Thursday, April 30, 2015


Do I look different? I’ve recently made a big change in my life. Some people like to do new and daring things to add excitement to their days. I’m more of a read in a book about people doing those things and making life-altering changes person. I don’t do unexpected change well.

But I know change is inevitable, and the change I've made is one I planned, wanted to do, and have prayed about for a while. The change? On April 17, I left the company I've worked for since I finished college 36 years ago to become a full-time author/freelance writer. (Yes, I graduated college at age four.) I had originally wanted to make the move about four years ago, but it turned out that wasn’t the right time. It's new and exciting and kind of scary. We have these habits we need to finance like eating and having a warm, dry place to live.

And I've been busier than ever the past couple of weeks with writing a proposal for the third book in my new Love Inspired series "The Donnelly Brothers: Hometown boys make good. . . and find love," which I put off because I was working so many house at my day job getting everything wrapped up. And I had line edits on the second book, Holiday Homing, and promotion for the first book, Winning the Teacher's Heart, which has been showing up in stores this week.

Jared Donnelly in Winning the Teacher's Heart is a little like me. He's recently retired at the top from motocross racing to start an new endeavor,building a “Big Brother/Sister” motocross school for fatherless and under privileged children in the hometown he left 15 years ago. He wants to open their hearts to Christ and introduce them to the opportunities racing opened to him. Only his change is likely to tear the heroine Becca Norton's world apart. I don't expect my change to cause anything so earth-shattering.

What kind of changes have you experienced recently?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Fun of a New Release -- Missy Tippens

Missy, here. And I'm celebrating a new release from Love Inspired! The Doctor's Second Chance. It's a May release, but it's available in print now! Each new book is exciting. It's like another child being born. And each time, it's impossible to pick a favorite.

But this time, I have to say I really, really like this story. I had a lot of fun with a fish-out-of-water setting for my bachelor hero. When his cousin leaves him with a nearly newborn baby to raise, he's clueless. The only thing he can think to do is get the help of the town's new pediatrician--the one woman he doesn't want to associate with.


Yes, it was as fun as it sounds to write it. But I also had to do some research. My heroine is a pediatrician, so I interviewed one of my children's pediatricians. She was a huge help, especially since I haven't had babies in so many years (my "baby" is now 18!). In the story, my hero is a contractor, so I had to contact a friend from Sunday school to ask him questions as well. I hope I got it right!

It's been an exciting month. Earlier in April I had a boxed set release with some blogger friends from the Seekerville blog. With This Kiss Contemporary Collection includes my novella titled His Heart to Hold. It was another fun story to write! I hope you'll check out both of my releases.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


After having written three books in my Cowboy Country series (Cute cowboys and adorable babies, oh my!), I took a slight detour to write a couple of extra books graciously offered by the editors at Love Inspired—a Western Christmas novella (The Cowboy’s Yuletide Reunion) which will appear as part of the Yuletide Cowboys anthology with the lovely Arlene James in November, and Book Five of a six-book continuity series called Lone Star Cowboy League that starts in October of this year (my book, A Daddy for Her Triplets, is slotted for February 2016.)

While I enjoyed the detour, I’m super stoked to return to my beloved Serendipity, Texas and continue my Cowboy Country series with six newly-contracted books. Many of the heroes and heroines of these stories will be folks you’ve met in previous Serendipity novels, including Jax and Nick McKenna (Slade’s brothers,) Seth Howell (Samantha’s brother) and Vivian Grainger (Alexis’s twin sister.)

Today I’m plotting the first book (working title The Cowboy’s Twins) and finding pictures I can use as writing inspiration. I thought I’d share a few, because I’m nice like that. And you can see the whole board at Pinterest.

Deb Kastner's Love Inspired Classics 2 for 1 is available now:

Her next Cowboy Country novel will be available July 21st.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blast from the Past

It's that time again. When we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. 

Our featured author this month is Barbara Phinney.

Tell us about your photo, Barbara.

Shortly after we arrived in Canada from England, my aunt came for a holiday. We lived near Toronto and it was a natural fit to visit Niagara Falls. I don’t remember this photo being taken, being the youngest of the family, but my brother remembers the US Scouts’ hat he’d traded something for, and the play gun he ‘shot’ around the Falls. I bet he wouldn’t be allowed to do that now. But I can remember how close I was to my mother. I always wanted to sit on her lap. And see the sweaters we’re wearing? She knitted them for us. My mother passed away a few years after this photo but I will always cherish my relationship with her, and I work hard to have the same with my children.

Oh, I love that, Barbara. What a special memory.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Single Dad

Hello, Jolene Navarro here today. Hope your day is going well. What are you doing today?
Oh, just some research for my current work in progress.  I know, I's hard work.
Jensen Ackles and his daughter, Inspiration for my hero and his adopted daughter

Another of Jensen Ackles and his daughter.
My hero, Garrett, finds out he has a four year old, orphaned son and that son... has a daughter. To keep the kids together he is about to take custody of both children. He will be going from confirmed bachelor to single dad over night.. and does it without hesitation. Oh, he might have some doubts about his ability to do the job, but he never imagines not doing it. How can our heroine not fall in love with him?
Something about heroes and fatherhood that pulls at my heart strings, especially when the child is not even his but they love them as if they were.
We hear that fathers are the ones that establish how a girl will expect to be treated from her chosen partner. The relationship he has with his daughter will set the ground work for her future relationship. Sons watch dad to see how his mom is treated. Without this foundation life is so much harder...doable but harder.
My own heart still melted whenever my husband loves on our own daughters, twenty-three years ago or today.
Our oldest daughter never wanted to go to sleep.

Our second daughter is home from school and my husband makes sure to stop and give her a hug as he leaves the press box and heads to the football field       .
I also have a deep respect the men that are fathers when there was no father. Brings to mind the country western song, "He Didn't have to Be" by Brad Paisley.

As lovers of romance we want to see the character and heart of the heroes in our stories, and know they are honorable. The kind of men that steps in and does the right thing for those that are smaller and weaker than him.  And he loves with his whole heart, eventually. For our fictional heroes, there are always some issues they have to work through, but we know at their core, they are good men. Sometimes, they have to learn that too.
Some people say it's just fiction...that doesn't happen in real life.
But I see these men all the time in the real  world. There are a couple of men in my family that have become fathers when they didn't have to...and truthfully we forget they aren't the "bio" dad. They are the real-life heroes. Being a father is more than blood and DNA, it's loving and supporting a child into adulthood. How can we not love a hero that does this?

This summer it will be twenty years  that I suddenly lost my father. I still miss his hugs and crooked grin when he thought I was being crazy.
Daddy's girl - Jolene Guinther Navarro and Roger Von Guinther 1970
I would say that all three of my father's daughters thought of themselves as a Daddy's Girl.
So are you a sucker for a single dad story? Does the image of a man holding a child make you sigh? Or is it just me?  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rejection and then...Perspective

Three books with Love Inspired Historical and then WHAM...a rejection.

Having a proposal rejected feels horrible. It feels like the end of my writing career. It feels like my ideas are drivel. Like I might be a three hit wonder.

So when I received the rejection, I laid on my couch and stuffed my face with chips and salsa while watching endless episodes of Criminal Minds and swiping the tears parading down my cheeks.

The next morning I found out that a beautiful couple I'd just met only weekends before passed away that very night that I laid on my couch, feeling sorry for myself.


I'm not crying anymore. But I am typing. And I am dreaming.

Each breath is a gift.

Have you ever experienced a 360 degree turn in your perspective? When was the last time you did a 360 in your life?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Suspense April 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.

Duty Bound Guardian
By Terri Reed

When a priceless artifact is stolen, museum curator Lana Gomez becomes the prime suspect. How can she hope to adopt her orphaned nephew if she's a person of interest in a crime? Cooperating with Capitol K-9 Unit officer Adam Donovan doesn't get her very far—the handsome cop thinks she's hiding something.

But when the real thief returns set on silencing Lana, it is Adam and his Doberman pinscher, Ace, who become her only defense against a madman who wants nothing more than to see Lana eliminated.

Capitol K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finally A Hero Interview

Today we're learning more about Finally a Hero.  
Interviewer Rowdy Reporter will take you inside the pages
and introduce you to the hero and heroine.

Rowdy Reporter  here and I'm interviewing Eva Hubrecht and Jesse Campbell.

We're excited to be here.

Nice to meet you, Rowdy.
So, exactly, how did you two meet?

It was a restaurant.  I'd gone there for peace and quiet.  Then, his family came in and there was tension and noise.

That wasn't a real meeting.  That was the equivalent to a reality TV show and you were the viewer.  Our real meeting was when I showed up at your ranch after your dad hired me, and I thought you were going to faint.
                     Not exactly the best first meeting.  What changed things? 

Jesse needed help with his son.  I looked around and realized that I was the only one who could make a difference.

I did need help with my son.  I had no clue how to be a dad, and Timothy was a delayed five-year-old.  But, I was doing everything I could to change that.  At first, I resented her intrusion, but when I saw Timmy starting to trust, it made all the difference.

Yes.  Jesse came on board and my father was all about what Jesse could do.  He was giving Jesse the responsibilities, on the ranch, that I had been fighting for.  See, the Lost Dutchman is my ranch.
I'd not had many, if any, what I'd call good experiences with the opposite sex. Trust was non-existant.  See, I'd been ping-ponged as a child between the woman who gave birth to me and the foster care system.  Timmy's mother added to that when she left me in the middle of the night, with no money and no idea I was going to be a father.

Again, what changed?

I'd never met a man so patient, so determined, so strong in the faith.
I met Mike Hamm, a minister, while in prison.  He introduced me to God.  You were talking about trust a moment ago.  God was my first introduction to Someone I could trust.  Soon, I trusted Mike.  He arranged this job for me when I got out of prison.  The Lost Dutchman was the first time I lived in what could be called a 'thriving' family. Oh, they have their problems but at the end of the day, they are there for each other.  Soon, I wanted to be there for Eva.  She is a lot like Mike Hamm.  She takes care of others.  The day I realized she wanted to take care of me was the happiest day of my life.
What was the happiest day of your life, Eva?

Well, I want to say the day I got married, but really it was the day Timmy spoke for the first time. 

          Since becoming a part of the Hubrecht family, there are lots of happy days.

Give me an example of a not-so-happy day.

                  When Jesse got arrested for stealing my Kachina or the day he was taken in on suspicion of stealing a car.
Being an ex-con isn't easy.  I paid for my crime, but whenever something shady happens in the Apache Creek area, I'm given a suspicious look.  Still, my worst day was the day I almost packed up and left.
                                                                       He didn't get far.
Running away from problems isn't solving them.  I don't want to teach my/our son to run.
                                                          Plus, you'd have been giving up on me.

                        When did you know that were were a two-some meant to be together forever.
I'm afraid of horses.  I realized how deeply I loved Jesse the day I mounted one - first time in fifteen years - so I could warm him of trouble.  I can't think of anything else that would have gotten me to do that. 
For me, it was more gradual.  It was sitting across from her while she cut potatoes.  She's not much of a cook .  Then, it was watching her with my son while she made a blanket on her loom.  her fingers were so sure.  I wanted to kiss them.  Next-  

                                                                                        How long will this take.

I'm just getting started.

Maybe our audience should read the book.

Good idea.

Pamela Tracy (author):  Finally a Hero is dedicated to those who have to rise above their circumstances, forge a new path, and make a difference to the next generation.  The scripture that mentored it was 2 Corinthians 5:17  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come." 

Friday, April 17, 2015

What We Are Writing

By Margaret Daley

Author:   Pamela Tracy
Title:  TBA
Hero and Heroine: Emily Hubrect and Donovan Russell
Line:  Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
The architect, one Donovan Russell, had taken to giving her covert looks should she come close.  Well, that was preferable to the irritable looks he gave her the last time she’d filed a protest.
Due date:  June 30, 2015
Word count goal today: 1000
Something cool learned recently from research:  Most bodies unearthed in the Arizona desert are from drug deals gone bad.  And, Navajo Indians will not touch the dead. 

Author: Carolyne Aarsen
Title: Meet Me In Montana #2 - working title
Hero and Heroine: Vic and Lauren
Line:  Love Inspired Contemporary
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
But as they drove back to the ranch she couldn't shake the feeling that she had caught a glimpse of another life. A life that held light and joy.
Due date:  August
Word count goal today: just editing now.
Something cool learned recently from research:  A quote - “Dogs look for love. Horses look for a leader."

Author:  Jean C. Gordon
Title: I'm calling it "Josh" for now
Hero and Heroine: Josh Donnelly and Tessa Hamilton
Line:  LI Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
Whatever it was, she was game. Tessa stood and offered Josh her hand. “You’re on.” If it would humor Josh for her to make a fool of herself in front of everyone she knew in the area by dancing the silly chicken dance and make him more agreeable to what she needed from him, she’d do it. For Grandma.
Due date:  November 2, 2015
Word count goal today: 109
Something cool learned recently from research:  There are very few civil engineering positions in the Paradox/Schroon Lake area of the Adirondack Mountains. (Probably cool only to me because it fits a need in my story.)

Author: Patricia Johns
Title: A Second Chance at Forever
Hero and Heroine: Ben Blake and Sofia McCray
Line:  LI Contemporary
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
"Mike Layton, you are under arrest. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney..."
Due date:  NOW!
Word count goal today: None, I'm at the editing stage
Something cool learned recently from research:  Police officers have spotlights that shoot out to the sides of their vehicles to aid in searches at night.

Author: Patty Smith Hall
Title: TBA
Hero and Heroine: Jefferson Muster and Kallie Huffman
Line: Contemporary
Paragraph from the page you're currently working on:
Frantic moments passed as the man lowered Mr. Anderson's limp body to the floor. Kallie knelt beside him, her eyes trained upon the old man's chest, her fingers moving instinctively to the soft tissue of his neck. No respirations, no pulse. Kallie titled his head back gently, plugged his nose between her fingers, and blew two quick breathes into his lungs. As she moved into position to start chest compressions, Kallie called out to God in a silent rage.
Due date: May 31
Word count goal today: working on edits
Something cool learned while doing research: the technology used in hospitals now is a far cry than what we had in my nursing days!

Author:  Barbara Phinney
Title: The Heiress and Proud Ranch
Hero and Heroine: Victoria and Mitchell
Line:  LIH
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: 
Victoria Templeton sank into the Queen Anne chair, her arms hanging over the delicately carved wood. Her mouth fell open in a most unfeminine manner as she gaped at her mother. “What do you mean, we’re broke?”
Due date:  N/A
Word count goal today:  1,000
Something cool learned recently from research:  That the curtains of a house are closed during mourning and invitations were sent to funerals in Victorian times.

Author: Mindy Obenhaus
Title: Healing the Warrior’s Heart
Hero and Heroine: Kaleb Palmer and Grace McAllen
Line:  Love Inspired
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  She quickly turned away, reminding herself that Kaleb was her boss. Ouray was only temporary. Come the end of the summer, she’d never see either of them again.
Due date:  June 1
Word count goal today:  1500 words
Something cool learned recently from research: The abandoned mining town of Ironton, Colorado was once and important transportation junction and a stage and supply center.

Author: Merrillee Whren
Title:  Working title:  The Hope’s Healing
Hero and Heroine:  Melody Hammond and Hudson Paine Conrick, IV
Line:  LI Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Melody shaded her eyes as the first parachute opened, its rainbow of colors brightening the sky. A second one opened, then the third as the skydivers maneuvered their parachutes in a zigzag pattern, following each other toward the earth. Melody waited for the fourth one, but the diver continued to plunge earthward, his chute not opening.
Due date: April 20
Word count goal today: Doing revisions
Something cool learned recently from research: What RICE stands for when you have a sprained ankle. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate  

Author: Teri Wilson
Title: Alaskan Sanctuary 
Hero and Heroine: Ethan Hale and Piper Quinn
Line:  Love Inspired 
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Someone had tried to kill one of her wolves. How could she go on after this? Even if Koko survived—and right now, survival hardly seemed like a given—how could she stay in a place where her wolves were so despised that someone had done this? It was over. Her sanctuary. Her dream. All of it.
Due date:  Tomorrow (!!!!)
Word count goal today: I don't have a specific word count today. I'm completely reworking the ending, because that seems like a normal thing to do the day before the book is due.
Something cool learned recently from research:  Alpine aconite, a flowering plant that grows in snowmelt, is sometimes called wolfs bane because it was once used to poison wolves.

Author: Terri Reed
Title: TBD—Working title Northern Border Patrol Book #4
Hero and Heroine: Liz Cantrell-owns an antique shop on Hilton Head Island. ICE agent Blake Fallon works to protect our northern border
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
Due date: May 8, 2015
Word count goal today: 2000
Something cool learned recently from research: Uncut diamonds are ugly, they look like ordinary rocks, but they have the potential to be worth millions.

Author: Sandra Orchard 
Title: Serena Jones Mysteries, book 2
Hero and Heroine: Serena Jones
Line: Revell publishing
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Nate led me down a set of steep, poorly lit stairs into the basement of a dry cleaning business. “You sure the place is still open.” 
         Due date: October 1st
Word count goal today: 1500
Something cool learned recently from research: How to forge paintings.

Author: Linda Goodnight
Hero and Heroine:  Hayden Winters & Carrie Riley
Line: HQN
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Hayden rubbed a weary hand over his face. Dora Lee had called again last night but he hadn’t answered. The voice mail still lingered on his phone, also unanswered, haunting him, reminding him that he was a liar and a fraud.
Due date: July 15
Word count goal today:  I'm editing, trying to figure out where I took a wrong turn.
Something cool learned recently from research: During the Civil War, southerners sometimes used ground, roasted persimmon seeds to make a coffee substitute.

Author: Jolene Navarro
Title: Clear Water # 4 Surprise Dad
Hero and Heroine:  Angelica Ortega & Garrett Kincaid
Line: LI Contemporary
Due date: Just Turned in the proposal
Word count goal today: 500
A snippet:
Didn’t she realize how dangerous it was to be anywhere near the apartment let alone on the roof without any help? He rubbed his palm over his face. Getting upset would not help, but he did need patience. Getting out of the car he felt years older than twenty-eight.
Something cool learned recently from research: Children that have experienced violent domestic trauma can have the same symptoms of soldier returning from a war zone. Not very cool more on the sad side.

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