Archive for February, 2017

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 28 February – CRICKETS


#Blogwords, Crickets


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Back in 2009, while digging us out from two inches of snow that had somehow turned into a foot, my Patient Husband heard a crack. He looked up to see a pheasant fall to the ground at our garage doors. It had flown straight into the side of our house.


Note to pheasants: the house is bigger than you. It will not care that you are coming, and it will not get out of the way.


Note to readers: pheasants are stupid. There’s no way to gloss that fact.


It landed about two feet away from my Patient Husband and his snow blower, but it didn’t move. Eventually he turned off the machine and chased it away. It half-wobbled, half-flew to a cluster of trees in front of the house, near the road.


When he told me, I said, “It’s concussed?”  He thought so.


And my first thought was, if it’s dead (because birds have light bones, and that kind of impact might have broken several) maybe I should go get it.


I mean, that’s what Ma Ingalls would have done, right? She’d have gone out, cleaned and dressed the bird, and everyone would have dined on Providence-Delivered Pheasant, the best take-out meal. God gave Moses quail in the desert, and our family would have received a pheasant.


I procrastinated. Even though I live in the Swamp nowadays, I’m a city girl, and the idea of eating something that wasn’t shrink-wrapped and slapped with a sell-by date…well, that’s just weird.


I still had no idea what to do an hour later when I looked out the window to discover a pheasant poking around in the trees at the front of the house. I didn’t need to go retrieve the pheasant carcass because the pheasant was still using it! This made my decision a lot easier. Or at least, it made my cowardice a lot less noticeable.


(Okay, everyone, go ahead and make the pun you’re dying to, about how I chickened out. Do it. You’ll feel better. Really. See now? Isn’t that better.)


I feel a kind of kinship with that pheasant. I imagine my soul, cruising along, and God’s saying, “That big thing, the thing in front of you? Avoid that? Like, turn…? Avoid it? Because it’s a house and you’ve got hollow bones…?” and then WHAM! I slam right in to whatever sin I should have been avoiding and which would have been reasonably easy to avoid had I been paying attention. Spiritually speaking, I’m just not that smart.


But we’re made stupid by our own sins, and we’re surrounded by a sin-filled world. Jesus redeemed us, but the devil is still wandering around like a lion, a predator who would love to devour things that are small and stupid, things that are broken and didn’t come shrink-wrapped from the meat counter.


The writer Mark Shea is fond of saying, “Sin makes you stupid.” Therefore I would suggest it’s reasonable to pray, “Help me, God! I’m stupid.” He puts up with a lot from us, so He already knows.


But we aren’t done yet with the pheasant. The next morning, coming back from the school bus stop, I passed the same stand of trees and found the pheasant still there, and only about six feet from me!


And then I realized it was sitting in a pile of feathers. Oh dear, I though. It must be sick and it’s shedding.


And then I realized that wasn’t a pheasant. Oh dear, I thought. It’s a hawk.


And then I realized it wasn’t sitting in a pile of hawk feathers.


Oh dear, I thought.


It was a beautiful hawk. And, I would add, smarter than the pheasant. For, you see, hawks do not dither about wondering whether the pheasant has parasites or a sell-by date or was raised on organic corn. They’re entirely pragmatic. And pheasants are tasty.


And from this, I also derived a very important lesson: the world is a dangerous place when you are both stupid and tasty.


For years afterward, whenever I felt I was under spiritual attack, I would pray, “God, please help me. I’m stupid and tasty.” rem: too hilarious and oh-so-universal!


Live and learn. Or, don’t do either. I guess. Sometimes God gives those of us who are especially stupid a hands-on demonstration via Nature’s School.




61dnj97ajfl-_ux250_Jane Lebak talks to angels, cats, and her kids. Only the angels listen to her, but the kids talk back. She lives in the Swamp, writing books and knitting socks, with the occasional foray into violin-playing. You’ll also find her blogging at QueryTracker.net, a resource for writers seeking agents and small publishers. Enjoy!









#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Jane, Lebak, Pheasants, Mark Shea, Stupid and Tasty

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I love my office. Or should I say my little nest. ‘Cause I don’t have a desk, I sit on the love seat with my stuff spread out around me, all within (relatively) easy reach.

Notes on who’s who in my novel? Right here by my side. Blog schedule for the year? Right under the ring binder of notes for the novel. (and on my Excel spreadsheet)




Okay, so office is a loose term but it works for me.


What I particularly love is my view out the front door—which is open when at all reasonable. You know, unless it’s just too cold or the afternoon sun is bearing down—or when I go to bed.


And I’ve noticed something on in the wood of the porch railing. A funny sort of knot that looks like a hummingbird.



(kinda like this—I forgot to snap the pic and it’s dark now… )


As I was looking at it today, Father whispered to me that the “bird” was hidden within that wood, that tree trunk all along, and nobody ever saw it till it was positioned just as it is outside my door. Just for me.


Hidden. A little quirky treasure. A delightful image for me because I love birds so much.


And as only Father can arrange it, I was at Hobby Lobby today with my friend, looking at framing options for one of her paintings. (She’s a very gifted artist.) And the piece that she’s looking to frame, says, “Diamond in the rough, Hidden in The Rock.”




The Rock.




He is our Rock. And we are hidden in Him. And we are a precious in His sight, a jewel of inestimable worth. Hidden in Him.


Today, as we wrap up the month of February and my blitz of feathers, my flock of robins—Robin Hendzel Bunting, Robin Johns Grant, Robin Patchen, Robin Bayne, Robin Caroll, Robin Lee Hatcher—and all my wonderful guest posts on birds—Merrillee Whren, C. Kevin Thompson, Joy Dekok, Jane Lebak (you won’t want to miss Jane’s post tomorrow, it’s hilarious)—I thought about all the gifts Father has given us.



Today it’s as simple as all my friends who contributed to my birthday month. Such a small thing but such a treasure to me.




And if I wasn’t looking, I’d never have seen it.






#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, All the Birds, Genesis, Hidden Treasures, Precious in His Sight, Robin Blitz, Birthday Celebration, Give Thanks

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“… after several years of heart preparation, Robin accepted God’s call to write stories of faith and hasn’t looked back since.”


“My storytelling career began in grade school when I told my fifth grade friends that my mother was born in a covered wagon while coming west on the Oregon Trail.”


rem:  Hullo, Robin, and welcome. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  I am an Idaho native, born and raised in Boise. I have lived in Boise or a neighboring town my entire life and can’t see myself living anywhere else, although I do enjoy visiting other places. I think I have seven states left to go and then I can say I have visited all 50. I’m a wife, mom of two, grandmother of six. In addition to writing, I am a part-time college student with a goal of getting my degree before I need a walker to go up to get it in the ceremony.


rem:  ‘Nother place on my list of places to visit—and people to see!  😉  Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I love most animals but particularly horses, dogs, and cats. I’ve had a love affair with books and storytelling since I was a little girl, although I didn’t dream of being a writer; I wanted to be an actress. My two daughters and I all wore the same wedding dress, and in recent years, we were all three college students at the same time, too.


rem:  I love that about the shared wedding dress! ❤ Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

ROBIN:  Coffee with Italian Sweet Crème creamer. Several cups throughout the morning.

rem:  Ya, gotta have the morning cuppa! What do you do as a hobby?

ROBIN:  This past year, I began to do Bible art journaling. It’s been an amazing way to get into the Word and to worship the Lord. I love using paints and watercolors and other mediums. I also enjoy decorative planning and knitting. And I listen to lots of audio books.

rem:  I love your pics of your Bible journaling. Your movie snack of choice?

ROBIN:  Popcorn with real butter.

rem:  Yup, gotta. Would you bungee ?

ROBIN:  Never.

rem:  LOL  Rolling stones or Beatles?

ROBIN:  Oh my goodness. The Beatles, hands down.


rem:  Me too. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  I have many, many favorites. God has used so many different verses throughout my life. But I’ll go with Isaiah 42:16: “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” (Isaiah 42:16, NASB95). I had just accepted my first contract offer to write for the Christian market (after 30 books in the general mass market), and I was almost paralyzed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to write the book. It would be my first contemporary novel as well as first Christian novel, and I didn’t know anything about it other than the opening scene which had come to me in a dream. God used this verse to calm my fears and tell me it didn’t matter if I didn’t know where the story was going. He did.


rem:  Robin, that’s beautiful. I love when Father speaks to us that way. What is your favorite bird and why?

ROBIN:  The American Bald Eagle. They are majestic.

rem:  That they are. Do you like to fly? What’s the farthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  I used to love to fly before it got so complicated with all of the necessary security (i.e. making packing complicated). The farthest I’ve flown was to Okinawa, Japan. That’s where my first grandson was born.

rem:  I flew last year in June, first time since 9-11. I was also four months post surgery so I “skated” through security! When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  May 10th.

rem:  What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  My favorite birthday happened maybe eight or so years ago. It was just a lunch with both of my daughters at a fun little restaurant, but the memory is extra precious to me. My youngest daughter moved far away within the next few years, and so we don’t get those moments as easily anymore.


rem:  Love those moments like that—seem so ordinary at the time. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  I believe that Christian fiction should always honor God and encourage and uplift His people. Whatever the Lord has taught me or is teaching me eventually makes its way into my books.


rem:  Yes, fiction is truer than life sometimes. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  I don’t want “hopeless” endings as happens in many general market novels. I don’t need a perfect” happily ever after” ending, but I do want hope. Pet peeve? Anything gratuitous.


rem:  Well, life isn’t “perfect happily ever after.” Had a discussion on FB with some other authors about that this week. Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  Well, both are important. But if an author doesn’t create believable, interesting characters, then the readers won’t care what happens to them (the plot), no matter how wonderful it is.


rem:  Right, who cares what happens to cardboard people? What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  As long as money wasn’t an issue, I would buy a horse stable and arena and play with horses all day long.

rem:  That is SO you!!  ❤  What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  College textbooks (as a student) and RITA Award contest entries (as a judge). The audiobook I’m listening to for pleasure is Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund.


rem:  Busy busy brain! What do you munch on while they write?

ROBIN:  I don’t. My fingers are on the keyboard so no way to snack. Seriously, I have never eaten while writing.


rem:  Very true, busy brain, busy fingers… Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I was an avid reader and a fan of the big historical sagas that were popular in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I got an idea for a story but didn’t do anything with it. Then I read an article in the local newspaper about a woman whose first book was published, and I decided to give it a try. I wrote longhand on legal pads at night and typed the pages on my coffee breaks and lunch hours at work. Nine months later it was finished, and I queried a bunch of publishers I found in The Writer’s Market. I sold it, the publisher went bankrupt a few months later, I resold it and the sequel the following year, and the rest, as they say, is history.


rem:  And a great history it is, too! You have shared your Bible art and journaling on your blog. Tell us how you got started.

ROBIN:  In late 2015, I heard about The Inspire Bible that was coming out from Tyndale. That led me to YouTube videos of people who were art journaling in their Bibles. I have always written in the margins of my Bible and used colorful pens and highlighters. Art journaling was just one more step along that same path, another way to interact with the Word.

rem:  I.love.it! I, too, used multi-colored highlights and pens to make notes, haven’t taken the step to art journaling though—yet… What do you feel is the value and importance of Bible journaling?

ROBIN:  The value comes from a believer spending more time contemplating and interacting with Scripture. If it is done for any other reason, it has no importance.


rem:  In essence true for any activity with Scripture. Father’s Word is not an easy careless read. But every exposure to His Word shines His light, maybe a crack, maybe flooding your heart with His presence. You started out writing for the general fiction market. Tell us what prompted you to write Christian Fiction.

ROBIN:  The short answer is, God prompted me. After I dreamed the opening for what would become The Forgiving Hour, I knew it was a novel where God would be a central character, and due to my faith having been cut from some of my secular novels, I knew it couldn’t be written for my general market publisher. But I also knew that I couldn’t move to writing Christian fiction without a specific call of God upon my life. I prayed about it for months. I asked Him to use a two-by-four if necessary. And one day, in church, He did just that. That was in October 1997.


rem:  Ah yes, the “two-by-four” moment. I think we’ve all had [a few of] those. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN: I write six days a week, mostly in the mornings. I have an office in my home, and I do most my writing on my iMac at my desk. Occasionally I move with my laptop to a recliner in the living room.

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  Around the middle of every book, I start wondering why I ever thought I could write a book. I know I will never manage to finish the new book and that I would rather do just about anything else than write. How do I handle it? I keep writing. When I was a bookkeeper, I kept books for my employer whether I wanted to or not. That’s what I was paid to do. I’m a writer. It is my job. So I sit down and write, whether or not I feel like it.


rem:  And yet, more than 75 books later, you’re still cranking them out! Ya must be doing something right!  😉  Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN:  Creating. Because anything is possible then.

rem:  Ooohhh, I like that answer! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  Having written. I can’t say I always love writing but I always love having written.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  DO: (1) Read, read, read. Read everything. Your favorite genres and everything else too. (2) Write, write, write. If nothing else, make lists. (3) Remember, if you write one page per day, you will have a 365 page novel at the end of one year. DON’T DO: (1) Don’t listen to the negative voices in your head. (2) Be careful who you trust with your work. (3) In this day and age when it is so easy to self-publish, resist the urge to publish before you and your work are ready.


rem:  All gems, but especially the last “don’t”—which I did when I was green and naïve…  Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

ROBIN:  I have no clue. I just wait for an idea to catch my imagination and refuse to let go.

rem:  Seems that’s where the best ones come from, the elusive mists of yon. How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I look in baby books and character name books and bibliographies and the credits at the end of movies, etc. And at some point, the character says to me, “That’s it. That’s my name.”

rem:  Yup, most of mine introduce themselves to me. Minor and secondary characters, I get to pick names for. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  No. I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t know what will happen until I write it.

rem:  Meeee toooo. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  My April release is You’ll Think of Me. Here’s the blurb:


Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Myers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it’s an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can’t pass up, for Alycia’s sake if not her own.


Derek Johnson, Chad’s best friend since boyhood, isn’t keen on the return of Brooklyn Myers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres which would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad’s dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl’s mother?


Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined


As for my current project, I just turned in what will be my 78th release, so I am without a project as mull over some ideas rolling around in my head.


rem:  And now I wanna read it—of course. What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  My favorite part of You’ll Think of Me is watching Brooklyn, a “daddyless daughter” (which I am too; my dad died when I was an infant), overcome the pain of not having an earthly father who loves her. Daughters growing up without fathers is an epidemic in our society and causes more damage than most people know.

rem:  Sadly, I am all too familiar with it. Tell us about why you wrote this book.

ROBIN:  I wrote this book for the same reason I write every book. The characters entered my imagination and insisted their stories be told.

rem:  Right. They start taking, nattering at you, and they won’t.shut.up. Please give us the first page of the book.



Brooklyn Myers sat on the narrow stretch of lawn beside the brick apartment building, watching her ten-year-old daughter. On this balmy Saturday afternoon, Alycia lay on her stomach in the grass while reading a book they’d checked out at the library that morning. Reading, thanks to the public library, was one habit Brooklyn not only approved of but could afford to encourage. When a mother and child survived on a waitress’s salary, toys and other gadgets were a luxury. As was most everything else.

A headache threatened, and Brooklyn closed her eyes, rubbing her temples with her fingertips. Thank goodness she didn’t have to work today. She’d put in a lot of overtime in recent weeks and was in need of rest. Rest that always seemed just out of reach.

“Brooklyn?” Esther Peterman called from the second-story landing. “May I join you?”

Brooklyn looked toward the stairwell. “Of course.”

The rail-thin woman flashed one of her brave smiles before slowly heading down the final flight of stairs, a folded lawn chair clasped in one hand. She was only in her late forties, but she moved as if she were eighty.

Brooklyn’s heart clenched at the sight. As far as she was concerned, Esther was—and had always been—a godsend. She couldn’t begin to imagine how she and Alycia would have managed over the past decade without this kindly neighbor. Or how they were going to manage without her in the future.


rem:  Yup, I’m hooked. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  I have two goals for every book: (1) That the reader will be entertained and (2) that they will have taken a step closer to Christ by the end of the book.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

ROBIN:  No. Thanks for having me.

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!


rem:  Where can we find you online?










“Robin is a gifted writer whose novels unfailingly stir and challenge readers’ hearts.”
Francine Rivers, NYT bestselling author









#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Lee Hatcher, In His Arms, Heart Rings, Whispers from Yesterday, Keeper of the Stars, A Promise Kept, Firstborn


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note: I share my books this months because it’s my birthday month!


 Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews

Kathleen Denly

Lauraine’s Notes

With a Joyful Noise



 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!


 slide1* not the final cover


The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.

Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.

Mercedes’s friend, Simone, comes to her and Mercedes must now keep her friend’s secret. But Mercedes finds more than she bargained for—keeping Simone’s secret from their friends Pearl and Scarlett—and then Mercedes discovers that they, too, have secrets.

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.



She looked so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. Sitting on the bench like she was outside Hooper’s Market. Her hat was at a rakish angle, her cocoa colored hair perfectly coiffed. Seemed there were tears in her green eyes. I was certain I had never seen her before. But she reminded me of someone…



First time writing in first person—and I likessss it!!! As usual, this story and its characters have taken on a life of their own—and it’s been a roller coaster ride! By the time this posts on Friday, I hope to have typed the two magical words, THE END—and jumped into the second book. Long Shadows releases in July.

As she tells her story, Mercedes’ voice resonates like she’s talking to a friend. [I hope] the reader is drawn to love her as they become familiar with her struggles.



Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction



I can’t rate it – I wrote it! but FIVE STARS, right???


#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, The Long Shadows of Summer, Robin E. Mason, Seasons Series, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring



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“Robin Bayne. . . . . Writing with faith and hope. . . . about love”


“Robin is the author of Christian and “sweet” romance”


rem:  Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  I’m from Harford County, Maryland, and live only one county away from that now. It’s the “burbs” of Baltimore City, and I currently work my day-job there.

rem:  I’ve been to Rockville, MD (I think it was Rockville…) but never to Baltimore—but I used Baltimore in my second novel! Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  Hmm, three things.  In 2001 I won a P.T. Cruiser at a mortgage banking convention in Hawaii.  (And acckk, yes, you have to pay a lot of taxes when that happens.)  I’ve been married to my hubby for 26 years and we have worked together for most of that time.  Oh, and I like to write long-hand to get the words flowing.


rem:  I’m funny with typing VS long-hand—for stories I have to beon the computer, but to write poems or letters for my stories, it’s gotta be long-hand. Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

ROBIN:   Coffee in the morning, usually “Chocolate Glazed Donut” flavor from my Keurig. Tea in the afternoon, herbal. One of my favorites is Pear, another is Sleepy Time Vanilla.

rem:  Oh, that Pear tea sounds lovely. What is your favourite quotation and why?

ROBIN: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by.”  –Douglas Adams.  Love this because it can apply to my day-job and writing commitments.  And I think I’ve actually heard that whoosh before!

rem:  PAHAHAHAH!!! I “feel ya” on that one! What do you do as a hobby?

ROBIN:  Recently I’ve taken up golf, to have a sport to enjoy with my husband.  I am not very good at it, though, and I haven’t started keeping score yet. But I really do enjoy going out on the course and trying to hit that irritating little white ball.

rem:  Never did get into golf, but I wouldn’t mind wandering the golf course—I love to be outdoors. Do you use sarcasm?

ROBIN:  Who me? Nah.   LOL

rem:  Exactly. Favorite season? Why?

ROBIN:  I love the fall. I love the cooling temperatures, the start of the holiday season, and the pumpkin-everything.

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also—Matthew 6:21. I discovered this verse when looked up my “birth verse,” my birthday is June 21st so the website gave me this one. I really think it says a lot if you think about it.


rem:  Good verse, and good reminder. What is your favorite bird and why?

ROBIN:  My namesake, if I have to pick just one J

rem:  Good choice, I agree. Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  We used to fly often, furthest trip was to Hawaii.  The last trip was to Las Vegas, and we flew home exactly 24 hours prior to the 9/11 attacks.

rem:  Gasp! How crazy for you to watch the towers come down! When is your birthday?

ROBIN:    June 21—first day of summer and longest day of the year.

rem:  And the more day to celebrate with! 😉 What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  When I was little my dad assembled this piece of outdoor play equipment that sat 2 kids and went round and round when you pushed and pulled the handles.  We called it a Whirlie-Bird. My sister and I spent a lot of time getting dizzy on that. Good times.


rem:  I remember those! And I loved ‘em! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  It has not really impacted it, but writing Christian fiction definitely supports it.

rem:  When ya writes what ya writes, ya just writes, right? When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  Something too convenient, just unbelievable. It can throw me right out of the story. Truth is stranger than fiction….  Not the other way around.

rem:  Good answer, and I so agree with you! Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:   They are both such important elements!  You need great characters acting out a great story…if one or the other is missing, the story will fail.

rem:  I totally agree! What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  I’d read even more, and get out on the golf course more.  A round of golf can take over 4 hours, not to mention drive time to and from.

rem:  What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  I am reading an inspirational Amish romance manuscript for my critique partner.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I try not to, but I love a cold Diet Pepsi on my desk.


rem:  Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I’ve dabbled in writing my entire life, but didn’t get serious until I graduated from college. This was in my 30’s, as I went to school on weekends while working full time in the mortgage industry. Once I was finished I took what was my study time and began writing fiction.

rem:  You write both fiction and devotionals. Which came first? Which do you like better?

ROBIN:  I actually started with poetry, moved on to short stories and once I discovered how much I enjoyed reading romance novels, I started writing them. I still write some devotionals, and short anecdotal stories (like in “Chicken Soup for the Soul”).

rem:  Oh! Poetry! We should do a post o’ poems sometime—I was quite prolific with poems for a few years! Which is easier to write, fiction or devotionals? Why?

ROBIN:  Well they are like apples and oranges.  Fiction is never easy, but devotionals are difficult sometimes because you want to have that special “uh huh” moment at the end.  Sometimes it’s harder to write shorter.

rem:  Brevity isn’t even in my vocabulary…. Do you have a primary focus or theme for your devotionals?

ROBIN:  No specific theme, if I have an idea for one I will look for a verse to go with it. Sometimes I plan one based on the subject matter of the collection I am submitting to.

rem:  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  Either at my desk, or if writing long-hand I will curl up on the sofa. I don’t listen to music or anything that might distract me, but a quiet news show or tv golf in the background is helpful.  I call it “white noise.”

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  Just finding time to do it all–balancing the day job, housework, time with hubby.  And then there’s the marketing tasks…..

rem:  So many plates [to juggle], so few hands… Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN:  I enjoy creating a story and editing my work later.  When official edits come in from my publisher, it’s not as fun. It’s more like work then.

rem:  LOL For me, they merge together and as an Indie, I don’t have “those” edits to contend with.  😉  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  As many writers say, the best part is “having written.”  Once a story is complete and polished I feel great.  (That is, until the editor’s notes come in, LOL.)

rem:  It’s still surreal to me I’ve written one—let alone three—novels! (and almost done with #4!) What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  Read as much as possible, in lots of genres.  Get a critique partner or join an online group—writers always need a second set of eyes. And always let your work sit for a while before submitting it—you will be amazed what you pick up on after the piece “cools” a bit.

What not to do?   Submit your first draft.  Be upset when you start getting rejection letters. Be envious of other writers—their success does not hurt you at all.  Quit writing.  (Keep at it!)

rem:  Great points! Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

ROBIN:  I have no idea… they just happen. Sometimes when I’m pulling weeds or doing dishes.

rem:  That’s where the best ideas come from, right? The mysterious “out of nowhere.” How do you choose your characters’ names?   .

ROBIN:  No way to explain that either. Each character has a face in my mind, and the names just seem to match their personality

rem:  Kinda that way for me too! Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN: No, I am a “pant-ster,” meaning I don’t plot and outline ahead of time. I do often have the ending in mine, then the story is the journey leading up to that final scene.


rem:  Hey! That sounds exactly like me! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN: It’s the setting that came first with this story.  If you want to virtually visit the actual inn that inspired my story…. www.lambandlion.com

My husband and I stayed there many years ago and had a wonderful time. The innkeeper helped him set up a candlelight bath for me…our room had a fireplace, sunken tub and a private deck.  The whole experience was romantic.

Currently, I am working on a Christmas novella set in Fells Point, a touristy spot of Baltimore.


rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  My favorite part of “Reunion At Crane Lake” is the end…. But I don’t want to spoil it. If you enjoy short, contemporary, “clean” second-chance romance set at a charming inn….you might like this story.

rem:  Sounds lovely! (great teaser by the way… )Please give us the first page of the book.



Colton Reece propped his weathered boot on the gray boulder marking the driveway. This was the place. He shut his eyes, feeling the warm breeze flick the ends of his hair, and drew a breath deep enough to drag in the smell of the flowers growing around the rock, whatever they were called. It was just as his grandmother had told him. He’d been here before.

He looked around, lowering his gaze to the uncut lawn surrounding the inn. An uneven carpet, the bald, earthy patches emphasized why he was here. This grass could be brought back with a little care. This was land he needed to own, land that needed him.

It felt like home.

It had been home.

And thanks to God’s grace, now he could remember.

Eyeing the auction sign swaying with the wind, Colt straightened, stretching. Getting this place back in shape wouldn’t be easy, but the lack of prospective bidders standing on the lawn was a good sign so far. Turning them away wouldn’t be pleasant, but there was no need for an auction now that he was back.

To think he’d nearly missed today, nearly let the place slip from him, to go to the highest bidder with a cold cash deposit. Colt rubbed his jaw, his fingers pushing his taut cheeks in circles, striving to ease the tension. He needed to walk.


rem:  Goodness, Robin, I was there with him! He’s gotta get it back, he’s just gotta! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  Maybe that forgiveness and second chances can lead to happiness.

rem:  Indeed they do. Robin, thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!

ROBIN:  Thank you for having me!  I’ve enjoyed our talk.


rem:  Me too, come again anytime. Where can we find you online?











#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Bayne, The Artist’s Granddaughter, The Will of Time, Christmas Pearl, Reunion at Crane Lake

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Wednesday Wisdom – NEW

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And ri…

Source: Wednesday Wisdom – NEW

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Joy DeKok

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