Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Hi Terri Reed here, getting a late start on this cloudy day. I was going through some old photos and found these gems. I thought they'd be fun to post here.  Do you recognize the Craftie Ladies of Romance?
San Diego 2016 Harlequin Party 

2016 Harlequin Party 

2016 Harlequin Party 

2015 Harlequin Party 

2014 San Antonio RWA conference

2012 RWA RITA night

2012 Harlequin Party

2011 Harlequin Party
2010 RWA RITA night

2007 (I think) RWA conference

 It's so fun to look back through the seasons of life and remember those days with fondness. In my October Love Inspired Suspense, Identity Unknown, the hero has lost his memory. With the help of a beautiful sheriff's deputy, he puts back together the pieces of his life and discovers betrayal and love at Christmas time.

I have another October release from Howard Books, A Family Under the Christmas Tree. A lighter inspirational romance. 

Reed captures the magic of the Christmas season as an artist and a techie must decide whether to open up their fragile hearts and take a chance at love.Christmas trees form the perfect backdrop for this sweet inspirational story filled with love and the promise for a brighter future.  Publishers Weekly Review

Look at these beautiful bookmarks for A Family Under the Christmas Tree. If you'd like one, drop me an email at with an address and I'll pop one into the mail. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Allie Pleiter on rest and creativity

“It’s no accident that the best idea I’ve ever had in my life — perhaps maybe the best one I’ll ever have in my life — came to me on vacation.”  Having taken a bit of a break myself twice this summer—rare for me—I’ve been fascinated by Lin-Manwel Miranda drawing a direct connection between his vacation and his spectacular success with HAMILTON.  

I am a creature of persistence.  I can dig my heels in with the best of them. If you need someone to stick in there and bang at a problem or challenge until it relents, I’m your gal.

And, I am learning, that is not the gift I used to think it was.

God is teaching me the value of rest and play—seasonally and daily.  It is the essential fuel that runs creativity and grace, the enemy of scarcity, the seed of joy.

“The moment my brain got a moment’s rest, ‘Hamilton’ walked into it,” Miranda says in a recent interview.  As I look to my next series beyond the Blue Thorn Ranch, I need some new characters walking into my brain, so I’ve been seeking ways to give it rest.

Sure, anyone who knows me knows one of my favorite ways to play is with yarn and knitting needles.  Trouble for us writers, however, is that one of the places we also love to rest and play is in books.  Rather a “busman’s holiday,” wouldn’t you say?

For me, I have to be careful about what I read or my brain kicks into “work mode.”  Audio books help with this, as does reading outside the genre I’m working in.  For example, I’m knee-deep in contemporary romance, so Kristy Cambron’s The Ringmaster's Wife was the perfect retreat for me recently.

What about you?  What do you read when you need to “play”?  Where do you find rest and rejuvenation when you need it?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Craftie Ladies Love Inspired Suspense September 2016 Release

Below is a new release from our talented Love Inspired Suspense writer Debby Giusti. To buy this wonderful book, just click the book cover. And to learn more about the author, click on her name.


Plain Truth 
by Debby Giusti


When widowed doctor Ella Jacobsen is attacked and left for dead in her children's clinic, the peace she's found in Georgia's Amish country is shattered. Someone is after something in her clinic and wants her out of the way…but what are they looking for? Ella knows only that her life is in the hands of army special agent Zach Swain. Zach can't resist the vulnerable but headstrong Ella, who stares down danger to care for the people she loves. With one look, the loner soldier goes from investigator to protector. To save Ella, he must uncover the secrets that swirl around the idyllic community. And he needs to do it fast, because Ella is running out of time.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Blast From The Past – Guess the author

It's that time 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 print copy (US only) of her upcoming release.

Ready? Here we go…

My mother said I was a monkey from early on.
In 1966 I climbed the dresser to get something off the top I’m sure.
In 1970 one of my favorite past times was hanging upside down from the kitchen counter.
All as a precursor to being a gymnast in high school and winning the league championship my senior year.
I went on to coach gymnastics for many years before turning to writing as a career.

Do you know who this is?  Well, here's one more hint. This author has a new release coming up in October.

Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest. And be sure to look for more clues in the comment section throughout the day.
All the best...
Mary Alford

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Handkerchiefs in Historicals

Keli Gwyn here to talk about handkerchiefs.

Since I write Victorian-era stories for the Love Inspired Historical line, my characters make good use of those classic fabric squares.

The women in my stories might carry a handkerchief in their reticules. When a female character doesn't have her handbag with her, I'll have a her tuck a handkerchief up her sleeve.

Ladies' handkerchiefs were often decorative as well as useful. Floral fabrics, embroidery or lace edges were common.

Heroes in my stories carry handkerchiefs, too. A hero's handkerchief is a usually a freshly laundered white version, though, that he has on hand to present to a heroine who is overcome and needs to dab at her tears.

Although few people carry handkerchiefs today, I remember a time when they were still in use. My Grandma Pat always had a hankie in her purse. I went through a phase as a girl when I was emulating her and had a pretty pink-flowered handkerchief in my purse.

When I was going through my in-laws things while clearing out their house a number of years ago, I came across an assortment of handkerchiefs that belonged to my mother-in-love. They're the ones shown in the photograph above. Aren't they pretty?

Questions for You

Have you ever carried a handkerchief?

Do you remember any relatives who did?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Look to the Sky

Mindy Obenhaus here, and I don't know about you, but I'm a sky watcher. 
To me, the sky is like God's canvas where He paints some glorious works.

There's your basic blue sky with the occasional puffy cloud.
This one is a classic and never goes out of style.

Then there's the eerie night sky with storm clouds rolling in.
As foreboding as it is beautiful.

Oh, but after the storm, God does some of His best, if not most intriguing, work.

There's nothing like a brilliant sunrise to start your day off right.

While a moonlit night invites you to sit back and reflect on the day gone by.

But some of my most favorite skies are when God breaks open His heavenly color palette and paints a masterpiece for all of us to enjoy, blending purples, pinks, oranges and whatever other colors He chooses.

Are you a sky watcher? Do you revel in the paintings done by The Master's hand?

Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September Is National Honey Month

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Did you know that September was National Honey Month? Since honey is one of my favorite sweeteners (especially for hot tea) I thought I'd look up some trivia and fun facts relating to honey and honey bees to share with you.

  • There are over 300 unique types of honey identified in the US alone. The flavor of honey is derived from the nectar source the bee gathers from.
  • Honey bees are not native to the Americas but came over with some of the first colonists
  • Honey contains every substance needed to sustain human life, including water, minerrals, enzymes and vitamins.
  • Honey is the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant that has been shown to improve brain function
  • A single honeybee will only produce about 1/12 teaspoon of honey during its entire life
  • Honey contains natural preservatives. Vats of sealed honey were found in King Tut’s tomb that still contained edible honey after being stored for over 2,000 years.

What do you think - did any of that surprise you? Do you like honey and if so, what's your favorite way to eat it?

TEXAS CINDERELLA - A Sept. 2016 Release

In Search of a Groom 
After a life of drudgery on her family's farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 
Riley is on the run. He's desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn't know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Craftie Ladies - Love Inspired Historical September Releases

Below are the new releases from our talented Love Inspired Historical writers here at the Craftie Ladies of Romance. To buy any of these wonderful books, just click the book covers. And to learn more about the authors, click on their names. Cinderella

by Winnie Griggs

In Search of a Groom

After a life of drudgery on her family's farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her…

Riley is on the run. He's desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn't know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

The Nanny's Little Matchmakers

by Danica Favorite

A Wife for Their Papa

Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor's five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch's brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She's seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own.

Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he's sure he isn't husband material. Though Polly's tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?

Friday, September 16, 2016

What We Are Writing?
By Margaret Daley

Author: Linda Goodnight
Title: Cowboys of Calypso County (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Nate Caldwell, a cowboy/rancher and Whitney Brooks, divorced mother of twins
Line: Love Inspired or indie
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
“Ma’am, you all right?” A man went to his haunches next to her prone body. In her peripheral vision, Whitney spotted round-toed western boots and worn jeans. Lovely. A cowboy, probably a neighbor she’d have to face for the rest of her life, had witnessed her graceless humiliation.
Due Date: Self-imposed, Dec. 1
Word or page count goal today: 5 or more pages
Something cool learned from research:  A miniature Jersey cow stands only three feet tall but produces four gallons of milk a day!

Author: Jean C. Gordon
Title: Holiday Escape
Hero and Heroine: Bridget O'Brien and Luke Foster
Line: A Team Macachek Novella (Upstate NY Romance: Indie)
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
“What? I’ve loved miniature golf since I was a kid. Luke may be able to scramble up some tickets. He had no problem finding us ones for the ruins yesterday and for me for snorkeling today.”
Due Date: October 7
Word or page count goal today: 900
Something cool learned from research: 
Cozumel is part of the second largest barrier reef system in the world, the Meso-American reef system, which spans almost 175 miles (280 km) of ocean between the Gulf of Mexico and Honduras.

Author: Louise M. Gouge
Title: Cowboy Lawman (working title)
Hero and Heroine: Justice Gareau and Evangeline Benoit
Line: Love Inspired Historical
One paragraph from the page you are currently on:
Sheriff Justice Gareau ducked around the corner of the Esperanza train depot, hoping he hadn’t been spotted by the woman who’d just stepped off of the train. He felt a downright foolish. Usually people hid from him, that was, if they’d done something wrong, and he sure hadn’t done anything wrong. No, it was that woman who’d done him wrong and ruined his life. 
Due Date: January 2107
Word or page count goal today: 2,000
Something cool learned from research: While my story takes place in Colorado, my characters come from Louisiana, where the laws are based somewhat on Napoleonic Code Law rather than the common law (English). I'm still checking out the details.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Letting Nature Renew You

by Jill Kemerer

Last week I had a craving to sit and stare at one of the Great Lakes. Ideally, I'd sit on Lake Michigan all day--or for an entire week!--but Lake Erie is within an hour from us. My husband agreed to take a Sunday afternoon drive to check out a nature preserve along Lake Erie. I packed a cooler and a few camping chairs, and we were on our way.

About 90 seconds into the trip, I said, "Let me just check the hours of the park." It's a good thing I did, because it was already 3:00pm and the park was closing at 4:00pm! Our GPS clearly showed a fifty minute drive.

On to Plan B...

We're blessed with many gorgeous parks in our area, and many of them have pretty views of the Maumee River or small, inland lakes. We decided to stay local and went to a heavily wooded Metropark. Once there, we strolled to the pretty lake where families fished and picnicked.

I took this picture last year, but this is the little lake we visited.

It's been an extremely busy month for me, so I was happy to just sit on a bench and let the shimmers on the water whisper all my stress away. After lazing about, we decided to walk along a trail we hadn't tried in the past. I'm usually up for a power walk, but neither my husband nor I had much energy, so we took it slow.

The two-mile path cut through diverse environments. One minute we were in a patch of towering pines, the next we were in a meadow with bluebirds and butterflies. We even saw three deer on our walk. Beautiful!

I took this picture a few years ago, and I still love the message!

I still want to explore the nature preserve we originally intended on visiting, but the local park revived our energy, renewing us for another hectic week. What a blessing!

Do you have pretty parks nearby where you can explore? What about nature renews you?

Have a wonderful day!

Jill Kemerer writes Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith for Harlequin Love Inspired. Jill loves coffee, M&Ms, fluffy animals, magazines and her hilarious family. Visit her website,, and connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for her Newsletter.

HER SMALL-TOWN ROMANCE is available in paperback or ebook from online retailers like AMAZON now.

Finding Her Way Home 
Cozy Lake Endwell, Michigan, seems the perfect place for Jade Emerson's new T-shirt shop—and perhaps a fresh start. After a lifetime of letdowns, she is finally ready to face the future on her own. So when local wilderness guide Bryan Sheffield offers to help Jade overcome a past trauma, she warns him they will remain strictly business. But soon, with the help of Bryan's big, complicated family and a boisterous St. Bernard named Teeny, Jade's frozen heart begins to thaw. Now Jade wonders if she can return the favor, bringing a little happiness to a man who has long kept his own sorrow under wraps…

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