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

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

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

Pinterest has some unique, practical, and whimsical images of current library boxes to check over at

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 -

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

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?

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Christmas novella: Her Christmas Outlaw

By Niki Turner 

Some shameless self-promotion this week, partly because this is a new release, and partly because I just wanted to share this wonderful cover for Her Christmas Outlaw!
“I don’t think this is wise, Mary Jane. Are you sure you’ve thought this all the way through?” Lark trembled as Mary Jane’s fingers deftly fastened the tiny hooks running up the back of the cactus green peau de soie evening gown. She’d never worn anything so fine. 
"Don’t get your tail down, Lark,” Mary Jane quipped. “You’re not going to get in trouble. We look enough alike that with the mask on—” she plucked an ornate green satin half-mask off the dresser and waved it in front of Lark’s face “—everyone will assume it’s me downstairs, being a dutiful niece. All you need do is mingle for an hour, then say you have a headache and retire early. By the time everyone rolls out of bed tomorrow, I’ll be long gone, and you’ll resume life as usual with no one the wiser.”
Who hasn't, in a difficult moment, imagined making a nighttime escape from life as you know it? Starting over somewhere fresh, leaving behind everything that has held you back and beginning your life anew?
It's a lovely fantasy, and particularly apt for a romantic tale. It's also fraught with potential for danger, deceit and trouble. That's where Lark Livingston finds herself at the beginning of Her Christmas Outlaw. (Available in print and ebook.)
Along the way Lark runs into a rough-and-tumble former preacher-turned-Pinkerton masquerading as an outlaw named Roman Dunning. Roman has to make a choice between mercy and justice.

"The mustache under her finger twitched. It was soft. Softer than she’d thought, and she quelled the insane urge to stroke it.
He wrapped a hand around her wrist and pulled her finger away from his mouth. “As much as I hate to admit it, you’re probably right.”Lark tossed her head. “Of course I’m right. Now let me go.”“One thing first,” he muttered. Then he dipped his head and brought his mouth to hers in a sweet, searing kiss. Something interminably bright and pure blossomed behind her eyes as beautiful as the fireworks she’d seen one year on Independence Day. She leaned into him, hands going first to his chest, then curling around his neck and pulling him closer. He growled, low in his throat, and then he was picking her up by the waist and swinging her bodily onto Crazy Charley’s back. The sudden change in altitude had her gasping for air and clutching at the saddle to steady herself. She felt dizzy. And bereft. And wonderful.


This was a fun story to tell, set in the northwest Colorado territory I call home, near Browns Park, where some of the Wild West's most famous outlaws and their bands hid from the authorities.

Her Christmas Outlaw is part of the A Christmas Masquerade novella collection published by Forget Me Not Romances/Winged Publications.

Niki Turner is an author, newspaper publisher and editor. You can find her at or visit her Facebook page at All her books are available on Amazon at

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cover Reveal: A Mother For His Family! Plus a Giveaway

Susanne here, and I'm so excited to reveal the cover of my upcoming Love Inspired Historical, A Mother for His Family!

Here's a peek at what the Regency-set story is about:

Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.

All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always. 

Before you get a look at the full cover, here's a little of the story behind it:

I love marriage of convenience stories and always wanted to write one! It’s always fun for me to read a book where the wedding happens at the beginning and things progress out of order with the couple: marriage first, then love.

I was able to offer three scene suggestions for the cover, and the wedding was my first choice so I’m thrilled the amazing art department at Harlequin chose to work with it. It’s a hopeful scene, since both the hero and heroine, John and Helena, think getting married will be the answer to their problems: he needs a mother for his three kids and niece, and she needs a respectable home.

However, they learn right away that saying “I do” might provide solutions to their immediate issues, but not all of them, and forging a family can be a challenge—one that both breaks and heals their hearts!

I love looking at them in this scene and knowing they have adventures ahead that will bring them closer together!

Ready for the Big Reveal?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Don't forget to enter to win the giveaway! It's a Spa Moment (alas, a moment is all I can afford with a kid in college.). You can win a copy of The Reluctant Guardian, which takes place in the same story universe as A Mother for His Family; a Beauticontrol Regeneration Pure Hydration Sheet Masque (a lovely 20-minute break of over $10 value), and a signed bookplate. (A bookmark is peeking out there, too!)

Contest runs until 11:59 pm, Oct 10, 2017!
Image may contain: 2 people

Be sure to stop by the following participating blogs to say hi!
Susanne Dietze is the author of over a dozen historical romances. Visit
her at

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meet Book Blogger Rachel Dixon of BookWorm Mama

Debra here with another incredible book blogger. Ready? Okay, here we go. If you  don't already, you are going to adore this woman!
Rachel, how long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?

Rachel replies…I have been reviewing/blogging for a little over 3 years now. When I started…I knew NOTHING and knew NO ONE. I had learned through a friend that I can get books if I read and review them. So I jumped in! Lots of trial and error that’s for sure. And it wasn’t until I got connected with other bloggers (specifically Annie on Just Commonly and Carrie on Reading is my SuperPower) that things really started coming together.
Rachal blogs at BookWorm Mama

D- What’s the best part of being a reviewer?

R- The bookish community. Connecting with other bloggers, authors, publishers…has been an absolute joy. We were hermits (not by choice…but because of medical reasons for my son…he is fine now) for a couple of years and this community was the reason I stayed sane. They were always there to pray with, encourage, and have a laugh with.

D- What’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?

R- Reading books that aren’t new releases. I will discover a new-to-me author (like when I discovered Jen Turano and Jody Hedlund back in 2015) and then want to binge read all their books, but have no time to read the already published books.

D- Binge-reading is a wonderful thing for the average reader but not when you read ‘on demand’!! What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

R- I would have to go with A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. Set during the beginning of WWI and the hero himself is bookish and oh so swoony!

D- I’m so far behind on Roseanna’s books but I hate to skip any!
 What keeps you busy or entertained (beyond reading and reviewing)?

R- Currently, homeschooling my Kindergartner. I was homeschooled my whole life, but have never been on this side of the spectrum before. It is an adventure that is for sure. My husband and I also are a part of the worship ministry at our church. When I have time, I am a D-I-Y Pinterest crafter addict. I make a lot of home d├ęcor and crafts.

D- I can’t imagine what kind of trouble I would have gotten into if there had been pinterest when I was a young mother. I did enough crafting and sewing without it! "making stuff" is just too much fun. I love your flag!

A 'crafty Rachel' Project-- a last minute Fourth of July decoration!

D- What is your favorite fiction setting? Place and time? Genre’?

R- You’re killing me Smalls! Um, I have to say England, WWI – WWII, Historical Romance is probably on the top of my list.

D- (insert cruel laughter) That is like asking me my favorite movie or food… Yes, very difficult. Sorry/notSorry!
If you had a rainy afternoon alone to watch a movie what would it be? And speaking of food, what meal would you like to have delivered if that afternoon included a quiet evening as well? (Don’t forget dessert!)

R- Oooooh! Right now, Walking With the Enemy is at the top of my to-be-watched list. 

We don’t have a lot of delivery options in town, but my favorite is our Thai restaurant. And dessert would be apple pie OR double chocolate fudge ice cream WITH chocolate and caramel syrup…depending on the mood.

D- Delivery is not an problem! I can have it flown in if you’d like. I love Thai too. (Everything but aubergines. Though I love that word.) And because life is stressful, there is no need to choose between two desserts! In fact, I'm thinking Jonas Armstrong agrees.

If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?

R- Something bookish. Editing, cover design, that sort of thing.

D-Well, gosh, I could have told you that! 
What piece of advice would you offer reviewers who are just starting out?

R- Don’t compare yourself to other blogger/reviewers with how many followers they have or pageviews, or even how many books they read in a week. You need to do what works for YOU. Find your own style through trial and error if necessary and let your personality shine through on the page. Learn from others and be open to adapting to new systems as they come out. But in the end BE YOURSELF!

D- Thanks so much for putting up with my nosy questions, and hanging out with us! I appreciate it. Apple Pie for everyone!  Because I ate all the chocolate!

thanks to Sabine Vanerp on Pixabay
Rachel is a stay at home mom who LOVES to read. She enjoys good (clean) books of all kinds. However, she has a soft spot for historical fiction. There is something magical that can only be found between the covers a book and her desire is to share that piece of magic with you. Rachel has been reviewing books since 2014 and is the sole owner/operator of Bookworm Mama. And she simply adores being immersed in the bookish world. Her husband and 2 beautiful children are her life and joy. Among the 500 things she does a day, she still finds the time to read. 
Rachel was selected as a Judge for the INSPY Awards 2017 as well as The Christy Awards 2017. Rachel currently works for Pepper D. Basham as her Virtual Assistant.

Where the magic happens. This is Rachel's reading nook, lovingly crafted by her hubby! 

Thank you all for stopping in. Don't forget to check out the other Blogger Interviews!
SEPT: Trisha Robertson, Joy of Reading
AUG: Kat Good, Kats Corner Books
JULY: Jenny Blake, Aus Jenny Reads,  Carrie Schmidt, Reading is my SuperPower
JUNE: Kav Rees, Best Reads, Raechel, God's Peculiar Treasure Rae
MAY Katie Donovan, Fiction Aficionado, Bree Herron, Bibliophile Reviews,  Beth Erin, Faithfully Bookish