Monday, February 13, 2012

Gina's Book Launch!


Call the heralds!

The week of Gina has arrived! It’s been a long time coming, but finally, finally we get to celebrate the inkies’ favorite benevolent despot.

Yes, Queen Cleo, we’ve got your latte. In fact, lattes for everyone! And to pour out some hot and steamy beverages, please meet our hot and steamy barista.

Um... I'm not exactly sure that's sanitary, but I'M not going to make him put his shirt on.
This week we’re celebrating the official launch of Gina Marie Welborn’s novella, Sugarplum Hearts.

Sugarplum Hearts is the third novella in Highland Crossings, an anthology from Barbour Publishing.

Back cover copy: Head to historic North Carolina where a brooch unites the lives and loves of four women. Dangerous accusations force Seona to leave Scotland with the brooch in tow, but will she find peace before her past is revealed? Years later, Fiona hopes to recover the brooch only to wind up on the whipping block. Can she trust the man who comes to her rescue? Seren sells the brooch to open a confectionery, but will the precious heirloom be lost to a hopeless dream? When the brooch is stolen, can Brynna reclaim it before she loses something even more valuable?”

I think you’re going to love this collection, and Gina’s story in particular. It is a delightfully sweet tale with a piquant bite of spiritual truth. Here’s an excerpt to prove it:

Sugarplum Hearts by Gina Weborn
"Miss Cardew!” the Scotsman called out.

Seren jerked her gaze to the left. What had possessed him to follow her? Though his pace was casual, the Scotsman clearly was headed her way with his draft horse trailing.

What could they possibly have to talk about? The man couldn’t even form an explicable sentence, and she had no ability to read minds.

"Someone lit a fire on his tail,” Miss Keen muttered. “Think he fancies you?”

"I doubt it,” Seren insisted.

"Looks like he does,” Miss Keen countered.

Seren released a pent-up breath. “Upon my word, I don’t know him.”

Miss Keen didn’t even pretend to look convinced. “We’ll see, Lady Macbeth.”

This time Seren didn’t respond. She felt her lips tighten and nose twitch.

Almighty Lord, fill me with the patience that passes all understanding because, at this moment, I need it more than I need peace.

The Scotsman stopped a respectable distance from them yet close enough for Seren to touch him if she were so inclined.

She wasn’t.

His gaze focused intently on hers. “Miss Cardew—I do not, umm, ye left before—aye, ’twas the good Lord who directed me—I—ye. . .”

Miss Keen whacked the fence with her hoe. “Spit it out, lad. Miss Cardew and I aren’t getting any younger standing here. Are you looking to court Miss Cardew? I never met a girl more in need of marriage to cure her.”

Seren’s mouth gaped as she stared at the petulant spinster. Of all the—

She turned to the Scotsman, expecting him to look vaguely ill since that’s rather how she felt.

Instead he grinned. His brown eyes twinkled; she thought—no, knew—twinkled was the most ridiculous word she could use. Yet she couldn’t think of anything else to describe what his eyes were doing. Nor could she stop staring. Or stop feeling as if her world was spinning—or wasn’t spinning at all like it should. He transfixed, confused, and annoyed her at the same time.

Then he shifted his horse’s reins to his left hand, leaned against the fence, and gave Miss Keen his full attention. “I thought the good Lord wished me to speak to Miss Cardew, but methinks He wanted me to follow the lass to ye.” He reached for her hand and brushed a kiss along the back. “Finley Sinclair, at yer service, ma’am.”

One moment Miss Keen’s plain face was a reproachful mask. Then something in her blue eyes changed, and she smiled. Smiled!

In the last eight months of living in Fayetteville, Seren had never seen her mother’s younger friend look pleased with anything. Now she was beaming. Like a star radiating from the heavens. That could mean nothing good.

They spoke directly to each other, without a care or concern for Seren. He was from Glasgow. Miss Keen’s parents had been from Glasgow, too. He thought North Carolina was lovely. She did, too. He was a broker. She broke something that very morning. Somewhere between their numerous commonalities, Seren heard one of them say that love was in the air. Naturally the other agreed


With a roll of her eyes, Seren turned from the doting pair and headed down the walk to her parents’ home. She was one and twenty with her whole life before her. That Miss Keen, a woman ten, twelve, maybe fifteen years older than the man whose name Seren probably couldn’t remember, had an admirer—well, Seren would be happy for her. She certainly wasn’t interested in hearing of Finley Sinclair’s life in Glasgow or what brought him to America or what the good Lord told him about anything, especially in relation to talking to her.

She spared a quick glance over her shoulder.

Whatever the Scotsman had said made Miss Keen laugh.

With a grumble, Seren refocused on the tree-canopied path before her. She had no time to waste thinking about a man she didn’t know and whose name she could barely remember. She had far more important things to do, like—decorating Mama’s cake and planning what conserves she’d prepare tomorrow and not sparing another thought on a man who was a bit more than moderately attractive. Even with Miss Keen wearing fancy heels, the top of Miss Keen’s head would only reach his mid-chest. Imagine them at a cotillion. Wasn’t there a rule about spinsters not dancing?

There should be.

Especially with rakes.

A man needed to be far more than handsome and considerate to capture Seren’s interest. At home in her Bible, she had a list of a dozen items she was looking for in a mate. Doubtful Finley Sinclair would meet more than one—all right, three—qualifications.

Love was in the air.

Seren released a most unladylike snort

How could anyone NOT turn the page! You can get your copy here, here, or the Kindle version here.

MORE breaking news: In honor of her release, Gina is doing a giveaway this week of a gift basket that includes all kinds of goodies including a copy of Highland Crossings. Please leave a comment any day this with with your e-mail address to be entered in the drawing!

Ultimate Sugarplum Hearts Giveaway includes . . .
  • copy of Highland Crossings
  • copy of Blue Like Jaza
  • four spice mixes
  • cranberry bread mix
  • cheesecake dessert ball mix
  • crepe cookbook
  • set of Pampered Chef bamboo bowls
(flowers, placemats, and table not included)

Readers can also enter for a chance to win one of three copies of Highland Crossings given away on the Colonial Quills blog. Click HERE.

Also, check out the Romancing America blog. Over the next four weeks, (starting Wednesday) Highland Crossings will be the spotlighted book.


  1. make mine decaf!

    This party is for what reason?

    ... oh, right something about a novella and Queen Cleo.

    Well, I think I love (hero) Finley Sinclair as much as Gina

    Welcome to a week of celebrating and a chance to get to know more about Gina and this awesome anthology.

    Congratulations again to Gina, and thanks Lisa for kicking off the week!

    Sugarplum Hearts is a delightful story with characters to adore.

    And lots of sugar!

    Oh my gosh, we're already running low on caramel for the lattes. gotta run.

  2. I hope Queen Cleo drops by soon! She can give us a few more hints about what is in that ultimate giveaway basket!!

    "Deb! I saw what you did with that caramel. Leave Ryan alone!"

  3. What a yummy . . . latte you have for me!

    You gals are so sweet!!!

    And I just realized that I forgot to send Lisa a picture of my giveaway to add to the post. Ugh.

    Will be back soon!

  4. There's the queen! So glad she um... breezed by? She'll be back though and maybe with a picture I can post of that delicious basket!

  5. Ooops - forgot my palm frond... back in a minute...

  6. I think my cat ate my palm frond. Oops.

    I'll take a decaf cafe mocha (soy).

    Then I want to curl up with that and finish reading the novella.

  7. Oh. My. Latte.

    Can we keep our barista in the secret headquarters? Please?

    (Curtseying to the Queen)Thank you, dear Gina, for bringing us all together. The "Week of Gina" is well-deserved!

  8. Happy Birthday to Barb, by the way! She has graciously decided not to celebrate today, publicly, as we can only take one party at a time here.

    And as you can see, she's getting sort of wild and crazy all by herself!
    (yeah, that sounds like my ideal birthday bash too...)

    Gina will be back eventually. she's a heck of a writer but she tends to get distracted easily. Party? what party? she might be scraping paint off windows or something or building a science project and then someone will wave a Starbucks coupon in front of her and she'll remember us.

  9. So, Deb, are you saying Queen Cleo is really the Queen of Distraction?

  10. Yay!!! A party! And what a great reason to celebrate. I'll take a latte from the cute guy please. It's only 30 degrees even here in Virginia, so I'm thinking the shirt will be back on soon.

    All hail Queen Cleo :) Don't you just love her quirky writing style. Adorable.

  11. Happy Birthday, Barb!! In your honor I've asked Ryan to hand out cranberry bliss bars, lemon pound cake and scones to go with the coffee. Everyone belly up to the bar!

  12. Ooooh, I'll take a plate along with my sugarplums, and back to my cozy reading chair. That's about as crazy as I get. But spending the whole day reading on my birthday is about as good as it gets.

    And in Gina's honor, it's Sugarplum Hearts.

  13. puff...puff...up-down...up-down...

    At least I'm getting some exercise fanning Gina while the rest of you sit around eating cake and drinking lattes. LOL

    Oh, hello Ryan... do you know the kids and I were scheduled as extras in the movie you made here in Regina about 5 yrs back? Yes, the Christmas one. No, we didn't appear because the director changed the scene. Maybe you'll do another one up here? Oh, you don't like the cold because it forces you to put your shirt on? Oh, I see...

  14. Yes, Dina, readers are going to fall in love with Gina's writing!

    I just dropped my scone. I hope there's more. Sorry. okay back to my subject. I'd love a whole 'nuther story about Seren and Finley. I miss them...

    good thing we're spending a week with them and Gina.

  15. Yee haw, Gina! I couldn't be happier for you since I've read your writing and love your voice.

    I'm now off to write, but will be back later. Must take myself away from all temptation.


  16. I have to agree that Gina's voice is distinctive. Light and fun, but somehow the characters really make you care for them.

  17. Oh my goodness... I need to start drinking coffee!

    Congrats, Gina! Love the excerpt. If I read it without knowing the author, I'd attribute it to you right away. It's got "Gina's voice" stamped all over it!

  18. Hooray! We're so excited to celebrate this happy event! Sugarplum Hearts is wonderful--I'm loving it. Congratulations, Gina!

    I'd like a decaf mocha latte, please. And a scone.

    Barb, here's a candle for your scone. Make a wish! Happy Birthday!

    Celebrations all around today <3

  19. Yes, Susie, we are feeling quite celebratory here at the Inkwell these days!

    Gina will have one of her other minions take our treats away if we start talking about 'author voice'. But I'm trying to lay off the carbs so I'll go ahead and say yes, Gina has a very recognizable 'Author voice'.

    And unforgettable characters.

  20. Oh, you inkies are so silly. Is it any wonder I find y'all so perfectly suited to be my friends? I think not!

  21. Niki, yes, we're keeping the barista.

    Last night hubby and I were chatting about what to do for Valentine's Day. He asked me if I'd like to go see The Vow.

    Huh? It's a sad day when I have no idea what a movie is about. Consequently I had to google it. Ick! That romantic drivel?

    So I told him, "Why do I want to see a movie specifically made to take advantage of Valentine's Day?"

    "Because everyone who I know who's seen it says it's good. Made them cry."

    "Oh, so why do I want to see a movie that was made to make me cry?"

    He then asked what other movie I'd like to see.

    "Umm, Safe House."

    "But that's not a romantic movie. Why do you want to see it?"

    "Denzel Washington. Ryan Reynolds." Obviously he realized those were enough reasons for me to want to see the movie.

    Let it be known, I am not the romantic one in the relationship. A movie about love or one where people get shot. Hello! The choice is clear.

  22. LOL. Yes, Suzie Jo, I am the Queen of Distraction. To my defense, I will say I had to go to school to pick up a sick kid then run to the store for gatorade for him so he will stay hydrated. By the time I had him taken care of, child #4 returned home from school, needing all sorts of attention. Like a snack. Like to talk about her day. Like to explain why she couldn't possibly clean her room today.

  23. I write quirky? Really. I was going for serious.

    I'm always going for serious.

    I'm such a serious person.


    I think I need a slice of lemon pound cake. Oh, Ryan, dear . . .

  24. Deb, since you mentioned a whole 'nuther story with Seren and Finley . . .

    I actually have a book idea in mind with them as secondaries. When I wrote Sugarplum, I created backstories and conflicts in several of my secondaries. My plan is to write a full-length novel with three parts. Each part would be a novella. Then I'd have a transition between each so that once written the stories would flow together seamlessly.

    I probably ought to work up a proposal on my idea and send it to my editor.


  25. Gina, I totally get the whole, I'd rather watch someone get shot at the movies mindset. Joel was shocked when I wanted to see Mission Impossible 3 over some nominal romance that was out at the time. No if you can combine romance with the action. Bliss!

    Which reminds me, are there any more cranberry bliss bars, Ryan?

  26. You are making the Inkies and the colonial ladies happy with this debut, Gina!!! We are so happy for you! This is a great novella collection, one of the best I've read. Go buy it if you don't have a copy!!! Blessings!

  27. Congrat Gina! How awesome :) I just got Highland Crossing on my kindle can't wait to read your story :)

  28. We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

    But about that barista . . . um, yes, I'll have one of those. Oh, I meant the latte, of course.

    :::whistles innocently:::

    Reading the book now. Having a wonderful time!

    Congratulations, Gina!

  29. Yes, Gina, you get right on that, because I hate to see you laying around and doing NOTHING again today.

  30. Carrie, thank you so much for the support Colonial Quills is giving us. Prior to writing this novella, I would have never said I love colonial fiction. Praise the Lord, my opinion has changed thanks to the wonderful colonial and early federal era books published in the last couple years. Wahoo!

  31. Way to go, Faye!!! You're a book ahead of me because I don't even have a kindle copy.

    I really need to have author digital copy added to future contracts.

    Please let me know what you thought of the collection!

  32. Yes, DeAnna, Lisa did chose well . . .with her selection of lattes and sweets.

    Fortunatly Inkwell doesn't have a No shirt, No service policy. :-)

  33. Doing nothing?! Oh, Deb, if only . . .

    Today I've tried to get a few more words written on my Em-and-Noah novella. They're arguing. Her because she doesn't like to be told she's wrong. Him because he wants to kiss her and that thought doesn't make him happy. A content bachelor is as hard to convince he's fallen in love as a content spinster. Now to show them how uncontent they really are.

  34. Gina, congratulation!!! Enjoy celebrating this week :) And, please don't enter me in the drawing because the overseas postage on your gorgeous gift basket would be way too much. I'm looking forward to reading your novella on my Kindle :)

  35. Gina, I disagree. I think we should have a no shirt, no service policy. I.e. if they wear a shirt they aren't allowed to serve us.


  36. Oh, Narelle, do let me know your thoughts on the story!

  37. Lisa! Really!

    I think I was going to chastise you but suddenly I have no idea why... I think I need a lemon bar.

  38. Congrats, Gina!! I love Scottish/Irish settings and there just aren't enough of them in CBA.

  39. Julia, I totally know what you mean. :-)

  40. congratulations gina :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com


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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.