Friday, June 29, 2018

Katy Lee: Rita Finalist

Today the Craftie Ladies welcome Katy Lee, Rita Finalist
Describe the call:
I wish I could say I am full-time writer and spend my days only spinning tales, but I must have a day job, or in my case a couple of them. When I got the call, I was in transition from my morning job at the elementary schools to my next job at my church. I was frazzled and in a rush, and when the phone rang, I didn’t answer it. I didn’t, but my teenage daughter did. As I’m running out the door to go to work, she came to me with the phone and said, “I think you’ll want to take this.” Having no idea it was the RITA call day, I quickly answered it and listened to the RWA Board member give me the news. It was a glorious moment and gift that I slowed down to receive. I didn’t want to take it lightly or brush it off for work that could wait. I was glad to have my children there to enjoy this special moment with.

Who did you call first?
I called my husband next. He is not a reader, so it has been tough to get him to understand why I want to write, and even must. Recognitions like this help to explain to him the importance of what I do. Plus, he may not always understand, but he is happy for me and wants to see me succeed in all I do. 

What other cool things have happened now that I am a RITA finalist?
This is my second final, so I think my first will always hold the magic of it all. I felt like a princess, and I cherish that and don’t want this second time around to overshadow it. Both experiences are and will be different, and I look forward to celebrating at the conference this year just as much as last time. This years’ experience will have its own place of significance in my life, and I can’t wait to see how.

Tell us a little about this book:
One Simple Wish is an Amish Romance. It was my first Amish book I ever wrote, and I will admit I was nervous to try my hand at it. I had my doubts in switching from suspense, but I’ve learned to always trust God to show up and provide what I need when I need it. A few days after I signed the contract to write this book my appendix burst, and for the next three months I had to recuperate on my couch while I researched and wrote. I will say even though it’s not a suspense, I had to put a little mystery in there. 

One Simple Wish
When her maiden aunts give Eva an early Christmas present—a small wooden box meant to be filled with the desires of her heart—she finds herself praying for a stranger, a traveler whom Gött will guide into a life of honor and faithfulness and honesty. I wish for this honorable man to be mine, she secretly writes on a piece of paper and tucks it away in her prayer box.
A short time later a traveler shows up, hoping to rent a room over her aunts’ bakery shop where Eva works, and she senses he is the man Gött led her to pray for. But because he has left his Amish community and embraced the ways of the English, she knows he can never be hers. 
Along with the very qualities Eva prayed for, Jacob Whittmer has come to town with dangerous secrets going back six years. As his past begins to come to light, he is no longer welcomed by the Amish community in Blossom Creek and must once again face a life on the run.
As disturbing events unfold, Eva makes difficult decisions that will affect her own future. Was she wrong about the desires of her heart? Will her prayers ever be answered? Or will she be forced to endure being shunned by the Amish community and the family she holds so dear, if it means Jacob’s name is cleared?

How many books have you written?

One Simple Wish is my ninth book. I have since written two more Amish books and four cozy mysteries, totaling 15 books in all. I will soon be returning to my first love—suspense. Stay tuned!

What other kudos have you earned?
My book Grave Danger was also a RITA finalist. My book Real Virtue earned a Holt Medallion and an Epic Award. My book Blindsided earned the 2017 Selah Award, as well as second place in the FHL Readers’ Choice Award and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.

Once piece of advice you have for other authors:
Never stop learning and trying new things. Grow. Grow. Grow.
Katy Lee
Two-time RITA nominee Katy Lee is the author of 15 published novels. Her suspenseful romances thrill and inspire the reader—from the edge of their seat. A native New Englander, Katy loves to knit warm wooly things. She enjoys traveling the side-roads and exploring the locals’ hideaways. A homeschooling mom of three competitive swimmers, Katy often writes from the stands while cheering them on. Catch up with Katy at

Thursday, June 28, 2018

It’s All About Everything!

As a reader, there is nothing better than diving into a book and loving everything about it. The characters, the storyline, the setting. All of these things turn a good book into a story you don’t want to put down.
The characters have to pull you in and make you feel what they feel. Their hopes, their dreams, their fears. The heroine and hero’s struggle to be together must keep you guessing until the end.  
The storyline has to be compelling enough to make you want to turn the page. Finish the book. Maybe even read it again.  
And the setting…well, the setting can pull all the pieces together to make the story great.   
As a romantic suspense author, I believe the setting of a story can play an important role in adding suspense.

In my upcoming July Love Inspired Suspense release, Standoff at Midnight Mountain, I set the book in the mountains of Wyoming.
The heroine’s CIA brother has gone missing while meeting an asset somewhere on top of Midnight Mountain.  
As a former CIA agent herself, Rachel Simmons believes someone from the CIA is responsible for her brother’s disappearance. With time running out on his life, Rachel turns to the only person within the CIA she trusts. Alex Booth was once the man Rachel wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She and her brother, along with Alex grew up near Midnight Mountain. Then after they joined the CIA, Alex broke her heart by ending their relationship. Now, Rachel must team up with Alex once more to bring her brother home alive.
We have the hero and heroine at odds. A romantic past standing between them, and time quickly ticking away on the life of someone they both love. The mountain and its weather plays a huge part in preventing them from finding Rachel’s brother, as does the men chasing them who are determined none of them will walk off Midnight Mountain alive.    
When all the ingredients of a book click, they come together to create a story that you don’t want to ever end. Without one ingredient, the story falls short. So it really is all about everything!

As a reader, what are some of your favorite settings for a book?

In honor of my July release of Standoff at Midnight Mountain, I am hosting a Facebook party Monday, July 2nd from 4:30-8:00 PM Central Time. I’ve been blessed enough to have some great co-hosts. Patricia Bradley, Rachel Dylan, Laura V. Hilton, Nancy Mehl, Dana Mentink, and DiAnn Mills will be joining me to talk about their books as well. There will be lots of fun and giveaways, so it should be a great time and I hope to see you all there.

All  the best...

Mary Alford 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Welcome Love Inspired Historical Author Shannon Farrington

Ah, June!  My favorite month of the year!  Orange daylilies color the roadsides and lighting bugs dance beneath long, slow sunsets.  This year however, I greet June with mixed emotions.  My latest Love Inspired Historical release, Handpicked Family, is sadly my last, as our line in closing.
I began writing for LIH in 2011 when Editor Elizabeth Mazer read through my haphazard civil war era manuscript.  She saw potential in the story of a naive southern sympathizer who breaks her engagement to her childhood sweetheart when he decides to remain loyal to the Union.  Elizabeth patiently worked with me on the plot, showing me how to build stronger conflict between my characters and helping me polish the story until Her Rebel Heart was ready for publication.  It was a very enjoyable and rewarding process!  I was blessed to be paired with a skilled editor who became a great mentor and friend!   Elizabeth and I went on to collaborate on four other civil war stories and one western chronicling the Lewis and Clark expedition. 
I have greatly appreciated the platform Love Inspired Historical provided me to share my passion for American history and my faith in Christ.  It has been a joy to be able to create stories where characters face the tough descions, privation and loss that history thrust upon our ancestors, and then be able to bring those characters to a place where love and faith conquer all in the end. 
Such is life. Sometimes we can’t always see God’s hand at work right away in our lives but when we look back we can see His fingerprints everywhere.  I am sad to be leaving Love Inspired, sad to be parting from Elizabeth and my fellow historical authors.  I believe however, as history always shows, that God has a new adventure in mind.  I plan to continuing writing historical novels.  Who my next publisher will be I cannot yet say, but I am confident that the lessons I learned and the friendships I forged while writing for LIH will stay with me for the rest of my life.

 After the Civil War, newspaper editor Peter Carpenter insists he’ll never marry or raise children in such a troubling world. His commitment to bachelorhood only intensifies as he and his lovely assistant, Trudy Martin, search the ravaged Shenandoah Valley for his missing widowed sister-in-law and her baby.

Ever the optimist, Trudy refuses to embrace Peter’s bleak outlook. Unfortunately, that doesn’t diminish her deep feelings for him—feelings she knows he’ll never reciprocate. But when Peter and Trudy become responsible for two war orphans, will Peter still keep his heart closed to his newfound family…or can he find hope in fatherhood?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Authentic Amish

 Hello everyone. Patricia Davids here.
My sister-in-law, Theresa Stroda, and I took a day trip to Amish country a while back and we had a wonderful time. 
A trip to Amish country brings to mind horses and buggies on the roads, quaint shops filled with Amish made quilts, furniture and crafts, and don’t forget the food. Amish run eateries filled with the most delicious baked goods imaginable. 

Ah, yes, that’s Amish country.
Or is it?

Not in Garnett, Kansas.

Garnett is home to one of the oldest Amish communities in the state. Founded in 1903, the Amish settlement in Garnett has survived the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, rising land prices, falling crop prices and everything except urban sprawl. (Not much sprawl in this part of the state yet.) This Amish community exists today as most Amish did during the early 1900s—in a self-imposed vacuum. They haven’t had the need to expand into small businesses to support their growing numbers. Farming is still their way of life.

The hot summers and the large tract of land needed to grow crops make farming with horses impractical in this part of the Great Plains. The Amish in all Kansas communities changed over to mechanized farming when tractors and harvesters became commercially available. While the horses and buggies are always used for travel to church, travel other days of the week is for the most part by tractor.

If you are thinking they drive the newest enclosed cab versions, they don’t.
Here is a picture of my brother’s tractor on our farm and one of an Amish owned tractor in the parking lot at the grocery store in Garnett. 

Why is the Amish tractor covered in fabric you might ask? I did. 

My 87-year-old father tells me it’s called a comfort cover. He remembers using one in the 1950’s. It traps the heat from the tractor’s engine and transfer it in back to help keep the driver warm in cold weather. It is hard to see in the photo but the owner has added a piece of tin to the front of his sun shade to keep the rain from dripping inside his windshield. Not fancy but adequate. Very Amish.

 The next thing you’ll see in Garnett is the Amish version of a pickup truck. Everywhere we saw a tractor we saw they were pulling trailers made from old pickup beds. This farmer has spray painted the trailer blue to match his tractor.

I’m told a few lawn chairs added inside the trailer allows the family to travel along on nice days. The stock trailer behind this trailer was also hitched to an Amish tractor. We saw nearly a dozen of these tractor-trailer combos in town including one parked in front of the courthouse. It was a cold, rainy day so we didn’t see anyone riding along.

As we traveled the slushy graveled back roads of Anderson County looking for Amish farms, we discovered one way to tell if the farm was Amish owed was by the presence of a tractor like this in the yard or by the absence of a satellite TV dish.

The Amish children in this community attend public school at Mount Ida. In a departure from other Amish communities I have researched, Amish children attend Sunday school in a separate building that looks like a little white church with arched windows. While I didn’t snap pictures of any of the Amish people we encountered, I did notice something unusual in the dress of one young mother. She had on a black traveling bonnet and a lovely gray wool cape. The bottom of her cape was adorned with black fringe about two inches long.

Has anyone else seen a married Amish woman with adornment on her clothing like that? I was more surprised by it than the tractor-trailer combos.

If you have any questions about the Garnett Amish in Kansas I’ll be happy to answer them if I can.

Oh, and be on the look out for my new release, His New Amish Family.    
Available now.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Free Books Right to Your Mailbox

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Join contemporary and historical Christian characters as they experience the challenges of life, the promise of hope and the wonder of romance.

Read a FREE excerpt. Decide which series you like best. Choose Regular or Larger Print. Love Inspired will send your two free books plus two mystery gifts (approximate retail value of $10) directly to your door. Once you're a member, all you have to do is sit back and read.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer. [PD-US]

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Writer's Block and Other Stuff - Jolene Navarro

Jolene Navarro here. Checking in from the Texas Hill Country. School is out and I don't have a schedule. LOL. The calendar has no meaning to me. For these two months, I get to be a full-time writer and get lost in my stories for hours at a time.
The other day I hosted a workshop at my local library. A question comes up that I hear often. What happens when you get writer’s block? When it became difficult the brain will look for things to do that take less energy.
One of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my writing career was the fabulous Alexandra Sokoloff. Her advice was to make a list. List work great.
Jolene Navarro, Jodi Thomas, Alexandra Sokoloff, Sasha Summers

If I get stuck I make a list of the things that could happen next – at least twenty. I know the first few are obvious, the next might be a little too crazy but by the time I get to the last five I usually have something new and fun to work with.
Alex also breaks down story structure in movies.  When I was writing a Texas Historical (Lone Star Bride) where a girl disguises herself as a boy to go on a cattle drive I studied Tootsie. What happens at the turning points and how they were handled. On the surface, my Texas cattle drive and Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie doesn’t have much in common. But they do share a common problem. The main character is in disguises in order to get a job they want. I think it’s better if the genres don’t even match.

She also suggests having a question about your story and think about it before you go to sleep. Your brain loves working on problems while you are checked out. There are those wonderful mornings I’ll wake up and want to get back to the story right away.
In my upcoming story, Lone Star Christmas I was struggling with the heroine's guilt. I knew what it was but had to find a way to show it without hitting the reader over the head. My couple knew each other as teenagers and wasn't sure where they met was working. Some discussion and options and it all fell into place. It's like the sun popped out from grey skies after weeks of darkness. The choir sings and your story clicks. 
My favorite was of getting back into my story in meeting with other writing friends. We can talk over the phone, meet for a meal, meet at a library or bookstore. The best is when we get to go on a weekend write-in (or lock-down). Brainstorming and talking through the problem with other writer’s is the best. This will always get my writing moving forward again.
West Texas Writers' Academy 2018

The first week of this month I was in Canyon Texas at the West Texas Writers' Academy. A full week of brainstorming and writing. Best vacation ever.
If you want to learn more for Alexandra Sokoloff she shares some great advice on her page

What do you do when you get distracted from your goal? Do you have tricks to keep you focused?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Something Unexpected

When something comes along to shift our plans or our direction we usually think of it as a bad thing. We grumble and complain and wonder why this sudden event disrupted out lives. Lorraine Beatty here, and as a woman of a certain age I’ve experienced many unexpected events and the one thing I’ve learned is that they can be a good thing, an adventure, a turn toward something better if we embrace it.

    In fact that’s why I’m with you today. An unexpected request to write this blog. It was the last thing on my agenda but it also gave me the opportunity to visit with y’all. That’s always a fun.

    Bret and Nina have faced many unexpected events in their past involving loss and grief. They’re first meeting will set in motion a whole new series of  events neither one could possibly have anticipated. But what happens when you add forgiveness and relinquishing the past is added to the mix?

    Her Fresh Start Family is the first in my new series Mississippi Hearts. Each book focuses on a young widow who is struggling with the next phase of her life. With the help of a small therapy group – The Widow’s Walk Club – each woman learns to let go of the past and learn to love again.

    Facing sudden change is hard and scary. But everyone I’ve encountered has proved to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did situations improve but I learned a lot about myself and I grew as a person and as a Christian. Bret and Nina will find happiness at the end of their journey but first they must go through the struggles just like we all do.

    Going around the hard times is what we want to do but its only by going through  the trials that we learn and mature and develop character. Don’t you wish we could develop our character the easy way? Problem is we won’t change unless we’re forced to. We like our comfortable worlds. Unexpected change upsets our predictable life and kicks us out of our comfort zone.

    I’ve learned not to panic when sudden events crop up. Instead I start wondering what I’m going to learn or experience that I haven’t before. I’ve always been presently surprised and discovered an aspect of myself that I never knew existed.

    Next time you are confronted with an unexpected event take a deep breath and be prepared to be amazed at what you will discover. You might just find your own happy ending the way Bret and Nina do.

 Her Fresh Start Family

 A new life. A new love. But will secrets tear them apart?

 Struggling with a tragic loss, widow Nina Johnson seeks a fresh start in a small Southern town. Then she meets handsome veteran Bret Sinclair and his sweet daughters. Bret’s no stranger to loss, and his companionship is the solace Nina’s been searching for. Until a dark secret from Bret’s past is exposed, threatening to break these Mississippi Hearts.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Scripture & Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus, Guido Reni, 1620,
Hermitage Museum. [PD-US]

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Mark 4:26-34

The Love Inspired: A Story for Every Reader Authors 
wish all the fathers a
Very Happy Father's Day!

May the Lord bless you and your families!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Jeanne M. Dickson: Rita Finalist

1.) The RWA Rita call.

When my cell phone rang, I was upgrading my PJ bottoms to sweatpants. The cell was in the family room. By the time I got there, I’d missed the call. Since I didn’t recognize the phone number, I assumed it was a junk call. Then, the landline rang. I flinched. Ran into the living room. Answered the phone. The voice on the other end said she was with the RWA board, and Grounded Hearts had finaled in the Rita’s Inspirational category. I sank into a chair. Pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The rest was a blur.

2.) The first person I called was my husband. 

3.) It’s been a year of ‘debut first,’ but I was excited to land my first local newspaper interview spotlighting my Rita final. Writers tend to be insecure, so the other cool thing about being a Rita finalist is the boost of confidence. 

My debut book Grounded Hearts is set in WWII Ireland.
4.)In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

5.) I wrote six manuscripts before I made my first sale with Grounded Hearts.

6.) I’ve been nicked-named the ‘Contest Queen’ by my local RWA chapter! I won and finaled in many RWA contests through the years, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, and was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Most recently I won The Tara and Pages From The Heart.

7.) My advice to aspiring authors is never give up. Rejection is part of the game. The road to publication is a journey filled with potholes, detours, and heading up one-way streets in the wrong direction. Keep the faith and keep writing.

8.) I’m thrilled and truly honored to be a RWA Rita finalist, especially to be included among the talented authors in the Inspirational category.

Short bio:  Jeanne was born into an Irish-American family, the only girl in a family with four brothers. Her Irish grandmother lived with them, and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and the saints and ancestors long gone from this earth. She credits her mother, her aunts, and grandmother for her love of storytelling. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes. Jeanne writes stories set in WWII Ireland and also contemporary tales of Irish/Irish American characters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The History around You

Christina Rich here. Since I've spent the better part of the last week in some form of transportation I am going to keep this short and sweet.

On May 20th, my daughter got married, and because of that new marriage we traveled to New York so that I could meet my new son-in-law's parents. It was my first time in the Empire State and everywhere we went somebody was pointing out historical landmarks. Churches and homes where George Washington took refuge, gave speeches, and prepared plans. Islands in the middle of the Hudson with castles and mansions. Indian trails and lakes hidden in mountains.
The more places we were shown the more we heard from locals that they'd never seen the historical landmarks, which I found surprising. As an historical writer I'm always looking for cool and interesting places that enhance my visualization, especially in my own backyard.

So here is my question to you, what are some of your favorite historical sights in your hometown?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June Delights {and Giveaway!}

**Updated! Giveaway closed--congratulations to ablst nlki I!**

June! How I've longed for you through a cold, dreary, never-ending winter. And you're here--at last!

There's nothing I don't love about this month. That's a double negative right there. Maybe I should rephrase it. I love everything about this month! Better.

I live in northern Ohio where the winters are long, summers are short, falls are gorgeous and spring...well, sometimes we get spring and sometimes it skips us.

My Favorite June Delights

School is out. My 6:15 am alarm is off. Yay! I still set the alarm, but 7:30 is more my style. Plus, I can stay in my pajamas and sip coffee without the busy-busy of school year stuff.

Blue skies, sunshine, temps in the seventies and eighties, green vegetation everywhere you walk. Being outside is a must. I walk as often as possible. My tip? The mosquitoes are out, so load up on bug spray.

Happy anniversary! My hubby and I married twenty-four years ago this month. It's hard to believe! I still feel young at heart, and I'm thankful for my husband every day.

Baseball! My son plays baseball, and summer ball will be wrapping up next month. I also love watching the Detroit Tigers on television and going to Toledo Mudhens games. There's something so nice about spending the afternoon at a ball park.

Beach reads. Who needs the beach to read a fun romance? Not me! I'm digging into Becky Wade's Falling for You. It's her second book in the Bradford Sisters Romance series. Becky writes contemporary romance novels for the Christian market. Love her voice! I can't wait!

Farmer's markets. Thursday nights are for strolling the streets of Perrysburg. Not only is this farmer's market in an adorable downtown, it also features homemade kettle corn. Yum!

Release month! My seventh Love Inspired novel is in stores now, and I'm so excited about it! Reunited with the Bull Rider is the second book in the Wyoming Cowboys series. Here's a little about the book.

Goodbye rodeo, hello hometown. But is this Wyoming Cowboy ready to face his past?

Amy Deerson wanted to mentor a child. Her plan did not include former bull rider Nash Bolton—the little girl’s brother and guardian. It’s been a decade since Nash left town without a word, breaking Amy’s young heart. Now they must put their painful past aside to help fragile, traumatized Ruby. If only getting over their first love were that simple.

I'm giving away one copy (paperback for US residents 18+, ebook for international residents 18+) of Reunited with the Bull Rider. Simply leave a comment below to be entered. Winner will be selected via random number generator, and I will contact the winner by email. Giveaway is open from June 12, 2018 through 9:00 pm June 15, 2018 (EST).

How do you feel about June? Do you have any June Delights you'd like to share? Please do!


Jill Kemerer is an author and freelance writer. A multi-published inspirational romance novelist with Harlequin Love Inspired, Jill also writes nonfiction books, blogs, and articles. Her essentials include coffee, M&Ms, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. Please visit her website,

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Monday, June 11, 2018

New for June from Our Love Inspired Suspense Authors

Jean C. Gordon here with a new must buy from our Love Inspired Suspense authors. Just click on a cover to purchase it. And to learn more about Dana, click on her name
Top Secret Target
by Dana Mentink 

Her true identity is a secret
The next explosive Military K-9 Unit thriller
With his ex-wife next on a killer’s hit list, military police lieutenant Ethan Webb and his K-9 partner, Titus, must guard the woman posing as her. But courageous private investigator Kendra Bell refuses to be just bait—she wants to help bring down the killer. Can she play her part without falling for her pretend ex-husband?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Scripture

Christ, Heinrich Hoffman, 1889. [PD-US]

Jesus came home with his disciples.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, "He is out of his mind."
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said,
"He is possessed by Beelzebul,"
and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself
and is divided, he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder the house.
Amen, I say to you,
all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be
forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

His mother and his brothers arrived.
Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."
Mark 3:20-35

If you have prayer needs, please mention them in the comments section so we can join you in prayer. You do not need to include specific names or situations of a private nature, just say that you have a prayer request. The Lord knows your heart and the needs you have. It is a privilege and honor to pray with you and for you.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Kara Isaac: Rita Finalist

Rita finalist Kara Isaac describes getting the call!
After finding out you were a finalist, who did you call first and tell? 
I live in New Zealand and the time difference means that the RITA finalist calls are done while we are sleeping. The upside to this is there’s no spending the day waiting in tension because the complete list of finalists is up by 8am our time!

I checked the list as soon as I woke up and saw four finalists listed, including a good friend, Nicole Deese. Because there have only been four finalists in the religious and spiritual elements recently I assumed they had all been announced so I messaged Nicole with my  congratulations and then went on with my day. I was in the shower washing my hair when my husband banged on the door and told me that “some guy from America” was on the phone from some romance place? He will be laughing for years about the sight of me racing through the house sopping wet in a towel to get to the phone!! 

What other cool things have happened now that you’re a RITA finalist? Tell us a little about this book? How many books have you written? 

This was my first attempt

I first started writing the manuscript that became Then There Was You in 2008. It was my first attempt at a contemporary romance and, much to my surprise, was a finalist in the first couple of contests I entered it in. However, I also got consistent feedback from judges that no publisher would be interested in a book set in Australia and if I was serious about getting it published then I needed to relocate it to the US. I ultimately decided that the Australian setting was a critical component to the story that I wasn’t willing to compromise on and put it aside while I worked on other ideas. I finally finished it in 2014, it had some interest with publishers but ultimately wasn’t picked up so I put it aside again and pursued other ideas. It was my next manuscript that ended up being contracted to be my debut novel, Close To You. 

By late 2016, I had two books traditionally published but then my publisher went through a major restructure and a decision about whether I was going to be offered another contract was put on hold. Then There Was You has always had a special place in my heart for a number of reasons and so I decided to make the leap and publish it independently. Probably the most amazing thing about the RITA final has been the affirmation that Then There Was You is the same calibre as traditionally published novels (which is mostly thanks to my two phenomenal editors who pushed me to make it even stronger than I thought I could!). 

What other kudos have you earned? 
My debut novel, Close To You, was an Inspy Award winner and my sophomore novel, Can’t Help Falling an RT Reviews Top Pick. In the last couple of weeks Then There Was You has also been announced as an Inspy Award finalist and a HOLT Medallion finalist. I’m so honoured by how readers have embraced my characters but it can also be very daunting wondering how the next book is going to live up to how well loved the others have been!

One piece of advice you have for other authors... 
Publishing has been in a huge state of flux the last ten years but if your dream is a traditional publishing contract then don’t let people discourage you from pursuing it. Publishers are still looking for new voices and fresh talent. Two friends of mine have recently signed their first traditional publishing contracts after years of hard work and I recently signed a new book contract with my publisher after 18 months of not knowing if I was going to be offered another contract. So don’t listen to the naysayers who would have you believe that traditional publishing is dying!

Short bio: Kara Isaac is the award-winning author of three books. She lives in New Zealand (yes, it’s really as beautiful as it looks in the movies!) where she spends her time chasing three small people, writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in the South Pacific. Find out more at

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for having me to visit!

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