Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Debbie! When I was first told I could write about anything, my mind spun with the possibilities, but nothing really grabbed me until today. J
A Love to Treasure is a fun story with a little mystery, a little suspense, budding relationships, and romance. But it is more than a romance book, it’s a story
about a young woman whose recently deceased, beloved, and quirky grandmother sent her on a path of healing and renewal. Nicole is on a journey to fulfill her grandmother’s final wish—a scavenger hunt in the resort community of Sunriver, Oregon.
Nicole has always loved Sunriver and although she should be spending her summer looking for a new teaching position, she is following the clues her grandmother left all over the resort community.
Coincidentally my own grandmother recently passed away. In fact just last week we celebrated her life at a memorial service. It was fun listening to my uncles tell stories about their mom—many of which I had never heard. Like the time she caught air while driving or the time they were moving their family from one side of the country to the other. Somehow she lost track of her husband along the way, but spotted him on the other side of a cornfield. Rather than take the time to go around the field she drove straight through it—this happened over fifty years ago. There were so many funny stories of things she did and not so funny reminders of the poverty she grew up in. I felt like I finally understood what made her who she was after hearing their stories. We laughed and we cried and it was a time for healing.
I love that Nicole’s grandmother, or Grams as Nicole called her, went to so much effort to give her one last fond memory, as well as an important life lesson. I imagine Grams had a lot of fun putting the scavenger hunt together.
My own grandmother on the surface was nothing like Nicole’s, but as I remember the stories my uncles told about her, I think they had a lot in common. They both deeply loved their family and would do anything for them and they both knew hardships. But most importantly they both loved the Lord.
My grandma didn’t send me on a scavenger hunt, but she did leave a legacy of looking at things with humor and making the best of situations.
Deep breath~ okay that was all a little heavy but A Love to Treasure is not. J In fact, for Nicole the summer she spends in Sunriver turns out to be a dream come true.
Have you ever had a dream come true? Has anyone ever surprised you with something special?ABOUT KIMBERLY:
Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.
She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance the warms the heart and feeds the soul.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Book Blurb: School teacher Nicole Davis is on summer break, but this vacation is unlike any other. Her beloved Grandmother’s final wish has landed Nicole smack in the middle of her favorite destination—Sunriver, Oregon, following Grams’s clues on a mysterious scavenger hunt. Unexpectedly, Nicole finds more than just a fellow sleuth in a handsome police officer, Mark Stone. But Mark must return to his job in Portland at summer’s end, and Nicole must guard her heart.
Mark is hoping for a quiet summer in Sunriver as he contemplates his future in law enforcement, but a string of burglaries draws him from his self-imposed break from detective work and thrusts him into the middle of the investigation. To complicate matters, Nicole is in jeopardy, and he knows his growing feelings for her could cloud his judgment. Will their differing career goals be the end of their summer romance—or just the beginning of forever after?
* Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1566138407009549
* Twitter - https://twitter.com/kimberlyrosejoh
* Website - http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html
Monday, June 20, 2016
Please welcome Crystal Barnes to my blog this week! Crystal is giving away a copy of her book Signed, Sealed and Delighted so be sure to read on down on how to enter and leave your email addy.
How many of y’all love Texas? Really? Me too. How about stories set in Texas? So glad to hear it. What about historical romances? Yeehaw! Glad we’re all on the same page. (If you’re not, well, pretend you are and maybe we’ll pull you over to the dark side, ehem, our way of thinking before the post is over. ;) heehee)
Howdy y’all! Crystal Barnes here and I’m so thrilled to be a guest today on Debbie’s blog. I brought some great ladies with me too, fellow authors in our Lone Star Love collection—Janice Thompson, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Vickie McDonough, and Marcia Gruver. We’re sharing some of what we love about Texas, a bit about our stories, and what we hope the stories will do for you, the reader. J
So kick back, grab that glass of iced tea (or lemonade if you prefer) and join me as I pepper my fellow authors with some questions.
Okay, ladies, dish. What is one of your favorite things about Texas?
Vickie McDonough: I love the bluebonnets that bloom each spring. They are such a lovely shade of blue, and to see a whole field of them is incredible. I’m also fascinated with Texas’ history. It’s so unique and embodies the spirit of America. The people who first settled there had to be brave and tenacious.
Marcia Gruver: Two things I love best about my home state of Texas are the people and the food. Whenever a group of Texans get together, we make it an occasion to serve our unique and extraordinarily delicious Texas fare, and a great time is sure to follow.
Janice Thompson: I love the sense of pride that all Texans feel. Everything really does seem bigger and better in Texas. I don't know if that has to do with the size of the state, the size of our egos, or the fact that we think we are invincible. Regardless, we love our state and we love each other.
Kathleen Y’Barbo: It's HOME!
Crystal: Amen, sister! =D It is home. No place like it on earth. Janice, I think you pegged us pretty well. Marcia, you’re making me hungry. ;)
Okay, next question—how did (or do) you get the inspiration for your story?
Kathleen: Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it is something I overhear or read and sometimes it just "arrives".
Janice: Many years ago, I visited the Texas Panhandle and fell in love with the surroundings, the scenery, etc. It's absolutely breathtaking. I decided to write my story and set it in the panhandle so that I could pay homage to that area. Most of my novels are set in Texas and I'm particularly proud of this one.
Marcia: My husband’s job requires extensive travel, and in every small town, we’ve found a local legend or hero. It always amazes me that one single life made such an impact on the world, whether for good or evil, that they were remembered decades later. I like to incorporate some of these memorable characters into my stories, and hopefully create some memorable characters of my own. Diamond Bessie, a pivotal character in Diamond Duo, was one of these legends.
Vickie: My inspiration comes from God. I fully believe He gives me the ideas for my books, and I know He gives me the tenacity to keep plugging away, hour after hour to finish my stories.
Crystal: I’m with Vickie and Kathleen on this one. Without God, I definitely couldn’t write my stories. Any of them. And the inspiration He supplies comes from so many places or just “arrives”. J
Okay, ladies, tell us more about what you enjoy about the Lone Star Love Collection. Do you have a favorite scene? (in yours or another's story)
Janice: I love the scene where the little sister is pretending to be ill so that they will have to stay in the town of Groom. Overall, I would have to say that I love her character more than any other because of her spunk.
Kathleen: I love the first time Peony and her nemesis (our hero) meet. It's a classic "meet cute" that makes me laugh every time.
Vickie: In Unexpected Blessings, the outhouse scene gives me a chuckle, and I really like the one where the two young children go missing and the hero and heroine search for them together.
Marcia: I love humor, so I loved the scene in Crystal’s “Signed, Sealed, and Delighted” where the hero fell into a tub of soapy water, taking a partition screen along with him. In my story, Diamond Duo, my favorite funny scene is when a character accidentally gives the wrong herbal remedy to a friend, and the remedy has, shall we say, unexpected results.
Crystal: Aww, thanks, Marcia. That’s one of my favorites too. Kathleen, I think we all love those scenes that make us laugh. Vickie, I can just imagine the hilarity of that outhouse scene, and, Janice, that little gal in your book is a hoot and a half.
Final question, ladies—What do you hope readers will take away from reading your book?
Marcia: The message of my book is the redemptive power of God’s grace. I tried, in delving into the tragic true life of the woman named Bessie Monroe, to show that God’s love truly covers a multitude of sin.
Vickie: Sometimes unexpected things come to us, like when Eric learned he was the guardian of two small children in Unexpected Blessings. We can balk at the unexpected, or we can embrace it and maybe receive an unexpected blessing from God.
Kathleen: That God loves us where we are and how we are. Where we came from doesn't factor in with Him. It's where we're going and whether we're going there with Him that counts.
Janice: I hope they will be entertained, of course, but I also hope they will see that folks who live in Texas… Whether they've been here all of their lives or have just arrived like the characters in my story… fall head over heels in love with the state and never want to leave.
Crystal: Such wonderful messages all wrapped in entertaining packages. I know I hope readers will laugh, but I hope they also see that God doesn’t intend for us to walk in fear, but in faith. We can trust Him with our lives.
Thanks so much, ladies, for helping me out today, and thanks to all y’all who’ve joined us here as well. Readers are awfully special, in our opinions. J
So tell us, what do y’all like best about Texas or inspirational historical romances?
I’ll be giving away a kindle copy of the Lone Star Love Collection to one of this post’s commenters. If there’s a lot of participation, I might be inclined to give away more than one. J
Signed, Sealed, and Delighted by Crystal L Barnes
Her father's dying wish changes everything... After years of working in the Cater Springs’ clinic, Sarah Asher never planned on marriage. However, she neglected to mention that to her pa. Determined to fulfill his dying wish, despite her well-informed fears, Sarah marries Joseph Matthews but only after a few signed and sealed promises. One in particular—he can kiss any dreams of sharing a room with her goodbye. Joe has never had any luck with woman, and marriage doesn’t seem prone to change that. Sarah might be a handsome filly and his only ticket to inheriting the ranch promised him, but she’s pricklier than a barrel cactus and more temperamental than a Texas tornado. Keeping his distance from her should be easy. Only it isn’t. The beautiful woman attracts trouble and constantly requires saving, putting her well within arms’ reach. Will signed promises seal their fate to a loveless marriage, or can Sarah move past her fears to find a love worth delighting in?
Diamond Duo by Marcia Gruver
Bertha Biddie is determined to win the heart of the man she loves. But just how far will she go? Thaddeus Bloom is torn between family obligations and Bertha’s love. Which path will he choose? Or will one woman’s murder change both of their fates?
Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough
Anna Campbell, nanny to Molly and Mark Olson, is tasked with taking the two children she dearly loves to their uncle after the tragic death of the children’s parents. But Erik Olson thinks his brother died years ago and refuses to believe the youngsters are his kin. Anna would keep them if she could, but she can barely provide for herself. The children need their uncle. How can she convince the stubborn man that he also needs them?
Last Groom in Town by Janice Thompson
Always the groomsman, never the groom… It’s 1914, and Jake O’Farrell has gained an unusual reputation among the locals: He’s played the roles of groomsman and best man in all four of his older brothers’ weddings, but he’s never been able to find the woman to capture his heart. And now with the upcoming wedding of his best friend, Jake will become the last single man in the town of Groom. Anne Denning has made the difficult decision to move with her sisters to Texas, but a train derailment forces them to seek shelter in Groom, near Amarillo. Mrs. O’Farrell, hopeful that Anne will catch her youngest son’s eye, invites the girls to stay at her home until the train is repaired and ready to pull out. Anne has no idea of the blissful chaos that lies ahead!
The Marrying Kind by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Anything can happen when four meddlesome, retired Texas Rangers try their hand at matchmaking. As the deadline for leaving draws near, meetings are held to foil Sheriff Rafe Wilson's plans to leave Cut Creek and the infuriating dressmaker Peony Potter behind. Will Rafe follow in his father's footsteps and join up with the Texas Rangers or will a miracle keep him home where he belongs?
Crystal L Barnes is an award-winning author, who also happens to be a born-n-raised Texan and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She has a degree in Computing Science because she loves putting things into their proper place, and she enjoys writing because she gets to share her love of old-fashioned things and the Lord. When she's not writing or reading, Crystal enjoys watching old movies/sitcoms. I Love Lucy is one of her favorites. You can connect with Crystal at her website http://www.crystal-barnes.com, her Amazon Author page, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, or on her Facebook author page.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Please welcome my good friend Carrie Fancett Pagels to my blog this week! Carrie is generously giving away a copy of her book Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter so be sure to read on down on how to enter. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are feedburner follower for an extra entry!
A Time to Celebrate
King Solomon, in the Bible, tells us there is a time for everything. A time to celebrate is something we don’t always allow ourselves to do! Before I was published, I’d see some author friends would have launch parties and others did nothing when their new books came out. I thought – with such a momentous occasion, why wouldn’t you celebrate? Then, I learned why, when I ended up having a book release a week before emergency major surgery and another two books release during super busy and hectic times with my family. But with Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, my first full length Christian fiction that I’d completed in manuscript form, I wanted to do this up right! Since my best friend, Libbie Cornett, and I didn’t get to celebrate my novella, The Steeplechase, (which I dedicated to her) when it released, we got to combine that festivity with the release of this newest novel. My daughter, who was my very first critique partner, joined us!
I’d read about The Jefferson Hotel in an issue of Victoria magazine (one of my favorite periodicals). Initially, I tried to set something up High Tea when my mother-in-law (who was in town from Chicago), daughter, and my best friend and I would go for High Tea. But it can take weeks to a couple of months to get a spot and I’d called too late. But that worked out for my book launch celebration. So we decided to have just the three of us go to celebrate when the novel released in Ebook format (Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter will be out in paperback in July.)
In 2013, my daughter, Cassandra, threw a “Pink Party” for my very first book, my debut novella “Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (which just re-released under new cover!) That was a lot of fun. But this time, Cassandra was able to relax and let someone else serve her and to enjoy the celebration.
I tease my friend Libbie that it is “all her fault” that I write Christian fiction as she introduced me to the Thoene’s stories and to Janette Oke’s novels, over twenty-five years ago. She also got me hooked on CBD (Christian Book Distributors) and I’m thrilled to say that I have my very first book posted with CBD!!! They have an ebook of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter and also just put up the pre-order link for Blue Ribbon Brides Collection, which releases in November (I have a novella, “Dime Novel Suitor” in this collection.)
The Jefferson is a beautiful place – a Five Star hotel!!! We looked around some, and also overhead at the stunning stained glass dome that is over the lobby and reception area where the teas are held.
We had fun, too, besides being awed! “Snowed In” a short story in A Cup of Christmas Cheer two book collection (Guidepost Books, October, 2013).
Cassandra and I even “fed” the Jefferson alligator the oversized postcard of the book cover!!! That was a hoot!
I feel so blessed that my daughter and best friend could celebrate with me! We had a wonderful day and made many nice memories!
When my friend, Debbie Lynne, had her debut in Christian fiction, we did up an online party to celebrate. How I wished we could have celebrated in person but we still had a great time!!!
Giveaway: Answer this question – ladies, do you tend to celebrate your own milestone events? Tell why or why not. Winner picks choice of ebook or paperback copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, which RT Book Reviews gave a 4 Star review!
Monday, June 6, 2016
Why the World War II Connection?
Inspired by my own reading and out of curiosity about my father’s service in the World War II—which he never discussed—came a case of ‘what if’s’ that can consume a writer’s imagination. Through a marvelous 1100 page tome by Herman Wouk called Winds of War, I began to appreciate the truly global nature of WWII and how it affected people on every continent of the world.
Though I’m southern born, I’ve spent most of my adult life in Richland, Washington, which is one of the towns the government built in 1943 to house the workers of the Manhattan Project. I knew my family and I would be returning there after years away and wanted to do a “coming home” book. Once I decided to use Richland as the setting, using part of the town’s story was something I couldn’t resist. The story’s characters span three generations, so I made Grace’s late grandfather one of those scientists.
Originally, the historical chapters that take place in Grace’s grandmother’s point of view were simply journal entries. But, as I got further into research my respect and admiration for the British people standing alone in the war against the Nazis grew. I often asked myself if I could have done as well under such extreme privation of basic necessity of food, clothing and housing long after the war. I realized Gramma Annie’s story should be given its due. It wasn’t too big a stretch to have her grandmother and grandfather meet in London during the Blitz of 1940. I have to say, though, that the idea of writing those historical chapters was more than a little intimidating. This is my tribute to the British people who endured so much.
At the core, though, the book is still about Grace and Erik and how they persevere, without losing their faith, to reconciliation with their families.
The British “stiff upper lip” attitude, and their refusal to bow down to evil, became something I admire and respect.
Since I was 12, my father had a job protecting our national interests, at then-secret facilities for producing nuclear material for our military. Now my husband has made a career doing the same thing, although he has been on the safety side – ensuring those facilities do not have accidents. And during all that time, we were aware of the people who betrayed our interests by leaking atomic secrets to countries who meant us harm.
So it also was natural that I centered my new novel in a nuclear-related town, my adopted home town, and covered the passions of romance and of protecting our nation, both now and during World War II, when so many atomic secrets were developed, and so many were stolen.
Book Blurb: Grace Ryan works to untangle clues left by her late grandparents—clues involving a WWII conspiracy that could tear her family apart. History professor Grace Ryan returns to her hometown expecting to help her grandmother turn her journals and memories of WWII into memoirs. She arrives to find her grandmother being loaded into an ambulance. When she begs Grace to find the truth about a decades-old crime, whispers the word treason, then slips away forever, Grace is left to separate fact from fiction. Then, an unwelcome inheritance strikes at her already fragile family bond. Though God’s voice seems silent, He sends someone to stand in the gap for her. Erik Petersson, unjustly accused of infidelity, suffered through an unwanted divorce and the loss of his children’s love to his former wife’s bitterness. A physicist on sabbatical, he agrees to help Grace dig through her late grandfather’s scientific papers. As he struggles to win back his children’s love, he and Grace are catapulted into a quagmire of truth and lies that could tear her family apart.
Author Bio: Teresa Morgan and her husband, now empty nesters, live in Washington State. Years ago, in the days of carbon paper and eraser shields, she was a secretary to a manager and twenty engineers and scientists. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Theology.
Teresa's website is www.teresahmorgan.com. Right now, that is where we are channeling all of her public.