CONGRATULATIONS

Two Inkwell Inspirations contributors finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol contest this year. Jennifer AlLee's Vinnie's Diner is in the Speculative category, and Dina Sleiman's Dauntless is in the Young Adult category.

Congratulations, ladies! We will be rooting for you in August.

Congrats to Elaine King and Karen Klepsteen for winning Starlight Serenade!

Monday, July 25, 2016



Three new romance novellas by three Inkwell Authors!  Please join us this week as we celebrate Route 66, The Mother Road, with a nostalgic trip to the not-so-distant past.

 Help us share the fun


It Happened One Night by Jennifer AlLee
RELEASING THIS WEEK!

1939ish Rita Fisk runs the Durlin Hotel (today is known at the Oatman Hotel). Her predictable existence is interrupted one night when Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, newly married in Kingman, drop into the hotel to spend their honeymoon. Edgar, Mr. Gable’s driver and right-hand man, insists their stay be kept hush-hush. Of course, Oatie the ghost picks that night to cause mischief. Then, a reporter shows up, claiming he’s been trailing the famous couple and knows they’re in there somewhere. As Edgar and Rita fight their way through a comedy of errors, even pretending to be a honeymooning couple to throw off the reporter, they grow closer. By the time the night’s over, hopes are shared and promises are made. But is Rita the kind of woman to believe in promises, and is Edgar the kind of man to keep them? 



Movies are king in 1956, and Gallup, New Mexico, on Route 66, is paradise for producing Hollywood B-movies. Veronica Scott wants nothing more than to be an actress, but her polio-afflicted leg has kept her off the casting rolls. Cooper Dean’s only interest in the movie industry revolves around finding justice for his wife’s death. When Cooper and Veronica are cast as secondary characters, much to their surprise, each sees an opportunity to help the other. But their cooperation will put Veronica in danger, and she’ll have to play the role of a lifetime to save them both.

 



The Englishman would look back one day and blame it all on Jazz… 
Flagstaff, Arizona 1930. Full-time Astronomer, and part-time sharp dresser Julian Dyson didn’t discover Pluto but he does discover a nasty case of self-righteousness when a former Ziegfeld Girl’s folly threatens his good name. 
Broadway understudy Clara Longworth and her peculiar younger brother are on their way to a new life in Hollywood when they're stranded along Route 66. Clara is asked to fill in as nightclub entertainment, but her good intentions set her up as accomplice in the blackmailing of a government man who makes the real thugs look classy. Until Julian and Clara put their heads together for more than dancing the Black Bottom, their big-as-the-night-sky dreams are on target to fail. Maybe they need a telescope to see what’s right in front of their starry eyes. 



Jen, Niki and Deb are part of this summer's GET YOUR KISS ON ROUTE 66 SERIES by Forget Me Not Romances.  

We're being virtually catered by  Mr D'z Route 66 Diner from Kingman, Arizona.  Grab a shake and some fries and here's a nickel for the jukebox!




We've spanned the thirties through the fifties, and sampled a lot of mom and pop motels and blue plate specials... Please leave a comment if you'd like to be our drawings-  Remember to safely add your email address. Three random winners will be eligible for our three Ebook giveaways.

We've all traveled on Rt 66. Have you?

Debra E. Marvin might have walked out of a diner in Albuquerque with toilet paper on her shoe.  Or maybe not. Check out her PINTEREST PAGE for Starlight Serenade and put a face to Julian and Clara.  

 Jennifer AlLee has been down this road before. Have you had a chance to read the incredible THE MOTHER ROAD? It's women's fiction with a contemporary setting you're sure to love

Niki Turner recently wandered the halls of the Gallup, N.M. El Rancho Hotel on a mental health road trip with two of her sons. Visit her PINTEREST PAGE for Turquoise Treasure details!



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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Perfect way to get Endorsements!

Mr. Veitch may really have hit upon the best way ever to get endorsements for his (fake) book. Hey if it works for a fake one, why not a real one?


I wish I was as quick witted as he is. But I guess that's why I write. I can take a night, or a week to come up with the perfect come back if I need to!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Epic Bird Battle



by Anita Mae Draper


One of the constants on my grandparents' farm was a tree under which we would park, play, and picnic. It always seemed to be large and so when I saw photographs before it was planted the farmyard seemed stark. It's fun to look back at the photos and see how we grew along with the tree.

When we moved to our own farm in October 1999 the first thing we did was plant an 18" spruce tree that we'd brought all the way from Alberta 5 yrs before and had grown in a container while we lived in town.

Once planted in the ground, the spruce grew slowly for 10 years. So slowly that we didn't realize it was growing until 4 yrs ago when it shot up 2 feet in one season. Just as parents measure their children against a door jamb, we take family photos standing in front of "the tree" because it's fun to look back and see how we all changed.

A month ago our youngest child graduated from high school. We needed some images of his journey to adulthood to show during the graduation ceremony and the following image is one of the ones I created for this event:




I have a great view of the tree from my kitchen window and this year I've noticed a variety of birds nesting in it, such as:
- American robins
- Chipping sparrows
- Eastern kingbirds

There is one problem however, the kingbird and robin built their nests within a couple feet of each other and have been at war. This montage shows the tree with nest locations as well as one epic battle that took place on July 7th. There weren't any injuries as far as I could tell and life went on.




The kingbird babies hatched first and were practicing their flying by the time the robins hatched. One day momma robin was sitting on her eggs and the next day bobble heads stretched up for food.




Both robin parents worked tirelessly to feed the 3 babies with momma doing the babysitting and poppa getting the food. She was rounder than him with lots of fluffy down feathers that blew in the wind like dandelion fluff whereas he was much more slim from running around.

The babies grew feathers and looked cute with their ear tufts.



And then one morning I looked out the window while making my coffee and saw that the robins' nest was totally wrecked.





I checked around and under the tree but didn't see any babies, and the parents haven't been back. I don't know if it was the kingbird, a marauding cat, or some wild animal. It's all destroyed.

The kingbirds are still taking flying lessons but the juveniles are now hunting on their own.

The thing is, this reminded me of neighboring countries who could live in peace if they want to protect their families, but choose to fight because they feel their territory is threatened. Such a waste.


Have you noticed any nesting going around in your yard or area?


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

Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are woven under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yields 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, and The American Heiress Brides Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience.  Discover more at:


Monday, July 18, 2016

Susanne's RWA Report

2016 Logo_Small.png

Hi gang! Susanne here, and I am tired but happy! Just got back from Romance Writers of America's Annual Conference in gorgeous San Diego. (I am biased about my hometown, but it's a great place to be.)

The view from my room!
It was a blast. Wednesday I attended the Annual Meeting for Faith Hope And Love chapter, where the winners of the IRCA and Touched by Love Contests were announced. Congratulations to all!
Enjoyng a chance to meet 'online' friends. Here's the lovely Piper Huguley
RWA had some big news this year--The inspirational category for RWA contests will have a name change!
Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
Novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs are an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may be set in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system of any culture.

Later, I passed out Bingo sheets for a Faith Hope & Love Chapter Bingo game at the Literacy Signing. If you stopped by the tables of the FHL members who were signing, you got a sticker of their book cover for your Bingo sheet. If you got Bingo, you could get entered to win a nice Amazon gift card!

The workshops were amazing, as usual. Soon I'll share a few highlights in another post, but a few of the workshops I attended were Series Bible: The Savior of a Long-Running Series, presented by Jaci Burton and Jill Shalvis; Chemistry by Sherry Thomas, and Winning the Promo Game (part of the PAN retreat).

Networking is always a fun and important part of writing conferences. The Harlequin Pajama Party offered just one of the many opportunities I had to catch up with old friends and make new ones!
Harlequin Pajama Party. Here I am with Rita Finalist, Kristi Ann Hunter...who went on to WIN! 
Some things were new to RWA this year, like The Swag Shoppe.

In the past, attendees were given a tote stuffed with free books when they arrived at the conference. The sponsored books represented a variety of genres: YA, historical, sweet, erotica, etc, so as you can imagine, not everyone wanted every book she received. What to do with those books you don't want? Well, some attendees took them home. Others started stacks in public areas so passersby/other attendees could take their extras.

To address the waste, this year attendees were given a voucher good for one visit to the Swag Shoppe. Once inside, we could take one of anything we wanted--but there was no going back. I scored a RWA 2016 beach towel, a selfie stick, a a BPA-free water bottle with a fruit infuser, and of course BOOKS!

The Swag Shoppe is not to be confused with the Goody Room, which was open to all attendees whenever they wanted to peek in. Authors could leave promotional swag for others to take, but the rules this year stated all items must be in a container--no leaving postcards, books, pens, magnets, band aids, etc on the table. I dropped by a handful of times to pick up swag. There is no excuse for not having a pen handy at RWA!

A milestone for me? I got to attend my first Harlequin party. WOW! Fancy! It was held at the Omni hotel nearby.
All Glammed up with Kristan Higgens, Deb Kastner and Lisa Carter
And while we're talking fancy, I have to mention the Gala. RITA and Golden Heart winners were announced--congratulations to the winners! Special congrats go out to Kristi Ann Hunter who won the Inspirational category with her debut novel, A Noble Masquerade.
Here I am with LI authors Jolene Navarro and Belle Calhoune!
I look forward to going through my notes, processing, and applying what I've learned--and looking up all my new friends on Facebook! But today, I think I'll take a nap first.

***

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over half-dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, cozy socks, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. 



Monday, July 11, 2016

You Can Only Control YOUR Response

by Niki Turner

As current events have unfolded over the past few weeks, you've probably had an opportunity to get angry, frustrated, discouraged, fretful, fearful, outraged, indignant, and appalled. News headlines and social media are designed to generate a reaction, usually an emotional one, and everyone retreats to their respective corners and hunkers down, suspicious of everyone and worried about the future we face.

It's easy to become overwhelmed by the grief, the horror, the sorrow, the hatred and the ignorance. I made the foolish mistake of dipping my toe in the political fray on Facebook a couple of times during this election cycle. It's astonishing how quickly people who never comment on your posts, never see you in real life, never talk to you in person, will jump on a political post they disagree with like chickens on a solitary grasshopper. There's no room for rational discussion... someone is always screaming at the top of his or her lungs, drowning out anything that resembles reasonable discourse.

So what can we do, besides lock ourselves in our rooms and pray?

The Bible directs us to show respect for those who are in authority—government, church, police, parents, teachers—whether we like them or agree with them or voted for them or not, according to the Bible, we are to "be in subjection" to them. Few Christians would argue that it's all right to make fun of their pastor, or speak evil of him, or curse him and hate him with the fire of a thousand suns, but if it's the president or anyone else in government or politics, it's fine. If it's anyone we consider a threat, or different, it's fine.

But it's not fine according to the Bible.

Romans 13:1-7
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same...
 1 Timothy 2:1-3
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  
Titus 3:1
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.
 1 Peter 2:13-14
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
 Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
So how should WE respond to all the pulsing rhetoric and everyone's-got-an-opinion?

  1. Think before you speak (or type). Jesus said "blessed are the peacemakers." Is what you're about to say or share promoting peace, or the wrath of man? (Note: slapping a scripture on something is not necessarily promoting peace. Be careful with that method.)
  2. Pray for those in authority every day, especially the ones you dislike the most. Yes, this means if Donald Trump becomes President Trump, or Hillary Clinton becomes President Clinton, or the conspiracy theorists are right and President Obama enacts martial law and seizes power for four more years, we are going to have to PRAY for whoever is in power. Just like Paul prayed for Nero. (If you haven't read anything about Nero, you probably should... we might grumble about our presidents, but none of them can hold a candle to Nero.) Why do we need to pray for those who are in power? Because harboring bitterness and hatred and loathing in your heart is hurting YOU. Purpose not to say anything negative about them, ever. Adding negativity to something doesn't produce good results. Let that trickle down to your state authorities, your county and city leaders...
  3. Step away from the source of stress. Turn off the TV, unplug the WiFi. Don't talk to the crazy family members. Do something else for an afternoon, or even for an hour. It will help you reset your perspective.
  4. Quit griping. I think we're addicted to complaining. Yes, it's fashionable to complain, but bellyaching about "what Obama did" is a waste of your time and energy. Does anyone else remember people griping about "what Bill Clinton did" and "what George Bush did" and "what Ronald Reagan did." I do. The only difference now is the volume seems louder and more personal thanks to social media.
  5. Your power is in your response. How you respond to a situation is often the only thing you have control over. Take your power back, don't react. If something requires you to respond, sleep on it, if possible and pray about your response. You do NOT have to react or respond to everything you hear and see! That's freeing, isn't it? 

In these days of turmoil (we've had them before, and we will have them again), we need to be light, life, and love in the world. We need to be the peacemakers, the humble, the meek, the gracious, the kind, because that's our calling. We're it. We are God's representatives on this earth, regardless of the condition it's in, or whoever is in charge, or how we're treated.

Go in peace.

Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the production manager for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper, one of the oldest continuously operating newspapers in Colorado.She is a co-blogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com, currently serves as president of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Colorado Western Slope chapter, and is the ACFW Colorado coordinator. Niki is a Colorado native who grew up in Glenwood Springs—home of the world’s largest hot springs pool. She married her high school sweetheart 26 years ago. They have four children, four grandchildren, and two West Highland White Terriers who are kind enough to take them for long walks together.You can find all her new releases at www.nikiturner.net



Friday, July 8, 2016

A Courageous Release Party!!!


Courageous, book 3 in Dina Sleiman's Valiant Hearts series, released this week, so looks like it's time to party again!!! And since Courageous follows a group of brave men, women, and children on a grand crusade, I think a progressive party is in order.


Looks like Dina's all ready to go in her medieval get up. So where should we start? How about the same place our crusaders do, with a commissioning at a grand medieval cathedral. I don't suppose we'll have much in the way of refreshments. The communion bread and wine will have to do, but I'm sure it will be a special and memorable experience nonetheless.


Where to next? Why a medieval ship of course, for our long trek across the sea. I'm afraid we mostly have hard bread, dried beef, and cheese to offer, but there's plenty of raucous singing and dancing on shipboard at night. And just wait, the fare is about to get much better!!!


Finally, we've arrived: our beautiful crusader castle in the crusader state of Tripoli along the Mediterranean Sea. Pull up a colorful, silken cushion and take a seat around our low tables as we listen to exotic Middle Eastern music.


Our waiters might be a little gruff looking in their chain mail and crusader tunics, but don't worry, the food here is divine. 


These crusader lords are almost as Middle Eastern as they are European after nearly a century here. Enjoy tabouli salad, hummus, pita bread, falafel, spiced rice, shish kebabs, and more! We also have a variety of fresh local fruits, nuts, and olives.


And for desert, Middle Eastern sweets made with real sugar along with Turkish coffee.


That's just a taste of the exciting medieval adventure that awaits you in Courageous. You'll definitely want to check this one out!


Where Adventure and Romance Meet
Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Find all of the Valiant Hearts books on amazon. In addition to the newly released Courageous, Dauntless is currently free for ebooks and Chivalrous is under $4. All three are available in print as well. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Close to You by Kara Isaac








    Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a Tolkien fan. And a Peter Jackson’s Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movie fan. Not the dress up as Arwen and go to Comic Con kind of hardcore fan, but I have read and listened to the books several times and I’ve seen all six movies, um . . . more than once. Ahem.
    One of the delights of the movies is the beautiful scenery (and no, I don’t just mean Aidan Turner and Richard Armitage). Some of the most fabulous settings in the movies were not created in a studio or on a computer but are gloriously, unbelievably real New Zealand. Needless to say, some of those movie locations have become tourist attractions of their own, attracting hearty, financially comfortable travelers from all over the world. And, of course, where there’s a tour, there must be a tour guide.
    Kara Isaac’s Close to You is the story of one such guide. Allison Shire (yes, as in where Hobbits come from) is our hapless protagonist, living her life on the road, trying to recover from a brief marriage that ended when she found out her supposed husband was at the same time married to someone else.
    Enter Jackson Gregory (yes, as in Peter Jackson, director) who wants his Tolkien-loving uncle to invest in his latest money-making scheme. With this in mind, he pretends to be a diehard fan, too, and accompanies his uncle on one of Allison’s tours. Of course, being a genuine Tolkien expert with a degree in literature, she spots the fake as soon as his feet touch Kiwi soil. Naturally, the Tolkien expert and the Tolkien fake end up thrown together in ways that infuriate them both while showing them there are some things more important than the facades they show to the world.

    I must admit that I’m not generally very interested in contemporary romance. I have nothing against it in the least, but I just tend to enjoy historicals more. (I think it’s something about the glorious clothes and the lovely manners people once had.) However, I was eager to read Close to You as soon as I heard about it, several months before it was released. How could I resist the unique concept, especially since it was tied to some of my very favorite stories and characters?
    I very much enjoyed the book. No, it wasn’t anything profound or life changing, but it was certainly a fun romantic comedy with appealing characters and a sweet, satisfying ending.  And, as a resident of New Zealand herself, Isaac was well able to give this tale the authenticity it needed to make it more than just a generic story of boy meets girl. I think my only slight complaint is a bit too much detail when one of the characters is seasick. Ummm, I could have done without that. Yeah. Otherwise, Tolkienite or not, if you’re looking for an easy, enjoyable romance for an afternoon on the beach or when you’re curled up on the couch on a lazy Saturday, you can’t go wrong with Close to You.
    Oooh, and I just found out that Isaac’s upcoming October release, Can’t Help Falling, is based on C. S. Lewis’s Narnia. Woo hoo!


What’s your latest fun read?