Archive for August, 2015

Grand Finale: Guardians of the Heart

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Aug 25 2015

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re sharing the Grand Finale for
Guardians of the Heart
By Loree Lough

Nell and Asa have guarded their hearts, but to let love in, they’ll have to let go.
We hope you enjoyed finding out more about their story.
If you didn’t get a chance to get to each stop, you can go back and check them out now…

Launch – Author Interview

And how do you develop your deep POV?

I love living in the heads of my characters, and accomplish it (and avoid ‘head hopping’) by writing each scene from a specific character’s point of view. It’s almost as though I take up residence in their brains (like a parasite! LOL). When I’m thinking their thoughts, reacting to what other characters do and say, deep POV is a lot easier.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“Loree Lough has written this story in an easy to read voice. The pacing is excellent. She kept my attention and I really came to like the characters.”

Worthy2Read – Nonna’s Authentic Spaghetti Sauce

As any ‘on a deadline’ author can tell you, we’re really, really good at procrastinating. We tidy drawers, organize closets, poke around in our flower beds. And we cook. One of my favorite recipes was handed down by my Italian grandmother’s family. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Zerina Blossom’s Books – They Called Her Shoog

The summer I turned ten, a pretty little redheaded girl moved into the house on the corner. Her parents and older siblings called her Shoog…and it was Shoog who introduced the kids on our block to a whole new way to spend our summer days…

“A sweet heartfelt romance that reminds us of the importance of forgiveness – of other people and especially of ourselves. With true, likable characters and a plot brimming with all the great elements of a story, Guardians of the Heart will gently refresh your soul.”

Christy’s Cozy Corners – A Promise to Jake, Part 1

When a mysterious package arrives shortly before Christmas, a wealthy author is forced to remember what’s truly important about the holy day…and about life.

Writing Pearls – Review

“This was a surprising out of bounds romance. It was clean, well-written, with strong characters that become a part of your reality.”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

Regrettably, no one was hiring. Few things scared her more than the prospect of being homeless and destitute. Nell sat on the steps of the bank, held her head in her hands and tried to pray. She’d said countless prayers for others—in church, others on her knees before bed—but couldn’t remember the last time she’d prayed for herself. Did she remember how?

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved Asa and Nell! Asa puts on a rough front but does care about others while trying not to. He feels guilt for some things he did in the past and needs to learn to forgive himself. Nell was sweet from the beginning! What I loved about this book is that the author didn’t just tell me; she showed me.”

Oh, what he wouldn’t give to go back in time to the little house on the outskirts of Denver that always smelled of fresh-baked bread, where he’d never gone hungry and never felt cold, thanks to his ma’s talent for turning scraps of cloth into warm quilts.

Babs Book Bistro – Review

“I could not put this book down it was wonderful. . . . A nice relaxing read that brings out the love and coziness.”

Mommabears Book Blog – A Promise to Jake, Part 2

He stared at the blinking cursor. “I’ve let you down big time, Jake,” he said, eyes on the blank white screen. Maybe telling his friend’s story would ease his conscience. Squaring his shoulders, Homer pulled out the keyboard drawer and gave his knuckles one last crack, and began to type:

Wishful Endings A Promise to Jake, Part 3

FIVE YEARS LATER:

“Homer, schweetheart,” Bobby said, “so what’s up with your answering machine? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for days.”

“Don’t have one up here.” Don’t want one, don’t need one.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Special Author Interview

Me: You are such a prolific writer! (5,000,000 copies in circulation – 108 books, 72 short stories, and over 2500 articles in print) Where do you get your inspiration for so many new plots and characters?

Loree: Inspiration is everywhere. Literally. I’ve come up with story ideas while reading a dog-eared old magazine in the doctor’s waiting room. At the grocery store. In the movie theater. Here at home, watching the TV news or reading the Sunday paper. Sitting on a bench at the soft ice cream parlor, listening to the conversation of patrons on the next bench. Talking to a neighbor over the back fence. While on hold to make corrections to a DirecTV statement. I could go on (and on!), but I think you get the idea!

Singing Librarian Books – Review (Author Interview here)

“Throughout the novel Loree has brought her characters to life in a true and heartwarming way. I would recommend this novel to Christian, historical fiction, romance readers.”

Colorimetry – Excerpt

They carried their bowls to a nearby bench and sat down to enjoy the treat, and Asa realized immediately that they were facing the wrong direction. Fifty yards due north, he had a direct line of sight to where Gus and Nell sat, munching fried chicken, corn bread, and apple slices. Oughta be you sitting there, he thought.

Guardians of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #2)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 pages
August 3rd 2015 by Whitaker House

Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.

Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited.

Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

The First Book in the Series

Currency of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 pages
January 1st 2015 by Whitaker House

Young widow Shaina Sterling hates living a lie. Desperate to keep bill collectors from the door, she secretly sells valuable possessions piece by piece, and hopes Denver’s elite never discover that his lavish lifestyle left her a near pauper.

She’s unaware that as her husband lay dying, successful rancher Sloan Remington made him a promise. And Sloan guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after her safety.

When fire devours Sterling Hall, leaving her homeless and penniless, he brings her to Remington Ranch to manage his household. His kindness makes Shaina beholden to him … and threatens to expose the secret that could destroy him.

Will trials and tragedies bring Sloan and Shaina together?

Or will secrets—and the cost of exposing them—drive them apart forever?

Yes, it’s true: Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the U.S. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for the “grandorables,” but mostly, she just writes. (And writes.) Over the years, her stories have earned nearly 100 industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 7 movie options, and over 80 4- and 5-star reviews.

There are more than 5,000,000 (yes, that’s FIVE MILLION) copies of Loree’s books in circulation, and in September of 2015, she’ll have 108 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults) 72 short stories, 2,500+ articles in print. To date, she has received 50,000+ letters from fans (a carton of books goes to Meredith P. in Joliet, IL — which she has elected to donate to her local library –for writing the 50,000th letter)!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in “giving back,” Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between her home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of lighthouses, wind chimes, and “wolf stuff.”

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card
Print copy of Guardians of the Heart
Kindle copy of Guardians of the Heart (to be gifted through Amazon)
Open internationally
Ends August 29th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Appendix of Names

Culture, Through the Valley (of Decision), Writing | Posted by Shannon
Aug 11 2015

During the earliest development of The Valley of Decision, I established this pattern of naming: of Gaelic origin, unusual enough that the names would not be common in our own world, but not too unusual. I avoided names like Ruairidh because it just looks too foreign. Who would care to guess how to pronounce it? So I ended with names like Torradan and Artek and Belenus – different, but easy enough.

I made various exceptions to this pattern – none without rhyme or reason, except perhaps naming the capital city of Alamir Ataroth. The rhyme and reason of the other exceptions will become clear.

This appendix is not a dramatis personae, listing the characters of the drama, but a compilation of the origins and meanings of many names in the book. Because of this, and how I began the naming process, there are some notable omissions. Neither Caél nor Keiran, the book’s heroes, appear in this appendix; absent with them are other lesser (but still important!) characters – among them all three lieutenants of the Hosts.

The reason for their absence is this: As part of my preliminary research, I made lists of Gaelic names that struck me as fitting the story. With the exception of the Fays (Fays are always an exception), the earliest-existing characters were named from this list without regard for the name’s meaning. Keiran, Caél, Torradan, Artek, Lachann: the cream of those lists.

Other patterns emerged. A majority of the Fays share names with Celtic deities, and several place-names are just two words with the space between them deleted: the Coldlands, the Wildheath, the Northwood. A few names, such as My’ra, have neither a particular origin nor a particular meaning, but the longer I worked on the story the more I rejected these. Even minor characters like Emain and Labras have names of Gaelic origin, and so of a certain flavor.


Appendix of Names
to
The Valley of Decision


Achadh: A Gaelic place-name meaning ‘field’

Ailill: ‘Elf’; the name of several Irish High Kings

Alaunos: The Celtic god of healing

Ataroth: An obscure Canaanite city conquered by Joshua and Israel

Brandr: A Norse name, meaning sword; Brandr was, after all, an earl of the northern Coldlands

Belenus: ‘Bright, shining one;’ the Celtic god of the sun

Dochraitay: A slightly more phonetic rendering of dochraite, a Gaelic word meaning ‘friendless, oppressed’

Droheda:: A slight alteration of Drogheda, an Irish city cruelly subdued by the English under Oliver Cromwell

Glahs (Forest): Glahs is Gaelic for ‘green’

Hrolfr: Norse, meaning sword

Jarmith: An alteration of the Gaelic name Jarmin, which means German – a foreigner in Ireland, as Jarmith was among the Dochraitay

Kobuld: This elder blacksmith of the Trow was named after the Kobold, a race in German folklore who were said to live in mines and be expert metalworkers

Morrigan: The Celtic goddess of, among other things, war

Muireach: A diminutive form of the Gaelic name Muireadhach, meaning ‘lord, master’; this is the least majestic name owned by a Fay

The Northmen: An old name for the Vikings, on whom the Men of the Coldlands were loosely based

Nuadha: ‘Protector’; the Celtic god of the sea

Sgrios: Gaelic word meaning ‘ruin’

Tullach: A Gaelic place-name meaning ‘little hill’

Volund: Of Norse origin; in legend, the name of a great smith