Friday, December 31, 2010

This Week's Winner!

2009!!!photo © 2009 Brittany Culver | more info (via: Wylio)
Congratulations CHickey!

You are the winner of this week's random drawing! Just email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com and tell us if you want a copy of Promise of Yesterday, Promise of Tomorrow or ten Heartpoints to be put toward a future shipment of Heartsong Books!

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

From The Vault--Promise of Tomorrow

Today's Book From the Vault is:
Promise of Tomorrow
By Dionne S. Moore
HP 912

Alaina just needs Jack to love her.

Alaina Morrison loves Jack Kelly. With her whole heart. So why won't he realize that all she wants is to get married and begin their new life together? She doesn't need a large home or new clothes or other things. She only needs him to actually spend time with her and to show how much he loves her.

Jack Kelly loves Alaina Morrison. With his whole heart. So why won't she realize that he needs to work long hours to provide for her--and their possible future family--the things she deserves? He only needs her to be patient and understanding.

As dangerous floodwaters threaten their home of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will Alaina and Jack allow God to bridge their growing differences with His unifying love?

What do you do in Alaina's position? Understand that Jack feels the need to provide for her and accept him working long hours? Tell him that he need not work to provide you "things" and that you would rather have his time?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 2 With Sandra Moore!


There's one more holiday before the end of 2010. One more chance to end the year by reaching out to family members or acquaintances, estranged for whatever reason. You see, regret is a hard thing to live with. It lodges in our hearts and haunts us. Take it from one who knows.

In the Shadow of a Flowerphoto © 2006 Hamed Saber more info (via: Wylio)
My biggest regret came the night of October 7, 1992. My husband and I had taken up residence at my parents' home for the weekend while our house was cleaned following an oil furnace explosion.

That night, I heard my father coming up the steps from the basement. He didn't know I was there, sitting alone in the dark living room, crying. I can't remember what I was crying over now, probably some silly something or other, but I do remember that moment when my father, a compassionate soul, who was always quick to reassure and offer empathy, made the final turn to head upstairs to bed. It was one of those gripping moments when something deep insides nudges. This nudge told me to call out from the safety of the dark and say, "Good night. I love you." But I didn't, too absorbed in my own little world of misery.

The next morning I woke up to my mother's voice. "Joe? Joe!" It was her tone that startled me and made me dash upstairs. And it was the sight of my father, head bowed low, unresponsive, that gripped my heart with fear. I was the one to dial 911. And while I was talking to the dispatcher, I watched my father begin the long, slow slide from that kitchen chair to the floor below. I witnessed my mother's rising hysteria as she tried to stop his downward plunge, and I could do nothing except coax her with words to remain calm, because the phone had a cord and it wasn't long.

My father never woke from the coma.

Never spoke to me again.

His eyes never again lit with the joy of seeing me.

I lost all opportunity to ever say those three little words to him that night in the darkness of the living room. Oh, he knew I loved him. I know that now, and knew it then too, deep down inside. I was a Daddy's girl after all. But how my grieving heart would have found relief in knowing my last words to him had been "I love you."

As long as there is life, there remains a chance to say those words and to repair past wrongs. Two of my character's discover this hard truth in Promise of Yesterday. Sometimes I write hard truths into my stories in hopes the words or the message will give rise to change. To reconciliation. To peace and love. Tomorrow is not promised.

Do you have any regrets?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guest Blog Post with Sandra Moore!

Civil War Battlephoto © 2008 Thomas more info (via: Wylio)

Day One with Sandra Moore

History has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Particularly little known facts that can be expanded on to form a story. When I went on a fishing expedition for such facts for my area of the country, it didn't take long to stumble upon a story that occurred during the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg.

It seems a wagon full of slaves, captured in Chambersburg, PA, was brought into Greencastle, guarded by a Confederate chaplain and four soldiers. Citizens of Greencastle surprised the guards and disarmed them, freeing the slaves. The result? Brig. Gen. Albert Gallatin Jenkins demanded recompense for his "property" in the form of $50,000. Town leaders refused to pay Jenkins, who then threatened to return to Greencastle and burn down the town. Some of the slaves gathered with the town leaders and offered to give themselves up to spare the town, but town leaders refused to allow them to do such a thing. And so they waited. . .and waited. . .

Jenkins never showed up.

I love living near a town with such a value for human life and liberties. But rather than use this information as the focal point for Promise of Yesterday, I asked myself some "what if" questions and came up with the premise for Marylu Biloxi's heroic deed and the heartbreak she endured as a result.

From that one snippet of history, a story was born and characters developed. When people ask me where I get my ideas, I can share the historical facts that helped mold the manuscript, and in the process I am also sharing little-known facts that might one day become fodder for another story-teller or ignite a person's passion for history.

One of the really exciting things for me as an author is when I hear from readers who respond to the history of my stories. Promise of Tomorrow took place in Johnstown, PA, during the devastating flood of 1889. I received letters from those who remembered stories from their grandparents, uncles, aunts. I received pictures and articles along with letters. What a treasure and encouragement!

If you have little-known tidbits of history handed down from family member to family member that you'd like to share with me, I'm all ears! You can email me at sdionnemoore at mac dot com.

Feel free to share you interesting tidbits here, too! We are all interested!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Promise of Yesterday by Sandra Moore

This week's featured title is:
Promise of Yesterday by Darlene Moore
HP 932

Marylu Biloxi is a true heroine in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, rescuing several people during the Battle of Gettysburg. But even heroes have broken hearts, and Marylu's is shattered. So much so that she intends to never open it to love again.
Escaping the horrors of slavery, Chester Jones returns home after many years. After meeting the enigmatic Marylu, sparks fly as he gently pushes his way into her heart.

As love blossoms, secrets from Marylu's past arise, causing her to question her newfound feelings. And then what about these rumors linking Chester to a murder. . . ? Will Marylu allow God to heal her heart or will it be shattered again?

Key Verse:

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. Isiah 54:11

Book Excerpt:

What she felt for him gripped her hard. Still, even after weeks together, she hardly knew him. With his newfound ability to talk, she could now ask him the question that burned through her every time she felt the softer emotions swirl in her heart. She was afraid to hear his answer, for should it be affirmative she would be crushed. She could never love a man whose moral character she could not condone. She valued life too much.

The question begged to be asked. So simple to give voice and finally put to rest her own doubts. Simple, yes, but staring into his eyes, so hopeful and vulnerable, mad her ashamed to believe the flapping tongue of Mrs. Burns over a man whose sincerity she had witnessed time and again. But she had to ask.

"There is a rumor," she said, her voice low and intense, "that you murdered someone/"

His expression shifted ever so slightly. Surprise mingled with something else, and his gaze skittered to the surface of the table.

She closed her eyes and swallowed, recognizing what his averted gaze meant. Not the innocence she had hoped for, but resignation. Even fear.

S. Dionne Moore is a multi-published author who makes her home in Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty-one years and daughter. You can visit her at

It's the last week of 2010--and it flew by! Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?

Friday, December 24, 2010

This Week's Winner!

christmas2007_32.jpgphoto © 2007 Rio Calle more info (via: Wylio)

This week's winner is...

Today's winner of the random drawing is Kaitlin!


Please just let us know if you would like a copy of Bridge to Love, The Prodigal Patriot or ten Heartpoints to be used for a future shipment of Heartsong Books! Just send an email to heartsongblog at gmail dot com and tell us which you prefer!

I hope everyone has a great weekend...and a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

From The Vault--The Prodigal Patriot

Today's Book From the Vault is:
The Prodigal Patriot
By Darlene Franklin
HP 911

The Reids will not be scared away.

Sally Reid's family decides on a dangerous course when the Tories of Maple Notch, Vermont, chase Patriot families from their land. They make a home in a secluded cave nearby and farm their land by moonlight, working hard and waiting for the day when they can safely return home.

When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn't know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah's father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.

The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose? How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating them from love and forgiveness?

To get us all in the holiday spirit--I'm curious, what is your family's wackiest holiday tradition?

I'll share mine--My older sister and I watch "A Christmas Story" every Christmas Eve (because it's on for 24 hours on TBS) and then go outside and shoot our brother's BB Gun while chanting, "You'll shoot your eye out!" We always bust out in laughter...and then my dad comes out and makes us go inside before we "wake the neighbors."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 2 Guest Blog with Darlene Franklin

Covered bridgephoto © 2005 Trevor Richter more info (via: Wylio)

Bridge Building

When I think of Vermont, the setting for my book Bridge to Love, two things come to mind: maple sugar and covered bridges. Since Pamela Griffin wrote some wonderful stories about the maple sugar industry in her Vermont Weddings series, I decided to write a set of stories that all have some connection to covered bridges.

Since the first covered bridge wasn't built until the 1800's, in my revolutionary war story Prodigal Patriot, I had Josiah Tuttle and Sally Reid carve their initials into one of the trees in their field. Their son, Calvin, uses lumber from that tree when he builds the first covered bridge in Maple Notch and adds his initials with Beatrice Bailey. During the Civil War, Calvin and Bea's son, Daniel, takes his sweetheart to the kissing bridge and invites her to add their initials to the family tree (Love's Raid, coming out in March 2011).

When we see a covered bridge today, we're tempted to stop and linger a few moments in yesteryear. I have traveled over one of the longest bridges in the world (between Tampa and St. Petersburg) and over the Brooklyn Bridge during my years in college.

But the most important bridge I ever crossed wasn't made of steel girders and wires. No, I crossed the bridge from death to life on the flesh of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

So many bridges remain to be crossed today. So many people need our Savior. So many people need reconciliation. I could go through each of my books and name the bridge to be crossed--the central conflict in the story. In Bridge to Love, a chasm exists between the rich banker's daughter and the poor farmer who loves her.

In my writing--in my life--I long to be an instrument of reconciliation, a bridge-builder, for people around me.

Please share some of the bridge builders who have touched your life!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guest Blog With Darlene Franklin!

christmas tree in marunouchiphoto © 2006 François Rejeté | more info (via: Wylio)

Day 1 with Darlene Franklin:

The Christmas holiday has crept into my books. My first book, Romanian Rhapsody, includes one memorable Christmas at a Romanian orphanage. In my book released this month, Bridge to Love, the folks of Maple Notch, Vermont, are more worried about surviving the winter (that lasted all year long in 1816, when snow fell or the ground froze at least once every month) than about celebrating Christmas. My heroine, Beatrice Bailey, gets involved with providing every family in town with enough food to survive until the next year's crops come in.

Neither the orphans in Romania or the people of Maple Notch could afford extravagant holiday displays such as we've become accustomed to. They were concerned with survival. But still they worshipped the baby in the manger, sent to bring us life.

That new life means a great deal to me this year. Two years ago, I faced my first holidays without my daughter. Last year, I was snowed in and had hot dogs and chocolate chip cookies for my Christmas dinner. My mother died in February, so once again, I am dealing with grief and loss as the holidays approach.

What I discovered two years ago, what still resonates today, was that in my time of grief, Christmas became less noisy and yet more real. That baby in the manger represents my hope for the future. And He means more to me now than ever.

So as you read and watch your favorite Christmas stories (you might include one of my Christmas novellas in your reading--this year I'm in A Woodland Christmas), think on that original Christmas story, and give thanks.

What is your favorite Christmas story?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bridge To Love by Darlene Franklin

This week's featured title is:
Bridge to Love by Darlene Franklin

Her father is determined she marry someone worthy.

A man who has worked hard to gain his own wealth, banker Hiram Bailey is not about to let his only daughter marry a farmer. He knows how hard the life of a farmer's wife can be and wants something better for Beatrice. But Beatrice has aways had eyes for only Calvin Tuttle, a young farmer full of innovative ideas.

Calvin cannot believe the challenges he is facing. In the Year of No Summer, repeated planting of crops are freezing before they can bear fruit. His family and friends may run out of food. And Hiram Bailey is doing everything he can to keep his daughter away from Calvin.

Both Calvin and Beatrice trust that God will have His way in their lives. But against these obstacles, how will they ever build a bridge to love?

Key Verse:

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

Book Excerpt:

"I must accept the parson's word about what transpired between you." Papa spoke directly to Beatrice. "But I will not suffer that young farmer to speak against me. What did he say?"

"Surely that is a private matter between the two young people," Mrs. Cabot said.

"He said" -Beatrice raised her voice over Mrs. Cabot's objection-"that no matter what his feelings toward me may be, he refused to ask me to act against your wishes." Her voice came close to breaking into tears.

"That is well." Papa stared at the tea cup in his hand as if ready to throw it against the fireplace. "These are my wishes. I forbid you to speak to him or see him again. The man is not fit to be the husband of my daughter." He returned the cup to Mrs. Cabot. "I'm afraid I have no taste for tea this afternoon. Come, Beatrice, we are finished here."

Award-winning author and speaker DARLENE FRANKLIN recently returned to cowboy country--Oklahoma. The move was prompted by her desire to be close to her son's family; her daughter Jolene has preceded her into glory.

Darlene loves music, needlework, reading and reality TV. Talia, a Lynx point Siamese cat, proudly claims Darlene as her person.

Which do you prefer, historical or contemporary novels?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Today's Winner Is...

ris 12.24.09 - 1photo © 2009 Laura Padgett more info (via: Wylio)

This week's winner of the random drawing is...CatMom!


Just let us know if you would like a copy of Wasatch Love, Love's Winding Path or ten Heartpoints to be used for a future shipment of Heartsong books! Just send an email to heartsongblog at gmail dot com!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From the Vault--Love's Winding Path

Today's book from the vault is:
Love's Winding Path
By Lauralee Bliss
HP 890

Red rocks. River rafting. Freedom!

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 -- 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?

Can you believe December is halfway over? Wow! Is everyone ready for the fast-approaching holiday season?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 2 with Lauralee Bliss

Faithful and True Companions

Pets can be an interesting and sometimes pivotal addition to the novels we like to read. In two of my Utah books, I incorporate pets as an important part of the storyline. The hero and heroine in Book II, Heart of Mine, both have dogs, and those dogs play a role in nurturing the relationship between the hero and heroine. In Wasatch Love the heroine, Brenda, has her beloved cat Snowy (short for Snow White) given to her as a gift by the hero.

Pets can play such a crucial role in our lives. And they have played a crucial role in mine, so much so that I wanted to make them a part of these stories. There is something about a pet that can help with the day to day stresses we face. Just having fur to nuzzle and pet to interact with or play with has been shown to be very beneficial to the owner's health. I know in my own life I have seen how our dogs have been healthy for us, forcing us to take the walks we need to stay in shape, to just having a pet to cuddle with when the going gets rough. Pets are so forgiving and kind, they are always there for you, they never get into arguments, they are - as I used to say to my dogs, "Faithful and true."

And it can be devastating when we lose them. Just two years ago at this time of year we had to put down our beloved beagle, Lady, after she was diagnosed with a rare and debilitating illness. With this terrible news right on the brink of the holidays, it took all my effort just to try and make Christmas a happy event. There is indeed a mourning process to go through, and it was comforting to see how many people came to support us in our loss.

Today we have our dog Eve, adopted from a shelter last January. She's a blue tick coonhound, lovable but very active and keeps us running. But that's good for us, not only for our health but knowing we are giving her a good home (she was abandoned on a road and was severely malnourished when she was picked up). And she has helped us cope with our different losses and stresses in life. A faithful and true friend indeed.

Maybe you have a dog or cat or another animal who has done wonderful things for you. Or you lost a dog or cat and would like to remember them. Please feel free to share your stories here. And I hope you enjoy the interactions between the owners and their furry friends in my Utah series.
Feel free to check out these books and my other novels on my web site: You can also find me on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Guest Blog with Lauralee Bliss!

Oh, That Imperfect Human Condition of Ours!
Welcome to the final installment in the contemporary Utah series - Wasatch Love. The setting for this book is in beautiful Salt Lake City located a the foot of a rugged mountain range known as the Wasatch. In each of these books I have endeavored to bring to life the scenic parts of Utah, and this final book pays tribute to the state's largest and most famous city.

But that is not the essence of this book's message. The book pays tribute to human resolve in the midst of trying circumstances. I don't wish to give away the plot for those who have yet to read it, but this book takes a story a step beyond what one might see in the simple Christian romance. In it I paint the portrait of imperfect people - like us all, really, who sin, who struggle, who want to do what's right but seem to end up taking wrong directions. But yet with God, those wrong directions can be made right and used for His glory.

Brenda and Jim struggle with outward appearance and inward frustration. They become mirror images of what the world struggles with - its image, its standing, its way of trying to make things work in its sphere of influence. But try as one might, the only One who can really make our lives work out to its fullest potential is God. And the hero and heroine in this novel discover the hard way how much they truly need God's intervention in those complicated details. And how He works it for their good and the good of all.

When it comes right down to it, all of us have been a Brenda or a Jim without God's mercy and grace in our lives. It is satisfying to know that God is not without understanding human frailty and can affect change in even the smallest of things. And in the most interesting and unexpected ways, too. And therein lies the greatest hope.

This is a book you can share with unsaved loved ones from teen girls on up to draw them closer to a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them. The book also makes a great Christmas gift as does the entire set of books set in the beautiful state of Utah! Feel free to check out the Heartsong Presents web site to learn more:

All of the pictures are of Salt Lake City and the Wasatch range, from Lauralee's summer trip!

Have you ever ended up going the wrong direction, only for God to turn it around and make everything right, like the characters in the book?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wasatch Love by Lauralee Bliss

This week's featured title is:
Wasatch Love by Lauralee Bliss
HP 930
ISBN: 978-1-60260-682-1
The world is her oyster...

Except shouldn't there be some prize...some pearl in that oyster? From the outside, Brenda Stweart has it all. A rich, infuential father. Friends in high places. Men clamoring for her attention. But inside, Brenda is miserable. Her father is overbearing, her friends are fickle, and the men want her money and the prestige it brings. Like Jim Ensley.

But Jim has his own problems. And fears. If he can't get that vice president's spot, all may be lost, personally and professionally.

A night of indiscretion and Brenda's subsequent escape into the Wasatch Mountains causes havoc that Brenda and Jim could never have imagined. And where does God fit in? Could He really be working in the aftermath of Brenda's unhappiness and Jim's desperation?

Key Bible Verse:
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proberbs 16:9
Book Excerpt:

Jim tried to calm the boss's anxiety as best he could. "Maybe her phone went dead. She can't recharge it. But she was able to tell us a few things. I wish I knew more."

"I'm calling the authorities back right now. Blast them. I won't wait a minute longer. I want her found. Who knows what might have happened? And get Rita down here to my office. She has some explaining to do, if she wants to keep her job."

Jim's face colored at the accusations. And he thought of Rita facing unemployment. "Sir, Rita helped out as best she could. It seems Brenda was vague with everyone. I don't know why your daughter did this, but..."

The man sighed. "I'm so tired, Jim. I--I don't feel well."

"You just rest. I'll place the call, sir. I'm here. Anything you need..."

"Thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Normally this news should have excited Jim. The vice presidency was almost certain. But at that moment, Jim didn't care. None of it mattered. The only thing concerning him now was Brenda.
Brenda, you need to know once and for all that people do care.

LAURALEE BLISS, a former nurse, is a profilic writer of inspirational fiction, as well as home educator. She resides with her family near Charlottesville, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

How was your weekend? Does it look like a winter wonderland where you live?

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Week's Winner!

christmas 2009photo © 2009 John Schanlaub more info (via: Wylio)

This week's winner of the random drawing is...CatMom!


Let us know if you would like a copy of Facing Tessa's Past, Joanna's Adventure, or ten Heartpoints to be used for a future shipment of Heartsong books! Just send an email to heartsongblog at gmail dot com!

...and happy Friday to everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

From The Vault--Joanna's Adventure

Today's book from the vault is:
Joanna's Adventure
By Mildred Colvin
HP 779

Life in Cedar Bend, Kansas, has become one predictable day after another. Joanne Brady helps her father with his patients, smiles sweetly at her beau, and secretly chafes over the boredom of it all. She wonders, is this really all life is meant to be? Where is the romance? The adventures? And then one day she asks God to send her someone exciting and unpredictable...and dangerous.

Clay Shepherd has been on the road all his life, moving from one wrangler job to the next, never staying long enough to put down roots. Unexpected events draw him back to the one place - and one girl - he remembers fondly. When Clay arrives in Cedar Bend, Joanna finds herself drawn to the charisma and excitement that surrounded him. But she knows he isn't a Christian and she shouldn't be unequally yoked. So why does she feel Clay might be the answer to her prayers?

I'm curious, what do you do when life starts to feel boring and mundane? How do you mix up your day-to-day life to make things fun and exciting?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest Blog from Mildred Colvin

Puzzlephoto © 2008 Andreanna Moya more info (via: Wylio)
Readers often want to know where an author gets the idea for a story. As happens so often with my stories, Facing Tessa's Past came in bits and pieces over the years until the story was complete. Sort of like putting a picture puzzle together. By the time all the pieces are in place, I'm not sure where they all came from. But I can tell you where the character for Tessa Stevens first showed an appearance.

Some years ago, my sister and I worked on a book that has never been submitted for publication. In this book, Tessa was a secondary character in the process of getting her life back together. She had gone through a time of rebellion, wearing only black and even dying her hair black. She had three young sons but had never been married. In fact, she had lost her sons to the foster care system and was struggling to regain custody. The heroine in this unpublished story, who is now a secondary character in Tessa's story, befriended her, and Tessa became a born-again Christian.

Tessa's personality called out to be written into her own book as did two other secondary characters in that book. Sarah Maddox and Amanda Davis never gave up on Tessa's friendship, even through her "wild time," and the three women remain friends throughout the series. Sarah's and Amanda's stories will also be told in books two and three of this Route 66 series.

Tessa lives in Amarillo, Texas, which is almost smack in the middle of the Mother Road, a nickname for Historic Route 66. Tessa's story is special to me party because of my experiences as a foster mother. I've seen women like Tessa struggle to get their lives together so they could make a good home for their children. Many never did. A few, like Tessa, were able to turn their lives around through the grace of God. Tessa's story is a witness that God's grace can glow into even the darkest times of our lives.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

Guest Post with Mildred Colvin!

Get your kicks on Route 66! Remember that slogan? What about the Burma Shave signs? If you remember those, you may have traveled an American highway during the 1950s, 60s, or 70s. Maybe you cruised down Route 66.

On November 11, 1926, the American Highway System became a reality, opening the door for Route 66 and other two-lane highways. The most famous of those early roads, Route 66, opened the American West just as the Oregon Trail had done almost one hundred years earlier. Nicknames of this celebrated road are "Main Street of America" and "The Mother Road."

Route 66 crossed a total of eight states and became a legend while demonstrating the romance of small town life. Many small towns blossomed along the road as those seeking the fulfillment of their dreams traveled the famous route. Gradually, most of the old highway has been replaced or bypassed by four-lane freeways until our memories and a few attractions are about all that's left of the famous Mother Road. Some individuals and groups are making an effort to preserve the history of Route 66, so you can find museums and even some of the original businesses still open, serving travelers as well as local patrons.

I didn't grow up on Route 66, but I lived close enough to have some memories of the road back in its day. One Saturday night I "chaperoned" a friend from church who was four years older than me and already out of high school. She drove us to the site where her boyfriend worked construction. He scooted behind the wheel and drove us to a small town near Springfield, Missouri. The night was dark, but as we cruised down the main drag, street lights and businesses blazed with lights chasing the night away. A dream-like atmosphere of colored neon lights flashing, cars with windows down, voices calling out greetings, catcalls, or whistles, and radios blaring, filled me with excitement. When we stopped for a red light, another car rolled up beside us and stopped, revving its engine, clearly wanting to race. My friends didn't take the bait. They were just out of their teens and too mature. That wasn't true of everyone, so an occasional squeal of tires leaving a trail of smoke added to the scene as they raced side-by-side down the street.

Some favorite hang-outs along the Route were fast food restaurants. There again teenagers and young adults dominated those places. Many tourist sights are sprinkled along the route, including museums of the highway. The 2,400 mile road wound from Chicago to Los Angeles, linking one small town after another together in a long chain of businesses and people. Today, maps are available for anyone who wants to travel the old road from one end to the other. However, new freeways often hide the historic route until the traveler wonders if the old road has disappeared.

Route 66 is more than a memory. The road is a symbol of our America. A time when dreams became reality. When times moved a little slower and we didn't need four-lane highways to handle the rush of our lives but could relax with windows down to the gentle wind in our hair while we cruised down the Main Street of America.

Do you have any memories of Route 66? Did you ever travel down the Mother Road?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Facing Tessa’s Past by Mildred Colvin

This weeks featured title is:

Facing Tessa's Past
By Mildred Colvin
HP 929
ISBN: 978-1-61626-081-1

Tessa wants to forget the past.

Tessa Stevens has a past she would rather forget. But when she comes face-to-face with a part of her past while on vacation, she is forced to reevaluate her future. Then she falls in love with the man of her dreams once again, knowing that he is as unattainable as before, and knowing she must reveal a secret she has kept for years. Will she learn to trust God or will she remain in bondage to her memories?

Blake Donovan can hardly believe his eyes when Tessa shows up in his restaurant with her three boys. He's never succeeded in erasing Tessa's memory from his mind after he ran from her eleven years ago. And now that he sees the God-changed Tessa, he can't stay away from her. But in order to win her love he knows he has to change, too. Will he yield to God's work in his life and regain the love of his life, or will he reject God and run again?

Key Bible Verse:
Luke 7:47 "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven - as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little."

Book Excerpt:
A smile touched his face, but as far as she could tell, no recognition dawned in his eyes. Not that she needed confirmation. Her heart told her all she needed to know.

With blood pounding in her ears, Tessa turned away to speak to Derek so Blake couldn't see her face. In all her wildest imagining she would not have expected to run into Blake Donovan. The man who once held her love in the palm of his hand moved a step closer to her with every beat of her heart.
"Hey, guys." His smooth, deep voice hadn't changed. "Ma'am. Is everything all right?"
Tessa turned. Blake stood beside the table with a smile as impersonal as he'd given everyone else in the restaurant. He didn't know her. Her breath rushed out. But, with the only man she'd ever loved standing not two feet away, not only from her, but also from Derek, the son he never knew he had, how could she honestly say everything was fine?"

After a hesitation much too long, she managed to answer, "Oh yes, the pizza is very good, thank you."

"Is this your first visit to Pizza Playground?"
She nodded and held her breath as Blake stared at her. His eyes narrowed. Her gaze locked with his. Her heart pounded.

"Do I know you from somewhere?"
Blake's question came as no surprise, yet a fist seemed to close around her heart, and she couldn't speak. The wedge of pizza slipped from her unfeeling fingers and landed with a plop on her plate.

MILDRED COLVIN is a native Missourian with three children, one son-in-law, and two grandchildren. She and her husband spent most of their married life providing a home for foster children but now enjoy baby-sitting the grandchildren. Mildred writes inspirational romance novels because in them the truth of God's presence, even in the midst of trouble, can be portrayed. Her desire is to continue writing stories that uplift and encourage.

Today's Question: Have you ever experienced an awkward, "Do I know you?" moment with someone you used to be very close to? How did you react?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This week's winner!

Confettiphoto © 2006 ADoseofShipBoy (via: Wylio)

This week's winner of the random drawing is:


Congratulations, Merry!

Let us know if you'd like a copy of Maggie and the Maverick, The Marriage Masquerade, or 10 Heartpoints to be used for future shipments of Heartsong books.

Email us at heartsongblog at gmail dot com.

Congratulations to Merry, and a hearty thank you to everyone who has read and commented on the blog this past year. Jeri and I have really enjoyed getting to know Heartsong readers and authors better through moderating the blog.

Heartsong Connection will be back next week with new moderators and lots of cool stuff, so be sure to keep coming back.

From the Vault

Today's book from the vault is:

HP #887

ISBN 978-1-60260-700-2


From the Back Cover:

Noah just wants to start over.

Captain Noah Kennebrae can no longer deal with the shame and guilt from the wreck of his ship. So he changes his name and takes a job as assistant lighthouse keeper on Sutton Island, heedless of the marriage contract his grandfather has arranged for him. No woman in her right mind would want to marry him now, anyway.

Desperate to escape the calculating grasp of her father and his cronies, Anastasia Michaels leaves her home to take the unlikely job of housekeeper on a remote island. Knowing how terrified of water she is, surely her father would never think to look for her there.

But neither Nick nor Annie considered that God’s hand might be at work in their lives. When they each take things into their own hands, He must work a miracle to bring them back to His original plan.

From the book:

“I haven’t had a chance to thank you properly for saving my life. And I’m sorry for being sick on the dock.” Her delicate ears reddened, and her gaze dropped.

Uncomfortable, both with being thanked for something he’d done instinctively, and with the protective feelings expanding in his chest, he shrugged and half-turned away from her.

“Don’t mention it.” He waved away her thanks. “You’ve seen the most dangerous places on the island. Stay away from the cliff, the fuel stores, and the tower. And it’s against the rules for you to enter the lighthouse without one of the keepers. That should keep you safe. And considering the state of this morning’s breakfast, I’ll stay away from the kitchen. That should keep me safe.” He grinned, waiting to hear her laugh.

She gasped, dropped her arms to her sides, and stalked off toward the house.

So much for his attempt at humor.

This week my son and I are working our way through his yearly standardized tests. These timed tests run the gamut of subjects. He tends to like the math and cognitive abilities tests best. My favorite was always the social studies/history section.

So, what was/is your favorite subject in school?