Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Valentine Serial

Every so often we here at the Craftie Ladies of Romance blog will do a round robin serial. And what better time to do this than at Valentine's. Starting tomorrow, February 1st and ending on Valentine's Day February 14th, we'll be doing a round robin serial. This time we're heading to medieval times with Lords and Ladies, a castle and the quest for true love.
Here's the line up of this serial's authors.   Each day the author's will add to the story until we find out what happens to our hero and heroine on Valentine's Day.
Feb 1st - Barbara Phinney 
Feb 2nd - Allie Pleiter
Feb 3rd - Pamela Tracy
Feb 4th - Jessica Nelson
Feb 5th - Christine Johnson
Feb 6th - Teri Wilson
Feb 7th -8th Featured Book and Interview
Feb 9th - Danica Favorite 
Feb 10th - Patty Smith Hall 
Feb 11th - Louise M. Gouge
Feb 12th - Lacy Williams 
Feb 13th
 - Sherri Shackelford ​
Feb 14th - Jolene Navarro

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Better Late than Never by Leann Harris

I was so proud of myself today that I got my daily page count done. I' running late on this book.  But as of late my fingers refuse to cooperate.  I never have been as good typist. In high school, I typed an invoice to send bowels and lips to the hospital instead of bowls and lids. (Dad forgave me.) I knew early on I've never make my living being a secretary.  Of course what does a writer do? Type, but there's motivation.

Well, today my husband bought me Dragon software, where I can dictate my thoughts to the computer. So we're going to spend the evening installing and setting up the program. I'll let you know how it works.

What are your experiences w/ it? With any software taking dictation?
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Home

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Procrastination: my favorite friend

Hi, Craftie Readers! Lacy Williams here to chat about procrastination.

This is possibly on of my worst faults. If I know about a project in advance, I’ll mull it over. I’ll brainstorm. I’ll percolate.

But until the deadline looms, I procrastinate.

Daughter’s birthday? I’ve got time. Family event? It will get done. Book deadline? We’re good. I can juggle several projects and still get it done.

Until crunch time. When it’s cutting it close, that’s when I’m inspired and when most of my best work comes. That last week before the deadline is busy, intense, but also lights my fire. And then when I'm done, I give myself at least a day or two of well-deserved rest. Ha!

The hero of my December 2014 release, A Cowboy for Christmas, has a deadline looming… sort of. Ricky White has a secret, and he wants to tell the heroine before she finds out his part in the disaster that cost her a major life change. But when he starts falling for her, it’s already too late… This is the fifth book in my Wyoming Legacy series. Her Convenient Cowboy and Her Cowboy Deputy will be out in 2015.

What about you? Do you work well under pressure? Or do you hate deadlines? Leave a comment and let me know!

Fun note: I was over at Amazon today and saw A Cowboy for Christmas was on sale, discounted to $3.79. If you’d like to try this book, now is a good time to buy!

Book blurb:

After an accident leaves her injured, Daisy Richards stays secluded at her family's Wyoming ranch to avoid the town's gawking stares. Yet handsome cowboy newcomer Ricky White insists she can do anything she dreams—ride a horse, decorate a Christmas tree…even steal a man's heart. 

Once a reckless cad, Ricky is to blame for what happened to Daisy. Now reformed, he wants to make amends by setting things right for his boss's beautiful daughter in time for the holidays. But Daisy doesn't know Ricky's responsible for her predicament. When the truth is revealed, will he lose the greatest gift he's ever received—her trust?

More reviews about this book:

About Lacy:

USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams grew up on a farm, which is where her love of cowboys was born. In reality, she's married to a right-brained banker (happily with three kiddos). She gets to express her love of western men by writing historical romance. Her books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013 & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. If you’d like to try one of Lacy’s novellas for free, sign up for her newsletter at her website

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Visiting Family

Missy Tippens, here. I'm sorry for a late post today! I've been off schedule since last week, when I went to visit my parents in Kentucky. They don't have Internet, so it's always like a getaway for me.

Photo of me with my mom from 2011

I love going home to visit. This time, it was just me there with my mom and dad. I have to admit, we spent a lot of time eating, talking and watching TV. One of the mornings, we enjoyed eating breakfast at Steak & Shake. A trip there is really fun for them, because they've gotten to know the waitresses--who bring them their "regular" as soon as they spot them. They also call them by name. :)

There's something really cool about being known that way. When someone knows your name, and your likes and dislikes. Good friends and family are that way. They know our strengths and weaknesses. And they love us anyway.

But God knows us even better, inside and out, our thoughts, our hopes, our hurts. And God loves us beyond measure. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that. But what joy to rest in the fact.

Who's someone in your life who knows you well and loves you?

Monday, January 26, 2015

More To Life Magazine Interview

Hi, Terri Reed here dropping in from my deadline cave.
I have an interview on More To Life Magazine's newsletter today.

I'd only recently learned of this Christian online magazine for women. I've been enjoying their newsletters and articles.  If you have a moment stop by.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Her Cowboy Hero by Carolyne Aarsen

Montana rodeo star Tanner Fortier is a good man. A man Keira Bannister never stopped loving. But when he shows up at Refuge Ranch looking to have his late brother's saddle repaired in time for the championships, he's the last person Keira wants to see. For years, she's kept hidden the real reason for breaking their engagement—and Tanner's heart. But now, with him at the ranch, she's tempted to reveal the truth— one that could destroy him. But she knows that to have a future with the man of her dreams, she has to settle the past… 
Refuge Ranch:  Where a Montana family comes home to love.

How exciting to have Tanner Fortier, the hero from Her Cowboy Hero written by Carolyne Aarsen, a January, 2015 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Tanner, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Don’t know if it’s all that interesting to you all, but I qualified for NFR and am heading to Las Vegas for the Finals in beginning of December. I’ve been working toward this for years.
2.  What do you do for fun?
I like just going out on my horse, riding but I haven’t had much time for pleasure riding lately. Most of my time has been focussed on either keeping my mechanic business running and practicing for the NFR. I used to play Scrabble. With Keira, when we used to hang out, but that was a long time ago. We used to make up words.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Meeting Keira. You’d think I could have gotten over her breaking up with me, but I really loved her. I’ve got to bring her my brother’s saddle to get fixed and I can’t really put it off anymore. I need the saddle to ride in the NFR. I’m doing this all in honour of my dead half-brother, David.
4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Disappointing people. Shouldn’t bug me as much as it does, but I always feel like I have to do the right thing, be the right guy. I was once afraid of losing Keira and then it happened. I guess I got through it, but I don’t want anything like that to happen to me again.
5.  What is the most important thing to you?
Right now, winning this NFR so I can bring the buckle and my brother’s saddle to my step-mom, David’s mom. I figure it’s a small way of making up for the fact that David died while we were together.
6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
Not much for reading. Too busy being on the move I guess.
7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I think I would lose the feeling that I have to figure everything out. I know I need to trust that God will work out his will in my life, but it’s hard when I’m trying so hard to fix everything that happened - everything that went wrong.
8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Used to have a dog years ago, but since Dad died and left the ranch to my step-mom I don’t live there anymore. I don’t figure it’s fair to have a dog when you can’t be around enough to take care of him.
9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d go back to that day that Keira took off without telling me why. I’d run after her this time and find out why. That’s what I’d do.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Blast from the Past and A New Craftie Lady

Today we're starting a new monthly feature called Blast from the Past. In it, you will have the opportunity to see another side of your favorite Love Inspired authors. Photos and memories from back in the day. 

Today, we're going to get started by introducing you to a new Craftie Lady.

Please join me in welcoming Lisa Jordan

Lisa has written four books for Love Inspired, Lakeside Reunion, Lakeside Family, Lakeside Sweethearts and her January 2015 release, Lakeside Redemption.

Don't you just love that cover? Such a tranquil setting.

Okay, Lisa, time to tell us a little bit about yourself and share your blast from the past.

Thank you, Mindy. I'm excited to be a part of the Craftie Ladies to help spread the word about Love Inspired novels.

So here’s a photo of me in third grade at Christmas time. I was very excited about the Barbie bathtub I had received. I was a girly girl who loved Barbies, dolls, and the pretty dresses my mom made for me. I grew up down the road from my grandparents’ dairy farm, so my preteen years were spent swimming in the creek, sleeping in the hay barn, and feeding all sort of barnyard animals with my very large extended family. My cousins were my constant companions. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been drawn to young children. I spend my days caring for Little Darlings in my family child care program. However, I’ve always been a happily ever after girl, so, by night, I write contemporary Christian romances that promise hope and happily ever after. My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows in front of family and friends. Our two boys are growing into fine young men. In my free time, I enjoy paper crafting, reading, Netflix binging, and snuggling with my Chihuahua mix Penny. 

So cute. 
We're glad to have you with us, Lisa.

Heart, home, and faith have always been important to award-winning author Lisa Jordan. So writing stories that promise hope and happily ever after come naturally. She's been married to her real-life hero for over twenty-five years, and they have two grown sons. By day, Lisa is an early childhood educator, and by night, she writes contemporary Christian romances for Love Inspired. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such. Additionally, she serves as the My Book Therapy Voices Community Hostess. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, papercrafting, Netflix binging, and snuggling with her dog Penny. Learn more about her at

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cover Reveal and a Giveaway

Terri Reed here. Yesterday I received my official copy of the cover for my upcoming April release.
Duty Bound Guardian is book 2 in the Capitol K-9 Unit continuity series.  The series is set in Washington DC and revolves around an elite K-9 unit.

I am so pleased with this cover. The hero is very handsome and the canine is exactly how I pictured him. One of my tasks as an author is to find photographs that are similar to how I envision my characters, including my canine character, as well as settings.
Here are some of the ones I sent in to the art department.
I'll send the first person to guess who these two actors are one of my backlist books!
This is how I picture Adam Donovan, the Capitol K-9 Officer. Do you recognize this actor?  He's in two of my favorite shows.

This is how I imagine Lana Gomez, my heroine. Do you recoginze her? She was a child star. 

And here's Ace, the true hero of the story.  The art department was spot on with the dog they put on the cover.

I also just turned in a short story for the Harlequin website that is set in the world of the Capitol K-9 Unit, titled Dangerous Justice.  It is a free read that will release in March and run for eight weeks, each week a new chapter will go up. So check over at about mid-March to read this free read.  

 Here's the titles and authors for the Capitol K-9 Unit continuity novels.

Protective Instincts, March 2015, Shirlee McCoy
Duty Bound Guardian, April 2015, Terri Reed 
Trail of Evidence,May 2015, Lynette Eason
Security Breach, June 2015, Margaret Daley
Detecting Danger, July 2015, Valerie Hansen
Proof of Innocence, August 2015, Lenora Worth

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Unraveling the Tangles

© |
Keli Gwyn here with a tangled tale. Well, actually the tale isn't as tangled as it once was.

What am I talking about?

My second Love Inspired Historical. Yes, second! How cool is that?

I received the verbal offer for this story back in October and inked the official paper copy of the contract and sent it off to Canada this past week.

Two weeks after the initial offer came, I received my revision notes from my editor. Since the (as-yet-untitled) book isn't due out until early 2016, my deadline for completing the revisions was generous.

The leaner, cleaner story doesn't have to hit my editor's inbox until the end of January, so I was able to enjoy the holidays.

Taking time away from the story enabled me to figure out fixes for the flaws and weaknesses my editor pointed out.

Before I began writing, I had no idea how much work a fiction writer does to get a story ready for readers. Oh, I knew there were edits, of course, but I didn't know that I would be required to take my stories apart and put them back together.

I learned that there are threads in a story. When woven together, they create a pleasing whole.

The trouble comes when I have to pull, tug or yank some of those threads out. I had to do just that during the revisions process for my second LIH.

The result was a tangled mess.

Not to worry. I took on the untangling as a challenge, determined to have fun replacing those weak threads with stronger ones. And I have.

I've spent the past two weeks working new threads into the story, and I'm much happier with it. Thanks to my savvy editor and the changes I've made as a result of her excellent input, I have a story I hope readers will enjoy.

* * * * *

If you're a reader, were you aware how much work goes into a story before it ends up in your hands?

If you're a writer, did you realize how many changes your stories would undergo before they were ready for readers?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Small-Town Fireman by Allie Pleiter

Karla Kennedy doesn't belong in Gordon Falls. The aspiring restaurateur has far loftier goals than running her grandfather's quaint coffee shop. The only person who seems to relate is handsome volunteer firefighter Dylan McDonald. Dylan understands dreams—he risked everything to start his fishing charter business. Now he needs Karla's help to make it succeed. As they work together, Karla and Dylan quickly discover that while their timing may be bad, their chemistry is undeniable. Karla always thought of Gordon Falls as a layover on her way to a big-city career, but could it be where her heart truly belongs?

How exciting to have Karla Kennedy, the heroine from Small-Town Fireman written by Allie Pleiter a January 2015 release from Love Inspired Romance.

1.       Karla, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I spell Karla with a K.  That sounds unique, and some days its fun, but outside of Gordon Falls where everyone knows my Grandpa Karl from Karls Koffee, well, it gets tiresome to explain over and over again.

2.  What do you do for fun?
I love to bake and cook and brew coffeeIm planning on opening my own place in Chicago someday soon.  The ladies from Gordon Falls Community Church have taught me to knit, too.  Im not that great at ityetbut Im having fun learning.  Dylan McDonald is threatening to take me fishing, but Im trying to resist that little adventure.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Telling Grandpa Im not going to run his coffeeshop forever.  He wants me to take over permanently, but Im only here to help out until he recovers from his hip surgery.  Ive got big plans in Chicago, but I cant get Grandpa to understand that.  Ive got to tell him soon.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Ive been working toward this dream of my own coffee shop for so long Im afraid it will never happen.  I dont want to get sidetracked, even by a place as nice as Gordon Falls and a guy a nice as Dylan McDonald.  A handsome firefighter can be very distracting, you know.

5.  What is the most important thing to you?
Family is importantI know thatbut Ive got to reach for this dream or I think Ill always regret it.  I can see my future coffeeshop, Roosters, so clearly in my head and Ive been to culinary school and everything to get ready.  Its where God is calling me to go, even though I know its breaking Grandpas heart.

6.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I like novels, but lately my head has been stuck in business texts and cookbooks.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Id be less of a scaredy-cat about telling  Grandpa.  And maybe I wouldnt find Dylan so attractive because the timing is way off for any kind of relationship with someone from Gordon Falls.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No pet yet, but someday Id love to have a cat.

9. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I think it would be fun to go back to the 1960s when coffeehouses were amazing community gathering spots.  Back before all the big chains, when each house was an independent local business.  Thatd be fun to see.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What Are Our Authors Working on This Month?

What are our authors working on this month?
By Margaret Daley

Author: Sandra Orchard
Title: yet-to-be-titled, but it’s book 1 in a new Mystery Series
Hero and Heroine: Serena Jones with two potential heroes Tanner Calhoun and Nathan Butler
Line: Revell Publishing
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
I swept my gaze over her outfit. “You have a part-time job for wages that are nothing to write home about. I’m struggling to make two and two add up to a fifteen hundred dollar dress."
Something cool learned from research: The heroine is an FBI art crime detective in St. Louis so I learned TONS of cool stuff touring St. Louis and visiting the FBI headquarters, but I want to save the reveals for the book.

Author: Merrillee Whren
Title: No title—The Village of Hope Series, Book #3
Hero and Heroine:  Melody Hammond and Hudson Paine Conrick the Fourth
Line: Love Inspired Romance  
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
By the time the evening was over, she had a throbbing headache, and she wished she could stop thinking about Hudson Conrick. He was just another man who liked to live on the edge. Even her dad had lived that way, refusing to listen to his doctor who wanted him to eat healthier, get some exercise and quit smoking. He’d rolled the dice and done none of those, and he had paid the price when he died of a heart attack at the age of forty-eight, leaving behind a young widow and four children. Melody didn’t want to have an interest in a man who gambled with life no matter how appealing.

Something cool learned from research: Army paratroopers have 3 weeks of training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. They train from a 34 foot tower and then a 250 foot tower before doing actual jumps.  

Author: Linda Goodnight
Title: Untitled:  Book 2 of The Honey Ridge Novels
Hero and Heroine:  Hayden Winters and Carrie Riley
Line: Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, and a house that's rich with secrets and brimming with sweet possibilities.
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Would the old man be passed out by now? Or would he be waiting with clenched fist and a hankering to take out his hatred of life on the good-for-nothing son of the good-for-less woman who’d left them both so long ago the boy had forgotten her. Mostly. Somehow it was Brody’s fault that his mother had left, and the old man never let him forget it, though he never gave a reason. Brody was pretty much clueless about his absentee mother. His angry father he understood, but thoughts of his mother left him lonely and nursing a guilt he didn’t understand. He must have done something really bad to make her up and leave that way.
Something cool learned from research:  Though I haven't used it, I ran across a home remedy for fever in the 1800s was to wet tobacco leaves and place them on the forehead. This left a brownish orange stain on the skin. Imagine walking around with that on your face!

Author: Dana Mentink
Title: Coronado Christmas Capture (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Donna Gallagher and Brent Mitchell
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Dark shadows drifted across the tiny office window. Even the lights strung along the ferry boat could not chase away Donna Gallagher's tickle of unease as she gazed out at San Diego Bay. Rain beaded on the glass, a winter storm. The vessel was already crowded in spite of the weather. In the upcoming three weeks, the number of visitors would swell as eager Christmas shoppers came over from the mainland and overnight guests arrived for the Hotel del Coronado's holiday festival. Twinkling white lights, ice skating, fireworks and hot cocoa. The perfect Christmas on the beautiful island town of Coronado.
Something cool learned from research: Coronado Island is home to the North Island Naval Base where 1/3 of the Pacific Fleet is docked! 

Author: Terri Reed
Title: Under the Cover of Mistletoe (working title)
Hero and Heroine: DEA Agent Tyler Griffin and widow and mom Heather Larson-Randall
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: For a long moment she stared at him, her eyes so forlorn and vulnerable. He fought the need to take her in his arms and assure her all would be well.  But he didn’t. Couldn’t. Letting this assignment become anymore personal than it already was equaled a bad idea. His boss commanded him to stick close to the widow and her son, to protect them. Not so he could fall for the beautiful lady and her adorable kid.  He ignored the little whisper inside his head that told him he was fast on his way to falling and there wasn’t a safety net to catch him. 
Something cool learned from research: I’ve been learning about the Christmas tree industry. I’d never thought about the work done with the trees off-season and that the US exports thousands of trees each year to other countries.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: Not titled yet
Hero and Heroine: Jared Mattson and Emma Sharp
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Emma froze. Jared Mattson. The last person she wanted to see, even at her best. Today, dressed in Pa’s old trousers and faded flannel shirt, she cringed in spite of herself. Even two years after he cruelly played with her affections and then jilted her without any explanation, she still couldn’t bear to be in his presence. She could manage to ignore him in church and at social gatherings, but now, covered from head to toe with soot, she would make an easy target for his teasing wit.
Something cool learned from research: I learned about the New Mexican custom of Las Posadas, which is celebrated in many Spanish speaking countries.

Author: Jolene Navarro
Title: The Pilot & The Single Mom (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Tyler Childress and Karly Kalakona of Clear Water Texas
Line:Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: When she lifted her eyes back to the sky, he could see her profile. Her full lips definitely brought kissing to mind. He shook his head and returned to star gazing. She made him think of early morning kisses. Not the hot burn-out-quick kind, but the kind he used to see his dad give his mother every morning in the kitchen before he left to work. The kind that showed you that the day was good and that home was always waiting for you.
Something cool learned from research: In a small plane you should open the doors in an emergency landing. If door can collapse and trap you inside.

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: The Pastor's Christmas Star (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Connor Donnelly and Natalie Delacroix
Line: Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
For the rest of the afternoon worked beside Connor, welcoming and talking with the open house guests and replenishing the refreshment table. More than once, she had the thought, so this is how it would feel to be the pastor’s wife. And even more often, she wished the crowd would thin and the open house would be over, so she could have a few minutes of alone time with Connor to talk before she lost her nerve.
Something cool learned from research: There are two different Polar
Express train rides on different rail lines in the Adirondack Mountains, one that leaves from Saratoga Springs and one that leaves from Utica.

Author: Barbara Phinney
Title: Cinderella of Minnow Lake
Hero and Heroine: Ellie B and James
Line: Maybe Love Inspired or Independently published. Not sure yet.
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: The book is finished, but this is the blurb:
Ellie B Phillips wants the promotion to rec director in her small town of Minnow Lake, and has the support of the outgoing director, but the sudden arrival of her old flame, researcher James Simcoe, has the town in turmoil, putting her dream promotion at risk.
James has come to Minnow Lake with one agenda, to discover why this lake lives and his has died. Once his testing is done, he's leaving, and none too soon for most in Minnow Lake. But he's driven to resurrect his lake and nothing else matters.
As much as Ellie B wants her promotion, she secretly dreams of her own happily ever after with James. But he is leaving in a few weeks while she is tied to this town. Can there be a happily ever after.
Something cool learned from research: I learned what makes mountain lakes that beautiful blue colour. It's called Rock Flour.

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: A Cowboy Country Christmas Novella
Hero and Heroine: Marcus Ender and Sarah Kendrick
Line: Harlequin Love Inspired
One Paragraph:
Tears pricked the corner of Sarah Kendrick’s eyes but she dashed them away with the back of her hand. No more tears. She was done crying.The Percherons were the last of her livestock to go—well, everything except for Snort and Crash. Trying to sell live reindeer less than a week before Christmas was like trying to pawn penny candy at a gourmet chocolate shop. An added stress to an already bleak season.
Something Cool Learned from Research: I've only just started on this novella and am learning how a Christmas tree farm operates, including shaking, touch-up, trimming, netting and loading.

Author: Lacy Williams
Title: Matty's story (don't have official Harlequin title yet)
Hero and Heroine: Matty White and Catherine Poole
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
"You say you don't need a friend," Matty said. "But I don't believe you."
Something cool learned from research: I've been researching soddies/dugouts. The heroine lives in a one-room home built into the ground.

Author:  Mindy Obenhaus
Title:  Healing the Warrior’s Heart (working title)
Hero and Heroine:  Kaleb Palmer and Grace McAllen
Line:  Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
As a teenager, he used to dream of the day he’d own his own motorcycle and had planned to purchase that very model as soon as he left the Army. He longed to conquer Colorado’s infamous Million Dollar Highway, leaning the machine into every hairpin curve. Of course, that was back when he had two legs.
Something cool learned from research:  There are small, pop-up trailers made to be pulled behind motorcycles.

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