CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Debbie Clatterbuck who won a "Spa Moment with The Reluctant Guardian!"



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Get Your Kiss on Route 66!


For years Route 66 was the main thoroughfare across the United States. Now, in one convenient volume, experience romances from Missouri to Santa Monica as ten women experience a journey they'll never forget. Come take a romantic ride on the Mother Road!



Featuring

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chesapeake Shores Features Lending Library Box

by Anita Mae Draper


Do you watch the Chesapeake Shores TV series on the Hallmark Channel? It's based on the book series, Chesapeake Shores by well-known author, Sheryl Woods. Up here in Canada we watch it on the W Network months after it's aired in the U.S., but considering the broadcast issues, we're blessed to see it at all.

Although the series is set in Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, it's filmed at Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The Hallmark TV series, Cedar Cove, had a similar setup where it was set in Washington State and filmed in British Columbia as well.

What makes Chesapeake Shores special to me is that it's centered around a multi-generational family where one of the daughters, Bree, is a writer. And a very good writer apparently, from the accolades she received from a successful screenplay. But as the series starts, she's suffering writer's block and can't seem to latch onto the key of that first success.

Without going into episode detail, I'd like to say that what endeared me to Bree's character is when she asks country music singer, Trace, to build her a lending library box in the Season 1 episode, Georgia on My Mind.

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/ChesapeakeShores/

I'm not going to tell you which episodes, but every once in awhile the Chesapeake Shores action is set at the show's lending library box location.



Furthermore, because of the Bree character, scenes are also set in the local book store. I really like this series as it integrates Bree's love of books and her writer's life into daily family life. The frustrations and battles she faces in her decisions to make it as a writer are no more or no less important than those any other member of her family faces in their respective careers.

Although the Chesapeake Shores episode guide calls it a "lending library box", the concept is fashioned with the same idea as Little Free Library.


A Little Free Library can be found in any country, any community, on any street. Anyone with a willingness to share can set one up on the edge of their property where people can take a book and leave one for someone else to read.


The Little Free Library website even has 20 different design plans to build your own. They can be found at https://littlefreelibrary.org/build/.

Pinterest has some unique, practical, and whimsical images of current library boxes to check over at http://www.pinterest.com/ltlfreelibrary/.


Today's questions for discussion:
Do you watch Chesapeake Shores? Any thoughts on it?
Have you seen one of these little library boxes? Care to share where? Have you used one?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are written under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details.  Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience.  Discover more at: Website - www.anitamaedraper.com




Monday, October 16, 2017

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow...Battling Procrastination



Susanne here, and lately, I have been stuck in the Procrastination Swamp.

We've all been there (I assume). Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the tasks facing us and we shut down; sometimes we get tired and need a break; sometimes we're distracted; and sometimes we just lack energy.

Yet deadlines don't care much why we procrastinate, do they? They must be met.
It's not you, it's me.
The past few weeks, we had a house issue that robbed my writing time, shopping time, energy, and sleep. The mini cleaning/simplifying projects I've intended to do each day? Pfft. Finishing a proposal? Didn't get done. Dusting? Puh-lease. They'll all have to wait until tomorrow...

When things like this happen, an unfortunate cycle begins. I lost my groove, and had a hard time regaining it even when my house issue was under control. And when I lose my groove, I tend to procrastinate. AKA hide, because I feel so behind and the pile of tasks is so large, I am afraid of it.

Here are six tips I've found to help confront procrastination, and I'm going to put them into place this week:
  1. Divide your deadline into chunks. One big huge deadline can be overwhelming to look at, like, say, writing an entire novel or cleaning out the closet. Break up your deadline. For me, a chunk could be a chapter, or an editing project, or cleaning off a single shelf on the book case or organizing one drawer, not the whole desk.
  2. Create a timeline for each specific deadline you've made. Whether it's writing 2000 words in a day, vacuuming the bedrooms, or going through recipes for make-ahead meals, determine how long each task should/will take based on experience and go from there. 
  3. Identify your distractions and don't indulge. This takes willpower! What lures you away from your deadline? Making graphics or memes can be one of mine (ahem: promotion, which is an important part of a writer's life, won't matter if there's no book to promote). 
  4. Reward yourself when each deadline is met, big or little. Indulge in one of your distractions. Or chocolate.
  5. Get an accountability partner. It's quite embarrassing to tell someone you plan to write a thousand words and then later, when they ask how it went, telling them you didn't get to it. That's why telling people can be a good motivator! I've tried all kinds of systems, and they are all helpful. Try scheduling time with a buddy for a writing sprint (I've done this with people I've never met in person, but we engage on Facebook Messenger). Post it on social media so you can report how it went. Anything that gets you moving!
  6. Just do it (thanks, Nike). You really will feel better once you start. It will be easier tomorrow. 


How about you? What tips do you have for me?

***

Susanne Dietze is the ECPA-bestselling author of historical romances. She also recently adopted a cat, which has added to her procrastination. You can learn more about her books at www.susannedietze.com

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

14 Best Christian Anthologies 2016

THE LASSOED BY MARRIAGE ROMANCE COLLECTION| 9 Historical Romances Begin After Saying "I Do" by Angela Bell, Angela Breidenbach, Lisa Carter, Mary Connealy, Rebecca Jepson, Amy Lillard, Gina Welborn, Kathleen Y'Barbo, and Rose Ross Zediker

Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance? CLICK HERE TO BUY THEBOOK

12 BRIDES OF SUMMER COLLECTION  | 12 Historical Brides Find Love in the Good Old Summertime by Mary Connealy, Amanda Cabot, Miralee Ferrell, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Margaret Brownley, Susan Page Davis, Pam Hillman, Maureen Lang, Amy Lillard, Davalynn Spencer, Michelle Ule, and Vickie McDonough

Meet 12 adventurous Victorian era women—a beekeeper who is afraid of bees, a music teacher whose dog has dug up a treasure, a baker who enters a faux courtship, and six more—along with the men they encounter while making summertime memories. Will these loves sown during summer be strengthened by faith and able to endure a lifetime? CLICK HERE TO BUY THEBOOK

THE COWBOY'S BRIDE COLLECTION | 9 Historical Romances Form on Old West Ranches by Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Susanne Dietze, Nancy J. Farrier, Miralee Ferrell, Darlene Franklin, Davalynn Spencer, Becca Whitham, and Jaime Jo Wright

Ride onto the open range alongside cowboys and cowgirls who embrace the adventures of living in the Old West from Kansas to New Mexico, Colorado to Texas. Whether rounding up cattle or mustangs, training horses, fending off outlaws, weathering storms, competing in rodeos, or surviving drought these cowboys work hard each day. But when hardheaded men have their weaknesses exposed by well-meaning women will they stampede away or will a lasting love develop? Find out in this exciting collection of nine historical romances. 

THE COURAGEOUS BRIDES COLLECTION | Compassionate Heroism Attracts Male Suitors to Nine Spirited Women by Johnnie Alexander, Michelle Griep, Eileen Key, Debby Lee, Rose Allen McCauley, Donita Kathleen Paul, Jennifer Uhlarik, Jenness Walker, and Renee Yancy

Ride into adventures alongside nine determined women of yesteryear whose acts of compassion and bravery attract male attention. Marcy helps displaced Indians. Emmy tends wounds at Fort Snelling. Ronnie stows away on a cattle drive. Daisy disguises herself as a Pony Express rider. Elinor becomes an abolitionist. Mae tames wild horses. Hannah gets help for accident victims. Lucy’s curiosity unnerves criminals. Kate nurses soldiers on the battlefield. Will real dangers douse the sparks of love? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH ROMANCE Collection | 9 Stories of Finding Treasures Worth More than Gold by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Dianne Christner, Anne Greene, Linda Farmer Harris, Cynthia Hickey, Pam Hillman, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, and Jaime Jo Wright

Rush to California after the 1848 gold discovery alongside thousands of hopeful men and women. Meet news reporters, English gentry, miners, morticians, marriage brokers, bankers, fugitives, preachers, imposters, trail guides, map makers, cooks, missionaries, town builders, soiled doves, and more people who take advantage of the opportunities to make their fortunes in places where the population swelled overnight. But can faith and romance transform lives where gold is king?

SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN TEXANS ROMANCE COLLECTION | The Hart Brothers Must Marry or Lose Their Inheritance in 7 Historical Novellas by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, and Erica Vetsch

Seven brothers must marry within 1874 or lose their inheritance.

Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? 

THE BLUE RIBBON BRIDES COLLECTION | 9 Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair by Cynthia Hickey, Jennifer AlLee, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Angela  Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Niki Turner, Tiffany Amber Stockton, Becca Whitham, and Gina Welborn

Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS BRIDES COLLECTION | Nine Wealthy Women Struggle to Find Love in a Society that Values Money First by Lisa Carter, Mary Davis, Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Lisa Karon Richardson, Lynette Sowell, and Kimberley Woodhouse

Meet nine young women in America between 1866 and 1905 who have been blessed by fortunes made in gold, silver, industry, ranching, and banking. But when it comes to love, each woman struggles to find true love within a society where “first comes money, second comes marriage.” What kind of man can they trust with their greatest treasure—their hearts?

THE RAILS TO LOVE ROMANCE COLLECTION | 9 Historical Love Stories Set Along the Transcontinental Railroad by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, and Liz Tolsma

Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel?

WHERE THE HEART IS ROMANCE COLLECTION by Andrea Boeshaar , Carol Cox , Rhonda Gibson , Sally Laity, Jane West, Claire Sanders, Pamela Kaye Tracy, and Erica Vetsch

Journey along with nine women who find themselves on the move out of their comfortable lives and into the unknown as they set up new homes, take on new jobs, seek out loved ones, and encounter romance. Will their faith endure the hardships, and will love form when life is in transition? Written by nine inspirational romance authors who have a passion for American history and faith. CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK


THE SECOND CHANCE BRIDES COLLECTION | Nine Historical Romances Offer New Hope for Love by Lauralee Bliss, Angela Breidenbach, Ramona K. Cecil, Pamela Griffin, Grace Hitchcock, Pam Hillman, Laura V. Hilton, Tiffany Amber Stockton, and Liz Tolsma

Meet nine women from history spanning from 1776 to 1944 feel the sting of having lost out on love. Can their hope for experiencing romance again be renewed? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

SMALL-TOWN BRIDES ROMANCE COLLECTION | 9 Romances Develop Under the Watchful Eyes of Neighbors

by Janet Lee Barton, Susan Downs, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, Kelly Eileen Hake, Debby Mayne, Donita Kathleen Paul, Marjorie Vawter, Kathleen Y'Barbo

Join the fun and feel the romance in various historical communities from Massachusetts to Florida, Missouri to Texas. Meet ladies who take firm stands for their work in mills, orphanages, churches, schools, hospitals, and the like as they dance through courtship with their beaus. Can the nine couples develop lasting loves under the watchful eyes of their neighbors?

THE VALIANT HEARTS ROMANCE COLLECTION | 9 Stories of Love Put to the Test by Kristin Billerbeck, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, JoAnn A. Grote, Colleen L. Reece, Janet Spaeth, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, MaryLu Tyndall, Kathleen Y'Barbo

Join brave women who take on wars, social injustices, and westward expansion, living to find love and build a legacy in these nine stories of historical romance. From Virginia west to Oregon, meet Lucy, a nurse; Helen, a bookkeeper; Permelia, a farmer; Birdie, a seamstress; Francie, a writer; Collette, a widow; Christiana, a midwife; Glorie, a nurse; and Josephine, a maid, who each have their ordinary lives disrupted by mysteries and challenge—and extraordinary love. CLICK HERETO BUY THE BOOK

LOVE IS PATIENT ROMANCE COLLECTION | True Love Takes Time in Nine Historical Novellas by Erica Vetsch, Vickie McDonough, Janet Lee Barton, Frances Devine, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Jill Stengl, and Connie Stevens

Enjoy the slow dance through the courtship of nine historical couples in the American west, including the territories of Arizona and Wyoming. Just at a time in life when they have nearly given up on finding love, romance enters their lives. But will it be true love, and will it be worth the wait? Find out in this delightful collection written by eight bestselling authors of inspirational romances. CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

Have you read any? All? Which one is your favorite?