Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Perfect Writing Jeans

Heather Woodhaven, here, wondering if you enjoy shopping for clothes.

If so, please share the secret because I have always disliked the hunt for a new outfit. As such, I have a minimalist wardrobe. Not on purpose.

 I have to gear myself up to go, which is what I did a few years ago on a cold January day.  I’d been particularly melancholy that day, so since I was already in a bad mood I thought I should get the shopping done as I really needed a decent pair of jeans.

While I browsed my local Maurices, I wondered what was next for my writing.

I’d always wanted to write novels but after umpteen rejections, I’d found marginal success in writing non-fiction articles for websites and magazines. A few months prior, author Lisa Phillips dared me to enter a Love Inspired Suspense idea to the Happily Editor After contest. 

So I did. 

And received yet another rejection. 

Going back to my non-fiction felt painful. It wasn’t until my friend, Becky Avella, also received a rejection from the same contest that my eyes were opened.  The feedback from the editors to both of us made me realize that these editors really did want to publish us, but we weren’t giving them what they needed. Yet.

So I’d studied the twitter feeds of the editors for the line. I read the books and took notes. I essentially wrote a synopsis for the books I'd read  to see what they had in common and then…I completely rewrote my own manuscript, submitted, and waited. 

There’d still been no news. So, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to work on next. Would it be a waste of my time to keep writing fiction until I heard back?

Two employees—one in training—eagerly helped me pick out some jeans to try and showed me to the nice dressing rooms. My phone buzzed. The caller ID simply said New York. Normally I ignore numbers I don’t recognize, but New York? I couldn’t stop myself from answering. “I have some good news,” the editor said.

 I started jumping up and down in my socks while the editor spoke about what to expect. I tried to sound nonchalant and cool, but I said “thank you” at least a half a dozen times. After I hung up, I let out a whoop and opened the dressing room to find the two employees eager to see the perfect pair of jeans they assumed I’d found.

I don’t know if they’re the perfect pair, but I did buy them. They're my "writing" jeans. In fact, I’m wearing them now, almost four years later and trying to ignore the holes developing. 

Sigh. It’s probably time to go shopping again. But first, I think I’ll finish writing another book.

Available for Preorder here.
Someone wants accountant Rebecca Linn—the granddaughter of a federal judge—dead, and it’s Deputy US Marshal Kurt Brock’s duty to figure out why and protect her. But her powerful family insists Kurt keep his relationship with Rebecca strictly professional…no matter how much he’s drawn to the feisty, fast-thinking beauty. Rebecca is sure the suspicious evidence she uncovered in her latest auditing case has put a target on her back. But staying ahead of those out to silence her is bringing her dangerously close to Kurt—and putting both their careers on the line. With the attacker closing in, can Rebecca and Kurt survive long enough to reveal the would-be killer’s secrets?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It’s Time for a Change by Angel Moore

I’m writing my last Love Inspired Historical novel. I don’t have a title or release date yet, but it’s in the works. What began as a dream come true is coming to an end of sorts with my fifth story. I see it more as a crossroads.


These are the covers from my first three books, and I think they got better and better. Just wait until you see the cover of Husband by Necessity! It releases in March of 2018, and it’s GORGEOUS!

What’s next? It’s time for a change.

Because I’m a person who enjoys a challenge and doesn’t take no for an answer, I’m going to travel through time and create stories in the here and now. With no promises for acceptance, I’ve been given great encouragement from my Love Inspired editor to submit to the Love Inspired line after this historical is—pardon the pun—history.

You have no idea how exciting this is to me. My goal from the beginning of my writing career was to write contemporary books. So while I say goodbye to the past, I am excited for the future and hope you’ll follow me on my journey into modern times.

Thank you for reading my stories and sharing your kind words about them in reviews and notes to me. When I ponder that God has blessed me to share stories of faith and hope, I have to pinch myself. I love my job.

For now, I’m in the 19th century in Gran Colina, Texas, creating the happenings of Charlotte Green and her childhood annoyance, Nathan Taylor. She’s trying to save the family hotel and provide for her young brother and sister without letting Nathan take over her life. I’ll be at my desk staring at a storyboard like this if anyone needs me.

I love hearing from readers. Please share your favorite time for stories in the comments here. Drop by to keep up with what’s happening in my corner of the world.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today.

May God bless you.

Find my books, the latest news, and links to connect on social media at
Look for Husband by Arrangement in March of 2018.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Guilty Pleasures by Jo Ann Brown

Guilty pleasures.
We all have them. We treasure them, and we may talk about them a lot or not at all. Some we feel a little guilty about. Others we feel the full weight of "Well, I shouldn't...", especially if we're doing them instead of knocking off something on our always long to-do list or when a deadline looms. One thing all guilty pleasures have in common: we look forward, like a kid waiting for the first firework to burst, to the times when we can indulge in them...and then we wonder if we should have spent that time with them.
My guilty pleasure? Crossword puzzles. I love everything about them. The clues. The answers. Filling in the first square. Filling in the last one. Okay, I don't love everything about them. When I get the whole puzzle done except one square, and I can't figure it out in either direction, I wonder why I started working on puzzle in the first place.
But overall, crossword puzzles fascinate me. I love how words mesh together, and I enjoy groaning over puns in the clues. There's the fun of learning new words, although I'm not sure I'll ever use the word "eft" (name of a young newt/salamander)in everyday conversation or in a book. Can you imagine the handsome hero of your favorite romance novel, leaning a shoulder nonchalantly against a tree and turning to the heroine who is looking up at him with a soft, come hither gaze, as he says, "Pardon me, darlin', but you've got an eft on your shoulder"?
One thing I've discovered about my guilty pleasure with crossword puzzles: It can become consuming. I don't like giving up on puzzles until I've exhausted all other routes to the solution (every route except googling the answer). Walking away unfinished from something that I've put so much effort into annoys me because I know once I give up on it, I won't go back. So I stubbornly will sit there and stare at the clues even though I've tried every letter in the alphabet and none of them seem to work.
The heroine of my new Harlequin Love Inspired An Amish Proposal (which releases today in print)
has a similar problem with being stubborn and feeling guilty. Being both obstinate and guilty keep her from seeing the truth right before her eyes and reaching out to grasp her heart's desire when it's offered.
Rescued: Mother-to-Be
Pregnant and without options, Katie Kay Lapp is trapped between two worlds—abandoned by her baby's Englisch father, not ready to return to her Amish family. With nowhere to go, she's rescued by the unlikeliest of heroes—the man whose heart she shattered. Months ago, Micah Stoltzfus courted her, envisioned a future with her, until she chose the big city over him. Now bound by duty to protect mother and child, Micah offers a solution—marriage. Though his heart never healed, he still cares for the Amish beauty. He knows he'll be the father Katie Kay's baby needs…but can he show her he's also the love she's always wanted?
Katie Kay's solution has to be - just as mine is when dealing with that last empty crossword square - to stop letting stubbornness and guilt keep her from savoring the joy of the blessings right in front of her. I'm going to try to keep that in mind the next time I try tackling the New York Times crossword puzzle on a Sunday afternoon.
So while crossword puzzles are my guilty pleasure, I'm trying to feel less guilty about it. What is your guilty pleasure and how do you keep it in balance?

Monday, October 16, 2017

New for October from Our Love Inspired Suspense Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with three new must buys from our Love Inspired Suspense authors. Just click on the cover to purchase it. And to learn more about these talented ladies, click on her name.
Framed for Murder
by Mary Alford 

Framed for helping her partner smuggle guns—and then murdering him—CIA agent Liz Ramirez must find the evidence that will prove her innocence…before she's caught or killed. So when her squad's leader attempts to bring her in for questioning, she knows her future depends on convincing Aaron Foster to go rogue and help her. On the run from the rest of her team and the gun dealers who are convinced she knows the location of their missing weapons, Liz risks losing the proof that would clear her name. But will eluding her pursuers—and trying not to fall for the handsome commander—prove to be fatal?
Undercover Amish
Publishers Weekly Bestseller by Debby Giusti 

After Hannah Miller’s mother is murdered and her sisters go missing, someone comes after her. Now the only way she can survive is to entrench herself in an Amish community…and rely on Lucas Grant, a former police officer who is planning to join the Amish faith, for protection. But finding refuge for Hannah— disguised as Plain at a secluded inn—pulls Lucas back into his old life. And when Lucas discovers the criminals after them may be the people who killed his partner, the mission to take them down becomes personal. With the assailants closing in, though, can Lucas stop them…and finally put his past behind him to start an Amish life with Hannah?
Christmas Amnesia
by Laura Scott 

Assaulted a week before a high-profile drug trafficking trial, assistant district attorney Madison Callahan narrowly escapes death…but suffers amnesia. Now, when she can't recall the identity of her attacker, everyone is suspect—except the handsome policeman who saved her. Officer Noah Sinclair will do anything to bring the mob-connected drug trafficker to justice, including providing personal protection to Madison—the sister of the partner he nearly got killed. But helping her regain her memory may end their unlikely alliance because once she remembers him, Noah might be the last man she'll want to rely on. As the trial looms and with the assailant dead set on ensuring that Madison doesn't survive to see Christmas, it'll take everything Noah's got to keep Madison alive.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Scripture

Parable of the Great Banquet,Brunswick Monogrammist,
circa 1525, National Museum, Warsaw. (PD-US)

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people 
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
'Tell those invited: "Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast."'
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business. 
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them. 
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come. 
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.'
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests."
Matthew 22:1-10

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fall Fun!

By Debby Giusti

I packed my schedule a bit too full this fall, but I enjoyed every minute! The good news is that UNDERCOVER AMISH, the second book in my Amish Protectors series, is in stores this month. I just sent the Author Alterations for book three, AMISH RESCUE, to my editor and got the approval, last week, on the proposal for book four. As you can imagine, the fall has been filled with deadlines. It’s also been filled with travel.

Undercover Amish, book #2 in my
Amish Protectors series.

My first adventure was a lovely visit to Holmes County, Ohio, the heart of Amish country. My husband and I visited Amish farm houses, took buggy rides, shopped in the local markets and snapped lots of photos at the local flea market and cattle auction. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the clip-clop of horses’ hooves and see the sweet children in bonnets and straw hats peering at us from the back of their parents’ buggies.
Amish father and daughter at the Flea Market

So picturesque!

Amish farm.

Our next trip was to the Holy Land. We visited Bethlehem where Christ was born and the Jordan River where he was baptized. We sailed across the Sea of Galilee and prayed at the spot where he multiplied the loaves and fishes, preached the Sermon on the Mount, healed at the Pool of Bethesda and was transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration. Entering Jerusalem, we traveled the route Christ took on Palm Sunday, prayed at Gethsemane and walked the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Scripture came alive as we toured, and the entire trip was a dream come true.

The Jordan River 

Bethlehem. Star marks the place of
Christ's birth.


Church of the Holy Sepulchre
and place of Christ's crucifixion.

In early October, I attended the Moonlight & Magnolia’s Conference and, a few days later, traveled to Nashville with a group of friends from church. We took in shows at the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman and toured The Hermitage, Belle Meade and Belmont Mansion. On the way back to Atlanta, where I live, we stopped in Chattanooga for a relaxing lunch cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat.

Ryman Auditorium

Belle Meade
Southern Belle
Now I’m home and ready to finish book four in my Amish Protectors series. I’m also planning more trips to take in the months ahead.  

What’s on your schedule?

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

Undercover Amish
By Debby Giusti

After Hannah Miller’s mother is murdered and her sisters go missing, someone comes after her. Now the only way she can survive is to entrench herself in an Amish community…and rely on Lucas Grant, a former police officer who is planning to join the Amish faith, for protection. But finding refuge for Hannah— disguised as Plain at a secluded inn—pulls Lucas back into his old life. And when Lucas discovers the criminals after them may be the people who killed his partner, the mission to take them down becomes personal. With the assailants closing in, though, can Lucas stop them…and finally put his past behind him to start an Amish life with Hannah?
Order here!