Monday, November 30, 2009

The Christmas Mystery

Hello from Lenora. Just a quick interruption of our regularly schedule blog. You're all invited to follow along as we enjoy a little holiday fun. Starting Saturday, December 5th, several of the Craftie Ladies of Suspense will be involved in writing a continuing story called "The Christmas Mystery." Things will kick off with my post and continue with a new addition (from each author) to the story each day. We invite readers and bloggers to comment, add suggestions, or speculate on what will happen next. Tell all your friends to drop by and see what's happening with Zelda Parsons and her handsome new neighbor, Ben.

It's a mystery that begs to be solved before Christmas! And you just might help us with the plot and figuring out how to solve it! Don't miss the fun. See you Saturday.

And feel free to invite all your cyber-friends!

Lenora :)

It's the Age Thing Ya Know

Pamela Tracy here talking about Thanksgiving Day. For me, it was very easy. See, my sister-in-law did Thanksgiving at her house. She told me not to bring anything, so I decided to bake cookies from scratch. I didn't take them to her house because they tasted horrible (bitter aftertaste: sister-in-law who can cooks surmises that I added too much baking soda, or maybe I was supposed to add baking powder. Hmmm, maybe I should go look at that recipe again and then at what I added, but I digress).

After the meal was over, the men went out to the camper to sit and talk men stuff, so Patti, me, Mikey, and Grandpa settled down in front of the telly. Miracle on 34th Street was on.

Only, it was the wrong one! See, the one pictured above with Maureen O'Hara and John Payne is the right now. And, really, if it ain't broke, why fix it? I spent the whole movie comparing how right for the part Maureen was and how not so right for the part Elizabeth Perkins was (I like Elizabeth Perkins by the way, especially in About Last Night). The one with Maureen O'Hara had the most perfect moment. It was when a little French girl sat on Santa's lap and Santa spoke French to her. Natalie Woods' eyes got big, and she knew Edmund Gwenn was the real Santa. This remake had no AHA moment.

It got me thinking, though. See, our favorite classics often have to do with our age. The first three James Bond movies I saw all had Roger Moore as 007. When I saw Sean Connery as the spy, I thought, "No no no no no no." My sister in law saw Connery first and thought Roger a pale comparison. Timothy Dalton didn't do it for me, and neither did the Remington Steele guy.

So, which is the best 34th Street? Who is the best Bond?

Oh, and because it's just too cute to share. Here's a picture of my four-year-old as we take a Pink Jeep tour in the wilds of Sedona.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Thanksgiving Target

Today we're welcoming Tara Carmichael, the heroine of , The Thanksgiving Target by Laura Scott, a November 2009 release.

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. Hello, my name is Tara Carmichael and I’m a social worker in St. Louis, Missouri. I was trying to help one of my client’s, a woman named Melissa Forrester escape from an abusive relationship when I discovered someone was stalking me. I thought both incidents were completely separate until we discovered that they were both connected to the same man. A man from Max’s past, bent on revenge.

2. So, during the book you met Max Forrester. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? I knew from the moment we first met, that Lieutenant Max Forrester was a man who liked to take charge. But he was also deeply disturbed by what had happened to his sister, Melissa. I wanted to offer him comfort and support but in the end, he ended up protecting me when my house exploded. I tried to keep my distance from Max on a personal level, because I’d lost my husband two years earlier and thought I was being unfaithful to his memory by opening myself up to love again. But in the end, once I realized that God’s greatest gift was love, I rejoiced in my love for Max.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I think my greatest gift is compassion and caring. In my job as a social worker I’m exposed to many people in need. I like being able to help others in getting their lives back on track. My biggest weakness is refusing to allow myself to be too emotionally involved with my clients. In Max’s sister’s case, for example, I kept wishing I’d been a better friend to her.

4. What scares you? I think being in love scared me at first, because I’d lost my husband so young, we had only been married a year and, I was afraid to open myself up to suffering another loss. But now that I have Max, I’m not afraid any more.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I could learn to be less quiet and shy and more open to relationships with others. I feel I’ve come a long way though, after everything that has happened.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? I was raised with a strong faith and belief in God. However, after my husband’s death, deep down, I blamed God for taking him too soon.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? Meeting Max, helping him to grow in his faith, made me understand what I was doing. I knew God had a mission for me but it took me a while to realize my mission involved not just showing Max faith but actually loving him.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. This scripture is special to me, first of all because I love the Book of Psalms. But this scripture became even more important when I believed Max and I were going to die. I truly believe that God heard our prayers and answered them. God would never leave us, especially in those moments we need Him the most.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? Mint Chocolate Chip ice-cream cone. Because it’s my favorite, especially with the tiny chunks of chocolate offering a surprise in every bite. 

Thanks for having me here at the Craftie Blog today.

Thank you Laura for sharing Tara with us. This sounds like a great holiday read.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Inspiration and Susan Boyle

It's hard for me to believe that there is anyone who hasn't heard about Susan Boyle and her stunning appearance on Britain's Got Talent. Just in case you haven't heard about her, here is the link to her audition.

I find this video so very inspirational. Here's an unemployed woman who'd always longed to be a singer. Even though she didn't fit the stereotype of what a superstar was, she gathered her courage, walked out onto the stage in front of Simon (that's scary enough) and sang her little heart out. I cry every time I see this video. When I heard on the news that Susan Boyle has a new CD out I decided to watch the video again. And cried again. It's simply beautiful.

It's important to remember sometimes that dreams, though fragile, can be achieved if you take the step to reach for them. And inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. I'm fortunate enough that my dream of publishing with Steeple Hill was achieved and continues. If you have a story of someone who dared to dream and achieved it, please post it here. We can all use a little inspiration sometimes.

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ready for a long winter's nap?

Dana Mentink here with the continuing saga of my box turtle. Her name is Boyd (long story) and she’s middle aged, shall we say, though her wrinkles are just plain cuter than mine. Currently, she’s preparing for her long winter’s nap. Three months of uninterrupted rest. Sounds like a dream come true, you say? You betcha. Except for the not eating part, who wouldn’t benefit from three months of rest? I can hear you talking, peeps. Never would you be allowed to rest that long. Kids to shuttle. Chores to be done. Work to complete. Meals to fix. Pets to be walked. I hear you, but let’s take a stroll down fantasy lane, shall we? Imagine you had some time (MORE than five minutes) to lay down under the warm cozy blankets for some recuperation. The question of the day is; what book would you want with you? For the purposes of this exercise, limit yourself to one or two. I posed this question to people who entertained my peskiness with good grace. Here is a partial the list of the books they would choose to have with them.
Chronicles of Narnia
The Bible
Saki’s short story collection
The Ashley Stockdale series by Kristin Billerbeck
Under the Tuscan Sun
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
An encyclopedia
The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles, by Julie Andrews
Plato’s Republic
The Secret Life of Bees
The DaVinci Code
Mrs. Mike
Kristen Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset

Okay. YOUR TURN! Tell me what book you’d have to have with you during your long winter’s rest!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It has not suffered the commercialism that Christmas has. The Thanksgiving Day that stands out in my memory was in '95. I'd just gotten out of the hospital and my husband bought the cooked dinner from our local grocery store. My parents were there that day. It had been a awful couple of months, but I was fine and my family was with me. I had much to be thankful for.

These days, my father is no longer with us, but both of my children are now married and as we gather around the table, I am grateful to the Lord for his blessings and grace. I feel a connection with those first Pilgrims, thanking the Lord above for his bounty and depending on Him for guidance.

What blessings has the Lord poured into your life?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

taillights and mercy

Okay, it happened again.

This is Barbara Phinney, beloved mother of a seventeen year old driver's license equipped son.

Yes, my son has had his license for 18 months.

And dented, crashed, banged up our cars three times.

He's still paying us for one incident, and yesterday, he did it again. It was only the taillight and he'll pay for that, regardless of the cost those parts dealers charge. But he had the gall to say, "Well, when you sell me the little car next year, I'll probably take better care of it."

He will?

I'll believe it when I see it.

But the odd thing is, what happened around this incident. I was working at his school, a small Christian school, and he'd dropped me off there, then taken his sister to her classes at university. He'd returned with the news that he'd backed into another vehicle.

Then, it was on the phone to his father, our neighbourhood mechanic, and then off to Chapel.

There, we learned of David, whose Godly character trait was honest. David was that, after misbehaving, and then being told off by Nathan. He was honest, confessed his sins and received forgiveness.

As my son had. I told him so after Chapel.

But on the way home, I told him if he keeps this up, he'll owe his parents his firstborn.


Another child like him?

What have I done, asking for that? At my age? Knowing what I know of my son?

Maybe I need to ask forgiveness, in case the Good Lord decides to give me what I so sarcastically told my son I wanted.

So, mums and dads out there, when your child walks into the house with pieces of a taillight in his hands, remember to show mercy, and above all...

Cash only!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

by Linda Hall

We here in Canada had our Thanksgiving last month, and so in my last month's blog I wrote about what I was thankful for. My sincerest best wishes as my American friends and family celebrate Thanksgiving this week. Normally, at this 'thankful' time of year we can make long lists of 'God's blessings' and then thank Him for them: jobs, money, health, etc. But, I don't want to do that anymore in my life. I want something more important. I want to want God rather than his 'blessings.'

I wish you the best as we head into the Advent Season - a time of remembering and a time of celebration.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Silent Pursuit

Hello from Lisa Mondello. Lynette Eason is hard at work on next story so I thought I'd pop in and give you an update on her November 2009 Love Inspired Suspense book A Silent Pursuit. Here's the information from the back cover...

She'd been told her fiancé died in a military training accident, but Gina Santino's gut told her otherwise. Still, she never imagined his killers would come after her. Now she is dodging bullets and running for her own life, not sure who to trust. Her fiancé had left specific instructions for her to contact fellow U.S. Army Ranger Ian Masterson should anything happen to him. But how could she trust a man who abandoned his team years ago? With no other choice, Gina must place her life in his hands in order to stay alive long enough to find the truth.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Silent Pursuit Interview

Today we're welcoming Gina Santino, the heroine of A SILENT PURSUIT by Lynette Eason, November 2009.

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

You’re not kidding! I thought for sure I was going to die before it was all over with. Fortunately, God was watching over me and it all worked out.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I was engaged to a man who was in the special forces. He was an Army Ranger. Before he died, he managed to steal something very important to some very dangerous people. After he was killed, those people decided to come after me because they couldn’t find what they were after. I didn’t have it, but they didn’t believe me. I managed to escape an attempt on my life and reluctantly called my fiance’s ex-best friend, Ian Masterson to help me out.

2. So, during the book you met Ian Masterson. Tell us a bit about him. I met Ian when I was engaged to Mario. They were in the same Ranger Unit and were tight friends until something happened to send Ian transferring to another unit. It shocked me when I found out why. But it also showed me his strength of character and the depth of his incredible integrity.

What was your first impression? First impression? I didn’t really have one when it came to Ian. I was engaged to Mario so didn’t look at other men. But when Ian showed up just in time to rescue me from a killer, I definitely looked twice.

When did you know it was love? When I realized the risks he took for me—and realized he loved me like no one else, not even my fiancé—did.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? I’m a real estate agent. I’m good at talking to people and reading body language to find out what makes people tick. I’m also creative and loyal to a fault.

What is your greatest weakness? I’m impatient and tend not to listen when I’m told to do something—especially if someone tells me it’s for my own good! And I’m not real good at asking for help. Fortunately, that fault didn’t get me killed.

4. What scares you? The feeling of being disloyal, of not having the courage to move on with my life. I don’t want to be stuck in the past, but sometimes the future just seems so overwhelming.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wouldn’t be so eager to jump into the middle of danger. I’d listen to those with more wisdom than I have. I’m learning though!
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? God was my one constant. I knew that without him, I wouldn’t make it through what all was happening in my life.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? Grateful to God for bringing us through. I won’t say I didn’t have a few doubts along the way, but I made the choice to trust him no matter what and he was faithful to see us through.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:4
While on the run from the killers, Gina took shelter in the refuge of God’s love and held on to God’s promises.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? Anything chocolate…just because what is life without chocolate???

Thank you, Lynette for sharing Gina with us today. Can't wait to read this book.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Things to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

Hello from Lisa Mondello. I was going to talk about the Project Runway finale (I really do love looking at all those fashions!) but I find myself a little sidetracked today.

I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. You see, yesterday my agent called me to let me know that Steeple Hill is offering me another contract, this one for the Love Inspired line. I mean, how cool is that? I get to write the kind of books I love and I get paid for it!! Fly Away Home, a soldier's homecoming story, is scheduled to be released October 2010! By the way, that title most likely will change, so check back soon. I've very excited about this book because it'll be my first Love Inspired Contemporary.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. My December 2009 Love Inspired Suspense release, Yuletide Protector comes out next month! I'm really excited and feel blessed to be sharing the month's releases with Margaret Daley, Debby Giusti, Pamela Tracy and Ramon Richards, 4 amazing women who are part of the CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense.

As Lenora Worth announced in her post the other day, some of the CRAFTIE Ladies will be participating in a short story. Each day for 8 days they'll be giving readers a new piece of the story. You won't want to miss this, so mark your calendars.

I know it's easy to get wrapped up in annoyances and worry about things that in the end really don't matter. It's easy to overlook the things that are important. My hope for all of you is that you stop and take a breath this Thanksgiving and enjoy time with your family and friends.
I know that's what I will be doing.

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Dreams We Leave Behind

Ramona here, and I've been thinking a lot of about Florence Case this month. Not because she passed away but because of what's been said about her in this and other places around the LI world. The tribute below especially moved me.

I've been struggling this quarter. Nothing seems to go right. Writing has become not just a chore but a battle. My daughter has been ill, and I've been consumed with one of the worst bouts of depression I've had in a long time. One of my weapons in such a time is to look at other people, their struggles and their successes, and what obstacles they've overcome, and their reliance on God's guidance and strength.

So, yeah, Flo's been on my mind.

As have a few other people, personal friends and national newsmakers. It seems to me that one of the most spoken remembrances of friends past has been the support, love, and influence they had on others. How they loved and encouraged folks. One line from Jessica's tribute struck home to me: "If writing is your dream, please do not give up on it."

Every Monday night, I teach an American Lit class at an art school. These students are all gifted and full of dreams, but they get a lot of discouragement from their family and friends, who see security in an 8-5 job with health insurance and a life of fear otherwise. I often preach at them the exact opposite. "Follow your dreams. Even failing after a dozen tries is still more fulfilling than a lifetime of 'what ifs'."

Flo followed her dreams, and we're blessed by what she left behind. Her words are a reminder that no matter how much I may struggle, I'm following my dreams. This is God's path, and in the long run, it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Short and sweet and fun

Hi. This will be short and sweet but I want to alert all of our readers that we're going to have some fun here on the blog beginning December 5th. Several of us will be writing a "short story" with daily installments. It will be a mystery and we encourage you to leave comments, add to the plot, or make plot suggestions for the next post. You can even try to guess what's going to happen in the end.

I'll start thing off and we'll see where it goes from there. We hope this will be fun and a bit of an escape during the busy holiday time. Of course, we know that Christmas is a very special time for all of us and we'll find some quiet time to reflect during the month, too. We are so blessed to live in our great country and we, as writers, are so blessed to have loyal readers who support us and lift us up.

This little story will be our gift to you. Please invite everyone to come by and see what's happening with "The Christmas Mystery."

And until then, I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope old hurts die away and you see the light of God's love as your family gathers around the table together. If you can't be with family, find someone to reach out to--a friend, a way to volunteer, a phone call to cheer someone up. That's what Thannksgiving is all about--being thankful no matter what. That's hard sometimes, but God is good all the time. We'll be traveling but I'll check in on the blog, I"m sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Exciting things coming in December...

Lisa Mondello here with some exciting news for Love Inspired Suspense fans. I don't want to overshadow our great November titles (We have some great titles from Terri Reed and Leann Harris this month!) or take away anything from the Thanksgiving season. But I do want you to know that 5 of our CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense authors have titles coming out in December from Love Inspired Suspense and that's something to celebrate. So we've gotten together and have plans to make December a very special month for our readers.

The CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense are on FACEBOOK. If you want to become a fan and make sure you get all the great news and updates from the CRAFTIE Ladies, make sure you scroll to the bottom of this blog and sign up to be a CRAFTIE Ladies of Suspense FACEBOOK fan. I guarantee that once December comes, you won't want to miss a thing!

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Monday, November 16, 2009

The holidays and stress

All of a sudden Thanksgiving is going to be here and I don't even remember where October went. Then comes Christmas quickly following Thanksgiving and I so much to do. What do you do to help with the stress of added activities you need to do at this time of year? Life still goes on. I still have a book to write, promotion to do and my house does need to be cleaned every once and a while--although I wish I could let that go. I love making to do lists, but if I did that, I would shut down for sure. The list would go on and on, no end in sight.

So I'm back to my question: what helps you deal with extra stress during the holidays?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Tribute

by Debby Giusti

Last year, in preparing for a Veteran’s Day talk I gave to the Spouses and Civilians Club at Fort Knox, Kentucky, I did a Google search and typed in the words “military heroes,” thinking the search engine would pull up accounts of famous soldiers from days past, such as Patton or Eisenhower, perhaps Pershing, or even Sherman or Lee. But when I clicked on the various URLs, those weren’t the names I found.
Instead I read stories about people who aren’t in history books.
I found WWII Staff SGT Archer Gannon, who plowed through hip-deep snow on foot to knock out a machine gun and its crew in order to save his platoon…Sgt. Allen James Lynch, who carried wounded comrades across open ground in Vietnam, through withering enemy fire to safety…Sgt First Class Tricia Jameson, who rushed to help injured soldiers in Iraq and was killed when her Humvee hit an IED ... and Specialist Jason Mike, who saved the lives of men in his convoy when he single-handedly stood off an enemy ambush.

Specialist Mike later said, “I didn’t go to Iraq to be a hero. I went to do my job and do my part for my county in a time of need.”

The stories I found were of men and women who in the course of doing what was expected of them went beyond that call of duty because they understood what love of country and service to our nation really mean. I’m sure you join with me in offering our heartfelt thanks to our military heroes who give up so much to keep our country free.
On a lighter note, I want to thank the Southern Magic Romance Writers in Birmingham, AL, for hosting a great Readers’ Luncheon last Saturday. The photo shows the ladies who sat at my table (l to r front) Susan Vickerstaff, Becky Romeo and her daughter Nicole Romeo, (l to r rear) Debby Giusti, Linda Ellzey, Leslie Woodson and Lorraine Heron.

Dana Crosslin won three baskets, including mine. Hope you enjoy all the goodies packed in the traveling case, Dana.

Thanks to President Laura Hayden and Luncheon chairperson Carrie James and all the other Southern Magic members who did so much to make the day extra special.

As always it was great seeing old friends such as Julia Muscari, Carla Swafford, Maria Campbell, Christy Reese, Jennifer Echols and all the gals from Huntsville—Kim and Lynne, Danielle and Kira, Sherry, Jean , Stephanie and Kathy. I’m looking forward to the Heart of Dixie Luncheon in May.
So many things for which to be thankful. Most of all I’m thankful for all of you.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy writing! Happy reading!
Debby Giusti
Watch for Debby's December release, CHRISTMAS PERIL, where you'll find two great suspense stories in one book: Merry Mayhem, by Margaret Daley, and Yule Die, by Debby Giusti.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Tribute to Florence Case

A Tribute from Jessica Ferguson...
My sweet, sweet friend Florence Moyer (she wrote as Florence Case) has gone to be with the Lord. Flo was my RWA Chapter - Faith, Hope and Love friend. We never met, but oh, the love and encouragement she gave to me via email. Once when I was particularly low, she offered to read my proposal. That doesn’t happen very often—at least not in my little corner of the writing world. That’s how I knew Flo was a gift from God—she offered, I didn’t have to ask. And she told me that she didn’t often make that kind of offer but felt God connected us.

Flo was a former instructor for Writer's Digest School. She taught for them for 5 years, with over 300 students during that time, did critiquing of proposals and whole books for them in a separate section of the School and she also worked as a freelance critiquer for about seven years. She sold three secular historical romances and five Silhouettes, and two Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspenses. Melissa Endlich was her editor.

Flo and I often ‘talked’ about ideas from God and writing for God. She believed if an idea wouldn’t leave you alone, it must be important.

She told me: “If writing is your dream, please do not give up on it. I recently read that there are two ways to write as a Christian--to be called to it by God, and to just write and offer it as a gift to God. Isn't that something? I'm not sure which mine is. ”

Flo's friendship was special to me. She didn't rush through her posts or her explanations. She spent time composing just the right words and encouragement. Once I opened an email from her and read, “I DO NOT want you to lose your passion. So persevere, Jess. Write from the heart and your emotions. And don't give up. Flo"

Flo's gift wasn't only writing for God--it was encouraging others. I'm going to miss this very special lady and receiving her wise counsel. I pray she knew just how much I cherished her friendship.

Flo's last Love Inspired Suspense hit the stands in November. Let's honor her memory by buying Mistletoe and Murder. I know you won't be disappointed because her writing partner was God.

Comments from Missy Tippens…
Flo was a very special person and such an encourager. We emailed for the last year, spurring each other on in our deadlines and "racing" each other on work on proposals.

About a month before her death, I wrote to her to check in and told her about a rejection I'd had. When I found out that she wasn't doing well, I told her that any of my writing woes were trivial compared to what she was going through. And she wrote this back to me (yes, I saved her emails):

"But they weren't, and aren't!!! Your work is so important to God. I got to understand the difference between "knowledge of God" and "being saved in the heart" by reading a book. You could do that for someone someday!"

What an encourager who knew just the right thing to say. I'll miss her.

Terri Reed here. We would love to give a copy of Florence's book away. Please leave a comment. And if you've already had a chance to read Mistletoe and Murder, please let us know how you enjoyed it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

To Agent or Not... To!!!

Almost every author I know is in some sort of relationship with an agent. They either have one, want one, or are looking to change in the old for the new.


True story. Think back to the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Not hard to picture the cast having agents. Well, guess what. Even the dog had an agent. Toto earned $125.00 per week. The Munchkins, on the other hand, earned $50.00 a week.

The difference: Toto had a better agent.

So, back to my original question. Which comes first? The sale or the agent?

I think at one time, maybe a decade ago, when I was new to the fiction writing trade, you'd get a 50/50 response. I don't think that's true anymore. I think, now, with traditional press, it's more 90/10. I can only think of one prepublished author I know who's still sending faithfully without thinking agent. Everyone else I know wants an agent.

Last month, at my RWA meeting, an agent came to speak. We had a full meeting and the whole atmosphere was very "When E.F. Hutton speaks, everybody listens," only, of course, we had the agent. (Side note, in real life E.F. should have been listening to himself because talk about a collapse of a brokerage firm). I have an agent and I was hanging on to her words. I wanted to know what was hot, what was not, how many queries, the process, what works, what doesn't. And, of course, the topic no one is really willing to talk about: money.
I was going to list my three top reasons for having an agent, but the Toto and Munchkin story says it all.Here's a picture of me and my agent Steve Laube just a few minutes after he won Agent of the Year at the American Christian Fiction Writers' conference.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mistletoe and Murder by Florence Case

Terri Reed here. Most Sunday's we post an interview of one of the characters from one of the current month's release. Unfortunately, Florence was uable to participate for her November release as she passed away last month. On November 10th, I will post a tribute to Florence written by two of her friends. We will be giving away a copy of Mistletoe and Murder. Please stop by.

Below I have posted what Florence said in her own words about her current book on her ShoutLife page.

Hello, everyone! I am so happy to say that MISTLETOE AND MURDER, my next book for Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense line, is finished and will be released in November, 2009. I'm so excited about this book, as I love writing Christmas themed stories. I'm working on a new project and will keep you updated as to how it goes.

.... I love writing romantic suspense and hope to give my readers many hours of entertainment.

Writing novels and reading are my first loves, followed by crocheting and knitting for babies in need. ...I am active in my church as the adult Sunday School leader and work with the youth singing group there that my son is a part of.

Mistletoe and Murder
One minute, probation officer Mallory Larsen is handing out hand-knitted Christmas gifts. The next, there's a gun at her head—and a bomb exploding. Fellow probation officer Shamus Burke saves her life, and she'll be sure to thank him for it…once she gets his assistance again. A girl's life depends on Mallory, and no one but Shamus can help her do what needs to be done. As the threats against Mallory escalate, she shows Shamus she won't back down on saving anyone—including him. But now someone's dead set on stopping them both from ever celebrating Christmas together.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How Do You Say Goodbye?

The Craftie Ladies of Suspense are saddened by the death of Love Inspired Suspense author Florence Case just last month.
Her book Mistletoe and Murder hits the shelves on Thursday, the 10th.
Please stop by on Thursday when Terri Reed posts a tribute written by some of Flo's friends. As a tribute to Flo, we will be giving away a copy of her book on that day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Guess the T.V. Sleuth Game

I don’t watch much t.v. anymore. For some reason, the grit and guts of it just doesn’t ring my bell, but I sure do miss those wonderful T.V. detectives of yesteryear, both amateur and professional. You know who I’m talking about. The amazing and sometimes quirky characters who could unravel any mystery, no matter how convoluted and keep you watching until the end. They didn’t even require machine guns or crime labs to work their magic. So how about it? Let’s do a little quiz to see if you can guess the T.V. sleuths below. To add to the fun, why don’t you send in three clues about YOUR favorite T.V. detective and we’ll all try to guess. You game? Let’s go.

Detective Number One:
1. This detective first appeared on T.V. in 1960.
2. His first case pitted him against a psychiatrist with an iron clad alibi.
3. He is known to be a shabby dresser. The actor who played the role for T.V. used his own clothes.

Detective Number Two:
1. This lady lost her dear husband Frank. She had no children.
2. Her show lasted a whopping 264 episodes and won four Golden Globes.
3. Her nephew Grady always seemed to find himself in hot water.

Detective Number Three:
1. He first appeared in 1969.
2. He solved crimes along with four teenage companions.
3. He was named after the last line of a Frank Sinatra Song.
4. He worked for biscuits. Jinkies!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Autumn is here!

Leann here. I am so excited that Autumn is actually here as seen in the pictures I took of my neighborhood. Have I lost my mind? Nope. When I lived in Colorado the end of Sept, first of Oct was the time of the best color. Down south, well, it’s a little later.

I love this time of the year. The thing that I miss most about Autumn in Colorado is the wonderful smell in the air. For years I never knew what that smell was, but I finally found out it was the smell of sage. Our sense of smell is one of the most primitive senses we have, but most of the memories I have are somehow connected with a smell. When I was growing up, I remember going to Grandma’s house and the wonderful smell of turkey cooking, going to our favorite Mexican restaurant and smelling refried beans, and the fresh smell of rain (which doesn't exist in this part of the country).

I think my children’s best memory of Thanksgiving is their father making the dressing and that mouth-watering smell that filled the house. (They still ask for it this time of year.) I’d stuff the turkey, but he made the dressing and the pies, for which I am very, very grateful. He tasted my pies and decided to take over the job. Thank you.

Here's to the comforting smells of the season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feeling wasteful today?

I found an interesting article on line the other day. It said that almost half of the food produced is wasted, either by us in the kitchen or by those in its production and distribution.
Have you ever heard of Dumpster Diving? Some people in the big cities do it to scrounge out food, and with good reason, because the wasted food is sometimes still neatly packaged and within its best before dates. The reasons are varied, too. No market for the product, the packaging is damaged, the refrigeration machine acted up for a short time.

Out it goes. And hungry or poor people jump into Dumpsters to retrieve it.
Now, I don't have a pat answer for this. But I'm concerned about our waste. Sure we can compost it and produce more food, but the energy spent to get it there could have been used for something better. Like saving our planet.
Okay, before you figure I'm standing on a soapbox, (I usually tell my readers that I am before hand) I want to tell you that social issues are part and parcel of my August release, Silent Protector.
(Aha, you knew there would be a segway into advertizing, didn't you? Well, busted, like a certain make believe scientist with a foil flying saucer)
In Silent Protector, my hero is starting up a new anti-poverty program in a tiny community, and thinks he can do it all, without anyone's help. My heroine is not a wealthy socialite, nor is she one who feels guilty at my hero's self sacrifice. In fact, she bluntly tells him off for it.
And we also need people to remind us of waste. Wasting food, resources, and of course, wasting God's offer of help and comfort.
Are you wasting things? (And please, don't say, 'time' because you're reading this!! Please!)
What small thing can you do to help your part of the planet?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick or Treat!

by Linda Hall

I see that others have put up pictures of their trick or treating buddies - and here are a couple of my favorite little guys - my two grandsons, ages 6 and 4. They live around three hours from me, so I probably don't see them as much as I would like. In two days we are heading clear across the country to see our other two grandkiddies, our granddaughter (our only granddaughter) age 5 and our grandson who turns one in a week.