Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goals, Motivation and Conflict

Deb Kastner here, wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Goals.  Motivation.  Conflict.  I’m sure most of my writer friends have heard these three words slung together at one time or another.  Authors use them a lot, especially when we’re first forming our stories.  We identify what’s important to our characters, what drives them to pursue those goals (motivation), and what conflicts could potentially get in the way of them succeeding (in a novel, the more conflict, the merrier).

As the New Year quickly approaches, I find myself evaluating 2013—what worked for me and what didn’t, goals on which I progressed and those I quickly scrapped, the life changes I’ve been through, what 2014 is shaping up to be, and what I’d like it to look like.


This is the time of year I look at Goals, Motivation and Conflict in an entirely different way—as they apply to my own life.  



GOALS
What are my hopes and dreams for 2014?  Are they realistic?  Specific?  Can I break my goals into pieces so I can celebrate small successes along the way?  Do I have an appropriate number of goals?  Am I stretching myself as a person or overwhelming myself?

MOTIVATION
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, I find it easy to overdo.  I want to write faster, read more, eat less, lose weight and save money.  All noble goals, to be sure, but I’ve discovered that if I don’t have the motivation to back those goals, they drop off within the first week or two and I’m back to my old, familiar habits.

Every year for—well, ever—“Lose Weight” was at the top of my list, and it was always the first thing to drop off after the new year began.  Why?  Because while I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be weight-wise, there were many other more pressing items ahead of that goal.  Last year I finally recognized that I needed to be serious about weight loss in order to help me live a healthier lifestyle.  I researched and studied and learned what would work for me.  And then I put my plan into action.  My motivation changed—and so did my weight.  I’m not done with my weight loss journey yet, but I’ve seen the difference the changes in my lifestyle have made and I’m committed to continuing down that path.

CONFLICT

Here’s where the rubber meets the road.  I’ve made my goals measurable and specific, so I know when I’ve reached the finish line, or at least made progress.  I’ve prayed and examined myself and have found the motivation in my heart to pursue those goals.  Yep.  I’m sure about it.  These are things I really want to do this year.  But what happens when I have a bad day, when I fall off the diet bandwagon or don’t get my word count in?

Life happens.  I hit walls, I am tempted down the wrong path, or something truly urgent interferes with my plans.  Like the characters in my novels, things get difficult sometimes.  I’ve come to realized it’s what I choose to do when I hit those bumps in the road that makes the difference when I look back at the end of the year.  If I have strong goals I really care about, and if I continually look to God for course-corrections, I’ll weather those distractions and failures and continue the path I’ve set for myself.

So what about you?  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Have you considered your motivations in making those goals and the conflicts that may arise?  How did you do with your goals in 2013?  And what are you most excited about for 2014?

CUPID TO THE RESCUE
Rugged and tough deputy sheriff Eli Bishop isn't scared of anything.  Except dogs.  When he's assigned a K-9 partner, he thinks things can't get any worse.  Then he learns who'll be training him.  Local vet Mary Travis is sweet as sugar...but she's also Eli's ex-fiancee's sister.  Revealing his humiliating phobia to her is not an option.  Neither is developing feelings for Mary--who's built her career around the dogs Eli fears.  When a terrible storm hits their town, Mary and Eli must find the courage to work together and save lives--and fall in love.

Deb Kastner's book Her Valentine Sheriff is a February 2014 release.  You can purchase it here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Craftie Ladies



May the Lord bless you this Christmas with joy and peace. 
Louise M. Gouge

Wishing all our Love Inspired readers a blessed Christmas filled with love and laughter, family and friends. And may the hope born in the Christ child shine in our lives throughout the year. 
~Sandra Orchard

"My very best wishes to our readers and their families and God bless us everyone."
Lyn Cote

Merry Christmas!  Hope your day is full of blessings and hugs.  
Pamela Tracy 

Merry Christmas. May the joy, peace and good will of the season be with you and your loved ones.  Merrillee Whren


Wishing you a very merry Christmas from the Tippens family! I pray your holiday is filled with love and peace.  
Missy Tippens

God bless you and your love ones with a Christmas full of joy and love. 
Margaret Daley

Warm wishes for a blessed Christmas and wonderful new year for you and your loved ones 
— Jean C. Gordon

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas! I pray that no matter where you are, you are surrounded by the comfort and joy of God’s love for us all on this day and everyday.  
Janet Lee Barton

To the wonderful readers of Love Inspired, Thank you for reading and supporting our stories. You have blessed us more than you can know! May your Christmas be graced with the fullness of God's love. May the new year bring great joy and peace. May each day bring new blessings.  
Christine Johnson

Hoping everyone has a blessed Christmas full of joy and love. May the light if the world shine upon you with grace and peace. 
Terri Reed

Wishing everyone a very Merry and Joyous Christmas, filled with an awareness of God's amazing grace and warmed by the love and memories of families and friends
Winnie Griggs 

Merry Christmas to the Craftie Ladies of Romance Community of Readers. May this Christmas be a special time with family and friends. I always pray for my readers, and I'll be asking the Lord to bless you abundantly as you celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. Your friendship and support mean so much to all of us!  
Debby Giusti


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

 It's Christmas eve.  The house is almost clean, the presents wrapped, the grocery shopping done.  Family are on their way here.  The board games are out and ready to be played.  
I wish you all a very blessed Christmas full of joy, love and laughter.

Something to look forward to in the New Year, coming in Feb 2014! 





Killer Competition
A champion ski jumper, Nick Walsh wants one thing: to win the gold for his late brother.  Nick has always blamed himself for his family's tragic loss--and so does everyone else.  To complicate things, sweet and shy reporter Julie Frost insists on doing a story about him.  But as Nick gets closer to achieving his dream, someone will do anything to stop him.  Somehow, Nick must keep Julie from getting to close as they confront a threat that can destroy them both.  Julie and Nick are on the verge of discovering the truth about his brother's death...unless an unknown murderer finds them first.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Preparations!

Missy Tippens, here. Getting ready for a big Christmas with all my family here at our house. I'm writing this on Saturday after spending two and a half hours at the grocery buying all the food we'll need. I've been batting around menu ideas for weeks. Finally just bit the bullet and jotted down a list in the grocery store parking lot. :) I hope my family enjoys what I have planned!


As you can see, I finally got all the decorations put up, including stockings for the dogs and cats! :) Yes, we like to put treats in them to occupy the dogs so they don't interrupt gift opening. So the pets are all settled, yet I still have shopping to do. What about you? Have you been rushing around getting ready? What do you have left to do?

Speaking of dogs…I love this ornament!
Missy

www.missytippens.com

Friday, December 20, 2013

Time to Celebrate with Family-Finale


"I Need to See Your Face on Christmas Day" by Shannon LaBrie. This video is by the daughter of a Christian author Stephanie Grace Whitson and the photos are of their family. I thought it was fitting for our celebrating family this holiday.

 Here I am with my dh in front of our tree. The porch overlooking the lake is behind us.
This is our view in the winter in northern Wisconsin! What do you see out your window on Christmas morning?
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL THE CRAFTIE LADIES 
TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!--Lyn

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Amazing Grace Christmas House

This is awesome.  I wish I were standing out in the snow just watching.


Click here



My question to you is.... would your hubby put up all these lights?    Wish mine would.  Of course, our house isn't this big.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Party Time

www.rhondagibson.net
Rhonda Gibson here...

Yes it is that time of the year again. I love Christmas parties. This week I am preparing for my local writer's group, The Story Weavers,  Christmas party. It is going to be Saturday the 21st at one of the members house. This is our first Christmas party as a group and I'm way excited.

Here are a few things we are going to do:
1. Eat Brunch (starts at 10am goes until 12:00)
2. Have a bean auction using small, inexpensive, wrapped gifts that we are all bringing.
3. Discuss our plans for the upcoming year.

But, mainly it's to be a time of fellowship. We will get to know one another better, have some fun and celebrate Christ's birth.

What are some of the things that you've done at Christmas parties? I'd love to hear ideas for next years party and since we are doing this early, I might be able to use them this year.



http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Texas-Rancher-Inspired-Historical-ebook/dp/B00CFX57LW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387250884&sr=1-1&keywords=taming+the+texas+rancher
Oh and there is still time to buy Taming The Texas Rancher for a Christmas gift.
 
                        

Monday, December 16, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM DEBRA CLOPTON

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM DEBRA CLOPTON!

Chuck and I work with the youth at our church, the Cowboy Church of Leon County. And we love it. We have lots of help and each year before Christmas the youth do a craft project for the residents of the local nursing home. When we deliver them we sing songs to the ladies and gentlemen residents and then hand the presents out and visit with everyone for a little while. It's one of my favorite things to do for the holidays from creation to presentation. Over the years we've decorated wooden crosses, plaques with Bible verses and this year we did plaques with old hymns decoupage on them. The kids add decorations and their own unique twist to each with all kinds of things: pebbles, flowers, beads, rope and wire crosses. I love watching the teens creating the gifts but then I love seeing them presenting them to the men and women also. It just blesses my soul.
Today was the day we went to nursing home and handed the gifts out for this Christmas. It was a great day. Here is one of the crosses from a couple of years ago.  (Its missing a rock that we had to glue back on but I think the boy who did this did a great job) Kids can do the coolest things sometimes. And I totally get a kick out of the high school boys who come in and really get into creating something when they truly didn't believe they weren't capable of it. What a blessing it is to see them end up enjoying themselves.   What is one of your favorite things to do during the Christmas season?
In my upcoming story, HER UNEXPECTED COWBOY on SALE December 17, book 2 of Cowboys of Sunrise Ranch, there is a scene where the boys of the ranch are not very excited about having to take art lessons from Lucy Calvert. I loved writing those art scenes and had many of the teen boys from our youth group on my mind as I wrote them. I believe you'll enjoy them too as the boys discover they have more to offer than they believe they do. I hope you'll order a copy today and enjoy Rowdy McDermott and Lucy Calvert's romance. And I'm wishing you each and everyone a wonderful and blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of  Jesus.
 
Falling For The Cowboy

Rowdy McDermott has a plan. Stay on the straight and narrow, help the foster boys on Sunrise Ranch and forget about love. The last thing he expects is his pretty new neighbor falling literally into his arms. Lucy Calvert is glad the handsome cowboy broke her fall,  but isn't ready for the feelings he's stirring in her heart. She's heard rumors about his past, and is steering clear from the kind of man he used to be. With a little help from his boys,  can Rowdy show her that people— and hearts—can change?

Cowboys of Sunrise Ranch:  These men have hearts as big as Texas.
 
 
I have a lot of books coming out in 2014 including new Mule Hollow books! So I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter and contest on my webpage http://debraclopton.com/contest/  so that you'll get the latest scoop on me and my books.
you can also "Like" me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debra.clopton.5  
 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Return of the Cowboy Doctor Interview

How exciting to have Maxwell White, the hero from Return of the Cowboy Doctor written by Lacy Williams, a December 2013 release from Love Inspired Historical.

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

I’m a medical student. I love learning about human anatomy, and I can’t wait to be finished with my studies and practice medicine. There are a lot of folks who need medical help and not enough doctors to go around.

2.  What do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my family. Jonas adopted me when I was fourteen, and being a part of his big family (seven adopted brothers, Breanna, and now Jonas and Penny’s two young children…) is sometimes-crazy, but there’s a lot of love to go around. It’s a big change from the life I grew up in and I’m thankful, even if the brothers get a little carried away at times…

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

Um… talking to females. My schooling was hit-and-miss as a child and I never really learned how to relate to the opposite sex… and being shy doesn’t help. I’m just not good at it, so I tend to steer clear of most girls, if I can help it.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

My brothers finding out I write poetry… kidding. Mostly.
I’m afraid that all the things my birth ma told me about being worthless and ending up alone are going to come true. I haven’t been able to finish my schooling and the two girls I was sweet on in college let me go… what if my ma was right?

5.  What do you want out of life?

To help people. I’ve been in situations where only a doctor can help (when I broke my arm, for one), and I know that out here in the West doctors are in high demand. I want to be there for the folks in my community… and I wouldn’t mind finding a woman to share that dream with me.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

My family. When the cholera outbreak happened, I got real scared that Penny (my adoptive ma) would get sick and die. She’s the only woman who’s really loved me for me.

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

I don’t, but my little sister’s scruffy white dog has taken to following me around. The thing is a pain, but Hattie seems to think it’s cute, so I’ll put up with the orneriness…

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

There are a lot of medical advances happening. Doctors are starting to figure out about germs and how cleanliness can prevent infection, but there’s not a lot of consistency in medical practices, yet. If docs don’t keep up with their education, they can be practicing “old” medicine that maybe isn’t best for the patient.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: RETURN OF THE COWBOY DOCTOR BY LACY WILLIAMS









The Cowboy's Reluctant Sweetheart
Two years shy of his medical degree, cowboy Maxwell White is out of money. So, he's back in Bear Creek, wWyoming, working part-time for the local physician. Though he is immediately drawn to the doctor's lovely, whip-smart daughter, she seems to be irritated by Maxwell's very existence.
Hattie Powell can't quash her feelings for the town's new would-be doctor. But that's exactly why she must keep him at a distance. Hattie is closer than ever to fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming a doctor. Now, the only thing standing in her way is the man of her dreams.

Wyoming Legacy: United by family, destined for love

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Time to Celibrate with Family-Part 3

Lyn Cote here, Another day of our family photos for Christmas celebration. Hope you will many new memories this year and take many photos.


This is the Phinney Family Christmas morning. I love all the chaos of Christmas morning!

This is Barbara Phinney and her husband in the Canary Islands on vacation. It's for contrast with the next photo~

This is Barbara's Christmas morning photo of her neck of the words. She lives in New Brunswick, Canada, the Bay of Fundy shore. It reminds me of my neck of the woods! Here's a photo from my porch this November.

 Well, next week will be our final photos for 2013! Do you live in a snowy Christmas area or a no snow area?--Lyn

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Allie Pleiter on crazy holiday traditions…

Growing up, my family had some regular holiday traditions—the tree always went up on December 15 and came down on January 15 (we didn’t have a live one…).  We opened presents on Christmas morning, having to wait at the top of the stairs until my father got the old movie camera and lights set up so he could film our rambunctious descent.  All the standard holiday trimmings.
We had one crazy tradition, too.  One year, my brother got a gift certificate to the local pizza parlor as a raffle prize.  When my parents learned they were open until midnight on Christmas Eve, we went there for dinner.  As did half the town, evidently, because the place was jolly and packed with happy customers (nowadays I wonder how the wait staff felt about this…).  For decades after that night, pizza on Christmas Eve was a family requirement.  A little odd for my formal Connecticut upbringing, but we loved it.

When my brother and I grew up and left home, I was delighted to learn both he and I continued the tradition.  There was one year that we celebrated away from Connecticut and we spent hours driving around Washington DC looking for an open restaurant!  My children—both pizza fanatics in their younger days; one still is—loved the crazy Christmas Eve menu.

As the DC experience foretold, it’s become impossible to find a pizza place open on Christmas Eve.  The closest we can come now is one that closes at 4pm, so we’ve either switched the tradition to lunch, or made our own at home.  Some times you have to adapt to survive.  No matter which meal we choose, I can assure you pizza will be on the Dec 24 menu at the Pleiter house this and every year.


How about you?  What’s your craziest Christmas tradition?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's The Season for Trivia!


1. The name of Scrooge's deceased business partner in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was?
2. What is the name of Tiny Tim's father in the story, "A Christmas Carol"?
3. What did Frosty The Snowman have for a nose?
4. How many gifts would you receive if you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"?
5. In the song "Winter Wonderland", who do we pretend the snowman is?
6. In the movie "Miracle on 34th Street", a man is on trial for claiming to be Santa Claus. What convinces the judge to rule in the man's favor?
7. In the traditional song, "Go Tell It on the Mountain", what are you suppose to go tell on a mountain?
8. According to the song, "Frosty The Snowman" what kind of soul does Frosty have?
9. True or False: Joseph was the one that told Mary she was going to have a baby.
10. In the Christmas Song, who did I (the narrator) see kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe last night?

At the end of today, I'll post the answers.  In the meantime, figure them out on your own.  Have fun!

Monday, December 9, 2013

USA Today Bestseller List, December 5, 2013


Patricia Davids here.
 
I received a congratulatory email from my editor on Thursday. My e-book collection, Christmas Brides of Amish Country, debuted at # 133 on the USA Today Bestseller list. It was a dream come true.

I have a writing bucket list on the bulletin board in my office that has been there for a few years. This is what it says.

To make my dream a reality will take eight hours of work a day.

"I dreamed I was a romance writer."

I will…

1. Write four books a year.

2. Win a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award.

3. Win a National Readers Choice Award.

4. Have a USA Today bestseller.

5. Have a New York Times bestseller.

6. Win a Rita Award.

7. Have a book made into a movie.

"I dreamed I was a romance writer."

It all starts Today.

I WRITE.

As of last Thursday, I was able to check off number 4 on my bucket list. Last spring, I checked off my first goal when I drew a line through number 2. My book, A Home for Hannah, won the Reviewer's Choice Award for the best Love Inspired novel of 2012.

I have been blessed, and I know it. I've had some wonderful breaks in my career. Personally, I think my dear, departed husband is doing some arm twisting up in Heaven. He was a big persuasive man who believed in me wholeheartedly. There is no one I would rather have cheering me on.

But what happens after the cheering is over and the congratulations stop pouring in?
They do stop. The world moves on and someone else wins an award or does something noteworthy. What replaces the dream that meant so much?

Sometimes it is harder to be successful than it is to be unsuccessful.

By reaching the peak you've worked toward you are left with only one way to go. Oh, you can cling to the peak for as long as possible, but eventually what goes up…must come down. A wise person prepares for the trip in both directions.

Success does not define us. It doesn't make us skinny. It doesn't solve our troubled relationships. It doesn't make us happy. If will very likely bring a new set of problems.   

I have enjoyed my fifteen minutes of fame. I printed off and framed a clip from the USA Today website for my mother. She's thrilled. I also understand that not everyone enjoys my success. We are human after all. We harbor that little green monster of jealousy inside us even though we keep it buttoned up most of the time. I'm as guilty as the next person in this, but I try hard to feel good when others do better than I have. The green monster gets a few seconds of freedom and then I close the lid on him. Life is too short and precious not to enjoy seeing others succeed.

I have complete confidence that I will check off all the dreams on my bucket list before I'm through. Overconfidence is one of my most serious faults. It leads to as many failures as successes, but it gets me up and charging toward the goal again when I get knocked down. If you stay down, how can you get where you want to go?

I'm thankful today for what God has allowed me to achieve in writing and in all parts of my life. I know full well that none of it would have happened unless it was part of His plan. I'm also prepared to slip down the slope and set my sights on a new goal. That will require me to finish another book so I'd better get writing.
 
You can aid in my next success by picking up a copy of my newest book, Amish Christmas Joy. On sale now.

What have been some of your successes? What have been some of your failures? What's next in your life?   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sugarplum Homecoming Interview


How exciting to have Lana Ross, the heroine  from  Sugarplum Homecoming by Linda Goodnight, a  December, 2013, release from Love Inspired Romance.

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

Most people are interested in my music. You see, I left my small Ozark town years ago to pursue a career in country music. I sing and play and write songs, so everyone in Whisper Falls said I’d make it big. They were wrong. All I made were a lot of mistakes.

2.  What do you do for fun?

I love hanging out with my niece, Sydney, who lives with me. She’s an amazing little girl who deserves a lot more than a life on the streets of Nashville. That’s why we’re back in Whisper Falls because, heaven only knows, I never wanted to come back here.

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

This question made me smile. I really dread facing the people of Whisper Falls, especially my neighbor Davis Turner. He is the smiling poster boy for Mr. Clean Cut and Nice. We knew each other from high school back when I was the poster girl for Wild Child. The Lord has changed me but people here will only remember the bad things I did.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing Sydney. She’s my life now and I’ll do anything to protect her. I’d rather people think bad things about me than for them to discover she is not really my child. I’m afraid someone will take her away because I’m not the most fit guardian.

5.  What is the most important thing to you?

Giving Sydney the home she needs. It used to be my music but not since I cleaned up my act.

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

I was a horrible student, never read anything in my life except country music magazines, but lately, I’m trying to read the Bible.

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

My reputation! I was going to say I’d like to get rid of this paralyzing stage fright but I think maybe God gave me that so I won’t argue with Him!

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

No, but Sydney is asking for a puppy for Christmas. I don’t know. I never stayed in one place long enough to have a pet. All this change is overwhelming!

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
That’s so hard. I have many regrets that I’d like to rewind, but maybe I’d go back and refuse the first time someone offered me alcohol.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: SUGARPLUM HOMECOMING BY LINDA GOODNIGHT


A New Mommy For Christmas 
Widower Davis Turner doesn't need to hear his children's whispered wishes for a new mom to recognize that new neighbor Lana Ross is a beautiful woman. But he worries that his feelings for the former bad girl could put his family at risk for small-town scandal. Lana knows she should steer clear of Davis. Yet she can't resist spending time with the handsome single dad, even if the truth might soon tear them apart. Though Lana has turned over a new leaf, her secrets have followed her to Whisper Falls. Secrets that could destroy her hope for a future with Davis. 
Whisper Falls: Where every prayer is answered…

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Time to Celebrate with Family, Part 2

Lyn Cote here again, with more family memories. Leigh Bale, Margaret Daley and Louise Gouge have shared photos today. Voile!
Leigh Bale's Husband in disguise--or is he?
Well, HO, HO, HO! Leigh says that sometimes Santa overshadows Jesus, but her husband loves playing Santa at church and being surrounded by happy children! Sounds like a great guy!

This is one of those special moments when four generations pose together. I think you'll recognize one of them, right?
This is Louise Gouge's family Christmas portrait. They look like a happy bunch!

When I saw Leigh Bale's husband dressed up as Santa, I was reminded of my first Christmas with my husband. He was the last minute replacement for Santa at the church children's party (with a pillow added.) Anyway one little girl sidled up to me and whispered in my ear, "I won't tell anyone but that's your WIFE!" One of those precious moments--as I agreed with her that he indeed was my wife.
Do any of you have similar memories--little funnies that brought a smile and still linger in the memory?--Lyn

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis the season...

Lacy Williams here.

Black Friday is just past. Stores have had Christmas items and decorations out for at least a month.

Traffic is getting a little crazy, and the grocery store is constantly packed.

But in all the chaos of the season, I'm finding joy. Having little children is a blessing. To be able to see things through their eyes, to know the joy of Christmas again when I myself have gotten a little cynical.

We decorated our tree over a week ago. Yes, we have the overload of ornament on the bottom branches (where they can reach!). And the littlest Miss has an obsession with the cord. Yikes!

We put up our outside lights as well and it makes me smile when our son (two years old) asks daddy to drive around the neighborhood to see lights every time we come home after dark.

Sure, there's family stress and money is tight, but we get to talk about the birth of Jesus when the kids want to know what Christmas is all about. It's a bit like having a second childhood. And isn't that what it's all about? Jesus said that we need to have faith like a little child.

I hope that no matter your circumstances this holiday season, you'll find joy in the small things. What's your favorite thing about Christmas?

Lacy Williams grew up on a farm, which is where her love of cowboys was born. In reality, she's married to a right-brained banker (happily with three kiddos). She gets to express her love of western men by writing historical romance. Her books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013 & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. JOIN LACY'S NEWSLETTER

Here's the blurb for her recent release RETURN OF THE COWBOY DOCTOR:
Two years shy of his medical degree, cowboy Maxwell White is out of money. So, he's back in Bear Creek, Wyoming, working part-time for the local physician. Though he is immediately drawn to the doctor's lovely, whip-smart daughter, she seems to be irritated by Maxwell's very existence.
Hattie Powell can't quash her feelings for the town's new would-be doctor. But that's exactly why she must keep him at a distance. Hattie is closer than ever to fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming a doctor. Now, the only thing standing in her way is the man of her dreams.

"Williams delivers a smart, gentle, and uplifting fourth novel set in 1890s Wyoming (after Roping the Wrangler)...sweet, poetic Max is a lovable hero, and Hattie's desire to have both career and family will resonate strongly with readers." - Publisher's Weekly (Oct 28, 2013)

4.5 stars TOP PICK! "Hattie's story accurately depicts the kind of prejudice a female doctor would have faced in 1897. It is easy to have sympathy with the hero's character, and the mention of his brothers will leave the reader eager to hear their stories in future books." -RT Book Reviews (December)





 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story
By Margaret Daley

This is one of my favorite movies at Christmas. I've watched it many times and I don't usually watch a movie more than once. Although I was a little younger than Ralphie at the time the movie took place, a lot of what happened spoke to me and brought back such fond memories of Christmas as a child. There are some priceless scenes--the one with the leg lamp, visiting Santa Claus, the Red Ryder B.B. gun obsession and how to get one, the tongue glued to the flagpole, the classroom scenes, etc. I could go on and on about the movie. What Christmas movie have you enjoyed--possibly watched more than once?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Special Christmas Moment


A Special Christmas Moment
By Margaret Daley

One of the special Christmas moments I look back fondly on was the one where my parents had an open house every Christmas Eve. Friends and relatives (children included) visited, laughed, talked and ate at my home. My mother cooked for days and put out quite a feast for the guests. I especially loved her homemade eggnog.

I can still remember on those Christmas Eves a fire going in the fireplace, the Christmas tree, full of decorations, all lit up and snow falling outside (some years). Every holiday when we put up our tree I love putting those old ornaments from my childhood on my tree. In fact, my Christmas tree is full of memories from my childhood, my son’s and places and people I’ve known. Decorating our tree is a journey into the past for my husband and me.

So when my cats tipped the Christmas tree over, I was not happy. When I walked into my living room and saw the mess, my mouth dropped open. I was totally surprised. I'm not sure which one was responsible, but boy were they curious about all the ornaments on the floor. I had to wait until my husband came home to right the tree. I was afraid to look at the ones that were broken--I thought most of them were. When we put it up, half of the ornaments were on the floor but surprisingly only three of them were broken. I couldn’t' believe more weren't broken. A lot of the old ones I had from my mother (over fifty years old) were glass ornaments. Not one of them broke.

So next year I'll be able to put up my tree and remember all the people and places that the ornaments remind me of. That is a special time when I decorate the tree.

What is one of your favorite memories of Christmas? 

Blurb for Her Holiday Hero (Caring Canines Series) by Margaret Daley:
The Soldier's Gift 
The holidays are right around the corner, but Captain Jake Tanner is struggling to find Christmas cheer. Having survived a devastating attack overseas, he has emotional scars that run deep. When Jake meets beautiful widow Emma Langford, his heart is unprepared for the feelings she inspires. 
Training service dogs has taught Emma to recognize those in need. She wants to show Jake that a four-legged companion is the best therapy, but she's afraid that the closer she gets, the more her own wounds are revealed. 
Together, Jake and Emma will discover it takes a different kind of bravery to open themselves to love—and to healing. 
Caring Canines: Loving and loyal, these dogs mend hearts.

Her Holiday Hero Interview



How exciting to have Jake Tanner the hero from Her Holiday Hero a December by Margaret Daley, 2013 release from Love Inspired Romance.
1.  Jake, tell me the most interesting thing about you. I played football in high school and took the team to state finals. Being on the football team helped me to learn to be a member of a group.
2.  What do you do for fun? Lately not much. Since leaving the Army because of an injury, I've gone back to school to get my doctorate in psychology. I want to help veterans.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it? Getting back into the mainstream of things. I don't like being in large groups.
4.  What are you afraid of most in life? Not being able to overcome PTSD.
5.  What is the most important thing to you? Helping fellow soldiers deal with returning from a war zone.
6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book? Right now I'm reading for my doctorate program in psychology.
7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? That my men were never ambushed and slaughtered, that I could save them.
8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? I have a service dog that Emma Langford trained and gave me. His name is Shep. He has been a wonderful companion and a big help easing my anxiety.
9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? Back before the ambush and stop my men from being caught in the middle of it.