Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Wishes 2012

I want to thank so many of you for sharing my world this year. You've cheered me on, encouraged and even shed a tear with me. And I'm blessed to know you're only a page away with your own words and dreams. 

Christmas Blessings to you, dear friend. May the season truly reflect the heart of God, as we remember the Saviour and His wrapping of love for each one of us. 

While I can't wonder at a white Christmas, I will wriggle my toes in the white sands of my dear Phillip Island, and continue work on book two of my Aussie beach historical. 

But I'll be back to blogging early in the new year with more great historical romances to promote, and the talented writers who thread them together. And I hope you'll join me each Friday, for 52 Steps to Yesteryear and take a moment to savour all that we love from a bygone era. 

But most of all, I look forward to giving God the glory for what He will achieve in our lives, as we visit here at Ink Dots and wherever your blog sings its song. 

Wishing you Christmas Blessings 
and God's desires for your heart in 2013

Monday, December 17, 2012

Naomi Rawlings

A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Naomi writes bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys. 

Sanctuary For A Lady - Running to freedom, she found love . . .

The injured young woman that Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat, and in the midst of France’s bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to heal.
Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke’s daughter cannot hope for mercy in France, so escaping to England is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be . . .

Welcome to Ink Dots, Naomi. I'm thrilled to have you join us this week. Tell us where you call home and what you love about it? I call Northern Michigan home, in the United States. And when I say northern, do I ever mean north! I live just south of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. We average about 200 inches of lake effect snow per year, and our winters are very cold with that constant northern wind blowing off the lake. Where I live may sound frigid and blustery, but there’s nothing like curling up beside the wood stove with a good book while the snow is piling up outside. WOW, Naomi... you live in my dream part of the world. I have some serious White Christmas envy happening right now!

Why did you become an author? Out of boredom, really. I was reading through books entirely too quickly, and there were so many that I didn’t care for, so I decide to try writing my own novel. Wow, did that take a long time! Thats too funny! Careful what you wish for, hey...?

Why did you choose this period of history to set your story? I chose to write about the French Revolution because the time period is so intriguing. It was bloody, yes, but the French people were so idealistic in their quest for liberty from a monarch, aristocracy, and church bent on exploiting them. I like seeing how the average French citizen struggled for “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and I also enjoy exploring some of the factions that opposed the average citizens’ plight for freedom. 

Have you been to Australia?  I have not been to Australia, sorry to say. However were I to go, I’d love to travel through the interior of the country and see places similar to those I’ve seen in The Man from Snowy River. I’ve loved Australia ever since I was a little girl because of that movie. Yes, you would be among many enamourned by our country thanks to that movie. :)

What are you reading now? I’m reading a novel entitled Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones. My literary agent represented the novel--with much fanfare when Random House dropped the contract in the U.S. just months before publication a few years back. My agent then sold European rights, and the novel went on to become a bestseller. It’s not my usual reading experience, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. The writing is incredibly beautiful and descriptive, and I plan to read more by the author. Sounds like a cinderella story for Sherry Jones. 

Where can we find you on the internet?
And for those of you interested in Sanctuary for a Lady, I’m happy to announce that Love Inspired Historical plans to release two sequels to the novel, continuing to follow the Belanger family through the French Revolution and into the Napoleonic Wars. I’m working on the second novel in the series right now.

You sound like a busy writer, Naomi. Thanks for stopping to visit with us for a while. I look forward to hearing more about the sequels to Sanctuary For A Lady as they hit the shelves.  Thanks so much for having me, Dotti! It’s a pleasure to join you folks Down Under!

If you'd like to visit the French Revolution through the eyes of Michel Belanger and Isabelle de La Rouchecauld, please leave a comment below. You could be the lucky winner of an e-copy of Naomi's Sanctuary For A Lady. Tell us where you've been where the weather's the coldest you can remember. I wonder if anyone can boast a frostier winter than Naomi! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Betwixt Endings and Beginnings ...

With the school gate firmly shut for another year, I’m thrilled to settle into summer holiday mode. The early morning alarm is off, the school bags packed away... and school shoes? The only place for our school shoes at year's end... is the bin.

While I anticipate the long hot months ahead, and pack our bags for the beach, I thrill just as much at the empty calendar months of 2013. 

Don’t you think an empty calendar holds so much promise? I do...
So much potential, with its clean white sheets and room to scribble plans, prayers, adventures... longings. 

Today I’ve been busy scheduling 2013 blog posts for Christian Writers Downunder and filling Monday author slots for Ink Dots. Before I knew it, I had most dates pencilled in right up ‘til July! Boy, the new year’s flying already and we haven’t even sung auld lang syne. 

Spurred on by efficiency, I let my mind race into an idea I’ve mulled over for a while. Something to take Ink Dots from January to December and fill that desire for all things old fashioned.

So please consider this an early invitation. I humbly invite you to follow the footprint I’ll make next year each Friday with... 

52 Steps To Yesteryear

I want to share a taste of all things olde worlde as each new season passes us by. The way one of my characters may have passed the day in the Australian Colonial era. 

Are you with me? Want to slip away each Friday (just for a moment or two) to yesteryear and leave your footprint beside mine? 

I know for now most of us are gathering the threads of Christmas ... as we should. So I’ll share more of my 52 Steps To Yesteryear as the old year fades into the new. I hope you’ll share the journey, and perhaps... dip your toes into the fun. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels

Carrie Fancett Pagels writes romantic historical fiction.  Represented by Joyce Hart, she is Zone Director of the ACFW MidAtlantic Zone and Blogs at “Colonial Quills” ( and “Overcoming With God.” 

Welcome to Ink Dots, Carrie. What an honour to share you with my readers. Tell us where you're from and who you live with. I live in Yorktown, Virginia in the USA. I am originally from the upper peninsula of Michigan and can be referred to as a former “Yooper” because the upper peninsula is abbreviated as the U. P. This is a VERY rural and rustic area which is composed of mostly national forest and has Lake Superior on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. The people from up there are rather different—very independent and kind of pioneer type people. I live in a suburban area of Virginia now which is part of a huge catchment area called Hampton Roads.  Millions of people live in this area which is very spread out. But the county I live in, York, is somewhat small in comparison to say Virginia Beach, which is also part of the area. Wow, that sounds incredible. You live in a part of the world I dream about visiting! 

Tell us what you write. I write “romantic” historical fiction. A kindred spirit. I write historical romance too. There's something so delicious about our genre, isn't there? 

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?  This is a great time for me.  I would not have like to live through another time in history I don’t think! Settled in the real world, and keen to visit the past through good books, like so many? I get that! 

What about the here and now? Have you been to Australia?  No. I would love to visit Noela Nancarrow who just joined our blog. And visit Queensland.  I also have distant Fancett relatives there I would love to meet! But before that trip I would love to get to France, Germany, and the Netherlands because I have a manuscript set there. (Prayers for its publication are appreciated!) Oh, wow! The beautiful Noela. I don't blame you for wanting to visit her. And yes, we will be praying for publication news to arrive for you very soon!

Who has influenced you as a writer the most, and why? Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery painted such a beautiful picture of a young girl's life in Canada. And since I grew up living near the border of Canada and was the same age as Anne when I read the book, I related to the character. Montgomery's vivid portrayal of the setting, her characterization, and her unique story telling hooked me. The Thoenes stories brought me to Christian fiction. Their historical accuracy, strong characterization and powerful stories made me want to write Christian fiction myself. That was almost 25 years ago but their writing has held the test of time. I think many echo your love of both writers, Carrie. 


If you would like to learn more about Carrie, here's where you can find her. One day very soon, Carrie will have a book to share with us, and I look forward to featuring her here again, and celebrating her good news. In the meantime, visit here and find a kindred spirit. Just like I did. :)

Carrie's dream is to share her stories with you. Wouldn't it be great for this to happen next year? I'll be praying that door opens for Carrie very soon. 

What about you? What's your dream for the new year? Share your dreams and you could win any of the Colonial Quills author's e-books. Winner gets to choose, and I'll announce who that is, here in the comment thread on Friday. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

3 Reasons You Need To Get Old Fashioned

There's been some hum in the media this week about the fading pleasure of board games. Competition with Xbox, laptops and iphone games, means many family favourites are gathering dust. But psychologists are telling us we're missing out on something valuable... and need to revisit our yesteryears once again. 

My Beloved and I did that just last night. Challenged to a game of real Scrabble, (you know, the one with wooden tiles and velvet pouch), I dug the board out and set it up for battle. In this house, my Beloved is the Scrabble Champion. For a maths brain, he really does put me to shame when we mess with words. But yesterday was my day to triumph and steal the win with the very last slide of letters. 

Here's some of that value I observed while we played.

1. Games Draw Us Together. While our teenagers did not join us, they were interested in knowing who would beat who, and threw plenty of teasing our way as we battled it out. They hovered and laughed as we filled the board with words. Our youngest even sat at the table with us when he realised the game was on and moderated most disputes with the wisdom of a fourteen year old. When the game was over, and I texted our daughter the earth shattering news of my win, more good humoured texts followed. In short, we wove a web of smiles and touched hearts. 

2. Games Knit Our Memories. In a world where so much competes for our individual attention, board games gather and hold us. Do you remember who taught you to play your favourite board game? My Uncle Peter bought our first Monoploy and Scrabble set when my brother and I were kids. He played like a ruthless tycoon and wiped the board with us. Every time. But the memories are sweet. Of winter afternoons at my Mum's kitchen table, steam trickling down the windows while she bubbled soup on the stove for our tea. Laughter. Frustration. Love and security. It all come out with the lift of each game box lid.

3. Games Shape Our Dignity. When I was a little girl I often tried to best one of our neighbour kids at Chess. He was too good and I don't remember beating him. Ever. But I came close one time. And he knew it. So he wiped the board clean with his palm before the game's end, sending kings and queens into undignified huddles with lowly pawns. I'll never forget the lesson I learned that day. How the measure of a person is wrapped in their response to winning or losing. 

Yesterday's loser winked at me and applauded my victory. He marked the score sheet with gladness, and shook his head at the sneaky way I'd stolen the win. But he bowed graciously and allowed me the honour. Mind you, he'll probably wipe the table with me when we sit down for a rematch, but he'll do it with another wink and smile. (And that's why I married him.)

For smiles and winks, and old fashioned togetherness.


How old fashioned do you get at your place? Do you think board games are becoming a lost past-time? 

What's your family's favourite?