Monday, June 30, 2008

I won, I won, I won!

Just got an email. I am So excited!! I won the British Lottery! I didn't even know I entered. This is fantastic. Just when you think the world is not spinning your way, BAM! you win the British Lottery!

I'm stoked. My problems are solved. Who needs living by faith, being of no reputation, owing only a debt of love?

I won, I won, I won!

I mean want... I mean need, yeah need, a convertible BMW. I've NEEDED it for so long. I mean, a girl can't wait forever can she?

So, check ya later. I'm going sailing... wait... got to buy a boat first, silly. Oo, I'll swing by the Imported Car store on my way to the boat shop and test drive the Beemers.

I think blue is a great color. What about you?

Don't you just love those Brits! Long live the Queen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Do not come to the ACFW conference in September

What, Rachel? Don't come to the conference? Why? What are you saying? Hmm? You want all of the editors and agents to yourself? Sit next to Angie Hunt during dinner? Win all the awards? (yeah, right... ) Sit in the first row for Mark Mynheir's police procedure continuing session?

No! Please, I'm soooo over all of those things. I mean, if Angie Hunt asks me to dine with her, I won't say not, but I'm not going to fight anyone for the chair next to her. Though, she is pretty amazing... hmm. I'll have to rethink that one and get back to you.

Nevertheless, I selected my blog title for a reason. Not everyone is ready for conference. It doesn't mean you can't become ready, but there are a few mindsets that can make a conference difficult for people.

Here's my list, and mine alone, of why you might not be ready for conference.

Do not come if you think you have the greatest manuscript, God-breathed and you want to pitch it as if an editor or agent would be crazy to turn it down.

Do not come if you think your manuscript is above change.

Do not come if you think you can surely write better than Rachel Hauck (I'm sure you can, but whatever...) or Susan May Warren or any one of "those Heartsong, Love Inspired authors."

Do not come if you're not prepared. Conference is an expensive way to just to hang out. Even if you're not sure you want to write fiction, come prepared to learn. Meet with an editor and discuss a story idea. Come up with something! If you can't meet with an editor or agent, sit with an author you like to read during dinner and discuss the world of publishing.

Do not come if you want to shop at Mall of America more than attend workshops.

Do not come if your heart is riding on your sleeve. You will be snubbed, ignored, walked away from, left sitting by yourself, feel alone among the crowd, and cry in your room at night. But you've got to get back up, get out there, and say, "Lord, you and me, let's do it."

Do not come if you're expecting people to cater to you. It won't happen. ACFW does an amazing job of welcoming everyone by providing a mentorship program for first time attendees, but ultimately, YOU are responsible for your conference success. Be prepared to walk up to strangers and say, "Hi, I'm so-n-so."

Do not come if you're not willing to hear from a critique session, or editor/agent appointment that your story needs work. Ask what you can do to fix it. Ask what they'd like to see in a story like yours. Think outside the box. My agent told me she loved ACFW's conference last year, but felt so many of the proposals and pitches were the same. Don't be afraid to mix it up a little, okay?

Do not come with attitude, or expectation of being rejected or offended. I've seen this so many times. People are timid, scared, afraid, almost looking for a reason to be offended and by their very 'tude, cause people to reject them. I know the conference can be hard, overwhelming and intimidating, but really go to the Lord if you struggle with rejection or social phobias and ask Him to make a way for you. He will.

Most of you've heard my testimony about the 2003 conference. I was the coordinator along with the amazing and hard-working Allison Wilson and I knew I'd be way too busy to connect with people. I also knew I had the talent of picking the wrong people to smooze. Yes, there is smoozing at a conference. It's fine! Well and good! But I always picked people who just aren't drawn to me. Go figger. So I said Lord, you're my editor, agent and promoter. If you want to connect me with someone, you do it. I'll mess it up if I try." Enter Colleen Coble in my life, God's gift to so many of us!

Even now, published with a great agent and fabulous editor, that is still my prayer. God, you are my editor, agent and promoter!

Come to the conference with expectation. See what God will do. Enjoy the worship times, the keynote speeches, the workshops and fellowship during dinner. Spend a half hour in the prayer room. Go to the late night chats.

Do NOT come to the conference expecting to sleep - oh no my friends - no sleeping!

Come, if God has put it on your heart. Come if you're ready to learn and network. Come if you're ready to have fun. And of course, come if you want to meet me cause I'm a hoot!

See you in September!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beyond The Night by Marlo Schalesky

Please welcome fellow author, Marlo Schalesky who has a wonderful new release, "Beyond the Night" from Waterbrook, Random House.

Marlo, tell us about the book, please.

Well, here's the official blurb:

They say love is blind.
This time they're right. . .

As a woman lies unconscious in a hospital bed, her husband waits beside her, urging her to wake up and come home. Between them lies an ocean of fear and the tenuous grip of memories long past. Memories of wonder. Of love. Memories of a girl named Madison and a boy named Paul…

Madison Foster knew she was going blind. But she didn't want pity - not from her mother, not from her roommate, and especially not from her best friend Paul - the man she secretly loved.

Paul Tilden knew a good thing when he saw it. And a good thing was his friendship with Maddie Foster. That is, until he started to fall in love.

With the music of the seventies as their soundtrack and its groovy fashions as their scenery, Maddie and Paul were drawn together and driven apart. Then one night changed everything. . . forever.

And only now, when life tiptoes past the edge of yesterday, along the rim of today, can they glimpse the beauty that awaits them. . . beyond the night.

Sounds wonderful, Marlo. I'm intrigued. Can you tell us a bit more about this book, how it came about, your inspiration?

Well, it was all God's fault. (smile) And it started with a dream. Not one of those "I have a dream" kind of dreams, but a real, honest-to-goodness, it's-3am-and-I'm-asleep kind of dreams. I dreamt Paul and Maddie’s love story. And when I woke up, I couldn't get the two of them out of my head. I thought about them when I showered, on the way to seminary classes, in the grocery store. Everywhere! For weeks, I found myself replaying tidbits of their story in my mind, until I finally figured out that maybe God wanted me to write their story.

"But," said I to God, "there's not enough here. It's not compelling enough."

"Yes," said God to me, "but Maddie's going blind." (Well, maybe it wasn't so much in those words, but just in the revelation of what was going on with Maddie.)

Very Cool!

"Oh," said I, "That's very interesting. But it's still not enough. Not quite."

Two more days went by, and Paul and Maddie's story still kept teasing my mind. "It's not enough," I kept saying to God. "There's got to be more."

And then I saw it - the big twist. The incredible truth that I had no idea about before. It took my breath away. So, after I finished picking my jaw up off the floor, I sat down and starting working on the proposal for "Beyond the Night."

As I fleshed out the story, I realized that this is exactly the type of book I'd like to keep writing – something with the poignancy of a Nicolas Sparks love story (without the sap!) matched with the knock-your-socks-off twist of a M. Night Shymalan movie (without the horror!). That kind of story excited me, spiritually, emotionally, mentally.

And I figured that there had to be more people like me out there – people who want to be both moved emotionally and surprised and delighted intellectually. People who want to be changed, challenged, and caught with wonder by a story. That's what I'm hoping for in "Beyond the Night!"

Okay, I'm hooked. I'm buying the book.

There's more of the Story the Story Behind the Story:

When my grandfather was going blind, he took a shotgun to the backyard and ended his life. He was a good man, kind and wise. Blindness didn't change that. It wouldn't have changed it. But the fear of it did.

It didn't have to be that way. Today, there are 1.3 million people in the United States alone who are legally blind. Another nearly 9 million are visually impaired. Every day in this country people find out they are going blind. Seniors, mothers, fathers, children. Last year, it was my own mother.

So, Maddie's journey through blindness and fear grows out of my family's experiences. It also, in a broader sense, comes out of my own. For even though blindness is a specific malady, Maddie's condition is also a metaphor for the dark times we all face. For the difficulties that come and rattle our faith, for those times when we can't see what's ahead, when life is masked by shadow and doubt.

For Maddie, losing her physical sight prompted her journey through doubt and fear. For me, it was infertility and miscarriage.

If there's one thing I know about it's living the life God has given you when it's not the life you dreamed. Infertility taught me how to do that. It taught me that life takes unexpected turns and dark, difficult times come. And it taught me that it's not the darkness that will destroy you, but the fear of it.

So, in many ways "Beyond the Night" explores my own questions, my own doubts, my own faith journey in facing the darkness, facing fear, with hope and dignity. That's why "Beyond the Night" is about overcoming the fear of the unknown , rather than letting it overcome you. It's about finding the light, the hope, the promise that lies beyond the darkness.

And I think we could all use that, whether we're going physically blind or not.

Find out more, enter the BEYOND THE NIGHT CONTEST, see the trailer, read a sample chapter, and more at Marlo's website at:

Marlo, truly what a great message. I'm honored to have you visit my site today. Blessings, friend!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meet my friend, Kathleen Kovach

Hey, Kathy, welcome to! For all y'all out there, I've known Kathy for about six years, first meeting in Kansas City at the first ACFW conference in 2002.

While I haven't been an integral part of her writing career, I've watched and cheered from the sidelines! I'm so pleased with her writing success.

So, Kathy, thanks for stopping by. Tell us about this book. I love the cover.

Florida Weddings/Merely Players is about a dolphin trainer who masks her emotions while making her ex-boyfriend now turned A-list actor jump through hoops.

What's the scoop on your hero and heroine?

Bethany Hamilton works with her father, the senior trainer at the Gulfarium in Northwest Florida. She basically doesn't know what to do with her life, so she sticks with the familiar. She grew up at Sea World San Diego, and is comfortable with marine mammals. After shadowing her father, she longs for a career of her own so she becomes involved in dolphin therapy.

Brick Connor, aka Ricky O'Connell, is an A-list movie actor, but feels stuck in playing one role. He also feels he'd like to contribute to society. This involves breaking out of his type-cast role as a Bond-type character and make movies of substance.

In Hollywood High, Brick and Bethany were boyfriend and girlfriend. Brick had an abusive father, so he sought refuge at Bethany's house, where Christian love wrapped his hurting soul like a quilt. On the first page, we see the end of their senior year. Brick (then Ricky) is excited to tell his girl that he's gotten an agent. At this point he fully expects her to join him in his career. All throughout high school they had been popular in all of the drama productions. However, Bethany must say goodbye.

The story picks up again ten years later, and we find out that they haven't seen each other in a decade. Bethany feels Brick has abandoned her for the big screen. When they meet again through a location shoot at the Gulfarium, Brick remembers his love for this special girl. And moreover, the values her family had taught him. Bethany is obviously wary of this guy, and tries to avoid him, but . . . well, this is a romance, after all.

You mentioned dolphin therapy. Sounds interesting. Can you tell us about more about that?

At the Gulfarium, which is a real place, by the way, Janet Flowers created a program called the JF Dolphin Therapy Project, a program that helps children with disabilities to enhance their treatments by rewarding positive behaviors. In the case of a fictional character—Kevin, a boy with autism—any acknowledgement on his part was cause to celebrate. He eventually comes to a place where he can throw a ring to the dolphin and she loops it on her nose. This causes a small grin which elicits excitement for his parents who had never seen him smile. In Emily's case, a girl with Down Syndrome, they work on her speech. When they get to the point where she can say the "th" sound in Bethany's name, she's allowed into the water with the dolphin as a reward. I ran these scenes past people who had children with disabilities and was given suggestions. In the end, those particular test readers said I had captured their child perfectly.

Have you always loved dolphins?

As a matter of fact, no. Some people are ga-ga over them, but my interest was kindled when I heard about the therapy project at the actual Gulfarium. I had a friend whose children were diagnosed with autism, and even though she'd never used the program, she had researched it. The idea sparked in my writer brain, and after several morphed tries, Merely Players was born.

Really cool! So, I see you have another novella, and great cover. Tell us what what Love Letters is about?

This is a novella collection with Mary Davis, Sally Laity, and Jeri Odell. Each story is connected by generations, the heroines all daughters of the previous story's characters. All stories have to do with unique expressions of love.

Mary's story, "Love Notes," opens in Texas 1910. Her heroine, Laurel, is courted with sheet music by an unseen stranger who is adding words when she's not around.

My story, "Cookie Schemes," opens in San Francisco 1955. My one-sentence blurb is "A traditional fortune cookie maker woos a thoroughly modern woman with scriptural wisdom."

Sally's story, "Posted Dreams," set in 1980 deals with a shy woman, Bethany, who leaves Post-It notes around town, all expressions of her hopes and dreams. One man reads them and is touched, then seeks to learn her identity.

And finally, Jeri's story, "eBay Encounter," taking place in current times, is about Jonica, an inexperienced eBay buyer and antique store owner. She continues to run up prices on items another person wants, and they annoy each other until . . . Well, as I said above, this is a romance, after all

My heroine, Prudie is a recent college graduate in a time when marriage and family were the highest goal women could attain. She wants more. Alex is a traditionalist, and because of his grandfather's will, is seeking a wife to inherit the elder's restaurant—known for it's delectable fortune cookies. Alex copies scripture verses to put in his cookies and uses them more for ministry than for profit. When Prudie goes to work for Alex, their two worlds collide. Alex begins to woo her with cookies, and Prudie, angry at God for allowing a tragedy several years earlier, rejects the scriptures chosen especially for her. Do these two ever resolve their differences? You guessed it, this is a romance, after all.

I found out in my research that fortune cookies were not invented in China and did not originally hold Confucius "wisdom." The first inventor, a Chinese man in Los Angeles, made little cakes and tucked words of encouragement written on slips of paper inside. He then gave those to the homeless. My hero's grandfather picked up that tradition and he, along with his Chinese Christian mentor, created a scrumptious recipe that eventually made their restaurant, Woo With Sweet, a local favorite. A word about the restaurant, the mentor's name was Ho Woo and he wanted to woo his customers with sweet words, thus the scripture filled cookies.

Mary spearheaded this project by asking the ACFW loop if anyone would want to join her. She had the basic idea, so we dialogued with each other until we fine tuned it. This was all done by email. The hardest part was making sure our heroines were either old enough or not too old to have children. Mary kept moving her time frame back (for very good reasons,) making Laurel a really old mom for my Prudie. After some additional research, I realized that during the two world wars, it was common to have two sets of family. Boys would die in war, and their parents would go on to have more children. Prudie is of that second set, having three older brothers and four older sisters.

Thank you, Rachel, for giving me the opportunity to talk about my babies. . . er. . . I mean, books. These characters are so real to me, I feel I'm bragging on my children whenever I'm interviewed.

Kathy, it was great to have you! The novellas sound fabulous!

More on Kathy!
Kathleen (known as Kathy by her friends) believes that if they'd done an ultrasound on her mother while she was with child, they'd have found a writing instrument clutched in her tiny hand. After a lifetime of writing short stories, plays, and poems, God finally released Kathy to write as a career in 2002. This happened at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference where she won first place in the unpublished writers contest for her article "If Anyone Hears My Voice." She also met her editors, Jim and Tracie Peterson from Barbour's Heartsong Presents, who became intrigued with her heroine's profession, a dolphin trainer. By 2006, that novel, Merely Players, became published, and then in May of this year it was bundled with two other stories by Lynn Coleman and Kristy Dykes under the title, Florida Weddings. In 2007, Kathy teamed up with Mary Davis, Sally Laity, and Jeri Odell for Love Letters, a Barbour novella collection about unique expressions of love, (hers takes place through fortune cookies.) Heartsong holds a readers poll every year, and in 2008, Kathy placed in the upper five of the Favorite New Author category.

After her contest win at CCWC, Kathy became leader of her local critique group, JOY Writers. She joined a local association, Colorado Writers Fellowship, and also a national organization, American Christian Fiction Writers, Her affiliation with ACFW eventually led to a position as the Colorado Coordinator, and she just recently moved up as the Rocky Mountain Zone Director.

Kathy lives in northeast Colorado (out where the buffalo roam) with her husband of 33 years. She has two sons, three grandchildren, and two grandpets - all of whom, at one point or another, have taken advantage of the revolving door on her empty nest.

Please visit her blog at for a complete list of blog tour stops for Florida Weddings. In addition, her website is

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Having a Garage Sale

So, Tony and I are having a "no one wants to buy your crap" garage sale. We cleaned out closets and drawers on Wednesday, organized the garage and ta-da, we're all set to sell our unwantable-closet-clutter to the masses.

So far... no one wants to buy our crap.

Can't say as I blame them, but we have some nice knick-knack stuff. some Christmas paraphernalia that I am too lazy to put out during the holiday, some candleish stuff, books galore.

We sold a few big items, but here's where we made the most money.

An older man stopped by and asked if we had any old coin. As a matter, yeah, we do. When I was in my early twenties, someone gave me a bunch of old coins - silver dollars, dimes, old money.

Tony and I go digging around in the house. We just cleaned so you think we'd know where the coinage lived. Nope. But! Never fear, there were only two tubs we didn't bother and sure enough, one tub had the coins.

As the man went through them, figuring out an offer, he told us his testimony. He was a heathen, he said, a partying Navy man, then a cabinet maker, an alcoholic, in the bars more than with his family.

When he was forty, he fell and hurt his hip. Stuck in bed, watching TV, he ordered Playboy from the toll free number, then went to the bathroom. There he said, God spoke to him

"You don't need that."

The man teared up as he told of his God encounter. "It wasn't an audible voice, but... I HEARD Him."

A few minutes later, he went out and turned on the TV, finding Richard Roberts preaching. It was one of those divine moments where the TV preacher really was preaching to one man.

Our coin hunter said for fifteen minutes, the televangelist spoke directly to him. He dropped to his knees, gave his life to Jesus, poured out five bottles of liquor, had his wife go all through the house and removed the porn and anything else he felt the Lord urged him to throw out.

Man, it made our day to hear him. God is so amazingly good. The man offered me good money for my coins, and went on his way.

Even better, Tony gave me the coin money for some retail therapy!

Meanwhile, Pal and Lola are quite distressed they cannot help in the garage sale. We could let them in the garage with us, but if they see one leaf fluttering down the road, off they'll go! And we live on a semi-busy street.

At 9:00, we decided to just give the stuff away. It's so fun to watch people's faces when we say, "Take what you want, it's free!" And seriously, there are some nice things on the tables. I have good taste.

As for the books, we ask people what they like to read, then I find a Christian author to match there taste. I've given away Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble and Brandilyn Collins. Now, least you say, "Rachel, you're giving books away and that's not helping the author," I say, "Yes, but I'm turning people onto these readers who would never buy them otherwise."

It's PR. Otherwise, yes, please, buy the author's books. Help a starving artist.

In other news. . .

I'm starting a three book series with a co-author! I had to be a tad clock-n-dagger about it for awhile, but I can begin to leak information now.

This collaboration has a huge testimony on my end and as the days go by, I'll share it with my cyber friends.

Anyway, I met my co-author last week at her home in Nashville. She's the name, Big Name, I'm the wanna-be. :) We talked for several hours about books and story, and felt really comfortable with each other.

So, it's all exciting and very much a God thing. Please, no matter where you are in life, what you're struggling with, just BELIEVE!! God is good. God is love. God is for you.

Oh, while in Nashville I hung out with my lovely and talented editor, Ami McConnell, my sweet agent, Katie Sulkowski, and went to the Bluebird Cafe with Katie and my good Nelson buddies, Lisa Young, and Katie Schroder.

It's been lovely to have a few months off writing to regenerate. I had a minor health issue to deal with, but the Lord has taken care of it. I'm really excited about this new series. In fact, last night I was sitting in Friday night prayer, soaking in the Lord's presence and said to Tony, "I feel like I know these characters already." Don't you know, I teared up.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Abortion numbers outweigh men and women lost in war

Since 9-11, six thousand Americans have died: 3K in the towers. 3K fighting to preserve freedom.

In the meantime, 5 million babies have been aborted. Babies with a life and destiny someone didn't think mattered.

Evil perpetuates when good men and women do nothing.

Since Row v. Wade, more babies have been killed by abortion than the men and women lost in all the wars since the 19th Century.

Abortion is not a woman's right. It's murder. Let's not call it anything else and save our women from further degradation.

Grace, grace to those who've fell victim to the lies.

Finished a book in 24

I can't remember the last time I read a book in 24 hours. Maybe Bob Larson's "Dead Air" because I thought it was so ridiculous and I kept waiting for him to redeem the Saints.

Maybe it was Elizabeth Berg, "Dream When You're Feeling Blue."

I picked up Maggie O'Farrell's "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox" at the airport yesterday, began reading on the plane home from Nashville. I only quit reading to drive home, and go to Friday night prayer.

I loved this book - the writing, the story, the characterization. I wish the ending had a bit more of a meat and story conclusion, but I cannot ding the art and prose of the book.

Can I write like this when I grow up? I learned so much as an author without realizing I was learning. I think all the great literary authors of our time are from the UK. At least to me.

The book, written in third person present, captured me, drew me in and kept me. The flashback scenes intrigued me. Even the mixed past and present thought in one scene held me. I loved reading something that didn't spoon feed every detail - "now we are in Kitty's point of view."

Kitty has alzheimers and the scenes in her pov are the mixed ones, a perfect reflection of how an alzehiemer patient's mind might work.

This story will stick with me for a long time.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Such a cliche

... Men in starched shirts, pressed slacks, thick black case by their feet as they stand before the airport gate, phone device in their ear as they talk, as if to the air, about marketing and ops getting it together, about calling an all-hands meeting, getting production to come up to speed.

I've heard the conversations. Different face, different place, but same ole words.

Such a cliche...

Women in their power suits and power voices arranging last minute details before they board the plane, pulling out their lap tops as soon as electronic devices are allowed.

Such a cliche...

Political candidates in suits with rolling voices, their wives in Jackie-O dresses and suits. The same old rhetoric of change that stirs the emotions but means nothing. Change what?

Such a cliche...

The zealous despising wisdom. The wise snubbing zeal. The young roaring forward on emotion, not really thinking, but believing they are wise. The old hoarding their wisdom and forgetting what it's like to want to change the world.

Such a cliche...

"It's the media." What media? You mean the unobjective political machines hiding behind freedom of the press?

Not a cliche...

God is alive, real, active. God is love.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wagered Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

(Note: I can't get the jpgs to load. Sorry! But read on!)

Please welcome my friend and fabulous author, Robin Lee Hatcher. She's going to tell us about her latest release, Wagered Heart. Congratulations, Robin Lee, on another great book.

About Wagered Heart: When Bethany Silverton left the genteel life of Miss Hendersonís School for Young Ladies back in Philadelphia for the raw frontier town of Sweetwater, Montana, she had no idea how much she would enjoy the freedom and danger of this wild country.

A conservative preacherís daughter, Bethany canít resist the challenge of charming the most attractive cowboy in town into attending her fatherís new church. She never dreamed that the cowboy would charm the lady.

But Hawk Chandler isn't the only man vying for Bethany's affections. Ruthlessly ambitious Vince Richards thinks Bethany is perfect for him: attractive, gracious, just the woman to help him become governor. And he is determined to get what he wants at any cost.

Drawn to one man, an obsession of another, Bethany's quiet life is thrown into turmoil. She wagered her heart on love. Now she has gotten more than she bargained foróand the stakes are about to become life and death.


Romantic Times Book Reviews says: "Hatcher knows how to pack romance, laughter, tears and lovable characters into her stories."

Relz Reviewz says: "Robin Lee Hatcher's latest offering is a romance reader's delight! The romantic tension between Hawk and Bethany ignites on their first meeting and doesn't let up until the final page. While the outcome is a forgone conclusion, Robin's talent with the written word and her unerring ability to create engaging characters, sets this story apart from most other historical romances. Hawk and Bethany's journey is fraught with misunderstandings, personal tragedy and the schemes of a treacherous man adding excitement to a tale that overflows with simmering attraction and blossoming love. Interspersed with humour and electrifying dialogue, Wagered Heart is a summer treat not to be missed."


About Robin

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 55 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

For more information about Robin and her books, visit her web site at http://www.robinlee and her Write Thinking Blog


A note from Robin:

I began my career as a novelist writing historical romances, a natural fit for a booklover who has always loved history and is a romantic at heart. When God drew me out of the general market in order to write faith-based fiction, I discovered I also had a passion for telling contemporary stories that tackled relevant topics of our time--alcoholism, marriages in crisis, prodigal children, faith in light of tragic loss. But that didn't mean I lost my love for historical romantic fiction. I didn't. I just wasn't writing them very often. That is about to change.

Wagered Heart is my first faith-based historical romance release in three years. I loved watching Bethany, a preacher's daughter, and Hawk, a rancher, come to life on the page, and it was great fun immersing my imagination in 1880's Montana. Wagered Heart will be followed in January by another single title historical, When Love Blooms. This book is also set in the 1880's but this time in the rugged mountains of central Idaho where Emily, a young governess, falls in love with her employer, a man who thinks she is ill-suited for the hard life he could offer her.

After that? I am currently writing the first book of a new series that feature heroines who have unusual jobs for their time; the series opens in 1915. Plenty of problems and romance ensue. In other words, I'm having a wonderful time when I sit down at my computer each day.