Posts Categorized: Fiction

Why the Jersey Shore? Why Seaside?

Gayle_Roper

I’m super excited to welcome today’s guest blogger — Gayle Roper! Gayle is one of my really-long-time writing buddies and one of my mentors, both in writing and in directing writers’ conferences.

Gayle has a new book out and we’re celebrating with a story behind the story and a book giveaway. Please welcome Gayle!

 

WHY THE JERSEY SHORE? WHY SEASIDE?

As I drive across the 9th Street Causeway into Ocean City, NJ, I take a great breath of the crisp sea air. I love coming here, and am glad for my high school class reunion lunch being held here. Any excuse to visit one of my favorite places. I will sit on the balcony of my hotel room, enjoy the sun, watch the ocean, walk the boardwalk, and buy some outstanding Johnson’s caramel popcorn.

When I was a kid, my maternal grandparents had a boarding house, the Brookburn, in Ocean City, and for years I spent every July with them. A family who had a daughter my age also spent July at the Brookburn, and I would go to the beach with them every day. I still remember the ditty the daughter made up about me.

Gayle the whale was very pale

Because she drank some ginger ale.

If I had been overweight, I’m sure I’d have been scarred for life, but I was a skinny kid. I could never decide if I should be honored to be the subject of her poetry or offended at the mockery in it.

When I was in college, I worked four summers in Ocean City as a waitress. I loved spending my free time at the beach or with the college age kids who gathered at the Baptist church in town. One Tuesday night a guy named Chuck Roper came to the group. Since I was going with someone at the time, it was a year and a half before he and I went out for the first time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The wonderful coincidence to my meeting Chuck in Ocean City is that my mom met my father there too. She went on a date to dinner at a restaurant on the boardwalk that had live music. The trumpeter was a handsome guy who took one look at Mom and played his solo directly to her. The name of Mom’s date is unknown, but Mom came back every night to hear Dad as he played to her.

Is it any wonder I have set several of my novels in Seaside, my fictional version of Ocean City? Seaside Gifts, released in August, is a fun romance with a touch of mystery. It takes place in a boardwalk gift shop called Present Perfect. Someone keeps leaving valuable things at the shop, and Nan calls the police because she doesn’t know what to do with these things. Our hero Rog comes to her rescue.

I also visit Seaside in a novella called Special Delivery and found in The Boy Next Door, released in October. A package with the right address but the wrong name is delivered to Kelli who is spending her first Thanksgiving away from family. Dane helps her survive the holiday as well as find the proper recipient for the package.

If you’d like to visit Seaside with me, I would love to give an electronic copy of each book to two lucky people.

Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore? Ocean City? Seaside?

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Include your email address with your comment for easy notification. The drawing takes place Sunday, 11/8/2015, at midnight. Gayle is giving away an electronic copy of both Seaside Gifts and The Boy Next Door to the winner of the drawing. NOTE: Please include your email address with your comment on the post.

Secrets of a Charmed Life

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Meet Susan Meissner!

  • Susan is a multi-published author of seventeen books, including . . .
  • Her book, A Fall of Marigolds, was named to Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles for 2014.
  • Her story, The Shape of Mercy, was named one of the 100 Best Novels in 2008 by Publishers Weekly.
  • She’s a speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism.
  • She and her husband make their home in Southern California.
  • Susan will critique manuscripts, meet with writers, and teach a fiction workshop at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference, March 27-31, 2015.

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Oklahoma Land Runs & Book Giveaway

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Bestselling author Vickie McDonough is launching a new Historical Fiction series ~ Land Rush Dreams! And we get to celebrate with her! Vickie is our Guest Author today and will be giving away a copy of Gabriel’s Atonement, Book 1 in her new series featuring the Oklahoma land runs.

Romantic Times Magazine gave Gabriel’s Atonement 4 ½ stars. Congratulations, Vickie! (more…)

QUEEN ALEXANDRA NURSING CORPS

Captured by Moonlight Banner

Today, my Guest Author is Christine Lindsay, who has agreed to talk about the Queen Alexandra Nursing Corps, part of the inspiration for Captured by Moonlight, her newest work of Historical Fiction. She’s giving away a signed copy too!

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Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay

In Captured by Moonlight, Book 2 of my Twilight of the British Raj series, I was like a kid in a candy store researching The Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Corps. Their gray ward dresses, starched white aprons and veils, and scarlet capes were the vision of hope to wounded soldiers. My fictional character, Laine Harkness in Captured by Moonlight, is one of those nurses decorated for bravery with the Royal Red Cross medallion. (more…)

Book Club Fun to Celebrate The Quilted Heart

Sewing Circle by Howard Sanden Blog Banner

Do the members of your book club or reading group enjoy reading a series of novellas and spending time with an ensemble cast? If so, Elsa Brantenberg’s Quilting Circle in St. Charles, Missouri, might be a great fit. And I’m happy to say the 1860’s heartland setting lends itself well to having fun with historic Main Street and riverside flair.

For some book club fun, your group may want a themed meeting after each of the novellas, or may choose to save the party for after they have read Ripples Along the Shore, the third and last novella in The Quilted Heart omnibus. Either way, here are some meeting ideas and resources for a Quilted Heart celebration. (more…)

Recipes Inspired by The Quilted Heart

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The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the Hearts Seeking Home Series all feature fun foods and inspire recipes. The novellas, Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore are no different. Enjoy a meal with three recipes inspired by The Quilted Heart omnibus. (more…)

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart


A broken soldier.

A nearly-blind abandoned bride.

Will love bind their hearts together,

or will stubborn pride unravel the family they both love?

Meet the main characters in Dandelions on the Wind, Novella #1 in The Quilted Heart omnibus!

Now available! Paperback and eBook

Now available!
Paperback and eBook

RUTHERFORD WAINWRIGHT

1. What is your job? Describe a little about what you do.

I was a farmer then a soldier. What I do next, work or otherwise, depends upon how Elsa Brantenberg receives me.

2. How would you describe yourself?

A disappointment. But I’m hungry to change that description. And that reality.

3. What do you need most?

Forgiveness. And a second chance at fatherhood.

4. How do you face disappointments or hardship?

In the past, I ran. Now, I pray. Real hard. And press on.

5. What is your most important goal in life?

To reunite with my little girl. She’d be four years of age now.

6. What are you most afraid of?

That I won’t be given a second chance.

7. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

To the day before my daughter was born. I’d like a chance to do things differently. To do right by her and her grandmother.

8. What do you put off because of dread, or you just don’t want to do it?

Returning to Saint Charles and the farm that had been my home.

9. What is most important to you?

To return to Saint Charles and make sure the daughter I abandoned knows I love her.

10. What do you want others to see in you?

My new dependence upon God for each step.

 

MAREN JENSEN

 1861, March

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote,

To travel is to live.”

Maren Jensen’s fondness for Hans Christian Anderson’s romantic musings had waned somewhere in the Atlantic between Denmark and America. Now, weeks later, she sat on another boat, a paddlewheeler steaming up the Missouri River and the poet’s words were taunting her. She’d started the day in the wee hours, stepping off of the train from New York and onto the boat in Saint Louis that had carried her up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Hans Christian Anderson could keep his traveling for himself. All she wanted was a home.

Click here to read the complete PREQUEL scene to Dandelions on the Wind.

Have you read The Quilted Heart novellas? If you did and enjoyed the stories, you’d be doing me a huge favor, if you’d write a review on The Quilted Heart omnibus for amazon.com, goodreads.com, christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, and novelcrossings.com, and any other outlets you’re familiar with.

Thank you! And Happy Reading.

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles, the setting for The Quilted Heart

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles,
the setting for The Quilted Heart

 ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES!

Quilters and Quilts ~ Week 10, Juanita Nobles

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Reader-Friend Juanita Nobles is my guest in Week 10 of the Quilters and Quilts Blog Series celebrating the release of The Quilted Heart Omnibus.

MONA: How long have you been a quilter?

JUANITA: I’ve been quilting for 30 years. I started in 1983. I have done all types—paper piecing, applique, piecework, but I usually stick to pretty simple designs.

Lighthouse Quilt

Lighthouse Quilt

MONA: Who influenced you to start quilting?

JUANITA: Both my grandmothers quilted, but in those days they just put fabric together because they needed warm covers for the bed. When I started making quilts, it was to make pretty designs with colorful, coordinating pieces. My children were growing up and I wanted to make quilts for them and for their babies which I knew would be coming in a few years, so I taught myself to quilt. I did attend one simple class, but mostly I bought books and fabric and taught myself.

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Quilters and Quilts ~ Week 9, Jasmine Augustine

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The Quilted Heart Omnibus series of post Civil War novellas released last Tuesday. Reader-friend, Jasmine Augustine, is celebrating with us . . . sharing her Quilters and Quilts story.

Jasmine is dedicating this interview to her Great Grandma, Ellen Derrick (1918-2012).

MONA: How long have you been quilting?

JASMINE: I made my first doll quilt when I was about 12 but didn’t make my first full-sized quilt until 2008, so I have been quilting on and off for either 13 years or 5 years depending on how you look at it.

MONA: Who influenced you to quilt?

JASMINE: Definitely my Grandma and Great-Grandma on my Mother’s side. They have a tradition of making beautiful quilts for their children to great-great-grandchildren. Someday I hope to be a little tea-light next to their large pillar candles. (more…)

Quilters and Quilts – Week 7 – Diana Montgomery

Diana Montgomery Rag Quilt Banner

 

Diana Montgomery

 

Here we are in Week 7 of our Quilters and Quilts Series.

Today’s guest is my reader-friend, Diana Montgomery.

 

 

MONA: Who influenced you to become a quilter?

DIANA: I have always loved quilts. I don’t know of anyone in my family who actually sewed.  I just have always admired quilts when visiting Shipshewana, Indiana, and seeing the beautiful Amish Quilts.  I don’t think I will ever get to do fancy ones, but then again who knows, maybe someday.

MONA: What is your favorite part of the quilting process? (more…)

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