Friday, November 30, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature: Janice Hanna Thompson


Today I welcome my friend, an accomplished authoress who is giving, gracious, and gifted with humor: Janice Hanna Thompson. 




I met Janice through ACFW. She showed her fun spirit right away. I asked her to share her writing journey with us this weekend. You may be surprised how God has paved her life with a passion for story.


Enter to win an autographed copy of Janice's book, Queen of the Waves, see below.




A Passion for Story


Some writers nudge their way onto the publication scene with a lovely resume in hand, one that includes a degree in English or Literature. Others experience a “lucky break,” an amazing opportunity that propels them through the publication door, bells clanging and whistles blowing.  

Most writers press their noses to the grindstone—grunting and grappling their way to publication, one sour rejection after another. Then, there are those who come out of the womb writing—child prodigies, who pour out their heartfelt stories onto the pages of their elementary school notebooks, destined to become one-day-stars. As the years progress, they morph into the very thing they were destined to be all along—writers.

I suppose you could say there’s a little of each of these in me.  I was born with a passion for both story and performance and always saw myself as having a great call on my life. 

As a child, I instinctively knew how to entertain folks with my antics and my exaggeration. From the time I could offer a curtsy or a bow (anticipating that others would applaud my efforts) my mother labeled me a “ham.” She wasn’t far off in her description. I ended up going into theater, starting as an actress and eventually directing.

One thing served as the glue in all of my endeavors: story.

Story fueled me as a youngster while I persistently scoured the shelves at our local library for something I hadn’t already read. Story intoxicated me as I picked up the pen and crafted my first novel in sixth grade. Story propelled me as I took on roles in high school plays, pouring heart and soul into each performance.

Story lit a fire in me during my college years and pacified me when I had to leave school after my sophomore year. Story nipped at my heels in my early twenties when my father asked me to help him pen a screenplay—Liar’s Moon—which was eventually made into a movie. Story made a playwright out of me in my middle years, when the arts academy where I taught needed performance materials.

Story—specifically, Christian fiction—grabbed hold of my heart, twisting and turning, when I neared my empty nest years. At this time, I truly “felt the call” to publish my first novel. It took years to accomplish this feat, but God eventually opened a door. From that day until now, I’ve been blessed to publish over eighty books for the Christian market—mostly light-hearted romances, loaded with humorous elements. 

I’m probably best known for my quirky Weddings by Bella series, but I’ve also been given the opportunity to write stories like my latest—Queen of the Waves—an intense drama set aboard the Titanic. Though I’m a comedian at heart, I enjoy writing the serious stuff too, because it challenges me as a writer and offers me the opportunity to further develop my skills.

No matter what I write—comedy, drama, devotions, plays or skits—I will remain a storyteller at heart. Writing for the Christian market is perfect for me, because I have the opportunity to incorporate the greatest story ever told into each of my tales. And hasn’t story always been the tool that God has used to touch the hearts of His people?

Consider. . .The Prodigal Son. The Lost Coin. The 99 Sheep. All stories, told by the Master Storyteller, intended to teach, to nudge, to uplift, and to provoke. I pray that my stories will compel people to search out the Ultimate Author and to read His bestseller. (Talk about a great book!)

These days, as I look back on the stories I’ve published, the plays I’ve written, the articles I’ve penned, I see them all as a whole—part of a bigger story. My story. My legacy. Something I leave behind, not just for my children and grandchildren, but my readers, as well. I hope they see a little of my story in every novel, in every character, in every setting.

Beyond that, however, I pray they see the very real story of a God who loves them so much that He was willing to split heaven wide open to send the ultimate hero into this world to rescue, redeem and revive.

So, what comes next for me? Where will the pages of my own story take me? I will continue to market Queen of the Waves while writing more comedies! My Weddings by Bella series has done so well with readers that I’ve been asked to do a spin-off series (Weddings by Design). The first book, Picture Perfect, releases in January. I’m biting my nails in anticipation. 

In short, I will cherish every moment, pen in hand, ready for whatever tales—fun, serious, or otherwise—the Lord lays on my heart. 

So, what about you? What’s your story? I pray it’s one filled with joy, peace, and blessing. . .and lots of laughter.

Connect with Janice:
Facebook: Janice Hanna Thompson
Twitter: booksbyjanice
Online writing courses: www.freelancewritingcourses.com
 

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Janice's book Queen of the Waves, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced on next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Janice for joining us this weekend!

Reader: Pretend you are dressed in an elegant garment, suitable for first class, what would you have seen, heard, tasted, smelled, said?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Comfy, Friendly, Warm-Home

Even though we signed the papers for our new home several days ago, I feel like this is the day our new house becomes really ours. What made the difference? The movers are delivering our furniture.
courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Watching a video about a place and going to the place are two totally different experiences. A video can cause me to want to go somewhere, but not leave me with the sensation I had been there, no matter how big the screen is. Today, I'm not looking at a photo on line or recalling my visit with the realtor, I am walking in our house.

As the boxes pour out of the truck and fill the house, making narrow mazes to walk through rooms and halls, our house will sprout a kernel of life. One by one those boxes will be emptied and items will be put into their new home. Cleaners will wash away the scents of the last owners.

We'll wake the first morning and wonder where we are. Walk to the kitchen and hope the coffee pot was packed in the top box along with the filters and coffee. Look out the window and see a new setting and remember, this is our new home.

A new place for morning devotions will be chosen, the best place to relax will be picked, the work place to do bills and other paperwork selected. Churches, bank, grocery store will soon feel like the obvious place to go.

Our new home will feel comfy, friendly, warm, and right.

Some day, I will see my eternal home. I wonder how it will will look, smell, feel. And what I will do. I wonder if I will be able to make friends right away. I wonder how long it will take to feel comfy, friendly, warm, and right. I wonder if my Father will say, "Well done," or not. 

These uncertainties are normal. God knows we have finite minds. But the wonderful surprise He has for us is going to far exceed all our expectations.

What makes your house feel like home?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Caring for Pets When Traveling

The winner of Keli Gwyn's book is...scroll to the bottom, please

We have two cats, inherited them from our young adult children who went off to college. To make life easier for them and us, we trained the cats to be outdoor creatures. 


photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
But, when we sold our house in one state and were forced to live in a hotel for one month before moving into our new home in another state, we had to modify life for our pets.

Thirty days in a hotel room with cats. The biggest issues: how to keep them from darting out the door, where to put them when the maid insisted she had to clean the room, and how to keep the animal smell from happening.

After five days, the two cats pretty much learned they were stuck in the hotel room when our feet blocked the open door. They didn't like it. One sneered, the other cowered, but eventually they came to the door and greeted us without running. Yesterday one stood guard at the door and pleaded to leave. I told her the good news, we would go to the new house soon. I don't think she believed me.

I learned a way to keep the maid out of the room. Hubby and I cleaned our room thoroughly after the first week, made sure it smelled nice, had the cats food bowls and liter box out in plain sight but free of odors, (we used lots of Febreez and cranked up the air for ventilation), and stuffed the cats in the closet as she came in the door. 

We set the trash outside the door every morning and exchanged towels every three days. These tasks counted as the maid doing something for our room. In thirty days the maid seemed okay with cleaning the room only twice.

Keeping the animal smell took lots of work, more than hourly. The best solution, after trying many, was  to use freezer ziplock bags. We put anything used for animal food or waste into the bags and sprayed Febreez before sealing it. I washed the outside of the bag with Clorox wipes to eliminate any missed odors. 

This experience has been unusual. One, I'd rather not repeat. I am thankful we have access to our new home today where the cats can go outdoors again. We've tried our best to make the situation the easiest for our pets to endure.

Dealing with the restriction of pets in order to consider the hotel and their other guests wasn't fun, but it was the right thing to do. Eliminating confined pet odors was difficult, but I learned new ways to solve problems.

When I consider God's love for us and how He gives more than a 24/7/365 care for us, never once leaving us alone, never complaining about the smells we make, the wrong things we do, the messes we make, the impositions we cause I am in awe. God faithfully listens to our cares, supplies what is best, leads us to where we can receive what is needed to successfully walk our journey. 

We are so blessed.

How has God taken care of you, more than you expected?

The winner of Keli Gwyn's book: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is Amy Leigh Simpson. Congratulations, Amy!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Keli Gwyn



Today I welcome a kind, giving, fun-loving author friend: Keli Gwyn. 


Enter to win an autographed copy of Keli's book A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, see below.


I met Keli through ACFW. she showed a warm friendship right away. I asked her to share her writing journey with you. She of course thought about Thanksgiving and wrote this:

How a Writer is Blessed Big Time

The stereotypical writer sits at a keyboard, alone for hours on end with no one but a cast of characters for company. When I embarked on my writing journey nearly seven years ago, that description fit. I wrote in virtual isolation for two years. Although I had the support of my family and local friends, I knew no other writers.

And then the Lord began showering me with even more blessings.

How did it happen?

He brought some awesome people into my life. People like you.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the many people we meet on our journeys are one of the biggest blessings of being a writer.

Contest judges were the first people I met. A friend of a friend suggested I check out Romance Writers of America®. I joined, learned about the numerous contests held by the organization and its many chapters, and began entering four of the five stories I’d written. (The first remains hidden on my hard drive.) Those generous judges taught me a great deal about writing.

Next came writer friends. When I finaled in the Golden Heart in 2008, Tina Radcliffe invited me to be a guest on the popular Seekerville blog. Discovering the blogosphere and the wonderful world of writers online was a huge blessing. I realized I wasn’t alone. They, too, heard voices in their heads, had story ideas wake them in the night, and got excited when a plot point fell into place. I rejoiced to meet blogging buddies and make Facebook and Twitter friends.

Some of my writer friends became writing partners. My critique partner, Anne Barton, and I met at RWA® Nationals in 2008 and have been together nearly five years. Not only does Anne help me improve my stories; she is also a treasured friend and confidant.

I’ve attended nine writing conferences, including RWA and American Christian Fiction Writers, where I learned lots. Sure, there were great workshop leaders imparting their wisdom, but the lessons didn’t stop there. I learned from my fellow conferees, too. And had oodles of fun in the process.

Publishing professionals have played an important part in my journey. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, offered me representation in December 2009, after having judged my story in a contest. She went on to sell the story to Barbour Publishing, which released it as my debut novel this past July, six and a half years after I embarked on my journey.

When the book hit the shelves, I was blessed beyond belief by friends, bloggers, and book reviewers eager to serve as influencers and reviewers. I couldn’t keep up with the generous offers to serve as a guest blogger that flooded my inbox. To say I was grateful would be an understatement.

Then came readers! What a delight it’s been to have others read my story and enjoy it.

What follows the thrill of one’s first release? The return to reality. I won’t sugarcoat things. There can be a bit of a letdown when the month is over, a bunch of new of books hit the shelves, and your story becomes old news. The high can’t last forever, although the memories made can be treasured for years to come.

One thing remains the same. The friends I’ve made along with way are still there, supporting and encouraging me.  Friends like you, Mary, who graciously invited me to share my writing journey with your readers. Thank you for this opportunity.

• • •
I’d like to end with a question for all of you. Who are some of the people who’ve blessed you as you’ve worked toward your goals?


Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell.

To learn more about Keli, you can visit her Victorian-style cyber home at www.keligwyn.com, where you’ll find her parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with her blog and her social media

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Keli's book A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 


Thank you Keli for joining us this weekend!




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thankful Heart

I confess, I am a kid at heart. I love watching the Muppets and other kid productions


I love the November and December celebrations. So rather than make a Thanksgiving list, I invite you to have some fun and listen to the words of this song.

If you can't see the video. Here is the You Tube link:




May your Thanksgiving celebration fill you with happiness and remind you to have a Thankful Heart.

How has God blessed you?

I will start the list:

I am thankful for my home (we are signing the papers for our new house today)
I am thankful for being able to spend time with my children and husband.
I am thankful for celebrations.

I am thankful for God's gift of love to us.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks At the Right Time


Winner of Jim Rubart's book Soul Gate is...scroll to the bottom of this post.

Joni and her husband Ken
photo courtesy of http://www.joniandfriends.org
I had a frustrating time the other day. Needed to get out of the building and feel the sunshine. While doing a few errands, I turned on the radio, clicked a few stations and happened upon Joni Eareckson Tada's program. 

This woman has been a constant inspiration to me. At age seventeen, she went with some friends to a lake and swam out to a floating dock. They soaked in the sun for a while then she decided to go back in the water. She stepped to the edge, held her hands in a diving position above her head, bent over, and dove into the water. 

Joni and her friends didn't know the water was too shallow for diving in that area. Her friends became concerned when she didn't surface. Several dove into the water looking for her and brought her wounded body to the surface. Her neck had been broken in the dive, turning her into a quadriplegic. 

Her time of coming to terms with the permanency of the disability eventually came and in its place she gained strength and determination to serve God in any way she could. 


Family Retreats for the Disabled
photo courtesy of http://www.joniandfriends.org

Over the next forty years, Joni's ministry impacted thousands, perhaps millions of people. Her drawings and paintings are done using a brush or pencil in her mouth. She has a program in which old wheelchairs can be donated, fixed up and taken to needy children in third world countries. Rather than continue a list of the many programs serving the handicap under her umbrella, I'll give the link and let you see for yourself.  Joni and Friends.


Wheelchairs for the World photo courtesy of http://www.joniandfriends.org 



Joni has lived in her wheelchair as a quad for forty years. And in all that time, I have never heard her complain or whine about her situation. During the particular program I listened to on my day of frustration, Joni told about a young family. The husband was suffering from cancer and their finances were depleted. The wife's letter focused on her thanks to God for the blessings they still had. Joni then showed compassion for the young family's true hardships, never spoken of in the letter.

What struck me most was the Christ-like example of a person who hasn't walked, held a book, been able to have a child, must be  completely dependent on others for everything including eating, and etc, showed great compassion for a young family's plight without ever calling attention to her own issues.

She gave thanks for the wife's strength in the situation. Needless to say, my bundle full of frustrations fizzled. Was it a coincidence that I heard Joni's thankful comments at that time? Would it have meant as much if someone I didn't know said the same thing? No to both.

It's easy to tell someone to be thankful. It means so much more to live it.

How can you show your thankfulness for what God has given?


Congratulations to Lindsay Harrel winner of Jim Rubart's book, Soul Gate

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Jim Rubart


Today I welcome the author who will make you laugh, shake your hand, 
and pull you into an intriguing story: Jim Rubart. 

Meeting Jim Rubart at the ACFW conference
was definitely a highlight for me


Enter to win a copy of Jim Rubart's book Soul's Gate, see below.



I first saw Jim in a hilarious skit put on by My Book Therapy during the 2011 ACFW conference. His novel Rooms was a major topic in the bookstore. I picked up a copy and became intwined with the story. I had the privilege to talk with him again at the 2012 ACFW conference

Jim Rubart in MBT skit with
Rachel Hauck, Karen Ball, and Susan May Warren



When I heard his new book Soul's Gate had been published I asked him to come tell his writing journey. 



I asked Jim to share his writing journey. Here is what he wrote:



This Road Ain’t Easy!

So many authors. So many different journeys.

I’ve yet to hear the story of publication from one of my author friends that is typical, yet they all have one element in common: It was hard. Excruciatingly hard.

In other words, it’s okay. This road you’re on with all its blindsides and potholes and jagged cliffs with no guardrails? It’s not unusual. You’re not alone.

My own writing road had a dead end sign on it of my own making. I’d dreamed of being a novelist since I devoured the Chronicles of Narnia in 5th grade. But when I was rejected for my school newspaper in 9th, I accepted the fact I had no talent as a writer. (I know, I know, so let me ask, what “facts” have you accepted about yourself?)


But I kept dabbling in the dream. In my teens and early adult years I:

•    Subscribed to Writer’s Digest
•    Bought books on writing prose and screenplays
•    Scribbled a few short stories
•    Went to local writer’s workshops
•    Wrote a Seinfeld episode in ’92 with a buddy on a whim which ended up in the hands of a prominent L.A. TV writer 

      who said we had true talent
•    Wrote Web sites, radio ads, brochures, letters and TV ads for a living


But my dream of writing a novel? I did nothing. NOTHING!


(Well, I did think about it. A lot. And carried around this sack of nine-hundred pound guilt because I knew I should be taking action.)


Finally, in the spring of ’06, I went to my first writing conference. By summer I had three agents interested in repping me. In September of that year I signed with a fourth. A little less than two years later I had a contract for ROOMS.


Isn’t it Gretzky that says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”? You nailed it, Great One.


Maybe your dream isn’t writing. It’s painting. Or music. Or opening a restaurant. Or taking that trip to Israel or the Bahamas, or doing missionary work halfway across the globe.


No one with a goal or a dream gets it easy. Just doesn’t work that way.


I like watching Biography and the one thing that has struck me harder than anything else is how tough it was for EVERYONE.



Here are a few of the stars I’ve watched profiles on:

·      John Travolta                             The Rolling Stones
·      Jamie Lee Curtis                         Eminem
·      Jodie Foster                               Chelsea Handler
·      Anthony Hopkins                        Jennifer Lopez
·      Kelly Clarkson                            Janis Joplin



It’s fascinating to see where they came from, what got them there and what they had to go through to get there. I had this idea that most stars walked into their gifting/destiny with a few minor pebbles in the road, not a street where bombs had gone off and were still exploding.

ALL of the stories revealed serious setbacks before these stars achieved fame and fortune. All.

A repeating mantra when outsiders describe these people is, “They were so incredibly determined.”

“They worked harder than anyone else.”

“They knew what they wanted, fixed their eyes on it and refused to give up.”

“No one came to see them at first, but they didn’t care. They just kept at it.”

It comes down to this: You have to believe in yourself. When no one else does. There is no other choice.

There is no other road.

Is your dream sitting in the back of a dark rusted shut drawer somewhere? What is it?

Grab the crowbar, let’s get moving.




James L. Rubart is speaker, marketing professional, and a best-selling, award winning author. Publishers Weekly says this about his latest release, SOUL’S GATE: “Readers with high blood pressure or heart conditions be warned: this is a seriously heart-thumping and satisfying read that goes to the edge, jumps off, and “builds wings on the way down"

RT Book Reviews made SOUL’S GATE a Top Pick and says, “Rubart’s novel is enthralling and superlative. Truly a story about freedom from things that we hold onto, this tale will captivate readers and encourage a more active, dynamic spiritual life. The original plot and well-drawn characters elevate this book to “must read” status.”

During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and loves to dirt bike, hike, golf, takes photos, and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at www.jameslrubart.com

Thank you for joining us today, Jim.

If you would like to enter the drawing for the book, leave a comment and become a follower. Winner announced Monday. Sorry, U.S. residents only. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Walking in a Professional's Steps

photo courtesy of freedigital photos.net
A professionals make a business transaction pleasant. They talk with respect, shine a smile-no matter how they feel, do the job-even if they'd rather be fishing, and help those they serviced-happy they did business with them.

Every Friday I invite a professional to this website to talk about their career journey. I must admit, each one who has joined me thus far has provided a wonderful post, stimulating our hears and thoughts to expand our world and flavor it with their experiences.

Mom's are professionals, too. Have you seen a baby smile after being fed, returned to play after a diaper change, or nestled on her lap? Yes a satisfied customer in  mini size.

I've seen professionalism in all walks of careers, included cashiers, you know, the one who puts up with the crabby customer in front of you who complains they've been overcharged two cents, or the fact he/she had to wait in line five minutes. 

To me professionalism is:

* mastering your job
* displaying loyalty to company, 
* trustworthy to be left alone to do the job
* willing to learn more of the job than taught 
* and expand the job by taking duties to a deeper level
* focused
* good at time management
* rarely absent
* gets along with co-workers
* pleasant disposition
* anxious to learn what is required at the next level


The list could probably go on for pages but you have the idea. Do you leave professional footprints? Have you stepped into the world of a professional no matter what your task in life may be?

Two weeks-two weeks.
Have you seen the movie "Money Pit?" The construction company workers promise to have a house fixed in two weeks. The two weeks lasted months. We are trying to buy a home. It has taken way longer than the thirty days. The realtor and financial institution have said we will close in two weeks several times. Ah huh. Needless to say, the two weeks fib is not looking like professionalism.

The bottom line, when you agree to do something, whether it is changing a diaper, teaching a Sunday School class, writing a novel, selling a car, doing taxes, serving as a doctor, nurse, lawyer, professor, etc. do it with professionalism.

Whatever we do in word or deed, do all for the glory of God.

What other qualities are expected of professionals? 

Would you consider becoming a follower and helping me reach my goal by Christmas? Directions are under the "About Me" section on the right. Thanks:)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Saluting Those Who Have and Are Protecting Us

courtesy of the Library of Congress Photo Library

Most likely you know someone who has either been or is currently serving our country in the military.

My husband served as a medic in the Air Force during the Viet Nam War. My Dad and father-in-law served in the army. My brother served in the Marines spending time in Japan. My brother-in-law served in the Navy. The only service our family missed was the Coast Guard. 

Like you, I have numerous friends who have served in the military as well. Most came home. Some did not.

The ones who came home often felt forgotten after a period of time, but the dreams and memories of the time spent in service never left them. They felt in their heart service was honorable, something they were doing for their loved ones and their country. Few regret their choice.

And so I am thinking about how I am spending this day which has been set aside to remember and thank the brave men and women who have and are serving our country. There was only one choice, be thankful for their gift.

So let's do it. 

Help me make a list of things to thank our military men and women for:

the freedom to vote
the freedom to post this blog
the freedom to go to college
the freedom to work at the job of my choice
the freedom to attend the church of my choice

Your turn: how would you say thanks?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Erica Vetsch

Today I welcome a super author, kind friend, and one who is a blessing to many: Erica


Erica is giving away an autographed copy of her book: 
 A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California, see below.




Erica shares her warm smile around the Christian writing community. She is fully engaged in reaching out to others on facebook, twitter, and on her blog. Twelve of her books have been published and a thirteenth will be out in December.

I asked her to tell us about her writing journey and was very happy to receive this great response:








When Does Inspiration Come?

Recently a friend of mine asked on her blog “What inspires you?” I loved all the answers. Some readers were inspired by music, some by walking in the mountains, some by reading great fiction, or looking at the sky. After some thought, I realized that my most inspirational times, the times when my imagination is most nimble, are those precious moments at night before I fall asleep.

courtesy
 freeditigalphotos.com
For as long as I can remember, I have daydreamed myself to sleep at night. When the house is quiet, everything is dark, and I can just close my eyes and let my mind drift to magical lands and places, peopled with characters I wanted to hang out with, adventures I wanted to take. As a child, I continued stories that I’d read, riding The Black Stallion, nursing patients with Cherry Ames, pioneering with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

It was in those precious moments that I learned to spin my own stories, and even now that’s when I work out plot problems, talk to characters, or imagine settings. My mind is free from distractions, noise, electronics, tasks, and to-do lists.

It is at this time that I can overcome writer’s block by shedding doubt and letting myself explore ideas that simply won’t come when facing a blinking cursor and a blank page. It’s when I can sink into the story and eventually into slumber.

How about you? When does your inspiration come? What inspires you?

About The Book: (From the back cover)

A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, California

A Harvey Girl waits on True Love.

With her brother already on the front lines in France, Meghan Thorson becomes a Harvey Girl in Needles, California. Ready and willing to wait on the hundreds of doughboys heading for Europe, Meghan deems this service her way of contributing to the war effort. When a Red Cross representative breezes through town, Meghan embraces the challenge to do even more, committing to completing a Red Cross signature quilt and canvassing the town for donations to the cause.

Horseman Caleb McBride makes his living by training stock for the US Cavalry and keeps his pride by remaining a loner. When Meghan meets Caleb, she senses something mysterious and wounded about him, piquing her curiosity. But after the townsfolk scorn him as a coward and a profiteer, Caleb feels her pity and becomes even more guarded.

When Needles is hit by an influenza epidemic and the Harvey hotel is made into a temporary hospital, Meghan discovers Caleb’s shameful secret.

Will both Caleb and Meghan find a way to kill their pride before their chance of love rips them apart at the seams?


Author Bio: Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and reading, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical fiction set in the American West. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

Find Me On Facebook
Find Me On Twitter
Find My Blog On the Write Path



Thank you Erica for sharing your journey with us, today.

Reader, if you have read one of Erica's books, please tell us which one? What has inspired you?


To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Erica's book A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California, become a follower of Mary's website, if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only.