Laughter Lifts the Heart
Several years into it, and this blog still refuses to be categorized. It's eclectic and includes everything from writing posts to snippets from my ordinary life.
Welcome to this crazy place. You're bound to find something you like.
"Now, may the Lord of peace give you peace always, in every way."
Good enough to share? Do it here~~~
Coffee with Linda Newsletter!
Give the Lady a Ride
The Final Ride
The Bucket List Dare
The Cat Lady’s Secret
Writing in Obedience
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Bella Natale! by Marianne Evans — An aspiring American artist and the widowed, Italian owner of a premier art gallery meet and fall in love in Florence when he champions her work, but there are her American family’s expectations and his five-year-old son to consider. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
With this Kiss by Marianne Evans — A kiss stolen in a midnight snow. A jealous colleague at Jonathan’s firm is bent on revenge…revenge that puts Isabella’s store into legal peril. Will love be enough to see them through? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Mistletoe Daddy by Deb Kastner — Bubbly Vivian Grainger bids on gruff Nick McKenna at Serendipity Texas’s annual Bachelors and Baskets for one reason–to help her build her hair salon; but once Nick finds out she’s pregnant, he does his best to build a path to Vivian’s heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Hero for Heather by Marion Ueckermann — When a “homeless” man she’s been helping rescues social worker Heather Blume from a vicious attack, she’s so grateful she violates one of the most important rules in her profession–she takes him home to tend his wounds. But the mysterious Paxton Rathbone is no homeless man…he’s a gentleman. When feelings grow, and Paxton’s past beckons, both he and Heather discover there’s a fine line between gratitude and love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
A Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann — Holly Blume loves decorating people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman’s touch, Reverend Christopher Stewart is in the market for a wife. What woman would consider him marriage material, though, with an aging widowed father to look after, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Despite their differences, Holly resolves to finish her job of redesigning the Stewart home, while Christopher determines to re-form Holly’s heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)
Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe — Twelve years after she married another man, Rebecca Anshaw Simpson is back at Joe Gallagher’s ranch as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. Becca won’t let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. But Becca never expected she’d fall all over again for her first love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Christmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller — With Christmas right around the corner, Katie Chupp and The Sweet Shop get involved in a mystery when a certain dear family finds an unexpected package at their door. (Cozy Mystery from S&G Publishing)
Michel: The Fourth Wise Man by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — This descendant of Daniel, also a wise man, sacrifices everything – his wife, his father, his home – to do what he is convinced God needs him to do, then finds out he was wrong (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)
Five Nights with Pharaoh by Kristen Reed — Shortly after entering Egypt with her husband, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem as his newest, most favored concubine. The breathtaking, ageless beauty is forced to cling to her faith in God as she prays for the strength to accept her new position and endures a series of mysterious plagues that can only be indicative of a wrathful deity’s divine judgment. Discover a remarkable reimagining of Sarai’s plight in Egypt, where she humbly set aside her own honor to protect the man through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Historical – Independently Published)
Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Leslie Seilstad, Erica Vetsch — Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children–until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
A Pony Express Romance by Misty M. Beller — Pony Express rider Josiah English and the station master’s sister, Mara Reid, fall in love, but when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig — A former Green Beret is confronted by past mistakes as he and his team battle a centuries-old plague and the terrorists bent on rewriting history. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])
Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson — Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment–and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Christmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman — When Commander Jake Marsh loses control of a hostage situation and Tessa Long is injured, guilt eats at him. He blurs the line between the professional and personal, and visits Tessa at the hospital. But when a man tries to kill her in her hospital room, Jake disregards all of the rules and regulations that have allowed him to control his world and vows to keep her safe no matter what. Trouble is, the situation brings back memories from his childhood of the loss of his entire family, and for the first time in twenty years, he fears he’s no longer in charge of his life, and knows when he’s out of control bad things happen. Very bad things. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Found this on pinterest, which had previously be posted on tumblr. Amazing what all’s out there in cyberland. Have you seen it yet? I think it’ll come in handy . . .
Double Your Word Count in Two Weeks
Writers are not all cut from the same cloth. Some race toward the goal, writing five, ten or even fifteen thousand words a day. Others would think it miraculous to write that many words in a week, or even a month.
No, we’re not all alike, but we all have the same goal in mind: to write the best possible piece and get it into an editor’s capable hands. And we long to do this in a timely manner so that we can move on to the next piece.
So, how can we improve our word count? How can we zip-a-dee-doo-dah toward the goal? Here are a few ideas to speed up the writing process:
1). Give yourself a deadline. If you’re not writing against an editor-induced deadline, give yourself a personal one. You might consider upping the ante a little bit by entering the book in a contest with a very real deadline or by promising your critique partners a certain number of chapters by the end of the week. These self-imposed deadlines become even more real when you write them down. Add them to your calendar.
2). Set a timer. This sounds so simple, but it really works. Set a timer for an hour (or whatever length of time you have to write) and don’t get up out of the chair, no matter what.
3). Set word goals. Tell yourself that you’re not going to get up from the chair until you’ve written a thousand words.
4). Write in chunks of time. When I’m under the gun, I’ll write three times a day, setting a word goal of two thousand words per sitting. For you, it might be five hundred words per sitting. Doesn’t matter. You will get more done if you tell yourself you can do it and if you divide your workday into segments (with downtime in-between).
5). Don’t edit as you go. I know, I know. . .it’s tough! Turn off that internal editor and let the words flow. Write anything that comes to mind, even gibberish. It can be edited out later.
6). If you’re stuck, use word and phrase association. Look at the chapter you’ve just written and pull out words or phrases that refer to some event in the future. Maybe you’ve written that Susie has just learned she’s expecting a baby boy. Instead of pondering what comes next in the story, jump ahead and write the scene where Susie gives birth to her baby boy. Chances are pretty good that scene will pour out of you and will inspire you to write other future scenes.
7). Use writing prompts or other creative writing exercises. Consider a course on creativity. There’s nothing like stirring the imagination to speed up the process.
Above all, value your writing time. Cherish it. Protect it. Don’t give in to the temptation to check your email, browse Facebook or do a video chat with a friend. Focus, focus, focus! Write, write, write. Then, two weeks from now, you can pause to look back over the distance you’ve traveled. I’d be willing to bet you’ll blow yourself away with how much faster you’re writing.
Janice and others have released a new romance collection, My Secret Love. Be sure to check it out. Authors include Janice, Traci Hilton, Janetta Messmer, Crystal Barnes, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. Guaranteed to be a fun set!
Home stretch. Y’all reaching your goals?
Beloved author and speaker Deb Raney shares a lulu of a story bound to make other Thanksgiving tales pale in comparison, except it isn’t exactly about Thanksgiving~~~
My in-laws moved to California and we were privileged to live in their sprawling 7-bedroom house in my husband’s hometown for eight years while our kids were little. One fall I WON a 20-pound turkey in our small town’s Thanksgiving drawing. Since the bird wouldn’t fit in the freezer of our refrigerator, we put it in the big, empty deep freeze that was in the bowels of the basement. We thought we’d just turn the freezer on for a few days until we were ready to cook the turkey. However, we ended up spending Thanksgiving at my parents’ house, and my mom had already bought a turkey, so after the holidays, I decided I’d thaw out the turkey I won and roast it for a days’ worth of meals for our little family. I unplugged the freezer thinking I’d just go down and retrieve the turkey the next morning when it should be just about ready for the oven.
Welllll… fast forward to the following August. My in-laws are coming for a visit from California and I’m a nervous wreck about hosting them in their OWN house. I start cooking while we wait for them to arrive, except for some reason the flies are just AWFUL. They seem to be coming from the unfinished, dungeon of a basement. We go down to see if one of the kids has left some food down there or something. There is a horrific SMELL coming from the vicinity of…the freezer! The old unplugged freezer. The one that hasn’t been opened since November when I put that turk––oh. my. gosh!! I never did cook that thing.
And of course, just as Ken is opening the freezer to reveal this decaying bird and a dead-body stench that wafted for MILES––who should pull into the driveway but his parents. They couldn’t have been more gracious as they helped us bury the putrid carcass. But that HAS to be my most embarrassing moment EVER.🙂
DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb’s 23rd novel released from Howard/Simon & Schuster in May 2013 and she is currently working on a five-book series for Abingdon Press Fiction. Deb enjoys teaching at writers’ conferences across the country. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas ––the setting of many of Deb’s novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.
Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.
Newly released Remember to Forget:
Dave Chesson has a great guide to editors and editing on his site kindlepreneur, and I’m not saying that just because I’m listed as one of the editors. If you think you’re going to be in the market for an editor and you don’t want to wait until I’m open for business again in January, check out his list!
How’s it going? Getting your wordcount in? Need a little encouragement?