Monday, December 31, 2007
This time of year I’m always full of retrospect. The Christmas tree is sitting in the corner of the living room, half the ornaments taken off the other half in boxes, the Nativity scene is still on top of the entertainment center and I’ve started a pile of Goodwill items.
As I look back at 2007, I realize how much the old saying, “letting go and letting God”, was so much a part of last year. Over the past three years, I tried so hard to find a publisher or agent for my book, Alvarado Gold, and just couldn’t make the right “connection”. I prayed about it every morning on the way to work always asking for His will, since I work nine hour days, that’s my prayer time. In June of this year, I found TWRP. I had been given the name of another publisher and each time I looked up that name, I’d see Wild Rose Press. It kept happening over and over, finally I went to the website and as they say – the rest is history. Now looking to 2008, I’m getting ready to submit the sequel.
I think my entire family has let God lead them this year which makes me incredibly proud of my two grown daughters. My husband and I are inching toward retirement which has caused us to ask for His direction in several aspects of our lives, too.
And then there’s that twenty pounds. But that’s on every year’s resolution list.
Happy New Year!
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 5:59 AM
Monday, December 24, 2007
span style="font-weight:bold;">"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
We wish a blessed Christmas to all and look forward to a new year of sharing our stories with you. Thanks for reading.
The White Roses in Bloom
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 7:05 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Cindy K. Green's short story "Snow Kissed" is included in the Winter Wonders anthology, coming from By Grace Publishing. Other authors included: Joann Carter, Meg Allison, Muncy Chapman. Visit By Grace Publishing for details on purchasing.
Today is one of those days Logan Reilly wished he’d stayed in bed. Not only does he have to deal with the annoying Winter Wonderland Carnival but his close friend, that whimsical lover of snow, Holly Armstrong, was leaving town forever. The question is why didn’t she tell him and why today of all days does he realize he loves her? Can he change her mind and make her stay?
“So,” asked Logan, lifting his chin, a real smile moving onto his face now, “what are you up to this afternoon?”
She smiled back. “I’m off for a snow walk.”
“That’s what so stupid about this…this whole Winter Wonderland Carnival. There is no snow!” He raised both his hands in frustration.
“There will be,” she replied with complete confidence.
“How do you know? There’s no snow in the forecast. Cold, but no snow.”
“There’ll be snow tonight.” She stepped close to him, laying her hand in the crook of his arm while a swirl of pleasure moved around inside her stomach at the contact. “Just breathe,” she whispered to him slowly as she took in a deep whiff. “You smell that?”
He shook his head. “What? Burgers from down the street?”
“No,” she laughed. He could be so dense sometimes. “It’s the first snowfall.” She inhaled another intoxicating aroma of winter air. “It’s coming.”
“And what’s so good about snow? It’s just annoying and inconvenient.” He pulled his arm away and folded them across his lean frame.
“Snow is beautiful, magical.” Her voice came out breathy, the idea of snow making her feel all tingly.
“It’s cold, wet stuff that falls from the sky.”
“Then there are the wonderful clothes: hats, scarves, gloves…”
“…galoshes, wool socks,” he countered.
She continued, not to be undone by his cynicism. “Hot apple cider, hot cocoa, hot toddies…what is a hot toddy?”
He nearly laughed at her, a cute smile building in the corner of his mouth as he shook his head. “A hot alcoholic drink. You want to come in for some coffee? I just made a pot.”
She shook her head and took in a deep breath before releasing it. “No, remember I’m off to take my snow walk through Meriden.” She tilted her head up at him. “I’ll be at the carnival tonight though, not that you would dare show your face there.”
She paused, making a concerted effort to memorize his face, including his subtly uneven eyebrows. This might possibly be their final farewell. A breath hitched in her throat at the thought of never seeing Logan again. They’d shared so many wonderful memories over the years: spring picnics at the lake, midnight movies, and disastrous cooking adventures. Life wouldn’t be the same without him.
She should tell him she was leaving town for good. This was the perfect moment. Maybe he would respond by telling her she should stay—stay because he loved her too much to let her go. In my dreams. “Goodbye, Logan,” was all she could bring herself to say. It was easier than being disappointed.
“Bye Holly.” He said the words as he always did—with genuine warmth, when no one else was paying attention, that is. He released a small smile and Holly was caught in his gaze, a little thrill pulsing in her heart.
Logan was rugged from the clothes he wore to the tough and edgy persona he showed to the world. But his eyes, yes, his eyes betrayed his softer side. You would have expected him to have black, beady eyes by the way he barked at everyone, but instead he had these deep, soulful eyes in the most brilliant indigo Holly had ever seen on any person, man or woman. She would miss those eyes and these stimulating conversations. Well, everything that is Logan Riley.
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 6:30 AM
Monday, December 17, 2007
This Wednesday, December 19, “Saving Gracie” the first in the Orchard Hill Romance series will be released. I’ve already shared my blurb and excerpt, so this time, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how the series came to be.
It started with the fruits of the spirit - you know Galatians 5:22 – “But he fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I wanted to write a series of stories, with one to highlight each virtue. For reasons I don’t have time to go into, it didn’t work for me.
But from these words I started playing with titles and came up with things like “Keeping Faith” and “Finding Joy.” I also took a few other bible verses and made them into a “play on words” type of title. For example I got “Considering Lily” from "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27. And I bet you can guess where “Entertaining Angel” came from.
So what was I going to do with these titles? This was starting backwards. I had titles with no stories. First of all, I found a common setting for them. Since I love the principal of “write what you know” I chose to create a small town in Wisconsin, Orchard Hill. Believe me, I am writing what I know there.
Then I decided to center each story around a holiday. No particular reason for this other than I thought of nine holidays that would cover a year’s worth of stories. And holidays are fun.
Now I was getting somewhere. I came up with short synopses of what each story would be about, and I divided them into groups of three. The first three stories center around the downtown and the young business professionals there. The second set of stories centers around the school and its employees. (Ironically, these are the summer stories.) The final set of stories centers around the church and the activities going on there. But something was still missing.
That’s when Pansy and Misty butted in. These two ladies are rivals in the art of matchmaking, and enemies to the bitter end. First of all, they barged into my story and challenged each other to see who could make the most matches in a year! Now they are squabbling and sabotaging each other right through the series, alternatively helping and hindering cupid’s work. They’ve taken over and there’s nothing I can do about it!
But they’re going to get their comeuppance, because these ladies are about to get hit with cupid’s arrows themselves. Before the end of the series these women will find themselves falling in love with some very surprising men, burying the hatchet and coming together to concentrate all their matchmaking skills on the hardest target of all – young, handsome and definitely set on staying single – Pastor Isaac of the Orchard Hill Community Church!
I hope you’ll come along to spend a year in Orchard Hill with Pansy, Misty and nine special couples. I promise, it won’t be dull! For more information, visit my website or the new Orchard Hill Hilights blog.
Kara Lynn Russell
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 6:42 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I'm excited to be a part of the White Roses in Bloom Blog, and privileged to be able to write stories that bring my two obsessions together: romance and God--not necessarily in that order. I have always been a romantic--at least, I was told I was by my high school English teacher (way back in the days of the ancients). And since I love a HEA ending, and a man who'll do anything for the woman he loves (and vice-versa), I guess I believe it-- and mixing romance and God isn't such a stretch when one considers the Paschal Mystery is actually the greatest love story ever.
I like to epitomize the struggle between good and evil--the resistance of temptation is a classic struggle, and one that's been present since the beginning of time. My novella, The Lighthouse, is lightly allegorical. In this life, we all must face and resist worldly temptations and strive to find the right path, see the truth in all things. Sometimes this easy; sometimes, it's not so easy. That's the subtlety underlaid in The Lighthouse...but on the surface, it's a contemporary romance about two friends who have secretly loved each other for years. It's received rave reviews, and for that I'm really grateful. Here's a blurb, in case you'd like to know more:
Rachel is in love with her best friend, but when Malachi doesn’t seem interested, she turns to an international stranger whom she meets on the internet. At first, conversation is just a pastime, but soon, romantic fantasies form in her mind. Why not consider a man who travels across an ocean to meet her—a man who makes her feel wanted? After all, Malachi might as well be a world away—even if his concern does seem genuine when he warns her about the intriguing Frenchman.
RESCUE ON THE WAY…
Malachi has sworn not to interfere in Rachel’s relationship, but he’s in love with the head-strong woman who is determined to continue her budding romance…Yet, Malachi senses something isn’t right about the playboy who has suddenly consumed Rachel’s time, so he vows to save her from the stranger—and herself—even if it means losing her forever.
NOW AVAILABLE Hyacinths in Winter
NOW AVAILABLEThe Resurrection of Lady Somerset ISBN 1-60154-066-3
NOW AVAILABLEThe Lighthouse ISBN 1-60154-150-3
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 6:35 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
Greetings! I'm so excited to be part of a group who loves to read and write Christian fiction as much as I do.
My name is Georgiana Daniels, and I'm a first-time Wild Rose Press author. I live in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with my generous husband, talented teen, and two fun-loving tots. I'm so blessed to have a family who's incredibly supportive of the dream God has given me. As we all know, writing takes time, and the journey is long, but I'm so glad I landed in the Garden!
A little about me: after graduating with a degree in public relations, I spent several years in retail management, then began a career in investments. When our middle child was born, it was time to hang up the ticker tape and live my calling as a homemaker and writer. I write inspirational chick lit, and am anxious for my first book, Table for One, to be released in January.
In my spare time--if there is such a thing--I love to blog about reading, writing, and random bits of fun.
Next time I'll fill you in on my book, and the inspiration behind the story. I look forward to getting to know all of you!
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 4:21 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Hi there! My name is Betsy Ann St. Amant, and I'm a woman with a passion for God, chocolate, and polka dot shoes! (wink) I love writing stories that tell the wonders of God's grace and the effect He has on our lives.
I'm 23 years old, live in Louisiana, and have been writing since I was about 7! Stories and words have always been in my heart. My mom tells me when I was little, I used to sit on the floor surrounded by books on all sides and cry because I didn't know how to read yet - I was too young! I firmly believe God put the passion for stories in my heart at that early age. And now, I'm blessed enough to have three books published with The Wild Rose Press - a full length novel (in print) called Midnight Angel (a romantic suspense) and two romance short-story e-books entitled If Wishes Were Dog Biscuits and The S.S. Grace. I also contribute monthly articles on the topics of faith and marriage to Crosswalk.com.
When I'm not writing (which is a little rare) I'm working a full time job, being a wife to my hubby of three years, working out, blogging, reading, consuming large quantities of Diet Coke, shopping, and...preparing to be a mother! We just found out we're expecting our first baby in July. (And oh yes, all prayers are welcome!) =)
So that's me. Just a woman trying to live for God and make a difference in this world through the stories He has placed on my heart. Life is such an adventure, and I'm happy to record every moment of it.
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 4:09 AM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I'm proud to announce that "Saving Gracie" the first story in my new series will be released this month. Riley and Grace were such fun characters to work with. I hope everyone will enjoy them as much as I do.
It's exciting to have this happen so close after my Christmas release "Nick and Noelle." If you visit my personal blog - sweetnessandlightreviews.blogspot.com/, you can read some excerpts from that story and get a chance to win a free copy of "Saving Gracie."
Orchard Hill Residents - Lock up your hearts. Pansy Parker and Misty Green are rivals in romance. Each believes she is the town’s best matchmaker. Now they’re going to settle the question for once and for all. They’re keeping track to see who can make the most matches in a year’s time. Both Misty and Pansy are determined to be the winner. No heart is safe in Orchard Hill – not even their own.
Riley O’Neil and Grace Randall have been best friends since kindergarten and Pansy knows they belong together. After Grace’s fiancée leaves her at the altar, Riley decides it’s time to tell her he wants to be more than friends. Grace is still reeling from her fiancée’s betrayal. She fears that if she and Riley start dating, it will ruin their friendship – and right now Riley’s friendship is something she can’t spare. A new year is coming up and it’s the perfect time for a fresh start. Will Grace take a chance on love with Riley?
When he pulled up in front of her house, she barely waited for him to stop before she jumped out. She slammed the car door without saying good-bye and stormed up the walk to her house.
Riley parked the car and came after her. She looked surprised when he walked in the door just behind her.
“Forget it. The evening’s ruined, Riley. Go home.”
“I don’t want it to end like this. I have to tell you something.” His eyes pleaded with her.
Grace crossed her arms over her chest. “Fine. What do you want to tell me?”
“Don’t be like this Gracie.”
“What am I supposed to be like? I don’t know what’s gotten into you, Riley.”
He gave up. Words were only making things worse. He’d just have to show her.
He grasped her arms and pulled her to him. He could feel her surprise as he lowered his mouth to hers, but she didn’t push him away, so he pulled her closer, into the circle of his arms. If he had known this would feel so right, he would have given Steve a run for his money years ago. He tightened his arms around her and kept kissing her until he had to come up for air.
She stared at him with wide, shocked eyes and lifted her hand to her mouth. “That’s what’s gotten into me, Grace. I wish you had told me a long time ago that you had doubts about you and Steve.”
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 8:45 AM