Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Blog with Elizabeth Goddard

Here's Elizabeth!

I’m thrilled to be here with you today. Oh, and please just call me Beth. I’m a pastor’s wife and mother to four children whom I home school. Over the years I’ve met a lot of home schooling mothers who write novels. I think it’s because while reading books and novels to our children, we think about how much we’d love to write our own novel one day. I know that’s part of what it was for me. I love books and there is never enough bookshelf space for them even though I’ve shared plenty, only keeping my favorite ones.
I remember reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck in the fifth grade and 2001: A Space Odyssey. That’s quite a mix, I know. Then in my early twenties I got hooked on Boede Thoene’s historical WWII novels and from that point on I was hooked on Christian fiction. I’ve always loved to write so at some point, God began to kindle in me the desire to write Christian fiction—so much so that it’s became a dream. But it’s taken many years of hard work for me to achieve this dream.
In some ways, Andi Nielsen is like me—she works hard on whatever is set in front of her. In her case, she believes life has delivered her some blows for which she blames God and she has to learn what it means to be content—something I learned, thankfully, long ago. This is a recurring theme in my books—there’s really nothing that can make you happy, nothing that brings contentment. You have to find contentment in God.
As for the idea for Disarming Andi, it took me a long time to cultivate the ability to create story ideas, to learn to observe things around me. Now, it’s difficult to shut that off—I see story ideas everywhere I look and usually, the ideas stem from settings. When I saw a cranberry farm on a brief news story, I knew I wanted to write a story set on a cranberry farm—Seasons of Love. The same is true of Disarming Andi. I loved the idea of building an underground home in a decommissioned missile site and knew I had to use this as a story setting.
Instead of the usual handsome hero, I wanted my hero to be a computer geek—hence, Vance Young was born. He’s a bit of a quirky character and loves astronomy, which works great for the story because he’s stuck in an underground home and can’t look at the stars—there are no windows. Before I started writing Disarming Andi, I became intrigued with the Louie Giglio DVD ‘How Great Is Our God.’ If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Vance loves to look at the stars because it reminds him how big God is, and puts him in his place, in a manner of speaking.
So, it was only natural to use this verse, ‘When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:3-4’ for the key verse of the book.
And the really fun part? Like me, Vance doesn’t believe in coincidence—life is a tapestry that is woven by the Master-weaver. So, when things happen in Vance’s life, he knows they happen for a reason. This plays into the story in a big way. If you read Disarming Andi, I hope you love the characters as much as I do, and that you come away knowing God in a deeper way and maybe you’ll look at the stars just a little bit differently, too.

Question of the day: If you're reading this blog, you're obviously a little computer savvy, but how would you describe yourself? Are you computer literate? Are a computer geek?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Excerpt from Disarming Andi

Here's a little bit from Disarming Andi by Elizabeth Goddard.

Key Verse:

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

“I haven’t seen her all day,” Vance said.
The brothers grew serious and shared a glance.
“We’d better go check on her,” Lars said.
“So, are you really worried about her?” Vance hurried after them. “You don’t think something could have happened, do you? Her sister called. She was supposed to pick her up.”
Vance joined them on the elevator.
“There are a couple of places that a person wouldn’t want to fall into.”
“What?” Vance’s gut tightened as he looked from one brother to the other. “What places?”
“No point in borrowing trouble.” Karl shrugged.
“Yeah, she’s probably looking around by herself like she always does after we leave.”
“Looking around? For what?” How did they know she looked around after they left if they were gone? Odd.
Neither brother answered, but Vance didn’t miss their shared glance.
While they waited for the doors to open, the thought that Andi could be hurt somewhere on the missile launch center crept over Vance. He shoved it away. Like Karl said. No point in borrowing trouble. But if something had happened to her. . .
His concerns over his job and the tricky game he played with the algorithm meant nothing to him. He had to find Andi, make sure she was all right. She already meant way too much to him. Never mind that she’d built a barrier he couldn’t seem to scale. Never mind that it was obvious she and God weren’t on good terms.
At the moment, he cared about nothing except finding her.

Question of the Day. Have you ever star-gazed and thought about how big God is? What reminds you of God's amazing power?

Join us tomorrow for a guest blog post with Elizabeth Goddard

Monday, March 29, 2010

Disarming Andi by Elizabeth Goddard

This week's feature title is:

Disarming Andi by Elizabeth Goddard
HP 893
ISBN 978-1-60260-756-9

Vance never expected this.

From the back cover:

Vance Young inherits a missile launch site—a relic from the cold war buried beneath the plains of North Dakota—from his great-uncle, a man he never knew. An astronomy fanatic, Vance needs free access to the night skies, so he doesn’t consider staying in the underground dwelling until he meets Andi Nielsen, the woman responsible for remodeling it into a lavish home.

Upon meeting Vance, Andi may have just gotten her second chance to discover what her grandfather hid inside the old missile base decades before when he served as a missileer. Is she prepared to detonate her growing feelings for the new owner in order to find the hidden treasure? And when Vance remotely discovers a cybercrime involving his classified software, can he solve the crime and keep the woman he loves safe?

About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Goddard is a 7th generation Texans who recently spent five years in beautiful Southern Oregon, which serves as a setting for some of her novels. She is now back in East Texas, living near her family. When she’s not writing, she’s busy home schooling her four children. Beth is the author of several novels and novellas. She’s actively involved in several writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and loves to mentor new writers.

ACK! I completely spaced out for a question of the day!

Which spawns this edit and a question: When was the last time you completely dropped the ball for an appointment or responsibility?

Friday, March 26, 2010

This week's winner!

This week's winner is: Kaitlin! Congratulations! Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of a prize.

And Congratulations to JoAnne Simmons, who welcomed baby girl Lilly into her family this week. We wish you every happiness and thank God for the blessing of Lilly.

Be sure to leave baby-blessing wishes for JoAnne and her family and help us celebrate Lilly's arrival.

Join us next week to meet Heartsong author Elizabeth Goddard.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From The Vault

This week's book from the vault is:

Under the Tulip Poplar by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver.

From the back cover:

Rebekah eagerly anticipates the return of her childhood sweetheart from college...and his long-awaited proposal. But when Asher instead tells her that their wedding must wait while he fights for his country, Rebekah's dreams seem to shatter around her. Asher longs to provide a life of wealth and position for his true love, Rebekah. But when she balks at some of his plans for their future, he begins to question the dreams he believed they shared. Will Rebekah and Asher lose their dreams of love or follow God's leading to the life He has for them together?
An Excerpt from Under the Tulip Poplar
“What did you say?”
“I said I’ve joined the Tennessee militia. We’re in the middle of a war and General Jackson says it’s our duty to help keep this country safe. He has so many great ideas. If all of the members of Congress would listen to him, I have no doubt the British would already have been routed.”
Rebekah’s dreams crashed around her as the meaning of his words sank in. Asher had not come to ask for her hand in marriage. He had come to tell her good-bye. She shook her head in denial, backing away from him. “You’re. . .going away? How could you do this to me—to us?”

To learn more about this book and others by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver, click HERE.

Tomorrow we'll draw a winner from among the commentors, so stop on back to see if you've won!
Question of the Day: Heartsong Presents has a page on Facebook. So the question of the day is: Do you Facebook? If so, please consider checking out Heartsong's Facebook Page by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest Blog with Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver

Today we have a guest blog by co-authors Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver.

It is an honor to be featured on the Heartsong Connection blog this week. A big thanks to JoAnne, Erica, and Jeri for what they are doing to promote our books.

When planning this historical series set in Tennessee, we wanted to show the transition of the state in the nineteenth century. We chose to use three generations of one family so that three different periods in Tennessee’s history, along with three different areas of the state, could be used as the settings—from the period of the War of 1812 in Nashville, to the years right before the Cherokee Trail of Tears in the area that would become Chattanooga, and on to the divisive years of the Civil War in Knoxville. Each of these periods provided its own conflicts and struggles for our characters to face and ultimately triumph in with the Lord’s help.

We decided to use symbols of the states in the titles, which helped give us plot points and themes for the books themselves. We used the state tree in Under the Tulip Poplar, the state flower in A Bouquet for Iris, and the state bird in this week’s featured title, The Mockingbird’s Call. We wanted to work the mockingbird into the plot of the book and came up with the idea of our heroine, Amelia Montgomery, getting named the “Mockingbird” as she begins to work on the Underground Railroad. This worked very well as the mockingbird can disguise itself by mimicking the calls of other birds.

Historical facts of the mockingbird during the Victorian period added greatly to our story. Pins of different types of birds were very popular in this period, including some of mockingbirds which we found pictures of. We also discovered in our research that owning a mockingbird as a pet was a big trend. In fact, the mockingbird population at first began to diminish in the late 1800s due to this. Ultimately, however, this practice led to the bird’s territory being greatly expanded, even as far as the Hawaiian Islands, when owners tired of caring for them and set them free. This gave us so much more to work with as the idea of our heroine being caged by her deceptions and ultimately finding freedom in Christ through His truth was hatched. (Couldn’t resist that one.) As the saying goes, with a little addition, it’s great when God brings His plan together!

We were also able to incorporate our other careers into this story. I (Diane) was able to include my expertise in political situations and I (Aaron) was able to add my knowledge of educational institutions. The politics of the heavily divided state, and specifically the area around Knoxville, in the mid 1800s almost led to the state dividing into two as Virginia did, but the state’s secession ended the attempt. Also, our hero, Jared Stuart (He is a beta hero, Myra.) attends East Tennessee University which was the third name (after Blount College and East Tennessee College) the school had before settling on the University of Tennessee soon after the Civil War ended. We loved showing the school’s earlier years when it emphasized a more religion-based curriculum and conducted chapel services every morning.

We hope all of our readers enjoy our journey through several years of Tennessee history. We also hope you will join us on our future historical series set in Mississippi, where you will find some familiar faces from our stories in the Volunteer State.

Question of the Day: This past fall I made strides in overcoming a fear of mine. I've never been a big fan of birds. I don't mind the web-footed, smooth-billed ducks and geese, but the grippy feet, pokey beaks, and beady eyes of other winged creatures always gives me a shudder. But this past fall I faced that fear and actually went into the Budgie Encounter at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO. I had birds sitting on my shoulders, my hands, my hair (that was a scary one for me) and my feet. Birds fluttered and flew everywhere.

So, are you a bird-watcher? Do you have a fear of birds?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Excerpt from The Mockingbird's Call

Here's an exerpt from this week's feature title, The Mockingbird's Call
Benjamin put her hand on his arm and pulled her away.
“I have a very special friend I’d like you to meet, cousin.” He pulled her toward Jared. “Jared Stuart, please meet my cousin, Amelia Montgomery.”
“It’s you.” Her eyes, so deep, so mysterious, shone in the light of the candles. “I never got to say goodbye.”
“You two know each other?” Benjamin’s shocked gaze met Jared’s sheepish one. “Have you been keeping secrets from me?”“We rode the train together, but we were never properly introduced.” Jared raised his spectacles to the bridge of his nose. “Luke Talbot made sure of that.”

Question of the day: Spring is gradually making its presence known here in Minnesota and people are emerging from their houses like newly-awakened hibernating animals. My husband and I have resumed our evening walks together. How about you? Are you getting out more, seeing more neighbors, maybe doing a little exercising now that spring is here?

Join us tomorrow for a guest blog from Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Mockingbird's Call by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver

This week's feature title is:

The Mockingbird’s Call by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver
HP 892
ISBN 978-1-60260-769-9

How did Amelia get herself into this mess?

From the back cover:

Amelia Montgomery never would have planned to become a notorious agent on the Underground Railroad; it just happened. Someone needed help, and she helped. Before she knew it, she had acquired the code name Mockingbird, and the whole Confederate army was looking for her—including her brand new fiancĂ©, Captain Luke Talbot.

Jared Stuart finds himself torn between his convictions and his duty as a Tennesseean. While he can no longer support slavery, he will not fight against his friends and neighbors. Instead, Jared chooses to use his talents as a writer to prove the pen is mightier than the sword.

When Luke arrests Jared, accusing him of being the Mockingbird, Amelia must face herself and make difficult decisions. Will she admit to her actions, freeing Jared and destroying her own engagement, or will she play it safe and stay silent?

About Diane and Aaron:

Diane Ashley, a “town girl” born and raised in Mississippi, has worked more than twenty years for the House of Representatives. She rediscovered a thirst for writing, was led to a class taught by Aaron McCarver, and became a founding member of the Bards of Faith. Visit her at

Aaron McCarver is a transplanted Mississippian who was raised in the mountains near Dunlap, Tennessee. He loves his jobs of teaching at two Christian colleges and editing for Barbour Publishing. A member of ACFW, he is co-author with Gilbert Morris of the bestselling series, The Spirit of Appalachia.

Question of the Day: Was your state involved in the Civil War? Do you live near a battlefield?

Friday, March 19, 2010

This week's winner!

This week's winner is...
Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your preference of a prize.
Join us next week when we chat with Aaron McCarver and Diane Ashley.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

From The Vault

This week's book from the vault is

A Girl Like That by Francis Devine

Katie O'Shannon is excited to finally be in Chicago, working with her father in show business. And when she's given the opportunity to perform on stage herself, she's sure her dreams are coming true. But then God awakens her to the plight of the immigrants, and she realizes the spotlight may not bring her what she truly seeks. When Katie meets Sam Nelson, sparks fly. But as Chicago ignites around them, will they turn to God for guidance or will their dreams - and love - burn to ashes?

To learn more about this book and others by Frances Devine, click HERE:

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for this week's prize!
Question of the Day: The first day of spring is coming this weekend. Has spring sprung yet where you are?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guest Blog with Frances Devine

Hi, bloggers and readers. I’m honored to be chosen to say a few words. I’m Frances Devine. I was born in Donna, Texas, in 1940, but before I was a year old, my family moved to Dallas. I spent most of my childhood, teens and early twenties there. I still miss Big D, but the Dallas of today is not the same city I grew up in.

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. The first one that comes to mind was called Mumpsy Goes to Kindergarten. I loved the story but was truly awestruck by the pictures of the little girl in her pretty, swirly dresses. I began sounding out words in my mother’s books when I was too young to understand the meanings. Later, I fell in love with the Bobbsey Twins, The Five Little Peppers and other favorites. In my preteen years, I graduated to Nancy Drew, Judy Bolten, and The Hardy Boys. Like a lot of other writers, I can remember writing my first story when I was eight or nine years old. It was, of course, a masterpiece in my own mind and thus began a life-long desire to be a published author.

Instead, I married young and started raising a family. Seven children take up a lot of time, so my desire to write had to be satisfied with stories I wrote for them and poems I wrote for myself. I never lost the dream, but somewhere along the way, I did lose the idea that the dream was possible.

My children were all grown and had homes and families of their own when the wonder of computers and the Internet came into my life. A thought began to worm its way back into my heart. Maybe, just maybe.

Then, a wonderful, exciting event occurred. My youngest daughter’s book was accepted for publication by Heartsong Presents. I walked on clouds. Then her second book was published and then the third. Suddenly, I was living my dream through her. And at first it was enough. But with her nudging me, I got my own dream back and started writing. First a novella was published, then a cozy mystery, then I took a deep breath and decided to try my hand at writing a Heartsong Romance.

I’ve been reading Heartsong books for about fifteen years and love the wonderful stories, exciting settings, and heroes and heroines who might sometimes make mistakes, but eventually let God have his way in their lives. It is also very nice to pick up a romance book and not have to cast it aside with embarrassment after the first ten pages. As a new Heartsong historical author, I feel honored to be a member of this talented group of writers. I am so grateful to the Barbour editors and staff for their help and encouragement.

Since I’ve always been fascinated by stories of old Chicago, when I decided to write a Christian romance, this was the first setting that I considered. The first story, Once a Thief, which actually turned out to be the second book in the series, also includes a little bit of mystery. A girl named Danielle, from an Oliver Twist type situation, decieves her way into the home of a wealthy and very kind family. But the handsome young man next door isn’t fooled by her acting ability. Will Danielle let Christ change her or will catastrophe occur?

After writing Once a Thief, I knew I had to go back and write the story of the hero’s parents. A Girl Like That, book one, is about Katie, a young star-struck girl, who learns that some people are less fortunate than others and might perhaps need a helping hand. She meets a young lawyer who also has a lesson to learn. Conley’s Patch, a real and very poor district of mostly Irish immigrants plays a large part in the book. As the flames of the tragic Chicago fire jump the river and devour the Patch, we find our hero and heroine in danger as he searches for her among the screaming hordes of fleeing people.

The third book, Sugar and Spice, finds Danielle’s younger brother Jimmy at a crossroads in his life. Should he continue in law school which his brother-in-law, Blake and sister, Danielle, have made possible? Or should he follow his restless heart wherever it might lead? More complications arise when he falls in love with Cici, a very headstrong preacher’s daughter with a restless spirit of her own. That restless spirit leads her into dangerous situations and she finally finds herself among the passengers of the Eastland steamer as it sinks into the Chicago River.

Perhaps the reason my heroines all have character problems in the beginning is because of my own rebellion when I was young. But just as Jesus Christ turned my life around, I knew he would do the same for Katie, Danielle, and Cici as well as for the heroes in their lives.
I hope my readers enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Have a very blessed day and walk in His joy.

Question of the Day: Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Are you wearing green?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Excerpt from Sugar and Spice

Here's a little bit from Sugar and Spice by Frances Devine.

Pain seared through Cici’s leg as she tugged to try to get free. Somewhere in the dark water that now reached her waist, her foot was wedged between the wall and a heavy chest. Tears of frustration stained her cheeks as she stared up at the rescue worker.
She shook her head. “I can’t move it.”
“Cici!” Jimmy shoved the man away and reached for her. She reached her arms up to him.
“Oh, Jimmy.” She gazed into his wonderful face. The face she’d feared she’d never see again. “My foot is wedged tight. I can’t get out.” Panic clutched tight at her chest and throat. Was she going to die when she was so close to being with him once more?

Join us tomorrow when Frances Devine stops by for a visit. And don't forget to leave a comment this week to be entered into the drawing for a copy of one of Frances's books or 10 Heartpoints to be put toward future shipments of books.

Question of the Day: With the holiday coming up tomorrow, I'm curious: Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions? Are you Irish?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sugar and Spice by Frances Devine

This week's feature book is Sugar and Spice by Frances Devine.

HP 891
ISBN 978-1-60260-706-4

Cici has put herself in grave danger.

From the back cover:

When Cici Willow, a pastor’s daughter, falls in love with Jimmy Grayson, she feels she must give up a lifelong desire for excitement and adventure. Feeling guilty over her selfishness, she jumps at the chance to do what she thought would be a good deed, but instead she runs straight into danger.
Jimmy is certain about his love for Cici, but he isn’t sure why his future as an attorney no longer satisfies him. Or why he suddenly feels more at home among the poor folks near the docks. To make life more disturbing, the man who exploited Jimmy and his sister has reappeared. When Jimmy sees Cici, standing on the deck of a tour boat with the villain, he can’t believe his eyes. And as the steamer Eastland sinks into the murky Chicago River, will God answer Cici’s prayer to give her a second chance at life and love?

About Frances:

FRANCES DEVINE spent most of her childhood, teen, and young adult years in Dallas, Texas, but lived for five years in a little country community called Brushy Creek among the beautiful pine woods of East Texas. There, she wrote her first story at the age of nine. She moved to Southwest Missouri more than twenty years ago and fell in love with the hills, the fall colors, and Silver Dollar City. Frances considers herself blessed to have the opportunity to write for Barbour Books. She is the mother of seven adult children and has fourteen wonderful grandchildren. Frances is happy to hear from her fans.

Question of the Day: Chicago is a favorite vacation spot for our family. Have you ever been to the Windy City? If so, what do you love to do there?

Friday, March 12, 2010

This week's winner!

This week's winner is...
Congratulations, CJ. You've won either 10 heart points or your choice of one of the two Lauralee Bliss books featured this week.
Please contact us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of a prize.
I hope everyone will join us next week for a look at the work of Frances Devine and her newest release, Sugar and Spice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From the Vault

This week's book from the Vault is:

Into The Deep by Lauralee Bliss.

From the back cover:

In 1843 Kentucky, Susanna Barnett longs for the finer things in life. Mammoth Cave brings them to her and her family. Not only does the cavern attract curious folks paying top dollar for tours, but its unique atmosphere promises to heal the sick. Surely God Himself etched out this place as a blessing to all men. Jared Edwards has been played the fool. Mammoth Cave's doctor promised miracles for consumption victims. Instead of celebrating recovery with his aunt Mattie, he's burying her and being sent away amid his uncle Dwight's accusations. Driven by guilt, Jared determines to close down the death cave. Will Jared and Susanna's attraction to each other prove more powerful than their connection to Mammoth Cave?

To learn more about this title and others by Lauralee Bliss, click HERE.

Question of the Day: Though I've ventured down a few caves, I'm not a fan of dank, dark places deep in the earth. So, do you like caves? Are you claustrophobic?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Guest Blog with Lauralee Bliss

There is hope for prodigal sons and daughters…

This is the resounding theme within my book, Love’s Winding Path. Writing this novel has been both a spiritual, emotional, and even recreational experience for me. I first conceived the idea about five years ago for a separate collection that didn't pan out. As in everything in our lives, our writing and the publication for that writing is in God’s perfect timing. There are projects perhaps that have sat in a file computer

for ages like seeds waiting in the cold ground to burst into life. Well, this was one of those books. It sat for a quite a long time. Four years. I felt at times it was a lost cause. Until my wonderful editor, JoAnne, bought it out of the blue one cold day in December and when I was going through some tough times in my life. And, ironically, it was one of those very trials that fit into the theme of the book.
Writing a novel based on the prodigal son story in the Bible, I see now why God has a specific time and placement for our books. At the exact time the book was sold, I was dealing with (and still am) a prodigal son. When the contract came, my son had left home and was gone about a week but did eventually return. I knew that deep within him, much like in my character Dan, he was itching to leave and be out on his own. Six months ago my son left for good, abandoning everything including college. Everything we had given to him and done for him, he left behind. He only speaks to us now on rare occasions.
Yes, there is heartache and asking why. Why, when we did everything we thought we should do, did he just up and leave? He was raised in a Christian home. He was homeschooled. He participated in every kind of event boys do – baseball, Scouts, soccer, plays, hikes, boating, musical arts. He and I even hiked the entire Appalachian Trail together.. But still he felt he had to leave. And as parents, though we were crushed, it also became a time of understanding God even more. As an author, I could write this particular book with the heart of one who is going through this difficult time. I can take His wisdom and some of what I have seen and dealt with to add realism to the book. Not that the hero of the book, Dan, is my son by any means.. Yet there are spiritual similarities that a prodigal goes through. That longing deep within for a son or daughter to know God. To know His will for their lives. To want so dearly to succeed on their own, but finding out that success is really found in accepting who God is and what He desires for each of us. And this journey has also brought forth the realization that we are all prodigals in one form or another. That is, until we come home to accept God fully as Lord of our lives. And we are willing to have His perfect plan come about in the way He sees fit. Like the perfect timing for the writing and publication of this book. And the timing for my son to come to the realization of who he is in Christ and return to us.
As for the recreational aspects of this journey, I invite you to check out my guest blog on where I delve more deeply into our adventure. I enjoyed a delightful time with my husband last summer researching this three book series. We rafted, explored the beauty of Utah’s numerous national parks, drove up into the Wasatch Mountains, and reveled in this unique and fascinating state.
We can take all aspects of our life and our journey into the craft of writing. Most of all, we can trust in God with the perfect timing for all that we do. The way is never easy, but we can have faith that His way is the right way. I pray this book ministers to those with a prodigal or who may have been a prodigal at one time or another. For all of us, the message is clear. With God there is hope!
Question for you: Have you been to a national park, and if so, what one was your favorite?

Drawing of prodigal son and father provided by flikr.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Excerpt from Love's Winding Path

Here's a little taste of Love's Winding Path by Lauralee Bliss

Key Verse
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6

From the book:

But he couldn’t have everything he wanted in less than a week.

An awesome job and a girlfriend to boot. Could he?
“You look like something’s on your mind.”
“I. . .uh, I’m happy to have a friend. When you’re new in town, a friend is awesome.”
“It’s important. Friends make things better. And so can ice cream, when you’ve had a tough day. I get a cone whenever I’ve had a tough day.” She paused as if lost in her own thoughts.
“Has today been a tough day?”
“No, it’s been pretty good, actually.”
Dan was liking this more and more. He’d give it a few more days, tops. Jo was sure to be in his relationship status on Facebook. He hoped.

Question of the day: What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Love's Winding Path by Lauralee Bliss

This week's feature book is:

Love’s Winding Path by Lauralee Bliss
HP 890
ISBN 978-160260-707-1

Red rocks. River rafting. Freedom!

From the back cover:

After years of impatient living and working on his parents’ peanut farm, Dan has finally escaped. Life as a river guide in Moab, Utah, is as far from peanut farming in Virginia as a man can get, and Dan revels in the newness of this life. An awesome job, a cool car, a place of his own—and a gorgeous girl.

Gorgeous or not, Jo has no intention of dating Dan. He’s just a bit too sure of himself, and he shows no interest in God. He’s also got issues to deal with, although, so does she. . . . But as long as Dan avoids God, Jo will avoid Dan. At least, that’s the plan.

When life in Moab takes some unexpected twists and turns, Dan must face who he really is. Maybe all that God stuff is true. But will he let go and believe, or continue to tough it out alone?

About Lauralee:

Lauralee Bliss has always liked to dream big dreams. Part of that dream was writing, and her career began with small creative works as a teen just for fun. After several years of hard work, the dream of publishing was realized in 1997 with the publication of her first romance novel, Mountaintop, through Barbour Publishing. Since then, she's had over a dozen books published, both historical and contemporary. Lauralee’s desire is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that ministers to the heart. Along with the dream of writing and publishing, Lauralee has recognized another dream in her life, completing a hike of the entire Appalachian Trail, all 2,175 miles. Lauralee is a wife of 20 years to husband Steve and mother to son, Joshua. Her other interests include traveling (of which she has been to 49 of the 50 states), gardening, and perusing a yard sale or two. Come visit her website at or her blog, to learn more about her books and writing along with her other interests.

Question for today: Have you been river rafting? If not, what is the most adventurous thing you've done?

Friday, March 5, 2010

This week's winner!

This week's winner is:
Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your preference of a prize!

Join us next week when Heartsong Author Lauralee Bliss will be here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From The Vault

Today's Heartsong from the Vault is Debby Mayne's Love's Image.

From the back cover:

Injured in a serious car crash, supermodel Shannon McNab's world is rocked by a prominent scar on her left cheek. Shaken by this "imperfection," Shannon's boyfriend abandons her. When an old high school friend drags Shannon to a church singles' group, she meets Judd Manning. The sweet, down-to-earth schoolteacher makes her laugh and see what's most important in life - and as they grow closer to each other and the Lord, a romantic attraction builds. But when Shannon's scar fades, the lure of her glamorous old life proves too strong to resist. Is it possible for a jetsetting supermodel and a home-loving schoolteacher to find common ground?

There is a limited quantity of this book left, so don't delay. Hop on over to the Heartsong website to order one before they're gone.

Question of the Day: Who was your favorite teacher?

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the Friday Drawing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guest Blog with Debby Mayne

Welcome Debby Mayne to Heartsong Connection today!

Hi, everyone! I’m Debby Mayne, a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to show God’s love through stories about relationships. I grew up in an air force family—yes, I’m a military brat, and I’m proud of it! We moved every few years, and being an only child, I had to find my own entertainment. So I read books. Lots of them. What I loved about reading was the ability to transport myself anywhere in the world without leaving the comfort and safety of my home, the backseat of the family car as we traveled to a new destination, or on a plane taking us overseas.

I’ve lived in many places, and experienced different cultures, but one thing that is common among most people is the desire to be loved. I was born in Alaska and lived in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oregon, Hawaii, and Japan. No matter where we went, I found other military brats as well as locals who were willing to share their hearts with me, knowing I’d eventually move again when my dad got orders for his next assignment. Military life isn’t just about the person who is serving. It affects the entire family with a culture like none other. Every chance I get, I put a little bit of military in my stories because it’s something I understand and want to share with people who have never experienced it. Although Special Mission’s theme isn’t specifically about the military, it offers a hint of the experience.

As I thought about the theme of my book—God’s plan is so much bigger than anything we’d ever expect—I pondered how small our thoughts are compared to His. In Special Mission, Kim’s relationship with David was okay, but what the Lord had in mind for her was more than okay; it was amazing beyond anything she ever could have imagined.

David is very heroic, but is he right for Kim? That’s the question that shows the theme the book is based on. The Lord uses Kim’s close friend Brian to help her see the big picture, which is nothing like what she expects in the beginning of the story.

This theme is always active in my life. I’m a goal setter, and I work hard to achieve what I want. I pray often for His will to be clear because I can be so dense. I ask Him to show me whether or not I’m on the right path. Sometimes I achieve my goals, yet other times I face the frustration of learning that what I originally wanted isn’t something I should have. Yes, I do get frustrated, but after more prayer and thought, I remember that my life doesn’t belong to me.

Special Mission is a story about walking in a God-chosen path, and includes realizations about loyalty, honor and friendship. I hope readers enjoy the story and come away with a clear picture of how much more wonderful God’s plan is than anything we could design on our own.

Question of the Day: In today's world, we often have a variety of good things we could be doing. How do you go about choosing the best thing?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Excerpt from Special Mission

Today we enjoy an excerpt from Debby Mayne's Special Mission

Key Verse: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: That if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:15

“Maybe she just has cold feet.” David offered a sympathetic grin. “I bet she comes around, and you’ll be off on your honeymoon in a day or two.”
“We’ll see.” Brian stepped away from them and waved. “I’d better go talk to some folks and thank them for coming to the party that didn’t happen.”
Kim and David watched Brian until he disappeared into the crowd; then David casually placed his hand in the small of Kim’s back. “I wouldn’t wanna be Brian now.” He gave her a squeeze. “But he seems to be handling it well.”
She pulled away and studied David’s profile—handsome in every way, from his deep-set eyes to his strong chin. “What choice does he have?”
“You said he was handling it well. What else could a guy in his place do?” Kim paused and gave him a moment to think before adding, “What would you do if I stood you up at the altar?”
He gave her a mock look of shock. “That’s not something I’ll ever have to worry about, is it?”
Kim shook her head. “No, of course not.”
David turned her to face him and placed a hand on each of her shoulders. “That’s my girl.”

Question of the Day: Did you get cold feet before your wedding?

Join us tomorrow for a guest blog with author Debby Mayne.

And forgive the photo today. It's my own quirky sense of humor...cold feet...:D

Monday, March 1, 2010

Special Mission by Debby Mayne

Happy Monday, and happy first day of March. Heartsong Connections is now entering its third month. We hope you're enjoying learning more about the stories available to you and the authors who write them.

This week's feature new release is:

Special Mission by Debby Mayne
HP 889
ISBN 978-160260-709-5

She thought he was the one.

From the Back Cover:

Kim thought David was her knight in shining armor. But can she compete with the blinding passion he has for his military career? Will David realize that in making life-changing decisions without consulting Kim, he is pushing his fiancée out of his life?

Brian and Kim have been best friends since childhood, but as he watches her romance fall apart, Brian finds his own heart changing. How can he continue to comfort and support her only as a friend when he longs to love her fully instead?

All three must examine the true meaning of loyalty, of friendship, and of love—and whether being “honorable” means being false to oneself. Will they find the answers within their own desires, or look to God for guidance and release?

About Debby:

Debby Mayne has been a freelance writer all her adult life, starting with slice-of-life stories in small newspapers, then moving on to parenting articles for regional publications and fiction stories for women and girls. She has been involved in all aspects of publishing from the creative side, to editing a national health magazine, to freelance proofreading for several book publishers. Her belief that all blessings come from the Lord has given her great comfort during trying times and gratitude for when she is rewarded for her efforts.

If you'd like to learn more about Heartsong Presents bookclub, or order a Heartsong, click here.

Question of the Day: One of the characters in Special Mission is a military man. Have you served in our armed forces? Do you know someone who is a soldier or sailor?

Join us tomorrow for an exerpt from Debby Mayne's Special Mission. And don't forget, commentors are entered into a drawing to be announced each Friday. Become a follower of the blog (link to follow is in the left column) to increase your chances of winning a prize.