Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lone Star Protector Interview

Today we're welcoming Kaitlin Mathers, the heroine of Lone Star Protector written by Lenora Worth a June release by Love Inspired Suspense

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.   
1.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I’m a K-9 trainer and one day when I was leaving work, I was held at gun point by a masked man. Captain Slade McNeal’s K-9 partner Rio was taken months ago and we’ve all been trying to help find him. I think the man who tried to kidnap me is the one who took Rio.
2.  So, during the book you met Slade McNeal).  Tell us a bit about him.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love?   Well, the man saved my life. My first impression of him was this instant awareness but he shouted “Stay Away.” We’re good friends and I’ve even babysat his adorable son Caleb. But Captain McNeal should be called Captain McSteel. He’s that hard to read and very tough.
3.  What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness?  I’m good at my job. I love my animals and I love helping the police department. My weakness must be courage since I trained to be a police officer but found my joy in being a K-9 trainer. I might go back out on the street one day but I have to find the courage to take that step.  
4.  What scares you? See above. I wanted to be a police officer after my mother was killed by a drug addict. She was a veterinarian and she was working late with a sick animal. The man came looking for drugs and murdered her. I couldn’t save her but I’m helping to train these amazing animals and that makes me feel like I’m saving other people. 
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’m kind of impulsive and determined. I don’t pull any punches. I’ve tried to help Slade with Caleb. Slade can’t see that his son is still traumatized from his mother’s death in a car that exploded. Slade blames himself but he doesn’t know how to help his son. I’m getting way off topic but that’s my line of thinking. If I could change one thing about myself, it probably would be that I need to trust in God’s plan for my life.
6.  Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? My faith has always been strong. It helped me after my mother died. But my trust is weak. I need to trust in the Lord and try not to be in control all the time.
7.  Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? Strong and solid. Slade and I go through the worst and we both come out stronger. I think I’ll be okay on that trust thing if I can have him and Caleb and our K-9 partners in my life. God is good.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant. “Curse be he who smiteth his neighbor in secret. And all the people shall say Amen.”—Dueteronomy 27:24  Since someone in this town is hiding a lot o secrets, this verse shows how we must come together to find that person. He’s hurting our town and threating our families. I want justice and this time, I’ll go after it myself.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? I’d be a strawberry shortcake. Good strong dough with fruit and whipped cream, to show my many facets J I love ice cream too but … I don’t melt.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Keeping Watch

When dog trainer Kaitlin Mathers is attacked, Texas K-9 Unit captain Slade McNeal is determined to keep her—and what's left of his family—safe from harm. But soon Slade realizes nothing's safe, including his dogs, his son or the beautiful woman who's opening his heart. When Slade realizes the enemy might be closer than he ever dreamed possible, he vows to see justice served. But can he save Kaitlin before it's too late to tell her he loves her?

Friday, June 28, 2013

RITA Watch: The Soldier's Wife by Cheryl Reavis

Welcome, The Soldier’s Wife and thank you for interviewing with us today. The Craftie Ladies always enjoy having new books stop by to talk with us.

To get started, can you tell us when you were born?

August 1, 2012

And where were you born?

I was born in North Carolina in the imagination of award-winning author Cheryl Reavis. 

Then, it’s not too surprising that your story is set in North Carolina. Do you have any brothers and sisters?

I have a houseful of siblings, with another one An Unexpected Wife due in July from Love Inspired Historicals.

What do you think made you a RITA finalist?

My emotional pull. I’m one of those stories that hits you in the heart. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m set in an interesting time period — the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War — and my main characters are a Union soldier and a Southern was widow. Not to mention my vivid descriptions of my Blue Ridge Mountains setting.

I have to agree. You certainly pulled on my heart strings. I’m a bit of a Civil War buff, so I’ve read a lot of stories set in that time period, and you’re right up there on my favorites list.  Now can you tell our readers a little more about yourself?

Sure. Here's my back cover copy:

"Promise Me You'll Help Her."

Former Union soldier Jeremiah "Jack" Murphy should never have given his word to a dying man, especially a Rebel. But now he feels honor-bound to carry the message to the man's young bride. Besides, with false charges following him, Jack needs somewhere to turn. After he fulfills his promise, perhaps the North Carolina mountains can give this weary soldier some shelter. Yet when he meets beautiful widow Sayer Garth, leaving is the last thing on Jack's mind. Sayer, and her young sisters-in-law, need help that Jack is more than willing to provide. If only he could be certain that his presence-and his secrets-won't put them all at risk….

Thank you for being with us today, The Soldier’s Wife. And congratulations on being a Rita Finalist. You must be thrilled!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RITA Watch: BETRAYAL by Robin Lee Hatcher

Welcome to RITA Watch! Today we'll meet BETRAYAL by Robin Lee Hatcher, an inspiring historical romance novel.

1. Where were you born?
   I hail from the state of Wyoming. Wyoming is a state filled with beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys and handsome cowboys.

2. Do you have brothers and sisters?
    I have an older sister, BELONGING. She was born on August 16, 2011.

My "mom" is also expecting a new book, BELOVED, on September 24, 2013.

3. What do you think made you a RITA finalist?
    My hero, Hugh, and my heroine, Julia, who are both carrying deep wounds from their pasts. They find in each other and their faith the healing they need. Their story tugs at the heartstrings of any reader.

Here's a blurb from BETRAYAL.

It's the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.
Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she's going to have to trust someone if she's to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband's half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door?
The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances.

To learn more about the book or the author, visit  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


By Debbie Kaufman

I firmly believe that the meaning of a name is very significant. When you think about it, most of us put a lot of time into picking names. If you're a parent did you choose and discard lots of names before settling on just the right one? If you own your own business, did agonize over the perfect name to call it? What about what you've named your pets over the years?

Admittedly, a lot of folks "just knew" what to call their offspring, their business, their pet. For me, names are hard and should be chosen with great care. My fascination with names started when I looked up the meaning of my own, Deborah, after learning that my dear Aunt Charlotte and not my parents picked it out.

Deborah: Literally, my name means "bee" in Hebrew. In the Book of Judges, Deborah was a prophetess who led the Israelites in defeating the Canaanites. She was the fourth judge and the only female judge mentioned. She's described as a warrior, counselor, and wife. (The original "have it all" woman!)

Wow, that's a lot to live up to.

When it came to choosing my children's names, I gave it a lot of thought and always researched the meaning before my husband and I decided on one. The most frustrating "naming" was my second child, although it was also the easiest. In a day when ultrasounds weren't always so clear, we left for the hospital with me in labor and no name chosen for either sex. Oh, I'd tried, but I couldn't get my husband to spend any time discussing possibilities. So, on the hour drive from our rural home to the hospital, I turned to him between contractions and asked (sweetly, as I remember it...)"Can we discuss names NOW?" To my shock, he answered, "God told me his name is David Charles." Boy was I relieved when the baby did turn out to be a boy!

As an author, I believe that what I name my characters is critical. Sometimes I just know the name, like Mary and William in my first book, The Doctor's Mission. William was definitely that protector that his name implies and Mary originally was that "sea of sorrows" but later she was the beloved, the alternate meaning. In Journey of Hope (Jan 2014), dedicated missionary Anna is definitely "full of grace," especially when it comes to forgiving the unforgivable. Stewart, the hero who lost his faith, is definitely the "Guardian of the House," as he tries to provide for and protect those he loves.

How about you? What does your name mean? Do you have a favorite name? When you read (or write) does the character name have to "fit?" Or perhaps you have a funny naming story that you can share?

If you aren't sure of the meaning of your name, try HERE for the history of your name, or HERE for a basic meaning. For more about Debbie, visit her WEBSITE or connect with her on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On Babies

Sandra Orchard here.

The past few weeks have been a wild and wonderful whirlwind for me. I joined the police.

Oops, how did that photo get in there. I mean I had a new book release.

As many of you know, my "big" book, Deadly Devotion, released June 1st. Unlike my Love Inspired Suspense, the romance in Deadly Devotion will arc over the three book series—Port Aster Secrets—while each book is a standalone mystery.

If you enjoy fast-paced whodunits and/or herbal teas and remedies, I hope you’ll check it out. I happen to think it’s pretty good, but I might be a little biased. 

Many readers have asked me if I’m still writing for LIS as well. The answer is a resounding yes. I love writing these books!

That’s partly why this month has been so crazy. Along with celebrating Deadly Devotion’s release with a blog tour and book signings and speaking engagements etc., book 2 in the series was due June 1st, and my next LIS manuscript is due in 3 days, and edits for book 2 have landed, and they want chapter one of Book 3 and then there's Art Fact Sheets for LIS and #gasping for air# attending the Write!Canada conference, and, and…

Did I mention I expect to be a grandma again any day now?!!!

Do you know where the stork is that brings my new baby brother or sister?
Our newest little boy or girl is one day overdue, not that I’m complaining as I told my daughter I wanted to get all my edits done before she gave birth. But…she’s not happy with me! I’m supposed to hurry up and get done already. #grin#

So…if I suddenly go AWOL today and leave comments unanswered, you’ll know why, but…I’ll pop back in later and post the baby pic!

Your Turn: Any baby stories of your own to share?

Have you heard of The Book Club Network? The facilitators describe it as place where people can "feel safe, have fun, share hearts and embrace, Finding Hope through fellowship in reading groups." Membership is free. And until June 30th my publisher is giving away 5 copies of Deadly Devotion in the discussion we're having in the "Revell" group. You must sign in and join the group to leave a comment to enter. We're having a lively discussion. I hope you'll join us!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Memories--Leann Harris

When I picked up the Metro section of the newspaper today, there was a picture that resembled a page from an old high-school year book.  What caught my attention was the hair-dos.  1943. (Of course the dos from my high school year book shall remain unmentioned.)  Anyway, how they did that thing with the top of their hair is a mystery. (The link will take you to the pics.)  Then I read the article.  It was their 70th anniversary reunion.  Every male knew what they'd do upon graduation--go into the service, Army, Navy, Marine, Merchant Marines.  Some of the men showed up for graduation in their uniforms.  It touched my heart.

Also, there was among the seniors a intense 'live in the moment attitude', because the world was crumbling around them.  That had to be hard.  Of course when I was in high school, Viet Nam was raging, and men prayed for a high draft number.

The article made me stop and think.  There is so much more to life than our little slice.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Plain Admirer Interview

How exciting to have Joann Yoder the heroine from Plain Admirer by Patricia Davids, a June, 2013 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1.  Joann, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
            Most people find it interesting that I'm Amish.
2.  What do you do for fun?
            Ah, fishing is my passion. I get my pole and head to the lake every chance I get.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
            Not much. I do what needs doing. The only thing I dread lately is riding to work with Roman Weaver. I get so flustered around that man.
4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
            I'm afraid I'll never have a home of my own. Since my parents died, I've been shuffled between the homes of my three brothers. Four months with one and then on to the next home. I've come to hate it.
5.  What do you want out of life?
            I want what every Amish woman wants. To serve God and to raise a family with a man I love.
6.  What is the most important thing to you?
            My faith is the most important thing. Without God, nothing is possible.
7.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
            Do I read books? You are talking to a dyed-in-the-wool bookworm. I read everything. I work at an Amish printing company. I'm surrounded by reading material. My favorite things to read are books and articles about nature and fishing. Did I mention I love to fish?
8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
            It's vain, I know, but I'd like to be prettier. Does that make me a silly spinster? I guess it does.
9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
            No pets. I do have a horse to pull my buggy, but he is a working animal.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
            Goodness, such strange questions. I imagine I'd like to go back to when I was a child. Life was full of possibilities then. Now, I'm old enough to know that not all dreams come true.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: Plain Admirer by Patricia Davids

Love Is Only a Letter Away

So what if Joann Yoder's Amish community deems her a spinster? She's content to stay single. In the meantime, she's working hard to finally buy her dream house. So it's problematic when she's fired from her job to make room for the owner's nephew, Roman Weaver. His blue eyes aside, she simply can't stand him! Good thing she has the secret letters she's been exchanging with a mystery man to keep her going. But who is writing her letters? And could she possibly fall for him in real life, too?

Friday, June 21, 2013

RITA watch: MY STUBBORN HEART by Becky Wade

Welcome to RITA Watch! Today we'll meet MY STUBBORN HEART by Becky Wade, an inspiring contemporary romance novel.

1.  Where were you born?

I hail from the great state of Texas. Dallas, to be exact. It's a fun place, big blue skies that stretch your eyes and your imagination, and thankfully, the imagination of my author.

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I'm an oldest child, but my "mom" just had a new book release, called Undeniably Yours. I'm not jealous. Much. I mean, come on. Look at that cover...

3.  What do you think made you a RITA finalist?

Definitely my hero. Think dark, brooding, hot hockey player with a deep hurt in his past... just waiting for the right woman to redeem him. Enter my heroine, Kate.

4.  Backcover Blurb

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light...whether he likes it or not.
When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

To learn more about the book or the author, visit

Thursday, June 20, 2013

RITA Watch: An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere

Welcome to another 2013 RITA® finalist book, An Heiress at Heart by Jennifer Delamere. We're so glad you agreed to answer some questions today.

1.  Where were you born?

As a story, I was born October 30, 2012. But I take place in London, England, in 1851. (However, my prologue takes place six years earlier in colonial Australia.)

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I'm the oldest, and there are two younger siblings on the way.  "A Lady Most Lovely" will arrive in just a few months, on September 24!

We can't wait!

3.  What do you think made you a RITA finalist?

Two reasons, I think. First, it's a bit of a Cinderella story. A young lady from a humble background discovers she is related to a wealthy family, and steps into the role of an heiress! Another even more exciting reason is the hero, Geoffrey Somerville. He was born the third son to a baron, and as many younger sons did in England in those days, he went into the church. But in the end he also inherited the title. I think the idea of a hero who is both a clergyman and a peer has really resonated with readers. In fact, Geoffrey won the title "Most Memorable Hero" in a contest given by the Hearts Through History Romance Writers. The ladies love him!

We love those memorable heroes!

4.  Please share the backcover blurb for An Heiress at Heart...

A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she's finally returning home, but she's still living a secret life. Her best friend Ria's dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville's world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he's invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother's young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her fa├žade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?

Congratulations on being a RITA finalist! You and your author must be very excited.

For more information on Jennifer Delamere and her books, please visit her website (click here.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Special Days - And A Giveaway

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.

Lacy Williams’ post last week about Summer Fun brought to mind a tradition I started with my own kids when they were still quite young.  I have four children and I worked a day job so they grew up in day care.  Early on I wanted to find a fun way to connect with them on an individual basis, and thus the idea of a ‘special day’ was born.  Every summer I would take a day of vacation from work for each child and allow the  child whose day it was to set the itinerary for the day.  The only rules were that it couldn’t involve a drive of more than 30 miles and it couldn’t be too expensive (the definition of too expensive was discretionary though).

The kids loved it and as the years passed grew somewhat competitive over who among them could come up with the most ‘fun’ list of activities.  When they were very young the list included things like parks, amusement parks, ice cream stands and swimming.  Later it expanded to include putt-putt golf, arcades and the riverfront.  And during their teenage years, movies and shopping made up a large chunk of the allotted time.

I have lots of cherished memories of the times we spent together on those ‘special days’.  And even today - my kids now range in age from 27 to 31 - we allocate a special day to get together each summer.
So what about you - are there any special memories you have of one on one time you spent either with your own parents or with your children?

AND, in honor of this being the release month for my book The Bride Next Door, I’m going to give away a copy to one person who leave a comment on this post today.

Love Thy Neighbor?

After years of wandering, Daisy Johnson hopes to settle in Turnabout, Texas, open a restaurant, perhaps find a husband. Of course, she'd envisioned a man who actually likes her. Not someone who offers a marriage of convenience to avoid scandal.

Turnabout is just a temporary stop for newspaper reporter Everett Fulton. Thanks to one pesky connecting door and a local gossip, he's suddenly married, but his dreams of leaving haven't changed. What Daisy wants - home, family, tenderness - he can't provide. Yet big-city plans are starting to pale beside small-town warmth...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Remembering Charlotte Lobb (1935-2013)

a.k.a. Charlotte Carter, Charlotte Maclay, and Charlotte Moore

By Carolyn Greene

 I met Charlotte Lobb’s writing several months before I met the person who had crafted it. No, her work hadn’t been published yet (it was the early 1990s), but she had entered the first three chapters and synopsis of her book in a contest for unpublished novelists. I, on the other hand, had published one book for Silhouette Romance, was finishing the second, and possessed an eagerness to “give back” to the writing community that had taught me so much.

Most of the entries in the contest had the usual beginner mistakes. My eyes glazed over. And then I pulled out another submission and began reading. A humorous story, like mine. A heroine with a first name and occupation similar to my character’s. The likenesses kept stacking up, but that’s not what made me sit up and take notice. What blew my mind away was the writing itself: Funny, articulate, entertaining, and polished, it grabbed my attention and made me forget to write comments in the margins. Because of the lighthearted, mischievous humor in the story, I pictured the writer as a young, gifted author who had already come into her own. When I finally got to the end of chapter 3, I wanted more. I told her so in an accompanying letter filled with gushing praise. And I added a P.S. (in case she should think I stole from her work), saying that we had both somehow managed to tap into the same stream of ideas.

At the Romance Writers of America conference a few months later, I was approached by a woman more than twenty years my senior who said her name was Charlotte Lobb. “You judged my manuscript,” she told me, and my mind went back to all the similarities we had come up with. Was she upset? Would she demand I change the book I had already completed and turned in to my editor?

Before I could think of what to do or say next, she grabbed my hand to shake it, seemed to think better of it, and threw her arms around my neck for a warm hug. As much as I had gushed over her manuscript, she gushed over my effusive praise. In that moment, I knew I had met a kindred spirit. We soon became a mutual admiration society.

Not long afterward, Charlotte sold to Harlequin/Silhouette and became Charlotte Maclay. Then she sold again, and again, and again. She zoomed past me, selling to Silhouette Romance, Harlequin American, and Harlequin Love & Laughter, and we cheered each other on.

She was a writing machine, steadily producing new books for her avid fans. I asked her about her work ethic, and she modestly explained that, as a child, good grades did not come easily to her. She had learned that if she wanted grades she could be proud of, she’d have to work hard … often much harder than her peers. But she never regretted that experience; rather, she viewed it as excellent training for the rigors of an author’s life. The only thing that slowed her down was the occasional change of editors and the whim of trends in the industry. But I never heard a complaint … she merely found out what the new editor wanted or tweaked a proposal to include the latest trend, and she’d be off publishing again.

Her humble attitude appeared again when we compared our philosophies about critique groups. “When I join a critique group, I want to be the dumbest one there,” she said. Sure, she learned plenty from those critiquers she admired and respected so much, but I know they learned plenty from her, as well.

Some people write for fame, some for fortune, and others for a myriad other reasons. My friend Char’s ever present concern was her young grandchildren’s college funds. Whenever she signed a new contract, she’d laugh and say, “That ought to put one kid through college for about a week.”

Occasionally, her writing income would take her and her husband Chuck on a well deserved vacation. One vacation, however, paid for itself. A trip to Patagonia netted an idea for a romantic suspense novel. For a while, she started scheming other tax deductible trips to foreign countries, but ultimately decided to stick closer to home and continue to pad her grandkids’ college funds.

If I were to compare Charlotte to an inanimate object, I’d consider her a biscuit. Slightly flaky (that adorable sense of humor!). At times, a little crusty on the outside, but always soft and tender inside. And always, always warm and nourishing. After an encounter with either Charlotte or her books, friends and readers left feeling filled up and ever so satisfied.

One memorable year, our usual conference roommates did not attend, so Char and I roomed together. A former smoker, she carried a small supply of nicotine gum in a plastic sandwich bag and occasionally pinched off a tiny corner to stave off any cravings. Prior to the fancy awards gala, Char applied her makeup and zoomed through blow drying her hair. I stationed myself in front of the mirror over the desk, carefully wrapped a strand of my hair around the brush, and blew that section dry before moving on to the next. The dryer whirred on and off for several minutes. Char stepped out the bathroom, looking all put together and ready to meet editors, writers, and fans. Seeing me hard at work, wrapping and styling the stubborn strands, she stopped in her tracks. “Why are you still fussing with your hair? You look great. Just dry it and be done with it.”

Pragmatic and no-nonsense, that’s our Char. Although kind to everyone, she didn’t tolerate foolishness. A blend of sweet and strong, she believed in saving the drama for the books. Once, when writers were discussing the difficulties of getting loved ones to accept their answer when they said “no,” Char was clearly confused by their trouble. “Just say no and move on,” she said. Char had no problem saying no when the situation required it. But if a friend needed her, she also had no difficulty saying yes to helping them out.

I still laugh when I think of the time she said no to an overzealous copyeditor who made numerous changes for no real reason. Now, Char was as professional as they come. She could take editorial feedback and deliver what was required without flinching. And she appreciated good edits because she valued the opportunity to learn from them. But this situation was clearly excessive and unnecessary. It took several pads of Post-It notes and a huge waste of her time to return the undesirable phrasings to the way she’d originally written them. As soon as she sent the manuscript back with all those yellow stickies protruding from the pages, she placed an order for a rubber stamp that read STET … an editorial term for “leave it as originally written.” She was prepared for any future encounters with this copyeditor or others like her and actually used the stamp on occasion. She got her point across. No drama.

The ups and downs that are inherent in publishing eventually left some gaps between contracts. But rather than bemoan the fickleness and problems that come with the job, Char took the opportunity to learn standup comedy and entertained those who were fortunate enough to attend her gigs at local retirement homes and the Curves exercise center where she worked out.

Shortly afterward, one of her former editors, newly hired at Guideposts Books, called and invited her to write mysteries for the Christian publisher. Later, Love Inspired romances became another outlet for her fertile creativity. It wasn’t hard for her to make the switch from “sweet” romances to Christian fiction. Her father had been a deacon in the church as she was growing up, and she knew her way around the Bible, so it was a fun challenge to embark on this latest adventure.

An artist with an excellent business head (a rare combination), Char noticed that readers loved stories set in the west, so she put her characters in Montana. Thus began her wildly popular Montana stories for Love Inspired. Not surprisingly, the combination of excellent storytelling and the trendy marketing hook resulted in rave reviews and strong sales. She was in her element.

Then the cough that had occasionally interrupted her speech over the years developed into something more serious. The doctor called it bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics, but they didn’t help. Worse, she found it difficult to catch her breath. Tests were run, and specialists were consulted.

Char had just finished revisions on a book for Love Inspired. In mid-March 2013, she emailed to let me know she’d read a book of mine and offered some sweet compliments about its execution. In that same email, she noted it was fortunate that her illness fell between contracts because that would allow her time to undergo surgery and take care of her health before sending in the next proposal.

Unfortunately, the health problem turned out to be an inoperable lung cancer. True to form, Charlotte fought back with strength, determination, and grace. She mustered the strength to visit with family and friends, and despite her difficulty breathing, managed to help her husband and daughters make some important final decisions. Hospice nurses came to help. Less than three months later, on the morning of June 2, Charlotte C. Lobb passed away in her sleep.

Oh, and the other thing she said to me in that last email? She already had an idea for the next Love Inspired novel. In fact, she said, “I have plenty of stories left in me.”

Charlotte Carter’s recent Love Inspired releases are Home to Montana, March 2013, and Montana Wrangler, July 2013.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Misfit Monday

Linda Goodnight here, talking about misfits. Know any? No doubt, some of us color outside the lines more than others. In school, those kids are either revered or the object of ridicule. With the recent media focus on bullying, I got to thinking. What happens when those kids grow up? What kind of adults do they become?

In Baby in His Arms, my latest book from Love Inspired, (which should be hitting the shelves this week) I address this topic, both from a child’s and from an adult’s perspective. In fact, the heroine and the hero both know what it feels like to be the odd man out, though in very different ways.

So tell me, have you (or your child) ever felt like a misfit? What did you do?

Now, before I go, I must say one more very important thing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful daughter, Sundy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Bride Next Door Interview

How exciting to have Everett Fulton, the hero from  The Bride Next Door  written by  Winnie Griggs, a June 2013 release from Love Inspired Historical.

1. Everett, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I was born in England and moved to the US at age 12 along with my mother.  And don’t ask me why - that’s something I don’t talk about with anyone.

2.  What do you do for fun?
I’m much too busy to spend much time on ‘fun’, but when I have free time, I read.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Getting too involved with the people in this community.  I’m concerned that- building deep relationships may sidetrack me from my goal of climbing my way back to a big city newspaper in a place with far more polish and sophistication than Turnabout

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Folks discovering my less than flattering secrets - both why I left England as a youth and why I left Philadelphia as an adult.

5.  What do you want out of life?
To prove to everyone that I am more than my backstory

6.  What is the most important thing to you?
To gain and keep the respect of others

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d go back to that last big story I wrote for the newspaper in Philadelphia and do my homework a little better.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No!  I have very strong feeling about keeping pets and it is one of the (many) things about Daisy that drives me nuts.  How she can dote on that stray mutt she picked up and brought along with her is just one more irritation she’s brought into my world.  But somehow I can’t seem to take stern steps with her on this or anything else. 

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
As a newspaper reporter I try to keep up with all the latest news of the world as best as I can from this backwater town.  An interesting story that just recently caught my eye is that of Winston Churchill’s trip to Cuba and subsequent visit to New York.  That’s the kind of story I should be reporting on, not the details of someone’s vacation or nuptials.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

FEATURED BOOK: The Bride Next Door by Winnie Griggs

Love Thy Neighbor?

After years of wandering, Daisy Johnson hopes to settle in Turnabout, Texas, open a restaurant, perhaps find a husband. Of course, she'd envisioned a man who actually likes her. Not someone who offers a marriage of convenience to avoid scandal.

Turnabout is just a temporary stop for newspaper reporter Everett Fulton. Thanks to one pesky connecting door and a local gossip, he's suddenly married, but his dreams of leaving haven't changed. What Daisy wants—home, family, tenderness—he can't provide. Yet big-city plans are starting to pale beside small-town warmth…

Friday, June 14, 2013

RITA Watch: Naomi's Christmas by Marta Perry

Hi, Naomi Esch. Let me start by giving you a big, CraftieLadies' welcome, and thank you for interviewing with us today. It's always fun to have new books stop by, especially a RITA finalist. 

1. Where we you born? 
I was born in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania, in the farmhouse where my family lived for generations. The Amish usually stay put, so I had relatives and friends surrounding me in Pleasant Valley.

I'd love to visit the area. I have never been in Pennsylvania.

2. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I’m the oldest of five children, and I have two brothers and two sisters. Because our mamm died when the youngest, Isaiah, was very young, I raised my brothers and sisters. It was my duty and my joy, but all four are grown and married now, and it seems too late for me to have a family of my own.

You have a large family. You sound like the perfect big sis.

3. What do you think made you a RITA finalist?
Maybe people liked a story about someone who finds unexpected love when she’s given up hope that it will ever happen for her.

Hope is so important. This sounds like a great book.

4. Back Cover Blurb for Naomi's Christmas:

When a new life beckons, a dutiful Amish woman must decide what she owes her family...and what she owes herself.

Since her mother’s death, Naomi Esch has been devoted to caring for her father and siblings, sacrificing any hope of finding love or having a home of her own. Still, working at the local bakery and expanding her beekeeping business give Naomi a satisfying sense of purpose. Then, in the weeks before Christmas, her father announces his plan to immediately remarry. He and his new wife need the house for themselves, and suddenly Naomi’s life is turned upside down.

But new opportunities soon come her way. A friend provides Naomi with a place to stay, and widower Nathan King offers his sprawling farmland to Naomi to continue her beekeeping—on the condition that she care for his children. The setup is so perfect that the community assumes a wedding will inevitably follow. Yet Naomi has vowed never to marry without love. And to Nathan she’s merely convenient help. Now, for the inhabitants of Pleasant Valley, uniting these two stubborn souls may take a Christmas miracle.

Thank you for being with us today, Naomi Esch.  Congratulations on being a Rita Finalist. You must be thrilled!

If you want to read more about Naomi and Marta Perry check out

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