Wednesday, February 28, 2018

COUNTRY LIVING AND WRITING

As many of you probably know, I live in the country. Waaay out in the country. Right now my access to town is limited because of high water across the roads leading to the highway.

I can tell if it's too deep by looking for the edges of the concrete swail that runs under the widest stretch of water in this picture. It makes waves on the downstream side! When I drove a heavier car I was braver about crossing but now that I'm driving something a bit smaller, I'm more cautious. The car pictured below is not mine and this didn't happen too recently. It washed away a few years ago. Talk about scary! Thankfully, the driver and her child escaped before the car drifted off the road.

 This is about the highest I have ever seen it. We took this photo as a vivid reminder to not underestimate the racing water. I live on a hill and all the surrounding homes are high and dry, too, so don't worry about us. Besides, when I can't go anywhere I get more writing done. :)
 
Speaking of writing, I'm just finishing up another K-9 series book. This one is military. The whole continuity kicks off this April with Terri Reed's "Mission to Protect". My "Bound By Duty is next in May, followed by one new Military K-9 Unit book each month; Dana Mentink, Maggie Black, Lenora Worth, Lynette Eason, Laura Scott and Shirley McCoy, with Christmas novellas in December by me, Valerie Hansen, and Laura Scott, a two-in-one.
 
There are almost always dogs in my books, just as there are dogs in my life. Boy, are there. The two older ones are the labs. The baby is my lap warmer and a laugh a minute - except when she's misbehaving.
 
They love the country life as much as I do.  I, however, am smart enough to leave the skunks alone. My fur buddies, not so much! But that's a story for another time.
God bless you,
Val

 
 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What A Difference a Day Makes

Pamela Tracy here...

I've titled this "What a Difference a Day Makes."
Really, it should be "What a Difference Thirteen Years Make."

I got the call from Love Inspired when I was pregnant with my son.


Age one month - foot not big enough to go inside Daddy's boot...
My first book for LI  Pursuit of Justice was being edited by Krista Stover
Age Two... I can wear Daddy's boots, but I trip a lot...
Pursuit of Justice  was up for the Rita and I was working on my third LI Suspense
Age 12, Dad's boots fit just fine and look, big enough to insist that the dog be included in the photo.
BTW, the dog refused to try on Dad's boots.
Oh, and Daddy is now Dad and the Lego posters in his room have been replaced with car posters
BTW, I've fifteen books with LI and  Heartwarming

Mom was too busy organizing to make sure to take a picture with the numbers 13 on the cake...
Ack, I have a book due... but Mike's B-day was a bit more important.
Okay, not a bit
I HAVE A TEENAGERS
Thirteen years ago, I got a phone call.  Since then, I've written for both the suspense and contemporary line.  Just like Mike, I've grown.  I'm a better plotter, and now that the family has a dog (whose idea was that!"), I put dogs in books more often LOL.

Like parenthood, writing is a wild ride.  

Pamela's next book is an October release
from Harlequin Heartwarming





Monday, February 26, 2018

New for March from Our Conteporary Love Inspired Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with two new must buys from our Love Inspired Contemporary authors. Just click on the covers to purchase them. And to learn more about Belle and Patricia, click on their names.

https://www.amazon.com/Her-Alaskan-Cowboy-Grooms-ebook/dp/B073P69NS7 Her Alaskan Cowboy
by Belle Calhoune 

A rebel cowboy returns a single dad.
Can he find redemption in Love, Alaska?

Back in Love, Alaska, Joshua Ransom comes face-to-face with ex-fiancée Honor Prescott. A single dad of an infant daughter, Joshua’s no longer the reckless cowboy who broke Honor’s heart. But discovering he’s selling his late grandfather’s land to developers puts them at odds. With the Diamond R’s fate unclear, so is their future. Will this second chance lead to Joshua being one of Love’s Alaskan Grooms?
https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Amish-Romance-Bachelors/dp/1335509348/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8An Unexpected Amish Romance
by Patricia Davids 

New beginnings. New job. New love?
Amish Bachelors are full of surprises…

After a broken engagement, Helen Zook is embracing her independence—starting with a new job working for carpenter Mark Bowman. Sparks fly as Helen immediately butts heads with her handsome yet gruff boss, whose complicated past makes him hesitant to plant roots in Bowmans Crossing. But Helen’s eccentric aunt and a matchmaking basset hound have their own plans for Helen and Mark’s future…

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Scripture


The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration, Raphael, 1520. [PD-US]

Jesus took Peter, James, and John 
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them, 
and his clothes became dazzling white, 
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, 
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, 
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents: 
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; 
from the cloud came a voice, 
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, 
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Mark 9:2-10


If you have any prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Real Life or Escape Fiction?

Yesterday Danica posted about how she included some real life elements in her books, and many of the comments indicated that other authors do as well. This reminded me of discussions I've seen  about whether people want to read about real life problems and people in their fiction or whether they prefer the fantasy of idealized people living in a perfect world.

I thought that might be an interesting topic for today because so many people tell us they read Love Inspired Books to help them through difficult times in their lives.

Imagine that she's seeing a book's story!



Do you read for escape or do you enjoy reading books that help you wrestle with the kinds of problems people encounter on a daily basis?

Do books help you deal with problems?

I thought I'd start off by sharing some of my own thoughts.



I used to read solely for escape and pleasure - but that was before I began reading Christian fiction. I loved to read long historical sagas about places and times I could never visit, but I could experience through literature. I read historical romances and eventually contemporary ones and lived the perfect life vicariously.



But somewhere along the way, I started noticing that I was finishing those books with a feeling of dissatisfaction - not with the book, but with my own life. All those fabulous lives left me feeling less than ordinary. And that is not a good thing. I want to be grateful for all the blessings in my life, not comparing them to some fictional super-life.

But - if I'm already struggling through difficult times, does reading about someone else's problems help?



Maybe.

I've found with Christian fiction that if the characters witness in a way that is inspirational, I can draw strength and even renewed faith from reading about their journeys.

Fallible people living less than perfect lives can still be living perfectly wonderful lives in service of the God who gave us life. That is inspirational to me.

So talk to me - about your books - the ones you read and the ones you've written. Are you all about ideal lives or about drawing inspiration from others? Happy times or difficult ones? Real life struggles or that perfect life?



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Real life sneaking into books

Danica Favorite here, and I wanted to share a little bit about real life sneaking into my books. As some of you may know, I'm a self-professed crazy chicken lady, and I'll admit, some people who know me would agree.

I like to sneak in stories about my chickens whenever I can, and HONOR-BOUND LAWMAN gave me the perfect opportunity.

At my husband's birthday party, my daughter came in crying after feeding the chickens. Tristan, her favorite rooster, attacked her, catching her right below the eye and leaving a cut. An entire room full of men got upset that the rooster came so close to poking my daughter's eye out. However, he was my daughter's favorite rooster, and my daughter begged them all to spare poor Tristan's life. Picture, if you will, Fern from Charlotte's Web pleading for Wilbur's life. That was the scene at my house. Only it was over a mean rooster who'd attacked my daughter.

A few weeks later, I was writing the book, and my daughter was in a play, so I used her play practices as writing time. During one of the shows, I was backstage, watching the little kids who were in the play and keeping them from getting into trouble. I had been stuck on a part, and then it hit me. The next thing that was going to happen was the mean rooster was going to attack the hero's daughters. I gleefully wrote the scene, and I was laughing so hard, I was crying. I was writing the entire scene that had JUST happened at my house.

However, as I read the scene to my daughter, and the resolution, she became angry. She didn't like how I wrote the scene, because she thought her poor misunderstood rooster had gotten a bad rap. And so, as I corrected the scene, then wrote the rest of the book, I kept her love for Tristan, our mean but loveable rooster, in mind.

I don't want to give away the rooster's role in the book, but it was a very important one. However, I will say that Tristan the mean rooster still lives at my house and continues terrorizing anyone who comes near.

Do you have any funny animal stories? Any rooster stories?

Everyone who comments will be entered to win a copy of my book.


About the book:

http://amzn.to/2okkF44
Her Rancher Bodyguard
When Laura Booth’s dangerous ex-husband escapes from prison, she turns to the one man who can protect her: Owen Hamilton. Living with the widowed former lawman—who once helped put her ex in jail—and his adorable twin daughters on their Colorado ranch is a welcome respite. For the first time, Laura feels safe—but after her troubled past, she’ll never trust her heart again.

Owen would like to say only obligation draws him to Laura’s side. But in his gut he knows his feelings for the gentle beauty run deeper than duty—and it stops him cold. After guarding their wary hearts for years, can Owen and Laura give love a second chance?









About the author: 


A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

You can connect with Danica at the following places:





Monday, February 19, 2018

Many of the Ladies of Love Inspired Romance write more than their Love Inspired Books. Here is one of this month's other new releases. Just click on the cover to pre-order it. And to learn more about Margaret, click on her name.

Hunted
by Margaret Daley

Murder. On the Run. Second Chances.
Luke Michaels' relaxing camping trip ends when he witnesses a woman being thrown from a bridge. He dives into the river to save her, shocked to find her wrapped in chains. As a canine search and rescue volunteer, Luke has assisted many victims, but never a beauty whose defeated gaze ignites his primal urge to protect. When Megan Witherspoon’s killers make it clear they won't stop, Luke fights to save her, but can he keep her alive long enough to find out who is after her?

Everyday Heroes Series: Inspirational Romance

Pre-order Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo and Google Play

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Scripture



Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness, James Tissot, 1886-1894,
Brooklyn Museum. [PD-US]



The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, 
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Mark 1:12-15


If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Reunions

Reunions can provide wonderful opportunities to reconnect with classmates, old friends, or distant family members.  

Last September, my husband and I traveled to Branson, Missouri, for a reunion of the Johnson first cousins. Of the twenty-one cousins still living (two have passed away), nineteen (plus several spouses) came from all across the US to attend, so you can imagine the lively conversations that took place! Since we now range in age from 50s to 80s, countless hours were spent reminiscing about “the good old days,” paging through photo albums dating back to the cousins’ youth, and catching up on what’s happened in each other’s lives since the last time any of us were together. 

The Johnson Cousins
(group photo taken at the Dixie Stampede)
For some of us, though, reunions may be a source of discomfort, if not outright dread. What kind of impression will we make? Will the same old rivalries be in play? Will we spend the entire event comparing ourselves to others’ success? It often takes the passage of time to smooth the rough edges of old relationships and allow us to recast them in a more mature and forgiving light.

Time didn’t prove much help for former college sweethearts Tripp and Diana, the hero and heroine of Hill Country Reunion, my latest from Love Inspired. Twelve years after their painful breakup, Diana is stunned when Tripp arrives in town as the new veterinarian, and their unexpected reunion is laced with tension, blame, and regret. It’s a diffucult journey toward a new start, but as they form a shaky alliance and learn to respect and admire each other for the people they’ve become, romance is rekindled. 

What are your experiences with reunions? Do you look forward to them? Avoid them? Is there someone in particular you’d especially like to catch up with? What’s stopping you?

I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.” (2 Timothy 1:4, The Message)


About the book: When veterinarian Tripp Willoughby accepts a partnership in his former girlfriend’s hometown of Juniper Bluff, Texas, he knows he has no right to ask for forgiveness for their breakup. He thought keeping his Crohn’s disease a secret from Diana Matthews was the right thing to do—but he ended up breaking her heart. Now Diana has a new life running a doughnut shop and working with animals. Reluctantly, she accepts his help with her pet therapy program. As the furry animals bring them together, Tripp remembers how things used to be with Diana—and is convinced he must find a way to reveal the truth and win her back.

About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with a very pampered rescue doggy who doesn’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They have also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind when they recently moved overseas.


Sign up to receive Myra’s quarterly e-news updates here!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Daring Escapes

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love research. My favorite bit of research thus far came with the writing of Credible Threat.  I enrolled in our town's Public Safety Academy. In my neck of the woods, not only does this mean citizen police academy but also fire academy!


While neither my heroine or hero work for police or fire, I needed to know how they would get out of certain dangerous situations. The firemen were the most helpful for this research so I followed them around, asking questions in between demonstrations.

After we went through a smoke-filled simulation trying to find and rescue a dummy hidden in their training facility, I was able to ask my what-if questions.  
(Side Note: You really can’t see your own hand in front of your face in a smoke-filled room. Check those batteries in smoke detectors and replace them every ten years.)


“What if my heroine did such and such?” I asked, citing a method I’d seen on television.

“Then guys like me would roll our eyes at you,” he answered. He offered some suggestions of how she would escape safely.

“But Myth Busters said—”

“Still TV.”

Sigh. So the fireman and I agreed on a controversial but effective method of escape for my hero and heroine and then finished taking this car apart before moving on to the fire hose demonstration.


The experience is one I’ll never forget, and I highly recommend you take advantage of any public safety classes your city or county offers. I’ll leave you with this: Everyone should have a vehicle escape tool inside the car, though I hope you never have to use it.




P.S. If you ever get the chance to drive a fire truck, do not use your left foot to brace yourself while steering. The truck’s horn will be heard for a mile radius, and you’ll have no idea that the button for the horn is actually underneath your foot until the captain seated beside you stops laughing.