Sunday, August 31, 2014

Protected by the Warrior Interview

 How exciting to have Rowena, heroine from Protected by the Warrior written by  Barbara Phinney an August 2014 release from Love Inspired Historical Romance .

1.  Rowena, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Well, based on what Lord Stephen says, that my most interesting trait would be my ability to read how people are really feeling. I just somehow know by the way they act, how they really feel about something. Lord Stephen wanted me to help him find those who would make trouble for King William. But I have had my fill of intrigue, thank you very much.

2.  What do you do for fun?
Lord Stephen brought this wonderful troupe of minstrels to the manor house. What fun it was to watch them! Why some can juggle many pieces of fruit, and one man pulled a coin from my ear!

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Remember I said that Lord Stephen wanted to help me find the troublemakers? Well, I knew in my heart I needed to help him, but to trust that Lord Stephen would protect me? I wasn't so sure about that.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
I hate to say this, but to trust. I fear that I cannot freely give it away. And yet, haven't I trusted in the Lord? I don't know Him, but know He wants me to trust in Lord Stephen. 'Tis so hard, though!

5.  What do you want out of life?
I have a beautiful little boy and 'twould please me so much to see him learn to read and know his numbers. I only want the very best for my child.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?
There are many things that are important to me. Some are not things to be proud of, like pride itself. But I would say my son is the most important thing, and his well-being.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My hair. You see, 'tis as pale as snow and as light as duck down. And 'tis so hard to keep braided and tucked away. I would love to have darker, sturdier hair. Oh, do you mean about my personality? I would love to be able to change how hard it is for me trust. 'Tis not an easy thing for me.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Well, I have no pets, but I have the most timid little hen. I can almost think she is listening to me when I talk to her.

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
They are dangerous times here in England. King William is still fighting us Saxons, so he couldn't have troops everywhere. So he put people like Lord Stephen in charge of counties and estates. The Norman French in charge of us! Some of the men are wise but some are just plain evil. I've heard that the king is ordering castles and churches be built all over England. We will never be the same again. Even our language is changing, with new French words coming into it everyday.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


When Clara became a midwife, she vowed to preserve life above all. She'll keep that vow, even if it means defying a Norman baron by hiding a Saxon slave and her child. Yet when the ruthless lord threatens Clara's village—and her life—she's forced to rely on another Norman to keep her safe. 
Kenneth D'Entremont is a soldier, one who takes lives instead of healing them. Clara despairs of finding any common ground with him. But when he begins guarding her, she learns to see him in a new light. His care and compassion make her feel safe…even loved. Can she bring herself to put her secrets, and her heart, under the protection of the warrior?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Sisterhood with Patty Smith Hall

Family Status:  My husband and I just celebrated my 31st wedding anniversary June 17th! We have two daughters—one who works in the medical profession and who is getting married next year, and our youngest who is a junior in college.

What Is Your Favorite Beverage: McDonald’s Sweet Tea with two lemons

What Is Your Favorite Food: Bread—I love just about any kind of bread!

What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time: I’m big into reading, walking the parks around my house, visiting with family and friends.

Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your Life:  That’s a hard question! My parents, obviously, but my maternal grandmother too. I’m like her in many ways and seeing that, she was able to guide me through some life-changing decisions.

First Book You Fell in Love With: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read this book every year from the time I was in 3rd grade until I graduated from college-I wanted to be like Beth(without dying, of course!)

A Book You Wish You’d Written: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. To write that beautifully is truly a gift!

First Book Published: Hearts in Flight, July, 2011 

Most Recent Book: Hearts Rekindled, Feb, 2014

Out Next: Winning the Sheriff’s Heart hasn’t been assigned a release date.

How Many Have You Written:  6 total; four published, one looking for a publishing house; one I’m self-publishing. 

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then: The business side of publishing—it’s important for every aspiring author to have a good handle on contracts, royalty statements and marketing.

What is Your Favorite Bible Story: The story of Paul—as a person who struggles with pain on a daily basis, his ministry while dealing with a ‘thorn in his side’ has special meaning for me. 

What is Your Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8:28(which is also my life verse.)

What is Your Favorite Hymn: Another hard question! Because I love them all!

What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have: That the Lord would work in our girls' lives as well as our future son-in-law’s life.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's all this about Throw Back Thursday? Books I remember from the past--Lenora Worth

Hello, my darlings. It's always fun to remember good things from the past, right? I'm not one to post pictures of Elnora in the good old days, but I do like to discuss books and movies that I remember from other eras. So I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the books and movies that had a big influence on us.

When I was in high school (and maybe even before that) in the early 70s. (Yes, I'm that old) one of my favorite books was "Practically Seventeen" by Rosamond du Jardin. This story captivated me since it was about young love and lots of angst. I must have read it ten times over the years. I wish I still had my frayed copy but I don't even remember what happened to it.

Of course, I love "Gone With the Wind" too. Sweeping saga abou a sassy southern bell who just wanted to be loved.

These are just two of my through-back Thursday books.
 And I'm adding one of my own. This is a reprint of one of my early books. It's always been a reader favorite so I'm thrilled that it's having another go:

What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School is upon us! How are you feeling about that? Dana Mentink here, and I have mixed emotions. As a third grade teacher, it's always exciting to take the plunge into the school year with a new bunch of eager kiddos. As a mom of two highschoolers, I have anxiety about the various ups and downs that await my two teen girls. As a writer, I face the disequilibrium of balancing two careers. As we trek into the unknown, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my five fave moments from summer vacation. 

1. Visiting Amish country in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Stepping back in time was never so sweet. I enjoyed every moment of touring Amish country and meeting folks who live a completely different life than my own. 

2. Reading! I crammed myself with every possible novel I could manage! 

3. Spending sweet moments with the family. A "go fish" card tournament and summer at the movies for the Mentinks! 

4.  Growing my garden. Having schlepped tomato seeds back from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello garden, I savored every moment of watching my Brandywine tomatoes come into ripeness. 

5.  Enjoying the break from the intense demands of teaching and those dreaded concerns about grades, homework and social dramas for my girls. 

What was your favorite moment from summer? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Falling in Love with Romance Novels

Deb Kastner here, thinking about the first Harlequin Romance I ever picked up.

I have a selective memory. Often I can’t tell you what I ate for dinner last night, but ask me when and where I read my first Harlequin romance novel and within a split second you’ll have an answer—not only the when and where, but the title, author and genre.

I know. Crazy, right?

I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, but my folks are from Oregon and all our extended family still lives there, so every other year during my childhood, we’d visit Oregon for a couple of weeks on vacation. This particular year I was twelve years old and the family was having a reunion of sorts out at a lake. The adults played cards and watched the younger kids while the teenagers took the boat out on the lake. I fell somewhere in between, which often left me alone to amuse myself. Not particularly hard to do for an introvert and an avid reader.

Before we went out to the lake, we stopped by a small drugstore in John Day, Oregon to get supplies for our camping trip. Drawn to the book section, I found a revolving rack of Harlequin romances. I’d never read a romance novel before, but two titles jumped right off the rack at me—Sophie and the Prince by Sylvia Sark and Prisoner of the Harem by Julia Herbert. Both of these novels were Harlequin’s Historicals, and they looked fascinating. So while everyone else at the reunion was socializing, I was tucked in a corner with my nose in a book—well, two books. During those few days, I fell in love with the stories of strong heroines and dashing heroes. I went back to that drug store after the reunion to stock up on more books for the ride back to Colorado. Harlequin books instantly became my favorite source of reading materials.

And they still are today. I am incredibly blessed to be able to write for Love Inspired. Sometimes it still feels surreal, seeing my name on a Harlequin novel. Who would have thought that the introverted preteen alone at a family reunion would turn into an author for the very publisher she was reading?

What about you? Do you remember the first Harlequin book you ever read?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Road Less Traveled

Christine Johnson here today to talk about roads. That might not sound terribly exciting, but roads (and paths) are an oft-used metaphor for life's journey. 

Long ago when I was in school, one of my favorite poems was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” I loved the imagery of the fork in the road and the choice of which path to take—well-trodden or less traveled. How easy to take the interstate expressway, yet by doing so we miss the treasures found on narrow byways.

gravel road

Sometimes the road or path might seem frightening. Here I am hiking high above the road in Glacier National Park…and thinking that the road might have been the better option!

narrow path

Back in the 1920s, there were no expressways. Most roads were dirt or gravel and heavily rutted. Car tires blew out frequently. Carrying spares was a necessity. I can’t recall the last time I checked my spare, least of all used it. Lumber states, like Michigan in its early years, sometimes paved roads with slabs of wood so wagons and buggies wouldn’t get stuck in the mud. Some of those survived into the twentieth century. I can imagine the teeth-chattering washboard effect of driving on slab wood. The hero and heroine in my upcoming release, Suitor by Design, end up on one of those old roads under the worst of circumstances.

I still enjoy a scenic road. I love the possibilities around each bend or at each fork. During this summer’s trip to Mt. Rainier National Park, we found this wood suspension bridge at Longmire. My husband and I walked across the bridge, which was only wide enough for one car to cross at a time.

wood suspension bridge

What interesting byways have you found in your travels? Do you have a favorite drive or bridge? Which fork in the road did you choose, and where did it lead you?

Cover for Suitor by Design

Christine Johnson
Suitor by Design (LIH, October 2014)
Twitter: @ChristineJWrite

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Wrangler's Inconvenient Wife Interview

How exciting to have Seb White, a character from The Wrangler’s Inconvenient Wife written by Lacy Williams an August 2014 release from Love Inspired Historical.

1.  Seb, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Prob’ly the most interesting is that I’m not the hero of this book. Nope, I’m his brother. I’m eighteen, not ready for marriage or anything like that! I met Fran and Emma Morris at the same time Edgar did and I’m taking over this interview for my brother.

2.  What does Edgar do for fun?

Edgar used to be buckets of fun. Always playing tricks and pranks on our brothers—there’s seven of us adopted by our pa, plus our adopted sister Breanna—but since Oscar and Maxwell both got hitched, he’s become all responsible… stodgy, even. He ain’t no fun anymore! I’m hoping that meeting Fran will loosen him up, but so far… well, he’s bein’ his stubborn self, that’s for sure.

3.  What does Edgar put off doing because he dreads doing it?

That would definitely be personal hygiene. Ed’s been avoiding women since he hit puberty—he’s got trust issues left over from his childhood. I don’t really know why, he don’t talk about that time in his life, but basically he don’t like women, don’t want to court no women—don’t even want to talk to them. So if his hair’s a little shaggy and that crazy-long beard of his help keep ‘em away, well, he ain’t shaved in ages.

4.  What is Edgar most afraid of?

Didn’t ya see my notes above about women? He’s afraid of trusting someone and getting hurt, has bristles like a porcupine.

5.  What does Edgar want out of life?

That old grump… who knows what he wants out of life? He likes staying on the family homestead. Don’t want to travel, don’t want a wife… He just wants thing to stay the same. And we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

6.  What is the most important thing to Edgar?

This one’s easy. He don’t want to let our pa down. Pa took all us boys in as orphans, back when he was in his twenties, just a young pup hisself. All of us owe him for saving us from our bad situations, but Edgar takes it especially seriously—he feels like he owes Pa some debt or something. Which is ridiculous. Pa loves him, loves all of us. He don’t expect nothing, but Edgar takes his family loyalty real serious.

7.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

We live on a working ranch, so we’ve got more working animals than pets. Our sister Breanna has this little white rat of a dog that follows us boys around. It’s a pest sometimes, but we can’t get rid of it ‘cause Breanna would hate us.

8. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about Edgar?

Well, I prob’ly shouldn’t say this but… I’ll tattle on big brother anyway. He ain’t as immune to Fran as he wants everyone to think. I see how he watches her when he thinks no one is payin’ attention. He’s infatuated, even if he pretends like he ain’t. And it’s gonna be fun to watch!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


With no family to watch over them, it's up to Fran Morris to take care of her younger sister, even if it means marrying a total stranger. Gruff, strong and silent, her new husband is a cowboy down to the bone. He wed Fran to protect her, not to love her, but her heart has never felt so vulnerable.

Trail boss Edgar White already has all the responsibility he needs at his family's ranch in Bear Creek, Wyoming. He had intended to remain a bachelor forever, but he can't leave Fran and her sister in danger. And as they work on the trail together, Edgar starts to soften toward his unwanted wife. He already gave Fran his name…can he trust her with his heart?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Sisterhood with Vickie Mcdonough

Family Status: Married, four grown sons, but two still live at home 
What Is Your Favorite Beverage: Coke
What Is Your Favorite Food: Just one? Being honest--French silk pie
What Is Your Favorite Thing to do During Free Time: Read
Who Has Been the Most Influential Person in Your Life: My dad
First Book You Fell in Love With: A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke
A Book You Wish You’d Written: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
First Book Published: My first published work was a novella in a collection called A Stitch in Time. First actual book was Sooner or Later
Most Recent Book: Call of the Prairie, book 2 in my Pioneer Promises series
Out Next: Song of the Prairiebook 3 in my Pioneer Promises series
How Many Have You Written: 34 
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You’d Known Then: The skills of writing
What is Your Favorite Bible Story: The story of Jesus
What is Your Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11
What is Your Favorite Hymn: He Lives 
What is an Ongoing Prayer Request You Have: That my sons who are not walking with God would turn back to Him

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Art Journaling

One of the hobbies I've been pursuing lately is art journaling. I talk a lot about it when I'm talking with friends, mostly because art journaling has been so beneficial to me, both in my writing, but also in my personal growth. I recently spent some time talking with Cheri Gregory, one of the authors of the book, The Cure for the Perfect Life, about my art journaling journey. She made a video of our Skype session, and I think it's the perfect introduction to my passion.

Have you ever done any art journaling? I'd love to hear about your experiences! And, if you're interested in learning more about art journaling, I'm going to be launching an online art journaling class soon, so visit my website and sign up to receive more information when it's available!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Down to the Line by Leann Harris

little dish
Have you ever seen Romancing the Stone? Well I just lived through the opening scene of that movie. My latest book was due 8/15, which I didn't make.  (I have to thank my editor for suggesting 8/15 for the due date instead of 7/15.) I did nothing for the last week and a half but write and proof. My husband did the shopping and cooking, but when he didn't go to the store, we ran out of nearly everything. Soured milk, no bread, nothing to eat unless we bought it.

Well, I was doing the happy dance after I copied the book on my flash drive and dumped it back in the little dish where I keep it. When I added something to the book, I looked for the drive and didn't find it. I kept looking and looking for the drive and found it in my cup of tea beside my computer. I raced into my husband's office and told him what I did. Put it in a bowl of rice to let it dry out was his advice. I ran out of our regular rice and had to use my husband's expensive sticky rice which he uses to make mushubi (sp). (That's spam, rice, wrapped in seaweed.)

Well, the husband was right. My drive was okay, but I didn't need that excitement. And I got a new back up flash drive.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Action or Description?

    I’m a word nerd. I adore analogies, metaphors, beautiful, poetic language. Take a look at these:

    “Autumn in the Lowcountry of South Carolina is usually as slow and sweet as tawny port, and just as sleepily intoxicating.”  Saltwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons

     “Rain fell like tiny silver teardrops from the tired sky. Somewhere behind a bank of clouds lay the sun, too weak to cast a shadow on the ground below.” On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah

     I admire writers like these whose pens seem to spill out onto the page with the perfect word or a phrase that turns a mundane description into a work of art. But some readers argue that it slows things down too much. They want a fast pace, skip the description, and get to the action. And that’s okay. We all like different things.

    Which one are you? Do you enjoy plenty of figurative language in books? Or would you rather skip the descriptions and get on with the action?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sending our babies off to school

            At new faculty orientation today, I sat with a table full of young professors just beginning their academic careers. 
            “I just sent my oldest child to kindergarten,” one of them told me, his eyes filled with sadness.
            “I remember those days,” I say. And I do, especially today, because today, I sent my youngest child to college.
            I remember my son’s first day of kindergarten. How proud I was that he could count past one hundred, how happy I was that the teacher greeted him with a big smile, and the little girl next to him with a big hug. Happy butterflies flitted across the wall in between cheerful ABCs. The room was an altogether happy place.
             Still, I walked from that room with tears streaming down my face and an ache in my heart.
            Today, I didn’t get to meet my son’s teacher; I didn’t get to walk into his classroom. I didn’t get to meet his classmates.
            I realize that my son is perfectly capable of being happy and successful in college.  
            But my heart aches. Just as it did thirteen years ago when I left my chubby faced cherub in kindergarten that first day.
            I want to say to this young professor siting across from me, relish every moment.
            When you drop your child off at kindergarten, the years stretch before you, and you can’t even imagine high school graduation, and certainly not this first day of college.
            But you blink, and it happens. Your blue-eyed baby boy turns into a strong, smart, handsome young man who stands head and shoulders above you.
            This should have gotten easier for me. I’ve already sent four children to college. Yet each leaving rips a little piece of my heart.
            Yesterday, my best friend and I leafed through pictures of when the children were little with cone-shaped birthday hats on their heads, their happy smiles stained bright blue with birthday cake icing. We laughed and cried together.
            My best friend sent her youngest child to college today, too.
            The Bible tells us to give thanks, and it’s times like these that I must.
            And I do. I give thanks for all the joy this child has brought to me.  I give thanks for the times he made me laugh, the fun I had making friends with parents at all the little league games and Vacation Bible Schools, the football games and the band concerts.
            I trust that God’s gentle hand will ease my grief, and the grief of all the other mothers who on this day are sending their babies off to school.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Heart to Heal Interview

How exciting to have  Max Jones, the hero from A HEART TO HEAL written by Allie Pleiter an August 2014 release from Love Inspired Romance.

1.       Max, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Youd probably say something like hes in a wheelchair but hes still so cool, but Id say its that I go sailing, skiing, play hockey, and make a mean cheeseburger.
2.  What do you do for fun?
I do everything other guys do for funsports, I drive a cool car, I enjoy good food.  Lately, I enjoy provoking Heather Browningmostly because shes so easy to ruffle and shes pretty when shes mad.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Paperwork. I work as a spokesperson for Adventure Access showcasing all the great sports and recreational activities for people with disabilities.  Its a great job, but even great jobs have boring paperwork.  I turn everything in lateIm not really an organized kind of guy.
4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
I spend a lot of my time getting people to notice me instead of the wheelchair.  One of these days I might not be able to pull that off.  The last thing I want to do is fade into the woodwork.
5.  What is the most important thing to you?
I want people to take me seriously.  To treat me like theyd treat any other drop-dead hunky charismatic guycan you tell Im known for my healthy self image?  Seriously, I want a full, satisfying life like every other person.  I just do it on wheels.
6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
Books?  I read sports magazines and that kind of thing.  Heather is the school person, you should go ask her.  I bet she reads two or three a week.  But I have been reading up on things to help Simon, the high school student Heather has me mentoring. 
7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Id go back to being the me who could walk.  Only, I was pretty much of a jerk back then, so Id want to be a less obnoxious version of the walking me.
8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Who needs a pet when you drive the coolest adaptive car on the planet? 
9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

Me, Id want to go forward in time.  They are developing all these amazing robotics to help people walk right now, so Id want to zing 50 years ahead to where all those gizmos are perfected and available.  Think of what I could do!

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