Saturday, February 28, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: A Daughter's Return by Janet Lee Barton

Finding her way home 
Having fled her privileged upbringing for a failed romance, Rebecca Heaton knows her pride has kept her from returning home. Now at her mother's boardinghouse in New York City, she's determined to forge a new life for herself--and her daughter. She just never expects to find a new love in the process… 
Ben Roth has always been compelled to help the downtrodden—including single moms like Rebecca. But if the past has taught him one thing it's that offering his trust can lead to disappointment. Could these two wounded souls make one another whole…and come together as a forever family? 
Boardinghouse Betrothals: Hearts taking shelter—and forging new beginnings

How exciting to have Benjamin Roth, the hero from A Daughter’s Return, written by Janet Lee Barton, a February, 2015 release from Love Inspired Romance .

1. Ben, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
 I’m not sure there’s a whole lot that’s interesting about me. I teach at the Business College and some business classes at night at the YWCA. I lead a pretty quiet life, but having Mrs. Heaton’s daughter and granddaughter living at Heaton House now has made things a little livelier.
2.  What do you do for fun?
At Heaton House we sometimes play parlor games or sing around the piano after dinner. As it’s turning colder, we’re planning on doing some ice skating and sledding soon.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I won’t put it off, but I kind of dread meeting the woman who says she’s my aunt—my mother left me at an orphanage and I never knew I had any family. What if this woman isn’t really my aunt?
4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
That I’ll never have a family of my own. That Rebecca will never trust her heart to another man.
5.  What do you want out of life?
To be loved, truly loved by Rebecca. I want her and Jenny in my life.
6.  What is the most important thing to you?
My faith. Without the Lord in my life, I don’t know how I would have ended up, coming out of the orphanage.
7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I’d been raised by my mother. That I could have had a real family growing up.
8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I don’t have a pet. But if Rebecca ever agrees to become my wife, I’d love to get a puppy for Jenny.
9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
Many women are entering the workforce right now, learning how to type and take dictation so that they can be hired in a typing pool for many of the businesses in the city. I’m trying to help many of those who live in the tenements better themselves by teaching them business courses.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blast from the Past - Guess the Author

Last month we started a new feature here at the Craftie Ladies called Blast from the Past and we introduced you to our newest Craftie Lady, Lisa Jordan. You can read that post here.

This month, we're going to play a little game. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a copy of said author's April Love Inspired release.

Are you ready?

Here's your clue:

This current Love Inspired author grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.  Here she is at age six.  The hairs the same, sorta, except there's more gray now. This author loves animals. This is the first one she remembers.  His name is Tiny, and he's a chihuahua.  She used to dress him up in doll clothes and push him around in a doll buggy. True story.  When this author was about five, her mother said, "We're getting a puppy, and you get to name him."  This author, at the time, loved Pop-Eye the Sailor Man cartoons.  This author picked the name Sissy.  This author never wanted to be a sissy, but liked the sound of the name.  Mother said, "Hmm, I don't really like that name.  How about we name the puppy Tiny."  Too obedient by far, this author simply nodded.  No surprise, the dog wound up belonging more to the mother than the daughter :)  Not so true for the cats, rabbits, Guinea pigs, birds, and hamsters that came later.  Today, she's the proud owner of a seven-toed cat named Tyre. 

Do you know who this is? Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest.

Good luck!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Furry Editors

I’m a huge animal lover, and I love having my own furkids as writing companions.

Dogs versus Cats

There is a definite distinction between dog editors and cat editors. My dog editors want to be around me while I’m writing. But I can tell when I’ve been writing for too long because the dogs are the ones that remind me that they want to be walked and want to play. Or even more importantly they want to eat.

Enough writing!! Time to play

Time for a walk! Step away from laptop
The cats, on the other hand, want to be part of the story. 

Wouldn't I be a great character in your story?

Or maybe it’s just that they want to lay near the warm laptop. 

Look at those TYPOS!

I like the direction here....
At the end of the day, they all provide inspiration and companionship. And I can't imagine my life without them. Do you have furry companions in your life? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quilting A Story

Hi all, Rhonda Gibson here. It seems like forever since I've posted on Craftie Ladies.

I confess I've been busy writing but I've also been playing on Pinterest looking at quilts and building my fabric stash.

What does that have to do with writing? Well, Pinterest and quilting both have to do with writing. I use Pinterest a lot to do research, collect photos for possible use on covers and to procrastinate. Quilting is also a part of researching, there have been quilters in our history for ever! and it too is a great way to procrastinate.
So today I'm going to do a comparison of quilting and writing.
Step 1
Go through fabric stash and pick just the right fabrics. 
Go through story ideas and choose one.
Step 2
Decide on type of quilt to make.
Decide what genre to write in. Historical? Contemporary? or Mystery? (those are my choices) But it's usually a historical. After all, I do write for LIH.
Step 3
Lay the fabric out and began cutting to create the quilt.
Start working on the synopsis, placing scenes where they need to go to create a story.
Step 4
Go to the sewing machine and start piecing the fabric together.
Go to the computer and start writing the story.
Step 5 This step is different with each quilt/book
Break out the seam ripper and fix mistakes
Edit as I go/fix mistakes
Step 6
Layer top of quilt, what you've spent hours sewing, with the batting and back piece of fabric.
Write until you get to the end of the book.
Step 7
Sew on the binding. It gives the quilt that finished look
Send into editor. Polish what she/he says and give it that finished look.
Step 8
Sewing take a picture and show off your creation.
Wait for the book to arrive. Take it's picture and show off your creation.
There are several steps that I've left out but I wanted to give you the basic idea. I love writing and I love putting quilt tops together. I'm not a fan of the actual quilting process but I'm learning a new way of quilting, it's new to me, called quilt as you go. Which is how I write!!
Below is my latest book and my first big quilt. I hope you enjoy both.
My latest release.

My first King Size Quilt.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Ballad of Little Jo

In the 1860's, a young cowboy showed up in Ruby City at the height of the gold rush. The cowboy was slight of stature, and didn't wear a gun strapped around his hips. His fellow miners nicknamed the cowboy "Little Joe". Little Joe soon realized mining wasn't his trade. For the next ten years, Little Joe raised cows and chickens and sold milk and eggs to the miners.

Though Little Joe was well liked,  he never visited the saloons and no one ever saw him drink. Eventually Joe tired of raising chickens and cows, and began sheep herding instead. A solitary job, Joe spent almost three years alone tending his sheep.

When Joe's only friend took off with his money, Joe went to work on cattle ranches. After a number of years, Joe saved enough for his own small ranch. He eventually learned to shoot and was an excellent rider. He even performed briefly in a Wild West show.

While driving his cattle to winter pastures, Joe fell ill. A neighboring rancher took him in, but Joe eventually succumbed to pneumonia. While preparing his body to be buried, the townsfolk were shocked to discover that Joe was actually a girl!

The local sheriff started digging around. Joe was quite successful by then, and the sheriff wanted to find an heir.

The sheriff discovered two possible explanations, There was a Johanne from Buffalo, New York, who ran away from home after mistreatment from her stepfather. The family produced letters and pictures.

A second explanation was discovered when neighbors dug through Joe's belongings. They discovered letters from Joe's sister. Piecing together the puzzle, it appeared that Joe was a former debutante who became pregnant out of wedlock. Unable to care for her child, Joe left him with her younger sister and headed west.

Joe's son graduated from law school, and by all accounts, had a successful life never knowing his mother was actually his aunt.

Some of you may recognize the story from the movie and remake, "The Ballad of Little Joe", a film 'inspired' by Joe's story.

Look for my latest release, The Engagement Bargain, in stores and online!

Make-believe betrothal
Rock-solid and reliable, confirmed bachelor Caleb McCoy thought nothing could rattle him—until he discovers he needs to pose as Anna Bishop's intended groom. After saving her life, his honorable code bid Caleb watch over the innocent beauty. And a pretend engagement is the only way to protect her from further harm.

Raised by a single mother and suffragist, Anna doesn't think much of marriage—and she certainly doesn't plan to try it herself. But playing Caleb's blushing bride-to-be makes her rethink her independent ways, because their make-believe romance is becoming far too real…

Prairie Courtships: Romance on the range

Monday, February 23, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Suspense February 2015 Releases

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented Love Inspired Suspense writers here at Craftie Ladies of Romance.  To purchase any of these wonderful books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on their names.

To Save Her Child

In Search of Her Son 

When a young boy goes missing from wilderness day camp, Alaskan search and rescue worker Josiah Witherspoon is on the case. The brooding ex-marine promises to find the child and return him to his worried mother. But he doesn't know that Ella Jackson has a secret past. One that could put them all in danger. 

When tensions mount, Ella needs to tell Josiah the truth—but she can't set aside her fears enough to trust him. Ella and Josiah are ready to risk their lives to save her son, but will they risk their hearts, as well?  

Alaskan Search and Rescue: Risking their lives to save the day

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Sheltered by the Warrior by Barbara Phinney

Her unexpected guardian 
Baron Stephen de Bretonne's sworn duty is to serve the king—and that means finding the Saxons plotting against the throne by any means necessary. Protecting a Saxon woman and her half-Norman child? Merely a means to that end. But the lovely Rowena proves to be more than just a pawn in his plan. And his admiration for her could ruin everything if he can't stifle his feelings. 
While Rowena must begrudgingly accept Norman protection for herself and her baby, she knows better than to trust any man. Yet in the face of danger, can she also open her heart to her unlikely protector?
 Interview:How exciting to have Rowena the heroine from Sheltered By The Warrior written by  Barbara Phinney a February  release from Love Inspired Romance .

1.  Rowena, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I suppose that the most interesting thing about me is that I can figure out how people are feeling, although, I am not sure I like how I learned it. You get to be good at reading people when they turn on you at a moment’s notice.

2.  What do you do for fun?
Having been raised on a farm, I didn’t really have time for fun. But now I love to watch my son, so I suppose that’s my fun. He’s the joy of my life and watching him grow is truly the best thing I have ever experienced.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I can’t say I put off anything, but what I dread the most is going to Lord Stephen’s manor. He took me in when my hut burned down, and the maids I share a chamber with are wonderful, but what am I teaching my son? That we need to be charity cases?

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
I’m most afraid of being unable to raise my son. I am so scared that I will not be around for him, or that we can’t find enough food and money. I want to protect him, but what if I can’t? After all, someone who doesn’t want me here has razed my hut.

5.  What do you want out of life?
Just as I said a moment ago. I want to start my life again, raise my baby and give him more than I had.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?
My son. I called him Andrew and he’s so beautiful. I can’t even begin to express the love I feel for him.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
One thing? Oh, how I would love to be able to read and write! I would teach my son and he would be able to find work in some manor somewhere and I wouldn’t have to worry about him.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
Well, I have a hen. She’s not a pet, but when you live on a farm as I did, pets can be either every animal or no animal. My friend, Clara, tells me we are all God’s creatures, big and small. So, I guess my little hen is a pet. Even after my hut burned, she came back to me and I am so grateful for her.

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
A few years ago, the Normans conquered our land. I thought they were so cruel because they enslaved us. But then I learned that not all are as brutal as the new king, especially Lord Stephen.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What We Are Writing

What We Are Writing
By Margaret Daley

Author: Teri Wilson
Title: Rescued Hearts 
Hero and Heroine: Ethan Hale and Piper Quinn
Line:  Love Inspired 
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
Ethan frowned. He didn’t like the idea of Piper living out here all alone. What if one of the wolves turned on her? No one would be around to help her. Then again, sometimes it didn’t matter, did it? Horrific things could happen, did happen, even when help was an arm’s length away.
Due date: April 15  
Word count goal today: 1200 words
Something cool learned recently from research: Last summer, I visited the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado. I was such an amazing experience! I knew I had to write a book set on wolf sanctuary, so I "moved" the wolves to Alaska, where my LI series takes place. The wildlife center in Colorado has been very gracious with answering my many questions. The most recent research question I asked them was if wolves wagged their tales. The answer is no. 

Author: Lisa Jordan
Title: Lakeside Proposal (Working title)
Hero and Heroine: Alec Seaver & Sarah Sullivan
Line: Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
Alec shoved his hands in his front pockets and looked out the window. The rhythmic rocking of the knife against the board competed with the rain pelting the open kitchen window above the sink. Breezes drifted across the sill and ruffled her already tousled hair. His royal blue chef’s apron fell almost to her knees, but it didn’t quite cover her white T-shirt and short yellow skirt. She added a dash of sunshine to the kitchen.
Due date: Not contracted yet
Word count goal today: 1500 words
Something cool learned recently from research: I've cooked for as long as I could remember, so it was hard for me to think about how someone who couldn't cook would manage in the kitchen. Friend and fellow LI author Mindy Obenhaus suggested I watch Worst Cooks in America on The Food Network. By watching the show, I delighted in seeing how learning to cook fed the contestants' pride and self-esteem. I learned a few new tricks, too!

Author: Merrillee Whren
Title: Working title: The Hope’s Healing
Hero and Heroine: Hudson Paine Conrick IV and Melody Hammond
Line:  Love Inspired Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Melody pressed the doorbell and held her breath as she prayed that all would go well during this lunch meeting. Despite her prayer, the old feelings of inadequacy deluged her mind as she stood there waiting for someone to answer. Would these women look down at her with pity? Would they talk about her behind her back after she left? Why did she still let her experiences from high school color her perceptions? She was a grown woman, a child of God, and He valued every person—rich or poor. It didn’t matter what these people thought.
 Due date:  March 1
Word count goal today: 2300
Something cool learned recently from research:  I learned how to conduct a road rally.

Author Pamela Tracy
Title:  Second Chance Hearts
Hero and Heroine:  Elise Hubrecht and Cooper Smith
Line:  Love Inspired Contemporary
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Good, let him keep his distance.  She already could feel him wanting to get close.  She knew that he’d make her feel warm and safe.  Keep her from doing what she had to do.  He’d never understood that sometimes she just wanted him to listen. She didn’t need advice.  And, that he couldn’t always fix what was wrong. Elise needed to do the fixing.
Due date:  February 23.
Word count goal today: 2,500 
Something cool learned recently from research:  Backyard rodeos used to be very popular, a way for the community to come together, and for the riders to learn competition in a down-home manner.  Now, because of insurance, more than 90% of the backyard rodeos (at least in Iowa) have disappeared.

Author: Barbara Phinney
Title: Cinderella of Minnow Lake
Hero and Heroine: Ellie B and James
Line: Not sure, but probably independently published, I think.
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Ellie B Phillips wants the promotion to the job of rec director in the small town of Minnow Lake, and has the support of the outgoing director, but with the sudden arrival of James Simcoe, all that is at risk. James is part of a vacation she'd taken that now may have ruined her chances to get somewhere in her life.
Due date: n/a
Word count goal today: Novel done, in the editing stage.
Something cool learned recently from research: That some ponies are bred to climb mountains.

Author: Sandra Orchard         
Title: One for the Monet (tentative)
Hero and Heroine: Serena Jones and ??? Tanner or Nate 
Line: a Revell mystery
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: Uh, oh. I rubbed my aching head. Mom must’ve heard the “M” word. She was hurdling baby blankets and teddy bears to get to me. “You want to get married?” she exclaimed, nearly tumbling into my lap.
Due date: Just submitted!
Word count goal today: I get the day off!!!
Something cool learned recently from research: How to work around the problem of not having enough evidence for a search warrant.

Author: Patty Smith Hall
Title: Gold Rush Bride
Hero and Heroine: Micah and Abigail
Line:  Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
“Show some respect to the sheriff!” Before Micah could stop him, Cecil grabbed the limp hat from the boy’s head and tossed it to the ground. A shiny braid of purest gold fell past her shoulders, tiny curls gathered at the ends, curving against her waist. Micah studied her face. A dainty chin perfectly molded to fit between an man’s thumb and forefinger lifted to a stubborn angle, her violet blue eyes glaring into his with such annoyance, he couldn’t help but smile.
“It’s a girl,” Cecil whispered beside him. 
Due date: Proposal stage 
Word count goal today: 1000 words
Something cool learned recently from research:  That one woman became so desperate for money to feed her children when her husband didn't come home, she dug out the floor of her house and found enough gold to sustain the family for a year. 

Author: Jolene Navarro
Title: Book 4 in Clear Water Texas, The Single Dad & the War Widow
Hero and Heroine: Anjelica Ortega & Garrett Kincade
Line:  Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
The scream filled the room. No, it was just in his head. Garrett planted his bare feet on the cold floor and took several deep breaths. He anchored himself in the present, in Clear Water Texas. Afghanistan, belonged in his past. A gust of wind rattled the glass door of the balcony.
Due date: Proposal  
Word count goal today: 1500 words
Something cool learned recently from research: Speaking with my cousins about the Afghanistan experience and all the "normal" things that seem outlandish. Taking the time to sill alone and really hear their stories, stories they don't really talk about was very humbling.

Author: Janet Lee Barton
Title: Book 6 in Boardinghouse Betrothals, The Widower and The Nanny (Working title)
Hero and Heroine: Georgia Marshall and Clinton (Clint) Walker
Line:  Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
“Yes, so am I.” Mr. Walker released a deep sigh before continuing in his charming English accent. “It appears my daughters are trying to run off all the help, and I’m afraid the cook might be next. The maid is watching them now, but she wants nothing to do with being a nanny. And I can’t say I blame her. They are a bit incorrigible at times.” 
Due date: Proposal due April 1st 
Word count goal today: 1000 words
Something cool learned recently from research: I was quite happy to find out how good Macy’s was to their employees in the time period I’m working in. And that they were famous for their Christmas Windows during that time, too.

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: The Cowboy's Yuletide Reunion (from the Yuletide Cowboys Christmas Anthology with Arlene James)
Hero and Heroine: Marcus Ender and Sarah Kendrick
Line:  Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  “I’m Onyx, and I’m three,” she declared, holding up three fingers. She stepped out from behind her grandmother and reached for his hand, her expression as serious as her handshake. “That’s my baby sister, Jewel.”
Due date:  March 1st
Word count goal today: 3,000
Something cool learned recently from research:  Reindeer snort like pigs. And their legs click when they walk (Up on the housetop, Click, click, click...)

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