I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week as you shop, travel, cook, and enjoy time with family and friends, take a minute to sit and take a breath. Maybe consider the past year and how God has blessed you. I'll be doing the same--running around, baking pies, and mulling over all God has done for me! I'm thankful for you. 

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

November News

I was recently asked what I've been up to lately (ie, "Do you work on one story at a time?" and "how do you spend your days?"), so I thought I'd share the latest. (Please share in the comments what's new with you!)

(But to answer those questions above, No, I'm not able to work on just one story at a time, unless I am deep in writing a novel *and* no opportunities crop up that require a quick response. Lately, I've worked on as many as four stories simultaneously. It's hard to shift gears like that, but most authors I know are in the same boat. So that's how I spend my days!)
  • As you may have seen in last week's post (scroll down) I signed a contract for a new novella! It's called The Honeymoon Express and it will appear in Barbour's The Rails to Love Collection in autumn of 2017. Each novella centers around a railroad theme.
  • I finished first-round edits for One Word From You, my Pride and Prejudice retelling which will appear in Austen in Austin, coming in January, 2016.
  • Right before I worked on those edits, I finished edits for my novella For a Song, which will appear in The Cowboy's Bride Collection, coming in March, 2016. Looking forward to receiving final edits on both this and the Austen novella soon. Then I will need to hop on those once they arrive in my inbox!
  • I've submitted proposals for a few new stories. Working up those proposals was a lot of fun. I hope to soon be able to announce that one or more of them sells!
  • I was summoned to jury duty, so I wrote blog posts to get me through the holidays in case I was placed on a trial that ran a few weeks. Weekly blogging here and fulfilling my obligations on Inkwell Inspirations is important to me!
  • On the blogging note, I've been invited to join Heroes, Heroines & History, a blog featuring many awesome Christian authors! I'll post the 3rd of every month. My first post is called Christmas Kisses...come read it Dec 3!
  • My Christmas newsletter is just about ready to go. All I need to do last minute is PICK WINNERS of the Austen in Austin book! (To win one, subscribe to the newsletter using the button at the right! I promise not to bug you, just say a cheery hello when I have a release.)
And in my non-writing world?
  • As I mentioned above, jury duty. 
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month--October--may be over, but it's never too late to get a mammogram. I recently had mine. A mammo saved my mom's life, so I'm all for encouraging everyone to get one. Talk to your doctor if you aren't sure about some of the new recommendations, but as for me, with my family history, I get one every year.
  • Busy times with kids. SATs, senior photos, college applications, clubs and activities, church, band...blessings all. But busy blessings.
  • A season of big bills! Car, plumbing, garage door, orthodontia, a weird mustard algae that invaded our pool and required expensive chemicals to treat, those aforementioned college applications... all at once. Everybody has those seasons...thank God for His provision!
  • Holidays are around the corner! Have you started shopping? I have--a little.
Today I blog on Inkwell Inspirations about "Stir Up Sunday" which is this coming weekend. Never heard of it? Come check it out!

So what's new with you?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Announcing...The Rails to Love Collection!

Yipee! I just signed a contract with Barbour Publishing for a novella, The Honeymoon Express, which will be published in the Riding the Rails to Love Collection in  autumn of 2017!

I am thrilled to be in this collection and can't wait to tell you more about it and the other eight contributors sometime soon.

But for now, I can tell you each inspirational romance in the collection involves a train. And I can share a little about The Honeymoon Express.
  • It's set in 1876 on a train headed east to west, from sea to shining sea.
  • The heroine, Ellen, is en route to take a job that was predominantly executed by males. And the hero's job is...well, the heroine isn't sure he even has a job. Nash looks like one of those mountain men she's read about who lives off the land.
  • The hero Nash was loosely inspired by Sully on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, a favorite show of mine from yesteryear.
  • My dad is a rail-fan and rail historian. I loved chatting with him about logistics and train routes!
Thanks for celebrating with me! I'm truly excited about this collection!

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's November...Time for Christmas Books!

'Tis the season for Christmas Books!

These new, inspy-authored holiday romances are out now, and they're on my reading list for the upcoming season. Let me know if you've read, or plan to read, any of them!

One of my critique partners, Ruth Reid, is in a new novella collection: An Amish Christmas Gift. This group of three Amish stories is rounded out with tales by authors Amy Clipston and Kelly Irvin.

Linda Goodnight is a great author, and the cover of her October release, The Christmas Family,  is adorable. A bachelor contractor offers a Christmas home makeover prize to a struggling waitress, but she won't take charity...until her daughter is hurt on the dilapidated porch.

If you like e-book collections, I'm biased toward Christmas Traditions, since some of the authors are good friends of mine! But get a load of this deal: eight novellas in one volume for only 99 cents.  Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Niki Turner, and Gina Welborn all have lovely stories of Christmases past (which are also available individually).

Christmas Mail Order Angels is also out in a 99-cent collection of six or for individual purchase. Authors of these holiday romances include Cynthia Hickey, Darlene Franklin, Susan Page Davis, Brandi Boddie, Jennifer AlLee, and Teresa Ives Lilly.

Snowflakes and Mistletoe is currently a #1 bestseller, and this e-collection is also only 99 cents for 8 contemporary novellas! Authors include Leah Atwood, Lynette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Lesley Ann McDaniel, Ginger Solomon, Carol Moncado, and Marion Ueckermann.

Another bestseller and great value at 99 cents is Love's Gift: 8 Christian Romances Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas. Authors include Belle Calhoune, Debra Lynn Collins, Valerie Comer, Christian Coryell, Heather Gray, Lee Tobin McClain, and Krista Phillips.

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The O Little Town of Christmas Collection is coming out one at a time in individual e-book for 99 cents each. So far, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, and Linda Baten Johnson's books are out. Look for more soon from authors like Gina Welborn and Debra E. Marvin!

Happy Holiday Reading!

Friday, October 30, 2015

We've Got a Winner!

The winner of Niki Turner's Santiago Sol is...

Caryl K!

Congratulations! And thanks to all who entered.

Many thanks to Niki for offering a book.

Happy Weekend to all.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ten Things with Author Niki Turner...and a Giveaway!

Welcome, Niki! We're thrilled to join in celebrating the release of Santiago Sol--set in Chile.

In the spirit of All Things Tea, Niki says: "Teatime in Chile is almost as popular as teatime in Britain, probably a holdover from all the Irish, English, and Scottish settlers. In Chile, it’s called once (ohn-say) and includes all the usual tea fare: hot tea, delicious sandwiches, cookies, fruit, and other yummies."

I had no idea! Yum!

Ok, down to business. Here's the scoop on Niki:

Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the production manager for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper, one of the oldest continuously operating newspapers in Colorado. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She also blogs at www.nikiturner.net and is a co-blogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com.

Niki is a Colorado native who grew up in Glenwood Springs—home of the world’s largest hot springs pool. She married her high school sweetheart 25 years ago. They have four children, four grandchildren, and two West Highland White Terriers.

In 2014, she published “Sadie’s Gift” as one of the Christmas Traditions novella collection with eight other authors.  The Skiing Suitor, one of the Love’s Sporting Chance series published by Forget-Me-Not Romances, released in August 2015. Her most recent project, “Santiago Sol,” was published by Pelican Book Group as part of the Passport to Romance novella collection. She’s currently working on a new novella for Whitefire Publishing and another one for Barbour House. 

Ten things about Niki!

  1. I’m a 3rd generation Coloradan. My great-grandparents on both sides settled here in the 1800s, and my grandfather and I were born in the same town.  According to family lore, my great-grandmother was quite the socialite and well-acquainted with Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.
  2. I’m a dog person, with two West Highland White Terriers named Archie and Willabea.  
  3. My first job was as a Christmas elf at our local toy store, complete with a full elf costume. I was 13. I learned how to gift wrap presents correctly and quickly, and haven’t wrapped anything right since. My kids are lucky to get their presents in a bag.
  4. I can’t wear flip-flops. Having that thing between my toes makes my feet ache. I think it’s from years of being shoved into ballet shoes en pointe.
  5. My hometown was voted one of the top ten most fun cities in the country. It’s home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, which is where I learned to swim!
  6. I’m an only child. To this day I do not understand sibling relationships, even though I have four children of my own and now four grandchildren.
  7. My first novel was typed out the summer I turned 14 on a 1940s era Remington typewriter that once belonged to a Denver Post sports writer.
  8. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 25 years. Fourteen of those years were spent as pastors of a small church in a nearby Colorado town.
  9. I live less than a mile from my parents, all on the same property, and more than 10 miles from the nearest small town.
  10. Without glasses or contact lenses I’m legally blind. I’ve been wearing contacts for more than three decades. 

More about Santiago Sol...

When a beloved elderly friend in hospice care makes one final request, Tansy Chastain can't refuse, even though returning an heirloom to the patriarch of a powerful Chilean family will take her halfway around the globe. When she's robbed at the airport, a handsome Santiago businessman comes to her rescue. Sebastian Sandoval decides escorting a lovely American for a few days is a perfect distraction from his grandfather's growing pressure to find a lost family treasure. But even as Tansy breathes new life into Sebastian’s jaded perspective, the secrets they are keeping put them in the path of a dangerous, and desperate enemy.  Revealing the truth to each other now will destroy their growing relationship, but if they don’t, those secrets may destroy their lives.

You can learn more about Niki on...

Facebook: facebook.com/niki.turner 
Pinterest: pinterest.com/niki_turner/ 
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/niki716/

Niki has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of Santiago Sol to one randomly-chosen reader! To enter, please leave a comment with a way to contact you by 11:59 pm Thursday, Oct 29, 2015. Winner will be announced here on Friday,Oct 30!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tea Time: Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches

The weather has definitely changed at my house! Gray skies, crisp mornings, and a change in the light.

With darker, shorter days, I am more inclined to enjoy a little tea time! Since I'm posting on Brown Betty teapots over on the Inkwell today, I thought I'd include a recipe here to go along with my tea. This salad makes a nice lunch or snack. I hope you enjoy it!

Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 t. curry powder (or less, to taste)
  • 2 T. mango chutney, chopped
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • bread--white or wheat is best

Combine mayo, curry, and chutney in a bowl. Add eggs, mashing up the eggs a bit in the process. Spread on a slice of bread, top with another slice. Cut into triangles or other tea-fun shapes. Should make about 8 sandwiches.

Enjoy with a stout cup of Darjeeling or your favorite blend!