Thursday, March 31, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes!

A year ago, I had been out of work almost a full year. My writing career had stalled, and my freelance editorial work had dried up. The last of the money gone, I was living on the goodness of friends and my church, and I knew I’d have to give up my house. Things were, well…bleak.

But I kept praying. And trusting. And working like crazy.

This year, I have a great job, and I’m slowly pulling out of my financial hole. I still owe a lot of money and the house has been sold, but the blessings continue to blossom like springtime tulips.

Not the least of which is a new book, which debuts next Tuesday. It’s the second book of three about sisters and their relationships with the sheriff’s department of Bell County, Tennessee. The first, Field of Danger, featured April, the oldest, and the sheriff’s right hand man and confidante, Daniel.

This one, House of Secrets, centers on feisty June, the middle sister, and her growing relationship with the sheriff, Ray—and it starts out as he discovers her standing over a murder victim. How will she ever explain this one?

The third book, which has the working title of Murder in Progress, brings estranged little sister Lindsey back into the fold. And who would be interested in her but the young deputy and crime scene specialist, Jeff. And the good news here is….Love Inspired just offered me a contract on it.

This Friday, April 1, I’ll start a contest on my Facebook page for House of Secrets. If you’re not a friend yet, please join me. If you are, stay tuned!

Oh, how I could explain to folks going through rough times that God will take your hand and lead you through. We WILL have those tough times, but eventually there will be celebration, and a new day. Here’s praying there are more bright days ahead for us all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why we love Special Agent in Charge Jethro Gibbs--Lenora Worth

Do you watch NCIS? It's a show on CBS that stars Mark Harmon as Special Agent In Charge Jethro Gibbs. NCIS is the Navy Criminal Investigation Service and Gibbs runs the show. He has a loyal team and director who is always breathing down his neck. Gibbs is the kind of guy you want on your side. He's gone to the ends of the earth to help his team and those he cares about. He's been married several times, but he never talks about his personal life. He has a tormented soul because a bad guy killed his first wife and their daughter. He likes women, but he doesn't like to admit that he's lonely and tormented. He has a definite commitment problem.

But oh, how we love him. He believes in his team and has a special place in his heart for Abby--the girl in the basement who is a computer whiz and can find any evidence to help Gibbs solve the case. Gibbs is the kind of hero that we all want to write about. He skips the fancy events but shows up for the down and dirty fights. He hates publicity but goes after the top dogs and brings them down. Gibbs makes us feel safe in a world that we know is never really safe. And isnt' that what a true hero is all about?

But as I said, Gibbs doesn't like to be in the spotlight. I had written this entire blog and went in search of a picture of Gibbs. My laptop literally locked up and I lost that post. I tried again to download a photo of the handsome, tormented Special Agent on yet another laptop. Again, it locked up and I almost lost this post. Okay, Gibbs, I get it. No photos! I told y'all the man was hard to pin down.

But I love him anyway. What do you love about Gibbs?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Awards all around!

It was so exciting to read the list of finalists for the Rita this year, and see how well our Craftie Ladies of Suspense and Romance were represented.  Wonder writers, wonderful recognition of their talents.  It will be such fun to cheer everyone on at the awards ceremony during the last week of June in New York!

Do any of you readers live near New York?  The awards ceremony isn't open to the public, but the vast literacy fundraiser sure is--over four hundred authors, autographing books!  The event draws huge crowds no matter where the conference is held each year, and it's a great opportunity to meet and interact with your favorite authors! I'm sure we'll all be talking about who will be there as the time draws near, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is Margaret Daley and I have a question for you. What do you think of when someone talking about developing a brand? No, it isn't something involving cattle and yet it is similar. It is coming up with an idea/phrase that states who you are as a writer. What kind of books will you be giving your readers. I had come up with Heartwarming to Heart Pounding, but I am redoing my website totally and need to nail this. Any suggestions? I know one author has Expect an Adventure. I like that. This promotional stuff can be mind boggling. I need help.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Congrats! Kelly Ann Riley

2011 RITA Finalists for Inspirational Romance
Look! Look! Look!

There’s a Love Inspired Suspense in the running, not in the inspy category, but in the Best First Book.
Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense; Tina James, editor)

Congrats Kelly, you do the Craftie Ladies proud!

Over on the Craftie Ladies of Romance, our own Linda Goodnight is a finalist with not one BUT TWO books.
Finding Her Way Home by Linda Goodnight (Steeple Hill Love Inspired; Allison Lyons, editor)
The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight (Steeple Hill Love Inspired; Allison Lyons, editor)

To make sure that every Love Inspired series is covered, we also have a historical.
A Convenient Wife by Anna Schmidt (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical; Tina James, editor)

Our competition is steep. Here are the rest of the inspy finalists.
Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy (Barbour Publishing; Rebecca Germany, editor)
In Harm's Way by Irene Hannon (Revell; Jennifer Leep, editor)
Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House Publishers; David Long and Julie Klassen, editors)
Shades of Morning by Marlo M. Schalesky (WaterBrook Multnomah; Shannon Marchese, editor)

Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang (Tyndale House Publishers; Stephanie Broene, editor)
Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers; Karen Schurrer and Charlene Patterson, editors)

Good luck all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Helping Hand

Hey there! Liz Johnson here.

I'm a pretty independent person. I've always been this way. I like to be on my own, and I like only relying on myself. Maybe that's why I like being a writer. It's a pretty solitary activity, just me and my laptop.

But this week, I started a new prescription medication that literally laid me out. My head has been spinning, my stomach rolling for the last three days. I couldn't move to get food for myself or even drive myself home from work today. So I knew I was going to have to ask for help. No matter how much I wanted to be able to take care of myself on my own.

But before I could even ask someone to help me get some crackers for lunch, one of my sweet friends was off to Walgreens and returned minutes later with the only thing that sounded remotely appetizing. And when I needed to get home, immediately a friend drove my car home while another followed to take her back to the office.

In the midst of feeling my lowest, I was reminded why friends are called friends. Because they stick by our sides and offer a helping hand, even when we don't want to ask for it.

I hope this week, you'll take a moment to offer a helping hand before someone even asks for it. And also allow someone to help you.

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." - Proverbs 17:17

Thursday, March 24, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things: Writing Books

This week, I'm on a bit of a research trip for a novella I'm writing. So I thought I'd share my favorite writing books.

Plot v. Character is a new writing book, releasing in the fall of 2010. Jeff Gerke, the author, has developed software (which I love) that walks writers through the creation of stories through two means. Starting with 1) the plot or 2) the character. Most writers have a style that they prefer -- I tend to be strange (shocking I know!) and will start some stories with a plot idea and others with a character. I'd used the software when I'd get stuck in a book or to help flesh out a germ of an idea.

What I love about the book is that it takes the gems from the software and puts it in a very easy to read and apply format. The book has lots of practical applications and covers just about everything a novel writer needs. It's not genre specific, so really is a tool that any novelists can use with success.

First, the book deals with creating likable characters. It addresses everything from physical attributes to the major events and inciting incidents that character must deal with. Then it turns to marvelous plots. The author relies on the three act structure to form the bones of the plot.  I would still use the software to help me implement all he talks about, but the book alone is gold.

Another book that I love and recommend to most aspiring writers is James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure. (His Revision and Self-Editing is equally good.) Plot & Structure's strength is the very easy way that Jim explains how to formulate a novel. When I get stuck in a plot, I'll pull it out and read a few pages for inspiration. I always come away with practical tools I can immediately apply to the novel I'm writing. And this book is loaded with excellent exercises that you can apply immediately after reading. I highly recommend it!

If you're a writer, what are your favorites? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Giving back!

By Debby Giusti

Do you believe in coincidences? I don’t. I believe in God-incidences. That’s when the Lord arranges things to happen that seem like happenstance but really are part of His Divine Plan.

Maybe I’m reading too much into the recent invitations I’ve received. One is to judge a young adult oratory competition the Optimist Club is hosting this Sunday. The other is to speak to special education students about the writing life. Both of my “appearances” occur within a 48 hour timeframe and both involve youth in my local area.

Coincidence or God-incidence?

Either way, I’m able to give back to my community, as well as interact with some great kids. I’m looking forward to both events and am grateful the organizers asked me to participate. Maybe I’ll meet an interesting character to include in one of my stories. Maybe I’ll learn something I didn’t previously know. Maybe I’ll just enjoy my time away from the computer.

What’s on your calendar?

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti
THE OFFICER’S SECRET, book one in my new Military Investigations series, will be released in May and is now available for pre-order at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Summer Plans

Hi, Terri Reed here, my family and I are planning a trip late this summer for London and then the Ukraine. The London portion will be for sightseeing. I love cities and I'm sure I'll love London. The kids are excited to see castles, Big Ben and Stonehenge. I'm still trying to figure out a place to stay. If anyone has suggestions for a family on a budget, send them along.
Our trip to the Ukraine will be a mission trip. We'll we helping to put on art day camps for children in three different villages. We're going through Good Samaritan Ministries. If you think about it, please pray God will bless our trip and let us be a blessing to those we come in contact with.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Last Weekend

Pamela Tracy here, and I'm the one sitting down. Susan Cummins is standing up. She's a mystery writer I just met.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of working at the Tucson Festival of Books. Great fun. I headed up Friday after work (Honey, have fun with the small being who looks and acts just like you!) I arrived a little after six. My first adventure was at a restaurant. I joined the wonderful ladies who belong to the Romance Writers of America Tucson chapter. Plus, almost everyone had brought guests. I sat next to a prepublished author who was so excited about the books in her future. I remember feeling that way. I sat across from Patti Knoll (a great writer) and Deb Werksman (editor at Sourcebooks). After dinner, I spent the night with Roz Denny Fox (SuperRomance author) and fell asleep while she and Carrie Weaver (another Super author) gabbed. My best friend, American author Cathy McDavid was asleep when we finally got home. Hmm, guess I am getting old.
Saturday I headed for the Festival and found the room where I'd been speaking. This year they teamed me up with Judy Duarte. We spoke on characterization. It was the biggest audience I've (okay, we've) had. 61 people! After the talk, I explore the expo, had lunch, and then went to the Sisters in Crime booth. I joined Sisters in Crime just three months ago, and boy am I glad I did. I sat in their booth for an hour and sold six books. Color me happy. Then, I explored some more (and purchased really neat nightshirts that have bookish sayings on them.)
Saturday evening a bunch of us ate at the Claim Jumper. I'm between Roz and Patti.
Sunday I attended workshops. My favorite was a true crime panel that featured the author who investigated Chandra Levy's murder. I also attended one called "Kill All the Lawyers." Funny thing, it was full.
Sunday afternoon I headed home and greeted my husband who asked, "Have fun?"
Oh, yeah.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mission:Operation Out of Control Interview

Today we're welcoming Brody Wickham, Mission: Operation Out of Control, by Susan May Warren, March LIS.

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 not sure who to blame it on – my kid sister for wanting to attend the Vonya concert, or crazy Vonya for launching herself offstage and nearly being trampled, or her Senator father for deciding she needed a bodyguard for her tour to Europe (agreed), or myself for saying yes

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

She was nuts. Seriously. Did I mention that she was wearing black leather, a peacock mask, and a garish pink wig and she launched herself into a mosh pit, just hoping her fans would catch her? I should have rn from the room screaming. Instead I had to plow through the pile and find her. I probably need therapy.

As for love.

Okay, so she was nothing like the woman she portrayed on stage. She is quiet and kind and generous and…I think I fell in love with her that night when she was nearly killed in Prague, when she landed back in my arms…this time just as plain old Ronnie, scared and really needed a bodyguard. .

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

I’m steady and not easily swayed by emotions. Except, however, when I am – and then I can too easily blame myself when things go south.

3. What scares you?

Not being prepared.

4. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to more easily forgive myself for my mistakes.

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

I am pretty sure that God has turned his back on me – after all, I killed someone. A kid. Let’s not go there.

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

I can live with the forgiveness God has offered me, and forgive myself. I can let myself start over.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.

We often spend our lives trying to “prove” our worth to God. It’s too late – he already approved of us enough to die in our place, to set us free. All we have to do is accept that and embrace grace.

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

French Silk pie. Because it’s my favorite. J

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent—with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a diva American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way—she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret. When Wick discovers what's at stake, how far over the line will he go to keep them both alive?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Print vs. epubbing, what's an author to do?

Oh ‘tis a tough time to be in the book business, no? I passed by our poor sad Border’s store the other day. The shelves are nearly bare and now they’re even selling the fixtures. How sad to see bookcases and overhead lighting being carted off. I am conflicted about this since just this month I published my first e-book (a personal effort, not through a publisher.) Was I disloyal to the print market? Have I contributed to the fall of the written word? I do not own an ebook reader but I have felt the shift more and more from readers who tell me they’ve downloaded the Kindle version of my suspense books. I’ve also encountered more and more articles about how publishers are easing away from print books due to the high cost of distributing and keeping them on store shelves.

Are print books vanishing? Personally, I don’t think so, but I do feel that ebooks are taking a more important place in the publishing world. Good or bad? I don’t know, but I do know that the ebook market gives me freedom as an author. The book I epubbed was an inspy romantic comedy, outside my “brand” as a suspense writer, but a book that I believe in and enjoyed writing tremendously. Epubbing put the power of the publisher in my hands and I could produce the book that I desired, without restrictions or comments like “the market for rom coms is very limited in CBA.” What is the down side? No one buys the book and I’m out the bit of money I spent to have it formatted. The upside? I became Dana Mentink, publisher, with total control over my book.

When I started in this business, experts told me epubbing was bad. If anyone can publish a book electronically, what are the quality controls? What’s to say the book isn’t poorly written? Unedited? A waste of money? There are no guarantees, but then again, it costs a fraction of the price of a hardcover so the risk is minimal. You don’t like the ebook, you don’t buy anything else (epubbed or print version) from that author. That being said, I enjoy nothing more than the feel of a print book in my hands. I’m torn between two worlds. How about you? What are your thoughts on epubbing vs. print books?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't Try This At Home!!

Okay, it's income tax time. Now, when you read this post's title, you may think, that's foolish. I do my own taxes all the time.
Well, dear reader, I applaud you. But that's not what my title infers.
I was at my dining room table, having the house to myself, and was sorting out receipts. I keep all receipts and only when I'm doing up the ledger I keep, do I sort out what needs to be saved and what should be tossed. That's when I came upon a brilliant idea! Highlight the dates!
We all have a variety of receipts and we all know that 3/2/11 could mean March 2nd or Feb 3rd. Yes, my pastor's wife says there is a proper way to read it, but sometimes, the creator of that receipt disagrees. And we all know that the date could be literally *anywhere* on that stupid crumpled piece of thermal inked paper, anyway. So, why not highlight the date?
Because, dear reader, I have discovered that the highlighter dissolves the thermal ink *right before your eyes!*
I sat there, nearly all the way through my receipt date highlighting, taking a moment to look back down at the paper for the first time, and saw it. The stupid date was fading away like people in a bad sci-fi time travel movie.
I frantically rifled through the other receipts. Yes. I have now effectively dissolved all the dates on my receipts.
And having already been rejected by the IRS once this year, even though I am Canadian, I felt the sting of tax time, and it wasn't in that place they show on those TV commercials. This was hit to the jugular.
Beware, dear reader, of this hidden danger at tax time. It lies like a wolf waiting to pounce upon the unsuspecting citizen as she walks down the path to her accountant's office.
Do you have any yikes moments at tax time? Did a draft from the door your kid left open blow away all your receipts, or did the cat jump up on the table at the wrong moment?
Or the worst of all? Did the IRS or Revenue Canada reject you?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Conferences, Retreats and Fun! Oh MY!

It seems like now is the time to advertise conferences. I have a couple of more to tell you about. If you like the mountains in the fall, October is the perfect time to join us for the Novel Retreat. There is a wonderful line up of staff who are more than willing to sit down with you and make sure the retreat is exactly what you wanted it to be.

The staff are:

Ray Blackston
Lynette Eason
Deborah Raney
Bill Myers
Jeff Gerke
Angela Hunt
Janet Roller
Andrea Boeshaar
Eva Marie Everson
Rene Gutteridge
Dennis Hensley
Rebeca Seitz
Ann Tatlock

Our website for the October Retreat

If you’re into screenwriting, acting, writing novels or movie making, then this August conference is the one for you. And they even have a teen track. If you want to be an intern, now’s the time to sign up!

August Retreat on the Gideon site and click on Novel Retreat. I attended both of these conferences last year and I honestly can NOT say enough good things about them.

Hope to see you there!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Double Identity Interview

Today we're welcoming Sophia Clarkston, the heroine of Double Identity, by Diane Burke, March 2011. 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 wish I had an easy answer to that question. My dad and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying each other’s company on a warm, spring night. I kissed him on the forehead and went upstairs to bed. When I awoke in the morning, I discovered that my entire life had changed and nothing was ever going to be the same again.

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

I suppose I was attracted to Cain the instant I saw him. Let’s face it, he’s a hunk. But because of the problems I was facing, at first, he was literally my last hope and my thoughts were more on finding some answers and less on finding a boyfriend.

Love came gradually. As we spent more and more time together working as a team to uncover the truth, I learned what a compassionate, kind man Cain was. He was a man of faith and integrity and I started to really care about him. When I realized that the answers we had worked so hard to find, might be the very thing that would keep us apart forever, the pain of losing him told me loud and clear that I was in love.

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

My greatest strength is my independence. Growing up as an only child being raised by a single dad, I had to rely on myself more than maybe the average kid. But that also became my greatest weakness because I found it difficult to make friends and interact with lots of other people because I was so used to being alone.

4. What scares you?

That’s a hard question to answer. At the time this all began, I would have said having someone try to kill me multiple times raised some gooseflesh on my arms. But the thing that scared me the most had to be not knowing who I was. I had grown up believing I was Sophia Clarkston, daughter, artist. It was really hard when that identity was stripped away to come to terms with who I really am.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Thanks to the wonderful people who have come into my life through this terrible time and offered me their help and their love, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. They are helping me become the person I am today and that, to me, is priceless.

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

I had been raised a Christian since birth.

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

I believe somewhere along the line faith becomes a personal choice not just a belief we have because we’ve been taught it since childhood. This experience drew me closer to God, challenged my faith, and made me look inside myself to determine what I truly believed.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.

I’ve learned that just because people are Christians that it doesn’t mean they are perfect. They make mistakes. They hurt one another, whether they intend to or not. I’ve learned to make allowances for their faults and my own because of God’s great love for us and my great love for Him.

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

Chocolate. Everybody loves chocolate, right?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daffodils and Crocuses...and Prayers for Japan from Lisa Mondello

It's been a long, cold and snowy winter and the walls are starting to close in on me. Do you know what I'm talking about? We've had so much snow in New England that I thought I was going to have to permanently wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun's glare off the snow. But all that is washing away...and I mean WASHING away. I live pretty high on a hill and with all the newly melted snow and rain (thank goodness it's rain and not more snow) there is a river running down my street. It's truly a mess.

BUT...and here is my silver lining...I can finally see the ground in parts of my yard. The newly melted snow has given way to the big reveal of crocuses and daffodils popping up out of the ground. It always puts a smile on my face when I see these beautiful little nubs of green. It means that pretty soon I can throw open all my windows and breath some fresh spring air in the house. I can get outside and clean up the mess winter has made in the yard. And it means that summer is on it's way!

You can tell I've been cooped up in my house too long, huh? I've got serious cabin fever and am ready to break out of these four walls. How about you? Do you have spring fever? I couldn't possibly be the only one. Let me know what you're doing to prepare for spring.

Changing subjects, I'm sure you've seen the news of massive earthquake in Japan. I just want to take a moment to offer prayers to everyone affected and my hopes that the coming tsunamis are not devastating to those involved.

Many blessings to all, Lisa Mondello
In a Doctor's Arms is on the bookstores shelf RIGHT NOW!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daphne, Calling Published and Unpublished Authors

Ramona here, and I had planned to devote my blog space this month to House of Secrets, my April release. Instead, I’d like to invite people to enter the Daphne. It’s open to published and unpublished authors. This is the last weekend for entries (the contest closes 3/15 at midnight), and I have a slightly personal reason for asking.

In one of my “Why can’t I say no?” moments, I volunteered to be the judging coordinator for the unpublished inspirational and historical categories. Right now, entries for the inspirational category is about 10 percent of the mainstream, which is great for anyone entering this category.

So please thinking about entering, whether you’re published or unpublished.

And if you’d like to judge, please contact me privately at I’m gathering names and will be in touch soon with details.


~~ Permission to forward gratefully requested and appreciated ~~

Ting, ting, ting….. Pardon my interruption and the urgency of this spoon tapping against my glass. But it's come to my attention that a very important deadline is approaching and, sorry, it's not your tax return. No. This is more important. The 2011 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence closes for entries on March 15, 2011. Do you have any idea what that means?

If you don't enter by midnight, you'll miss the opportunity to add the Kiss of Death Chapter's Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense to your resume. What's more, the unpublished sub-genres are capped. What are you waiting for?

Published Authors, do you have a mystery or romantic suspense with a 2010 copyright? Are you ready to gain a larger readership and enjoy more recognition from your publisher and your peers? Check out

Unpublished Authors, are you prepared to find out how your unpublished entry stacks up against the future bestsellers in the industry? If so, check out the editors and agents who stand ready to judge the final round and advance YOUR career.

Final Round Judges for 2011

Editor: Allison Lyons - Harlequin Intrigue
Agent: Jennifer Schober - Spencerhill Associates
Editor: Tessa Woodward - Avon
Agent: Alexandra Machinist - Linda Chester
Editor: Karen Schurrer - Bethany House
Agent: Wendy Lawton - Books and Such
Editor: Alicia Condon - Kensington
Agent: Christine Whitthohn - Bookcents
Editor: Lauren Plude - Grand Central
Agent: Stephanie Kip Rostan - Levine Greenberg Associates
Editor: Michelle Vega - Berkley
Agent: Janet Reid - Fine Print

Don't be left on the sidelines to wonder "What if?" Enter the Published or Unpublished Contest today. Then…you might want to think about those taxes…

To enter:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Laughter Anyone?

I don’t know about you, but some days I'm desperate for a good laugh. Sure, I love to write danger-ridden, suspense-filled books, but sometimes it’s nice to cast the danger aside, let loose, and enjoy a good, old-fashioned belly laugh.

I’m always looking for books, movies and TV shows that will spark a good laugh. Luckily I’ve recently discovered a show called THE BIG BANG THEORY (yes, I know I'm a little late in the game) about a group of scientists who are socially challenged. The situations are clever, the dialogue sharp and I find myself laughing so loud I scare the cats off the couch!

But besides the laughter benefit, this show (to me anyway) represents tolerance, understanding and the power of friendship. Yes, sometimes friendship is work, but isn’t it worth it?

What books, movies or TV shows make you laugh? I’d love to add them to my list!

Favorite Mystery/Suspense Show

Hi, this is Margaret Daley. What is your favorite mystery/suspense show you watch on T.V.? Why do you like it?

My favorite show is The Glades on A & E channel. It was on last summer and I thoroughly enjoyed, particularly because of the multi-complex lead character--a police detective in Florida (the picture with this post is of Matt Passmore, the star of the series). The characterization was very interesting. I must not be alone because they have renewed the show for a second season. Wahoo!!! That show I watch for the pure entertainment (like Castle for the dialogue and interaction between the two main characters). The one I watch because it shows the life of police officers' accurately is Southland on TNT. There are more shows I watch on T.V. and they usually have some kind of suspense/mystery element to them.

Share some of the stories you watch and why,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Face of Danger Interview

Today we're welcoming Paige Bryant, the heroine of FACE OF DANGER, Texas Ranger Justice series, book #3, by Valerie Hansen, March 2011. 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’ve been an artist all my life, I guess. Now that I’m an adult I use my talent to give faces and identities to victims of crimes who might otherwise never find the justice they deserve. 2. So, during the book you met Ranger Cade Jarvis. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love? That stubborn, bossy man is enough to drive any woman crazy. Yes, he’s good-looking but he sure can be hard to get along with. Of course I had to cut him some slack because I knew he was trying to track down the murderer of his boss, a well-loved senior Texas Ranger.
3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness? I like to think I’m sensible – and I usually am – unless it comes to insisting I know what’s right. Cade and I butted heads all the time over protocol and his hard-headed insistence that we had to do everything his way. My weakness? I suppose that would be the feelings of loss that I still grapple with over the loss of my baby sister, Amy, many years ago. I keep thinking that if only I’d been older when she was kidnapped, I’d have been able to save her.
4. What scares you? Every time the Rangers give me the skeleton of a child to work on, to recreate the face for, I wonder if it’s going to be Amy’s. There are times when I’m almost afraid to start. Then I remember what it was like to wait and wonder and I know I have to do all within my power to help others find closure and peace. 5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I sometimes wish I were more outgoing, but given what’s been happening between me and Cade, it’s probably just as well that I’m a little shy. 6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? I’m struggling, wondering if I’ve really done enough and asking God why I’m able to give other people peace when I haven’t found it for myself.
7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story? I’m able to see that just because I’m a believer and a faithful Christian, that’s no guarantee my life will be nothing but roses. My trials and struggles have made me what I am, led me to use my artistic talent for the good of mankind, and I can see that I might have drifted off in another direction if I hadn’t experienced personal loss.
8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant. Isaiah 58:9 “You will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” Really, that verse tell me that God hears my prayers, even when I don’t think He does. Like my childish pleas when Amy was kidnapped. Because He didn’t bring her back I used to tell myself that God hadn’t answered – but He had. He had said no, then given me a way to reach out and bless others who were also grieving. 9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? A dessert? Me? Well, considering my background as an artist, it would have to be beautifully done. How about a delicate cake with real flowers as decorations? So, when can I expect it to be delivered?????

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Giving murder victims a face is forensic artist Paige Bryant's specialty. She can always put the pieces together. But her work turns dangerous when Texas Ranger Cade Jarvis brings her a special project related to the notorious Lions of Texas. Identifying the victim could help with the ongoing search for the murderer of Cade's boss…yet it also draws deadly attention to Paige. As she contends with attack after attack with only Cade's protection, the two of them draw closer together, learn to open their hearts…and struggle to identify the face of danger before it's too late.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Greetings from Dallas

Hello, all! Liz Johnson here. Coming to you live from Dallas! Yup. That's right. I'm on the road and enjoying a day in Dallas. Well, to be fair, I'm actually only in the great state of Texas for about 19.5 hours, but I wanted to share my experience with you.

Actually, I've had a terrible time deciding what to write about for this blog this week. You see, I was going to share with you pictures of my brand new book, Code of Justice, on store shelves. It officially released on March 1, and I was so eager to see it in stores that I headed off to Walmart on a special trip just to see my new book, camera in hand.

And when I got there? There were four beautiful Love Inspired Suspense covers ... none of them mine. They were all February releases.

While I'm happy to report that they all appeared to have sold several, my personal plans were thwarted.

So what did I do? I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries and had a big, greasy cheeseburger and plotted my next trip to Walmart. Has this happened to you? Looking for a book that you expect to be there but isn't? Do you respond with cheeseburgers, too? Or do you have a better coping mechanism? Here's hoping I'll have pictures to share next time!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Looking for Exercise Fun?

Yes, really. I'm serious.

At the beginning of the year, I treated myself to a few new exercise DVDs. I am really enjoying two of them and thought I'd tell you about them in case you're looking for inspiration.

The first one I've been enjoying is Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown. This DVD comes with two workouts. The first is a bit easier than the second, but both contain good descriptions of the beginning and advanced forms of the exercises. What I enjoy about this is you get the stretch and training of yoga with a cardio element as she has you rep out the exercises. There's also no of the Eastern religion that I don't want. The extent is melting your heart to the sky -- or stretching. :-)

I've enjoyed it and I've got my pre-baby abs back -- not bad considering he was born eight weeks ago today (as I type this.)

The other video is Denis Austin's Hit the Spot Pilates. Again, this is a great workout for strengthening and stretching your muscles. An element I really like about this one is that there are seven targeted mini-workouts (10-15 minutes each) and then you string them together. So if I want to work abs/core, no problem. Or I can add a butt, thigh or hip element to it. And then there's a combined workout at the end. I really like it, and it emphasizes the beauty and grace of pilates.

So you can get the strength with yoga and the grace with pilates. Neither takes very long -- and you can stop in the middle to answer a baby's cry, wrestle a toddler, or put out the dog :-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Weather Setting

by Debby Giusti

Setting is an important part of every story, and especially so with suspense. Rarely do my characters bask in sunshine and gentle breezes. Instead I create overcast days with storm clouds darkening the horizon. Splatters of raindrops quickly turn into torrential downpours. Winds gust through tall pine trees and then pick up speed. Lightening cuts through the darkness as mighty claps of thunder shake the earth.

If my story--usually set in Georgia--takes place in winter, snow and ice blanket the South. Traffic is brought to a standstill and hazardous road conditions hinder the hero from finding his heroine. Months later, warmer fronts clash with arctic temperatures forming funnels of wind that rip apart everything in their path. Spring rain leads to flooding. Summer heat turns deadly as storms wash ashore in the coastal regions.

I need to write my next book, but warm weather has come early to Georgia this year. Daffodils line the front of my house. Red buds are out in all their glory. The Bradford pear trees are ready to bloom. My real life setting is anything but suspenseful.

Wait a minute…

Is that a storm cloud in the distant sky? Checking the forecast, I find the following warning: Strong thunderstorms with damaging wind expected later today.  Perfect!

Happy writing!

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti

Watch for THE OFFICER'S SECRET, the first book in my new Military Investigations series, out in May! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MacBook Pro

Terri Reed here, sweating bullets. My PC was dying a slow death so my husband bought me a MacBook Pro. We've slowly been migrating in the direction of Mac for the last year. But there is still a learning curve. Which isn't the best thing for a writer in the middle of a deadline, but I'm getting the basic down so that I can get this book done. I'm working on a new series titled Protection Specialists. A group of bodyguards are the main protagonists. The first in the series will be out in July 2011, The Innocent Witness. I'm writing the second book now, The Secret Heiress which will be a January 2012 release. Say a prayer for me that I meet my deadline and learn how to use my new computer successfully.
Have a great day!