Books by Craftie Ladies

Saturday, May 23, 2015

FEATURED BOOK AND INTERVIEW: Wagon Train Sweetheart by Lacy Williams

A Promised Bride 

Emma Hewitt never thought she'd travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she'll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma's social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten. 

Nathan knows he's wrong for Emma. He's too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma's loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart? 

Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail 

How exciting to visit with Nathan and Emma, the hero and from Wagon Train Sweetheart. This book was written by Lacy Williams and is a May 2015 release from Love Inspired Historical.

Nathan and Emma stride quietly near a Conestoga wagon pulled by a team of four oxen. Before and behind them, the wagon train snakes through the plain. A bright blue sky forms an inverted bowl overheat and the sun beats down on them mercilessly. They are surrounded by the lowing of cattle, the chatter of women, and children laughing and running.

But Emma and Nathan are quiet, pensive, as they walk together.

1. Why did you decide to join a westward bound wagon train?

Nathan keeps his eyes on the oxen as he shrugs. “Needed a fresh start,” he mumbles. “With the pay I’ll make driving this wagon, hopefully I can buy some land.”

Emma’s eyes linger on Nathan, not the landscape. “My oldest brother came west. When my other siblings heard about the rich land and the opportunities, they were gung-ho to join up.”

Nathan’s eyes come up and they share a glance, as if there’s more behind Emma’s answer, but she doesn’t elaborate.

2. What is one thing about you that no one else knows?

Nathan’s silence is so long as to grow uncomfortable.  

Emma’s eyes glow with concern, but she doesn’t press him to answer. Obviously, he has secrets aplenty. Her cheeks flush a pretty pink. “I’ve never had a beau,” she admits.

“Nothing to be ashamed of,” Nathan adds quickly.

“I’m not ashamed.” And her chin has come up.

Nathan’s lips twitch, but he doesn’t outright smile.

3. What is your best quality?

This time, Nathan is quick to answer. “Don’t have one.”

Emma laughs, the sound like a tinkling bell, and his eyes slide to her before darting back to his task driving the oxen. Her merriment abruptly cuts off when she realizes how very serious he is.

In fact, a muscle twitches in his cheek.

“You’re an excellent hunter,” she says.

He snorts derisively.

“And you see things others don’t.”

“That’s a quality?” he asks, his voice hard as flint.

But Emma’s lips have taken on a stubborn pinch. “You’re a good friend. To me and to others.”

He shakes his head, but beneath his beard his cheeks redden.

4. What is your worst fear?

Emma’s eyes make a quick scan of the horizon as she answers, “Thunderstorms.” Her eyes make a sweep of the grass in front of her. “Snakebite.” Her eyes narrow. “Starvation.”

While her attention is elsewhere, Nathan watches her closely. When she senses his gaze on her and looks up, he jerks his face to the side. “Those are valid concerns,” he says, “But my worst fear is losing someone close to me. Again.”

Emma’s expression softens with compassion, but she knows now is a time to stay silent and not press him to admit more.

5.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

A happy bark sounds and a small brown dog appears out of the grass that is taller than the animal.

“Mutt,” Nathan greeted. Looking almost embarrassed, he says, “Can’t get rid of him. Keeps following me around.”

Emma smirks. “Perhaps it’s the ham you feed him off your plate.”

Nathan shrugs, unwilling to admit differently.

6. What is the one thing you’ve learned by traveling on this wagon train?

Emma and Nathan glance at each other.

“I’ve learned that friendship can come from the most unexpected places. And not to judge someone by first impressions.”

Nathan’s eyes go off to the distance as he admits, “Some folks are worth making friends with.”

The wagon train continues its westward trail, and Nathan and Emma’s friendship blossoms into something else entirely. WAGON TRAIN SWEETHEART is available now!

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams works in a hostile environment (read: three kids age 5 and under). In spite of this, she has somehow managed to be a hybrid author since 2011, publishing 17 books & novellas. Lacy is also the Managing Editor for Redbud Press, an inspirational romance publisher. Lacy’s books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc. If you haven’t already, visit Lacy’s website ( for a free contemporary cowboy novella.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blast from the Past - Guess the Author

It's that time again. When we glimpse into the past of one of our Craftie Ladies. The first reader to correctly guess this month's author will receive a copy of said author's latest Love Inspired release. 


Here's your clue.

This is a picture of my son and me deep sea fishing in the Gulf on my stepfather's boat. Every summer Shaun and I would go to see Tony and my mother. A highlight of our vacation was always going out on the boat, fishing and spending time on the beach at Ship or Horn Island. My son still talks about those fishing trips. He loves to fish now and I think it is because of those times in Biloxi. Both Tony and my mother are dead, but I have such fond memories of time spent with them. Seeing this picture brings those memories to the foreground.

Do you know who this is? Leave your guess in the comments to be entered in the contest.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Almost summer!

Ah! It's almost summer. And it definitely felt like summer when I took a short vacation from Michigan to sunny Ft. Lauderdale this past weekend.

After my first and very long Michigan winter.....

this Southern girl needed the hot sun of Florida!

I'm one of those crazy people who loves waking up early on vacation to go outside and enjoy the weather. I had my laptop and kindle with me and used the time outside to write (under a big umbrella). It was very inspiring.

As summer quickly approaches, where will you spend your vacation? 
And what books are you looking forwarding to reading?

I just received the cover for my next Love Inspired Suspense, EXPERT WITNESS, due out in September. Here it is!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hoofing It: A FIREFIGHTER'S PROMISE by Patricia Johns

Post by Patricia Johns

I'm a full-time writer without a car.

Okay, gun to my head, we HAVE a car, but my husband takes it to work, so during my work hours I'm without it. That means that most of my research has to happen online, or be within walking distance of my home...

Luckily, our local fire hall is just down the street, so after dropping my son off at school one morning, I walked a little further and stopped in at the fire hall. One thing I didn't know was that security in fire halls is actually pretty tight! They don't let you just waltz in, but while I was explaining who I was and what I wanted (which never sounds believable for some reason! "Hi, I'm a Harlequin author, and..."), the Deputy Chief cleared his throat from a doorway and said,

"Can I help you out with something?"

 This meeting of our DC inspired the opening scene of A FIREFIGHTER'S PROMISE. It was just such a great set up, that I had to use it, and our DC's job allowed the perfect amount of flexibility for my plot, that my hero very quickly became a Deputy Fire Chief, too.

The DC was a wealth of information and the perfect gentleman. Meeting him made me proud of our little town and the brave men and women who protect it. 

This is how a book is born. This is also how I get my exercise. ;)  If I had a Fitbit, it would be proud.



When the baby he rescued seven years ago returns---with his widowed adoptive mom---Deputy Fire Chief Matt Bailey can't turn them away. Desperate to escape the reminders of his failure in the line of duty, Matt is close to leaving town. But one look at Rachel Carter and her son, Christopher, has him second-guessing his plans. Rachel is a mom in need of a hero for her son. But as much as she wants the two to bond, she's determined to keep her distance from Matt. After losing her husband on the job, she promised never to love another fireman. Yet somehow she finds herself drawn to the one man she should avoid.

You can see more from Patricia Johns at her website or on Facebook.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Introducing Some Killer Voices

Hello, Cate Nolan here.

In my non-writing life I'm known as Mary Curry, but I’m trying to get used to life as my writing alter ego, so my posts here will be done as Cate. 

This time last year I was under a major deadline crunch, racing toward the finish line to complete a manuscript for Love Inspired Suspense’s Killer Voices competition.

Not only did I make the deadline (Phew!!!  *wipes brow*), but a little more than a month later, Emily Rodmell called to buy my book. Christmas in Hiding by Cate Nolan (me :) ) will be out in October of this year.

You can be sure I’ll have a lot more to say about that as my release date draws closer, but today I’d like to turn the spotlight on some friends. You see, I wasn’t the only sale. Five other lovely ladies sold with me at that time and two others have gone on to sell since.

I thought it might be fun for my debut Craftie Ladies post to introduce you to my Killer Voice sisters.

April saw the launch of three authors - Michelle Karl, DanaR. Lynn and Tammy Johnson. Their books are still available online. 


I asked if they had anything they would like to say about their releases or the year since their first sales.

 Michelle responded:

This debut novel, from first draft to finished book, has taught me that persistence is key. Whether you’re having a good day or bad, whether the revisions are tough or a breeze, you must persist and keep moving forward in order to succeed. Talk about a rollercoaster journey!

Dana had this to share:
I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe all that has happened in the past year. I'm constantly amazed at how God has worked in my life. One of the best things about this whole process has been the relationships I have developed with other authors.

Tammy offered:
It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since the call that made my dreams of becoming a published author come true! I'm so appreciative of Harlequin and all that the editors do to help new authors and the way they encourage and actively look for new authors. Seeing my book on the shelf last month was amazing and every time I hear from someone who's read Royal Rescue it makes my day! I am working on a second book and can't wait to be able to share it with everyone.  

Mary Ellen Porter was up next with her May release and in June Lynn Huggins Blackburn's debut hits the shelves.


Lynn commented:

"There have been so many "I can't believe this is happening" moments...the day the contract arrived, the day the advance arrived, the day the books arrived. But I think the one I'm most anxious for is the day I walk into a store and see Covert Justice on a shelf. I think that may be the moment I finally believe I'm not dreaming."

I’m not allowed to share my cover yet, but you’ll see it here as soon as I can! The release of Christmas in Hiding was postponed until autumn because of the holiday theme. Even though I can't show you the cover, I can quote the blurb that is up on Amazon.

After her ex-boyfriend's murder, Callie Martin has no choice but to trade her quiet life as a kindergarten teacher for the witness protection program. It's US Marshal Jackson Walker's job to keep Callie safe, but the men who would do her harm just keep getting closer and closer. Either someone on the inside is betraying Callie, or she's lying to Jackson about her involvement. So he decides to go off the grid, spiriting her away to the remote Vermont countryside at Christmas. Jackson wants to trust her, but with danger dogging their every move, he'll have to use all his energy to keep her alive.

 Since the initial five sales, Meghan Carver and Jenna Night also sold to LIS.

Over the years I have been so impressed by all the great opportunities the Harlequin editors offer to new authors through these contests. Just last Friday, 30 writers found out they’ve moved on to the next round of #Blurb2Book. I’m so excited for them and happy to offer them encouragement! Hopefully we'll be seeing lots more great Love Inspired books in all three lines with their names on them!

All of this got me to thinking - 
If you're an author, how did you land your first contract with Harlequin?
If you're a reader (or an author and a reader) what kind of books do you like best? Is there a particular theme? Do you like suspense, historical, contemporary? I'd really love to hear from you.


Ooops - the date says Monday because I'm posting from the East Coast.