Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Journaling as Way to Begin

Linda Hall here - Right now I’m at that unenviable - but sometimes exciting - position of being at the beginning a brand new book. I’ve been staring at the blank computer screen for a bunch of days. How to begin? Her point of view? His point of view? I want to begin with a ‘bang’, but of all the bangs in the story, which one would be the best? These questions haunt me.

I didn't know how to begin until I realized what the trouble was - I didn’t know my main character. I just didn’t know her at all. What makes her tick? What makes her happy? What makes her sad? What is she looking for? What is her back story?

If you've been to any writing workshop worth its salt, you know that these are basic questions that every author has to answer. And there are many 'formulas' and 'plans' out there to answer them. There are whole spreadsheets you can download and use. If you don't believe me, Google it. But, I wanted something fresh, something new.

So, I decided to journal. No, I wasn’t going to write down about my angst and frustrations about beginning this book. This journal wasn't about me. This was about my characters.

I opened a brand new journal book, got out my favorite gel pen and just in case anyone should come across this spiral bound book some time in the future and wonder at my strange missives, I wrote, “NOTES ON A NOVEL’, across the top.

And then I began writing. From my main character’s point of view, of course. I wasn’t writing plot, I wasn’t writing story, I wasn’t even thinking about story. I wasn't thinking about my main character in an abstract sort of way, I was just getting into my character’s head in a subjective way. .

I pretended I was my main character and just started writing. I had no goals in mind. I had no ulterior motives (such as a good story or plot), I just needed to get her thoughts down on paper. It was sort of like those writing exercises where you begin writing - about anything - and don't let your pen come off the paper for ten minutes. After ten minutes I was surprised. Not only did I know her, but many, many plot ideas had presented themselves!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Would you like some cheese with that wHine?

Hey y’all, Lynette Eason here. I want to say that when I got the email that it was my turn to post, I groaned. I thought, “I don’t have time. I have a book due on THURSDAY, yes, that would be in 4 days…AND I’M NOT FINISHED!” I’m close, true, but I still haven’t done much editing on it and an hour ago, I tore apart a whole chapter, changed around a couple of scenes and am now only putting it all back together to see if it even makes sense.

Then I felt guilty—and a bit like a whiny brat. Here I am, living my dream. I’m a published author with deadlines! How many people would love to be in my position? I’m part of an incredible group of talented ladies who give of their time faithfully to make sure this blog stays active, interesting and worth the time our readers invest in reading it. I should be excited, if not giddy, that that I even have a turn to post on it! And I really am! LOL.

So, I’ve had my hands slapped today. I’m over my little snarky, “I don’t have time for this,” moment. Because I do have time for it. I WANT to make time for it because it’s a priority and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

What’s my point?

We’re all human, we all fail, we all “have our moments”, but if you stop and think about it, is there something in your life that you might be groaning about doing and should instead, be thanking God for the opportunity to do?

Thanks for stopping by!

God Bless,


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Risky Reunion Interview

Today we're welcoming Jackson McGraw, the hero of Risky Reunion—book five in the Protecting the Witness LIS continuity.

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. I’m an FBI agent—Special Agent In Charge—in the Chicago Bureau. I’ve been trying all my career to make up for one mistake I made as a rookie. I didn’t protect a woman wanted by the mob. A woman I had fallen in love with. Because of that, Eloise Hill and her baby were injured in an attempt on their lives. So Ellie left the Witness Protection program. And she left her baby with me, to protect the little girl.

2. So, during the book you met Eloise Hill). Tell us a bit about her. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? I first met Eloise after she witnessed the murder of her boyfriend (and the father of her baby) over twenty years ago in Chicago. I was a rookie assigned to protect her from the powerful Martino crime family. My first impression of Eloise—she had this gentle way about her. Her faith was strong, even back then. She loved her baby girl so much. I think I fell for Eloise the moment I met her. This was both a blessing and a distraction. Ultimately, my being so involved caused her to almost get killed. She was so afraid, she left her baby with a note asking me to find the baby a good home. I did that, but over the years I worried about Eloise. And for good reason. The mob still wants her dead after all this time. And they’re hot on her trail. But then, so am I. I will protect her this time.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? My greatest weakness is my inability to let go. I’ve thought about Eloise for over twenty years. I never dreamed we’d come full circle. I tried to let go but … I love her. My skills—strengths? I’m good at my job. It’s my life. I don’t have a life. I’ve been dedicated to taking out the Martino family since the night Ellie walked out of my life. But now, I have another goal—I want to make a life with the woman I’ve always loved.

4. What scares you? Failure.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I need a stronger faith in God. I try to control things and sometimes you just have to go on a leap of faith. Ellie is teaching me how to do that, I think.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? My faith has always been shaky. I believe in God but I don’t always turn to him. From my office in Chicago, I can see a church steeple. I stare at that steeple and think things through. Maybe that’s my way of praying. I don’t know.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? At the end of the story, I am strong in my faith, thanks to Ellie and thanks to God’s grace. I am blessed because I now have my faith and the woman I love.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. “He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.” Job 12:22. This verse shows that God is all knowing and all seeing. He reveals the evil in the world (and that’s where I come in) but he also reveals those dark places inside our souls and brings them into the light. This is what happens to me after finding Eloise again.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? A donut—because with donuts, people love all of it. Even the missing hole in the center. God loves us that way and replaces the donut hole with hope.

Thank you Lenora for sharing Jackson with us today. What great hero! And I can't wait to read the story.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


As a novice FBI agent, Jackson McGraw was deeply touched by the young single mother—a murder witness—in his protective custody. When her baby girl was almost killed, Eloise fled—selflessly leaving her child in his care with a note to find her a good Christian home. Now, twenty years later, the mob is obsessed with retaliation against the woman whose testimony imprisoned their late don. Jackson is determined to track Eloise down to protect her—and reclaim two decades' worth of love.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Having Your Book Come to Life on the BIG Screen...

Every writer dreams in movies. Well, I don't know about you but I do. All my story ideas come to me as if they've been filmed on location wherever they're set. I scout out locations to make sure my story is being set in the right place. As the puzzle writer, I write my scenes out of order as I see them play out in my head. I back up and reshoot scenes in my head as I'm writing to get things right.

As a novelist, I dream of one day having one of my books turned into a movie. But not all books are meant to be movies and not all books turn out the same when they're made into a movie. That's what I'd like to explore a little here.

With so much attention on the Twilight and Harry Potter craze, I hear people saying things like, "The book was so much better" or "I can't believe they changed my favorite character in the movie. He was so cool in the book." When I saw Lord of the Rings (A trilogy that I loved!) there'd been enough years (read many) since I'd read the story that a lot of the detail had become a blur to me. I wasn't upset by absences in the movie or changes that were made. But I sure heard some noise from others who were disappointed.

Think of a book that you've read that has been made into a movie. I'm thinking of The Horse Whisperer. Fantastic book and fantastic movie in my opinion. I won't give out any spoilers here, except to say that I thought the ending in the movie, which was different from the ending in the book, was much more satisfying.

That was a small change. What about a story with a big change. Meg Cabot spoke at the RWA Conference a few years back and talked about how when she wrote The Princess Diaries the dad has a large role in the story and the grandmother was very minor. Since the studio wanted Julie Andrews to play role of the grandmother, they needed to make her part bigger so they wanted to make the dad go away by having him die before the movie starts. Great fix. Get rid of dad. Swap lines. Julie's got a bigger part. I'll admit I didn't read the book. I only saw the movie. But my daughter read the book and although she enjoyed the movie, she thought it makes for a much different story with the dad being the one to guide Mia to throne.

Think of the books you've read that have been turned into movies. Which movies stayed true to the book and which ones differed greatly from the original story? Tell me about them and why you liked or disliked them.

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Going Somewhere?

Ramona here, and today I’m indulging in a few memories, a few dreams. Folks sometimes ask me when the “writing bug” bit me, and I have to admit, I’m a cliché. Have been making up stuff, telling lies, and spinning yarns since before I could remember. I grew up in the country, the only girl for miles around, so I spent a lot of time with imaginary friends.

Most of them were Southern, and country, like me. Trixie and Dixie, twins, owned a gas station (aka the two tall pines in the back yard) and rode matching yellow motorcycles. Annie was a skydiver and pilot (not at the same time), who flew the exact same Lockheed Electra 10E that Amelia did (aka the big wooden telephone cable spool my dad brought home for us to play with).

Some of those friends, inspired by the books I couldn’t read enough of, lived in far off places with exotic names like Chincoteague, Pacific Point, California, and New York City. (Was anyone but me addicted to Top Cat?)

I wanted to go there. Wherever “there” was. I used to lie on my back in the grass and watch as planes passed over like adventurous silver crosses. I’d make up stories about the beautiful, rich people inside.

I’ve had what I call “side-tracked” dreams of taking on other professions (doctor, musician, actor), but the truth is all I’ve ever really wanted to do is make up stories. And travel. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to visit almost every state in the US and a couple of foreign countries. But I still have a long way to go.

Have I mentioned that my latest job interview is with a company in New York City? Sometimes, us Southern country girls get around.

And Annie may finally get to meet Top Cat.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old age isn't for sissies--Lenora Worth :)

I love writing suspense because it takes me on adventures I'd never try in real life. And that's a good thing since the older I get, the more my bones creak and my joints hurt. I've got wrinkles in place where I didn't used to have places.

So no, I can jump out of planes or scale mountains. I can't drive fast--okay I have been known to do that maybe. But only when I'm trying to get to a shoe sale! I don't like getting old but I don't have much choice. I just hope my fingers won't quit typing any time soon.

I've been discussing wrinkles and old age and cellulite with some friends and that got me to thinking about writers and how solitary we are. We can slink around in our PJs on DEADLINE days and not even think twice about it. But when it comes time to go to a conference where there will be OTHER PEOPLE, and we panic. Maybe because we don't dwell on our looks as much as we dwell on our characters' goals, motivations and conflicts. We might run a brush through our air-dried hair at home but out there in the real world, we have to maintain the image. You know the one--we wear a boa and those cute mules with feathered vamps and we flutter about in a vivid silk dressing gown and sip on freshly ground coffee and eat divine chocolate. And we have a maid and cabana boy, too. Yes, that's the image of most romance writers, right? NOT. I wear t-shirts and yoga pants most days. Elastic is my friend. I have a trench coat I call my Wal-Mart coat because I can throw it on over anything and be completely covered when I make a chocolate and coffee run. So in a way, I'm undercover just like my characters. Except it never fails I'll run into someone from
church and have to explain why I look like I'm a shoplifter.

No, old age is not fun. Wrinkles, age spots, dimples where dimples don't need to be, an ever-expanding waist line and aches and pains galore. But I've learned something in my old age--for every wrinkle there is a laugh line, for every new inch there is a memory, and for all the aches and pains, there is a life full of joy, sorrow and stories--that's the suspense of every day life and sometimes that's enough for me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Titles, titles...anyone have a title?

Last week I needed to come up with some title ideas for my April, 2010 book. I sent in a list of ideas, but then today had to come up with more ideas, since my first set didn't work well enough for the story or the line. I'm really, really happy that the editors take such care with finding the right titles for a book. A good title, an attractive cover, and a strong back cover blurb are important elements when a reader is browsing the racks at the bookstore, or Wal-mart.

The irony is that, while I know how important these things are, I think I may be title-impaired. :) Long before I ever started writing, it was true. When our daughter was born, it took us four days to figure the right name. Four days! And all the puppies and kittens and horses over the years? Those names took forever! We have a host of loveable, fluffy, very friendly cats out in the barn....and at least half of them are "kitty."

So now I'm curious....what book titles you have found the most memorable--or even amusing-- over the years? Do you have some favorites?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Had to Do It

Last week I (Margaret Daley) went to Colorado for a writer's retreat at Glen Eyrie which is an absolutely gorgeous place to have a retreat and write. Then Vickie and I spent a few days in the mountains of Colorado doing research. She had a historical she was gathering information on while I was soaking in the environment and landscape for my next contemporary romantic suspense in my female bodyguard series for Steeple Hill. This story will be the third in the series and out next year.

The trip reminded me of what it's like to go from low attitude to high attitude and try to do something as simple as climb. Since my characters will be running for their lives and one isn't used to the attitude that was necessary to re-experience that. Also just looking at the landscape and noting it through a writer's eye is so important. I was reminded of what it was like to be in woods that have a lot of pine. The smell of pine is strong--there's little vegetation below pine trees because of the acid from their needles.

While we were there, snow was predicted for the day after we left and I could believe it even though it was June. Snow was on the surrounding mountains and we were over 10,000 feet up. It got cold at night. And on the trip back to Denver, it hailed a lot--so much that it looked like snow was on the ground several inches thick. I can use the snow for my story even though it would be in late summer.

As a writer there is nothing like visiting the place you want to put a book for research. That's not always possible but when I can I grab the chance. Where have you gone that you've had to look at the place through writer's eyes? Or if you're a reader where have you gone that you began noting every detail of the place so you could remember it for later?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trouble Waters Interview

Today we're welcoming Heath Gerlach, the hero of Troubled Waters, by Rachelle McCalla, June 2010.
Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

I work for the FBI, but right now I’m also undercover, working for the Coast Guard on a diamond smuggling case. My top suspect is Tracie Crandall. To investigate her, I need to get to know her. But the more I get to know her, the more I like her.

2. So, during the book you met Tracie Crandall. Tell us a bit about her. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

From the very first time I saved her life, I felt a strong need to protect Tracie. Where or when that turned into love, I’m not exactly sure, but I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

I’m trained in all forms of combat and, given my prior training as a Navy Seal, I’m an expert diver. That comes in handy during our investigation. My greatest weakness is my need for approval. My parents never had time for me growing up. Now I’m doing everything I can to please my boss from the FBI with my work on this case.

4. What scares you?

I’ve seen a lot of people die, and I’m starting to wonder: what would happen to me if I died? Thought I went to church as a child, I’ve lost my faith. I wonder if God really hears my prayers. Does He care about me—or is he like my parents, too busy working to take time for me?
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I knew what to say to Tracie to get her to open up to me. I’d like to believe she’s innocent, but until she can answer all my question, she remains a suspect.
6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

I don’t consider myself a non-Christian. I just don’t have an active faith.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

So this is what it’s like to know God! I’m so glad I can trust God with all my hopes and fears.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28
A lot of bad things have happened lately, and sometimes it seems like God has let the smugglers get away with everything, including murder. It doesn’t look like God is in charge. But God is working to bring good out of even the most horrible of circumstances. With God’s help, I’ll make sure the bad guys are brought to justice. And I might even win Tracie’s love in the process.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

I’m a big scoop of Rocky Road ice cream. It’s been a bumpy journey, but very satisfying in the end.

Thank you Rachelle sharing Heath with us today. He sounds like a perfect hero and what an intriguing story.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


He's working for the Coast Guard, but that's not Heath Gerlach's only mission. He's also an undercover FBI agent, and his target for investigation is his new partner, Tracie Crandall. With her blond hair and pretty blue eyes, Tracie looks sweet and innocent. But was she involved in her former partner's crimes? Tracie won't talk about it. Because she's guilty? Or because she's afraid to trust another partner? Just when Heath is sure he knows, a shocking revelation changes everything. Now all he wants is to keep Tracie safe…and give her a reason to

Friday, June 18, 2010

Interesting vs ... Interesting?

Hi, there! Liz Johnson here!

A new girl started at work this week. She's a little younger than me. Kind of new to the professional world. And in my position, I work with her mom. So I've tried to make a point to reach out to her. She's brand new to the city, and I thought she might want a friend, as I sure know what it's like to start over in a new city.

So the other day, I invited her to lunch. I said I'd like to hear about how she ended up here. She said, "I'm not that interesting. I hear you wrote a book."

"Yes," I said. "I did write a book, but that doesn't make me any more interesting than anyone else."

She laughed it off. And like the writer I am, I analyzed it to death. I tried to look at it from every angle, but for the sake of this blog, I came up with one question: Are interesting people by nature interesting, or are they interesting because they do interesting things? Am I interesting because I've written a few books ... or would I be interesting even if I'd never written a word?

I personally like to think that the interesting person comes before the book. I have a hard time imagining any writer as not interesting. Introverted? Perhaps. Boring? Never!

And, of course, I wondered how this applies to characters in my books.

That is to say, is it more important what happens to a character or how the character reacts to what happens? I suppose that literature enthusiasts would say that the difference is what editors call character-driven vs. plot-driven. I think it's a debate that will rage on ... But I suppose the real question is: what kind of story do you prefer?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I can't Wait! ACFW Conference is Coming!!!!

We are 105 days away from the ACFW conference. Don't believe me? Just check the countdown running on the side of my blog.

105 days. Wow!

Why do I get so excited about conference? At the conference I've met each of the editors I've worked with. At the conference I've gotten to know them, and hopefully they've gotten to know me. We got a sense of each other's personalities before contracts were offered.

At the conference, I learn from some of the best teachers on the craft of fiction writer. Last year Donald Maass taught the early bird. This year, James Scott Bell is. Last year I attended the published author track led by Allen Arnold, Thomas Nelson fiction publisher, and Karen Ball, the fiction guru at B&H. This year I'll sit in on the track by Michael Hauge, a Hollywood screenwriting expert. Even though I attended a retreat he taught at last year I can't wait to learn more from him this year.

But ACFW has tracks for all levels of writers. A track for those just starting led by Tracie and Jim Peterson. A track for those who've been writing a bit led by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. A track on mastering Structure, Symbols, and 3-D characters with Dr. Dennis Hensley. A track for more advanced writers with Gayle Roper. For those with a contract or at least one book out there's also a marketing track led by Chip MacGregor and Jim Rubart -- I attended an extended version in December and it was excellent! And those are just the continuing education tracks. That doesn't begin to touch on all the wonderful elective workshops.

I also can't wait to see friends that I only get to see once or twice a year -- usually at ACFW. Writing can be such a solitary business.

There's so much I love about conference. Volunteering. Celebrating as people receive their first contracts from Heartsong Presents and Barbour. Meeting with my agent and editors. Hugging my friends. Learning how to do this better. Leading First Time Orientation to ease the way for newbies.

If you're a writer, think about joining us. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Military Moves

By Debby Giusti
Hubby and I spent yesterday at Fort Benning, Georgia, helping my son and daughter-in-law move into quarters on post. I'm an Army Brat and an Army wife, so the day brought back memories of the numerous moves I've made throughout my life.

Hubby checked the boxes off the master inventory as they were unloaded from the moving van. Son and daughter-in-law directed where the movers were to take the household items, while I opened dish boxes in the kitchen.

The temperature was sky high—over one hundred--and, with the front door propped open so the movers could come in and out, the temperature inside hovered above ninety. At least, the Lord blessed us with sunshine and not rain, which would have made everything much more difficult.

As I washed the dishes I had unpacked and placed them in the cupboard, I reflected on the many times I'd washed dishes as a child, while my parents arranged furniture and directed movers. Often my mother and I would work late into the night, getting the kitchen organized. The rest of the house could be in disarray, but there was always a sense of accomplishment when the glasses and mugs and plates were in place.

Driving home last night, I thought about all the young families who sacrifice so much for our country. I’m proud of my son and his lovely wife, just as I’m proud of all our military. The moves are frequent, the separations are many, but our men and women in uniform are making a difference.

Today, I’m back at my computer, working on THE OFFICER’S SECRET, the first book in my new Military Investigations series from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. The series features men and women in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, which deals with felony crimes within the military. I want the stories to showcase the Army way of life and the dedication and commitment of those who serve. They’re a special group of heroes that I hope readers will enjoy getting to know.
Wherever you are today and no matter the job you do, make a difference, unhold our country and the values on which this nation was formed and thank a servicemember for helping to keep us free.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nayla and Me

Terri Reed here, I just wanted to share the most amazing experience with you. My neighbors sister raises exotic cats. Last night she brought over a 7 week baby lion. A little female named Nayla. Oh, my, word. She was incredibly sweet and funny. She liked to be held and have her tummy rub. Even though she had sharp claws, she was so gentle. And her markings on her back were just beautiful. She will probably weight about 500 hundred pounds when she's full grown.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shrek The Final Chapter: A Grumpy Ogre

Pamela Tracy here. I'm trying to remember the last grown-up movie I saw. I'm thinking it was the Diane Lane/Richard Gere one: Nights in Rodanthe. I used to love movies. Now, when I go to a grown-up one (like Nights in Rodanthe) I sit in the audience and think about all the things I'd rather be doing (pretty sure I've not liked the last three movies I've seen). Kid movies are a bit different. Now that I have a five-year-old, I like kid movies (Okay, here's the truth. I've always liked kid movies).

Shrek The Final Chapter was a surprise on two levels.

Level One, my son made it all the way through the movie. We didn't make it all the way through How to Train Your Dragon. Mikey's reason: too loud. We didn't make it all the way through UP. Mikey's reason: A tornado followed by a chase scene with barking, mean-looking dogs: too scarey.

Level Two, it had a killer plot. I'm going to make my husband watch this one because I'm sitting in the audience and I wasn't thinking about what I'd rather be doing. I was thinking "They interviewed my husband for Shrek's part! How did they do that?"

See, in the opening Shrek is missing his old life as a single, grumpy ogre. He doesn't realize how wonderful his life is. LOL. No, my husband doesn't miss being single. But, sometimes I don't think he realizes how wonderful his life is. And, yup, lately, he's been a grumpy ogre.

Honey, if you read this, I was really desparate for something to write about.

Okay, okay, you do realize how wonderful your life is.
And, you know what, sometimes I'm guilty too. I don't realize how wonderful my life is.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Today we're welcoming Megan Peters, the heroine of END GAME by Roxanne Rustand, which is out right now (June, 2010.)

Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

There's no place I'd rather be. I'm a Marshall County deputy sheriff, in the Montana Rockies. I settled on my choice of a career when I was fifteen, after the murder of my cousin. I refuse to ever be a victim and I want to make sure I keep the women of the county safe as well.

2. So, during the book you met Scott Anders. What was your first impression of him? Tell us a bit about him.
My first impression was that he seemed like a definite person of interest in a series of local murders. He turned up in the area during the right time frame, and chose to live in an isolated area. He was wary when questioned. When he finally admitted to his actual profession, I was sure surprised...though in retrospect, maybe I always knew in my heart that he was one of the good guys after all.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? Skills--I guess absolute focus on finding the truth, and stubborn determination are the two that have helped me the most. Friends tease me about being afraid to have dinner at my place, with all the reference books on homicide, poisons and weapons on my shelves. But, I really do like to cook!

4. What scares you?
Failure. If I miss subtle clues in a case, a criminal might more time to strike again. And on the job, nothing matters more to me than keeping Marshall County a safe place to live.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? There are so many things, it's hard to choose!

6. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? I admit--I had a lot of growing to do. I was always a believer, but after my cousin's brutal murder, I lost a close relationship with God. I mean, Laura was the sweetest girl ever, and had true faith. Why would God allow a vicious person to terrorize her, then end her life? She had so much to offer this world. But finally, I understand that God never plans or wishes terrible things to happen. There are people in this world who do awful things of their own free will. But, God is here with his wonderful open arms, offering peace and comfort. Offering eternal life. I know Laura is with Him now...far beyond the reaches of the evil in this world. And, I now understand that God does answer prayers. Always--even when the answers come in His time instead of mine. His answers can come in incredible ways--through people here on earth, or through a "coincidence" that really wasn't a coincidence at all. Or through that still, small voice in my heart, which guides me toward the right path.

7. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
I had two--and both are so important to me that I'm going to share them both!

The first is the one I think of every time I go on one of my twelve-hours shifts, because I do want God to guide me, and help me bring peace and safety to the mountains where I live. It's Psalms 43:3: "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let me bring peace to your holy mountains, to the place where you dwell."
The second is one that I keep in my heart always, now. What a wonderful sense of peace it gives me!

"Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?
I have no clue!

Thank you Roxanne for sharing Megan with us!! Can't wait to read this.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'll be seeing you again: The attacker's words still ring in Deputy Megan Peters's ears. Her attempt to trap the serial rapist terrorizing Lost Falls failed, but she has succeeded in becoming the target of his attention. Undaunted, Megan moves forward in her investigation, and Scott Anders, the only newcomer in town, draws her suspicion. Is his gentleness just an act? Yet as Megan and Scott grow closer, she finds herself questioning her instincts. What will she believe—her heart or the evidence that seems to be mounting against Scott?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Editor Blogs on Harlequin

Wow, Terri Reed here, my editor blogged on the Harlequin blog about the upcoming continuity series for Love Inspired. I wrote book two and will hit the shelves in August. This series is set in Alaska, with plenty of mystery running through all the books as well as tender love stories. This book was so much fun to write. And I have to say I love all the covers. They are so bright and vibrant.

And I know you will recognize all the authors!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Writer's Mind

Leann Harris here. I've come to the conclusion that those of us who write look at the world differently. When something happens--good or bad, we think, "How can I use this in a book?" I have an example of which I'm the star

I was going to my high school reunion. After I packed to drive to my hometown, I grabbed up the invite to take with me to make sure I knew where the reunion was being held, looked at the date and discovered it was the week before. How stupid did I feel? As I was mopping around it occurred to me it was a great meet for a book. Both the hero and heroine had misread their invitations and meet at the hotel on the same day only to find they were the only two. I felt better.

The lists are endless:
-You break a leg and figure out you can use this with your hero/heroine...
-you get the last seat on a bus...
-fall in the hardware store...
-your child drinks bleach and you have to rush the child to the emergence room(this happened to friends and the kids were okay)...
-run over the expensive hose (as pictured) and it's your hunky neighbor..
If your child does it, they can find themselves in a book.

What my family doesn't know, won't hurt them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Writing 101

Many years ago I took a writing class at the local community junior college. The title of the class was How to Write a Romance. That class started me on this wonderful journey. when I stepped in to that class some sixteen years ago, I had only a love of books and a basic knowledge of English. Oh, don't get me wrong, I did well in elementary and high school, I just didn't retain anything I learned. I still have trouble with grammar, but have slowly learned where to put a comma and what a fragment sentence is (which by the way I use frequently). But there is so much more to writing fiction than knowing how to put a sentence together. Story structure, plot and character development are crucial. There are so many great references, books, workshops and speakers that I could spend all day directing you to, but for me the biggest help in learning how to tell a story was by reading. Reading everything I could get my hands, in all different genres and by as many varied authors as possible. I would study each book, looking for the elements that made the story compelling. I still read voriciously and study the books, noting what works and what doesn't. I read many different types of books from romance, romantic suspense, sci-fi, horror, crime dramas, thrillers, inspirationals, paranormal and mysteries. I read from all the different categories of Harlequin books. Right now I have three books going. I always keep on in my car, LONG LOST by Harlan Coben. I keep one on my bedside table, THE MERCEDES COFFIN by Faye Kellerman and I keep a book in the living room, TO THE EDGE by Cindy Gerard. As I finish one, I trade it out for something else. I have a to be read pile that fills three full shelves in my office bookcase. The reason I titled this post Writing 101, is to be a good writer, you must be a well read reader!

"I cannot live without books." Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Gideon Film Festival

Hi all, Lynette Eason here.

My turn to post came due at a great time.

I’m at the Gideon Film Festival at Ridgecrest in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. My husband was asked to teach a track on songwriting and I was asked if I would like to be one of the “Honored Authors”. That means joining in with people like Deborah Raney (pictured on the left), Ane Tatlock, Ray Blackston, Rebecca Seitz (pictured on the right), Sarah Anne Sumpolec, and MANY more.

Naturally, I jumped on that opportunity.

In the past four days, I have learned so much about the Christian film industry, met producers looking for books to turn into movies, screenwriters looking for books to adapt into a screenplay, taken classes on screenwriting and acting, talked until I’m hoarse, watched wonderful Christian films…and the list goes on!

If you are interested in media and film, screenwriting, working behind the camera or acting, this is the conference for you.

Yvonne Lehman (pictured on the far left next to Vonda Skelton in the middle) who used to be the director for the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference is very involved in the Gideon Conference. She and Ane Tatlock are "in charge of" the Honored Authors program.

Lori Marrett, Yvonne’s daughter, and her husband Rodney, are the directors of this conference and do a great job.

All I can say is, GO, if have the chance. So check out the web site for more information.


But work out regularly for at least a month. You’ve never seen so many stairs in your life. This is one conference that is heart healthy and you’ll lose weight whether you want to or not, guaranteed!

And you might even get to meet someone famous! Muse Watson gave the keynote speech Sunday night at the banquet and did a great job. My daughter knew him, not for NCIS, but from iCarly!! LOL. She was THRILLED to meet him.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interview from SABOTAGE with Derrick Randall

Today we're welcoming Derrick Randall, the hero of SABOTAGE, by Kit Wilkinson, June 2010.

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.

After I lost my scholarship to veterinary school, I took a job as groom to a rich equestrian, training for the Olympics. She thought the previous groom had left; but on my first at the new job, she and I found him in the stable and he'd been murdered.

2. So, during the book you met Emilie Gill. Tell us a bit about her. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

Well, at first, I thought Emilie was rich, spoiled, and only interested in winning. She was also beautiful and smart and kind, although guarded with her feelings. I think I knew all along it was love, but it wasn't until I had to leave the farm that I knew my heart would broken without her.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

On a good day, I love life. I'm thankful for every day the Lord gives me. I try to live one day at a time.
On a bad day, I tend to jump into things before thinking them through. I sometimes have trouble finishing the things I start.

4. What scares you?

Living outside of the Lord's will.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I'd think more before speaking sometimes. I guess that goes along with the jumping into things.

6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

I was a little confused about where God wanted me to be and what he wanted me to do with my life.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

I have a pretty good handle on my calling now. I'm sure things will go up and down from time to time, but I know the Lord will be there and He'll guide the way through the tough times.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Ps. 20:7
At the start of the story, Emilie's whole purpose is to win, to be an Olympic champion. She believes that will give her life meaning and make people love her. But once Emilie experiences the love of God, she knows she needs only Him. And that there is nothing she can do to merit this love. Win or lose, it is hers.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

Wow, this is a hard question, but I think I'd be an apple pie, a deep dish one. I guess I just think of myself as pretty simple and very all-American. And deep dish because I'm tall.

Kit, thank you so much for sharing Derrick with us today. This story sounds like an exciting read!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Olympic hopeful Emilie Gill is beautiful, rich, successful—and in danger. Someone's targeting her stable, her friends, her life…and there's nowhere for her to turn. The police? They've charged her with murder. Her father? Out of town—again. Her best friend? He's the man she's accused of killing. There's no one to count on—until Derrick Randall rides into her life. The stable manager's support encourages Emilie to open her carefully guarded heart. But just as she's learning to trust, it all comes apart. Her faith—and newfound love—are all she'll have when the sabotage turns deadly once more….

Friday, June 4, 2010

That time of year again...

No, it's not Christmas. It's graduation. Once again I have another child who is graduating from high school and going off to college. For those of you who have celebrated this milestone with your own kids, you know how much a mom's heart can swell with pride. I saw her in her cap and gown yesterday and couldn't help but reminisce about her first day of kindergarten, holding her backpack and taking the "big" bus to school. Yes, I have pictures but if I post them I'm sure I'd never heard the end of it from my daughter.

With the end of the school year, we're all thinking of those year end "chores" we need to do. Clean the closets, weed the garden, go visit the doctor for your "annuals", and plan a vacation. I'm excited about this year's plans. My husband, Tom, and I love the White Mountains of New Hampshire and used to camp there all the time before the kids where born. The Old Man on the Mountain is no more, but there is still plenty of things we love to do. The week after that I'm heading to Orlando for the Romance Writer's of America conference. I'm excited about that as well because I'll get to connect with a lot of long time friends.

What plans do you have for the summer? What places do you wish you could go? For me, there are a whole lot of places in the United States I'd love to see. I want to visit Carova Beach and see the wild Spanish Mustangs. I'd love to visit Catalina Island. Don't know why, but it's been on my list of must dos. The Grand Tetons and the Grand Canyon are two others. And of course, my aunt, who lives in Hawaii has been telling me for years that Hawaii is calling for me because she sees my name and my husband's name written in the coral on the coast. So I'd love to eventually get out there.

Whatever your journey is, I'd love to hear about it (and live vicariously through you until I can journey there myself!) Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Choices, Trust . . . and Panic

Ramona here, and Liz’s post on Plan B set me to thinking . . . after all, it pretty much sums up my life, especially right now. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a few posts about job interviews, selling my house, and my new “speaker” page.

If that sounds a little . . . um, “unfocused,” well, welcome to my world. When I was in high school, my brother – a very wise man – told me to take as many advanced courses as I could because, in his words, “You’re going to have a tough time deciding what to do, and education never hurt anyone.”

Did I mention he’s my older brother?

I entered college with a music major, which lasted about 20 minutes. In the next four years, I had five declared majors, including pre-med, mass communications, theater, political science, and English, which is the one I graduated with. I followed graduation with jobs in insurance and sales & catering, with editorial jobs in children’s books, magazines, secular trade books, fiction, Bibles, and curriculum. As a writer, I’ve published everything from book reviews and science fiction to Bible studies, not including five Love Inspired Suspense novels.

The choices may have been varied but not always easy. There have been many times when God has opened a door, only to have me gaze upward and say, “God, are you sure I can do this? I’ve never done it before.”

To which the response has always been, “Daughter, I’ve got your back. You can do anything. We can do anything.”

Varied. Unfocused. But God led. Now if I can just remember to take the right boat and not panic when I’m half way across the sea.

But, in truth, the choice isn’t which boat. It’s the choice to trust. And obey.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer reading--what's in your TO READ pile?--Lenora Worth

Okay, we all love to lounge around (hopefully by some water)on a long hot summer day? That got me to wondering what everyone's reading these days. I have so many good books in my growing pile and I'm sure I'll read each and every one of them by summer's end!!! First off, the second book in my friend Judy Christie's adorable series set in Green, Louisiana. This one is "Goodness Gracious Green." Can't wait to settle down without interruption and delve into that one. Loved her first one--Gone to Green. Also, you need to grab a copy of Leann Ellis's cute, quirky "Once in a Blue Moon." Leann has the strangest sense of humor in her writing, but underneath it all she also gives us a wonderful spiritual message. Great reading. Fran McNabb's "On the Crest of a Wave" is an Avalon Historical that sounds wonderful. And Stephanie Grace Whitson's "Sixteen Brides" sounds very intriguing. Not to mention all the great Love Inspired Suspense books coming out during the summer. You can see our covers here on our side bar. With all these great books around, who has time to actually write one? Oh, I do. Must find time. I want mine out there with all the rest and believe it or not, I have seen a couple of my books being read on the beach. Okay, mostly by my friends, but still ... it's fun to know someone is spending down time with something I wrote. And speaking of beaches, please keep our beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches in your prayers. We'll all lose something very precious if the oil spill in the gulf makes it to our beaches. And that's not just about being a tourist enjoying a swank high-rise condo. It's about people's lives and jobs, it's about the people who died on that oil rig and it's about protecting God's beautiful world. Wherever you are this summer, I hope you find some time to read a good book. And send up a prayer of thanks that we have that freedom.