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May 2015 Authors Q&A/Giveaway

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message 1: by Karen (last edited May 04, 2015 06:03AM) (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Happy May! We have fabulous new books to celebrate this month.

Today, Monday May 4, we will be chatting with Christine Johnson Christine Johnson .

Tuesday, May 5, Lacy Williams Lacy Williams will be here discussing her latest book Wagon Train Sweetheart Wagon Train Sweetheart (Journey West #2) by Lacy Williams

Wednesday, May 6, Winnie Griggs Winnie Griggs talks about her book, Second Chance Hero Second Chance Hero (Texas Grooms #6) by Winnie Griggs


message 2: by Karen (last edited May 04, 2015 06:04AM) (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Please join me in welcoming author Christine Johnson Christine Johnson .
A small-town Michigan girl, Christine Johnson has lived in every corner of the state's Lower Peninsula. After trying her hand at music and art, she returned to her first love--story. She holds degrees in English and library studies and works part-time as a librarian. She feels blessed to write for Love Inspired and doubly blessed that two of her manuscripts were finalists for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® award.

Love by Design (Dressmaker's Daughters, #3) by Christine Johnson

Romance Takes Flight

Jen Fox won't let anyone stand in her way of joining the first flight expedition to the North Pole. Even if the person trying to take her seat is the dashing world-famous stunt pilot Dan Wagner. Being on that flight crew would fulfill her father's last wish for her. And Dan should know better than to unseat the dressmaker's determined daughter.

When Dan arrives in Michigan, he's intrigued by the offer to fly over the North Pole. He needs the money, even if it means taking the spot from the driven—and attractive—Miss Fox. Yet their strictly business relationship hits turbulence when they realize they both wish for something more personal…

The Dressmaker's Daughters: Pursuing their dreams a stitch at a time

Christine, this sounds like an intriguing story! How did you go about researching pilots and air travel during this time period?


Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance | 909 comments Morning everyone! First off please don't enter me in the contest this month. I won during April and want to give the others a chance.

I have read the first book in the series and need to get a copy of books 2 & 3. I take it this is the final book in The Dressmaker's Daughter series. What are you currently working on?


message 4: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Hi Karen. Thanks for hosting this week.

Hi Christine. The whole idea of flight itself being fairly new and then to go somewhere that hadn't been gone yet would have been something else. I'm sure the book is going to be great! Can't wait to read it.

Was there anything about Jen or Dan that surprised you after you started writing?


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Good morning everyone! It's great to be here today. We're getting a little much-needed rain today, and spring is finally on its way.

Karen, I had been researching early aviation for years. The first spark was lit many years ago when visiting an aviation museum in Dallas. A small display board listed early female aviators, and I was shocked by how many preceeded Amelia Earhart. Once I began reading about these daring women, I was hooked and had to write about that era and put some of my characters into the air. There is really a wealth of information available through libraries, museums and online.


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi Laura! This is indeed the last book in The Dressmaker's Daughters series. It is also the final book in my unofficial Pearlman series. Those who have read my books will see a lot of familiar faces in this one.

Right at the moment I'm finishing up the second book in my Keys of Promise series with Revell. The first book in that series, Love's Rescue, comes out in June. Next up for Love Inspired Historical is an 1870s mail-order brides series currently titled "Mail Order Mix-up." One advertisement draws four women to a lumbering boom town on the shores of Lake Michigan, but the prospective groom did not place the ad and has no intention of marrying.


message 7: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi June! I didn't realize Jen had such an aversion to formal social gatherings. She always puts on such a "tough girl" attitude in public. She even dresses boyishly. She seems not to care what people think, but put her in a fancy dress, and she loses that tough exterior.


message 8: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Sounds great, Christine. And Mail-Order books are my favorite, so I'm anxious to see what you do with that one.

It's always fun to reconnect with previous characters and it sounds like this book will be full of them, so that will be fun. Thanks for stopping by today, Christine.


message 9: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Hi, Christine! I am intrigued by Jen's determination to join the first flight expedition to the North Pole. Would you have been daring enough to be one of those early aviators?


message 10: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments Good morning Ladies, Christine I have read a couple of this series and these girls all have lot of "Gumption", is that a word? I always enjoy your stories and I am remembering a quote from last book I read that is so emotional...I like things emotional.“Love can’t be held inside or saved up,” Mother said softly. “To truly flower, it must be given away.” “Even when undeserved?” Ruth whispered. “Especially when undeserved. That’s when love can truly change lives.”
thanks for sharing today..


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi Britney, in my younger days, I might have been willing to take to the skies in those early days of aviation. For years I dreamed of sailing around the world with my husband. (This despite not knowing how to sail. Minor detail. Hubbie knew how.) Eventually I learned about all the things that could go wrong, and the desire disappeared.


message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi Paula! Thank you for stopping by. Yes, gumption is a word. It's a great word! My family used it a lot when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing that quote from Groom by Design. It's one of my favorites. When I go back and find gems like that, I'm absolutely certain they are God-given.


message 13: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Christine, congratulations on your new release and on wrapping up your Dressmaker's Daughters series. Jen's story sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

I'm excited about your upcoming series, Mail Order Mix-ups. Mail-order bride stories are my all-time favorites. The first one in the series has a great set-up. I anticipate some laughable moments.

Do you know of any mail-order brides among your ancestors?


message 14: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Clark | 1393 comments Hi everyone! I just realized the Q&A started today so I thought I'd come by and join the discussion. This month's books look like great reads.

Christine, you sound as adventurous as your heroine--sail around the world...Yikes! That's not for me. And neither is flying to the North Pole. I'm a died-in-the-wool coward and make no apologies for it. LOL I want to be where I can get out and walk if something goes wrong. I'll leave the risk taking to your heroine. And I'm thinking one of her biggest risks is going to involve that world-famous stunt pilot. Yes?


message 15: by Christine (last edited May 04, 2015 12:32PM) (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments I'm excited about your upcoming series, Mail ...Do you know of any mail-order brides among your ancestors?"

Not that I know about, Keli...though at least one man did remarry soon after his wife died. With a houseful of children, he probably needed to remarry quickly. I could see that fitting into a mail-order scenario.


message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi Dorothy! You are so right about Jen's risks involving the stunt pilot trying to take her position on the expedition. In that era, many men did not believe women should fly. They said it was too dangerous - and it actually was incredibly risky. A huge percentage of early aviators (including women) died while flying. Remember that they had almost no instrumentation, little weather forecasting capabiliy, and planes that were either homebuilt or assembled one at a time. The first mass production of airplanes in the U.S. was for WWI, and many of those were sold after the war as surplus. They came in crates with instructions for how to assemble and fly them! Those early aviators were very brave.


message 17: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments Oh I missed the announcement for this. sounds interesting. being a female flyer would have been rare. I guess I always remember Ameilia Earhart. Did it take a lot of research for the book.


message 18: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Clark | 1393 comments Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance wrote: "Morning everyone! First off please don't enter me in the contest this month. I won during April and want to give the others a chance.

I have read the first book in the series and need to get a cop..."


I'll keep this in mind, Laura and keep you name out of the "hat" for this month's winners drawing. Thank you for your kind consideration of the other participants.


message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Ausjenny wrote: "Oh I missed the announcement for this. sounds interesting. being a female flyer would have been rare. I guess I always remember Ameilia Earhart. Did it take a lot of research for the book."

Hi Jenny! Because I'd done so much research on early aviation for Soaring Home, I could review my notes for this book. The part that did require a lot of research was nursing education at the time and the medical subplot.


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments June wrote: "Hi Karen. Thanks for hosting this week.

Hi Christine. The whole idea of flight itself being fairly new and then to go somewhere that hadn't been gone yet would have been something else. I'm sure t..."


Hey June, you're very welcome! It's always fun to see the new books coming out. :)


message 21: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Christine wrote: "Good morning everyone! It's great to be here today. We're getting a little much-needed rain today, and spring is finally on its way.

Karen, I had been researching early aviation for years. The fi..."


Isn't it neat how ideas are sparked? Especially when visiting actual museums or old houses. Your subject matter is unique and very interesting!


message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Karen, thank you for hosting me and the other LIH authors this week. You are right that ideas can come from anywhere, and I do love visiting the actual places, when possible.


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Thank you all for visiting with me today. It has been a joy to spend time together.


message 24: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Christine wrote: "Karen, thank you for hosting me and the other LIH authors this week. You are right that ideas can come from anywhere, and I do love visiting the actual places, when possible."

My pleasure, Christine! Thanks for joining in!


message 25: by Karen (new)

Karen Kirst | 710 comments Good morning, everyone! Today we welcome author Lacy Williams Lacy Williams .
USA TODAY bestselling author Lacy Williams grew up on a farm, which is where her love of cowboys was born. In reality, she's married to a right-brained banker (happily with three kiddos). She gets to express her love of western men by writing historical romance. Her books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards (2012, 2013 & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award.


Wagon Train Sweetheart

Wagon Train Sweetheart

A Promised Bride

Emma Hewitt never thought she'd travel thousands of miles to wed. Yet Oregon is where she'll meet the groom her brothers have chosen. After years of nursing her ailing father, Emma's social skills are lacking. An arranged marriage is only sensible. And her growing feelings for Nathan Reed, a worker on her wagon train, are surely better forgotten.

Nathan knows he's wrong for Emma. He's too rough, too burdened with guilt over his past. But when Emma nurses him through a fever, she sees something in him no one ever has. Now he wants to be a man worthy of her love. Emma's loyalty to family has always come first. Will she find the courage now to follow her heart?

Journey West: Romance and adventure await three siblings on the Oregon Trail

Wagon train stories are so exciting, Lacy! This book is part of a multi-author continuity, right? Can you tell us how the books are linked?

*Both Lacy and Christine are giving away 2 copies of their books. So leave a comment for a chance to win.


message 26: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Thanks for hosting, Karen!

This is the middle of three books in this multi-author mini-series. All three books are centered around three siblings who travel the Oregon Trail and find love along the way.

This was my first time to write in a continuity like this--the major details are all set by the editors and there's not much brainstorming room for the stories. This was also one of my toughest edits ever, but I really like how the book turned out!

Anybody ever play the old computer game Oregon Trail? I had flashbacks to my childhood and actually found an iPhone version while researching this book. :)


Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance | 909 comments I use to play Oregon Trail at school on the computer. How neat that you found one for the iPhone! What are you currently working on? How did you like working on a continuity with the other authors?


message 28: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Hi Lacy. Can't wait to read it. If the brothers have a husband picked out for Emma there will be trouble because we all know brothers are right! Right?

My kids all love the Oregon Trail game. I played it a couple of times but it was too much for me to handle. I mean, big birds carrying people away and snakes and people stealing our food? Not quite the pleasant life we are used to living! :)

I'm always so impressed with the continuity stories and how the authors writing styles seem to compliment each other. Linda Ford wrote the first one, right? Who is doing the third one, and how much did you work with the other ladies? I didn't realize it was the editors that come up with the story details. I would definetly think that would add a whole new challenge, having to write the story they want.


message 29: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments I just turned in edits on Her Cowboy Deputy, an October LIH. I'm also working on a contemporary romance that follows Secondhand Cowboy (a March 2015 release).


message 30: by Paula-O (new)

Paula-O (kyflo130) | 2257 comments Good morning Lacy, I love to read stories of folks heading west by wagon train and mail order brides are great stories putting the two together makes for great story. was it your decision to make the story this way or the publisher? I have this series on my TBR books.
Is it harder to write a book with other writers then alone? I am always amazed when I read series done this way how well they slip from book to the next...


message 31: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi June! Thanks for stopping by.

So the brothers aren't right in this book. :) Emma has to learn to stand up for herself. And for love.

The thing that really stood out to me during research that paralleled the video game was the mortality rate. There were many who started the journey west who did not finish it. That was reality for those who took on the challenge. Scary!

Yes, Linda Ford wrote book 1 and Renee Ryan wrote the third book (comes out next month). It was really fun getting to know these ladies. I had never worked with them before.


message 32: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Paula!

The editor had already written the overall storyline (a synopsis of several pages) and it included Emma going west to meet a prospective husband--but falling for someone else.

The difficulty with writing the multi-author series, for me, was that we were all writing the books at basically the same time. I didn't know all the details Linda was including in her story because I didn't get to read it before I wrote mine. This meant more extensive edits to get everything to line up with the final manuscripts. But it was really fun to do even with the challenges!


message 33: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Paula!

The editor had already written the overall storyline (a synopsis of several pages) and it included Emma going west to meet a prospective husband--but falling for someone else.

The difficulty with writing the multi-author series, for me, was that we were all writing the books at basically the same time. I didn't know all the details Linda was including in her story because I didn't get to read it before I wrote mine. This meant more extensive edits to get everything to line up with the final manuscripts. But it was really fun to do even with the challenges!


message 34: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Also I should mention the publisher did an e-book sampler, so if you want a taste of the books before you buy, it's a free download:



http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VYBG9LI/

http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-jou...

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebo...

https://itun.es/us/LVp16.l


message 35: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Clark | 1393 comments Hi Lacy! Just wanted to say hello, and that I think you are being a little too modest about writing this continuity series book. What you say is true-- the editors do give you the characters and the basic plot for your book--but it is "bare bones" and it is up to you to make those characters come alive and to work out the details as to how the "plot" is worked out. And, you have to do it while keeping everything in line with the other authors and what they are writing in their books. As the middle author, you have to do a sort of juggling act, include enough but not too much. So kudos on keeping those balls in the air while writing what sounds like a great romance.

I'm also a fan of wagon train stories. Did you have a hard time deciding what research details to include in the story? Did any of your research debunk what the old western movies caused us to believe was true?

Love your cover!


message 36: by June (new)

June | 366 comments Lacy wrote: "Hi June! Thanks for stopping by.

So the brothers aren't right in this book. :) Emma has to learn to stand up for herself. And for love.

The thing that really stood out to me during research that ..."


So you are saying that when I died in the game it was very much reality ;) Maybe that's why I didn't like to play it. :)

I've always liked Oregon Trail stories, so this will be a fun one. It's amazing how much history I've learned through these LIH books. ALL of the authors are amazing and the amount of time you put in for research to not only bring us some entertaining stories but to also teach us a little bit of history is much appreciated!!!


message 37: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Dorothy.

I did find it challenging to write with the bare bones mostly because I am a Goal Motivation and Conflict (character) writer. Most of the action in my stories is because it will affect the character--so this was like writing backwards for me. However, I loved loved loved the angsty hero they gave me!!


message 38: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments June,

I loved researching for this book. I've been doing my cowboy series for so long that it was great fun to dive into a new-to-me period.

I included a scene with details found directly from my research (a wolf sitting peacefully amidst a gathering of horses), and actually had to explain to my editor why I should keep the scene. It seemed too crazy to be real but it was!


message 39: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Hi, Lacy! Congratulations on the release of Wagon Train Sweetheart! What did you enjoy most about writing a story set during this time period?


message 40: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Britney!

My favorite part of researching this book was making a map of the route. From the overall story information I received, I knew where my characters had to start and stop. I then had to find some historical maps of the trail route and figure out about how many miles they would travel each day. It wasn't easy. From the journals I read, the mileage varied widely based on weather conditions, how difficult the land was to traverse, whether the oxen needed rest and were foraging enough to survive, and even if the wagon train needed to send a hunting party. I gave myself plenty of author license and then printed a map and plugged in where I thought each scene would take place. This gave me a lot of good info about surroundings and setting the scene as I wrote.

I know that makes me a nerd, but I love that kind of detail work. :)


message 41: by Winnie (new)

Winnie Griggs (winniegriggs) | 235 comments Hi Lacy! Just wanted to pop in and say hello! I'm in the LIH book club so I have these books on my TBR shelf and I can't wait to dig into them! I've never played Oregon Trail but my kids spent many hours playing it when they were young.

Here's a question for you - was there anything you learned when doing the research for this book that surprised you?


message 42: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Winnie.

I love Linda's and Renee's books and (gasp!) haven't had a chance to read these mini-series books yet. They're at the top of my TBR!

Something that surprised me in research (and I used it!) was that doctors were sometimes called to other wagon trains to help very ill people. So a doctor might leave his family for a few days to ride hard to another train and help someone. Often they were called too late to do anything, but they tried!


message 43: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 1102 comments Hi Lacy! This story sounds great! What was your favorite part of writing a book in a continuity?


message 44: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi Christine!

To be honest... Renee and Linda were really easy to work with! I have heard stories of other continuities where one author took over or ruined the experience for everyone else, but these ladies were just great. Very low key and sweet.

We actually didn't have to brainstorm much, just a few emails back and forth. My favorite part was just getting to know them better.


message 45: by Britney (new)

Britney | 230 comments Lacy wrote: "Hi Britney!

My favorite part of researching this book was making a map of the route. From the overall story information I received, I knew where my characters had to start and stop. I then had to..."


How fascinating, Lacy! I can't wait to read this story! When I do, I will certainly think of your map making. :)


message 46: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 4955 comments I use to play Oregon trail on facebook when I first joined. It was fun. I use to watch the show when it was on tv too and loved it.
I like books set here. Do you have to deal with the fall out of her falling for someone other than the person she is meant to marry? sounds like a really good book. (but then what else would I expect!)


message 47: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 757 comments Congratulations on your latest release, Lacy, and on being asked to participate in a continuity! You mentioned the synopsis you received from the editors. How much collaboration did you and the other authors get to do before each of you began writing your story?


message 48: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Hi, Jenny!

<>

The marriage wasn't technically arranged. Brother #1 had written that he'd met this great guy in Oregon and Emma should come out and marry him. She had only agreed to think about meeting him, so they weren't engaged or anything.

So... I'm hoping there's not fallout. And... spoiler alert, but he's the guy that Emma's younger sister falls for. :):)


message 49: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Keli wrote: "You mentioned the synopsis you received from the editors. How much collaboration did you and the other authors get to do...?"

We touched based a few times, but the storyline was pretty much laid out for us. We did send each other the first 50 pages or so as we were writing the story so we could see story details. Some of those details changed during edits. :):)


message 50: by Lacy (new)

Lacy Williams (lacywilliams) | 150 comments Thanks to everyone for commenting today! Any other questions? I'll try to remember to stop by in the morning and check. :)


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