January 26, 2015

Book Preview ~ Watercolor Dreams

Watercolor Dreams, by Sherry Kyle

Historical Romance. He strolled into her painting . . . and into her heart. It's 1910 and Anna Lewis is praying that God will help her become a premier watercolor artist of the lush beaches of Carmel, California. When a man strides down the beach and stops to face the ocean, Anna sketches him into her painting. Was it a mistake? Anna thinks so when he tells her he doesn't have spare change to purchase her work. Spare change indeed! But while she seeks God's leading for her art career, she'd better keep her day job as nursemaid to two rambunctious boys. The minute Charles Jordan walks away, he regrets criticizing the woman's painting but as he told the artist, he's just been jilted at the altar. How will a secret from Charles' past affect his chances of loving again? And how will Anna have the hope she needs when tragedy strikes and she must rely on the one man who crushed her spirit? Buy the book HERE. 

Sherry Kyle is a graduate of Biola University with a degree in Communications, and a
minor in Bible. She is a freelance writer, and is an active member in her church. Sherry maintains an active membership in a variety of professional organizations, including the American Christian Fiction Writers, My Book Therapy, and Christian Authors Network. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature. Sherry has four children, three biological and one by adoption. When she isn't writing, she enjoys decorating her home, going to jazz concerts with her husband, Douglas, taking walks on the beach, watching movies, and spending time with her family. They live by the coast in Central California. You can find her on the web at SherryKyle.com

January 23, 2015

This Week's Recipes

Here are this week's new additions at Country at Heart Recipes. Enjoy your weekend! 

January 21, 2015

Are You a Downton Abbey Fan?

I admit it ... I'm a hopeless fan of Downton Abbey. I became hooked on the TV series on PBS Masterpiece Theatre back in 2012 when my youngest daughter and I watched the first few episodes on our computer (while hubby watched football on TV.) We've now entered into the 5th season and we're loving it still. And what's not to love? 

Its Setting: 1900's Brittish Aristicracy using the real Highclere Castle as Downton Abbey. Lush beautiful scenery, lavish decorations, authentic costumes, extravagant table settings--oh my!

The Family: Lord Crawley, Earl of Grantham and Lady Cora Crawley, their three daughters, Lady Mary, Lady Edith, and Lady Sybil (who died in childbirth in the third season), their families and of course the staff.

Quippy Lines: Actress Maggie Smith, Golden Globe winner for her role as The Dowager Countess of Grantham, never fails to offer us a few chuckles in each episode.

Intriguing Plot between upstairs and downstairs cast: We still miss Mary's husband, Matthew (who died right after his first son was born in season 3). 

And now wonder who Mary might fall in love with next. 

And will Tom really fall for Sarah--who seems to be a bit of a trouble-maker?

And what trouble lies ahead for Lady Edith? 

So, what are you waiting for? Check out this season's schedule HERE. And if you are already a fan of Downton Abbey, what do you like most about the show? Do you have a favorite character(s)? What do you think is in store for us in Season 5? (no spoilers, please.)

January 19, 2015

Book Preview ~ Buttermilk Sky

Buttermilk Sky, by Jan Watson

Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, eighteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey prepares to leave her home in the Kentucky mountains for the genteel city of Lexington, where she’ll attend secretarial school. She knows her life is about to change—and only for the better. Everything will be blue skies from now on.

But business school is harder than she thought it would be and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything she’d ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought she’d left firmly behind.

Danger rumbles like thunder on a high mountain ridge when Mazy’s cosseted past collides with her clouded future and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants. Buy the book HERE.

Former registered nurse and peri-natal loss counselor, Jan Watson won the Jerry B. Jenkins

Christian Writers Guild First Novel Contest in 2004 with Troublesome Creek. Written with a dollop of romance and a smidgen of suspense, Jan's award winning historical novels, are uniquely set in the Appalachian Mountains.

Jan lives in Lexington, Kentucky and spends her days writing and entertaining her Jack Russell terrier, Maggie. Her favorite hobby is reading antique medical books. Visit Jan's Website HERE.

January 16, 2015

This Week's Recipes

Here are this week's new additions at Country at Heart Recipes. Our daughters, the Vogts Sisters, will perform tomorrow night at The Donut Whole in Wichita, KS. See more HERE. Enjoy your weekend! 

Featured Author, Michelle Griep shares her recipe for Espresso-Cocoa Almonds

January 14, 2015

Called to Write Conference 2015

 APRIL 9-11, 2015

4020 Parkview Drive 
Pittsburg, KS 

Featured Presenters - 

Kathleen Y'Barbo, Ramona Tucker, Jean Wynn, and Jane Landreth

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few. A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots (read about their real-life romance here!). Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

Ramona Cramer Tucker, Editorial Director of OakTara (www.oaktara.com), has been on 
the cutting-edge of mainstream and inspirational publishing for over 30 years in a wide variety of positions, including: Senior Editor, Tyndale House Publishers; Editor, Today’s Christian Woman magazine and Executive Editor,Virtue magazine (Christianity Today, International); Editorial Director, Harold Shaw Publishers (now WaterBrook/Random House); as a freelance writer, editor, and/or editorial strategist for Simon & Schuster, Random House, Viking-Penguin, Zondervan, Nelson, Baker/Revell, InterVarsity, Howard, David C. Cook, Barbour, HarperCollins, Summerside/Guideposts, Wiley, Chosen, and other publishers. 

Jeane Wynn of Wynn-Wynn Media was launched in 2001 to provide strategically targeted publicity services, thus leveraging media relationships and maximizing forward momentum for our clients. Yeah, not so much. We’d like to say there was a giant master formula with well-thought-out steps, start-up capital, and a killer business plan. But that just isn’t what went down.

What happened is that Jeane thought it would be fun to work on publicity for a few books on a freelance basis. She’d been in Christian publishing since 1989, when she started in sales at NavPress. So, we took a leap, Jeane quit her job, and Wynn-Wynn Media was born. Things didn’t take off right away—and Jeane began to think she might need to do some substitute teaching—but then we were hired for a five-book contract, and the rest is the proverbial history. While we work very hard for our clients and invest significant time and effort on strategy, the success we’ve enjoyed at Wynn-Wynn Media is due not to any expert “strategery” on our parts but to the grace and mercy of our God who has blessed us in spite of ourselves. For that we are greatly appreciative.

Jane Landreth has been a Christian freelance writer for thirty-five years with over 2000 stories, articles, games, puzzles and various manuscripts published in religious magazines. She has also written several children’s Bible curriculums, a newspaper column, edited a Christian school first grade reading program and co-authored seven creative idea books. She has published six children’s books with Barbour Publishers and will soon have another children’s book out. Some of her material has been translated into various languages such as Russian, Romanian, Haitian, Creole and Spanish. She taught writing at Ozark Technical College in Springfield, MO, and at the present teaches “Writing Your Memoirs” at NCCC. For ten years, Jane taught three college level writing classes for the Institute of Children’s Literature, a distance-learning school. Jane was asked in 1995 to travel to Belarus (a break-off country of the Soviet Union) to teach Sunday school teachers how to write and prepare Bible material for their children’s class. She went again the next year and taught teachers/leaders in the Bible Institute in Minks, Belarus.

This year, special services will also be offered for Website/Blog and Social Media Help; Author photographs, and for encouragement. There is also a writing contest (deadline March 1). See more about the conference HERE. 

January 12, 2015

Book Preview ~ The Story Keeper

The Story Keeper, by Lisa Wingate

When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen’s suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever. Buy the book HERE.

Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate skillfully
weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and ForeWord Magazine refers to as "Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over over twenty novels and countless magazine pieces.

Her books have held positions on many bestseller lists, both in the U.S. and internationally. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, a two-time Carol Award winner, a LORIES Best Fiction Award winner, and a Utah Library Award winner. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Visit Lisa at her website: www.LisaWingate.com
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