Friday, March 30, 2018

Research as inspiration for the Amish author by Jo Ann Brown

I’ve always loved research. Probably that’s one of the reasons why I started out writing historicals. I want to surround myself with piles of books and read my way through all of them to learn the details of lives in a different time or place. Out of all that reading, both the “just the facts” and the anecdotal examples, I always find inspiration.
When I was asked to write my first Amish book, I realized how much I didn’t know, even though I’d lived for years not far from several Amish communities in southeastern Pennsylvania. My acquaintance with my Amish neighbors was during conversations at farm stands while I decided on whether to buy one shoofly pie or two...or maybe another package of the delicious molasses cookies as well. I’d also attended yard sales in the spring at plain homes and had a great time talking with neighbors about the weather and raising kids.
But writing plain characters required more than what little I’d learned through those polite conversations. So I dove into research as I always do – starting with the simplest books I could find, including children’s books. I found an excellent series of books from The People’s Place dealing with topics like schools and clothing and weddings. As I learned the basics, I went on to more complex research with more in-depth books published by plain authors and by college professors.
During the months—actually years, now that I look back at it—that I was writing the Amish Hearts miniseries for Love Inspired, I continued to block out time for research reading. I subscribed to The Budget, the weekly written for and by Amish and Mennonite readers, as well as finding other plain publications like The Blackboard Bulletin (a monthly aimed at plain schoolteachers) and Family Life (a monthly for families to share and read aloud).
By the way, if you missed Debby Giusti’s excellent blog post on The Budget earlier this month, go back and read it! I also found sources (see those aforementioned yard sales) for authentic Amish clothing for men, women and children. I went to the stores where plain folks shop and compared the farms where they live to the farm where I grew up.
So much fun!
But my miniseries was drawing to a close with my January 2018 release An Amish Arrangement, and I needed to come up with an idea for a new series that excited me enough to spend a year of more writing 3-4 books. Every idea I came up with seemed to be too tried and true.
In exasperation, I turned back to my own tried and true method—I went to the shelves of my research books and took down one I hadn’t read yet. I took it with me on a cross-country flight, and somewhere over the middle of the country, I came across a small paragraph about “older girls’ groups”—social groups for unmarried young women who have aged out of the usual youth groups.
A light bulb went off in my head. Here was an idea I hadn’t seen used before in an Amish series. That’s how the Amish Spinsters Club was born. The stories about four friends who really don’t fit in with either the young unmarrieds or the newlywed/married women kick off on May 22, 2018 with The Amish Suitor.As I’m writing this, I’m working on the third book in what will be a four book miniseries, and I’m just as excited as when I found that tidbit at 40,000 feet in the sky.
Of course, now I’ve got to start thinking about the next set of stories I want to write, and you’ll know right where to find me. Next to my bookshelves with my nose in a book, seeking that bit of information that will set my imagination on fire again.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Dangers of Writing Suspense ~ Meghan Carver

I’m starting a new story. I love this phase of brainstorming and creating characters and figuring out the villain and watching them all interact.

To fit in writing with six children at home, I usually tuck the younger ones away in a bedroom to play quietly or read (since they’re beyond the age of napping now). This is what I did a couple of days ago to get some time to start my new story. I had settled at my desk with a huge glass of iced tea (half sweet – half unsweet J ) and was beginning to set the opening scene. My oldest teen daughter was working quietly on homework at a desk next to mine, and my other two teenagers were on the couch behind me reading. My husband had come home from work a little early, and he was finishing up a work project on another laptop behind me.

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. A gray gloominess filled the room, despite the little globe lights that hung from the desk hutch. Rain pounded a steady beat on the roof.
Taking advantage of the circumstances around me, I amplified the weather and wrote it into my opening scene ~ my heroine on a bicycle in that eerie yellow haze that appears before a summer storm, the crackle of lightning behind her, the hair on the back of her neck standing at attention as she feels like someone is watching her.

I was in that scene, picturing it, feeling it, living it. Everything around me had disappeared. Only the pounding of the rain remained in my consciousness.

And then a chanting of mingled voices filtered into my hearing. An ominous rhythmic monotone that drummed into my mind.

Pedal faster, Heroine! My heart and fingers raced as I urged her on. I didn’t know how the villain had appeared so quickly, but he seemed to be there. Get away, Heroine!

I stopped typing and clutched my shirt, my brain struggling to understand where this chant was coming from in the story.

And then the chant mingled with laughter. I forced myself to focus on the room around me and found my teen daughter watching me with an amused smile stretched across her face. I turned to see my husband laughing at my fright. My two little boys stood in the doorway, chanting their rhythm. “We’ve read the book. May we come out?”

I could only smile at myself as I inhaled deeply, willing my heart to stop racing.

{My next Love Inspired Suspense is coming this September, and I'm eagerly awaiting the cover. If you'd like to be the first to see it and have the opportunity to win an advance copy, sign up for my author newsletter at www.MeghanCarver.com. Thanks!}

~ Meghan ~

Does your heart race when you read suspense? How much do you immerse yourself in a story?


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring has arrived in The Texas Hill Country

Jolene Navarro, checking in from the Texas Hill Country. Driving up 10 to Kerrville this weekend I saw the first signs of spring. Texas wildflowers are blooming. Our famous Bluebonnets kick off the new season.
Of course, this means I have a mission for my walks. Lots and lots of pictures of flowers. Since it's my turn to visit the blog I'm sharing one of my favorite seasonal changes with you.


Pull up a rocking chair and join me as I sit on the porch enjoying the cool breeze. We can take in the beautiful landscape and flowers.










I love the beauty that God created and creates daily all around us. Watching the sunset never gets old. It used to be my dad's favorite time of day.
I have so many memories of sitting after a busy day and listening to the creek below my parent's house.  We'd sit on the porch, not saying much and watching the sun slip down behind the hills.


And we need to rest up because soon Fiesta will hit San Antonio and it is a two-week party. River parades, pageants, incredibly decorated hats, stunning dresses art festivals, music, food, more parades and did I mention food?


So if you're looking for spring, come join me. If you want to read more about the Texas Hill Country you can pick up any of my books.  Right now you can get a digital copy of Lone Star Bride, my historical romance, for 1.99
https://www.amazon.com/Lone-Star-Bride-Inspired-Historical

Or you can visit Clear Water, Texas in the heart of the Texas Hill Country

  
What are the first signs of spring do you look for around your home?
If you leave me a comment, I'll put your name in a drawing for a free ebook of your choice.


Monday, March 26, 2018

New for April from Our Contemporary Love Inspired Authors

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

https://amzn.to/2DQqJqNReunited by a Secret Child
by Leigh Bale 

“You’re the father.”
These words bring the Men of Wildfire series to an emotional conclusion!

Katie Ashmore thought she’d be a single mom forever…until hotshot crew firefighter Reese Hartnett comes home. Now Katie can’t hide her secret—their six-year-old daughter! Learning he’s a dad gives Reese hope there’s a reason he survived the wildfire that killed his crew. And though he’s bonding with little Chrissy, Reese wants more. He wants forgiveness…and a forever family.
https://amzn.to/2DQqJqN
Counting on the Cowboy
by Shannon Taylor Vannatter 

Ranching is his whole life…
until he meets one special city girl

Texas Cowboy Brock McBride knows better than to fall for a city girl. She’ll leave and break his heart—just like his ex-fiancée did. But his job at Chasing Eden Dude Ranch requires working alongside Dallas wedding planner Devree Malone. And despite fierce resistance, he’s falling hard. Yet with Devree’s business back in the city, can he convince her she’s found her home…with him?



https://amzn.to/2DRKyOv
Their Amish Reunion
by Lenora Worth 

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, March 25, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Palm Sunday

 Entry into Jerusalem, Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), 
Cappella Scrovegni a Padova,  [PD-US[

When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,
to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, 
he sent two of his disciples and said to them, 
"Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately on entering it, 
you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone should say to you,
'Why are you doing this?' reply,
'The Master has need of it
and will send it back here at once.'"
So they went off 
and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street, 
and they untied it.
Some of the bystanders said to them, 
"What are you doing, untying the colt?"
They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, 
and they permitted them to do it.
So they brought the colt to Jesus
and put their cloaks over it.
And he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, 
and others spread leafy branches 
that they had cut from the fields.
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: 
"Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!"
Mark 11:1-10


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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Planting Seeds...




A few weeks back the mesquite trees started to bud here in Texas. My father-in-law told me that this is a sure-fire way of knowing spring is on its way. Next came the bluebonnets, so I knew it was time to start the garden.   

After my sweet husband tilled up the soil to perfection, it was now my part. I had to plant the seeds.

Even though I don’t possess a green thumb at all, I love to garden. There’s just something about digging in the ground and planting seeds that’s cathartic. 

Then, watching those little seeds sprout and burst through the ground to make a plant, well, it’s quite an accomplishment.

As I worked the ground, I started thinking about other ways that we as human beings plant seeds. 

It can come in the form of a simple smile that brings happiness in the receiver’s heart. Words of wisdom imparted to our children and grandchildren can have lasting effects. Sharing God’s love to someone in need, brings forth eternal life.

Whether you like to plant a garden or your hobby is something else entirely, we all in our own way plant seeds. And even though you might not see the results of your seeds right away, they are still there. And you never know when that seed will grow, and spread, and before you know it, you’ve got you've enriched lots of lives. 

So each day, whatever you do, don't forget to plant those seeds.   

About Mary

Mary Alford was inspired to become a writer after reading romantic suspense greats Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith came naturally for Mary. In 2012 Mary entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. In addition to writing for Love Inspired Suspense, Mary also writes Christian romance and sweet romance. Being a published author has been a dream come true for Mary.



Mary’s Latest Release:

Eye Of The Storm - Available now at Amazon

Former CIA Agent Kate Reagan finds herself in the middle of storm that has disrupted her life for six years. When Kate’s entire team was killed by the terrorist they’d been chasing for months, Kate finds the only way to save her life is to pretend to lose it.

After moving dozens of times through the years, Kate ends up in the small mountain town of Soaring Eagle, Wyoming where everything about the place screams of the home she’s been longing for.

Running into Deputy Sheriff Brady Connors, Kate finds herself attracted to the handsome frontier lawman right away, but having a future is not possible while the enemy is still stalking her.

With Brady’s help, Kate is about face the showdown she’s been expecting for a long time, when the enemy coming after her proves to be closer than Kate could ever imagine. 


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Something to Celebrate

Hello, this is Katy Lee. Yesterday I got the call every romance writer hopes to have. I was told I was a 2018 RITA® Finalist for my Amish Romance One Simple Wish.


Now I know this is a suspense day on the blog, but I hope you don't mind taking a break to hear about my blessing...and a blessing it is.

A little over a year ago my appendix went. But it didn't just happen. I actually wasn't feeling well for a year before I landed in the hospital. And during that year, I couldn't write through the pain.

Then right before Thanksgiving, I was asked if I would consider writing an Amish Romance. This would be different from my normal suspense, and I wasn't sure I could do that, especially since it had been over a year since I wrote anything. But I said yes, I'll do it. I signed the contract, and that week my appendix burst. 

Now, I'll spare you all the details on what that was like and jump to my recovery and how I now had two months to write a book through it. I was thankful I was alive and could still be used to share God's message to my readers. I could have tried to cancel my contract. I'm sure people would have understood, but something told me this book had to be written, and it had to be me.

So, for two months I didn't just twiddle my thumbs in bed, but rather put my fingers to the keyboard. I knew only a little about the Amish, but God always equips the called. And He did. It amazed me how He sent the right people my way who had the resources and knowledge I needed to make my story authentic. And when I typed THE END I had a book that celebrated life. 

Every one of my stories has a little piece of me in them. A message that comes out of something I have gone through. I can only hope my readers come away with the hope I felt while putting words down on the pages.

Thank you all for joining in with me on my celebration. And thank you to RWA® 

Now back to your regular Thursday Suspense programming.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Another Side to the Ladies of Love Inspired Romance

Many of the Ladies of Love Inspired Romance write more than their Love Inspired Books. Here are some of this month's other new releases. Just click on the covers to buy them. And to learn more about Mary and Margaret, click on their names.

https://www.amazon.com/First-Street-Church-Romances-Secrets-ebook/dp/B07BDQRDWF/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1521135243&sr=8-11&keywords=mary+alford
Love's Deadly Secrets
by Mary Alford

Can Isabelle Dunn remember what happened the night her friend died, or will she take those memories to her grave?
Isabelle Dunn’s past was wiped away one night when the car she was driving went over the side of the mountain, killing her best friend. Isabelle knows she is lucky to be alive. If it weren’t for her fiancé’s quick action, she might have died that night. Yet it isn’t long before Isabelle comes to realize everything she was told about the accident was a lie, and the man who claims to be her fiancé, is really a cold-blooded killer.

To stay alive, Isabelle flees Buffalo Ridge, Wyoming while looking back over her shoulder. When she stops to catch some sleep just inside the city limits sign for Sweet Grove, Texas, she has no idea how much the quaint little town, and Texas Ranger Seth Walker, will change her life for the better. Ranger Seth Walker had written love out of his life after he watched his twin sister die at the hands of someone she loved. Seth wasn’t able to save Sarah. Can he protect Isabelle now?

Forced into hiding until they can untangle the web of deceit Detective Paul Hardwick has spun, unexpectedly, Seth and Isabelle can’t stop the attraction they feel for each other from turning to love.
With Seth’s help and God’s protection, will Isabelle remember what really happened the night her friend died before Paul Hardwick can silence those memories forever?

Inspirational Romantic Suspense Novella
Buy: Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Eye-Storm-Mary-Alford-ebook/dp/B07BGDC1BX/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1521135243&sr=8-4&keywords=mary+alford
Eye of the Storm
by Mary Alford

Former CIA Agent Kate Reagan finds herself in the middle of storm that has disrupted her life for six years. When Kate’s entire team was killed by the terrorist they’d been chasing for months, Kate finds the only way to save her life is to pretend to lose it.

After moving dozens of times through the years, Kate ends up in the small mountain town of Soaring Eagle, Wyoming where everything about the place screams of the home she’s been longing for.

Running into Deputy Sheriff Brady Connors, Kate finds herself attracted to the handsome frontier lawman right away, but having a future is not possible while the enemy is still stalking her.

Inspirational Romantic Suspense Novella
Buy: Amazon

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

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo and Google Play

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Scripture


Crucifixion scene with Madonna and Saint John
the Evangelist, done by a painter known as
Master of the Gubbio Cross, 1285-1320.
[PD-US]



Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, 
and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
Philip went and told Andrew; 
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them, 
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, 
it remains just a grain of wheat; 
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me, 
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.

"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
'Father, save me from this hour'?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven, 
"I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; 
but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said, 
"This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world; 
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, 
I will draw everyone to myself."
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
John 12:20-33


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.

Friday, March 16, 2018

"The Call'

Terri Reed here reminiscing about the day I received the call from Love Inspired.  The year was 2003. It was February and I was driving a mini-van load of kids to school--only two of which were mine. I had this new, fancy flip phone and it rang. 
This was before the ‘no cellphone while driving law’. 
I answered, anticipating that the call would be regarding my father, who had recently passed away, so I wasn’t looking forward to talking to whoever was on the line. Thankfully, I was greatly surprised when this nice woman said she was an editor with Harlequin Love Inspired and she wanted to buy my book.

As I came to a stoplight, I remember asking, "Is this for real?"
She laughed and said yes it was. She wanted to talk terms. Flabbergasted, I stammered that I was driving and would have to call her back.  She graciously agreed to wait.
In a bit of an excited stupor, I got all the kids to their classes and then I called my critique partners, both wrote for Harlequin, but not one of them answered their phones!
So sitting in the parking lot of my kid’s school, I took a deep breath, and with pen and paper in hand, I called the editor back. I furiously wrote down everything she said and then told her I would have to, once again, call her back when I returned home to look at my calendar for due dates for the next book.  She was very nice about being put off a second time, which I appreciated.
On my way home I tried my critique partners once more and finally reached one. She walked me through the terms and realistic due dates for the next manuscript so I was ready to agree to a contract with Harlequin. I called the editor back and we talked for a long time about the book she was buying. She gave me some feedback right then but said I would also get her critique in writing. I couldn’t wait. When I hung up, I screamed and danced around my living room. I’m not sure what my dog thought but she barked and danced around with me.

I wrote five books for Love Inspired before I moved to Love Inspired Suspense.
My most recent books Tracking Danger and Mission to Protect are my forty-first and forty-second books, respectively.  This has been the best job I could have hoped for.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tropical Musings


Christine Johnson here today, and I’d like to offer everyone suffering through the spate of winter storms a glimpse of summer. Some of my non-LIH books are set in 1850s Key West. There’s nothing like the beauty of the tropics to give us a boost on those gloomy days.

Bahama house in Key West


This is one of the older homes in Key West. It was actually built in the Bahamas, disassembled and brought to Key West after the 1846 hurricane! Having suffered through Hurricane Irma, I can see why the owner resorted to this tactic. We have building supply stores and a road to the mainland. Key West had neither of those in 1846. They relied on ships to bring supplies. It could be a long wait. 

Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park

Speaking of ships and remote destinations, you can still visit one of the United State’s most remote National Parks, Dry Tortugas National Park, where Fort Jefferson is located. It’s a couple hour ferry ride or a seaplane ride from Key West to get there. The fort takes up nearly the entire island. https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm

Fort Zachary Taylor

Key West has its own fort, named Fort Zachary Taylor, which was originally built offshore with a sand spit connecting it to the land. Now it’s completely landlocked. The storms and flow of the sea are constantly changing the shape of every key (island) in the chain. Hurricanes birth new islands and remove others.

Dry Tortugas islands

But I love the colors the best. The waters have a wide range of blues and turquoises, and then there are the flowers. Many have been brought to the island from other locations, but they are still beautiful.

Quailberry flower

My Keys of Promise series is set in this area in the 1850s, when Key West looked very different from today. In March, April and May, I will be hosting book club discussions on each of the three books at the free Women’s Bible Café Book Club online. 

Love's Rescue coverOur March discussion of Love’s Rescue has begun, but you are certainly welcome to join in. See https://womensbiblecafe.org/2018/03/loves-rescue/


Thank you for sharing this walk through one of my favorite places.


Christine Johnson
Would-Be Mistletoe Wife (December 2017, LIH)
Freedom’s Price (Revell, June 2017)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Romance of Writing Romances by Sarah Price

Excerpt from Hills of Wheat 

(by yours truly, Sarah Price)

“So,” he began, “now that we are headed home, what are we supposed to talk about?” He looked at her. “In an Amish courtship, that is.”  
Courtship? “Jake,” she said, her tone a simple reprimand.   
“That is what this is the beginning of, Sylvia, isn’t it?”   
“I can’t work for you anymore,” she blurted out. The words surprised her more than they did Jake. “I just can’t, Jake.”   
Silence. But only for a moment. “Okay, I can see that. It wouldn’t be proper for a courting couple to be alone in the house, right?”   
She couldn’t believe what she heard. Courting couple? Was he serious? She actually started to laugh. “I’m not courting you, Jake Edwards!”  
He looked at her, his eyebrows raised as he said, “I do believe you are. You are walking home with me from a singing, aren’t you? That’s how it all begins. You said so yourself. And here we are.”   
She shook her head in disbelief. He was the most peculiar man and persistent. “What on earth would you want with an Amish girl?”   
“Woman,” he corrected.   
“You are very forward,” she scolded, but good-naturedly.   
“Ah, yes.” He walked closer to her, his arm brushing against hers. “Now we are starting to get to know each other. That’s part of the ritual, isn’t it?”   
She was starting to relax, despite herself. “You didn’t answer my question, Jake.”   
“I thought we weren’t going to ask questions …” He nudged her with his shoulder.


Sigh. Romance. 
One of my favorite things about writing for Love Inspired is creating the romantic element of the story Most of my novels are written in the Amish setting which, for me, adds a greater challenge to the process of crafting high tension among the characters. Many people find the entire concept of Amish lifestyle as being poetically romantic, yet the idea of Amish “romance” is a foreign concept itself.  
Courting couples do not enjoy candlelit dinners, passionate dates, or exciting weekends away from family and friends. At least not typically. So how does a writer create a sexually tense situation that does not cross the respectful boundaries of a culture that emphasizes religious obedience and personal morality?

On March 27th, my novel, Hills of Wheat, re-releases as a Love Inspired Walmart exclusive. I wrote this novel almost ten years ago and I dared to experiment with the storyline. So often readers of the Amish genre fantasize about what lie would be like if a person joined the Amish culture. However, I took a different angle. What if a young woman fell in love with an Englischer and left the Amish community while still living among it? 
Jake Edwards is a well-to-do Englischer who leaves his life in Connecticut to move into a small, abandoned farm next to the Lapp family. When he encounters the shy Sylvia, sparks fly. The only problem is that she fights the attraction. Jake, however, is quite the romantic lead. 
At the time of the original release of the novel, my readers swooned over Jake Edwards. Frankly, I was a little nervous about Jake Edwards because he was such an Englische man. In fact, in my original novel, there was a "scene" that I had to edit for the re-release.  It wasn't graphic, but it was suggestive. I thought it was beautiful. Other readers agreed. A few didn't mirror the sentiment of the majority.  (sigh) 
Despite that one little blip, Jake is a very romantic lead character. 
For starters, the way that Jake protects Sylvia from the outside world while refusing to shield her from his own attentions creates a high-level of tension that eventually sways Sylvia to choose love over everything else she has ever known. And just as she gives herself over to her heart, she learns that things are not always what they seem. Through her exposure to the world of the Englische, the reader quickly grows to love both characters even more. 
And, of course, Jake was originally so worldly--having worked on Wall Street--that his shift into the world of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania created a world of romance in itself. His determination to leave it all behind and his attraction to young Sylvia added volumes to the tension within himself as well as with her. 
To me, the creation of anticipation and excitement in a setting where physical passion is frowned upon (both by the Amish characters as well as the readers of the genre) is my favorite part of writing. There is a build-up that is based upon emotional need as opposed to sexual desire. The focus is on the characters and how their relationship evolves. In today’s world with heightened emphasis on sexuality, it is a welcome change to concentrate on poignant storylines that build up the passionate sentiments and not just what happens behind closed doors. 
Sylvia Lapp and Jake Edwards are, without doubt, my favorite couple that I have written about (with the exception of my Plain Fame stars, Amanda Beiler and Alejandro Diaz). Their pure, tender love emboldens the imagination and satisfies every romantic among us.
P.S. If you cannot wait until March 27th for the Walmart copy, here is the eBook version on Amazon.

Monday, March 12, 2018

New for March from Our Love Inspired Suspense Authors

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

http://amzn.to/2Gh95PP The Littlest Target
by Maggie K. Black 

Nanny and baby on the run
A taut thriller in the True North Heroes series

When her boss’s wife is murdered before her eyes, nanny Daisy Hayward flees with her infant charge. But she can’t escape danger. Someone wants the baby and will kill Daisy to get him. In the Canadian wilderness, a paramedic saves them. But when Daisy is framed for murder and labeled a kidnapper, will Max Henry help her...or turn her in?
http://www.danamentink.com/
Treacherous Trails
by Dana Mentink 

Falsely accused
Can she escape the real killer?

In this Gold Country Cowboys story, farrier Ella Cahill is accused of murder—and only former marine Owen Thorn, her brother’s best friend, can help clear her name. Now with someone trying to kill Ella, Owen must protect her…despite his promise to her brother to stay away from her. But can they work together to find the true killer before she becomes the next to die?