A Basket Full of Books for Easter

Now is the perfect time to fill up your Easter basket with books and stories from White Rose Publishing. (Just remember to leave room for the chocolate.) The themes of rebirth and redemption associated with Easter are a great inspiration for Christian romance writers.

Recently White Rose Publishing released two new books with Easter themes - New Beginnings by Wendy Davy and The Easter Edition by Robin Shope. Some of you may remember last year's Easter Lilies contest and the winning stories - Wildflower in Bloom by Janelle Ashley, Under the 5th Street Bridge by Carla Rossi, and By Another Name by Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig.

White Rose Publishing has a few more Easter themed stories on its roster:
Lasting Love by Sharon Donovan, Learning to Let Go by Elizabeth Pina,and Considering Lily from my Orchard Hill series. You can buy the complete set of Orchard Hill Romances in print along with a basket, perfect for Easter giving. Or buy your own basket and fill it up with books of your choice.

Just keep in mind, if you read ebooks, you'll have a lot more room in your basket for chocolate, jelly beans and marshmallow peeps!

But How Does That Make You Feel?

I love that psychological question. "But how does that make you feel?" That sentence has become the object of so many jokes over the years, but when writing romance, it's the one question that should be foremost in our minds. Romance is the discovery of one man and one woman. But discovery always brings an emotional response. It doesn't matter if we're talking romance or eating brussels sprouts, there's an emotion attached to the experience.

When writing romance, we need to remember to include the answer to the question "but how does that make you feel?". Emotion is where we grab a reader. It's not in the movement of the characters. It's not in the setting of the scene. It's in the emotional response, the connection the reader can make to the POV character. Let's look at an example.

Jane pulled into the parking space that sat directly in front of the huge picture window. Painted cartoon characters played out a scene on the pane, but she looked past them. John was sitting on the floor, his long, lean legs crossed. Small children completed a circle around them and he smiled as he held up a board book. Jane couldn't see what book it was.

A blonde toddler stood on wobbly legs and then plopped down on a well-padded bottom. She giggled and John dropped the book, playfully seized a chubby ankle and tickled the child. Laughter erupted all around.


Jane pulled into the parking space that sat directly in front of the huge picture window. Painted cartoon characters played out a scene on the pane, but she looked past them as sorrow lumped itself in her throat. John was sitting on the floor, his long, lean legs crossed. Small children completed a circle around them and he smiled as he held up a board book. There really was no future for them. He loved children--wanted a family more than anything, he'd said--and she wasn't able to give him that.

She swallowed the lump and willed the strength in her legs to return. She had to walk in there and break it off with him. It wasn't until this very moment, watching his broad smile shine down on those children, seeing the connection between that giant of a man and those fragile little ones, that she fully realized it didn't matter how much she loved him, or how much he claimed to love her, she couldn't saddle him with a barren woman. In the end, it would be an unyielding wedge between them.

Jane tried to focus on the book he held--tried to focus her mind on something other than John--but her blurred vision wouldn't let her see what book it was. She had to go in there, but her legs still felt limp and useless.

A blonde toddler stood on wobbly legs and then plopped down on a well-padded bottom. She giggled and John dropped the book, playfully seized a chubby ankle and tickled the child. Laughter erupted all around.

And Jane's heart shattered into tiny shards that ripped apart her future.
In Take One, we see the scene. There's nothing wrong with the way it's displayed on the page. It's clear, we know what's going on, we know whose POV we're in. If we had read the story that came before it, we'd probably understand what Jane is doing there. BUT, there is no emotion. We get the what--the stage direction--but we don't get any emotion from Jane. She could just as easily be watching a baker glaze doughnuts as watching the love of her life. (Not to say that watching someone glaze doughnuts can't be emotionally fulfilling. :) )

In Take Two, we have the exact same scene, only this time, we know how it makes Jane feel. Which scene draws more emotion from the reader? Which scene makes you want to read more? In which scene are you better able to connect to Jane?

Scenes that are filled with nothing but movement may progress a plot, but the don't make for a memorable story that readers are going to wow about at the end. Memorable stories are filled with feeling--happiness, sadness, excitement, fear. Which emotion is only limited by what you want to convey, but no emotion is a fiction's death nell.

Remember: Action. Reaction.

Trailing on....about Trailers!

I'm fairly new to the world of e-publishing, and the nuances of promoting an e-pub novel - but I'm trying to learn fast. This weekend Hearts Crossing received its first reviews from a couple of review sites (Good reviews, too! Yay!), and I also found out I was fortunate enough to win a 'best of the month' trailer award at http://yougottareadvideos.blogspot.com/. That one in particular got me to thinking. I'm delighted by the trailer win - but naturally, the most important thing, to me, about Hearts Crossing is what's between its covers, not just the way it's promoted. After all, solid writing is what's going to win reader's hearts and loyalty - nothing else. And that's exactly what I want to do: touch souls and bring them closer to God by the power of (what I pray will be!) a great, romantic story.

Still, there's no denying the impact of solid, effective promoting. Sometimes, yes, a trailer or review will determine whether or not I'll take a chance on a new book, or see a movie. My most current favorite, and the movie I simply "MUST" see once it comes out, based solely on the trailer and promotional 'buzz,' is "Letters to Juliet"

The romance writer in me cannot wait to see this movie. Meantime, the realist in me wonders: Will it live up to what seems to be an incredible, heart-touching love story? I sure do hope so!! It hooked me in. I'll be gonig to see that movie the weekend it releases....based solely on the power of its trailer. Now that's impact.

How about you? What do you think??? What are your thoughts/opinions? I'm eager to know!



New Easter Themed Release!!!

Hello my friends! It's been a cold winter with tons of snow and unusual weather. I don't know about you but I'm ready for Spring. My newest White Rose release, New Beginnings, will be available this Friday, February 26th. And guess what? It is set on a warm Caribbean cruise. Just where I'd like to be about now. How about you?

About the story:
Security expert Adam Peyton wants a second chance with the woman who captured his heart and walked away with it several months ago. When he agrees to be her bodyguard on a Caribbean cruise, he takes the opportunity to do much more than just protect her.
When the man who has been haunting Cora Andrews' dreams for months walks back into her life, she must choose to release the pride holding them apart or risk losing him forever.
Will Adam have the new beginning with Cora he has been praying for?
Here's an excerpt:
Cora swept past him and out the door. She sensed him following behind her as she pressed the button to retrieve the elevator.
"You never know. It could turn out to be fun." Adam's familiar voice sent a wave of memories crashing into her.
"Fun?" She turned her wide eyes to him. "You mean like when you lied about who you are? Was that fun?"
"I didn't lie," Adam's voice lowered as he stepped into the elevator.
"You kept the truth from me. That's the same thing."
"Do we have to go through this again, Cora?" he asked with a sigh.
"Not if you leave me alone. But you won't do that will you? Harry asked you to go, so you will. Just like that?"
"I have to. It's my job."
"You've made that clear," Cora said with crisp, clipped words.
The elevator began its descent from the top floor toward the lobby. Adams' tall, masculine presence made the small room feel even smaller. She faced the doors and watched the numbers light up with each passing floor.
"Is it really that horrible that I'm coming with you?"
Cora met his eyes. "Harry has no right..."
"Let's not make this about Harry OK?" Adam's gaze seared into hers as he added, "Like you do everything else in your life."
She gasped. "I do not."
Cora ground her teeth and fisted her hands. She turned and sucked in a breath. Before she had a chance to say a word, Adam placed a warm, calloused finger on her lips, stepped close and whispered, "I'd like to do a lot of things with you. Fighting isn't one of them." He gently traced his finger along the contours of her lips as his eyes followed. The elevator chimed and the doors opened. Adam stepped back. "I'll see you next week."
Stop by http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/ to pick up your copy on Friday! You can also find information about my other titles at http://www.wendydavy.com/.
Wendy Davy
~Adventures of the Heart~

What Did She Say??

Now that I have your attention, let us discuss the dreaded ‘D’ word…

DIALOGUE: noun - A conversation or other form of discourse. In a dramatic or literary presentation, the verbal parts of the script or text; the verbalizations of the actors or characters.

Dialogue can bring out the best in your character, or it can fall flat and make your story sound stilted, lackluster and unbelievable.

So, how does an author write good dialogue between her characters?

I’ve heard pearls of wisdom such as ‘write like you speak’ or ‘don’t write dialect’ or ‘read all dialogue out loud’ to hear if it sounds natural to the ear. All good advice. Sometimes, they even work.

However, one thing you might consider is your hero/heroine’s frame of mind at the time they speak. Many times, when you are writing sentence tags and action, an emotive clue is given that shows what the character is feeling. That clue and that feeling can help construct a better spoken sentence if you pay attention. An example:

George shielded his eyes and searched the skies.

“Do you see the plane?” Melinda asked.

It only makes sense that if someone is looking up, another person will ask whether they can see something. The action, and then the implied emotion is making the speech sound natural.

Melinda clutched her throat, worrying her necklace with agitated fingers.

“Don’t worry, he’s only a few minutes late.” George said, his tone neutral.

Now, George is picking up Melinda’s non-verbal action and is speaking out loud, not only to point something out, but to reassure. Action and external emotions are dictating what is being said.

Another issue with stilted dialogue is repetative or banal speech that does nothing to move the story or the relationship forward. Rather than having characters say things like “Did too! Did not!” skip that portion of the dialogue and move to action and emotion, then speech.

There is no need to have the hero/heroine have a conversation, and then in the next chapter have one of them repeat the entire conversation to another person. A simple sentence, such as:

Melinda explained her concern over John’s plane landing so late.

“Shoot, that’d scare me, too, especially with that snowstorm coming from the north!” JoAnn exclaimed, hand clutching her collar.

No repeating of the conversation, plus the reader has learned something new – a storm was coming. Storms, as all readers know, can seriously mess with characters, causing all kinds of havoc in their lives.

Each action, each emotion, and each spoken word should give the reader a clue about how the story will be resolved.

If your characters speak well, your dialogue will sparkle.

Learn to Write Romance by Reading Fairy Tales

So you want to write a romance story but you don't know where to start? Why not look to the classics for inspiration - the classic fairy tales that is. Here's the fairy tale formula to help you plan your story or book:

1. Once upon a time... Every story needs a setting. Where will yours take place and just as important, when will it take place?

2. There lived... Every story needs characters. Who will star in your story? Prince Charming? Cinderella? A fairy godmother? A shadow father (parent who is uncaring or unable to protect their children)? or maybe even a wicked witch.

3. Who had a wicked stepmother - or got lost in the woods, or was locked in a tower... You get the idea. Every story needs a problem. Problems equal conflict. A story without conflict is boring. Even a fairy godmother couldn't fix it.

4. And so they... Your characters need to solve the problem or problems. And unless your story is very short, they should fail at least once in their attempts.

5. But then... Something changes - a characters feelings, or circumstances or goal. Something has to change so that they can successfully solve their problem (or problems.)

6. And the spell was broken with a kiss... Throughout all of this, your hero and heroine must be growing closer to each other and forming a bond that can be "sealed with a kiss."

7. They lived happily ever after. Once the hero and heroine have resolved their problems and made some sort of commitment to each other, don't drone on and on. Wrap it up and give the reader what she's been waiting for - that "Aaaaw" moment at the end.

The purpose of this little piece is to help you think about some of the elements of a romance story. It's not meant to be a guide to the actual writing of a book or story. So if you are ready for more, here's a few good resources:

White Rose Publishing's Staff Blog

Christian Romance Magazine

Lyn Cote's list of Christian romance publishers

You can find more resources and ideas on my Squidoo page "Beginner's Guide to Writing Inspirational Romance"

Now off you go on your quest. Just make sure to have fun on the journey.

Got Word?

As a publisher of electronic titles, we accept submissions in Microsoft Word .doc or .rtf formats. Ninety-nine percent of submissions come in as .doc files. Since all of our editors use this program, this is not a bad thing, but I continue to notice that there are a great many who don't know some Word basics that would/could make the editing process a lot easier. And let's face it, authors, you haven't submitted your manuscript just to get a rejection, right? So here are some basic things that will make the editing process run smoothly.

Number one is a "must do" in my opinion. I see this all toooooo often. Number Two makes things easier for you in the long run, because it's going to be you, and not your editor, who has to put back all those lost italics. The rest is an FYI.

  1. Making proper page breaks. As most (all) of you know, Word automatically adds a page as you complete the previous one. So all you have to do when writing is type, type, type, and Word creates pages for you. However, what do you do when you come to the end of Chapter One and you're only halfway down the page? You need Chapter Two to begin on a new page. Here's what I see a lot of: return spaces down the rest of the page until Word automatically pops in a new page. This is not the way to do this. It creates more problems than you can imagine. The main one being, when you edit Chapter One, if you delete or add lines, it affects the lines on Chapter Two. If Chapter Two started 1/3 of the way down the page, and you remove five lines from "Chapter One," guess what? Chapter Two now begins less than 1/3 of the way down. The way to create a hard page break is to hold down the CTRL key when pressing ENTER. (CTRL+ENTER) creates a hard manual page break. Voila! Now, Chapter Two will always begin one page after Chapter One, regardless of your edits.

  2. Special formatting. Can I just say three words about this, please? Don't do it! OK, technically, that's four words. Special formatting is a wonderful tool when preparing work for print, or for finalizing electronic copy. In fact, we use special formatting in our production department to help ensure that our chapter headers and scene break markers, etc. are consistent throughout every manuscript. But, when we get a manuscript in that has used special formatting, we have to removed the special formatting the author has employed. The way we do this is to completely strip all formatting by turning the file into plain text or by clearing the formatting (sometimes clearing the formatting doesn't work, and the plain text option has to be used). The result in either case is the same. All italics, bold, etc. are lost. So, don't use special formatting. In fact, make it a habit to have all your text fall under the "Normal" style.When you need your "Normal" style text to be italicized, simply click the italic button (CTRL+I will toggle the italics on/off, also.)The way you can tell if you've done this correctly is, when your cursor is in the middle of your italicized text, or you highlight your italicized text, the style box will now say "Normal + Italics."Formatting this way will ensure that production doesn't have to strip your italics or bold, etc. when getting your manuscript ready for release.

  3. Tabbing a paragraph indent. I consider this one a "middle ages" kind of a thing--like double spacing at the end of a sentence. Double spacing at the end of a sentence was something that was necessary when we all used typewriters (some of you will remember those :) ) so that there was a distinct separation between sentences. Computers make this practice obsolete. Likewise, the tabbed indent. Word has a nifty little paragraph helper called a special indentation. Right-click on your page (anywhere on your page) and choose "Paragraph" from the menu. A box will pop up, and under special (the highlighted part of this image) choose "First Line" from the dropdown. Now, whenever you make a hard return (hitting ENTER at the end of a line), the next line will automatically be indented. Voila! No more need to tab.

    On an additional note, don't use a Left or Right indentation, either (see the settings in the image--to the left of the "special"). Solely using the First Line indent will suffice and not cause problems with formatting later.

  4. Section Breaks. Same three--technically four--words. Don't do it. There is a time and a place for section breaks, but in a raw manuscript, I don't know why you would use them. Page breaks (see Number One) are good enough. Even if you are submitting an anthology, and for some reason, have all the stories in one document, I would recommend just separating them with a title page in between each story. Some publishers may have specific instructions on this, but for generality's sake, don't use section breaks. They don't create such a problem as having to clear special formatting, but avoid them whenever possible.

  5. Inserting images/boxes for page numbers. Sometimes, we get manuscripts where the author has placed the page number in a text or image box within the header or footer. This sometimes causes issues with formatting later. Just insert a plain page number. No text boxes, no images, just plain-ol' plain-ol', please.

Well, that's it for now. Just a few tips that will help along the way. Remember, if you don't remember any but one, remember Number One, how to make page breaks. Can you remember? I hope you can remember. That's the opposite of forgetting. . .LOL

Happy writing!

Do you have motivation?

This morning I was searching for something to write about and eventually ended up in my Motivational folder. This folder contains words of advice, snippets of information, and quotes from people who simply have something to say that tugged at my heartstrings or made me think for just a little while.

Some examples:

Once upon a time, something happened to someone, and he decided that he would pursue a goal. So he devised a plan of action, and even though there were forces trying to stop him, he moved forward because there was a lot at stake. And just as things seemed as bad as they could get, he learned an important lesson, and when offered the prize he had sought so strenuously, he had to decide whether or not to take it, and in making that decision he satisfied a need that had been created by something in his past. ~ Plotting A Novel by Gary Provost

Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind,
and drink the universe in a glass of rain. ~ Ihab Hassan

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others' opinion drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.  ~ Steve Jobs

When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. ~ Raymond Chandler's advice on writing

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:14

As you can see, I have an eclectic assortment of motivational sayings. Perusing them occasionally helps keep me grounded in the world. Humorous, spiritual, emotional meanings can give one time to ponder as they go through the day. What words touch you?

P.S. The photograph is a summer sunrise on the road past my house two years ago.

Of dogs and shoes...

In September of last year, I became the proud "mom" of a new puppy. My only child had just left for college, so it seemed the perfect time to bring a new addition into the family. And dogs don't leave for college, so I was fairly certain I wouldn't have any crying jags in Saks Fifth Avenue when the puppy grew up.

Not that I did that after my son left.


Anyway...all my life I had wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I love those dogs and they pop up in my writing from time to time, as anyone who has read my newest White Rose ~ Cup of Joe ~ can attest. I searched high and low to find the right puppy. When I did, I brought her home and promptly named her Bliss. Bliss is also the dog's name in Cup of Joe. I will admit this has caused some confusion. Lots of people who read the book think I based the character on the real-life Bliss. Readers also think the dog on the cover of the book is mine. I tell them no. The flesh and fur version is cuter.

Really. She is.

One of the things I love about Cavaliers is the trademark feathering on their feet. What I never realized until I had one of my own is just how high maintenance that feathering can be. If I take Bliss for a walk around the block, she comes home gray from the elbows down. Her feet look like she rolled around on newspapers all day.

So, I have come up with the perfect solution. * DOG SHOES *

Brilliant, no?

Not only are they fashionable, it appears they actually serve a purpose. Unfortunately, dogs are not automatically comfortable walking around in shoes. (Imagine that?!) So, I am training Bliss to wear her shoes so she'll wear them like a pro. She gets treats every time she wears them. It's kind of like a woman practicing walking in stilettos. I imagine if someone gave me a chocolate-covered-cherry every time I took a step in a pair of Manolo Blahniks, I'd be good to go.

Take a look at Bliss learning how to wear her shoes (Warning! Major cuteness alert!!!):

What are these?

Hmm. Not going so well.


I wish I would have known about the shoe thing when I wrote Cup of Joe. I could have gotten some serious mileage out of this.

If you haven't read Cup of Joe, it's a fun read with a really cute dog. Oh yea! A great romance, too! Got Romance Reviews even called it a "masterpiece." (Seriously, they did!). And if that doesn't sound like your cup of joe, er tea, I've also written a fun story about shoes. And it's free! Just visit White Rose Publishing to learn more.

Cup of Joe
By Teri Wilson

Goldie thinks she’s prepared for the death of her doting Grandpa who’s raised her since childhood. But after his passing, she finds herself curled up on the sofa watching television, feet clad in fuzzy slippers. She knows God has a new plan for her life, but she's simply too tired to figure out what it is.

To make matters worse, sweet, shy coffee shop owner, Joe Montgomery, keeps showing up on her doorstep with morning coffee. When she tells him emphatically she doesn’t like coffee—never has and never will—he shows up with a dog instead!

As she takes steps to start a new life, with her new puppy scampering playfully at her side, Goldie begins to realize a cup of Joe just might be what she’s needed all along.

A Perfect Fit
Free Read by Teri Wilson

Grace is mortified when she falls right off her stilettos in front of the man of her dreams...but it just may be the one thing this shoe-addicted young woman needs to find her perfect fit.

Ash Wednesday this week

Lent and Easter are somewhat early this year. Ash Wednesday is following on the heels of St. Valentine's Day. I know that not all churches observe the season of Lent, so for those who may not be familiar, here is a bit of the Wikipedia article on Lent:

Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Conventionally, it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the wilderness before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.[1]

Many people choose to give up something they enjoy, like chocolate, for the season, as a sign of self-discipline and penance. I once gave up fiction for Lent. I had gotten in the habit of reading novels when I should have been attending to other things, such as housekeeping and parenting. So I read nothing but good wholesome nonfiction for that Lenten season. Not as fun or as easy as zipping through a novel, but it definitely helped me to get my priorities back in order.

Since then, I've tried to choose a book to read for Lent that will make me think about my faith and my relation to God. These are not necessarily devotionals or theological books, but most often my favorite type of reading - novels. Here are three of my favorites:

Byzantium by Stephen R. Lawhead - Excellent for exploring our expectations of God and other questions of faith. Plus, it is an incredible story written by an author with great talent.

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett I know Pratchett is an atheist, but this book raised some good questions on true faith vs. following social custom, and on the way that religion influences society.

Mister Monday, book 1 in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix - While I would not say there is a Christian or any kind of religious message in this book, Christian myth and imagery is used very effectively throughout. The thing about this book that makes it suitable for my Lenten read is the hero - his choices, the responsibilities he chooses to shoulder and the sacrifices he makes.

I have not yet decided what my Lenten read for this year will be. I've been reading David Crowder's Praise Habit but since I'm already about halfway through I don't think it can count as my Lenten read.

Can anyone suggest a book that inspires the reader to really think about faith issues? White Rose authors, do you think one of your books may be a good Lenten read?

(Photo above by Roland Ally. See more of his work at Public Domain Pictures.)

The Perfect Model of a Heroine

As I was praying, it came to me that Jesus’ mother, Mary, is the perfect example of what our heroines should be. Not that I’m surprised to find great models within the pages of God’s Word; but I thought it would be a great exercise to look at those qualities which Mary possessed that made her both a normal woman and a model of great heroism. After all, that is the combination that each written heroine should possess.

We don’t get a plethora of information about Mary in the Bible, but what we do get shows us a great deal. First, we’re introduced to a young woman. She’s got her life mapped out. She’s going to marry this great guy named Joseph who is a savvy, hard-working businessman. He’s going to cherish her and take care of her and be a great husband and father. Then, just when she thinks she knows where her life is going, the unexpected happens—not just the unexpected, but something so huge it becomes a turning point, a defining moment in her life. (That’s what we call conflict.) And the way she deals with this conflict shows significant information about her character.

Let’s look at how she deals with it, and what we learn about the character of Mary. The angel Gabriel greets her in a strange way (this is significant for spiritual purposes, but not for this study, so we won’t go into that.) Mary is a little confused, and then she’s even more confused when he tells her what God is asking of her. Now, we have to take into consideration the context. She’s just been told she’s going to bear a son. Besides the shock of that, considering her virgin status, she has to consider the consequence of being an unmarried, pregnant woman—i.e. being stoned. She has to consider Joseph’s reaction to this news—i.e. he’s not going to marry her; he’s going to have her stoned. To death. On one hand, she can say no and carry on with the life she’s planned; and on the other hand, she can say yes to the unknown, to certain hardship and possibly—in her mind, probably—death. What does she say? “May it be done to me according to your word.”

What do we learn about Mary’s character? She has both great faith and great courage. Do you think she was frightened? I do. But she allowed her faith to carry her into the unknown—just as our written heroines must.

Next, we get to see more of Mary’s character when she goes to visit Elizabeth. In fact, the very act of her visiting her cousin shows a generous side of Mary, as well as a human side. Mary went to help Elizabeth in her late-year pregnancy. But, perhaps also, Mary thought she could glean some support and strength from Elizabeth. After all, that woman would understand Mary’s position better than anyone alive at that moment in time. Two miraculous pregnancies.

So, off she goes, and Elizabeth—and John the Baptist who leaps within her womb—recognizes the miracle of the Incarnation the moment Mary steps into the room. “ Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42-43) But what does Mary do? Does she gloat? Does she say, “Yeah, look at me, I’m the chosen one.”? No. She shows us another quality every heroine needs. Humility. She takes herself out of the equation and gives all the credit to God, calling to mind His promises (Which are the things that help strengthen her.)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

(Luke 1:46-55)

It’s important for us to constantly call to mind the promises of God. It helps us to keep things in perspective. I imagine it would have been very easy for Mary to become full of herself. She was chosen to carry and bear the Son of the Living God. The Word Made Flesh. Conceit would have been an easy temptation had she not had the wherewithal to stay grounded in God, deflecting the focus from her to Him. As we’re writing our heroines, this is a great way to infuse God into the story without becoming didactic. God was so a part of Mary—her faith so second-nature—that her song of praise is natural, but at the same time, evangelical. What effect would her words have had on a person who had forgotten God’s promises? What effect can our stories have on a reader’s view of God, all the while entertaining them with a great story?

Next, we see a determination in Mary that we should also see in our written heroines. Jesus is born into a situation where His very life is threatened immediately. Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt and don’t return home for several years. Now, Mary is cut off from her family, her support system. She’s in a foreign land and someone is trying to kill her child. But she does what she must. She endures.

Let’s skip ahead a few decades. Mary, having understood all along that Jesus is the Messiah, has to stand by while God is condemned to death. On a faith level, this is a huge test, but on a human level, it is excruciating. Jesus may be the Messiah, but He is Mary’s son, too. She bore Him, raised Him, protected Him His entire life. As any mother knows, it’s difficult to watch your children suffer. And the greater the suffering of the child, the greater the suffering of the mother. Yet, we learn from Mary another virtue our written heroines should embody: a quiet strength.

Strength manifests itself in many ways. Sometimes it’s the ability to take a public stand. Sometimes it’s the ability to be the crutch someone else needs. And sometimes, it’s the fortitude to stand firm in faith but passive in nature—to “let go and let God.” If you’ve ever seen Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” one of the most powerful scenes is when Jesus is carrying the cross, and from a distance, He locks gazes with His mother. She collapses, her agony seemingly as great as His, and there’s a brief flashback scene of her remembering him as a small boy. At this point in the movie, the viewer has already watched Jesus being scourged, ridiculed, forced to carry the cross. Emotions are high, but watching His agony from a mother’s perspective, to catch a glimpse of the pain, sorrow, as she transforms His beaten manhood, with His innocent childhood, is heart-wrenching—and so realistic to a mother’s heart. But, one of the reasons it is so heart-wrenching is because she did not abandon Him. As much as it pained her to watch His fate, she remained. Steadfast. A beacon of faith. A quiet strength. When faced with tribulations, this is how our heroines need to be. Not whiny, not self-centered. Mary could have looked away, she could have said, “I can’t deal with this. It’s just too much.” Who would have blamed her? Her innocent son was sentenced to death. Instead, she endured, relying on the faith in her heart that somehow, even though it looked as though all was lost and no hope remained, God would work this for the good. Three days later, her faith was rewarded with a joy so complete…and they all (we all who believe) lived happily ever after. Just as all romances should.

So, how is Mary a model for our written heroines? She said yes to the unknown, and that plunged her into a conflict so great it was nothing less than life-changing. She was courageous and humble. In the midst of trial and tribulation, she relied on God, remembered and proclaimed His promises in order to strengthen herself and others. She was loyal and selfless, and showed a determined strength as well as a quiet strength when situations warranted each. And she endured to see a happy end.

If we write our heroines to embody these characteristics, we will write virtuous women whose plights pull the heartstrings. Readers will weep over her sorrow, they will root for her happy ending, they will see the value in relying on God, and they will experience a happily-ever-after that is an imperfect, but entertaining, mirror of the ultimate happily-ever-after.

Valentine Traditions and Legends

So, it looks like we have six more weeks of winter, but that makes us six months closer to spring! And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are a few legends associated with the feast day.

According to legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome that lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Under his regime, Claudius is said to have engaged Rome in several bloody battles, constantly recruiting soldiers to strengthen his army. Men with families were not keen to leave family attachments. So to sever family ties, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, a true romantic at heart, arranged secret marriages. When Claudius discovered Valentine’s defiance, he was executed on February 14 about 270 ad. By middle ages, Valentine became recognized as the patron saint of love.

Another legend suggests that Valentine was a Christian priest who was very popular with children. During his life, Roman regime was not in favor of Christianity and Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. In spite of this law, Valentine refused to worship false gods and continued to practice his faith. This enraged Claudius II and he put Valentine in prison. During his imprisonment, children visited Valentine, tossing letters and flowers between his cell bars. Valentine is said to have written back, signing his letters, “From your Valentine.” When he was beheaded for his Christian beliefs, the exchange of letters and flowers continued in his name.

During the middle Ages, people of England and France held a popular belief that birds began looking for a mate on February 14th. The romantic notion bloomed and the day was soon celebrated between lovers with the exchange of spring flowers, candy and small gifts.

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, wishing you a happy day!

Looking for a sweet book to read?

If you like a sweet inspirational with a touch of paranormal, Touched by an Angel might be what you’re looking for. And with Valentine’s Day, it’s a definite Cupid read! It received 5 Cups from CTR, 5 Books from LASR, a You Need to Read rating from YGR and is a highly recommended read from the reviewers of Manic Readers. Touched by an Angel was a nominee for book of the week at LASR. It can be purchased at White Rose Publishing:

On the eve of his wife’s death anniversary, Charles is as restless as the coming storm. Surrounded by the stillness of the Mojave Desert, he contemplates suicide. But just as he is about to jump, he hears the sweet voice of his wife, telling him it’s not his time. But when Charles meets Emma, whose resemblance to his wife is hauntingly striking, he is drawn to her. And when they discover their spouses have died on the same day and are buried side by side in the same cemetery, a spiritual bonding occurs that neither can deny. Is this fate—or is Cupid shooting arrows from the sweet hereafter?


As the sun set over the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains were roughly defined against a dramatic sky of crimson and lavender blue. The warm breeze undulated through the ponderosa pines, sounding like the wise old whispers of the Indians buried thousands of feet below in the windblown sands. A vulture hovered high above the foothills, an eerie screech foreboding as it circled the canyon.

Easing his midnight blue SUV around the horseshoe bend in the sloping ridge, Charles thought
about his wife. Jill had died two years ago of cancer and the following day was the anniversary of her death. Frustrated, his eyes filled with tears. His vision blurred and he swiped at his eyes with the back of his hand. He was angry at the whole world and at God.

His heart was breaking. What kind of a God would take away the love of his life, his reason for
living? How was he supposed to go on living when the best part of him was gone? More tears spilled down his cheeks. He wanted Jill back. He needed her and wanted her with him, where she belonged. He envisioned her out in her rose garden, clipping and pruning them to sheer perfection. How she’d loved the yellow rose, and as much as he used to love them, he didn’t any more. Baskets and baskets of yellow roses had been crammed into the funeral home, permeating the air with the funereal smell of death.

She was so pretty. Her serene green eyes were the color of the sea. He pictured her digging her
hands in the rich fertile soil, looking so peaceful and content. Bathed in sunlight, she had the face of an angel. She had a mega-watt smile that totally beguiled him. No matter how hot or humid it was, she always looked fresh and lovely. She had a habit of toying with a strand of her long blonde hair, twirling it between her fingers until it waved. Under the amber glow of the hot desert sun, it flickered like wildfire. Lord, he missed that woman. As Charles drove deeper into the foothills, the terrain became noticeably rougher, more uncultivated. The air hummed with just a hint of danger. The pioneer spirit of the Wild West was still palpable as burros and wild horses galloped amidst the sloping landscape. How he missed those long afternoon drives through the wilderness with Jill, imagining what life must have been like in the days of the Wild, Wild West. More memories of Jill flashed through his mind, filling him with a deep sense of foreboding sadness.

Tears streamed down his cheeks. The desolate road weaving in and out of the canyon was flanked with sagebrush and tumbleweed, and deep in the underbrush, mountain lions and bobcats roamed free. A coyote yipped in the distance, its howling wail slicing through the thick humid air.

As the sun disappeared behind the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the sky blended into a menagerie of pale peach, rich magenta, and deep indigo. Charles thought of all the sunsets he’d seen
with Jill. All those good times, better times. She should be here to watch the sunset with him. Why wasn’t she? Why did she have to die? He felt so betrayed. Life wasn’t fair. White hot fury bubbled up inside him until it erupted like a quaking volcano. Pulling off to the side of the road, he hopped out of his vehicle. He stared up at the heavens and shook his fist at God. He wanted answers. He needed answers. Angry and frustrated, he bellowed at the top of his lungs.
“Why did you take my Jill from me?” his voice echoed across the canyon. “How could you take the love of my life away? How could you? How could a loving God do something so cruel? I love her! I want her here with me! I want her back!”
The air carried with it the scent of a coming storm. Thunder exploded in the distance. A desert
storm was closing in on the Mojave. The wind rippled through the surrounding Joshua trees. The mournful cry of a desert thrasher sliced through the night. Charles was as restless as the approaching storm. He looked down. The hillside gave way to steep ravines, tumbling down over rugged cliffs to the valley below. The only thing separating him from a drop of several thousand feet was a mound of crumbled rock. He took a step closer.
Just as he was about to jump, a flash of lightning illuminated the sky. He thought he saw
Jill. Pellets of hard rain pounded on his back, soaking him to the bone. He blinked several times,
but whatever he’d seen was gone. Thunder exploded in the sky, the sound ricocheting through the heavens. Over the rumbling, he heard Jill’s sweet melodic voice. “No, Charles. Don’t jump. It’s not your time.”

Touched by an Angel

Sharon Donovan
Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith

Lasting Love

The Claddagh Ring
2009 CAPA nominee

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Her blog:


Quiet Bravery

My mother joined Jesus six weeks ago. She spent a lot of time alone, but now she'll never be alone again.

I never realized how brave she was until last year. My father worked on the railroad, usually working the second shift, which kept him away until long after I'd gone to bed. When he was forced to retire due to a back injury, they should have had plenty of time to be together. However, my father had his own life, which included being around people and being the center of attention. Mom, on the other hand, preferred staying in her own home. She didn't mingle with strangers well for she had a fear of saying or doing something to embarass herself. So, while Dad found things to occupy his time, Mom sat in her recliner and created beautiful quilts by hand.

Dad purchased an RV to entice Mom out of the house. He loved to fish, and with the RV, he could do that while offering Mom a "house" in which to stay safe. They would travel to a nearby lake and camp with friends, but still Mom spent the majority of her time alone inside that RV.

When Dad passed away in 2005, I worried about Mom and offered to let her move to Ohio into our home. She, however, preferred to stay in Illinois, in the home she'd shared with my Dad for 52 years. I called her every night to talk and say goodnight. I knew she was lonely, and I kept offering her a home with us, but she wanted to be in her own home. To leave it, she felt, would be leaving my Dad.

Then, four years ago, the doctor told her she had a bad heart. Mom, then 81, said she didn't want to have an operation. She felt she'd lived a long life and, truly, I think she was ready to join Dad in heaven. She told me she'd come to live with us only when she became unable to care for herself.

That time came in 2009. She confessed that she didn't have enough money to stay in the home for another year, and the doctor told her she shouldn't be alone. Quickly, we began making preparations to remodel our home to accommodate her needs. In May, 2009, my mother did the bravest thing she could ever do--she walked away from her home for the last time.

Having give up her independence and move into someone else's home, depending on them for her basic needs, must have been such a frightening experience for her. I cried so many times because I couldn't imagine the pain she must be going through. However, she faced the change with a brave smile and no complaints.

We had the pleasure of her company for seven months before Jesus called her home. Our home now has an emptiness without her. My husband and I talk often about things she said or did, happy memories we all made together as we molded our lives together.

My mother was a quiet, independent, shy lady. I'd never thought of her as a brave person. But, now I realize how truly brave she was.

Carol Ann Erhardt
JOSHUA'S HOPE, available at White Rose Publishing

But Nora Does It, Why Can't I?

There seems to be a new trend—OK, it’s always been there—towards untested authors (mostly, unpublished, but some newly published) trying to break the “rules” of writing romance, and when he or she is called on it, the pat answer goes something like: “but Nora [Roberts] does it,” or “but Stephen [King] does it.” Well, folks, that may be true, but unless you are Nora or Stephen…or one fantastic phenom…don’t do it.

Experienced, multi-published authors often tell a newer authors, “You have to know the rules before you can break them.” This is great advice, but oft times, not well-received advice, and I think I know why. Aspiring authors are told to study the authors they like—successful authors who have a quality the new author would like to develop. So Ms. Aspiring Author reads, reads, reads. She’s been told that secondary characters shouldn’t have a point of view. She's been told that it’s customary in a romance for the hero and heroine to meet as early in the story as possible. etc. And then she reads her favourite author whose current hero isn’t introduced until page twenty-six. Now Ms A.Author thinks, “Well, I guess that’s a rule that's OK to break.” BUT, Ms. Aspiring is focusing on the wrong point. She’s looking at the mechanics—the what—but she’s missing the why.

When learning to hone your craft, don’t just look at what is happening on the page, study why it’s happening. Don’t just see that a rule is being broken, discover why the break wasn’t obtrusive. I recently began to read a romance that was so engaging in its opening scene and pages—the prose, the plot progression, the introduction of the heroine's inner conflict—that I didn’t even realize until I was introduced to the hero (some sixteen pages in) that that was the first hint of hero or romance. This author broke a rule, but it was done with such style, and for good reason (The set-up was a necessary foundation) that it wasn’t obtrusive in the least.

So, as you are analyzing your plot, here are some things to think about:

  • First: Know the rules. Seriously. Know them. No Joke.
  • Second: If you are going to break the rules, know why you are breaking them.
  • Third: Once you’ve broken them, honestly ask yourself if it was necessary. If there is a viable way not to break the rules, don’t break them. And this is a place where you really have to be honest with yourself. Don’t break the rules simply because you can or because you want to. Those aren’t good enough reasons. Your plot, your hero, your heroine must demand those rule breaks.
  • Fourth: Break them well. Seek objective feedback. (Objective feedback does not come from your friends or family unless you know they will tell you the absolute truth if something you’ve written is terrible.) If you get negative feedback from your rule breaks, they didn’t work. Period. Don’t try to justify your reasons. When the rules are broken with finesse, it doesn’t bug a reader—OK, it may bug a small majority, but not most. Your reasons may be solid, but your execution may still need work. Go back to the drawing board, hone your craft, and try again.

On Angels' Wings

Nearly three weeks ago, I nearly lost my mother. Her health has been failing for the past few years, and every day seems to present a new challenge. About a year ago, she asked me who she was. A pang so sharp pierced my heart. I got her some orange juice and a cookie and sat with her, and a few minutes later, she was fine. I thought it a combination of too many prescription pills, her age and several other conditions I’d studied when training for my certificate in medical transcription. Some things are just too painful to recognize and our subconscious refuses to let them in.

But what I witnessed a few weeks ago will stay with me for a long, long time. She was sitting on the sofa, taking off her socks and shoes, her words muffled and slightly slurred. The obvious thing that flashed through my mind was that she was having a stroke. I asked her if she knew who she was and she did. But the more I quizzed her, the more agitated she became, and before long, she began to tremble. I held her left hand and it was so limp it brought tears to my eyes. Then she got a death grip on me and squeezed it for all she was worth. Then it went completely limp and she began to convulse. It had to be the most terrifying thing I’d ever experienced.

We called the paramedics and there initial reaction was that she was having a stroke. Then her head rolled to the back of the sofa and she slipped into a state of unconsciousness. Feeling helpless and completely vulnerable, all I could do was pray. And in the many crisis in my life, I have always turned to the angels. I feel their presence and believe they hear our prayers and take them to God on their gossamer wings.

My mom was in a coma in intensive care for twelve hours. When she came to, her family was all around her. She recognized us and although confused to her whereabouts, seemed to be in pretty good shape, all things considered. Her neurologist told us her cat scan ruled out a stroke. His diagnosis was epilepsy. My mom had an epileptic seizure once close to fifty years ago. Ten years ago, her doctor took her off her anti-seizure medication. This bothered me, but I placed it in God’s hands. I always feared she might have another seizure and she did. Now she is on a less invasive type of medication to prevent seizures, but Mom is not happy about taking more pills.

Due to some balance issues and walking difficulties, her neurologist strongly suggested putting Mom in a nursing home for a few weeks for rehabilitation where they could address her needs. This was very hard and for those of you who have been there, visiting a loved one in a nursing home is a guilt trip. They don’t want to be there any more than we want them there. So once more, I called on my angels to carry my burden to God’s ears.

Yesterday, my mother came home. She will have a home nurse and a rehab counselor until she is stronger. She seems so fragile and reminds me of the fragility of life. Count your blessings and make every day count. Life truly does come full circle when our parents become our children, our responsibility.

Sharon Donovan
Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith

But My Characters ARE Together…Sort Of…

When I send a rejection to an author, I try very hard to be as clear as possible on why the writer had the manuscript returned.

I usually start with the basics, SHOW, don’t TELL, Point-Of-View issues, backstory and secondary characters. I iterate why these plot devices will not work and then usually end the paragraph with that most disheartening of sentences…”this does nothing to progress the developing romantic relationship.”

Romance, by its very nature and meaning, is between two people. The characters do not know one another at the beginning of the relationship, or if they do, they’ve never looked at each other in a romantic light or acted on the romance of the relationship before.

So, when starting a romance the primary goal is to get the couple together. And keep them together. As much as possible. A page or two foray of them going off alone is fine. Even 5 pages. And dare I say it? Even 20 pages. I don’t recommend that last. I’m just saying it can be done. It isn’t done often, and it is only for very experienced romance writers. If you don’t have at least three published books under your belt, don’t try this at home.

So, how do we keep the hero and heroine together? How do we maintain the excitement and attraction of a new relationship? Actions. Words. Put them together in whatever setting you choose. Have them speak to each other. Read the dialogue outloud. Is it stilted, disjointed, weird sounding? Then go back to the manuscript and re-write it.

Have them act together – a walk in the park, a dinner for two, babysitting a dog, rescuing a cat, stopping to help at an accident scene, whatever works – whatever you have in mind.

From that point, you can also begin building character. Hero and heroine must be aware of each other’s body language and actions. When hero does something warm-hearted, does the heroine notice? Does she see him gently scooping the kitten into his hands and holding it against his heart, comforting it? These actions give the reader insight into the character’s character. Strong emotive scenes can make your words zing.

Without over-doing it, describe a juxtaposition around them – in one character’s POV.

Jane looked around, noting the sunny, glorious day, with puffy clouds and the scent of Spring in the air.
John stood at the graveside, mourning the loss of his father, his jaw tight, his expression shuttered.
This day should be as cold and dreary as his broken heart, she thought.

Pulling the elements in, to contrast the characters’ feelings, makes them real to the reader. Jane is NOTICING John. She is feeling his pain. The relationship has begun. Now, keep it going.

White Roses Bloom in Other Gardens

Two members of our White Roses in Bloom group had books released in the Steeple Hill Love Inspired line this month. Kim Watters, author of Web of Deceit is making her Steeple Hill debut this month with On Wings of Love. Besty Ann St. Amant, author of Midnight Angel offers a follow up to Return to Love with A Valentine's Wish.

Be sure to check out these authors at White Rose Publishing and at Steeple Hill. Here's a quick look at their books.

Web of Deceit by Kim Watters
Faith Callahan's life is falling apart. Her husband is missing and presumed dead, returning to her childhood home doesn't promise the peace and tranquility she craves for herself and her son, and her father's hardware store is on the brink of bankruptcy. To top it all off, someone is watching her, breaking into her home and work, and making threatening phone calls. The only person she can trust besides God to help her is the man who was both her and her late husband's best friend-the three amigos in high school.

And then there were two. Or were there? Sheriff's deputy Adam Quinn needs to find out if his friend is dead, or just gone into hiding waiting to make contact with his wife. In order to find out so Adam can bring the suspected gun smuggler to justice, he needs to get close to his best friend's widow-the only woman he's ever loved. The deception grates on Adam's spiritualism and soul as his heart falls for Faith all over again, but he has a duty to uphold the law and protect the town's citizens.

When Faith and Adam meet again, their friendship rekindles on a deeper, more emotional level. Will Faith allow Adam back into her life after her disastrous first marriage full of lies and deceit? Will Adam risk his career to win the woman he loves? Will Faith and Adam put their complete trust in God and let Him guide them through these dangerous times?

On Wings of Love by Kim Watters
Ruth Fontaine's job is to deliver lifesaving organs to those urgently in need. But the gruff pilot of her charter plane has no kind words for her work. And then she discovers the heartbreaking reason why. Noah Barton lost his wife and young son. Grieving, he gave in to pressure to donate his child's organs—a decision he regrets. He's bitter against those who "take advantage" of people's anguish. Yet he still flies her on her missions, with his beloved family dog, Houston, as his copilot. Now Ruth will have to show Noah he has two other copilots: the Lord and her love.

Midnight Angel by Betsy Ann St. Amant
Madison Lawrence fell in love while vacationing in Germany and Carsten Erlichman nicknames her his "angel." One kiss and twelve gongs from the clock tower later, Madison is forced to leave the man who stole her heart and return to the United States with her family. She starts an angel collection as a means of feeding her favorite memory. Little does she know that her collection will eventually tangle her in a web of lies, danger, and love. Madison must discover the truth about her father, her faith, and Carsten before the clock strikes midnight!

A Valentine's Wish by Betsy Ann St. Amant
Unless youth pastor Andy Stewart finds a suitable wife fast, he'll lose his job. Yet the woman of his dreams is his best friend. And Lori Perkins is still smarting over a failed engagement, so he can't just declare his love. His plan: he'll be her secret admirer and woo her anonymously with flowers and chocolates. And then, when romance is on her mind, Andy will confess his Valentine's wish—to spend his life with her. There's just one little problem. Lori seems to think her secret admirer is someone else!

What I’ve Learned About Reading Fiction from Watching Golf

You may have noticed that the cover of my latest release features a golf ball. That’s because one of the scenes takes place on a driving range and is based on a real life experience. Personally, I’ve given up trying to learn the game and let my husband go out to the course so I can have quiet reading or writing time.

But over many years of observing the game both in real life and on television, I’ve picked up the following:

In golf, patience is the key. It is a slow sport to play, and can be slowed further by lagging players in front of you. (You can however, speed things up by playing golf on the Wii machine.)

In fiction, patience is also needed. Reading a love story is a slow, unfolding process that makes us wait for the payoff at the end. We also must sometimes wait patiently for the next story in a series. (You can however, sometimes speed things up by ordering your books as downloads for immediate receipt.)

In golf, there is a code of etiquette to be followed. Many rules apply out on the green. It is considered the “gentleman’s sport” for a reason.

In fiction, there are also rules of etiquette for readers like not revealing “spoilers” and ruining the experience for others. And not criticising an author, focusing instead on her work.

In golf, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.

In fiction, your spouse might become irritated by the amount of time you spend at it.

So in what ways is reading a superior hobby to golf?

--You don’t need to wear plaid pants or a collared shirt to read a book.
--Reading is a year-round sport, regardless of weather.
--You can buy many books for the cost of one typical round of golf.
--You can re-read a scene anytime, but in golf “mulligans” are frowned upon.
--No special equipment is needed to read, unless it’s reading glasses.
--You can’t play golf on the beach or in the tub.
--If you completed grade school, you won’t need special instructors to help you read.
--You can read all alone, without needing to call your buddies.

So send your spouse out to the driving range and curl up on your couch. Tell us, what books are in your TBR (to be read) pile?
And do you play golf?

Give-away contest

Hey, are there any fan's of acclaimed author, Lynn Austin out there? If so, I have a special Valentine treat for you.

I have five paperback copies of her historical fiction book, Though Waters Roar to give away.

How do you enter? Go to my website @
Click on the link that says "Book Reviews" and it will tell you what to do.

Happy Valentines Day!