Monday, January 29, 2018

9 Best Christian Anthologies of 2017

THE SECRET ADMIRER ROMANCE COLLECTION | Can Concealed Love Be Revealed in 9 Historical Novellas? by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Penny Zeller

Shy Expressions of Love Lead to Nine Historical Romances

Declaring one’s love can be hard—even risky—especially when faced with some of life’s greatest challenges. Separated by class, time, distance, and more, some loves must remain secret until the time is right. Instead, notes of affection, acts of kindness, gifts of admiration, and lots of prayer are circulated. From New England mansions to homestead hovels, love is quietly being nourished and waiting for the right time to be revealed. But when love can finally be boldly expressed, will it be received by love in return? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

THE MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE ROMANCE COLLECTION | Hope Reaches Across the Centuries Through One Single Bottle, Inspiring Five Romances by Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green, Maureen Lang

Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

THE PONY EXPRESS ROMANCE COLLECTION | Historic Express Mail Route Delivers Nine Inspiring Romances by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlachter, Connie Stevens, Pegg Thomas

Nine historical romances revive the brief era of the Pony Express.

Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials? 

OF RAGS AND RICHES ROMANCE COLLECTION | Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age by Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Anne Love, Gabrielle Meyer, Natalie Monk, Jennifer Uhlarik, Erica Vetsch, Jaime Jo Wright, Kathleen Y'Barbo

Love Flourishes during America’s Gilded Age

Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed. 

 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN MAIL-ORDER HUSBANDS | A Newspaper Ad for Husbands Brings a Wave of Men to a Small Kansas Town by Susan Page Davis, Susanne Dietze, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Gina Welborn

Seven women seek husbands to help them rebuild a Kansas town.

Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

THE MATCHMAKER BRIDES COLLECTION | Nine Matchmakers Have the Tables of Romance Turned on Them by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, Liz Tolsma

Nine Meddling Matchmakers Find Love When They Least Expect It

Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”? 

THE CAPTIVE BRIDES COLLECTION | 9 Stories of Great Challenges Overcome through Great Love  by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Lucy Thompson, Gina Welborn 

Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love? CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

THE REGENCY BRIDES COLLECTION | 7 Romances Set in England during the Early Nineteenth Century by Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch

Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England. Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love . . .

Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago. Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism. Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans. Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret. Esther is empowered to choose between two men. Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash. Jamie and William face a daunting London season together. Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?

THE CALICO AND COWBOYS ROMANCE COLLECTION | 8 Novellas from the Old West Celebrate the Lighthearted Side of Love by Mary Connealy

Love sneaks up on eight couples in the Old West.

The Old West comes to life under the talented pen of bestselling author Mary Connealy. Enjoy a lighthearted ride alongside seven historical and one contemporary cowboys and the women who tame their hearts. 

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

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Top Ten on Amazon and on SALE!

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight is on #SALE this weekend, and it's currently in the Top Ten!

Here's the link: or click here.

Three other My Heart Belongs in titles are also on sale, by authors Carrie Fancett Pagels, Angie Dicken, and Angela Boeshaar.

Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?

When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .

Friday, January 26, 2018

#CatchyCovers #BeautifulBooks

I'm particularly partial to this Catchy Cover!

Back in December 2017 or so, I started posting book covers on Mondays. It was a nice way to get into the new week.
There are no rules for what we like. A book cover has a big job to do. Not only does it suggest the genre but it must compel a reader to come hither.

Color is important. So is font.
Romances can have couples, a hero alone or the heroine. I'm tiring of washboard abs myself.

And our heroine... is she looking away, at you, or are we only allowed a look at her dress?

What book cover has caught your fancy lately?

Love Inspired generally goes with a  couple on the cover.
Here's a sample of the 'heroine gazing off into the distance''

It doesn't happen very often, but here's a hero

Here's looking at you! (and oh, that hat!)  And such beautiful colors!

We don't mind a headless heroine if the dress does the talking!

So lovely!
I'm still a sucker for these old covers!

like this!

Another favorite! 
okay.  A little smoulder works too.

Join us on Mondays when we tweet our #CatchyCovers  of the week!

Follow the Inkwell pinterest page called OUR COVERS!!

Follow my own #CatchyCovers Pinterest page or ask to join the page and you can join the posting fun!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January's Treasure

January. Some say it's the renewal month where you make goals to improve your mind and body, and shed bad habits. Some say it's the month of relaxation after the hectic holiday season. And some say take it to a deeper level and hibernate - insulate yourself by staying away from real-life social interaction where horrid flu germs flourish and attack without mercy, knocking you down for days of agony and discomfort.

For me, January brought dark days of lethargy. It seemed like winter, with its frigid temperatures, banks of snow, and long nights, stretched on for more months of the year than the other way around. It affected everything I did, which wasn't much because I couldn't seem to get enthusiastic about anything.

But a couple of years ago when January rolled around once more, I realized that I suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Without getting technical, it means that I missed bright sunlight. I didn't feel it on my face which told my brain it wasn't happening and therefore the world was a dreary place. Of course, that's a naive way of saying it, but it's pretty close to the truth when you consider that SAD goes away with a few hours of bright light therapy.

Typical light therapy unit used for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Source: wikipedia 

Last year I kept waiting for the disorder to appear, but when it didn't I put it down to an absence of snow and a mild winter that didn't get much colder than -25C. Even the blizzard and 2 1/2 foot snow dump in March didn't put a damper on me, but by then spring really was only a week or two away.

This year, however, it's different. Take last Sunday, for example. The temp was -29C but the wicked wind chill made it feel like -39C outside. Considering that -40C is the same as -40F and you get the idea. But we bundled up and drove across the prairie to church. After only a few minutes of greetings, someone said to me, "How come you're so chipper this morning?"

Chipper? Me? In the middle of January? With a wind that had tried to freeze my eyeballs when I went out to take a picture of the sunrise that morning?

I simply smiled and shrugged. "I'm here. I'm alive. The sun is shining and the days are getting longer. And spring is just around the corner." Apparently I don't have SAD this year.

This is my second winter in my office in the house. I used to get more fresh air and sunlight when I had to make numerous daylight trips to my office in the garage. But it was cold in there with a cement floor, albeit carpet covered, and my window faced the shadows and deadwood under the towering spruce trees. Although my house office also faces west, the light level is more than double, even on cloudy days. I still have trees, but they often sport birds, a welcome distraction. Watching the chickadees search for seed they've tucked away is comical at times, as are the birds who check out weathered nests when the temperature nears the freezing point, even when spring is still 2 months away.

Common Redpoll appears to check out frosty nest.

Perhaps SAD hasn't affected me this year because I spend more time savoring a coffee while watching the sun rise, each morning a little closer to our driveway. This is my gauge because when I can look down the driveway and see the sun rising at the end, I know its growing heat will soon melt all traces of snow.

However, I think one of the biggest differences is my attitude toward winter itself. Years ago when I stopped enjoying the benefits of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, I looked at it as a season to get through as best I could. I still do, but like those early days, I've started getting out more for the sole purpose of enjoying what's there. A lot of that has to do with my camera, because I take pleasure in recording what I see, and these days I'm astounded at what's out there. I always knew Saskatchewan teemed with wildlife, yet I now feel as if God has washed my eyes and told me to take another look. I'm rubber-necking all the way to town, wherever I go, and back home again.

I'm reporting my images and findings  to nature and conservation groups to let them know what we have so that they can make informed decisions. They need hard evidence, especially when they go up against groups that think nature doesn't matter for our welfare.

The more I see, the more blessed I feel, and the more I want to show what God has created. Except for the snow. I may not like it, but it sure is easier to see deer, coyotes, and other wildlife when they're walking across a blanket of snow.

Apparently, the temperature is rising to the freezing point of 0 deg C this week. Yep, I should probably take a break from writing and spend a couple hours scouring the prairie while the sun beams down on me through the windows of my car. Strictly for my health, of course.

What about you? Does January get you down?


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: 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dine at Julianna Deering's "Death at Thorburn Hall"

Have you ever read a book and thought, "Gasp! This book is about ME!!!"

Image result for death at thorburn hallNot literally, but something in it hits you between the eyes with its familiarity? This happened to me a few times reading Inkwell's own Julianna Deering's Death At Thorburn Hall (excellent mystery--grab it if you haven't already!).

For one thing, there's a female ginger cat in the story, which is somewhat uncommon as most gingers are male, which the characters discuss  But I have a sweet little ginger girl, too, in real life. For another, the book is set in Scotland, just like my current release A Mother For His Family, and coincidentally, certain characters do something illegal that's almost identical. I'll say no more there, except to note that DeAnna (Julianna herself) and I have chatted many times during the writing of our most recent releases, but never about our stories.

But the thing that made me very excited was the inclusion of one of my favorite comfort foods, Rumbledethumps (or as I know them, Rumpledethumps). Drew and company ate this dish in the story, and I'm pleased to inform you they enjoyed it. Of course they did. If I am sad, cold, sick, or it's St. Patrick's Day, this is what I yearn for.

Rumbledethumps is a Scottish dish comprised of potato, cabbage and onion. The Irish have something similar in colcannon, and English have bubble and squeak. Or, if we're branching out a bit, the Germans have sauerkrautauflauf. Rumbledethumps can be a main dish, side dish, or served with sausage or another meat.
CC by-SA 3.0 here Glane23
I'll share my recipe. Unlike "real" rumbledethumps, it includes broccoli, which turns the dish green and makes it the perfect food for St. Patrick's Day. It's also an excellent way to sneak veggies into your kids, or your friends' kids. One little person I know calls this "Miss Susie's green mashed potatoes."

So dive right in, make up a dish, and dine like Drew and Madeleine on holiday at The Open in Scotland.

Susie's Rumpledethumps:

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks, and boiled until tender
2-3 c. chopped green cabbage
2 leeks, washed and chopped (white part only)
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 T. butter
3/4 c. milk, adding more if necessary
1 t. salt
a few dashes nutmeg
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

While potatoes are cooking, preheat your broiler. Combine vegetables and a half cup of water in a large skillet. Cover and cook around ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

When potatoes are tender, drain the water and mash them with the butter, milk, salt and nutmeg. Combine potatoes and green vegetables. Spread the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is hot.

Enjoy, and pretend you're in Britain!


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 a 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 lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website,

Monday, January 8, 2018

Help me title my next novella!

I'm currently at work on my next Forget Me Not Romances novella. This next story will be part of the Four-Legged Love collection, stories that include dogs as a part of the plot.
I initially thought I'd write about West Highland White Terriers since I have two and love them dearly...
Willabea and Archie, my Westies... Click here for Willabea's story.

But then I had another thought... My little Colorado community is home to a world-renowned event that revolves around some incredible dogs and their handlers: the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials. Sheepdog trials take place all over the world, and they are amazing to watch.

Caitlin Walker Photo ©2017

My 11th novella, due out in April 2018, connects sheepdog handler Donovan Drake and photojournalist Rebecca Madison. Donovan is a former war correspondent who was seriously injured on the job and commended for his bravery under fire, but who has since become a virtual recluse outside of his blog. Returning to his grandparents' home to work with sheepdogs is therapy for him. Rebecca was bitten by a dog as a child and the experience has made her phobic. This particular assignment, given by her boss and sometimes boyfriend, will test more than her photography skills.

I'm in the process of walking through Donovan and Rebecca's story. As usual, I have little to no idea how it will turn out in the end, except there will be a happy ending or I'll rewrite the whole thing... (writers' prerogative). Meanwhile, I'm looking for title help! Submit your title idea in the comments. If I choose one of your titles, I'll send you an ebook copy of the novella when it's released.

Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the co-owner and editor for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper in northwest Colorado. Niki is also the current president of the ACFW CO-Western Slope chapter. 
Married 27 years to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of 4 adult children and "Mimi" to 4 grandchildren. She currently has 10 published novellas, all available in collections or individually on Connect with me at:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Love Inspired Historical Regencies from Susanne Dietze

Two sweet romances set in Regency-era England and Scotland. Two couples forced together, struggling to right the wrongs in their pasts--and presents--without falling in love...

Available here.

Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

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.