Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine Memory: He Didn't Forget!

A Dozen Apologies is FREE this weekend. Get your copy now!

Our authors continue to share their romantic moments with us. Today's guest is Debbie Roome.

I was a gawky teenager – so skinny that I looked almost anorexic – and at a girls only high school. Valentine’s Day was always a mixture of emotion for me. I hoped and longed for a card to arrive in the letter box or be slipped under the front door. By sunset on the 14th February each year, the hope slowly transformed into sadness and rejection. No one would ever love me – or so I thought.

Then I met Kevin and on the 1st February 1986 we married. Two weeks later, the usual anticipation arose as I got up, dressed, and packed some lunch for work. Would he have remembered? I looked on the dining room table, checked under my pillow and by the telephone. Nothing.
 
Kevin came out of the bathroom and gave me a big hug. “Have a good day, see you later,” he said.

I nodded squeezing him back, trying to stifle the disappointment. He disappeared out the door and I headed for the bathroom to brush my teeth. A large cream envelope was propped up by the taps, my name written in flowing script across it.

Wow! He didn’t forget!

I opened it carefully and found a beautiful card, covered in red hearts and gold swirls, with a lovely romantic message inside. It was a moment of pure joy and healing, and one I will never forget.



About the Author:

Debbie Roome was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent fifteen years in South Africa. In 2006 she moved to New Zealand with her husband and five children. Writing has been her passion since the age of six and she loves to write stories that touch people's lives and turn them towards God. Over the years she has won many awards and trophies for her work, including placing first in the Rose & Crown Novel Writing Competition in 2009 and 2012. In 2013, her novel, Contagious Hope was a finalist for the Australasian CALEB Award. Debbie's writing has opened doors for public speaking and she is often asked to share her life story and her experiences as a writer. Her books are available through all the major online booksellers and titles include Embracing Change, Contagious Hope, Magnitude 7.1 & 6.3, Cyber-Bullying is Never Alright, and Loving Leanne. Fly with Me is due for release in March 2014. She also has a number of ebooks available through Amazon.com.

Connect with Debbie on the Web:



Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 





Friday, February 14, 2014

A Dozen Apologies FREE on Kindle!

Everyone has been so patient, waiting for this day to arrive. Even Mara has tempered her anxiety a little.



Readers have spoken! You chose Mara's hero! Thank you for reading, deciding, and voting. We heard from many readers during the voting process, and we're grateful for the time and effort put into your choice - the decisions weren't made lightly, based on comments we received. A Dozen Apologies is FREE on Kindle February 14-16, so be sure to tell your friends. Here's a "Note from the Publisher" that we included at the front of the book to explain how we shared A Dozen Apologies with our blog readers.

A Dozen Apologies is a unique book. For readers joining us for the first time, I'd like to share its brief history.

Eleven authors were selected to participate in our Valentine project. Once all the authors were on board, we provided them with the first chapter, and the story synopsis and timeline of the story. Each author was assigned a specific month to set their chapter. While the authors went about creating their heroes, we held a contest and invited writers to submit their own hero for a chance for that hero to win his place in the book. We provided each entrant with the same information we provided our authors: the first chapter and the story synopsis.

We asked both the authors and the entrants to write two chapters. One of the chapters would be their hero chapter where Mara apologizes to that particular man.

Patricia M. Dyer was chosen as the winner of that contest, and her hero was incorporated into the book.

On January 20, 2014, Write Integrity Press began publishing the chapters of A Dozen Apologies on its blog - one chapter per weekday for thirteen days. Readers were introduced to the heroes in the chapters but also became better acquainted with them through "interviews" with each of them. Also during those thirteen days, Marji Laine shared portions of Mara's journal on her blog. You'll find links to all of the interviews and all the journal entries in the "Fun Bonus Materials" section.

The second chapter we required the authors and entrants to write was the final chapter. In this chapter, the hero was to “win” Mara’s heart, though we intended only one ending for Mara. To determine which hero would provide the happily-ever-after ending, after the opening chapter and each heroes chapter were posted, the readers were asked to vote for their favorite fellow. Because we wanted to make sure the heroes won the vote on their own merits, the author for each hero remained anonymous until the voting closed. For four days, readers voted, and a clear winner was decided.

Chapter Fourteen was only published in this eBook, and that chapter reveals the winning hero written by the author who created that hero at the very beginning of the project. We have not revealed the heroes identity outside the publication of this book. We don't want to spoil the ending. So we ask our readers to please help us keep that secret, too!

So get your copy of A Dozen Apologies and tell all your friends it's FREE right now.


Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Romance of Tender, Loving Care

Tomorrow is the day! A Dozen Apologies releases on Kindle! And it will be free for the whole weekend!

Our authors love to toy with my emotions - if they can make me laugh or cry with their stories (or sometimes jokes or antics), we all celebrate. Today's special guest, Phee Paradise, has done just that with her special romantic moment. Grab the tissues. 


Wayne is the romantic half of our couple. He delights in giving me gifts – a Vermont Teddy Bear, pajama gram, emerald tennis bracelet and myriad bouquets of roses. He tells me that his goal is to see “that look” when I open a gift. But I don’t love him for the gifts. We’ve also had walks on the beach and candle lit dinners. But I don’t love him for the romantic outings. It’s the tender, loving care he lavishes on me.

A trip we took a few years ago is a perfect example of that. We planned it together, but he made all the arrangements. He drove the four hours to Raleigh where we wandered the botanical gardens at Duke University, looking for ideas for our little patch of yard. The next morning he took me to the hospital for a corneal transplant. He stayed with me while nurses came and went, putting drops in my eyes. He was at my side when I woke up from the surgery and talked with the doctor about after care while I dozed. Back at the hotel, while I lay flat on my back, he carefully washed his hands every fifteen minutes before putting drops in my eyes. After bringing me supper from the hotel restaurant, he went out for ice cream. He knows my dad always brought ice cream when I was sick. He knows that for me it’s a necessary part of healing. When we came home, he continued to care for me until I could see again.

It wasn’t a romantic get away, but that trip was an expression of the deep, deep love of my husband. I am blessed.


About the Author:

Phee Paradise is a freelance writer with diverse writing experience. Her work includes book reviews, newspaper articles and short stories, and she writes devotionals for her blog, Delighted Meditations. She has contributed to several books, including A Pixel-Perfect Christmas, Love Letters from the Heart and A Ruby Christmas. She resides in South Carolina where she teaches public speaking and volunteers at her church. She’s a happily married mother and grandma who loves children’s ministries, gardening and reading.  Phee prays that her work will be used by God to His glory. 

Connect with Phee on the Web:




Other Romantic Moments:



Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Romance Writer's Anniversary

Two more days! Are you ready for Valentine's Day? Ready to read the final chapter in A Dozen Apologies? I know Mara sure is. She's been staring in her closet all week! 

Be sure to check the links at the bottom of the post for the Author Spotlights where the authors discuss the creation of their heroes.

Today's special romantic memory comes from Marji Laine.


Romance? Yes, I write about it, but I don’t live it. I married an accountant, for pity’s sake. Although, he is my real life hero in dozens of ways every day.

But romantic? This is the guy who proposed after the movie “Goonies.” I still have to laugh at that one. And laughter is indeed something we enjoy together.

Then there was that anniversary. Our 20th. Sweet Hubby was so giddy and secretive. I had to pack. That’s all I knew. Well, not ALL I knew. I knew our finances were such that we weren’t going to Hawaii or anything like that.

But I never guessed the depths of his nostalgia. He took me to our first home after we got married. We retraced our steps, eating at a favorite restaurant, visiting the church we’d attended. Then he put us up in a precious bed and breakfast for the night. LOVED that! 

The next day he took me shopping. Being only a few weeks before Christmas, I expected us to do some gift buying, but no. This was all about me. A new outfit and then, a new ring. He’d been a poor college student when we got married. My ring was precious, but tiny. He’d always wanted to give me a larger one. And boy, did he ever!

Then he continued to lavish luxury on me. Took us to a fabulous restaurant and put us up at the Gaylord Texan – fancy place and covered in gorgeous lights during December.

What a joy to spend the weekend all alone with him. And with four kids, that in itself was quite the trick. The best part was late in the evening when he pulled out his Ipod and sang “I’m Gonna Love You Forever.” I’m the singer of the couple. He jokes that he’ll always sing “solo that no one can hear me.” Yet, he honored me with the song.


Oh, yeah. That was romance!

About the Author:

Marji is a homeschooling mom of 4 with the oldest working in the mission field in Africa. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. With decades of leading worship, directing and performing in theatre productions, and script-writing, Marji took the plunge to creating scintillating Christian romance and romantic suspense novels with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

Connect with Marji on the Web:






Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Sweetest Non-Valentine Moment

Just three more days until we find out who you - our readers - chose for Mara's hero in A Dozen Apologies! Are you ready? Who do you think won? Are you imagining the scenes in the final chapter yet? Be sure to check the links at the end of this post for more author spotlights that provide an inside look at the creation of their heroes.

Today, Elizabeth Noyes is sharing a romantic moment with us. 



My Sweetest Non-Valentine Moment

You know, my husband and I met over the telephone. Truly. We like to say it was the wrong number, but actually it was the right number. The wrong person answered. You see my girlfriend/roommate had been dating this Army guy who was learning to fly helicopters at Fort Rucker, but one day he stopped calling.

“Call him,” I told her.

Being a good Southern belle, Wanda was aghast. “Ah cain’t call him!”

“No problem,” I said. “I’ll call him.” And I did. Only Terry didn’t pick up the phone; Paul answered. Three hours later, with a sore ear and a hoarse voice, I knew I wanted to see where this might lead. It's been four decades now and I’m thinking maybe the good Lord knew what He was doing, that the right person answered after all.

Having been raised in the Deep South by god-fearing, Southern Baptist parents, I knew better than to get involved with a stranger from the north, and a soldier to boot. We talked on the telephone – me calling him, mind you – for six straight weeks. That’s right, forty-two days exactly, and for hours and hours at a time. Finally, I agreed to meet him. Still unwilling to give out my address, we met at a restaurant – Ina’s Schnitzel House just outside the base. Ahhh! Love at first sight!

We were inseparable for the next three months, spending every waking moment together. I remember falling asleep in my bed once, the phone tucked next to my ear. Inevitably, though, October rolled around and graduation day arrived. He finished helicopter training and received his orders for Germany. Our last date together was bittersweet and, when he took me home that night, I gave in and sobbed my heart out in his arms. That’s when he proposed. Had my engagement ring in his pocket all along. Of course, I accepted…and then cried even harder.

He left, but wrote faithfully every day. Because he already had approved leave to return for his sister’s wedding after Christmas, we planned our ceremony for December 24th. Seemed like a good idea at the time, though later we found out how difficult it is to get a babysitter when Santa is expected. Amidst a snow storm, miscommunication about his arrival, my late arriving passport, almost running out of gas during the gas rationing days when I picked him up from the airport, and the tiniest, most perfect wedding ever, we tied the knot. The worldly soldier took his na├»ve bride who’d never been out of the state of Alabama to Maine for Christmas, and then to Germany for three years. Today, the adventure continues. We celebrated our 40th anniversary this past Christmas.

On a funny note, my daddy, who served in the Army during World War II and knew all about soldier-boys, gave me the funniest, sweetest wedding present—a one-way ticket home. Just in case.

I haven’t used it yet.

About the Author


Elizabeth Noyes, by day, works as a professional writer and editor of business and technical documents for a privately held corporation in Atlanta, Georgia, where she also teaches basic business writing skills. She lives in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta with husband of 40 years, and is blessed to have her two children, their spouses, and three grandchildren close by.
By night, she pounds away on a computer keyboard, having authored numerous manuscripts, a women’s monthly devotional, and more than thirty inspirational vignettes. While entertainment is a primary goal of her writing, she also seeks to scatter seeds of her faith in hopes that some will fall on fertile soil.
She is an avid reader across many genres including suspense, science fiction, thrillers, how-to books, westerns, biographies, mysteries, and what she terms hysterical (lighthearted historical) romance. With two writing conferences under her belt, a growing library of books on the craft of writing, and having attended several writing classes, Elizabeth is driven to reach the next level.


Elizabeth also participates in a weekly Bible Study with a group of Octogenarians who keep her on her toes and teach her how to stay young. She has a special affinity for the aged and for those with special needs, and enjoys volunteering with the Special Olympics program in Atlanta. As the wife of a retired Army officer, the military men and women serving today hold a particular place in her heart, as do their families.
Her first full-length novel, a romantic suspense entitled, Imperfect Wings, will be coming soon as part of a five-book series from Write Integrity Press. 

Connect with Elizabeth on the Web:






Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 











Monday, February 10, 2014

Romance on Thanksgiving

Voting has ended so A Dozen Apologies is being readied for publication. Mara's winning hero will be revealed in the final chapter of the book, which will release on Valentine's Day. Be sure to look for an exciting announcement at the end of this post. 

In the meantime, we've asked our authors to share with us some of their real-life romance with us. Today's guest is Jennifer Hallmark. 



My most romantic Valentine’s Day? Nothing comes to mind. Does that sound sad? It’s not. Every year, we eat supper at a nice restaurant, exchange cards, and I usually get fresh-cut flowers, which I love. 

We put more thought into our anniversary celebrations which will be 32 years this July. Two years ago, we rented a cabin in the Smoky Mountain’s for a few days and had a wonderful time, just the two of us.

One recent romantic thing my husband, Danny did was bring me flowers on Thanksgiving Day. It was so special of him to think of me on that crazy, hectic day when everyone comes to our home to celebrate.

About the Author:

Jennifer Hallmark: writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes. With over 160 articles on the internet, her attention has moved to southern fiction.

She will be published in early 2014 in a multi-authored Romantic Comedy novella for Valentine’s Day called A Dozen Apologies. She is currently shopping her YA series, "Journey of Grace", and a contemporary southern fiction novel, “When Wedding and Weather Collide.”

Jennifer's website is Alabama-Inspired Fiction and she shares a writer’s reference blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas...Oh My! with friends, Christina, John, Ginger, Dicky, and Betty. She and Christina Rich share an encouraging blog for readers called The Most Important Thing.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.





Now that the voting is over, we're spotlighting the authors of each chapter and revealing who created each hero. Check out the author spotlights on Fay Lamb's blog every day for the next two weeks. 




Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Valentine Gift that can't be Topped

Today's the final day of voting for Mara's hero in A Dozen Apologies! Be sure to cast your vote here.

As the votes are coming in, we've been asking our authors to share their most romantic Valentine moments with us. Today's guest is Theresa Anderson.

It’s the Valentine’s gift my hubby won’t ever be able to top. “You shouldn’t set the bar so high for yourself,” I told him. “We aren’t even married yet. So, I relieve you of all obligation from another Valentine’s gift so long as we both shall live.” It was really that good!
             
Michael fished around inside his brown leather coat and handed over my present with a red ribbon tied around her neck. Her puppy breath huffed while her tongue licked my neck like it was a chicken drumstick. She was jet black and though a shelter mutt, she closely resembled a Labrador. I called her Mabel.
             
Mabel was a family member for thirteen years watching and taking part in our changing life. She celebrated our move from Missouri to Georgia. She lived in three different homes. She reluctantly tolerated adding two more canines to our crew, but she always remained alpha dog. And, she waited patiently down the hall while both of my children were home birthed.
             
When my first son was born, my husband placed the bundled infant into my arms and said, “I couldn’t top Valentine’s Day, so here’s your birthday present.” I was so busy giving birth that I had forgotten it was my birthday too.

About the Author:

Theresa Anderson is a former Chiropractor turned writer, editor, and homeschool educator. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Christian Communicator magazine, ChristianDevotions.us, and Relief Notes, an anthology. An active member of the Christian Authors Guild, Theresa has served as its newsletter editor and webmaster, and is an Apprentice graduate of Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She currently serves on the Women’s Ministry Teaching Team of her church.

When Theresa graduated from Life University, she joined her husband Michael in private practice. Although she no longer tends to patients, she’s still passionate about and promotes living a natural, healthy lifestyle. Theresa continues to work alongside her husband from home, and hosts doctors and students from all over the world.

Theresa enjoys baking, gardening, chicken farming, and filling up her husband’s to-do list. As the baby of eleven children growing up in the cornfields of Indiana, she despised garden chores and dinner duty. Ironically, those tasks are now her therapy. Theresa resides in the Atlanta area with her husband of sixteen years, two children, and one aloof cat. Contact Theresa at traanderson@gmail.com and visit her website at www.theresaanderson.org.   


Other Romantic Moments:

Wrapped in an Unforgettable Memory
One Romantic Weekend

Choose a Hero for Mara



Friday, February 7, 2014

Wrapped in an Unforgettable Memory

Votes are coming in! Cast your vote now for Mara's hero in A Dozen Apologies. While the voting is taking place and during the tallying of votes, we're chatting with the authors about romance. 

Today's romantic memory is from Fay Lamb.


Would it surprise you to know that a romance writer really isn’t big on Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s true. I mean, I have no problem with the idea of prompting romance, but I’m not much of a card or a flower person. Making memories is more important to me.

Florida State Parks
One of my favorite memories was made when Marc and I were dating. He’d invited me to Gainesville to watch the Gators play at The Swamp. That in itself was exciting. My first college football game.

He said he had a surprise for me, and when he pulled off of the highway and headed down a deserted road, I wondered what he was up to. Not too far away, he pulled up in front of a little Cracker-style home that I recognized immediately.

I was touched by the fact that he cared about my interests as much as I cared about his Gators (now my Gators, too). You see, the house had been home to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. In that place, she had met the people of Cross Creek, Florida, and she’d written about them in stories like Jacob’s Ladder and The Yearling. Her life in the tiny town had been memorialized in the movie most fittingly entitled, Cross Creek, and I couldn’t get enough information about her.


No flowers. No cards. Football season and not Valentine’s. Just his love for me wrapped in an unforgettable moment and a memory that won’t wilt like a flower and can’t be tossed away like a card.


About the Author:

Fay Lamb’s emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted with Write Integrity Press for three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse the first release in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series has been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future Write Integrity Press releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Libby, Hope and Delilah, Books 2 through 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and six grandchildren.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.


Bonus blogs:


Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Romantic Weekend

Voting continues for Mara's hero in A Dozen Apologies. Cast your vote NOW

While the voting is taking place, we've asked all our authors to share their most romantic Valentine's Day or moment. Today's romantic weekend comes from Betty Owens. 





My husband didn’t tell me where we were going. All he would tell me was, it involved a weekend, and a short drive. We arrived at a tall white house in a small town a few miles down the road and were shown to a room overlooking a wide pasture lined with trees. When we opened the door, I entered a softly lit room, beautifully decorated. A gorgeous bouquet of daystar lilies adorned a marble-topped table and beside it, sat a box of pecan turtles (my favorite candy). 

Fragrant candles lined a spa tub in the ornate bathroom. With the press of a button, my favorite music played. The scene was set for a very romantic weekend. He had planned everything so well, even the weather cooperated. Our stay included gourmet breakfasts served in a beautiful sunroom adjoining the main part of the house. Afterwards, we visited antique shops, and enjoyed delicious home-cooked meals in local restaurants then drove around the scenic countryside. 

I will never forget that lovely Valentine’s weekend because he showed me how well he knew me and made me fall in love with him all over again.


About the Author:

To those whose future holds multiple sons, God gives an extra dose of humor...

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Owens grew up in such exotic places as West Tennessee and San Diego, California. She presently resides in Kentucky with her husband of thirty-nine mostly good years. They have three grown and married sons living in the area, along with three daughters-in-law, four beautiful granddaughters, and two handsome grandsons. 

Though she’d always had an interest in storytelling, her writing career began to take off in 1986. As a busy homeschooling mom, she needed an outlet for all the extra joy in the house. A few years passed, and she had several novel-length manuscripts squirreled away. After self-publishing two fantasy-adventure novels, she attended a Christian writers’ conference in Kentucky then later joined American Christian Fiction Writers, hoping to learn more about the craft of writing.  

Now semiretired, Betty spends most of her time writing and studying about writing, critiquing other peoples’ writing, and caring for her mini-schnauzer granddog.  

Find Betty on the Web: