Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Fond Farewell

Dear Reader,
It has been an absolute pleasure to host our beloved Craftie Ladies of Romance blog, and it is with sadness that we bid farewell to it.

We have been blessed beyond measure to have enjoyed fellowship and camaraderie through this blog. Thank you dear readers for being a part of the journey. Over the course of eleven years our author posts have taken you to Maine, the Big Apple, Scotland, France, the Ozarks, the hill country of Texas, Israel, Snoqualmie Pass, Amish country and so many more destinations. We’ve shared so much with you—covers, new releases, recipes, serials, projects and our hopes & dreams.

As writers of Christian romance, it was our goal to provide uplifting content and to connect with our cherished readers and share ourselves with you. It was also important for us to provide a weekly devotional for your spiritual needs. Although we will miss this opportunity to connect with you on this forum, we’re not saying goodbye. We’re simply saying until we meet again.

Please feel free to follow all of us on our social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, Amazon and Instagram. You can also find our personal websites on the author tab.

Please stop by the Love Inspired Authors and readers group on Facebook for engagement, giveaways and information on new releases.

As we leave you, we want you to know that this blog was created for readers of the Love Inspired line. We are grateful for your continued support.  We will leave the comments open for a short time for personal goodbyes  

May the Lord be with all of you.

Forever in friendship,

The Ladies of Love Inspired Romance

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

First Lines of Famous Books Quiz + Giveaway

By Meghan Carver

The first lines of books have an incredibly important role – to pull the reader in and make her want to read more.

If you’ve read a lot (and you probably have since you’re here, reading this), you’ve read a lot of good first lines. Want to test your knowledge?

Better yet, want to win a signed copy of a new 2-in-1 that includes my Love Inspired Suspense novel Amish Country Amnesia and Leigh Bale’s Runaway Amish Bride?

Buy Now on Amazon

The following are the first lines of well-known books. All you need to do is leave a comment with the titles, and the one with the most right wins a book. It’s the honor system, so no peeking at someone else’s answers! 😊 Alternatively, if several have the right answers, I’ll randomly choose a name. (U.S. winners only. Post will be updated at 8:00 tonight with the answers and the winner.)

  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
  2. Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.
  3. Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.
  4. “Where's Papa going with that axe?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
  5. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.
  6. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  7. Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
  8. "Tom!" No answer. "Tom!" No answer. "What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You Tom!" No answer.
  9. Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay out scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
  10. As I walk’d through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a Dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a Man cloathed with Rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a Book in his hand, and a great Burden upon his back.

This is the honor system. No google! 😊

Have fun, and I'll post a winner at 8:00 tonight!

Are you ready for answers?

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
2. Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
4. Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
6. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
7. Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maude Montgomery
8. Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)
9. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
10. Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

{An interesting side note: E.B. White was an English professor who wrote what writers just call “Strunk & White,” a brilliant little book actually titled The Elements of Style.}

And the winner is….

~~ Debbi ~~

Congratulations! Send an email to with your mailing address, and I’ll get the book out to you. 😊

Thanks for taking part!

~ Meghan

Sign up for Meghan’s author newsletter HERE.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Allie Pleiter's new writing partner!

I have a new writing partner!

No, she’s not a collaborating author on some new series. She’s not a wise editor, either.

She’s a dog.

For fourteen years, my “writing partner” was a sweet Havanese named Bella. For an extrovert like me, the long hours alone in my house can feel lonesome. And any writer will tell you someone that reminds you “it’s time to get up out of that chair” is a great resource. So while Bella was a sweet and loving pet, I really did think of her as my writing partner. Her talent for cleaning crumbs off the kitchen floor was just a happy bonus.

When we lost Bella last November, I was heartbroken. The house felt so empty. While I adore working from home and being self-employed, I was lonely. Still, we knew better than to get another dog right away. I tried to wait patiently until the timing was right.

Three weeks ago, Bailey came into our lives. We’re still getting to know each other. She is seven—we prefer to adopt retired breeding dogs rather than go the puppy route—so there is a great deal of adjusting on everyone’s part. 

Already she has taught me about patience and starting where someone is “at” rather than where you “want them to be.” She is slowly learning what it means to be part of our family, and we are slowly learning what it means to be her friend and caretaker. 

Most of all, I am delighted to have a new writing partner while I sit in my office and craft new stories for you to love.

Chaz Walker adopts a dog—completely on impulse—in Wander Canyon Courtship. As Bailey has already done for us, Chaz learns new lessons about himself and love from his new dog Cecil.  

Tell me—what lessons has the pet in your life taught you?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Scripture

Head of Christ, Enrique Simonet, 1890-1891.
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion? 
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? 
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. 
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:25-33

If you have any 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, September 6, 2019

As summer comes to an end—Lenora Worth

Summer is over but fall is coming!—-Lenora Worth

I’m late on posting today. For some strange reason, I cannot keep up with my posting dates. Could it be too much to do and getting older by the minute. I thought I’d share some of my latest covers and some of the pictures I’ve taken this summer. I wrote two different books over the summer and now I’m working on a novella and my next Amish book, both due before Christmas. But I love my job and I love our readers. That is the fuel that keeps me motivated! The first picture is Marta Perry and me at the Harlequin signing at NY RWA! The second photo is of my roommates and me as we found the townhouse that was featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I’m with Nancy Robard Thompson, who took us on this quest, Julia Justiss, Eve Gaddy, Kathy Gabera and Denise Daniels. We all write in different genres but our friendships are strong and I’ve know most of these ladies for close to thirty years. Also, I love being in reissues with friends and I write for LIS and Tule Publishing. See, told you I’m spinning plates and going in circles!

Happy Friday and I wish everyone health and happiness as we go into fall. Thanks to everyone for the prayers for Florida as we survived Dorian. I’m in the Panhandle, so we are okay. Prayers for the Bahamas, too.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Vacation Time Slipping

We often talk of combining research trips and writing inspiration, so today I want to share a trip with you that was a very cool experience for me. But I also have a question. They're connected. Bear with me and you'll see how.

Do you read time slip/dual timeline or time travel stories?

I'm assuming if you do, you enjoy them, but I wonder, do you feel like a story needs to have a deeper moral question or lesson if it's going to extend across multiple eras?

I've been dabbling in timeslip/dual timeline stories since way before they became a thing. I fell in love with the subgenre when reading two of Barbara Michael's books - Ammie, Come Home and Patriot Dreams.

I have several of them I have worked on over the years, but when I sold to LIS, I tried to keep my focus on suspense.

But sometimes those voices from the past beckon.

I had that happen this summer.  We thought it would be too painful to go back to the place we had vacationed when my husband was alive, so my daughters, cats, dog and I vacationed in York, ME.  We rented a pet-friendly home within walking distance of 2 beaches.
It was gorgeous.

The pets all got along!

As lovely as it was...

I confess, I had an ulterior motive for choosing York Beach. Last winter, I read this article about a Revolutionary War ship being unearthed during a storm.

The ship was first uncovered during a storm  in 1958. Enough sand was washed away to reveal the skeleton of the sloop. A spring nor'easter uncovered it again in 1980, and it has resurfaced in major storms since in 2007, and most recently in 2018.

CNN did a story on it too, with a video.

This is what the beach looks like on a lovely summer day.

But this was what the storm unearthed.

This story totally captured my imagination, and since no one knows the origin of the ship, I want to write a timeslip book about it. I want to imagine the people who sailed it, and maybe the families who were waiting for them to come home. My imagination is having fun with all the "what if" questions.

Which brings me back to my original question - if you're a fan of timeslip/dual timeline books, do you want them to have a deeper meaning, carry more of a message, or just be entertaining.

Here are some lovely ocean waves to watch while you contemplate the question.

Of course, while you're looking at these photos, I'll be back in school. Today is our first dull day with the students, so I'll only be able to check in at lunch and then after school.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


EXCUSE #47 by Valerie Hansen

I was tempted to title this by "the late Valerie Hansen" but I was afraid that made it sound as if I had gone to meet Jesus face-to-face and I'm still right here at my computer!

Excuse me for being a tad late posting. That's where this title and subject came from. I mean well. I really do. But life has a way of getting in the way of the most well meant plans and I suspect many believers are like me. The minute they realize they haven't done something they'd promised, they begin thinking up excuses.

 How about this one? I got a new floor in my living room and had to move everything out and back in. Yes, I did. And, no, it's not the reason this post is late but it gives me a great chance to post pics. My house is tiny. And I love it. But with carpet and 3 dogs keeping me company it was really hard to keep clean. So, a hard floor. The rug was added so the old, arthritic dog had a nice place to lie down. Yes, I'm a softie.

But he's worth it. And now that the carpet is gone I'm not sneezing all the time. No matter how much I vacuumed I always had allergy problems. This rug, by the way, comes in two layers. The fancy top pulls off like Velcro and can be washed in the washer! Yes, I have. Yes, it came out fine.

Then there is the electronic stuff. I made up my mind I was not asking for help if there was any way I could avoid it. I photographed the back of the TV, etc. and managed to not only put it all back together, IT WORKS!

While I was planning this, in my mind I came up with all kinds of excuses. Until I began writing this I didn't really realize how much and how often I did that. What a silly way to be! God is in the details as well as the big events and I should just trust Him and do my best. Right? Well, I do do my best. That's how I'm made. But when things don't go exactly according to my plans I make excuse after excuse.

I even start thinking of them BEFORE I need them!

So I am making a vow. From now on, whenever I catch myself making excuses for anything I'm going to stop and praise the Lord for all the successes and all the blessings.

Speaking of blessings, I learned recently that some of my books will be issued as audio books! I'm delighted and awed. So far I know it will be MARKED FOR REVENGE, an August release, and TRAIL OF DANGER, for September.

That's it for me for new titles this year but I do have some Love Inspired Classics reissues in Nov. and Dec. so keep your eyes on the shelves of your fave store. No excuses. :)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Scripture

Parable of the Great Banquet by Brunswick Monogrammist (circa 1525),
National Museum, Warsaw. [PD-US]

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor. 
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
'Give your place to this man,'
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place. 
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
'My friend, move up to a higher position.'
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. 
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." 
Then he said to the host who invited him,
"When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Luke 14:1, 7-14

If you have any 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.

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