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Monthly Author Q&A > June 2016 Author Q&A and Book Giveaway

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message 1: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Greetings to our wonderful LIH readers from your Q&A hostess Keli Gwyn. It's June already with graduations, weddings, Father's Day but also some long-awaited summer fun, which for many of us means more time for burying our noses in books.

Four new LIHs will be hitting the shelves this month for your reading pleasure. The authors will be stopping by next week to discuss their stories with you and answer your questions. Here's the schedule...

On Monday, June 6, Karen Kirst will start things off with a discussion about Bride by Arrangement.
Tuesday, June 7, Lily George will chat about Once More a Family.
Wednesday, June 8, Janet Lee Barton will answer questions about A Nanny for Keeps.
And Rhonda Gibson will stop by Thursday, June 9 to talk about with her book, Pony Express Hero.

There will be plenty of fun and book giveaways, too.

While we wait for the event to get underway, here's a question for you. How many LIHs do you have in your To Be Read piles? Yes, piles. I know you're avid readers, so I have a hunch there could well be more than one.


message 2: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Gibson (rhondagibson) | 201 comments Hi Kelli!

I have more LIH's in my two be read pile then I care to admit. I've been getting the older ones on my kindle and now have a nice list to get through. Can't wait to see what everyone else says. Surely I'm not alone.


message 3: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Keli, don't make us confess!!! When I started receiving LI through the reader club there were 4 books. Total. Then they added 4 LIS and 4 LIH. I could still keep up every month. Since that time though, not only has LI and LIS added two more each month, but like 100 new inspirational authors popped up and suddenly there are a whole lot more great books to read! I plead the 5th, but in my defense, I do try to get a few of them read each month!!! I read at least a little every single day!!!


message 4: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Rhonda wrote: "I have more LIH's in my two be read pile then I care to admit."

I have a hunch you're not alone, Rhonda.


message 5: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments June wrote: "Keli, don't make us confess!!! ... I plead the 5th, but in my defense, I do try to get a few of them read each month!!! I read at least a little every single day!!!"

June, I hear you on dealing with the reality that there are so many great books out there just waiting to be read. If only we didn't need to sleep.


message 6: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments Hello Keli, happy to have you work with us on this get together...
I have more then LIH in my to-be-read piles...yes plural too.
probably 8 LIH and a hundred others,I kid you not, in drawers -on top of chest-had my son fix shelves(multiple) in two closets and filled them..I read most everyday for few hours. I am a true book -aholic. see ya on the 6th.


message 7: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Paula-O wrote: "I read most everyday for few hours. I am a true book -aholic."

Paula, you're in good company here. =)


message 8: by Janis Kay (new)

Janis Kay (riceball1759) | 211 comments I had 3 shoe boxes filled with LIH to be read , and now I've put away one of them (yippee!). I'm so excited to keep going lol. Having time off from school for some time really gives me the chance to read my books faster:)


message 9: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Janis, what fun to be out of school and have time for reading. I used to devour stacks of books during the summer.


message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Keli wrote: "June wrote: "Keli, don't make us confess!!! ... I plead the 5th, but in my defense, I do try to get a few of them read each month!!! I read at least a little every single day!!!"

June, I hear you ..."


If only our families didn't expect to be fed three meals a day! ;) Or we could hire chefs to give us more time to read.


message 11: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Karen wrote: "If only our families didn't expect to be fed three meals a day! ;) Or we could hire chefs to give us more time to read."

Karen, I'm with you. A chef would be great. We'd have yummy meals to eat and more time to fuel our imaginations with the wonderful stories we read .


message 12: by Melody (last edited Jun 03, 2016 08:03AM) (new)

Melody | 2493 comments I think the last time I checked I had three boxes full of books to be read. Lately I have been reading new ones I get first, and that means those poor boxed books haven't had a chance, because I am a book addict and can't stop buying them even when I know I have so many un-read ones at home! :)
Let's not even get to the kindle editions that I bought when they were 1.99 back in November. I may or may not have bought 35... ;)


message 13: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Melody wrote: "I think the last time I checked I had three boxes full of books to be read. ... Let's not even get to the kindle editions that I bought when they were 1.99 back in November."

Mel, you're obviously an avid reader. I hope your summer schedule gives you more reading time.


message 14: by Valri (new)

Valri Western | 964 comments Looking forward to this month's Q&A! I laugh with everyone's "box" stories. I just moved and you should see how many boxes I have of books to be read! My husband kept saying, "how many boxes of books do you have that you haven't read yet?????" I only had to point out the 350 dvds that he had to quiet him down :)


message 15: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments I don't want to even look at how many I have to read,.


message 16: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Melody wrote: "I think the last time I checked I had three boxes full of books to be read. Lately I have been reading new ones I get first, and that means those poor boxed books haven't had a chance, because I am..."

That's just being smart, Melody, cause when you have time to read them you would have had to pay full price again. I hit the thrift store bargain a few weeks ago with new books that must be from reader club cause they aren't released yet and I paid $.49 each!!!


message 17: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Valri wrote: "Looking forward to this month's Q&A! I laugh with everyone's "box" stories. I just moved and you should see how many boxes I have of books to be read! My husband kept saying, "how many boxes of boo..."

I love it, Valri! My hubby is the same way. Luckily I have answers like yours I can dish right back!


message 18: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Valri wrote: "I laugh with everyone's "box" stories. I just moved and you should see how many boxes I have of books to be read! "

Valri, the nice thing is that you're set for reading material for quite some time to come. =)


message 19: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments June wrote: "I hit the thrift store bargain a few weeks ago with new books that must be from reader club cause they aren't released yet and I paid $.49 each!!!"

Wow, June! That's a great deal.


message 20: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Ausjenny wrote: "I don't want to even look at how many I have to read,."

Jenny, if you think of them as enjoyment yet to come, that's a great thing, right?


message 21: by Melody (new)

Melody | 2493 comments There's never enough time to read, but I do get a lot of reading time,so it's all good. :) I know I always have books waiting for me, and that is oddly comforting! Hopefully soon I will be moving into a place of my own and all my books can come out of storage. Now that will make me happy!!! :)


message 22: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Melody wrote: "I know I always have books waiting for me, and that is oddly comforting! Hopefully soon I will be moving into a place of my own and all my books can come out of storage.."

Mel, I like what you said about having books waiting to be read is comforting. I remember days before I was immersed in the writing world that I didn't have a single book in my TBR pile. I felt uneasy and made trip to Walmart posthaste.

I hope you and your books are soon keeping company again.


message 23: by Melinda (new)

Melinda M (researcher707) | 2554 comments Keli,L
I have a lot of to be read books. My pile is not only LIHs but books to review,history and some science fiction. I do not want to guess. I have books stored in plastic containers and stacked in my bedroom. I am trying to catch up and see if there are any books that I am willing to pass on to my cousin. The one good thing is that everyone reads in my family but I am the bookworm and always have a book with me. I have the kindle app and have a couple hundred on that to read.

Melody,
I feel that way as well.
See you on Monday for the Q & A.


message 24: by Melinda (new)

Melinda M (researcher707) | 2554 comments June wrote: "Melody wrote: "I think the last time I checked I had three boxes full of books to be read. Lately I have been reading new ones I get first, and that means those poor boxed books haven't had a chanc..."

June,
I am proud of you. I like saving money and getting books. Well done.


message 25: by Keli (last edited Jun 06, 2016 08:54AM) (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments It's time to kick off the actual LIH Goodreads Q&A! We're going to have a great time chatting with the four authors whose books release this month.

Karen Kirst First up is the Karen Kirst. Karen was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. She attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she received a B.A. in Speech Communication. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn't until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated...years, in fact.

In the fall of 2010, Karen got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historicals wanted to publish her manuscript--a true blessing from God. Now she divides her time between being a wife, homeschooling mom, and romance writer. She and her husband, along with their three sons, recently said goodbye to military life and are thrilled to be back home in Tennessee. Her favorite pastimes are reading, visiting tearooms, and watching romantic comedies.

Karen will be answering questions about her latest LIH, Bride by Arrangement, the third book in the Cowboy Creek Trilogy. Comment for a chance to win a June LIH book.

Bride by Arrangement (Cowboy Creek #3) by Karen Kirst

MAIL-ORDER MATCHMAKING

Newly minted Cowboy Creek sheriff Noah Burgess doesn't want a wife—despite his friends insisting that he needs one. So when they send for a big-city single mother to be his mail-order bride, he's fit to be tied. Even if vivacious Grace Longstreet might just be the only person who can see past Noah's scars…and help him heal.

Grace needs a husband to keep her and her twin daughters out of her brother-in-law's grasp. And she'll do anything—including taking on her cousin's identity—to find one. But as the attraction between Grace and the lawman sparks higher, she begins hoping for a real marriage. So she needs to tell the truth…or a mail-order match that's meant to be could crumble.

***

A wounded hero, a spunky heroine and a hidden identity. Sounds like a great story. And it's a mail-order bride tale, my favorite. I've heard mail-order bride stories can be hard to write. Would you agree, Karen?


message 26: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments Oh this sounds so cool. How was it writing about twins in the story?


message 27: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Keli wrote: "It's time to kick off the actual LIH Goodreads Q&A! We're going to have a great time chatting with the four authors whose books release this month.

Karen Kirst First up is th..."


Thanks so much for hosting this month, Keli! As to your question, Noah and Grace don't have the typical mail-order bride story. She was brought to Cowboy Creek without his knowledge by his two best friends. Needless to say, he's not pleased to discover her (and her twin daughters!) on his doorstep. He's not about to marry her simply because his friends ignored his wishes and ordered him a bride.
I will say that, for me, marriage of convenience/forced marriage stories are more challenging to write because the conflict of will they or won't they is taken out of the equation. They're married and stuck with each other, at least in Love Inspired Historical books. I just finished my 2nd one and, while it was daunting in the beginning, I came to love the characters and their story. :)
I enjoyed Noah and Grace and am not averse to writing more mail-order bride stories.
Btw, Bride by Arrangement is the third book in a trilogy. In this continuity, I got the awesome opportunity to work with Cheryl St. John and Sherri Shackelford. The first book is Want Ad Wedding and the second book is Special Order Delivery. Cheryl and Sherri are continuing the Cowboy Creek series with Christmas novellas coming out in October, I believe.


message 28: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Ausjenny wrote: "Oh this sounds so cool. How was it writing about twins in the story?"

Hi Jenny! Thanks for stopping by. The six-year-old twins in this story were adorable. In a continuity, the editors come up with the plot and main characters. It's up to the author to bring the characters to life, give them backstory and personality. The twins were originally supposed to be identical, but I thought the hero, Noah, as well as the readers, might connect with them more if they had unique appearances. So my editor approved the change.


message 29: by Bree (new)

Bree (bibliophilereviews) | 29 comments Good Morning Karen! Happy Release of your new book. I love the two friends bring the bride scenario, historical matchmaking at its finest. How is your morning going?


message 30: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Bree wrote: "Good Morning Karen! Happy Release of your new book. I love the two friends bring the bride scenario, historical matchmaking at its finest. How is your morning going?"

Thanks, Bree! I do like that twist to the mail-order bride story. Noah's friends meant well, of course. lol I'm actually having a relaxing morning. We finished up our homeschool year last week and I turned in a completed book, so I finally feel like summer has started. :) What about you?


message 31: by June (new)

June | 366 comments There are mail-order bride stories and then there are "friends" bring in the mail-order bride stories! That always adds a different twist to the story. Can't wait to read the new book, Karen. I have so enjoyed all your books! How has "civilian" life changed things for you in your writing life? I'm also always amazed by the homeschooling moms who wrote. I homeschooled, and that's a full time job in itself!


message 32: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments June wrote: "There are mail-order bride stories and then there are "friends" bring in the mail-order bride stories! That always adds a different twist to the story. Can't wait to read the new book, Karen. I hav..."

Thank you, June. :) I'm very glad to hear it! When we were in the military, we lived far from family, so I had more time to write. Or maybe that was due to the kids being younger? I'm thrilled to be back in my hometown and close to family and friends again. That being said, my social calendar is full! So I have to be very purposeful in how I utilize my time. How many years did you homeschool? I believe we're on our 10th. You're right, it is a full time job! It's a daily challenge to balance homeschooling, writing and all that running a household entails. Summer is a much more relaxed time, and I love it.


message 33: by Bree (new)

Bree (bibliophilereviews) | 29 comments Karen wrote: "Bree wrote: "Good Morning Karen! Happy Release of your new book. I love the two friends bring the bride scenario, historical matchmaking at its finest. How is your morning going?"

Thanks, Bree! I ..."


Karen I am enjoying preparing for my daughter's second birthday party this weekend. Lots of recipe hunting!


message 34: by Melinda (new)

Melinda M (researcher707) | 2554 comments Hi, Karen,
When you write a trilogy with other authors and the story is given you by the editors, did you work with the other authors? DO you plot your stories out?
I am looking forward to this third book as I have read the other two. I think you have the hardest hero because he is going kicking and screaming but is a good guy with a great heart. I am looking forward to seeing how you handle this. Congratulations on your book release


message 35: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...) (heidireadsblog) For Keli's intro question, I have one bookshelf of Love Inspired books that need to be read, stacked two deep. One level is contemporary and the other is all historicals! I have more of the older ones in a box in my garage since I don't have room for all my books! When we (hopefully) one day buy a house I want to be able to have all my books out!


message 36: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...) (heidireadsblog) I love mail-order bride stories! I like that the will they/won't they get together is taken out of the equation, but the question is still there in a will they/won't they fall in love kind of way. I always enjoy a twist on the theme, and having friends and kids involved sounds like a fun one!


message 37: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylstjohn) | 222 comments I've read Karen's story--was priveldged to read it early, and she did a great job with Noah's story! Readers will love it and the conclusion to the series, which wasn't an easy task.

Cowboy Crook Christmas will be out in November. Sherri had to correct me, because I kept thinking October.


message 38: by Melody (new)

Melody | 2493 comments Hi Karen!
This book looks fantastic! All things that I love in a book!
I love continuity books, and you authors always manage to do them so well! Any particular challenges for this set of stories?
Hope you enjoy your summer. I am externally grateful for a mom who home schooled me. It was the best life ever. You homeschooling mom's are rock stars. :)


message 39: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Hi, Karen! I love mail-order bride stories and Bride by Arrangement sounds delightful! Were there any particular elements that challenged you in writing the conclusion of this series?


message 40: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Heidi wrote: "For Keli's intro question, I have one bookshelf of Love Inspired books that need to be read, stacked two deep. One level is contemporary and the other is all historicals!"

Wow! Sounds like you don't have a shortage of stories waiting to be read, Heidi. If only we didn't have to sleep, right?


message 41: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Bree wrote: "Karen wrote: "Bree wrote: "Good Morning Karen! Happy Release of your new book. I love the two friends bring the bride scenario, historical matchmaking at its finest. How is your morning going?"

Th..."


Oh, that sounds like fun! I enjoy doing kids' birthday parties. My sons are into the game Minecraft. Since last I checked there weren't any products out there, I found a ton of great homemade ideas online. What's the theme?


message 42: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Melinda wrote: "Hi, Karen,
When you write a trilogy with other authors and the story is given you by the editors, did you work with the other authors? DO you plot your stories out?
I am looking forward to this thi..."


Hi Melinda,
All the authors are given what's called a bible with a brief outline of each book and lists of major/minor characters. So we work together to come up with a description of the town and characters. Cheryl drew a map and we all added businesses. We also had a Pinterest board under the name Cowboy Creek where we shared photos of our characters, homes, outfits, etc. It's still there if you want to check it out. We read each other's proposals and peppered each other with questions throughout the process. When you're portraying other authors' characters, it's important to represent them in a way that honors the author's vision. Hope that answers your questions. :)


message 43: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Heidi wrote: "I love mail-order bride stories! I like that the will they/won't they get together is taken out of the equation, but the question is still there in a will they/won't they fall in love kind of way. ..."

Great point, Heidi. It's fun to view a couple's relationship from inside their marriage, especially if they were strangers forced into it! That situation brings in a ton of conflict and emotion.


message 44: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Cheryl wrote: "I've read Karen's story--was priveldged to read it early, and she did a great job with Noah's story! Readers will love it and the conclusion to the series, which wasn't an easy task.

Cowboy Crook ..."


Kind words, Cheryl. Thank you!


message 45: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Melody wrote: "Hi Karen!
This book looks fantastic! All things that I love in a book!
I love continuity books, and you authors always manage to do them so well! Any particular challenges for this set of stories..."


Hi Melody,
Cowboy Creek had a huge cast of characters, so the three of us had to decide how to juggle them all and still keep the focus on the hero and heroine. This was my first time writing about the post-Civil War era and an ex-soldier. I found it to be very interesting. Cheryl helped me get an idea of what the people's mindsets were in those times.
That's encouraging to hear about your homeschool experience. If you're familiar with love languages, one of mine is quality time. So I never could bring myself to send my boys off to school. I've been blessed to be able to be with them, even on the challenging days. :)


message 46: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Britney wrote: "Hi, Karen! I love mail-order bride stories and Bride by Arrangement sounds delightful! Were there any particular elements that challenged you in writing the conclusion of this series?"

Hello Britney! I think the greatest challenge was tying up all the plot lines. There were plenty to give attention to. lol But as I usually struggle to reach the word count minimum, I was happy to have so much content to fit in.


message 47: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Karen wrote: "Hello Britney! I think the greatest challenge was tying up all the plot lines. There were plenty to give attention to."

That would certainly be a challenge! :) I find the writing process fascinating, but especially so with a continuity series as you are "portraying other authors' characters". Thanks so much for the insight!


message 48: by Melody (new)

Melody | 2493 comments I am also quality time! So I understand that one completely! :)
It took me a long time to understand myself why I was always so upset when people in my life stopped doing things with me, why I just felt like they weren't my friends anymore. Once I read about the love languages, well it changed my life, and while I still miss those I love that don't spend any time with me, I understand it now.
Hence why it feels like my baby bro loves me most, he spends the most time hanging out with me. :)


message 49: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments This series has been a great one to read -I am anxious to find out how Noah will do with Grace, I love her name too. This man has been hurt terribly yet he is a strong man in the community and he and the others get along great. I am wondering HOW he let the others talk him into being apart of this community and have so many people coming into his world? I think he was pretty reclusive at the beginning.
Thank for sharing with us today.


message 50: by Shannon (last edited Jun 06, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Shannon Farrington Hi Karen! Congratulations on your new release! I enjoyed meeting Noah in the story last month and look forward to this read. I've got a soft spot for those civil war soldiers--especially Noah's type.


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