Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Louise Allen: 1801 French Ball Gown and a Drawing

Congratulations to Cheryl on her wedding anniversary and her seven years of blogging – as well as all those wonderful books which give us so much pleasure!

In way of celebration here is a delightful print of a lady positively skipping for joy in her ball gown. It is dated 1801 and is from the French Journal des Dames et des Modes.

I will be giving a signed copy of the novel of your choice from my Danger and Desire or Transformation of the Shelley Sisters trilogies to one person chosen at random from those who leave comments today. Good luck!

Louise Allen

Coming next: An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe in the Christmas collection Snowbound Wedding Wishes. Harlequin Mills & Boon November 2012

(Please leave your email address in your post so we can contact you if you win.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blythe Gifford's Drawing Winner

Thanks to Blythe Gifford for blogging and celebrating with us yesterday. All of the names of the people who left comments are in the fish bowl.

And the winner of a copy of His Border Bride is....

Quilt Lady

Congrats! Thank you for joining the celebration.

Thanks to all who stopped by and left comments. One more day left in July, and Louise Allen winds things up with her post and a drawing.

Blythe Gifford: Showing Up, One Day at a Time

As this month of celebration comes to a close, let me add my congratulations to Cheryl for seven years of blogging.  I’m in awe.  Not just of her blog, of course, but of her long, vibrant, and continuing career.  It reinforces to me, in the immortal words of Woody Allen:  “Ninety percent of life is just showing up.”
Of course, there’s more to it than that, but success rarely comes from a one-shot effort, especially for a writer.  To create a blog, a book, and a career means “showing up at the page,” day after day, year after year.

That’s what I was challenged to do in writing The Brunson Clan, my new trilogy that launches with the release this fall of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR.  I knew I could complete a book, yes, but I had never written a series.  Now, I had to write three connected stories under a tight deadline.  I wasn’t sure quite how that was all going to happen.

Here’s what I learned:  it happens the same way the rest of them do.  One day, one page, at a time. 

The series launches with RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, on the shelves October 16.  

Word in the Royal Court has spread.  The wild Scottish Borders are too unruly.  

Upon the King’s command, John Brunson must return home to enforce the King’s peace upon his family.  Failure is not an option.  And one woman stands in his way…

But Cate Gilnock is beyond the powers of flattery and seduction.  Instead, the painful vulnerability hidden behind her spirited eyes calls out to John as he is inexorably drawn back into the warrior Brunson clan

So let’s congratulate Cheryl on her achievement – and think about your own!  Is there something that you’ve done, day by day, just by sticking to it?   

One commenter will be chosen to receive a copy of my most recent title:  HIS BORDER BRIDE.  Leave your email address in a comment on the blog to be entered.

After many years in public relations, advertising, and marketing, Blythe Gifford started writing seriously after a corporate layoff. Ten years later, she became an overnight success when she sold her Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist manuscript to Harlequin. Blythe lives and works along Chicago’s lakefront, nurturing her muse with art, music, history, long walks, good food and good friends.  She loves to have visitors at www.blythegifford.com and www.pinterest.com/BlytheGifford,“thumbs up” at www.facebook.com/BlytheGifford, “tweeps” at www.twitter.com/BlytheGifford.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Liz Flaherty's Drawing Winner

The names of everyone who posted went into the fish bowl. The winner of Liz Flaherty's drawing for One More Summer is...

Nona Raines.

Congrats, Nona. Thanks to everyone who kept the place hopping over the weekend, and a big thank you to Liz for being here and checking in often. Wishing you many many sales and much success.

Monday's guest is Blythe Gifford, and she's bringing us another spectacular day and drawing. Can you believe it's almost the end of July?

Liz Flaherty: A Soft Place to Fall

Life is new and wonderful for writer Liz Flaherty these days. She retired from the post office in 2011, promptly gained 15 pounds—she swears it was overnight—and promised her grandchildren, The Magnificent Seven, that she would make each of them a bed-size quilt. She also planned to write all day, every day.

What was she thinking?

She’s learned to write when she feels like it, sew when she feels like it, and maybe even to eat a little less. She’s learned to share the house and sometimes even the kitchen with Duane, her husband of, oh, lots of years.

And she’s having a Very, Very Good Time.

Her fifth book ONE MORE SUMMER, has been released to exciting reviews by Carina Press. She is thrilled to the point everyone she knows rolls their eyes as soon as she opens her mouth. JAR OF DREAMS, will be out in January, followed shortly by A SOFT PLACE TO FALL, and she hasn’t annoyed hardly anyone about that yet.

Leave a comment and have your name added to Cheryl’s famous fishbowl for a chance to win a copy of ONE MORE SUMMER. Please leave your email address.

I didn’t mean to write an inspirational romance. Truly, I didn’t. When I got the first “germ” of Early’s story years ago, I thought it was pretty much like any other reunion story (my favorite kind). Early and her husband Nash would be a young couple just entering their thirties who suddenly realized they didn’t love each other anymore, didn’t even recognize the person on the other side of the sugar bowl. I remembered looking at my husband a few times in those days, wondering who he was and what I’d been thinking when I married him. (He says he wondered the same things—can you imagine?)

But that’s not how A SOFT PLACE TO FALL ended up. Early, Nash, and the Lord had other ideas.

Early McGrath, 46, professional wife, mother, and grandmother, finds herself living in a house she hates in a subdivision she hates more. Even worse, she’s divorced—at Nash’s request—from the man she’s loved since her sophomore year in high school, the father of her four children, her best friend.

She wants to change, but she’s been a nurturer too long, and when Nash’s father suffers a heart attack and requires surgery, she moves back to the rural area where she grew up to care for him. To old friends and a new quilt shop and the church where she married Nash. To God.

A SOFT PLACE TO FALL is about Early and Nash’s journey back. And forward. It will be released soon by Harbourlight Books.

Thanks for stopping by, and thank you, Cheryl, for having me. Congratulations on your anniversary. Not just your blogging one, but for all the others we celebrate as we…gain experience.  I value your friendship.

Visit me at http://lizflaherty.com or at http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/ where I blog every Monday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Drawing Winners

I confess. I'm an Olympic junkie. My favorite is beach volleyball, and Misty May and Carrie are already doing us proud.

Plus it was my husband's birthday this weekend, so we celebrated a couple of times--steaks at Texas Roadhouse. Cake.

My lovely guests certainly kept thing hopping around here. Big hugs to Rose and Mary.

The names of everyone who left comments went into the cowboy hat.

Rose Ross Zediker is giving away Lily of the Field and Job's Tears, plus quilted potholders.

And the winners are....

Wendy Newcomb


Janet Chester Bly

Mary Connealy is giving away a copy of Out of Control.

And the winner is....

Sarah Richmond

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and leaving comments!

Sunday's guest is my buddy Liz Flaherty. Don't miss it!

Rose Ross Zediker: A Wedding Quilt

My upcoming Heartsong Presents release, Rose of Sharon, is a perfect fit with Cheryl’s anniversary celebration! The heroine in my book is making a Rose of Sharon quilt for her twin sister’s 50th anniversary gift.

The Rose of Sharon quilt motif was popular in the mid 1900’s, and regained popularity in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Just like in Songs of Solomon, the Rose of Sharon quilt block pattern represents romantic love and the sacrament of marriage. An appliqued Rose of Sharon quilt was a popular wedding gift during these eras. There are many variations of the Rose of Sharon quilt block, as you can see by the picture, yet they all represent the sanctity of love and marriage.

An excerpt from Rose of Sharon:
Was he talking to her or just talking?

“Maybe the relatives won’t stay around for breakfast. Maybe they’ll go to Jeanie’s.” Walt’s voice cracked and he wiped his eyes with the middle knuckle on his right index finger.

“Would you like some time alone?” Lil rested her arms on the tabletop, resigned that now just wasn’t the right time to tell Walt she wanted to be released from this assignment. Besides, Tiffany hadn’t returned her call yet, so she didn’t really know if she’d be leaving in a day or two.

Walt sniffed. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t want to be alone.”

Lil’s chest swelled with fear. Those mesmerizing eyes conveyed another meaning to his words as his hand engulfed hers.

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.It wasn’t possible for feelings to develop this quickly, was it? Swallowing hard, Lil knew it was, had lived it. But this wasn’t genuine, just fleeting infatuation.

Silent minutes ticked by as Walt stared at the china cup and Lil stared at their hands.

Today I’m giving away, a copy of the first and second book in my quilting series, Lily of the Field and Job’s Tears, along with a quilted potholder made with the quilt pattern that corresponds with the title of the book, to two lucky commenters.Please leave your email address to be entered in the drawing.

Job's Tears, and, Rose of Sharon, are only available by calling 800-873-8635. You can order as many as you'd like. Several people have told me that they are very pleasant to work with. The first book, Lily of the Field is now available as an ebook through Nook and Kindle. It is still available in print through the publisher, Barbour Publishing (http://www.barbourbooks.com/).

Rose Ross Zediker lives in rural Elk Point, South Dakota, with her husband of thirty years. Their grown son has started a family of his own. Rose works full-time at The University of South Dakota and writes during the evening or weekends. Some of her pastimes include reading, sewing, embroidery, quilting, and spoiling her granddaughters.

Rose’s quilt themed romance novels include Lily of the Field, Job’s Tears and Rose of Sharon.  Besides writing inspirational romance novels, Rose has many publishing credits in the Christian children’s genre including a non-fiction book, Wealth In Biblical Times. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit Rose on the Web at www.roserosszediker.blogspot.com.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mary Connealy: Writing a Crazy Man


To celebrate I’m giving away a signed copy of my August release Over the Edge. Leave a comment and your email address here on the blog to be entered in the drawing. 

Here’s a bit about what makes it fun.

Writing a Crazy Man

One of the things I’ve done in a lot of my books is taken modern psychiatric problems and applied them to history. Post Partum Depression. Regular depression. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I’ve dealt with abused wives and children, neglected children and I’ve tried to act these things out without using modern language and yet with the knowledge we have from modern medicine.

Enter Seth Kincaid. 

He’s crazy.

Back then, you called what Seth is: crazy, a lunatic, furiously mad. But Seth had a terrible traumatic injury and was haunted by nightmares. He’s not crazy he’s got Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome poor guy. Then he goes to war and endures more terrible trauma.

He’s also had a bad reaction to drugs and he suffering from hysterical amnesia.

So how to write that? And he’s not going to be allowed to just SNAP get better, that’s lazy. He has to deal with it.

And of course it’s all got to be done within the parameters of romantic comedy.

I had more fun writing Seth Kincaid than any hero in recent memory. I especially loved pairing him up with Callie, a no-nonsense lady rancher from Texas. When she finally tracks down her abandoning rat of a husband, all her common sense tells her to just shoot him. 

And then he kisses her and blast it, she remembers why she agreed to marry him in the first place.

Over the Edge

Order your copy from amazon:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cheryl Pierson's Drawing Winner

Wow, it's been a hustle bustle week, hasn't it? So many great visitors and lots of prizes.

The names of Cheryl Pierson's commenters are in the cowboy hat. The blue one. 

And the winner of a copy of Fire Eyes is....


Congrats. Thanks for joining our celebration. I'm contacting you and Cheryl right now.


My birthday is July 28th. I share my special day with Jackie O., and only one other person I’ve actually met in my lifetime—my daughter’s best childhood friend, Hailey.

I always loved that my birthday came in July. The Oklahoma weather was traditionally hot. In those early years, we dressed in our best party dresses, wore white anklets and Mary Janes, and always, there were beautifully wrapped gifts (no gift bags in those days!) and a marvelous homemade cake.

My sixth birthday is one I remember vividly. We were in the process of moving, and our furniture hadn’t arrived. Mom never bought cakes, but this was an exception. She bought the only chocolate cake the store had—a German chocolate cake—forgetting that I was “the one” who didn’t like coconut. We pulled out the kitchen drawers, turned them on end and used them for makeshift chairs around our “table”—a large wardrobe box turned on its side. The same day we were moving in, another family was doing the same thing, just down the street. The best birthday gift of all? They had a little girl my age! Jane became my best friend.

Slumber parties were popular in later years. Parents endured a houseful of giggling, rambunctious elementary school-aged girls for the longest night of their lives…until the next year rolled around.

Costume parties were another fad. The pictures that my parents took of a costume party I had for my tenth birthday are unforgettable. I remember how much fun we all had, figuring out “who” or “what” we were going to be. Amidst a hippie, a leprechaun, and Indian princess, and a gypsy, I was a hula dancer. My oldest sister had just returned from a year of college studies in Hawaii, and I had a brand new grass skirt that needed to be broken in. My good friend DaNel, who’d moved just across the street, wore my kimono—another present from my sister. This was before Pizza Hut—we ate hot dogs for dinner.

And what about skating parties? Do any of you remember those? We had a skating rink with a wooden floor (yes, this definitely shows you how old I am!) and we never tired of skating around and around, couples skating, all boys, all girls, backward skate—the changeups were endless, as were the games.

This month I’ll celebrate a milestone birthday—number 55. I don’t mind getting older at all—hey, I can get my discount at IHOP now!

In my book, FIRE EYES, Frank Hayes, the youngest of the deputy marshals, has made an embarrassing and potentially deadly mistake. Though Kaed Turner, the main character, survives, Frank has made the decision to give up law enforcement. Kaed seeks him out, along with Travis Morgan, another marshal, to have a talk with him about it. He shows Frank that no matter what, he’s part of a different kind of family now. Birthday reminiscing is how the difficult conversation begins.

“Well, Frank, I expect you’ll remember to tell someone next time, won’t you?” Kaed said quietly.

“Won’t be a next time, Mr. Turner. I don’t b’lieve I’m cut out for this.”

Travis started forward, but Kaed put a staying hand on his arm. Travis met his eyes and Kaed shook his head. He came toward Frank slowly. When he got within arm’s length, he stopped.

“How old are you, Frank?”

“Twenty. Or close enough. My birthday’s next month. My ma, she always made a cake.” He glanced around at Kaed, a flush staining his neck, making its way into his face. “Chocolate,” he mumbled, “if she could get it.”

Kaed gave him a half-smile and closed the last bit of distance between them. “You’re awful lucky, Frank. I lost my mother when I was just shy of nine. I’m not sure I even remember exactly when my birthday is. But, that’s not really important, anymore.”

Frank nodded, but didn’t look at him. He kept his eyes fixed on the gently swirling water of the creek.
Kaed went on. “When you became a marshal, you got another family. We all share the same life, the same dangers, the same loneliness of bein’ out on the trail.”

Frank shuddered, his lips compressing tightly. “I know you’re right, Mr. Turner.”

When he didn’t continue, Kaed said, “I’m not mad at you, Frank. Anybody can make a mistake. Travis, here, he was a couple of years older than you when he made his big one.”

Travis drew his breath in, and Kaed turned to give him a quelling glance. “Right, Trav?”
Travis nodded.

Kaed turned back to Frank. “You’ll have to get Trav to tell you about it.” He spoke easily, as one friend would to another, as if he thought Travis and Frank were on amicable terms.

Frank gave a short, brittle laugh. “I don’t think Travis Morgan is gonna talk to me about any mistake he ever made.”

“Trav, come on up here,” Kaed said.
Travis slowly stepped forward to join Frank and Kaed, swallowing tightly. “Frank, I guess I need to say—”

“You better do more than guess what you need to say, Travis,” Kaed said, his tone cool.

Travis glanced at Kaed and flushed. He nodded. When he turned back to Frank, his green eyes were apologetic. “I gave you a hell of a rough time, Frank. I’m sorry for that.” He extended his hand. “Will you accept my apology?”

Kaed looked at Frank expectantly. He felt like an older brother overseeing two younger, quarreling siblings, forcing them back to brotherhood once more. But Kaed knew he was the only one who could end this discord between them.

Hesitantly, Frank reached for Travis’s hand and shook. “Sure. Forget it.”

“All right. Now let’s hear no more of this business of you givin’ up marshaling, Frank,” Kaed said. “You trained with Lem Polk, didn’t you?”

“Yes, sir. I think that might be my problem.”

Kaed nodded, sure that it was. “You ride with Travis for the next few months, see if he can’t teach you what you need to know.”

Both Travis and Frank started to speak, but Kaed held up a hand, giving them both a hard, cutting look. “Make your peace, boys. Travis, I expect you to teach him everything I taught you.”

 A gritty, sensual western novel not meant for the faint of heart...

Love's healing power...

Wounded by sadistic renegades who rule the borderlands, U.S. Marshal Kaed Turner understands he faces certain death. Then Fate and a war party of Choctaw Indians intervene, delivering him instead to an angel with the skill to heal him.

Jessica Monroe has already lost a husband and a brother to the outlaws who tortured Marshal Turner. As the rugged lawman lies bleeding on her bed, she faces a difficult decision. Can she afford to gamble with her heart one last time? For when Kaed recovers, he is sworn to join in the battle to wipe out the renegade gang—once, and for all.

When vengeance is done, will Kaed keep riding? Or will he return to claim his future with the beautiful woman the Choctaw call Fire Eyes?

I’ll be giving away a copy of FIRE EYES today to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment about one of your own birthday celebrations and your email address to be entered in the drawing. 

Thanks so much for coming by today, and thanks again to Cheryl for having “Cheryl #2” as her guest!

All my works are available at Amazon here: