Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Stop 17 with Lisa T. Bergren

Welcome to the first ever Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! Make the loop to discover 23 new or upcoming novels, and write down the clue at each stop. 

When you know what the clues say, fill out the Rafflecopter form by June 4, 2012 (midnight EST) at, and you could be in the running for the grand prize of 23 new, autographed books (if you live in the USA; unsigned if international). 

Note: if you're the winner, you must email the complete statement within 24 hours of notification in order to claim the Grand don't miss a stop! Be ready with your answer if you're the lucky winner! No need to email it unless you receive the good word on June 5, 2012.


Scavenger Hunt Stop 17! With Lisa T. Bergren
 As a part of this scavenger hunt, I’m hosting Lisa T. Bergren. I love Lisa because she's an amazing woman but also because she wrote one of hte first Christian Romances I ever read and I still think of it from time to time. Fifteen years later! 

So it's really cool for me to be hosting her for this Scavenger Hunt, which was her genius idea!

Want some stats on her? Lisa is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold.  That's a "Wow!" number.
She’s married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids–Olivia, Emma and Jack.
The book she's featuring here is Glamorous Illusions, which looks fabulous! Don't you love the over?
Here's a bit about the book:
When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. 

Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. 

The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

A Scavenger Hunt Exclusive from Lisa:

The 2 Sources of Inspiration Behind the Grand Tour Series

#1 The Grand Tour: Ultimate Family Travel

I've been in love with travel for a while now, jazzed when I get to go someplace new and dream about how a place might impact the plot and people in one of my novels. So when I first heard about the Grand Tour, an epic tour that the wealthy sent their young adult children on--to experience the history, politics, culture and people of Europe--I knew it was an idea I wanted to incorporate in a series. For a long time, Tim and I had dreamed about a year away with the kids, doing nothing but touring. Sadly, we never won the lotto to fund it, nor felt we had the clearance from God to go after it, so I had to do my own "Grand Tour" in my imagination. That said, over the years, as I let this idea ruminate, we still managed to swing a few research trips--I took the girls to England and France, and we took the whole family to Italy. Close enough for me to spin my fictional world into high gear!

#2 The Copper Kings of Montana

But I also took inspiration from a place I've spent every summer of my life--Swan Lake, Montana. I wanted my heroine to be a simple girl, raised on a farm, before she was swept up into the complex world of the wealthy. And right around the corner from my folks' lake place is a grand, old estate once owned by real copper kings of Montana, Kootenai Lodge. If you want to drool over it with me, check out the new developer's multi-million-dollar "cabins" he has for sale...and catch a glimpse of the lake where Cora first meets her half-siblings, before heading out to tour Europe with them.
Check out the Kootenai Lodge's site! *drool*: []

Taken from her one-room house on the eastern plains of Montana, and into the sumptuous, opulent world of the Kensingtons and Morgans, Cora must grapple with where she draws her truest identity, when everything she has known disappears like dust behind her.

I hope this glimpse into the two main factors that birthed my new Grand Tour Series sparks your interest, and you'll check out Glamorous Illusions soon!

You can pick up a copy of Lisa's book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. 

Find out more about this author at
The Scavenger Hunt Skinny
Mosey along, Hunters, to STOP #18: Robin Lee Hatcher's blog, to pick up your next clue.
But before you go, write down this STOP #17 clue: book 

It's BONUS time! Don't you love bonus time? 

Look to the right to find my Facebook Page, or scroll down to see my Twitter feed and click on one to join me on one of these social media sites. and I'll put your name in for a chance to win Love Lifted Me or The Wedding Dress. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beautiful Bride: Kim Cash Tate

Kim and Bill

So thrilled to feature author and beautiful bride, Kim Cash Tate. She's been crunching a deadline so I had to wait for her picture and story but it was well worth it.

I love Kim.

She is a women of honor and integrity, and true love and follower of Jesus. On top of being a lawyer, yeah, achiever here, and a mom of two and wife to a Ph. D professor and math book author, SHE is an accomplished author and speaker. 

Our Story

I still remember the night I connected with my husband-to-be—December 15, 1989.  I say “connected” because we’d already met, although I can’t remember when or how.  I’d simply seen him enough times around the campus of the University of Maryland that we’d automatically speak.  He’d come to U of M to get his Ph.D. my last semester there as an undergrad. 

On December 15, 1989, I was a second year law student, celebrating my birthday with college friends at a local hot spot in Washington, D.C.  In walked Bill with a friend.  I waved, “Hey,” and kept it moving.  

Seizing one of the coveted bar chairs that allowed one to see and be seen, I began munching on buffalo wings when my friend, Dawn, whispered for me to follow her into the ladies’ room. Reluctant to lose my seat, I began bargaining with one of my friends to sit there, but only until I returned. Impatient with my speed, Dawn grabbed my forearm and pulled me just inside the restroom door, exclaiming, “Girl, wait till you hear this!”


“Bill is asking about you. Sounds like he’s interested, too.” Laughing, she added, “And he said you must not have a boyfriend if you’re here celebrating your birthday with us. He got that right!”

Dawn told me how great a catch he would be and how great a couple we would make, then paused and waited for me to speak, as if I’d say, “All right, then; I’m sold. I’ll take him.”

“We’ll see,” I tossed cynically,and went back inside, fully expecting the so-called possibility to fade by night’s end.

On May 29, 2012, Bill and I celebrated nineteen years of marriage!

RH: Thanks Kim! I love hear this story. Brings back memories of my college days. Y'all visit Kim at her web site. She has a lot of good things going on there. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Diary of a Writer: Memorial Day Writing

It's Memorial Day. I'm writing. There's no paid holiday in the writer's life. No one to write words for me if I'm not backside-in-chair.

I don't get additional days tacked onto my deadline for the holidays that come along. 

Yet, at the same time, there are work days I can blow off for one reason or another. Time management, I suppose, is key to the writer's life.

But there is no determining if a deadline comes at a good time. This deadline is a tight turn around so I'm working.

Won't be the first or last time.

And truly, I don't mind. I love my job that much.

If I get busy, I can knock off later this afternoon and do something with hubby. Go to, or watch a movie. I like to watch "Saving Private Ryan" every Memorial Day.

I get concerned at how our nation is beginning to take freedom's for granted. How Political Correctness has taken down our guard against enemies foreign and domestic.

Greed, desperation, naivitee is what allowed Hitler to rise to power. Let's be aware folks. Let's stand on our own and not expect the government to provide all of our solutions.

A friend said to me the other day, "If the system our forefathers put into place was working, we'd have a bunch of small, local governments, town hall meetings in every city."

I think he has a point.

Pray for our country. Pray for the Lord to have mercy on us. Pray for our fighting men and women.

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions? 

Okay, off to write. Hey, peruse past posts and read about the Beautiful Brides! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway Coming 5.31.2012

Hey, I'm participating in a GREAT author Scavenger Hunt starting on May 31st! If you follow along, you have a chance to win 25 books from the participating authors.

And, from me?

A $20 Visa Gift Card or copies of my recent books. See the widget below. :) Let's have some fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beautiful Bride: Katie "007" Bond from Thomas Nelson

Welcome my friend an publicist at Thomas Nelson, Katie Bond. She's sharing her love story with us today! 

Bryce and I may not have experienced love at first sight, but I’d call it something pretty darn close.  

We are your online meeting success story: two busy twenty-somethings who’d both dated sitcom-worthy casts of characters and had no more excuses.  

Why not trust relationship compatibility to a computer system claiming to have it all figured out?  We surely hadn’t had any better luck trusting our own judgment.

He recalls that I batted my eyes incessantly for two straight hours on that first date, September 2007.

I recall that he pretended to appreciate the latte I ordered him, though he’d never had a sip of coffee before and thought it particularly foul then. 

We are as alike as siblings at times, finishing each other’s goofy sentences, and as different as could be—the easy-going fourth generation cattle rancher from Colorado and the buttoned-down, bookish Georgia city chick who thinks cowboy boots are a fashion statement.
Just a month after our meeting, I moved from Colorado Springs to Nashville to accept a new job and our relationship became long-distance. 

February 14, 2008 was my first Valentine's Day with Bryce. It's never been my favorite holiday, and I've always downplayed it. Knowing that I'd be away from my sweetheart for the evening though, Lisa, one of my girlfriends from Thomas Nelson, asked me back in January if I'd be her date for a songwriters night. 

I was delighted and we made plans to dress up and make an evening of it, just us girls. I went home on time that night to fluff my taffeta skirt and freshen my makeup. My doorbell rang just before 7:30, and when I opened the door, Lisa—wearing jeans—snapped a picture of me.

"She's surprised," Bryce said. "And speechless, too. That's definitely a first."
Bryce, who was supposed to be 1200 miles away in Colorado Springs, sat there on my front porch, wearing a gaudy heart-shaped tinsel wreath on the front of his shirt. Surprised doesn't begin to describe it. "Hi," he said, as though he'd just come around the corner from Kroger, not from Denver.

Turns out they'd been working together on this Valentine's surprise for weeks.   Lisa snapped a few more pictures and left.

 Before we left for our dinner, Bryce asked if I wanted to open my gift. The card on the outside read: "I'm so proud of you and you deserve the bling that goes with the position!"

I knew immediately what it was. I'd mentioned months before, when I took the new position at Thomas Nelson, that I'd always wanted a pretty silver business card case to carry. 

Sure enough, inside the tissue paper was just such a case, engraved with my monogram. I thanked him for the beautiful gift and he passed me a handwritten letter. The end read:
 "This case is only going to be good for a short time now. Never again will you use the initials your wonderful parents gave you... Open your case, girl! It's driving me crazy!"
When I flipped open the top, inside rested an exquisite vintage diamond ring—the exact one I'd fallen for online. 

I gasped and held it in my fist, and looked up at him. In his sweet, even-tempered way, he whispered, "Will you marry me?"  

We held hands and he prayed for our marriage and for each of us as we entered this covenant. Such a precious time! 

We called our parents, but got off the phone quickly to try to make our dinner reservations. As Bryce watched me pacing and fluttering about my house though, it was clear I was in no shape to make the trip or sit through a nice meal. 

I threw on some jeans and we drove around the corner to Sonic. Our wedding album contains the receipt for our first meal as an engaged couple, $8.71: a grilled chicken wrap and Diet Coke for me and a cheeseburger for him (hold all the veggies, add ketchup).

Our wedding day was a dream. I’d always wanted an autumn morning wedding, loving the symbolism of starting a crisp new day and new life together. 

For the venue, we chose a restored Tennessee walking horse farm about an hour south of the city.  It had the Southern charm I loved and a nod to the family ranch Bryce left behind in Colorado. 

My parents surprised me by renting a vintage pickup truck from a local collector to use for our photos.  My charming inlaws wore their Stetsons and ostrich boots—swoon!

After a ceremony in front of the fireplace and our brunch reception in the barn—complete with a grits and biscuit bar—Bryce presented me with my wedding gift: a silver monogrammed business card case, identical to the one he’d used to propose, but with my brand new monogram.

RH: I've heard parts of this story before but I LOVED reading it here! Thanks for sharing with us, Mrs. Bond! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Author Beth K. Vogt

My good friend and debut novelist Beth K. Vogt married her hunky military husband after she promised she'd never marry a military man, or have children!

We can talk later about her four kids, especially the late-in-life birth of her youngest when Beth was 41!

Beth write's of meeting her husband: 

I met my husband, Rob, several weeks after I'd broken off an engagement. (Believe me, I had good reason to do so.) The last thing I wanted was to get involved with someone else.

At the time, I was a brown belt in karate and I was preparing for an exam to advance to the next level. I also worked at the karate studio, manning the office.

I arrived at work one day and found a ve-ery cute guy exiting the office. I didn't recognize him, so I asked if I could help him with anything. He said, "No, thanks" and left.

He came back awhile later and watched from the side of the room while I worked out with another instructor. When I went to the office to do something, the instructor set me up. He asked the guy (my future husband, Rob) to sneak attack me when I started working out again.

Soooo ... when I came back out from the office, I faced off with my instructor. (Rob was across the studio, off to my side.) The next thing I knew, this guy took a running flying leap and tackled me.

Yeah, we like to tell people he swept me off my feet.

I'll cut to the chase: We were married less than a year later -- and including my husband, there were four Black Belts in our wedding party and one very in love Brown Belt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Meet another Belle over on Southernbelleview, Shelling Rushing Tomlinson, humorous non-fiction author and radio host over at All Things Southern. She's sincere, truth and a lover of Jesus!

Shellie writes: One of my favorites memories of our wedding ceremony came as my dad was walking me down the aisle to meet the love of my life.

After all the preparation, all the money, all the time, all the planning and with a church full of folks there to celebrate our union and Phil waiting at the altar, my dad turned to me and whispered, "You can still back out, you know."

 Granted, when I told Phil about that moment later, during our honeymoon, I had to do some fast talking before he could see it with quite the same affection.

I assured him that my dad hadn't changed his mind, that he still thought Phil was a wonderful young man and the "right" one for me. It was more about letting me know that life wasn't on auto-pilot and I still had the power of choice.

Phil understood then, but as time wore on, he and I both came to get the love behind that moment even more. The tenderness of it makes my heart well up even as I type these words tonight.

 What a gift to give your child, or anyone else for that matter. To know that yesterday's decisions do not always have to be today's.

Or as I twittered sometime this afternoon when this post was simmering in my heart, "This isn't just another day. It's your current opportunity."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Beth Webb Hart

I love Beth Webb. I met her when we started blogging at Southernbelleview together. 

She is the classic and timeless southern woman. I love reading her books and blog posts. She's so rich in tradition, history and literature. 

Her wedding veil is no exception.

Beth Webb writes: 
According to Mama she was meandering along the winding corridors of Venice when she stumbled into a lace shop that sold old world veils at a terrific price.

She and one of her best friends both purchased a veil. It was stored in a box at the very top of my mother’s closet for much of my childhood.

I often longed to pull it down and open it up and see the beautiful, delicate lace pattern that I dreamed I would someday wear. And I often gazed at her wedding portrait in the living room of my childhood home – on rainy days when I was in a day-dreamy mood- and imagined what it must feel like to be a grown up, to be engaged to a handsome and devoted chap, to be just about to step into your future.

Well, the day came when I was twenty-six, and I did wear the veil (pictured here - look at my husband's fist- he's nervous!) I felt like a princess. My two younger sisters both wore the veil and it’s stored again in a safe place in the top of a closet in hopes that my daughter, the only girl out of six grandchildren, will also wear it someday.

(RH: Love this story, BW!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Lisa Wingate

Besides being a fab author, Lisa Wingate is one of my fellow Belles over on SouthernBelleView. Love blogging and associating with this woman.

About her wedding dress, Lisa writes:

One of the neatest things about our wedding was that my dress was remade from my mother's dress.  She is an incredible seamstress, and may hours of tender loving care went into creating that dress.

(RH: That's Lisa on the right in her mother's altered dress.)

Another special event at our wedding day didn't happen during the wedding, but during the reception afterwards.

Being in Texas, where old-fashioned street dances still take place, and family-friendly dance halls still exist in many small towns, we knew we wanted not just a punch and cake reception; we wanted a dance.

We were in college at the time, and so were all our friends, so we imagined that the young crowd would have a great time while the old folks lounged around in chairs and told stories from "back in the day."

We never imagined that the couple who would light up the dance floor all night long would be my grandparents, Vi and Norman Mannion.

I'd always known that my grandparents met at a dance, where my grandfather was playing in the band. During a break, he took my grandmother for a turn on the floor and fell in love at first sight (or first dance).

(RH: Lisa's mom Sharon in the original dress. I love the wide skirt!)

He went home that night and told his mother he'd found the girl he was going to marry... and he did! Fifty years later they were cutting a rug at our wedding while the young folks stood around the edges of the dance floor, clapping and looking on in awe. 

Gram and Gramps knew all the old dances, and when they danced, their bodies may have been older and slower, but they were still perfectly in step, still a young couple at heart, just as in love as that boy and girl who danced that first dance so many years ago.

(RH: Lisa, I love that story!!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Cara Putman

Cara Putman is a romantic suspense author, a lawyer and one of the most energetic women I know! She's great fun.

Of her wedding, Cara writes:

We’ve all heard about the groom being late to the wedding. In an effort to avoid that with mine, my mom told my groom to arrive at the church at a certain time for pictures.

The morning of my wedding, I was having a great time with my bridesmaids getting ready. I glanced at a clock and realized that if I didn’t rush, I was going to be late for photos. 

My friend Joy maneuvered my hair into position as I swiped on make-up.

After slipping into the dress, I hurry to the church...only to find Eric pacing.

Unbeknownst to me, he decided to arrive even earlier than he’d been told. By the time I arrived, he’d paced the sanctuary for thirty minutes...wondering if I’d changed my mind.

Sixteen years later, I’m glad he waited!

(RH: Me, too!)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a talented, award winning author and a good friend. Love hanging with Sooz whenever I can.

She writes:

I married my best friend one month shy of my twentieth birthday, which seems incredibly young to me now, but the thing is, Bob’s still the guy I would chose to spend my life with.

My dress was frothing with Chantilly lace and a sizeable train and hefty bow at the back.

The long sleeves were studded with pearls at the cuffs and the skirt swished like waves on the ocean when I walked.

It was a lot of dress, even for a December wedding. But I loved that dress and I loved my simple mantilla veil.

My mom shopped with me the day we found it and it was one of those times when the dress seemed like it could belong to anyone on the hanger, but only me when I put it on. (RH: I love that!)

Bob and I have been married going on 32 years and couldn’t be happier . . .

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is a friend, a popular romance author and a girl drummer!!

She writes of her wedding:

You can tell it was the 80s by the peach color scheme and big hair. 

But that’s love shining in our eyes, and true love never goes out of style. :) 

I was on a tight budget, so I bought my gown for $120.00 at a bridal outlet and sewed on the lace, pearls, and sequins myself.