HUNGRY FOR HOME Cover Reveal

My amazing cover designer has done it again! I think this is my favorite!

Hungry for HomeAnd here’s the entire cover. Don’t you love the contrast between the despairing young man on the front cover and the happy toddler on the back?

hungryforhome (600 x 440)

(Tweaks need to be made to the barcode yet, but otherwise, it’s perfect!)

About Hungry for Home (Coming Home Series #3)~
(Coming September 2015)

After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger …

A hungry, homeless teen.
The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled.

The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts.

And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.

Thank you, Think Cap Design Studios, for designing this entire series. I couldn’t be prouder to display my books!

 

Book Award Day

There are so many book award announcements flying around today, I just had to take a moment to tell you about them.

While Love StirsFirst–and most exciting to me–is the announcement of the ACFW Carol Awards Finalists, because WHILE LOVE STIRS by my friend and critique partner, LORNA SEILSTAD, is a finalist!!! I haven’t stopped Snoopy Dancing since Lorna told me. :) Congratulations Lorna and all the other Carol Award Finalists! (See the list >here<)

Second, the INSPY Award Winners were announced today. Congratulations to all the winners! (See winner list >here<)

Failstate: NemesisAnd finally, tonight the Christy Award winners will be announced, and I’m rooting for friend and fellow Minnesotan, John Otte, for FAILSTATE: NEMESIS. Go John! (See nominee list >here<)

Tomorrow, I’ll have a different kind of book announcement. I’ve recently received the cover for HUNGRY FOR HOME, the final book in my Coming Home Series, and my Street Team tells me it’s the best cover yet–I agree. I revealed it to my newsletter subscribers today and tomorrow I’ll reveal it here on my blog. :) (You can subscribe to my e-newsletter >here<)

Meet the Hero & Heroine from RODEO REUNION

***Book Giveaway***
See details below

Rodeo ReunionOn Tuesday you got to know author Shannon Taylor Vannatter‘s Favorite Things, and today you get to meet Slade Walker and Raquel Marris, the hero and heroine from Shannon’s latest release, Rodeo Reunion. I’m certain this interview will compel you to hurry over to your bookstore and pick up Shannon’s books.

Raquel and Slade, are you open to your own romance?

Raquel: I know my deceased husband wanted me to marry again and I know my son needs a father figure, but knowing and acting on it are two different things. I figure if God wants me to marry again, he’ll lead me in the right direction.

Slade: I used to love the travel involved in being a rodeo chaplain on the Texas circuit. But lately, I’ll admit I’ve been lonely. I’d love to settle down, get married, have a family. But I can’t settle down and travel the circuit, so I’m waiting on God to help me figure it out.

What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?

Raquel: He’d have to be a committed Christian.

Slade: She’d have to be a committed Christian.

What’s the number two quality you’d require in a mate?

Raquel: He’d have to be home every night, have a safe job, and love my son as much as I do. Since my first husband, a Texas Ranger, died three years ago, I’m ready for safe.

Slade: She’d have to support my ministry. And my ministry includes riding broncs. Getting dirty right along with the cowboys helps me to get on the same page with them and gives me the opportunity to witness to them.

Where is the best place you can think of to find a mate?

Raquel: Church

Slade: Church

Where is the worst place you can think of to find a mate?

Raquel: Anywhere dangerous.

Slade: A bar.

What type of character traits are you attracted to?

Raquel: Stability, loyalty, and good with kids.

Slade: Someone loyal since I never knew my dad and my mom split when I was young.

What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?

Raquel: Anything dangerous.

Slade: A woman focused on everything other than her child.


RODEO REUNION blurb~

RAQUEL MARRIS NEEDS A MAN WHO’LL STAY PUT 

And Slade Walker’s not a likely candidate. Even if the former major league pitcher just agreed to coach her son’s little league team. The single mom can’t risk everything on a bronc-riding chaplain who’s only passing through Raquel’s small Texas town. 

Slade is taking a hiatus from the rodeo circuit to meet the sister he never knew he had. But the pretty widowed nurse next door is making him think twice about hitting the road again. He can’t turn his back on the cowboys who need him, but Raquel and her boy need him, too. Can Slade fulfill his calling and finally find a place to hang his hat?

Purchase RODEO REUNION~

Amazon | CBD | B&N | Harlequin

Shannon Taylor VannatterAbout Shannon~

Award winning, central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows and once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots.

She has eleven published titles and is contracted for four more. Her books are available at Christianbook.com, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Harlequin, and Barbour. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com and check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.

Connect with Shannon~

Website | Inkslinker Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter


Rodeo ReunionGiveaway Details:

Here’s something special to commemorate the Heartsong Presents line since it’s ending this month. Comment below to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Reunion. Ten copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour listed below from June 1 – July 1, 2015. One winner will receive a baseball-themed memory board personally crafted by Shannon. Winners will be revealed on Shannon’s blog on July 22, 2015.

Baseball Memory Board

Shannon’s Blog Tour:
June 1: http://www.gailkittleson.com/blog/
June 4: http://susannedietze.blogspot.com
June 5: http://lindarondeau.blogspot.com/
June 9: http://workingwritersandbloggers.com
June 11: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com/
June 12: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com
June 13: http://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com
June 17: http://sarahruut.com/
June 18: http://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com/blog/
June 19: http://junefoster.com/
June 23: http://gailpallotta.blogspot.com/
June 23 & 25: http://brendaandersonbooks.com
June 25: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/
June 26: http://writersonreading.blogspot.com
July 1: http://seriouslywrite.blogspot.com/
More info at: http://shannonvannatter.com/shannon-taylor-vannatter-romantic-excerpt-part-3-of-3-8/

More with Shannon Taylor Vannatter

***Book Giveaway***
See details below

Shannon Taylor VannatterI’m so excited to welcome back friend and critique partner, Shannon Taylor Vannatter. Shannon chatted with me back in September 2013 and we met her hero and heroine from RODEO FAMILY this past March 2015. Now Shannon has another new release, RODEO REUNION (book #11, I believe!), so she’s visiting with us today and Thursday (June 25).

Hi Shannon! Thanks for visiting my blog again! I love having you. :) And I’m so excited about your new book, Rodeo Reunion! Congratulations on #11! Woo hoo! And thanks for answering a few fun questions. :)

What is your favorite  Bible Verse?

I have so many. But one is: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 KJV)

What is your favorite beverage?

Sweet tea. It’s so thirst-quenching and I drink it at every meal. I usually don’t listen to Country music, but Scotty McCreery’s song, “Water Tower Town” must have been written about where I live. My favorite line—”sweet tea goes good with anything.”

Sugar is added as an afterthought after the tea is brewed and cold, so the sugar settles at the bottom in a cloud is not what I call sweet tea.

I just don’t understand the purpose of unsweet tea. But since sweet tea includes calories, when I’m not eating, I drink my second favorite beverage—water.

Now in Minnesota, we don’t drink sweet tea, but tea in general is very popular and tea stores are becoming as plentiful as coffee shops.

What is your favorite hymn?

“The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace.” I used to sing “Amazing Grace” to my son to put him to sleep when he was a baby and toddler. He hated to sleep, so he hated that song for a while.

Those are two of my favorites! Love old hymns–their words have so much more depth than so many songs today.

What do you collect?

Seashells. Among countless other things, to me, they’re proof of God’s existence. Only God could create something so intricate for some unimportant sea creature to live in. My office is decorated with seashells.

What is your favorite color?

Thistle. It’s a plant with horrible stickers on it, but the flower is pretty and it used to be in the Crayola box. It’s a pinkish lavender.

I had to go look it up. It is a pretty color with a not-very-pretty name!

Do you have a hobby?

Reading, walking, crafts, and sewing home interior items like curtains, toppers, and bedspreads. Clothes frustrate me, so I don’t sew them.

What is your favorite flower?

Thistle-colored roses.

What is your favorite magazine?

Just about any decorating magazine. I like cottage style, shabby chic, and elegant decor. I love pastels and white. If left up to me, my house would be furnished with white wicker. As it is, my office has white wicker furniture and shelves.

What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas and Easter. My husband calls Easter—Resurrection Day.

Love that!

Thanks again, Shannon, for dropping by this week! It’s fun getting to know all your favorites. :)

Rodeo Reunion coverRODEO REUNION blurb~

RAQUEL MARRIS NEEDS A MAN WHO’LL STAY PUT 

And Slade Walker’s not a likely candidate. Even if the former major league pitcher just agreed to coach her son’s little league team. The single mom can’t risk everything on a bronc-riding chaplain who’s only passing through Raquel’s small Texas town. 

Slade is taking a hiatus from the rodeo circuit to meet the sister he never knew he had. But the pretty widowed nurse next door is making him think twice about hitting the road again. He can’t turn his back on the cowboys who need him, but Raquel and her boy need him, too. Can Slade fulfill his calling and finally find a place to hang his hat?

Purchase RODEO REUNION~

Amazon | CBD | B&N | Harlequin

About Shannon~

Award winning, central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows and once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots.

She has eleven published titles and is contracted for four more. Her books are available at Christianbook.com, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Harlequin, and Barbour. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com and check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.

Connect with Shannon~

Website | Inkslinker Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter


Baseball Memory BoardRodeo Reunion coverGiveaway details:

Here’s something special to commemorate the Heartsong Presents line since it’s ending this month. Comment below to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Reunion. Ten copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour listed below from June 1 – July 1, 2015. One winner will receive a baseball-themed memory board personally crafted by Shannon. Winners will be revealed on Shannon’s blog on July 22, 2015.


Shannon’s Blog Tour:
June 1: http://www.gailkittleson.com/blog/
June 4: http://susannedietze.blogspot.com
June 5: http://lindarondeau.blogspot.com/
June 9: http://workingwritersandbloggers.com
June 11: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com/
June 12: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com
June 13: http://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com
June 17: http://sarahruut.com/
June 18: http://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com/blog/
June 19: http://junefoster.com/
June 23: http://gailpallotta.blogspot.com/
June 23 & 25: http://brendaandersonbooks.com
June 25: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/
June 26: http://writersonreading.blogspot.com
July 1: http://seriouslywrite.blogspot.com/
More info at: http://shannonvannatter.com/shannon-taylor-vannatter-romantic-excerpt-part-3-of-3-8/

The Captive Imposter Character Spotlight

The Captive Imposter*** Book Giveaway ***
See below for contest rules

You got to meet author Dawn Crandall on Tuesday, now today, she introduces you to her heroine and hero from The Captive Imposter, Dawn’s newest release. But first, here’s a little about the story:

For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine. Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle. When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can’t refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she’s putting forth, she’s never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

Brief physical description of characters~

ESTELLA EVERSTONE /alias, Elle Stoneburner – dark brown hair, deep dark brown eyes, small in stature, average height. (see Ashley Greene)

DEXTER BLAKELEY – dark brown, greenish-brown hazel eyes, average height and build. (see David Giuntoli)

Strengths and weaknesses

ESTELLA – She’s good at always doing what needs to be done, no matter if she likes it or not… this is a strength and a weakness, for it seems she’s lost herself in the expectations of others over the years. To the point she feels she isn’t truly known by anyone.

DEXTER – He is also very good at doing what needs to be done, but he does it as a way of life, with purpose. His main weakness comes in the fact that he won’t allow anyone into his heart. Although he lives valiantly and helps others in any way he can, he strives to keep himself closed off from feeling deeply for others.

Your inspiration for the character

ESTELLA  – Truthfully, the character came to be all on her own as I started writing books The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart (the first two books in The Everstone Chronicles series). She’s has minor parts in those books, and is mostly a mystery to the reader. They know bits and pieces about her, but nothing solid. She really came into her own while I wrote The Captive Imposter from her first person point of view—and the main goal wasn’t just for me to discover her, but for her to discover herself.

DEXTER – I can’t deny that the character of John Thornton from North & South had a very strong influence in the beginning. I loved channeling all that broodiness into someone so misunderstood by most… but needed to get even deeper! I needed the reader, from Estella’s perspective, to inadvertently crack his walls and really get to know the man and why he behaved the way he did.

Background to the story (eg. What inspired your story idea)

Honestly, I didn’t know the whole story behind Estella’s words and actions in the first two books—they were just her being her, and I didn’t really know her yet. It was very interesting to finally find out what exactly had happened concerning the broken secret engagement between her and Jay Crawford, and specifically why it was that he seemed to want to hang on to the idea of being with her throughout the years without letting himself really give into her urgings to reconcile. The reader finds out so much more about Jay in this book, and why he could never be her hero. And I had so much fun figuring out who really was perfect for her—Dexter Blakeley!

I also finished writing this book while I was dealing with the emotions of being a new mom, and I think the whole “expectations of others/losing yourself in what needs to be done” part of her character arc really came through because of that.

Dawn CrandallAbout Dawn Crandall~

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series and is published by Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a Finalist in 2013. Her debut novel,The Hesitant Heiress, won the inspirational single title category of the RWA Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in 2015!

Connect with Dawn~

Website | Book Review Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Newsletter signup

The Captive Imposter>>>Book Giveaway<<<
Dawn has graciously offered to give away one ebook copy of The Captive Imposter. To enter, leave a comment on today’s post (June 18, 2015) and/or Tuesday’s post (June 16, 2015).

This contest ends Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm CST. I will post the winner on Monday, June 22, 2015. Winner will be chosen via Random.org.

 

Getting to Know Author Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall*** Book Giveaway ***
See below for contest rules

I’m happy to welcome Dawn Crandall today, author of The Everstone Chronicles series. I haven’t read any of Dawn’s books yet, but word has it that fans of Laura Frantz love her, and since I absolutely love Laura’s books, I’ll definitely give Dawn’s a try.

Welcome, Dawn! Thanks for visiting my blog and congratulations on your latest release, The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles book #3)! What inspired this story?The Captive Imposter

Estella Everstone has been someone I’d written about in my first two books over the last few years, but since I write each book from a different character’s first person perspective, I’d only ever seen her through the eyes of others. So once I sat down to get to know her I found out lots! And above all, it was that she needed someone other than the man I’d thought she would end up with! I’d always wanted to write a book set at a resort deep in the mountains of Maine–and the manager of that resort just turned out to be the perfect hero for my Estella.

What is your favorite characteristic about your story’s hero and heroine?

I would say it has to be their determination to do what needs to be done. Estella is sent away from her family to be kept safe. She has no say, but is a willing participant. Dexter Blakeley’s personality oozes responsibility–so much so that he does so much for the benefit of others without thinking of what he needs. When he sees a need, he does everything in his power to make things right.

Please tell us about the spiritual theme of your story you hope every reader is challenged by:

The spiritual theme running throughout the story has to do with being rescued by God. That He wants us, loves us and knows what is best for us.

I recently came across this really great photo to symbolize the struggle my current WIP’s heroine {Violet Hawthorne} has as she tries to escape her circumstances along her twisted path to finding true love. http://pinterest.com/pin/86272149088358547/

Did you always want to be an author? Or were you surprised your path to publishing?

I’d always enjoyed creative writing in school (it was actually the only thing I was good at), and I’ve thought the idea of writing a novel was interesting since I was in high school…. however, I didn’t write anything other than what was assigned to me in both high school and college–and after that, nothing at all. It wasn’t until I was married and in my thirties that my husband found out about it and encouraged me. That all I needed. I started my debut novel {The Hesitant Heiress, August 2014} in 2010, went to ACFW in 2011, signed with my agent directly afterwards and signed my book contract with Whitaker House in 2013. So yeah, more surprised than anything!

Favorite century to read? To write? To watch on TV or in a movie?

READ: I have a great love for regency romances! Anything from Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer!

WRITE: My favorite time period to write is late Victorian/Gilded Age America… but with that same regency feel to them.

WATCH: Any clean historical romance!

Favorite heroine of all time, and why?

Jane Eyre, because she’s written so honestly and deeply from first person POV—which is why I like to write from this same POV.

Jane is one of my favorites too. I love that she’s an atypical heroine, and I love her fortitude.

Thanks again, Dawn, for joining me! And readers, please come back on Thursday for The Captive Imposter character spotlight.


About Dawn Crandall~

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series and is published by Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a Finalist in 2013. Her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress, won the inspirational single title category of the RWA Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in 2015!

Connect with Dawn~

Website | Book Review Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Newsletter signup

The Captive Imposter>>>Book Giveaway<<<
Dawn has graciously offered to give away one ebook copy of The Captive Imposter. To enter, leave a comment on today’s post (June 16, 2015) and/or Thursday’s post (June 18, 2015).

This contest ends Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm CST. I will post the winner on Monday, June 22, 2015. Winner will be chosen via Random.org.

 

Staggered Blogging

Blog BreakAt the risk of committing an authorial faux pas, I’ve decided to take somewhat of a break from blogging this summer. Instead of struggling to come up with something relevant every Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll just post something when the inspiration hits or when I have a scheduled guest. I’m also taking a break from my Inkspirational Messages blog.

With Hungry for Home, the fourth book in my Coming Home series, scheduled to release September 22, it’s important that I focus my time on that book rather than have the distraction of the blog and all the social media that comes with it. Besides, who wants to sit and read blog posts in the summer?!

Who knows, in the meantime, maybe I’ll actually be able to whittle down my massive to-read pile.

Come fall, I’m certain I’ll be back regularly. :)

Have a great summer!

No Such Thing as Impossible

My new favorite song, “Impossible” by Building 429. I love the message and the encouragement it offers those following their dreams. I challenge you to sit still while you listen. :)

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20