December 30, 2011

The Captive Heart (W. Dale Cramer, 2012) A Stunning, One-of-a-kind Saga

I have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on the second book in author W. Dale Cramer's latest series (The Daughters of Caleb Bender), The Captive Heart. It just arrived last week and I tore right into it. I was not disappointed!

Here's my review:

The Captive Heart continues the story begun in Paradise Valley (2011), in which Amishman Caleb Bender and his family move from Ohio to Mexico in the 1920s to avoid religious persecution. But the troubles they and other settlers face in the beautifully fertile yet rugged new land prove to be a far greater challenge. In the turbulent aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, the cultural climate is unstable. Increasing trouble with roaming bandits causes Caleb to doubt not only the success and happiness of his beloved family in this new land, but his wisdom in bringing them and other families here.

Fresh descriptions throughout paint a vibrant, beautiful setting against the rugged Mexican landscape. In each book, the girls’ unique stories are artfully woven together with the overarching story of Caleb Bender, the father whose desire to honor and trust “Gott” leads him on a journey that shakes his faith and tests his quiet, noble strength. A pacifist by faith, this father faces the unthinkable: threats against the lives of those he loves. How will he respond? How many must be harmed, even lost before it ends? Must he rethink what he has always believed about the value of a man’s life versus a man’s soul?

I loved meeting the characters in Paradise Valley and getting to know them better in this second of the three book series. Miriam takes the lead with her forbidden yet growing love for Domingo, the half-breed Mexican native who works for Caleb. A man of strength and wisdom, Domingo declares that the religion of the Amish “makes no sense,” and that there are many “fences” that forbid a relationship with Miriam, the one he calls “Cualnezqui” or Beautiful One.

Domingo is wonderful character whose honesty, strength and nobility I found intriguing. His desire to understand this Christian “religion” was borne of the troubling fact that it “makes no sense.” The simple truth of the gospel is displayed in the lives of many characters, not so much because of their unusual ways, but by the consistent grace and strength evident in their lives. The daughters each possess a unique, distinct voice, each one displaying their own strength of faith and quiet beauty. One daughter voices simply yet powerfully what it means to be a child of God. I appreciated her simple message that it is not about how we practice our faith or what disciplines it takes to conquer our sinful human nature, but that it is a matter of constant surrender to God.

Knowing Cramer has both a family history (see the award winning Levi's Will) and intimate ties to the Amish community makes the stories and characters that much more fascinating. The backdrop and setting for this series is based on actual events that occurred in his family in the 1920s, making this story especially intriguing. Cramer does a fabulous job weaving a story filled with distinct characters with goals, fears and triumphs we can all can relate to. Despite differences of era, culture, setting, and religious traditions, the characters in this series depict universal joys and pains that resonate with everyone.

You don’t have to be a fan of Amish or “bonnet fiction” to be captivated by Cramer’s Amish works. My husband saw me reading The Captive Heart and teased, “So is there any action in that book?” To which I replied, “Yes, tons!” I’ve decided this series creates a new fiction genre: Amish Action.

The loves, joys, fears, and sufferings of the characters in The Captive Heart are deeply emotive. The romantic threads of Miriam and Rachel as well as the ominous threats and dangers kept me hooked and reading non-stop. This series so far is a well-rounded, rewarding blend of romance, mystery and gripping action. It’s a blend I could easily see played out on the big screen. I eagerly look forward to the third and final book in the series and am already sad this beautiful saga will come to an end.

Note: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.

December 15, 2011

BookingIt: Interview with Debut Author Camille Eide (and winners!)

I've been a guest on several blogs lately due to the release of Savanna's Gift, my (100% 5 stars!!) Christmas novella, but have been busy making and revising (but not actually doing) Christmas To-Do lists and forgot to share the links here with you.

Here's the latest guest blog spot, a visit with my chocoholic friend Jessica Nelson in which we discuss the deep nature of romance, sticky note inspiration, pursuing your talent, and chocolate:

BookingIt: Interview with Debut Author Camille Eide (and winners!)

December 5, 2011

More Christmas Romance . . .

White Rose Publishing has a sweet treat of a holiday lineup with 12 Christmas Romance novellas specially priced at $1.00 during the month of December. WRP is releasing one of these 12 Christmas titles each day.

Today's release is Polar Bear Plunge by Linda S. Glaz.

Brice Taylor might not be on Aleni Callan's Christmas list, but she finds him under her tree anyway.

Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier when war hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understand how God could bring him through being a captive in Iraq when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widowed Aleni Callan and her son Tyler, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan, with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Tyler, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And though the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.

My Review:
Polar Bear Plunge is a touching story that shows how healing from brokenness and bitterness can often come from the last place we expect, and how God is patient and loving enough to send what or whomever it takes to get our attention. Aleni, a war widow, masks a broken heart by throwing herself into her work and into the care of her young son, with the help of her caring mother-in-law. Brice is the last man on earth she could love, but when forced into spending time with him, Aleni discovers he's not who she thought he was, and is battling wounds of his own. I loved this story, and love seeing how it shows the way God often brings blessing and healing to us in unexpected ways. And the love of nosy, well-meaning relatives never hurts. An intriguing feel good romance for a quick wonderful read anytime, and a special treat for Christmas.

Note: ALL White Rose Holiday Extravaganza books are specially priced at $1.00 thru 12/24

Watch the book trailer:

Pick up Polar Bear Plunge at: Amazon (Kindle) or White Rose/Pelican Book Group

About Linda:
I’m a wife and mother of three. I balance being a child of God while also being older than God. Hmmm, scary, but almost true. I’ve been blessed to have had an amazing life so far: Air Force meteorologist during Vietnam era, teaching karate and self-defense along with soccer for 25+ years. I sing and direct in church and community theatre musicals where this little old lady sounds more like the guys than the gals. Also scary, but true. I work in a physical therapy clinic three days a week to earn money to keep my writing afloat. My writing life is a 24/7 proposition. When not writing my own stories, I am an agent for Hartline Literary Agency. I wear so many different hats I’m surprised I wasn’t invited to the Royal wedding. Blessings to everyone, may your writing dreams all come true.

December 3, 2011

Get Savanna's Gift Now!

It's HERE!
SAVANNA'S GIFT, a Christmas Romance about rekindled love and second chances, is now available for download from White Rose Publishing:

When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that divided them get in the way?

Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson. Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?

SWEET DEAL: For a limited time SAVANNA'S GIFT is specially priced at just $1.00 through Dec 24, 2011

Praise for Savanna’s Gift:
“Camille Eide’s fiction debut, Savanna’s Gift is an enchanted tale of lost love and second chances. With endearing characters and the smell of cinnamon-scented pinecones in the air, I was swept away in this heart-warming story. Lovely anytime. Perfect for Christmas.”

~Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings

More about Camille and her books at:

December 2, 2011

Final Drawing for the Christmas Cookie/Book Giveaway

Okay, I got side-tracked again and didn't draw. Doh! Before I do, I just want to remind y'all we had some tasty sounding cookie recipes shared here, so I hope you saw one you'll try. Thanks to everyone for sharing those!'s winner is: Ginny!! Congrats, my friend to the far north!

And for those who didn't win a free copy of SAVANNA'S GIFT, my new Christmas Romance novella, don't be sad. Amazon got a little excited and started selling the Kindle version for $.99, which makes me real happy, since they are honoring the publisher's special holiday price. For all the non-Kindlers, the book is available tomorrow (Dec 3) at the White Rose Publishing site in various other book types.

And speaking of which, there are 11 more Christmas Romances available as part of WRP's Christmas Extravaganza. The 12 books are releasing one a day for twelve days (12 days of Christmas?).

So no matter what kind of eReader you have, a super deal is waiting for you, but only until 12/24.

And . . . if you have no ereader but want to read an eBook (like mine, or those great freebies you can hear about daily by signing up at ) there are free apps for your pc, phone, iPad, etc. Many eBooks are offered as PDFs, which most PCs will read. So my point? Yes, there's no excuse. Anyone can read an eBook. And at eBook prices (which are often free when you catch the deals) you can really load up your library.

So what are you watiting for? (The commercial to end so you can go back to baking Christmas cookies, right?)

One last plug: Thanks to cool cyber friends, I will be a guest on several blogs over the next few weeks. I may leave a link to them here if you have nothing better to do in the weeks before Christmas but follow me around the web and listen to me talk about Christmas and romance and other stuff. We'll kick it all off at the WordServe Watercooler tomorrow, where I shameless plug my book while launching a discussion about the Humble Artist and Self-Promotion, two seemingly incongruent topics.

So until next time, happy baking, and God bless!

November 25, 2011

Savanna's Gift Book Trailer

Here's a mini movie for my upcoming Christmas novella. Enjoy!

This Week's Winner Is . . .

Ooops, I meant to draw earlier today and got side-tracked. Better late than never.Thanks to the excellent name-drawing skills of my handsome hubby, this week's winner of Savanna's Gift is:


We will have one more drawing next Friday Dec 2nd, then the book releases Saturday the 3rd.

Thanks for sharing all the yummy recipes - I can't wait to try these. I hope you're finding a new favorite in the bunch! They all sound delicious & easy, my kinda Christmas cookie!


November 18, 2011

Drumroll... First Winner in the Christmas Romance-Cookie Contest Drawing

.....And the winner is: Carol Ann! Wooo Hoo!

I use a very technically complex drawing method of putting all the commenters' names in a hat and asking my handsome husband to reach in and pick one. He did a great job and therefore has agreed to be the drawer every week. :-)

Another winner will be drawn next Friday. Please spread the word - post a comment HERE with a Christmas Cookie Recipe (note: those who comment without a recipe are also included, so never fear, you no-sugar, no-bakers, I actually can't eat the cookies either!) And don't be bashful, those recipes are for you to share. And they sound YUMMY! And easy, gotta love that!

We're seeing sprinkles of snow here in NW Oregon, so I gotta go get some groceries and dinner with The Man before we're snowed in. Hmm, sounds like a Christmas Romance I've heard talk of....

 Next drawing for Savanna's Gift: Next Friday, Nov 25. See you then!

November 15, 2011

Christmas Cookie Exchange & Christmas Romance

My first book, Savanna’s Gift, a Christmas novella of rekindled love and second chances, will soon be available for download from White Rose Publishing December 3.
Woo Hoo!!!

So to celebrate Love in the [sugar & spice scented] air, I’m offering a chance for you to sample some mouth-watering holiday treats AND enter a chance to win a free copy of Savanna’s Gift. Because somehow love and sugar and icing just go together. It's not logical, but that's okay. Love isn't logic, it's magic. Trust me.

So how does this cookie thing work, you ask? Thank you. You're so thoughtful, keeping me on task. I knew I liked you.

Leave your favorite Christmas Cookie or Treat Recipe in the comments of THIS POST, and every Friday from now until Dec 2, I will draw a winner to receive a copy of the book. Even if you don’t win, we all “win” by gaining some new holiday treat ideas! Can’t beat that! So check back often for the newest recipes!

And for everyone else who doesn't win a copy, SAVANNA'S GIFT will be available Saturday, December 3 for $1.00 (Special price thru 12/31 only) for your eReader, PC, iPad, iPhone, etc.

Don’t have an eReader? (Warning: silly techno babble follows) You can easily download free software for your PC for most book types like Kindle (Amazon) or Nook (B&N) and these also support some universal ebook file types. My eBook comes in PDF form and may read just fine on your PC or any version of Adobe.

I’m excited and honored to take part in White Rose Publishing’s Christmas Romance Extravaganza. Be sure to grab your copy before the end of December to take advantage of the special low price!


About the story:
When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will the dream that divided them get in the way?

Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson. Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?


About me:

Camille Eide writes contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction. She lives in Oregon with her incredible husband and is mom to three brilliant college-age kids. She’s grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, she has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She’s also a church secretary, a bassist, and a passably devoted fan of classic rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen.


Praise for Savanna’s Gift:
“Camille Eide’s fiction debut, Savanna’s Gift is an enchanted tale of lost love and second chances. With endearing characters and the smell of cinnamon-scented pinecones in the air, I was swept away in this heart-warming story. Lovely anytime. Perfect for Christmas.” ~Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings

"With her trademark zany style, Camille Eide weaves a meaningful, believable romance in Savanna's Gift. Against a beautiful backdrop of a snowy Oregon lodge, she grants her characters wonderful second chances and dreams fulfilled. This is the best novella I've ever read!" ~Christina Berry, Christy-nominated and Carol-award winning author of The Familiar Stranger

"Camille Eide’s seamless writing swept me into this sweet story from the opening page. Savanna’s Gift made me laugh, think, cheer for the characters, and give a sigh of pure satisfaction at the perfect ending. I highly recommend this debut novel from a gifted writer who I’m guessing we’ll see much more of in the future." ~Miralee Ferrell, author of Love Finds You in Sundance, WY—4 1/2 Stars Romantic Times


DONT FORGET - POST YOUR CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPE HERE as a comment on THIS post. Winners will be drawn each Friday through December 2. Leave your email [name (at) domain (dot) com] so I can contact the winners.

Merry Christmas, God Bless, and Bon App├ętit!

Camille Eide, Faith-inspiring Love Stories

November 12, 2011

Coming Soon: Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange & Christmas Romance Drawing

Imagine with me the whiteness of a wintry blizzard, frosty wind swirling around an elegantly adorned rustic ski lodge, a full view of a pristine white mountain beyond the lodge's deck, snow-laden evergreens surrounding the perfect romantic winter getaway, Celtic carols weaving in and out of sparkling conversations around a crackling fire, the smell of fir and cinnamon and sugar and spices, the glow of thousands of twinkly lights, the magic of Christmas and the whisper of love in the air...

Feeling the love & the flavors of Christmas yet? If not, hang in there. My first book, Savanna’s Gift, launches Dec 3rd with a Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange and a chance for you to win a free copy of the book. So while you wait, start looking through your favorite Christmas Cookie/Treat recipes and get ready to join in the fun!

September 27, 2011

ACFW Conference: Moses Moments & Can I Get Used To A Built-In Starbucks?

I attended the 2011 American Christian Writer’s Conference in St. Louis, MO last week and experienced five full days of workshops, appointments with publishers, worship & keynote sessions, friends, and the faithfulness of Jesus. I will list the highlights in a sec, and there were s-e-v-e-r-a-l, but topping this trip was a Moses-style reminder that I serve a faithful God who has a perfect plan and is in complete control of our lives, our futures, and our heart’s desires.

I had a Moses epiphany. Not a splitting the Red Sea or a talking, burning bush, but a moment much like when Moses questioned the Lord about choosing a d-d-d-dork like him to be His spokesman. Moses knew his own weaknesses, his limitations. Now, this knowledge may have come from listening to the negative whisperings of an enemy trying to thwart the mighty work God wanted to do through Moses—makes sense, I guess—or it could have been simply his self-depreciating honesty. Or a combo of both (which can be a bit tricky to decipher, trust me). Did God choose Moses because of his velvety-smooth radio voice and Justin Bieber charisma? Or did God have a plan that included using a weak vessel in order to show His people His provision, power and glory?

(Still working on that one? Hint: they didn’t actually have radios in ancient Egypt.)

If I were as polished and articulate on the spot as I’d like to be, I might quickly forget how utterly wretched and lost we truly are on our own, how completely we depend on the Spirit of God at work in us to do anything. Not just do it right, but great. For Him. Not just when we can’t quite handle the situation without some help, but every moment. He’s the Vine, I am the branch. Apart from Him I can do nothing. So it’s probably a good thing I’m not super cool and charismatic under pressure, because the Lord came through faithfully and answered many prayers to give me confidence and clarity of thought when I needed it most. I was reminded again that when He plants a vision in our heart and soul, He provides the strength, the means, and the ability to carry it out. Brandilyn encouraged me to lay it all down and tell the Lord: I am Yours. This was a priceless lesson reaffirmed, worth the entire trip if I took NOTHING else away from the conference.

And yet I took home so much more.

In spite of the full schedule, I connected with friends from all over the world (waving to my super sweet friend Karen in Australia), and made a few new ones. I was encouraged and prayed over (and I am very grateful to Brandilyn Collins for her prayers and wise words even though she totally screwed up my makeup before an editor appointment by making me cry—what is she, the Barbara Walters of Christendom?? Thanks to this challenging/freeing prayer session, I was so plumfuzzled I couldn't get my room key to let me in so I could fix my makeup until I finally figured out with the help of another writer lady that I'd actually gotten off the elevator on the wrong FLOOR.)

I was also able to encourage and pray for others. I shared my most recent book-in-progress with strangers and saw the spark of recognition in eyes and hands on hearts telling me they were touched by what they heard. I spent time talking with an editor who has read some of my work and who went to astonishing lengths to make sure I knew how exceptional she thinks it is. I gave her a hug for that, but I really wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home with me. That was one of those air-stealing compliments you can’t discount or dismiss as merely gracious courtesy no matter how hard you try.

I had a full-blown blast with my dearest (and farthest!) friends at a cute little New Orleans style seafood place in St Louis. What a rare treat! I am reminded that life may not offer us another chance like that for a long time . . . if ever . . . and am grateful for the time spent in the company of such good friends.

My flight to and from St Louis coincided, coincidentally, with my agent’s flight, allowing me to spend some extra quality time with the amazing, rockin Rachelle Gardner, who was named ACFW’s 2011 Agent of the Year at the conference. Hanging out with her was an unexpected bonus! It gave me a chance to be even more honored and inspired by knowing I have someone of Rachelle’s caliber in my corner.

I was also able to get books signed by two of my fav Christian authors whose stories and styles both entertain and inspire me, another sweet deal of a treat.

You’d think I had my fill of treats after all this, but I was also extremely blessed and honored to come to the conference as a Genesis finalist. One of the many benefits of being a finalist, for me, was the chance to make two new friends and prayer partners, my co-finalists Sally Bradley and Karen Shravemade. Sally was not able to attend, but she continued to serve the conference with her faithful prayers. I was thrilled when I learned Karen could attend all the way from Australia. She was just as lovely, kind-hearted and fun as I’d expected. We were both stunned and pleased to find that being a finalist at the conference increased our opportunities to discuss our work with publishers and we were both invited to submit our entries for a look at possible publication.
This contest taught me to hope someone might actually like my work. I came grateful for that and continued to pray my daily prayer that the final win would go to the finalist who needed it the most. I trust the Lord to know what’s best, to see farther down the road than we can, and to know which of His kids needs a little extra favor in their corner.

That kid, this time, was me. I am honored to have won the 2011 Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction, (I'm right about the 32 minute mark on this video) especially knowing the gracious, talented company I shared. I believe God knows best and sees all the bumps and turns in the publishing roads ahead for me, Sally, and Karen. He gave each of us the heart’s desire to write and get our words out there for others, words to bring glory and honor to Jesus. He will make a way for each of us to fulfill those dreams, I have no doubt.

Now, to finish the book so we can send it to the houses who said they’d like to see it. Prayers much appreciated!

August 30, 2011

More on Love...

After chewing on Beth's comment left on my last BLOG POST, I decided to bring the discussion up top. Beth Vogt said, "I've always loved a good romance--one with depth. One where the characters change, where love doesn't come too easily because, hey, I don't think it does. Not real, lasting love anyway."

YES!! I couldn't agree more!

I like stories with depth---romance or otherwise. That's what I hope to achieve with my stories. Beth makes a very good point about love that lasts not coming so easily. Love at first sight is a great idea, but love you have to fight for, love that touches deep places in us despite our fears, love that challenges the lies we believe, love that coaxes us out from behind our facade, love that waits beyond hope, love that meets hidden heart needs, love that feels more like home than any place on earth ever did.....THAT's the stuff of a good love story. In my opinion, of course. :-)

What I believe makes this kind of love possible is the unfailing nature of God's love. Ecclesiastes says a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken. Without Christ and his boundless, gracious love as the center strand, I actually find it hard to believe in happily ever after. I also believe that without Christ, humans are destined to fall short no matter how nobly or selflessly we strive. (Because I know we ALL strive to be noble and selfless.)

Do you tire of stories in which people fall too easily in love? The kind of story where two people are getting acquainted over a flat tire or mixup at the dry cleaners and suddenly they can't live without each other? Or on the other end of the romote control, do you gag at overblown melodramas too mushy for even the most hardcore soap fan? Does this turn you off to all love stories? If not, it should!

I aim to write stories that touch places we sometimes forget we have, remind us we still struggle with emptiness or protective shells or fears of loss or whatever it is we've conveniently buried. And while we visit those sealed off places between the pages with a like-minded hero or heroine, we can discover or be reminded that in Christ, there is a Love that Never Fails.

What do you think makes a truly moving, resonating love story? What are some of your favorites and why? (I have a list and I'm not afraid to use it!)

August 19, 2011

The Power of An Intelligent Love Story . . .

I've been writing all my life but began pursuing fiction publication few years ago, about the time my kids discovered duct tape can control a fair amount of bleeding, and frozen lasagne is actually not from the devil. I believe in the power of story - after all, Jesus used parables to teach timeless, life-changing, eternally significant truths.

And since God is Love, I find love-stories can be just as timeless and life changing. An intelligent, faith-inspiring romance can offer hope, gently touch a hurting soul, uplift a heavy heart. What an honor and a privilege to be able to use words in such a way!

Though I love the deep-throated grumble of a Harley, muscle cars, and old school rock, I am also a hopeless romantic. If only Jane Austen were around to endorse my books! As a fan of all things Jane, I have a deep appreciation for a romance that goes beyond boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy sweeps girl off her feet to live happily ever after. And those stories are wonderful! But what I love about Jane Austen, in addition to many fine contemporary authors, is the ability to tell a story that highlights things like character, honor, self-sacrifice. The beauty of one noble soul finding another. A meeting that goes beyond attraction to the spirit and the heart.

I suppose Anne Elliot will always be one of my favorite literary characters. (If you aren't into reading classics, I want you to drop whatever you're doing and immediately watch the Hinds/Root version of Persuasion) She was totally dissed by her snobby, shallow family, and yet her quiet character and inner strength were what Captain Wentworth fell in love with all those years ago - and still loved years later, long after hope of winning her was gone.

Oh. Just so you know, I write contemporary faith-inspiring love stories. Historical stories are cool too. I just happen to find plenty to dream up in today's world.

And why not? In our high-tech, uber-enlightened society, don't we still quietly crave honor and nobility? Just because those qualities don't (usually) come galloping up on a horse and whisk away their objects in a flourish of lace and petticoats doesn't mean we don't want them now. We may live in a world full of stessors and pressures, but we can still dream of happily-ever-afters, stories of faithful devotion in a world of heartbreaking insecurities and shallow relationships, stories of love touching souls amidst the complexites of twenty-first century life.

Okay, I confess. Though my stories are contemporary, I did set them in the quiet, slower-paced setting of Central Oregon and added a touch of rolling green Scottish hills, so maybe I cheated just a little. My point is that we can "escape" reality either in the past or the present. But are we really escaping? Or are we simply giving ourselves a break from life's routines and sparking our imaginations, allowing our hearts a few moments to nestle between the pages and feel the pains and joys and fears and victories of someone who could easily be you or me?

Your turn: What value do you place on fiction, and on uplifting, faith-inspiring love stories?

(note: this post's content borrowed from the homepage of my new website)

August 10, 2011

Peace In The Process

The Water Cooler is a community for writers to connect and find support, tips and encouragement on the writing & publishing journey.

Today's post (from moi): Peace in the Process. If you are a perfectionist who finds dissatisfaction with your abilities debilitating at times, come on over and take a load off. Really. Give yourself permission.

August 4, 2011

My New Book Cover!

I got to peek at my new book cover today. Isn't it cozy & lovely? Does it make you feel all Christmasy?

I know, too many people are sweltering right now in 112 heat, sorry! Imagine with me the whiteness of a blizzard, the icy wind swirling around a rustic yet elegantly adorned mountain ski lodge, a full view of a pristine white mountain beyond the lodge's deck, snow-laden evergreens surrounding the romantic getaway, Celtic carols weaving in and out of sparkling conversations around a crackling fire, the smell of fir and cinnamon and spices, the glow of thousands of twinkly lights, the magic of Christmas and the whisper of love in the air...

Feeling it yet?

Okay, give it time. By the time the temps come down and the cooler days of fall arrive, you'll be dreaming of a romantic holiday getaway.

When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that once divided them get in the way?

Just before Christmas, Savanna Holt returns to the ski lodge where she once worked hoping to deliver her goddaughter to the child’s grandparents and flee the mountain resort before memories of one special Christmas there reminds her how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life. But Savanna is stunned to discover Luke, the man whose heart she broke three years ago, now manages the resort. Seeing him reminds her of what she lost, but Luke wants no reminders of his hurt. He’s changed, but so has she. When a blizzard traps her at the lodge over Christmas, she sees the forced proximity as a gift from God and is determined to win Luke back. Can she convince Luke she has changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?

Savanna's Gift is a Romantic Christmas novella (e-book) from White Rose Publishers. It will be affordably priced and available for your romantic holiday reading in time for Christmas 2011.

August 1, 2011

Hot New Blog For Writers Launches TOMORROW

Okay, before I forget - I signed my first real writing gig contract last week with White Rose Publishing for a Christmas novella (e-book) called "Savanna's Gift" coming out Christmas 2011. Yay! Can't wait to see the cover. I'll be sure to post the date that book is available.

Also . . .
If you're a writer, chances are you've read Rachelle Gardner's popular blog and gleaned valuable writing and publishing industry advice. Now, the clients of WordServe Literary (Rachelle Gardner and Greg Johnson) team up to bring you the "WordServe Water Cooler" and invite you to join us as we discuss everything writing.

The "WordServe Water Cooler" launches AUGUST 2 with our first post: Tips for Landing an Agent featuring a advice from agented authors on how writers might increase their chances for representation.

We post every weekday on relevant topics such as marketing, publishing, the craft of writing, social media, and anything else that might help fellow writers move forward in their careers.

Consider this your official invitation to hang out with us at the Water Cooler where community is built and where tips and tricks of the trade are shared. Please come and join in the conversation. We’d love to get to know you.

June 15, 2011

Turning the Tables on This Writer...

Since finaling in the American Christian Fiction Writers' 2011 Genesis Contest, a friendly little press release sent to my local paper turned into an article on me. Wow, right? I spend 90% of my time putting words to the page and now I'M on the page. How fun. Be sure to check out the article by local reporter Jim Hart. I had an interesting visit with Jim, getting to know another writer who pens a differnt type of art, but with a similar kind of love for words. Well done, Jim. Thanks!

Check out the story here:

Go to ACFW's Genesis page for all the semi-finalists and finalists in this year's contest for "Pre-published" authors. That's what some of us optimists prefer to be called.

By the way, the card I'm smiling at was a sweet note of congrats and encouragement sent to me by my fabulously talented critique partner Emily Hendrickson, Christian Romance author and all-around funny girl. She's the Queen of Banter. She's my Banter Muse. :-)



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.