Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An interview with a Heartsong Reader

I thought it might be fun to have an interview with a Heartsong Reader, so a couple of weeks ago, I contacted Kaitlin, who has been a faithful commentor here at Heartsong Connection. Kaitlin graciously consented to an interview about what she enjoys about Heartsong stories.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself, Kaitlin.

My name is Kaitlin, and I am 22. I live in Illinois in a teeny-tiny farm town called Onarga. Right now I'm at Illinois State University earning a degree in Elementary Education--I'll be certified in May. I am the oldest of three, one sister and one brother. My dad farms and my mom is a nurse. I enjoy reading, writing (I would love to do it as more than a hobby someday!) and scrapbooking, and I love movies and old TV shows (my favorite show ever is "Magnum PI".)



How long have you been a Heartsong reader, and how did you find out about Heartsongs?


I started reading Heartsong books sometime in high school--junior year, I think it was. I was shopping at Barnes and Noble and came across one of the three-in-one anthologies, "Great Lakes" by Andrea Boeshaar and Susannah Hayden. In the back was a form for the book club, which I joined. I would scour the stacks in every bookstore looking for the Barbour symbol on the spine, and soon I was getting the anthologies and single novellas for Christmas and birthdays, buying them through Amazon and other sites, and buying the single titles from Heartsong Presents when I would see one that sounded especially good.


What is it about Heartsongs that brings you back time and again?


I keep coming back to Heartsongs because I love them! I love the faith elements and the scriptures and that each one is like a mini Bible lesson/sermon. I love that the characters are so engaging and well formed, I love the settings, and I love that each story is resolved in the end. The hero and heroine end up together and I don't have to wait for the next book to find that out. I also love that they are a manageable size (they fit in my purse!) and I like being able to get through them in one sitting. Sometimes I don't have a lot of time to read, so I have to put it down and come back, but with the Heartsong titles, that is never a problem!


Are you a fan of contemporary stories, historicals, or both?


I prefer historical to contemporary, but I do read both.. If a story is a historical one, I am more likely to pick it up right away.. I like the contemporary stories that take place in interesting locales or have really unique heroes/heroines. My family has constantly told me that I was born in the wrong century, and with a history buff for a father, I grew up in museums and on battlefields and watching shows on the History Channel, so my love for history runs pretty deep.


Is there a particular quality you love to see in a hero or heroine?


This may sound strange, but I love cranky heroes! I just love it when they are really gruff and surly and then suddenly find themselves wrapped around some sassy lady's finger. And I LOVE cowboys! As far as heroines go, I like a wide range. I am a fairly passive person, so I like the heroines who remind me of myself. I also love the heroines who are total spitfires and could do just fine without a man.


Is there anything you'd like to say to Heartsong readers....writers...editors?



I would like to tell authors and editors to keep up the good work! All the readers out there thank you for what you do--for providing an escape from the "real world" for a little while and allowing us dreamers to live out our fantasies in your novels.


Thank you to Kaitlin. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better.

Question of the Day.
I'll ask you one of the questions that Kaitlin answered: Is there a particular quality you love to see in a hero or heroine?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Maggie and the Maverick ~ Erica Vetsch

This week's feature title is:
Maggie and the Maverick
By Erica Vetsch
HP # 928
Historical Romance

From the back cover:

Just another one of them rotten McConnells. . .


Maggie Davis comes to town determined to find the bad guy, lock him up, and move on—just as she’s done so many times before. No one suspects the diminutive seller of feminine fripperies to be a U.S. Marshal in disguise. But that’s what she is. So when the intriguingly handsome stage driver turns out to be her number one suspect, she’s surprised at the turmoil she feels. Can the sweet, caring man she’s come to know (and maybe even love) be the same scoundrel the sheriff and other townspeople so viciously malign?
But Maggie knows that the web of corruption choking this corner of Idaho Territory must be torn down, no matter who’s in charge. And if the perpetrator is Cal McConnell, then justice will be served. Even if it breaks her heart.

 
From the book:

Then Cal stood before her. “May I have the honor?”


She stopped clapping. “You?”

He nodded, the dimple creasing his cheek. “Seb and I were declared the co-winners of the bronc riding. He’s decided to sit this one out with Georgia. What do you say?”

It’s not fair, Lord. You know what I have to do. Why do You make it so hard?

“Maggie?” He held out his hand. A girl could sink deep into those blue eyes and never surface. Her hand went out to his, and she shivered when their fingers touched.

He tugged, and she followed him up onto the platform. Though the others moved around them, they were only vague images on the edge of her vision. Cal’s face drew her complete attention, and he fitted her into his arms with ease.

His strong hand spread-eagled on her back, guiding her, and her fingers rested lightly on his broad shoulder. He winked at her and tilted his head as if summing her up and liking what he saw. She couldn’t look away. The power he had over her frightened her into stiffening.

“Relax.” He leaned in and whispered against her temple, his breath tangling in her hair. “I’m not going to bite you.”

You could do far worse than that, Cal McConnell. You could break my heart.


About the author:

ERICA VETSCH is married to Peter and keeps the company books for the family lumber business. A home-school mom, Erica loves history, romance, and storytelling. Her ideal vacation is taking her family to out-of-the-way history museums and chatting to curators about local history. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Calvary Bible College in Secondary Education: Social Studies. You can find her on the web at www.onthewritepath.blogspot.com 

Question of the day...Today is often called Cyber Monday by economists because a lot of on-line Christmas shopping takes place on this day. I'm a big fan of point-and-click shopping, and I intend to do quite a bit of my Christmas shopping on-line this year. So, today's question is...brave the stores, the crowds, the Black Friday madness or shop in your jammies from home and get things delivered to your door?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Congratulations!

Cecelia D!

Congratulations, you are this week's winner in the random drawing. Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of either In Search of Serenity, In Search of a Dream, or 10 Heartpoints to be used for future shipments of Heartsong Bookclub books.

And so long to all of you. This is Jeri signing off as this will be my last blog post for Heartsong. Next week Erica will hostess and then we will turn it over to our wonderful publisher who has great things in store for the blog. Can't wait! I'll see you there. Happy Holidays and happy reading. May God bless beyond measure. Jeri

Thursday, November 25, 2010

From The Vault

In Search Of A Dream
Hs #908
ISBN: 9781602608818

After three years with no contract from him, Clemmie Lyons needs to put her dream of marrying Joel Litton behind her. To make the transition easier, Clemmie leaves Lyons' Refuge with all its memories of Joel and visits a friend for the summer. But nothing prepares her for the moment she discovers Joel living nearby, trying to hide a terrible secret from all who knew him. Will these two friends find a way to make their dreams reality, or will guilt over the past ultimately drive them apart?

Isaiah 42: 16: “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

“I have no idea why we care so much, but we do. My parents love you, I love you. And—”

Clemmie broke off her spiel when she realized what she’d just admitted. Her mouth dropped open at her slip, her face flaming with humiliation. She whirled around and fled out the door.

In shock, she heard his steps pound behind her, closing in on her, right before he grabbed her waist. His other hand then found her arm, and he spun her around to face him. “Oh no, Clemmie. You’re not getting away that easy.” He grabbed both her arms, and she thought he might shake her. “I want some answers. And I won’t take ‘later’ or ‘soon’ this time!”

What is something you're thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

People often ask me, “What is your favorite book that you’ve written?” I tell them they’re like children – you can’t really pick a favorite, each is special and unique in its own way. But there are some stories I’ve written that hold a fond place in my heart, and In Search of a Dream (the 2nd book of the Connecticut series) is one of them. One reason for this is Joel Litton.

Joel first made his appearance as a towheaded little rascal at Lyons’ Refuge at the end of In the Secret Place – the 2nd book in this entire story series (which includes the New York series) centered around three main families, with my first book, ’Til We Meet Again, being the first of this series and my first published book. I have enjoyed playing with Joel’s character and have him grow up throughout books that followed: in Heart Appearances as a main secondary prepubescent boy, later making appearances in A Gentle Fragrance, and then finally in A Bridge Across the Sea, as a confident, if somewhat arrogant young man. Joel was the brightest star and the blackest lamb – the leader of his gang of boys at Lyons’ Refuge - an unusual reformatory home for outcast children, started to get them off the streets and away from a life of crime. Joel was always the first to stir up trouble, his personality a contradiction of an angelic appearance and impish behavior. I loved delving into Joel’s character and bringing out his insecurities and frailties that were only hinted at before, now fleshed out in his story, with the heroine, the little girl who always adored him at Lyons’ Refuge, now all grown up: Clemmie Lyons (daughter of Stewart and Charleigh, who made her first appearance in ’Til We Meet Again.)

Joel was a challenge to write – because I pulled out the rug from under him. In previous books he was a happy-go-lucky troublemaker, prone to mischief and adored by the opposite gender. In his story, I threw a wrench into that merry stability by giving Joel a challenging handicap from the outset. An accident almost destroyed him, and Clemmie, who knows Joel better than anyone, is the only one who can snap him out of his new alarming and bitter, reclusive nature. The problem is, she can’t tell him who she is to do it. I so enjoyed writing his character and their budding relationship. I hope you enjoy their story as well.

Are you cooking a turkey tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest Blog with Pamela Griffin Day One


In Search of Serenity is special to me because it is the last of the series of eight books involving the families of the Lyonses, the Thomases, and the Fontaines, and the final story that brings everything full circle. It was hard to say goodbye to these characters who I have lived with, in writing them, for ten years now. (Yes, ten! Hard to believe, isn’t it?) But it was time.

It is my hope that my readers were blessed and entertained and gained something from knowing these characters. Thanks to the many of you who have shown me support over the years. Your words were jewels to me and an encouragement to keep writing. Those letters that let me know you found a new relationship with Jesus through my stories, or returned to a former one with Him, those were a special blessing, and I thank you for sharing your wonderful news.

With the holidays upon us, this is my favorite time of year. The cool air is brisk, laced with the tantalizing fragrance of woodsmoke, the very atmosphere expectant, and I often like to take walks alone or with my boys late in the evening. It is then that the constant rush of traffic has faded away to become nonexistent and the night unfolds, peaceful and quiet. When walking alone under the moon and stars, there is an enriching feeling of being alone with God, and it is during those times I have had some of my deepest, most intimate conversations with my Creator. When strolling with my sons, we have shared some of our closest moments together. There is something about walking in nature, when all is peaceful, that draws out the ease of heartfelt conversation but also light moments of silliness and fun. I encourage you to take a walk with your loved ones, when all lies quiet and still, and see how rewarding the experience can be. God bless – and have a wonderful holiday season!

When is the last time you've taken a walk with someone you love or just you and the Lord?

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Search of Serenity - Pamela Griffin

In Search of Serenity
by Pamela Griffin
HP 927
ISBN 978-1-61626-038-5
HISTORICAL

Hannah Thomas dreams large.

Determined to escape her humdrum life in 1939 Connecticut by writing a bestselling novel filled with mystery and intrigue, Hannah is relentless in pursuing her dreams. But then mystery lands on her doorstep in the person of Eric Fontaine. Why does his presence anger her father so—especially when Eric simply wants to help repair their house while Mr. Thomas recovers from a serious accident?

As Hannah works with Eric, she learns to trust him, but questions remain about his family—and long-held secrets that involve her parents. Even more disturbing, Eric makes Hannah question her own goals and values.

Will friendship with this disturbing stranger bring her the serenity she seeks, or will the knowledge he carries destroy the family she loves?

Ezekiel 18:20: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

“While our. . .houseguest is staying here, I want you to keep out of his way. He’s not the kind of man I want my daughters consorting with.”

That puzzled Hannah. Of all the young men she’d known, Eric seemed the least dangerous. One certainly couldn’t accuse him of a life spent in dissipation—he’d probably only had acquaintance with the word when browsing through a dictionary. And she knew his economic status didn’t matter—her parents had conceived this plan of moving into the rickety old farmhouse to take their children away from associating with the privileged class.

“I don’t understand, Daddy.” She voiced her confusion. “He seems like a nice man.”

“Don’t let appearances deceive you, Hannah. I don’t trust him, and you’d be wise to follow my lead.”

Hannah could barely believe what she was hearing. Eric had done nothing to merit disfavor. He’d done his utmost to seclude himself in his room, away from the family, at every opportunity. Hadn’t her parents endlessly told her not to judge people for others’ mistakes and to give second chances?

PAMELA GRIFFIN lives in Texas and divides her time among family, church activities, and writing. She fully gave her life to the Lord in 1988 after a rebellious young adulthood and owes the fact that she’s still alive today to an all-loving and forgiving God and a mother who prayed that her wayward daughter would come “home”. Pamela’s main goal in writing Christian romance is to encourage others through entertaining stories that also heal the wounded spirit. Please visit Pamela at: http://www.Pamela-Griffin.com

What brings you serenity? Nature? Prayer? A walk? Being with people? Being alone? Something else?

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Week's Winner Is...

Kathy Kovach

Congratulations, you are this week's winner in the random drawing. Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of either The Thing About Beauty, For the Love of Books, or 10 Heartpoints to be used for future shipments of Heartsong Bookclub books.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From The Vault

For the Love of Books
Heartsong Presents #838
Contemporary

Callie Brandt thinks she's destined to be her town's next spinster librarian. But a gorgeous newcomer is hiding a secret, and Callie aims to find it out. Lane Hutchins has been living a double life for years, and nothing bad has ever come of it. Until now. In tiny Ft. Lob, Wyoming, he unexpectedly falls in love with Callie Brandt.

Key verse: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 KJV.

Excerpt:
Then his mind drifted to the girl with the curly dark hair who had checked out his books. She certainly asked a lot of questions. But she had a pretty smile, and he liked the way her mouth moved when she talked. She might be attractive if she didn’t wear those thick glasses that magnified her eyes.

One of the old men had called her Callie. Callie Brandt. Pretty name. Lane sighed, thinking of the lonely life he led. It was nice to have someone take an interest in him for a change. Maybe he would spend more time at the library. . . .

But no, he should avoid Callie Brandt and her questions. He planned to stay only three months in Ft. Lob, gathering information, and then he would move on.

Hopefully, no one would guess who he really was.

Question of the Day: Have you ever met someone who surprised you with some hidden personality trait or some type of secret after you got to know them?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blog Day Two with Donna Reimel Robinson

Every novel has a beautiful heroine.

If I asked you to picture a beautiful woman with black hair, dark eyes, and perfect skin, the picture in your mind would be totally different than my picture. Everyone has their own concept of “beautiful.” However, The Thing About Beauty has a truly beautiful woman as its heroine. Tonya Brandt is physically beautiful, but she has a lot to learn when it comes to inward beauty!

Here’s my picture of Tonya. This is actually the actress Connie Sellecca (and this picture was probably taken twenty years ago since she’s in her fifties now. So picture the young Connie as you read the book!) By the end of the story, Tonya learns that beauty is only skin deep, and it’s the person inside who counts.

That’s how God looks at us. “For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). The Apostle Peter described what God is looking for in a beautiful woman: “Let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:4). When we allow the beauty of the Lord to shine through us, then we are truly beautiful.

Question of the Day: What constitutes real beauty to you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Blog Day One with Donna Reimel Robinson

Once upon a time, in a house far, far away, lived a mother who made up stories. When she put her children to bed at night, they begged her to tell them a story. They especially liked the one about the bad tigers who kidnapped the two children and hid them away in a library in the desert. (Don’t remember how that one turned out!) Needless to say, that mommy needed help in her story-telling ability!

Years passed, and the mother (“Mom” by now) worked on endless story ideas, improving the believability factor as well as other components of writing (which are too numerous to go into). She finally figured out that novels were her forte, and she wrote several from start to finish (although she started a whole bunch and never finished them).

Finally in 2007, she received her first contact from Heartsong Presents (yea!) for her novel For the Love of Books, and the rest, as they say, is history. No, no! They’re contemporary novels, not historicals! In fact, the second one, The Thing About Beauty, is contemporarily coming out in the book club this month—November 2010. Book number three in this Wyoming series, No One But You, is coming out next year some time—in the future! (Definitely not historical!)

The author and her family nineteen years ago (definitely historical!) The Robinsons have four children, and now have six grandchildren. Please visit Donna’s website at: DonnaRobinsonBooks.com.

Question of the Day: What size is your family? Do you have a lot of brothers and sisters? A dozenchildren? How many grandchildren?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Thing About Beauty by Donna Reimel Robinson

HP 926
ISBN 978-1-61626-113-9
CONTEMPORARY

Being beautiful has its drawbacks.

Tonya Brandt wants to marry a man who will complement her own beauty. But she’s dated every good-looking guy in town without finding someone who loves her for her mind and talents.

Murray Twichell knows his chances with Tonya aren’t good, but somehow he can’t get her out of his mind. Although her self-absorption drives him crazy and she doesn’t give him the time of day, something about her keeps drawing him back. If only he could get to know the real Tonya without her discovering who he is. . . .

When a secret admirer begins sending Tonya gifts and letters, her heart melts. But who is this mystery man? She loves his personality, but what does he look like? When Tonya finally discovers her secret admirer’s identity, will she reject him? Or will she learn that true beauty is more than skin deep?

“…Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7 KJV.

A blue light flashed in her eyes, and she glanced in the rearview mirror.

“Oh no!”

A Wyoming Highway Patrol car, lights flashing, drove behind her. With a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, Tonya turned right onto Bighorn Avenue and stopped, letting the engine idle. The state trooper pulled up behind her.

Tonya expelled a breath. Now she’d be late for sure. She glanced at her reflection in the rearview mirror and fluffed her hair. Her gaze roved her face, noting the perfect eyebrows she had tweezed an hour ago, the twilight shadow that shimmered on her lids and brought out the blue in her dark eyes, and the midnight mascara that separated her eyelashes perfectly. The state trooper would probably be an old married guy, but even married men gave her face a second glance.

Hopefully she could use her beauty to full advantage and get out of a speeding ticket.
Behind her the patrol car’s door opened. Tonya grabbed her purse and rummaged inside for her driver’s license. When a tap sounded on the tinted window, she pushed the button to roll it down. A dark green uniform came into view, and she looked up into the homely face of Murray Twichell.

“Murray!” She swiveled left to face him. “Please don’t give me a ticket! I’m already late for work, and Aggie threatened to dock my pay if I was late one more day.”

He raised reddish-brown eyebrows. “Maybe you should get up earlier, Tonya.”

DONNA REIMEL ROBINSON is a member of JOY Writers, a local critique group. As a pastor's wife, she heads up the music ministry of their church. In her spare time, Donna enjoys sewing, reading, and watching DVDs of Murder, She Wrote. The Robinsons have four children, two children-in-law, and three grandchildren. They live in Denver, Colorado. Visit Donna's website at www.donnarobinsonbooks.com.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been stopped by a policeman for speeding? How did you feel?

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Week's Winner!

Patti Jo--again!

Wow, girl, this must be your lucky month!

Congratulations, you are this week's winner in the random drawing. Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of either Mending Fences, A Hero for Her Heart, or 10 Heartpoints to be used for future shipments of Heartsong Bookclub books.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From The Vault


A Hero For Her Heart
Hs #885

When Allie's brother and sister-in-law die in a car accident, Allie is left with the care of their adopted son, Danny - and enormous debt. Now she's forced to sell part of the farm to make ends meet. Derrick is on a mission. His dying sister's last wish is to know her son is happy with his adopted family, so Derrick hides behind his job as Realtor to investigate Allie and Danny. But soon his reconnaissance mission turns into much more when his feelings grow for Allie and the nephew he's never known.

Does it snow where you live and have you had your first snowfall this yet this fall?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guest Blog with Candice Speare

Sweet Romance

I’m often asked where I get my story ideas. The answer is simple. I wonder about everything. Whether it’s a piece of news on the television or a person walking down the street who catches my eye, I always imagine the story behind the story. For instance, last weekend we watched a program on the History Channel about the Battle of Thermopylae (between the Greeks and the Persians). As I fell asleep that night, I wondered about the families that the men left behind. How did the women feel as their men marched to battle? How did they survive if their husbands died? A sense of wonderment and imagination is an essential requirement for a fiction writer. But. . .I’ve also discovered there’s nothing like a dose of real life experience to give umph to character emotion.

Recently this hit home in a big way. My books have always contained romance, but now I can express a depth of feeling I couldn’t before. That’s because last May I married the love of my life. You could say I’ve discovered real romance and as a result, more fodder for my writing.

Romance isn’t all dating and flowers and mushy cards. Yes, dating is fun and exciting (and sometimes exhausting). Flowers and mushy cards are great as a periodic expression of emotion, but can be overdone. And of course physical attraction is important, too, but for me, it’s about chemistry, not bodily perfection. Let’s face it. We’re all going to get old and saggy. The inner man is the real person. I was “attracted” to my husband when we were dating, but the inside man is the guy I fell in love with.

So what is romance to me? What are the things I add to books to make them romantic? The sweet day-to-day things—the simple kindnesses and actions that show love. Having strands of hair stroked from my face. My guy slipping his arm around me and pulling me close in a crowded store or parking lot. A shared smile or wink across the room. A private joke. Laughing together. Holding hands. Compliments. And talking the difficult things through.

Heartsong books are all about that kind of romance. Sweet beginnings. Tenderness. That’s why I like to write them. And now I’m blessed to have some firsthand experience to make my books better than ever.

What says romance to you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Blog with Nancy Toback


Thank you for the opportunity to share my writing journey with Heartsong readers. My love of writing goes back to my childhood days, but in the late 1990s I stumbled upon a group of online Christian writers. (I now realize it was the Lord's leading, and not a happy accident.) A few of the writers in that group suggested I join American Christian Romance Writers, now known as ACFW, and that's where I met the most wonderful group of writers who welcomed me, a newbie, into their critique group. I'm eternally grateful to those women who took the time to teach me the basics of writing and then some. But lo and behold, I was into writing my first God-inspired romance when Meniere's disease hit -- I just went to sleep one night in great health but awoke with tinnitus and vertigo. Thank God for the Lord's grace in getting me through that two-year tormenting episode. Though I couldn't see straight to write, the Lord's love and light prevailed, and my friendships with ACRW members grew and blossomed. One day I received an e-mail from prolific writer and dear friend, Kristin Billerbeck. She asked if I'd like to co-write a Heartsong romance with her. Would I ever?! So my first published romance was LOVE ONLINE. Then came ANNA'S JOURNEY, another Heartsong romance. Now these three books with Candice Speare, set in Washington State. I'm very grateful to Heartsong for giving new writers serious consideration, and I appreciate the input from Heartsong readers in taking their time to fill-in the tear sheets in back of the book and giving writers their valuable input.

Have you ever written to an author?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mending Fences – Candice Speare and Nancy Toback

HP 925
ISBN 978-1-61626-064-4
CONTEMPORARY

Ray is going home.

Ray’s homecoming is one of trepidation and uncertainty. He has his old job back, but can he work beside his nemesis again? And can he and his former fiancĂ©e put what they once had back together? Should they even try? And what should he do about Faith—the girl his heart once dreamed about?

For Faith, returning to Bothell is coming back to a place where, once upon a childhood, life was good. Can she find the peace she’s looking for in the career she always dreamed of, living in her grandmother’s old home? Or should she stay locked up in the regimen and walls she’s always lived in? It’s certainly safer there.

God can use anything—a missing child, an injured dog, even two irrepressible old ladies—to show His stubborn children His will. If they’ll let Him.

Verse:
"For the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love." Psalm 33:4-5

Excerpt:
Faith blinked and stared into his eyes. Truth dawned. "Ray?"

"Faith?" They spoke at the same time.

He winked, and her breath caught. For a moment she went dizzy as memories flooded her mind. Ray! She dashed around the counter but caught herself before she jerked him into a hug. They stood face-to-face for what seemed an eternity.

"We need to catch up, but I have an emergency here." He held the dog out for her inspection.
Her attention dropped to the tiny creature. "What happened? Is she yours?"

CANDICE SPEARE lives in an old farmhouse in Maryland with Winston the African gray parrot and Jack the dog. You may contact her by visiting her website: www.candicemillerspeare.com

NANCY TOBACK was born and raised in Manhattan and now resides in sunny Florida. Her passion for writing fiction began way back in grammar school. If there's spare time after being wife, mother, grandmother, writer and avid reader, Nancy is a watercolorist and charcoal artist and enjoys gourmet cooking. You may e-mail her at backtonan@aol.com

What is your hobby or favorite past time?

Friday, November 5, 2010

This Week's Winner Is...

Kaitlin

Congratulations, you are this week's winner in the random drawing. Please email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com with your choice of either The Displaced Belle, Carousel Dreams, or 10 Heartpoints to be used for future shipments of Heartsong Bookclub books.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From The Vault


Carousel Dreams
HP820

Ellie is furious. When Ellie discovers her recently deceased grandfather spent his entire life savings to purchase a carousel for their Great Salt Lake resort, she feels cheated. And she's not afraid to give a piece of her mind to the scoundrel who arrives to build the carousel. Bascom Anthony is back on the job. After a staged fire killed his wife and son two years ago, he had yet to build another carousel-until now. Time has mended Bascom's heart, but it has not ended the stalker's threats. The longer Bascom stays to finish his job, the more damaging events occur at Ellie's resort. Can Ellie's newfound faith help her overcome her distrust of Bascom? And can Bascom trust the Lord to protect Ellie and her daughter from the same fate that claimed his wife and son?

Did you love carousels as a kid, and how many still love them as adults?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Blog with Paige Winship Dooly Day Two

I feel that God has a sense of humor and He loves to bless His children. He has a way of giving over and beyond what we can imagine or dream of! About the time I started writing The Displaced Belle, we found out we had a 10-month-old grandbaby in “shelter care” in another state. The term “displaced Belle” took on a whole new meaning! My poor husband, who had agreed to adopt two babies, now had two babies in the house and a third surprise baby on the way! Isn’t God good? LOL. We hired an attorney and petitioned for custody.

At the hearing in May, a relative of the birth mother stepped in and complicated things. Again I wondered if we’d heard God correctly when we prayed and felt led to step forward and request custody. We ended up traveling back and forth between states every other weekend all summer and fall so we could build a relationship with our granddaughter, not sure when the visits and rapidly climbing expenses would end. It was a total journey of faith and every weekend, God supplied the resources to cover our expenses.

We had some great family weekends on those trips, we were able to get to know the baby, and we had a great bonding experience. The baby’s appointed guardian at first opposed us in court. She’d fallen in love with our little munchkin and wanted to be sure she was in a safe place. Court was continued several times. Through the visit trips we were able to get to know the caretaker and we built a friendship and trust with her. The baby’s caretaker decided to step out of the picture in August and at her suggestion, we were given temporary custody and were able to bring her home! Our grandbaby’s “guardian angel” went from our opponent to our ally.

We’ve had our grandbaby “home” for two months, but we went back last Friday for the final hearing. I’m happy to say we were granted permanent custody. What a wonderful feeling to bring our displaced belle home with us again!

Our “no” or “not right now” from God when it came to adopting and adding to our family later turned into a “yes” as He worked His blessings into a tapestry and a beautiful gift with a bonus blessing added to the mix. I was able to dedicate my newest story to our very own displaced belle.

Do you struggle when God’s answer is “no” or “not yet?” Has God ever closed a door in your life, just to open another one? I’d love to hear similar stories!

Paige what a precious testimony of God's faithfulness. Sounds like three lucky little girls have a wonderful family to grow up in.

My question for you today is did you grow up in a Christian home or find Christ later in life? Or feel free to answer Paige's question or both. Happy Wednesday to all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guest Blog with Paige Winship Dooly

I had a great time writing The Displaced Belle. The book was very timely, but I’ll explain why in tomorrow’s post. Today I want to talk about two other Southern Belles who have blessed our lives.

I’ve always been fascinated with both writing and adoption. From the time I could hold a pencil in my hand, I wrote stories about large families. My husband wasn’t as enthusiastic to add to our full quiver—we already had six children—but a few years ago he not only agreed we could adopt, he said we could adopt not one but two baby girls! I was so excited that he’d been open to God’s leading and also I was amazed at how God brought it all about. Only after I stopped pushing the issue and handed it over to God did my husband get the same prodding I’d had all my life.

We started researching Guatemalan adoption, but the country closed their program before we could get started. We switched our focus to China, but that program went from a six month wait to a several year wait.

I was so disappointed that God had finally brought my husband to the point where he said we could adopt, only to have the countries we had agreed upon change or close their programs! I wondered why God closed the door to something that had been so important to me for so many years. I truly felt it was a God-given dream. Had I heard Him wrong? I ranted. I questioned God. I wasn’t very patient.

Fast-forward two years and we now have 2 two-year-old granddaughters in our care. We enjoy them so much! God knew exactly how two precious little girls were going to enter our lives. He put the desire there and as usual, when I tried to make it happen, He smiled and worked things around to His perfectly-timed plan. It wasn’t the way we’d expected, but it’s just as wonderful.

I’d love to hear how similar situations have affected your lives. Have you ever felt you had things all figured out, just to have a kink go in those plans? How has God twisted those broken dreams into something beautiful and just as perfect? Usually His plan is better than anything we can imagine. I’ll tell about how God took our experience, the desires of my heart, pressed them down and overflowed them in tomorrow’s post.

I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of Paige's story tomorrow. In the mean time, feel free to answer her questions. And my question is do you have twins in your immediate or extended family?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Displaced Belle by Paige Winship Dooly

HP #924
ISBN 978-1-60260-993-8
HISTORICAL

Shane is not a family man….

Shane would rather be footloose and fancy-free, paying others to care for his younger orphaned sisters. But when their latest home is burned to the ground and the woman caring for them passes away, Shane decides it’s time to go home. On the way, he collects not only his two sisters but another child, a young woman beaten and left for dead, a runaway slave. . .and the promise of more!

Lydia allows herself to be taken to the refuge of Shane’s home, even though she knows can’t leave her siblings with their cruel stepfather any longer. But can Lydia trust this gambling man to help her when it seems he’s deserted his own family in the past?

God’s plans are definitely a surprise, but if Shane and Lydia surrender to them, will there be happiness in the unexpected?

Luke 12:7 kjv

"But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

Excerpt:

“You could find us a ma. She could watch us while you work. You could marry her and could stay home and be our pa. We’d be a family again.”

“We’re still a family, Van.”

“I want a ma.”

“And I’m not going to find you one. Settling down like that isn’t in my plans, Savannah.” A niggling thought made him pause. If he thought about it, planting his feet at home called to his heart. The thought scared him. “Listen, I’m doing the best I can. You’re proving the fact I don’t have a clue on the best way to raise you.”

“If you found us a ma, she’d know how to raise us.”

He leaned against the trunk of the tree and stretched his legs out in front of him. He crossed his ankles with an air of nonchalance. He held out his arms. “Fine, Savannah. I’ll tell you what. If God wants me to find a wife and make her a ma for you girls, He’ll have to drop her on my lap.”

“You know that won’t happen.” Savannah narrowed her eyes and pinned him with a glare. Her nose wrinkled as she growled at him. “Don’t make fun of me.”

They froze in a standoff of wills. Shane wanted to laugh. His sister couldn’t be any more like him in nature. He raised his eyebrow to egg her on, his arms still outstretched. Savannah slapped her arms into a folded position across her chest and resumed her pout.

“Sorry, sis, I guess it isn’t meant to be.” Shane wiggled his outstretched fingers. “If He’d wanted me to have a wife, she’d surely be here by now.”

Savannah looked away.

He closed his eyes. “Are You sure, God? Vannah really wants a ma.” He opened his eyes to see Savannah staring at him, her blue eyes questioning his sincerity. He felt a pang of guilt. Gabriel would be so disappointed in him.

I’m sorry, Lord, I didn’t mean to be sarcastic or disrespectful. The wisp of a prayer surprised him.

“I’m sorry, Savannah. Gabriel has tried to teach me about God and His love for us. Sometimes I do stupid things without thinking.” Shane relaxed his arms on his legs, palms up in a partial shrug. “That right there was a perfect example. If a person is going to talk to God, he should do it with respect and reverence.”

Gabriel picked that moment to walk up.

“Shane, there’s something I need to tell you—” He perused Shane’s upturned arms. “What are you doing?”

“I was waiting for God to drop a ma for Vannah on my lap.”

“I see.” Gabriel shook his head, used to Shane’s oddities. “As I was saying—”

A shrill scream filled the air and a bedraggled woman fell from above, landing perfectly in Shane’s relaxed arms.

“Aaaieee!” Shane jerked upright, the motion allowing the woman to settle fully onto his lap. “Wahh. . . ? How. . . ?”

Savannah screamed and scurried out of the way. Shane wanted to do the same, but remained frozen in place.

PAIGE WINSHIP DOOLY enjoys living in the warm panhandle of Florida with her family, after having grown up in the sometimes extremely cold Midwest. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Troy, and they have six home schooled children. Their oldest son, Josh, now lives in Colorado, while the newest blessing, Jetty, rounds out the family in a wonderful way. The whole family is active in Village Baptist Church. Paige has always loved to write. She feels her love of writing is a blessing from God, and she hopes that readers will walk away with a spiritual impact on their life and a smile on their face.

What a fun excerpt! Six kids Paige, wow! How many kiddo's or sibblings do you have? Can anyone beat Paige?