Thursday, June 7, 2012

RITA WATCH: Love on the Line

Christine Johnson here for our next Rita finalist interview! Today let’s welcome Love on the Line with a great big how-do-you-do.
Love on the Line

So Love – may I call you that? – is this your first visit to the Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired Romance?

Yes it is, though I’ve heard wonderful things about your group and have wanted to ask Elnora dozens of questions like what color hat to wear with an orange and pink flowered dress and whether or not a working girl ought to wear sensible shoes or her Sunday best pumps if an attractive bachelor shares the same office. I’m not asking for myself, naturally. In my humble opinion, my story’s heroine, Georgie Gail, could use a little—ahem—help in those departments.

Well, if Elnora stops by, I’m sure she’d be glad to answer your questions. Now let’s get down to the interview. When were you born?

My, you do get right to the personal questions, don’t you? Well, I suppose it’s no secret. I was born last October 1st. That’s 2011, mind you, which is positively scandalous considering the story took place a century ago. Goodness, you’d think someone could have written it down a little sooner.

I suppose you’re right, but sometimes a story does have to wait for the right moment to mature. Could you tell us where you were born?

Well, I finally came to roost, so to speak, in Deeanne Gist’s talented mind. She’s from Texas, which fits perfectly since the story takes place in Brenham, Texas.

I’m sure it came in handy to find a Texas author. So are you the oldest child or do you have brothers and sisters?

My oh my do I have siblings. There’s a whole passel of them. Two of my older sisters won the Christy Award (A Bride Most Begrudging and The Measure of a Lady), and three of them were nominated for a Rita back in 2007 (The Measure of a Lady), 2009 (Deep in the Heart of Trouble), and 2011 (Maid to Match). It’s sure nice to break that every other year pattern for the Rita.

Wow, that’s impressive. I’m sure you’re hoping to top them all. What do you think makes you a Rita finalist?

Aside from the most luscious hero on the planet? Who wouldn’t fall head over caboose for Lucious Landrum, the most gorgeous quick-draw Texas Ranger that ever walked the face of the earth? That little telephone switchboard operator, Georgie Gail, sure did. Oh, she talked big about how much she liked being a career woman, but working alongside him put a crimp in that bonnet. Speaking of bonnets, you absolutely cannot miss the hat collection those Plumage League ladies put together after those dastardly criminals, the Comer Gang, broke into… Whoops, I’m giving too much away. Suffice it to say that this story has a dreamboat hero, heart-stopping action, and enough compassion to soften the hardest heart. As for me, I’m banking on Miss Georgie’s Plumage League. If those ladies commandeer the Rita vote, it’s a done deal.

Here's the story blurb:

Switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man’s world…which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears, though. He’s a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

Let’s give Love on the Line a big thank you for stopping by today to chat and wish her well in the final!

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House, 2011)
To learn more about Love on the Line and her sisters, visit Deeanne Gist’s website at


  1. I've always been fascinated by the old time telephone operators. Hmmm, you've convinced me to look for this one.

  2. Hello Olufisayo! I'm so glad you stopped by today and enjoyed the interview.

  3. Pamela, the descriptions of the telephone switchboard are so detailed that I felt I could operate one by the time I finished reading the book. It was completely fascinating.

  4. Fun interview! I'm going to suggest "Love on the Line" to our local Book Club.

  5. The story sounds great!

    Waving to Dee! It's always a treat to see you at RWA.

    Dee and I sit side-by-side at the RWA autographing for literacy. Of course, Dee's place usually bears a blue flag that signifies her RITA final.

    If Dee weren't so darn sweet, I might be envious! :)

    Sending lots of love and heartfelt congrats on your well deserved success, Dee!

  6. I just purchased a copy of Love on the Line, and I am looking forward to reading it. Lovely interview!

  7. Great interview and the book sounds fabulous, exactly my cup of tea - must go order a copy NOW!!

  8. What a fun interview! Dee, thanks so much for joining us today on the blog! Congrats on another Rita final! Well deserved.

  9. Hi Vicki! This would be a fun read for your book club. Great idea!

    Debbie - How fun to be next to Dee in the Literacy Autographing. I remember lots of people around both your tables.

  10. Carrie - You'll enjoy the book. I raced through it and couldn't put it down. It was also one of those books where I forgot my writer's hat, which is pretty rare.

    Hi Winnie and Missy! I'll echo the congratulations on the Rita final.

  11. LOL, Christine. I was so confused when I read the interview. At first I thought I was on the wrong day, then I couldn't figure out who Elnora was, then I didn't recognize the questions or the answers. FINALLY it clicked that you'd acted as both interviewer and interviewee and the actual "book" was being interviewed. LOL. Fun times.

    Vicki: We have some GREAT suggestions for book club activities, refreshments, questions, etc. on my website. For LOVE ON THE LINE, we have a bingo game that ties into the theme of the book. Go to my website. ( Click on the "Bookstore" tab, the click on the "Book Club Perks" icon in the sidebar.

    A special shout out to my two sweet friends, Debbie & Missy. Looking forward to seeing you at RWA! Hugs! (((())))

    Thanks again for featuring LOVE ON THE LINE, Christine!

  12. Love Deeanne Gist's books :) and this one sounds particularly fun!! Can't wait to read it.

    Fun interview too, Christine. Waving hello from the sunny north west tip of the Mitt! It's a perfect day here in Northern Michigan.

  13. Deeanne, thank you for stopping by today! Mea culpa on the interview format. I should have explained it better. "Ask Elnora" is our every-Friday column where Elnora answers many of life's pressing questions.

    What great discussion group resources. The game sounds so fun that I wish I was in Vicki's book club.

    Congratulations again!

  14. Hi MJ. Thanks for stopping by!

    Waving back at you Jenna! It's equally fine on the northeast tip of the Mitt.

  15. The book sounds absolutely fascinating! I, too, have always been intrigued and impressed by the old-fashioned telephone switchboards and how the operators managed to get all the lines and connections straight! Christine, this definitely will be added to my "must be read" pile!

    Ms. Gist, CONGRATULATIONS on your RITA final! Here's hoping you come home with a beautiful golden lady in hand!


  16. Kathleen, thank you for stopping by! From what I read, operating the old-fashioned telephone switchboard sounds like it took a lot of concentration and patience. Many years ago I worked a modern switchboard in a hotel, which was easy in comparison!


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