Saturday, May 30, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Second Chance Hero by Winnie Griggs



Winning the Widow's Heart 

To help his dying sister, Nate Cooper once broke the law—and he's regretted it ever since. Now the ex-con turned saddler hopes for a new beginning in Turnabout, Texas. So when Nate saves a young widow's daughter from imminent harm, he's shocked to be called a hero. 

Single mom Verity Leggett leads a safe life, avoiding danger and excitement at all costs. But her daughter's rescuer Mr. Cooper seems like a perfectly responsible—and handsome—man she can rely on. But when his secrets come to light, will Verity be able to get over his past and see Nate for the caring man he's become? 

Texas Grooms: In search of their brides… 


INTERVIEW:
How exciting to have Verity Leggett, heroine from Second Chance Hero, a Love Inspired Historical May 2015 release, written by Winnie Griggs.

1. Verity, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Well, let’s see, I’m a widow with a five year old daughter, named Joy.  She’s aptly named as she’s the joy of my life.  As for something interesting, I was raised by my uncle who’s a doctor and my former husband was also a doctor.  It’s only natural that I picked up some medical skills of m own.  I now serve as assistant to my uncle whenever he needs held in his medical practice.

2.  What do you do for fun?
I make hats.  I know that might sound a bit frivolous, but I love to work with colorful, fanciful materials and create beautiful, one-of-a-kind hats.  And I’m good at it, if I do say so myself.  My friend Hazel sells them for me in her dress shop and they never linger there long before someone purchases them.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I don’t believe in putting things off, especially those things that you dread. 

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Losing my daughter.

5.  What do you want out of life?
I dearly love my aunt and uncle, but I don’t like having to live off of their charity.  I’d like to find a way to build an independent life for myself and my daughter.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?
The question is ‘who’ not ‘what’ and that would be my daughter Joy.  I’d do anything to keep her safe.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to be more confident and less timid.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I don’t have any pets, mostly because I live in my aunt and uncle’s home and feel it would be an imposition.  But Joy loves animals and can’t pass one by without wanting to play with it.  Someday, when we have our own place, I’ll get her a pet of her own.

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
William McKinley was inaugurated as the 25th President of the United States just last month.  I hear that Mr. Thomas Edison’s new-fangled motion picture camera captured the whole thing and that he even recorded the address with his gramophone.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Giveaway!! Match the Baby to the Author

We have a game for our readers today and through the weekend! Match the baby to the author and win books!

I'll be sharing childhood photos of participating authors. Take your time, and feel free to look at their websites and blogs to try to find out what they look like now. Then you can check out the early photos and match them up.

Email your guesses to MissyTippens [at] aol.com. (Be sure to remove the brackets and use the @ sign.) I will confirm I've received them. If there's a tie on the number correct, we'll pick a winner using a number randomizer. The winner will receive a book from several of our authors!

Please send your answers by midnight Sunday night Pacific Time. The winner will be announced next week in the comments section and will receive an email.

Here's the list of participating authors:

Jolene Navarro
Missy Tippens
Winnie Griggs
Pamela Tracy
Merrillee Whren
Leann Harris
Keli Gwyn
Louise Gouge
Teri Wilson
Mindy Obenhaus
Terri Reed

Have fun!



1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.


7. 
The author is the younger sister

8. 


9. 



10. 



11. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Revisiting the Oregon Trail with Lacy Williams

Hi, readers! Lacy Williams here today to talk about wagon trains and the Oregon Trail.

I was surprised and delighted when my editor asked me to take part in the 2015 multi-author continuity (series) about couples finding love on the Oregon Trail. This series includes WAGON TRAIN REUNION by Linda Ford (April) and WAGON TRAIN PROPOSAL by Renee Ryan (June). The series follows siblings Ben, Emma (my heroine!) and Rachel as they travel west and fall in love along the way.

I had a lot of fun researching for this story. According to the Oregon-California Trails Association (www.octa-trails.org), it’s estimated that about 500,000 people followed the cross-country trails to California, Utah and the Pacific Northwest.

wikipedia.org
Does anyone else remember the old video game from the ‘90s, “The Oregon Trail”? I used to play it for hours, traveling with my fictional family to try and beat the computer… Yeah, good times.

I spoke with a reader recently who said, “I didn’t like that game—I didn’t like it when my characters died.” Unfortunately, from my research, I learned that the game was pretty realistic. Thinking about the rough conditions and limited medical knowledge and supplies, it is not surprising how many men, women and children didn’t make it.

I don’t know if I would’ve been brave enough to leave the “known” behind on the hope that something better was out there. But there were many courageous souls who did!

In my book, WAGON TRAIN SWEETHEART, hero Nathan is a trapper who has nothing to lose. He’s a loner with a past he’s ashamed of and when he is blamed for a series of thefts in the wagon train, he isn’t surprised.

Shy Emma hates injustice almost as much as she hates being the center of attention. Before she can find the courage to stand up and defend Nathan, he becomes unconscious from the onset of measles.

When no one steps forward to help Nathan, Emma is stuck with the job. She quickly discovers there is more behind the man’s enigmatic, quiet exterior.

Then the question becomes, will she stand up to her brothers, who want her to marry someone entirely different?

For Nathan, the only question is why a beautiful, intelligent woman like Emma wants to be friends with a slug like him. He’s never known anyone like Emma before and can’t stay away—even though he knows he should.

Buy the book:
Amazon
iBooks
B&N
Kobo


Or, if you’d like to try out a sample of all three books in the series, grab the Journey West sampler (FREE!):

Amazon
iBooks
B&N
Kobo

What about you? Any favorite video games or computer games from the past? Let's talk in the comment box!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Over Committed?

Terri Reed here wondering if your spring flowers are starting to blossom?
Every spring I tell myself I'm going to plant flowers. I've tried planting seeds without much success. So now I replant already blooming flowers and plants. I have this space in front of my house  where the plants that we'd planted when we moved into this house had also become overgrown and unsightly. So we stripped the area.


Sometimes are lives are like that, they become overgrown with stuff--some good and some not so good.  I've been feeling lately like I need to strip back some of the not so good and even some of the good from my life. My husband says I say "yes" too often and volunteer too much. Then I find myself in a crunch for time and energy to do all the things on my schedule. 

I'm sure there is some psychological issues that compel me to volunteer and say yes. It makes me feel good to contribute and to serve. But at a cost. My goal for the rest of this year and the coming years is to be more judicious about how I spend my time and energy.  

Do you find yourself over committing or am I the only one?


On the writing front I recently received my author copies of my July Love Inspired Suspense novel. 



LONE AGENT 
Under other circumstances, FBI agent Samantha Bennett might welcome a bit of backup—but not from an overprotective Mountie. She's been on the trail of a serial killer for six months and no one has ever taken the case seriously…until now. When Royal Canadian Mounted Police inspector Drew Kelley saves her life, he decides that the hunt for "Birdman" is his problem, too. Together they begin a cross-continent chase to stop the madman before he strikes again. However, Samantha fears her growing feelings for the lawman may weaken her focus, or worse—put Drew directly in the killer's sights… 
Northern Border Patrol: Keeping the U.S.–Canadian border safe

Saturday, May 23, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Wagon Train Sweetheart by Lacy Williams

A Promised Bride 

Emma Hewitt never thought she'd travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she'll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma's social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten. 

Nathan knows he's wrong for Emma. He's too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma's loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart? 

Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail 


INTERVIEW:
How exciting to visit with Nathan and Emma, the hero and from Wagon Train Sweetheart. This book was written by Lacy Williams and is a May 2015 release from Love Inspired Historical.


Nathan and Emma stride quietly near a Conestoga wagon pulled by a team of four oxen. Before and behind them, the wagon train snakes through the plain. A bright blue sky forms an inverted bowl overheat and the sun beats down on them mercilessly. They are surrounded by the lowing of cattle, the chatter of women, and children laughing and running.

But Emma and Nathan are quiet, pensive, as they walk together.

1. Why did you decide to join a westward bound wagon train?

Nathan keeps his eyes on the oxen as he shrugs. “Needed a fresh start,” he mumbles. “With the pay I’ll make driving this wagon, hopefully I can buy some land.”

Emma’s eyes linger on Nathan, not the landscape. “My oldest brother came west. When my other siblings heard about the rich land and the opportunities, they were gung-ho to join up.”

Nathan’s eyes come up and they share a glance, as if there’s more behind Emma’s answer, but she doesn’t elaborate.

2. What is one thing about you that no one else knows?

Nathan’s silence is so long as to grow uncomfortable.  

Emma’s eyes glow with concern, but she doesn’t press him to answer. Obviously, he has secrets aplenty. Her cheeks flush a pretty pink. “I’ve never had a beau,” she admits.

“Nothing to be ashamed of,” Nathan adds quickly.

“I’m not ashamed.” And her chin has come up.

Nathan’s lips twitch, but he doesn’t outright smile.

3. What is your best quality?

This time, Nathan is quick to answer. “Don’t have one.”

Emma laughs, the sound like a tinkling bell, and his eyes slide to her before darting back to his task driving the oxen. Her merriment abruptly cuts off when she realizes how very serious he is.

In fact, a muscle twitches in his cheek.

“You’re an excellent hunter,” she says.

He snorts derisively.

“And you see things others don’t.”

“That’s a quality?” he asks, his voice hard as flint.

But Emma’s lips have taken on a stubborn pinch. “You’re a good friend. To me and to others.”

He shakes his head, but beneath his beard his cheeks redden.

4. What is your worst fear?

Emma’s eyes make a quick scan of the horizon as she answers, “Thunderstorms.” Her eyes make a sweep of the grass in front of her. “Snakebite.” Her eyes narrow. “Starvation.”

While her attention is elsewhere, Nathan watches her closely. When she senses his gaze on her and looks up, he jerks his face to the side. “Those are valid concerns,” he says, “But my worst fear is losing someone close to me. Again.”

Emma’s expression softens with compassion, but she knows now is a time to stay silent and not press him to admit more.

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

A happy bark sounds and a small brown dog appears out of the grass that is taller than the animal.

“Mutt,” Nathan greeted. Looking almost embarrassed, he says, “Can’t get rid of him. Keeps following me around.”

Emma smirks. “Perhaps it’s the ham you feed him off your plate.”

Nathan shrugs, unwilling to admit differently.

6. What is the one thing you’ve learned by traveling on this wagon train?

Emma and Nathan glance at each other.

“I’ve learned that friendship can come from the most unexpected places. And not to judge someone by first impressions.”

Nathan’s eyes go off to the distance as he admits, “Some folks are worth making friends with.”

The wagon train continues its westward trail, and Nathan and Emma’s friendship blossoms into something else entirely. WAGON TRAIN SWEETHEART is available now!


About the author:


USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment (read: three kids age 5 and under). In spite of this, she has somehow managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing 17 books & novellas. Lacy is also the Managing Editor for Redbud Press, an inspirational romance publisher. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc. If you haven’t already, visit Lacy’s website (www.lacywilliams.net) for a free contemporary cowboy novella.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blast from the Past - Guess the Author

It's that time again. When we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a copy of said author's latest Love Inspired release. 

Ready?

Here's your clue.

This is a picture of my son and me deep sea fishing in the Gulf on my stepfather's boat. Every summer Shaun and I would go to see Tony and my mother. A highlight of our vacation was always going out on the boat, fishing and spending time on the beach at Ship or Horn Island. My son still talks about those fishing trips. He loves to fish now and I think it is because of those times in Biloxi. Both Tony and my mother are dead, but I have such fond memories of time spent with them. Seeing this picture brings those memories to the foreground.

Do you know who this is? Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Almost summer!

Ah! It's almost summer. And it definitely felt like summer when I took a short vacation from Michigan to sunny Ft. Lauderdale this past weekend.















After my first and very long Michigan winter.....


this Southern girl needed the hot sun of Florida!


I'm one of those crazy people who loves waking up early on vacation to go outside and enjoy the weather. I had my laptop and kindle with me and used the time outside to write (under a big umbrella). It was very inspiring.

As summer quickly approaches, where will you spend your vacation? 
And what books are you looking forwarding to reading?

I just received the cover for my next Love Inspired Suspense, EXPERT WITNESS, due out in September. Here it is!