Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Her Heart, His Faith, Love Reborn" -- Delia Latham

California author Delia Latham is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister & friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She has a thing for Dr. Pepper & loves hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website, her blog, or over on her Facebook author page (Delia Latham).
Delia writes inspirational romance and women's fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing (a division of Pelican Book Group) and Vinspire Publishing.

Her heart. His faith. Love reborn.

With her marriage over and her mother fading fast, Lexi's heart is a fortress. Can a handsome author's faith find the key?

Forty-three-year-old Lexi Carlisle’s abusive marriage ended three years ago. Deeply scarred by the experience, and helplessly watching her beloved mother succumb to Alzheimers, Lexi is devastated. After selling her fancy home, she rents a cottage in Heart’s Haven, a special place unlike any other. Slowly learning to live again, she despairs of ever delivering the message of love that burns within her heart for her ever-worsening mother. But Mitch Gaynor, a handsome Christian author, reminds Lexi that with God all things are possible, planting within her battered and distrustful heart the seed of hope for a miracle. But can she open her fortressed heart to God? And is Mitch a part of His plans for her future?

Short Excerpt:
Mitch knew that God had given her a mega-dose of beauty she wasn’t even aware she possessed, but any fool with decent eyesight could see that. He knew her husband deserved to be lassoed to the meanest bull in Texas and dragged clear across the state. Mitch had no use for a man who would mistreat a woman—especially one like Lexi. Even Malinda had only good things to say about her, and for Malinda, that was a big thing.
He also knew that Lexi’s no-good excuse of a husband had divorced her three years ago, in favor of some young thing he’d no doubt treat exactly as he’d treated Lexi.
And with Todd Carlisle out of the picture and already married to someone else, Mitch was acutely aware that he was free to act on his attraction for the lovely woman who now stood in Mrs. Martin’s doorway, staring at him as if he’d grown another head right before her big green eyes.
In fact, he couldn’t think of one good reason he hadn’t done that already. Except…well, doggone it, the woman all but radiated a “no trespassing” policy.
A panoply of expressions chased one another across Lexi’s face. Curiosity battled with concern…and something else. Mitch considered himself a more-than-passable reader of people, and unless he’d lost his touch, he was looking at a whole heckuva lot of distrust.
Lexi didn’t quite like him, and certainly didn’t trust him.
He’s way too handsome. Lexi raked the man’s chiseled features with a sharp gaze. Men are either nice or handsome. Rarely both. And it’s easy to see which category Mitch Gaynor falls into.
Her acid tone seemed to have no effect on him. He stood at ease, one finger marking his place in the novel. His eyes tracked her like a hunter might watch a particularly skittish prey—not quite ready to put a bullet in the poor animal, but determined not to let it escape.
Well, she was nobody’s prey. Not anymore.
“I asked what you’re doing here with my mother, Mr. Gaynor.”
His lips twitched annoyingly, and she realized her slip of the tongue. Now he knew that she knew who he was. Oh, well. She hiked both brows in what she hoped was a suitably challenging expression.
He held up the book. “I’m reading to her, Ms. Carlisle.”
So he recognized her, as well. From Angel Hair, of course, since—unlike him—she wasn’t famous for anything at all.
“I was actually able to figure that out on my own. Why are you reading to her?”
To her irritation, a teasing grin appeared on that movie-cowboy face.
“Well…why not?”
Oh, yes, this guy was far too handsome, with a body to match—not that Lexi noticed—and downright cocky to boot!

Learn why Delia wrote this book

I wrote Lexi's Heart when it became clear that Heart's Haven
(a collection of novellas I co-author with three other writers) would be contracted for a second round of stories. Set once again in our fictional East Texas cottage-rental complex (which is rumored to be a favorite hangout for angels...), Heart's Haven Collection #2 has a holiday theme. My contribution is a Mother's Day story. But our books are romances, so the Mother's Day thread needed to be a background thing, with the focus on the romance. I wanted to feature a heroine who wasn't experiencing love for the first time, and whose abusive past made it hard for her to risk her heart again. A friend of mine is dealing with her husband's rapid physical and mental decline due to Alzheimer's, so I've been a witness to the cruelty of this terrible condition. That's why Lexi's mother has Alzheimer's.
I don't claim to be any kind of medical professional, or to have close personal experience with Alzheimers, but I have seen how painful and devastating it can be. I pray that Lexi's story will be a blessing to someone who is going through such a situation. If Lexi's story can brighten their day and make them smile, then I will consider Lexi's Heart a wildly successful book.
 If you'd like to get your name in for the random drawing to win one of Delia's recent books, Jewels for the Kingdom - her first Heart's Haven bookin the winner's choice of format (Kindle, Nook, PDF), be sure to take a moment to respond to one of the questions below, leaving your name and email address.
Ms.Latham would also like to extend an invitation to the Facebook release party for Lexi's Heart on Friday, May 3rd.  
Mother's Day is fast approaching. If you're still blessed to have your mother with you, how will you honor her this year on Mother's Day?
If your mother, like mine, has already gone to be with the Lord, will you do something to honor her memory this year?
Are you a mother? What is the best gift you could be given on Mother's Day?
Looking forward to hearing from you this week





Friday, April 19, 2013

One Way to Plot That Next Novel: See What Merrillee has to say...


Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes for Harlequin Love Inspired. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas and Chicago but now makes her home on one of God’s most beautiful creations, an island off the east coast of Florida. When she’s not writing or working for her husband’s recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking the beach, where she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Web site at http://www.merrilleewhren.com connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MerrilleeWhren.Author
It is a pleasure having Merrillee with us for the next few days. I asked Merrille to let us know what was behind her writing her newest book, A PLACE CALLED HOME.
Here is what Merrillee tells us.
The idea for A Place to Call Home came about when we lived in Massachusetts. One winter day I noticed a huge icicle hanging from the house. It was very pointed, and I wondered whether it was dangerous. I also wondered whether it could be used as a weapon to kill someone. The icicle would melt, and there would be no murder weapon. In the story, no one uses an icicle as a murder weapon, but I wanted to explore how someone would deal with serving time in prison for a crime they didn’t commit. The story evolved from there.

Here is a hint of what Merrillee's book is about.
After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.
Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn't what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt's claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.
Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?
Merrillee has several traditionally published books, but A Place to Call Home is her first indie published book. It is available as an e-book, but it will eventually be available as a print book.
Merrillee will generously give away a copy of A Place to Call Home to one commenter as you share your thoughts about the following.
Since I got my e-reader for Mother’s Day one year, I have enjoyed reading e-books and love being able to take a multitude of books with me on one device.
Do you prefer to read e-books or print books?


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Say Hello to Collette -- The Lady with the Shabby Chic Office...

A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.
Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely. When she's not teaching or writing, she is a content and copy/line editor for an Ebook publisher, enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.
SDC: Welcome, Collette. Before you tell us about your newest release coming, please fill us in on what got you started writing from the beginning.
Shirley, I’m so blessed to have you host me. Thank you!
I’d contemplated writing a book for years, but wasn’t exactly sure what that looked like for me. Initially I thought I’d write a children’s book, or a self-help book, or maybe even something about my growth as a Christian. The one genre I never thought I’d write was romance.
I was sitting in a church service one Sunday, and my pastor was preaching about reaching people by going “outside the box.” I had a sudden urge to write a romance novel with inspirational overtones, but my audience wasn’t to be believers. So, God and I had this conversation—actually, it was a one-sided conversation—with me saying, “Um, Lord, you do know how this will be received in Christian circles don’t you? What will my friends think? My family?”
You know how it is though, when the Holy Spirit prompts you. Yes, he’s a gentleman but a more persistent one there isn’t.
I tried the, “I’m a teacher, what will the parents of my students think?” argument.
His response? “Use a pen name.”
I tried the, “Christians won’t understand,”  argument.
His response? “Your book isn’t meant for Christians. It’s a way to get the God’s truths before people who would otherwise never be exposed to them.”
So, without a clue as to what I was going to write or how to go about writing an entire novel, I sat down at my computer one day in February 2011 and started writing Highlander’s Hope.
SDC:  how are you making contact with your potential readers so far?
I’ve done all the typical things. Started a blog and had a website built— two actually. I have started dabbling in several social groups, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a few others.
My teacher friends and parents of my students have been enormously supportive and keep asking when Highlander’s Hope is being released. Oh, and I’ve been privileged to be hosted on several blogs and have scheduled a blog tour for May-July 2013.
SDC: Do you work through an agent? If so, how did you go about finding yours, and what was your criteria for selecting?
I don’t have an agent, though I do have one interested in my work. I want to get the third book in my Blue Rose Trilogy sold before I send her material. I have the first two sold and am working on the third.  
I met her at a workshop hosted by my local RWA chapter. She represents a well-known, highly respected agency, and from the conversations we’ve had, I believe she is a woman of integrity.
SDC: What’s your favorite Bible verse or verse that has sustained you recently and why, Collette?
My favorite Bible verse is the 27th Psalm. It has sustained and encouraged me for the last 32 years. Verses one and fourteen are especially meaningful to me.
Psalm 27: 1    The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:14    Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart
SDC:  Many of us writers have favorite rooms or spaces in our home or around our homes that we use to get our creativity juices flowing. Where is your favorite place to go and why? Does it often play any part in your story writing?
Okay, I can’t help it...I’m smiling a huge smile.
Last fall I commandeered one of my adult son’s bedrooms and turned it into a shabby chic writing room. It’s all pink and white and lace and flowers, and I love it! I have a fabulous view of my large backyard and the meadow behind it.
I see deer, squirrels, and dozens of species of birds darting from feeder to feeder. All of my books have references to birds in them.
I surrounded myself with all the things I love; pictures of my family, my dogs, Regency and Victorian era images, scented candles, teacups, bird cages and houses...It’s very busy, very girly, and very me.
SDC:  Have you ever written anything that you had to later toss? How would you describe your OLD file system of “works in progress” that you chose not to pursue?
I’ve not yet written anything that I’ve had to toss. I’ve been very blessed to have had contract offers on my first two manuscripts. I have cut major portions of my manuscripts though. I save those pieces on external thumb drives in case I want to use them for later work. I also post some of the outtakes on my blog for my readers to enjoy.
Let's read a little about Collette's newest book.
Highlander's Hope
Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn't dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He's determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn't recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London's docks, but Lord Sethwick soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, "I do." Will Ewan's manipulation cost him her newfound love?   
Highlander’s Hope
Yvette has returned to England, desperate to find security and peace after her parent's deaths and Edgar's attempted rape and abduction. Leery of fortune-hunters, she intends to remain unwed rather than risk a loveless marriage or lose the independence her newly inherited monies allow her. Yet, even in England she's not safe from Edgar or his treachery, and Ewan McTavish—a man she's met before, though at first she doesn't remember him—comes to her aid again and again. After another abduction attempt, she accepts Ewan's offer to take her to Craiglocky. During their journey, a storm forces them to seek shelter in an unsavory inn. Yvette is in danger of being ravished until Ewan exploits his knowledge of Scottish Canon Law to declare her his wife—without clergy or a ceremony. She agrees to the deception, assuming it is only a ruse to protect her. Although she's in love with him, Yvette is heartbroken and infuriated when she discovers they are legally wed. She's convinced Ewan tricked her into marriage for her wealth.
Though it's been two years since the Napoleonic Wars ended, Ewan McTavish, Viscount Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky is still seeking the traitor in England's War Office. He's determined to catch the mastermind who has eluded him for five years. He is equally determined to protect the woman he can't forget; the woman he fell in love with when they met at her cousin's wedding. Sent to escort Yvette to her cousin's, he doesn't tell her that her stepbrother, Edgar, is a spy, or that Ewan has unwittingly drawn her into deadly international espionage. And he certainly doesn't regret claiming her as his bride in an irregular Scottish marriage because since her return to England, he's wanted to make her his own. Though he performs the duties required of his English title, his true devotion lies with his Scottish clan. He's ready to put spying aside and take his place as Laird of Craiglocky with his reluctant bride.
SDC: Collette, I understand you have a book you would like to share with one of our readers. That is always exciting to us here at the blog. Tell us which one you are planning to donate. Also, what question would you like to have answered to help me select the winner?
My debut novel, Highlander’s Hope releases in May. I’d love to give an ebook copy to a reader to enjoy.
Share your thoughts and your name will be added to the random list
for the potential winner of Collette's new book 
When God calls you to do something unconventional or unusual for believer, how do you overcome any fears associated with stepping out in faith and obedience to do what he’s asked of you?