers-day/.

Next was Mother's Day itself. We had special music at church — my husband is in the choir — including "Be Still My Heart" and as our closing song, "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High," one of my favorites. All mothers received a handkerchief, pen, and quote. My quote was "Children are a great comfort in your old age — and they help you reach it faster too." by Lionel Kauffman. (Does he know our son?)

Back at home, my daughter and her family gave me just what I wanted and needed, a courier bag to carry all my stuff back and forth to work. And it's my favorite color. My husband made me mac and cheese and asparagus for dinner.

After the holiday, it was back to work on my current manuscript, which is full of mothers and babies. The heroine is a midwife and the hero an obstetrician. I have my own resident expert for the book, my daughter who's a certified nurse midwife. My deadline to get the book to my editor is June 1.

Finally, I'm looking forward to the July release of my next Love Inspired, the third in my Paradox Lake series, appropriately titled Small-Town Mom.

So, what do you have going on this May?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scent of Danger Interview with Parker Adams


Today we're welcoming Parker Adams the hero Scent of Danger by Terri Reed, a May release from Love Inspired Suspense.

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.   
1.    Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I’m a narcotics detective with the K-9 unit in Sagebrush Texas. My canine partner, Sherlock and I take our job seriously and ridding our streets of illicit drugs is our mission.  We responded to a call from the local youth center, the director had been attacked in her office.  Since there have been rumors that the place is a front for drug trafficking, I knew we had to check it out.

2.    So, during the book you met Detective Melody Zachary.  Tell us a bit about her.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love? Not only is Melody a cold case detective with the Sagebrush PD, she runs the youth center in honor of her late nephew. She’s impressive and pretty, but when I first met her I suspected she was involved with drug trafficking.  It soon became clear she was as committed to stopping the drug flow in our town as I was.  I’m not sure exactly when I fell for her.  She kind of got under my skin.

3.    What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness?  I’m a patient man and sometimes that patience can be a weakness. 
        
4.    What scares you?   Kids dying of drugs, like my younger brother did.

5.    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  I’d loosen up a bit.  I tend to see life as black and white.

6.    Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?  My relationship with God is a bit rocky.
    
7.    Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?
I’ve come to rely and trust in God wholly.  When Melody’s life hung in the balance I realized my faith was the only thing I could cling to.
   
8.    You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant.
The Lord is my light and my salvation: Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life: Of Whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1

This verse is significant to me because Sagebrush has been dealing with powerful crime syndicate that seemed to know our every move.  Reminding myself that God is with me and for me helped me to stay strong in facing the evil that is trying to take over our town.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?  Pecan Pie, of course.  A true Texas dessert.  Deep dish, thick and rich, loaded with pecans and served with cinnamon ice cream. Yum!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: SCENT OF DANGER by Terri Reed




Detective Melody Zachary is determined to find who killed her
nephew in a drug-related murder. She’s launched her teen center
in his memory, to keep kids off the streets. And she’ll prove to
narcotics officer Parker Adams and his K-9 drug-sniffing partner,
Sherlock, it’s not a haven for dealers. As they risk their lives to save others, Melody discovers that Parker and she share the same deep commitment to making a difference. Will circumstances allow them to take the biggest risk yeton love? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ask Elnora--About traveling to exotic places--Lenora Worth

Where in the world have I been? Well, I've been jetting here and there all over the world. Actually, I was riding in a car (sometimes with the top down) and traveling all over the United States. First, I drove an hour to Gulf Shores, Alabama to visit with some of my Louisiana friends. Then after a whirlwind weekend of sun and fun, I came home and unpacked then loaded the suitcase to head off to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Had a blast there then hurried home to write for two days before packing again for a wedding in St. Augustine, Florida.

(Insert picture of old walls and jasmine here) Yes, I tried to download pictures and they kept coming in sideways so you'll just have to image them being here unless someone can tell me how to make them stand up straight!) Not very happy about that and after trying several times, had me a royal hissy fit. But ... St. Augustine is beautiful and old and has the most gorgeous palm trees and old, moss-draped oaks. I remember it from a high school choir trip--well, I remembered the city and flirting with one of the boys from the choir a lot. This time,  I wanted to stay there and explore more of the city but we had to come home.

All of this traveling got me to thinking about exotic locations and how we use them in our stories. I'm sure I'll set a book in St. Augustine one day. Which means another road trip to St. Augustine. It is the nation's oldest city and it begs a writer to stroll down the cobblestone streets and stop for coffee in one of the quaint cafes. The shopping is pretty good, too. There is a lot of art to study and some of the most beautiful buildings you'll ever see. A perfect place for a wedding and a perfect place to set a romance novel.

So tell me, what is your favorite exotic location? Tell us about it!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fairy Tales

Hi Terri Reed here talking about Fairy Tales.  Most of us have grown up hearing fairy tales, either through written stories read to us by our parents and caregivers, or watching the reworked Disney versions.  Or watching television current shows like Once Upon A Time or Grimm.  I have to say I'm enjoying both shows, for different reasons.  Once Upon A Time takes well loved versions of classic stories and reimagines them, intertwining them with days of old and modern times.  While Grimm is a retelling of the Grimm Brothers tales set in modern day Portland Oregon.  Where I happen to live!
Its been exciting for us Portlander's to see the Grimm crews filing around town, to catch sightings of the actors and recognizing the setting.  If any of you watch Grimm, the scenes in the diner that Nick and Hank frequent is directly across the street from my husband's office.
Are you a fan of these shows?
Who is your favorite character?

Oh, next week on May 22nd, I'm doing a live chat at Romance Reviews Today, 9m Eastern time.  I've participated in some live chats. but never as the guest.  If you're interested, stop in.
www.romrevtoday.com

Scent of Danger out now!



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What is your favourite genre to read?




We all have that one favourite genre, or setting, or plot we love to read. Sometimes it stems back to our youth, when we would slip under the covers of our bed and read with a flashlight, or when we put that book in the center of our school textbook and just read freely, hoping our parents would only glance our way and be pleased we were finally showing an interest in history.
Oh, yes, we were. Or at least I was. I was deep in English history, fighting Normans alongside the Saxons, or exploring a great old castle with a Victorian maid brought to be a governess.
These old faves brought comfort to us. They were soul food for our minds.
Do you still read them? Does your heart still flutter when you spy a novel so like the ones you used to read?

But I can honestly say I took the love of that genre one step further. This past March, I was published in it with Bound To The Warrior.
Bound to the Warrior (Love Inspired Historical Series)
Bound To The Warrior
Yes, my all time favourite time period, the Norman conquest of England. There was something about it, the last time England had been conquered. That paradox of wanting a strong king and an English one, getting a Norman King who would forever change history.
Did you know one of the first things William the Conqueror did was abolish slavery in England? He was a brutal, unyielding king, who paradoxically forgave those Saxons who fought against him. There is absolutely no evidence in the history books that he ever cheated on his wife, who bore him many fine sons. And yet, she also defied him, and fought him, and he mourned her when she died.
All periods of history are fraught with interesting tidbits. The rulers of each time period instilled upon them cliches of time and yet, unique aspects of that often contrary human spirit. Queen Victoria bemoaned her fate when she was told she should not have any more children, asking what she was to do for fun. And in the Regency Period, only the poor paid cash. Everyone else lived on credit.
With Bound to the Warrior, I was able to incorporate all the wonderful things I'd come to love about the medieval period, and found out so much more. 'Twas a dangerous time, aye, but one on the cusp of greatness.
What is your favourite time period or setting? What bit of trivia do you know about that time period? What setting do you like, and why?