Thursday, March 26, 2015

Allie Pleiter gets CHUNKY!

“How can you write four books a year???”

I get asked that a lot—as do many Love Inspired authors.  It’s one of the joys—and the challenges—of working in category fiction.  I’m happy our readers have such an appetite for our stories, look forward to the next books in our series, and become fans of individual authors.  I like to think I write characters my readers want to be friends with, to invite out for lunch, to have as next door neighbors.  It’s part of the wonder of books, isn’t it?  Discovering worlds you want to linger in long after you close the cover?

My smart-aleck answer to the “How can you?” question is usually “One word at a time.”  The truth is closer to “with effort and discipline.”  For me, that means 1,000 words every morning, 1,000 words every afternoon, five days a week, most weeks a year.  It’s the best job in the world, but parts of it are still like every job everywhere.  You need to sit down and make it happen.  (Or, in my case, get on the treadmill desk and make it happen…)

Today I launched a personal publishing project that lets fellow authors and aspiring writers everywhere in on my Chunky Method of Time Management for Writers.  Those 1,000 words I talk about in the previous paragraph are my “chunk.”  I use my “chunk” to plan, schedule, and even improve my writing productivity.  Now I can let you in on why I take being called “The Chunky Lady” as a compliment :)

This an exciting venture for me, putting into print form a class I’ve been passionate about teaching for years.  I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction since the early days of my career, but have focused on the Love Inspired line for the past several years.  It feels good to get out into “teaching” mode again.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of Love Inspired novels still to come from me.  In just a few weeks, the story of Ida Lee Landway begun in HOMEFRONT HERO gets its own happy ending in THE DOCTOR’S UNDOING.  And I’ll be tackling the third book in the LONE STAR COWBOY LEAGUE continuity series later this year.  And who knows—you may be seeing even more independent fiction from me!

Easter Season blessings to all of you from the Pleiter house.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creative Focus

Good morning, Jenna Mindel here. 
Last night, my husband and I watched a really good documentary on the rock group Kansas.  They were big when I was kid, and I remember my brother had a couple of their records.  I'm showing my age here as I grew up in the days of real record albums!  But who doesn't remember that amazing song Dust in the Wind? Revisiting that particular music group, I was struck by how talented they were.  Like seriously talented.

And that got me to thinking how we were created in the image of our Creator.  When we make something out of nothing, we imitate Him.  And yet making something really good, honors Him.

One comment made at the end of the show was that throughout their journey from fledgling unknowns to mega success, Kansas was always all about the music.  Oh, to be so focused! 

As an author, I often struggle with self-doubt.  Am I good enough?  Comparing my journey to others can be creatively deadly.  And way far off the right focus. 
I create, because I was created.  And because I love romantic stories.  
My hope is that I've made good stories that honor my Creator.  Through it all, I want my focus to remain on pleasing God.  But it's not always easy.

In what ways do you seek to honor God in what you've made?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing A Novel Series

When I first began writing, I knew nothing about writing a series but after many years, I find them fun to write and know that readers love them since they get to know the characters and want to know more, or they enjoy a setting and love to learn more about the place.

My Love Inspired novels have been written as series for many years now, the shortest being three novels and the longest being seven, my Loving series about a town called Loving, Michigan. Although the town was fictitious, the setting was based on Grand Haven.

In my June release, A Mother To Love, you will meet people who live on a street called Lilac Circle, a cul-de-sac in the real town of Owosso, Michigan. Each story will introduce new characters and new problems.  You'll go to weddings and even meet babies who are born. This book will be in stores the last week of April, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon - Click Here to read the summary or purchase. Look for the second book in the series, A Husband for Christmas, in October.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Favorite Jane Austen quotes

Camy here! So I was updating my Camille Elliot website, and I decided to put my favorite quote from Jane Austen’s Persuasion on my About page. And I liked it so much that I put some of my favorite Jane Austen quotes all over my Camille Elliot website! So now when you visit my website, it’ll have little pink sidebars with romantic and/or humorous passages from Jane Austen’s books.

I had so much fun picking the quotes I used! I re-read Jane Austen every year because I love her books so much (well, maybe not Emma quite so much …) and so it was lovely to be skimming through the books and finding favorite sections.

How about you guys? Any favorite Jane Austen quotes?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her romantic suspense, Gone Missing, releases May 2015 so pre-order it now! Also, her romantic suspense novella, Necessary Proof, is available for free. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Sign up for her newsletter to hear about new releases or sales on her backlist.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting to the end by Leann Harris

Writing is a unique experience. No two writers write the same way. There are those of us who are plotters, and those of us who are pantsers, and various combinations in between.  I’m a plotter. I want to know what is going happen to my characters once I’ve written the first three chapters and synopsis. If I decide to drive to Little Rock from Denver,  I’d look at a map and find what roads I needed to take. I just wouldn’t hop in my car and started driving.  My plot is my map.

The book I’m working on now has decided to take a life of its own, which I’m not real happy about. I followed the plot, but one of the minor characters did something I hadn’t  planned.  I kept writing, thinking I’d fix it in the next draft. The black moment was supposed to happen for the hero and heroine in the hospital. 

But it didn’t. 

I thought I’d gone way off the mark, but I kept writing. Write it, then you can fix it.
So as I rushed to the end of the book, that plot point my minor character had changed came into the play and tied up a lot of strings in the plot. I sent up a thanks to Heaven.  I finished this book as a pantser. I’m surprised I still have hair, but the book came together. I didn’t like how it happened, but I liked how the book ended.  I now have a clearer picture of how the other half lives. I don’t want to do it again, but  you have my admiration.

This is a picture of my new cover, which is out in this June, 2015.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Of Single Moms and Rescue Dogs

Lee Tobin McClain here, celebrating the release of my first Love Inspired novel! I’ve adored Love Inspired books for years, and it is such a huge thrill to be able to point to the shelves in Wal-Mart or Barnes and Noble and say . . . “that’s MY book!”

Click to preview it at Amazon!

Since I’m a single mother, and my book is entitled Engaged to the Single Mom, my friends keep asking if there’s a ring on my finger or in my future. No, I am not engaged . . . not even close! I do a little dating (I could tell you some stories) and help run the singles group at my church (more stories) but for now, my family of four—me, my thirteen-year-old daughter, and our rescue dog and cat—is happily complete.

Speaking of rescue dogs . . . my novel has plenty of them! That’s because hero Troy Hinton is a kind-hearted veterinarian who runs A Dog’s Last Chance: No Cage Canine Rescue. You’ll meet some amazing canines in the novel, including Bull, Troy’s old bulldog who has a series of misadventures in the novel, and Lily, the rescue pit bull who, along with her puppies, gets to participate in the wedding that closes the book.

But most of all, you’ll meet single mom Angelica Camden and her irrepressible six-year-old son, Xavier.  I hope you’ll agree that they—and Troy—deserve their happy ending.

Connect with Lee: 
Blog:  Flawed. Christian. Woman.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Free Online Read/Spotlight on Love Inspired Suspense

 Hi, Terri Reed here with LOTS to share! I'm so excited!!
We're celebrating Love Inspired Suspense this week at the Harlequin Community. Links to the discussions below.  Then scroll down for more information on the new CAPITOL K-9 UNIT.
You can find the main spotlight discussion here:

We're also discussing the Capitol K-9 Unit books here:

Later this week, we'll be talking about favorite settings and character names.

The new Love Inspired Suspense continuity, Capitol K-9 Unit is available starting with an free online read titled, Dangerous Justice.

Here's the link Harlequin website if you'd like to read the first two chapters.  Each week a new chapter will be posted for a total of eight chapters/eight weeks.

Someone is after Capitol K-9 Unit tech guru Fiona Fargo, and they'll stop at nothing to keep her from decoding the secrets of Washington, D.C.'s elite. She knows Officer Christopher Torrance and his canine partner Dutch will keep her safe, but he's the last colleague she wants dogging her heels. Spending time with him might reveal her secret crush on him. But with killers determined to silence her forever, she'll have to put aside her fears and accept his help. Chris has secrets of his own, and a failed engagement makes him leery of moving forward with any woman, even the beautiful Fiona. As they hunt for the killer, they'll find that love can break any barrier.

Here's the line up the book in the  Capitol K-9 Unit

Protective Instincts, March 2015, Shirlee McCoy
Duty Bound Guardian, April 2015, Terri Reed 
Trail of Evidence, Lynette Eason, May 2015
Security Breach, June 2015, Margaret Daley
Detecting Danger, Valerie Hansen, July 2015
Proof of Innocence, Lenora Worth, August 2015