Friday, July 29, 2011

A Random Drawing Winner!!

'Fireworks' photo (c) 2008, Jeff Golden - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Congratulations Amber S., you are this week's random drawing winner!

Please send an email to heartsongblog @ gmail.com (without the spaces) and let us know if you want a copy of With Not a Spoken Word, Coming Home, or 10 Heartpoints to be used towards a future shipment of Heartsong books.

Thanks to Terry Fowler for being this week's guest author and to everyone who participated in this week's discussions. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Vault

This week's title from the vault is...
Coming Home by Terry Fowler
HP 793
978-1-59789-940-6
Contemporary


Maggie thought she'd finally found her home.

Maggie Gregory was pretty comfortable with the life she'd made for herself, until her elderly friend and landlord, Allene Rogers, passed away. Then Allene's son arrived and accused Maggie of taking advantage of his mother.

Dillon Rogers had been out of the States for years. Returning to handle his mother's estate proved stressful, especially when dealing with Maggie Gregory. He suspected that she was trying to cheat him out of his inheritance. But now Dillion wants Maggie's forgiveness and her love.

After such a rough start to their acquaintance, would God really bring these two independent people together in love? Will they follow His leading, or each follow their own wisdom?

Question of the Day
What are your plans for this weekend?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day Two with Terry Fowler

Almost nine years ago, my family visited Murphy, NC. We rented a house that slept a number of people and went as a memory trip for my oldest brother's 15th birthday. We spent five days roaming the mountains.

The house was beautiful and when I thought of a locale it struck me that the privacy of the area would indeed make the perfect hiding place. Lake Hiwassee surrounds the area as far as the eye can see.

Last year my sister and I journeyed back to the mountains. We visited Murphy again, Biltmore House, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure (that's where they filmed Dirty Dancing).

North Carolina has so much variety from the beaches to the mountains. God blessed us richly with our Carolina blue skies and so many other beautiful sights and I thank Him for allowing me to call North Carolina home.

This year's birthday is not too far away and I don't know whether I'll plan a staycation and do some of the things that never get done at home or maybe I'll do another wonderful research trip instead.

Question of the Day
What's your favorite vacation spot? Do you see God's hand at work when you visit?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day One with Terry Fowler

Have you ever considered what it would be like to not be able to speak? Ever gone an hour or a day without a word? Noticed the hoarseness of an elderly person who lives alone and rarely talks to others?

I found myself considering these things as I played with With Not a Spoken Word, my newest Heartsong Presents release.

Strangely enough the idea for the heroine's losing her voice dates back to my childhood.

I remember watching a Bonanza where the person couldn't speak and knew someone wanted to kill them and couldn't tell anyone. The person may have been paralyzed too. I can't recall, but I remember the fear I felt and the ultimate relief when the person regained their ability to speak and was rescued.

We've come a long way from those mildly frightening episodes of our childhood to the horror movies of today, but some of those things that frightened us are just as real to kids today as they were to us then.

One thing I do know is that God doesn't require spoken words to hear what we have to say. A silent prayer is okay with God. He answers those as well.

Question of the Day
Do you remember something that frightened you as a child? Do you feel comforted by prayers when you are afraid?

With Not a Spoken Word by Terry Fowler

This week's featured title is...
With Not a Spoken Word by Terry Fowler
HP 962
978-1-61626-373-7
Contemporary

"My parents are dead."

Arianna Kent's last spoken words were heard by a 911 operator. Now in hiding, Ari and her brother Simon must process their grief and the fear of the killer on the loose. But since her traumatic discovery of the murder, Ari has not been able to speak.

As a psychiatrist, Mitch Ellis is intrigued with Ari's condition. When the opportunity arises for him to help on her security detail, he takes it; though not to analyze her, but because he personally understands her loss.

Details begin to emerge, but they only cause more confusion. When Ari learns the board of the family business plans to place someone other than her as CEO, she must return to the scene of the crime.

Can Mitch protect Ari when his own secrets are revealed? Can Ari forgive yet another betrayal from a person she loves? Only God can untangle the mess they're in, but will they let Him?

Book Excerpt
Stranger alert.

Arianna fumbled around on the table until she located one of the many whistles they owned underneath her napkin. They had rehearsed his plan numerous times, never expecting to carry it out. She sucked in a deep breath and issued the shrill warning that quickly brought Simon to his feet.

The seven-year-old stood there looking like David coming up against Goliath. Ari considered his options, wondering if he could make it to the stairs before the intruder came too close.

Where was Tom? Had this man overpowered him elsewhere on the property? Ari ran to the door and banged on the glass. Nana hurried over. She pointed, and the woman picked up the phone. Ari started down the stairs, praying God would deliver them safely from this man.

Noting the commotion, the stranger drew a halt. He lifted his hands and yelled, "I'm with Bishop Security!"

Key Verse
Fear of man will prove to be snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25 NIV

About the Author

Terry Fowler makes her home in North Carolina where she works for the city of Wilmington. The second oldest of five children, she shares a home with her best friend, who is also her sister. Besides writing, her interests include genealogical research through the Internet and serving her small church in various activities.



Question of the Day

What have you done to keep cool in this hot weather?

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Random Drawing Winner

'Summer' photo (c) 2011, Moyan Brenn - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Congratulations Gail Pallotta, you are this week's random drawing winner!!

Please send an email to heartsongblog @ gmail.com (without the spaces) and let us know if you want a copy of Building Amanda's Future, Facing Tessa's Past, or 10 Heartpoints to be used towards a future shipment of Heartsong books.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

From the Vault...

This week's title from the vault is...
Facing Tessa's Past by Mildred Colvin
HP929
978-1-61626-081-1
Contemporary

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 an run again?

Question of the Day
When was your last reunion with family and friends?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Day with Mildred Colvin!

'Route 66' photo (c) 2008, Chuck Coker - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/


















In Building Amanda's Future, Amanda is the third friend to tell her story. Tessa came first as she faced her past head-on when her youngest son's father showed up unexpectedly in her life. Then Sarah's present takes a totally new direction when she kept an appointment to meet the baby she gave up for adoption and ran into the boyfriend she'd never forgotten.

Amanda's situation is a bit different from her friends', however. Unlike Tessa and Sarah, Amanda was married before and lost both her husband and her baby daughter in a car accident. As a result, Amanda has no interest in remarrying. She only wants to teach school and live an independent life. Then a tornado brings destruction, and Amanda's compassion brings her to help with clean up afterward. That's when she is reintroduced to Chad, the man she ran from fourteen years earlier when she believed he'd betrayed her love with another woman.

I love stories of reunion where the hero and heroine has a past problem so huge it seems insurmountable. Each book in this series is that way. Of course, their past isn't the only problem the hero and heroine must face. As they become reacquainted, the past and present merge to reveal even more emotional obstacles that must be overcome.

Route 66 plays an important part in Building Amanda's Future, just as it did in Facing Tessa's Past and Redeeming Sarah's Present. The Mother Road extends across the western half of our country from Chicago to Los Angeles. Like many Americans I've always romanticized the idea of Route 66 and feel privileged to have grown up close to a part of it. Although I understand the importance of the major highways and freeways that have replaced so much of the old road, I still long for the simplicity of the two-lane road that wound its way through every small town as it opened up new experiences for travelers.

In some way, Route 66 brought the three couples of this series back together and helped them find the answer to their greatest need - that of making things right with their Savior.

Question of the Day
Have you ever traveled on Route 66?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome Mildred Colvin!

Tornado Weatherphoto © 2010 Mike McCune | more info (via: Wylio)

















A lady commented to me the other day that she was amazed with the number of story ideas God gave me. I appreciate her comment, and it is true ideas often come as inspiration, giving me no place to point and say that's where this book began. Other ideas, however, come from something that is very easily recognized. Building Amanda's Future began several years ago when a tornado swept through a small town only 25 miles from where I live.

As I described in Building Amanda's Future, the sky over our home was nearly cloudless while first one tornado and then another swept through this town, leveling homes and businesses, lifting, breaking, and dropping debris in a wide path from the west edge of town to the east edge. We marveled that such a thing could happen.

This spring, just a couple of months ago, another tornado touched down and traveled in a wide path through Joplin, Missouri, a small city located on Route 66. A large hospital in the southwest part of town was severely damage, many home and businesses were destroyed while the funnel traveled at only ten miles an hour through this populated area.

The amazing thing when something like this happens is the reaction of the people. So many people are homeless in Joplin now, but others have opened their doors to provide a place for those without. Groups all over the area as far as two hundred miles away quickly organized collection places to help provide water, blankets, clothing, diapers, and so many things to be taken to Joplin within those first few days as thunderstorms and rain continue to pound the crippled town. Clean-up crews still work, giving without taking. And groups are still sending needed supplies.

One minister, whose church was damaged, told of many kindnesses offered by the local people even before the shock of the storm had passed. many more acts of benevolence continue as the need is still there.

When I wrote Building Amanda's Future, my only experience with a town suffering so much damage was the first one I mentioned. I hope to never again see the results of another tornado. However, in both instances, the loving concern of those who have great empathy for their fellowman is an example to us all. How wonderful to know that those in a community and even in surrounding communities will reach out in love and sympathy to "Bear ye another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Question of the Day
Has your community ever experienced a natural disaster?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Building Amanda's Future by Mildred Colvin

This week's featured title is...
Building Amanda's Future by Mildred Colvin
978-1-61626-374-4
HP 961
Contemporary

Amanda's past and future are colliding.

When Amanda Wilson returned to her hometown, she never dreamed her past and future would collide in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. She volunteers to help with cleanup and is assigned to the farm now owned by the man who broke her heart years ago. She's forgiven Chad, but as she learns more about the night she caught him with her college roommate, the hurt feels fresh.

Chad Randall returns to his hometown after his sister and her husband's tragic deaths. With Amanda's help, he spends the summer rebuilding and getting acquainted with his orphaned baby niece. He wants to explain to Amanda about the lies and deception that tore them apart. He wants Amanda's forgiveness, but mostly he wants her love.

Even if Amanda forgives Chad, will he ever understand he needs to ask God's forgiveness too?

Book Excerpt
"Sorry." He jumped back, his hands out. "I didn't mean to startle you."

His grin said otherwise. He reached past her, opened a drawer, and pulled out a hammer.

"You have tools in the kitchen?" Amanda couldn't resist asking.

"Sure it's called a tool drawer." His quick wink sent her heart pounding.

He turned and walked though the dining room to the deck. She held her hand over her heart to slow its beating, glad Linda stood behind her at the sink and couldn't see. No sense in letting everyone witness her in infuriating responses to Chad.

"Amanda." Linda's voice was soft, but firm. "Maybe this isn't a good idea."

"What?" She turned and looked at Linda with wide, innocent eyes. At least she hoped she looked Innocent. "Do you want me to work on the counters first?"

"That isn't what I mean, and you know it. Go ahead and sweep, but tell me something. Do you have feelings for Chad?"

Key Verse
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13 - 14

About the Author
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.

Question of the Day
Have you ever been part of an organization that provided help during a natural disaster?

Friday, July 15, 2011

AND THE RANDOM DRAWING WINNER IS...

A Colorful Eveningphoto © 2010 Sandeep Pawar | more info (via: Wylio)
Congratulations Salena Stormo, you are this week's random drawing winner!

Please send an email to heartsongblog @ gmail.com (without the spaces) and let us know if you want a copy of Yankee Heart, Uncertain Alliance, or 10 Heartpoints to be used towards a future shipment of Heartsong books.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's Heartsong blog! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From the Vault

This week's title from the vault is...
Uncertain Alliance by Mary Davis
HP 788
978-1-59789-901-7
Historical

Alice can't trust another man.

Alica Dempsey's husband squandered the family's money. When he died he left her destitute and solely responsible for her aging grandfather, younger brother, and toddler son. Debt forces the family to move to Seattle tenement. When Alice is fired from her job, she becomes desperate. Will she and her family end up on the streets?

Ian MacGregor has loved Alice from afar for months, but he can't get past the wall of formality she has built around herself. When he learns of her job loss, he offers her employment in his pharmacy. She turns him down, suspicious of his motives. But when her younger brother gets into serious trouble and Ian is the only one who can help, Alice warily allows him into their lives.

Will Alice find love where she least expects it? Or will this uncertain alliance prove her fears of betrayal true?

Question of the Day
How have you spent your summer so far?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ohio and the Civil War













No, I didn't go back in time to take this picture! It is a reenactments of President Lincoln lying in state in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. There is a scene in Yankee Heart where Daniel and Katherine go to the statehouse to pay their respects to our country's fallen leader and this is very nearly what they would have seen as they walked past. The statehouse hosts this event every year on or around April 29th, the anniversary of the funeral processions stop in Columbus. During my visit, a separate event was being held at the statehouse and I also got a picture of one of Ohio's favorite sons, former Senator John Glenn!

Learning about the history of my home state was very rewarding and I particularly enjoyed learning about our role in the Civil War. Did you know the federal government called for a certain amount of men from each Northern state based on its population and Ohio exceeded that number by over 15,000 men? Ohio was also home to many of the conflict's prominent generals: Ulysses S. Grant, William "Tecumseh" Sherman, James A. Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley. Four of those men became U.S. presidents with two of them also serving as an Ohio governor. Which ones? Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley were Ohio governors and presidents while Ulysses S. Grant and James A. Garfield were U.S. presidents.

For more information about Ohio and the Civil War visit http://www.ohiocivilwar150.org/ and don't forget to check out http://www.discoverohio.com/ if you ever want to come for a visit. We have lots to see and do!

Question of the Day
What are some fun and interesting historical facts about your home state?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trusting in the Lord

Hello all! My name is Jennifer A. Davids and I'm very excited to be writing for Heartsong Presents. I hope you enjoy reading the stories I help the Father weave. Allow me to tell you a little about myself. I live in Central Ohio with my husband of 18 years and our two children. I am a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and a member of ACFW. Feel free to visit my online at www.jenniferdavids.com to find out more about me and my writing journey.

The book Ruth is a favorite of mine. During my younger days when youth services were yet to be invented, I would read her story over and over again during church. So it's hardly coincidental that Yankee Heart is based on Ruth's story. I've always admired her loyalty to Naomi and how God rewarded that loyalty. But until then she had to have had doubts. Did I do the right thin in coming here? How are we going to live? What will happen to us? We've all had times like that in our lives. Maybe you're dealing with a similar challenge right now. There are many good verses to turn to, but take a look at Proverbs 3:5-6, the them verse for Yankee Heart. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean no on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

There are things that happen in our lives we just can't understand. And I know it's hard. I know. There has been many times in my life when God whispered "trust me" in my ear and I've had to hold on and...well...trust Him. But I can honestly say He's never disappointed me, even when the outcome wasn't exactly what I had in mind. As Daniel and Katherine discover in Yankee Heart, He has good reasons for telling us to do things that don't make sense, at least to us. He sees the things us mere mortals can't possibly see or comprehend.

Question of the Day
So how about you? How is or how has God asked you to trust Him?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yankee Heart by Jennifer A. Davids

This week's featured title is...
Yankee Heart by Jennifer A. Davids
978-1-61626-362-1
HP 960
Historical

Katherine doesn't fit in the North or South.

Katherine Wallace has come north to escape her family's shunning due to her opposing slavery. But as a Southerner, she finds no welcome in Ohio except from a returning Yankee soldier.

Daniel Kirby arrives home after General Lee's surrender at Appomattox, weary from all the death and destruction of war. He longs to return to teaching at a university but feels a pull to remain with his family's farm and to be near the captivating Southern young lady staying with his aunt.

As Daniel and Katherine begin to fall in love, neighbors attempt to force Katherine to return South, while others plot to steal the Kirby farm. Midst the tumultuous aftermath of war, will Daniel and Katherine allow God to heal their hearts and bind them together as one?

Book Excerpt
"Are you Miss Katherine Wallace?"

Her eyes remained wide as she nodded. "How did you know...?"

He gave her an apologetic smile as he removed his hat. "My aunt mentioned you in her letter. I'm very sorry I frightened you."

"That's quite all right, Major Kirby. I'm...very glad you're home safe. Mary's...been so terribly worried."

He frowned and regretted he hadn't at least sent them a telegram before he left. "I'm afraid I received Aunt Mary's letter right as the siege at Petersburg ended. There was very little time to do anything. Then General Lee surrendered..."

"Of course! I...I understand perfectly, Major Kirby." Although her voice shook, it was gentle and reassuring. "And I'm sure Mary will as well."

Daniel looked at her curiously. She had to be one of the very few daughters of the Confederacy he had met who had not instantly hated him on sight. A Southern woman's zeal for the cause was almost legendary. He had been spit on, snubbed, and bad-mouthed a number of times. And unlike other young ladies he'd met, Northern or Southern, she made no attempt to flirt with him. In fact, judging by the way she stumbled over her words, she seemed painfully shy.

Key Verse
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

About the Author
Jennifer A. Davids has lived in Ohio all her life and her family are long-term residents of the state. Her mother's side of the family is from Central and Southern Ohio and her father has traced his side of the family tree back to the early eighteen hundreds. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and feels blessed to have been called to a life of writing for the Lord. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two children and sings on the praise team at church. If she's not writing, she's reading, crafting, or watching a favorite movie or TV show - usually in that order!

Question of the Day
How far back can you trace your family tree?

Friday, July 8, 2011

A New Random Drawing Winner!

Celebrate!photo © 2010 Steven Zolneczko more info (via: Wylio)

Congratulations Kaitlin , you are this week's random drawing winner!!!

Please send an email to heartsongblog @ gmail.com (without the spaces)and let us know if you would like a copy of Blues Along the River, The Columns of Cottonwood, or 10 Heartpoints to be used towards a future shippment of Heartsong books.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

From the Vault

This week's title from the vault is...
The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins
978-1-60260-486-5
HP919
Historical

Cottonwood was supposed to be hers.

She grew up there; she lived through the war there; she lost her parents there. Even in its burned-out conditions, it's still home to Savannah Carmichael. But now it belongs to a stranger - a foreigner! - who paid the back taxes on it and bought it right out from under her.

Dante Rinaldi never expected that a culmination of his dream - to own some of Alabama's rich farmland - would mean the destruction of someone else's. He hasn't done anything illegal; in fact, he's worked hard for the privilege of land ownership. So why does Savannah Carmichael's plight affect him on such a deep level?

Both believe in the sovereignty of God, but how can this situation be orchestrated by Him? Can they find a solution...a compromise to benefit both?

Question of the Day
Do you have property or a heirloom that has been passed through your family?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day Two with Sandra Robbins

Small cotton house surrounded by agricultural fieldsphoto © 2010 Kheel Center more info (via: Wylio)


















I have always loved history and couldn't understand it when my friends in school would complain about having to study it. I enjoyed reading about people and events that had happened in the past and thinking about how their lives were similar to mine even though they lived years before I did.

I suppose that's why I wanted to write historical romance when I first began to write. I wanted to take readers into a different time and place from their lives and give them a glimpse of what it was like for our ancestors. To me, the South offers many choices for stories that readers will enjoy.

In writing Blues Along the River, I did a lot of research about the changes that were taking place in the South in the years after the Civil War. With the end of slave labor, planters had to find another work force so the agriculture system could survive. This need brought about the advent of the tenant farm system which survived well into the twentieth century. In 1930, 1,831,470 tenant farmers lived in a sharecropping system across the South. The end of World War II saw a decline and finally an end to this way of farming.

This system, though it sounds good, often resulted in a different kind of servitude. Those who worked the farms were often entrapped and barely scraped by on what they earned at harvest time after repaying the landowner for the "share" they had been given during the year.

My grandfathers were both a part of this system, but they were fortunate. With a strong faith in God and a strong work ethic, they both emerged from a system that sucked the life out of others. One of my grandfathers was able to buy his own farm while the other attained elected office and served his country for years.

In Blues Along the River, the tenant farmer system is the backdrop of Marcus's and Victoria's story. I hope you enjoy reading about a time and place where a love of God, family, and land offered hope for a renewed future.

Question of the Day
Were any of your ancestors involved in a major historical event?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day One with Sandra Robbins

Civil War Veteransphoto © 2008 Marion Doss more info (via: Wylio)


















Happy day after the Fourth of July! I hope everyone had a happy and safe day. It's such a blessing to be able to celebrate the freedom that we as citizens have in this country, but we realize that freedom has come at a great price for many people.

Over the weekend I saw a documentary that told the story of the latest people who had become citizens of the United States. The reporter traveled from state to state as those who had come to our country for the freedom offered here received their certificate of citizenship. I was deeply touched by the stories these people had to tell of why they came to America and what they escaped in the countries they had left. It made me very thankful to have been born in this great country.

It also made me reflect on all this country has gone through since independence was first proclaimed. There have been wars fought here and in foreign lands that have formed us into the people we are today. As a life-long Southerner, I have grown up with the battlegrounds of the Civil War close to where I live. Visits to places like Shiloh continues to fascinate those of us who live in the 21st Century.

Perhaps this fascination with a war that divided a nation was the reason I selected the time period I did for my latest book in the Alabama Brides series. Blues Along the River is set in the Black Belt of Alabama sixteen years after the end of that war. Even though old attitudes and traditions are being replaced by new ones, there are those who find it difficult to give up an old way of life.

When a naive girl arrives in Wilow Bend, Alabama, and meets the handsome owner of Pembrook Plantation, all she sees is the chance to live a privileged life with a man who she thinks will fulfill all her dreams. Unfortunately, she doesn't look below the surface to see what hidden secrets may control her life in the plantation's big house.

Blues Along the River relates the story of a time and a people who struggle to rebuild their lives in the shattered society they had once known. I hope you will enjoy Marcus and Victoria's story.

Question of the Day
What is your favorite historical period?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blues Along the River by Sandra Robbins

This week's featured title is...
Blues Along the River by Sandra Robbins
978-1-61626-368-3
HP 959
Historical

Their marriage is not what they dreamed.

When Victoria Turner and Marcus Raines marry, they're both surprised to quickly discover they're not living happily ever after. Marcus continues to remember his late father's warnings about women betraying men, and he wonders if that is exactly what Victoria is doing when she refuses to abide by his wishes. Victoria is appalled that Marcus doesn't recognize how the South is changing after the war and that he can no longer treat his tenant farmers the way his father treated their slaves. Instead of being full of joy, their lives in their beautiful plantation home along the Alabama River reflect the blues sung by the workers.

Will Victoria and Marcus find the answers they need by turning to the Author of their love? Or will the pain of their pasts and their unwillingness to forgive leave their hearts empty and their home filled with bitterness?

Book Excerpt

He regarded her for a moment. "Your mother said you've always been impulsive. For now, I see I can't change your mind. As you get used to life here and see how the tenants need guidance, you'll change your opinions."

She shook her head. "I wouldn't count on it." Her gaze softened , and she reached up and stroked his cheek. "I don't want to argue with you, Marcus. I love you with all my heart, and I want us to be happy. Please try to understand how I feel."

His heart pricked at the sadness he detected on her face. How could he deny her anything? "I want us to be happy, too. I love you so much, Victoria, but you have to understand you've entered a different world."

Key Bible Verse

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

About the Author

Sandra Robbins and her husband live in the small college town where she grew up in Tennessee. Until a few years ago she was working as an elementary school principal, but God opened the door for her to become a full-time writer. It is her prayer that God will use her words to plant seeds of hope in the lives of her readers.

Question of the Day

What did you do over your 4th of July weekend?

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Week's Winner!

Fireworksphoto © 2008 bayasaa | more info (via: Wylio)


This week's winner is Patsy!

Congrats, Patsy! Just email us at heartsongblog[at]gmail[dot]com and let us know if you would prefer a copy of Plainsong, The Prodigal Patriot, or ten Heartpoints to be used toward a future shipment of Heartsong Books!

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Week's Book From the Vault!

This Week's Book From the Vault is:
The Prodigal Patriot by Darlene Franklin
978-1-60260-904-4
HP911
Historical

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?

What is your favorite historical event to read about?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day Two with Darlene Franklin

Metro Denver (12)photo © 2009 James Hernandez | more info (via: Wylio)


I fell in love with Denver the day I arrived. Thirteen years earlier, I had left my beloved home state of Maine. I learned to appreciate New Jersey (college), Texas (seminary) and Oklahoma (marriage and ministry), but none of those sates captured my heart.

Colorado did. The majestic Rockies, rising two miles from sea level and framing Denver's western horizon, gave me the same eternal perspective as the Atlantic Ocean of my youth.

I spent the next two decades taking advantage of many of Denver's attractions. My only regret is that I never made it to a Bronco's game, but at least my children did.

I could think of no better setting for my tale of two hopeless romantics than my adopted city. Michelle and Joe meet at a Rockie's game; they spend time at the Cherry Creeks Art Festival, take in the Renaissance Fair, and watch fireworks from the top of Lookout Mountain.

In God's timing, Plainsong (and the third book in the series, also in Colorado, Knight Music) both have been published - now that I no longer live in Denver by in Oklahoma City, near family.

Have you ever visited Denver?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day One With Darlene Franklin

Neuschwanstein Castlephoto © 2008 pr1me | more info (via: Wylio)


Years ago, while zooming down the interstate somewhere in Tennessee, I spotted a castle on a mountainside. I snapped a picture of it and always wondered what is a castle doing in the middle of the American countryside?

I never did uncover the story behind that castle, but when I decided to write a story about two hopeless romantics, I decided my hero had grown up in a castle. His father had built the castle for his English bride. The legendary (and fictional) Cameron Innis holds a place in knightly lore equal to the Knights of the Round Table.

Poor Joe Knight, raised by a knight and protector, feels more like a bumbling squire when robbery interrupts not one, but two, different dates.

Michelle Morris, my heroine, is a hopeless romantic. She and Joe are made for each other - except for details like jobs, long distance dating, and robberies.

Plainsong is a fun collection of "what ifs"? What if a couple did fall in live at first sight? What if she hates the town where he lives? And he hates her home? What if his every attempt to act like a knight turns into failure?

Joe and Michelle must struggle through a lot of baggage before they can claim their own happily-ever-after.

Do you ever play the "What If?" game in your head?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Plainsong by Darlene Franklin

This Week's Featured Title is:
Plainsong by Darlene Franklin
978-1-61626-363-8
HP958
Contemporary
Michelle longs for a storybook romance.

Homeless and jobless, Michelle Morris visits her friend Carrie in Denver to find a new job. She quickly envies Carrie's married life and wishes she could have a happily-ever-after of her own. What she doesn't realize is her knight in shining armor is about to sweep her off her feet - and love is much more complicated that she imagined.

Joe Knight lives by a code of chivalry and honor. As he spends more time with Michelle, he wants to protect her, fight her battles for her. He wants to be her strong knight, but feels more like a bungling squire. Does he have what it takes to be the man Michelle needs?

As their picture-perfect romance starts to hit reality, can Michelle and Joe overcome life's obstacles and find a love that truly ends in happily ever after?

Key Verse:

"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes." Psalm 118:8-9

Book Excerpt:

"I don't know what's happened to me since I got back from Romania. I had the courage of a she-wolf when we were there. But after losing my job in Chicago, I'm scared I can't get the kind of job I need. Not with everybody downsizing."

A green bean snapped in the silence. "It's okay," Carrie said. "You're allowed to ask questions. Just keep trusting in the Lord."

The door opened, and Steve burst in with their boy, Viktor. He dumped a couple of bags on the table. "How's my favorite wife?" Steve hugged Carrie as if he hadn't seen her in days, not hours. Oh, God, will I ever find someone like that?

Joe. Michelle pushed the thought away. She had no business thinking like that about a man she only met last night - and certainly not with her other obligations. But when she remembered his infectious grin, ready laugh, and gentle touch, the idea thrilled her. Stop it, she scolded herself. Her heart didn't want to listen.

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.

Darlene has published several titles with Barbour Publishing. Visit Darlene's blog at http://www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/ for information on book giveaways and upcoming titles.

Have you found your happily ever after?

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Week's Winner!

Wild Flower 16photo © 2006 Josh | more info (via: Wylio)


Congrats, Merry! You are the winner of this week's random drawing!

Just email us at heartsongblog[at]gmail[dot]com and let us know if you would like a copy of Sunshine, Kind Hearted Woman or ten Heartpoint to be used toward a future shipment!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This Week's Book From the Vault!

This Week's Book From the Vault Is:
Kind-Hearted Woman by Janet Spaeth
978-1-60260-593-0
Historical
HP872

Colin hasn't always lived like this.


Colin Hammett is on the road, drifting, searching for meaning in life. Maybe 1935 wasn't the best year to do this - deep in the Great Depression - as it seems half the country is on the road with him. But this is his life now, and he's not sure where to turn next.

Lolly Prescott is feeling every moment of a hot, dry, penniless summer. Life was never exciting before, but now she's just. . .trapped. So when her brothers carry a half-dead man in the front door onto the couch, she doesn't know whether to run or just give in and give up.

As Colin struggles to regain his memory, the Prescotts' financial situation reaches the breaking point. Can the attraction between Colin and Lily grow into a relationship amid such uncertainty? Can it survive when all seems lost?

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord." Jeremiah 17:7

Have you heard family stories of the Great Depression?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day Two with Janet Spaeth

Old man and the seaphoto © 2006 Chad Routh | more info (via: Wylio)
Fishing plays a major role in both Sunshine and Kind-Hearted Woman. And here's how much I know about fishing:




Yup. Nothing.

Fortunately, with Kind-Hearted Woman, I was able to build the fishing part around what I remember from fishing with my grandpa. Now, I have to tell you that I never caught a fish, ever, but that didn't stop me from loving that time with him. I can still remember the sun-kissed smell of his work shirt, the soft fishy smell of the tackle box, and the gentle cooing of the mourning doves in the far distance.

My job was to wad up bread into bait. It was, he told me, an important job, and I took it very seriously, tasting the bread balls occasionally to make sure they were as good as they looked. They were.

For Sunshine, I needed more up-to-date information, so I ended up wandering through a sporting goods store, looking at the lures.

I was dazzled.

The lures looked like high-fashion jewelry. The colors! The glitter! The shine! Some moved. Some didn't. Some were shaped like worms, others like little fish. Orange. Pink. Green. Silver.

No bread-ball bait here.

A sales guy came over. Could he help?

Well, sure, I said. I need to know about lures. Like, ooh, this one! It was a metallic neon orange thing with plastic strings coming off it.

He asked what kind of fish I was trying to catch.

What kind of fish? What did that have to do with anything? Apparently it mattered.

Local fish. In a river. Would this lure work?

It turned out that the lure I was holding was for spotted one-gill game fish from the Amazonian rain forest. Not really, but I discovered that this was not something I could learn on the floor of Reed's Sporting Goods. Fishing was serious business.

So I asked a friend who fished, and he guided me through the rough waters of writing about fishing, answering every question I had about lures. I'm sure I made some mis-steps in writing, but remember, this writer was once a little girl, fishing with bread-ball bait with her grandpa, and who only caught memories.

Do you have any fishing memories?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day One with Janet Spaeth

Nibblingphoto © 2010 Nic McPhee | more info (via: Wylio)


North Dakota - it's a beautiful state.

On the eastern side, it's flat, and the trees that aren't along the rivers are family-planted shelterbelts. There isn't much to see except land and sky and more land and more sky.

People say there's nothing here.

Nothing? Land and sky are nothing?

Start driving west across the state, and the land will begin to change around you. There will be deep hills around the appropriately named Valley City, and then, as you near the western border, the land suddenly becomes amazing.

I don't know quite how to describe it, which is odd for a writer, isn't it? It's stark and glowing and primeval and overwhelming.

It's hard to judge distance in the Badlands. Only when a herd of wild horses gallop across the backdrop do you get the perspective to know how far things are from you.

You'll feel like you can't look enough when you're there. You want to look at all of it, from a close-up of a rock arrangement to a long view of the band of striated outcroppings.

And over it all is the Dakota-blue sky, an arch that is so astonishingly clear you think, "Yeah, that's PhotoShopped," before you realize, "It can't be!"

The solitude is spectacular, too, because you are alone - well, except for the elk and the bison and the wild horses and the prairie dog towns.

Remind yourself: This is just land. Land and sky.

You'll never think of them the same way again.

And you'll understand why I set Sunshine in the Badlands.

Have you ever been to North Dakota?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunshine by Janet Spaeth

This Week's Featured Title is:
Sunshine by Janet Spaeth
978-1-61626-337-9
HP957
Contemporary

Olivia has a crazy dream.

When a page from a Bismarck, North Dakota, newspaper blew up against Olivia Moore's Boston-bound car, her only thought as she retrieved it was to get it into a recycle bin. But the advertisement on that page caught her attention. . .and her imagination. . .and her determination.

Hayden Greenwood isn't quite sure what to think of this adorable city slicker who shows up in an answer to his ad to sell the now-defunct resort his family has owned for decades. Does she really think she can remodel - rebuild, really - the place by herself? And to what end? To reopen a tourists attraction in the middle of nowhere? Shouldn't a realtor know the old adage "Location, location, location?"

But there's more to life than surface events. And while Livvy sees the possibilities in her new property, Hayden sees them in her. . .

Key Verse:

"A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." John 16:32

Book Excerpt:

"It needs some work," Gramps said.

"The whole thing needs work," Hayden said. "I don't know, of course, what you plan to do here, but the fact is that except for Gramps and me and our friends, no one comes here. Sunshine hasn't had any customers for two years now."

It was such a difference from the hustle of Boston. There were no car horns honking. No radios blaring. No one talking.

Livvy stood motionless, letting the nothingness of it all overtake her. She felt tiny and yet part of all creation. The soft breeze lifted and dropped her hair around her cheeks and forehead.

And, as she listened to the sound of God Himself - the soft splash of the waves, the trill of the birds, the hum of the insects - she fell in love.

"I want it."

For as long as she can remember, JANET SPAETH has loved to read, and romances were always a favorite. Today she is delighted to be able to write romances based upon the greatest love story of all, that of our Lord for us. When she isn't writing, Janet spends her time reading a romance or a cozy mystery, baking chocolate chip cookies, or spending precious hours with her family in North Dakota.


Have you ever fallen in love with a place because it is the polar opposite of what you are used to?

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Week's Winner!

Ocean Beachphoto © 2006 Ganesha Balunsat | more info (via: Wylio)



Congratulations, Regina Jennings! You are the winner of this week's random drawing!

Just send us an email at heartsongblog[at]gmail[dot]com and let us know if you would like a copy of I'd Sooner Have Love, With Open Arms or ten Heartpoints to be used toward a future shipment of Heartsong Books!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book from the Vault!

This Week's Book from the Vault is:
With Open Arms by Janet Lee Barton
978-1-59789-375-6
Contemporary
HP730


Thad's evening was much more enjoyable with Dani sitting beside him.


There was just something about Dani Phillips he liked. She expressed her views in such a forthright way; it was refreshing. She was not happy about the possibility of tourists coming in and taking over her town, which came across loud and clear. But her opinion appeared at odds with what the city council seemed to want from him, and he could only hope that didn't cause a problem.

Dani had a job to do, and part of it was to show him around town. She'd already proven she could do it, even if she didn't agree with the council on their views on how to revive their town.

He had a job to do, and that was to decide if he could come up with a campaign to help draw tourists to this town. Potential problem? Not as long as he put a damper on his growing attraction to this feisty city manager. And dampen it he must. The last thing he needed was to fall for Dani Phillips.

What would you do if you were in Thad's shoes?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 2 With Janet Lee Barton



As I walked the streets of Guthrie the idea of I'd Sooner Have Love quickly came to life. It's the story of Faith Anderson and Gabe Logan - two lonely people who believe they'll never have a family of their own.

A year after Faith's husband passes away; she's given up on having a good relationship with his parents. They never liked her because she was unable to give them a grandchild and they have made it clear that the only way she'll ever inherit her husband's share of their wealth is to let them control her life. She feels totally smothered by them and their unending lists of what is acceptable and what is not for an Anderson. She doesn't care about their money...nor does she really need it. Her husband must have known how his parents would treat her, for he'd made sure to provide her with enough to make a new start somewhere else.

Resigned to the fact that she can't have children and will never marry again, she takes her widowed brother, Ben Thompson, up on his offer to go to Oklahoma Territory with him and his two children. She takes the next train to Arkansas City where her brother and his children have been living for the last six months, waiting for land to open up. When Ben decides to go to the front of the line, Faith and her nephew and niece make the run alone to meet him in the town that begins with a sea of tents on the prairie.

Gabe Logan has been waiting for the government to open up land in Oklahoma for several years. The economic collapse in Kansas had taken a toll on his business as a builder in Wichita, and the death of his fiancee in a bank robbery had taken the joy out of his life. All that had mattered from that point on was finding the man. For a year, Gabe had hunted him down. When Gabe caught up with him, he wanted to take him in, but the man shot at him and Gabe shot back, wounding the man but not killing him. However, he'd spent several months in jail until a trial proved that the man was his fiance's assassin. Now, Gabe is more than ready to leave Kansas, start a new life and try to get over the pain of the past.

Gabe is certain no woman would want to marry a man who'd spent time in jail and Faith is just as sure that no man would want to marry a woman who couldn't give him a child. But the Lord might have plans of His own.

Have there been times in your life when the Lord has shown you He had a plan much different that your own - one that was so much better than anything you'd planned that you had no doubt that it came form Him?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day One with Janet Lee Barton

After we moved to Oklahoma, I was pleased to find out that Guthrie, one of the first towns settled in the 1889 Land Rush, is only about fifteen minutes from where we live. We've made several trips to the town that is a Historical District of over 2,000 buildings covering 1,400 acres. One can take a trolley tour and visit the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, The State Capital Publishing Museum and The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum. There are quaint places to eat and shop, antique stores that invite one to browse.

It didn't take but one visit for the idea of I'd Sooner Have Love to spring to life. And as I delved into research, all kinds of what-if story ideas to start coming to the surface to develop the Oklahoma Sooners series. With each visit since, I've come to admire those first settlers so much. I love going there and imagining what it was like to be one of the first to settle this area of the state, to see a town go from tents to frame buildings almost overnight. The planning for the first towns in Oklahoma were so well done, one can see why its so easy to find ones way around even now. I'm so glad Guthrie is still here, with so much of what it was then still here and being appreciated and taken care of.

Very soon the frame buildings quickly turned into brick ones, most of which have been well preserved. Four months after run, the City Directory included 6 banks, 16 barbers and at least that many blacksmiths and carpenters. There were 5 newspapers, over 20 grocers, 4 jewelers, 7 hardware stores, 19 pharmacists, 39 doctors, 7 hardware stores, 40 restaurants, 81 lawyers, not to mention dry goods stores, laundries, flour and feed stores, and the list goes on. Hotels went up and were quickly filled; boarding houses were started, sparking the idea for Faith's boarding house in I'd Sooner Have Love, and period homes still line residential streets.

Guthrie quickly sprung up on the prairie to become a city, and today it's like stepping back in time to visit there and see so much of the Victorian elegance that proclaimed it the capitol of Oklahoma until it was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910.

What part of preserved history is near where you live?

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'd Sooner Have Love by Janet L. Barton

This Week's Featured Title Is:
I'd Sooner Have Love by Janet L. Barton
978-1-61626-335-5
HP956
Historical

Faith has given up.

Unable to give her husband children, Faith Anderson watched his love change to disappointment before he died in a riding accident. She's determined never to marry again, and instead plans to build a new life in Guthrie, Oklahoma, with thousands of other settlers who have rushed to the area.

But that was before she met Gabe Logan, a man whose simple presence makes her heart face and whose kindness to others begins to warm her heart - in spite of her best efforts to remain cold. Gabe himself has secrets in his past that he's convinced will keep any self-respecting woman from wanting to marry him. But that doesn't stop his traitorous heart from falling for Faith.

If the past were different, Gabe and Faith would sooner have love. But now they must decide: will they let fear of disappointment and rejection keep them from accepting the love God has placed in their paths?

Key Verse:

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Philippians 3:13

Book Excerpt:

"Ready, Faith?" Ben called from outside the wagon.

"I'm ready." Hope had cleaned up after breakfast but still was finished dressing long before Faith, and now everyone waited for her. Faith hurried out and took Ben's helping hand to climb down.

"Are you alright, Sis? You were awful quiet at breakfast."

"I'm fine." And she would be. It was a beautiful Sunday, and she would think on all the good things in her life and rejoice in them.

When she saw Gabe striding over in their direction, her heart warmed because he was taking her up on the invitation to join them.

"Thought I'd join you in church this morning," he said.

Her heart did a triple flip as he smiled at her, and Faith was glad when Ben answered for her.

"We'd be glad for you to join us. It's the best way to start a week that I know of."

Gabe only nodded as he fell into step beside them. Faith had wondered if he would ever go to church with them, and now that he was, her heart felt about ready to burst with joy.

Faith never thought any other man would be able to claim her heart after her Noah, but Gabe Logan seemed to be making his own place. And she couldn't let that happen. It would only serve to bring heartache - for she would never marry again.

JANET LEE BARTON has lived all over the southern U.S., but she and her husband plan to now stay put in Oklahoma. With three daughters and six grandchildren between them, they feel blessed to have at least one daughter and her family living in the same town. Janet loves being able to share her faith through her writing. Happily married to her very own hero, she is ever thankful that the Lord brought Dan into her life, and she wants to write stories that show that the love between a man and a woman is at its best when the relationship is built with God at the center. She's very happy that the kind of romances the Lord has called her to write can be read and shared with women of all ages, from teenagers to grandmothers alike.


Do any of you have a long distance separating you from your children and grandchildren?

Friday, June 10, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Lovely Treephoto © 2011 Steven Worster more info (via: Wylio)
PATSY!

Congrats, Patsy! You are the winner of this week's random drawing! Just send us an email at heartsongblog[at]gmail[dot]com and let us know if you would like a copy of White River Dreams, A Girl Like That or ten Heartpoints to be used toward a future shipment of Heartsong books!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book From the Vault!

This Week's Book From the Vault is:
A Girl Like That by Frances Devine
978-1-60260-355-4
HP847
Historical

Katie can't wait to get on stage.

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.

Sam Nelson works diligently to make partner in his father's law firm. He is thrilled to receive an important case. . .until he discovers the client may be using unethical means to win. Now Sam must decide what true justice is.

When Katie and Sam meet, sparks fly. But as Chicago ignites around them, will they turn to God for guidance or will their dreams - and love - burn to ashes?

"And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Psalm 50:15

Has anyone ever visited Chicago?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day Two With Frances Devine

Girls skipping at an athletics carnivalphoto © 1900 Powerhouse Museum more info (via: Wylio)
My mother, Josie, was a twin. Her sister died at birth. My dad had twin sisters, Bessie and Chessie. So, I always dreamed of twins. Didn't happen. But two of my nieces have twins. I guess it really does skip a generation.

White River Song is Abby's story. Abby is rather an independent girl who in spite of Lexie and Aunt Kate's training remains a little bit rough around the edges. She goes by the nickname of Tuck, short for Kentucky. Tuck falls for the handsome and sophisticated new doctor while her childhood friend Rafe suddenly realizes he cares for her a lot more than he knew.

Addy, who is featured in White River Sunrise has always been a very proper child and young lady. But secretly, she dreams of adventure. Her favorite memory is when she sailed downriver on her dad's steamboat. She's torn between her desire to stay close to her family, especially her twin sister, and her longing for romance and faraway places.

I hope you will enjoy reading this series as much as I loved writing it. And I hope you fall in love with Missouri, just like I did.

Do you have a favorite place? A place where all your cares just drift away? I'd love to hear about it.

Have a wonderful and blessed summer.
~Frances Devine

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day One with Frances Devine!

AngelaJodiephoto © 2005 Angela Thomas | more info (via: Wylio)
Hi. I'm Frances Devine. Mother, grandmother and late-in-life author.

I was born in Donna, Texas, a town in the Rio Grande Valley, and they tell me my name was supposed to be Donna Delores. I've heard several different versions of how that morphed into Frances Lee and have no idea which one is correct. I grew up feeling like I'd been robbed of my true name. To me, Donna Delores seemed much more romantic and mysterious than plain old Fances. I was also jealous of my sister, Edith, who was old enough to learn how to say "much, aqua, no?" before we moved to Dallas when I was nine months old.

In Dallas I met a girl named Glenda who lived across the street, I still consider her my best friend although I haven't set eyes on her since we were in our early twenties. We used to sit on the curb in front of my house at dusk and tell ghost stories. We'd get so scared that we'd both bolt for our houses. Those were the days.

At the early age of eight, my family moved to a little community in East Texas called Brushy Creek. Pine Tree country. This little city girl was afraid of everything from chickens to the little bull calf who stared at me from his pen. A low well stood on our back porch and each time I had to draw water I was afraid I'd be pulled in.

My brother and sisters, except Edith, were all grown and married before we moved there and Edith left a year later, so there I was stuck in the country all alone. I made new friends, but none like my best friend Glenda. But that's when I learned to dream big. I remember sitting on the seat of the farm wagon and living out a whole wagon train adventure inside my head.

When I was nine I wrote my first story. My inspiration was a picture that hung on my mother's wall of The Lone Wolf featuring the wolf called Two-socks. I had recently read Silver Chief, Dog of the North, so I'm not sure how many of the ideas for my story came from that great book, but if I plagiarized or came close to it, I didn't realize it. From that moment, the dream of my heart was to become a published author.

As they say, "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl." That's very true, but I found there was room in my heart for other places as well. In 1983, I moved with my husband and younger children to southwest Missouri. At first I felt like I was going to suffocate from all the trees and hills, and after a while, I grew to love my new state.

Through the years of raising my seven children and delighting in my grandchildren, I'd given up on my dream, but God hadn't. In my mid-sixties, I signed my first contract.

My latest series is about historical Branson. When I first discovered Branson and Silver Dollar City, I was mesmerized. Since I'm about a hundred miles north and east of the area, I didn't get there as often as I'd like, but while writing this series my heart grew even closer to the Missouri Ozarks.

White River Dreams is about a young woman named Lexie who was also transplanted to the area when she and her brother were orphaned and came to live with their Aunt Kate. Already restless, when her brother decides to marry, the thought of living with him and his new bride is more than she can take.

The hero of the story is the captain of a steamboat, transporting supplies up and down the White River. These two are thrown together to care for eight-year-old orphaned twin girls, Addy and Abby. Their stories will be the focus of books two and three. I'll talk a little bit about those in tomorrow's blog.

Do you have a dream of your own that has been fulfilled or is still on hold? If you'd like to, leave a comment and share it with us.

See you tomorrow.

Blessings,
Frances