Thursday, March 31, 2011

From the Vault

This week's title from the vault is...
Perfect Ways by Jeri Odell
HP 906

Adelaide needs a fresh start.

I can't do this. Forced to sell all her possessions upon the death of her husband, Adelaide English suddenly finds herself moving cross-country, enrolling in college at forty-five, and landing a job as the new freshman resident director. But starting fresh isn't easy - especially when Adelaide finds herself in the crossfire of college scandal and romance.

I will never love again. Dr. Isaiah Shepherd has never looked at another woman since his wife died until Adelaide enters his world. Something about her fragile, caged spirit draws him, even against his better judgement. But as scandal unfolds, Isaiah must make a choice. Fight for the woman he's falling for, or just let her go?

As rumors fly, will Adelaide find forgiveness, freedom, and even love?

This sounds like a book that could be turned into a movie. What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Day with Jeri Odell

Idaho fieldsphoto © 2010 Jinx McCombs more info (via: Wylio)When I got the contract for Idaho, my husband and I planned a great adventure. Our daughter, her husband and our tiny two month old granddaughter, Reese, had just moved to Lake Chelan in central Washington. Well, as the Lord and geography would have it, to drive from Arizona to Washington, one passes through Idaho. Seemed God ordained to me. A great excuse for a trip to see Reese and do research. What could be more perfect?

Our first stop was Sun Valley. And I, a naive girl from cactus country, fell in love with the potato state. Who knew the beauty we'd discovered as we ventured through the state sandwiched between Washington and Montana? I'm sure some of you may have, but I was clueless. Miles of rivers. Beautiful mountains. Rugged country. Wow. A state that has seemed boring and uneventful became one of my favorites.

So I invite you to experience Idaho along with my characters. Book one, Perfect Ways, is already out and was set in charming Coeur d'Alene at a fictious Christian college. Book two, the one featured this week, is set in the quaint town of Sandpoint, and the last book of the series will be set a ski resort in Sun Valley. I hope you'll enjoy their adventures in a place that offers year round outdoor beauty and fun. And if you haven't had the chance, grab an opportunity and visit Idaho for yourself, if only in a book. :)

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Welcome Jeri Odell!

open windowphoto © 2007 glasseyes view more info (via: Wylio) People often ask, "Where do your ideas come from?" Most of my books start with a tiny seed from real life. One of my good friends, Pat, has twin daughters, Audra and Autumn. Audra had her heart broken a few years back at the same time Autumn was getting married. I found myself wondering how Audra might feel. I knew she was happy for her sister, but I wondered what other emotions might be brewing.

Everything beyond those few facts was my imagination. I put myself in her shoes, but her feelings and thoughts may have been very different from my character, Tori's. Audra may not identify with Tori at all, but a few brief facts from her life provided fodder for a new story for me to tell. And as God would have it, Audra has since met and married a great guy. Reminds me of that saying, When God closes a door, He opens a window.

God's 'no' always brings a greater 'yes', but sometimes the 'yes' is down the road months or even years. The trick is hanging tough and truly waiting on Him, trusting Him, hoping in Him. I've run ahead of Him, and then I miss His 'yes' for me. And waiting is never easy. We live in an instant society. Waiting is foreign. But it is in that lingering stage that I seek His face with new determination. It's in the waiting that I know Him better, see Him more clearly and ultimately love Him with renewed tenacity.

If you are facing a tough season, I encourage you to hang tight with God because that is what I'm trying to do day by day and sometimes moment by moment. And for those of use who are waiting on Him for direction, for answers, for wisdom, for a miracle, "The LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 ESV

When God closes a door, He opens a window - when has this ever applied to you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

A New Featured Title!

This week's featured title is:
Perfect Peace by Jeri Odell
HP 945

Tori's sister is stealing her wedding.

Tori Wade's dreams are shattered when her fiance unexpectedly break their engagement with no explanation. But her wound deepens when her twin sister enters a whirlwind romance and steals the wedding Tori should have had. Forced to hide her heartbreak behind a happy smile, she wonders if her heart will ever heal.

Jake Matthews doesn't play games. When his cousin asks him to show some attention to his soon-to-be sister-in-law during the wedding week, Jake firmly declines. But when he meets Tori, his heart is immediately captured. Is he just her rebound guy or can their relationship develop into something lasting?

When Tori's ex-fiance returns to the scene and suspicious dealings are uncovered at Jake's resort, Tori and Jake's budding relationship is put to the test. Do they share a true love that will last?

Book Excerpt

He eyed the bright, festive, over sized flowers. "This place never changes." Jake took his menu, but laid it aside, already knowing what he planned to order. Tori did the same.

"So, it's Monday and you're here, not at school." His eyes roamed over the bright potted plants, Mexican tile, and bright Mexico decor.

"Luckily, I'm on spring break - otherwise this wedding week would prove difficult. Roni planned a full schedule"

The waitress breezed by, stopping to take their order. She grabbed the menus and disappeared.

"I like the way they are doing this prewedding week. Lots of activities and time to spend together."

"Roni hates that so often your closest friends fly in, hit rehearsal dinner, attend wedding, and fly out. She didn't want it to feel rushed. Of course, not everyone can come for the whole week."

"I'm glad I could. And you for the matter." He winked at the cute blond seated across from him and found himself looking forward to spending time getting to know Tori better. Who knew, but maybe by the end of the week he'd convince her to come to Idaho and work fro him this summer. He needed an accounts payable clerk for Allison's two month maternity leave, and since Tori taught basic accounting, she might just fit the resort's needs. And his...

Key Verse

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

About the Author

Jeri Odell is a native of Tucson, Arizona. She has been married over thirty-five years and has three wonderful adult children and five precious grandchildren. Jeri holds family dear to her heart, second only to God. She thanks God for the privilege of writing for Him. When not writing or reading, she is busy working in the finance office of her church.

Weddings are always fun. What is your favorite part of a wedding?

Friday, March 25, 2011

A New Random Drawing Winner!

Rainbow Fireworks Vancouver 2006photo © 2006 Tony Hisgett more info (via: Wylio)

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

Just email us at heartsongblog @ gmail .com (without the spaces) and let us know if you would like a copy of The Reluctant Outlaw, Carousel Dreams, or ten Heartpoints to use towards a future shipment of Heartsong books.

Be safe and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From the Vault...

This week's title from the vault is:
Carousel Dreams by Paige Winship Dooly
HP 820

Ellie is furious.

When Ellie discovers her recently deceased grandfather spent his entire life savings to purchase a carousel for their Great Salt lake resort, she feels cheated. And she's not afraid to give a piece of her mind to the scoundrel who arrives to build the carousel.

Bascom Anthony is back on the job. After a staged fired killed his wife and son two years ago, he had yet to build another carousel - until now. Time has mended Bascom's heart, but it has not ended the stalker's threats. The longer Bascom stays to finish his job, the more damaging events occurs at Ellie's resort.

Can Ellie's new found faith help her overcome her distrust of Bascom? And can Bascom trust the Lord to protect Ellie and her daughter from the same fate that claimed his wife and son?

Carousels and resorts are reminders of summer. What are some things that remind you of summer?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Day with Paige Winship Dooly

The Grave of the Black Sheepphoto © 2009 Hartwig HKD more info (via: Wylio)

I loved working on my Georgia Brides historical series! Georgia is a beautiful state with mountains, ocean and wide-open spaces. The Lightkeeper's Daughter was set on an oceanfront island. The Displaced Belle took place just outside Atlanta, Georgia. The Reluctant Outlaw is my final book for the set and is set in the mountains of north Georgia.

The first story is told about a hero with a rough family background who overcame his past with the help of more fortunate heroine, though she was facing hardships of her own as they worked on their relationship.

The second story had both the hero and heroine trying to find their way after rough family situations.

When plotting this final story, I decided to reverse the "typical" stereotype of a family. It seems to me that a lot of families have tales of a black sheep son or daughter, the one who is the challenge to raise and keeps his or her parents scratching their heads over the child's choices or poor behavior. Sometimes the bad behavior will influence other children in the family in a trickle down effect.

While I know that seems to be the experience for the majority of families, I started thinking about the opposite scenario, the one where the black sheep family has a child who by nature doesn't want to do wrong and doesn't want to take part in the family "activities."

This heroine would have a harder time at redemption because of the obstacles provided by the family. With this premise in mind, I sketched out the proposal and wrote the story for The Reluctant Outlaw.

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!

If you were in a book like this, would you want to be the black sheep in the family, or the child who is in a black sheep family?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Author Paige Winship Dooly!

writephoto © 2007 Mark | more info (via: Wylio)From my early days of studying the writing market, I've always heard to write what you know. If you like a certain genre, write in that genre. Since I've always loved to read contemporary romance, I always figured I'd write contemporary romance too. But since my first story I've leaned toward writing historical. I've gained a new appreciation for reading historical romance too.

I hated studying history in school. The rote learning of dates made my head spin. I never could understand why things that happened hundred of years ago could be of relevance to things that happened today!

Through the process of researching my past and present books, I've gained a new appreciation for the study of history and often find myself getting carried away with the research of the topic, jotting notes for future ideas, and I have to rein myself in. Sometimes the research can be as much fun as writing the story itself! God does have a funny sense of humor.

I love putting a modern-minded heroine in a historical setting where she can keep the hero on his toes. The hero is always baffled by the heroine's spunk and intellect, but of course in the end he's enamored by her wit and charm and wonderfully fun personality. I also love taking "broken" people and showing that anyone can be redeemed.

Then again, historical writing requires a lot of attention to historical detail, so contemporary stories are refreshing in that they don't have the same research requirements as you have when writing historical. The details still need to be done well, and the setting needs to be portrayed accurately, but the contemporary style allows more focus on the story and less on details. It can be fun to write a story, just for the sake of the story, without all the historical accuracy needed for a historical.

I guess it's safe to say I enjoy writing both styles, and I'm glad to write for a company like Barbour where I'm able to do both.

What do you prefer to read? Those of you who are writers and readers, do you like to write what you read?

Monday, March 21, 2011

This Week's Featured Title is...

The Reluctant Outlaw by Paige Winship Dooly
HP 944

Her life as an outlaw is over.

Bella is determined that she and her sister, Andria will escape the clutches of their greedy, evil brothers. No longer will they blindly follow orders and aid in the robbery and harm of innocent people.

When Duncan agreed to help catch the notorious McLeod gang, he never expected two of them to practically land in his lap. And he certainly never expect them to be female! Nor did he expect the sheriff to assign him the task of escorting them safely back to their ho,me. And why, he wonders, would God make an outlaw so irresistible?

As his attraction to Bella grows and the danger around them intensifies, Duncan finds himself walking a fine line between his calling as a preacher and his own secret past. Can he protect her and still remain true to his Lord?

Book Excerpt

"Evenin' ladies. Seems ya'll left somethin' behind."

The women spin around with weapons raised. Andria had snatched up a nearby log, while Bella had her rifle trained on him.

"Whoa, it's just me!" Duncan raised his arms.

They stood and stared st him for a few moments before recognizing him and lowering the weapons. Bella leaned against hers and glowered while Andria stood with a hand to her heart. Andria looked as if she'd seen a ghost while Bella returned his cocky glance and looked over at their belongings. "I don't see anything of importance missin', Andria, do you? Whatever could we have forgotten, Reveren Bowers?"


Bella rolled her eyes. "In order to 'forget' you, I would have had to plan to bring you along in the first place. In case you didn't notice, I didn't plan any such thing."

Psalms 18:3 KJV
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

About the Author

Paige Winship Dooly is the author of over a dozen books and novellas. She enjoys living in the coastal Deep South with her family, after having grown up in the sometimes extremely cold Midwest. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and loves their life of adventure in a fill house of six home schooled children and two dogs.

I noticed this week's book excerpt from The Reluctant Outlaw has a bible verse. Do you have a favorite bible verse?

Friday, March 18, 2011


Dandelion Fireworks-PHOTO 183-The halfway markphoto © 2007 Louise Docker more info (via: Wylio)CONGRATULATIONS JOY, you are this week's random drawing winner!!!

Just email us at heartsongblog @ gmail .com (without the spaces) and let us know if you would like a copy of Among the Magnolias, The Mockingbird's Call, or 10 Heartpoints to use towards a future shipment of Heartsong books!

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful discussions this week! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From the Vault

This week's title from the vault is...
The Mockingbird's Call by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver
HP 892

How did Amelia get herself into this mess?

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

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

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

What would you do in this situation?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another Day with Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver!

hopephoto © 2007 Dave Ellis more info (via: Wylio)

Day 2

Hello again. As mentioned yesterday we wanted to discuss our hero's conflict and struggle today. Nathan Pierce is a character we created to lose the heroine to someone else in A Bouquet for Iris. But we fell in love with him and wanted him to be the hero of his own story. When we began to create the itinerant preacher for Among the Magnolias, we decided Nathan would be a perfect choice. Nathan was a good man, but just that. We put him in the position of needing to help a female friend. When tragedy is the result of his actions, he eventually decides to become a preacher to attempt to atone for what he has done. Like so many of us, Nathan believes he can earn forgiveness through doing good deeds for God. He struggled with the idea of salvation through the grace of God and coming to Him in faith alone. As a result, he struggled mightily in executing his duties as a preacher. Without his "heart" in his job, he feels alone and incompetent. When he meets Abigail LeGrand, he is drawn to her commitment to her work with an orphanage. She pulls him into her ministry, forcing him to face his aversion to children. As his heart begins to open to her, to the children, and to his need for true salvation in Jesus Christ, he is confronted with protecting someone he loves once again. This final test will determine Nathan's future course as preacher...and a Christian.

In this world with its growing beliefs of many ways to God and heaven, it becomes more important to stand up for the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation. We wanted to create a character who thought being good was good enough until he does something he thinks is too much. He then turns to earthly means to fix it, failing miserably. It is so interesting that people want to be redeemed for their own terrible failures but refuse true rescue. This is like a drowning victim refusing help from a ship saying he or she will look for another form of rescue that is "easier". We pray God will remove our blindness and help us all to see the truth. And for those of us who write stories for Him, may we strive even more to help our readers find their true Rescuer, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What method do you use to stand up for what you believe in? How do you find the strength to do this?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcoming Authors Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver!!

Jenny's Cottage at Dawnphoto © 2009 James Whitesmith more info (via: Wylio)

Day 1

We are excited Among the Magnolias is being featured on the Heartsong Connection blog this week. This book, volume two of our "Mississippi Brides" series, has actually been several years in the making. It all began when we - along with our writers' group, the Bards of Faith (Hey, Bards! We love you!) - spent a day in Natchez, Mississippi. While there we toured one of the many antebellum homes, Rosalie, first own by Peter and Eliza Little. I (Aaron) especially loved seeing the nearby "cottage" and learning it was built, on request of the mistress of Rosalie, as a home for itinerant preachers. She felt the ministers would stay longer in the area if they had a nice place to stay. This planted a seed of an idea for a novel that simmered on the back burner, so to speak, until we began to plot our books for this series.

We all ready knew that book one, Across the Cotton Fields, would be Alexandra Lewis's story. She was a character from our Tennessee series whose family was located in Natchez, Mississippi, making her a perfect choice for the heroine of that book. She struggled with believing she needed a man to take care of her before learning to depend on God. We thought the heroine of this book, being the daughter of Alexandra, would respond too strongly in the opposite direction. Thus Abigail LeGrand struggles with the idea of trusting any man other than her father. She thinks marriage equals submission in every way and works to avoid committing to any man, especially the preacher who comes to stay in the cottage her parents built near their own plantation home. But this also keeps Abigail from fully submitting to God.

When creating the character of the itinerant preacher, we chose another character from our Tennessee series, Nathan Pierce. (His spiritual struggle will be the topic of tomorrow's blog.) The idea of the preacher for the hero worked great for the third book in this series, As the River Drifts Away, which will release this summer from Heartsong Presents. Diane had all ready created the heroine, Caroline, for this story set in Vicksburg during the Civil War and she happened to be the daughter of an itinerant preacher. Everything was falling into place.

The final piece of the "puzzle" was the orphanage. We had established in A Bouquet for Iris, the story Nathan Pierce first appears in, that he is very uncomfortable around children, preferring to avoid them entirely. We decided to have Abigail love children and work with an orphanage begun and supported by her parents, which we set up at the end of book 1. This would add another layer of conflict between our hero and heroine. In doing more research about Rosalie and Natchez for this book, we discovered that the owners of Rosalie, who had no children of their own, had also started a Natchez Children's Home, even taking in some orphans themselves including a niece. Isn't it great when God brings a plan together like this? We used Mississippi's most recognizable symbol for the title and the book was born. We hope you enjoy our story, but more importantly we pray you are drawn closer to God through reading the story of Nathan Pierce and Abigail LeGrand.

God works in mysterious ways. Can you name a few situations where everything fit perfectly together like a puzzle?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A New Featured Title!

This week's featured title is:
Among the Magnolias by Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver
HP 943

Abigail won't be hindered by marriage.

In spite of the love she sees between her parents, Abigail LeGrand is determined never to marry. Intelligent and opinionated, she fears marriage will quash her personality and keep her from supporting the causes that matter most to her.

Nathan Pierce is desperate to hide his past. An itinerant preachers, he's convinced that he is not worthy of God's forgiveness - or of the love of a good woman. But from his first sight of Abigail, carrying a basket of white magnolias, Nathan resists a growing attraction to the spirited young woman.

As they debate slavery and are drawn into mystery shadowing the local orphanage, will Abigail and Nathan accept each other's love and respect, or will they stubbornly cling to the fears that threaten to keep them apart?

Book Excerpt
Nathan stood as a young woman enter the room. At first glance he might have mistaken her for a scullery maid. Her dress was dirty and torn, her auburn-hued hair was tangled, and she was carrying a large basket of white flowers. Yet something in her carriage, some look in her wide dark eyes drew his attention.

"Brother Pierce, I would like you to meet my daughter, Abigail." His hostess retained her seat on the sofa, nodding toward the woman who was putting her basket on a table that stood inside the door.

He stepped forward with a box. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss LeGrand. Your mother has been saying some nice things about you."

She looked past him with a frown. "I see." She executed a graceful bow in spite of her appearance. "I hope you will make room for a parent's bias as I doubt I can eve measure up to whatever she has told you."

Nathan's mouth dropped open. So much for the demure young woman he'd pictured. While Mrs. LeGrand was the epitome of grace and refinement, it was obvious to him that she had failed to install the same qualities in her offspring. Even though he had been raised in a far more rustic environment than this young woman, he was surprised by Abigail LeGrand's lack of sophistication. Or was she merely flouting parental control? She was certainly old enough to have a household of her own. The Shakespearean tale of the shrew came to mind. Perhaps all she needed was a strong man to take her in hand as Petruchio had done with his Katherine. He wished the man the best of luck.

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

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

Have you ever been in a situation with someone who was very opinionated?

Friday, March 11, 2011

A New Random Drawing Winner!!!

Party time ! in Istanbul / Fiesta! en Estambulphoto © 2007 Jesus Solana more info (via: Wylio) Congratulations Jackie S., you are this week's random drawing winner!!

Just email us at heartsongblog @ gmail .com (without the spaces) and let us know if you would like a copy of Peace, Be Still; Coming Home or 10 Heartpoints to put towards a future shipment of Heartsong books!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From the Vault

This week's book from the vault is...
Coming Home by Terry Fowler
HP 872
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 has been out of the states for years. Returning to handle his mothers estate proved stressful, especially when dealing with Maggie Gregory. He suspected that she was trying to cheat him our of his inheritance. But now Dillon just 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?

Have you ever been in a tough situation where you didn't really trust the person, but still needed their help? What did you do?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Day with Terry Fowler

THE GOLDEN LIGHTS, THE LOVING © 2010 Neal Fowler more info (via: Wylio)When I started putting together this proposal, hideaways came to mind. We know criminals have hideaways, sometimes sweethearts meet in hideaways and kids sometimes have favorite places where they go to hide. I love North Carolina so they had to be NC hideaways.

That said, I got to thinking how we as people often try to hide from the things that trouble us. In Peace, Be Still, Katy came to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC seeking the one thing she treasures most in life. While there, she finds so much more - peace, love and a hideaway from the overwhelming demands of her parents.

Sadly, people also hide from God. We try to, but it's never a possibility. God knew us before He knit us together in the womb and knows what the future holds. He knows the decisions we'll make and allows us to make them and through it all He's waiting for us to accept Him and trust Him to be our protector and the lover of our soul.

As you read Peace, Be Still, consider how much more peace Katy could have found if she'd put her faith in Jesus to bring her through. And know that peace can easily be yours.

If problems in your life are having you seek a hideaway, remember Jesus is just one prayer away.

Speaking of prayer, do you have a favorite time to pray or a favorite place?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heartsong Welcome's Terry Fowler

Books to be © 2007 Hash Milhan more info (via: Wylio) Recently in a conversation, someone referred to my writing as a hobby. How wrong they were. Writing is my passion. It's also one of the ways I witness for Jesus Christ.

Before I sold my first book, I often said I was going to quit (usually after receiving another rejection). My sister said I could give up breathing easier than writing. She knew how vital it was for me. :) I would quit for a short time, but then I was right back at it working on something new I hoped would sell.

I wrote for years, submitting to secular lines and getting good feedback, but having no success. Then a number of things happened - I lost my mom to cancer, survived my own cancer diagnosis and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

I always believed in Jesus, but never committed to serving Him until 1992. With my decision, I accepted I could no longer writer secular fiction. I prayed and told God that if He wanted me to write, He would have to send me a market.

That market arrived in an advertising packet - a mailer from Heartsong Presents Book Club. Once I read my first contemporary Heartsong, I was hooked. I wanted to write more for them. I submitted my first book in 1998 and the rest was history. My first book was published twenty years to the month (October 1998) after I received my first rejection (October 1978).

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to stop by Heartsong Connections. Here's a photo my sister shot from the hotel where she works - snow on the beach 2011. Enjoy.

Happy reading!

What is something you feel passionate about that you know you could never give up?

Monday, March 7, 2011

A New Featured Title

This week's featured title is:
Peace, Be Still by Terry Fowler
HP 942

Katy can't go on alone.

After her daughter was kidnapped, Katy was convinced her estranged husband was at fault. But when his obituary shows up in a newspaper, the victim of a drug deal gone bad, things go from bad to worse. Her daughter is still missing, and the authorities believe she must be dead.

Richie never expected to meet his brother's wife this way. From all Jack had said, Katy was a man's worst nightmare. When she arrives in town, insisting she and Jack have a daughter - and that Jack kidnapped her - Richie refuses to believe her story. But something isn't right. Could his brother really have been the man Katy says he was?

Despite their differences, Katy and Richie must work together to find the truth - and the child. Will God bring peace in the midst of this storm, or will the evil set in motion by an unscrupulous man prevail?

Book Excerpt

"I've come to find my missing daughter."

Lucille gasped. "Oh gracious, child, what happened?"

Burning agony formed a huge knot in Katy's throat. Her appetite disappeared and she sat her plate back on the cart. "My husband and I separated earlier this year. He took Bethany. "I had no idea where to look for them until my friend found Jack's obituary on the Internet. I came right away. I spoke with the detective, but he said Jack didn't have a child with him. I hoped to talk to Jack's brother, but I hurt myself and Hurricane Kirk moved in."

Richie dropped his sandwich. "Jack?"

Katy nodded, "Jack Sinclair."

Lucille gasped again, and Richie's expression hardened.

"Is something wrong?" she asked, glancing from one to the other.

"Jack was my half brother."

About the Author

Terry Fowler makes her home in North Carolina where she works for the city of Wilmington. The second oldest of hive 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. Visit Terry online at

This sounds like a great read! What would you do in Katy's situation? Would you give up and agree with authorities or would you go on a hunt for daughter?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And Today's Random Drawing Winner Is....

Happy Party People Toasting Cheers Holding Champagne Glasses free creative commonsphoto © 2009 D. Sharon Pruitt more info (via: Wylio)Congratulations Kaitlin, you are this week's random drawing winner!

Just email us at heartsongblog @ gmail . com (without the spaces) and let us know if you would like a copy of In the Cool of the Evening, Kind-Hearted Woman, or 10 Heartpoints to put toward a future shipment of Heartsong books!

Happy Friday and have a fabulous weekend!

From the Vault: Kind-Hearted Woman

This Week's Book from the Vault is:
Kind-Hearted Woman by Janet Spaeth
HP 872
Historical Romance

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 and on the couch, she doesn't know whether to run or just give in and give up.

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

As families, we all have had the struggle of making ends meet. We all want the best for our family. What are some methods your family uses to cut back and save?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day Two with Author Janet Spaeth!


Italian-style Meatloafphoto © 2009 Ted more info (via: Wylio)Writing is like making a meatloaf. Let me tell you a story...

It's a cold day in early winter, a good day for meatloaf. The family likes meatloaf, and it'll warm their tummies as the snow falls outside.

I have the ingredients in the bowl: ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, grated onions, garlic, seasonings, bread crumbs, some V8 juice, and to top it off a raw egg.

It looks dreadful and smells worse.

My daughter, a tiny little thing at the time, comes in and peeks in the bowl - and gags at the sight and the smell.

"What's THAT?" she asks, holding her nose shut.

I don't answer at first. I'm busy washing my hands. Then I turned around and dip my hands in the cold, slimy, stinky mixture.

"MOM!" she cries, "What ARE you doing? What is that?"

"It's meatloaf, " I say.

She spins her heels and runs out of the room, proclaiming that she will never, ever, ever eat meatloaf again now that she knows how awful it was.

Pen to Paperphoto © 2007 Orin Zebest more info (via: Wylio)Writing a book is like making a meatloaf. The first draft usually doesn't look a lot like the finished manuscript. Yes, the first draft is soon covered with red-inked messages to myself and pages crossed off and new pages added with my cryptic numbering system (Page 138 B3) and arrows drawn with turquoise markers and sections highlighted in yellow and orange and heavy green question marks littering the paper landscape and sticky notes hither and yon. It's a lot like the meatloaf mixture.

Okay, it smells better except for the parts where I spilled my coffee on Chapter 3. And that section where I dropped some of my burrito and smeared salsa and frijoles through the second paragraph. And maybe there's some ranch dip on the current page...

You will probably notice that there is not a speck of meatloaf on those pages. Indeed. I never made meatloaf again.

Have you ever participated in something that just seemed like a "mess" while making it, but turned out even better than planned?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day One with Author Janet Spaeth!

Background of the Book

DSC00044photo © 2008 John Martinez Pavliga more info (via: Wylio)Winter in North Dakota makes its presence known with enthusiasm. When the first person shouts, "It's snowing!" we all gallop to the window to watch those lovely flakes. By the end of February, we don't have the same joyous tone when we look outside and sigh, "It's snowing."

So you'd think we'd be anxious for spring to make its appearance, right?

Yes-and no.

Spring is the time of robins and daffodils and lilacs. But it's also the time, up here, of floods.

We're nervous this year. And well we should be.

We watch the predictions and the forecasts with practiced eyes. We know what a crest is. We know how to fill sandbags in an assembly line. We know what sewer backup is. And we worry.

I don't want to go through this again. It nearly broke my heart last time - nearly.

There were people who saved us. The family 80 miles away who opened their home to us. The bank that helped us when our was underwater and our records were unavailable. The grocery store employees who helped us find milk - we were shocked we couldn't even navigate the aisles.

And the volunteers. There were so many of them.

The Salvation Army understood our need for a social environment and let us gather at the center they'd set up in that town 80 miles away. They allowed us to help sort donations, knowing that we needed something to focus on when the news from our community was so bad. They provided newspapers and updates and hot coffee and caring smiles, and when we were allowed to go back to our homes to clean them out, their mobile unites came by with food.

I'll always remember the Red Cross volunteer who, when she found out my daughter was celebrating her 7th birthday away from home, got her a beautiful necklace as a gift. It was such a thoughtful gesture from someone who cared deeply about this upset little girl.

Denominations from around the country showed up, helping to rebuild, and providing basics like laundry detergent (which was like gold at the time - hard to get!) and toilet paper and shampoo. I can't begin to name them all, but they were extraordinary.

I wrote In the Cool of the Evening as my thank you to these wonderful volunteers.

It's been fourteen years since I was flooded out of my home, and I have a tradition that I've passed on to my children - a tradition that came from this flood.

As soon as the first Salvation Army bell rings, I load up every body's pocket with change. We never, ever, ever pass a bell ringer without dropping in some change. Even if we pass them on the way in and the way out, we drop in some money. Each coin that goes in is accompanied with a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude.

This spring, we're keeping a wary eye on the Red, buying flood insurance, and praying, because even if it isn't our community, our home, it's going to be somebody's community, somebody's home.

And through it all, we'll rejoice in the first robin's call and the first tulip that pokes its head through the snow-weary garden, because that will mean it is, after all, spring.

At some point in time someone has experienced a tragedy in their life. Often times the community reaches out to those families. What are some things you have learned from that tragedy that you still carry with you today?