Friday, June 29, 2012

Booksigning in Independence June 30th

I'm off to Dog-eared Books in Independence, (near Kansas City) for a book signing with Sherri Shackelford and Robyn Roberts. Looking forward to seeing Connie and Tina.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary and the kick off for the July Anniversary Celebration, so be sure to check in.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

July is Anniversary Month!

The month of July brings an anniversary celebration. Not only will my husband and I celebrate an anniversary, but I will have been blogging for an astonishing SEVEN YEARS.

I'm planning some fun drawings and activities -- maybe even a surprise or two -- during the entire month. So keep an eye out for announcements.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview with Maeve Murphy, heroine from The Wedding Journey

Just for fun today, I've posted this interview with Maeve Murphy, my heroine from The Wedding Journey. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better.

  1. Maeve, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I don’t think of myself as all that interesting, but people always ask me how I learned the things I know about natural remedies. From the time I was a wee child, my mother taught me, she did. I accompanied her to the births of most of the village children. There was a woman in the village who taught me how to gather plants and use them for their healing properties.

2.  What do you do for fun?

Spending time with my sisters, sometimes making a simple meal to share, other times singing and dancing . Joy is in time spent together, not the cost.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I’d postpone laundry day forever if  I could, but I can’t leave it all for my sisters. My clothing is for the most part, hand-me-downs and plain faded dresses. No soap or iron can make them look any better, but we take pride in being clean and having our garments pressed. One day I will have pretty dresses and maybe even a new hat.

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

I haven’t counted all the times God said, “Fear not,” in His Word, but He must have thought He needed to tell me over and over so I’d get it. I believe His promises are true. He called me His child and assured me He’s my Fortress, my Shelter and my High Tower. If God is with me, who can stand against me? When I walk by faith and keep my eyes on Jesus, I have nothing to fear. When I have concerns, I turn them over to Him, and He is faithful.

5.  What do you want out of life?

I want to be a good wife and one day a loving mother. I hope to live my life so once I’m gone, my family will remember me fondly and have many good memories. A new pair of knickers would be a blessin’ too.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

Family. Back in Ireland we Murphys were as close as a family can be. Losing Mother and later Da was like losing a part of myself. My sisters are my dearest friends and confidants. One day soon we will each have our own families, with husbands and children, and there’s nothing I’d like more than gathering often.

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

We never had money for books, but my dear mother had a few in her trunk. Even though there was work to be done in the fields and the cottage, Da made sure my sisters and I went to school long enough to be able to read and cipher. On Saturday nights we used to gather to read Mother’s Bible.

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

Why I’d change this wild red hair, I would! My oldest sister Nora’s hair is lustrous and dark, and Bridget’s is a lovely auburn hue with waves—but mine? Well, mine is bright red-orange with corkscrew kinks. It’s downright unmanageable…but for some reason unbeknownst to me, Flynn Gallagher thinks it’s beautiful.

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I once raised a lamb that’s mother died. Da warned me not to grow attached, but I loved that wooly creature, even when he grew too big to keep in the pen near the garden. Da didn’t have the heart to make mutton stew out of him, so that fat sheep provided us with wool socks and scarves for many winters.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d travel to a hillside on a starry night and follow one bright star to Bethlehem. With the wise men and shepherds I’d bow before the newborn King and know the awe and wonder of that night—and the miracle of God’s love for mankind.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Winner of Cheryl St.John's Beachbag Giveaway Drawing

Thanks to everyone who entered my drawing for the Harlequin Historical Authors Beach bag Giveaway! It was my first experience with Rafflecopter, and it was great on this end. I got a LOT of entries and Rafflecopter even selected the winner for me, so no impartiality.

My winner is Alisha Woods. Whoo hoo! Alisha gets her choice of an autographed copy of The Wedding Journey or her choice of one of my available backlist books on Kindle.

The grand prize winner will be drawn on June 29th so keep visiting the HH author websites and entering their drawings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harlequin Historical Summer Beach Bag Giveaway

Harlequin Historical Summer Beach Bag Giveaway

It's vacation season and excitement mounts as that long-awaited time at the beach approaches. To add to your anticipation, some Harlequin Historical authors are offering a bevy of prizes to fill your beach bag with fun items (and BOOKS of course!) for that relaxation time.

Each participating author will have an activity planned on their website for their special day. You may be asked to comment on a blog, do a scavenger hunt, or visit a Facebook page. For each day you participate, your name will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. At the end of the month on June 29, one day from the calendar will be randomly selected. One of the entrants from that day will then be randomly selected to win the Kindle. The more days you visit, the better your chances!

We all look forward to seeing you.

Enter Cheryl's drawing in the sidebar on the right for a chance to win her prize AND the grand prize! ----------------------->

Click here for official rules and eligibility.

Participating Authors

blythe gifford jeannie lin deb marlowe michelle willingham kate welsh barbara monjem terri brisbin amanda mccabe annie burrows ann lethbridge julia justiss cheryl st. john bronwyn scott carol townend margerite kaye michelle styles diane gaston harlequin historical author blog Image Map

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can We Stay Positive in a Negative Environment?

Have you ever known a person who is so negative, you can barely stand to be around him or her? Nothing uplifting ever comes from this person's mouth. He reads the newspaper and takes antacids. He's worried about the killer bee invasion and spouts gloom and doom about the economy and our nation. All the politicians are criminals and our young people have gone to hell in a handbasket.

Truthfully now, how often do you invite this person over for dinner?

We don't have to entertain negative people, so why entertain negative thoughts?

It can be a challenge to stay positive in a negative society, but those who speak positively and look for the best in others and seek ways for improvement know the power in positive speech and thought. We must speak positively about ourselves too.

Where does self-talk originate? Our minds tell our tongues what to say, and our ears listen to what we speak. What you say can definitely be what you get, if you're buying into a load of junk. Emotion can win out over your will only if you let it. Your mind, your will and your emotions can be brought under control.

Our minds were created  to be sharp and clear and with the ability to expand. What we see and hear is programmed into our minds like computer  data: 

Don't nurture thoughts you don't want to see grow and produce results. Criticism, backbiting, jealousy, anger, dissension, regret, envy, worry, fear and self-doubt are self destructive. If someone says something negative about a person, you have a choice. You can agree. You can join in. Or you can come back with a positive remark. Strife, gossip and discord is a snare of negativity and doesn't deserve your time or energy.

Sometimes we can get a lot of mileage out of something as simple as the way someone says something. We think on it. We entertain it. Pretty soon we're angry and tell another person, opening a can of negative worms. We can't control what people say, but we can control our reactions to their words.

Don't dredge up past failures or hurts. Deal with them and put them in their place. Imagine a runner at the starting line of a race: The pistol fires and he takes off. He's doing well, but a challenger is staying just behind him. The runner looks over his shoulder and sees the competition. He looks again and concern chips away at his focus. Pretty soon his speed dwindles, he loses momentum and falls behind, because he didn't stay focused on his own goal. He was worried about what others were doing.

Wipe the slate clean and live each new day as a fresh start. The thought of failure comes before actual failure. I'm going to have a great day! I'm going to figure out the answer to this dilemma and move forward. I sometimes tell myself, "I'm writing a best seller today."

Fear and worry are always about things that haven't happened yet. 

I once helped a writer with her manuscript, and as soon as it was sent off she said, "I just know it will be rejected." Then why did she send it? I'm not saying that you can write a piece of crap, then say it's great, and it will sell. Of course not. But if you truly believe what you're doing is unworthy of good feedback, then work on it until you can say, "It's the best I can do, and someone is going to like it." Don't buy into thinking that doesn't build you up or give you hope.

If you entertain doubt, you speak it. If you entertain failure, you speak it. Success is not a gamble. If you see yourself as successful, you speak like a successful person. You project success. Your brain has the power and capacity to either entertain negative thoughts or take them captive and get rid of them. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. What you think is how you behave and who you are. Be positive. Encourage yourself. And in the process, have less wrinkles than those who worry and fret.

"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" Matthew 6:24

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Summer Reading Suggestions

Winning the Widow’s Heart by Sherri Shackelford
When Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman-and she’s just gone into labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole’s baby girl and can’t get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he’s after killed one of Jack’s own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past-and his hoped-for future. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired).

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer 
All he ever cared about were his brothers and his land, but when a good deed goes awry, Travis Archer is stuck with a bride who endangers both. (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough 
Brooks Morgan won Raven Creek Ranch in a poker game, but when he goes to claim what’s his, he finds a woman with a shotgun living in his house-and she claims she isn’t leaving. (Historical Romance from River North (Moody Publishers).

Lily (Song of the River) by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver 
Desperate for financial independence, Lily Anderson has embarked upon a riverboat venture. Will she learn to trust God’s leading or head into disaster? Lily’s partner, Blake Matthews, is initially stymied, then smitten by the Mississippi miss. Can he anchor her heart, or will Lily fall for another man’s wiles? (Historical from Barbour).

A Promise for Miriam by Vannetta Chapman 
Miriam King loves the children of Pebble Creek and is content teaching in the one room schoolhouse, then Gabe Miller steps into her life and everything changes. (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House)

Sophie’s Daughters Trilogy by Mary Connealy 
The little girls from Petticoat Ranch are all grown up with love stories of their own…you didn’t think Sophie’s Daughters would grow up to be quiet little things, did you? (Historical Romance from Barbour).

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox 
When Ellie Moore wins a job as an undercover Pinkerton operative, she finds that playing a part in real life is far different than acting out a role onstage. Will the man who captures her heart still care for her when he learns the woman he’s fallen in love with doesn’t exist? (Historical Romance from Bethany House).

A Dream of His Own by Gail Gaymer Martin Quinn 
O’Neill feels to blame for his family’s death and longs to release the guilt he feels, and when he meets Ava Darnell life takes a positive turn as he helps Ava earn his trust…but suspicion nearly undermines their relationship while he perseveres to encourage Ava to have faith that dreams of healing and family just might become reality. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).

Walks Alone by Sandi G. Rog 
A Cheyenne warrior bent on vengeance. A pioneer woman bent on fulfilling a dream. Until their paths collide. (Romance from White-Fire Publishing).

The Hidden Life by Adina Senft 
An Amish spinster finds love where she had given up hope in the second book of the Amish Quilt trilogy
(Contemporary from Faith Words (Hachette). 

Double Exposure by Susan Sleeman 
When photographer Jennie Buchanan unknowingly captures a drug-cartel meeting on film and the cartel tries to kill her, her ex-boyfriend risks everything to expose the truth-about the drug smugglers, the past and the future together he still wants. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Friday, June 01, 2012

It's vacation season and excitement mounts as that long-awaited time at the beach approaches. To add to your anticipation, some Harlequin Historical authors are offering a bevy of prizes to fill your beach bag with fun items (and BOOKS of course!) for that relaxation time. Each participating author will have an activity planned on their website for their special day. You may be asked to comment on a blog, do a scavenger hunt, or visit a Facebook page. For each day you participate, your name will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing.