Monday, March 31, 2014

RWA and Conference by Leann Harris

This year I'm going to the RWA conference in San Antonio. I haven't been in a number of years and am looking forward to seeing old friends and enjoying several days of immersing myself in workshops, fellowship, and learning.  I also belong to ACFW and try to alternate years going to ACFW and RWA.

I've been a member of RWA since a friend hauled me to my first RWA conference in Dallas.  I will tell you that I was overwhelmed with information, but determined to get published. I cried every night of the conference realizing I was so far from publication, but I had a road map. After that conference, a chapter was established in my town, and I went every month. They taught me how to write, showed me the business side of writing, and gave me contacts.  Only another writer will understand when you say, "My hero isn't cooperating."

RWA is an educational organization.  I've had other writers (male) comment how organized RWA conferences are. He learned so much.  He went to a science fiction conference and workshops were named, but they sat around and just talked on the topic.  Most RWA members are women (need I say more) and we are nurturers.  (I'll teach you.)  RWA members have migrated to Mystery and SF and it has effected how those conferences are now organized.

If your interested in learning to write, check out either RWA or  ACFW websites. They list local chapters where you can learn and make friends.  A word of warning: you will have to join the national organization as well as the local chapter.  The picture is at my first signing at RWA.  Ignore the huge glasses and my eyes half closed. I'll sign at conference my latest book, A Ranch to Call Home this year. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Sisterhood with Leann Harris

 Family Status:  married/with children out of house

 What Is Your Favorite Beverage:  sweet tea

 What Is Your Favorite Food: cheese enchiladas

 What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time:  garden and shopping
 Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your life: my mother. She has the heart of a lion
and the gentleness of a dove. She told me there was nothing I couldn't do.

 First Book You Fell in Love With:  Honor's Splendor, by Julie Garwood 

A Book You Wish You’d Written: Wow, that I can't name. I've enjoyed so many other writers and books.

 First Book Published: Bride on the Run

 Most Recent Book:  A Ranch to Call Home

 Out Next:  The book doesn't have an official name. I call it Joel's Journey

 How Many Have You Written: 17

 What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then: Don't stress. And enjoy your children when they are young.

 What is Your Favorite Bible Story:  Jonathan and David.

 What is Your Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8:38-- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 What is Your Favorite Hymn:  Growing up Catholic, I don't remember too many hymns (I can sing them in Latin), but one of the songs that touch me the most right now is Where I Belong by Building 429.

 What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have: To continue healing from my lymphoma and get back to normal.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's Rita and Golden Heart Announcement Time!

Christine Johnson here today all abuzz with excitement because this is one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, today Romance Writers of America announces the finalists for the 2014 Rita® and Golden Heart® award finalists.

The Rita Award is the Oscar of romance for published authors, and I'm rooting for every one of the Craftie authors and every Love Inspired author. I hope to see many familiar names announced. The Golden Heart is for aspiring romance writers. As a former Golden Heart finalist, I can testify that receiving that call is momentous. Can you say tears, squeals and hysteria? The neighbors probably thought I was dying.

The finalists will be posted today on the Romance Writers of America website.

Did you receive a call? Did a friend or favorite author? Do you have a great "call" story from a previous year? I want to hear about it. Don't hold back, now. Let's hear every detail.

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson
Groom by Design (LIH, July 2014)
Suitor by Design (LIH, October 2014)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wounded Warrior Getaway!

Debby Giusti here!

I'm holding a book signing, on Thursday, to celebrate the release of my latest Love Inspired Suspense. THE AGENT'S SECRET PAST is my thirteenth novel and the sixth book in my Military Investigations Series.

Karen Duncan owns Omega Book Center and hosts lovely events for my readers. She provides refreshments and a warm welcome to all. The gals and guys who buy my books enjoy spending time at the Book Center and usually go home with an assortment of new reads. In addition to recent releases, Karen also sells used books that are priced within most budgets--another benefit to shopping at Omega Books.

For my local signings, I always donate the proceeds to a special cause, and this time, I'm supporting the Wounded Warrior Getaway, sponsored by Joni & Friends International Disability Center. The weekend provides refreshment and fellowship for military personnel injured in war and currently in treatment, along with their families. All expenses are covered, and the event gives them time to relax and enjoy being a family away from hospitals and rehab. They receive goody bags with gifts and books and gift cards, along with notes of encouragement and support. (Donations of items and cards are needed as well as monetary gifts to help cover the cost of the weekend, if you want to get involved.)

I remember reading Joni's autobiography years ago. She was injured in a diving accident and paralyzed. Eventually, she fell in love with a wonderful man, they married and began to work to help others. Her organization initially focused primarily on the disabled but, in recent years, has reached out to wounded warriors as well. As you know, they're my heroes!

Thursday, March 27, 4 PM to 6:30 PM
Omega Book Center
100 North Peachtree Parkway
Peachtree City, GA 30269
Proceeds benefit Wounded Warriors Getaway.

All are invited.
Free refreshments and a drawing for an author basket.

Call in your order, 770-487-3977, and autographed copies will be held for pickup or mailed.

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

Monday, March 24, 2014

Allie Pleiter gets MOVING

I'm walking while I work!  Check it out...

Here's another look from an angle you can't see in the video:
This is one of the smartest health investments I've ever made.  What about you? What have you done to invest in your health lately? Share your favorite tips!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Agent's Secret Past Interview

Today we’re welcoming Becca Miller, the heroine of THE AGENT’S SECRET PAST, by Debby Giusti, a March 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 special agent with the US Army Criminal Investigation Division. For the last eight years, I’ve been stationed out of the country with deployments to the Middle East, Korea and Germany. Two weeks before the story begins, I arrived at Fort Rickman, Georgia, for my new assignment. I grew up in an Amish community in Alabama and never thought the past would catch up to me, but it did.

2. So, during the book you met Special Agent Colby Voss. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

Colby was one of the first people I met when I started my new job, but he was all business, and I wasn’t interested in getting involved with anyone, especially another special agent with whom I worked. After the explosion, Colby was like my guardian angel, although I didn’t want him underfoot at first. When I had to confront the past, Colby was at my side. His support through it all touched my heart and proved to me how special he was.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

I’m a military warrant officer and a dedicated special agent who investigates crime and works hard to keep our military and their family members safe. My weakness? Caring too much and sometimes responding with my heart instead of my head.

4. What scares you?

Losing Colby. Although I know God listens to my prayers for his safety.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would have confronted Jacob eight years ago instead of running away.

6. Where were you in your faith at the start of your story?

Foolishly, I had closed the Lord out of my life.

7.Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

Thank goodness, I came to my senses and realized I needed God. He’s the center of my life now, along with Colby.

8.You’ve got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

My dad groused about his plight in life and always thought he carried a heavier cross than others had to bear. He never invited the Lord into his heart to help carry the load. I was like that for awhile until I realized the Lord was walking with me even in the darkness.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

My mother used to make tapioca pudding when I was a girl. I loved to eat it warm, and it’s still my favorite dessert. Although it sounds strange, I’d be a bowl of tapioca pudding so I could bring enjoyment to others.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Eight years ago, a drifter destroyed Becca Miller's ties to her Amish community—and murdered her family. Now a special agent with Fort Rickman's criminal investigation department, Becca knows her past has caught up with her and doesn't want to relive it. She's convinced that the killer, who supposedly died years ago, is very much alive and after her. Special agent Colby Voss agrees to help her investigate. Yet the closer they get to the truth, the closer the killer gets to silencing her permanently. 
Military Investigations: Serving their country and solving crimes

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday Sisterhood with Mindy Obenhaus

Family Status:  Married, 5 kids, 2 at home; 5 grands 

What Is Your Favorite Beverage: Tea or water. I’m a tea (hot) junkie, buying my tea by the half-kilo. 

What Is Your Favorite Food: Sushi, steak, pizza…. Depends on which day you ask me, but something chocolate or sweet always wins out.

What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time: Free time? What’s that? However, if there’s a little downtime, I like to read or shop.

Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your Life: After deep thought, I would have to say Jesus. He’s been a part of almost every decision/thought/desire in my life.

First Book You Fell in Love With: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

A Book You Wish You’d Written: A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

First Book Published: The Doctor’s Family Reunion

Most Recent Book: At the time I’m typing this, The Doctor’s Family Reunion

Out Next: Rescuing the Texan’s Heart, September 2014

How Many Have You Written: 5 

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then: God’s timing is perfect.

What is Your Favorite Bible Story: Joshua and the battle of Jericho. When we are obedient, God will bring down the walls.

What is Your Favorite Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

What is Your Favorite Hymn: Come, Thou Fount 

What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have: That God would mold me and I would be moldable.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Lacy Williams here - What is it about cowboys that we can't get enough of?

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.” –John Wayne

For me as a writer, part of it is the idea that these men (and some women!) battled the elements, tangled with ornery animals, and sometimes fought against wild animals. They must've been some of the hardest workers, fighting against those conditions for a little profit at the end of the season!

“Look at all the stars. You look up and you think, "God made all this and He remembered to make a little speck like me." It's kind of flattering, really.” –Tombstone

I grew up on my grandpa's farm and he often went birdwatching with me. Watching those little winged creatures amazed me. God created them, made them be able to defy gravity, provides food for them even in the winter... it's kind of amazing, really.

For the cowboys I write, seeing God's handiwork is also something that deepens their lives.

“First getting shot, then getting married. Bad habits.” – The Long Riders

And then, of course, my cowboys have to have someone who w
ill side with them against nature, against wild creatures and fight for love. She won't always understand him, but his loyalty, integrity and grit will win her over.

What about you? Do you love cowboys and cowboy books?

Here's a blurb on my latest Love Inspired Historical, Return of the Cowboy Doctor:

Two years shy of his medical degree, cowboy Maxwell White is out of money. So, he's back in Bear Creek, Wyoming, working part-time for the local physician. Though he is immediately drawn to the doctor's lovely, whip-smart daughter, she seems to be irritated by Maxwell's very existence. 
Hattie Powell can't quash her feelings for the town's new would-be doctor. But that's exactly why she must keep him at a distance. Hattie is closer than ever to fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming a doctor. Now, the only thing standing in her way is the man of her dreams. 

And I'm thrilled to announce that I'm part of a collection called FIRST KISSES, available now. It's on sale for only 99 cents, for a limited time.
Leave a comment about why you like cowboys today and be entered to win a paperback copy of RETURN OF THE COWBOY DOCTOR. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Missing Flight 370

A plane goes missing.  227 passengers and 12 crew members vanished in the dark of night.  An ocean to search and the whole world on edge.  Was this a hijacking? Suicide or an elaborate murder plot?  How could an Boeing 777 aircraft disappear without a trace?  Are we witnessing a real live LOST?

Terri Reed here.  I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting, wondering and praying for some revelation that will solve the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  I pray the passengers and the crew are found alive and well, that their families have the answers to the questions plaguing them.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Surrounded by Books!

Pamela Tracy here, and I think the first inkling my family had that their child was a true bookworm was second grade.  Mom would take me to the public library and I'd check out the 8 books I was allowed.  Then, she'd check out the next out 8 more books for me on her card.  That night, as I was reading book number 2 (I mean, how long does it take to read a Betsy book), she'd caution me (while giving my dad a confused look) not to read them all in one night.

Neither of my parents read for pleasure.

This past weekend, I was at the Tucson Festival of Books.  TFOB.  I meant to get more pictures, but I was so busy I didn't even sit down for lunch.

Not true.  My birth mother and sister came for the event.  Here we are are a restaurant.  It was nine at night, though.

We all started at the festival Saturday morning.  The second workshop we went to was my favorite.  It was by Lily Koppel who wrote The Astronaunts' Wives Club, which was one of my favorite 2013 readers.

I gave a workshop with Judy Duarte (Harlequin American) and our own Merrillee  Whren at 1:00.  We had great fun!  Then, my birth mom, sister, and I were off to more workshops or not.  This festival is huge.  Three workshops we'd picked out had no room for us.  Door closed: sign says full.  I wanted to hear Larry McMurtney and Sandra Day-O'conner.  I wanted to hear Lois Lowry.  I did get to hear Sharon Sala, Cathy Maxwell, and Nancy Holder.

We got home late last night, but before I fell into bed, my son said, "Mom, did you get me anything?"

Can you guess what I got him?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Small-Town Midwife Interview

How exciting to have  Autumn, the heroine from Small-Town Midwife written by Jean C. Gordon  a March 2014 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1.  Autumn, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Probably, my job. I’m a certified nurse midwife with an Adirondack Mountain practice that primarily does home births.

2.  What do you do for fun?
I like to hang out with friends and family. What can I say? I’m easily entertained.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Taking on new obstetric patients. I had a birth that had complications—really not my fault—but now the mother can’t have more children. They’re friends of mine who wanted a large family. I no longer have the confidence I should to catch babies.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Right now, being in a position of having to deliver a baby before I come to peace with my fears.

5.  What is the most important thing to you?
A combination of things: my family, my community, and proving good prenatal and maternal care to Paradox Lake.

6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I do read. I recently read and d Jennifer Worth’s trilogy Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My inclination to be a perfectionist. If I could lose some of that, I could come to better grips with my fear of catching babies.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No pets.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d like to go back to the 1920s and travel into the hills of Kentucky with the midwives of the Frontier Nursing Service to compare their experiences providing care to mothers and children in that rural area with mine here in Paradox Lake in the Adirondack Mountains.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Unexpected Arrival 
Autumn Hazard loves being a midwife. But a tragic loss has her doubting the path she's chosen. And her new boss isn't helping. She's worked with Dr. Jonathan Hanlon before, and he's just as handsome and seemingly perfect as ever. His presence could mean trouble for the clinic—and her sensible heart. Jon remembers Autumn, too. She's still beautiful, smart and oblivious to him. Maybe that's for the best—he's leaving the small town as soon as his training's done. Besides, he has secrets of his own, and he can't risk Autumn getting close enough to uncover them. Yet despite all their reservations, working beside each other doesn't feel like work at all…it feels like home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Sisterhood with Janet Lee Barton


What Is Your Favorite Beverage: Tea
What Is Your Favorite Food: Mexican
What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time:   love to spend time with family and cook for them 
Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your Life:   Oh, my, this is not easy as there have been many—my parents, my fifth grade teacher, my husband and my daughter who have all ben very influential in my life. Some of them are not on this earth anymore. But I’d have to say, first and foremost, it would be our Lord and Savior who has influenced my life the most.
First Book You Fell in Love With:   Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelaceafter that I had to read all the Betsy Books.  I think my love of series began through reading those stories

A Book You Wish You’d Written: Gone With The Wind
First Book Published: Family Circle
Most Recent Book: A Place of Refuge
Out Next: A Home for Her Heart
How Many Have You Written: 22 novels-counting the one coming out in September-- and 5 novellas. Im working on book 23 now. 
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then:  How to keep the joy of writing that I had with my first book. 
What is Your Favorite Bible Story:  There are so many, but Ive always loved  the story of Ruth
What is Your Favorite Bible Verse: Oh wow, I have many favorites, but John 3:16 and John 14:2 are two of them. Have you noticed I have a hard time choosing just one of anything.? :)
What is Your Favorite Hymn: Night, With Ebon Pinion   It always makes me think of what Jesus did for us, gave up for us. 
What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have: To live each day as God would have me do

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fashionista Alert!

Christine Johnson here wondering if there are any fashion-lovers on board. Whenever I go into a store, I'm drawn to the dresses, even though I have few places to wear one. As a result, my closet is bursting with pretty frocks that see daylight once or twice a year.

When I was a teenager, none of the clothes on the racks excited me. After all, it was the 70s, an era not known for its glamorous dresses. Since I didn't see what I liked, I sketched the sort of gowns I considered beautiful and embarked on a self-taught journey to learn to sew.

sewing machine

The effort ended badly after one skirt, one jumper and a couple blouses. I still dream of the perfect dress, though now it's for the heroines in my books. In my upcoming series, The Dressmaker's Daughters, the heroines take over the family dressmaking business. It's a dream come true!

Fashion is one reason why I love writing historical fiction. Some eras have stunning gowns. Renaissance, Georgian, Victorian...I love them all. When I watch period movies, I drool over the outfits. Eliza Doolittle's suit in the scene when she leaves Professor Higgin's townhouse in My Fair Lady is still a favorite.

Do any of you sew? What's your favorite dress from the movies? Do you wish you could hop back in time just long enough to try on a gown of any particular era?

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson
Groom by Design - Coming July 2014, Book 1 of The Dressmaker's Daughters series

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Interview for A Ranch to Call Home

How exciting to have Captain Brenda Kaye the heroine from A Ranch to Call Home written by Leann Harris, a March 2014 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Captain Kaye, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
    It’s ex-captain, since I resigned my commission the first of this year. One of the most interesting things about me was when I was in the army, I was part of an all-female team. We met with the Iraqi women, seeing what their needs were and tried to address them.

2. What do you do for fun?
    Fun?  It’s been a while since I’ve done anything for fun.  I worked hard to recover from the wounds I received when Iraq.  Fun?  Every place I was stationed, I found a stable and rode.  Since I grew up on a Texas ranch, riding is the way I relax.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
     I put off facing the memories of my parents’ and grandmother’s deaths. They were killed by a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve coming home from church.  That’s the reason I joined the army the day after I graduated from high school.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?
    Again dealing with those memories.  I ran.  How could God allow those wonderful people to die when the drunk driver lived?  I’m also wrestling with the memories of the Iraqi women who were meeting with me when the suicide bomber walked into the restaurant and blew himself up.  I was the only survivor.

5. What is the most important thing to you?
     I want to help other soldiers deal with flash backs and guilt of living when so many died.  I know how they feel.  Maybe helping others will help me.

6. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
     I love reading.  If I can get my hands on a book, I read it.  I grew up reading Zane Grey.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    To have courage to face the hurts in my life. If I faced those wounds, I wouldn’t have married my ex.  He wasn’t the answer to my turmoil, but only added to my problems. I ended up being a meal ticket for him.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
    My horse wouldn’t be considered a pet.  Midnight is a friend and an outstanding counselor.  She’s a great listener and makes me think.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
    I would like to go to 1066 and talk to King Harold Godwin of England who first defeated the Vikings at Stamford Bridge, and then turned around and fought The Duke of Normandy at the battle of Hastings and lost.  What was it in the battle that changed and allowed William to win?  The soldier in me is interested in the tactics.

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