Monday, October 29, 2012

Unexpected Christmas Hero

The moment I saw the cover for this book, Unexpected Christmas Hero, I fell in love with its charming, wistful "greeting card" mood. But there's a real-life mystery behind this Unexpected Christmas Hero cover--offering us a chance to reunite a family for the holidays. Read on!
Unexpected Christmas Hero is an inspiring and compelling story of friendship and survival. Forced by unexpected circumstances to live on the streets and in homeless shelters, Josie Meyers and her two small children share in the lives and struggles of other homeless people. Eventually, Josie meets Rick, a homeless, disabled vet who becomes their hero and friend. While living in the shelters she continually hears the gospel, reigniting memories of the words she heard and believed as a child. Will these events lead her and her children home to the ultimate shelter?

Read "the story behind the story" and help reunite a family:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


R. J. Larson

Home of Biblical Fantasy author R. J. Larson's Blog.

First *R.J. steps aside* The official guidelines!

Follow the clues to win the grand prize: a Kindle Fire and 31 free books, each autographed by the authors!

WELCOME, to the Fall Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt~~we hope you're enjoying the stories as you search!

·         This hunt begins 10/25 at noon MDT

·         The fun finish falls on 10/28 at midnight MDT—plenty of time; no need to rush!

·         Enjoy 31 stops, each with a different author and fresh, new-to-you content!

·         Discover authors with new or soon-to-be-released novels

·         Collect the clues in red on each post, beginning from Stop #1 and at Stop#32, fill out the Rafflecopter form. Be ready to provide the completed clue quote, gathered from all 31 stops, within 24 hours of email notification or another winner will be randomly drawn. No need to email/submit it, unless you are notified on 10/29/12.
  • Grand Prize: A new Kindle Fire, plus 31 new novels! 
UPDATE!!! The winners have been chosen!
The GRAND PRIZE winner is: Jennifer Friedley
The second and third prize $50 gift certificates went to: Laura McEwen and Gretchen Michels Garrison!!!

Congratulations, to the winners!!!

·         2nd & 3rd Prizes: $50 Amazon, B&N, CBD or gift certificate

·         (Contest is open to international entrants. If the winner lives outside the United States, they shall win the equivalent in gift certificate funds to the prize in US dollars.)

[R. J. returns!]

Welcome, Hunters! I'm pleased to introduce our delightful guest at this stop, one of my fellow Shakespeare-fan friends, Leslie Gould!

 Leslie Gould is the Christy award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels. Her latest, Courting Cate, is inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Leslie enjoys traveling, watching soccer games, and binge reading. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and four children. Visit her at
Her Website    
Courting Cate:

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor--until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.

Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

Now, dear Hunter, here is an exclusive sneak-peek at Leslie's recent journey to Lancaster county, the setting for Courting Cate, narrated by Leslie!


Snapshots of Lancaster County

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” influenced the plot of Courting Cate, while the pastoral beauty of Lancaster County inspired the setting.

Courting Cate is set in the picturesque landscape around Paradise, Pennsylvania. I drew on this photo of green rolling hills and Amish barns as I described the “farmette” where Cate lives and the surrounding countryside.
Don’t be fooled by the beauty of the laundry on the line. It took a lot of hard work to get it there. I’d much rather write about the work of an Amish woman than actually do it. Cate, in my story, avoids doing laundry at all costs, leaving it to her sister, Betsy.

I love this photograph for a couple of reasons. First, someone who lives in an Amish home is selling a motorbike. Is he (I’m assuming it’s a young man) finished with his Rumschpringe (running around time)? Or upgrading to a bigger bike? Cate, in my story, is a bit prickly (okay, a lot prickly), but she’s not wild. The whole Rumschpringe never appealed to her, and she joined the church while still in her teens. Still, she has some growing up to do.

My husband, daughter, and I just happened to drive by this church wagon while tooling around Lancaster County. “Stop!” I shouted. (My poor hubby.) I have lots of church wagons in my stories, but this is the only one I’ve seen in real life. A wagon like this one would be filled with tables, benches, and other items and transported to the family hosting church services that Sunday in their home.

Cate is a bit of a speed demon when it comes to driving her buggy. In a pivotal scene in the story she and Pete, the man she loves to hate, go for a drive and race over a covered bridge. Even though covered bridges have a romantic quality, this particular scene doesn’t. The romance comes later.
Speaking of romance, this image inspired me to incorporate a sunset into Courting Cate as the backdrop for these lines:
And where two raging fires meet together,
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury.
“The Taming of the Shrew,” II.1.125-126, William Shakespeare

R. J. here: Leslie, thank you!  I'm a fantasy/history/Biblical "swords and cloaks" author and reader, but Courting Cate is now on my reading list~~I cannot resist Shakespeare, and Cate's feisty, "I dare you" image on the cover!
Hunters, if you are equally tempted by Courting Cate, here are a few handy "Buy Now" links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD! Or purchase a copy at your favorite bookstore! 


Before you go, write down this STOP #15 clue: And
WAIT! Speaking of and: Enter to win a signed copy of PROPHET, plus the audio cd of Volume #1 in the acclaimed Books of the Infinite series! *Easy*
Just click on the Rafflecopter form below to "like"
R. J. Larson's Facebook page! 
<a Rafflecopter giveaway>

Now, blessings and onward to stop #16, Leslie Gould's own site!