Did you ever decide you wouldn’t buy something until later? Maybe you didn’t have the money just then, or you weren’t sure you wanted it, or you had to check whether it would fit into your house. I’m always proud of myself when I exhibit that type of restraint.
Except when I make the decision that I do want the item… but when I return to the store, it’s gone. But what does “should have bought it when I saw it” regret have to do with Contemporary Christian Romance?
I write for Love Inspired, Harlequin’s inspirational line of short Christian romances. I love almost everything about writing for Love Inspired… except the way the books are only on shelves one month. I try to get the word out to my friends, family, and readers in time, but it doesn’t always work. It makes me sad when someone tells me she wanted to buy my latest book, but it wasn’t available at WalMart/Target/Barnes and Noble. Of course, these days you can always get last month’s book at your favorite online retailer, and ebooks live forever. Still, writing for a line of books that has a short shelf life has its challenges.
That’s why, if you want to start The Soldier’s Redemption in paperback today, you should run out and grab it right away! Within the next week, all the July Love Inspired romances will go off the shelves to make way for the August selections.
Why should you read The Soldier’s Redemption? I have one word for you: SHONEY.
Shoney the cocker spaniel epitomizes the very best of Redemption Ranch, where this book and my next two Love Inspired romances are set. Like the other senior dogs at the ranch, and the troubled veterans who stay there, Shoney has her challenges. In Shoney’s case, she’s blind, almost deaf, and on the older side. At any shelter, she’d be “hard to place.”
And guess what: Shoney is a real dog! She spent many weeks at the animal shelter where I volunteer, and we all fell in love with her eager, enthusiastic spirit. Yes, you had to carry her down the steps when it was time for her walk, and yes, she tended to run into things. But she was always happy, despite her disabilities. She loved to eat, and roll in the grass, and be petted; in fact, she was one of the most affectionate dogs at the shelter. We were all thrilled when Shoney finally found her forever home, where she gets to enjoy freedom, a family, and the company of several other dogs. And she can roll in the grass whenever she wants to!
When I was writing The Soldier’s Redemption, Shoney seemed to nudge her nose under my hand and ask to be part of the book. So on the very first day that Kayla, our heroine, and her son Leo visit the ranch, they meet her. Finn, the hero, treats Shoney with extra care, and Kayla and Leo immediately fall in love with her. These characters’ gentle treatment of Shoney says a lot about how caring and accepting they are. Kayla and Leo end up adopting Shoney. And you can probably guess that Kayla and Finn fall in love as well. But I have to warn you that there are a few tears on the way to their happy ending!
True confession: the photo above isn’t the real Shoney… but it’s probably just what she looked like as a younger, healthier dog. If you visit my Facebook page and scroll down, you can find a video of the real Shoney enjoying her new home.
If you’re out shopping this week, check the book section of your favorite store and grab your copy of The Soldier’s Redemption.
Meanwhile, I’m giving away three autographed copies of A Family for Easter, one of my earlier Love Inspired books that is, you guessed it, already off shelves. Comment today for a chance to win. I’ll give one copy to a random commenter, and I’ll also give an extra chance to anyone who also subscribes to my newsletter (you can do that here). If you want that extra entry, let me know in your comment whether you’re an old subscriber or a new one—I will draw a winner from each group.