Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reunion Romances

Good morning from Carolyne from the Great White North,which, after all the gorgeous spring weather we've been having isn't so white. Still great, but hey, this is Canada. Next month the second book in my Refuge Ranch series comes out - Reunited with the Cowboy. The title kind of says it all and sorry, it's a bit of a spoiler! It's a reunion romance - my favorite kind. I love writing about star-crossed lovers who were together at one time and as life and decisions move them around, they end up in the same place but different people. Why I like Reunion Romances is firstly because it makes for an immediate conflict. Why should my hero/heroine trust this person after they broke their heart before? Plus, it makes the romance easier to work with because I'm building on a previous relationship. And I like second chances. There's been many times in my life that I'd like a chance to meet someone from my past that I've hurt or wronged and try to find a way to fix the broken relationship. But even more than that it is a reminder that our God gives us more than a second chance. He keeps coming after us when we turn away from him, always calling us back to him. It's what Easter is about. God coming to us and making his home with us. About Christ's sacrifice to give us chance after chance to come to him. I hope you have a chance (or two) to pick up Reunited With the Cowboy. A second chance for Heather and John to find their way through the difficulties they've faced in the past.
Refuge Ranch. Where a Montana family comes home to love.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring 2015 Love Inspired Historical Continuity

Hello, Winnie Griggs here.  Today we're featuring the books that are part of the great new Love Inspired Historical Continuity - Journey West.  
The tagline for this 3 book series is Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail.   Oh, my, but doesn't that sound like something you want to dive right into??

I've asked each of the authors involved to give us a blurb about their particular book in the series and then let us know what they hope readers will take away from the story.

Let's see what they had to say:

BOOK 1 (April)

Wagon Train Reunion by Linda Ford

Second-Chance Courtship
Abigail Black had no choice but to break Ben Hewitt’s heart years ago. Her parents had picked another, wealthier groom. Now widowed and destitute, she’s desperate to leave her old life behind. The wagon-train journey to Oregon is full of dangers, but she’ll face anything—even Ben—for a fresh start.

Ben knows better than to trust Abby again. Between her family’s snobbery and his family’s protectiveness, avoiding her should be easy. Yet he’s still moved by Abby’s sweetness and beauty…along with a sadness and strength he never noticed in her before. Forgiving past wrongs would be a struggle—but the hardest struggle would be letting Abby go once more. 

What Linda hopes readers will take away from this story: "That it’s possible to overcome challenges and forgive past hurts."

BOOK 2 (May)

Wagon Train Proposal by Lacy Williams

A Promised Bride
Emma Hewitt never thought she’d travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she’ll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma’s social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten.

Nathan knows he’s wrong for Emma. He’s too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma’s loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart? 

What Lacy hopes readers will take away from this story: "I want readers to know that sometimes the bravest choice isn’t necessarily a big journey or a life-altering decision. Sometimes the bravest choice is standing up for someone else or getting outside of your comfort zone to make a new friend. Be brave!"

BOOK 3 (June)

Wagon Train Sweetheart by Renee Ryan

For the Sake of His Children
A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn't possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks—someone to love her for herself.

Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she’s winning over his shy little girls, and the next she’s tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan’s unexpected second chance at happiness…if he’ll risk his wary heart again. 

What Renee hopes readers will take away from this story: "I hope readers will share my renewed desire to take more risks in their life, as I am determined to do in mine."

So there you have it - a quick peak into this great new mini-series.  So what intrigued you most as you read about it?  Do you have any questions or comments for the authors?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Blast from the Past - Guess the Author

It's that time again. When we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a copy of said author's latest Love Inspired release. 


Here's your clue.

That’s me, sitting in front of my little sister, Gina Dee.  We grew up as farm girls, but we always had a creative side.  She became a well-known artist who is featured in galleries across the U.S.  I’m SO proud of her, and I’ve actually named a recurring character after her in my Love Inspired series.  We were raised on a Charolais cattle farm.  I loved living on the farm, with our entire extended family living nearby.  I hated my curly hair (still do, though I’ve learned to straighten it somewhat to bypass Troll doll status), but I loved being a country girl (still do).  My grandmother made my shirt, and I remember selecting the fabric at Hancock Fabrics.  It had a Raggedy Ann print, and it made me happy simply looking at it.  My mother and grandmother made most of our clothes back then, even the jeans that I wore in this photo.  Though I don’t live on a farm now, I do live in the same neighborhood where I was raised, in North Alabama and near Lookout Mountains (where my Love Inspired series is set). 

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

Good luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Romance Springs to the Forefront, by Carolyn Greene

 It’s that time of year again.  The time when love blooms, anticipation grows, and hopes and dreams swell to massive proportions. 

Today  romance will be on the minds of many.  Hearts will pound, and there will be noises of delight all around the world.

No, I’m not talking about the birds and bees and their spring-time rituals.  I’m referring to the mega-talented romance authors who’ll receive the call today, notifying them that their book is a RITA finalist.

For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the RITA, it’s a peer-judged award presented by the Romance Writers of America.  It’s to romance writers what the Edgar is to mystery writers … what the Grammy is to musicians and the Oscar is to professionals in the film industry.

In other words, the RITA Award is a big honkin’ deal.  And the books that are nominated are the pinnacle of their genres.

Anyone who loves romance novels loves finding out which books will be shortlisted.  Not only is this an opportunity to cheer on our favorite authors, but it’s also an opportunity to discover new books written by new-to-us authors.

Although books can be read in hours or days, it takes the authors months or even years to write them.  (Anyone who has spent hours preparing a delicious meal, only to have their family devour it in minutes knows what I’m talking about.<G>)  A lot of heart and dedication goes into writing the novels, and it’s nice to see the authors recognized for their talent and hard work.

The official RITA finalist list will be posted at www.rwa.org today by 2pm Central Time.  Won’t you join the Craftie Ladies today in cheering for the finalists and praying for all whose books are entered?

In the meantime, follow the comments that accompany this blog.  As word gets around, I’m sure people will be posting the exciting news even before the official announcement.


Carolyn Greene is the author of Unexpected Reunion, first in the Southern Blessings series published by Love Inspired.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Maryland Day by Merrillee Whren

When my turn comes to post something on the blog, I always wonder what I can say. So I often look for special days that coincide with my blog date. When I looked up March 25, I discovered that it is Maryland Day. Even though I don't live in Maryland, one of my daughters does. So the history of Maryland peaked my interest.

I haven't written historical fiction up to this point in my career, but I have always been fascinated with history. I love to stop at roadside historic markers and visit historic places. The history of our country is very young compared to history in other parts of the world. One of the older events in our country's history is the landing of the first European settlers in Maryland on March 25, 1634. So every year on March 25, Maryland celebrates the anniversary of the settlers disembarking from two small ships, the Dove and the Ark on to St. Clement's Island in what is now known as St. Mary's County, Maryland.

Below is an image of the Maryland flag. The black and gold are the colors of the Calvert family. The Lords Baltimore of the Calvert family founded Maryland. The red and white crosses are for the Crossland family, from which the mother of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, came.

I could definitely find some interesting things to include in a contemporary book set in Maryland. What do you think? Maryland is noted for its crabs.

Does your state or country have a special day to celebrate its founding? Have you ever read a novel that incorporates a special historical event into the story?

 A Mom’s Redemption

Annie Payton’s lost everything she once held dear. The Village of Hope is her last chance to rebuild the life she’s frittered away so needlessly. But as she works to regain custody of her children, she never imagines an unlikely advocate in her corner—ex-husband Ian Montgomery. 

Ian’s always willing to help those down on their luck, but his ex-wife’s a different story. Her past betrayal is still a painful memory. As the Village’s lawyer, he’ll represent her—but that’s as far as he’ll allow his feelings to go. Can Annie show Ian that she’s changed in every way but one—the love she still has for him?

VILLAGE OF HOPE: A community built on love

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring time in the Texas Hill Country

Hello! Jolene Navarro here to bring you some Spring from Texas. In all my books I love to play with the seasons and weather as my hero and heroine find their way to love. There are so many glorious, God made things from each season that enhances the story. In my story coming out in October, A Texas Christmas Wish, it's all about Fall and Winter. In the story I'm working on now it Spring and my heroine is planting a huge garden.

One of my favorite seasons is springtime. New growth after a dormant period. Renewal and rebirth all around us...offering up hope and joy.

Outside my door there are some early signs that spring is here and I want to share those with you. Plus a great excuse to share my photos of the local wildflowers.

 Spring time also means our local Farmer's Market is open for business!  Here is my personal handyman hero giving me my favorite kind of flowers...the kind we get to plant. They are natives too!!

 Fresh fruit and veggies at the Farmer's Market!!!
This last picture is taken at my cousin's ranch in Con Can Texas - The flowers still bloom at the old homestead after all these year. The plants in Texas are as hardy as the people.

Where are you at and  what is your spring looking like? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Suspense March 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.



Colleen Brennan has one goal—take down her sister’s killer.  But chasing after evidence leaves her in the path of a tornado and stranded in an Amish community. With the killer nearby, Colleen must depend on the kindness of Special Agent Frank Gallagher. Although the army officer is recuperating from a battlefield injury, he wants to help the beautiful woman he rescued from the tornado’s fury. He can tell she’s hiding something important. But getting her to reveal her secrets may be his most dangerous mission ever.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Alaskan Homecoming by Teri Wilson

From the author:  My March Love Inspired release is called ALASKAN HOMECOMING. This book is the fourth in my Alaska series from Love Inspired, and it's a contemporary inspirational romance. The heroine of ALASKAN HOMECOMING is a ballerina, which thrills me to pieces. I've been wanting to write a dancer heroine for a long time. Here's a tiny peek at ALASKAN HOMECOMING:

Ballet dancer Posy Sutton is only back in her hometown of Aurora, Alaska, until her injury heals. It's a decision that'd be easier to stick to if she didn't keep bumping into her charming ex-boyfriend, Liam Blake. After six years, she should be over him—but instead all she can see is the mistake she made when she left him. She's not sure she can handle choosing between Liam and ballet a second time…if Liam is even willing to risk his heart again. When her time in Alaska is up, will she and Liam be part of the sweetest dance of all?

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

I'm a ballet dancer. I can't remember a time when I didn't dance. My parents say that even as a two-year-old, I would dance to the beat of the push-button toys in the church nursery.

2.  What do you do for fun?

My career doesn't leave me much free time, but recently I got into a snowball fight with the youth group at church. And, ahem, the youth pastor. Strangely enough, it was the most fun I've had in a long time.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Since I've been home in Alaska, I've been getting a lot of phone calls from the ballet director of the company where I dance in San Francisco. I can't bring myself to talk to him. Not yet...

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing what I love most. For me, that's always been dance. But now I'm not so sure.

5.  What do you want out of life?

Dance has always been everything to me, but I'm starting to realize that it may not be enough. People need to love and be loved.

6. What scripture most defines your life?

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to
dance..." Ecclesiastes 3:4

7.  What is the most important thing to you?

The most important thing to me is loving God and honoring his plan for my life, even though sometimes I have trouble knowing exactly what that is.

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

I would take back all the hurtful things I ever said to the people I care about.

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

I don't have a pet, but the church youth group has a dog for a mascot. A big dog. A REALLY big dog. When I first got to town, I mistook him for a bear. But that's another story. 

10. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?

It's the most exciting time of all - the present. I'm finally learning to live in the moment instead of always looking back. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Current Works in Progress

Current Works in Progress
By Margaret Daley

Author: Allie Pleiter

Title: Don't have one yet--it's the first book in my new Blue Thorn Ranch series
Hero and Heroine: Rancher Gunner Buckton and single mom Brooke Calder
Line: Love Inspired

One paragraph (well, it needs a line from the next one to make sense) from the page you are currently on:
Brooke turned to look at him, her eyes radiant. He could envision seeing that same expression twenty years from now and never tiring of it.  For a man who’d made a life of bumping from one thing to the next, that was a startling notion.  “Heart-thumping," she quoted him.  "Who knew you had a way with words?  I thought that was my job.” 
She turned to tuck herself into his arms while the fax machine churned its way through the pages, and sure enough, his heart thumped.  “And you?" Gunner replied.  "Coming up with a plan to gallop off and save the day?  I thought that was my job.”

Due Date: April 1 (Yikes!)
Word or page count goal today: Same as every day: 1000 words in the morning, 1000 words in the afternoon.  Considering I'm releasing a book next week on productivity for writers, I'd better walk the talk, haven't I?

Something cool learned from research: Baby bison aren't born brown, they are born orange and turn brown as they grow.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: Yuletide Reunion
Hero and Heroine: Jared Mattson and Emma Sharp
Line: LIH

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 from the barn fire, she would make an easy target for his teasing wit.

Due Date: March 27

Word or page count goal today: I'm working on line edits

Something cool learned from research: I learned about sheepdogs from a real life shepherd who was giving a demonstration with her sheep and border collies. She said that the shepherd must be the "alpha" dog in order to maintain the proper hierarchy. Otherwise, the dogs will fight it out and maybe even attack the sheep.

Author: Pamela Tracy
Title:  TBA
Hero and Heroine:  Jake Farraday and Abigail Holmes
Line: Harlequin Heartwarming

One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  

She was hiding something, and while it may or may not be related to the case he was working on, he knew two things.  One, coincidence seldom really was.  And two, the white Cadillac in front of her house didn’t belong on this street.

Due Date: May 30th

Word or page count goal today: 1000 words

Something cool learned from research: Needed:  Forest rangers can work undercover. Good find:  "A park ranger is twelve times more likely to die on the job than is a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation" (Lankford viii). 

Author: Terri Reed
Title: TBA-book 4 of the Northern Border Patrol series
Hero and Heroine: Liz Cantrell and ICE agent Blake Fallon
Line: Love Inspires Suspense

One paragraph from the page you are currently on:

She faced where she thought he was
positioned and gave a nod, and then bent to set the bag on the ground. Before she had released her hold on the bag, the wooden door behind her swung open and a man dragged her inside the dark interior of the barracks.
A panic-fueled surge of adrenaline pumped through Blake’s veins. Liz’s scream echoed in his head.
“I’m coming!” he told her through the communication link that kept them connected.
He could only pray he wasn’t too late.

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