Category: Susan May Warren

Two for you

First things first! Here’s the winner of Elizabeth Musser’s new book:
Congrats, Danica! Use my contact link to email me and we’ll chat about where you’d like me to send it. Or send me a Facebook message if you hang out there.

Two good friends have new books out and I’m happy to promote them here on the Edge. First off, Susie May Warren, who has a kicky first name and likes Italian food just like me is introducing a new series with her latest, Nothing But Trouble. And the lovely Robin Lee Hatcher has just released A Vote of Confidence. You’ll have to check out her booktrailer. Very cool.

Here’s the sccop on Susie’s book:

PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:

After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start. The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone—her former flame and the reason she left town.
Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg , Minnesota , has seen in more than a decade.

What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for—a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she’s been longing for.

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia , was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia , Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota .

So, Susie-Q, where did the idea for PJ Sugar come from?
“Every author dreams of a moment where someone says something, or they see something on the news, or in a newspaper and it springs out at them, nearly shouting – STORY IDEA! This happened to me a number of years ago while talking to friends about their daycare situation, and how one of the parents ended up being a murder suspect! Scary! But an interesting idea. About that time, I was a mom who wore many hats – homeschooling mom, writing teacher, speaker, children’s church leader, — and it occurred to me that a mother really has to be a sort of PI. Not only taking on different roles, but sleuthing out daily household mysteries like, who ate the last of the peanut butter (and put it back in the cupboard?) and whose socks are laying in the middle of the floor, and finally…(in our house), who let the dog (and her muddy feet!) in the house! PJ is the alter-ego in every mom, that super-hero inside of us that allows us to have esp (I know you’re not really done with your homework!), or have “eyes in the back of our head,” (stop poking your sister!) or even figure out how to whip together an award-winning science project the night before the fair. PJ just applies all those skills to bad guys and figuring out the truth.

PJ Sugar is also a woman who wants to be all things to all people. She wants to be her nephew’s champion and her sister’s best friend, and her mother’s favorite daughter, and Boone’s special girl, and the hero of her hometown. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Maybe…because God wants her to be His girl, and satisfied in who He made her to be. And that is a journey for all of us PJ Sugars.”

Sounds like fun!

Robin Lee Hatcher is also beginning a new series with a new book. A Vote of Confidence launches The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series that asks the question, “Who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?” The setting is Idaho during the WWI era. And I just love the cover of this one. It’s yummy. Here are all the details:

Put up or shut up!

Complaining about Bethlehem Springs’ dissolute mayoral candidate, Gwen Arlington is challenged to take on the role herself. For seven years, she’s carved out an independent life in the bustling mountain town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, teaching piano and writing for the local newspaper. But now she’s a single woman running for mayor — and in 1915 this decision is bound to stir up trouble.

Morgan McKinley is fed up with the delays that hinder the construction of New Hope Health Spa, a place where both rich and poor can come for rest and healing. New to the area, he has determined that serving as mayor would help him push through his agenda for progress.
Gwen and Morgan each want to prove they are the most qualified candidate, not only to voters but to each other, and so sparks fly as the two campaign. Although Morgan has learned to guard his heart as fiercely as Gwen guards her independence, could they learn to be allies instead of adversaries?

This is first book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series provides intriguing insights into how women challenged convention and shaped America in the early twentieth century.

And where did your idea for this series spring from, Robin?
“Ideas come to writers in lots of different ways. The idea for The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series came to me back in 2003-2004 and had its genesis in a couple of other books. From Catching Katie had come a fascination with the decade leading up to the passing of the 19th Amendment that gave American women the right to vote. From a secondary character in Speak to Me of Love came a fondness for a woman in an unusual occupation. While those two things were rolling around in my head, up popped the final ingredient. A question: Who says a woman can’t do a man’s job? And the next thing I knew, I’d met Gwen and Cleo Arlington, the heroines of the first two books in the series. I had to wait to meet my third heroine until the hero of A Vote of Confidence walked into my imagination. Guess what, Morgan McKinley had a younger sister, Daphne. Each of these women have jobs that weren’t considered a woman’s domain in their time (1915-1918). I hope readers will become as fond of Gwen, Cleo, and Daphne — and the men with whom they fall in love — as I am.”

Robin Lee Hatcher is the best-selling author of over sixty books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers. Her numerous awards including the 2000 Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the 1999 and 2001 RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for Americana Romance and for Inspirational Fiction, and the 2001 RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Enjoy! I am off to teach at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference! See you on Monday . . .

Two for you

As promised, here are two great, new titles from two dear friends, both wonderful writers who love a love story.

Rachel Hauck’s newest, Love Starts With Elle (gotta love that title) is about finidng beauty in the ashes. Here’s the story in a nutshell: Elle is the last of five sisters to find true love. So when Elle Garvey’s wide receiver-turned-pastor boyfriend, Jeremiah Franklin, proposes, she answers an enthusiastic, ‘Yes.’ That is, intil she discovers the engagement comes with unexpected sacrifices.But every relationship requires compromise, and as Jeremiah takes on a large Dallas pastorate, Elle’s life purpose and calling is challenged. As she stays behind in Beaufort, South Carolina to plan the wedding and sell her beloved art gallery, doubt shadows her engagement decision. Meanwhile, New York lawyer Heath McCord needs a change of scenery and moves with his young daughter to the low-country with dreams starting over and writing a novel.As Heath renews his hope and heart, Elle’s life begins to unravel. Crushed when Jeremiah ends their engagement, she heals morning by morning, praying in a dilapidated chapel, searching for passion and purpose. In the midst of crisis, God shows up and love blooms.

Romantic Times gave it a big thumbs up with 4.5 stars and a Top Pick rating: “Hauck is quickly making a name for herself as an insightful and thoughtfulauthor. It’s great to catch up with characters from previous novels as wellas meet new ones. Elle is vulnerable, yet wise, and the romantic angle will leave you sighing with delight.”

Of Elle, Rachel says: “Elle is a reflection of society today – very artsy and romantic, feeling oriented, living by intuition more than thought and reason. If you study the Romantic Era of the 1800’s, the landscape of society today is very much the same. We’re in a Renaissance of that time. . . Having her go on a journey of prayer really fit her emotional palette.”

Rachel Hauck is the author of 10, going on 11 novels. She lives in Florida with her hubby of sixteen years, two dogs and one ornery cat, Rachel is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeye football fan. One day she hopes to stand on the sidelines next to Coach Tressel as a famed, acclaimed OSU alumni, beloved for her work in literature and letters. (She’s written at least a couple hundred letters in her life time.)

The third title in Susan May Warren’s Noble Legacy series is now on the shelves: Finding Stefanie is another great story written by Christy-nominated Susie-Q who has a flair for romantic suspense. Here’s the nutshell version: When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door. Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot. Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who’s not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don’t know is that the fire won’t be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge… but who? And who is the real target?

You can read the first chapter here:

Susan May Warren is the award-winning novelist of over twenty novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, and have been Rita or Christy award finalists. Her compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She loves to write and help other writers find their voice through her boutique editing blog and services. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren and her husband of 20 years, and four children, now live in a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where they are active in their local church.

On Friday, Edglings, I hope to be able to post to you from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Meissners are going to take in some altitude. Hope there’s Internet access somewhere in the timberline. If not, you’ll know I was thinking of you.

Ciao for now.

The first winner and the untamed

Lovely Edglings, thanks for checking out the Blue Heart Blessed blog (say that five times real fast!). The names of those who posted a comment were put into a sauce pan I got for a wedding gift 27 year ago – seemed apropos! – and we have a winner of a copy of the book.

Drum roll . . . Nicole, you’re the winner! Send me an email with your address and in the mail it goes. If you entered a drawing because you’re on my e-newsletter roster, no worries. That drawing hasn’t occurred yet! If you want to receive my 6-times-a year e-newsletter just head over to my website and give me a shout.

Thanks for posting, everyone. I hope you’ll head over to the Blue Heart Blessed blog often. I plan to post there Mondays and Fridays, same days as Edgewise. On Monday over at Blue Heart, we’ll be talking about how chocolate and romance got linked together, in history and in story. Those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate you see all over the place aren’t in stores right now because guys don’t know what else to buy for Valentines Day . . .

And while we’re on the subject of romance, here’s a brand new book, Taming Rafe, by my good friend Susan May Warren.

This is Book 2 in The Noble Legacy series: Two-time world champion bull rider Rafe Noble had no idea how quickly his world could end. In less than eight seconds, he lost his title, his career, and his bestfriend – all on the dirt floor of a noisy rodeo arena. Katherine Breckenridge just wants to make a difference by running her mother’s charity foundation. But the mysterious disappearance of half a million dollars has forced it to the brink of bankruptcy. Her last chance to save it is the annual fund-raiser, an event that’s destroyed by an out-of-control Rafe Noble. Desperate to rescue the foundation, Katherine heads to the Noble family ranch to enlist Rafe’s help in raising the money he cost her in lost donations. What she doesn’t know is that Rafe is broke-in cash and in spirit-and that helping her could end up costing him his life
The untamed Rafe even has his own blog. Susan’s a great writer of classic romance and her new book was named a TOP PICK in Romantic Times Book Reviews. You can read the first chapter here.
Have a great weekend, everyone. See you on Monday.

I’ve been inclined. . . .

Whenever I see the cover of Sweet Caroline, my good friend Rachel Hauck’s newest book, I start humming the Neil Diamond classic and I just can’t stop. (I was a huge Diamond fan in high school – had no idea what a cracklin’ Rosie was but I loved that album where Caroline and Rosie debuted).

Well, today, Rachel stops by the Edge so we can chat about this new release, which earned a whopping 4½ stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews right from the starting gate.

What’s Sweet Caroline about in a nutsell?

For most of her life, Caroline Sweeney put the needs of others before herself. When her friends went off to college and exotic European cities, she stayed home in Beaufort to look after her Dad and brother, and whoever else needed her help. At twenty-eight, she’s invited to embark on her own adventure when a friend offers Caroline an amazing job opportunity in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, her home town is calling her to stay. Unexpectedly, Caroline inherits the run-down, money-pit Frogmore Café. Caroline must choose between a Beaufort treasure, the Frogmore Café, and the unusual Barcelona adventure. If that’s not enough, Caroline finds herself torn between two loves – a very hunky deputy Sheriff and a returning hometown boy, a country music star. In the midst of her trials, Caroline shares a lot of laughter with her friends and discovers the sweet fragrance of Jesus as He pursues her heart.

Here’s what Romantic Times Book Club wrote about Sweet Caroline: 4.5 Stars – “Hauck’s adorable novel contains the multi-layered character readers have come to expect from her books. The enjoyable story and unpredictable ending entertains and offers much to think about.”

Hey, Rachel, Where did this story idea come from?

The final product is a long way from the original story idea. Several years ago I had a thought, “What if a girl ended up hosting a TV cooking show, but she couldn’t cook?” I had the title Sweet Caroline and knew I wanted to write a book set in the beautiful South Carolina lowcountry, so I tried to put my cooking show story in Beaufort. But it didn’t work on a few levels, and I added the element of Caroline working at the Frogmore Café. In the end, I had to cut the cooking show story line to focus on Caroline’s life in Beaufort.

I also wanted to write about a woman who willingly set aside her life for others. Yes, she struggles with esteem and fears, but she is also confident enough to venture out if the right opportunity came along. But she’s content to stay home, meet the needs of others.
At the story opening, Caroline doesn’t know God or that He has a plan for her. Yet she’s spent a lot of time talking to “whoever’s up there, if anyone.” One evening Jesus introduces Himself to her. While most of us meet Jesus through hearing and watching others, Jesus is able to touch our hearts in many non-traditional ways. I opted to show that with Caroline. It was fun.

Lovely Rachel is a multi-published author living in sunny central Florida with her husband, Tony, a pastor. They have two ornery pets. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and a huge Buckeyes football fan. Rachel is past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves the organization as an Advisor and she’s a LOT of fun to be around.Visit her blog and web site at

And hey, if you like stories with lots of romance threads, check out the The Christian Authors Network (CAN) online book club, You’ve Got Books. We’ve got an excerpt of Susan May Warren’s Taming Rafe this week, which also earned 4½ stars from RT. Check it out.

One more hey: Anyone else watching the Jane Austen movies on Sundays on PBS? Mansfield Park was last night. Loved it, loved it . . .

The much maligned Christmas newsletter

I should have guessed if you Google “Christmas letter” you will find a plethora of websites geared to help you make the dreaded newsletter an epistle of beauty, if not wit. If not hokey. If not ridiculous.

One helpful site offers seriously cheesy templates where you just supply a name in the blanks, a few highlights from the year and presto, the deed is done. Aren’t you clever?

Another suggests you let the dog write the letter. Or the house. Yep, the house writes the letter. Or the 6-month old baby. Or the cookie jar in kitchen.

You can also write it by numbers. I actually like this one. And I’m not sure why. Math was never my thing. You recap the highlights in numbers. Like this:

  • 4900 miles – three cars across six states
  • 11,000 pounds of household goods the movers packed up
  • 3 – the number of times the movers’ truck broke down enroute
  • 220 – the number of bucks it takes to send a drooling Labrador from St. Paul to San Diego on an airplane
  • 150 – the number of bucks it takes to send the cat
  • 88 ½ -the number of headaches weathered while waiting for a MN house to sell
  • one-eighth – the value of MN house compared to the CA house

Wait a minute. That is definitely NOT a Christmas letter. What is a Christmas letter anyway? What do I really want to know about the people I care enough to contact once a year, but only once a year? What do they want to know about me? Do they really want to know what a pain in the neck moving is? Will that make them think happy holiday thoughts?

Doubtful. I think what they want to know is am I still me. Am I still the person they knew when we lived close by and they didn’t need a letter every 365 days to know what life had brought me, taught me, wrought in me. They don’t want a “Here’s everything that’s wonderful about me!” letter. They want to know if I am still who they think I am.

Here’s a great “Keep this in mind” list when writing your letter. I got it here and have edited it for space but not for humor.

  • Don’t brag
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it readable
  • Don’t brag
  • Keep it light
  • Keep letters free of jargon related to specific careers
  • Don’t brag
  • Don’t try to get a whole year into a page
  • Don’t use your letter as a catalog for a home-based business.
  • All right, you can brag once, but follow it with something that proves you don’t think you’re better than everyone else.

‘Nuff said.

And now, a completely shameless plug for a lovely book by a fantastic writer who shares my first name, blonde locks, love for Italian food, and until recently, the state where I live. Susan May Warren calls Minnesota home -I used to, but you already know that. She’s got a terrific sequel to her Josey books.

Here’s the teaser: “Russia? Not again. Josey’s finally living the good life – she’s got the man, the (almost-perfect) wedding, the two-story Cape-Cod house of her dreams. That is until her man drags her back to Moscow! Josey knows she has the guts to follow her own dreams across the world, but she’s not so sure she can play the perfect wife while her husband chases after his. Josey’s set on having the perfect life…even in a world without hot water, decent take-out and size-two leather fashion. But can she find the courage to tell her man the secret that will change their lives forever?”

You can read the first chapter here and buy this fun read here.

Susie knows her stuff. She lived in Russia for several years and this chick knows how to tell a story. Gotta love that baby bottle in the nesting doll on the cover. I think I know what the big secret is. . .

Off to write the Christmas letter that doth not brag.