Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grandmother memories

Hey Everyone,

It's Danica Favorite, and I am late posting today. So sorry! I'm visiting my parents for my grandmother's memorial service. She passed away last month, and the family decided that rather than have a funeral then, we would do a memorial service on her birthday, which was today. In all of our travel and events, I completely lost track of time.

One of the things that struck me at the memorial service was one of the things the pastor said about how no matter what happens to our bodies, our spirits remain. Even though Grandma is gone, she is with us in our memories. When we remember the things we love about her, special things we did with her, and the stories about her, we have her spirit with us. I'm probably not saying that as well as he did, but it reminded me that even in the midst of our loss, we still have so much.

Grandma and I had our own special traditions. I know most people think Martin Luther King day is in honor of him, but from now on, that's my day to remember Grandma. That was our day, and we always got together on that day to go shopping. The past couple of years, she'd been unable to keep our date because of health issues, but we always hoped we'd get to do it again.

Today I got to visit with family and friends- many people I haven't seen in a long time. My next book, The Lawman's Redemption, is a July release, and as I talked with everyone, I got to tell them about my book. It felt weird to tell people about my book at my grandma's memorial service, but when one of her friends pulled out all of her pictures and things out of her purse, it reminded me of how Grandma did the same thing. I have no doubt that if she'd been there, she would have been pulling out my book postcards, and sharing them along with family pictures.

So, I'm sharing my book, and my grandma, with all of you. Unfortunately, because I'm traveling, I don't have any pictures of her to share.

Did you know your grandmother? What is your favorite memory of her?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Family of Her Dreams by Keli Gwyn

A Family to Cherish 
Headstrong Tess Grimsby loves her new job caring for the children of a recently widowed man. But she never imagined that she'd fall for her handsome employer. Yet Spencer Abbott is as caring as he is attractive, and Tess can't help but feel for him and his family. Though, for the sake of her job, she'll keep any emotions about her boss to herself. 
Between his stationmaster responsibilities in a gold-rush town and trying to put his family back together, Spencer has his hands full. He soon finds his new hire's kind personality warming his frosty exterior. But could he ever admit to seeing her as more than just an employee?

How exciting to have a visit from Tess Grimsby, the heroine from Family of Her Dreams, written by Keli Gwyn, a June 2015 release from Love Inspired Historical Romance.

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

I’d have to say my height. That’s the first thing most people notice. I’m six foot tall, although with my large hat and three-inch boot heels, I appear even taller.

2.  What do you do for fun?

I love to cook. I spend my Saturday afternoons off in my employer’s kitchen coming up with new dishes. Spencer is quite happy to sample my creations.

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

I tackle most things head on, but I’m somewhat hesitant to spend time with Spencer in the parlor each evening before he heads to the bunkhouse. My friend Polly says that’s how I’ll get to know him better, but my employer is a man who says little, so talking with him can be challenging. Plus, I don’t want to overstep my bounds as his housekeeper. 

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

I fear spending the rest of my life alone. I haven’t had anyone who’s really cared about me since I was three years old. That’s when my mother passed on and my father left me at the orphanage.

5.  What do you want out of life?

More than anything, I dream of having a family of my own. I long to have a husband and children to shower with love—and to be loved in return.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

My journal is very special to me. I record my hopes and dreams in it and tuck my mementos between its pages.

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

I tend to be a bit too outspoken at times, but I’m working on that.

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

I’ve never had a pet of my own, but Spencer has a wonderful watchdog who keeps an eye on the children and alerts me if adventurous Luke, Spencer’s four-year-old son, wanders too far from the house.

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

Spencer works as the stationmaster at our local rail depot in Shingle Springs. He tells me that crews are working to build a rail line that will link the East with the West. They’re calling it the Transcontinental Railroad. While I like the idea of seeing our big country connected, I feel for Spencer. Once the Central Pacific and Union Pacific meet, his railroad station, currently one of the busiest in California, will see business fall off dramatically.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Security Breach by Margaret Daley

When White House tour director Selena Barrow is attacked in her office, the Capitol K-9 Unit goes on high alert. Selena's cousin is a person of interest in a congressman's shooting, and Selena has been collecting evidence to exonerate her. Could this be the break they're looking for? Officer Nicholas Cole and his dog, Max, step in to safeguard Selena—and to keep an eye on the evidence. As the attacks escalate, Selena finds it increasingly difficult to keep her distance from her handsome protector. But with an unknown enemy watching Selena's every move, Nicholas will become her confidant…and her lifeline. 
Capitol K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.
Today we're welcoming Selena Barrow, the heroine of SECURITY BREACH, written by Margaret Daley, a June 2015 release by Love Inspired Suspense. 

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.   
1.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.
I’m the White House Tour Director. I’m in charge of the White House Easter Egg Roll that is done every year for the children around the country.
I’m in trouble because I was sure my cousin, Erin, was innocence of the murder of the congressman’s son and I was determined to prove it. That upset someone.
2.  So, during the book you met Nicholas Cole.  Tell us a bit about him.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love?
I’d worked with Nicholas at the White House. He was part of an elite group called, the Capitol K-9 Unit. I always thought he was very capable at its job. I learned how capable as he protected me from the person who was trying to kill me. I fell in love when I realized he would be there for me, that he wouldn’t abandon me.   
3.  What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness?
I’m organized and a hard worker. My greatest weakness is that I have a hard time trusting.      
4.  What scares you? 
Being abandoned by someone I really care about.   
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could trust more. I’ve been let down one too many times.
6.  Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?
Shaky, scared to put my trust in the Lord.   
7.  Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?
I discovered God was always there for me and He would never abandon me.  
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant.
By whom also we have access by faith into his grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2
Both Nicholas and Selena needed to learn to trust in the God. To rejoice in Him and bask in His glory.
9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
French silk pie—rich and delicious.

Friday, June 26, 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.

The only thing better than a small-town parade is when you get be part of such a wonderful tradition. I was so excited to be marching with my baton-twirling friends. We wore those pom-poms on our shoes like a badge of honor. Now that I live in the big city, I miss those small town experiences and can't wait until the day I once again call a small town my home.

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

Good luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Planting, Writing, and Proposal ideas.

I can't believe it's actually summertime! This spring flew by with much rain in Oklahoma and many of my plants look a little worse for it. But they are trying their best to make it. Except for these. The petunia and marigolds I wanted to plant disappeared in one afternoon. I'd put them out on the patio to water them and the next thing I knew--this little critter was having them for lunch! Ate all of them and let me take pictures too! So tiny and cute!


At least she didn't seem to like the Dahlia's,  Hydrangea or Clematis! 

But now the planting is done, it's time to get back to work on the next  Boardinghouse Betrothal story.
Oh and I did get a glimpse of the one coming out in November-The Mistletoe Kiss! I can't show it yet, but it is beautiful and Christmasy! I love it and I'll show it soon as I can.

Once I finish the story I'm working on now, it will be proposal time. Any suggestions for new careers for my heroines? What do you think you would have wanted to do in New York City in 1898-99? What about the hero? The book I'm writing now has a widowed Englishman needing help with his two young daughters. Can you guess which Heaton House lady is the heroine in this story?

I'm ready to get back to it! Happy Summer all!
Janet Lee Barton 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Allie Pleiter on the OTHER ABC’s

Well, it seems I woke up itching to climb on my soapbox this morning.  Don’t worry, I’ll bring this back around to books by the end of it, I promise

Having finished my tour of duty as an on-site parent (meaning I’m an empty nester with one still in college), I find myself continually wondering when “C”s became failures.  I heartily disagree: the class I learned the most from in high school was the one I could barely scratch my way to a C: chemistry.

I remember stupefying formulas, bad experiments, and disappointed lab partners.  I remember my teacher’s…um…bold choice of ties and his inexplicable (to me) passion for science.  But I also remember how he would not let me throw my hands up and “fail.”  He helped me stick with it, search hard for understanding, and even accept my limitations.  “Face it, chemistry’s just not your thing,” he said with a smile, “But hang in there—we’ll work hard and you’ll pass.”

Back then I was forced to take chemistry.  Now, I am thankful for the lessons in persistence, trial and error, recognition of limitations, asking for help, and the power of encouragement that his chemistry class taught me.  I count that “C” as valuable as the easy and delightful “A”s I earned in English.  Maybe more so.

I hope to pass that value on as a parent.  My son’s first college semester yielded a grueling schedule.  His only available elective turned out to be Russian.  Russian? Difficult, extra course hours, way out of his skill set, and by no means an engineering necessity.  Far from the fluffy-easy-A elective one would hope for a brand new freshman.  I could have worried (I did, a bit) about what it would do to his GPA or what other stellar electives he might have missed.  Lots of parents do. Instead, I preferred to hope it was his “Chemistry.”  

It was, in many ways.  Russian turned out to be hard, but fun. There was a cute girl. It pushed him in a new, adventurous direction.  I love that he occasionally spouts Russian phrases or texts me in Russian just to stump me.  The “B” he earned in that class held lots of other values that won’t show up in his GPA.  

Risk-taking must be partnered with the ability to do “just okay” or even fail.  We need people ready for adventure, willing to be bad at a few things in order to find the place where they truly shine.  We need engineers willing to get a “B” in Russian and writers willing to fight for a “C” in chemistry.

Why?  Because the ability to take a risk is what enabled me to take the dare that got me started writing romance.  And now I work with a whole different kind of chemistry—the kind between a man and a woman.  You’ll find lots of it—and lots of encouragements to step out of your comfort zone—in The Doctor’s Undoing.

What have you found hard but worthwhile?  What did you learn from the experience?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Beach Time by Christine Johnson

Having grown up half a block from the beach, nothing says “summer” like the beach. As a kid, my brother and sister and I ran down the gravel road barefoot so we could drop our towels on the sand and splash into the water. The last one in was chicken! We didn’t care if the water was cold. It was just plain fun. Here’s a photo of our childhood beach on Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan beach

These days, I’m much more particular about the water temperature, but I still love a beach. I enjoy walking the shore to collect stones or shells or “treasure” washed ashore. I once found an old key and wondered what it unlocked. Unusual stones end up in my growing collection. The ocean provides countless wonders to this freshwater gal, whether calm or stormy.

Fort Zachary Taylor beach
Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor on Key West

Hatteras beach
Beach near Cape Hatteras


But sometimes I just like to sit in the shade of an umbrella and read a good book. In my Key West-set book with Revell, Love’s Rescue, the shore symbolizes both her dream and all she has lost. Naturally she must go there.

Do you have a favorite beach? Is one on your wish list to visit? What’s your favorite thing to do at a beach?

Love's Rescue

Christine Johnson

Love’s Rescue (Revell – June 2015)
Love by Design (LIH – May 2015)

Monday, June 22, 2015

A summertime Christmas

Lacy Williams here today talking about my new novel, Her Convenient Cowboy. That’s right, I had a May release and a June release this year. Let’s just say there was a lot of writing going on last year. :):)

HCC is Davy’s story and takes place concurrently with Ricky’s story (A Cowboy for Christmas). So basically brother Ricky left town, abandoned the family and no one knows where he is. And it’s hitting Davy particularly hard. See, Davy and Ricky met up during their childhoods while they were both orphans and they’ve stuck together ever since. Until now.

Davy’s smarting from his brother’s absence and resigned to spending the winter isolated in the line shack at the edge of the family ranch, watching over the herd that will provide important funds for the family.

But when he arrives with a blizzard on his heels, he finds someone has already taken up residence in the line shack. A young widow who found herself abandoned in the wilderness. And she’s nine months pregnant.

Stuck together in a blizzard, Davy discovers that Rose has nowhere to go, no family to turn to. And she’s scared of just about everything he does.

The more he finds out about her, the more he likes her. But he’s made a commitment to his family to get these cattle through the winter…

Rose wants to trust the cowboy who has helped her from day one (when he really didn’t have to), but after the men in her life have taught her they can’t be trusted, she’s nervous.

And with a baby on the way, she has to be careful about the choices she makes. But the more she gets to know Davy, the more she falls.

Can Davy earn Rose’s trust before Christmas comes?

About the book

Do You Take This Cowboy?

A blizzard traps rancher Davy White in his family’s secluded cabin with Rose Evans…and she’s nine months pregnant! Help is miles away, and Davy must work to keep them both alive. As the storm rages outside, he comes to care for the vulnerable widow. Enough that he’s willing to offer her his name-against his family’s objections.

Rose will do anything for her baby, but she’s recently widowed. She doesn’t know if she can trust the feelings she has toward Davy. And she refuses to come between him and his family. But the more time they spend together, the less she can resist the comforting, caring cowboy.

Available at:



Barnes & Noble


Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Are We Writing?

What Are We Writing?
By Margaret Daley

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: Still untitled. It's the third book in my Donnelly Brothers series: Josh
Hero and Heroine: Josh Donnelly and Tessa Hamilton
Line:  Love Inspired Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: Josh jammed his phone back in his pocket. Dear old Dad. He had no doubt the call Connor had gotten was from their father. It fit his MO. Reappear after a bender expecting the family to welcome him home as if nothing had happened. Except this bender had lasted eight years. Dad had known better than to call him or Jared. He’d called Connor because he was a minister and took after their mother more, making him the most likely of the three of them to accept the call.
Due date:  November 2, 2015
Word count goal today: 1,200
Something cool learned recently from research:  Most Upstate NY rural volunteer fire departments have a Jaws of Life for accidents, four firefighters are usually the minimum to take the truck out, and the chief usually drives his or her own vehicle to an accident or fire.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: A Family for the Rancher
Hero and Heroine: Lula May Barlow and Edmund McKay
Line:  Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: I'm still working on the synopsis
Due date: proposal due on August 15, 2015
Word count goal today: 500
Something cool learned recently from research: Women in Texas could now (1895) own their own property. Prior to this time, they could not.

Author:  Rhonda Gibson
Title: A Pony Express Courtship
Hero and Heroine: Seth Armstrong and Rebecca Young
Line:  Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
She thought about staying home with Andrew and Noah but she needed to get supplies for the house and if she stayed behind who would keep Seth and Jacob from coming to blows? She sighed. “Come along, Jacob. We’ll do as he asks today.” Silently she thought, but as soon as they returned from town, she’d be having a word with Seth Armstrong.
Due date:  August 3
Word count goal today:  1500
Something cool learned recently from research: I was curious about the mail delivery after 1861 when the pony express stopped running. Most people picked up their mail at the general store when they came in from out of town, kind of well known. But, I discovered in 1863 that postmen walked at least 22 miles a day, seven days a week to deliver the mail.

AuthorDanica Favorite
Title: Shotgun Bride (working title-subject to change)
Hero and Heroine: Jasper Jackson and Emma Jane Logan Jackson
Line:  Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
Emma Jane’s smile lit her face. How could she possibly think, that with that smile, that she was at all unattractive?
Due date:  August 1st
Word count goal today2,000 words
Something cool learned recently from research:  I don’t know that I have a specific fact, but because my characters in this book share a love of Charles Dickens, I’ve been reading a lot about his life, and I find it fascinating.

Author: Deb Kastner
Title: The Cowboy's Twins (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Jax McKenna and Faith Dugan
Line:  Love Inspired Romance
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  And then there were the recurring needs—diapers, wipes and formula. Jax’s pocketbook was taking almost as much of a hit as his heart was.
Due date:  July 15, 2015 (Ack!)
Word count goal today: 2,000
Something cool learned recently from research: There are nearly 48,000 wild horses and burros in long-term holding facilities so the herds can be "managed." The end result is not enough genetic diversity and entire herds die off.

Author: Rachel Dylan
Title: Picture Perfect Murder
Hero and Heroine: Lily Parker & Rex Sullivan
Line:  Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  “With this guy I think we’ve learned one very deadly fact. Absolutely nothing is off the table.”
Due date:  7/6 (Yikes!)
Word count goal today: no specific goal
Something cool learned recently from research:  Cool photography research. Makes me want to buy new cameras!

Author: Winnie Griggs
Title: TBD (Book 8 in my Texas Grooms/Turnabout series)
Hero and Heroine: Hazel Andrews (seamstress)  and Ward Gleason (sheriff)
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
 Silly schoolgirl schemes! He actually had the nerve to say that to me.” Hazel paced across her shop, waving her hands to punctuate her frustration.  “The man still sees me as nothing but a schoolgirl.” 
Due date: Sept 1, 2015
Word count goal today: 1000
Something cool learned recently from research:  
Bicycling in the 1890s was one of the driving forces in reshaping social attitudes toward women's place in society and in the shape of their wardrobes

Author: Dana Mentink
Title: Danger at Cobalt Cove
Hero and Heroine: Dan (heart surgeon) Angela (Navy chaplain)
Line: Love Inspired Suspense
One paragraph from the page you are currently on: At the core of it, she was afraid. Of losing control, of the threats she saw building all around her from the Grubers and Tank, but most of all, she feared that her soul would be trapped in this dark place forever.
Due date: July 15
Word count goal today: 2,000

Something cool learned recently from research: Navy chaplains do not carry weapons. In combat zones, they are paired with soldiers (chaplain's assistants) who provide protection and support.

Author: Christine Johnson
Title: Untitled, Book 1 of Mail Order Mix-Up series
Hero and Heroine: Roland Decker and Pearl Lawson
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from current page:
Garrett wasn’t as quick-witted as Roland, but he figured out where this conversation was headed. “No, and that’s final. I will not marry some stranger just because my children want a new mother.”
Due date: July 31
Word count goal today: 2000 wds.
Something cool learned from recent research: The preferred house colors after the Civil War were much darker than before the conflict.

Author: Teri Wilson
Title: The Ballerina and the Boss
Hero and Heroine: Ophelia Rose and Artem Drake
Line: Harlequin Desire
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:  
It was no mirage. It was her. Standing right behind him, only inches away, with her exquisite face reflected back at him in the pristine pane of glass. And somehow that diamond looked as though it had been made just for her. Placed deep in the earth billions of years ago, waiting for someone to find it and slip it around her enchanting neck.
Due date: None, but my goal is to have it in before the RWA conference in July.
Word count goal today: 1500
Something cool learned recently from research: The Tiffany Diamond, a 128-carat yellow diamond that sits on display on the first floor of Tiffany's 5th Avenue flagship location, has only been worn by two women, one of whom was Audrey Hepburn.

Author: Terri Reed
Title: TBD Book 1 of the Rookie K-9 Unit scheduled for release April 2016
Hero/Heroine: Officer Shane West and K-9 trainer Gina Perry
One paragraph from the current page: She needed to find the exit. The dark was disorienting. She closed her eyes and visualized the space, marking off the paces to the next piece of agility equipment and then the next all the way to the back wall.  She knew this arena by heart. She’d put countless canine officers and their handlers through drills that required them to move from one obstacle to another. She could do this.  She had to do this if she wanted to live. She could reach the exit by memory and escape with the puppies before he found her.
Due date: July 31
Word count goal today: 1000-2000 words
Something cool learned from recent research: Crossbows have different types of bolts and arrows. Some used for hunting others for archery. A steel tipped bolt can go through metal like butter. 

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