Monday, February 27, 2017

Craftie Ladies ~ Love Inspired Contemporary Releases for March

Jean C. Gordon here with what's new from our talented Craftie Ladies Love Inspired Contemporary writers. To buy these wonderful books, just click the book covers. And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.
The Rancher's Texas Twins
by Allie Pleiter 
Rancher Gabe Everett will do whatever it takes to keep Avery Culpepper in Texas until the end of the month. Even if it means inviting the beautiful single mom and her mischievous twin girls to stay on his property. Avery holds the key to saving Haven's boys ranch, but Gabe won't let his interest go beyond business. He's not a family man, and Avery needs someone who will be there for her and her daughters. Yet as the girls overrun his orderly ranch with their tea parties and girlie cuteness, Gabe finds himself softening just a little. Could a family to love be exactly what this solitary rancher needs?
His Amish Teacher
by Patricia Davids  

For Lillian Keim, instructing children in her one-room schoolhouse is as close to being a mother as she'll ever get. Lillian has a calling to be a teacher, and she won't give it up to marry. But her plans—and her heart—are at risk when she begins to feel more than friendship for lifelong pal Timothy Bowman. When Tim rescues Lillian and her class from a fire, the volunteer firefighter suddenly sees what he's been blind to all his life: he wants his friend as his wife. But something beyond her professional goals is holding Lillian back. He's got to unlock her secret before he loses his friend—and his forever love.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Blast From The Past – Guess the author

It's that time 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 print copy (US only) of one of this author’s books.

Ready? Here we go…


This is one of my favorite photos from my childhood of my youngest brother and me.  And, of course, we’re holding a cat. As I was digging around searching for a good picture to use for this I noticed that all my fave’s had something in common. They all included at least one of my three brothers (I was the only girl), and most of them had at least one animal in them.

I never really stopped to think about how important my family was to me until I lost my youngest brother in a car accident. My family drew together and we held each other up.  My mother, being the creative genius that she is, made personal photo albums for each of us.

I have tried to pass onto my own children the importance of sticking together as a family. And the joy that we as Christians have of knowing that we aren’t really separated from our family, but will see them again in Heaven.  Praise God!

Can you guess who this is?  Well, here's one more hint. This author writes for Love Inspired Suspense.  

Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest. And be sure to look for more clues in the comment section throughout the day.


Good luck!


Mary Alford

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How to Judge a Book by Christine Johnson

This time of year many writers and readers judge entries in writing contests. This can be manuscript pages or published novels. When I have time, I enjoy judging. For those yet to be published manuscripts, it's an opportunity to encourage and pass along information gleaned during my many years learning the craft. When judging published novels, I am often reminded of something to improve my own writing.

Most important to me is that first impression.

It's rather like the first meeting of the hero and heroine. The relationship can get off to a solid or shaky start all because of first impressions.


So too with books. Whether yet-to-be-published or already published, that first impression is vital. Over the years I've read several books for contests that I would not have finished if I hadn't had to judge them. Overall, the story had depth and proved engaging, but that first impression? Not so good. Since my time is valuable, I don't hang in for long waiting for the story to pick up. We have to assume our readers feel the same way. And that's made me think long and hard about my beginnings. They might need a little polishing up.

So... What draws you to a book? What makes you set one down? How long do you persevere before giving up on a story? This writer wants to know!

Mail Order Sweetheart

Christine Johnson
Mail Order Sweetheart (LIH, June 2017)
Freedom's Price (Revell, June 2017)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When Calls the Heart

Hi Terri Reed here, as you may know I've become a huge Hallmark Channel fan. Especially as I've seen books, by authors I have read and authors that I have met, made into movies. I've been fascinated with the process of taking a book and changing the medium and still delivering a good story with compelling characters.

I just saw this sweepstakes today for a chance to visit the set of When Calls the Heart.  Here's the link that will take you to the Hallmark Channel page where you can enter. (The picture won't take you there)

This series is based on books by author Janette Oke who is a Canadian author and pioneer of inspirational fiction. Her books are often set in a pioneer era and centered on female protagonists. 
From my research, I see that her first book came out in 1979-Love Comes Softly, which is a series that has also been made into movies. 

This past fall a fellow Love Inspired Author, Teri Wilson,  had a book made into a movie. If you have an opportunity to watch this fun story you'll be glad you did. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Aurora Teagarden anyone?

This weekend I watched The Julius House--An Aurora Teagarden Mystery with Candace Cameron Bure on the Hallmark channel. I enjoyed it so much. It had mystery, romance, drama and laughter. It is set in a fictional town in Oregon (but the characters came to Portland!). Apparently this is a series of movies based on the novel series by author Charlaine Harris. I will be looking for more Aurora Teagarden movies.  Have you seen any of the movies in the series? Read the books?

Friday, February 17, 2017

What Are We Writing by Margaret Daley

What Are We Writing by Margaret Daley

Author: Barbara Phinney
Title: Rancher to the Rescue
Hero and Heroine: Clare and Noah
Line:  Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  Noah felt a chill race through him. Noble? Honest? He was neither, and neither virtue had prompted his proposal. Thinking of Elizabeth, and of her humiliation, the humiliation he’d caused her, he recalled again how he’d agreed never to reveal the details of the circumstances into which he’d dumped her. He had agreed to let Elizabeth tell the world that she had ended the relationship. He was never to tell anyone what really happened.
Due date:  Feb 2017
Word count goal today: just editing now
Something cool learned recently from research:  People used wood ashes to clean pots and pans. Eek!

Author: Mary Alford
Title: Alex Booth's Story - Book Four of the Scorpions  
Hero and Heroine: Rachel and Alex
Line:  Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  The still of the Wyoming night was broken by the noise of a vehicle’s engine. Right away, Rachel Simons knew something was wrong. Coupled with the map Liam left behind before he went to meet his asset, and a chill sped up her spine. Something had happened to Liam. She was almost certain of it. 
Due date:  No date yet
Word count goal today: 2,000
Something cool learned recently from research: I'm learning about the dangers of Sarin gas.

Author: Jolene Navarro
Title: De Zavala Ranch #2
Hero and Heroine: Santiago De Zavala & Emmeline (Squirrel) 
Line:  LIH
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: She pushed back the mud. Her heart pounded. The boot was attached to a leg. Her gaze darted up. Covered in a blanket made of leaves, branches and slugged, the leg was part of a full grown man. Heart pounding, she scrambled to her feet and cleared the debris from the unconscious man. She prayed he was unconscious and not dead.
 Due date: I putting together the first rounds of proposals
Word count goal today: 500
Something cool learned recently from research:  The word pincushion has been used in that form for over 500 hundred years. Looking up the origin of words to make sure they are accurate for a historical is always interesting - some words or much newer than I would have guessed and others much older.

Author: Rhonda Gibson
Title: Tentative title: The Widow and The Rancher
Hero and Heroine: Clint Shepherd & Laura Lee
Line: LIH  
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Laura swallowed hard. Her eyes narrowed and her heart pounded in her chest. She whispered to herself. “What is that?”
Due date:  Unscheduled
Word count goal today: 1,000
Something cool learned recently from research: I am researching the town I plan on basing my fictional town on and discovered it had 3 sawmills. 3! I'd never heard of a town having that many, especially since it is a small town.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Working Title: Cowboy Dreams
Hero and Heroine: Adam Starling and Georgia Eberly
Line: LIH
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
“Lord, sometimes the weight of it all is so heavy, I feel like I’ve been ground into grit.” Twenty-one-year-old Adam Starling pulled a weed sprouting up on Ma’s month-old grave, then pressed the dirt back into place and moved two feet over to do the same for Pa’s older final resting place. “I know You have a plan, so I’m choosing to trust You. I only ask that You let me stay alive and well so I can raise the young’uns and they won’t have to go to an orphanage.”
Due date:  No due date. This is the proposal stage.
Word count goal today: 1000 - 1200
Something cool learned recently from research:  The town of Monte Vista, Colorado, upon which my setting is based, had its first electrical plant installed in 1889, just in time for me to include it in my story!

Author: Terri Reed
Title: Classified K-9 Unit Christmas Novella
Hero and Heroine: FBI agent Tim Ramsey and baker Vickie Petrov
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Frodo kept his intent gaze on the floor, using his primary alert of sitting at attention. The dog’s way of letting Tim know he smelled something of interest in the ash-covered area at the back corner of the store. The same area the firefighters suspected was the point of origin. Frodo and Tim’s job was to root out the cause. Tim trusted Frodo’s keen sense of smell with his life. The dog’s ability to detect odors and differentiate them with accuracy was what made Frodo and other canines so valuable in law enforcement.  Due date: Feb 28
Word count goal today: book is done, I’m polishing now
Something cool learned recently from research: 
Accelerant detection canines are trained to sniff out minute traces of accelerants and ignitable liquids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) that may have been used to start a fire. Each dog works and lives with their handler, a law enforcement officer or firefighter trained to investigate fire scenes. 

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: A Match Made in Williamstown
Hero and Heroine: Libby Schuyler and Jack Parker
Line:  An indie anthology The Matchmakers with two author friends
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
“Kickboxing was such a better idea than dinner,” Libby said as she folded her workout clothes into her gym bag Monday evening.
Due date:  March 17.
Word count goal today: 0 (I'm on the Florida RWA Fun in the Sun Conference Cruise)
Something cool learned recently from research:  The colorful tops of the chrome kitchen tables that were very popular in the 1950s were usually Formica laminate.