Monday, July 29, 2013

Vicki McDonough ~ Whispers On The Prairie

This week at Ink Dots, I'm welcoming back author Vickie McDonough. Vicki's the award-winning author of 27 books and novellas. Her novel, End of the Trail, recently won the Best Published Fiction Novel of the 2013 OWFI Contest. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and Whispers on the Prairie, Book 1 in a new series set at a stage stop in 1870s Kansas, releases July 1st. 

Vickie is a wife of thirty-seven years, mother of four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and grandma to a feisty seven-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website:

Whispers On The Prairie ~  Sarah Marshall’s wagon breaks down near a stage stop at the mouth of the Santa Fe Trail, marriage proposals fly in faster than the incessant wind, but only one man interests her—and he’s not proposing.

Ethan Harper’s well-ordered life is thrown into turmoil when an uppity city gal is stranded at his family’s stage stop. Now his two brothers and every unmarried male in the country are wooing Miss Priss. When one brother proposes, Ethan struggles. Is it because Sarah is the wrong woman for his brother—or the right one for Ethan?

Vicki Says ~ If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... Ireland and Scotland. I have ancestors from both countries, and I've wanted to visit there for as long as I can remember. I still hope to go one day.
One thing I enjoyed today is... my air conditioner. My husband and I worked out in the yard earlier this afternoon, and it was 95 degrees today. Whew! I was so glad to finish and come back inside my cool house. I fell asleep in my recliner instead of writing.

A secret pleasure of mine is... traveling. When we were raising our four boys, we went 14 years without getting even a short vacation. I love to travel and visit places I haven't been, but we haven't been able to afford to travel much. Since I started writing, I've gotten to travel a bit more ~ to writers' conferences and places for research, and that's been fun. I would love to pack up the car and take a month-long trip across the western United States. 

When I was a child I wanted to... grow up and marry a rancher. I've always had a love for horses, so I suppose I figured if I married a rancher, I could have all the horses I wanted. That didn't happen. Instead, I married a sweet computer geek who's scared of horses. But now I get to live my dream by writing about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others who live in the fiction worlds of my books. Vicki, this made me laugh. I'm sure the computer geek's your perfect match. 

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I always wear socks, except in the shower. I always have worn socks and don't like going barefoot. I've never worn sandals, but I can't really tell you why. Maybe it's because I have fair skin and my feet would get sunburned if I wore flip-flops or sandals. I know it's a weird quirk, but hey, writers aren't exactly normal people ~ we hear voices in our heads. OK, I'll give weird on this one. No wriggling your toes in the sand at the beach? 


Vickie's 'visited' Downunder in spirit before. And once again, she's offering a giveaway copy to one lucky Ink Dots friend. If you'd like a chance to win, enter in the comment thread below. Tell us the occupation of the perfect match you thought you'd marry when you were child.

I thought marrying a farmer might have been cool, but I'm more than happy with my aerospace Beloved. How about you? 

I'll announce the winner on Friday. 
Good luck and happy reading, 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jennifer DeLamere - An Heiress at Heart

It's my pleasure to welcome Jennifer DeLamere to Ink Dots this week. The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled throughout the United States. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. Her debut novel An Heiress at Heart was chosen by Grand Central Publishing to be the first inspirational romance for their Forever imprint. She resides with her husband in the southeastern United States--where, when not writing or dreaming up romantic adventures for her characters, she can be found fantasizing about her next ski trip or international vacation.

An Heiress at Herat ~ A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she's finally returning home, but she's still living a secret life. Her best friend Ria's dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . 

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville's world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he's invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother's young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her fa├žade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?

July 22 - 26

Is Introducing

(Grand Central Publishing)


Jennifer DeLamere

Monday, July 22, 2013


While most of Australia woke to a wintery blast last Thursday morning, I was checking my inbox, anxious to hear news of a competition I'd entered. And nothing shakes the snoozing better than much longed for good news. 

I'm honoured to share I won the 2013 Touched By Love Award Contest. (Insert huge smile and lots of rapid blinking)

Offered by the Faith, Hope and Love chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Touched by Love Competition is for unpublished writers or those not published in the past three years. 

My prize... the opportunity to present my entry to a Bethany House editor for a critique. A humbling step for an unpublished writer. 

Many of you have prayed with me about this entry. I am thankful for each one of you. You've cheered me on, urged persistence, mopped my tears and even kicked over a few obstacles in my way. You know who you are, and you are amazing!  

I couldn't be in Atlanta for the awards, but my speech was read to those present. For those absent, here it is. Please read aloud in your best Aussie accent for the most accurate experience. Or, whispered under your breath as I did last week when I wrote it in advance, and wondered what it might be like to actually win. 

You probably think this little Aussie writer is fast asleep right now. Be assured, I’m not. My heart is right where you are, the seat of dreams. 

I send my sincerest thanks across the Pacific to the FHL Officers and Board Members and to the Touched by Love Contest Co-ordinators, Kelly Riley and Sandra Orchard. Thank you for your tireless dedication to writing contests which has made this opportunity and award a reality for me. 

Many thanks to the contest judges for their comprehensive feedback and encouragement, and to my fellow finalists who crafted alongside me. A very special word of thanks to Narelle Atkins in Australia, who suggested I enter this competition, and to Catherine Hudson in New Zealand who cheered me on.

Thanks to Sophie, Thomas and Matthew who keep Crabapple House humming when mama’s writing. You’re all the inspiration I need. 

And to my Beloved, who swooped in and rescued me, I give the deepest thanks. 

Without you, there is no love story. 

To God be the glory. Thank you. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tessa Afshar ~ Harvest of Gold

It's my pleasure to welcome Tessa Afshar to Ink Dots this week. Tessa was voted “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies won the Grace Award for best Women’s Fiction in the same year.
Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fourteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.
Harvest of Gold ~ The scribe Sarah married Darius, and sometimes she feels she married the Persian aristocracy too.There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. She has wealth, honor, and power, but her husband's love seems unattainable. 
An arranged marriage. A man whose heart is closed to love. A king whose life hangs in the balance. A nation on the brink of annihilation. Sarah and Darius have to overcome the enemy against the king, against Jerusalem, against their marriage, and against their souls. Will they finally learn to trust one another? Will the prophet Nehemiah help them in this intense battle while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem? 
Tessa Afshar ~ I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...London. My sister and her family live there and I miss them every single moment. We would walk to the corner coffee shop for tea and get sticky from the home-made treats and share hugs with sticky fingers.
One thing I enjoyed today is... Last night we celebrated the launch of my book, Harvest of Gold, at the Mark Twain House and Museum. More people showed up for this event than for any other author event in this location, and I was the first Christian author they sponsored. Lots of excitement as you can imagine. So today I am enjoying the calm and celebrating the many joyful moments. Like the secular book marketing expert who said that it was one of the best nights of her life. You have to cherish moments like that.
A secret pleasure of mine is...Watching BBC television productions like Sherlock, Doc Martin, Inspector Lewis, and Tenant of wildfell Hall. 
A moment that changed my life is...When my first book, Pearl in the Sand, was published.
When I was a child I wanted to... Be a romance novelist. I became a novelist, anyway, and my stories always have some romance.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m really behind on my writing schedule. But the ice cream I had in the afternoon helped with the feelings of guilt.
Thanks for visiting with us this week, Tessa. I wish you great success with Harvest of God. It’s been a pleasure hanging around with you in Australia. Wished I was there in person! 
Are you a fan of arranged marriage stories? For your chance to win a copy of Tessa's Harvest of Gold, leave a comment in the thread below and I'll announce the winner of Friday. To enter, tell us what you love about England, and all things English. Like Tessa, you might love tea and sticky treats. As we're watching for royal baby news this week, I'm going to admit I don't mind watching documentaries on Britain's Royal Family. How about you? 
Good luck and happy reading. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Susan Diane Johnson - No Substitute

This week at Ink Dots, I'm thrilled to introduce, Susan Diane Johnson aka Suzie Johnson.

Susan ~  I live on an island in Northwest Washington. A writer of Christian Fiction, my debut novel, No Substitute, is now available from Pelican Book Groups. During the day I work at my local hospital as a cancer registrar.

During the evenings and on weekends, I write novels that I hope will bring joy and uplift the hearts of readers. I am married and have one grown son.  I love to travel and see new places - especially by train. My favorite destinations are Victoria, B.C.; Williamsburg, Virginia; Disneyland; and Avila Beach in California.

I love to read, write, go to baseball games, and ride roller coasters with my son. I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; Romance Writers of America; Faith, Hope and Love; National Cancer Registrars Association; and Washington State Tumor Registrars Association.

You can find me on Inkwell Inspirations, a daily Christian Women's blog where I am a regular contributor. You can also find me on my personal blog, Suzie's Writing Place where I share my faith, my writing, and my love for books. I'm also onFacebook and Pinterest where I can explore my love of beautiful historical clothing, the South of France, beaches, and certain television shows.

No Substitute ~ 
Amy Welsh knew when she came back to the small Washington town of Goose Bay she'd eventually run into her high school sweetheart—the one who broke her heart seventeen years ago. 

Only Quentin Macmillan isn’t the boy she remembered. He could potentially be everything she's ever dreamed of. But remembering the past reminds Amy that she and Quentin aren't a pair of teenagers in the bloom of first love. 

Letting him into her life resurfaces all the hurt she's tried to ignore. Forgiveness isn't as simple—or easy—as it sounds, especially after Quentin and Amy discover his teenage daughter has been manipulating their feelings. If Amy can open her heart to healing, she’ll find the future God prepared for her.

No Substitute

( Pelican Book Group November 30, 2012)


Susan Diane Johnson

The Book Depository